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Donald Trump calls for death penalty for drug peddlers

Agency Press France

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WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump has called for stiffer penalties for drug traffickers, including embracing a tactic employed by many global strongmen: the death penalty.

“Toughness is the thing that they most fear,” Trump said at an event in Manchester, New Hampshire, a state ravaged by opioids.

Trump also called for broadening awareness about drug addiction while expanding access to proven treatment and recovery efforts.

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An estimated 2.4 million Americans are addicted to opioids, a class of drugs that include prescription painkillers, as well as heroin. Trump`s move is designed to burnish his tough-on-crime credentials, and he pledged to fix the crisis when he took office a year ago.

Drug-related murder is already a capital offense in the United States, but no one has ever been executed using those rules.

Officials indicated there would be no attempt to change the law to make the death penalty mandatory for trafficking alone, a move that would could well run afoul of Supreme Court rulings on proportional punishment.

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Thai authorities launch search for youth soccer team trapped in cave

AP Associated Press

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BANGKOK — Search and rescue teams on Sunday are looking for a dozen members of a youth soccer team who are missing since late Saturday afternoon, believed to be trapped in a cave in northern Thailand.

Police said local authorities, police and rescue workers were working with divers to find the 12 boys, aged 11-15, and their coach, who are believed to have entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province.

The group were apparently trapped when a heavy storm flooded a stream at the cave’s entrance.

Police Colonel Komsan Saardluan said parts of the cave, which is an estimated 6-8 kilometres long, get flooded to a height of as much as 5 metres during the rainy season, which runs from June through to October.

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Footage on Thai television showed bikes and backpacks left at the cave entrance. ThaiPBS television reported the team members came from various schools in the province and were thought to have been practicing before going to the park where the cave is located.

The search began around midnight on Saturday after police received a report of a missing child from a mother who said her son had not returned from the soccer practice that evening, ThaiPBS reported.

It said the mother last spoke to her son when he told her in the afternoon he was with the group visiting a cave inside the Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.

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