Mexico anxiously awaits US response on immigration deal as deadline arrives

Mexico deployed 21,000 militarized National Guard to control the flow of immigrants through the US-Mexican border. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 July 2019

Mexico anxiously awaits US response on immigration deal as deadline arrives

  • Earlier agreements between the countries set the possibility that asylum seeker would apply in Mexico and not US
  • Mexico averted on Sunday talks about a “safe third country”

MEXICO CITY: Mexico is on tenterhooks as a Monday deadline on a US migration deal that removed tariff threats on Mexican exports arrived, and despite progress made in reducing migrant flows it was unclear what President Donald Trump’s next move would be.
The agreement reached in June laid out that if the United States deems that Mexico has not done enough to thwart migrants by the July 22 deadline, the two countries would begin talks over changing rules to make most asylum seekers apply for refuge in Mexico, not the United States.
Mexico said on Sunday it had averted the so-called “safe third country” negotiations with the United States that it desperately wants to avoid after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Mexican efforts in reducing US-bound migrant flows.
But while Pompeo praised the progress made by Mexico in helping cut apprehensions on the US southern border by almost a third in June to some 100,000, he also said there was still “more work to do” and that he would consult with Trump, who has been uncharacteristically hush on the topic.
“As for the next set of actions. I’ll talk with the president and the teams back in Washington and we’ll decide exactly which tools and exactly how to proceed,” said Pompeo.
Mexico’s foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard, who met with Pompeo in Mexico City on Sunday, was scheduled to attend Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s daily presser Monday morning.
Following the meeting with Pompeo, Ebrard said considering the advances Mexico had made, it was not necessary to initiate negotiations on a safe third country agreement between Mexico and the United States.
Eager to avoid being cornered into those talks, Mexico has deployed some 21,000 militarized National Guard police to decrease the flow of people across the U.S-Mexico border.
Mexico has long resisted US pressure to formally accept the safe third country status.


6 dead after man opens fire in Czech hospital waiting room

Updated 10 December 2019

6 dead after man opens fire in Czech hospital waiting room

  • The attacker opened fire at people’s heads from close range
  • Police published a photo of the suspect, having withdrawn an earlier photo of a different man

PRAGUE: Six people were killed in a shooting in a hospital in the eastern Czech Republic Tuesday, the prime minister said. Police said the suspect is at large and described him as armed and dangerous.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis told Czech public television the shooting took place around 7 a.m. in a waiting room. The attacker opened fire at people’s heads from close range, Babis said.

He said he was heading for the site, at the University hospital in the eastern city of Ostrava, 350 kilometers (220 miles) east of Prague.

Police said the man left in a silver-grey Renault Laguna car and called on the public not to try to stop him.

Police published a photo of the suspect, having withdrawn an earlier photo of a different man. They said that man was now considered to be a witness.

Video footage and pictures published by public radio showed police arresting a person at the site but that person did not appear to be the shooting suspect.

Officials say people have been evacuated from the clinic. Police are boosting security across the country.