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  • Trump defends family separation in debate, says immigrant kids whose parents can't be found are 'so well taken care of'

    Trump defends family separation in debate, says immigrant kids whose parents can't be found are 'so well taken care of'During a rare presidential debate exchange about immigration, President Trump defended his administration?s family separation policy for undocumented immigrants, which has left hundreds of children without their parents for years, saying the kids are ?so well taken care of? in federal facilities.


  • 'A flat-out lie': Breonna Taylor attorneys seek new prosecutor after jurors speak out

    'A flat-out lie': Breonna Taylor attorneys seek new prosecutor after jurors speak outThe two anonymous grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case who spoke out this week about the deliberations had no agenda other than to pursue the truth, their lawyer said. But their disclosures have spurred calls for a new prosecutor in the case.


  • Turkey's Armenians 'cannot breathe' as Karabakh rhetoric rages

    Turkey's Armenians 'cannot breathe' as Karabakh rhetoric ragesTurkey's support of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh is loud and intensely partisan, and the tiny Armenian community in Turkey is feeling under pressure.


  • Turkish burgers off the menu in Saudi Arabia as trade boycott bites fast food industry

    Turkish burgers off the menu in Saudi Arabia as trade boycott bites fast food industryWith its spicy sauce and Ottoman-themed packaging, the ?Turkish burger? is one of the more exotic choices on the menu at Saudi Arabian restaurant Herfy. Or, at least, it was. This week, the Turkish patty has vanished from the menu and been replaced with an identical ?Greek burger,? the latest casualty of Saudi Arabia?s unofficial boycott of Turkish products. ?It?s the same thing,? one Herfy worker, Mahmood Bassyoni, told customers as he offered them a taste of the burger, according to Bloomberg news agency. ?Just the name changed.? The boycott reportedly began after Recep Tayyip Erdogan outraged Riyadh, one of its main rivals in the Middle East, by claiming that ?Arab countries in the Gulf will not exist for long but Turkey will always remain powerful.? Tensions have also simmered over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia?s Istanbul consulate and differing attitudes towards Islamist groups in the region. Mr Erdogan has accused Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, of ordering the murder personally, something that he vehemently denies. The Telegraph approached Herfy for comment on whether the rebranding was related to the boycott but had not received a response at the time of publication. According to Arab News, a Saudi news website, the boycott has been gaining steam in recent weeks, with major supermarket Al Sadhan Group expressing support for the campaign. This was followed by dairy firm Tamimi Markets adding its voice to the backlash against Turkish goods, along with a number of online fashion retailers.


  • Treasure hunter dug through Yellowstone cemetery looking for famous bounty, feds say

    Treasure hunter dug through Yellowstone cemetery looking for famous bounty, feds sayHe was allegedly seeking the coveted Forrest Fenn treasure, officials said.


  • Trump: The only undocumented immigrants who appear for their court dates have the 'lowest IQ'

    Trump: The only undocumented immigrants who appear for their court dates have the 'lowest IQ'

    Following a debate question on immigration, President Trump said that the only undocumented immigrants who appear for their court dates are those with the ?lowest IQ.?


  • A 73-year-old in Colorado was fined more than $1,000 after her pet deer gored a woman walking her dog

    A 73-year-old in Colorado was fined more than $1,000 after her pet deer gored a woman walking her dogTynette Housley, 73, was cited on misdemeanor charges of illegal possession of wildlife and illegally feeding wildlife.


  • Some Parents Are Demanding In-Person Schooling as the Pandemic Stretches On

    Some Parents Are Demanding In-Person Schooling as the Pandemic Stretches OnParents' impatience is growing as the pandemic shows no sign of ending and as remote learning takes a toll on children


  • Christian singer to host evangelical ?worship protest? on Washington DC?s National Mall with 15,000 expected to attend

    Christian singer to host evangelical ?worship protest? on Washington DC?s National Mall with 15,000 expected to attendThe event scheduled this weekend will not require attendees to wear masks or social distance


  • Scoop: Rudy Giuliani declined offer of compromising Hunter Biden emails and images in May 2019

    Scoop: Rudy Giuliani declined offer of compromising Hunter Biden emails and images in May 2019Giuliani turned the offer down out of credibility concerns, a source familiar with the meeting tells Salon


  • Man gets 20 years for buying guns used in 2015 terror attack

    Man gets 20 years for buying guns used in 2015 terror attackThe man who bought two rifles that husband-and-wife assailants used to kill 14 people in a Southern California terror attack nearly five years ago was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison. Enrique Marquez Jr. supplied the weapons that Syed Rizwan Farook and Farook?s wife, Tashfeen Malik, used on Dec. 2, 2015, to open fire on a meeting and holiday gathering of San Bernardino County employees who worked with Farook. Minutes later, a post on a Facebook page associated with Malik pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State terror group.


  • Fact check: Biden owns 2 of the 4 homes pictured in a viral meme

    Fact check: Biden owns 2 of the 4 homes pictured in a viral memeA viral meme purports to show four $3 million-$7.5 million homes Biden owns. He only owns two of them, neither of which cost more than $3 million.


  • Ghislaine Maxwell could not contain frustration as she 'pounded' desk during bad tempered deposition

    Ghislaine Maxwell could not contain frustration as she 'pounded' desk during bad tempered depositionGhislaine Maxwell could not hide her frustration during an increasingly heated and bad tempered legal deposition that was unsealed in New York. Several times during the seven-hour exchange, which took place over two days, her anger boiled over as she was forced to answer repeated questions about allegations made by a woman she insisted was a serial liar. At one point, unable to contain her emotions, Miss Maxwell ?very inappropriately and very harshly? pounded the desk, forcing them to take a break. She was being quizzed about Virginia Roberts Giuffre?s claim that she was just 15 when she was first introduced to Jeffrey Epstein at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, which she furiously insisted had been fabricated to make the story ?more exciting.? ?Can we agree she was not the age she said? that is obviously, manifestly, absolutely, totally a lie,? Miss Maxwell said. Sigfrid McCawley, for Ms Roberts Giuffre, interjected, stating for the record that Miss Maxwell had banged the desk ?in an inappropriate manner.? ?I ask she take a deep breath and calm down,? she said. ?I know this is a difficult position but physical assault or threats is not appropriate so no pounding, no stomping, no.?


  • Another round of $1,200 stimulus checks? Pelosi says Dems, White House closer on deal

    Another round of $1,200 stimulus checks? Pelosi says Dems, White House closer on deal?I think we?re just about there,? Pelosi said.


  • Who the hell are nonvoters? We polled them and found the 6 kinds of people who don't vote.

    Who the hell are nonvoters? We polled them and found the 6 kinds of people who don't vote.If "did not vote" were a presidential candidate in 2016, it would have received 100 million votes and won in a landslide.


  • The family of the rescued Zion National Park hiker spoke out after a sheriff's sergeant questioned her survival story ? but it's still confusing

    The family of the rescued Zion National Park hiker spoke out after a sheriff's sergeant questioned her survival story ? but it's still confusingHolly Courtier was found 12 days after disappearing on a hike. Her sister spoke to reporters after a sheriff's sergeant questioned the survival story.


  • Colorado wildfire jumps U.S. Continental Divide, threatens mountain towns

    Colorado wildfire jumps U.S. Continental Divide, threatens mountain townsAn explosive Colorado wildfire that has already forced the evacuation of several mountain communities and the closure of Rocky Mountain National Park blackened another 45,000 acres (18,200 hectares) on Thursday as it jumped the U.S. Continental Divide. The East Troublesome Fire, which broke out on Oct. 14, has now burned 170,000 acres (68,800 hectares) and was only about 5% contained as of Thursday afternoon, incident commander Noel Livingston said at a news briefing. The flames have spread into Rocky Mountain National Park, prompted the National Park Service to close the entire 415 square-mile (668-square-km) expanse and the blaze has become the second-largest on record in Colorado.


  • Venezuelans 'dying slowly' in rat- and roach-infested homes

    Venezuelans 'dying slowly' in rat- and roach-infested homesSunlight cannot penetrate, the air is fetid and fellow residents include rats and cockroaches -- but that's how 14 families are "dying slowly" in government accommodation in Venezuela's capital Caracas.


  • US President Donald Trump at debate: Look at India. The air is filthy

    US President Donald Trump at debate: Look at India. The air is filthyPresident Trump's 'filthy air' remark drew both anger and introspection from Indians.


  • 'A shocking statement': Pope's backing for same-sex unions divides Catholic world

    'A shocking statement': Pope's backing for same-sex unions divides Catholic world?I am really scandalized by his defense of homosexual union, which surely leads to immoral acts,? retired bishop Arturo Bastes of the Philippines said.


  • Minn. judge dismisses 1 charge against former cop in Floyd's death

    Minn. judge dismisses 1 charge against former cop in Floyd's deathA Minnesota judge has dismissed a third-degree murder charge filed against the former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee against George Floyd?s neck, but the more serious second-degree murder charge remains.


  • Senate Judiciary Committee authorizes subpoenas for Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg over Hunter Biden stories

    Senate Judiciary Committee authorizes subpoenas for Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg over Hunter Biden storiesJudiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said he hoped it would give the panel "leverage" to secure testimony from the CEOs.


  • Hundreds of protesters clash with police over coronavirus restrictions in Naples

    Hundreds of protesters clash with police over coronavirus restrictions in NaplesHundreds of protesters in Naples threw projectiles at police and set rubbish bins on fire late on Friday during a demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in the southern Italian city. Calls were issued on social media to challenge a curfew that took effect in the Campania region ahead of the weekend, enacted in response to a spiralling second wave of infections that saw nearly 20,000 new cases detected in the last 24 hours. A mostly young crowd marched through the streets of the regional capital and chanted as the curfew started at 11pm, with some lighting smoke bombs. One carried a makeshift sign that read: "If you close, you pay."


  • Kellyanne Conway is being paid $15,000 a month by the GOP following her White House exit: filings

    Kellyanne Conway is being paid $15,000 a month by the GOP following her White House exit: filingsFormer White House adviser Omarosa Manigault-Newman was offered $15,000 when she left the administration


  • US embassy in Turkey issues a warning about 'potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings' of Americans and foreigners in Istanbul

    US embassy in Turkey issues a warning about 'potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings' of Americans and foreigners in IstanbulIn response to the threat, the embassy suspended its services and urged American citizens to be careful, avoid crowds, and keep a low profile.


  • GOP House Candidate Sounds Racist Dog Whistle in Attack on Journalist

    GOP House Candidate Sounds Racist Dog Whistle in Attack on JournalistMadison Cawthorn, a Republican candidate for the House from North Carolina, created an attack website accusing a journalist of leaving a job in academia "to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker, who aims to ruin white males running for office."The journalist, Tom Fiedler, who had written favorably about Cawthorn's opponent, is a former dean of the Boston University College of Communications. He volunteered for the 2020 presidential campaign of Booker, D-N.J.Fiedler has since written articles and fact-checks about Cawthorn for a nonprofit news website in North Carolina's 11th Congressional District, where Cawthorn is facing Moe Davis, a former Air Force prosecutor.The attack on Fiedler was reported by The Bulwark, which called it "a despicable smear" echoing racist remarks by President Donald Trump.By late Thursday, the website's language accusing Fiedler of seeking to ruin white male candidates had been deleted. It was changed to read that Fiedler had "become a political operative and is an unapologetic defender of left-wing identity politics.""The syntax of our language was unclear and unfairly implied I was criticizing Cory Booker," Cawthorn said in a statement. "I have condemned racism and identity politics throughout my campaign including during my convention speech when I highlighted M.L.K.'s vision for equality," he said in reference to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.The open congressional seat, which was held by Mark Meadows before he became Trump's chief of staff, has become unexpectedly competitive.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


  • Evo Morales leaves Argentina for Venezuela: report

    Evo Morales leaves Argentina for Venezuela: reportBolivia's former president Evo Morales left Argentina for Caracas late Friday in an official Venezuelan aircraft, the official Argentine news agency Telam said.


  • Melania Trump pulls her hand away from husband following presidential debate

  • Elderly couple who wouldn't evacuate killed in Colorado wildfire

    Elderly couple who wouldn't evacuate killed in Colorado wildfireThe couple, in their 80s, cherished their home and refused to leave, the sheriff and family said. There are no other known missing people in the blaze.


  • Houston officer killed two weeks before retirement

    Houston officer killed two weeks before retirementSgt. Harold Preston, who led ?from the front,? died at an area hospital with his family by his side. A longtime Texas police officer just two weeks away from his retirement was shot and killed Tuesday while responding to a domestic violence call. Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston, 65, suffered multiple head wounds after the 41-year force veteran responded to a call at a local apartment complex.


  • Mexico will not follow FDA in approving Gilead's COVID-19 drug

    Mexico will not follow FDA in approving Gilead's COVID-19 drugMexico will not necessarily follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in approving Gilead Science Inc's antiviral drug remdesivir for use in COVID-19 patients, a top Mexican health official said on Friday. Mexico's health regulator Cofepris has already twice denied approval for the drug with a "non-favorable" opinion, deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell told his regular nightly news conference.


  • How has China avoided a coronavirus second wave?

    How has China avoided a coronavirus second wave?Europe is the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic once again, with the number of daily infections doubling in the past 10 days as a second wave hits. But China has avoided a second wave. The question is why? The answer is that its authorities, after being overwhelmed in Wuhan, have fine-tuned an emergency response for surprise cluster outbreaks. Many subsequent waves of infection have emerged in China, a country of 1.4 billion people and nearly 40 times the size of the UK. Cases have cropped up across the country, as far apart as in the south along the border to Vietnam, and in the north near Russia.


  • Nigeria Sars protest: Prison break and gunshots heard as unrest continues

    Nigeria Sars protest: Prison break and gunshots heard as unrest continuesFury over the shooting of protesters in Lagos has spiralled into chaos, with jailbreaks reported.


  • North Korea told citizens to stay inside, claiming (with no scientific basis) that a storm of yellow dust coming from China was carrying COVID-19

    North Korea told citizens to stay inside, claiming (with no scientific basis) that a storm of yellow dust coming from China was carrying COVID-19On Wednesday, North Korea's state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper warned people of the "danger of invading malicious viruses" inside an approaching storm.


  • Can Sen. Thom Tillis come from behind and beat Cal Cunningham in crucial NC Senate race?

    Can Sen. Thom Tillis come from behind and beat Cal Cunningham in crucial NC Senate race?Democrats stick behind Cal Cunningham, focusing on issues instead of infidelity, as they try to seize the majority in the US Senate.


  • ?Urban Warfare? as Europe?s Second Wave Spins Out of Control

    ?Urban Warfare? as Europe?s Second Wave Spins Out of ControlROME?A few hours after the regional governor of the Italian region of Campania where Naples is located announced he would be locking down the entire province to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Neapolitans took to the streets Friday night to defy the order. The situation quickly turned into what one police official likened to urban warfare with protesters lighting dumpsters and ducking teargas being lobbed by police. All the while, the mostly maskless, yelling crowd undoubtedly spread coronavirus even more.Europe is very much out of control when it comes to its second wave, with every single nation in the 27-member zone struggling in a race against time as hospitals fill up and death tolls?which are substantially less than the first wave so far? continue to rise. Millions of people are facing harsh new restrictions as governments play what amounts to whack-a-mole to try to stop the spread of the virus they thought just a few months ago they had defeated. Improved testing in many countries has painted a clearer picture of just how widespread the pandemic is, but because of the number of new infections, systems to contact trace have been overwhelmed, making the spread impossible to control.The U.S. is in Denial Over the Coronavirus Pandemic as Europe Struggles With Second WaveFrance has expanded its Draconian curfew that has stifled Parisian nightlife and put a massive dent in the hospitality sector economy of one of the most vibrant cities in the world. Now 46 million French people will have to be home by 9 p.m. In Wales, a two-week ?firebreak? started Friday, meaning everyone but essential workers has to be home by 6 p.m. The Czech Republic has just reached the dubious honor of having the most cases per capita in Europe with 1,148 cases per 100,000 residents, with Belgium and the Netherlands close behind. Ireland is under a six-week lockdown and Slovakia has vowed to test every single citizen to try to mitigate the spread. The Polish president has just tested positive and Germany logged a whopping 10,003 COVID-related deaths in a 24-hour period as the infection rate continues to rise. Filming of Mission Impossible 7 with Tom Cruise has been suspended in Venice as cases there reach record levels. And the Italian government is facing calls by 100 top scientists to mandate strict new measures in the next two or three days, or the outcome could be catastrophic.And it is still only October.Europe?s problems are dire, and citizens are angry that their governments have not been able to come up with any better plan than locking down, which puts already weak economies that were so badly hurt in the first wave of the pandemic at even greater risk of collapse. Ludovic Subran, the chief economist at Allianz warned last week of a high risk serious recession across Europe as new restrictions are put in place. ?We see an elevated risk of a double dip recession in countries that are once again resorting to targeted and regional lockdowns,? he said, adding that the European Union?s first bailout $880 billion won?t likely go to growth but be used by many countries like Italy, Spain and Greece to just stay afloat.On Saturday, the group Save Our Rights U.K. is holding a massive demonstration in London to protest not only restrictions being enforced by the British government, but the overall handling of the pandemic, pointing to contact tracing and other means to track the spread of the coronavirus as an affront to privacy. ?We believe that the coronavirus regulations that are in place are not proportionate and appropriate, and are causing more harm than good,? Louise Creffield, the group founder told the Guardian. ?We are very concerned with protecting people?s human rights: right to privacy, family life, bodily autonomy, medical freedoms, and so on. We are not just concerned with lockdowns per se, we are concerned with the infringements with our privacy by having this track and trace everywhere.?Similar sentiments are now common across Europe, where pandemic fatigue is now evident. And with lack of a feasible containment plan anywhere, the people are angry, desperate and increasingly ambivalent about what is really at stake: thousands of lives.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


  • An expert in nonverbal communication watched the Trump-Biden debate with the sound turned down ? here's what he saw

    An expert in nonverbal communication watched the Trump-Biden debate with the sound turned down ? here's what he sawPresident Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden met on Oct. 22 for the final debate in the 2020 election and, like the first debate, it was unusual.COVID-19 forced social distancing and largely took the studio audience, with their laughter, cheering and booing out of the equation. What?s more, with norm-breaking interruptions and stealing of speaking time an inherent part of Donald Trump?s debate strategy, the contentious crosstalk between the two candidates and the moderator made long sections of the candidates? first debate nearly impossible to hear or follow. The threat of having the microphone cut off effectively muted this aggression.But is what they say as important as we think?Although news coverage generally focuses on what the candidates say, as a political psychologist who studies nonverbal behavior, I focus less on the rehearsed answers and more on the space between talking points. These moments, when candidates nonverbally ? and largely involuntarily ? respond to their opposition can be enormously revealing. In other words, how people listen and react may speak louder than what they say. BidenDuring this debate Joe Biden reacted as the emotionally expressive politician he has been throughout his career. Even when directly dealing with attacks from Trump, whether aimed at his family or his record, Biden often smiled, laughed and shook his head while closing his eyes. That made him appear bemused, if not jovial. Research suggests that people in informal discussions often change topics within 30 seconds of laughter occurring. This, in turn may be why people ? especially politicians \- ?laugh off? insults. Laughter when under attack likely signals that Biden feels positive enough to be playful and that he is subtly taking control of the conversation. TrumpTrump presented a much less aggressive and more thoughtful face to the American public during this second debate, especially when compared to the first one. Instead of directly attacking Biden when his assertions were questioned, Trump responded with what may best be termed a controlled-posed smile, in which his lower lip is pressed up while his lip corners were pulled up in a smile. This type of smile is often used to mask negative emotions or to signal positive emotions when they are not felt.Perhaps Trump?s signature facial display is his protruding funneled lips. This lip funneler ? as it is referred to by facial display researchers ? can often be seen while Trump is listening and preparing to interrupt or respond to Biden. The research that exists about this behavior in humans suggests it is a primal display often occurring during intense emotional situations and is associated with anger and threats while engaging in dominance-seeking behavior.Much can be learned about each candidate with the noise turned down and the attention placed squarely on their distinct nonverbal behavior styles. This is especially the case when focusing on how the candidates respond to their opposition?s assertions and attacks. Public figures can often control how they act. However, they often do not have as much control over how they react in the heat of the moment. [Expertise in your inbox. Sign up for The Conversation?s newsletter and get expert takes on today?s news, every day.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Patrick Stewart, University of Arkansas.Read more: * Dominance or democracy? Authoritarian white masculinity as Trump and Pence?s political debate strategy * VP debates are often forgettable ? but Dan Quayle never recovered from his 1988 debate mistakePatrick Stewart does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


  • California ordered to halve San Quentin population after showing 'deliberate indifference,' court says

    California ordered to halve San Quentin population after showing 'deliberate indifference,' court saysThe ruling sends a clear message that officials overseeing San Quentin have not done enough to protect inmates from the coronavirus after a summer outbreak.


  • Judge moves criminal case against Texas attorney general

    Judge moves criminal case against Texas attorney generalA judge on Friday ordered the long-running criminal case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton returned to his home county in a legal victory for the Republican. Judge Jason Luong ruled that the securities fraud case should continue in Collin County, north of Dallas, siding with Paxton's defense attorneys who argued the case should be returned there after it was moved to Houston. Paxton pleaded not guilty in 2015 and the case has been stalled for years over legal challenges.


  • Erdogan says Turkey tested Russian S-400s, shrugs off U.S. objections

    Erdogan says Turkey tested Russian S-400s, shrugs off U.S. objectionsTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Friday that Turkey had been testing the S-400 air defence systems that it bought from Russia and said U.S. objections on the issue did not matter. Washington says Ankara's purchase of the Russian systems compromises NATO defences, and has threatened sanctions. An apparent firing test of S-400s test last week prompted a furious response from the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon.


  • Virus hitting hard in Central and Eastern European countries that rode out first wave

    Virus hitting hard in Central and Eastern European countries that rode out first wavePoland announced sweeping new anti-Covid restrictions on Friday as the number of virus infections surged dramatically across Central and Eastern Europe. Ministers in the European Union's largest ex-Communist state tightened the rules in response to an infections spike that threatens to overwhelm public health care. There are fears that having avoided the worst of Europe's first wave of infections in the Spring, Poland and other neighbouring European nations have allowed complacency to prevail in recent months. Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, said that new restrictions would come into place from Saturday. They include closing bars, allowing only takeaway services at restaurants, and making most schools teach online. He also warned of a ?full scale lockdown? for Poland's 38 million people, including closing borders, if the virus was not brought under control. Poland reported 13,632 positive test results on Thursday, a new record, with 10,788 people hospitalised by the illness. The country has some 18,000 hospital beds available, but with up to 25,000 positive rest results a day now predicted, health professionals are warning that severe staff shortages could undermine levels of care.


  • Putin says Karabakh deaths soaring as diplomats scramble

    Putin says Karabakh deaths soaring as diplomats scrambleRussian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that weeks of fighting over the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh province had left close to 5,000 people dead as world leaders scrambled to broker a truce.


  • Inside the Refugee Camp on America's Doorstep

    Inside the Refugee Camp on America's DoorstepMATAMOROS, Mexico -- A butter yellow sun rose over the crowded tent camp across the river from Texas, and a thick heat baked the rotten debris below, a mixture of broken toys, human waste and uneaten food swarming with flies.Clothing and sheets hung from trees and dried stiff after being drenched and muddied in a hurricane the week before.As residents emerged from the zipper-holes of their canvas homes that morning in August, some trudged with buckets in hand toward tanks of water for bathing and washing dishes. Others assembled in front of wash basins with arms full of children's underwear and pajamas. They waited for the first warm meal of the day to arrive, though it often made them sick.The members of this displaced community requested refuge in the United States but were sent back into Mexico and told to wait. They came there after unique tragedies: violent assaults, oppressive extortions, murdered loved ones. They are bound together by the one thing they share in common -- having nowhere else to go."Sometimes I feel like I can't hold on anymore," said Jaqueline Salgado, who fled to the camp from southern Mexico, sitting outside her tent on a bucket as her children played in the dirt. "But when I remember everything I've been through, and how it was worse, I come back to the conclusion that I have to wait."Salgado is one of about 600 people stranded in a place that many Americans might have thought would never exist. It is effectively a refugee camp on the doorstep of the United States, one of several that have sprung up along the border for the first time in the country's history.After first cropping up in 2018, the encampment across the border from Brownsville, Texas, exploded to nearly 3,000 people the following year under a policy that has required at least 60,000 asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for the entirety of their legal cases, which can take years.Those who have not given up and returned home or had the means to move into shelters or apartments while they wait have been stuck outside ever since in this camp, or others like it that are now strung along the southwest border.Many have been living in fraying tents for more than a year.The Trump administration has said the "remain in Mexico" policy was essential to end exploitation of American immigration laws and alleviate overcrowding at Border Patrol facilities after nearly 2 million migrants crossed into the United States between 2017 and 2019.The Mexican authorities have blamed the U.S. government for the situation. But they have also declined to designate the outdoor areas as official refugee camps in collaboration with the United Nations, which could have provided infrastructure for housing and sanitation."It has been the first time we have been in this situation," Shant Dermegerditchian, director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' office in Monterrey. "And we certainly don't support this."The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this week to review the policy after it was successfully challenged in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case will not be resolved until after the election, so those living in the camp have months of waiting ahead, if not longer.The camp drew attention during Thursday night's presidential debate, when former Vice President Joe Biden noted, "This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that anybody seeking asylum has to do it in another country," he said. "They're sitting in squalor on the other side of the river."The arrival of the coronavirus has made things much worse. Though only a few cases broke out at the camp, most of the American aid workers who entered regularly to distribute supplies stopped coming, hoping to avoid transporting the virus.The Gulf Cartel, which traffics drugs across the border and is as powerful a force as local law enforcement, moved in to fill the void.The gang charges tolls to camp residents who decide to swim across the river on their own and sometimes kidnaps them for ransom. Beatings and disappearances have also become more common -- sometimes to protect women or children who are being abused, but other times because camp residents have violated the gang's rules about when and where they are permitted to roam outside their tents.Nine bodies have washed ashore on the banks of the Rio Grande near the camp in the last two months; the Mexican authorities said most of the deaths were a result of a rise in gang activity during the pandemic."I haven't done anything, I haven't stolen anything, and still I have to keep escaping. Why?" Salgado said that day in August.She said she and her children were on the run from her abusive husband, who drank excessively and would beat them when he was upset, and because her brother had been kidnapped and killed. Just then, her 11-year-old son, Alexander, who seemed to have only vaguely been paying attention, put down his toys and started to heave."He is constantly nervous," his mother said. "Every time we fought, his anxiety would make him sick and he would end up vomiting."Most children in the camp have not attended formal schooling since they left home. Parents agonize over whether they will be able to make up for the lost time. Some have become worried enough to launch their children across the river on the backs of smugglers, sending them alone on the last leg of their dangerous journey to the United States.Those who cannot bear to make such a decision are often tormented by second-guessing."I was scared I would never see him again because he's all I have," said Carmen Vargas, clinging to the arm of her 13-year-old son, Cristopher, who has a mop of curly brown hair and is tall for his age. "But my son needs to go to school. He's only 13 years old, and practically he has lost two years already."Cristopher teared up listening to his mother describe the life they had left behind. She pulled out identification cards showing that she had been a municipal police officer in Honduras, but said her success became a liability when she put a powerful drug cartel member in jail in 2018. Within hours, the cartel announced a hit on Vargas. She and Cristopher fled, leaving behind the ornate wooden furniture she had saved up to buy and a refrigerator full of food.With cupped palms, Vargas caught beads of sweat that dripped down her forehead as she spoke. She apologized for the stench; just outside her tent, insects crawled around a pile of feces that had washed up when the river flooded. "You have to withstand everything here: sun, water, cold, heat, we have it all."The camp residents are chronically sick with flulike viruses and stomach bugs that wend endlessly through the tents and with respiratory problems aggravated by the dusty air. Their skin is pockmarked from the throngs of mosquitoes that overwhelm the camp after it rains.Most acknowledge that life on the other side of the border would hardly be charmed -- especially if they lost their asylum cases and had to live in the shadows."Without papers, is it still better to be in the U.S. rather than here? Yes, it's a thousand times better," said Lucia Gomez, from Guerrero, Mexico, as she picked up clothing and toys that had been scattered outside their tent by hurricane winds. "They might find you, detain you and deport you," she said. "But if you manage to avoid them, you will be able to put food on the table."In her arms, she held her youngest child, an 8-month-old boy named Yahir, whose back was covered in a bumpy heat rash. Her son William, 16, plopped cherries into his mouth from a plate that was covered in flies.Gomez said her family had made a run for the camp from southern Mexico after their home was ransacked and her husband and father-in-law were shot to death. "A man came in and shouted, 'Put your hands up!'" her 8-year-old son Johan chimed in, holding his arms up as if he were holding an imaginary gun."That is why we wait," she said. "We try to get through this unworthy life. And we try to resist for our children's sake."Volunteer groups bought the laundry basins and water tanks, as well as hand-washing stations and a row of concrete showers that, after months of laying dry in the middle of the camp, were recently connected to a water source.But their efforts have often felt futile. Since the camp appeared, the invisible wall of policies blocking its inhabitants from being allowed into the United States has only grown taller and more fortified.Some have found ways to improvise a modicum of comfort. Antonia Maldonado, 41, from Honduras, stood in a kitchen she had cobbled together under tattered blue tarps suspended from trees. She placed raw chicken onto a grate over an open flame, using a scavenged piece of wood resting on two stacks of upside-down buckets as a countertop.She said she had been looking toward the election for hope that a new administration might ease some of the restrictions put into place by President Donald Trump."Not a leaf gets into that country without his permission," Maldonado said, adding, "I just want to live with dignity. I'm not asking for riches."Some parents pinch pesos to buy decorations and treats from supermarket reject bins for their children's birthdays. But many walk around the camp with bloodshot eyes, constantly on the brink of tears, or in a zombielike state, as if they have shut down emotionally.When Rodrigo Castro de la Parra arrived in Matamoros, he alternated between emotional extremes. In the span of a year, he had gone from being a shy high school student who liked to stay up late at night and draw flowers in his notebook to the head of his entire family. That was after the 18th Street Gang, the most brutal and powerful gang in Guatemala, murdered his mother and sister -- signaling a grudge that meant he and the rest of his relatives could be next on its kill list."I can't sleep," he said one afternoon, sitting outside the tents where he lived with his wife, daughter, grandmother, orphaned niece and his 16-year-old-sister, who had given birth after arriving at the camp. "Sometimes I feel hysterical." He said he worried that someone else in his family could be killed.But only two weeks later, it was Castro de la Parra's body that washed out of the river at one edge of the camp. His death was a mystery. The police investigated it as a possible homicide but ultimately determined that he had drowned.His wife, Cinthia, was still in shock when she took a bus back to Guatemala City for the repatriation of her husband's body. She also hoped to replace her travel documents that had been soaked in his pants when he died.She would need them when she went back with their 2-year-old to try again.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


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