HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston arson investigator who was killed in a shootout with a suspect was remembered Thursday as an excellent husband, a good friend and someone who dedicated his life to the service of his community.
Hundreds of people attended a memorial service for Houston Fire Department Investigator Lemuel Bruce, who was fatally shot on Oct. 16.
“I know I am better because of Bruce,” said Marc Rios, the investigator’s brother-in-law. “He motivated people. He inspired people and everywhere he went he made things better.”
Police said Bruce, 44, died while he was investigating a recent string of fires in northwest Houston. He was following a suspect in a vehicle when he was shot, according to authorities.
The man authorities say killed Bruce, Joshua De La Cerda, later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
DALLAS (AP) — Airlines are piling up billions of dollars in additional losses as the pandemic chokes off air travel, but a recent uptick in passengers, however modest, has provided some hope.
American Airlines on Thursday reported a loss of $2.4 billion and Southwest Airlines lost $1.16 billion in the third quarter, typically a very strong period of air travel that includes most of the summer vacation season. Revenue plunged at both airlines.
Combined with earlier losses reported by Delta and United, the four largest U.S. airlines have lost at least $10 billion in each of the last two quarters. It’s an unprecedented nosedive that has caused the once highly profitable airlines to forage for billions of dollars in government aid and private borrowing to hang on until more travelers return.
The airlines, however, are offering upbeat forecasts about Thanksgiving and Christmas travel, even as many states report an increase in confirmed virus cases. Southwest feels confident enough that it will stop blocking middle seats on its planes Dec. 1.
HOUSTON (AP) — A man accused of fatally shooting a Houston police officer during a domestic disturbance call is facing both state and federal charges and could face the death penalty, authorities announced on Wednesday.
In state court, Elmer Manzano is facing a capital murder charge for the death of 65-year-old Sgt. Harold Preston. Manzano, 51, has also been charged in state court with attempted capital murder for shooting and injuring Officer Courtney Waller in addition to aggravated assault for shooting and injuring his 14-year-old son.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Manzano, who is from El Salvador, was in the country illegally.
U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick announced that his office in Houston has also filed federal charges of an alien in possession of a firearm and a felon in possession of a firearm. Manzano had a prior felony conviction for evading in a motor vehicle in Harris County, where Houston is located, and two misdemeanor convictions in Dallas County for assault of a family member.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico announced Thursday it has reached a deal with the United States to pay the shortfall in its annual contribution of water from border-area rivers by giving the U.S. Mexico’s rights to water held in border dams that normally supply cities and towns downstream.
The agreement announced Thursday allows Mexico to meet the Oct. 24 deadline which, if missed, could have endangered a cross-border water sharing treaty that greatly benefits Mexico. Mexican officials has also worried the water debt could have become an issue in the upcoming U.S. elections.
The deal transfers Mexico’s share of water held in the Amistad and Falcon dams to U.S. ownership. The amount of water transferred is enormous: 170 million cubic yards (130 million cubic meters), or enough water to flood 105,000 acres with a foot of water.
Mexico said it still had enough water in other dams near the border to satisfy drinking water requirements for 13 border cities including Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa and Matamoros. The United States also agreed to help Mexico if it faces a municipal water shortage.
MOSCOW (AP) — Former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden has been granted permanent residency in Russia, his lawyer said Thursday.
Snowden, a former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency, has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the U.S. after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs.
“Today, Snowden was handed a residency permit for an unlimited period of time,” his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Russia’s state Tass news agency.
Kucherena told the Interfax news agency that the application was submitted in April, but because of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions, it took immigration authorities more time to consider it. Snowden was able to obtain permanent residency rights because of the changes in Russia’s immigration laws made in 2019, the lawyer said.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Sudanese officials confirmed on Thursday that a senior U.S.-Israeli delegation flew to Sudan on a private jet this week to wrap up a deal that would make Sudan the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel this year.
Such a deal would deepen Sudan’s engagement with the West after President Donald Trump’s conditional agreement this week to remove the North African nation from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. It also would deliver a foreign policy achievement for Trump as he seeks re-election on Nov. 3, and give a boost to his embattled ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, told the “Fox & Friends” program on Thursday morning that “there’s more to come” after the recent U.S.-brokered accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
“I think we’re going to have some announcements soon on that front,” O’Brien said.