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Photo: Customs and Border Protection

Federal agents have found the "longest illicit cross-border tunnel ever discovered along the Southwest border," Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday.

Details: The drug-smuggling tunnel stretches for 4,309 feet to connect an industrial site in Tijuana, Mexico, to San Diego, per a CBP statement. "It includes an extensive rail/cart system, forced air ventilation, high voltage electrical cables and panels, an elevator at the tunnel entrance, and a complex drainage system," the statement notes.

  • The passageway is about 70 feet underground and is about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 2 feet wide.
  • After the tunnel was discovered in late August by CBP and its partners, Mexican law enforcement identified the entrance, and members of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force began mapping it, per the CBP statement.
The sophistication of this tunnel demonstrates the determination and monetary resources of the cartels."
— Statement by DEA's special agent in charge John W. Callery

Why it matters: "While subterranean tunnels are not a new occurrence along the California-Mexico border, the sophistication and length of this particular tunnel demonstrates the time-consuming efforts transnational criminal organizations will undertake to facilitate cross-border smuggling," said Cardell T. Morant, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations San Diego, in the statement.

  • The next longest tunnel in the U.S. was discovered in San Diego in 2014. It was 2,966 feet long.

Go deeper

39 mins ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.

Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Belarus dictator Lukashenko says he'll leave post after new constitution

Photo: Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty

Longtime Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said he will step down after a new constitution comes into force, according to Belarusian state media.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has faced three months of protests following a rigged election in August. He has promised to reform the constitution to reduce the near-absolute powers of the president, but has insisted that his strong hand is needed to see that process through.