1044: Free Scooter!

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 58m
June 21st, 2018
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Executive Producers: Richard Unterberger Sir Chard of Tiny Cars

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill


Start of Show
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Kids in Cages
The process in a nutshell
The process that is occurring is a simple one. It starts with a
person and accompanying minor breaking improper entry law in their pursuit of
amnesty (exact law being broken is below):
they are detained, and the parent is allowed to be kept in detainment for up to
6 months, but the Flores Settlement kicks in and the accompanying minor is NOT
allowed to be detained in such a way:
So, the
Flores Settlement: "establishes minimum standards for initial detention
and a policy favoring release of minors. It also requires that children who
remain in federal custody be placed in the least restrictive environment and
mandates provision of information, treatment and services."
Due to
the Flores Settlement and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case in 2017:
if the immigration judge determines that the form of
detention ORR has imposed is improper, the government
must still identify a safe and secure placement into which the
child can be released. As a result, a favorable finding in a
hearing under Paragraph 24A does not entitle minors to
means that until the child has a safe and secure placement in which they can be
released, they will be held in a shelter BUT not detained in the less
hospitable environment that their parents are in. This is why children are
being separated from their parents when they illegally cross the border. It is
a simple flow chart. Parent and child cross illegally and break improper entry law,
parent is jailed, child is not legally allowed to be jailed per Flores
Settlement and so they are kept in a shelter with more amenities than their
parents and await release pending the availability of safe and secure
Trump is crazy. Protect children at all cost. Pass a law
Lots of Clergy on M5M-Resettlement contracts
How Trump's executive order on family separations is likely to play out
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:48
The next thing that is important to understand is the RENO v. FLORES settlement agreement from 1997, which states (among other things) that children detained by immigration authorities must be released ''without unnecessary delay'' to an acceptable recipient, with parents and legal guardians preferred. Facilities, such as those seen on the news, are other options when nothing better is available. The important takeaway here is that a minor cannot be detained while a parent is awaiting due process. When immigration enforcers find a family that is breaking the law, they legally must either separate the family, release the family, or release the family with a court date, and hope the family appears for a trial they know they will lose. Given the politically correct term for illegal immigrants I think most readers can see how a pre-trial release of ''undocumented'' immigrants who have already broken the law once, and don't have government records to help find them if they fail to appear, will be functionally equivalent to just releasing them.
Now let's look at the week's events, when pictures of the approved immigration holding facilities for children that were approved by the Flores settlement agreement made mainstream news. These pictures included detainee children from the Obama and Trump eras, and very understandably drew the public's ire. The GOP began drafting a bill to keep families that were arrested and detained together, a solution that would potentially fix this issue without undue risk to the detained children if they are kept in separate facilities from general adult populations, and with other families.
In a recent speech Chuck Schumer, who is ostensibly against separation of families, insisted that he would not vote for any bills allowing families who were arrested together to be in the same detention facility. He said this was because he would rather keep the pressure on President Trump who could make this go away with the flick of a pen. This should give a reasonable person pause. It should make a reasonable person wonder what Mr. Schumer's goals are if they aren't to stop the separation of families. The simple answer was stated plainly by Mr. Schumer, whose goal is to use this media outrage to force President Trump to end his zero-tolerance policy for illegal immigrants. But the thought of releasing all ''undocumented'' immigrants travelling with a child they claim to be their own is insane, because it invites smugglers of both drugs and humans to exploit this national security loophole.
Meanwhile, the media has been asking the more obvious question: why are families being separated in the first place? Mr. Schumer's assertion that this could be fixed with a simple executive order stoked the outrage. As a result of this lack of understanding of the Flores settlement agreement or else intentional deception, or most likely, a combination of both, the MSM and social media have called for President Trump to end the practice of pre trial separation immediately, for the sake of the children. Many average Americans believe the only reason families are separated is because President Trump wants to inhumanely punish immigrants.
President Trump spent this week under heavy fire, with many voices insisting on a solution that is ultimately illegal. Even the Republicans who understood the Flores settlement agreement could not expect the media to give a fair or reasonable explanation of the options available to the president. Backed into a corner by inaccurate media and Democrats exploiting the outrage, the President made a decision to show not tell, and sign the order. Now the armchair politicians can watch the judicial system take its course. That is why the president has signed an executive order in obvious violation of the Flores settlement agreement.
The near future is fairly obvious. Over the upcoming weeks, Democratic voters who are currently celebrating a win will turn against the executive order as they realize it did not achieve the DNC goal of ending the zero tolerance policy. Next, news will surface that, armed with SCOTUS precedents, an appeals court (almost certainly the 9th Circuit of Appeals) will strike down the executive order as illegal. Sometime later, the SCOTUS will almost certainly agree, as the legislative landscape will not change. The inevitable conclusion from these events is nearly where we are now: President Trump will square off with the DNC again, insisting that lack of legislation allowing families to be detained together is the cause of families being separated. This time, most Americans will understand that an executive order can't keep families awaiting trial together. The only question is, will the DNC be honest about their goal of using the familial separation to end zero tolerance, or will they find yet another way to obscure their true goals?
Under heavy fire from press stories telling half the truth, President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to address family separation of illegal immigrants that will almost certainly be overruled in court. To untangle the mess of misinformation that has come out over the past few days, we must review the legal history and motivations of the people involved. At that point, the upcoming events in this debate will become somewhat predictable.
To start, there are obvious reasons why apprehended illegal immigrants are entitled to due process, including trials and appeals, prior to deportation. This can be a lengthy process and takes time. The majority of illegal immigrants will not make bail and will be detained during the process.
The next thing that is important to understand is the RENO v. FLORES settlement agreement from 1997, which states (among other things) that children detained by immigration authorities must be released ''without unnecessary delay'' to an acceptable recipient, with parents and legal guardians preferred. Facilities, such as those seen on the news, are other options when nothing better is available. The important takeaway here is that a minor cannot be detained while a parent is awaiting due process. When immigration enforcers find a family that is breaking the law, they legally must either separate the family, release the family, or release the family with a court date, and hope the family appears for a trial they know they will lose. Given the politically correct term for illegal immigrants I think most readers can see how a pre-trial release of ''undocumented'' immigrants who have already broken the law once, and don't have government records to help find them if they fail to appear, will be functionally equivalent to just releasing them.
Now let's look at the week's events, when pictures of the approved immigration holding facilities for children that were approved by the Flores settlement agreement made mainstream news. These pictures included detainee children from the Obama and Trump eras, and very understandably drew the public's ire. The GOP began drafting a bill to keep families that were arrested and detained together, a solution that would potentially fix this issue without undue risk to the detained children if they are kept in separate facilities from general adult populations, and with other families.
In a recent speech Chuck Schumer, who is ostensibly against separation of families, insisted that he would not vote for any bills allowing families who were arrested together to be in the same detention facility. He said this was because he would rather keep the pressure on President Trump who could make this go away with the flick of a pen. This should give a reasonable person pause. It should make a reasonable person wonder what Mr. Schumer's goals are if they aren't to stop the separation of families. The simple answer was stated plainly by Mr. Schumer, whose goal is to use this media outrage to force President Trump to end his zero-tolerance policy for illegal immigrants. But the thought of releasing all ''undocumented'' immigrants travelling with a child they claim to be their own is insane, because it invites smugglers of both drugs and humans to exploit this national security loophole.
Meanwhile, the media has been asking the more obvious question: why are families being separated in the first place? Mr. Schumer's assertion that this could be fixed with a simple executive order stoked the outrage. As a result of this lack of understanding of the Flores settlement agreement or else intentional deception, or most likely, a combination of both, the MSM and social media have called for President Trump to end the practice of pre trial separation immediately, for the sake of the children. Many average Americans believe the only reason families are separated is because President Trump wants to inhumanely punish immigrants.
President Trump spent this week under heavy fire, with many voices insisting on a solution that is ultimately illegal. Even the Republicans who understood the Flores settlement agreement could not expect the media to give a fair or reasonable explanation of the options available to the president. Backed into a corner by inaccurate media and Democrats exploiting the outrage, the President made a decision to show not tell, and sign the order. Now the armchair politicians can watch the judicial system take its course. That is why the president has signed an executive order in obvious violation of the Flores settlement agreement.
The near future is fairly obvious. Over the upcoming weeks, Democratic voters who are currently celebrating a win will turn against the executive order as they realize it did not achieve the DNC goal of ending the zero tolerance policy. Next, news will surface that, armed with SCOTUS precedents, an appeals court (almost certainly the 9th Circuit of Appeals) will strike down the executive order as illegal. Sometime later, the SCOTUS will almost certainly agree, as the legislative landscape will not change. The inevitable conclusion from these events is nearly where we are now: President Trump will square off with the DNC again, insisting that lack of legislation allowing families to be detained together is the cause of families being separated. This time, most Americans will understand that an executive order can't keep families awaiting trial together. The only question is, will the DNC be honest about their goal of using the familial separation to end zero tolerance, or will they find yet another way to obscure their true goals?
Rapid DNA
The rapid DNA instruments are used at the border to
verify familial relationships between adults and children that cross together.
There’s also unlimited FEMA money for these instruments
so if we get FEMA involved with the border “crisis” then they can buy as many
instruments they need to test DNA rapidly.
Rapid instrument companies (Thermofisher and ANDE) are
killing themselves to get instruments purchased because crime labs are
rejecting them.
CBP Threats
Hopefully this gets to you
before the next show 6/21/2018, if you use any of this information please make
myself and my wife ANONYMOUS. As I'm sure you and John are going to talk
about on the next show the lunatic Peter Fonda's strange rant on tweeter. This
madness has as already started to directly affect my family, because my wife
works for CCA a private company that is contracted to ICE to handle detention
otherwise known as the “evil” Otay Mesa Detention facility here in San Diego
County. In addition we have close family members in the CBP, which is pretty
common in our area for everyone. The majority illegals detained there are
awaiting trail for crimes, like rape, ID theft, murder, drugs, gangs violence,
and etc. Not some poor Joe Gonzales that was just found to be undocumented
hanging outside Home Depot and ripped away from his family. And there are NO
children house there regardless of the fake Facebook video going around.
More to the point she came
home after her shift and told me about numerous death threats they received in
post response to Mr. Fonda's call to action (some where even nice enough to
leave a call back number for the Sheriffs Anti-terrorism Unit to investigate.)
As well as a number of people waiting outside the facility taking picture of
all the officers, their personal vehicles, and the facility. Protesters are
nothing new to the facility but this kind of actions is crossing a line. The
Otay Mesa facility is owned and operated by CCA not ICE, even though the News
reports differently. Everyone who works there is a regular citizen with a
crappy job like most Americans. Their personal information are not protect
because they are not technically officers of the law. So there is nothing
legally protecting everyone that that works there for these radical threats.
On a side note our wonderful
Nancy Pelosi toured the facility a day ago with her entourage of hate who even
went so far as to talk down to the Church Chaplin saying “Where in the Bible
does it say to rip children from their mothers.” Then the next day they get Mr.
Fonda's sheep at the gates, I don't think this is just timing it all seems
slightly planned.
Office Of First Lady Calls Secret Service After Actor Peter Fonda Calls For Barron Trump To Be Kidnapped - The Daily Caller
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:29
The Office of the First Lady has notified the Secret Service after actor Peter Fonda called for kidnapping Melania and Donald Trump's son, Barron, The Daily Caller has learned exclusively.
In a tweet sent Wednesday, the actor called for Barron to be ''ripped'' from Melania's arms and put in a cage ''with pedophiles.''
Chris Kleponis '' Pool/Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Spokesperson for the first lady Stephanie Grisham told The Daily Caller that the Secret Service has been ''notified'' of the threat.
''The tweet is sick and irresponsible and USSS has been notified,'' Grisham said. (RELATED: Here Are The Photos Of Obama's Illegal Immigrant Detention Facilities The Media Won't Show You)
Fonda has been on a twitter tirade against White House officials, particularly females and children, over the past few days.
He called for the public caging and rape of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen in a tweet Tuesday. In the vulgar tweet, Fonda said ''Kristjen Nielsen is a lying gash that should be put in a cage and poked at by passersby.'' He continued, ''The gash should be pilloried in Lafayette Square naked and whipped by passersby while being filmed for posterity.''
Fonda also proposed that Press Secretary Sarah Sanders three children get kidnapped and locked in a basement while calling her a sexist slur. ''SS (Sarah Sanders) is a lying gash, too,'' Fonda said, ''And ''gash'' is much worse than cunt. Maybe we should take her children away and deport her to Arkansas, and giving her children to Stephen Goebbels Miller for safe keeping.''
DHS and the office of Sarah Sanders has yet to respond to request for comment.
Sony Pictures is releasing a movie starring Fonda in a matter of days called 'Boundaries.'
Microsoft Distances ICE Contract From Family Separations as It Denounces Policy - WSJ
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 12:28
Microsoft Corp. executives joined other tech leaders in denouncing the U.S. handling of migrant families but stopped short of heeding calls from some employees to end work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement over the agency's role in separating children from their parents.
Chief Executive Satya Nadella described the Trump administration's border policy as ''simply cruel and abusive, and we are standing for change,'' in a letter to employees that he posted online Tuesday.
His comments were part of a wider tech industry protest against the administration's ''zero-tolerance'' policy of detaining adult immigrants at the border with Mexico, leading to the forced separation of more than 2,000 children from their parents in less than two months.
Other prominent tech CEOs speaking out about the border policy included Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet Inc.'s Google division, who tweeted ''the stories and images of families being separated at the border are gut-wrenching.'' Uber Technologies Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahitweeted the policy is ''just plain wrong,'' and that speaking as a father and immigrant, the stories ''break my heart.''
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, in an interview with the Irish Times, described the separations as ''inhumane,'' while Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk said in a series of tweets that if there was any way to help the children at the border, he would.
On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order ''to keep families together'' amid the firestorm, which also included rebukes from several large U.S. airlines.
The tech leaders' comments reflect the industry's volatile relationship with the Trump administration.
Tech companies have agreed with the White House in some areas, such as corporate-tax overhaul, but executives and employees have been unusually vocal critics in others'--particularly immigration policy, which is especially sensitive in an industry where many employees and leaders were born overseas.
In early 2017, employees and executives industrywide railed against the U.S. temporary travel ban placed on foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Mr. Nadella's remarks Tuesday came after more than a hundred employees signed an open letter posted on an internal message board earlier in the day demanding the company no longer provide technology to ICE in a contract that the employees in the letter said is valued at $19.4 million.
''As the people who build the technologies that Microsoft profits from, we refuse to be complicit,'' employees said in the letter, which was posted online by the New York Times. ''We are part of a growing movement, comprised of many across the industry who recognize the grave responsibility that those creating powerful technology have to ensure what they build is used for good, and not for harm.''
In responding to employees, Mr. Nadella spoke about being an immigrant and how his dream wouldn't have been possible elsewhere.
Mr. Nadella said Microsoft has no plans to end its ties with ICE, and that its work isn't related to the controversial new policy. ''I want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border.''
Microsoft President Brad Smithpenned an extensive blog post detailing the company's stance on specific immigration policies. Neither said the company would cease its work with ICE.
Microsoft's work with the agency gained social-media attention in light of a blog post the company published in January touting its ties with ICE. In the post, Microsoft said the department ''is currently implementing transformative technologies for homeland security and public safety, and we're proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud.''
Mr. Nadella's letter Tuesday struck a different tone. He wrote: ''Our current cloud engagement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.''
America's 'Detention Centers' Added to Wikipedia List of Concentration Camps
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:28
President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House on June 18, 2018 Photo: GettyThe United States currently has over 100 concentration camps along the U.S.-Mexico border. The facilities have become controversial due to the Trump regime's policy of separating migrant children from their parents'--a policy that health care professionals explicitly call child abuse. And now Wikipedia, the user-edited online encyclopedia, has unceremoniously added this shameful chapter of American history to its lists of concentration camps.
Wikipedia's list of concentration and internment camps is filled with history's most horrendous detentions. The list covers injustices from around the globe, including the gulags of the Soviet Union, the British military's South African camps during the Boer War, and America's internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. But the latest addition is happening in real time, a benefit of having an online encyclopedia that can be changed quickly as events unfold.
That new Wikipedia addition is America's immigrant concentration camps, an ongoing crisis created at the highest levels of American government, including President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The Trump regime has at times denied that the policy of separating children in these camps even exists. But the camps and the Trump regime's policies of systematic child abuse are very real.
The Wikipedia entry currently reads:
In May of 2018, under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the U.S. acted in accordance with a 2016 Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision which ruled that child migrants who came to the border with parents and were held in custody must be released. However, the decision did not state parents must be released and thus the children are held in custody until they can be placed with extended family members. US officials began forcibly separating children and parents arriving at the US border. This included some seeking asylum from violence in their home countries, however, since up to 11,000 children are brought in to the U.S. each year by child sex traffickers, the identities are verified before release to extended family custody. Under this policy, nearly 2000 children were taken from their parents and placed in ''detention centers.'' [189] These centers, have been described by those in opposition to the policy as ''concentration camps'' [190]. The centers had previously been cited by Texas officials for more than 150 health violations. [191]
In light of everything that's happening, the text is a surprisingly unbiased entry that's clearly presenting information without taking sides. But history will probably be less kind as people of the future look at the kids in cages and hear the cries of children who just want their mom or dad.
Propaganda photo released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on June 18, 2018. Journalists have not been allowed to take photos or video in America's concentration camps.Photo: U.S. Department of Homeland Security''Congress and the courts created this problem, and Congress alone can fix it,'' Homeland Security secretary Kristjen Nielsen said at a press conference yesterday. ''Until then, we will enforce every law we have on the books to defend the sovereignty and security of the United States.''
But as countless people have pointed out, Congress didn't create this problem. The Trump regime created this problem with the purpose of separating children from their families as a ''deterrent'' so that people fleeing violence in Central America would not come to the U.S. to seek asylum.
Before he became President Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly was the secretary of Homeland Security. And he said very clearly back in March of 2017 that he was considering this policy of separating children from their parents.
''I am considering exactly that. They will be well cared for as we deal with their parents,'' Kelly told CNN host Wolf Blitzer on March 6, 2017. Both his intention and the reasoning behind the policy was made clear.
By April of this year, that ''zero tolerance'' policy was officially announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions has even used the Bible to justify his actions, something that many religious leaders have condemned him for. But Sessions almost seemed to take joy in talking about the policies, noticeably smiling and almost laughing as he quoted the Bible.
Tents to house migrant children are seen from a distance at the Tornillo-Marcelino Serna Port of Entry on June 18, 2018 in Tornillo, Texas. Photo: Getty''Noncitizens who cross our borders unlawfully, between our ports of entry, with children are not an exception,'' Sessions said last week. ''They are the ones who broke the law, they are the ones who endangered their own children on their trek. The United States, on the other hand, goes to extraordinary lengths to protect them while the parents go through a short detention period.''
But Sessions doesn't mention that asylum seekers are being turned away at America's ports of entry, something that Homeland Security secretary Nielsen denies. People seeking asylum sometimes have no choice but to cross the border to declare their intention. Seeking asylum is not a crime.
But right wing media went into overdrive last night, defending the camps in the most shocking ways possible. Fox News host Laura Ingraham even described the facilities as ''essentially summer camps.'' It'd be funny if it all wasn't so horrendous.
The question now becomes how much more expansive this Wikipedia entry will get. We're living through history and our history books are being written in real time. Will America turn this ship around and stop abusing children by separating them from their parents and keeping them in cages? We can hope. But if yesterday's combative press conference with Secretary Nielsen is any guide, that's not going to happen anytime soon.
newscentermaine.com | Video shows border patrol demanding citizenship status at Maine bus stop
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 21:36
NOW "Are you folks U.S. citizens?" an agent asks as passengers board the bus.
BANGOR (NEWS CENTER Maine) - A video recorded by a Concord Coach Lines passenger appears to show Customs and Border Patrol officers demanding the citizenship status of passengers before they board the bus.
The video was taken on May 28 by passenger Alec Larson as he boarded the bus at Concord Coach Lines' Bangor bus station.
"Are you folks U.S. citizens?" a border patrol agent says as he walks down the line of passengers. "I'm not answering that question, sir," Larson responds.
Moments later, passengers ask a Concord Coach Lines terminal employee if they must be U.S. Citizens to ride the bus, to which he responds, "Yes."
The company, however, says U.S. citizenship is not a requirement to ride the bus, for which tickets cost anywhere between $20 to $75.
Concord Coach Lines has no partnership with CBP and US citizenship is not a requirement to use our service. Please see attached for full statement. pic.twitter.com/7hAIqIu85D
'-- Concord Coach Lines (@concordcoach) June 16, 2018In a statement, the company says Customs and Border Protection arrives at its facilities typically "without any forewarning," and that Concord Coach employees have "very little interaction" with CBP officers.
RELATED '–º ACLU demands changes to Greyhound over custom raids
ACLU Letter to bus companies by NEWSCENTER26 on Scribd
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of both Maine and New Hampshire sent a letter to the company in April urging it to create a formal policy to refuse CBP presence on busses without a warrant, except at the border.
A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says the department has increased its transportation checks around the country "to reinforce CBP's world-class approach to border security." She says transportation centers are often used by "alien smuggling and drug trafficking organizations to move people, narcotics, and contraband to interior destinations throughout the country."
Although most border patrol work is done close to country borders, the spokesperson says border patrol has the authority to board and search any vehicle within 100 air miles from the border.
Read U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's full statement here.
This story will be updated.
Separated by law: Families torn apart by 1996 immigration measure | Center for Public Integrity
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:29
Juvenile JusticeScrutinizing controversial policies affecting young people at risk.
Stories in this seriesIn the days since President Obama's re-election victory, Republican leaders have been aggressively and publicly rethinking their party's uncompromising stance on reforming current immigration law. Suddenly, prominent new voices '-- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio among them '-- are calling for a different approach, arguing that the GOP's awkward relationship with the growing Latino electorate depends on addressing this issue. There's a lot on the table.
The big question for the GOP is whether to sign on to a bipartisan agreement allowing some of the millions of undocumented people in the country to earn legal status. But the president and Congress could also face pressure to look at penalties now enshrined in immigration law '-- the product of 1996 legislation '' that impose harsh punishments on illegal immigrants who apply for legal status based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or some other tie.
Immigration activists blame these penalties for keeping hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in hiding. Because of mandatory penalties, citizens or legal immigrants who have who tried to legalize their undocumented spouses have seen them banned from the U.S. for 10 years, 20 years, even life, as the Center for Public Integrity recently reported, below:
In a nation built by immigrants, they thought they could pursue their American Dream '-- with loved ones at their side. Instead, they're living an American nightmare that's tearing families apart and forcing Americans into exile.
Chris Xitco, a native of Los Angeles, never imagined that after marrying his wife Delia in 2002 and trying to legalize her, she'd end up barred by U.S. officials for life, with no pardon even possible for 10 years. She now lives south of Tijuana, Mexico, alone with the couple's two small children.
T.J. Barbour, a native of San Diego, has been struggling every day to care for a 10-year-old son, since his wife Maythe was deported and then barred from the United States in 2011 for what could be 20 years.
In central North Carolina, Anita Mann Perez has been financially ruined trying to raise three small children since her husband Jorge was exiled for 10 years in 2007. Now she's moved to Mexico to join him.
Across the country, as illegal immigrants have settled into communities, they have met Americans, fallen in love, married and had children. But when Americans have voluntarily stepped up to sponsor their spouses for legal residency, believing this was the right thing to do, they've been shocked to discover their citizenship does not trump mandatory penalties the spouses must face. Far from it.
These penalties, which ''bar'' the spouses from the U.S. for years at a time, were instituted by Congress in 1996 specifically to punish immigration-related offenses.
Since then, the law governing such situations '-- and the way it's applied '--has taken a number of twists and turns. Over that time period, waivers have helped many people. And in January, President Obama announced a plan to tweak the procedure by which citizens' spouses apply for residency, a change that could eventually spare many more families from long, painful separations. But the change isn't likely to go into effect this year, and it isn't retroactive. And while thousands stand to benefit, thousands of others simply won't qualify for easier access to ''hardship waivers'' that the president proposes '-- and will be trapped by the small print of the 1996 law. (SEE SIDEBAR)
Under that law, if applicants for legal residency crossed the border once, and were ''unlawfully present'' for more than one year, they must be issued a 10-year bar from living in the United States. They can then apply for a hardship waiver to try to return sooner and take up legal residency. If applicants have a history of entering the United States multiple times illegally, they can be barred for life '-- and can only pursue pardons if they remain outside the United States for five, usually 10, sometimes 20 years. Being married to an American citizen may not help at all.
To complete their application process, people who entered the United States illegally must go to their final interview at a U.S. consulate back in their home countries. Often U.S. consular officials must simply deliver the bad news immediately. And that's that. The bar has begun, and the applicant cannot return.
Oklahoma lawyer Douglas Stump, president-elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said for every 100 people who approach him to try to legalize a family member, more than half involve undocumented people whose immigration violations would qualify them for the hefty penalties mandated by the 1996 law.
The penalties emerged from Republican leaders in a get-tough Congress. They argued the country had become too easy on illegal immigrants by allowing some with family ties to pay fees, show they had no disqualifying police record and adjust their status without having to leave the country. Congress increased from $650 to $1,000 the fine such immigrants would have to pay. But that wasn't enough, some members said. Such immigrants should also leave to receive the new bars on re-entering for a certain period.
By getting tougher on these undocumented people, supporters of bars reasoned, others would see that it would never be easy for them to transition from illegal to legal status, even by marriage.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican of Orange County, California, defended the tougher rules during a 2001 congressional debate over their merits '-- and whether to extend a pre-1996 statute that was allowing some immigrants to still adjust their status inside the U.S.
''Yes, there are some heart-tearing cases here,'' Rohrabacher said. ''Yes, some people who are in this country end up marrying American citizens, and the American citizens find that their loved one is going to have to go back to their home country [for the duration of a bar] in order to be here legally, because they have married an illegal alien.''
''I am sorry,'' he said. ''If someone is here illegally '... then they should go back to their home country to regularize their status.''
Thousands?Hard numbers are impossible to come by, but the Department of State's records of immigrant visa rejections suggest that thousands of bars have been handed down over the last decade.
Records don't single out which of these applicants are spouses of U.S. citizens. Some could be other sorts of relatives. Typically, though, department officials say that spouses are one of the largest groups applying for residency visas globally.
Between 2000 and 2011, visa applicants were able to overcome their disqualification due to illegal presence for more than one year '-- which carries a 10-year bar '-- about 89,000 times. However, immigrant visas were denied more than 68,000 times because applicants were unable to get their disqualification for illegal presence waived. The numbers could reflect some volume of repeat attempts by the same people.
During the same period, there were almost 19,000 disqualifications of visa applications for the offense of being ''unlawfully present after previous immigration violations.'' Only five such cases were reversed. The penalty is a lifetime bar, with the possibility of being able to seek a pardon, but, ordinarily, only after 10 years.
There have been thousands of visa rejections for other immigration-related offenses, including ''misrepresentation'' of facts during the application process.
It's also hard to know how many spouses of Americans and parents of American children could feel threatened by potential bars, and have thus decided to continue to remain undocumented. That means families are living with the risk of spouses being discovered and deported rather than trying to apply for residency.
The Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research center in Washington, D.C., estimated last year that more than 16 million people in the United States are in families with at least one undocumented member.
About 9 million of these people are in families that also include at least one U.S. citizen child. Other adults in the families could be citizens, or they could be legal immigrants. Most illegal immigrants, Pew also estimates, have been in the United States for 10 years or more '-- long enough to start a family.
''We are talking mostly about younger families with small children,'' said Randall Emery, one of the founders of American Families United, a national network of citizens whose loved ones have been barred '-- or would be.
Emery's group applauded Obama's easing of the hardship waiver rules (see "A dizzying series of legal twists and turns"), which could benefit some of its members. Eventually. But the proposed change is not bringing any relief to Americans who are already separated from husbands, wives and children.
Maythe and T.J. Barbour, married since 2002, sit for a family portrait in San Diego with their two children, Nidia and Lucas. Maythe was deported in 2011 and barred from entering the U.S. for 20 years. She lives in Tijuana with Nidia. T.J. and Lucas visit on weekends.
Annie Tsai
The Barbour familyT.J. Barbour, a software engineer in his early thirties, knows what he is doing every Wednesday night and every weekend.
The San Diego resident leaves his Rancho Bernardo neighborhood, packs his car with household supplies he can buy for less in the United States, like toilet paper, and drives over the San Diego-Tijuana border on those Wednesdays through heavy traffic to see his wife. Their son Lucas, 10, goes with him. They come back before dawn Thursday morning. And then they return on the weekends, so the boy can spend time with his mother, who lives in a small apartment just south of Tijuana.
After getting a late start one recent Saturday, T.J. pulls up to mom's place at night, with Lucas asleep in the back. Maythe reaches in and embraces him, and helps him stagger into the house while she asks him, in English, how his American grandparents are doing.
On Monday morning, before dawn, Maythe helps Lucas into the car so he can sleep a bit more '-- he has to go to school '-- and T.J. checks underneath the vehicle to make sure drug smugglers haven't attached a box to the bottom of the car, a popular way to get goods across that can later be retrieved.
Maythe drives the car close to the border crossing so son and husband can get some sleep and then she takes two buses home. It is a grueling routine. She cries bitterly in relating how '-- despite being married to T.J. '-- she was deported from the United States and told she would remain in Mexico for 20 years before being able to join her family again.
''I recognize that one commits an error by crossing [the border],'' Maythe said in Spanish. ''But sometimes necessity makes you do things.''
T.J. was just out of high school in San Diego when he met Maythe, at Burger King, about a dozen years ago. He tried out some rudimentary Spanish on his pretty co-worker, and it clicked. ''I definitely saw something special about her,'' he says.
Maythe was reluctant to get involved because she already had a young daughter to support, and was struggling to pay off medical bills in Mexico. She was also trying to get away from a threatening experience back in her home in Mexico's southern Guerrero state, a history T.J. says was so traumatic he won't discuss it.
Little by little, the two fell in love. ''I have no doubt we were meant to be together,'' T.J. said. He admired her hard work, and her devotion to her daughter, whom he adopted and is now also sponsoring for legal status '-- a process he hopes will be more forgiving since she grew up in San Diego.
T.J. knew that Maythe had tried to get over the border twice, and was caught the first time. A smuggler told her to sit in a car and not say anything if a guard asked for her papers. She and others were caught. The smuggler then put her into the trunk of a car with tiny holes in it to let in air. She made it that time, and subsequently found jobs at an Olive Garden restaurant and Burger King, among others.
''Like most people,'' T.J. said, ''I was under the impression that, well, if she gets married to me, we're set.''
They consulted with a lawyer before they married in 2002, and T.J. was shocked to learn that it wasn't that easy. The lawyer explained the complexities of the law, and what they were in for, but thought Maythe might get a waiver. The couple decided to go slow, out of fear.
Eventually, a paralegal reviewing their case told them that Maythe's previous deportation would disqualify her from a hardship waiver and they'd be better off hoping Congress made changes.
''It was basically back to living in the shadows,'' T.J. said.
Maythe gave birth to Lucas, and T.J. graduated from college and started his career as a software engineer. He began a graduate program. They owned a home and Maythe ''did all those mom things,'' taking Lucas to school, participating in his class activities and cooking tasty meals.
It all fell apart when Maythe was stopped in 2010 by a police officer in the San Diego community of Escondido who wondered why she was driving slowly. She had been looking for a friend's address. The officer called immigration agents.
T.J. said he had contacted the office of his congressman, Rep. Brian Bilbray, a Republican known for tough talk on illegal immigration. T.J says an office staffer assured him that Maythe would probably not be deported.
T.J. said an immigration agent suggested to him, informally, that the couple accept Maythe being deported, and that maybe she could come back soon with a waiver. T.J. kept thinking he had additional rights as a citizen, and refused. He decided to fight to keep Maythe, and filed a petition in a last-ditch bid to get her asylum based on trauma she'd been through in the past.
While waiting for a hearing, Maythe was confined to a detention center in San Diego County for five months. She didn't see her children once because she and T.J. agreed it would be horrible for them to see her there.
When Maythe had her asylum hearing, T.J. packed the immigration court with co-workers, family and friends. Lucas sat with him in the front.
''I always thought, 'Look, they've got to be going after criminals, after the narco-traffickers and everything,' '' T.J. said. ''What are they going to do with a little housewife?''
The judge denied Maythe's bid for asylum, which would have let her remain in the United States. The judge, T.J. said, rushed from the court with no explanation. He said lawyers told him that judges fear that if they give too many Mexicans asylum, too many more will ask for it.
Maythe was deported in early 2011. Agents left her in Tijuana, she said, with nothing but the clothes she was wearing when detained and a cell phone with a dead battery. She had to beg for people to let her call T.J.
Because of her two deportations, T.J. said he's been advised, she will be barred from trying to obtain legal residency and re-entering the United States for 20 years.
Maythe spent her first nights alone in Tijuana standing on a border bridge, she said, crying so hard a guard told her he was concerned she would kill herself.
Her health deteriorated, and the whole family began to put on pounds. Maythe got a job that paid about $10 a day to hand out fliers for business. She began to turn to her parents' Jehovah's Witness faith. She found a congregation in Tijuana, and T.J. joined as well. Now when he visits they spend part of that time dressed nicely and making rounds to spread the faith.
T.J. is concerned about the long-term impact of the separation from his mother. Both parents worry about the draining physical and psychological impact of Lucas being packed into the car and spending hours inching through traffic as they cross the border every weekend.
Lucas can't really participate in sports or weekend activities now, T.J. says, and he's so busy balancing job and home that all he can do is throw together a quick dinner for his son and keep the house from being a mess.
Maythe says it wouldn't be right to pull Lucas, who doesn't speak Spanish, out of school and move him to Mexico to be with her. He doesn't like the food in Mexico, she said. He doesn't feel comfortable. ''His life is there, everything he knows,'' she says. ''I still feel he loves me. He makes an effort to come, and he says he misses me. But I am not a part of his total life now.''
Mandatory bars, T.J. says, don't fit the crime, and they've stripped immigration judges and other officials of the discretion to consider the entirety of a person's life and family situation.
''I want people to know that, hey, we U.S. citizens are really hurting here, and our children are,'' T.J. says. ''The family ramifications of this have to be taken into account. We need to deal with the fact that people have become a part of the fabric of our society.''
Chris Xitco visits his children and wife Delia, who was barred for at least 10 years from the U.S. after the couple applied for Delia's legal residency. Daughter Elisa, 6, and son Itzamal, 1, live with Delia in Rosarito, Mexico, 30 miles south of Tijuana, and Chris drives from Los Angeles on weekends to visit.
Susan Ferriss
The Xitco familyChris Xitco, 49, says that with everything he and his wife have gone through, life feels like it's ''her and me, against the world.''
They have two kids, Elisa, 6, and Itzamal, a 1-year-old son.
Chris met Delia, now in her mid-thirties, more than a dozen years ago on the job at a produce-packing company in the Los Angeles area. Chris is not Hispanic, but he spoke some Spanish because he grew up with Mexican workers on a family farm, and he used to surf south of Tijuana as a youth.
The two began to date, Delia taking him to see Latin music concerts. He took her to see him surf.
Delia originally hailed from Nayarit, a state in western Mexico. Chris knew that she had crossed the border illegally, that she'd been caught once in the Arizona desert, detained overnight and then tried again to enter and was successful.
But he knew so many other people who had done the same thing, who were desperate to work. The border, he said, ''was a joke for so long.'' And he didn't think Delia's offense was unforgivable. He knew it was rare to impossible for Mexicans to get work visas, and she came from a poor part of Mexico where jobs were scarce and many had already blazed the familiar trail north.
When the two decided to marry in 2002, Chris was 38, and he and Delia were eager to get settled and have children. Chris said he knew he had to take care of business by legalizing Delia, but he ''thought it was a lock because I was a citizen.''
He was so na¯ve, he said, that he took Delia right into the immigration office of a Los Angeles federal building. He approached a security guard and told him the couple was there because he wanted to ''fix'' his wife's papers.
''He put his arm around my shoulder, did a U-turn,'' Chris remembered, and ushered Chris and Delia toward the door. The guard did him a big favor, Chris said he realized later. Technically, his wife could have been taken into custody right then and there. The guard gave Chris the address of a website to consult as they were walking out.
In 2003, Chris contacted an attorney, who explained how the law had changed, and suggested that Chris and Delia save their money and hope that Congress would change the laws again.
But Chris returned to the lawyer in 2004. The lawyer did a Justice Department background check on Delia and found no record of deportation. Perhaps when she was quickly turned back at the border once, the lawyer reasoned, it didn't count.
So they started the application process.
Delia was pregnant when they got word she had an interview appointment, in Juarez, Mexico. The couple didn't want to risk any chance that the baby would be born in Mexico, fearing that it might jeopardize Delia's application. They asked for a delay.
Delia and Chris finally went to Mexico for her interview in October 2007, when Elisa was 16 months old. Chris' parents were thrilled with the new grandchild; Delia's English was improving and bonds with Chris's family were growing tighter.
Chris, as spouse, wasn't allowed into the interview, which is standard procedure.
When Delia emerged and told him she'd been barred, Chris said it really hit him: there would be no special treatment simply because Chris was an American citizen. And his daughter's birth didn't change the situation.
''They don't seem to think, well, what about the daughter? She doesn't count?'' he says. ''The system doesn't have a heart. And it doesn't have a brain.''
Delia took Elisa and flew to Nayarit. Chris went to Los Angeles. In December 2007 they met in Juarez for a new interview, a hardship waiver interview with the consular office there. Chris argued that he'd be crushed to lose baby Elisa for 10 years, but couldn't fathom separating her from Delia. But that argument didn't work. Chris failed to prove that he, as the American citizen spouse, was suffering extraordinary hardship beyond the pain expected by separation.
From there, things went downhill. Delia returned to Nayarit with Elisa. Chris found himself trying to explain over and over to family and friends what the rules were. He flew to Nayarit every few months, but over time, his daughter failed to recognize him, which broke his heart. He called local congressional representatives, whose staff expressed sympathy but urged him to get a different lawyer.
The Xitcos started the whole residency application process again. This time Chris wanted to be better prepared for what he thought would be a subsequent waiver interview. He amassed letters of support from family, a psychiatrist's evaluation, copies of anti-depressant prescriptions, his Army discharge records. He paid thousands of dollars more in fees, for Delia's medical exams, vaccinations and other requisites and travel.
At 10:15 a.m. on April 7, 2010, Delia went to her appointment in Juarez. Chris waited with the baby outside. Delia emerged from the consulate and told Chris she was not eligible for a waiver and would have to ask for a pardon in November 2017.
A records check, she learned, had turned up a report that she had entered the United States after being caught once. It was the first time U.S. consular officials had said anything about her being disqualified because she had crossed more than once.
Devastated, Chris moved Delia up to Rosarito, a beach town 30 miles south of Tijuana that's developing a community of deportees and barred family members of U.S. citizens.
He has settled into a grueling routine of commuting, but seethes when he discusses what happened.
He is now ''couch surfing,'' sleeping at work or friends' places. For more than a year, he hasn't been able to afford his own home in the Los Angeles area. He's still working in the produce-distribution business. He manages to beg off work a bit early every Friday and drive down to Rosarito, which can mean brutal, three- or four-hour slogs through bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Returning to the United States at weekend's end is even worse. Chris is perpetually exhausted because on Mondays he has to sit in three hours of traffic just to get a few miles over the border, and then drive on to Los Angeles, another three hours.
Every penny he makes and nearly all his energy goes into managing this separation, Chris said. He can't get a job in Tijuana, he said, because the earnings are too low, and he feels he's too old.
Chris is paying for a private school in Rosarito for Elisa, but the instruction is in Spanish, not English. Chris tries to engage her in English, but she answers in Spanish. She can sing a version of the ABC song with a heavy Spanish accent. She can say ''see you later,'' and ''bye'' and she understands what the Fourth of July is about.
Chris is worried how she'll fare later if and when she enters school in the United States. She'll be ready for junior high by then.
He said his greatest fear, being three to four hours away, is that he won't be able to protect his family. The house Delia and the children are in has high walls, but thieves broke in once already and looted it. It's in an area with a lot of transients, people who don't know one another, and Delia feels she can no longer go out for very long periods of time.
''I don't trust the neighbors,'' she said. She has no friends nearby, nor relatives, and restricts her socializing to other mothers at school.
Still, having the family in Rosarito is better than in Nayarit, Chris said. Delia and Elisa had to hit the floor in a shopping center during a gang shootout there.
Chris said he doesn't think illegal immigrants shouldn't be penalty-free if they marry and their spouses want to legalize them. But he thinks a decade-long bar is cruel not just to Delia, but to him and his children.
''She didn't sell any drugs. She doesn't know anything about gang signs,'' he says. ''Crossing the border to look for a job isn't that much of a crime to me.''
Twins Fabiola (left) and Fatima Mann Perez, 7, sit with sister Cassandra, 1, and hold a photo of their father Jorge Perez. He was barred from the U.S. for at least 10 years, until 2017, after he and his U.S. citizen wife, Anita Mann Perez of Graham, North Carolina, applied for Jorge's legal residency.
Susan Ferriss
The Mann Perez FamilyIt took 10 minutes for the consular officer in Juarez, Mexico, to look through Jorge Perez's application packet for residency and tell him he was barred for 10 years from re-entering the United States, starting that very day in 2007.
''He said, 'Ok, that's it. You can go now,' '' Perez, reached by phone in Mexico, remembered.
When Jorge, now 42, told wife Anita what had happened, her world collapsed.
''When I tell people what I've gone through, they're shocked. They think it's crazy that an American citizen would have to live in another country for 10 years to be with their spouse,'' Anita said. She grew up in Graham, North Carolina, not far from Durham, and most of her close-knit family still lives there.
Since Jorge's barring, she's lost the home they were buying, spent all her retirement savings and had to move in with her parents.
This month, Anita, 34, quit a job she enjoyed at a local hospital as an aide in a clinic and packed up some belongings. She moved with the couple's 7-year-old twins and nearly 2-year-old daughter to join Jorge again. This will be Anita's third attempt to live in Jorge's remote town near the Guatemalan border. But she knows it will not be easy.
''At least [in Graham] I know my girls get three square meals and a snack,'' she said. Jorge has been trying to get by growing tomatoes. He built a house there with money he saved working in the States, but what he and Anita really wanted to do was build a life for themselves in Graham.
Anita met Jorge at a restaurant in Graham, where he had arrived in 2000 after getting across the border on foot, with a smuggler. Anita had studied Spanish in high school, and he was learning English. She kept going back to the restaurant and he kept talking to her.
They dated, and in 2002 they were married. It was the kind of cross-cultural union that was becoming more common in Graham, where Mexican workers have been drawn to work in roofing and in poultry-packing factories.
Jorge, who learned English quite well, blended in with the family and built a roof for her parents' house. Anita's mother still talks about what a good son-in-law he was. ''Some people can walk off and leave their children. They don't care,'' said Nancy Mann, Anita's mother. ''But their daddy does care.''
Shortly after they married, Anita hastened to file in 2003 to make Jorge legal. ''He didn't even want me to do it,'' she said. ''He didn't want anybody to think he got married to me just to get papers.''
In 2004, the couple received confirmation from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that Jorge did qualify to continue to pursue legal status based on his marriage to her. They took that acknowledgement as a good sign and thought they were on their way to Jorge getting a green card. The next step was to file paperwork with the State Department, which is tasked with issuing the visas following an interview in Mexico.
The couple's twins, Fabiola and Fatima, were born in 2005, and all seemed well. But shortly thereafter a deadly hurricane struck Central America and southern Mexico, and Jorge lost all contact with his parents. He told Anita he had to go south to check on them. So he left, for a total of three weeks, and then re-entered illegally.
Nancy Mann, Anita's mother, believes Jorge's actions were noble. ''They have to go check on their families,'' she said. Nancy was under the impression that if U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent a document acknowledging Jorge's eligibility, he was all but approved.
When Jorge was finally summoned to his 2007 interview in Mexico, however, he acknowledged that he had crossed the border twice. Lawyers warn applicants that if they are not honest about their history, they risk a lifetime bar. But that revelation of a second illegal crossing made him ineligible for a hardship waiver that could have reduced his penalty for living illegally in the United States for more than one year. Instead, Jorge was told he'd have to pursue a pardon in 2017.
''I believe that he was punished for being honest,'' Anita said.
From April through August of 2007, Anita took the toddler twins to Mexico to try to live there with Jorge, but returned after one of them developed a fever so bad she had a seizure. The staff at a small clinic in the Mexican town was very attentive, she said, and put her sick child on an IV and administered medicine. But the experience frightened Anita.
She wrote to congressional representatives, asking for help. They all basically said the law was the law, although some were more sympathetic and said they'd keep her case in mind, Anita said.
She visited Jorge on occasion, and in 2010 Anita tried to live in Mexico again with the twins. She and Jorge ultimately agreed she should return to North Carolina because she had a high-risk second pregnancy. She used up all her retirement savings so she could comply with doctor's orders to stay off her feet and not work.
When her third baby was born, she traveled down to the Texas-Mexico border once and crossed over just so Jorge could see the baby. Then she returned to Graham, and put the twins in church school and thought long and hard about what to do.
She scattered photos of Jorge around the room she and the girls slept in, and they talked every day with him. Last Easter Sunday, she hit a painful moment when one of the twins leaned over and whispered to her. ''All the daddies are here. Why can't my daddy be with me?''
As Anita was preparing to go to Mexico this month, the twins talked about being excited to see their father. ''He's going to paint my wall with horses,'' Fabiola said. ''He's going to make me a toy box.'' But the girls said they were anxious about having to speak Spanish and adjust to school there.
Anita is worried about how they'll survive. She hopes she can earn some money teaching English. But she knows tough times are ahead, and she understands that she might not be able to stay in Mexico.
''When they give out these bars, they're not just giving them to one person. They're giving them to a family,'' Anita said. ''It's actually worse than a prison sentence. People in prison can do a lot less time, and do a whole lot worse things.''
Text - S.3036 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Keep Families Together Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:04
S. 3036
To limit the separation of families at or near ports of entry.
Mrs. Feinstein (for herself, Mr. Schumer , Ms. Harris , Mr. Leahy , Mrs. Murray , Mr. Wyden , Mr. Durbin , Mr. Reed , Mr. Nelson , Mr. Carper , Mr. Menendez , Mr. Sanders , Mr. Casey , Ms. Klobuchar , Mrs. Shaheen , Mr. Warner , Mr. Merkley , Mr. Bennet , Mr. Blumenthal , Mr. Schatz , Mr. Murphy , Ms. Hirono , Mr. King , Mr. Kaine , Ms. Warren , Mr. Markey , Mr. Booker , Ms. Cortez Masto , Ms. Baldwin , Mr. Heinrich , Mr. Udall , and Mrs. Gillibrand ) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To limit the separation of families at or near ports of entry.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of theUnited States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. Short title .
This Act may be cited as the ''Keep Families Together Act''.
SEC. 2. Limitation on the separation of families .
(a) In general .'--An agent or officer of a designated agency shall be prohibited from removing a child from his or her parent or legal guardian, at or near the port of entry or within 100 miles of the border of the United States, unless one of the following has occurred:
(1) A State court, authorized under State law, terminates the rights of a parent or legal guardian, determines that it is in the best interests of the child to be removed from his or her parent or legal guardian, in accordance with the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (Public Law 105''89), or makes any similar determination that is legally authorized under State law.
(2) An official from the State or county child welfare agency with expertise in child trauma and development makes a best interests determination that it is in the best interests of the child to be removed from his or her parent or legal guardian because the child is in danger of abuse or neglect at the hands of the parent or legal guardian, or is a danger to herself or others.
(3) The Chief Patrol Agent or the Area Port Director in their official and undelegated capacity, authorizes separation upon the recommendation by an agent or officer, based on a finding that'--
(A) the child is a victim of trafficking or is at significant risk of becoming a victim of trafficking;
(B) there is a strong likelihood that the adult is not the parent or legal guardian of the child; or
(C) the child is in danger of abuse or neglect at the hands of the parent or legal guardian, or is a danger to themselves or others.
(b) Prohibition on separation .'--An agency may not remove a child from a parent or legal guardian solely for the policy goal of deterring individuals from migrating to the United States or for the policy goal of promoting compliance with civil immigration laws.
(c) Documentation required .'--The Secretary shall ensure that a separation under subsection (a)(3) is documented in writing and includes, at a minimum, the reason for such separation, together with the stated evidence for such separation.
SEC. 3. Recommendations for separation by agents or officers .
(a) In general .'--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall develop training and guidance, with an emphasis on the best interests of the child, childhood trauma, attachment, and child development, for use by the agents and officers, in order to standardize the implementation of section 2(a)(3).
(b) Annual review .'--Not less frequently than annually, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall review the guidance developed under subsection (a) and make recommendations to the Secretary to ensure such guidance is in accordance with current evidence and best practices in child welfare, child development, and childhood trauma.
(c) Requirement .'--The guidance under subsection (a) shall incorporate the presumptions described in section 4.
(d) Additional requirements .'--
(1) E VIDENCE-BASED .'--The guidance and training developed under this section shall incorporate evidence-based practices.
(A) All agents and officers of designated agencies, upon hire, and annually thereafter, shall complete training on adherence to the guidance under this section.
(B) All Chief Patrol Agents and Area Port Directors, upon hire, and annually thereafter, shall complete'--
(i) training on adherence to the guidance under this section; and
(ii) 90 minutes of child welfare practice training that is evidence-based and trauma-informed.
SEC. 4. Presumptions .
The presumptions described in this section are the following:
(1) F AMILY UNITY .'--There shall be a strong presumption in favor of family unity.
(2) S IBLINGS .'--To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall ensure that sibling groups remain intact.
(3) D ETENTION .'--In general, there is a presumption that detention is not in the best interests of families and children.
SEC. 5. Required policy for locating separated children .
(a) In general .'--Not later than 180 days after the after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall publish final public guidance that describes, with specificity, the manner in which a parent or legal guardian may locate a child who was separated from the parent or legal guardian under section 2(a). In developing the public guidance, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, immigrant advocacy organizations, child welfare organizations, and State child welfare agencies.
(b) Written notification .'--The Secretary shall provide each parent or legal guardian who was separated, with written notice of the public guidance to locate a separated child.
(c) Language access .'--All guidance shall be available in English and Spanish, and at the request of the parent or legal guardian, in the language or manner that is understandable by the parent or legal guardian.
SEC. 6. Required information for separated families .
Not less frequently than once every month, the Secretary shall provide the parent or legal guardian of a child who was separated, the following information, at a minimum:
(1) A status report on the monthly activities of the child.
(2) Information about the education and health of the child, including any medical treatment provided to the child or medical treatment recommended for the child.
(3) Information about changes to the child's immigration status.
(4) Other information about the child, designed to promote and maintain family reunification, as the Secretary determines in his or her discretion.
SEC. 7. Annual report on family separation .
Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit a report to the committees of jurisdiction that describes each instance in which a child was separated from a parent or legal guardian and includes, for each such instance, the following:
(1) The relationship of the adult and the child.
(2) The age and gender of the adult and child.
(3) The length of separation.
(4) Whether the adult was charged with a crime, and if the adult was charged with a crime, the type of crime.
(5) Whether the adult made a claim for asylum, expressed a fear to return, or applied for other immigration relief.
(6) Whether the adult was prosecuted if charged with a crime and the associated outcome of such charges.
(7) The stated reason for, and evidence in support of, the separation.
(8) If the child was part of a sibling group at the time of separation, whether the sibling group has had physical contact and visitation.
(9) Whether the child was rendered an unaccompanied alien child.
(10) Other information in the Secretary's discretion.
SEC. 8. Clarification of parental rights .
If a child is separated from a parent or legal guardian, and a State court has not made a determination that the parental rights have been terminated, there is a presumption that'--
(1) the parental rights remain intact; and
(2) the separation does not constitute an affirmative determination of abuse or neglect under Federal or State law.
SEC. 9. Clarification of existing law .
(a) Federal law .'--Nothing in this Act shall be interpreted to supersede or modify Federal child welfare law, where applicable, including the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (Public Law 105''89).
(b) State law .'--Nothing in this Act shall be interpreted to supersede or modify State child welfare laws where applicable.
SEC. 10. GAO report on prosecution of asylum seekers .
(a) Study .'--The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study of the prosecution of asylum seekers during the period beginning on January 1, 2008 and ending on December 31, 2018, including'--
(1) the total number of persons who claimed a fear of persecution, received a favorable credible fear determination, and were referred for prosecution;
(2) an overview and analysis of the metrics used by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to track the number of asylum seekers referred for prosecution;
(3) the total number of asylum seekers referred for prosecution, a breakdown and description of the criminal charges filed against asylum seekers during such period, and a breakdown and description of the convictions secured;
(4) the total number of asylum seekers who were separated from their children as a result of being referred for prosecution;
(5) a breakdown of the resources spent on prosecuting asylum seekers during such period, as well as any diversion of resources required to prosecute asylum seekers, and any costs imposed on States and localities;
(6) the total number of asylum seekers who were referred for prosecution and also went through immigration proceedings; and
(7) the total number of asylum seekers referred for prosecution who were deported before going through immigration proceedings.
(b) Report .'--Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report that describes the results of the study conducted pursuant to subsection (a).
SEC. 11. Definitions .
In this Act:
(1) A GENT; OFFICER .'--The terms ''agent'' and ''officer'' include contractors of the Federal Government.
(2) C HILD .'--The term ''child'' means an individual who'--
(A) has not reached the age of 18; and
(B) has no permanent immigration status.
(3) C OMMITTEES OF JURISDICTION .'--The term ''committees of jurisdiction'' means'--
(A) the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate; and
(B) the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.
(4) D ANGER OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT AT THE HANDS OF THE PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN .'--The term ''danger of abuse or neglect at the hands of the parent or legal guardian'' shall not mean migrating to or crossing the United States border.
(5) D ESIGNATED AGENCY .'--The term ''designated agency'' means'--
(A) the Department of Homeland Security;
(B) the Department of Justice; and
(C) the Department of Health and Human Services.
(6) F INDING .'--The term ''finding'' means an individualized written assessment or screening by the trained agent or officer that includes a consultation with a child welfare specialist, formalized as required under section 2(c) and consistent with sections 3, 4, and 8.
(7) S ECRETARY .'--Unless otherwise specified, the term ''Secretary'' means the Secretary of Homeland Security.
Fact Checking 4 Claims About Detaining Children at the Border
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 13:20
The Trump administration is taking heat from Democrats and Republicans for separating parents and children after they illegally crossed the southern border.
Over the six weeks from April 19 through May 31, federal officials separated about 2,000 children from their families at the U.S.-Mexican border, the Associated Press reported last week.
President Donald Trump blamed the procedure on Democrats in Congress.
''They're obstructing. They're really obstructionists and they are obstructing,'' Trump said Monday at the White House. ''The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility. It won't be.''
''If you look at what's happening in Europe, if you look at what's happening in other places, we can't allow that to happen to the United States'--not on my watch,'' he said.
During the White House press briefing Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said: ''This is a very serious issue that has resulted after years and years of Congress not taking action.''
Here's a look at four of the more questionable claims made about the enforcement action.
1. Democrats' Law or Trump Policy?
''The Democrats forced that law upon our nation,'' Trump asserted last week.
Democrats, backed by some media commentators, counter that it's not the law but a Trump administration policy.
Actually, experts say, the situation is a combination of a bipartisan law and a Clinton administration policy.
In 1997, the Clinton administration entered into something called the Flores Settlement Agreement, which ended a class action lawsuit first brought in the 1980s.
The settlement established a policy that the federal government would release unaccompanied minors from custody to their parents, relatives, or other caretakers after no more than 20 days, or, alternatively, determine the ''least restrictive'' setting for the child.
In a separate development, in 2008 the Democrat-controlled Congress approved bipartisan legislation to combat human trafficking and President George W. Bush, a Republican, signed it into law.
Section 235 (g) in that law, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, states that unaccompanied minors entering the United States must be transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement rather than to the Department of Homeland Security.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit expanded the Flores settlement in 2016 to include children brought to the country illegally by their parents.
For consistency between the provision of the anti-trafficking law and the 9th Circuit's interpretation of the Flores agreement, children who came into the country illegally with parents had to be taken into HHS custody, said Art Arthur, former general counsel for Immigration and Naturalization Services (now known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement) as well as a former federal immigration judge.
''As soon as their parents are detained, the children are classified as unaccompanied,'' Arthur, now a resident fellow for law and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Signal.
2. Unprecedented Action by Trump Administration?
Some media outlets have called the practice of separating children from parents at the border ''unprecedented'' or a ''new low'' for the United States.
What's different under the Trump administration, though, is a ''zero tolerance'' approach to enforcing existing immigration laws and policy.
On May 7 in Scottsdale, Arizona, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed federal prosecutors to prosecute all adults who illegally enter the country, including those accompanied by their children, under a provision of federal law (8 U.S.C. § 1325(a)) that covers illegal entry.
''If you're smuggling a child, then we're going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law,'' Sessions said. ''If you don't want your child separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally. It's not our fault that somebody does that.''
Since it takes more than 20 days to adjudicate an asylum claim, the 9th Circuit's interpretation of the Flores Settlement Agreement essentially provides three options, said David Inserra, a homeland security policy analyst for The Heritage Foundation.
''The Trump administration currently faces two options: Either release every family that crosses the border and claims asylum and know that most of them will never show up at their immigration court hearing; or release the child as required by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' interpretation of the Flores settlement while holding the parents while awaiting trial,'' Inserra told The Daily Signal.
''A third, better solution is to fix the loophole created by the 9th Circuit with regard to Flores and improve the asylum process to discourage frivolous asylum claims, while also better serving those with legitimate asylum cases,'' Inserra added.
Proposed legislation by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would reverse the 9th Circuit's interpretation.
''This would mean only a brief period of separation while the parents are prosecuted,'' Arthur said.
Depending on the outcome, the family would be reunited and either be released or deported together.
3. 'Concentration Camps'?
Much of the criticism of separating children from parents at the border has been from Democrats.
However, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who served under President George W. Bush, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who was once lieutenant governor of Maryland, both compared the practice to Nazi concentration camps.
The Department of Homeland Security rejected the comparison, noting that most children caught crossing the border illegally are not detained by federal officials.
''We have high standards,'' Nielsen said during the White House press briefing Monday. ''We give them meals and we give them education and we give them medical care. There are videos, there are TVs. I visited the detention centers myself.''
In the last fiscal year, 90 percent of apprehended children were released to a sponsor who was either a parent or close relative, according to the department.
Homeland security officials also say they work with HHS to improve and ease communication between detained parents and their children in HHS care.
Sponsors may be ''a parent, adult sibling, relative, or appropriate home that meets criteria for the safety of the child and continuation of any immigration proceedings,'' according to DHS. Also, a parent who is prosecuted and later released can be a sponsor and ask HHS to restore custody of the child.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has dedicated a facility to operate primarily as a family reunification and removal center. ICE staff who interact with parents will receive training in trauma-informed care, and the agency will assign staff trained in mental health care to detained parents who have been separated from children, according to DHS.
4. Taking Babies From Nursing Mothers?
CNN reported last week on an illegal immigrant from Honduras who claimed her nursing daughter was pulled away from her before she was handcuffed. CNN cited a lawyer from a liberal legal group called the Texas Civil Rights Project.
In a conference call with reporters last week, a senior Department of Homeland Security official said this was not the case.
''We do not separate breastfeeding children from their parents. That does not exist. That is not a policy. That is not something that DHS does,'' an official told reporters Friday. ''We believe that that is false.''
An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 individuals are smuggled into the United States each year. For perspective, that number constitutes about 5.7 percent of total apprehensions of illegal immigrants in 2017, though apprehensions don't account for all border crossings.
Attorney General Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry | OPA | Department of Justice
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:28
Attorney General Jeff Sessions today notified all U.S. Attorney's Offices along the Southwest Border of a new ''zero-tolerance policy'' for offenses under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a), which prohibits both attempted illegal entry and illegal entry into the United States by an alien. The implementation of the Attorney General's zero-tolerance policy comes as the Department of Homeland Security reported a 203 percent increase in illegal border crossings from March 2017 to March 2018, and a 37 percent increase from February 2018 to March 2018'--the largest month-to-month increase since 2011.
''The situation at our Southwest Border is unacceptable. Congress has failed to pass effective legislation that serves the national interest'--that closes dangerous loopholes and fully funds a wall along our southern border. As a result, a crisis has erupted at our Southwest Border that necessitates an escalated effort to prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border,'' said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. ''To those who wish to challenge the Trump Administration's commitment to public safety, national security, and the rule of law, I warn you: illegally entering this country will not be rewarded, but will instead be met with the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice. To the Department's prosecutors, I urge you: promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens. You play a critical part in fulfilling these goals, and I thank you for your continued efforts in seeing to it that our laws'--and as a result, our nation'--are respected.''
On April 11, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a renewed commitment to criminal immigration enforcement. As part of that announcement, the Attorney General issued a memorandum to all federal prosecutors and directed them to prioritize the prosecution of certain criminal immigration offenses.
Today's zero-tolerance policy further directs each U.S. Attorney's Office along the Southwest Border (i.e., Southern District of California, District of Arizona, District of New Mexico, Western District of Texas, and the Southern District of Texas) to adopt a policy to prosecute all Department of Homeland Security referrals of section 1325(a) violations, to the extent practicable.
8 U.S. Code § 1325 - Improper entry by alien | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:28
Amendments1996'--Subsecs. (b) to (d). Pub. L. 104''208 added subsec. (b) and redesignated former subsecs. (b) and (c) as (c) and (d), respectively.
1991'--Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102''232 substituted ''fined under title 18'' for ''fined not more than $2,000 (or, if greater, the amount provided under title 18)''.
1990'--Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101''649, §'¯543(b)(2), inserted ''or attempts to enter'' after ''(1) enters'' and ''attempts to enter or'' after ''or (3)'', and substituted ''shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined not more than $2,000 (or, if greater, the amount provided under title 18) or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years'' for ''shall, for the first commission of any such offenses, be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by a fine of not more than $500, or by both, and for a subsequent commission of any such offenses shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years, or by a fine of not more than $1,000''.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101''649, §'¯121(b)(3), added subsec. (c).
1986'--Pub. L. 99''639 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).
Effective Date of 1996 AmendmentPub. L. 104''208, div. C, title I, §'¯105(b), Sept. 30, 1996 , 110 Stat. 3009''556, provided that:
''The amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to illegal entries or attempts to enter occurring on or after the first day of the sixth month beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 30, 1996 ].''
Abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service and Transfer of FunctionsFor abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service, transfer of functions, and treatment of related references, see note set out under section 1551 of this title.
Next Steps for Families | Homeland Security
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:26
Publications LibraryBorder SecurityCounterterrorismCybersecurityFormsImmigration StatisticsPreparedness, Response and RecoveryQuadrennial Homeland Security ReviewStrategic PlanningFeatured Publications Information provided to families who are in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the crime of illegal entry into the United States. The information provides an overview of the custody process and ways that parents can contact their children.
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ftp/ei Ellis Island history
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:16
P rior to 1855, people disembarking from ships in New York did not have to go through any inspection process. They could go directly to the wharfs without even being screened for contagious diseases. From 1855 to 1890, immigrants arriving at the port of New York landed in what was called " Castle Garden ," (a former opera house) which was located at the southern tip of Manhattan. At that time, the federal government had a contract with the State of New York to inspect and process all those wanted to immigrate. In 1890, with a new wave of immigration, the federal government decided that it wanted to take control of this process, and could thus screen out all of the undesirable arrivals, e.g. those who were sick or so poor that they would be a burden on the nation. The state wouldn'‚¬'t let the federal government use Castle Garden, so a new center was needed. Between 1890 and 1892, while a new building was being constructed, people were screened at the Old Barge House near the U.S. Customs Office at the southeast end of Manhattan. Then, in 1892, Ellis Island was ready.
When Ellis Island was first built it was made of wood. It became the primary stop to process immigrants beginning on Jan. 2, 1892. However, there was a fire there in 1897, and it was forced to close for a period of time. All screening of new immigrants once again had to be done at the Old Barge Office until mid-December 1900. Ellis Island was rebuilt and ready to reopen, this time not made of wood but of a fireproof material, and once again began to perform its intended function.
Immigration reached its peak in 1906. Then, in 1924, with a new immigration law, those wanting to enter the U.S. had to visit the U.S. consulate in their own country to obtain a visa. There they would be screened, eliminating the necessity for Ellis Island to do so. By the time Ellis Island had stopped processing new immigrants, twelve million arrivals had passed through its doors. Eventually, in 1943, Ellis Island would be used as a detention center for enemy aliens. In 1954, Ellis Island closed until it became part of the National Park Service in 1965, and was eventually restored and reopened in 1990.
For first and second-class passengers, the immigration officers would actually come on board the ship and examine the passengers on arrival. For those in third-class, or steerage, they would often have to wait for days before disembarking. At that time they would have to board a barge-like vessel, neither heated in the winter, nor cooled in summer, which would take them to the Island itself. There they would wait until groups of perhaps thirty at a time would disembark and enter into the main building to begin the inspection process.
Most of those that arrived at Ellis Island made it through the process successfully. As soon as they entered the Great Hall, they began to be inspected by a line of medical examiners. They had a certificate (a "landing card") pinned to their chest before they entered. This would act as a health certificate (they needed to be vaccinated before leaving the ship). The number of the certificate would also be used to cross-reference their names on the ship'‚¬'s passenger list, or manifest.
On Ellis Island, each arrival was inspected for all types of physical and mental disabilities. They were marked with chalk if it was thought that they needed closer inspection. The type of mark indicated what physical or mental condition was suspected. Some defects were easy to spot; others would be discovered on closer inspection. For instance, an arrival would have their eyelids turned inside out to determine if they had trachoma, a form of conjunctivitis that was contagious. This condition was so severe that it could cause blindness. Many of those that had emigrated from Eastern Europe had this condition, and although it could be cured, was grounds for sending the arrival back to their home country. Their scalps were also examined carefully to see if they had favus, a fungal infection of the scalp and nails.
There was a hospital built on Ellis Island in 1902, where good medical care awaited the sick arrival. Often, a person would have to stay there for days until they got better before they would finally be admitted. Many times, a child would have to be separated from their family until the ill person became well again. In 1911, a contagious disease hospital was built on Ellis Island. Of course, if the sick person did not get well, he or she had to be sent back to where they began their journey. This must have been horrible because it caused families to be separated. They might have thought this separation would last forever! Others never left the Island. From 1900 to 1954, 3500 people died on Ellis Island, 1400 of them children. However, there were over 300 babies born there!
If the immigrant successfully passed through the inspection regimen, they would then have to speak to immigration officers. They had to answer a series of twenty-nine questions to the satisfaction of the officers. These questions corresponded to the information entered for them on the ship'‚¬'s manifest before they left their port of origin. The inspectors wanted to be sure that the immigrant could find work, and not become a pauper and a ward and burden on the state. Of course, many arrivals already knew what questions would be asked before they got there. One had to know how to answer certain questions. It was often not a good idea, for instance, to say that a job was waiting for you, because that might mean to the officer that the immigrant might be taking a job away from an American, and there was a great fear of this already within the general populace. A person might be sent back home to Europe for this reason alone! Also, an arrival had to have a certain amount of money on them, or at least a ticket to some destination. The U.S. didn'‚¬'t want to let in vagrants. Sometimes, they would have to show how much money they had. A person could have started out with money when they left from their European port, but could lose it playing cards on the ship during the journey!
There were organizations that helped the arrivals along the immigration process, to make sure that they were treated fairly. First there was the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society, and then in 1883, the United Hebrew Charities took over. Their representative would be stationed there, either at Castle Garden or Ellis Island, in order to help the immigrant in whatever way they could. Unfortunately, this representative did not always speak the language that was needed to communicate with each arrival, and often only spoke German. Many of the towns back in Russian Poland that had "landsmanshaftn" societies formed by people from the immigrant'‚¬'s hometown, had representation in the major U.S. cities to aid the immigrant in their new life. They aided the Yiddish speaker at Ellis Island.
Those that successfully passed through the rigors of inspection could take another boat ride to New Jersey or to 42nd Street where, if they wanted to, could catch a train to a different destination. The major railroad lines ran special trains for immigrants to most major cities. For those who wished to remain in New York (seventy percent of immigrants arriving between 1895 and 1914 did so), many were greeted by their kin, or by friends, joyously waiting to embrace and to kiss them. From there, they could walk to the Jewish Quarter on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where they would settle in and prepare themselves for their new lives. At one time, this section of Manhattan, barely a mile and a half square, encompassing an area mostly east of the Bowery and south of 14th Street, held 520,000 people, and was considered the most densely populated area in the world!Also see the exhibitions:: "
A S hort History of U.S. Immigration " and "Health and Immigration."
Trump's Hard Line on Immigration Traps Republicans in a 2018 Dilemma
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:54
By June 20, 2018, 4:00 AM EDT
Party candidates caught between party base and most Americans
Polls show strong opposition to family separation policy
President Donald Trump's policy separating families who enter the U.S. illegally has caught 2018 Republican candidates between an anti-immigration party base that favors Trump's hard line and the majority of Americans who object to a policy widely criticized as cruel.
The ''zero tolerance'' punishment imposed by the administration has delivered harrowing footage of wailing toddlers to American living rooms less than five months before voters decide which party should control Congress.
Protesters in Los Angeles.
Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images
"A picture is worth a thousand words, and a graphic picture is always potent on this kind of issue. For the Republicans, getting this monkey off their back is critical,'' said Tom Davis, a former Republican congressman who chaired the party's election arm. ''Especially for members in swing districts.''
Some of those swing districts, in states including New York, New Jersey, Florida and California, will determine whether Democrats take the 23 seats from Republicans that they'd need to gain control of the House. Republicans in those races will have to choose whether to defend or defy Trump on a deeply polarizing issue that could hurt them with constituencies such as suburban women, independent voters and Hispanics.
Preferred MessageThe growing furor also is drowning out the GOP's preferred campaign message about a booming economy on the week of the six-month anniversary of the Trump tax cuts.
It's not necessarily an easy choice.
''For the Republican base, if you resolve this wrongly it's really going to hurt your turnout,'' Davis said. ''They're nervous about people saying 'you sold out.'''
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky downplayed the prospect of political harm to his party. ''It's not going to tar anybody,'' the Kentucky Republican told reporters. ''We're going to fix the problem.'' But he noted that any solution has to be bipartisan to pass the Senate and it wasn't clear Tuesday after a series of meetings whether that could be achieved.
Three polls released this week said most Americans oppose the Trump policy, which requires the prosecution of all adults crossing the border outside of an official port of entry and thereby sends children to be housed elsewhere. Approval stood at just 28 percent in a CNN poll, 27 percent in a Quinnipiac poll and 27 percent in an Ipsos poll, all driven by overwhelming opposition from Democrats and independents.
Republican SupportBut Republicans supported the policy '-- by a margin of 58 percent to 34 percent in the CNN poll, by 55 percent to 35 percent in the Quinnipiac poll, and by 46 percent to 32 percent in the Ipsos poll. Immigration was a central force in Trump's rise after he catered to a hunger among core supporters for tough punishments on illegal entry and cuts to legal immigration, including among asylum-seekers.
''I run campaigns all over the country and in every poll we run -- in every district, no matter where it is -- the No. 1 issue for Republicans is immigration. It's not even close,'' said Harlan Hill, a Republican consultant and adviser to Trump's 2020 reelection campaign. ''It's critical to the president's identity. He obviously ran on this. He opened up his entire campaign on this issue. So voters are quite frankly holding his feet to the fire.''
'Fumbled' CommunicationHill urged Republicans not to "abdicate our principles" and warned that "wavering" on enforcing immigration law will demoralize supporters and hurt the GOP in the election. He said that when it comes to the border crisis, "communication around this issue has been fumbled" and that "it didn't have to be this political bomb that it turned out to be." But he said it can be an opportunity to get a broad package that conservatives like.
The issue looms large in pivotal House districts near the southern border with large Hispanic populations where immigration is a top-of-mind issue, including a half-dozen competitive races in southern and central California, two in south Florida, one seat in the area of Aurora, Colorado, and several in south Texas. It also impacts competitive Senate race in Nevada, where Republican incumbent Dean Heller is seeking to hold on to his seat, and an open seat in Arizona, as well as the reelection bid of GOP Senator Ted Cruz.
"If we don't address this issue it's going to have a massive impact on races across Harris County," said Jay Zeidman, a Republican donor based in Houston. "These images we see are horrific and we need to address this issue now in a humane way."
Partisan DivideIn an illustration of the partisan divide, all 49 Senate Democrats are united in support of legislation by California's Dianne Feinstein that prohibits agents from separating families near the border, except in extreme cases like abuse and trafficking. But it has zero Republicans supporters; Senator Susan Collins of Maine rejected it as "far too broad" in protecting illegal border-crossings. Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a Trump ally on immigration, ridiculed it as the ''Child Trafficking Encouragement Act.''
Nervousness is palpable within the GOP as many lawmakers break with the president. Cruz said he's ''horrified'' by the stories from the border. Representative Mike Coffman of Colorado expressed openness to supporting Feinstein's proposal, saying that ''tearing children from the arms of parents and then isolating them along is antithetical to the America I grew up in." Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romney, the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee, called for ''a more compassionate answer.''
Trump showed no remorse as he digs into red-meat issues like immigration and crime, with overwrought attacks on Democrats to fire up his supporters ahead of the midterm election.
''Democrats love open borders. Let the whole world come in. Let the whole world '-- MS-13, gang members from all over the place, come on in, we have open borders,'' the president said in a speech at the National Federation of Independent Business.
He called Congress to give him ''the legal authority to detain and properly remove families together as a unit. We have to be able to do this."
"This is the only solution to the border crisis," he said.
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Homeland security chief heckled at Mexican eatery over separation policy
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:59
Demonstrators interrupted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen's dinner at an upscale Mexican restaurant in Washington Tuesday night to express their outrage over the separation of children from their migrant parents at the U.S. southern border.
"We call on you to end family separations," a member of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America shouted as protesters filed in to MXDC, chanting, "Shame, shame, shame," and other slogans.
"Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is in a Mexican restaurant of all places," one of the demonstrators said, according to video of the incident. "The ... gall. Shame on you."
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks on migrant children being separated from parents at the southern border during a White House daily news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on June 18, 2018. Alex Wong / Getty Images
At a White House briefing Monday, Nielsen defended the Trump administration's newly enforced "zero tolerance" policy for people trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico without visas. Nielsen falsely claimed that federal law requires family separation when parents, even those legally seeking asylum, are held for prosecution. And she said family separation is not a new policy.
Meanwhile, reports of young children left crying in border processing centers and in "tender age" shelters in South Texas touched off several protests Tuesday across the country.
So far this spring, more than 2,300 child migrants have been separated from parents '-- many fleeing violence in Central America '-- and housed, at least temporarily, in the federal and nonprofit-run childcare facilities in border states.
At least 13 Democratic lawmakers, citing the falsehoods and the execution of the "zero tolerance" policy that has torn toddlers and teenagers away from mothers and fathers, have called on Nielsen to resign. A number of Republicans have also called on President Donald Trump to reverse the policy.
"So we say you can't enjoy dinner until you reunite all those families," one demonstrator at the Washington Mexican restaurant told Nielsen as two men in suits stood between the secretary's table and a half-dozen or so protesters.
"End Texas concentration camps," members of the group shouted at her.
In a statement the Democratic Socialists said that police responded and tried to detain demonstrators "to no avail."
Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton said in a statement that the demonstrators "share [Nielsen's] concern with our current immigration laws that have created a crisis on our southern border."
He said the secretary encourages the protesters to "reach out to members of congress and seek their support to close the terrible immigration loopholes that have made our system a mess."
The secretary exited the restaurant shortly after the demonstrators were shooed out by police, according to the Democratic Socialists.
Larger demonstrations were held in other cities across the country, including in San Francisco, where hundreds of protesters outside of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's headquarters chanted, "Stop taking the children!" and shut down a street for two hours.
"Our country was built on immigrants, and they are denying them basic human rights and treating them inhumanly," said Algazzali Gonzalez, a mother with a 9-year-old daughter, according to NBC Bay Area.
Outrage also hit Philadelphia, where Vice President Mike Pence was dining Tuesday night at a Republican Governors Association fundraiser. At a nearby park, empty children's shoes were left to symbolize those being held in facilities without their parents.
Protesters attempted to march down the street, but were blocked off by police. One person was arrested, reported NBC Philadelphia.
In New York, hundreds did march peacefully from Union Square Park to the ICE offices in Lower Manhattan, also leaving a collection of small shoes and crying, "Let these children go!"
More protests were planned for Wednesday, including in front of the Massachusetts State House in Boston; in Springfield, Missouri, outside the office of Republican Sen. Roy Blunt; and in Pensacola, Florida.
Socialist Activist Who Harassed Homeland Security Secretary Works For The Department Of Justice - The Daily Caller
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 03:51
June 20th, 2018
LEFT -- Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reacts as activists chant slogans, attempting to interrupt her dinner, in a restaurant in Washington, D.C., June 19, 2018 in still image taken from a video obtained from social media. METRO DC DSA/via REUTERS. RIGHT -- Allison Hrabar (Photo: LinkedIn)
One of the activists who chased Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen out of a Mexican restaurant Tuesday night over the Trump administration's immigration policies is an employee of the Department of Justice, The Daily Caller News Foundation has confirmed.
Members of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America crashed Nielsen's meal with a demonstration full of chants and other outbursts.
One of those participants, Allison Hrabar, actually works for the Trump administration '-- as a paralegal in the DOJ.
''Kirstjen Nielsen, you're a villain, locking up immigrant children,'' activists can be heard saying in a video.
An employee within the Trump administration initially tipped TheDCNF off about Hrabar's presence at the protest.
The Washington Examiner spoke with Hrabar Wednesday and she defended her behavior as off government time and a use of her First Amendment rights. (RELATED: 'Fascist Pig!' '-- Chanting Socialists Chase DHS Secretary Nielsen Out Of Mexican Restaurant)
''If you see these people in public, you should remind them that they shouldn't have peace,'' she told The Examiner. ''We aren't the only ones who can do this. Anyone who sees Kirstjen Nielsen at dinner, anyone who sees anyone who works at DHS and ICE at dinner can confront them like this, and that's what we hope this will inspire people to do.''
Despite Hrabar's claims of keeping her personal politics outside of her time as an employee of the federal government, a look at her Twitter account, @allisongeroi, features tweets during the workday openly celebrating her behavior Tuesday night.
''Keeping families together in jail is not an acceptable solution,'' Hrabar tweeted Wednesday afternoon at 1:56 PM.
Following the protest, Hrabar tweeted that, ''No one who has ever made their living terrorizing immigrants deserves peace. If you see one in a restaurant, at a movie, or in your neighborhood, remind them of that.''
Hrabar has worked at the DOJ since July 2016. Prior to that, she was a student at the selective Swarthmore College where tuition runs over $50,000 annually. She previously attended a charter school in Arizona.
A Justice Department official, after being asked about Hrabar's conduct, told TheDCNF that she cannot comment on personnel issues.
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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.Joe SimonsonMedia Reporter
Families Belong Together
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:29
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FIND EVENTS NEAR YOU JOIN US IN DC SIGN THE PETITION Host an event in your community or join your neighbors to stand up for immigrant families on June 30
Demand that the Trump administration stop separating children from their families
Protest the Trump administration's policy of family separation in Washington DC on June 30
The Trump administration is cruelly separating children from their families '-- but now the world is paying attention, and we won't allow this to continue. Join an upcoming event and we'll send a powerful message: Families belong together!
Use the map to find June 30 events near you
Report: Diane Feinstein's Immigration Bill Would Prevent Almost Every Federal Arrest | Breitbart
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 13:42
Every single Senate Democrat has backed a bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that would effectively prevent authorities from arresting illegal aliens within 100 miles of the U.S. border.In the words of moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Feinstein's ''Keep Families Together Act'' would ''essentially prevent arrest within 100 miles of the border, even if the person has committed a serious crime or is suspected of terrorist activities.''
For that reason, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has called Feinstein's bill the ''Child Trafficking Encouragement Act,'' since it would create incentives for illegal aliens to cross the border with children to evade arrest by authorities.
A new analysis by Gabriel Malor of The Federalist points out an additional problem: thanks, he says, to sloppy drafting, the bill would effectively prevent federal law enforcement from arresting anyone in most of the U.S.
Malor writes:
Every Senate Democrat has now signed on to cosponsor a bill written so carelessly that it does not distinguish between migrant children at the border and U.S. citizen children already within the United States. The bill further does not distinguish between federal officers handling the border crisis and federal law enforcement pursuing the ordinary course of their duties.
The scope of the bill is not limited to those portions of these departments involved with the border crisis, and there is no other limiting factor in the bill that would cabin the prohibition on family separation to immigration-related matters. In other words, this bill is going to regulate conduct across a great many federal offices that have nothing to do with separating children from families arriving unlawfully in the United States.
Two hundred million people live within 100 miles of the border. '... All major U.S. metropolitan areas fall within either 100 miles of the border or are near a port of entry or both.
Feinstein's bill is largely symbolic: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said Tuesday that he was not interested in any legislative fix, but wanted the president to bear responsibility for any policy chance. As leader of the minority party in the Senate, Schumer can block any legislation by using the filibuster rule to prevent a vote.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward's 50 ''most influential'' Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
Hoyer: Trump's Executive Order Does Not Resolve The Family Separation Crisis Of His Own Making | The Office of Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 22:00
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the executive order President Trump signed today, which does not solve the family separation crisis created by his Administration:"For the past two weeks, President Trump has said over and over again that his hands were tied and that only Congress could end the separation of families seeking asylum at our borders. Today's executive order is an admission both that he purposefully lied to the American people and that his brazen attempt to hold innocent children hostage has failed because of the American people's outrage. Moreover, the order he signed does not address this crisis of his own making. It essentially switches from a system of separate detention camps for parents and children to one where families are inhumanely and immorally detained together indefinitely, in conditions unsuitable for the physical health and mental well-being of children. The order effectively mirrors provisions dealing with family separation in Speaker Ryan's bill that he is pushing his conference to vote for tomorrow. Both the order and the Speaker's legislation are recipes for the long-term jailing of families with children.
''America is a nation that values families, not a country where we detain families with children behind bars and wire fences or in stifling tent cities, and we must not abide these practices within our borders or in our name. We must reject this latest effort by the President to use migrant children as bargaining chips. I continue to urge House Republican leaders to take real action to end this crisis. They can do so by bringing Ranking Member Nadler's Keep Families Together Act to the Floor now.''
Full text: Trump's executive order ending family separations - POLITICO
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 21:45
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump's executive order: Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation
Issued on: June 20, 2018
Story Continued Below
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of this Administration to rigorously enforce our immigration laws. Under our laws, the only legal way for an alien to enter this country is at a designated port of entry at an appropriate time. When an alien enters or attempts to enter the country anywhere else, that alien has committed at least the crime of improper entry and is subject to a fine or imprisonment under section 1325(a) of title 8, United States Code. This Administration will initiate proceedings to enforce this and other criminal provisions of the INA until and unless Congress directs otherwise. It is also the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources. It is unfortunate that Congress's failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.
Sec. 2. Definitions. For purposes of this order, the following definitions apply:
(a) ''Alien family'' means
(i) any person not a citizen or national of the United States who has not been admitted into, or is not authorized to enter or remain in, the United States, who entered this country with an alien child or alien children at or between designated ports of entry and who was detained; and
(ii) that person's alien child or alien children.
(b) ''Alien child'' means any person not a citizen or national of the United States who
(i) has not been admitted into, or is not authorized to enter or remain in, the United States;
(ii) is under the age of 18; and
(iii) has a legal parent-child relationship to an alien who entered the United States with the alien child at or between designated ports of entry and who was detained.
Sec. 3. Temporary Detention Policy for Families Entering this Country Illegally.
(a) The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, maintain custody of alien families during the pendency of any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members.
(b) The Secretary shall not, however, detain an alien family together when there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child's alien parent would pose a risk to the child's welfare.
(c) The Secretary of Defense shall take all legally available measures to provide to the Secretary, upon request, any existing facilities available for the housing and care of alien families, and shall construct such facilities if necessary and consistent with law. The Secretary, to the extent permitted by law, shall be responsible for reimbursement for the use of these facilities.
(d) Heads of executive departments and agencies shall, to the extent consistent with law, make available to the Secretary, for the housing and care of alien families pending court proceedings for improper entry, any facilities that are appropriate for such purposes. The Secretary, to the extent permitted by law, shall be responsible for reimbursement for the use of these facilities.
(e) The Attorney General shall promptly file a request with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to modify the Settlement Agreement in Flores v. Sessions, CV 85-4544 (''Flores settlement''), in a manner that would permit the Secretary, under present resource constraints, to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.
Sec. 4. Prioritization of Immigration Proceedings Involving Alien Families. The Attorney General shall, to the extent practicable, prioritize the adjudication of cases involving detained families.
Sec. 5. General Provisions.
(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented in a manner consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
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Trump Retreats on Separating Families, Signing Order to Detain Them Together - The New York Times
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 21:43
President Trump has faced immense political pressure to end the separation of migrant families at the border. His executive order will seek to find ways to hold parents and children together. Published On June 20, 2018 Credit Image by Al Drago for The New York Times President Trump caved to enormous political pressure on Wednesday and signed an executive order that ends the separation of families by indefinitely detaining parents and children together at the border.
''We're going to have strong, very strong borders but we are going to keep the families together,'' Mr. Trump said as he signed the order at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. ''I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.''
The order said that officials will continue to criminally prosecute everyone who crosses the border illegally, but will seek to find or build facilities that can hold families '-- parents and children together '-- instead of separating them while their legal cases are considered by the courts.
Mr. Trump's executive order directed the government's lawyers to ask for a modification of an existing 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, that currently prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention '-- even if they are with their parents '-- for more than 20 days.
But it is unclear whether the court will agree to that request. If not, the president is likely to face an immediate legal challenge from immigration activists on behalf of families that are detained in makeshift facilities.
Stories of children being taken from their parents and images of teenagers in cage-like detention facilities have exploded into a full-blown political crisis for Mr. Trump and Republican lawmakers, who are desperate for a response to critics who have called the practice ''inhumane'' and ''evil.''
Mr. Trump has for weeks refused to simply end his government's ''zero tolerance'' policy that led to the separation of more than 2,300 children from their parents, saying that the alternative would be to fling open the nation's borders and allow immigrants who cross the border illegally to remain in the country.
But the president, furious about the pummeling he has taken in recent days, has been casting about for an escape from the crisis, people familiar with his thinking said. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security are preparing the executive order that is designed to end the family separations.
Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security, Mr. Trump vowed not to relent in his administration's prosecution of people trying to enter the United States illegally.
''We are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero tolerance,'' Mr. Trump said. ''We have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally.''
But he added: ''The border's just as tough, but we do want to keep families together.''
The order would keep families together, though it is unclear how Mr. Trump intends to claim the legal authority to get around what have been legal constraints on the proper treatment of children in government custody, which prevented former President Barack Obama from detaining families together during a similar flood of illegal immigration two years ago.
And the president could quickly find himself the subject of another legal challenge to his executive authority, much the way he attacked Mr. Obama for abusing the power of his office with an immigration executive order in 2014.
While Mr. Trump's actions appear to stop short of calls for an end to the ''zero tolerance'' policy, it would be a remarkable retreat for a president who has steadfastly refused to apologize in almost any other context. And it would be a testament to the political power of the images of the immigrant children to move public opinion.
People close to the president said he remains convinced that his immigration policies are appropriate and necessary. But Mr. Trump is said to be increasingly frustrated by the criticism he is getting, and aware that he is boxed in by the legal argument his administration has made.
Aides said that Mr. Trump is aware that his actions could once again be tied up in lengthy court battles. But the president and his allies believe that taking action would put pressure on Democrats by eliminating the criticism that Mr. Trump is separating children from their parents.
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Flores agreement: the problem with Trump's executive order to end family separation - Vox
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 21:42
The solution to the crisis of family separation at the US-Mexico border, the Trump administration has decided, is to get rid of a 1997 federal court decision that strictly limits the government's ability to keep children in immigration detention.
The administration has fingered Flores v. Reno, or the ''Flores settlement,'' as the reason it is ''forced'' to separate parents from their children to prosecute them. It claims that because it cannot keep parents and children in immigration detention together, it has no choice but to detain parents in immigration detention (after they've been criminally prosecuted for illegal entry) and send the children to the Department of Health and Human Services as ''unaccompanied alien children.''
The Flores settlement requires the federal government to do two things: to place children with a close relative or family friend ''without unnecessary delay,'' rather than keeping them in custody; and to keep immigrant children who are in custody in the ''least restrictive conditions'' possible.
Republicans in Congress have proposed legislation that would overrule Flores and allow children to be kept with their parents in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody while they are put through criminal prosecution and deportation proceedings '-- which many migrant families fight by claiming asylum in the US, a process that can stretch out for months or years.
Trump can't overrule the Flores settlement with the stroke of a pen. But getting rid of the court agreement has been in his administration's sights for months. While Republicans frame Flores as the obstacle to keeping families together, many of the people outraged over family separation might not be too happy with a world without Flores, either.
The Flores settlement dates back to mistreatment of unaccompanied minors in the 1980sThe Flores settlement now at the center of the family separation crisis has a 30-year history. In the 1980s, several lawsuits were filed over the treatment of unaccompanied minors who were in the care of the US government. One was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in 1985 on behalf of Jenny Lisette Flores, a 15-year-old from El Salvador. She had fled her home country to find an aunt who was living in the United States, but she was detained by federal authorities at the US border.
Flores and other minors in federal custody sometimes had to share sleeping quarters and bathrooms with unrelated adult men and women. Flores was strip-searched regularly, and she was told she could only be released to her parents, not her aunt. The ACLU asserted in its lawsuit that Flores and other unaccompanied children had a constitutional right to be released to ''responsible'' adults, as the Marquette Law Review documented in a review of the Flores settlement's history.
The case went through several federal courts before reaching the Supreme Court in 1993, and the high court mostly sided with the government. But the real consequence was a consent decree agreed to by the Clinton administration and the plaintiffs in the litigation in 1997. The decree, known as the Flores settlement, set standards for unaccompanied minors who were in the custody of federal authorities.
Janet Reno in 1993. She was President Bill Clinton's attorney general at the time of the Flores settlement.Wally McNamee/Corbis via Getty Images The agreement required that children be released as soon as possible to either their parents, a legal guardian, another relative, or a vetted entity willing to take legal custody of the child. According to a summary from the Congressional Research Service, the order also required those minors who would be kept in federal custody be placed in the least restrictive conditions possible and be provided with some basic necessities, like food and water, access to medical treatment, access to running water, and that they be separated from adults to whom they had no relation.
But over the years, immigration authorities were not fully complying with the Flores settlement. Congress passed laws in the 2000s that would eventually require the Department of Homeland Security put unaccompanied children in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, within the Health and Human Services Department.
Under current Flores rules, children ''accompanied'' by parents have to be released within 20 daysOver the past couple of decades, the principles undergirding Flores evolved into specific rules about exactly how long and under what conditions children can be held. But they generally applied only to children who had entered the US as unaccompanied minors '-- not those who arrived with their parents.
In 2014, however, the Obama administration attempted to tamp down the number of Central American families seeking asylum in the US by keeping families in detention and processing and deporting them as quickly as possible.
Immigration advocates challenged the policy of family detention under Flores. And judges agreed with them '-- in large part because it said the Obama administration was out of bounds in detaining migrant families for the purpose of ''deterrence.'' (As NBC's Benjy Sarlin has pointed out, that's why certain Trump administration officials have been careful not to say that family separation is a deterrent, or even a policy, now.)
Ultimately, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Flores settlement covered not just unaccompanied alien children but ''accompanied'' ones as well. It set a general standard that the government couldn't hold them in custody for more than 20 days.
The Ninth Circuit stopped short of saying that parents could be released under Flores. But the federal government hasn't responded to Flores by keeping families together for a few weeks and then splitting them apart.
Instead, it's made a practice, for the most part, of releasing the whole family after 20 days. Since the current family detention facilities '-- two in Texas created under Obama, and an older one on Pennsylvania '-- are mostly full, they don't have a ton of space to detain families anyway.
This is one example of what the Trump administration calls ''catch and release.''
The Trump administration has always seen ending Flores as a ''solution'' To the administration, the extra legal protections against indefinite detention of asylum seekers, and much stricter protections under the Flores settlement against indefinite detention of children and families, are nothing but legal ''loopholes.'' It would prefer to be able to detain all immigrants who enter the US without papers until their cases are resolved (and, preferably, resolve those cases as quickly as possible with deportation orders).
Keeping families together in immigration detention really would suit the government's interests. It's more expensive to keep parents in detention while children are under HHS care (or placed with sponsors or fosters) than to keep both in one detention facility. And legally, the government would be allowed to treat the family as only one case, with one shot to enter the US, rather than as two separate cases as parent and child.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions's efforts to change asylum policy are intended to keep many immigrants fleeing gang violence from passing their initial asylum screenings '-- thus allowing the government to deport the whole family together quickly rather than allowing the child to enter the US to pursue a full court case. (However, the implementation of Sessions's changes, at least for the moment, doesn't appear to be as radical as was initially feared.)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions.Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call The question is how to do it.
In theory, Flores could be superseded at any time by DHS regulations '-- it wasn't supposed to be a de facto law, just a framework to keep in place while the government came up with permanent rules to ensure migrant kids were adequately protected. (Of course, what counted as ''adequately'' would be up to the court.) Or Congress could pass a bill that made it clear that children are allowed to be kept in Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities just like adults are, wiping away the Flores settlement.
At first, Trump's DHS was reportedly considering trying to go the regulatory route.
According to the Washington Post (in an April article), the proposed regulations would codify the government's ability to separate families, but would also open the door to longer stays for families detained together:
The proposal also attempts to address a restriction on how long migrant children and their parents can be held at the family residential facilities. Judges have ruled that their stays must be limited to 20 days or less, in part because the centers are not state-licensed.
The proposed regulations would allow federal licensing of such facilities, which could open the door for longer stays. The draft says the administration currently holds families for an average of 14 days and is examining cost estimates that would expand that to an average of 45 days.
But issuing regulations is a months-long process, and President Trump doesn't have time for these things. Instead, he plunged ahead with the ''zero tolerance'' prosecution policy, making the separation of families a widespread occurrence '-- and prompting a groundswell of opposition that appears to be getting stronger by the day.
Getting rid of Flores means indefinite family detentionIt's not at all clear that Trump can, legally, issue an executive order that would override the Flores settlement. That's why analysts are assuming that any order Trump issues to keep families together in DHS custody will be challenged by a lawsuit and may get thwarted.
If DHS somehow manages to craft an executive order that evades that issue, or if Congress passes any of the suite of Republican bills that purport to end family separation by expanding family detention, it will mean one of two things.
Either the Trump administration will start keeping families in detention for as long as it takes to fully adjudicate their asylum cases '-- which can take months or years '-- or it will need to ram them through an ''expedited'' legal process to minimize their time in detention.
President Obama tried the latter in 2014. It went horrifically. Pro bono lawyers who went to family detention facilities (which were flung together in a matter of weeks) reported that it was all but impossible for families to get due process for their asylum claims.
The former is what families are still going through at the Pennsylvania facility. The long-term detention of immigrant children raises some of the same concerns that keeping them in custody without their parents does, in terms of long-term trauma. Bright lights in the Burks facility reportedly keep children from sleeping well, for example '-- and they can be disciplined if they try to climb into a parent's bed for comfort.
Furthermore, getting rid of the Flores settlement entirely wouldn't just get rid of the mandate to release children; it would also get rid of the requirements for what conditions children must be held in. In other words, the legal standards that undergird the Office of Refugee Resettlement facilities '-- standards that Trump administration officials brag are among the highest in the world '-- would be wiped away.
Depending on what replaced Flores, it's possible that ICE could simply use existing adult detention facilities to herd children into as well.
The Trump administration could hold itself to higher standards. But for that matter, it could also find an alternative to detaining immigrant families that still allowed the government to ensure they showed up in court. It does not appear inclined to do so.
Federal Agencies Lost Track of Nearly 1,500 Migrant Children Placed With Sponsors - The New York Times
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 19:13
Central American children at an immigrant respite center in McAllen, Tex., after their families were released by United States immigration officials in February. Credit John Moore/Getty Images WASHINGTON '-- A top official with the Department of Health and Human Services told members of Congress on Thursday that the agency had lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children it placed with sponsors in the United States, raising concerns they could end up in the hands of human traffickers or be used as laborers by people posing as relatives.
The official, Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary of the agency's Administration for Children and Families, disclosed during testimony before a Senate homeland security subcommittee that the agency had learned of the missing children after placing calls to the people who took responsibility for them when they were released from government custody.
The children were taken into government care after they showed up alone at the Southwest border. Most of the children are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, and were fleeing drug cartels, gang violence and domestic abuse, government data shows.
From last October to the end of the year, officials at the agency's Office of Refugee Resettlement tried to reach 7,635 children and their sponsors, Mr. Wagner testified. From these calls, officials learned that 6,075 children remained with their sponsors. Twenty-eight had run away, five had been removed from the United States and 52 had relocated to live with a nonsponsor.
But officials at the agency were unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children, Mr. Wagner said.
The new details come as Congress is examining safeguards put in place by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security to make sure children who show up alone at the border are turned over to relatives, and not human traffickers.
Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the subcommittee, said he was shocked that government officials did not know the whereabouts of hundreds of migrant children released from their care.
''H.H.S. has a responsibility to better track these children so they aren't trafficked or abused, and so they show up to their court hearings,'' he said.
Two years ago the subcommittee released a report detailing how health and human services officials placed eight children with human traffickers who forced the minors to work on an egg farm in Marion, Ohio. The report found that department officials had failed to establish procedures to protect the unaccompanied minors, such as conducting sufficient background checks on potential sponsors and following up with sponsors. As a result, the children were turned over to the people who contracted them out to the egg farm.
To prevent similar episodes, the Homeland Security and Health and Human Services Departments signed a memorandum of understanding in 2016, and agreed to establish joint procedures within one year for dealing with unaccompanied migrant children.
More than a year after the new guidelines were due, the two agencies have not completed them, Mr. Portman said.
Children who show up at the border by themselves are usually apprehended by Border Patrol agents or turn themselves in to customs officers at the Department of Homeland Security. Once they are processed, they are turned over to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services' refugee office. The office runs more than 100 shelters around the country where it houses children and provides care until they can be turned over to a sponsor while awaiting their immigration hearings.
The sponsors are usually parents or family members already residing in the United States. The sponsors are supposed to undergo a detailed background check.
After the children have been placed with sponsors, workers at the department follow up with calls to ensure that the minors continue to live with the sponsors, are enrolled in school and are aware of their court dates.
But several immigration advocates who work with unaccompanied children said the department did little follow-up. Allison E. Herre, a lawyer with Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio, said she had seen sponsors who forced the children to work instead of attending school and who failed to ensure that the children attended their court proceedings.
Since 2016, health and human services officials said they have started calling sponsors to check on children 30 days after placement. But the agency said it was not legally responsible for children after they had been released from its refugee office.
Mr. Wagner said the agency was re-examining its interpretation of existing laws to make sure that migrant children were not turned over to smugglers or human traffickers.
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Did the Trump Administration Lose Immigrant Children? | Time
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 19:13
The outrage over the dual news stories was unsurprising. Reports spread that migrant children were being separated from their families at the U.S. border and that Donald Trump's Administration had lost track of nearly 1,500 kids. That led many on social media to use hashtags like #WhereAreTheChildren and #MissingChildren to demand action. But amid the viral news, confusion also spread and led many to conflate the stories.
Recent attention to the issue began at a Senate subcommittee hearing in April, when Steven Wagner, an official at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), testified that his agency had checked up on 7,635 migrant children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border on their own and were then placed with adult sponsors in the U.S. The agency found that 6,075 children were still living with their sponsor, 28 had run away, five had been deported and 52 were living with someone else. The rest''the 1,475 lost children''were unaccounted for.
The children in that tally arrived in the U.S. without their parents, so they were not separated from their families by federal officials. That doesn't mean there aren't real concerns about their safety; abusive homes and human traffickers are just two of the worries. It's also possible that sponsors may choose not to answer calls from federal officials to avoid deportation''for the children or themselves. Either way, HHS has argued it is not legally responsible for what happens to the children after they leave its custody. But Senators from both parties have called on the agency to improve its monitoring. ''These kids, regardless of their immigration status, deserve to be treated properly, not abused or trafficked,'' Republican Senator Rob Portman told the subcommittee in April.
The issue of children being taken from their parents as they cross the border into the U.S. is also real, but separate. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new ''zero tolerance'' policy on May 7 that includes attempting to prosecute every single person who enters the country illegally. This means children who cross the border with their parents are separated from their families as the adults are charged with a crime. ''If you don't want your child to be separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally,'' Sessions said when announcing the policy.
This is likely where some of the confusion originated, as hundreds of children have been separated from their parents at the border. President Trump made things more heated when he tweeted May 26 asking supporters to pressure Democrats to ''end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the Border into the U.S.'' There is no law requiring separation, and the zero-tolerance policy came from his own Administration. But if HHS can't keep track of children it was already responsible for, some fear the new policy will make things worse.
This appears in the June 11, 2018 issue of TIME.
This Lawsuit Claims Migrant Kids Were Drugged In Government Shelters & The Details Are Awful
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:41
According to affidavits filed on April 23 in the United States District Court in California, one lawsuit claims migrant kids were drugged in government centers, specifically at the Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Houston, Texas. According to the suit, there have allegedly been multiple instances of children being forcibly injected with medication as a way to control their behavior. Bustle reached out to the Shiloh Treatment Center, as well as the Department of Justice for comment, as Jeff Sessions is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.
These children, some of which are in these facilities because of Trump's zero-tolerance policy, were allegedly told a variety of lies about the medication. For example, children were supposedly told that the pills were only vitamins, and that they would not be released to see their parents unless they yielded to the treatment.
These medications allegedly led to heavy sedation, dizziness, and even incapacitation in some cases. The drugs that were allegedly given were a wide array of anti-psychotic and psychotropic medications; psychotropic medications in particular are incredibly dangerous when administered to children, the filing reported, and can have longterm effects.
There are over 25 affidavits from children and parents in the court filing, as well as patient profiles, emails, and case reviews.
One such affidavit by a child revealed several alleged horrific details about her time spent at the Shiloh Residential Treatment Center:
I took nine pills in the morning and seven in the evening. I don't know what medications I was taking; no one ever told me that. I don't know what my diagnosis or illness is... Some of the staff at Shiloh would provoke the children there and make us angry intentionally. They made us act violently so then we had to be given shots...When [someone] called the medical staff, they would come and give me a shot to tranquillize me. It happened many times. They would give me the shot and then I would start to feel sleep and heavy, and like I didn't have any strength...I wanted to stop taking all the medications they were giving me at Shiloh but when I told the doctors that they told me that I had to continue because it calmed me. According to Reveal, other instances included kids being unable to walk, wanting to sleep constantly, and even injuring themselves by falling and hitting their heads due to their sudden dizziness. This doesn't even begin to cover the flagrant violence and the physical and verbal abuse that is also recorded in the affidavits, from the supervisors to the children they were supposed to be taking care of.
According to psychiatrist Mark. J. Mills, who acquired all 420 pages of the filing and spoke to Reveal, the alleged use of medication was a clear strategy to "control agitation and aggressive behavior," behavior which, the affidavits suggest, was encouraged by the supervisors.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty ImagesDr. Mills continued, ''You don't need to administer these kinds of drugs unless someone is plucking out their eyeball or some such. The facility should not use these drugs to control behavior," he said. "That's not what antipsychotics should be used for. That's like the old Soviet Union used to do.''
Trump might have finally signaled the end of his controversial family separation policy, but that doesn't give a clear answer as to what the plan is for reuniting detained children with their parents. In many instances, parents have already been deported, or are waiting in detention facilities themselves.
Ultimately, these allegations of misconduct aren't unique to the Shiloh Residential Treatment Center. Holly Cooper, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the case, emphasized to the Huffington Post that the children's claims are much more far-reaching. The hearing for the lawsuit is set for June 29.
Any Collusion?
FBI Lovebirds Emojis-needs to be fixed!
EXCLUSIVE: FBI Leaked Classified Flight Plan of AG Loretta Lynch to Set Up Bill Clinton's Tarmac Ambush '' True PunditTrue Pundit
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:30
Featured PoliticsEXCLUSIVE: FBI Leaked Classified Flight Plan of AG Loretta Lynch to Set Up Bill Clinton's Tarmac AmbushFBI agents are pointing their collective finger at Bureau brass for leaking sensitive intelligence to Bill Clinton to set up and stalk former Attorney General Loretta Lynch on a Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport tarmac in June 2016.
Lynch was taken aback and reportedly physically shaken by Clinton's seemingly impromptu June 27, 2016 visit just one week before a scheduled FBI interrogation of his wife Hillary Clinton. While the meeting between President Clinton and Lynch is now widely known, questions about how Clinton knew exactly where and when the Attorney General would be have been grossly overlooked by the media.
Until now.
The question is who in the FBI breached and leaked the classified information to the Clintons? Was it fired former director James Comey? Deputy Director Andew McCabe? Or FBI General Counsel James Baker who is believed to be under investigation for leaks. McCabe's wife received almost $700,000 to run for office in Virginia from Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a well known Clinton family consigliere who is also under FBI investigation. McCabe is currently the target of departmental inquiries for misconduct linked to Hillary Clinton as well.
The troubling revelations the FBI leaked the classified flight plan of Lynch serves as a double blow for the embattled Bureau, especially since an elite unit of the FBI is tasked with the security detail of the Attorney General. Therefore, senior FBI officials are privy to the Attorney General's travel itinerary at all times. The Attorney General flies on a chartered, unmarked jet. Very few in the Bureau have access to the Attorney General's classified flight plans, sources confirmed. While the Secret Service was on board Clinton's chartered jet in June protecting the former president, Lynch's security detail was elite FBI agents trained in executive protection. The same unit also protects and travels with the FBI director. FBI sources said Clinton's Secret Service detail knew the exact tail number of Lynch's private jet, another tell-tale sign of a high-placed breach in the FBI.
The official Clinton-generated narrative to date has been that Bill's charted jet just happened to be on the same tarmac in Phoenix AZ when Lynch's jet was landing. But federal law enforcement sources now say that Clinton was in Phoenix to stalk Lynch. Clinton claimed he was in Phoenix on a scheduled stop to meet with Latino leaders to stump for his wife who was a Democratic presidential candidate and FBI target at the time. But federal law enforcement sources said they believed Bill Clinton's jet was chartered from Teterboro Airport in northern New Jersey the morning of the infamous tarmac sit down. That information clearly contradicts all the varying narratives offered by the Clintons to date.
Lynch's original travel plans had also been scrubbed, federal law enforcement sources said. She was first scheduled to arrive in Phoenix the morning of July 28 to give a speech but those plans were changed to arrive in the evening of July 27th instead. So, how did Clinton know about the schedule change or did the FBI brass also change the schedule to accommodate the Clinton campaign and literally send Lynch into an ambush?
The encounter happened a week before Hillary Clinton was interviewed by FBI agents for her roles in losing classified emails, sending classified emails over non-government computer networks among other security breaches.
Obama cyber chief confirms 'stand down' order against Russian cyberattacks in summer 2016
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:03
Former White House cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel, right, looks on as former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, left, is greeted by committee vice chairman Mark Warner, D-Va. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
WASHINGTON '-- The Obama White House's chief cyber official testified Wednesday that proposals he was developing to counter Russia's attack on the U.S. presidential election were put on a ''back burner'' after he was ordered to ''stand down'' his efforts in the summer of 2016.
The comments by Michael Daniel, who served as White House ''cyber security coordinator'' between 2012 and January of last year, provided his first public confirmation of a much-discussed passage in the book, ''Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump,'' co-written by this reporter and David Corn, that detailed his thwarted efforts to respond to the Russian attack.
They came during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing into how the Obama administration dealt with Russian cyber and information warfare attacks in 2016, an issue that has become one of the more politically sensitive subjects in the panel's ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the U.S. election and any links to the Trump campaign.
The view that the Obama administration failed to adequately piece together intelligence about the Russian campaign and develop a forceful response has clearly gained traction with the intelligence committee. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the ranking Democrat on the panel, said in an opening statement that ''we were caught flat-footed at the outset and our collective response was inadequate to meet Russia's escalation.''
That conclusion was reinforced Wednesday by another witness, Victoria Nuland, who served as assistant secretary of state for Europe during the Obama administration. She told the panel that she had been briefed as early as December 2015 about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee '-- long before senior DNC officials were aware of it '-- and that the intrusion had all the hallmarks of a Russian operation.
Victoria Nuland appears before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
As she and other State Department officials became ''more alarmed'' about what the Russians were up to in the spring of 2016, they were authorized by then Secretary of State John Kerry to develop proposals for ways to deter the Russians. But most of those steps were never taken '-- in part because officials assumed they would be taken up by the next administration.
''I believe there were deterrence measures we could have taken and should have taken,'' Nuland testified.
As intelligence came in during the late spring and early summer of that year about the Russian attack, Daniel instructed his staff on the National Security Council to begin developing options for aggressive countermeasures to deter the Kremlin's efforts, including mounting U.S. ''denial of service'' attacks on Russian news sites and other actions targeting Russian cyber actors.
Daniel declined to discuss the details of those options during Wednesday's open hearing, saying he would share them with the panel during a classified session later in the day. But he described his proposals as ''the full range of potential actions'' that the U.S. government could use in the cyber arena ''to impose costs on the Russians '-- both openly to demonstrate that we could do it as a deterrent and also clandestinely to disrupt their operations as well.''
Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, asked about a ''Russian Roulette'' passage in which one of Daniel's staff members, Daniel Prieto, recounted a staff meeting shortly after the cyber coordinator was ordered by Susan Rice, President Obama's national security adviser, to stop his efforts and ''stand down.'' This order was in part because Rice feared the options would leak and ''box the president in.''
''I was incredulous and in disbelief,'' Prieto is quoted as saying in the book. ''It took me a moment to process. In my head, I was like, did I hear that correctly?'' Prieto told the authors he then spoke up, asking Daniel: ''Why the hell are we standing down? Michael, can you help us understand?''
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, with then President Barack Obama in Hangzhou, China, summer 2016. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Daniel has confirmed that the account was ''an accurate rendering of what happened'' in his staff meeting. He said his bosses at the NSC '-- he did not specifically mention Rice in his testimony '-- had concerns about ''how many people were working on the options'' so the ''decision'' from his superiors at the Obama White House was to ''neck down the number of people that were involved in developing our ongoing response options.''
Daniel added that ''it's not accurate to say that all activity ceased at that point.'' He and his staff ''shifted our focus'' to assisting state governments to protect against Russian cyberattacks against state and local election systems.
But as for his work on developing cyber deterrence measures, ''those actions were put on a back burner and that was not the focus of our activity during that time period.''
Instead, Obama officials chose another course of action after becoming frustrated that Republican leaders on Capitol Hill would not endorse a bipartisan statement condemning Russian interference and fearful that any unilateral action by them would feed then candidate Donald Trump's claims that the election was rigged. They chose a private ''stern'' warning by Obama to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in China in early September 2016 to stop his country's campaign to disrupt the U.S. election.
Obama officials were also worried that a vigorous cyber response along the lines Daniel had proposed could escalate into a full scale cyber war. And, they have since argued, they believed that the president's warning had some impact, noting '-- as Daniel did in his testimony '-- that they saw some tamping down in Russian probing of state election data systems after Obama's private talk with Putin.
But Nuland testified that while the Russians were ''a little less active'' in September after the Obama warning, Russian activity picked up again in October when the Russians accelerated their social media campaign using phony Facebook ads and Twitter bots.
''We saw an increase in what they were doing in social media,'' Daniel agreed. ''They shifted their focus.''
Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a conference last November. (Photo: Jorge Silva/Pool Photo via AP)
Nuland also revealed, in response to questions by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, another previously unpublicized dimension to the Russian attack. That summer, Collins said, FBI officials advised the committee that Russian diplomats were traveling around the country in areas they were not '-- under diplomatic protocols '-- permitted to visit , apparently to collect intelligence. Asked by Collins if she believed this was part of the Russian so-called active measures attack on the election, Nuland responded, ''I do.''
After the November 2016 election, in which Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, Obama did impose new sanctions on Russia's intelligence services and expelled diplomats. But Nuland testified that most in the administration saw that as only a beginning of what needed to be done. ''It's fair to say that all of us in the process assumed what was done in December and January would be a starting point for what the incoming administration would then build on.''
The Wednesday hearing by the intelligence panel did not touch steps the Trump administration has taken '-- or in many cases, failed to take '-- to respond to the Russian election attack. But both witnesses emphasized that there is new urgency to the issue to developing proposals to do so. Daniel noted that a malicious new Russian botnet '' known as a ''VPN filter'' '-- has been discovered infecting home office routers and allowing hackers to intercept internet communications. He said this was a ''type of malware we haven't seen before'' and shows ''the intent of the Russians to continue their cyber activities.''
Nuland also noted that other nation-state actors have learned from the Russian playbook, singling out the Chinese who, she said, are now conducting influence operations and disinformation campaigns in Australia, Taiwan and other countries in the region. All this, she said, calls for new U.S. government measures, including the creation of a multiagency ''fusion center'' '-- modeled after the National Counterterrorism Center created after the Sept. 11 terror attacks '-- to collect intelligence and expose ''state-sponsored efforts to undermine our democracy'' and the appointment of an ''international coordinator'' to develop coordinated responses with U.S. allies.
Read more from Yahoo News:
Clapper: 'We had a suspect' in Kremlin-WikiLeaks transfer Ecstasy-assisted psychotherapy is bringing peace to people with PTSD Turned away by 2 countries, rescued refugees end their odyssey in Spain Racial imbalance? Admissions policies at Harvard and Stuyvesant HS under scrutiny Whatever happened to Zika? Photos: Children held under Trump administration's ''zero tolerance'' illegal immigration policy
ABC News apologizes for mistaken graphic on Manafort
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:26
NEW YORK (AP) '-- ABC News is apologizing for a graphic that incorrectly said that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had pleaded guilty to five charges of manslaughter.
The graphic aired Wednesday during live coverage of President Trump's meeting with congressional leaders, where it was announced he would sign an executive order ending the practice of splitting up families being prosecuted for illegally crossing the border.
ABC said it is investigating to find out how such a graphic was in its system and how it was allowed to get on the air.
The network said it apologized to its viewers and Manafort.
"There simply is no excuse for this sort of mistake," the network said.
Trump pointed out the mistake on his Twitter account, linking to a picture of himself that ran on ABC above the faulty chyron.
"Look what Fake ABC News put out," Trump wrote. "I guess they had it prepared from the 13 Angry Democrats leading the Witch Hunt!"
Phone comebacks:
I got rid of it after I found it was taking upskirt videos
I'm Downsizing!
FaceBag Rental Checks
If you read this on the show, I'd like to remain anonymous.
I am a licensed property manager here in Arizona. My wife and I also have
investment houses we rent out. Now, last year my wife found this great free
program for
managing our personal rentals. It rivals the one I pay for
that I use for my business, and she was showing me some of the cool things it
did. One thing in particular I noticed was that if an applicant for our credit
check wanted to, they had the option to log into the program with Facebook. As
soon as they do that, I can see their personal profiles. People used to laugh
at me because I've never had a Facebook, and I told friends that I used it the
same way the NSA does, and use it to screen potential renters. Well, I guess
we've come full circle now. So, now a Facebook profile can be tied to your
personal credit information, voluntarily for now, and I doubt most applicants
have considered the implications of this. I wonder how long before this becomes
bigger? Auto loans, mortgages, job applications? On No Agenda you guys have
already discussed China using a personality score, just like that Black Mirror
Episode. Scary stuff broseph! Score another one for Professor Ted.
-Sir Peepslayer
The ZenPhone Experiment
The Zen TV Experiment
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 23:30
3. Watch television for one half hour without turning it on. The time requirements in these experiments are extremely important. Iwould urge you, the reader, to undertake the experiment personally ratherthan merely going on to read the results.
Anger and Resistance: "What's theMeaning of This?!"
In examining the results of this experiment, one of the first thingsthat consistently comes up is students' anger and resentment at being madeto do such a thing -- an anger and resentment very different from whatcomes up, say, in regard to the reading load or the writing requirementsof the course. This anger, I think, is quite good and useful -- not perse, but insofar as students notice their anger and then inquire intoand examine the sources of that anger. For, in studying society, we oftenunconsciously assume we are studying "them" -- but we are not. We arestudying ourselves and we resist that, we dislike that. It makes usuncomfortable and it makes us angry. Socrates wasn't given a medal and atickertape parade after all. As the Russian existentialist philosopherShestov said, "It is not man who pursues truth, but truth man."
One expression of this anger that comes up repeatedly is "I wasted 30minutes of my time." Is it possible that this is a very valuable waste oftime? Is it possible that "wasting time" is a very valuable thing to do instudying society? Pursuing this experience puts us smack in the middle ofthe infamous Protestant Ethic in a very direct and personal way. We arealmost re-creating through verstehen Max Weber's deep intellectualperplexity and fascination with what he saw as Benjamin Franklin'scodification of the Protestant Ethic: "Remember that time is money."After some discussion it invariably turns out that all the students admitto having wasted a lot more than a half hour in front of the TV set. Sowhy this anger about watching TV for 30 minutes without turning it on?
Labor in the Mode ofRelaxation
When you turn the TV on, in effect, you turn the world off. The TV isonly two feet high or so, yet we are fooled into thinking we are watchinglife-sized things. How is it that everything on it appears real andlife-like?
Technical events produce the illusion of being natural and realistic. They produce the feeling of being non-produced (a good cut is one youdon't notice, as the editors say). In the same way, we are unaware thatthe practice of watching TV is a practice because we have neverexperienced it as a phenomenon in its own right. Doing the TechnicalEvents Test forces us to notice that watching TV is a practice, an active,ongoing achievement that we accomplish "for another first time through"each time. We see what the texture of the experience of watching TVconsists of. We are shocked into seeing what it is we've been doing allthese years.
Counting the technical events brings about what Thomas Kuhn would calla "paradigm shift." When you focus on the technical events you can't focuson the plot or storyline. You learn very quickly how difficult it is todivide your attention. Either you watch the program or you count thetechnical events. You are unable to do both at the same time. In terms ofthe phenomenology of perception, this is a little like the famousdemonstration of either seeing-the-vase or seeing-two-profiles, but notseeing both simultaneously in any sustained manner.
In doing the TET, we notice the discrete segments of independentfootage that are presented with a rapid-fire quality. As we watch, we, the"passive" viewers, apparently put together, synthesize and integrate thescenes: we link, we knit, we chain, we retain the past and anticipate thefuture. We methodically weave them all together into a coherent narrative.A high-speed filling-in-the-blanks and connecting-the-dots occurs. Ouractively synthesizing mind, our labor, goes on while we sit back, relaxand absorb. This high-speed integration of often wildly disconnectedphenomena (angles, scenes, persons, music) is experienced in the mode ofblank and passive absorption. It would seem that our minds are in highgear without our knowing. Mander addresses this pointedly:
This difference between internally generated and imposed imagery is atthe heart of whether it is accurate to say that television relaxes themind.
Relaxation implies renewal. One runs hard, then rests. While restingthe muscles first experience calm and then, as new oxygen enters them,renewal.
When you are a watching, absorbing techno-guru, your mind may be inalpha, but it is certainly not "empty mind." Images are pouring into it.Your mind is not quiet or calm or empty. It may be nearer to dead, orzombie-ized. It is occupied. No renewal can come from this condition. Forrenewal, the mind would have to be at rest, or once rested, it would haveto be seeking new kinds of stimulation, new exercise. Television offersneither rest nor stimulation.
Television inhibits your ability to think, but it does not lead tofreedom of mind, relaxation or renewal. It leads to a more exhausted mind. You may have time out from prior obsessive thought patterns, but that's asfar as television goes. The mind is never empty, the mind is filled. What's worse, it is filled with someone else's obsessive thoughts andimages.
The Technical Events Test dramatically reveals the functions of thepolitical institution of television in (a) training us to shorten ourattention span, (b) making ordinary life appear dull, (c) injecting ahypnotic quality into our ordinary awareness and (d) coercing us into itsreality.
Television is the quintessential short-term medium. Like jugglers,television lives for the split second. Its relationship to viewers ismeasured in tiny fractions. Solemn hierarchies of men and women react toovernight program ratings with something approaching nervous breakdowns,because one percentage point can mean $30 million a year. The result ofthis manic concern is to design programming that will serve attentiongetting rather than the humanistic substance that will stay with theviewer. The ratings race serves the advertisers, not the audience.
It is easier to shorten attention spans and increase distraction thanto lengthen attention spans, increase concentration, and calm, quiet andstill the mind. There is an old Zen analogy that the way to calm, clearand quiet the mind is similar to the way to clear a muddy pool -- not byaction, by doing, by stirring it up, but by stillness, by letting it be,by letting it settle itself. The function of TV is to create, maintain andconstantly reinforce what -- in the Zen tradition -- is often called"monkey-mind." The question to ask is: What is the good of a jumpy,volatile, scattered and hyper monkey-mind?
Hypnosis Unlimited
Since the emergence of long-term space flight in orbit above theearth, a new physiological phenomenon has arisen among our astronauts. They found that as a result of long-term weightlessness, some ratherdrastic physical changes began to occur in their bodies. They experienceda marked and dramatic reduction of muscle size. Even their hearts becamemarkedly smaller. The astronauts also experienced a loss of co-ordinationabilities -- such as the ability to focus on and follow moving objectswith their eyes. All of this seems to be due to taking the human organismoutside the experience of gravity. In order to preserve their earthboundphysiology in conditions of weightlessness, astronauts need to do two tothree hours of custom-designed exercises per day. Perhaps watching TVproduces the equivalent mental condition of weightlessness for the humanmind, together with the attending shrinkages and deteriorations. Thenormal, invisible, all-pervasive pressure of mental gravity, of ourordinary, active, incessantly thinking mind is suspended when we turn onthe television.
Coercing Us Into Reality
Our culture and education conspire to condition us, to create areliance on media to reinforce our actions, feelings and self-perceptions.When we seek media confirmation we acknowledge and assume that ourpersonal experiences are not qualified as reality any longer. We lose thedrive to pursue direct experience as well as the drive to participate inco-creating reality. We no longer do, we watch, and realityis someone else's creation. As Todd Gitlin has said, it's not until anevent (institution, thought, principle, movement, etc.) crosses the mediathreshold that it takes on a solid reality for us. Stretched out acrossour world is the media membrane, over the threshold of which -- and onlyover the threshold -- lies legitimate, confirmed reality, and though wedon't have to believe what the media tell us, we can't know what theydon't tell us.
TV Without Sound
Just as Charles Tart talks about us being caught up in a consensustrance, we can talk about a narrative trance, a narrative-consciousness. We have been programmed to become narrative subjects, subjected to thedevelopmental narrative mode, intertwined with the storyline. In the TETwe're suspending our narrative consciousness and hence de-stabilizing thenarrative subject. We identify not with a character, nor with theomniscient author, but with the camera. During usual viewing, however, oureyes do not see what is actually there because our narrative-trained mindoverrides our eyes. We don't see with our eyes, we see with ourprogramming, and we are programmed to see stories. TV programs are made sothat we don't notice the "technical events," the details -- so that wedon't pay attention. We are programmed to be unaware of the programming,the non-narrative structure and possibilities of that structure. To watchTV programs is to be lifeless and unresisting. This is the state thatallows the commercials to take full effect and operate our minds for us.
The Nature of the News
As a usual daily routine, only the unusually tragic or triumphant isshown -- not the ordinary routines and day-to-day reality of our lives. Itis true that the news show has fewer technical events. There is a goodreason for this. With fewer technical events the news show appearsrealistic relative to other shows in the TV environment. Further, itappears super-realistic relative to the commercial shows in thisenvironment. As earlier, we witnessed the joining of technical events in acoherent narrative. Here, we witness the reduction of worldly events intoa narrative.
The problem is not that TV presents us with entertaining subjectmatter, but that TV presents all subject matter as entertaining. Thistranscends TV and spills over into our post-TV life experiences. TV trainsus to orient toward and tune in to the entertainment quality of anyexperience, event, person. We look for that which is entertaining aboutany phenomenon rather than qualities of depth, social significance,spiritual resonance, beauty, etc. In this sense TV doesn't imitate life,but social life now aspires to imitate TV.
Further, we become greedy. Not greedy in the traditional sense inreference to material wealth, rather, we experience a greed to beentertained. It's not just a need for entertainment, but a downright greedfor entertainment, and it becomes a 24-hour obsession. In the absence ofentertainment, we usually entertain ourselves with plans for futureentertainment.
As one formula puts it, Media Power = Political Power Squared The TVhas shown us that politicians can't be trusted but TV can. That is,according to Joshua Meyrowitz in No Sense of Place, implicit inshowing us this about politicians is the message, "We who are showing youthis, the TV, can be trusted." We can trust TV, and the institution of TV,to reveal how politicians and the institution of politics can't betrusted.
Discoveries About Self
TV has become such a mechanical friend, such a substitute for socialinteraction, that one's solitude becomes acutely magnified, doublyexperienced and doubly reinforced if one is deprived of its glowing,life-like presence (as if one wouldn't still be alone if it were on). Ifone is alone in one's room and turns on the TV, one actually doesn't feelalone anymore. It's as if companionship is experienced, as ifcommunication is two-way. We have achieved a new level of isolation,solipsism and withdrawal. "It's just an object when it's turned off,"hundreds of students have bemoaned. When it is turned off it more clearlyreveals itself as an object, as an appliance -- rather than as a friend, acompanion. It is shocking after all these years to discover this. Mandercaptures the phenomenology of the situation well:
Television is watched in darkened rooms ... it is a requirement oftelevision viewing that the set be the brightest image in the environmentor it cannot be seen well. To increase the effect, background sounds aredimmed out just as the light is. An effort is made to eliminate householdnoises. The point, of course, is to further the focus on the televisionset. Awareness of the outer environment gets in the way.... Dimming outyour own body is another part of the process. People choose a positionfor viewing that allows the maximum comfort and least motion ... thinkingprocesses also dim. Overall, while we are watching television, our bodiesare in a quieter condition over a longer period of time than in any otherof life's nonsleeping experiences. This is true even for the eyes ... theeyes move less while watching television than in any other experience ofdaily life. Almost every household's living room is arranged around the televisionset. As a weight room is arranged for weight training, our living roomsare arranged for TV training. The furniture is purposely arranged for thetranscendent practice of "watching TV," rather than for the immanent,human practice of communication or interaction. The interior design of theaverage American living room with its lines of attention, hierarchy, andtranscendent TV is very similar to the interior design of the averageAmerican church with its transcendent altar, lines of homage and gesturesof genuflection.
TV and the Illusion ofKnowing
Marshall McLuhan says TV opens out onto an electronic global village.It would seem, rather, that it gives us only the illusion of being. Itreinforces security by presenting danger, ignorance by presenting news,lethargy by presenting excitement, isolation by promising participation.The media confines reality to itself. And it limits knowledge by givingthe illusion of knowledge. In the same way that the most effective way todeflect, diffuse and terminate a social movement is to announce that ithas been achieved (the feminist movement must contend with this on analmost daily basis), the most effective way to deflect inquiry is topresent it as fulfilled. TV acts in this guise as a thinking presentationdevice which offers non-experience as experience and not-knowingness asknowing.
In the words of Mat Maxwell, "Television becomes the world forpeople.... The world becomes television." The overall and cumulativeeffect of the media is to heighten our insensitivity to reality. Ratherthan breaking the chains of ignorance, political domination and illusionin our Platonic cave, something insidiously similar yet different is goingon. Instead of actually turning away from the shadows to see therealities, instead of actually leaving the darkness of the cave and goingup into the sunlight, we merely watch an image of ourselves doing this, wefantasize about doing it and think it's the same.
Copyright (C) 1998 The Media Foundation.
Worldcup-Uk Brexit final?
Dogs are People Too
House & Dog sitting in China ex-pats
Agenda 2030
Ontario Scraps Carbon-Reduction Plan as It Expands Elsewhere
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:47
By and June 15, 2018, 2:25 PM EDT
Move follows campaign pledge to bring down fuel prices
California carbon markets 'stable' after Ontario decision
Ontario will scrap the province's cap-and-trade program and pull out of the carbon-trading market with Quebec and California even as pollution pricing expands in other regions of the world.
Ontario's Progressive Conservatives will follow through on a campaign promise to withdraw from the environmental program that required companies to buy credits to offset pollution blamed for global warming. Premier-designate Doug Ford also said he will challenge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's authority to make local governments put a price on greenhouse-gas emissions.
The move comes as carbon-pricing programs are expanding in the U.S. even as President Donald Trump seeks to ease restrictions on coal companies. Europe already has a large regional cap-and-trade system while China, the world's biggest polluter, has committed to a national pollution program that could open by 2020.
''It is of significance in terms of the degree to which were seeing cap-and-trade systems increasing around the world,'' said Robert Stavins, director of Harvard University's Environmental Economics Program. ''It's a setback, but I don't think it's critical. It's certainly not existential for California or Quebec.''
U.S. ProgramsPhil Murphy, who replaced Chris Christie as New Jersey governor, has pledged to rejoin the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative led by New York. Virginia has taken steps to link to the RGGI program while lawmakers in Oregon are debating a carbon-pricing program.
Ontario's election results were largely priced into California's carbon market. Despite Friday's announcement, emitters in Ontario remain obligated to manage their carbon pollution until the province formally withdraws from the system, said John Battaglia, head of carbon markets at BGC Environmental Brokerage Services LP.
''The market is stable here,'' Battaglia said in an interview. ''We expect a bit of short-term volatility, but long term, the show will go on.''
Ontario's PCs will be sworn in June 29 after defeating the Liberals in an election earlier this month. Ending what Ford called a job-killing carbon tax was one of his major commitments during the campaign. Ontario will also quit the Western Climate Initiative, Ford said Friday from Toronto.
Trudeau Plan''Eliminating the carbon tax and cap-and-trade is the right thing to do and is a key component in our plan to bring your gas prices down by 10 cents per liter,'' Ford said in a statement.
But the move may not spare Ontario from a carbon price. Trudeau's government is bringing in carbon pricing rules to cover all provinces and a ''backstop'' for local governments that don't come up with their own plans this year.
''Ontario is going to still have an obligation under the federal architecture and the cost of meeting that obligation could be higher,'' said Dallas Burtraw, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future. ''The costs of the cap-and-trade program are small on retail gasoline rates.''
(Adds comment from Harvard professor in fourth paragraph. )
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE
Every Google search results in CO2 emissions. This real-time data viz shows how much '' Quartz
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:08
Every Google search comes at a cost to the planet. In processing 3.5 billion searches a day, the world's most popular website accounts for about 40% of the internet's carbon footprint.
Despite the notion that the internet is a ''cloud,'' it actually relies on millions of physical servers in data centers around the world, which are connected with miles of undersea cables, switches, and routers, all requiring a lot of energy to run. Much of that energy comes from power sources that emit carbon dioxide into the air as they burn fossil fuels; one study from 2015 suggests internet activity results in as much CO2 emissions as the global aviation industry.
''Data is very polluting,'' says Joana Moll, an artist-researcher whose work investigates the physicality of the internet. In 2015, to illustrate the environmental consequence of Google searches, Moll created a data visualization called CO2GLE:
''CO2GLE'': Screenshot May 1, 2018 after 10 seconds
(Click here to launch ''CO2GLE'' and see a real-time counter.)
''Almost nobody recalls that the internet is made up of interconnected physical infrastructures which consume natural resources,'' Moll writes as an introduction to the project. ''How can such an evident fact become so blurred in the social imagination?''
CO2GLE uses 2015 internet traffic data, Moll says, and is based on the assumption that Google.com ''processes an approximate average of 47,000 requests every second, which represents an estimated amount of 500 kg of CO2 emissions per second.'' That would be about 0.01 kg per request. She says these numbers are approximations, though when Quartz shared CO2GLE with Google, the company didn't contest the math. In fact, in a 2009 estimate, Google said each query causes 0.2 grams of CO2 emissions.
A spokesperson also tells Quartz that providing one user with one month of Google services generates about the same amount of the greenhouse gas emissions as driving a car for one mile. (An average gasoline-powered car typically emits 8.91 kg of CO2 per gallon. In the US, cars average 24.7 miles per gallon, which would mean a car emits 360.7 grams of CO2 per mile.)
That said, scientists are still not clear on exactly how much greenhouse gases search engines emit. One estimate from British environmental consultancy Carbonfootprint puts it between 1g and 10g of CO2 per Google search. The high end of that estimate accounts for having to start up your computer before running the search, but even the low end is higher than both Google and Moll's relatively conservative estimates.
Google is mindful of its carbon footprint (pdf). It's designing more energy-efficient data centers, investing in clean energy, and has numerous carbon-offset programs. The company's spokesperson emphasizes that Google has been carbon neutral since 2007. But this doesn't erase the fact that Google's infrastructure emits a considerable volume of CO2.
Speaking at the IAM Weekend conference in Barcelona last week, Moll showed another visualization, which she calls ''DEFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREST,'' to drive home the point. For every second spent on Google, 23 trees have to use up their CO2-sucking abilities.
''DEFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREST'': Screenshot captured on May 1, 2018 after 20 seconds.
Moll's research focused on Google because of its scale, but other websites also contribute to the internet's carbon footprint. Facebook, for instance, reported that its data centers and business operations resulted in 718,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2016, which is comparable to the annual CO2 output of about 77,500 US homes running on electricity.
''What I'm really trying to do is to trigger thoughts and reflections on the materiality of data and materiality of our direct usage of the internet,'' Moll says. ''To calculate the CO2 of the internet is really complicated. It's the biggest infrastructure ever been built by humanity and it involves too many actors'.... [But they are] numbers that can serve to raise awareness.''
Scientists issue dire warning for NH coastal communities
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:29
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. '--Thousands of New Hampshire homes could be at risk of flooding every other week during high tides within the next 30 years because of sea level rise driven by climate change, according to a new report.
The Union of Concerned Scientists said Monday that accelerating sea level rise could mean that thousands of homes along New Hampshire's coast could experience flooding an average of 26 times per year or more, even without major storms causing tidal surges.
>>Link: Search for flood risk by zip code
The analysis shows that by 2045, about 2,000 of today's residential properties, home to about 3,000 people, will be at risk. By 2100, the number of at-risk properties would jump to more than 5,000 homes, affecting about 9,000 people.
The homes that could face flooding by the end of the century are currently worth about $2.4 billion, according to the report. But UCS warned that property values could drop precipitously once the risk becomes clear. Mortgages could exceed the value of the homes, and homeowners could face steeply rising flood insurance premiums.
The analysis assumes that nothing new is done to adapt to rising seas or attempt to limit climate change. It also uses the most serious sea level rise scenario in its projections, saying that it's appropriate because homes are often owners' most valuable asset.
The at-risk homes represent more than $645 million in today's values by 2045 and about $2.4 billion by the end of the century.
Hampton, New Castle, Rye and Seabrook are particularly at risk, according to the report. The analysis shows that in Hampton alone, nearly 1,500 homes, or nearly 20 percent of all the homes in the community, would be at risk by 2045.
The UCS said those communities are already taking steps to adapt to increased tidal flooding, including incorporating climate change risks into municipal plans and funding new flood studies.
The UCS said that if nations meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement and successfully limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, about 65 percent of the state's at-risk homes could avoid chronic flooding.
The group also recommended undertaking long-term strategies to make coastal areas more resilient. The researchers said development policies should be examined to avoid building in high-risk areas.
The group completed its analysis for the entire coastline of the lower 48 states and found that properties currently worth more than $1 trillion could be at risk by the end of the century.
You Cannot Monetize The Network
Snapchat Reality Show From Bunim-Murray Stars Summer Mckeen '' Variety
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:33
Snap is expanding its original programming into a new genre: soft-scripted docu-series, with the first Snapchat Show in this area from Bunim-Murray Productions starring teen YouTube creator Summer Mckeen.
''Endless Summer'' is currently in production and slated to debut in September. The coming-of-age series follows the life of 19-year-old Summer Mckeen, a beauty and fashion vlogger who has her own jewelry line, living on her own for the first time in Laguna Beach '-- next door to her boyfriend, Dylan Jordan.
With ''Endless Summer'' and other docu-series, Snap wants to build a slate of character-driven serialized narratives focused on the stories of ''compelling people around the world as they go through dramatic life moments, incredible journeys, and challenging relationships,'' said Sean Mills, Snap's senior director of content programming. The largest group of daily active Snapchatters are 18-24, and the docu-series format has huge appeal for this cohort.
The push is a half-step for Snapchat Shows toward fully scripted, serialized entertainment programming, which Snap expects to launch later in 2018. The company introduced the Snapchat Shows approach two years ago, inspired by the communication Snapchatters use to talk to their closest friends. The episodes are typically 3-5 minutes long, cut for vertical video and are designed to be ''hyper-visual,'' featuring motion graphics, split screens, quick cuts and other effects.
''Endless Summer'' will be ''soft-scripted,'' which refers to shows featuring real-life people who are put into scripted storylines '-- with one of the earliest examples being MTV's ''Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.''
To date, Snapchat Shows mostly have been unscripted formats; ''Endless Summer'' marks the first Snapchat Show that will have a serialized story arc. The series will comprise 12 episodes, each 4-5 minutes long, and Snap is planning to release new episodes daily when the show runs in the fall ''so it feels like an event series,'' Mills said.
Bunim-Murray Productions, the reality-TV pioneer behind such shows as ''The Real World,'' ''Project Runway'' and ''Keeping Up With the Kardashians,'' brought the concept for ''Endless Summer'' to Snap.
''Bunim-Murray is always exploring new methods of storytelling, so Snapchat was a natural fit to help tell Summer's story with us,'' said Julie Pizzi, Bunim-Murray's president of entertainment and development. ''They've been an incredibly creative and collaborative partner throughout our production and filming process and have been very open to experimenting in this genre and format.''
Snapchat's reality shows won't be quite like reality TV, though. Snap is applying practices it's learned from producing unscripted shows to the ''soft-scripted'' slate. ''It's a lot more intimate '-- you will see characters speaking directly to camera more frequently,'' Mills said. ''A lot of action happens in five minutes, and you get dramatic build-up to drive you into the next episode.''
Snap has other docu-dramas in development, but Mills declined to provide details on partners or formats. ''There's going to be a breadth of content as part of this,'' Mills said. ''We'll have a variety of different shows, and the styles will be widely different '-- some shot with smartphones, others more cinematic.''
To drive awareness and engagement, ''Endless Summer'' and other forthcoming Snapchat docu-series will launch with several new interactive features. Those will include being able to Snap into Watch Parties and after-shows, where users will be able to interact with other fans as well as cast members. Snapchat also plans to roll out lenses that Snapchatters can use when they open the app into the camera, allowing viewers to put themselves into the shows' settings and share that content. The new docu-series also are expected to incorporate augmented-reality ''portals,'' to let viewers use the Snapchat camera to insert themselves into key scenes.
''Endless Summer'' follows Summer Mckeen and Dylan Jordan in their new life together in Laguna Beach, showing the ups and downs of moving away from home and navigating the online digital space as a couple. Friends featured in the show include Summer's BFFs Olivia Rouyre and McKenzie Luskey, who both have careers as digital influencers, and Dylan's friends Sam Shryoc, Sidney Bowen, Zach Knell, and Matthew McFate.
Executive producers of ''Endless Summer'' from Bunim-Murray Productions are Gil Goldschein, Julie Pizzi, Farnaz Farjam-Chazan and Andrea Metz. Summer Mckeen, Clayton Santillo and Kyle Santillo will also serve as executive producers, and Andrea Metz is set as showrunner and will also executive produce. Mckeen and Jordan are repped by Scale Management and Ashley Silver of Bloom Hergott.
Snap's foray into docu-series programming comes as part of its ongoing effort to expand lineup of original entertainment for its 191 million global daily active users. Since first launching original Snapchat Shows in 2016, Snap has partnered with several TV networks, production companies and studios. To date, those partners have developed and produced more than 50 series for Snapchat's Discover platform.
In the next few months, Snap is gearing up to debut new scripted Snapchat Shows, including productions from partners and the joint-venture studio with NBCUniversal that's developing short-form comedies and dramas. The Snap-NBCU studio's creative partners include indie filmmakers Mark and Jay Duplass.
Snapchat has already run a few scripted programs. Those include murder-mystery show ''Solve,'' from Elisabeth Murdoch's Vertical Networks, which encourages viewers play detective and vote on who they think the killer is before the real culprit is revealed.
Pictured above: Dylan Jordan and Summer McKeen
Ellen Pao on the Perverse Incentives Helping Incels Thrive at Tech Companies | WIRED
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:28
The world has recently become more terrifyingly aware of incels, which, if you don't already know, stands for ''involuntary celibate.'' It's an underground coalition of mainly men who complain about how society actively and unfairly deprives them of sex, often, they say, because they are too ugly or too fat.
It is, of course, nonsense. Incels are usually conspiracy theorists, not victims, who believe the world is purposely denying them their fundamental right to sex on demand'--and who share many values and tactics with white supremacist, men's rights, and alt-right groups. Self-declared incels encourage violent acts, including the ''incel rebellion'' in Toronto that killed 10 people and injured 20 more.
What hasn't been discussed much is their presence in our everyday lives, including our workplaces. Like many groups of young men whose misogynistic beliefs gestate online, incels often work in the tech industry and in engineering'--and because of tech's long-standing, well-quantified lack of women and other underrepresented groups, it's a natural fit.
Technology plays a central role for these hate groups, as a career and as a weapon. On incel forums, they pride themselves on their tech contributions; they joke that the world would collapse without them to maintain network infrastructures, and that their companies would fail without them. They move seamlessly among online hate group forums where racism and misogyny feed on one another.
Like many groups of young men whose misogynistic beliefs gestateonline, incels often work in the tech industry.
Many large tech companies have unwittingly encouraged these groups in the name of unconstrained debate and ''free speech.'' Misguided advocates quote Brandeis'--''Sunlight is the best disinfectant'''--to argue that open platforms will expose and show the wrongness of hate and terrorism. Instead, though, what we've learned from platforms ranging from Reddit and Twitter to GoDaddy and Cloudflare is that public exposure consistently normalizes, encourages, and amplifies these beliefs.
I hear every day from tech employees and executives, and many tell me in painstaking detail about how hate groups are using tech platforms and workplace communities to spread their ideas, onboard new recruits, and train them on how to execute these ideas in their companies. In an industry with predominately white men as employees and leaders, and a hands-off approach to monitoring speech and behavior, hate groups have a huge advantage. They weaponize communications and interactions, setting traps to use as fodder for complaints, trolling, and, in some cases, litigation.
Many large tech companies have unwittingly encouraged these groups inthe name of unconstrained debate and ''free speech.''
All this means it's highly probable that a tech company of significant size employs men who identify with these forms of hate, if not with the actual movements. They organize on company Slack channels, creating private discussions to denigrate their coworkers. They defend themselves with arguments on diversity of thought and free speech. They may even leak information to dox coworkers, intending to incite real-life, offline harassment.
So if you're the leader of a company, what do you do?
Right now, it seems, not much. I've heard some leaders say that they'll be perceived as making a value judgment about somebody's politics if they confront these toxic groups. But incel culture isn't a political belief; it's an ideology of hate. We don't accept open misogyny in our workplaces, and make no mistake: That's what incels promote.
In an industry with predominately white men as employees and leaders,and a hands-off approach to monitoring speech, hategroups have a huge advantage.
Others expressed concerns about thought policing. After all, whatever goes on in somebody's head is their own business. And that's true'--until they act on it. Consider how these ideas are directed at weaponizing interactions between incels and others targeted by gender. And how the group intends to spread the behavior and push boundaries as far as they can. Sometimes their misogyny can be hard to spot'--like a microaggression inflicted on a coworker. Other times it manifests itself very clearly. We're not talking about ideas here; we're talking about employee safety. We don't allow groups of employees to congregate in person to hurt others; why would we allow it online? Why is it that, when hate takes shape online, people automatically allow it as freedom of expression? Shouldn't we respond to behavior that is intended to harm others, regardless of where and how it happens?
Incels can be vicious, and dealing with them head-on can be intimidating. When I tweeted a simple question'--''CEOs of big tech companies: You almost certainly have incels as employees. What are you going to do about it?'''--I got almost 3,000 replies, and many were insults and threats from incels. I also received more than 2,000 likes. And I heard from others who worked with incels at tech companies who were afraid to speak publicly, but expressed support'--and a need for action.
One woman told me about an incel at her tech company, and she described a horrifying situation: He started stalking coworkers, going so far as to hide his mobile phone in the bathroom to video female employees using the toilet. He later used the captured video to intimidate, threaten, and harass his colleagues.
The modern workplace'--especially in tech'--isn't prepared to deal with these kinds of interactions. When inappropriate behavior is reported to managers or HR, bad actors rarely face serious consequences. In this case, I heard that complaints to HR went unheeded, and the situation escalated, making HR and the company look increasingly foolish for ignoring warning signs.
The modern workplace'--especially in tech'--isn't prepared to deal withthese kinds of interactions.
The tech environment's star system is a big part of the problem. We hear time and time again about stars getting second, third, or more chances after complaints about their behavior. Instead of addressing the core problem, CEOs delegate to HR, which usually tries to address short-term symptoms by pushing out the person who speaks up. As a result, they compound the core problem, as fewer people see value in speaking up, bad actors feel even more empowered to harass coworkers, and others follow their example.
What should we do? As leaders or managers, our job is to create a productive environment for employees with, at a minimum, physical and emotional security. Aspirationally we want our culture to allow everyone to contribute their best, most meaningful work. In both cases, that absolutely entails creating a diverse and inclusive culture'--and that means rooting out and banning incel beliefs.
Ultimately leaders need to lead, even if it's uncomfortable.
In 2015, as Reddit's CEO, I was able to start changing the culture both internally and externally. We had just come out of a painful period in which we enabled the widespread viewing of unauthorized nude photos of celebrities on the site. In the office, we prided ourselves on an open culture that reflected our product, exemplified most memorably for me in a 45-minute-long, company-wide discussion comparing the aesthetics of penises and breasts.
Changing Reddit's culture was an ongoing, multistep process. I invited outside speakers to talk to our team about diversity and inclusion. CEOs like YC's Michael Seibel, Coinbase's Brian Armstrong, and Stellar's Joyce Kim described their successes through the lens of diversity and inclusion. We held an all-hands focused on change; Freada Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor led a session on culture and anti-harassment and anti-discrimination, including dos and don'ts of behavior and interactions. Afterward, several women reported having been harassed by coworkers; we tried to address each situation individually through conversations and warnings, and the problem in aggregate through ongoing monitoring and values reinforcement. And it seemed to work: No one sued us, and, six months later, the same women said they were satisfied with changes in behavior and interactions.
At the same time, I enforced our values, especially around privacy, on the Reddit website. We were the first major site to ban unauthorized nude photos and revenge porn. A few months later, we banned the five most harassing subreddits'--and a study showed we were effective in reducing hate speech.
What I learned was pretty simple, but effective internally and externally: 1. Make your company values and codes of conduct (internal and external) clear. Write them down and share them. 2. Build multiple paths for raising concerns and reporting violations, and make them easy to understand and easy to take. 3. Learn about violations as early as possible, especially ones that can escalate. You should focus on solving the actual problem, not trying to hide its symptoms.
Back then, pre-#MeToo and pre-Susan Fowler, I felt like my efforts were not valued by many, especially when I was fired. But I have no regrets. If we don't lead and address these problems proactively, they won't go away. Any conversation that values one group of people less than others is inappropriate for the workplace, because it almost certainly conflicts with company values. Conversations encouraging unwanted, misogynistic actions on others should also be banned. Using our company's workspaces'--physical ones, virtual ones, tools, and platforms'--to spread this kind of thinking should be a fireable offense. We cannot allow employees to mobilize identity-based intolerance, much less against their own coworkers.
We cannot allow employees to mobilize identity-based intolerance, muchless against their own coworkers.
Tech workers know incels and the like expertly wield our companies' innovations to attack the vulnerable. Employees also know those toxic beliefs are shared by more coworkers than many of us realize'--and they're willing to push to end them. When a group of Google employees teamed with investors this month to put inclusion on the Google shareholder ballot, they stated that workers were ''feeling unsafe and unable to do our work.'' Their initiative wasn't particularly controversial except for its format, which forced management to confront these issues publicly and reactively.
Now, what actions do you plan to take to address the incels in your workforce and to protect your employees and culture'--before you don't have a choice anymore?
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The Growing Number of Men Who Carry Around Bottle Bidets
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:04
It's neither filthy nor uncivilized. In fact, it's the only sensible thing to do.Earlier this week, my colleague John McDermott wrote about ''polished anus syndrome,'' or how the process most Americans (and Brits) use to clean their butts using rough, dry toilet paper wasn't just useless at cleaning poop, it was also damaging the skin around the anus and making it more more sensitive and prone to bleeding. As an alternative (imperative?), the article suggests people should invest in bidets, a sink-like fixture designed to wash genitalia, that tend to be used across mainland Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. (Failing that, they should try wiping with a damp paper towel.)
The piece, however, spoke to a much wider problem inherent in Western masculinity, best highlighted last year when film producer Keith Calder tweeted: ''A weird part of toxic masculinity is not knowing how to poop properly.'' It was inspired by a number of Reddit posts from wives and girlfriends complaining about their partners' skid marks, their inability to use a toilet seat when pooping and the guy who told his wife, ''A real man doesn't go in between his cheeks or spread them for anything.''
The correct way to clean your ass might seem like a mundane subject, but for me'Š'--'Šsomeone growing up in a predominantly white area, with a South Asian Muslim background'Š'--'Šcultural and identity crises were inevitably linked to the practice of anal cleanliness. At home, we used an lota, a vessel that was more often than not, a watering can, always located next to the toilet. The majority of Islamic traditions follow Qadaa' al-Haajah, a religious code around physical purification, in which you would hold the lota with your right hand, while washing with your left. But at school, where lotas weren't around, I'd have to make due with the rough, sharp bright blue paper that was the standard of the British education system. Meanwhile, when friends came over to my house, I'd hide our lota in case anyone asked why a watering can was in our bathroom'Š'--'Ša conversation, I worried could be misinterpreted as a ''culturally backward'' means of wiping directly with my hands.
Yet more than a decade on from those fears, conversations around how one should correctly clean their ass still rage on, particularly on the internet. The question frequently pops up on sites like Quora, devolving into fights over which method is cleaner, or indeed, more ''civilized.'' Over on YouTube, the act of switching from toilet paper to water-based cleaning methods has become embraced by the platforms' ''minimalist'' community, often consisting of white YouTubers who believe the key to self-fulfillment is to give up their possessions while documenting it for their channels.
More largely, there's a growing number of people across the U.S. who are becoming more conscious about the way they wipe and the state of their anuses. ''I started using a bottle of water to wash myself a few months ago,'' Mike, a 34-year-old sales manager from Pittsburgh, tells me over Facebook Messenger. ''I always had problems cleaning myself because I'd use a lot of toilet paper, and it would irritate me the whole day. Basically, it would itch and hurt until I got home and showered.''
He started washing himself using a bottle of water after watching YouTube tutorials on preventing irritation'Š'--'Šwhen, of course, his girlfriend was asleep. Even today, Mike hasn't told any of his friends or coworkers about his new bathroom routine. In fact, he usually hides his bottle of water when going to the bathroom. ''I almost got caught once,'' he says. ''One of my coworkers bumped into me as I was going to the men's room and looked at the bottle in a weird way'Š'--'Šonly for a few seconds, but I guess he thought I was planning to drink from it while I was on the can, which is actually much weirder.''
Peter, 29, from New York, doesn't just use water to clean himself, but also Aveeno, a gentle oatmeal-based soap, during the washing process. Like many Western guys, he was only taught how to wipe using toilet paper. But a low-paying job forced him to buy ''cheap toilet paper.'' It was, as you'd imagine, rough, with the texture of newspaper. ''It hurt when I wiped, and I ended up getting these bumps on the inside of my buttcheeks that made it hard to walk, too.''
He found the soap recommendation when looking for a way to lessen the pain. Like Mike, though, he keeps his new knowledge private. He insists he's not embarrassed by it, but rather, that there's still taboos around men talking about genital cleanliness. ''I'd always grown up assuming that as long as there weren't any weird bumps or green marks then it'd be fine,'' he explains. ''You're taught to deal with it quietly if there's any itching or small pain'Š'--'Što just tolerate it. But that's unhealthy and also means that men don't think about their hygiene until it's too late.''
''I don't know if any of my friends are doing it,'' he adds with a laugh. ''I'm sure if they are, though, they definitely wouldn't tell me. I mean guys are just getting around to talking about skin care. Just wait until they find out what's happening to areas of their body they've paid no attention to.''
Hussein Kesvani is MEL's U.K./Europe editor. He last wrote about the men who watch porn all day for the British government.
More Hussein:
Net Neutrality
Europe takes another step towards copyright pre-filters for user generated content '' TechCrunch
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:34
In a key vote this morning the European Parliament's legal affairs committee has backed the two most controversial elements of a digital copyright reform package '-- which critics warn could have a chilling effect on Internet norms like memes and also damage freedom of expression online.
In the draft copyright directive, Article 11; ''Protection of press publications concerning online uses'' '-- which targets news aggregator business models by setting out a neighboring right for snippets of journalistic content that requires a license from the publisher to use this type of content (aka 'the link tax', as critics dub it) '-- was adopted by a 13:12 majority of the legal committee.
While, Article 13; ''Use of protected content by online content sharing service providers'', which makes platforms directly liable for copyright infringements by their users '-- thereby pushing them towards creating filters that monitor all content uploads with all the associated potential chilling affects (aka 'censorship machines') '-- was adopted by a 15:10 majority.
MEPs critical of the proposals have vowed to continue to oppose the measures, and the EU parliament will eventually need to vote as a whole.
EU Member State representatives in the EU Council will also need to vote on the reforms before the directive can become law. Though, as it stands, a majority of European governments appear to back the proposals.
European digital rights group EDRi, a long-standing critic of Article 13, has a breakdown of the next steps for the copyright directive here.
Derailing the proposals now essentially rests on whether enough MEPs can be convinced its politically expedient to do so '-- factoring in a timeline that includes the next EU parliament elections, in May 2019.
Last week, a coalition of original Internet architects, computer scientists, academics and supporters '-- including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, Bruce Schneier, Jimmy Wales and Mitch Kapor '-- penned an open letter to the European Parliament's president to oppose Article 13, warning that while ''well-intended'' the requirement that Internet platforms perform automatic filtering of all content uploaded by users ''takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users''.
''As creators ourselves, we share the concern that there should be a fair distribution of revenues from the online use of copyright works, that benefits creators, publishers, and platforms alike. But Article 13 is not the right way to achieve this,'' they write in the letter.
''By inverting this liability model and essentially making platforms directly responsible for ensuring the legality of content in the first instance, the business models and investments of platforms large and small will be impacted. The damage that this may do to the free and open Internet as we know it is hard to predict, but in our opinions could be substantial.''
The Wikimedia Foundational also blogged separately, setting out some specific concerns about the impact that mandatory upload filters could have on Wikipedia.
''[A]ny sort of law which mandates the deployment of automatic filters to screen all uploaded content using AI or related technologies does not leave room for the types of community processes which have been so effective on the Wikimedia projects,'' it warned last week. ''As previously mentioned, upload filters as they exist today view content through a broad lens, that can miss a lot of the nuances which are crucial for the review of content and assessments of legality or veracity.''
More generally critics warn that expressive and creative remix formats like memes and GIFs '-- which have come to form an integral part of the rich communication currency of the Internet '-- will be at risk if the proposals become law'...
Regarding Article 11, Europe already has experience experimenting with a neighboring right for news, after an ancillary copyright law was enacted in Germany in 2013. But local publishers ended up offering Google free consent to display their snippets after they saw traffic fall substantially when Google stopped showing their content rather than pay for using them.
Spain also enacted a similar law for publishers in 2014, but its implementation required publishers to charge for using their snippets '-- leading Google to permanently close its news aggregation service in the country.
Critics of this component of the digital copyright reform package also warn it's unclear what kinds of news content will constitute a snippet, and thus fall under the proposal '-- even suggesting a URL including the headline of an article could fall foul of the copyright extension; ergo that the hyperlink itself could be in danger.
They also argue that an amendment giving Member States the flexibility to decide whether or not a snippet should be considered ''insubstantial'' (and thus freely shared) or not, does not clear up problems '-- saying it just risks causing fresh fragmentation across the bloc, at a time when the Commission is keenly pushing a so-called 'Digital Single Market' strategy.
''Instead of one Europe-wide law, we'd have 28,'' warns Reda on that. ''With the most extreme becoming the de-facto standard: To avoid being sued, international internet platforms would be motivated to comply with the strictest version implemented by any member state.''
However several European news and magazine publisher groups have welcomed the committee's backing for Article 11. In a joint statement on behalf of publishing groups EMMA, ENPA, EPC and NME a spokesperson said: ''The Internet is only as useful as the content that populates it. This Publisher's neighbouring Right will be key to encouraging further investment in professional, diverse, fact-checked content for the enrichment and enjoyment of everyone, everywhere.''
Returning to Article 13, the EU's executive, the Commission '-- the body responsible for drafting the copyright reforms '-- has also been pushing online platforms towards pre-filtering content as a mechanism for combating terrorist content, setting out a ''one hour rule'' for takedowns of this type of content earlier this year, for example.
But again critics of the copyright reforms argue it's outrageously disproportionate to seek to apply the same measures that are being applied to try to clamp down on terrorist propaganda and serious criminal offenses like child exploitation to police copyright.
''For copyrighted content these automated tools simply undermine copyright exceptions. And they are not proportionate,'' Reda told us last year. ''We are not talking about violent crimes here in the way that terrorism or child abuse are. We're talking about something that is a really widespread phenomenon and that's dealt with by providing attractive legal offers to people. And not by treating them as criminals.''
In a statement reacting to the committee vote today, Monique Goyens, director general of European consumer rights group BEUC, warned: ''The internet as we know it will change when platforms will need to systematically filter content that users want to upload. The internet will change from a place where consumers can enjoy sharing creations and ideas to an environment that is restricted and controlled.
''Fair remuneration for creators is important, but consumers should not be at the losing end.''
Goyens blamed the ''pressure of the copyright industry'' for scuppering ''even modest attempts to modernise copyright law''.
''Today's rules are outdated and patchy. It is high time that copyright laws take into account that consumers share and create videos, music and photos on a daily basis. The majority of MEPs failed to find a solution that would have benefitted consumers and creators,'' she added.
European parliament committee approves vote on 'disastrous' copyright bill
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 13:41
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The changes could put an end to user-generated content, warn critics A committee of MEPs has voted to accept major changes to European copyright law, which experts say could change the nature of the internet.
They voted to approve the controversial Article 13, which critics warn could put an end to memes, remixes and other user-generated content.
Article 11, requiring online platforms to pay publishers a fee if they link to their news content, was also approved.
One organisation opposed to the changes called it a "dark day".
The European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs voted by 15 votes to 10 to adopt Article 13 and by 13 votes to 12 to adopt Article 11.
It will now go to the wider European Parliament to vote on in July.
'Censorship'Last week, 70 influential tech leaders, including Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee, signed a letter opposing Article 13, which they called "an imminent threat to the future" of the internet.
Article 13 puts more onus on websites to enforce copyright and could mean that every online platform that allows users to post text, sounds, code or images will need some form of content-recognition system to review all material that users upload.
Activist Cory Doctorow has called it a "foolish, terrible idea".
Writing on online news website BoingBoing, he said: "No filter exists that can even approximate this. And the closest equivalents are mostly run by American companies, meaning that US big tech is going to get to spy on everything Europeans post and decide what gets censored and what doesn't."
Article 11 has been called the "link tax" by opponents.
Designed to limit the power over news publishers that tech giants such as Facebook and Google have, it requires online platforms to pay publishers a fee if they link to their news content.
The theory is that this would help support smaller news publishers and drive users to their homepages rather than directly to their news stories.
But critics say it fails to clearly define what constitutes a link and could be manipulated by governments to curb freedom of speech.
After the vote, US not-for-profit organisation Creative Commons, which aims to make more content free for others to share, called it a "dark day for the open web".
Another Twitter user tweeted: "15 MEPs voted for upload filtering. They understand the internet better than the people who invented it, apparently."
Open Rights executive director Jim Killock told the BBC: "Article 13 must go. The EU parliament will have another chance to remove this dreadful law.
"The EU parliament's duty is to defend citizens from unfair and unjust laws.
"MEPs must reject this law, which would create a robo-copyright regime intended to zap any image, text, meme or video that appears to include copyright material, even when it is entirely legal material."
But publishers, including the Independent Music Companies Association (Impala) welcomed the vote.
"This is a strong and unambiguous message sent by the European Parliament," said executive chair Helen Smith.
"It clarifies what the music sector has been saying for years: if you are in the business of distributing music or other creative works, you need a licence, clear and simple. It's time for the digital market to catch up with progress."
Ministry of Truthiness
After the SPLC Settled Maajid Nawaz's Lawsuit For $3M, About 60 Organizations Are Considering a Lawsuit Against the SPLC, Liberty Counsel President Mat Staver Told PJ Media
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:51
No fewer than 60 organizations branded "hate groups" or otherwise attacked by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) are considering legal action against the left-wing smear factory, a Christian legal nonprofit leader confirmed to PJ Media on Tuesday. He suggested that the $3 million settlement and apology the SPLC gave to Maajid Nawaz and his Quilliam Foundation on Monday would encourage further legal action.
"We haven't filed anything against the SPLC, but I think a number of organizations have been considering filing lawsuits against the SPLC, because they have been doing to a lot of organizations exactly what they did to Maajid Nawaz," Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told PJ Media on Tuesday.
Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit against the charity navigation organization GuideStar for defamation after GuideStar adopted the SPLC's "hate group" list. That lawsuit is ongoing.
In 2016, the SPLC published its "Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists," listing Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz, a practicing Muslim, as one such extremist. The left-wing group listed various reasons for including him, changing the reasons every so often, and even at one point mentioning that he had gone to a strip club for his bachelor party.
On Monday, SPLC President Richard Cohen extended his group's "sincerest apologies to Mr. Nawaz, Quilliam, and our readers for the error, and we wish Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam all the best." In settling the suit, the SPLC paid Nawaz's organization $3.375 million.
"This is a significant settlement," Staver told PJ Media. "3.375 million dollars, and it did not even go to litigation; it was a result of a demand letter."
Importantly, "the allegations that were at issue here were very similar to the allegations against the other groups," the Liberty Counsel chairman explained. "The SPLC promotes false propaganda, demonizes and labels groups they disagree with, and that labeling has economic as well as physical consequences."
The SPLC started as a group to oppose racist terrorism, and its first legal action targeted the Ku Klux Klan. In recent decades, the organization has begun marking mainstream organizations as "hate groups" on par with the KKK. Last year, 47 nonprofit leaders denounced the SPLC's "hate list" in an open letter to the media. The SPLC has admitted that its "hate group" list is based on "opinion."
Staver insisted that the settlement with Nawaz "will encourage further legal action." He suggested that the settlement "helps our lawsuit against GuideStar" and may encourage organizations that were considering suing the SPLC to actually file the paperwork.
"There are probably about 60 organizations that we're talking to '-- there's at least 60," Staver told PJ Media. He mentioned the group of 47 nonprofit leaders who denounced the SPLC last year, and said "that group has grown since then."
Bay Area Proud Boys on Twitter: "Hey @splcenter we are next. We are currently getting lawyered up. We will not roll-over and let you lie about us like you did about @MaajidNawaz and many other innocent people. Remove us from your list or you are going to
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 13:21
Fantastic! SPLCenter should be considered a far-left hate group and treated in that manner 👍
Germany's Largest Auto Makers Back Abolition of EU-U.S. Car Import Tariffs - WSJ
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:25
BERLIN'--When the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, returns to Washington for consultation with the administration Wednesday, he will be carrying a peace offering for President Donald Trump from Germany's leading auto makers.
Their proposal, people familiar with the situation say, is simple: Abandon all import tariffs for cars between the European Union and the U.S.
That would mean scrapping the EU's 10% tax on auto imports from the U.S. and other countries and the 2.5% duty on auto imports in the U.S. As a prerequisite, the Europeans want Mr. Trump's threat of imposing a 25% border tax on European auto imports off the table.
Over the past few weeks, Mr. Grenell has held closed-door meetings with the chiefs of all major German automotive companies, including bilateral meetings with the CEOs of Daimler AG , BMW AG and Volkswagen AG , which operate plants in the U.S. Overall, Germany's auto makers and suppliers provide 116,500 jobs in the U.S., according to the Association of German Automotive Manufacturers.
During these talks, which the ambassador initiated, the managers said they would back the scrapping of all import tariffs on trans-Atlantic trade in automotive products as the keystone of a broader deal covering industrial goods. The German government is on board and Mr. Grenell promised to support the idea, according to U.S. and German officials.
The car makers' approach is unusual, but German officials said any approach could be worthwhile to try to sway a president whose actions have left his allies perplexed at best.
''Germany has the right approach to resolving this trade disagreement among friends,'' said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. ''If the EU were to reduce its 10% tariff on U.S. cars and trucks, that would be a positive first step toward trade that was more fair and reciprocal.''
One catch is that the Europeans also want a 25% U.S. tax on imports of light trucks'--pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles, and big vans'--scrapped. Abolishing this relic of the Johnson administration could alienate U.S. auto workers, a core constituency for Mr. Trump in the midterms this fall.
Mr. Ross didn't comment on whether the U.S. would be willing to cut tariffs on trucks.
Government officials in Berlin are cautious about the car makers' initiative. While they endorse the idea, they say the government already approached the Trump administration with similar proposals weeks ago without eliciting much interest. They also say no talks are currently taking place on trade between Europe and the U.S. as the EU finalizes its response to Mr. Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.
Mr. Grenell, a rare U.S. ambassador seen as having a direct line to the president, told The Wall Street Journal that hurting German car makers wouldn't be in the interest of the U.S.
''It is important to stay focused on American jobs, and the German auto industry employs tens of thousands of U.S. workers,'' Mr. Grenell said.
German car makers' efforts face other hurdles. Berlin has no power to hammer out trade deals'--a prerogative of the European Commission, the EU's executive body in Brussels'--and would have to persuade fellow EU member states, starting with France, to back a radical free-trade approach many have shown little interest in.
A European Commission spokesman didn't comment directly on the German car makers' offer, but underlined it has a united stance against the aluminum and steel tariffs.
''We made the case for dialogue with the U.S. to address any bilateral trade grievances,'' the commission said. ''We also made clear that this could only happen once the EU was granted a permanent exemption on the tariffs on steel and aluminum products.''
Getting France on board may be almost as difficult as convincing Mr. Trump to play ball.
Unlike Germany, French car makers Renault SA and Peugeot SA don't export cars to the U.S., and so any free trade deal would be of little value to them. In fact, a deal could open the French market to unwanted competition.
"We are absolutely in favor of reducing tariffs in certain areas like car imports, but we have to support a common EU position. Paris is still holding a hard line on this,'' said a German official familiar with the negotiations.
A French official said Paris was unaware of the proposal, and it wasn't discussed during a recent summit between French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Meseberg, Germany. Mr. Trump's repeated threats to raise tariffs on imported cars could put $54 billion in annual revenue from European passenger car exports to the U.S. at risk, according to data from the European statistics office. Germany's auto association says German auto makers and suppliers export '‚¬29.4 billion ($34 billion) worth of goods to the U.S. each year, while Germany imports just '‚¬6.5 billion ($7.5 billion) worth of American goods.
For the U.S., that is a huge trade imbalance that Mr. Trump wants to eradicate. The Germans say that figure is skewed and the trend is already moving toward more investment in the U.S. German auto production in the U.S. has quadrupled since 2009. And the U.S. doesn't export many cars to Germany because auto makers Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. have instead built them in Europe.
Daimler and BMW each generated around 10% of their global unit sales in the first five months of the year through exports to the U.S., according to Wall Street Journal calculations.
''If these tariffs are imposed my BMW, Audi and Porsche dealerships will become warehouses and cease to exist. The math just doesn't work,'' says Steve Kalafer, a founding chairman of the New Jersey-based dealer network Flemington Car & Truck Country Family of Brands.
The Commerce Department is preparing a study to determine if tariffs could be imposed on national security grounds. Stormy-Annika Mildner, a foreign trade expert at the Federation of German Industries, said German industry groups would submit comment to Commerce this week to object to the notion that Germany poses a security threat.
She said German auto companies support thousands of jobs in the U.S., and that exports from German auto factories contribute positively to the U.S. trade balance, and German companies have been active in training American workers.
''Any deal has to be reciprocal,'' Ms. Mildner said. ''Europe lowering car tariffs on a unilateral basis would not be a clever thing to do.''
During the auto summit meeting, Mr. Grenell implored the German auto executives to ''deliver the numbers'' that prove Germany's contribution to the U.S. economy.
''We have to keep talking to the U.S.,'' said a German industry official who attended the meeting between Mr. Grenell and auto industry chiefs in Berlin on June 7. ''Grenell said he wants to help us. Whether he really can is uncertain, but it's a positive sign.''
Write to William Boston at william.boston@wsj.com
FBI Agent, Who Exposed Hillary Clinton's Cover-up, Found Dead | Neon Nettle
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 13:15
FBI Special Agent David Raynor murdered with his own gun
on&nbsp18th June 2018 @ 2.45pm
(C) press Special Agent David Raynor was due to testify against Hillary Clinton when he diedAn FBI Special Agent, who was anticipated to expose the extent of Clinton and Obama malpractice and corruption in the "Operation Fast and Furious" cover-up before a US Federal Grand Jury, has been found dead at his home.
The FBI official's wife was also found dead at the scene with the couple both being murdered using the 52-year-old agent's own gun.
Special Agent David Raynor was ''stabbed multiple times'' and ''shot twice with his own weapon,'' according to local media reports.
Raynor's tragic death comes just one day before he was due to testify before a US Federal Grand Jury.
He was widely expected to testify that Hillary Clinton acted illegally to protect Obama administration crimes while covering up the Fast and Furious scandal.
(C) Facebook Special Agent David Raynor and his wife were both found deadRaynor's wife, Donna Fisher, was also found dead at the scene. An autopsy will be completed to determine the exact cause of death, according to police.
According to the Baltimore Sun:
Authorities, who are offering a $215,000 reward for tips in Suiter's killing, have struggled to understand what happened. The detective was shot with his own gun, which was found at the scene. Two other shots were fired from the gun, and Davis said there were signs of a brief struggle.
Special Agent Raynor's suspicious death is the latest in a sequence of disturbing deaths in Baltimore connected to the Clinton/Obama cover-up of Operation Fast and Furious.
When President Trump took power, the US Justice Department opened another investigation into Operation Fast and Furious as it pertained to the Baltimore Police Department and impaneled a US Federal Grand Jury.
(C) Facebook Special Agent David Raynor was due to testify against Hillary ClintonOne of the main witnesses was Detective Sean Suiter, an 18-year veteran of the FBI.
However, Detective Suiter was gunned down in November, in eerily similar circumstances to Special Agent Raynor, also one day before he could testify.
(C) press The couple was found murdered outside their homeSpecial Agent Raynor was leading US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's and FBI Director Christopher Wray's investigation into the murder of Detective Sean Suiter, who he believed was silenced before he could testify that the Obama administration was criminally complicit in allowing guns to flow into the hands of criminals on the Mexican border.
(C) press The was was killed using Special Agent David Raynor's own gunThese guns were involved in the murder of a US Federal Officer, among others, and is seen by investigators as the ''Achilles heel of the Obama regime,'' because the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is one of but a very few Obama administration crimes that have no statute of limitations as it involved the killing of a US Federal Officer.
Leaked Wikileaks emails also prove Hillary Clinton was fully knowledgeable about the crime'--thus making her liable to criminal charges.
(C) press Police close off the area around the couple's home where their bodies were foundLast's week's bombshell Inspector General's reports have exposed yet more Hillary Clinton and Obama Administration crimes.
The report, that was released last Thursday, revealed that the FBI had discovered evidence that Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation had committed "sexual crimes against children."
READ MORE: IG Report: Hillary Clinton Has Committed 'Sexual Crimes Against Children'The report also shows that Obama lied to cover-up parts of these investigations that exposed child trafficking.
However, the IG report proves that the evidence of these crimes has been covered-up and swept under the carpet by those acting at the highest levels.
FBI agent David Raynor killed estranged wife in apparent murder-suicide, police say - CBS News
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 13:20
An FBI agent and a woman were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide outside a home in Crownsville, Maryland, on Wednesday. The Anne Arundel County Police department said officers arrived at the scene after 8 a.m. in response to a 911 call about a domestic assault. The caller said a woman was being threatened by her recently estranged husband, police say.
Upon arrival, police found David Raynor, 52, with multiple stab wounds and an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Donna Fisher, 54, was found with apparent stab wounds. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Raynor joined the FBI in 1996 and had worked at the bureau's Baltimore field office since 2003, law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation tell CBS News. These officials say this was a domestic situation, and not related to any case Raynor was working on.
An autopsy will be completed to determine the exact cause of death, according to police.
Officials urge anyone with more information to call the Baltimore FBI office at 410-277-6689.
CBS News' Andy Triay contributed to this report.
(C) 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Austin sees rise in homelessness; city officials to look for solutions
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 04:55
Chronic homelessness in Austin and Travis County this year rose by about 5 percent from the total in 2017, according to an annual count released Thursday.
The point-in-time count, which is a requirement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for communities receiving HUD funds, found a total of 2,147 people experiencing homelessness. During the same period in 2017, the count tallied 2,036 people.
The census shows that downtown Austin has 393 homeless residents, the highest number in any part of the city. District 3, which includes parts of East, Southeast and South Austin, has the second-highest homeless population and the highest increase compared with last year. In 2017, the census counted 101 homeless residents in that area. Now, the census reports 212.
RELATED: Homeless population in 2017 dropped in Austin, Travis County
In January, the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition recruited 550 volunteers to count homeless residents sleeping in cars, tents, parks, under bridges and on the streets. People sleeping in shelters and transitional housing programs were counted on the same night by a homeless management information system.
Despite recent campaigns aimed at tackling homeless youths, the point-in-time count recorded 93 unaccompanied youth compared with 86 counted in 2017. Preventing and ending youth homelessness has been a priority for Austin during recent years.
Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo has asked that Mayor Steve Adler and council members Ann Kitchen and Sabino ''Pio'' Renteria sponsor a resolution to endorse an action plan aimed at ending homelessness.
''The plan is a rallying point for government, business, and philanthropy to join forces to end homelessness in this community,'' Tovo said in a statement.
Other Texas cities also saw increases in their point-in-time counts including Fort Worth and Dallas. Last year's annual count showed a 28 percent drop in the city and county's chronic homeless population compared with 2016.
''The increase in homelessness confirms what I saw when I participated in the point in time count: Homelessness is up in Austin. What hasn't changed is our commitment to ending homelessness in Austin,'' Mayor Adler said in a statement. ''This 5 percent increase underscores the need for Austin to create dedicated revenue sources for housing and support services to get those experiencing homelessness into homes and to help them succeed.''
"Terrified" San Francisco Tourists Shocked By Aggressive Vagrants, Discarded Needles, Dead Bodies | Zero Hedge
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 21:34
Syringes were visible, people were staggering, others had wide aggressive eyes.
San Francisco - a Democratic stronghold known for cable cars, quaint architecture and its diverse culture, has become a bastion of squalor and crime as city dwellers and visitors alike dodge aggressive, drug-addled vagrants. And it's beginning to scare the tourists...
An Australian couple visiting the city were shocked by what they saw after deciding to walk back to their hotel:
"Is this normal or am I in a 'bad part of town?' Just walked past numerous homeless off their faces, screaming and running all over the sidewalk near Twitter HQ and then a murder scene. Wife is scared to leave hotel now," reads a Wednesday posting by Reddit user /u/nashtendo.
When another Redditor said "put on your big boy pants... scared to leave the hotel?"...
The Aussie replied:
It was my wife that was scared and it was partly the mass of concentrated, drug affected homeless mixed with a guy being rolled into an ambulance dead. -/u/nashtendo
"We did La and Nyc on this trip too. Both felt safer," he said later in the thread, adding "Syringes were visible, people were staggering, others had wide aggressive eyes. 'Off their faces' might be an Australian thing (sorry) but I meant just visibly drug affected."
Another Reddit user replied:
It's pretty normal. I'm honestly hoping tourists will realize how shitty this city has become and stop coming. Maybe the loss of income will finally push the city to stop allowing the rampant drug dealing and homeless people treating the entire city like their toilet. You would think a city that deoends so heavily on tourism and conventions for the bulk of their income would put more effort into maintaining a certain standard, but there is rampant drug dealing out in the open in some of the most heavily tourist areas. The city know about it, they just don't care. -/u/SgtPeanutbutter
"You see things on the streets that are just not humane," Kevin Carroll, executive director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco told The Chronicle's Heather Knight in April. "People come into hotels saying, 'What is going on out there?' They're just shocked. ... People say, 'I love your city, I love your restaurants, but I'll never come back.'"
In a completely seperate thread, another Reddit user posted in the San Francisco subreddit "Why is this city so terrifying?"
I've wanted to visit SF my entire life and I finally make it here and my goddddd it's terrifying. Anyone have any advice for a tourist aside from ''don't be such a pussy.'' -u/xnmb1
"The streets are filthy. There's trash everywhere. It's disgusting," Joe D'Alessandro, president of S.F. Travel told the Chronicle's Heather Knight in April. "I've never seen any other city like this '-- the homelessness, dirty streets, drug use on the streets, smash-and-grabs."
The city, which hands out up to 4.8 million syringes each year, has struggled to figure out how to keep streets clean and safe for residents, while accommodating a growing homeless population and longstanding HIV and Hepatitis C epidemics. There are roughly 16,000 residents in San Francisco with HIV, and 13,000 with Hep C.
City Health Director Barbara Garcia estimated in 2016 that there were 22,000 intravenous drug users in San Francisco - around one for every 38.9 residents, while the city hands out roughly 400,000 needles per month.
Of the 400,000 needles distributed monthly, San Francisco receives around 246,000 back - meaning that there are roughly 150,000 discarded needles floating around each month - or nearly 2 million per year, according to Curbed.
Mayor Mark Farrell has said, repeatedly, in recent weeks that the problem of discarded syringes on city streets has become a sticking point for him, and the city promised millions of dollars to curb the problem of hazardous waste on sidewalks and streets.
Meanwhile, San Francisco Chronicle's Matier and Ross chimed in Wednesday with an uncomfortable observation: Most of the needles littering streets in downtown neighborhoods came by way of the city itself, as part of the Department of Public Health's 25-year-old needle exchange program. -Curbed
While certainly nowhere near the top of the list, crime is also a problem in San Francisco - which is higher than 92.7% of the United States according to city-data.com.
Space Force!
Outer Space Treaty - Wikipedia
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:42
The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. The treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, and entered into force on 10 October 1967. As of April 2018, 107 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 23 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.[1] In addition, the Republic of China (Taiwan), which is currently only recognized by 17 UN member states, ratified the treaty prior to the United Nations General Assembly's vote to transfer China's seat to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1971.[5]
The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise stationing them in outer space. It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Article IV). However, the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit and thus some highly destructive attack strategies such as kinetic bombardment are still potentially allowable.[6] The treaty also states that the exploration of outer space shall be done to benefit all countries and that space shall be free for exploration and use by all the States.
The treaty explicitly forbids any government to claim a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet.[7] Article II of the Treaty states that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means". However, the State that launches a space object retains jurisdiction and control over that object.[8] The State is also liable for damages caused by their space object.[9]
Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty deals with international responsibility, stating that "the activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty" and that States Parties shall bear international responsibility for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities.
As a result of discussions arising from Project West Ford in 1963, a consultation clause was included in Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty: "A State Party to the Treaty which has reason to believe that an activity or experiment planned by another State Party in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, would cause potentially harmful interference with activities in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, may request consultation concerning the activity or experiment."[10][11]
The Outer Space Treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, and entered into force on 10 October 1967. As of July 2017, 107 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 23 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.[1]
Multiple dates indicate the different days in which states submitted their signature or deposition, which varied by location. This location is noted by: (L) for London, (M) for Moscow, and (W) for Washington, DC. Also indicated is whether the state became a party by way of signing the treaty and subsequent ratification, or by accession to the treaty after it had closed for signature.
State[1][2][3][4]SignedDepositedMethod Afghanistan 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-01-30-0000 Jan 30, 1967 (M) 000000001988-03-17-0000 Mar 17, 1988 (L, M) 000000001988-03-21-0000 Mar 21, 1988 (W)Ratification Algeria 000000001992-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1992 (W)Accession Antigua and Barbuda 000000001988-11-16-0000 Nov 16, 1988 (W) 000000001988-12-26-0000 Dec 26, 1988 (M) 000000001989-01-26-0000 Jan 26, 1989 (L)Succession from United Kingdom Argentina 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-04-18-0000 Apr 18, 1967 (M) 000000001969-03-26-0000 Mar 26, 1969 (M, W)Ratification Australia 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W)Ratification Austria 000000001967-02-20-0000 Feb 20, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001968-02-26-0000 Feb 26, 1968 (L, M, W)Ratification Azerbaijan 000000002015-09-09-0000 Sep 9, 2015 (L)Accession Bahamas 000000001976-08-11-0000 Aug 11, 1976 (L) 000000001976-08-13-0000 Aug 13, 1976 (W) 000000001976-08-30-0000 Aug 30, 1976 (M)Succession from United Kingdom Bangladesh 000000001986-01-14-0000 Jan 14, 1986 (L) 000000001986-01-17-0000 Jan 17, 1986 (W) 000000001986-01-24-0000 Jan 24, 1986 (M)Accession Barbados 000000001968-09-12-0000 Sep 12, 1968 (W)Accession Belarus 000000001967-02-10-0000 Feb 10, 1967 (M) 000000001967-10-31-0000 Oct 31, 1967 (M)Ratification Belgium 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M) 000000001967-02-02-0000 Feb 2, 1967 (W) 000000001973-03-30-0000 Mar 30, 1973 (W) 000000001973-03-31-0000 Mar 31, 1973 (L, M)Ratification Benin 000000001986-06-19-0000 Jun 19, 1986 (M) 000000001986-07-02-0000 Jul 2, 1986 (L) 000000001986-07-07-0000 Jul 7, 1986 (W)Accession Brazil 000000001967-01-30-0000 Jan 30, 1967 (M) 000000001967-02-02-0000 Feb 2, 1967 (L, W) 000000001969-03-05-0000 Mar 5, 1969 (L, M, W)Ratification Bulgaria 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001967-03-28-0000 Mar 28, 1967 (M) 000000001967-04-11-0000 Apr 11, 1967 (W) 000000001967-04-19-0000 Apr 19, 1967 (L)Ratification Burkina Faso 000000001967-03-03-0000 Mar 3, 1967 (W) 000000001968-06-18-0000 Jun 18, 1968 (W)Ratification Canada 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001967-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W)Ratification Chile 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-02-03-0000 Feb 3, 1967 (L) 000000001967-02-20-0000 Feb 20, 1967 (M) 000000001981-10-08-0000 Oct 8, 1981 (W)Ratification China 000000001983-12-30-0000 Dec 30, 1983 (W) 000000001984-01-06-0000 Jan 6, 1984 (M) 000000001984-01-12-0000 Jan 12, 1984 (L)Accession Cuba 000000001977-06-03-0000 Jun 3, 1977 (M)Accession Cyprus 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-02-15-0000 Feb 15, 1967 (M) 000000001967-02-16-0000 Feb 16, 1967 (L) 000000001972-07-05-0000 Jul 5, 1972 (L, W) 000000001972-09-20-0000 Sep 20, 1972 (M)Ratification Czech Republic 000000001993-01-01-0000 Jan 1, 1993 (M, W) 000000001993-09-29-0000 Sep 29, 1993 (L)Succession from Czechoslovakia Denmark 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001967-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W)Ratification Dominican Republic 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001968-11-21-0000 Nov 21, 1968 (W)Ratification Ecuador 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-05-16-0000 May 16, 1967 (L) 000000001967-06-07-0000 Jun 7, 1967 (M) 000000001969-03-07-0000 Mar 7, 1969 (W)Ratification Egypt 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (M, W) 000000001967-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1967 (W) 000000001968-01-23-0000 Jan 23, 1968 (M)Ratification El Salvador 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001969-01-15-0000 Jan 15, 1969 (W)Ratification Equatorial Guinea 000000001989-01-16-0000 Jan 16, 1989 (M)Accession Estonia 000000002010-04-19-0000 Apr 19, 2010 (M)Accession Fiji 000000001972-07-18-0000 Jul 18, 1972 (W) 000000001972-08-14-0000 Aug 14, 1972 (L) 000000001972-08-29-0000 Aug 29, 1972 (M)Succession from United Kingdom Finland 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001967-07-12-0000 Jul 12, 1967 (L, M, W)Ratification France 000000001967-09-25-0000 Sep 25, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001970-08-05-0000 Aug 5, 1970 (L, M, W)Ratification Germany 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001971-02-10-0000 Feb 10, 1971 (L, W)Ratification Greece 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001971-01-19-0000 Jan 19, 1971 (L)Ratification Guinea-Bissau 000000001976-08-20-0000 Aug 20, 1976 (M)Accession Hungary 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001967-06-26-0000 Jun 26, 1967 (L, M, W)Ratification Iceland 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001968-02-05-0000 Feb 5, 1968 (L, M, W)Ratification India 000000001967-03-03-0000 Mar 3, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001982-01-18-0000 Jan 18, 1982 (L, M, W)Ratification Indonesia 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-01-30-0000 Jan 30, 1967 (M) 000000001967-02-14-0000 Feb 14, 1967 (L) 000000002002-06-25-0000 Jun 25, 2002 (L)Ratification Iraq 000000001967-02-27-0000 Feb 27, 1967 (L, W) 000000001967-03-09-0000 Mar 9, 1967 (M) 000000001968-12-04-0000 Dec 4, 1968 (M) 000000001969-09-23-0000 Sep 23, 1969 (L)Ratification Ireland 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, W) 000000001968-07-17-0000 Jul 17, 1968 (W) 000000001968-07-19-0000 Jul 19, 1968 (L)Ratification Israel 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001977-02-18-0000 Feb 18, 1977 (W) 000000001977-03-01-0000 Mar 1, 1977 (L) 000000001977-04-04-0000 Apr 4, 1977 (M)Ratification Italy 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001972-05-04-0000 May 4, 1972 (L, M, W)Ratification Jamaica 000000001967-06-29-0000 Jun 29, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001970-08-06-0000 Aug 6, 1970 (W) 000000001970-08-10-0000 Aug 10, 1970 (L) 000000001970-08-21-0000 Aug 21, 1970 (M)Ratification Japan 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001967-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W)Ratification Kazakhstan 000000001998-06-11-0000 Jun 11, 1998 (M)Accession Kenya 000000001984-01-19-0000 Jan 19, 1984 (L)Accession North Korea 000000002009-03-05-0000 Mar 5, 2009 (M)Accession South Korea 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-10-13-0000 Oct 13, 1967 (W)Ratification Kuwait 000000001972-06-07-0000 Jun 7, 1972 (W) 000000001972-06-20-0000 Jun 20, 1972 (L) 000000001972-07-04-0000 Jul 4, 1972 (M)Accession Laos 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-01-30-0000 Jan 30, 1967 (L) 000000001967-02-02-0000 Feb 2, 1967 (M) 000000001972-11-27-0000 Nov 27, 1972 (M) 000000001972-11-29-0000 Nov 29, 1972 (W) 000000001973-01-15-0000 Jan 15, 1973 (L)Ratification Lebanon 000000001967-02-23-0000 Feb 23, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001969-03-31-0000 Mar 31, 1969 (L, M) 000000001969-06-30-0000 Jun 30, 1969 (W)Ratification Libya 000000001968-07-03-0000 Jul 3, 1968 (W)Accession Lithuania 000000002013-03-25-0000 Mar 25, 2013 (W)Accession Luxembourg 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (M, W) 000000001967-01-31-0000 Jan 31, 1967 (L) 000000002006-01-17-0000 Jan 17, 2006 (L, M, W)Ratification Madagascar 000000001968-08-22-0000 Aug 22, 1968 (W)Accession Mali 000000001968-06-11-0000 Jun 11, 1968 (M)Accession Malta 000000002017-05-22-0000 May 22, 2017 (L)Accession Mauritius 000000001969-04-07-0000 Apr 7, 1969 (W) 000000001969-04-21-0000 Apr 21, 1969 (L) 000000001969-05-13-0000 May 13, 1969 (M)Succession from United Kingdom Mexico 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001968-01-31-0000 Jan 31, 1968 (L, M, W)Ratification Mongolia 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (M) 000000001967-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1967 (M)Ratification Morocco 000000001967-12-21-0000 Dec 21, 1967 (L, M) 000000001967-12-22-0000 Dec 22, 1967 (W)Accession Myanmar 000000001967-05-22-0000 May 22, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001970-03-18-0000 Mar 18, 1970 (L, M, W)Ratification Nepal 000000001967-02-03-0000 Feb 3, 1967 (M, W) 000000001967-02-06-0000 Feb 6, 1967 (L) 000000001967-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1967 (L) 000000001967-10-16-0000 Oct 16, 1967 (M) 000000001967-11-22-0000 Nov 22, 1967 (W)Ratification Netherlands 000000001967-02-10-0000 Feb 10, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001969-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1969 (L, M, W)Ratification New Zealand 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001968-05-31-0000 May 31, 1968 (L, M, W)Ratification Nicaragua 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-02-13-0000 Feb 13, 1967 (L) 000000002017-06-30-0000 Jun 30, 2017 (W) 000000002017-08-14-0000 Aug 14, 2017 (L)Ratification Niger 000000001967-02-01-0000 Feb 1, 1967 (W) 000000001967-04-17-0000 Apr 17, 1967 (L) 000000001967-05-03-0000 May 3, 1967 (W)Ratification Nigeria 000000001967-11-14-0000 Nov 14, 1967 (L)Accession Norway 000000001967-02-03-0000 Feb 3, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001969-07-01-0000 Jul 1, 1969 (L, M, W)Ratification Pakistan 000000001967-09-12-0000 Sep 12, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001968-04-08-0000 Apr 8, 1968 (L, M, W)Ratification Papua New Guinea 000000001980-10-27-0000 Oct 27, 1980 (L) 000000001980-11-13-0000 Nov 13, 1980 (M) 000000001981-03-16-0000 Mar 16, 1981 (W)Succession from Australia Paraguay 000000002016-12-22-0000 Dec 22, 2016 (L)Accession Peru 000000001967-06-30-0000 Jun 30, 1967 (W) 000000001979-02-28-0000 Feb 28, 1979 (M) 000000001979-03-01-0000 Mar 1, 1979 (L) 000000001979-03-21-0000 Mar 21, 1979 (W)Ratification Poland 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001968-01-30-0000 Jan 30, 1968 (L, M, W)Ratification Portugal 000000001996-05-29-0000 May 29, 1996 (L)Accession Qatar 000000002012-03-13-0000 Mar 13, 2012 (W)Accession Romania 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001968-04-09-0000 Apr 9, 1968 (L, M, W)Ratification Russia 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001967-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W)Ratification Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 000000001999-05-13-0000 May 13, 1999 (L)Succession from United Kingdom San Marino 000000001967-04-21-0000 Apr 21, 1967 (W) 000000001967-04-24-0000 Apr 24, 1967 (L) 000000001967-06-06-0000 Jun 6, 1967 (M) 000000001968-10-29-0000 Oct 29, 1968 (W) 000000001968-11-21-0000 Nov 21, 1968 (M) 000000001969-02-03-0000 Feb 3, 1969 (L)Ratification Saudi Arabia 000000001976-12-17-0000 Dec 17, 1976 (W)Accession Seychelles 000000001978-01-05-0000 Jan 5, 1978 (L)Accession Sierra Leone 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M) 000000001967-05-16-0000 May 16, 1967 (W) 000000001967-07-13-0000 Jul 13, 1967 (M) 000000001967-07-14-0000 Jul 14, 1967 (W) 000000001967-10-25-0000 Oct 25, 1967 (L)Ratification Singapore 000000001976-09-10-0000 Sep 10, 1976 (L, M, W)Accession Slovakia 000000001993-01-01-0000 Jan 1, 1993 (M, W) 000000001993-05-17-0000 May 17, 1993 (L)Succession from Czechoslovakia South Africa 000000001967-03-01-0000 Mar 1, 1967 (W) 000000001968-09-30-0000 Sep 30, 1968 (W) 000000001968-10-08-0000 Oct 8, 1968 (L) 000000001968-11-14-0000 Nov 14, 1968 (M)Ratification Spain 000000001968-11-27-0000 Nov 27, 1968 (L) 000000001968-12-07-0000 Dec 7, 1968 (W)Accession Sri Lanka 000000001967-03-10-0000 Mar 10, 1967 (L) 000000001986-11-18-0000 Nov 18, 1986 (L, M, W)Ratification Sweden 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001967-10-11-0000 Oct 11, 1967 (L, M, W)Ratification Switzerland 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, W) 000000001967-01-30-0000 Jan 30, 1967 (M) 000000001969-12-18-0000 Dec 18, 1969 (L, M, W)Ratification Syria 000000001968-11-19-0000 Nov 19, 1968 (M)Accession Thailand 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001968-09-05-0000 Sep 5, 1968 (L) 000000001968-09-09-0000 Sep 9, 1968 (M) 000000001968-09-10-0000 Sep 10, 1968 (W)Ratification Togo 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001989-06-26-0000 Jun 26, 1989 (W)Ratification Tonga 000000001971-06-22-0000 Jun 22, 1971 (M) 000000001971-07-07-0000 Jul 7, 1971 (L, W)Succession from United Kingdom Tunisia 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, W) 000000001967-02-15-0000 Feb 15, 1967 (M) 000000001968-03-28-0000 Mar 28, 1968 (L) 000000001968-04-04-0000 Apr 4, 1968 (M) 000000001968-04-17-0000 Apr 17, 1968 (W)Ratification Turkey 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001968-03-27-0000 Mar 27, 1968 (L, M, W)Ratification Uganda 000000001968-04-24-0000 Apr 24, 1968 (W)Accession Ukraine 000000001967-02-10-0000 Feb 10, 1967 (M) 000000001967-10-31-0000 Oct 31, 1967 (M)Ratification United Arab Emirates 000000002000-10-04-0000 Oct 4, 2000 (W)Accession United Kingdom 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001967-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W)Ratification United States 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) 000000001967-10-10-0000 Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W)Ratification Uruguay 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-01-30-0000 Jan 30, 1967 (M) 000000001970-08-31-0000 Aug 31, 1970 (W)Ratification Venezuela 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001970-03-03-0000 Mar 3, 1970 (W)Ratification Vietnam 000000001980-06-20-0000 Jun 20, 1980 (M)Accession Yemen 000000001979-06-01-0000 Jun 1, 1979 (M)Accession Zambia 000000001973-08-20-0000 Aug 20, 1973 (W) 000000001973-08-21-0000 Aug 21, 1973 (M) 000000001973-08-28-0000 Aug 28, 1973 (L)AccessionThe Republic of China (Taiwan), which is currently only recognized by 17 UN member states, ratified the treaty prior to the United Nations General Assembly's vote to transfer China's seat to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1971. When the PRC subsequently ratified the treaty, they described the Republic of China's (ROC) ratification as "illegal." The ROC has committed itself to continue to adhere to the requirements of the treaty, and the United States has declared that they still consider them to be "bound by its obligations".[5]
23 states have signed but not ratified the treaty.
StateSigned Bolivia 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Botswana 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Burundi 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Cameroon 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Central African Republic 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Colombia 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Democratic Republic of the Congo 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-04-29-0000 Apr 29, 1967 (M) 000000001967-05-04-0000 May 4, 1967 (L) Ethiopia 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, W) 000000001967-02-10-0000 Feb 10, 1967 (M) Gambia 000000001967-06-02-0000 Jun 2, 1967 (L) Ghana 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) 000000001967-02-15-0000 Feb 15, 1967 (M) 000000001967-03-03-0000 Mar 3, 1967 (L) Guyana 000000001967-02-03-0000 Feb 3, 1967 (W) Haiti 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Holy See 000000001967-04-05-0000 Apr 5, 1967 (L) Honduras 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Iran 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L) Jordan 000000001967-02-02-0000 Feb 2, 1967 (W) Lesotho 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Malaysia 000000001967-02-20-0000 Feb 20, 1967 (W) 000000001967-02-21-0000 Feb 21, 1967 (L) 000000001967-05-03-0000 May 3, 1967 (M) Panama 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Philippines 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (L, W) 000000001967-04-29-0000 Apr 29, 1967 (M) Rwanda 000000001967-01-27-0000 Jan 27, 1967 (W) Somalia 000000001967-02-02-0000 Feb 2, 1967 (W) Trinidad and Tobago 000000001967-07-24-0000 Jul 24, 1967 (L) 000000001967-08-17-0000 Aug 17, 1967 (M) 000000001967-09-28-0000 Sep 28, 1967 (W)
Space reforms coming: 2018 NDAA drops legislative bombshells on U.S. Air Force - SpaceNews.com
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:40
by Sandra Erwin '-- November 9, 2017 Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama), chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee. (C-SPAN)The National Defense Authorization Act blasts the Air Force for a ''broken national security space enterprise.''
WASHINGTON '-- For the military space world, the big headline from Capitol Hill Wednesday was that the final version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act does not, at least for now, require the Pentagon to create a new ''space corps.''
This might seem like a victory for the Air Force. Senior leaders had fought back the House space corps provision that would have effectively taken away from the Air Force its ownership of military space.
It's a hollow victory, however. The 2018 NDAA is big on Pentagon reforms, across the board, but it hammered the Air Force especially hard.
The NDAA conference report blasts the Air Force for a ''broken national security space enterprise,'' strips key authorities from the service and shifts much of the management of military space to the deputy secretary of defense.
The leaders of the defense committees said in a statement they are ''proud of the bipartisan process that led to this conference report, which took hard work and thoughtful collaboration from members on both sides of the aisle.''
The full text of the bill should be released Thursday. The House will consider the measure next week and the Senate said in plans to take it up before the Thanksgiving recess.
The House called the legislation a step toward ''fundamental reform of national security space.'' The NDAA language bears the heavy footprint of Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Ranking Member Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.).
The report specifically calls for ''streamlining Air Force acquisition authorities, eliminating burdensome red tape, empowering a single accountable organization for space forces within the Air Force, placing renewed emphasis on the organization and management of space in the DoD, and holding the deputy secretary of defense responsible for the full and faithful execution of these improvements.''
New role for Space Command
The NDAA empowers Air Force Space Command as the sole authority for organizing, training, and equipping all U.S. Air Force space forces. Air Force Space Command is made the focal point for a ''space service'' within the Air Force responsible for acquisition, resources and requirements.'' This cadre of space ''war fighters'' would be tasked to fix the ''systemic problems Congress identified in the national security space enterprise.''
The Air Force Space Command would be modeled after the Office of Naval Reactors, stressing deep technical expertise. The bill gives the commander of Air Force Space Command a six-year term.
The NDAA delivers a direct blow to Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson by stripping her of the role of top space adviser to the secretary of defense and diminishing her power to set budget priorities. The report characterizes the secretary's office as ''burdensome and ineffective bureaucracy.''
The legislation eliminates the principal defense space adviser, the Defense Space Council and the deputy chief of staff of the Air Force for space operations '-- a newly created office the NDAA report derides as a ''hastily developed half-measure that at best only added a box on the organizational chart.''
Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan would assign a manager to oversee space budget priorities, ''but such official cannot be the secretary of the Air Force.''
The space corps is being put on hold, but Rogers is not giving up on the idea. Shanahan is being directed to hire a federally funded research-and-development corporation '-- one that is not affiliated with the Air Force '-- to provide Congress with a ''roadmap to establish a separate military department responsible for national security space activities of the DoD.''
The Senate Armed Services Committee's report is just as critical of the current space organization.
''Decision making with respect to space is currently fragmented across more than 60 offices in DoD,'' said the conference report. It points out research-and-development funding for space programs is at a 30-year low, while the ''threats in and our reliance on space are at their highest and growing.'' Space programs are ''programmatically unsynchronized across systems in orbit, ground stations, and terminals.''
The NDAA renames the operationally responsive space program office as the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, the head of which reports to Air Force Space Command.
On future space launch investments, the NDAA, as it has in previous years, states that funds for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program should focus on the development of a domestic rocket propulsion system to replace the Russian RD-180 engine that United Launch Alliance currently uses to power the Atlas 5, the Air Force's workhorse rocket.
The House Armed Services Committee said it ''continues to view the nation's assured access to space as a national security priority. This includes a continued focus on the development of a new U.S. rocket engine to replace the Russian RD-180 engine.'' The committee also cautioned it will monitor how the Air Force spends EELV dollars to ''ensure that DoD funds authorized for the development of existing and planned commercial launch vehicles are spent primarily for national security space missions to meet the assured access to space requirements.''
What's Next
Industry consultant Mike Tierney, of Jacques & Associates, said these reforms are likely to become law although the Air Force and DoD as a last recourse could approach the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee (SAC-D) and request help delaying implementation.
However, Tierney said, ''given that the NDAA is a conferenced policy position of the House and Senate, the SAC-D would be very hesitant to wade into what is strictly policy changes with no appropriations implications. Our assessment is that the changes directed in the NDAA conference will have to be implemented by the DoD and the Air Force.''
Aerospace industry analyst Todd Harrison, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, commented that the NDAA ''doesn't simply reject the space corps. It slaps the Air Force pretty hard and appears to lay the groundwork for creating a separate department for national security space in the future.''
He called the NDAA a ''clear rebuke of the current space organization within DoD and a lack of confidence in the Air Force leadership.''
On the removal of space oversight and budget functions from the secretary of the Air Force, Harrison tweeted: ''Ouch.''
Vegas Massacre
Mandalay Bay hotel water main bursts sending thousands of gallons of water through the ceiling
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 17:58
By Jessica Finn For Dailymail.com 15:50 20 Jun 2018, updated 16:31 20 Jun 2018
Thousands of gallons of water poured onto the first floor of the convention center at the Mandalay Bay on Tuesday after a pipe burstThe water rushed onto the floor causing damage to the first floor ceiling Officials believed the water was coming from the Shark Reef Aquarium, but thankfully that was not the case and marine life was unaffectedJust eight months ago, a gunman opened fire from inside the hotel killing 58 people gathered at a country music festival A water main broke on Tuesday creating massive flooding in the convention center at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas leaving the venue's floor completely covered in water.
The Clark County Fire Department said the flooding was reported around 4.30pm after the broken water main dumped thousands of gallons of water onto the first floor of the convention center.
About 1,000 people, who were attending a conference on fraud, had to be moved from the second floor of the center to a different area of the resort.
Some people were also moved outside onto the Vegas strip.
Scroll for more video
First floor of the Mandalay Bay convention center is seen completely doused in thousands of gallons of water after a water main burst between the first and second floorsWater was completely covering the first floor off the escalator at the Mandalay Bay Tuesday A maintenance person surveys the damage after the water main burst caused massive floodingThe water rushing onto the floor was originally thought to have come from inside the Shark Reef Aquarium attraction (pictured)Shark Reef AquariumThe leak was stopped and secured, before electrical power was returned to the area.
No one was injured in the incident, and fire officials said there was no structural damage to the building, however the first floor ceiling did sustain damage.
The break occurred between the first and second floor in the area of the center's loading dock.
The leak was thought to have originated at the Shark Reef Aquarium attraction after officials found water pouring from near the shark's aquarium tank, but thankfully that was not the case and the marine life was unaffected.
Brian Ahern, an MGM Resorts International spokesman told the Las Vegas Review Journal that the leak did not disrupt operations.
The Clark County Fire Department responded to the water main break in the loading dock area of the convention center The water main burst comes just eight months after a gunman killed 58 people by firing from inside the hotel onto a crowd at a concert belowMandalay Bay Resort tweeted a statement about the incident Tuesday night: 'A water leak at Mandalay Bay has affected a portion of the South Convention Center.
'Crews are working to clean up the leak as soon as possible.'
The burst comes eight months after gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from the Mandalay Bay hotel into a crowd below at an outdoor concert, killing 58 people.
See more top stories from DailyMail
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No sign of North Korea dismantling nuclear weapons programme, Mattis admits | World news | The Guardian
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:54
The US defence secretary, James Mattis, has said he is unaware of any steps taken by North Korea towards dismantling its nuclear weapons programme since the Singapore summit and does not expect any in the immediate future.
Mattis was speaking to reporters amid confusion over the diplomatic follow-up to last week's summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
Immediately after the meeting Trump claimed that North Korea had begun the destruction of a missile engine testing site or would begin as soon as Kim returned from the summit. In return Trump ordered the suspension of military exercises with South Korea, a longstanding demand of the Pyongyang regime. This week the Pentagon confirmed that planning for the next scheduled exercises in August had halted.
However, asked on Wednesday if he could ''put his finger on'' any steps North Korea had taken to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme, Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon: ''No, I'm not aware of that.''
He added: ''The detailed negotiations have not begun. I wouldn't expect that at this point.''
After the Singapore meeting Trump said that his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and national security adviser, John Bolton, would take part in follow-up meetings with North Korean officials this week to ''go into the details'' of the denuclearisation agreement the president believed he had struck with Kim.
Both Trump and Pompeo predicted that follow-on talks with North Korean officials would take place in the week after the 12 June summit.
''We're getting together next week to go into the details,'' Trump told a post-summit press conference in Singapore.
''Next week, with John Bolton and our entire team, to go over the details and to get this stuff done.''
The next day Pompeo confirmed: ''I will be the person who takes the role of driving this process forward.
''I don't know exactly what the timing will be for our next conversation with North Korea,'' the secretary of state said. ''I would anticipate it will be fairly quickly after we return to our home countries. I don't know exactly what form that will take but I'm very confident that by some time in the next week or so we will begin the engagement.''
That engagement has not, so far, occurred. The state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday that although the US had been in touch with Pyongyang there was nothing to announce on Pompeo's travel plans.
Bolton said on Wednesday that ''Pompeo and others'' would be meeting North Korean counterparts, adding ''we'll find out soon enough whether they've made this strategic decision''.
''They've said they want complete denuclearisation and now we'll have to talk about how to achieve that and I think you will see diplomatic engagement proceed very quickly,'' Bolton told Fox News, but gave no details on timing.
''I think there is a mad scramble right now,'' said Victor Cha, former director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council.
He said US officials had tried and failed to persuade the North Koreans to include language in the joint statement in Singapore committing to ''complete, verifiable and irreversible'' disarmament with a timetable for carrying it out by 2020.
''They did not get those but Trump went along with the meeting anyway, which means he cared more about the meeting than about the substance,'' Cha said.
''Even though there is no timeline, there is a de facto one now. Pompeo has to get something before August to justify suspending the [military] exercises.''
Another element of the Singapore joint statement was a North Korean promise to hand over remains of US soldiers, marines and airmen still unaccounted for since the 1950-53 Korean war. It said that those remains that Pyongyang has already identified as US servicemen, thought be number about 200, would be repatriated at once.
''They're giving a commitment, they're starting it immediately, to recover their remains,'' Trump said.
Recovery and repatriation has been happening on and off for decades. So far the remains of 334 servicemen have been identified from the bones and personal effects handed over by Pyongyang, and about 5,000 more are thought to be scattered around North Korean territory.
US military officials said on Wednesday that the UN Command, the US-led coalition that fought the war, was planning to oversee the repatriation of more remains which could happen in the next few days.
Mattis said the details had yet to be agreed. ''Those discussions are also ongoing right now, but I don't have any updates for you,'' he told reporters. ''I know that we're engaged on it.''
Diesel Gate
Audi CEO Arrested As Diesel-Emissions Scandal Spreads | Zero Hedge
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:17
Munich prosecutors have arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, also a member of parent company Volkswagen's board, on concerns he might try to suppress evidence, in what is the highest-profile arrest of a Volkswagen executive since the diesel emissions scandal exploded into public view nearly three years ago.
The arrest comes a month after Audi admitted that another 60,000 A6 and A7 models with diesel engines could have "software emissions issues," and more than two months after Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller stepped down and was replaced by Herbert Diess, formerly the CEO of the company's core VW unit, according to the BBC.
While former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has been charged by US authorities, Stadler is the first executive to be taken into custody, and perhaps it's about time: the emissions scandal provided ample evidence that Volkswagen had probably the worst executive oversight in Europe, and that a real criminal conspiracy had unfolded in the highest ranks of the company. The only real surprise is that it's taken this long: US authorities blew the lid off the company's emissions test-defeating software in September 2015 - nearly three years ago. Since then, the scandal has spread from the VW unit to other Volkswagen subsidiaries, and beyond: BMW and Daimler have also faced allegations of emissions cheating, as has American car maker General Motors.
Audi CEO Rupert StadlerMore surprising still has been Volkswagen's steadfast support of Stadler, who retained the backing of his fellow board members, including the influential Porsche-Piech families that own majority voting rights in Volkswagen, according to the Financial Times. The arrest was first reported in Germany's Der Spiegel.
The company issued a statement on Stadler's arrest to Reuters.
"We confirm that Mr Stadler was arrested this morning. The hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing," the spokesman said, adding that the presumption of innocence applied to Stadler's case.
The CEO has previously survived calls by minority shareholders to step down, and yet in the face of threats the company not only defended Stadler, it extended his contract and promoted him to the head of a new "premium" cars division. The new role gave him sales responsibilities group-wide. The company will likely continue to stand by him as lawyers haggle for his release.
The company maintains that there's no evidence to suggest Stadler knew of the cheating, though after Munich prosecutors raided Stadler's apartment (and one other Audi boardmember) they named Stadler as a suspect. They've also said they're investigating 20 suspects whom prosecutors believe were aware of Audi's diesel engine scheme.
In light of today's development, expect more imminent arrests as it is unlikely, given the number of Audi employees currently under investigation, that this will be the last shoe to drop.
Merkel zet druk achter Europees vluchtelingenbeleid, maar timing had niet slechter kunnen zijn | De Volkskrant
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 14:10
Bondskanselier Angela Merkel en minister Seehofer. Foto ANPAngela Merkel wil in een bestek van dagen organiseren wat haar de afgelopen drie jaar niet lukte: een Europees vluchtelingenbeleid waaraan alle partijen zich houden. Merkels woordvoerder zegt dat Merkel met verschillende Europese regeringen in gesprek is over het thema. Premier Rutte liet zaterdag weten 'desnoods de komende twee weken zijn agenda schoon te poetsen', om Merkel aan een Europese oplossing te helpen, 'al ziet het er op het moment niet goed uit'.
Inderdaad kon voor Merkel de timing niet slechter zijn: niet alleen in Duitsland, in heel Europa wordt geruzied over vluchtelingen. Een EU-diplomaat sprak van een 'giftige sfeer'. Maar de bondskanselier moet wel: een doorbraak in het vluchtelingenbeleid is gekoppeld aan het voortbestaan van haar regering en haar kanselierschap.
Seehofers stokjeOndertussen is Merkels coalitiepartner en rivaal Seehofer nog steeds van plan maandag toestemming van het CSU-bestuur te vragen om asielzoekers die elders geregistreerd zijn aan de Duitse grens met onmiddellijke ingang terug te kunnen sturen.
De CSU liet het conflict bewust escaleren. Fractievoorzitter Alexander Dobrindt zei zaterdag in Bild niet meer te willen wachten op een Europese oplossing. Seehofer zou in partijkring nog veel directer zijn geweest: 'Met die vrouw kan ik niet meer samenwerken', heeft hij volgens Welt am Sonntag in CSU-kring gezegd.
De verhouding tussen Merkel en Seehofer wordt al jaren gekenmerkt door een afwisseling van diepe en minder diepe dalen. In de minder diepe lijkt hun samenwerking op een vreugdeloos huwelijk, in diepe zijn de politieke en persoonlijke antipathie van hun gezichten af te lezen.
Toch kon Merkel in haar vorige regeerperiode de dreigementen en beledigingen van Seehofer met een korrel zout nemen. Ze wist dat de CSU het meest te verliezen had bij een val van haar kabinet. In Beieren regeert de partij met een absolute meerderheid, landelijk gemeten hangt de CSU met krap 6 procent van de stemmen net aan de goede kant van de kiesdrempel.
Dat de CSU de kanselier nu toch eensgezind en met bravoure richting het ravijn duwt, is te verklaren door de brede steun die de partij ervaart voor haar nationalistische koers, zowel nationaal als internationaal.
Conservatieve stroming De Oostenrijkse kanselier Kurz, regerend met de rechts-populistische FP–, sprak van een 'as van de bereidwilligen' die van Berlijn via Wenen naar Rome loopt, waar Lega-politicus Salvini het departement Binnenlandse Zaken bestiert. Maar ook in Merkels eigen CDU-gelederen is, drijvend op de onvrede over haar vluchtelingenbeleid, een sterke conservatieve stroming ontstaan, waarvan Gezondheidsminister Jens Spahn het bekendste gezicht is. En ook FDP-leider Christian Lindner, een goede vriend van Spahn, benadrukte zaterdag dat zijn partij op de lijn van de CSU zit.
Merkel weet dus dat ze in Europa op zoek moet naar een compromis waarmee deze politici kunnen leven. Vermoedelijk zal ze aandringen op een regeling die Seehofers wens in Europees beleid verandert, zodat Duitsland, Oostenrijk en andere bovenmatig populaire bestemmingslanden eerder geregistreerde vluchtelingen terug kunnen sturen naar Zuid-Europa, al dan niet in ruil voor een (financile) tegenprestatie.
Maar ze heeft het niet in eigen hand. Mocht Seehofer zijn plan deze week echt ten uitvoer brengen, dan zal Merkel zich gedwongen zien hem te ontslaan wegens het breken van de coalitieafspraken, waarna de CSU-fractie uit het kabinet zal stappen en de regering zijn meerderheid verliest.
Als dat gebeurt, heeft Merkel twee opties. Ze kan afwachten tot de Bondsdag een constructieve motie van wantrouwen tegen haar indient '' dat kan volgens de Duitse grondwet pas als een meerderheid van de Bondsdag zich achter een opvolger schaart, van welke partij dan ook. Merkel kan ook de eer aan zichzelf houden en de vertrouwensvraag stellen aan het parlement, om te onderzoeken of ze nog een meerderheid heeft.
War on Weed
Trump's personal attorney loaned $26 million to taxi mogul in weed biz, according to documents '' The Denver Post
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:52
NEW YORK '-- President Donald Trump's personal attorney, whose business dealings are being investigated by the FBI, and the lawyer's father-in-law have lent $26 million in recent years to a taxi mogul who is shifting into the legalized marijuana industry, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Semyon ''Sam'' Shtayner, a longtime business associate of Michael Cohen's father-in-law, created Nevada-based Cannaboss LLC the day before the 2016 election. A few months later, he took a majority position in a company that is provisionally licensed to cultivate medicinal marijuana and produce edibles, the records show.
''He personally manages over 500 taxi medallions, but he is looking to transition from the medallion business to the cannibas (sic),'' according to the personal narrative Shtayner submitted last October to city officials in Henderson, Nevada, that was obtained by the AP under the state's public records law.
It's not clear whether Shtayner used any of the loans '-- $6 million of which have come directly from Cohen since 2014 '-- to finance his grow operation.
Earlier this month, FBI agents searched Cohen's hotel, office and home seeking banking records, as well as records related to his dealings in the taxi industry, people familiar with the probe told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.
Public records show the Ukraine-born Shtayner, 63, his wife and companies they control have used their properties in Chicago and Sunny Isles, Florida, as collateral for the loans from Cohen and his father-in-law, Fima Shusterman.
Neither Cohen nor his attorney responded to phone messages or an email seeking comment about the loans.
An attorney representing Shtayner in his Nevada marijuana ventures told the AP his client had no comment.
Reached on his cellphone, Shusterman declined to discuss his loans or Shtayner.
News of Shtayner's ties to the medical marijuana industry comes as the Trump administration finds itself somewhat split on marijuana policy.
Trump recently indicated he will support a law protecting states that already have legalized the drug '-- a position counter to that of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who stridently opposes any such effort and in January lifted restrictions that had kept federal prosecutors from pursuing cases against those complying with state marijuana laws.
Marijuana use is fully legal in Nevada, seven other states and Washington, D.C., and 38 states allow medicinal or other limited uses.
It was not clear why Shtayner has decided to move out of taxis and into the grow business. But the rapid rise of ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft has disrupted the taxi industry, and Shtayner is among a handful of prominent taxi owners who face lawsuits from creditors who once lent liberally to medallion owners.
The value of medallions '-- the physical plates affixed to cabs that owners are required to display '-- have dropped precipitously in recent years from highs of over $1 million apiece in New York just a few years ago to nearly half that amount today.
The subsequent drop has left many taxi medallion owners overleveraged.
One former Cohen business partner, who managed Cohen's taxis for years, is accused in a lawsuit by creditors of hiding his assets in financial disclosures to his bank '-- including a luxury apartment in a Trump skyscraper.
Another former cab manager of Cohen's has declared bankruptcy and is facing criminal charges from state prosecutors in New York, who accuse him of pocketing nearly $5 million in taxes.
The business relationship among Cohen, Shusterman and Shtayner stretches back years. Property records in New York show that Shtayner and Shusterman were among the investors in an upper Manhattan taxi garage and auto repair shop in the 1990s.
Last August, Shusterman lent at least $12 million against properties owned by Shtayner, his wife or their companies, Chicago real estate records show. In a second series of four transactions in March, Shusterman lent the Shtayners or their companies an additional $8 million.
Four of the loans were made to Shtayner's wife, Yasya, and four others were directed to two Chicago taxi companies she manages, according to corporate documents. The Chicago Sun-Times first reported those transactions.
Cohen has been involved in the New York City yellow cab industry since the 1990s. He has a fleet of 22 cabs in Chicago and, along with his wife and father-in-law, has owned some 30 medallions in New York after initially going into business with his father-in-law, records show.
Shusterman '-- who, like Shtayner, started as a cab driver after emigrating from Ukraine '-- pleaded guilty in 1993 to federal money-laundering charges in a tax-evasion case involving cab drivers and a Brooklyn accountant.
Shtayner's Chicago cab empire has grown rapidly, though records show that 99 of his medallions are in foreclosure and 15 have some sort of violation. Forty-nine have already been taken over by the city for failure to pay taxes and fees.
Although Shtayner has been sued by creditors, operates a taxi business in a harrowing time for his industry and is borrowing heavily in nontraditional loans, the city of Henderson concluded that he is adequately liquid financially. The city's business operation division found that Shtayner and his business partner, a Las Vegas-based steel and aluminum provider, each had liquid assets that exceed the state's requirement that they be able to free up to $250,000 within 30 days if needed, according to the records obtained by the AP.
Security nightmare in the making? How the Rohingya crisis has caught the fancy of terror groups | Catch News
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:59
Since August, the headlines emerging from Rakhine State in Myanmar have been beyond alarming as hundreds and thousands of Rohingyas have fled alleging state-sponsored violence.
The minority community has drawn global attention.
But the outpouring of sympathy could be temporary, says Major General (retd) ANM Muniruzzaman, who heads the Dhaka-based Bangladesh Institute for Peace and Security Studies.
''It is a big challenge for Bangladesh,'' he says. According to him, more than six lakh Rohingyas have entered the country since August and around 3,00,000 more are still in Rakhine. ''They will also probably be pushed out, so it will be completely ethnically cleansed this time,'' says Muniruzzaman.
According to him, Myanmar's offer of repatriation might be simply to ward off international attention. ''Once the cameras disappear, nothing much will happen on the ground,'' he says.
Bangladesh itself was forced to change its stance after initially saying it would drive all Rohingyas back. The retired armyman has his take on that: ''One, the humanitarian angle for the level of suffering was extremely high. Second, there was a wave of domestic sympathy and the domestic constituency wanted the government to do something about this.''In the absence of a rapid solution, he adds, the issue could have far-reaching security implications not just for Bangladesh, but for the wider region.
Excerpts from a conversation with Catch:
Myanmar says repatriation will happen along the lines of how it did in the 1990s.
Even then, a very small token number of Rohingyas were taken back. The problem has not been resolved in principle. This time also if they agree to take back some it will be still a cosmetic exercise just to keep the international pressure off for sometime. But in absence of any real solutions, any promise of legal recognition as citizens, what will they go back to? This is what needs to be talked about.
Why are the Rohingyas being driven out in the first place?
There is a general perception that these are not their people. Second, the tremendous rise of Buddhist militants in Myanmar in general and Rakhine in particular who do not accept this population. Third, Rakhine is becoming economically and strategically attractive and lucrative. So many interested quarters wants the lingering problem of ethnic tensions to be solved once and for all.
Who are these interested quarters?
There are strategically vital energy interests which are coming to play. There are new refineries coming up in Rakhine, which will be built by the Saudis and the Qataris. The Chinese too have tremendous interest, including the dedicated pipeline to Kunming, the deep sea port, the Saudis are building a refinery which will refine the crude which will be transported to Kunming. The Qataris are building a methane port. It will also have an LNG (liquefied natural gas) port. So it is a multimodal energy hub for the Chinese who have always been insecure about the Malacca Strait route. This enables them to bypass the vulnerability of dependence just on the Malacca Strait.
What kind of challenges does it pose for Bangladesh?
The five lakh people already there are of a different category for they have some organisational mechanisms to be housed, other social arrangements. The new population has nothing in terms of organised support. Their conditions are dire. They are food-insecure, leading to malnutrition among children. Many of the women who are coming in are sick and pregnant. They have no adequate access to safe drinking water, which increases the possibility of an outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera as happened in Haiti and Yemen.
There is also a grave danger of human trafficking for many of the families who have crossed over, especially women and children. International and local trafficking rings are already active in the area.
Then there is a tremendous amount of environmental damage which has happened because of their arrival because they have cut trees in the hills for shelter. More so, Rohingyas are getting involved with local criminals and are being used as couriers for drugs and small arms.
The warm hospitality which the locals had extended is wearing thin. The Rohingyas are prepared to work for cheap, which is leading to a resentment among the local workforce.
Is radicalisation a worry?
That is a bigger worry. Any marginalised community is vulnerable to radicalisation and terrorism-recruitment. That possibility exists in an active and large manner.
Was this worry existent for the last Rohingya population too? Is there evidence of terror recruitment among the last lot of refugees?
There is no empirical evidence of active members and groups but there has been some recruitment. This population is very different from the last inflow.
When we talk about recruitment by terror groups, which groups do we look at?
In our analysis, we found that al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has placed their support; Daesh in Syria and Iraq as well as Chechen groups have come out in support. Indonesian groups have also put out a video of training camps and claim that they are building a 1,200-men strong battalion to send to Rakhine to fight. Many Islamist groups around the world have called it the new Palestine.
Is Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) also a result of similar recruitment by transnational jihadists?
No, ARSA is a local group that enjoys a fair amount of sympathy among the local population. But we know that ARSA's leader was based in Saudi Arabia and it is also found that probably the seed money came from Saudi Arabia. ARSA's tactical leaders are know to have contacts and received training in the region in Malaysia, Pakistan and other places. ARSA has a fair amount of international links. But it is a local group.
But the fact that there is such great outpouring of sympathy from the Islamist world it is quite possible that some of them may pick up the cause and join the Rohingya struggle. It is also happening at a time when Daesh has lost ground in Syria and Iraq and many of the foreign fighters don't want to go back to their own homes and are looking for a new battle ground to fight a new battle. To them, this cause can be sold easily.
If we have foreign fighters coming in, then this will become an international terror hub and that will have security implications for the whole region.When the Government of India says the Rohingya population constitutes a security threat, would you agree that it is a correct assessment?
I don't know about the empirical evidence of Rohingyas in India if there is any proof of any involvement. I am talking about Rohingyas who have just come to Bangladesh who are rootless and extremely vulnerable.
In Bangladesh, we always expect that India will use its good offices to make the Myanmar side understand the problem needs a rapid solution.
What do you make of assertions that rapid development of Rakhine, infrastructure development et al could be a solution?
It is not a question of infrastructure development. It is about understanding issues of ethnic identity. The ground has shifted when it comes to Rohingyas. And we have seen the Myanmar leadership not taking a stand. Military which controls key ministries has given out its stand clearly. Despite pressure they have maintained that these are not our people, calling them bengalis or bengali terrorists. Given this reality a solution looks rather complex and farfetched.
Do you think international sanctions could force a solution?
There have been some embargo by the Americans and the European Union. Pressure from United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is impractical for the Chinese and the Russians have articulated their policy. I am not very sure if the sanctions will bite because they have been under sanctions for years and it seems they did not bite. But I have been wondering if what is happening in Rakhine a classical case for invoking R2P (responsibility to protect) for all the conditions are available. But I don't think it is a possibility in light of a divided UNSC.
Soros and Hydrocarbons: What's Really Behind the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar - Sputnik International
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:58
The Rohingya conflict in Myanmar, which had caught its second wind in August 2017, appears to be a multidimensional crisis with major geopolitical players involved, experts say, referring to both internal and external reasons behind the recent upsurge in violence in the country.
The Rohingya conflict, which erupted between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar's western Rakhine state in late August, was apparently fanned by external global players, Dmitry Mosyakov, director of the Centre for Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told RT.
According to the academic, the conflict has at least three dimensions.
"First, this is a game against China, as China has very large investments in Arakan [Rakhine]," Mosyakov told RT. "Second, it is aimed at fuelling Muslim extremism in Southeast Asia'.... Third, it's the attempt to sow discord within ASEAN [between Myanmar and Muslim-dominated Indonesia and Malaysia]."
According to Mosyakov, the century-long conflict is used by external players to undermine Southeast Asian stability, especially given the fact that what is at stake are vast reserves of hydrocarbons located offshore of the Rakhine state.
"There's a huge gas field named Than Shwe after the general who had long ruled Burma," Mosyakov said. "Additionally, the coastal zone of Arakan [Rakhine] almost certainly contains oil hydrocarbons."
After the massive Rakhine energy reserves were discovered in 2004 they attracted China's attention. By 2013 China completed oil and natural gas pipelines, which connect Myanmar's port of Kyaukphyu with the Chinese city of Kunming in Yunnan province.
The oil pipeline allows Beijing to deliver Middle Eastern and African crude bypassing the Malacca Straits, while the gas pipeline is transporting hydrocarbons from Myanmar's offshore fields to China.
The development of the Sino-Myanmar energy project coincided with the intensification of the Rohingya conflict in 2011-2012 when 120,000 asylum seekers left the country escaping the bloodshed.
(C) AP Photo / Petr David Josek
According to Dmitry Egorchenkov, deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Prognosis at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, it is hardly a coincidence. Although there are certain internal causes behind the Rohingya crisis, it could also be fueled by external players, most notably, the United States.
Myanmar's destabilization may affect China's energy projects and create a pocket of instability at Beijing's doorstep. Given the ongoing crisis between the US and North Korea, another Chinese neighbor, Beijing may soon find itself caught in the crossfires.
Meanwhile, the Burma Task Force, which comprises a number of organizations funded by George Soros, has been actively operating in Myanmar since 2013 calling upon the international community to stop what they call "the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority group." However, Soros's interference in Myanmar's domestic affairs goes deeper into the country's history.
In 2003, George Soros joined a US Task Force group aimed at increasing "US cooperation with other countries to bring about a long overdue political, economic and social transformation in Burma [Myanmar]."
(C) Sputnik / Evgeny Odinokov
The Council of Foreign Relation's (CFR) 2003
document entitled "Burma: Time For Change," which announced the establishment of the group insisted that "democracy'... cannot survive in Burma without the help of the United States and the international community."
"When George Soros comes to this or that country'... he looks for religious, ethnic or social contradictions, chooses the model of action for one of these options or their combination and tries to 'warm they up,'" Egorchenkov explained, speaking with RT.
On the other hand, according to Mosyakov, it appears that some established global economies are seeking to contain the rapid economic development of ASEA nations, by instigating inner strife within the bloc.
The academic opined that the globalist management policy envisages sowing discord in stable regional formations. By fuelling regional conflicts external players jump at the opportunity to gain control over sovereign states and exert considerable pressure on them.
The recent Rohingya crisis started on August 25 when Muslim insurgents of Rohingya origin attacked security posts in Myanmar's Rakhine state. The tough response of the country's authorities triggered violent clashes, which claimed the lives of at least 402 people. However, according to some estimates, up to 3,000 Muslims were killed during the recent conflict.
The conflict that started about a century ago has gradually escalated since 2011, hitting its peak in 2012 when thousands of Muslim families sought asylum in the special refugee camps on the country's territory or fled to Bangladesh. Yet another escalation started in 2016.
VIDEO - Tucker Carlson Tonight, Richard Painter - Dumpster Fire Ad - YouTube
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:51
VIDEO - Trump introduces idea of 'Space Force'
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:40
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VIDEO - Crowd Chants 'Space Force' at Trump Rally in Duluth, MN
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:38
BY: Jack Heretik Follow@JackHeretikJune 21, 2018 9:29 am
The crowd at President Donald Trump's rally in Duluth, Minnesota, Wednesday night erupted into a chant of "Space Force."
The rally and chant came just two days after Trump directed the Pentagon to begin the creation of a Space Force as a new branch of the military.
"Our beautiful ancestors won two world wars, defeated fascism and communism and put a man on the face of the moon," Trump said. "And I think you saw the other day we're reopening NASA. We're going to be going to space."
"Space Force, Space Force, Space Force, Space Force!" the crowd chanted.
"Space Force! So we have the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard, but we have the Air Force. Now we're going to have the Space Force because it's a whole'--we need it. We need it," Trump said.
"As long as we are proud of who we are and what we are fighting for, we will never, ever fail. There is no place like our place," Trump said.
Trump has made a point of saying that there would be a difference and separation of the Air Force and Space Force. A reason for its development is to ensure future dominance as rivals such as China continue to develop new technologies to further their capabilities in space, which has largely been dominated by the United States and Russia.
The Space Force would also presumably be separate from NASA, a government agency that works with the military and is responsible for the civilian space program.
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VIDEO - Sexual harassment pervasive in science, National Academies study says
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:25
Credit: National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine
A video by the National Academies summarizing its findings on sexual harassment.
A widespread culture of sexual harassment drives women away from science careers and perpetuates a gender gap, according to a new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, & Medicine.
Science and sexual harassment The National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine released a wide reaching report on sexual harassment in science. Here is what it says about why science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are particularly vulnerable to harassment and what university should do about it.
Why STEM disciplines are particularly ripe for harassment:- The dependence on advisors and mentors for career advancement- The system of meritocracy that does not account for the declines in productivity and morale as a result of sexual harassment- The ''macho'' culture in some fields- The informal communication network, in which rumors and accusations are spread within and across specialized programs and fields
Key changes needed to stop sexual harassment:- Integrate values into the system- Change the power dynamic- Support targets of sexual harassment- Improve transparency and accountability.
Large percentages of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields report being harassed. That includes 50% of female faculty and staff and 20 to 50% of students, the report says.
''The cumulative effect of sexual harassment is a significant and costly loss of talent in science, engineering, and medicine,'' says committee member Lilia Cortina, a University of Michigan psychology professor who has studied harassment for 25 years.
Targets of harassment report lower job satisfaction and often withdraw from or quit their jobs, the report says. Others report depression or posttraumatic stress.
STEM fields, including chemistry, are particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment because men still far outnumber women in faculty and leadership positions, and students usually rely on a single advisor to guide their research and promote their careers, the report adds.
Chemist Mary Boyd, provost of Berry College, says she is glad the National Academies took on this important issue. ''They offer the findings, conclusions, and recommendations in a spirit of optimism: that addressing sexual harassment is everybody's responsibility,'' she says. ''It is going to take all of us to really combat sexual harassment.''
A complete culture change is needed to address sexual harassment in universities, the report says. Too often, universities have just done what is required by law, but that isn't enough to change how people behave. ''Sexual harassment is primarily a problem of organizational culture,'' Cortina says. ''Academic institutions need to move away from a culture of compliance and toward a culture of respect.''
Sexual harassment doesn't have to involve sexual propositioning, touching, or assault to cause problems. If pervasive, behaviors often brushed off as unimportant'--such as offhand comments about someone's appearance or capabilities and other actions labeled as gender harassment'--can do just as much damage to a student or faculty member's prospects, the report points out. And harassment is especially widespread for minorities and people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, who can face multiple forms of derogatory and discriminatory behavior.
The cumulative effect of sexual harassment is a significant and costly loss of talent in science, engineering, and medicine.''
Changing academic culture has to start at the top, with leaders who make it clear there is no tolerance for sexual harassment at their institutions, the report says. Universities need to lay out clear, escalating consequences for harassing behaviors and focus their training on what someone should do if they are harassed or witness harassment.
Academic institutions should also increase diversity at all levels, provide more support for targets of harassment, decrease tolerance for gender harassment, reduce the power faculty have over students, and publicize harassment reports and consequences.
The National Academies report also calls on scientific societies to help change the culture of sexual harassment. For example, the report recommends that societies help support people who are harassed.
David Smorodin, assistant general counsel for the American Chemical Society, says he appreciates that the report recognizes that societies can play an important role in making that change. The report ''really does present a challenge to all professional scientific societies,'' he says.
The challenge now is going to be getting universities to adopt the recommendations, Boyd says. ''Sometimes there needs to be an incentive [to change], and so far there has not been a great incentive.''
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright (C) 2018 American Chemical Society
VIDEO - 'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over Trump's family separation policy
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:21
Getty Images
Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas.
An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking voices of small Spanish-speaking children crying out for their parents at a U.S. immigration facility took center stage Monday in the growing uproar over the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.
"Papa! Papa!" one child is heard weeping in the audio file that was first reported by the nonprofit ProPublica and later provided to The Associated Press.
Human rights attorney Jennifer Harbury said she received the tape from a whistleblower and told ProPublica it was recorded in the last week. She did not provide details about where exactly it was recorded.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she had not heard the audio but said children taken into custody by the government are being treated humanely. She said the government has high standards for detention centers and the children are well cared for, stressing that Congress needs to plug loopholes in the law so families can stay together.
The audio surfaced as politicians and advocates flocked to the U.S.-Mexico border to visit U.S. immigration detention centers and turn up the pressure on the Trump administration.
And the backlash over the policy widened. The Mormon church said it is "deeply troubled" by the separation of families at the border and urged national leaders to find compassionate solutions. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, reversed a decision to send a National Guard helicopter from his state to the Mexican border to assist in a deployment, citing the administration's "cruel and inhumane" policy.
At the border, an estimated 80 people pleaded guilty Monday to immigration charges, including some who asked the judge questions such as "What's going to happen to my daughter?" and "What will happen to my son?"
Attorneys at the hearings said the immigrants had brought two dozen boys and girls with them to the U.S., and the judge replied that he didn't know what would happen to their children.
Several groups of lawmakers toured a nearby facility in Brownsville, Texas, that houses hundreds of immigrant children.
Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico said the location was a former hospital converted into living quarters for children, with rooms divided by age group. There was even a small room for infants, complete with two high chairs, where two baby boys wore matching rugby style shirts with orange and white stripes.
Another group of lawmakers on Sunday visited an old warehouse in McAllen, Texas, where hundreds of children are being held in cages created by metal fencing. One cage held 20 youngsters.
More than 1,100 people were inside the large, dark facility, which is divided into separate wings for unaccompanied children, adults on their own, and mothers and fathers with children.
In Texas' Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for people trying to enter the U.S., Border Patrol officials say they must crack down on migrants and separate adults from children as a deterrent to others trying to get into the U.S. illegally.
"When you exempt a group of people from the law ... that creates a draw," said Manuel Padilla, the Border Patrol's chief agent there.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, speaking to reporters during a tour of San Diego immigration detention facilities with Rep. Juan Vargas and other House Democrats, said family separation is a "heartbreaking, barbarian issue that could be changed in a moment by the president of the United States rescinding his action."
"It so challenges the conscience of our country that it must be changed and must be changed immediately," she said during a news conference at a San Diego terminal that is connected to the airport in Tijuana, Mexico, by a bridge.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas announced late Monday that he was introducing emergency legislation intended to keep immigrant families together.
"All Americans are rightly horrified by the images we are seeing on the news, children in tears pulled away from their mothers and fathers," Cruz said. "This must stop."
President Donald Trump emphatically defended his administration's policy Monday, again falsely blaming Democrats.
"The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility," he declared. "Not on my watch."
VIDEO - Rachel Maddow Cries about Migrant Babies Detained By Trump DHS || MSNBC - YouTube
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:12
VIDEO - Elijah Cummings Rips Republicans For Allowing Trump's Child Internment Camps - YouTube
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:07
VIDEO - CNN Tries To Shame Border Patrol Agent '-- He Flips The Script And Leaves Host Speechless | The Daily Caller
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:53
CNN brought on Chris Cabrera, a spokesperson for the National Border Patrol Council, Tuesday to discuss the Trump administration enforcing America's border laws.
The Trump administration has enacted a policy of zero tolerance when enforcing America's border laws. The laws result in separating some families if they cross the border illegally at non-checkpoint locations.
CNN's Brooke Baldwin brought on Cabrera to grill him over the enforcement of the policy. However, it was Baldwin who got the grilling when Cabrera fact-checked her over the status of immigrants at the border.
''There's so much being thrown at people who don't know as much about immigration certainly as you do as a border patrol agent, but there a a couple of ways to come into this country if you're an undocumented immigrant and you come out on the Rio Grande river, that's illegal,'' Baldwin said.
Cabrera countered, '' Even if you're a U.S. citizen, it's illegal.''
Baldwin then asked specifically about delays for asylum seekers.
Cabrera said bluntly, ''We've had this situation going on for four years now. I don't think you can necessarily blame it on one administration or another. It started under one and is continuing under another. It hasn't been fixed and it needs to be fixed.''
He continued, ''Right now we have this beacon of, 'We'll leave the light on for you and let you come illegally into the country.' If you've seen some of the stuff we've seen, you'd understand how important it is to have a tough stance to divert people from coming here.''
Cabrera then bluntly told Baldwin some of the horrors he has seen.
''When you see a 12-year-old girl with a plan B pill, her parents put her on birth control because they know getting violated is part of the journey, that's a terrible way to live. When you see a 4-year-old girl traveling alone with just her parents phone number written across her shirt. We had a 9-year-old boy have heat stroke in front of us and die with no family around. That's because we're allowing people to take advantage of this system.''
The retelling of the child horror stories elicited an audible gasp from Baldwin.
Cabrera went on to say that it's up to Congress to change the law, but until then his agents will continue to enforce the laws on the books.
''Most of our agents are parents. I've seen guys and I've done it myself, you give your last bottle of water to a kid, you'll take a toy out of your car to give to one of these kids because you know the situation they're in.'' Caberera said. ''Agents are very sympathetic. We're human, we're fathers, we have families. We do a lot for the communities here, whether or not a camera is involved. Our agents are very involved. And nobody saves more lives along the southwestern border than the U.S. Border patrol.''
VIDEO - 6/18/18: White House Press Briefing - YouTube
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:33
VIDEO - President Trump makes surprise appearance on 'Fox & Friends' - YouTube
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:17
VIDEO - Jaron Lanier interview on how social media ruins your life - YouTube
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 12:47
VIDEO - CNN Host Presses Liberal Senator: Did You Protest Family Separations Under Obama?
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 12:25
Ryan Saavedra at the Daily Wire captured an instructional moment on CNN on Wednesday afternoon. Anchor Brooke Baldwin was interviewing Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis., no relation) on the separation of illegal-immigrant families at the border. The Senator from Wisconsin was on a tear, that the Trump zero-tolerance policy was "something that I think violated all American values. It was an un-American activity." Then the CNN host asked her if she felt that way four years ago under Obama. The senator just tap-danced around the question.
BROOKE BALDWIN: But here's a question for Democrats. You hear the president now on a lot of topics, and this one included, you know, looking back to previous administrations. They should have done more, right? And so as so many people in this country are certainly outraged by the cages, and the thermal blankets, and the facilities housing these kids, you know, they were all there in 2014 under President Obama. And my question to you, Senator Baldwin, is did you speak up against them then?
Senator Baldwin bumbled and dodged: "You know, on the, on this issue that we get into a moment where we're making progress and then when it, uh, when it stalls, we turn around. I think we all need to continue to be focused on it and press it through. The American people need confidence that we can solve problems. Nobody believes that we have an immigration system that works. It is broken. It needs fixing. And we've just got to resolve to do that."
CNN's Baldwin returned to the original question: "But were you worried about it then? Did you raise your voice under the Obama Administration?"
Maybe in personal communication, the senator suggested (not in the press). "You know, in numbers of cases, usually, I remember a constituent who was in detention at the border, arguably very inappropriately," Sen. Baldwin replied. "And, we, you know, we raised our voice in that instance and many others. But that's, we've got to do this now in unison. It's not enough to do it case by case for a Senator or a House member by House member. We've got to resolve to fix this issue."
Democrats are not going to sing"in unison" with Donald Trump, any more than CNN would. But whatever diverts the viewer's attention from what the Democrats did or said on immigration in 2014 will do.
VIDEO - YouTube
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:53
VIDEO - Sharyl Attkisson: The Left Invented Fake News | Zero Hedge
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:32
Authored by Erik Sandberg via Medium.com,
Sharyl Attkisson is a New York Times bestselling author and host of the weekly Sunday public affairs program, Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson. An investigative journalist, Sharyl has worked for CBS News and also as a foreign correspondent for CNN. She is a multi-award winning writer.
In 2017, she published The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote. Which dissected the origins of the now infamous fake news term. In an exclusive interview she explains how fake news is a propaganda phrase invented by the left that was eventually co''opted by Donald Trump.
Listen to the full interview in our weekly Newsvoice Think podcast.
According to Attkisson, the research that she carried out for her book to source the provenance of the term fake news led her to a non''profit organisation funded by Google whose parent company; Alphabet, was at the time chaired by Eric Schmidt. Schmidt was one of Hillary Clinton's top campaign strategists and donors during Clinton's 2016 presidential run.
''A smear artist told me that nearly every image that crosses your path on a daily basis whether it's on the news, on a billboard or on a late night comedy show. All of it was put there for a reason, often by someone who paid a lot of money for it to be there.''
Attkisson is scathing of PR and law firms for ''forwarding one narrative or one idea'' which are rooted in political causes and often undisclosed.
She told Newsvoice that ''the smear industry'' is a multi-billion industry, that looks to target personalities or those with dissenting voices that the establishment wishes to shut down.
Journalists globally have been facing attack from their own governments and officials for just doing their job. Almost on a daily basis we hear of the jailing of journalists in countries like Turkey and China with a total of 262 imprisoned globally in 2017.
Sharyl Attkisson told Newsvoice that she too has been subjected to privacy violations at the hands of the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice. She explains the forensic evidence uncovered in the case, and her ongoing battle for justice.
* * *
You can read more about Sharyl's work at https://sharylattkisson.com/
With Newsvoice, you can be a part of the media. Our mission is to democratize the news, and move the power over to our readers. Get involved by downloading the app, or visit us at Newsvoice.com.
* * *
Here is the full color from Atkisson et al. of how the left invented "Fake News"...
In a recent Tedx talk at the University of Nevada, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson revealed some of the earliest efforts to seed the phrase "fake news" into the public lexicon by a little nonprofit group funded in part by George Soros' Open Society Foundation and Google.
The group, "First Draft," announced a partnership on September 13, 2016 "to tackle malicious hoaxes and fake news reports," said Attkisson. "The goal was supposedly to separate wheat from chaff, to prevent unproven conspiracy talk from figuring prominently in internet searches. To relegate today's version of the alien baby story to a special internet oblivion."
First Draft '' a project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government '' uses research-based methods to fight mis- and disinformation online. Additionally, it provides practical and ethical guidance in how to find, verify and publish content sourced from the social web.
Claire Wardle, Research Fellow at the Center, leads the work of First Draft under the auspices of the Shorenstein Center and its faculty director, Nicco Mele. Grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Open Society Foundation and the Ford Foundation support our work. -First Draft
A month after First Draft began its September campaign against "Fake News," President Obama opined on the topic.
"He insisted in a speech that he too thought somebody needed to step in and curate information of this wild, wild west media environment," said Attkisson, noting that "nobody in the public had been clamoring for any such thing."
Attkisson was suspicious that Obama's decree served as marching orders to the MSM - suggesting that "few themes arise in our environment organically," and to "follow the money."
"What if the whole anti-fake news campaign was an effort on somebody's part to keep us from seeing or believing certain websites and stories by controversializing them or labeling them as fake news?" suggested Attkisson.
Meanwhile, another major donor behind First Draft's "fake news" push was none other than Google parent company CEO Eric Schmidt - a giant Hillary Clinton supporter who "offered himself up as a campaign advisor and became a top multi-million donor to it," said Attkisson, adding "His company funded First Draft around the start of the election cycle."
And almost as if choreographed, Hillary Clinton jumped on the Fake News bandwagon while her "surrogate David Brock of Media Matters privately told donors he was the one who convinced Facebook to join the effort."
"The whole thing smacked of the roll-out of a propaganda campaign," said Attkisson.
All of the sudden, "Fake News" was everywhere:
Hostile Takeover
It wouldn't be long before the left lost control of their new pet phrase they worked so hard to promote:
"But something happened that nobody expected. The anti-fake news campaign backfired. Each time advocates cried fake news, Donald Trump called them 'fake news' until he'd co-opted the term so completely that even those who [were] originally promoting it started running from it -- including the Washington Post," which she noted later backed away from using the term. -PJ Media
Indeed, the Washington Post grew so frustrated with the fact that "Fake News" had been co-opted by conservatives that they called for its retirement in January 2017!
'...though the term hasn't been around long, its meaning already is lost. Faster than you could say ''Pizzagate,'' the label has been co-opted to mean any number of completely different things: Liberal claptrap. Or opinion from left-of-center. Or simply anything in the realm of news that the observer doesn't like to hear. ''WaPo
Which is ironic, considering that the Washington Post was instrumental in propagating the phrase as early as April, 2016 - even before First Draft's September campaign.
Timeline of "Fake News" before it went hyperbolic in October, 2016 (in other words, the "seeding" campaign).
April 2nd, 2016: A search for ''Fake News'' sorted by relevance (Google's default) for results prior to 10/29/0216 reveals the earliest instance of the phrase coming from a Washington Post Expos(C) about a pro-Trump website.
Searching for ''Fake News'' by date vs. relevance:
April 11th, Buzzfeed stokes the fire by following up on Facebook's 2015 commitment to eliminate hoaxes. Interestingly, Facebook doesn't use the phrase "fake news" in their 2015 campaign, yet BuzzFeed applies it in April - long before its mainstream application.
September 2nd, less than two weeks after First Draft's campaign, factcheck.org uses the phrase ''Fake News'' to refer to a false story about President Obama banning the pledge of allegiance in public schools.
October 5th, The Guardian reports that Buzzfeed was allegedly hacked on October 5th by a Saudi teen named Ahmad Makki, who defaced the Buzzfeed website with a message that read ''Don't share fake news about us.'' Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was hacked by the same ''Fake News'' hackers.
In fact, a whole bunch of tech CEO's and celebrities were apparently hacked by ''fake news'' Ahmad Makki, who conspicuously shares the same name as a famous Pro-Assad blogger who was [nsfw] murdered brought to justice by the Free Syrian Army (the rebels Hillary planned to support in toppling Assad).
October 7th, two days after The Guardian story, buzzfeed turns around and posts a story about a ''Fake Hillary Clinton Speech Transcript'' emanating from a ''fake news'' website.
October 8th, Snopes gets in on the Fake News action:
October 13th, liberal Vanity Fair rehashes the Facebook ''Fake News'' story, which Facebook later put together a new and improved ''task force'' to deal with:
October 19th, our old friends at the Washington Post jump into the fray once again:
Closer to the election '' Facebook Fact Checker Politifact uses the phrase ''FAKE NEWS'' in an October 23rd piece, while after the election, Facebook and Google (re?) declare WAR on Fake News.
November 17th, WaPo publishes a story from a ''Facebook fake-news writer'' who thinks he got Trump elected by spreading fake news.
December 9th, Hillary Clinton gives her ''Fake News'' speech in her most victimy purple pantsuit - the same day propaganda seed-planting Buzzfeed was caught citing fake data in their fake news story.
So there you have it '' the carefully woven phrase ''Fake News'' was simply propaganda trotted out by Hillary Clinton supporters and the MSM to try and discredit non-approved sources of information, only to collapse under the weight of their inability to effectively message, and the fact that Donald Trump - a master at public opinion, co-opted the phrase and made it his own.
VIDEO - Fox News on Twitter: "Cybersecurity coordinator under Obama confirms 'stand down' order https://t.co/EDRxP1XPRq"
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 11:06
Log in Sign up Fox News @ FoxNews Cybersecurity coordinator under Obama confirms 'stand down' order
pic.twitter.com/EDRxP1XPRq 2:34 AM - 21 Jun 2018 Twitter by: Fox News @FoxNews Many People Say @ TrumpIsKnownAs
2h Replying to
@FoxNews Trump is known as an expressly sorry-arsed narwhal
View conversation · ProudRepublican @ FadingRepublic1
2h Replying to
@FoxNews #setthetruthfree View conversation · 101 ARBN VET @ 101ARBNVET
2h Replying to
@FoxNews Just more of the shady Obama Administration shit starting to surface. But but but Russia.
View conversation · Grant Anthony Sloan @ grantysloan007
1h Replying to
@FoxNews Still going on about the black guy.
View conversation · Mrs. Castle 🇺🇸'''¸ðŸŒ¸ @ marialala14
1h Replying to
@FoxNews So has HRC said she blames Obama for losing, yet?
View conversation · Roland @ imaroland
1h Replying to
@FoxNews Just more ðŸ'(C)ðŸ'(C) outta the state run media
View conversation · Jasmine Aguilar @ Jasmine15038530
1h Replying to
@101ARBNVET @FoxNews Obama gave his two terms . Great two terms !
View conversation · Gunther75 @ Gunther66440487
1h Replying to
@FoxNews Yeah...known Trump network tactic...throw in some blame Obama rhetoric to divert attention to the fact this whole administration are just a bunch of racist religious bigots with no respect for any human life and are only interested in money and power...
View conversation · Blerim Abedini @ BlerimAbedini
1h Replying to
@FoxNews Seems that patience of Mr. Trump will bring before court someone from Obama administration.
View conversation · Pdeieso@hotmail.com @ Pdeiesohotmail1
1h Replying to
@TrumpIsKnownAs @FoxNews Usual Democrat rhetoric. No thoughtful argument, resort to name calling.
View conversation · د. عبداÙرحمن اÙشنيفي @ dgoldtech
1h Replying to
@FoxNews In cybersecurity that is can be called planting a cyber bomb in your domestic politics ..
View conversation · Starry Cynthia @ StarryCynthia1
1h Replying to
@FoxNews Wow!
View conversation · fabysan @ fabysan12
1h Replying to
@FoxNews twitter.com/fabysan12/stat'... View conversation · Love USA @ iloveusa2017
1h Replying to
@FoxNews Like an onion- layers of Obama's Administration exposed.
View conversation · Torontoboy22 @ torontoboy22
1h Replying to
@FoxNews Nothing surprising there, Obama should be seen as the great pretender.
View conversation · Rick Rhodes @ Rickthechosen
1h Replying to
@FoxNews Obama's Russian collision.
View conversation · Melodie Willis Golde @ waterspryt
1h Replying to
@imaroland @FoxNews This was testimony at a hearing...how does Fox covering it mean/make a difference. Or did CNN/MSNBC not mention it and therefore you think this must have never taken place. Im confused.
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VIDEO - Global warming, now brought to you by your local TV weathercaster
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 04:12
''It's just scientific fact. And the more it gets talked about, the more it's normalized,'' LaPointe said. ''It gets into people's heads and it's not this political albatross that it could be.''
LaPointe's journey has been repeated by many of his peers across America. The friendly neighborhood meteorologist '-- found in a 2010 poll to be more skeptical than the general public about global warming '-- has rapidly evolved to not only accept climate change but to share the news with audiences in hundreds of U.S. television markets.
Key to the shift has been Climate Central, the nonprofit that helped school LaPointe. The Princeton, New Jersey-based organization sponsors classes and webinars for meteorologists and also shares real-time data and graphics with TV stations. The group has reached more than 500 local TV weathercasters '-- about a quarter of those working in the U.S. '-- since it started its ''Climate Matters'' education program in 2012, and it is expanding this week to a wider group of journalists.
So far, the efforts have paid off. The number of stories on global warming by television weather people has increased 15-fold over five years, according to data from the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. If the trend continues this year, there will be more than a thousand stories that touch on climate delivered during local TV weathercasts, up from just 55 such climate stories in 2012.
The inroads with meteorologists are particularly significant because local TV news remains the top source of news for most Americans. And George Mason surveys have shown that when it comes to climate issues, the public trusts their familiar local TV personalities more than anyone, other than scientists and family members.
Most Americans don't know a scientist, and their loved ones probably don't know much about long-term climate dynamics, said Ed Maibach, the climate change center's director. ''So we immediately saw the potential with weather people,'' he said, ''and helping them to do the job of putting extreme weather in context.''
Why weather forecasters are an important part of climate messagingWhile 70 percent of Americans now accept that global warming is occurring, and 58 percent agree that it is mostly caused by human activities, most people still don't express urgency about the problem. It's not listed as a pressing issue by most voters and just 39 percent believe that climate change is causing harm right now, according to a March George Mason survey of 1,278 adults.
''To most people this is distant in time, distant in space, distant in species,'' said Susan Hassol, who has been working in climate communications for three decades. ''We say, 'No, it's about us, and it's local, and it's happening right now.'''
The researchers at George Mason and communications experts at Climate Central believe the big changes needed to slow global warming will happen only when citizens sense the urgency of the threat and the opportunity to make things better. Under a National Science Foundation grant, with research support from NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, George Mason and Climate Central have collaborated on the Climate Matters project to get weathercasters to report on global warming.
''There are still not enough people telling that story, of what climate change means to me and what it means to the community,'' said Bernadette Woods Placky, Climate Central's director and a former TV weathercaster. ''It's time to move beyond the question of 'Is climate change happening?' to the question 'What does climate change mean to me?'''
Bernadette Woods Placky, executive director of Climate Central, helps TV weathercasters report on global warming. Courtesy Climate CentralIt was just eight years ago that the George Mason climate group surveyed 571 weathercasters and found that only about half believed in global warming, while one-quarter said it was ''a scam.'' The dim view of climate science, coming from some of the people most likely to talk to the public about it, made the front page of The New York Times.
The divide between TV meteorologists and climate scientists may have been exacerbated by differences in education, some experts believed. Meteorologists generally hold bachelor's degrees and work with short-term data to project weather over a week or two. Research scientists, usually Ph.D.s, chart trends over decades and even centuries.
By 2017, a new survey of broadcast meteorologists by George Mason found that views had shifted rapidly, with an overwhelming 95 percent saying they believed that the climate was changing. Still, some expressed misgivings about discussing the issue on the air. Roughly one quarter worried that if they raised the subject, ''the feedback from management is or would be predominantly negative,'' the survey found. Placky said TV meteorologists also tend to feel that their hands are already full, between predicting the weather and producing on-air reports, while also filing online updates and posting on social media.
Many TV weather people leave discussion of climate issues for news anchors and reporters.
''It's been strictly seven-day forecasts. We talk about the weather '-- that's what people want,'' said Greg Pollak, who has worked at five stations in North Dakota, Massachusetts and New York in his eight years in the business. He said he has never been asked to tackle climate issues in any of those jobs.
''I think management probably felt it was too much of a sensitive subject to touch on,'' Pollak said of why his bosses didn't push for climate coverage, ''and maybe we would get thrown under the bus, somehow.''
How Climate Matters works with weather forecastersThe Climate Matters campaign to integrate climate information with weather reporting started with a 2010 pilot program, featuring South Carolina meteorologist Jim Gandy. ''I told them: 'I don't live in a red state. I live in a dark red state,''' Gandy recalled. ''And I said, 'If you can talk climate change here, you can talk it anywhere.'''
Contrary to fears that viewers in the conservative state might be turned off by Gandy's reports, a review found that viewers knew more about climate change after seeing his stories. And ratings for the overall newscasts on his station, CBS affiliate WLTX in Columbia, increased, though it is impossible to know if the jump was connected to Gandy's reporting.
''But in my mind it smashed the idea you can't talk about climate change because you will turn people off,'' said Gandy, 65, who has been on the air for more than 40 years.
Climate Central now routinely provides local climate information for 244 cities in the U.S., said Placky, the group's director. Meteorologists can plug their city into a Climate Matters search page and find analysis of local climate impacts '-- often backed by NOAA and NASA experts, along with ready-for-air charts and graphics.
The results of the pre-packaged material can be seen across the country. LaPointe recently stood in front of a Climate Central chart showing how average temperatures in upstate New York had jumped 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit, on average, over the last three decades. An NBC affiliate in Connecticut displayed a Climate Central chart depicting a 20-day increase in frost-free weather annually and, thus, in the length of allergy season. And multiple stations used the organization's data on how higher temperatures and humidity had lengthened the mosquito season.
"It's time to move beyond the question of 'Is climate change happening?'"
Climate Central has gotten creative in providing fodder for climate talk. On St. Patrick's Day, 18 stations used the group's research for reports on how warming temperatures might affect the beer industry. The reports suggested barley costs could go up because of more frequent droughts, while hops could taste different if farmers shift away from scarcer surface water to supplies pumped from underground. (The report acknowledged these changes have not yet occurred.)
Anthony Yanez, a meteorologist at KNBC in Los Angeles, said he saw the wave of stations across the country offering reports on the potential climate-beer connection, and he credited Climate Central. ''They have information that's easy to get, easy to use and that gets right into the local market,'' said Yanez, who recently produced a segment on the increased wildfire threat, tying it to global warming.
The logistical help is particularly welcome in an era when local TV news operations have sustained staff reductions, said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, a think tank on sustainable journalism practices.
Rosenstiel said there's no problem with news organizations using data and graphics from groups like Climate Central, as long as outlets know the source of the information and report it clearly to viewers. ''The stations still need to be gatekeepers, assuring that the information is good and that their audience knows where it's coming from,'' Rosenstiel said.
The Climate Matters program has been successful enough with forecasters that organizers are expanding it this week to workshops for other journalists. The first training is being held for print and radio reporters at the University of South Carolina, with four more sessions planned around the country through November.
LaPointe said he has run into no opposition as he has increasingly folded climate reporting into his weather forecasts, including from the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the conservative-leaning company that owns his upstate New York station. ''There is zero pushback. Nobody has said 'You can't do this.' Nobody has said 'You cannot say this,''' LaPointe said.
''This is all based on science and on fact,'' LaPointe added, ''and on the idea that it can help us to make better decisions and elect better people and implement the policy changes we need to turn this thing around.''
VIDEO - Sen. James Lankford on Twitter: "From today's Intel hearing on Russian interference: ' Russia will probably try again ' Other nations learned from their success ' Fake trolls & bots are still active ' Fed gov't, states & indust
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 03:53
(((Cathy Lubenski))) @ TrashyChic
8h Replying to
@SenatorLankford Q
pic.twitter.com/ZTbE1lRcJn View conversation · grab them by the midterms @ JenniferArrow
7h Replying to
@SenatorLankford I didn't like you at first, Senator, but because of your work protecting our country from Putin you've really grown on me. Thank you, sir.
View conversation · Emily A. @ emzorbit
6h Replying to
@SenatorLankford Also, the person Russia helped elect in the last election is still in office, traumatizing babies and toddlers.
View conversation · Beth Campbell @ _Beth_Campbell_
6h Replying to
@SenatorLankford This reply from a bot.
pic.twitter.com/baZgtNK1bh View conversation · Nick Luca @ nickluca12
6h Replying to
@SenatorLankford Russia is not "trying" they are doing and I mean right now as we speak.Bots and trolls are heavily active.Going to have to move quick to fight against this. I don't see fed gov, states, industry doing much, frankly. Sadly, HRC knew what to do. *sigh*
View conversation · lizless @ lizlessner
5h Replying to
@SenatorLankford Thank you, Senator
View conversation · Carol Forden @ CarolForden
5h Replying to
@SenatorLankford You piece of sh*t.You ripped kids from parents and now WILL NOT RETURN THEM TO THEIR PARENTS
twitter.com/JaxAlemany/sta'... View conversation · Chris ''Cal'' Carnahan @ xtrixcyclex
4h Replying to
@SenatorLankford No guarantee for the GOP that they will be the beneficiaries of future espionage. This was a one off. It is in everyone's interest to stop interference on social media, in journalism, with voter data etc
View conversation · Connie C. Keys @ hotelkeys
3h Replying to
@SenatorLankford Have you met your president? He doesn't believe any of that.
View conversation · Maud Gonne @ AnnaEngelbrech5
3h Replying to
@SenatorLankford religion and environment and the absecence of to STEPPING UP AGAINST AT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR COUNTRY. HC, the gap, no raises, and knowing what is eventually to come regarding our economy. Our Allies. All of this Putin, Koch, Mercers bidding.
View conversation · Maud Gonne @ AnnaEngelbrech5
3h Replying to
View conversation · Secret Derp State Society 🌊🗽🇺🇸 @ TurtlesgaloreMR
3h Replying to
@SenatorLankford @Vanadia Fake trolls and Russian bots, a.k.a., accounts that are impossible to discern from actual trump voters. smh
View conversation · They're child hostages @ OverUnderClover
3h Replying to
@SenatorLankford Senator lankford how do you deal with the right wing media led by the president trying to convince 40% of the country that this is a hoax. Isn't that a violation of his oath of office making your job harder?
View conversation · They're child hostages @ OverUnderClover
3h Replying to
@SenatorLankford And since you know it IS a violation of his oath of office, why are you and your fellows in the house not bringing impeachment?
View conversation · ''ŠðŸ¾ A Rod ''ŠðŸ¾ @ virtualhispanic
3h Replying to
@SenatorLankford @WhiteHouse @realDonaldTrump And that the
@WhiteHouse /
@realDonaldTrump did nothing about it and plan on doing nothing?
View conversation · Eric @ EricInAdelaide
3h Replying to
@SenatorLankford @jaketapper But'... but'... NO COLLUSION!:)
View conversation · Chris Lee @ Chris_Lee_Cal
3h Replying to
@SenatorLankford Thanks for having a hearing. What are you going to do about it? Also, are you going to stand against purging registered voters from voter rolls?
View conversation · Andrey Davydov @ FarEasterner
3h Replying to
@SenatorLankford @dburbach Victoria Nuland supported literally Nazis who still rampaging sacking Gypsy camps
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VIDEO - 'Fascist Pig!' '-- Chanting Socialists Chase DHS Secretary Nielsen Out Of Mexican Restaurant | The Daily Caller
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 03:51
2:42 AM 06/20/2018Scott Morefield | Reporter
Members of the local DC Democratic Socialists of America group confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a Mexican restaurant Tuesday evening.
''We're in downtown DC disrupting DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's dinner at MXDC,'' the group wrote below the video on its Facebook page. ''The irony isn't lost on us that this is a Mexican restaurant. Nielsen has led the program to tell her to put an end to separating families, to step down as head of the department, and that ICE and CBP must be abolished #abolishICE #abolishCBP''
The video shows members of the group standing and shouting various slogans at Nielsen and a companion while security stands at her table. Here's a run down of several of the most popular:
''Shame! Shame! '... ''
''If kids don't eat in peace, you don't eat in peace.''
''Not in the U.S., not in D.C.'' (RELATED: DHS Sec Nielsen Defends Trump Administration's Migrant Policies From 'Irresponsible And Unproductive' Press)
''In a Mexican restaurant, of all places,'' one woman said. ''The f*ing gall. Shame on you. Shame Shame Shame Fascist pig!''
''No human being is illegal.''
''Abolish ICE.''
''Kirstjen Nielsen you're a villain. Locking up innocent children.''
''Shame on Nielsen. Shame on Trump.''
''Sanctuary for all. No borders no walls.''
''End Texas concentration camps.''
''We're here tonight because DSH Secretary Nielsen is sitting right over there trying to enjoy dinner as over 10,000 children have been ripped away from their parent's arms,'' a man said. ''So we say you can't enjoy your dinner until you reunite all those families and abolish ICE.'' (RELATED: Tucker Exposes 'Ruling Class' Behind Border Policy Uproar: 'Their Goal Is To Change Your Country Forever')
Nielsen eventually left with a companion and security. Slate's Osita Nwanevu reported that she was ''driven out'' by ''activists.''
DHS Secretary Nielsen just got driven out of a Mexican restaurant here on 14th Street by activists. DSA, I believe. pic.twitter.com/lTKutryXBO
'-- Osita Nwanevu (@OsitaNwanevu) June 20, 2018
Metro DC released a statement following the incident on Tuesday night:
Statement on tonight's protest.https://t.co/TUH8JyImBG#AbolishICE #AbolishCBP #FamiliesBelongTogether pic.twitter.com/v8XmjeP9Rt
'-- Metro DC DSA (@mdc_dsa) June 20, 2018
Follow Scott on Facebook and Twitter.
VIDEO - IN THE NOW on Twitter: "Hillary Clinton weighs in on this summer's hottest hot-button issue. It's officialy flip-flop season!'... "
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 19:13
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VIDEO - TODAY on Twitter: "Pope Francis has spoken out about migrant family separation. @stephruhle has the latest. https://t.co/Cdujv7HSJE"
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:23
Log in Sign up TODAY @ TODAYshow Pope Francis has spoken out about migrant family separation. @stephruhle has the latest.
pic.twitter.com/Cdujv7HSJE 4:58 AM - 20 Jun 2018 Twitter by: TODAY @TODAYshow Josh.Sazer @ majorsazer
24m Replying to
@TODAYshow Good thing!
View conversation · Kathy A Masiello @ KAMasiello
22m Replying to
@TODAYshow Families have been separated for years in this country when their PARENTS Break the Law. Some go home an others go into the system for years. This is nothing new!! The Media has whipped up this emotional frenzy!
View conversation · John Five @ myteledeluxe
22m Replying to
@TODAYshow pic.twitter.com/1ARpLrDdvP View conversation · Mark Larkin @ RefandUmpTravel
20m Replying to
@TODAYshow Did you ask them/him their opinion on abortion?
View conversation · Glenda Ely @ glendabelle_11
17m Replying to
@TODAYshow Why can't CONGRESS DO THEIR JOB! It is CONGRESS NOT THE PRESIDENT that makes the laws! The President will enforce the laws!
View conversation · Diana Prince @ lovinglife0725
10m Replying to
@TODAYshow To recap: goes with narrative, Christianity is good; goes against our narrative, Christianity bad. These pesky news cycles!
View conversation · Modern Activism @ modernactivism
27s Replying to
@TODAYshow Pope Francis' Dark Past As Agent of U.S.-Backed Argentine Military Junta
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VIDEO - TODAY on Twitter: "''I don't believe it. I think it's all a big lie'... I don't think that the people who are so-called being separated are what the news is portraying them to be.'' Evangelicals talk to @SRuhle about the immigration crisis
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 12:16
Log in Sign up TODAY @ TODAYshow ''I don't believe it. I think it's all a big lie'... I don't think that the people who are so-called being separated are what the news is portraying them to be.'' Evangelicals talk to
@SRuhle about the immigration crisis
pic.twitter.com/OUuTdT3ht6 4:48 AM - 20 Jun 2018 Twitter by: TODAY @TODAYshow I Am NikkiFree @ iamnikkifree
23m Replying to
@TODAYshow @SRuhle This is disgusting and white supremacy at its finest. Evangelical preachers justified slavery too.
View conversation · Teresa Danner Kander @ togetherforlife
13m Replying to
@TODAYshow @SRuhle Unbelievable!! Is this really what Jesus would do??
View conversation · Matthew Gellert @ MatthewGellert
6m Replying to
@TODAYshow @SRuhle @realDonaldTrump You think this way of thinking has anything to do with the entire
@realDonaldTrump administration telkbg Americans to not believe the press?
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VIDEO - TODAY on Twitter: "''As of this morning, 2,600 flights have been canceled since last Thursday stemming from two computer glitches.'' One angry passenger reportedly smashed a window in frustration, @tomcostellonbc reports https://t.co/DUGnEgCeNf"
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:37
''As of this morning, 2,600 flights have been canceled since last Thursday stemming from two computer glitches.'' One angry passenger reportedly smashed a window in frustration,
@tomcostellonbc reports
VIDEO - YouTube - Alexa for hospitality
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:04
VIDEO - Rachel Maddow Breaks Down in Tears Delivering News of Migrant Babies Being Detained
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 10:36
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow just couldn't bear to read the words in front of her on Tuesday's show.
The words were from an AP story on the separation of children from their families at the nation's border.
The story reads, in part:
Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three ''tender age'' shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday.Since the White House announced its zero tolerance policy in early May, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, resulting in a new influx of young children requiring government care. The government has faced withering critiques over images of some of the children in cages inside U.S. Border Patrol processing stations.
Maddow understandably couldn't keep it together and eventually asked for a graphic so that it could be shown to their readers so they could read it themselves.
When that didn't work, she attempted to soldier on, with tears in her eyes and a waver in her voice.
Afterward, she took to Twitter to apologize for showing emotion.
''Ugh, I'm sorry. If nothing else, it is my job to actually be able to speak while I'm on TV,'' she wrote. Then, after concluding what she was trying to say, she added: ''Again, I apologize for losing it there for a moment. Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile.''
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
VIDEO - NBC News on Twitter: "UN Human Rights commissioner: "In the United States, I'm deeply concerned by recently adopted policies which punish children for their parents' actions ... The thought that any State would seek to deter parents by inflictin
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 10:18
CE @ cellstrom1
Jun 18 Dear UN. Please help us eliminate our dictator now. We are heading toward 1930s Germany against all brown and black people in our case. Russia is pushing our separation as a nation as well. The world must stand against the US. I'm a US Army veteran.
View conversation · Jamie Lynn ODell @ JamieLynnODell
Jun 18 Help us! American citizens do not know what to do! We can vote, sure. Months from now. We can protest, we can complain online but we need real action by those who are put in place to make sure these sorts of inhumane atrocities do not happen!
View conversation · Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 14:33
VIDEO - YouTube Space Force Song
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 13:03
VIDEO - Convenient or creepy? Thousands of hotels will soon have Amazon's Alexa by your bedside - TODAY.com
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:37
June 19th, 2018
The online shopping giant revealed that it will soon put Echo smart speakers equipped with the virtual assistant Alexa in thousands of hotel rooms. The participating chains include Marriott, Westin, St. Regis and Aloft Hotels. NBC's Jo Ling Kent reports on the potential privacy concerns some have, as well as Amazon's response.
VIDEO - 5 ways Kirstjen Nielsen's press conference on family separation policy was a total disaster - CNNPolitics
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:35
(CNN)Faced with a burgeoning political, policy and human rights crisis on the country's southern border, the White House turned to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to quiet the firestorm.
It didn't work. At all.
Nielsen, a protege of White House chief of staff John Kelly and a hardliner on immigration along the lines of President Donald Trump, tried and failed -- badly -- to explain why the forced separation of families trying to enter the country illegally was, well, not the Trump administration's fault.
There was a lot wrong with what Nielsen said -- and how she said it. Here are five things (and you can see the full transcript
1. She offered a technical response to a deeply emotional issue
From the start, Nielsen was all facts and figures -- all aimed at making the case that family unit arrivals, particularly from Central America, have soared in recent years. (She's right;
they have.) But this is not a purely numbers issue. It's an emotional one too. It's about seeing little kids taken from their parents and wondering how your son or daughter would react in that situation. Hearing the cries of small children desperate to find someone -- anyone -- who can take them to a relative. This issue isn't just about dry policy-making. It's about people too. And Nielsen never even nodded to that fact.
2. She kept saying only Congress could fix it
Nope! To be clear: If Trump wanted to stop the
"zero-tolerance" policy that had led to the rapid increase in children being separated from their families, he could. He could simply make clear to DHS officials that they should not refer every single person who tries to enter the country illegally for prosecution.
What is Nielsen talking about then? She is using the current family separation crisis as a way to argue that Democrats need to give Trump what he wants on funding for the border wall. So yes, Congress could address the issue of family separation as part of a broader bill dealing with financing for border security measures.
But, Trump could also simply call off the "zero-tolerance" policy.
3. She kept talking about how the administration had no choice but to enforce the law
On its face, this argument makes perfect sense. How can we have a country if we don't have laws and if we don't enforce those laws? "Our policy at DHS is to do what we're sworn to do, which is to enforce the law," Nielsen said.
But discretion in how laws are enforced is essential in all sorts of areas. If you are going 57 miles an hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, you are technically breaking the law and should be penalized. But very few cops pull people over for going two miles an hour over the speed limit. There are a million other examples where the law says one thing but it is enforced in a way that doesn't follow the letter of the law.
The idea that Nielsen, DHS and the broader Trump administration has no choice but to separate these families is ludicrous.
4. She feigned ignorance about the photos of children in cages
Here's Nielsen's full response when asked about the pictures:
"I have -- I have not seen something that came out today but I have been to detention centers and, again, I would reference you to our standards and I would reference you to the care provided not just by the Department of Homeland Security, but by the Department of Health and Human Services when they get to H.H.S."
I mean, come on. She hasn't seen any of those photos? Has she spent the last 96 hours on a neighboring planet?
5. She blamed the families for creating a false narrative
After Nielsen claimed, repeatedly, that she had not seen the widely circulated photos of children being kept in cages, she then said that the photos were being selectively chosen to tell only one side of the story.
Here's her quote:
"I think that they reflect the focus of those who post such pictures and narratives. The narratives we don't see are the narratives of the crime, of the opioids, of the smugglers, of who are people killed by gang members, of American children who are recruited and then when they lose the drugs they're tased and beaten."
I don't think that's why people are posting photos, Secretary Nielsen.
VIDEO - USA NEWS on Twitter: "EVERYTHING ONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT OBAMA FBI/DOJ FALSELY EXONERATING CLINTON WHILE TARGETING TRUMP👇 Lindsey Graham sir, we are so proud of you! This was one of the most courageous, common sense statements seen on behalf of
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:20
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VIDEO - Kyle Griffin on Twitter: "Jeff Sessions says that Trump's family separation policies are not like Nazi Germany because Nazis "were keeping the Jews from leaving." (via Fox) https://t.co/KDkd3xMPBw"
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:04
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VIDEO - WHO Recognizes Gaming Disorder As A Mental Health Condition : NPR
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:00
WHO Recognizes Gaming Disorder As A Mental Health Condition Gaming disorder, as in video games, is now an official mental health condition, according to the World Health Organization. But the idea of technology addiction is still controversial.
WHO Recognizes Gaming Disorder As A Mental Health Condition Download Embed <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/621269712/621269713" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Gaming disorder, as in video games, is now an official mental health condition, according to the World Health Organization. But the idea of technology addiction is still controversial.
VIDEO - YouTube - Kjirsten DHS
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 11:04
VIDEO - YouTube - Flashback: Journalists Mocked Trump's Announcement as a Joke
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:12
VIDEO - Austin rolls out second phase to tackle homelessness downtown - KXAN
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 04:53
AUSTIN (KXAN) -- The city of Austin, Austin police and many community groups will launch their second phase of major changes to address homelessness downtown Monday.
After the first phase ended on Friday, Austin is starting a second 30-day trial in an effort to make sure that the people who need resources in downtown Austin are the ones actually being connected with services.
The first phase of this effort started on Aug. 15 as a 30-day pilot program to cut down on crime, eliminate overcrowding and help bring homeless individuals there to long-term housing.
Ann Howard, executive director for the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) in Austin, explained that there are hundreds of homeless individuals staying in Austin and Travis County and roughly 50-75 people who sleep outside Austin's Resource Center of the Homeless (ARCH) every night. Howard and the coalition now know more than ever about who these people are and what they need thanks to the data they've been tracking over the last month.
Using that data, they've identified by name, 75 people who regularly stay in the area near the ARCH. More than half of those people are men, 22 have housing plans, 20 sleep at shelters, and 45 of them use services at the ARCH during the day. On average, 166 people sleep at the ARCH every night, all of them men. The Salvation Army houses around 250 people each night including men, women and children.
During the first trial period, the coalition was able to transition two of those 75 people into leases with permanent supportive housing.
Starting Monday, free meal services will change downtown. During the first month, meal services at Caritas of Austin were streamlined into the ARCH and made only available to people who were actively receiving services at the ARCH. On Monday, those free lunches will be moved back to Caritas across the street and made available to anyone who needs it. The ARCH will provide a light breakfast and an evening meal for clients there. Salvation Army will continue their new effort to offer three meals per day.
Howard said people staying around the ARCH told service providers that they were overwhelmingly happy with the new police presence there. The coalition also plans to continue the cleaning efforts in the area and maintain the new port-a-potties there. The streets near the ARCH are visibly cleaner and less crowded than they were a month ago.
Howard explained that most of the long-term housing programs are already full, meaning that Austin will need more funds to transition everyone living on the streets to long-term housing. She would like to see the type of public and private sector support given to Harvey evacuees in Austin extended to the homeless community as well.
"Within days we have temporary shelter, it's got staffing, it's funded, there's food, there's air conditioning, there's brand new cots," she said of the shelter provided for evacuees in Austin. "So we are challenged as a community, how do we every day deal with the crisis of homelessness as if it is a crisis in a natural disaster? For the people experiencing homelessness, it is a disaster."
During the first pilot, two Austin police officers were staffed outside the ARCH at all hours.
"Unfortunately the police will need to scale back their presence there because it's been funded through over time but it's proven to be quite costly," explained Mayor Pro tem Kathie Tovo. "That was a disappointment but they are committed to trying to keep as much presence there for as many hours as possible."
To her understanding, APD will have a regular post near the ARCH, but officers there may be diverted to other calls if they're needed.
Tovo noted that APD has helped Austin's homeless to get more resources in the past month by targeting drug dealers who have increasingly traveled into downtown to prey on the homeless.
Overall, Tovo believes the program has been enormously successful so far. In order to move forward, Tovo said these efforts need more funding.
"We do have a lot of individuals in this community who have sought out searches who have done what they needed to do to complete the process of providing their information, but we simply don't have enough funding to provide those case management services to those individuals," she said.
Adrian Westmoreland, who is now staying at the Salvation Army with his 11-year-old son, said the changes downtown are obvious.
"It's changed a lot, they've cleaned up a lot of the area where drugs were at -- which is a good thing," Westmoreland noted.
Westmoreland first spoke with KXAN in early August, at that time he and his son had been homeless since December when his wife died.
"We just went downhill, it was like everyone was against us, it seemed like we were going nowhere fast," he said.
In early August he couldn't find a job, his son was not enrolled in school, and they were sleeping on the streets.
Since the program has been in place, Westmoreland found a job, he and his son have a place to stay and eat, and his son is happily enrolled in sixth grade.
He agrees with the city's efforts to focus more on long-term housing for the people near the ARCH, but also adds that other services will have to come with the housing
"I think the long-term housing is great, but a lot of [the people near the ARCH] have problems, drug problems and mental problems," he said. "Before they can receive longer-term housing. I believe that they need help getting over whatever that addiction is or whatever problem they are having mentally."


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