Political Cartoons: Trump administration’s migrant camps

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The Trump administration’s decision to remove “the majority” of 300 migrant children from a Border Patrol station in Texas follows Associated Press reports suggesting the kids there were being cared for without adequate food, water and sanitation and nationwide scrutiny of the administration’s immigration enforcement policies.

Lawyers who toured the Clint, Texas, facility, which governs detention conditions for migrant children, said they witnessed inhumane conditions of overcrowding, according to the Washington Post. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) sparked further debate over conditions in the camps when she compared them to concentration camps run by Nazis during World War II.

The country’s top border security official then resigned, following reports of the conditions and Trump’s move to delay plans for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest and deport approximately 2,000 migrant families with court-ordered removals in 10 cities, according to CNN. Bay Area mayors responded to the delay by calling for immigration reform.

Other mayors, including Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, said their city would not assist in the immigration raids if they are carried out.

Trump then threatened to veto a $4.5 billion House proposal crafted to improve the treatment of migrant families detained after crossing the U.S. southern border after offering …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


A 6,000-mile path will experience a total solar eclipse next week. The display won’t be easy to see.

By Matthew Cappucci | Special To The Washington Post

It’s been nearly two years since the “Great American Eclipse.” Millions crammed into a 70-mile wide path of totality stretching from coast to coast, where the moon blotted out the sun to usher in a spontaneous nightfall. It was a planetary cavalcade unlike anything most had seen.

Next Tuesday, Earth will again find itself the backdrop of the moon’s shadow, but this time, basking in the lunar umbra won’t be so easy. Though the path of totality spans 6,000 miles, most of it is over the remote South Pacific. Only a narrow zone in Chile and Argentina will witness totality before sunset – weather permitting.

This time around will be a higher-stakes but higher-reward event. It’s winter in the southern hemisphere, and Mother Nature’s caprice manifests itself in the chaotic conditions of the Andes Mountains. La Serena – a coastal city of 200,000 about 250 miles north of Santiago and the first community to be plunged into darkness – is frequently buried beneath a deck of marine stratus clouds.

Making matters more complicated is the low elevation of the sun. Since totality strikes at 4:38 p.m. – just one hour, 18 minutes before sunset – the solar disk will hover a mere 13 degrees above the northwest horizon as the moon intercepts its light. That means even distant clouds could spoil the show. During the 2017 eclipse, the sun was 60 degrees high, so the only clouds that mattered were the those directly above. The eclipse in Chile will be much trickier.

The eclipse also could boost cloud cover near the coast. As incoming light drops and temperatures fall, an “inversion” will strengthen as the ground cools faster than the air. That will speed up the production of ocean stratus clouds even more.

There is the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Time running short, showdown looms over border aid package

By Andrew Taylor and Alan Fram | The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — It took last-minute changes and a full-court press by top Democratic leaders, but the House passed with relative ease a $4.5 billion emergency border aid package to care for thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children detained after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The bill passed along party lines Tuesday night after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quelled a mini-revolt by progressives and Hispanic lawmakers who sought significant changes to the legislation. New provisions added to the bill were more modest than what those lawmakers had sought, but the urgent need for the funding — to prevent the humanitarian emergency on the border from turning into a debacle — appeared to outweigh any lingering concerns.

The 230-195 vote sets up a showdown with the Republican-led Senate, which may try instead to force Democrats to send President Donald Trump a different, and broadly bipartisan, companion measure in coming days as the chambers race to wrap up the must-do legislation by the end of the week.

“The Senate has a good bill. Our bill is much better,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told her Democratic colleagues in a meeting Tuesday morning, according to a senior Democratic aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private session.

“We are ensuring that children have food, clothing, sanitary items, shelter and medical care. We are providing access to legal assistance. And we are protecting families because families belong together,” Pelosi said in a subsequent floor speech.

The bill contains more than $1 billion to shelter and feed migrants detained by the border patrol and almost $3 billion to care for unaccompanied migrant children who are turned over the Department of Health and Human Services. It seeks to mandate improved standards of care at HHS “influx shelters” that house children waiting to be …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Shipment of beach chairs turns out to be $10M in cocaine

By Lori Aratani | Washington Post

To the untrained eye, it looked like a shipment of beach chairs from China.

But when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers looked a bit closer they saw something else: four black bags. And in those bags were 125 bricks of a white powdery substance that field tested for cocaine.

The bricks weighed roughly 333 pounds and have a street value of about $10 million, officials said. The seizure on June 18, set a record for the agency, besting the 311 pounds that was seized in April 2007.

“This seizure illustrates the complexities of Customs and Border Protection’s multifaceted missions, from ensuring that imported goods comply with U.S. trade regulations to interdicting dangerous drugs that harm our communities,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s director of field operations in Baltimore. “CBP officers remain vigilant at our nation’s ports of entry to significantly impact transnational criminal organizations that push dangerously unsafe consumer goods or dangerous drugs.”

No arrests have been made in the case, which is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations agents.

In addition to CBP officers, Homeland Security Investigations agents and state and local agencies that are part of HSI’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) participated in the bust.

The goal of BEST is to combat emerging and existing transnational criminal organizations with the help of federal, state, local, tribal and international law enforcement authorities.

The container originated in China and traveled through Panama before arriving in Baltimore. The beach chairs were slated to be delivered to an address in Maryland, officials said.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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