Trump pledges asylum crackdown, tent cities; is it legal?
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Thursday he plans to sign an order next week that could lead to the large-scale detention of migrants crossing the southern border and bar anyone caught crossing illegally from claiming asylum — two legally dubious proposals that mark his latest election-season barrage against illegal immigration.
Trump also said he had told the U.S. military mobilizing at the southwest border that if U.S. troops face rock-throwing migrants, they should react as though the rocks were “rifles.”
“This is an invasion,” Trump declared, as he has previously on a subject that has been shown to resonate strongly with his base of Republican supporters. He made his comments at the White House in a rambling, campaign-style speech that was billed as a response to caravans of migrants traveling slowly by foot toward the U.S. border. But Trump offered few details on how exactly he planned to overhaul an asylum system he claimed was plagued by “endemic abuse” that he said “makes a mockery of our immigration system.”
U.S. immigration laws make clear that migrants seeking asylum may do so either at or between border crossings. But Trump said he would limit that to official crossing points. The U.S. also doesn’t have space at the border to manage the large-scale detention of migrants, with most facilities at capacity. Trump said the government would erect “massive tents” instead.
His announcement marked Trump’s latest attempt to keep the issue of immigration front-and-center in the final stretch before next Tuesday’s elections. Trump has spent the waning days of the campaign hammering the issue at every occasion as he tries to energize Republican voters using the same playbook that helped him win in 2016. In addition to deploying the military to the southern border to stave off the caravan, Trump announced plans to try to end the constitutionally-protected right of birthright citizenship for all children born in the U.S.
In migrant caravan, kids and parents struggle with long trek
NILTEPEC, Mexico (AP) — Toddlers slump in strollers bouncing across the rough asphalt, and infants only a few weeks old jiggle in their fathers’ arms. Others, limp from exhaustion and nearly too big to be carried, are slung across their mothers’ chests like sacks of grain, sweaty hair plastered to their heads.
The U.N. children’s agency estimated last week that 2,300 children were traveling in the caravan of Central American migrants. That number has declined somewhat as the group’s size diminishes, but kids of all ages are still everywhere and at risk of illness, dehydration and other dangers.
And if it’s exhausting for children, it’s perhaps even more so for their parents trying to care for them as they walk long hours in the sun, sleep on the ground outdoors and rely on donations of food and clothing to get by.
Pamela Valle, a 28-year-old from El Progreso, Honduras, said no child should have to undertake a migration like this. But unable to find work back home, she said she had no choice but to leave and take 5-year-old Eleonor with her.
Each day when they arrive in a new town on the long trek across the steamy southern Mexico countryside, she looks first for a sheltered place to sleep. On this day that was a red tarp that a group of migrants stretched across a playground in the main square of the southern town of Tapanatepec. Then she and Eleonor went in search of food and bathrooms.
Trump implores Missouri voters to dump McCaskill for Hawley
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — President Donald Trump implored voters on Thursday to reject Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and to instead install a Republican in her seat who would fully back his agenda.
Trump appeared at a rollicking campaign rally in Columbia, home of the state’s largest university, in an airline hangar draped in American flags. It was his second rally in an 11-stop, eight-state tour designed to boost Republican turnout ahead of Tuesday’s crucial midterm elections.
The president, accompanied by McCaskill’s Republican challenger, Josh Hawley, declared that Hawley “will be a star.”
Hawley, the current attorney general, sought to link McCaskill to Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, who lost the state in 2016 by nearly 19 percentage points.
“Claire McCaskill has spent her lifetime in politics just like Hillary,” Hawley said. “Claire McCaskill wanted us to call Hillary Clinton ‘Madam President.’ On Nov. 6, we’re going to call Claire McCaskill ‘fired.'”
Days after synagogue massacre, online hate is thriving
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A website popular with racists that was used by the man charged in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre was shut down within hours of the slaughter, but it hardly mattered: Anti-Semites and racists who hang out in such havens just moved to other online forums.
On Wednesday, four days after 11 people were fatally shot in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history, anonymous posters on another website popular with white supremacists, Stormfront, claimed the bloodshed at Tree of Life synagogue was an elaborate fake staged by actors. The site’s operator, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, said traffic has increased about 45 percent since the shooting.
The anti-Semitic rhetoric was just as bad on another site popular with white supremacists, The Daily Stormer, where a headline said: “Just go, Jews. You’re not welcome.”
Trying to stop the online vitriol that opponents say fuels real-world bloodshed is a constant battle for groups that monitor hate, and victories are hard to come by. Shut down one platform like Gab, where the shooting suspect posted a message shortly before the attack, and another one remains or a new one opens.
The problem dates back to the dawn of the internet, when users connected their computers to each other by dialing telephone numbers. A report issued by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League in 1985 found there were two online “networks of hate” in the United States, both run by neo-Nazis who spread anti-Semitic, racist propaganda.
Cross talk: Federal agencies clash on cellphone cancer risk
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two U.S. government agencies are giving conflicting interpretations of a safety study on cellphone radiation: One says it causes cancer in rats. The other says there’s no reason for people to worry.
No new research was issued Thursday. Instead, the National Toxicology Program dialed up its concerns about a link to heart and brain cancer from a study of male rats that was made public last winter.
The Food and Drug Administration, which oversees cellphone safety, disagreed with the upgraded warning. And “these findings should not be applied to human cellphone usage,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, FDA’s chief of radiological health.
What’s most important is what happens in humans, not rats, said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
“The incidence of brain tumors in human beings has been flat for the last 40 years,” Brawley said. “That is the absolute most important scientific fact.”
AP FACT CHECK: Trump-tweeted ad unfairly blames Democrats
SAN DIEGO (AP) — President Donald Trump tweeted an ad that blames Democrats for allowing a Mexican man who was in the U.S. illegally to kill two police officers in Northern California in 2014 in methamphetamine-fueled attacks. Luis Bracamontes was sentenced to death.
The ad shows video of Bracamontes saying in court that he wished he had killed more police officers, one of his many outbursts before the judge.
The ad links Bracamontes’ crimes to a large caravan of Central American migrants moving through Mexico and suggests that Democrats will allow other criminals in the U.S.
A look at claims in the ad:
AD: “DEMOCRATS LET (BRACAMONTES) INTO OUR COUNTRY.”
Man smiles, says ‘Let’s rock’ before dying in electric chair
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee inmate grimaced and waved goodbye before saying “let’s rock,” moments before he became the first man executed in the electric chair in that state since 2007, put to death Thursday for shooting two men and slitting their throats during a drug deal decades ago.
Edmund Zagorski, 63, was pronounced dead at 7:26 p.m. Thursday at a Nashville maximum-security prison, officials said.
Asked by the prison warden if he had any last words in the death chamber, Zagorski said, “Let’s rock,” shortly before the execution was carried out.
A reporter who witnessed the scene said at a post-execution news briefing that Zagorski could be seen smiling while strapped down. A large sea sponge that had been doused in salt water was soon placed on his head. While guards wiped his face clear of water dripping down his face, Zagorski quietly said there was still water under his nose and asked for it to be removed before his face was shrouded with a large black cloth.
The witnesses said the inmate’s fists then clenched when the electricity was applied and his body tensed and appeared to rise during the two times the current went through him. He did not move afterward.
Google employees leave work to protest treatment of women
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Carrying signs that included a mocking use of the company’s original “Don’t be evil” motto, thousands of Google employees around the world briefly walked off the job Thursday to protest what they said was the tech giant’s mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives.
From Tokyo, Singapore and London to New York, Seattle and San Francisco, highly paid engineers and other workers staged walkouts of about an hour, reflecting rising #MeToo-era frustration among women over frat-house behavior and other misconduct in heavily male Silicon Valley.
In Dublin, organizers used megaphones to address the outdoor crowd of men and women, while in other places, workers gathered in packed conference rooms or lobbies. In New York, there appeared to be as many men as women out in the streets, while in Cambridge, Massachusetts, men outnumbered women by perhaps 6 to 1.
“Time is up on sexual harassment!” organizer Vicki Tardif Holland shouted, her voice hoarse, at a gathering of about 300 people in Cambridge. “Time is up on systemic racism. Time is up on abuses of power. Enough is enough!”
About 1,000 Google workers in San Francisco swarmed into a plaza in front of the city’s historic Ferry Building, chanting, “Women’s rights are workers’ rights!” Thousands turned out at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters.
Neil Young acknowledges he and Daryl Hannah are married
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hey hey, my my, Neil Young is calling Daryl Hannah his wife.
The 72-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and the 57-year-old “Splash” actress had been utterly mum on the subject of their marriage since reports that they wed in California in August.
But Young said in a pro-gun-control post on his website Wednesday featuring a new performance of his 1970 song “Ohio” that “My wife Daryl and I put this video together.”
The couple’s representatives didn’t reply to requests for comment.
It’s the third marriage for Young and the first for Hannah, who had previous relationships with Jackson Browne and John F. Kennedy Jr.
Pipe bomb suspect in court for bail, removal hearing
MIAMI (AP) — The Florida man accused of sending pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump is due in court for a bail hearing.
Federal prosecutors contend that 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc should remain jailed until trial, given the magnitude of the charges and the strong evidence against him. Sayoc is accused of sending 15 improvised explosive devices to numerous Democrats, Trump critics and media outlets.
None of the bombs exploded, and no one was injured. Still, Sayoc faces nearly 50 years in prison if convicted on five federal charges, which were filed in New York.
Friday’s hearing also will deal with when Sayoc should be moved from Miami to New York to be prosecuted. Several package bombs were found in New York as well as other locations.
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