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27 февраля, 21:38

Trump's Immigration Crackdown Could Endanger Domestic Violence Victims

Afraid. Alone. Anxious. That’s the current mood among many undocumented victims of domestic violence across the country who fear they’ll unwittingly become targets for deportation if they reach out for help, according to advocates interviewed by The Huffington Post. Under President Donald Trump’s new immigration policies, federal immigration agents are free to detain and deport anyone who is in the country without papers. That’s a stark departure from the policies of the Obama administration, which directed agents to prioritize certain categories of people, namely those who had been convicted of serious crimes.  Now, undocumented domestic violence victims may feel they face a difficult choice: Ask for help and risk “outing” themselves to authorities, or suffer the abuse in silence.  Advocates say this is driving undocumented victims further into isolation as they begin to perceive their traditional routes to safety, such as reporting abuse to police and pursuing criminal charges, as dangerous. “It has this devastating, chilling effect,” said Kathy Moore, executive director of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.  She pointed to a recent case in El Paso, Texas, in which an undocumented woman was detained after going to court to seek a domestic violence protective order against her boyfriend ― a man she alleged had punched, kicked, strangled and recently thrown a knife at her. Unbeknownst to her, a federal immigration agent was also sitting inside the courtroom. As she left, she was arrested.  News of that incident spread like wildfire, Moore said. “There’s this heightened sense of fear, and it impacts the whole community,” she said.  Others who witness domestic violence, such as neighbors and coworkers, may also be more reticent to talk to police or cooperate in criminal cases if they are undocumented, making it more difficult to hold abusers accountable, Moore cautioned.  This sends a message to every undocumented abuse victim that their abusers’ threats can be brought to life. Ginger Butcher, Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence It’s common for abusers to use a victim’s undocumented status to control them, said Ginger Butcher, director of victim advocacy services at the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. They may threaten to turn their undocumented partner in if they try to leave the relationship, and tell them that no one can help them, she said. “This sends a message to every undocumented abuse victim that their abusers’ threats can be brought to life,” Butcher said. “The help that was available for them is no longer a safe space.” Her organization runs a hotline that victims in Arizona can call with legal questions. The group is now working out what to tell undocumented victims who are seeking advice. “It will change as the situation changes,” Butcher said. “We are continually updating our safety planning methods.” Rachel Goldsmith, an administrator at Safe Horizon, New York City’s largest domestic violence shelter provider, said her organization has heard from many clients who are terrified of being deported and being separated from their children. “I worry that people are not going to reach out who need our support,” she said. “There is very little certainty right now. People don’t know what to expect and what will come out tomorrow.”   Victims still have rights, Goldsmith said, despite the political climate. She noted that there are two legal immigration remedies available for undocumented victims. Under the Violence Against Women Act, domestic violence victims who are abused by a citizen or a permanent resident can apply for a green card if they meet certain requirements. Undocumented victims can also apply for a U visa if they are a victim of a crime and are willing to work with law enforcement during an investigation. She encouraged those in need to reach out to a shelter, domestic violence advocate or lawyer in their community to learn about their rights.  “We are here for you, and despite whatever the abusive partner might be saying, we can help you,” she said. ______ Related stories: This Is Not A Love Story: Examining A Month Of Deadly Domestic Violence In America Trump’s Election Raises Fears Of Increased Violence Against Women The Children Who Saw Too Much Behind The Photos That Changed How America Saw Domestic Violence We’re Missing The Big Picture On Mass Shootings Woman Accused Of Murdering Her Abusive Ex Goes Free After Almost 3 Years Behind Bars She Was Leaving Her Emotionally Abusive Husband. Now The Whole Family Is Dead. 14-Year-Old Girl Accused Of Killing Her Allegedly Abusive Father Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline . Sign up for the HuffPost Must Reads newsletter. Each Sunday, we will bring you the best original reporting, long form writing and breaking news from The Huffington Post and around the web, plus behind-the-scenes looks at how it’s all made. Click here to sign up! -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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24 февраля, 11:52

At the Drive-In pick up where they left off – sounding like the future

Seventeen years after they split, At the Drive-In’s return brings back hot-footed, high-wire punk that honours their pastIf rock history has taught us anything, it’s that any band that has split up can and inevitably will reform, no matter how acrimonious their “musical differences”. American punk-rock group At the Drive-In proved as much in 2012, when the group reunited for a spate of shows (including a headlining appearance at Coachella) 11 years after their abrupt and messy dissolution. Now, after a second run of concerts last spring, the group have announced their first new music for 17 years, in the form of their fourth full-length album, In.Ter A.Li.A.Rock seemed in something of a lull when At the Drive-In delivered their breakthrough third album, Relationship of Command, in 2000, the album’s razor-edged, propulsive and cerebral punk-rock a blessed respite from the then-ascendant likes of Limp Bizkit, et al. The group had formed seven years earlier in their hometown of El Paso, Texas, and from the start their chemistry was tempestuous. Their membership was in flux throughout their first three years, with singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Jim Ward the only constants until their 1996 debut album, Acrobatic Tenement. It was here that At the Drive-In’s classic lineup took shape, with the arrival of rhythm section Tony Hajjar (drums) and Paul Hinojos, and Cedric’s best friend Omar Rodríguez-López, a mercurial lead guitarist with a headful of avant-garde ideas. Continue reading...

24 февраля, 03:24

Rep. McCaul: We don't need 'a 2,000-mile wall' with Mexico

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul tempered his support of President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, stressing instead the need for a multifaceted approach to border security."I don't think we need a 2,000-mile wall down there," McCaul, fresh off a tour of the Rio Grande Valley portion of the boundary with House Speaker Paul Ryan, told PBS "NewsHour" Thursday. The U.S. border with Mexico, which stretches along four states from California to McCaul's state of Texas, spans roughly 2,000 miles. McCaul said that while some form of physical barrier is needed, a more holistic approach would minimize the crossing of undocumented immigrants, adding that much of the area between San Diego and El Paso is already covered by secure fencing. "We need a physical barrier, multi-layered approach, using both infrastructure but also technology and personnel," he said. "Those are the three main things that border patrol tells us they need."The Texas congressman added that the wall was "necessary in some places to basically slow down illegals or potential terrorists."McCaul's position on Trump's border wall proposal has shifted repeatedly. In August 2015, McCaul called the idea "kind of a simplistic" and a "knee-jerk response." After Trump's electoral victory, however, the Homeland Security chairman struck a much more supportive tone. "We are going to build the wall. Period," McCaul wrote in a Fox News op-ed. "In the process, I pledge to stand side-by-side with the Trump administration to throw out Obama’s reckless immigration policies and start enforcing our nation’s laws."McCaul joined Ryan, Rep. John Carter and several Department of Homeland Security officials Wednesday for a tour of the Texan portion of the southern border, as part of a new push to fund Trump's border wall proposal.

22 февраля, 16:38

Should You Sell El Paso Electric (EE) Before Earnings?

El Paso Electric (EE) might have a beat in the cards for the upcoming report as it has a favorable Zacks Rank along with a positive earnings ESP.

22 февраля, 15:01

CABINET PICKS clash with WH over hiring -- NEW WaPo slogan: ‘Democracy dies in darkness’ -- SCARBOROUGH on COLBERT -- SPOTTED at Richard Haass’ book party -- B’DAY: Hugh Hewitt

WELL, YESTERDAY didn’t go too badly. President Donald Trump went to the African-American History museum, where he disavowed racism and spoke out against a new wave of anti-Semitism. He didn’t tweet his thoughts until 6:23 p.m., when he said the “so-called angry crowds” at town halls around the country were “planned out by liberal activists.” There were no massive blowups to speak of. Sean Spicer seemed spry during his press briefing, too. CAN THE STREAK CONTINUE TODAY? We’ll see. At some point this week, the president will release his revised travel ban, which will suck up much of the oxygen in town. But today, Trump gets his daily intelligence briefing, has a lunch, where he will speak about the federal budget and then has a meeting about his spending blueprint with staff. Remember: Trump says he’ll have a budget soon. Like, in a few weeks. At 4 p.m., he’ll hold a legislative affairs session, where he’ll discuss tax reform, a health care overhaul and his Supreme Court strategy. Seems easy, right? VP MIKE PENCE is in St. Louis, where he’ll visit an equipment and engine dealer to discuss the economy.BULLETIN -- HOWARD DEAN, the former Vermont governor and DNC chairman, endorsed SOUTH BEND MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG for DNC chairman. He announced the endorsement on "Morning Joe."**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/1M75UbXNEW ON THE WASHINGTON POST HOMEPAGE -- “Democracy dies in darkness.” BOB WOODWARD also said the phrase on “Face the Nation” Feb. 19. http://cbsn.ws/2lEWSMj THE NEW WHITE HOUSE -- NYT A1 -- “3 Generals Bound by Iraq Will Guide Trump on Security,” by Peter Baker and Eric Schmitt: “At one point or another, they each strode the sands of Iraq, fighting on the unforgiving battlefield of America’s costliest war since Vietnam. Now all three will sit around the table in the White House Situation Room, steering a new president through the treacherous crosscurrents of a stormy world.“President Trump’s appointment of H. R. McMaster, an Army lieutenant general, as his new national security adviser creates a powerful troika of senior officers who served in Iraq, teaming him up with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, both retired four-star Marine generals. This administration is the first to have all three security jobs filled by senior military veterans at the same time. The ascension of the three generals to political jobs at the National Security Council reflects the rise of a generation of military leaders that came of age during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Each officer saw up close what a losing war looked like and took away lessons about how to avoid repeating fatal mistakes. Each got to where he is today in part by bucking the military hierarchy.” http://nyti.ms/2luf8G4 -- “Cabinet picks clash with White House over hiring,” by Josh Dawsey and Andrew Restuccia: “The White House’s deep involvement in hiring decisions across the government is frustrating some of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet secretaries, spurring early tussles between the president’s advisers and leaders of federal agencies. White House officials have sometimes rejected candidates who have previously criticized the president — even if they boast sterling credentials or have the endorsement of top Republicans. And they’ve often imposed their choices on agencies, according to more than a dozen people inside and close to the administration. Many Cabinet nominees joined the administration believing they’d have wide latitude to pick lieutenants, but they’re beginning to realize Trump’s powerful advisers are looking over their shoulders. The White House’s approach has already slowed hiring — and the dozens of vacancies at key agencies could make it more difficult to implement some of Trump’s policy proposals.” http://politi.co/2l6OG4INEW POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL -- “Poll: Support for Obamacare is rising,” by Steven Shepard: “The 2010 healthcare law is becoming more popular, even as it heads toward the chopping block -- further complicating efforts by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to repeal and replace it. While both Trump and Republicans in both chambers of Congress campaigned on repealing the Affordable Care Act -- passed exclusively with Democratic votes and signed by then-President Barack Obama — a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows voters are now split evenly on the law. Forty-five percent of registered voters approve of the law, the poll shows, and 45 percent disapprove. In early January, before Trump took office, a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll showed only 41 percent of voters approved of the health care law, compared with 52 percent who disapproved. And now there’s little consensus on what Congress and the Trump administration should do next. Only 12 percent want to keep the law in place, while 24 percent want to repeal it entirely. But there’s a sharp divide between the 27 percent who want to repeal parts of the law, but not all of it — and the 26 percent who want to expand the existing law.” http://politi.co/2kLs6SION THE HOMEFRONT -- “GOP lessons from the latest round of brutal town halls,” by Kyle Cheney in Blackstone, Virginia: “An overflow crowd here was eager to take on Rep. Dave Brat, the conservative Republican who just weeks earlier needled liberal protesters in his district and groused about all the women ‘in my grill’ over GOP plans to repeal and replace Obamacare. But with a plain-spoken approach -- and a format that didn’t revolve around live-fire questions from the combative crowd -- Brat offered his colleagues a potential blueprint for defusing tense constituent town halls that have bedeviled his Republican colleagues as they’ve been swarmed by protesters.” http://politi.co/2kYrhS8 ... The Richmond Times Dispatch's coverage http:[email protected]: “Here’s a good example of the rowdiness/frustration at Rep. Dave Brat’s town hall tonight. He took over 30 Qs, got lots of pushback.” 75 second video http://bit.ly/2lEYiqt … Killough’s story http://cnn.it/2mlkrXA IN CALIFORNIA -- "Many Republicans duck protesters, but Tom McClintock keeps asking for more," by POLITICO's David Siders in Mariposa, California. http://politi.co/2l7pmvh -- NYT had Trip Gabriel in Fairview, Tennessee, Tom Kaplan in Iowa Falls and Garner, Iowa, Lizette Alvarez in Clermont, Florida, and Emmarie Huetteman from Denham Springs, Louisiana. Their headline: “At Town Halls, Doses of Fury and a Bottle of Tums.” They have video, too. http://nyti.ms/2m7bo0z TRUMP’S REACTION -- @realDonaldTrump at 6:23 p.m.: “The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!”--Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence): “Fox News runs segment at 6:15 about protestors organizing against Trump ... Trump tweets at 6:23” http://bit.ly/2mbc81y-- NOTE: Yes, some of these protests might be more astroturf than grassroots. And there’s not a clear parallel to 2009. But in 2009, Democrats dismissed the protests too. Anger and discontent tends to spiral. So Republicans should be wary -- but even moreso, they should be prepared. We’ve seen some well-prepared lawmakers -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and others. The secret to getting through a town hall unscathed -- let the protesters and upset constituents talk. It’s much better than trying to cut them off in the middle of them laying out their public frustrations.-- THE REALITY ON THE GROUND: It’s not just town halls -- constituents and out of state callers are bombarding many Republican congressional offices with thousands of calls. One GOP House office has increased its number of staffers and interns handling inbound calls from two to 10 people in the last month, the Republican member’s chief of staff told Playbook. He said it’s been “30 days of being bombarded” by “whatever is happening in the news cycle like Steve Bannon, Trump and tax returns, Trump did this, Trump did this.”THE POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL shows that 56% of people want their members of Congress to hold in-person town halls. 20% say tele town hall suffices.... 34% said Trump's long news conference last week was excellent or good, 29% said it was poor. ... 51% say members of Congress spend too little time meeting with constituents ...SECRETARY OF STATE REX TILLERSON and HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY JOHN KELLY go to Mexico City today. FROM STATE: The pair will meet with “President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto and the Mexican ministers of Interior, Foreign Relations, Finance, National Defense, and Navy. The group will discuss border security, law enforcement cooperation, and trade, among other issues.”-- FIVE THINGS TO WATCH via the LA Times’ Mexico City correspondent Kate Linthicum: “The economy … The reaction in Mexico … Immigration … Does Tillerson soothe nerves? … How does Mexico fight back?” http://lat.ms/2kLec34 TRAVEL BAN FALLOUT -- “Hospitals pressured to reject foreign students because of Trump policy,” by the Boston Globe’s Michael Levenson: “Hospitals are under intense pressure to reject qualified international medical students applying for residencies in the United States because of fears that President Trump’s immigration policies may bar the students from entering the country, educators and hospital administrators say. As many as 1,000 medical school graduates may be unfairly penalized because of their country of origin, medical school officials say. Massachusetts could be hit particularly hard because the state is home to some of the world’s leading teaching hospitals as well as smaller community hospitals that typically depend on a large pool of foreign medical talent.“The concern over Trump’s policies -- particularly his restriction on travel from seven majority Muslim countries -- has added an unusual amount of anxiety to the upcoming ‘Match Day,’’ when medical students learn which hospital has accepted them to a residency program. ‘We don’t know how programs are going to react, and it’s part of why everybody is very stressed and very on edge right now,’ said Kelly Thibert, president of the American Medical Student Association.” http://bit.ly/2l76BYK THE TYPE OF HEADLINES THAT SPOOK REPUBLICANS -- ARIZONA REPUBLIC: “CRACKDOWN LOOMS” http://bit.ly/2ml0obY … USA TODAY: “U.S. COULD DEPORT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE” http://bit.ly/2m7e1zi -- THE BUZZ: Republicans are really worried that the government could begin deporting people for low-level crimes, which could begin to look like mass deportation whether the White House wants to call it that or not.THE CONCERN ON THE RIGHT -- “Yiannopoulos flap casts pall over CPAC,” by Eliana Johnson: “The episode encapsulated the debate that’s roiled the Republican Party over the past year, as Donald Trump and his army of nationalist-populist followers eviscerated a field of more traditional Republicans. The controversy is casting a pall over CPAC’s kickoff on Thursday, throwing the identity crisis that wracked the conservative movement during the presidential campaign into stark relief once again.” http://politi.co/2lnyoXw --"Why Is Facebook Helping Fund CPAC?" by The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff: "Facebook’s contribution is worth more than $120,000, according to our sources. Half of that is cash, and the other half is in-kind support for CPAC’s operations." http://thebea.st/2kZdKtfBETO O’ROURKE PROFILE – “Beto O’Rourke is a Mexico-loving liberal in Texas. Can he really beat Ted Cruz?” by WaPo’s Ben Terris in El Paso: “Beto O’Rourke has long believed that the closer you get to the Mexican border, the less you fear it. So on a recent afternoon, the Democratic congressman who may challenge Ted Cruz for his U.S. Senate seat walked into Juarez for lunch. The mere name of this Mexican city conjures images of bloodthirsty cartels or seedy red-light districts — the kind of place, some have argued, against which the United States should seal itself with a big, beautiful wall. O’Rourke is strongly opposed to that plan. Among other things, it would make it harder to visit the bar he took his wife to on their first date. ... Democrats might look at O’Rourke -- a small-business owner with hipster credentials, a Gen Xer who speaks fluent Spanish and looks more like a Kennedy than the Kennedys do -- and see a candidate of thrilling national potential.” http://wapo.st/2kL0lKp THE JUICE …-- DEPT. OF LOST AND FOUND: Sometimes, the wheels of justice turn slowly. Really slowly. Ted Stevens, the late former Alaska Republican senator, was convicted in 2008 on federal corruption charges and lost his reelection bid that November, only to see his conviction vacated the following year when Justice Department prosecutors admitted withholding information from Stevens’ defense team. In April 2009, a federal judge ordered DOJ to hold onto all the evidence that it had from “Polar Pen,” the codename for its probe into Alaska lawmakers. Stevens died in a plane crash in Aug. 2010.Now, more than six years after Stevens’ death, the Justice Dept. is finally ready to return some of the 631 items in the case, including letters between Stevens and Bill Allen, an oil-industry executive and Stevens’ pal who turned into the star government witness against him. There’s also material from Ben Stevens – the senator’s son – and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska). Both men were caught up in the criminal probe but never indicted. There is some less interesting evidence, like manuals for the boiler and generator in Stevens’ house, which FBI agents seized during a July 2007 raid. The FBI seized $9,500 in $100 bills, as well. (h/t John Bresnahan)-- FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Jeff Butler is the new chief of staff in Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry’s (R-N.C.) personal office. Butler has climbed the ladder on McHenry’s team, starting as an intern in 2010.-- WE HEAR… Speaker Paul Ryan was in Dallas and Houston Tuesday before flying late at night to McAllen, Texas, ahead of his visit to the border wall.-- PENNY PRITZKER is joining the board of trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.-- JOE SCARBOROUGH on CBS’s “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Video http://bit.ly/2kKYp4A … http://bit.ly/2kYyOAhIMMIGRATION WATCH -- “Trump administration issues new immigration enforcement policies, says goal is not ‘mass deportations’,” by WaPo’s David Nakamura: “The Trump administration on Tuesday sought to allay growing fears among immigrant communities over wide-ranging new directives to ramp up enforcement against illegal immigrants, insisting the measures are not intended to produce ‘mass deportations.’ Federal officials cautioned that many of the changes detailed in a pair of memos from Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly will take time to implement because of costs and logistical challenges and that border patrol agents and immigration officers will use their expanded powers with care and discretion. Yet the official public rollout of Kelly’s directives, first disclosed in media reports over the weekend, was met with outrage from immigrant rights advocates over concerns the new policies will result in widespread abuses as authorities attempt to fulfill President Trump’s goals of tightening border control.” http://wapo.st/2lugykhMORE ON MCMASTER -- “The Insurgent in the White House: In picking H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, President Trump hired a maverick military intellectual who won’t put up with any nonsense,” by James Kitfield in Politico Magazine: http://politi.co/2l7cLID --“McMaster’s takeaways: Don’t lie, don’t blame the media, don’t rely on an inner circle,” by Bryan Bender: http://politi.co/2m70yri BUSINESS BURST -- “Fed Minutes Could Offer Hints on Timing of Rate Rises,” by WSJ’s David Harrison: “The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at its Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting, issuing a statement that skirted any signals about the timing of future rate increases, the central bank’s plans for its portfolio of assets or its take on the Trump administration’s fiscal policies. Minutes from that meeting, set for release at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, could offer details of any internal discussions of these issues and others.” http://on.wsj.com/2lujixLFOR YOUR RADAR -- “Police: Suspects in N. Korean death coated hands with poison,” by AP’s Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: “The two women suspected of fatally poisoning a scion of North Korea’s ruling family were trained to coat their hands with toxic chemicals then wipe them on his face, police in Malaysia said Wednesday, announcing they were seeking a North Korean diplomat in connection with the attack.” http://apne.ws/2mbjZfA-- “Le Pen Wins Over the Women Voters Who Feel Left Behind in France,” by Bloomberg’s Helene Fouquet: “French women are starting to picture their next president as a divorced mother of three. The anti-euro, anti-immigrant candidate Marine Le Pen has been playing up her gender as she seeks to convert a likely first-round victory into an overall majority in the run-off on May 7 -- and it’s paying off. The 48-year-old National Front leader has already rallied some 2 million additional female voters to her cause since her last run for president in 2012 and she’s betting more will follow.” http://bloom.bg/2mbajBADAVID IGNATIUS in WaPo, “The Trump bubble bursts in Moscow’s markets”: “The numbers tell the story: From Nov. 7, the day before the election, to Jan. 27, the MICEX index of leading Russian stocks rose 26 percent. The index for Russian financial stocks increased 19 percent over that same period. But this upward momentum suddenly reversed: As of Tuesday, the MICEX index had fallen 10.4 percent from its January peak, and the financial measure had dropped 6.5 percent. What happened on Jan. 27? After weeks of negative stories about possible links between members of Trump’s campaign and Russia, the new president told a news conference it was ‘very early to be talking about’ removing sanctions.” http://wapo.st/2kYuYasHOT TAKE -- FRANK BRUNI in the NYT, “Milo Is the Mini-Donald”: “If you halved Donald Trump’s age, changed his sexual orientation, gave him a British accent and fussed with his hair only a little, you’d end up with a creature much like Milo Yiannopoulos. He could be Trump’s lost gay child. In fact, Yiannopoulos, 33, has a habit of referring to Trump, 70, as ‘Daddy.’ Trump the father and Yiannopoulos the son are both provocateurs who realize that in this day and age especially, the currency of celebrity isn’t demeaned by the outrageousness and offensiveness through which a person achieves it. Both are con men, wrapping themselves in higher causes, though their primary agendas are the advancement of themselves.” http://nyti.ms/2m6RPpc FINALLY -- “Trump denounces anti-Semitism after Jewish community centers receive 68 bomb threats in six weeks,” by LA Times’ Jaweed Kaleem and Alene Tchekmedyian: “The phone rang Monday morning at the Levite Jewish Community Center outside Birmingham, Ala., and a receptionist answered it. There was a bomb in the building, the caller said, before hanging up. It was the second bomb threat in five weeks against the center, which is located in the town of Mountain Brook and includes an athletic complex and day-care center. ‘Unfortunately, we’re now well-rehearsed at this,’ said Betzy Lynch, the center’s director. Though most of its 3,000 weekly visitors are not Jewish, she had no doubt that the motive of the calls was anti-Semitism.” http://lat.ms/2ln5syYCLICKER -- “33 questions about Donald Trump and Russia: There’s an awful lot of loose ends here,” by Vox’s Matthew Yglesias: http://bit.ly/2kL0pK3 SPORTS BLINK -- “Nascar, Once a Cultural Icon, Hits the Skids,” by WSJ’s Tripp Mickle and Valerie Bauerlein: “Nascar threw a bash at Kansas Speedway in October to thank Sprint Corp. for being stock-car racing’s top sponsor for 13 years. More than 800 Sprint employees received hot dogs, burgers and seats to a nail-biting race. One thing was missing: a new sponsor. Despite knowing for two years that Sprint was leaving, Nascar didn’t announce a replacement until December, when it said energy-drink maker Monster Beverage Corp. had won naming rights to the top-tier racing circuit. Monster paid about $20 million, below Nascar’s asking price of $35 million and nowhere close to the original goal of $100 million, according to television and racing-industry executives familiar with the new contract.” http://on.wsj.com/2l6WaEv MEDIAWATCH -- “Fox News hires Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel,” by POLITICO Media’s Peter Sterne: “Emanuel -- brother of Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Hollywood super agent Ari Emanuel -- currently serves as chair of the University of Pennsylvania’s department of medical ethics and health care policy, and is vice provost for global initiatives at the university. During the Obama administration, he served as a special adviser on health policy and helped craft the Affordable Care Act. Emanuel is the second prominent Democrat to join Fox as a contributor this year. Last month, the channel announced it had hired former State Department spokesperson Marie Harf as a contributor.” http://politi.co/2l5i637 --DANA MILBANK in WaPo, “These are the American people Trump calls enemies of the American people”: “Thomas Gibbons-Neff, a fourth-generation military man, deployed twice to Afghanistan. The second time, as a 22-year-old Marine corporal in 2010, he led an eight-man infantry team into combat. Two of his men were wounded by enemy sniper fire, and one of his best buddies later died in combat. ... [A]llow me to introduce you to the backgrounds of some of my colleagues who Trump would have you believe are enemies of the American people. I would argue that they are the American people. Yes, they went to college, they live in the Washington area, and they earn good wages; that earns them the ‘elite’ epithet. But they hail from all corners of this country, from farms and small towns, the children of immigrants and factory workers, preachers and teachers.” With cameos from Lori Montgomery, Jose DelReal, Dan Balz, Jenna Johnson, Bob Barnes, David Finkel, Mary Jordan, Stephanie McCrummen, and Dan Eggen http://wapo.st/2m75Lj1 LACHLAN MARKAY to Daily Beast -- Hadas Gold: “The Daily Beast is hiring Lachlan Markay as its newest White House reporter, the site will announce on Wednesday. Markay joins from The Washington Free Beacon, where he’s worked since 2013 and built a name for himself as a conservative journalist focusing on money and politics. Markay will represent the publication in the White House briefing room ‘and keep close watch on Trump’s intermingling of business and political interests,’ the site said in a statement.” http://politi.co/2lncgwl --NBC News Digital has announced several new hires to its editorial team, including Gregg Birnbaum as politics editor, Ali Vitali as White House digital correspondent and Andrew Springer as director of social strategy. --“Breitbart’s European offensive: all talk, no action: The provocative website promised to conquer the Continent — but has yet to roll out sites in France or Germany ahead of elections,” by POLITICO Europe’s Nick Vinocur and Andrew Hanna: “In Europe, Breitbart wanted to fuel French far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s run for the presidency and undermine the reelection campaign of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Breitbart’s London editor has mocked as a ‘lunatic’ on his Facebook page. With just two months to go until the French election, the likelihood of a launch before polling day looks very slim. Breitbart also shows no sign of being close to establishing a German edition.” http://politi.co/2lujGMW UPDATE: The New York Daily News has appended an update to a story we included in Playbook two days ago with the headline, “Stephen Miller called Brooklyn U.S. Attorney at home and told him how to defend travel ban in court”. White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters told us yesterday: “Stephen Miller did not speak with Robert Capers. Both individuals have made it clear that they have never spoken to one another.” She told the same to the Daily News, two days after the story was published. http://nydn.us/2luhZPFTV TONIGHT -- MSNBC has a 2 hour special tonight “Trump: The First Month” with Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews and many guests from 10 p.m. to 12 midnight.SPOTTED -- The White House’s Boris Epshteyn left trivia at Tortilla Coast on P Street early. He made a trip back down the sidewalk to show some trivia participants sitting in the window a “#MAGA” sign he scrawled on a notepad. Two of the teams were named “1/20/2021” and “See You In Court.” … Bret Baier (and family) yesterday on a Frontier flight from Denver to DCA ... Grover Norquist walking on the street at 15 and K streets ... Howard Dean walking down I street near 15th Street.OUT AND ABOUT – The Renwick Gallery was the site of a swanky party last night in honor of Richard Haass’ latest book, “A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order.” The co-hosts were David Rubenstein, Alice Rogoff, Afsaneh Beschloss, Martin Indyk, Gahl Burt, HP Goldfield, Kristin Mannion, Walter and Cathy Isaacson, and Sally Quinn. $16.96 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2jrt69G SPOTTED: Joe Biden (who gave brief remarks -- pic http://bit.ly/2kLnqwv), Brent Scowcroft, Ash and Stephanie Carter, Pete Williams, Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan, Tony and Evan Blinken, Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper, Evan Osnos and Sarabeth Berman, Becca Glover, Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei, Chris Isham, John Dickerson, Margaret Carlson, Judy Woodruff, Bob Barnett and Rita Braver, Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, EJ Dionne, Melissa Miller, Howard Fineman and Amy Nathan, David Skorton, Eli Yokley, David Ignatius, Steve Inskeep, and the ambassadors of Brazil, China, Italy, Ireland, and Kuwait. -- SPOTTED at Politics and Prose last night for an event for Tom Rosenstiel’s new novel “Shining City” -- ($17.70 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2lKYxkd): Mike McCurry, Stephanie Schriock, Jim Risen, Jon Haber, David Lauter, Mizell Stewart, Dante Chinni, JJ Yore, Mike Bromwich, Sam Fulwood, John Gomperts, Rima Sirota, Ricki Seidman, Drew Littman, Bonnie Levin, Maggie Gage, Carolyn Lerner, Mimi Mager.-- Longtime friends of former Jeff Sessions communications aide and Lifezette editor Garrett Murch gathered last night at his favorite watering hole, Union Pub, to bid farewell as he and his girlfriend, former DeBlasio aide Andrea Zuniga, quit D.C. for Maine’s great outdoors. SPOTTED: Chris Bedford and Katie Frates, Matt Wolking, Derek Hunter, Matt Boyle, Steve Guest, Todd Thurman, Kaitlan Collins, Lauren Ehrsam, Betsy Woodruff, The Daily Caller’s David Hookstead and Christian Datoc, who got a little rowdy this past weekend. TRANSITIONS -- FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Political strategist Jim Mulhall is joining 2K Strategies as a partner after a 16-year run with SKDKnickerbocker. Mulhall, who has run media campaigns for Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney in New York, Bill Foster in Illinois and Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania, will continue to consult on Mark Herring’s bid for reelection as attorney general of Virginia. He joins Keith Kincaid, another veteran of SKDK, at 2K Strategies.-- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has tapped R.C. HAMMOND, formerly VP at The Herald Group, to serve as senior adviser for public affairs. Hammond, along with Matt Well, a co-founder and partner at The Herald Group, managed the Trump transition Team’s cabinet nominee war room. He was the spokesman for Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential run.--Jake Lewis, previously with Ward Circle Strategies, has joined Rep. Brad Sherman’s office as his first deputy comms director specializing in digital strategy. … The Economic Security Project hired Taylor Jo Isenberg from the Roosevelt Institute as managing director and former SEIU president Andy Stern as senior fellow. … Andrew H. Scott (@CommissionerKY): “Huge congrats to @DLoesch on being named @NRA spokesperson; honestly, I cannot think of a more articulate advocate for our gun rights! #2A”-- Senate Press Secretaries Association newly-elected executive board members: Julia Krieger, President (Heitkamp), Ashley Berrang (Capito), Ashton Davies (Alexander), Rebecca Steele (Wyden), Rob Sumner (Crapo), Katie Waldman (Daines), Bryan Watt (Cantwell), Megan Whittemore (Perdue).OBAMA ALUMNI – Frances Holuba, an Obama NSC WH alum, is returning to global engagement work to advise President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund and USA Study Abroad Partnerships at Partners of the Americas after a year serving as director of social enterprise at POLITICO. She is also founder of boutique consulting firm Chief Social Architects.WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- TOBY CHAUDHURI, former VP at PBS and adviser to Obama and Clinton White House initiatives, and RUBY ROY, senior manager at the Advisory Board Company, welcomed Koby Roy Chaudhury to the world at Sibley Memorial Hospital at 10:28 p.m. Tuesday night. Mother and son are doing well -- Koby weighed in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 20 inches. Pic http://bit.ly/2lL1cdp BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Hugh Hewitt is 61 – asked how he’s celebrating, he said: “the fetching Mrs. Hewitt, my bride of 35 years, is always my date on my birthday” – read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2kYLDuaBIRTHDAYS: Peter Siegal, a lawyer at Robbins Russell (et al.) on K Street and loyal Playbooker, is 31 ... Rodney Hood of JPMorgan Chase (h/t Peter Cherukuri) … Uncle Peter “Pedro” Hanna ... David Axelrod, the pride of Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village in lower Manhattan, is 62 ... Obama alum Alyssa Mastromonaco, president of global comms strategy and talent at A+E Networks ... former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is 65 ... Alex Slater, managing director of comms and public affairs agency the Clyde Group, is 39 ... Bob Bauer, former W.H. counsel, now a partner at Perkins Coie ... Politico’s Heidi Sommer and Desiree Luckey ... Politico alum Chris Behm ... Kristen Soltis Anderson, co-founder and partner at Echelon Insights ... Lindsey Rosenthal, alum of Everytown for Gun Safety ... Tim Newell, VP of financial products at SolarCity ... Martha Boudreau, chief comms and marketing Officer at AARP (h/ts Jon Haber) ... Chris Crawford, program associate at Democracy Fund ... Dan Gilgoff, NatGeo’s executive editor for digital and a CNN and US News alum, is 37 ... Ellis Brachman, Obey alum now chief comms. officer at the Library of Congress, is 39 … Alan Katz, associate at Alcalde & Fay … Randy Levine, president of New York Yankees baseball since 2000 and executive producer for YES Network, is 62 (h/t Jewish Insider) ... former Rep. John Bryant (D-Tex.), now practicing law and living in Dallas, is 7-0 (h/t Randy White) ...... Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) is 45 ... Shawn Martin, SVP of advocacy, practice advancement and policy for American Academy of Family Physicians Ed Brookover, Ben Carson’s campaign manager and a Greener & Hook alum … Bush 43 alum Viet Dinh, now founding partner of Bancroft PLLC, is 49 ... Daniel Holway, MSNBC booking producer … Liz Glover ... Jim Mills ... CNN congressional producer Laurie Ure … Aaron Flint … Elizabeth Oblinger, manager of gov’t affairs at Cox Enterprises and a Portman alum ... Kimberly Marteau Emerson ... Marissa Lang ... AP’s Michael Biesecker and Dorothy Abernathy ... Hanna Bondarewska ... Richard Brothers ... Wendy Gordon ... Jim Vilmain ... Angelique Pirozzi ... Melissa Watson (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Corey Brown Thornblad ... Trish Stocking ... Lauren Orndorff, LA for Rep. Roger Marshall ... Yvesner Zamar, leg counsel for Rep. Conyers ... Ned Michalek of Rep. Engel’s office ... Ellen Gosnell, scheduler for House Republican Whip ... Nick Crocker of HRC ... Dave LesStrang and David Pomerantz of House Approps ... Margaret Anne Moore of Senate Republican Comms Center (h/ts Legistorm) … movie director Jonathan Demme is 73 ... World Golf Hall of Famer Vijay Singh is 54 ... Drew Barrymore is 42 (h/ts AP)

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22 февраля, 02:48

Supreme Court Torn Over Whether Constitution Should Apply To Cross-Border Shootings

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― As the administration of President Donald Trump readies a new crackdown on undocumented immigrants, the Supreme Court on Tuesday weighed a difficult case that could open federal courts to Mexican nationals whose family members are killed at the border by U.S. authorities. The sobering case of Sergio Hernandez ― a 15-year-old standing on Mexican soil when he was shot in the head by a U.S. Border Patrol agent from the American side ― found the justices wrestling with whether a non-citizen has any constitutional rights at the border. The answer will determine whether a federal law enforcement officer who violates a person’s fundamental right to not be killed can be sued. “You have a very sympathetic case,” Justice Stephen Breyer told Bob Hilliard, the lawyer representing Hernandez’s parents, who didn’t attend the hearing. The family hopes the American justice system can help them press their civil rights claims against U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jesús Mesa, who killed their son in 2010. According to the parents’ lawsuit, Hernández and other boys were playing in the cement river bank of the Rio Grande, which separates the neighboring cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Suspecting they were smugglers, Mesa approached the teens and moved to apprehend one. Some began to throw rocks, and Mesa opened fire in self-defense, according to a Department of Justice investigation. Hernández, shot from the opposite side of the river, was killed.  At the center of the justices’ concern during oral arguments in Hernandez v. Mesa was whether the court has the capacity to fashion a narrow rule that may provide relief to victims like the parents of Hernández ― without exposing the federal government to civil liability for other kinds of violence abroad. “How do you analyze the case of a drone strike in Iraq, where the plane is piloted from Nevada?” Chief Justice John Roberts asked Hilliard. “Why wouldn’t the same analysis apply in that case?” Hilliard, a longtime trial lawyer who has represented the Hernandez family throughout the case, struggled to give a straight answer on the proper standard courts should apply to cross-border shootings. In 2015, an appeals court ruled that the Constitution doesn’t apply to these kinds of incidents, essentially insulating Mesa and others like him from cross-border liability. “We need to have a rule ... that can be applied in other cases,” said Justice Samuel Alito. “But you need to give us a principle that’s workable.” Time and again, the justices and the lawyers referred back to Boumediene v. Bush, a landmark, post-9/11 precedent that established that foreign-born detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba had a due-process right to challenge their detention. Justice Anthony Kennedy was pivotal in that decision, which granted constitutional protections to the detainees. But on Tuesday, Kennedy didn’t seem so sure that civil liability should extend to federal law enforcement officers who fire across the border ― and suggested that the solution instead rests with Congress and the executive branch. “You’ve indicated that there’s a problem all along the border,” Kennedy said. “Why doesn’t that counsel us that this is one of the most sensitive areas of foreign affairs, where the political branches should discuss with Mexico what the solution ought to be?” There is no law on the books that allows litigants to sue federal officials for constitutional violations. But the Supreme Court in 1972 ruled that courts can hear these kinds of cases under specific circumstances. Kennedy cautioned that the court hasn’t extended this doctrine since 1988, and indicated that this may not be the right case to do it. As legal twists would have it, Tuesday’s hearing was the first time the Trump administration presented an oral argument before the justices. The case began under the Obama administration, and Edwin Kneedler, the experienced lawyer who argued for the government, took a strong position against the Mexican teen’s family. This case “gives rise to foreign relations problems, which are committed to the political branches,” Kneedler said. At one point, Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked Kneedler if he had seen video of Sergio’s death on YouTube, which appears to contradict the Justice Department account that Mesa acted in self-defense. “Border policemen are shooting indiscriminately from within the United States across the border,” Sotomayor said. If the Supreme Court rules that the Hernandez family can get no relief in federal court for Sergio’s death, they’d have nowhere else to turn. The Justice Department declined to prosecute Mesa in 2012, and the federal government rejected a separate request from Mexico to extradite the officer there for prosecution. Civil liability is the only avenue left. Justice Elena Kagan suggested that because Hernandez v. Mesa is a “sui generis” case ― limited to an area where there’s no clear line of demarcation between Mexico and the U.S. ― that maybe the Supreme Court should try something more nuanced than an all-or-nothing approach. “The dividing line isn’t even marked on the ground. Isn’t that right? You can’t tell on the ground where Mexico ends and the United States begins,” Kagan said. “I don’t know whether to call it a no-man’s land, but it’s this liminal area, which is kind of neither one thing nor another thing.” Given the complexities of the case, it is possible the court may split 4-4, which would set no legal precedent. To avoid that result, the justices may choose to wait until Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee to the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, is confirmed. By then, the court may also choose to hold a new oral argument. A decision is expected by the end of June. Trump’s Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday declared open season on undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., saying it will hire thousands of agents to deport “removable aliens” who have been charged or convicted of even minor crimes. Inside the courtroom, Roberts did something else to welcome the Trump era: He acknowledged the 84th attorney general of the United States, Jeff Sessions, who was in attendance. This recognition will be a part of the Supreme Court’s public record.   -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

22 февраля, 00:29

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20 февраля, 21:10

The Border Is A Constitution-Free Zone For Agents Who Shoot And Kill. But Maybe Not For Long.

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — María Guadalupe Güereca wanted to hold her son. Instead, Mexican police held her back from the crime scene. So she watched him from above the canal that carries the Rio Grande between the American city of El Paso, Texas, and the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez. Her 15-year-old son, Sergio Hernández, had been playing with a group of boys along the river, when U.S. Border Patrol agent Jesús Mesa Jr. went to apprehend them, apparently viewing them either as drug smugglers or people trying to cross the border illegally. He grabbed one of the boys on the U.S. side of the river canal, as the rest fled. Sensing that someone was throwing rocks, he turned toward Sergio, who had taken cover behind the bridge piling on the Mexican side of the river, and shot him in the face. The medics who arrived on the scene soon ceded their job to the coroners. But Güereca swears she saw her son move. “My boy was alive when I got there,” Güereca said. “But they wouldn’t let me down to see him.” With the help of a Texas law firm, Güereca and her husband, Jesús Hernández, sued the Border Patrol agent in federal court for the July 7, 2010, killing, claiming he violated their son’s constitutional rights. But Mesa’s lawyers convinced a series of courts to reject the claims, relying on longstanding precedent that makes it all but impossible for a noncitizen to hold federal officials responsible for misconduct that occurs on foreign soil ― even when someone’s child dies, and even if the bullets that killed him were fired from the United States. In 2015, 15 judges on the conservative-leaning U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit concluded in a short, unsigned opinion that because the teen was “a Mexican citizen who had no significant voluntary connection” to the United States and was standing on Mexican soil, the American Constitution doesn’t protect him. But a number of them wrote lengthy concurring opinions ― they were evidently torn on the correct rationale for their decision. Now it’s the Supreme Court’s turn to hear the dispute. On Tuesday, the justices will confront whether the border is “a unique no man’s land ― a law-free zone in which U.S. agents can kill innocent civilians with impunity,” as lawyers for Sergio’s family put it in their appeal. Hernández v. Mesa, as the case is known, will mark the first time a Department of Justice lawyer working under President Donald Trump ― who rose to power on charged rhetoric against Mexicans ― will argue for the government before the Supreme Court. Expanding constitutional protections for people like Sergio wouldn’t just allow Hernández and Güereca to sue Mesa in an American court and maybe obtain some monetary relief. A ruling in their favor could have sweeping consequences, opening up Border Patrol agents to civil liability for similar cross-border incidents, which are far from isolated. The case has drawn a chorus of advocates and legal scholars to Sergio’s side — including the Mexican government, which has weighed in on the case to stand up for its sovereign interests and the teen’s family. “The United States would expect no less if the situation were reversed and a Mexican government agent, standing in Mexico and shooting across the border, had killed a U.S. national standing on U.S. soil,” Mexican authorities said in a court brief filed ahead of Tuesday’s arguments. The U.S. wants to have it both ways, the Mexican government contends: It refuses to allow its own courts to exercise civil and criminal jurisdiction over the shooting, but it also won’t let Mexico extradite Mesa so he can face the justice system there. The Hernández family itself feels ambivalent about the support they’ve received from the Mexican government. Local officials promised the traumatized parents therapy, but they never received it. Mexican officials paid for the funeral. But five years later, when Güereca went to place a tombstone at the grave, she was told the site didn’t belong to her. Government officials had failed to pay and only made good after she showed up at the graveyard with a reporter, she said.  In a telling brief, a group of former internal affairs officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversees U.S. Border Patrol, advised the Supreme Court that increasing militarization, poor hiring and training, and a culture of corruption within the agency are to blame for the lack of accountability for use-of-force incidents on both sides of the border. By their estimates, since 2010, at least eight people on the Mexican side have been shot and killed by agents. CBP’s own figures for 2010 to 2016 put the overall number of incidents involving firearms in the hundreds, and a separate investigation by The Arizona Republic concluded at least 45 people ― 13 of them American ― died at the hands of CBP officers and Border Patrol agents between 2005 and 2014. “The Constitution switch turns off while Mesa is standing in the U.S.,” said Bob Hilliard, a longtime trial lawyer who has worked on the case since former President Barack Obama’s first term and will argue it at the high court. He said he agreed to represent Sergio’s parents out of conviction, and that to him the case is about “the most fundamental right of all ― the fundamental right to live.” Warning: The photo below may be disturbing to some readers. Because the case has been dismissed at a very early stage, no court has conclusively determined the events leading up to Sergio’s death. But this is how the family’s lawyers and judges so far have characterized them, and how Sergio’s parents remember the day their 15-year-old was killed. The day Sergio was shot, he and a group of friends were playing a game, running across the border and jumping up to touch the border fence, then scurrying back, according to court filings. Each time they crossed the river, they entered U.S. territory. The temperature reached more than 100 degrees that summer day, leaving the tunnel’s riverbed nearly dry. Mesa, a Border Patrol agent, bicycled over to stop them. Weapon drawn, he grabbed one of the boys as the rest scattered. Sergio hid behind a pillar supporting one of four international bridges that carry tens of thousands of people between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez daily. Bystanders filmed the scene from afar with their cellphones. Some of the boys threw rocks, although the family’s attorney says Sergio wasn’t one of them. Mesa turned toward Sergio and fired twice, obliterating his left eye socket and leaving him on his back in a pool of blood, according to the Mexican homicide report. Mesa was standing in U.S. territory, but the bullet punctured Sergio’s brain 36 feet away, in Mexico. The U.S. Department of Justice ― in conjunction with local federal prosecutors, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security ― declined to prosecute Mesa. That’s par for the course: criminal prosecutions for cross-border shootings are virtually nonexistent. (The criminal trial of Lonnie Swartz, the only Border Patrol agent to ever be indicted in federal court for the cross-border killing of a Mexican national, is scheduled to go to trial in June; a separate civil case against him is pending in another appeals court that is awaiting the outcome of Hernandez’s case.) The U.S. government regrets the loss of life in this matter. Department of Justice announcement declining charges for Border Patrol agent Jesús Mesa “The U.S. government regrets the loss of life in this matter,” read a DOJ press release in 2012 announcing the federal government wouldn’t charge Mesa with murder or a civil rights crime. The statement went on to say its investigation into Sergio’s death “took into account evidence indicating that the agent’s actions constituted a reasonable use of force or would constitute an act of self defense in response to the threat created by a group of smugglers hurling rocks at the agent and his detainee.” Mesa’s lawyer, Randolph Ortega, was with him “since under one hour after the trigger was pulled,” Ortega said, and accompanied him to every interview the federal government conducted as it investigated the incident. Mesa retained Ortega through the legal defense fund of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Border Patrol agents. The union generally feels that the public underestimates the threats agents face daily when patrolling the border and viewed Trump’s election as a mandate to carry out their duties more aggressively. Shawn Moran, a spokesman for the union, declined to comment on the specifics of Mesa’s case, but said the organization is watching the Supreme Court case closely and may say more once a decision is handed down. Citing his client’s privacy, Ortega offered few details about how Mesa has dealt with the fallout from the civil rights lawsuit against him. The agent remains employed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. But the case has upended Mesa’s life as well, his lawyer said. “He’s had to uproot his family from El Paso, Texas, and moved hundreds of miles away, which has caused them significant hardship,” said Ortega, who has more than 20 years of experience representing Border Patrol agents. “He’s had threats on his life and so has his family.” This is an area that’s generally utilized for two reasons: narcotics trafficking and human trafficking. Randolph Ortega, the border agent's lawyer, on the location where the shooting occurred Mesa hasn’t attended any of the court hearings in the case and won’t attend the one at the Supreme Court, Ortega said. Cristobal Galindo, one of the local lawyers for Sergio’s parents, said they won’t attend the hearing, either. Ortega maintained that Mesa, as DOJ concluded, acted in self-defense when he was trying to arrest an undocumented immigrant at the scene who Ortega said was ultimately prosecuted and convicted. Mesa began to open fire after a group of people began to hurl rocks at him as he was trying to do his job. “It’s not an area of the border where children routinely play,” Ortega added. “This is an area that’s generally utilized for two reasons: narcotics trafficking and human trafficking.” Hilliard and the rest of the legal team for the Hernández family dispute the rock-throwing incident as a red herring that not even DOJ was willing to pin on Sergio. “Everyone confirmed, including the Department of Justice” when it met with Sergio’s family, Hilliard said, that the teen did not throw a single rock. Today, the site of Sergio’s death is covered in graffiti commemorating him. On the piling where he crouched when he was shot, his name is written in blue paint above the dates of his birth and death and a cross. Rocks about half the size of golf balls litter the ground, some of them knocked from the roadbed above. Sergio’s parents have struggled with hearing their son being called a criminal. Just being in the tunnel that day was enough for neighbors to assume he was doing something wrong and that perhaps he brought the shooting upon himself. By their account, he got good grades, addressed his mother as “jefa” ― Spanish for “boss” ― and avoided problems with gangs at a time when Ciudad Juárez suffered one of the highest homicide rates in the world. “He was very respectful,” his father told The Huffington Post. “He never talked back, at least not to me. For me, he was the perfect son.” Sergio himself dreamed of working in law enforcement. One day while grocery shopping with his mother, they ran into a soldier. “I’m going to go ask what it takes to become one,” his mother remembers him saying. But the soldier told him, “What you need is not to have a heart. You’ll have to abandon your wife, your kids, your family. They’ll send you to the mountains or somewhere far away.” After that encounter, Sergio scaled back his ambitions, hoping instead to become a “ministerial,” one of the Mexican federal police officers charged with fighting corruption and organized crime. “I don’t think he ever would have been a soldier, because he was very attached to me,” Güereca said. The seven years of litigation has fed rumors in Juárez that somehow the parents profited from their son’s death. A man once threatened to kidnap Güereca if she didn’t pay him. She responded by instead asking him for money, saying she didn’t have enough to buy tortillas. She sold the house where she had lived alone with Sergio after his older siblings had grown up and married or moved ― partly because she was haunted by the memory of her son’s glee the day she bought it, and partly because she needed the money. She hasn’t worked full time since losing her government job, where she had distributed housing materials and food to needy Juárez residents, three years ago.   Now she lives on the outskirts of Juárez under a bald hill inscribed with the message “The Bible is the truth, read it.” The humble two-room home, with concrete floors and little insulation from the desert’s winter nights, belongs to one of her daughters. She sleeps in a room with two beds – one for her, and Sergio’s, made up with a red blanket and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stuffed animal he’d played with as a child sitting on the pillows. “I don’t move it from there because it reminds me of him,” she said. “I’ll always remember him how he was, because he was very happy. I have a lot of things to remember him by … He’ll always be with me.” Roque Planas reported from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; Cristian Farias reported from New York. Video produced by Liz Martinez. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 февраля, 19:23

NiSource (NI): Will it Disappoint this Earnings Season?

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20 февраля, 11:59

Police: Hunters Shot Each Other Near The Border, Then Blamed Immigrants

Two men who were shot in Texas last month and had blamed immigrants crossing the border with Mexico were actually shot by members of their own hunting party, according to an indictment issued last week.  Walker Daugherty and Edwin Roberts were wounded in the incident on January 6, The Associated Press reported. Daugherty and his fiancee told police they were shot by undocumented immigrants from Mexico, per CBS 7 in Odessa, Texas. However, the station said police now believe Daugherty actually shot Roberts and another member of the party, Michael Bryant, shot Daugherty.   #ICYMI: Hunting guides charged in connection with Presidio County ranch shooting. #CBS7 https://t.co/MoaNBS87CR pic.twitter.com/hTIlZdtJe0— CBS 7 (@CBS7News) February 16, 2017 “There were no bullet casings or projectiles from weapons other than those belonging to the individuals hunting on the ranch nor in the RV belonging to the hunting party,” the sheriff’s department told Big Bend Now last month.  The incident took place near Candelaria, about 250 miles southeast of El Paso.  Bryant and Daugherty, both hunting guides with Redwing Outfitters, were indicted last Wednesday on charges of deadly conduct by discharging firearms in the direction of others, local radio station KTSA reported. A message on Redwing’s Facebook page claimed the two were shot “ambush style,” but thirty investigators searched the area and found no evidence of anyone approaching the camp, AP reported. Police believe the hunters fired on each other by mistake. “I mean border patrol are experts in tracking in this area, we trust what they say because that’s all they do on a daily basis, and they didn’t find no sign, no indication that there was anybody in or out of that area that night,” Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez told CBS 7.  Daugherty, who is uninsured, raised $26,300 on GoFundMe to pay for his care.   The story of the shooting was widely shared on social media, with some politicizing the incident:  Keep this boy in your prayers! Hes still fighting after a shot in the chest by illegals while  guiding a hunting trip on the border.. The immigrants were ambushing the RV that his hunter and his wife were staying in. His brother in law and himself saved them from being killed. These boys were shot saving their hunters! Walker Is a man of God  a dear friend, and now a hero. We love you Walker Daugherty❤️ This is why we need a wall, and to close our borders!! It's the cartel and drug runners coming in and causing hate crimes. Donald Trump better keep his word! #Hunting #huntingguide #secureourborders A post shared by HelenButt (@helenbutt) on Jan 8, 2017 at 7:44pm PST Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller cited the shooting as “proof” that the border wall proposed by President Donald Trump was needed. When confronted about previous inaccurate Facebook messages, Miller said his social media posts shouldn’t be held to the same standard as those of a news organization ― but then cited a news organization in defense of himself.  “It’s like Fox News,” Miller told KUT radio. “I report and you decide if it’s true or not.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

17 февраля, 21:28

'We Are Turning the Clock Back'

Representative Luis Gutiérrez discusses last week’s immigration raids and how these deportations under President Trump are different from the ones he protested in the early years of the Obama administration.

14 февраля, 00:12

Most Border Residents Didn’t Vote For Trump’s Wall

AUSTIN, Texas ― One of President Donald Trump’s first actions in office was to order the expansion of the fence on the U.S.-Mexico border, arguing that he was fulfilling a campaign promise.  But many of those who will have to live alongside the wall don’t see a need for it, and a precinct-by-precinct tabulation of voting results from Texas shows they voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.  Some 701,000 ballots were cast in Texas precincts within 100 miles of the border. In those precincts, twice as many voters picked Clinton as Trump. Trump won his election largely by railing against illegal immigration, deriding the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement as a bad deal and by portraying the U.S.-Mexico border as a lawless area that needs a multibillion-dollar wall to make it more secure. Those arguments appealed to red state voters and flipped Democratic strongholds in the Midwest, where the manufacturing economy declined in recent decades and wages have stagnated. But those areas are nowhere near the border itself, where people usually view the situation differently. Not only did Trump lose the Rio Grande Valley, he lost it by whopping margins of more than 50 percentage points in some counties. The Texas data reveals a more extreme but consistent version of what happened along the rest of the borderlands. While Trump won two out of the four states that touch the U.S.-Mexico border, Clinton won more than 60 percent of the counties that touch the border itself. That Southern Texas backed Clinton is no surprise. The heavily Hispanic area region has been a Democratic stronghold for years, and Trump largely repelled Hispanic voters, especially in the Southwest. The area is home both to people who can trace their roots back to the era of the Texas Revolution and people who migrated in recent years. Spanish is spoken as commonly as English in many border towns. While Trump has justified last week’s executive order to expand the barrier as a security measure needed to prevent violence from spilling over, residents often view the wall as unnecessary spending that would be better used for schools, hospitals and roads. That’s partly because the border region is already heavily policed and has long been one of the safest in the United States. El Paso, in West Texas, has for years boasted some of the lowest crime rates of all mid-sized American cities, even as one of the most brutal episodes of Mexican cartel violence raged just across the border in Ciudad Juárez. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an $800 million package last year to bolster the federal government’s efforts by sending officers from the state’s Department of Public Safety to help patrol the border. Gilberto Hinojosa, the state Democratic Party chairman, viewed both the state and federal spending as misguided. He’d rather see the money help the region develop economically or educate Valley students. But, at the very least, he thought it should put to rest the notion that the area is violent. “Do you know that if I drive from La Jolla, Texas, to Laredo that I run into no less than 15 or 16 Department of Public Safety troopers parked on the side of the road every mile or two?” Hinojosa told HuffPost last week, referring to two South Texas border cities. “It’s absurd. These people do nothing but sit there in their car all day long. This is not an effective use of resources.” The region’s residents are also less likely to view Mexico with hostile eyes, whether or not they are themselves Hispanic. The Rio Grande, which separate the United States and Mexico in Southern Texas, makes for an odd boundary, since rivers unite people by facilitating transportation. The river slices through town after town that, prior the Mexican American War, were unified settlements without borders or fences. That geography makes for a business climate in which Texas is perhaps more connected to Mexico economically than any other U.S. state, according to Mark Jones, a political scientist at Rice University. The value of Texan exports alone to Mexico are roughly four times larger than those of China, Mexico’s second-largest trading partner. Trump’s calls to renegotiate NAFTA or slap a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports unnerves people who depend on commerce with Mexico for their livelihood. “[Valley residents] don’t view a need for a wall, and they’re opposed to anything that creates barriers between them and Mexico,” political scientist Mark Jones told HuffPost. “It creates the impression of the border as an insecure and dangerous place where people won’t want to travel or invest.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 февраля, 02:30

Trump's Border Wall Would Cost $21.6 Billion: Report

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump’s “wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct, based on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report seen by Reuters on Thursday. The report’s estimated price-tag is much higher than a $12-billion figure cited by Trump in his campaign and estimates as high as $15 billion from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The report is expected to be presented to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly in coming days, although the administration will not necessarily take actions it recommends. The plan lays out what it would take to seal the border in three phases of construction of fences and walls covering just over 1,250 miles (2,000 km) by the end of 2020. With 654 miles (1,046 km) of the border already fortified, the new construction would extend almost the length of the entire border. Many cost estimates and timelines have been floated since Trump campaigned on the promise of building a wall. The report seen by Reuters is the work of a group commissioned by Kelly as a final step before moving forward with requesting U.S. taxpayer funds from Congress and getting started on construction. A DHS spokeswoman said the department does “not comment on or confirm the potential existence of pre-decisional, deliberative documents.” A White House spokeswoman said it would be “premature” to comment on a report that has not officially been presented to the president. The report said the first phase would be the smallest, targeting sections covering 26 miles (42 km) near San Diego, California; El Paso, Texas; and in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. The report assumes DHS would get funding from Congress by April or May, giving the department sufficient time to secure contractors and begin construction by September. Trump has said Congress should fund the wall upfront, but that Mexico will reimburse U.S. taxpayers. Mexico has said it will not pay. Several U.S. congressional delegations are visiting the border this month to assess funding needs, according to several people familiar with the travel plans. The report shows the U.S. government has begun seeking waivers to address environmental laws on building in some areas. It also shows the government has begun working with existing contractors and planning steel purchases for the project. Trump told law enforcement officials on Wednesday, “The wall is getting designed right now.” The report accounted for the time and cost of acquiring private land, one reason for its steep price increase compared to estimates from Trump and members of Congress. Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion. The second phase of construction proposed in the report would cover 151 miles (242 km) of border in and around the Rio Grande Valley; Laredo, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; El Paso, Texas and Big Bend, Texas. The third phase would cover an unspecified 1,080 miles (1,728 km), essentially sealing off the entire U.S.-Mexico border. BARRIERS TO CONSTRUCTION The report lays out costs to cover the border with barriers, but funding constraints and legal battles are likely to place limits on those plans. It also does not account for major physical barriers, like mountains, in areas where it would not be feasible to build. A source familiar with the plans said DHS may have to go to court to seek eminent domain in order to acquire some of the private land needed to cover the final and most ambitious phase. The first phase, estimated to cost only $360 million, could be a relatively easy way for Trump to satisfy supporters eager to see him make good on his campaign promises to limit illegal migration. But the rest of the construction will be markedly more expensive, covering a much larger stretch of land, much of it privately owned or inaccessible by road. In addition to seeking eminent domain and environmental waivers, the U.S. government would also have to meet the requirements of the International Boundary and Water Commission, a U.S.-Mexico pact over shared waters. The report estimated that agreement alone could bring the cost from $11 million per mile to $15 million per mile in one area. (Reporting by Julia Edwards Ainsley; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Alistair Bell) function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

03 февраля, 03:07

Hundreds At Texas Capitol Speak Out Against Anti-Immigrant Bill

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); AUSTIN, Texas ― Hundreds of people flooded the halls of the Texas Capitol on Thursday, pressing legislators to abandon a Republican-led effort to crack down on so-called sanctuary jurisdictions that shield some immigrants from detention. The battle over SB4 ― which both Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick view as a priority ― will play a major role in determining the future of deportation policy under the Trump administration. An executive order signed by Trump last week scrapped the discretion policies put in place by the Obama administration, making virtually every undocumented immigrant stopped by local police, for any reason, a priority for deportation. As more Democratic-led cities and counties rebel by enacting sanctuary policies to limit cooperation with ICE, deportation policy under Trump will likely fall far more heavily on red states that encourage police to hold undocumented immigrants in jail on the federal government’s behalf. Texas has the second-largest undocumented population of any U.S. state, after California. SB4 would cut off state grant funds to jurisdictions that limit cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, generally by declining to honor ICE’s requests to hold undocumented immigrants who wouldn’t be detained for any other reason. The bill was updated days before its first committee hearing Thursday to also punish campus police departments that try to adopt sanctuary policies at universities.  Supporters view the proposed law as a safety measure intended to make sure the state uniformly complies with federal immigration enforcement. “This bill just says, do what’s already in place,” Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), the bill’s author, said. “It’s not new law. We’re just saying don’t undermine it.” But hundreds of Texans showed up to offer public comments against the bill, describing it as a draconian crackdown on immigrants. A crowd in the galley watching from above repeatedly cheered when opponents recommended killing the bill, but Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), chairwoman of the State Affairs committee, pounded her gavel and threatened to throw them out. Outside, a group of dozens of undocumented students with the advocacy group United We Dream held a rally on the steps of the Capitol. “We don’t understand why they’re trying to do these attacks against us,” Nahiely Garcia said. “We love our country, and we’re here to stay, whether they like us or not.”  Religious leaders opposed it on humanitarian grounds. Immigration lawyers questioned Republican lawmakers’ understanding of immigration law and the liability local jurisdictions could face. Immigrants and Texas-born Americans with immigrant parents offered personal stories about how much they’d achieved here and how increased deportation would destroy their families. Michelle Mejia, 28, registered against the bill in the morning, hoping to testify before having to return to work, but testimony stretched into the evening. A U.S. citizen herself, she worried about how the bill could affect undocumented family members and her husband, who is in the process of changing his immigration status. The bill cast a shadow over her recent pregnancy with the couple’s second child. “This just makes it a lot more stressful,” Mejia said. “I feel uncertain bringing this child into the world if our nuclear family is not supported.” El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar said that if the bill became law, it would force the county to choose whether to violate a decade-old federal settlement that prohibits local police from enforcing federal immigration law or to break a new state law that would punish them with sanctions. Escobar noted that El Paso has for years been one of the safest cities in the country and contended that pushing local police to devote time to enforcing immigration rules would undermine public safety. “When we become less safe because of the decisions made here in Austin, who will [voters] throw out of office?” Escobar asked the committee. “They cannot throw you out of office for having made us less safe.” Law enforcement offered contradictory views about the bill. Jackson County Sheriff A.J. Louderback, representing the Sheriff’s Association of Texas, said he and his organization backed the bill. “Law in this state demands and requires consistency,” he told the committee. Louderback said he knew of only one jurisdiction that currently limited its cooperation with ICE, a reference to Travis County, which includes the city of Austin. But the police chiefs of Austin and San Antonio both testified that time spent enforcing federal immigration regulations would detract from their efforts to fight crime. And Javier Salazar, the sheriff of Bexar County, which includes San Antonio and has not adopted a sanctuary policy, sent a deputy to read a letter to the committee opposing the bill. “With a strained workforce and limited man power, we do not have the capacity to house undocumented immigrants who do not have outstanding warrants,” the letter said.   SB4 seeks to resolve a problem that largely doesn’t exist in Texas. The only jurisdiction in the state so far to declare a policy of limiting cooperation with ICE is the one announced by Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez last month. In response, Abbott stripped the county of $1.5 million in criminal justice grants and contemplated crafting legislation to unseat Hernandez. Texas receives more ICE detainer requests than any other state and honors more than 99 percent of them, according to state Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston). “So what’s the intent here? Who are we going after?” Rodriguez said, later adding: “For many reasons, personal, moral and religious, I don’t like this bill.” Despite the display of opposition, the bill has a strong chance of passing. Republicans control both chambers of the Texas Legislature as well as the governorship. CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article mistakenly referred to state Sen. Sylvia Garcia as Sylvia Rodriguez. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.