L PASO, Texas (AP) — The Trump administration is facing growing complaints from migrants about severe overcrowding, meager food and other hardships at border holding centers, with some people at an encampment in El Paso being forced to sleep on the bare ground during dust storms.
The Border Network for Human Rights issued a report Friday based on dozens of testimonials of immigrants over the past month and a half, providing a snapshot of cramped conditions and prolonged stays in detention amid a record surge of migrant families coming into the U.S. from Central America.
The report comes a day after an advocate described finding a teenage mother cradling a premature baby inside a Border Patrol processing center in Texas. The advocate said the baby should have been in a hospital, not a facility where adults are kept in large fenced-in sections that critics describe as cages.
The state of human rights in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands is grave and is only getting worse,” the immigrant rights group said in its report. “People are dying because of what is happening.”
Five immigrant children have died since late last year after being detained by the Border Patrol, including a flu-stricken teenager who was found dead in a facility migrants refer to as the “icebox” because of the temperatures inside.
Customs and Border Protection responded to the complaints by saying: “Allegations are not facts. If there is an issue it is best to contact CBP directly. In many cases the matter can be resolved immediately.”
The agency also cited its response to a critical inspector general’s report last month, in which it said the government is devoted to treating migrants in its custody “with the utmost dignity and respect.”
The Trump administration has blamed the worsening crisis on inaction by Congress.
Many of the complaints center on El Paso, where the inspector general found severe overcrowding inside a processing center. A cell designed for a dozen people was crammed with 76, and migrants had to stand on the toilets.
With indoor facilities overcrowded, the Border Patrol has kept some immigrants outside and in tents near a bridge in El Paso with nothing but a Mylar foil blanket. Others have been kept in an empty parking lot, where migrants huddled underneath tarps and foil blankets repurposed as shade covers against the sweltering heat.
A professor who visited two weeks ago said it resembled a “human dog pound.” The Border Patrol responded by adding additional shade structures, but migrants are still kept outside in temperatures approaching 100 degrees.
Image credit: Joe Raedle- Getty Images
Source: The Washington Pundit
An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman, in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran, June 13, 2019. ISNA/Handout via REUTERS
June 15, 2019
By Parisa Hafezi and Makini Brice
DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Friday blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf and said it was seeking international consensus about the threat to shipping, despite Tehran denying involvement in the explosions at sea.
Thursday’s attacks raised fears of a confrontation in the vital oil shipping route at a time of increased tension between Iran and the United States over U.S. sanctions and military moves in the Middle East, Tehran’s proxy groups in the region and its nuclear program.
“Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” U.S. President Donald Trump told Fox News.
He was referring to a video released on Thursday by the U.S. military which said it showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were behind the blasts that struck the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman, at the mouth of the Gulf.
Iran said the video proved nothing and that it was being made into a scapegoat. “These accusations are alarming,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
Iran has dismissed earlier U.S. charges that it was behind the attacks and has accused the United States and its regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of “warmongering” by making accusations against it.
Last month, the United States sharply tightened economic sanctions that are damaging the economy of Iran, which in response has threatened to step up its nuclear activity. Tehran has said it could block the Strait of Hormuz, the main route out for Middle Eastern oil, if its own exports were halted.
Trump, who last year pulled the United States out of an agreement between world powers and Tehran to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief, said any move to close the Strait of Hormuz would not last long but added that he was open to negotiations with Iran.
Iran has repeatedly said it will not re-enter talks with the United States unless it reverses Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Tehran and Washington have both said they have no interest in starting a war. But this has done little to assuage concerns that the two arch foes could stumble into a conflict.
A U.S. official told Reuters on Friday a surface-to-air missile was fired from Iranian territory on Thursday morning at a U.S. drone that was near Front Altair following the attack on the tanker. The missile did not hit the drone, the official said.
Trump’s administration is focused on building international consensus following the attacks, U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said.
Asked whether he was considering sending more troops or military capabilities to the Middle East, Shanahan said: “As you know we’re always planning various contingencies.”
But he emphasized the issue of building consensus.
“When you look at the situation, a Norwegian ship, a Japanese ship, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, 15 percent of the world’s oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz,” he said.
“So we obviously need to make contingency plans should the situation deteriorate. We also need to broaden our support for this international situation,” he told reporters.
GRAPHIC: Attacks in Gulf of Oman – https://tmsnrt.rs/2X8ePpU
Oil prices rose about 1% on Friday, reflecting the jitters. Insurance costs for ships sailing through the Middle East have jumped by at least 10% after the attacks, ship insurers said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an independent investigation https://www.reuters.com/article/mideast-attacks-un/update-2-u-n-chief-calls-for-independent-probe-into-gulf-tanker-attacks-idUSL2N23L0WG of the attacks.
The tanker attacks took place while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan – a big buyer of Iranian oil until it was forced by the new U.S. sanctions to stop – was visiting Tehran on a peacemaking mission, bringing a message from Trump.
Iran dismissed Trump’s message, details of which were not made public.
“I do not see Trump as worthy of any message exchange, and I do not have any reply for him, now or in future,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said.
Washington has also blamed Iran or its proxies for attacks on May 12 that crippled four oil tankers in the same area, and has said Tehran was behind May 14 drone strikes on two Saudi oil-pumping stations. Tehran has denied all those charges.
The U.S. military said black-and-white footage it filmed from a U.S. aircraft showed Iran’s Guards on a patrol boat drawing up to the Kokuka Courageous and removing an unexploded limpet mine from its hull.
The Japanese-owned tanker, abandoned by its crew, was being towed to a port in the United Arab Emirates on Friday, after a Dutch firm said it had been appointed to salvage the ships.
The second tanker, the Front Altair, which was set ablaze by a blast, was still languishing at sea, although the fire that had charred the hull had been put out.
Iranian military fast-boats in the Gulf of Oman were preventing two privately owned tug boats from towing away the Front Altair, a U.S. official said on Friday.
China, the European Union and others have called for restraint from all sides. In a notable signal that close U.S. allies are wary of Washington’s position, Germany said the U.S. video was not enough to apportion blame for Thursday’s attack.
But British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt differed, saying no other state https://www.reuters.com/article/mideast-attacks-britain/britain-blames-iran-for-attacks-on-tankers-in-gulf-of-oman-idUSL8N23L5EQ or non-state actor could have been responsible.
Last month Washington scrapped waivers that had allowed some countries to continue importing Iranian oil, effectively ordering all countries to blacklist Iran or face sanctions themselves.
Iran’s crude exports fell to about 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May, starving Iran’s economy of its main source of revenue.
Iran says it is still abiding by the terms of the nuclear deal, but cannot do so indefinitely unless it receives some of the economic benefits that were promised.
There have been conflicting accounts of the cause of Thursday’s blasts. An initial report that Kokuka Courageous was struck by a torpedo was dismissed by a source familiar with the issue. The owner of the tanker, which carried methanol, later said it was hit by two “flying objects”.
Iranian TV showed 23 crew in Iran believed to be from Front Altair on Friday, and said its experts would assess whether they could return to the ship. The crew from Kokuka Courageous were picked up and handed to a U.S. Navy ship on Thursday.
Position of tankers attacked in Gulf of Oman – https://tmsnrt.rs/2XR9D76
(Reporting by Parisa Hafez, Maher Chmaytelli and Ghaida Ghantous in Dubai, Makini Brice, Susan Heavey, Phil Stewart and Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Bart Meijer in Amsterdam; Victoria Klesty in Oslo and Jonathan Saul in London; Writing by Peter Graff and Alistair Bell; Editing by James Dalgleish and Grant McCool)
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it received 33 pages of records from the Department of Justice showing that former senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr in his January 2018 preparation to testify to the Senate and House intelligence committees wrote to a lawyer about “possible ethics concerns.” Bruce Ohr forwarded the email to his wife Nellie Ohr, who had been hired by Fusion GPS, the Hillary Clinton campaign-Democratic National Committee vendor who compiled the anti-Trump Dossier.
Judicial Watch obtained the records through its August 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the Justice Department after it failed to respond to a May 29, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice(No. 1:18-cv-01854)). Judicial Watch seeks:
All records from the Office of the Deputy Attorney General relating to Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher Steele, including but not limited to all records of communications about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele.
All records from the office of former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G. Ohr relating to Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher
Steele, including but not limited to all records of communications (including those of former Associate Deputy Attorney General Ohr) about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele.
All records from the office of the Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force relating to Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher Steele, including but not limited to all records of communications (including those of former Organized Crime Task Force Director Bruce Ohr) about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele.
On January 3, 2018, Bruce Ohr emails Justice Department ethics lawyer Cynthia Shaw, advising her that the Senate and House intelligence committees had requested to interview him about investigations into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election. He notes that a number of press reports had come out about his “alleged” connections to Christopher Steele. He asks her a question that is largely redacted but seeks information about “possible ethics concerns.” He forwards this email to his wife Nellie:
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me this morning. As requested, here is a short description of my question:
As you may have heard, the Senate intelligence committee and House intelligence committee requested to interview me in connection with their investigations of possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Shortly after receiving the Senate request, a series of stories broke in the press about my alleged connections to Chris Steele, the author of the so-called Trump dossier. [Redacted]
My question has to do with [redacted]. Are there any guidelines for [redacted] in order to satisfy any possible ethics concerns?
Shaw’s response is largely redacted:
Can you obtain [redacted]
The new documents also reveal a close relationship between Fusion GPS employee Nellie Ohr and DOJ Russia experts Lisa Holtyn, Joseph Wheatley and Ivana Nizich.
On May 11, 2016, Nellie Ohr received an email invitation to attend a Hudson Institute “Kleptocracy Archive Launch.” Notably, Fusion GPS principal Glenn Simpson, listed as “a Senior Fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center” who “now works frequently on Russian corporate crime and criminal organizations,” was to be a panelist. Nellie forwarded the invitation on to top Bruce Ohr aide Lisa Holtyn and husband/wife DOJ lawyers Joseph Wheatley and Ivana Nizich. Holtyn, Wheatley, and Nizich all worked for the DOJ’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), which investigated Russian cartels and other Russian syndicated crime matters.
Source: The Washington Pundit
Well isn’t this interesting.
On Thursday afternoon Ellen Weintrab, a DEMOCRAT Chair of the Federal Election Commission posted a statement online condemning President Trump for suggesting he may accept oppo research from a foreign government.
Democrat Weintraub was appointed by George W. Bush during a recess appointment.
One more fun fact about Weintraub — she worked for the DNC-Hillary Clinton-Deep State law firm Perkins Coie prior to being elected to FEC chair.
Per the FEC:
Commissioner Weintraub took office on December 9, 2002, after receiving a recess appointment; she was renominated and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on March 18, 2003. Commissioner Petersen was nominated and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on June 24, 2008.
Prior to her appointment to the Commission, Ms. Weintraub was Of Counsel to Perkins Coie LLP and a member of its Political Law Group. Before joining Perkins Coie, Ms. Weintraub was Counsel to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for the U.S. House of Representatives (the House Ethics Committee). Ms. Weintraub received her B.A., cum laude, from Yale College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Is this why Weintraub said nothing when Hillary Clinton paid for a junk Russian dossier and hid the payments by funneling the money through her law firm PERKINS COIE, worked with Ukrainians to obtain dirt on Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort and reportedly had foreign intelligence agencies spy on the Trump campaign?
In October of 2017, the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed an FEC complaint alleging the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign committee violated campaign finance law because they failed to disclose the purpose and recipient of payments for the phony Steele dossier.
Is this also why the FEC is ignoring Hillary Clinton’s $84 million campaign finance scandal?
Source: The Washington Pundit
Albuquerque, NM – The State of New Mexico and the sanctuary city of Albuquerque have filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for releasing too many immigrants into the state’s border cities.
The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico on Monday, alleged that President Trump’s administration has enacted an “indiscriminate practice of releasing migrants in communities,” in violation of the federal “safe release” policy, KVIA reported.
The federal “safe release” policy was canceled in October of 2018 due to the massive wave of immigrants who flooded over the U.S. southern border from Central America.
That policy provided those seeking asylum with assistance in getting to their final destinations while they were waiting for their claims to be processed, KVIA reported.
“[The] sudden and unlawful abandonment of this policy was done without notice or opportunity for input by affected jurisdictions,” the lawsuit alleged.
The sanctuary city and the State of New Mexico has also demanded to be reimbursed for the funds it has shelled out to temporarily shelter immigrants.
The lawsuit alleges that the financial burden was caused by the federal government’s “derogation of duty to administer this country’s immigration system and claims of asylum,” KVIA reported.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham further complained that the government’s “quick release” policy is “leaving vulnerable individuals and families without assistance and burdening local governments as well as nonprofit organizations.”
Source: The Washington Pundit
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President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn has a court date for the first time since last year.
In a Friday afternoon filing, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered Flynn and his new counsel to appear for a status conference Wednesday afternoon. The filing comes the same day as Flynn’s new lawyer and prosecutors jointly requested a sentencing delay.
NEW: Judge Sullivan has ordered everyone in the Michael Flynn case into his courtroom on Wednesday for a status conference. This will be the first time we’ve seen Flynn in court since the contentious sentencing hearing last December. pic.twitter.com/CUOOJ26syo
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) June 14, 2019
Flynn, 60, fired his previous counsel this month and retained former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell as his new attorney. In Friday’s joint request, it is noted that Flynn might testify during the trial of his former business associate, Bijan Kian, whose trial for failing to register as a foreign agent is scheduled for mid-July in the Eastern District of Virginia.
“The parties propose filing another status report within 60 days. Based on the current trial date in the [Eastern District of Virginia] case and estimated length of that trial, the government believes 60 days should provide sufficient time for the defendant to complete his cooperation, which was the basis for the defendant’s request for a continuance,” the filing reads.
Flynn’s new legal counsel also cited the voluminous amount of information associated with his case that will need to be parsed through.
“Defense counsel’s concerns about the amount of information to review in preparation for sentencing will be addressed again in 60 days, when the defendant’s cooperation is likely to be complete,” the filing reads.
Flynn, who was investigated as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The former Army general has been cooperating with prosecutors from the investigation.
He has not appeared in a courtroom since December.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Navy has named the first female leader of the U.S. Naval War College after removing the college president who is under investigation.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer announced Friday that Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield will be the new president.
Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley was removed as the college president Monday, days after The Associated Press reported he was under investigation and more than a year after the initial complaint was filed.
The AP reported Harley was under investigation for allegedly spending excessively, abusing his hiring authority and otherwise behaving inappropriately, including keeping a margarita machine in his office.
Lt. Cmdr. Jacqueline Pau said Monday that Navy leaders felt the change is best for the college because it maintains the integrity of the investigation. Pau, the spokeswoman for Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said it would ensure that Harley is afforded due process.
Inspector general investigations, across the Defense Department, routinely take months or more than a year. Provost Lewis M. Duncan has temporarily assumed the president’s duties.
Harley later announced his departure to campus by saying he was “stepping down.”
Source: The Washington Pundit
Trump Says He WILL NOT Fire Kellyanne Conway. What Do You Think About The Hatch Act?
Iranian vessel removed unexploded mine from stricken oil tanker in Gulf of Oman, US officials say
An Iranian vessel removed an unexploded mine that had been attached to a Japanese-owned oil tanker that suffered serious damage after an explosion in the Gulf of Oman early Thursday, U.S. officials told Fox News, as the U.S. Navy released video purportedly showing the incident. The imagery came from the USS … See More Bainbridge, a guided-missile destroyer that rescued 21 sailors from the stricken tanker.
At least one other mine attached to the tanker’s hull detonated, causing the blast. It happened near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a key route for oil shipments in the region. A U.S. official told Fox News an Iranian gunboat approached the Kokuka Courageous later in the day and removed the unexploded triangular-shaped limpet mine, the same type of mine used to damage four other tankers in the Gulf of Oman last month.
WH press secretary Sarah Sanders will leave office by the end of the month, Trump says
President Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will be leaving her position at the end of the month. “After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas,” Trump wrote. “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”
The president has not yet named a replacement for Sanders. His announcement came moments before he made remarks at a White House event on its “Second Chance” program boosting the hiring of criminals who have served their sentences.
Julian Castro admits Hatch Act ‘mistake,’ calls for Kellyanne Conway’s termination, in Fox News Town Hall
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro told Fox News on Thursday night that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway should be fired for violating the Hatch Act — the same federal law Castro himself was found to have violated in 2016. The 2020 White House contender’s remarks came in a Fox News Town Hall in Tempe, Ariz., hosted by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.
Man killed by US Marshals Service was wanted in connection with Mississippi shooting
A 20-year-old black man whose Wednesday shooting death by a fugitive task force sparked a night of violence and unrest in a Memphis, Tenn., neighborhood, was wanted for a shooting in Mississippi, according to media reports. DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion said Brandon Webber was being sought on aggravated assault and armed robbery charges related to a shooting during a car theft in Hernando, Miss., on June 3. The victim was shot five times and survived, Champion said.
Toronto Raptors win first NBA championship in franchise history
The Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night in Oakland, Calif. The Warriors played without Kevin Durant, who injured his Achilles tendon in the last series. Golden State was 0-3 at home against Toronto this season, losing all three games by double digits. Game 6 was the final time the Warriors played at Oracle Arena, their home for 47 seasons. The team moves to the Chase Center in San Francisco next season.
2nd suspect tied in Benghazi terror attack convicted on 2 counts
CNN boss Jeff Zucker makes sexual joke about star anchor during award ceremony: report.
Oberlin College to pay bakery the now-massive sum of $44M over racism dispute.
MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Fake online videos growing corporate threat: Cybersecurity expert.
Elizabeth Warren to introduce bill to ‘cancel’ student debt for millions.
Colorado’s marijuana revenue surpasses $1B.
SOME PARTING WORDS
Hannity calls out the left’s selective outrage over Trump’s comments that he would listen to foreign entities with information on a political opponent while ignoring foreign election interference that was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
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Source: The War Room