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Friday, July 20, 2018

A government lawyer acknowledged Monday that the Trump administration will miss its first court-imposed deadline to reunite about 100 immigrant children under age 5 with their parents. Department of Justice attorney Sarah Fabian said during a court hearing that federal authorities reunited two families and expect to reunite an additional 59 by Tuesday’s deadline. She said the other cases are more complicated, including parents who have been deported or are in prison facing criminal charges, and would require more time to complete reunions. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who ordered the administration to reunite families separated as part of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, said he will hold another hearing Tuesday morning to get an update on the remaining cases. He said he was encouraged to see “real progress” in the complicated reunification process after a busy weekend when officials from multiple federal agencies tried to sync up parents and children who are spread across the country. STORY FROM LENDINGTREE Crush your mortgage interest with a 15 yr fixed “Tomorrow is the deadline. I do recognize that there are some groups of parents who are going to fall into a category where it’s impossible to reunite by tomorrow,” he said. “I am very encouraged by the progress. I’m optimistic.” Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who leads a lawsuit against the federal government, sounded more skeptical. When asked by the judge if he believed the government was in full compliance of the court order, Gelernt said there was much more work to be done. “Let me put it this way: I think the government in the last 48 hours has taken significant steps,” he said. “We just don’t know how much effort the government has made to find released parents. I don’t think there’s been full compliance.” U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego. (Photo: U.S. District Court) The difficulty in reuniting the first 100 children shows the challenge that lies ahead as the Trump administration braces for another deadline in two weeks to reunite nearly 3,000 older children – up to age 17 – with their parents. The process is complicated because of all the different situations that emerged over the weekend. The government initially identified 102 children under age 5 who needed to be reunited but removed three children from that list because investigations into their cases revealed that those children came with adults who were not their parents, Fabian said. Twelve parents were found to be in federal and state custody on criminal charges, making a reunification impossible since the government can’t transfer minors to state and local prisons to protect the well-being of the child. Nine parents were deported, and the government established contact with only four of them, Fabian said. Four children had been scheduled to be released from government custody to relatives who weren’t their parents, leading the government to question whether to allow that process to be completed or to redirect the child back to a parent. Gelernt said he understood many of the hurdles but urged the judge to force the government to scrap its time-consuming investigation into every single case and start a 48-hour clock to reunify families that remain separated by Tuesday. Sabraw said he would decide that during Tuesday’s hearing. Fabian said one of the silver linings of the busy weekend is that her office worked closely with its challengers at the ACLU to share information on each child’s case, to ensure that representatives from immigration advocacy groups and volunteer organizations could be present during each reunification. Gelernt said they’re doing that to help the parents, who are often released from custody with no money and nowhere to go. Fabian said that coordination has led to a more formalized process between government agencies and with the immigrants’ lawyers that should make reunifications go more smoothly in the coming weeks. “I think this process over the weekend helped us see what information, and in what form, is the most useful to share,” she said. “I’d like to make that as efficient a process as possible.” -

Monday, July 9, 2018

Trump denies US opposition to WHO breastfeeding resolution -

Monday, July 9, 2018

Havana plane crash leaves more than 100 dead -

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr bloc wins Iraq elections -

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: ‘We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families’ -

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Donald Trump says he will meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore -

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Trump tells FBI: ‘I have your back 100%’ -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Mueller requests emails from Trump campaign data firm: report -

Friday, December 15, 2017

GOP changes child tax credit in bid to win Rubio’s vote -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Trump Jr. is berated for tweet about ‘Obama’s FCC’ chair, net ‘neutality’ -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry on 19 May 2018 -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Walt Disney buys Murdoch’s Fox for $52.4bn -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Roy Moore says Alabama election ‘tainted’ by outside groups -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Eric Holder warns GOP: ‘Any attempt to remove Bob Mueller will not be tolerated’ -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Former British prime minister: Trump attacks on press are ‘dangerous’ -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

China says war must not be allowed on Korean peninsula -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Megyn Kelly left Fox News in part due to O’Reilly: report -

Saturday, April 15, 2017

North Korea warns against U.S. ‘hysteria’ as it marks founder’s birth -

Friday, April 14, 2017

British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia -

Thursday, April 13, 2017

‘N.Y. Times’ probe finds no al-Qaeda link to Benghazi raid

AFP,Getty Images

The report found that the deadly attack was fueled by anger over an anti-Islam U.S.-made video.

A lengthy New York Times investigation of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, found no involvement by al-Qaeda or other international terrorists groups and was accelerated in part by anger at a U.S.-made video denigrating Islam.

The attack left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The six-part report on the investigation is written by David D. Kirkpatrick and was posted Saturday on the Times‘ website. It centers on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who, the newspaper says, had direct knowledge of the attack and its context.
“The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs,” the Times concludes.

The newspaper notes that Republicans have argued that the Obama administration was trying to cover up al-Qaeda’s alleged role in the attack.

“It was very clear to the individuals on the ground that this was an al-Qaeda-led event,” Rep, Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said last month on Fox News.

“But the Republican arguments appear to conflate purely local extremist organizations like Ansar al-Shariah with Al Qaeda’s international terrorist network,” the Times report says. “The only intelligence connecting Al Qaeda to the attack was an intercepted phone call that night from a participant in the first wave of the attack to a friend in another African country who had ties to members of Al Qaeda, according to several officials briefed on the call. But when the friend heard the attacker’s boasts, he sounded astonished, the officials said, suggesting he had no prior knowledge of the assault.”

READ: ‘A Deadly Mix in Benghazi’

The newspaper says that a fuller account of the Benghazi attacks “suggests lessons for the United States that go well beyond Libya.”

“It shows the risks of expecting American aid in a time of desperation to buy durable loyalty, and the difficulty of discerning friends from allies of convenience in a culture shaped by decades of anti-Western sentiment,” the Times investigation says. “Both challenges now hang over the American involvement in Syria’s civil conflict.”

The Times says a central figure in the attack was an eccentric, malcontent local militia leader, Ahmed Abu Khattala. It says U.S. officials briefed on an American criminal investigation into the killings call him a prime suspect.

The report says Abu Khattala had no known affiliations with terrorist groups, and had escaped scrutiny from the 20-person CIA station in Benghazi that was set up to monitor local conditions.

Abu Khattala denied to the newspaper that he participated in the attack, but the newspaper says he was “firmly embedded in the network of Benghazi militias before and afterward.”

The Times report on the attack itself says the U.S. compound had been under surveillance at least 12 hours before the assault started.

“The violence, though, also had spontaneous elements,” the Times writes. “Anger at the (anti-Islam) video motivated the initial attack.”

The video, titled “Innocence of Muslims” was made by an American, but had appeared almost exclusively only online, on YouTube. It had also prompted protests for hours the day before at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

“Dozens of people (in Benghazi) joined in, some of them provoked by the video and others responding to fast-spreading false rumors that guards inside the American compound had shot Libyan protesters,” The Times writes. “Looters and arsonists, without any sign of a plan, were the ones who ravaged the compound after the initial attack, according to more than a dozen Libyan witnesses as well as many American officials who have viewed the footage from security cameras.”

The Times says Abu Khattala, who still freely moves around the area, suggested that the video insulting the Prophet Mohammed might well have justified the killing of four Americans. “From a religious point of view, it is hard to say whether it is good or bad,” he told the newspaper.

By Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

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