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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

Test Drive: The best cars from 2013

Photo Jaguar

We drive a lot of cars as part of the job, and the most common question is, “What’s your favorite?” Or the similar, “What’s the best thing you’ve driven lately?”

Here are some of my picks from the past year’s Test Drive miles.

Most fun: Jaguar F-Type V-8.

Undiluted joy — right up until you lose your driver’s license.

The F-Type’s worth buying (if you can handle a six-figure sticker price) just for the fabulous, outrageous exhaust sound. And it’s not a false promise; the F-Type goes as fast as that growl implies.

TEST DRIVE: F-Type’s a howling beauty

Even the convertible top is fast, going up or down in only about 10 seconds, which is blazing for that operation. Styling’s pretty fetching, too.

It’s for people who live out loud and have good traffic-court lawyers.

About $93,000 to start, but you won’t stop there. Too many goodies to add. The two-seater is meant as a reprise of the famous XKE, or E-Type, of the 1960s and 1970s

Biggest surprise: Chevrolet Spark EV.

Who knew you’d have to worry about turning the tires into smoldering rubber if you nailed the “go” pedal too enthusiastically in an electric car?

Spark EV’s muscle-car-like 400 pounds-feet of torque (delivered more or less instantly, because that’s how electric motors work), make the bitty, battery eco-buggy a raging ball to drive.

Seems like the right way to get people hooked, fast, on alt-power vehicles; make petroleum-saving a joy ride.

TEST DRIVE: Spark’s a powerhouse

Spark EV is about $27,500 to start, before any government eco-credits, which is a daunting $12,000 or so more than the similar gasoline version. And it’s only sold in California and Oregon, which have clean-air quotas, but GM says it’s considering a wider rollout.

•Best mud-buddy: Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

Trailhawk’s the off-road version, and it made quick sport of the mud hills on a course in West Virginia. Low-range gearing, locking rear differential, well-tuned nine-speed automatic transmission, adjustable-height suspension — up it goes.

We won’t vouch for its stiff on-road personality, or put Cherokee’s less-rugged versions on a pedestal, but if you really play with your toy — or need it to beat the slop for work, or to visit Grandma who’s a survivalist in the wilds — Cherokee Trailhawk appears to have it handled.

Its size is an advantage on some other very good mudders. Cherokee’s trim enough to squeak through between the trees, but roomy enough to carry three or four others on the adventure.

It starts at about $30,000, a hefty premium over the $23,000 bare-bones Cherokee base price. But when you gotta go, regardless, such a machine’s priceless. And its bright red tow hooks look like fangs. Who’ll dare park too close to those?

Best cover: Lincoln MKZ

In music, a cover is a song done by a band other than the original. Sometimes covers are better, sometimes not.

In this case, the Lincoln MKZ does a great cover version of the hit Ford Fusion midsize sedan. If you’re not hooked on Fusion’s faux Aston Martin grille, you might find the Lincoln sexier, classier and as maybe as much fun as the sporty Fusion.

TEST DRIVE: MKZ a good reboot for Lincoln

The push-button transmission control — think positively here — might even be a welcome throwback to those warm (?) memories of Ford’s short-lived Edsel brand, and its transmission buttons in the steering wheel, or the Chrysler models of the 1960s, with their gearshift buttons alongside the steering column, much like the Lincoln.

The MKZ will reach at least $36,000 deep into your pocket.

Best rookie: Chevrolet Cruze diesel.

It’s a little lame in around-town mpg — all rookies have faults, right? — but delivers the fuel-saving goods on the highway.

The low-speed torque that’s inherent in a diesel is well-suited to much U.S. driving, and can make the daily slog a bit more exciting. In fact, the diesel’s the quickest Cruze, Chevy says, clipping off the 0-to-60 dash notably faster than the gasoline models.

Plus, there’s nothing bad about it. Not sluggish. Doesn’t stink. Isn’t noisy.

TEST DRIVE : Cruze and diesel a good fit

It starts at around $26,000, which is nearly $2,600 more than the similar gasoline version. It makes the auto business a better spectator sport, because it finally gives the array of Volkswagen diesel models some mainstream competition.

James R. Healey, USATODAY

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