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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.” -

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Walt Disney buys Murdoch’s Fox for $52.4bn

BBC

The deal includes Fox’s 39% stake in satellite broadcaster Sky, and the 20th Century Fox film studio, Disney announced.

Fox’s remaining assets, including Fox News and Sports, will form a new company.

The deal ends more than half a century of media expansion by Fox owner Rupert Murdoch, who is 86 years old.

He turned a single Australian newspaper he inherited from his father at the age of 21 into one of the world’s largest news and film empires.

Mr Murdoch will still retain control of News Corp, the news publishing group that split away from 21st Century Fox in 2013 and which owns the Times and the Sun newspapers.

Disney’s purchase will add to its huge back catalogue, with high-grossing films such as the original Star Wars movie, the Marvel superhero pictures, Avatar and Deadpool, as well as TV hits including The Simpsons.

Disney chief executive Bob Iger said that Disney was “incredibly excited” about the acquisition, and that it was an “opportunity to expand iconic franchises”, including Avatar and Star Wars.

“May the Force be with us all,” Mr Iger said.

Succession question

Mr Murdoch’s shift to selling assets rather than buying them has come as a surprise to those who expected him to hand over the businesses to his sons, James and Lachlan.

James Murdoch had been widely tipped to be given a senior role at Disney. But Mr Iger told Good Morning America: “James and I will be talking over the next couple of months. He will be integral to the integration process. He and I will be discussing whether there is a role for him or not at our company.”

Mr Iger will remain in his role until the end of 2021.

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It is not clear how the deal will be received by US competition regulators.

The US Department of Justice recently sued to block AT&T’s $85.4bn deal to buy Time Warner, on the basis that it will raise prices for consumers and competitors.

In the UK, Fox’s proposed deal to buy the remainder of Sky is being already investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is due to publish provisional findings in January.

The BBC understands that the Disney deal will not alter that CMA investigation.

Rupert Murdoch said: “If things go wrong, the existing [Sky] shares go to Disney. It will be up to them to decide what to do.”

Fox is selling assets including its FX and National Geographic cable channels and media company Star India.

Disney also will buy Fox’s stake in the Hulu video streaming service, giving it majority control of a competitor to Netflix.

Hulu is also partially owned by Comcast and Time Warner.

Paolo Pescatore, an analyst with CCS Insight, said: “The move will firmly establish Disney as one of the leading media companies in the world and puts it in a great position to compete head on with the threat posed by the web providers such as Amazon and Facebook.”

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