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Southwest Key: A look at one of the companies sheltering migrant children

Following the implementation of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, aimed at those who would cross the border illegally, upward of 2,000 children were separated from their parents as the adults were turned over for criminal prosecution.

While the adults went to jail, the children, some only infants, were placed in the custody of the federal government. After briefly being detained by the Customs and Border Patrol, the children were then transferred to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services.

>> Read more trending news 

From there, children were sent to shelters – around 100 in 17 states – until family or friends can take custody of them or they are assigned to foster homes or other centers.

One company providing shelter for thousands of migrant children that have come before and after the zero tolerance policy is Southwest Key Inc. For years the company has had contracts with the federal government to care for immigrant children. Those contracts have made the company more than $1 billion in the past decade.

Here’s are a few things to know about Southwest Key:

  • It’s a nonprofit organization that, according to its website “contracts with government agencies and private foundations to operate three types of programs throughout the country: youth justice programs, charter schools for kids in underserved neighborhoods, and shelters for immigrant youth. 
  • According to Bloomberg, Southwest Key has the most lucrative contract with the federal government and will be paid the “most among the organizations, government agencies and companies that run a detention and care system for immigrant children on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services.”
  • In fiscal year 2017, 11,100 minors went through Southwest Key facilities in Texas alone.
  • Since 2015, it has been awarded $955 million in federal contracts. According to U.S. Health and Human Services data, Southwest Key Inc. has made $1.5 billion from the federal government since 2008. It is on track to be paid more than $458 million in fiscal 2018.
  • Juan Sanchez is president and CEO. He started the company in 1987. In 2016, his compensation was $1.5 million.
  • The nonprofit also operates schools for minors in the custody of the juvenile justice system.
  • According to The New York Times, only 10 percent of children in Southwest Key facilities were separated from their relatives. The majority of minors housed by Southwest Key came to the United States alone as unaccompanied minors.
  • Casa Padre, the Southwest Key’s shelter that has garnered attention in the past week, is holding nearly 1,500 boys, ages 10  to 17 years old.
  • Casa Padre has classrooms, medical offices, on-call physicians, work cubicles, movie theaters, a barbershop and a cafeteria.
  • Southwest Key runs 26 immigrant children’s shelters in Texas, Arizona and California. It also operates in four other states, Georgia, New York, Wisconsin and Florida
  • The company issued a statement about the policy of separating migrant children from their parents saying:  "Southwest Key Programs does not support separating families at the border. For 30 years, our work in offering youth justice alternatives, immigrant children's shelters, and education have served to improve the lives of thousands of young people. We believe keeping families together is better for the children, parents and our communities, and we remain committed to providing compassionate care and reunification. For every child who has come through our shelter doors, we start on day one to reunite them with their parents or a family sponsor and to provide the kind of service that will help them thrive. This has been our priority for decades."

What does the new executive order on immigration do; can migrants be held indefinitely?

After days of outrage over photos and audio recordings of migrant children held in detention centers crying for their parents, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday designed to end the practice of separating families apprehended after they illegally cross the U.S. border.

>> Read more trending news

Since April, some 2,300 children have been separated from their parents who, under a recently enacted zero tolerance policy, were arrested as they crossed the border and referred to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. 

“We’re going to have strong — very strong — borders, but we are going to keep the families together,” Trump said after signing the order. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”

<<Is the immigration separation policy new, where did it come from, where are the detention centers?

The zero tolerance policy applied to all adults, whether they crossed the border alone or with their children. If they had children with them, the children were sent to detention centers and the adults went to jail.

Here is what the new executive order does and does not do:

Allows families to be detained together under DHS authority

According to the order, families who are detained for illegally entering the country together will be put into the custody of the Department of Homeland Security. This is different from the previous practice, which sent adults who entered the country illegally to the custody of the Justice Department where they were criminally prosecuted. If they entered with children, the children were put in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The DHS is now charged with keeping families together in custody until the criminal case against the adults and the immigration case against the family are completed.

The executive order says families will stay together "where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources."

Moves immigration cases of detained families to the front of the line

The new order directs the Justice Department to prioritize (or move up in line) the cases of migrant families. This means other immigration cases can be pushed back. A backlog already exists in immigration courts. Those courts are run by the Justice Department. 

Orders Jeff Sessions to ask a federal court to allow families to be detained for as long as necessary

The order calls for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ask a court to reverse a decision that required the federal government to place children brought into the country illegally with a close relative or family friend “without unnecessary delay,” and to keep children in the “least restrictive conditions” possible if they do not have a family member of friend to take them.

Sessions’ request for the reversal of the court decision on the Flores settlement can lead to a situation where the government would be able to detain families for as long as it took to get the criminal and asylum cases to work their way through the system, despite the fact that those cases will be given priority. 

The Flores settlement, which began as a class-action lawsuit, addressed migrant children being kept with their parents and those in the country without their parents and set the time they could be held in detention at 20 days.

Orders other federal agencies to set up detention centers

The Department of Defense and other federal agencies have been put on notice that facilities that house families will need to be prepared. According to the Washington Post, Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said three Defense Department locations in Texas Fort Bliss, Goodfellow Air Force Base and Dyess Air Force Base, and one in Arkansas, Little Rock Air Force Base, are being considered for use in housing migrant families.  

What it does not do:

Doesn't reunite already separated families

The order did not spell out what would happen to some 2,300 children already separated from their parents since the zero tolerance policy went into effect in April. 

"It is still very early and we are awaiting further guidance on the matter," Brian Marriott, HHS' families division's senior director of communications, said Wednesday. "Our focus is on continuing to provide quality services and care to the minors in HHS/ORR funded facilities and reunifying minors with a relative or appropriate sponsor as we have done since HHS inherited the program. Reunification is always the ultimate goal of those entrusted with the care of UACs, and the administration is working towards that for those UACs currently in HHS custody."

>>Trump ends migrant family separations: Read the executive order

 

 

 

50 best restaurants in the world: Where are they, how many in the US?

If you want a seat at the world’s best restaurant, you had better make reservations.  It has only 12 tables.Osteria Francescana, a restaurant in Modena, Italy, took the top ranking as the world's best restaurant for the second time in three years in a survey from The World’s 50 Best. The ranking includes restaurants in 23 countries. Six of the eateries are in the United States. Osteria Francescana was noted for its “range of narratives” in the food, with compliments to chef Massimo Bottura for his dishes that play "with ingredients from the surrounding Emilia-Romagna region.” The six restaurants in the United States making the list are: Eleven Madison Park (No. 4), Cosme (No. 25) and Le Bernardin (No. 26) in Manhattan; Blue Hill at Stone Barns (No. 12) in Pocantico Hills, New York; Alinea (No. 34) in Chicago; and Saison (No. 46) in San Francisco.

According to a statement, “the list is voted for by more than 1,000 international restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets who make up The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy.”

Here are the top 10 restaurants.  

  1. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
  2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
  3. Mirazur, Menton, France 
  4. Eleven Madison Park, Manhattan 
  5. Gaggan, Bangkok
  6. Central, Lima, Peru
  7. Maido, Lima, Peru
  8. Arpege, Paris
  9. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
  10. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain

Click here for the full list.Click here for the full list.

 

Summer solstice 2018: What is the summer solstice and why is today the 'longest' one of the year?

If you are looking to soak up some sun, today would be the day to do it. 

Thursday marks the summer solstice, and for those in the Northern hemisphere, you will see more daylight than on any other day of the year. 

>>Read more trending news 

What is the summer solstice and what does that have to do with the longest day of the year? Here’s a quick look at what it means.

What is it?

The solstice happens when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky relative to the equator, meaning the Northern Hemisphere is tilted fully toward the sun. In fact, the North Pole is tilted far enough toward the sun to where the Arctic Circle will see 24 hours of daylight.

The sun reaches its northernmost point on Earth during the summer solstice. Do you know where that is? 

The sun will reach its northernmost point when it hits 23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude – in the Tropic of Cancer.

When does it do that?

In 2018, the solstice falls on Thursday at 6:07 a.m. EDT.

Wait, isn’t it on the same day every year?

The summer solstice happens each year between June 20-22. 

Why isn’t it on the same day every year? 

Blame it on math. The fact that the date floats is due, in part, to the difference between the Gregorian calendar system, which normally has 365 days, and the tropical year (how long it takes Earth to orbit the Sun one time), which is about 365.242199 days, according to The Farmer’s Almanac. 

The Georgian calendar adds a leap day every four years to make up for the extra .242199. The leap day, along with other factors, moves the summer solstice backward and forward on the calendar by a couple of days.

Why is it the longest day of the year?

It’s known as the longest day of the year not because it’s any longer than any other day, but because in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the day that receives the most hours of daylight. It receives the most sunlight because the Earth is tilted toward the sun for the longest time during a day.

If it is the longest day of the year and it’s summertime, why isn’t it the hottest day of the year?

It’s not the hottest day of the year because the Earth releases the energy it absorbs at various rates – but it never releases it instantly. On Thursday, the Earth will receive the most energy from the sun, but will release that energy in late July or August, usually. This effect, according to Weather Works, is called seasonal temperature lag. 

Which Republicans are speaking out against separating immigrant families? Which governors are recalling guard troops from borders over it?

After meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Kentucky), said that he and the rest of the Republican caucus plan to work on legislation that would end the practice of separating migrant families at the country’s southern border. 

“I support, and all of the members of the Republican conference support, a plan to keep families together while their immigration status is determined,” McConnell said.

>>President Trump to reverse course on immigrant family separations

McConnell is the highest-ranking Republican to publicly disagree with Trump on the “zero tolerance” immigration policy announced in April by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The policy calls for adults illegally entering the country to be criminally prosecuted. 

>> Read more trending news

Children who accompany those arrested for illegally entering the country are separated from their parents or guardians and taken into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Photographs of children behind fenced areas inside large facilities and an audio tape of children crying for their parents have led legislators to call for Trump to immediately end the policy of separating migrant families.

According to immigration records, during April and May, federal authorities separated at least 1,995 children from parents apprehended crossing the border illegally.

>>Clergy group brings church charges of child abuse, immorality against Jeff Sessions over zero-tolerance policy

Sen. Ted Curz, (R-Texas), introduced a bill Tuesday that would require children be kept with their family members unless the child appeared to be in danger or the victim of human trafficking. The bill calls for doubling the number of federal immigration judges and authorize new family shelters.

Also on Tuesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch, (R-Utah), and a dozen other Republican senators sent a letter to Sessions asking him to stop the policy of separating migrant families while Congress works on a solution to the issue.

The letter read in part: "The immediate cause of the crisis is your Department's recent institution of a 'zero tolerance' policy under which all adults who enter the United States illegally are referred for prosecution, regardless of whether they are accompanied by minor children. We support the administration's efforts to enforce our immigration laws, but we cannot support implementation of a policy that results in the categorical forced separation of minor children from their parents.”

Those senators signing the letter:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tennessee)

Sen. John Boozman (Arkansas)

Sen. Bill Cassidy (Louisiana)

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)

Sen. Bob Corker (Tennessee)

Sen. Cory Gardner (Colorado)

Sen. Dean Heller (Nevada)

Sen. James Lankford (Oklahoma)

Sen. John McCain (Arizona)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)

Sen. Pat Roberts (Kansas)

Here are some other Republicans who have spoken out against the policy:

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt

“We clearly have a border security problem," Blunt said in a statement to KCUR. "I agree with Mrs. [Laura] Bush and Mrs. [Melania] Trump that separating families does not meet the standard of who we are as a country. Strengthening our border security and upholding our laws in a manner consistent with our values will help facilitate progress toward addressing all aspects of our broken immigration system.”

Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder

“As the son of a social worker, I know the human trauma that comes with children being separated from their parents,” he tweeted. “It takes a lasting, and sometimes even irreversible toll on the child’s well-being. That’s why I’m demanding that Attorney General Sessions halt the practice of family separation at the border immediately as Congress works toward legislative solutions.”

Texas Sen. John Cornyn

“Parents who are awaiting court proceedings shouldn’t have to do so separated from their children, and children shouldn’t be taken from their parents and left frightened and confused about where they are and what is transpiring around them.”

Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman

“This afternoon I reached out to Sen. Diane Feinstein’s office to let her know I want to help her put a stop to this human rights disaster at the border. If that means introducing her bill in the House, I’d be honored to stand with her. If there is a better bill sponsor to get this done, or if there is a better approach from Sen. Ben Sasse, I’m open to all reasonable options. Tearing children from the arms of parents and then isolating them alone is antithetical to the America I grew up in, and to the America I have fought many times to defend. This isn’t who we are. My colleagues should mark their words and this moment — history won’t remember well those who support the continuation of this policy.”

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse 

“The president should immediately end this family separation policy.”

Texas Rep. Will Hurd

“This is part of the problem with this administration on this policy. There's different elements of the government that don't understand what's really going on. Kids are being separated from their parents. In the last two months, there's been about 2,000. The previous year, it was almost 700. And a hundred of those kids were under the age of 4. This is just absolutely unacceptable. Taking kids from their mothers is not preventing terrorists or drugs from coming into this country.”

Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers 

“I will support other means to stop unnecessary separation of children from their parents.”

New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith

"There is nothing more important than protecting vulnerable children from physical and psychological harm. The policy of forcibly separating children from their parent or parents at the U.S. border is seriously wrong, hurts families, and needs to immediately end.

"The departments of Justice and Homeland Security must halt the practice of family separations, except in the cases of criminal felonies by an adult including rape, murder, sexual assault on a minor, or human trafficking."

Not calling out the Guard

Governors of at least 13 states have said they will not send their state’s National Guardsmen to help secure the southern border, according to a story from The New York Times.

The governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia have all said they will not deploy National Guard troops to the southern border. 

Governors of other states have said they will not use state resources to separate adults from children at the border.

In April, Trump called on the country’s governors to deploy more National Guard troops to the border to help with border security. State governors control National Guard deployment.

Most of the governors who have said they will either recall or refuse to send troops are Democrats. Two of the governors who have spoken publicly about National Guard troop deployment to the border are Republicans – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

The role of National Guard troops is limited. National Guard troops are forbidden by the Posse Comiatus Act from detaining suspects, from using force or from other law enforcement functions. Their role at the border would be one of providing support and possibly helping in surveillance.

Read Inspector General Horowitz’ testimony about Clinton email investigation report

Department  of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz testified Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee about his office’s report on the “Oversight of the FBI and DOJ Actions in Advance of the 2016 Election.”

Here is his opening statement before the committee:

“Chairmen, ranking members, and members of the committees: Thank you for inviting me to testify at today’s hearing to examine the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) findings in our “Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election.” The report reviews various actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (Department) in connection with the investigation into the use of a private email server by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (named the Midyear investigation by the FBI). The report can be found on the OIG’s website.

“The 500-plus page report was the product of 17 months of investigative work by a dedicated OIG team that reviewed well over 1.2 million documents, including over 100,000 text and instant messages, and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, many on multiple occasions. Our report provides a thorough, comprehensive, and objective recitation of the facts related to the Department’s handling of the Midyear investigation. The review team followed the evidence wherever it led, and it was through their efforts that we identified the inappropriate text and instant messages discussed in the report. Additionally, as a result of the OIG’s painstaking forensic examinations, we recovered thousands of text messages that otherwise would have been lost or undisclosed. We completed our report when we were satisfied that we had pursued all reasonable investigative leads and finished our detailed forensic examinations. As a result of this approach, our report includes, for example, text messages that we recovered just last month, which were significant to our findings. It also includes an analysis of the FBI’s decision not to request access in May 2016 to certain classified information, a decision that we did not learn of until the later stages of our review.

“As detailed in our report, we found that the inappropriate political messages cast a cloud over the Midyear investigation, sowed doubt about the credibility of the FBI’s handling of it, and impacted the reputation of the FBI. Moreover, we found the implication that senior FBI employees would be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects to be deeply troubling and antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.

“Our review also included a fact-based, detailed assessment of certain specific investigative and prosecutorial decisions that were the subject of controversy. It was necessary to select particular investigative decisions for focused attention because it would not have been possible to recreate and analyze every decision made in a year-long investigation. In examining the decisions we selected for review, the question we considered was not whether a particular decision was the ideal or most effective choice, but rather, whether the documentary and testimonial evidence indicated that the decision was based on improper considerations, including political bias. This approach is consistent with the OIG’s handling of such questions in past reviews with respect to assessing discretionary judgment calls, and recognizes and respects the institutional oversight role of the OIG. Our report provides a comprehensive assessment of these decisions and of the Midyear 2 investigation, and details the factual evidence, so that the public, Congress, and other stakeholders can conduct their own assessment of them.

“Within this framework, as to the specific investigative and prosecutorial decisions we reviewed, we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected those specific investigative decisions, in part because the decisions were made by the larger Midyear team or the prosecutors. This determination by the OIG does not mean that we necessarily endorse the decisions or conclude they were the most effective among the options considered, or that our finding should or can be extrapolated to cover other decisions made during the course of the investigation by FBI employees who sent inappropriate political messages. With regard to the decision to close the investigation without prosecution, we found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were the result of improper considerations, including political bias, but rather were based on the prosecutors’ assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice.

“Conversely, we found that the FBI’s explanations for its failure to take immediate action after discovering the Weiner laptop in October 2016 to be unpersuasive, and we did not have confidence that the decision of Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.

“We also found that, in key moments, then FBI Director James Comey clearly departed from FBI and Department norms, and his decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the Department as fair administrators of justice. Director Comey concealed from the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General his intention to make a unilateral announcement in July about the reasons for his recommendation not to prosecute former Secretary Clinton. His July 5 statement included inappropriate commentary about uncharged conduct, announced his views on what a “reasonable prosecutor” would do, and served to confuse rather than clarify public understanding of his recommendation. In late October, he again acted without adequately consulting Department leadership – and contrary to important Department norms – when he sent a letter to Congress announcing renewed investigative activity days before the election.

“There are many lessons to be learned from the Department’s and the FBI’s handling of the Midyear investigation. But among the most important is the need to respect the institution’s hierarchy and structure, and to follow established policies, procedures, and norms even in the highest-profile and most challenging investigations. No rule, policy, or practice is perfect, of course. But at the same time, neither is any individual’s ability to make judgments under pressure or in what may seem like unique circumstances. When leaders and officials adhere to their bedrock principles and values, the public has greater confidence in the fairness and rightness of their decisions, and those institutions’ leaders better protect the interests of federal law enforcement and the dedicated professionals who serve us all. By contrast, the public’s trust is negatively impacted when law enforcement officials make statements reflecting bias, when leaders abandon institutional norms 3 and the organizational hierarchy in favor of their own ad hoc judgments, and when leadership of the Department and the FBI are unable to speak directly with one another for the good of the institutions. Our report makes nine recommendations to assist the FBI and the Department in addressing these issues, most of which can be tied together through a common theme – that the FBI and the Department remain true to their foundational principles and values in all of their work.”

Clergy group brings church charges of child abuse, immorality against Jeff Sessions over zero-tolerance policy

A group of United Methodist clergy and laity said it is bringing church law charges against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the  “zero tolerance” immigration policy, according to a story from the United Methodist News Service.

The group has accused Sessions, who is a member of a Mobile, Alabama, Methodist church, of, among other things, child abuse for his part in the policy that leads to migrant children being separated from their parents once they enter the United States illegally.

The  June 18 statement says that Sessions violated Paragraph 2702.3 of the denomination’s Book of Discipline. The charges brought by the clergy include:

  • Child Abuse (examples: Advocacy for and implementation of documented practices that indefinitely separate thousands of young children from their parents; holding thousands of children in mass incarceration facilities with little to no structured educational or socio-emotional support) 
  • Immorality (examples: The use of violence against children to deter immigration; advocating and supporting the separation of children from their families; refusal of refugee/asylee status to those fleeing gang or sexual violence; oppression of those seeking asylum or attempting to enter the United States with refugee status; directing employees and staff members to kidnap children from their parents) 
  • Racial discrimination (examples: Stopping investigations of police departments charged with racial discrimination; attempting to criminalize Black Lives Matter and other racial justice activist groups; targeting incarceration for those engaged in undocumented border crossings as well as those who present with requests for asylum, with a particular focus on those perceived as Muslim or Latin) 
  • Dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of doctrine of the United Methodist Church (examples: The misuse of Romans 13 to indicate the necessity of obedience to secular law, which is in stark contrast to Disciplinary commitments to supporting freedom of conscience and resistance to unjust laws)

The statement went on to say that while other entities of the government played a part in the implementation of the policy, Sessions, being a longtime Methodist, is “particularly accountable” to the church.

“He is ours, and we are his,” the statement reads. 

The Rev. David Wright, a Pacific Northwest Conference elder and chaplain at the University of Puget Sound in Washington state, organized the effort to bring church charges against Sessions. He told the United Methodist News Service that he “really never would have thought I’d be working on charges against anybody in the Methodist connection, much less a lay person.”

Wright said Sessions use of the New Testament passage from the book of Romans, along with the zero-tolerance policy, led him to bring the charges.

“I hope his pastor can have a good conversation with him and come to a good resolution that helps him reclaim his values that many of us feel he’s violated as a Methodist,” Wright told the United Methodist News Service. “I would look upon his being taken out of the denomination or leaving as a tragedy. That’s not what I would want from this.”

Click here to read the full statement issued by the more than 600 church leaders.

 

 

Trump's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy: 4 things to know

The national debate over immigration has ramped up in recent weeks after reports surfaced that authorities on the U.S.-Mexico border are separating migrant children from their parents as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to deal with people who come into the country illegally.

>> Read more trending news

This spring, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to charge every person illegally crossing the border. Children traveling with the adults have been separated and placed in detention centers.

>> Is the immigration separation policy new, where did it come from, where are the detention centers? 

Here are some things to know about the immigration policy:

1. The ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy was announced in April.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in April that he had directed prosecutors along the southwest border “to have a zero tolerance policy toward immigration.”

>> Immigration: Trump administration defends 'zero tolerance' policy

“Our goal is to prosecute every case that is brought to us,” Sessions said in April. “There must be consequences for illegal actions, and I am confident in the ability of our federal prosecutors to carry out this new mission.”

2. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from families after the policy announcement.

In the six weeks after Sessions’ announcement, nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security told reporters Friday.

>> Laura Bush, Melania Trump speak out on separation of immigrant children, parents at border 

From April 19 to May 31, officials said, 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults who said they were the guardians of the children, CNN reported.

3. Trump claims the separations are the Democrats’ fault.

“It is the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder Security and Crime,” Trump wrote Monday in a tweet. “Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration. Change the laws!”

4. No law mandates the separation of migrant children from parents.

Despite the president’s insistence that Democrats are to blame for the recent rash of separations, fact checkers with PolitifactSnopes and other organizations agree that the surge is not due to a law, but is due to Trump’s order.

>> Trump border policy: How to help immigrant children separated from families

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Sunday in a tweet, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”

Officials with DHS clarified in a news release Monday, saying that while the department has no “blanket policy of separating families at the border,” it will do as much “under certain circumstances.”

Officials said the circumstances include “when the parent or legal guardian is referred for criminal prosecution,” as many would be if accused of entering the country illegally.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Is the immigration separation policy new, where did it come from, where are the detention centers?

Amid calls for the end of a policy that has separated upward of 2,000 migrant children from their parents along the southern border of the United States since April, President Donald Trump said Monday that “the United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee-holding facility… not on my watch.”

The growing outcry has included Republican and Democratic voices, as well as a former and the current first lady. 

Former first lady Laura Bush called the practice “cruel” and “immoral.” First lady Melania Trump issued a statement saying she “hates” to see families separated at the border, and hopes both Democrats and Republicans can come together to reform the nation’s immigration laws.

What has caused the most recent uproar? Here is what you need to know about the government’s “zero tolerance” policy and its practice.

What is the policy?

In April, the Justice Department notified all U.S. attorney’s offices along the Southwest border of a “zero-tolerance policy” when it comes to violation of immigration laws. The notification addressed both “attempted illegal entry and illegal entry into the United States by an alien." 

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the government was committing to criminal immigration enforcement instead of seeing the crimes as a violation of civil law. He directed federal prosecutors to prioritize the prosecution of certain criminal immigration offenses. 

The practice had been that when parents arriving illegally with their children were caught, they were quickly released with orders to appear later in court on a civil charge of entering the country illegally.

The Southwest border mentioned in the notification includes the districts of Arizona, New Mexico, the Western and Southern Districts of Texas and the Southern District of California.

Is this a new policy?

No, it is not a new policy. The “zero-tolerance” policy is related to another policy called Operation Streamline. Operation Streamline was an initiative by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice that was initiated in 2005. Under Operation Streamline those caught in the act of crossing the U.S. border without authorization may be rounded up and subject to criminal prosecution. Prior to implementing Operation Streamline, most prosecutors brought civil charges for illegal entry into the U.S.

Penalties under Operation Streamline were:

First-time offenders are prosecuted for misdemeanor illegal entry (8 U.S.C. Section 1325) which carries a six-month maximum sentence.

Any migrant who has been deported in the past and attempts to re-enter without authorization can be charged with felony re-entry, which carries a two-year sentence. It could involve more time, up to 20 years, if the migrant has a criminal record.

Why the policy change in April?

According to the notification, the zero tolerance policy “comes as the Department of Homeland Security reported a 203 percent increase in illegal border crossings from March 2017 to March 2018, and a 37 percent increase from February 2018 to March 2018 — the largest month-to-month increase since 2011.”

Why are children being taken from their parents? 

Children are being separated from their parents because their parents are being arrested and put into federal criminal custody. Children cannot be housed in prisons, so they are being taken to centers to be cared for if relatives in the United States cannot be located to care for them. 

What happens to them and where are they being held?

When a child is separated from their parent after entering the country illegally, he or she is classified as an unaccompanied alien child – meaning a minor who is not in the company of a parent or guardian and is not in the country legally.

Unaccompanied alien children are put into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Refugee Resettlement, an umbrella organization of the HHS, is responsible for the care of these children. ORR contracts with child care providers to take care of the children. 

According to The New York Times, ORR is now overseeing an estimated 100 shelters in 17 states. The Corpus Christi Caller has reported that Southwest Key Programs “operates 16 of the 35 shelters that contract with the ORR” in Texas. It was one of those shelters where U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, (D-Oregon),  was denied entrance last week.

How many children are we talking about?

The number varies, but nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents in April and May – after the zero-tolerance policy was put into effect.

 

 

A president resigns, dies or is impeached: What is the line of succession?

Since 1789, eight U.S. presidents have either died or been killed while in office. One has resigned. 

On the death of the eight men and the resignation of the other, their vice presidents stepped into the role of president, following the requirement laid out in the Constitution for an orderly change of leadership.

>> Read more trending news 

But what would happen if the president and the vice president were simultaneously unable to carry out their duties? Who would step in to be president?

The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 outlines the order of succession to the presidency with a list that includes congressional members and those serving in the president’s cabinet. Congress is authorized to enact legislation concerning the order of succession under Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the U.S. Constitution. The Twentieth Amendment, adopted in 1933, and the Twenty-fifth Amendment, adopted in 1967, also address who will sit in the Oval Office and under what circumstances.

There have been three presidential succession acts passed in the country’s history, with the 1947 act being the latest. 

In 1792, the act declared that, the president pro tempore of the Senate would be first in line for the presidency should the president and the vice president both be incapacitated. The speaker of the House was second in line.

The 1886 act replaced the president pro tempore and speaker on the list with the members of the president’s cabinet. 

The order of succession reflected the order in which the cabinet positions had been created, with the secretary of state first in line after the vice president.

In 1947, the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the House were brought back in to the line of succession. This time, the speaker of the House was first in line behind the vice president, and the president pro tempore second in line. Members of the cabinet fill out the line as they did in the 1886 act, by when the cabinet positions were created.

Here is the line of succession for the United States government with the names of the current office holders. 

  1. Vice President: Mike Pence
  2. Speaker of the House: Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin)
  3. President pro tempore of the Senate: Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
  4. Secretary of State: Mike Pompeo
  5. Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnuchin
  6. Secretary of Defense: James Mattis
  7. U.S. Attorney General: Jeff Sessions
  8. Secretary of the Interior: Ryan Zinke
  9. Secretary of Agriculture: Sonny Perdue
  10. Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross
  11. Secretary of Labor: R. Alexander Acosta
  12. Secretary of Health and Human Services: Alex Azar
  13. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson
  14. Secretary of Transportation: Elaine L. Chao – Chao would not be able to assume the presidency because she was not born in the United States
  15. Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry
  16. Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos
  17. Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Robert Wilkie – Wilkie was nominated by Trump to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs; he has not yet been confirmed for that position
  18. Secretary of Homeland Security: Kirstjen Nielsen  

When is Amazon’s Prime Day 2018? (Updated)

Update: TechRadar is reporting that an image on the Amazon United Kingdom site seems to have revealed that July 16 is the start date for Amazon’s annual summer sale. Amazon has made no official announcement about the date. 

According to TechRadar, a banner ad on the U.K. site, presumably released in error, showed the sale would start at noon on July 16 and run for 36 hours.

Original story: It will likely come on a Tuesday, but it will seem like a Black Friday in July when Amazon’s Prime Day rolls around.

>> Read more trending news

Begun four years ago, Prime Day is a midsummer mad rush of deals from the world’s third-largest retailer. And it has grown more popular each year. Prime Day 2017 saw the busiest day of online sales in Amazon’s history, even outdoing Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

Amazon has not officially released the date for the sale but in the past it has fallen on the second Tuesday in July. This year, that date is July 10. Sales generally start the evening before Prime Day and some linger past the midnight deadline.

Deals often include deep cuts on electronics, home goods, laptops and phones.

Click here for all the details on Prime Day. 

Father’s Day 2018: Where can dad eat free, get a discount on meals?

Father’s Day is Sunday, and it’s time to show dad some love -- or at least a decent meal that he doesn’t have to pay for.

>> Read more trending news 

If you are looking to take your dad out on his special day, below is a list of some meal deals and freebies crafted just for him.

>>Father's Day 2018: Here are 25 ideas for last-minute gifts

(Note: Not every restaurant in a chain may be honoring the deals, so be sure to check with local restaurants to confirm which deals are available before you go. Most offers are dine-in only and can’t be used with any other discount or coupons. Prices may vary with location.) 

Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar: Dads eat free at participating locations on Father’s Day with the purchase of another meal of equal or greater value. Offer doesn’t include wings or daily specials. You must purchase a beverage.

Baskin Robbins: Get $3 off ice cream cakes or cookie cakes valued at $15 or more. Order in-shop or online. Offer excludes the Polar Pizza Ice Cream Treat. Print the official offer coupon or use code CAKE at checkout online.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s: Dads eat free Sunday with a purchase of a meal of equal or greater value, up to $10.

California Pizza Kitchen: California Pizza Kitchen is offering a dine-in Father’s Day prix-fixe menu for $49.99 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The deal includes guests’ choice of small plates, entrees and dessert from the Father’s Day menu.

Firehouse Subs: Dad can get a free medium sub on Father’s Day with the purchase of an additional medium or large sub, side and drink. Print the coupon offer or show it on your smartphone to redeem.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: If your dad likes steak, a lot of it, here’s a deal for him. Fleming’s is offering a 35 oz. Tomahawk Steak Dinner for $90. Dinner comes with salad and choice of dessert. A “Bourbon Tasting Experience” can be added for an additional $20. Available Friday through Sunday.

Hooters: Ten free boneless wings for dad with the purchase of any 10 wings on Sunday.

Medieval Times: Dad gets in free with the purchase of one full-priced adult ticket. Offer is valid between now through Sunday. Use Code DAD18 when buying tickets online.

Mimi’s Cafe: Dads can get a coupon for a free breakfast, lunch or dinner entree on their next visit. Purchase of a second entrée of equal or greater value and two beverages is required on that visit. Offer can be redeemed through July 7, 2018.

Morton’s The Steakhouse: Morton’s is featuring a three-course Father’s Day menu on Sunday for $59 per person that includes a choice of salad, entree and dessert from a select menu. Entree choices include filet mignon, prime pork chop, and salmon. Click here for more details.Outback Steak House: Outback has steak and surf and turf specials on Father’s Day. See the Outback Father’s Day Menu for more details.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Dine in on Saturday or Sunday and your dad can get a $25 dining card, good for a future visit. Cards are valid through Aug. 31, 2018. Limit one per table.

Spaghetti Warehouse: On Sunday, dad can get a free 15-Layer Lasagna or any Original Recipe spaghetti entrée. Dine-in parties only. Two free meals per party/table. Some restrictions apply. Click here for details.

Sonny’s BBQ: Sonny’s is offering dad an all-you-can-eat baby back ribs deal for $18.99 on Father’s Day. Dine-in only. 

Tony Roma’s: On Saturday and Sunday, Tony Roma’s will offer the $35 Father’s Day menu, which includes a 12 oz. New York Strip topped with Kickin’ Shrimp, choice of salad or soup, and a fresh vegetable. See details.

Wienerschnitzel: Dads get a free Old Fashion Sundae on Sunday.

Who is Sarah Huckabee Sanders? 8 things to know about the White House press secretary

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been on the job for just under a year now, taking over for embattled predecessor Sean Spicer last July after Spicer resigned, and she’s had no easy go of it.

>> Read more trending news 

Sanders has been the public face of the administration in the daily news briefings, fending off reporters’ pointed questions and presenting a calm face during intense questioning over tumultuous issues, scandals and steady staff turnover in the Trump White House. She’s spent countless intense hours now behind the briefing room podium in the glare of an international spotlight, remaining stoic and calm while repeatedly explaining and defending her boss and his remarks, many of them on Twitter, to persistent journalists.

Here are eight things to know about Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

-She was was born in Hope, Arkansas, in 1982, to pastor-turned-state Gov. Mike Huckabee and Janet Huckabee. She’s the youngest of three children and the only girl, according to her biography.

>> Related: Sean Spicer resigns, Sarah Huckabee Sanders named next White House press secretary

-She was no stranger to politics, even before joining the Trump team. Her father, Mike Huckabee, is not only a former Arkansas governor, but also a two-time Republican presidential hopeful. Sanders started her career in politics when she served as a field coordinator during his re-election campaign for governor in 2002, according to Biographytree.com. She also served at the Department of Education as a regional liaison and as a field director in Ohio for former President George W. Bush during his 2004 presidential campaign.

-When she was 25, Sanders was the national political director for her father’s 2008 presidential campaign and helped him win an upset victory in the Iowa caucuses. After he bowed out of the race, she became the director of Huck PAC, a political action committee that promotes conservative principles and helps elect conservative candidates to office.

-When Sanders became White House press secretary, she was only the third woman to hold that job, after Dana Perrino in 2007 and Dee Dee Meyers in 1993. 

-Sanders met Bryan Chatfield Sanders during her father’s 2008 presidential campaign and married him in May 2010. The couple has three children together, according to the website imdb.com.

>> Related: Sean Spicer resigns: A look at his 6 months as White House press secretary

-Sanders is a 2004 graduate of Ouachita University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, with a degree in political science.

-She is an evangelical and reads from a book of Christian devotionals before every briefing, according to The New York Times.

-Sanders was named one of Time Magazine’s “40 under 40” in politics in 2010.

 

Florida’s gun laws: How have they changed after the Parkland shooting?

On the day 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, Gov. Rick Scott stood in front of TV cameras in the school’s parking lot and vowed there would be changes to the gun laws of his state.

Three weeks to the day after the shooting, Scott signed into law the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act , a comprehensive bill that includes a provision that raises the age to purchase a gun, bans bump stocks and allows law enforcement, with the approval of a judge, to bar a person deemed dangerous due to mental illness from owning guns for up to a year.

The bill passed in the wake of the school shooting and just short of 21 months after the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead. 

>>Photos: Remembering Parkland Florida school shooting victims

It not only addressed gun ownership for those with mental health issues but also allocated more than $300 million for school safety initiatives.

In the past, Florida has been the target of gun control advocates who claimed the state has weak gun laws. 

The Giffords, a gun-control group, founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords, (D-Arizona), and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, gave Florida an F rating, saying the state ranked low in part because of a change to its “stand your ground” law which allows citizens to use deadly force without having the requirement to try to retreat if they believe they face "imminent death or great bodily harm." The law changed in 2017 when the burden to prove that a person was immune from prosecution under the “stand your ground” law switched from the defense to the prosecutors.

The law signed by Scott in March made sweeping changes to Florida’s gun culture. Here is a look at some of the highlights of the bill. 

  • Minimum age to purchase a gun: The bill raises the minimum age to purchase a long gun to 21. The minimum age was 18. The federal minimum age to purchase a shotgun or rifle is 18.
  • Waiting period: To purchase a gun, you must wait three days or until a background check is completed, whichever is longer. Exceptions to the three-day waiting period include licensed hunters and licensed concealed carriers, police officers and military members.
  • Ban bump stocks: Bump stocks, devices that attach to rifles that can make it easier to fire a weapon faster, are banned in the state. The National Rifle Association endorses a national ban on bump stocks.
  • Extreme Risk protection order: Law enforcement agencies will be able to petition a court for a temporary order that stops a person from purchasing or possessing firearms. The orders will be sought only when a person demonstrates behaviors that pose a significant danger to themselves or others. 
  • Baker Act measures: If a law enforcement officer takes a person into custody for an involuntary examination under the Baker Act, the officer may to seize and hold a firearm or ammunition in the person’s possession and seek the voluntary surrender of other firearms or ammunition kept in the residence. Those seized firearms and that ammunition must be available for return no longer than 24 hours after the person taken into custody can document that he or she is no longer subject to involuntary examination and has been released or discharged from any inpatient or involuntary outpatient treatment provided or ordered. 
  • Mental competency: The law prohibits a person who has been judged “mentally defective” or who has been committed to a mental institution from owning or possessing a firearm until a court orders otherwise.
  • School “guardian” program: Allow school superintendents and country sheriffs to arm school personnel under a voluntary program wherein certain employees — librarians, guidance counselors, and coaches, but not full-time classroom teachers — could be trained and allowed to carry guns on campus. 
  • Safe-school officer: Requires each district school board and school district superintendent to cooperate with law enforcement agencies to assign one or more safe-school officers at each school facility. 

Where in Florida can you carry a gun?

First, open carry is illegal in Florida. Open carry means openly carrying a weapon on your person in public. Here are the places in Florida you can have a gun:

  • In vehicles: “It is lawful for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purposes within the interior of a private vehicle, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Securely encased means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access.”
  • In state parks: It is legal to carry a weapon in state parks, state or national forests, state game management units and roadside rest areas.
  • In restaurants, under certain conditions: You may carry a weapon into a restaurant. If the restaurant serves alcohol in a separate part of the restaurant, you may not take a weapon to that area. You may not take a weapon into a fully licensed bar. 

In Florida, a permit to purchase a gun is not required. A permit to carry a handgun is required.

You do not have to register a gun in Florida.

There is no restriction on the size of magazines you may own.

Background checks on private gun sales are not required.

What is net neutrality and what does the repeal of it mean for you?

On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of the net neutrality rules went into effect.

The rules had prohibited internet providers from charging more for certain content, in addition to offering equal access to all web content.

>> Read more trending news

What does that mean for the average consumer in a world that is so dependent on the use of the Internet?

Here’s a look at the repeal of net neutrality and what it means to you. 

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is a plan that regulates how Internet service providers deal with their customers.

The regulatory plan was passed in 2015. It labeled broadband service a public utility, thus giving the FCC authority to regulate it. 

The regulations created in 2015 prevented Internet service providers from doing three things: curbing access to any lawful content; creating “fast lanes” for companies and individuals who would pay a premium price for faster connection speeds; or slowing down the transmission of any lawful content. 

Those three rules were repealed on a 3-2 vote in December. The repeal of those rules took effect Monday.

What does that mean for the average person’s use of the Internet?

Probably not much, at least right away. Proponents of the repeal say maybe not at all. 

Those against the repeal of the rules say it could mean a great deal to Internet users in the future. They argue service providers could adopt a payment model similar to the one cable and satellite companies have been using. It would involve consumers choosing a bundle package for services, maybe paying one price for a basic social media package that includes Twitter and Facebook, and paying more for, say, a streaming video package.

Those in favor of dropping the net neutrality rules, including the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, said that idea is far-fetched, and that protecting the Internet user’s experience is what the Federal Trade Commission is now charged with doing.

In an op-ed published Monday, Pai said, “Transparency is also a critical part of our framework. In the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, the FCC strengthened its transparency rule so that internet service providers must make public more information about their network management practices. They are required to make this information available either on their own website or on the FCC's website. This information will allow consumers to make an informed decision about which internet service provider is best for them and give entrepreneurs the information they need as they develop new products and services. Our transparency rule will also help ensure that any problematic conduct by internet service providers is quickly identified and corrected.”

Who is arguing against the repeal?

Twenty-nine states legislatures have introduced more than 65 bills that would force internet service providers to ensure various parts of the 2015 net neutrality regulations. Oregon, Vermont  and Washington have passed net neutrality legislation.

Governors in HawaiiNew JerseyNew YorkMontanaRhode Island and Vermont have signed executive orders requiring internet service providers to adhere to the net neutrality regulations. In addition, the Senate passed a measure in favor of preserving the net neutrality rules in May. Senate Democrats have urged Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule a vote on the measure.

Twenty-two states have filed a lawsuit to stop the net neutrality repeal. 

 

Father’s Day 2018: Here are 25 ideas for last-minute gifts for dad

If ads for Father’s Day gifts could be converted into a picture of the typical American dad, that picture would look something like this: He’d be a funny T-shirt-wearing, beer-swilling, tool-using, fisherman, camping kayaker who grills every meal after constructing the table he eats it on. Next to the table would rest a pair of $95 running shoes.

>> Read more trending news 

He’d have a desk full of paperweights with photos of his smiling children – some of the photos etched into the glass – a leather-bound portfolio embossed with his initials, a pen in the shape of a .50-caliber bullet, and a plaque that anoints him the world’s greatest pop.

>>Father’s Day 2018: Where can dad eat free, get a discount on meals?

So, as not to disappoint, here’s the proof – a list of gifts to help satisfy the guy you love to call dad. Remember, Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 17.

  1. Personalized pint set, the ammo can version: The ammo can includes two laser-etched pint glasses and a personalized .50-caliber bottle opener. Dad also gets a couple of beef sticks. It costs $69.99
  2. Lew’s Laser TXS Baitcast combo: Is your dad all about the bass? Then get him a graphite rod and reel for hours of casting fun. It’s $59.99. You can get a free Lew’s cap with purchase.
  3. Craftsman mechanic tool sets: A variety of sets are available starting at $49.98. You can give him a list of all the things you need to have fixed in the Father’s Day card.
  4. Fabric hammock with stand: If dad can get those kids off his lawn, he can enjoy a summer of relaxing yard naps for $198. 
  5. Heritage Tours: If your dad is the wandering type, give him a destination and send him on his way. Heritage Tours offers excursions to exotic locales. Prices vary.
  6. A “greatest dad” cap from LIDS: Let everyone know your dad is the greatest by having it stitched on a cap for him. Or, you can have other things stitched on a cap -- your choice. 
  7. Bellroy leather note sleeve wallet: Dad will love the look of leather in this slim wallet. It’s $89.95; available at Amazon. Remember, you can join Amazon Prime for free for a limited trial and get free two-day shipping on many items. 
  8. Filippo Loreti Venice moonphase gold watch: Dad deserves a gold watch for all he puts up with. You can get him this one for $249.
  9. Omaha Steaks n' Burgers gift box: Dad’s a griller at heart, so how about a box of steak and burgers? It’s $59.99. Maybe he’ll invite you over for dinner.
  10. MLB Shop custom men's jersey: So dad’s a Yankees fan? Even if you go for the Sox, think about how big his smile will be when he opens that jersey with his name and Derek Jeter’s number on it. It’s $124.99 from the official MLB Shop. 
  11. Fanchest gift boxes: Regular and “baby boxes” of your dad’s team’s sports stuff starts at $59. They also have memorabilia boxes starting at $130 (that include signed or game-used merchandise from a choice of players.) Father's Day boxes begin at $59. 
  12. Allbirds wool runner shoes: Wool sneakers you can toss in the wash are all the rage this year. You can snag a pair for dad for $95. They come in eight colors.
  13. The Amazon Echo Spot: You know dad wants one if only to ask it “how’s the weather” seven times a day. It’s $129.99. 
  14. Arccos 360 golf tracking system: For the dad who sees himself as the next Tiger Woods, a performance tracking system. It costs $214.93.
  15. The Art of Shaving beard maintenance set: If your dad is a little shaggy, beardwise, here’s a pretty swell gift. It’s $60.
  16. Yeti Rambler 30 oz. tumbler: Seriously, you haven’t gotten your dad one of these yeti? It’s $34.99.
  17. The Good Hurt Fuego Hot Sauces sampler pack: Does your dad put hot sauce on everything? Give him a sampler pack so he can refine his ability to eat things as hot as the sun. It’s $34.99.
  18. Mott & Bow Wooster stretch jeans: Maybe your dad is a fashion plate. A pair of Mott & Bow jeans could be the perfect gift. They are $118 a pair. Oh, and they stretch. You’re welcome, Dad. 
  19. MeUndies men's boxer brief 10-pack: OK, this company claims its undies are three times as soft as cotton. Get a 10-pack of boxer briefs for $150. 
  20. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Is your dad a reader? Get him a Kindle Paperwhite so he can read the latest John Grisham novel.
  21. Happy Socks The Beatles collector box set: Ever wished you could live in a yellow submarine? Your dad probably does right now, if just for five minutes of peace and quiet. At least let his feet have the chance. The collector box set costs $84.
  22. Leatherology money clip: It’s a full-grain leather clip that can hold up to 20 bills. But let’s face it, if your dad still has 20 bills in his pocket, you are clearly not doing your job as an offspring. The clip cost $25.
  23. Grafomap custom map poster: This website allows you to create a map poster of any place in the world. Map out dad’s hometown, the city where he had his first job or where he met mom. The maps start at $49.
  24. Fandango gift card: Does your dad love a good movie? Then give him the gift of one with a gift card from Fandango. Of course, he’s on his own for popcorn.
  25. Ancestry DNA kit: Is dad really who he says he is? One way to find out: order a DNA kit. The results will prove if dad is indeed a Viking as he has claimed for so many years. An Ancestry DNA kit costs $69 through June 18. 

 

What is a tariff, and why should you be worried about it?

While attending the annual meeting of leaders of countries that belong to the Group of Seven last week, President Donald Trump criticized as “ridiculous and unacceptable” tariffs imposed on American goods by other countries.

An advocate for free trade among nations, Trump said he believes the United States has for too long been the loser on trade deals with other countries. On Saturday, he vowed to put an end to “being like a piggy bank that everybody is robbing.”

>> Read more trending news

Before leaving the meeting, he reiterated that he wants to eliminate all tariffs and subsidies on trade between the seven allies.

What is a tariff and why is the president upset by them? Here’s a look at trade tariffs and what they do.

What is a tariff?

A tariff is a tax on imports or exports that increases their prices. Tariffs are used by governments to make foreign products less attractive to consumers in order to protect domestic industries from competition. Money collected under a tariff is called a duty or customs duty.

What types of tariffs are there? There are two types of tariffs – an ad valorem tariff and a specific tariff.

An ad valorem tariff is a tariff that is a fixed percentage of the value of an imported good. If the price of the imported good goes up, the ad valorem tariff goes up. If it goes down, the tariff goes down.

For instance, if a company exports an item to the United States costing $50 and the ad valorem tariff on that product is 20 percent, the company would have to pay the tariff -- $10 in this case -- to export the product to the U.S. If the price of the item goes up to $75, the company will have to pay a tariff of $15 to sell the item in the US.

A specific tariff is a fixed amount of money placed on the item no matter the cost. Say there is a $20 specific tariff on that $50 item. The company exporting the item to the US would have to pay $20 to sell the item in the U.S. If the item goes up in cost to $75, the company will still have to pay $20 to export the item.

Why should I care if the US government puts a tariff on items? The manufacturer pays for that, right?

Sure, manufacturers pay the tariff upfront, but the cost of the tariff will be passed along to the consumer. Or, if the cost of the tariff is too high for those exporting goods, then they stop exporting goods.

Tariffs affect the cost of goods you buy, and the U.S. buys many more products than it sells. In April, the U.S. sold $211.2 billion in goods to other countries, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and purchased $257.4 billion worth of goods from other countries.

So, why slap tariffs on goods if it will hurt the US consumer?

The theory is that as goods made by people outside the U.S. get more expensive, manufacturers within the country will either increase their production of the product  or other companies will begin to produce the product, thus strengthening the U.S. economy.

What happened with tariffs surrounding the G-7 summit in Canada, and why are U.S. allies angry at Trump?

Trump left the G-7 summit early on the way to his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un. He tweeted from Air Force One that he was withdrawing his support for a communique (or agreement) crafted during the summit. The agreement referenced shared priorities among the seven allies, such as their standing on trade, sustainability and national security.

Where do the hard feelings about tariffs come in? 

In the days prior to the meeting, the United States imposed a 25 percent tariff for steel and 10 percent tariff for aluminum on imports from Canada, the European Union (EU) and Mexico. Trump claimed the move was made to protect US security.

Trump also complained about Canada’s tariffs on dairy products. Canada levies a tariff of 270 percent on milk, 245 percent on cheese and 298 percent on butter. The tariffs are in place to protect the Canadian dairy industry, effectively eliminating any foreign competition.

In his tweet about withdrawing support for the communique, Trump criticized Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling him “weak and dishonest” for his comments about the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Trudeau responded by announcing that Canada will impose retaliatory tariffs on $12.8 billion worth of US goods including yogurt, beer kegs, non-decaffeinated coffee, steel rods, sleeping bags, toilet paper, plywood, bobbins, “Combined refrigerator-freezers, fitted with separate external doors” and scores of other items.

The EU has promised similar tariffs against the United States.

North Korea summit coin: If you like the meeting, you’ll love the memento

If you like the summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jung-Un, you are going to love the coin commemorating it. At least the staff at the White House gift shop hopes so.

In May the gift shop began taking pre-orders for the coin that commemorates the historic meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim. The coin was still available even after the summit was called off before it was back on again and set for Tuesday.

>>Read more trending news

The coin depicts Trump and Kim facing each other with the flags of the United States and North Korea in the background. 

According to officials at the Gift Shop, the coin is the first of three to commemorate the summit at which Trump will spend one day. 

From the gift shop’s website:

“President Donald J. Trump and North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un on Front of Coin in Now Famous 3-D Facing Silouhettes [sic] by the Original Designer with Iconic Colors You Have Seen Plus Significant Diplomatic Elements to Make This #1 Coin in Series Perfect and Significant as a Representation of the the [sic] Momentous Korea Peace Talks.”

>> PHOTOS: Trump arrives in Singapore

The coin was first offered for $24.94. The price was dropped to $19.95 after the summit was canceled, then went up to $49 when the meeting was back on. It is being offered as a “deal of the day” for $39. Some coins have been offered on eBay for $69 to $100.

The coins will be shipped Aug. 1, 2018. 

Trump-Kim summit: What you need to know about the historic meeting

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un will meet on Tuesday in Singapore for the first face-to-face summit between a sitting U.S. president and the head of North Korea.

Trump has made it known that since taking office in 2017, he has wanted North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons and has suggested that if that happens, the U.S. would ease economic sanctions on the country.

>>Read more trending news 

Despite a year of name-calling and threats, the two leaders are set to meet Tuesday at a resort on an island off the coast of Singapore.

The meeting, which was first announced in May, was canceled after Kim criticized the U.S. a couple of weeks later. Trump officially called off the talks soon after that with a signed letter, only to say the summit was back on a week later.

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s summit.

>> PHOTOS: Trump arrives in Singapore

Why have a summit now? In the past 20 years, the United States, along with the United Nations and other countries, have sought to stem North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons by imposing economic sanctions for violation of international law concerning nuclear arms development.

Since coming to power, Kim has continued to develop and test those weapons. Many believe North Korea has now developed a missile and the means to directly deliver that missile to the U.S. mainland.

The United States has become more concerned with North Korea’s nuclear program and is now demanding Kim dismantle his nuclear arsenal. The summit is a means for the U.S. to deal face-to-face with Kim over his nuclear weapons program.

The U.N. and U.S. sanctions, along with the incredible expenditure on nuclear weapons development, have crippled North Korea’s economy and left its people among the world’s poorest.

Sanctions by the United Nations, the United States and other nations target 90 percent of Pyongyang’s publicly reported export products. The country’s per capita gross national income is $1,342.

For those reasons, Kim seems anxious to come to the summit, as well.

When is the summit?

The meeting is set to begin at 9 a.m. local time Tuesday, or 9 p.m. ET Monday. Singapore is 12 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone in the United States. Trump and Kim will start the summit with a one-on-one session with only their translators, according to the White House. The president will leave at 8 p.m. local time to return to the United States.

Where is it being held?

The meeting will take place on Sentosa, an island off the coast of Singapore. The island, a tourists destination, was originally named Pulau Blakang Mati. It was renamed Sentosa following a contest sponsored by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. Sentosa means “peace and tranquility.” Pulau Blakang Mati means “island of death behind.”

The island, which was once a Japanese prisoner of war camp, now hosts a number of hotels, golf courses, a light rail system, a mile-long sheltered beach, a casino and a resort that features a Universal Studios Singapore theme park. The tourists' destination sees more than 20 million visitors a year.

Who are the main players at the summit?

These men will be meeting face-to-face to discuss nuclear disarmament: U.S. President Donald Trump North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Secretary of State Mike Pompeo U.S. national security adviser John Bolton Gen. Kim Yong-chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea for South Korean affairs and North Korea’s top nuclear weapons negotiator

Who else will be there? Dennis Rodman, NBA Hall of Famer and a longtime friend of Kim, is in Singapore. Trump said last week that while he was a “nice guy,” Rodman was not officially invited to attend the summit.

What does the United States want? What the United States wants is “complete, permanent and verifiable denuclearization.” While Trump has said he wants the weapons gone as soon as possible, that process could take many years. It is estimated that North Korea has enough nuclear material to produce anywhere from 20 to 30 nuclear weapons.

What does Korea want?  Kim wants relief from economic sanctions placed on his country by the United States, and according to Pompeo, he has expressed a willingness to get rid of his nuclear weapons in order to have those sanctions rolled back. In addition, Kim wants the eventual removal of U.S. troops from South Korea. There are roughly 30,000 U.S. troops in South Korea.

What can be achieved?

That’s yet to be seen. Trump has said he sees the summit as a first step in the process of denuclearization and the lifting of sanctions.

"I never said it goes in one meeting. I think it's going to be a process, but the relationships are building and that's a very positive thing,” Trump said.

Kim has also talked about a formal end to the Korean War being part of the ongoing talks. The Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950, did not end in a peace treaty; rather, it ended on July 27, 1953, in an armistice, or an agreement to stop military action. The war has never officially ended.

How can I watch it?

Here are the plans by the major networks for coverage of the summit:

ABC NewsCBS NewsCNNFox NewsNBC News / MSNBC

See also:

>>Discussions between U.S., North Korea moving quickly, officials say

 

NBA Finals 2018: What time, what channel, what are the odds for Cleveland vs. Golden State?

The NBA Finals are underway as the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors.

If the names sound familiar, there’s a reason. This is the fourth year in a row the Cavs and the Warriors will play for the title. Cleveland defeated the Boston Celtics in conference play to earn their way into the finals, while Golden State beat the Houston Rockets to punch their ticket to the championship game.

This is the first time in a major U.S. sport that two teams have met four consecutive years in the championship game.

What time is it on, what channel, what are the odds? Here’s a look at the upcoming series.

Who is playing: The Cleveland Cavaliers play the Golden State Warriors.

What channel: The games will be broadcast on ABC.

What about livestreamWatchESPN

What are the odds: The Warriors are 4.5-point sportsbook favorites in the latest odds for Game 3, with the over-under for total points scored set at 216.5, according to Sports Illustrated

NBA Finals 2018 Schedule: Here is the schedule for the NBA Finals, the times and the channel they will be broadcast on. 

Game 1 from Oakland: Thursday, May 31, 9 p.m. ET, ABC (Warriors 124, Cavaliers 114)

 

Game 2 from Oakland: Sunday, June 3, 8 p.m. ET, ABC (Warriors 122, Cavaliers 103)

 

Game 3 from Cleveland: Wednesday, June 6, 9 p.m. ET, ABC (Warriors 110, Cavaliers 102)

Game 4 from Cleveland: Friday, June 8, 9 p.m. ET, ABC

 

Game 5* from Oakland: Monday, June 11, 9 p.m. ET, ABC

 

Game 6* from Cleveland: Thursday, June 14, 9 p.m. ET, ABC

 

Game 7* from Oakland: Sunday, June 17, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

*if necessary

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