Migrants in Tijuana Hopeful About Entering US Despite Homeland Security Warnings

Posted: November 22, 2018, 3:05 am

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has warned Central American migrants seeking political asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico that the Trump administration will not tolerate “frivolous asylum claims” or illegal entry. Her warning came Tuesday as a U.S. federal judge temporarily prevented the administration from blocking asylum status for people who do not enter at a designated port of entry. VOA's Celia Mendoza is in Tijuana, Mexico, where she spoke to some of the migrants.

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US Lawmakers Slam Trump’s Support for Saudi Arabia After Khashoggi Killing

Posted: November 22, 2018, 2:24 am

U.S. lawmakers are criticizing President Donald Trump for saying the United States will stand firmly with Saudi Arabia even though he acknowledged Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have known about the brutal killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. Lawmakers of both political parties say the U.S. should not abandon its core values for economic interests. VOA's diplomatic correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at human rights and U.S. foreign policy decisions.

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Border Patrol Agent Acquitted in Mexican Teen’s Death

Posted: November 22, 2018, 12:41 am

Border Patrol Agent Acquitted in Mexican Teen’s Death FILE – This is the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico at Nogales, Mexico, Dec. 4, 2017. The poster is of Juan Antonio Elena Rodriguez, a teen who was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent who shot through the fence in 2010. PHOENIX — An Arizona jury Wednesday acquitted a U.S. Border Patrol agent of manslaughter in the shooting of a Mexican teen through a border fence, sparking a protest in downtown Tucson following the second loss for federal prosecutors in the second trial over the 2012 killing.
Jurors in Tucson found Lonnie Swartz not guilty of involuntary manslaughter but didn’t come to a decision on voluntary manslaughter. The verdict comes months after Swartz was acquitted of second-degree murder by another jury that had deadlocked on manslaughter charges, allowing prosecutors to pursue the case again.
“My client is very relieved. He has had to live with the burden of this case hanging over his head for years. He is glad..

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GOP in Congress Seeks to Address Gender Disparity in Its Ranks

Posted: November 21, 2018, 8:40 pm

GOP in Congress Seeks to Address Gender Disparity in Its Ranks Rep.-elect Carol Miller, R-W.V., arrives for member-elect briefings on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 15, 2018. WASHINGTON — For congressional Republicans, this month's elections ushered in the year of the woman — literally.
West Virginia's Carol Miller will be the only Republican woman entering the 435-member House as a newcomer in January. She'll join what may be the chamber's smallest group of female GOP lawmakers since the early 1990s — as few as 13 of at least 199 Republicans. Democrats will have at least 89.
Numbers like those have Republicans searching for answers to the glaring gender disparity in their ranks — and fast. The concern is that Democrats' lopsided edge among female voters could carry over to 2020, when President Donald Trump will be seeking a second term and House and Senate control will be in play. If the current trend continues, Republicans risk being branded the party of ..

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Right-Leaning Nonprofit Paid Whitaker More Than $1.2 Million

Posted: November 21, 2018, 4:17 pm

Right-Leaning Nonprofit Paid Whitaker More Than $1.2 Million FILE – Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker attends a ceremony at the White House in Washington, Nov. 16, 2018. Before joining the Justice Department, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker earned more than $1.2 million from a right-leaning nonprofit that doesn't disclose its donors, according to the nonprofit's tax filings. Whitaker's earnings represented a sizable chunk of the charity's revenue.
Financial disclosure forms released Tuesday show Whitaker received $904,000 in income from the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust from 2016 through nearly the end of 2017. He also received $15,000 from CNN as a legal commentator, according to the documents released by the Justice Department.
The nonprofit group, known as FACT, styles itself as a nonpartisan government watchdog promoting ethics and transparency. The tax-exempt group is supposed to serve the public interest without supporting ..

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Trump Says He Plans to Make His First Visit to a War Zone 

Posted: November 21, 2018, 3:33 pm

Trump Says He Plans to Make His First Visit to a War Zone President Donald Trump acknowledges applause as speaks during a conference supporting veterans and military families through partnership at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House complex in Washington, Nov. 15, 2018. WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump frequently credits himself with accomplishing more for the military and veterans than any other president in recent memory. But he has yet to embark on what has long been a traditional presidential pilgrimage important to the military: a visit to troops deployed in a war zone.
As he departed Tuesday for Florida to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday at his private club in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump said he'd soon correct the oversight.
“I'm going to a war zone,'' he said in response to a reporter's question about his support for the troops.
He did not say when he would be making the trip or where he planned to go. An official said a ..

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US, South Korea to Scale Back 2019 Military Exercises

Posted: November 21, 2018, 3:30 pm

US, South Korea to Scale Back 2019 Military Exercises FILE – South Korean marines secure an area during their regular drill on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, Nov. 1, 2018. The U.S. said Wednesday it will scale back military exercises with South Korea next year, so the war games are not a hindrance to diplomacy over ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said the exercises with Seoul, called Foal Eagle, are conducted each spring in South Korea, but will be “reduced in scope” in 2019.
He gave no details of how the exercises will be downsized, but said the reduced scope was an effort by the two allies to encourage further negotiations in the stalled talks between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
“Foal Eagle is being reorganized a bit to keep it at a level that will not be harmful to diplomacy,” Mattis said. North Korea has frequently objected to the U.S.-South Korean exercises, viewing them as a th..

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Pelosi Wins Converts in Bid for Top US House Job

Posted: November 21, 2018, 3:02 pm

Pelosi Wins Converts in Bid for Top US House Job House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) leaves after her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Nov. 15, 2018. Nancy Pelosi, working to reclaim the top job in the U.S. House of Representatives, won over another supporter on Wednesday as a fellow Democrat reversed course and said he would back her as House speaker next year.
Pelosi, a 78-year-old San Francisco liberal and current House Democratic leader, is fighting hard to regain the job of speaker after the November 6 elections in which Democrats gained a majority in the 435-member chamber.
Pelosi previously held the post in 2007-2011, when she made history as the first woman speaker. But a handful of fellow Democrats have opposed her taking up the job again, saying the party needs fresh, younger leadership when the new Congress convenes in January.
Representative Brian Higgins, who had initially signed on to that group, said in an interview with The Buffalo Ne..

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Trump: US Interests Outweigh Harshly Punishing Saudis for Killing Journalist

Posted: November 20, 2018, 7:35 pm

Trump: US Interests Outweigh Harshly Punishing Saudis for Killing Journalist FILE – U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Nov. 9, 2018. WHITE HOUSE — Abandoning Saudi Arabia, despite its responsibility for killing a U.S.-based journalist, “would be a terrible mistake,” President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday.
Any human rights concerns are outweighed by U.S. national security and economic interests, the president said.
“We're staying with Saudi Arabia,” Trump announced, noting the kingdom's mutual opposition to Iran and Riyadh's purchases of American military equipment that mean, according to the president, “hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment.”
Russia and China “are not going to get that gift,” Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn before departing for the Thanksgiving holiday.
FILE – Candles, lit by activists protesting the killing of Saudi journalist J..

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Congress to Probe Ivanka Trump’s Private Email Use in WH

Posted: November 20, 2018, 5:45 pm

Congress to Probe Ivanka Trump's Private Email Use in WH In this Nov. 14, 2018, photo, Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, center, greets guests after President Donald Trump spoke about prison reform in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. WASHINGTON — New revelations about the extent of Ivanka Trump's personal email use in the White House will be getting a hard look from House Democrats when they take power in January.
The House Oversight and Government Reform committee began looking into private email use last year after reports by Politico revealed that Ivanka Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, and other White House officials had been using private email for government purposes in possible violation of the Presidential Records Act and other federal record-keeping laws.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 17..

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