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Florida school shooting survivor's mother says her family has received death threats

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 9:45 AM

WATCH: Survivors Recount Florida High School Shooting

The mother of Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg is speaking out after her family received death threats because her son and another survivor were accused of being crisis actors.

>> Florida sheriff rejects calls from state lawmaker for his ouster after Parkland school shooting

Hogg and fellow students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have made frequent media appearances to call for action on gun control after police say Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others in a Valentine’s Day massacre.

>> Delta latest company ending discounts, benefits for NRA members

The students have since become the center of a false conspiracy theory claiming that they are actually actors who are coached before television appearances.

>> Teachers to Trump: #ArmMeWith funding, supplies and resources, not guns

Rebecca Boldrick, Hogg’s mother, told The Washington Post that her family has received death threats since the conspiracy theories started surfacing, saying, “I’m under so much stress.”

“I’m angry and exhausted,” she added. “Angry, exhausted and extremely proud.”

>> Read more trending news 

The student has said he's not a “crisis actor” but rather someone who witnessed a tragedy.

“It’s annoying. I hate it. But it’s part of American democracy,” Hogg said in an interview with the Post. “Am I an actor? No. Am I a witness? Yes.”

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Immigration: Trump administration defends 'zero tolerance' policy (live updates)

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:10 PM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:10 PM

Watch Video from Inside the Border Protection's Processing Detention Center in Texas

White House officials pushed back Monday against critics of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The policy has led to the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

>> Read more trending news

Update 3:10 p.m. EDT June 18: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, called Monday for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen amid the ongoing debate over the Trump administration’s immigration policy.

The demand came one day after Nielsen said in a tweet that, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”

Nielsen echoed President Donald Trump’s claims that a law is behind the recent spike in separations of migrant children and their parents at the border.

“We will not apologize for enforcing the laws passed by Congress,” Nielsen said. “We are a nation of laws. We are asking Congress to change the laws.”

However, as Harris and numerous fact checkers have noted, there is no law that mandates the separation of children and parents at the border.

Harris said in a statement Monday that Nielsen’s “misleading statements ... are disqualifying.”

“We must speak the truth,” Harris said. “There is no law that says the Administration has to rip children from their families. This Administration can and must reverse course now and it can and must find new leadership for the Department of Homeland Security.”

Update 2:30 p.m. June 18: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that President Donald Trump is telling an “outright lie” when he claims that Democrats are behind the recent surge in separations of children from their parents on the border.

“This is not happening because of the 'Democrats' law,' as the White House has claimed,” Clinton said. “Separating families is not mandated by law at all.”

Clinton, who ran as a Democrat against Trump during the 2016 presidential election, also appeared to chastise U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who cited a Bible verse last week while justifying the Trump administration’s immigration policy.

“Those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty are ignoring a central tenant of Christianity,” Clinton said. “Jesus said, ‘Suffer the little children unto me.’ He did not say, ‘Let the children suffer.’”

Update 2 p.m. EDT June 18: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush urged President Donald Trump to end the policy that’s allowed authorities to separate migrant children from their parents on the border, writing Monday on Twitter that "children shouldn't be used as a negotiating tool.”

“(Trump) should end this heartless policy and Congress should get an immigration deal done that provides for asylum reform, border security and a path to citizenship for Dreamers,” he wrote.

The president has repeatedly called for Democrats to negotiate with Republicans to address illegal immigration after falsely claiming that the party is behind laws that mandate the separation of child from parent at the border. No such law exists. 

Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H.W. Bush, ran against Trump in 2016 for the Republican presidential nomination.

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

In an op-ed published Sunday by the Washington Post, former first lady Laura Bush called the Trump administration policy “cruel.”

"I live in a border state," Bush wrote. "I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart."

First lady Melania Trump has also criticized the policy, telling CNN in a statement through her spokeswoman that “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”

Update 12:46 p.m. EDT June 18: President Donald Trump again accused Democrats of obstructing efforts to deal with illegal immigration and the separation of children and parents at the border, telling reporters Monday that “we’re stuck with these horrible laws” because Democrats refuse to sit down with Republicans.

There are no laws mandating the separation of children and parents at the border.

“We have the worst immigration laws in the entire world,” Trump said. “Nobody has such sad, such bad – and in many cases, such horrible and tough – you see about child separation. You see what’s going on there.”

 

“The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump said.

 

Update 12 p.m. EDT June 18: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said authorities don’t want to separate children from their families but that officials have a duty to prosecute people who illegally cross the border.

“When we ignore our laws at the border we obviously encourage hundreds of thousands of people a year to likewise ignore our laws and illegally enter our country, creating an enormous burden on our law enforcement, our schools, our hospitals and (our) social programs,” Sessions said Monday during the National Sheriffs’ Association Annual Conference in New Orleans.

 

He framed the issue as a debate over “whether we want to be a country of laws or whether we want to be a country without borders.”

“President Trump has said this cannot continue,” Sessions said. “We do not want to separate parents from their children. If we build the wall, if we pass legislation to end the lawlessness, we won’t face these terrible choices. We will have a system where those who need to apply for asylum can do so and those who want to come to this country will apply legally.”

Sessions’ arguments echoed those of President Donald Trump, who has blamed Democrats for passing laws that he said led to the separations.

There are no laws mandating the separation of children and parents at the border.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said earlier Monday that officials will not apologize for enforcing immigration laws.

"We have to do our job," she said.

 

Original report: President Donald Trump defended his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy on Monday, writing in a series of tweets that children are being used “by the worst criminals on earth” to get into America as critics slammed the policy for separating children from their parents.

“Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country,” Trump wrote. “Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.”

 

The president pointed to a rise in crime in Germany as an example of the chaos caused by illegal immigration, writing in a tweet that it was a “big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture.”

   

However, Germany’s internal ministry reported last month that criminal offenses in the country were at their lowest since 1992, according to Reuters.

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, prompting protests nationwide.

The president has blamed Democrats for not fixing the law that allows for the separations.

“Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration,” the president wrote. “Change the laws!”

     

Despite his claim that Democrats are at fault for the situation, The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration “put the policy in place and could easily end it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Officer’s tweet after pulling over slow driver in left lane goes viral

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:06 PM

Indiana State Police Officer Sgt. Stephen Wheeles pulled over a woman for driving too slow in the left lane. (Photo: Sgt. Stephen Wheeles/Indiana State Police)
Indiana State Police Officer Sgt. Stephen Wheeles pulled over a woman for driving too slow in the left lane. (Photo: Sgt. Stephen Wheeles/Indiana State Police)

An Indiana State Police officer is getting attention from the internet after pulling over a driver for going too slow in the left lane and backing up traffic.

>> Read more trending news

Sgt. Stephen Wheeles posted about the traffic stop Saturday on Twitter.

"I stopped this vehicle today for a left lane violation on I-65. The driver had approximately 20 cars slowed behind her because she would not move back to the right lane," Wheeles tweeted. "Again...if there are vehicles behind you, you must move to the right lane to allow them to pass."

By Monday, the post had been retweeted more than 20,000 times and had 60,000 likes. Wheeles even engaged some commenters, offering an extended driver’s education lesson when asked if the rule applied to drivers going the speed limit in the left lane.

“The spirit of the law is that since many people drive well above the speed limit, it creates an ‘accordion effect’ as traffic starts backing up behind the slower vehicle,” Wheeles said. “This is where many of our crashes occur on the interstates. It’s all in the name of safety.”

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Apple to offer 911 location feature in iOS12 update

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:03 PM

FILE PHOTO
Carl Court/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO(Carl Court/Getty Images)

An operating system update is bringing a new feature to iPhones. iOS12 will allow 911 to pinpoint callers’ locations starting later this year.

Apple made the announcement Monday.

The company is using RapidSOS to share HELO location data with 911 centers. It promises that the information will not be used for non-emergency purposes and that the 911 centers will only have the information during the call. 

The upgrade will help when callers don’t know exactly where they are or can’t verbally tell 911 operators the location, CNN reported.

Currently, 911 centers use cell tower information from carriers. That gives emergency responders a large area to investigate, CNN reported.

RapidSOS recently partnered with Uber, which added a 911 call button inside its app.

When the app goes online, it will be set on by default, but there will be an opt-out in settings, CNN reported.

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

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 2:38 PM

Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas. The families were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the Trump administration's 'zero tolerance' policy towards undocumented immigrants. There are several ways to help immigrant children who are separated from families. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
John Moore/Getty Images
Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas. The families were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the Trump administration's 'zero tolerance' policy towards undocumented immigrants. There are several ways to help immigrant children who are separated from families. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)(John Moore/Getty Images)

A new immigration policy implemented by the administration of President Donald Trump in May has led to an significant increase in migrant children being separated from their families.

The “no tolerance policy” attempts to crack down on illegal boarder crossings and allows border security agents in the Southwest to separate children of immigrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally, according to CBS News.

>> Read more trending news 

The Associated Press reported that, according to government statistics, the police has separated nearly 2,000 children from their families, placing them in detention centers and shelters.

Protest

Organizations like National Domestic Workers Alliance and Families Belong Together have hosted events across the country to raise awareness and call for aid to families who have been separated.

Contact elected representatives

Advocates on this issue can find out who represents your state and contact them to express disapproval of the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border. A sample script is at the American Civil Liberties Union website. Find the contact information for Congress at Senate.gov and House.gov.

Related: Immigration: Trump administration defends 'zero tolerance' policy (live updates)

Write to media outlets

Vicki Gaubeca, the director of Southern Border Communities Coalition, told The Cut that writing op-ed pieces and letters to the editor at media outlets can raise awareness. 

“If you think about what the Republican Party has stood for, it’s family values and protecting children, so it seems contradictory that they’re engaging in this enforcement activity of ripping kids from their families,” she said. “It’s really troubling to see that an administration can be so callous. It’s beyond the pale.”

Sign petitions

Organizations like the ACLU and National Domestic Workers Alliance have petitions on their websites that call on the Trump administration to stop separating immigrant children from their families.

Volunteer and donate

According to the website of U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., the detention centers and shelters holding the unaccompanied children do not allow volunteers, but services can be provided in the form of pro bono legal services, as a foster care parent and in monetary donations.

Some organizations that take donations and volunteers in support of the children are below.

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