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14-year-old Charlotte girl found 5 months after disappearance

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 6:00 PM

Missing Teen Found 5 Months After Disappearance

14-year-old Charlotte girl who disappeared five months ago was found in Georgia this week.

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Nakia Williams was last seen Sept. 7, 2017, after leaving her home on Wiegon Lane, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

Georgia law enforcement officials were able to confirm Wednesday that she was seen in Emanuel County, Georgia, and that she was possibly staying in Toombs County, Georgia, a neighboring county.

“And I thought I heard something wrong, and I was like, 'What did you say?' And she repeated, 'We found her,'” Shrounda Alston, Nakia’s cousin, said.

Nakia’s mother told Channel 9 that she was found that same day in Lyons, Georgia, which is more than 250 miles away from Charlotte.

“I was just able to wrap my arms around her, and just, we just cried for about five minutes,” Cherise Williams-Stowe, Nakia’s mother, told Channel 9. “We were just so happy to see each other.”

The family received the tip they have been praying for for months.

Family and friends did everything they to find Nakia, including handing out flyers and posting on a Facebook page called “Our missing hearts.”

Williams-Stowe told Channel 9 she still doesn't know the whole story of why Nakia disappeared and what happened in the past five months.

“She said she learned a lot while she was out,” Williams-Stowe said. “She learned it was hard trying to be out there on your own and everybody doesn't love you.”

Many of those questions are still being investigated, but Alston said the family can finally rest knowing Nakia is back home.

“And I had to keep the momentum going for her. I didn't want her to be forgotten,” Alston said.

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Trump orders new Space Force: ‘We must have dominance in space’

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 4:10 PM

President Donald Trump holds up an executive order that he signed during a meeting of the National Space Council at the East Room of the White House June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump signed an executive order to establish the Space Force, an independent and co-equal military branch, as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
President Donald Trump holds up an executive order that he signed during a meeting of the National Space Council at the East Room of the White House June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump signed an executive order to establish the Space Force, an independent and co-equal military branch, as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces.(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump announced the formation of the Space Force, a new branch of the military, during a meeting Monday of his National Space Council at the White House.

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Trump said getting ahead in space is integral to the nation’s national security.

“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space,” Trump said during a speech at the meeting. 

“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That’s a big statement. We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force. Separate, but equal. It is going to be something. So important,” he said.

Trump has previously mentioned his intention to create a Space Force. 

The president also signed an initiative called “Space Policy Directive -3, National Space Traffic Management Policy.” Among other issues, the document addresses the unfolding crisis and growing danger of space junk circling the planet.

National Space Council executive secretary Scott Pace said the policy addresses “the challenges of a congested space environment,” CNN reported.

>> Related: Trump signs directive to send Americans back to the moon, eventually Mars

“If we’re going to expand the economy in space, we need to make sure it’s done in a sustainable way,” Pace said.

The policy will also help private space interests in “more rapid and more accurate information on where they can launch” as well as “flexibility in launch windows,” Pace said, according to CNN

 

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Pittsburgh rapper Jimmy Wopo dies after double shooting

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 8:24 PM

Rapper Jimmy Wopo Dies After Double Shooting in Pittsburgh

Rapper Jimmy Wopo has died following a double shooting in Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood Monday.

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The shooting was reported around 4:20 p.m. near the intersection of Wylie Avenue and Duff Street.

Just after 7 p.m., police said one of the people who had been shot had died, although  initially they did not say if it was Wopo or the other victim.

Wapo’s manager, Taylor Maglin, posted on Facebook, "We lost a great person today, but just know I will do everything in my power to make his memory live on forever."

Police spent more than an hour focusing their attention on a white Mazda SUV that appeared to have bullet holes in the windshield before it was towed away from the scene.

The other man is in stable condition, according to police.

No arrests have been made yet, but police said they believe this was an isolated incident and there is no threat to the general public.

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

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 2:55 PM

'Zero Tolerance' Immigration Policy: Why Are Children Being Separated From Their Families

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.

 

What You Need to Know: 'Zero Tolerance' Immigration Policy
 

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

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:55 PM

What You Need to Know: 'Zero Tolerance' Immigration Policy

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.

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

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