Trump denies he’s purging Homeland Security officials

Political News Trump denies he's purging Homeland Security officials https://linewsradio.com/trump-denies-hes-purging-homeland-security-officials/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump pushed back against criticism that changes to the senior leadership at the Department of Homeland Security are part of a systemic purge to enable the president to pursue a tougher immigration policy at the southern border.

“I never said I’m cleaning house. I don’t know who came with it,” Trump lamented during a photo opportunity in the Oval Office with the Egyptian president Tuesday afternoon. “We’ve got a lot of good people over there. We have bad laws.”

With reports swirling that the administration will accelerate deportations, Trump said he is not looking to resume a zero-tolerance child separation policy – an approach he blamed President Barack Obama for instituting.

“Obama separated the children, by the way. Just so you understand. President Obama separated the children,” Trump claimed. “Those cages that were shown — I think they were very inappropriate. They were built by President Obama’s administration, not by Trump.”

While it’s true that child separations occurred during the Obama administration, such as when there was suspicion of human trafficking, there was not a systematic policy that resulted in widespread separations. After taking office, Trump and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented a “zero tolerance” practice before eventually ending it amid widespread public outcry.

Trump appeared to suggest that the zero-tolerance policy served as a strong deterrent to families crossing the border illegally.

“I’m the one who stopped it,” Trump said. “Once you don’t have it, that’s why you see many more people coming. They are coming like it’s a picnic.”

Border officers stopped more than 103,000 undocumented migrants attempting to cross the southern border in March, the majority of which were families and unaccompanied children surrendering to agents after crossing illegally.

Newly released data by Customs and Border Protection, which confirms record-setting projections, indicates another sharp increase of migrants attempting to cross in recent months. The total number of migrants stopped in February was roughly 76,000, and about 58,000 were stopped in January.

More than 11,000 families have been released since the agency started the practice last month, according to the agency, while hundreds of agents processing legal travelers at ports of entry have been reassigned to assist border patrol in managing the migrant flows causing backups and delays for legal travelers.

After Trump forced out several senior officials from the top ranks at the Department of Homeland Security in recent days, House Democrats said that the president’s decisions amount to a “purge” – warning that the country’s security is undermined by a lack of leadership experience atop the department — with additional departures expected in the coming days.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the administration “seems to believe it’s above the law.”

“I am enormously disturbed about the instability of the front lines of securing this nation,” Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said.

“It is very disheartening and it’s scary to watch how the president is basically dismantling the Department of Homeland Security because he cannot get his way,” echoed Rep. Val Demings, a Florida Democrat who also serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned Sunday evening, before Trump pushed aside Secret Service Director Randolph Alles on Monday. Additional departures are expected in the coming days.

Two other top DHS officials, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna and Office of the General Counsel’s John Mitnick are also expected to depart soon, according to one official — raising the prospect of a much broader cleaning of house among the Homeland Security leadership ranks.

“By the end of the week, more than half of the department’s agency heads could be gone with the positions vacant or with acting

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,” one senior administration official told ABC News.

Rep. Nanette Barragan another member of Homeland Security committee, said she is also “concerned about the rhetoric from the president wanting somebody tougher” amid reports that Trump wants to reinstate the zero tolerance policy.

“You have nobody really in charge right now. If you take a look at all the vacancies, all the actings there, that’s a huge concern,” Barragan said. “Supposedly we’re in the middle of an emergency crisis, yet nobody is really in charge there.”

Rep. Pete Aguilar said Trump “needs people who will follow the law” – aiming his criticism at White House senior advisor Stephen Miller, a hardline conservative perceived to have the president’s ear on immigration policy.

“This is clearly a purge of the Department of Homeland Security,” Aguilar, D-California, said. “This is something that Congress needs to weigh in on, and if Stephen Miller wants to make policy from the White House he should come out here and explain these policies.”

Monday, Rep. Ilhan Omar, tweeted that Stephen Miller, a Jewish-American, is a “white nationalist.”

Omar, one of three Muslims serving in Congress, caught the attention of the president’s oldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., who said Omar’s tweet is another example of her “anti-Semitic bigotry.”

 House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who has served in Congress for 20 terms alongside six presidents, called the Trump administration “the most unstable” presidency he could remember.

“I think this is a dangerous phenomena to have so much turnover,” Hoyer said. “I don’t know that I can remember any administration’s that’s had this big turnover and fired people in the extraordinary fashion with which he’s fired people, which has got to intimidate anybody within the administration from coming forward with honest advice based upon the facts as they know them and believe they are.”

Hoyer charged that Trump “doesn’t like the law.”

“He’s firing people who are determined that they have to act within the confines of the law. I think that’s very dangerous. Very undemocratic, if you will. And I think we should all be concerned about that.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Apr 2019

Lori Loughlin indicted on additional charges in “Varsity Blues” college scandal

Entertainment News  Lori Loughlin indicted on additional charges in "Varsity Blues" college scandal https://linewsradio.com/lori-loughlin-indicted-on-additional-charges-in-varsity-blues-college-scandal/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

ABC/Eric McCandless(BOSTON) — Actress Lori Loughlin, her husband and 14 other parents ensnared in a massive college entrance scam were hit with additional charges on Tuesday, including a count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, federal officials said.

A new superseding indictment unsealed Tuesday alleges that Loughlin and her husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, disguised their bribes to the ringleader of the scam as donations to fund programs for “disadvantaged youth.”

The new charges came a day after federal prosecutors said actress Felicity Huffman and 13 other defendants charged in the probe dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues” had agreed to plead guilty.

Loughlin, 54, and Giannulli, 55, have already been indicted on a federal charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, a crime that could get them each a maximum 20-year prison sentence if convicted.

A new superseding indictment charges the couple and the other defendants with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The indictment says the 16 parents conspired to “conceal their fraud scheme by funneling bribe and other payments through the facade” of the Key Worldwide Foundation, a sham charity established by William “Rick” Singer, who federal prosecutors identified as the ringleader of the nationwide scam.

The purpose of the money laundering scheme was allegedly intended to “conceal and disguise the nature, location, ownership, and control” of bribes paid to Singer by making them appear to be charitable donations to the Key Worldwide Foundation, according to the indictment.

After obtaining the bribes from the parents, officials at Key Worldwide Foundation issued letters “falsely attesting that the purported donation would help ‘provide educational and self-enrichment programs to disadvantaged youth,'” according to the indictment.

Court documents unsealed on March 13 say Loughlin — best known for her role as Aunt Becky on the ABC sitcom Full House — and Giannulli “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”

Singer has already pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court to charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Apr 2019

Oprah Winfrey donates $2M to Puerto Rico for disaster relief

Entertainment News  Oprah Winfrey donates $2M to Puerto Rico for disaster relief https://linewsradio.com/oprah-winfrey-donates-2m-to-puerto-rico-for-disaster-relief/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

OWN(LOS ANGELES) — Oprah Winfrey is giving back to those who have been affected by Hurricane Maria.

The storm, which hit the the island of Puerto Rico in 2017, caused close to 3,000 deaths and billion of dollars in damages. The island has yet to fully recover and as a result, Winfrey announced she’s donating $2 million to help the country out.

“I was so moved by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s commitment to bring Hamilton to Puerto Rico and support the community that served him growing up that I wanted to join in the revitalization efforts of an island so rich in culture, beauty, and heritage,” Winfrey said in a statement. 

Winfrey’s $2 million commitment will be spread across two organizations: $1 million to the Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program, which will help to develop and implement long-term needs; and the other $1 million to the Flamboyan Arts Fund, to ensure that the island’s rich heritage of arts, culture and creative development are not lost forever.

Winfrey continued, “The needs of Puerto Rico and our fellow American citizens following the tragic hurricanes are still very real, and the work that has already been done by the Hispanic Federation, Flamboyan Arts Fund and other organizations on and off the island is long from over.”

Since the hurricane, other celebrities have stepped up to raise money for the island’s disaster relief fund. 

In January 2018, Jennifer Lopez and fiancé Alex Rodriguez decided to launch their own fund, Puerto Rico Federally Qualified Health Centers Disaster Recovery Fund, in an effort to help the country.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Apr 2019

“Struggling” Sara Gilbert leaving “The Talk” after this season

Entertainment News  "Struggling" Sara Gilbert leaving "The Talk" after this season https://linewsradio.com/struggling-sara-gilbert-leaving-the-talk-after-this-season/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

Andrew Eccles/CBS(LOS ANGELES) — After nine seasons, Sara Gilbert has decided to step away from the CBS chat show The Talk when this season wraps up.

A “nervous” Gilbert was given the floor at the beginning of Tuesday’s show, where she admitted the decision “is something I have been struggling with for a while.” 

When she said the words, “I’ve decided it’s time for me to leave the show,” the studio audience exclaimed, “No!” 

“I obviously love it here and this was extremely difficult,” Gilbert commented, explaining that her work-life balance has been thrown off.

“Last season I did The Conners and, as you know, also producing … and I loved it and felt totally empowered. But…I was not spending as much time with my three kids as I would like,” she admitted.

As an example, she revealed she’d never even prepared a baby book for her son, who is now four.

Gilbert, who created and executive-produces The Talk, vowed she’d return now and again, and joked that they’re “not getting rid of her,” since as she’s still got the entire rest of the season on the CBS show. 

Gilbert is married to songwriter and music producer Linda Perry; their son was born February of 2015. She also has an older son and a daughter from her previous relationship with TV producer Allison Adler.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Apr 2019

As Democrats’ deadline approaches for Trump’s tax returns, Treasury secretary grilled on Capitol Hill

Political News As Democrats' deadline approaches for Trump's tax returns, Treasury secretary grilled on Capitol Hill https://linewsradio.com/as-democrats-deadline-approaches-for-trumps-tax-returns-treasury-secretary-grilled-on-capitol-hill/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Right out of the gate on Tuesday, House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters used her first question to ask Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin whether he would comply with a Democratic request for copies of six years of the president’s personal and business tax returns by Wednesday’s deadline.

“I want to acknowledge we have received the request,” Mnuchin said, dancing around any solid commitment but repeating the jist of testimony he provided at another hearing earlier Tuesday. “As I said before, we will follow the law. We are reviewing it with our internal legal department and I would leave it at that.”

Given the rate of turnover of senior officials forced from their jobs in the administration, Waters then asked Mnuchin whether he’s afraid he’ll be fired if he complies with the request.

“I’m not afraid of being fired at all,” Mnuchin answered.

Earlier Tuesday, Mnuchin testified that a White House lawyer communicated with Treasury Department lawyers before they received a request from House Democrats for President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Mnuchin appeared before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the Treasury budget request when he was asked by the Democratic chairman, Rep. Mike Quigley, whether he had spoken with White House officials about the request.

“I have not spoken to the White House chief of staff or the president about this decision,” Mnuchin said, but later added that there had been communications between the two legal teams, which he described as “purely informational.”

Mnuchin later defended the president’s decision to not release his tax returns, saying that Trump has complied with financial disclosures and that the decision to release tax returns is an “individual decision.”

“There is a requirement for presidents to have financial disclosure. I believe this president has complied with that, as other people, and the general public when they elected President Trump made the decision to elect him without his tax returns being released, Mnuchin said.

“I am sure there are many prominent Democrats who are relieved that when Kevin Brady was chairman of the (House Ways and Means) committee that he didn’t request specific returns. But anyway, it is a pleasure to be here with you today,” Mnuchin said.

Democrats gave the IRS commissioner until Wednesday to respond to Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal’s request, which Mnuchin said Treasury’s legal department was still reviewing. “It is our intent to follow the law,” he said.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has said Democrats will “never” get their hands on copies of Trump’s tax returns.

IRS commissioner Charles Rettig is being asked to provide Neal with six years of the president’s personal and business filings. When making the request, Neal pointed to a law from the 1920s that empowers three members of Congress to review the documents of any U.S. taxpayer.

A senior Democratic Ways and Means aide told ABC News on Monday that the chairman has not heard any sort of response from the IRS or Treasury Department regarding his request, but still maintained the expectation was that the IRS would comply by Wednesday.

“But,” the aide added, “we’ll see.”

On Sunday, Mulvaney predicted Democrats will “never” obtain the documents, days after Trump said he was not inclined to cooperate and stressed that voters “litigated” the issue by electing Trump in 2016.

“Voters knew the president could have given his tax returns, they knew that he didn’t and they elected him anyway, which is, of course, what drives the Democrats crazy,” Mulvaney said on Fox News on Sunday. “But they know they’re not going to get this.”

An obscure 1924 provision in the tax code allows the chairmen of certain Congressional committees to privately examine anyone’s tax returns to conduct an investigation. If obtained, the returns could be released to the full House of Representatives with a majority vote from that committee, effectively making them public.

This scarcely used measure dates back to the 1920s Teapot Dome bribery scandal during President Warren G. Harding’s administration. It was invoked in the 1970s to investigate tax fraud by President Richard Nixon and again in 2014 to investigate whether the IRS discriminated against certain conservative groups.

A legal challenge is widely expected, and Neal could invoke his committee’s subpoena power to press the issue if Rettig misses Wednesday’s deadline.

Rettig testified Tuesday afternoon at the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government on the IRS budget and 2019 filing season. On Wednesday, Rettig is set to return to the Capitol to testify at the Senate Finance Committee’s hearing on the 2019 tax filing season and the 21st century IRS.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Apr 2019

Southern California police officer saves choking 9-month-old, bodycam footage shows

KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) — A Southern California police officer is being hailed a hero after he saved a 9-month-old baby who was choking inside her mother’s car last month.

On the afternoon of March 22, Culver City Police officer Brian Cappell responded to a call of a baby choking nearby, ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV reported.

Body camera footage shows Janet Lockridge’s 10-year-old daughter, Auria, leading Cappell to her mother’s car, where her sister, Harleigh, was suffering from the life-threatening emergency.

“She was struggling for air, she was struggling to breath,” Lockridge said.

As Cappell approached the car, the worried mother could be heard crying as she tried to figured out how to help her baby.

“I was afraid,” she said. “I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, and I was just praying the whole entire time.”

Cappell then “reverted back to his training” and grabbed the little girl, placing her face-down in his hands so he could give her some firm slaps on her back. To his relief, the method worked.

“Once I heard the baby crying, it was the best sound I ever heard in my life,” he said.

The next day, Cappell posed with Harleigh, who had since recovered from the accident.

Cappell received special honors Monday to commemorate his life-saving actions, KABC-TV reported.

Lockridge told the station that she is “extremely, extremely grateful” that Cappell was nearby to help save her daughter’s life.

“I am, like, indebted to him forever,” she said. “It was amazing. It was truly amazing.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump denies he’s resuming zero-tolerance child separation policy

Political News Trump denies he's resuming zero-tolerance child separation policy https://linewsradio.com/trump-denies-hes-resuming-zero-tolerance-child-separation-policy/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump said he is not looking to resume a zero-tolerance child separation policy and denied that changes to the senior leadership at the Department of Homeland Security are part of a systemic purge to enable the president to pursue a tougher immigration policy at the southern border.

“I never said I’m cleaning house. I don’t know who came with it,” Trump lamented during a photo opportunity in the Oval Office with the Egyptian president Tuesday afternoon. “We’ve got a lot of good people over there. We have bad laws.”

With reports swirling that the administration will accelerate deportations, Trump blamed President Barack Obama for instituting a child separation policy.

“Obama separated the children, by the way. Just so you understand. President Obama separated the children,” Trump claimed. “Those cages that were shown — I think they were very inappropriate. They were built by President Obama’s administration, not by Trump.”

While it’s true that child separations occurred during the Obama administration, such as when there was suspicion of human trafficking, there was not a systematic policy that resulted in widespread separations. After taking office, Trump and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented a “zero tolerance” practice before eventually ending it amid widespread public outcry.

Trump appeared to suggest that the zero-tolerance policy served as a strong deterrent to families crossing the border illegally.

“I’m the one who stopped it,” Trump said. “Once you don’t have it, that’s why you see many more people coming. They are coming like it’s a picnic.”

After Trump forced out several senior officials from the top ranks at the Department of Homeland Security in recent days, House Democrats said that the president’s decisions amount to a “purge” – warning that the country’s security is undermined by a lack of leadership experience atop the department — with additional departures expected in the coming days.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the administration “seems to believe it’s above the law.”

“I am enormously disturbed about the instability of the front lines of securing this nation,” Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said.

“It is very disheartening and it’s scary to watch how the president is basically dismantling the Department of Homeland Security because he cannot get his way,” echoed Rep. Val Demings, a Florida Democrat who also serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned Sunday evening, before Trump pushed aside Secret Service Director Randolph Alles on Monday. Additional departures are expected in the coming days.

Two other top DHS officials, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna and Office of the General Counsel’s John Mitnick are also expected to depart soon, according to one official — raising the prospect of a much broader cleaning of house among the Homeland Security leadership ranks.

“By the end of the week, more than half of the department’s agency heads could be gone with the positions vacant or with acting

John Gomez
WEEKDAYS 12PM – 3PM
BILL POWERS
Jay Oliver
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,” one senior administration official told ABC News.

Rep. Nanette Barragan another member of Homeland Security committee, said she is also “concerned about the rhetoric from the president wanting somebody tougher” amid reports that Trump wants to reinstate the zero tolerance policy.

“You have nobody really in charge right now. If you take a look at all the vacancies, all the actings there, that’s a huge concern,” Barragan said. “Supposedly we’re in the middle of an emergency crisis, yet nobody is really in charge there.”

Rep. Pete Aguilar said Trump “needs people who will follow the law” – aiming his criticism at White House senior advisor Stephen Miller, a hardline conservative perceived to have the president’s ear on immigration policy.

“This is clearly a purge of the Department of Homeland Security,” Aguilar, D-California, said. “This is something that Congress needs to weigh in on, and if Stephen Miller wants to make policy from the White House he should come out here and explain these policies.”

Monday, Rep. Ilhan Omar, tweeted that Stephen Miller, a Jewish-American, is a “white nationalist.”

Omar, one of three Muslims serving in Congress, caught the attention of the president’s oldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., who said Omar’s tweet is another example of her “anti-Semitic bigotry.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who has served in Congress for 20 terms alongside six presidents, called the Trump administration “the most unstable” presidency he could remember.

“I think this is a dangerous phenomena to have so much turnover,” Hoyer said. “I don’t know that I can remember any administration’s that’s had this big turnover and this, and fired people in the extraordinary fashion, which he’s fired people, which has got to intimidate anybody within the administration from coming forward with honest advice based upon the facts as they know them and believe they are.”

Hoyer charged that Trump “doesn’t like the law.”

“He’s firing people who are determined that they have to act within the confines of the law. I like that very dangerous. Very undemocratic, if you will. And I think we should all be concerned about that.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Apr 2019

Why having so many ‘acting’ leaders in the Trump administration could be problematic

Political News Why having so many 'acting' leaders in the Trump administration could be problematic https://linewsradio.com/why-having-so-many-acting-leaders-in-the-trump-administration-could-be-problematic/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

memoriesarecaptured/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Experts warn of a “substitute teacher effect.”

Even Republican lawmakers have voiced concern about a leadership void at critical agencies. But the President Donald Trump appears in no rush to fill many of the vacancies.

By the end of the week, 10 major leadership positions in the Trump administration — including some of the most critical in the government — are expected to be filled by individuals serving in an acting capacity.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has been his temporary status for almost four months, since James Mattis left at the end of December.

Besides Shanahan, the “acting” senior leadership includes soon-to-be Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Acting Budget Director Russell Vought, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Acting U.N. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen, Acting FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor, Acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello, a soon-to-be acting administrator of the Small Business Administration, and a soon-to-be acting commissioner of the Customs and Border Patrol.

The president himself has expressed a preference for the “flexibility” that comes from having non-permanent leadership.

“I sort of like Acting. It gives me more flexibility. Do you understand that? I like Acting. So we have a few that are Acting. We have a great, great Cabinet,” the president said in January.

The U.S. Constitution lays out a key oversight role for the Senate to “advise and consent” the president’s choices for key administration posts. But the Senate’s consent is outstanding for hundreds of top jobs across the executive branch on top of the key agency leadership roles.

Across the administration broadly, approximately 20 percent of key government posts requiring Senate confirmation have no nominee.

140 of the 717 key government posts requiring Senate confirmation have no nominee, according to the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, which aims to increase government effectiveness. Another 10 positions are awaiting formal nomination, while another 134 have been formally nominated but are awaiting Senate confirmation.

The wide-ranging vacancies have gained attention in recent days as the president executes a dramatic shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security amid presidential frustrations over a recent surge in Central American migrants.

After the president announced on Sunday that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would be resigning, it was announced on Monday that the Director of the Secret Service would also be heading for the exits. And by the week’s end, more than half of the DHS agency heads – leadership positions that come under the umbrella of DHS OR report to DHS Secretary – could be gone.

But while the administration has shown no concern for the state of impermanence across many of the federal government’s top jobs, some outside observers are sounding the alarm about the negative impact on government effectiveness.

“The disruption that this causes is very large and should not be underestimated,” said Max Stier, the CEO Partnership for Public Service. “Presidents should be judged on the policies they choose but also on how they manage the larger institution.”

Stier warns of a widespread “substitute teacher effect” across the administration whereby the “acting” leaders “don’t get the respect in the classroom and also don’t personally view themselves as responsible in the long run.”

Stier says there’s an additional, second layer of complication caused by the administration moving individuals from their permanent job to temporarily fill another job, thereby creating additional holes.

“There’s also this trend of taking people out of their jobs to fill top jobs and then not filling the deputy gaps, so it’s a game of musical chairs,” he said in an interview with ABC News.

Steir points to the example of the president’s pick of Kevin McAleenan to serve as “acting” DHS secretary and shifting him away, at least temporarily, from his permanent job leading Customs and Border Protection.

John Cohen, an ABC News contributor and a former acting in Department of Homeland Security, spoke from personal experience in having served as an acting leader for a time during the Obama administration.

“As the acting person, and I speak from experience, you’re very much aware that you are temporary and your replacement can come at a moment’s notice, so there’s this sense of discomfort about trying to bring organizational change,” said Cohen, who recalled learning that a permanent leader had been named to the job he had been filling in an acting capacity through a White House press release.

In addition to being unable to execute on a long-term vision, Cohen said, acting leaders can be more beholden to the political whims of the presidents they serve than Senate-confirmed leaders.

“This makes them potentially vulnerable to political pressure and when the acting official is serving in a cabinet level role it makes them more likely to yield to the demands of the president,” Cohen said.

Beyond the myriad of challenges that occur at the top of the organizational pyramid, Cohen said temporary leadership can have a negative trickle down effect within the organization and lower morale

“When you don’t have the most senior levels of the executive branch filled with confirmed permanent appointees, it’s bad for morale within the affected agencies, it is extraordinarily disruptive, and it can actually impede effective collaborative among government agencies,” Cohen said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Apr 2019

Billy Crystal and John Goodman to re-team for ‘Monsters Inc.’ spin-off for Disney’s streaming service

Entertainment News  Billy Crystal and John Goodman to re-team for 'Monsters Inc.' spin-off for Disney's streaming service https://linewsradio.com/billy-crystal-and-john-goodman-to-re-team-for-monsters-inc-spin-off-for-disneys-streaming-service/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

Disney(LOS ANGELES) — Billy Crystal and John Goodman will reprise their beloved roles as Mike and Sulley in Monsters At Work, a new animated series that will premiere on the Disney+ streaming service in 2020. 

The series picks up six months after the events of the Oscar-winning Monsters Inc., which centered on the pair of monster working stiffs whose job was to scare kids stiff at night to harvest the energy of their screams. By movie’s end, the monsters learn laughter of their human “clients” is far more powerful, and that’s how they fuel their home city of Monstropolis.

The new show centers on Tylor Tuskmon — voiced by Superstore‘s Ben Feldman — a young mechanic who’s part of the the Monsters, Inc. Facilities Team. Aisha Tyler from Archer voices his mom, while Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran will voice Tylor’s friend Val. Additionally, Henry Winkler plays Fritz, the friends’ “scatterbrained” boss, according to a release.

Monsters At Work is slated for a 2020 release.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Apr 2019

Arrests made in connection with kidnapping of American tourist in Uganda, police say

WORLD NEWS Arrests made in connection with kidnapping of American tourist in Uganda, police say  https://linewsradio.com/arrests-made-in-connection-with-kidnapping-of-american-tourist-in-uganda-police-say/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Wild Frontiers Uganda(KAMPALA, Uganda) — At least eight arrests have been made in connection with the kidnapping of an American tourist and her safari guide in Uganda’s most popular national park, ABC News has learned.

Uganda Police Force spokesperson Fred Enanga announced at a press conference Tuesday that “some arrests of suspects” were made in Kanungu district, which encompasses the southwestern section of the sprawling Queen Elizabeth National Park where U.S. citizen Kimberly Sue Endicott and Congolese national Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo were abducted at gunpoint while on a safari.

A senior commander of the Uganda Police Force told ABC News eight people were arrested in Kanungu district on Monday and authorities are searching for more suspects in the area and nearby districts, as well as on the other side of the country’s western border, into the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“We have an intelligence-led operation, which was calculated and tactical in the early stages, and is now progressing unhindered, with raids and extensive searches,” Enanga told reporters at Tuesday’s press conference.

Meanwhile, the Uganda Tourism Board assured the public that all of the country’s national parks remain open and safe for visitors.

“Through the Uganda Wildlife Authority and security agencies, new measures as well as strict guidelines to avoid similar incidents have been put in place,” Uganda Tourism Board CEO Lilly Ajarova said in a statement Tuesday. “Security has been tightened in all national parks for tourists’ safety. Tourists are encouraged to continue visiting the parks and to enjoy Uganda’s wildlife abundance.”

Remezo, a senior guide for safari tour operator Wild Frontiers Uganda, was leading Endicott and a Canadian couple on an evening game drive in the park’s southern Ishasha section on April 2 when they were allegedly ambushed by four gunmen in military uniforms. The gunmen apparently held the group at gunpoint before snatching the keys to their safari vehicle and fleeing with Remezo and Endicott, according to police.

The Canadian tourists, identified by Wild Frontiers Uganda as Martin and Barbel Jurrius, were left behind and contacted the camp manager, who brought them back safely to the wilderness compound, police said.

The kidnappers used one of the victim’s mobile phones to demand a $500,000 ransom, which police said they believe was the motive behind the abduction.

After a days-long search operation by Ugandan police, armed forces and wildlife authorities, Endicott and Remezo were “rescued” unharmed from the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo and brought back to Uganda on Sunday evening.

But their captors “escaped,” and the operation to track them down continues, according to Ugandan government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo.

Ugandan police said they are working in close coordination with their Congolese counterparts.

Endicott and Remezo were freed in a “negotiated handover, conducted between the Ugandan and U.S. authorities,” according to a press statement from Wild Frontiers Uganda, which has been operating safaris in the East African nation since 1996.

“We have provided as much assistance as possible to the authorities and will now continue to provide support to both Kimberly and our guide Jean-Paul as they work toward returning to their homes and families,” the company said in the Monday statement. “We also are working with the investigating authorities to ascertain precisely what happened and how this can be prevented in the future.”

Uganda Police Force spokesperson Fred Enanga said at a Monday press conference that he did not believe a ransom was paid. However, a Wild Frontiers Uganda spokesperson told ABC News a ransom was paid. It was unclear who paid or how much was given.

Endicott was seen Monday morning being transported by helicopter to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, where police said she was handed over to the U.S. ambassador at the American embassy. It was unclear exactly when Endicott would return home to Southern California.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State told ABC News on Sunday, “We are aware of reports that a U.S. citizen hostage was recovered on April 7 by Ugandan security officials. Privacy considerations prevent us from commenting further at this time.”

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Posted On 09 Apr 2019