Asylum seekers waiting in Mexico to cross into the U.S. face devastating conditions

WORLD NEWS Asylum seekers waiting in Mexico to cross into the U.S. face devastating conditions

Hundley_Photography/iStock(MEXICO) — Migrants in Mexico are facing massive shortages of shelter, food and water, and are exposed to serious crimes — including kidnapping, sexual assault and violence, according to a report released on Tuesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The Mexican government said some 15,000 people who have claimed asylum at the U.S. border have been returned to Mexico, pending a court hearing. And according to Human Rights Watch, the migrants include families with children and pregnant women who are forced to remain in dangerous conditions.

“Most asylum seekers fleeing Central America have extremely limited means and often cannot pay for shelter, food, water, or other necessities,” according to the Human Rights Watch report. “They are also at risk of serious crime, including kidnapping, sexual assault, and violence.”

Known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, the Department of Homeland Security’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) were implemented earlier this year as a means of deterring asylum seekers from crossing the U.S. southern border. Previously, all asylum seekers were permitted to remain in the U.S. while their case made its way through the courts.

The policy remains the subject of a federal court challenge. Last week, a union representing asylum officers took the rare step of urging the court to abandon the policy, insisting it was “fundamentally contrary to the moral fabric of our Nation.”

According to the DHS, the administration has the authority to “return the alien to that territory pending a [removal] proceeding,” even if that person is seeking asylum.

The Trump administration also has defended the policy by declaring Mexico a “safe third country.” The HRW report counters that these border cities are anything but secure and argues that the policy has had “serious rights consequences for returned asylum seekers.”

The report released Tuesday details the harrowing experiences of asylum seekers sent to Ciudad Juárez, one of the major border towns.

One woman from Guatemala was returned to Ciudad Juárez, where she said she was sexually assaulted by two men in front of her 4-year-old son.

“I can still feel the dirtiness of what they did in my body,” she told HRW.

Another female asylee described being kidnapped with her 5-year-old daughter and having to pay a ransom to save her life after being returned to Ciudad Juárez.

On top of dire conditions, asylum seekers also face legal and financial challenges when required to remain in Mexico. Many report difficulty accessing legal representation and claim that their personal identification had been seized by Border Patrol agents.

A 21-year-old asylum seeker sent to Ciudad Juárez told HRW that he had been robbed at knifepoint and stabbed in the back, yet the Mexican police has refused to help him because he wasn’t a citizen.

Additionally, the Mexican government told the HRW that there was no program currently in place to issue work visas to asylum seekers waiting in Mexico, making it difficult for many to afford adequate food and shelter while waiting months or years for their day in court.

One asylum seeker describes her return to Ciudad Juárez with her 6- and 3-year-old sons. After being rejected from a shelter and unable to find housing pending an October court date, the woman told HRW that she was considering crossing the border illegally but feared separation from her children.

“If they take my kids, it’s better that they just kill me,” she told HRW.

Although the Homeland Security’s MPPs have not been struck down by U.S. courts, the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in California challenges the policy as a violation of international human rights law. The HRW report directly calls upon the DHS to end the protocols and ensure safe asylum for immigrants, citing U.S. obligations not to return people to places where they face grave danger.

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Posted On 02 Jul 2019

US vs. England in World Cup: US wins without Megan Rapinoe

Sports News US vs. England in World Cup: US wins without Megan Rapinoe

Geert van Erven/Soccrates/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Women’s National Team bested England in the semifinals of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and tensions could not have been higher.

Amid those rising tensions, fans were shocked by the USWNT’s starting lineup announcement about an hour before the game, which showed that star Megan Rapinoe, who scored the team’s only four goals in the knockout stage thus far, would not be starting. Christen Press played in her place.

US Soccer did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment. There is no indication of an injury, FOX reported on-air, and a spokesman said this is “not a disciplinary decision,” Yahoo Sports writer Dan Wetzel tweeted. Officials have said coach Jill Ellis can answer questions after the match.

Despite her absence, the U.S. won 2-1, with American goals scored by Press and team captain Alex Morgan and England’s goal scored by Ellen White.

As the defending champions, the United States has been dominating the World Cup, beating Thailand 13-0 in the opener and winning its knockout games against Spain and host country France 2-1 each.

Throughout this competition, the Americans have been dogged by criticisms of being too proud, celebrating too much and veering into arrogance.

A British tabloid, meanwhile, questioned if the American athletes were “too arrogant.”

“In terms of arrogance I think that’s got nothing to do with us. That’s planning and preparation for our staff. So I think that’s pretty normal,” U.S. coach Ellis said.

She added that “it’s important that our team has confidence” and that she doesn’t “think in any way this is an arrogant team.”

“That, to be honest, is nothing to do with the game,” Alyssa Naeher, U.S. goalkeeper, said separately in response to the incident, according to Reuters. “Our managers operations have scouted and checked out every hotel we’ve ever stayed at or potential hotel that we will stay in to get make sure we’ve got Plan A, Plan B, Plan C.”

Meanwhile, the USWNT is facing allegations of arrogance from the president back home.

After a video was released by Eight by Eight magazine showing star Rapinoe saying she’s “not going to the f—— White House,” President Donald Trump tweeted that she “should WIN first before she TALKS!”

Two days later, Rapinoe scored both of the U.S.’s goals to beat France in the quarter-finals. After her second goal, she faced the crowd with her arms defiantly in the air, a pose many likened to Russell Crowe’s “Are you not entertained?” call from the film “Gladiator.”

“You’re sort of on the stage, so I guess I’m looking at myself as a performer and trying to entertain,” Rapinoe told “GMA” after the pose sparked memes.

“But then Megan, man….. I’ll tell you what. You just cannot shake that girl,” her girlfriend, WNBA star Sue Bird, wrote for The Players’ Tribune about Trump in a semifinals preview piece. “She’s going to do her thing, at her own damn speed, to her own damn rhythm, and she’s going to apologize to exactly NO ONE for it. So when all the Trump business started to go down last week, I mean — the fact that Megan just seemed completely unfazed? It’s strange to say, but that was probably the only normal thing about it.”

When it comes to the game itself, Rapinoe’s teammate Kelley O’Hara told “GMA,” “There’s no way you can’t be confident when you step on the field and look around.”

“I step out there and I have that confidence knowing that I’m stepping out with all of these other amazing players next to me,” she said.

Earlier this year, the U.S. and England competed against each other at the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, where they tied 2-2. The last time the U.S. played England at a World Cup was in 2007, with the U.S. winning 3-0. Of course, there are new members of each team competing this year.

The U.S. will face the winner of Wednesday’s game, Sweden vs. Netherlands, at the finals on Sunday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 02 Jul 2019

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul tease that a ‘Breaking Bad’ reunion might be coming “soon”

Entertainment News  Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul tease that a 'Breaking Bad' reunion might be coming "soon"


Ursula Coyote/AMC (LOS ANGELES) — Is a Breaking Bad reunion even closer than we think?

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are continuing to add fuel to the fire that they may be cooking something up together once again — and no, we don’t mean their characters’ most famous product.

Last week, both actors posted a photo of two donkeys on their Instagram pages with the caption, “Soon.” Now, they’ve posted a photo featuring the two of them wading across a river together with the caption, “Even sooner.”

We already know there’s a Breaking Bad movie in the works at AMC/Netflix — reportedly a sequel centering on Paul’s Jesse Pinkman — but it hasn’t been confirmed whether Cranston would appear.

If Cranston does reprise his role as science teacher-turned-drug kingpin Walter White, it will likely have to be in flashbacks. If you’ve watched the Breaking Bad series finale, you know why.

Of course, both characters might also pop up in a future episode of AMC’s Better Call Saul, which is also a prequel to Breaking Bad. It focuses on Bob Odenkirk’s shady lawyer character from Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman.

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Posted On 02 Jul 2019

Congrats: ‘OITNB’ star Danielle Brooks announces her pregnancy

Entertainment News  Congrats: 'OITNB' star Danielle Brooks announces her pregnancy


Credit: ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) — Orange is the New Black star Danielle Brooks has some major news and she’s ready to share it with the world.

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Brooks revealed that she is pregnant with her first child.

“So elated to finally share this news with you all,” she wrote, captioning a photo of herself holding a pregnancy test. “I’m happily pregnant!”

According to Brooks’ Instagram Story, she’s five months’ along.

Although Brooks did not share the name of the baby’s father, the actress previously had debuted a new beau on Instagram on Valentine’s Day 2018.

“What I’ve always imagined love to feel like,” she wrote at the time, captioning a photo of herself wearing a gown and posing with her boyfriend.

Her boyfriend, who she refers to as “D,” was spotted in another V-Day post this year.

“True love is when your partner agrees to wear a hairnet to ride go-carts,” she wrote, sharing a photo of them together. “#valentinesday Love you D.”

There is no word on whether or not the two are still together.

Meanwhile, Orange Is the New Black returns for its final season on July 26 on Netflix.

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Posted On 02 Jul 2019

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs to be honored with pregame moment of silence

Sports News Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs to be honored with pregame moment of silence

Bob Levey/Getty Images(DALLAS) — Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead on Monday, will be honored with a pregame moment of silence before his team takes on the Texas Rangers Tuesday night.

Skaggs, 27, was found dead in Texas where the Angels were set to play the Texas Rangers that night. Monday’s Angels vs. Rangers game was postponed.

 Skagg’s cause of death was not immediately clear.

Police in Southlake, Texas, said officers found Skaggs when they responded to a report of an unconscious man in a hotel room Monday afternoon.

An autopsy was performed Tuesday and both cause and manner of death are pending, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.

Police said no evidence suggests his death was the result of foul play or a suicide.

“Tyler has, and always will be, an important part of the Angels Family,” the Los Angeles Angels said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Carli and his entire family during this devastating time.”

“All of us at Major League Baseball extend our deepest condolences to Tyler’s wife Carli, their family, their friends and all of his Angels’ teammates and colleagues,” Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said in a statement. “We will support the Angels’ organization through this most difficult period, and we will make a variety of resources available to Tyler’s teammates and other members of the baseball family.”

Skaggs’ fellow MLB players took to Twitter to offer their condolences.


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Posted On 02 Jul 2019

Watch now: Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ is back for a new season

Entertainment News  Watch now: Jerry Seinfeld's 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' is back for a new season


Netflix(NEW YORK) — The piping hot trailer for the new season of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has been served.

The promotional clip for the Netflix series begins with Jerry on a hoverboard, calling out all of the shows that have been inspired by his show’s essential premise in some form or another, such as Carpool Karaoke and Alec Baldwin’s Love Ride.

“If you’re gonna knock us off, get it right!” he says.

We then get a sneak peek of all his guests this season, including Eddie Murphy, Seth Rogen, Ricky Gervais, Matthew Broderick, Jamie Foxx, Sebastian Maniscalco, Martin Short, Mario Joyner, Melissa Villaseñor, Bridget Everett, and Barry Marder.

The new season returns July 19 on Netflix.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 02 Jul 2019

Prince Harry honors his mother’s legacy at The Diana Award National Youth Mentoring Summit event

WORLD NEWS Prince Harry honors his mother's legacy at The Diana Award National Youth Mentoring Summit event

Jon Bond – WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) — Prince Harry honored his mother’s legacy by attending The Diana Award National Youth Mentoring Summit on Tuesday.

Set up in the memory of Diana, the Princess of Wales, the charity looks to inspire positive change for young people through a mentoring program, an anti-bullying initiative and the Diana Award — a “prestigious award which publicly recognizes young people,” according to the palace.

Harry attended the Summit Tuesday afternoon, greeting charity figures and some of the young people who have benefited from the mentoring they have received as part of the charity’s work.

This was the first-ever Diana Award National Youth Mentoring Summit. Harry was met with rapturous applause as he took to the stage to talk about fatherhood and how he aspires to be a role model for his son Archie.

“I’m struck by a few things today, most of which is the power of the invisible role model,” Harry said in a speech. “Perhaps it’s the newfound clarity I have as a father, knowing that my son will always be watching what I do, mimicking my behavior. Maybe one day even following in my footsteps. But it’s not just my role as a father that shows me that. It’s in the people I see every day that don’t realize how inspirational they are to those watching.”

Guests heard stories of how mentoring has changed people’s lives for the better, helping them develop practical skills to have a strong impact on the local and global community.

“The Duke believes that every child should be given the opportunity and support they need to fulfill their potential, regardless of their background or situation,” the Palace said in a statement. “Through a program of public and private visits, His Royal Highness regularly supports projects that enable children from disadvantaged backgrounds to build their skills and confidence.”

The charity visit took place one day after Prince William delighted a small group well-wishers who had gathered to hold a vigil outside Kensington Palace to mark what would have been Diana’s 58th birthday. William shook their hands and posed for photographs, with one of his fans describing the moment as “very emotional.”

‘William told me he knew we’d been coming here for years and thanked us for what we were doing for his mother,” 59-year-old Londoner John Loughrey told MailOnline.” “I’m still shaking now. I feel very emotional.”

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Posted On 02 Jul 2019

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ cast swings in for surprise visit to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Entertainment News  'Spider-Man: Far From Home' cast swings in for surprise visit to Children's Hospital Los Angeles


Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Sony(LOS ANGELES) — The cast of Spider-Man: Far From Home swung in for a very special visit to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal, dressed in their Spider-Man and Mysterio costumes respectively, along with Zendaya. who plays MJ, surprised patients recently with a special advance screening of the movie.

In a clip posted to the Children’s Hospital LA YouTube page, we see the trio popping in to kids’ hospital rooms and giving them high fives, selfies and autographs. Holland is even seen doing a backflip for some of the delighted patients.

“Hey man, I’m Spider-Man,” Holland tells one of the kids. “So, I fight the bad guys and so does Mysterio, we team up to fight the bad guys together, so we keep everybody safe.”

Another little boy tells him, “I love you, and that you shoot webs.”

“I actually used all my webs on the way over here,” Holland tells him.

OK, so maybe he couldn’t demonstrate all of Spidey’s powers, but he definitely brightened the little one’s day.

Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters today.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 02 Jul 2019

Harry Styles may be cast in Elvis Presley biopic; Louis Tomlinson upset over ‘Euphoria’ fan fic scene

Entertainment News  Harry Styles may be cast in Elvis Presley biopic; Louis Tomlinson upset over 'Euphoria' fan fic scene


Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — Elvis Presley was an American icon, but a British guy may end up playing him in a new biopic.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Harry Styles is in the running to portray the King of Rock and Roll in a movie by Australian director Baz Luhrmann. He made his big-screen debut in the Oscar-nominated 2017 film Dunkirk.

Harry is one of five young actors who’ve screen-tested for the role: The others are Whiplash star Miles Teller, Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Kick-Ass fame, Ansel Elgort from The Fault in Our Stars, and Austin Butler, who appeared in TV’s The Shannara Chronicles.

Luhrmann’s movie will focus on Elvis’ relationship with his manager, Col. Tom Parker, who will be played by Tom Hanks.

Previously, Adam Lambert told an interviewer in Australia that he’d like to be considered for the role, but he told ABC Radio that so far, no one has reached out to him.

In other One Direction member news, Louis Tomlinson isn’t happy about a scene in HBO’s new show Euphoria, whose third episode featured an animated scene depicting a sexual encounter between himself and Harry, or as fan fic shippers refer to them, “Larry Stylinson.”

Responding to a fan who tweeted that she hoped Louis and Harry had approved the scene, Louis wrote, “I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it.” 

No word on if he plans to take legal action.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 02 Jul 2019

Mom thanks passenger who befriended 7-year-old son with autism during flight

Alexa Bjornson(NEW YORK) — A mother took to Facebook to publicly thank a stranger for putting her mind at ease during her son’s first solo airplane ride.

Alexa Bjornson of Las Vegas, Nevada, told Good Morning America her son Landon was traveling on June 27 to Portland, Oregon, to see his father. The 7-year-old makes the trip once a year, Bjornson said, but this was Landon’s first time flying alone.

Landon has high-functioning autism and Bjornson wanted to ensure he’d have an enjoyable flight.

“When you have autism you can feel when someone is irritated with you,” Bjornson explained. “My goal was to make sure he felt comfortable with whomever was sitting around him so he could talk and be himself.”

Bjornson decided to write a letter to the person who would wind up sitting next to Landon, in hopes that person would show him kindness.

She wrote, “He might ask you, ‘Are we there yet?’ a few times or get a little loud with his headphones on. If you could please find it in your heart to make him feel comfortable and safe, I would be forever grateful!”

Bjornson also included a $10 gift and her cell phone number at the bottom of the note.

Within 20 minutes of Landon’s plane landing, Bjornson received a text from a man named Ben Pedraza.

“I was Landon’s seat neighbor for his flight to Portland,” Pedraza wrote to Bjornson, along with a selfie of himself posing with Landon. “He did ask if we were there yet several times but he was a great travel buddy. He’s a great kid and you’re a lucky mom.”

Pedraza also wrote in the letter that he donated the $10 to in honor of Landon.

Bjornson shared the letter on Facebook with her friends and family. The public post was quickly shared 134,000 times.

“I was relieved that I had picture-proof that my son had a good flight, he was comfortable and safe and felt like he could be himself,” Bjornson said. “Then, I felt humbled that he donated that money and let me know Landon was no burden to him once so ever.”

“There are good humans on the planet that make him feel like it’s OK to be himself and not make him feel like an annoyance,” she added.

Bjornson said Landon and his dad hope to meet up with Pedraza and his family for lunch while in Oregon.

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