300-pound bear squeezes through California couple’s kitchen window in shocking video

A couple in California received an unexpected visitor earlier this month when a roughly 7-foot, 300-pound black bear entered their home through the kitchen window.

“I still couldn’t understand how a seven-foot bear, 300 pounds, could fit through that (window),” Lane Sykes, one of the residents of the South Lake Tahoe home, told KOLO8.

Sykes told the news station that he and Carole Scofield, who also lives at the home, left for roughly an hour with some friends. During that time, the black bear was able to squeeze its way through a small kitchen window that was left open in search of food.

“The doors were locked. We left the back window open, which is a small window; I have never thought a bear could get in that window,” Skyes added.

Home surveillance footage shows the event unfold. One of the couple’s friends said she saw the bear in the kitchen, according to KOLO8.

“I thought she was kidding,” Scofield said, but she noticed her friend looked “frightened and very scared.”

Scofield told the news station she thinks this is the second time this same bear has broken into their home. The first time, the bear broke down their front door.

In total, the couple has had trouble with a bear on six different occasions during the 20 years they’ve lived in South Lake Tahoe.

Lesa Johnston with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told KOLO8 that bears normally rummage through trash cans in search of food, but they’re also known to look elsewhere.

“Some point in the bear’s life, they gained some type of food reward by breaking in a cabin or a home, so they remember that, so the behavior is likely to be repeated,” Johnston said.

“We are very lucky,” Scofield said. “Both major break-ins, we were very lucky. I know a lot of people have not been. It has been very, very costly.”

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Nashville Predators star Austin Watson arrested on domestic assault charge

Nashville Predators star Austin Watson was arrested by police in Tennessee on Saturday on a charge of domestic assault.

Watson, 26, was released from jail on a $4,500 bond and was due in court on June 28, Franklin Police Lt. Charles Warner told the Associated Press.

The Predators said in a statement that they “are still gathering facts and it’s not appropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

JAPAN AND SENEGAL FANS IMPRESS AT WORLD CUP AFTER HELPING TO CLEAN UP STADIUMS

Team officials noted that they are taking the situation “very seriously,” pledging to fully cooperate with law enforcement’s investigation regarding their star forward.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Athletic the league was aware of the arrest and it would be “dealt with in due course and prior to next season.”

austin watson

Austin Watson, 26, was released from jail on a $4,500 bond and was due in court on June 28, 2018.

 (AP)

“Our focus currently is on the wellbeing and safety of Austin’s wife, their child and Austin himself,” he continued.

Watson was a former first-round draft pick who scored a career-high 14 goals and had five assists in 76 games during the 2017-2018 season. He had five goals and three assists in 13 playoff games.

THREE-TIME SUPER BOWL WINNER ERIK WILLIAMS’ SON CHARGED WITH DOUBLE-MURDER

Watson had 23 goals and 24 assists in 216 career regular-season games, all with the Predators. He signed a three-year, $3.3 million contract last year.

Watson, along with fellow NHL players Mike Fisher, P.K. Subban and Ryan Ellis joined “Unsilence the Violence,” a violence prevention program that “seeks to end the epidemic of violence against women and girls by empowering young men and boys to become the catalyst for cultural change,” according to its website.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

US Navy dropping live bombs in Florida this week

Here’s some advice if you’re going to be in Florida this week: Stay away from Ocala National Forest.

The reason: The U.S. Navy is dropping live bombs there as part of a series of training exercises that will last through Thursday.

F-18 jets leave from a nearby Naval Air Station in Jacksonville and conduct operations in the Pinecastle Range Complex of Ocala National Forest, which is approximately 70 miles north of Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Pinecastle Range Complex encompasses an unfenced 5,760-acre area in the middle of Ocala. According to NAS Jacksonville, the bombs will be dropped in the middle 450 acres of the range from 9 to 11 a.m. each day.

The naval station says jets are also expected to be in the area in the afternoon and evenings conducting bombings. The range complex is about 2 miles west of the Camp Ocala campgrounds and near several hiking trails.  

Residents in the surrounding areas have complained of hearing loud booms from the bombings.

Some have expressed concern the Navy’s activity will disrupt wildlife, pushing the animals out of their habitats and into residential areas.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

Hearing set for California parents accused of shackling kids

Prosecutors were expected to begin making their case Wednesday against a Southern California couple suspected of starving and shackling their children in a case that drew worldwide headlines when the parents were arrested last winter.

David and Louise Turpin are scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in Superior Court in Riverside, where a judge will weigh whether authorities have amassed enough evidence for a trial.

The couple has pleaded not guilty to torture, child abuse and other charges. They were arrested after their 17-year-old daughter jumped out of a window to escape the family’s Perris, California, home in January and called 911.

They are being held on $12 million bail each.

Authorities said their home reeked of human waste and the evidence of starvation was obvious, with the oldest of 13 siblings weighing just 82 pounds. The children were shackled as punishment, denied food and toys and allowed to do little except write in journals, prosecutors have said.

They said the children were isolated from each other and locked in different rooms in small groups; they did not have access to televisions or radios but expressed themselves in the hundreds of journals that investigators seized from the home.

Most of the Turpin children were homeschooled but one of the older boys was allowed to attend classes at a local college. His mother would drive him there, stay outside in the hallway during the class and then take him back home as soon as the class ended, prosecutors said.

After they were freed from the home, the children, who ranged in age from 2 to 29, were immediately hospitalized and eventually released.

The current whereabouts of the children is unknown. A spokeswoman for the county’s social services department declined to discuss the case.

Jack Osborn, an attorney appointed to represent the couple’s seven adult children, said earlier this year they were “doing well.” They have participated in music therapy programs, made crafts and world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma held a special concert for them. They communicated with their younger siblings over Skype.

“They’re happy, they are wanting to move forward, they do not want to dwell on the past and . they want their identity to be now and going forward the things they hope to do, the dreams they have. They do not want people to think of them only as a possible victim, but as young adults setting off on their lives,” he told the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper in February.

Osborn did not respond to an email from The Associated Press this week.

Prosecutors are expected to call law enforcement officers to testify at Wednesday’s hearing, but the children are not expected to take the stand.

David Turpin’s attorney, David Macher, said he was “looking forward to the hearing,” but declined to comment further. Louise Turpin’s lawyer did not immediately respond to request for comment.

___

Taxin reported from Santa Ana.

Ivanka Trump joins House leader McCarthy at GOP fundraiser in California

Ivanka Trump and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made a joint appearance at a Republican fundraising event in California on Monday to corral support for the party in the upcoming midterms. 

The invitation-only event at Harris Construction in Fresno was part of McCarthy’s “Protect the House,” tour to ensure the GOP retains control of Congress.  

California’s Central Valley is seen as one of the last GOP strongholds in a state largely relegated to Democratic representation.

The money raised from Monday’s event will go to Valley congressional candidates David Valadao, Jeff Denham and Elizabeth Heng.

McCarthy told attendees that President Trump planned meet with congressional leadership Tuesday to discuss one of two versions of an immigration bill to face a vote by July, the Fresno Bee reported

One bill, authored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, is favored by conservatives and immigration hardliners. The other is a moderate version likely to be favored by Trump, McCarthy said, according to one attendee. 

The luncheon raised approximately $100,000.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at the Milken Institute 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 30, 2018.    REUTERS/Mike Blake - RC1729D65A90

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been raising funds aimed at keeping Republicans in control of Congress after the November midterms.

 (Reuters)

Protesters assembled ahead of the event with some holding signs reading, “Trump is Nixon,” and “Trump-Nunes: It’s Mueller Time.”

“When something this ugly comes to Fresno, you’ve got to stand up,” one protester told the Bee.

Despite a brief exchange between a Trump supporter and a protester, the event was largely without incident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

President Donald Trump, center, accompanied by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., waves as he departs Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, after a meeting to rally Republicans around a GOP immigration bill.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California are seen at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, June 19, 2018.

 (Associated Press)

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it’s not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so.

Throughout American history, during times of war and unrest, authorities have cited various reasons and laws to take children away from their parents. Here are some examples:

SLAVERY

Before abolition, children of black slaves were born into slavery and could be sold by owners at will. Black women could do little to stop the sale of children and often never saw them again after they were sent away.

Owners also split apart parents who had no legal rights to prevent their sale. To resist, slave families regularly ran away together but faced harsh physical punishment, even death, if caught by slave hunters.

Last week, both White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Attorney Jeff Sessions cited the Bible in defending the policy of forced separation of Latino migrant children. Sessions referenced Romans 13, which urges readers “to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.” The same passage was cited before the Civil War to justify slavery, to allow slave hunters to return runaway slaves to their owners and to pull slave children away from mothers.

NATIVE AMERICAN BOARDING SCHOOLS

After the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre, when the Army slaughtered 150 Lakota men, women and children in the last chapter of America’s long Indian wars, authorities forced Native American families to send their children to government- or church-run boarding schools. The objective, as Carlisle Indian Industrial School founder Capt. Richard H. Pratt put it, was to “kill the Indian in him and save the man.”

At 150 or so Indian schools around the country, officials made Native American children cut their hair and outlawed all Native American languages. They forced children to adopt Christianity and attempted to “Americanize” children by introducing them to white customs and white history.

Native American children returned home almost unrecognizable to their parents.

Still, some children resisted the boarding school experience by setting fires to buildings, running away or taking their own lives. Others continued to speak their native language in secret. Some Navajo “code talkers,” who used a code based on their native language to transmit messages in World War II, were products of military-style boarding schools as children.

POVERTY

During the early 1900s, states sometimes pulled children from poor families and placed them in orphanages. But reformers in the 1920s and 1930s began promoting the idea that children should not be separated from their families, according to “In the Shadow Of the Poorhouse: A Social History Of Welfare In America” by Michael B. Katz.

However, local and state authorities still used poverty as a reason to take children away from Native American and black families, McClain said. Sometimes the ordered separation came over concerns about a parent’s mental health.

Malcolm X in his autobiography recalled welfare workers coming to take him and his siblings away as children from his struggling single mother after their father, an outspoken black preacher, was mysteriously murdered. The future civil rights leader lived in various foster homes and boarding houses. His mother, without her children, had a breakdown and was sent to a mental institution.

IMMIGRATION

During the Great Depression, local authorities in California and Texas participated in a mass deportation of Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans whom they blamed for the economic downturn. Between 500,000 and 1 million Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans were pushed out of the country during the 1930s repatriation, as the removal is sometimes called.

Some families hid children away from relatives in the U.S. to prevent them from being sent to a foreign country they had never visited, according to Francisco Balderrama, a Chicano studies professor at California State University-Los Angeles and co-author of “Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s.”

Many families felt they were being forced to separate from their children, who were U.S. citizens.

“And many children,” Balderrama said, “never saw their parents again.”

JAPANESE INTERNMENT CAMPS

Starting in 1942, when the U.S. was at war with Japan, around 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were ordered by the U.S. government into prison camps around the country. An estimated 30,000 were children.

The 1999 documentary “Children of the Camps” highlighted the trauma children faced while being detained with their grief-stricken parents. Some older children waited to turn 18 so they could volunteer to fight for the U.S. to prove their families’ loyalty despite not wanting to be separated from their parents. Diaries and later interviews show many of those who went into the military did so reluctantly.

Kiyoshi K. Muranaga, whose family was interned at Granada Relocation Center in Colorado, joined the U.S. Army but was killed in Italy. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton.

___

Associated Press Writer Russell Contreras is a member of the AP’s race and ethnicity team. Follow Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras .

___

See AP’s complete coverage of the debate over the Trump administration’s policy of family separation at the border: https://apnews.com/tag/Immigration .

Video of cat being kicked like football prompts search for kicker, camera operator

Animal welfare officials in Kansas City, Mo., reacted with disgust this week after a video surfaced in which a man is seen on a local high school football field, kicking a small black cat as if it were a football.

They said a search is now underway for both the kicker and the person who shot the video, which they believed was shot in May.

The graphic video shows the kitten sailing through the air, perhaps more than 20 yards, before the video ends prior to the cat landing on the ground.

“It was really difficult to watch,” Tori Fugate, with KC Pet Project, told Kansas City’s Fox 4.

Fugate told the station that the organization takes in about 30 animals per day, many of them having suffered trauma.

“We see a lot of those animals come in after they have already been suffering for a long time or have had something happen to them,” Fugate said. “But to actually see it in action happening to an animal, it was really difficult to watch.”

“We see a lot of those animals come in after they have already been suffering for a long time or have had something happen to them. But to actually see it in action happening to an animal, it was really difficult to watch.”

– Tori Fugate, KC Pet Project

Kelli Wachel, a spokeswoman for the Center School District, told Fox 4 that the video was shot in the evening, after school hours, when the public has access to the football field.

She said the district notified Kansas City police and Animal Control as soon as it became aware of the video.

John Baccala, an Animal Control spokesman, told Fox 4 that the Snapchat video was dated May 22, and the Center High School principal alerted authorities May 24.

“We would like to pursue this case as best we can, and the more information we get, the better,” Baccala told the station.

“It’s graphic. It’s disturbing,” Baccala said about the video. “You can insert any number of words in that. We really just want to find the person who did that and the person who shot the video.”

“If someone’s going to treat an animal like that, how are they going to treat a human?” Baccala told the Kansas City Star.

“If someone’s going to treat an animal like that, how are they going to treat a human?”

– John Baccala, Kansas City Animal Control spokesman

The video shows the kicker dressed in black and purple, and at least two other people in addition to the camera holder, the Star reported.

Neither the kicker nor the person filming have been identified yet, so authorities are hoping the release of the video will help identify and locate the suspects, the Star reported.

Anyone with information is urged to call 311 if in Kansas City, or 816-513-1313 from outside the area.

Immigration tensions boil over as Dems accost Trump, intern curses at president

Tensions over illegal immigration and family separations at the border boiled over on Capitol Hill Tuesday night, as President Trump was met with profanity and heckling, blue-faced Democrats on his way to a meeting with House Republicans.

First, as President Trump’s entourage made its way to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office, a congressional intern yelled, “Mr. President, F–k you!” across the Capitol Rotunda.

It was unclear whether Trump heard the remark. The incident occured after visiting hours.

Then, several members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) gathered outside Trump’s meeting with senior Republican officials. When Trump emerged, the representatives heckled him until some were blue in the face, holding signs and screaming.

From left are: Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-NY, Rep. Nanette Barragán, D-Calif., Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., Rep. Juan C. Vargas, D-Calif., and Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., shout in protest as President Donald Trump meets at the Capitol with House Republicans to discuss a GOP immigration bill Tuesday, June 19, 2018, in Washington.. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, center, and other Democratic lawmakers shouted at Trump.

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

TRUMP HUDDLES WITH HOUSE GOP AS OUTRAGE OVER BORDER SEPARATIONS ESCALATES

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., the chair of the CHC, called the separation of children from their families at the border the “worst thing” she has ever seen in her career.

“This is an unusual commander-in-chief … it appears to me he doesn’t care about the consequences,” Grisham said. “He uses incredibly offensive language to defend his policies.”

Grisham defended her colleagues’ decision to shout at the president and stage a dramatic protest as he left the meeting with Republican officials.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, walks with President Donald Trump as they head to a meeting of House Republicans to discuss a GOP immigration bill at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Trump met with top GOP leaders to talk immigration on Capitol Hill Tuesday night — and got a wild reception.

 (AP)

“This is a very unique set of circumstances, and it requires a unique set of extraordinary efforts,” she said.

The outward hostility by members of Congress to a sitting president was highly unusual, and drew comparisons to Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who made international headlines by interrupting former President Barack Obama in 2009 and shouting, “You lie.”

But Grisham told Fox News the treatment of Trump was different, because the policies at the border are particularly “inhumane.”

Two congressmen — Juan Vargas, D-Calif., and Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla. — also engaged in a verbal altercation in the hallway outside Trump’s meeting.

“This is a very unique set of circumstances, and it requires a unique set of extraordinary efforts.”

– Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M.

Then, during his discussions with House GOP members, Trump made a dismissive remark concerning Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., who recently lost a key primary in a race that became a referendum on his repeated, harsh criticisms of the president.

Two sources in the meeting room told The Associated Press that Trump joked: “I want to congratulate Mark on a great race.”

A senior House Republican who is a Trump supporter told Fox News that the president’s comment was “unnecessary” and “poor form.” Another senior GOP lawmaker called it a “low blow.”

Another GOP member told Fox News the room got “pretty quiet” after the remark and some attendees booed in a low tone of voice.

Despite the brouhaha, top Republicans said there had been progress on a legislative solution to the separation of illegal immigrant children from their parents at the border.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Fox News that a solution could be coming in a “matter of days.”

Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Samuel Chamberlain and Anne Ball contributed to this eport.

Gregg Re is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @gregg_re.

Canadian senate passes weed bill but legalization delayed

Canada’s Senate gave final passage Tuesday to the federal government’s bill to legalize cannabis, though Canadians will have to wait at least a couple of months to legally buy marijuana as their country becomes the second in the world to make pot legal nationwide.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government had hoped to make pot legal by July 1, but the government has said provincial and territorial governments will need eight to 12 weeks following Senate passage and royal assent to prepare for retail sales. Trudeau’s government is expected to decide a date that would legalize it in early or mid-September. A spokesman for Trudeau said they are not in a rush to do it.

“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate,” Trudeau tweeted.

Canada is following the lead of Uruguay in allowing a nationwide, legal marijuana market, although each Canadian province is working up its own rules for pot sales. The federal government and the provinces also still need to publish regulations that will govern the cannabis trade.

The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 52-29.

“We have seen in the Senate tonight a historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition of cannabis in this country, 90 years of needless criminalization, 90 years of a just-say-no approach to drugs that hasn’t worked,” said independent Sen. Tony Dean, who sponsored the bill in the upper house.

Canada is the largest developed country to end a nationwide prohibition on marijuana use. In the neighboring U.S., nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana. California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States’ biggest legal marijuana marketplace on Jan. 1.

The Canadian government largely followed the advice of a marijuana task force headed by former Liberal Health Minister Anne McLellan as well as the advice of former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who is the parliamentary secretary to the justice minister.

The task force recommended adults be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of pot and grow up to four plants. It also said marijuana should not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.

The most controversial aspect of Canada’s move to legalize marijuana nationwide has been setting the minimum age for use at 18 or 19, depending on the province. That is lower than in U.S. states that have embraced legalization.

Advocates argued that putting the limit at 21 would encourage a black market and drive youths into the hands of criminals. But some health experts have worried that the lower age will encourage use of a substance that can have long-term consequences on still-maturing brains.

Conservative senators remained staunchly opposed to legalization.

“We’re going to have all those involved in illegal marijuana peddling right now becoming large corporation,” Conservative Sen. Leo Housakos said. “When you normalize the use of marijuana and you’re a young person and you had certain reservations because of the simple fact that it was illegal, there’s, I believe, a propensity to have somebody be more inclined to use it.”

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Find complete AP marijuana coverage here: http://apnews.com/tag/LegalMarijuana

Governors pull National Guard troops from border to protest Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy

A group of governors are banding together to protest President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy as the uproar over the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border continues. Some are withdrawing National Guard troops from the south, while others are pledging to withhold resources.

In April, Trump requested National Guard troops — around 2,000 to 4,000 — be deployed to the southern border. His order invoked a federal law called Title 32, under which governors retain command and control of Guard members from their states.

Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas and Missouri were among the first states to agree to the president’s request. At the time, governors from those surrounding states praised Trump for his commitment toward protecting the border.

WHAT TRUMP’S ‘ZERO-TOLERANCE’ IMMIGRATION POLICY MEANS FOR CHILDREN SEPARATED FROM FAMILIES AT BORDER

“Missourians are grateful to the President for recognizing the need to secure our borders,” former Gov. Eric Greitens, R-Mo., said at the time. “We are proud that Missouri troops will play a support role in guarding against terrorism, protecting Americans from cartel violence, and enforcing our immigration laws.”

“Anything we can do to further bolster these efforts is good news for Arizona and for our national security,” Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., agreed.

But some governors, both Republican and Democrat, have since changed their positions after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a “zero-tolerance” policy in April, which has resulted in the separation of nearly 2,000 children from their families within a 6-week period.

TRUMP’S NATIONAL GUARD REQUEST FOR US-MEXICO BORDER DRAWS RESPONSE FROM SURROUNDING STATES

Here’s a list of states that are refusing to send National Guard troops and other resources to the U.S.-Mexico border as of June 19.

Colorado

In a June 18 executive order, Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., forbid state agencies from providing any resources “for the purpose of separating children from their parents or legal guardians on the sole ground that their families are in violation of federal immigration laws.”

Hickenlooper called the separation of children from their parents at the border “cruel” and “un-American,” adding that it threatens kids’ mental and physical health.

The order says state agencies must adhere to federal law, providing services to anyone who is legally entitled despite their immigration status.

“We urge the administration to stop this cruel practice. If the White House won’t act, Congress should. No political end is worth destroying families and traumatizing children,” Hickenlooper said, urging lawmakers to support the Keep Families Together Act.

Maryland

“Immigration enforcement efforts should focus on criminals, not separating innocent children from their families,” Gov. Larry Hogan, R-Md., said in a June 18 tweet. The next day, Hogan ordered four crew members and a helicopter to return to its station in New Mexico.

Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker, R-Mass., canceled plans to send a helicopter and military analysts to back up border patrol due to the “inhumane treatment of children,” his spokeswoman told The Washington Post on June 19.

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., said Trump’s immigration policies are resulting in “human tragedy” — and New York will have no part in it.

“In the face of the federal government’s inhumane treatment of immigrant families, New York will not deploy National Guard to the border,” Cuomo said in a June 18 statement.

The next day, Cuomo announced he was filing a multi-agency lawsuit against the Trump administration for “violating the Constitutional rights of immigrant children and their families” who have been detained and separated at the border. The governor said there are at least 70 children currently being held in federal facilities in his state alone.

Virginia

Gov. Ralph Northam, D-Va., ordered four National Guard soldiers and one helicopter to return from the southwest on June 19.

“Virginia benefits from the important work of securing our border and we have a responsibility to contribute to that mission. However, we also have a responsibility to stand up to policies or actions that run afoul of the values that define us as Americans,” he said in an online statement.

Northam said the state would be willing to return resources to the border once the Trump administration puts an end to its current “inhumane” immigration policy.

Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trump huddles with House GOP on immigration as border outrage escalates

President Trump met with House Republicans Tuesday to discuss immigration legislation as lawmakers searched for a way to end the administration’s policy of separating families who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

After the meeting broke up, the White House announced that Trump had endorsed legislation negotiated between GOP leaders and moderate Republicans that promises to “solve the border crisis and family separation issue by allowing for family detention and removal.”

A person in the room told Fox News that Trump also endorsed an immigration bill authored by conservative Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., but that measure is not expected to pass the House.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said that Trump told lawmakers he was “with you 100” percent, but one senior House Republican told Fox News that Trump’s pitch for the so-called “compromise” bill was “underwhelming” and was unlikely to persuade members to get behind it.

Trump was uncharacteristically reticent as he entered and left the meeting, giving only brief remarks to reporters as he arrived at the Capitol: “The system has been broken for many years. The immigration system, it’s been a really bad, bad system, probably the worst anywhere in the world. We’re going to try and see if we can fix it.”

As the meeting broke up, Trump walked by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus holding signs saying “Families belong together.”

“Mr. President, don’t you have kids?” they yelled as Trump walked away. “Don’t you have kids, Mr. President? It’s not the America we know and it’s not biblical,” referencing past remarks by Attorney General Jeff Sessions defending the policy as part of settled U.S. law.

As he left the Capitol, Trump told reporters that he and lawmakers “had a great meeting.”

“These are laws that have been broken for many years — decades,” Trump said, “but we had a great meeting.”

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News’ “Special Report” that the issue of separated families had come up “a couple of times” during the meeting.

“The president was very compassionate about it,” said Meadows, who added that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, had pressed him on the matter. “It’s not lost on him that we’ve got to fix this, but at the same time … I think the pressure is on us from the American people to get it done this week and I believe we will.”

“The president wants this practice to end,” Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., told Fox News. “I know that the executive branch has the power to end these separations and they should at least while Congress is trying to find a permanent solution, but he also said that he doesn’t like those images and that we need to find a way legislatively to end this.”

House Republicans have revised the compromise bill to include a provision loosening rules that now limit the amount of time minors can be held to 20 days. Under the legislation, children could be detained with their parents for extended periods.

The revised provision also would give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to use $7 billion in border technology funding to pay for family detention centers, said a House Republican source.

A person in the room told Fox News that Trump endorsed several provisions that are only in the compromise bill, including advanced appropriations for his long-promised border wall.

“It’s humane. It’s smart. It’s inexpensive,” Trump told lawmakers, according to the person. “We are going to get this done. I’m with you. I love you people.”

In the Senate, Republican Ted Cruz of Texas has proposed legislation that would allow detained families to stay together in custody while expediting their deportation proceedings.

Cruz’s bill would double the number of federal immigration judges, authorize new temporary shelters to house migrant families and limit the processing of asylum cases to no more than 14 days — a goal immigrant advocates say would be difficult to meet.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters he was reaching out to Democrats for bipartisan backing, since the proposal would need to reach a 60-vote threshold to advance in that chamber.

But Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York signaled that no such support would be coming, saying it already was in Trump’s power to keep the families together.

“There’s no need for legislation. There’s no need for anything else. You can do it. Mr. President you started it, you can stop it.”

Under the administration’s current policy, all unlawful crossings are referred for prosecution — a process that moves adults to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and sends many children to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Under the Obama administration, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation.

More than 2,300 minors were separated from their children at the border from May 5 through June 9, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Fox News’ Bret Baier, Chad Pergram, Peter Doocy, Kelly Chernenkoff, Jason Donner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nine candidates vying to replace GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold in Texas special election

A parade of candidates of are angling to replace Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, whose seat has been vacant for months.

Farenthold was dogged by sexual harassment allegations and ethics scandals when he abruptly resigned in April. That set off a scramble to fill his seat – with nine candidates entering the race to try and fill it.

The high interest in the race comes even though the term will likely be for three months.

In two weeks, voters will head to the polls for the special election, but it’s highly likely there will be a second round. The top vote-getter has to capture more than 50 percent of the votes on June 30 to win the race outright.

But the term ends Jan. 3, so there will be another race for the seat in November. Only three candidates are vying for the seat in the general election.  

Cloud

Republican candidate Michael Cloud emerged as the party’s winner in last month’s primary runoff. He hopes to win the special and November elections to ensure continuity in the district.

 (Fox News)

There are three Republicans, three Democrats two independents and one libertarian in the running for the special election. Republicans are fighting to keep the seat they’ve held for eight years –but Democrats believe they have a shot at reclaiming the district, which is predominantly Republican and Hispanic.

Republican Michael Cloud is the party’s front-runner.

Holguin

Democratic candidate 30-year-old Eric Holguin will also be running in June and November. He aims to rally energized Democrats who want to see change.

 (Fox News)

“People in our district understand how important the principles in our Constitution are and the principles our founders gave us,” he said. “And, I’m sure that they’re going to support those same principles in this election.”

Eric Holguin, a 30-year-old Democrat, is hoping his youth will resonate with those looking for a fresh face.

Cloud, Daniel Tinus, a libertarian, and Holguin are the only ones in the large pack on the November ballot. The others only plan to hold the seat for a few months.

Port Aransas

Candidates say continuity of representation is important in a district still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. This is one of dozens of damaged homes in Port Aransas, Texas.

 (Fox News)

“It would be ideal if one of the three candidates on the November ballot won the special [election] as it would promote a degree of continuity,” Tinus said. “So, I question the motives of those who are not on the November ballot in relation to the needs of the district.”

“The last thing these counties need right now is the additional cost of holding a runoff election in the fall following the upcoming special election,” Bruun said in an e-mail.

“I am solely focused on my own,” Cutright said. “I welcome a challenge and am happy to see so many individuals willing to serve their community and country.”

Madeleine Rivera is a multimedia reporter based in Houston, Texas.

Ohio sheriff’s office uses drone to locate boy’s stolen ATV

An Ohio sheriff’s office says it used a specific tool as part of its efforts to track down a missing ATV on Sunday: a drone.

“Patrol responded to a report of a stolen ATV this morning,” the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office explained in a Faceook post. “The owner stated that his son’s new ATV was taken.”

Deputies said they used a drone to survey the surrounding area, following tire tracks left behind that led officers to an abandoned house. The sheriff’s office told Fox News on Tuesday it took approximately 10 minutes to recover the ATV.

“Ground units then located the ATV covered with brush. End result, one happy kid!” the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities shared a photo of the youngster after he was reunited with his ATV.

FORMIDABLE ‘JAGUAR’ RECON VEHICLE REVEALED, TOUTS POWERFUL CANON AND ANTI-TANK MISSILES

The Facebook post received a handful of comments, several of which congratulated the sheriff’s office.

“Good job. What is the policy on drone usage and the preservation of privacy?” one user asked.

“A lot to explain here but in short, we have a policy in place that addresses those issues and the 4th Amendment is our guide in protecting the privacy of those we serve,” the sheriff’s office replied.

No one has been charged at this time, police said Tuesday.

Cops hunt ‘hotel rapist’ linked to six sex assaults in DC area

Officials are working to identify a suspect they are calling the “D.C.-area Hotel Rapist,” believed to be responsible for violently raping at least six women in the Washington D.C. area over a seven-year span.

Investigators say between Aug. 22, 1998, and Feb. 6, 2006, a serial rapist violently assaulted six to nine women — most of them hotel housekeepers — in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia. They say six of the attacks have been definitively linked to one person by DNA samples.

According to officials, the assailant would enter hotel rooms inconspicuously and rape housekeepers as they cleaned rooms. They say the suspect used a box cutter, a necktie or a cord to threaten and harm his victims in several of the reported incidents.

One case took place on Dec. 1, 2002, in a hotel room at the Hilton on Colesville Road in Silver Spring, Md., where officials say they found a box cutter with the name “Debbie” written on it that was used by the suspect in his attack.

Then, in their investigation of a sexual assault on May 11, 2003 at the Renaissance Hotel in Northwest D.C., police say they obtained a ring that belonged to the suspect.

Rapist evidence

Police recovered a box cutter and a ring from two of the alleged attack sites.

 (FBI)

Police say they also were able to obtain DNA linked to the suspect from sexual assaults on May 23, 2003 at the Jefferson Hotel in Northwest D.C.; June 6, 2003 at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Arlington, Va.; and June 9, 2003, at the Courtyard by Marriot Hotel in Greenbelt, Md.

The suspect was described by authorities as an African-American male, between 5 feet-7 inches and 5-feet-10-inches tall with a medium to stocky build, brown eyes, black hair, and a medium to dark complexion.

At the time of the assaults, he was believed to be in his 20s to 30s, but now officials said they believe he would be in his late 30s to late 40s.

In a new indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, officials were able to obtain the DNA profile of the unknown suspect on charges stemming from the two attacks that took place in the District.

This is the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has ever indicted a John Doe DNA profile.

Investigators say they also identified several instances of suspicious activity or assaults at area hotels. Three of the possibly related instances occurred in hotel rooms, including one in Arlington in 1998, one in Takoma Park in 2005 and one in Alexandria in 2006, according to police.

The FBI and the police departments of D.C., Montgomery County (Md.), Prince George’s County (Md.), Greenbelt (Md.) and Arlington County (Va.) are offering a combined reward of up to $45,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the suspect.

Click for more from Fox5DC.com.

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life.

So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for the United States.

Two months later, she sits in a federal prison south of Seattle. The boy, Abel Alexander, is in custody at a children’s home across the country in upstate New York. She has no idea when she might see him again.

“I still haven’t been able to talk to him,” Orantes told The Associated Press in Spanish as she wept through a telephone interview Monday from the prison. “The most difficult is not seeing him.”

Her story is emblematic of the 2,000 instances in which President Donald Trump’s administration has separated minors from their migrant parents in an effort to deter illegal immigration. The practice has provoked a national uproar fueled by stories of children being torn from their mothers’ arms and of parents being deported without their kids.

The administration adopted a new “zero tolerance” policy in April designed to curb a wave of Central American migrants who say they are fleeing violence at home. Homeland Security officials now refer all cases of illegal entry for prosecution.

Authorities say they are required to remove the children before they can prosecute the parents, but many parents, including Orantes, have remained separated from their children long after being convicted.

Trump has both applauded the practice and falsely blamed Democrats for it.

“We will not apologize for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does, for doing the job that the American people expect us to do,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the National Sheriffs’ Association in New Orleans. “Illegal actions have and must have consequences. No more free passes, no more get-out-of-jail-free cards.”

The phone call that prompted Orantes’ monthlong journey to the U.S. border was no idle threat, she said. About three years ago, Abel’s uncle was kidnapped by extortionists and freed only after the family paid up, according to her attorney, Matt Adams, legal director of the Seattle-based Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

“When they don’t get their money, they kill people,” said Orantes, 26.

This time, the demand was more than they could muster. And they had only a week to pay, she said.

She and her son split from the boy’s father in Guatemala. He remains in hiding, and Orantes said she does not know where he is. Upon reaching the border, she and Abel found it impossible to apply for asylum at a port of entry, Adams said.

“A lot of people are showing up at the border to apply for asylum and are being told, ‘We don’t have capacity for them,'” Adams said. “It’s not like they can just stand in a line for several days, because then the Mexican officials will grab them and deport them. So they’re then forced to go through the ravine or the river.”

That’s what they did. The pair crossed illegally into Texas and immediately reported themselves to immigration authorities and requested asylum, Adams said.

They were separated so Orantes could be prosecuted.

The woman said she was moved to different detention facilities, including in Laredo, Texas, and placed among other desperate, crying mothers. At one point, officials brought Abel to her, she said.

“They told me, ‘Say bye to him because he’s being transferred.’ I asked where,” she recounted. “They just told me to say bye to him. … He just started crying, saying, ‘Don’t leave me, Mom.’

“I just said, ‘It’ll be OK.’ That’s all I said.”

Orantes was detained on May 22 with about 20 other people near Roma, Texas, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. She was convicted of the misdemeanor of unlawfully entering the U.S. and was sentenced to time served — a development she thought would reunify her with Abel.

Instead, with detention centers overflowing on the border, she became one of more than 1,600 detainees transferred by ICE to federal prisons.

She was sent June 6 to the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac, where she remains with more than 200 other border detainees, waiting to hear whether her asylum request will proceed. The conditions there are better than they were at the immigration jails, she said.

Before Trump’s policy changes, she likely would not have been prosecuted, but instead allowed to remain with her son and granted an interview to determine whether she had a credible fear of persecution or torture in her home country. If officials found that she did, she and Abel would probably have been released while their immigration case continued.

It was weeks before she learned her son’s whereabouts, she said. She has not spoken with him. Her attorney said she has no money and is not allowed to make collect calls to the facility in Kingston, New York, where he is held. The boy has been able to call her sister, Maria Orantes, who lives in Maryland and has petitioned for custody, without success.

“He doesn’t feel well there,” Maria Orantes said in a phone interview. “When he calls, he’s crying. He doesn’t want to be there.”

The Department of Health and Human Services, whose Office of Refugee Resettlement oversees the placement of migrant children separated from their families, did not immediately return an email seeking comment about why the boy had not been placed with his aunt.

Blanca Orantes said she had hoped to live with her sister.

“I wanted to work,” she said. “Raise my kid. Be a good person, get ahead, have some money and not hide. I thought it would be different.”

___

Follow Gene Johnson at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle and Manuel Valdes at https://twitter.com/ByManuelValdes .

The list of celebrities upset by US border policy grows

Country music icon Willie Nelson has extended an offer to meet President Donald Trump at one of the detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border to better understand what’s happening, the latest attempt by a celebrity hoping to end the administration’s policy of separating families at border crossings.

John Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, have donated and raised $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union. Ellen DeGeneres tweeted a link to groups fighting the policy. And Kate Walsh has pleaded with critics to call their senators and demand a change.

The separations stem from a policy that turns all cases of people trying to enter the country illegally over for criminal prosecution. President Donald Trump has defended the policy, which has taken nearly 2,000 immigrant children away from their parents.

Stars like Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Alyssa Milano, Mark Hamill, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Judd Apatow, Kumail Nanjiani, Piper Perabo and Common have all denounced the policy. Oprah Winfrey wrote to her 42.7 million followers: “Babies torn from their parents. Can’t stand it!”

The appeals from celebrities come a few weeks after reality TV star Kim Kardashian West visited the White House to press her case to pardon a woman serving a life sentence for drug offenses. Trump later did.

Nelson tweeted to the President on Monday, asking him to join him in a visit to the centers “to better understand what’s happening there.” Nelson’s publicist confirmed that the tweet came from the 85-year-old country singer, which was posted on his wife Annie’s Twitter account.

In a statement last week to Rolling Stone, Nelson was even more critical, saying, “Christians everywhere should be up in arms.” He cited lyrics from the song “Living in the Promiseland” from his 1986 album, “The Promiseland.”

Jennifer Nettles, another country artist, weighed in Tuesday, writing on Twitter: “Speaking of borders, I do believe loving people know that regardless of politics, there are some lines you do not cross. Protecting children seems to be one we can all agree on.”

Tony and Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner also added his voice to the effort, calling the policy “monstrous” and saying he is “shocked” to find America implementing it.

“I could never have imagined a moment when the federal government is involved in putting children in cages, separating them from their families, and really engaging in human rights violations of a criminal nature,” Kushner told The Associated Press on Monday night.

___

Associated Press writer John Carucci contributed to this report.

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

US Air Force to resume B-1 bomber flights after fleet was grounded due to ejector seat issue

The U.S. Air Force says it will resume B-1 bomber flights “this week,” following a fleet-wide grounding of the supersonic bomber earlier this month due to an issue with the ejection seat system.

Air Force Global Strike Command, based at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, announced the resumption of operations in a statement, but said the issue with the “egress system” remains under investigation and made no mention of the problem being fixed although it said the threat to the crew was now reduced.

“We have high confidence that the fleet’s egress systems are capable and the fleet is ready to return to normal flight operations,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, 8th Air Force Commander, for the Air Force bomber force.  

The grounding of the B-1 fleet occurred weeks after a B-1B Lancer made an emergency landing at a civilian airport in Midland, Texas. The four crew members onboard the aircraft were not injured.

US AIR FORCE B-1 BOMBER FLEET GROUNDED AFTER ISSUE WITH EJECTION SEATS, OFFICIALS SAY

“During the safety investigation process following an emergency landing of a B-1B in Midland, an issue with ejection seat components was discovered that necessitated the stand-down,” Air Force Global Strike officials said at the time.

The grounding of the bomber fleet affected deployed forces as well.

In April, a pair of B-1 bombers deployed to Qatar were used to fire 19 missiles into Syria to destroy a research center used for President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons program. 

AIR FORCE MAPS TWO-FOLD FUTURE PLAN FOR THE B-1 BOMBER

B-1s were also used last year to fly “show of force” missions near the Korean Peninsula as tensions ramped up with North Korea.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews

Father’s Day inspires Washington officer to recreate police photo with son 20 years later

One father-son duo in Washington took a trip down memory lane in light of Father’s Day this year.

Officer Andy Gould with the Auburn Police Department and his son recreated a 20-year-old photo.

In 1998, the pair smiled for a photo, which shows Gould’s son sitting on his lap inside of a patrol car.

“When I get bigger I’m going to be my Dad’s partner and catch bad guys and burglars,” the caption on the original photo reads.

On Sunday, the two re-created the moment — though as the police department noted on Facebook, it was a “hard squeeze” with his son’s 6’7” frame.

“Recreating the photo 20 years later was a wonderful tribute to father and son. Hope all you father’s out there had as wonderful a day as our own Officer Gould!” the police department continued.

Gould’s son is a sheriff’s deputy with the King County Sheriff’s Office, according to Fox25.

The photo garnered hundreds of reactions on Facebook. 

“They need a bigger police vehicle,” one commenter remarked on the photo.

“That’s just great. Can’t stop laughing,” another wrote.

As of Tuesday morning, the picture had more than 3,000 reactions and 2,000 shares.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Woodchucks stole veterans’ flags from Massachusetts cemetery, cops say

A suspected theft of American flags from a cemetary in western Massachusetts turned out to be the work of a four-legged vandal, according to officials.

Residents in Adams, Mass. initially believed a person was behind the vandalism at Bellevue Cemetery. However, investigators have discovered a hole near the origin of the flags, indicating woodchucks are involved.

“Of all the things that go on in today’s world, we have a woodchuck problem in our cemetery stealing flags,” Adams Police Chief Richard Tarsa told the Boston Globe. “There is an active woodchuck burrow up there, and if you look around in the dirt there are pieces of fabric and pieces of a wooden stake. Right now, there is every indication that it’s quite possible a woodchuck is using the flags in its burrow.”

A total of 12 to 18 flags have been vandalized at the cemetery, according to officials.

This is not the first time woodchucks have been caught taking American flags. In 2012, woodchucks were suspected of stealing up to 75 flags from Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson, New York.

Police have not ruled out the involvement of humans and are continuing to monitor Bellevue Cemetery.