Reunited immigrant children scooped up into parents’ arms
SAN DIEGO — Lugging little backpacks, smiling immigrant children were scooped up into their parents’ arms Tuesday as the Trump administration scrambled to meet a court-ordered deadline to reunite dozens of youngsters forcibly separated from their families at the border.
In Grand Rapids, Mich., two girls and a boy who had been in temporary foster care were reunited with their Honduran fathers at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement center about three months after they were split up.
The three fathers were “just holding them and hugging them and telling them that everything was fine and that they were never going to be separated again,” said immigration lawyer Abril Valdes.
One of the fathers, Ever Reyes Mejia, walked out of the ICE center carrying his beaming son and the boy’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack. The boy was secured in a booster seat, and father and son were driven away. Lawyers said the fathers were too distraught to speak to the news media.
The Justice Department said more than 50 children under age 5 could be back in the arms of their parents by the deadline at the end of the day.
Trump lands in Europe, says Putin ‘easiest’ of his meetings
BRUSSELS — With Europe’s wary eyes upon him, President Donald Trump launched a weeklong trip there on Tuesday with harsh criticism for NATO allies and predicted the “easiest” leg of his journey would be his scheduled sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As he departed the White House for a four-nation European tour, Trump did little to reassure allies fretting over the risk of damage he could do to the 69-year-old trans-Atlantic mutual defense pact and his potential embrace of Putin during a summit in Helsinki.
Trump said Tuesday he “can’t say right now” if Putin is a friend or foe, but called him a “competitor.” The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to boost Trump’s candidacy, and warns of further attempts at interference both in the 2018 midterms and in European elections.
Trump arrived in Brussels on the eve of the NATO summit after repeated attacks on the pact. He told reporters in Washington before leaving that “Frankly it helps them a lot more than it helps us” and then later tweeted from Air Force One that he may demand reimbursements from the European member nations.
Trump has been pressing NATO countries to fulfill their goal of spending that 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense by 2024. During his presidential campaign, he suggested he might only come to the defense of NATO nations that fulfilled their obligation. And a year ago, during his first visit to its Belgium headquarters, Trump initially declined to explicitly support the organization’s defense agreement.
China lets Nobel widow go to Berlin after long house arrest
BERLIN — In the fall of 2010, Liu Xia traveled to a prison in northeast China to tell her husband, the dissident intellectual Liu Xiaobo, that he had just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. That was the last time she left home as a free woman.
Until this week.
China on Tuesday allowed Liu Xia to fly to Berlin, ending an eight-year house arrest that drew international criticism and made the soft-spoken, chain-smoking 57-year-old poet with a shaven head a tragic icon known around the world.
As Liu Xia came off a plane Tuesday in Helsinki, Finland to transfer to a flight to Berlin, she spread her arms and grinned widely at a waiting photographer. Her plane from Helsinki landed in the German capital a few hours later and she was seen getting into a car at Berlin’s Tegel airport.
The release of Liu Xia, who was never charged with a crime, results from years of campaigning by Western governments and activists and comes just days before the one-year anniversary Friday of Liu Xiaobo’s death. Liu’s 11-year prison sentence and his wife’s subsequent detention in her home had become glaring symbols of the authoritarian government’s determination to prevent the couple from becoming an inspiration to other Chinese.
Will Barr’s racist tweet doom ‘Roseanne’ Emmy chances?
LOS ANGELES — If “Roseanne” has a shot at Emmy honors, it’s because television academy voters are willing to overlook Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet that ended the revival after one triumphant season.
Barr, the sitcom and its cast are vying for Emmy nominations to be announced Thursday morning. They were submitted for consideration before the show was axed and no one — including its lightning-rod star — asked to be withdrawn.
The comedian could have “ducked and hidden” because of her online insult targeting former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett that prompted ABC to cancel the series despite its high ratings, said Tom O’Neil, author of “The Emmys.”
Barr and others who worked on the show are hoping that attention will be focused on what they achieved and not the controversy, said O’Neil, editor of the Gold Derby awards handicapping website.
The “Roseanne” revival threw a political twist into the mix: Barr’s support for President Donald Trump was mirrored by her character, Roseanne Conner, who gleefully clashed with her liberal sister. Viewers liked the approach, making it the most-watched series last season with an average audience of 18.7 million tuning in on Tuesdays.