Nation and World briefs for June 29

Trump says he could meet North Korea’s Kim at DMZ

OSAKA, Japan — President Donald Trump on Saturday invited North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to shake hands during a visit by Trump to the demilitarized zone with South Korea.

ADVERTISING


Trump is scheduled to fly to South Korea later Saturday after he concludes meetings at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, including with the president of China. He told reporters during a breakfast with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he would be visiting the heavily fortified area between the two Koreas.

“We’re going there,” the president said.

Shortly before the breakfast, Trump tweeted an invitation for Kim to meet him there. “If Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”

“All I did is put out a feeler if you’d like to meet,” Trump said later of the invitation, adding that he’s not sure of Kim’s whereabouts.

Top immigration official: Border crossings dropping

YUMA, Ariz. — The acting secretary of Homeland Security said Friday that he expected 25% fewer migrants to cross the border this month, as officials in Yuma unveiled the newest temporary facility meant to detain children and families.

That number of illegal crossings would still be too high, but it was a start, Kevin McAleenan said, crediting Mexico with a concentrated effort to stop Central Americans before they arrived even to Mexico — a push prompted by threats of tariffs from President Donald Trump.

The president has seen numbers of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border skyrocket under his term despite his hardline policies and tough talk. More than 100,000 people, mostly families from Central America, have crossed the border each month over the past few months. Trump sees the monthly border numbers as a benchmark for success, and in the past when he felt numbers were too high, he threatened to shut down the border.

McAleenan dismissed the idea that a projected decrease in June was due in part to hot summer months, traditionally a time fewer people cross.

“These initiatives are making an impact,” he said.

Widow, mother of drowning victims returns to El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A Salvadoran woman whose husband and toddler daughter drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas this week returned to her country Friday ahead of the bodies of her lost loved ones, a heartbreaking photograph of whom prompted an outpouring of grief.

Tania Vanessa Ávalos arrived in El Salvador with a family friend who had gone with them on their ill-fated journey to the United States. Visibly shaken, she did not comment. Officials say she has asked the media to respect her mourning and leave her alone.

Authorities decided for logistical reasons to transport by land the bodies of husband Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and Valeria, 23 months, and they were expected to arrive Sunday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mauricio Cabrera said the tragedy “has dismayed the national and global public opinion.”

Martínez and Valeria were swept away by the border river between Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday, and their bodies were found the next morning.

Life sentence for killing at Charlottesville protest

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — An avowed white supremacist who deliberately drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a young woman and injuring dozens, apologized to his victims Friday before being sentenced to life in prison on federal hate crime charges.

James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, had pleaded guilty in March to 29 of 30 hate crimes in connection with the 2017 attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured more than two dozen others.

Prosecutors and Fields’ lawyers agreed that federal sentencing guidelines called for a life sentence. But his attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski to consider a sentence of “less than life,” hoping he would take into account Fields’ troubled childhood and mental health issues.

Just before Urbanski announced his sentence, the 22-year-old Fields, accompanied by one of his lawyers, walked to a podium in the courtroom and apologized.

“Every day I think about how things could have gone differently and how I regret my actions,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

US judge blocks Indiana 2nd trimester abortion procedure ban

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge blocked an Indiana law that would ban a second-trimester abortion procedure on Friday, just days before the law was set to come into force.

The order putting the Indiana law on hold was released hours after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to revive a similar law in Alabama that sought to ban dilation and evacuation abortions.

The law passed by Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature this spring calls the procedure “dismemberment abortion.” It was set to become effective on July 1.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sued on behalf of two doctors who perform dilation and evacuation abortions. Under the law, a doctor who performs the procedure could face a felony charge, punishable by up to six years in prison.

Indiana’s attorneys maintained the state had a valid role in limiting types of abortion procedures, citing a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld a federal law banning the method.

Senate fails to limit Trump war powers amid Iran tensions

WASHINGTON — Political unease over the White House’s tough talk against Iran is reviving questions about President Donald Trump’s ability to order military strikes without approval from Congress.

The Senate fell short Friday, in a 50-40 vote, on an amendment to a sweeping Defense bill that would require congressional support before Trump acts. It didn’t reach the 60-vote threshold needed for passage. But lawmakers said the majority showing sent a strong message that Trump cannot continue relying on the nearly two-decade-old war authorizations Congress approved in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The House is expected to take up the issue next month.

“A congressional vote is a pretty good signal of what our constituents are telling us — that another war in the Middle East would be a disaster right now, we don’t want the president to just do it on a whim,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a co-author of the measure with Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.

ADVERTISING


“My gut tells me that the White House is realizing this is deeply unpopular with the American public.”

The effort in the Senate signals discomfort with Trump’s approach to foreign policy. Four Republicans joined most Democrats in supporting the amendment, but it faces steep resistance from the White House and the Pentagon wrote a letter opposing it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.