Nation and World briefs for September 11

Mugabe’s body thought to be leaving Singapore for Zimbabwe

SINGAPORE — A vehicle thought to be carrying the body of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe left a Singapore funeral parlor Wednesday morning before it will lie in state in the African nation he ruled for decades.

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Police escorting the vehicle Wednesday morning said the convoy was heading to the airport.

Mugabe died Friday in a Singapore hospital at age 95. Zimbabwe’s Vice President Kembo Mohadi was seen arriving at the funeral parlor Tuesday afternoon, and a state newspaper in the African country said his body would return to the country on Wednesday.

Mugabe was an ex-guerrilla chief who took power in 1980 when Zimbabwe shook off white minority rule. He enjoyed strong backing from Zimbabwe’s people initially, but that support waned following decades of repression, economic mismanagement and allegations of election-rigging.

He is still regarded by many as a national hero, though, with some even beginning to say they missed him after his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, failed to revive the economy and used the army to crush dissent

Tent courts set to open on border for US asylum seekers

EL PASO, Texas — The Trump administration is ready to open a tent court on the border to help handle tens of thousands of cases of asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico, with hearings held entirely by videoconference.

The court, or “soft-sided” facility as U.S. officials call it, is scheduled to begin operations Monday in Laredo, Texas. Another is expected to open soon in Brownsville in the Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for illegal crossings.

The administration introduced its “Remain in Mexico” policy in San Diego in January and later expanded it to El Paso, but hearings there are conducted inside large buildings with normal courtrooms, and the judge usually appears in person.

The policy, assailed by critics for making families and young children wait in violent Mexico border cities, has become a key piece of the U.S. response to a large increase in asylum-seeking families, especially from Central America.

Mexico allowed for its rapid expansion in a June 7 pact that spared it, at least temporarily, from threats of tariff increases by President Donald Trump.

Desperation mounts in Bahamas as shelters turn evacuees away

NASSAU, Bahamas — Desperation mounted in the Bahamas on Tuesday as hurricane survivors arriving in the capital by boat and plane were turned away from overflowing shelters.

As government officials gave assurances at a news conference that more shelters would be opened as needed, Julie Green and her family gathered outside the headquarters of the island’s emergency management agency, seeking help.

“We need a shelter desperately,” the 35-year-old former waitress from Great Abaco said as she cradled one of her 7-month-old twins on her hip, his little face furrowed. Nearby, her husband held the other twin boy as their four other children wandered listlessly nearby. One kept crying despite receiving comforting hugs.

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands in the northern part of the archipelago a week ago, leaving at least 50 dead, with the toll certain to rise as the search for bodies goes on.

Nearly 5,000 people have arrived in Nassau by plane and by boat, and many were struggling to start new lives, unclear of how or where to begin. More than 2,000 of them were staying in shelters, according to government figures.

Liberty’s Falwell says he’s target of ‘attempted coup’

RICHMOND, Va. — Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said Tuesday that he is asking the FBI to investigate what he called a “criminal” smear campaign orchestrated against him by several disgruntled former board members and employees.

Falwell told The Associated Press he has evidence that the group improperly shared emails belonging to the university with reporters in an attempt to discredit him. He said the “attempted coup” was partially motivated by his ardent backing of President Donald Trump.

Falwell, head of the nation’s most high-profile evangelical college, was among the earliest Christian conservatives to endorse Trump’s campaign.

His allegations come after the publication of a story in Politico Magazine on Monday that alleged Falwell “presides over a culture of self-dealing” at Liberty that has improperly benefited him and his family. The story cited unnamed sources described as current and former officials or Falwell associates.

“I’m not going to dignify the lies that were reported yesterday with a response, but I am going to the authorities and I am going to civil court,” Falwell said, referring to the reporter as a “little boy.”

HBO produces documentary to help kids understand 9/11

NEW YORK — For students from elementary to high school, the Sept. 11 terrorist attack isn’t a memory. It’s history. A new HBO documentary that debuts on the event’s 18th anniversary treats it that way.

The necessity of her project, “What Happened on September 11,” struck filmmaker Amy Schatz when a third grade girl told her about a playdate where she and a friend Googled “Sept. 11 attacks.”

“When a child does that, what he or she finds are some pretty horrific images that are not necessarily appropriate for kids,” Schatz said on Tuesday. “So I felt a responsibility to try to fill that void and try to give kids something that isn’t horrifying and kind of fills in the gap.”

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The half-hour film debuts Wednesday at 6 p.m. A companion piece, focusing on the memories of former students at a high school near Ground Zero, premieres three hours later.

Schatz has made a specialty of creating films that seek to explain the inexplicable, with “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm” tackling the Holocaust and another on the Parkland shooting. “I’m really desperate for some more lightness very soon,” she said.

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