The U.S. has started releasing hundreds of illegal immigrant detainees into the country as immigration authorities struggle to find available places to house the thousands of illegal migrants coming through the U.S.-Mexico border.
Most of the released migrants are expected to be those who crossed the border together with their families. Such migrants are given paper notices with a court date and told to stay with their other family members in the U.S.
At least 250 illegal immigrants were released between Tuesday and Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported. Most of the releases happening near Mexico’s border with Texas and more such releases are expected, the officials said.
A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told reporters that the releases were being done in a bid “to mitigate risks to both officer safety and vulnerable populations under these circumstances.”
Immigration officials told the Times on Wednesday that the shortage of space for illegal migrants occurred due to an uptick in Central American families coming to the U.S. Due to the lack of space, the authorities can’t follow the protocol and process the migrants’ cases while they are in detention.
The releases come in the backdrop of President Trump declaring a national emergency on the southern border in a bid to build a border wall to stop the influx of people, a measure he took after Congress gave only a fraction of the $5.7 billion he requested for a wall. Declaring a national emergency allows Trump to steer an extra $3.6 billion to the wall.
But some immigrant groups have accused the Trump administration of intentionally releasing the migrants and causing confusion and chaos at the border.
“They are doing this deliberately so they can release a ton of people at once and create chaos,” Efren Olivares, an attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, told the Times. “The government is trying to do this.”
Yet an unidentified Border Patrol official dismissed speculation that this is just a political stunt. “It is a crisis,” he said. “It’s not a self-proclaimed crisis.”
Source: Fox News National
JUBA, South Sudan – Documents seen by The Associated Press show that South Sudan’s committee overseeing the fragile transition from civil war has approved almost $185 million in spending on vehicles, food and home renovations while the country’s peace deal suffers from an alleged lack of funds.
As the East African nation emerges from a five-year conflict that killed almost 400,000 people and displaced millions, experts warn the government’s lack of financial transparency will gut the confidence of international donors being encouraged to donate to the peace transition fund.
The internal government documents show that on Nov. 5, two months after warring parties signed the peace deal, the committee that includes government and opposition representatives authorized payments for 1,000 vehicles and food including 50,000 tons of sorghum to be delivered to the capital, Juba.
Source: Fox News World
Citigroup Inc. plans to sell several tons of Venezuelan gold it received as collateral from the Maduro regime to settle the country’s $1.6 billion loan after the deadline to repurchase the precious metal expired earlier this month, reports said Wednesday.
Venezuela was due to repay $1.1 billion of the loan March 11, according to the terms of the 2015 deal with Citigroup’s Citibank, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The remainder of the loan is due next year.
Citibank now plans to sell the gold, valued at roughly $1.358 billion, to recover the first tranche of the loan, two of the sources told the outlet. The excess $258 million from the sale will be deposited into a U.S. bank account in New York.
The development marks another financial blow to President Nicolas Maduro’s regime. Not only won’t it be able to access the cash in the U.S. account, but it could see it handed over to the transitional government being formed by opposition leader Juan Guaido, Bloomberg reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
The socialist regime previously faced a financial setback in January when the Bank of England denied Maduro’s request to withdraw $1.2 billion of gold stored there.
A week later, Venezuelan officials reportedly planned to ship 20 tons of gold, worth around $850 million, overseas to protect the country’s hard assets amid international pressure mounting against Maduro to cede power.
The plan was reportedly halted before the gold could be loaded in Caracas onto an airliner from Russia, a major financial backer of Maduro’s presidency, along with Turkey and China. The ultimate destination of the bars was unknown.
Maduro depleted more than 40 percent of the country’s gold reserves last year in a desperate bid to pay creditors and fund government programs as the nation deals with a crippling economy, a lack of basic necessities for its people and rising inflation under his socialist rule, Bloomberg reported.
All that remains of the central bank’s dwindling international reserves is $8.7 billion, most of which is held in physical gold, the outlet reported.
Source: Fox News World
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who’s seeking his party’s 2020 presidential nomination, had an awkward moment during a televised town hall Wednesday night when he was asked about the time he took his mother to see the notorious 1972 pornographic film "Deep Throat."
The unusual story is highlighted in an excerpt from Hickenlooper’s 2016 memoir, "The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics." CNN anchor Dana Bash asked the candidate to share the tale.
“You have the floor, sir,” Bash jokingly said to the embarrassed candidate.
“Thank you so much for that question,” Hickenlooper sarcastically responded.
Hickenlooper began describing how lonely his mother became after he went off to college because his father had passed away during his childhood. One night he came home from college to a feast of a dinner — the same night he had promised a friend he’d go see a movie with him.
The Democrat then recalled asking his mother if she wanted to join them, which he admitted was a “mistake.”
“I didn’t know what an X-movie was," Hickenlooper said. "We thought it was a little naughty, but we didn’t think it was that bad. You have to understand, I was eighteen years old.
"I didn’t know what an X-movie was. We thought it was a little naughty, but we didn’t think it was that bad."
“So I took my mother to see ‘Deep Throat,’” Hickenlooper revealed to a big roar from the audience. “But I will tell you: I’m sure my mother was mortified, and I said repeatedly, ‘I think we should leave, I think we should go,” and my mother was the type of person that rarely went to a movie. … Once she paid, she was going to stay. And at the end, she knew that I was humiliated. And so we drove home… ‘I asked her, ‘Well that was some experience.’ And she goes, she says, ‘Well, I thought the lighting was very good in the movie.’”
Source: Fox News Politics
SCALIA’S SON SPEAKS OUT ON 2020 DEMS, EXPANDING SUPREME COURT: Christopher Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, told Fox News that the idea of increasing the number of justices on the high court is "maybe an argument worth taking seriously," but added that some proposals by Democratic candidates were "just unconstitutional" … CLICK HERE to watch Scalia’s interview on "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Wednesday, where he took particular issue with an idea advanced by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg on "Fox News Sunday" last weekend, where the Democratic presidential candidate proposed expanding the Supreme Court to 15 members.
NEW ZEALAND BANS ‘MILITARY STYLE SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS’: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday announced the country was immediately banning "military-style semi-automatic weapons" after last week’s attack that killed 50 people at two mosques … Speaking to reporters, the prime minister said the weapons would be banned in addition to "all assault rifles," among other firearms. Ardern said legislation is currently being drafted and she expects the law to take effect by April 11.
KELLYANNE CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE: For months, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, was placed in an awkward position whenever her husband, George Conway, an attorney once considered for U.S. Solicitor General in the Trump administration, would attack her boss on Twitter. The attacks were as cutting as anything said by any Democratic foe and often personal — and Trump remained uncharacteristically silent.
That all changed this week, as the president responded Wednesday by calling George Conway a "total loser" on Twitter and a "whack job." For her part, Kellyanne Conway sided with Trump, telling Politico, "You think he shouldn’t respond when somebody, a non-medical professional, accuses him of having a mental disorder? You think he should just take that sitting down?" Kellyanne Conway is scheduled to appear on "Mornings with Maria" today on Fox Business, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. ET, to discuss President Trump’s trip to a Lima, Ohio, tank plant and more.
AOC STARS IN GOP CAMPAIGN AD: Less than three months after taking office, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., whose favorability numbers have plummeted in some recent polls, is already front and center in a GOP congressional candidate’s upcoming campaign advertisement … The 30-second spot, obtained by Fox News and currently available on YouTube, features Michele Nix, a candidate in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District to replace the late Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., who died in February.
A HEAVEN-SENT CONTRACT: The Los Angeles Angels and star outfielder Mike Trout have agreed to a 12-year contract, the club announced Wednesday evening … The club did not immediately disclose the terms of the deal, but MLB.com reported that Trout’s new contract adds 10 years to his current deal, which is set to expire following the 2020 Major League Baseball season. The total contract is worth $426.5 million, the largest deal in North American sports history.
DEBATING TRUMP’S ATTACKS ON MCCAIN – "The president might have lied about it. Does that bother you? That he might have lied about what a dead man did?" – Neil Cavuto, in a heated exchange with Matt Braynard, former data chief and strategist for the Trump campaign, on President Trump’s recent attacks on Sen. John McCain, during a panel discussion on "Your World." (Click the image above to watch the full video.)
WATCH: Gillibrand slammed for ‘cringeworthy’ workout video.
Kentucky governor says he intentionally exposed his nine kids to chickenpox.
NRA’s Dana Loesch: CNN’s ’embarrassing’ Parkland town hall wasn’t journalism, it was ‘advocacy.’
MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Real estate firms accused of ‘conspiring’ to overcharge home sellers in class-action suit.
GM defends U.S. investment following Trump jabs over Ohio plant.
Federal Reserve signals no interest rate hikes in 2019.
On Fox Nation:
America’s Preacher: The Reverend Billy Graham
Fondly remembered as "America’s Preacher," the Rev. Billy Graham reached millions of people as he spread the Gospel all over the world. This moving special explores the spiritual leader’s incredible six-decade career. Watch a preview HERE.
Not a subscriber? Click here to join Fox Nation today!
Fox Nation is a subscription streaming service offering daily shows and documentaries that you can’t watch anywhere else. Watch from your phone, computer and select TV devices.
On Fox News:
Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla.; Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst; Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire.
Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: A conversation with Mark Levin, host of "Life, Liberty & Levin."
Fox News @ Night, 11 p.m. ET: An exclusive interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
On Fox Business:
Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump
Varney & Co., 9 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Danielle DiMartino Booth, CEO and director of intelligence at Quill Intelligence.
On Fox News Radio:
The Fox News Rundown podcast: "Eric Trump on Mueller Probe" – Eric Trump shares his feelings on the Mueller probe and the 2020 presidential race in Part 1 of a two-part, wide-ranging conversation about his father’s presidency. The Trump administration is expanding its Migrant Protection Protocols program to additional cities along the U.S.-Mexico border. Thomas Homan, former acting director of ICE, and Gregory Chen, director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, weigh in. Plus, commentary by Deroy Murdock, contributing editor with National Review and a Fox News contributor.
The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Chris Wallace, host of "Fox News Sunday," discusses President Trump’s attacks on the late Sen. John McCain, his feud with George Conway, the 2020 presidential race and the upcoming resumption of U.S.-China trade talks.
2018: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologizes for a "major breach of trust" after news that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica, whose clients included the Trump campaign, may have used data improperly obtained from Facebook users to try to sway elections.
2006: The social media website Twitter is established with the sending of the first "tweet" by co-founder Jack Dorsey, who wrote: "just setting up my twttr."
1963: Alcatraz federal prison in San Francisco Bay is emptied of its last inmates and closed at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
Fox News First is compiled by Fox News’ Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Have a good day! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Friday morning.
Source: Fox News National
PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A court in northwestern Pakistan has sentenced to life imprisonment two men convicted of involvement in the killing of Mashal Khan, a university student who was beaten and then fatally shot by a mob in 2017 after being falsely accused of blasphemy.
The two men — Arif Khan, a local leader of Pakistan’s ruling party led by former cricket star Imran Khan, and Asad Khan — were in court in Peshawar for the sentencing.
The death of the 23-year-old Mashal was caught on video that later circulated on social media. Initially 61 people were charged with a variety of offences and 57 people were handed varying sentences in the case. Many are appealing the verdicts.
It wasn’t immediately known if the two men sentenced on Thursday would also appeal.
Source: Fox News World
ZARQA, Jordan – Jordan’s King Abdullah II is vowing to keep protecting Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, calling it a "red line" for his country.
Abdullah said Wednesday, during a visit to the Zarqa governorate outside Amman, that he’s under pressure to alter his country’s historic role as custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites but that he wouldn’t. Abdullah says: "I will never change my position toward Jerusalem in my life." He added that "all my people are with me." He did not specify what kind of pressure he was encountering.
A Jordanian-appointed council oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. It claims exclusive authority over the Noble Sanctuary, or Temple Mount, compound and says it is not subject to Israeli jurisdiction. Tensions often escalate at the site.
Source: Fox News World
A small community in central Washington state on Wednesday mourned the sheriff’s deputy who was killed in a shootout with a road-rage driving suspect, remembering the veteran officer as a family man and “one of our finest.”
Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Thompson, 42, was shot dead Tuesday night after he and Kittitas police Officer Benito Chavez, 22, responded to a driving complaint and attempted to stop a vehicle. After a short pursuit, the suspect exited the car and exchanged gunfire with the officers, killing Thompson and wounding Chavez. The suspect was also shot and later died.
"Our community has a very heavy heart today. Last night, we lost one of our finest," Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana said at a news conference Wednesday morning. It was the first fatal shooting of a law enforcement officer in the rural county in 92 years, he said.
"Our community has a very heavy heart today. Last night, we lost one of our finest."
The tight-knit community of 1,500 was stunned that such violence could descend on the town, whose website brands it as a place “without the crime, noise, traffic jams and pollution of larger cities,” the Seattle Times reported.
“For this to happen here? It’s insane. You don’t get that here,” Ethan Keaton, a 17-year-old high school student, told the paper.
Mourners gathered at a memorial at Kittitas Elementary School, about a block from the shooting scene, to honor Thompson, who was born in nearby Walla Walla and attended Central Washington University, the Times reported. Heart-shaped balloons were strung along the fence with homemade signs that read: “Kittitas Strong.”
“Maybe you get pulled over for a DUI or speeding. You don’t get people shot here,” Josh Dunn, a 20-year-old who grew up in the town, told the paper. “I don’t even have a word for it.”
Thompson, a 15-year law enforcement veteran, is survived by his wife and three children, FOX13 Seattle reported.
Chavez was shot in a leg and suffered a shattered femur, Ellensburg Police Chief Ken Wade said. He was airlifted to a hospital following the shootout and was listed in satisfactory condition Wednesday morning. He and his wife are expecting their first child, the FOX13 reported.
The suspect, who has not been identified, was shot and later died at a hospital. Authorities did not immediately provide information on how many times the suspect was shot or how many shots were fired overall.
Wade said authorities have no other information besides the road-rage incident for what might have prompted the suspect to flee and exchange gunfire with the officers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News National
President Trump has been aiming his online invective at a whole lot of targets, including the husband of his White House counselor.
And it’s easy to get distracted when the president of the United States is using phrases like "total loser" and "husband from hell" to describe Washington lawyer George Conway, who constantly torches Kellyanne’s boss on Twitter.
But whether Trump is slamming social media bias, "SNL" reruns or "fake news" (applauding the Brazilian president for using that phrase), he is building the case that those who control the flow of information are consistently unfair to him.
Now comes a widely respected veteran journalist to say the president has a point.
Ted Koppel was a globe-trotting ABC News correspondent for decades and a master interviewer as the anchor of "Nightline." I appeared on that program numerous times and know Koppel well.
Koppel, now a senior contributor to CBS’s "Sunday Morning," has left the impression from previous comments that he’s not a Trump fan. And yet he felt compelled to declare that the president is right that "the establishment press is out to get him."
What’s more, Koppel called out two of the country’s most influential papers for their coverage of the president, which has left him "terribly concerned."
At a Carnegie Endowment forum this month, Koppel unloaded on The New York Times and Washington Post, saying the papers are not what they were 50 years ago.
"We’re talking about organizations that I believe have, in fact, decided as organizations that Donald J. Trump is bad for the United States," he said. "’We have things appearing on the front page of The New York Times right now that never would have appeared 50 years ago."
Koppel argued that analysis and commentary didn’t creep onto the front pages the way they do in the Trump era.
"I remember sitting at the breakfast table with my wife during the campaign after the Access Hollywood tape came out and The New York Times, and I will not offend any of you here by using the language but you know exactly what words were used, and they were spelled out on the front page of The New York Times. I turned to my wife and I said, ‘The Times is absolutely committed to making sure that this guy does not get elected.’"
Wait, he’s not done.
The president is "not mistaken when so many of the liberal media, for example, described themselves as belonging to the Resistance. What does that mean? That’s not said by people who consider themselves reporters, objective reporters of facts. That’s the kind of language that’s used by people who genuinely believe, and I rather suspect with some justification, that Donald Trump is bad for the United States."
That is a searing indictment from a man who has long been a member in good standing of the media establishment.
And it matches the comments of Jill Abramson, the former Times executive editor, who says in her new book that the news pages of her former paper have become "unmistakably anti-Trump."
Now the big papers and other major outlets would undoubtedly say they cover Trump differently because he’s unlike any other president — in terms of shattering norms, divisive rhetoric, blasting the press, criticizing aides and being caught up in the Russia investigation.
The Times and Post have broken plenty of important stories about the administration, not just connected to the special counsel’s probe, and both papers have some reporters and analysts who try to be fair.
But the sheer tonnage of anti-Trump stories, the negative tone, and the loaded phrases that creep into news pieces, especially at the Times, too often give the impression of opposition. The same goes for what some of the journalists say on Twitter.
I know there is concern about the tone among some in these newsrooms.
And that’s without even getting into the largely one-sided opinion pages.
In January, Koppel made some other observations about the president and the press: "Let the record show that Trump has launched the careers of numerous media stars and that expressions of indignant outrage on the left and breathless admiration on the right have resulted in large, entirely nonpartisan profits for the industry of journalism …
"Trump’s detractors are outraged by him. His supporters are outraged with him. He is a national Rorschach test. Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore him."
That much is undoubtedly true.
What Koppel is saying is that Trump-bashing has become a business model for left-leaning outfits and Trump-cheerleading has become a business model for right-leaning outfits. Abramson said attacking Trump had become a business model for the Times. And that ought to spark a serious debate for organizations that cast themselves as dedicated to news values over financial motives.
Source: Fox News Politics
RAMALLAH, West Bank – The governor of the West Bank city of Bethlehem says Israeli soldiers have shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian man near the city.
Kamil Hamid said on Thursday that Israeli troops in the adjacent village of al-Khader fired at a car and wounded the driver the previous night. He says Ahmad Manasra was driving behind him and got out of his vehicle to help the wounded man. As he was returning to his car, Hamid says the Israeli soldiers shot and killed Manasra.
The Israeli military says a soldier stationed at a military post near Bethlehem identified rocks being thrown at Israeli vehicles. In response, he fired his weapon. The military says it is investigating the incident, which comes amid heightened tensions in the West Bank.
Source: Fox News World