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Sun, 18 Aug 2019

Sanders' criminal justice plan aims to cut prison populationDemocratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is proposing a criminal justice overhaul that aims to cut the nation's prison population in half, end mandatory minimum sentencing, ban private prisons and legalize marijuana. "We have a system that imprisons and destroys the lives of millions of people," Sanders told The Associated Press before the planned released of his proposal Sunday. Sanders was promoting the plan during a weekend of campaigning in South Carolina, where the majority of the Democratic electorate is African American.



Sun, 18 Aug 2019

Days away from moving for a dream job, Miami doctor is killed in fall from cliff on vacationDaniel Sirovich was a native of Kearny, NJ, who loved traveling and was interested in sports and international medicine.



Sun, 18 Aug 2019

French hiker missing in Italy nine days found deadThe body of a French hiker who disappeared nine days ago south of Naples was found Sunday, local Italian authorities said. "The body of Simon Gautier has been found a short while ago," the authorities in Sapri, near Belvedere di Ciolandre where the 27-year-old hiker was found dead. Gautier called for help on August 9, saying he had fallen down a cliff and broken both legs, but was unable to give his location other than "in the middle of nowhere, on the coast".



Sun, 18 Aug 2019

Dick Cheney to appear at Trump 2020 fundraiser as Republican establishment bows to presidentFormer vice president Dick Cheney will appear at a fundraiser for Donald Trump's 2020 campaign, according to an invitation for the event, in a sign that the Republican establishment will publicly back his re-election bid.Mr Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016 as an outsider and has often clashed with senior figures in the party, such as Mitt Romney and the late John McCain.However, an invitation to a luncheon fundraiser in Jackson, Wyoming, shows Mr Cheney will appear alongside Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, according to The Washington Post.He will attend the event with his daughter Liz Cheney, who is a Republican congresswoman for Wyoming, for the fundraising group "Trump Victory".Mr Cheney, who was George W Bush's vice president, previously said Mr Trump's 2015 call for a "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," went "against everything [America] stands for and believes in".Earlier this year, Mr Cheney also clashed with Mike Pence, the current vice president, over the administration's foreign policy, criticising Mr Trump's hard-line approach towards US allies in Nato.The invitation reportedly does not list the official titles of Mr Mulvaney, Ms Trump or Mr Kushner and insists that "their participation in the event is not a solicitation of funds".Officials for the Trump campaign confirmed the event but would not say how much tickets would cost.Trump Victory has been known to charge up to six-figure amounts for tickets to its events."Representative Cheney is honoured to be co-hosting this event and working hard to support President Trump's re-election," a spokesperson for Ms Cheney said in a statement. "The president's policies are benefiting Wyoming and the nation."The structure of the Trump Victory committee, which raises funds for both the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC), has shown how the president has been accepted into the Republican Party's mainstream.By merging his re-election campaign with the national party, Mr Trump has become less vulnerable to an Republican opponent challenging him in the 2020 primary.However, linking the RNC to Mr Trump's divisive presidency may be risky in the long-term for the Republican Party.In recent weeks, billionaire Stephen Ross has faced calls for a boycott of his Equinox luxury fitness company over his plans to hold a fundraiser for Mr Trump in the Hamptons.Additional reporting by agencies



Sat, 17 Aug 2019

Roller coaster malfunction causes cars to collide; multiple kids taken to hospitalFive people were taken to the hospital Friday night after malfunctioning roller coaster failed to stop in Ocean City, Maryland.



Sun, 18 Aug 2019

Iran says U.S. move on north Syria safe zone is "provocative"A U.S. agreement to set up a safe zone in northern Syria, a close ally of Iran, is "provocative and worrisome", the Iranian foreign ministry was reported to have said by the semi-official Fars news agency. The United States and Turkey last week agreed to set up a joint operations center for a proposed zone along Syria's northeast border.



Sun, 18 Aug 2019

Sudan's former dictator Omar al-Bashir due in court for corruption trialOmar al-Bashir, the ousted former president of Sudan, is expected to stand in court on Monday for the first stage of a corruption trial which could see him jailed for many years. Bashir took power in a 1989 coup but was deposed in April after mass protests and security forces deciding to withdraw support for his brutal regime, which was behind an alleged genocidal campaign in the Darfur region. The 75-year-old former dictator is in prison awaiting the trail, where he faces allegations of possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally. Human rights groups and relatives of Bashir's victims also want to see him stand trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague for his role in the genocide of around 300,000 people in Darfur.  "While this trial is a positive step towards accountability for some of his alleged crimes, he remains wanted for heinous crimes committed against the Sudanese people," said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International's East Africa director.   It comes as Sudan prepares to celebrate a historic deal between generals and protest leaders for a transition to civilian rule, which many hope will bring increased freedom and prosperity. During a ceremony to be held at a hall by the Nile in the capital Khartoum, members of the Transitional Military Council and protest leaders are expected to sign documents defining a 39-month transition. But the road to democracy remains fraught with obstacles, even if the mood was celebratory as foreign dignitaries as well as thousands of citizens from all over Sudan converged for the occasion. The deal reached on August 4 - the Constitutional Declaration - brought an end to nearly eight months of upheaval that led to the ousting of Bashir.



Sun, 18 Aug 2019

This Teenager Escaped Repression in West Africa. ICE Claimed He Was an Adult, and Jailed Him Anyway.Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyThis story also appears at Documented, a non-profit news site devoted solely to covering New York City's immigrants and the policies that affect their lives. Subscribe to their newsletter here. From the moment Mahmoud* was detained at the border, he told federal authorities he was 17 years old. He told them at the Border Patrol station. He told them at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement adult detention facility where he was held in Port Isabel, Texas. "They asked me for documents that prove I'm 17 years old and I provided all those documents," he told Judge Frank Pimentel in the Port Isabel, Texas immigration court. "I'm assuming the government must have some basis for concluding that he is older than that," Pimentel responded. The attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement told the judge the birth year they had would make Mahmoud 25 years old. "I'm sure [ICE deportation officers] would have looked into that already," the ICE attorney said. ICE spent the next four months fighting to keep him in adult detention. Two years later, Mahmoud can hardly speak about the experience. "It was hard for me in there," he said.  In detention, he could barely sleep and often woke up crying. "He wasn't able to be his young self in detention," said Carina Patritti, an attorney at the Legal Aid Society who has represented Mahmoud. "He had to grow up quickly."Mahmoud says he gave ICE and CBP agents a copy of his birth certificate immediately after he was detained at the border. He fled his home country in West Africa at age 17 after the government targeted him due to his political participation. He quickly gathered some documents and clothing and flew to Brazil. From there, he traveled up to the US-Mexico border and crossed with a group of men from his country. Border Patrol agents found the group and arrested them. In the station, the agents put Mahmoud in a room with a French-speaking translator on speakerphone, he said. The agents asked Mahmoud about his age. He presented them with a copy of his birth certificate and a few other documents and spent the night at the station."They continued to ask me. I told them again, I am 17," he said in an interview. Eventually they hurried him into a van and drove him to the Port Isabel Detention Center, a detention facility for adults. Mahmoud says he told ICE and CBP agents repeatedly that he was 17 years old throughout his detention. Under the Flores settlement, a lawsuit from 1997, the U.S. government is only allowed to detain people under the age of 18 for 20 days, and only in facilities with higher standards of care than adult immigration detention centers. Mahmoud was held for about four months in a privately run facility for adults. Asylum seekers often flee in haste, grabbing what documents or valuables they can find before pushing towards the U.S.. Federal agents scrutinize their documents to spot fakes and catch people trying to game the system. Various branches of the Department of Homeland Security have entire units dedicated to detecting fraudulent documents. This scrutiny is partially due to the fact that minors are allotted more chances to file for asylum and have more freedoms in captivity. "Since 1997, there have been numerous developments affecting DHS's and ORR's age determinations, but there remains no real procedure by which conflicting evidence regarding age may be weighed by a neutral and detached decision maker," said Carlos Holguín, general counsel at the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law, the civil-rights legal organization that brought the Flores case to court. Federal policy dictates that if a "reasonable person" would conclude that an immigrant detained by ICE is an adult, despite their claims to be a minor, then the government will "treat the person as an adult for all purposes."ICE didn't respond to a request for comment. In a court hearing, Mahmoud said that while traveling with a group of migrants through Panama, they had been stopped by border agents. "They were taking all the minors, keeping them and asking them questions," he told Judge Pimentel, so he'd said that he was 25. "All right, well again, I don't know anything about that. What we have to do now is to schedule your case for a hearing," Pimentel responded. In a later hearing, the judge pushed back against ICE's claims about Mahmoud's age. "I respect the fact that [ICE agents are] making immediate type decisions and don't always have the information at hand at the time. But the court is not going to base its determination of the respondents age on how the respondent looks to the court," Pimentel said. He asked the ICE attorney to produce evidence to support their claim that Mahmoud was older than he said he was. The ICE attorney said that they reached out to the government of his home country-which Mahmoud was fleeing-to verify his birth certificate was genuine. They hadn't received a response yet, but the Department of Homeland Security's position on his age remained that Mahmoud "is not a juvenile and we would like to proceed as such," the attorney said. Judge Pimentel asked the ICE attorney for more evidence to support their claim about his age and postponed the hearing for about two weeks. Mahmoud was silent during the exchange.The judge later added, "At some point, if I don't get any answer, then we'll be here until the summertime when at your claim, you turn 18, and then it won't be an issue anymore." Denise Slavin, a retired immigration judge, explained that immigration judges-who are employees of the Department of Justice, rather than part of the independent judicial branch of the government-don't have jurisdiction over where detainees are held. "They can tell them what court their case will be in but not where they're held," she said.After the hearing, ICE agents took Mahmoud to get a dental examination to prove his age. The exam showed he was likely 16 to 22 years old, according to the court recordings. ICE released him to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which oversees unaccompanied minors, about four months after he entered the Texas facility. Mahmoud was transferred to a facility in Chicago where he was finally able to call his father. There, he saw a counselor three times per week and was able to go outside. "I had no one in detention," he said. Mahmoud was released from ORR custody and was allowed to move in with his cousin in the Bronx. His case was transferred to the New York City immigration court, where he was able to find a lawyer, and together they're fighting for his asylum claim. He is enrolled at a high school in the Bronx for 10th grade and wants to go to college to become an accountant. "The only thing that makes me happy is to think about my opportunity to study here," he said. "No one can stop me to study here, not like in my country."Sometimes thoughts of his journey and imprisonment creep back into his mind. But he doesn't talk about his experiences with any of his friends or at home; he just tries to forget. *This story uses a pseudonym to protect the subject's identity. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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