Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

June 18, 2018 - 12:00 am

IMMIGRATION-FAMILY SEPARATION

Politicians visit border amid outrage on family separation

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — Politicians and advocates are flocking to the U.S.-Mexico border to visit immigration detention centers and turn up the pressure on the Trump administration amid a growing uproar over its policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

Nearly 2,000 children were taken from their parents over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to prosecuting those arrested for illegally entering the U.S.

Church groups and human rights advocates have sharply criticized the policy, calling it inhumane.

President Donald Trump is emphatically defending the practice, vowing he won't let the U.S. become a "migrant camp — not on my watch."

In San Diego, Rep. Juan Vargas and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are leading members of Congress on a visit to several immigration detention facilities.

AP-US-TRUMP-IMMIGRATION-THE-LATEST

The Latest: Cruz promises bill to deal with border crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says he is introducing emergency legislation intended to keep migrant families together.

Cruz has released a statement saying: "All Americans are rightly horrified by the images we are seeing on the news, children in tears pulled away from their mothers and fathers. This must stop. Now."

The Republican senator says his proposal would double the number of federal immigration judges; authorize new temporary shelters that can accommodate families; and mandate that families immigrating illegally be kept together, absent criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children.

Cruz also says his proposal would provide for expedited processing of asylum cases so that, within 14 days, those who meet the legal standards will be granted asylum and whose who don't will be returned to their home countries immediately.

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UNITED STATES-KOREA-MILITARY EXERCISES

Pentagon suspends August military drills with South Korea

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says it has formally suspended a major military exercise planned for August with South Korea, a much-anticipated move stemming from President Donald Trump's nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The announcement Monday says all planning for the exercise has been stopped. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White says the department has made no decisions on other military exercises with South Korea. Exercises with other countries in the Pacific will continue.

Trump's abrupt decision to cancel what he called provocative and expensive "war games" appeared to catch U.S. defense officials by surprise last week and ran counter to long-held American arguments that the drills are critical for effective operations with allies. The Pentagon has for years flatly denied North Korean assertions that the exercises are "provocative."

UNITED STATES-CHINA-THE LATEST

The Latest: US preparing new tariffs on Chinese imports

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is directing the U.S. Trade Representative to prepare new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, as the nations move closer to a potential trade war.

Trump says the new tariffs, at a 10 percent rate, are retaliation against China should it go through with its planned tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. exports. China's tariffs came in response to similar tariffs Trump put in place on Chinese goods in a bid to lower the trade imbalance.

Trump says, "These tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced."

Trump says if China responds to these new tariffs, then he will move to counter "by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods."

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XXXTENTACION SLAIN-THE LATEST

The Latest: Fan rushes to scene of XXXTentacion's death

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) — One Florida fan wasn't content to watch the news of XXXTentacion's fatal shooting through his phone or computer.

When 21-year-old Wyatt Rubin learned of the rising star's death Monday afternoon, he jumped in his car and headed to the scene, playing the rapper's songs on the drive over. Authorities say XXXTentacion was shot outside a Deerfield Beach motorcycle dealership Monday afternoon. He was later pronounced dead at a Fort Lauderdale-area hospital.

Rubin says XXXTentacion was maturing as a person and as an artist. The fan said of the shooting: "It couldn't have come at a worse time."

Stephanie Martinez, a 29-year-old mother who lives in the neighborhood, was just coming back from the pool with her kids when she heard three shots. She drove to the end of the street and saw the rapper's body in the car.

UNITED NATIONS-SMALL ARMS

New Survey: Over 1 billion small arms in world, up from 2007

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new study of small arms estimates there are over 1 billion legal and illicit firearms in the world today, including 857 million in civilian hands — with American men and women the dominant owners.

The report by the Small Arms Survey released Monday says 393 million of the civilian-held firearms — or 46 percent — are in the U.S. That's "more than those held by civilians in the other top 25 countries combined."

The estimate of over 1 billion firearms worldwide in December 2017 also includes 133 million held by government militaries and 22.7 million by law enforcement agencies, it said.

The new global figure is significantly higher than the 875 million firearms estimated in the last survey in 2007 which included 650 million civilian-held firearms, the survey said.

VICENTE FOX-HIGH TIMES

Former Mexico President Vicente Fox joins High Times board

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Mexico President Vicente Fox, who calls himself a soldier in the global campaign to legalize marijuana, is joining the board of directors of cannabis publication High Times to advance his agenda.

Fox foresees a day when a robust legal marketplace will produce new jobs and medicines while sharply reducing cartel violence in his home country.

Speaking with The Associated Press about his views on cannabis and his new appointment, Fox says he also sees pot being part of the North American Free Trade Agreement among Mexico, Canada and the U.S., where some 30 states are embracing legalized marijuana in some form.

Fox's appointment points to the growing acceptance of the once-scorned industry.

He says the war on drugs has been a failure since the days of former President Richard Nixon. What works, Fox says, "is your own free decision."

WATCHDOG REPORT-CLINTON EMAIL-THE LATEST

The Latest: Inspector general: FBI employees aren't perfect

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz says the people working for the FBI cannot be perfect.

Horowitz testified Monday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his report issued last week. That report said former FBI Director James Comey was "insubordinate" in his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the 2016 presidential election but found no evidence the outcome of the investigation was motivated by political bias.

Horowitz says no "rule, policy or practice is perfect" and at the same time, "neither is any individual's ability to make judgments under pressure or what may seem like unique circumstances."

At the same hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray says mistakes made by employees and cited in the report "do not define" the agency as a whole.

IMMIGRATION-CLINTON

H. Clinton: Separating families at border a 'moral crisis'

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that has separated children from their parents at the southern U.S. border "is a moral and humanitarian crisis."

Clinton was speaking Monday at an awards lunch for the Women's Forum of New York.

The 2016 Democratic presidential contender said every person with a sense of compassion and decency should be outraged.

Republican President Donald Trump has defended the harsh immigration policy, which has taken nearly 2,000 immigrant children away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The separation policy has come under increasingly strong criticism, with accounts of children being kept in cages and parents not knowing where their children are.

Clinton said she had warned during the campaign about the potential for this type of situation.

TRUMP-SPACE-THE LATEST

The Latest: Trump signing directive to clean up space junk

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump is signing a new space policy directive at the White House that aims to reduce satellite clutter in space.

Trump said Monday that the United States' space program had been bogged down by politics and rising costs.

The policy calls for providing a safe and secure environment in orbit, as satellite traffic increases. It also sets up new guidelines for satellite design and operation, to avoid collisions and spacecraft breakups.

Trump also declared that "there's no place like space."

The president made the announcement at the same time he revealed the creation of what he called the Space Force, a new branch of the military whose creation will be overseen by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford.

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