US State Department Expels 2 Venezuelan Diplomats

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The U.S. Department of State has expelled two Venezuelan diplomats. 

It comes one day after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro told the top U.S. diplomat and his deputy in Venezuela that they had 48 hours to leave the country. He accused them of conspiracy against the government. 

The State Department said in a statement Wednesday that the accusations against the U.S. diplomats are “unjustified.” 

The U.S. and Venezuela have been trading punches since Maduro won a second six-year term as president on Sunday

Multiple countries, including the U.S., said they wouldn’t recognize the results of the election. And the U.S. imposed new sanctions against Venezuela on Monday. 

In Wednesday’s statement, the State Department said the Venezuelan diplomats have 48 hours to leave the U.S.  

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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Trump Cancels Upcoming Meeting With North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un

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President Donald Trump has canceled his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

In a letter addressed to Kim, Trump said he felt it was “inappropriate” to have the highly anticipated meeting, citing Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility.” 

The two leaders had planned to meet June 12 in Singapore. As of Thursday morning, Kim had yet to comment on Trump’s decision.

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Harvey Weinstein Is Reportedly The Subject Of A Federal Investigation

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Federal prosecutors in New York are reportedly investigating some of the sexual misconduct allegations against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.

The Wall Street Journal says those investigators are looking into whether Weinstein violated federal law by luring women to cross state lines “for the purpose of committing a sex crime.”

Weinstein’s lawyer told CNN he’s already met with the federal prosecutors “in an attempt to dissuade them from proceeding.” 

Since The New York Times detailed a string of sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein back in October, dozens of women have come forward with similar claims.  

Weinstein’s representatives have repeatedly denied he engaged in non-consensual sex. 

Police in New York, Los Angeles and London have investigated some allegations, but Weinstein has yet to be charged with any crime. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment on the reported federal investigation. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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NOAA’s New Satellite Has No Chill, And That’s A Serious Problem

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s newest weather satellite has no chill, and that’s a problem.

A cooling system onboard NOAA’s GOES-17 satellite is malfunctioning and causing the craft’s Advanced Baseline Imager’s infrared and near-infrared imaging to degrade.

The satellite’s meant to monitor part of the Western Hemisphere — all the way from the Western U.S. to New Zealand. NOAA says it could be used to allow meteorologists to monitor and track developing storms in greater detail. 

It’s not clear how much of that mission it’ll be able to carry out with this cooling issue.

GOES-17 can still function without fully working infrared — it can still monitor lightning and take visible spectrum images. But if the cooling system can’t be restored, NOAA has said it’ll look for alternative missions for the satellite.

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North Korea Says It Has Destroyed Its Nuclear Test Site

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North Korea has destroyed what it says is its nuclear test site.

A crew from CNN and other international journalists were invited to watch Thursday’s demolition.

According to CNN, at least three nuclear tunnels, observation buildings, a metal foundry and living quarters were destroyed.

The move comes just weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

But whether the June 12 meeting will actually happen has been called into question.

On Thursday, North Korea’s vice foreign minister threatened to pull the plug on the upcoming summit over comments Vice President Mike Pence made earlier this month.

And Trump himself recently cast doubt on the meeting, saying, “There’s a very substantial chance that it won’t work out.”

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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Commerce Dept. Investigating If Auto Imports Hurt US National Security

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The U.S. Department of Commerce is launching an investigation into whether automobile imports are hurting U.S. national security. 

The Wall Street Journal reports President Donald Trump is asking for tariffs of as much as 25 percent on automobile imports. 

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement “there’s evidence suggesting” that foreign imports of automobiles have hurt the U.S. auto industry. The type of investigation is reportedly the same method the Trump administration used before it imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this year.

The Commerce Department will reportedly look at cars, SUVs, vans, light trucks and auto parts. 

The American International Automobile Dealers Association said in a statement that tariffs would increase prices of vehicles for U.S. families. The association also said tariffs would affect the nearly 600,000 American employees who “rely on competitively priced products to sustain their businesses and jobs.”

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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North Korea Threatens US Summit Again — This Time Over Pence’s Remarks

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North Korea is once again threatening to pull the plug on an upcoming summit between its leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump.

North Korea’s vice foreign minister said Thursday that it’s up to the U.S. to decide if it wants to to avoid a nuclear showdown.

She was responding to what she called “ignorant and stupid” comments Vice President Mike Pence made earlier this month to Fox News.

In that interview, Pence doubled down on national security adviser John Bolton’s analogy that North Korea could follow in the footsteps of Libya to ensure a completely verifiable denuclearization process.

North Korea has previously cited Libya as the reason it needs nuclear weapons, since former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed by revolutionaries less than a decade after he gave up his nuclear program.

Trump also recently cast doubt on the planned June 12 summit, saying, “There’s a very substantial chance that it won’t work out.” He noted his team would know more next week after White House officials fly to Singapore to try to get the details ironed out with North Korea.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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Thousands Of Kids A Year Migrate To The US Alone. What Happens Next?

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Refugee. Migrant. Asylum-seeker. Unaccompanied minor.

They’re technical terms, but what we’re really talking about kids 17 or younger, many traveling more than 1,000 miles all alone to escape violence. Some say they’re running for their lives. 

The numbers fluctuate from year to year, but the challenges of management do not. From October 2017 to April 2018, 26,001 unaccompanied minors were apprehended on the U.S.-Mexico border. That marked a 12 percent drop from the previous year, but apprehensions still averaged about 123 a day.

Families with children and unaccompanied minors made up 10 percent of illegal border crossings five years ago. Now, they account for 40 percent of those detained.

SEE MORE: The DOJ Is Hiring Immigration Lawyers, Judges To Reduce Case Backlog

There is a process in place for handling unaccompanied children. But headlines show it’s continually in flux. Here are the basics, a step-by-step of what happens when a child traveling alone is picked up at the U.S.-Mexico border:  

Journey: For starters, most of the children apprehended on the southern border traveled from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where drug cartels and gangs kill with impunity.

Detained: After they turn themselves in or are caught at the border, the kids are held in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility.

Shelter: Within 72 hours, they are supposed to be moved from detention to one of more than 100 shelters, where they stay for 35 days on average. Also at this point, the children are transferred from the Department of Homeland Security to the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of the Health and Human Services Department.

Caseworker: Children are assigned a caseworker at the shelter. They’re given medical checkups and food.

Sponsor: HHS is solely responsible for children until they can be released to a sponsor. Sponsors, often a relative, are adults who are suitable to look after the child’s well-being. All sponsors must pass a background check.

Proceedings: The sponsor is supposed to make sure the child is present at immigration proceedings and, if a judge orders deportation, brings them to ICE.  About 40 percent of the kids never show up for court hearings, disappearing into the country, the DOJ said in 2016.

Monitoring: Until a case is resolved, local or state child protective services are responsible for following up on reports of abuse or neglect once a child is placed with a sponsor. However, since 2016, HHS says it does make follow-up calls within 30 days to ensure that the minors continue to live with sponsors, are enrolled in school and are aware of their court dates. 

Just look at the news. You’ll see the process is far from foolproof, especially at the sponsor stage.

Few details: HHS called 7,635 children the department had placed with sponsors. It found that 6,075 were still living with their sponsors, 28 had run away, five had been deported and 52 were living with someone else. The rest were missing.

So while the system is crafted to maximize protection, it’s still more porous than most lawmakers and immigration officers would like. 

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Doctors Start Testing Ebola Treatment In Humans For The First Time

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The National Institutes of Health is testing an experimental Ebola treatment in humans for the first time.

The volunteers in the Phase 1 clinical trial won’t be infected with the virus. Instead, experts will look at how healthy people tolerate the treatment.

The Ebola virus is a contagious, and often fatal, disease that was first discovered in humans in 1976. Outbreaks of the virus have popped up occasionally since then, most of them in Africa.

Currently, the Democratic Republic of Congo is dealing with an outbreak. As of May 21, the World Health Organization has identified 58 cases, though not all the cases have been confirmed. Twenty-seven people have died.

The WHO is administering an investigational Ebola vaccine in Congo, but there are no licensed treatments for the virus. 

The experimental treatment being tested was developed from antibodies from an Ebola survivor. The NIH clinical trial participants will get one treatment and then be monitored for six months to check for any health changes. 

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NBA’s Sterling Brown Comments On Milwaukee Police Tasing Video

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Milkwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown shared his thoughts on being tased and arrested by Milwaukee police shortly after the department released footage of the incident on Wednesday.

Brown was detained in January after parking in a handicap zone. The footage shows him being forced to the ground, tased and arrested. Milwaukee’s chief of police has since apologized for the incident. He said the officers involved acted “inappropriately” and have been disciplined. 

Brown wrote on Twitter: “What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force. … Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community. Being a voice and a face for people who won’t be heard and don’t have the same platform as I have is a responsibility I take seriously.”

The Bucks organization also put out a statement Wednesday saying: “Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated case. It shouldn’t require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment.” 

Concern over police brutality within the Milwaukee Police Department prompted protests in 2016 after an officer was acquitted in the fatal shooting of man who was running from him.

Brown said he plans to sue the department.

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