Breaking News Emails
By David K. Li
A Pennsylvania newspaper dropped the cartoonist who wrote a vulgar message against President Donald Trump in his work that was printed on Sunday.
The Butler Eagle announced it’ll no longer carry the work of cartoonist Wiley Miller after he scrawled, “We fondly say, go f— yourself, Trump” in the lower right corner of a cartoon that ran on Sunday.
“A reader brought to our attention that one of the syndicated comic strips which appears in the Sunday Butler Eagle may contain a hidden message which was apparently placed there by someone in the creative department of the creator of the comic strip or the syndication which controls it,” said Ron Vodenichar, Eagle publisher and general manager.
“Neither the Butler Eagle nor any other newspaper that includes this strip had an opportunity to remove it even if they had discovered it before distribution.”
The three-panel cartoon in question featured Miller’s “Bearaissance” character named “Leonardo Bear Vinci.”
In an interview with NBC News on Monday, Miller admitted to writing those words and apologized — to his editors for putting them in a bad spot, not for the sentiment behind his cartoonish f-bomb.
“I own it. I did it,” Miller said. “It’s what I felt at the time.”
The cartoonist said the president angered him one day, two months ago when he drew the cartoon, and vented on paper.
“It was a mistake. If you’ve seen it, it’s just scribbled and it wasn’t meant to read, wasn’t meant to be legible,” Miller said. “I had intended to white it out before scanning and uploading it. I had completely forgotten about it.”
Miller said he’s syndicated in 700 newspapers and the Butler Eagle was the first and — as of midday Monday — only paper to take action against him.
The offending cartoon was done about two months ago, and Miller said he’s not sure what Trump might have done that day to draw his anger. He guessed it might have been about the government shutdown.
“It’s a daily outrage and there was something that happened that just ticked me off more than usual that day,” he said.
Miller promised that’ll be his last vulgar attack on Trump in his cartoon.
Netanyahu wants to thank Trump by naming new Golan Heights community after him
Breaking News Emails
By Corky Siemaszko
The Trump name could soon find itself gracing a new planned community in a hotly contested location — the Golan Heights.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced via video Tuesday that he intends to introduce a resolution to have a new Jewish community named after President Donald Trump in gratitude for his decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the area.
“I’m here on the beautiful Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said, arm around his wife. “All Israelis were deeply moved when President Trump made his historic decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Therefore after the Passover holiday I intend to bring to the government a resolution calling for a new community on the Golan Heights named after President Donald J. Trump.”
NBC News has reached out to the White House for comment on Netanyahu’s declaration.
Last month, Trump broke with years of precedent and signaled a major shift in U.S. policy when he said it was time to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the strategic territory that the Jewish state captured from Syria in 1967.
“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump tweeted.
Minutes later, Netanyahu tweeted his appreciation. “At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!”
At the time, Netanyahu was in the midst of a heated re-election battle, which ended in victory for the longtime Israeli leader.
Israel’s neighbors immediately condemned Trump’s abrupt declaration. The Syrian government called it “irresponsible” and a threat to international peace and stability, while Iran’s foreign ministry warned it would plunge the region into a new crisis.
The Golan Heights is a 700-square-mile area overlooking the Jordan Rift Valley that is home to about 47,000 people, the majority of whom are Druze and Syrians — not Israelis.
Israel annexed it in 1981, but most of the international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the area.
Communities take steps to foster Latino census participation despite citizenship question
By Stephen Nuño-Pérez
The Supreme Court is debating the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census. But communities with a high number of Hispanic and immigrant families are not waiting for a decision and are putting money and resources into ambitious, targeted campaigns to ensure families fill out the census forms.
In Arizona, Coconino County treasurer Sarah Benatar says a census task force has been making community outreach plans for the past year.
“From congressional seats to funding that trickles down to the local level in housing, education and transportation, these decisions are based off of census formulas,” Benatar said. Those public services need to be provided by local communities regardless of the numbers, she explains, so if there is an undercount, the local and state governments lose federal funding.
The stakes for an accurate count are high for jurisdictions with immigrant and Latino communities. The keyword that emerges often when discussing the census with public officials and community organizations is trust. Benatar said the county has been making plans for coordination with churches, teachers, libraries, nonprofits and health clinics to educate residents about the census.
In Arizona, Benatar said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been conducting raids in Flagstaff and nearby Sedona. Though most Latinos are born in the U.S., Hispanics who have family members who are not citizens may be wary of providing family information to the government.
“I’ll use myself as an example. My mom was on a temporary status here, she got her citizenship in 2002. We didn’t open the doors for people we didn’t know,” Benatar said. “You get this form in the mail asking all these questions, and as an immigrant you ask if this is going to impact my status.”
According to a group of researchers, the addition of the citizenship question would reduce the number of Latinos counted by 6 million people (12 percent) and result in “substantial undercounts in states with large immigrant populations.” According to a survey by Matt Barreto, political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, only 35 percent of immigrants and 31 percent of Hispanics said they would trust the Trump administration to protect citizenship information.
In Los Angeles, community organizations built around immigrant rights have become a powerful force in California politics, and they’re taking their clout and aiming it at the census.
Diane Colin, the director of civic engagement for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), highlighted the exponential growth they’ve had in reaching out to local residents. “Since 2004, we have been doing a voter contact program focusing on low propensity Latino voters,” she said. “In 2004, we talked to 1,200 low propensity voters in the San Fernando Valley —in 2018 we talked to 243,000 voters in 34 different counties throughout California.”
CHIRLA is building on this outreach as it kicks off its “Contamos Contigo” (“We Count on You”) campaign. Part of the strategy, Colin says, is to prevent the need for census workers to come to immigrant households by encouraging immigrants to complete the census online or over the phone.
Colin says CHIRLA is ready to deploy a call center with advocates willing to stay on the line with immigrants as they call in to complete their census forms. “We will stay on the phone with them on the three way in case they need a (Spanish-language) translator,” she said.
Colin says that the variety of services that CHIRLA now provides, from legal to advocacy, allows it to come into contact with the immigrant community more than 2.7 million times in a year. This infrastructure will be the foundation for the group’s census campaign.
CHIRLA Executive Director Angelica Salas said that with almost half of the workers in California being an immigrant or the children of immigrants, the importance of the census for California is profound.
At the state level, the director for the California Complete Count Committee (CCCC) says that the state has revised its timeline to ensure success.
“The 2020 census may be the most difficult census count yet, from a new online process to a citizenship question. There are many roadblocks to overcome,” Ditas Katague, the director of the CCCC 2020 program, said. “We’ve started our census outreach and engagement efforts early and are committing more resources than any other state to reach Californians statewide.”
Diana Crofts-Pelayo, communications chief of CCCC, says that the state has committed more than 100 million dollars for the effort, with another 54 million dollars being discussed in the Legislature to tackle “undercount” issues.
The state’s Department of Finance Demographic Research Unit has created a metric for targeting “hard to count” communities by developing an index compiled through various agencies on where to focus their attention, Crofts-Pelayo says.
National groups worry the citizenship question will depress census participation at a time when Hispanics have seen strong demographic gains.
Arturo Vargas, CEO of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, released a statement on the eve of Tuesday’s Supreme Court oral arguments over the citizenship lawsuit. “The 2020 census, which is taking place at a time of unprecedented and widespread fear, will be the first in the nation’s history in which Latinos make up the nation’s second largest population group. An undercount of the Latino population due to the unlawful inclusion of this untested and ill-intentioned question would mean a failed census for the country.”
José Calderon, president of the Hispanic Federation, a national advocacy group, told NBC News earlier this month that their message is that the community should say “presente,” which means present.
“Power rests in our hands completely — no one can stop you from doing it [filling the census].”
Border Patrol finds abandoned toddler with phone number on his shoes at border
Breaking News Emails
By Julia Ainsley
WASHINGTON — U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 3-year-old migrant alone in a cornfield at the border between Mexico and Texas on Tuesday morning, according to Customs and Border Protection officials.
The boy, who was in distress and crying when agents found him in the Rio Grande Valley near Brownsville, Texas, was identified only by a phone number and his name written on his shoes, the officials said.
The agents have taken the boy to a U.S. border station and are attempting to find his parents using the number on his shoes, the officials said. So far, they have been unsuccessful and are in the process of transferring the boy to the care of Health and Human Services.
Rudy Karish, the chief Border Patrol agent in the Rio Grande Valley, said he believes the boy was left by smugglers. Karish said he believes the boy was with a larger group. When the group was encountered by agents, the adults ran away and left the boy alone.
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The boy watched movies at the border station and appears to be in good spirits, Karish said.
The incident marks a flashpoint in the rising number of families and children crossing the border in recent months. In March, a total of 8,975 children traveling without their parents, but most often in groups, were apprehended at the southern border. The number of families crossing has also climbed, with 53,077 parents and children crossing the border together last month.
In December, two young children died in Customs and Border Protection custody shortly after reaching the United States with their parents.
The journey into the Rio Grande Valley of Texas has long been an arduous but popular one, with immigrants risking dangerous waters to float or swim across the river from Mexico to Texas.
Border agents are still looking for the boy’s parents or anyone who may be able to provide more information.
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