Outcry after Trump officials reveal sixth migrant child died in US custody

Ten-year-old girl from El Salvador died on 29 September ‘due to fever and respiratory distress’ after complications with surgery.

The Trump administration has been forced to reveal that a 10-year-old migrant girl died in its custody more than seven months ago, sparking further outcry after a spate of recent migrant child deaths while detained by the US government.

The 10 year-old girl from El Salvador is the sixth child to die in custody in the past eight months amid the immigration crisis. Her death was not previously reported by authorities and was only made public late on Wednesday after a report by CBS News.

The child’s name and how she entered the US has not been made public by authorities, but a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which administers the care of unaccompanied minors, told CBS the child had a history of congenital heart defects.

The spokesman said the child was taken into the custody of an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) facility in Texas on 4 March last year in a “medically fragile” state. The girl underwent surgery and was left in a coma after complications with the procedure. She was eventually transferred to a children’s hospital in Nebraska and died on 29 September “due to fever and respiratory distress”.

The revelations follow the announcement of another child death in custody earlier in the week. Carlos Hernández Vásquez, 16, an unaccompanied minor from Guatemala, was found dead in immigration custody in south Texas. The teenager had been held in custody by US border patrol for a week, twice the time that is legally allowable. Reports indicate the teenager had been diagnosed with flu before his death but it remains unclear what, if any, treatment he received for his illness from authorities.

Carlos is the fifth child from Guatemala to die in immigration custody over the past eight months. Wilmer Josué Ramírez Vásquez, two, died earlier this month after being taken into custody in April and falling sick. Juan de León Gutiérrez, 16, an unaccompanied minor, died on 30 April after falling ill in detention in south Texas. Felipe Gómez Alonzo, eight, died in December 2018 in New Mexico after falling sick in custody. And Jakelin Caal Maquin, seven, died the same month after contracting sepsis in custody.

Jess Morales Rocketto, chair of Families Belong Together, a group that campaigns against the forced separation of migrant families after crossing the US-Mexico border, said: “Yet another tragedy on our watch.”

She added, about the latest report: “It is simply outrageous. It is unacceptable that the nation is hearing about this tragedy for the first time eight months after her death, and it raises serious questions about how many other migrant children’s deaths the Trump administration either doesn’t know about, doesn’t care about or is sweeping under the rug.”

Congressional Democrats are calling for an investigation into the death of the 10-year-old girl as US border agents temporarily closed the primary migrant processing facility in south Texas due to an outbreak of poor health conditions.

Although HHS was not legally required to make the death of the 10 year-old public, a number of Democrats have accused the Trump administration of a cover-up. the former US housing secretary and Democratic candidate for president Julián Castro‏ described the administration as “morally bankrupt” for withholding the details.

 

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Trump "Less Prepared" Than Putin For Key Meet, Says Ex-State Secretary

Washington, United States: US President Donald Trump was less prepared than Vladimir Putin for their first meeting, allowing his Russian counterpart to promote his own agenda and leaving US officials at a disadvantage, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has told lawmakers.

Tillerson, who was fired by Trump last March, delivered his assessment of Trump's approach to the talks in Hamburg in 2017, in remarks to a Congress committee Tuesday reported by the Washington Post.  

"We spent a lot of time in the conversation talking about how Putin seized every opportunity to push what he wanted," a committee aide told the newspaper.

Trump met with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in July 2017 under a cloud of rebuke for his reluctance to criticize the Russian leader directly over Moscow's meddling in US elections the previous year.

He later said he got along with Putin "very, very well" at the meeting.

Tillerson attended the Hamburg talks, which were intended to be a brief meeting but span out into a two-hour discussion on a variety of global issues, anonymous committee aids told the Washington Post.

The following year Trump met again with Putin for their first formal summit in Helsinki, dismissing top aides for two hours of talks, in a sharp break with standard diplomatic practice.

The businessman-turned-politician has previously expressed skepticism about the importance of preparation for high-stakes diplomacy, describing "attitude" as more useful than research.

Ahead of his first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last year, Trump said with characteristic bravado: "I don't think I have to prepare very much... It's about attitude, it's about willingness to get things done."

Trump dismissed Tillerson's remarks, claiming he was "perfectly prepared" for meetings with Putin.

"We did very well at those meetings," he said, according to the newspaper.

Tillerson has previously described Trump as an "undisciplined" figure who repeatedly wanted to break the law -- leading the US president to respond that his onetime cabinet member was "dumb as a rock" and lazy as hell."

"There was a discrepancy in preparation, and it created an unequal footing."

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Almost two-thirds of Americans oppose pre-emptive US strike on Iran, fresh poll finds

A sizeable majority of US citizens oppose the idea of pre-emptive strikes on Iran, and massively disapprove of Trump’s policy towards the Islamic Republic, a survey has revealed as tensions continue to flare in the Gulf.

Some 60 percent of Americans believe that the US should not attack Iranian armed forces first, while a measly 12 percent supported carrying out a pre-emptive attack, according to a Tuesday poll by Reuters/Ipsos. That’s despite 53 percent of American adults referring to Iran as a “serious” or “imminent” threat.

That figure, overlooked by many mainstream media outlets, was almost as large as the number of American adults (51 percent) who believed their country is set to go to war against Iran in the next few years.

Nerves in the troubled Gulf region were put more on edge last week after Donald Trump delivered a veiled threat to Iran via Twitter, saying that any conflict with the US would mean “the official end of Iran.” During two years of his presidency, he also quit the hard-fought 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran’s economy.

Read more ‘It would mark the end of Iraq’: Shia clerics warn against US war with Iran

‘It would mark the end of Iraq’: Shia clerics warn against US war with Iran

Now, nearly half – 49 percent – of Americans were notably unappreciative of Trump’s handling of Iran.

US-Iran tensions were fueled by a string of American military deployments this month. The Pentagon has already sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a squadron of B-52 bombers, and a battery of Patriot missiles to the Middle East, stirring up fears of a looming conflict.

Iran was skeptical about the US’ willingness to engage in an all-out military confrontation, saying Washington lacked both the political will and military assets. In the meantime, Tehran stated that while it does not want war, it remains ready for any eventuality.

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Over 18,700 Migrants Wait in Mexico to Cross US Border

Mexico, May 21 (Prensa Latina) More than 18,7000 migrants are waiting in Mexican bordering cities to ask for asylum in the United States, experts from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) said on Tuesday.

It is the latest statistics released by that academic institution since President Donald Trump unilaterally decided to repatriate the Mexicans who arrived in US territory to start the visa request procedures, which can take several months.

The Mexico-United States Study Center from UCSD started the monitoring in November 2018, when 6,000 migrants gathered in the city of Tijuana with the intention to cross the border in San Diego to ask for asylum.

According to the San Diego Border Patrol, more than 8,500 migrants have asked for asylum outside the border crossings since November 12.

The statistics include migrants, above all Central American families, who are already on the border with Mexico, regardless of whether they had permission to cross the border to ask for refuge.

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Cuban President Rejects Donald Trump's Meddling Message

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has accused his US counterpart, Donald Trump, of being threatening, manipulative and shameless on Twitter.

Trump, clinging to the US meddling tradition, issued a threatening, manipulative and shameless message against Cuba on May 20, marking the proclamation of the neocolonial republic. We will not return to that past and we will firmly defend independence', wrote the Head of State in his account @DiazCanelB.

US President posted a tweet on Moday which disrespects Cuba's sovereignty, questions its ties with Venezuela and once again meddles in the Cuba´s internal affairs.

On May 20, 1902, the neocolonial Republic was proclaimed, presided over by the government of Tomas Estrada Palma, under the aegis of US military intervention in Cuba.

 

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Trump and his advisors on the international chessboard

Businessman Donald Trump, who became president with a minority vote of the U.S. people –received a smaller share of the popular vote than his rival Hilary Clinton, in an election that saw a high abstention rate – is at a real crossroads, one of the many in the labyrinth in which his administration is buried.

Little is going well for the President. One of his most cherished dreams, negotiations on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) denuclearization, which saw him approach the laurels of glory, was snatched away. The “deal of the century” went up in smoke, among other reasons, due to the ill will and ineptitude of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton. Bolton’s latest statements on the subject were described as “nonsense” by the DPRK’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui.

These two politicians appear to be competing to see who can come up with the biggest lie, and especially who can say it first. They contradict each other; they get things wrong, in what was described by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, during a press conference at the Ministry as a sign of “haste and improvisation.”

On April 17, Bolton stated before the ignoble remnants of the mercenary 2506 Brigade (Bay of Pigs veterans), in Miami, “Together, we can finish what began on those beaches.” Such nonsense is truly laughable. On the sands of Playa Girón the arrogance and vain pride of the empire were buried. What began to fall on that beach was the power of the United States on the continent. Do they really want to finish what they started?

HEDGING BETS ON THE DOMINO EFFECT

Trump failed to beat ISIS, and the imperialist media also failed to get people to believe the tale of its victory. Afghanistan is still an escapable problem, Iraq is a mess, Iran resists sanctions and threats, and to top it all the continued errors surrounding the Korean issue mean that Russia, in a skilled political move, is gaining prominence over its Yankee counterpart, and taking the initiative in what could become a true “deal of the century.”

The coup d’état in Venezuela was the “game-saving plan.” Ambitious Senator Marco Rubio, a frenzied enemy of the Cuban people, apparently “sold” the idea to Trump that he could kill several birds with one stone: “If Venezuela falls, Cuba and then Nicaragua will fall.” The domino effect would be underway, and the President would go down in history as having achieved the “unthinkable.”

But we already know how the coup orchestrated by U.S. forces ended. Another dream faded away.

WINNING NO MATTER WHAT

The aim is to win, no matter what, and thus “all options are on the table.” The overthrow of Nicolás Maduro would be a “great political victory,” a key achievement. For the ultraconservative circle that surrounds Trump, this is the great historic opportunity to achieve what so many Presidents couldn’t, and also obtain his longed for reelection.

Trump’s mob elaborates plan after plan, racking their brains. We don’t know whether this elite club was selected or imposed on him – perhaps its members have a card up their sleeve, proof of some of “mischief.” They say they can’t lose in Venezuela, but the real possibility of failure is a concern to the boss and his closest collaborators.

To prevent their total defeat, they tighten the siege, doing what no one could have imagined, breaking with all ethics, all rules, willing to go to any lengths, even unleash a war of incalculable proportions. They act with insanity, bereft of all logic.

The economic offensive against Cuba and Venezuela is unparalleled; it is an aggression of apocalyptic proportions, despicable in all its scope and meaning. They hope that hunger, disease and hardship will cause despair among the people, that the Venezuelan people will rise up against themselves, and, despite the lessons of history, they expect the same to happen in Cuba.

“Zero economic growth” in Venezuela is the plan from the likes of Rubio, Pence, Bolton, Pompeo and company, who hope to make the economy collapse and unleash chaos. According to their calculations, the Cuban government will then fall, with the island incapable of resisting such a thrashing, and then they will finish off everything within reach of their guns.

THE INCREASINGLY INTRICATE LABYRINTH

Trump is at a crossroads. As any good businessman, he should know that his best move is to pull back, in time, that the best businesses are “win-win,” but blinded by arrogance and “bad advice” he insists on delving deeper into the labyrinth, bringing things forward, move after move, raising the stakes with no way out. He will never escape his own game.

He cannot win, and in the last instance all he will reap is the blood-drenched earth of two peoples who will not bend; peaceful when it comes to work and living in peace, but warriors when it comes to defending their honor and freedom.

The President of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, has said, “Imperialism plunges deeper into a desperate phase” in its attacks against the country. This despair makes it dangerous; one can expect anything from the incompetent clique surrounding President Trump.

There is nothing beyond the labyrinth, only desolation and the historical shame of those who dream of stealing the freedom of others. If they persist along this path, humiliation and defeat await them.

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Donald Trump Loses Lawsuit Challenging Subpoena For Financial Records

A US judge on Monday ruled in favour of a US House of Representatives committee seeking President Donald Trump's financial records from his accounting firm, dealing an early setback to the Trump administration in its legal battle with Congress.

US District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington also denied a request by Trump to stay his decision pending an appeal.

Last Tuesday Mehta heard oral arguments on whether Mazars LLP must comply with a House of Representatives Oversight Committee subpoena.

Mehta said in Monday's ruling that the committee "has shown that it is not engaged in a pure fishing expedition for the President's financial records" and that the Mazars documents might assist Congress in passing laws and performing other core functions.

It was the first time a federal court had waded into the tussle about how far Congress can go in probing Trump and his business affairs.

Trump is refusing to cooperate with a series of investigations on issues ranging from his tax returns and policy decisions to his Washington hotel and his children's security clearances.

Trump's lawyers argued that Congress is on a quest to "turn up something that Democrats can use as a political tool against the president now and in the 2020 election."

Mehta's ruling will almost certainly be appealed to a higher court.

The House Oversight Committee claims sweeping investigative power and says it needs Trump's financial records to examine whether he has conflicts of interest or broke the law by not disentangling himself from his business holdings, as previous presidents did.

Lawyers for Trump and the Trump Organization, his company, last month filed a lawsuit to block the committee's subpoena, saying it exceeded Congress' constitutional limits.

Mehta was appointed in 2014 by Democratic former President Barack Obama, who was often investigated by Republicans in Congress during his two terms in office.

Mazars has avoided taking sides in the dispute and said it will "comply with all legal obligations."

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'No talks, only resistance': Iran's Rouhani rules out negotiations under current US stance

Iran is open for talks and diplomacy but those avenues are closed under the status quo, with its economy being strangled by the US, the Iranian president said, adding that Tehran's only option now is to resist.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, under whose tenure the universally acclaimed 2015 nuclear deal was struck, said on Monday that his country welcomes diplomacy and all sorts of negotiation in principle, but will not be coerced into them by debilitating economic sanctions and military threats.

"I favor talks and diplomacy but under current conditions, I do not accept it, as today's situation is not suitable for talks and our choice is resistance only," Rouhani said, as cited by IRNA news agency.

Also on rt.com Trump threatens to use 'great force' at Iran provocation, but says there's 'no indication' of one...

He added that the Iranian authorities feel the support of ordinary people who did not buy into the idea that Iran is responsible for the spike in tensions, despite attempts by "the enemy" to portray it as such. The unilateral nature of Washington's sanctions is prime evidence of Iran's victimhood, Rouhani said.

"If we walked away from the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the formal name of the nuclear deal] with the US provocative acts, then, in addition to the US, the UN and world would also impose sanctions on us," he said.

Rouhani admitted that the US sanctions crackdown on Iran has taken a toll on its economy, having severely impaired the Islamic Republic's international trade, considering that some 87 percent of global financial transactions are conducted in dollars. That shrunken ability to deal with the outside world and decreasing government revenues are Iran's two main concerns at the moment, he said.

US President Donald Trump hurled a fresh threat at Tehran on Monday, by vowing to meet any provocation with "great force." Trump floated the idea of negotiations, but said it's exclusively up to Iran to take the first step. "If they call, we will certainly negotiate, but this is going to be up to them," he said. Rouhani, as well as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had all previously rejected Washington's arm twisting. "Try respect – it works!" Zarif tweeted.

READ MORE: US 'genocidal taunts' won't end Iran - Zarif

The relationship between Iran and the US has been on the rocks ever since Trump came to power. His decision to pull the US out of the nuclear deal sent nearly a decade's work by diplomats from across the world to the dustbin of history and widened the rift with Iran; and his intransigent rhetoric has sparked concerns of an all-out war. Although that scenario is what both countries say they want to avoid, the US has done nothing to dampen the fears, recently sending a Navy strike group and bomber force to the region citing an Iranian "threat."

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