News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
SF Chronicle: Trump administration considering action similar to travel ban for Mexican border
The Trump administration is considering a travel ban-like executive action that would block certain asylum seekers at the Mexican border, the San Francisco Chroniclereported Thursday.
The proposal is not yet finalized and may ultimately be discarded, sources familiar with the discussions told the Chronicle. Sources spoke on the condition of anonymity to the Chronicle because the plan is in formative stages. The New York Times and Politico later confirmed the thrust of the report Thursday.
“The situation remains fluid and many options to deal with the caravan remain on the table,” a Department of Homeland Security source told CNN.
If approved by the President, the order would be a dramatic escalation of enforcement at the southern border, as a caravan of migrants from Central America is moving through Mexico headed toward the United States.CNN
HHS admits miscount left some migrant children stranded in custody
The Trump administration failed to include at least 14 migrant children in its count of minors whom officials separated from their families at the border, which has left the overlooked children in HHS custody for months, the administration told a federal court late Thursday night.
The revelation was contained in a filing in which administration officials acknowledged that their previous count of 2,654 separated children was inaccurate, and raising it to 2,668.
The HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement “recently completed another review of case management records to ensure that its categorizations of certain children in ORR care remain accurate,” the filing states.
“Defendants will further adjust their categorizations of children to the extent it becomes appropriate.”
The discrepancy stemmed from the haphazard way that the Trump administration tracked migrant families after it imposed the “zero-tolerance” strategy that led to separations at the border. Neither Homeland Security nor HHS was prepared to implement the policy, government investigators reported this week. Border Patrol agents also did not track families consistently as they were separated and as children were remanded into HHS custody.Politico
Ex Trump campaign adviser may try to withdraw guilty plea
George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser who admitted lying to the FBI in the Russia probe, says he’s considering withdrawing his guilty plea.
In an interview Friday on “Fox & Friends,” Papadopoulos said he learned new information Thursday when he spoke to congressional investigators that he “can’t publicly disclose.”
Because of that, Papadopoulos said he’s “considering withdrawing my agreement I have come to with the government.”
Federal law generally does not allow defendants to withdraw a guilty plea after sentencing without proof of some overriding injustice or new evidence.AP
Guardian reporter threatens to exit settlement with GOP lawmaker who assaulted him
A lawyer representing Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs said this week that his client may leave a settlement agreement with Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) if the lawmaker continues to misrepresent his assault of the journalist.
Attorney Geoffrey H. Genth sent a letter to Gianforte after the GOP lawmaker told the Missoulian editorial board last week that he initially told the truth to the police regarding the 2017 incident. Gianforte also told the newspaper that he was bound by a settlement agreement to not discuss the incident.
A police report shows Gianforte originally said Jacobs initiated contact. Jacobs’s lawyer also contends that there was no confidentiality agreement.
“Rep. Gianforte’s continued lying this month has greatly aggravated the severe harm that Rep. Gianforte previously caused to Ben and Ben’s reputation,” the letter states, according to a copy obtained by Politico.
“The continued lying is unacceptable and actionable. Please advise your client that he and his spokespersons need to stop — immediately and forever — telling lies about the assault, about their own prior lies, about your client’s ‘settlement agreement’ with Ben, or about any other aspect of this matter.
“Ben reserves all rights, including the right to seek rescission of the General Release on the ground of Rep. Gianforte’s fraudulent inducement,” Genth added.The Hill
North, South Korea begin demilitarizing ‘scariest place on earth’
North and South Korea have removed all weapons and ammunition from the Joint Security Area (JSA), the notorious spot between the two Koreas where soldiers from North and South stand face to face, guns at the ready.
The move is a highly symbolic one that South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hope will further reduce tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang.
The JSA, which is also known as the Panmunjom truce village, has long been considered one of the most dangerous borders on the planet. Former US President Bill Clinton once called it the “scariest place on earth.”CNN