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Updated: 2 hours 21 min ago

Man awarded $18.4 million in lawsuit over failed HIV test

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 11:40

BOSTON -- A federal jury has awarded $18.4 million in damages to a man who said in a lawsuit that two doctors failed to test him for HIV, which allowed the virus to progress to AIDS.

The Boston Globe reports the jury ruled Monday in favor of 48-year-old Sean Stentiford in his medical malpractice lawsuit against internist Stephen Southard and neurologist Kinan Hreib.

Stentiford said he consented to an HIV test in 2007 because he was experiencing facial paralysis. The suit says Hreib canceled the test because he felt Stentiford had no risk of HIV.

Stentiford's lawyer says his client should have been tested because he is gay and was exposed to bodily fluids while working as a paramedic.

Lawyers for the doctors did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Categories: Ohio News

Starbucks to close 150 stores as sales growth cools

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 09:58

Starbucks says it will accelerate its store closings in the U.S. next year to counter cooling sales growth.

The Seattle-based company announced Tuesday that it will close 150 underperforming stores in heavily penetrated markets, up from the usual rate of 50 closings a year.

Starbucks now operates about 13,900 locations in the U.S., putting it within sipping distance of the 14,400 restaurants operated by McDonald's. In the past year, Starbucks has opened almost 1,000 new stores in the Americas, which includes the U.S., Canada and Latin America. One analyst estimates that new stores may be cannibalizing traffic from existing stores, potentially diverting 1 out of 7 transactions.

Competition from rivals like McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts is heating up, said Bernstein analyst Sara Senatore in a research note.

"Intensified competition in the slushy coffee category is exacerbating the shift towards health and wellness weighing on Frappuccino demand," she wrote. "Starbucks will focus on Teavana drinks and other more healthful options in its core offering, which it views as 'more differentiated.'"

The company also said it expects 1 percent growth in global sales for the third quarter, a period that encompassed an uproar over the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks. Starbucks closed its U.S. stores on May 29 to conduct racial-bias training for its employees.

CEO Kevin Johnson told investors the company halted its marketing campaign for cold beverages while it addressed with controversy, which may have affected sales.

Starbucks shares slipped nearly 2 percent in after-hours trading.

Categories: Ohio News

Oklahoma Wendy's employee finds mouse feasting in bag of buns

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 09:37

CATOOSA OK. – An employee at a Wendy’s in Catoosa, Oklahoma found a mouse running around in a bag of buns earlier this week.

According to the Facebook from the employee, there also were cigarettes on the counter.

KOTV in Tulsa reported the employee, Samantha Frame, posted the video and was told to go back to work and continue to serve the customers from other bags of buns.

KOTV reported the store has faced other health code violations.

Categories: Ohio News

Trump says he'll be 'signing something' on detained children

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 09:20

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has drafted an executive action for President Donald Trump that would direct her department to keep families together after they are detained crossing the border illegally. She was at the White House where Trump told reporters he would be "signing something" shortly.

The effort to end what has become a major crisis for the Trump administration was outlined by two people familiar with Nielsen's thinking who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the effort before its official announcement.

It's unclear exactly what the president might be supporting, but he said he would be signing something "in a little while."

"We want to keep families together," he said.

The effort would mark a dramatic departure for an administration that has been insisting, wrongly, that it has no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of the law and a court decision.

Nielsen, the president and other officials have repeatedly said the only way to end the practice is for Congress to pass new legislation, though both Democrats and some Republicans have said the president could reverse it with a simple phone call.

The news in recent days has been dominated by searing images of children held in cages at border facilities, as well as audio recordings of young children crying for their parents.

One of the people familiar with Nielsen's thinking said she believes there is no certainty that Congress will act to fix the separation issue.

Asked about the possibility of an executive order on immigration, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters: "We'll keep you posted. When we have an announcement to make, we'll make it."

Trump had tweeted earlier Wednesday that he was "working on something."

"It's the Democrats fault, they won't give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation. They want open borders, which breeds horrible crime. Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!" he wrote.

Homeland Security officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The administration recently put into place a "zero tolerance" policy in which all unlawful border crossings are referred for prosecution — a process that moves adults to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and sends many children to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Under the Obama administration, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation.

The policy had led to a spike in family separations in recent weeks, with more than 2,300 minors were separated from their families at the border from May 5 through June 9, according to the Department of Homeland Security

Nielsen's action wouldn't end the zero tolerance policy, but would aim to keep families together and ask the Department of Defense to help house the detained families.

Nielsen is working with the other agencies, including the Justice Department, Health and Human Services and the law enforcement agencies within Homeland Security on the proposed changes.

The aim is to legally work around a settlement that prevents the detention of families together for more than 20 days, or defy the order and force it back into court to argue for changes to settlement.

The settlement of a class-action lawsuit set policies for the treatment and release of unaccompanied children who are caught at the border. The Flores settlement, named for a teenage girl who brought the case in the 1980s, requires the government to release children from custody and to their parents, adult relatives or other caretakers, in order of preference. If those options are exhausted, authorities must find the "least restrictive" setting for the child who arrived without parents.

In 2015, a federal judge in Los Angeles expanded the terms of the settlement, ruling that it applies to children who are caught with their parents as well as to those who come to the U.S. alone. Other recent rulings, upheld on appeal, affirm the children's rights to a bond hearing and require better conditions at the Border Patrol's short-term holding facilities.

In 2016, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that child migrants who came to the border with parents and were held in custody must be released. The decision did not state parents must be released. Neither, though, did it require parents to be kept in detention, apart from their children.

Categories: Ohio News

Reagan Tokes Act expected to receive vote on House floor today

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 08:37

COLUMBUS -- A bill named after murdered Ohio State student Reagan Tokes could clear a major legislative hurdle today.

The Ohio House version of the Reagan Tokes Act is expected to be voted on the House floor this afternoon.

House Bill 365 would dramatically change how violent felons are sentenced to prison and how they are watched once they are released.

Convicted sex offender Brian Golsby raped, kidnapped and murdered Tokes in February of 2017.

A jury convicted him in March. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Golsby had been released from prison just three months before Tokes’ death and was wearing a GPS ankle monitor at the time of the crime.

The legislation followed a series of 10 Investigates reports that exposed failures of the state’s parole system to closely track Golsby and others.

The legislation also has two companion bills in the Ohio Senate.

SB 201 was voted out of the Senate in May. It seeks to create indeterminate sentencing in Ohio, which would allow judges to sentence violent felons to a range of years in prison rather than a finite amount of years. The idea is to incentivize inmates to behave while in prison. If they behave, there’s a chance their sentences could be reduced.

If they act out – as Golsby did – they could receive a lengthier prison term.

Under current Ohio law, offenders cannot be given additional time for misbehaving while incarcerated.

Golsby was released from prison in November 2016 after serving six years for attempted rape and robbery.

During his prison terms, Golsby acquired 52 sanctions for acting out and was transferred to various prisons throughout the state. Despite this, state law required that he be released on time even though corrections officials later acknowledged he had not been rehabilitated.

SB 202 attempts to address the other issues raised in the legislation – creating a statewide GPS database for offenders, forcing the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to create a re-entry program for hard-to-place offenders and reducing the caseload burdens for parole officers.

HB 365 encompasses all the components of both SB 201 and SB 202.

The major difference – HB 365 strips all the power from ODRC when it comes to the issue of determining if an inmate should be released early from prison. HB 365 calls for a sentencing judge to make that determination. SB 201 would leave the power with ODRC to determine if that the inmate is going to be released early but allows a judge to veto the decision.

The Ohio Public Defenders have spoken in opposition of HB 365 bill saying that it will cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars and force the state to build more prisons. The group has said that SB 201 is more palatable.

This story will be updated.

Categories: Ohio News

AMC Theatres unveils $20-a-month rival to MoviePass

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 08:19

NEW YORK — AMC Theatres, the world's largest movie theater chain, has unveiled a $20-a-month subscription service to rival the flagging MoviePass.

The theater chain on Wednesday announced a new service to its loyalty program, AMC Stubs, allowing subscribers to see up to three movies a week for a monthly fee of $19.95. That's more expensive than the $9.95 monthly fee for MoviePass, but AMC's plan gives access to premium format screenings like IMAX and 3-D.

The new subscription model is the latest salvo — and first major one from a top theater chain — in a heated battle for what the movie business most craves: frequent moviegoers.

AMC Theatres chief executive Adam Aron pointedly said in a statement that AMC's program is at a "sustainable price." Since MoviePass slashed its monthly fee, questions have mounted over the long-term viability of its economic model.

MoviePass has attracted 3 million members, but the stock price of the service's parent company, Helios and Matheson, has dropped from $38 a share to 44 cents a share. MoviePass pays for full-priced tickets and sells them at a discounted rate in order to capitalize on user data.

AMC Stubs A-List membership plan, which also features concessions discounts, will debut Tuesday. Unlike MoviePass, subscribers will be allowed to see all three movies on the same day, and can watch the same movie repeatedly. Movies won't carry over if a subscriber sees fewer than three films in a week.

Categories: Ohio News

Over 100 arrested in second large-scale immigration raid

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 07:58

SALEM, Ohio — U.S. immigration agents have arrested more than 100 workers at an Ohio meat packing plant, the second large-scale raid in the state within the past two weeks.

Immigration officials say the arrests on Tuesday came after a year-long investigation into whether the company knowingly hired people who are in the country illegally.

The arrests happened at Fresh Mark's meat processing plant in Salem in northeastern Ohio.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it also carried out search warrants at the company's three other locations in Canton and Massillon.

A message seeking comment was left with the company Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, immigration agents arrested 114 people at a landscaping center in Ohio. The raids are part of the Trump administration's growing immigration crackdowns.

Categories: Ohio News

Pit bull brought to vet with 107-degree fever dies from heat stroke

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 06:34

DANVILLE, Virginia - The Danville Area Humane Society said a male pit bull brought to their facility died of heat stroke, according to CBS affiliate WIMA.

Officials with the humane society sent a warning to pet owners to take precautions to keep their pets safe from the heat.

They referred to the law of animals having a constant source of cool water and safe from the adverse effects of heat.

Authorities said that a neighbor complained about a pit bull suffering from being left in the heat.

According to the humane society, the dog was recovered by law enforcement, brought to their office with a temperature of 107 degrees and was having seizures.

The Danville Area Humane Society said the pit bull later died.

Categories: Ohio News

Video shows man saving alligator as python nearly squeezes it to death

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 05:15

People are scared of alligators. But in the Florida Everglades, alligators are scared of pythons.

Dramatic new video shows a man rescuing an alligator that is being attacked by a python in the brush of the Everglades. Mike Kimmel got to the gator just in time, as the nearly 10-foot python was squeezing it to death.

The video shows Kimmel who bravely picked up the alligator and unraveled it from the snake's tight grip. The alligator falls to the ground, and Kimmel walks away, carrying the python with it. He holds the python with his bare hands as it wriggles around, and eventually, he and a partner subdue it long enough to drop it in a bag.

Kimmel has his own company, Martin County Trapping and Removals, which focuses on python removal. He shared the video on the company's Facebook Saturday, and it has since gone viral.

The other man seen in the video is Jack Hubbard, a volunteer who accompanied Kimmel to see what it was like to be part of the python program first hand.

Hubbard looks excited when the python is caught and bagged -- the two high five after executing the capture. Hubbard got over his fear of snakes, and Kimmel added another python to his list of captures.

This was not Kimmel's first time dealing with big snakes in the Florida Everglades. He is one of the many people who help Florida take out the invasive species from the state's public lands. He was a contractor for the South Florida Water Management District, CBS affiliate WTSP-TV reports. Over the past year, 24 other state contracted python hunters have helped remove more than 1,000 snakes from the Everglades.

Categories: Ohio News

Bear jumps off skateboard and attacks circus handler as audience watches in horror

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 05:00

Shocking video from a Russian circus shows a bear turn on its handler and viciously attack him during a show. The audience watched in horror as the bear jumped off a skateboard it had been riding and leaped towards the humans in the circus ring.

Video from the circus in Russia's Volgograd region, posted by the Daily Mail, shows the bear sliding down a ramp on the skateboard while a handler holds on to its leash. At the end of the ramp, the bear gets rambunctious, and strains against the leash. The bear then pulls away from its handler and starts running towards another circus member inside the ring.

Other handlers are seen trying to swat the bear away with a large sticks. The bear follows a handler around the small circus ring and then jumps on top of the man.

Bear out of control in circus

— English Russia (@EnglishRussia1) June 17, 2018

The man appears to try and fight back against the giant predator, but the bear overtakes him. The bear and the man wrestle in the ring as other circus members continuously beat the bear with long sticks. Audience members are heard yelling in horror in the background of the video.

The bear pulls the man across the floor of the circus ring, and the tussle continues for several seconds, with the bear violent shaking the man. Eventually, the bear lets go and the man stands up. He does not appear to be badly wounded, as he is able to stand, and once he is freed from the bear he walks over to pick up a stick.

Categories: Ohio News

Crying children fill 'tender age' shelters

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 04:32

President Donald Trump's immigration policies have come under intense scrutiny because of the forced separation of more than 2,300 migrant children from their parents. Democrats and some Republicans are urging an end to the practice at the U.S.-Mexico border. A look at the latest developments:


The Associated Press has learned that babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border are being sent to "tender age" shelters in South Texas.

Play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis were described by lawyers and medical providers who visited the Rio Grand Valley shelters. The government plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday.

Rachel Maddow, host of her eponymous show on MSNBC, broke down while she was live on the air trying to report the AP's exclusive story describing these shelters. After trying to get through the first couple of sentences she said, "I'm sorry. I think I'm going to have to hand this off," ending her segment.


Trump administration officials say they haven't yet figured out how to reunite the thousands of children separated from their families at the border.

"We're still working through the experience of reunifying kids with their parents after adjudication," said Steven Wagner, an acting assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Federal officials say there are some methods parents can use to try to find their children: hotlines to call and an email address for those seeking information.

"They should just give the kids back to their parents. This isn't difficult," said Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union.


In a largely symbolic but politically significant rejection of the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy, the governors of multiple East Coast states have announced that they will not deploy National Guard resources near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, announced Tuesday morning on his Twitter account that he has ordered four crewmembers and a helicopter to immediately return from where they were stationed in New Mexico.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who like Hogan is a Republican governor in a blue state, on Monday reversed a decision to send a National Guard helicopter to the border, citing the Trump administration's "cruel and inhuman" policy.

On the Democratic side, governors in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York and Virginia have all indicated their refusal to send Guard resources to assist with immigration-related issues.


The American Medical Association's chief executive officer sent a letter to the Trump administration urging them to stop the practice of separating children from their parents at the southern border.

Dr. James Madara said in the letter Tuesday that it's well known that childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences created by inhumane treatment often create negative health impacts that can last a lifetime.

Madara sent the letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


A Salvadoran mother says she hasn't spoken to her 8-year-old son in a month, since immigration officials separated them after they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum.

Blanca Orantes-Lopez is being detained at a federal prison south of Seattle while she pursues her asylum claim. She doesn't know when she'll see her son again. He's being kept nearly across the country in upstate New York.

She told her story to The Associated Press in a phone interview from the prison. It's emblematic of about 2,000 other cases in which the Trump administration has separated children from their parents amid a crackdown on illegal immigration.

She says that when officials took her son away, he cried, "Don't leave me, Mom."

Categories: Ohio News

Public genealogy site links suspect to couple's 1987 killing

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 04:23

A Washington state trucker who authorities say was linked by a controversial new DNA technique to the 1987 deaths of a young Canadian couple has been charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder. William Earl Talbott II, 55, of SeaTac was charged Friday in Snohomish County Superior Court, the Daily Herald reports.

Talbott was taken into custody in Seattle May 17 and appeared in court Tuesday, where he entered a not guilty plea.

Authorities say they used information from a public genealogy website, GedMatch, to pinpoint Talbott as a suspect using crime scene DNA that partially matched his distant relatives.

Talbott is charged in the killings of 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg and 20-year-old Jay Cook. Van Cuylenborg and Cook left homes in Saanich, British Columbia, for an overnight trip to Seattle to buy furnace parts for Cook's family business. When they failed to return home, their families filed a missing persons report. Their bodies were found days later.

Van Cuylenborg had been sexually assaulted, bound with plastic ties and shot in the head. Investigators say the assault evidence provided a direct link to Talbott. Cook's battered body was found about 75 miles away. Police say he was beaten with rocks and strangled.

Craig Matheson, Snohomish County's chief criminal deputy prosecutor, wrote in court documents the attacks "were as random as they were savage."

"We never gave up hope that we would find Jay and Tanya's killer," said Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary in a statement following the May arrest. "Yesterday's arrest shows how powerful it can be to combine new DNA technology with the relentless determination of detectives."

Police say they identified Talbott as a suspect with the assistance of Parabon NanoLabs, a private Virginia-based lab that conducted a genetic genealogy analysis for the case. A lab genealogist uploaded DNA genotype data derived from evidence at the crime scene to GEDMatch, a free site where users who have obtained DNA profiles from commercial companies like 23andMe or Ancestry can upload them to expand their search for relatives. There, the genealogist was able to locate distant cousins and narrowed the suspect to Talbott based on their family tree. Police then obtained a DNA sample from a cup Talbott had used, and the Washington State Patrol's crime lab confirmed the DNA profile from the crime scene was a match for Talbott.

Investigators say this is the first arrest of a murder suspect using results from Parabon's genetic genealogy service, which only recently became available. But others have had success with the technique. Investigators in the notorious "Golden State Killer" case in California recently used GedMatch data to develop ex-police officer Joseph James DeAngelo as the suspect in the string of rapes and murders that terrified the state in the 1970s and '80s.

The technique, however, has drawn privacy concerns. Law enforcement officials are able to search the genetic data uploaded to GedMatch as any other member of the public would. No court order is required, the way it would be if they sought the same information from a private genealogy company. And while familial searching of criminal DNA databases is subject to restrictions, when it comes to GEDMatch, "the police officer's ability to throw some information into a public database like this is wholly unregulated," Erin Murphy, a law professor at New York University Law School, told The Atlantic after DeAngelo's arrest in April.

Some critics say it's not clear whether people who use public DNA databases like GEDMatch fully understand that it's possible their DNA could later be used to incriminate a relative.

In a statement released at the time, GEDMatch says it makes clear to users that the genetic information they upload, while primarily used for the purpose of finding relatives, isn't private. GEDMatch operator Curtis Rogers said he wasn't aware law enforcement was using it to search for the Golden State Killer suspect before they announced their findings.

Talbott is being held in the Skagit County Community Justice Center with no bail. Police are asking anyone with information in the case to come forward.

Categories: Ohio News

Fans grieve as detectives search for XXXTentacion's killers

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 04:15

For hours, the fans came in a steady stream to mourn and pay their respects at the spot where rapper XXXTentacion was gunned down, some leaving behind expressions of sympathy along a fence and on the sidewalk.

No arrests have been announced in the shooting of the 20-year-old rapper, who Broward County sheriff's officials say was ambushed by two suspects as he left an upscale motor sports dealership Monday afternoon in his electric BMW. His attorney, David Bogenschutz, said investigators told him the 20-year-old rapper, who pronounced his stage name "Ex Ex Ex ten-ta-see-YAWN," had visited a bank shortly before the shooting and possibly withdrew cash to buy a motorcycle.

That brought a parade of mourners Tuesday to the spot behind Riva Motorsports where XXXTentacion was gunned down, not far from where he grew up in Lauderhill. They placed candles, flowers and teddy bears on the sidewalk near where the rapper known by his fans simply as "X'' was shot. They decorated 100 yards (91 meters) of sidewalk with chalk art including messages of sympathy and loss such as "Feel for you XXX" and "4evr Young."

Myles O'Hara, 17, and Aaron Gavin, 20, sat on the curb, solemnly staring at the ground, mostly ignoring the people who moved past. They said they admired XXXTentacion because he was a local kid who rose from rough circumstances and was making a positive contribution.

"He had some legal allegations before, but the last year he had only been a positive influence on people's lives, making hit Billboard songs," O'Hara said. "He has been a kind person. You could look at his face and smile and he was just a normal kid like us ... His style is almost hard to explain. He had an angry tone. He meant everything he said, even the most simplistic words. It just came off his tongue like nothing. He was speaking his mind."

Gavin said unlike other rappers whose songs emphasize buying expensive merchandise, XXXTentacion rapped about his emotions.

"X talked about how he felt instead of materialistic things like owning this car, this car, this house, this house," Gavin said.

Brandon Lang, a 29-year-old magazine owner, said XXXTentacion may have had an angry persona in his performance, but in reality he "did good things," pointing out that he had come home to perform in an upcoming charity show.

"He had all these mistakes that could have wound up defining him but he didn't let that happen," Lang said. "That is why he is connecting to all these kids because these kids are going through a really sad time, a sad world. He taught them how to cope."

In Los Angeles, hundreds of fans turned Melrose Avenue into a mosh pit in celebration and mourning of XXXTentacion late Tuesday night.

In an impromptu memorial outside a Hollywood bike shop, fans filling the street and dancing on rooftops shouted along with his songs beneath a cloud of pot smoke.

A big painted sign in the shop window read RIP XXX followed by hearts.

Police closed off the street and let the party grow to nearly 500 people before calling for the crowd to clear out.

The entertainer, who sported dreadlocks and facial tattoos, was a rising star. He notched a No. 1 album in March with his sophomore effort "?'' and had a top 10 hit with "Sad!" but was facing trial on charges that he beat up his pregnant girlfriend.

His brief career was marked by controversy. In 2016, he was arrested on charges including home invasion for a 2015 incident, and less than a month later was jailed on charges that he attacked his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time. Later, he faced more charges including witness tampering.

In an interview this month with the Miami New Times, XXXTentacion described his upbringing, which included seeing his mother infrequently and being raised by friends, family and baby sitters. His mother bought him clothes, phones and other gifts. He said he used violence so she would engage with him.

In one video on social media, he said: "If worse things come to worse, I (expletive) die a tragic death or some (expletive), and I'm not able to see out my dreams, I at least want to know that the kids perceive my message and were able to make something of themselves."

He continued later: "I appreciate and love all of you and I believe in you all; do not let your depression make you, do not let your body define your soul, let your soul define your body. Your mind is limitless ... you are worth more than you can believe."

Categories: Ohio News

South Korea leader urges denuclearization steps from North

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 04:09

BEIJING (AP) — South Korea's president urged North Korea on Wednesday to present a plan with concrete steps toward denuclearization, raising the pressure on its leader, Kim Jong Un, during his visit to Beijing to discuss the outcome of his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Kim is in Beijing on his third visit to China this year, underscoring the major improvement in relations between the communist neighbors.

Kim's motorcade was seen leaving the North Korean Embassy on Wednesday afternoon as police closed off major roads and intersections in central Beijing. Gawking pedestrians watched the passing motorcade that included Kim's limousine — a black Mercedes with gold emblems on the rear doors — as well as several minibuses and 15 motorcycle police clad in white suits.

The motorcade traveled to Beijing's airport, where the limousine was spotted entering the charter flight terminal.

In Seoul, South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged North Korea to present "far more concrete" plans on how it will scrap its nuclear program, and the United States to take unspecified corresponding measures swiftly.

"It's necessary for North Korea to present far more concrete denuclearization plans, and I think it's necessary for the United States to swiftly reciprocate by coming up with comprehensive measures," Moon said. Moon's office said he made the remarks to Russian media ahead of his trip to Moscow later this week.

Moon, who has met with Kim twice in recent months, said the North Korean leader is willing to give up his nuclear program and focus on economic development if he's provided with a reliable security guarantee. Moon described Kim as "forthright," ''careful" and "polite."

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Seoul was monitoring Kim's "newfound diplomatic activism" and the outcome of his meetings in China.

"China has an important role to play on issues of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula," Kang said, adding that South Korea expects the discussions in Beijing will help move forward the process of denuclearization.

China backs the North's call for a "phased and synchronous" approach to denuclearization, as opposed to Washington's demand for an instant, total and irreversible end to the North's nuclear programs.

A report by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said Kim expressed his gratitude to Chinese President Xi Jinping when they met on Tuesday. KCNA said that during a banquet hosted by Xi, Kim also said North Korea and China are seeing their ties develop into "unprecedentedly special relations."

At his summit with Trump last week in Singapore, Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization in exchange for U.S. security guarantees. The U.S. and South Korea suspended a major joint military exercise that was planned in August in what was seen as a major victory for North Korea and its chief allies, China and Russia.

There was no official word on Kim's activities on Wednesday, although South Korea's Yonhap news agency said his motorcade was seen at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing.

China has encouraged Kim's shift toward economic development and has touted the prospects of more trade and investment if North Korea makes progress in talks on abandoning its nuclear weapons and long-range missile programs.

That could allow the lifting of U.N. Security Council economic sanctions that have caused a plunge in North Korea's foreign trade, although the U.S. insists that easing of sanctions can only come after the North shows it has ended its nuclear programs. The U.S. says China is in agreement on that point, although Chinese officials have repeatedly stated that sanctions should not be considered an end in themselves.

Categories: Ohio News

US leaving UN's Human Rights Council, cites anti-Israel bias

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 04:04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is leaving the United Nations' Human Rights Council, which Ambassador Nikki Haley called "an organization that is not worthy of its name." It's the latest withdrawal by the Trump administration from an international institution.

Haley said Tuesday the U.S. had given the human rights body "opportunity after opportunity" to make changes. She lambasted the council for "its chronic bias against Israel" and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such as China, Cuba, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights," Haley said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appearing alongside Haley at the State Department, said there was no doubt that the council once had a "noble vision."

But today we need to be honest," Pompeo said. "The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights."

The announcement came just a day after the U.N. human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents. But Haley cited longstanding U.S. complaints that the 47-member council is biased against Israel. She had been threatening the pull-out since last year unless the council made changes advocated by the U.S.

"Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded," Haley said.

Still, she suggested the decision need not be permanent, adding that if the council did adopt reforms, "we would be happy to rejoin it." She said the withdrawal notwithstanding, the U.S. would continue to defend human rights at the United Nations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office called the U.S. decision "courageous," calling it "an unequivocal statement that enough is enough."

The move extends a broader Trump administration pattern of stepping back from international agreements and forums under the president's "America First" policy. Although numerous officials have said repeatedly that "America First does not mean America Alone," the administration has retreated from multiple multilateral accords and consensuses since it took office.

Since January 2017, it has announced its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, left the U.N. educational and cultural organization and pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal. Other contentious moves have included slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum against key trading partners, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Opposition to the decision from human rights advocates was swift. A group of 12 organizations including Save the Children, Freedom House and the United Nations Association-USA said there were "legitimate concerns" about the council's shortcomings but that none of them warranted a U.S. exit.

"This decision is counterproductive to American national security and foreign policy interests and will make it more difficult to advance human rights priorities and aid victims of abuse around the world," the organizations said in a joint statement.

Added Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch: "All Trump seems to care about is defending Israel."

On Twitter, al-Hussein, the U.N. human rights chief, said it was "Disappointing, if not really surprising, news. Given the state of #HumanRights in today's world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back."

And the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank close to the Trump administration, defended the move, calling the council "notably incurious about the human rights situations in some of the world's most oppressive countries." Brett Schaefer, a senior fellow, pointed out that Trump could have withdrawn immediately after taking office but instead gave the council 18 months to make changes.

Haley has been the driving force behind withdrawing from the human rights body, unprecedented in the 12-year history of the council. No country has ever dropped out voluntarily. Libya was kicked out seven years ago.

The move could reinforce the perception that the Trump administration is seeking to advance Israel's agenda on the world stage, just as it prepares to unveil its long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan despite Palestinian outrage over the embassy relocation. Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is visiting the Middle East this week as the White House works to lay the groundwork for unveiling the plan.

Israel is the only country in the world whose rights record comes up for discussion at every council session, under "Item 7" on the agenda. Item 7 on "Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories" has been part of the council's regular business almost as long as it has existed.

The United States' current term on the council ends next year. Although the U.S. could have remained a non-voting observer on the council, a U.S. official said it was a "complete withdrawal" and that the United States was resigning its seat "effective immediately." The official wasn't authorized to comment publicly and insisted on anonymity.

That means the council will be left without one of its traditional defenders of human rights. In recent months, the United States has participated in attempts to pinpoint rights violations in places like South Sudan, Congo and Cambodia.

The U.S. pullout was bound to have ripple effects for at least two countries at the council: China and Israel. The U.S., as at other U.N. organizations, is Israel's biggest defender. At the rights council, the United States has recently been the most unabashed critic of rights abuses in China — whose growing economic and diplomatic clout has chastened some other would-be critics, rights advocates say.

There are 47 countries in the Human Rights Council, elected by the U.N.'s General Assembly with a specific number of seats allocated for each region of the globe. Members serve for three-year terms and can serve only two terms in a row.

The United States has opted to stay out of the Human Rights Council before: The George W. Bush administration opted against seeking membership when the council was created in 2006. The U.S. joined the body only in 2009 under President Barack Obama.

Categories: Ohio News

Convicted Republican businessman's company targets Democrats

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 03:53

An Ohio telemarketing company whose Republican owner spent more than a year in prison following a campaign finance probe has organized employees and suppliers in a retaliatory effort to bring down two prominent Democrats, The Associated Press has learned.

An explosive memo posted online lays out The Justice Association LLC's strategy for an investigation, lawsuit and ad campaign targeting U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and former U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach, the Democratic nominee for attorney general.

The month-old association is offering "rewards" of up to $100,000 for any supporting evidence it could use to request a grand jury investigation by Republican U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the Republican gubernatorial nominee.

The evidence also could be folded into a potential class-action racketeering lawsuit against the Obama-era Justice Department, alleging it politicized prosecutions, the memo says.

Suarez Corporation Industries is behind the effort. Its CEO, Benjamin Suarez, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for witness tampering in a 2014 investigation by Dettelbach's office and the FBI. He was acquitted of seven additional counts. The company's chief financial officer, Michael Giorgio, was sentenced to 27 months for campaign finance fraud.

Suarez' company launched the association's website in February, records show, about a month after U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci joined the Senate race. The Justice Association was incorporated in May. It shares an address with Suarez Corporation Industries, a Canton-area telemarketing company, and its executive director, Jennifer Werner, works there. Werner didn't return a call seeking comment.

The Suarez probe centered on campaign contributions made by employees, relatives and others to the 2012 campaigns of Republican Josh Mandel, Brown's then-Senate challenger, and Renacci. Suarez had sought the politicians' help in fighting a California consumer practices complaint. Neither candidate was implicated.

The memo is laced with personal attacks on people who Suarez alleges acted illegally or unethically during his prosecution.

It calls Dettelbach's then-first assistant, Carole Rendon, "Crazy Carole" and says she has "major mental problems, in part due to a complex because she is very short in stature." It says Judge Patricia Gaughan is "incompetent, cruel" and "enjoys human suffering." Rendon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Gaughan's office said ethics restrictions prevented her from commenting.

Dettelbach, who faces Republican Auditor Dave Yost this fall, said he was not surprised that Suarez would go after him.

"I have taken on corruption and crime by Democrats and Republicans alike as well as terrorists and drug dealers," he said in a statement. "I have heard it all before. It comes with the job. When you hold powerful people accountable, sometimes they come after you."

Mike Tobin, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland, declined to comment — but Dettelbach defended the operation.

"Mr. Suarez's comments about the distinguished federal judge that handled this case and the career prosecutors who worked side by side with the FBI to present the evidence are misplaced, untrue and unfair," he said.

Neither Brown's nor Renacci's campaign had any immediate comment.

Besides alleging "a politically motivated, false and malicious prosecution" of Suarez, the memo shed new light on Suarez's political activities during the 2000s election.

It says two political action committees Suarez formed in the early 2000s — the US Citizens Association and Empowered Citizens Network — began running hundreds of thousands of dollars of advertising against Democrats in 2003.

"Their ads used the advanced and effective advertising methods of Suarez Corporation Industries, which are considered to be the best in the nation," the memo says.

US Citizens Association ran full-page ads in the Canton Repository and other area newspapers in 2009 opposing then-U.S. Rep. John Boccieri, a Democrat, and favoring Renacci. Boccieri lost his seat and the memo says Renacci credited the ads for his election.

According to the memo, "Benjamin Suarez was informed by several high ranking members of the Ohio Republican Party that the Democrats were livid and Suarez and his company were marked for punishment."

Boccieri said the memo seemed to validate "serious concerns" he had at the time that Renacci and Suarez were coordinating attack ads against him.

"In the fog of war of these political battles, we just didn't know where it was coming from," he said.

Brown campaign spokesman Preston Maddock said, "Congressman Renacci owes Ohioans answers about his long association with Suarez and if he continues to benefit from their relationship as this letter suggests."

Categories: Ohio News

Motorcyclist throws concrete into car, breaking woman's jaw

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 03:48

Police say a motorcyclist involved in a road rage confrontation in Ohio threw a piece of concrete into a car and broke a woman's jaw.

The 29-year-old woman and her 25-year-old boyfriend told police they were driving in Akron around 7 p.m. Monday when they honked their horn at a motorcyclist stopped at a green light.

The man got off his motorcycle and started arguing with the woman, which escalated to him pushing her before the boyfriend separated the two.

The motorcyclist drove away, but the couple encountered him again as they drove over a bridge.

Police say the motorcyclist threw a piece of concrete through the passenger side window, striking the woman in the face.

The woman has been hospitalized for treatment. A search for the motorcyclist is ongoing.

Categories: Ohio News

AMA calls for an end to border separations

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 03:43

The largest U.S. doctors' group, the American Medical Association, is urging the Trump administration to end promptly the practice of separating children from their migrating families at the southern border.

The AMA's chief executive officer, Dr. James Madara, writes in a letter that families seeking refuge in the U.S. "already endure emotional and physical stress" and that separation only makes it worse.

Madara says it's well known that childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences created by inhumane treatment often create negative health impacts that can last a lifetime.

Madara sent the letter Tuesday to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The letter being made public Wednesday follows new policy AMA adopted at its annual meeting last week in Chicago.

Congressman Mark Sanford tells The Associated Press that he's confused by President Donald Trump's latest attack on him, but glad his colleagues showed displeasure at Trump's broadside.

At a closed-door meeting Tuesday on immigration with House Republicans, participants say Trump sarcastically congratulated the South Carolina Republican for a "great race." Sanford lost his GOP primary last week after Trump urged voters to dump him. Republicans present say there were hushed boos in a show of support for Sanford, who was absent.

Sanford says he "finds some solace" in the boos, which he says friends described to him. He says it's "startling" Trump would raise "some perceived personal slight" during a meeting on a serious topic.

The people described the meeting on condition of anonymity because the session was private.

President Donald Trump worked in a verbal jab at Rep. Mark Sanford, a Republican from South Carolina, as he spoke to House Republicans Tuesday evening on Capitol Hill.

"I want to congratulate Mark on a great race," Trump said, according to two sources who were in the room but demanded anonymity in order to discuss the private meeting.

Sanford, a frequent critic of the president, lost his primary last week to South Carolina state Rep. Katie Arrington.

He has blamed his defeat on Trump, saying support for the president is becoming a litmus test in GOP primaries. "It's a very tribal environment right now," he said.

President Donald Trump told House Republicans he was "1,000 percent" with them on rival immigration bills up for votes, but it was not clear if he had a preference on how to handle family separations at the border.

That's according to people who were in the closed-door session, who requested anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

"We had a great meeting," Trump told reporters as he left the Capitol with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Those in the meeting the Capitol basement say Trump discussed various topics, including his recent historic trip to North Korea.

On immigration, they say Trump told them: "I am behind you so much. We need the wall."

Human rights agencies in five Latin American nations are urging the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to push the United States to implement precautionary measures for avoiding the separation of migrant children from their families.

The petition asks the commission to demand Washington take any actions necessary to protect family rights and personal integrity. It calls the separations "dangerous" and "inhumane."

It is signed by the governmental rights agencies of Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

President Donald Trump arrived for a meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill saying he wants to try to fix a broken immigration system.

Trump told reporters the nation's immigration system has been "a really bad, bad system, probably the worst anywhere in the world. We're going to try and see if we can fix it."

The president was meeting privately with the full House Republican conference ahead of possible votes this week on immigration bills. The Trump administration faces a public outcry over its policy of separating families at the border and housing immigrant children in detention cages.

Trump was walking with House Speaker Paul Ryan, who thanked reporters but did not respond to shouted questions.

Hundreds of protesters are streaming into a Philadelphia park across from a hotel where Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak at a fundraising dinner.

Most of the protesters are carrying signs decrying the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on migrants, which has resulted in the separation of parents and children. Organizers arranged about 50 pairs of children's shoes into the word "No" on the grass facing the hotel.

Steady crowds of people, many of whom came to the downtown park after work, continued to arrive well after the start of the rally. Police officers had shut down streets on two sides of the downtown park to restrict access to the hotel where Pence is speaking this evening.

Hundreds of demonstrators are protesting outside the offices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Francisco, banging drums and chanting "Stop taking children!" and "The people are rising, no more compromising!" amid a growing uproar over the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

Some in the group of about 500 are holding signs that read "Refugees In, ICE Out" and "Keep Families Together."

President Donald Trump would seriously consider a stand-alone bill that would prevent migrant children from being separated from their parents at the border.

That's according to a White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the president's position by name.

The official says the president wants a comprehensive immigration fix, but will seriously consider a stand-alone bill if he's presented with one.

The position appears to be a departure from Monday, when White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to voice support for a narrower fix, saying: "We want to fix the entire system. We don't want to just tinker with it."

Trump is heading to Capitol Hill shortly to discuss the issue with House Republicans.

A Guatemalan woman who said her 7-year-old son was "ripped away" from her after they came to the U.S. seeking asylum has sued the Trump administration.

Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia alleges that border agents took her son two days after they crossed the U.S. border near San Luis, Arizona, on May 19.

The lawsuit says her son was "screaming and crying" when border agents took him away and cried "Mama!" repeatedly the one time she was allowed to speak to him by phone.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, D.C., says the boy is believed to be housed in a Phoenix detention facility for unaccompanied minors.

Mayors from across the U.S. plan to travel to the Texas border to protest the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on migrants that has resulted in the separation of families.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors says its president, Steve Benjamin, who is the mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, will lead a bipartisan delegation of mayors. They will gather for a news conference Thursday morning at the Tornillo port of entry, located outside of El Paso.

The conference unanimously passed a resolution last week registering its opposition to separating children from their families at the border.

Mayors expected to attend also include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.

A crowd protesting the Trump administration's separation of immigrant children at the border greeted Vice President Mike Pence with boos and drumbeats as his caravan arrived at an upstate New York Republican fundraiser. reports that several hundred protesters lined several blocks across from Tuesday's event with Rep. John Katko, a central New York Republican.

Later, Pence toured the Nucor Steel plant in Auburn. There, he spent about four minutes addressing the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, where migrant children are being separated from their parents under a zero-tolerance policy.

Pence blamed weak immigration laws and said the administration doesn't want children taken from parents.

Bono, the lead singer of U2, is calling on members of Congress from both parties to demand an end to family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I cannot think of a more un-American thing than warehousing children," the musician tells The Associated Press.

Bono says that because he's Irish, it's hard not to think of his own people's history. He says of the family separations, "For anybody, but for Irish people, who were essentially economic refuges to this country, it's very, very upsetting."

Bono was visiting Capitol Hill Tuesday to thank Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Congress for funding international development programs. He's the co-founder of The One Campaign, which advocates for ending extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York state will sue the federal government over the Trump administration's policy of separating families accused of crossing the U.S. border illegally.

The Democrat said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday that he expects the lawsuit to be filed within two weeks.

Cuomo says at least 70 children who were separated from their parents are currently being housed in New York facilities that have contracts with the federal government. Most of the facilities are in the New York City area.

Cuomo says the Trump administration's policy of separating families is "inhumane."

The governor says the lawsuit will claim the children were taken from their parents without due process under federal and state laws.

The Trump administration says the family separations are required under the law.

Homeland Security officials say there have been 148 cases where someone fraudulently posed as a family member of children at the U.S. border from October to April.

According to figures released Tuesday, the cases involved 301 people. Officials did not say how many were children.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has said there was a 314 percent increase in adults showing up with kids who are not family members. She says they are traffickers and smugglers.

More than 2,300 minors have been separated from their families crossing the border to the U.S. under a zero-tolerance policy where everyone caught crossing illegally is prosecuted.

Nielsen says those legitimately seeking asylum should go to official border crossings with their families and they will not be separated.

Some business leaders are condemning the Trump administration's decision to separate children from parents who are accused of crossing the border illegally.

The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group that includes the CEOs of Walmart Inc., General Motors Co., Boeing Co. and Mastercard Inc., released a statement Tuesday urging the immediate end to the policy.

"This practice is cruel and contrary to American values," said Chuck Robbins, the chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems Inc. and the head of the Business Roundtable's immigration committee.

The group called for comprehensive immigration reform that protects some immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. The group also doesn't want to curb legal immigration, which it says helps U.S. businesses.

Categories: Ohio News

Hearing set for California parents accused of shackling kids

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 02:17

Prosecutors were expected to begin making their case Wednesday against a Southern California couple suspected of starving and shackling their children in a case that drew worldwide headlines when the parents were arrested last winter.

David and Louise Turpin are scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in Superior Court in Riverside, where a judge will weigh whether authorities have amassed enough evidence for a trial.

The couple has pleaded not guilty to torture, child abuse and other charges. They were arrested after their 17-year-old daughter jumped out of a window to escape the family's Perris, California, home in January and called 911.

They are being held on $12 million bail each.

Authorities said their home reeked of human waste and the evidence of starvation was obvious, with the oldest of 13 siblings weighing just 82 pounds. The children were shackled as punishment, denied food and toys and allowed to do little except write in journals, prosecutors have said.

They said the children were isolated from each other and locked in different rooms in small groups; they did not have access to televisions or radios but expressed themselves in the hundreds of journals that investigators seized from the home.

Most of the Turpin children were homeschooled but one of the older boys was allowed to attend classes at a local college. His mother would drive him there, stay outside in the hallway during the class and then take him back home as soon as the class ended, prosecutors said.

After they were freed from the home, the children, who ranged in age from 2 to 29, were immediately hospitalized and eventually released.

The current whereabouts of the children is unknown. A spokeswoman for the county's social services department declined to discuss the case.

Jack Osborn, an attorney appointed to represent the couple's seven adult children, said earlier this year they were "doing well." They have participated in music therapy programs, made crafts and world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma held a special concert for them. They communicated with their younger siblings over Skype.

"They're happy, they are wanting to move forward, they do not want to dwell on the past and . they want their identity to be now and going forward the things they hope to do, the dreams they have. They do not want people to think of them only as a possible victim, but as young adults setting off on their lives," he told the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper in February.

Osborn did not respond to an email from The Associated Press this week.

Prosecutors are expected to call law enforcement officers to testify at Wednesday's hearing, but the children are not expected to take the stand.

David Turpin's attorney, David Macher, said he was "looking forward to the hearing," but declined to comment further. Louise Turpin's lawyer did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Categories: Ohio News

No clear plan yet on how to reunite parents with children

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 02:14

Trump administration officials say they have no clear plan yet on how to reunite the thousands of children separated from their families at the border since the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy in which anyone caught entering the U.S. illegally is criminally prosecuted.

"This policy is relatively new," said Steven Wagner, an acting assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services "We're still working through the experience of reunifying kids with their parents after adjudication."

Federal officials say there are some methods parents can use to try to find their children: hotlines to call and an email address for those seeking information. But advocates say it's not that simple.

In a courtroom near the Rio Grande, lawyer Efren Olivares and his team with the Texas Civil Rights Project frantically scribble down children's names, birthdates and other details from handcuffed men and women waiting for court to begin. There are sometimes 80 of them in the same hearing.

The Texas Civil Rights Project works to document the separations in the hopes of helping them reunite with the children.

They have one hour to collect as much information as they can before the hearing begins. The immigrants plead guilty to illegally entering the U.S., and they are typically sent either to jail or directly to an immigration detention center. At this point, lawyers with the civil rights group often lose access to the detainees.

"If we don't get that information, then there's no way of knowing that child was separated," Olivares said. "No one else but the government will know that the separation happened if we don't document it there."

Olivares has documented more than 300 cases of adults who have been separated from a child. Most are parents, but some are older siblings, aunts, uncles or grandparents. Some are illiterate and don't know how to spell the children's names.

More than 2,000 minors have been separated from their families since early May. The children are put into the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the aim of keeping them as close to their parents as possible and reuniting the family after the case goes through the courts, said Wagner.

But it's not clear that's working.

According to Olivares, the agency is generally "very willing to help," often helping to find a child even if there's a misspelling in the group's records. But if a child has been transferred out of a government shelter — including if the child has been deported — agency representatives won't give any information.

"Sometimes the parent gives us contact information for a relative," Olivares said. "If they have the phone number right and the phone number is working ... we call that number and sometimes we're able to locate that relative and ask them what they know."

In May, the Department of Justice adopted the zero-tolerance policy in which anyone caught entering the U.S. illegally is criminally prosecuted. Children can't be jailed with their parents. Instead, after the adult is charged, children are held briefly by Homeland Security officials before being transferred to Health and Human Services, which operates more than 100 shelters for minors in 17 states.

The department has set up new facilities to manage the influx of children, and Wagner said they were prepared to expand as more children come into custody.

The children are classified as unaccompanied minors, a legal term generally used for children who cross the border alone and have a possible sponsor in the U.S. willing to care for them. Most of the more than 10,000 children in shelters under HHS care came to the U.S. alone and are waiting to be placed with family members living in the U.S.

But these children are different — they arrived with their families.

"They should just give the kids back to their parents. This isn't difficult," said Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Gelernt represents a Brazilian asylum seeker in a closely watched lawsuit that seeks a nationwide halt to family separation. The woman, identified as Mrs. C in court documents, was split from her son for nearly a year after entering the country illegally in August near Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

On Tuesday, Olivares' team had seven people left to interview with five minutes left. They took down just the names, dates of birth, and countries of origin of the children.

"One woman (said), 'What about me, what about me?'" Olivares said a few hours later. "She wanted to give us information because she realized what we were trying to do."

Categories: Ohio News