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All 5 living first ladies speak out on separation of immigrant children, parents at border

Every living first lady has weighed in on the separation of immigrant children and parents at the United States' border with Mexico.

>> Immigration: Trump administration defends 'zero tolerance' policy (live updates)

Here are the latest updates:

Update 7:17 a.m. EDT June 19: Former first ladies Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter are reacting to the separation of immigrant children and their parents at the border.

On Monday afternoon, Obama retweeted former first lady Laura Bush, who criticized the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration in a Washington Post op-ed Sunday.

“Sometimes truth transcends party,” Obama wrote in agreement with Bush.

>> Read the tweet here

Former Democratic presidential nominee, Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton had a lengthier response, speaking about the policy to the Women’s Forum of New York and later tweeting her remarks.

 “What’s happening to families at the border right now is a humanitarian crisis. Every parent who has ever held a child in their arms, every human being with a sense of compassion and decency, should be outraged,” she tweeted Monday afternoon. “Despite what this White House claims, separating families is not mandated by law. That is an outright lie, and it’s incumbent on all of us – journalists and citizens alike – to call it just that.”

She continued: “Those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty are ignoring a central tenet of Christianity. Jesus said ‘Suffer the little children unto me.’ He did not say ‘let the children suffer.’”

>> Read the Twitter thread here

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter also issued a statement slamming the policy as “disgraceful.”

“When I was first lady, I worked to call attention to the plight of refugees fleeing Cambodia for Thailand,” her statement read. “I visited Thailand and witnessed firsthand the trauma of parents and children separated by circumstances beyond their control. The practice and policy today of removing children from their parents’ care at our border with Mexico is disgraceful and a shame to our country.”

>> Read the statement here

Original report: Two first ladies are weighing in on the separation of immigrant children and parents at the United States' border with Mexico.

>> Five undocumented immigrants dead after chase with Border Patrol, officials say

Former first lady Laura Bush criticized the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration as "cruel" in a Washington Post op-ed Sunday.

>> Read the piece here

"I live in a border state," Bush wrote. "I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart."

According to The Associated Press, the policy, which started last month, "sought to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally," leading to more adults in jail, separated from their children. 

>> Reports: 1,500 immigrant children missing, feds say they’re not responsible

"Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso," Bush continued. "These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history."

She added: "In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can."

>> Read more trending news 

First lady Melania Trump also shared her thoughts on the issue Sunday.

"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," said her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, according to CNN. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

23-foot python swallows woman whole, reports say

A 54-year-old Indonesian woman is dead after villagers say a 23-foot python swallowed her whole.

>> Severed rattlesnake head bites Texas man

According to The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, Wa Tiba of Muna Island disappeared Thursday after leaving her village, Persiapan Lawela, to tend to her garden. The next day, searchers discovered a "snake with a bloated belly" and some of Tiba's things near the garden, said the village's chief, known by the single name Faris, the AP reported.

Faris said villagers killed the python and cut it open, the AP reported. They then "found Tiba's body still intact with all her clothes," Faris said.

Graphic photos and videos posted online appeared to show the woman's body being extracted from the dead python.

>> Read more trending news 

This isn't the first time a python has swallowed a person in Indonesia, where such snakes are common, AFP reported. A farmer died under similar circumstances in March 2017 on the island of Sulawesi, according to the news service.

Read more here or here.

Singer Robbie Williams makes obscene gesture at World Cup opening ceremony

English singer Robbie Williams made an obscene gesture toward the camera during the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Moscow, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Williams was singing at Luzhniki Stadium when he gestured with his middle finger. The 44-year-old pop star had been criticized before the event for agreeing to participate in the ceremony.

“Robbie Williams emerged, busked his way through a medley of his two-decade old hits and was gone again in a pleasing hurry,” the Independent reported.

Williams said he was told not to use his song “Party Like a Russian,” which was seen as mocking Russia. Before his gesture, Williams added the line “I did this for free,” to the lyrics of one of his songs, ESPN reported.

Fox issued a statement apologizing for showing the gesture on television.

"The 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony was a newsworthy event produced by a third party and carried live on Fox," the statement said. "As it was broadcast live, we did not know what would happen during Robbie Williams' performance and we apologize."

The Russian soccer team played immediately after the ceremony and won its first match, shutting out Saudi Arabia 5-0.

Qantas plane goes into brief nosedive over Pacific after being jarred by wake turbulence

A Qantas Airways jet carrying hundreds of passengers from Los Angeles to Melbourne went into a brief nosedive Sunday over the Pacific Ocean after it was jolted by turbulence formed in the wake of another Qantas plane, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Flight QF94 was two hours into its journey when the plane entered a wind vortex caused by wake turbulence, according to Australia’s 9News. The news station reported that the plane went into a 10-second nosedive before it steadied.

No passengers were injured in the incident and the aircraft was undamaged, Reuters reported

“Somebody described it as the feeling of going over the top of a roller coaster, slightly, not the fall – just a little, ‘What’s going on there?’” 9News’ Eddie McGuire said. The TV personality was one of the passengers on Flight QF94 on Sunday.

“There was a little bit of turning of the plane as well and a little bit of downward,” he said. “It was one of those things that got your attention.”

Passenger Janelle Wilson told The Australian that the 484-passenger plane was about three-quarters full when turbulence lifted passengers from their seats.

“It was an absolute sense of losing your stomach and that we were nosediving,” Wilson said. “The lady sitting next to me and I screamed and held hands and just waited, but thought with absolute certainty we were going to crash. It was terrifying.”

McGuire praised Qantas staff members for their composure and honesty with passengers during the situation.

“The captain of the aircraft got on and told everyone immediately, ‘This is what happened. Relax,’” McGuire said.

A Qantas spokesman told Reuters that Flight QF94, an Airbus A380, had been traveling behind another Qantas Airbus A380 bound for Sydney and that’s what caused the turbulence.

Wake turbulence forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air. According to Reuters, it’s most commonly seen when a smaller aircraft follows a larger jet.

Meghan Markle, Queen Elizabeth make first joint appearance without Prince Harry

The Duchess of Sussex, formerly known as Meghan Markle, and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II teamed up Thursday for their first joint engagement without Markle's husband, Prince Harry.

>> PHOTOS: Meghan Markle stuns at first solo appearance with Queen Elizabeth

According to The Associated Press, the two visited northwest England to see children perform in Widnes and commemorate the opening of the Mersey Gateway Bridge in Cheshire.

>> PHOTOS: Newlyweds Prince Harry, Meghan Markle attend Prince Charles' 70th birthday celebration

Markle, who wed Prince Harry on May 19, stunned in a Givenchy dress Thursday, the AP reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The royals' official Twitter accounts shared photos from the trip. Check them out below:

Read more here.

Photos: Meghan Markle stuns at first solo appearance with Queen Elizabeth

The Duchess of Sussex, formerly known as Meghan Markle, made her first joint appearance with Queen Elizabeth II on an official royal visit to northwest England.

Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize after North Korea summit

A pair of Norwegian lawmakers have nominated President Donald Trump for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize in the wake of his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Two members of Norway’s right-leaning Progress Party, Christian Tybring-Gjedde and Per-Willy Amundsen, nominated Trump just days after he and Kim signed a document in which they committed to working toward the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” according to Norway’s state broadcaster, NRK.

>> Trump returns from North Korea summit, says there’s ‘no longer a nuclear threat’

“What’s happening now is historic,” Amundsen told NRK. “A process is underway to ensure world peace in the future. It’s a fragile process, but we must of course do what we can to help this process bring good results.”

The nomination comes about one month after a group of Republicans in the House of Representatives suggested Trump be nominated for the prize, also for his efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, according to CNN.

>> North Korea summit: 5 key moments from Trump's press conference

Trump has been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize at least twice before, in 2016 and 2017, Bloomberg reported. The Nobel Committee, based in Oslo, typically gets hundreds of recommendations each year from lawmakers, academics and researchers worldwide, according to Bloomberg.

Trump met with Kim for hours Tuesday in Singapore, marking the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

>> North Korea summit: Watch the dramatic video that Trump played for Kim Jong Un

The president hailed the meeting as a success, although critics worried that his decision to meet with Kim provided the autocrat with legitimacy. Kim has been accused of ordering the assassination of his half brother, executing his uncle and presiding over a gulag estimated to hold 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners, according to The Associated Press.

>> Photos: Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic US-North Korea summit

Critics also questioned the president’s decision to end the United States’ “war games,” or joint military exercises, with South Korea as negotiations with North Korea continue. It was not immediately clear whether South Korean officials were aware of Trump’s decision before Tuesday’s announcement.

Trump returns from North Korea summit, says there’s ‘no longer a nuclear threat’

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday after returning to the U.S. from a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Here are the latest updates: 

Update 7:13 a.m. EDT June 13: Trump tweeted again to defend his decision to eliminate “war games,” or joint military exercises, with South Korea.

“We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith – which both sides are!” Trump wrote.

>> See the tweet here

Original report: President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday after returning to the U.S. from a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

“Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” Trump wrote. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”

>> Read more trending news 

He added: “Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer – sleep well tonight!”

>> See the tweets here

The tweets came one day after Trump and Kim signed a document that says North Korea “commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” 

The agreement also puts an end to the United States’ “war games,” or joint military exercises, with South Korea “unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should,” Trump said in a press conference Tuesday.

>> MORE COVERAGE: Jamie Dupree: Congress voices skepticism over Trump-Kim agreementJamie Dupree: Details of the joint agreement from the Trump-Kim summitFormer NBA star Dennis Rodman cries in interview about North Korea summit | North Korea summit: Watch the dramatic video that Trump played for Kim Jong Un | North Korea summit: 5 key moments from Trump's press conference | North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un sign agreement on denuclearization | Trump-Kim agreement on North Korea denuclearization: Read the full textJamie Dupree: Congress watches and waits on Trump-Kim summit resultsPhotos: Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic US-North Korea summit

North Korea summit: Watch the dramatic video that Trump played for Kim Jong Un

A movie-trailer style video that President Donald Trump shared with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday is making headlines for adding a dramatic flair to the countries' historic summit in Singapore.

>> Read more trending news 

>> Jamie Dupree: Details of the joint agreement from the Trump-Kim summit

"Two men, two leaders, one destiny. A story about a special moment in time when a man is presented with one chance which may never be repeated. What will he choose – to show vision and leadership or not?" a narrator says in the video, which includes clips of smiling people, new technology, skyscrapers and natural resources before transitioning, ominously, to explosions.

>> North Korea summit: 5 key moments from Trump's press conference

"There can only be two results: one of moving back or one of moving forward," the voice continues. "A new world can begin today – one of friendship, respect and goodwill. Be part of that world, where the doors of opportunity are ready to be opened – investment from around the world, where you can have medical breakthroughs, an abundance of resources, innovative technology and new discoveries."

Later, the narrator appeals to Kim: "Will this leader choose to advance his country and be part of a new world? Be the hero of his people? Will he shake the hand of peace and enjoy prosperity like he has never seen? A great life or more isolation? Which path will be chosen?"

Trump also showed the video to reporters at a news conference Tuesday.

"I think he loved it," Trump said of Kim and his entourage, adding that they seemed "fascinated by it."

"I showed it because I really want him to do something," Trump said, according to The Associated Press.

Read more here.

>> MORE COVERAGE: Trump-Kim agreement on North Korea denuclearization: Read the full text | Jamie Dupree: Congress watches and waits on Trump-Kim summit resultsPhotos: Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic US-North Korea summit | Trump-Kim summit: What you need to know about the historic meeting | Discussions between U.S., North Korea moving quickly, officials say | North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un plan to meet alone, plus translators, official says | Trump arrives in Singapore for historic summit | North Korea summit: Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore ahead of historic meeting with Trump

Drug kingpin 'La Barbie' gets 49-year sentence for 'despicable' crimes

Edgar Valdez Villareal came from humble beginnings, one of eight children raised by strict, hard-working and God-fearing parents in the southwest Texas border town of Laredo.

But by age 28, Valdez was shipping hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S. And he ran his drug operation with military precision, using speedboats, submarines and airplanes to secure his cocaine and arming his security detail with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

>> Read more trending news

On Monday, Valdez, notoriously known as “La Barbie,” was sentenced to 49 years and one month in prison for crimes that, a judge said, ruined families and took countless lives. Valdez also was ordered to forfeit $192 million — the amount federal prosecutors said he made by shipping 12,000 kilograms of cocaine into the U.S., a good deal of it through Atlanta.

“You have betrayed almost everything that is important in our country,” U.S. District Judge Bill Duffey told Valdez. “There’s not a single person in this courtroom who doesn’t believe what you’ve done is despicable.”

Valdez got his nickname playing high school football in Laredo, where his coach thought Valdez’s green eyes and blond hair made him look like a “Ken” doll. After crossing the border into Mexico, Valdez became the only American to rise to such prominent ranks in a Mexican drug cartel.

“Sitting here today is one of the highest-level drug traffickers ever seen in this district,” which covers north Georgia, Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Hathaway told Duffey.

Valdez shipped truckloads of cocaine across the Mexican border into the U.S. in the mid-2000s. He instigated bloody turf wars with drug cartels and once ordered a video be taken of the execution of a man from a rival cartel who’d been captured by his security team. Valdez arranged for copies of the video to be sent to media outlets and U.S. law enforcement.

“Mr. Valdez relished the limelight,” Hathaway said. “He wanted the world to know you don’t mess with Edgar Valdez.”

Valdez, 44, faced a life sentence, but prosecutors asked Duffey to give Valdez the chance to walk out of prison alive. That’s because he’d cooperated with authorities and quickly pleaded guilty after his extradition.

Duffey gave Valdez credit for his eight years in custody since his 2010 arrest. With good behavior, Valdez can get more time shaved off his sentence and be eligible for release when he’s in his 80s.

About 20 members of Valdez’s family, including his parents and seven siblings, attended the lengthy sentencing hearing.

“My parents taught me right from wrong and to stay away from drugs,” Valdez said. “Instead of good, I went the other way.”

He then half-turned and looked back to his parents in the gallery. “I’m sorry, mom and dad, for doing things you are against and hate,” he said. “Please forgive me.”

Valdez paused several times and admitted to being nervous. Except for his tan prison clothes, he did not look much different than when authorities paraded him handcuffed in front of the TV cameras after his arrest at his ranch near Mexico City.

“I’m not a bad person,” he said. “I’m a good person who has made bad decisions in his life.”

By turning snitch against other cartel members, Valdez told Duffey, he’s put his life and the lives of his family in danger.

Duffey scolded Valdez for bringing shame on his family and said, pointedly, “There’s no place for us to send your family to protect them.”

Two of Valdez’s siblings begged for mercy.

His sister, Carla Valdez, an assistant district attorney in southwest Texas, said her parents taught their children strong morals and to love and honor God.

“We’re a tight-knit family,” she said. “We’re not career criminals.”

This confounded Duffey.

“Why are you a prosecutor and why is your brother a seriously evil criminal?” he asked.

“Your honor, this is a question we ask each other every day,” she replied.

She said her brother began dealing drugs when he was in high school so he could help his parents at a time they were struggling financially. “I think it just snowballed from there.”

Edgar Valdez’s lawyer, Buddy Parker, said his client should get credit for telling federal authorities a decade ago that Mexican cartels had uncovered the identities of undercover DEA agents in the region. This probably saved the agents’ lives, Parker said.

Duffey agreed that was laudable. But the incredulous judge noted that when Valdez told authorities the agents’ identities were compromised, he was continuing to flood the U.S. with shipments of cocaine.

“I’ve never seen a case like this,” Duffey said.

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