Buses dropping off scores of immigrants in Arizona

Buses dropping off scores of immigrants in Arizona

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/whats-happening-to-immigrants-left-behind

PHOENIX – After finding out bus loads of undocumented immigrants were being dropped off in Phoenix, many wonder what’s happening to them when they step off the bus.

A local organization is helping them by letting them use cell phones to call family in other states so they can get bus tickets out of Phoenix.

Many of those bused to Phoenix are families with children. Immigration and Custom Enforcement officials say most are from Central America and were detained in Texas.

Xiomara Maldonado told ABC15 that when she dreamed of coming to the United States, she never imagined how it would turn out.

“They saw us like animals,” she said about the holding facility in Texas.

She and her son are from Honduras. They entered the U.S. illegally and were caught in McAllen, Texas.

She said conditions were horrendous.

“Everyone was packed in like sardines. Too close to sleep. They came in the middle of the night to drop off bread and bang on the doors,” she said.

They both hadn’t bathed or slept in days when they were taken from Wilcox, Ariz. and loaded onto a bus headed for Phoenix.

She said, “I’m happy because we’ve finally received some help, but also scared because we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Even though the experience would put many people off about staying in the U.S., Jessica Meraz said she’d still like to stay.

Meraz said, “I’d like to relax for a bit and then work. I want to look for work.”

Those who were dropped off were given court dates to check in with ICE officials to determine whether or not they’ll be deported.

Media outlets work overtime to spin bad economic data

Media outlets work overtime to spin bad economic data

The big news Thursday was that America’s economy shrank during the first quarter of 2014, its worst performance in three years — but reporting that news apparently didn’t sit well with several major media outlets.

“U.S. economy shrinks, but it’s not a big deal,” read a headline on CNNMoney.com.

“Blame Old Man Winter: economy contracts for first time in three years,” NBC News tweeted.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis revised the numbers downward from prior estimates to show the nation’s GDP contracted at an annual rate of negative 1 percent. It was the first negative quarter since 2011, and one more three-month stretch in the red would put the U.S. is back in recession. But nightly newscasts sought to present the data as a blip, blaming it on the weather — if they mentioned it at all.

“When the media aren’t ignoring bad economic news to protect Obama, they’re spinning it into good news.”
– Brent Baker, Media Research Center

“All that snow and ice froze business, but most economists believe it sets the economy up for rebound this quarter and there are some encouraging signs in the numbers,” CBS News’ Anthony Mason reported.

Neither ABC nor NBC reported the disappointing numbers at all. The preliminary quarterly estimate from the U.S. Department of Commerce had been that the economy grew at a modest 0.1 percent rate.

Economists, including those at the Federal Reserve, generally agree that unusually brutal weather played a role in the economy contracting by a full percent for the first three months of the year. Some say President Obama’s economic policies didn’t help, either. But while that kind of analysis has a place in fair and balanced reporting, such rosy spin rarely found its way into headlines during the economic doldrums of the Bush administration.

“When the media aren’t ignoring bad economic news to protect Obama, they’re spinning it into good news,” Media Research Center’s Brent Baker, who drew attention to the apparent double standard on the MRC’s NewsBusters site, told FoxNews.com. “That sure wasn’t a favor the press corps ever provided George W. Bush.”

The New York Times used the double entendre “Frigid First Quarter” to characterize both the lack of economic growth and the reason for it, while media outlets more versed in economics, such as Forbes, simply stated the facts up front and allowed informed sources to provide commentary below.

Economist Kevin Hassett, a former advisor to Mitt Romney and now an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, said the weather was indeed a major drag on the economy.

“I think Obama’s policies have absolutely put us on a lower growth trajectory, but I also think that the weather was 99 percent of the story in Q1,” said Hassett, who has written extensively about media bias. “Now, this is, in part, a testable thing. If Q2 includes a major bounce back, of say, 4 percent instead of 2, then the weather story gets more credibility.”

Democrat Says Of Hispanic Republican: ‘We Need To Send Her Back To Wherever She Really Came From’

Is Alan Webber intending to win any votes from Hispanics? He’s a Democrat vying for the party’s gubernatorial nomination in New Mexico, and his recent comments about incumbent Republican Governor Susana Martinez aren’t likely to make him many friends.
Video obtained by The Weekly Standard shows Webber at a candidate forum where he made the questionable remarks.
“So I’m asking you for your help, we need to make Susana Martinez a one-term governor. We need to send her back to wherever she really came from.”
After he plants that seed, when the audience gives the mixed reaction of laughter and shock, Webber walks about his comments.
“I suspect it’s Texas. And that would be good for Texas and that would be good for New Mexico.”
Martinez is of Mexican descent. She was born in Texas, but moved to New Mexico in the mid-1980s-almost 30 years ago.
Why is it that the Democratic Party focuses so incessantly on race? Their long-held belief is that Republicans are a group of racists, yet Democrats are the ones that so frequently make racist statements. There’s no room for that in the political realm; let’s hope the voters of New Mexico see it.

FACT CHECK: CLINTON’S BENGHAZI CHAPTER HAS HOLES

FACT CHECK: CLINTON’S BENGHAZI CHAPTER HAS HOLES

Clinton’s forthcoming memoir conflicts with facts

By Catherine HerridgePublished May 31, 2014FoxNews.com

Excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming memoir obtained by Politico conflict with the factual record about what happened during and after the 2012 Benghazi terror attack.

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who sits on the newly formed Benghazi select committee and the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News before the excerpts were released that he is concerned the administration has not fully grasped the impact of the terrorist assault.

“We know that intelligence analysts on the ground knew instantaneously that this was Al Qaeda and its affiliates who had led this attack. And yet it took an awfully long time — indeed today, it’s still not clear this administration has acknowledged the depth and the risks associated with what it means to have an Al Qaeda affiliate actually take down an American [consulate],” he said.

In the limited excerpts published Friday from Clinton’s Benghazi chapter, the former secretary of State continued to defend the administration from what she termed a “political slugfest.”

Specifically, she defended the flawed explanation — used by then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice five days after the attack — that an obscure anti-Islam video fueled a protest gone awry in Benghazi.

“There were scores of attackers that night, almost certainly with differing motives,” Clinton wrote, according to Politico. “It is inaccurate to state that every single one of them was influenced by this hateful video.It is equally inaccurate to state that none of them were. Both assertions deny not only the evidence but logic as well.”

Further, she reportedly wrote that Rice relied on existing intelligence in making her statements.

But former CIA deputy director Mike Morell, who now works for Clinton’s principal gatekeeper Philippe Reines at the D.C. consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies, testified in April that it was Rice who linked the video to the Benghazi attack. Morrell, who still faces allegations he misled Congress over the so-called talking points, said the video was not part of the CIA analysis as Clinton seems to suggest.

Morell told members of the House Intelligence Committee that Rice’s claims about the attacks evolving from a protest were “exactly what the talking points said, and it was exactly what the intelligence community analysts believed.”

However, he said: “When she talked about the video, my reaction was, that’s not something that the analysts have attributed this attack to.”

An independent review of more than 4,000 social media postings, conducted by a leading social media monitoring firm in December 2012, also found the YouTube video was a non-event in Benghazi.

“From the data we have, it’s hard for us to reach the conclusion that the consulate attack was motivated by the movie. Nothing in the immediate picture — surrounding the attack in Libya — suggests that,” Jeff Chapman, chief executive with Agincourt Solutions (now Babel Street), told Fox News.

Chapman said his analysts reviewed postings in Libya, including those from Benghazi, over a three-day period beginning on Sept. 11, and saw “no traffic in Benghazi in the immediate lead-up to the attack related to the anti-Islam film.”

The first reference to the anti-Islam film appears to be a retweet of a Russia Today story that was not posted until Sept. 12 at 9:12 a.m. local time. The translation reads, “U.S. ambassador killed in Libya during his country’s consulate in Benghazi – Russia Today http://t.co/SvAV0o7T response to the film abuser.”

In addition, the video was also described as a non-event by Greg Hicks – deputy to Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack — in his May 2013 congressional testimony before the House oversight committee.

Clinton went on to write: “Every step of the way, whenever something new was learned, it was quickly shared with Congress and the American people.There is a difference between getting something wrong, and committing wrong.A big difference that some have blurred to the point of casting those who made a mistake as intentionally deceitful.”

But the written testimony of Morell shows the administration continued to stick with the “hateful video” explanation long after physical evidence and other intelligence showed there was no demonstration. Morell told the House Intelligence Committee that by Sept. 18, 2012, consulate security video reviewed by the Libyans showed it was a direct assault.

Yet, a week later, before the United Nations on Sept. 25, 2012, President Obama was still relying on the flawed explanation.

“There is no speech that justifies mindless violence. There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents.There’s no video that justifies an attack on an embassy,” he said.

As part of its ongoing reporting, Fox News was first to report on Sept. 17, 2012, based on an intelligence source on the ground in Libya, that there was no protest.

Separate from the talking points, Clinton’s defense of Rice could also be problematic because Rice inaccurately stated on three network Sunday shows — ABC’s “This Week,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and “Fox News Sunday” — that security was “strong” or “significant” at the consulate on the day of the attack.

She told “Fox News Sunday” that former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, who died in the attack, were there to “provide security,” incorrectly linking them to consulate security.

At a press conference earlier this month, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said the administration should explain who briefed Rice on the talking points as well as the consulate’s security status, and the individual or individuals should be fired. And if nobody briefed her on that, Graham said, Rice should resign.

“They’re completely incompetent, or they were misleading her about the level of security because we were six weeks before an election, or she made it up on her own,” Graham said.

On requests for additional security, Clinton continued to insist that she never saw those cables, and the fact that they were addressed to her as secretary of State was a “procedural quirk.”

Fox News was first to report on an August 2012 State Department classified cable that said the U.S. Mission in Benghazi convened an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the assault and concluded Al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a “coordinated attack.”

The authenticity of the classified cable, addressed to the office of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has never been challenged. It was significant enough that then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told lawmakers during congressional hearings that they were briefed on the cable’s warnings. Clinton, though, claimed it was not brought to her attention.

The cable marked “SECRET” summarized an Aug. 15, 2012 emergency meeting convened by the U.S. Mission in Benghazi. It states that the State Department’s senior security officer, also known as the RSO, did not believe the consulate could be protected.

According to a review of the cable, the Emergency Action Committee was also briefed “on the location of approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps within Benghazi … these groups ran the spectrum from Islamist militias, such as the QRF Brigade and Ansar al-Sharia, to ‘Takfirist thugs.'”

In addition to describing the security situation in Benghazi as “trending negatively,” the cable said explicitly that the mission would ask for more help. The details in the cable foreshadowed the deadly attack on the U.S. compound.

While the administration’s public statements have suggested that the attack came without warning, the Aug. 16 cable undercuts those claims – as it warned the Benghazi consulate was vulnerable to attack and indicates the presence of anti-U.S. militias and Al Qaeda was well-known to the U.S. intelligence community.

The Clinton book excerpts published Friday represent a fraction of the entire Benghazi chapter, which reportedly is 34 pages long.

Fox News’ Pamela Browne contributed to this report

US to work closely with EU to cut its Russian gas imports

US to work closely with EU to cut its Russian gas imports

The US has pledged to help the EU cut down its gas imports from Russia and diversify its energy supply during President Barack Obama’s visit to Europe next week, National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said.

The topics up for discussion during Obama’s visit – which is scheduled to take place June 2-6 – include US natural gas exports and the prospect of increasing US sales to the EU, according to the advisor.

“Over the last several weeks, we have already taken some steps to, through our licensing, increase the export of natural gas to Europe and we see that as part of the European energy picture and European energy diversification,” Rhodes told reporters on Friday.

He added that the US will be discussing ways that the EU could diversify its gas imports, stating that tensions in Ukraine have highlighted the EU’s energy dependency.

“The Ukraine crisis has brought into sharp relief Europe’s energy dependence on Russia, so we are going to work closely with our European allies on the importance of both short- and long-term efforts to diversify their energy sources, to modernize their infrastructure and to limit Russia’s ability to use energy as a tool of political leverage,” Rhodes said.

Another important aspect of the trip will be the discussion of climate policy.

The situation in Ukraine has escalated, with Kiev launching a massive military offensive in the east which has claimed dozens of lives – both among the militias and local civilians.

On Friday, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Mikhail Koval said that Kiev’s army will continue its military operation against the country’s east until the situation in the region stabilizes.

According to officials from the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, over 100 people have been killed during the offensives.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged Kiev on Wednesday to refrain from using excessive force in Ukraine.

“I call on the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that no excessive force is used, not to take discriminatory action and to avoid action that can harm the civilian population,” the official told Itar-Tass.