Trump expands aid threat as caravan of migrants heads to US

President says no more money will be given to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador if the caravan is not stopped; William La Jeunesse reports on the march to America.

The U.S. military will “CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER” with Mexico if officials there don’t soon stop the northward push of a massive migrant caravan, President Trump warned Thursday, amid reports the procession had swelled in size to about 4,000 people.

Trump’s latest threat against the caravan — which originated in Honduras and is bound for the U.S. in a bid to escape pervasive poverty and violence – comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to Central America to discuss the issue.

“I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S.,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

He added: “In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!”

The caravan, which as of Thursday morning was estimated to contain about 4,000 people, is persistently inching toward the Mexico-Guatemala border, where Mexican officials have sent 500 additional federal police officers ahead of the procession’s arrival, NBC News reported, citing U.S. government documents.

Mexico has said anyone with travel documents and the correct visa will be allowed to pass, and some others in the group can apply for refugee status. But officials also cautioned those who try to cross in an “irregular manner” could be detained and deported, according to the Associated Press.

The AP added that none of the migrants its reporters spoke to were carrying passports, which all but assures a high-stakes showdown with Mexican border officials in the coming days.

One member of the caravan, Henry Tejeda, told the AP he left his wife and four children to join the group due to increasing violence in Honduras, where he said his mother was murdered four years ago and his brother was shot.

“I am carrying the documents to prove I’m not lying,” Tejeda said. “I want to seek political asylum [in the U.S.] and help my family.”

The well-traveled Pompeo – fresh off a high-profile Middle East jaunt during which he met with leaders from Saudi Arabia and Turkey regarding the disappearance of activist Jamal Khashoggi – is now scheduled to head to Panama City on Thursday and Mexico City on Friday.

He will meet with the presidents of both countries to “discuss our ongoing security cooperation efforts to disrupt the illicit movement of cash, weapons, drugs across our shared border as well as the issue of stemming illegal immigration and strengthening accountability for corruption and human rights abuses, and bringing members of transnational criminal organizations to justice,” a senior State Department official said.

The migrant caravan will be a “prominent” topic of discussion, too, the official said.

“Certainly it’s an issue that we have viewed as a shared challenge and we continue to work closely with countries in the region to address the underlying economic, security, and governance conditions that have driven illegal immigration to the United States,” the official added.

Since 2015, the U.S. government has sent more than $2.6 billion in foreign assistance to the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut off that aid if the mass migration continues.

The caravan set off last Friday from San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second-largest city and a place widely considered to be one of most dangerous in the world when judged by homicide rate. At its start, the group consisted of about 160 people, according to an AP estimate.

Man Holds GoPro Wrong Way Round For Entire Holiday gopro fail 1Newsflare

Figuring out new and innovative technology in this ever-changing world can be daunting. For those who grew up in an age before smartphones, the internet and social media, using such devices can be quite scary.

Which is why you have to at least applaud the effort people of a certain age make. It’s easy to laugh at the older generation who struggle with new age tech but remember, you’ll be old one day too.

So you have to feel a bit sorry for this poor man who hilariously recorded the wrong footage, using his son’s GoPro, during his entire holiday in the Netherlands.

Proof that you should never leave seniors alone with new tech:

You know how it is with the older generation and technology, you can teach them as much as you want about it but they’ll still find some way to completely fudge it up. I suppose it’s the penance you pay for all those years they spent cleaning the dribble off your mouth.

It’s now your civic duty to show your mum how to use a smartphone and to make sure your old man doesn’t accidentally click a spam advert. It’s a war of attrition if anything.

Maybe that’s why you should never leave seniors alone with confusing technology, a lesson Mark Newman will have learnt after he lent his old man his GoPro.

Man Holds GoPro Wrong Way Round For Entire Holiday GoPro fail 2Newsflare

As you can see from the near-seven-minute video, Mark’s Dad, Howard, had every intention of documenting he and his wife’s (Jean) trip to Amsterdam, the home of tandem bikes, total football, the Red Light District and legal narcotics (you know what I’m talking about). But instead of capturing all the beautiful sites and locations Amsterdam has to offer, Howard ended up filming things the wrong way around. D’oh!

Mark said:

I lent my Dad my GoPro for his holiday to Amsterdam with my mum, when he returned it with much anticipation of me editing his footage we realised that he had been filming with the camera the wrong way around.

He blames the buttons being in the wrong place.

Man Holds GoPro Wrong Way Round For Entire Holiday GoPro fail 3Newsflare

The video, which was filmed in April 2016, even shows his dad talking to the camera while he’s on a train.

Speaking to the MailOnline Mark admitted:

He’s not great with technology so I gave him a quick rundown of how the buttons work – not thinking it would be that difficult as there is only three – and set him on his way. Upon uploading the video to edit I put it all together to watch un-edited to see what footage he had captured.

Man Holds GoPro Wrong Way Round For Entire Holiday GoPro fail 4Newsflare

It was then that we realised that what he had captured he was just his face due to the fact he thought the lens was the other side.

Mark, being the cheeky son that he is, uploaded the footage on the internet for the whole world to see.

He added:

My mum was in tears laughing, especially as the bit of filming she did she actually got it around the right way.

I mean it’s typical dad behaviour, isn’t it? The only saving grace is that when Howard goes on holiday again he’ll know this time to film the right way round.

If you have a story to tell, contact UNILAD via [email protected]

President Trump, with a tweet Monday, made a growing immigration issue seem increasingly insidious.

Trump claimed that a caravan of migrants heading north from southern Mexico included “unknown Middle Easterners.” By Tuesday, Trump admitted he had no proof to back up that claim, but insisted it could be true.

Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. Must change laws!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2018

“We know there are Middle Easterners in there,” Barletta told PennLive during an editorial board meeting. “We know that not all of them have come from Honduras or Guatemala or El Salvador. We know that. We know that for a fact. I’m on [the] Homeland Security [Committee]. I serve on the counterterrorism and intelligence subcommittee. I have a little more information than you do.”

So what information does Barletta, a Republican challenging U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s bid for a third term, have to support his own claim?

Barletta’s campaign initially cited as an answer an Axios story posted Tuesday, which included tweets from Tyler Q. Houlton, press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, asserting that “citizens of countries outside Central America, including countries in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and elsewhere are currently traveling through Mexico toward the U.S.”

Citizens of countries outside Central America, including countries in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and elsewhere are currently traveling through Mexico toward the U.S.

— Tyler Q. Houlton (@SpoxDHS) October 23, 2018

But Trump, who made the initial claim, admitted Tuesday afternoon during a discussion with reporters in the Oval Office that “there’s no proof of anything” regarding the origins of people in the migrant caravan. He continued, “But there very well could be.”

Trump, walking back his claim, noted that the U.S. Border Patrol previously reported intercepting people in the past from Middle Eastern countries attempting to enter the United States through the southern border.

Barletta’s campaign, when asked about Trump’s walk-back, noted that the four-term congressman from Hazleton had, later in in his PennLive interview, noted that the U.S. government knows little about the people in the caravan. And the campaign pointed to a 2015 DHS report about the origins of people trying to enter the country.

“I’m glad that we have a president who says, ‘You’re not just going to march into the United States without us knowing who you are,'” Barletta told PennLive. “That’s reasonable.”

Commissioners in Sandusky, Ohio, have voted to make Election Day a city holiday, in place of Columbus Day. Sandusky resident Moses Croom is seen here voting at a polling station at a local library in November 2008.

Jason Werling/Sandusky Register

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Commissioners in Sandusky, Ohio, have voted to make Election Day a city holiday, in place of Columbus Day. Sandusky resident Moses Croom is seen here voting at a polling station at a local library in November 2008.

Sandusky, Ohio, is a small city on the shores of Lake Erie. It’s best known among Midwesterners as the home of Cedar Point, an amusement park famed for its abundance of roller coasters.

But last week city leaders took steps that could make Sandusky known as a leader of democracy, too: They declared Election Day a paid holiday – by swapping out Columbus Day.

“A lot’s happened in the last three years that had us thinking a lot about voter access and democracy, and so we thought it was a really natural switch,” Sandusky City Manager Eric Wobser tells NPR. The move was first reported by the Sandusky Register.

In a national political climate where so much is fiercely contentious, was the holiday swap really as easy as that?

Wobser says it was, and it wasn’t.

In 2014 negotiations with the unions that represent police, firefighters, and municipal workers, the city suggested dropping Columbus Day, but giving up a paid holiday was a non-starter, Wobser says. So when negotiations for 2019-2021 started up last year, the city had a new proposal: replacing Columbus Day with Election Day.

The unions agreed.

“Participation in the government at all levels is essential for everyone,” says Ed Dayringer, president of Local 1519 of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents 97 of the city’s employees. He’s also an engineering technician with the city. “As a city, we want to ensure to give our people the opportunity to get out and vote,” he tells NPR.

The biggest sticking point in the negotiations was that most people would rather have a three-day weekend than a Tuesday off. But after talking through the larger civic purpose behind the change, all parties agreed to it.

After that, it was just a matter of changing the legislation that governs observed holidays. “We did that with an emergency vote that took place and was passed unanimously on first reading at our last meeting,” Wobser says. “And ultimately we have gotten very little pushback about it.”

Police and firefighters will still work scheduled shifts and receive holiday pay for the hours they work, as they do on other official holidays.

“Our city’s growing and evolving with the times,” Dayringer says. “I think we have a lot of forward thinking here at the city, and that’s probably what sparked a lot of the change.”

Sandusky, with a population of about 26,000, is 69 percent white, 23 percent black, and 7 percent Hispanic or Latino. American Indians comprise only 0.4 percent of the city’s population, according to the Census Bureau.

There have been ongoing national conversations about the issues with honoring Christopher Columbus, a name that many have come to associate with the oppression of indigenous peoples. Indeed, a number of cities have renamed the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. But Wobser isn’t aware of any other U.S. cities that have moved to stop observing Columbus Day and replace it with an Election Day holiday.

“One of the things that we really pride ourselves strongly on Sandusky, is we’re probably the only urban city in a few county area in this part of the state,” says Wobser. “And we want to be mindful of and prideful about our diversity in the city, and really kind of celebrate the diversity in the city. So we look at a variety of ways in which we can become more welcoming, and ultimately focus on that.”

He says the change was partly about addressing the challenges presented by Columbus Day, but also about embracing a chance to “think globally but act locally” to improve voter access on Election Day.

“We don’t have to wait necessarily for states or the federal government to make this change, but that ultimately cities can do it in a case by case basis,” he says. “And you never know — in a place like Ohio, which obviously can often be considered a swing state, if enough cities were to make a move like this, maybe that’s enough to tip the scales in an election one way or the other.”

The change so far only affects the Sandusky’s 250 city workers. Wobser calls it a small gesture, but an important one.

“This will make it a little easier for them to vote, and potentially participate in democracy in other ways on Election Day. But we’re very hopeful that the message that it sends will be contagious.”