Tuesday Morning Briefing: U.S. credits Mexico, Central America for sharp drop in border arrests


The Trump administration credited Mexico and Central American countries with helping to cut U.S. border arrests by nearly 60% from a record high earlier this year but then lashed out at a federal judge for ruling against a strict anti-asylum policy. The administration is also seeking to strike a “cooperative agreement” with Mexico to help stem the tide of migrants looking to enter the United States to claim asylum, the top U.S. border control official said.

Since it started in January, the rollout of one of the most dramatic changes to U.S. immigration policy under the Trump administration has been marked by unpredictability and created chaos in immigration courts, according to dozens of interviews with judges and attorneys, former federal officials and migrants. The program - known as the “Migrant Protection Protocols” - has forced tens of thousands of people to wait in Mexico for U.S. court dates, swamping the dockets and leading to delays and confusion as judges and staff struggle to handle the influx of cases.


Trump is going all-out to try to keep a North Carolina district in the Republican column in a special congressional election that may serve as a bellwether for his own fortunes in 2020. Trump went to Fayetteville, a city in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, on Monday to rally Republican supporters in a repeat election of a 2018 contest that was tainted by fraud. Both Republicans and Democrats expect Tuesday’s election to be close and to provide clues about what might happen in presidential and congressional elections next year.

States across the American South have closed nearly 1,200 polling places since the Supreme Court weakened a landmark voting-discrimination law in 2013, according to a report released by a civil-rights group. The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights found that states with a history of racial discrimination have shuttered hundreds of voting locations since the court ruled that they did not need federal approval to change their laws. The report did not have comparisons with polling places in other regions.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would not request an extension to Brexit, hours after a law came into force demanding that he delay Britain’s departure from the European Union until 2020 unless he can strike a divorce deal. For the second time in a week, lawmakers then rejected Johnson’s request to try to break the deadlock through an early national election. EU leaders have repeatedly said they have not received specific proposals ahead of an EU summit on Oct. 17 and 18, at which Johnson says he hopes he can secure a deal.
Wider Image: More than 3.5 million Syrian refugees live in Turkey as a result of a conflict that has raged since 2011. In 2015, more than 800,000 mainly Syrian and Afghan migrants took to the seas off Turkey to make the short but perilous trip to Greece. The numbers fell dramatically the next year after a deal between the European Union and Turkey to stem the exodus. Here is one migrant family's bid to reach Europe.


Interference by foreign parliaments in Hong Kong’s affairs is deeply regrettable, the leader of the Chinese-ruled city said, adding that an escalation of violence cannot solve social issues in the city. Carrie Lam was speaking after another weekend of sometimes violent clashes in the former British colony, with police firing tear gas in cat-and-mouse skirmishes with protesters who at times smashed windows and started fires in the streets.
North Korea fired a new round of short-range projectiles, South Korean officials said, only hours after it signaled a new willingness to resume stalled denuclearization talks with the United States. The launches were detected early in the morning by the South Korean military, which said they appeared to be short-range projectiles.
Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power will have to dump radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean as it runs out of room to store it, the environment minister said. The government is awaiting a report from an expert panel before making a final decision on how to dispose of the radioactive water.


Mother Earth's MeToo moment: English town joins campaign for 'nature's rights'

From New Zealand to Bangladesh, there is a growing movement to grant human rights to the natural world and campaigners in the English town of Frome want to protect their river by granting it 'legal personhood' - which would be a first in Britain.
10 min read

No more burgers and coke? Climate fears hit meat, drink sales

Consumers worried about the environment are cutting their spending on meat and bottled drinks and trying to reduce plastic waste, and this trend is set to accelerate as climate concerns mount, a global survey showed.
3 Min Read


WeWork IPO valuation likely below $20 billion, clouding SoftBank's vision

WeWork owner The We Company is weighing slashing the valuation of its forthcoming IPO to below $20 billion, two sources said, in the latest headwind for leading shareholder SoftBank Group whose key group portfolio firms have tumbled in value.
4 min read

Apple to reveal streaming service prices while iPhones on 'holding pattern' until 5G

Apple is set to announce pricing for its forthcoming streaming TV service as well as updates to its iPhone lineup, as the tech giant reaches a turning point where it focuses as much on services as its hardware and software.
5 min read

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