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The Trump administration wants to roll back protections on detained migrants; a burning Amazon rainforest points to larger problems of deforestation and climate change.


New Trump rules poses a threat to migrant families

 Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • The Trump administration has proposed a new rule that will allow it to detain migrant families indefinitely, in hopes that it will curb illegal border crossings. [Vox / Catherine Kim]
  • Under current law, migrant families can only be held up to 20 days, which is the maximum amount of time a child can be subjected to detention in a non-licensed facility. [WSJ / Michelle Hackman]
  • These standards were defined by the Flores settlement, a lawsuit over mistreatment of unaccompanied minors settled in 1997 that requires the government to keep children in custody in “the least restrictive conditions” possible. The 20-day limit was added in 2015. [Daily Beast / Scott Bixby]
  • But Trump administration wants to roll back these protections, believing that family units at the border have increased because adults bring children in hope of being released sooner. [LA Times / Molly O’Toole]
  • Last year, the Trump administration used the Flores settlement as an excuse for its family separation policy because children and their parents could not be kept together for an extended period in detention facilities under the agreement. [Vox / Dara Lind and Dylan Scott]
  • Although it has since pulled back the family separation policy following public outrage, the administration is trying to get rid of the agreement that prohibited long-term detention to begin with. [CNN / Veronica Stracqualursi, Geneva Sands, Elizabeth Elkin, and Veronica Rocha]
  • The rule will be published in the Federal Register later this week and will go into effect after 60 days, but it will most likely face immediate legal challenges. And if the regulation isn’t greenlighted by the judge who first approved the Flores settlement in 1997, it will likely lead to multiple, lengthy appeals from the government. [NYT / Michael D. Shear and Zolan Kanno-Youngs]

The Amazon has been burning for the past two weeks

  • The Amazon rainforest is burning at a record rate, and many are blaming Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro’s support for deforestation. [WSJ / Samantha Pearson and Luciana Magalhaes]
  • The duration of the fire is unusual for a place that almost never burns on its own due to torrential rain. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • Conditions were ripe for the fires: Climate change has raised the average temperature, droughts are now more frequent and intense, and deforestation is rapidly increasing. [USA Today / N’dea Yancey-Bragg]
  • And in this case, humans’ impact cannot be ignored: Slash-and-burn tactics are used to clear the land for farming (it’s illegal during this time of the year because of wildfire risks), and illegal logging operations have been known to set fire to the land to drive out indigenous peoples. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • Environmental activists blame Bolsonaro for relaxing environmental controls that make the rainforest more vulnerable to wildfires. His pro-business stance has made him a generous president to loggers, farmers, and miners, who have been the main contributors to the deforestation of the Amazon. [CNN / Jessie Yeung and Abel Alvarado]
  • Bolsonaro, however, is accusing environmental NGOs of setting fire to the rainforest to embarrass his government — all part of an elaborate revenge scheme for cutting their funding. He has been unable to provide any evidence to back these claims. [Guardian / Jonathan Watts]
  • The Amazon rainforest, which provides 20 percent of Earth’s oxygen and is essential in slowing down climate change, is near the point of no return if humans continue to exploit it. The current fires are just a preview. [Newsweek / Isobel van Hagen]

Miscellaneous

  • The young activists behind March for Our Lives aren’t just protesting in the streets anymore. They’ve released their own sweeping gun control plan and are seeking endorsement for their proposal from Democratic presidential candidates. [NPR / Brakkton Booker]
  • ”When a gun is pointed at someone, that’s a traumatic event”: Phoenix police officers are now required to document every time they point a gun at a person. The new rule comes two months after a video of a Phoenix police officer pulling his gun on a family went viral. [CNN / Jason Hanna]
  • A lot of teen boys want to be influencers these days, but it’s not as glamorous a world as one might expect. Jawline, a new documentary, explores the social media stars at the center of Gen Z culture and how hectic their chase for fame can be. [Daily Beast / Jordan Julian]
  • Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer will appear on the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars. The news has already spurred controversy — and jokes, of course. [Business Insider / Ashley Collman]
  • Facebook has long been under scrutiny for helping spread misinformation through “fake news” — partially because of its algorithm. Now the company has announced it will hire veteran journalists to help collect stories for its news tab, which will launch this fall. [CNBC / Annie Palmer]

Verbatim

“People have caught on, people know that bringing a family is a free ticket into the United States. A kid is a ticket, a kid is a passport.” [A senior DHS official on the new rule that allows the government to indefinitely detain migrant families]


Listen to this: Coal’s last stand

There’s a train full of coal sitting on the tracks in eastern Kentucky. It’s being blocked by a group of laid-off miners who want what they’re owed. [Spotify]


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