July 6, 2018

Posted by orrinj at 8:43 PM


Uruguay Had the Perfect Plan to Beat France. Uruguay Did Not Beat France. (ERIC BETTS, JULY 06, 2018, sLATE)

Sometimes in sports you can come up with the perfect plan and it still won't be good enough.

Consider Uruguay's World Cup quarterfinal against France, which was a lot closer than the 2-0 score would lead you to believe. Uruguay fought back and for a time exposed a superior French side using all the weapons at its disposal: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to 71-year-old manager Óscar Tabárez.

Tabárez was leading Uruguay for the fourth time at the World Cup despite being diagnosed in 2016 with Guillain-Barré syndrome, which has him relying on a crutch or a wheelchair for mobility. He has been coaching nearly all these players for their entire international careers, and it's clear he knows how to squeeze every ounce of potential from a side representing a nation of just 3 million people.

Uruguay played aggressive, physical defense, combined in interesting and unexpected ways on counterattacks, and rarely spurned good chances. Its set-piece dominance in this World Cup had been absolute. Center backs Diego Godín and José Giménez are among the world's best at attacking and defending dead balls. Every foul whistled or ball knocked out of play seemed a small Uruguay victory.

Posted by orrinj at 8:40 PM


Immigrant soldier sues Defense Department for discharging him without explanation (LORELEI LAIRD, JULY 6, 2018, ABA Journal)

A private in the U.S. Army Reserve has sued the Army for discharging him without warning or explanation, apparently because of his participation in a program for immigrants.

As the Associated Press reported July 5, the U.S. Army has been discharging soldiers who are not U.S. citizens. That includes Lucas Calixto, the private second class who sued the Army on June 28 for his sudden discharge. [...]

Calixto enlisted in the Army Reserve in early 2016 and has not been subject to any discipline or complaints, according to the complaint. In fact, it says, he was promoted to private second class shortly before his discharge. His lawsuit argues that the Army violated its own rules, Department of Defense rules and his due process rights by offering no explanation or chance to respond. Army regulations require that someone who is the subject of an "unfavorable administrative action" should be given a comprehensive, detailed written statement of the reasons for the action, and a chance to respond.

Calixto's lawsuit asks the court to revoke the discharge order and issue a declaratory judgment saying the Army failed to follow its own rules.

Posted by orrinj at 8:37 PM


Family separation lawsuit offers chilling details as Trump administration says it will fulfill federal court order (NewsHour, Jul 5, 2018)


So, Lisa, separately from all that, there's a set of legal documents, legal filings from a number of states. They're suing the federal government. Tell us about what you see there.



This is an extraordinary trove of firsthand accounts from people who have experienced this policy. First, let's talk about that lawsuit. It's 17 states and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit.

What they want, a few things. They want a court to order that this policy is unconstitutional and it must stop permanently. They also want courts to order that asylum seekers be allowed to process and go through the border without being detained.

Now, as that court case works out, the states filed 1,000 pages, nearly 1,000 pages of documentation of people who have experienced this process or have knowledge about it.

Poring through those documents, Judy, is the firsthand accounts that we have been trying to get our hands on for so long. And just overall, we see many themes that are the same, many parents who were separated with little or no notice that they would be separated. Sometimes, they were taken away to a hearing, returned to find their child had been taken.


Tell us a little bit about what you see there. What are these families saying?


First, we learned a lot about what these families in this legal documentation says how the physical situation was for them.

First of all, 15-by-15 size cells with 30 to 50 adults, sometimes children in them as well, with one toilet usually for those people to share. Usually, there's some privacy. However, it's still in the same room. And children and adults sharing that space. They're called iceboxes.

Many, many people of these refer them as so cold that they had to huddle together on cement floors. We also have some very gripping and frankly difficult-to-read personal testimonies. I want to point to one of them.

This is from a mother whose 14-month-old child was separated from her and from the father. They were reunited after 85 days. She wrote- "The child continued to cry when we got home and would hold on to my leg and would not let me go. When I took off his clothes, he was full of dirt and lice. It seemed like they had not bathed him the 85 days he was away from us."

She went on to say that she had thought, her child being so young, he wouldn't have really significant effects from the separation. But when she was reunited with him, she's worried that now actually he is really feeling and has changed because of the separation.

Posted by orrinj at 5:20 PM


Most Americans oppose key parts of Trump immigration plans, including wall, limits on citizens bringing family to U.S., poll says (Dan Balz and Scott Clement, July 6 , 2018, The Washington Post)

Americans overwhelmingly oppose the Trump administration's now-rescinded policy of separating immigrant children from their parents, and smaller majorities also disagree with the president's call to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and to restrict legal immigration by limiting citizens from bringing parents and siblings to this country, according to a new Washington Post-Schar School poll. [...]

Democrats appear more energized than Republicans about the fall elections, especially in battleground districts. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters in those districts, 59 percent say the midterms are extremely important, compared with 46 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Overall, registered voters say they prefer to vote for a Democrat over a Republican for the House, 47 percent to 37 percent. The margin on that question is not statistically larger in battleground districts, standing at 12 percentage points.

Posted by orrinj at 5:10 AM


Republicans on Russia trip face scorn and ridicule from critics at home (Karoun Demirjian, July 5 , 2018, Washington Post)

Republican lawmakers who went to Russia seeking a thaw in relations received an icy reception from Democrats and Kremlin watchers for spending the Fourth of July in a country that interfered in the U.S. presidential election and continues to deny it.

"Cannot believe GOP, once the party that stood strong against Soviets & only a decade ago sought to democratize the Middle East, is now surrendering so foolishly to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Kremlin's kleptocracy -- only two years ­after Russia interfered in U.S. election," tweeted Clint Watts, an information warfare specialist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and frequent featured expert before congressional panels examining Russian influence operations.

Posted by orrinj at 4:20 AM


Posted by orrinj at 4:09 AM


AP NewsBreak: US Army quietly discharging immigrant recruits (MARTHA MENDOZA and GARANCE BURKE, 7/05/18, AP) 

Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned.

The AP was unable to quantify how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been booted from the Army, but immigration attorneys say they know of more than 40 who have been discharged or whose status has become questionable, jeopardizing their futures.

"It was my dream to serve in the military," said reservist Lucas Calixto, a Brazilian immigrant who filed a lawsuit against the Army last week. "Since this country has been so good to me, I thought it was the least I could do to give back to my adopted country and serve in the United States military."

Some of the service members say they were not told why they were being discharged. Others who pressed for answers said the Army informed them they'd been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them.