Tag Archives: access

Call waiting: Kashmiris queue for two-minute phone access

Call waiting: Kashmiris queue for two-minute phone accessOutside a guarded government office in Indian Kashmir’s main city, an interminable queue forms every day for a near-priceless opportunity: a two-minute phone call to the outside world. Residents of Srinagar and the Kashmir Valley have been starved of phone and internet use for a week as India snuffs out opposition to its military lockdown in the Himalayan region. Only two mobile phones with an outside line are on offer in the deputy commissioner’s office, but so desperate are people to contact families in the rest of India and overseas that they come from across Srinagar and beyond to wait in line.



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Conservative think tank sues Wisconsin's Evers over access

Conservative think tank sues Wisconsin's Evers over accessA conservative think tank has filed a federal lawsuit against Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, alleging he violated the First Amendment rights of staff members who were denied access to a press briefing and kept off an advisory list sent to other reporters. The MacIver Institute for Public Policy filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Madison alleging that Evers violated its staffers’ constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of the press and equal access. Evers’ spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, said in a statement that Evers believed strongly in a “fair and unbiased press corps” and is committed to openness and transparency in state government.



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Trump quietly used regulations to expand gun access

Trump quietly used regulations to expand gun accessThe president said he has taken tough action on guns. His administration has mostly focused on expanding gun access through little-noticed regulatory moves.



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Trump admits he allowed Devin Nunes access to classified intelligence documents about Russia investigation

Trump admits he allowed Devin Nunes access to classified intelligence documents about Russia investigationDonald Trump has given the US attorney general permission to share classified information about the Russia investigation with Devin Nunes, the Republican House Intelligence Committee ranking member who has called for Justice Department and FBI officials to be jailed over the probe.The US president said he had given William Barr “a total release” of documents relating to the investigation into Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election, and had also “given him authorisation to release it to whoever he wants”.“He’s got everything; everything he needs, he’s got,” he told Sean Hannity in an interview on Fox News on Thursday night.Mr Trump added: “He’s the attorney general of the United States, he’s has got a lot of very good people under him that I guess are involved and I gave them a total release. So, all of it’s been released and he has all of it.“I’ve also given him authorisation to release it to whoever he wants, whether it’s his people or frankly perhaps people like Devin Nunes, who is a star.”Mr Nunes, the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, this week portrayed allegations that Mr Trump’s presidential campaign team colluded with Russia as a “hoax” comparable to “the Loch Ness monster”.Earlier this month, he described officials who triggered Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as “a bunch of dirty cops”.“Some of them better go to jail, or we're going to go down in a spiral in this country because you will not have a Republican that will trust the FBI or the Department of Justice for generations to come,” he told Fox News presenter Bill Hemmer.Mr Mueller, giving testimony on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, rejected Mr Trump's claims to have been been exonerated by the special counsel's report."That is not what the report said. The president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed," he told congress.Mr Nunes has repeatedly been accused of attempting to undermine investigations into the Russia allegations.In 2017, he was forced to temporarily recuse himself from the House Intelligence Committee’s probe while the Office of Congressional Ethics investigated his disclosure of intelligence files which he claimed showed Mr Trump’s transition team had been caught up in surveillance.He reportedly received the files from White House officials and was criticised by both Democrats and Republicans for revealing information from classified documents.Mr Nunes was later cleared by the ethics watchdog, but the release of the declassified memo last year showed key elements of his claims of FBI misconduct had been false or misleading.



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Migrant children held in Texas facility need access to doctors, says attorney

Migrant children held in Texas facility need access to doctors, says attorney‘Inhumane’ conditions for detained children amount to ‘emergency public health crisis’, says attorney who visited centerOvercrowding at the US border patrol station in McAllen, Texas, on 10 June. The team who visited the center in Clint found children did not have adequate access to drinking water or food. Photograph: Handout/Getty ImagesHundreds of children at a migrant detention center in Texas are being held in “inhumane” conditions that amount to an “emergency public health crisis” and should be allowed immediate access to doctors, according to an attorney who gained rare access to the facility.Elora Mukherjee, the director of Columbia Law School’s immigrant rights clinic, was one of six attorneys to visit the detention center in Clint as part of ongoing litigation about an agreement that states unaccompanied children can’t be held in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities for more than 72 hours.The team found that children had no adequate access to medical care, had no basic sanitation, were exposed to extreme cold and did not have adequate access to drinking water or food.“I’ve been visiting children detained in federal immigration custody for 12 years,” Mukherjee told the Guardian. “I have never seen anything like this before. I have never seen, smelled, had to bear witness to such degrading and inhumane conditions.”The UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Monday said she was “appalled” at the conditions. “As a paediatrician, but also as a mother and a former head of state, I am deeply shocked that children are forced to sleep on the floor in overcrowded facilities, without access to adequate healthcare or food, and with poor sanitation conditions,” the statement quoted Bachelet as saying.Two weeks ago, the attorneys met with 60 children between the ages of five months and 17 years to interview them about the conditions in the facility, which is holding 350 children. Some had bodily fluids including breast milk, urine and mucus stained on their clothes and many were wearing the same clothes they had crossed the border in, days or weeks earlier.An aerial view of the border patrol facility in Clint, Texas, where attorneys reported migrants had been held in disturbing conditions. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty ImagesIn the past, Mukherjee said she would raise concerns about conditions with the lead counsel in the case, who would then pursue a remedy. This time, however, the conditions were so shocking the attorneys were compelled to approach the media.Mukherjee noted that seven children have died in federal immigration custody or shortly after being released, compared to no such deaths in the 10 previous years. “We were extremely concerned that more children might die if we didn’t go public,” she said.At Clint, attorneys learned a flu epidemic had left children quarantined, but were blocked from interviewing them in-person to ensure they were receiving proper medical care and instead communicated with some of the oldest children by phone.A week before their visit to Clint, at a similar facility in McAllen, Texas, lawyers and a pediatrician had identified five detained babies who needed immediate hospitalization and were transferred to a local hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.“The conditions within which they are held could be compared to torture facilities,” the physician, Dolly Lucio Sevier, wrote in a medical declaration obtained by ABC News.CBP initially denied the attorneys’ reports, but its own watchdog, the homeland security department’s Office of Inspector General, had already put together – then released last week – reports warning of dangerous overcrowding in border patrol facilities.On 10 June, the auditor said it witnessed “serious overcrowding” in four of five facilities and prolonged detention at the other five facilities – of both adults and children – that needed to be addressed immediately.Overcrowding observed by the Office of Inspector General at the border patrol station in McAllen, Texas, on 11 June. Photograph: Handout/Getty ImagesCBP said in a statement it “leverages our limited resources to provide the best care possible to those in our custody, especially children. As DHS and CBP leadership have noted numerous times, our short-term holding facilities were not designed to hold vulnerable populations and we urgently need additional humanitarian funding to manage this crisis.”In response to the slew of devastating reports, the health department, which takes custody of unaccompanied migrant children until they can be paired with relatives or foster parents, is expanding its shelter network.And the House oversight committee said it will hold a hearing on Wednesday about the treatment of migrants at detention facilities.Also next week, an independent mediator in the case that spurred the attorneys’ visit to Clint is due to provide a report about the detention centers before 12 July, according to court documents. That same day, Lights for Liberty vigils are planned around the country to protest the government’s failure to adequately care for these children.Jennifer Nagda, policy director at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, said that the issue stems from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) treating detention centers as part of enforcement instead of a site for protecting adults and children.“It is incredibly frustrating when you know that on the part of homeland security, it is not due to a lack of resources, it is due to a lack of intention,” Nagda said. “They have sufficient funds to provide three decent meals a day and a mattress a child can sleep on and a bathroom they can use privately.”Nagda is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of advocates who have been raising concerns about immigration detention facilities while the US rapidly expanded immigration detention in the past two decades.The number of detained migrants increased in 1996 after then president Bill Clinton signed a pair of laws that introduced mandatory detentions for asylum seekers and legal immigrants who had committed crimes and allowed for indefinite detention.Nagda said after a decade working in this field, she was still shocked by the reports that emerged in recent weeks and was concerned a similar situation was replicated at other border facilities.Despite the grim reality at the border, Nagda clung to the power public outcry could have to change the current conditions. She thinks activists should specifically be pushing for children in detention to have access to pediatricians or medical experts with experience helping children and to have child welfare experts in the facility.“Those kinds of agency changes will only happen in response to extraordinary public pressure and I think the public should take heart that their anger, and rallying and marches could actually influence how this agency spends money and cares for families arriving at the border,” Nagda said, highlighting the role protests played in bringing an end to family separation in the summer of 2018.



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Robert Mueller report: Democrats say they are prepared to battle for access to full contents of Trump-Russia probe

Robert Mueller report: Democrats say they are prepared to battle for access to full contents of Trump-Russia probeHouse Democrats, concerned president Donald Trump‘s attorney general may withhold evidence of wrongdoing uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller, are preparing for potential battle over access to the full contents of Mr Mueller’s newly completed report, vowing to pursue it and any underlying investigative materials in court if necessary. “We will fight” for the full report, said representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, emphasising that Democrats expect complete transparency from Mr Mueller and the Justice Department, save for redactions of classified information that could jeopardise sensitive law enforcement methods if disclosed publicly. Attorney general William Barr informed the heads of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees in a letter on Friday he might be able to advise them of Mr Mueller’s “principal conclusions as soon as this weekend”.



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Trump: Founder of alleged prostitution spa 'sold Chinese businessmen access to president’

Trump: Founder of alleged prostitution spa 'sold Chinese businessmen access to president’Chinese clients have allegedly been offered access to Donald Trump and his administration by the female founder of a massage parlour involved in a high-profile prostitution sting. Li Yang, the Chinese founder of the Orchids of Asia Day spa in Florida, made headlines last week when US media unearthed a photo of her smiling alongside the US president at his West Palm Beach country club during last month’s Super Bowl. Less than three weeks after the selfie was taken, Robert Kraft, owner of Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots, was charged with soliciting prostitution at Orchids of Asia after police said they caught him on video in January paying for oral sex.



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India says Pakistan hiding information by blocking access to bombing site

India says Pakistan hiding information by blocking access to bombing siteIndia said on Saturday Pakistan had “plenty to hide” by preventing journalists from accessing the site of an air strike by Indian fighter jets inside Pakistan. Citing “security concerns”, Pakistani security officials on Thursday barred a Reuters team from climbing a hill in northeastern Pakistan to the site of a madrasa, or religious school, and a group of surrounding buildings that was targeted by Indian warplanes last week. “The fact that Pakistan has now refused access to journalists from visiting the site means that they have plenty to hide,” Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters.



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China seeks consular access for Huawei employee arrested in Poland: state media

China seeks consular access for Huawei employee arrested in Poland: state mediaChina is seeking consular access for Huawei employee Wang Weijing who was arrested in Poland over espionage allegations, state media reported on Saturday. Citing China’s foreign ministry of affairs, state broadcaster CCTV said Beijing is “closely following” the detention of Wang Weijing and has asked to arrange a consular visit “as soon as possible”. Both men are suspected of having “worked for Chinese services and to the detriment of Poland,” said Polish special services spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn.



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The Latest: Access for US officials to Moscow-held American

The Latest: Access for US officials to Moscow-held AmericanWASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Paul Whelan, the former U.S. Marine detained in Russia on espionage charges (all times local):



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