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US teenager detained at border lost 26 pounds in a month: 'It was inhumane how they treated us'

US teenager detained at border lost 26 pounds in a month: 'It was inhumane how they treated us'A US teenager who was detained by border agents for nearly a month, has detailed bleak conditions during his stay, saying: “They were not treating us humanely.”Francisco Galicia, who was born in Texas, was detained at a customs and border agency (CBP) checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas on June 27 while travelling with his brother Marlon, a 17-year-old who was born in Mexico, who was also detained. After two days of detention, Marlon signed a voluntary deportation form and was released to his grandmother. Francisco, who was finally released this week, said he almost did the same thing. “It was inhumane how they treated us,” he told the Dallas Morning News. “It got to the point where I was ready to sign a deportation paper just to not be suffering there anymore. I just needed to get out of there.”Francisco, 18, lost 26 pounds during the 23 days he was detained at the CBP facility due to lack of food. He was not allowed to shower for the duration of his stay, but was given a shower once he was moved to an immigration enforcement agency (ICE) facility. “It was to clean up but the dirt, but you couldn’t get rid of it because so much time had passed since we showered,” he said.He and 60 other men were held in an overcrowded holding area where they slept on the floor; some were forced to sleep on the restroom area’s floor. They were given only aluminium foil blankets.Francisco said ticks bit some of the men. Some were also “very sick”, he said, but afraid to ask for a doctor, since CBP officers told them their stay would start over if they did.“It’s one thing to see these conditions on TV and in the news,” he said. “It’s another to go through them.”The horrifying saga began when officers at the Falfurrias checkpoint questioned his citizenship status. The teenager also had a Mexican tourist visa his mother had obtained for him when he was a minor and she feared she would not be able to legally travel across the border with him.But Francisco says the officers sounded the validity of his identification documents even before knowing that. “I told them we had rights and asked to make a phone call. But they told us, ‘You don’t have rights to anything,’” he told CNN. “They didn’t believe me. I kept telling them over and over, and they kept saying my documents were fake, and they were going to deport me.They threatened me with charges – charges about falsifying documents. Felonies. They kept asking how it was possible for me to not know where I was from.“Powerless. That’s how I felt,” he continued. “How with all this proof that I was giving them could they hold me?” Now, he wants to use his experience to shed light on the sordid conditions enacted by the Trump administration in the camps. “Right now, I’m in a place where I can help those who are still in there – so people can see how they’re treated, and change the way they’re treated,” he said. “I am the eyes and ears of what’s happening in there. I can talk. They can’t do what I’m doing.”



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'Work with us': United States looks to other countries for help with Iran

'Work with us': United States looks to other countries for help with IranThe United States is seeking partners to patrol and escort ships in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf as tensions with Iran escalate.



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US' Pompeo boosts Israel prime minister ahead of election

US' Pompeo boosts Israel prime minister ahead of electionJERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday lauded the White House's warm ties with Israel during a visit to the country and promised to step up pressure on Iran, giving a public boost to Israel's prime minister at the height of a tight re-election campaign.



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'They shot at us,' say injured Venezuela protesters

'They shot at us,' say injured Venezuela protestersUreña (Venezuela) (AFP) – Edinson Cisneros gasped and wheezed as he tried to talk — he was one of the protesters struck by rubber buckshot fired by Venezuelan security forces breaking up border demos demanding the entry of emergency aid from Colombia. The main crossing points on the Colombian border became flashpoints for unrest Saturday as Venezuelan security struggled with twin tasks: keeping Venezuelans from leaving to get aid stockpiled in Colombia, and stopping people crossing the border with aid packages. Cisneros, 24, was in a large crowd that tried to reach the Francisco de Paula Santander border bridge, the crossing point that links Urena, Venezuela with Cucuta, Colombia.



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Parkland mom: 'Shooter may as well have just shot us'

Parkland mom: 'Shooter may as well have just shot us'FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Helena Ramsay was wise beyond her years, shy until you got to know her and discovered she had a wicked wit. She dreamed of seeing the pink dolphins in the Brazilian rainforest — a dream her mother said was cut short by the gunman who killed Ramsay and 16 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.



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Indonesia military chief 'free to travel to US': embassy

Indonesia military chief 'free to travel to US': embassyIndonesia’s military chief is free to travel to the United States, the US embassy said Monday, after the general was apparently stopped as he tried to board a flight. Jakarta has demanded an explanation for the incident after General Gatot Nurmantyo — who is believed to harbour presidential ambitions — was refused boarding in Jakarta by the US Customs and Border Protection agency. Nurmantyo had been invited to Washington by the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, America’s highest-ranking military officer, where he was due to attend a conference.



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US says 'worst behind us' in Qatar crisis

US says 'worst behind us' in Qatar crisisProgress has been made towards resolving the crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors after senior US officials met leading players in the standoff, the State Department said Tuesday. “I would characterize the mood and the approach to that as being one that is hopeful, that believes that the worst is behind us,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters. Earlier, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had met Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, whose government accuses Qatar of sponsoring extremist groups and has closed its border.



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'Still one of us': 92-year-old gets Purple Heart from WWII

'Still one of us': 92-year-old gets Purple Heart from WWIIFAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A 92-year-old North Carolina man has finally received the Purple Heart he earned more than 70 years ago while fighting in Belgium during World War II.



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Collins: President 'Owes Us' an Explanation Over Wiretap Claims

Collins: President 'Owes Us' an Explanation Over Wiretap ClaimsSen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) tells Chuck Todd that she trusts the president, but would like an explanation over his claims that the Obama administration wiretapped the Trump campaign.



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'War won't stop us' vow Syria child victims Bana, Abdel

'War won't stop us' vow Syria child victims Bana, AbdelTwo Syrian children who have become powerful symbols of their homeland’s conflict met Saturday, vowing that “the war will not stop us” despite the horrific violence around them. Seven-year-old Syrian girl Bana al-Abed — whose Twitter account gave a tragic description of the bombing of Aleppo — met 10-year-old Abdel Basset who lost his legs after bombardment in Idlib. A video of the young boy screaming for his father spread on social media and images of Abdel were shared by Bana as well.



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