WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019
Border Patrol Will Stop Detaining Some Families at U.S. Border
Today the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said it will start releasing some families apprehended near the border in south Texas as detention centers fill to capacity. The CBP will give some of the families apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley area notices to appear in court. Others will be released on their own recognizance, meaning they have a court date but no set bond amount.
More children and families have been apprehended along the Rio Grande Valley than in any other area of the border in recent months, according to CBP data.
One official cited the recent increases in border arrests as the reason for the temporary policy change, saying it was done “to mitigate risks to both officer safety and vulnerable populations under these circumstances.”
“CBP is committed to effectively utilizing our resources to support border security operations and ongoing humanitarian efforts,” the official said in a statement.
Agents expect to stop nearly 100,000 migrants at the southern border this month, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a speech this week. Nielsen said if the trend continues, the month of March will see more than double the number of unauthorized crossings compared to the same time in recent years. Her prediction is on track with the growing projections CBP said it expects in coming months and it tracks with large increases of children and families seen in recent months.
“The system is breaking,” Nielsen said Monday. “And our communities, our law enforcement personnel, and the migrants themselves are paying the price.”
In Fall River, Massachusetts, a hate crime investigation is underway after 59 headstones were defaced and two were knocked over at a Jewish cemetery there.
Officers responded to the Hebrew Cemetery in Fall River after a maintenance worker discovered gravestones damaged with swastikas and anti-Semitic messages, including “expel the Jew” and “Hitler was right,” according to police.
Robert Trestan, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in New England, called the crime “an inexcusable act of antisemitic hatred in the place where we honor and remember the lives of our community members.”
“We are grateful for the priority that this apparent hate crime is being given by the Fall River Police Department,” Trestan said.
The ADL said it’s offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration today approved a medication specifically to treat new mothers who suffer from postpartum depression.
The drug is called Brexanolone and will be sold under the name Zulresso. The drug’s maker, Sage Therapeutics, says only one dose is needed. Zulresso is administered in an intravenous drip that takes nearly 60 hours and is expected to cost between $20,000 to $35,000. Clinical trials show it works within hours.
Postpartum depression affects about 400,000 American women a year. It’s often treated with antidepressants, though they can take several weeks to help and don’t always work.
The Disney Company has announced it has closed the deal, costing Disney $71 billion in acquisitions of 21st Century Fox Entertainment. Fox’s entertainment business gives Disney ownership of “Cinderella,” ″The Simpsons,” ″Star Wars” and “Dr. Strange” under one giant corporate roof.
The deal is likely to shake up the media landscape. Among other things, it paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year. It will also likely lead to employee layoffs numbering in the thousands, thanks to duplication in Fox and Disney film-production staff.
By buying the studios behind “The Simpsons” and X-Men, Disney aims to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers’ attention – and dollars.
Disney needs compelling TV shows and movies to persuade viewers to sign up and pay for yet another streaming service. It already has classic Disney cartoons, “Star Wars,” Pixar, the Muppets and some of the Marvel characters.
With Fox, Disney could add Marvel’s X-Men and Deadpool, along with programs shown on such Fox channels as FX Networks and National Geographic. Fox’s productions also include “The Americans,” ″This Is Us” and “Modern Family.”
The deal helps Disney further control TV shows and movies from start to finish – from creating the programs to distributing them through television channels, movie theaters, streaming services and other ways people watch entertainment.
Disney would get valuable data on customers and their entertainment-viewing habits, which it can then use to sell advertising.
As far as the theme parks go, Disney is able to expand its opportunities with Fox, having already licensed Fox’s “Avatar” for its “Pandora” park in Walt Disney World.
Although internet providers like AT&T and Comcast directly control their customers’ access to the internet in a way that Amazon, YouTube and Netflix do not, they still face threats as those streaming services gain in popularity.
AT&T bought Time Warner last year for $81 billion and has already launched its own streaming service, Watch TV, with Time Warner channels such as TBS and TNT, among other networks, for $15 a month.
In addition to boosting the Disney streaming service, expected to debut next year, the deal paves the way for Marvel’s X-Men and the Avengers to reunite in future movies.
Though Disney owns Marvel Studios, some characters including the X-Men had already been licensed to Fox.
Disney also gets a controlling stake in the existing streaming service Hulu, which it plans to keep operating as a home for more general programming. Family-friendly shows and movies will head to Disney Plus.
No pricing has been disclosed for Disney Plus. The streaming service will feature five categories of material: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.
Disney charges $5 a month for ESPN Plus, a service that offers programming distinct from the ESPN cable channel.
Meanwhile, Fox Corp. — the parts of 21st Century Fox that are not part of the deal, including Fox News, Fox Sports and Fox Broadcasting — started trading on the Nasdaq under the “FOX” and “FOXA” tickers on Tuesday.