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Newsletter: Today: Inside the Shelters for Young Migrants

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Boys were the only residents of a migrant youth shelter during a tour for reporters on Wednesday in Brownsville, Texas.
(Health and Human Services )

A rare glimpse inside two government-contracted shelters for migrant youth.

TOP STORIES

Inside the Shelters for Young Migrants

When U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley showed up at a shelter for migrant children in Brownsville, Texas, unannounced, officials refused to let him in. Yesterday, reporters were allowed inside, as long as they abided by certain conditions. Among the things they saw: cots for an overflow of youths, some of whom had been separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, and presidential murals, including one of President Trump. Meanwhile, a former youth care worker at a similar facility in Tucson, Ariz., contends that his former workplace is understaffed and unequipped to deal with a surge in children experiencing trauma. Antar Davidson quit this week out of disillusionment because he says the shelter is becoming more “prison-like.” A shelter spokeswoman disputed his account.

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Murals of presidents, with quotations in English and Spanish, appear on walls at the migrant shelter in Brownsville, Texas.
(Health and Human Services Department )

The Asylum Seekers

For Central Americans, being granted asylum in the U.S. is a long shot — one with even more unlikely odds now that Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has ordered immigration judges to stop granting asylum to virtually all those claiming to be victims of domestic or gang violence. Supporters of Trump’s stance argue that those problems should be handled by authorities in the immigrants’ home countries. Still, the gang violence that has raged in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras grew partly from American streets. Here’s a closer look at a few of the people caught up in the battle over asylum.

‘No Nuclear Threat’? Not Yet

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Trump has declared his summit with Kim Jong Un a smashing success: “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” he tweeted. Though the bellicose rhetoric between the countries has subsided, of course, the weapons still exist. That’s why Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now working on the difficult task of negotiating the steps for a true elimination of that threat. Pompeo went straight to Seoul to meet with South Korean officials and U.S. military commanders. His stated time frame for dismantling Pyongyang’s nukes: 2½ years. In other words, before Trump’s term ends.

It’s the Trumplican Party Now

California governor candidate John Cox, a Republican who didn’t vote for Trump but has since praised him, learned and won. Mark Sanford, the South Carolina congressman who has criticized the president, learned the hard way and lost. The Trump takeover of the GOP, which once seemed shaky, now seems complete, writes Mark Z. Barabak in this analysis. That’s just fine with a lot of Republican voters, even if some conservative thinkers worry about a “cult of personality.”

More Politics

-- Longtime Scott Pruitt ally Sen. James M. Inhofe says he has had enough and suggested that it may be time for the Environmental Protection Agency chief to resign.

-- The Federal Reserve, seeing a quickening of economic growth and inflation, is raising interest rates for the second time this year and signaled a faster pace of rate increases in the near term.

It’s a Fevered Pitch

Five rounds, 32 teams, 31 days, one goal: to win soccer’s World Cup. After eight years of planning and billions of dollars in spending, the tournament kicks off today in Moscow. Sure, there’s no U.S. team for the first time since 1986 (thanks a lot, Trinidad & Tobago), but there are still plenty of subplots, including Iceland’s debut, Germany’s title defense and Russia’s desire to look good on the world stage.

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MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- A homeless musician provides the soundtrack for a small Washington park named for the national anthem’s author.

-- Jodie Foster discusses the episode of Netflix’s sci-fi anthology series “Black Mirror” she directed.

CALIFORNIA

-- DNA testing has cleared the Golden State Killer suspect in two 1978 Simi Valley slayings that put an innocent man in prison.

-- A video from San Pedro touched off a debate on policing and the mentally ill at L.A. City Hall.

-- “I left it all on the field”: Antonio Villaraigosa reflects after a bruising loss in the governor’s race.

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-- A spokesman says L.A. County prosecutors have begun reviewing whether actor Sylvester Stallone should face charges in connection with a sexual assault reported last year to Santa Monica police.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Pixar’s “Incredibles 2,” coming out 14 years after the original, is poised for a huge box-office opening. Film critic Kenneth Turan says it’s the superhero family saga we need right now.

-- You may know of Amanda Peet as an actress, but she’s also a serious writer, with her second play premiering at the Geffen Playhouse.

-- Actor Michael B. Jordan has managed to stay grounded through the smash success of the film “Black Panther.” Here’s a look at what he’s got cooking now.

-- “RuPaul’s Drag Race” inspires plenty of memes. It also tackles real-world issues.

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

At 78, Peter Fonda has some wild stories to tell about working in Hollywood, including the film “Easy Rider,” which became a touchstone for a generation. He also has some deep, emotional insight into his own behavior. “I knew I was nuts,” Fonda said recently. “I had no idea how to deal with it and it was getting in my way. In 2004, I found what was wrong. I had never heard the term PTSD.”

NATION-WORLD

-- A fast-moving brush fire destroyed eight homes in the Utah tourist town of Moab, while more than 3,000 people in Colorado and Wyoming fled wildfires scorching the drought-stricken West.

-- The plight of 629 migrants drifting at sea in search of a welcome port is exposing the widening divide in Europe over immigration.

-- Saudi-led troops launched an offensive on a port in Yemen, despite warnings by aid groups that an attack would put civilian lives at risk.

-- Authorities in Iran jailed a prominent human rights lawyer who’s defended women who removed their Islamic headscarves in public.

-- Scientists say the Antarctic ice sheet lost nearly 3 trillion metric tons of ice from 1992 to 2017. That’s at an unprecedented rate.

BUSINESS

-- Comcast is offering $65 billion in cash for much of 21st Century Fox, a 19% premium over the December offer from Walt Disney Co., which Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch had already accepted.

-- The nation’s top bank regulator says his agency found about 20,000 accounts that may have been opened without customers’ authorization or had other problems.

SPORTS

-- There’s a no-duh reason (think $$) for boxers Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez’s rematch, columnist Dylan Hernandez writes.

-- These new Rams look like super additions so far.

OPINION

-- The only thing certain about breaking up California is that it will cause chaos and cost a bundle.

-- Islam is an American religion too, Mr. President.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Trump attorney Michael Cohen is reportedly facing mounting pressure from two federal investigations. (Washington Post)

-- These vintage photos attest to the global embrace of soccer. (National Geographic)

-- Television has come to this: couch shows and phone shows. (The Atlantic)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

If you’ve ever wanted to party like it’s 1849, some hotels built in 19th century California still have that vintage vibe. The Groveland Hotel, built not long after the Gold Rush began, is one of the oldest buildings in the Yosemite area. It has undergone some upgrades, though, including memory-form mattresses.

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