The Catch-up: Donald Trump declares national emergency over Mexico border wall

What on earth is going on?

Donald Trump has declared a state of national emergency at the US-Mexico border. The highly controversial move means he can now bypass Congress to access an estimated $8bn (£6.2bn) to fund the controversial project.

Why is he doing it?

Building the wall was one of Trump’s key promises during the presidential campaign but Democrats had refused to back his plans in Congress. This led to a complete Government shutdown lasting more than a month at the turn of the year. Trump has said the wall is necessary to tackle the “humanitarian and security crisis” on the border with Mexico. Today he cited ‘an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs’ coming through the southern border.

Is there an emergency at the border?

It is impossible to know for certain how many people are entering the US illegally from Mexico. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrested 396,579 people on the south-western border in 2018, and 303,916 in 2017. In 2000, more than 1.5 million people were arrested trying to cross the border illegally. The number has declined steadily since then. It is believed that by far the largest number of illegal immigrants in the US are people who stay in the country after their visas have expired.

Critics say these numbers do not constitute a national emergency. Senior Democrats have called the move a ‘gross abuse of power’ and pledged to challenge the action as unconstitutional.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement, saying: “The President’s unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist does great violence to our Constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defence funds for the security of our military and our nation.”  (Yahoo News US)

Read more about this story
Declaring a national emergency over the wall? This won’t end well for Trump (The Guardian)
Donald Trump has declared a state of national emergency – but what does it mean? (HuffPost)

Alesha MacPhail murder accused ‘sent Snapchat video saying he did it’

The 16-year-old boy accused of murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail sent a Snapchat to friends containing a video of himself with the message ‘found the guy who’s done it’ the afternoon after her body was found, a court heard. A teenage girl, who described herself as a good friend of the boy accused of abducting, raping and murdering the child, gave evidence about the video to the high court in Glasgow today. Alesha, from Airdrie in Lanarkshire, was found dead in the grounds of a disused hotel near her grandparents’ seafront home, where she had arrived a few days earlier for a three-week summer break in July 2017. Read the full story here (The Guardian)

Tens of millions of animals slaughtered without being stunned in England and Wales last year

94 million cattle, sheep and poultry were slaughtered last year in England and Wales without being stunned first, figures have revealed. Currently, the legal exemption that allows animals to be slaughtered without being stunned on religious grounds is designed for domestic consumption only. But the figures reveal nearly a quarter (24%) of sheep meat – around 750,000 sheep – from animals not stunned before slaughter was exported from the UK. The British Veterinary Association (BVA), which campaigns for non-stunned meat to be banned, said the figures revealed a lack of transparency around some exports, giving an example of 19% of sheep meat recorded as going to ‘unknown’ locations. Read the full story here (Yahoo News UK)

Seven-year-old sprint sensation Rudolph ‘Blaze’ Ingram is being dubbed the ‘next Usain Bolt’ after a video of his remarkable speed went viral. Blaze was competing at an event in Florida recently when he produced some astonishing times. He won the 60m sprint in 8.69 seconds, before doing 13.48 seconds in the 100m. 


As Home Secretary Sajid Javid insisted he ‘would not hesitate’ in stopping pregnant runaway Isis schoolgirl Shamima Begum from returning to Britain, the story continues to keep Yahoo users talking. We asked how much of a threat you believe Isis still poses to the UK – and there was an overwhelming response. Read the full story here and have your say below. 

 

37

The astonishing width in miles of the Flinders River in Queensland, Australia after floods turned a trickle into a ‘mega river’ in just a few weeks. The river is now so wide it’s created its own weather system, according to Queensland’s bureau of meteorology, after the extra moisture helped form a thunderstorm. Australia’s prime minister called them ‘once-in-a-century’ floods. Look at the amazing images and read the full story here (Yahoo Australia)