AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST
Trump’s rails against court, migrants in call to troops
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump used a Thanksgiving Day call to troops deployed overseas to pat himself on the back and air grievances about the courts, trade and migrants heading to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump’s call, made from his opulent private Mar-a-Lago club, struck an unusually political tone as he spoke with members of all five branches of the military to wish them happy holidays.
“It’s a disgrace,” Trump said of judges who have blocked his attempts to overhaul U.S. immigration law, as he linked his efforts to secure the border with military missions overseas.
Trump later threatened to close the U.S. border with Mexico for an undisclosed period of time if his administration determines Mexico has lost “control” on its side.
The call was a uniquely Trump blend of boasting, peppered questions and off-the-cuff observations as his comments veered from venting about slights to praising troops — “You really are our heroes,” he said — as club waiters worked to set Thanksgiving dinner tables on the outdoor terrace behind him. And it was yet another show of how Trump has dramatically transformed the presidency, erasing the traditional divisions between domestic policy and military matters and efforts to keep the troops clear of politics.
AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s misinformation on appeals court
WASHINGTON (AP) — Betraying no trust in an independent judiciary, President Donald Trump is using a federal appeals court in San Francisco as a punching bag for his frustrations about not getting his way on border security. He’s spreading misinformation in the process and appearing to misunderstand how appeals work.
Trump drew an unusual rebuke from the Supreme Court’s chief justice, John Roberts, earlier in the week after the president assailed the judge who rejected his migrant asylum policy as an “Obama judge.” Roberts rejected the insinuation that judges are beholden to the presidents who nominate them.
On Thursday, Trump was still venting on Twitter.
TRUMP: “Justice Roberts can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster. It is out of control, has a horrible reputation, is overturned more than any Circuit in the Country, 79%, & is used to get an almost guaranteed result.”
THE FACTS: Trump is wrong in suggesting that rulings by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are reversed by the Supreme Court more frequently than those of any other federal appeals court. And his description in an earlier tweet of the “shocking” number of overturned cases in the 9th Circuit belies the nature of the appeals system.
Despite wind, balloons fly at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
NEW YORK (AP) — Frigid weather and blustery winds didn’t chill the enthusiasm at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, where spectators bundled up in blankets and sleeping bags and the giant character balloons flew lower than usual.
SpongeBob, Charlie Brown, the Grinch and other big balloons were cleared for takeoff just before Thursday’s parade, although some floated at noticeably lower-than-usual heights above the people holding their tethers, like the outstretched hand of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” balloon that appeared to hit some of his handlers on their wool cap-covered heads.
The 21 degrees (minus 6 Celsius) at the start made it one of the coldest Thanksgivings in the city in decades, and the temperature warmed only a few degrees as the parade rolled along.
Officials had been ready to order the 16 helium-filled balloons to a lower altitude or removed entirely if sustained winds exceeded 23 mph (37 kph) and gusts exceeded 34 mph (54 kph). There have been mishaps and injuries in the past when gusts blew them off course.
Bystanders refused to let the cold put a damper on watching the parade, breaking out blankets and sleeping bags to watch the balloons, bands and floats go by.
Cut off from the world, an Indian island remains a mystery
NEW DELHI (AP) — For thousands of years, the people of North Sentinel Island have been isolated from the rest of the world.
They use spears and bows and arrows to hunt the animals that roam the small, heavily forested island, and gather plants to eat and to fashion into homes. Their closest neighbors live more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) away. Deeply suspicious of outsiders, they attack anyone who comes through the surf and onto their beaches.
Police say that is what happened last week when a young American, John Allen Chau, was killed by islanders after paying fishermen to take him to the island.
“The Sentinelese want to be left alone,” said the anthropologist Anup Kapur.
Scholars believe the Sentinelese migrated from Africa roughly 50,000 years ago, but most details of their lives remain completely unknown.
Indian island police struggle to get body of American
NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian authorities were struggling Thursday to figure out how to recover the body of an American who was killed after wading ashore on an island cut off from the modern world.
John Allen Chau was killed last week by North Sentinel islanders who apparently shot him with arrows and then buried his body on the beach, police say.
But even officials don’t travel to North Sentinel, where people live as their ancestors did thousands of years ago, and where outsiders are seen with suspicion and attacked.
“It’s a difficult proposition,” said Dependera Pathak, director-general of police on India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where North Sentinel is located. “We have to see what is possible, taking utmost care of the sensitivity of the group and the legal requirements.”
Police are consulting anthropologists, tribal welfare experts and scholars to figure out a way to recover the body, he said.
Fire evacuees do their best on a sad Thanksgiving
CHICO, Calif. (AP) — Patty Rough lost her Paradise home and most of her belongings in the Camp Fire, and she had no place to cook a family meal on Thanksgiving.
But she and her husband are safe, and she was still able to spend the holiday with her children over plates of turkey, cranberry sauce and pie at a feast for thousands of people put on by volunteers.
She’s sad about everything she lost but realizes that others have far less.
“Today we’re grateful; I don’t know about happy,” she said, tearing up as she sat next to her son and across from her daughter. ” ‘Happy’ Thanksgiving is kind of a weird thing at the moment.”
Rough is among the thousands of people whose homes burned down when the deadly wildfire ripped through Paradise and surrounding communities. At least 84 people died, and more than 13,000 homes were destroyed.
In Mexico’s border city, Haitians hailed as success story
TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — A few blocks from a shelter housing members of a Central American migrant caravan sits the first Haitian restaurant to open in Tijuana, a bustling eatery that has come to symbolize an immigrant success story in this Mexican border city where Haitians are now a part of the fabric, landing jobs, studying and marrying locals.
Tijuana welcomed thousands of Haitians to pursue a scaled-down American dream south of the border after the U.S. closed its doors on them more than two years ago. But it has not shown the same tolerance so far toward the Central Americans, who have met official complaints and anti-caravan protests even though most of the people in this city are migrants or the offspring of migrants.
That’s raising questions about how the newest group will integrate if it doesn’t don’t get into the U.S. or return home.
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has made a point of saying the city is not happy with the caravan migrants who began arriving last week, and he compared the Central American group unfavorably with the roughly 3,000 Haitians who ended up staying after their bid to reach the U.S. failed.
“The Haitians arrived with their papers, with a clear vision,” Gastelum said in an interview posted on the city’s Facebook page. They came “in an orderly way, they never asked us for food or shelter,” renting apartments and making their own food. He said the Haitians found jobs and “inserted themselves in the city’s economy” and had not been involved in any disturbances.
Samsung apologizes over sicknesses, deaths of some workers
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics on Friday apologized for the sickness and deaths of some of its workers, saying it failed to create a safe working environment at its computer chip and display factories.
The announcement by the South Korean technology giant came weeks after the company and a group representing ailing Samsung workers agreed to accept compensation terms suggested by a mediator and end a highly-publicized standoff that went on for more than a decade. The company’s apology was part of the settlement.
Kinam Kim, president of Samsung’s device solutions division, said the company failed to “sufficiently manage health threats” at its semiconductor and liquid crystal display manufacturing lines. Dozens of employees who worked there have experienced grave illnesses such as leukemia and brain tumor.
“We offer our sincere apology to our workers who have suffered with illnesses and their families,” Kim said during a news conference in Seoul, which was also attended by activists and relatives of the ailing workers.
The standoff began in 2007 when taxi driver Hwang Sang-gi refused to accept as settlement after his 23-year-old daughter died of leukemia after working at a Samsung factory. Hwang’s efforts to clarify the cause of Yu-mi’s death and hold Samsung accountable galvanized a broader movement to hold businesses and the government accountable for safety lapses in the chip and display industries, which use huge amounts of chemicals.
IAEA calls on North Korea to re-admit nuclear inspectors
VIENNA (AP) — The head of the U.N.’s atomic watchdog on Thursday called on North Korea to allow inspectors back into the country to monitor its nuclear program.
Speaking at a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Director General Yukiya Amano noted that Pyongyang had in September talked about denuclearization measures including the “permanent dismantlement of the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon” — a reactor where it produces plutonium.
Amano said there has been activity observed at Yongbyon, but “without access the agency cannot confirm the nature and purpose of these activities.”
At a news conference later Thursday, he said he couldn’t elaborate on when exactly the activity was observed.
IAEA inspectors were expelled from North Korea in 2009 but Amano said the agency continues to prepare for their possible re-admittance.
UK’s May faces more criticism for post-Brexit ties text
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May faced wide-ranging criticism from skeptical lawmakers Thursday as she sought to portray a draft agreement on a post-Brexit relationship with the European Union as a “good deal for our country.”
Addressing the House of Commons after the publication of a 26-page draft political declaration with the EU on post-Brexit relations, May said the agreement will ensure a “smooth and orderly” British departure from the European Union. Britain officially leaves the 28-nation EU — the first country to ever do so — on March 29.
“The draft text that we have agreed with the (European) Commission is a good deal for our country and for our partners in the EU,” May said.
May is due to travel to Brussels on Saturday for further Brexit meetings, including with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, a day before a summit of the EU’s 27 other leaders at which both the political declaration on post-Brexit relations as well as the divorce agreement, which alone has legal status, are expected to be formally signed off.
The withdrawal agreement needs to be sealed soon to leave enough time for the European Parliament and the U.K. Parliament to endorse it.