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Texas National Guard deployment to Mexico border ends next week
AUSTIN, Texas — The 1,000 Texas National Guardsmen deployed to the southern border to aid with an influx of immigrants earlier this year will return home next week after the completion of their mission, Pentagon officials said.
The return of the troops will mark the end of a controversial "short-term mission" by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, which Democrats decried as "reckless, unnecessary" and a potential harm to the U.S. trade relationship with Mexico. Abbott characterized the deployment as Texas doing a job the national government had reneged on.
In June, Abbott announced he would send the National Guard to the southern border to aid the federal government in mitigating the flow of migrants, especially from Central America, into the United States. He described an "escalating crisis" as 144,000 migrants had crossed the southwestern border in May, leading to overcrowding in federal holding facilities that resulted in allegations of child neglect and poor treatment by immigrants rights lawyers.
The 1,000 troops were to help federal immigration authorities at ports of entry and provide "supplemental staffing" at new immigration holding facilities in Donna and Tornillo, which together could house up to 4,500 people.
While Abbott chided Congress for not increasing funds to the Border Patrol to deal with asylum-seeking immigrants — particularly children — who had overrun holding facilities, the two facilities where the National Guard was sent only housed adults.
Abbott said the federal government would pay "100% of the costs" for the mission, which was set to last through Sept. 30. Later, the mission was extended through Nov. 15.
The Pentagon confirmed it would pick up the tab but could not provide a total cost for the mission on Wednesday.
Apprehensions at the Mexican border peaked in May, but steadily fell with 104,000 detained in June; 82,000 in July; 63,000 in August; and 53,000 in September. Texas National Guard troops arrived at the border in late July and early August.
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BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.