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    Asian stock markets fell Monday and oil prices gave up some of their gains after Chinese regulators freed up extra money for bank lending amid a trade dispute with Washington. KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent to 2,883.20 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.5 percent to 22,409.55. Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 0.4 percent to 29,213.98 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 declined 0.3 percent to 6,208.30. India's Sensex shed 0.2 percent to 35,625.38 while Seoul's Kospi advanced 1 point to 2,357.85. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Singapore fell while New Zealand and Bangkok advanced. CHINA LENDING: Beijing freed up an about $100 billion for additional bank lending in a move financial analysts said might help to reassure investors rattled by trade tensions with Washington. The cut in the amount of money banks are required to hold in reserve, the second this year, is one of a series forecasters had expected before the dispute over China's trade surplus and technology policy erupted. The central bank said the move is aimed at facilitating debt-for-equity swaps meant to help clear away a backlog of nonperforming bank loans owed by state companies. ANALYST'S TAKE: 'The mixed start to the week for Asian markets appears to be becoming a repetitive theme in recent sessions that saw global equity markets shrouded in the gloom of trade tensions,' said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. 'China's latest reserve ratio reduction, while expected, serves as a counterbalance to the soft sentiment.' WEEK AHEAD: The United States is due to report quarterly economic growth on Thursday. On Friday, Japan and South Korea report monthly factory output and the European Union announces June inflation. CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.53 yen from Friday's 109.97 yen. The euro retreated to $1.1651 from $1.1657. ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 19 cents to $68.39 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $3.04 on Friday to $$68.58. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped $1.37 to $73.95 per barrel in London. It gained $2.52 the previous session to close at $75.32.
  • Joel Johnson examines the shipping labels on 35-ton coils of American-made steel that will be unspooled, bent and welded into rounded sections of pipe. One's from Nucor, a mill in Arkansas. Another's from Steel Dynamics in Mississippi. But much harder to spot in the sprawling factory yard is the imported steel that's put his company in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump's bitter trade dispute with America's allies and adversaries. Trump says his tariffs on steel, aluminum and other goods will put U.S. companies and workers on stronger footing by winding back the clock of globalization with protectionist trade policies. But the steel tariff — essentially a 25 percent tax — may backfire on the very people the president is aiming to help. The Commerce Department has been deluged with requests from 20,000 companies seeking exemptions. Johnson is the CEO of Borusan Mannesmann Pipe US, a company with Turkish roots that manufactures the welded pipe used by energy companies to pull oil and natural gas out of the earth. He has been fighting an uphill battle to get a two-year exemption from Trump's tariff on steel imports. Without a waiver, Johnson said, Borusan faces levies of up to $30 million a year — a staggering sum for a business with plans to expand. 'We don't have any proof we're being heard,' Johnson said. Eighty miles southwest, in Bay City, global steel giant Tenaris also is seeking an exemption from the tariffs. The company churns out steel pipe in a $1.8 billion state-of-the-art facility that began operating late last year, using solid rods of steel called billets that are made in its mills in Mexico, Romania, Italy and Argentina. Of the four, only Argentina has agreed to limit steel shipments to the U.S. in exchange for being spared the tariff. 'The decision is out of our hands,' said Luca Zanotti, president of Tenaris's U.S. operations, while expressing confidence its request would be approved. If it's not? 'We'll adapt,' he said. Steelworkers, meanwhile, are cheering the tariff even as they remain skeptical of Trump's pledge to empower blue-collar Americans. They also worry about the possibility of too many exemptions. 'You put these tariffs (in place) but now you're going to exclude everybody so they're kind of pointless,' said Durwin Royal, president of United Steelworkers' Local 4134 in Lone Star, Texas. The diverse views illustrate the complexity, confusion and concern lurking behind Trump's 'America First' pledge. Pipe mills are numerous in Texas, which leads the country in oil and natural gas production. Factories that use imported steel typically do so when they can't get the exact type or quantity they need from U.S. producers. Many of them are among the thousands of companies that have filed exclusion requests to avoid being hit by the steel tariff. Most of them are in the dark, unsure if their applications will be approved as the Commerce Department struggles to process a dramatically higher number of requests than it expected to receive. A denial may torpedo plans to expand a factory. Or a company may have to lay off employees. The stakes are especially high in Texas: Economists Joseph Francois and Laura Baughman have estimated the Trump steel tariff and separate 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum will trigger the loss of more than 40,000 jobs. There's no playbook to guide companies through an exemption process Johnson described as chaotic and unpredictable. He's hired a lobbyist, former New York Gov. George Pataki. He's fending off opposition from competitors, including a Tenaris-owned business, who want Borusan's request denied. On a sweltering afternoon earlier this month, Johnson assembled dozens of his employees in an air-conditioned room for what amounted to a Hail Mary pass. After lunching on sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, Borusan workers wrote personal messages on oversized postcards to be sent to Trump and other senior officials in Washington and Austin, the Texas capital, pleading for their help in securing the tariff exemption. 'I don't know what motivates politicians besides votes,' Johnson said. 'That's why we're doing this crazy exercise.' ___ UNION BLUE Royal is in his third term as the president of Local 4134. He and the local's vice president, Trey Green, are union Democrats in the heart of Trump country. Lone Star is in Morris County, Texas, where Trump received nearly 70 percent of the vote in the 2016 presidential election. Royal and Green initially backed independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders before casting their votes for Democrat Hillary Clinton. Their union hall is a mile and a half from the U.S. Steel factory that manufactures welded pipe made from metal produced in the company's mills in Indiana and Illinois. Like the union, U.S. Steel backed Trump's tariff, declaring that his action would 'level the playing field' by blocking other countries from dumping inexpensive steel in the United States. Much of it comes from China. Although Royal and Green were heartened by the steel tariff, they said they're under no illusion Trump is a friend to organized labor. Nor are they convinced his tough talk on trade will lead to a rebuilt U.S. steel industry with more and better jobs. Echoing Sanders, they called for a broader strategy to prevent corporations from sending American jobs to low-wage countries. 'I don't know that putting tariffs on just one or two particular items are going to be the mainstay that helps us in the future,' Green said. Royal and Green said they're still waiting for Trump to follow through on his pledge to empower working-class Americans that he said were 'forgotten' by Washington. 'So much money is in politics now it's kind of drowning people like us out,' Royal said. 'We're not going to take (a congressman) to dinner and buy him a new set of golf clubs or give $250,000 toward his campaign. You can tell who's got the loudest voice there.' ___ COST OF DOING BUSINESS The Tenaris factory is a massive, modern facility just off the highway leading into Bay City, 21 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. About 640 people work here, but only a handful come into direct contact with the 50,000 tons of pipe the 1.2 million-square-foot factory is able to manufacture each month. The process is almost entirely automated, watched over by employees huddled in front of computer screens. The company manufactures seam-free pipe typically used in offshore energy production or for transporting highly corrosive gas. Tenaris began construction of the Bay City plant five years ago, long before anyone anticipated an American president would slap a tariff on steel. Zanotti declined to say how much Tenaris may have to pay, but he downplayed the expense as a cost of doing business on a global scale. Tenaris operates in 16 countries, including Nigeria, which ranks 145 out of 190 countries on the World Bank's 'ease of doing business' index. 'Of course we don't like it,' Zanotti said of the tariff. But, he added, 'we're used to dealing with moving parts. This is another moving part.' The company doesn't have a registered lobbyist in Washington, let alone an office. But Tenaris has deep pockets and is in the U.S. for the long haul. Zanotti said the company has spent $8 billion over the last decade to expand its foothold in America, a figure he doesn't think the Commerce Department should overlook. The investment includes the Bay City factory and the acquisition of the Maverick Tube Corporation, based in Houston. Like Borusan and U.S. Steel, Maverick makes pipe with a welded seam. 'We're positive we're going to get a good conclusion,' Zanotti said. ___ LET'S MAKE A DEAL Johnson said he has a proposition for a president who prides himself on being a master dealmaker. About 60 percent of Borusan's welded pipe is manufactured with American-made steel. The rest is shipped from Turkey already in tube form; it's heat-treated, threaded and inspected in Baytown. Johnson is proposing that Borusan be allowed to bring in 135,000 tons of Turkish pipe each year for the next two years, tariff-free. In return, the company will build a new factory, right next to its existing plant. That's a $75 million investment that will allow Borusan to hire 170 new employees, augmenting its existing workforce of 267, according to Johnson. The expanded capacity also will allow Borusan to wean itself from the Turkish imports. He said he's gotten no reply to his pitch. The company brought ex-Gov. Pataki, a Republican, on board in March and has paid him $75,000 to drum up support in Washington. But Johnson said he's unsure if Pataki's made a difference. 'We're not politicians. We make pipe,' he said. 'We felt like that was a move we had to make because we are so far out of our element.' Johnson said he had for weeks unsuccessfully sought support from GOP Rep. Brian Babin, whose district includes Baytown. Babin wrote to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday, expressing his strong support for Borusan's request and urging Ross to give it 'your highest consideration.' 'Finally,' Johnson said. The Commerce Department has been posting the thousands of requests for tariff exemptions online to allow third parties to offer comments and objections — even competitors who have an interest in seeing a rival's request denied. Several of them, including U.S. Steel and Tenaris-owned Maverick Tube, objected to Borusan's bid, saying the Turkish pipe it imports is readily available from American suppliers. They added that Turkey has been cited by the Commerce Department for dumping steel pipe in the U.S. But Johnson said the objections are aimed at undercutting Borusan. He said no U.S. pipe mill is serious about selling to him because he'd want very detailed information about their products — such as the composition of the steel and a history of customer complaints. 'They just don't want to see another factory go up here,' Johnson said. 'They don't want to see a competitor grow.' ___ Contact Richard Lardner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rplardner
  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis laid out plans for a less contentious, more open dialogue with Chinese leaders as he travels to Asia, less than a month after he slammed Beijing at an international conference for its militarization of islands in the South China Sea. Speaking to reporters on his plane Sunday en route to a stop in Alaska, Mattis avoided any of the sharp criticism of China that he had voiced recently. Instead, he insisted that he is going into the talks with Chinese leaders without any preconceived notions, and wants to focus on larger, more strategic security issues. According to officials, a key topic of the discussions later this week will be the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the role China can play, considering its longstanding friendship with North Korea. 'I want to go in right now without basically poisoning the well at this point. I'm going there to have a conversation,' said Mattis. 'I do not want to immediately go in with a certain preset expectation of what they are going to say. I want to go in and do a lot of listening.' Mattis' more diplomatic tack reflects the U.S. administration's recognition of China's crucial influence on Korea as negotiations move ahead to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. One senior U.S. official said that while Mattis will willingly lay out America's position on China's military buildup in the South China Sea and other points of contention, the Pentagon chief doesn't want to open the conversations with 'the irritants.' Instead, the goal is to have higher quality talks about the two countries' military relationship, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations on the trip. Last month, however, Mattis abruptly disinvited China from a multinational exercise in the Pacific that will begin in a few days, in retribution for Beijing putting weapons systems on manmade islands in the South China Sea. And days later he publicly threatened 'much larger consequences in the future' if the militarization continued. China recently has deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles, electronic jammers and other equipment on the Spratly Islands, and landed a bomber aircraft at Woody Island. China says it is within its rights to build up defenses on islands in the South China Sea that it believes are its sovereign territory. Many nations fear that Beijing will use the construction on the islands to extend its military reach and potentially try to restrict navigation in the South China Sea. It's all but certain the Chinese will raise those issues with Mattis, as well as Beijing's long-held opposition to increasing U.S. contacts with Taiwan. China claims the self-ruled island as its territory. For the U.S., however, North Korea will be a primary topic in the talks with senior Chinese leaders. And while the U.S. would like to see China use its influence to reinfore the denuclearization negotiations with North Korea, it also wants Beijing to remain committed to enforcing sanctions against the North, as part of the pressure campaign. China also is likely pleased that the U.S. has suspended any major military exercises with South Korea as part of the nuclear negotiations. Mattis said Sunday that the Pentagon cancelled two Marine military exchanges as well as the larger Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise this fall, because the defense department considered them consistent with what President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had agreed on at the summit about two weeks ago. The U.S. has also long been frustrated that China doesn't share much information about any war scenarios or other contingencies it has in place in the event of a conflict on the Korean peninsula or the collapse of the North Korean government. By improving its relationship with Beijing, Washington believes it could better prepare for any problems and be able to coordinate more effectively with China. This is Mattis' first trip to China, both personally and as defense secretary. He said he has been in Hong Kong several times. The last Pentagon chief to visit China was Chuck Hagel in April 2014. But both Mattis and his immediate predecessor, Ash Carter, have spent a great deal of time in Asia, in the wake of the much-vaunted U.S. increased emphasis on the Indo-Pacific region. Mattis has traveled to Asia seven times during his 17-month tenure as defense secretary, and this marks his third visit so far this year. During his stop in Alaska, Mattis will visit a key element of the America's missile defense system at Fort Greely, the strategic missile interceptors. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, flew with Mattis from Washington and is expected to go to Fort Greely with him. The Pentagon budget calls for increasing the number of interceptors from 44 to 64, and that additional 20 will be located at Fort Greely. Critics question the reliability of the interceptors, arguing that years of testing has yet to prove them to be sufficiently effective against a sophisticated threat. In addition, Mattis will travel to South Korea and Japan to meet with his defense counterparts as well as other national leaders.
  • Republican apprehension over President Donald Trump's next tweet and fear of riling conservative voters are undermining GOP leaders' election-year struggle to shove an immigration bill through the House this week, leaving prospects dubious. Party leaders are trying to finally secure the votes they need for their wide-ranging bill with tweaks they hope will goose support from the GOP's dueling conservative and moderate wings. But more importantly, wavering Republicans want Trump to provide political cover for immigration legislation that's despised by hard-right voters. His recent statements on their bill and history of abruptly flip-flopping on past health care and spending measures have not been reassuring. Last Tuesday, he privately told House Republicans that he backed their legislation '1,000 percent' and would protect them during their campaigns, lawmakers said. By Friday, he was tweeting that 'Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration' and wait until after the November elections, when he said the GOP would approve tougher legislation because it will gain strength in Congress. That proposition is dicey at best. 'I think that the best way to pass legislation is to consistently support a position and help move it forward,' Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, a senior House Republican. Asked if Trump was doing that, Walden pivoted toward a door and said: 'I'll leave it at that.' Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on 'Fox News Sunday' that he talked to the White House on Saturday and 'they say the president is still 100 percent behind us.' The bill would make citizenship a possibility for 'Dreamer' immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. when young. It would also finance Trump's aspirational $25 billion wall with Mexico and curb government agencies from wrenching migrant children from detained parents. The measure is the product of weeks of bargaining between party conservatives and moderates. Even so, the two GOP factions have been unable to resolve their final differences and vote-counters have yet to round up a majority. Republicans are getting no help from Democrats, who uniformly oppose the legislation. The GOP divisions come at a bad time for the party: Elections are approaching and immigration has riveted public attention for months. Republicans who are battling to retain House control have hoped to focus this fall's campaigns on the economy and tax cuts. Instead, Republican blockades against ending deportations of young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children were major news earlier this year. In recent days, the focus has shifted to the Trump administration's wrenching of migrant children from their parents. Neither of those have been good looks for Republicans from swing districts with large numbers of moderate voters — the very incumbents who must be re-elected for the GOP to retain House control. Lawmakers said leaders wanted to round up GOP votes by adding provisions requiring companies to verify workers' citizenship, which conservatives like. They would also ease restrictions on seasonal migrant workers, a priority for farm-district, moderate Republicans. Until now, party leaders have hesitated to include those items because they could end up costing votes, not gaining them. Moderate Republicans don't like the citizenship verification requirement and some conservatives don't like helping immigrants stay in the U.S. Another problem is the two additional provisions don't address the major reason for GOP defections: Conservatives say helping Dreamers stay in the U.S. is handing amnesty to lawbreakers. 'I'm a 'no,'' said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., a member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus. He said he couldn't defend helping the Dreamers 'to people waiting in line the right way' to immigrate to the U.S. The House defeated a more conservative immigration alternative last week. GOP leaders said the House will vote on its compromise immigration bill despite Trump's flashing red light on the subject. Top Republicans have wanted to hold the votes, win or lose, partly to defuse an effort by GOP moderates to force the chamber to vote on liberal-leaning bills helping immigrants win citizenship. Those measures could pass the House backed by Democrats and a few Republicans, an outcome that would enrage conservative voters. In addition, some Republicans are eager for roll calls to show voters back home that they've tried to address the issue. 'I think it's important that the House be able to show we can take the action,' said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. __ Associated Press writer Ken Thomas contributed to this report.
  • Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled late Sunday after it was reported by news organizations, her attorney said. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was supposed to meet with prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance as they work to assemble a case against Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. But after several news organizations, including The Associated Press, reported on the meeting, two prosecutors called Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, and told him that they were concerned about media attention in the case, he said. 'I was shocked at that response,' Avenatti said. Avenatti offered to move the meeting to another location and reiterated that Daniels — who he says has been cooperating with prosecutors for months — was ready to go forward with the meeting, but they called back to cancel it, he said. The meeting has not been rescheduled and prosecutors offered no other explanation for the cancellation, he said. Daniels has said she had sex with Trump in 2006 when he was married, which Trump has denied. As part of their investigation into Cohen, prosecutors have been examining the $130,000 payment that was made to Daniels as part of a confidentiality agreement days before the 2016 presidential election. 'We believe canceling the meeting because the press has now caught wind of it is ridiculous,' Avenatti wrote in an email to Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos. 'We do not think it was any secret that at some point you were going to meet with my client.' A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan had declined to comment on the meeting earlier Sunday night and did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the cancellation. Daniels is suing to invalidate the confidentiality agreement that prevents her from discussing the alleged relationship with Trump. She argues the nondisclosure agreement should be invalidated because Cohen, signed it, but the president did not. Daniels and Avenatti have also turned over documents in response to a subpoena from federal prosecutors about the $130,000 that Daniels was paid, a person familiar with the matter said. They weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Daniels' interview had been in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance in the federal investigation into Cohen's business dealings, the person familiar with the matter said. If prosecutors bring a case to a grand jury, they could call witnesses to testify under oath and the grand jury would decide whether to bring criminal charges with a written indictment. In April, FBI agents raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room as part of a probe into his business dealings and investigators were seeking records about the nondisclosure agreement that Daniels had signed, among other things. Cohen had said he paid Daniels himself, through a limited liability company known as Essential Consultants, LLC, and that 'neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.' In May, Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's attorneys, said the president had repaid Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, contradicting Trump's prior claims that he didn't know the source of the money. Earlier this month, Trump said he hadn't spoken with Cohen — his longtime fixer and a key power player in the Trump Organization — in 'a long time' and that Cohen is 'not my lawyer anymore.' __ Lucey reported from Washington.
  • One by one, around Father's Day, the surge of Amazon boxes containing shirts, pants, underwear and many other items began arriving at an asylum-seeker rest center in the border town of McAllen, Texas. Included in the packages were notes of support. One read: 'As someone who has a dad who would do anything for their child I hope this helps a few of the dads that come through your doors with the same ideas.' The boxes started arriving as people across the country began to learn about President Donald Trump's policy of separating children from their families. 'All of the sudden they started getting like a thousand boxes a day and then more and then more. And they had to come and secure space here and that filled up and they got another space and that filled up,' said Natalie Montelongo, a native of nearby Brownsville who flew in from Washington, D.C., to volunteer at the center. She set up an Amazon wish list with items needed by the shelter and posted the link on social media. Now, the immigrant respite center run by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley has received so many boxes that it had to rent additional storage space. 'I feel like each one of these boxes represents one person that wishes they were here and is following the issue and that cares,' Montelongo said. But donations also came the old fashioned way, too. Local residents stopping by and dropping off what they could and caravans of volunteers from around the country who made the journey to McAllen in Texas Rio Grande Valley packed with donations and cash. Every day, busloads of migrants are transferred from federal facilities to a central station in McAllen. There, volunteers from the respite shelter help find the right buses and purchase bus tickets. As a group, they then walk to the shelter three blocks away, where they can shower, eat, and pick up new clothes, medicine and hygiene products. Colorado librarian Wyne Cler saw a Facebook post from a friend's friend asking for volunteers to help. Even with her limited Spanish, she jumped at the chance, raised $4,000 in one day and brought her daughter. She spent hours trying her best to help migrants at the center and trying to cheer up their day with hearty hugs and laughter. Cler and her family fled Vietnam as the war ended, she said. 'This is not my America. When we came in '75 we were welcomed with open arms. And we were not separated. My entire family got here safely,' Cler said. On a typical day, more than 100 asylum-seekers are released from McAllen-area holding facilities, clutching their belongings in clear plastic bags stamped with Department of Homeland Security logos, said Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. Now, Pimental is trying to channel some of the help into cash donations so they can construct a new building by their church. The rest center currently rents its space. The center also needs more volunteers to keep up with the flow of people and donations, and it needs additional medicine for babies. Montelongo said the center has seen several babies arriving sick. 'I'm so devoted to this respite because I think it's the first glimpse of what we all think the U.S. stands for,' Montelongo said. ____ On the web: Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley donation page: https://www.facebook.com/donate/2052979071443386/
  • A Texas charitable organization says 32 immigrant parents separated from their children after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border were freed into its care, but they don't know where their kids are or when they might see them again despite government assurances that family reunification would be well organized. The release on Sunday is believed to be the first, large one of its kind since President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that preserved a 'zero-tolerance' policy for entering the country illegally but ended the practice of separating immigrant parents and children. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement offered no immediate comment. Ruben Garcia, director of Annunciation House in El Paso, said the group of both mothers and fathers includes some from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras who arrived to his group after federal authorities withdrew criminal charges for illegal entry. He didn't release names or personal details to protect the parents' privacy, and Homeland Security officials said they needed more specifics in order to check out their cases. A Saturday night fact sheet by the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies said authorities know the location of all children in custody after separating them from their families at the border and are working to reunite them. It called the reunification process 'well coordinated.' It also said parents must request that their child be deported with them. In the past, the fact sheet says, many parents elected to be deported without their children. That may be a reflection of violence or persecution they face in their home countries. It doesn't state how long it might take to reunite families. Texas' Port Isabel Service Processing Center has been set up as the staging ground for the families to be reunited prior to deportation. How the government would reunite families has been unclear because they are first stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, with children taken into custody by the Department of Health and Human Services and adults detained through ICE, which is under the Department of Homeland Security. Children have been sent to far-flung shelters around the country, raising alarm that parents might never know where their children can be found. At least 2,053 minors who were separated at the border were being cared for in HHS-funded facilities, the fact sheet said. The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee hedged Sunday when pressed on whether he was confident the Trump administration knows where all the children are and will be able to reunite them with their parents. 'That is what they're claiming,' Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said on CNN's 'State of the Union.' The fact sheet states that ICE has implemented an identification mechanism to ensure ongoing tracking of linked family members throughout the detention and removal process; designated detention locations for separated parents and will enhance current processes to ensure communication with children in HHS custody; worked closely with foreign consulates to ensure that travel documents are issued for both the parent and child at time of removal; and coordinated with HHS for the reuniting of the child prior to the parents' departure from the U.S. As part of the effort, ICE officials have posted notices in all its facilities advising detained parents who are trying to find or communicate with their children to call a hotline staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. A parent or guardian trying to determine if a child is in the custody of HHS should contact the Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center at 1-800-203-7001, or via email at information@ORRNCC.com. Information will be collected and sent to an HHS-funded facility where a minor is located. But it's unclear whether detained parents have access to computers to send an email, or how their phone systems work to call out. Attorneys at the border have said they have been frantically trying to locate information about the children on behalf of their clients. Garcia, the Annunciation House director, said his experience has been that telephone contact doesn't provide any information. 'If we bring in 30 cellphones, they're going to call that number, they're not going to reach 30 children,' said Garcia, whose organization has been working with federal authorities to assist immigrants for 40 years. 'Actually (they're) not going to be able to give them any information on what to expect.' Customs and Border Patrol said it had reunited 522 children and that some were never taken into custody by Health and Human Services because their parents' criminal cases were processed too quickly. Officials have said as many as 2,300 children had been separated from the time the policy began until June 9. It's not clear if any of the 2,000 remaining children were taken into custody after June 9. The 'zero-tolerance policy' of criminally prosecuting anyone caught illegally crossing the border remains in effect, officials have said, despite confusion on the ground on how to carry out Trump's order. Justice Department officials asked a federal judge to amend a class-action settlement that governs how children are treated in immigration custody. Right now, children can only be detained with their families for 20 days; Trump officials are seeking to detain them together indefinitely as their cases progress. Advocates say family detention does not solve the problem. ___ Online: HHS zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification fact sheet: http://apne.ws/qjYtmJR ___ Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/resource/orr-national-call-center
  • President Donald Trump's effort to bend the Republican Party to his will faces its next test Tuesday, when South Carolina voters choose between two GOP gubernatorial candidates who both claim to be Trump acolytes. The president has already made his pick: incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster, a longtime Trump supporter who failed to win the GOP primary outright earlier this month. McMaster is waging a runoff campaign against businessman John Warren, a first-time politico who some see as more like Trump himself. Like so much in Trump's world, the race is coming down to a question of loyalty. The White House is throwing everything at its disposal into the race to save McMaster, who went out on a political limb for Trump at a crucial point in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries. Trump issued several tweets over the past week praising the governor and noting his loyalty. He dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to the state on Saturday. The president himself will stump for McMaster on Monday afternoon in West Columbia. Loyalty to Trump is on the minds of South Carolinians as well. Voters in the state's coastal region surprised many political observers this month when they ousted Rep. Mark Sanford, a reliable conservative, but someone who criticized Trump. That critique had prompted Trump to endorse the congressman's opponent, who won the race. When voters in South Carolina return to the polls Tuesday, they'll be deciding in part which is more meaningful: a Trump endorsement, or a candidate who embodies some of Trump's outsider credentials. 'I think that if anyone supported Donald Trump and they look and truly give an honest assessment of whose resume and whose background is more similar to Donald Trump, they will side with me,' Warren told The Associated Press in a recent interview. 'It is clear I'm an outsider. I am a businessman. I'm a conservative. The establishment doesn't want me to get elected.' With all the attention coming from the White House, Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon said it's impossible for voters to ignore the factor that the president could play in the race. 'Trump's obviously floating around over all of this. You have one candidate endorsed by Trump, but he's the consummate insider. But then you have a Trump-like candidate,' Huffmon said. 'When you have Trump's endorsement, but you're running against someone who is very Trump-like, you've got to switch gears and figure out the way you can undermine them.' South Carolina went solidly for Trump in 2016 and remains solid Republican territory. The winner on Tuesday will face Democrat James Smith in the general election. Trump has been stung in some other races into which he's waded. In Alabama's GOP Senate primary last year, the president originally supported Sen. Luther Strange, who lost the nod to Roy Moore. Trump then stuck with Moore in the general election, even after he was hit with multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Moore lost the race to Democrat Doug Jones. In a Pennsylvania district Trump carried in 2016 by 20 points, Republican Rick Saccone won Trump's endorsement, but lost to Democrat Conor Lamb by a razor-thin margin. But Trump is exuding confidence following his successful endorsement this month of state Rep. Katie Arrington in race against Sanford. The president took another victory lap last week, calling Sanford a 'nasty guy' in a closed-door GOP conference meeting. Trump's unlikely relationship with McMaster began during the 2016 GOP primaries. McMaster, the lieutenant governor at the time who was seen as an establishment figure, initially backed fellow South Carolinian Lindsey Graham's short-lived candidacy. After it folded, McMaster has said he fielded calls from many other GOP White House hopefuls before settling on putting his support behind Trump. 'He's a man of action,' McMaster said at the time. 'He speaks in words that everybody understands. It's a delightful thing to see.' That support marked a significant divide between McMaster and then-Gov. Nikki Haley, who had been vocal in her opposition to some of Trump's rhetoric, including a temporary ban on immigrants from some Muslim countries. Haley backed Marco Rubio and then Ted Cruz, only settling on Trump when he became the GOP nominee. Just weeks after his election, Trump selected Haley __ seen as a rising GOP star __ as his ambassador to the United Nations. Her departure cleared the way for McMaster in early 2017 to ascend to the governorship he had sought since losing a bruising primary to none other than Haley seven years earlier. Now seeking his first full term on his own merit, McMaster is running as an incumbent, pointing toward his efforts to boost South Carolina's economy by growing jobs and proposing tax cuts. McMaster has also used the power of his office to show Trump loyalists he and the president are similarly aligned, directing state agencies not to allocate public money to health care providers affiliated with abortion clinics. He also called for a law requiring municipalities to certify they're not so-called 'sanctuary cities,' a measure decried by some as political pandering intended to boost McMaster's campaign, given that the issue has not been a problem in the state. Warren, meanwhile, has positioned himself as the candidate who, despite Trump's actual backing of another candidate in this race, is the choice who more embodies the president himself. Like Trump, he's made millions in business, able to nearly self-fund his entire campaign. And like Trump, he's never before been directly involved in politics, spending his time in the private sector. But Huffmon, the Winthrop University professor, said Warren will have to find a way to harness the Trump-like energy in his own way if he's to be successful. 'If Warren can bring some new people in and both convince Trump supporters he is more Trump-like, and get a few disaffected, moderate conservatives who don't want to pick the guy Trump's endorsing, ... he can pull that off,' he said. ___ Sign up for 'Politics in Focus,' a weekly newsletter showcasing the AP's best political reporting from across the United States leading up to the 2018 midterm elections: http://apne.ws/3Gzcraw. ___ Reach Kinnard at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Read her work at https://apnews.com/search/meg%20kinnard.
  • President Donald Trump compares people entering the U.S. from Mexico to invaders and says they should be immediately sent back without appearing before a judge. The American Civil Liberties Union said in response that such a step would be illegal and violate the Constitution that Trump swore to uphold. 'We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country,' the president said on Twitter as he was being driven to his private golf club in Northern Virginia. 'When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order.' 'Most children come without parents ... Our Immigration policy, laughed at all over the world, is very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years!' he continued. 'Immigration must be based on merit - we need people who will help to Make America Great Again!' 'What President Trump has suggested here is both illegal and unconstitutional,' said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. 'Any official who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws should disavow it unequivocally.' Trump has been criticizing immigration judges for weeks, both exaggerating the number currently hearing cases and saying that hiring more — as some members of Congress have proposed — would be unnecessary. Trump made his anti-illegal immigration stance a centerpiece of his presidential campaign and he has pushed for strict policies since taking office. He said during a campaign appearance Saturday in Las Vegas that being for 'strong borders, no crime' is a winning issue for Republicans to run on in November's congressional elections. But he bowed to public pressure last week and reversed a policy of separating adults and children who enter the U.S. illegally together at the border with Mexico, though his 'zero-tolerance' policy of criminally prosecuting all illegal border-crossers remains. The House is expected to vote on immigration legislation this week, though its fate is uncertain. Trump told House Republicans last week that he was '100 percent' behind the effort but tweeted days later that they were 'wasting their time' voting before the midterm elections. About a dozen protesters gathered at the entrance to Trump's club Sunday afternoon as he prepared to leave, including a woman holding a sign that said 'Trump Should Be Caged' and a man wrapped in a Mylar blanket. Some of the separated children were seen using the blankets on government-distributed video of their holding conditions. Further up the road, a lone man stood with a sign with Trump's headshot and the words 'Thank You.' ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap
  • Asian stock markets fell Monday and oil prices gave up some of their gains after Chinese regulators freed up extra money for bank lending amid a trade dispute with Washington. KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 percent to 22,404.53 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.5 percent to 29,193.68. The Shanghai Composite Index edged up less than 1 point to 2,890.45 while Seoul's Kospi shed 0.4 percent to 2,346.92. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 retreated 0.1 percent to 6,217.00 and benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Singapore also declined. CHINA LENDING: Beijing freed up an about $100 billion for additional bank lending in a move financial analysts said might help to reassure investors rattled by trade tensions with Washington. The cut in the amount of money banks are required to hold in reserve, the second this year, is one of a series forecasters had expected before the dispute over China's trade surplus and technology policy erupted. The central bank said the move is aimed at facilitating debt-for-equity swaps meant to help clear away a backlog of nonperforming bank loans owed by state companies. ANALYST'S TAKE: 'The mixed start to the week for Asian markets appears to be becoming a repetitive theme in recent sessions that saw global equity markets shrouded in the gloom of trade tensions,' said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. 'China's latest reserve ratio reduction, while expected, serves as a counterbalance to the soft sentiment.' WEEK AHEAD: The United States is due to report quarterly economic growth on Thursday. On Friday, Japan and South Korea report monthly factory output and the European Union announces June inflation. CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.53 yen from Friday's 109.97 yen. The euro retreated to $1.1651 from $1.1657. ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 19 cents to $68.39 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $3.04 on Friday to $$68.58. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped $1.37 to $73.95 per barrel in London. It gained $2.52 the previous session to close at $75.32.

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  • A 5-year-old girl is dead after police say a pickup truck struck her in the SeaWorld San Antonio parking lot. >> Read more trending news  According to the San Antonio Express-News, the vehicle hit the child Sunday night as she and her parents were getting ready to leave the tourist attraction. Police said she 'got away from' her parents in the parking lot and 'darted between two vehicles' before she was struck and killed, the newspaper reported. WOAI's David Caltabiano tweeted that no charges have been filed against the truck's driver, who stopped to help after hitting the girl.  Read more here or here.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is asking for the community’s help as they try to find 74-year-old Charles Sapp.  Sapp lives on the Westside and was last seen on June 17th, when he told someone he was going for a drive.  The 74-year-old has several medical conditions including possible short-term memory loss. According to JSO, Sapp should be driving a 2003 Hyundai XG350 with Florida tag “ACFT42.” Police say Sapp’s car has a different color paint on the hood and the driver side rear bumper is peeling.   If you have any information, you are asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904.630.0500.
  • It was another violent weekend in Jacksonville, with more than half a dozen shootings reported in just two days. There is no indication any of these incidents are related, and in some of the investigations the suspects are known and speaking with police or in custody. WOKV will be gathering more information about these incidents through Monday.  The violence started in the very early hours of Saturday. Just after midnight, officers responded to a person shot in a home on Glenn Mottin Way in Mandarin. An adult man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, and the person responsible for the shooting has spoken with police, according to JSO. We’re working to learn more about the circumstances of the shooting, and whether there will be any arrests.  Just before 6AM, officers responded to a person shot in the Amtrak parking lot on Clifford Lane in Northwest Jacksonville. The victim in this case suffered non-life-threatening injuries and the suspect is in custody. JSO says this incident had nothing to do with Amtrak, despite its location. We’ll update you as we learn more about the suspect and motive.  Saturday night, just after 9PM, JSO responded to a shooting on Barnhill Road. A Hispanic man told investigators he had been shot during a robbery attempt. Robbery detectives are leading this investigation, with no suspect information available at this time. We’re told this victim’s injuries are not life threatening.  Around the same time, police responded to reports of a person shot on Noah Road on the Northside. Two people in a home were involved in a dispute, during which one person was shot, according to JSO. We’re told both people were injured and taken to the hospital, but the person who was shot is in stable condition. No word yet on any arrests, but we will update you as more information is available.  JSO was dispatched to a shooting on Atlantic Blvd around 10PM. Officers found a black male victim, who had been shot multiple times- although the shooting apparently happened several blocks away, and the victim walked to where he was found in order to get help. The victim’s injuries are life-threatening.  Early Sunday, JSO responded to a person shot on Jefferson Street. The female victim was taken to the hospital, but died as a result of her injuries. JSO says the victim was shot on the basketball court at the Julius Guinyard Park. There is no suspect information at this point.  Around 1PM, police were called to the Quality Inn at Dix Ellis Trail on the Southside. A black male in his 20s was found dead, but police say the victim identified as a woman. Our partner Action News Jax reports the victim was transgender, which marks three transgender individuals killed in Jacksonville in recent months. JSO says the suspect is a black man who appears to have fled the scene in a beige colored vehicle. Police aren’t giving many other details at this time, but we’re told there were witnesses.  Around 7PM Sunday, a JSO officer on patrol found a man lying dead on the ground on University Blvd Ct, which is off University and Philips. Homicide detectives are investigating, but there is no information right now about what the victim’s cause of death was or his identity. At this point, this death is classified as “undetermined”.  If you have any information about any of these investigations, you can contact JSO at 904-630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. You can also submit an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.  A fatal shooting is also being investigated by Jacksonville Beach Police. 23-year-old Leon Bennett was killed following a fight outside of The Pier Restaurant. JBPD has released several videos they hope will help lead to the one or more suspects responsible, and if you have any information on that incident, you can call 904-270-1661.
  • A young man is dead, after a fight in Jacksonville Beach leads to a shooting. Jacksonville Beach Police say there was first a fight on the sidewalk in front of The Pier Restaurant on 1st Street North early Sunday morning. The victim then walked north along 1st Street, until several black male subjects drove up in a white four-door sedan-style vehicle. One of the suspects in that car shot the suspect, and the vehicle then fled west on 7th Avenue North.  The victim was taken to the hospital, but later died. He has been identified as 23-year-old Leon Bennett.  Police released a video that was posted on Instagram, which they say shows an “involved party” in their investigation of this shooting. They’re asking for your help identifying the man in the middle of the street, who a woman is on top of in this video. Police say he appears to have light skin and to be bald, and is seen here wearing all black with white-soled shoes.  JBPD is also asking for the public’s help identifying any person seen in another video, which was posted on YouTube. This video is believed to show the fight that happened moments before this shooting.  If you have any information about the identity of the people in these videos, you’re asked to contact JBPD Detective Kulcsar at 904-270-1661.
  • As Republicans struggled again to gather a majority in the House this week for an immigration reform bill, President Donald Trump on Sunday seemed to hint that the effort might be a waste of time, blaming Democrats for their opposition to GOP plans, and demanding major changes in how the U.S. legal system deals with those illegally entering the United States. “When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came,” the President tweeted on Sunday, making the argument that illegal immigrants deserve no legal standing in court, no due process after being detained. But the U.S. Supreme Court has held the opposite, ruling in a 1982 case that “illegal aliens…may claim the benefit of the Equal Protection Clause, which provides that no State shall ‘deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'” “Summarily removing individuals with no opportunity for a hearing, even if they might have viable legal objections to their removal, would likely violate due process,” said Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas Law School. That idea was one of a number of tweets this weekend on immigration from the President: We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2018 It’s very sad that Nancy Pelosi and her sidekick, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, want to protect illegal immigrants far more than the citizens of our country. The United States cannot stand for this. We wants safety and security at our borders! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2018 House Republicans could easily pass a Bill on Strong Border Security but remember, it still has to pass in the Senate, and for that we need 10 Democrat votes, and all they do is RESIST. They want Open Borders and don’t care about Crime! Need more Republicans to WIN in November! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018 Mr. Trump’s comments came as House Republicans were still preparing a vote this week on a backup immigration reform bill – but no date for the vote had been set, as GOP leaders have struggled to corral a majority on the issue. In Congress, Mr. Trump’s idea to deny due process rights to illegal aliens landed with a big thud in both parties. “Removing due process from immigration cases is yet another example of Trump’s extreme immigration policy and disregard for the rule of law,” said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ). “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” tweeted Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), quoting the text of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. “Due process is a bedrock American legal principle,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY). Democrats spent much of the weekend trying to focus more attention on the effort to reunite children of illegal immigrant families, who were separated from their parents under a Trump Administration effort to deter illegal immigrants from trying to cross the U.S. southern border. 'Enough is enough.' We must continue to protest, to speak out, and keep working until all families are reunited who have been torn apart by Trump's heartless immigration policies. pic.twitter.com/J3qlrVveHA — Mike Capuano (@mikecapuano) June 24, 2018 @RepTedDeutch speaking against Trump Administration immigration family separation policy. @CBSMiami pic.twitter.com/VSpodc1f9W — Carey (@ccoddcbs4news) June 24, 2018 But others on Capitol Hill saw the current immigration debate in much a different light. “America is heading in the direction of another Harpers Ferry,” said Rep. Steve King (R-IA), a strong backer of the President’s calls for tough action on illegal immigration, referring to John Brown’s raid in 1859, in a bid to start a slave revolt. “After that comes Ft. Sumter,” King said in a tweet, referring to the first shots of the Civil War.  

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