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US Teacher of the Year stages silent protest as Trump awards prize

Mandy Manning, who works with refugees and immigrants, wears Women’s March and trans equality pins at White House

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “US teacher of the year stages silent protest as Trump awards prize” was written by David Smith in Washington, for The Guardian on Thursday 3rd May 2018 02.55 UTC

A teacher who leads a classroom for teenage refugees staged a silent protest by wearing several overtly political badges while receiving an award from Donald Trump at the White House.

Mandy Manning works at the Newcomer Center at Joel E Ferris high school in Spokane, Washington, which specializes in English language development for new refugees and immigrant students.

Trump presented her with the National Teacher of the Year award in the East Room and praised her “incredible devotion”. The US president said: “Teachers like Mandy play a vital role in the wellbeing of our children, the strength of our communities and the success of our nation.”

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Manning wore six badges on her black dress. According to a pooled report, they included one with a poster for the Women’s March that followed Trump’s inauguration, one that said “Trans Equality Now” and one in the shape of an apple with a rainbow.

The badges also represented the teacher of the year programme, National Education Association and Peace Corps, where she began her teaching career.

Handing her the clear glass, apple-shaped award on a podium, Trump did not appear to notice the badges. He smiled as he and Manning posed for photographers. The education secretary, Betsy DeVos; the labor secretary, Alex Acosta; and the Peace Corps director, Jody Olsen, looked on.

Manning told the Associated Press after the ceremony that she used a private moment with Trump to give him stacks of letters written by her students and members of the Spokane community. She said she told Trump she hoped he would read them, and she encouraged him to visit her school.

“I just had a very, very brief moment so I made it clear that the students that I teach … are dedicated and focused,” Manning said in an interview. “They make the United States the beautiful place that it is.”

Manning said the letters conveyed important messages about what coming to the US meant to the immigrants and refugees.

The long-running annual event took place against the backdrop of teachers’ strikes in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia amid complaints over stagnant pay.

Trump has cracked down on both legal and illegal immigration and suspended the US refugee programme for a period. He has demanded that a wall be built on the Mexican border to keep out murderers, drugs gangs and other criminals.

The Associated Press contributed reporting

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Trump May Pardon Military Men Accused Or Convicted Of War Crimes

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump has asked for files to be prepared on pardoning several U.S. military members accused of or convicted of war crimes, including one slated to stand trial on charges of shooting unarmed civilians while in Iraq, the New York Times reported on Saturday.


Trump requested the immediate preparation of paperwork needed, indicating he is considering pardons for the men around Memorial Day on May 27, the report said, citing two unnamed U.S. officials. Assembling pardon files normally takes months, but the Justice Department has pressed for the work to be completed before that holiday weekend, one of the officials said.

One request is for Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of the Navy SEALs, scheduled to stand trial in coming weeks on charges of shooting unarmed civilians and killing an enemy captive with a knife while deployed in Iraq.

Also believed to be included is the case of Major Mathew Golsteyn, an Army Green Beret accused of killing an unarmed Afghan in 2010, the Times said.

Reuters could not immediately identify a way to contact Gallagher and Golsteyn.

The newspaper reported that the cases of other men are believed to be included in the paperwork, without naming them.

The Department of Justice declined to comment on the report, while the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Legal experts cited in the report said that pardoning several accused and convicted war criminals, including some who have not yet gone to trial, has not been done in recent history, and some worried such pardons could erode the legitimacy of military law.

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Migrant Crisis

Trump Administration Considers Flying Migrants Across Country to Relieve Border Crowding

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Migrants wait in El Paso, Texas, to board a van to take them to a processing center on May 16. PHOTO: PAUL RATJE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

The Trump administration may begin flying asylum-seeking families at the southern U.S. border across the country to have their initial claims processed, a Customs and Border Protection official said Friday.


For months, immigration authorities have been shuttling newly arrested migrants—mostly families and children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador—between border stations as facilities have become overwhelmed. Migrants have routinely been bussed hundreds of miles from the border in Southern California or El Paso, Texas, to as far away as Tucson, Ariz., before authorities process and then release them to aid groups.

Now, plans are being laid for the air transportation of parents and children out of overcrowded stations to other locations in the U.S., including northern and coastal states with Border Patrol offices that have capacity, if the flow of families doesn’t diminish, the CBP official said.

“This is an emergency. The entire system is overwhelmed,” the official said. “We are just trying to safely get them out of our facilities as quickly as possible.”

Border Patrol officials have flown nearly 1,000 migrants from overcrowded processing centers and stations in the Rio Grande Valley to nearby Del Rio, Texas, and San Diego since last Friday, another U.S. official said Friday.

The private, contracted flights have cost between $21,000 and $65,000 each and can carry a maximum of 135 people, that official said.

Mark Bogen, the mayor of Broward County in South Florida said Friday that he was told by local law-enforcement to expect as many as 135 migrants to be flown to the area and released by the Border Patrol after their asylum claims are processed.

Mr. Bogen said Broward County doesn’t have the resources to manage such an influx and that its shelters are already crowded with homeless local residents.

“We don’t know if these are seniors or kids,” he said of the potential migrant arrivals. “We were provided one thing: the number 135.”

The CBP official said no migrants were currently being flown to Florida. “We are in preliminary planning stages,” the official said.

The Trump administration contends that the record number of adults with children presenting themselves for asylum has brought the border infrastructure to a breaking point. CBP said on Friday that the agency had averaged 4,500 apprehensions per day over the preceding week. Some 248,000 migrants travelling as families illegally entered the U.S. between October, the start of the federal fiscal year, and April—more than in any prior full year.

Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, have blamed President Trump for exacerbating the flood of families to the southern border by cutting aid to Central America and threatening to close the border altogether.

The White House is seeking $4.5 billion in emergency border funding from Congress along with changes to asylum laws that the Trump administration says would make it easier to detain families longer, process applications more quickly, and deter more people from making the journey to the U.S.

Democratic lawmakers have refused to fund asylum policies they consider inhumane, but indicated late Thursday that they would consider funding some of the administration’s requests, making a counteroffer that excludes funding for detention beds, a Congressional aide said.

(Reporting by Wall Street Journal)

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Trump Administration Rejects Subpoena For Tax Returns

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is missing another deadline to produce President Donald Trump’s tax returns. A top House Democrat says he expects to take the administration to court as early as next week over the matter.


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin) says in a letter Friday that he will not comply with the subpoena from the House Ways and Means Committee for six years of Trump’s tax returns because the request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”

Mnuchin’s rejection of the subpoena had been expected. Earlier Friday, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal had said, “We will likely proceed to court as quickly as next week.”

Democrats are seeking Trump’s tax returns under a 1924 law that directs the IRS to furnish such information to the chairs of Congress’ tax-writing committees.

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