President Donald Trump said he is nearing a decision to declare a national emergency on the southern border, which he visited in person Thursday despite earlier reservations about taking the trip. The President warned as he departed the White House he would take the step — which would be subject to immediate legal challenge — if talks with Democrats continue to crumble. Trump stormed out of a meeting with Democratic leaders a day earlier, insisting they weren’t ready to deal.
A court in Myanmar has rejected an appeal by two Reuters reporters jailed for breaking a state secrets act. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years in September in a case condemned around the world. They exposed the summary execution of 10 Muslim Rohingyas by the security forces during the military’s anti-Rohingya operation in 2017. Both were arrested carrying official documents handed to them by police officers. They maintain their innocence, saying the authorities set them up.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro started a second term on Thursday, defying critics in the United States and Latin America who called him an illegitimate usurper of a nation where economic chaos has wrought a humanitarian crisis. Before he had even completed his inaugural speech, the United States decried a “usurpation of power,” and Paraguay announced it was cutting diplomatic ties – highlighting the growing isolation that Maduro will face.
A 13-year-old Wisconsin girl, missing since her parents were discovered shot dead in their home three months ago, has been found, malnourished and dirty but alive, after apparently fleeing her captor in a remote community. The child’s disappearance sparked massive searches, with 1,500 volunteers scouring woods and fields in suburban Minneapolis, and the offer of a $25,000 reward for her safe return.
One of the few well-known openly gay rappers in Puerto Rico has become a victim of intensifying violence on the island. Kevin Fret, a 24-year-old musician and outspoken advocate for the LGBT community, was murdered early Thursday morning in Santurce, one of San Juan’s busiest and most densely populated neighborhoods, according to El Vocero, one of the largest newspapers in Puerto Rico. According to police, the murder is the 22nd homicide in Puerto Rico in 2019.