ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
82°
Thunderstorms
H 92° L 75°
  • clear-night
    82°
    Current Conditions
    Thunderstorms. H 92° L 75°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    88°
    Afternoon
    Thunderstorms. H 92° L 75°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    79°
    Evening
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 88° L 74°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Sri Lanka bombings: Authorities say suspected leader of attack died at Shangri-La hotel 
Close

Sri Lanka bombings: Authorities say suspected leader of attack died at Shangri-La hotel 

Sri Lanka Explosions: Easter Sunday Blasts At Hotels, Churches Kill More Than 200

Sri Lanka bombings: Authorities say suspected leader of attack died at Shangri-La hotel 

Nine explosions hit multiple churches, hotels and other locations in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people and injuring hundreds more, according to The Associated Press and other media outlets.

>> Read more trending news 

The victims included at least four Americans, State Department officials said Monday. 

Here are the latest updates: 

Update  2:55 a.m. EDT April 26: Sri Lanka police said on Twitter that Mohamed Zahran, the leader of local militant group National Towheed, died in one of the nine suicide bombings Easter Sunday, The Associated Press reported. Police said they also arrested the group’s second-in-command.

Security measures in Colombo were beefed up Friday as authorities warned of another possible attack, according to the AP. Police asked people of all faiths to pray privately Friday, CNN reported.

Update 1:54 a.m. EDT April 26: Authorities in Sri Lanka said Friday the suspected leader of the attacks on Easter Sunday died in the Shangri-La hotel bombing, according to The Associated Press.

Update 6 p.m. EDT April 25: Sri Lanka lowered the death toll from the Easter suicide bombings by nearly one-third, to 253, as authorities hunted urgently for a least five more suspects and braced for the possibility of more attacks in the coming days. 

In rolling back the number of dead from 359, a top Health Ministry official, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, said in a statement that the blasts had damaged some bodies beyond recognition, making accurate identification difficult.

Update 7:20 a.m. EDT April 24: Sri Lanka officials said 60 people have been arrested in connection with Sunday’s bombings, according to The Associated Press.

A police spokesman said nine suicide bombers carried out the attacks, apparently contradicting government officials’ previous statement that seven bombers were involved, the AP reported.

Ruwan Wijewardene, Sri Lanka’s junior defense minister, described the attackers as educated people from upper- and middle-class households,  the AP reported.

Although authorities previously said the terror group National Towheed Jamaar was behind the attacks, Wijewardene said Wednesday that the perpetrators had split off from that group and another one called JMI, the AP reported. He did not say what the acronym stands for. 

Wijewardene also amended his earlier statement that the bombings were in retaliation for the deadly mass shootings at New Zealand mosques last month, saying Wednesday that the Christchurch attacks may have been a motivation but no evidence has confirmed the link, the AP reported.

Read more here.

 

Update 11:30 p.m. EDT April 23: Police said the death toll in the Easter attacks has risen to 359 and more suspects have been arrested.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara also said Wednesday morning that 18 suspects were arrested overnight, raising the total detained to 58. 

The prime minister warned on Tuesday that several suspects armed with explosives were still at large.

Update 1 p.m. EDT April 23: Sunday’s bombings claimed the lives of 45 children, officials with the United Nation’s Children’s Fund said Tuesday in a statement.

“Many children have lost one or both parents, and countless children have witnessed shocking and senseless violence,” UNICEF officials said.

More than 320 people were killed and 500 injured in the bombings.

Update 7:11 a.m. EDT April 23: The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the deadly Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, the Guardian and the Washington Post are reporting.

The group, which has lost all the territory it once held in Iraq and Syria, has made a series of unsupported claims of responsibility.

 

Update 5:55 a.m. EDT April 23: Sri Lankan officials said the death toll from Sunday’s bombings has risen to 321, the Guardian and the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The news came as Sri Lankan Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said the attacks were “carried out in retaliation” for the deadly mosque shootings in New Zealand last month, according to The Associated Press.

So far, at least 40 people have been arrested in connection with the attacks, authorities said.

Meanwhile, the country observed a day of mourning, including a three-minute moment of silence Tuesday morning. Mass burials also were held in Negombo, the Guardian reported.

 

Officials have declared a state of emergency in Sri Lanka, giving military officials “enhanced war-time powers,” the AP reported.

Authorities also are facing criticism amid reports that a top police official sent a letter April 11 to four security agencies warning that terror group National Towheed Jamaar was planning suicide bombings at churches, the AP reported.

Update 9:45 p.m. EDT April 22Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, issued a statement in response to the bombings. 

“Today as a nation we mourn the senseless loss of innocent lives this past Easter Sunday. I would like to thank the military and police forces, the medical personnel and all those who have worked bravely and tirelessly without concern for their own safety, to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. It is imperative  that we remain unified as Sri Lankans in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.”

 

A three-minute moment of silence for the victims of the explosions will be held at 8:30 a.m. local time, according to BBC reporter Azzam Ameen.

Update 8 p.m. EDT April 22: The two Australians who officials said had been killed in the explosions have been identified by a family member.

Sudesh Kolonne told Australian Broadcasting Corp. his wife, Manik Suriaaratchi, and their 1-year-old daughter Alexendria were killed in an attack in Negombo, which is north of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.

Kolonne said he was outside when the explosion happened.

“I heard a huge noise and I jumped into the church and I saw that my wife and my daughter were on the floor,” he said. “I just saw my daughter on the floor and I tried to lift her up, (but) she was already dead. And (then) exactly the same… next my wife is there.”

Kolonne said he and his family moved from Melbourne to Sri Lanka in 2014 when his wife started a consultancy business. 

“I don’t know what to do,” he said. “We used to go to that church every Sunday. We never expected this.”

Update 4:50 p.m. EDT April 22: A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed to The AP that the agency is providing assistance with the investigation into the bombings. She would not provide specifics.

Update 3:50 p.m. EDT April 22: In an email to parents, officials at Sidwell Friends, a private school in the Washington-area, confirmed one of their students was killed in Sunday’s bombings, The Washington Post reported.

School officials identified the student as Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa, a fifth-grade boy who had been on leave in Sri Lanka for the last year, according to the Post.

“Kieran was passionate about learning, he adored his friends, and he was incredibly excited about returning to Sidwell Friends this coming school year,” school officials said in the letter. “We are beyond sorry not to get the opportunity to welcome Kieran to the Middle School.”

State Department officials said earlier Monday that at least four Americans were among the nearly 300 people killed in Sunday’s attacks. Officials with the English education management company Pearson confirmed that one of the company’s Denver-based employees had also been killed in the bombings.

Update 3 p.m. EDT April 22: Officials with the U.S. State Department confirmed Monday that at least four Americans were among the nearly 300 people killed in Sunday’s bombings in Sri Lanka.

The department said that in addition to those killed, several others were seriously injured. Officials gave no details about the identities of the victims, citing privacy concerns.

Earlier Monday, officials with the English education management company Pearson confirmed that one of the company’s Denver-based employees had been killed in the bombings. Pearson CEO John Fallon said Dieter Kowalski died shortly after arriving at his hotel in Sri Lanka for a business trip.

Update 2:10 p.m. EDT April 22: President Donald Trump said he spoke Monday to Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe after a series of bomb attacks in the country.

In a tweet, Trump said he told Wickremesinghe “the United States stands by him and his country in the fight against terrorism.”

“(I) also expressed condolences on behalf of myself and the People of the United States,” Trump wrote.

Earlier Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed the government would provide “all possible assistance” to help in the investigation.

Update 1:50 p.m. EDT April 22: Sri Lankan President Maithrpala Sirisena declared April 23 a national day of mourning in a statement obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

In the statement, Sirisena said he planned to meet with foreign diplomats to seek international assistance. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier Monday that the U.S. would provide “all possible assistance” to help in the investigation.

Officials said nearly 40 foreign tourists from 11 countries were killed in Sunday’s attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. 

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT April 22: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday mourned the victims of Sunday’s bomb attacks in Sri Lanka and promised the government would provide “all possible assistance” to Americans and Sri Lankans alike.

Related: Sri Lanka attacks: Who are the National Thowheed Jamath?

“We urge that any evil-doers be brought to justice expeditiously and America is prepared to support that,” he Pompeo said. “We also stand with the millions of Sri Lankas who support the freedom of their fellow citizens to worship as they please.”

 

Pompeo confirmed that Americans were among those killed in Sunday’s attack, though he didn’t specify the number of American victims.

“It’s heartbreaking that a country which has strived so hard for peace in recent years has been targeted by these terrorists,” he said.

Related: Sri Lanka attack: Danish billionaire loses three of his four children in bombings

Update 9:50 am. EDT April 22: A Denver man has been identified as one of the nearly 300 people killed Sunday in bombings in Sri Lanka, his employer confirmed Monday.

Dieter Kowalski worked as senior leader of the operation technical services team for Pearson, an education management company. Though the company is based in England, Kowalski worked in Pearson’s Denver office, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported

“Colleagues who knew Dieter well talk about how much fun he was to be around, how big-hearted and full-spirited he was,” Pearson CEO John Fallon said in a statement shared with company employees and posted Monday on LinkedIn. “They tell of a man to whom we could give our ugliest and most challenging of engineering problems, knowing full well that he would jump straight in and help us figure it out. Dieter, they tell me, was never happier than cheer-leading for our customers and our company and inspiring people in the best way he knew how – by helping them to fix things and doing it with joy, happiness and grace.”

Fallon said Kowalski died shortly after arriving at his hotel Sunday for a business trip.

Update 7:55 a.m. EDT April 22: Three children of Anders Holch Povlsen, who owns Bestseller clothing, were killed in Sunday’s attacks, The Associated Press is reporting.

The 46-year-old Danish billionaire, who is also the largest shareholder in ASOS, and his family were on vacation in Sri Lanka, the AP reported.

Authorities said 39 foreigners were among the 290 people killed in Sunday’s attacks. 

Meanwhile, a vehicle parked near St. Anthony’s Shrine, one of the churches that was bombed Sunday, exploded Monday as police tried to defuse three bombs inside, according to the AP. At least 87 bomb detonators have been found in Colombo, officials said.

Police have detained at least 24 suspects in connection with Sunday’s bombings.

 

Update 5:15 a.m. EDT April 22:  Government officials said the National Thowheed, a Sri Lankan militant group, was responsible for Sunday’s deadly attacks, the Guardian is reporting. However, a government spokesman said an “international network” helped the attackers.

 

Seven suicide bombers caused six of the nine explosions Sunday, a forensic analyst told The Associated Press.

Authorities also said a second Chinese citizen and two Australian citizens were among those killed in Sunday’s attacks. So far, the dead include citizens of the United States, India, Britain, China, Australia, Japan and Portugal, the AP reported.

Meanwhile, a Sri Lanka military official said crews defused a homemade pipe bomb discovered late Sunday on a road to the airport outside Colombo, the AP reported.

Update 12:10 a.m. EDT April 22: The death toll in the bombings has increased to 290 and more than 500 people have been wounded, according to police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara. Among those killed are five Indians, who were identified in tweets from India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka, The AP reported.

China and Portugal also said they lost citizens, and the U.S. said “several” Americans were also killed in the bombings.

The AP reported Sri Lankan officials said they would examine reports that intelligence failed to heed or detect warnings of a possible suicide attack. 

“Some intelligence officers were aware of this incidence,” Telecommunications Minister Harin Fernando said in a tweetaccording to The AP. “Therefore there was a delay in action. Serious action needs to be taken as to why this warning was ignored.” 

 

Update 9:50 p.m. EDT April 21: Japan has confirmed at least one citizen death and four injuries from the bombings. The country has issued a safety warning to Japanese people in the country, telling them to avoid mosques, churches and public places like clubs, malls and government offices, The AP reported.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono expressed solidarity with Sri Lanka and sent his condolences to victims of the explosions. He also said Japan was committed to “combating terrorism.”

Update 5:40 p.m. EDT April 21: The Associated Press reported that, according to internet censorship monitoring group NetBlocks, social media has been blocked across the country after the attacks.

Most services, including YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have been temporarily blacked out to curb false information spread, according to Sri Lankan officials. According to NetBlocks, such blackouts are usually ineffective.

Related: Sri Lanka explosions: Sri Lanka shuts down social media in wake of Easter attacks

“We are aware of the government’s statement regarding the temporary blocking of social media platforms,” Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, said in a statement to The AP. “People rely on our services to communicate with their loved ones and we are committed to maintaining our services and helping the community and the country during this tragic time.”

Update 3:28 p.m. EDT April 21: Police have 13 suspects in custody, impounded a vehicle they believed was used by suspects and located a safe house used by the attackers. 

Related: Photos: Easter Sunday blasts at Sri Lanka churches, hotels kill dozens

No one has claimed responsibility for what Sri Lankan officials have described as a terrorist attack by religious extremists.

Update 9:28 a.m. EDT April 21: Police have so far arrested three people in connection to the blasts, The Guardian reported. A motive for the bombings is still unclear, investigators said. 

 

Update 8:46 a.m. EDT April 21: At least 207 people were killed and 450 hurt in Sunday’s attacks, The Associated Press is reporting.

Officials said eight blasts targeted three churches, three hotels, a guesthouse and an area near a Dematagoda overpass, the AP reported.

Authorities reportedly have arrested seven people in connection with the incidents.

Update 8:07 a.m. EDT April 21: Sri Lankan officials say at least 190 people, including at least 27 foreigners and two police officers, were killed in Sunday’s attacks, The Associated Press is reporting.

Seven people have been arrested in connection with the eight explosions, which rocked at least three churches and three hotels, as well as a guesthouse, officials said.

 

Update 7:35 a.m. EDT April 21: President Donald Trump tweeted condolences to the Sri Lankan people Sunday morning.

“The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka,” Trump tweeted. “We stand ready to help!”

 

Update 7:19 a.m. EDT April 21: Hours after explosions at Sri Lankan churches and hotels left dozens dead and hundreds more injured, Pope Francis prayed for the victims during his annual Easter message at the Vatican.

Related: Sri Lanka explosions: Pope denounces attacks during Easter blessing

“I wish to express my heartfelt closeness to the Christian community (of Sri Lanka), wounded as it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence,” Francis told the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, according to Vatican News.

He later added: “I entrust to the Lord all those who have tragically perished, and I pray for the injured and all those who suffer as a result of this tragic event.”

Every year after leading Easter Mass, the pope delivers an “Urbi et Orbi” (“to the city and the world”) message, which addresses global issues and conflicts.

Update 5:32 a.m. EDT April 21: Two more blasts have been reported in Sri Lanka. A seventh explosion hit a hotel in Dehiwala, and an eighth blast was reported in the capital, Agence France-Presse is reporting.

   

Update 4:20 a.m. EDT April 21: At least 156 people were killed in blasts at three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka, Agence France-Presse is reporting. The dead include 35 foreigners, officials said.

  

Update 3:34 a.m. EDT April 21: At least 137 people were killed in blasts at three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka, Agence France-Presse is reporting. The dead include 45 people in Colombo, 67 in Negombo and 25 in Batticaloa, officials said. At least nine of the people killed were foreigners, the news agency reported.

More than 500 people were hurt in the explosions, according to The Associated Press.

Original report: 

Explosions hit three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing dozens of people and injuring nearly 300 more, news outlets are reporting.

According to The Associated Press, blasts occurred Sunday morning at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo and a church in Batticaloa. Explosions also rocked the Kingsbury, Cinnamon Grand and Shangri La hotels in Colombo, the BBC reported.

The Agence France-Presse news agency said 52 people died in the blasts. At least 283 people were taken to the hospital, the AP reported.

  

Suicide bombers may have caused at least two of the church blasts, a security official told the AP

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A north Alabama man was arrested Friday in connection with two homicides after patrol officers in another part of the state said they found him driving around with his dead wife’s body in the front seat beside him. Fred Sommerville, 47, is accused of killing his estranged wife, Lakresha Sommerville, 39, of Ardmore, Tennessee, who was reported missing Thursday in Limestone County, Alabama. Ardmore sits on the southern Tennessee state line and abuts its sister city of the same name in Alabama. Law enforcement officials have spelled the couple's name Sommerville, though their social media profiles show the spelling as Somerville. Fred Sommerville was taken into custody following a police pursuit in Pickens County, more than 150 miles away in west Alabama. “His wife, Lakresha, was in the front seat of the vehicle. She was dead and had been dead for several hours,” Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said during a news conference Monday evening. As of Tuesday morning, Fred Sommerville remained in the Pickens County Jail on charges of abuse of a corpse, attempt to elude, first-degree theft of property and reckless endangerment. He is expected to be transferred to Limestone County, at which point he will face a charge of first-degree murder for the murder of two or more people. Blakely said along with the slaying of his estranged wife, Fred Sommerville is also a suspect in the Thursday night killing of Bruce Cosman, 74, of Ardmore, Alabama. The News Courier in Athens reported that Cosman and his wife were inside their home around 7:30 p.m. Thursday when they heard suspicious noises outside. Cosman went outside to investigate the noises and his wife heard gunshots. According to the newspaper, Cosman was shot multiple times, dying in the yard. Blakely said Monday that investigators have evidence placing Fred Sommerville at Cosman’s home at the time of the shooting. He did not say what that evidence is. “There’s a lot of things we can’t go into at this time because it’s still an ongoing investigation,” Blakely said. He said a lot more legwork needs to be done in the case, but he is confident that the killer is in custody. Blakely said one reason he held the news conference was to calm the fears of residents in Ardmore. “We don’t have a murderer running loose up there in Ardmore. We have the person. He is in custody,” Blakely said. “We’re very confident he is the one that murdered Mr. Bruce.” >> Read more trending news  The timeline of the killing of Lakresha Sommerville is still not nailed down, Blakely said. He told reporters Monday that the victim’s mother reported her missing, with a possible kidnapping by her estranged husband, late Thursday night. Fred Sommerville was apprehended in Pickens County, in the town of Aliceville, around 11 a.m. Friday. Lakresha Sommerville had obviously been dead for hours at that point, the sheriff said. Blakely said there is no indication Fred Sommerville knew Cosman or his family. “We have some theories and possibly some evidence that’s going to indicate why he wound up at that residence, but we’re not prepared to discuss those at this time,” Blakely said. Watch the entire news conference with Limestone County officials below.  It was unclear why Fred Sommerville drove to Pickens County, though investigators said he has an uncle who lives there. Blakely said Sommerville also drove through other areas of Alabama for hours before his capture. The News Courier reported Fred Sommerville was caught after Aliceville police officers, who had heard reports regarding Lakresha Sommerville’s missing vehicle, spotted him downtown and attempted to pull him over. The officers ultimately fired at the car to stop it, the newspaper reported. The sheriff said Lakresha Sommerville had filed several complaints against her estranged husband alleging domestic violence and stalking. “According to the reports we’ve received so far, she was scared of him,” Blakely said. It was not yet clear exactly where Lakresha Sommerville was slain. According to investigators, she was shot once in the head. A Facebook page apparently belonging to Fred Sommerville, listed under the name Fila Somerville, shows multiple angry public posts that appeared to be directed at his estranged wife over the past few months. “All the slander you do towards me only gonna make that number bigger,” he wrote less than a week before Lakresha Sommerville was slain. “Get your lawyer, ‘cause you gonna pay dearly. Bet that.” Several people have commented on the post since the slaying last week. 'Why, Fred? Why?' Lakresha Sommerville's mother, Cindy Surles, wrote. 'Why would you take away the only person that was taking care of your son?' She wrote that Fred Sommerville did not care about the boy, who, according to Lakresha Sommerville's Facebook page, turned 13 earlier this year. 'All you care about is Fred and if it's not about Fred, then it ain't about nothing,' Surles wrote. On July 2, Fred Sommerville posted that he was in a domestic partnership with Lakresha, who appeared to express surprise at the relationship status. A friend asked Fred if he was OK. Fred Sommerville wrote that he had some business to take care of. 'This (expletive) the reason y,' he wrote, indicating his estranged wife. Other friends wrote that Lakresha Sommerville was not the source of his problems and urged him to accept that the relationship was over. On Friday, a woman named Stacey Smith commented on the status, along with several others on the Facebook page, telling those who saw her posts that Fred and Lakresha Sommerville were missing. 'No one has heard from them since yesterday afternoon,' Smith wrote. 'Their son was left behind and haven’t heard from them! If anyone knows or heard anything please let us know!' The following day, after news of Lakresha Sommerville's slaying emerged, the comments on Fred Sommerville's page turned to anger and anguish. 'You sorry (expletive), you didn’t have to kill her,' one person wrote. 'You could’ve thought of your son.' A friend of Lakresha's, April Robison, wrote on a Facebook fundraiser to help Surles fund her daughter's funeral and raise her son, that Lakresha Sommerville was loved and respected by many. 'Kresha was dedicated to her son, her mom, her whole family,' Robison wrote. 'She could light up a room with her smile. Her laugh was infectious. She will be missed by this entire town. We have lost a truly beautiful soul.' In a December post thanking her friends for birthday wishes, Lakresha Sommerville wrote that she thanked God for life and was looking forward to what the next year of life held for her. 'Just being honest I'm not living my best life yet, but if it's in God's will, I'm on my way,' she wrote. She wrote that she was looking forward to new and exciting things and a drama and stress-free year. 'May Chapter 39 be the best year yet!' she wrote.
  • An 18-year-old who was born in Dallas has spent weeks in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection over a paperwork mix-up that has left immigration officials questioning whether he is an American citizen, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news  Officials detained Francisco Erwin Galicia at a CBP checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, on June 27, the Dallas Morning News reported. He was stopped with friends and his 17-year-old brother while headed to North Texas for a soccer scouting event, according to the newspaper. His brother, Marlon, is not a U.S. citizen and had only a school ID card on him, according to the Morning News. Galicia's attorney, Claudia Galan, told The Washington Post that her client showed authorities a wallet-sized Texas birth certificate, his state ID card and his Social Security card, but she said they rejected the documents as likely fake and took him and his brother into custody. 'They just didn't believe they were real. They kept telling him they were fake,' Galan told the Post. 'He's been here all his life.' Marlon agreed to be voluntarily deported to Mexico within days of his detention, according to the Morning News. 'I didn't imagine this could happen, and now I'm so sad that I'm not with my family,' Marlon told the newspaper by phone from Reynosa, Mexico, where he's staying with family. 'Now, we just have to wait and see and hope that they release my brother.' Galicia was born in December 2000 at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, according to a birth certificate reviewed by the Morning News. Galan told CBS News that she's provided U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials with several documents to prove Galicia's American citizenship, including his birth certificate, health insurance cards and high school ID. 'He's going on a full month of being wrongfully detained,' Galan told the Morning News. 'He's a U.S. citizen, and he needs to be released now.' According to the Post, authorities might not have been able to immediately confirm the authenticity of Galicia's paperwork because his mother, who is not a U.S. citizen, took out a tourist visa in his name when he was younger, which falsely listed his place of birth as Mexico. Galicia's mother, Sanjuana, told the Post she got the visa because she believed it was the only way to allow her son to travel across the border to visit family and added that she couldn't get him a U.S. passport because she gave a different name for herself on her son's birth certificate. Sanjuana told the Post that her son is 'desperate' to leave detention and that he fears he might be deported to Mexico at any moment. 'I need my son back,' she told the Morning News. 'I just want to prove to them that he is a citizen. He's not a criminal or anything bad. He's a good kid.' It's not the first time authorities have detained a person claiming American citizenship, though the cases make up a fraction of ICE detentions each year, according to a 2018 report from the Los Angeles Times. Between 2012 and April 2018, ICE officials released 1,480 people from custody after investigating their claims of American citizenship, the Times reported. A review of Justice Department records and interviews with immigration attorneys 'uncovered hundreds of additional cases in the country's immigration courts in which people were forced to prove they are Americans and sometimes spent months or even years in detention,' the newspaper reported. 
  • Authorities arrested 35 people earlier this month in a series of nationwide immigration raids that targeted 2,000 families suspected of entering the country illegally, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news  Citing government figures, The New York Times reported 17 people who were apprehended were part of families that crossed the border together while 18 people were considered 'collateral apprehensions.' An unidentified Homeland Security official also confirmed to CNN that 35 people were arrested in the raids, which were slated to take place in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco. The Times previously reported the operation was aimed at apprehending families that recently crossed the border and which were notified in February to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office and leave the United States. Officials do not typically announce planned immigration raids ahead of time, according to The Associated Press. President Donald Trump, however, confirmed the raids were set to take place and touted the effort as a major operation in his efforts to stymie illegal immigration. 'If the word gets out, it gets out. Hundreds of people know about it,' he told reporters July 12. 'It's a major operation. … They're going to take people out and they're going to bring them back to their countries or they're going to take criminals out, put them in prison or put them in prison in the countries they came from.' The advanced notice spurred action from immigrant advocates and might have prompted some of those targeted to flee.  'There is no way to quantify the impact that had but you could turn on any TV station for several weeks (and learn about the raids), this being one of the lead topics,' acting ICE Director Matt Albence told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday. 'It's very difficult to locate those individuals who don't want to be found.' Albence told the Times on Monday that he was unaware of 'any other population where people are telling them how to avoid arrest as a result of illegal activity.' 'It certainly makes it harder for us to effectuate these orders issued,' he said. From mid-May to mid-July, nearly 900 people were arrested by ICE officers as part of cross-check operations in which regional field offices dedicate resources toward a goal like picking up people who remain in the U.S. despite final deportation orders or people suspected of entering the country illegally who have criminal records, according to BuzzFeed News. White House officials on Tuesday said 605 people who have criminal records and who were suspected of entering the country illegally were recently picked up by ICE officers.
  • At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center announced that Tropical Depression 3 has lost organization and continues to weaken. The system is no longer a tropical depression and its remnants will continue to move over water, then turning east as it is swept away from land by a frontal boundary exiting the U.S. Across Central Florida, expect a soggy afternoon, with some storms becoming strong. High temperatures will reach the low to mid-90s.  The same cold front that will sweep the remnants of tropical depression 3 away from the U.S. coastline, will also bring a much-needed relief from the heat across the Central and northeastern U.S. The front will not make it all the way down to Central Florida, stalling just north of the state. Enough instability will remain nearby, which will ignite some strong afternoon thunderstorms on Wednesday. Expect higher than average rain chances Wednesday afternoon. The increased rain is forecast to keep temperatures slightly lower with highs in the lower 90s for the rest of the week. Expect a similar setup Wednesday, with storms moving from west to east, starting late morning and lasting through the afternoon commute. Overall storms will be moving a bit more rapidly to the coast, but there could still be some minor flooding, especially where storms ‘train’ for a bit longer.

Washington Insider

  • The White House on Tuesday defended the details of a major budget deal worked out between President Donald Trump and Democrats in the Congress, even as conservative groups and some GOP lawmakers denounced it as a budget boondoggle which would only increase spending and further raise deficits and debt. 'This deal on the discretionary spending caps is nothing short of a surrender by Republican “leadership” in the House and Senate and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin,' said the group Freedom Works. The plan would raise spending levels to $320 billion more than the budget caps in current law for 2020 and 2021 - though the actual increase in spending from 2019 would be much less. With no briefings at the White House, the public argument on behalf of the deal was carried in the rain on Tuesday by the President's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow. On Capitol Hill, Republicans said it was the best deal possible. 'In a compromise, neither side gets 100 percent of what they want,' said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). But the details produced a lot of grumbling from GOP lawmakers in the House, who want to see less spending - not more. 'The spending deal before us would continue Washington’s reckless spending with an unlimited line of credit,' said Rep. Mark Green (R-TN). 'This deal irresponsibly jacks up spending by $320 billion,' said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who complained 'this deal just kicks the can down the road again.' 'This proposal digs the US deeper into debt,' said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who said it was hard for budget haws to support a deal that adds more money to the deficit. 'Our credit card is maxed out,' said Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC). 'What this budget deal does is ask the credit card company for another $320 billion in credit.' A House vote is expected on the plan by Friday, with Senate action expected next week. Lawmakers needed to act now - before going home on an extended summer break - because Trump Administration officials were worried that the debt limit needed to be expanded soon after Labor Day.