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National Digest: Texas governor testifies on child immigrant crisis

Perry testifies on
child immigrant crisis

The tens of thousands of Central American children entering the United States illegally is both a humanitarian crisis and a national security one, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) testified Thursday at a field hearing by the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee in McAllen in South Texas.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended since October. Three-fourths of them are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and say they are fleeing pervasive gang violence and crushing poverty.

Detention and processing facilities in Texas have been inundated, leading U.S. immigration authorities to begin sending some of the immigrants to overflow sites elsewhere in the Southwest to help screen and manage the surge.

Transfers of captured migrants to processing facilities in California sparked a backlash in the town of Murrieta, Calif., north of San Diego, where protesters shouting, “Go home!” blocked three buses carrying Central American families to a U.S. Border Patrol station Tuesday.

— From news services

Clerk faces suit over gay marriage licenses

The Colorado attorney general filed a lawsuit Thursday against Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall in an effort to stop her from issuing same-sex marriage licenses after a regional appeals court ruling backed gay nuptials in neighboring Utah.

Hall has given out more than 100 marriage licenses since last week when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit said Utah could not stop same-sex couples from getting wed but stayed its ruling until the Supreme Court ultimately decides.

Hall rejected requests from Attorney General John Suthers’ s office to halt the practice pending the outcome of rulings by higher courts.

Because the 10th Circuit covers Colorado as well as five neighboring states, Suthers said the state’s ban on same-sex marriage remained in force. He had threatened Hall with legal action if she did not stop voluntarily.

The state of Colorado permits same-sex civil unions.

— Reuters

No bail for man held in son’s hot car death

A judge denied bail Thursday to a suburban Atlanta man who prosecutors said intentionally left his 22-month-old son strapped inside a hot car to die because he wanted to live a child-free life.

The judge also found probable cause for murder and child cruelty charges against Justin Ross Harris, 33, of Marietta after hearing evidence that he exchanged nude photographs with women other than his wife while he was at work and his son was dying in the car on June 18.

The lead detective in the case testified that Harris was having marital and work problems and had done Internet research on living child-free and how to survive in prison before leaving son Cooper Harris in their SUV for seven hours. Harris told police that he forgot to drop his son off at day care before heading to work the morning of June 18.

— Reuters

N.C. allows limited use of medical marijuana: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed a law Thursday allowing limited use of medical marijuana to treat seizures. North Carolina joins states that include Alabama, Mississippi and Florida in allowing the controlled use of a cannabis extract, cannabidiol.

R.I. raises minimum wage: Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) has signed a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage by $1, to $9 an hour, his office said Thursday, after similar moves by neighboring New England states. The hike will take effect next year.

Film crew indicted in fatal train crash: The director of a movie about singer Gregg Allman and two other executives on the project were indicted Thursday on felony charges stemming from a fatal crash in which a freight train plowed into the film’s crew in southeast Georgia. If convicted, “Midnight Rider” director Randall Miller, his wife and business partner, Jody Savin, and the film’s executive producer, Jay Sedrish, could each face up to 11 years in prison in the Feb. 20 death of Sarah Jones, 27, a camera assistant from Atlanta.

One killed in Texas fireworks explosion: A trailer loaded with fireworks exploded Thursday near a Texas high school, killing one person and injuring three other people who were setting up for a Fourth of July show, authorities said. The explosion occurred near a baseball field adjacent to the high school in Comanche, about 100 miles southwest of Fort Worth, fire officials said.

— From news services

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