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Obama calls Paris climate accord ‘turning point’

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Washington: US President Barack Obama on Saturday called the Paris climate agreement a “turning point for the world”, saying it created an “enduring framework” for future efforts.

“This agreement sends a powerful signal that the world is firmly committed to a low-carbon future,” said Obama in a televised speech. “This agreement represents the best chance we’ve had to save the one planet that we’ve got.”

Even if all the initial targets set in Paris would be met, the efforts to reduce carbon from the atmosphere would have to be continued, Xinhua news agency quoted Obama as saying.

“We’ll only be part of the way there when it comes to reducing carbon from the atmosphere,” he said. “But make no mistake, the Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis.”

The landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted by the 196 Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change during the 21st Conference of the Parties hosted by France.

On the basis of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, the Paris agreement calls for aiming to hold global average temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and strives for limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Taking into account of the needs and priorities of developing countries, the agreement also eyes $100 billion a year in climate aid by developed countries for developing countries from 2020 to 2025. (IANS)

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FACT CHECK: “President Obama had Child Separation, I’m the One that Stopped it,” Says Trump

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced that they apprehended about 53,000 parents and children at the southern border in March

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Trump was again sending her nomination to the Senate for confirmation as a judge of the federal court for Eastern New York. VOA

President Donald Trump is wholly mispresenting the immigration detention policy he introduced that forced migrant children from their parents at the border.

“President Obama had child separation,” Trump said Tuesday. “I’m the one that stopped it.”

In fact, he stopped — or at least suspended — family separations that spiked as a result of his own “zero-tolerance” policy.

A look at his remarks to reporters before meeting Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi:

TRUMP on family separations: “President Obama had the law. We changed the law, and I think the press should accurately report it but of course they won’t.”

THE FACTS: This is false. Trump did not achieve any change in the law.

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TRUMP on family separations: “President Obama had the law. We changed the law, and I think the press should accurately report it but of course they won’t.” Pixabay

Operating under the same immigration laws as Barack Obama, Trump instituted a zero-tolerance policy aimed at detaining everyone who was caught crossing the border illegally and criminally prosecuting all the adults.

The policy meant adults were taken to court for criminal proceedings and their children were separated and sent into the care of the Health and Human Services Department. In the face of a public uproar, Trump suspended most separations in June. About 2,400 children were taken from parents at the height of the separations. During the Obama administration and before Trump’s zero-tolerance policy was introduced, migrant families caught illegally entering the U.S. were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation, unless they were known to have a criminal record.

Trump repeatedly but without specifics rails against a “Democrat” law that he wrongly claims to have changed. He appears to be referring to one that passed unanimously in Congress and was signed by Republican President George W. Bush. It was focused on freeing and otherwise helping children who come to the border without a parent or guardian and does not call for family separation.

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Migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Guatemala wait at bridge between Matamoros, Mexico and Brownsville, Texas for immigration officials to allow them to turn themselves in and ask for asylum in U.S., Nov. 12, 2018. VOA

TRUMP: “Just so you understand, President Obama separated the children.”

THE FACTS: Not in widespread fashion. Then and now, immigration officials may take a child from a parent in certain cases, such as serious criminal charges against a parent, concerns over the health and welfare of a child or medical concerns. The Obama administration also contended with a surge of minors who came to the border without parents and were held in short-term Border Patrol detention.

It did not seek to criminally prosecute all who crossed the border illegally, without regard to whether those who were caught had committed crimes other than illegal entry.

Family separations were the exception before Trump made them the rule.

TRUMP on family separations: “Once you don’t have it, that’s why you see many more people coming. They’re coming like it’s a picnic, because ‘let’s go to Disneyland.'”

child separation, obama
Migrants from Central America wait inside an enclosure, where they are being held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally and turning themselves in to request asylum, in El Paso, Texas, March 29, 2019. VOA

THE FACTS: It’s not been proved that people are discouraged from coming to the U.S. when they know their children will be taken from them if they are caught.

ALSO READ: Opening of One of the Most High-Profile Position in President’s Cabinet after Homeland Security Secretary Resigns

Apprehensions did fall last summer, after the June suspension of separations, but they decline most summers because of the extreme heat in much of Mexico and the border region.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced on Tuesday that they apprehended about 53,000 parents and children at the southern border in March. The officials declined to answer a question about whether they believed family separation was an effective deterrent. (VOA)