All eyes will be on Iowa this weekend as the 2020 Democratic candidates descend on the state for soapbox speeches and, of course, some good ol' deep-fried fun at the Iowa State Fair.
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The first day of school turned into a nightmare for hundreds of families in Mississippi when 680 people were detained in a record-setting immigration raid. Immigration officers detained undocumented workers at seven food processing plants across the state. Images and video from some of the locations show children sobbing and pleading for their parents' return. Distraught families waited in parking lots for any news of their detained loved ones, and in one city, a local gym opened its doors to children who'd had no one to come home to after their parents had been detained while they were at school. Immigration officials described it as the largest single-state workplace enforcement action in US history. About 270 migrants were released and placed into proceedings before federal immigration courts, leaving at least 377 migrants still in ICE custody.
2. White House
Another resignation closes out a tumultuous week for the White House. Foreign service officer Chuck Park resigned from the State Department and issued a blistering criticism of President Trump on his way out. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Park said he could no longer serve in "The Complacent State" and "let career perks silence (his) conscience."
Meanwhile, the White House is doing some damage control after the President's trips to Ohio and Texas to visit communities mourning last weekend's mass shootings. Video from just after his El Paso hospital visit shows Trump bragging about crowd sizes at the hospital, comparing them to the attendance at a gathering held by Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke. Trump also lashed out at Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and US Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, both Democrats, following a visit to shooting survivors at a Dayton hospital.
3. Houston shooting
The city of Houston is on alert after a gunman killed two people on a freeway during yesterday's evening rush. The shooter is still on the run. Police say they don't have a motive for the attack but noted there were narcotics found in the attacker's vehicle. Tensions were also raised in Springfield, Missouri, where an armed man in his twenties was arrested after causing a "panic" at a local Walmart. Several smaller incidents of gun violence this week have contributed to the ongoing national tension following last weekend's mass shootings. President Trump is reportedly mulling legislative and executive responses to the violence, which may include expanded background checks.
The bitter struggle between India and Pakistan over the contested area of Kashmir continues to cast a pall over the region. A near-complete communications blackout in Indian-controlled Kashmir has been imposed in Kashmir after the Indian government's decision earlier this week to scrap the region's special status. Broadband, mobile internet, text messaging and phone service have all been affected, with residents reduced to digging out old radio sets to tune in to the news. It's not just the lack of information going in that makes the situation notable -- it's also the lack of information coming out. Human rights groups warn that the choke hold on communication could effectively prevent the international community from learning of, and responding to, any human rights abuses.
5. Severe weather
Buckle up, because we could be headed for a busier-than-normal hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced it expects 10 to 17 named storms, including five to nine hurricanes. Things are predicted to stay quiet for the next couple of weeks, but meteorologists warn the peak of the season is yet to come.
In the Eastern Hemisphere, the next dangerous storm is already bearing down on parts of China. The country has issued a Red Alert in anticipation of Typhoon Lekima. As of this morning, the storm had winds upwards of 133 mph, making it the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane. When Lekima hits, areas along the coast of China will be at risk of heavy rains and flooding.
Frontier Airlines offers free flights to people with the last name 'Green' or 'Greene'
Apologies to everyone with a middle name of "Green." You were so close!
Humans survived off rodents in the last ice age
The Iowa Cubs will temporarily change their name to the Iowa Caucuses
Scientists made vodka from Chernobyl's exclusion zone, and they swear it's safe to drink
Our scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think of if they should.
Cats understand their names and are probably just choosing to ignore you, a study says
Yeah ... we know.
"It's the hardest week I've ever had in my life. I go out all the time, but not like this."
Greg Zanis, who is known for delivering hand-lettered crosses to the families of mass shooting victims, on his visits to El Paso and Dayton
The number of people in the US killed last year by West Nile virus, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's a small increase from previous years, but it underscores the need for protection against mosquitoes during vulnerable summer months.
Let's end with a smile, shall we?
This very smart cockatiel knows how to keep its human from leaving: Mimic their iPhone ringtone! (Click here to view.)