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Homeland security plans raids to deport families who surged across border: Washington Post

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has begun preparing for a series of raids that would target for deportation hundreds of families who have flocked to the United States since the start of last year, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Citing people familiar with the operation, the Post said the nationwide campaign to deport the illegal immigrants by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could start as soon as early January.

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It would be the first large-scale effort to deport families who have fled violence in Central America, the newspaper said.

More than 100,000 families with both adults and children have made the journey across the southwest border since last year, the Post reported.

The operation would target only adults and children who have already been ordered removed from the United States by an immigration judge, the newspaper said.

The Post said the operation has not been given final approval by DHS. The number of people targeted is expected to be in the hundreds and possibly greater, the newspaper said.

DHS did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

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Experts say that the violence that was a key factor in driving people to flee Central America last year has surged again, The Post reported.

The pressure for deportations has mounted because of a recent court decision that ordered DHS to begin releasing families housed in detention centers, according to the Post.

Immigration advocates expressed concern about the plan.

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“It would be an outrage if the administration subjected Central American families to even more aggressive enforcement tactics,” Gregory Chen, director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told the Post.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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In a secluded region in Russia’s Arctic they are rejecting Putin in rare protest

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Lyudmila Laptander, an activist advocating autonomy for her mineral-rich Nenets region in the Russian Arctic, worries authorities are planning to sacrifice its traditions for the promise of economic enrichment.

"If Nenets is merged with another region, I worry that no one will look after our language or our traditions, and that our small villages in the tundra will be forgotten," said Laptander, 61, a member of the Yasavey cultural group.

The autonomous region on the edge of the Arctic Ocean was gripped by protests in May against the government's plans to integrate it with neighbouring Arkhangelsk.

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People are paying to hire this donkey to crash their Zoom meetings

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The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to embrace meetings via Zoom, but admittedly, those can be as tedious as in-person conferences.

So one animal sanctuary in Canada, in dire need of cash after being forced to close to visitors, found a way to solve both problems.

Meet Buckwheat, a donkey at the Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, who is ready to inject some fun into your humdrum work-from-home office day -- for a price.

"Hello. We are crashing your meeting, we are crashing your meeting -- this is Buckwheat," says sanctuary volunteer Tim Fors, introducing the gray and white animal on a Zoom call.

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Republican senators are suddenly trying to social distance — from Trump

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There’s something interesting in today’s news:

A number of Republican Senators have said they are skipping the Republican National Convention this year. The convention was originally scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina, but at Trump’s insistence was relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, last month. The stated reason was that Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper would not commit to permitting a full convention out of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, but the abrupt switch to Florida, less than 80 days before the convention, still seems odd to me. Regardless, the switch has created a new problem: Florida is in the midst of a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases, setting a record for new cases in a single day during the weekend —11,458—and running low of ICU beds.

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