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US Homeland Security seeks proposals for ‘imposing’ but ‘aesthetically pleasing’ border wall with Mexico

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued requests for proposals for prototypes for a wall along the Mexican border, saying ideally it should be 30 feet (9 meters) high and the wall facing the U.S. side should be “aesthetically pleasing in color.”

A wall to stem illegal immigration was one of Donald Trump’s main campaign promises and has been highly controversial. The president has vowed to make Mexico reimburse the United States for its cost but Mexico has repeatedly said it will not do so.

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Earlier this week, the White House requested $3 billion more for Homeland Security, with some of that intended for planning and building the border wall.

According to one document posted online by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Friday night, the wall should be 30 feet high, built using concrete, and “physically imposing.” However, it says designs over 18 feet (5.5 meters) high could be acceptable.

“Designs with heights of less than 18 feet are not acceptable,” the document said. It said the wall should have features that do not allow people to climb over it and should prevent digging below the wall.

“The wall shall prevent/deter for a minimum of 1 hour the creation of a physical breach of the wall (e.g., punching through the wall) larger than 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter or square using sledgehammer, car jack, pickaxe, chisel, battery-operated impact tools, battery-operated cutting tools, oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools,” it said.

The other document requesting proposals has many of the same requirements but it does not specify that it be solid concrete.

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(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by James Dalgleish)


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2020 Election

‘The Senate’s in play’: Reeling GOP faces collapse into minority status as Trump drags party down

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According to a report in Rolling Stone, there is a very good chance that the Democrats could take control of the Senate after the 2020 election as the impeachment of Donald Trump casts a cloud over the Republican Party.

The report -- by longtime political observer Tim Dickinson -- states, "the fight to wrest the Senate from Republican control — and oust Mitch McConnell as majority leader — is arguably just as important" as the battle to force Trump from office.

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Mar-a-Lago to host event for conspiracy nuts who believed Obama was a secret Muslim

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President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club is hosting an event for a far-right organization that once spread bogus conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama being a secret Muslim.

The Washington Post reports that Trump's prized Florida resort on Saturday night will play host to the Center for Security Policy, a group that believes "mainstream Muslim organizations in the United States are secretly agents of anti-American jihad."

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Lev Parnas wants to testify — and attorney says ‘he has hard—HARD—first-hand evidence’

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One of Rudy Giuliani's indicted henchman wants to testify -- and his attorney says he's got "first-hand evidence."

Federal prosecutors have issued subpoenas to Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman, and the Parnas has indicated that he wants to speak to congressional investigators.

"Lev grew up in Brooklyn, has no criminal record or Russian Mob ties, and is a proud American citizen," said his attorney Joseph Bondy. "He’s not afraid of #POTUS or polonium, hopes to testify under oath — unlike #RudyGiuliani — and to be subjected to cross-examination under penalties of perjury. #LetLevSpeak"

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