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Rachel Maddow breaks down in tears reading breaking news about Trump administration sending babies to shelters

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The Associated Press broke a story this evening that President Donald Trump’s administration has been sending babies to “at least three ‘tender age’ shelters” in south Texas. The story and images were so powerful that MSNBC host Rachel Maddow couldn’t read it and simply broke down.

“Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis,” the AP reported.

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“Sorry,” Maddow said several times. “Can we put up the graphic? No. We don’t have it.”

After many pauses, Maddow said that she’d just have to hand it off to her colleague Lawrence O’Donnell.

“The thought that they are going to be putting such little kids in an institutional setting? I mean it is hard for me to even wrap my mind around it,” Kay Bellor, vice president for programs at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, told the AP. Her organization gives foster care and child welfare to migrant children. “Toddlers are being detained.”

“The facilities that they have for the most part are not licensed for tender age children,” director of migrant rights at Women’s Refugee Commission Michelle Brane told the AP.

She recalled meeting a 4-year-old girl in diapers in a McAllen warehouse where ICE agents is holding people.

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“There is no model for how you house tons of little children in cots institutionally in our country. We don’t do orphanages, our child welfare has recognized that is an inappropriate setting for little children,” she said.

The United States ended the practice of having orphanages after psychologists and physicians warned that it would harm the development of children.

These days even the news can be too much for veteran reporters. Such was the case with Maddow on Tuesday night who succumbed to her empathy. It’s easy to understand why.

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Donald Trumps needs a coronavirus scapegoat — and right now it’s China

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"If we are at war, who is the enemy?" asks Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor for The Washington Post in a smart piece that examines the question of who constitutes a target for a self-declared "wartime president."

While it is obvious that the enemy, in this case, is a tiny, sticky, invisible microbe that stubbornly gloms onto surfaces or leaps through the air to weaponize subway cars or shared gym equipment or a touch to the face.

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Trump says Putin to ‘probably ask’ for sanctions lifting

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President Donald Trump said Monday he expects his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to request the lifting of US sanctions during an upcoming phone call.

"Yeah, he'll probably ask for that," Trump told Fox News.

Trump did not say what his response would be, noting that he had put sanctions on Russia but adding: "They don't like that. Frankly we should be able to get along."

The two were due to talk "shortly," he said.

Last Thursday, Putin told G20 leaders during a conference call that he wanted a moratorium on sanctions as a "matter of life and death" during the global coronavirus outbreak.

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Arguing with the coronavirus deniers in your life can backfire — here’s how to make them see the light

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For those of us diligently practicing social distancing, it can be infuriatingly frustrating to encounter friends and loved ones who refuse to. There’s a strong temptation to lash out at them as selfish fools whose irresponsibility endangers us all. But doing so will backfire because, when people feel attacked, they get defensive and entrench in their position. Like it or not (not!), this is human nature.

Your civic duty, in addition to social distancing, is to talk to Covid-deniers in a way that has some chance of getting through to them. Here are some do’s and don’ts from the world of cross-partisan dialogue best practices that apply to the Covid-19 pandemic:

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