The prototypes for President Donald Trump’s contest for a border wall near San Diego, California, were torn down on Wednesday, to make way for a new section of actual border fencing.
To the president’s supporters, the eight 30-foot-high (9-meter) models were a symbol of his commitment to build a wall along the length of the U.S. Mexico border to enhance national security. To opponents, they were a waste of taxpayer money and an affront to Mexico and immigrants.
“Since the test and evaluation of these prototype models is complete, they have served their purpose and are now being removed,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman Ralph DeSio said in a statement.
Using jackhammers, ladders and blow torches, military special forces and CBP special units spent weeks trying to go under, over and through the walls to test their strengths and weaknesses.
The tests of the eight prototypes, which Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Michael Scappechio of the San Diego sector said cost between $300,000 and $500,000 each to build, showed the effectiveness of the kind of steel post, or “bollard,” fence that already exists along large sections of the border.
Now, a new 30-foot-high bollard fence is being built as a secondary barrier along a 14-mile (22.5 km) section, behind an existing, 18-feet-high bollard fence, Scappechio said.
The ability of agents to see through a barrier is crucial to their safety, and a fence made out of steel posts or “bollards” is easier to repair when breached and relatively cost effective, he said, while the 30-foot height is a deterrent to climbers.
The fence will also incorporate fiber optic sensor, Scappechio said.
Reporting by Andrew Hay in New Mexico; editing by Bill Tarrant and Leslie Adler
— Danny Freeman (@DannyEFreeman) February 27, 2019
Eric Trump bragged about the stock market as the US crossed 100,000 dead — and it didn’t go well
On Wednesday, the number of reported coronavirus deaths in the United States officially hit the 100,000 mark — a milestone experts have been anticipating for days.
But at the same time, President Donald Trump's second son chose to take the moment to brag about how the stock market was doing.
GREAT DAY for the DOW!! https://t.co/t0cK3wOKUu
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) May 27, 2020
Navajo Nation got masks from a former Trump official — that ‘are not approved by the FDA’: report
The Indian Health Service acknowledged on Wednesday that 1 million respirator masks it purchased from a former Trump White House official do not meet Food and Drug Administration standards for “use in healthcare settings by health care providers.”
The IHS statement calls into question why the agency purchased expensive medical gear that it now cannot use as intended. The masks were purchased as part of a frantic agency push to supply Navajo hospitals with desperately needed protective equipment in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
ProPublica revealed last week that Zach Fuentes, President Donald Trump’s former deputy chief of staff, formed a company in early April and 11 days later won a $3 million contract with IHS to provide specialized respirator masks to the agency for use in Navajo hospitals. The contract was granted with limited competitive bidding.
‘There needs to be a prosecution’ of cop who killed George Floyd: CNN guest says ‘call it what it is’
On CNN Wednesday, criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson walked through why the Minneapolis police officer responsible for George Floyd's suffocation death must be prosecuted.
"Bottom line, question here from looking at this, should the officer face charges?" asked host Erin Burnett.
"Erin, I don't think there is any question about that, and I think if you look at it, under any reasonable measure there needs to be a prosecution," said Jackson. "You know, when you look at issues of excessive force — and I know this comes with a lot of emotion, and it should because of the blatant nature of what occurred. But if you even look at it legally and forget about the emotion, you look and you see, was there an imminent fear that the officer was facing when he had his knee in the neck of Mr. Floyd? And the answer is resoundingly no. You look at the force he used, that is the officer, and you say is it proportionate to whatever threat was posed? The answer is no, you don't see any threat. You see a person detained and really not resisting at all."