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Daily News Digest – December 26, 2018

Good morning! I hope you had a great Christmas. Forget Santa, the biggest holiday lie is the Elves. Putting toys together is no joke.
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, December 26.

1. After boy’s death, changes at the border.

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection ordered medical checks on every child in its custody Tuesday after an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala died.
  • It’s the second such death of an immigrant child at the border this month amid a caravan of thousands from Central America arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • The boy had been in CBP’s custody with his father since Dec. 18. Border agents first noticed the boy had a cough and “glossy eyes” Monday morning, leading them to hospitalize him twice.
  • CBP says it “is considering options for surge medical assistance” from caravan arrivals and may request help from the HHS, DoD, and FEMA.
  • That full story, including a timeline of events leading up to the boy’s death HERE.
The Blame Game
  • Immigration advocates, ever critical of President Trump and his policies, did not hold back in blaming CBP for child deaths along the border.
  • “Policies of cruelty toward migrants and asylum-seekers at the border must cease immediately before any more children are harmed,” said Margaret Huang of Amnesty International.
  • However, some are now aiming criticism at the organizers of the migrant caravan for aggressively pushing families toward the U.S. border instead of settling down in Mexico or other countries.
  • Pueblo Sin Fronteras (People Without Borders) has downplayed the dangers of the migrant caravan and the threat of deportation, say former members of the group and migrants themselves.
  • “We were never told along the way that it would be this hard,” said one immigrant after seeing the border wall topped with razor wire and the long waiting list for asylum seekers.
  • “There is no reason to make these inhumane journeys,” said Alejandro Solalinde, a Mexican priest who works with migrants, said of the caravans.
  • That full story HERE.


2. Langford near death.

  • Former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford is in critical condition and nearing death at a Kentucky federal prison where he is serving a 15-year sentence for bribery and public corruption.
  • Family was called up to the prison yesterday and is now by his side. A priest was called in to deliver last rites.
  • For more than a year, family and other advocates have called on federal prison officials to release Langford and let him die at home. That request for “compassionate release” was denied last November.
  • Langford is a legend in Birmingham and Alabama politics. In addition to serving as Birmingham mayor, he also served as mayor of Fairfield, where he got Visionland off the ground, and was a Jefferson County Commissioner. Before politics, he worked in public relations and was a television news anchor for almost 20 years.
  • Read and watch more from John Papke who is following the story and in touch with former Mayor William Bell.


3. Shutdown: reading the tea leaves.

  • It’s day five of the partial government shutdown over border wall funding.
  • President Trump is sticking to his guns. He said Tuesday that parts of the federal government will stay closed until Democrats agree to put up more and better barriers along the U.S.- Mexico border to deter criminal elements.
  • Here’s the news: Trump said he’s open to calling the wall something else as long as he ends up with an actual wall.
  • Speaking to reporters in a Christmas Day appearance in the Oval Office, Trump said a physical wall is the only way to stop drugs and human traffickers from entering the country.
  • “I can’t tell you when the government’s going to be open. I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they’d like to call it,” Trump said, referring to Democrats who staunchly oppose walling off the border.
  • “I’ll call it whatever they want, but it’s all the same thing…
  • “We can’t do it without a barrier. We can’t do it without a wall,” he said. “The only way you’re going to do it is to have a physical barrier, meaning a wall. And if you don’t have that then we’re just not opening” the government.
  • Democrats oppose spending money on a wall, preferring instead to pump the dollars into fencing, technology and other means of controlling access to the border.
  • Trump has argued that Democrats oppose a wall only because he is for one.
  • Reading the tea leaves here, they may be closer to a deal than it sounds.
  • If the disagreement comes down to whether a few billion dollars is spent on physical barriers, high-tech systems, security personnel, or on a combination of all three, that’s not a lot. ESPECIALLY if the president is now open to not calling it a “wall.”
  • Just remember, Democratic leaders might not want a compromise on this. Their base wants them to fight Trump, and every deal they make with him threatens their left flank.
  • Full story HERE.


4. This is how it starts.

  • So, here’s a concerning lede on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal…
  • “Behind the broad, swift market slide of 2018 is an underlying new reality: Roughly 85% of all trading is on autopilot—controlled by machines, models, or passive investing formulas, creating an unprecedented trading herd that moves in unison and is blazingly fast.”
  • Wait, are they talking about robots? Robots are controlling the financial markets??
  • That report by Greg Zuckerman, Rachael Levy, Nick Timiraos and Gunjan Banerji says this system of more or less automated trading has been baking into the financial markets during this long period of financial growth and hasn’t really been tested in a downturn – until now.
  • They talk to some smart sources who convey two important points: (1) that the surge of electronic/automated trading (including day traders) has made the recent stock decline worse and (2) that the recent stock decline is more of a function of failing markets rather than a slowing economy.
  • Dadgum robots.
  • Seriously, if true, that’s actually good news in terms of economic growth and where we are going. Maybe just more people and fewer idiots.
  • My brother is a real, human broker if anybody is looking for one…


5. In case you missed it…

You cannot be blamed for tuning out of the news for the last few days. Maybe you should be congratulated?
Still, the news from Alabama and Washington presses on, so below are links to the last few Daily News Digest to get you caught up.
(Pro tip: you can also just go open up the Daily News emails from the last few days…)




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump: ‘I can’t tell you when’ government will reopen
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – CBP orders medical checks after second child’s death
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Kyler, Tua and ‘Generation Z’ QBs take over college football
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Larry Langford in critical condition, family called to prison
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Group that escorts migrant caravans draws more scrutiny
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Skip Tucker: Christmas Memories
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Prison system: Alabama making progress in mental health
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – December dip continues, Trump blasts Fed
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gerald Dial: Points of Wisdom for New (and Old) Lawmaker
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Montgomery to have state’s first conversion charter schools.
AL.COM – Johnson: Priest called to Langford’s bedside, let the former mayor come home now
AL.COM – 8-year-old migrant dies in US custody on Christmas Day
AL.COM – 7-year-old girl who spoke to Trump about Santa still believes, didn’t know what ‘marginal’ meant
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Laid-back Labrador helps kids keep calm in the courtroom
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – ‘He gave his life to save others … He’s a good boy’: Police mourn K-9 slain on Christmas Eve
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – The stories that define Deshaun Davis’ career at Auburn
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Tagovailoa’s ankle ‘doing a lot better’ leading up to Orange Bowl
WHNT – First holiday season Alabama fully collects online sales tax
WVTM – Future gas tax hike in Alabama?
WPMI – 5-year old Alabama boy named one of CNN’s ‘most influential’ of 2018
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama’s Farley Nuclear Plant holds open house with emergency management officials
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Zeigler: The birth of Christ changed the world
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Roby: Sharing the true spirit of the season
DOTHAN EAGLE – Moma Tina’s Mission House providing food and more
DOTHAN EAGLE – Top 10 of 2018: Retail makes a comeback in the Wiregrass
DOTHAN EAGLE – Top 10 of 2018: Utility worker deaths stun hurricane-ravaged community
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Grocery store employee shot to death identified
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Former Alabama mayor critical, family called to prison
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Holidays on the River hours this week
DECATUR DAILY – Christmas just another work day for some
DECATUR DAILY – Deonte Brown among 3 Alabama players suspended for Orange Bowl
DECATUR DAILY – Becoming Santa Claus: Hartselle man sees role of Father Christmas as a ministry
DECATUR DAILY – Entrepreneurial program coming for Decatur area students
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Shoals unemployment at 11-year low
TIMES DAILY – Sheffield police, businesses step up to help families in need
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – January auditions set for ‘Cookies’
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Schools receive safety recognition
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Only 3 days left to enjoy Candyland [with gallery]
TROY MESSENGER – SURVEY SAYS: Results of school study poll revealed
THE ANNISTON STAR – Prescribed burn season starts next month
THE ANNISTON STAR – Christmas, age 11
Jacksonville boy becomes mobile on new four-wheeler
THE ANNISTON STAR – Look Back … to a long-ago Christmas, 1993
GADSDEN TIMES – FLEUR DE LOLLY: Try some different ways to use leftover holiday ham
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Police reports for Dec. 24
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – TURNER: A fond goodbye to the American tradition of Sears
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Still shooting: Bryce Brown fights fever, breaks drought in bounce-back win for Auburn
CULLMAN TIMES – Teacher treasures gift from student with ‘nothing to give’ but cereal
CULLMAN TIMES – Christmas shoebox recipient surprises AL family who sent her ‘life-changing’ gift
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – 9 transported in Christmas Eve crash on U.S. 31
THE MADISON RECORD – Linda Burgess To Be Enshrined In Athletic Hall Of Fame
THE MADISON RECORD – Recent study ranks Madison County second in state for best places to save money
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Two women die in crash on U.S. 78
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – A different mission field for Christ
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Oakman to develop property for parks and recreation
NEW YORK TIMES – Arms Sales to Saudis Leave American Fingerprints on Yemen’s Carnage
NEW YORK TIMES – Did a Queens Podiatrist Help Donald Trump Avoid Vietnam?
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Fat
WASHINGTON POST – Economic growth is slowing all around the world
WASHINGTON POST – Migrant boy dies in U.S. custody; Trump vows shutdown will last until border wall is funded
WASHINGTON POST – Eviction filings and code complaints: What happened when a private equity firm became one city’s biggest homeowner
USA TODAY – Government shutdown day 4: 5 things to know
USA TODAY – Guatemalan boy, 8, dies at border while in government custody, second to die this month
USA TODAY – Beto O’Rourke slams Donald Trump on government shutdown as talk about 2020 run intensifies
POLITICO – CBP orders medical checks after second child’s death
POLITICO – ‘Ideological soulmates’: How a China skeptic sold Trump on a trade war
POLITICO – Pope’s Christmas wish: World fraternity despite differences


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