Jakarta court: Extremist cleric sentenced to death

An extremist Indonesian cleric was found guilty of inciting terrorism and sentenced to death by a Jakarta court Friday.

Under heavy security, the South Jakarta District Court found Aman Abdurrahman, the leader of the ISIS-affiliated Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) militant group, guilty of inciting five terror attacks, including a January 2016 attack in which four people were killed and 25 wounded by a suicide bomber and gunmen in central Jakarta.

His lawyer, Asludin Hatjani, said that he had met the cleric Friday morning before court proceedings began, and Abdurrahman had told him he would “praise God” if he was sentenced to death. Abdurrahman has the right to appeal, and Hatjani says he will consult with his client to determine whether they will exercise that right.

Abdurrahman prostrated himself on the floor of the courtroom as the sentence was read out.

As many as 500 officers were deployed to the court for the reading of the verdict, according to South Jakarta Deputy Police Chief Budi Sartono.

The US State Department designated JAD as a terrorist organization last year, describing it as an umbrella group formed in 2015 and composed of almost two dozen Indonesian extremist outfits that pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Abdurrahman is the highest ranked cleric associated with the group.

He was scheduled to appear at a court hearing in May, but it was postponed after a deadly riot broke out at the jail where he was being held in Depok, West Java.

Abdurrahman had plead not guilty before the court’s verdict. The date of his planned execution by firing squad has not been set, as the defense decides whether to appeal.

ISIS sympathies

Up to 700 Indonesians have traveled to Syria in recent years to fight with anti-regime forces, with the majority allying themselves with ISIS, according to the Indonesian government.

Indonesia fighters have also appeared in ISIS propaganda.

The southeast Asian country has long struggled with domestic terrorist groups, particularly Jemaah Islamiyah, which claimed responsibility for 11 attacks between 2000 and 2010, including the deadly 2002 Bali bombings, which left more than 200 people dead and hundreds injured, many of them tourists.

Jemaah Islamiyah’s capabilities have been steadily eroded by a concerted counter-terrorism effort since 2009.

Indonesia has invested heavily in counter-terrorism, establishing the elite special forces unit Detachment 88, which has received support and training from the US and Australia, and has been credited with greatly reducing the number of attacks.

However, in a report on ISIS published earlier this year, the UN Security Council said the group’s losses in Iraq and the Syria may intensify the threat to southeast Asia.

The report named JAD and Jamaah Ansarul Khilafah as key ISIS-linked groups in Indonesia, saying that the former has been responsible for more attacks, but that the latter is a “growing threat.”

California ICE detainee diagnosed with chickenpox

An immigrant detained at a federal prison in California has been diagnosed with chickenpox, raising concerns among the prison staff.

The detainee is among 1,000 immigrants in federal custody who were recently moved to the Victorville Federal Correctional Complex, about 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles, according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

But John Kostelnik, president of the union representing the prison’s workers, said the California facility is understaffed and the arrival of the ICE detainees two weeks ago has made things worse.

“It’s causing a lot of chaos, a lot of confusion and quite frankly that confusion can lead to someone being killed or something else going wrong,” Kostelnik said.

There’s not enough doctors to accommodate all the detainees. Other detainees have been diagnosed with scabies and some have tested positive for tuberculosis, Kostelnik said.

Federal authorities said they have been working with the US Marshals Service, the Bureau of Prisons and private detention facility operators to find additional bed space after a recent surge in illegal border crossings.

“The use of BOP facilities is intended to be a temporary measure until ICE can obtain additional long-term contracts for new detention facilities or until the surge in illegal border crossings subsides,” ICE said in a statement.

The agency is closely monitoring the situation and “is confident in the care and oversight provided by the Bureau of Prisons and believe these are extremely safe and secure facilities for ICE detainees.”

CNN has reached out to the Bureau of Prisons but a request for comment was not immediately returned.

In New York City, some of the migrant children recently separated from their parents were also diagnosed with chickenpox and other contagious diseases, Mayor Bill de Blasio had said.

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease that is caused by the varicella zoster virus.

The virus causes an itchy blister-like rash that can be dangerous, particularly for people who get it late in life.

It is an airborne virus, so that means it can spread by breathing in the virus particles that come from the chickenpox blisters.

Chickenpox has become more rare since so many children have been vaccinated for it. The vaccine first became available in 1995.

For adults who get chickenpox, there can be more serious complications like pneumonia. Other symptoms include a loss of appetite, headache, tiredness and fever.

She got her son back after suing the Trump administration

A Guatemalan immigrant who sued top Trump administration officials over her family’s separation reunited with her son early Friday after a month apart.

Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia’s 7-year-old son, Darwin, arrived at Baltimore Washington International Airport on a flight from Phoenix early Friday.

His arrival came days after his mother filed a lawsuit against several government agencies and top Trump administration officials, asking a judge to order authorities to release her son.

Mejia, 38, accused US officials of violating her rights when they took Darwin from her at an Arizona immigrant holding facility in mid-May.

Lawyers announced in court Thursday that an agreement had been reached just minutes before a hearing in the high-profile case was to start.

Even as they celebrated what appeared to be a victory, members of Mejia’s legal team said their fight wasn’t over as long as immigrant parents and kids remained separated as a result of the Trump administration’s policies.

“This child is not the only child,” attorney Mario Williams said. “There’s thousands of children similarly situated we have to do something about.”

‘A knife in your chest’

Mejia told CNN this week that she’d been trying to learn her son’s whereabouts for weeks. But no one had given her a clear answer.

“It’s not fair for a mother,” she said. “It’s like they’re putting a knife in your chest and killing you.”

Meija’s case isn’t the only lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s months-long practice of separating kids and parents at the border, but it appears to be the first filed by an individual since officials announced their controversial “zero tolerance” policy.

On Wednesday a group of detained immigrants filed a similar lawsuit asking a federal court to reunite them with their children. And the ACLU has filed a class action lawsuit over family separations.

In an executive order Wednesday, Trump said he was reversing course and would be moving toward keeping families together in detention rather than splitting them up. But it’s unclear how the executive order could affect families who were already separated. Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have said they’re awaiting guidance.

Seeking damages

Mejia says she and her son came to the United States seeking asylum, fleeing death threats and domestic violence from her husband in Guatemala. They crossed the border May 19 near San Luis, Arizona, according to the lawsuit, and were immediately approached by Border Patrol agents and taken into custody.

Mejia says she never expected officials would take Darwin from her. The day they did, she says, they offered no explanation. They simply called his name, took him away and wouldn’t answer any questions, she says.

According to the lawsuit, when officials took away her son, “he was screaming and crying and did not want to be taken away from his mother.”

The HHS Administration for Children and Families, which runs shelters that house unaccompanied minors and children separated from their parents, hasn’t responded to a request for comment on Mejia’s son’s case.

The Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US Customs and Border Protection declined to comment, citing their policy of not discussing pending litigation.

Mejia was released from custody June 15 after Libre by Nexus, an immigration bond company, paid her $12,500 bond. A legal division of the company is representing her in court.

During their separation, the mother says she tried repeatedly to call the number officials gave her to track down her son. It rang and rang, she says, but most of the time, no one answered.

On Wednesday evening, she was able to get through. She told her son the ordeal would be over soon.

Standing outside the courthouse Thursday, she told reporters she’s starting to plan for their life in the United States. She wants to buy Darwin a soccer ball and a bicycle. And she’ll keep fighting for him.

Her goal, now that he’ll soon be back by her side: to give him a good education.

Texas Democrat: ‘Strong racist element’ to child detentions

Rep. Beto O’Rourke charged Thursday that racism is a factor in Trump administration policy leading to the detention of children at the border.

“This is a President who has called those asylum seekers, some of those asylum seekers, animals,” the Texas Democrat said. “He’s talked about this as an infestation. He’s described immigrants from Mexico as rapists and criminals. … There is a strong racist element to this policy.”

O’Rourke, in an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” said he was concerned about the lack of information the administration had provided on children it is separating from parents who have crossed the border illegally.

He described a visit to a border patrol station in McAllen, Texas, last week and said that when he asked a border official if they could track children after they went into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the official said, “We don’t know.”

“They are not answering any of our questions,” O’Rourke said of the federal government. “We are asking, for example, where are the girls? When I go to these detention centers and these processing centers, I see a lot of young boys. I don’t see the girls. They won’t tell us where they are.”

O’Rourke said that after being denied access before, he and Rep. Joaquin Castro, a fellow Texas Democrat, planned to visit a site in Tornillo, Texas, on Saturday to see the children there.

“I don’t know why it’s taken them two weeks to allow us to do that,” O’Rourke said. “But we’re going to make the most of that opportunity and check on the welfare of those children and try to help reunite them with the parents from whom they’ve been separated.”

President Donald Trump reversed himself on Wednesday, signing an order to keep more families together at the border as anger grew over children taken away from parents, and on Thursday, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to modify a court order limiting officials from detaining children for more than 20 days.

O’Rourke said the move underscored the intent of the administration and the possibility it would go back to the practice, if it were not able to modify the rule stemming from Flores v. Reno.

“This shows you how malicious this President’s intent is because what they’ve promised is if they are unsuccessful in this challenge to Flores, then they’re going to go back to separating families,” O’Rourke said.

Indian Country is Open for International Business

Published June 22, 2018 The National Center is the only Native organizations toe exhibit at the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit WASHINGTON – The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (the National Center) is exhibiting at the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit this week, which is occurring just outside of the nation’s capital in National Harbor, […]

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Idaho American Indian Student Fee Approved for Reduced Tuition Costs at ISU

Published June 22, 2018 IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO  – The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (Tribes) are pleased to announce that on June 21, 2018 in Idaho Falls, the Idaho State Board of Education (ISBE) approved a pilot project for Idaho State University (ISU) that would provide a new fee in lieu of tuition for all enrolled members of Idaho’s […]

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Remember the Removal Bike Ride Cyclists Complete 1,000-mile Memorial Ride

Published June 22, 2018 TAHLEQUAH — Cyclists from the 2018 Remember the Removal Bike Ride arrived in Tahlequah Thursday, finishing their three-week trek that retraced the northern route of the Trail of Tears. The ride started on June 3 in New Echota, Georgia, the former capital of the Cherokee Nation prior to forced removal to present-day Oklahoma. […]

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Notah Begay III to Host Annual New Mexico Grande Slam Golf Event on July 2 at Santa Ana Golf Club Event to Benefit Local Organizations Supporting New Mexico Children

Published June 22, 2018 SANTA ANA PUBELO, N.M. — New Mexico’s own Notah Begay III, four-time PGA Tour winner and current golf analyst for NBC Sports and The Golf Channel, is hosting the New Mexico Grande Slam – a premiere golf event celebrating and supporting New Mexico’s children. Event proceeds are directed toward the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation’s […]

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