Daily News Digest June 23, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

OPINION

Optimism may be illusory, but it’s all we have at this point, so, when it stirs, anywhere, it’s worthy of nurture and support. Over the past week, ever since the administration*’s crimes against humanity along the southern border were revealed, there became an edge to the political opposition that has not been there through all the marches and the rhetoric that have attended this government since the president* was inaugurated. Up until now, all of the #Resistancehas contained a barely acknowledged undercurrent of futility. It was not that the opposition was empty. It was that it generally broke like a wave on a seawall when it collided with the immutable fact that the president*’s party controlled every lever of political power at the federal level, as well as a great number of them out in the states, too.

“Desperate times at our southern border call for desperate measures on the other side:” That was the very loud message from right-wing leaders in the United States and Europe this week.

Their desperate measures shocked the world. The Trump administration’s policy requiring thousands of infants and children to be seized from their parents and held in detention left leaders and citizens aghast (and its most inhumane elements remain in place). On the other side of the Atlantic, we watched the new Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini order boatloads of migrant families turned back into the sea, following his call last year to deal with immigration with a “mass cleansing, street by street, quarter by quarter.”

The United Nations has issued a damning condemnation of Donald Trump's policy that saw migrant children separated from their parents at the border, suggesting it "may amount to torture".

In a statement issued by the UN's Human Rights Council, experts said the president's recent executive order, ostensibly to halt the controversial separations, failed to resolve the problem and "may lead to indefinite detention of entire families in violation of international human rights standards".

A federal judge on Friday rejected former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's motion to dismiss a money laundering charge against him.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied the motion in a court filing.

The most important thing to understand about the Russia scandal is that it perfectly fits a clear pattern of behavior. What Vladimir Putin is accused of doing to help Donald Trump win the presidency is essentially identical to what he is either accused of or proven to have done to help many other right-wing candidates in many other countries. As the plot in the United States is slowly exposed, a remarkably similar one in the United Kingdom is quickly surfacing.

Attorneys for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafortwant a judge to bar any mention of Manafort's connections to the president at his Virginia trial. In court papers, Manafort's lawyers argue that because Manafort's alleged crimes occurred before he ever served on President Trump's campaign, any mention of Manafort's connections to Mr. Trump are irrelevant. 

Federal prosecutors warned they were diverting resources from drug-smuggling cases in southern California to handle the flood of immigration charges brought on by the Trump administration’s border crackdown, records obtained by USA TODAY show.

Days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed prosecutors to bring charges against anyone who enters the United States illegally, a Justice Department supervisor in San Diego sent an email to border authorities warning that immigration cases “will occupy substantially more of our resources.” He wrote that the U.S. Attorney’s Office there was “diverting staff, both support and attorneys, accordingly.”