Category: Cronkite News

Close, but no futuristic cigar: Teens finish second in engineering contest

Kendra Penningroth Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 Close, but no futuristic cigar: Teens finish second in engineering contest WASHINGTON – The judges were impressed, but when the awards were announced at the Future City competition Tuesday the Veritas Homeschoolers team came up just short, finishing second in the national engineering contest. In a room that looked more like a concert venue than a hotel ballroom, with hundreds of middle school students bouncing to flashing lights and a booming beat, the Arizona team and its vision of a future Quito, Ecuador, finished second to a fictitious future city designed by a team from north Texas. But the Veritas team members were still happy, noting that second place is an improvement over their fifth place finish in last year’s competition and that their success this year earned them $5,000 toward their STEM education. The same three 13-year-olds who spoke eloquently on stage about hydroponic food and biophillic environments just an hour earlier were almost at a loss for words after the ceremony. Jeremy Graunke, a three-time Future City attendee, said he was “super excited” while teammate Madyison Nichols was “ecstatic.” Adriana Baniecki said that she was happy to see the team’s improvement from last year. All three were also gracious, saying they could understand why Texas beat them out for first place. There was no animosity between the two teams, which high-fived...

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Supreme Court asked if Mexican family can sue in cross-border shooting

Alexis Egeland Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 Supreme Court asked if Mexican family can sue in cross-border shooting WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court was asked Tuesday if a Mexican family can sue a U.S. Border Patrol agent who shot and killed their teenage son while the youth and the officer were on opposite sides of the border at El Paso, Texas. An attorney for the family called it a “ridiculous, unworkable idea” that the Constitution “turns off” at the border and that Border Patrol Agent Jesus Mesa cannot be sued for the 2010 shooting of Sergio Hernandez, who was 15 at the time. But attorneys for the government argued that there has to be some line marking how far constitutional protections extend, and that line should be drawn at the border. They also said the case raises foreign relations questions that should be left to lawmakers, an argument that seemed to resonate with some justices Tuesday. The 2010 shooting of Hernandez is one of several along the Southwestern border, including a 2012 case in Nogales where a border patrol agent shot through the border fence and killed a teen who had allegedly been throwing rocks at the officer. No rocks were later seen in video footage of that incident, which has yet to go to trial. The El Paso case started when Border Patrol agents were called for a...

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Homeland Security details plans to enforce Trump immigration policies

Andres Guerra Luz Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 Homeland Security details plans to enforce Trump immigration policies WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security officially spelled out how it will enforce President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration orders, sparking the same debate Tuesday that followed the president’s original executive orders. The memos from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly call for 15,000 new border and immigration agents, reiterate plans for a border wall, target families that send money home to have their children “smuggled” into the U.S. and renew the department’s commitment to deporting anyone who has committed a deportable offense. They also call for expedited deportations of some immigrants and the expansion of programs that deputize local police agencies to act as immigration officers, among other changes. But the memos specifically let stand – for now – former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which deferred deportation for some immigrants. Immigration advocates took little comfort in the fact that DACA was exempted, saying the memos represent a “major departure” in U.S. policy and arguing that the Trump administration is merely laying the groundwork for mass deportations. Opponents said they are already studying the policy for the best way to challenge it. But supporters of stricter border enforcement policies welcomed the policy change, which one said was “long overdue.” The memos outline strategies to enforce Trump’s Jan. 25...

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February 21, 2017 Newscast

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 February 21, 2017 Newscast Immigration updates, school bullying and baked goods Cronkite News reports on the latest Trump administration immigration policies, the effect of bullying on student grades and Arizona regulations of home-based...

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Fortune 500 company Monsanto to grow GMO corn in Tucson

Alyssa Hesketh Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 Fortune 500 company Monsanto to grow GMO corn in Tucson TUCSON – Tucson-area residents who oppose a Fortune 500 company’s plans to grow genetically modified crops at a new greenhouse in Marana won a partial victory. The greenhouse will still be built but Monsanto is withdrawing its request for an incentive to cut property taxes by receiving Foreign Trade Zone status, according to a letter submitted to the Pima County Board of Supervisors. The board had been poised to vote on Monsanto’s withdrawal on Tuesday. “I am happy that the taxpayers are not going to be subsidizing them, but I am sad that they are continuing to expand and grow,” said Tucson resident Sandra Almasy. The withdrawal still means the corporation can build the seven-acre greenhouse on 155 acres it owns in Marana, near Tucson. Two corn headers sit in a half-harvested field in Marana, south of Interstate-10. (Photo by Taryn Martin/Cronkite News) Monsanto withdrew the Foreign Trade Zone proposal “to make those investments possible,” according to an emailed statement Tuesday. The company pledged to donate up to $500,000 to a local school foundation. Residents had fought the tax-break status for weeks. Sign-carrying protesters packed a hearing room one evening in January in continuing moves to try to stop the plan, despite little ability to do so. One man rapped his opposition, ending...

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