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Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018
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Michigan father deported after three decades in community; AIDS crusader Mathlide Kim dies; more in U.S. news

Michigan

This was his home for 30 years, then ICE forced dad from family

With two immigration agents hovering nearby, Jorge Garcia pulled his wife and their 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son close for a final hug at the Detroit airport. Soon after, the 39-year-old landscaper from Lincoln Park boarded a plane bound for Mexico, deported Monday after three decades of living, working and raising a family in the U.S. Garcia was brought to the country with an undocumented relative when he was 10. His deportation was stayed during the Obama administration as his family looked for ways to get him legal status. Under President Donald Trump, that was no longer an option. "He deserves to be here in a country that he’s known, not Mexico," Cindy Garcia, Jorge’s wife of 15 years and an American citizen, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday, adding these deportations affect 11 million others. Immigration and Customs Enforcement didn’t respond to a message seeking comment Tuesday. Jorge Garcia’s deportation turned him into the latest public face of what many critics have called Trump’s cruel and excessive crackdown on undocumented immigrants. Under the Obama administration, people in Garcia’s position were rarely targeted for deportation. He was just barely too old to qualify for the Obama policy Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. "I got to leave my family behind," Garcia told local media. "... It’s just hard." Said AJ Freer of UAW 600, one group that turned out with the Garcias at the airport: "For a man who cares deeply and supports his family, obeys the law, pays taxes and has a history of helping others, I think ICE and the federal government of the United States acted cruelly to this family."

New York

AIDS crusader Mathilde Krim dies

Mathilde Krim, a prominent AIDS researcher who galvanized worldwide support in the early fight against the deadly disease, has died. She was 91. Krim was founding chairwoman of The Foundation for AIDS Research, or amfAR. The nonprofit said she died Monday at her home in King’s Point. "So many people alive today literally owe their lives" to her, said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost in a statement. Krim was a geneticist with experience in cancer research when AIDS first surfaced in the early 1980s. Over the next several decades, she mobilized a vast army of celebrities and others to help raise money and battle against homophobia, superstitions, fears and prejudices that have stigmatized many people with AIDS. Using amfAR as her platform, Krim promoted needle-exchange programs and the use of condoms and other safe-sex practices; castigated religious leaders who denounced homosexuality as immoral; fought mandatory AIDS testing that might be used to persecute gay people; opposed the use of placebos in experimental drug trials, saying patients might be dead before outcomes were proved; and campaigned for laws to bar discrimination against gay people in housing and employment. In 2000, Krim was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the nation.

Washington, D.C.

White House directed Bannon silence in House panel interview

Steve Bannon’s attorney relayed questions, in real time, to the White House during a House Intelligence Committee interview of the former Trump chief strategist, people familiar with Tuesday’s closed-door session told the AP. As lawmakers probed Bannon’s time working for President Donald Trump, Bannon’s attorney Bill Burck was asking the White House counsel’s office by phone whether Bannon could answer. He was told by that office not to discuss his work on the transition or in the White House. It’s unclear with whom Burck was communicating. He is also representing top White House lawyer Don McGahn in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the questions were relayed over the phone, calling it a typical process.

Nation

To stop preventable deaths, panel says lower drunken driving level

Most women would need to draw the line at two drinks and men at two or three if states follow a blueprint by a prestigious scientific panel for eliminating the nation’s annual, preventable 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving deaths. The U.S. government-commissioned report by a panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine made multiple recommendations, including significantly lowering drunken driving thresholds. It calls for lowering the blood-alcohol concentration threshold from 0.08 to 0.05. All states have 0.08 thresholds, but Utah’s will lower to 0.05 on Dec. 30. The amount of alcohol required to reach 0.05 depends on several factors. The report cites studies indicating most women over 120 pounds would reach 0.05 after two drinks. Men weighing up to about 160 pounds would likely reach the lower threshold at two, and those over 180 pounds at three. The panel also recommended states significantly increase alcohol taxes and make alcohol less conveniently available. Research suggests a doubling of alcohol taxes could lead to an 11 percent reduction in traffic crash deaths, the report said. It also calls for cracking down on sales to people under 21 or who are already intoxicated to discourage binge drinking. — tbt* wires

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Michigan father deported after three decades in community; AIDS crusader Mathlide Kim dies; more in U.S. news