Disneyland honors woman’s free admission pass from 1985

(CNN) — A lot of things have changed at Disneyland since 1985.

For starters, Captain Jack Sparrow is now the star of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and you can buy and drink alcohol inside Oga’s Cantina.

But one thing hasn’t changed: Canadian woman Tamia Richardson’s love for Disney.

In August 2019, the park honored visitor Richardson’s free entry pass from 1985. Although decades have passed since Richardson received the pass, she was allowed in without so much as a surcharge.

Tamia Richardson, center, enjoys her trip to Disneyland in August 2019.

Tamia Richardson, center, enjoys her trip to Disneyland in August 2019.

Disneyland Resort

Richardson, who lives in the Edmonton suburb of Sherwood Park, Alberta, was planning a girls’ trip to Disneyland with her mother, aunt, and daughters Mia and Maren when she found the coupon.

The mom of two first visited Disneyland in 1985 when she was 14 years old. That was also the year that Disneyland, located in Anaheim, California, celebrated its 30th birthday.

“As part of the 30th Anniversary, Disneyland featured the Gift Giver Extraordinaire, which gave out prizes to every 30th guest,” a Disney spokesperson explains to CNN Travel. “Tamia won a pass to use for a return visit. She kept the pass for 30 years and used it today for admission.”

“Disney’s big in our family,” says Kent Richardson, Tamia’s husband, who has been keeping the home fires warm back in Canada. “They’re having the time of their lives.”

Richardson's first visit to the park was in 1985.

Richardson’s first visit to the park was in 1985.

Disneyland Resort

Still, not every old pass or ticket that you find buried in the attic will necessarily be honored at the House of Mouse.

Passes that are confirmed not to be copies and that do not have expiration dates will be accepted for entrance into Disney parks, while “A B C D E” tickets (used for admission to individual rides or attractions) are not good for general admittance.

In the past, some Disney staffers have reportedly used a “Book of Life” if they needed to verify a particular pass.

Burned body found in dry lake bed in Joshua Tree

A burned body was found last week in a dry lake bed in Joshua Tree.

A caller contacted authorities Friday after discovering the body in a dry lake bed near Sunway Road and Rosehedge Avenue.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department homicide detectives are working to identify the man as well as find any witnesses.

No further details were available Monday.

Conan O’Brien vows to negotiate Trump’s Greenland deal, offers up Florida

“Conan” host Conan O’Brien is offering his negotiation skills to President Trump after it was reported that the president has expressed serious interest in buying Greenland.

“A lot of people have kind of been making fun of the idea for the past day or so… but not me,” O’Brien told his audience Monday. “You see, I want to give the President Trump the benefit of the doubt. What if we, the United States, did buy Greenland? It might just be a good idea. It seriously might. And as the elder statesman of late-night, what if I negotiated the deal?”

After sparking some laughs, the TBS host doubled down.

WOULD COLBERT INVITE TRUMP ON HIS SHOW AGAIN? ‘THE QUICK ANSWER WOULD BE NO’

“Seriously, what if I handled this historic negotiation?” O’Brien said. “I have as much, if not more, negotiating experience as Trump. I mean c’mon, an 11 o’clock timeslot on TBS, you don’t just get that!”

Despite Denmark insisting that Greenland is “not for sale,” the late-night comedian is convinced otherwise and warned that China will snatch it with “all cash.”

“So alright, Denmark, you want to play hardball? I’m ready to sweeten the deal,” O’Brien said. “We could do a straight trade: Greenland for Florida.”

The “Conan” host then highlighted some perks of being part of the United States, like being “enrolled in the U.S. health care system,” and never being cold by being “American fat.”

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He also announced that he was going to make an actual visit to the icy nation as part of his “Conan Without Borders” special.

“Here’s my promise… if I do not make this deal to purchase Greenland, if I do not make this deal, I, Conan O’Brien will never, ever again step foot on American soil,” he joked to this audience, which roared with applause.

Murder trial for man accused of murdering baby continues, prosecution expected to rest Tuesday

A man who posted a Facebook status update asking for advice on how to kill a baby while it’s in the hospital reacted calmly after he was told by security guards at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles he could no longer come visit his girlfriend’s 4-month-old son at the facility.

The man’s girlfriend did not indicate that Daniel McKie was a danger to herself or her son despite hospital staff encouraging her to keep her son away from McKie, according to a prosecution witness who testified Monday.

McKie, 21, is accused of causing the death of Anakin McKie, the son of his girlfriend, who died Feb. 26, 2017 in their home on the 12900 block of Umtali Road in Tehachapi.

An autopsy determined Anakin had injuries consistent with violent shaking, Prosecutor David Wilson said during opening statements last week.

Daniel McKie is not the biological father of Anakin, but they share the same last name.

Daniel McKie was formally charged with first-degree murder and assault of a child causing death. His bail was set at $1 million.

Eric Roseman, medical social worker at CHLA, was assigned to work with Anakin and his mother while he was at the hospital. Roseman is the social worker who dealt with the repercussions of McKie’s Facebook post, including advising Anakin’s mother to keep the baby away from McKie. 

When Roseman told McKie he had to leave the hospital and could not return, he said McKie “was very calm (and) not showing a lot of emotion” when he was escorted out by security.

McKie’s attorneys have argued that his Facebook may have been hacked and he did not post that status on his page.

The trial is expected to continue Tuesday. Wilson is expected to rest the prosecution’s case after final witness testimonies, including Anakin’s mother.

McKie’s attorneys will then give opening statements before presenting evidence and witnesses. 

Trump is stripping immigrant children of protections, critics say. Supporters say he’s closing loopholes

In the nearly four years since Alexis arrived alone in the United States as a 17-year-old from El Salvador, he has been granted asylum, learned English, secured a job at a bakery and studied for his upcoming driver’s license exam. This month he’ll file an application for permanent residency.

Now 21, Alexis feared being targeted by gangs in El Salvador that had beat up his sister and killed boys in his neighborhood for refusing to join. Living with his aunt and uncle in south Los Angeles, Alexis finally feels safe.

None of that would have been possible if Alexis were applying for asylum now. Recent significant changes by the Trump administration to asylum policy for children who arrived in the U.S. without a parent or legal guardian mean that he wouldn’t qualify.

“When I decided to come to the United States, that was a risk of my life,” he said. “They should help us more than they are trying to right now. We are humans as well. We have rights.”

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The policy shift is the latest in a string of reversals by the administration in protections for immigrant children, who have been the most prominent collateral damage in its crackdown on migrants at the southern border. As the overarching flow of migration has gradually shifted from mostly single men coming from Mexico to entire families coming from Central America, images of children being torn from their parents and held in cages have shocked the world and outraged not only immigrant rights groups and progressive voters but also many who otherwise back Trump’s policies.

Administration supporters argue that child migrants often are used, both by family members and strangers, in an exploitative way as cover for illegal activity.

David Inserra, immigration policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the challenge is how to make humanitarian programs like asylum help persecuted people but prevent others from abusing the help.

Too many loopholes incentivize people to bring or send their children to the U.S., Inserra said. He said the 1997 Flores Act, which limited the amount of time that children can be held in captivity, and the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which allows unaccompanied children to seek asylum in an interview with a trained asylum officer, had unintended consequences and that the administration is doing what it can to fix those problems, given Congress’ inability to enact necessary reforms, he added.

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“I think we all want to protect children, to make sure that they’re treated well,” Inserra said. “But I think we also need to do everything in our power to make sure there aren’t as many children coming to our border.”

The changes to asylum for unaccompanied children come as the federal government struggles with the arrival of thousands of Central Americans at the southern border. With more than 760,000 people apprehended by Border Patrol as of July — already a 92% increase over last year with two months left in fiscal 2019 — immigration authorities say they’re overwhelmed by the surge. Monthly totals have decreased significantly since May, which DHS credits to stepped up enforcement by the governments of Mexico and Guatemala.

Trump’s new policy on unaccompanied minors is an extension of his strategy to make asylum more difficult for practically anyone to obtain. The administration adopted a controversial policy last month forcing thousands of asylum seekers, including children, to live in Mexico while waiting for immigration court hearings. Last month, a federal judge in California temporarily blocked a broader rule that rendered asylum seekers at the U.S. border ineligible for protection if they passed through any other country and did not make claims there.

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, most recently reauthorized in 2013, children also are not subject to the one-year filing deadline for adult asylum seekers. The new policy makes it far easier to strip young migrants of their “unaccompanied” status, which affords them a measure of legal protection, making them more likely to be deported.

It requires asylum officers with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to reestablish that an applicant who was previously determined to be unaccompanied continued as such when filing for asylum. Applicants who file after they turn 18 or after they reunite with a parent or legal guardian must now raise their claims in immigration court.

The policy applies to all USCIS decisions after June 30. Anyone affected by the new policy who filed for asylum after being in the U.S. for more than a year is now ineligible.

Last month, lawyers with Public Counsel, KIND, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and the law firm Goodwin Procter sued to block the Trump administration from continuing to enforce the new policy, alleging that it violates the Constitution and the TVPRA. Lawyers said they’d already heard of numerous asylum denials based on the policy.

Earlier this month, a U.S. district judge in Maryland halted the policy from continuing and ordered the government to “retract any adverse decision already rendered in an individual case” under the new rules and reinstate the previous rules for asylum seekers.

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KIND President Wendy Young said that advocates spent decades building protections into law that accommodate the needs and vulnerabilities of immigrant children.

“What’s taken us 15 years to build is taking them two years to tear down,” she said. “Now we’re in a completely different political landscape, where they’re trying to pull us backwards in time and treat these children like adults again.”

Even so, Young said that the public outrage to the family separation policy last summer gave her hope.

“That was a strong reminder that people still care,” she said. “Particularly when these measures impact children, it awakens something in us as people.”

Scott Shuchart, legal strategy director at KIND, said that processing a child’s asylum claim poses a number of challenges beyond those facing adults. Trauma could impair a young person’s ability to promptly file for asylum, he said. And it could be weeks before they’re released from government custody and their sponsor or family finds a lawyer.

After clearing those hurdles, the child could require therapy before they’re ready to address what happened to them.

“There are reasons you do things different for children,” said Shuchart, a former DHS official who resigned last year over the administration’s migrant family separation policy. “They are dependent on an adult being available and competent enough to do things for them.”

Shuchart said he’s also overseen many cases in which adults in a child’s life protected them from knowing the real reasons behind atrocities that had happened to their family, causing lawyers to spend extra time finding an adult who could provide the details needed to build an accurate case after the child arrived in the U.S. unaccompanied.

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“How could you treat those cases the same way you treat the case of an adult who says, ‘I’m here to request asylum because X, Y and Z’?” he said.

A spokeswoman said it is USCIS policy not to comment on pending litigation. But in a previous interview with The Times, spokeswoman Jessica Collins said that “Congress must reform the law to address the underlying issues fueling the border crisis and encouraging unaccompanied minors to make the dangerous journey to the United States.”

Other attempts by the administration to rewrite the laws and overturn international norms governing the treatment of migrant children have led to intense court fights. Last September, the administration filed new proposed rules that would allow migrant children to be held indefinitely by relaxing the licensing requirements of facilities in which children can be detained. In November, lawyers moved to stop the rules from taking effect.

The government blames its disastrous family separation policy — which resulted in an outpouring of public anger and media criticism after thousands of children were removed from their parents — on the Flores agreement. The administration argues that the settlement puts it in a bind because no existing family detention centers meet the restrictive requirements for the treatment of minors, which forces authorities to release children while keeping their parents in custody.

Another bitterly divisive child-migrant policy was Trump’s move during his first year in office to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which provides immigrants as young as 15, the so-called Dreamers, with temporary protection from deportation. In response to lawsuits, two U.S. district courts halted the program’s termination and required USCIS to continue accepting renewal applications from DACA recipients while the lawsuits continue. Last month, the Supreme Court said it will take up the case.

In 2017, the administration abruptly ended the Central American Minors program, which allowed immigrants who were lawfully present in the U.S. to apply for refugee status or humanitarian parole on behalf of their children younger than 21, as well as for their spouses and grandchildren living in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. In announcing the termination, DHS said the “discretionary change in policy” doesn’t prevent those people from otherwise applying for temporary parole, which is generally issued on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons.

After advocates sued, a federal judge ordered the government to continue processing applications for more than 2,700 people who had already been approved by USCIS to relocate to the U.S. and were left in limbo.

Changes early last year to yet another program, called special immigrant juvenile status, affected young immigrants who were abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent. The classification, available by law to immigrants under age 21, allowed them to embark on a path to U.S. citizenship. The administration started rejecting applications from immigrants over age 18, saying it is adhering to laws in most states that set adulthood at age 18.

Advocates in California, Washington, New Jersey and New York sued over the denials. In California, a federal judge temporarily banned the government from trying to deport any applicants while the lawsuit continues. In New York, a judge found the government had violated federal law and ordered the Department of Homeland Security to reopen all petitions by applicants over 18.

John Sandweg, former acting director of USCIS and acting general counsel of DHS under Obama, said that stripping children of protections doesn’t deter people from coming. Sandweg said it could take ICE and Customs and Border Protection decades to recover from the negative reputation that the agencies have been hit with as a result of this administration’s policies. He said it has hurt recruiting, morale and the agencies’ ability to work with local law enforcement.

Sandweg said existing protections “were put in place for good reason.”

“When the numbers are elevated like they are right now, I think the need to have these safeguards is even more acute,” he added. “There’s just more opportunity to have harm come a child’s way.”

Many other countries have laws in place to protect migrant children. In Canada, for instance, children are detained “only as a measure of last resort.” In Italy, children are appointed voluntary guardians who support them with legal paperwork and other needs.

Numbers of arriving unaccompanied children reached a peak of 59,000 in fiscal year 2016, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Between October and July, 55,000 unaccompanied children were released from ORR care, more than a third of them age 17. Nearly half of those children went home with a parent or legal guardian.

Mark Greenberg, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, liberal-leaning Washington, D.C., think tank, said that there’s always been some ambiguity around the definition of an unaccompanied child. By law, unaccompanied children are under age 18, have no legal status, and no parent or legal guardian available in the U.S. to care for them.

Greenberg worked for the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees ORR, until 2017. He said leaders would sometimes question whether children who arrived at the border alone but reunited with parents should be regarded as unaccompanied. But he said the conversation always fizzled quickly.

“We very much saw the mission of the program as being to provide services and supports to arriving children and to help them get to their families,” he said.

Many child migrants arriving in the future won’t be afforded the same consideration.

Alexis turned 18 a week after he arrived at the Texas border. Once he was released to the care of his aunt and uncle, he went down a list of pro-bono immigration lawyers given to him at the shelter where he’d been processed. Public Counsel agreed to represent him.

When he appeared at immigration court to deliver a letter that his lawyers had written, the setting — adults in suits and a judge in a robe — made him nervous. He worried he’d say something wrong, even though he wasn’t on trial.

Later, sitting before an asylum officer, he felt much more at ease. The officer spoke Spanish and talked to him in a soft, friendly voice.

When Alexis received notice that his asylum petition had been approved, he wept for joy, he said. Since then, he’s tried to take advantage of everything he can. He plans to enroll in community college and hopes to one day become a nurse.

“It’s really sad to know that others won’t have the opportunity I had,” he said.

Reporter brutally punched during live hit at Mexico City protest: report

A television reporter in Mexico was knocked unconscious during a live broadcast while covering a tense protest sparked by allegations that police officers in Mexico City raped two teenaged girls, reports said.

The punch occurred during a march Friday against gender violence in the city and was broadcasted on ADN 40,  reports said.

Juan Manuel Jimenez, the reporter, was in the middle of a live broadcast when he was confronted by a female protester who screamed at him.

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Once she left, a man dressed in a white shirt and blue hat eases behind the reporter. He rears back and throws a devastating punch that connects squarely with the reporter’s chin, the video appears to show. The reporter drops his microphone and falls to the ground.

The alleged attacker is seen walking back into the crowd of protesters.

Jimenez took to Twitter to thank his followers for their support and said he has filed a complaint.

The crowd at the protest chanted “Rapist police!” and “My friends protect me, you don’t!” and some trashed a bus station, breaking windows and gates. The crowd moved on to a police station, where they smashed windows and set a fire on the second floor, the Associated Press reported.

A 17-year-old girl claimed that four police officers raped her in a patrol car, and a 16-year-old said an officer raped her in a museum, the BBC reported.

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The demonstrations have become known as the “glitter protests” after marchers earlier this week doused the city’s police chief in pink glitter.

The Associated  Press contributed to this report

Thunder on the Mountain brings a roaring good time to festival

TEHACHAPI — Going out with a noontime roar and winding down Tehachapi Mountain Festival weekend and its many activities is the Thunder on the Mountain Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show.

More than 260 cars and 50 motorcycles were positioned for viewing in downtown Tehachapi Sunday morning. Right at noon owners started up their vehicles an a deafening crescendo of heavy horsepower sounds filled the city with revving engines.

Noisy, yes, but all for a good cause.

“In the past, to date, shows have raised almost $500,000 that went to benefit local schools, charities, service organizations and veterans groups. It’s an important goal of our group to give back to our community,” show chairman Mike McHenry said.

Each vehicle entered is judged by class and condition and trophies are given out.

Hong Kong protests for 11th consecutive weekend

Protesters hold signs as part of a pro-democracy march in Victoria Park on August 18, 2019. Protesters hold signs as part of a pro-democracy march in Victoria Park on August 18, 2019. Joshua Berlinger/CNN

Thousands of protesters have streamed into Victoria Park ahead of today’s rally, which is expected to start at 2:30 p.m. local time (2:30 a.m. ET). Many are here despite the humidity and heavy rain.

The majority of the crowd are dressed in black, the color scheme that has become a signature of the pro-democracy movement.

What happens after the initial rally is unclear. Police denied organizers permission to march from the park through the city to central Hong Kong, a common route that’s often used during big demonstrations.

Previous attempts by police to deny organizers permission to march have failed to prevent demonstrators from following pre-planned routes.

Organizers called the decision to deny the march “unreasonable.”

The Civil and Human Rights Front (CHRF)’s Bonnie Leung said the group expects a huge turnout and is urging protesters to gather nonviolently.

Joe Biden heaps praise on GOP during Massachusetts fundraiser

Democratic 2020 presidential frontrunner Joe Biden praised Republicans as “decent people” at a Massachusetts fundraiser Saturday while touting his ability to work across the aisle, according to a report.

“There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there,” the former vice president told the audience, according to The Hill. “I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but the truth of the matter is, every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me. Because they know I respect the other team.”

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He said congressional Republicans ran because they “care about things,” but are afraid to be at odds with President Trump.

“They’re intimidated right now,” he told the audience, The Hill reported.

Biden took heat last fall when The New York Times published a story that said he “stunned Democrats and elated Republicans” three weeks before the midterms by lauding Republican House candidate Fred Upton, R-Mich.

He has also frustrated Democrats in the past by praising former Vice President Dick Cheney and calling Vice President Mike Pence “a decent guy.”

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While Biden — considered to be the most moderate of the top-ranked candidates — is largely running on his ability to work with Republicans, more liberal candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris are focused on promoting progressive plans like Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal.