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Powerful Southern California earthquake triggers fears of the Big One

51 0 05 Jul 2019

The strong earthquake that jolted Southern California on the Fourth of July and could be felt from the Pacific Coast to Las Vegas has frayed residents’ nerves and left many wondering if the worst is yet to come.

The 6.4 magnitude temblor — the most powerful to shake the region in 20 years — comes after a relatively calm stretch of seismic activity. But scenes Thursday morning of people taking cover, objects tumbling off shelves and walls, and roadways cracked have punctuated fears that at any moment, the “Big One” could strike.

A series of aftershocks, including one early Friday at a magnitude 5.4, wasn’t helping to soothe anxieties.

In the wake of the powerful quake, which caused damage but no serious injuries, scientists say its occurrence isn’t moving the needle with respect to the “Big One” — but they considered the possibility of an earthquake of at least a 7.8 magnitude along the southern San Andreas Fault, which slices through California like a scar.

“This earthquake does not make the ‘Big One’ anymore likely or any less likely,” Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the California Institute of Technology’s seismology lab, said at a news conference Thursday.

In a tweet prior to the earthquake, Jones said the “real probability” of a monster event is about 2 percent per year or 1/20,000th each day.

It remains difficult for scientists to predict when a massive earthquake could hit, but models have indicated that there is a small chance that one the size of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, of a 7.9 magnitude, could happen in the next 30 years, according to the Geological Survey.

Following an earthquake, aftershocks are common, and Jones said more than 80 have popped off after Thursday’s initial quake in the Mojave Desert, close to the small town of Ridgecrest and about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Seismologists have said that in the next week, there’s a 9 percent chance that an earthquake larger than a 6.4 magnitude could reverberate through the region, and an 80 percent chance of one that’s at least a 5.0 magnitude.

Two faults were involved in Thursday’s quake, but not the San Andreas, which is more than 100 miles away and in recent years was the subject of a Hollywood doomsday blockbuster.

Seismologists say the “Big One” would be 125 times stronger than Thursday’s earthquake and 44 times stronger than the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which killed 57 people and caused $49 billion in economic losses.

This latest quake was the strongest in the region since a 7.1 temblor hit in October 1999, about 32 miles north of the High Desert community of Joshua Tree.

This one was felt over such a wide area because it was shallow, only about 5 or 6 miles deep, according to the Southern California Earthquake Center.

California’s new ShakeAlert system detected the quake although it didn’t set off a public warning in Los Angeles County via a new smartphone app. Users are supposed to be alerted to earthquakes of at least a 5.5 magnitude, but by the time it rolled through Los Angeles, it was less than that, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told NBC Los Angeles.

He said that officials would work to lower the threshold for triggering an alert “as long as we can do it in a way that doesn’t create mass hysteria.”

Trump says hes considering executive order to add citizenship question to census

45 0 05 Jul 2019

President Donald Trump on Friday said he is looking at issuing an executive order to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

“We’re thinking about doing that, we have four or fives ways we can do it, it’s one of the ways we’re thinking about doing it very seriously,” Trump said when asked about using an executive order to add the question.

“We can start the printing (of the census forms) now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision, so we’re working on a lot of things, including an executive order,” he added.

However, such a move by the president directing the Census Bureau to include the question could prompt a new round of lawsuits from civil rights groups who initially sued to block the question.

Trump’s comments came as Justice Department lawyers are scrambling to meet a Friday afternoon court deadline to come up with a legal pathway for including the question — a reversal that was spurred by an irate tweet from the president earlier this week urging officials to press forward despite a Supreme Court ruling and public statements from the Justice and Commerce departments that the question would not be included.

“The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE!” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.”

The census forms are currently being printed without the citizenship question, officials have said.

U.S. District Court Judge George Hazel of Maryland ordered Justice Department lawyers to state by 2 p.m. Friday whether the government is ending its quest or whether it intends to keep seeking a way to add the question. If they are still pushing to add the question, the judge said, the lawyers must submit a proposed schedule for further legal proceedings.

Joseph Hunt, a Justice Department lawyer, told the judge in the Maryland case Wednesday the situation is “fluid.”

“We at the Department of Justice have been instructed to examine whether there is a path forward, consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision, that would allow to include the citizenship question on the census,” Hunt said.

In a 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the four liberal justices, the court majority said the government has the right to ask a citizenship question, but needs to properly justify changing the longstanding practice of the Census Bureau. Opponents of adding the question said it was designed as a Republican effort to depress response rates in largely Democratic immigrant communities.

Sudans rival groups reach power-sharing agreement after mass protests

49 0 05 Jul 2019

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Joyful dancing and singing greeted Friday’s news that Sudan’s ruling military council had signed a power-sharing agreement with opposition and protest groups.

The street celebrations in the country’s capital came after months of mass demonstrations and the ousting of dictator Omar al-Bashir, who restricted Sudanese civil rights and allowed inflation to skyrocket.

“Today is the start of Sudan’s history,” said pro-democracy activist Bushri Alsayem. “I wish that the next phase will fulfill the people’s struggle.”

The tensions rocking the huge, oil-rich northeast African nation had sent tremors of anxiety through the international community. The African Union sent in mediators and the State Department appointed a special envoy to Sudan amid fears that country of 42 million people would descend into chaos.

This image of a female protester gesturing and demanding former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to step down rallied protesters in Sudan and went viral around the world. Lana H. Haroun / Reuters

Meanwhile, protesters have resisted interim military rule saying it is an extension of Bashir’s leadership. The longtime autocrat has been indicted by the International Criminal Court over allegations of genocide in the Darfur region.

The two sides, which have held talks in Khartoum for the past two days, agreed to “establish a sovereign council by rotation between the military and civilians for a period of three years or slightly more,” African Union mediator Mohamed Hassan Lebatt said at a news conference on Friday.

The deal breaks weeks of political impasse and escalating violence between civilian protesters and the military since Bashir was deposed by a coup in April. Massive protests last weekend saw tens of thousands of demonstrators flood the streets of big cities and resulted in at least 11 deaths just ahead of the successful talks.

The two sides agreed to form an independent government and to launch an investigation into the recent violence.

They also agreed to postpone the establishment of a legislative council. They had previously agreed that the Forces for Freedom and Change coalition would take two-thirds of a legislative council’s seats before security forces crushed a sit-in protest on June 3, killing dozens, and talks collapsed.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday called on Sudanese authorities properly investigate all acts of violence and allegations of excessive use of force and also lift ongoing restrictions to the internet.

The streets of Omdurman, capital Khartoum’s twin city across the Nile River, erupted in celebration when the news broke, a Reuters witness said. Thousands of people of all ages took to the streets, chanting “Civilian! Civilian! Civilian!”

Young men banged drums, people honked their car horns, and women carrying Sudanese flags ululated in jubilation.

“This agreement opens the way for the formation of the institutions of the transitional authority, and we hope that this is the beginning of a new era,” said Omar al-Degair, a leader of the coalition.

“We would like to reassure all political forces, armed movements and all those who participated in the change from young men and women … that this agreement will be comprehensive and will not exclude anyone,” said Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy head of the Transitional Military Council.

“We thank the African and Ethiopian mediators for their efforts and patience. We also thank our brothers in the Forces for Freedom and Change for the good spirit,” said Dagalo, who heads the Rapid Support Forces accused by the coalition of crushing the sit-in.

Opposition medics say more than 100 people were killed in the dispersal and subsequent violence. The government put the death toll at 62. Since the uprising began in December, protest organizers say a total of more than 250 people have been killed.

Associated Press contributed.

Biden: I wasnt ready for Kamala Harris to attack me that way

43 0 05 Jul 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden defended his record and his recent debate performance in a CNN interview Friday, saying he wasn’t prepared for the way Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., attacked him in the Democratic debate.

“I was prepared for them to come after me,” Biden said in a one-on-one interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “But I wasn’t prepared for the person coming after me the way she came after me. She knew Beau, she knows me,” the former vice president said, referring to his deceased son, Beau Biden, who worked as a state attorney general like Harris.

In the interview, Biden said his record was “taken out of context” during the June 27 debate. Harris cited her own personal experience being bused to school in California to criticize his past opposition to busing; in the debate, Biden began to defend himself, before stopping and saying he was out of time.

In the Friday morning interview, Biden again sought to defend his record, saying he supported voluntary school busing and busing when a court proved that there were actions taken to segregate schools, but that he opposed busing when it was mandated by “unelected” officials.

“Busing did not work,” he said. “You had overwhelming response from the African American community in my state…they did not support it.”

As to the need to clarify his record a week after a prime-time debate, Biden criticized the time constraints and sparring during the event that included 10 candidates.

“What I didn’t want to do was get into that scrum,” Biden said.

Asked whether his debate performance undercut his presentation of himself as able to take on Trump, Biden said he can spar.

“I’m looking forward to this, man,” Biden said. “The idea that I’d be intimidated by Donald Trump? He’s the bully that I knew my whole life. He’s the bully that I’ve always stood up to. He’s the bully that used to make fun when I was a kid that I stutter, and I’d smack him in the mouth.”

Woman seen licking ice cream in viral video faces up to 20 years in jail, police say

46 0 05 Jul 2019

A woman filmed licking a tub of ice cream and returning it to a grocery store shelf in a viral video last week is facing up to 20 years in prison, police said Thursday.

The footage — which has been viewed more than 11 million times — shows the so-far unnamed woman opening a container, running her tongue across the ice cream then laughing as she places the violated dessert back in the freezer, in a branch of Walmart in the city of Lufkin, eastern Texas.

Police said on Wednesday they believed they had identified the suspect after “detectives had obtained surveillance video placing a woman matching the suspect description in the Lufkin store on June 28 around 11 p.m.” They are waiting to finally verify her identity before issuing an arrest warrant.

A viral video of a woman licking a tub of ice cream before putting it back on a shelf.

Police also want to speak to the man she was with, who is thought to have filmed the incident and can be heard encouraging the woman to “lick it, lick it.”

She could face a second-degree felony charge of tampering with a consumer product, the Lufkin police department said in an email statement to NBC News. The charge comes with a two- to 20-year prison term and up to $10,000 in fines, according to Texas state penal code.

Investigators are also in discussions with the FDA and additional federal charges could be made.

“Our detectives are working to verify the identity of the female suspect before a warrant is issued for her arrest on a charge of second-degree felony tampering with a consumer product,” a police spokesperson said.

“As that portion of the investigation continues, detectives are focusing on identifying the male (in the green shirt) behind the camera seen in images of the two entering the store together.”

Police added that detectives will continue to work through the Fourth of July holiday on the case.

The search to determine exactly where the incident took place sparked an investigation spanning from San Antonio to Houston, police said on Facebook.

Blue Bell Creameries, the local manufacturer of the ice cream brand the woman licked, has called the incident a “malicious act of food tampering.”

All tubs containing the mix of creamy vanilla ice cream with swirls of chocolate fudge and dark-chocolate-covered roasted peanuts have been removed from the store’s shelves as a precaution, the company said. The specific carton believed to be compromised was found among the lot.

In an earlier statement, the company explained that its cartons are frozen upside down in production, which creates a natural, tight seal by freezing the lid to the tub, meaning consumers would notice if any tampering occurred upon opening a fresh tub.

Harris, Biden escalate war over busing, school desegregation

59 0 05 Jul 2019

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris sparred on Thursday over the former vice president’s views on busing, one week after the California senator thrust the issue to the forefront of the Democratic debate.

Biden defended his record on school integration even as he encouraged Democrats to “move on” from a discussion of a complex debate centered on his decades-old statements and votes.

“I don’t have to atone,” Biden told NBC News in Independence, Iowa, following a Fourth of July parade. “My record stands for itself. I’ve always supported voluntary busing, which she was part of.”

Across the Hawkeye State, Harris disputed any suggestion that her position on busing mirrors Biden’s, one day after she said the tactic should be one of many options in the “toolbox” available to address inequality in schools.

“He has yet to agree that the position he took then was wrong, and he and I just disagree on that,” she said.

Biden said last week after the debate that he has always made a distinction between busing to remedy so-called de jure segregation of schools, or segregation that resulted from state or local laws, which the former vice president says he has supported the use of busing for to help curtail, and de facto segregation, which developed more organically, and where the federal government should not impose mandatory busing.

But there is little accounting from that time period that provides evidence that Biden, then a senator from Delaware advocated for voluntary busing. Instead, there are a significant number of on-the-record statements from Biden at the time broadly arguing against the practice of busing — statements highlighted by campaign aides from both candidates as part of a furious back-and-forth on Twitter between top Biden and Harris aides.

And…

In 1975, Biden suggested busing is an “asinine concept” and he argued for different means to address inequalities in the school systems.

At the first Democratic presidential debate last week in Miami, Harris knocked Biden over his past comments and opposition to court-ordered busing.

From the debate stage, she questioned his working relationship in the 1970s with two segregationist senators — which burst into the news days earlier after Biden had told supporters about that, citing an era of civility and bipartisanship in the Senate. Harris said chided Biden, saying those senators “built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing.”

And on Thursday, at a Fourth of July campaign stop, she challenged Biden on his past opposition to busing, noting that she was a student who benefited from a busing program in her Berkeley school district as a young girl.

Biden, after the debate last week, said he has long held the position that localities should be able to establish voluntary busing programs to aid school integration efforts, and that busing should be a remedy to segregation that is sanctioned by local or state governments. He said the federal government “should have a role by breaking down the barriers that exist in institutional racism.”

On Thursday — in response to Harris’s critique of his record in the 1970s — Biden said anyone can “easily distort” his record from decades ago.

Biden’s 2007 autobiography includes his first direct accounting of an openness to busing. He wrote about a tense discussion of busing with constituents in the 1970s.

“Look, I told them, I was against busing to remedy de facto segregation owing to housing patterns and community comfort. But, he wrote, if it was intentional segregation, “I’d personally pay for helicopters to move the children.”

In the past, and even now, though, Biden seems to have viewed busing as an imperfect solution for an issue with deeper root causes.

Biden and his team have been quick to suggest that Harris now holds a position on busing that largely mirrors how he views the issue.

On Wednesday, Harris told reporters that she believes it is the role of localities to implement busing to desegregate schools, and on Thursday, she added that she would back federally-mandated busing “if we got back to the point where governments were actively opposing integration.” Harris said there is no such current scenario, however.

Harris’ present-day position on busing faced questioning after she asserted that schools are just as segregated “if not more segregated.”

“I support busing,” Harris told reporters in San Francisco on Sunday. “Listen, the schools of America are as segregated — if not more segregated — today than when I was in elementary school. And we need to put every effort, including busing, into play to desegregate the schools.”

Despite the back and forth between the two campaigns, neither Biden nor Harris has proposed federal oversight over local actions.

Harris noted this week that she backs a bill introduced in the Senate that would offer federal grants for a school district to invest in implementing proposals to help better integrate the schools within its jurisdiction. That measure, however, would not force districts that do not choose to seek the grants to take any specific actions to integrate.

“We still do have segregation in our schools, so it needs to be addressed,” Harris said. “And of course I am in support of whatever tool is available to those school districts to implement further integration.”

Biden said Thursday the country needs “to move beyond” the issue of busing, noting that the focus should be on addressing issues of “neighborhoods that, in fact, have substandard schools.”

Trump delivers remarks at military-style Salute to America event

61 0 04 Jul 2019

President Donald Trump took the stage Thursday for his “Salute to America” Fourth of July celebration in Washington — a military-inspired event that brought tanks to the Lincoln Memorial.

“Today, we come together as one nation with this very special salute to America,” Trump said after taking the stage to chants of “USA.” “We celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend our flag — the brave men and women of the United States military.”

U.S. Army does a fly pass as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the “Salute to America” event at the Lincoln Memorial during Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in Washington.JOSHUA ROBERTS / Reuters

As the president walked out, holding hands with first lady Melania Trump, Air Force One flew over the large crowd assembled on the National Mall.

Throughout his remarks, Trump praised existing military branches and promised that “very soon, the space force” would join them.

“Someday soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars,” he said.

After urging young Americans to join the armed forces, Trump invited Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper up to join him on stage. They stood on either side of Trump as he recited the heroics of members of the Coast Guard on D-Day and introduced the air assets the crowd would soon see — expected to be a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, a MH-65 Dophin helicopter and a C-144 turboprop plane, according to two U.S. Defense Department officials familiar with the planning Tuesday.

The Air Force flyover was next, with two F-22 Raptor planes flanking a B-2 stealth bomber. As the roar of the planes faded, more cheers of “USA! USA!” broke out. The third flyover was courtesy of the Navy, the fourth, the Marine Corps.

A B-2 Spirit plane (C) escorted by two F-22 Raptors fly past Lincoln Memorial during the “Salute to America” Fourth of July event on July 4, 2019.Brendan Smialowski / AFP – Getty Images

Trump previewed one of those air assets as a VH-92 helicopter — soon to be the new Marine One, the presidential helicopter. The Marine Corps has said it is currently in the testing and evaluation phase in Maryland.

The Army provided the fifth flyover made up of four Apache helicopters.

“We all share the same home, the same heart, and we are all made by the same almighty God,” Trump concluded, before inviting the first lady, Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials and guests to watch the Navy Blue Angels aerial acrobatics show on stage alongside him.

After the military band played “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the Blue Angels roared over the Washington Monument in formation.

The president’s speech came after a downpour soaked those who took the president’s advice and arrived early to the event and created some uncertainty over whether the military flyovers would be able to take place as planned.

More rain and possible thunderstorms are in the forecast for the rest of the evening Thursday, The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch active until 8 p.m. for parts of the nation’s capital and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs, The Associated Press reported.

Critics of what Trump said would be the “show of a lifetime” raised concerns about the cost to taxpayers, the appearance of politicizing a traditionally non-partisan celebration and worries that the military is being used as a political prop.

President Donald Trump speaks alongside acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper, left, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford during the “Salute to America” Fourth of July event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP – Getty Images

Two Trump re-election campaign officials told NBC News Thursday that the “Salute to America” would not be documented for future campaign ads or video, calling it “entirely an official White House event.”

Trump says his military-style July 4th event will be one of the biggest celebrations in U.S. history

47 0 04 Jul 2019

President Donald Trump touted his upcoming military-style Fourth of July event Thursday, which he claimed will be “one of the biggest celebrations” in U.S. history.

“Be there early,” the president said in a tweet Thursday morning.

His “Salute to America” event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington is set for Thursday evening, with Trump scheduled to speak at 6:30 p.m.

He tweeted that the event will include “large scale flyovers of the most modern and advanced aircraft anywhere in the World,” and teased that “perhaps even Air Force One will do a low & loud sprint over the crowd” ahead his speech.

“People are coming from far and wide to join us today and tonight for what is turning out to be one of the biggest celebrations in the history of our Country, SALUTE TO AMERICA,” he said.

The president’s military display will also include performances by The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Band, the Armed Forces Chorus, the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Tanks are already in place on the National Mall.

The event has drawn concerns from Democrats and critics who say the president is inserting himself into a national holiday and could turn the celebration into a campaign rally. Others, like retired Navy Admiral James Stavridis, have said they are worried about the appearance of politicizing the military.

“Whenever you kind of array the U.S. military as a backdrop, and then you make a speech in front of them, what everybody, every military person is hoping, is that that speech will not be political, will not be partisan, that it really will be a speech of unity and talk about patriotic values,” Stavridis said on MSNBC Thursday morning.

Campaigning in Nevada Wednesday, 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said, “Donald Trump is handing out tickets to his big donors, that’s a campaign event.”

“And if he is going to do a campaign event, then it should be paid for by his campaign contributions. It should not be paid for by the American taxpayer,” she added.

Two Trump campaign officials told NBC News Thursday that the “Salute to America” would not be documented for future campaign ads or video, calling it “entirely an official White House event.”

However, those officials acknowledged some campaign staff could be in attendance — off the clock.

“Some campaign staff may be attending as spectators because we received tickets as a courtesy, much like for the Easter Egg Roll or White House garden tours,” one campaign official said, referring to annual traditions that take place at the White House.

Meanwhile, Trump’s 2020 campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh dismissed complaints that the president is co-opting the Independence Day event for political purposes.

“President Trump loves this country. He’s not going to apologize for that,” Murtaugh said.

The “Baby Trump” balloon makes an appearance at Independence Day celebrations in Washington, D.C., on July 4, 2019.Carlos Barria / Reuters

There have also been concerns about the cost. According to The Washington Post, the National Park Service is diverting roughly $2.5 million in entrance and recreation fees from parks around the county to cover the tab for Trump’s event.

The diverted fees, however, represent just a fraction of the total cost, which remains unclear. In a tweet on Wednesday, Trump downplayed the cost, writing: “The cost of our great Salute to America tomorrow will be very little compared to what it is worth.

“We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel. We own the tanks and all. Fireworks are donated by two of the greats. Nice!”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., another White House hopeful, contended Thursday that the money would be better spent elsewhere.

“I think we need money to go into affordable housing, I think we need money to go into rebuilding our infrastructure,” Sanders said after he finished walking a parade route in Slater, Iowa. “I’m not quite sure we need money to go into put tanks in downtown Washington, D.C.”

Shark attacks arent on the rise. But heres how to stay safe this Fourth of July.

43 0 04 Jul 2019

This Fourth of July, it’s safe to go in the water.

Despite a recent handful of shark attacks and sightings in the Atlantic Ocean, experts say 2019 is shaping up to be an average year in terms of encounters. The experts also said that the global average of shark attacks is trending downward.

“You’re more likely to die taking a selfie than being bitten by a shark,” said Tyler Bowling, manager of the Florida Program for Shark Research. “The odds are crazy.”

In June, Jonathan Hernandez, a professional boat captain and fisherman from Florida, was bitten by a shark while spearfishing in the Bahamas. Just days before, Jordan Lindsey, 21, died after being attacked by a shark while snorkeling with her family in the Bahamas.

Additionally, three people in North Carolina were bitten by sharks in June. An 8-year-old boy was bitten while swimming off Bald Head Island. North Carolina teenager Paige Winter lost her leg and several fingers when she was attacked while swimming in Fort Macon, and Austin Reed, 19, is recovering from a shark bite to his foot when he was surfing at the state’s Ocean Isle Beach.

The summer months, when more people are visiting beaches and swimming in the water, can lead to more encounters because humans are entering shark territory, experts said.

“If there are more people in the water, there are more encounters,” Mike Heithaus, a marine biologist at Florida International University, said. “They are big predators and we need to respect them, but in most areas of the world, shark populations are down.”

Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, said the global average for the last decade was 85 unprovoked shark attacks per year, but said in 2018 attacks were down to a global average of 66 unprovoked attacks.

“It’s really quite straightforward,” Naylor said. “Animals bump into people by chance. If there are no people in the water and lots of sharks, the probability of an attack is zero. If there’s lots of people and no sharks, it’s zero.”

Hannah Medd, founder of the American Shark Conservancy, said that the downward trend for shark bites and deaths is due to better public awareness, but added that higher reporting of shark attacks is likely due to information being more widely available rather than an actual increase in attacks.

“It reflects more of our day and age of information-sharing than actual numbers increasing,” Medd said.

When a shark does bite a human, that shark has mistaken a part of the human for a smaller fish.

“They see a flash of movement and they react,” Bowling said. “They’re hunters. It’s a mistake if they bite and then they realize, ‘I bit something huge,’ and they freak out and swim off. They’re not after people.”

For those who are still fearful of sharks this summer, the experts say the best thing you can do is to go swimming in a group, avoid swimming at dawn and dusk, refrain from long periods of splashing, which can sound like struggling fish to sharks, and keep away from shiny jewelry when in the water, which can look like fish to a shark.

Bowling added that sharks in shallow water are typically after small, shiny fish — usually referred to as bait fish — and to leave the area if you notice those fish nearby.

Experts said having sharks in the ocean maintains healthy populations of fish and an ocean that benefits humans as much as sea life. Additionally, experts said that the thing people should be more fearful of this summer is riptide currents, which can be lethal.

“It’s scarier to see the fin than a rip current, but [a rip current] can cause much more damage,” Medd said.

Drawings by migrant children in detention show them in cages

47 0 03 Jul 2019

The incoming president of the American Academy of Pediatrics said Wednesday that children should not be held in detention centers after she toured Customs and Border Protection facilities last week.

“Children do not belong in Customs and Border Protection facilities, or in any detention facilities,” Dr. Sara Goza told NBC News. “No amount of time spent in these facilities is safe for children.”

“More children will continue to die if we do not make sure that every child who passes through federal custody is seen by a pediatric-trained medical professional,” she said. “I personally toured two CBP facilities and did not encounter a single pediatrician at either one.”

The AAP provided NBC News with drawings it said were made by children recently released from CBP custody depicting themselves in cages.

The pictures were drawn by children at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, which is run by Sister Norma Pimentel. The Respite Center is where many families go after being released from CBP custody and processing before heading to their next destinations. The center is where many families get their first shower, clean clothes and a hot meal after arriving in the U.S.

The children were asked to draw on these canvases depicting their time spent in CBP custody, according to the AAP.

One drawing was by a 10-year-old boy from Guatemala, another by an 11-year-old child from Guatemala; and the third one was by a different 10-year-old child, but the child’s country of origin is unknown.

The AAP does not currently know which CBP facilities housed the children, but said it was working to find out.

Goza said that during her visit to CBP’s Central Processing Center, known as Ursula, in McAllen, “the first thing that hit me when we walked in the door was the smell.”

Pictures drawn by migrant children at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, according to the AAPAmerican Academy of Pediatrics

“It was the smell of sweat, urine and feces,” she said.

Goza described seeing a “cage with boys” between the ages of about 10 and 12.

“They were quiet, and just staring, blankly,” she said. “There were just blank stares and no expressions on their faces.”

On Tuesday, pediatricians from El Paso who have provided care for migrant families released into the U.S. called on immigration authorities to allow them access to children in Border Patrol facilities.

Pictures drawn by migrant children at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, according to the AAPAmerican Academy of Pediatrics

Dr. Carlos Gutierrez, who has been helping migrants at the nonprofit Annunciation House in El Paso, said migrants say their medications are taken from them and not given back after they enter U.S. custody.

“It’s just not right. That’s not the way to practice good medicine,” he said.

There is also no contact is allowed between “whoever is providing the medical care” in detention centers and “us on the outside,” he said.

“That is not medical care. That’s malpractice,” he said.

Gutierrez said doctors are willing to go into those facilities and help, the way they had in previous years such as during the 2014 influx of unaccompanied migrant children.

“It’s very upsetting and I hope to God that this changes quickly,” he said.