U.S., Mexico tout agreement to avoid tariffs » New tariffs will not take effect on Mexican imports today. That, after the Trump administration reached an agreement with Mexico on Friday to avoid them.
President Trump touted the deal over the weekend saying Mexico has agreed to take “strong measures” to curb the migrant surge on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Republican lawmakers on Sunday expressed relief, including Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.
JOHNSON: Tariffs are a tax on American consumers, and we don’t want to see them in place long term. Nor do I believe President Trump does either. He’s using tariffs as leverage in trade negotiations, and I think he used them as leverage in this situation brilliantly, quite honestly.
Democrats counter that the president is behaving recklessly with the U.S. economy. And they point to media reports that some of Mexico’s supposed concessions were measures its government had already agreed to. The White House disputes those reports.
For its part, Mexico says it’s happy with the deal. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the two countries reached a very fair compromise.
EBRARD: We have reached some middle point. For instance, they accept to support that Mexico proposed in Central America.
Mexico has stressed the need to address the root causes of the exodus from Central American countries.
Under the agreement, Mexico will deploy 6-thousand troops to its southern border, beginning today. Their mission is to combat illegal immigration and to dismantle human trafficking rings.
The Mexican government also agrees to expand a program that returns asylum-seekers in the U.S. to Mexico until immigration judges weigh their claims. And it will “offer jobs, healthcare, and education” to those people.
But Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said they won’t simply take Mexico’s word for it.
MCALEENAN: There’s a mechanism to make sure that they do what they’ve promised to do, that there’s an actual result, that we see a vast reduction in those numbers.
SBC begins convention following release of report on abuse » A special Southern Baptist advisory group has released its report on sexual abuse in the denomination.
The Southern Baptist Convention formed the advisory group last year. The report contained several first-person stories by abuse survivors and acknowledged a variety of failures in how the SBC has responded to abuse.
The advisory group issued 10 recommendations and cited some action the denomination has already taken. One example—a nine-member team has put out a training curriculum for churches and seminaries to improve responses to abuse.
Among other measures, the study group also is considering new rules for background checks of church leaders.
The findings come as the SBC prepares to open its annual meeting this week in Birmingham, Alabama.
Massive protest in Hong Kong against proposed extradition to mainland China » Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched through Hong Kong on Sunday.
AUDIO: [Sound of Hong Kong protest]
Demonstrators pushed back against a proposed law that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China to face charges.
The government will bring the legislation to the full legislature this week, bypassing the committee process in a bid to win approval by the end of June.
Protestors don’t trust the courts in mainland China. They worry that some accused of crimes could be subjected to torture. They also say China could use the law to unfairly target critics of the Chinese government.
19 Democratic presidential hopefuls gather in Iowa » Nineteen White House hopefuls gathered in a banquet hall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Sunday. Most of the gigantic presidential field was on hand for the Iowa Democratic Party’s blockbuster fundraiser.
SANDERS: If we believe in Medicare for all as a human right, we must take on the power of the insurance industry.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, heard there, currently ranks second in an average of Iowa polls with about 19 percent.
The party’s early frontrunner Joe Biden, who’s polling at 24 percent in the state did not show for the event.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has seen his stock soar since jumping in the race, was on hand.
BUTTIGIEG: Here in Iowa where you turned heads ten years ago, we know that you’re not free if some county clerk gets to tell you who you ought to marry based on their idea of their religion.
Buttigieg currently trails only Biden and Sanders in Iowa polls with 12 percent.
Other top candidates spoke at the event as well, including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.