UA's Burdett up for women's pro soccer draft
Arizona and FC Tucson standout a possibility for NWSL draft
When the National Women's Soccer League has its draft on Thursday afternoon, among the choices for the teams will be University of Arizona and FC Tucson goalkeeper Lainey Burdett.
"Obviously, I'm super excited to see what happens," said Burdett, a Las Vegas native. "What ever opportunity comes my way... that's what I want to do. It's a waiting game at this point."
Should she be taken by a pro team, Burdett, the all-time shut-out leader for Arizona, would be the first Wildcat to get drafted. It's not by chance, says Arizona head coach Tony Amato.
"She came in talented and she built off of that talent every step of the way," said Amato. "(Assistant) Paul (Nagy) has done a great job working with her. She's gotten better in all areas, from shot stopping to taking crosses in traffic, more direct communication."
"She's got the mindset to be pro. That's what she wants...that goes a long way," he added.
In addition to normal on-field training, Burdett worked with both a nutritionist and a strength and conditioning coach so that she'd be prepared for the rigors of the professional game.
Another special help was Nagy, who was a professional goalkeeper for the Dallas Burn. Nagy gave her advice from the perspective of an undrafted player that had to prove himself in various team camps before getting picked up.
"He's been my comfort through all of this," she said.
Burdett still has a few classes to complete before graduating from the University of Arizona. This will make the experience a bit different from the NBA and NFL prospects gathered in a ball room watching the draft.
"I'm going to have it on during class," she said.
Don't mock this draft
Trying to game out the draft is tricky. Although Burdett is on the draft list, players could be added until Wednesday afternoon. Late entries upend coach's plans and make much punditry on the matter superflouous. As an example, Stanford defender Tierna Davidson threw her name into the draft as the deadline neared. She's a national-team prospect and most coaches are probably trying to figure out how they can make room for her on their draft lists.
The guessing game is a bit more difficult for goalkeepers like Burdett. A field player may get drafted even if there are others in that position because there may be a need to change formations and they can get subbed out of games easily. Not so with keepers. In addition, NWSL rosters, for the most part, only include two instead of the usual three netminders, which cuts down on possible spots for wannabe goalies.
For example, Chicago Red Stars, which up until this afternoon had three of the nine first round draft positions due to trades, picks first. Their starting keeper is Alyssa Naeher, who is the national team's keeper. They also already have a back-up. That's not a team looking for a third keeper.
But, and I promised this was complicated, Naeher could be playing for the U.S. national team in the World Cup this year. That's probably eight weeks gone between training camp and playing in France. Would a team like the Red Stars want to go ahead and put a third keeper on their roster to accommodate for that?
There are a number of teams with U.S.-capped keepers that could be in the same situation. Even if undrafted, Burdett could be called to try out for after to fill a gap.
Although she'd could be the first draft pick, she wouldn't be the only Wildcat to play at the top flight of American women's soccer.
Wildcat standout Analisa Marquez played for the Boston Breakers and the Atlanda Beat of the WPS, and also played for the Buffalo Flash of the second division W-League. The Salpointe grad returned to Old Pueblo soccer for two seasons with FC Tucson.
Renae Cuéllar played three seasons at Arizona before finishing her college career at Oklahoma. She started her NWSL career at FC Kansas City, but was not drafted. Instead she was allocated as a Mexican national team player. She also played for the Seattle Reign and Washington Spirit. Although not on a club roster, she played in two friendlies for Mexico in 2018.
Lainey Burdett hoping to be first Arizona Wildcat drafted into NWSL: ‘I feel really good about it’
DEMS INTRODUCE NEW FEDERAL ‘ASSAULT WEAPON’ BAN THAT INCLUDES PISTOL BRACES
Democrats lead by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday rolled out their most sweeping assault weapons ban proposal since 1994.
The planned Assault Weapon Ban of 2019 targets the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of “military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines,” as defined by the California Democrat and her co-sponsors, Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
“This past year, we’ve seen Americans rise up and demand Congress change our gun laws. Banning assault weapons would save lives,” said Murphy, who in the past has spoken out against what he termed “the imaginary 2nd Amendment.”
Besides outlawing 205 gun models by name — Feinstein’s original 1994 ban only listed around 20 specific models — the proposal would also define an “assault weapon” as a semi-automatic with a detachable magazine that included one of a list of cosmetic features that are deemed “military characteristics” such as a threaded barrel, pistol grip or folding stock. This is less lenient than the previous ban which allowed a “features test” that included two such characteristics.
In addition, the measure would expand federal law to ban adjustable stocks, Thordsen-style stocks such as used in “featureless rifles” marketed in states like California, “assault pistols” that weight more than 50-ounces when unloaded, and popular pistol stabilizing braces that have become widespread in recent years. Detachable magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds would be prohibited from transfer and guns grandfathered when the ban takes effect would be required to be locked up when not in use. A background check would be mandatory for future sale or gifting of grandfathered guns, even between two private parties.
Joining Feinstein in her effort to “get these weapons of war off our streets,” are at least 25 other Dems in the Senate who have promised to sign on to the legislation. However, with Republicans in charge of the chamber, it is unlikely the measure will make it out of committee without bipartisan support.
Meanwhile, in the now-Democrat controlled House, Rhode Island U.S. Rep. David Cicilline has been elevated to a leadership position in that body and has since 2011 backed a series of bans on semi-automatics similar to Feinstein’s latest attempt.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is pushing a ban on commonly owned semiautomatic rifles and “high capacity” magazines.
She announced the push via Twitter where she wrote: “Americans across the nation are asking Congress to reinstate the federal ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. If we’re going to put a stop to mass shootings and protect our children, we need to get these weapons of war off our streets.”
Feinstein wants to ban any “assault weapon” which “accepts a detachable magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock.”
Sen. Murphy commented on the proposed ban, saying, “Military-style assault rifles are the weapons of choice for mass murderers. There’s just no reason why these guns, which were designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, are sold to the public. This past year, we’ve seen Americans rise up and demand Congress change our gun laws. Banning assault weapons would save lives, and I’m proud to join Senator Feinstein in introducing this bill.”
On May 30, 2018, Breitbart News reported a study from the Rockefeller Institute of Government showing that mass shooters’ weapon of choice is actually a handgun. The Rockefeller Institute looked at 50-year time frame–1966 to 2016–and found that mass shooters preferred handguns to rifles of any kind by a nearly 3 to 1 margin.
Mexico prepares for arrival of next Central American migrant caravan
The head of Mexico’s immigration office, Tonatiuh Guillen, left on Wednesday on a trip to El Salvador and Honduras to meet with his counterparts and other authorities, said Interior Ministry spokesman Hector Gandini.
Mexico hopes to discourage a mass exodus from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and wants Central Americans who decide to migrate north to do so in an orderly way and through legal ports of entry.
“The doors to Mexico are open to anyone who wants to enter in an orderly fashion,” Gandini told Reuters in a telephone interview. “But whoever wants to come in illegally will be deported.”
Previous Central American caravans became a flashpoint in the debate over U.S. immigration policy.
That was intensified by the recent deaths of two migrant children in American custody and a partial U.S. government shutdown over U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the border with Mexico.
There are 12 legal ports of entry for Central Americans on Mexico’s southern border, but Mexican authorities have identified an additional 370 illegal points of entry on that frontier, Interior Minister Olga Sanchez said this week.
Mexico borders in the south with Guatemala and Belize.
The illegal entry points will be “monitored and controlled to avoid undocumented access of people to our territory,” Sanchez said.
Guatemala’s deputy foreign minister, Pablo Cesar Garcia, met with Mexican authorities on Tuesday to discuss the caravan and to “provide all the necessary support to the migrants,” said Guatemalan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marta Larra.
“In Honduras, they kill us,” read an appeal circulating on social media for people to assemble in the violent Honduran city of San Pedro Sula next Tuesday to start the long trek north to the United States.
While other social media posts invite people to leave from nearby Santa Barbara on Jan. 20, U.S. authorities hoped to dissuade Central Americans from making the journey.
“The risks of illegal immigration are serious. Don’t waste your time and money on a trip destined to fail. The road is long and very dangerous. Thousands of Hondurans who participated in the caravan came back sorry,” Heide Fulton, the U.S chargé d’affaires to Honduras, said on Twitter on Wednesday.
Reporting by Diego Ore; Additional reporting by Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa, Sofia Menchu in Guatemala City, Nelson Renteria in San Salvador and Lizbeth Diaz in Tijuana, Mexico; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Peter Cooney
Mexico’s National Institute of Migration’s commissioner, Tonatiuh Guillen, went to El Salvador and Honduras to meet with authorities of those countries to ensure that the entry of Central American migrants into Mexico takes place in an orderly manner.
“Mexico’s doors are open for anyone who wants to enter in an orderly manner… but whoever wants to come in illegally will be deported,” Gandini said without explaining how Mexican authorities will seek to discourage the new caravan.
Using the motto “In Honduras They Kill Us,” the new migrant caravan will depart on Jan.15 from San Pedro Sula, near the border with Guatemala. Across social networks, other caravans also rallied to depart on Jan. 20 from Santa Barbara.
In 2018, thousands of Central American migrants fled violence and poverty in their countries and joined a caravan heading to the United States.
During the journey through Mexico, the caravan unleashed the wrath of President Donald Trump, who seeks to build a wall to keep migrants out. Since then, thousands of people who were on the caravan have been stranded in northern Mexico while waiting to cross into the United States.
A month ago, the U.S. government informed Mexico that migrants whose asylum requests are being processed will be returned to Mexico for the duration of the paperwork, something that could last for more than two years.
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), who took office on Dec. 1, said he will seek to eliminate the causes of migration by creating more jobs and improving living conditions in southern Mexico and Central America.
Since early October, Joshua Rubin has camped outside a tent facility in the El Paso County town of Tornillo that has housed thousands of migrant children, seeking to bear witness to what he considered an awful injustice. The 66-year-old software developer from Brooklyn watched the daily movement of the camp and noticed that the children enjoyed their only moments of freedom on the soccer field.
“One of the things that struck me every time is how much effort those kids spent in kicking those balls over the high nets that they put up, over to freedom. You go around back there (beyond the camp fence) and you’re going to find dozens of soccer balls that have been kicked out. It takes a special effort to get them out, but symbolically it was quite moving to see,” said Rubin, who created a Facebook page called “Witness: Tornillo” to document what he and others were seeing. The balls booted to freedom often bore the signatures of children who were interned at the facility, many of them for months.
Now, the children are following the soccer balls into freedom. Though the Trump administration won’t commit to a closing date, the last of the 6,200 children held there since June are likely to leave this weekend, according to two sources familiar with the operation of the tent facility, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The government says about 850 children remained in Tornillo as of Monday, though the sources said the number dropped below 400 on Wednesday, down from a peak of 2,800 in mid-December. The tents and other temporary structures that have been set up since June at the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry are expected to be gone by the end of the month. A detention camp that became the symbol of perhaps the largest mass incarceration of children not charged with a crime since the Japanese-American internment of World War II will soon become history.
“What I hope the world remembers about the Tornillo tents is that they were a child incarceration facility, a child jail, in the 21st century,” said Georgina Cecilia Pérez, a Texas State Board of Education member who lives in Tornillo. “I also hope the world forever tells the story of not only the universal outrage but the endless dedication and efforts of the El Paso community to shut it down, reunite families, and protect children.”
The tents started springing up in Tornillo on June 10, 2018, as the Trump administration was taking migrant children from parents who were accused of entering the country illegally. The site initially had 400 beds, but the Trump administration planned to expand it to 4,000. Officials dangled a billion-dollar, no-bid contract to two Texas companies, but both declined, Texas Monthly reported in late June.
Protesters—including politicians and Hollywood celebrities—swarmed to the remote site, which became for many a living symbol of the administration’s family separation policy. But Tornillo never held more than a few dozen children taken from their parents. The Trump administration ended the controversial practice two weeks after it had opened Tornillo, and a day after it failed to find a taker for its huge no-bid contract to expand thefacility. But the end of family separation had little impact on Tornillo, because other administration policies that received less attention than family separation were swelling the numbers of migrant children held by the government.
Shortly after Tornillo opened, the administration began implementing new rules for finding sponsors for what the government calls “unaccompanied alien children,” who arrive at the border without a parent or guardian. (As part of family separation, the Trump administration reclassified children taken from their parents at the border as unaccompanied minors.) The number of Central American children entering the United States without parent or guardian exploded in 2014 and has fluctuated since then.
Unaccompanied children are placed with an agency called the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The children usually are placed in one of more than 100 shelters set up across the country, including 35 in Texas. Occasionally, children have been placed in so-called “influx shelters,” temporary facilities utilized when the numbers of unaccompanied children surged. The Obama administration established such a shelter at Fort Bliss near El Paso in September 2016 during the last major surge of unaccompanied children; it closed shortly before Donald Trump became president in January 2017. Like Tornillo, the 1,800-bed Fort Bliss facility was operated by BCFS Health and Human Services, a San Antonio-based nonprofit that specializes in disaster relief efforts.
The total number of unaccompanied children apprehended in fiscal year 2018, which ended September 31, was just over 50,000, a 21 percent increase over the prior year. However, those numbers were well below 2014 and 2016, the other two major surges. New policies were lengthening the amount of time children were held by the government before being placed with a sponsor – growing from an average of 30 days at the end of the Obama administration to 75 days by December. The main cause of the delay was a major policy shift that turned the Office of Refugee Resettlement—which was responsible for unaccompanied migrant children—from a social welfare agency into one that became part of the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement efforts.
Texas Monthly first detailed the policy changes in late June. In the past, potential sponsors of unaccompanied minor children—usually a parent or other family member in the United States—had to pass an ORR background check to ensure they could provide a safe home. A family member other than a parent who wished to sponsor a child had to submit fingerprints as part of the background check. But the Trump administration began requiring fingerprints of all potential sponsors, as well as any other adult in the household. Under a memorandum of agreementsigned in April, ORR agreed to share fingerprints and other data with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an unprecedented action.
Experts warned that such a step would deter many potential sponsors because their households often include undocumented immigrants. “In the last administration we felt that it was important that the Office of Refugee Resettlement not be functioning as a partner in immigration enforcement because that wasn’t what the program was supposed to do,” Mark Greenberg, who oversaw the unaccompanied migrant program at the end of the Obama administration, told Texas Monthly in June. “The program was supposed to provide shelter and services to children and help them get to a parent or other sponsor. And it would completely defeat those goals if parents and other sponsors were afraid to come forward because of immigration enforcement.”
The warnings from Greenberg and others were borne out. Potential sponsors were increasingly reluctant to expose themselves or other family members to deportation. ICE acknowledged in December that it had arrested at least 170 people it learned about because of the sponsor fingerprinting program. The number of migrant children in ORR custody grew from about 3,000 at the outset of the Trump administration to 9,000 just before family separation began and then to 15,000 in mid-December. Tornillo was expanded from its 400 original beds to 500 in August, then 3,800 in September.
On December 18, 2018, the administration backed off the requirement that all household adults provide fingerprints, acknowledging that the requirement had little value and was delaying the release of children to their families. The policy reversal appeared driven at least in part by BCFS, the nonprofit running the Tornillo shelter under contract with the government. BCFS officials made clear in November that they wanted out of the contract, then began pressing the Trump administration to relax the fingerprint process as a way of reducing the number of children in custody and clearing the way for an end to Tornillo.
Since mid-December, the number of migrant children in government custody has dropped from the record high 15,000 to about 11,400 as of Monday, HHS spokeswoman Evelyn Stauffer said. That is getting close to the number of beds in ORR’s network of permanent shelters, but the agency is keeping open a second temporary facility at Homestead, Florida, near Miami. That facility housed 850 children as of Monday, down from about 1,300 in December. The administration plans to add 1,000 beds to Homestead in the coming months, bringing its capacity to 2,350.
The rapid expansion of migrant children in government custody over the past year has proven costly. The Trump administration had to divert almost half a billion dollars from medical research and other Health and Human Services programs to cover unbudgeted costs in fiscal year 2018. The cost to operate Tornillo was at least $144 million between June and November, BCFS officials told Texas Monthly. December figures aren’t yet available but are likely to approach an additional $50 million or more, given known population figures that month and BCFS’s estimate that it costs $775 a day to house a child in Tornillo.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that the thousands of children detained at Tornillo and elsewhere, especially those held for months, will face continuing risks to physical and emotional wellbeing. “Qualitative reports about detained unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States found high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and other behavioral problems,” AAC said in a 2017 report. ORR says children and sponsors have access to post-release services, including behavioral health care.
Migrant children and their caretakers are not the only ones leaving Tornillo. Rubin, the Brooklyn software engineer who kept vigil in a small camper since October, left on Monday. He said he promised his wife he wouldn’t stay more than three months. Rubin said he will continue his mission to ensure that Americans don’t forget what happened at Tornillo in 2018. “The thing that always struck me is that the government has an odd and inconsistent narrative. It says first that these are very, very dangerous people that we have to confine. And then it says we have to protect them, and we have to keep them a really long time in confinement, to protect them from what are essentially their families,” Rubin said.
“We expect the vast majority of [unaccompanied alien children] currently at Tornillo to be released to a suitable sponsor by the end of the month,” said Mark Weber, spokesperson for the federal Health and Human Services agency, which oversees the care and detention of undocumented minor children. “If a suitable sponsor has not been identified for [unaccompanied minors] by the time operations at Tornillo conclude, the [immigrant] will be transferred to an appropriate shelter in the [Office of Refugee Resettlement] network.”
The facility near El Paso opened in June to house mainly unaccompanied minors who crossed the border without parents or guardians. Critics decried the facility as a “tent city” after it was hastily erected, and its construction led to several protests organized by elected officials. At one time it held more than 2,500 undocumented minor immigrants who crossed the border seeking asylum.
On Tuesday, HHS said the population at the facility was down to about 850 children and its goal was to “to close Tornillo as quickly but as safely as possible – for both the [immigrants] and all the personnel who have worked faithfully for months providing excellent care for these vulnerable children” Weber said.
The closure was first reported by VICE news, which also reported that as recently as last week, the facility still held 1,500 unaccompanied minors. The outlet also published photographs of the facility's tents being dismantled.
News of the facility's potential shuttering comes after the contract between HHS and Texas-based BCFS Health and Human Services to operate the center was extended several times since last summer. In June, BCFS officials said they were hopeful that the Tornillo facility would only be needed for a few weeks, but the federal agency extended the contract after the number of migrant children crossing the border remained steady or increased during the last half of 2018.
On Tuesday, a BCFS official said the company's goal was in line with HHS's timeline and the company hoped to have the facility empty by the middle of the month and completely closed by Jan. 31.
Weber said in his emailed statement that circumstances beyond HHS's control could determine whether the migrants still at Tornillo are able to be united with sponsors already living in the United States.
"There are all sorts of factors that come into play that impact our ability to transfer or release [unaccompanied minors] to suitable sponsors … ranging from cancelled airplane flights because of weather (happens all the time) to scheduling a home visit when needed," he said.
"Tornillo tent city for migrant teens is on the verge of shutting down" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Emo rap-reggae pioneers Twenty One Pilots, psychedelic rockers Tame Impala, and hip-hop royalty Travis Scott will headline this spring’s Boston Calling music festival, organizers announced Thursday morning, ending months of speculation over who would be named the top acts for the fest's landmark 10th edition.Scott’s performance — expected to carry over elements from his ambitious “Astroworld” tour — will mark his Boston Calling debut; Twenty One Pilots last appeared at the fest in 2014, while Tame Impala played the following year.
The decision to pursue all three stemmed in part from a desire to prioritize exceptional live performers, says booking director Trevor Solomon. “There’s such an energy in the audience at Twenty One Pilots shows,” he said. “Travis Scott is a legend in the hip-hop game. And for Tame Impala, especially with the new music they have coming, it was the perfect opportunity to have them back to headline.”
“[Marina’s] the perfect example of an artist we wanted for our 10th year,” says Solomon, who noted she’s the only artist returning from its first incarnation. “She fits what this whole fest is about; having her on board was very important.”
Elsewhere, “Be the Cowboy” trailblazer Mitski and teen prodigy Snail Mail are carrying the torch for intimately anthemic indie-rock; expect DJs Chromeo, Mura Masa, and Snakehips — on the other end of the genre spectrum — to transform the fest grounds into a stadium-sized dancefloor.
Fans of more charged-up rock-band antics can look forward to Greta Van Fleet, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, White Reaper, and an impressively full-scale Australian invasion (Tame Impala aside, Gang of Youths, Skegss, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and Easy Life are all also heading up from Down Under).
Rounding out the music schedule: Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Sheck Wes, King Princess, Tank and the Bangas, Denzel Curry, Yaeji, Princess Nokia, Ravyn Lenae, Young Fathers, Superorganism, Turnstile, SOB x RBE, Cautious Clay, Shame, Pale Waves, Dessa, Kilo Kish, Sasha Sloan, Naeem, and Adia Victoria.
“We wanted to take the last nine festivals and combine them,” Solomon said. “That was really something we honed in on this year, in getting the best bands possible, be it a smaller band from Australia or the biggest hip-hop artist in the world.”
Though it’s forgoing a film festival component this year (actress Natalie Portman curated one last May), Boston Calling has doubled down on a broader “comedy and entertainment” section. “Saturday Night Live” cast members Michael Che and Melissa Villaseñor, Milton-bred actress Jenny Slate, and “Portlandia” star Fred Armisen are the biggest names in a comedy program that will also include Sam Jay, Marina Franklin, and Lamont Price. Grammy winner Imogen Heap is expected to present a spoken-word performance using high-tech gloves that produce sound by capturing movement and hand gestures.
“Imogen adds a different element,” Solomon explained “It’s a Keynote-style performance that she’s done at Ted Talks in the past.”
A limited number of three-day general admission, VIP, and platinum VIP tickets are now available at www.bostoncalling.com starting at $249; a new tiered pricing structure means ticket prices will increase gradually as tier levels sell out and the fest approaches.
The 2019 Boston Calling lineup is here, and organizers are clearly emphasizing variety for the 10th edition of the festival.
Alt-rock duo Twenty One Pilots, rapper Travis Scott, and psychedelic pop-rock group Tame Impala will headline the 2019 music festival, which will be held at the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston from May 24 to 26.
Other high-profile names among the 55 acts scheduled to perform include indietronica duo Odesza, rapper/singer-songwriter Logic, and funk/R&B singer Janelle Monáe.
The festival will once again also feature a Comedy and Entertainment lineup, with Michael Che, Fred Armisen, and Milton native Jenny Slate headlining. The non-comedy performances on the bill will come from a series of performances by Boston Ballet, as well as a spoken word performance by English singer-songwriter Imogen Heap.
A limited number of “Announce Day” three-day passes are on sale for the next 24 hours on the festival’s website for $249 plus fees, while Announce Day VIP three-day passes (which offer perks like a fast pass entrance to the festival, a VIP lounge with a full bar, and air-conditioned bathrooms) and platinum VIP three-day passes (which come with VIP perks plus access to elevated views of the two main stages, premium food and beverage options, and exclusive merch) are available for $599 and $1,099, respectively. Once Announce Day tickets are gone, the prices will increase to $264, $629, and $1,129, respectively, with prices gradually increasing over time as the festival start date draws closer.
Check out the full Boston Calling 2019 lineup below. Single-day lineups and set times will be announced at a later date.