Saudi youth avoids execution — A Saudi teenager who faced possible execution for acts he was accused of committing as a child has been handed a 12-year prison sentence instead, a human rights group that has been monitoring his case said Sunday. Last year, the Saudi public prosecutor’s office sought a death sentence for Murtaja Qureiris, now 18, but the threat of execution did not become public until last week, drawing international condemnation. The charges filed against the teenager related to his attendance at anti-government protests, some that took place when he was as young as 10. He was arrested at 13 and has been held in prison since.
Southeast Asia says it’s sick of the West’s trash — After China, once the world’s primary dumping ground, abruptly imposed restrictions on “foreign garbage” in late 2017, countries across Southeast Asia began taking in the West’s plastic waste. Malaysia replaced China as the world’s largest importer of plastic scrap. But Malaysia and others across the region soon saw the waste as an environmental nightmare, and a heavy backlash has begun. With public support, some advocacy groups have urged officials to permanently ban the import of plastic waste. But at a time when the world is awash in such plastic, some experts worry that this backlash could raise the chances that plastic scrap will end up in rivers, oceans, dumps and illegal burn sites.
California: Inmates can legally possess pot — A California court has ruled that prison inmates are legally allowed to possess marijuana, but that they are not permitted to use it. The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento last week overturned the convictions of five inmates who were found with pot, pointing to the language of Proposition 64, the 2016 ballot initiative that made possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana no longer a felony in the state. However, the court pointed out that smoking or ingesting marijuana remained a felony. The ruling added that prison authorities reserved the right to ban possession to “maintain order and safety in the prisons.”
Trump campaign to purge pollsters after leak — President Donald Trump’s campaign has decided to purge some of its pollsters after a leak of dismal internal polls for the president that he denied existed. A top adviser said Sunday that the campaign was cutting ties with three of its five pollsters to prevent further disclosure of survey data. The polling showed Trump behind former Vice President Joe Biden in several key battleground states, including by double digits in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The results were confirmed to The New York Times by advisers to Trump, but when they became public, he called them “fake polls.”
Record number of African migrants — Undaunted by a dangerous journey over thousands of miles, people fleeing economic hardship and human rights abuses in African countries are coming to the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers, surprising Border Patrol agents more accustomed to Spanish-speaking migrants. Officials in Texas and even Maine are scrambling to absorb the sharp increase in African migrants. They are coming to America after flying across the Atlantic Ocean to South America and then embarking on an often harrowing overland journey. In one recent week, agents in the Border Patrol’s Del Rio sector stopped more than 500 African migrants found walking in separate groups along the arid land after splashing across the Rio Grande, children in tow. That is more than double the total of 211 African migrants who were detained by the Border Patrol along the entire 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border in the 2018 fiscal year.
CEO: Boeing made mistake in handling problem — The chief executive of Boeing said the company made a “mistake” in handling a problematic cockpit warning system in its 737 Max jets before two crashes killed 346 people, and he promised transparency as the aircraft maker works to get the grounded plane back in flight. Speaking before the industry-wide Paris Air Show, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said Boeing’s communication with regulators, customers and the public “was not consistent. And that’s unacceptable.” The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has faulted Boeing for not telling regulators for more than a year that a safety indicator in the cockpit of the top-selling plane didn’t work as intended. Boeing and the FAA have said the warning light wasn’t critical for flight safety. It is not clear whether either crash could have been prevented if the cockpit alert had been working properly.
Israel moves to name Golan settlement after Trump — The Trump name graces apartment towers, hotels and golf courses. Now it is the namesake of a tiny Israeli settlement in the Israel-controlled Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet convened in this hamlet Sunday to inaugurate a new settlement named after President Donald Trump in a gesture of appreciation for the U.S. leader’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the territory. The settlement isn’t exactly new. Currently known as Bruchim, it is over 30 years old and has a population of 10 people. Israel is hoping the rebranded “Ramat Trump,” Hebrew for “Trump Heights,” will encourage a wave of residents to vastly expand it. “It’s absolutely beautiful,” said U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, who attended Sunday’s ceremony. Noting that Trump celebrated his birthday on Friday, he said: “I can’t think of a more appropriate and a more beautiful birthday present.”