National News

5 things for June 18: Immigration, Colombia presidential election, video games

Posted June 18, 2018 6:10 a.m. EDT

— It's back-to-back US Open titles for Brooks Koepka, the first golfer to do that in about 30 years. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Immigration

Outrage at the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents who illegally cross the border with Mexico continues to grow. On Father's Day, a group of Democratic lawmakers visited a facility where children are being held, and they were angry at what they saw. Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley said Trump's "zero tolerance" policy should be called "zero humanity." Reporters toured the warehouse-like building too and described seeing hundreds of children in chain-link cages, apparently sleeping on the floor on mattresses with mylar blankets.

CNN's Stephen Collinson and Lauren Fox wonder how long the controversial practice will be politically sustainable amid the growing wave of criticism. Former first lady Laura Bush added her voice to the complaints, calling the policy "cruel." And current first lady Melania Trump said she "hates" to see kids separated from their families and "believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

President Trump suggested that he's using the issue to get Democrats to submit to his immigration demands, which include funding for a border wall and curbs on legal immigration. He also falsely claimed the Democrats are responsible for his policy. He's supposed to meet with House Republicans tomorrow to hash out a possible path forward on a pair of immigration bills.

2. New Jersey shooting

Twenty-two people were hurt in a shooting at a 24-hour art festival in Trenton. The suspect, Tahaij Wells, is believed to have been killed by police and had just been released from prison. The shooting was tied to gang violence and wasn't an act of terror, police said. Before the shooting, police had been trying to shut the festival down because of several fights. As many as 1,000 people were in the area when the shooting started early Sunday morning.

3. Colombia presidential election

Ivan Duque is projected to win Colombia's presidential election, held yesterday. A win by the social conservative is especially noteworthy because he's been openly opposed to the peace deal with FARC rebels that current President Juan Manuel Santos helped negotiate. Under the deal -- which ended a 50-year conflict that killed more than 220,000 people -- the rebels agreed to lay down their arms, exit the jungle and pursue their aims via politics rather than guerrilla warfare. While Duque has said he doesn't want to tear up the agreement, he also believes the peace pact is too lenient on former rebel fighters.

4. Migrant crisis

The 630 migrants who had been turned away by Italy and Malta arrived in Spain over the weekend, some of them singing and dancing as their ships reached the port city of Valencia. The migrants, who had spent a harrowing week at sea, were picked up off the coast of Libya. The group included at least 100 minors and seven pregnant women. France also offered to allow some of the migrants to settle there.

5. Video games

Today, the World Health Organization will add a new condition to its list of diseases: gaming disorder. Parents have often grumbled about "digital heroin," and the WHO announcement backs them up. Gaming disorder, the group says, has characteristics similar to substance abuse and gambling disorders: taking precedence over other activities, loss of control of these behaviors and significant distress and impairment of relationships. But not all psychologists agree the designation is warranted. One said that in his experience, those addicted to gaming are using it more as a coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression.