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Week In The News: Immigration, Israel-Palestine And NSA Spying

Immigration crisis on the border. Rockets and bombs in Gaza, Israel. Smallpox found in a storage box.

n this July 7, 2014 file photo, immigrant families and children's advocates rally in response to President Barack Obama's statement on the crisis of unaccompanied children and families illegally entering the United States, outside the Los Angeles Federal building. (AP)

In this July 7, 2014 file photo, immigrant families and children’s advocates rally in response to President Barack Obama’s statement on the crisis of unaccompanied children and families illegally entering the United States, outside the Los Angeles Federal building. (AP)

National anxiety this week, moral angst, political fireworks, over the flood of immigrant children at the border.  An incoming tide of kids, up from Central America, a thousand miles from home, and nobody knows what to do.  Near chaos.  In Israel and the Gaza Strip, rockets and bombs and a hundred  Palestinians dead.  Edge of war.  In Germany, the CIA station chief told to leave in a new American spy scandal.  In Brazil, an epic soccer loss for Brazilians.  And in a cardboard box in closet in Maryland – smallpox.  This hour On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Kevin Diaz, Washington correspondent for the Houston Chronicle. (@DiazChron)

Nancy Youssef, national security correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers. (@nancyayoussef)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Houston Chronicle: Immigration judges reassigned to crisis — “Across the country, more than 375,370 immigration cases are pending, according to the Justice Department, and in Texas the average wait is 439 days. Houston’s downtown immigration court has the longest lag in the state after El Paso with 541 days.”

McClatchy: Unprepared U.S. officials missed Baghdadi’s likely al Qaida connection during 2004 detention — “When the U.S. military detained Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in Iraq in 2004, it was too inexperienced at dealing with suspected terrorists to know what kind of threat he potentially posed when it released him just 10 months later, those who worked in the military detention system at that time now concede.”

Washington Post: Germany asks top U.S. spy to leave amid flap — “For years, Germany has sought to be included in a group of countries with which the United States has a non-espionage pact. Those nations include Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The Obama administration and that of George W. Bush both resisted such entreaties, in part because many U.S. intelligence officials believe that there are too many areas where German and U.S. security interests diverge.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

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This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

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