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Trump says he’ll visit the US border with Texas governor, as Biden’s homeland security chief talks migration in Mexico


Vice President Kamala Harris has yet to visit the US-Mexico border, but 45th president Donald Trump may beat her to the punch, announcing he will tour the boundary later this month with the governor of Texas.

“I have accepted the invitation of Texas Governor Greg Abbott to join him on an official visit to our Nation’s decimated Southern Border on Wednesday, June 30, 2021,” Trump said on Tuesday evening.

The Biden administration “inherited from me the strongest, safest and most secure border in US history” and in mere weeks turned it into “an unmitigated disaster zone,” the former president added.

President Joe Biden and Harris “have handed control of our border over to cartels, criminals, and coyotes. Drug dealers, MS-13 gang members, human smugglers, sex traffickers, and the criminal elements of the world now have free reign,” he continued. “Our Nation is now one giant sanctuary city where even dangerous criminals are being cut loose and set free inside the U.S interior on a daily basis.”

Joe Biden and Harris “won’t even tour the scenes of the wreckage they created, or come down and visit with the Border Patrol and ICE heroes” while they make their job “totally impossible,” the former president thundered, accusing the current occupants of the White House of “grave and willful dereliction of duty.”

The current administration has admitted that there is a flood of immigrants attempting to cross the border illegally, but called it “seasonal” and denied their policies – repudiating Trump’s entire immigration platform – had anything to do with it. In March, Biden put Harris in charge of the border situation, and she has since been to Guatemala and Mexico – but not to the border itself.

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“Trump is showing more interest and urgency in securing our border than our current” president and VP, tweeted Mark Meadows, his former chief of staff. Biden is in Geneva preparing for Wednesday’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Harris, meanwhile, hosted several amnesty advocates at the White House, including two who arrived in the US illegally as children, and were protected from deportation by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Also on Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas published an op-ed in USA Today arguing that Congress should pass a permanent amnesty for DACA recipients. 

“This issue is personal to me because I had the great privilege of helping the Obama-Biden administration create and implement DACA” and because he was a baby when his family came to the US from Cuba and was given a path to citizenship, Mayorkas wrote. 

Mayorkas was actually visiting Mexico City on Tuesday, where he discussed migration – among other topics – with his Mexican counterpart Marcelo Ebrard. After the meeting, Mayorkas told reporters he had informed the Mexican officials that the DHS has enacted language changes and now calls migrants “non-citizen” rather than “illegal alien.”

Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, has enacted a series of executive orders intended to enforce US immigration laws at state level, accusing the federal government of failing at its duty to do so. Last week, he also announced that Texas would finish building the border wall that Trump started, but Biden canceled as soon as he took office.

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Kroos rues ‘unfortunate goal’ in Germany defeat by France


MUNICH: Toni Kroos rued an “unfortunate” own goal for Mats Hummels in Germany’s defeat by France in their opening Euro 2020 match on Tuesday which increases the pressure on Joachim Loew’s men.

Hummels put through his own net in the first half to give France a 1-0 win at the Allianz Arena to start their Group F campaign.

France carried a greater threat going forward but could only score once, with Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema, back from international exile, both seeing second half goals disallowed while Adrien Rabiot hit the post.

Germany had few clear chances, with Serge Gnabry going closest when he fired over the bar in the second half.

“We had our chances, no fewer than the French had, but the match was decided by an unfortunate goal,” Kroos told broadcaster ARD.

“We would have defended against that nine times out of 10.

“We controlled most of the match and there were very few counter-attacks from the French.”

Kroos bristled when asked about the disallowed goals by Mbappe and Benzema, saying “offside is offside, right?”

Germany are eager to avoid a repeat of the 2018 World Cup when they finished bottom of their group and the pressure is on for Saturday’s home game against Portugal.

“We have lost the first match and when you only have three games, then the pressure is large,” added Kroos.

German midfielder Joshua Kimmich admitted Die Mannschaft have to prove themselves against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.

“I wouldn’t say we were the worst team, France didn’t have that many chances,” said the Bayern Munich star.

“France have shown they are one of the favourites and now we have to prove that too in the next game.” – AFP

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Record-breaking Ronaldo strikes late as Portugal sink Hungary


BUDAPEST: Cristiano Ronaldo (pix) struck a late double to help holders Portugal get off to a winning start with a 3-0 victory over Hungary in front of a 67,000 crowd on Tuesday as the forward became the all-time leading scorer at European Championship finals.

Hungary rode a wave of early pressure from Portugal in the Group F clash but and had a goal ruled out for offside shortly before Portugal’s Raphael Guerreiro broke the deadlock at the other end with a deflected effort in the 84th minute.

Captain Ronaldo sealed the win by lashing home from the penalty spot in the 87th to move ahead of Michel Platini as the all-time top scorer at the finals on 10 goals, which he quickly turned into 11 by dribbling the ball into the net in added time.

The two sides had drawn 3-3 in one of the best games of Euro 2016 and although there were fewer goals this time around the match was no less compelling as the vociferous locals filled the Puskas Arena to capacity.

The action on the pitch mirrored the fervour in the stands as Portugal played with real intensity, playing a direct game and hitting their front three with quick, long passes.

Diogo Jota had the first clear sight of goal when he thumped a shot which was parried by keeper Peter Gulacsi, incurring the wrath of a furious Ronaldo who was in a better place to shoot.

Ronaldo was left only blaming himself late in the first half though when he uncharacteristically missed the target from close range after an incisive cross from Bruno Fernandes.

Hungary did little attacking but pressed energetically to limit Portugal’s space.

Striker Adam Szalai was their danger man, heading a free kick into the arms of Rui Patricio shortly before halftime then testing the keeper again early in the second half with an attempt from outside the box.

Portugal’s veteran defender Pepe nearly scored at the start of the second half, his header from a Fernandes corner tipped away by the ever-alert Gulacsi, who later turned away a strike from Fernandes.

Hungary substitute Szabolcs Schon set the stadium alight in the 80th minute when his shot squirmed past Patricio but the linesman’s flag was quickly raised to puncture the celebrations.

Guerreiro soon brought the hosts more pain as his scuffed shot trickled into the far bottom corner off the foot of Hungary defender Willi Orban, who moments later fouled Rafa Silva to allow Ronaldo to compensate for his earlier miss and score from the spot.

Ronaldo then combined with Silva to calmly dance past Gulacsi and round off a day of records after becoming the only player to feature in five European Championships and to play the most games in the tournament. – Reuters

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Arizona governor BANS public universities from demanding students get Covid-19 vaccines, wear masks in class


Governor Doug Ducey has issued an executive order barring Arizona public colleges and universities from demanding Covid-19 vaccinations and documents, or forcing students to get tested or wear masks for in-person classes.

“The vaccine works, and we encourage Arizonans to take it. But it is a choice and we need to keep it that way,” Ducey said on Tuesday, announcing the order. “Public education is a public right, and taxpayers are paying for it. We need to make our public universities available for students to return to learning. They have already missed out on too much learning.”

Ducey’s order exempts medical students or those working with patients, and does not prevent colleges from encouraging vaccinations and voluntary mask usage or providing testing.

The order applies to Arizona State University in Tempe, Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and the University of Arizona in Tucson – along with its College of Applied Science & Technology in Sierra Vista.

According to local media, the Republican governor’s order appears to be directly related to Monday’s announcement by the Arizona State University that students arriving on campus for in-person classes in August will be fully vaccinated.

The university believes “it is imperative for the health and well-being of our community for all to be vaccinated,” ASU said in the statement

Students who do not agree to disclose their vaccination status, or cannot be vaccinated for whatever reason, will be “required to participate” in ongoing “health management protocols” – starting with a daily health check, Covid-19 testing up to twice a week, and wearing a mask “in all indoor and outdoor spaces on ASU campuses.”

If implemented, this would run afoul of the governor’s orders. ASU has not yet commented on the matter, and Monday’s coronavirus update remains up on their site.

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US judge upholds vaccine mandate by Texas hospital system, marking first federal ruling on whether jabs can be forced on employees

While several coronavirus vaccines are widely available in the US, they have only been granted emergency use authorization by federal regulators. As a result, many states – mainly governed by Republicans – have been skeptical of mandating their use.

On Saturday, however, a federal judge in Texas shut down a lawsuit by over 100 employees of the Houston Methodist hospital system, arguing they are a private employer with the right to mandate vaccination.

The employees can “freely choose to accept or refuse a Covid-19 vaccine,” said Judge Lynn Hughes, and if they decline, they will “simply need to work somewhere else.”

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Hummels own goal gifts France 1-0 win over lacklustre Germany


MUNICH: An own goal by Mats Hummels was enough to give France a 1-0 victory over Germany in their opening Euro 2020 Group F match on Tuesday as the sluggish-looking hosts lost their opening fixture at the European Championship for the first time.

The world champions took the lead in the 20th minute when midfielder Paul Pogba’s superb raking pass was fired back across the goal by Lucas Hernandez and defender Hummels shanked the ball into his own net as he tried to clear.

It was a deserved win for France, who also hit the crossbar while the Germans now have to up their game against holders Portugal on Saturday when France play Hungary.

Germany’s record 50th Euro match got off to a tentative start before a couple of French chances fell to Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.

The visitors’ gradual pressure, deploying their speed down the wings, paid off when Pogba picked out Hernandez with an outstanding cross-field pass.

He charged through and cut the ball back with Hummels, who had been dropped more than two years ago and was recalled for the tournament, clipping it past his own goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The Germans, desperate to impress in front of a home crowd to make amends for their shock 2018 World Cup first-round exit, rarely broke through the French rearguard.

When they did it was usually with Robin Gosens from the left and one of his crosses found Ilkay Gundogan, whose his mis-hit effort veered wide of the post.

It was France who almost scored again in the 52nd when another quick break saw Adrien Rabiot cut in from the left but he hit the post with Neuer already moving in the opposite direction.

That looked to shake the hosts into action and they carved out three consecutive chances, with Gosens again in the mix, until an injury to Benjamin Pavard around the hour mark gave the French some much-needed respite.

France gradually conceded possession but remained lethal on the break with Mbappe and Karim Benzema both putting the ball in the net but having their efforts ruled offside.

Mbappe was also denied what looked a certain penalty after out-sprinting Hummels to chase down a long ball in the 78th minute.

France, now unbeaten in their last 17 competitive outings, kept their cool until the end to launch their title quest with a morale-boosting win to go second in Group F behind holders Portugal, who beat Hungary 3-0 earlier on Tuesday. – Reuters

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US government considers at least some UFOs to be ‘EXTRATERRESTRIAL’ & ‘EXTRADIMENSIONAL’, ex-intel official says


The US government is aware of UFOs that defy any conventional explanation despite extensive analysis, a former official who investigated such issues said, adding that Washington considers them to be possibly of alien origin.

US officials have collected data on some “extraordinary” UFOs, Luis Elizondo, former director of the military’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a task force investigating these phenomena, told Washington Examiner.

It is “nothing more than an infinitesimally small possibility” that such objects could have been creations of some engineers from Russia, China or the US itself – as well as of any human civilization at all, Elizondo admitted, adding that they have been analyzed by various intelligence-collecting systems but no reasonable explanation for their existence has been found.

Now, the US government considers it a credible line of inquiry to treat these “unidentified aerial phenomena” or UAPs as something “extraterrestrial” or even “extradimensional,” the former AATIP chief said. The former official also mentioned a possibility of the UFOs being a creation of some Earth-based “intelligence” that somehow managed to stay hidden from humanity all this time.

Elizondo also said that he was not briefed on any successful attempts to replicate technologies seen during UFO sightings by US engineers. The former official also rejected the idea that the US authorities have absolutely no evidence to suggest that the UFOs might be of alien origin.

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The US government has evidence indicating that the most extraordinary UFOs are not “human-made machines,” he told Washington Examiner, while refusing to reveal any more information, citing security clearance obligations.

It is not the first revelation Elizondo has made to the press. Earlier in June, he told The Washington Post that UFOs demonstrate a keen interest in US nuclear facilities, adding that similar patterns have been observed in UFO sightings “overseas in other countries.”

His words come as the US Congress is still preparing to receive a report on UFO activity that had been ordered by former US President Donald Trump’s administration. Some abstracts from the report that is being compiled by the Pentagon show that the US military will neither deny nor confirm the extraterrestrial origin of the unidentified aerial phenomena, though.

The US military has recently confirmed several videos of UFOs to be authentic but provided no comments on the nature of the phenomena. Yet, top US officials who previously preferred to be tight-lipped on the issue somehow embraced the idea of the UFOs’ possible extraterrestrial origin as of late.

Former US President Barack Obama, former CIA Director John Brennan, and several military officials have all offered comments along the lines of “we don’t know what they are, but we’re keeping an open mind.”

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Gates empire still intact as newly-divorced Melinda recasts herself as HR maven to Biden administration – reports


Melinda Gates, who split with Microsoft founder-turned-vaccine-evangelist Bill Gates last month in a surprise but reportedly long-brewing divorce, is diving into politics, according to an Axios report on her policy ambitions.

Now calling herself Melinda French Gates, the billionaire’s former spouse has wasted no time seeking out a selection of senior figures in domestic policy to woo with her infrastructure plans, the report says. On Monday, she ventured to Washington, DC on a mission to talk paid leave with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, while she plans to visit Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington), among others, on Tuesday.

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Murray is not only chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, but also chair of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Such committee assignments would certainly attract Gates, who has reportedly followed up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s gargantuan Covid-19 vaccine initiative with a lobbying push for more paid leave and childcare – busily keeping her name in the headlines with her soon-to-be-ex-husband nowhere in sight.

Under the aegis of her organization Pivotal Ventures, which she launched in 2015 independently of her husband, the former Microsoft manager is hoping to convince the Biden administration to adopt some of her infrastructure and paid leave policies as part of the infrastructure package he has promised Americans.

However, if the Biden administration’s recent push to redefine paid leave and other benefits traditionally considered “perks” as “care infrastructure” moves forward, Democrats will need all the help they can get to ram it through – especially from an influential figure like Gates.

While the Gateses’ split has been attributed in US media to Melinda’s discomfort with Bill’s long-running relationship with notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, there had always been speculation about his infidelities. Even as he married Melinda in 1994, it was reportedly with an understanding that Bill would be permitted to spend one long-weekend per year with his old flame Ann Winblad.

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Gates’ ex-girlfriend explained that she gave the pair her blessing, praising Melinda not for her wit, or beauty, or even devotion to Bill, but for her “intellectual stamina,” suggesting the Microsoft kingpin took a rather more mercenary approach to ‘settling down’. The notion that Melinda has only now – years after the fact – become upset enough over the Epstein incident to divorce her wealthy hubby can be difficult to believe, and assuming the marriage is, in fact, “irretrievably broken,” one must ask how it lasted so long in that “broken” state before the pair finally pulled the plug.

Epstein, who died in prison in 2019 – by his own hand, according to the official version – had irritated the couple with what third-parties referred to as “endless name-dropping,” bragging about the rich and famous types he’d hung out with even while hanging out with other rich and famous types.

More concerning for the Gateses was his “habit of bragging that he was an unofficial adviser to Bill Gates,” according to a Daily Beast report on the pair last month – a claim the software tycoon’s representatives have hotly denied.

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Alleged Epstein rape victim wants to sue sex offender’s estate for HALF A BILLION to fund bone disease surgery


One of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged rape victims plans to sue the late sex offender’s estate for over $500 million after accusing him of causing her bone disease.

Caroline Kaufman claims she was just 17 at the time of her alleged rape, which occurred after she was invited to Epstein’s New York residence for a fake model casting opportunity.

27-year-old Kaufman told The Sun newspaper that she now suffers from the rare osteomyelitis bone disease, which she argues could be the result of Epstein hitting her jaw during the rape.

“The jaw issue is caused by an injury in the past, and when I had an encounter with Epstein he pinned me down and went to grab my arm,” Kaufman recalled, claiming that the sex offender forced her arm and “nicked” her jaw.

Kaufman said that it was “the only thing” she could think of which could have caused the bone disease, telling The Sun, “It’s extremely painful, I’ve been to the emergency room for it, my face is swollen and I’m on medication.”

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She also claimed to have “lost days of work,” felt “physically exhausted,” and had “difficulty eating” due to the condition and is now seeking over half a billion dollars after rejecting an “offensive” offer from the Epstein victims fund for not being “enough to cover surgery.”

“The amount of money the fund had, I don’t believe it was distributed fairly. We’re going to go ahead and go to court,” Kaufman declared.

Kaufman – who entered the stripping and porn industries and experienced severe depression following her traumatic experience with Epstein – wants to use his money primarily to fund her surgery, but also to support his other victims and start a charity.

“If there’s clinical support that the type of abuse she suffered at Epstein’s hands could be related to some of the conditions that she has, then obviously we’ll pursue that theory in litigation,” Kaufman’s lawyer, Spencer Kuvin, said in a statement to The Sun, adding that the “goal would be to go after the entire fund, which is close to over half a billion dollars.”

“Ultimately it’ll be up to the court to decide and up to a jury, hopefully, to decide exactly what Caroline would obtain,” Kuvin continued, noting that they would be “suing for every single asset in the Epstein estate” but may also “be able to set up subsequent funds or distribution of assets to other victims.”

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‘Deeply sorry’: Lin-Manuel Miranda apologizes for lack of ‘Afro-Latino’ diversity after fellow liberals turn on new musical


‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has apologized to critics after his latest effort, the musical ‘In the Heights’, received backlash for not including enough “Afro-Latino” representation.

While ‘In the Heights’ has been praised by some as a “milestone for Latino audiences,” many social activists feel the movie doesn’t live up to such hype over its diversity. 

A recent video report from The Root on the film, which just opened in theaters and is streaming through HBO Max, attacked ‘In the Heights’ and Miranda – who created the musical it’s based on and produced the movie – for not including “Afro-Latino” leads in the cast. 

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Director Jon M. Chu (‘Crazy Rich Asians’) was also asked about criticisms that the movie “privileges white-passing and light-skinned Latinx people?” in the video report.

While Chu admitted they may not have gotten “everything” right, Miranda was much more giving to his critics. 

“I’m seeing the discussion around Afro-Latino representation in our film this weekend and it is clear that many in our dark-skinned Afro-Latino community don’t feel sufficiently represented within it, particularly among the leading roles,” he said in a public statement, saying he wrote the musical himself because he didn’t feel “seen.”

The ‘Hamilton’ creator went on to claim he is “deeply sorry” and will do better in future work.

“I can hear the hurt and frustration over colorism, of feeling still unseen in the feedback. I hear that without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the work feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy,” he said. “In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short. I’m truly sorry. I’m learning from the feedback, I thank you for raising it, and I’m listening.”

While ‘In the Heights’ has found its woke critics, it’s also ironically found itself dismissed by many conservative film critics for being Hollywood’s latest “woke” exercise. 

‘In the Heights’ follows a group of struggling characters living in the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York City. The film touches on racism, class warfare, and immigration. 

The movie’s subject and Miranda’s own outspoken liberal politics had many on social media finding humor in his apology to a crowd his film was seemingly made for.

“No one is safe,” Fox News’ Laura Ingraham tweeted.

“You will never be woke enough,” journalist Robert Trancinski wrote

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‘Government stole our water’: US farmers ready for standoff with feds in drought irrigation crisis, expect right-wing militia help


Outraged farmers threatened to disrupt a federal order to stop the flow of irrigation water from a lake amid a severe drought in the US state of Oregon. They warned that right-wing militias will back them in case of confrontation.

Farmers are protesting because they own the water in the Upper Klamath Lake, farmer Dan Nielsen told RT’s Ruptly video agency. He stood outside an American flag-colored tent that was set up next to the canal headgates, which control the flow of irrigation water from the lake.

“It’s ours and the federal government actually just stole it. No due process of law, no compensation,” Nielsen said, adding that federal officials had violated the locals’ property rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.

Protesters brought signs saying “Water for Farms” and “Open the Gates. No Water. No Food. No Life.”

They spoke about releasing the water themselves if the government does not back down. “If they don’t budge… I think we’re just going to end up taking it,” Nielsen said. “It’s the only way the government gets it.” In order to avoid confrontation, officials must let farmers use the water for their crops or purchase the land from the farmers, he said.

The US Bureau of Reclamation closed the canal last month, saying that due to the extreme drought there was not enough water left for it to operate properly. The bureau also said that releasing the water will threaten the endangered species of salmon that inhabit the lake. The fish have agricultural and spiritual significance to the Native American tribes who live upstream. 

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According to local media, thousands of farmers on the Oregon-California border were left without a steady water supply after the closure of the canal. Klamath Irrigation District president Ty Kliewer said that “the impacts to our family farms and these rural communities will be off the scale.”

An outraged Nielsen and another farmer, Grant Knoll, purchased a vacant lot near the federal waterway, where they set up a tent dubbed ‘Water Crisis Info Center’. Protesters told Jefferson Public Radio (JPR) that they had teamed up with People’s Rights, a group founded by well-known conservative militia leader Ammon Bundy.

They showed JPR a text conversation with Bundy and said the militiamen will get a heads-up when the farmers make their move. “I’m planning on getting DC’s attention,” Knoll told JPR this month. “We’re going to turn on the water and have a standoff.”

The Bundy family first became famous for their 2014 armed standoff with the US government in a dispute over grazing fees. Two years later Ammon Bundy led a group of militiamen that seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge office in Harney County, Oregon.

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The occupation ended with FBI agents giving chase during which one militiaman was killed and Ammon Bundy’s brother, Ryan Bundy, was wounded. The brothers were later acquitted in the case that stemmed from the refuge office takeover.

Ben DuVal, a farm owner and president of the Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA), told Ruptly that the situation on the ground has been getting tense because the lack of water hurts not only farmers, but also businesses in the city of Klamath Falls. “Farmers like myself are looking at basically zero irrigation water this year.”

DuVal said the protesters were “doing a good job of bringing some enthusiasm and some awareness to this issue.” At the same time, he stressed that the protest must remain peaceful. “I don’t want anything to happen at the headgates that is going to reflect poorly on our community.”

KWUA previously released a statement condemning the decision to stop releasing the water from Upper Klamath Lake, with DuVal calling it a “failed experiment that has produced no benefit for the [fish].”

Klamath Tribes Chairman Don Gentry acknowledged that the severe drought has “really put us at odds” with the farming community. “The agriculture folks… often too referred to [the lake] as ‘reservoir for our folks’, which is kind of strange because it has been here forever; they are using it like a reservoir,” he said.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who declared the Klamath Basin a drought emergency area in April, urged everyone to remain peaceful while the state government was “doing everything we can” to help those affected by the extreme weather.

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