August 11, 2014

And you thought it was cool to "walk the dog."

The World Yo-Yo Contest, which does, in fact, exist, crowned a new winner this weekend in Prague. In "one of the closest contests in years," 18-year-old California native Gentry Stein edged out the competition with this mesmerizing routine:

Stein is the first American to win the 1A category (one yo-yo, one string) since 2008, and he beat out Japan's Takeshi Matsuura by a mere 1.5 points. While Stein's precise movements and impressive dexterity exude confidence and prowess, check out Matsuura's second-place routine below, and marvel at his fluid, graceful style. --Samantha Rollins

9:31 a.m. ET

The Trump administration has faced unrelenting backlash over its new policy of separating children from their parents at the border, with outcry mounting in recent days following the release of new footage and images of the detention facilities. On Fox & Friends on Monday, host Steve Doocy apparently tried to stem the fervor by observing that while some people refer to the facilities as cages, "I'm from a farm community, I see the chain-link fences, it's more like a security pen to me."

As the Independent Journal Review's Josh Billinson observed on Twitter, "'They're not in cages, they're being kept like livestock' is not a great defense."

Regardless of whether they're using "cages" or a four-sided chain-link fence enclosures, the Trump administration has separated some 2,000 children from their families in the six-week period between mid-April and the end of May — a move that pediatric experts have described as "government-sanctioned child abuse." CBS News reported Monday that U.S. Border Patrol is "very uncomfortable" with the use of the word "cages" because while "they may be cages, [the people] are not being treated like animals."

Watch the segment on Fox & Friends below. Jeva Lange

8:23 a.m. ET
John Moore/Getty Images

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights has slammed the Trump administration over its controversial new "zero tolerance" policy, which calls for the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border, The New York Times reports. "The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable," said the high commissioner, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, on Monday.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who announced the policy in May, indicated in his remarks that it was intended to deter families who were considering crossing the border illegally. "If you don't want your child separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally," he said in public comments at the time.

The high commissioner also cited the president of the American Association of Pediatrics, who called the separation of children from their parents "government-sanctioned child abuse." The U.N. human rights office earlier claimed that the Trump administration's policy violates children's rights and international law.

"I call on the United States to immediately end the practice of forcible separation of these children, and I encourage the government to at last ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in order to ensure that the fundamental rights of all children, whatever their administrative status, will be at the center of all domestic laws and policies," said al-Hussein. Jeva Lange

7:54 a.m. ET

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen claimed in a series of tweets Sunday that "we do not have a policy of separating families at the border," although Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced such a "zero tolerance" policy in May and the DHS has published guidelines on the separations on its website, HuffPost reports.

"If you don't want your child separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally," Sessions said, while President Trump has attempted to pass his policy off on Democrats. The administration nevertheless has faced backlash from Democrats and Republicans alike over the policy, which sees an average of two children separated from their families at the border every hour. Jeva Lange

7:43 a.m. ET

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested in Germany on Monday, Reuters reports, in the latest fallout from the diesel-emissions cheating scandal at the automaker's parent company, Volkswagen. "We confirm that Mr. Stadler was arrested this morning," a VW spokesman said Monday, noting that Stadler was presumed innocent like any suspect. Audi made no immediate comment. The arrest came as Munich prosecutors expand their investigation into the scandal to look at possible fraud and false advertising at Audi, VW's luxury brand. VW shares were down about 1.6 percent from Friday's closing price. Harold Maass

7:28 a.m. ET
John Moore/Getty Images

The Trump administration is facing a growing wave of criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike in response to its new "zero tolerance" policy, which involves the separation of migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The administration is "using the grief, the tears, the pain of these kids as mortar to build their wall," argued Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). In an op-ed, former first lady Laura Bush called the policy "cruel" and "immoral" and separately, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) called it "contrary to our values in this country." Even Melania Trump has instructed "both sides" to govern "with heart."

President Trump has repeatedly and falsely tried to pin the "zero tolerance" policy, which was announced by his attorney general in May, on Democrats. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families in April and May alone.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) insisted last week "we don't want kids to be separated from their parents." Trump will meet with House Republicans on Tuesday to discuss immigration reform. Jeva Lange

4:02 a.m. ET

On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver used an annoying song performed by children to warn viewers about Chinese President Xi Jinping's consolidation of power and the cult of personality that surrounds him.

In a segment focusing solely on Xi — referred to by Chinese state media as Xi Dada, or "Big Uncle Xi" — Oliver discussed how he's riding high on the economic wave that preceded him, and two major projects: the Belt and Road initiative, which involves spending $1 trillion on infrastructure in more than 60 countries to reshape global trade with China in the middle of it all, and a crackdown on political corruption.

Those are the things that Xi wants you to know, Oliver said, not that his anti-corruption purge has targeted his rivals, with some being tortured, and that Xi "has clamped down noticeably on any form of dissent whatsoever." That includes having online censors ban phrases like "personality cult" and references to Winnie the Pooh, since some people like to mock Xi by saying he resembles everyone's favorite pantsless bear.

There's more, Oliver warns — the Chinese government is giving every citizen a social credit score, and if you're docked enough points, maybe for fraud or smoking in a non-smoking section, you won't be able to have high-speed internet or purchase plane or train tickets. As Xi is trying to expand his global influence, he's becoming more authoritarian, but don't just listen to Oliver — take it from the children he hired to sing a song all about Xi's dark side, cribbed from China's own propaganda film touting the Belt and Road initiative. Watch the video (with cursing) below, and get ready to spend all Monday humming that irritating ditty. Catherine Garcia

2:52 a.m. ET
AFP/Getty Images

A troubling new study released this month by an Indian government think tank finds that 21 cities, including New Delhi, will run out of groundwater by 2020, and by 2030, about 40 percent of the population will have no access to clean drinking water.

Roughly 600 million Indians are facing high to extreme stress over water, the report said, and at least 200,000 people die every year because they do not have access to uncontaminated water. Experts say that rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns are part of the problem, and so are poor choices — crops that need a lot of water are being planted in unsuitable areas, waste is being dumped in canals, and buildings are going up over bodies of water.

The report warns that without enough water, conflicts will erupt and there will be a "significant food security risk." Already, India is fighting with China, Pakistan, and Bangladesh over sharing water from rivers that cross their borders, and people in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have died in protests over Cauvery River water. The focus needs to be on sustainability, water conservationist Rajendra Singh told Al Jazeera, not charging more for water, as some are suggesting. Catherine Garcia

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