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June 22, 2018

Of the more than 2,300 migrant children the Trump administration separated from their families since May, about 500 have been reunited with their parents, a senior Trump administration official told The Associated Press Thursday. Federal agencies are working to set up a centralized family-reunification center in Port Isabel, Texas, the official said, and it isn't clear how many of the 500 children are still being detained with their families. In fact, while President Trump says his "zero tolerance" policy remains in effect, there's widespread confusion over what that means.

In McAllen, Texas, for example, federal prosecutors unexpectedly declined to charge 17 parent immigrants on Thursday, with one saying "there was no prosecution sought" due to Trump's executive order aimed at keeping families together. West of McAllen, federal public defender Maureen Scott Franco said in a Thursday email seen by AP that going forward, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas "will no longer bring criminal charges against a parent or parents entering the United States if they have their child with them."

Deportees who arrived in Honduras on Thursday told Reuters that before their flight left from Texas, U.S. officials asked if any of them had children in detention, and the four who raised their hands were not put on the flight.

Reuniting families is "the ultimate goal," but "it is still very early and we are awaiting further guidance on the matter," said a spokesman for the Health and Human Services Department, which takes care of child migrants. At the same time, the Pentagon agreed Thursday to accommodate 20,000 immigrants on military bases in Texas and Arkansas, and the Trump administration went to federal court to seek permission to hold child migrants for more than 20 days, end state licensing requirements, and scrap other restrictions on detaining families. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee, who oversees the so-called Flores settlement, rejected a similar request from the Obama administration in 2015. Peter Weber

3:01 p.m.

Apple is officially entering the streaming wars.

Apple on Monday announced its brand new streaming service, Apple TV+, during an event in Cupertino. After showing off a montage of clips from upcoming original shows, the company described Apple TV+ as "not just another streaming service" but rather "the destination where the world's greatest storytellers will bring their best ideas to life."

Several of those storytellers were in attendance on Monday to speak briefly about their shows. The line-up consisted of Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, Kumail Nanjiani, J.J. Abrams, Sara Bareilles, and even Big Bird.

The event ended with Oprah Winfrey, who said she's excited to work with Apple because the fact that they're "in a billion pockets" represents a "major opportunity to make a genuine impact." She's working on two documentaries for Apple, one about sexual harassment and one about mental health, and says Apple will also stream book club conversations. "I want to literally convene a meeting of the minds connecting us through books," she said.

Apple ended its event without revealing how much the service will cost, which had remained one of the biggest unanswered questions heading in. But it was announced that the service will be ad-free and available in more than 100 countries, with content being downloadable and new programming coming each month. It's set to launch sometime this fall — meaning it will likely debut around the same time as Disney's streaming service, Disney+. Brendan Morrow

2:58 p.m.

There might be some concern from congressional Democrats after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation did not definitively find that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian interference in 2016 — no doubt dashing some longstanding impeachment dreams.

But the Democrats campaigning for the party's 2020 presidential nomination? Well, they're not too concerned. And they haven't been for a while.

The Washington Post and The New York Times both report there has been — for quite a while — a "dichotomy" between what was captivating Washington and what the voters on the road actually care about: policy and President Trump's performance as commander-in-chief.

So while the consensus is that Mueller's investigation appears to be a victory for the Trump administration, it may also serve as a boon for his possible 2020 competitors, who now have more clarity about what direction they should take their campaigns. Read more at The Washington Post and The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

2:25 p.m.

The third time is most certainly not the Brexit charm.

After suffering two failures, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday there isn't "sufficient support" to bring her proposed Brexit deal for a third vote in Parliament. The announcement effectively spells the end of May's wildly unpopular plan, piling even more uncertainty onto Britain's delayed EU departure.

May's plan for a "slow Brexit" has been rejected twice, with a historic 432-202 denial in January sparking a no-confidence vote in the leader. There's since been little visible progress to find a deal both May's Conservative Party and the opposition Labour will agree on, leading the EU to agree to delay Brexit until June 30 at May's request. In the meantime, the Labour Party has floated the idea of running a second Brexit referendum that could keep Britain in the EU after all. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:11 p.m.

Apple has its own credit card now.

The company at an event on Monday announced Apple Card, which users can sign up for on their phone. They receive a digital card, which they can use to receive 2 percent cash back on Apple Pay purchases, per The Verge. Apple also touted "no late fees, no annual fees, no international fees, and no over limit fees." Purchases can be monitored through the Wallet app.

Although Apple Card is digital, you can also get an actual, physical card, which is made out of titanium and has the user's name laser etched into it. It has no card number, no CVV security code, no expiration date, and no signature. Purchases made with the physical card will earn users 1 percent cash back.

Apple also announced its news subscription service, which will feature content from 300 magazines and cost $9.99 per month, per The Hollywood Reporter. Brendan Morrow

1:45 p.m.

It turns out that Attorney General William Barr had a lot longer than just 48 hours to analyze the fact that Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not reach a conclusion as to whether President Trump obstructed justice during Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russian election interference in 2016.

In fact, Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with members of Mueller's prosecutorial team three weeks ago, CNN reports. Mueller's team informed them that Mueller would neither indict or exonerate the president of obstruction. Barr reportedly did not expect this conclusion.

But the revelation is important because it challenges the widely-held notion that Barr reached his own judgment on obstruction in the tight, 48-hour window between when Mueller handed the report to Barr on Friday evening and Barr's letter to Congress briefing them on the principal conclusions of the investigation, which he sent on Sunday afternoon. Tim O'Donnell

1:32 p.m.

Federal prosecutors have just announced charges against Michael Avenatti.

Avenatti, the former lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels, has been arrested and charged over an alleged attempt to extort millions of dollars from Nike. Southern District of New York prosecutors allege he demanded Nike pay him and a client millions of dollars or he would hold a press conference revealing damaging information about the company, CBS News reports. Prosecutors say he said he would not hold a press conference if Nike retained him and paid him and a co-conspirator "at a minimum, between $15 and $25 million." He allegedly said that if Nike didn't agree to his demands, he would "go take ten billion dollars off your client's market cap."

CNBC reports Avenatti has been arrested and is being charged with wire and bank fraud. He had tweeted earlier on Monday that he would hold a press conference "to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by Nike that we have uncovered." Brendan Morrow

12:56 p.m.

Now that one special counsel investigation has wrapped up, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wants another.

Graham, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Monday said Attorney General William Barr should appoint a new special counsel to investigate allegations of the FBI and the Department of Justice "playing politics" in 2016. This would include looking into the FBI's obtaining of a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump aide Carter Paige, which included references to allegations from British spy Christopher Steele's unconfirmed dossier on the Trump campaign's alleged Russia collusion. This was not the entire basis for obtaining the warrant, however, explains NBC News.

"The FISA warrant issued against Carter Page based on a dossier prepared by Christopher Steele is at a minimum disturbing," Graham said, per ABC. "Whether or not it's illegal, I don't yet know, so I'm going to get answers to this."

Graham said he would "like to find somebody like a Mr. Mueller" that could look into this FISA warrant among other concerns raised by conservatives in recent years. Mueller "thoroughly investigated the Trump campaign," but "you cannot say that about the other side of the story," he argued. Graham also said he wants this special counsel to investigate the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. He was headed to speak with Barr shortly after this press conference.

Trump himself suggested on Sunday more investigations should take place, saying, "hopefully, somebody's going to be looking at the other side."

The Judiciary Committee will also examine these issues, Graham said on Monday after previously hinting at this by tweeting at Former FBI Director James Comey, "See you soon." Brendan Morrow

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