Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled new leaked government documents that appear to show Boris Johnson misled the public over the nature of his new Brexit deal with the EU.
Labour says the internal government paper, marked “official sensitive”, warns of new customs checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland – which the government has claimed would not exist.
Speaking in central London on Friday Mr Corbyn told journalists: “Today I can reveal further hard evidence that Johnson is deliberately misleading the people”.
Download the new Indpendent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
He added: “This document is very ominous. There will be other secret reports like this one in every government department that reveal the disastrous impacts of his policies on the safety of the food you eat, on the rights you have at work, on the pollution of the air that we breathe and on the jobs and industries that people work in. These reports exist but the government is hiding them from you because in this election the Conservatives want you to vote blind.”
The leaked document is marked “official sensitive” and appears to originate from the Treasury. It is titled “Unfettered access to the UK internal market” and appears to be an official analysis of the so-called “Northern Ireland protocol” which replaces the backstop negotiated by Theresa May.
The Labour leader said the document was “fifteen pages that paint a damning picture” of the Brexit deal. He said that page five of the document stated: “There will be customs declarations and security checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain” – which Mr Johnson has repeatedly denied in public.
Mr Corbyn added: “It is there in black and white. It says there will be customs declarations, absolutely clearly, for trade going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
“The Government cannot rule out regulatory checks, rules of origin checks and animal and public health checks also. For trade going the other way, from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, there will be all of the above plus potentially damaging tariffs.”
The leaked document seems to confirm in the government’s own words what essentially all trade experts say about the Brexit deal with regard to customs, but which Mr Johnson has continued to deny point-blank when asked in public.
At the start of the election campaign, the prime minister was asked in person by Northern Ireland business leaders whether they would be subject to customs declarations.
“You will absolutely not,” he told them. “If anyone asks you to do that tell them to ring up the Prime Minister and I’ll direct them to put that for in the bin.”
Earlier in the campaign Labour presented separate leaked documents that showed UK negotiators have been repeatedly discussing the National Health Service with US trade officials, despite claims by Boris Johnson that the NHS is not “on the table” in talks.
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.
Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant, was seriously ill when immigration agents put him in a small South Texas holding cell with another sick boy on the afternoon of May 19.
A few hours earlier, a nurse practitioner at the Border Patrol’s dangerously overcrowded processing center in McAllen had diagnosed him with the flu and measured his fever at 103 degrees. She said that he should be checked again in two hours and taken to the emergency room if his condition worsened.
None of that happened. Worried that Carlos might infect other migrants in the teeming McAllen facility, officials moved him to a cell for quarantine at a Border Patrol station in nearby Weslaco.
By the next morning, he was dead.
In a press releasethat day, Customs and Border Protection’s acting commissioner at the time, John Sanders, called Carlos’ death a “tragic loss.” The agency said that an agent had found Carlos “unresponsive” after checking in on him. Sanders said the Border Patrol was “committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody.”
But the record shows that the Border Patrol fell far short of that standard with Carlos. ProPublica has obtained video that documents the 16-year-old’s last hours, and it shows that Border Patrol agents and health care workers at the Weslaco holding facility missed increasingly obvious signs that his condition was perilous.
The cellblock video shows Carlos writhing for at least 25 minutes on the floor and a concrete bench. It shows him staggering to the toilet and collapsing on the floor, where he remained in the same position for the next four and a half hours.
According to a “subject activity log” maintained by the Border Patrol throughout Carlos’ custody, an agent checked on him three times during the early morning hours in which he slipped from unconsciousness to death, but reported nothing alarming about the boy.
The video shows the only way CBP officials could have missed Carlos’ crisis is that they weren’t looking. His agony was apparent, even in grainy black and white, making clear the agent charged with monitoring him failed to perform adequate checks, if he even checked at all. The coroner who performed an autopsy on Carlos said she was told the agent occasionally looked into the cell through the window.
The video makes clear that CBP, the Border Patrol’s parent agency, inaccurately described how Carlos’ body was discovered. Contrary to the agency’s press release, it was Carlos’ cellmate who found him, not agents doing an early morning check. On the video, the cellmate can be seen waking up and groggily walking to the toilet, where Carlos was lying in a pool of blood on the floor. He gestures for help at the cell door. Only then do agents enter the cell and discover that Carlos had died during the night.
Officials with the Department of Homeland Security, which includes CBP, wouldn’t say whether the scenes recorded by the camera during Carlos’ final hours were shown live on video monitors, as is the case in some Border Patrol facilities, and if they were, whether anyone had been assigned to watch the footage.
The video and other records reviewed by ProPublica document numerous missteps in the days leading up to Carlos’ final hours on the floor of Cell 199. Independent medical experts pointed in particular to the decision to send a 16-year-old suffering from the flu to a holding cell rather than a hospital as a pivotal mistake.
Get Our Top Investigations
Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter.
“Why is a teenaged boy in a jail facility at all if he is sick with a transmissible illness? Why isn’t he at a hospital or at a home or clinic where he can get a warm bed, fluids, supervised attention and medical care? He is not a criminal,” said Dr. Judy Melinek, a San Francisco-based forensic pathologist who reviewed records of Carlos’ death at the request of ProPublica. “No one should die this way: vomiting, with a fever and without the comfort of a caregiver.”
A CBP spokesman declined to respond to a series of questions about Carlos’ death, citing an ongoing internal investigation. “While we cannot discuss specific information or details of this investigation, we can tell you that the Department of Homeland Security and this agency are looking into all aspects of this case to ensure all procedures were followed,” CBP spokesperson Matt Leas said.
CBP has refused to release the video and other records of Carlos’ death to the public or Congress, citing the ongoing internal investigation. But using Texas open records laws, ProPublica obtained material from the Weslaco Police Department, which briefly investigated his death. The records included surveillance video, detainee logs and health records turned over to police by Border Patrol.
Interviews and documents illustrate how immigration and child welfare agencies, while grappling with surging migrant numbers, were unable to meet their own guidelines for processing and caring for children. With holding tanks that were never equipped to house migrants for more than a few hours, the Border Patrol was inundated with families and children. Shelters for children, offering beds and medical care, were already packed.
The agency held Carlos for six days, though the agency is supposed to transfer children within 72 hours.
Carlos was the sixth migrant childto die after being detained while entering the U.S. in less than a year. Some died of preexisting illnesses, but at least two others died of the flu diagnosed while in Border Patrol custody. Carlos was the only one to die at a Border Patrol station; the others were taken to medical facilities after falling ill. In the previous decade, not a single migrant child had died in custody.
Carlos’ death prompted changes to require Border Patrol agents to enter the cells of ailing detainees at regular intervals to check on them and take temperatures, according to a source familiar with the fallout.
The DHS inspector general has been investigating the circumstances of Carlos’ death but has not released any findings.
Sanders, the acting head of the agency, resigned soon after the incident. He recently faulted unprepared agencies and an unresponsive Congress for a tragedy that he said was both predictable and preventable.
The deaths of Carlos and other children under his watch continue to haunt him. “I believe the U.S. government could have done more,” he said.
Carlos left his remote village in central Guatemala in early May. San Jose del Rodeo, home to indigenous Maya, is set in a lush landscape, and the village is a collection of tin-roofed houses and smoky outdoor cooking fires. The valleys below provide most of what little work there is, on farms growing and harvesting corn, coffee beans and sugar cane.
Carlos, the second youngest of eight children, was a standout student at the village school. He was captain of the soccer team and excelled in playing instruments the school had bought by selling raffle tickets. “He played percussion and the bombo and the lyre and the trumpet,” said Jose Morales Pereira, who was Carlos’ teacher. “He always said, ‘Professor, let’s teach everyone else.’ He was my leader.”
Bartoleme Hernandez, Carlos’ father, worked when he could planting corn or clearing land. He wore cut up tires on his feet to save his shoes for Sundays. Money was so tight that Carlos sometimes came to school with no lunch and did weekend farm work and odd jobs to help out, his teacher said.
As children, Carlos and his friends made a game of pretending to cross the border. To reach their imaginary U.S., they scaled a fence, and Carlos always played the one who made it across. The kids used guava leaves as pretend money to send to family back home, recalled a childhood friend who described the game in a Facebook post.
Two dozen or more young friends had traveled to the U.S. before Carlos. Crossing the border typically cost migrants $5,000 to $10,000 for smugglers who offer safe passage through drug cartel territory. Some migrants take out loans to fund their travel; Carlos told his teacher he might work along the way to pay his fees. He had a brother already in the U.S., and he planned to find a construction job.
Starting late last year, smugglers ran express buses up through Mexico to meet demand. A family member said Carlos and his sister traveled by bus for much of their journey. At the Rio Grande on May 13, they wore life vests and crowded onto a rubber raft with a half-dozen others.
Their parents received a video that day — later shared with the media — showing them casting off into the river. The siblings landed near Hidalgo at the southern tip of Texas, part of a group of 70 that was immediately rounded up by border agents.
In custody, Carlos was separated from his adult sister, as required under the law. He was assigned an alien identification number — A203665141 — to help agencies track him. A Border Patrol agent at the warehouselike processing center in McAllen screened Carlos for illness or injury and found none.
Migrants were supposed to be held in CBP centers for no more than three days before being deported, moved to Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers or released pending a hearing. Under a 2008 anti-trafficking law, children and teenagers crossing the border illegally without parents or guardian generally must be placed with the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours, except in the case of heavy influx. Then they must be moved out as quickly as possible.
But Carlos had arrived at the peak of the surge, with 144,000 migrants apprehended in May alone. With the overflow crowds, nothing was working as it should have been. HHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were backlogged in transferring children out of CBP custody. In a spot check soon after Carlos died, the DHS inspector general reported that a third of the 2,800 unaccompanied minors in CBP custody in the Rio Grande Valley had been there longer than 72 hours.
Authorities at first questioned whether Carlos was a minor and whether the woman he was traveling with was his sister, according to a CBP source with knowledge of the matter. It took agents 48 hours to determine he was a few weeks shy of his 17th birthday, and the confusion delayed the search for HHS shelter space.
The McAllen facility where Carlos arrived on May 13 was barely fit for habitation. The DHS inspector general visited Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol facilities about a month later, as the number of apprehensions had begun to decline, and found holding pens packed well beyond capacity and other appalling conditions. The inspector general’s urgent alert to management warned that the overcrowding posed “an immediate risk to the health and safety” of both agents and detainees, including through the spread of infectious diseases.
Border Patrol centers were designed to temporarily hold migrants and were not set up for long-term detention, which typically includes medical staff to treat detainees who become ill. The agency had a handful of emergency medical technicians assigned to the centers. In late 2018, it had only 20 medical staffers working under contract along the 2,000-mile Mexican border to monitor the health needs of 50,000 apprehended migrants a month. CBP brought in medics from the Coast Guard and other federal agencies after two children died in custody in December and as the number of border crossers in custody began to approach 100,000 a month.
At the high point of the migrant surge in May, the Border Patrol had custody of 20,000 people a day; its definition of a crisis is 6,000 detainees.
As the surge escalated and Sanders and others pressed for help, the DHS shifted $47 million for additional medical staff to its contract provider, Loyal Source Government Services. (The company did not respond to requests for comment.)
Loyal Source increased its hiring, running a stream of job ads like one seeking EMTs for screenings at the Weslaco Border Patrol station, where Carlos died, that offered full-time, part-time, day, night and weekend shifts.
The prospect of flu outbreaks was a growing concern. The CBP had rejected a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it vaccinate migrants, saying such a program was impractical and complex. Amid the crowding, Border Patrol agents, trained in law enforcement, had reluctantly stepped into care-taking roles.
If Carlos had made it to an HHS shelter, he likely would have been vaccinated for the flu, a standard procedure in HHS shelters. But when HHS finally found a bed for him, the agency postponed his relocation because he had the flu and was not fit to travel.
Carlos had been detained in McAllen for six days when he reported feeling ill.
At 1 a.m. on May 19, he saw a nurse practitioner and complained of a headache and fever. Tests showed he had type A flu and a 103-degree fever. Nurse practitioner Irasema Gonzalez gave him ibuprofen and Tylenol and ordered Tamiflu, which is a standard treatment for flu symptoms.
Gonzalez’s treatment report also said Carlos should “return to medical office in 2 hrs or sooner” and should be taken to an emergency room if his symptoms persisted or worsened. There is no record of further medical treatment over the next 19 hours in the records obtained by ProPublica. Gonzalez didn’t respond to an inquiry from ProPublica.
Carlos was not sent to an emergency room or other outside medical facility. Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said basic monitoring of Carlos should have provided warnings that he was becoming seriously ill.
“Flu can progress rapidly, but it’s not like a heart attack. Even when fast, it worsens over a period of hours. There should have been signs that indicated he needed to go to the hospital,” Sharfstein said.
Instead, records show he was moved at midday to the smaller Weslaco station, where he could be isolated with other sick detainees.
At 8 p.m. that night, Carlos was given Tamiflu at the Weslaco station by Martha Garcia, a nurse practitioner. Her treatment report didn’t record a temperature or vital signs, leaving it unclear how thoroughly he had been examined. The report said Carlos had no medical complaints and was “in no acute distress.” Garcia didn’t respond to an inquiry from ProPublica.
The Border Patrol’s “subject activity log” from early morning on May 20 shows that Carlos was given a hot meal just after midnight. It is unclear if he was able to keep down any food. Weslaco police reports say that was the last time Border Patrol agents saw him alive.
The video of Cell 199 provided to ProPublica by Weslaco police is split into two parts, the first showing more than 33 minutes beginning about 1:13 a.m. and the second showing 1 hour and 11 minutes beginning about 5:48 a.m. Weslaco Police Chief Joel Rivera said that’s how Border Patrol provided the video to his investigators. The investigation ended after the coroner and police found no foul play in Carlos’ death.
CBP didn’t respond to questions about why the tape it provided has a four-hour gap that includes the hours when an agent reported doing welfare checks.
The time stamp on the video is inaccurate, but ProPublica was able to compare it with police and emergency medical service records to estimate that the first video begins at about 1:13 a.m., about an hour after Carlos was fed.
The beginning of the video shows Carlos on the toilet in the cell, partially obscured by a waist-high privacy wall. His cellmate, another ill boy who has not been identified, is asleep under Mylar blankets on a cement bench.
Carlos returns to the cement bench opposite his cellmate about six minutes into the video and shifts uncomfortably. He moves out of the camera’s view for a couple of minutes, apparently sitting or standing next to the cell’s large window.
At about 1:24 a.m., Carlos topples forward and lands face-first on the concrete floor. He is wearing blue jeans and a disposable surgical mask. For the next 11 minutes, he is largely still. At about 1:35 a.m., he vomits blood on the floor and then stands and staggers to the toilet.
The tape shows him sitting on the toilet for about a minute before he slides onto the ground. He struggles for several more minutes and then stops moving at approximately 1:39 a.m. Police photos taken after his death show a large pool of blood around his head.
The second part of the video opens at about 5:48 a.m. Carlos can be seen in the same position as he was four hours earlier. He is on his back, his head by the toilet, and his legs stretching out before him, toes up. The Border Patrol’s log documenting Carlos’ detention for the evening notes three welfare checks during the gap in the video, at 2:02 a.m., 4:09 a.m. and 5:05 a.m. All three log entries were attributed to Agent Oscar Garza.
Garza couldn’t be reached for comment and CBP officials wouldn’t answer questions about the extent of the welfare checks. The pathologist who performed the autopsy, Dr. Norma Jean Farley, said in an interview that she had been told the agent looked through the window but didn’t go inside Cell 199. She said it wouldn’t be unusual for a feverish child to seek comfort by laying on a cool floor.
The CBP’s policies on holding detained migrants are outlined in its National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention and Search, known as TEDS. The standards are vague about welfare check requirements, saying agents should physically check holding cells in a “regular and frequent manner, according to each operational office’s policies and procedures. Physical inspections must be recorded in the appropriate electronic system(s) of record as soon as practicable.”
At about 6:05 a.m., the tape shows, Carlos’ cellmate awakens and discovers him on the floor. After about a minute, he walks over to the cell door and gets the attention of a Border Patrol agent, identified in police reports as Edgar Reyes.
The agent comes in, shines a flashlight on Carlos’ body and leaves. A few minutes later, a physician assistant, Alda Martinez, comes into the cell with a medic’s kit and attempts one chest compression. She quickly concluded that Carlos was dead, police reports said. Other agents walk in, stepping on silver blankets strewn around the cell. Weslaco paramedics arrive at 6:47 a.m. and declare Carlos dead.
The Border Patrol press release describing these events said “He was found un-responsive this morning during a welfare check.”
The autopsy report did not address how long Carlos had been dead before his cellmate found him. His body had already begun to stiffen when Martinez attempted to revive him. The process of rigor mortis can be accelerated by the flu.
John Sanders had seen the crisis on the border coming as early as November 2018. Then serving as the CBP’s chief operating officer, he had worked the numbers and realized that if projections about the migrant influx held true, agencies would be woefully short of shelter space for unaccompanied minors. An interagency task force monitoring the weather conditions and movements of people in Central America projected huge migrations in the coming months.
But the Trump administration agencies responsible for handling migrants, CBP and HHS, were at odds over the problem’s severity. HHS shelters were then boarding about 15,000 children, but the HHS leadership believed beds would empty out quickly thanks to a policy change reluctantly implemented by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after a long battle. ICE had made it less legally risky for migrant adults to come forward to pick up children in shelters by easing mandatory fingerprinting requirement implemented in April 2018. The December 2018 policy change had increased the number of children released from HHS custody.
Still the numbers kept growing. Buses and car caravans ferried groups of 100 or more migrants at a time to the border; 111 such groups arrived in the winter and spring, compared with 13 the previous year and just two in 2017. CBP told Congress the large groups overwhelmed border security and at the same time created diversions for drug smuggling.
The Trump administration asked Congress in January for $800 million to upgrade border facilities, but it approved about $414 million, including money for a new El Paso processing center to hold children and families, renovation funds for the McAllen processing center and about $192 million for “improved medical care, transportation, and consumables” for those in CBP custody, according to the joint statement issued when the bill was finalized. It soon became clear it wasn’t enough.
Sanders was among the administration officials who appealed to Congress for additional funding. He predicted that without more funding, children would not be safe.
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, a California Democrat who chairs the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, blamed the Trump administration for conditions that led to the deaths of Carlos and other children.
“Their deaths should never, ever have happened. Tragically, DHS was irresponsible in not having an adequate mass migration plan to keep migrants safe, ensure their humane treatment and address their health care needs,” Roybal-Allard said. She also criticized HHS for failing to have “a plan to ensure it could quickly and safely take custody of unaccompanied children in CBP custody.”
In April, with the border crisis deepening daily, Sanders was named acting CBP commissioner as his boss Kevin McAleenan moved up to become acting secretary of DHS. Those would prove just interim personnel shuffles by a White House determined to harden its border policies.
The fight for money became one of Sanders’ top priorities. By May, as Carlos prepared to head north, the Trump administration made the case for $4.5 billion in emergency aid, with $2.9 billion to cover a shortfall in the program for unaccompanied minors. Democrats supported the humanitarian funding but many objected to $1.1 billion for additional immigrant detention spending.
Carlos’ death highlighted the need for relief. White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and McAleenan, making the case for the administration’s border funding request, described deteriorating conditions in a May 30 call with reporters:
“Four hundred children arrived in the last 24 hours alone. Four of those children this month have died transiting through Mexico into the United States — two drowning in a river, both a 5-year-old and 10-month-old; and two teenage boys died of infections after receiving medical treatment in federal custody,” McAleenan said. “Yesterday, a single group of 1,036 families and unaccompanied children simply walked from Juárez, Mexico, into the United States illegally as a single group — the largest group ever apprehended at the border.”
Another month would pass before a majority in Congress agreed on the humanitarian funding.
A police investigation into Carlos’ death began soon after his body was discovered, the case assigned to Det. Chris Ramirez of the Weslaco Police Department. There was no sign of foul play, and Ramirez noted that Carlos showed signs of a flulike illness. The Border Patrol turned over its surveillance video for review by police and the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy.
Dr. Norma Jean Farley served under contract with the county government. Her work on Carlos’ case included reviewing the timeline presented in the cell video and examining photos of his body from the death scene. Her autopsy report listed the cause of death as Influenza A 2009 H1N1 respiratory infection complicated by bronchopneumonia, sepsis and an immune system disorder called hemophagocytosis.
Farley said in an interview that the video showed that no one entered Carlos’ cell between 12:20 a.m., when he was fed, and around 6 a.m., when the cellmate knocked on the door to get an agent’s attention.
Farley largely defended the Border Patrol’s handling of the matter and questioned why Carlos did not do more to save himself.
“I was a little surprised that this kid, as sick as he was in the cell, never just knocked on the door as his roommate did, because as soon as the roommate did, they opened,” Farley said. “I just don’t know why he didn’t knock on the door.”
H1N1 flu has a typical incubation period of one to four days after exposure, and Carlos was in Border Patrol custody during that time. But Farley said she suspects Carlos may have had diarrhea caused by an immune disorder on his journey through Mexico, although there was no evidence of illness in his Border Patrol medical screening record.
“I’m finding what these people that tend to come there, they don’t tell them that they’re sick. And I don’t know if they’re afraid to tell them they’re sick because they’ll be quarantined. I don’t know what the issue is that they don’t. He finally did, but by the time he’s telling them that he’s sick, he’s more sick than he knows,” she said.
Questions remain about why Carlos’ grave condition was not recognized by the nurse practitioners on May 19, or before, or during his hours at Weslaco. An agency spokeswoman said investigators are looking into “all aspects of a case to ensure proper care procedures were followed.”
The Guatemalan government brought Carlos’ body home to his village to wide television news coverage, its embassy calling on the U.S. to conduct a full investigation of his death. Thousands of mourners poured in from around the country to follow behind his casket, which was borne by soccer teammates down a long dirt road to the cemetery.
Pallbearers taped his royal blue No. 9 soccer jersey to the top of his casket as they laid it to rest. “Maybe in all of his life, the 16 years that he was in this life, maybe he didn’t do many things, but he did move us,” said a speaker at his funeral. “He touched hearts.”
Carlos’ grief-stricken parents questioned how their son could have died in U.S. custody. His father, in an interview with Telemundo, wondered: “He left healthy. What happened to him?”
Carlos’ father, Bartolome Hernandez, said in a phone interview he will be glad to have answers from U.S. officials. “They need to take better care of migrants,” he said. “The U.S. isn’t a place where they should be allowing anyone to die like that.”
Pereira, Carlos’ teacher, said that he believes the boy was abandoned in his cell. He had not seen the video but said “If you have an animal that’s sick and you’ve kept it in a room, every little while you’re going to go check on it, see if it has water, whether it’s shivering. That’s with an animal. And this was a human being.”
In the months that have passed, lawyers at the Texas Civil Rights Project, a migrant advocacy group, have been in touch with Carlos’ family and asked the CBP to preserve its records. They say that so far they have received little information about the death investigation.
Meanwhile, in Washington, moderate House Democrats joined Republicans in passing a bipartisan Senate bill sending $4.6 billion aid to the border on June 27. The impasse was broken a day after a heart-rending photograph went viral showing a drowned father and daughter lying face down on the banks of the Rio Grande.
The border situation has changed dramatically since Carlos’ death. CBP now has 250 health staffers at its facilities across the Southwest, but Border Patrol cells have largely emptied out since July. The number of migrants crossing the border has declined sharply. The Trump administration has credited the decrease to more aggressive interdiction efforts by Mexico.
Adults and families crossing the border increasingly have been sent back to Mexico under the administration’s controversial Migrant Protection Protocols program, which sends them to wait in dangerous Mexican border cities while U.S. courts consider their immigration and asylum claims.
The number of unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border was 2,800 in October, a quarter of what it was when Carlos arrived in May. Still, those who work with migrants on the ground say the numbers could swell again, and HHS is building out its shelter capacity from 15,000 beds to 20,000, with emergency influx facilities that can handle thousands more.
Questions about Carlos’ death and whether agencies or individuals could have done more to prevent it have yet to be fully aired. CBP has not said when the DHS inspector general’s review will be completed. Congressional committees that voiced concern about the spate of child deaths have not had access to the Carlos cell videos, pending internal agency reviews.
The death of the 16-year-old, whose Facebook page showed a circle of teenage friends, reverberated beyond the small village of San Jose del Rodeo. Friends posted video of his funeral and a village wake on social media, with emotional tributes to him. Guatemalan immigrants outside New York City held a fundraiser to help support his family, one of the goals Carlos had in coming to the U.S.
John Sanders resigned soon after the incident, frustrated with what he characterized as unprepared agencies and an unresponsive Congress that allowed children in custody to suffer in harsh conditions.
“I really think the American government failed these people. The government failed people like Carlos,” he said. “I was part of that system at a very high level, and Carlos’ death will follow me for the rest of my life.”
Jack Gillum and Benjamin Hardy contributed to this report.
Robert Moore has been a journalist at the U.S.-Mexico border for more than 30 years and is founder of the nonprofit news organization El Paso Matters.
Susan Schmidt is an investigative reporter who formerly worked for The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. She won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting at the Post in 2006 and was part of the Post team that won for national reporting in 2002.
“Once upon a time I was in my early twenties, no children, a job I could leave at work for the most part a full night’s sleep and a partridge in a pear tree. When a friend would have a baby or someone got really sick I would show up with my arms loaded full of home baked goodies, thoughtful cards, meals to their exact liking and honestly I really thought this is what service to the people in my life should look like.
Then I had my first baby. Then another, this time the first one was only two and the second had colic. It was the hardest transition of my life. During this period, I completely stopped showing up with meals and loving my tribe in this way, not because I wasn’t able to but because I didn’t feel I could do the job justice. I felt that what I would be able to offer wasn’t good enough to bother with. I was so wrong.
Now, I have three little boys, we live in a tiny house (like an actual tiny house, not just a small house), our lives are full but so very happy. I’m in my thirties now, I’m older, more tired and I’ve been through enough in my life to learn the truth I wish I’d known then, are you ready? It’s really profound… Just show up.
That’s it, really. Just show up. When your friend’s husband dies unexpectedly, when she has a baby, when she is going through a divorce, when her life is unraveling, she doesn’t care if you baked the cookies from scratch and perfectly placed them in a platter. Show up (call first) in your socks with pizza. Honestly, I think showing up without your act perfectly together is probably more kind to the person who is going through hell.
A friend went through some of the hardest life changes you can go through last year, I got the call at 6pm, left my kids with my husband and drove the 15 minutes to her house with my socks beautifully crammed into the Birkenstocks I’d found near the door. My hair needed to be washed and I probably had a coffee stain on my sweatshirt. I got to the door and let myself in (we’re close). I held her, loaded her dishwasher, read her kids a story and tucked them in, switched the laundry and cleaned the front bathroom for guests. You see earlier in my life I wouldn’t have made it there for an hour because I felt it was important to make myself presentable and bring a Pinterest worthy meal. She didn’t need Pinterest, she needed me, in all my socks with Birkenstocks imperfection. She needed me to meet her in the middle of her nightmare, to stand in the Gap and to sit at her table at 9:30 drinking hot tea and listening.
Loving the people around you shouldn’t wait until you can do it perfectly and beautifully. There’s no trophy for best baked good drop off. There’s nothing to be gained by keeping people from your realness. Somewhere in the social media age we lost touch with the people close to us. We started comparing our private lives to everyone else’s Instagram feed. We stopped being the village. We started fending for ourselves. Enough is enough. Life is beautiful but it can be so hard, we need people in our lives to show up and to love us in the midst of our tragedy. We need human interaction and we need pizza in our socks with good friends.
We need the village. It was there for a reason.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katie Bryant, 31, of North Caroina. Follow Katie on Instagram here and Facebook here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribeto our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
And that’s a big deal if you know pageant history.
Beauty pageants early in their histories, some dating back to the 1920s, barred women of color from participating. Even after organizations began changing their rules to accept women of all races, there was still a lingering frustration and opposition to join.
When Toni-Ann Singh of Jamaica was crowned as Miss World on Saturday, she joined a historic group of black women, along with 2019 Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris, 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin and 2019 Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.
Here’s what you should know about these five women:
Miss World plans to be a doctor
Singh, 23, from Morant, Jamaica, graduated from Florida State University with degrees in psychology and women’s studies. She plans to enroll in medical school soon, according to the Miss World website.
“I will continue to be an advocate for women,” she said, after winning the Miss World Jamaica crown in September. “I believe women are the lifeblood of our community. So, I will continue to inspire and work with them, so they understand just how great their potential is.”
Miss Universe fights against gender-based violence
Tunzi hails from the town of Tsolo in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Along with English, the 26-year-old speaks Xhosa and has launched a social media campaign against gender-based violence.
In a recent Instagram post, she called on her fellow South Africans to write love letters pledging support for women in her country.
“It is my hope that these pledges will start, and continue a conversation around gender-based violence,” Tunzi wrote. “We have to start the narration where right-thinking people act as role models for those who think it’s okay to mistreat women.”
At the Miss Universe pageant, Tunzi spoke about how conventional beauty standards haven’t typically included skin and hair like hers, encouraging women to embrace themselves and love who they are.
“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me — with my kind of skin and my kind of hair — was never considered to be beautiful,” she said in her last response before she was crowned. “I think it is time that that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”
Hailing from North Carolina, Kryst practices civil litigation for a law firm and has a passion for helping prisoners who may have been sentenced unjustly get reduced punishments, free of charge.
Kryst, who is licensed to practice in two states, earned both her law degree and MBA from Wake Forest University and completed her undergraduate work at the University of South Carolina.
In a video played during this week’s competition, Kryst told a story about how a judge at a legal competition suggested she wear a skirt instead of pants because judges prefer skirts.
“Glass ceilings can be broken wearing either a skirt or pants,” she said. “Don’t tell females to wear different clothes while you give the men substantive feedback on their legal arguments.”
Since then, she’s built a blog for women’s workwear fashion and volunteered for Dress for Success.
Miss Teen USA defies pageant beauty norms
When Garris took the Miss Teen USA stage Sunday, she did it with confidence as she wore her natural hair.
“I know what I look like with straight hair, with extensions, and with my curly hair, and I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair,” the 18-year-old from Connecticut told Refinery29.
When she began competing in pageants, Garris said she had to fight against beauty standards suggesting that straight hair was better than her natural curls.
There were people who told her how they thought she should style her hair, she said. But she ignored their criticism and went on to win the title of Miss Connecticut Teen USA with her natural hair and then Miss Teen USA.
Miss America says music helped her find herself
Franklin remembers what music did for her. Now she tries to inspire children in the same way.
An opera singer, Franklin discovered her identity through music, she explained during the Miss America competition in September.
“I grew up at a predominately Caucasian school, and there was only 5% minority, and I felt out of place so much because of the color of my skin,” the 23-year-old North Carolina native said. “But growing up, I found my love of arts, and through music that helped me to feel positive about myself and about who I was.”
Representing New York, Franklin showed her passion for music when she sang “Quando m’en vo’” from Puccini’s “La Bohème.” Wowing the judges, she was crowned the 2019 Miss America.
FCC approves new three-digit number, 988, as US suicide prevention hotline
Published 7:31 PM EST Dec 12, 2019
A three-digit suicide prevention hotline number will soon make seeking emergency mental health help more like calling 911, federal regulators announced Thursday.
When the months-long process is completed, U.S. residents will be able to call 988 for help in a mental health emergency, just as 911 connects people in need to first-responders for other emergencies.
Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number, 800-273-TALK (8255). That number routes callers to one of 163 crisis centers, where counselors answered 2.2 million calls last year.
“The three-digit number is really going to be a breakthrough in terms of reaching people in a crisis,” said Dwight Holton, CEO of Lines for Life, a suicide prevention nonprofit. “No one is embarrassed to call 911 for a fire or an emergency. No one should be embarrassed to call 988 for a mental health emergency.”
It’s not a hotline, it’s a ‘warmline’: It gives mental health help before a crisis heats up
A Thursday release from the Federal Communications Commission says formal rule-making on the 988 number has begun — it’s a process that started with a congressional statute in 2018 and was the subject of an FCC report released in August.
So far, the FCC has only proposed requiring all telephone service providers to accommodate the 988 number within 18 months. The next step is a comment period on the implementation, including the project’s timeframe.
Last year, a USA TODAY investigation reported that more than 47,000 Americans killed themselves in 2017, citing a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Since 1999, the suicide rate has climbed 33 percent.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and is often called a public health emergency.
“There’s been so much more put into every one of those causes of death than suicide. … If you didn’t do anything for heart disease and you didn’t do anything for cancer, then you’d see those rates rise, too.” John Draper, director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, told USA TODAY last year.
Public health experts say suicide is preventable.
Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741. National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Contributing: Anne Godlasky and Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
Yes, you can still get pregnant with your tubes tied. Your odds are between 1% to 3.7% depending on factors that include age and surgery type.
Tubal ligation is considered a permanent form of birth control, however, if you decide you want to get pregnant down the road, you can reverse the procedure. Approximately 50% to 80% of women can get pregnant after a reversal.
Short of abstinence, no birth control method is ever 100% guaranteed to prevent pregnancy. Even when it comes to “getting your tubes tied” in a procedure called tubal ligation.
Tubal ligation is not as simple as popping a pill or getting an injection. It’s a surgical procedure performed either during a cesarean, shortly after vaginal birth, or through a minimally-invasive type of surgery, called laparoscopically, when you aren’t pregnant.
During surgery, doctors cut or close off your fallopian tubes to prevent your eggs from meeting up with any sperm.
Whereas The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that the risk is anywhere from 1.8% to 3.7% within 10 years of getting the procedure. For comparison, about 9% of people taking birth control pills will get pregnant.
Your age matters too. Many physicians say that you’ll have a 1 in 200 chance of pregnancy if you have your tubal performed in your 20’s, and a 1 in 300 chance if you’re in your 30’s. Makes sense though, right? More years of sexual intercourse increases the risks of pregnancy after tubal ligation.
Moreover, there are multiple different types of tubal ligation, which may also affect how well the procedure prevents pregnancy. However, there are no data to suggest which type of procedure is more effective than another, so ask consult with a doctor about which type is best for you.
If you’ve had a tubal ligation and you miss a period or get a positive result from a pregnancy test, see your doctor right away. Because you’re at a higher risk of a serious medical condition called an ectopic pregnancy, which happens when a fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus, instead of inside. If left untreated, it can be fatal.
Tubal ligation won’t just prevent pregnancy
For the most part, people who get a tubal ligation are voluntarily looking for a more permanent solution to prevent pregnancy. But sometimes it won’t be as voluntary.
For example, doctors may recommend a tubal ligation if you have a medical condition that could complicate pregnancy or put your health at risk, such as:
Most tubal ligations are done by two small incisions or one small incision in the abdomen.
However, if you have severe scar tissue in your pelvis from a cesarean section, or if you’ve had a pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or previous abdominal surgery, a tubal ligation can be potentially riskier. Talk with your doctor about a procedure using a larger incision in the abdomen.
Additionally, if you have medical problems that would make general anesthesia more dangerous like a history of adverse reactions to anesthesia, you may want to consider a non-surgical type of birth control.
If you have health insurance, check with your carrier to see if it covers this procedure. Otherwise, check with your doctor’s office.
Yes, you can reverse tubal ligation
Sometimes, the desire to have a baby happens later in life, after you’ve had your tubes tied. Since tubal ligation is considered a permanent form of birth control, it does require a minimally invasive surgical procedure to reverse it, so you can try to become pregnant. This involves reconnecting the blocked segments of the fallopian tubes to the remainder of the fallopian tubes.
If successful, a reversal may allow the egg and sperm to meet again. But this depends on your age, type of tubal ligation performed, and the length of your remaining tubes. According to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, approximately 50% to 80% of women can get pregnant after a reversal.
“This is a HUGE win for the pro-life movement!” the Kentucky GOP tweeted on Monday, thanking Bevin and Republican lawmakers. “This decision by SCOTUS to allow the lower court ruling to stand is a victory for the unborn!”
The ACLU had argued that the Kentucky statute had no medical basis and was designed only to coerce a woman into opting out of having an abortion. Defenders of the law said it represented a straightforward attempt to help patients make a well-informed decision.
The high court’s action let stand the law which had been upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement Monday that the high court had “rubber-stamped” Kentucky’s interference in the “doctor-patient relationship.”
“By refusing to review the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship,” according to Kolbi-Molinas.
“This law is not only unconstitutional, but as leading medical experts and ethicists explained, deeply unethical. We are extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court will allow this blatant violation of the First Amendment and fundamental medical ethics to stand.”
Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that backs abortion rights, called the Kentucky law a “shaming tactic.”
“By upholding a requirement that provides conduct an ultrasound before an abortion, what they’re really doing is establishing that the state can interfere with medical health practice and create a stigma,” Nash told NBC News on Monday. “It’s a shaming tactic.”
A diabetes drug taken by millions of people could be contaminated with a chemical linked to cancer, health officials fear.
Some metformin supplies in Singapore have been recalled after authorities found they contained small amounts of a chemical called NDMA.
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is now considering whether similar action needs to be taken for UK products such as Glucophage.
And the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Canada and the European Medicines Agency are doing the same investigations on their own turf.
NDMA is a chemical byproduct from pesticides, chlorine and industrial processes and is classified as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’.
The announcement comes after huge quantities of heartburn and indigestion drugs, including Zantac and UK and US supermarket brands, were recalled because of the same fears.
Diabetes patients are urged to keep taking their medication as normal.
Glucient XR is one of the drugs which has been recalled in Singapore after testing revealed it contains concerning amounts of a chemical called NDMA, which is ‘probably’ cancerous to humans
Three out of 46 versions of metformin were recalled in Singapore last week because there were unsafe amounts of NDMA in them.
‘The levels of NDMA seen in the affected non-UK metformin medicines are very low and appear to be within or even below the range that people would normally be exposed from other sources, including food and water,’ an MHRA statement said.
‘Patients in the UK are advised to continue taking their metformin medicines as usual.
‘The risks from not having adequate diabetes treatment far outweigh any possible effects of the low levels of NDMA seen in metformin medicines outside the UK.
WHAT IS NDMA?
NDMA is the acronym for a chemical called N-Nitrosodimethylamine.
It is created by various industrial processes including the production of rocket fuel, pesticide use and the use of chlorine, from which it has leached into water supplies.
NDMA can be toxic to some enzymes in the body and to DNA, which may lead to cancer-causing mutations.
It doesn’t degrade, or break down, naturally in the environment or our bodies.
It is also common in low quantities in many foods such as cured or smoked meats, fish and beer as well as tobacco smoke.
Animal studies have shown the chemical to cause colorectal, kidney, stomach and kidney cancers at high exposures.
In humans, on the other hand, studies have only suggested large amounts of the chemical could raise the risk of cancer, not cause it directly.
The US Food and Drug Administration says 96 nanograms is an ‘acceptable daily intake limit’.
No human cases of cancer caused by NDMA have been reported, and the World Health Organization (WHO) considers it a ‘probable’ human carcinogen.
‘As these metformin medicines are also available in Europe and outside the EU, the MHRA is working closely with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other regulatory authorities to determine whether any further action is required and will continue to keep patients updated as more information becomes available.’
Metformin is an extremely common drug in the UK and was prescribed, in various forms, around 22.2million times in 2018 at a cost to the NHS of £108.5million.
It is used to treat type 2 diabetes by helping the body to use insulin to bring blood sugar levels down to normal levels.
People who have not reduced their blood sugar by eating healthily and exercising are usually prescribed the medicine, which comes as pills or a liquid.
A study published two years ago said that, in 2013, 84 per cent of type 2 diabetes patients were prescribed metformin in the UK – if true now this could be 2.9million people.
Metformin is also used by the NHS to treat polycystic ovary syndrome, but it is not manufactured specifically for this purpose.
In the UK it is provided under brand names Bolamyn, Diagemet, Glucient, Glucophage and Metabet, and in the US brands include Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza and Riomet.
As yet there is no suggestion that any of these brands’ supplies are contaminated.
There are alternatives to the widely-used drug but one expert said they may cause side effects or be more expensive.
Meijumet’s prolonged release tablets have also been recalled in the island state. Metformin is an extremely common drug and was prescribed around 22million times in the UK last year
WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR?
December 4: Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority discovered NDMA in three out of 46 tested metformin products. Glucient XR 500mg tablets, supplied by Glorious Dexa Singapore, and all batches of Meijumet prolonged-release tablets in 750mg and 1,000mg, supplied by Pharmazen Medicals, were recalled.
December 5: The US Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada said they were investigating whether domestic supplies of metformin had more than the ‘acceptable daily intake limit’ of 96 nanograms of NDMA.
December 6: UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the European Medicines Agency said they were investigating metformin products.
All authorities urged diabetes patients not to stop taking their medication.
The products recalled in Singapore are called Glucient XR (500mg) and Meijumet prolonged-release (750mg and 1,000mg), the Straits Times reported.
The FDA in the US and Health Canada are also looking into whether products in their countries might be affected.
‘The FDA is investigating whether metformin in the U.S. market contains NDMA, and whether it is above the acceptable daily intake limit of 96 nanograms,’ said Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
The agency will ‘recommend recalls as appropriate if high levels of NDMA are found,’ she added in the statement.
A family medicine professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC, Dr Ranit Mishori, said: ‘If these reports are true, it could be a big blow to many millions of people on this drug.
‘There are many other alternatives and other medication classes but many of them have side effects, are more expensive and some of the newest ones may not be covered by insurance.’
Emma Elvin, senior clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, said: ‘Many people use metformin to treat their type 2 diabetes – it is vital in helping manage the condition and reduces their risk of long-term complications.
‘We recommend UK patients to continue taking metformin as prescribed, pending MHRA’s decision whether further action is required. If you have any concerns, please speak to your healthcare team.’
The investigations have been announced just weeks after the latest installment of an NDMA contamination scandal affecting heartburn and indigestion drugs worldwide.
Brand-name heartburn remedy, Zantac, was found to contain the chemical in both UK and US supplies and was recalled around the globe.
It triggered a domino effect with other brands and supermarket own-brands in the UK all forced to recall their own products after NDMA was discovered in them, too.
By the end of November, all products containing the contaminated medicine, ranitidine, had been taken off shelves and out of pharmacies in the UK.
The Department of Health and Social Care said it had banned doctors from prescribing them until further notice, over fears they contain a cancer-causing chemical.
Authorities prohibited doctors from starting new patients on tablet, injectable or liquid versions while experts probed their safety.
Instead, the government is advising medics to switch patients to alternative medications.
HOW NDMA CONTAMINATION SCANDAL AFFECTED HEARTBURN DRUGS THIS YEAR
JUNE – Online pharmacy Valisure detects NDMA in some batches of Zantac and tells the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
SEPTEMBER 13 – The FDA confirms some batches of ranitidine pills, including Zantac, contain trace amounts of NDMA and launch an investigation
Valisure asks the FDA to recall all products containing ranitidine. It says the impurity was the result of the ‘inherent instability’ of the ranitidine molecule, claiming every ranitidine-based drug could be affected
SEPTEMBER 18 – Pharmaceutical giant Novartis’s subsidiary firm Sandoz stops distributing its prescription form of ranitidine worldwide
SEPTEMBER 20 – Italian health chiefs recall more than 500 drugs containing ranitidine made by Indian manufacturer Saraca Laboratories because of the NDMA impurity fears
SEPTEMBER 23 – The Irish equivalent to the MHRA – the Health Products Regulatory Authority – recalls 13 medications containing ranitidine, including seven versions of Zantac. It says the fault comes from the manufacturing plant of the chemical in India
Sandoz recalls its generic version of ranitidine in the US
SEPTEMBER 24 & 25 – GlaxoSmithKline recalls four different types of Zantac in Hong Kong. The next day, it pulls the drug in India, where it is branded as Zinetac. It also halts global distribution of the popular medicine
French health officials recall all branded and generic versions of ranitidine. Canadian chiefs reveal Apotex Inc, Pro Doc Limitée, Sanis Health Inc and Sivem Pharmaceuticals ULC are all recalling their ranitidine drugs
SEPTEMBER 28 – US retailer CVS removes Zantac and its own generic ranitidine products from 6,200 of its stores over NDMA fears
OCTOBER 1 – Walgreens and Rite Aid announce they are both pausing sales of Zantac and ranitidine over the same fears
OCTOBER 2 – GlaxoSmithKline voluntarily recalls its other two types of ranitidine tablets in Ireland
OCTOBER 8 – GSK recalls four prescription-only types of Zantac in the UK
OCTOBER 17 – Teva UK issued a nationwide recall for batches of two types of ranitidine
NOVEMBER 19– Creo Pharma and Tillomed Laboratories recall their 150mg ranitidine tablets and 30mg/ml oral solution, respectively
NOVEMBER 28 – The British Medical Journal reported all ranitidine products had been pulled out of use in the UK and the Government had told doctors to stop prescribing them and use alternatives instead.
Rapper Juice Wrld reportedly ‘popped several pills’ before suffering a fatal seizure at Chicago’s Midway airport on Sunday morning, law enforcement sources have said
Late rapper Juice Wrld reportedly began convulsing and went into cardiac arrest as law enforcement searched luggage from his private jet for guns and drugs at a hangar inside Chicago’s Midway Airport on Sunday.
Police and federal agents had been waiting inside the Atlantic Aviation hangar for the 21-year-old’s flight to arrive from Los Angeles at 1:30am yesterday morning, following suspicions the musician was in possession of contraband, the Chicago Tribune reported.
As officers began sifting through his and his entourage’s suitcases, the up and coming star – real name Jarad Higgins – began ‘convulsing [and] going into a seizure’, law enforcement sources told the outlet.
An agent is then said to have administered Higgins two doses of Narcan, an emergency treatment used when an opioid overdose is suspected.
Higgins eventually woke up but was incoherent and bleeding from the mouth, police said. He’s understood to have been conscious when he was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn but was pronounced dead just an hour later.
According to law enforcement, members of Higgins’ entourage said the ‘Lucid Dreams’ star had taken ‘several unknown pills’ moments before falling ill, TMZ reported.
The search of luggage aboard the jet yielded 70 pounds – or 41 ‘vacuum-sealed’ bags – of marijuana and six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, which contains opioids
Juice Wrld (seen right aboard the jet) is said to have suffered from a Percocet ‘problem’ and had taken ‘several unknown pills’ moments before falling ill
A search of luggage aboard the jet yielded 41 ‘vacuum-sealed’ bags – or 70 pounds – of marijuana and six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, which contains opioids.
Investigators also confirmed that two 9mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, a high-capacity ammunition magazine and metal-piercing bullets were also found.
One of the rapper’s friends told TMZ that Higgins suffered from a Percocet ‘problem’ and would regularly consume the highly-addictive opioid, which can have fatal side-effects when mixed with alcohol or other substances.
For now, it remains unclear whether the drugs played a role in Higgins’ sudden passing, with a specific cause of death yet to be determined by officials.
An autopsy is slated to be carried out by the Cook County Medical examiner later Monday.
The rapper had been with around 10 or 12 people at the time of the fatal seizure, including his girlfriend Ally Lotti and his two security guards, Henry Dean, 27, of Chicago, and Christopher Long, 36, of California.
Both Long and Dean were arrested by the Chicago Police Department at the airport after they were found to be in possession of the three guns found in the search, in addition to a high-capacity magazine and metal-piercing bullets.
Two 9mm pistols and the high-capacity magazine were taken from Dean, police said. A .40-caliber pistol was suspected to be the property of Long.
Dean was charged with carrying a concealed firearm at an airport and possessing a high-capacity magazine and metal-piercing bullets, police said. He had a permit to carry a gun in Illinois, but weapons are banned from being carried in airports.
Long, meanwhile, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. They are both due in court later this month.
No drug charges have yet been filed against any of the people on board the flight.
The marijuana and codeine was found in suitcases that didn’t have name tags on them and an investigation remains ongoing, police said.
Footage from social media from Chris Long’s instagram page shows the entourage stepping off from the plane in Chicago moments before being intercepting by police and federal agents waiting for them inside the Atlantic Aviation hangar
No drug charges have yet been filed against any of the people on board the flight. The marijuana and codeine were found in suitcases that didn’t have name tags on them
Higgins’ jet had flown from Fort Pierce Florida, to Van Nuys California on Saturday. It then departed on to Midway, with the performer scheduled to fly back to California to attend the Rolling Loud Festival in LA this Saturday.
He had flown back to his native Chicago for a belated birthday party taking place in his honor on Sunday night, Fox32 reported, having turned 21 just days earlier on December 2.
Chicago police say they were notified by federal agents while the plane was in the air that ‘weapons and narcotics’ were suspected to be on board the twin-engine Gulfstream jet.
Higgins and his entourage were intercepted by the police department and FBI officials as they entered the lobby of the hangar.
The rapper had been with around 10 or 12 people at the time of seizure, including girlfriend Ally Lotti, other associates, aircraft staff and two security guards, Henry Dean, 27, of Chicago, and Christopher Long, 36 (above), who was arrested on gun possession charges
A drug-sniffing dog made a ‘positive alert’ for bags on two luggage carts, the Tribune reported, where the marijuana and codeine was later discovered.
Dean then declared to police he was carrying the two pistols in addition to the high-capacity magazine. The third gun, believed to be Long’s, was found in a camera case along with personal items of his, though he denied ownership of the weapon.
It was at this time that Higgins began convulsing, officers say.
Police asked Lotti if he had any known medical issues or had taken any drugs.
Lotti told police her boyfriend didn’t suffer from any medical ailments but that he regularly takes Percocet and ‘has a drug problem’.
In June, Higgins publicly vowed to Lotti on Twitter that he would finally stop taking the painkiller codeine.
‘Bae I’m sorry I be tweaking, you’ve put up with more than ppl know I know I be scaring you, f**k Codeine I’m done,’ he wrote in the post. ‘I love you and im letting it be known publicly that ain’t s**t f***ing up the real love I found. Learn from this everyone. Addiction kills all but you can overcome.’
Higgins began convulsing as law enforcement recovered drugs and guns from luggage aboard the plane. Police asked his girlfriend Ally Lotti (shown above) if he had any known medical issues or had taken any drugs. Lotti told police her boyfriend didn’t suffer from any medical ailments but that he regularly takes Percocet and ‘has a drug problem’
In June, Higgins publicly vowed to Lotti on Twitter that he would finally stop taking the painkiller codeine
Higgins’ passing stunned fans and fellow artists alike when the news of his death first broke on Sunday morning.
Under his stage named Juice Wrld, Higgins enjoyed hits with Lucid Dreams in 2018 and All Girls Are the Same.
In his song Legends he rapped: ‘What’s the 27 Club? We ain’t making it past 21. I been going through paranoia.’
He also featured on Travis Scott’s AstroWorld album.
His Juice Wrld stage name was said to have been inspired by the 1992 film, Juice, starring Tupac Shakur.
On December 3 he tweeted his girlfriend Ally Lotti to say: ‘It’s us forever bb girl.’ He had earlier said he had had ‘one of the best birthdays ever’.
She last tweeted on December 6, writing: ‘you r enough’ and ‘where is your mind’.
Following the news of his death fellow rapper Killy tweeted Sunday morning: ‘Rest In Peace Juice Wrld.’
Fans also paid tribute, calling him a ‘legend’ and ‘one of the most talented and influential artists of the generation’.
Juice Wrld’s stage name was said to have been inspired by the 1992 film, Juice, starring Tupac Shakur. The rapper had only turned 21 just last week
In October of this year rock band Yellowcard announced they were suing Juice WRLD for $15 million for copyright infringement.
They claimed he copied melodic elements of their 2006 song Holly Wood Died for his breakthrough 2018 single Lucid Dreams.
Lucid Dreams is actually structured prominently around a sample of Sting’s 1993 song Shape Of My Heart.
On December 3 he tweeted his girlfriend Ally Lotti to say: ‘It’s us forever bb girl.’ He had earlier said he had had ‘one of the best birthdays ever’.
She last tweeted on December 6, writing: ‘you r enough’ and ‘where is your mind’.
Following the news of his death fans and celebrities paid tribute online, calling him a ‘legend
Following the news of his death fellow rapper Killy tweeted Sunday morning: ‘Rest In Peace Juice Wrld.’
Fans also paid tribute, calling him a ‘legend’ and ‘one of the most talented and influential artist of the generation’.
In October of this year rock band Yellowcard announced they were suing Juice WRLD for $15 million for copyright infringement.
They claimed he copied melodic elements of their 2006 song Holly Wood Died for his breakthrough 2018 single Lucid Dreams.
Lucid Dreams is actually structured prominently around a sample of Sting’s 1993 song Shape Of My Heart.
Rapper and rising superstar, Juice WRLD, has died after suffering a seizure at Chicago’s Midway airport on Sunday morning, TMZ reports.
Juice WRLD—whose birth name is Jarad Anthony Higgins—was returning home to Chicago from California. According to witnesses, the rapper got off the plane then had a seizure while walking through the airport. Law enforcement insiders tell TMZ that he was bleeding from the mouth when paramedics arrived on the scene but was still conscious. Emergency responders rushed Juice to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a few moments after arriving at the facility. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the rapper’s death to WGN and The New York Times. At this point, the cause of death is still unknown, but per the Chicago Police Department, there were no signs of foul play.
“Shortly after arriving to Chicago, he suffered what appears to be some type of medical emergency according to people traveling with him,” a Chicago Police Department spokesperson told E! News. “There were no signs of foul play and all individuals aboard the aircraft are cooperating with CPD and have given all of their information. Currently we are awaiting the Cook County medical examiner on the cause and manner of death.”
NPR reports the autopsy for Juice WRLD will likely take place on Monday (Dec. 9).
The artist turned 21 years old on Dec. 2.
Juice WRLD caught mainstream attention in 2018 with his smash single, “Lucid Dreams.” The track peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. While “Lucid Dreams” blended rock melodies to make a trap ballad, Juice WRLD also captivated audiences with his impressive handle of lyricism. His ability to freestyle on command for extended periods of time generated him a cult-like following. This versatility led many to believe that he would become one of the biggest stars in the world. Close collaborator, fellow Chicagoan, and friend G Herbo, likened Juice to the legendary Michael Jackson and his management team also compared him to legends.
‘I totally believe, deep in my heart, that he is the GOAT and the only person that can take the throne away from you, or whoever else you want to put at the top of the rap game—if it is Travis, if it is J. Cole. I feel like he is the future of this rap shit,” his day-to-day manager, Peter Jideonwo, told Complex. “It could take him five years, but I think he is going to get there, and that throne is gonna be his.” His label manager, Lil Bibby, added: “He records like Future and Young Thug, but better. I’m vouching for him like that.”
Like a lot of fallen artists, Juice WRLD foreshadowed his death with his lyrics. In the song, “Legends,” he pays tribute to Lil Peep and XXXTentacion. He also put a number on his potential demise.
“What’s the 27 Clu-u-u-ub?” Juice sings. “We ain’t making it past 21.”
A rep provided a statement on behalf of Interscope Geffen A&M Records:
Juice made a profound impact on the world in such a short period of time. He was a gentle soul, whose creativity knew no bounds, an exceptional human being and artist who loved and cared for his fans above everything else. To lose someone so kind and so close to our hearts is devastating. Our thoughts are with Juice’s family and friends, everyone at his label Grade A, and his millions of fans around the world.