Trump meltdown

Yesterday evening Special Counsel Robert Mueller formally endorsed that Donald Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos be sent to prison for up to six months, which is on the harsh end of the sentencing guidelines for someone who has cut a plea deal, and who only pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. With yet another one of Trump’s co-conspirators now on his way to prison, it becomes increasingly clear that everyone is doing down, including Trump himself – and serves to say that he didn’t take the news particularly well.


Not only did Trump have to deal with the outlook of inching closer to a prison cell, he also had to deal with former CIA Director John Brennan appearing on MSNBC last night and ripping him a new one. So much for the notion that Trump’s decision to revoke Brennan’s security clearance might frighten him into shutting up. So naturally, Trump had a rather bizarre meltdown.

Trump began ranting about DOJ official Bruce Ohr, the newest target of his rage and phony conspiracy theories: “Bruce Ohr of DOJ is in legal jeopardy, it’s astonishing that he’s still employed.“ Trump went on to spell the name of his wife Nellie Ohr incorrectly; he’s been ranting about her all week, yet he still can’t get her name right. He then progressed to accusing them both of a number of fictional crimes, while somehow combining the words “astonishing” and “that” into one big word, before deleting it and trying again.


Donald Trump then went on to attack “BLANK Jeff Sessions“ – whatever that might mean. Trump then ended with this weird sentence: “So when does Mueller do what must be done? Probably never!” He didn’t bother to specify what he wants Mueller to do. Trump is waving in all directions, as everything closes in on him more tightly than ever.


As for Omarosa, Trump wants Sessions to arrest her.  Trump filed for arbitration this week to try to force Omarosa to stop releasing tapes. But in a matter of rather interesting timing, a judge handed down a ruling today in a separate case which just happens to directly impact the Trump-Omarosa battle.


Former Trump staffer Jessica Denson has been engaged in a legal battle since last year about whether she had the right to go public about the alleged sexual harassment she was subjected to during the campaign, without having to go through arbitration. The judge ruled today that the arbitration clause is very narrow in definition, and applies to almost no situations. This instantly undermines Donald Trump’s current effort at trying to force Omarosa into arbitration.


It’s not that this effort was likely to succeed to begin with. White House employees like Omarosa work for the federal government and not for Donald Trump, meaning that the nondisclosure contract was eventually going to be ruled unenforceable anyway. But today’s ruling gives Omarosa the immediate upper hand in her legal battle with Trump. The bottom line: when it comes to trying to stop Omarosa from releasing more tapes, Trump is now out of ammo.





Posted by: maboulette | August 12, 2018

Donald Trump Goes Berserk About Omarosa

omarosa and trump

In the latest instance of Donald Trump hiring an unethical and unqualified person to do his dirty work, only for that person to betray him, former Apprentice star Omarosa has published a book which accuses Trump of being everything from racist to senile. Trump took a moment out of his latest vacation to go berserk about Omarosa, raising questions about what’s really been going on all this time.


Donald Trump hired Omarosa for a high paying yet poorly defined White House job, but eventually Chief of Staff John Kelly fired her and escorted her out of the building. She’s naturally trying to cash in by publishing a new tell-all book about her time in the White House, and she claims to have tapes which back up some of the claims she’s made. But on the whole, it’s difficult to figure out whether to believe Omarosa, who is a serial liar, or Trump, who is also a serial liar. In any case, they’re now at war with each other.


Trump came face to face with pool reporters today, and one of them asked him this question: “Do you feel betrayed by Omarosa?” His answer: “Lowlife. She’s a lowlife.” Wait, so if she’s a lowlife, why did he give her a senior adviser position in the White House? Oh right, because he prefers to hire garbage people, as they’re more likely to be willing to do his corrupt bidding.


We’ll see what Omarosa has on tape, once she finally reveals it. In the mean time, we can’t help but notice the pattern here. Donald Trump used Michael Cohen as his “lawyer” for several years, but now that Cohen is preparing to cut a plea deal against him, Trump is also accusing Cohen of being a lowlife. It appears Trump is only bothered by the moral failings of his underlings once they stop being personally loyal to him.

Posted by: maboulette | August 10, 2018

Melania Trump’s Parents Become US Citizens


Sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News first lady Melania Trump sponsored both her parents’ green card application, a move which eventually led to their gaining U.S. citizenship on Thursday through a process that the president has derisively called “chain migration”.

The first lady’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, were sworn in as U.S. citizens at a federal immigration court in New York City.

“Citizenship was just awarded,” the Slovenian couple’s immigration lawyer Michael Wildes said after accompanying them to the courthouse.

When ABC News asked whether Melania Trump sponsored her parents, Wildes deflected the question and responded that “they applied on their own.”

Wildes did not elaborate on exactly through what means or program the couple became citizens.

“Everything was through a normal process. Like everybody else here you’re allowed to apply after five years of having your green card and so forth. It was all done lawfully,” Wildes told reporters.

Wildes’ response does not clarify whether the Knavses obtained citizenship through what their son-in-law President Donald Trump has derisively called “chain migration” or whether the first lady did indeed sponsor them.

“They have travailed a wonderful journey like most have – millions have – in getting citizenship and waiting the requisite period of time,” Wildes said. “The application, the process, the interview was no different than anybody else’s other than security arrangements to facilitate today.”

In February, the Knavses were confirmed as permanent residents of the United States after emigrating from Slovenia by Wildes.

“I can confirm that Mrs. Trump’s parents are both lawfully admitted to the United States as permanent residents,” Wildes said in a statement to ABC News in February. “The family, as they are not part of the administration, has asked that their privacy be respected so I will not comment further on this matter.”

At the time, Wildes would not say how the Knavses received green cards to live and work in the U.S.

(MORE: Legal status of Melania Trump’s parents raises questions about ‘chain migration’)

Immigration experts told ABC News in February that the most likely way the Knavses could have become permanent residents is through their daughter’s citizenship.

“The most obvious way that they would have become green card holders is by being the parents of a U.S. citizen – i.e. Melania Trump,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration professor at Cornell Law School.

This is a process that Trump has consistently referred to as “chain migration.” The legal status of the president’s in-laws has come under scrutiny after the Trump administration’s proposed crackdown on the process.

On this Saturday, Aug. 4, President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio.

Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration has shaped his administration’s agenda, after he persistently attacked the process and the broader system. As part of his administration’s proposed overhaul of the current immigration system, Trump made clear that ending chain migration is one of his key priorities — touting it as the fourth pillar of his reform plan in his first State of the Union address.

“Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives,” he said in January.

The term “chain migration” describes the process by which American citizens sponsor their relatives for immigration to the U.S.

As one of the harshest critics of the process, Trump even alleged during the State of the Union that along with the visa lottery program, chain migration was a catalyst for two terrorist attacks in New York.

“In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration,” he asserted.

But in fact, despite both men who carried out the attacks entering the country legally through the two programs, they were not radicalized until after they arrived in the U.S., categorizing these incidents as homegrown.

The Knavses came to the U.S. from Sevnica, an industrial town in Slovenia.

Now Americans, the Knavses smiled for cameras, but remained silent.

“This golden experiment, these doors that are in America remain hinged open to beautiful people as they have today,” Wildes said.

He added they would appreciate their privacy and thanked everyone for “their attention to this very important dialogue that we’re having on immigration. This is an example of it going right.”

Wildes said the Knavses are “very excited.”

The first lady’s office did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer, Katherine Faulders, and Jordyn Phelps contributed to this


Posted by: maboulette | August 10, 2018

Hothouse Earth Is Merely the Beginning of the End

Not the end of the planet, but maybe the end of its human inhabitants

earth hothouse

“Our future,” scientist James Lovelock has written, “is like that of the passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly above the Niagara Falls, not knowing that the engines are about to fail.”


On the radio, I listened to reports from around the world: in Athens, Greece, a fire killed 92 people; in Japan, a brutal heat wave claimed 80 lives. This summer, wildfires have been burning in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany. There are even wildfires in the Arctic. High temperature records have been shattered all around the globe, including in Death Valley, California, which set the record for the hottest month ever recorded on the planet, with 21 days over 120 degrees. Our world is aflame.


I doubt any of this would surprise Lovelock, who is one of the most original thinkers of the 20th century, as well as one of the most articulate prophets of doom. As an inventor, he created a device that helped detect the growing hole in the ozone layer and jump-start the environmental movement in the 1970s. And as a scientist, he introduced the revolutionary theory known as Gaia — the idea that our entire planet is a kind of super-organism that is, in a sense, “alive.” Once dismissed as New Age quackery, Lovelock’s vision of a self-regulating Earth now underlies virtually all climate science.


And in Lovelock’s view, the Earth’s self-regulating system is seriously out of whack, thanks largely to our 150-year fossil fuel binge. “You could quite seriously look at climate change as a response of the system intended to get rid of an irritating species: us humans,” Lovelock said in 2007  “Or at least cut them back to size.”


And Lovelock did not mince words about the future that we are creating for ourselves by ignoring the warning signs on our superheated planet. 

 In Lovelock’s view, the scale of the catastrophe that awaits us will soon become obvious. By 2020, droughts and other extreme weather will be commonplace. By 2040, the Sahara will be moving into Europe, and Berlin will be as hot as Baghdad. Atlanta will end up a kudzu jungle. Phoenix will become uninhabitable, as will parts of Beijing (desert), Miami (rising seas) and London (floods). Food shortages will drive millions of people north, raising political tensions. “The Chinese have nowhere to go but up into Siberia,” Lovelock says. “How will the Russians feel about that? I fear that war between Russia and China is probably inevitable.” With hardship and mass migrations will come epidemics, which are likely to kill millions. By 2100, Lovelock believes, the Earth’s population will be culled from today’s 6.6 billion to as few as 500 million, with most of the survivors living in the far latitudes – Canada, Iceland, Scandinavia, the Arctic Basin.


A new paper published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences called “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene” reached more or less the same conclusion, even if was stated in more general scientific terms (and of course minus any reference to a “culling” of Earth’s population).


The paper, which was widely covered by everyone from USA Today to Al Jazeera, projected a very Lovelock-ian view of our world, arguing that even if we managed to hit the carbon emissions targets set in the Paris Climate Accord, we still might trigger a series of accelerating climate-system feedback loops that would push the climate into a permanent hothouse state, with a warming of four, five or even six degrees Celsius. If that were to happen, the paper argued, “Hothouse Earth is likely to be uncontrollable and dangerous to many, particularly if we transition into it in only a century or two, and it poses severe risks for health, economies, political stability (especially for the most climate vulnerable), and ultimately, the habitability of the planet for humans.”


The idea that the Earth’s climate system has certain tipping points, or thresholds, is nothing new. Small changes in the temperature of the Southern Ocean, for example, might have big implications for the West Antarctic ice sheet, leading to an ice cliff collapse that could raise sea levels by 10 feet or more in a very short (geologically-speaking) period of time. Richard Alley, a glaciologist at Penn State, has described the Earth’s climate as a highly complex system that, based on small forces that are still only dimly understood, tends to lurch from one steady state to another. “You might think of the climate as a drunk,” Alley wrote in his great book The Two Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future, which was first published in 2000. “When left alone, it sits; when forced to move, it staggers.”


There is no groundbreaking new science in the Hothouse Earth paper. Rather, it’s a synthesis of what is already known and presented in a compelling way. But it is an important reminder of two key attributes of the climate crisis. The first is that the real threat of climate change is not a slow slide into a warmer world; it’s a fast change into a radically different climate. How fast that change could happen, and how radically different it might be, no one can say for sure. But by continuing to dump fossil fuels into the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate, we are rolling the dice. As Columbia University scientist Wally Broecker famously put it, “If you’re living with any angry beast, you shouldn’t poke it with a stick.”


And we are not doing nearly enough to fight it. The Hothouse Earth paper points out — again, in a very Lovelock-ian way — that fighting climate change is not just a matter of reducing carbon pollution in the future, important as that obviously is. It’s about taking active stewardship of the planet now, and thinking more holistically about how to manage it now. Among other things, that means giving up the notion that there is a “solution” for climate change and accepting the idea we are living in a rapidly changing world now. How will we engineer drinking water systems to deal with this? How will we manage forests? How are coastal cities going to adapt to — or intelligently retreat from — rapidly rising seas?


“The heat and fires we’re seeing this summer is worrisome,” Alley said in his typically understated way. “There are certainly human fingerprints on a lot of it.” But, Alley points out, this is just the beginning. As of now, the Earth has warmed just 1 degree Celsius. “Dealing with what we’re seeing now is the easy stuff,” Alley says. “With each additional degree of warming, the impact will be greater.” Alley is most concerned about physical systems with likely tipping points, such as the West Antarctic ice sheet.


He’s also concerned about biological tipping points. “If the oxygen level in oceans drops just a little, it could have a big and immediate impact on sea life,” Alley says. “A fire in Brazil could lead to rainforest being replaced with savannah, which would have all kinds of consequences for biological diversity, as well as for carbon uptake.”


But it’s the tipping point in human systems that worry Alley the most. He points to the recent drought in the Middle East, which was a key driver in the Syrian civil war. “You can see the resilience of different political systems. During the drought, Israel was OK. But Syria was not.”


Maybe this is the summer that we figure out that, as Lovelock put it, our engines are about the fail and we are indeed headed over the falls. But I thought that after Hurricane Katrina, too. And after Sandy. Instead, America elected a president who thinks climate change is a hoax and tweets insanely about how California doesn’t have enough water to fight the fires because it has “diverted” rivers into the Pacific. (As University of California at Merced professor LeRoy Westerling explained to NPR, “Even if you built a massive statewide sprinkler system and drained all of our natural water bodies to operate it, it wouldn’t keep up with evaporation from warmer temperatures from climate change.”)


When I talked to Lovelock in his cottage in Devon 11 years ago, he wasn’t worried about the fate of the planet. “Gaia is a tough bitch,” he told me. Whatever we humans do to it, he argued, it will eventually recover its equilibrium, even if it takes millions of years. What’s at stake, Lovelock believes, is civilization. “I don’t see it being too long before forms of life, based on the idea of [artificial intelligence] and so on, take over and run the planet for heaven knows how long.”

What about humans?  When asked about this recently, Lovelock told the BBC: “Don’t you consider it possible that we’ve had our time?”


A South Carolina plant that assembles televisions using Chinese parts plans to shut down and lay off nearly all its employees because of new tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration, the company announced this week.
Element Electronics — which describes itself as the only assembler of televisions in the U.S. — plans to lay off 126 of its 134 permanent full-time employees and close the Winnsboro, S.C. plant on Oct. 5. Notably, there are still at least two smaller companies that continue to assemble speciality televisions in the U.S.
“The layoff and closure is a result of the new tariffs that were recently and unexpectedly imposed on many goods imported from China, including the key television components used in our assembly operations in Winnsboro,” Carl Kennedy, Element’s vice president of human resources, said in a letter to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce on Monday.

Kennedy said he hopes the closure will be temporary and the company is advocating for its parts to be removed from the tariff list. “We remain hopeful that the closure of our South Carolina factory will be avoided,” Element said in a statement shared on social media Tuesday.
President Donald Trump often lamented on the campaign trail that the United States “doesn’t make television sets anymore.” At the time, it was already true that there were no U.S. factories making televisions from scratch — just a few that assembled televisions using imported parts. But with the closure of Element’s plant, the United States will no longer assemble mass-market television sets anymore, either.
Trump has defended his escalating trade war with China as necessary to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and bring back American jobs. But U.S. companies have complained about rising business costs, and trade experts have warned that the tariffs could hurt the U.S. economy. An analysis by the right-leaning Tax Foundation last month predicted Trump’s trade policy could lead to the loss of nearly 365,000 jobs in the long run.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican and a Trump supporter, told reporters on Wednesday that he is “doing every single thing we can” to find a solution that would not harm Element Electronics and its employees.

“We believe South Carolina has great economic prosperity in its future,” McMaster said. “And we don’t want to hurt it by any tariff or any tax or any regulation or anything else, so we are fighting with all we can, all that’s possible to be done, to see that these tariffs and proposed tariffs do not, in the end, hurt South Carolina.”


McMaster defended Trump, and said he has spoken with both the President and Vice President about implementing an exemption for Element Electronics.
“This is a difficult issue. It’s a difficult time. The President is right that there are countries out there that have been treating trade from the United States unevenly,” McMaster said. “He’s correct about that, and he is trying to fix it. What we want to do is be sure that the fix doesn’t hurt South Carolina.”
Meanwhile, James Smith, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee running against McMaster in November, said he spent the day in Winnsboro discussing the loss of jobs “due to job-killing tariffs.”
These tariffs are not helping anyone in our state who are hurting from the loss of these jobs and many to come,” Smith said at a press conference on Wednesday, calling on McMaster to “tell this President when he’s doing what’s wrong for the people of our state.”

voting machine

Written by Foxnews

Voting machines in at least one U.S. state already may have been compromised by Russian operatives ahead of the midterm elections, a Florida Democratic senator warned.


According to a report in the Tampa Bay Times, Sen. Bill Nelson claims the Russians “have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about.”

Nelson’s office has yet to respond to a request for comment.

In the Times report, Nelson indicated he and his Republican counterpart, Sen. Marco Rubio, have been asked by leaders of the Intelligence Committee to let election officials in their state know “that the Russians are in their records.
Read more at Foxnews

Posted by: maboulette | August 8, 2018

Where Immigrant Kids Go


Just as Texas stopped sending foster children to centers operated by one man, the U.S. government tossed him a new source of money: immigrant kids.
This story was produced by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit news organization. Learn more at and subscribe to the Reveal podcast, produced with PRX.

By the time the federal government started sending immigrant children to Shiloh Treatment Center in 2009, the warning flags were waving blood red.

Three children had died after being physically restrained at Shiloh and affiliated facilities in rural Texas run by the same man, Clay Dean Hill. A teenager from California died after running away and getting hit by a truck. Texas officials repeatedly had cited Hill’s residential centers for troubled youths after caretakers were found to have slapped, punched, and kicked children.
Yet nine years ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent its first delivery of federal tax dollars to Hill, a one-time longshoreman-turned-millionaire entrepreneur specializing in the care of vulnerable children. The federal government wanted Hill to take immigrant children with mental health problems who were caught crossing the border without parents or papers.
The funding started a couple of months before a male caretaker in his 40s was caught preying on a 15-year-old girl from California, sexually abusing her at one of Hill’s all-girl dormitories, where he was assigned overnight. He’s now a convicted sex offender.
“It shows you how disgraceful the place was,” said the former resident, now 25, who told her story publicly for the first time to Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.
The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement continued to send immigrant children to Hill’s care after another teenager was killed during a restraint and the state of Texas shut down one of his facilities, deeming it unsafe for children. And this year, after immigrant children said in court declarations that they were forcibly injected with psychiatric drugs, federal officials claimed there was no problem. In all, the federal government has paid Shiloh more than $33 million for the care of immigrant youths.

Posted by: maboulette | August 6, 2018

About Time Internet Giants Silence Infowars and Alex Jones

Alex Jones

He’s known for screaming so loudly that the blood vessels in his head might explode—but it’s getting harder and harder to hear Alex Jones. Facebook and Apple’s iTunes took down huge parts of the far-right conspiracy theorist’s massive internet presence Monday.


Shortly after Apple confirmed it has removed the vast majority of the loudmouth shock jock’s podcasts from iTunes, Facebook published a blog post explaining that it had “unpublished” four of the Infowars host’s most active pages for violating its hate-speech rules.


If Jones doesn’t appeal the rulings, the pages will be removed permanently.

While CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been under fire for allowing fake news to be spread far and wide on his social network, the company’s blog made clear that Jones’ multiple false conspiracy theories were not the reason his pages were targeted—it was for violent, racist, and transphobic hate speech.


“Last week, we removed four videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies,” explained Facebook. “These pages were the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the Infowars Page, and the Infowars Nightly News Page. In addition, one of the admins of these Pages—Alex Jones—was placed in a 30-day block for his role in posting violating content to these Pages.


“Since then, more content from the same Pages has been reported to us—upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.


“All four Pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes. While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this.”


Jones, arguably America’s most prominent conspiracy theorist, has previously has claimed that the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the government and promoted a theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school massacre was faked by left-wing forces to promote gun control.


Jones’ supporters have reacted with predictable fury to the action by the three internet giants. Infowars contributor Paul Joseph Watson tweeted Monday: “Facebook has permanently BANNED Infowars. For unspecified ‘hate speech.’ They didn’t even tell us what the offending posts were. This sets a chilling precedent for free speech. To all other conservative news outlets—you are next. The great censorship purge has truly begun.”


The official account of Wikileaks tweeted: “Infowars says it has been banned by Facebook for unspecified ‘hate speech’. Rgardless of the facts in this case, the ability of Facebook to censor rivial publishers is a global anti-trust problem, which along with San Francisco cultural imperialism reduces political diversity.”


Earlier Monday, Apple said it removed the entire library for five of Jones’ six Infowars podcasts, including the shows War Room and the daily The Alex Jones Show. Only one program provided by Infowars, RealNews With David Knight, was left on Apple’s services by Sunday night.


Podcast service Stitcher also announced it was removing Jones from its service, saying in a statement to Billboard that Jones had “harassed or allowed harassment of private individuals and organizations.”


Spotify took similar action the week before. Some episodes of The Alex Jones Show podcast were taken down, with the streaming company saying in a statement: “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community. Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of The Alex Jones Show podcast for violating our hate-content policy.”

Responding to the action from Spotify last week, Jones said: “I was born in censorship. I was born being suppressed.”


Posted by: maboulette | July 27, 2018

Cohen Recordings Involving Trump


Federal investigors have reportedly seized more than 100 recordings made by Michael Cohen that could involve President Trump or his businesses, according to The Washington Post. Two sources cited in the report say some of the recordings feature Trump talking, while a significant portion of the tapes come from Cohen secretly recording reporters inquiring about Trump both during the 2016 presidential campaign and after he won the election.

The news comes as federal investigators have reportedly begun to zero in on Cohen’s role in dealing with allegations of sexual impropriety against Trump during the 2016 campaign. The longtime Trump fixer, reportedly out of a sense of betrayal, is said to have “hit a reset button” and vowed to “not be a punching bag anymore” in his relationship with the president, according to his lawyer, Lanny Davis. Davis told the Post on Wednesday that Cohen is ready to hand over evidence against the president, a move that seems increasingly likely after the release earlier this week of a recording secretly made by Cohen in which Trump can be heard discussing a payoff to a former Playboy model.


Read it at The Washington Post




Posted by: maboulette | July 10, 2018

Thai Town Rallies Behind Ake Coach Who Took Boys Into Cave


He was likely the first one into the cave and on Tuesday was the last one pulled out.

Ekkapol Ake Chantawong, the 25-year-old coach of the Wild Boars soccer team, has been criticized by some for what is perceived to be an act of supreme recklessness.

Why did he, the adult tasked with taking care of 12 young children, decide to lead the group into a dangerous, forbidden network of underground tunnels, known to flood at this time of year?


 To those who know the former monk and community worker, the willingness of others to judge from afar has led to a characterization they say is unfair and inaccurate.


 Though Kantawong is Ake’s cousin, she says she thinks of him more as a young nephew, owing to the age gap between the two family members. She refers to herself as his aunt.

From inside her modest home in Mae Sai, Kantawong recounts Ake’s traumatic childhood and the death of his parents.

“His mother died while he was still very, very young and his father passed away when he was just 10,” she says. His brother, his only sibling, also died very young, says Kantawong, showing us an old family picture of Ake with his parents and brother.


Kantawong rejects the idea that he would knowingly do anything that might harm the children. “He is very good person, loves kids, takes care of kids, he is very diligent, and always volunteers himself to help others,” she says. “The language he speaks is very polite. For him whoever will like him how the way he is.”


The teams training facility sits in the shadow of the mountains where the caves are located. Typically, the junior team will finish practicing before the senior team take to the pitch. Lahuna was among the players who were still training on Saturday, June 23, as anxious parents began to call the head coach to ask if he knew where their children were.

“When we first heard they were missing at the caves, I and around 10 other senior members of the team rushed into the mountains to look for them. We were the first people there,” says Lahuna.

 “We waited at the cave entrance for them until 4 a.m. the next day.”

Pannawit Jongkham, the coach of the senior team, who joined the search later that same evening, says everyone associated with the Wild Boars is behind coach Ake, as they have been since the first day of the rescue.

“When he is out, everything will be the same, we will support him, nothing will change,” says Jongkham.


 At a Buddhist temple behind the house of Ake’s aunt, on the edges of Thailand’s northern border with Myanmar, community members are hopeful he will be back riding his bike across town and taking the kids out into the countryside.


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