• iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly stepped off a plane in Mexico Wednesday evening, tensions were brewing there over new guidance from the administration about deportations, border patrol and President Trump's long-promised wall on the southern border.While Kelly's department issued the guidelines, they now threaten to undermine such a high-level trip. Some fear that an immigration crackdown will result, despite the administration's attempts to ensure that mass deportations are not in the works.The announcement caught the Mexican government by surprise and put officials there on a defensive footing just a day before the visit. But even as the Mexican foreign minister issued a blistering statement, the White House denied that anything was wrong.“The relationship with Mexico is phenomenal right now,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer Wednesday.The foreign trip is the first for Kelly and the second for Tillerson -- although it is his first one-on-one visit to a foreign country.That’s a sign of how important this relationship is, according to the State Department, and despite the renewed tensions, they are hopeful the visit will be successful in mending the relationship.So what is on the agenda, and how will Tillerson and Kelly be received?THE WALLAt the top of the list and the source of much of the tension is the wall.Trump maintains that Mexico will pay for a wall across the southern U.S. border, a notion which the Mexican government rejects. It’s a fight so bitter that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled a visit to the U.S. last month, leaving the White House scrambling to organize a call between the two leaders the next day.After some tensions were eased with the call, Tillerson and Kelly were charged with rebuilding the relationship with this trip -- but these new immigration enforcement guidelines brought the same disputes back to the forefront.  One of the new implementation memos, signed by Kelly, calls on Customs and Border Protection to “immediately begin planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall” and tasks the under secretary for management in the Department of Homeland Security with identifying all available resources to pay for it.But it also asks the under secretary to make a list of all direct and indirect U.S. aid to Mexico from the last five fiscal years. The move raised concerns that the White House would threaten to withhold aid down the line.A senior administration official would only say that, “The Department of Homeland Security will undergo a review and provide that information back to the President as directed.”Another senior administration official sought to downplay any tension over border security and said the trip was devised to address these issues.“The wall is just one part of a broader relationship that we have,” they said. “We have clear differences on the payment issue, but agree that we need to work these differences out as part of a comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relationship.”DEPORTATIONSAnother important component of the immigration guidelines involves deportations -- continuing to prioritize immigrants here illegally who have committed crimes, but opening the door for law enforcement to detain and deport nearly anyone without proper documentation.In addition, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has now been instructed to deport migrants who traveled through Mexico from elsewhere in Central or South America back to “the foreign contiguous territory from which they arrived.” In other words, if they cross the southern border, the migrants will be sent back to Mexico, regardless of where they came from.  It’s a plan that Mexico opposes, with the Mexican foreign minister issuing a strong statement Wednesday.“I want to make clear in the most emphatic w
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  This past weekend, Iraqi military forces began the assault to retake the western half of Mosul from ISIS in what is expected to be a tough fight.It took Iraqi military forces 100 days of street-to-street fighting to finally retake the eastern half of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, but U.S. military officials anticipate that the fight to retake the western side of the city could be even more difficult.The western side of Mosul, on the left bank of the Tigris River, is more densely populated than the eastern side and it is believed that ISIS fighters will take advantage of the narrow streets to slow down the Iraqi military offensive.Here's a look at how the second phase of the battle for Mosul could shape up.A Tough Fight in Western Mosul"We do expect it to be an extraordinarily difficult fight" Col. John Dorrian, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, told Pentagon reporters Wednesday. "The enemy has not given up."According to Dorrian, the U.S. military believes that between 1,000 and 3,000 ISIS fighters are currently in western Mosul hiding among an estimated 750,000 civilians remaining in the city."We do expect it to be a very tough fight because the very narrow areas, the very narrow streets in some parts of the city, the ancient parts of the city, are going to make for a very tough going," said Dorrian.The narrow streets will limit the Iraqi military's ability to use vehicles in their assault on the city.But they will also likely prevent ISIS from launching the deadly suicide car bomb attacks it used to slow down the Iraqi military in eastern Mosul. The car bomb attacks resulted in significant casualties among the Iraqi military's elite Counter Terrorism Service that was doing most of the intense fighting in eastern Mosul.  Iraqi military forces are expected to face even tougher ISIS resistance in western Mosul. Dorrian noted that there were roughly 100,000 buildings in eastern Mosul that had to be cleared by the Iraqi military and that there are a similar number of buildings on the western side of the city in an even more compressed area.Dorrian said Iraqi forces will face a tough fight because each of "these buildings have to be cleared from rooftop level through every room, every closet, all the way down to ground level, including the tunnels that get dug between buildings.""It's very, very dangerous and tedious, and the Iraqi security forces have done a really good job of protecting civilians as they've conducted those clearing operations and that's something we expect them to continue." said Dorrian.What Will the Offensive Look Like?The offensive for western Mosul has begun with Iraqi forces pressing northward to the southern stretches of the city. In the three days since the start of the offensive, they have already taken back 48 square miles and are now overlooking the city's airport.It is expected that the Iraqi military will face tougher ISIS resistance in the fight for the airport.The offensive is being led by the Iraqi Army's Ninth Division and the Iraqi Federal Police who are leading the offensive into western Mosul. It was the emergence of the Iraqi Federal Police in late December that helped turn the tide in eastern Mosul. It is expected that forces from the Counter Terrorism Service will once again play a key role in the push into western Mosul.For months, Shiite militias have pushed northwest of the city to cut off the main road from Mosul to Tal Afar, another ISIS-controlled city. They are there to block the escape of ISIS fighters to that city.With the Tigris River to the east blocking possible escape routes as well, ISIS fighters will be effectively encircled in the city's western half.The battle for Mosul has also led American troops to come closer to combat situations even though they are still required to be at Iraqi unit headquarters beyond enemy lines.Those restrictions have been less applicable to American special operations forces accompanying th
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  • Anwar Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images(LONDON) -- Dutchess Kate had her first official engagement with Action for Children in Wales since taking over from Queen Elizabeth II in December as the organization's royal patron.Kate, 35, visited two projects offering support to vulnerable children and families. She listened to experts at MIST, a childhood mental health project that supports young kids in foster care and aims to provide needed support for complex mental health problems before they become more serious.Kate was "incredibly proud" to be taking on the new role with Action for Children, according to a Kensington Palace spokesman.Kate is an avid sportswoman who routinely gives her husband, Prince William a run for his money at events, but today she tried her hand at pool in Wales and was not a success. Craig Davies, a 15-year-old who was Kate's teammate in a friendly round of pool, later joked of Kate's pool skills saying, "She was dreadful."After receiving a hug from a little girl attending the center, Kate was greeted by two young students who gave her a bouquet of flowers and asked about Kate and William's young children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.Kate told her young admirers, "George and Charlotte would have loved to have met you."Kate's second stop of the day was to the Caerphilly Family Intervention Team which works with young people struggling with emotional and behavioral issues."The Duchess firmly believes that every child who needs it should be given the best support at the earliest opportunity," a Kensington Palace spokesman told ABC News. "The Duchess is pleased to support Action for Children's important work. She is looking forward to getting to know the people that make Action for Children such a success and meeting the young people they work with."Kate, William and Prince Harry launched their "Heads Together" campaign last year to change the conversation on mental health issues. The royal trio has said they see 2017 as a "tipping point" and hope they can get more people to speak about mental health without fear of judgment.William, Kate and Harry have chosen to tackle the often-taboo subject of mental health and encourage young people and families to speak up and speak out.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • NASA/JPL-Caltech(NEW YORK) -- An international team of astronomers has discovered seven potentially habitable exoplanets -- or planets outside our solar system -- that could have liquid water on their surfaces, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature.It is unclear whether any of the newly discovered planets can harbor life. However, scientists pointed out that the new planetary system orbits TRAPPIST-1, a dwarf star that is much younger than our sun and that will continue to burn for another 10 trillion years -- more than 700 times longer than the universe has existed so far.Astronomers said that is "arguably enough time for life to evolve," the article reported.TRAPPIST-1 is about 39 light-years away, in the constellation Aquarius. The seven newly discovered planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1 have been nicknamed "Earth's seven sisters" and have masses similar to that of Earth's, in addition to having rocky compositions like our planet, scientists said. Astronomers noted, though, that they are awaiting the scheduled launch of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope in 2018 to confirm what conditions -- such as atmospheric composition and climate -- are like on the exoplanets. The James Webb Space Telescope is expected to be significantly more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope.  The discovery of the new planetary system has also indicated that Earth-sized planets are much more abundant and common in the Milky Way galaxy than previously thought, researchers said.The international team of astronomers that discovered the new exoplanets said they will be ramping up their efforts to locate and identify other planets around small stars in the vicinity of our sun through project Search for Habitable Planets Eclipsing Ultra-Cool Stars (SPECULOOS). Additionally, NASA said it plans to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a space telescope that will spend two years finding planets orbiting over 200,000 of the brightest stars in the sky.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) — Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Australia Wednesday, kicking off a four-day visit, marking the first time a serving Israeli prime minster has visited the country.Netanyahu, joined by his wife Sara, landed in Sydney aboard an El Al aircraft from Singapore, where the Israeli leader met with Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien Loong.
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  • Hawai Adda(LUDHIANA, India) -- Airplanes aren't just for globetrotting anymore. In Ludhiana, India, a grounded Airbus A320 is now a restaurant where customers can enjoy a fine dining experience.
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