'Think I'm gonna have to hand this off' - US TV host breaks down on air, cuts short broadcast while delivering news on migrant babies being sent to 'tender age' shelters

An American television host broke down and cried on air as she delivered news that Trump administration officials have been sending migrant babies and toddlers to 'tender age' shelters.

Rachel Maddow was live on air from the MSNBC studio when she read the news to the camera, saying it had just come out from The Associated Press news agency.

She choked up, saying, "This is incredible," before going on to quote the report.

"Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children.. 

"Oh," she said, with her hand over mouth, trying to regain her composure.

"To at least three... Put up the graphic of this, do we have it? No," she said, talking to the control room.

"Three tender age shelters in south Texas... 

"Think I'm gonna have to hand this off, sorry... We'll see you again tomorrow. Now it's time for the last word..." she said handing on to another presenter.

The incident came amid increasing outrage from Republican and Democratic lawmakers over the policy of President Trump's administration that instructs the Department of Homeland Security to separate families seeking entry to the US at the Mexico border.

The 'zero tolerance' policy resulted in about 2000 children being separated from their parents between mid-April and the end of May. 

Many lawmakers have called on Trump to end the policy, but he has dug in against their efforts and has frequently blamed Democrats for the policy.

In a speech today Trump said separating families is necessary if the US wants to prosecute parents for illegally entering the country.

'No child should be put in a cage' - Greens call on Jacinda Ardern to condemn US immigration policy

The Green Party are urging Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to condemn the United States' immigration policy which is separating children from their parents, calling it an "egregious breach of human rights". 

Green Party human rights spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman said in a statement that the separation and "mass detention" was unacceptable. 

Children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. Prior procedure had limited prosecution for many family entrants.

Heart-breaking images of undocumented children crying have become the symbol of Trump's zero-tolerance policy on migrants. Source: 1 NEWS

The policy change was meant to deter unlawful crossings - and Mr Sessions issued a warning last month to those entering the US illegally that their children "inevitably for a period of time might be in different conditions".

Ms Ghahraman said it was "abhorrent to do it as a way to 'deter' their parents from seeking asylum or migrating to the United States, and New Zealand must condemn it."

"No child should be put in a cage. No government should use this as immigration policy," Ms Ghahraman.

"We cannot stand by and let this happen. We cannot let the inflammatory rhetoric being used by the US government go unremarked. We have to learn the lessons of history and see what’s happening in front of us and say it is wrong," she said. 

Ms Ghahraman said the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade should express their opposition to the policy to the United States Ambassador. 

Simon Bridges, Winston Peters and Kelvin Davis were all critical. Source: 1 NEWS

Yesterday, Corrections Minister and deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis described the policy as "cruel".

"A family is a family, and in my opinion families should be allowed to stick together."

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said it was about doing what was "right". 

"Would we do that? No, we wouldn't."

National Party leader Simon Bridges said you could "certainly see why" people like US First Lady Melania Trump were coming out against the policy.

"Separating families in this way seems inhumane."

President Donald Trump defended his administration's border-protection policies today in the face of rising national outrage over the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. Calling for tough action against illegal immigration, Mr Trump declared the US "will not be a migrant camp" on his watch.

Administration officials said they do not like the family separations either - calling it the result of legal loopholes - but insist migrants who arrive illegally simply won't be released or loosely kept track of.

The countries first refugee MP was speaking at a Stop Racism rally outside Parliament today.
Source: 1 NEWS


Jury set to decide the fate of Mafia boss 'Cadillac Frank'

Nearly two decades ago, former New England Mafia boss Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme said he learned his lesson and was finished with a life of crime. It turns out the Government, however, wasn't finished with him.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberating Tuesday (tomorrow NZT) to decide whether Salemme is guilty of ordering the killing of nightclub owner Steven DiSarro in 1993.

In his closing arguments Monday, Assistant US Attorney William Ferland urged jurors to believe Salemme's former friend and criminal partner — Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi — who says he witnessed the killing. Ferlund said Salemme wanted DiSarro dead because he believed the man was ratting him out to authorities.

"He had aspired to be a gangster his entire adult life," Ferland said of Salemme, now 84. "All of the effort and time he put into making his name, so to speak, in the world of organised crime was being put at risk by Steven DiSarro."

Salemme and his co-defendant, Paul Weadick, insist they're innocent.

Salemme's attorney tried to poke holes in Flemmi's story, calling the former right-hand man of notorious gangster James "Whitey" Bulger a "sociopath" and "career opportunist."

Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme meets with associate in 1993
Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme meets with associate in 1993. Source: Associated Press

Flemmi told jurors this month that he was looking for Salemme when he walked into a home on May 1993 and happened upon the killing. Flemmi says he saw Salemme's son strangling DiSarro while Weadick held DiSarro's feet and Salemme stood by. Salemme's son, known as "Frankie boy," died in 1995.

Boozang accused Flemmi, also 84, of lying about Salemme because he believes helping the Government will give him a chance to get out of prison before he dies. Flemmi is currently serving a life sentence for killing of 10 people.

"He's lying to you and he's lying to the Government," Boozang told jurors, as Salemme watched intently with his hands folded in front of him. "Anyway they can survive, they will. And the way to survive is to take down Frank Salemme."

Boozang also questioned why Salemme would admit to several gangland slayings after he agreed to cooperate with the government in 1999, but never fess up to killing DiSarro.

"He's done some bad things in his life, some things I'm sure at his age he regrets," Boozang said. "But that's the life he led."

Ferland sought to bolster Flemmi's credibility, telling jurors the former gangster hasn't wavered in his story in more than a decade. Flemmi also knew details —like the fact that DiSarro was strangled— before they were confirmed by authorities when his remains were found, Ferland said.

Flemmi first told investigators about Salemme's involvement in DiSarro's killing in 2003, but Salemme wasn't charged until 2016 when DiSarro's remains were dug up behind a mill building in Providence, Rhode Island. The mill owner told authorities about the remains after he was charged in a federal drug case.

Salemme, who was wearing a light gray suit and blue tie, shuffled into the courtroom and waved to the press before the trial began for the day, and occasionally passed notes to his lawyer as Ferland spoke. He and Weadick face up to life in prison if convicted.

Ferland put images of a younger, "buff" Salemme on the screen and urged jurors not to be swayed by the now-elderly man now sitting in front of them in the courtroom.

"He looks like a seasoned, old, polite, elderly gentleman," Ferland said. "That's not who we are talking about here. We're talking about Frank Salemme from 25 years ago," he said.

Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme
Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme Source: Associated Press