HOUSTON (AP) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection will start conducting medical checks on every child in its custody, now that a second child has died while in its care. CBP says 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo of Guatemala, had been in its care, along with his father, since Dec. 18, and an agent first noticed on Monday that the child had a cough and “glossy eyes.” A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died earlier this month.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Wednesday is the first full business day of the partial government shutdown. So far, the public and federal workers have largely been spared inconvenience and hardship because government is closed on weekends and federal employees were excused from work on Christmas Eve and Christmas. The shutdown began at midnight last Friday. Trump said Tuesday that the closed parts of the government will remain that way until Democrats agree to wall off the U.S.-Mexico border.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea is hoping to someday link its railway with its southern neighbor, but without progress in nuclear negotiations, regular trains won’t be crossing the border anytime soon. Both countries broke ground Wednesday on an ambitious project to modernize the North’s railways and roads and connect them to South Korea. A South Korean train carrying government officials, lawmakers and aging relatives separated by the Korean War rolled into the North Korean border town of Kaesong.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan says it will resume commercial whale hunting for the first time in 30 years but promises not to hunt in the Antarctic. It also says it will leave the International Whaling Commission. The IWC imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling in the 1980s due to a dwindling whale population. Japan switched to what it calls research whaling and says stocks have recovered enough to resume commercial hunts.
CARITA BEACH, Indonesia (AP) – Fearing another tsunami, Indonesian authorities have warned people to move away from the coastline where big waves set off by volcanic activity killed hundreds over the weekend. Scientists are monitoring Anak Krakaoa’s eruption in the strait separating the islands of Java and Sumatra and say high waves and rains could push the cliffs of the crater into the sea and trigger another disaster. The death toll stood at 429 with more than 1,400 people injured and at least 128 missing.