More money, please. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to contain the influx of illegal immigrants who have overwhelmed the nation’s border patrol in the last few months. Many of the immigrants are children, and detainment facilities are ill-equipped to care for them. According to the White House, the extra funds would increase capacity at detainment and court facilities and help speed decisions about whether immigrants should be allowed to stay or sent back home. Obama also wants to improve temporary housing for the immigrants and step up law enforcement on the criminal gangs that ferry people across the border. Almost half of the money would go to the Department of Health and Human Services to care for children already filling up detention centers on the border, some of whom have transferred to other facilities despite community opposition.
Goodbye peace process. Israel has stepped up attacks against terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip after a barrage of rockets fired from the territory hit nearby Israeli towns. No casualties were reported in Israel, but the military’s offensive has left at least 11 people dead in the Palestinian territory. It’s the worst outbreak of violence in the region since 2012, fueled in part by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens and a revenge attack on a Palestinian teenager. The government has given the military permission to call up as many as 40,000 reservists, and officials say a ground offensive is not out of the question.
On sale. Retailers in Washington state began selling marijuana legally today. In Bellingham, just north of Seattle, several dozen people stood in line outside Top Shelf Cannabis before the store opened at 8 a.m. State officials issued 24 licenses to stores Monday. Prices were expected to top $25 a gram on the first day of sales, about twice what the state’s unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries charge. The reason? Supply and demand. Although 2,600 people applied for growers’licenses, only 100 have been approved, and only 12 of those were ready to harvest in time for the start of legal sales.
Close call. New York police officials have arrested two men who were piloting a drone that almost collided with a police helicopter late last night. The drone flew so close to the helicopter that the helicopter had to change course to avoid a crash. The men have been charged with reckless endangerment. Attorneys for the men say the drone, a DGI Phantom 2, can’t fly higher than 300 feet. But friends say they managed to get theirs up to 5,000 feet. The helicopter was flying at about 2,000 feet when last night’s close call occurred. The Federal Aviation Administration claims it needs to regulate drones to avoid incidents like this.
Deadly Fourth. Fourth of July celebrations weren’t as carefree as they should have been in several cities across the country. In South Dakota, a man participating in a hot dog eating contest choked to death in front of spectators in Custer County. In Charlotte, N.C., a stray bullet hit a man selling food at the opening of a Cambodian Buddhist temple. Police say the bullet likely came from celebratory gunfire and was not aimed at the vendor. But in Chicago, intentional shootings targeted 82 people, killing 14 of them. Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the violence unacceptableand urged city leaders to step up gun-control efforts.