Chicago, July 14 (AP/UNB) — Religious leaders across the country used their pulpits Sunday to quell concerns in immigrant communities and spring into action as nationwide immigration enforcement sweeps loomed.
A Chicago priest talked during his homily about the compassion of a border activist accused of harboring illegal immigrants, while another city church advertised a "deportation defense workshop." Dozens of Houston churches offered sanctuary to anyone afraid of being arrested. In Miami, activists handed out fliers outside churches to help immigrants know their rights in case of an arrest.
"We're living in a time where the law may permit the government to do certain things but that doesn't necessarily make it right," said the Rev. John Celichowski of St. Clare de Montefalco Parish in Chicago. His nearly 1,000-member congregation is 90 percent Hispanic and mostly immigrant.
While federal immigration officials were mum on details, agents had been expected start a coordinated action Sunday targeting roughly 2,000 people, including families, with final deportation orders in 10 major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami.
Activists and city officials reported some U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity in New York and Houston a day earlier, but it was unclear if it was part of the same operation. An ICE spokesman didn't return a request for comment Sunday.
The renewed threat of mass deportations has put immigrant communities even more on edge since Trump took office on a pledge to deport millions living in the country illegally.
In Los Angeles, the Rev. Fred Morris looked out over his congregation at the North Hills United Methodist Hispanic Mission and was relieved to see everyone who usually attends the early Sunday morning service. He had been worried many would stay home, fearing Trump's threat of immigration sweeps.
"Everybody is nervous," Morris said. "They are angry, very angry at being terrorized by our president."
Wapakoneta, July 14 (AP/UNB) — New statues of astronaut Neil Armstrong have been unveiled and an education center has been dedicated in his name as his Ohio hometown continues celebrating its native son's history-making moon mission 50 years ago this month.
The Dayton Daily News reports Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and other officials gathered at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta (wah-puh-kuh-NET'-uh) for the unveiling Sunday of a bronze life-sized statue of Armstrong as a test pilot. A statue of him as a boy also was unveiled.
A ribbon-cutting dedicated the Armstrong STEM Inspiration Center at the museum. It will promote science, technology, engineering and math learning.
Armstrong stepped on the moon's surface July 20, 1969. A celebration of the moon landing which had already begun continues through July 21 in the western Ohio city.
Toronto, July 14 (AP/UNB) — Robert Wickens made an emotional return to the race track Sunday with a parade lap in a car equipped with hand controls before the IndyCar race in Toronto.
Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash last August and his ceremonial lap around Exhibition Place was his first time on a race track since the devastating accident.
Wickens drove a $160,000 Acura NSX modified by Arrow to allow the Canadian native to drive with hand controls.
"I am over the moon with how crazy this is," Wickens said before he got in the car. "This is just incredible. The support I've received the last 11 months is unbelievable."
His passenger in the car was fiance Karli Woods, and Wickens has been determined to be able to dance at least once with Woods at their wedding later this year.
"We've been through so much together, it's only fitting we do this together," he said of the parade lap.
The car was equipped with a camera that caught both Woods' initial trepidation, then wide smiles from the couple as they heard the roar from the grandstands. Wickens raised his arm out to salute the fans and then gave the command to start the race.
"Future drivers of mine, start your engines," Wickens said from inside the cockpit.
Wickens is adamant he will race again.
Jerusalem, Jul 14 (AP/UNB) — Israel's prime minister says it will deliver a "crushing" strike against Hezbollah if the Lebanese militant group attempts to attack.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reacting to comments made by Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah.
In an interview Friday, Nasrallah boasted that his group is much stronger than during the 2006 war and is capable of striking anywhere in Israel. Pointing to a map, Nasrallah identified a list of targets he said his group could strike, saying "in all fields, the resistance has developed in quantity and quality."
Speaking to his Cabinet Sunday, Netanyahu criticized what he called Nasrallah's "arrogant" words.
He says "if Hezbollah dares to do something stupid and attack Israel, we will strike it and Lebanon, a crushing military strike."
London, Jul 14 (AP/UNB) — An anti-Brexit activist who won a major legal case against the British government says she will go to court again if the country's next prime minister tries to force the country out of the European Union without a deal.
Businesswoman Gina Miller says she has instructed her lawyers in anticipation of Boris Johnson winning a Conservative Party leadership contest this month that would make him the next prime minister.
Johnson refuses to rule out suspending Parliament if lawmakers try to block Britain from leaving the EU on Oct. 31, as scheduled.
Miller said Sunday "it would be an abuse of his powers to close Parliament ... to limit the voice of the representatives that we all elect."
In 2017, Miller stopped the government from triggering the countdown to Brexit without a vote in Parliament.