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First lady Jill Biden met Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, for the first time on Friday in Cornwall, England, where world leaders have arrived this week for the G7 Summit, which begins Friday. It's the Bidens first trip abroad since President Joe Biden was inaugurated. 

While wearing masks, the first lady and the duchess toured Conor Downs Academy, meeting with 4-and-5-year-old students as well as teachers.

The academy is a "trauma-informed school," meaning it works with students who have experienced trauma in their lives. 

The first lady said the children were "so well behaved." 

First lady Jill Biden and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge talk with children in the school's Reception Class during a visit to Connor Downs Academy on June 11, 2021. Aaron Chown / Getty Images

At the Cornwall school, the pair participated in a roundtable discussion on the importance of early childhood education, a topic close to both women's hearts.  

"The importance of providing adequate support for parents and children alike during early childhood, and the positive impact that this can have across society, is something which Her Royal Highness and The First Lady have both gained an understanding of through their respective work," Kensington Palace said in a press release. 

The palace said that the duchess will step up her work in this area with an announcement next week.

While touring the "outside classroom," the two met the school's five bunnies, which the students help care for. The first lady carried a bowl of carrots to feed them.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and first lady Jill Biden, carry carrots for the school rabbits during a visit to Connor Downs Academy, during the G7 summit in Cornwall on June 11, 2021, in Hayle, Cornwall, England. Aaron Chown / Getty Images

Speaking on the impact of education early on in life, the first lady said, "It's very important to the foundation. As a teacher at the upper levels, if they don't have a good foundation, they fall so far behind. This is amazing to see how far advanced they are."

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Answering a question about her newborn niece Lilibet, the daughter of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, after the discussion, Kate responded, "I wish her all the very best. I can't wait to meet her because we haven't yet, met her yet, so hopefully, that will be soon."

Asked if she has FaceTimed Lilibet, she responded that she has not. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and First lady Dr. Jill Biden during a visit to Connor Downs Academy, on June 11, 2021. Aaron Chown / Getty Images

After the roundtable discussion, the first lady joked that it was too short. 

"I have a million questions written down! I'll have to give you a call!" she said. 

Before leaving, the women were presented with small bouquets of flowers from the children. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and First lady Dr. Jill Biden are presented with flowers by the head boy and head girl during a visit to Connor Downs Academy on June 11, 2021. Aaron Chown / Getty Images

The Bidens arrived in the UK on Wednesday, participating in discussions with many world leaders face-to-face for the first time since the pandemic began. On Thursday, Mr. Biden met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson "to affirm the enduring strength of the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

The president and the first lady will meet with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on Sunday. After the meeting, Dr. Biden will return to the U.S. 

The president will then travel to Brussels for a NATO Summit on June 14, as well as a U.S.-European Union Summit. On June 16, he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland. 

News Source: CBS News

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Harris needs to visit horrifying Darien Gap to see true migrant pipeline, congressman says

America’s illegal immigration pipeline from Africa and the Middle East flows through one of the world’s most dangerous jungles where people are lucky to make it out alive.

The trek through the Darien Gap, which straddles Colombia and Panama, is 50 miles of poisonous snakes, scorpions, flooding, disease, and worst of all — a cadre of armed guerillas. Since Vice President Kamala Harris wants to investigate the root cause of illegal immigration, she needs to see what true misery looks like at the Darien Gap, according to a congressman who was there on a self-funded trip.

View of Darien Gap from photojournalist Michael Yon's plane. The river bisects the jungle. (Credit: Michael Yon)


“The vice president should go down there to see the misery unleashed because of her administration’s actions,” said Rep. Tom Tillman, a Wisconsin Republican. “I saw a person being wheelbarrowed into the medical facility. Villagers see bodies floating down the river.”

About 250 people a day come through from about 80 countries, including Yemen, Egypt, Somalia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, the Congo, Cuba, Haiti, Russia, Pakistan, and others, said photojournalist Michael Yon, who has covered numerous wars and is now reporting on the border crisis.

“One guy we talked to was lost in [the jungle] for 22 days,” Yon said in a YouTube interview. “On his 10th day, he lost the trail and fell down some terrain and couldn’t get out. He was stuck down there with no food. Haitians came by and gave him some food, and he eventually made it out.”
Tillman flew to Panama on May 26 and spent three days in the jungle witnessing the stream of migrants who said through interpreters that they were coming because of President Joe Biden’s open border policy. Tillman was escorted by Yon and another photojournalist, Chuck Holton.

“I was down at the Rio Grande, and the Border Patrol told me that I needed to go further and see the Darien Gap, where people come from all over the world,” Tillman said.

Smugglers tell migrants that the journey starting in Columbia is “no big deal” and, upon arrival, point to a mountain that appears closer than it is, saying, “It’s just over there.” Migrants are told that the walk is just a few days, when in actuality, it’s up to 10 days long and littered with corpses.

Graphic shows the route used by Cubans migrating toward the U.S. through Panama's Darien Gap region. AP Photo

“There are bugs the size of your hat and plants the size of houses, along with snakes, jaguars, and everything that bites, stings, and is poisonous,” said Holton, a former Amy Ranger who has been trained in jungle warfare and now lives in Panama.

“I see people walking in with flip-flops, and one day, at least a dozen infants being carried by their mothers. One woman was in a wheelchair,” Holton said.

Once migrants walk about three days into the jungle, they will be accosted by armed bandits who steal most of their belongings and rape the women. Anyone who protests is shot, Holton said, adding that he once encountered the guerrillas when he attempted to film a group of migrants entering the jungle.

The route through to Panama is not marked, so migrants do the best they can by following items such as discarded clothing and mango peels. But those who veer off to pick fruit can create a false trail, causing some who follow to get lost. This happened to a recent group of men who spent 11 days wandering around with no sense of direction. They had gone days without food.

(Credit: Michael Yon)

When people come out of the vegetation on the other side, the first sign of civilization is the small village of Bajo Chiquito that is still technically located in the jungle. This is where Tillman visited.

Bajo Chiquito has no running water, electricity, or sewage facilities, but it does have a small clinic staffed with a Doctors Without Borders physician who tends to the migrants injured in the jungle. A nearby river leads to a highway and government camps, so a cottage industry has sprung up where dozens of canoes take people on a $40 three-hour ride to get there, Tillman said.

Rep. Tom Tiffany (in plaid shirt) tours Darien Gap outskirts. (Credit: Michael Yon)

Although most migrants have been robbed, they usually still have cellphones and call for a wire transfer to the village. Those who cannot raise the funds sit and wait — approximately 1,000 people at last count, Tillman said.

About 20% of the people coming through are children. Pregnant women and children were a rarity in the past, but now smugglers are telling third-world migrants that this is the golden ticket to the United States, Yon said.

Those lucky enough to move on from the Darien Gap make their way up through Central America, paying each step of the way. Borders to some countries, like Costa Rica, are closed and allow only a certain number of passages in a given time period. The Mexican state of Chiapas at the Guatemala border is where migrants receive required transit visas, and the wait there can be five months or more, Holton said.

“You can expect these people will ultimately end up in the United States,” Tillman said of the Darien Gap migrants. “These countries don’t have the money and medical care to help, and it’s literally a pipeline.”

Biden and Harris created a huge national security hole where terrorists, like a pair of Yemeni men found in San Diego, come through the Darien Gap, Tillman said.


“I’m trying to get the word out about what it’s like down there,” he added. “It’s almost unexplainable. You have to see it to believe it.”

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