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Trump signs proclamation authorizing National Guard troops to border

President Donald Trump. Photo Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Trump has signed a proclamation to send the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border, the White House said. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen had announced the expected move earlier Wednesday.

Gritty details: The order does not disclose details such as cost or number of troops to be deployed. But it said that the defense and homeland security secretaries are required to submit a report within 30 days on "an action plan," including recommendations for potential executive authorities on border security.

Nielsen had urged Congress to “close loopholes that exacerbate” problems at the border and should allocate additional funding for detention centers and a wall.

Why now? Nielsen said the proposal has been on the table for a while and that it will be implemented in conjunction with border-state governors.

For context: Sending the National Guard at the border is not new. Former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama sent troops as well, costing taxpayers more than $1.3 billion, per CNN. However, the troops only assisted with surveillance efforts, but didn’t directly engage in removing people from the border.

Axios 56 mins ago
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Birds-eye view: How deforestation takes over in Brazil

An animation showing deforestation in the Amazon
A time-lapse satellite view of deforestation in Brazil from 1984 to 2016. Images via EarthTime.

As seen in the graphic above, based on EarthTime's deforestation data and story, Brazil's Rondônia state changed drastically over a 30-year period. It started as pristine forest in 1984, then came a single road the following year that exploded into a town of 20,000 people with tens of thousands of square kilometers of forest cut for crops and cattle.

Why this matters: Deforestation can create areas of extreme heat, make forests vulnerable to mega-fires, and lead to the loss of habitat for millions of species. Forests lock in carbon — and about 12% of man-made climate emissions today are linked to deforestation.