President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order to promote free speech on college campuses by threatening colleges with the loss of federal research funding if they do not protect those rights.
“We’re here to take historic action to defend American students and American values,” Trump said, surrounded by conservative student activists at the signing ceremony. “They’ve been under siege.”
“Under the guise of speech codes, safe spaces and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans like those here today,” he said.
A senior administration official said the order directs 12 grant-making agencies to use their authority in coordination with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure institutions that receive federal research or education grants promote free speech and free inquiry. White House officials have said it will apply to more than $35 billion in grants.
The American Bar Association is warning of an “existential crisis” over the unprecedented surge in the number of immigration cases clogging up courts.
In a new 176-page report that repeatedly raps the Trump administration’s policies, the ABA said that the backlog in immigration courts is over 1 million.
“Crucially, the number of cases pending before the immigration courts (which were about 262,000 cases at the time of the 2010 Report) has increased to unprecedented levels. There were more than 760,000 pending cases at the end of FY 2018 and an additional 330,000 cases that could be returned to active dockets in short order,” it said in revealing the latest accurate numbers.
Without fast changes, the lawyer’s group added, the immigration court system will collapse. President Trump has sought to increase the corps of immigration court judges.
“Today the immigration courts are facing an existential crisis. In light of the fundamentally changed nature of the threat to the immigration court system, the overall conclusion … is that the current system is irredeemably dysfunctional and on the brink of collapse,” said the report.
The ABA is calling for a new and politically independent “Article I” court system similar to the U.S. Tax Court to handle the immigration cases.
Montreal’s famed Saint Joseph’s Oratory says a priest who was stabbed during morning mass is expected to survive the attack.
In a tweet just before noon on Friday, the oratory said Father Claude Grou’s life is “not in danger” following the stabbing.
Montreal police say a suspect has been arrested and he was taken to the station for questioning.
Investigators said a call came in about a stabbing at the church at approximately 8:40 a.m. on Friday morning when the priest was in the process of celebrating mass before approximately 50 worshippers.
Shortly after the attack, the Diocese of Montreal identified the priest as Father Claude Grou, the rector of the church.
The mass was being livestreamed by the Catholic television network Sel+Lumiere TV, which airs the religious ceremony daily, when the stabbing occurred. The footage was quickly removed from the website following the attack.
In the video, a man wearing a dark winter coat and a light-coloured baseball cap pulled out a large knife and walked in front of the altar. The footage shows the suspect run up the steps towards the priest.
Grou attempted to run away as the attacker knocked over a candle. The video shows the man quickly catch up to the priest and push him to the ground before he appears to stab him.
New Mexico’s Democratic secretary of state on Thursday rejected a petition targeting the repeal of the state’s new measure to expand its background check requirement for gun sales.
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver denied the state’s House Republicans’ call for a statewide referendum on Senate Bill 8 through a rarely used provision of the state constitution, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
Republicans cited from the state constitution that “the people reserve the power to disapprove, suspend and annul any law enacted by the Legislature.” But Toulouse Oliver said that exceptions were allowed on laws regarding “public peace, health, and safety,” according to the New Mexican.
The legislation, which Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law March 8, requires background checks for nearly all gun sales, including when buying from private citizens, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The measure is set to go into effect in July. State law already required licensed dealers to conduct the checks.
State Republicans contended that voters have the right to have their voices heard on the law, and were considering legal action.
“To say they don’t have the right to vote on this, to voice their opinion, is not how we’re supposed to operate,” House Minority Leader James Townsend, R-Artesia, told the New Mexican. “People want to be included in this.”
Dozens of counties in the state have already declared themselves a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” in opposition to the Democratic-sponsored legislation. The New Mexico Sheriff’s Association previously called the laws unenforceable, saying they would punish law-abiding citizens.
Ten suspected terror plotters have been arrested in Germany on suspicion of planning a jihadist attack with a car and guns.
German prosecutors said the 10 suspects were under investigation for plotting to ‘kill as many people as possible’.
The suspects, ranging in age from 20 to 42, were detained in raids conducted by police in the region around Frankfurt earlier on Friday.
No details were provided on the nationalities of the suspects.
The main suspects were a 21-year old man from Offenbach, a city near Frankfurt, and two 31-year brothers from Wiesbaden, who were associated with the Islamist Salafist community in the area, prosecutors said.
According to FNP, the terror suspects had already been in contact with weapons dealers and hired a ‘larger vehicle’.
Public comment periods at any council meeting tend to be a mixed bag of professional activists and mentally unstable people showing up to yell.
But every once and awhile you get someone who hopes to earnestly discuss an issue that’s important to them and others. When that person comes, you expect a council to at least put down their phones for 120 seconds and show some modicum of respect, even if the person shows up frequently.
Unless, of course, you’re an elitist on the Seattle City Council that doesn’t care what you say or think.
In a video spreading on Facebook, a man is shown at a March 11 public comment period to discuss the state of our Democracy, but he didn’t get a chance to make his comments.
He was instantly ignored by a disinterested council. That disturbed him.
The man asked the council to actually look at him while he was speaking. Instead of paying attention, Councilwoman Debora Juarez scolds the man for wasting his 120 seconds while others, like Kshama Sawant and Lorena Gonzalez were swiping and typing on their cell phones, not caring what the man had to say. He’s not a professional activist bussed in to back some union-driven agenda; he’s not a donor to a campaign. He is just a Seattle voter and, in this city, these voices don’t matter.
“It’s real discouraging to come up here and see all the heads down, it’s like…,” the man said before being interrupted by Juarez telling him “…you’re on a two minute timer here, so let’s go.” For a moment, Councilmember Mike O’Brien looked up from his phone.
The man stood silent for several seconds, aghast by this treatment. He had no intention of yelling or causing a scene. He just wanted to feel listened to by a council known for pushing fringe policies without seeking input from the community they pretend to represent.
“So it was unreasonable for me to ask that people look up and give me their attention?” the man asked. It was met with a reminder from Juarez that that he only had a minute and 30 seconds left.
After nearly three years and millions of tax dollars, the Trump-Russia collusion probe is about to be resolved. Emerging in its place is newly unearthed evidence suggesting another foreign effort to influence the 2016 election — this time, in favor of the Democrats.
Ukraine’s top prosecutor divulged in an interview aired Wednesday on Hill.TV that he has opened an investigation into whether his country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.
The leak of the so-called black ledger files to U.S. media prompted Manafort’s resignation from the Trump campaign and gave rise to one of the key allegations in the Russia collusion probe that has dogged Trump for the last two and a half years.
Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko’s probe was prompted by a Ukrainian parliamentarian’s release of a tape recording purporting to quote a top law enforcement official as saying his agency leaked the Manafort financial records to help Clinton’s campaign.
SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Some familiar local brands will be making their way into San Antonio International Airport’s Terminal A, but one local favorite has been banned by the city council.
The city council approved a contract Thursday with Paradies Lagardere to run and manage the concessions in the terminal. It is a seven-year contract with three one-year extension options that is guaranteed to generate $2.1 million in revenue for the city.
The deal would bring brands like Smoke Shack, Local Coffee, Sip, The Luxury, and Boss Bagels and Coffee. The agreement, as recommended by the city staff, also included a Chick-Fil-A in the airport.
The staff’s original consideration was to have a Panda Express, but staff went to Chick-Fil-A instead because of its popularity and health food considerations.
City councilman Roberto Trevino, with the support of five other city council members, struck down Chick-Fil-A as being part of the deal.
A road rage suspect who investigators say shot and killed a Washington state sheriff’s deputy and wounded a police officer earlier this week was in the U.S. illegally, federal authorities said Thursday.
In an email to Fox News, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokeswoman Tanya Roman said 29-year-old Juan Manuel Flores Del Toro, a Mexican citizen, entered the U.S. at Laredo, Texas, in April 2014 on a temporary agricultural worker visa.
Roman said ICE had no record of him leaving the United States or extending his visa after it expired.
Local police said Flores Del Toro lived in Ellensburg, a university city of 20,000 residents 100 miles east of Seattle in agriculturally rich central Washington.
The U.K. government agency in charge of immigration has come under fire for denying political asylum to an Iranian convert to Christianity and explaining its decision on its contention that the religion is not peaceful.
The Iranian man had said in his asylum petition that he converted to Christianity because it was a “peaceful” religion. The U.K. Home Office, which oversees immigration and passports, among other things, sent the Iranian national a letter that said the book of Revelations is “filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death and violence,” according to the Independent.
It cited excerpts from the Bible, according to the newspaper, and added: “These examples are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a ‘peaceful’ religion, as opposed to Islam which contains violence, rage and revenge.” The newspaper said it reached out to the Home Office for comment and was told that the letter the asylum seeker had received did not follow its protocol for handling petitions based on religious persecution. The agency said it was trying to improve training for officers who decide religious conversion-related cases.
Legal experts are holding the case up as an example of what they say is the agency’s pattern of over-reaching to deny political asylum.
Nathan Stevens, the asylum seeker’s caseworker, tweeted: “I’ve seen a lot over the years, but even I was genuinely shocked to read this unbelievably offensive diatribe being used to justify a refusal of asylum. “Whatever your views on faith, how can a government official arbitrarily pick bits out of a holy book and then use them to trash someone’s heartfelt reason for coming to a personal decision to follow another faith?”
Stevens said that his client is appealing the decision.
On Twitter, Stevens mentioned another asylum case to illustrate what he sees as the agency’s flawed system. “A comment from another refusal,” he tweeted, “You affirmed in your AIR that Jesus is your savior, but then claimed that He would not be able to save you from the Iranian regime. It is therefore considered that you have no conviction in your faith and your belief in Jesus in half-hearted.”
Legal experts say the Home Office is notorious for questionable asylum denials.
The unintended consequences of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s global warming crusade are hitting close to home — literally.
Utility Consolidated Edison put a moratorium on new natural gas hookups across parts of Westchester County, which includes Mount Kisco where Cuomo’s residence is located, according to The New York Times.
Con Edison’s decision is no surprise to energy experts critical of Cuomo’s blocking of major gas pipelines and banning of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in New York.
“Governor Cuomo has been mandating the Green New Deal Dream in New York, and now it’s turning into a nightmare for people forced to pay twice as much for oil heat instead of natural gas,” Daniel Kish, a distinguished senior fellow at the free market Institute for Energy Research, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Local officials and businesses worry the utility’s decision will derail major development projects that will rely on natural gas for heating. It also means homes looking to get off relatively expensive heating oil will have to wait.
“It’s just a question of how people are going to be able to heat their homes and cook their food with the energy that’s available right now,” Con Edison spokesman Michael Clendenin told The Times Thursday.
The remains of a World War II pilot shot down in Germany have arrived back in his home state of Utah to be buried.
Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Lynn W. Hadfield’s remains are set to be buried Thursday, 74 years to the day since Hadfield’s crash, FOX 13 reported.
Hadfield will be buried Thursday — the anniversary of his death — in Bluffdale Veterans Memorial Park cemetery after a funeral service at Larkin Sunset Gardens Mortuary in Sandy. The funeral, with full military honors and a military aircraft flyover, will begin at 11 a.m., three seconds before the time of day that the plane crash was recorded.
Hadfield, from Salt Lake City, was piloting a bomber plane from France to Germany just months before the end of World War II when it was struck by anti-aircraft fire and crashed somewhere near the German city of Dulmen.
Hadfield was 26 during his last bomber mission, meant to obstruct German troop movement as Allied forces crossed the Rhine River two days later.
A German researcher found evidence of a crash site in 2016 in Hulsten-Reken, about 10 miles away. It was Hadfield’s plane.
A DNA analysis confirmed the remains belonged to Hadfield and his crew members. The excavation team also recovered Hadfield’s officer wings and his ID tag, which were given to his relatives.
On Tuesday, two border patrol agents were harassed by students at the University of Arizona during an event intended to allow criminal justice majors to hear from law enforcement agents.
The agents were invited by the school’s Criminal Justice Association, which hosted agents from both the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Homeland Securities Investigations (HSI) wing of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in previous meetings.
In several videos, students are seen interrupting the officers’ presentation and even following them down the hall while chanting “murder patrol.”
“I don’t know who allowed the murder patrol,” the student filming the video says. “They allow murderers to be on campus where I pay to be here. Murderers! On campus. Murderers! On campus.”
MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — A mother cradled a crying toddler as she waited in line with 20 other women to shower. Dozens of fathers quietly held their children’s hands in an enclosure made of chain-link fencing.
While these families were held at an overcrowded Border Patrol processing center, a fresh wave of migrants crossed the nearby river separating the U.S. and Mexico and waited for border agents to bring them to the same facility. One Honduran woman carried a feverish 7-month-old baby.
The cycle is repeated multiple times a day. Waves of desperate families are trying to cross the border almost hourly and entering an overtaxed government detention system.
The Border Patrol has become so overwhelmed in feeding and caring for the migrants that it announced plans this week to start releasing some families onto the street in the Rio Grande Valley to ease overcrowding in the processing center, providing the immigrants with a notice to appear at an upcoming court date.
“We have an unprecedented crisis upon us,” Robert Perez, deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol’s parent agency, said in an interview.
The Border Patrol says it made about 66,000 apprehensions of people crossing the border illegally in February, including 36,000 parents and children, an all-time monthly high. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, meanwhile, said since Dec. 21 it has released 107,000 family members while they await court dates.