Friday, December 21, 2018

Supreme Court Rejects Trump’s Request to Revive Asylum Ban

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Supreme Court Rejects Trump's Request to Revive Asylum Ban

The Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration's request to enforce a policy that would deny asylum to those who enter the U.S. illegally through the southern border, The Washington Post reports. In a 5-4 vote on Friday, Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly joined the liberal justices in the majority, upholding a ruling from a lower court that blocked the Trump administration from enforcing the ban. Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch reportedly dissented. The Post reports that the administration's November proclamation denying asylum for "anyone who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border between official ports of entry" was declared potentially illegal in lower courts.

Justice Department Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco reportedly told the Supreme Court the policy was meant to encourage asylum seekers to enter the U.S. via ports of entry "for orderly processing" and to avoid "dangerous and illegal entries." Francisco also claimed the policy would reduce the "the backlog of meritless asylum claims." According to the newspaper, lower courts ruled that Trump lacks the authority to make such changes. They also ruled that the initiative violates a statue that specifically states asylum claims must be accepted from anyone who has entered the U.S., regardless of where they entered.

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Read it at The Washington Post
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Recovering After Lung-Cancer Surgery

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday underwent surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City, where doctors removed two cancerous growths from her left lung, according to a press release issued by the Supreme Court. "Two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung were discovered incidentally during tests performed at George Washington University Hospital to diagnose and treat rib fractures sustained in a fall on November 7," the statement reads. "According to the thoracic surgeon, Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation. Post-surgery, there was no evidence of any remaining disease." The statement adds that Ginsburg will remain at the hospital for a few days and is now "resting comfortably." "Currently, no further treatment is planned," it says. 

Dr. Albert Rizzo, chief medial officer at the American Lung Association, told The Daily Beast that pulmonary nodules—or "non-ordinary" masses found in the lungs—are "very common" and not typically removed unless they're cancerous. Based on the information provided in the SCOTUS statement, Dr. Rizzo said Ginsburg's nodules could have been "stage-one cancer," which means the cancer will likely not return. Dr. Stephen Broderick, assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, also said that Ginsburg's medical future seems "quite favorable" if the surgery was "minimally invasive" and the cancer didn't involve her lymph nodes. "If this is an early stage lung cancer, the overall prognosis is outstanding," he said. As far as recovery is concerned, both doctors said Ginsburg will likely need "weeks" of rehab after she is discharged from the hospital. This is Ginsburg's third bout with cancer. In 1999, she was treated for colorectal cancer, and in 2009 for pancreatic cancer. She has never missed a day of oral argument.

- Julia Arciga

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The 5 Videos You Have to See Right Now

Welcome to the Video Cheat Sheet, your source for the videos you absolutely have to see right now. Today, we have a protest in Barcelona, an explosion in Wisconsin, a car sliding into a Subway restaurant—after completely flipping over, a flooded restaurant in Washington, and some Florida cops breaking up a flash dance mob—only to later join in.

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Trump Vows Shutdown Today if Senate Dems Don't Back Wall

Donald Trump vowed to shut down the federal government Friday night if Senate Democrats don't back a spending bill that includes funding for his pet project: the border wall with Mexico. The president urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to "use the Nuclear option and get it done!"—suspending the body's 60-vote rule to close debate to allow a vote. The House of Representatives passed a government-funding bill Thursday night that includes more than $5 billion for border security. However, it's almost certain to fail when it heads to the Senate today. The president dedicated his morning to sending nine tweets on the matter. A shutdown would take effect at midnight. "The Democrats are trying to belittle the concept of a Wall, calling it old fashioned," wrote the president. "The fact is there is nothing else's that will work, and that has been true for thousands of years. It's like the wheel, there is nothing better. I know tech better than anyone," claimed the 72-year-old. He went on: "The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED. If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time." Later on Friday, Trump told reporters the shutdown is "totally up to the Democrats" and said the chances for one are "probably very good."

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Drones Are the Newest Tool for Cattle Ranchers

Finding a needle in a haystack is like finding a single cow among a heard of 2,000 head spread across 10,000 acres. At the Matador Cattle Company, cattlemen hope to use drones to do just. Rancher John Douglas Russel has been key to the drone adoption, citing time-saving benefits, "If you go prowling around looking for strays, you can kill a week in a hurry," 

This Koch Industries-owned company will use the drones to search for strays and check in on specific animals they have concerns about, even eventually using infrared cameras to find strays' heat signatures. In the future, it hopes to use the drones across the entire ranch "mitigating invasive species, safely overseeing grass fires and even remotely scanning RFID ear tags to monitor cattle health." To see the drones in action and read more about Koch's commitment to innovation across its companies, click here.

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Trump 'Shocked' Erdogan, Bolton With Snap Call to Exit Syria

Donald Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria was made quickly, without consulting his national-security team or allies, the Associated Press reported. The president reportedly agreed to the hasty pullout during a phone call last week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, shocking National Security Adviser John Bolton, who vehemently objected to the decision—and Erdogan himself. The Wednesday announcement stunned the world and prompted Thursday's resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis. According to the report, Mattis, Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later scrambled to find a middle path, but were informed by Chief of Staff John Kelly and his acting successor Mick Mulvaney that the president's call for the pullout would not be "delayed or denied." Russian state-controlled television reacted differently, calling the announcement "a total dream come true."

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Nikolas Cruz Wanted to 'Pretend to Be a Psychopath': Report

Accused Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz—who's charged with murdering 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February—went online before the massacre to figure out how to "pretend to be a psychopath," according to new details about the case released in a 425-page detective's report. "I am neurotypical. How can I pretend to be a psychopath and get diagnosed as one?" the 19-year-old reportedly wrote on the online question site Quora, according to The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. In the aftermath of the shooting, Cruz could have been trying out some of these tactics: At some points, the report notes, he was calm—but at other times, he claimed that he was suicidal and that he was possessed by a demon. The report alleges, however, that the murders were not a spontaneous act. While carrying out the shooting, Cruz allegedly brought along a cellphone with screenshots of the school's bell schedule. The cellphone also reportedly contained images of the location of vital organs, so Cruz could more effectively slaughter his targets.

Read it at The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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Jeffrey Epstein Pays Off Woman Who Said He Trafficked Her

Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein has settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged that he forced her into sex acts and directed her to have sex with power attorney Alan Dershowitz. Sarah Ransome's allegations against Dershowitz—who previously represented Epstein—were revealed this week, but she previously sued Epstein and his alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, saying they trafficked her for sex from 2006 to 2007. Ransome withdrew the lawsuit Thursday after settlement was reached, the terms of which haven't been disclosed. "We are pleased with the settlement. It provides as much compensation as money can provide for the horrific damage done by sex trafficking," said her lawyer, David Boies. Epstein was convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution—he's also been accused of sexually abusing dozens of mostly underage girls at his Palm Beach mansion. Dershowitz issued a strong denial this week of Ransome's allegations, saying: "I've never met this woman, I don't know her, I never heard of her. She just made it up completely."

Read it at New York Post
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Charlie Hebdo Terror Suspect Arrested in Djibouti

A long-sought suspected mastermind behind the 2015 massacre at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was arrested Friday in Djibouti, The Guardian reports. French national Peter Cherif will now be transferred to Paris, as authorities probe the allegation that he was linked to the attack in which 12 staff members were slaughtered. On Jan.7, 2015, after the paper repeatedly depicted cartoon versions of the Prophet Muhammed, Cherif's associates Chérif and Saïd Kouachi broke into the offices, and left behind what one survivor called a "sea of blood." The Kouachi brothers were tracked down and killed by police two days later. Cherif has been on the run from French authorities since as early as 2011, following decades of of alleged terror activity. French Defense Minister Florence Parly lauded authorities for the arrest Friday: "It shows the fight against terrorism is a long-haul action," he said, "and if you stay committed, then you obtain results."

Read it at The Guardian
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Lou & Grey Makes Cashmere Dreams Come True With 30% Off

Imagine your favorite sweater, sweatpants, and sweatshirt got all mixed up in a black hole and out popped a retail store. That's what Lou & Grey is. The off-shoot of Ann Taylor is all about softness (their signature material is literally called Signaturesoft). Embrace the softness and get 30% off, plus free shipping, with the code EGGNOG at checkout. We all deserve some good quality loungewear, like a fluffy sweatshirt or velvet pants. There are even some pieces that you could totally get away with wearing at work, even if it feels like you're still wearing your pajamas. It's okay, it's a trend now.

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