US cuts off aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras over migrant crisis
The United States is halting humanitarian funding to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the State Department confirmed Saturday. The move comes days after President Donald Trump issued warnings that he planned to close the U.S.-Mexico border next week if Mexico did not do more to stop caravans of migrants — many fleeing Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — from attempting to gain entry into the U.S. Trump has long threatened to cut off humanitarian aid to the countries, including before the 2018 midterm elections when he described an "invasion" of migrants from the countries. He recently declared a national emergency at the border to secure funding for a proposed wall, despite Congressional opposition.
The border has hit a 'breaking point,' official claims
Along the Texas border with Mexico – from El Paso to Eagle Pass to the Rio Grande Valley – masses of migrants have been crossing the border in unprecedented numbers. Now they're overwhelming federal holding facilities and sending local leaders and volunteers scrambling to deal with the waves of people. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday in El Paso that the border had hit its "breaking point" and urged Congress to come up with legislative solutions to the problem. Border Patrol officials were on pace in March for more than 100,000 apprehensions and encounters with migrants – the highest monthly tally in over a decade, he said.
Biden denies woman's claims that he acted inappropriately
Former Vice President Joe Biden responded Sunday to a Nevada woman's claim of inappropriate behavior, denying any wrongdoing but promising to "listen respectfully" to such claims. "In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort," Biden said. "And not once – never – did I believe I acted inappropriately." Lucy Flores, the Democratic nominee for Nevada lieutenant governor in 2014, said she was "mortified" when Biden kissed her on the back of the head at a rally before the election. Biden is the early leader in polling among hopefuls for the Democratic nomination for president. Flores told CNN's State of the Union she thinks Biden's behavior should be "disqualifying."
No one will lose coverage if Obamacare falls, Mulvaney says
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that he could guarantee that Americans would not lose health insurance coverage if a recent court challenge results in the Affordable Care Act being struck down. On ABC's "This Week," Mulvaney was asked what would happen to more than 60 million Americans with pre-existing conditions guaranteed coverage under the act known as Obamacare. Mulvaney said that every replacement plan for the ACA backed by the White House or Congress since President Donald Trump took office has included protections for people with pre-existing conditions, claiming that "debate about pre-existing conditions is over."
Jussie Smollett skips NAACP awards, takes hit from 'SNL'
Jussie Smollett took two comedic hits Saturday night. First Chris Rock went after him at the NAACP Image Awards. Then "Saturday Night Live" doubted his innocence in a sketch. Smollett was a no-show at Saturday night's 50th annual NAACP Image Awards in Hollywood, where he was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. The “Empire” actor lost to “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams, but that didn't stop Chris Rock from taking aim. "What the hell was he thinking?" Rock said. On SNL, Smollett (played by Chris Redd) is two hours late to a meeting, as a manager makes excuses and Fox execs get more annoyed by the second.
Virginia, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Auburn make the Final Four
A year after an infamous loss to a No. 16 seed, top-seeded Virginia is headed to the Final Four. The Cavaliers beat Purdue 80-75 in overtime on Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky. They'll enter the semifinals against Auburn, which beat Kentucky 77-71 Sunday to advance to the Final Four for the first time. In Anaheim, California, the third-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders beat Gonzaga 75-69 Saturday to advance to the Final Four themselves. With the win, Texas Tech denied Gonzaga’s bid for a second Final Four appearance in three years. The Red Raiders will face Michigan State, which on Sunday defeated Duke, 68-67, in an absolute thriller.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend