By Steve Holland and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will outline a plan on Thursday to relax U.S. immigration policy and grant relief from deportation to as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants in a go-it-alone move that will deepen a partisan divide with Republicans. The White House said Obama will deliver a televised speech on Thursday night laying out the plan followed by a trip to Las Vegas on Friday to build support. Nevada is home to the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants in the country. Frustrated by years of congressional inaction on what most in Washington agree is a broken immigration system, Obama said in a web video posting that he is now prepared to act unilaterally. "So what I'm going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem," he said. Some conservative Republicans have threatened to fight the immigration move by imposing funding restrictions in a must-pass spending bill, which could conceivably lead to a government shutdown. Republican leaders, however, have stressed they will not allow a shutdown after facing heavy criticism for the last one a year ago. Obama's executive orders are expected to remove the threat of deportation for as many as 5 million of the estimated 11 million people living illegally in the United States. This is a significant step for a president known for having deported thousands of illegal migrants. Sources close to the administration said Obama is planning to issue a reprieve from deportation that will cover some parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. That initiative would expand on a 2012 executive order by the president that gave relief from deportation and work permits to undocumented children brought to the United States by their parents. There is also expected to be a border security element and Obama will act to help companies hire and retain high-skilled workers from abroad, the sources said. "We've identified a number of ways that we will (fix the system) which the president will speak to in the coming days," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said at a National Press Club event on Wednesday. Obama's move, coming little more than two weeks after elections in which Republicans seized the Senate, is certain to provoke a backlash and House of Representatives Republicans are weighing a range of responses. Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said in a statement: "If 'Emperor Obama' ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue and many others." Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who will become Senate majority leader when Republicans command the Senate in January, has warned that Obama will poison the well for future cooperation if he acts unilaterally. The White House hopes that by acting now, Obama will spur House Republicans into acting on long-stalled immigration legislation, an idea that many on Capitol Hill see as far-fetched. It is not out of the question that Obama early next year could offer to approve the long-stalled Keystone XL pipeline from Canada in exchange for a deal on immigration legislation. The president on Wednesday night will host 18 congressional Democrats at the White House to talk through his immigration action, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. Obama's move could potentially have the unintended effect of increasing illegal immigration along the U.S. southern border with Mexico, if it is perceived as a softening of U.S. policy toward future migrants. Homeland Security's Johnson said on Wednesday he was concerned about another rise in illegal immigration, citing seasonal increases and a recovering U.S. economy. He also cited the influx of Central American child immigrants earlier this year and said U.S. officials need to retain safeguards against a repeat of that. The migrant crisis last summer contributed to some ill feelings among Americans about undocumented migrants. A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll in August found that 70 percent of Americans believed immigrants threatened the country's beliefs while 63 percent believed they burdened the economy. (Additional reporting by Julia Edwards, Doina Chiacu, Amanda Becker, Susan Heavey and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Tom Brown)
- Yahoo News
Republican lawmaker to ask Justice Department to investigate Trump's response to attack on U.S. Capitol
A ranking House Republican is formally asking the Justice Department to broaden its investigation to include President Trump’s conduct during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
- Yahoo News
Exclusive: Large bitcoin payments to right-wing activists a month before Capitol riot linked to foreign account
U.S. law enforcement is investigating whether a bitcoin transfer to right-wing organizations and personalities was linked to the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.
- Associated Press
A federal judge in Washington on Friday night halted a plan to release and put on house arrest the Arkansas man photographed sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol. Richard Barnett will instead be brought to Washington, D.C., immediately for proceedings in his case, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ordered Friday night, staying a decision by another judge to confine Barnett to his home in Gravette, Arkansas, until his trial. Howell's ruling came hours after U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann in Arkansas set a $5,000 bond for Barnett and ordered that a GPS monitor track his location.
- Yahoo News
A fifth member of Congress has tested positive for COVID-19 following last week’s lockdown at the Capitol — a surge of cases that had been predicted as a result of the Jan. 6 occupation.
- Yahoo News
President-elect Joe Biden's team is reconsidering a domestic terrorism law out of concern that future administrations or law enforcement might abuse it.
- NBC News
Jennifer Ryan faces charges of disorderly conduct and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.
- Associated Press
In the week since a mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, the House has impeached President Donald Trump. Twitter and other social media sites have banned Trump and thousands of other accounts. Officer Eugene Goodman isn't saying whether he thinks he saved the Senate, as many of the millions who've viewed the video believe.
Breaking with Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies is not the way to win Germany's federal election in September, the leader of her Bavarian sister party said as her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) prepares to elect a new leader on Saturday. Merkel, who steps down after September's elections, is heading into the last months of her tenure with her conservative CDU squabbling over how to position the party following 15 years of rule marked by her instinct to compromise. Markus Soeder, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the CDU's Bavarian sister party, said it would be a mistake to break with her popular brand of politics, which is consensus orientated and centrist.
- The Telegraph
Government must 'get a grip' of what is now a full-blown crisis in the fishing industry, say fishermen
Scotland's fishermen have told Boris Johnson his Brexit trade deal leaves them with the "worst of both worlds" amid export delays and collapsing market prices. In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) said the industry was facing "mounting financial losses" and the only way to ensure a fair price was a 72-hour round trip to land catch in Denmark. Elspeth Macdonald, the trade group's chief executive, said there was "huge disappointment and a great deal of anger about your failure to deliver on promises made repeatedly to this industry." She accused him of having "spun a line" about a 25 per cent uplift in the UK's quota and demanded urgent details of promised compensation for the disruption. Her concerns were echoed by Scotland's seafood processors, who said ministers in both London and Edinburgh need to "get a grip" of the long delays exporters are facing. A third of fishing boats in Scotland are tied up at harbours and the industry is estimated to be losing £1 million per day. Exporters warned they face possible bankruptcy amid a suspension of road deliveries due to border delays. Transport company DFDS stopped exports last week after delays in getting new paperwork introduced following the expiry of the Brexit transition period for EU border posts in France. It aims to resume the service on Monday. Paperwork has to be approved before consignments can be sent to DFDS's warehouse in South Lanarkshire and then on to English Channel ports. In her letter to the Prime Minister, Ms McDonald said: "Many fishing vessels are tied to the quay wall.” She added: "This industry now finds itself in the worst of both worlds. Your deal leaves us with shares that not only fall very far short of zonal attachment, but in many cases fail to ‘bridge the gap’ compared to historic catches, and with no ability to leverage more fish from the EU, as they have full access to our waters. "This, coupled with the chaos experienced since 1st January in getting fish to market means that many in our industry now fear for their future, rather than look forward to it with optimism and ambition."
- The Week
Trump's team is reportedly trying to assemble a crowd for a 'major send-off' hours before Biden's inauguration
President Trump is planning to exit the White House on the morning of Jan. 20, a few hours before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in a short distance away, CNN reports. "Eager for a final taste of the pomp of being president, Trump has asked for a major send-off," and "as one of their final acts, Trump's team is working to organize a crowd to see him off on the morning of Biden's inauguration, when he plans to depart Washington while still president" for a flight to Palm Beach, Florida, where his term will officially end at noon.There are 20,000 National Guard troops currently deployed or en route to Washington, D.C., ahead of Biden's inauguration, because the last crowd Trump drew to the White House morphed into an insurrectionist mob that stormed the Capitol.Plans are still being ironed out, CNN says, but "Trump told people he did not like the idea of departing Washington for a final time as an ex-president, flying aboard an airplane no longer known as Air Force One. He also did not particularly like the thought of requesting the use of the plane from Biden." The Bidens will wake up on Inauguration Day at nearby Blair House, CNN reports, adding that "its use was offered to them by the State Department rather than the Trumps, who refuse to make contact with the incoming president and first lady.""Trump has expressed interest to some in a military-style sendoff and a crowd of supporters," CNN says, but it's unclear "whether that occurs at the White House, Joint Base Andrews, or his final destination, Palm Beach International Airport."Outgoing U.S. presidents almost always attend the swearing-in of their successors, Defense One notes, and "in recent decades, the outgoing president and first lady walk down the back steps of the Capitol to an awaiting helicopter, which then makes the short five-minute flight over to Joint Base Andrews in nearby Maryland. Upon arriving at Andrews, the former president and first lady are usually greeted by a military honor guard, former staffers, friends, and other well wishers." Two senior Pentagon officials confirmed to Defense One on Thursday that, in a break with recent tradition, no military farewell is being planned for Trump.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future
- Associated Press
No criminal charges will be filed against a former temporary elections worker authorities have said mistakenly discarded nine military ballots ahead of the November presidential election, a federal prosecutor announced Friday. Officials have previously blamed the decision to toss out the ballots on an unidentified and improperly trained contract worker who had been handling mail-in ballots for the county for two days. The ballots were later retrieved from the trash and were counted with other mailed ballots after the Nov. 3 election.
Russia announced on Friday it was pulling out of the Open Skies treaty, saying that the pact, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, had been seriously compromised by the withdrawal of the United States. The move, announced by Russia's foreign ministry, comes days before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration amid fears of a burgeoning arms race. Moscow's last major nuclear arms pact with Washington is set to expire next month.
Joe Biden's presidential Twitter account launches with no followers transferred from President Trump.
- Associated Press
Pakistani authorities sacked a local police chief and 11 other policemen for failing to protect a Hindu temple that was set on fire and demolished last month by a mob led by hundreds of supporters of a radical Islamist party, police said Friday. The 12 policemen were fired over “acts of cowardice" and “negligence" for not trying to stop the mob when it attacked the temple, with some having fled the scene. Another 48 policemen were given various punishments following a probe into the attack, the police statement said.
- Yahoo News Video
A white military veteran shot and wounded a 15-year-old girl when he fired his gun into a car carrying four Black teens during a tense confrontation at a Trump rally near the Iowa Capitol last month.
- The Week
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have spent the past few years living in a six bedroom, 6.5 bathroom rented home in Washington, D.C.'s exclusive Kalorama neighborhood. The family could count high-profile officials and even one former president among their neighbors — as well as their own Secret Service detail, who had to rent a nearby apartment to use the bathroom because they weren't allowed inside the Kushner-Trump home, neighbors and law enforcement sources tell The Washington Post.It's not unusual for Secret Service agents to stay out of the typically expansive homes they're guarding, instead using a garage or auxiliary building as their home base, the Post notes. But Kushner and Trump took that to an extreme, forcing the Secret Service to install a porta-potty outside their home just so they had somewhere to relieve themselves, sources said. The unsightly outdoor bathroom was taken down after neighbors complained.That's when the Kushner-Trump detail started using a bathroom in the Obama family's nearby garage. But they were kicked out when "a Secret Service supervisor from the Trump-Kushner detail left an unpleasant mess in the Obama bathroom," the Post notes. Agents then headed to to Vice President Mike Pence's home a mile away to use the toilet or, when time was short, counted on nearby restaurants and even knocked on neighbors' doors. One of those neighbors eventually ended up renting a $3,000/month basement studio to the agents, making $144,000 in taxpayer money by the time the lease expires this September.A White House spokesperson denied Trump and Kushner barred Secret Service from their home, saying it was the force's choice not to come inside — something one law enforcement officer disputed. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged nations around the world to maintain a unified front against Chinese detentions of foreign citizens, saying every country was vulnerable. Trudeau made his remarks as China offered more consular access to two Canadian men it arrested in December 2018 and charged with spying. Canada has repeatedly called on its partners to press Beijing for their release.
- Architectural Digest
When it came to the lighting in his home, Pardo drew inspiration from the insides of fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as sea creatures and machine parts.Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Independent
Trump will take nuclear football out of DC on his final day in office - and the codes will be deactivated at the stroke of noon
Military officials will have second 45-pound briefcase ready for Joe Biden
- Associated Press
A Florida waitress who noticed bruises on an 11-year-old boy flashed him a handwritten note asking him if he needed help, and when he nodded yes, she called the police, authorities said. Orlando police credited Flaviane Carvalho, a waitress at Mrs. Potato Restaurant, with coming to the boy's aid on New Year's Eve when the child’s parents weren’t looking. Police took the boy to a hospital where doctors found bruises on his face, earlobes and arms.