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5 things for Thursday, August 3: Immigration, Russia, Baltimore cops, Venezuela

Posted August 3

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1. Immigration

A hard-line stance against illegal immigration helped get Donald Trump elected; now he's throwing his weight behind a proposal to curb legal immigration. The President said he supports a bill by a pair of GOP senators that would cut legal immigration into the US by emphasizing skilled labor and severely limiting the types of immigrants' relatives who can come to the US. The new system would be merit-based, with green cards based on skills, education, ability to speak English and whether they could afford their own health care. Reaction in Congress was mixed.

CNN's Jim Acosta got in a heated exchange with a White House adviser about the proposal. Acosta, the son of a Cuban immigrant, asked whether limiting entry flies in the face of the poem on the base of Statue of Liberty that invites the world's "tired ... poor ... huddled masses." The adviser said the poem wasn't originally on the statue and speaking English already is required of immigrants.

Meanwhile, in Canada, our neighbors to the north have opened up the doors to Montreal's Olympic Stadium as a temporary shelter of sorts to deal with the huge numbers of asylum seekers, many of them from the US.

2. US and Russia

President Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill into law, but he didn't seem too pleased about it. The law hits Russia with new sanctions and hampers Trump's ability to ease them. Trump said the law is "seriously flawed" because it encroaches on the executive branch's powers. The White House said it has "clearly unconstitutional provisions." The Russians, of course, aren't happy about it either, and it highlights just how bad relations are right now between the two countries. Some say things haven't been this bad since the Cold War.

3. Baltimore police

Public defenders in Baltimore say police body-camera video shows officers working together to fake evidence. The video, from a November 2016 drug bust, shows an officer finding drugs that another officer allegedly had planted just moments earlier. It's the second video showing such alleged misconduct by Baltimore police in the past couple of weeks, and city prosecutors have been forced to dismiss dozens of criminal cases involving the accused cops. An investigation into this latest allegation has begun, and the police commissioner asked the public to wait for it to finish before passing judgment.

4. Venezuela

The country's attorney general has started an investigation into possible voter fraud during Sunday's controversial election for a new national assembly. This comes after allegations from Smartmatic -- the London-based company that provided the voting technology -- that turnout figures were off by 1 million votes and had been "tampered with." Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro dismissed the allegations.

The new national assembly, controversial because it's filled with Maduro's supporters and will have the power to rewrite Venezuela's constitution, will meet for the first time on Friday.

5. NAACP

If you're a person of color and plan to travel through Missouri soon, the NAACP has a warning: Go at your own risk. The Missouri chapter of the civil rights organization issued a travel advisory after the state passed a law that the NAACP says allows for legal discrimination. The advisory is a first for the group, but just what does it mean? Well, it doesn't tell people to not to go to Missouri but seeks to warn minorities of potential risks. As the president of the-state NAACP chapter put it, if people of color go to Missouri, "they should have bail money; you never know."

NUMBERS OF THE DAY

33%

President Trump's approval rating in the latest Quinnipiac poll, his lowest mark in that poll

20 years

That's how much prison time Michelle Carter could get when she's sentenced today in the texting suicide case.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Wanna pay?

All of that ransom money from the WannaCry cyberattack has been pulled out of online accounts, but we don't know if the good guys or bad guys moved it.

Dem bones

A man in Ohio finds human bones. The authorities show up and say they "appeared to have been there a long time." Yeah, like 900 years.

Call me, maybe?

President Trump's phone has lit up with praise from Mexico's President and the Boy Scouts -- except they don't remember calling him.

Head games

Kathy Griffin's back in the news because of a head, but this time it's her own. She shaved her head in support of her sister, who's going through chemo.

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH

#TBT

The '90s brought us lots of cool stuff -- like "Seinfeld" -- and some weird stuff, too -- like JNCO jeans. Check out these nine bizarre things that really happened in the '90s.

AND FINALLY ...

You asked,-they answered

Hollywood hotties Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey answer the web's most searched questions about themselves, via-Google's goofy autocomplete feature. (Click to view)

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