National News

5 things for January 10: Immigration, gerrymandering, Michael Cohen, mudslides, quake

Posted January 9, 2018 6:01 a.m. EST

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1. Immigration

DACA is alive -- for now. A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration's efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation about 700,000 young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children. President Trump had said he would end the program in March unless Congress came up with a fix.

So, how will this affect the negotiations going on in Washington about DACA and immigration? Trump's televised and nearly hour-long meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the subject, while fascinating, didn't exactly produce any clarity on the issue, partially because the President kept contradicting himself. This much we know: Democrats would rather only deal with DACA, but Republicans want some concessions on border security first.

Having a hard time keeping track of all this? (Go ahead and raise your hand, because that's all of us.) Here are five immigration-related storylines you should be paying attention to.

2. Gerrymandering

North Carolina must redraw its congressional map in just three weeks, because federal judges say the map is unconstitutionally partisan. This is important because it's the first time a federal court has ruled on partisan gerrymandering. Republicans control the General Assembly in the state, thus they can draw the map, but Democrats said the map was tilted too far in the GOP's favor. The three-week timeline is in place so that a new map can be OK'd in time for the 2018 midterm elections. Republicans plan to appeal.

3. Russia investigation

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, hit both Fusion GPS, which produced the Russia dossier, and Buzzfeed, which released it, with lawsuits, saying its allegations about him are wrong. Cohen, who is named in the dossier, said BuzzFeed defamed him when it published the 35-page document and an article. He says Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, its founder, defamed him after it hired an ex-British spy to compile the document as part of its opposition research against the Trump campaign.

Meanwhile, Simpson told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the author of the dossier was acting on his own when he went to the FBI because he was concerned that a presidential candidate was being blackmailed, according to the 312-page transcript of his testimony.

4. California mudslides

At least 13 people are dead after rivers of mud and debris tore through parts of Southern California. Many of the places hit are still struggling to recover from recent wildfires. A lot of the deaths were in the coastal community of Montecito. Mudslides destroyed homes there and closed a major freeway for hours. The area -- littered with mud, rocks, downed power lines, trees and wrecked cars -- "looked like a World War I battlefield," said Santa Barbara County's sheriff. Authorities rescued at least 50 people in Montecito alone, and at least two dozen people are missing.

5. Caribbean earthquake

A strong earthquake rocked the Caribbean Sea, and now, the region is bracing for tsunamis. The magnitude-7.6 quake struck 27 miles off the coast of Honduras. Tsunami waves are possible for the coasts of Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. "Check on your family members that live close to the sea," a man says in a social media video filmed near the shore in Belize City.


"I finally had the courage to lock my door at night and sit by it. All damn night."

Actress Bella Thorne, revealing on Instagram she was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. Her post was met with an outpouring of love and support from her fans.

"Everyone seems stunned."

A Breitbart employee, talking about Steve Bannon stepping down from the far-right website.


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That's a lot of deliveries

Talk about bragging rights. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, with a net worth of $105.1 billion, is the richest person -- in history.

Numbers game

Hulu crowed about its growing subscriber base, now up to 17 million. Netflix, with 85 million subscribers, smiled and said that's real cute.

Lost in space

Remember Zuma, the supersecret spacecraft that SpaceX launched? Well, it failed to reach a stable orbit and is feared lost.

Welcome to Westeros

Send a raven. A "Game of Thrones" ice hotel just opened up in Finland.

Saharan snow

It snowed in one of the hottest places on Earth -- the Sahara desert -- and the pictures are straight-up awesome.


'Hey, let's scare the crap out of Dad'

Two mischevious boys leave a special surprise for dear old dad in the leaf pile. (Click to view.)