National News at a Glance
Posted January 8, 2018 9:23 p.m. EST
Trump Administration Says That Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans Must Leave
Nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador who have been allowed to live in the United States for more than a decade must leave the country, government officials announced Monday. It is the Trump administration’s latest reversal of years of immigration policies and one of the most consequential to date. Officials said that they were ending the Temporary Protected Status program for Salvadorans who have been allowed to live and work legally in the United States since a pair of earthquakes struck their country in 2001. The administration is giving Salvadorans in the program until September 2019 to get their affairs in order.
Judge Dismisses Charges Against Bundys in Armed Ranch Standoff
A federal judge in Las Vegas dismissed charges against Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan, on Monday, saying that the government’s missteps in withholding evidence against the three Bundy family members and a supporter, Ryan W. Payne, were so grave that the indictment against them would be dismissed. The decision could be appealed by prosecutors, but they would only be able to bring charges again if they won the appeal and the ruling was reversed. The charges stem from an armed standoff at the Bundy ranch in 2014 that had arisen over land-grazing fees.
Fraternity in Hazing Death Is Banned in Pennsylvania
Four years after the fatal hazing of a Baruch College freshman, the fraternity he was trying to join was banned by a state judge on Monday from operating in Pennsylvania for 10 years. The judge’s ruling came after prosecutors pursued criminal charges against the fraternity and it was found guilty of aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter. The student, Chun Hsien Deng, had traveled to the Poconos where he was supposed to finish the pledging process for Pi Delta Psi, an Asian-American fraternity. Deng — blindfolded and wearing a weighted backpack — was tackled and pushed around by fraternity members before he fell unconscious, authorities said. He was pronounced dead the next day.
As Winter Deepens, U.S. Faces ‘Moderately Severe’ Flu Season
This winter’s flu season is turning into a “moderately severe” one that might get worse because of an imperfect vaccine and steady cold weather, flu experts and public health officials said this week. About 80 percent of flu cases are of the H3N2 strain, which caused many hospitalizations and deaths this year in Australia, where winter comes in July and August. Compared to H1N1, the other seasonal Type A strain, and to B strains that usually arrive late in the season, H3N2 tends to kill more of the very young and very old, said Dr. Daniel B. Jernigan, director of the influenza division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Regulators Reject Plan to Rescue Struggling Coal and Nuclear Plants
Federal regulators on Monday rejected a proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize struggling coal and nuclear plants, in a major blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to revive America’s declining coal industry. Over the past decade, an influx of cheap natural gas and the rapid rise of renewable energy has transformed the nation’s power sector, driving down electricity prices and pushing many older coal and nuclear plants into retirement. While the Trump administration has moved to roll back climate and pollution regulations in an effort to help coal plants, the industry continues to struggle in the face of cheap natural gas.
These Billion-Dollar Natural Disasters Set a U.S. Record in 2017
Extreme weather events caused a total of $306 billion in damage in the United States last year, making 2017 the most expensive year on record for natural disasters in the country, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. A trio of major hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria, contributed hundreds of billions to the total. But the year was seemingly mired in disaster, from a freeze in the Southeast that damaged fruit crops in March, to hail storms that whipped across Colorado, Oklahoma and other central states in May. In all, there were 16 natural disasters that caused more than $1 billion of damage each in 2017.
Mueller Indicates He Is Likely to Seek Interview With Trump
Special counsel Robert Mueller told President Donald Trump’s lawyers in December that he will probably seek to interview the president, setting off discussions among Trump’s lawyers about the perils of such a move. No formal request has been made and no date has been set. White House officials viewed the discussion as a sign that Mueller’s investigation of Trump could be nearing the end. Trump’s lawyers are expected to try to set ground rules for any interview or provide answers to written questions. If Trump were to refuse outright to cooperate, Mueller could respond with a grand jury subpoena.