National News at a Glance
Posted January 14, 2018 9:37 p.m. EST
Fight Over Trump’s Immigration Remarks May Sour DACA Deal
The uproar over President Donald Trump’s vulgar remark on immigration took a bitter turn Sunday as lawmakers attacked one another and hopes dimmed for a deal to protect young unauthorized immigrants and avert a government shutdown. Trump declared that the program shielding those immigrants from deportation was “probably dead,” while a Republican senator who attended the Thursday meeting where the president addressed immigration denied Trump had used a vulgar phrase in describing African nations. Sen. David Perdue of Georgia said Trump “did not use that word” and he accused another participant, Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., of a “gross misrepresentation.”
‘I’m Not a Racist,’ Trump Says in Denying Vulgar Comment
President Donald Trump declared Sunday he was “not a racist” and insisted the derogatory comment attributed to him during an Oval Office meeting on immigration last week did not occur. “I’m not a racist. I’m the least racist person you will ever interview, that I can tell you,” Trump said as he arrived at Trump International Golf Club for dinner with Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader. Asked about the comments he was reported to have made, including a reference to African nations as “shithole countries,” Trump indicated he did not say what had been attributed to him.
GOP Moving to Suspend Employer Health Mandate
Having wiped out the requirement for people to have health insurance, Republicans in Congress are taking aim at a new target: the Affordable Care Act mandate that employers offer coverage to employees. And many employers are cheering the effort. While large companies have long offered health benefits, many have chafed at the detailed requirements under the health law, which they see as onerous and expensive. Now that relief has been extended to individuals, some companies believe they should be next. The individual mandate and the employer mandate are “inextricably entwined,” said James A. Klein, president of the American Benefits Council.
Trump Escalates a Dispute With The Wall Street Journal Over a Quotation
President Donald Trump on Sunday ratcheted up a dispute with The Wall Street Journal, accusing it of purposely misquoting him as saying in an interview that he has a good relationship with the leader of North Korea. In two tweets, the president deemed as “fake news” a Journal report Thursday that said Trump had boasted: “I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un.” Trump insisted that he had started his sentence with the contraction “I’d,” not “I,” which would change the meaning from a boast into a prediction that he could have a good relationship with Kim.
False Missile Alert Looms as Black Eye for Hawaii’s Governor
The false alarm about an incoming ballistic missile that sent Hawaii into a panic this weekend threatened to turn into a major embarrassment for the state and its politically endangered governor, David Y. Ige, as Hawaii officials moved to head off damage to Hawaii’s biggest industry, tourism. The Federal Communications Commission said Sunday that its initial investigation of the mistaken alert had concluded that Hawaii did not have “reasonable safeguards or process controls in place” in its emergency notification process. The alert was sent to cellphones across Hawaii Saturday morning when a state employee pushed the wrong button.
In Montecito, Enclave of Wealth and Fame, Unimagined Tragedy
The unimaginable tragedy that struck the small, exclusive enclave of Montecito, California, last week came when a torrential downpour — a “once in 200 years” storm, officials say — set off deadly mudslides in a landscape that, just last month, was scorched from the state’s largest wildfire on record. With more than 2,000 rescue workers from across the state combing through the thick mud, two more bodies were discovered over the weekend, bringing the death toll to 20. Four people remained missing Sunday, and while officials insist their mission is still search and rescue, few are holding out hope.
Car Flies About 60 Feet Into Upper Floor of a Building in California
A Nissan sedan became airborne and crashed into a California dental office Sunday morning, dangling out of the building’s second story, authorities said. Police in Santa Ana, California, said the car clipped a median outside the building and flew about 60 feet before slamming into the 17th Street Dental Office. The dental practice was closed when the crash happened about 5:25 a.m. Pacific time. The driver told officers he had used drugs before the crash and was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, police said. A spokesman said authorities had filed a charge of driving under the influence.
Man and Teenage Daughter Die in Another Fire in the New York
A man and his teenage daughter were killed by a fire Sunday in a public housing complex in the Bronx, police said. It was the latest in a series of devastating fires in New York City. The victims, Nelson Rojas, 62, and his daughter, Yolanda, 13, died after the fire broke out in the Throgs Neck Houses, police said. Firefighters and police officers responding to a 911 call found Rojas and his daughter inside a fourth-floor apartment. More than a dozen people have died and scores more have been injured and displaced in fires in the city in recent months.