National News at a Glance
Posted May 7, 2018 10:06 p.m. EDT
Lava Flows Take Homes, Rousing Awe and Dismay
Almost three dozen structures, including homes, have been destroyed since the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii began erupting last week, according to officials on Monday, and at least 12 fissures have emerged to send lava into residential neighborhoods on the eastern edge of the island of Hawaii. Some residents who were able to return have found their homes in flames. More outbreaks were expected as seismic activity continued in the area. The island has been hit by hundreds of earthquakes in recent days, including one Friday with a magnitude of 6.9. More aftershocks from that earthquake were expected, the update said.
New Zero-Tolerance Policy for Immigrants Entering Illegally
The Trump administration announced Monday that it is dramatically stepping up prosecutions of those who illegally cross the Southwest border, ramping up a “zero tolerance” policy intended to deter new migrants. “If you cross the Southwest border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in announcing a policy that will impose potential criminal penalties on border crossers who previously faced mainly civil deportation proceedings. The new policy could flood the immigration courts, already suffering severe backlogs, and create new detention space shortages for federal agencies.
New York’s Attorney General Resigns Amid Abuse Accusations
Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general who had risen to prominence as an antagonist of the Trump administration, abruptly resigned Monday night, hours after four women accused him of physically assaulting them in an article published by The New Yorker. Schneiderman initially denied abusing the women, but the detailed and graphic descriptions of his allegedly violent relationships immediately drew calls for his resignation. It represented a stunning fall for a politician who had not only been a bulwark of resistance against President Donald Trump, but had also assumed a prominent role in the #MeToo movement.
Trump Weighs In on West Virginia Senate Race
President Donald Trump intervened Monday in the West Virginia Republican Senate primary, pleading with voters a day before the election to oppose former mine operator Don Blankenship, and signaling Republican anxiety over the prospect of forfeiting yet another red-state Senate race. Trump’s decision to speak out came after Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky urged the president to weigh in against Blankenship’s candidacy, according to Republican officials familiar with the conversation. Trump quickly agreed, suggesting in a tweet that a victory by Blankenship would lead to a reprise of the embarrassing loss Roy S. Moore suffered last year in Alabama.
White House Aides Are Urging Trump to Fire Scott Pruitt, the EPA Chief
Senior White House staff members are encouraging President Donald Trump to fire Scott Pruitt, his embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief, according to two top administration officials. While Trump has until now championed Pruitt, the officials say the president’s enthusiasm may be cooling because of the ongoing cascade of alleged ethical and legal missteps. But that is likely to change in the coming weeks, the two officials said. The reports come after a new cache of emails offer a detailed look inside the EPA’s aggressive efforts to conceal Pruitt's activities and keep him away from the news media.
MIT Is Not Responsible for Student’s Suicide, Court Rules
In a legal case closely watched for its potential implications for universities nationwide, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled Monday that MIT could not be held responsible for the 2009 suicide of one of its students. Broadly, the Supreme Judicial Court said in its 44-page ruling, “there is no duty to prevent another from committing suicide.” The court suggested that there could be limited circumstances in which universities could bear responsibility for protecting their students. But overall, the court wrote, there is “universal recognition” that the age of “in loco parentis,” in which universities stand in place of parents, is long over.
Man Who Wrested Rifle From Waffle House Gunman Raises $227,000 for Victims
James Shaw Jr. exuded modesty in the hours and days after he wrested an assault rifle from a gunman at a Nashville Waffle House restaurant. And in his efforts to help the shooting victims, he set what turned out to be a modest fundraising goal: $15,000. Just two weeks later, though, Shaw’s GoFundMe has raised more than 15 times that amount — about $227,000 as of Monday night. "I am overwhelmed,” Shaw said in a statement. Shaw, 29, has been lionized for his decisive action in stopping a gunman who fatally shot four people and wounded several others, including Shaw.