National News

National News at a Glance

Posted June 26, 2018 9:41 p.m. EDT

States Sue to Stop Separations as Government Struggles to Reunite Families

Seventeen states sued President Donald Trump on Tuesday for his administration’s practice of separating immigrant parents from their children, saying that the tactic is causing “devastating harm,” even as a top official said the government was struggling to reunite families fractured by the policy. The states, including New York and joined by the District of Columbia, branded the forcible separation of immigrant families as unconstitutional, “cruel and unlawful,” calling it a violation of the principles of due process and equal protection. They requested that the court halt it and immediately compel the government to reunite parents with their children.

Supreme Court Backs Pregnancy Centers That Oppose Abortion, in Free Speech Case

California may not require “crisis pregnancy centers” to supply women with information about abortion, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The First Amendment prohibits the government from forcing the centers, which oppose abortion on religious grounds, to post notices at odds with their beliefs, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for a five-justice majority. California, he wrote, can use other means to tell women about the availability of abortion, including advertising. But “California cannot co-opt the licensed facilities to deliver its message for it,” he wrote. In a concurring opinion, Kennedy said the First Amendment bars compelling people to betray their beliefs.

Supreme Court Upholds Trump’s Travel Ban, Delivering Endorsement of Presidential Power

The Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries, delivering to the president on Tuesday a political victory and an endorsement of his power to control immigration at a time of political upheaval about the treatment of migrants at the Mexican border. In a 5-4 vote, the court’s conservatives said the president’s power to secure the country’s borders was not undermined by Trump’s history of incendiary statements about the dangers he said Muslims pose to the United States. But the court’s liberals denounced the decision.

Drug Dealers Targeted in Sweep of Illicit Online Marketplaces

More than 35 people were charged with selling drugs on the dark web, the Justice Department announced Tuesday, marking the first time that federal prosecutors made the sellers of illegal goods their primary focus rather than the operators of illicit online marketplaces. Investigators seized opioids, cocaine and other drugs, more than 100 guns and assault rifles, a grenade launcher and five cars in a broad federal inquiry in which prosecutors opened more than 90 cases. They also took nearly $24 million in cash, gold, and bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Oakland Residents Reported a Black Firefighter for Doing His Job

Kevin Moore of Oakland, California's fire prevention team was on inspection duty last month when 911 operators received a call about a suspicious man in the backyard of a home. And a resident sent a police officer footage from a home security camera that showed Moore ringing a doorbell. And when Moore returned to the area last week for more inspections, a resident confronted him with a cellphone camera and demanded to see his identification. In each case, Moore, who is black, was reported to the authorities or viewed suspiciously for simply doing his job, the latest example of the treatment faced by many people of color in the United States.

High-Resolution Snapshot of Zika Virus Reveals Clues to Fighting It

Scientists have captured the clearest and most detailed image yet of Zika, the virus that set off a global health crisis in 2015 and 2016 and left thousands of babies with serious birth defects. The work could contribute to the development of more effective vaccines and treatments to combat the virus. The research, published Tuesday in the journal Structure, combined tens of thousands of two-dimensional images to construct a three-dimensional model of the virus’ structure using electron microscopy.

Manafort Trial Is to Go Forward, but Judge Warns Mueller to Stay Within Authority

A federal judge in Northern Virginia who had criticized the special counsel’s case against Paul Manafort refused Tuesday to dismiss the charges, clearing the way for Manafort to stand trial on charges of financial fraud. Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, has been charged in two jurisdictions with a host of federal crimes as part of the special counsel inquiry into Russia’s influence on the presidential campaign. Judge T.S. Ellis III said Tuesday it was clear to him that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, had “followed the money paid by pro-Russian officials” to Manafort — a line of inquiry that fell squarely in his authority.