Trump targets citizenship, stokes pre-election migrant fears
WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of U.S. troops to stop an “invasion” of migrants. Tent cities for asylum seekers. An end for the Constitution’s guarantee of birthright citizenship.
With his eyes squarely on next Tuesday’s elections, President Donald Trump is rushing out hardline immigration declarations, promises and actions as he tries to mobilize supporters to retain Republican control of Congress. His own campaign in 2016 concentrated on border fears, and that’s his final-week focus in the midterm fight.
“This has nothing to do with elections,” the president insists. But his timing is striking.
Trump says he will send more than 5,000 military troops to the Mexican border to help defend against caravans of Central American migrants who are on foot hundreds of miles away. Tent cities would not resolve the massive U.S. backlog of asylum seekers. And most legal scholars say it would take a new constitutional amendment to alter the current one granting citizenship to anyone born in America.
Still, Trump plunges ahead with daily alarms and proclamations about immigration in tweets, interviews and policy announcements in the days leading up to elections that Democrats hope will give them at least partial control of Congress.
AP Explains: How US birthright citizenship emerged, endured
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants to end a constitutional right that automatically grants citizenship to any baby born in the United States. Trump, in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” said his goal is halting guaranteed citizenship for babies of noncitizens and unauthorized immigrants.
U.S. citizenship through birth comes via the 14th Amendment , which was ratified after the Civil War to secure U.S. citizenship for newly freed black slaves. It later was used to guarantee citizenship to all babies born on U.S. soil after court challenges.
Here is a look at the Citizenship Clause and how citizens worked to be included in it throughout U.S. history:
THE 14TH AMENDMENT
In the aftermath of the Civil War, radical Republicans in Congress sought to push through a series of constitutional protections for newly emancipated black slaves. The 13th Amendment, which was ratified in December 1865, outlawed slavery. The 14th Amendment, ratified in July 1868, assured citizenship for all, including blacks. And the 15th Amendment, ratified in February 1870, awarded voting rights to black men, stating those rights should not be denied based on “race, color or previous condition of servitude.”
Trumps pay tribute at synagogue where 11 were fatally shot
PITTSBURGH (AP) — One stone and one white rosebud for each victim.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid homage Tuesday to each of the 11 people slain in the worst instance of anti-Semitic violence in American history. As the Trumps placed their tributes outside the Tree of Life synagogue, protesters nearby shouted that the president was not welcome.
The emotional, dissonant scene reflected the increasingly divided nation that Trump leads, one gripped by a week of political violence and hate and hurtling toward contentious midterm elections that could alter the path of a presidency.
On their arrival in Pittsburgh, the Trumps entered the vestibule of the synagogue, where they lit candles for each victim before stepping outside. Shouts of “Words matter!” and “Trump, go home!” could be heard from demonstrators gathered not far from where a gunman had opened fire on Saturday.
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who had been conducting services when the shots rang out, gestured at the white Star of David posted for each victim. At each, the president placed a stone, a Jewish burial tradition, while the first lady added a flower. They were trailed by first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who are Jewish.
Crashed Lion Air jet possibly found in Indonesian seas
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A top Indonesian military official says the Lion Air jet that crashed Monday may have been found in the Java Sea.
Armed forces chief Hadi Tjahjanto says a search and rescue effort has identified the possible seabed location of the jet. Debris and some human remains were found previously but not the main fuselage and the black boxes.
The 2-month-old Boeing jet crashed Monday just minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.
Tjahjanto said a team would be sent to the identified location to confirm the findings.
Relatives numbed by grief have provided samples for DNA tests to help identify victims of the crash, which has reignited concerns about safety in Indonesia’s fast-growing aviation industry.
Gangster’s death brings abrupt end to old South Boston
BOSTON (AP) — The death of gangster James “Whitey” Bulger brings an abrupt end to a notorious chapter in the history of South Boston, the neighborhood where Bulger once ran a ruthless gang responsible for loansharking, extortion and a string of murders.
But the South Boston of Bulger’s era was gone long before 89-year-old Bulger was slain Tuesday in a federal prison in West Virginia. He was serving two consecutive life sentences plus five years after his 2013 conviction of participating in 11 murders, on racketeering, extortion and other crimes.
Bulger’s South Boston, known as “Southie” to generations of people who grew up there, was a place where mostly blue-collar, Irish-Catholic families raised their children and everyone knew each other.
It was in this neighborhood that Bulger ran his gang in the 1970s and ’80s. Back then, Southie had a gritty, rough-around-the-edges feel.
Today, South Boston has the polished feel of a hip, urban neighborhood. It is an ethnic melting pot where millennials snap up upscale condos, eat at trendy restaurants and buy drinks at pricey coffeehouses.
Migrant caravan demands transport as 2nd group enters Mexico
NILTEPEC, Mexico (AP) — More than 1,000 people in a second migrant caravan that forged its way across the river from Guatemala began walking through southern Mexico on Tuesday and reached the city of Tapachula — some 250 miles behind a larger group and more than 1,000 miles from the closest U.S. border.
Gerbert Hinestrosa, 54, a straw-hatted migrant from Santa Barbara, Honduras, was traveling with his wife and teenage son in the newest group. Hinestrosa said he realized how hard it would be to reach his goal.
“Right now I feel good,” he said. “We have barely started, but I think it is going to be very difficult.”
Members of the latest caravan say they aren’t trying to catch up with the first because they believe it has been too passive and they don’t want to be controlled. The activist group Pueblo Sin Fronteras has been accompanying the first group and trying to help it organize.
The first, larger caravan of about 4,000 mainly Honduran migrants passed through Tapachula about 10 days ago and set up camp Tuesday in the Oaxaca state city of Juchitan, which was devastated by an earthquake in September 2017.
Mueller refers plot to make false claims about him to FBI
WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Mueller’s office has referred to the FBI allegations that women were “offered money to make false claims” about the special counsel, according to Mueller’s spokesman.
In a statement, spokesman Peter Carr says that once the office learned of the allegations, it immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation.
The statement didn’t specify what the claims were, but the referral to the FBI — and a rare public statement about it from the special counsel’s office — suggests that Mueller’s office believed there was a potential crime for federal law enforcement to investigate.
The attempt to spread what Mueller’s office says are false claims about him also appears to be an effort to discredit the former FBI director as his team enters a critical stage of its investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia and whether the president attempted to obstruct justice.
Mueller’s office has charged 32 people so far, with four former associates of the president pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with investigators. A grand jury in recent weeks has heard testimony centered on another former Trump aide, Roger Stone.
CNN goes after Trump in wake of explosive devices
NEW YORK (AP) — CNN’s management has taken an aggressive stance against attacks from President Donald Trump after the network was sent explosive devices from a man who allegedly targeted Trump’s perceived enemies.
In a statement, CNN chief executive Jeff Zucker was critical of the White House’s “complete lack of understanding about the seriousness” of its attacks against the media, and it was followed up by another statement this week calling on Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to understand that “words matter.”
The network has responded to specific provocations in the past. Yet it’s still considered unusual for a news organization, as opposed to an individual commentator or columnist, to take on a president. It’s the first time Zucker has done so this year.
Two of its former leaders applauded the approach on Tuesday.
“When it happens to you, it’s difficult to maintain a veneer of objectivity and restraint,” said Jonathan Klein, CNN president from 2004 to 2010. “It wouldn’t make sense for them not to respond in this way. The bomber had ‘CNN sucks’ stickers on his van and it’s clear who has been pushing that idea.”
Indian couple who died in Yosemite took risks for photos
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — She was a self-described “adrenaline junkie,” and he took “wow-worthy photos” of the couple posing at the edge of cliffs and jumping from planes that appeared on social media and a travel blog that attracted thousands of followers.
In one post at the Grand Canyon this spring, 30-year-old Meenakshi Moorthy even warned daredevils who try to snap selfies from dangerous heights: “Did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL???” The caption accompanies a photo of Moorthy sitting on the edge of the canyon’s North Rim.
The couple’s latest trip turned out to be their last. Moorthy and her husband, Vishnu Viswanath, 29, who were Indian expats living in California, fell to their deaths in Yosemite National Park last week while taking a selfie, the man’s brother said Tuesday.
They set up their tripod near a ledge at a scenic overlook in the California park, Viswanath’s brother, Jishnu Viswanath, told The Associated Press. Visitors saw the camera the next morning and alerted park rangers, who “used high-powered binoculars to find them and used helicopters to airlift the bodies,” he said.
Rangers found their bodies about 800 feet (245 meters) below Taft Point, where visitors can walk to the edge of a vertigo-inducing granite ledge that offers spectacular views of the Yosemite Valley below.
Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame top 1st CFP rankings
If you don’t like the first College Football Playoff selection committee rankings, don’t worry. Saturday’s slate of huge games guarantees major changes are coming next week.
Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame were the top four teams in the initial CFP rankings Tuesday night.
After meeting for a day and a half at a hotel outside Dallas, the 13-member selection committee released the first of its five weekly top 25s before the four-team field is set for the semifinals on Dec. 2.
Michigan was fifth, followed by Georgia and Oklahoma. Washington State was eighth, the highest-ranked Pac-12 team. Kentucky was ninth.
Of course, the final rankings are the only ones that matter, but the playoff picture will be reshaped this weekend. Four games matching top-20 teams are on tap Saturday, including Alabama at LSU and Georgia at Kentucky.