TRUMP-BORDER SECURITY-CALIFORNIA-THE LATEST
Latest: California sues Trump over emergency declaration
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Xavier Becerra released a statement Monday saying 16 states — including California — allege the Trump administration’s action violates the Constitution.
Joining in filing the lawsuit are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.
Becerra says there is no emergency at the border.
Trump declared a national emergency to fulfill his promise of completing the wall.
The move allows the president to bypass Congress to use money from the Pentagon and other budgets.
California has repeatedly challenged Trump in court. Becerra has filed at least 45 lawsuits against the administration
The Latest: Maduro says Trump sounds almost Nazi-like
MIAMI (AP) — Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, is rejecting President Donald Trump’s call for a new day in Venezuela and comparing the tone of the American president’s speech in Miami to that of a Nazi.
Trump said Monday that the U.S. stands behind opposition leader Juan Guaido and condemns Maduro and his government’s socialist policies. Trump pleaded with Venezuela’s military to support Guaido and warned of dire consequences for standing with Maduro.
Maduro responded to Trump in comments broadcast on state television. He accused the U.S. president of speaking in an “almost Nazi style” and lashed out at Trump for thinking he can deliver orders to Venezuela’s military.
Maduro said, “Who is the commander of the armed forces, Donald Trump from Miami?” and added, “They think they’re the owners of the country.”
The Latest: Aid group says 62 die fleeing IS fighting
BEIRUT (AP) — The International Rescue Committee says more than 60 people have died in recent weeks after making their way out of the last area controlled by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria.
Spokesman Paul Donohoe says exhaustion and malnutrition are the principle causes of the deaths. He said Monday that at least 62 people died, two thirds of them children under the age of one. He says they either died along the way or soon after arriving at the camp.
Over 30,000 people who left the last IS-held areas have arrived at the al-Hol camp in Syria’s northern Hassakeh province in the last few weeks, raising the overall population of the camp to almost 42,000.
Kurdish-led forces continue to fight IS militants clinging to a tiny stretch of land.
Haitians seek water, food as businesses reopen after protest
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Businesses and government offices are slowly reopening in Haiti after more than a week of violent demonstrations.
People began lining up to buy food, water and gas and public transportation resumed on Monday in the capital of Port-au-Prince. Crews were clearing barricaded streets where tens of thousands of Haitians had protested to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise amid anger over rising prices and and allegations of government corruption.
Moise has refused to step down, though his Prime Minister Jean-Henry Ceant said over the weekend some government budgets would be cut by 30 percent, and he vowed to investigate alleged misspending tied to a Venezuelan program that provided Haiti with subsidized oil.
However, schools remained closed on Monday amid concerns of more violence.
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Suspect won’t testify in US House race hearing
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The political operative behind what North Carolina’s elections director describes as an illegal ballot-harvesting operation favoring a Republican congressional candidate won’t testify about his actions without legal immunity.
Leslie McCrae Dowless appeared before the state elections board Tuesday, which is holding a hearing over what happened in last year’s 9th congressional district race. Dowless is accused of using illegal methods to boost the number of mail-in ballots going to Republican Mark Harris. Harris holds a slim lead over Democrat Dan McCready in the country’s last undecided congressional election.
Dowless’ attorney told the elections board he won’t testify without a legal protection against prosecution for events he describes. The board refused.
The race wasn’t certified, but the elections board is expected to either declare a winner or order a new election after the hearing.
Roger Stone apologizes to judge for Instagram post about her
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone has apologized to the judge presiding over his criminal case for an Instagram post featuring a photo of her with what appears to be the crosshairs of a gun.
Stone and his lawyers filed a notice Monday night saying Stone recognized “the photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted.”
Earlier Monday, Stone posted a photo of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson with what appeared to be crosshairs near her head.
Stone later said that the picture had been “misinterpreted” and that any suggestion he intended to threaten Jackson was “categorically false.”
Stone is charged with lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering related to discussions he had during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks. He has denied guilt.
Official: Deputy AG Rosenstein expected to depart in March
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Justice Department official says Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave his position in the middle of next month.
The official was not authorized to discuss the move by name and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday night.
The White House is expected to name a replacement for Rosenstein this week.
Rosenstein’s departure had been expected with the confirmation of William Barr as attorney general last week.
Rosenstein has been on the job for nearly two years.
He oversaw special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself. Barr now oversees the remaining work in Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign and decide how much Congress and the public know about its conclusion.
ELECTION 2020-TRUMP THE PUNDIT
Trump the pundit handicaps 2020 Democratic contenders
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Kamala Harris had the best campaign roll-out. Amy Klobuchar’s snowy debut showed grit. Elizabeth Warren’s opening campaign video was a bit odd. Take it from an unlikely armchair pundit sizing up the 2020 Democratic field: President Donald Trump.
Presidents traditionally ignore their potential opponents, but not Trump. He’s eager to shape the debate, sow discord and help position himself for the general election.
In tweets, public remarks and private conversations, Trump is making clear he is closely following the campaign to challenge him on the ballot in 2020. Facing no serious primary opponent of his own, he is establishing himself as an in-their-face observer of the Democratic Party’s nominating process — and he’s not being coy about weighing in.
First private Israel lunar mission to be launched this week
YEHUD, Israel (AP) — An Israeli nonprofit says it’ll launch what it hopes will be the first private spacecraft to land on the moon this week.
SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries told reporters on Monday that the landing craft, dubbed Beresheet, or Genesis, will ship from Florida, where, propelled by a SpaceX Falcon rocket launch, it will commence its months-long voyage to the moon.
The launch is due late Thursday in U.S., early Friday in Israel. It had been originally slated for last December.
The small craft, roughly the size of a washing machine, will have to make several orbits before landing.
Israel’s space program chief Avi Blasberger says he hopes it will create a “Beresheet effect” in Israel, akin to the Apollo effect, to promote science for a new generation of Israelis.
EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK
No plan for Smollett to do follow-up police interview Monday
CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett say there are no plans for him to meet with Chicago detectives Monday for a follow-up interview about his reported assault.
Anne Kavanagh is a spokeswoman for Smollett’s lawyers. She says in an emailed statement that his lawyers “will keep an active dialogue with Chicago police on his behalf.”
Smollett reported last month that he was physically attacked by two men who yelled homophobic and racial slurs. He said they also yelled he was in “MAGA Country,” an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.
Police said Saturday that the investigation had “shifted” after detectives questioned two brothers about the attack and released them without charges. Police say they’ve requested a follow-up interview with Smollett.
Smollett’s lawyers say the actor feels “victimized” by reports that he played a role in the assault.
Check out the AP’s complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case.
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