Immigration court backlog exceeds 1 million cases, data group says
- Immigration courts, which fall under the Justice Department and decide whether to deport immigrants, have been bogged down over the years as more cases are added to the docket that can be addressed at any given time.
- In January, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse estimated that more than 42,000 immigration court hearings had been canceled as a result of the shutdown -- exacerbating an issue Trump had pledged to resolve.
- The Justice Department had previously addressed some of the issues the bar association report raised.
- This month, the administration opened tent courts along the Texas border to hear the cases of migrants who have been returned to Mexico to await their immigration proceedings as part of the Migrant Protection Protocols program.
- In Wednesday's report, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse notes that the Migrant Protection Protocols cases still make up a small share of the court's active backlog.
New Orleans Saints quarterback is having surgery
- She's spending the day, or much of it, with her husband Drew at a Los Angeles hospital, where the New Orleans Saints quarterback is having surgery on his injured thumb.
- Brees was injured in the first quarter of the Saints' game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday when LA's Aaron Donald hit his hand, tearing a ligament in his right thumb.
- Saints head coach Sean Payton said Wednesday morning that the team doesn't plan to put the future Hall of Famer on the injured reserve list.
- Payton said he will likely use two quarterbacks -- Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill -- in Sunday's game against Seattle.
- It was Bridgewater who replaced Brees, 40, three days ago when the Saints lost to the Rams.
- Brees has been the team's starting quarterback since 2006 and led them to their only Super Bowl title in 2010.
How the GM strike could start a Midwest recession
- Detroit (CNN Business) - The nearly 50,000 striking General Motors workers are just the beginning.
- The strike by the United Auto Workers union could even tip large swaths of the Midwest into recession.
- The company said some 10,000 American companies supply it with products and services, making things that end up on the cars like seats, tires, brake linings, windshields and computers chips.
- And the 10,000 GM suppliers spread across the United States are only part of the affected base of manufacturers.
- Restaurants, retailers and other businesses in Midwestern towns where most of GM's plants are located are also likely to take a hit because they depend on money spent by GM employees and the employees of the automaker's suppliers.
- One area that isn't likely to suffer layoffs in the near term is GM's network of dealerships, which are privately owned businesses and not part of the company.
Pirates' closer Felipe Vázquez described sexual encounter with girl as 'sex but not really,' police say
- Vázquez, a two-time All-Star who's among the National League leaders in saves this season, began messaging the teen on social media in 2017 and they exchanged phone numbers, according to the complaint.
- Pennsylvania State Police spokesman Stephen Limani said the encounter between Vázquez and the teen -- who now lives in Florida -- was only disclosed after the girl's mother discovered explicit messages, photos and video on her daughter's phone.
- When Vázquez was arrested Tuesday, he initially faced felony counts of soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct using computer services or devices and giving obscene material to a minor in Lee County, Florida, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement statement.
- Florida law enforcement agents and Pennsylvania State Police served a search warrant at Vázquez's Pittsburgh apartment, where several electronic devices were seized, according to a FDLE statement.
Jimmy Carter wants an age limit for the presidency -- and he may have a point
- Though Democratic candidates in the 2020 primary have sometimes tiptoed around discussing age, it becomes a legitimate question when Biden, 76, seems to struggle for his words, or makes outdated references like suggesting that black parents should turn on their record players to help improve their children's education.
- But these instances of older Presidents doing their job (mainly) well don't outweigh legitimate concerns over potential cognitive decline.
- The old age of a president or a presidential candidate can also create a major discrepancy between their understanding of the country and that of most Americans.
- Still, in a moment when many Americans see that politics has moved in a dangerous direction because the office of the presidency is held by someone so clearly unfit to serve, it will be impossible for voters to ignore these kinds of concerns, about Biden and others.
A cruise ship rescued seven migrants from a flimsy boat near Cuba
- The Majesty of the Seas was about 66 miles southwest of Key West, near Cuba, when it made the rescue on Sunday, according to the US Coast Guard.
- Passenger Steven Tauber was about to get a milkshake with his 9-year-old son, Skyler, when a loudspeaker announcement explained what was happening.
- Tauber and his son went to one of the ship's top decks where hundreds of people were watching the rescue.
- His wife watched from their room.
- Skyler shot video and took pictures while a small boat from the Majesty of the Seas raced out to tow the migrants' craft to the safety of the ship.
- Tauber said the rescue took about an hour.
- The Coast Guard said the seven migrants were repatriated back to Cuba on Wednesday.
Brad Pitt gets candid about his struggles with sobriety
- Speaking about parental relationships, Pitt, 55, said: "My individual experience is somewhat universal, in the fact that you know our parents, our universe, our gods, our first imprint on on how to behave, react, feel in the world.
- The film explores themes of father-son relationships, masculinity and vulnerability and loneliness -- a topic Pitt was eager to address in his work.
- Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, whom Pitt dated in the 1990s, was among the main sources for The New York Times reporting that broke open the scandal surrounding the accused movie producer, who has since pleaded not guilty to multiple sexual assault charges.
- Paltrow went on to say that she refused Weinstein's alleged advances, immediately left, and told her then-boyfriend Pitt what had happened.
- Pitt, she said, confronted the producer.
Trump's California trip marked by pair of clashes
- Los Angeles (CNN) - Even before President Donald Trump arrived in California on Tuesday, his administration issued yet another pre-emptive strike at the state that likes to pride itself as the center of the resistance to his agenda.
- Following vague threats that his administration might seek to commandeer what Trump views as the state's feckless response to its homeless crisis, White House officials also signaled a second battle on the environmental front -- doing away with the state's right to put in place more stringent vehicle emissions standards than the federal government.
- Last week, Garcetti sent Trump a letter thanking him for a visit that Trump administration staff made to learn about the efforts that are underway in Los Angeles to provide temporary and permanent housing to those living on the city's streets.
The rate of abortions drops to its lowest level since Roe v. Wade
- But those decreases might have little to do with anti-abortion laws passed across the country in recent years, researchers say.
- The research group conducts an abortion provider census every three years and spends about two years analyzing and aggregating the data.
- Despite hundreds of new abortion restrictions across the country, those restrictions "were not the main driver of the decline in the US abortion rate between 2011 and 2017," Guttmacher said Wednesday.
- In addition to the decline in abortions, the rate of live births dropped by 98,000 -- suggesting a decrease in pregnancies overall.
- But even with the declines, "one in four women of reproductive age nationally will have an abortion in her lifetime," the institute said.
Trump wages more war on California
- Trump, who's visiting California on a fundraising trip, announced Wednesday that he is revoking a special status the state gets under the Clean Air Act in an effort to nuke fuel economy standards set by Sacramento, creating a situation where the President of a party that has long built itself around a message of freeing states from the yoke of federal oversight is trying to impose his will and his policy on every state in the union.
- The Clean Air Act mentions California by name and gives the state authority to set its own standards as long as they aren't less stringent than federal ones.
- When the Trump administration made clear it had zero interest in lowering US carbon emissions, California stepped into the void, making the state's government the country's leader on addressing climate change.