Trump administration drafts plan to raise asylum bar, speed deportations

Trump administration drafts plan to raise asylum bar, speed deportationsBy Julia Edwards Ainsley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Department of Homeland Security has prepared new guidance for immigration agents aimed at speeding up deportations by denying asylum claims earlier in the process. The new guidelines, contained in a draft memo dated February 17 but not yet sent to field offices, directs agents to only pass applicants who have a good chance of ultimately getting asylum, but does not give specific criteria for establishing credible fear of persecution if sent home. The guidance instructs asylum officers to "elicit all relevant information" in determining whether an applicant has "credible fear" of persecution if returned home, the first obstacle faced by migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border requesting asylum.



SpaceX launches rocket from historic NASA pad in Florida

SpaceX launches rocket from historic NASA pad in FloridaA SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off on Sunday from a Florida launch pad once used to send NASA astronauts to the moon, a step forward for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and his company's goal of ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station. The 229-foot tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 soared off a seaside launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center at 9:39 a.m. EST (1439 GMT) carrying a Dragon cargo ship that holds supplies and science experiments for the station. Nine minutes after blastoff, the main section of the rocket flew back to a landing pad at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the eighth successful touchdown for Space Exploration Technologies Corp.



Florida middle schooler threw block at Trump motorcade, sheriff says

Florida middle schooler threw block at Trump motorcade, sheriff saysA Florida middle school student may face criminal charges after confessing to throwing a wooden block at a vehicle in U.S. President Donald Trump's motorcade as it drove through West Palm Beach on Friday, the local sheriff's office said. Authorities received reports that a vehicle in the motorcade appeared to have been struck by a hard, small object, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.



Trump's national security candidates promised autonomy

Trump's national security candidates promised autonomyBy Andy Sullivan and Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's next pick for national security adviser will have autonomy over staffing and key decisions, the White House said on Sunday as it scrambles to fill the post following the turbulent departure of Michael Flynn. Trump fired Flynn, a retired U.S. Army general, on Monday after it was revealed that he discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador in Washington ahead of Trump's inauguration and later misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.



Suppressing free press is 'how dictators get started': Senator McCain

Suppressing free press is 'how dictators get started': Senator McCainSenator John McCain, defending the media against the latest attack by President Donald Trump, warned that suppressing the free press was "how dictators get started". The Arizona Republican, a frequent critic of Trump, was responding to a tweet in which Trump accused the media of being “the enemy of the American people”. The international order established after World War Two was built in part on a free press, McCain said in an excerpt of an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that was released in advance of the full Sunday morning broadcast.





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