Supreme Court to rule on Trump bid to end 'dreamers' program
WASHINGTON (AP) — Adding a high-stakes immigration case to its election-year agenda, the Supreme Court said Friday it will decide whether President Donald Trump can terminate an Obama-era program shielding young migrants from deportation.
The justices' order sets up legal arguments for late fall or early winter, with a decision likely by June 2020 as Trump campaigns for re-election. The president ordered an end to the program known as DACA in 2017, sparking protests and a congressional effort to salvage it.
That effort failed, but federal courts in California, New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have blocked him from ending it immediately. A federal judge in Texas has declared the program is illegal, but refused to order it halted .
The program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — protects about 700,000 people, known as dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families that overstayed visas.
The DACA protections seem certain to remain in effect at least until the high court issues its decision.
Life sentence for killing at Charlottesville protest
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — An avowed white supremacist who deliberately drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a young woman and injuring dozens, apologized to his victims Friday before being sentenced to life in prison on federal hate crime charges.
James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, had pleaded guilty in March to 29 of 30 hate crimes in connection with the 2017 attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured more than two dozen others.
Prosecutors and Fields' lawyers agreed that federal sentencing guidelines called for a life sentence. But his attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski to consider a sentence of "less than life," hoping he would take into account Fields' troubled childhood and mental health issues.
Just before Urbanski announced his sentence, the 22-year-old Fields, accompanied by one of his lawyers, walked to a podium in the courtroom and apologized.
"Every day I think about how things could have gone differently and how I regret my actions," he said. "I'm sorry."
Like old pals, Trump, Putin make light of election meddling
OSAKA, Japan (AP) — Smiling together on a global stage, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin cheerfully dismissed Russian interference in U.S. elections, shared their contempt for the world's news media and generally flaunted their personal bond on Friday.
That was one day after the Russian leader praised the president of the United States for his nationalist world views and vigorously declared the days of the West's liberals are dying if not already dead.
For some time, Trump has defied the once-entrenched Republican distrust if not outright hatred of the powerful nation at the heart of the former Soviet Union. But Friday's joint appearance seemed to go even further.
As the two leaders sat down for their first meeting in nearly a year, a reporter asked Trump if he would warn Putin not to meddle in America's upcoming 2020 election.
"Of course," the president replied. Then he turned to Putin and facetiously said, "Don't meddle in the election." He playfully repeated the request while pointing at Putin, who laughed.
US judge blocks Indiana 2nd trimester abortion procedure ban
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge blocked an Indiana law that would ban a second-trimester abortion procedure on Friday, just days before the law was set to come into force.
The order putting the Indiana law on hold was released hours after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to revive a similar law in Alabama that sought to ban dilation and evacuation abortions.
The law passed by Indiana's Republican-dominated Legislature this spring calls the procedure "dismemberment abortion." It was set to become effective on July 1.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sued on behalf of two doctors who perform dilation and evacuation abortions. Under the law, a doctor who performs the procedure could face a felony charge, punishable by up to six years in prison.
Indiana's attorneys maintained the state had a valid role in limiting types of abortion procedures, citing a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld a federal law banning the method.
Biden defends past civil rights record after Harris attack
CHICAGO (AP) — Joe Biden strongly defended his civil rights record on Friday, pledging to be a "president who stands against racism" and "the forces of intolerance" and defiantly dismissing any suggestions otherwise.
Speaking to the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the white former vice president was working to repair the damage from a blistering attack from California Sen. Kamala Harris, the lone black woman in the 2020 presidential race. During Thursday's presidential debate , Harris criticized Biden for recently highlighting his decades-old work with segregationist senators and his opposition to public school busing during the 1970s — creating a dramatic and deeply personal breakout moment.
"I heard, and I listened to, and I respect Sen. Harris," Biden said. "But we all know that 30 seconds to 60 seconds on a campaign debate exchange can't do justice to a lifetime commitment to civil rights."
Biden has surged to the top of the Democratic pack arguing that he's best positioned to defeat President Donald Trump because he can build a broad coalition of support. Appearances such as the one with Jackson — his onetime rival in the 1988 Democratic presidential primary — will signal whether Harris' attack will chip into his support among African Americans. He acknowledged the critical role of black voters and labor unions on Friday, saying, "Y'all are the ones that brung me to the dance."
Biden pushed back against some of Harris' specific criticisms, including her argument that he once opposed busing. He said he was more opposed to federal intervention in busing than the practice itself.
Iran sees some progress on nuclear deal, but not enough
VIENNA (AP) — A meeting of the remaining partners in the Iranian nuclear deal produced some progress but not enough to satisfy Tehran's demands, a senior Iranian official said Friday, offering little prospect for now of the country backing away from a move to surpass a uranium stockpile threshold that could doom the agreement.
Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister, said after meeting with senior officials from Britain, Germany, France, China, Russia and the European Union that a complex barter-type system set up to keep trade with Iran afloat is now active. But he insisted that for the so-called INSTEX system to be useful, "Europeans need to buy oil from Iran, or to consider credit lines for this mechanism."
Araghchi described the meeting in Vienna, a regular quarterly gathering of signatories to the 2015 accord, as positive and constructive. He said it was "one step forward" compared with previous sessions, "but it is still not enough, and it is still not meeting Iran's expectations."
The 2015 agreement was aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the accord last year and he has imposed new sanctions on Iran in hopes of forcing Tehran into negotiating a wider-ranging deal.
Iran recently quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium. It previously said it would surpass a 300-kilogram stockpile limit set by the accord by Thursday, but then said it was below the limit Wednesday and there would be no new assessment until "after the weekend." It is currently a holiday weekend in Iran.
Senate fails to limit Trump war powers amid Iran tensions
WASHINGTON (AP) — Political unease over the White House's tough talk against Iran is reviving questions about President Donald Trump's ability to order military strikes without approval from Congress.
The Senate fell short Friday, in a 50-40 vote, on an amendment to a sweeping Defense bill that would require congressional support before Trump acts. It didn't reach the 60-vote threshold needed for passage. But lawmakers said the majority showing sent a strong message that Trump cannot continue relying on the nearly two-decade-old war authorizations Congress approved in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The House is expected to take up the issue next month.
"A congressional vote is a pretty good signal of what our constituents are telling us — that another war in the Middle East would be a disaster right now, we don't want the president to just do it on a whim," said Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a co-author of the measure with Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.
"My gut tells me that the White House is realizing this is deeply unpopular with the American public."
The effort in the Senate signals discomfort with Trump's approach to foreign policy. Four Republicans joined most Democrats in supporting the amendment, but it faces steep resistance from the White House and the Pentagon wrote a letter opposing it.
Police arrest man suspected of killing Utah college student
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah college student missing 11 days was abducted and killed and her remains burned in the yard of a man now facing aggravated murder and other charges, authorities said Friday.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown, who became emotional at times during a morning press conference, said Ayoola A. Ajayi was being charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping and desecration of a body in the death of 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck.
He was arrested without incident earlier Friday morning by a SWAT team.
Brown said he told the missing woman's parents in Southern California about the arrest earlier Friday morning. "This is one of the most difficult phone calls I've ever made," he said. Her parents are "devastated and heartbroken by this news."
Lueck disappeared on June 17, after she returned from a trip home to California and took a Lyft from the airport to a park north of Salt Lake City. She was last seen apparently willingly meeting someone there at about 3 a.m.
Rapinoe has 2 goals and US knocks France out 2-1
PARIS (AP) — Megan Rapinoe went from controversy to triumph, scoring twice for the United States in the much-anticipated clash with host France to send the defending champions into the semifinals of the Women's World Cup with a 2-1 victory Friday night.
France was vying to become the first nation to simultaneously hold the men's and women's World Cup trophies, but the home-field advantage and the flag-waving crowd that belted out La Marseillaise didn't faze the ever-confident U.S. team.
"It did live up to expectations, I'm happy to say that," U.S. star Alex Morgan said.
Rapinoe, who was called out on social media by President Donald Trump after video surfaced of her saying she wouldn't visit the White House if the United States won in France, now leads the top-ranked Americans to Lyon to face No. 3 England on Tuesday in the semifinals.
Rapinoe scored on a free kick in the fifth minute that bounced between French players and past goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. After scoring, she went to the corner and raised both arms in celebration toward the U.S. fans in the sold out Parc des Princes stadium.
Thousands gather at Stonewall 50 years after LGBTQ uprising
NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of people converged Friday on the Stonewall Inn for the 50th anniversary of the rebellion that catalyzed a movement for LGBTQ liberation, marking the milestone with celebrity performances, speeches and personal reflections.
People from New York and afar came to take photos and share in the legacy of the gay bar where patrons resisted a police raid, sparking protests and longer-term organizing that made the cause considerably more visible.
"Fifty years ago, people stood up for their rights, and look where we're at now. We've got flags all over the city," said Richard Walker, 58, an airline worker from New York. "I'm getting goosebumps just really thinking about it."
With the modern incarnation of the Stonewall Inn as the focal point, the day's celebrations included music, speeches and an evening rally. Lady Gaga, Whoopi Goldberg, Alicia Keys, drag performers and other artists at the advocacy organization Pride Live's Stonewall Day Concert addressed a crowd that stretched for blocks on a nearly 90-degree afternoon.
"This community has fought and continued to fight a war of acceptance, a war of tolerance," Lady Gaga said. "You are the definition of courage."