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10 things you need to know today: April 22, 2017

Trump says 'DREAMers' can 'rest easy,' March for Science protests assemble worldwide, and more


Trump says 'DREAMers' can 'rest easy'

President Trump told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that "DREAMers," young immigrants who were brought to America illegally as children, should not fear deportation because they are not being targeted. DREAMers can "rest easy," the president said, because his administration is "not after the DREAMers; we are after the criminals." The DREAMer label comes from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which has not passed at the federal level but is implemented in some states. On Tuesday, a 23-year-old man named Juan Manuel Montes, a DREAMer, sued the Trump administration for deporting him earlier this year. Montes appears to have had an active Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, which should have prevented deportation. Trump told the AP Montes is "a little different than the DREAMer case," but did not say why.


March for Science protests assemble worldwide

Thousands of people are expected to protest Saturday in Washington, D.C., and in cities around the world in March for Science events timed for Earth Day. The rallies are intended to promote popular interest in science, recognize scientific achievements, and protest the Trump administration's proposed cuts to research funding as well as policy-making around issues like climate change which marchers argue disregards the best available evidence. Some scientists have criticized the marches, expressing worry that science as a discipline will be negatively politicized.


White House to reveal 'broad principles and priorities' of tax reform Wednesday

"We'll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform," President Trump said Friday, claiming his plan will offer businesses and individuals "a massive tax cut" that would be "bigger, I believe, than any tax cut ever." An unnamed White House official told The Washington Post Friday night the Wednesday announcement will "outline our broad principles and priorities" rather than offering a detailed proposal. "We are moving forward on comprehensive tax reform that cuts tax rates for individuals, simplifies our overly-complicated system, and creates jobs by making American businesses competitive," the official said.


White House denies ExxonMobil request for Russia sanction waiver

The Trump administration denied ExxonMobil's request for a waiver from U.S. sanctions to work with Russia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who formerly served as Exxon's CEO, recused himself from the deliberations. The Wall Street Journal noted earlier this week that it is not clear whether Exxon applied for the waiver before or after Tillerson was confirmed to lead the State Department.


Taliban attack on Afghan military base kills 140

As many as 140 Afghans were killed in a Taliban-led attack Friday on an Afghan Army base in Afghanistan's Balkh Province, local officials reported. About 10 Taliban fighters stormed the base brandishing firearms, and some were strapped with explosives. The base's mosque and dining facility appeared to be targeted as mostly unarmed soldiers completed their Friday prayers and sat down for dinner. There are no reports of injuries to American service personnel or coalition forces.


Trump fires Obama-appointed surgeon general

President Trump on Friday fired Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a holdover from the Obama administration. "Dr. Murthy has been relieved of his duties as Surgeon General and will continue to serve as a member of the [U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps]," said a White House statement."Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, who is the current Deputy Surgeon General, will serve as the acting Surgeon General." Murthy took office in 2014. He came under criticism for labeling gun violence a threat to public health.


Arkansas reportedly obtained execution drugs via unrecorded 'donation'

Drugmaker Fresenius Kabi USA forbade Arkansas from purchasing its products for use in capital punishment, but the company believes it may be the source of Arkansas' supply of potassium chloride, one of three drugs the state is using in its eight executions scheduled this month. The Associated Press reported Friday a state corrections official accepted a "donation" of the drug "by driving to an undisclosed location to meet an unnamed seller" who made no record of the sale. Arkansas planned four double executions in 11 days before its supply of another drug expired April 30. The first inmate was executed Thursday; four have received court reprieves.


Venezuela protests continue despite casualties

Large-scale, anti-government demonstrations continue in Venezuela Saturday in what opposition leaders have called the "mother of all marches." An estimated 22 people have been killed during the demonstrations, with 13 dying on Thursday alone. Most of Thursday's victims were killed while attempting to loot a bakery. The socialist state is suffering massive shortages of food and medicine, as well as skyrocketing inflation. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has responded to popular uproar by attempting to consolidate his own power, and authorities have met protesters with cannons and tear gas.


San Francisco paralyzed by 7-hour blackout

More than 90,000 people were without power for about seven hours in San Francisco on Friday, resulting in citywide closures of schools, businesses, and public transport. The outage was caused by a fire at a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. substation. The San Francisco Fire Department responded to more than 100 calls, including 20 reports of people stuck in elevators. Cable cars, electric buses, and BART were down or operating sporadically, and the streets were jammed as traffic lights went out.


Fox announces 10 new episodes of The X-Files

Sci-fi classic The X-Files will return to TV in late 2017 or early 2018 with 10 new episodes, Fox announced late Thursday. Production is slated to start this summer with series creator Chris Carter at the helm. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will reprise their respective roles as paranormal investigators Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Plot details have yet to be announced. The Emmy-winning show premiered in 1993 and was briefly revived last year for a mini-series.


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