10 things you need to know today: September 6, 2017
Trump rescinds Obama's protections for young undocumented immigrants, powerful Hurricane Irma makes first landfall, and more
Trump rescinds Obama-era program protecting young undocumented immigrants
President Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program, which has protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation and given them access to temporary work permits. "I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents," Trump said in a statement. "But we must also recognize that we are a nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws." Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision, calling Obama's policy "open-ended circumvention of immigration law through unconstitutional authority" and said Congress would have six months to come up with a fix "should it choose to." Trump faced protests and bipartisan criticism. Obama called the decision "wrong," "self-defeating," and "cruel."
Hurricane Irma hits northern Caribbean, prompts early Florida evacuations
Hurricane Irma made its first landfall on the northeast Caribbean island of Barbuda early Wednesday with top sustained winds at 185 miles per hour, making it the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic. The storm is expected to barrel across the northern edges of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba before possibly hitting Florida on Sunday. President Trump declared a state of emergency in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday. Florida officials ordered people to evacuate the Florida Keys and other vulnerable areas starting Wednesday. Miami-Dade County is evacuating people with special needs starting Wednesday, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) activated the Florida National Guard.
North Korean diplomat threatens 'more gift packages' for U.S.
As the U.S. and other world powers debated how to respond to North Korea's sixth and most powerful nuclear test, a top North Korean diplomat on Tuesday warned that Pyongyang would be sending "more gift packages" to the U.S. Washington is calling on other nations to get behind what U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley called the "strongest possible" sanctions against North Korea, including cutting off its oil supply. Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the idea on Tuesday, calling more sanctions a "road to nowhere." Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, said a U.S. call for a vote on tougher sanctions on Sept. 11 was "a little premature." Russia has veto power on the U.N. Security Council.
Winds drive Oregon fire toward Portland suburbs
Oregon's Eagle Creek fire spread through the Columbia River Gorge and toward Portland suburbs overnight, fanned by strong winds. The blaze started Saturday on the Eagle Creek Trail in the scenic gorge, apparently when a 15-year-old boy dropped fireworks off a cliff into dry forest. It has now burned more than 10,000 acres, and forced authorities to evacuate several communities and close a 45-mile stretch of Interstate 84 to traffic. The Coast Guard had suspended marine travel along a 20-mile stretch of the Columbia River, up to an inch of ash had fallen on nearby Portland, and much of Western Oregon was breathing hazardous air. While that fire is getting the most attention, firefighters in Oregon are battling more than a dozen forest fires across much of the western half of the state.
Menendez becomes first senator in 36 years to face bribery trial
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) this week becomes the first sitting U.S. senator in 36 years to face a federal bribery trial. Opening arguments are scheduled for Wednesday. Menendez has proclaimed his innocence since his indictment two years ago. "I am going to be exonerated," he said last week. He faces 12 corruption-related charges, including six counts of bribery. Prosecutors say he repeatedly used his office to help a wealthy Florida eye doctor who gave him trips on a private jet and luxury hotel stays, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations.
Stocks take a hit from renewed North Korea fears
U.S. stocks plunged on Tuesday as investors expressed concerns about rising tensions with North Korea after its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, which occurred on Sunday. The S&P 500 fell by 0.8 percent, its biggest single-day loss in three weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 1.1 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.9 percent. Markets also are being weighed down by concerns over a possible impasse on the federal budget and raising the federal debt ceiling. Shares in home insurers also took a hit as the super powerful Hurricane Irma headed for a possible landfall in Florida so soon after Hurricane Harvey unleashed deadly flooding in Texas.
Baylor settles lawsuit accusing it of fostering 'culture of violence'
Baylor University has settled a federal lawsuit filed by an anonymous former student who said the school had fostered a "culture of violence" and failed to adequately respond to sexual assault cases. The plaintiff said she was gang raped by two football players and knew of at least 52 acts of rape by more than 30 football players. The case, filed in January, countered the Baptist school's acknowledgement of 17 reports of attacks involving 19 players. The settlement was reached last week and announced Tuesday, the woman's attorney, John Clune, said. Details were not disclosed. "She feels really grateful to resolve the case, grateful to Baylor," Clune said.
Lego cuts 8 percent of workforce in 'reset'
Toy maker Lego will cut 8 percent of its workforce, or about 1,400 jobs globally, in an attempt to "reset the company" following declining revenue in the first half of 2017. With the U.S. and European markets struggling, the Danish company added that it is looking to China as a "growing market" to bolster its mainstays. "We are disappointed by the decline in revenue in our established markets, and we have taken steps to address this," explained Lego chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp. Lego employs more than 19,000 people worldwide. "Unfortunately, it is essential for us to make these tough decisions," said Knudstorp.
Appeals court says Texas can enforce its voter ID law
A three-judge federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday that Texas can implement its controversial voter identification law. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judges issued a stay, putting a lower court judge's decision barring the law's enforcement on hold while it considers the constitutionality of the legislation. Texas' Republican-controlled legislature passed this version of the voter ID law to fix a 2011 version that was seen as one of the strictest of its kind in the nation. The original version faced years of court challenges during the Obama administration. President Trump campaigned claiming that voter fraud was a major problem, and has expressed support for the Texas law.
Lee relative resigns from church after backlash over anti-racism comments
A descendant of a nephew of Confederate general Robert E. Lee this week resigned as pastor of his North Carolina church after facing a backlash over his comments denouncing racism. The minister, Robert Wright Lee IV, gained national attention when introducing Susan Bro, mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer, at the MTV Video Music Awards last month, saying his ancestor had been made "an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate," and urging people to fight racism, following the examples of Black Lives Matter, the Women's March, and Heyer. Lee said Tuesday his decision to leave Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem stemmed from "the backlash toward the church" and the fact that some church members "obviously had different mission ideas and goals."