10 things you need to know today: January 10, 2018
Bannon resigns as head of Breitbart after break with Trump, a judge temporarily blocks Trump's effort to end DACA, and more
Bannon resigns as chairman of Breitbart News
Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon has resigned as chairman of Breitbart News after a public break with President Trump, the conservative website announced Tuesday. "I'm proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform," Bannon said in a statement. His departure reportedly came at the insistence of his former financial backer, Rebekah Mercer, after Bannon publicly broke with President Trump. The move came days after a furor erupted over Bannon harshly criticizing Trump and his family in Fire and Fury, a tell-all book by the writer Michael Wolff. Days earlier, Trump said Bannon appeared to have "lost his mind" after he was fired by the White House.
Judge temporarily blocks Trump effort to end DACA protections
A federal judge late Tuesday temporarily blocked the Trump administration's effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has let more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children stay in the country and work. U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request by California and other plaintiffs to delay President Trump's decision to end the program while lawsuits work their way through the courts. Alsup said the plaintiffs had shown that young immigrants were otherwise "likely to suffer serious, irreparable harm." The ruling came as Democrats and Republicans debate giving the immigrants a way to stay. The Justice Department called the program, implemented by former President Barack Obama in 2012, an "an unlawful circumvention of Congress."
Trump signals support for broad immigration deal
President Trump said Tuesday that he is open to a broad immigration deal that would include a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. Trump said during a meeting on immigration with congressional Republicans and Democrats that he would "take the heat" politically for the move, which hardline conservatives adamantly oppose. Republicans and Democrats are focusing on extending protection from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Trump said he backed a two-phase "bill of love" first cementing protections created under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program he has moved to end by March, then addressing the fate of other undocumented immigrants. A White House transcript of the meeting left out Trump's statement that he would support a "clean" bill pitched by Democrats that would extend DACA protections without funding for security measures, such as a border wall.
At least 13 killed in Southern California mudslides
At least 13 people were killed Tuesday when heavy rains triggered mudslides in parts of Santa Barbara County, California, an area devastated by wildfire just weeks earlier. "It's going to be worse than anyone imagined for our area," Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said. "Following our fire, this is the worst-case scenario." The rainstorm hit early in the morning, causing "waist-high" mudflows, said Kelly Hoover, a Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. The deaths occurred in Montecito. At least 25 other people were injured.
Judges strike down North Carolina's 'partisan' congressional map
A panel of federal judges on Tuesday struck down North Carolina's congressional map, saying Republicans had unconstitutionally drawn it to ensure they would have "domination of the state's congressional delegation." In a stern 191-page opinion, Judge James A. Wynn Jr. said the GOP-controlled state legislature had been "motivated by invidious partisan intent" when they drew up the map in 2016 into 13 congressional districts. Republicans hold 10 seats. This is the first time a federal court has blocked a congressional map over partisan gerrymandering. The judges ordered state lawmakers to revise the map by Jan. 24, potentially endangering GOP-held seats. Republicans vowed to appeal.
Former sheriff Joe Arpaio announces Senate bid in Arizona
Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio announced Tuesday his plans to run in the Republican primary for outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake's (R) seat. Arpaio is an immigration hardliner who took controversial steps including forcing inmates to sleep outdoors in a "Tent City Jail." Arpaio was pardoned by President Trump last summer for criminal contempt stemming from a racial profiling case, where he faced a maximum of six months in jail. A federal judge ultimately ruled that Arpaio is still legally guilty of criminal contempt, despite the presidential pardon. The 85-year-old told NBC News that there is a need for "fresh blood" in Congress. He said, however, that he is running "for one unwavering reason: to support the agenda and policies of President Donald Trump in his mission to Make America Great Again."
Feinstein releases transcript of Fusion GPS co-founder's testimony
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday released the transcript of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson's testimony to Congress, over Republican objections. Fusion GPS was behind a controversial dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele that alleges Russia possesses compromising information about President Trump. In his testimony, Simpson claimed Steele went to the FBI with the intelligence he uncovered out of fear that Trump "was being blackmailed." The Judiciary Committee's chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), previously told The New York Times that Simpson was "uncooperative" during his interview. Simpson had called for his transcript, which runs 312 pages long, to be released.
North and South Korea agree to talks on reducing tensions
North and South Korea agreed Tuesday to hold talks on reducing military tensions, the rival neighbors said in a joint statement after their first high-level meeting in more than two years. The two Koreas also said they would "actively cooperate" at February's Winter Olympics in South Korea. Pyongyang agreed to send a delegation to the games. South Korean media also said the North had restored a second military communication line with the South after last week reactivating a hotline that had been suspended as tensions rose in recent years over North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons tests. U.S. State Department officials said the talks were a good start, but that sanctions would remain in place until "the complete verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
Trump says he would beat Oprah Winfrey in presidential race
After Oprah Winfrey's rousing speech at Sunday's Golden Globe awards show triggered speculation that she might make a run for the White House, President Trump said Tuesday he could beat her. Winfrey spoke about the empowerment of women and minorities in her "new day" speech. Supporters responded on social media with suggestions she could challenge Trump in 2020, and some friends of the media mogul, actress, and Democratic booster said she was "intrigued" by the possibility, although her close friend and confidante Gayle King said Winfrey had not changed her position that she was not interested in the job. Trump said he knows Winfrey and doubts she'll run, but would welcome the challenge. "Yeah I'll beat Oprah," he said. "Oprah would be a lot of fun."
7.6-magnitude earthquake prompts brief tsunami warning in Caribbean
A 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck in the Caribbean sea on Tuesday, briefly triggering a tsunami warning in hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. The quake was felt across Central America, and the U.S. Tsunami Center warned that parts of Honduras and Belize could get waves a few feet high. Tremors were felt as far north as Mexico's Quintana Roo state, although no damage was reported there. "It felt like a bulldozer was driving past," said Rodrigo Anaya Rodriguez, who felt the quake in his house near the Caribbean coast in Quintana Roo. "It didn't last long but was very violent."