U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced this week that she will leave by the end of the year, an abrupt move that surprised top White House officials. The former South Carolina governor said that she intended to work in the private sector and denied rumors she would challenge President Trump in 2020. Haley was a high-profile U.N. ambassador, sometimes taking on duties typically assigned to the secretary of state. She maintained a close relationship with the president, though she has been more vocal in criticizing Russia than other members of the administration. Trump said he’ll name a successor in the next few weeks. Haley, who has spent her career in government and earned $180,000 as U.N. ambassador, last year disclosed debts of up to $1.1 million. Trump said Haley intended to “make a lot of money.”
Nowhere to go
A federal official said the release this week of hundreds of migrant families from government custody marked “the start of a dam breaking,” as immigrant detention centers reach capacity. At one site in Arizona, hundreds of migrants seeking asylum were released without warning or instructions on where to go, how to find relatives, or how to travel to court hearings, NBC News reported. Some of the migrants have gotten shelter, aid, and even Greyhound bus tickets from local churches, which were warned by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to expect a flood of releases. “You’ll start to see this all across the southern border soon,” said a Department of Homeland Security official. More than 12,700 parents and children were apprehended crossing the border in August, triple the number a year earlier.
Missing kids found safe
Wayne County, Mich.
A newly formed Child Recovery Unit identified and safely recovered 123 missing children during a daylong sweep, the U.S. Marshals Service announced last week. Multiple law enforcement agencies participated in the search throughout Wayne County, which includes Detroit, visiting the missing children’s last known addresses, friends’ homes, and schools. Authorities had hoped to find as many as 301 victims of sex trafficking. All the recovered children were interviewed about possibly being sexually victimized, and three were identified as possible sex-trafficking cases, officials said. One homeless teen was brought to the police command post after it was discovered that he hadn’t eaten in three days. “The message to the missing children and their families that we wish to convey is that we will never stop looking for you,” the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement.
President Trump said he had a “good talk” with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein this week and has no plans to remove the embattled Justice Department official. Rosenstein was on the verge of resigning last month following reports that last year he discussed secretly recording Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. He and Trump spoke for 30 minutes aboard Air Force One en route to an event in Florida. “I didn’t know Rod before,” Trump said afterward. “I’ve gotten to know him, and I get along with him very well.” Rosenstein has faced intense criticism from Trump and congressional Republicans over his oversight of the probe into Russian election interference. White House officials say it remains likely that Rosenstein will depart after the midterm elections, especially if the Republicans maintain control of the Senate and can confirm Trump’s nominee.
The son of a limousine company owner was charged with criminally negligent homicide this week in connection with a horrific crash of a stretch limo that killed 20 people. The company, Prestige Limousine, has a history of noncompliance with safety requirements; the driver wasn’t licensed to operate the converted 2001 Ford Expedition, authorities said, and the vehicle failed an inspection last month. Seventeen friends were headed to a birthday party when the limo sped downhill through an intersection and rammed an empty car and a tree in a parking lot. The driver, all passengers, and two pedestrians were killed, making it the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. since a 2009 plane crash killed 50. Among the dead were four sisters and their spouses. Stretch limos are modified after manufacturing and exempt from many of the safety regulations that govern other passenger cars.
A beast of a storm
Panama City, Fla.
Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm, made landfall in northwest Florida this week with winds of 155 mph—the most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in nearly 50 years. On the eve of the storm, Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned the 375,000-plus people on the Gulf Coast who had been advised to evacuate that first responders would not be able to reach many of those who did not. The Federal Emergency Management Agency cautioned that people could be left powerless for weeks, and more than 170,000 homes and businesses were already without power soon after the storm made landfall. Unlike the many hurricanes that weaken as they reach land, Hurricane Michael rapidly intensified as it approached, fueled by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Georgia declared a state of emergency in more than 100 counties, and the Carolinas anticipated flooding from heavy rains.