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March 19, 2018

President Trump pushed his proposed border wall as a method to combat the national opioid crisis in a speech in New Hampshire on Monday.

"Ninety percent of the heroin in America comes from our southern border," said Trump. "Eventually the Democrats will agree with us, and we'll build the wall to keep the damn drugs out."

His call for additional border security elicited a standing ovation from the audience, who cheered and chanted in support of a wall. Attendees also applauded the president's pledge to deploy the death penalty for drug dealers, whom he called "terrible people."

In his remarks, Trump additionally slammed sanctuary cities, which shield some immigrants from deportation by allowing local authorities to decline to cooperate with federal immigration officers. The president said that removing sanctuary policies was crucial to stopping the opioid crisis, saying that they "shield dangerous criminals" who are responsible for drug dealing. Other strategies mentioned were "commercials" to deter children from trying drugs and battling pharmaceutical companies who push to overprescribe pain medications.

Watch Trump's comments on the border wall below, via Fox News. Summer Meza

12:19 a.m.

Oh, that collusion.

On CNN Wednesday night, Rudy Giuliani, personal lawyer to President Trump, acknowledged that maybe Trump's campaign did collude with Russia after all. After Chris Cuomo reminded Giuliani that Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort recently (and accidentally) revealed very collusion-y activity in a court filing, Giuliani didn't disagree. "I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign," he claimed, dubiously. "I have not! I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here: Conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC."

Giuliani has a long history of contradicting himself on TV and shifting the collusion discussion, from arguing on Fox News that "if there was collusion with the Russians, they would have used it," to claiming that "Russian collusion is a total fake news," to noting that that technically, "collusion is not a crime," then that attempted collusion isn't a crime. Wednesday's iteration could be paraphrased: Maybe Trump's campaign colluded but Trump didn't know and only colluding with Russia to hack Democratic National Committee emails would actually be a crime.

Giuliani agreed with Cuomo that he shouldn't be able to change Special Counsel Mueller's report, only respond to it, and claimed that he'd like to see the entire thing released publicly. He also seemed to claim Mueller is already finished with his work.

"I mean, this whole idea of obstruction is really stupid because the investigation has come to an end and nobody's obstructed it," Giuliani said. "I don't think the investigation has come to an end — look at how much information was redacted in those Manafort papers," Cuomo protested. "Okay, if it hasn't come to an end, it has certainly come to an end on collusion — they either have it or they don't have it," Giuliani replied. "How do you know?" Cuomo asked. "We just learned the Manafort stuff and it's the most damning stuff to date." "Well, that's not collusion and hacking the DNC," Giuliani said, and Cuomo pushed back on Giuliani's low bar for wrongdoing. Peter Weber

January 16, 2019

A new study shows that stem cell transplants could stop symptoms in some people with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects 2.3 million patients worldwide.

MS targets the central nervous system, with the immune system attacking the protective sheath covering nerves. During the clinical trial, patients were admitted to the hospital for two weeks, and they had their own stem cells collected and stored. They received high-dose chemotherapy treatments, which wiped out their immune systems. Their stem cells were then infused back into their bodies, giving their immune systems a reboot. Fewer than 10 percent of participants subsequently reported that their condition got worse, versus more than 75 percent of patients whose disease got worse after taking medications for MS over a five-year period.

Dr. Richard Burt, who led the trial at Northwestern School of Medicine, told CBS News: "Transplants ended up being markedly superior in all the perimeters we looked at. You have to select the right group of patients ... there's these really aggressive ones that are very relapsing and inflammatory that it works extremely well in." One of the patients who participated in the trial, Amanda Loy of Alaska, said before the transplant, her arms were numb, she had bladder issues, and her balance was off. Loy has relapsing-remitting MS, and said she can now run, something she couldn't do easily before, and plans on participating in the Chicago Marathon. Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2019

In response to the housing crisis in Seattle, Microsoft announced late Wednesday it is pledging $500 million to build affordable housing in the region.

Microsoft is based in the suburb of Redmond, and in many areas where tech giants have their headquarters, low-and middle-income homeowners are being priced out. During a meeting attended by New York Times reporters earlier this week, Microsoft President Brad Smith and CEO Satya Nadella said they were worried about their employees being able to afford housing in an area where prices are skyrocketing. "We are going to invest quite a bit," Nadella said. "Of course, we have lots of software engineers, but the reality is that a lot of people work for Microsoft. Cafeteria workers, shuttle drivers. We have a real challenge. We don't have enough affordable housing units."

In December, the government published a report that found the Seattle region needs 156,000 more affordable housing units, and if the area continues to grow at its current rate, an additional 88,000 units are needed by 2040. Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2019

A Georgia man was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a plot to attack the White House using an anti-tank rocket, federal authorities said.

U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak said Hasher Jallal Taheb, 21, of Cumming has been charged with attempting to damage or destroy a building owned by the United States using fire or an explosive. In an affidavit filed in court Wednesday, an FBI agent stated that in March 2018, a local law enforcement agency received a tip about Taheb; the person said Taheb had been radicalized, was using a new name, and planned to travel overseas.

The complaint says that in October, Taheb told a confidential FBI source he wanted to travel to a territory controlled by the Islamic State, but because he didn't have a passport, he was going to instead attack the White House and Statue of Liberty. He went on to meet with an undercover FBI agent and the FBI source multiple times, and allegedly told them he wanted to use an anti-tank weapon to blow open a door to the White House, taking out as many people as possible. He was arrested by FBI agents while inside a rental car, after he traded his own car for semi-automatic assault rifles, three explosive devices with remote detonators, and an anti-tank rocket. Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2019

Jack Bogle, the founder of The Vanguard Group and creator of the index fund, died Wednesday. He was 89.

Vanguard is the world's largest mutual fund organization, now managing $4.9 trillion in global assets. When he created what is now known as the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, he was ridiculed by Wall Street, with the fund dubbed "Bogle's Folly." In his letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in February 2017, billionaire investor Warren Buffet praised Bogle, saying that he was "frequently mocked by the investment-management industry," but "he helped millions of investors realize far better returns on their savings than they otherwise would have earned. He is a hero to them and to me."

Bogle grew up during the Great Depression, and studied economics at Princeton. He founded Vanguard in 1975, and served as chairman and CEO until 1996. Bogle also wrote 13 books about investing, with his final tome, Stay the Course: The Story of Vanguard and the Index Revolution, published in December. He is survived by his wife, Eve, and six children. Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2019

The Pentagon is finalizing a policy to closely examine recruits who have green cards or other foreign ties, an initiative that would likely target thousands of people every year, two Department of Defense officials with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post.

Last year, a federal judge blocked a similar effort to target green-card holders. The Pentagon is concerned about espionage and terrorism, and this new vetting process will screen "foreign nexus" risks, the Post reports; this could include people with foreign citizenship and those with family members who are not U.S. citizens.

Some U.S. citizens could also be targeted, including those with foreign spouses or relatives with dual citizenship. Anyone chosen for this screening would not be allowed to go to recruit training until they are cleared, which could take days for some and much longer for others. Defense Department officials told the Post the new policy will be distributed to military services no later than Feb. 15. Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2019

A 27-year-old Marine veteran with PTSD was held for three days in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Michigan, despite being born in the United States, his lawyers said Wednesday.

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez pleaded guilty last month to trespassing and damaging a fire alarm at a hospital in Grand Rapids, the ACLU said. He spent some time in a Kent County jail, and was set for release on Dec. 14 to await sentencing. ICE contacted the jail and asked that Ramos-Gomez be held for pickup, and he was then driven 70 miles to Battle Creek. He was there for three days before a lawyer working for his family called the ICE detention center and told authorities Ramos-Gomez is a citizen.

In an interview with NBC News, ACLU attorney Miriam Aukerman asked why ICE, which has access to fingerprint records, thought Ramos-Gomez should be deported. "Why did they think he was a non-citizen? Did they get him confused with someone else? Who knows. This is an individual who's incredibly vulnerable with a mental illness." Ramos-Gomez was a lance corporal in the Marines, and earned awards for service in Afghanistan. He is now receiving mental health care for his PTSD.

The ACLU is calling on the Kent County sheriff and county commissioners to look into why the jail released Ramos-Gomez to ICE. Kent County Undersheriff Chuck DeWitt told NBC News that once Ramos-Gomez "was released from our custody, he was under the domain of ICE. Where they take him is their process. Our procedures were followed." Catherine Garcia

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