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November 8, 2018

The Trump administration has taken the next step toward barring migrants who illegally cross the border from claiming asylum.

President Trump announced changes to the asylum process in a press conference last week, saying he'd soon issue an executive order requiring asylum seekers to enter the U.S. at official ports of entry. All people caught crossing in other locations would be detained indefinitely, Trump said. The Justice Department published that change to the federal record on Thursday, but added that it won't be official until Trump issues a proclamation, likely on Friday, Bloomberg reports.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen released a statement introducing the rule change. In it, they said America's "asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims" and claimed Trump has the "authority to suspend or restrict" any immigration into the U.S. based on "national interest." That authority is similar to what Trump cited to back up last year's travel ban, The Washington Post notes, so it's likely this proposal will also be challenged in court. The Immigration and Nationality Act says that anyone who arrives in the U.S. "whether or not at a designated port of arrival" may apply for asylum, reports CNN.

Thursday's plan doesn't explicitly apply to just Central American migrants, per the Post. But Trump did tie the proposal to the "caravan" of Central American migrants headed toward the border in his press conference, claiming the military was building facilities at the border to detain the group. The Pentagon countered, saying the military isn't building any detention facilities. Read the entire massive asylum change here. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:42a.m.

The man who shouted "Heil Hitler! Heil Trump!" from the balcony of a Baltimore Fiddler on the Roof performance has said he's sorry for his outburst, which he believes "came out wrong." He did not explain how yelling about Hitler during a play about Jewish people could ever not "come out wrong."

"I opened my mouth and it was so wrong. I know that now," said the shouter, identified as one Anthony M. Derlunas. "I don't know what I was thinking. I'm so ashamed."

Derlunas claims he is actually opposed to President Trump — "The thing that I can't stand is Trump spreading hatred, and what did I do? I spread hatred" — but that the story reminded him of the administration's immigration policies. Fiddler ends with the Jewish community in a Russian town being forced by the tsarist government to abandon their homes and emigrate abroad; several of the main characters decide they will join family who have already moved to the United States. Bonnie Kristian

9:25a.m.

Houthi rebels in Yemen's civil war indicated Monday they are willing to comply with a key Saudi condition for peace talks: They will stop firing rockets into Saudi Arabia.

This compliance with a long-time demand from Riyadh, which is leading a U.S.-supported coalition intervention against the rebel fighters, could help foster an enduring ceasefire in the tiny Mideast nation suffering the world's most acute humanitarian crisis.

"We are ready to freeze and stop military operations on all fronts in order to achieve peace," said rebel leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi in a Monday statement. He also critiqued the United States' role in Yemen's grueling internal conflict, calling Washington the chief culprit of international aggression against Yemen.

The United Nations sponsored peace talks between the Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government in September, but fighting has continued in the months since. The U.N. is pushing for a new round of diplomacy by the end of this month. Bonnie Kristian

9:12a.m.

Americans' opinions on the impact social media is having on the country have shifted quite a bit in the past year.

A SurveyMonkey/Axios poll found that when asked if social media is helping promote democracy and free speech or doing more to hurt it, 57 percent of Americans said it hurts more than it helps, a dramatic spike from last year when only 43 percent said the same thing. In November 2017's survey, 53 percent of Americans said social media helps more than it hurts.

This shift in opinion has affected voters of both parties, although Republicans were more likely than Democrats to call social media harmful. Among Republicans, 69 percent now think social media does more harm than good to democracy and free speech compared to 52 percent in 2017; among Democrats, 48 percent say the same, up from 37 percent in 2017.

Additionally, 55 percent of Americans are concerned that the federal government won't do enough to regulate big technology companies, a 15-point increase from when that question was asked last year. The last version of the survey was conducted before it was reported that a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, had accessed users' private Facebook data. Despite all this, 63 percent of Americans still said that social media has a positive impact on their life, with more Democrats saying that than Republicans.

This poll was conducted by speaking to 3,622 adults online from Nov. 9-13. The margin of error is 2.5 percentage points. Read more at Axios. Brendan Morrow

9:11a.m.

A federal judge in California will hear arguments Monday for blocking President Trump's November executive order restricting asylum applications to migrants who enter the U.S. legally.

Civil rights groups aim to persuade U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar the order violates current immigration law, as the Immigration and Nationality Act says anyone who arrives in the U.S. "whether or not at a designated port of arrival" may apply for asylum. They also argue the administration made a procedural error by failing to provide adequate time for public comment on the new rule.

The Trump administration has claimed via a statement by acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that Trump holds "broad authority to suspend or restrict" immigration if he believes it is in U.S. national interest to do so.

Should Tigar, appointed by former President Barack Obama, decide against the Trump administration Monday, it will likely be a temporary ruling restoring the previous guidelines while further litigation proceeds. Bonnie Kristian

8:50a.m.

The White House giveth and the White House taketh away.

The White House has informed CNN that reporter Jim Acosta's press pass will be suspended again after a temporary restraining order preventing the suspension expires, CNN reports. Judge Timothy J. Kelly on Friday ruled that the White House needed to restore Acosta's access, and issued a 14-day restraining order, but that order expires next week.

The restraining order came as part of a lawsuit filed by CNN against members of the Trump administration, which suspended Acosta's press pass after a particularly contentious press conference exchange during which he would not give up the microphone in his attempt to ask a follow-up question. In its suit, CNN argues the White House is violating Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights. Judge Kelly has not yet ruled on the actual case, and while he agreed that the White House had suspended Acosta's pass without due process, he suggested it could try to revoke the pass again if it were to provide that due process in the second attempt, CNN reports.

The White House says it plans to "further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future." CNN's Brian Stelter writes in his Reliable Sources newsletter that the White House is trying to "establish a paper trail that will empower the administration to boot Acosta again at the end of the month." Per The Washington Post, the judge in the case can extend the current restraining order, or even consider a permanent order. Brendan Morrow

8:50a.m.

Nissan said Monday it was taking steps to remove its chairman, Carlos Ghosn, for allegedly violating Japanese financial law, CNBC reports. The Japanese auto maker said Ghosn and board director Greg Kelly had been under-reporting compensation amounts to the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report for years. Nissan said "numerous other significant acts" by Ghosn had been uncovered, "such as personal use of company assets."

Trading of Nissan shares had already ended by the time the news broke, but shares of French auto maker Renault, also led by Ghosn, dropped by 13 percent, hitting their lowest level in three years. Japanese media reported Monday that Ghosn had been arrested. Harold Maass

7:40a.m.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald's first weekend at the U.S. box office was not especially magical.

The sequel to the Harry Potter prequel took in $62 million domestically this weekend, coming in below its predecessor's 2016 $74 million debut. This is a disappointment, though not a disaster, for Warner Bros., considering estimates had the film pegged at $75 million or more a few days ago. Instead, The Crimes of Grindelwald ended up with the weakest opening weekend of any film in the Harry Potter film franchise. The first Fantastic Beasts held that distinction before, while the lowest opening of the original series was that of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which debuted at $77 million in 2007, the equivalent of $94 million in 2018 dollars.

The Crimes of Grindelwald performed much better overseas than it did in the U.S., though, taking in $191 million internationally, above the original Fantastic Beasts' international opening of $145 million, so once again a blockbuster's somewhat weak domestic take has been salvaged by its performance elsewhere.

A movie franchise seeing a box office dip in its second outing isn't uncommon, to be fair, and that happened recently with both Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. But considering The Crimes of Grindelwald is even more connected to the original Harry Potter series than its predecessor, featuring both a young Dumbledore and Hogwarts itself, the film had potential to be a much larger hit. Unfortunately, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 40 percent and a CinemaScore rating of B+, the lowest of any Harry Potter universe film, it seems director David Yates and writer J.K. Rowling this time are struggling to keep audiences under their spell. Brendan Morrow

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