Trump Administration Agrees to Accept DACA Renewal Applications
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency announced that, “until further notice,” it would resume accepting renewals for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. This move is an effort to comply with an injunction issued by a federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday ordering the Trump administration to reopen the program for renewal applications, though the USCIS is not required to consider new applicants.
Despite the injunction, the long-term status of the Obama-era program remains uncertain because Congress has struggled to agree on a bipartisan proposal that would satisfy the White House. Commenting on these difficulties, President Trump tweeted Sunday morning that “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.”
False Ballistic Missile Alarm Sets Off Panic in Hawaii
At 8:07 AM on Saturday morning, residents of Hawaii received an alert reading, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” Within minutes, 911 networks and cell phone networks were overwhelmed with calls for help and messages for loved ones. The update, letting people know that the alert was a false alarm, did not come until 8:47 AM, causing 38 minutes of sheer panic in the state. Due to Hawaii’s close proximity to North Korea, which recently launched its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile in November.
In his public apology following the false alarm, Hawaii governor David Ige stated that a staff member at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accidentally pressed the wrong button, causing the alert to be sent out.
Mudslides Devastate Southern California
Following intense wildfires in southern California, this week has brought devastating mudslides to the area. Santa Barbara county, slightly north of Los Angeles, has experienced some of the worst storms in over 200years. These have resulted in mudslides that have buried parts of the town of Montecito in rocks and debris. Highway 101, a major coastal highway connecting west coast cities, has been closed down indefinitely. Roads are waterlogged, making the closures extremely disruptive because of the lack of connections between Ventura and Santa Barbara. Residents from the affected areas were instructed to evacuate.
The death toll has reached 20, since many people’s homes were destroyed while they were still inside. Officials are still searching for 5 people who remain unaccounted for in the search. Officials from the Coast Guard and the local forces are working together in a multi-agency response team. Close to 300 buildings were ravaged or sustained serious damage. Relief efforts are in progress, but it remains to be seen how long it will take to bring the damaged roads and communities back up to par.
In Other News…
Chelsea Manning announced that she intends to run against Senator Ben Cardin in the Democratic primary of the 2018 Maryland Senate race.
A US-led coalition is working with Syrian militia allies to establish a border security force of 30,000 personnel.
A plane carrying 162 passengers skid off the runway in Turkey, but all passengers were rescued safely.
On Sunday, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Peru, killing 1.