Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Effort to End DACA—
A District of Columbia federal judge ruled last week that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections will stay in place and that the government must resume accepting new applications for the program. DACA protects undocumented young adults from deportation by giving them the chance to work legally in the United States. President Trump has previously been adamant in his push to end the program. A federal judge from Brooklyn issued an injunction ordering the program to remain in place in February, in addition to a similar injunction from San Francisco in January. Those rulings did not require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which administers the program, to accept new applications. Judge John D. Bates, a George W. Bush appointee, said that the administration’s decision to end DACA gave no explanation for their stance that the program is unlawful. If the DHS is unable to justify its reasons for ending the program within 90 days, they then “must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications,” according to the judge’s ruling.
Thai Citizens Protest Building Development, Defy Ban—
Over 1000 environmental demonstrators gathered in the Northern Thai city of Chiang Mai to protest the construction of luxury housing for judges and officials on the mountain Doi Suthep, which is home to one of the most famous and sacred temples in the country. Many consider Doi Suthep to be a sacred space for peace and meditation. The protestors defied a current ban imposed by military rule on public gatherings larger than five people. They demanded that the government stop any developments that encroach on the mountain and dismantle new buildings. Protesters gave the government a week to comply with their demands, promising more protests if the government is unable to do so. The deputy commander of the Chiang Mai Police said that the group had made a request for the gathering beforehand, were not concerned with political issues and cleaned the street afterwards. The national military led government has promised to hold an election in the coming year, after facing a larger number of public protests in recent months.
South and North Korea Seek Peace Agreement—
South Korea said on April 29 that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that Jong-un would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States formally ended the Korean war and promised not to invade the North. Jong-un also said he would invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the U.S. to watch the shutdown of the country’s only known nuclear test site next month. The North and South Korean leaders met April 27, in a visit which made history as the first time a North Korean leader stepped into the South. During the meeting, the two leaders signed a joint declaration which named “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula as a shared goal of the two countries. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently spoke of a conversation he had with Jong-un over Easter weekend in which Jong-un understood the Trump administration’s goal of total denuclearization with North Korea. According to Pompeo, Jong-un said during this conversation that he was prepared to form a plan to achieve this.
Golden State Killer Arrested Through Ancestry Analysis—
Law enforcement officials said they have arrested the Golden State Killer on April 24. Joseph James DeAngelo, who has remained unidentified until now, is suspected of committing 45 rapes and 12 murders throughout California in the 1970s and 1980s. DeAngelo is a former police officer and had been living in a Sacramento suburb. The case went cold in 1986 when the attacks appeared to end, but resumed with the publication earlier this year of Michelle McNamara’s book, “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” which is an investigation into the identity of the serial killer and rapist. DeAngelo was arrested on a warrant for the suspected murder of a couple in Southern California and charged with eight counts of murder. The use of DNA technology and material were integral in the search for the killer, though investigators have not disclosed how they found the genetic samples.
Bill Cosby Convicted of Sexual Assault—
A jury found former actor Bill Cosby guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand 14 years ago. The decision came on April 26 and included three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each of which could bring up to 10 years in state prison. Over 50 women have accused Mr. Cosby of abuse, though Ms. Constand’s is the only one to result in a conviction. Throughout the trial, Cosby’s defense tried to discredit the five women who testified that Cosby drugged and assaulted them as well. The defense accused the women of being “publicity seekers” who are only motivated by financial gain. The special prosecutor on the case, Kristen Gibbons Feden, called these accusations against the women shameful and said that method of criticism keeps other sexual assault victims from coming forward. Cosby has admitted to affairs but maintains that his experience with Constand was a consensual affair, not an assault.
Bombings in Afghanistan Claim Dozens of Civilian Lives—
Recent attacks in multiple Afghan cities have killed dozens of civilians. Twin bombings on April 30 in Kabul killed at least 25 people, including nine journalists and four policemen. An additional 45 people were injured in the attacks. The first attack was a suicide bomb near the American Embassy, and the second explosion came approximately 40 minutes later after emergency workers and journalists had time to head to the scene. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group has taken responsibility for both attacks. Another attack a few hours later in Kandahar targeted Romanian soldiers and killed 11 children at a local school. No group has claimed this attack. Earlier on April 22, a suicide bomber killed 57 people at a voting registration center and wounded over 100 more.
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