Partial US travel restrictions going into effect Thursday WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a "close" family or business tie to the United States. The move came after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump's executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims. Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked, but instructions issued by the State Department Wednesday said that new applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible.
Q&A: Border officers take key role in enforcing travel ban SAN DIEGO (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will be key players in putting President Donald Trump's revised travel ban into effect on Thursday, affecting visitors from six mostly Muslim countries. They are the officers dressed in blue who are stationed at airports and border crossings and screen people coming into the U.S. They stamp passports, inspect travel documents, confiscate drugs and other illicit items and make sure belongings and purchases are properly declared. Customs and Border Protection officers were embroiled in chaos when an earlier version of President Donald Trump's travel ban took effect, forcing them to turn away visa holders who were later allowed in.
10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SETS TRAVEL RULES The new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees require that they have a "close" family or business tie to the U.S. 2. POPE'S FINANCE CHIEF FALLS UNDER SUSPICION Cardinal George Pell takes a leave of absence as the Vatican's finance czar after police in his native Australia allege he committed sexual assault years ago. 3. WHY GOP'S IN A TIGHT SPOT Congressional Republicans are stymied over health care. But after seven years of promising to repeal and replace Obama's law, they risk political disaster if they don't deliver.
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Cardinal takes leave from Vatican after sex assault charges VATICAN CITY (AP) - Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis' top advisers, took a leave of absence as the Vatican's financial czar on Thursday to fight multiple criminal charges in his native Australia that allege he committed sexual assault years ago. Pell appeared before reporters in the Vatican press office to forcefully deny the accusations, denounce what he called a "relentless character assassination" in the media and announce he would return to Australia to clear his name. "I repeat that I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me," Pell said.
Analysis: For GOP Congress, an imperative on health care WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional Republicans are stymied over health care. But after seven years of promising to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's law, they risk political disaster if they don't deliver. Republicans anticipate a major backlash from GOP voters if they don't make good on the promises that swept them to control of the House and Senate and helped propel Donald Trump to the White House in last year's elections. Trump himself could turn on his congressional allies if they fail, some Republicans fear, and take his supporters with him just as the 2018 midterm elections loom. And, passage of health care legislation would set the stage for the next major item on Trump's to-do list: rewriting the loophole-ridden U.S.
GOP ponders whether Trump helps sell health care WASHINGTON (AP) - It was a platform most politicians can only hope for: A captivated, 6,000-person crowd and more than an hour of live, prime-time television coverage to hype the Republican vision for a new health care system. But when President Donald Trump got around to talking about the Republican plan - about 15 minutes into his speech - he was wildly off message. Instead of preaching party lines about getting the government out of Americans' health decisions and cutting costs, he declared: "Add some money to it!" The moment captured a major dilemma for Republicans as they look for ways to jumpstart their stalled health care overhaul.
China defends prison care of ailing Nobel Peace laureate Liu BEIJING (AP) - In the midst of a growing outcry, China appears to be responding to criticism that prison authorities failed to provide sufficient care to ailing Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, saying that he received regular health checks but nothing abnormal was detected until May. Liu, 61, has been released from prison on medical parole after being diagnosed earlier this month with late-stage liver cancer and is being treated in a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang. He had been more than half-way through an 11-year sentence after being convicted in 2009 on subversion charges. A statement released overnight Wednesday by Shenyang's judicial bureau said doctors found suspicious symptoms during a routine physical checkup on May 31.
China's Xi in Hong Kong for anniversary as protests planned HONG KONG (AP) - Chinese President Xi Jinping landed in Hong Kong Thursday to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary of Beijing re-establishing sovereignty over the former British colony, accompanied by a formidable layer of security as authorities braced for protests. Xi's Air China plane touched down at midday for the three-day visit. The trip culminates Saturday with Xi overseeing an inauguration ceremony for the Asian financial hub's new leader, Carrie Lam. Pro-democracy activists staged protests ahead of his visit and more were expected, including an annual march through the streets on Saturday that has drawn big crowds in the past. Hong Kong authorities were taking no chances with disruptions and deployed heavy security across the city.
Supreme Court bars chief prosecutor from leaving Venezuela CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela's Supreme Court barred the nation's chief prosecutor from leaving the country and ordered her bank accounts frozen hours after she delivered a scathing critique accusing President Nicolas Maduro of "state terrorism." The government-stacked court announced Wednesday evening that it was proceeding with a complaint filed by a socialist party lawmaker accusing Luisa Ortega Diaz of acting as a de facto opposition leader in violation of her constitutional duties. The development came as authorities pressed a nationwide manhunt for a police investigator accused of stealing a police helicopter and sending grenades and gunfire at the Supreme Court and Interior Ministry on Tuesday night.
US quietly publishes once-expunged papers on 1953 Iran coup DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Once expunged from its official history, documents outlining the U.S.-backed 1953 coup in Iran have been quietly published by the State Department, offering a new glimpse at an operation that ultimately pushed the country toward its Islamic Revolution and hostility with the West. The CIA's role in the coup, which toppled Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh and cemented the control of the shah, was already well-known by the time the State Department offered its first compendium on the era in 1989. But any trace of American involvement in the putsch had been wiped from the report, causing historians to call it a fraud.