Kelly: No use of US military to enforce immigration MEXICO CITY (AP) - U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly pledged Thursday that America won't enlist its military to enforce immigration laws and that there will be "no mass deportations." Only hours earlier, President Donald Trump suggested the opposite. "It's a military operation," Trump said Thursday at the White House. Kelly's declarations came as senior Trump administration officials sought to temper Latin American concerns about a new U.S. immigration crackdown. Speaking in Mexico City after he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with their Mexican counterparts, Kelly said all deportations will honor human rights and the U.S. legal system. That includes multiple appeals offered to those facing deportation.
US-backed Iraqi forces enter Mosul airport, military base BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi forces backed by the U.S.-led international coalition fought their way Thursday into a sprawling military base outside of Mosul and onto the grounds of the city's airport, taking control of the runway amid fierce exchanges of fire with Islamic State group militants. The two-pronged advance is part of a major assault that started earlier this week to drive IS from the western half of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city Iraqi federal police units, backed by regular army forces, entered the airport Thursday morning, according to two police officials who said heavy clashes were underway hours later with IS militants hunkered down inside several airport buildings.
AP Analysis: In Venezuela, short on food, short of hope CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela is so short on food that tens of thousands are going hungry or even starving. Its murder rate is among the highest in the world. Its economy is so crippled that the average shopper spends 35 hours a month waiting in line - three times more than in 2014. Yet even as the country becomes increasingly unlivable, the socialist government is more entrenched than it has been in years. A sense of hopelessness has settled over what was once among the richest nations in South America, a belief that nothing will really change. To understand why people have given up, look at Jhorman Valero and his family.
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AP FACT CHECK: Trump claims, and gets, undue credit WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is giving himself too much credit for sending criminal foreigners out of the country and saving money on fighter planes. He's getting too much credit from one of the few women with a top White House job for elevating women in the administration. A look at some statements Thursday by Trump and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway: TRUMP: "We're getting gang members out, we're getting drug lords out, we're getting really bad dudes out of this country, at a rate nobody has ever seen before. ... It's a military operation because what has been allowed to come into our country, when you see gang violence that you've read about like never before and all of the things, much of that is people who are here illegally.
The Latest: North Dakota protest camp cleared Authorities have declared a Dakota Access pipeline protest camp in North Dakota officially cleared after going through the camp and arresting the last remaining holdouts. Nearly three dozen people were arrested in Thursday's operation. It took about 3½ hours. Officers methodically checked buildings and arrested anyone they encountered, including a man who climbed atop a building and stayed there for more than an hour before surrendering. As officers worked, cleanup crews began razing buildings on the square-mile piece of property on federal land. Most protesters left peacefully Wednesday when authorities closed the camp in advance of spring flooding, but some remained overnight in defiance of orders to leave.
Former House speaker predicts 'Obamacare' won't be repealed WASHINGTON (AP) - Former House Speaker John Boehner predicted on Thursday that a full repeal and replacement of "Obamacare" is "not going to happen." The Ohio Republican, who was forced out by conservatives in 2015, said he started laughing when he heard President Donald Trump and Republicans promise swift action on undoing and replacing the health law. "Republicans never ever agree on health care," Boehner said. Congressional Republicans are "going to fix Obamacare - I shouldn't call it repeal-and-replace, because it's not going to happen," he said. "Most of the framework of the Affordable Care Act . that's going to be there." Boehner spoke at a health care conference in Orlando.
Mnuchin says goal is to pass tax reform by August WASHINGTON (AP) - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday the administration is committed to getting major tax reform legislation through Congress by August. He predicted that President Donald Trump's economic proposals will be able to boost growth significantly to annual rates above 3 percent. Mnuchin said that tax reform is the administration's top economic priority and the goal is to have a measure approved by the time Congress takes its August recess. "We are committed to pass tax reform," Mnuchin said in an interview on CNBC. "It's going to be focused on middle income tax cuts, simplification and making (the U.S.) business tax competitive with the rest of the world, which has been a big problem." He said implementation of Trump's economic program including tax cuts and deregulation would make growth in a range of 3 percent to 3.5 percent "very achievable." During the campaign, candidate Trump had set a goal of achieving growth, as measured by the gross domestic product, of 4 percent or better.
Off-duty officer's fight with teens sets off protests ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - An off-duty California officer who didn't want teens walking across his lawn fired his gun during a struggle with a 13-year-old boy and other youths, igniting unruly protests after video of the fight surfaced and two boys were arrested. No one was hurt during the struggle, but hundreds of people marched through suburban Anaheim streets late Wednesday, some blocking traffic and carrying signs that said "no shooting zone." Police arrested two dozen people, including children, after the crowd ignored orders to disperse. The fight Tuesday between the off-duty Los Angeles police officer and the group of kids stemmed from ongoing issues with teens walking across the man's property in Anaheim, a police statement said.
NASA's Jupiter-circling spacecraft stuck making long laps CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA's Jupiter-circling spacecraft is stuck making long laps around the gas giant because of sticky valves. It currently takes Juno 53 days to fly around the solar system's biggest planet. That's almost four times longer than the intended 14-day orbit. After repeated delays, NASA decided late last week to scrap an engine firing that would have shortened the orbit. Officials said the maneuver is too risky because of the valve problem. Only the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, Juno has been circling the planet since July. NASA said the quality of science won't be affected and stressed that stunning pictures of Jupiter will keep coming this way.
St. Louis ordinance seeks to pre-empt Missouri abortion laws JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new ordinance in St. Louis prohibits discrimination based on "reproductive health decisions," an effort by the heavily Democratic city to pre-empt a slew of anti-abortion measures advancing through Missouri's Republican-controlled Legislature. While largely symbolic, the ordinance that took effect last week bans employers from firing, refusing to hire or disciplining women because they have an abortion, take contraception, use artificial insemination or become pregnant out of wedlock. Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green said her ordinance wasn't sparked by any specific case or current law. Rather, she viewed it as a way for the city to stake out its opposition to future laws enacted in Missouri, where Republicans now control all corners of government.