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The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA
AP Top News at 2:46 a.m. EST

Haitians face hurdles after protected status renewal delays
BOSTON (AP) - Thousands of Haitian immigrants living in the U.S. legally will face employment and travel hurdles because President Donald Trump's administration delayed the process of re-registering those with temporary protected status, Haitian community leaders and immigrant activists say. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will release details Thursday about the next steps for the 60,000 Haitians with the special status, an agency spokeswoman told The Associated Press. But the information comes too late to help the thousands of Haitians who hold immigration documents that show their legal and work status expiring Monday, said immigrants and advocates, some of whom wondered - in light of the president's recent remarks about Haiti - if the bureaucratic slowdown was deliberate.


Trump to Pennsylvania, but don't call it a campaign trip
President Donald Trump is tiptoeing around the first congressional election of the new year as he heads to southwestern Pennsylvania on Thursday to hail the Republican tax cuts he signed last year. Trump will appear with the Republican nominee for a Pittsburgh-area House seat. But the White House said Trump won't mention Rick Saccone in his remarks. And the event isn't actually in the 18th Congressional District, which holds the special election March 13. Democrats, meanwhile, aren't necessarily any more confident in the chances that lawyer and former Marine Conor Lamb can flip the district to their side. The handling of the race shows both sides' reluctance to put too much emphasis on one contest amid the high stakes of this midterm election year.


Grandparents shocked by reports of 13 starved grandchildren
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The grandparents of 13 starved and tortured children say their son's family looked happy and healthy when they last visited California six years ago. "They were just like any ordinary family," said Betty Turpin, the 81-year-old mother of David Turpin. "And they had such good relationships. I'm not just saying this stuff. These kids, we were amazed. They were 'sweetie' this and 'sweetie' that to each other." Betty Turpin and her husband James Turpin of Princeton, West Virginia visited her son's family for five days at their previous home in Murrieta, California. Betty Turpin told the Southern California News Group on Wednesday that they are still in shock from learning that her son and his wife were arrested this week, their children, ages 2 to 29, found malnourished with some in shackles.


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Pope wraps up Chile stop with visit to migrants, on to Peru
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Pope Francis wraps up his Chile visit Thursday by meeting with members of the South American nation's booming immigrant community, who are flocking to the region's strongest and most stable economy but are increasingly the focus of political and social discontent. After an emotional meeting with Chile's Mapuche indigenous in the south Wednesday, Francis is going to the northern city of Iquique, which is home to nearly two dozen migrant slums. He plans to celebrate Mass there before heading to Peru for the final leg of his two-nation trip. Francis has long called for countries to welcome migrants and refugees fleeing war, drought or hardship - a message that often falls on deaf ears in Europe, where the migrant crisis has been a driving factor on politics for years.


Federal responsibility in nuclear attack alerts is unclear
HONOLULU (AP) - A timeline shows Hawaii officials botched efforts to immediately correct a false missile alert over the weekend, taking more than 20 minutes to contact federal authorities for approval they didn't need and then taking another 15 minutes to cancel the alert that was sent to mobile devices statewide. The astonishing error and dismal response has prompted both state and federal investigations and left one of the state's U.S. senators wondering aloud if top brass at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency should be replaced. "I think (Gov.) David Ige has a tough decision in front of him, and it's his call," Sen.


Russia probes come up against claims of executive privilege
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's White House is relying on a sweeping interpretation of executive privilege that is rankling members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. The contention espoused by top White House officials? Pretty much everything is off limits until the president says it's not. The argument was laid bare this week during former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's closed-door interview with the House Intelligence Committee as part of its Russia probe. As lawmakers probed Bannon's time working for Trump, his attorney got on the phone with the White House counsel's office, relaying questions and asking what Bannon could tell Congress.


Pence visit showcases dilemma facing Egypt, Jordan leaders
CAIRO (AP) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's upcoming visit to the Middle East comes at a time of intensely publicized friction between his administration and the Palestinian leadership, posing a dilemma for his Arab hosts - Egypt's president and Jordan's king - on how to safeguard their vital ties with Washington without appearing to ignore Palestinian misgivings. Both countries are heavily dependent on U.S. military and economic aid, and talks with a senior Trump administration official like Pence offer them an opportunity to strengthen those ties. It's a tall order given that Pence is visiting at a time of rising anti-U.S.


Slow-moving winter storm leaves lingering effect in South
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Several Southern states will be dealing with the lingering effects of a slow-moving winter storm that dumped a half-foot (15 centimeters) of snow on North Carolina's largest cities, dusted the Deep South and killed at least 10 people. From Charlotte to Raleigh, North Carolina's five most populous cities all saw significant snow from a system that followed an atypical west-to-east path across the state - and moved more slowly than forecasters had predicted. By late Wednesday afternoon, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Durham each had more than 6 inches (15 centimeters), while some places saw as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters)


Apple banks on tax break to build 2nd campus, hire 20,000
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Apple is planning to build a new corporate campus and hire 20,000 U.S. workers in an expansion driven in part by a tax cut that will enable the iPhone maker to bring an estimated $245 billion back to its home country. The pledge announced Wednesday comes less than a month after Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code championed by President Donald Trump that will increase corporate profits. Besides dramatically lowering the standard corporate tax rate, the reforms offer a one-time break on cash held overseas. Apple plans to take advantage of that provision to bring back most of its roughly $252 billion in offshore cash, generating a tax bill of about $38 billion.


Aziz Ansari story sparks heated debate over #MeToo Movement
The #MeToo movement has been embraced by legions of women as a vital step toward countering widespread sexual abuse and misconduct. This week, more so than at any point in the movement's brief history, there's visceral discussion about its potential for causing harm. The catalyst was the publication by Babe.net of an account by a woman identified only as "Grace" detailing her 2017 encounter with comedian Aziz Ansari. The article intimated that Ansari deserved inclusion in the ranks of abusive perpetrators, yet many readers - women and men - concluded the encounter amounted to an all-too-common instance of bad sex during a date gone awry.

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