1. Judge whose Mexican heritage Trump denigrated will hear deportation case
A highly unusual and racially charged episode from the 2016 campaign suddenly resurfaced this week when a federal judge whom President Donald Trump repeatedly criticized was assigned to hear the case of a man who claims he was improperly deported.
Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was born in the US but is of Mexican heritage, was attacked by Trump last year over his handling of a lawsuit against Trump University. Trump claimed Curiel could not impartially hear the case because of his background and Trump’s hardline immigration policies. The case was eventually settled.
Now, Curiel is assigned to hear the case of Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez, 23, who his lawyers allege was deported from California to Mexico earlier this year despite having active protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.
And Trump’s comments toward Curiel last year — he called the Indiana-born judge a “hater” and a “Mexican” — drew some of the loudest accusations of racism that the then-candidate faced during his campaign and several repudiations from prominent Republicans.
2. Sources: US prepares charges to seek arrest of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange
US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.
The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to 2010, when the site posted thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.
Prosecutors have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward.
During the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn’t alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did as well.
The US view of WikiLeaks and Assange began to change after investigators found what they believe was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden disclose a massive cache of classified documents.
Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, seeking to avoid an arrest warrant on rape charges in Sweden.
The left-leaning presidential candidate who won Ecuador’s recent election has promised to continue to harbor Assange.
3. Philly schools to add teachers, save against federal cuts with new city money
Armed with a $65 million annual windfall thanks to the city’s reassessment of commercial properties, the Philadelphia School District will invest in more teachers and sock money away against a possible loss of federal education dollars.
The school system plans to hire 66 teachers, officials told the School Reform Commission at Thursday’s hearing on the district’s proposed $2.9 billion 2017-18 budget, to eliminate virtually all split classes — those where students from different grades learn in the same classroom with one teacher.
The district will also end leveling in grades kindergarten through 3. Through that process, some schools now lose educators in October if enrollment is under projections. Students and staff describe that process as enormously disruptive. In told, it will spend $13 million on the extra teachers.
Uri Monson, the district’s chief financial officer, said the district will also set aside over $17 million annually to cover costs now paid for by federal Title II money. The Trump administration has proposed eliminating that program, which now pays for teacher training and early-literacy programs.
4. Mysterious death of New York judge was initially called a suicide. Now, police think it’s suspicious
The mystery of how a prominent African American judge came to be found floating dead in the Hudson River has deepened as her family and widowed husband disputed suggestions by the New York Police Department that she had committed suicide.
What is known is that Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, a judge on the state’s highest court, went for a walk on April 11, locking the door to her Harlem brownstone, leaving her phone and wallet at home. Surveillance cameras showed her walking alone near the river shortly after midnight. The next afternoon, her fully clothed body was found at the edge of the river.
Initially, police said that the death appeared to be a suicide because there were no obvious signs of trauma to her body. Reports circulated that her family had a history of suicide — that her 92-year-old mother had took her life during the Easter holiday in 2012 and her brother two years later. But her family now disputes those stories, saying in a statement that Abdus-Salaam’s mother died naturally of old age and her brother of terminal lung cancer.
5. One dead, two wounded as Paris police come under fire on Champs-Elysee
A gunman opened fire on French police Thursday on Paris’s best-known boulevard, killing one officer and wounding two others before being fatally shot himself in an incident that raised the specter of renewed terrorism just three days before voters go to the polls to elect a new president.
The Islamic State, through its affiliated Amaq News Agency, quickly asserted responsibility for the attack, which sent panicked pedestrians fleeing into side streets and prompted police to seal off the renowned Champs-Elysee, close metro stations and order tourists back into their hotels. The terrorist organization said the attack was carried out by a Belgian national it identified only as Abu Yusuf al-Baljiki, a pseudonym.
There was no immediate confirmation that the Islamic State was behind the shooting. French officials declined to attach a motive to the attack, although they said police were deliberately targeted and that they were opening a terrorism investigation.
The incident occurred three days before France holds the first round of a hotly contested presidential election, with candidates from across the political spectrum vying to succeed François Hollande as president.