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AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

Last Updated Apr 24, 2018 at 8:20 pm PDT

Judge rules against ending program to protect Dreamers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge ruled Tuesday against the Trump administration’s decision to end a program protecting some young immigrants from deportation, calling the Department of Homeland Security’s rationale against the program “arbitrary and capricious.”

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington wrote that the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, “was unlawful and must be set aside.”

Bates wrote that DHS’ decision “was predicated primarily on its legal judgment that the program was unlawful. That legal judgment was virtually unexplained, however, and so it cannot support the agency’s decision.”

Bates gave DHS 90 days to “better explain its view that DACA is unlawful.” If the department cannot come up with a better explanation, he wrote, it “must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications.”

DACA allowed immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, known as Dreamers, to stay and work legally under renewable permits. President Donald Trump announced last year that he would end the program started by President Barack Obama. It was officially rescinded in March, but DHS is continuing to issue renewals because of previous court orders.

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His nomination in peril, Jackson fights for VA post

WASHINGTON (AP) — His nomination in peril, Veterans Affairs nominee Ronny Jackson fought Tuesday to convince lawmakers of his leadership abilities as more details of accusations against him emerged, ranging from repeated drunkenness to a toxic work environment as he served as a top White House doctor.

President Donald Trump sent mixed signals about his choice to lead the sprawling veterans’ agency, suggesting during a White House news conference that Jackson may want to withdraw because of unfair scrutiny. But the president privately urged his nominee to keep fighting to win Senate confirmation, and Jackson showed few signs of backing down.

A watchdog report requested in 2012 and reviewed by The Associated Press found that Jackson and a rival physician exhibited “unprofessional behaviours” as they engaged in a power struggle over the White House medical unit. The six-page report by the Navy’s Medical Inspector General found a lack of trust in the leadership and low morale among staff members, who described the working environment as “being caught between parents going through a bitter divorce.”

“There is a severe and pervasive lack of trust in the leadership that has deteriorated to the point that staff walk on ‘eggshells,'” the assessment found.

The inspector general report reviewed by The AP included no references to improper prescribing of drugs or the use of alcohol, separate allegations revealed by a Senate committee.

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10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday:

1. WHICH NOMINATION IS IN PERIL

Details emerge over VA nominee Ronny Jackson’s alleged misconduct, ranging from repeated drunkenness to a toxic work environment, as he served as a top White House doctor.

1. POLICE ASSESS CHILLING FACEBOOK POST

The message, posted by the suspect in the deadly van attack in Toronto, raises the possibility that he may have nursed grudges against women.

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First lady steps into spotlight for state visit with France

WASHINGTON (AP) — There were no celebrity guests, Hollywood entertainers or superstar chefs. But as she stepped out of the background to host her first state dinner, Melania Trump sought to sparkle in her moment in the spotlight.

After ditching her trademark dark sunglasses for a white skirt suit and hat earlier Tuesday, the first lady appeared in a Chanel gown to greet President Emmanuel Macron of France and his wife, Brigitte, as they arrived for the first state dinner of Trump’s administration.

It was a big moment in fashion — and public life — for the former model, who has kept a relatively low profile since Trump took office and who is playing hostess at her highest-profile event yet as her husband is shadowed by a legal threat from a porn actress who says she was paid to keep quiet about a sexual encounter with Trump, which he denies.

With her first state dinner, Mrs. Trump seemed to be aiming to make a statement. In a nod to France, she wore a black Chantilly lace Chanel haute couture gown, hand-painted with silver and embroidered with crystal and sequins, according to her spokeswoman. Her French counterpart wore Louis Vuitton.

The president lavished praise on his wife as he gave a toast at the opulent affair, calling her “America’s absolutely incredible first lady.” He went on to hail the bonds between the United States and France, saying: “May our friendship grow even deeper, may our kinship grow even stronger and may our sacred liberty never die.”

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In big shift, Trump assesses Kim Jong Un as ‘very honourable’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Kim Jong Un wants a historic, high-stakes meeting as soon as possible and suggested the North Korean dictator has been “very open” and “very honourable,” a sharply different assessment of a leader he once denounced as “Little Rocket Man.”

The United States and North Korea have been negotiating a summit between Trump and Kim to be held in May or June to broker a deal on Pyongyang’s nuclear program. Trump, who has struck a decidedly optimistic tone on the situation in recent days, said Tuesday that the United States and North Korea were having “good discussions.”

“We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible. We think that’s a great thing for the world,” Trump said at the White House alongside French President Emmanuel Macron. “Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and I think very honourable from everything we’re seeing.”

Trump cautioned that North Korea had not followed through on previous promises, but credited tough steps from his administration — including sanctions and organizing pressure from international allies — for having forced Pyongyang to hold talks. And he again suggested that he would “leave the table” if the negotiations were not productive or if North Korea was not operating in good faith.

“We’ll see where that all goes,” the president said. “Maybe it will be wonderful or maybe it won’t.”

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A unified Korea? Leaders bring contrasting visions to summit

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Unification is an idea that moves most Koreans, North and South, on an emotional level.

For some, especially young people in the South, it may not be a burning issue. Details like the costs, the risks and what specifically both sides stand to gain are rarely given much thought by anyone who isn’t an academic, politician or activist.

But when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in meet on Friday, the prospect of unification, even if only in the abstract, will loom large around them.

Can Kim’s nuclear-armed North and the K-pop capitalism of Moon’s South ever merge into One Korea? Both leaders come to the table with distinct visions of what that would look like. And they are very different.

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Man who disarmed Waffle House shooter hailed by lawmakers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The man who snatched an AR-15 rifle away from a gunman at a Nashville restaurant told Tennessee lawmakers Tuesday he faced “the true test of a man,” drawing a standing ovation during his brief address.

As the House hailed him as a hero, James Shaw Jr. said he acted to save his own life early Sunday at a Waffle House, and saved others in the process.

“I never thought I’d be in a room with all the eyes on me, but you know, I’m very grateful to be here,” Shaw told House members. The 29-year-old said he has since gone to see some of the shooting victims in the hospital and they all remembered him. He apologized to the people whose loved ones died in the attack.

The Senate also honoured Shaw on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the co-owner of a Colorado crane company where Travis Reinking once worked says she urged federal officials to keep Reinking in custody after he was arrested at the White House last July.

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Canada van victims include grandmother, avid volunteer

TORONTO (AP) — An 80-year-old grandmother who loved Toronto sports teams nearly as much as her own family and a “brilliant” young woman who volunteered to build houses in the Dominican Republic were among the 10 people killed when a van plowed down a Toronto sidewalk.

Other victims in Monday’s attack included people from Jordan and South Korea, as well as a local college student. Though the names of most of the victims weren’t immediately released, details began emerging about several of them as their families began mourning and memorials in their honour grew larger.

Toronto City Councilor Cesar Palacio identified one of the victims as 30-year-old Anne Marie D’Amico, who worked at Invesco, an investment management firm near the attack.

Palacio said D’Amico was a friend of his daughter, and he remembers her as “a brilliant young girl” who was interested in improving society.

Palacio said he spoke with D’Amico’s parents, who live in his ward.

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Believe it! 76ers roll with Meek Mill past Heat in Game 5

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons shined again in front of rapper Meek Mill, and the dominant duo ushered the nightmares-into-dreams Process of the Philadelphia 76ers into the second round with a 104-91 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

The 76ers, winners of 10 games just two seasons ago, are in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since 2012.

They await the winner of Milwaukee-Boston. The Celtics lead the series 3-2.

The Sixers won the series 4-1 and turned the Wells Fargo Center into the wildest house party in the city. Embiid had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Simmons had 14 points and 10 boards, and the entire team had rappers, politicians, actors and kids dancing along for the ride.

Mill made a dramatic return hours after Pennsylvania’s highest court ordered him freed while he appeals decade-old gun and drug convictions.

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California university won’t punish professor who jeered Bush

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A California State University, Fresno professor who called Barbara Bush “an amazing racist” and cheered her death will not be punished, the president of the university announced Tuesday.

Randa Jarrar was acting as a private citizen using her personal Twitter account so her remarks didn’t violate any California State University or campus policies, Fresno State President Joseph Castro wrote in announcing the results of a review.

“Her comments, although disgraceful, are protected free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” Castro wrote. “Our duty as Americans and educators is to promote a free exchange of diverse views, even if we disagree with them.”

Jarrar has been on leave this semester and couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. An email to her university address was not immediately returned.

The English professor provoked a storm of criticism last week with her tweets following the death of the former first lady.