Thursday morning news: April 26, 2018

Macron addresses Congress » 

AUDIO: Mr. Speaker, the President of the French Republic! 

French President Emmanuel Macron in the House chamber on Wednesday, addressing a joint session of Congress.

After days of White House meetings, highlighting his friendship with President Trump, Macron at times challenged him on issues like trade policy and defense saying, “isolationism, withdrawal and nationalism” are only “a temporary remedy to our fears.”

Macron drew loud applause from Democratic lawmakers when he called for more action on climate change and a U.S. return to the Paris Climate Accord.  

MACRON: And I’m sure, one day, the United States will come back and join the Paris agreement.

Macron also urged Trump not to pull U.S. troops out of Syria too soon and not to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal without something better to replace it.

To that point, both leaders have signaled a willingness to work together on a new agreement to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Travel ban arguments heard at Supreme Court » U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday concerning President Trump’s executive order to block travel from terror-prone countries.

The ban blocks travel from seven countries, five of which have majority Muslim populations and opponents say the ban is really designed to keep Muslims out of the country. Justice Samuel Alito seemed skeptical of that argument.

ALITO: The population of the predominantly Muslim countries on this list make up about 8 percent of the world’s Muslim population. If you looked at the ten countries with the most Muslims, exactly one would be on that list of the top ten.

Questions from Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy also signaled their reluctance to overturn the ban.

Plaintiff’s attorney Neal Katyal argued the order is too broad and unending.

KATYAL: We wouldn’t have a problem with that if it was tailored to a crisis and it sunsets and could be reupped or something like that. That’s not what this says. This is about a perpetual problem. KENNEDY: So you want the president to say in I’m convinced that in 6 months we’re gonna have a safe world? KATYAL: Well, no, Justice Kennedy, that’s not our argument. Our argument is that here the president is identifying something that is a perennial problem.

The case is the Supreme Court’s first in-depth look at the order, now in its third version. The administration is asking the court to reverse lower court rulings that would strike down the ban. A decision is expected by late June.

DACA decision » Meantime, a federal judge has dealt the Trump administration another legal defeat in its efforts to end the current version of DACA. That’s the program that shields from deportation thousands of immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington said the administration’s move to end DACA was based on “meager legal reasoning.” And he gave the Department of Homeland Security 90 days to make a better argument that the DACA program lacks constitutional authority.

Earlier this year, two other federal judges ruled that the administration must continue to renew the status of current DACA recipients. Bates’ order would go a step further and force the government to resume accepting new applications in 90 days if he’s not satisfied with the government’s argument for ending the program.

In 2012 President Barack Obama used executive authority to enact the program without Congress. President Trump wants lawmakers to come up with a fix for the program.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

Former President George H.W. Bush moved out of ICU » Former President George H.W. Bush has been moved out of an intensive care unit and into a regular patient room at a Houston hospital. The 93-year-old Bush is expected to continue his recovery there for several days. He was hospitalized Sunday with an infection shortly after the funeral of his wife, Barbara.

A statement from his office Wednesday said the former president “wants to assure everyone that, as good as he feels now, he is more focused on the Houston Rockets closing out their playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves than anything that landed him in the hospital.”

Israel nixes plan to deport African migrants » Israel has scrapped a controversial plan to deport thousands of African migrants. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Israeli government announced Tuesday that it’s abandoning the effort to send African migrants back to unidentified African countries. Israel currently houses about 35,000 African refugees.

The government said in a statement to the Israeli Supreme Court that “It is not possible to implement expulsions to a third country without [migrants’] consent.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he intends to reopen detention facilities for the migrants. He also said those who have already received deportation notices will continue to renew their visas every 60 days as they did earlier.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: a bill threatening religious freedom in California. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to a joint meeting of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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