President backs off border closure, issues one-year ultimatum to Mexico » President Trump has backed off threats to close the U.S.-Mexico border for now.
He said Thursday that he’s giving Mexico a one-year deadline to make big changes. He said the country must take stronger action to stop drug trafficking across the border and stem the flow of migrants now overwhelming U.S. officials or face new tariffs.
The president said Central American migrants can be halted at Mexico’s southern border.
TRUMP: And they’re going to do it. And if they don’t do it, we’re going to tax the cars. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to close the borders.
The president will visit the border at Calexico, California today.
The White House said he’ll meet with local law enforcement there and then tour a 30-foot section of border fencing constructed last year.
Democrats ask IRS for President Trump’s tax returns » House Democrats want President Trump’s tax returns.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal on Wednesday asked the IRS to release Trump’s returns from 2013 to 2018. As a candidate, President Trump broke with tradition by not releasing those documents.
NEAL: The last eight presidents have released their tax forms. And we think here that there is a mechanism where these forms could be reviewed on a nonpartisan basis.
But the top Republican on the committee, Kevin Brady of Texas, said the move “begins the process of eroding and threatening the privacy rights of all taxpayers.”
Neal also requested records from eight of Trump’s businesses. Among other things, Democrats are digging for conflicts of interest. They want to find out if Trump benefited personally from any policies he’s enacted or signed into law.
The White House says IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig will make the final call on whether to turn over Trump’s returns. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday read from a law she says requires him to hand them over.
PELOSI: The secretary shall furnish — shall. Not may, could, should — shall furnish such a committee with any return or return information specified in such a request.
Congressman Neal said the agency has until Wednesday to respond to the request.
House votes to end support of war in Yemen » Lawmakers in the House approved a measure Thursday to cut off U.S. support for Saudi involvement in Yemen’s civil war.
Members passed The War Powers resolution on a vote of 247-to-176. More than a dozen Republicans crossed the aisle to vote “yes.” The Senate passed the measure last month.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel declared Thursday…
ENGEL: The president will have to face the reality that Congress is no longer going to ignore its constitutional obligations when it comes to foreign policy; when it comes to determining when and where our military is engaged in hostilities.
The U.S. has been providing intelligence, logistics, and arms support to the Saudi-led coalition to counter Iran’s influence in the war.
But the conflict has sparked a humanitarian crisis. And calls to withdraw support grew louder after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.
President Trump has said he will veto the resolution.
Democratic lawmaker announces campaign for president » Another Democratic lawmaker is joining the fight for the party’s presidential nod and the chance to take on President Trump in next year’s election.
Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan announced his campaign Thursday.
He said he’s the candidate who can bridge the party’s progressive and working-class wings. And he says he can rebuild the so-called blue wall in the Rust Belt that Trump toppled in 2016.
RYAN: I can win western PA, I can win Ohio. I can win Michigan. I can win Wisconsin, and that means Donald Trump is going back to Mar-A-Lago full-time.
Ryan was elected to Congress in 2003. He’s resisted a “centrist” label, though in the past he’s enjoyed the backing of the National Rifle Association. And he was once pro-life, but reversed his stance on abortion in 2015.
Investigators release preliminary report on Ethiopian Airlines crash » Investigators in Ethiopia have released their preliminary report on last month’s deadly crash involving a Boeing 737 Max jet.
Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges said the plane appeared to be airworthy.
MOGES: The takeoff [sic] appeared very normal.
But then Moges said the jet suffered from faulty readings from a key sensor. Pilots soon lost control of the plane. She confirmed earlier reports that the pilots followed proper procedures to no avail.
MOGES: It is recommended that the aircraft flight control system related to the flight controllability shall be reviewed by the manufacturer.
Boeing is currently reviewing that system and working on software fixes and other measures. But there’s no telling when the grounded Max jetliners will be deemed safe and allowed to fly again.
Pope appoints Atlanta archbishop to head Washington D.C. archdiocese » Pope Francis has picked Atlanta archbishop Wilton Gregory to head the scandal- ridden Washington D.C. archdiocese. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has more.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Wilton Gregory promised Catholics Thursday that he would—quote—”rebuild your trust.” The D.C. archdiocese has become the epicenter of the clergy sex abuse scandal in the U.S.
The 71-year-old will be the first African-American to lead the Washington archdiocese. He replaces Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who resigned last year after a grand jury accused him of covering up abuse.
Gregory headed the U.S. bishops conference when it adopted a “zero-tolerance” abuse policy in 2002 to respond to the first wave of the scandal.
But some Catholics have strongly opposed his appointment, saying he’s displayed an uncritical acceptance of LGBT ideology.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.