National Newswatch

US to block cotton from China region targeted in crackdown

Jan 13 2021 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — The U.S. government announced Wednesday that it will halt imports of cotton and tomatoes from the Uighur region of China in its most sweeping action yet to pressure the Communist Party over its campaign against ethnic minorities. Officials said Customs and Border Protection will use its authority to block products suspected of being […]

Trump Homeland Security chief abruptly quits at tense time

Jan 11 2021 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s acting head of the Department of Homeland Security abruptly resigned Monday, leaving the post ahead of schedule as the nation faces a heightened terrorism threat from extremists seeking to reverse the election. The announcement by acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf was perplexing. It came less than a week after he […]

Trump leaves mark on immigration policy, some of it lasting

Dec 30 2020 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — When President Donald Trump was running for reelection, foreign-born U.S. residents were rushing to get their American citizenship before it might be too late. “I didn’t know what would happen if Trump got a second term,” said Victoria Abramowska, who became a citizen in Maine this fall, "after all the crazy things he […]

Hack against US is ‘grave’ threat, cybersecurity agency says

Dec 17 2020 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — Federal authorities expressed increased alarm Thursday about a long-undetected intrusion into U.S. and other computer systems around the globe that officials suspect was carried out by Russian hackers. The nation's cybersecurity agency warned of a “grave” risk to government and private networks. The hack compromised federal agencies and “critical infrastructure” in a sophisticated […]

Election security official fired by Trump sues over threats

Dec 8 2020 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — The U.S. election and cybersecurity official who was fired last month by President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Tuesday over threatening remarks by a lawyer for the president that prompted a wave of death threats against him. Christopher Krebs says in the suit that he has been “bombarded” with threats since attorney Joseph […]

Ex-Homeland Security official Mayorkas returns under Biden

Nov 23 2020 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden is turning to a veteran of the Department of Homeland Security to lead the agency created after the Sept. 11 attacks but reshaped by President Donald Trump to carry out his hardline immigration and law enforcement agenda. Biden on Monday announced the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas, who served under President […]

Trump fires agency head who vouched for 2020 vote security

Nov 17 2020 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired the nation’s top election security official, a widely respected member of his administration who had dared to refute the president’s unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud and vouch for the integrity of the vote. While abrupt, the dismissal of Christopher Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure […]

Trump tests limits as Cabinet members fan out to key states

Oct 29 2020 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos planned a “Moms for Trump” rally in her home state of Michigan. The Department of Homeland Security's top official was in Texas to celebrate completion of a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The chief of the Environmental Protection Agency headed to North Carolina after visiting Georgia the day […]

Trump Homeland Security pick denies intelligence meddling

Sep 23 2020 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security denied allegations Wednesday that he moulded intelligence reports to suit the administration, telling a Senate committee that a recent whistleblower's report is “patently false.” Acting Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, testifying in a wide-ranging Senate confirmation hearing, also rejected a separate […]

Puerto Rico getting funds for power grid 3 years after Maria

Sep 18 2020 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced the release Friday of nearly $13 billion to Puerto Rico to help rebuild the electrical grid and repair schools from the devastation of Hurricane Maria three years ago, amid criticism that the aid was overdue and was being released now only for political purposes. The grant comes Trump, who […]

Official claims pressure to alter Homeland Security intel

Sep 10 2020 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — A Department of Homeland Security official said in a whistleblower complaint that he was pressured by more senior officials to suppress facts in intelligence reports that President Donald Trump might find objectionable, including information about Russian interference in the election and the rising threat posed by white supremacists. The official, Brian Murphy, alleged […]

Top Homeland Security official defends response to protests

Sep 9 2020 — Ben Fox, The Associated Press — WASHINGTON — The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday defended his response to protests in Portland, Oregon, amid criticism that the agency overstepped its authority with a heavy-handed deployment that reflected the law-and-order re-election campaign of President Donald Trump. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf ranked the civil unrest in downtown […]