Senators unveil bipartisan bill to repeal and replace 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force
On Monday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) introduced legislation to replace the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force (AUMF) that Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Trump have used to wage military campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. The new AUMF would allow the president "to use all necessary and appropriate force against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and designated associated forces," but it requires the White House to notify Congress about any military action undertaken using this authorization within 48 hours. Congress has 60 days to object or tacitly sign off on the use of force.
There is mounting support in Congress to revisit the aging war-powers authorizations, as more moderate lawmakers join liberals and libertarians in their concern over what three presidents have largely taken as carte blanche for military action. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a cosponsor of the legislation, points out that only 22 senators and fewer than 150 House members were in Congress when it approved the 2001 AUMF.
But this Corker-Kaine proposal, which is scheduled to get a committee vote next week, has tepid support from GOP leaders, and it isn't clear it has the votes to move forward. The new AUMF, billed as a compromise, faces criticism because it doesn't automatically expire, instead giving Congress a chance to review the authorization every four years. "For too long, Congress has given presidents a blank check to wage war," Kaine said in a statement. "Our proposal finally repeals those authorizations and makes Congress do its job by weighing in on where, when, and with who we are at war." Corker said it gives president "the flexibility to be successful that they now have, but it also keeps Congress in the loop in having the ability to stop it." Peter Weber
Trump slammed Obama for inviting top donors to a state dinner. Guess who attended Trump's 1st state soirée?
Once again, it seems that with President Trump, there is a tweet for everything.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2012
Trump hosted his first state dinner, for French President Emmanuel Macron, on Tuesday night, and while no Democratic members of Congress were invited, several top Trump donors made the list, as MSNBC's David Gura noted:
Tonight's guests include Henry Kravis who gave $1 million to President Trump's inauguration (https://t.co/8bg3bLgoSg); Stephen Schwarzman, who gave $250,000 (https://t.co/Bss3hVXGu1); and Amb. Jamie McCourt, who gave "more than $400,000" to the campaign (https://t.co/2zLGzDF2Il). https://t.co/tb7j4KrqPq
— David Gura (@davidgura) April 25, 2018
Also in attendance were Estée Lauder heir Ronald Lauder, who has donated heavily to Republicans in Congress and gave $1.1 million to a group that ran anti-Muslim ads right before the 2016 election, according to OpenSecrets, and Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox News channel employs several high-profile Trump boosters. Overall, however, the guest list "was fairly standard for events like these, filled mostly with White House officials, Cabinet members, the diplomatic corps, and a smattering of surprise faces," The Washington Post notes, and the dinner itself went off "without any major glitches." You can catch a glimpse of the decor and guests in the video of Trump's toast below. Peter Weber
Instead of bringing presents, Logan Wilson is asking people to celebrate her 12th birthday by participating in a family fun run to raise money for a new friend battling a rare cancer.
Wilson told CBS Denver she was inspired to help Piper Waneka, 4, after reading the book Choose to Matter by Olympic gold medalist Julie Foudy. Waneka was diagnosed last June with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a cancerous brain tumor that is only found in children. There is no cure or treatment, but Waneka remains "so positive and uplifting," Wilson said.
Other kids Wilson's age heard about the fundraiser and have canceled their own birthday parties and joined the cause. Wilson, Waneka, and their families recently met at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Wilson gathered ideas that will make the run "as awesome" as possible for Waneka. She's looking forward to the run, which will bring much-needed awareness to DIPG. "I hope they just find a cure and work harder and harder and make it better for families who are experiencing it," Wilson said. Catherine Garcia
While her friends picked out dresses and worried about dates, Fatima Faruq chose not to attend her senior prom, putting her energy instead into saving money so the new mom and her infant son could have their own apartment.
That son, Nassir Al-Faruq, is now 18, and wanting to give his mom the experience she missed out on, asked if she wanted to go to prom with him this year. At first, Faruq told The Washington Post, she thought he was just kidding, but with prom fast approaching, he let her know he was "dead serious. I was absolutely honored to go to his prom with him," she said.
Her son told the Post he wanted his mom, now 36, to "enjoy herself and I wanted her to feel young again." Faruq's cousin designs clothes, and she made them matching green prom outfits, while friends did her makeup and took their pictures. Earlier this month, they turned heads when they arrived at the Crystal Tea Room in downtown Philadelphia for Cardinal O'Hara High School's prom. Nassir said his friends came up to him and said they looked "dope" and were "celebrities," and they enjoyed dancing and hanging out with Nassir's friends. "My mom is a cool person," he said. "She can make you laugh." Catherine Garcia
While riding their motorcycles in the mud flats outside of Sydney, two Australian teenagers saw a kangaroo in distress, and dropped everything to save it.
Jack Donnelly, 19, and Nick Heath, 19, tried to reach the young kangaroo, which was stuck in mud up to its neck, but he was too far out. They took off for home, grabbed a rope, and then returned to the mud. Heath put the rope around his waist, went out to the kangaroo, and then was pulled back in by Donnelly. "The roo's life was important to us so we went out on an arm and leg and got it," Heath told Australia's Today. "It's a pretty patriotic thing to do and we're proud of what we did. If we saw something like that again, we'll do it all over again."
It's believed that the kangaroo was looking for water, and that's how it got stuck. The dehydrated kangaroo — named Lucas by Donnelly and Heath — is now recovering at a wildlife rescue. Catherine Garcia
Trump administration will reportedly revoke special residency status for 9,000 Nepalis who fled earthquake
The Department of Homeland Security is preparing to end the temporary protected status (TPS) granted to 15,000 Nepalis in 2015, after a devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake hammered their country, The Washington Post reports, citing internal planning documents. There are only about 9,000 of those Nepalis left in the country, according to Congressional Research Service estimates, and they will have until June 24, 2019, to leave the U.S., once Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signs off on the order.
The Trump administration has been reviewing all communities covered by TPS permits, and it has already revoked the special status for 200,000 Salvadorans, 50,000 Haitians, and smaller numbers of immigrants from Nicaragua, Sudan, and Liberia, and Nielsen is likely to end TPS for 57,000 Hondurans in May. In January, Nielsen extended the TPS status for about 6,000 Syrians. Congress created the TPS designation in 1990 so the U.S. had a mechanism to not send people back to countries hit by natural disasters, wars, and other destabilizing tragedies. Peter Weber
Republican Debbie Lesko won a special election in Arizona's 8th congressional district on Tuesday, a race that was closer than expected in this conservative area.
When the race was called by The Associated Press, Lesko had 53 percent of the vote, compared to Democrat Hiral Tipirneni's 47 percent. The seat was vacated by former Rep. Trent Franks (R), who resigned last year in the midst of a sexual impropriety scandal.
Lesko winning with a single-digit margin is worrisome, GOP pollster Mike Noble told Politico. "This district isn't supposed to be competitive, and so to see this margin, especially with the Republicans pouring in resources here — again, it's a tough year." Republican groups plowed more than $1 million into the race, a boost that came after Democrats won several other special elections across the country, including Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama and Rep. Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania. Catherine Garcia
Democrat Steve Stern is the winner in New York's 10th Assembly district's special election on Tuesday, flipping a state legislative seat that had been held by Republicans for more than 30 years.
The district, on Long Island, gave Hillary Clinton 52 percent of its vote in 2016 and handed 51 percent to former President Barack Obama in 2012. This is the 40th legislative flip since President Trump's inauguration, The Daily Beast reports. Catherine Garcia