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Nation and World briefs for September 12

Chicago asks for national halt to Trump immigration rules

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys for Chicago on Monday asked a federal judge for a nationwide halt to Trump administration requirements that cities enforce tough immigration laws in order to receive some federal grants, staking out a leadership role for the nation’s third largest city in the fight over so-called sanctuary cities.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proclaimed the city a sanctuary for immigrants in the country illegally and has refused to allow immigration police access to city jails without a warrant. Last month Chicago sued the Trump administration over the new rules.

During a court hearing Monday, attorneys argued over whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions has the authority to bar Chicago from receiving federal grants to buy police equipment if it refuses to share information about people in custody who may be in the country illegally.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber did not rule Monday on the city’s request for a “nationwide injunction” and did not say when he might decide. At stake is Chicago’s request for $2.2 million in federal funds — $1.5 million for the city and the rest for Cook County and 10 other suburbs.

Chicago is leading the charge for cities and counties across the country. More than 30 jurisdictions filed court briefs supporting Chicago’s suit, and have up to $35 million in grants at stake. At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the state of California, are refusing to cooperate with the new federal rules.

Long lines form for aid on Irma-battered Caribbean islands

HAVANA (AP) — With ports mended and weather cleared, officials struggled Monday to get aid to Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma and tried to take stock of the damage caused by the Category 5 storm.

At least 34 people were reported to have been killed in the region, including 10 in Cuba, whose northern coast was raked by the storm. Cuban state media said most of those died in Havana, where seawater surged deep into residential neighborhoods.

To the east, in the Leeward Islands known as the playground for the rich and famous, governments came under criticism for failing to respond quickly to the hurricane, which flattened many towns and turned lush, green hills to a brown stubble.

Residents have reported food, water and medicine shortages, as well as looting.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson defended his government’s response to what he called an “unprecedented catastrophe” and promised to increase funding for the relief effort. Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands that were pummeled by the hurricane.

California challenges Trump’s end to young immigrant program

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California sued the Trump administration Monday over its decision to end a program that shields young immigrants from deportation, saying it would be especially hard hit because it has more of the immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally by parents or by parents who overstayed visas than any other U.S. state.

The lawsuit’s legal arguments largely mirror those already filed in a lawsuit last week by 15 other states and the District of Columbia. Attorney generals for the states of Maine, Maryland and Minnesota joined California’s lawsuit.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said California’s case is stronger than the first lawsuit, filed last week, because more than 200,000 of the 800,000 participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program live in the state.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that California has the most to lose,” he said, flanked by two program participants who were brought to the United States as 4-year-olds who now attend college in the Sacramento area.

Rosa Barrientos, 23, of East Los Angeles, who is now attending California State University, Sacramento, said she “was given wings” by the program. If it ends, she said, “I don’t know what’s going to become of my life.”

Police: 9 dead, including suspect, at suburban Dallas home

PLANO, Texas (AP) — Nine people, including a suspect who was fatally shot by an officer, have died after a man opened fire during a gathering to watch football at a suburban Dallas home, police said Monday.

Plano police Chief Gregory W. Rushin said at a Monday afternoon news conference that one of two people hospitalized after the Sunday night shooting had died.

An officer responding to a report of shots fired at about 8 p.m. confronted the suspected shooter and opened fire, killing the suspect. Police then found the nine gunshot victims — seven were dead and two were taken to the hospital.

“The first responding officer actually heard gunshots taking place inside the residence,” police spokesman David Tilley said.

Rushin said the officer approached the house from the back and saw bodies in the backyard before confronting the suspect inside.

Volunteer shooters to help thin Grand Canyon bison herds

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The National Park Service plans to thin a herd of bison in the Grand Canyon through roundups and by seeking volunteers who are physically fit and proficient with a gun to kill the animals that increasingly are damaging park resources.

Some bison would be shipped out of the area and others legally hunted on the adjacent forest. Within the Grand Canyon, shooters would be selected through a lottery to help bring the number of bison roaming the far northern reaches of the park to no more than 200 within three to five years.

Some 600 of the animals now live in the region, and biologists say the bison numbers could hit 1,500 within 10 years if left uncontrolled.

The Grand Canyon is still working out details of the volunteer effort, but it’s taking cues from national parks in Colorado, the Dakotas and Wyoming that have used shooters to cut overabundant or diseased populations of elk. The Park Service gave final approval to the bison reduction plan this month.

Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club says she’s hopeful Grand Canyon will focus mostly on non-lethal removal.

 

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