In our news wrap Tuesday, the Senate voted 62 to 37 to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Nielsen served under the previous chief, John Kelly, before he moved to the White House as chief of staff. Also, new government figures on President Trump's immigration crackdown show arrests in the U.S. interior rose 25 percent.
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The U.S. Supreme Court today heard one of the biggest cases of this term, whether religious beliefs override the rights of a gay couple. A Colorado baker refused to create a cake for the couple’s wedding in 2012.
Today’s arguments pitted his religious convictions, opposing same-sex marriage, against the couple’s claim of discrimination.
Our case has always been about being singled out in public and humiliated, just for who we are and for who we love. And we pursued this case not just for ourselves, but because we don’t want another loving couple to have to go through what we want — or what happened to us.
It’s hard to believe that the government is forcing me to choose between providing for my family and employees and violating my relationship with God. That is not freedom. That is not tolerance.
We will get the full background on the case and analysis of today’s Supreme Court hearing after the news summary.
The Department of Homeland Security has a new leader. Kirstjen Nielsen won Senate confirmation today 62-37. Nielsen served under the last DHS head, John Kelly, and then she moved to the White House when he became President Trump’s chief of staff.
New government figures out today show the effects of President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration. Arrests in the U.S. interior rose 25 percent in the last fiscal year, with aggressive moves to deport those who are here illegally. Arrests at the Mexican border, however, dropped 25 percent to a 45-year low. That could signal that the new policies are discouraging crossing attempts.
Hot, dry Santa Ana winds blew wildfires across swathes of Southern California today. The flames burned at least 150 buildings, including a psychiatric hospital and dozens of homes, and forced thousands of people to evacuate. The largest fire started Monday in Ventura County, and swept across more than 70 square miles.
It was fanned by winds of more than 60 miles an hour, so strong that they grounded aircraft trying to fight the flames.
We have extremely high winds, very, very low relative humidities, and our fuel conditions out there are absolutely about as bad as they could be for fire-spread.
So, we’re very concerned about the wind popping up again today and pushing the fire a little bit further towards the west.
The fires also sent smoke billowing over the region, causing breathing hazards.
Environmental groups and American Indian tribes are going to court to block the reduction of two national monument areas in Utah. They began filing suits late Monday, after President Trump announced his actions. They downsize the Bears Ears monument area by 85 percent, and Grand Staircase-Escalante by half. The court cases are likely to drag on for years.
And Wall Street tumbled again, as a tech rally lost momentum. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 109 points to close at 24,180. The Nasdaq fell 13, and the S&P 500 slipped nearly 10.