In our news wrap Thursday, President Trump revealed plans to deny legal asylum to undocumented migrants at U.S. ports of entry. The announcement aligns with the president’s goal of emphasizing immigration as a Republican priority before Election Day. Also, the accused gunman in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, Robert Bowers, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and committing a hate crime.
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President Trump today stepped up his efforts to make migrant caravans a central issue in the coming midterm elections.
In lengthy White House remarks, he promised an executive order next week to deny legal asylum to those who enter without documents. It was unclear if he meant a blanket ban or something less.
Mr. Trump also dismissed existing federal laws that say all who reach U.S. soil may apply for legal asylum.
President Donald Trump:
We will not allow our generosity to be abused by those who would break our laws, defy our rules, violate our borders, break into our country illegally. We won't allow it.
The president has already ordered thousands of regular U.S. Army troops to the border. Today, he suggested that, if migrants throw rocks, the soldiers might fire in response.
After his remarks today, Mr. Trump headed out for another pre-election rally, this one, in Missouri.
Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey campaigned in Georgia, urging voters to turn out for Democrat Stacey Abrams. She is trying to become the nation's first black female governor.
We are not powerless. Every single one of us, every single one of us has the same power at the polls. Cannot be suppressed and cannot be denied. As our predecessors used to say, we shall not be moved.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
The Republican gubernatorial nominee is Brian Kemp, who is Georgia's secretary of state overseeing elections. He has denied trying to suppress Democratic voter turnout. We will have a closer look at this issue later in the program.
The accused gunman in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre pleaded not guilty today to a 44-count federal indictment. The charges against Robert Bowers range from murder to hate crimes.
Also today, funerals were held for three more of the 11 people shot to death at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
In Indonesia, divers recovered one of the flight recorders from a passenger airliner that crashed into the Java Sea on Monday. All 189 people on board the Lion Air plane were killed. Today, Indonesian TV showed divers handing over the bright orange device to investigators to analyze. They are still searching for a second recorder.
An international watchdog group reports today that sexual abuse is rampant in North Korea. Human Rights Watch says that it interviewed more than 100 North Korean defectors.
In South Korea today, one woman who served in the North Korean military said female soldiers were routinely attacked.
Lee So-Yeon (through translator):
Women in the North Korean military base I was in were kicked out of the military after being sexually assaulted by high-level officers.
30 every night, women were summoned and sexually abused, but then they were dishonorably discharged on charges of playing around with their superiors.
Human Rights Watch warned that the world is ignoring the abuse, as it focuses on efforts to make peace with Pyongyang.
The Trump administration imposed new economic sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba today, and plans to add Nicaragua as well. In Miami, President Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, branded the three a — quote — "a troika of tyranny." He said the U.S. will no longer appease those he called dictators and despots near our shores.
Separately, the U.S. Justice Department stepped up a campaign against Chinese corporate espionage. Officials today charged a Chinese firm with stealing secrets from the U.S. semiconductor company Micron. A firm in Taiwan was also charged.
Some fierce fall weather battered the U.S. Gulf Coast states overnight and today. Storms moving in a line from East Texas into Northwest Alabama left two people dead. Heavy rain and winds gusting to 60 miles an hour toppled trees and power lines. At least 110,000 customers lost power across four states.
There's word that the U.S. Coast Guard Academy is being investigated for racial discrimination. The Department of Homeland Security confirmed it today. The Coast Guard academy was already under congressional pressure to address racial insensitivity and disparities in discipline.
And on Wall Street, stocks rose for a third day, as tech shares rebounded. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly at 25380. The Nasdaq rose 128 points, and the S&P 500 added 28.