Prepare for a showdown. The Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals will be wound down, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today — the deadline given by ten conservative states that promised to sue if the program, which protects those who immigrated as children from deportation, continued. But Washington and New York states have said they’ll sue to keep the program — and 18 other states also signed a July letter vowing to defend DACA and its 800,000 young “dreamers.” Some theorize that Democrats could protect DACA by tying it to preventing a government shutdown.
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Neither side is backing down. Saying Kim Jong Un is “begging for war,” U.S. envoy Nikki Haley asked the U.N. for the strongest possible sanctions on Pyongyang — and admitted that President Donald Trump has given “conceptual approval” to a massive weapons sale to Seoul. The U.N.’s still seeking a diplomatic solution, as is China, which doesn’t want a nuclear crisis but also doesn’t want to cede regional power to America. Meanwhile, South Korean media reported that Pyongyang was moving what appeared to be an ICBM toward its west coast.
Where she stops, nobody knows. But Florida and Puerto Rico are both preparing for trouble and have declared states of emergency as Hurricane Irma moves west through the Atlantic. A host of other Caribbean islands are under hurricane warnings as well, and are bracing for a direct hit, as are the Leeward Islands, which are expecting the storm to make landfall tonight or tomorrow. While Irma’s path remains uncertain, meteorologists have clocked its winds at a dizzying 175 mph — and residents are stocking up on supplies accordingly in case of disaster.
They want more oversight. Chinese regulators have clamped down on individuals and organizations who have been raising money through initial coin offerings (ICOs). The new ban, which saw bitcoin drop by 11.4 percent, also mandates local regulators to check on 60 major platforms known to use ICOs, which are booming globally, and particularly in China. According to state data, there were an estimated 65 Chinese ICOs in the first half of 2017, raising some $394.6 million from 105,000 individuals — suggesting it’s not an avenue that will be closed permanently.
Know This: Legal challenges have begun against a national vote in Australia over same-sex marriage, set to take place this fall. A migrant aid charity that’s rescued as many as 40,000 people off the Libyan coast is suspending Mediterranean operations and sending one of its ships to the Bay of Bengal to rescue Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar. And police in Uruguay have arrested a Mafia boss known as the “cocaine king of Milan” who’s been a fugitive for 23 years.
Remember This Number: 106. That’s the age of a severely disabled Afghan woman who emigrated with her family to Sweden two years ago — who is now set to be deported by authorities who say Afghanistan is not dangerous enough to justify her case for seeking asylum.
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The end is neigh. A cash-strapped federal Bureau of Land Management is scrambling to find a solution for the thousands of wild horses that have denuded Western plains with overgrazing. A pilot program aimed at keeping horses on private property barely makes a dent in the thousands roaming across the U.S. — and with the wild horse population doubling every four years, getting to sustainable conditions is ever more urgent. Now, some are hoping to change public opinion on culling horses, which despite once being legal is now thought politically untenable.
Think before you post. Instagram’s in-house experts say those carefully manicured shots of fancy meals and perfect outfits aren’t as cool as they once were. That’s because the wildly popular photo-sharing platform’s become saturated with such images, thereby driving down their perceived value. The success of Instagram’s temporary story feature, the experts say, is proof that users are far more into casual, loosely curated content. While no data’s been offered to prove their claims, they do have a simple suggestion: Relax, and snap away more freely.
It’s easy to get sucked in. Astronomers in Japan have found the most promising evidence yet for intermediate-mass black holes, with densities around 100,000 solar masses. Their discovery helps fill a gap in our astronomical knowledge between small, single-star black holes and the supermassive black holes that sit in the hearts of galaxies. The newly discovered black hole is believed to come from a former core of a dwarf galaxy that was absorbed by the Milky Way, supporting the hypothesis that galaxies grow through cannibalism.
They never saw it coming. Germany’s far-right Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) became the butt of an online joke after a satirical political party commandeered 31 of its private Facebook groups. Pranksters from The Party said they spent 11 months posing as AfD supporters to become administrators — then locked out the original owners and publicly skewered the party’s xenophobic ideology. The stunt was educational, too: Party activist Shahak Shapira says he gained a firsthand look at the frighteningly outsize role bots and fake news play in contemporary politics.
It’s going, going … gone! Martinez cranked four HRs Monday night, extending the Diamondbacks’ 11-game streak and defeating the division-leading Dodgers. He becomes only the 18th player in MLB history to do so, but the second this season. Meanwhile, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton’s on pace to hit 60 home runs — he considers 61 the “legitimate” record — in a season that feels extraordinarily homer heavy. With 5,189 total HRs through Sunday, 2017 is set to knock the previous homer record (5,693 in 2000) out of the park.