The country’s highest court has declined to hear an appeal filed by the White House to review prior rulings keeping the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which protects undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors from deportation — in place. The decision effectively extricates the Supreme Court from a controversial political showdown over the fate of the so-called “Dreamers.” While the Trump administration had earlier announced it would let the program expire on March 5, injunctions handed down by federal courts in New York and California block such a move.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Xi keeps on coming. For decades, China has limited its leaders to two five-year terms, but yesterday the Communist Party announced a constitutional amendment that would end that restriction. President Xi has already broken with his predecessors by not promoting an obvious successor during his first term in office, which ends next month. Advocates of liberalization in the Chinese establishment expressed alarm at the consolidation of power, lamenting the lack of political challengers to Xi. Congress is expected to approve the amendment March 5.
In an incident reminiscent of the Chibok schoolgirl abduction of 2014, in which 276 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram, 110 more girls are missing after the militant Islamist group attacked a school in Dapchi, Nigeria last week. Authorities were originally hesitant to acknowledge the kidnapping, saying they were unsure whether the girls were simply hiding. But now the Nigerian government has reportedly deployed more troops and aircraft to search for the missing, as distraught and angry families question the security procedures that allowed this to happen again.
Lawyers for President Donald Trump are reportedly considering the best way to have him testify before Robert Mueller’s special investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. They don’t want him to inadvertently perjure himself, a source says, and “everything is on the table” — including asking if Trump can offer written answers or only testify for a limited time. Meanwhile, the president faced further questions over putting his longtime personal pilot, John Dunkin — who Trump insists is a “smart guy” — on the shortlist for potential leaders of the FAA.
Though the studio had hoped to sell itself for more than $500 million, that deal never materialized, and it’s opting for bankruptcy instead. Founder Harvey Weinstein is grappling with accusations of sexual misconduct and assault from scores of women, and New York’s attorney general has sued both the producer and his company, demanding that any potential sale provide compensation for victims and not reward executives who knew of Weinstein’s alleged behavior. The company says the conditions proved impossible to meet, and blamed the potential buyers for an “illusory” offer.
Know This: For the first time since the deadly Feb. 14 shooting, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School returned to campus yesterday as part of a “phased reopening.” New Zealanders are irked by an Australian reporter’s interview with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in which he asked when her baby was conceived and said he was “smitten” with her. And top Democrats are defending the release of a partially redacted memo on investigations into Russian election meddling, despite attacks from Republicans over their decision.
Remember This: President Trump estimates that 10 to 20 percent of teachers have significant training and experience with guns and thus could be armed to deal with school shootings. But data casts doubt on the president’s numbers.
Talk to Us: Our electric TV show, Third Rail With OZY is abandoning the PC and posing provocative questions each week, sparking debate among our diverse audience on real issues. What questions would you like to see us ask? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Speak up, speak out.” That’s what Brandeis University tweeted, joining Yale, MIT, Dartmouth and other colleges in telling future students it’s okay to participate in gun control demonstrations sparked by the Parkland school shooting. Some had worried that high schools’ threats of suspension for teens who walk out could affect college acceptances. The University of Florida and University of Miami said they’d review such disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis. Meanwhile, the National Association for College Admission Counseling launched a site where institutions can clarify their policies on protesting.
Same fashion, fewer victims. Members of China’s massive middle class are increasingly turning toward responsible consumerism, a phenomenon that’s playing out most acutely in the country’s fashion industry. These days, 58 percent of Chinese buyers say they’ll pay more for socially or environmentally friendly goods. Baby clothing brands pioneered the trend, but now adult-focused companies like Norlha are prioritizing the well-being of their “artisans” as well. Significant supply-side challenges still exist, but advocates hope consumer demand will help more Chinese businesses see the value of staying responsible.
They’re off to a flying start. The “I-Plane,” which features a unique shape and extra wing, is still in the modeling stage. But if it takes off, it’ll give China a lift in the race to produce a new class of hypersonic aircraft. Traveling more than five times the speed of sound, it could cut flight time from Beijing to New York from 13 hours to just two. The U.S. isn’t far behind: Boeing announced a hypersonic plane design in January, and Lockheed Martin’s reportedly working on its own.
Sridevi Kapoor — who became the first female superstar of Indian film in the 1980s — has reportedly died by accidental drowning in a Dubai hotel. She acted in hundreds of movies in multiple languages over four decades and is credited with being one of the first women in Bollywood to draw big numbers without needing a famous male co-star. Tributes and condolences poured out on social media from actors, artists and politicians around India. Her body will be flown to Mumbai today after tests from Dubai authorities are complete.
After 16 days of events, South Korea pulled out all the stops for the closing ceremonies yesterday. K-pop superstars EXO and CL performed, after meeting Ivanka Trump earlier in the day, while 13-year-old guitar prodigy Yang Tae-hwan shredded Vivaldi’s “Winter” concerto. In the end, Norway earned the most medals, 39, and tied with Germany for 14 golds. North Korea and the U.S. are still playing games, however, with Pyongyang indicating it’s willing to come to the negotiating table and the White House responding, “We will see.”