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February 24, 2017

First Line News Articles for Friday, February 24 2017

Top Stories

Sessions: US to continue use of privately run prisons

Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled Thursday his strong support for the federal government’s continued use of private prisons, reversing an Obama administration directive to phase out their use. Stock prices of major private prison companies rose at the news.

Exclusive: Trump wants to make sure U.S. nuclear arsenal at ‘top of the pack’

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to ensure the U.S. nuclear arsenal is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its weapons capacity.

DHS Secretary Kelly rules out troops for immigration

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly ruled out the possibility of using military troops in immigration enforcement, after meetings in Mexico City on Thursday.

Trump envoys seek to lower tensions with Mexico

President Trump’s push to ramp up U.S. immigration enforcement and increase deportations is further souring U.S. ties with Mexico, where the administration’s orders could destabilize the country’s economy and political system.

Treasury’s Mnuchin says wants ‘very significant’ tax reform passed by August

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that he wants to see “very significant” tax reform passed before Congress’ August recess but the Trump administration is still studying the merits of a proposed border tax system.

LDS News

LDS Church announces two temples will close for renovation

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Thursday that two temples will close for extensive renovation in 2018.

Elder Rasband meets with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega

The travels of the latter-day apostles may be frequent — yet they are never commonplace.

Missionaries Promote Service, Self-reliance In Africa

Recently returned from serving an 18-month mission for the Church in sub-Saharan Africa, Sharon and Robert Berg of Pearland, Texas, were full of enthusiasm for what they witnessed in the lives of African people.

LDS Artist Hits No. 1 on 3 Billboard Charts with Powerful New Album

Award-winning tenor Nathan Pacheco has toured the world featured alongside world-class artists like Yanni, Katherine Jenkins, and Placido Domingo.

Book of Mormon printing history showcased in storied Provo museum

Three blocks east from the historic Provo City Center Temple, an unexpected adventure invites visitors to discover the inspired wonders in printing the first edition of the Book of Mormon.

National

Chicago Public Schools to block ICE agents from buildings without criminal warrant

Chicago Public Schools officials plan on denying Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents entry into district buildings without a a criminal warrant.

Pentagon: Military child care cuts may have been mistakes

The Pentagon said Tuesday that cuts to military child care programs at two Army bases may have been unnecessary.

Ginsburg uncertain about future on Supreme Court: ‘What will be next year?’

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she intends to finish out 2017 on the Supreme Court but is uncertain about how much longer she will remain on the bench.

Olympic bid offers Trump a symbolic chance at ‘winning again’

Now that the contest to host the 2024 Olympic Games has narrowed to just two cities, President Trump may have an opportunity to notch an international achievement that eluded his predecessor: attract the Olympics to the U.S. for the first time in decades.

Drought covers just 17% of California, down from 73% three months ago

Relentless rain and snow in California continues to eat away at the state’s five-year drought, federal experts said Thursday.

McCain Makes Secret Trip to Syria to Meet with US Troops

Sen. John McCain, one of President Donald Trump’s harshest critics, made a secret trip to northern Syria to visit U.S. forces stationed there and discuss the campaign for defeating the Islamic State extremists, his office said Wednesday.

White House: Feds will step up marijuana law enforcement

The White House said Thursday it expects law enforcement agents to enforce federal marijuana laws when they come into conflict with states where recreational use of the drug is permitted.

Arkansas Supreme Court strikes down city’s LGBT protections

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a city’s ordinance banning discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, but it stopped short of saying whether a state law aimed at prohibiting such local LGBT protections is constitutional.

Arizona a Step Closer to Making Violent Riots a Serious Crime

The full Arizona Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that makes participating in or helping organize a protest that turns into a riot an offense that could lead to criminal racketeering charges, legislation Republican backers say is needed to crack down on violent protesters.

Republicans look to Trump to help bolster tax on imported goods

House GOP leaders’ push for a tax on imported goods hit the skids in Congress, and they are looking for support from President Trump to keep the plan alive, but the White House only toys with the idea.

World

Syria ‘safe zones’ for refugees pose dangers for U.S. alliances

President Trump’s vision of “safe zones” for refugees fleeing the brutal violence of Syria’s civil war is running into opposition from a key ally, Turkey, which is warning that the U.S.-protected areas will become havens for Kurdish militant movements that have long battled Ankara. The dispute widens deep-seated resentments between two key allies that the U.S. is relying on in the final battle to defeat the Islamic State in Syria.

Duterte’s fiercest drug-war critic faces arrest warrant — on drug charges

The leading critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s expansive crackdown on drug dealers is facing an arrest warrant on drug-related charges that she described as “simply surreal.”

Kim Jong Nam Death: Diplomatic Spat Between North Korea and Malaysia Intensifies

North Korea lashed out at Malaysia over the death of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother Thursday, in a searing diatribe that accused its ally of collaborating with South Korea to harm the regime.

Turkey-backed rebels enter center of Islamic State’s al-Bab stronghold in Syria

Turkish-backed rebels said they seized the center of the Syrian town of al-Bab from Islamic State militants Thursday, marking a breakthrough in a grinding offensive to push the extremist group from one of its final strongholds.

Iraqi Forces Take Most of Mosul Airport in Push Against ISIS

Iraqi forces have seized most of Mosul’s airport, an important milestone in the broader offensive to retake from the Islamic State the western half of the city, allied and Iraqi officials said on Thursday.

Business

Trump Vows to Put CEOs to Work Restoring U.S. Manufacturing

President Donald Trump summoned some of America’s most prominent corporate executives to the White House Thursday and told them he intends to put them to work restoring manufacturing jobs and U.S. dominance in trade.

Science

Bumblebees Demonstrate the Power of Insect Brains

Never underestimate the power of the bee brain.