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10 things you need to know today!

1. Nielsen resigns as Homeland Security secretary

Hasil gambar untuk Kirstjen Nielsen speaks for first time since resignation announcement

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is stepping down, President Trump announced Sunday. “Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “I am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for @DHSgov. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!” Nielsen’s resignation, which came after a meeting with Trump, is part of a shakeup in the department directed by Trump adviser Stephen Miller, a senior U.S. official told CBS News. Trump had criticized Nielsen for failing to stem a surge of Central American migrants requesting asylum, and the announcement of her departure came two days after Trump said he wanted “tougher” immigration enforcement.Nielsen spoke out for the first time since announcing her resignation outside her house Monday afternoon, telling reporters there is a “humanitarian crisis” at the border and emphasizing the need to address that. Her resignation is effective Wednesday, although Nielsen didn’t leave her home in Virginia until early Monday afternoon.

“I don’t have any new announcements. I just want to thank the president again for the tremendous opportunity to serve this country. I’m forever grateful and proud of the men and women of DHS who work so hard every day to execute their missions and support the homeland,” she told reporters outside her home on Monday, taking no questions. “As you know, DHS has a vast array of missions. I want to make sure that we execute them all with excellence through the transition. I share the president’s goal of securing the border.”

Nielsen tweeted late Sunday that she has “agreed to stay on as secretary through Wednesday, April 10th to assist with an orderly transition and ensure that key DHS missions are not impacted.” Her departure is a part of a massive DHS overhaul engineered and directed by top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, according to a senior U.S. official. It’s unclear whether Nielsen is deciding to leave voluntarily, or whether she has been pressured to resign.

But Nielsen’s tenure since she was confirmed in December 2017 has at times been rocky, with the president taking some of his frustrations over illegal immigration out on her. Questions about whether she might leave have swirled for months. But she was by the president’s side Friday in Calexico, California, as Mr. Trump pushed for a crackdown on illegal immigration and the need for a border wall.

“This afternoon I submitted my resignation to @POTUS and thanked him for the opportunity to serve in his administration. It’s been an honor of a lifetime to serve with the brave men and women of @DHSgov,” Nielsen wrote in her resignation letter, which she tweeted Sunday evening. “I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards.”

Nielsen’s announced exit comes two days after Mr. Trump announced he wants to go in a “tougher” direction in his nomination for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director, after originally announcing Ron Vitiello would head ICE. Nielsen’s departure also means acting heads will soon be running DHS, the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Nielsen has also been one of only four women serving in Cabinet-level positions in the Trump administration, the others being Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

In recent days, Mr. Trump has threatened to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border or slap tariffs on cars made in Mexico coming into the U.S. if Mexico and Congress don’t fix the situation at the border.

Nielsen became known for her vigorous defense of the “zero tolerance” policy resulting in family separations at the border, blaming Congress for a “loophole” in the laws that needs to be fixed. Nielsen claimed in a White House briefing last year that the administration was merely continuing a policy from “previous administrations” that mandates separating a child who is “in danger, there is no custodial relationship between ‘family’ members, or if the adult has broken the law.”

“As long as illegal entry remains a criminal offense, DHS will not look the other way,” Nielsen told reporters at the time.

[CBS News]

2. Mulvaney says Democrats will ‘never’ get Trump tax returns

Hasil gambar untuk Mulvaney says Democrats will 'never' obtain Trump's tax returns

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that congressional Democrats would “never” get President Trump’s tax returns, which the Democrat-controlled House Ways and Means Committee formally requested from the IRS last week. “Nor should they (obtain the documents),” Mulvaney told Fox News Sunday. “Keep in mind, that’s an issue that was already litigated during the election. Voters knew the president could have given over his tax returns, they knew that he didn’t, and they elected him anyway. Which, of course, is what drives the Democrats crazy.” Trump broke with a precedent respected by other recent presidents by declining to release his returns during the campaign, saying he couldn’t because he was under audit.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff cast doubt Sunday on the ability of Trump’s legal team to withhold his taxes, saying, “there is no legal ground for them here.”

“The statute says the IRS shall provide these returns to the Congress upon request. When the Republicans asked similarly for returns when they were running that committee, including the returns of the Obama for America organization, (the chairman) gave no explanation for why he sought those returns or how many returns he was seeking or what organizations,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “He just asked, and the IRS says you can have them because we shall provide them. And I think that’s how it’s going to end up here, too.”

The President has said previously that he would release his taxes but for an audit he has claimed to be under for years.

[CNN]

3. Baylor wins 3rd NCAA women’s basketball championship

Hasil gambar untuk the women's NCAA Tournament GIF

Baylor University defeated Notre Dame 82-81 on Sunday to win this year’s women’s NCAA basketball tournament in a thrilling final matchup. At one point, Baylor had a 17-point lead over Notre Dame, but that fell apart in the third quarter. During the fourth quarter, with just 3.9 seconds left on the clock, Baylor’s Chloe Jackson made a layup, giving the Lady Bears a two-point lead. Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale was then fouled, but only made one of her free throws, giving Baylor the win by one point.

Hasil gambar untuk the women's NCAA Tournament GIF

Last season’s Final Four was defined by the heroics of Ogunbowale. The Fighting Irish star became an instant star by hitting game-winning shots in both the semifinal to shock UConn, and the national championship to complete Notre Dame’s comeback over Mississippi State. This is Baylor’s third women’s NCAA championship, after the team won titles in 2005 and 2012.

[CBS Sports]

4. Report: Trump to designate Iran Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group

The Trump administration plans to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a “foreign terrorist organization” as soon as Monday. Iran vowed to retaliate. The move would cap a month of escalating rhetoric against Iran and its backing of militia groups in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. It also would mark the first time that the U.S. has branded an entire foreign government entity as a terrorist entity, although the U.S. has previously assigned the status to the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force. The designation would result in sanctions, including the freezing of Guard assets in U.S. jurisdictions and penalties against businesses linked to it. In Lebanon, the policy could limit U.S. contacts because of Iran’s ties with Hezbollah, which is part of the country’s government.

The Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies have raised concerns about the impact of the designation if the move does not allow contact with foreign officials who may have met with or communicated with Guard personnel. Those concerns have in part dissuaded previous administrations from taking the step, which has been considered for more than a decade. It was not immediately clear whether the designation would include such carve-outs.

In addition to those complications, American commanders are concerned that the designation may prompt Iran to retaliate against U.S. forces in the region, and those commanders plan to warn U.S. troops remaining in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere of that possibility, according to a third U.S. official. This official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo - S1AETZITNOAA

Aside from Iraq, where some 5,200 American troops are stationed, and Syria, where some U.S. 2,000 troops remain, the U.S. 5th Fleet, which operates in the Persian Gulf from its base in Bahrain, and the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, are potentially at risk.

A similar warning is also expected from the State Department of possible Iranian retaliation against American interests, including embassies and consulates, and anti-American protests, the first two U.S. officials said. Similar alerts were issued at the start of the Iraq War in 2003 and more recently when the Trump administration announced it would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Despite the risks, Iran hard-liners on Capitol Hill, such as Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and elsewhere have long advocated for the designation. They say it will send an important message to Iran as well as deal it a further blow after the Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed economic sanctions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton have taken up the call and have in recent months spoken stridently about Iran and its “malign activities” in the region.

Pompeo has made clear in public comments that pressure on Tehran will only increase until it changes its behavior. Just last week, Pompeo’s special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, accused Iran and its proxies of being responsible for the death of 608 U.S. troops in Iraq between 2003 and 2011. He cited newly declassified Defense Department information for the claim, which is expected to be used in the justification for the Guard designation.

“Secretary Pompeo will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to press the regime to change its destructive policies for the benefit of peace in the region and for the sake of its own people, who are the longest-suffering victims of this regime,” Hook said, in an indication that new action is coming.

The department currently designates 60 groups, such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State and their various affiliates, Hezbollah and numerous militant Palestinian factions, as “foreign terrorist organizations.” But none of them is a state-run military.

Once a designation is announced by the secretary of state in coordination with the Treasury secretary, Congress has seven days to review it. If there are no objections, then it will take effect.

[The Associated Press, Fox News]

5. U.S. forces evacuate Libya as violence escalates

Hasil gambar untuk American troops in Libya moved out of country as violence escalates near capital

American forces that were operating in Libya have temporarily evacuated, Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, head of U.S. Africa Command, said in a statement on Sunday. The move came after other countries and international corporations pulled personnel out of the country as rival militias clashed in the outskirts of the capital, Tripoli.

A renegade commander from eastern Libya has launched an offensive in an effort to take control of the city, which the United Nations-backed government has vowed to defend. The offensive has threatened to tip the troubled North African nation back into an all-out civil war in the biggest escalation of violence since the 2011 toppling of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in a rebellion backed by NATO airstrikes. [The Washington Post]

6. American woman, guide freed after Uganda kidnapping

Kidnapped American tourist in Uganda is released

Kim Sue Endicott of Southern California and her safari guide, Congolese national Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo, were rescued Sunday after being held for five days by armed captors. Endicott and Remezo were kidnapped at gunpoint during an evening game drive in a Ugandan wilderness park. Their captors demanded $500,000, and reportedly let the pair go after a ransom was paid. Ugandan authorities did not immediately make public the amount of the ransom, or who paid it. The government said Endicott and Remezo were “recovered unharmed, in good health” and were in the “safe hands of the joint security team.”

News of the kidnapped victims’ release came after the Federal Bureau of Investigation got involved in the search and a relative of Edincott asked for more help from the U.S. government in finding Endicott, the owner of a Costa Mesa skincare shop.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the release Sunday afternoon. “Please to report that the American tourist and tour guide that were abducted in Uganda have been released,” he said in the tweet. “God bless them and their families.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Pleased to report that the American tourist and tour guide that were abducted in Uganda have been released. God bless them and their families!

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Details of how Endicott and Remezo were saved were not immediately available.

 Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo at the Wild Frontiers Uganda lodge in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, April 7, 2019.
					 Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo at the Wild Frontiers Uganda lodge in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, April 7, 2019.

“The family has done what’s been asked of them to do. I think it’s the government’s time to help us,” Kim Endicott’s cousin, Rich Endicott, a 62-year-old banker from Phoenix, Arizona, told the Associated Press.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed empathy for the Endicott family last week but said the U.S. has a long tradition of not paying a ransom to secure the release of U.S. citizens.

“Please remember that any payment to a terrorist or a terrorist regime gives money so that they can seize more of our people,” Pompeo said after meeting privately with relatives of other U.S. citizens being held captive abroad. “Even a small payment to a group in, say, Africa can facilitate the killing or seizure of tens or even hundreds of others, including Americans or foreign nationals in that region.” Rich Endicott implored the U.S. government to save his cousin’s life.

Endicott and Remezo were out on an evening safari expedition with a Canadian couple, Martin and Barbel Jurrius, both 78, when they were accosted on Tuesday between 6 and 7 p.m. by four gunmen, according to a Ugandan police statement. “The unknown gunmen put the tourists on gunpoint, and grabbed two out of the four tourists, before disappearing with them,” the statement reads.

 The Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.

Once released, Martin and Barbel Jurrius were able to get in contact with a camp manager, who found them safe, police said. The kidnappers used Endicott’s cell phone to contact authorities and demand a $500,000 random. “We strongly believe this ransom is the reason behind the kidnap,” the police statement read.

Police said the tourists were in a World Frontiers Safaris Uganda vehicle that was also taken by the kidnappers and found abandoned in the park with the keys missing.

Endicott — whom Ugandan authorities have identified as 35 years old, but whose cousin says is in her late 50s — had gone to Uganda for a safari vacation. “I know she was planning this trip for a while, because it’s something that she’s always wanted to do,” Pam Lopez, a friend of Endicott, told the Los Angeles Times. “This was always a big trip she wanted to take.”

A Uganda Wildlife Authority spokesperson, Bashir Hangi, told ABC News that the kidnapping was unprecedented. “This is a one-off incident, it’s an isolated incident. It is not something that happens regularly. It is not something that we are known for,” Hangi said. “It’s very unfortunate, it is regrettable but it happened.”

“Our parks are very safe right now. Tourists are in the parks as I speak. Tourist activities are going on despite the incident. Because we have security in our parks, we maintain national parks and they are all very safe. That’s why you have not had such an incident before, and now that it has happened it has also opened our eyes to do some soul searching and see how can we best improve on the security of our people,” he said.

The last similar incident involving tourists was in 1999, and involved rebels from the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Hangi said, adding that about 1.4 million tourists now visit Uganda each year. A U.S. official familiar with the details of U.S. hostage recovery efforts in Uganda told ABC News that Ugandan police have a good handle on the situation, with U.S. officials only providing support at this point.

[ABC News]

7. Boeing cuts 737 MAX production as airlines extend flight cancellations

American Airlines is canceling flights into June as the nationwide grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes continues. American has canceled 90 daily flights due to the temporary loss of its 24 737 MAX 8s, which have been grounded since March 13 following two deadly overseas crashes of the Boeing model in five months. Southwest Airlines took a similar step on March 29, when it decided to keep its 34 MAX 8s off its flight schedule through May, possibly beyond.

Boeing said Friday that it would cut production of the 737 MAX from 52 planes per month to 42 as it focuses on fixing flight-control software suspected of contributing to the crashes. Last month, the company suspended deliveries of the MAX line after regulators around the world grounded the plane. [USA Today, The Associated Press]

8. U.K. proposal would hold tech giants accountable for harmful posts

Hasil gambar untuk U.K. unveils sweeping plan to penalize Facebook and Google for harmful online content

British regulators on Sunday unveiled a proposal to punish Facebook, Google, and other tech companies if they fail to stop the spread of damaging online content. The plan was drafted by U.K. consumer-protection authorities with the backing of Prime Minister Theresa May. It targets harmful web posts promoting or enabling child exploitation, fake news, terrorist activity, and violence.

“The era of self-regulation for online companies is over,” U.K. Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said in a statement. Google declined to comment. Facebook responded by noting its recent investments to step up identifying and removing harmful content and said the U.K.’s proposal “should protect society from harm while also supporting innovation, the digital economy, and freedom of speech.” [The Washington Post]

9. Dan + Shay, Keith Urban, and Kacey Musgrave lead ACM Awards

Keith Urban, Ronnie Dunn

Keith Urban, Kacey Musgrave, and Grammy-winning duo Dan + Shay emerged as the big winners at Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards. Dan + Shay won several awards to cement their status as country’s hottest group. Urban won the top prize, taking the entertainer of the year honors with his ninth nomination for the prize. He beat out Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, and three-year reigning title holder Jason Aldean.

Kacey Musgraves

Urban also won entertainer of the year at the Country Music Association Awards in November. Kacey Musgraves won three awards. She dedicated her female artist of the year award to any “woman, girl, or anybody really” who has been told “her perspective or style is too different.” [The Associated Press]

10. Duke ‘looking into’ Michael Avenatti allegation

Hasil gambar untuk Duke 'looking into' claim Nike paid Zion's mother

Duke University’s athletic director, Kevin White, said over the weekend that the school is “looking into” allegations by attorney Michael Avenatti that Nike paid the mother of Blue Devils basketball star Zion Williamson for consulting services while Duke was recruiting him.

Avenatti, who was charged last week with trying to extort more than $20 million from Nike, tweeted that Nike paid Williamson’s mother, Sharonda Sampson, for “bogus” services in 2016 or 2017 “as part of a Nike bribe to get Zion to go to Duke.” White said: “Duke is fully committed to compliance with all NCAA rules and regulations.” Nike, which has sponsored Duke athletics since 1992, said it “firmly believes in ethical and fair play” and declined to comment further. [ESPN, USA Today]

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