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Mexican president claims rivals would take over if he self-isolated, as experts decry coronavirus response


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Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has remained steadfast against sweeping restriction measures that could help the spread of the coronavirus in his country.

This weekend, he balked at the idea of self-isolating, claiming that his rivals would use that time to overpower him politically and take control of the government.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador arrives at his daily news conference at the presidential palace in Mexico City, early, Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador arrives at his daily news conference at the presidential palace in Mexico City, early, Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
(AP)

“Do you know what the conservatives want? For me to isolate myself (but) there would be no leadership (of the country) or there would be their leadership because in politics there are no power vacuums – the voids are filled and that’s what they want, for there to be a vacuum so that they can take control … in an irresponsible way,” he said Sunday, according to the Mexico Daily News.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

The 66-year-old president has sparked a furor in recent weeks for not imposing stricter measures against COVID-19 and hugging followers and saying religious medals would protect him.

He flew commercial to the western state of Sinaloa on Sunday, where he shook hands with residents, including the mother of convicted drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera.

“Coronavirus isn’t the plague,’’ the president declared in a video message on social media.

“Those of us who have an important function, a basic one, can go out to the street and work. … You can’t close a tortilla shop, doctors and nurses have to keep working, the police [too] so that there are no robberies,” he said.

A bus commuter wears a face mask amid the spread of the new coronavirus in Mexico City, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Mexico's government has broadened its shutdown of “non essential activities,” and prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people as a way to help slow down the spread of the coronavirus. The one-month emergency measures will be in effect from March 30 to April 30. 

A bus commuter wears a face mask amid the spread of the new coronavirus in Mexico City, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Mexico’s government has broadened its shutdown of “non essential activities,” and prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people as a way to help slow down the spread of the coronavirus. The one-month emergency measures will be in effect from March 30 to April 30. 
(AP)

Mexico has only just started taking tougher measures, including late Monday night banning non-essential work in the public sector and gatherings of more than 50 people.

As of Wednesday morning, Mexico had reported more than 1,200 confirmed cases and at least 27 deaths.

MEXICO’S LÓPEZ OBRADOR SHAKES HANDS WITH MOTHER OF ‘EL CHAPO’ DESPITE CORONAVIRUS WARNINGS, VIDEO SHOWS

Some experts warn the sprawling country of 129 million is acting too late and that the government figures likely underestimate the true number of infections.

A woman walks past a sign that reads in Spanish "Stay home" in Mexico City, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Mexico's government has broadened its shutdown of "non-essential activities," and prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people as a way to help slow down the spread of the new coronavirus. The one-month emergency measures will be in effect from March 30 to April 30. 

A woman walks past a sign that reads in Spanish “Stay home” in Mexico City, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Mexico’s government has broadened its shutdown of “non-essential activities,” and prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people as a way to help slow down the spread of the new coronavirus. The one-month emergency measures will be in effect from March 30 to April 30. 
(AP)

Mexico has done far less testing than many other countries — around 10,000 tests. New York state alone had performed more than 205,000 tests by Tuesday. There were also signs the disease may be far more advanced in Mexico than the limited testing shows. Three state governors have already tested positive for coronavirus.

“Politics is very, very much involved in the decision-making going on right now,” said Janine Ramsey, an infectious disease expert who works for Mexico’s National Public Health Institute, a federal research agency, and has spent 35 years of her public health career in Mexico.

“Mexico, politically, does not value scientific evidence. Why? Because it takes decision-making away from the politicians,” Ramsey said.

The Mexican government has defended its policies, saying that its robust health surveillance system gives it a good idea of how the epidemic is evolving and that health experts are charting the country’s fight against the virus. Its focus now, it says, is keeping people at home to avoid a rapid spread that would quickly overwhelm the health care system.

“For most of us, especially those of us who work with infectious pathogens, there is absolutely no excuse not to test because you cannot predict a) the response, b) the velocity of transmission, or c) the vulnerability of people” to becoming infected or to infecting others, she said.

“February and March is when we should have been testing everybody.”

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But many are taking their cues from the president himself, who had this to say at a news conference Tuesday: “Soon, very soon there’s going to be the day of hugs and kisses in all the public plazas.”

“We’re going to hug because we’re going to overcome this coronavirus crisis and the economic crisis and the social welfare crisis,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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New York City closing movie theaters, entertainment venues due to coronavirus


New York City will close all of its bars and restaurants on Tuesday, with service limited to delivery and take out because of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, according to a statement by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday.

The executive order will be signed tomorrow and will go into effect on Tuesday at 9 a.m. Nightclubs, movie theatres, small theater houses, and concert venues must also close.

“Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago. We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbors,” the mayor announced.

STARBUCKS, CITING CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK, OPTS FOR ‘TO GO’ MODEL, CLOSES SOME CAFES

Japanese tourists wear face masks as they sit and chat in Times Square in New York, on Sunday, March 15, 2020. President Donald Trump on Sunday called on Americans to cease hoarding groceries and other supplies, while one of the nation's most senior public health officials called on the nation to act with more urgency to safeguard their health as the coronavirus outbreak continued to spread across the United States. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Japanese tourists wear face masks as they sit and chat in Times Square in New York, on Sunday, March 15, 2020. President Donald Trump on Sunday called on Americans to cease hoarding groceries and other supplies, while one of the nation’s most senior public health officials called on the nation to act with more urgency to safeguard their health as the coronavirus outbreak continued to spread across the United States. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

De Blasio said “now is the time” to take this drastic step because of how quickly the virus can be spread through close interactions in those types of limited spaces. It’s unclear how long this new measure will stay in effect.

“This is not a decision I make lightly,” he added. “These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.”

A food truck vendor pushes his cart down an empty street near Times Square in New York, on Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

A food truck vendor pushes his cart down an empty street near Times Square in New York, on Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

There were more than 329 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City as of Sunday night, while five people have died from the virus.

Only 25 cases were confirmed in the city a week ago. Due to a lack of testing, the infected numbers are likely to be much higher.

LAPD SUPERVISOR, LAX POLICE OFFICER TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS

“We will come through this, but until we do, we must make whatever sacrifices necessary to help our fellow New Yorkers.”

De Blasio announced earlier in the day that all schools in the city would close from Monday until late-April, while adding there was a possibility “we may not have the opportunity to re-open them.” That decision came in response to pressure from parents and teachers in the city.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

“It is quite clear that this crisis is growing intensely,” the mayor said earlier on Sunday. “We’ve never been through anything like this.”



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CPAC attendees rip Democrats over reaction to coronavirus: ‘It’s their next game’


Fox News contributor and “Hannity” 2020 correspondent Lawrence Jones spoke Friday with attendees of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference who are unhappy with Democrats for their politicization of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Do you think that the Democrats are politicizing [the coronavirus]?” Jones asked attendees.

“Oh, 1,000 percent they’re politicizing it because it’s their next game,” one woman told Jones. “You know, we go from one thing to the next. This is after impeachment failed. Russia failed. So now this is what we’re doing.”

CPAC KICKS OFF UNDER THE BANNER OF ‘AMERICA VS. SOCIALISM’ IN A SWIPE AT 2020 DEMS

“They’re doing that only to try to attempt to make the economy tank … to keep President Trump from being reelected,” one man said.

President Trump accused his Democratic critics Friday night of “politicizing” the coronavirus outbreak during a rally in South Carolina on the eve of the state’s Democratic presidential primary. He dismissed the complaints from Democrats about his administration’s handling of the virus as “their new hoax” and insisted “we are totally prepared.”

“There is nothing that they would not do that is not hypocritical or undermining or dishonest to undermine this administration,” another woman told Jones.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

“You can’t politicize this kind of stuff. This is ridiculous,” another man told Jones. “We got to pull together as a nation. We got to pull together as people.”

Another attendee accused Democrats of attempting to “stir the pot.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.



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Ben Shapiro: Sanders wants us to believe in alternate realities, while Bloomberg wrongly accused of racism


In 1966, there were 654 murders in New York City. The next year, that number increased by about 100. Then 200. By the mid-1970s, nearly 1,700 people were being murdered every year in New York City. That insane level of violence maintained until the early 1990s.

Then, in 1994, the level of murders in New York City began to decline. It declined from approximately 2,000 people killed in 1993 to 289 in 2018 – a level not seen since the end of World War II. Needless to say, on a per capita basis the murder rate had never been that low. 

What, exactly, happened in the early 1990s? New York City residents were simply tired of living in a crime haven. They elected Rudy Giuliani mayor, and Giuliani pledged to enforce the so-called broken windows theory to clean up so-called quality-of-life crimes.

BLOOMBERG TOUTS CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS ENDORSEMENTS AMID STOP-AND-FRISK CONTROVERSY

Giuliani stated: “It’s the street tax paid to drunks and panhandlers. It’s the squeegee men shaking down the motorist waiting at a light. It’s the trash storms, the swirling mass of garbage left by peddlers and panhandlers, and open-air drug bazaars on unclean streets.”

In April 1994, Giuliani’s New York Police Department implemented Compstat, a data-driven program designed to deploy police to the highest-crime areas, preemptively targeting criminality, rather than reacting to it.

Chris Smith of New York Magazine gushed, “No New York invention, arguably, has saved more lives in the past 24 years.”

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The NYPD also began to employ the “stop, question and frisk” policy, designed to allow police officers to spot people suspected of criminally carrying weapons and frisk them for those weapons after questioning.

New York turned from a mess into a haven. But now Michael Bloomberg – Giuliani’s mayoral successor beginning in 2002 – is paying the price for a successful anti-crime record that followed in Giuliani’s footsteps.

Bloomberg has defended NYPD policies as non-racially biased. In 2015 he told The Aspen Institute that supposedly disproportionate “targeting” of minorities was not disproportionate but based on criminal conduct and description thereof.

In crude and insensitive but statistically accurate terminology, Bloomberg pointed out that “Ninety-five percent of your murders and murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. … They are male minorities 15 to 25.”

This may have been a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one. In 2008, for example, 88.6 percent of murder and non-negligent manslaughter victims in New York were black or Hispanic, and 92.8 percent of murder and non-negligent manslaughter suspects were black or Hispanic, according to New York government statistics.

And black and Hispanic suspects were actually under-arrested: By these same statistics, just 83.9 percent of arrestees for murder and non-negligent manslaughter were black or Hispanic.

Nonetheless, Bloomberg was widely blasted as a racist for his comments. That criticism came from both left and right. Bloomberg quickly apologized for his five-year-old comments, saying: “By the time I left office, I cut it back 95 percent, but I should’ve done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized.”

But Bloomberg should have stood up on his hind legs and defended one of his only successful policies.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the counterfactual can be entertained without reference to reality. Thus, we are informed that broken-windows policing, Compstat, and stop and frisk should never have been employed – and we are blithely told that even without those policies, crime would have precipitously dropped over the course of two decades.

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There is precisely zero evidence to support this supposition, but that’s the beauty of writing alternative histories: No evidence is necessary.
The same is true in the world of economics, where Bernie Sanders can spend his days living off the largesse of capitalism – the man has a lake house – while decrying the evils of capitalism.

It’s easy to proclaim adherence to socialistic redistribution while living high on the hog of the free market. It’s shockingly easy to get away with maintaining that American prosperity would not have been undercut by policies precisely the opposite of the policies that have driven American prosperity for centuries.

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The joy of alternative realities is that they can’t be disproved. We can never disprove the supposition that without anti-crime measures, crime would have dropped anyway; we can never disprove the supposition that without the free market, America would have prospered even more greatly than it has.

The acid test of reality never applies to a world in which bad ideas were rejected for more effective ones. Which is why Bernie Sanders, who has produced zero things of consequence for decades but has successfully mooched off the public dime for nearly that entire period, may become president, while Michael Bloomberg, who has produced thousands of jobs and presided over a massive decline in crime in New York City, is in the hot seat.

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Joy Behar links migrants at US-Mexico border to Holocaust during interview with Holocaust survivors


“The View” co-host Joy Behar invoked the migrants who are in detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border during an interview with a pair of Holocaust survivors.

Commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday, the ABC daytime talk show welcomed Mikhil and Millie Baran, a husband and wife who met after surviving the Holocaust. In a pre-taped interview, Millie Baran said it took her years to be granted access to the United States, which was something Behar asked her about during the live interview.

“You had to wait over four years before you could come into this country,” a somber Behar said.

“Four and a half years,” Baran specified.

“Four and a half years,” Behar responded. “You know, some people are experiencing that right now in our country. These children are at the border and they’re not letting people in. And it’s just tragic to me and to you, I’m sure. Would you like to speak to that at all?”

ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE CONDEMNS RASHIDA TLAIB FOR ‘BLOOD LIBEL’ RETWEET FALSELY ACCUSING ISRAELIS OF KILLING PALESTINIAN BOY

Baran told the daytime host that she “couldn’t believe it” when she saw the news coverage of the migrant crisis on television and that her “heart was aching as a mother” seeing children separated from the parents. But then she quickly pivoted to how great the country is to be in.

“I realized who doesn’t want to come to America, the best land in the world?” Baran asked. “A land of opportunity, of freedom. To us, it was a dream to get here. Naturally, it was worth it to wait because when we came here, I practically kissed the earth.”

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Baran acknowledged that the United States is a “land of laws.”

“Naturally, it’s a land of laws. You cannot just come when you want to come in,” the Holocaust survivor continued, “but I’m sure that the United States will find a way how to accommodate people who want freedom, who want a good life.”

“We need to protect that,” Behar added.



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Brandon Judd: Border wall critics are ‘absolutely incorrect,’ calls court ruling ‘a great win’


Critics of President Trump’s border wall are “absolutely incorrect” and a drop in illegal immigration and drug smuggling proves it, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said Saturday.

Judd, appearing on “Fox & Friends,” said the administration has developed a system that allows authorities to have better control of the border, preventing illegal crossings.

“Al of this new wall that we’re building is a huge deterrent and, frankly, it stops illegal drugs and criminal aliens from coming into the country,” he said.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION MARKS 100 MILES OF BORDER WALL, VOWS ‘MANY MORE’ TO COME

The administration Friday marked the 100th mile of wall construction along the southern border, describing it as a “milestone achievement.”

Building a border wall was a major Trump campaign promise in 2016. He is now pledging to build 450 miles of new wall by the end of this year.

Those efforts were boosted Wednesday by a decision from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which allows the administration to use $3.6 billion in military funds for border wall construction.

The court reversed a lower court order that had stopped Trump, who declared a national emergency along the southern border in February 2019, from diverting the Defense Department money.  Opponents argued that pulling money that was approved by Congress to pay for the border wall is an abuse of power.

“Breaking News: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just reversed a lower court decision & gave us the go ahead to build one of the largest sections of the desperately needed Southern Border Wall, Four Billion Dollars,” the president tweeted Thursday. “Entire Wall is under construction or getting ready to start!”

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“It’s a great win.” Judd said Saturday. “But, what’s interesting is we knew this was going to happen. We know that the lower courts are full of judicial activism. We know that the lower courts are constantly trying to stymie President Trump and all of his directives.”

Judd said that since border wall construction began illegal immigration and drug smuggling has declined. He challenged critics to go down to the border and see the progress for themselves.

“President Trump refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer,” he said. “He continues to push forward with his agenda.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.



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President Trump, Melania Trump share holiday video: ‘We wish everyone a joyous and merry Christmas’


President Trump has mostly taken the day off of Twitter on Christmas, with the exception of posting holiday greetings from his family.

Wednesday morning, the president simply tweeted, “MERRY CHRISTMAS,” then followed that up by retweeting a video message from first lady Melania Trump and him.

“The president and I want to wish each and every American a very merry Christmas,” Melania Trump said at the beginning of the video, which was first posted by her account.

MIRACLE BABY GETS TO SPEND HER FIRST CHRISTMAS AT HOME

“At this sacred time of year, Christians celebrate the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and rejoice in his love for every person,” the president continued. “We give thanks for the millions of Americans who come together to care for others with compassion and bring the warmth and bliss of this holy season to our families, our friends, our neighbors, and to those in need.”

The message concluded with a prayerful message of thanks to U.S. military and law enforcement.

“As we gather with loved ones this holiday, Americans across this land are grateful for all the men and women in uniform who keep us safe: our military, our police and everyone in law enforcement,” Mrs. Trump said.

The president closed, stating, “We say a special prayer for those military service members stationed far from home, and we renew our hope for peace among nations and joy to the world. On behalf of the entire Trump family, we wish everyone a joyous and merry Christmas and a very happy, happy new year.”

The president also retweeted a Christmas greeting from the White House’s official Twitter account.

The first family has been spending the holiday at the president’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla. They attended a music-filled Christmas Eve service at a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated church before celebrating with dinner in the ballroom of his private club. They were expected to remain out of sight Wednesday.

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On Tuesday evening, the first lady answered calls from children across the country as part of North American Aerospace Defense Command’s “Operation NORAD Tracks Santa” program. Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Mrs. Trump spoke with several children and heard items on their Christmas lists.

Grisham said Mrs. Trump “reminded the kids to put milk and cookies out for Santa, and wished each child and their families a very merry Christmas.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.





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Nebraska man on death row for killing 4 – but Texas woman says she’ll marry him: report


A 33-year-old Nebraska man on death row for killing four people within 10 days in 2013 has at least one friend still in his corner: a 46-year-old Texas woman who reportedly has confirmed that she and the killer plan to marry.

But Dawn Arguello of Lubbock isn’t happy that Nikko Jenkins – who authorities say committed the murders within three weeks of being released from prison on a robbery and assault conviction – recently had her name tattooed on his face.

CALIFORNIA SHOOTOUT, STANDOFF WITH COPS RESULTS IN DEATHS OF WOMAN, 2 CHILDREN

“I was very (ticked) off that he did that,” Arguello told the Omaha World-Herald. “He doesn’t need to be self-mutilating like that.”

Arguello added she isn’t happy about the way her husband-to-be has been portrayed in the local press.

“If you believe the media,” she said, “he’s the most hated man in Nebraska besides Charles Starkweather.”

Nikko Jenkins has been linked to four murders committed within 10 days in 2013, authorities say.

Nikko Jenkins has been linked to four murders committed within 10 days in 2013, authorities say.

The reference was to the 1950s serial killer of 11 people whose story inspired several movies, including “Badlands” in 1973 and “Natural Born Killers” in 1994. After his conviction in one of the murders, Starkweather was executed in Nebraska in 1959 at age 20.

Jenkins is not like Starkweather at all, she said.

“He’s not what the media has made him out to be,” she told the World-Herald. “He’s an enigma. He has feelings. He’s very sensitive.

“He’s not what the media has made him out to be. He’s an enigma. He has feelings. He’s very sensitive.”

— Dawn Arguello, fiancee of death-row inmate

“He’s very intelligent,” she added, “and, yes, he’s very manipulating.”

According to authorities, Jenkins received help from family members in executing the four murders to which he’s been linked. They say he convinced his sister and a female cousin to lure two men with a promise of sex acts in an Omaha park, then Jenkins himself appeared and suddenly blasted the two men in their heads with a shotgun.

A few days later, Jenkins, his sister and another man went to a neighborhood in Omaha, supposedly to commit a robbery. Instead, Jenkins killed the man, authorities said.

Then a few days after that, Jenkins pulled a mother of three out of her SUV and killed her, according to authorities.

Jenkins’ death sentence, issued in 2017, was Nebraska’s first since the state’s voters reinstated capital punishment in a November 2016 vote.

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In 2014, however, the Nebraska Legislature ordered a special investigation into Jenkins’ case because some critics noted that, while in prison prior to the murders, Jenkins had spent more than half of his sentence in solitary confinement. The critics claimed the isolation may have had an effect on his mental health, possibly resulting in the killing spree so soon after he was released.

Arguello met Jenkins while doing volunteer work for a nonprofit organization that advocates for death-row inmates and their families. She also has a criminal record of her own, with convictions for misdemeanor domestic violence, felony child abuse and felony credit card abuse, the World-Herald reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



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American Samoans should be recognized as US citizens, federal judge decides


People born in the U.S. territory of American Samoa should be recognized as U.S. citizens, a federal judge in Utah ruled Thursday, in a hard-fought legal battle spanning decades.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups also ruled that American Samoans should be issued new passports reflecting his ruling. The disclaimer on their passports currently reads: “The bearer is a United States national and not a United States citizen.”

“This court is not imposing ‘citizenship by judicial fiat,'” Waddoups said in his decision. “The action is required by the mandate of the Fourteenth Amendment as construed and applied by Supreme Court precedent.”

American citizens are defined as people “born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

In this undated file image provided by nonprofit advocacy and legal group Equally American, John Fitisemanu, an American Samoan and the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the United States seeking full U.S. citizenship. People born in the territory of American Samoa should be recognized as U.S. citizens, a federal judge in Utah decided Thursday in a case filed amid more than a century of legal limbo but whose eventual impact remains to be seen. (Katrina Keil Youd/Equally American via AP)

In this undated file image provided by nonprofit advocacy and legal group Equally American, John Fitisemanu, an American Samoan and the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the United States seeking full U.S. citizenship. People born in the territory of American Samoa should be recognized as U.S. citizens, a federal judge in Utah decided Thursday in a case filed amid more than a century of legal limbo but whose eventual impact remains to be seen. (Katrina Keil Youd/Equally American via AP)

American Samoa became a U.S. territory in 1900, but those born there are only recognized as U.S. nationals, preventing them from being able to vote, run for public office or sponsor family members for immigration to the U.S.

Its status separates itself from other U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Marianas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In 2016, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that ruled the Constitution doesn’t confer citizenship to those born in American Samoa.

The lawsuit was brought last year by three people — John Fitisemanu, Pale Tuli and Rosavita Tuli — who were born on the cluster of islands southeast of Hawaii and currently reside in Utah. They claimed they faced restrictions from traveling abroad and were subject to fees that don’t apply to American citizens.

It was not clear if Thursday’s ruling applies outside of Utah. The Justice Department and State Department didn’t immediately return Fox News requests for comment.

“The takeaway from the ruling is that people born in American Samoa living in Utah are now U.S. citizens, and they have all the same rights as other Americans, including the right to vote,” said Neil Weare, president of Equally American and one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. “These individuals can now go and register to vote and participate in state, federal and local elections.”

Camel Rock near the village of Lauli'i in Pago Pago, American Samoa. A federal judge in Utah ruled Thursday that people born in American Samoa should be granted birthright citizenship.

Camel Rock near the village of Lauli’i in Pago Pago, American Samoa. A federal judge in Utah ruled Thursday that people born in American Samoa should be granted birthright citizenship.

American Samoans can apply for U.S. citizenship but have to pay the $725 application fee, in addition to any legal fees they incur to help them navigate the process.

Fitisemanu said his employment prospects have been diminished because of his rejection from jobs that specify U.S. citizenship as a requirement. In an interview with The Associated Press last year, he said he avoided political conversations because he couldn’t vote.

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After the ruling, Fitisemanu said he plans to register to vote. The American Samoan government claims automatic U.S. citizenship would undermine local traditions and practices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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Trump paid more than $2M to charities to end Trump Foundation lawsuit, officials say


President Trump paid more than $2 million in a court-ordered settlement to end a lawsuit in which he was accused of misusing funds at his charitable foundation for political gain.

The payment and the remaining $1.8 million in the Trump Foundation’s bank account were distributed among eight charities, New York Attorney General (AG) Letitia James announced Tuesday.

Those charities are Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals on Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, the United Negro College Fund, the United Way of National Capital Area and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Each received $476,140, James said.

TRUMP FOUNDATION AGREES TO DISSOLVE AFTER LAWSUIT ALLEGED ‘ILLEGAL CONDUCT’

“Not only has the Trump Foundation shut down for its misconduct, but the president has been forced to pay $2 million for misusing charitable funds for his own political gain,” James said in a statement.

The lawsuit filed in June 2018 accused Trump and his three eldest children of using the Donald J. Trump Foundation to boost Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, settle legal disputes and for the purchase of sports paraphernalia, among other items.

NY AG PROMISES TO ‘USE EVERY AREA OF THE LAW’ TO PROBE TRUMP, FAMILY

Last month, a judge ordered Trump to pay $2 million in damages. James’ office had originally pushed for $2.8 million in restitution and a $5.6 million penalty. As part of the settlement, Trump admitted to misusing Trump Foundation funds and agreed to limitations and restrictions on future charitable work.

“Charities are not a means to an end, which is why these damages speak to the president’s abuse of power and represent a victory for not-for-profits that follow the law,” James said. “My office will continue to fight for accountability because no one is above the law — not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the president of the United States.”

The settlement also called for mandatory training requirements for Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, which all three have completed, James said.

Attorneys for the Trump Foundation accused James of timing her announcement to deflect attention from her office’s Tuesday loss against Exxon Mobil in a climate change lawsuit.

“The AG’s office doesn’t want the media to focus on the massive trial they lost today,” attorneys Marc Mukasey and Alan Futerfas told Fox News in an emailed statement. “Our case was amicably resolved weeks ago. The judge commended both parties for the resolution. The legacy of the Trump Foundation — which gave away many millions to those most in need at virtually no cost — is secure.”

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The three-decades-old foundation reached a deal with the New York Attorney General to shut down in December 2018 amid the lawsuit. Authorities claimed Trump ran the foundation as an extension of his business empire and presidential campaign.

Last month, Trump said James had deliberately mischaracterized the settlement for political purposes. The foundation’s attorney argued that the lawsuit was politically motivated, which a judge rejected.



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