Sam's Top 5 Things to Know for Wednesday

posted by Justice & Drew - 

1. Judge blocks Trump order on sanctuary city funding

 Associated Press: A federal judge on Tuesday blocked any attempt by the Trump administration to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials, saying the president has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the preliminary injunction in two lawsuits — one brought by the city of San Francisco, the other by Santa Clara County — against an executive order targeting communities that protect immigrants from deportation.

The injunction will stay in place while the lawsuits work their way through court.

The judge rejected the administration's argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said President Donald Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

"Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves," the judge said. It was the third major setback for the administration on immigration policy.

2. Miffed over border wall talk, top Mexican official is suggesting an American entry fee

Fox News: A top Mexican official on Tuesday said that Mexico may consider charging a fee for Americans entering the country in what could be seen as a retaliation to President Trump's call for a border wall.

Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray, in a meeting with Mexico's top legislators, called Trump's plan an "unfriendly, hostile" act, and called on his colleagues to consider the entry fee.

"We could explore — not necessarily a visa, that could impede a lot of people from coming to Mexico — but we could perhaps (have) a fee associated with entry,” Videgaray said. “This is something that I'm sure will be part of our discussion, and I believe we can find points of agreement."

Videgaray went on to say that Mexico would not pay a cent towards the wall. He said if talks between the U.S. and Mexico fail to satisfy both countries, the Mexican government would consider reducing security cooperation.

3. Trump plans to propose a large increase in deductions Americans can claim on their taxes

 WASHINGTON POST: President Trump on Wednesday plans to call for a significant increase in the standard deduction people can claim on their tax returns, potentially putting thousands of dollars each year into the pockets of tens of millions of Americans, according to two people briefed on the plan.

The change is one of several major revisions to the federal tax code that the White House will propose when it provides an outline of the tax-overhaul pitch Trump will make to Congress and the American people as he nears his 100th day in office.

Trump will call for a sharp reduction in the corporate tax rate, from 35 percent to 15 percent. He will also propose lowering the tax rate for millions of small businesses that now file their tax returns under the individual tax code, two people familiar with the plan said.

The existing standard deduction Americans can claim is $6,300 for individuals and $12,600 for married couples filing jointly. The precise level of Trump’s new proposal could not be ascertained, but it was significantly higher, the two people said, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been made public.

During the campaign, Trump proposed raising the standard deduction to $15,000 for individuals and $30,000 for families.

4. Minneapolis police warn about possible pet poisonings

 MPR NEWS: Minneapolis police are warning pet owners to be wary of food apparently being tossed in their yards in south Minneapolis. The department said residents in south Minneapolis between Lake Hiawatha and Interstate 35W have been calling animal control to report unknown food being thrown onto their property or near it.

Police are asking residents to watch out for suspicious activity, like someone dropping items in fenced areas or giving treats to pets that aren't theirs.

It isn't clear from the police warning if any pets have actually been sickened by the suspicious activity, but police are urging residents to call 311 or 911 to report any suspected poisoning.

The warning follows several reports of poison-laced bread believed to be connected to a series of dog deaths in St. Paul last summer, and similar reports of tainted treats in St. Paul around the new year.


 5. 'Star Wars: Episode 9’ gets summer 2019 release date

 CNN: "Star Wars: Episode IX," the sequel to the upcoming "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and ninth installment of the space franchise, has been set for a Memorial Day 2019 release, Disney announced on Tuesday.

The film, which continues the saga started by 1977's "Star Wars," will open on May 24, 2019.

This will be a bit of a change for the brand, which has had "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the spinoff "Rogue One," and the upcoming "Last Jedi" all open around the Christmas holiday.

But "Star Wars" fans will now only have to wait a year between Disney's Han Solo origin film, set for a May 25, 2018 release, and "Episode IX."

The "Episode IX" summer opening wasn't the only news about the release dates of its biggest upcoming films that Disney announced Tuesday.

The studio also said that the live action reboot of "The Lion King" will hit theaters on July 19, 2019, "Frozen 2" will debut on November 27, 2019, and that the untitled fifth installment of the Indiana Jones series will be pushed back a year to July 10, 2020.

The Indiana Jones movie will star Harrison Ford in the iconic role and will, as all the previous installments have, be directed by Steven Spielberg. Ford will be nearly 78 years old when the movie debuts.

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