News Briefs: National and International News



Atlanta archbishop to replace Wuerl

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory will replace Cardinal Donald Wuerl as archbishop of Washington, D.C., according to an announcement made by the Vatican last week. The announcement ended months-long speculation as to who would replace the embattled Wuerl. In the past year, Wuerl had been faced with the scandal surrounding now-defrocked former archbishop Theodore McCarrick, as well as the Pennsylvania grand jury report on priestly sex abuse that included Wuerl’s time as bishop of Pittsburgh. Gregory, previously an auxiliary bishop for Chicago and bishop of Belleville, has served in Atlanta since 2005 and was president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2001-2004. As it is customary for the Washington, D.C., archbishop to be named a cardinal, Gregory would be the first African-American cardinal if Pope Francis chose him. Gregory will be installed on May 21.

Homeland security head resigns

The secretary of homeland security resigned on Sunday after a meeting with President Donald Trump. Kirstjen Nielsen made the decision to step aside after having several policy disagreements with the president — most recently the president’s request that Nielsen closes the ports of entry along the southern border and that she stop accepting asylum seekers, which she refused to do. The resignation, which the New York Times reported that Trump was expecting, comes just days after Trump withdrew his nominee to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement because he wanted the agency to be “tougher.” The president said Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, would be Nielsen’s acting replacement.

Motel 6 to pay $12M for disclosing guests to ICE

The Motel 6 chain will be forced to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the Washington state attorney after some of its locations were found to have provided guest lists to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. This is the second lawsuit in which Motel 6 has been forced to pay up; it paid $7.6 million to Hispanic guests to settle a class-action lawsuit over its guest-list sharing last fall. According to reports, Motel 6 locations in Washington would give the personal information of their guests to ICE on a daily basis. Information given included guests’ names, driver’s license numbers and room numbers. An estimated total of 80,000 guests had their information shared by seven locations to ICE.


May continues to pursue Brexit deal with help from Labour

British Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking a compromise Brexit deal with the opposition Labour Party, against the wishes of her own Conservative Party. The deal May has brought before Parliament has been rejected three times, forcing her to compromise her deal to attract Labour support. May needs to have a new deal by Wednesday in order to present it to leaders of the European Union at their summit. Should that plan be rejected, the United Kingdom would leave the EU on Friday without a deal. Previously, Labour and its leader Jeremy Corbyn had been opposed to May’s deal because it did not go far enough in some areas, such as a future customs union with the EU after Brexit.

Poacher killed by elephant, eaten by lions in South Africa

South African officials have said that a suspected rhino poacher was killed last week by an elephant and had his remains eaten by lions in a South African Park. In a statement, Kruger National Park said Rangers could not find a body, but only a human skull and a pair of pants. This suggested that a pride of lions had “devoured the remains,” according to the statement. The statement said the alleged poacher was in the park with “accomplices” who contacted his family to tell them the man had been killed by an elephant while the group was poaching rhinos. Four of those accomplices have been arrested, according to authorities. The New York Times reported that as many as three men suspected of being rhino poachers were killed by lions last July at a South African game preserve.

More Indonesians suing Boeing for MAX 8 jet accident

Following an apology from Boeing Co. chief executive Dennis Muilenburg, more families of victims from the Lion Air crash in Indonesia are joining lawsuits against Boeing. Muilenburg apologized for the malfunction of an automated flight system that is suspected as the cause for the Lion Air crash in October and an Ethiopian Airlines crash in March. Both crashes were using a MAX 8 jet and killed a total of 346 people. According to ABC News, preliminary reports into both crashes found faulty sensor readings that had erroneously triggered an anti-stall system that pushed the plane’s nose down. Pilots of both flights were unable to regain control. The families are expecting a payment of 1.2 billion rupiahs, or $85,000.

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