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AP News in Brief at 6:04 p.m. EDT

Biden rolls out asylum restrictions, months in the making, to help 'gain control' of the border WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled plans to clamp immediate significant restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.

Biden rolls out asylum restrictions, months in the making, to help 'gain control' of the border

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled plans to clamp immediate significant restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border as the White House moved to neutralize immigration as a political liability ahead of the November elections.

The long-anticipated presidential proclamation would bar migrants from being granted asylum when U.S. officials deem that the southern border is overwhelmed. The Democratic president had contemplated unilateral action for months after the collapse of a bipartisan border security deal in Congress that most Republican lawmakers rejected at the behest of former President Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Biden said he preferred more lasting action via legislation but "Republicans have left me no choice.” Instead, he said he was acting on his own to “gain control of the border” while also insisting that “I believe immigration has always been the lifeblood of America.”

Trump “told the Republicans ... that he didn't want to fix the issue, he wanted to use it to attack me,” Biden said. “It was a cynical, extremely cynical, political move and a complete disservice to the American people who are looking for us not to weaponize the border but to fix it.”

Trump, on the other hand, used his social media account to assail Biden again over immigration, saying the Democrat had “totally surrendered our Southern Border” and his order was “all for show” ahead of their June 27 presidential debate.


How Biden's new order to halt asylum at the US border is supposed to work

SAN DIEGO (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday ordered a halt to asylum processing at the U.S. border with Mexico when illegal entries reach a threshold deemed excessive.

The measure takes effect immediately because the new policy is triggered when arrests for illegal entry reach 2,500. About 4,000 people already are entering the U.S. each day. It was a major policy shift on a critical election-year issue that's exposed Biden to Republican criticism over an unprecedented surge in new arrivals in an election year.

Advocates say the new measure will put migrants in danger and violate international obligations to provide safe haven to people whose lives are threatened. The Biden administration denies that.

Legal challenges are imminent.

There are also serious questions of whether the new measure can stop large-scale migrant entries. Mexico has agreed to take back migrants who are not Mexican, but only in limited numbers. And the Biden administration doesn't have the money and diplomatic support it needs to deport migrants long distances, to China and countries in Africa, for example.


India's popular but polarizing leader Narendra Modi is extending his decade in power. Who is he?

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who claimed victory for his alliance in an election seen as a referendum on his decade in power, is a popular but polarizing leader who has presided over a fast-growing economy while advancing Hindu nationalism.

Modi, 73, is only the second Indian prime minister to win a third straight term.

His Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party failed to secure a majority on its own — as it did in 2014 and 2019 — after facing a stronger than expected challenge from the opposition. But together with other parties in his National Democratic Alliance, his bloc won enough seats for a slim parliamentary majority and to form his third consecutive government, Election Commission data showed Tuesday.

To supporters, Modi is a larger-than-life figure who has improved India’s standing in the world, helped make its economy the world’s fifth-largest, and streamlined the country’s vast welfare program, which serves around 60% of the population. To some, he may even be more than human.

But to critics, he’s a cult leader who has eroded India’s democracy and advanced divisive politics targeting the Muslims who make up 14% of the country’s population. They say he has also increasingly wielded strong-arm tactics to subdue political opponents, squeeze independent media and quash dissent.


Prosecutors spend first day of testimony in Hunter Biden's gun trial detailing his drug problems

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Federal prosecutors on Tuesday painted President Joe Biden’s son Hunter as deceptive and driven by addiction, a man whose dark habits ensnared loved ones and who knew what he was doing when he lied on federal forms to purchase a gun in 2018.

Jurors also got their first look at the document at the center of the case, and Hunter Biden's attorney argued that his client did not believe he was in the throes of addiction when he stated in the paperwork that he did not have a drug problem. In the short time that he had the gun, he did nothing with it, and weapon was never even loaded, attorney Abbe Lowell said in opening statements.

“You will see that he is not guilty,” Lowell said.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies stemming from the purchase of the Colt revolver when he was, according to his memoir, addicted to crack. He has been accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

The first day of testimony in the case dredged up painful memories for the president and his family, and revealed new and highly personal details about some of their struggles with addiction as the 2024 election looms. For part of the day, the first lady watched from the front row of the courtroom.


Arizona voters will decide whether local police can make border-crossing arrests

PHOENIX (AP) — The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature gave final approval Tuesday to a proposal asking voters to make it a state crime for noncitizens to enter the state through Mexico at any location other than a port of entry, sending the measure to the Nov. 5 ballot.

The vote came as President Joe Biden unveiled plans Tuesday to restrict the number of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying “This action will help to gain control of our border, restore order to the process."

Arizona's proposal, approved on a 31-29 vote by the state House, would allow state and local police to arrest people crossing the border without authorization. It would also give state judges the power to order people convicted of the offense to return to their countries of origin.

The proposal bypasses Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who had vetoed a similar measure in early March and has denounced the effort to bring the issue to voters.

House Republicans closed access to the upper gallery of the chamber before the session started Tuesday, citing concerns about security and possible disruptions. The move immediately drew the criticism of Democrats, who demanded that the gallery be reopened.


Wisconsin attorney general files felony charges against attorneys, aide who worked for Trump in 2020

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Felony forgery charges were filed in Wisconsin on Tuesday against two attorneys and an aide who helped submit paperwork falsely saying that former President Donald Trump had won the battleground state in 2020.

The state charges are the first to come in Wisconsin and follow separate charges brought in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Georgia related to the fake electors scheme.

The Wisconsin charges were brought against Trump's attorney in the state, Jim Troupis, 62, attorney Kenneth Chesebro, 62, who was advising the campaign and Mike Roman, 51, who was Trump’s director of Election Day operations. Roman allegedly delivered Wisconsin’s fake elector paperwork to a Pennsylvania congressman’s staffer in order to get them to then-Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, 2021.

All three are due in Dane County Circuit Court on Sept. 19, according to court records. They each face one felony count punishable by up to six years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Troupis and Chesebro did not return voicemail messages left Tuesday. Roman's attorney, Kurt Altman, said he just learned of the charges Tuesday morning and was in the process of reviewing them.


Garland slams attacks on the Justice Department, telling lawmakers: 'I will not be intimidated'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Merrick Garland rebuked Republicans Tuesday for what he described as unprecedented attacks on the Justice Department, telling lawmakers who have sought to hold him in contempt that he will “not be intimidated.”

Appearing before a House panel led by allies of Donald Trump, Garland condemned as a “conspiracy theory” the claim that the department was behind the New York state court prosecution that led to the former Republican president's conviction last week on 34 felony charges. And Garland slammed other “baseless and extremely dangerous falsehoods" being spread about law enforcement.

His unusually fiery testimony amounted to a forceful defense of the independence and integrity of the Justice Department at an unprecedented moment in which it is prosecuting both Trump and President Joe Biden’s son. Amid an onslaught by Trump and his Republican allies, Garland said his agency will not be deterred in its commitment to uphold the rule of law.

Garland described a Republican effort to hold him in contempt as the latest in “a long line of attacks" on the Justice Department." Those attacks “have not, and they will not” influence the department's decision making, Garland told lawmakers.

“I will not be intimidated,” Garland said. “And the Justice Department will not be intimidated. We will continue to do our jobs free from political influence. And we will not back down from defending our democracy.”


House passes proposal sanctioning top war-crimes court after it sought Netanyahu arrest warrant

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed legislation Tuesday that would sanction the International Criminal Court for requesting arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials.

The 247-155 vote amounts to Congress’ first legislative rebuke of the war crimes court since its stunning decision last month to seek arrest warrants for the leaders of Israel and Hamas. The move was widely denounced in Washington, creating a rare moment of unity on Israel even as partisan divisions over the war with Hamas intensified.

While the House bill was expected to pass Tuesday, it managed to attract only modest Democratic support, despite an outpouring of outrage at the court's decision, dulling its chances in the Senate. The White House opposes the legislation, calling it overreach.

Both the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee acknowledged the bill in question is unlikely to become law and left the door open to further negotiation with the White House. They said it would be better for Congress to be united against the Hague-based court.

“We’re always strongest, particularly on this committee, when we speak with one voice as one nation, in this case to the ICC and to the judges,” GOP Rep. Mike McCaul, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said during House debate. "A partisan messaging bill was not my intention here but that is where we are.”


Mexico’s next president faces 3 pressing challenges: money, dialogue and the US election

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s newly elected president, the first woman to win the job, faces a long list of challenges, including persistent cartel violence, a deeply divided country, cash-straitened social programs and the long shadow of her mentor, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

But for some analysts it mostly comes down to three things: money, dialogue and the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

Claudia Sheinbaum, who begins her six-year presidential term Oct. 1, has four months ahead of her to define her administration’s agenda. During this time, López Obrador is expected to continue delivering his daily morning press briefings as he tries to solidify his legacy.

The coexistence might be far from easy: He has divided society; she says she wants to unite it. He is a leader of the masses; she is an academic and a scientist.

López Obrador has said he will not interfere with his protege's administration. “I do not aspire to be a ‘moral leader,’ a ‘maximum boss,’ a ‘caudillo,’" he said Monday.


Many Americans are still shying away from EVs despite Biden's push, an AP-NORC/EPIC poll finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Many Americans still aren’t sold on going electric for their next car purchase. High prices and a lack of easy-to-find charging stations are major sticking points, a new poll shows.

About 4 in 10 U.S. adults say they would be at least somewhat likely to buy an EV the next time they buy a car, according to the poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, while 46% say they are not too likely or not at all likely to purchase one.

The poll results, which echo an AP-NORC poll from last year, show that President Joe Biden’s election-year plan to dramatically raise EV sales is running into resistance from American drivers. Only 13% of U.S. adults say they or someone in their household owns or leases a gas-hybrid car, and just 9% own or lease an electric vehicle.

Caleb Jud of Cincinnati said he’s considering an EV, but may end up with a plug-in hybrid — if he goes electric. While Cincinnati winters aren’t extremely cold, “the thought of getting stuck in the driveway with an EV that won’t run is worrisome, and I know it wouldn’t be an issue with a plug-in hybrid,″ he said. Freezing temperatures can slow chemical reactions in EV batteries, depleting power and reducing driving range.

A new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency requires that about 56% of all new vehicle sales be electric by 2032, along with at least 13% plug-in hybrids or other partially electric cars. Auto companies are investing billions in factories and battery technology in an effort to speed up the switch to EVs to cut pollution, fight climate change — and meet the deadline.

The Associated Press