Louis Casiano

Attorneys general from 47 states sent a letter Friday to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asking her to forgive more than $1 billion in student loans for disabled veterans.

The letter stated that the Department of Education should establish a program to automatically discharge the loans. Only 9,000 of the 42,000 veterans eligible for loan forgiveness have applied for a discharge. As of April, more than 25,000 veterans were in default.

“As a nation, we have a moral obligation to assist those who have put their lives on the line to defend us,” the letter said.

WANT TO HELP OUR MILITARY VETERANS? HERE’S HOW

In this April 10 photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)

In this April 10 photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)

Attorneys general from three territories and the District of Columbia also signed the letter, while those from Texas, Arizona and Alabama did not.

Permanently disabled veterans can have their loans forgiven under federal law, but the process if filled with bureaucratic red tape.

GEICO SKYTYPERS AIR TEAM PAYS TRIBUTE TO ARMED FORCES AHEAD OF MEMORIAL DAY WITH STATUE OF LIBERTY FLYBY

“The current approach is inadequate,” the letter said. “The cost of education for our disabled veterans today is soaring, and it would be of great benefit to those who are burdened by these crushing debts to obtain relief without arduous compliance requirements.”

In a statement, the Education Department said veterans should be fully informed before making decisions about their student loans, Reuters reported. It cited whether it would increase their tax bills or make it harder to obtain education loans in the future as examples.

“While ‘automatic discharge’ may seem like a simple solution, there are long-term impacts we want all veterans to have the chance to consider before their loans are discharged,” the department said.

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The letter said student loan forgiveness for disabled veterans has the support of lawmakers from both parties and from veterans groups.

“We now urge the department to take action to better protect those who once protected the nation,” the letter said. “Our veterans deserve nothing less.”

Source: Fox News National

President Trump is expected to nominate former Virginia attorney general Kenneth Cuccinelli to oversee the nation’s immigration system as the next director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to media reports.

Cuccinelli —  an immigration hardliner — would replace Lee Francis Cissna, who is resigning after pressure from the White House, the New York Times reported. He officially steps down June 1. Trump has long-regarded the country’s immigration system as broken and in need of restructuring.

Cissna had support from a number of groups opposed to illegal immigration, but not from White House officials.

Ken Cuccinelli is reportedly being tapped to lead the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Ken Cuccinelli is reportedly being tapped to lead the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Fox News)

While Cuccinelli has Trump’s support, getting confirmed to the post could be a problem. The Times reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his chances were close to zero.

Cuccinelli in 2014 was part of the Senate Conservatives Fund political action committee that supported Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin to challenge McConnell in a primary, according to the paper.

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McConnell previously said he opposed Cuccinelli to head the Department of Homeland Security after Kirstjen Nielsen was fired last month.

“I’ve not spoken to him about any of them. I have expressed my, shall I say, lack of enthusiasm for one of them … Ken Cuccinelli,” McConnell told reporters in April.

Source: Fox News Politics

The family of a woman mauled to death by a lion last year while interning at a North Carolina animal preserve is pushing for new safety regulations to prevent similar attacks.

Alex Black, 22, was just 10 days into an unpaid internship last December at the Conservators Center in Burlington, N.C., when she found herself alone with a lion, her aunt Virginia Black told The Associated Press.

“It is possible she saved other lives that day,” Black wrote. Alex Black died after the lion pounced and dragged her back through an open gate into its enclosure.

2 AFRICAN LIONS DIE AT CALIFORNIA ZOOS, OFFICIALS SAY

In this 2018 photo provided by Virginia Black, Alex Black, left, poses for a photo with her aunt Virginia. Alex Black was killed in November 2018 when she came face to face with an escaped lion just 10 days into her unpaid internship at the Conservators Center in Burlington, N.C. (Virginia Black via AP)

In this 2018 photo provided by Virginia Black, Alex Black, left, poses for a photo with her aunt Virginia. Alex Black was killed in November 2018 when she came face to face with an escaped lion just 10 days into her unpaid internship at the Conservators Center in Burlington, N.C. (Virginia Black via AP)

Black has urged state lawmakers to require safety drills and law enforcement safety plans at facilities such as the one where her niece was attacked. A recently passed House bill prohibits private ownership of big cats, apes, hyenas and bears. It doesn’t regulate facilities such as the Conservators Center, which falls under the watch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Sanctuaries and zoos where a person has been killed or injured where investigation has revealed a lack of proper safety drills, equipment and protocols should no longer be able to keep dangerous wild animals,” Black wrote.

Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Democrat, said she introduced an amendment to the bill, but was rebuffed by other lawmakers.

In this Sept. 30, 2017 photo made available by Erik Sommer, the lion Matthai relaxes inside his enclosure at the Conservators Center in Burlington, NC. Matthai escaped from his enclosure in December 2018, and fatally mauled a 22-year-old Conservators Center intern before he was shot eight times and died. Now the intern's family is supporting legislation in North Carolina that would tighten restrictions on ownership of large carnivorous animals. (Erik Sommers via AP)

In this Sept. 30, 2017 photo made available by Erik Sommer, the lion Matthai relaxes inside his enclosure at the Conservators Center in Burlington, NC. Matthai escaped from his enclosure in December 2018, and fatally mauled a 22-year-old Conservators Center intern before he was shot eight times and died. Now the intern’s family is supporting legislation in North Carolina that would tighten restrictions on ownership of large carnivorous animals. (Erik Sommers via AP)

“I would’ve loved to see a stronger bill. I did what I could,” she said.

Black was preparing deer meat for the cats when a 14-year-old male lion named Matthai bit her ankle and dragged her into a steel enclosure. No tranquilizer gun was on hand, and the center’s CEO, Douglas Evans, struggled to load it when one was found.

ENDANGERED AFRICAN PAINTED DOG PUP KILLED AT FLORIDA ZOO IN ‘GUILLOTINE DOOR’ ACCIDENT

“When the gentleman tried to assemble the tranquilizer gun, he was reading the instructions,” Black wrote in her letter, citing a witness she wouldn’t identify.

Authorities eventually subdued the lion with three tranquilizer darts and eight gunshots.

A USDA inspection in January found the center has “no non-compliant items.” USDA inspections in 2017 and 2018 found no problems at the facility, according to government reports. A government inspector counted 16 lions among 85 total animals in 2018. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is conducting its own investigation, which is expected to wrap up in June.

In a statement to the AP, the center’s Executive Director, Mindy Stinner, said the animal sanctuary is “confident that if all of its policies and procedures are followed, its guests, staff, and animals are safe.”

In this May 4, 2019 photo, the entrance to The Conservators Center in Burlington, N.C., is open for visitors. The park re-opened in February 2019 after an intern was mauled to death by a lion that escaped its inclosure in December 2018. ( AP Photo/Amanda Morris)

In this May 4, 2019 photo, the entrance to The Conservators Center in Burlington, N.C., is open for visitors. The park re-opened in February 2019 after an intern was mauled to death by a lion that escaped its inclosure in December 2018. ( AP Photo/Amanda Morris)

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Dan Ashe, executive director of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums, said facilities like the Conservator’s Center should obtain AZA accreditation.

“If a facility has dangerous animals, they should hold themselves to high standards and should be held by the government to high standards,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

Florida‘s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law on Thursday a bill to outlaw childlike sex dolls in his state.

The bill “prohibits a person from knowingly having in his or her possession, custody, or control an obscene, childlike sex doll.” Lawmakers unanimously approved the measure. Violation of the law is a first-degree misdemeanor. Violations thereafter will result in a second-degree felony.

MODEL WHO WANTS TO BE ‘REAL-LIFE SEX DOLL’ CLAIMS OBSESSION NEARLY KILLED HER

“These are anatomically correct, lifelike silicone dolls that are eerily similar to real human children made for the sole purpose of sexual gratification,” Democratic state Sen. Lauren Book said in a statement. “Just as viewing child pornography lowers the inhibitions of child predators, so do these childlike sex dolls that have no place in the state of Florida.”

Silicon sex dolls for sexual encounters sitting at the "Bordoll" brothel on April 17 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Silicon sex dolls for sexual encounters sitting at the “Bordoll” brothel on April 17 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bongarts/Getty Images)

A legislative analysis concluded that childlike sex dolls imported from China, Japan and Hong Kong are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S., which is part of the $15 billion sex toy industry, according to The Associated Press.

Supporters of the bill argued the dolls should be treated as a form of child pornography, while others said the dolls could prevent pedophiles from preying on children, Orlando Weekly reported.

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The law goes into effect Oct. 1.

Source: Fox News National

A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked the Trump administration from spending billions to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border with money from Trump national emergency declaration.

U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam’s ruling applies to construction in specific areas in Texas and Arizona.

“In short, the position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds “without Congress” does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our republic.”

Around 20 states, environmental groups and civil liberties groups sued the administration to halt plans for the wall.

This is a developing story. Check back with Fox News for updates.

Source: Fox News Politics

A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked the Trump administration from spending billions to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border with money from Trump national emergency declaration.

U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam’s ruling applies to construction in specific areas in Texas and Arizona.

“In short, the position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds “without Congress” does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our republic.”

Around 20 states, environmental groups and civil liberties groups sued the administration to halt plans for the wall.

This is a developing story. Check back with Fox News for updates.

Source: Fox News Politics

A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s plan to spend billions to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border with Defense Department funds.

U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam’s ruling applies to wall construction in specific areas in El Paso, Texas and Yuma, Arizona. Trump declared a national emergency in February to redirect funding from the Department of Defense to begin construction of his long-promised border wall.

“In short, the position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds “without Congress” does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic,” wrote Gilliam, who was appointed to the bench by former President Barack Obama.

In this Nov. 21, 2018, file photo, two Honduran men pose as a photographer, at left, takes their picture after the group climbed the border wall separating Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, before climbing back down on the Mexican side, seen from San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

In this Nov. 21, 2018, file photo, two Honduran men pose as a photographer, at left, takes their picture after the group climbed the border wall separating Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, before climbing back down on the Mexican side, seen from San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

THAT LOOSE CHANGE LEFT AT AIRPORTS MAY BE USED TO HELP FUND BORDER OPERATIONS

The move was a workaround Congress, which had not given in to his demands to fund the barrier. The wall has been Trump’s signature promise. Gilliam’s ruling doesn’t prevent the Trump administration from using other sources to fund the wall.

He said Trump’s plan to divert Pentagon funds for border-wall construction was unconstitutional because the argument White House relied on applied to unforeseen needs, Politico reported.

“Defendants’ argument that the need for the requested border barrier construction funding was ‘unforeseen’ cannot logically be squared with the Administration’s multiple requests for funding for exactly that purpose dating back to at least early 2018,” the Obama nominee wrote.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

Trump declared the national emergency after a stand-off between him and Democrats over border wall funding resulted in the 35-day partial government shutdown.

Around 20 states, environmental groups and civil liberties groups sued the administration to halt plans for the wall.

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“This order is a win for our system of checks and balances, the rule of law, and border communities,” Dror Ladin, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, said in a statement. “The court blocked all the wall projects currently slated for immediate construction. If the administration begins illegally diverting additional military funds, we’ll be back in court to block that as well.”

The ACLU filed a motion on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition to block wall construction.

This is a developing story. Check back with Fox News for updates.

Source: Fox News Politics

A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked Mississippi from moving ahead with a so-called “heartbeat” abortion law that bans the procedure after a cardiac activity is first detected, which occurs at around six weeks of pregnancy.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves stops the order from taking effect July 1.

“Here we go again,” Reeves wrote. “Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability.”

2020 DEMS JUMP INTO ABORTION FRAY AS LEGAL BATTLE HEATS UP

This Friday, May 17, 2019 photo shows the Jackson Women's Health Organization in Jackson, Miss. The facility is the state's only abortion clinic. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

This Friday, May 17, 2019 photo shows the Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Jackson, Miss. The facility is the state’s only abortion clinic. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Reeves also struck down a 2018 Mississippi law that banned abortion at 15 weeks. The state is appealing that ruling.

“It sure smacks of defiance to this court,” he said of lawmakers passing another ban after he struck down the earlier one.

Attorneys for the state’s only abortion clinic – the Jackson Women’s Health Organization — argued Tuesday that the newest law would eliminate all abortions because most women don’t yet know they are pregnant when a fetal heartbeat is first discovered. The state said the law only limits when abortions can be performed.

Exemptions will be made if a woman’s health is at risk.

ALABAMA SENATE PASSES BILL BANNING NEARLY ALL ABORTIONS

An abortion rights advocate holds signage at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., voicing her opposition to state legislatures passing abortion bans that prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The rally in Jackson was one of many around the country to protest abortion restrictions that states are enacting. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

An abortion rights advocate holds signage at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., voicing her opposition to state legislatures passing abortion bans that prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The rally in Jackson was one of many around the country to protest abortion restrictions that states are enacting. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Reeves wrote Friday that the new measure “prevents a woman’s free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy. This injury outweighs any interest the State might have in banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.”

Mississippi’s Republican Gov Phil Bryant expressed disappointment after Friday’s ruling.

“As governor, I’ve pledged to do all I can to protect life,” Bryant said. “Time and time again the Legislature and I have done just that.”

Lawmakers in several states have recently passed or advanced restrictive abortion measures in light of a conservative-majority Supreme Court Abortion opponents are hoping to mount legal challenges to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

ALABAMA DEM ATTACKS TRUMP JR. WITH SLUR AFTER ABORTION COMMENTS SPARK OUTCRY

Alabama recently passed a law its own law that makes it a felony to perform an abortion at any stage of a pregnancy. Other states – Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio — have approved their own abortion measures. Missouri recently approved a bill to ban abortion at eight weeks.

All the bans are expected to face legal challenges. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the Alabama measure.

A federal judge in March issued a preliminary injunction on the Kentucky ban.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Under Mississippi’s abortion ban, doctors who perform the procedure could have their medical licenses revoked.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News National

A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked Mississippi from moving ahead with a so-called “heartbeat” abortion law that bans the procedure after a cardiac activity is first detected, which occurs at around six weeks of pregnancy.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves stops the order from taking effect July 1.

“Here we go again,” Reeves wrote. “Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability.”

2020 DEMS JUMP INTO ABORTION FRAY AS LEGAL BATTLE HEATS UP

This Friday, May 17, 2019 photo shows the Jackson Women's Health Organization in Jackson, Miss. The facility is the state's only abortion clinic. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

This Friday, May 17, 2019 photo shows the Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Jackson, Miss. The facility is the state’s only abortion clinic. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Reeves also struck down a 2018 Mississippi law that banned abortion at 15 weeks. The state is appealing that ruling.

“It sure smacks of defiance to this court,” he said of lawmakers passing another ban after he struck down the earlier one.

Attorneys for the state’s only abortion clinic – the Jackson Women’s Health Organization — argued Tuesday that the newest law would eliminate all abortions because most women don’t yet know they are pregnant when a fetal heartbeat is first discovered. The state said the law only limits when abortions can be performed.

Exemptions will be made if a woman’s health is at risk.

ALABAMA SENATE PASSES BILL BANNING NEARLY ALL ABORTIONS

An abortion rights advocate holds signage at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., voicing her opposition to state legislatures passing abortion bans that prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The rally in Jackson was one of many around the country to protest abortion restrictions that states are enacting. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

An abortion rights advocate holds signage at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., voicing her opposition to state legislatures passing abortion bans that prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The rally in Jackson was one of many around the country to protest abortion restrictions that states are enacting. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Reeves wrote Friday that the new measure “prevents a woman’s free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy. This injury outweighs any interest the State might have in banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.”

Mississippi’s Republican Gov Phil Bryant expressed disappointment after Friday’s ruling.

“As governor, I’ve pledged to do all I can to protect life,” Bryant said. “Time and time again the Legislature and I have done just that.”

Lawmakers in several states have recently passed or advanced restrictive abortion measures in light of a conservative-majority Supreme Court Abortion opponents are hoping to mount legal challenges to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

ALABAMA DEM ATTACKS TRUMP JR. WITH SLUR AFTER ABORTION COMMENTS SPARK OUTCRY

Alabama recently passed a law its own law that makes it a felony to perform an abortion at any stage of a pregnancy. Other states – Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio — have approved their own abortion measures. Missouri recently approved a bill to ban abortion at eight weeks.

All the bans are expected to face legal challenges. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the Alabama measure.

A federal judge in March issued a preliminary injunction on the Kentucky ban.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Under Mississippi’s abortion ban, doctors who perform the procedure could have their medical licenses revoked.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News National

A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked Mississippi from moving ahead with a so-called “heartbeat” abortion law that bans the procedure after a cardiac activity is first detected, which occurs at around six weeks of pregnancy.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves stops the order from taking effect July 1.

“Here we go again,” Reeves wrote. “Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability.”

2020 DEMS JUMP INTO ABORTION FRAY AS LEGAL BATTLE HEATS UP

This Friday, May 17, 2019 photo shows the Jackson Women's Health Organization in Jackson, Miss. The facility is the state's only abortion clinic. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

This Friday, May 17, 2019 photo shows the Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Jackson, Miss. The facility is the state’s only abortion clinic. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Reeves also struck down a 2018 Mississippi law that banned abortion at 15 weeks. The state is appealing that ruling.

“It sure smacks of defiance to this court,” he said of lawmakers passing another ban after he struck down the earlier one.

Attorneys for the state’s only abortion clinic – the Jackson Women’s Health Organization — argued Tuesday that the newest law would eliminate all abortions because most women don’t yet know they are pregnant when a fetal heartbeat is first discovered. The state said the law only limits when abortions can be performed.

Exemptions will be made if a woman’s health is at risk.

ALABAMA SENATE PASSES BILL BANNING NEARLY ALL ABORTIONS

An abortion rights advocate holds signage at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., voicing her opposition to state legislatures passing abortion bans that prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The rally in Jackson was one of many around the country to protest abortion restrictions that states are enacting. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

An abortion rights advocate holds signage at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., voicing her opposition to state legislatures passing abortion bans that prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The rally in Jackson was one of many around the country to protest abortion restrictions that states are enacting. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Reeves wrote Friday that the new measure “prevents a woman’s free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy. This injury outweighs any interest the State might have in banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.”

Mississippi’s Republican Gov Phil Bryant expressed disappointment after Friday’s ruling.

“As governor, I’ve pledged to do all I can to protect life,” Bryant said. “Time and time again the Legislature and I have done just that.”

Lawmakers in several states have recently passed or advanced restrictive abortion measures in light of a conservative-majority Supreme Court Abortion opponents are hoping to mount legal challenges to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

ALABAMA DEM ATTACKS TRUMP JR. WITH SLUR AFTER ABORTION COMMENTS SPARK OUTCRY

Alabama recently passed a law its own law that makes it a felony to perform an abortion at any stage of a pregnancy. Other states – Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio — have approved their own abortion measures. Missouri recently approved a bill to ban abortion at eight weeks.

All the bans are expected to face legal challenges. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the Alabama measure.

A federal judge in March issued a preliminary injunction on the Kentucky ban.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Under Mississippi’s abortion ban, doctors who perform the procedure could have their medical licenses revoked.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News National


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