What to Know
- Negotiators clashed over whether to limit the number of migrants officials can detain, creating a new hurdle for border security compromise
- Women returned at the Grammy Awards as female acts won album of the year and best new artist, while rap also triumphed
- Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance to help open the Grammy Awards with host Alicia Keys
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Shutdown Deadline Looms as Wall Negotiations Hit a Snag
As the White House refused to rule out the possibility that the federal government may shut down again, negotiators clashed over whether to limit the number of migrants authorities can detain, creating a new hurdle for a border security compromise Congress can accept. With a deadline approaching, the two sides remained separated over how much to spend on President Trump's promised border wall. But rising to the fore was a related dispute over curbing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, the federal agency that Republicans see as an emblem of tough immigration policies and Democrats accuse of often going too far. The fight over ICE detentions goes to the core of each party's view on immigration. Republicans favor rigid enforcement of immigration laws and have little interest in easing them if Democrats refuse to fund the Mexican border wall. Democrats despise the proposed wall and, in return for border security funds, want to curb what they see as unnecessarily harsh enforcement by ICE. People involved in the talks say Democrats have proposed limiting the number of immigrants here illegally who are caught inside the U.S. — not at the border — that the agency can detain. Republicans say they don't want that cap to apply to immigrants caught committing crimes, but Democrats do.
California Governor to Draw Down Guard Troops at Border
California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to withdraw several hundred National Guard troops from the state's southern border with Mexico in defiance of the Trump administration's request for support from border states. About 100 of the 360 troops will remain deployed under California's agreement with the federal government to focus specifically on combating transnational crime such as drug and gun smuggling, Newsom spokesman Nathan Click said. Specifically, they will be tasked with providing intelligence on transnational crime and assist with cargo dock operations and searches of commercial trucks for contraband. Newsom's move comes on the heels of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, also a Democrat, pulling back her state's troops from the U.S.-Mexico border. The two states' former governors agreed to send troops to the border last April at the Trump administration's request along with Texas and Arizona. Newsom's and Grisham's actions are a fresh, if symbolic, affront to President Donald Trump's description of an immigration crisis on the nation's southern border.
Possible Impeachment Could Further Upend Virginia Politics
Virginia lawmakers will reluctantly face the unprecedented prospect of impeaching the state's second most powerful leader as they struggle to address revelations of past racist behavior and allegations of sexual assault roiling its highest levels of office. At least one lawmaker said he will try to pursue impeachment of Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax after two women accused Fairfax of sexual assault in the 2000s, a move that experts believe would be a first in Virginia. Fairfax has vehemently denied the claims and called for authorities, including the FBI, to investigate. There's little sign of broad appetite for impeachment, with lawmakers set to finish this year's session by the month's end. But the Legislature is swirling with questions about lines of succession and the political fallout for Democrats should the governor, lieutenant governor or attorney general leave office, willingly or not. Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, are embroiled in their own scandal after acknowledging they wore blackface in the 1980s. Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said Sunday that he considered resigning but that he's "not going anywhere" because the state "needs someone that can heal" it.
Cardi B, Lady Gaga, Childish Gambino Among Big Grammy Winners
Women returned at the Grammys as female acts won album of the year and best new artist, while rap also triumphed, with Childish Gambino's "This Is America" becoming the first rap-based song to win record and song of the year. Kacey Musgraves' "Golden Hour" picked up album of the year, and Dua Lipa won best new artist. Gambino was the night's big winner, picking up four honors, including best music video and best rap/sung performance. Drake surprised the music world when he emerged on stage to accept the best rap song trophy but told the room of musicians that winning awards isn't necessary if you have real fans attending your concerts and singing your songs. Drake, who rarely attends awards shows, won the honor for his massive hit "God's Plan." He tried to continue speaking but was cut off as the ceremony suddenly went to a commercial. Rap has endured a longtime losing streak at the Grammys. The last time a rapper won album of the year was in 2004, with Outkast. Only a handful of rappers have won best new artist.
Michelle Obama Gets Raucous Applause at Grammy Awards
Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance to help open the Grammy Awards with host Alicia Keys. The former first lady appeared onstage with Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith and Keys to say how music has impacted their lives. Obama's initial comments were interrupted by raucous applause and many in the Staples Center crowd stood. She smiled and eventually re-started her comments. "From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the Who Run the World songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story, and I know that's true for everybody here," Obama said. "Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves, our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters — every story within every voice, every note within every song, is that right ladies?" Obama added.