Happening Today: SCOTUS, Sally Yates, Jeff Sessions, Boy Scouts

What to Know

  • Following a chaotic weekend of protests over his immigration policies, President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's pick for attorney general, is on the cusp of Senate confirmation despite the objections of Democrats
  • The Boy Scouts of America announced that it will allow transgender children to enroll in its boys-only programs

Get the top headlines of the day in your morning briefing from NBC 4 New York, Monday through Friday. Sign up for our newsletter here.

Trump Fires Acting AG

In an extraordinary public showdown, President Donald Trump fired the acting attorney general of the United States after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his refugee and immigration ban and refused to defend it in court. The clash Monday night between Trump and Sally Yates, a career prosecutor and Democratic appointee, laid bare the growing discord and dissent surrounding an executive order that halted the entire U.S. refugee program and banned all entries from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days.

Trump Nominees Near Confirmation

Sally Yates' refusal to defend the executive order was largely symbolic given that Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's pick for attorney general, will almost certainly defend the policy once he's sworn in. Republicans are muscling more of Trump's Cabinet nominees, including Sessions, to the cusp of Senate confirmation over Democratic objections, with committees poised to advance his picks to head agencies in the thick of partisan battles over health care, legal protections, education and the economy. Meanwhile, Trump's nomination of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state cleared a Senate hurdle Monday, setting the stage for an extended debate over the president's order banning travel from specific Muslim-majority countries. 

Trump to Announce SCOTUS Pick

When Trump nominates a Supreme Court justice, Senate Democrats and Republicans will immediately face intense political pressure, with liberals demanding that Democrats block the choice and the new president urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to blow up longstanding rules to secure confirmation. Federal appeals court judges William Pryor, Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman are front-runners to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, according to a person familiar with the process. Trump tweeted Monday that he would announce his nominee at 8 p.m. ET the next day.

Scouts to Allow Transgender Kids

The Boy Scouts of America says it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys-only programs. The organization announced Monday that it had made the decision to base enrollment in boys-only programs on the gender a child or parent lists on the application to become a scout. The group had previously held a policy that relied on the gender listed on a child's birth certificate. An 8-year-old New Jersey transgender boy who sued his local New Jersey Boy Scouts' Council after he was kicked out of his Cub Scout troop says he's thrilled with the announcement.

“Father of Pac-Man” Dies at 91

Masaya Nakamura, the "Father of Pac-Man" who founded the Japanese video game company behind the hit creature-gobbling game, has died. He was 91. Nakamura, who died on Jan. 22, founded Namco, part of Bandai Namco, in 1955. It started out as just two mechanical horse rides on a department store rooftop but went on to pioneer game arcades, including Pac-Man, which Guinness World Record has named it the world's most successful coin-operated arcade game.

Pounds of Cocaine in Plane Nose

Authorities say an American Airlines maintenance employee discovered 31 pounds of cocaine worth around $434,000 that was stashed in the nose of an aircraft in Tulsa. While working on the nose gear, an airline employee noticed what looked like a clump of insulation or a brick-like object and called the sheriff's office to inspect the suspicious find.

"Ligers," Pandas and Dogs, Oh My

A pair of adorable panda twin cubs made their first public appearance in China, a rare "liger" cub (cross between a lion and a tiger) was born in Russia, and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has allowed these three new dog breeds to compete. 

Trump Unveils Wheel of Decisions

President Trump (Jimmy Fallon) unveiled a huge wheel of decisions to respond to his critics. He hopes to explain the scientific process behind some of his most recent, controversial decisions. Watch the skit

Contact Us