Richard Gonzales

The Department of Homeland Security released new data late Wednesday showing that illegal southern border crossings diminished in the opening weeks of the new Trump administration.

The new figures indicate "an unprecedented decline in traffic" in the month of February, according to a statement issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a letter to Congress, said his remarks about not having contact with Russian officials during last year's presidential campaign were "correct," even though he's had to acknowledge that he twice met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Remember those pictures of parched lawns and bone-dry unplanted fields when it seemed that Californians could only pray for rain and snow?

Now thanks to one of the wettest winters on record, scientists say that the snowpack along the Sierra Nevada mountain range is a whopping 185 percent of average. And that's important because the runoff from the Sierra snowpack provides one-third of all of California's water.

A federal magistrate judge in California ruled Wednesday that Noor Salman, the widow of Omar Mateen, can be released on a $500,000 bond pending her trial on charges that she helped her husband plan the deadly mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub in June 2016.

A Minnesota police officer accused of fatally shooting Philando Castile in a St. Paul suburb last July pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter and two other charges.

St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez entered his plea in a brief hearing in Ramsey County district court.

The Department of Homeland Security issued new guidelines this week that call for hiring 15,000 additional Border Patrol agents and immigration officers. It also wants to greatly expand the number of unauthorized immigrants who are prioritized for deportation.

Updated Feb. 17, 2017, 8:00 p.m. ET with comment from ICE

Federal immigration agents last week detained a woman in the U.S. illegally just after she received a protective order against an allegedly abusive boyfriend, in an El Paso County courthouse.

El Paso County Attorney Joanne Bernal said the ICE arrest inside a courthouse was "unprecedented and stunning."

"To my knowledge, and others I have spoken to, no one has a recollection of immigration officials acting like this in a courthouse," Bernal told NPR.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Federal immigration authorities launched a new wave of raids and other actions in several states over the past five days aimed at sweeping up people who are in this country illegally.

The majority of people in this country illegally reside in just 20 metropolitan areas, with the largest concentrations found in New York, Los Angeles and Houston, according to a new study published by the Pew Research Center.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court has unanimously rejected a Trump administration request to allow its travel ban to take effect.

The three-judge appeals panel declined to overturn a lower court's order suspending the president's ban against entry into the United States by refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations.

Days after retail giant Nordstrom announced that it will no longer sell Ivanka Trump's clothing label, the president struck back, accusing the Seattle-based department store chain of treating his daughter "so unfairly."

The blast came in a tweet posted on his personal account.

Trump wrote, "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"

Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET on Feb. 7

A newly released report by Amnesty International alleges a widespread and systematic attack by Syria's government against its civilian population, including murder, torture, enforced disappearances and extermination carried out at a military prison called Saydnaya.

The report's executive summary opens with this grim description:

In a surprise announcement, the Boy Scouts of America said that it will begin accepting transgender boys who want to join its scouting programs.

The Scouts' policy change came in a written and video statement released by Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. He said that for more than a hundred years the Scouts used the information on an individual's birth certificate to determine a boy's eligibility to join its single gender programs.

Canadian authorities say a 27-year-old man was solely responsible for the armed attack on a Quebec City mosque on Sunday.

The man, who has been identified as Alexandre Bissonnette, faces 11 charges: six counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder. In a brief appearance in court he did not enter a plea.

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