Trump celebrates new citizens in Oval Office ceremony

WASHINGTON — On a day focused on a compromise for a border wall, President Donald Trump used music and pageantry to welcome “the five newest members of our great American family” during a naturalization ceremony in the Oval Office.

In a ceremony Saturday that began to the strains of a violin and ended with a booming national anthem, Trump celebrated the five new Americans from Iraq, Britain, South Korea, Jamaica and Bolivia.

“Each of you worked hard for this moment. You followed the rules, upheld our laws,” the president said, stressing that they had arrived in the country legally.

North Carolina university, group argue over race in admissions

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina’s flagship public university is defending its use of race in admitting students and wants a lawsuit filed against it by a group representing past and potential applicants and parents to be dismissed.

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill filed written arguments in federal court on Friday, as did lawyers for the organization called Students for Fair Admissions that sued in 2014.

The plaintiffs contend the university’s practices are unconstitutional and fail to comply with U.S. Supreme Court guidance from a University of Texas case, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.

“UNC’s use of race is the opposite of individualized; UNC uses race mechanically to ensure the admission of the vast majority of underrepresented minorities,” the group’s legal brief says.

Chancellor Carol Folt and Provost Bob Blouin, in a campus-wide message Friday, said the school’s admissions policies and practices comply with the letter and spirit of the law.

Students in ‘MAGA’ hats mock Native American after rally

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A diocese in Kentucky apologized Saturday after videos emerged showing students from a Catholic boys’ high school mocking Native Americans outside the Lincoln Memorial after a rally in Washington.

The Indigenous Peoples March in Washington on Friday coincided with the March for Life, which drew thousands of pro-life demonstrators, including a group from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills.

Videos circulating online show a youth staring at and standing extremely close to Nathan Phillips, a 64-year-old Native American man singing and playing a drum.

Other students, some wearing Covington clothing and many wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and sweatshirts, surrounded them, chanting, laughing and jeering.

In a joint statement, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School apologized to Phillips. Officials said they are investigating and will take “appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.”

Documents: Girl raped by 4 boys after cellphone taken

BEAR, Del. — Court records contend a Delaware girl was raped last month by several boys after she was lured from a school bus stop by one of her attackers after he took her cellphone.

New Castle County Police announced Friday the arrests of a 12-year-old, two 13-year-olds and a 14-year-old, all of whom face charges of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and conspiracy.

The News Journal of Wilmington, citing court documents, reported the girl got off the bus in Bear and was heading home when one of the 13-year-olds took her phone and ran inside his house. The newspaper said the girl was forced inside the house and taken to the garage. Documents said she resisted and said “no” more than 15 times.

New Jersey priest arrested after sex abuse hotline call

TRENTON, N.J. — Authorities say the arrest of a New Jersey priest on sexual assault charges dating back almost three decades came just two days after a call to the state’s clergy abuse hotline.

NJ.com reported that the state attorney general’s office said the Rev. Thomas Ganley, parochial vicar at St. Philip and St. James Catholic Church in Phillipsburg, was arrested Wednesday on aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault charges. He is 63.

Prosecutors said Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in Woodbridge when the alleged assaults took place between 1990 and 1994. They say the victim was between the ages of 14 and 17.

Officials say it’s the first sexual assault case brought by the state’s clergy abuse task force, which was established in September.

U.S. spy satellite launched into orbit from California

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — A powerful Delta 4 Heavy rocket carrying a U.S. spy satellite lifted off Saturday from California.

The rocket propelled the National Reconnaissance Office satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 11:10 a.m. Pacific time, arcing over the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles as it headed toward space.

As is customary with classified payloads, United Launch Alliance webcast the liftoff only until the aerodynamic fairing covering the payload was discarded.

Details of the mission, dubbed NROL-71, were not released.

The Associated Press

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