News You Should Read Today – January 20 – 2016

Supreme Court to review Obama's executive actionsSupreme Court to review Obama’s executive actions

The Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will hear the case over one of President Obama’s most contentious executive actions: his 2014 decision to shield up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation.

Blocked by the lower courts after Texas and 25 other Republican-led states sued to stop it, his program would allow illegal immigrants who are parents of American citizens or lawful residents to stay and work in the U.S. The Supreme Court ruling is expected by the end of June, just months ahead of the presidential election. If Obama were to win, he would likely have enough time to begin installing his proposed changes before leaving office. Reuters via The Week



Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump ( Palin endorses Donald Trump

Donald Trump picked up the endorsement of one of the biggest names in the Republican Party on Tuesday, as Sarah Palin announced she was backing the billionaire real estate developer in the GOP presidential race.

“Are you ready to make America great again?” Palin exhorted a crowd at an Iowa rally, invoking Trump’s campaign slogan. Palin cited Trump’s readiness to be commander in chief and blasted President Obama. “We are ready for a change,” Palin said. “We are ready, and our troops deserve the best.” She also slammed “establishment candidates,” without naming names, and praised Trump for “going rogue left and right.”

Trump said he was “honored” to pick up Palin’s backing. On Sunday, Trump said on Twitter that he’d be making a “big announcement” on Tuesday in Ames, Iowa. A Facebook post from Trump that same day indicated he would have “a very special guest in attendance.”

Ahead of the event, speculation focused on Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, as Trump’s “very special guest.” USA Today



Attack on Pakistan campusAttack on Pakistan campus

Militants raided a university in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, timing their attack to a ceremony at the school to ensure maximum casualties.

After security forces combed the campus block by block after the massacre, Mehmood Khan, provincial home minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said 19 civilians were killed, along with four terrorists. He expects the number of civilian deaths to increase. Earlier, an army spokesman said that 21 civilians had been killed.

The attack took place at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Peshawar, less than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from where the Pakistan Taliban slayed 145 people, including 132 children, in a school attack in December 2014. It’s unclear whether the group was responsible for the Wednesday incident. CNN



US, Seoul Increase Pressure on ChinaUS, Seoul increase pressure on China

The United States said China must join with the rest of the world in imposing strong sanctions against North Korea over its latest nuclear test, given its “special relationship” with the reclusive regime. US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the call Wednesday in Seoul during a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.

Pyongyang angered the international community when it announced it had tested its first-ever hydrogen bomb on January 6, despite being under United Nations sanctions over three previous tests. China is North Korea’s closest diplomatic and economic ally, but ties between the two have become strained over the North’s failure to end its nuclear ambitions. VOA News



Actress slams Oscars boycottActress slams Oscars boycott

Janet Hubert is the latest celebrity to speak out about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, but she is aiming her thoughts at two people in particular: Jada Pinkett and Will Smith.

The actress, who co-starred alongside Smith for years on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” as Aunt Viv, posted an online video on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in response to Pinkett Smith’s video announcing why she plans to boycott the 2016 Oscars.

For the second consecutive year, no black actors were nominated in any of the four acting categories — including Smith, who was snubbed for his lead role in “Concussion.” “The Academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose, to invite whomever they choose and now I think that it’s our responsibility, now, to make the change,” Pinkett Smith said in her video. “Maybe it is time that we pull back our resources and we put them back into our communities and our programs and we make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we see fit, that are just as good as the so-called ‘mainstream’ ones.”

Referring to Pinkett Smith as “Miss Thing,” Hubert opens her video by asking, “Does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak?” before launching into her thoughts on the controversy that has drawn so much attention (it even prompted the Academy to release a rare statement on Monday.) CNN

Nuclear deal helped release AmericansNuclear deal helped release Americans

A top White House official said the nuclear deal the U.S. reached with Iran has created a new diplomatic tone between both nations that helped in the release last week of 10 American sailors who were detained briefly in Iran as well as five other American citizens who had been held for years.

Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama, told an event organized by the Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service in Washington that the nuclear deal between the U.S. and five other Western nations and Iran made it easier for diplomats of both countries to communicate in a “much healthier, more functional way.”

Rhodes said the latest example of this new diplomatic era was in evidence last week when 10 U.S. sailors drifted in a vessel into Iranian waters due to engine problems. “I don’t know where that incident would’ve led four years ago,” he said. VOA News

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