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(Associated Press)

Apparently as reward for their support of the United States during a United Nations vote on Jerusalem, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley will visit Honduras and Guatemala next week, her office announced Friday.

The trip to two of the region’s most troubled countries follows a lopsided U.N. General Assembly vote in December to condemn President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy to the disputed city.

“We are grateful to these two countries for standing with us at the U.N. when many others did not,” a spokesman for the U.S. mission at the U.N. said Friday. “At the same time, we have many other shared interests to discuss, including narcotics, gangs, migration, and the crisis in Venezuela.”

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(Saul Loeb / AFP-Getty Images)

President Trump said his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, will decide if Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, keeps a security clearance that gives him access to highly classified government secrets.

“General Kelly will make that call,” Trump told reporters on Friday during a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “I won’t make that call.”

Kelly had set Friday as a deadline, after which White House aides still without a permanent security clearance would require a waiver to continue to see classified information and attend classified meetings. Losing clearance would likely greatly inhibit Kushner’s work, given his portfolio as a senior advisor on policy toward China, Mexico and the Middle East, among other topics.

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Richard W. Gates III, who helped lead President Trump’s campaign after making millions of dollars advising Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin government, is expected to plead guilty Friday, the latest former Trump aide to admit wrongdoing in the sprawling Russia investigation.

Students from Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hug survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting before heading to a rally.
Students from Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hug survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting before heading to a rally. (Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

President Trump said Friday that the Florida sheriff’s deputy who failed to intervene in last week’s school shooting may have been a “coward,” a strong rebuke from a president toward a local law officer.

“He trained his whole life,” Trump told reporters at the White House, referring to Scot Peterson, who resigned after Broward County authorities determined he’d stood outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for four minutes during the shooting that left 17 people dead.

“When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage or something happened,” Trump added. “But he certainly did a poor job. There’s no question about that.”

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  • North Korea
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

President Trump is announcing what he calls the “largest ever” sanctions against North Korea.

In a speech to conservative activists Friday morning, Trump will describe sanctions to target 56 vessels, shipping companies and trade businesses the administration thinks are helping North Korea evade existing sanctions, according to excerpts of the speech released ahead of time.

The administration is hoping the sanctions will halt North Korea’s nuclear program, a strategy that so far has failed to thwart the progress of supreme leader Kim Jong Un’s regime toward developing a nuclear-armed ballistic missile capable of hitting U.S. territory.

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Tourists ride the Staten Island Ferry to get a view of the Statue of Liberty in New York City.
Tourists ride the Staten Island Ferry to get a view of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. (Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

America is no longer a “nation of immigrants,” at least in the mission statement of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Director L. Francis Cissna announced the rewrite of the statement Thursday, scrapping the more immigration-friendly language that said the agency “secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers.”

The new version has a distinctly tougher tone, stressing the agency’s role as “protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.”

Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III filed a vastly expanded criminal indictment against President Trump’s former campaign manager and his partner on Thursday, more than doubling the number of charges they face. 

Paul W. Manafort Jr. and Richard J. Gates III were first charged with 12 counts on Oct. 30. Both pleaded not guilty, although Gates is expected to plead guilty and testify against Manafort. 

The new, superseding indictment includes 16 counts related to false individual income tax returns, seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. five counts of bank fraud conspiracy and four counts of bank fraud. 

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For days now, the airwaves and social media have been filled with the voices of young people, thick with righteousness and anger, vowing never again.

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President Trump, during a meeting on school safety on Wednesday.
President Trump, during a meeting on school safety on Wednesday. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

President Trump on Thursday lambasted California officials for how they are dealing with gangs and threatened to pull immigration and border agents out of the state to show just how bad things would be without federal help.

Federal agents are working to defeat gangs like MS-13, the president said, but the gang members “come in, they’re smart, they actually have franchises going to Los Angeles. No help from the state of California.”

He continued: “I mean, frankly, if I wanted to pull our people from California, you would have a crime mess like you've never seen in California.”