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 Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Munich, Germany, earlier this month
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Munich, Germany, earlier this month (AFP / Getty Images)

The top human rights official for the United Nations chose unusually tough language Monday to criticize what he sees as a sharp erosion in civil liberties in Poland and Hungary.

"Xenophobes and racists in Europe are casting off any sense of embarrassment,” said the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Hussein, singling out Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

While Hungary and Poland have drawn criticism for antidemocratic actions for some time, two recent statements from their leaders seemed to have provoked Hussein to speak out. Orban, in a speech on Feb. 6, said his country did not want its “color” to be diluted by immigrants. Morawiecki, commenting on a controversial Polish law that criminalizes some language about the Holocaust, spoke of Jewish “perpetrators” along with Nazis — “a disgraceful calumny,” Hussein said.

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(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

President Trump said on Monday that he will take action to limit the sale of so-called “bump stocks” rather than wait to see if Congress does so.

Congress should act, he said, but he added, “I don’t care if Congress does it. I’m writing it out myself, OK?”

Trump’s comments about the devices that can turn legal semi-automatic long guns into virtual machine guns came in remarks to a group of governors gathered at the White House. He had said that their top priority would be to discuss school security in the wake of the deadly school shootings in Parkland, Fla.

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(Graphics by Los Angeles Times)

Until the recent downturn, the soaring U.S. stock market had been one of President Trump’s favorite topics.

He’s tweeted more than 60 times since his election about new highs and frequently touted the gains in public comments.

“The stock market is smashing one record after another, and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election,” he boasted last month to corporate and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland.

President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at a meeting during the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, in 2017.
President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at a meeting during the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, in 2017. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto won’t be meeting any time soon, an administration official said Saturday, after the two disagreed sharply over Trump’s continued talk about Mexico paying for a border wall.

“The two leaders agreed now was not the immediate right time for a visit, but that they would have their teams continue to talk and work together,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak by name about the decision.

As first reported by the Washington Post, the two leaders had a testy telephone conversation on Tuesday in which Peña Nieto pushed for a commitment that if he traveled to Washington, Trump would not publicly repeat his call for Mexico to pay for the wall.

Michelle Obama's memoir, one of the most highly anticipated books in recent years, is coming out Nov. 13.

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A protest in Los Angeles on President's Day calls for gun control.
A protest in Los Angeles on President's Day calls for gun control. (Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

The National Rifle Assn. is rejecting President Trump’s call for a federal ban on rifle sales to those under 21, but a spokesperson sought to play down the disagreement.

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, interviewed Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” said the gun lobby does not believe the age for purchases should be raised from 18.

“You do not want to raise the age?” interviewer George Stephanopoulos asked. “That’s correct,” Loesch replied.

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

In a rare interview, President Trump called into Fox News on Saturday night to rail against Democrats, repeat his suggestion that teachers should be armed to prevent school shootings and to compliment his interviewer on her ratings. 

"I did look at your ratings over the last couple of weeks, and you're doing fantastically,” the president told Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News host, as their friendly interview drew to a close.

Trump spent more time blasting his political opponents, accusing Democrats of trying to protect the violent gang MS-13 and abandoning a program that had protected some immigrants from deportation. (In fact, Trump last year announced he was phasing out the program, known as  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, leaving the next steps up to the Republican-controlled Congress.)

The House Intelligence Committee on Saturday released a Democratic memo countering a harsh Republican critique of the FBI and Justice Department, escalating the partisan battle over government surveillance of a former Trump campaign advisor that began three weeks before the 2016 election.

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The White House is on lockdown Friday after a passenger vehicle struck a security barrier.

(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.”