Migrants board buses to take them to shelters, El Paso, April 28. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

Asylum officers are being told to be tougher and more skeptical when interviewing migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., the Washington Post's Nick Miroff reports.

Why it matters: According to the new guidelines, officers are expected to thoroughly question any discrepancies in asylum-seekers' stories of persecution and require that they provide detailed reasons before determining if an applicant has a reasonable fear of harm should they be returned to their home country. It is the latest of several attempts by the Trump administration to crack down on asylum-seekers and illegal border crossers.

  • The change comes after months of surging numbers of immigrants crossing the border. There was also an uptick in the share of migrants who went through credible fear interviews — the first step of the asylum process — last year.
  • One anonymous asylum officer told the Post that the changes were "huge" and that it would make the screening process significantly longer. Processing at the border is already bogged down, and detention spaces are overcrowded with the high numbers of migrant families and children.

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Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid

President Trump speaking during a press conference on Aug. 8. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday signed four executive actions to provide relief from economic damage sustained during the coronavirus pandemic after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: Because the Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate federal spending, Trump has limited authority to act unilaterally — and risks a legal challenge if congressional Democrats believe he has overstepped.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2. p.m. ET: 4,968,413 — Total deaths: 161,858 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective.
  4. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  5. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.
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What's next for Lebanon after the Beirut explosion

Photo: Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Beirut residents are still clearing rubble from streets that appear war-torn, days after a blast that shocked the country and horrified the world.

Why it matters: The explosion is likely to accelerate a painful cycle Lebanon was already living through — discontent, economic distress, and emigration.