1 big thing: The refugees who reach Trump's America
If you're a non-Christian refugee seeking entry to the U.S. in 2018... good luck.
Driving the news: The Trump administration has again cut the number of refugees allowed (from 45,000 to 30,000) and the overwhelming majority of the small group admitted this past year are Christians, Axios' Stef Kight reports.
The big picture: Islam is the predominant religion in nations such as Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia, which account for 39% of the 25 million refugees in the world, according to UN data. Most Christian refugees came from Iraq, Iran and Myanmar (formerly Burma), where many faced brutal persecution.
Between the lines: The Trump administration has vowed to protect persecuted Christians around the world.
- Vice President Mike Pence even pressured the U.S. Agency for International Development to specifically allocate millions of dollars for groups that help persecuted communities in Iraq.
- But Christian refugees have faced increased rejection due to President Trump's lowering of the refugee cap.
- The number of Christian refugees admitted to the U.S. dropped by more than 40% over the last year. One group of Iranian Christians who have been stranded in Austria have sued the administration as religious minorities.
The bottom line: The U.S. is on track to accept fewer than half its cap for the 2018 fiscal year.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo points to the skyrocketing number of asylum claims that the administration is also dealing with, which he said has created a backlog that deserves focus.
Bonus: Pic du jour
Park rangers try to release the crocodile named Gustave Junior, which was caught in a snare three weeks ago in Rusizi National Park in Burundi.
2. What you missed
- Tesla faces criminal investigation for Elon Musk's "funding secured" tweet. Go deeper... Tesla statement
- Hurricane Florence's rains have finally left the Carolinas, but the risks there are growing with rising rivers. The storm has killed 32 so far. Go deeper.
- President Trump said he's "totally supporting" Brett Kavanaugh, adding that he doesn't believe the FBI should be involved in investigating the allegation of sexual assault. Go deeper.
- Wilbur Ross claimed Americans won't notice tariff-driven price increases because they'll be "spread over thousands and thousands of products." Go deeper.
- Anita Hill has a few "ground rules" for the upcoming Kavanaugh hearing: "In 2018, our senators must get it right," Hill writes in an op-ed published in The New York Times.
- Bonus: Axios' Dan Primack interviewed Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy about the legal marijuana market on today's Pro Rata podcast. Listen.