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Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

President Trump said he's looking to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to the thousands of Venezuelans who have fled to the U.S. as a result of the violent unrest in their home country, reports AP.

The big picture: A core component of Trump's presidency has been his tough stance on immigration from Latin American countries. However, he is taking a different approach to Venezuelans seeking to migrate to the U.S. — likely because his administration opposes Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

  • Trump was one of the first international leaders to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president, rather than Maduro.
  • Venezuela is currently suffering from extreme inflation, food and medical shortages.
  • 4 million Venezuelans have fled in recent years, and a large number don't have passports, per AP.

Details: TPS allows people from other countries to legally stay in the U.S. if their home nations are ravaged by a natural disaster or war, and they're allowed to stay until things improve.

  • The Trump administration is trying to end TPS protections for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Nepal, Honduras and Sudan, reports Vox. The decision is currently being challenged in court.

Go deeper: Inside Trump's Venezuela pivot

Go deeper

12 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

Cuomo: "I am not going to resign"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized Wednesday for acting in a way that made women feel "uncomfortable," but insisted that he has "never touched anyone inappropriately" and said he will not resign.

Driving the news: Cuomo reiterated in his first public appearance since sexual harassment allegations surfaced that he will fully cooperate with a team of independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, but suggested that demands for his resignation from were simply "politics."