WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has proposed making it tougher for asylum-seekers to obtain permission to work in the United States while their cases are pending, a move that immigrant advocates say would unfairly punish those who need humanitarian protection the most.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Wednesday a proposed rule would double the time asylum-seekers must wait for a work permit to a year and bar those who crossed a border illegally from applying for work permits at all.

The new rule aims to discourage immigrants who don’t qualify for asylum from seeking it to “restore integrity to the asylum system and lessen the incentive to file an asylum application for the primary purpose of obtaining work authorization,” Ken Cuccinelli, the agency’s acting director, said in a statement.

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A Texas man faces murder charges in the death of his 17-year-old daughter, whose body was found in the Rio Grande River by a fisherman.

Police say Carissa Ingraham’s body was found Sunday near the three-way intersection of Mexico, Texas and New Mexico. Charges were filed Wednesday against the girl’s father, Ghari Ingraham.

Drownings are not uncommon in this stretch of the Rio Grande, where migrants crossing the border are sometimes swept away by the fast currents in the river and a parallel canal.

HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas judge has been suspended after being indicted in October on federal fraud charges for allegedly spending campaign money on personal expenses.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct removed Judge Alexandra Smoots-Thomas from the bench Tuesday pending the resolution of her criminal case. She’s suspended without pay.

Prosecutors claim the Harris County district judge misused nearly $25,000 in campaign funds between January 2016 and March 2017. Her seven-count indictment says the 44-year-old spent the money on a home mortgage, private school tuition, jewelry and travel.


DENVER (AP) — A Muslim civil rights group is protesting after a Colorado arena security guard told a woman to remove her hijab before she could enter to see her 8-year-old daughter sing the national anthem with her school choir at a Denver Nuggets basketball game.

Gazella Bensreiti (ben-SRAY-tee) said Wednesday that the guard told her to “take that thing off of my head” at the Pepsi Center box office on Nov. 5.

Bensreiti said she explained the scarf was for religious purposes. She said the guard replied that she didn’t care.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Navajo tribal energy company officials say they’re confident they can secure necessary bonding for recently purchased coal mines in Wyoming and Montana.

The Navajo Nation president announced Tuesday the tribe would not financially back the bonds for the Navajo Transitional Energy Co., saying they would be risky.

NTEC Governmental and External Affairs Director Steve Grey said Wednesday he’s confident the company can still get the roughly $400 million in bonds.

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — The parent company of Walmart has sued dozens of counties in Colorado in a bid to reduce its tax bills.

The Durango Herald reports that county assessors are tasked with taking inventory of businesses’ assets and determining the items’ value.

Authorities say Walmart Stores Inc. filed the lawsuit against 32 of the state’s 64 counties saying the valuations don’t reflect the stores’ equipment which wears out faster because of overnight hours of operation.


KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine is playing a starring role in the historic U.S. impeachment hearings — and Ukrainians themselves wish the whole thing would just go away.

The lively, if troubled, young democracy seems destined to be tangled up in other people’s problems. With four EU countries on one side and Russia on the other, this Texas-sized nation has been trapped in a tug-of-war between the Kremlin and the U.S.-led West ever since the 1991 Soviet collapse set it free.

As Wednesday’s impeachment hearing in Washington made clear, President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had consequences for Ukraine’s unequal, fraught relationship with Russia, too.

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — What a difference a year makes.

In the months before last year’s presidential election in Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro described China as predatory and thumbed his nose at the Chinese government by visiting Taiwan, Beijing’s archrival.

Now, as a more pragmatic president, Bolsonaro welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to an international summit that begins Wednesday in Brasilia, the capital.

The first item on the agenda for Bolsonaro, a far-right leader who has sometimes tried to hang the communist label on his political rivals in Brazil, is a bilateral meeting with Xi.

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Renewed clashes rocked Bolivia’s capital on Wednesday as the country’s self-declared interim president, a second-tier lawmaker thrust into the post because of a power vacuum, faced challenges to her leadership claim from supporters of ousted Evo Morales.

A day after Jeanine Añez claimed the presidency, violent clashes broke out between rock-throwing Morales’ supporters and police in riot gear, who fired volleys of tear gas to disperse the large crowd of protesters as fighter jets flew low overhead in a show of force.

Opposition was also building in Congress, where lawmakers loyal to Morales were mounting a challenge to Añez’s legitimacy by trying to hold new sessions that would undermine her claim to the presidency. The sessions — dismissed as invalid by Añez’s faction — added to the political uncertainty following the ouster of Morales, the nation’s first indigenous leader, after nearly 14 years in power.

PARIS (AP) — The founder of world-renowned circus Cirque du Soleil has been detained in French Polynesia in a drug-trafficking investigation.

A French police official told The Associated Press that Guy Laliberte is expected to appear before a judge Wednesday in the territory’s capital of Papeete, on the island of Tahiti.

His detention also was confirmed by Lune Rouge, a Montreal-based company headed by Laliberte. It said Laliberte is being questioned about cannabis grown for personal use on his private island of Nukutepipi.