The organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston extended an unconditional invitation to LGBT veterans group OutVets, marking a reversal of its original decision to exclude the group. On Tuesday, the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which organizes the South Boston parade, voted 9 to 4 to exclude OutVets from its 2017 parade. The organization cited OutVets’s late application and its violation of the council’s code of conduct, which says the parade organizers “will not allow the advertisement or display of one’s sexual orientation as a topic that should in any way be depicted as a theme of our parade.” OutVets was permitted to march in the previous two years. The council’s decision was met with condemnation by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who said in a statement Wednesday that Boston is “a fully inclusive city,” adding: “I will not be marching in the parade unless this is resolved. Anyone who values what our city stands for should do the same.” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Senator Edward Markey said they too would boycott the parade unless the decision was reversed, and parade-sponsor Anheuser-Busch threatened to rescind its support. OutVets told the Boston Globe that they received the invitation and “are actively reviewing it.”
—The Department of Justice is sending 50 immigration judges to detention facilities across the country to help speed up deportation proceedings. More here
—The organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston extended an unconditional invitation to LGBT veterans group OutVets, marking a reversal of its original decision to exclude the group. More here
—We’re tracking the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).
Boston Parade Organizers Reverse Ban on LGBT Veterans Group
White House Spokesman May Have Violated a Decades-Old Rule With His Jobs Report Tweet
The U.S. in February added 235,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate remained a steady 4.7 percent, but what has attracted more attention than the Labor Department's monthly report is the way the White House handled it. About 30 minutes after the data was released White House spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted that it was good news for President Donald Trump, and "not a bad way to start day 50 of this Administration." Soon after that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tweeted that "@POTUS Trump delivers in first #JobsReport.” The tweets were controversial not for content, but because they violate a decades-old federal guidance that bars officials from commenting on economic data within in an hour of being released. The rule is called the Statistical Policy Directive Number 3, implemented in 1985 during the Reagan administration, and it’s meant to “preserve the distinction between the policy-neutral release of data by statistical agencies and their interpretation by policy officials.” Critics have pointed out that it’s not a major violation, but that it’s a troubling sign that top Trump officials would break a rule that has been followed by past presidential administrations from both parties.
Not the biggest issue, but failure to follow a simple black-and-white rule does not speak well of respect for rule of law more generally.— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) March 10, 2017
DOJ Adds 50 Immigration Judges in Detention Centers to Speed Up Deportations
The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly sending 50 immigration judges to detention facilities across the country to help speed up deportation proceedings, according to Reuters. The addition will help President Donald Trump follow through with a campaign promise to increase deportations, and an executive order he signed in January that orders detention centers to hold migrants until they appear before a judge. Until the new order, migrants were processed by immigration authorities then released and allowed to live in the U.S. while a they awaited their hearings, which, because of a backlog of more than half a million cases, are sometimes set years into the future. The judges will determine if migrants should be deported, or if they should be granted protections like asylum and are allowed to remain in the country.
German Police Arrest a Man in Connection With the Düsseldorf Axe Attack
German authorities arrested a man described as having mental health problems in connection with an axe attack that injured seven people at a train station in Düsseldorf. Police believe the man acted alone, and was not part of a larger terrorist plot. The suspect was described by police as a 36-year-old from the former Yugoslavia who seemed to have “psychological problems.” The attack occurred Thursday at about 9 p.m. local time, and authorities say the man entered the train station and attacked several passengers waiting on the train platform, then ran into the main lobby and attacked several other people, then ran away and jumped off a bridge to escape police. Three of the victims suffered serious injuries. Authorities found the suspect still holding a weapon.