NEWS OF THE DAY
From Across the Nation
_1 Bergdahl plea: Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will appear in court next week to enter an expected guilty plea to charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009. The Army announced that Bergdahl will enter a plea Monday at Fort Bragg, N.C. Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Prosecutors aren’t saying whether they have agreed to limit Bergdahl’s punishment. The misbehavior charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, while the desertion charge is punishable by up to five years.
_2 U.S. census: The Trump administration acknowledged that billions more dollars are “urgently needed” to ensure a fair and accurate count of people living in the U.S. during the 2020 census. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told a House panel Thursday that new estimates show the 2020 census will cost $15.6 billion, about 27 percent more than earlier projections. Ross says some of the factors behind the higher cost estimates include increased concerns about privacy and security, tightening labor markets and overly optimistic projections from the Obama administration about the savings new technology would provide.
_3 ID lawsuit: Nine passengers on a domestic flight for which immigration authorities made everyone show identification before they could deplane are suing the government, alleging they were subjected to an unconstitutional search, an attorney for the group said. The passengers, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, asked a federal judge Thursday to bar the government from requiring people to produce ID before deboarding a domestic flight, without a warrant or individualized reason to do so. ACLU Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang said that even though passengers are required to show identification before being allowed into the area where flights are boarded, those on board the flight were “shocked” to be asked to do so before they could leave. The incident occurred in February on Delta Flight 1583 from San Francisco to New York. Authorities said they had been searching for an immigrant who had received a deportation order to leave the United States.
_4 For baby’s sake: An appeals court says a Pennsylvania judge was justified in denying parole to a pregnant addict to safeguard her unborn child from her drug abuse. A Superior Court panel on this week agreed Lehigh County Judge James Anthony was right to deny parole to Britnee Becker last year. The 28-year-old Catasaqua woman had argued the judge discriminated against her because she was pregnant by denying her parole after she finished her minimum jail sentence on a theft case probation violation last year. But the appeals court says the judge was right to consider Becker’s unborn child, especially since Becker acknowledged using heroin when she was five months pregnant. She was arrested for the violation in May 2016.