By Robert A. Vella

As President Trump prepares to play footsie in Vietnam with his little dictator soulmate from North Korea, The Secular Jurist kicks-off the last week of February with some news stories readers should be aware of.

Trump rebuked on National Emergency

From:  More than 50 ex-national security officials tell Trump his national emergency is not justified

WASHINGTON — Fifty-eight former U.S. national security officials told the Trump administration in a letter on Monday that they are aware of “no emergency that remotely justifies” diverting funds to build a border wall.


“In the face of a nonexistent threat, redirecting funds for the construction of a wall along the southern border will undermine national security by needlessly pulling resources from Department of Defense programs that are responsible for keeping our troops and our country safe and running effectively,” said the former officials.

The national emergency and other unilateral actions to block immigrants coming from the south could also strain diplomatic ties in the Western Hemisphere at a time when the U.S. should be addressing concerns in the region, such as political turmoil in Venezuela, the authors say.

Giant iceberg to break off

From:  Iceberg Twice The Size Of New York City To Break Off Antarctica, Says NASA

An iceberg twice the size of New York City is about to break off Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf and into the Atlantic Ocean, according to scientists at NASA.

The organization shared two images of the ice shelf, comparing a satellite view from Jan. 23 to an image taken on Jan. 30, 1986. In the latest image, a long crack can clearly be seen winding its way to the south from the north and spanning most of the shelf. The image also shows cracks snaking in two directions across the Brunt Ice Shelf. NASA’s scientists are also watching “to see if the loss will trigger the shelf to further change and possibly become unstable or break up.”

Two judicial rulings

Supreme Court vacates appeals court gender-neutral pay ruling written by a deceased judge

Men-only military draft is unconstitutional, federal judge rules

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