HOMELAND SECURITY
Senate panel approves Nielsen to lead DHS

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday voted 11 to 4 in favor of President Trump's pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen.

Democratic Sens. Kamala D. Harris (Calif), Thomas R. Carper (Del.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.) and Gary Peters (Mich.) voted against Nielsen, a former DHS official who is the deputy White House chief of staff.

Nielsen, 45, a cybersecurity expert, served as chief of staff to John Kelly when he was DHS secretary from January to July. She is expected to face a full confirmation vote in the Senate in the coming weeks.

— Nick Miroff

IMMIGRATION
Trump taps acting ICE head to maintain post

President Trump is nominating the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to serve in the post permanently.

The White House said Thomas Homan's nomination will be sent to the Senate on Tuesday. The Senate must approve the nomination by a majority vote.

Homan is an outspoken proponent of Trump's immigration policies, making several appearances in the White House press briefing room to highlight the administration's efforts to deport people in the United States illegally and to prevent unauthorized border crossings.

Homan previously ran ICE's enforcement and removal operations division. He has served with the department for three decades.

— Associated Press

LOUISIANA
Judge overturns 1971 rape conviction

A Louisiana man who has spent nearly 50 years in prison is expected to be released Wednesday, about two weeks after a judge overturned his conviction in the kidnapping and rape of a nurse.

State District Court Judge Richard Anderson set a $2,000 bail for Wilbert Jones. The judge had said authorities withheld evidence that could have exonerated Jones decades ago.

Jones, 65, was 19 when police arrested him on suspicion of abducting a nurse at gunpoint from a Baton Rouge hospital's parking lot and raping her behind a building on the night of Oct. 2, 1971. Jones was convicted of aggravated rape at a 1974 retrial and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The state's case against Jones "rested entirely" on the nurse's testimony and her "questionable identification" of Jones as her assailant, the judge has said. The nurse, who died in 2008, picked Jones out of a police lineup more than three months after the rape. But she told police the man who raped her was taller and had a "much rougher" voice than Jones had.

— Associated Press