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The 10-Point: My Guide to the Day's Top News

The Wall Street Journal
Good morning,
Full-Court Press
An appeals court pressed a Justice Department lawyer Tuesday on whether President Trump’s executive order on immigration is discriminatory, while also pushing an attorney for the two states fighting the order to explain how it could be unconstitutional to bar entry of people from terror-prone countries. August Flentje, the Justice Department lawyer arguing on behalf of the administration, urged a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to remove a lower-court injunction on the order, arguing that the court shouldn’t second-guess the president’s judgment when it comes to a question of national security. The oral arguments on whether to reinstate some, all, or none of Mr. Trump’s executive order on immigration represented a crucial test in the fast-moving legal battle over White House efforts to restrict entry into the U.S. The court said it would likely issue a ruling later this week.

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Tie Breaker
The Senate narrowly confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary Tuesday, after Vice President Mike Pence cast a historic tiebreaking vote to rescue one of the Trump administration’s most-polarizing cabinet picks. The Senate approved Mrs. DeVos in a 51-50 vote, with only Republicans voting yes. All 46 Democrats, the chamber’s two independents and two Republicans—Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—opposed her after a rocky confirmation hearing. The vote marked the first time a vice president broke a tie to confirm a cabinet secretary. Mrs. DeVos, a 59-year-old billionaire from Michigan, has spent decades as a leader and funder of the “school choice” movement, which advocates charters and privately run schools as alternatives to low-performing traditional public schools. The Senate has approved just a handful of Mr. Trump’s cabinet picks in what has been the slowest pace of confirmations in decades.
Taxing Moves
Republicans see a once-in-a-generation opportunity to overhaul the U.S. tax code. Just weeks into Mr. Trump’s presidency, they are getting a taste of why such attempts are always confounding—every action creates an equal and opposite reaction. A linchpin of the House Republicans’ tax plan, an approach called “border adjustment,” has split Republicans and fractured the business world into competing coalitions before a bill has even been drafted. A border-adjusted tax would impose a levy on imports, including components used in manufacturing, and exempt exports altogether. Opposing it are retailers, car dealers, toy manufacturers, some pro-Republican businesses such as Koch Industries, oil refiners and others that say it would drive up import costs and force them to raise prices. Auto makers could be hit especially hard: About 20% of GM’s highly profitable light trucks are built in Mexican factories.
Childhood Heroes
For any parent frustrated trying to control small children zooming around in superhero capes, researchers have a novel strategy: Get Superman on your side. Children encouraged to don a cape and pretend to be a patient, strong-willed superhero such as Superman or Batman may be able to persevere at boring tasks and wait longer for rewards. These pivotal skills are linked in research to better SAT scores, grades and social skills in adolescence. We report that parents can use similar strategies to channel children’s superhero play toward imitating their idols’ best traits. Pretend play can reduce anxiety and stress, helping children regulate their emotions. It also activates the brain’s reward system, transforming an onerous task into something pleasurable.
TODAY'S VIDEO
Smart Car
That Was Painless
When it comes to maps, music and voice control, smartphones beat most in-car systems. Our Personal Technology columnist Joanna Stern reviews the best mounts and apps to help you roll with your Android phone or iPhone.
TOP STORIES
U.S.

For Chinese Home Buyers, Seattle Is the New Vancouver

Democrats to Grill Judge Neil Gorsuch on Disputed Pro Bono Work
WORLD

Iran’s Supreme Leader Denounces Trump

Suicide Bomber Strikes Outside Afghan Supreme Court
BUSINESS

Walt Disney Pressured by Sagging ESPN Performance

Ford Tries to Regain Momentum in Oversize SUVs
MARKETS

Big Investors Cut Back on Commercial Property as Bull Market Loses Steam

Emerging Markets Shake Off Trump Slump to Be Year’s Big Winners, So Far
NUMBER OF THE DAY
$502.25 billion
The U.S. trade deficit in 2016, the largest in four years and a gap Mr. Trump has said he wants to narrow to bolster the U.S. economy.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Whomever worked in charity or used to distribute bread or was in any organization is wanted. It’s like a fishing expedition and in the end they were fishing us out.
Ghadeer, a former Aleppo resident who did humanitarian work in the rebel-held side of the city, on what critics say is part of a long-running pattern of abuse by the Syrian government. As the regime regains territory from weakened rebels six years into the Syrian war, opposition activists and residents say it is using mass detentions and other security-state tactics to snuff out dissent.
TODAY'S QUESTION
Going back to our story above, what are your thoughts on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary? Send your comments, which we may edit before publication, to 10point@wsj.com. Please include your name and location.
—Compiled by Margaret Rawson
READER RESPONSE
Responding to yesterday’s question on U.S. technology executives speaking out against Mr. Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees, Paul Jeruchimowitz of New York said: “Corporate executives may be the only checks and balances Mr. Trump respects, so bravo to the executives who have spoken up. Much of the Republican agenda depends on corporate money and solutions to social problems vs. relying on big government, so let’s not shame them when they voice a concern regarding the political agenda.” Jacqueline Tillman Harty of Maryland commented: “The executives are being short-sighted. Security, including theirs, is the first responsibility of a U.S. president. And Mr. Trump is so well-disposed to them and their industry, they should try to be wise and patient, and give him a little time and space to address a serious issue that benefits them, and their fellow citizens, in the long term.” And Jeff Templeton of Pennsylvania wrote: “Technology executives need to make a stronger commitment to working with U. S. universities and high schools to educate American youth for these jobs. In some cases middle-aged individuals should be targeted for retraining. Why after many years is the tech sector’s answer still that we need immigrants for these well-paying jobs?”

This daily briefing is named "The 10-Point" after the nickname conferred by the editors of The Wall Street Journal on the lead column of the legendary "What's News" digest of top stories. Technically, "10-point" referred to the size of the typeface. The type is smaller now but the name lives on.

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