Vanessa Romo

Nothing says, "I've been to Kuwait!" like a missile launcher keepsake.

At least that seems to be the explanation one Texas man provided officials at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport after they discovered the device in his checked luggage.

He thought this might be his big chance. He would get spotted by a coach, offered a soccer scholarship and instantly be college-bound. Instead, Francisco Erwin Galicia, a U.S. citizen, was picked up by Border Patrol officers, processed into detention and held for 26 days.

"It nearly broke him," Galicia's lawyer, Claudia Galan told NPR. "He said the conditions were horrible, inhumane. And he was about to sign a deportation order ... even though he was born here."

Updated 8:05 p.m. ET

Hours after a federal judge on the East Coast refused to block a Trump administration rule requiring most asylum-seekers to ask for protection in another country before they try to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, a judge on the West Coast put a stop to the new policy.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction against the controversial rule unveiled by the White House and applied on a "pilot" basis last week.

The Trump administration announced on Monday it is expanding fast-track deportation regulations to include the removal of undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the U.S. continuously for two years or more.

A former National Security Agency contractor who pleaded guilty to stealing vast troves of classified material over the course of two decades has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Harold Martin III, 54, apologized before U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett handed down the sentence on Friday.

"My methods were wrong, illegal and highly questionable," Martin told the court in Baltimore, according to The Associated Press.

Updated July 19 at 12:25 p.m. ET

Mark Morgan, acting head of Customs and Border Protection, said on Thursday that his agency is rolling out the Trump administration's new asylum rule as a small "pilot" for now but that officials expect it to be blocked in court.

One of the rarest birds in New Zealand is having its best breeding season in decades, potentially doubling the population.

The orange-fronted parakeet, known locally as the kākāriki karaka, is in the midst of a prolonged mating season after a beech seed bonanza, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said in a statement on Wednesday.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

Prosecutors have dropped a criminal case against Kevin Spacey in which the actor was accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man in Nantucket, Mass., in 2016.

Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe said in court documents filed Wednesday that he was abandoning the case "due to the unavailability of the complaining witness."

As far as drug-smuggling plans go, this one probably should have been gone over with a fine-toothed comb.

A Colombian man trying to sneak more than a pound of cocaine into Spain was caught with the package (poorly) hidden under his toupee, a Spanish police official told NPR.

The extra carry-on bag was taped to the top of 65-year-old man's head, creating a very bizarre lewk as he disembarked from a flight arriving in Barcelona from Bogota.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

Planned Parenthood's President Leana Wen was removed from the position on Tuesday after less than a year on the job.

Wen, who said she and the board had been in negotiations about her management style, wrote on Twitter that she was ousted during a "secret meeting."

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