Published: 10:04 pm, Sun. Jan. 20th, 2019Updated: 9:04 pm
Trump’s shutdown solution hangs in limbo
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s proposal to break through the budget deadlock appeared to be gaining little traction Monday, as another missed paycheck loomed for hundreds of thousands of workers and the partial federal shutdown stretched into its fifth week.
Despite the fanfare of the president’s announcement and the rush to release the legislative package late Monday, voting in Congress was not expected to unfold until later in the week. Even then it seemed doubtful that the 1,300-page “End The Shutdown And Secure The Border Act” released by Senate Republicans had any chance of passing swiftly. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority but would need Democrats to reach the usual 60-vote threshold for bills to advance. Not a single Democrat publicly expressed support for the deal in the 48 hours since Trump announced it.
Details released late Monday highlight the centerpiece of Trump’s offer: $5.7 billion to build the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border alongside temporary protection from deportation for some immigrants. The package would re-open the shuttered parts of government and boost some spending. To try to draw more bipartisan support, it adds $12.7 billion in supplemental funding for regions hit by hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer’s office reiterated earlier Monday that Democrats are unwilling to negotiate any border security funding until Trump re-opens the government.
“Nothing has changed with the latest Republican offer,” said Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman. “President Trump and Senate Republicans are still saying: ‘Support my plan or the government stays shut.’ That isn’t a compromise or a negotiation — it’s simply more hostage taking.”
MLK holiday offers stage for Democratic hopefuls
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — As Americans commemorated Martin Luther King Jr., Democratic presidential hopefuls fanned out across the country to honor the civil rights leader and make themselves heard on the national stage.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., used the holiday to launch a presidential campaign that, if successful, would make her the first woman and the second black candidate to become president. Former Vice President Joe Biden accepted responsibility for his part in the passage of 1980s legislation that toughened sentences for crack cocaine possession, “a big mistake” because of its damage to the black community.
In a fiery speech in Harlem, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand lashed out at President Donald Trump for inspiring “hate and darkness.” South Carolina, a critical early-voting state in the Democratic primary, hosted two senators expected to seek the White House in 2020: Cory Booker of New Jersey and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg assailed gun violence in remarks at a Washington breakfast celebrating King’s life. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren denounced what she called the systematic suppression of black voters.
While the Democratic field for 2020 is only beginning to take shape, the year that would have marked King’s 90th birthday gives the party’s prominent members a valuable opportunity to address race and draw a contrast between their own views and those of Trump, whose approach to questions of racial justice has sparked criticism from multiple minority groups since he took office.
Trump lawyer walks back comments about Moscow project
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Monday walked back comments he made about discussions Trump had with his former personal attorney about a real estate project in Moscow during the presidential election campaign.
Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 by saying he had abandoned the Trump Tower project in January 2016 even though prosecutors say he actually pursued it into June.
Giuliani suggested in a TV interview Sunday that Trump remembers conversations with Cohen about the project “up to as far as October, November,” or right up until the election. That extends the timeline for the Russian business deal well beyond what the president has publicly acknowledged.
Giuliani said Monday in a three-sentence statement that his comments “did not represent the actual timing or circumstances of any discussions.” He said his comments were “hypothetical” and “not based on conversations” he had with the president.
He concluded by saying the Moscow project “was in the earliest stage and did not advance beyond a free non-binding letter of intent.”
Man linked to 4 killings suspected of being in US illegally
RENO, Nevada (AP) — Authorities investigating four recent Nevada killings say murder charges are pending against a man suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.
Wilbur Martinez-Guzman, 20, was arrested Saturday in Carson City and is being held on possession of stolen property, burglary and immigration charges.
Authorities say they expect to file murder charges against him in the coming days in the shooting deaths of an elderly Reno couple and two women who lived near the town of Gardnerville.
Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said at a Sunday news conference that federal immigration authorities told his office Martinez-Guzman had lived in Carson City for about a year and was in the country illegally.
Furlong said Monday he didn’t know where Martinez-Guzman is originally from, and a message left with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was not immediately returned. President Donald Trump mentioned the killings Monday in a tweet calling for his long-promised border wall.
Frigid air, high winds sweep the Northeast; at least 7 dead
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Falling temperatures replaced the weekend’s falling snow Monday as bitter cold and gusty winds swept across the eastern United States.
The National Weather Service had forecast that temperatures would be more than 20 degrees below normal across the Northeast, with wind gusts up to 30 mph (48 kph) and wind chills approaching minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 degrees Celsius) in northern New York and Vermont.
Those wind gusts caused flight disruptions at LaGuardia Airport in New York City on Monday and FlightAware reported hundreds of delayed flights. And after a few weather-related delays Sunday, Amtrak restored all scheduled service Monday.
Atop the Northeast’s highest mountain, the temperature fell to minus 23 degrees (minus 31 Celsius) Monday morning and dropped to minus 31 (minus 35 Celsius) later in the afternoon, according to the Facebook page for Mount Washington Observatory, in New Hampshire. Wind chills were hovering around minus 80 (minus 62 Celsius).
In New York, Coast Guard crews moved quickly to rescue a 21-year-old man left stranded on an island in the Navensink River after his small boat broke down. The Coast Guard said two members waded through 34-degree (1 Celsius) water to bring the man to safety. The air temperature was 7 degrees (minus 14 Celsius) with 30 mph wind.
3 groups; many videos; many interpretations of DC encounter
A group of five black men shouting vulgar insults while protesting centuries of oppression. Dozens of white Catholic high school students visiting Washington for a rally to end abortion. And Native Americans marching to end injustice for indigenous peoples across the globe who have seen their lands overrun by outside settlers.
The three groups met for just a few minutes Friday at the base of the Lincoln Memorial, an encounter captured in videos that went viral over the weekend — and again cast a spotlight on a polarized nation that doesn’t appear to agree on anything.
At first the focus was on a short video showing one of the high school students, Nick Sandmann, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and appearing to smirk while a crowd of other teens laughed derisively behind him as a 64-year-old Native American, Nathan Phillips, played a traditional chant on a drum.
Pull back further and a different view emerged, however, in a separate video showing members of a group calling itself the Black Hebrew Israelites taunting everyone on the mall that day, calling the Native Americans who had gathered there for the Indigenous Peoples March “Uncle Tomahawks” and “$5 Indians” and the high school students “crackers” and worse.
It was an ugly encounter of spewed epithets but one that nevertheless ended with no punches thrown or other violence.
Venezuela quells soldiers’ revolt, top court blasts congress
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela plunged deeper into turmoil Monday as security forces put down a pre-dawn uprising by national guardsmen that triggered violent street protests, and the Supreme Court moved to undercut the opposition-controlled congress’ defiant new leadership.
Socialist party chief Diosdado Cabello said 27 guardsmen were arrested and more could be detained as the investigation unfolds.
The mutiny struck at a time when opposition leaders have regained momentum in their efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro. They have called for a nationwide demonstration Wednesday, urging Venezuelans — especially members of the armed forces — to abandon Maduro.
The uprising triggered protests in a poor neighborhood just a few miles (kilometers) from Venezuela’s presidential palace. It was dispersed with tear gas as residents set fire to a barricade of trash and chanted demands that Maduro leave power.
The military said in a statement said that it had recovered all the weapons and captured those involved in what it described as “treasonous” acts motivated by “obscure interests tied to the far right.”
Kamala Harris opens presidential bid
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kamala Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President Donald Trump’s nominees, entered the Democratic presidential race on Monday. Harris would be the first woman to hold the presidency and the second African-American.
Harris, 54, who grew up in Oakland, California, is one of the earliest high-profile Democrats to join what is expected to be a crowded field. She made her long anticipated announcement on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“I am running for president of the United States,” she said. “And I’m very excited about it.”
She portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign as she announced her bid. “They’re the values we as Americans cherish, and they’re all on the line now,” Harris says in the video . “The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values.”
On ABC, she cited her years as a prosecutor in asserting: “My entire career has been focused on keeping people safe. It is probably one of the things that motivates me more than anything else.”
5 burning questions ahead of Tuesday’s Oscar nominations
NEW YORK (AP) — The Oscars still don’t have a host, but on Tuesday morning, they’ll at least have nominees.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will unveil nominations to the 91st Oscars on Tuesday morning at 8:20 a.m. EST from the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills, California. The nominations, to be announced by Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross, will be livestreamed globally at Oscars.com , Oscars.org and on the academy’s digital platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
The lead-up to Tuesday’s nominations has been rocky for both the film academy and some of the movies in contention. Shortly after being announced as host, Kevin Hart was forced to withdraw over years-old homophobic tweets that the comedian eventually apologized for. That has left the Oscars, one month before its Feb. 24th ceremony, without an emcee, and likely to stay that way.
Hollywood’s awards season has been an especially combustible one, too. Some contenders, like Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” and the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” have suffered waves upon waves of backlash, even as their awards tallies have mounted. On Saturday, “Green Book” won the top award from the Producers Guild, an honor that has been a reliable Oscar barometer. In the 10 years since the Oscars expanded its best-picture ballot, the PGA winner has gone on to win best picture eight times.
The season’s steadiest contender — Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” — looked potentially unbeatable until it got beat. Despite an enviable string of awards and more than $400 million in worldwide box office, Cooper’s lauded remake was almost totally ignored at the Golden Globes, winning just best song and losing best picture, drama, to the popular but critically derided “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a movie that jettisoned its director (Bryan Singer) mid-production.
Hurdles cleared, Patriots head to 3rd straight Super Bowl
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady smiled his way through the week leading up to Sunday’s AFC championship game, mostly brushing aside questions about being an underdog for one of the few times during the Patriots’ unprecedented run of titles.
But when Rex Burkhead crossed the goal line for a 2-yard touchdown to give New England a 37-31 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Brady let joy alter his usual coy demeanor.
He ripped off his helmet and leapt wildly in the air as his teammates rushed the field around him. The Patriots were heading back to another Super Bowl.
It will mark their third straight appearance for the Patriots and ninth overall for Brady, who again will be chasing a record sixth ring.
A victory over the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams would also put an emphatic stamp on what may have been the Patriots’ toughest road to a Super Bowl since Brady and Bill Belichick earned their first ring together in 2001.