Tribune News Service

News Budget for Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Updated at 8 p.m. EDT (0000 UTC).






Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^Jeffrey Epstein's estate sued by alleged victim in New York<

EPSTEIN-VICTIM-LAWSUIT-1ST-LEDE:BLO — Jeffrey Epstein's estate was sued by a woman who says he raped her when she was a teenager, the first case against his estate under a New York law taking effect Wednesday that gives victims of sexual abuse a year to file lawsuits over older claims.

The case was filed in state court in Manhattan by Jennifer Araoz, who says Epstein targeted her when she was a New York City high school student. The same law is behind dozens of suits that were also filed against the Archdiocese of New York in the same court Wednesday morning.

550 by Chris Dolmetsch in New York. MOVED


^No deal yet in latest Afghanistan talks, but Trump planning big cuts in US presence<

USAFGHAN:LA — Another round of talks aimed at resolving nearly two decades of fighting in Afghanistan has ended without a deal, but the Trump administration is moving ahead regardless with plans to substantially cut the number of U.S. troops and diplomats in the conflicted country.

An overly hasty downsizing of U.S. military, diplomatic and aid personnel could risk sacrificing some of the progress made in human rights and development, some experts warn — especially if no meaningful peace treaty is in place. At the same time, U.S. patience for America's longest conflict is at an end.

1000 by Tracy Wilkinson in Washington. MOVED


^Iowa Rep. Steve King says 'rape' and 'incest' may have saved humanity from extinction<

CONGRESS-KING:NY — Iowa Rep. Steve King, who recently lost his House committee assignments amid bipartisan outrage over comments about white supremacy, was back at it Wednesday, telling a group of conservatives that "rape" and "incest" may have saved humanity from extinction.

400 by Chris Sommerfeldt. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED


^Multiple Philadelphia police officers wounded, 2 trapped, in shootout<

PHILLY-SHOOTOUT-2ND-LEDE:PH — Six police officers were shot in a confrontation with at least one gunman Wednesday afternoon in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said two officers remain trapped inside the house in the 3700 block of North 15th Street where the shootout first erupted at 4:30 p.m. local time.

A suspect inside the house was livestreaming on Facebook, police said, as officers worked into the evening, trying to get the gunman to surrender.

850 by Robert Moran in Philadelphia. MOVED


^US appeals court appears likely to rule for Trump on ending protections for many immigrants<

TRUMP-IMMIGRANTS-COURT:LA — A federal appeals court on Wednesday appeared likely to allow the Trump administration to end humanitarian protections for immigrants from Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

During a hearing, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals expressed skepticism of an injunction handed down last year by a San Francisco-based federal judge preventing the administration from lifting the protections.

About 300,000 immigrants from those four countries have been allowed to live and work in the United States because of unsafe conditions in their homelands. Most have lived in the U.S. for decades, and many have children who are U.S. citizens.

750 by Maura Dolan in San Francisco. MOVED


^A$AP Rocky escapes prison time after being found guilty in Swedish street brawl<

^ASAP-ROCKY:NY—<A$AP Rocky was found guilty of assault in a Stockholm street brawl, but he won't have to serve any more time behind bars.

The Harlem-born rapper was convicted by a Swedish judge for his role in the street fight in a case that has attracted the attention of President Donald Trump and New York lawmakers.

The hip-hop artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was only hit with a fine of about $1,300 and won't have to return to prison.

300 by Dave Goldiner. MOVED



^Trump names new nominee to oldest federal judicial vacancy<

^TRUMP-NC-JUDGE:CON—<President Donald Trump named a new nominee Wednesday for a spot on the federal bench in North Carolina that has remained vacant for more than 13 years and has been one of the most contentious in Senate judicial confirmation fights.

Richard E. Myers II, a Jamaica native and a professor at the University of North Carolina law school who focuses on criminal law, will be the next pick for the Eastern District of North Carolina, the White House announced. The seat is the only vacancy in that district, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

450 by Todd Ruger in Washington. MOVED


^Matt Gaetz says Florida Bar finds 'no probable cause' he violated rules with Cohen tweet<

COHEN-GAETZ:CON — Rep. Matt Gaetz announced Wednesday that the Florida Bar had found "no probable cause" that he violated the rules of his profession over a tweet that appeared to intimidate President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

"They are taking no disciplinary action against me & are sending a letter of advice," the Florida Republican tweeted.

300 by Chris Cioffi in Washington. MOVED


^Large employers question 'Medicare for all' plans, survey shows<

HEALTHCARE-EMPLOYERS-SURVEY:CON — Most large employers say a "Medicare for all" system would lower the number of uninsured people in the United States, but they are concerned it could increase health care costs and taxes while stifling innovation and quality, a new survey shows.

The concerns come as health industry groups seek to block momentum for plans from Democratic presidential candidates and lawmakers to expand Medicare through a single-payer program or to allow people under age 65 to enroll in the program.

700 by Mary Ellen McIntire in Washington. MOVED



^Kamala Harris: Donald Trump's Baltimore attacks 'disrespectful,' show lack of presidential responsibility<

HARRIS-TRUMP-BALTIMORE:BZ — Sen. Kamala Harris said in an Associated Press interview published Tuesday that Donald Trump's attacks on Baltimore and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings were "disrespectful," telling the news organization that the Republican "does not understand the significance of the words of the president of the United States."

The Democratic senator from California and 2020 presidential hopeful was asked about her decision to set up her campaign headquarters in Baltimore and the president's comments on Twitter calling the city a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."

500 by Phil Davis in Baltimore. MOVED


^Hickenlooper still fundraising, despite reports he may drop presidential bid<

HICKENLOOPER:CON — Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sent out a fundraising email for his presidential campaign on Tuesday despite reports that he is weighing an end to his bid for the White House in order to run for a GOP-held Senate seat.

Before the Wing Ding dinner at the Iowa State Fair last Friday, Hickenlooper jumped into the passenger seat of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet's car to talk about his political future, The New York Times reported.

800 (with trims) by Griffin Connolly in Washington. MOVED



^Washington state lawsuit targets new Trump administration penalties for immigrants using public benefits<

WASH-TRUMP-IMMIGRATION:SE — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is helping to lead a lawsuit of 13 states contesting the federal government's new rule making it harder for legal immigrants to get green cards if they've used an array of public benefits, including Medicaid, subsidized housing and food stamps.

250 by Nina Shapiro in Seattle. MOVED


^Statue of Liberty poem was only supposed to welcome white immigrants 'from Europe,' Cuccinelli says<

CUCCINELLI-STATUEOFLIBERTY:NY — The hardline White House official who slammed the famed poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty now claims the verse was only supposed to welcome white immigrants.

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting Immigration and Citizenship Services boss, told CNN that the "give me your poor, your tired" no longer makes sense in today's world where many immigrants and refugees are non-white people from developing nations.

"Of course that poem was referring back to people coming from Europe," Cuccinelli told Erin Burnett Tuesday.

300 by Dave Goldiner in New York. MOVED


^Epstein traveled to Cuba at Castro's invitation, ex-Colombian president says<

EPSTEIN-CUBA:MI — Millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sexually abusing minors and died of an apparent suicide last week in a federal lockup in Manhattan, traveled to Cuba at Fidel Castro's invitation, according to former Colombian President Andres Pastrana, who said Wednesday he accompanied Epstein on the trip.

750 by Nora Gamez Torres and Ben Wieder in Miami. MOVED


^California to ban pesticide Trump's EPA rescued from elimination<

CALIF-PESTICIDE:LA — California regulators on Wednesday took formal legal steps to ban a widely used pesticide that had been rescued from elimination by the Trump administration despite links to developmental disorders.

The move by the state Environmental Protection Agency is all but certain to draw legal challenges from Corteva Agriscience (formerly Dow AgroSciences), which has pushed back at attempts by environmentalists to ban the chemical, chlorpyrifos, on a federal level.

600 by Geoffrey Mohan in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Rifle used in deadly Riverside shooting was untraceable 'ghost gun,' sources say<

^CALIF-CHP-OFFICERSHOT-1ST-LEDE:LA—<The semiautomatic rifle used by a convicted felon in a gunbattle with police off the 215 Freeway in Riverside on Monday, killing California Highway Patrol Officer Andre Moye and wounding two of his colleagues, was a "ghost gun" that cannot be traced by authorities, according to law enforcement sources.

Investigators have publicly described the gun used in the gunbattle only as a rifle, but a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told the Los Angeles Times that Aaron Luther used an "AR-15-style rifle." The sources spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the case candidly.

700 by Richard Winton and Mark Puente in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Homestead detention center for immigrant children expected to reopen as soon as October<

FLA-IMMIGRATION-CHILDREN:MI — The Homestead detention center for unaccompanied immigrant children is expected to begin accepting kids again as early as October or November, federal government sources say, even though it officially shut down less than two weeks ago.

Sources close to the operation told The Miami Herald the federal government is anticipating an influx of children at the border some time in October.

900 (with trims) by Monique O. Madan in Miami. MOVED


^El Paso will grieve, celebrate lives of 22 people killed in race-driven massacre<

ELPASO-SHOOTING-MEMORIAL:DA — Eleven days after a terrorist attack shattered this city, thousands of grieving residents will hold a community memorial service Wednesday evening to pay tribute to the 22 victims massacred by an alleged white supremacist.

Many of those attending say they'll be looking for healing and solidarity.

800 by Alfredo Corchado in El Paso, Texas.

Moving later

^Texas Gov. Greg Abbott names task force to combat domestic terrorism<

TEXASGOV:DA — In the wake of El Paso's mass shooting by a gunman alarmed about a "Hispanic invasion of Texas," Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday made white nationalism a priority for state police and named a group to combat domestic terror.

The Domestic Terrorism Task Force, which will have its first meeting Aug. 30, will meet quarterly and provide advice in hopes Texas can "root out the extremist ideologies that fuel hatred and violence in our state," Abbott said in a written statement.

400 by Robert T. Garrett in Austin, Texas. MOVED


^Man shot to death by Fort Worth police had been a police officer, Marine<

^FORTWORTH-POLICE-SHOOTING:FT—<An armed man killed by a Fort Worth police officer during a domestic disturbance call was a former Tarrant County law enforcement officer who had more than 3,600 hours of training including courses on active shooters and deescalation techniques.

John Michael George, 46, had retired from the U.S. Marine Corps, according to his Facebook posts and public records.

George, whose wife filed for divorce in July, was shot and killed Sunday when he displayed a handgun and failed to obey the commands of Fort Worth police officers, police said.

600 by Domingo Ramirez Jr. in Fort Worth, Texas. MOVED


^Promise program — slammed after Parkland shooting — should be scrapped, commission says<

PARKLAND-PROGRAM-1ST-LEDE:FL — Broward County schools' controversial Promise program should be shut down or merged with other programs that keep kids out of jail, a state commission recommended Wednesday.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which is investigating the mass shooting last year in Parkland, voted to ask the Legislature to change state law so that all programs allowing students to avoid being arrested would fall under the state attorney's office.

1000 (with trims) by Scott Travis and Larry Barszewski in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^Whereabouts of Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell remain a mystery<

EPSTEIN-MAXWELL:NY — Where in the world is Ghislaine Maxwell?

The Jeffrey Epstein confidante accused in lawsuits of trafficking underage sex slaves for the millionaire pedophile hasn't been seen in public for years — and a tech CEO shot down a report Wednesday that she's holed up at his Massachusetts mansion.

350 by Nancy Dillon in New York. MOVED


^Petition seeks to change part of Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower to Barack H. Obama Avenue<

TRUMPTOWER-STREET:NY — President Donald Trump could end up living on Barack H. Obama Avenue after he leaves office.

A MoveOn petition to rename the stretch of Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower to Barack H. Obama Avenue had gathered more than 140,000 signatures by Wednesday afternoon.

400 by Brian Niemietz in New York. MOVED


^Ghost Ship jury could be on 'eve of a decision,' defense attorney predicts<

CALIF-OAKLAND-FIRE:CC — It's been eight days of jury deliberations in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire trial, and although no sign of a verdict yet, a defense attorney speculated Wednesday that the jury could make a decision soon.

The jury of nine women and three men spent the day listening to testimony being read back to them from three witnesses: defendant Derick Almena; Nico Bouchard, who co-signed the warehouse lease; and Ryan O'Keefe, who was present the night of the fire.

550 by Angela Ruggiero in Oakland, Calif. MOVED


^Fan dies during taco-eating contest at Fresno Grizzlies baseball game<

EATINGCONTEST-DEATH:LA — A man participating in a taco-eating contest at a minor league baseball game in Fresno died Tuesday night after officials say he began choking on his food.

250 by Hannah Fry in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Licensed gun owner shoots and kills 14-year-old boy during attempted car theft; 5 teens charged with murder<

^ILL-TEEN-SHOT:TB—<A 75-year-old licensed concealed-carry gun owner shot and killed a 14-year-old Chicago boy when a group of teens appeared at his Lake County, Ill., home early Tuesday morning, with the group then taking off in a high-speed chase that ended in Chicago when the stolen car they were driving ran out of gas, Lake County authorities said Tuesday.

By Tuesday night, the group of Chicago teens had been charged with first-degree murder by the Lake County state's attorney's office.

Illinois law allows for authorities to charge suspects with murder if someone dies during the commission of another serious crime. Known as the felony murder rule, the statute has proved controversial, particularly when it is used to charge juveniles.

1200 (with trims) by Alice Yin, Dan Moran, Annie Sweeney and Jason Meisner. MOVED


^Congressmen influenced Trump into backing off commuting Blagojevich's sentence<

^TRUMP-BLAGOJEVICH:BL—<U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., confirmed he spoke with President Donald Trump and his acting chief of staff just before the president backed off of his consideration of commuting former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich' prison sentence.

Trump had brought up the idea while speaking to reporters on Air Force One while returning from a trip to El Paso, Texas last week.

300 by Joseph Bustos. MOVED


^Suspected killer of Utah student also facing child pornography charges<

UTAH-MISSINGSTUDENT:LA — A man accused of killing a 23-year-old University of Utah student is facing additional charges this week after authorities say they found pornographic images of children on his computer.

Salt Lake City police seized 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi's computer as they searched his home on June 26 in connection with the disappearance of Mackenzie Lueck but didn't begin analyzing its contents until early last month, Detective Nathan Wiley wrote in charging documents.

400 by Hannah Fry in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner pushes back on critics of his 'war criminals' joke<

PHILLY-PROSECUTOR-JOKE:PH — He never said "Nazis."

That is the essence of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner's defense, presented to the Anti-Defamation League in Philadelphia, for sharing a joke his staffers tell, referring to some former city prosecutors who left or were fired when he took office as "war criminals."

800 by Chris Brennan in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Johns Hopkins researchers caused harm, death of dogs, animal rights group says in federal complaint<

CMP-JOHNSHOPKINS-ANIMALS:BZ — An animal rights group has filed a complaint against Johns Hopkins University for what it describes as botched surgeries on nine dogs that led to their paralysis and euthanasia.

This is the second complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture against Hopkins this year by Stop Animal Exploitation Now, though the Ohio-based group has filed complaints in recent years against multiple research labs that still use hundreds of thousands of animals in scientific experiments to test medical treatments and conduct other research.

650 by Meredith Cohn in Baltimore. MOVED


^Ridgecrest earthquakes caused up to $5 billion in damage to China Lake naval base<

SOUTHERNCALIF-EARTHQUAKES-BASE:LA — Two months after twin earthquakes rocked the small California towns of Ridgecrest and Trona, details are emerging about the damage done to the nearby China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, the Navy's largest base for developing and testing weapons of warfare.

The base was so badly damaged that officials are suggesting several buildings be demolished and replaced. The cost of returning the facilities to normal could top $5 billion, according to Navy documents.

400 by Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in Los Angeles. MOVED


^2 quakes in 2 days, no warning from ShakeAlertLA. Now the app is getting reworked<

LA-EARTHQUAKES-APP:LA — A new version of Los Angeles' earthquake early warning app will now alert users of weaker shaking, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday.

The change comes after many Angelenos were upset they didn't receive notice before shaking arrived in L.A. from two powerful quakes 125 miles north of Los Angeles on July 4 and 5.

750 (with trims) by Rong-Gong Lin II in Los Angeles. MOVED


^'Brilliant' loophole? Lexington school met 'In God We Trust' mandate by framing a dollar<

EDU-GODWETRUST-LOOPHOLE:LX. — When Brittany Pike saw the back of a dollar bill framed at Lexington's Athens Chilesburg Elementary School last week, she couldn't have been more pleased.

Pike took a photo and posted it on Facebook Wednesday along with a message about Fayette County Public Schools' response to Kentucky's new law that requires the national "In God We Trust" motto to be displayed prominently at schools.

400 by Valarie Honeycutt Spears in Lexington, Ky. MOVED



^With opioid abuse surging, expert panel recommends drug screening for all US adults<

^MED-DRUGABUSE:LA—<It's time for doctors to start asking every patient, every time: Have you engaged in any illicit drug use?

That's the new advice from a panel of public health experts who examined whether a primary care physician's time is well spent — and whether patients' interests are served — by routine screening for drug abuse.

1150 (with trims) by Melissa Healy. MOVED


^Everything you need to know about toxic algae blooms<

^ENV-ALGAEBLOOMS:LA—<Green pond scum floating on a lake is not just unsightly. As animal lovers have learned the hard way, it can be deadly.

In recent days, three pet dogs in North Carolina and another in Georgia died after swimming in water contaminated with toxic organisms.

Warm temperatures and an influx of nutrients from agricultural runoff or other sources can prompt toxic algae and bacteria to grow out of control. The result is a phenomenon called a toxic algae bloom.

1100 by Stephanie De Marco. MOVED




NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.



^Remain in Mexico: Migrants face uphill climb to get out of program<

IMMIGRATION-MEXICO-PROGRAM:SD — Vulnerable migrants facing persecution in Mexico are having a difficult time getting out of the Remain in Mexico program because the federal government is limiting their access to attorneys and preventing them from preparing for asylum interviews, according to immigration lawyers and human rights workers.

Under Remain in Mexico, asylum-seekers must live in Mexico while waiting for immigration court hearings. People afraid of persecution in Mexico can be removed from the program and wait in the United States if they pass what is known as a "fear of return" interview.

However, immigration lawyers claim that the U.S. government is making it difficult for migrants to pass that interview.

1250 by Gustavo Solis in San Diego. MOVED


^'Nightmare scenario': 15 years since Florida was beaten, bruised by 4 hurricanes in 6 weeks<

WEA-FLA-2004-HURRICANES:OS — Its name was Hurricane Charley and it was only the beginning of what would be remembered 15 years later as the worst hurricane season Floridians had ever endured.

"The 2004 season is probably my No. 1 or my No. 2 top, bizarre weather phenomenon," said WOFL meteorologist Jayme King. "Before then, meteorologists never thought something like that was probable. We got Andrew in the '90s, and that was thought to be this 'once in a century' kind of storm. Then in 2004, Florida gets hit by four strong hurricanes back-to-back. If you go down to Polk County or some of the other hard hit areas — Port Charlotte — now, there are still bruises that have never recovered."

1150 (with trims) by Joe Mario Pedersen in Orlando, Fla. MOVED




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