Tribune News Service

International Budget for Thursday, May 16, 2019

Updated at 0000 UTC (8 p.m. U.S. EDT Wednesday).

Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.


^Trump bans Huawei in US markets, saying Chinese firm poses security threat<

TRUMP-TELECOM:LA — President Donald Trump issued a sweeping executive order Wednesday to block U.S. companies from using products made by Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. and other foreign communications firms seen as a threat to America, taking a long-anticipated action that he had postponed while Washington and Beijing were in intense trade negotiations.

650 by Don Lee in Washington. MOVED


^Citing threats, US builds case — and military force — for confronting Iran<

USIRAN:LA — The State Department ordered several hundred U.S. diplomatic personnel to leave Iraq on Wednesday, citing heightened threats from neighboring Iran amid a buildup of U.S. military forces in the volatile region and growing concerns of a potential conflict with Tehran.

The uptick in tensions came nearly two weeks after the White House warned of what it described as potential targeting of U.S. forces, allies and interests by Iranian security forces or their proxies. It provided no details and some military allies and senior members of Congress questioned the administration's assessments.

1050 (with trims) by Tracy Wilkinson in Washington and Nabih Bulos in Beirut. MOVED


^US officials say new North Korean missile appears aimed at evading US defenses<

USNKOREA-MISSILES-CORRECTION:LA — A newly tested North Korean short-range ballistic missile appears to be a copy of an advanced Russian design that could greatly improve Pyongyang's ability to evade U.S. missile defense systems, according to U.S. officials.

President Donald Trump, who has sought unsuccessfully for the last year to persuade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons, has dismissed the new missile as "very standard stuff." But military and national security officials see a potential threat to U.S. forces and allies in northeast Asia.

1050 (with trims) by David S. Cloud in Washington. MOVED



^Colombia justice in turmoil after court refuses to extradite former guerrilla<

COLOMBIA:MI — Colombia's attorney general abruptly resigned Wednesday after the country's Special Peace Tribunal refused to extradite a former commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to the United States on drug trafficking charges.

Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez told the court that he wouldn't sign off on the release of Seuxis Paucias Hernandez, better known as Jesus Santrich.

500 by Jim Wyss in Bogota, Colombia. MOVED


^Study finds Venezuela criminal enterprise is blunting effects of US sanctions<

^VENEZUELA-CRIME:MI—<Venezuela's foreign policy might have started out as an idealistic socialist project to revitalize Latin America, but it has morphed into an enormous criminal conglomerate that operates in multiple countries with dozens of partners and hundreds of phantom companies, according to a new study.

A report prepared by the National Defense University and Washington-based IBI Consultants, argues that Venezuela's Nicol s Maduro essentially leads a political-criminal enterprise that has siphoned billions of dollars from the Venezuelan economy.

950 (with trims) by Antonio Maria Delgado and Jim Wyss. MOVED


^Unaccompanied minors vulnerable, missing in Tijuana<

MEXICO-UNACCOMPANIED-MINORS:SD — Abandoned by her dad, Milagros is 15, about to give birth, alone in Tijuana, and fearing for her life.

She cares for her 13-year-old sister, Xiomara, as if she were her mother, fretting over the child's emotional state.

Municipal authorities in Tijuana estimate there are hundreds of unaccompanied minors like Milagros and Xiomara living without parents and under the radar in the violent border city, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation or human trafficking. U.S. and Mexico immigration data indicates the numbers are likely much higher.

1050 (with trims) Wendy Fry in Tijuana, Mexico. MOVED


^Baby boy abandoned at London airport 33 years ago tracks down birth parents<

^ABANDONED-BABY:NY—<More than three decades after Steven Hydes was abandoned in a London airport, he has finally tracked down his birth parents.

In 1986, Hydes was just a 10-day-old newborn wrapped in a shawl when he was discovered in a women's restroom. Nicknamed "Gatwick Gary" by airport personnel, the now-33-year-old Englishman has discovered his biological parents after a long and emotional journey.

250 by Storm Gifford. MOVED



^White House stiff-arms House Judiciary Committee on Russia investigation<

CONGRESS-TRUMP-PROBE:LA — The White House hardened its opposition to House Democrats' investigations Wednesday, telling lawmakers that they had no authority to examine how President Donald Trump has wielded his executive authority.

The stance stiffens Trump's already obdurate approach toward Capitol Hill, and it represents an expansive view of how presidents can stonewall congressional requests for documents or testimony from administration officials.

800 by Chris Megerian in Washington. MOVED


^Legal battle heats up as more states test strict abortion bans<

ABORTION:CON — Advocates are preparing for a legal battle after Alabama passed the strictest abortion bill in the country late Tuesday, part of a growing national push by abortion opponents to test whether the courts will curb constitutional protections for the procedure.

Alabama's move, which would essentially ban abortion in most cases, could open the door to restrictions in other states — even though they will all likely be challenged in court. Other states are already pursuing and defending laws to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

900 by Sandhya Raman in Washington. MOVED


^His dad admitted bribing his way into Georgetown; now student is suing to block expulsion<

CMP-ADMISSIONS-FRAUD-GEORGETOWN:LA — The son of a Los Angeles executive who admitted paying a $400,000 bribe to secure a spot at Georgetown for his child as a tennis recruit sued the university to prevent it from kicking him out and nullifying his college credits.

Ten hours after the lawsuit landed in the federal court system early Wednesday, Georgetown University informed Adam Semprevivo, a junior at the college and the son of Stephen Semprevivo, it was rescinding his offer of admission.

1000 by Richard Winton in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Trump to unveil Kushner's immigration overhaul plan on Thursday<

IMMIGRATION:BLO — President Donald Trump will unveil a new plan Thursday to overhaul the existing U.S. immigration system with a program developed by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, that stands little chance of passing Congress.

The proposal calls for some of Trump's promised border wall to be constructed while ignoring key Democratic priorities, including legal status for millions of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

1050 (with trims) by Justin Sink and Margaret Talev in Washington. MOVED


^Mnuchin foresees Trump tax return fight heading to court<

TRUMP-TAXRETURNS:BLO — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated he would not comply with a subpoena to hand over President Donald Trump's tax returns, saying that the judicial branch will likely decide the dispute between Congress and the Trump administration.

"There's a difference in interpretation in Congress and us and the Department of Justice," Mnuchin told a Senate appropriations panel Wednesday. "That's why there are three branches of government, so that if there's a difference in opinion it can go to" a different branch to be resolved.

350 by Laura Davison and Saleha Mohsin in Washington. MOVED


^Supreme Court is not eager to overturn Roe v. Wade — at least not soon<

^SCOTUS-ABORTION-ASSESS:LA—<The Supreme Court justices will meet behind closed doors Thursday morning and are expected to debate and discuss — for the 14th time — Indiana's appeal of court rulings that have blocked a law to prohibit certain abortions.

The high court's action — or so far, nonaction — in Indiana's case gives one clue as to how the court's conservative majority will decide the fate of abortion bans recently passed by lawmakers in Alabama and Georgia. Republican Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama signed her state's ban into law on Wednesday.

1000 by David G. Savage in Washington. MOVED


^Abortion laws are changing in US; here's a state-by-state guide<

ABORTION-STATES:RA — A "near-total abortion ban" passed by the Alabama Senate this week is part of a movement in some parts of the country to create restrictive new laws on abortion.

The Alabama bill is part of a broader effort among some conservative states to restrict abortion in recent years. Here's an update on major abortion legislation passed or considered recently by states.

700 by Charles Duncan. (Moved as a national story.) MOVED


^Administration wants to reimburse Taliban's travel expenses<

PENTAGON-TALIBAN:CON — The Trump administration asked Congress earlier this year for funds to reimburse Afghanistan's Taliban for expenses the insurgent group incurs attending peace talks, according to a spokesman for the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

The money would cover the Taliban's costs for expenses such as transportation, lodging, food and supplies, said Kevin Spicer, spokesman for Indiana Democrat Peter J. Visclosky, in a statement to CQ Roll Call.

750 by John M. Donnelly in Washington. MOVED


^Sen. Lindsey Graham aims to advance border security bill in early June<

IMMIGRATION-GRAHAM:CON — The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he is willing to work with Republicans and Democrats to craft a limited immigration bill in short order that would change asylum laws and expand detention facilities in an attempt to address the surge of migrants arriving at the southwest border.

Speaking with a sense of urgency, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said at a news conference Wednesday that he will introduce a bill later this week.

1100 (with trims) by Camila DeChalus in Washington. MOVED


^Sexual assaults in the military are on the rise. This bill would authorize Congress to intervene<

MILITARY-SEXASSAULTS:CON — Congress could intervene in legal cases on behalf of military members who have been sexually assaulted under a new bill co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Rep. Brian Mast.

The Florida Republican in late April introduced "Harmony's Law," named after his constituent Harmony Allen, who was raped by an instructor just three months after joining in the U.S. Air Force in 2000.

500 by Emily Kopp in Washington. MOVED


^White House urges reporting of 'political bias' by social media<

WHITEHOUSE-SOCIALMEDIA:BLO — President Donald Trump's administration is increasing its pressure on social media companies such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. over alleged political bias with a White House form for reporting potential censorship of political views.

"Too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear 'violations' of user policies," according to the form, which the White House's official Twitter account posted on Wednesday. "No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump."

550 by Kurt Wagner and Ben Brody in Washington. MOVED


^Interior head: 'I haven't lost any sleep' over record carbon levels<

ENV-BERNHARDT-CLIMATE:CON — Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told a House committee Wednesday that he hasn't "lost any sleep" over record global levels of climate-changing carbon emissions.

His comment came during what was supposed to be a hearing about the department's fiscal 2020 budget request. But some of the questions from Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee focused on his handling of climate issues.

650 by Jacob Holzman in Washington. MOVED


^US improving ties with Ecuador after Assange expelled<

USECUADOR:WA — Now that Ecuador has expelled Julian Assange from its embassy in London, the Trump administration is opening a "new chapter of cooperation" with the South American government.

USAID Administrator Mark Green will join Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Valencia in Ecuador on Wednesday in signing a memorandum of understanding to work together on a series of economic and democracy initiatives. They include emergency response to natural disasters, economic development, environmental coordination and strengthening democratic institutions.

700 by Franco Ordonez in Washington. MOVED


^Missing and incomplete sex abuse files spark Dallas police raid of Catholic diocese, storage facility<

RELIG-DALLAS-DIOCESE:DA — Dallas police officers on Wednesday morning raided several Dallas Catholic Diocese offices after a detective said church officials have "thwarted" his investigations into allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Detective David Clark wrote in a search warrant affidavit that the Diocese either hid allegations against priests, turned over incomplete records and made it next to impossible for Dallas police to determine whether claims had been made or fully examined. Clark also takes the diocese to task for its recent transparency efforts, characterizing them as little more than a public relations effort.

1500 (with trims) by David Tarrant, Cassandra Jaramillo and Robert Wilonsky in Dallas. MOVED


^Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell eulogize Richard Lugar<

LUGAR-FUNERAL:CON — It was fitting that Sen. Richard G. Lugar's funeral service would take place the same day as the ACLI Capital Challenge race, and both Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took full advantage of the fortuitous timing.

Pence, the former Indiana governor and congressman, and McConnell (from neighboring Kentucky) were among the dignitaries who made the trip to Indianapolis for the Wednesday afternoon funeral. The group traveling aboard Air Force Two included other lawmakers, as well as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

700 by Niels Lesniewski in Washington. MOVED


^Nearly 100 charged in massive Green Card marriage scheme<

^GREENCARD-MARRIAGES-CHARGES:NY—<The marriages were short and not for love.

But instead of a Las Vegas-style, alcohol-fueled ceremony, these marriages were criminal schemes.

Authorities announced Monday that nearly 100 people have been indicted in a massive conspiracy in which immigrants paid as much as $70,000 to briefly marry a U.S. citizen and obtain a permanent resident card known as a "Green Card."

300 by Nelson Oliveira. MOVED


^North Philadelphia mosque explains how children wound up reciting violent poem in video<

ISLAMICCENTER-VIDEO:PHI — The children who recited a violent poem in Arabic and performed choreography to a song referencing the "blood of martyrs" last month at a North Philadelphia mosque did not understand the words' meaning, and the volunteer aide who chose the selections has left the private academy based there, according to a statement released Wednesday by mosque leaders.

Officials of the Muslim American Society (MAS) in Philadelphia and the Leaders Academy say that other aides at the April 17 event marking Umma Day did not understand the language, and those who did were not monitoring the translation during what was a hectic day. They called the performances "a grave mistake" and "ours to own."

600 by Kristin E. Holmes in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Judge rejects Bill Cosby's arguments for appeal <

^COSBY:NY—<A Pennsylvania judge systematically snubbed all of Bill Cosby's arguments for appeal in a lengthy new opinion that the comedian and his wife blasted as racist Wednesday.

Judge Steven O'Neill, who presided over the sex assault trial that led to Cosby's conviction last year, said in his 143-page response that Cosby showed a "chilling" and "signature" pattern of predatory behavior and his prison sentence of three to 10 years should stand.

650 (with trims) by Nancy Dillon. MOVED


^Leonard Bailey, surgeon who stoked moral dilemma with baboon-to-human heart transplant, dies at 76<

BAILEY-OBIT:LA — Leonard Bailey, a surgeon who opened new doors in medicine when he transplanted a baboon heart into an infant girl but then endured withering criticism for harvesting an organ from an animal to help save the life of a human, has died after a yearslong fight with cancer. He was 76.

900 by Steve Marble in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Texans have sexiest accent in America; Boston and New York land in top three: survey<

^SEXIEST-ACCENTS:NY—<Yeehaw! Texans have the sexiest accents in America, according to a new survey.

The "Southern accent with a twist" that's known for incorporating strong 'r's and the word "howdy," swept the list of "Top 50 Sexiest Accents In The USA" by Big 7 Travel. The travel publication surveyed a sample of its 1.5 million social audience to determine the rankings.

Boston and New York fared well, coming in second and third, respectively.

250 by Blake Alsup. MOVED



^FAA chief: Manuals should have told 737 MAX pilots more about Boeing's MCAS system<

BOEING-PLANE-MANUALS:SE — The head of the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday he believes documentation on Boeing's 737 MAX should have told pilots more about the safety system that's suspect in two crashes that killed 346 people.

Daniel Elwell, the FAA's acting administrator and a former commercial pilot, said in testimony before a congressional committee that he expects the FAA will amplify the description of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) system so that pilots will be able to better respond to an anomaly.

700 by Mike Baker in Seattle. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED



^Jim Jarmusch's 'The Dead Don't Die' starts Cannes off on an apocalyptic note<

^MOVIE-CANNES-DEADDONTDIE:LA—<The 72nd Festival de Cannes began Tuesday with a vision of the end.

In "The Dead Don't Die," Jim Jarmusch's bleak, bone-dry shrug of a horror-comedy, Adam Driver, Bill Murray and Chlo Sevigny play small-town police officers fending off a zombie apocalypse. There's little ambiguity about what caused the epidemic, and even less about what it represents. A culture of moral idiocy and capitalist greed, signaled by a huge uptick in "polar fracking," has fatally shifted the Earth's rotational pattern. Now the sun takes forever to set, radio signals have gone haywire and the dead are rising up from their graves to feast on the flesh of the living.

There's something to be said for kicking off the world's most prestigious film festival with a bloody aperitif, especially one served up by one of the festival's favorite sons. With "The Dead Don't Die," Jarmusch has pioneered his own sub-subgenre: the undeadpan comedy. His dialogue scenes are as drawn-out and poker-faced as ever. When two diner employees are brutally disemboweled — the movie spares us very little — the people of Centerville (population 738) respond with more confusion than panic. The movie milks their comic bewilderment for all it's worth, which isn't terribly much.

1400 by Justin Chang in Cannes, France. MOVED




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