Tribune News Service

News Budget for Thursday, May 23, 2019


Updated at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 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.


^Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, faces 17 more charges in new US indictment<

ASSANGE:LA — Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks and a thorn in the side of intelligence agencies, faces 17 additional U.S. criminal charges, according to an indictment released Thursday that adds to his legal challenge as he fights extradition from a British jail.

British police removed Assange on April 11 from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had sought refuge for nearly seven years to avoid prosecution in Sweden.

500 by Chris Megerian in Washington. MOVED


^NOAA's official forecast calls for 4 to 8 Atlantic hurricanes this season<

WEA-HURRICANE-SEASON:FL — A federal hurricane forecast issued Thursday calls for a near-normal season this year, with four to eight hurricanes and up to 15 storms powerful enough to be given names.

The forecast represents a potential decrease from the eight hurricanes seen last year and possible sharp decline from the 10 that appeared in the catastrophic season of 2017.

500 by David Fleshler in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^Spurred by Cindy Yang reports, watchdog group wants FEC probe of Trump donations<

TRUMP-DONATIONS:MI — A nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group is asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether President Donald Trump's reelection campaign has taken donations from foreign nationals, which would violate federal law.

The complaint, filed Wednesday by the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Legal Center, cites concerns that the foreign money is coming into the campaign through a burgeoning online industry selling campaign fundraising event tickets to wealthy Chinese individuals hoping to gain access to the president.

900 by Caitlin Ostroff, Sarah Blaskey and Nicholas Nehamas in Miami. MOVED


^Narendra Modi's landslide reelection in India is another win for religious nationalism<

^INDIA-1ST-LEDE:LA—< Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi scored an overwhelming reelection victory Thursday, winning a second five-year mandate while fighting off concerns about rising unemployment and his divisive Hindu nationalist policies.

Results released by India's Election Commission late Thursday showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party winning in more than 300 of 542 parliamentary races and parties allied with the BJP leading in dozens more, with some votes still to be counted. A total of 272 seats are needed to secure a majority and select the prime minister.

1100 (with trims) by Shashank Bengali and Ashish Malhotra in New Delhi. MOVED


^Britain's Theresa May: A political deathwatch for a prime minister done in by Brexit<

BRITAIN-MAY:LA — British politicians agree on precious little these days. But on one matter, there's near-unanimity across the spectrum: Theresa May's days as prime minister are numbered.

The political deathwatch comes against the backdrop of Britons' vote Thursday for the European Parliament — balloting that would not have taken place if the country had left the European Union as scheduled nearly two months ago.

850 by Christina Boyle and Laura King in London. MOVED



^Trump has pardoned 10 men; who are they?<

^TRUMP-PARDONS-LIST:LA—<The ability to grant pardons is among a president's most unchecked powers.

Pardons have corrected injustices, and they've caused outrage. But historians consider some of President Donald Trump's pardons among the most controversial ever granted.

1550 by Melissa Gomez. MOVED


^Congress reaches deal on disaster aid; Trump's border request omitted<

CONGRESS-DISASTERAID:LA — Senate leaders reached agreement Thursday on a $19.1 billion package to help states recover from natural disasters, including the California wildfires.

The deal came after the White House agreed to give up on its demand for $4.5 billion in humanitarian border aid to be included in the disaster bill. Congressional Democrats — who blame the border crisis on President Donald Trump's policies — said they wouldn't support the funding without new protections for asylum-seekers.

650 by Jennifer Haberkorn in Washington. MOVED


^Pentagon requests several thousand more troops to be sent to the Mideast as Iran tensions grow<

USMIDEAST-TROOPS:LA — The Pentagon is asking the White House to send several thousand more troops, Patriot anti-missile batteries and warplanes to the Middle East to boost U.S. defenses against Iranian threats, a senior U.S. official said Thursday, in a sign of the growing friction with Tehran.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other Pentagon officials were scheduled to brief President Donald Trump on the request Thursday.

250 by David S. Cloud in Washington. MOVED


^Key lawmaker wants US to invade Venezuela to counter Cuba's influence<

USVENEZUELA-GRAHAM:WA — A U.S. senator and former presidential candidate said the U.S. military should invade Venezuela if Cuba does not immediately remove its security forces from the country, calling Cuba the Western Hemisphere's version of Iran.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed posted online Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who leads the Senate Judiciary Committee, favorably compared potential military action in Venezuela to the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983.

800 by Alex Daugherty in Washington. MOVED


^Sens. Alexander, Murray outline plan to lower health costs<

SENATE-HEALTHCARE:CON — Two influential senators released draft health care legislation Thursday, a package of narrowly tailored proposals that will likely be part of a measure to lower health care costs that lawmakers hope to pass this year.

The draft bill, from Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and ranking member Patty Murray, D-Wash., targets five areas: banning surprise medical bills; speeding low-cost generic drugs to market; increasing transparency; improving public health; and enhancing health information technology, according to a summary.

900 (with trims) by Mary Ellen McIntire in Washington. MOVED


^Judge questions whether House can sue over border wall funding<

TRUMP-BORDERWALL:CON — A federal judge in Washington expressed skepticism Thursday about whether the federal courts should jump into the middle of an "ugly dispute between the political branches" over the Trump administration plan to move around federal funds to build a border wall.

U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden said that a House lawsuit to block the Trump administration's spending was in "unusual territory," since higher courts have never ruled on whether the legislative branch could sue the executive branch.

600 by Todd Ruger in Washington. MOVED


^Kushner stares down uncompromising foes in fights over immigration, Middle East peace<

KUSHNER:WA — As Jared Kushner launches two of his most ambitious policy initiatives in rapid succession, White House officials are privately drawing parallels over the challenges ahead in achieving immigration reform at home and peace between Israelis and Palestinians abroad, according to his aides.

Releasing an immigration package last week and a peace plan next month, Kushner and his team have already internally confronted the possibility they will face short-term setbacks on these two unconnected policy areas while identifying the potential for long-term successes.

1050 (with trims) by Michael Wilner in Washington. MOVED


^Trump calls Dems 'DO NOTHING PARTY' after Pelosi says he 'took a pass' by storming out<

TRUMP-DEMS:CON — President Donald Trump, increasingly in re-election mode, on Thursday labeled Democrats the "DO NOTHING PARTY!" a day after their leaders accused him of being unprepared for a meeting on an infrastructure plan and simply "taking a pass" on the issue.

1150 (with trims) by John T. Bennett in Washington. MOVED


^Pelosi says she hopes those close to Trump stage an intervention 'for the good of the country'<

PELOSI-TRUMP:CON — President Donald Trump's family or staff should stage an intervention, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday, noting she's concerned for his well-being and that of the country.

"I pray for the president of the United States," the California Democrat said. "I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country."

550 by Lindsey McPherson in Washington. MOVED


^Senate backs bill to stem flood of robocalls plaguing cellphones<

CONGRESS-ROBOCALLS:CON — Lawmakers are fed up with the barrage of scam and nuisance calls plaguing them and their constituents and on Thursday, the Senate passed a bipartisan measure to combat robocalls.

Senators voted, 97-1, to pass a bill designed to authenticate and block robocalls and enforce penalties on scammers who use automated equipment to pump phones full of bogus calls.

250 by Katherine Tully-McManus in Washington. MOVED


^Mnuchin delays Harriet Tubman $20 bill decision to after Trump<

TUBMAN-20DOLLARBILL:BLO — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that a redesigned $20 bill would not be released until 2028, essentially punting a decision to put Harriet Tubman on the note to a future administration.

"The imagery feature will not be an issue that comes up until most likely 2026," Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday in response to questions from Massachusetts Democrat Ayanna Pressley. Asked whether he supported Tubman being on the $20 bill, Mnuchin replied that he'd "made no decision as it relates to that and that decision won't be made, and as I said, it won't most likely be until 2026."

450 by Chelsea Mes and John Harney in Washington. MOVED



^House Democratic campaign leader cancels event for an anti-abortion congressman<

LIPINKSKI-FUNDRAISER:CON — The congresswoman who leads House Democrats' campaign arm announced Wednesday she would no longer headline a fundraiser for an anti-abortion incumbent congressman.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos agreed months ago to host a $1,000-per-plate breakfast fundraiser for Rep. Dan Lipinski because of their friendship, a spokesman for Lipinski said. But criticism of her support for Lipinski grew louder this month amid the passage of laws severely restricting abortion in six states.

650 by Emily Kopp in Washington. MOVED



^Chicago bank CEO Stephen Calk charged with bribery, accused of issuing Manafort loans in attempted trade for Trump post<

CALK-MANAFORT:TB — Stephen Calk, the founder and CEO of Federal Savings Bank of Chicago, has been charged with financial institution bribery for allegedly issuing $16 million in high-risk loans to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in exchange for help getting a position within the Trump administration.

The Justice Department indictment was unsealed Thursday. Calk, 54, is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman in a Manhattan federal courtroom Thursday afternoon.

700 by Robert Channick in Chicago. MOVED


^Judge orders sealed court records in aborted Jussie Smollett prosecution made public<

SMOLLETT:TB — A Cook County judge ordered the case file in the aborted prosecution of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett unsealed Thursday in a victory for the Chicago Tribune and other news organizations.

Smollett's attorney succeeded in sealing the court records at the same unannounced hearing in which State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office abruptly dropped all charges that the actor had staged an attack on himself.

After news organizations sought to unseal the records, Smollett's legal team opposed the request, citing the actor's privacy rights.

But Judge Steven Watkins held that those privacy rights had been trumped after Smollett and his attorneys went before the cameras to declare his innocence.

450 by Jason Meisner in Chicago. MOVED


^'We were all shaking': Missouri tornado leaves dozens injured, 100 in shelters<

WEA-MO-TORNADO-1ST-LEDE:KC — Shingles, insulation and tree branches were scattered all over Neftali Angel's yard along Adams Street on Thursday morning.

His house, a block away from Capitol Region Medical Center, was mostly unharmed, but parts of his roof sat on his neighbor's car.

Angel's family lived through a tornado that ripped through Jefferson City on Wednesday night, leaving destruction in its wake.

1250 (with trims) by Crystal Thomas, Jason Hancock and Luke Nozicka in Jefferson City, Mo. MOVED


^Joplin tornado sheared off her leg. Now Missouri woman just faced another twister<

^WEA-MO-TORNADO-SURVIVOR:KC—<Leona Rice was in church when the 2011 Joplin tornado descended with hellish winds, smashing the building to splinters, shearing off her left leg and killing four of her church-going friends.

On Wednesday, eight years later to the day, Rice, 74, was in church again, this time in her nearby hometown of Carl Junction, Missouri, when the tornado warning sounded. Again, a twister approached.

500 by Eric Adler. MOVED


^Four shootings in three-minute stretch late Wednesday night cap off violent day in Baltimore<

BALTIMORE-VIOLENCE:BZ — Baltimore police reported on social media early Thursday morning that they were dispatched to four shootings involving five victims within three minutes late Wednesday night, continuing a stretch of violence across the city.

700 in Baltimore. MOVED


^John Walker Lindh, the 'America Taliban' from Marin County, remains a 9/11 enigma<

^LINDH-HISTORY:LA—<John Walker Lindh was one of the many perplexing stories of 9/11 America.

The so-called American Taliban grew up in the affluent suburb of Marin County, a cradle of liberal values. But he ended up half a world away at a training camp run by al-Qaida, conspiring with the enemy.

Lindh spent 17 years behind bars before being released Thursday from the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.

Lindh remains an enigma.

800 by Times Staff. MOVED


^Chabad of Poway welcomes sacred Torah in honor of shooting victim<

SYNAGOGUE-SHOOTING-TORAH:SD — Outside the Chabad of Poway Wednesday night, some danced and hopped in unison, others chanted and sang, and a group of women and girls held hands as they skipped in circles, all while raucous music blared in the background.

The joyous, celebratory scene was a far cry from the terror that unfolded there on April 27, when a gunman opened fire, injuring three people and killing 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye.

On Wednesday night, the Jewish congregation that meets at the Chabad just off Espola Road ended its mourning period for Gilbert-Kaye while completing and welcoming its seventh Torah scroll, the most sacred of Jewish texts.

550 by Alex Riggins in Poway, Calif. MOVED


^'He is a miracle of God.' Why Marlen Ochoa-Lopez's family is not giving up on her newborn son<

SLAIN-PREGNANTWOMAN-FAMILY:TB — Three days before she was killed, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez sent her father an ultrasound photo of her baby with a recording of the boy's heartbeat inside her.

Arnulfo Ochoa smiled as he played the recording Wednesday night outside Advocate Christ Medical Center, where the boy has been on life support since he was cut from Ochoa's 19-year-old daughter last month after she was strangled. Doctors say the boy is brain-dead, but the family says it has no plans to end his life.

"The doctors say he doesn't feel anything," Ochoa said. "But when we touch him, he reacts. The baby is getting better. This is the gift Marlen left me. I'm going through something so bad, but my faith in God is keeping me going."

900 by Jessica Villagomez in Chicago. MOVED


^15,000 'likes' and counting, police hope wanted suspect makes good on promise to turn himself in<

SUSPECT-FACEBOOK-LIKES:HC — Torrington, Conn., police hope a wanted suspect makes good on his promise to turn himself in after his online wanted poster topped 15,000 "likes" on Facebook.

Jose Simms, 29, is wanted for seven counts of failure to appear in court, police said. But when police tried to locate him, he wanted to strike a deal instead.

500 by Christine Dempsey and Zach Murdock in Hartford, Conn. MOVED


^Prom party stocked with booze, weed, Jello shots and stripper poles foiled hours before it began<

PROMPARTY:FL — Three charter buses had been booked, several hundred West Boca Community High students had been invited, a party pad had been rented and stocked with booze, pot and stripper poles for a post-prom bash. But it was foiled before it began, a police report said.

It was just hours before party time on April 12 when the Martin County Sheriff's Office caught wind that a mega bash was set to go down at a Palm City Airbnb.

500 by Tonya Alanez in West Boca, Fla. MOVED


^Facing a 25-year prison sentence, ex-cop wants to be free while appealing his conviction in motorist's death<

FLA-POLICE-SHOOTING:FL — Nouman Raja had a badge, a gun, and the sworn duty to protect the community. But after he shot stranded motorist Corey Jones dead, the police officer couldn't get a haircut, pump gas in his car or take his kids to school without permission.

Raja dutifully followed the strict conditions of house arrest for nearly three years, as he awaited his trial.

Now, the ex-cop is a convicted felon facing the next 25 years as Florida prisoner number Q40330.

He remains locked up at the South Florida Reception Center in Doral until he is assigned to one of the state's prisons.

Raja wants a bond while appealing his conviction and punishment.

1050 (with trims) by Marc Freeman in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^Trump merchandise seller charged with assault, robbery at president's Pa. rally<

TRUMP-RALLY-VENDOR:PHI — A traveling Trump merchandise seller in a camouflage "Make America Great Again" hat was charged with assaulting and robbing another vendor shortly after the president's visit to Lycoming County on Monday.

According to the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Willie Edward Singleton, 29, of South Carolina, is accused of stealing cash —around $500 — from another vendor who had dropped a large amount of bills on Jordan Road in Mountoursvile. The men were leaving President Donald Trump's rally at Williamsport Regional Airport.

300 by Jason Nark in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Accused 'sex cult' leader had trouble having sex, trial witness says<

NXIVM-CULT:NY — Keith Raniere, the charismatic leader of the controversial NXIVM "sex cult," had trouble having sex, one of the cult members testified Thursday in the trial of the so-called "Grandmaster."

According to the Mexican woman, who said she was locked away for nearly two years as punishment for disobeying Raniere, the group leader had trouble carrying out the new member's first initiation.

400 by Shayna Jacobs and Leonard Greene in New York. MOVED


^Conn. police arrest man who had a plastic, 3D-printed gun<

PRINTEDGUN-ARREST:HC — Waterbury police said they arrested a man who had a 3D-printed gun with a bullet in the chamber, in what may the first such arrest in Connecticut.

Jeremy Stevens, 36, was charged with weapons in a motor vehicle and carrying a pistol without a permit early Wednesday morning. He also was arrested on drug charges because officers found two bags of heroin on him, police said.

300 by Christine Dempsey in Hartford, Conn. MOVED



^As new Cold War looms, China struggles to grasp Trump's end game<

USCHINA-STRATEGY:BLO — When Donald Trump first took office in 2017, officials in Beijing saw a pragmatic businessman: All that tough campaign talk, they argued, was merely "Art of the Deal" negotiating tactics rather than deeply held beliefs.

Yet more than two years later, President Xi Jinping finds himself on the verge of a new Cold War his government sees fanned by Washington's most ideological China hawks. What's worse, the view that China is a strategic competitor that must be thwarted at all costs is picking up supporters across the U.S. political spectrum by the day.

As Trump continues to raise the stakes with threats to kneecap Huawei Technologies Co. and other companies over what the U.S. says are rising national security risks, officials in Beijing are weighing their options to respond.

1150 (with trims) in Beijing. MOVED



^Scientists spy on superbugs to see how they outsmart our antibiotics<

^SCI-SUPERBUGS:LA—<Scientists have discovered yet another way that single-celled organisms have outsmarted us.

The tiny bacteria that live inside our guts have an ingenious way of withstanding the onslaught of antibiotics we throw at them, according to a report published Thursday in the journal Science. The two-part system allows bacterial cells to stay alive until another bacterium can deliver a lifeline, packaged in a snippet of DNA.

Microbes 1, Humans 0.

1150 (with trims) by Emily Baumgaertner. MOVED


^Black lung disease continues to surge in Appalachia; new research suggests why<

MED-MINERS-BLACKLUNG:LX — New mining methods that churn up silica-laden rock are likely responsible for the surge of black lung disease that has afflicted hundreds of miners across Central Appalachia in recent years, according to new research presented at the American Thoracic Society's annual meeting this week.

The research provides further evidence that new mining methods used to extract thin seams of coal have led to the surge of black lung in Eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia and other parts of Appalachia.

800 by Will Wright in Lexington, Ky. MOVED




NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later


^When an engine ripped off a DC-10 at O'Hare it killed 273 people, and changed air travel forever<

FLIGHT191-LEGACY:TB — As 258 passengers filed on to American Airlines Flight 191 at O'Hare International Airport the Friday before Memorial Day in 1979, nothing suggested that they would never reach Los Angeles.

But as the three-engine McDonnell Douglas DC-10 accelerated down the runway, reaching takeoff speed, the left engine broke away, vaulting over the aircraft's wing. The pilots heard a thunk.

The plane continued to rise, its wings level, despite the nearly 13,500 pounds suddenly missing from its left side. But as it reached 300 feet, the plane slowed and rolled left until it began to overturn, its nose tipping down.

After just 31 seconds of flight, the plane plunged back to earth, killing all the passengers and 13 crew members on board.

Forty years later, the crash of Flight 191 remains the deadliest passenger airline accident on U.S. soil.

Its legacy helped spur reforms that contributed to a vast improvement in commercial aviation safety.

2500 by Lauren Zumbach in Chicago. MOVED


^This Memorial Day, veterans take on another threat: rising cancer deaths in the ranks<

VETERANS-CANCER:WA — On Memorial Day 2013, Coleen Bowman was a new widow. Her husband had died four months earlier and she wanted support to face that first military holiday of remembrance. So she registered for TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and spent the weekend with hundreds of other grieving military families.

"There was a lot of KIAs," Coleen said, referring to those killed in action.

But that was not how Coleen's husband had died, and it made her feel more alone.

"It was like, 'Oh, your husband died of an illness.'"

She's no longer alone. TAPS' membership rolls are growing, but not because of combat deaths. In the last five years, it has reported a 51% increase in the numbers of families grieving a service member who died due to illness or cancer.

900 by Tara Copp in Washington. MOVED




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