Tribune News Service

News Budget for Wednesday, May 15, 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.


^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 non-emergency employees from Iraq, the latest uptick in tensions with Iran amid a buildup of US military forces in the region.

800 by Tracy Wilkinson in Washington.

Moving later

^White House says it won't give Judiciary Committee documents or allow testimony<

CONGRESS-TRUMP-PROBE:BLO — The White House said it won't turn over documents or allow testimony sought by the House Judiciary Committee in its probe of President Donald Trump's election, arguing the congressional demands are too broad and violate principles of executive privilege.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Wednesday in a letter to panel Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, that the administration won't participate in the probe, which "brushes aside the conclusions of the Department of Justice after a two-year-long effort in favor of political theater pre-ordained to reach a preconceived and false result."

450 by Justin Sink in Washington. MOVED



Also moving as:

CONGRESS-TRUMP-PROBE:LA — 1100 by Chris Megerian in Washington.

Moving later

^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


^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


^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



^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


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

USNKOREA-MISSILES:LA — A newly tested North Korean short-range missile appears to be a copy of a Russian design that could help Pyongyang evade U.S. missile defense systems.

950 by David S. Cloud in Washington.

Moving later

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

SCOTUS-ABORTION-ASSESS:LA — Legislators in Alabama, who approved a near-total ban on abortions, hope to force the high court to reconsider Roe v. Wade.

The justices don't seem eager.

1000 by David G. Savage in Washington.

Moving later

^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


^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


^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


^Senate confirms Trump's pick for 9th Circuit over objections of Feinstein and Harris<

9THCIRCUIT-LEE:LA — The Republican-controlled Senate approved Los Angeles litigator Kenneth Kiyul Lee to the 9th Circuit in California over the objections of the state's Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.

500 by Sarah D. Wire in Washington.

Moving later

^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


^Larry Kudlow chewed out by Trump for admitting tariffs hurt American consumers<

^TRUMP-KUDLOW:NY—<Larry Kudlow is finding out the hard way that pleasing the Donald and telling the truth is a tough balancing act.

The White House economics czar reportedly got chewed out by President Donald Trump for admitting that American consumers will pay the price for the White House's tariff-happy trade war.

200 by Dave Goldiner. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED



^Pete Buttigieg was Facebook's 287th user. Now he says the company has too much power<

BUTTIGIEG-FACEBOOK:SJ — When Pete Buttigieg joined Facebook as a Harvard undergrad in 2004, he was the 287th user registered on the site. The social network's founders were friends of friends, and it felt like an insular message board for Harvard classmates, he remembered in an interview in San Francisco last week.

"I don't think any of us could have guessed what implications that technology would have in the long run," Buttigieg said.

Fifteen years and 2.4 billion users later, as Facebook wrestles with cascading scandals over data privacy, misinformation and election meddling on its platform, Buttigieg has become one of several presidential contenders calling for tougher regulation of the company and Silicon Valley's other biggest tech firms.

1400 (with trims) by Casey Tolan in San Jose, Calif. 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


^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


^PG&E power lines caused California's deadliest fire, investigators conclude<

CALIF-WILDFIRES-PGE:LA — Investigators with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection have concluded that Pacific Gas & Electric equipment sparked the devastating Camp fire that destroyed nearly 14,000 homes and killed 85 people, most of them elderly, last year.

The conclusion of the probe marks a milestone in what was the worst fire in modern California history.

150 by Joseph Serna in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Helicopter crash lands on Hudson; pilot, who had no passengers, swims to shore<

NY-HELICOPTERCRASH:NY — A helicopter that had just taken off from a midtown Manhattan heliport made a crash landing in the Hudson River on Wednesday but the pilot, who had no passengers, escaped nearly unscathed, officials said.

The 35-year-old pilot, who was working for Zip Aviation, had just refueled at one part of the West 30th Street heliport when he crashed about 2:20 p.m. EDT, sources said.

350 by Thomas Tracy in New York. MOVED


^New Jersey's legal weed bill is dead. Lawmakers say the question will go on the ballot<

NJ-MARIJUANA:PHI — After more than a year of debate and numerous hearings, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney announced Wednesday that the state's legal weed bill is dead. He said the question of whether the state should legalize marijuana for recreational use would be put on the ballot.

Sen. Nicholas Scutari, the bill's co-sponsor and chief advocate, said last week that the measure was short only two votes in the Senate and that it had enough support in the Assembly to pass.

500 by Jan Hefler in Trenton, N.J. 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


^'He was just trying to make sure he lived another day': Boy, 15, killed in Chicago shooting<

CHICAGO-VIOLENCE-BOYKILLED:TB — Jacob Ellzey looked forward to spending time with his teenage nephew this summer, but he was also worried.

"Summer in the city, it's just something different," said Ellzey, 40, of Calumet City. "Other kids look forward to going to summer camp. He was just trying to make sure he lived another day."

His nephew, whom he identified as 15-year-old Jaylan Ellzey, died Tuesday after a shooting in the Roseland neighborhood on Chicago's Far South Side.

450 by Alice Yin in Chicago. MOVED


^NYC medical examiner testifies that NYPD Officer Pantaleo used a 'chokehold' on Eric Garner<

NYPD-CHOKEHOLD:NY — The pathologist who performed an autopsy on Eric Garner testified Wednesday that the banned chokehold performed by police Officer Daniel Pantaleo sparked a "lethal sequence of events" that led to his death.

Dr. Floriana Persechino said the maneuver sparked an asthma attack that led to Garner not being able to breathe as he was arrested on Staten Island on July 17, 2014.

500 by Rocco Parascandola and Thomas Tracy in New York.

^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


^Minister sentenced to prison for driving drunk, killing Minneapolis 911 dispatcher<

MINISTER-FATALCRASH:MS — A minister and former college professor has been sentenced to prison for driving drunk while on the wrong side of a Brooklyn Park highway and killing a motorist in a head-on crash as she traveled to work as a Minneapolis 911 dispatcher.

350 by Paul Walsh in Minneapolis. MOVED


^Racist 'promposal' spurs principal to discuss 'appropriate behavior'<

RACIST-PROMPOSAL:LA — Following outrage over a social media post involving two Palos Verdes High School teens holding a sign that bears a racial epithet, the school's principal said Wednesday he will visit classrooms to discuss the incident.

750 by Jaclyn Cosgrove and Hannah Fry in Los Angeles. 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


^Stacey Abrams weighs in on abortion bans, boycotts and running for office<

ABRAMS-QA:LA — Stacey Abrams, the rising Democratic star who narrowly lost a bitterly contested race last year for Georgia governor, launched a campaign this week to urge opponents of the state's stringent new abortion ban to donate to local groups fighting for reproductive rights.

The Los Angeles Times asked Abrams, 45, a former state representative who is currently weighing a bid to run for president, about the law, the value of boycotts and California's role in pushing for political change in the South.

1650 (with trims) by Jenny Jarvie in Atlanta. MOVED


^Connecticut radio station rebrands itself as 'Trump 103.3' in 'ultra conservative' talk format<

RADIOSTATION-TRUMP:HC — Few people work harder than Donald Trump when it comes to self promotion, but now Connecticut radio station WDRC is doing it for him, rebranding itself as "Trump Radio."

The station's brass is touting the new "ultra conservative talk" format — which is expected to be temporary — as the "brave new voice of freedom."

500 by Neil Vigdor in Hartford, Conn. MOVED


^Six confirmed dead as NTSB team arrives to investigate midair floatplane collision in Southeast Alaska<

ALASKA-MIDAIR-COLLISION:AC — The remains of the last two missing passengers in Monday's midair collision of two floatplanes in Southeast Alaska were recovered Tuesday, bringing the total number of dead to six.

1350 (with trims) by Zaz Hollander and Alex Demarban in Anchorage, Alaska. MOVED


^Fort Worth seminary removes stained-glass honoring conservative Southern Baptist leaders<

RELIG-SEMINARY-WINDOWSREMOVED:FT — Stained-glass windows memorializing religious leaders who helped shift the Southern Baptist Convention to a more conservative stance were unveiled with great fanfare several years ago at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Last month, those colorful images depicting religious leaders ranging from televangelist Jerry Falwell to former Seminary President Paige Patterson quietly came down.

This came nearly a year after Patterson, one of the leaders of the so-called "conservative resurgence," was fired for how he handled sexual assault allegations.

500 by Anna M. Tinsley in Fort Worth, Texas. MOVED


^Interstate 80/94 in Indiana backed up after honey spilled across road<

^INTERSTATE-HONEYSPILL:TB—< Indiana state troopers were urging motorists on the Borman Expressway to avoid what they called a "sticky situation" in Lake County after a semi hauling honey overturned Wednesday morning, spreading a mixture of honey and diesel fuel across the road.

250 by Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas in Chicago. 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


^Chicago alderman charged with insurance fraud, obstruction of justice<

CHICAGO-ALDERMAN-CAR:TB — Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno has been charged with insurance fraud and obstruction of justice after falsely reporting that his Audi sedan had been stolen in January, according to Chicago police.

Moreno was taken into custody Tuesday night on an arrest warrant and was due in bond court Wednesday on the felony charges.

200 by Megan Crepeau in Chicago. 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




NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later


^'I expect a zombie to walk out.' Life in Paradise, 6 months after the Camp fire<

CALIF-WILDFIRE-PARADISE:SA — Phil and Michelle John know they have it better than most.

Their house was among the 11% in Paradise that survived the Camp fire, and they moved home in early April. Their street is largely intact, and many of their neighbors have returned. Even their cat is recovering, having miraculously turned up, half starved and reeking of smoke, a couple of weeks after the fire.

On the other hand: They've lost much of their social circle. While some of the old gang will likely return, hardly a day goes by when they don't learn of someone listing their house for sale.

They miss the trees that made Paradise so beautiful. A drive around town is now a trip through hell, on roads clogged with trucks hauling away the wreckage of burned buildings and car skeletons.

2950 (with trims) by Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow in Paradise, Calif. MOVED


^Elizabeth Warren is on a roll, but still facing big obstacles in 2020 presidential bid<

WARREN:LA — The polls may be middling, the fundraising so-so, but Elizabeth Warren has one key asset in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination — a campaign plan more clearly defined than that of just about any other candidate.

While many of her rivals are recalibrating their strategies and looking for new ways to stand out in a huge field largely eclipsed by former Vice President Joe Biden, Warren is pressing ahead, tortoise and hare style.

She is unfurling one carefully honed policy proposal after another — child care, student debt relief, a tax on giant fortunes, combating opioid addiction.

Warren has also invested heavily in campaign staff in Iowa and other states with early primaries. She has a crisp, unchanging populist message rooted in years of arguing, as a professor and politician, that the government now works for people with money and power, not the middle class.

Warren has been on a roll over the last month.

But most polls still show her lagging.

1600 by Janet Hook in Davenport, Iowa. MOVED




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