POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Apprenticeships down amid 'frustration'

BBC POLITICS - 6 hours 39 min ago
A year after the introduction of the levy scheme the number of new apprenticeships has fallen sharply.

Comey memos could land Rosenstein in contempt of Congress: Top Democrat

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 6 hours 39 min ago
The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is poised to subpoena the Justice Department for former FBI Director James Comey’s memos, which the agency so far has failed to produce.

Trump declared he's running again. Many Republicans aren't ready to back him.

CNN POLITICS - 6 hours 42 min ago
A wide array of House and Senate Republicans are not yet ready to endorse President Donald Trump's bid for a second term, a reflection of the deep uncertainty on Capitol Hill over his political standing amid growing problems at home and abroad.

Comey friend hints forthcoming report could be damning for Loretta Lynch

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 6 hours 43 min ago
A "good friend" of former FBI Director James Comey's said he is "very much" looking forward to what the upcoming Justice Department inspector general report on the Clinton email investigation has to say about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch — the former Obama administration official now engaged in a war of words with Comey.

Trump leaves open possibility of bailing on meeting with Kim

AP POLITICS - 7 hours 30 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said that although he's looking ahead optimistically to a historic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he could still pull out if he feels it's "not going to be fruitful." 2018-04-19T01:59:00-04:00 2018-04-19T05:59:13-04:00

The NRA sees a bleak Hobbesian world. So why does it want to arm individuals with guns?

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 7 hours 34 min ago
If humans are violent and dangerous, we need a strong government protecting us, Hobbes argued.

McConnell, the Senate’s decider, discovers the limits of his control

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 7 hours 34 min ago
His fragile majority allows just one senator to derail the most routine action. And that means he may not be able to suppress a bill protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Judge to rule on bid to dismiss criminal case against Missouri governor

REUTERS POLITICS - 7 hours 35 min ago
ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - A St. Louis judge is expected to rule on Thursday on a request by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens' lawyers to dismiss a criminal invasion of privacy case brought against the politician in connection with an admitted extramarital affair.

Cohen would turn on Trump if charged, counselor warns Trump

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 7 hours 44 min ago
One of President Donald Trump’s longtime legal advisers said he warned the president in a phone call Friday that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer and close friend, would turn against the president and cooperate with federal prosecutors if faced with criminal charges.

Lawsuit challenges ban of handguns in home day cares

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 7 hours 50 min ago

CHICAGO (AP) - Several gun rights groups have joined a central Illinois couple in a federal lawsuit challenging a ban on handguns in home day cares.

The lawsuit filed against the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services contends the prohibition violates the rights of home day care operators.

Jennifer ...

CIA Director Mike Pompeo discussed imprisoned Americans with Kim Jong Un, report says

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 7 hours 51 min ago
CIA Director Mike Pompeo and dictator Kim Jong Un reportedly discussed the captivity of three Americans held in North Korea when the two met over Easter weekend.

The Latest: AP source: Pompeo, Kim discussed held Americans

AP POLITICS - 8 hours 24 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the United States and North Korea (all times local): 2018-04-19T01:08:00-04:00 2018-04-19T05:08:17-04:00

Tips pour in after Stormy Daniels shows sketch of suspect: report

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 8 hours 29 min ago
Stormy Daniels’ legal team has received “well over 1,500 tips” on potential leads for identifying her alleged perpetrator, her lawyer Michael Avenatti said Wednesday.

Communication breakdown: What the Nikki Haley flap reveals about Trump's foreign policy

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 8 hours 44 min ago
It's understandable, perhaps, that much of the press is playing the latest back-and-forth on Russian sanctions as a personal slap at Nikki Haley.

California Governor: Deal Reached on National Guard, Border

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 9 hours 17 min ago
California reached an agreement with the federal government that the state’s National Guard troops will deploy to the border to focus on fighting transnational gangs as well as drug and gun smugglers, Gov. Jerry Brown said. The announcement comes after a week of uncertainty in which President Donald Trump bashed the governor’s insistence that troops avoid immigration-related work. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wrote on Twitter that final details were being worked out “but we are looking forward to the support.” Brown said Wednesday he secured federal funding for terms similar to those outlined in last week’s proposed contract: The Guard cannot handle custody duties for anyone accused of immigration violations, build border barriers or have anything to do with immigration enforcement. Federal officials refused to sign the proposal because they said it was outside established protocol for the Guard. Brown’s office said Wednesday that the previous contract was unnecessary after he secured federal funding for his goals. Brown spokesman Evan Westrup said the exact cost hasn’t been determined. Some troops may be deployed this month and are expected to stay until at least Sept. 30, Brown said. They will be assigned to all parts of the state, not just the border. Brown elicited rare and effusive praise from Trump last week when he pledged 400 troops, which helped put the president above the lower end of his threshold of marshaling 2,000 to 4,000 troops for his border mission. Federal officials said Monday that Brown refused to commit California Guard troops to some initial jobs that were similar to assignments in the three other border states, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, all governed by Republicans. Trump bashed Brown’s position two days in a row, even as the governor said a deal was near. “There’s been a little bit of back and forth, as you always get with bureaucrats but I think we can find common understanding here,” Brown said Tuesday in Washington. “There’s enough problems at the border and the interface between our countries that California will have plenty to do, and we’re willing to do it.” Nielsen, appearing alongside Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to thank him for contributing 440 troops, said Wednesday there were 1,000 troops deployed on the border mission and that number is growing. She said they were performing aerial surveillance and vehicle repairs.

Democrat hopes McConnell changes mind about bill to protect Mueller's job

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 10 hours 29 min ago
A bipartisan U.S. Senate bill designed to shield Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Donald Trump isn’t dead, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker said Wednesday, despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell previously shutting down any hope of a vote on the measure.

Commonwealth meeting: Queen to open two-day summit

BBC POLITICS - 10 hours 43 min ago
The 53 nations are to discuss plastic waste, cyber security, trade and the Queen's successor at the meeting.

Widespread power outage persists in Puerto Rico

CNN POLITICS - 10 hours 44 min ago
In another blow to its recovery efforts, an island-wide power outage left most of Puerto Rico in the dark, with only a fraction of residents regaining electricity by Wednesday night.

Inslee, Nevada Democrats call for expanded background checks

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 10 hours 54 min ago

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Democrats urging more action to prevent gun violence will hold a press conference Thursday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to call for expanded background checks and a ban on bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like automatic firearms.

Washington State Gov. ...

Calif. governor says deal reached on National Guard mission

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 10 hours 59 min ago

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown says he has reached an agreement with the federal government that California's National Guard troops will deploy to the border to focus on fighting transnational gangs as well as drug and gun smugglers. The announcement comes after a week of uncertainty in which ...

Man 'venting with a buzz' gets prison for phone threats to Rep. McSally of Arizona

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 11 hours 14 min ago
An Arizona man "venting with a buzz" was sentenced Wednesday to more than a year in federal prison, plus three years’ probation, after being convicted of leaving threatening phone messages for U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz.

Ex-Joint Chiefs Chairman: US-China 'Most Important Bilateral Relationship in This Century'

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 11 hours 28 min ago
From the anticipated U.S.-North Korea summit to concerns of a trade war with China and others, the United States faces several foreign policy challenges with a White House national security team in transition. On this week's edition of "Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren," several experts, including retired Admiral Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discuss those challenges and what they mean for U.S. foreign policy going forward. Elizabeth Cherneff has more.

Pompeo Takes Center Stage in US Foreign Policy After Trip to North Korea

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 11 hours 37 min ago
CIA Director Mike Pompeo's secret trip to North Korea puts him back in the spotlight as a close, trusted emissary and confidante of President Donald Trump, and the man chosen to lead preparations for a planned summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. VOA's Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the top U.S. "spy" who is line to become the next top U.S. diplomat.

Trump, Abe Express Hope for Successful U.S.-North Korean Summit

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 11 hours 48 min ago
U.S. President Donald Trump says the much anticipated U.S.-North Korean summit will only take place if it promises to be successful. He discussed denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a meeting Wednesday in Florida. Abe urged the United States to maintain a tough stance on North Korea and insist on complete and verifiable dismantling of Pyongyang's nuclear program. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.

Trump's ex-campaign chief Manafort to seek dismissal of charges

REUTERS POLITICS - 12 hours 34 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, will try on Thursday to convince a judge to throw out charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, arguing Mueller has overstepped his authority.

Puerto Rico Suffers Another Major Power Outage

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 12 hours 36 min ago
Millions of residents in Puerto Rico are trying to adapt to what they are calling “the new normal,” as the second islandwide blackout in a week left more than 1.3 million customers without electricity and reliable communications Wednesday. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, tweeted about the islandwide power outage just before 10 a.m. It could take as long as 36 hours to restore electricity to everyone, according to PREPA, the highly indebted company that generates and delivers all public power on the island.  They said the process of restarting the plants alone takes 10 to 12 hours. Before that can happen, the power authority must perform exhaustive diagnostic protocols to find the cause of the failure and protect the system from further disruptions. Contractor error PREPA’s interim director, Justo González, said Wednesday that Cobra Energy, a U.S. private contractor, hit the transmission line with a crane, causing multiple power plants to shut down in quick succession. Two main power plants, AES and Aguirre, immediately unplugged from the power system to protect their large generators after the transmission line was toppled. That sudden loss of power transmission then made it impossible for substations to keep running. “This is unacceptable,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve been told by Cobra that the company will be decommissioned effective immediately.” The utility said its priority was to bring back service to hospitals, San Juan’s airport, water pumping systems and financial institutions. ​Gridlock and gas lines The islandwide outage caused chaos in the streets. Local law enforcement mobilized traffic units to busy intersections across the island. Within hours, long lines were reported at local gas stations and gridlock at some of the larger intersections in the San Juan area.  Several fires and explosions resulting from faulty generators were reported in urban areas around San Juan but were quickly contained. Tens of thousands of people have not had electricity since the catastrophic Hurricane Maria hit the island last September. It was the second widespread failure in less than a week, underscoring just how fragile Puerto Rico’s electricity remains since the storm hit. The United States Army Corps of Engineers has spent $2.1 billion on restoring power on the island, where 80 percent of the distribution lines were damaged during the hurricane. Declaring its mission nearly complete, the corps had begun demobilizing the majority of the contractors on the island. With a debt of $9 billion, PREPA filed for a form of bankruptcy last year. Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is pushing a bill to privatize the power system. The island’s legislature held public hearings this week. Jorge Bracero, an engineer with the power authority known for his impromptu social media reports on the status of the island’s power grid, has urged caution and patience from the community as they restore the system. “People should try to use as little power as possible until the system is fully restored,” he said. ​Baseball goes on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, a frequent critic of recovery efforts since the hurricane, tweeted Wednesday: “The entire electrical system in Puerto Rico collapses AGAIN! Back to September 20th.” But the mayor said backup systems and mobile tower lights will allow Wednesday night’s baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins to go on as planned at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. “Nothing will stop us,” she tweeted. All this uncertainty looms large as another hurricane season, which forecasts predict to be an active one, begins in September.

Most Californians back more deportations; nearly half support travel ban, survey finds

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 12 hours 44 min ago
An overwhelming majority of Californians wants to deport more illegal immigrants, and nearly half support President Donald Trump's travel ban aimed at reducing terrorism, according to a new survey from the University of California at Berkeley's Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.

Trade issues expose the limits of Trump-Abe 'bromance'

AP POLITICS - 12 hours 45 min ago
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe courted the new American president with a golden driver not long after Donald Trump won the White House. He's met with the billionaire businessman more than any other world leader, and he's Trump's second-most frequent caller. 2018-04-18T20:46:00-04:00 2018-04-19T00:46:54-04:00

Trump leaves open possibility of bailing on meeting with Kim

AP POLITICS - 12 hours 45 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said that although he's looking ahead optimistically to a historic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he could still pull out if he feels it's "not going to be fruitful." 2018-04-18T20:45:00-04:00 2018-04-19T00:45:25-04:00

Babies of senators now welcome in Senate chamber

AP POLITICS - 12 hours 45 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Who doesn't like babies? 2018-04-18T20:44:00-04:00 2018-04-19T00:44:56-04:00

Trump leaves open possibility of bailing on meeting with Kim

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 12 hours 59 min ago

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump said that although he's looking ahead optimistically to a historic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he could still pull out if he feels it's "not going to be fruitful."

Trump said that CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Kim "got along ...

Trump leaves open possibility of bailing on meeting with Kim

AP POLITICS - 13 hours 2 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is leaving himself plenty of wiggle room when it comes to following through with a summit with the leader of North Korea, telling reporters that he will bail out of the meeting if he decides it won't produce results. 2018-04-18T20:39:00-04:00 2018-04-19T00:39:17-04:00

Judge to rule on request to dismiss Greitens indictment

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 13 hours 24 min ago

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis judge is expected to rule Thursday on whether to dismiss a felony criminal indictment against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens due to mistakes by the prosecutor and a private investigator she hired.

Circuit Judge Rex Burlison has said he will announce his ruling in ...

The Latest: AP source: Pompeo, Kim discussed held Americans

AP POLITICS - 13 hours 29 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the United States and North Korea (all times local): 2018-04-18T19:48:00-04:00 2018-04-18T23:48:38-04:00

New York Gov. Cuomo grants 35,000 paroled felons right to vote; GOP sees 'power grab'

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 13 hours 29 min ago
In an executive order signed Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo granted some 35,000 paroled felons the right to vote.

Zinke signs order to expand recreational opportunities

AP POLITICS - 13 hours 32 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has ordered his agency to expand recreational opportunities on public lands and waterways. 2018-04-18T14:22:00-04:00 2018-04-18T18:22:19-04:00

No Trade Pacts Emerge from Two Days of Trump-Abe Talks

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 13 hours 33 min ago
Despite frequent assurances that they continue to enjoy a warm friendship, U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over two days of talks apparently failed to bridge significant differences on major trade issues.  Trump declared his discussions with Abe “extremely productive,” but few details of success emerged during their joint news conference Wednesday.  “President Trump and I agreed to start talks for free, fair and reciprocal trade deals,” said Abe, without providing specifics.  Trump expressed his preference for a country-to-country “free trade agreement” between the United States and Japan, while Abe bluntly called for Washington to re-enter what was previously the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Trump pulled the United States from the comprehensive trade pact shortly after taking office.  Japan’s position is “TPP is the best for both of our countries,” Abe told reporters during the news conference at Trump's private resort on the Florida Atlantic coast.  Trump also did not lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Japan, despite previously giving other U.S. allies exemptions. The second of two days of talks Wednesday was devoted to trade after the leaders played 18 holes of golf at one of the president’s nearby courses.  “Lunch was difficult,” said the president’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, in a frank admission of difficulty in the discussions on trade between U.S. and Japanese officials.  “Abe clearly deflected demands for a free trade agreement and bought more time, which is definitely a success for Japan,” according to Tobias Harris, who is vice president for Japan issues at Teneo Intelligence.  Abe was able to extract from Trump a commitment to raise the issue of Japanese abducted over decades by North Korean agents when the U.S. president meets with Kim Jong Un.  “We are deeply encouraged, Donald,” Abe said, expressing his gratitude for understanding on the issue that is highly emotional in Japan. Trump also said “we’re negotiating now” to free three Americans held by North Korea, but he declined to say if their release was a precondition to him meeting with Kim.  Trump reiterated that he hopes to sit down with the North Korean leader by early June in what would be an unprecedented summit between the heads of the two governments, which have never established diplomatic relations.  “We will be doing everything possible to make it a worldwide success,” vowed Trump during Wednesday’s news conference.  But Trump warned: “If I think that it’s a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we're not going to go,” adding, “I will respectfully leave the meeting” with Kim if it does not appear to be going well.  The U.S. president also said he agreed with Abe that maximum pressure would continue to be applied on Pyongyang until it gives up its nuclear weapons.  The Japanese prime minister said successful talks between Trump and Kim could lead to a normalization of ties between Tokyo and Pyongyang.  “We have no idea what will happen when Trump meets Kim, but Trump said the right things,” Harris told VOA.  Trump on Wednesday again praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for applying pressure on Pyongyang.  Analysts say a continued tough stance by Beijing will be critical for progress in getting North Korea to agree to denuclearization.  “The Chinese attitude toward North Korea has changed fundamentally because of the nuclear testing because of the danger to China, and the Chinese actually have had put pressure on the North economically,” said Dennis Wilder, a former National Security Council senior director for East Asian affairs during the George W. Bush presidency.  “I think that the North understands that this administration really would take military action,” Wilder told VOA's Korean Service.  Earlier Wednesday, Trump confirmed that the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, held a secret meeting in Pyongyang with Kim.  “He just left North Korea, had a great meeting with Kim Jong Un, and got along with him really well, really great,” Trump said.  Pompeo has been nominated by the president to succeed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.  “It’s rare for the intelligence community to get involved with diplomacy, and yet the intelligence channels of both South Korea and North Korea have been very active in managing this issue. So, in that sense, Pompeo is a logical choice,” Scott Snyder, a senior fellow for Korean studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told VOA's Korean Service President Moon Jae-in of South Korea is to meet Kim on April 27. Officials in Seoul said theery are looking at the possibility of converting the 1953 armistice, which halted combat in the Korean War, to a peace treaty to formally end the conflict on the peninsula.  VOA Korean Service contributed to this report

House Panel Cuts Food Stamps, Renews Farm Subsidies

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 13 hours 38 min ago
A bitterly divided House panel Wednesday approved new work and job training requirements for food stamps as part of a five-year renewal of federal farm and nutrition policy. The GOP-run Agriculture Committee approved the measure strictly along party lines after a contentious, five-hour hearing in which Democrats blasted the legislation, charging it would toss up to 2 million people off food stamps and warning that it will never pass Congress. The hard-fought food stamp provisions would tighten existing work requirements and expand funding for state training programs, though not by enough to cover everybody subject to the new work and training requirements. Agriculture panel chair Michael Conaway said the provisions would offer food stamp beneficiaries “the hope of a job and a skill and a better future for themselves and their families.” Food stamps At issue is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which provides food aid for more than 40 million people, with benefits averaging about $450 a month for a family of four. The food stamp cuts are part of a “workforce development” agenda promised by GOP leaders such as Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., though other elements of the agenda have been slow to develop. “The timing is just perfect, given the fact that we have more than 5 million jobs that are open and available,” said Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., who said the GOP provisions would cement “a pathway to opportunity” for the poor and “give them better access to skills-based education.” But Democrats said the provisions would drive up to 2 million people off the program, force food stamp recipients to keep up with extensive record keeping rules, and create bulky state bureaucracies to keep track of it all, while not providing enough money to provide job training to all those who would require it. “This legislation would create giant, untested bureaucracies at the state level. It cuts more than $9 billion in benefits and rolls those savings into state slush funds where they can use the money to operate other aspects of SNAP,” said Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, top Democrat on the panel. “Let me be clear: this bill, as currently written, kicks people off the SNAP program.” Currently, adults ages 18-59 are required to work part-time or agree to accept a job if they’re offered one. Stricter rules apply to able-bodied adults without dependents between the ages of 18 and 49, who are subject to a three-month limit of benefits unless they meet a work requirement of 80 hours per month. Under the new bill, that requirement would be expanded to apply to all work-capable adults, mandating that they either work or participate in work training for 20 hours per week with the exception of seniors, pregnant women, caretakers of children younger than 6, or people with disabilities. Farm safety net In addition to food stamps, the measure would renew farm safety-net programs such as subsidies for crop insurance, farm credit, and land conservation. Those subsidies for farm country traditionally form the backbone of support for the measure among Republicans, while urban Democrats support food aid for the poor. The legislation has traditionally been bipartisan, blending support from urban Democrats supporting nutrition programs with farm state lawmakers supporting farm programs. The measure mostly tinkers with those programs, adding provisions aimed at helping rural America obtain high-speed internet access, assist beginning farmers, and ease regulations on producers. “When you step away from the social nutrition policy, much of this is a refinement of the 2014 farm bill. So we’re not reinventing the wheel. That makes it dramatically simpler,” said Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., a former chairman of the committee. “Most folks are generally satisfied with the fundamentals of the farm safety net.” That satisfaction has helped fuel speculation that this year’s renewal of food and farm programs will fail because just a short-term renewal of current policies would satisfy many lawmakers. The Senate is taking a more traditional bipartisan approach that’s sure to avoid big changes to food stamps. The House measure also would cut funding for land conservation programs long championed by Democrats, prompting criticism from environmental groups. At the same time, it contains a proposal backed by pesticide manufacturers such as the Dow Chemical Company that would streamline the process for approving pesticides by allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to skip reviews required under the Endangered Species Act. The panel adopted by voice vote a proposal by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., to prohibit the slaughter, trade or import or export of dogs and cats for human consumption in the United States.

New York AG wants authority to prosecute despite Trump pardons

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 13 hours 44 min ago
Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general who took on Trump University, is seeking support from state officials to grant local prosecutors the authority to charge individuals who may be pardoned by President Donald Trump.

Love letter from George HW Bush to Barbara from WW2 goes viral

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 13 hours 57 min ago
Historians and journalists on Tuesday tweeted out the love letter that former President George H.W. Bush sent to his fiancée Barbara on Dec. 12, 1943.

Brown says agreement reached on California guard deployment

AP POLITICS - 14 hours 11 min ago
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday he reached an agreement with the federal government that California's National Guard troops will deploy to the border to focus on fighting transnational gangs as well as drug and gun smugglers. The announcement comes after a week of uncertainty in which President Donald Trump bashed the governor's insistence that troops avoid immigration-related work. 2018-04-18T19:28:00-04:00 2018-04-18T23:28:07-04:00

Trump, Abe fail to agree on US tariff exemption for Japan

AP POLITICS - 14 hours 25 min ago
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday they had failed to reach a deal that would exempt Japan from new U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, as Abe had wanted. 2018-04-18T17:12:00-04:00 2018-04-18T21:12:44-04:00

Pittsburgh police memo warns officers to bring riot gear in case Trump fires Robert Mueller

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 14 hours 26 min ago

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh police major crimes detectives have been told to bring uniforms and protective gear to work so they're prepared for possible demonstrations if President Donald Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller.

Public safety officials and the mayor have confirmed the authenticity of a memo obtained by news organizations, ...

Brown says agreement reached on California guard deployment

AP POLITICS - 14 hours 38 min ago
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that he would join President Donald Trump's border mission by contributing up to 400 National Guard troops, announcing a deal after a week of uncertainty about how to accomplish a deployment that focuses largely on illegal immigration and honor the governor's insistence that troops avoid immigration-related work. 2018-04-18T17:49:00-04:00 2018-04-18T21:49:17-04:00

Judge finds Kansas' Kris Kobach in contempt of court

REUTERS POLITICS - 14 hours 41 min ago
(Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday found Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in contempt of court for disobeying her order not to enforce the state's disputed proof-of-citizenship voter registration law while the court weighed its legality.

Democratic male senators push to advance sexual harassment legislation

CNN POLITICS - 14 hours 41 min ago
Thirty-one Democratic male senators have sent a letter to Senate leaders calling on them to move on sexual harassment legislation that would overhaul how claims are handled on Capitol Hill.

Windrush: Investigation urged over landing cards

BBC POLITICS - 14 hours 50 min ago
Theresa May says the decision was taken to destroy documents in 2009 - but Labour disputes this.

Kobach helped lead Trump’s election panel. A judge just found him in contempt in a voter ID case

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 14 hours 54 min ago
A judge said the Kansas secretary of state had a pattern of “misleading the court” in a case regarding whether proof of citizenship is required during voter registration.

Status of anti-harassment panel precludes Bustos

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 15 hours 6 min ago

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos is withdrawing from a statewide panel studying sexual harassment and discrimination to allow it to be more independent.

The Democrat from Moline said Wednesday election law and ethics rules prevent her from serving with the group if it becomes an independent legal ...

Karen McDougal can now discuss alleged Trump affair

CNN POLITICS - 15 hours 36 min ago
Karen McDougal, the former Playboy Playmate who says she had an affair with Donald Trump and then unwittingly entered into a contract that wouldn't let her speak to the press, is now free to tell her story.

EPA claims 'American ingenuity,' not Paris accord, cutting greenhouse gas emissions

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 15 hours 44 min ago
Greenhouse gas emissions continue to drop in the U.S., and the Environmental Protection Agency is crediting “American ingenuity.”

Windrush: Lord Kerslake says policy 'reminiscent of Nazi Germany'

BBC POLITICS - 15 hours 48 min ago
The former head of the civil service said some ministers were "deeply unhappy" about the introduction of the "hostile environment" strategy under then Home Secretary Theresa May.

California Gov. Jerry Brown issues order deploying 'up to 400' National Guard troops but lays out strict terms

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 15 hours 59 min ago
California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday that he will be deploying “up to 400” members of the National Guard “to combat” criminal activity – as President Trump slammed the Democratic leader a day before for “trying to back out” of an earlier pledge he made.

Plastic straws and cotton bud ban proposed

BBC POLITICS - 16 hours 33 sec ago
Plan for ban in England announced as Commonwealth leaders urged to join fight against plastic waste.

NY Official: Trump Pardons Can't Be Shield for State Charges

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 16 hours 4 min ago
New York’s attorney general says an unintended loophole in state law could allow criminal defendants pardoned by President Donald Trump to argue that they can’t be charged at the state level. Democrat Eric Schneiderman wrote to state legislators Wednesday urging them to clarify the law to eliminate the possibility. He says a well-intentioned state double jeopardy law could prevent state charges when a defendant already has received a president pardon for similar federal charges. He says the loophole is clearly unintended. Schneiderman says he was “disturbed” by reports that Trump, a Republican, may be considering pardons that could impede criminal investigations, potentially including those into the Trump Organization, the administration or Russian meddling. Democratic state Sen. Todd Kaminsky responded, saying he'll introduce legislation to close the loophole.

Former Trump lawyer says he warned the President that Cohen could turn against him

CNN POLITICS - 16 hours 9 min ago
Jay Goldberg, a longtime lawyer for Donald Trump -- who negotiated Trump's divorces from Ivana Trump and Marla Maples decades ago -- says he received a call from the President last Friday seeking advice and warned the President to be careful about his longtime friend Michael Cohen, who he predicted could end up cooperating with prosecutors.

Andrew McCabe discipline sought by lawmakers, Transparency Project

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 16 hours 10 min ago

A legal watchdog filed a bar grievance against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Wednesday while conservative members of Congress, accusing him of lying under oath, referred him to the Justice Department for criminal charges.

The calls for discipline came just days after an inspector general's report laid out ...

California, Trump administration reach deal on National Guard

REUTERS POLITICS - 16 hours 13 min ago
(Reuters) - California said on Wednesday it had reached a deal with the Trump administration to provide 400 National Guard troops to combat criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers within the state and at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump passes up chance to say if he'll fire Mueller

AP POLITICS - 16 hours 14 min ago
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As his frustration with the investigation into his campaign and business expands into threatening new fronts, President Donald Trump refused to say Wednesday whether he plans to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. 2018-04-18T16:22:00-04:00 2018-04-18T20:22:11-04:00

Haley: Relationship with Trump is ‘Perfect’

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 16 hours 15 min ago
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Wednesday that her relationship with President Donald Trump was “perfect” and that he did not need to be worried about Haley and Vice President Mike Pence running against him in 2020. Her comments come amid unusual public friction between Haley, a former South Carolina governor who is known for her blunt diplomacy at the United Nations, and the White House. Haley, a member of Trump’s Cabinet, said Sunday that Washington was preparing new sanctions on Russia over its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. However, Trump delayed further action, a senior administration official said. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Haley might have been confused about Washington’s plans, but Haley fired back Tuesday: “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.” Kudlow said he had apologized to Haley. Not publicity shy When asked Wednesday about her relationship with Trump, Haley said: “It’s perfect.” While former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shied away from the spotlight, Haley has carved out a high-profile role for herself in the Trump administration while at the same time ensuring that she publicly praises the president. Her direct approach at the United Nations initially raised eyebrows among diplomats, but many acknowledge her political skills and speculate that she has ambitions for higher office. 2020 bid? The New York Times reported Tuesday that Republicans close to the White House whisper about a possible joint campaign by Haley and Pence in 2020. Trump, who is known to place a high premium on loyalty, has said he will run again in 2020. When asked Wednesday if Trump should be worried about a Pence/Haley campaign, Haley smiled, shook her head and said: “No.” Pence’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Adding to the friction was Pence’s brief appointment of Haley’s senior aide Jon Lerner as his top adviser on foreign policy issues. Lerner withdrew Sunday after a behind-the-scenes White House argument hit the headlines. He will continue working for Haley. A senior administration official said that Haley had not been “freelancing” when she spoke about new Russian sanctions Sunday.  “The president just wanted to slow down the process after she spoke,” the official said. Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said he had not spoken with Haley about her remarks on sanctions. When asked if he believe Haley or the White House, Nebenzia said: “I believe in God. Let them sort it out themselves. It’s not our game.”

GOP enlists Trump, leadership to stave off Democratic challenge in Arizona

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 16 hours 15 min ago
Trump has been making robo-calls since earlier this month, and Republicans have spent more than $500,000 on the special election in a strongly Republican district

James Comey faces the public's questions at New York book event

CNN POLITICS - 16 hours 18 min ago
Former FBI Director James Comey answered New Yorkers' questions on moral leadership, regret and Hillary Clinton's emails on Wednesday night for the first time since his book was released.

Ex-Playboy model released from deal not to discuss alleged Trump affair

REUTERS POLITICS - 16 hours 32 min ago
(Reuters) - Former Playboy model Karen McDougal reached an agreement on Wednesday with tabloid publisher American Media Inc that will allow her to speak freely about an affair she alleges she had with President Donald Trump, the company said in a statement.

Trump decided to abandon plans for more Russia sanctions

CNN POLITICS - 16 hours 37 min ago
President Donald Trump personally made the decision to abandon plans to impose more sanctions on Russia for supporting Syria's chemical weapons attack on civilians, according to three senior administration officials and a source familiar with the discussions.

The Latest: Judge sets Friday hearing in Stormy Daniels case

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 16 hours 55 min ago

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on adult film star Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

A federal judge in Los Angeles has set a hearing to determine whether there should be a stay in the case of a porn actress who claims she had ...

Trump says unless NKorea summit 'fruitful' he'll pull out

AP POLITICS - 16 hours 59 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that although he's looking ahead optimistically to a historic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he could still pull out if he feels it's "not going to be fruitful." 2018-04-18T16:42:00-04:00 2018-04-18T20:42:34-04:00

Brown says agreement reached on California guard deployment

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 17 hours 1 min ago

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown says he has reached agreement with the Trump administration to deploy up to 400 California National Guard troops to the border and elsewhere.

Brown announced Wednesday that troops are expected to start deploying by the end of April. He says the federal government ...

Trump suggests he is not rushing to fire Mueller, Rosenstein

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 17 hours 7 min ago
At Florida summit with the Japanese leader, the president notes that federal officials he’s criticized are “still here.”

The Latest: AP source: Pompeo, Kim discussed held Americans

AP POLITICS - 17 hours 14 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the United States and North Korea (all times local): 2018-04-18T16:16:00-04:00 2018-04-18T20:16:22-04:00

Trump hopes for successful North Korea summit, but warns he could walk away

REUTERS POLITICS - 17 hours 19 min ago
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he hoped an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be successful after a recent visit to Pyongyang by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, but warned he would call it off if he did not think it would produce results.

Haley's retort shows why she's unique in Trump's White House

CNN POLITICS - 17 hours 20 min ago
Public humiliation is a rite of passage for many top officials in the Trump administration. But when it was Nikki Haley's turn this week, she fought back, defending herself in a way that reflects her unique status in the Trump administration.

Former U.S. Olympians tell Congress more reforms needed in gymnastics

REUTERS POLITICS - 17 hours 23 min ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. gymnastics needs more reforms to wipe out sexual abuse after a scandal involving an ex-team doctor convicted of molesting female athletes, former Olympic athletes told a Senate panel on Wednesday.

Babies now allowed on the US Senate floor following rare move to change rules

CNN POLITICS - 17 hours 25 min ago
In a rare move, the Senate on Wednesday night voted to change longstanding rules to allow newborns -- for the first time -- onto the Senate floor during votes.

Jerry Brown signs order deploying National Guard to border

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 17 hours 27 min ago

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an order Wednesday deploying National Guard troops to the border, making good on his promise to support President Trump's request but on his own terms.

Mr. Brown said up to 400 troops will help Homeland Security go after criminal gangs, human smugglers, drug traffickers and ...

Ex-Playboy Model Settles Lawsuit Over Alleged Trump Affair

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 17 hours 29 min ago
A former Playboy model who said she had a 10-month affair with President Donald Trump settled her lawsuit Wednesday with a supermarket tabloid over an agreement that prohibited her from discussing the relationship publicly. Karen McDougal’s settlement with the company that owns the National Enquirer “restores to me the rights to my life story and frees me from this contract that I was misled into signing nearly two years ago,” she said in a statement Wednesday.  In August 2016, the tabloid’s parent company, American Media Inc., paid McDougal $150,000 for the rights to her story about the alleged relationship, but the story never ran.  Last month, McDougal filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles asking to invalidate the contract. The suit alleged Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, was secretly involved in her discussions with AMI executives. Federal agents raided Cohen’ office and residence last week seeking any information on payments made in 2016 to McDougal and porn actress Stormy Daniels, according to people familiar with the investigation but not authorized to discuss it publicly. Daniels has said she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. The search warrants also sought bank records, records on Cohen’s dealings in the taxi industry and his communications with the Trump campaign, the people said.  Under the settlement agreement, McDougal can keep the $150,000 she was paid and AMI has the rights to up to $75,000 for any future profits from her story about the relationship. The company also retains the rights to photographs of McDougal that it already has, the settlement said.  AMI had argued McDougal had been allowed to speak about her relationship since 2016 and the contract gave the company discretion over whether to publish the story. In an interview with CNN that aired last month, McDougal said Trump tried to pay her after their first sexual tryst at a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2006. McDougal said she continued the relationship with Trump for about 10 months and broke it off in April 2007 because she felt guilty.  The White House has said Trump denies having an affair with McDougal. Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump, in 2005, and their son, Barron, was born in 2006. “My goal from the beginning was to restore my rights and not to achieve any financial gain, and this settlement does exactly that,” McDougal said. “I am relieved to be able to tell the truth about my story when asked, and I look forward to being able to return to my private life and focus on what matters to me.”

Missouri Gov. Greitens banks on public backing in not resigning

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 17 hours 29 min ago
Accused of sexual and political misconduct, Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is defying calls to resign from top lawmakers in his own party while instead banking on steady support from the voters who backed his populist campaign against "corrupt insiders" and "career politicians."

'No collusion ... No collusion ... No collusion ... No collusion ... No collusion'

CNN POLITICS - 17 hours 36 min ago
On Wednesday night at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs asked President Donald Trump a simple question: Had he decided, in light of recent events, that it no longer was advantageous for him to sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller?

Inside the Beltway: Fox News praised by analyst for serious, credible coverage

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 17 hours 40 min ago

"While CNN and MSNBC obsess over Stormy Daniels, Fox News covers a real crisis in Syria," writes Aidan McLaughlin, an analyst for Mediaite.com who spent Wednesday monitoring coverage on the three cable news networks.

"As stunning as it is that the president is being sued by a porn star who ...

Bob Goodlatte to subpoena James Comey memos

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 17 hours 55 min ago

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte is preparing to issue a subpoena to force the Justice Department to turn over former FBI Director James Comey's memos that he wrote — and then had leaked — detailing his interactions with President Trump.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the committee, ...

Baby, c'mon in: Senate allows newborns of members in chamber

AP POLITICS - 17 hours 56 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Who doesn't like babies? 2018-04-18T15:40:00-04:00 2018-04-18T19:40:24-04:00

Survey: Most US Teens, Parents Worry About School Shootings

VOICE OF AMERICA POLITICS - 17 hours 56 min ago
Two months after the deadly shooting at high school in Parkland, Florida, a majority of American teens and their parents are worried about safety in schools, a new survey found.  Fifty-seven percent of teens surveyed by the Pew Research Center said they were worried about the possibility of a shooting at their school. Most parents of teens shared that concern.  The survey found one in four teens admitted being “very worried” while nearly 30 percent said they were “somewhat worried.” Only 13 percent they were not worried at all.  Nonwhite teens expressed a higher level of concern than their white peers. Sixty-four percent of black and Hispanic teens said they were at least somewhat concerned, compared with 51 percent of white teens.  Parents of teenagers expressed levels of concern similar to those of their children, with 63 percent saying they were worried about the possibility of deadly shootings at their children's schools.  The survey was conducted in March and April after the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others.  The tragedy has spawned one of the largest ever youth-led movements against gun violence. On March 24, teenagers, led by survivors from Parkland, held a massive rally in Washington and most cities across the country and many around the world. Organizers estimated 800,000 people attended the March For Our Lives rally in the U.S. capital. 

Pompeo confirmation winnowing down to a handful of undecided Democrats

CNN POLITICS - 17 hours 59 min ago
No Democrats have said yet they'll support Mike Pompeo, keeping the CIA director's fate unclear as the Senate prepares to vote on his nomination to be secretary of state.

Senate votes to allow babies on the floor following Sen. Duckworth's delivery

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 17 hours 59 min ago
Duckworth, 50, last week became the first senator to give birth while serving in the Senate

Michael Avenatti says Stormy Daniels 'likely' to sue Trump for defamation

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 17 hours 59 min ago

President Trump's Twitter habit may have led him into a defamation lawsuit.

The attorney for Stormy Daniels said Wednesday that the porn star, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is "likely" going to sue Mr. Trump for defamation.

"We're likely going to be amending our complaint, we're looking at doing ...

Trump: US will punish Russia with sanctions 'as soon as they very much deserve it'

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 17 hours 59 min ago
President Trump told reporters Wednesday evening that the U.S. will levy new sanctions against the Russian government "as soon as they very much deserve it."

House Judiciary chair plans to subpoena to get Comey memos

CNN POLITICS - 18 hours 3 min ago
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte plans to issue a subpoena to the Justice Department demanding memos fired FBI Director James Comey wrote memorializing his conversations with President Donald Trump, according to two sources briefed on the matter.

No criminal charges for immigration agents over deadly crash

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 18 hours 8 min ago

DELANO, Calif. (AP) - No criminal charges will be filed against two federal immigration agents over a Central California crash that killed two people who were in the country illegally.

Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green announced the decision Wednesday.

Santo Garcia and Marcelina Garcia Profecto died last month in ...

Trump allies press Rosenstein in private meeting in latest sign of tensions

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 18 hours 19 min ago
The meeting came just days after a warning that House Republicans could impeach Rosenstein if he does not meet GOP demands.

James Comey's 'Higher Loyalty' book gets anger, praise on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 18 hours 21 min ago

As the publicity blitz for James Comey's new book hits overdrive, mixed reaction has poured in from Capitol Hill, with some lawmakers defending the fired FBI director and others warning he could soon face criminal charges for writing his tell-all tale.

"A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership" paints a ...

Hawaii lawmakers consider bump stock ban after Las Vegas

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 18 hours 22 min ago

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are discussing two bills that would tighten the state's already strict gun regulations.

One bill would ban bump stocks, a device used by the gunman in the Las Vegas shooting last October that killed 58 people. Bump stocks allow guns to be fired like assault ...

The Republican plan to tighten food stamp work requirements is advancing - without a single Democrat’s vote

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 18 hours 29 min ago
House Republicans unanimously voted to advance their Farm Bill, even as Democrats excoriated it as an “ideological crusade” that would hurt the poor.

Stormy Daniels' lawyer mulling suing Trump directly for defamation

CNN POLITICS - 18 hours 30 min ago
Stormy Daniels' lawyer said Wednesday that he is looking to file a defamation claim directly against President Donald Trump.

Pittsburgh police told to prepare for Mueller protests

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 18 hours 37 min ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh police major crimes detectives have been told to bring uniforms and protective gear to work so they're prepared for possible demonstrations if President Donald Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller.

Public safety officials and the mayor have confirmed the authenticity of a memo obtained by news ...

Ex-Playboy model who alleged Trump affair reaches settlement with Enquirer publisher

WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 18 hours 39 min ago
Karen McDougal’s deal ends a suit over the rights to her account of the alleged relationship a decade ago.

Grassley 'moving ahead' with Mueller bill despite McConnell's opposition

CNN POLITICS - 18 hours 40 min ago
Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans are plowing ahead with their plan to pass a bill out of the committee that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller, despite Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's vow not to put the measure on the Senate floor.

Trump offers no signals he'll fire Mueller or Rosenstein

CNN POLITICS - 18 hours 44 min ago
President Donald Trump on Wednesday downplayed speculation he's moving to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Karen McDougal, ex-Playboy model, settles National Enquirer suit that had silenced her on alleged Trump affair

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 18 hours 44 min ago
Karen McDougal, the former Playboy Playmate who claimed she had an affair with President Trump, has settled her lawsuit with the tabloid that prevented her from discussing the relationship, McDougal said on Wednesday.

Trump says he'll 'respectfully leave' Kim Jong Un summit if talks are 'not fruitful'

FOXNEWS POLITICS - 18 hours 44 min ago
President Trump told reporters Wednesday that he will discuss the denuclearization of North Korea with that country's dictator, Kim Jong Un, when the two leaders meet at a planned summit in the coming weeks.

Donald Trump on firing Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein: 'They're still here'

WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 18 hours 46 min ago

President Trump shrugged off reports Wednesday night that he wants to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for their work on the Russia investigation, pointing out "they're still here."

"They've been saying I'm going to get rid of them for the last three months" or ...

The Latest: Trump: US is seeking to free Americans in NKorea

AP POLITICS - 18 hours 51 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the United States and North Korea (all times local): 2018-04-18T14:51:00-04:00 2018-04-18T18:51:11-04:00

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