MONTAUK, N.Y. (AP) — Even after winter storms left East Coast harbors thick with ice, some of the country’s top chefs and trendy restaurants were offering sushi-grade tuna supposedly pulled in fresh off the coast of New York.
But it was just an illusion. No tuna was landing there. The fish had long since migrated to warmer waters.
In a global industry plagued by fraud and deceit, conscientious consumers are increasingly paying top dollar for what they believe is local, sustainably caught seafood. But even in this fast-growing niche market, companies can hide behind murky supply chains that make it difficult to determine where any given fish comes from. That’s where national distributor Sea To Table stepped in, guaranteeing its products were wild and directly traceable to a U.S. dock — and sometimes the very boat that brought it in.
However, an Associated Press investigation found the company was linked to some of the same practices it vowed to fight. Preliminary DNA tests suggested some of its yellowfin tuna likely came from the other side of the world, and reporters traced the company’s supply chain to migrant fishermen in foreign waters who described labor abuses, poaching and the slaughter of sharks, whales and dolphins.
The New York-based distributor was also offering species in other parts of the country that were illegal to catch, out of season and farmed.
Trump claim raises eyebrows: NKorea no longer a nuke threat?
WASHINGTON (AP) — America and the world can “sleep well tonight,” President Donald Trump declared on Wednesday, boasting that his summit with Kim Jong Un had ended any nuclear threat from North Korea though the meeting produced no details on how or when weapons might be eliminated or even reduced.
While Trump claimed a historic breakthrough at the most significant diplomatic event of his presidency, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was more measured. He said the U.S. wants North Korea to take “major” nuclear disarmament steps within the next two years — before the end of Trump’s first term in 2021.
Pompeo also cautioned that the U.S. would resume “war games” with close ally South Korea if the North stops negotiating in good faith. The president had announced a halt in the drills after his meeting with Kim on Tuesday, a concession long sought by Pyongyang.
The summit in Singapore did mark a reduction in tensions — a sea change from last fall, when North Korea was conducting nuclear and missile tests and Trump and Kim were trading threats and insults that stoked fears of war. Kim is now promising to work toward a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
But the details of what is sure to be a complex and contentious process have yet to be settled.
10 Things to Know for Thursday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:
1. WHY ‘LOCAL’ FISH ISN’T ALWAYS LOCAL
An Associated Press investigation finds that a leading sustainable seafood distributor who promised wild-caught, domestic fish has been duping chefs across the U.S.
2. TRUMP ON NORTH KOREA CLAIM RAISES EYEBROWS
President Donald Trump declared that his summit with Kim Jong Un ended any nuclear threat, though the meeting produced no details on how or when weapons might be eliminated or reduced.
Primary election lesson for GOP: Don’t cross the president
WASHINGTON (AP) — Don’t cross President Donald Trump.
That’s the lesson many Republicans are drawing from Rep. Mark Sanford’s surprise defeat Tuesday in his primary election in South Carolina. The victor, state Rep. Katie Arrington, repeatedly highlighted Sanford’s criticism of the president.
The outcome is a cautionary tale for Republicans in Congress who try to work with Trump while also maintaining their independence. One wrong turn — or in Sanford’s case, many — and they could face the wrath of a president who is quick to attack detractors as enemies, even in his own party.
“That’s ultimately what the race devolved down to, which was, was I Trump enough?” Sanford told reporters on Capitol Hill.
“It’s a very tribal environment right now,” he said. “Are you for or against Trump?”
Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting 3 times faster than before
WASHINGTON (AP) — The melting of Antarctica is accelerating at an alarming rate, with about 3 trillion tons of ice disappearing since 1992, an international team of ice experts said in a new study.
In the last quarter century, the southern-most continent’s ice sheet — a key indicator of climate change — melted into enough water to cover Texas to a depth of nearly 13 feet (4 meters), scientists calculated. All that water made global oceans rise about three-tenths of an inch (7.6 millimeters).
From 1992 to 2011, Antarctica lost nearly 84 billion tons of ice a year (76 billion metric tons). From 2012 to 2017, the melt rate increased to more than 241 billion tons a year (219 billion metric tons), according to the study Wednesday in the journal Nature .
“I think we should be worried. That doesn’t mean we should be desperate,” said University of California Irvine’s Isabella Velicogna, one of 88 co-authors. “Things are happening. They are happening faster than we expected.”
Part of West Antarctica, where most of the melting occurred, “is in a state of collapse,” said co-author Ian Joughin of the University of Washington.
Videos show Vegas police helping people duck, escape gunfire
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Some of the first Las Vegas police officers to respond to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history huddled with people taking cover, organized escape routes, carried wounded victims to safety and ducked behind barriers as bullets rained around them, according to video released Wednesday.
“It’s coming from the Mandalay Bay!” an officer is heard saying on one video.
“Stay down!” he tells unseen people during bursts of rapid gunfire, while a dispatcher on his police radio says multiple people have gunshot wounds. “Over here! Get behind the police car!”
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released 28 clips of police body-camera video ranging from a few seconds to more than two hours, totaling about 10 hours of footage. It was the sixth batch of information released under court order in a public records lawsuit from media organizations, including The Associated Press.
Names of the officers were not provided. Police and the FBI have declined to comment on any of the material released months after the Oct. 1 shooting, which killed 58 people and injured hundreds of others attending an outdoor concert.
Worker protections seen at risk in Trump health care shift
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration’s latest move against “Obamacare” could jeopardize legal protections on pre-existing medical conditions for millions of people with employer coverage, particularly workers in small businesses, say law and insurance experts.
At issue is Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent decision that the Justice Department will no longer defend key parts of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act in court. That includes the law’s unpopular requirement to carry health insurance, but also widely supported provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions and limit what insurers can charge older, sicker customers.
Two independent experts said Wednesday that the administration appears to be taking aim at provisions of the ACA that protect people in employer plans, not only the smaller pool of consumers who buy a policy directly from an insurer. The new Trump administration position was outlined last week in a legal brief filed by the Justice Department in a Texas case challenging the Obama health law.
Workers “could face the prospect of insurance that doesn’t cover their pre-existing conditions when they enroll in a plan with a new employer,” said Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley said the administration does not appear to have thought through all the consequences of moving against one provision of a health law that has many complicated interlocking parts.
Big hurdles for bold push to split California into 3 states
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians will face a choice this November of whether to divide the nation’s most populous state into three, an effort that would radically shake up not only the West Coast, but the entire nation.
The “Cal 3” initiative is driven by venture capitalist Tim Draper, who has tried and failed in the past to place an effort to break up California on the ballot, including a bid in 2016 to create six separate states. Backers of the measure argue California has become “ungovernable” because of its economic and geographic diversity as well as its population approaching 40 million people.
Election officials say this year’s effort gathered the roughly 365,000 signatures it needed to land on the general election ballot. It will be officially certified later this month. Even if it wins passage from voters, the measure would face significant hurdles.
California would break into three states — Northern California, California and Southern California. The measure aims to create states with relatively equal populations and economic strengths.
Police investigate elder abuse of Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police are investigating reports of elder abuse against Stan Lee that come amid a struggle over the life and fortune of the 95-year-old Marvel Comics mogul, court documents showed Wednesday.
The investigation was revealed in a restraining order granted against Keya Morgan, who in recent months has been acting as Lee’s business manager and personal adviser.
Morgan has inserted himself into the life of the Lee, according to the order. The filing accuses Morgan, 42, of taking advantage of Lee’s impaired hearing, vision and judgment, moving Lee from his longtime family home and preventing family and associates from contacting him.
Morgan was arrested on Monday for allegedly filing a false police report by calling 911 and saying burglars were in his house when in fact two detectives and a social worker were conducting a welfare check on Lee.
“I have a very dear friend I take care of who is 95 and um, uh, three unidentified people have gone inside this house and locked the door and locked his security out and I’m very, very scared that they’re harming him,” Morgan said on the 911 call made on May 30, according to a transcript filed with the restraining order.
Comcast challenges Disney with $65B bid for Fox
NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast made a $65 billion bid Wednesday for Fox’s entertainment businesses, setting up a battle with Disney to become the next mega-media company.
The bid comes just a day after a federal judge cleared AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner and rejected the government’s argument that it would hurt competition in cable and satellite TV and jack up costs to consumers for streaming TV and movies. The ruling signaled that Comcast could win regulatory approval, too; its bid for Fox shares many similarities with the AT&T-Time Warner deal.
Comcast says its cash bid is 19 percent higher than the value of Disney offer as of Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal and others reported earlier that Comcast had lined up $60 billion in cash to challenge Disney for media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s company. Disney’s offer was for $52.5 billion when it was made in December, though the final value will depend on the stock price at the closing.
“This is a golden offer that will put considerable pressure on (Disney CEO Bob) Iger and Disney to step up their game on another bid,” GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives said. “This is even higher than the Street thought, which speaks to Comcast really wanting these key assets.”
The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox comes as traditional entertainment companies try to amass more content to compete better with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers’ attention — and dollars.