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AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST

A demand for a ring, an eruption of gunfire and 4 dead

CHICAGO (AP) — Moments before her ex-fiance fatally shot her in the parking lot of the hospital where she worked, a Chicago doctor called 911 to report that she had spotted the man and feared for her life, police said Tuesday.

As investigators tried to piece together the events that ended with the deaths of the doctor, a police officer, a hospital employee and the gunman, they were able to fill in details about the attack Monday at Mercy Hospital on the city’s South Side.

Dr. Tamara O’Neal had recently called off her engagement to Juan Lopez so when she saw him, she called for help. She also told an acquaintance in the parking lot that she was afraid before that person retreated to the hospital to call 911 as well.

When Lopez confronted her, the former couple argued about O’Neal calling off the engagement, and Lopez demanded that she return the engagement ring. Then, police said, people inside and around the hospital heard gunfire.

O’Neal fell to the ground. Witness James Gray looked out of the hospital window to see where the gunshots had come from and watched as Lopez “stood over her and shot her three more times,” he told reporters.

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Trump says no penalty for Saudi prince for Khashoggi murder

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Tuesday he would not further punish Saudi Arabia for the murder of U.S.-based columnist Jamal Khashoggi — making clear in an exclamation-filled statement that the benefits of good relations with the kingdom outweigh the possibility its crown prince ordered the killing.

The president condemned the brutal slaying of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as a “horrible crime … that our country does not condone.” But he rejected calls by many in Congress, including members of his own party, for a tougher response, and also dismissed reports from U.S. intelligence agencies that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must have at least known about such an audacious and intricate plot.

“It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event,” the president said. “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

In many ways, the statement captured Trump’s view of the world and foreign policy, grounded in economic necessity. It began with the words “America First!” followed by “The world is a very dangerous place!”

It came after weeks of debate over whether the president would or should come down hard on the Saudis and the crown prince in response to the killing of the Saudi columnist for The Washington Post who had criticized the royal family.

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Americans, Canadians are warned not to eat romaine lettuce

NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials in the U.S. and Canada told people Tuesday to stop eating romaine lettuce because of a new E. coli outbreak.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is working with officials in Canada on the outbreak, which has sickened 32 people in 11 states and 18 people in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

The strain identified is different than the one linked to romaine earlier this year but appears similar to last year’s outbreak linked to leafy greens.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency doesn’t have enough information to ask suppliers for a recall, but he suggested that supermarkets and restaurants should withdraw romaine until the source of the contamination can be identified. People are also being advised to throw out any romaine they have at home.

The contaminated lettuce is likely still on the market, Gottlieb told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

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2 kids, 2 adults dead in arson fire at mansion

COLTS NECK, N.J. (AP) — Two children and two adults were found dead Tuesday at a burning mansion that was intentionally set ablaze in an upscale community near the New Jersey shore, officials said.

One of the owners of the home is a technology CEO with a relative whose home also caught fire Tuesday, records show. Authorities said they were investigating whether the two blazes were connected.

Three severely burned bodies were found inside the mansion in Colts Neck, and a man’s body was discovered outside, Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said at a news conference.

Officials have not released any identities, and a medical examiner was still investigating how the four people died, Gramiccioni said.

“It’s important to emphasize that we have no reason to believe that anyone in the community is in any danger at this time,” he added.

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US senator apologizes to anyone offended by ‘hanging’ remark

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A white Republican U.S. senator from Mississippi said during a debate with her African-American Democratic opponent Tuesday night that she apologizes to people who were offended when she complimented a supporter by saying she would attend a “public hanging” if the supporter invited her.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s remark was caught on video that was released last week. It has brought widespread criticism both inside and outside Mississippi, a state with a history of racially motivated lynchings.

“For anyone that was offended by my comments, I certainly apologize. There was no ill will, no intent whatsoever in my statement,” Hyde-Smith said Tuesday during a televised debate with Democrat Mike Espy.

The apology was a new approach for Hyde-Smith, who repeatedly refused to answer questions about the hanging comment at a news conference Nov. 12, the day after the publisher of a liberal-leaning news site posted the video on Facebook and Twitter.

The clip shows Hyde-Smith praising a cattle rancher at a Nov. 2 campaign event in Tupelo by saying: “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” Shortly after the video’s release, she said in a statement that the expression was an “exaggerated expression of regard” and said it is “ridiculous” to read any negative connotation into it.

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Trump provides written responses to Mueller questions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has provided the special counsel with written answers to questions about his knowledge of Russian interference in the 2016 election, his lawyers said Tuesday, avoiding at least for now a potentially risky sit-down with prosecutors. It’s the first time he has directly cooperated with the long investigation.

The step is a milestone in the negotiations between Trump’s attorneys and special counsel Robert Mueller’s team over whether and when the president might sit for an interview.

The compromise outcome, nearly a year in the making, offers some benefit to both sides. Trump at least temporarily averts the threat of an in-person interview, which his lawyers have long resisted, while Mueller secures on-the-record statements whose accuracy the president will be expected to stand by for the duration of the investigation.

The responses may also help stave off a potential subpoena fight over Trump’s testimony if Mueller deems them satisfactory. They represent the first time the president is known to have described to investigators his knowledge of key moments under scrutiny by prosecutors.

But investigators may still press for more information.

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Renault board: Ghosn to remain CEO while detained in Japan

PARIS (AP) — Carlos Ghosn will remain chairman and CEO of Renault despite being detained in Japan on allegations he misused assets of partner Nissan Motor Co. and under-reported millions of dollars in income.

The French carmaker’s board of directors announced its decision after an emergency meeting in Paris on Tuesday.

The board, however, said it was appointing the automaker’s No. 2 executive, Chief Operating Officer Thierry Bollore, to temporarily fill in for Ghosn.

“Mr. Ghosn, temporarily incapacitated, remains chairman and chief executive officer,” a statement from Renault’s board said. But while Ghosn deals with his legal issues in Japan, Bollore will have the same authority to run the company as the CEO, it added.

Renault’s board said its decision was made with an eye toward keeping the company on a steady course “to preserve the interests of the group and the continuity of its operations.”

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Ohio Democrat says she won’t challenge Pelosi for speaker

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, the top potential rival to Nancy Pelosi for House speaker, dropped out of the running Tuesday, delivering a blow to efforts to topple the California Democrat.

Fudge announced her decision just as Pelosi said she was naming the Ohio congresswoman as incoming chair of a newly revived elections subcommittee that will delve into voting rights access, a top priority of the new Democratic majority. The move also came the same day Fudge faced questions over her past support for a man now suspected of stabbing his ex-wife.

Her consideration to run for speaker, Fudge said, was in part to “ensure diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the House.” She was “now confident that we will move forward together,” she said in a statement.

As a former chairwoman of the influential Congressional Black Caucus, Fudge noted she was assured by Pelosi assured that black women, in particular, “will have a seat at the decision-making table.”

Pelosi’s move to revive the elections subcommittee of the House Administration Committee is an example of the reach of the leader’s office to dole out plum assignments to lawmakers — or withhold them — as she works to shore up votes to become speaker.

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AP Exclusive: Gov’t questions unfair student loan practices

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the nation’s largest student loan servicing companies may have driven tens of thousands of borrowers struggling with their debts into higher-cost repayment plans.

That’s the finding of a Department of Education audit of practices at Navient Corp., the nation’s third-largest student loan servicing company.

The conclusions of the 2017 audit, which until now have been kept from the public and were obtained by The Associated Press, appear to support federal and state lawsuits that accuse Navient of boosting its profits by steering some borrowers into the high-cost plans without discussing options that would have been less costly in the long run.

The education department has not shared the audit’s findings with the plaintiffs in the lawsuits. In fact, even while knowing of its conclusions, the department repeatedly argued that state and other federal authorities do not have jurisdiction over Navient’s business practices.

“The existence of this audit makes the Department of Education’s position all the more disturbing,” said Aaron Ament, president of the National Student Legal Defense Network, who worked for the Department of Education under President Barack Obama.

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Report: Trump wanted to prosecute Comey, Hillary Clinton

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump told his counsel’s office last spring that he wanted to prosecute political adversaries Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, an idea that prompted White House lawyers to prepare a memo warning of consequences ranging up to possible impeachment, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Then-counsel Don McGahn told the president he had no authority to order such a prosecution, and he had White House lawyers prepare the memo arguing against such a move, The Associated Press confirmed with a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss the situation. McGahn said that Trump could request such a probe but that even asking could lead to accusations of abuse of power, the newspaper said.

Presidents typically go out of their way to avoid any appearance of exerting influence over Justice Department investigations.

Trump has continued to privately discuss the matter of prosecuting his longtime adversaries, including talk of a new special counsel to investigate both Clinton and Comey, the newspaper said, citing two people who had spoken to Trump about the matter.

Trump has repeatedly and publicly called on the Justice Department to investigate Clinton, and he has tweeted his dismay over what he saw as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ reluctance to go after Clinton. Trump’s former lawyer, John Dowd, urged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a memo last year to investigate Comey and his handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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