The Latest: Acting attorney general says he’s honored
WASHINGTON (AP) — The new acting attorney general says he’s honored that President Donald Trump has confidence in his ability to lead the Justice Department.
Matthew Whitaker said in a statement Wednesday that he is committed to “leading a fair department with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans.”
Whitaker says Jeff Sessions, who was forced out Wednesday, has been a “dedicated public servant for over 40 years.” He calls Sessions a man of integrity “who has served this nation well.”
Whitaker became acting attorney general after Sessions resigned from the Justice Department. Sessions said in his resignation letter that the move was made at Trump’s request.
The Latest: White House suspends pass of CNN’s Acosta
NEW YORK (AP) — The White House says it has suspended the press pass of CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta.
The suspension comes after a heated confrontation Wednesday between Acosta and President Donald Trump during a news conference.
They began sparring after Acosta asked Trump about the caravan of migrants heading from Latin America to the southern U.S. border. When Acosta tried to follow up with another question, Trump said, “That’s enough!” and a White House aide unsuccessfully tried to grab the microphone from Acosta.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has released a statement accusing Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern,” calling it “absolutely unacceptable.”
McConnell: ‘Good Morning’ for Senate GOP, Trump ‘helpful’
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it’s a “good morning” for Republicans. He says President Donald Trump helped keep the Senate in GOP hands.
The Kentucky Republican spoke Wednesday morning, hours after midterm election voters kept the Senate controlled by Republicans, even as they flipped the House to a Democratic majority.
McConnell told reporters of the Senate elections: “We had a very good day. I’m proud of what happened. The president was very helpful to us.”
McConnell warned that Democrats in the House will have to decide how much they want to “harass” Trump.
The Kentucky Republican said he can’t imagine taking up immigration legislation this year.
Midterms offer clues for Trump and Democrats in 2020
WASHINGTON (AP) — This week’s midterms are offering lessons for both parties as the battle for the 2020 presidential nomination unfolds.
For Democrats, the potential path back to the White House opened with a string of statewide victories in Rust Belt states.
Perhaps no state offered Democrats more hope than Wisconsin, which shocked the party in 2016 by narrowly falling into Trump’s column. Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s narrow loss in his bid for a third term left Democrats optimistic they could reclaim Wisconsin along with other traditionally blue states that Trump carried, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Still, there are plenty of reasons for caution for Democrats. Gains in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were offset by mixed results in Ohio and GOP dominance in Florida.
ELECTION 2018-GOVERNOR-GEORGIA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Adviser: GOP’s Kemp declaring victory in Georgia
ATLANTA (AP) — A campaign adviser for Republican Brian Kemp adviser says the candidate is declaring victory in Georgia governor’s race.
Campaign official Ryan Mahoney made the announcement during a Wednesday afternoon conference call with reporters. Kemp was not on the call.
Mahoney says, “We are declaring victory.”
A second campaign official, Austin Chambers, said on the call, “The message here is pretty simple: This election is over, and the results are clear”
Kemp has just more than 50 percent of Tuesday’s vote, which would give him the majority threshold needed to secure a victory. The Associated Press has not called the race.
Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams has not conceded the race, and her campaign believes there are enough uncounted ballots to force Kemp into a runoff.
New acting attorney general is a GOP loyalist from Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The man who will serve at least temporarily as the nation’s top law enforcement official is a Republican Party loyalist from Iowa who has called for limiting special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Matthew G. Whitaker will become the nation’s acting attorney general following the forced resignation of Jeff Sessions. President Donald Trump announced the appointment Wednesday. He says a permanent attorney general will be nominated later.
Whitaker, who is 49, is a former federal prosecutor and has served as Sessions’ chief of staff for one year.
Most of Whitaker’s relevant experience came when he served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa from 2004 until 2009. In that role, he managed attorneys who prosecuted federal crimes and represented the government in civil matters in half of Iowa.
Smartphone makers bet on foldable screens as next big thing
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The smartphone industry has been searching for a breakthrough to revive a market mired in an innovation lull and a sales slump.
A potential catalyst is coming with the introduction of phones featuring flexible screens that can be folded in half without breaking. That feat could make the devices more versatile for work and pleasure, by increasing screen space without making phones too big.
On Wednesday, Samsung provided a glimpse at a foldable-screen device that it will release next year. It’s expected to compete against several other flexible-screen phones.
But it’s unclear whether the flexibility will have mass appeal, especially when the bendy devices are expected to cost more than $1,000.
GOOGLE-NEW YORK CITY
Report: Google planning big New York City expansion
NEW YORK (AP) — The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is planning a major expansion in New York City.
The newspaper reported Wednesday that the company plans to add space for more than 12,000 additional New York workers. The Journal cited anonymous people familiar with the plans.
The paper said Google has New York real estate deals in the works that would give it room for nearly 20,000 workers. Those include buying or leasing a 1.3 million-square-foot building in the city’s West Village neighborhood due to be completed by 2022.
The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Seattle-based Amazon is reportedly considering dividing a new second headquarters between New York’s Long Island City and Crystal City in northern Virginia. That would potentially add 25,000 jobs to each place.
AP source: Saints sign ex-Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant
METAIRIE, La. (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says free-agent Dez Bryant and the Saints have agreed on contract terms that will add the former Dallas Cowboys star to one of the NFL’s top offenses in New Orleans.
The person spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the roster move has not been announced.
The 30-year-old Bryant spent his first eight years in the NFL with Dallas and last season caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns, including a 50-yard scoring play, for the Cowboys.
However, his professional reputation has been marred at times by public confrontations with coaches and teammates during games and practices.
Seeking salary cap relief, the Cowboys released Bryant after last season with two years remaining on the receiver’s five-year, $70 million contract.
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ANCIENT CAVE ART
Oldest known animal drawing found in remote Indonesian cave
WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have found the oldest known example of an animal drawing: a red silhouette of a bull-like beast on the wall of a remote Indonesian cave.
The sketch is at least 40,000 years old, slightly older than similar animal paintings found in famous caves in Europe. Until a few years ago, experts believed Europe was where our ancestors started drawing animals and other figures.
But the age of the drawing — along with previous discoveries in Southeast Asia — suggest that figurative drawing appeared in both Asia and Europe about the same time.
The researchers also analyzed hand stencils and paintings of human scenes from the caves on the island of Borneo.
Their findings were reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.
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