GEORGE HW BUSH-THE LATEST
The Latest: Private, graveside service ends; Bush buried
HOUSTON (AP) — Texas A&M says the private, graveside service for George H.W. Bush’s family members has ended and the former president has been buried.
Thursday evening’s ceremony concludes days of funeral activities honoring the 41st president.
After lying in state at the U.S. Capitol and a funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral, Bush had a funeral at the Houston church where his family worshipped.
His remains then rode on a special funeral train to College Station, where he was buried at his presidential library at Texas A&M University. Prior to the closed service, about 2,100 cadets in dress uniforms lined the road to the graveside and saluted as the motorcade passed.
Family spokesman Jim McGrath says President George W. Bush has left the library and other relatives have, too.
WISCONSIN LEGISLATURE-LAME-DUCK-THE LATEST
The Latest: Wisconsin’s Walker weighing bill signings
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is weighing whether to sign a sweeping package of bills that would weaken the powers of his Democratic successor.
Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said Thursday that the governor was reviewing the bills that passed early Wednesday morning during a rare lame-duck legislative session. The Republican-controlled Legislature approved the measures following overnight debate.
Evenson didn’t give a time frame for when Walker would act. Walker has six days to take action once the bills are delivered to him.
Walker’s office worked closely with legislators to craft the measures, but Republican lawmakers made last-minute changes during late-night negotiations.
Walker is getting bipartisan pressure to veto the measures, including from Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers (EE’-vers). Walker has already signaled general support for the legislation.
Corrects that Walker has six days to act on the bills after they are delivered to him instead of 10 days.
NORTH KOREA-US-WHAT NEXT?
Clashing views color future of stalled N.Korea nuclear talks
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Since President Donald Trump claimed he can make peace with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un at their summit in July, there have been recriminations, simmering bad blood and very little progress in getting rid of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula.
So even as Trump says he’s keen on another summit, continuing U.S. sanctions and pressure are met with anger and foot-dragging from Pyongyang, which has bluntly stated that an improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible.
One of the problems is a matter of wording. The July statement calling for “the complete denuclearization” was so vague that it seemed tailor made for a stalemate: Each side can claim to be right when they say that they’ve done more than enough and it’s the other side’s responsibility to act.
North Carolina race shines light on ‘ballot harvesting’
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An investigation into whether political operatives in North Carolina illegally collected and possibly stole absentee ballots in a still-undecided congressional race has drawn attention to a little-known political tool called ballot harvesting.
It’s a practice long used by special-interest groups and both major political parties. It’s viewed either as a voter service that boosts turnout or a nefarious activity that subjects voters to intimidation and makes elections vulnerable to fraud.
The groups rely on data showing which voters requested absentee ballots but have not turned them in. They then go door-to-door and offer to collect and turn in those ballots for the voters — often dozens or hundreds at a time.
In North Carolina, officials are investigating whether Republican political operatives harvested ballots and then did not turn them in.
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS-THE LATEST
North Carolina congressional candidate withdraws concession
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Democratic candidate trailing in a North Carolina congressional race marked by an absentee fraud investigation has withdrawn his concession to the Republican.
Dan McCready made his announcement late Thursday in a video posted on social media. Unofficial results showed Republican Mark Harris leading McCready by 905 votes in the south-central 9th Congressional District. But state election officials have refused to certify the results while looking at potential absentee ballot irregularities in at least two counties.
McCready called the reports of potential wrongdoing “shameful criminal activity, bankrolled by my opponent” to take away the right of North Carolina resident to vote. Harris’ chief political strategist had hired a Bladen County man who has become the focus of many allegations.
The state elections board plans to hold a hearing later this month and could order a new election.
BORDER PATROL SHOOTING
Feds won’t pursue third trial against Border Patrol agent
PHOENIX (AP) — Federal prosecutors on Thursday said they would not pursue another trial against a Border Patrol agent who fatally shot a Mexican teenager across a border fence but who was twice acquitted.
A filing in court shows prosecutors say they will no longer purse the case against Lonnie Swartz, the agent who killed 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in October 2012.
In April, Swartz was acquitted of second-degree murder, but a jury deadlocked on manslaughter charges. Prosecutors who argued Swartz lost his cool when he became frustrated at rock-throwers from the Mexican side of the border re-tried Swartz on voluntary and involuntary manslaughter charges.
The second trial, which began in October, ended with a not guilty verdict on the involuntary charge, but the jury again deadlocked on voluntary manslaughter.
Trump EPA proposes rolling back another Obama-era coal rule
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to roll back another coal regulation — this one for new coal plants.
The agency’s acting administrator, Andrew Wheeler, says he plans to ease an Obama-era rule that would have required cutting-edge carbon capture techniques for new coal plants.
The 2015 rule is the latest Obama-era effort against climate-changing fossil fuel emissions to be targeted by the Trump administration.
Wheeler says the rollback will remove what he calls “excessive burdens” on the energy industry.
Environmentalists and scientists say that and other rollbacks run counter to efforts to slow climate change.
Trump expected to pick State spokeswoman for UN ambassador
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is expected to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Two administration officials confirmed Trump’s plans. A Republican congressional aide said the president was expected to announce his decision by tweet on Friday morning. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly before Trump’s announcement.
Trump has previously said Nauert was under serious consideration to replace Nikki Haley, who announced in October that she would step down at the end of this year.
Trump has been known to change course on staffing decisions in the past.
Nauert was a reporter for Fox News Channel before she became State Department spokeswoman under former secretary Rex Tillerson.
T25-AWARDS SHOW-THE LATEST
The Latest: AP top player Murray adds O’Brien; Tua wins Camp
ATLANTA (AP) — AP player of the year Kyler Murray adds the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback as ESPN’s College Football Awards show in Atlanta began. But right before the show started it was announced that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa won the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
The last five winners of the Walter Camp have gone on to win the Heisman, but only five Heisman winners have failed to win AP Player of the Year since the award started in 1998.
Murray beat out Tagovailoa and Washington State’s Gardner Minshew II for the Davey O’Brien. The other finalists for the Walter Camp were Murray, Minshew, West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen.
Kyler Murray is The Associated Press college football Player of the Year, the second straight Oklahoma quarterback and fifth overall to win the award since it was established in 1998.
Murray beat out Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on 56 ballots submitted by AP college football poll voters and announced Thursday. Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. was third.
“It’s humbling and an honor to be named AP Player of the Year, to be mentioned in the same realm as a lot of great players, a lot of hall of famers,” Murray said. “It’s a special deal for me and hopefully I can continue to make my family and teammates proud.”
Murray received 39 first-place votes and a total of 145 points. Tagovailoa received 13 first-place votes (117 points) and Haskins was listed first on four ballots (55 points).
All three are finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented Saturday night in New York. Murray and Tagovailoa will face each other in the College Football Playoff, when No. 1 Alabama plays No. 4 Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl semifinal on Dec. 29.
Murray joins Baker Mayfield (2017), Josh Heupel (2000), Jason White (2003) and Sam Bradford (2008) as previous winners from Oklahoma. No other school has had more than two players win AP Player of the Year.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Pelosi rejects funding wall to protect young immigrants
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is rejecting the idea of paying for President Donald Trump’s border wall in exchange for a deal to help hundreds of thousands of young immigrants avoid deportation.
Pelosi said Thursday that wall funding and legal protections for so-called “Dreamers” should not be linked, saying “they’re two different subjects.”
Pelosi, who is seeking to become House speaker in January, said Congress should pass appropriations bills that key committees have already agreed on, along with a separate measure funding the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the border.
Pelosi said agency funding should address border security and does not necessarily include the wall, a top Trump priority.
Her comments came as the House approved a stopgap bill to keep the government funded through Dec. 21.
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