TRUMP-CHIEF OF STAFF
Trump says chief of staff John Kelly to leave at year’s end
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says chief of staff John Kelly will leave his job at the end of the year.
Trump isn’t saying immediately who will replace Kelly, a retired Marine general who has served as chief of staff since July 2017. But the president says an announcement about a replacement will be coming in the next day or two.
Trump spoke to reporters at the White House before departing for the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.
He calls Kelly “a great guy.”
The West Wing shake-up comes as Trump is anticipating the challenge of governing and oversight when Democrats take control of the House in January, and as gears up for his own campaign for re-election in 2020.
Comey: Russia investigation initially looked at 4 Americans
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia initially focused on four Americans and whether they were connected to Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
That’s according to a closed-door interview former FBI director James Comey gave Friday to the House Judiciary Committee. The panel released a transcript of that questioning on Saturday.
Comey did not identify the Americans but said President Donald Trump himself was not one of them.
He also said that President Barack Obama never ordered him to have the FBI surveil or infiltrate the Trump campaign.
The Republican-led committee interviewed Comey as part of its investigation into FBI actions in 2016.
The Latest: France: 135 hurt in protests; 1,000 detained
PARIS (AP) — France’s interior minister says the protest violence in Paris is “under control” despite scattered tensions but is calling it “totally unacceptable.”
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner says 135 people were injured in the protests Saturday, including 17 police officers. He says “exceptional” security measures allowed nearly police to put nearly 1,000 people in custody.
Casataner estimated there were 10,000 yellow vest protesters in Paris on Saturday, among some 125,000 protesters around the country.
Protesters smashed store windows and set fires around Paris and clashed with police, who fired tear gas throughout the day in the French capital.
Oklahoma’s Murray edges Alabama’s Tagovailoa for Heisman
NEW YORK (AP) — Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has won the Heisman Trophy, edging Alabama’s Tua Tagvailoa and setting up a College Football Playoff matchup of Heisman winner and runner-up.
The fourth-ranked Sooners play the top-ranked Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl semifinal Dec. 29 in the seventh bowl matchup of Heisman winner and runner-up, and first since second-place finisher Vince Young and Texas beat Reggie Bush and Southern California in the 2006 Rose Bowl.
This season, Murray stepped into the starting job at Oklahoma held by last year’s Heisman winner and first overall NFL draft pick, Baker Mayfield. Oklahoma is the first school with have Heisman-winner quarterbacks in consecutive seasons and the fifth overall with winners in back-to-back years.
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The Latest: Canada ex-adviser says China pressure won’t work
BEIJING (AP) — A former foreign policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Chinese pressure on the Canadian government to release a top executive of Huawei won’t work.
In a tweet, Roland Paris says, “Perhaps because the Chinese state controls its judicial system, Beijing sometimes has difficulty understanding or believing that courts can be independent in a rule-of-law country. There’s no point in pressuring the Canadian government. Judges will decide.”
Paris was responding to reports from Beijing that China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng had summoned Canadian Ambassador John McCallum on Saturday over the holding of Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is reportedly suspected of trying to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran.
Le called Meng’s detention “unreasonable, unconscionable, and vile in nature” and warned of “grave consequences” if she is not released.
SEVERE WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Snow, sleet and freezing rain take aim at South
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A snowstorm building across parts of the South is causing flight cancellations to and from Charlotte, North Carolina, out of the Midwest.
WTOL-TV reports that Toledo Express Airport’s website says that several American Airline flights to Charlotte were canceled Saturday, as well as one scheduled for Sunday.
Flights out of Detroit to Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham in North Carolina have also been canceled.
Travelers are advised to check their flights status before going to the airport.
ITALY-NIGHT CLUB STAMPEDE
Officials: 6 dead, dozens hurt in club stampede in Italy
ROME (AP) — Six people have died and dozens have been injured in a stampede at a nightclub at a coastal town in central Italy.
Italian fire officials and the ANSA news agency said concertgoers at a nightclub in the town of Corinaldo, on the Adriatic Sea, panicked and ran for the exits after someone sprayed a noxious substance.
A teenage survivor told ANSA that when he tried to flee, he discovered that at least one of the emergency exits was locked.
MISSING GIRL-NORTH CAROLINA
FBI: Man arrested in death of North Carolina teenager
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) — The FBI says an arrest has been made in the disappearance and death of a North Carolina teenager.
A statement issued by the FBI says Michael Ray McLellan has been charged in connection with the kidnapping and murder of 13-year-old Hania Noelia Aguilar.
The 34-year-old McLellan faces first degree murder and other charges. He is being held without bond in the Robeson County Detention Center. He will appear in court at the Robeson County Courthouse on Monday.
McLellan was in custody at the time of his arrest on charges unrelated to the Aguilar case.
The girl’s body was found in a body of water in Robeson County on Nov. 27 about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of the mobile home park where she was kidnapped on Nov. 5.
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE-DOG’S LONG WAIT
Dog that survived California wildfire guarded home for weeks
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A dog that survived the catastrophic wildfire in Northern California apparently guarded his home for nearly a month until his owner returned.
Madison was there waiting when Andrea Gaylord, who fled on Nov. 8, was allowed back onto her burned property in Paradise this week.
An animal rescuer who responded to Gaylord’s request to check on Madison first spotted the male Anatolian shepherd days after fire broke out.
Shayla Sullivan said the outdoor guard dog was apprehensive and kept his distance. Sullivan left food and water for him regularly until Gaylord got back on Wednesday.
Gaylord told news station ABC10 she couldn’t ask for a better animal. She added: “Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting.”
Army beats Navy for 3rd straight time and Trump at game
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Army had the corps bouncing in front of the president and kept the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
The No. 22 Black Knights recovered two fumbles in the fourth quarter, Kelvin Hopkins Jr. had two rushing touchdowns and Army beat Navy 17-10 on Saturday to win its third straight game in the series.
President Donald Trump attended the 119th game between the rivals and flipped the coin before spending a half on each side in a show of impartiality. No matter his view, Army (10-2) always had the edge.
Army retained the CIC Trophy — awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies — after winning it for the first time in 22 years last season and snuffed a late Navy (3-10) rally to retain possession of the patriotic prize
With Navy down 10-7, quarterback Zach Abey lost a fumble on fourth-and-12 deep in its own territory. Hopkins would score on a 1-yard run to make it 17-7 and give Army the cushion it needed to win in front of 66,729 fans at Lincoln Financial Field.
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