TRUMP-CHIEF OF STAFF-THE LATEST
The Latest: More candidates emerge for Trump chief of staff
WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Donald Trump ponders picking a new chief of staff, more names are emerging as possible contenders for the job.
A person familiar with Trumps’ thinking tells The Associated Press that among the four people being considered by Trump are the White House budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, and a Republican congressman from North Carolina, Mark Meadows.
Other names in the mix include Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Two names being floated by people close to the White House are Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, David Bossie.
Once thought to be the president’s top choice, vice presidential chief of staff Nick Ayers tweeted Sunday that he’s no longer in the running for the position.
Dem: Illegal payments ‘impeachable offense’ if Trump ordered
WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says he believes it would be an “impeachable offense” if it’s proved that President Donald Trump directed illegal hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.
But Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, who’s expected to chair the panel in January, says it’s unclear whether that alone would justify Congress launching impeachment proceedings.
Nadler tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that Congress, the Justice Department and the special counsel need to get to the bottom of the allegations, including questions about lying about business arrangements with Russians and possible obstruction of justice.
In legal filings Friday, prosecutors for the first time tied Trump to a federal crime, accusing him of directing payments to women who claimed extramarital affairs. He has denied wrongdoing.
SEVERE WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Police say driver killed by falling tree
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say a driver was killed when a tree fell on a vehicle.
Police in the Charlotte suburb of Matthews said Sunday that the vehicle was traveling down a street when the tree fell on it. A passenger sustained minor injuries.
Police did not immediately release the identity of the driver.
After being struck by the tree, the vehicle traveled onto the front lawn of Matthews Church of God and struck the church, causing minor damage.
North Carolina has been pummeled by a winter storm this weekend and officials have urged drivers to stay off the road.
The Latest: British Columbia cancels China trade trip
BEIJING (AP) — A trade mission to China by the Canadian province of British Columbia has been cancelled because of the detention of a top Huawei executive in Canada.
The province says in a statement the decision was made because of the ongoing judicial process involving Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou.
She was arrested last week while changing flights in Vancouver and is awaiting possible extradition to the U.S.
The delegation led by British Columbia Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson will instead end its trip after a visit to Japan.
There are fears China could detain Canadians in retaliation. The Chinese government has warned Canada that if Meng is not released, the country will face “grave consequences.”
Meng is spending the weekend in jail before a bail hearing resumes on Monday.
The Latest: Pressure mounting on French leader over protests
PARIS (AP) — French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says U.S. President Donald Trump should not comment on France’s domestic affairs, notably nationwide protests that began over fuel tax hikes meant to wean the nation off fossil fuels.
President Emmanuel Macron withdrew the planned increase last week in a failed bid to appease sometimes violent protesters.
Trump has tweeted twice on the issue, saying in one tweet this weekend that “the Paris agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris.” It was a reference to the 2015 Paris climate accord, which the U.S. is leaving and which Macron has championed worldwide.
Le Drian said on LCI TV on Sunday: “We don’t take part in American debates. Let us live our own national life.”
He says Macron has told Trump the same thing.
Amazon touted as big win for NY, but math is more complex
NEW YORK (AP) — New York officials tout their deal to land a new Amazon headquarters as can’t-miss math. The city and state put up $2.8 billion in tax breaks and grants. In return, they get an economic engine expected to generate $27 billion in new tax money over a quarter-century.
“This is a big moneymaker for us. Costs us nothing,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said when the agreement was announced.
Experts say the economic equation isn’t that simple.
The state’s predicted 9-to-1 return on its investment was based on a widely used economic model that compares the costs of tax incentives with expected tax gains, but it didn’t factor in the substantial costs of accommodating Amazon’s growth in the city, economic development researchers said after reviewing the documents.
The city and state will have to spend money to educate the children of Amazon workers, improve public transportation to get them to work, collect their garbage, adjust police and fire coverage, and provide all sorts of other services for a growing number of people.
“Claiming 9-to-1 isn’t just implausible. It is a dishonest way to present the return on these incentives,” says Nathan Jensen, a University of Texas professor of government who has been critical of the way economic development incentives are used.
The reports also don’t measure the Amazon “HQ2” project against any other possible development of its intended site in the booming Long Island City neighborhood.
Four academic and think tank researchers who weren’t involved in the state’s cost-benefit analyses said that while its methods were standard, its scope was limited.
“It’s a standard cost-benefit approach, but it tends to talk a lot about the benefits and not a lot about the costs,” said Megan Randall, a research analyst at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “That’s not to say that the costs will automatically override all the benefits … (but) cities should be armed with that knowledge.”
New York state’s evaluation of the Amazon deal is based on an assumption that the company will ultimately create 40,000 relatively high-paying jobs in the city by 2034. That’s the maximum number foreseen in a deal that starts with a promise of 25,000 jobs by 2028.
The state-commissioned analysis by Regional Economic Models Inc. also predicts Amazon’s presence in the city will eventually create 67,000 other jobs outside the company, in industries from tech to real estate to restaurants that might serve Amazon workers.
Over 25 years, all those new jobs will generate about $14 billion in state income and sales taxes and about $13.5 billion in city taxes, according to that analysis and a city report also involving a REMI model.
Cuomo lauded that as “the highest rate of return for an economic incentive program that the state has ever offered.”
REMI’s analysis is deep and thorough, the state’s economic development agency said.
“Their model is widely considered to be the gold standard for economic and fiscal impact analysis and has been recognized for its analytical depth, sophistication and flexibility,” Adam Kilduff, a spokesman for Empire State Development, said in an emailed statement.
A representative of the city’s economic development agency did not respond to questions about the analysis.
The analysis may be right about tax revenue, but “it’s incomplete,” said Timothy Bartik, a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and a leading expert on incentives. “You need to look at the spending side.”
Opponents of the project have raised alarms about adding to the strain on subways, sewers and schools already struggling to keep up in the fastest-developing neighborhood in New York City.
Some improvements are already in the works. The Amazon agreement promises a new school and infrastructure upgrades. Critics, including some local politicians, are skeptical it will do enough.
They’ve held a series of rallies and protests and are exploring possible options to try to stop the project.
While voters in New York City support bringing Amazon’s campus to the city, they are divided when it comes to the incentives from the city and state, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points, found that 57 percent of city voters support Amazon’s decision, while 26 oppose it. Forty-six percent of respondents support the incentives, however, compared with 44 percent who said they are opposed.
Beyond the costs of growth, the New York analyses also don’t address some other questions, experts said.
David Merriman, a University of Illinois at Chicago public administration professor who specializes in tax issues, said it didn’t consider the possibility of economic growth in Queens even if Amazon never came.
There were prior plans for big commercial and residential development on part of the potential Amazon site that have now been scuttled in favor of accommodating the company.
The state analysis also didn’t examine whether New York could have bagged the same prize while offering less, as Virginia did to score an additional Amazon headquarters there.
“A proper analysis would take seriously that we are uncertain how much, exactly, was needed to attract HQ2 to New York,” said UT’s Jensen.
Amazon officials have said “the driving factor” in choosing New York and Virginia was the availability of enough tech talent, not the tax incentives.
Despite the unanswered questions, Bartik argues the financial bottom line isn’t necessarily the point.
“I honestly don’t think that the main thing that people should be looking at is whether or not it makes money for the state government. That’s not the purpose of state government,” he said. “The bigger impact is if you create jobs that otherwise wouldn’t be there.”
African-American North Carolina voting rights activist dies
LOUISBURG, N.C. (AP) — African-American North Carolina voting rights activist Rosanell Eaton has died at age 97.
Eaton’s daughter, Armenta Eaton, says her mother died Saturday at home in Louisburg, North Carolina.
Rosanell Eaton was a poll worker or precinct judge for decades who registered to vote as a young woman in rural Franklin County despite Jim Crow restrictions.
Her daughter says white men told her she had to recite the preamble to the U.S. Constitution before she could register to vote, which she did from memory.
In her 90s, Rosanell was a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit successfully challenging voting restrictions supported by North Carolina Republicans.
Eaton was honored at the White House by then-President Barack Obama in 2016.
Prescott’s 3rd TD to Cooper lifts Cowboys over Eagles in OT
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott threw his third touchdown pass to Amari Cooper on the first possession of overtime, and the Dallas Cowboys took a big step toward the NFC East title with a 29-23 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
On third down, Rasul Douglas tipped the pass into the air, and Cooper grabbed it and had a clear path to the end zone from the Philadelphia 7. The Cowboys used almost all of the 10-minute overtime, scoring with 1:55 remaining.
By winning the third overtime game in the past four seasons at A&T Stadium between these division rivals, the Cowboys (8-5) won their fifth straight game and took a two-game lead over the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles (6-7) and Washington.
The Cowboys finished with 576 yards, their most since gaining 578 against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973.
Dallas can clinch the NFC East title with a win at Indianapolis next Sunday.
Carson Wentz threw for three touchdowns, including a pair of tying scores in the fourth quarter. But he never got a chance in overtime because of the 13-play, 75-yard drive engineered by Prescott.
The third-year quarterback overcame two interceptions and a lost fumble to set career highs in completions (42), attempts (54) and yards (455).
The Cowboys converted a fourth-and-1 from the Eagles 19 with a 1-yard plunge from Ezekiel Elliott, and Cooper converted a pair of third downs. The first one was big, too — a 12-yarder on third-and-9 from the Philadelphia 40.
Cooper finished with 217 yards receiving on 10 catches, and Elliott had 192 yards from scrimmage on 40 touches — 28 carries for 113 yards and 12 catches for 79. All three of Cooper’s touchdowns — the others from 75 and 28 yards — were in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Brett Maher set a Dallas franchise record with a 62-yard field goal on the final play of the first half and had three field goals.
The game went from a defensive struggle with missed Dallas opportunities that kept the Eagles close to a wild fourth-quarter shootout.
Wentz thought he had answered a 75-yard touchdown to Amari Cooper with a matching 75-yarder to tight end Dallas Goedert. But Goedert was called for pass interference, apparently for pushing off against Jeff Heath before bouncing off a helmet-to-helmet hit from Xavier Woods that wasn’t called and running to the end zone from midfield.
Philadelphia scored anyway, with Wentz leading a more methodical march to his third touchdown pass, a 6-yarder to Darren Sproles for a 23-23 tie.
The Eagles, outgained 233 yards to 70 before halftime, were scoreless when Corey Graham returned Prescott’s second interception to the Dallas 2 in the third quarter. Wentz threw a 2-yard screen to Alshon Jeffery on the next play, and Jake Elliott missed the extra point for a 9-6 deficit.
After Prescott’s third turnover — a fumble near midfield — led to Elliott’s tying field goal, Prescott capped a 75-yard drive with a 28-yard TD to Cooper.
The teams exchanged punts before Wentz took advantage of another short field, capping a 47-yard drive with a 3-yard scoring toss to Goedert for another tie, 16-16.
STRANGE CALL TO START
The Cowboys got a big break to avoid a lost fumble on the opening kickoff. Jourdan Lewis fumbled, but officials ruled him down. The Eagles appeared to come away with the loose ball.
Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson challenged the call, and referee Clete Blakeman said the review showed that Jordan fumbled. However, Blakeman said there was no clear recovery even though the Eagles came out of the pile with the ball.
Pederson lost the challenge and a timeout, and the Cowboys kept the ball instead of the Eagles starting their first possession at the Dallas 18.
Philadelphia RB Corey Clement injured his right knee when he was stopped for a 4-yard loss late in the first quarter and didn’t return. Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat left in the first half with an ankle injury and didn’t return.
Eagles: At LA Rams next Sunday.
Cowboys: At Indianapolis next Sunday.
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Drake scores on wild final play as Miami beats Pats 34-33
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Kenyan Drake ran the last 52 yards as the Miami Dolphins scored on a pass and double lateral on the final play Sunday to beat the New England Patriots 34-33.
The Patriots were 16 seconds from clinching their 10th consecutive AFC East title when the Dolphins scored on the 69-yard play to rally from a 33-28 deficit.
Ryan Tannehill threw a 14-yard pass to Kenny Stills, who lateraled to DeVante Parker, who quickly lateraled to Drake. He found a seam and beat two Patriots to the corner of the end zone — defensive back J.C. Jackson and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was on the field as part of the Patriots’ prevent defense.
The Dolphins’ bench emptied as teammates mobbed Drake.
Tom Brady threw for 358 yards and three scores, but the stunned Patriots (9-4) lost in Miami for the fifth time in their past six visits.
The Dolphins (7-6) came from behind five times to help their slim wild-card chances.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
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CHICAGO-CHARTER SCHOOLS STRIKE
Union: Tentative deal reached with charter school operator
CHICAGO (AP) — The nation’s first teachers’ strike against a charter school operator is ending in Chicago.
The Chicago Teachers Union says more than 500 teachers will return to classes Monday at Acero’s charter schools after reaching the tentative agreement just before 5 a.m. Sunday. The union said in a news release the deal “aligns” pay for teachers with pay scales in the Chicago Public Schools over the course of the agreement, reduces class sizes and includes language setting terms for students and families living in the country without legal permission.
Teachers went on strike Tuesday and classes were canceled for Acero’s 15 schools with 7,500 predominantly Latino students. The union said the strike was the first against a charter school operator in the nation.
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