CONGRESS-SENTENCING BILL-THE LATEST
The Latest: Trump hails passage of criminal justice bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is hailing Senate passage of a sweeping criminal justice bill.
Trump tweets, “America is the greatest Country in the world and my job is to fight for ALL citizens, even those who have made mistakes.”
He says, “This will keep our communities safer, and provide hope and a second chance, to those who earn it.
Trump adds, “I look forward to signing this into law!”
The bill gives judges more discretion when sentencing some drug offenders and boosts prisoner rehabilitation efforts. It would also reduce the sentences of some drug offenders currently serving time.
It passed the Senate by an 87-12 vote Tuesday night. The House is expected to pass the bill this week, sending it to Trump for his signature.
Kushner credited for pushing rare bipartisan bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jared Kushner is being credited this week for helping to spearhead what could be the first major bipartisan legislative success of the Trump era: a first-in-a-generation criminal justice overhaul.
Liberal and conservative groups alike have praised President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser for his efforts, despite ongoing skepticism and opposition by some of those same groups to much of the Trump administration’s policy agenda.
For Kushner, it’s a deeply personal issue. His father went to prison when he was younger, and he says that experience shaped him.
He tells The Associated Press: “When you’re on the other side of the system, you feel so helpless” and that he wanted to try to make a difference when he got to Washington.
TRUMP FOUNDATION-INVESTIGATION-THE LATEST
The Latest: Officials wanted say in Trump charity closure
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Attorney General’s Office says it blocked President Donald Trump’s foundation from voluntarily going out of business because the charity wanted to do so without oversight.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Barbara Underwood says the Trump Foundation only sought to dissolve after it found itself under investigation two years ago.
The sides agreed Tuesday to a court-supervised plan for the foundation to fold and distribute its remaining $1.7 million in assets to other charities.
Underwood alleged in a lawsuit last spring that Trump operated the foundation as an extension of his businesses and political campaign.
Trump Foundation lawyer Alan Futerfas says the foundation had been seeking to dissolve since Trump’s presidential election victory in 2016.
The attorney general’s office says doing so without supervision would have been unacceptable.
TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Judge orders Flynn to stay within 50 miles of DC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Judge Emmet Sullivan is throwing another wrench into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s plans.
Just hours after delaying Flynn’s sentencing, Sullivan is now saying Flynn must stay within 50 miles of the District of Columbia come Jan. 4.
Flynn had been allowed to travel freely under the conditions laid out by another judge. But Sullivan says he only learned of that today. He is now requiring Flynn to get his permission before he travels outside that zone, as he typically does in such cases.
The order could cause some complications for Flynn, who has been living in Middletown, Rhode Island, near his family.
Sullivan says he is approving Flynn’s already planned international travel but will also require him to surrender his passport in January.
US reviews report of imports from forced labor in China camp
BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. government is reviewing reports of forced labor at a Chinese detention camp where ethnic minorities must give up their religion and language and work in factories.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday that reporting by The Associated Press and other media “for the first time appears to link the internment camps identified in Western China to the importation of goods produced by forced labor by a U.S. company.”
The AP tracked shipments from a factory in a detention camp in China’s Xinjiang region to Badger Sportswear in North Carolina. The company ships clothing to universities, colleges and schools around the United States.
A U.S. workers group said “forced labor of any kind is a severe violation of university codes of conduct.”
FEMALE MAJORITY LEGISLATURE
Nevada becomes first state with female-majority Legislature
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada has become the first state in the country with an overall female-majority Legislature.
Clark County Commissioners appointed two women Tuesday to fill vacant state Assembly seats in the Las Vegas-area. The appointments of Democrats Rochelle Thuy Nguyen and Beatrice Angela Duran mean women will fill hold 51 percent of the 63 seats in the Legislature.
Women will hold nine of 21 seats in the state Senate, falling short of a majority in that chamber. But they will hold 24 of 42 seats in the Assembly, comprising 57 percent in that chamber and giving women enough numbers to make the two chambers an overall female majority.
No state has previously reached the milestone, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, which tracks women’s political milestones.
APOLLO 8 AT 50
NASA’s 1st flight to moon, Apollo 8, marks 50th anniversary
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s first flight to the moon is marking its 50th anniversary.
On Dec. 21st, 1968, three men flew to the moon for the first time in human history.
Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders orbited the moon on Christmas Eve, reading from the Book of Genesis. To this day, the mission is considered NASA’s boldest and perhaps most dangerous undertaking ever. NASA whipped it together in four months, in order to beat the Soviets to the moon.
A photo taken by Anders of the Earth rising above the lunar landscape remains the most iconic space snapshot.
Actress and director Penny Marshall dies at age 75
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Penny Marshall, who starred in “Laverne & Shirley” before becoming one of the top-grossing female directors in Hollywood, has died. She was 75.
Mashall’s publicist, Michelle Bega, said Marshall passed away in her Hollywood Hills, Calif., home on Monday due to complications from diabetes.
Marshall starred alongside Cindy Williams in the hit ABC comedy “Laverne & Shirley,” which aired from 1976 to 1983. As a filmmaker, she became the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million with “Big,” the 1988 comedy starring Tom Hanks. She also directed “A League of Their Own,” ”Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Awakenings.”
ELON MUSK-TUNNEL-THE LATEST
The Latest: Elon Musk allows rides on underground tunnel
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elon Musk has unveiled his underground transportation tunnel, allowing invited guests to take some of the first rides ever on the tech entrepreneur’s solution to “soul-destroying traffic.”
Guests boarded Musk’s Tesla Model S and were driven on Los Angeles-area surface streets about a mile away to what’s known as O’Leary Station on Tuesday.
The station sits smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood. It consists of a wall-less elevator that slowly took the car down a wide shaft, roughly 30 feet (9 meters) below the surface.
Reporters described the rides as bumpy but impressive. At least one experienced motion sickness while another yelled, “Woo!”
The tunnel, meant to be a “proof of concept,” runs just over a mile under Musk’s SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne.
Nuro, Kroger bringing unmanned delivery to customers
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Nuro and grocery chain Kroger are teaming up to bring unmanned delivery service to customers.
The companies said Tuesday that Nuro’s unmanned vehicle, the R1, will be added to a fleet of autonomous Prius vehicles that have run self-driving grocery delivery service in Scottsdale, Arizona with vehicle operators since August.
The R1 can travel on public roads and has no driver or passengers. It only transports goods.
Delivery service via the R1 or Prius vehicles is available for a single Fry’s Food Stores in Scottsdale. Customers will pay a flat fee of $5.95, with no minimum order requirement. Shoppers can place their orders immediately and request same-day or next-day delivery. Delivery service is available seven days a week.