GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-THE LATEST
The Latest: Trump offers ‘Dreamers’ deal for border wall
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Saturday has offered to extend temporary protections for young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children and those fleeing disaster zones in exchange for his long-promised border wall. But while Trump cast the Saturday move as a “common-sense compromise,” Democrats were quick to dismiss it at a “non-starter.”
With polls showing a majority of Americans blaming him and Republicans for the impasse, Trump said from the White House that he was there “to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward to end the government shutdown and solve the crisis on the southern border.”
Hoping to put pressure on Democrats, the White House billed the announcement as a major step forward. But Trump did not budge on his $5.7 billion demand for the wall and, in essence, offered to temporarily roll-back some of his own hawkish immigration actions — actions that have been blocked by federal courts.
MEXICO-PIPELINE FIRE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Death toll rises to 73 in Mexico pipeline blast
TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico (AP) — Hidalgo state Gov. Omar Fayad says the death toll from an explosion at a punctured pipeline in central Mexico has risen to 73, while the number of injured stands at 74.
Forensic experts continue to comb the site for remains, many of which were reduced to ashes. At least 54 bodies have yet to be identified. Dozens of family members have gathered at the site hoping to find loved ones since the gusher of gasoline burst into a fireball Friday evening.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he will reinforce security along the country’s pipeline network, if necessary, but that pipelines remain the most efficient and cost-effective way to distribute fuel.
His administration has been transporting more fuel via trucks over the past three weeks in an attempt to dismantle a sophisticated network of fuel theft that costs state oil company Pemex $3 billion a year. The battle against gas theft has led to long lines at the pump and gasoline scarcity in much of the country.
WINTER WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Slick road leads to 15-vehicle Missouri pileup
DETROIT (AP) — A 15-vehicle crash has blocked a section of Interstate 55 in southeastern Missouri as snow from a massive winter storm swept through the area and slicked roads.
The Missouri Department of Transportation issued the news of the pileup near Ste. Genevieve on its Twitter page around 4 p.m. Saturday. The department says the interstate was blocked because of the crash, which included a responding firetruck. Motorists were urged to find an alternate route. There was no immediate word on injuries.
Transportation officials said crews hoped to clear the interstate’s lanes within a few hours, but said snowfall was slowing that work.
Officials say many roads in Missouri have been slicked over with ice from rain earlier in the day before conditions turned to snow and plummeting temperatures.
CHICAGO POLICE-LAQUAN MCDONALD-THE LATEST
The Latest: Laquan McDonald killing prompts political action
CHICAGO (AP) — Two historic cases involving the killing of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white Chicago police officer ended in ways that left activists and others disappointed and angry.
They say the path forward is to turn tragedy into political power.
A judge on Friday sentenced former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke to less than seven years in prison for McDonald’s 2014 death — less than half the sentence prosecutors sought. On Thursday a different judge acquitted three officers accused of lying about the shooting to protect Van Dyke.
Activist William Calloway says Chicago residents should “take to the polls” rather than protest.
The killing and policing issues are also having an impact on the race for Chicago mayor, and in county prosecutor elections in Chicago and elsewhere.
The Latest: Congo winner calls runner-up’s stance ‘a shame’
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The spokesman for Congo’s newly elected president says it’s “a shame” that the runner-up has defiantly declared himself the country’s only legitimate leader.
Vidiye Tshimanga tells The Associated Press that winner Felix Tshisekedi and runner-up Martin Fayulu once had been part of an opposition coalition demanding that President Joseph Kabila step down.
Tshimanga says new president will need everyone for the reconstruction of the country, as the Congolese people have “suffered a lot in recent years.”
“It’s a pity to have this attitude but I can understand,” Tshimanga said. “It would have been desirable for all political forces to hold hands to build and move forward. It’s a shame that Mr. Fayulu wants to stay isolated.”
ALASKA EARTHQUAKE-AFTERSHOCK ANGST
Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Seven weeks after a massive earthquake struck Alaska, the seemingly endless aftershocks are keeping many residents filled with anxiety.
There have been more than 7,800 aftershocks since the main earthquake struck Nov. 30 just north of Anchorage.
Most were too small to feel, but 20 have had magnitudes of 4.5 or greater — including a magnitude 5.0 jolt last Sunday.
Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened.
Mental health providers say they still treat clients rattled by the aftershocks, which strike without warning or any apparent pattern.
Deborah Gonzales, a licensed clinical social worker in Anchorage, says the temblors can be overwhelming for people, making them feel emotionally out of control.
NATIVE AMERICAN MARCH-VIDEOS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Man says students wound up singing with him
COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Marcus Frejo, a member of the Pawnee and Seminole tribes who is also known as Chief Quese Imc, said he had been a part of the march and was among a small group of people remaining after the rally when the boisterous students began chanting slogans such as “Make America great” and then began doing the haka, a traditional Maori dance.
In a phone interview, Frejo told The Associated Press he felt they were mocking the dance and also heckling a couple of black men nearby. He approached the group with Phillips to defuse the situation, joining him in singing the anthem from the American Indian Movement and beating out the tempo on hand drums.
Although he feared a mob mentality that could turn ugly, Frejo said he was at peace singing among the scorn and he briefly felt something special happen as they repeatedly sang the tune.
“They went from mocking us and laughing at us to singing with us. I heard it three times,” Frejo said. “That spirit moved through us, that drum, and it slowly started to move through some of those youths.”
Eventually a calm fell over the group of students and they broke up and walked away.
Number of 2020 bids by women buoys gender equality advocates
WASHINGTON (AP) — Advocates for gender equality are gearing up for at least four women to compete for the Democratic nomination to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.
As activists prepare to demonstrate in dozens of cities on Saturday for the third annual Women’s March, those female candidates are exciting to groups pushing for more women in elected office and for progress on issues from reproductive rights to greater child care access.
But the crowded field of female contenders, which already includes Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, also presents big challenges.
The powerful female voting bloc that helped Democrats take back the House in 2018 could split, as could critical financial and grassroots support. Not to mention that gender bias remains a key concern for advocates and analysts alike.
The Latest: Trump at ceremony for Americans killed in Syria
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AP) — President Donald Trump is at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for a ceremony honoring the four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in Syria this week.
The president stood solemnly and saluted the remains of civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis as they were carried from a C-17 military aircraft into a waiting van.
Wirtz had been assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as an operations support specialist.
The three other transfers will be conducted privately, with the president observing.
Trump also spent time with the victims’ families.
Trump told reporters as he left the White House for the trip that meeting the relatives of the country’s fallen heroes “might be the toughest thing” he has to do as president.
Polish, European officials to attend burial of slain mayor
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — People from across Poland are waiting in a long line to enter the Gdansk basilica for the funeral of the city’s slain mayor.
Polish and European officials are expected to attend the ceremony remembering Mayor Piotr Adamowicz, 53, who died Monday after being stabbed the night before at a charity event. The suspect is an ex-convict with a grudge against an opposition party that Adamowicz once belonged to.
European Council President Donald Tusk, a personal friend of Adamowicz, will join Poland’s current and former presidents and prime ministers. City mayors from other countries are also expected at the burial at the Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica.
The urn with the mayor’s ashes will be laid to rest at one of the basilica’s chapels.
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