GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-THE LATEST The Latest: No movement in settling record-long shutdown WASHINGTON (AP) — The partial government shutdown has slipped into the record books as the longest ever. Members of Congress are out of town,…
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-THE LATEST
The Latest: No movement in settling record-long shutdown
WASHINGTON (AP) — The partial government shutdown has slipped into the record books as the longest ever.
Members of Congress are out of town, no negotiations are scheduled and President Donald Trump is tweeting into the void.
He’s not tipping his hand about whether he’ll move ahead with an emergency declaration that could break the impasse and free up money for his wall without congressional approval.
Such a move would kick off legal challenges and a political storm.
A day earlier, he said he was not ready to do it “right now.”
Lawmakers are due back in Washington from their states and congressional districts in the new week.
SOFTENING THE SHUTDOWN
As shutdown drags, Trump administration seeks to soften blow
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government shutdown is wreaking havoc on many Americans: Hundreds of thousands of federal employees don’t know when they’ll see their next paycheck, and low-income people who rely on the federal safety net worry about whether they’ll make ends meet should the stalemate in Washington carry on another month.
But if you’re a sportsman looking to hunt game, a gas company planning to drill offshore or a taxpayer awaiting your refund, you’re in luck: This shutdown won’t affect your plans.
All administrations get some leeway to choose which services to freeze and which to maintain when a budget standoff in Washington forces some agencies to shutter.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama stunned Republicans when he bypassed Congress and used executive powers to enact parts of his agenda. Now, with President Donald Trump proposing an end-run around Congress to build his promised border wall with Mexico, many Republicans are uneasily cheering him on.
Trump is considering invoking a national emergency to build the wall. It would allow him to tap unspent Defense dollars to pay for construction.
Republicans grumble about taking money they had allocated for other projects and needs, including rebuilding after natural disasters. But some say Trump has no other choice as the partial government shutdown stretches into its 22nd day on Saturday, making it the longest in history.
TWO DEAD-CHILD MISSING-TRAUMA
Ex-kidnapping victims: Jayme Closs needs space, time to heal
CHICAGO (AP) — Former kidnapping victims say 13-year-old Jayme Closs must be allowed to discuss her ordeal on her own terms as she tries to recover from her traumatic experiences.
Jayme was found alive Thursday after approaching a stranger nearly three months after police say a man abducted her from her northern Wisconsin home after fatally shooting her parents. A 21-year-old suspect was arrested shortly after her rescue.
Katie Beers was 10 when she was rescued from a bunker in New York after 17 days. Now 36, Beers says one thing that helped her recover was that “nobody forced me to talk about what happened.”
Elizabeth Smart was missing for nine months after being kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home in 2002. She cautions even questions that seem harmless could be hurtful.
Beers and Smart say Jayme should be able to live a happy and fulfilling life as long as she’s surrounded by a supportive and loving family.
In states, Democrats start delivering on health care pledges
SEATTLE (AP) — Democratic leaders in the states are wasting no time delivering on their biggest campaign promise — to expand access to health care and make it more affordable.
The first full week of state legislative sessions and swearings-in for governors saw a flurry of proposals.
Newly elected California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to expand Medicaid to those in the country illegally up to age 26 and implement a mandate that everyone buy insurance or face a fine.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a public health insurance option for people who have trouble affording coverage.
Democrats in several other states are considering ways that people who are uninsured but make too much to qualify for Medicaid or other subsidized coverage can buy Medicaid policies.
ELECTION 2020-JULIAN CASTRO
Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro joins 2020 campaign
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro is now in the 2020 Democratic race for president, and he could end up being the only Latino in what’s expected to be a crowded field of White House contenders.
The 44-year-old Castro kicked off his campaign Saturday in San Antonio, his hometown. He announced his official entry in the race during an event in a Spanish-style plaza less than 200 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
President Donald Trump visited Texas this past week to press his case for a border wall. He’s demanding billions from Congress to build a barrier that’s the sticking point in what’s now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
Castro was San Antonio mayor for five years and was housing secretary during President Barack Obama’s second term.
WINTER WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Truck crash closes highway lanes in Indiana
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Indiana State Police say northbound lanes of Interstate 65 have been closed for hours after a semitruck jackknifed along the snow-covered highway in northern Indiana.
Trooper Nathan Hampton says I-65’s northbound lanes were closed shortly after the 12:30 p.m. accident near Lafayette, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis.
Those lanes remained closed at 4:30 p.m. at the highway’s intersection with State Road 25, but Hampton said they were expected to reopen to traffic by early evening once the crash site is cleaned up.
He says a winter storm that brought heavy snow Saturday to parts of Indiana led to nearly 20 vehicle slide-offs that state police responded to in the Lafayette district.
State police urged Indiana residents not to travel if they don’t have to because roads remain slick.
BC-SAUDI-RUNAWAY WOMAN-THE LATEST
The Latest: Canada says UN found Saudi woman faced danger
TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland says the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees found that a Saudi woman fleeing alleged family abuse was in a dangerous situation and that Canada was glad to be able to act quickly and offer her refuge.
Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun smiled broadly as she exited an arrival door at Toronto’s airport Saturday sporting a Canada zipper hoodie after a dramatic week that saw her flee her family while visiting Kuwait and before flying to Bangkok, where she barricaded herself in an airport hotel to avoid deportation.
Freeland says Algunun had a long journey and preferred to get settled before talking to the media. Freeland joked that Algunun did comment about the cold and she responded that it gets warmer.
Several other countries, including Australia, had been in talks with the U.N.’s refugee agency to accept Alqunun. She had previously said on Twitter that she wanted to seek refuge in Australia.
The Latest: Paris street is devastated by gas blast; 3 dead
PARIS (AP) — A powerful explosion apparently caused by a gas leak has blown apart a Paris bakery and devastated the street it was on, killing three people and injuring dozens.
Witnesses described the explosion Saturday morning as deafening. It blew out windows and over turned nearby cars. Firefighters pulled injured victims out from windows and evacuated residents and tourists as a fire raged and smoke billowed over Rue de Trevise in north-central Paris.
The French Interior Ministry said two firefighters and a female Spanish tourist were killed by the blast and about 10 of the 47 wounded were in critical condition.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner paid homage to the courage of the rescuers who saved one firefighter after he was buried under the rubble for 2½ hours.
Chiefs roll past Colts 31-13 to reach AFC title game
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes picked apart the Colts in his postseason debut, the Chiefs defense answered their chorus of critics with a stout performance, and Kansas City rolled to a 31-13 victory over Indianapolis in the divisional round Saturday to end 25 years of playoff frustration.
Mahomes threw for 278 yards while running for a touchdown, and Damien Williams ran for 129 yards and another score, as the Chiefs beat Indianapolis for the first time in five playoff meetings to earn their first AFC title game appearance since January 1994.
The AFC West champions will play the winner of Sunday’s game between the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots next weekend for a spot in the Super Bowl in Atlanta.
Andrew Luck was held to 203 yards passing for the Colts, while Marlon Mack was a non-factor on the ground. He had 46 yards rushing before leaving late in the fourth quarter with a hip injury.
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