JEFF BEZOS-NATIONAL ENQUIRER Bezos says Enquirer threatened to publish revealing pics LOS ANGELES (AP) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the National Enquirer is threatening to publish revealing photographs of him unless his private investigators…
JEFF BEZOS-NATIONAL ENQUIRER
Bezos says Enquirer threatened to publish revealing pics
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the National Enquirer is threatening to publish revealing photographs of him unless his private investigators back off the tabloid.
Bezos detailed the revelations in a Thursday post on Medium.com. He accuses the Enquirer of “extortion and blackmail.”
The National Enquirer published a story last month that included lurid texts between Bezos and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. Since then, private investigators have been looking into how the Enquirer got the texts.
Bezos says the Enquirer’s parent company tried to get him to agree to a deal for the tabloid not to publish the explicit photos.
As part of the deal, Bezos would have to release a public statement that he has “no knowledge or basis” to suggest the tabloid’s reporting was politically motivated.
Former Rep. Dingell, US’s longest-serving lawmaker, dies
DETROIT (AP) — Former Michigan Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in American history, has died. He was 92.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says her husband died at his Dearborn home on Thursday.
Dingell was dubbed “Big John” for his imposing 6-foot-3 frame and sometimes intimidating manner. The Democrat was a master of legislative deal-making and a staunch advocate for the U.S. auto industry.
Among the landmark laws he supported were Medicare, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.
Dingell was first elected in 1955, to fill the House seat vacated by his late father. The family tradition continued when his wife, Debbie, was elected to replace him in his Detroit-area district after he retired in 2014.
Former President Bill Clinton once said that presidents come and go, but “John Dingell goes on forever.”
Supreme Court blocks Louisiana abortion clinic law
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is stopping Louisiana from enforcing new regulations on abortion clinics in a test of the conservative court’s views on abortion rights.
The justices say by a 5-4 vote that they will not allow the state to put into effect a law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in putting a hold on the law, pending a full review of the case.
The four more conservative justices, including Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, would have allowed it to take effect. Kavanaugh wrote a dissent explaining his vote.
The law is very similar to a Texas measure the justices struck down three years ago. Roberts dissented in that case.
Northam surviving short term, long-term plans a mystery
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has disappeared after saying he wanted to start an honest conversation about race.
Northam defied calls last Saturday for his resignation after a racist yearbook picture surfaced.
He has since hired a crisis communications firm, used underground tunnels at the Capitol to stay out of view and unveiled no strategy for how he is going to govern effectively over the next three years.
His best hope of survival in the short term might be the eruption of two other controversies that have since hit the two men next in line to succeed him.
But Northam’s long-term plans are a mystery.
Facility where incapacitated woman gave birth to shut down
PHOENIX (AP) — A long-term care facility in Arizona where an incapacitated woman was raped and later gave birth is shutting down.
Officials with Hacienda HealthCare announced Thursday that its board of directors determined it’s not sustainable to keep operating its intermediate care facility in Phoenix.
The facility serves infants, children and young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities who require a high level of medical care.
Hacienda officials say they’re working with state agencies to develop a plan to move 37 patients to other facilities. Hacienda’s skilled nursing facility will stay open.
A prosecutor is investigating after a 29-year-old incapacitated woman gave birth on Dec. 29. A former licensed nurse has been charged with sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse.
Dems turn focus to tax returns – and Trump’s loom largest
WASHINGTON (AP) — The new Democratic-controlled House is looking at proposals to compel presidents and presidential candidates to make public years of their tax returns. But the burning question is what Democrats might do more immediately to get such files from President Donald Trump.
That goal has been high on their list of priorities since they won control of the House, but asking for Trump’s returns is likely to set off a huge legal battle with his administration.
The issue will come to the fore in an oversight hearing Thursday. Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo of California and Bill Pascrell of New Jersey say Trump has left Americans in the dark “about the extent of his financial entanglements and potential conflicts of interest.”
Trump broke with tradition by refusing to release his income tax filings during his 2016 campaign.
Historic candidacy of princess upends tradition in Thailand
BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai political party has selected a princess as its nominee to serve as the next prime minister, upending tradition that the royal palace plays no public role in politics and upsetting all predictions about what may happen in the March election.
The selection on Friday of 67-year-old Princess Ubolratana by the Thai Raksa Chart party marks a shock realignment of Thai politics, as she is now affiliated with a political machine that has been dismissed by royalists as opposed in spirit to the monarchy.
It also pits her against the preferred candidate of the military, which is considered one of Thailand’s most royalist institutions. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who has been prime minister since leading a 2014 coup, also was selected Friday as a candidate to lead the next government.
Former NY Times editor acknowledges sourcing errors in book
NEW YORK (AP) — The former executive editor of The New York Times has acknowledged making some sourcing errors in her book “Merchants of Truth” and says she will correct them.
In an email Thursday to The Associated Press, Jill Abramson wrote that some page numbers in the sourcing notes needed to be fixed and that some sources “should have been cited as quotations in the text.”
A Twitter thread posted Wednesday by Vice correspondent Michael C. Moynihan listed several examples of passages in Abramson’s book that closely resembled the work of others.
Abramson has defended herself by saying that her book includes extensive end notes, including web links to sources. It is widely believed that an outside source should be credited in the body of the work if there is a close similarity.
Hall of Famer, pioneering manager Frank Robinson dies at 83
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the first black manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues, has died. He was 83.
Robinson had been in hospice care at his home in Bel Air. MLB confirmed his death Thursday.
Robinson hit 586 career home runs and won the Triple Crown while leading the Baltimore Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966.
An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons, his legacy extended far beyond the batter’s box.
Robinson fulfilled his quest to become the first African-American manager in the big leagues when the Cleveland Indians hired him in 1975. In his first at-bat as their player-manager, he hit a home run.
Robinson also managed San Francisco, Baltimore and Montreal. He became the first manager of the Washington Nationals after the franchise moved from Montreal for the 2005 season.
Later, Robinson spent several years working as an executive for MLB.
Robinson was the NL MVP with Cincinnati in 1961 and Baltimore in 1966. The Reds, Orioles and Indians have retired Robinson’s No. 20 and saluted him with statues at their ballparks. He’s also in the Nationals’ Ring of Honor.
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HOUSE-WHITAKER SUBPOENA-THE LATEST
The Latest: Whitaker now confirmed to attend panel hearing
WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will appear before the panel Friday.
Whitaker’s appearance had been thrown into question after the panel approved a tentative subpoena to ensure that Whitaker appeared Friday and answered questions. Whitaker responded by saying he wouldn’t appear unless the committee dropped its subpoena threat, which he derided as an act of “political theater.”
But the committee chairman, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, tweeted Thursday evening that Whitaker would indeed attend the hearing.