DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
Trump nominates Jeffrey Rosen for deputy attorney general
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Jeffrey Rosen to be the next deputy attorney general.
Rosen is currently the deputy transportation secretary and oversees the department’s day-to-day operations.
He also served as general counsel and a senior policy adviser at the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2006 to 2009.
Rosen previously worked as a senior partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP — the same law firm as the new attorney general, William Barr.
The current deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, is expected to leave his post in March. His departure had been expected after Barr was confirmed last week.
Rosenstein had overseen special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself. Barr now oversees the remaining work in the Russia probe.
APNewsBreak: Feds share watchlist with 1,400 private groups
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — The federal government is acknowledging that it shares its terrorist watchlist with more than 1,400 private entities, including hospitals and universities.
The admission is prompting concerns from civil liberties groups that people placed on the list by mistake could face a wide variety of hassles in their daily lives.
The government’s admission comes in a court case challenging the watchlist’s constitutionality. It follows years of insistence that the list is generally not shared with the private sector.
The watchlist is supposed to include only those who are known or suspected terrorists but contains hundreds of thousands of names. Critics say the watchlist is wildly overbroad and mismanaged, and large numbers of people are wrongly included on the list and suffer routine difficulties and indignities because of their inclusion.
CALIFORNIA-HIGH SPEED RAIL-THE LATEST
The Latest: California governor accuses Trump of retribution
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the Trump administration is engaging in “political retribution” by trying to take back $3.5 billion granted for the state’s high-speed rail project.
The Democratic governor says President Donald Trump is reacting to California suing over Trump’s emergency declaration to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump linked the two together Tuesday in a tweet that referenced the lawsuit and said California “has wasted billions of dollars on their out of control Fast Train.”
Newsom says California won’t sit “idly by” and will fight to keep the money.
The federal money comes with certain requirements that the Trump administration says California won’t meet. The state has already spent $2.5 billion on the planned train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK-THE LATEST
The Latest: Smollett gave false information in 2007 case
CHICAGO (AP) — A California misdemeanor complaint against Jussie Smollett shows the actor was accused of identifying himself as his younger brother in 2007 when a Los Angeles police officer pulled him over on suspicion of driving under the influence.
The misdemeanor complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in September 2007 says that Smollett gave the name of his brother, Jake Smollett, when he was asked by an officer. He also signed a false name on the promise to appear in court. Smollett also was later charged with false impersonation, driving under the influence and driving without a valid license.
Court records show Smollett pleaded no contest to the reduced charge of giving false information, in addition to driving under the influence and driving without a valid license counts. The records show he later completed an alcohol education and treatment program and completed the terms of his sentence in May 2008.
The details of the complaint were first reported by NBC News.
House Dems probe White House handling of Saudi nuclear plan
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new congressional report says senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials.
The Democrat-led House oversight committee launched an investigation Tuesday into the claims.
The committee says whistleblowers within the Trump administration raised concerns about “abnormal acts” within the White House to support the proposal to build dozens of nuclear reactors across the Middle Eastern kingdom.
The investigation comes as lawmakers from both parties have raised concerns that Saudi Arabia could develop nuclear weapons if the U.S. technology is transferred without proper safeguards.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mexico closes temporary migrant shelter near US border
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Officials in the northern Mexico border state of Coahuila say an empty assembly plant used to house about 1,600 Central American migrants during the past two weeks has closed.
Jose Borrego, a state spokesman, confirmed the closure of the Piedras Negras shelter Tuesday, a day earlier than scheduled. He said additional information would be made available later.
The shelter’s population had been steadily falling since last week as migrants who had obtained humanitarian visas were given bus rides to other cities where they could have a better chance of finding work.
The migrants arrived at the border hoping to request asylum in the United States, but Mexican authorities corralled them in the shelter and only about a dozen were allowed to request asylum each day.
Man pleads guilty in rape, murder of Pennsylvania teen
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty in the rape, murder and dismemberment of a 14-year-old girl, and the victim’s adoptive mother has agreed to plead guilty and serve a life sentence.
Jacob Sullivan pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder in the 2016 death of Grace Packer. A jury outside Philadelphia will determine a sentence of either life in prison or death.
Grace’s adoptive mother, Sara Packer, is expected to testify against Sullivan during the penalty phase of his trial. Officials say she intends to plead guilty in the case.
Prosecutors have said that Sara Packer, a former foster parent and child welfare worker, watched Sullivan act out a rape-murder fantasy they shared. The couple allegedly stored the girl’s body in cat litter for months, then dumped it in a remote area.
This story has been corrected to show Grace Packer’s adoptive mother is Sara Packer, not Sarah Packer.
Legal hurdles would look familiar in any new R. Kelly case
CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors will have to clear a series of high legal hurdles if they intend to charge R. Kelly anew and convict him, even if there’s video evidence.
Speculation the R&B star could face new charges arose after attorney Michael Avenatti said he recently gave prosecutors a VHS tape showing Kelly having sex with an underage girl, although it’s not clear when it allegedly was recorded.
Amid allegations of sexual misconduct dating back years, Kelly has always denied any wrongdoing.
A case that well illustrates the challenges to prosecutors is Kelly’s own 2008 trial at which he was acquitted.
The alleged victim did not testify. Jurors said after acquitting Kelly of all charges in 2008 that they had difficulty convicting someone when the alleged victim herself didn’t testify.
OBAMA LIBRARY-LAWSUIT-THE LATEST
Latest: City lawyer welcomes decision on Obama library suit
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s lead attorney says the city is pleased a federal judge will expedite hearings on a lawsuit challenging the planned construction of the Obama Presidential Center in a South Side park.
Responding to U.S. District Judge John Blakey’s order Tuesday allowing the Protect Our Parks lawsuit to proceed, Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel said he is glad the judge dismissed some of the lawsuit’s claims.
Blakey tossed the plaintiffs’ claim that their First Amendment rights would be violated if tax money is used to construct a building to promote former President Barack Obama’s political interests.
He also found no merit in the plaintiffs’ claim they would suffer because of aesthetic and environmental harm to Jackson Park.
Blakey says his ruling “does not address the true facts of this case.”
Noose knot on Burberry hoodie pulled amid fury
NEW YORK (AP) — The luxury fashion house Burberry has apologized for putting a hoodie with strings tied in the shape of a noose on its London Fashion Week runway.
The knotted strings surfaced after Sunday’s show when a model hired to walk but not wear the outfit complained.
Model Liz Kennedy wrote the strings evoked both lynchings and suicide. Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti said in a statement Tuesday the look was intended to reflect a nautical theme.
Kennedy’s Instagram post has prompted dozens of negative comments directed at Burberry and its creative director, Riccardo Tisci. Tisci apologized.
Gobbetti said he called Kennedy to apologize as soon as he became aware of her concerns on Monday. Kennedy said the global brand should have known better.
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