The Latest: May says she aims to finish Brexit by June 30
BRUSSELS (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May says the European Union has granted her “key request” to add an early exit clause to its agreement to a six-month Brexit extension.
The U.K. and the EU agreed early Thursday to delay Brexit until Oct. 31, but May says she wants to leave “as soon as possible.”
She says that if U.K. lawmakers back her Brexit deal, her country can still leave before June 30 — the Brexit deadline that she had requested from the bloc.
May says Britain faces “stark” choices “and the timetable is clear.”
AP INTERVIEW-PELOSI-THE LATEST
The Latest: Pelosi OK with 2 men on 2020 Democratic ticket
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’d like to see a woman on Democrats’ 2020 presidential ticket — but she’s not insisting on it.
The California Democrat said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press that it shouldn’t be surprising that a few men have risen to the top of the large Democratic field.
She says she’s “very proud” of the women in the contest and says anyone running would be better than President Donald Trump.
Asked if she’d see a problem if Democrats nominate only men for the ticket, she replied, “No.”
“Would I love to see two women (nominated)? Yes. Would I like to see one? Yes,” she said. “But it doesn’t mean that if there isn’t one … that it’s not a ticket that we should all get behind.”
NATIONAL ENQUIRER-POSSIBLE SALE
National Enquirer parent explores possible sale of tabloid
NEW YORK (AP) — The supermarket tabloid under fire for paying hush money to a former Playboy model to help Donald Trump in his 2016 presidential campaign is on the auction block.
The parent of the National Enquirer said Wednesday that it is exploring a possible sale as part of a “strategic review” of its tabloid business. The decision by American Media comes after the tabloid said it paid $150,000 to keep Karen McDougal quiet about an alleged affair with Trump and being accused by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos of blackmail.
American Media agreed in August to cooperate with federal prosecutors looking into campaign violations in exchange for immunity.
American Media recently refinanced hundreds of millions of dollars of debt after years of heavy borrowing and acquisitions.
TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-BARR-THE LATEST
The Latest: Barr says he thinks Trump campaign was spied on
WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr says he thinks “spying did occur” on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, suggesting the origins of the Russia investigation may have been mishandled.
He did not say what “spying” had taken place but seemed likely to be alluding to a surveillance warrant the FBI obtained on a Trump associate.
He later said he wasn’t sure there had been improper surveillance but wanted to make sure proper procedures were followed. Still, his remarks give a boost to Trump and his supporters who insist his 2016 campaign was unfairly targeted by the FBI.
Barr was testifying at a Senate budget hearing Wednesday that was dominated by questions about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation.
TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-FOREIGN LOBBYING
Lawyers: Ex-Obama White House counsel Craig expects charges
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for former Obama administration White House counsel Greg Craig say they expect their client to be charged in a foreign lobbying investigation that grew out of the special counsel’s Russia probe.
In a statement Wednesday night, the attorneys said the “government’s stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion.”
The scrutiny of Craig stems from an investigation of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his work on behalf of a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. If filed, the charges would come about three months after Craig’s former law firm agreed to pay more than $4.6 million and publicly acknowledge that it failed to report its work for the Ukrainian government.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment Wednesday night.
SPRING FLOODING-THE LATEST
The Latest: Colorado mobilizes National Guard for storm
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has activated the National Guard in case troops are needed to rescue stranded motorists as they did during last month’s blizzard.
Guard officials said Wednesday that 50 soldiers and 24 vehicles will be positioned in the eastern part of the state, including vehicles with tank-like tracks for negotiating deep snow.
The Colorado Department of Transportation says highway closures are likely with a blizzard warning in place through Thursday morning.
The March blizzard paralyzed many of the same areas that are under the current warning.
Troops searched through the night and rescued 75 people and two dogs from vehicles, mostly in four counties southeast of Denver.
TRUMP TAXES-THE LATEST
The Latest: Treasury to miss deadline for Trump tax returns
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin) says his department is unable to provide President Donald Trump’s tax returns to Congress by Wednesday’s deadline.
Mnuchin told House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, who made the request a week ago, that Treasury respects congressional oversight but needs more time to review the “unprecedented” request.
Mnuchin said Neal’s request raised important questions of “constitutional scope of congressional investigative authority, the legitimacy of the asserted legislative purpose, and the constitutional rights of American citizens.”
He quoted Capitol Hill Republicans who called the request “Nixonian” and who warned that it could set a precedent for disclosing personal tax information for political purposes.
Scientists reveal first image ever made of black hole
WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have revealed the first image ever made of a black hole.
Astronomers revealed the picture on Wednesday in Washington. They assembled data gathered by eight radio telescopes around the world to show the violent neighborhood near a supermassive black hole.
The image looks like a glowing eye. Co-discoverer Jessica Dempsey says it is a vivid ring of light that reminds her of the powerful flaming Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Nothing, not even light, escapes from supermassive black holes. They are the light-sucking monsters of the universe theorized by Einstein more than a century ago and confirmed by observations for decades. The event horizon is the point of no return around them.
The results are being published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The Latest: Nielsen opens new DHS campus on her last day
WASHINGTON (AP) — Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is welcoming employees to their new campus on her last day on the job.
The guests included some officials who have recently been pushed out by the Trump administration, including the head of Secret Service, acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and acting deputy secretary for Homeland Security.
They all gathered in the sunshine outside the new headquarters on Wednesday on the site of a former psychiatric hospital.
Kevin McAleenan, the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection who is taking over as acting DHS secretary, also attended, shaking hands with employees and giving Nielsen a standing ovation. Transportation and Security Administrator David Pekoske, who has been tapped as acting DHS deputy secretary, was also on hand.
Nielsen welcomed everyone to the new campus, joking that the construction took so long she wasn’t sure she’d still be secretary when it opened. She just made it, she quipped.
She said serving in the post has been the honor of a lifetime.
China’s spreading influence in Eastern Europe worries West
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Construction of infrastructure such as power plants, mobile networks and bridges is booming throughout cash-strapped countries in central and eastern Europe thanks to Chinese funding, which has the European Union scrambling to counter Beijing’s mounting influence.
Croatia is hosting a summit on Thursday for 16 European countries with developing economies and China. The gathering in Dubrovnik focuses on expanding business and other links between China and a region it sees as a gateway to Europe.
The countries that endorsed China’s global “Belt and Road” initiative already have seen billions of dollars in investments. Eleven are EU members.
Western leaders worry economic weight could give China political muscle in the region, and about projects funded with Chinese investments adhering to lower environmental and other standards than the EU’s.
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