The Latest: Texas Dem introduces articles of impeachment
WASHINGTON (AP) — Texas Rep. Al Green has introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, potentially forcing a vote this week on whether to remove the president from office.
The vote would come too soon for most Democrats, as a majority of the caucus appears to oppose impeachment, for now. But Green is seeking to capitalize on a growing sentiment for impeachment in the wake of Trump’s racist tweets over the weekend.
Green introduced the measure shortly after the House voted to condemn Trump for tweets that four Democratic congresswomen should “go back” to their home countries. All are Americans. Green said Tuesday that Trump is unfit for office and “enough is enough.”
Any member of the House can force an impeachment vote. Green has done so twice before, unsuccessfully.
POLICE CHOKEHOLD DEATH-THE LATEST
The Latest: Officer in chokehold death case is ‘gratified’
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer says New York Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo (pan-tuh-LAY’-oh) is “gratified” that the Justice Department carefully reviewed his case rather than what he calls the “lies and inaccuracies” surrounding it.
The government announced Tuesday that it had decided not to bring civil rights charges against Pantaleo in connection with Eric Garner’s 2014 death.
Attorney Stuart London says Pantaleo used techniques approved by the New York Police Department while arresting Garner, who died after uttering “I can’t breathe.” London added that a loss of life is “always a tragedy.”
Meanwhile, a chant of “No justice, no peace!” erupted as Garner’s family and their supporters gathered outside City Hall.
Cousin Michael Garner stressed that the family has the “utmost respect” for law enforcement when it is “applied fairly.” However, he said officers who were “there and did nothing” should be fired.
APNewsBreak: NRC looking at reducing inspections at reactors
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will look at cutting back on inspections of the country’s nuclear reactors.
Staff recommendations made public Tuesday would reduce the time and scope of annual inspections at the nation’s 90-plus nuclear power plants. Some other inspections would be cut from every two years to every three years.
The nuclear power industry has pushed regulators to cut inspections, saying the nuclear facilities are operating well and the inspections are a financial burden for power providers.
Some of the staff’s recommendations would require a vote by the commission, which has a majority of Trump-appointed members.
NRC Commissioner Jeff Baran says he opposes the proposed reduction in inspections. Baran says the commission shouldn’t “weaken its safety oversight to save money.”
The Latest: Immigrant advocates sue over new asylum rule
WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigrant advocates are suing the Trump administration over its move to end asylum protections for most migrants who cross the southern U.S. border.
The American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center and Center for Constitutional Rights sued Tuesday in federal court in Northern California.
The Trump administration proposal would prevent most migrants from seeking protection as refugees if they have passed through another country first.
It targets the tens of thousands of Central American families who cross into the U.S. through Mexico. But it would also affect people from Africa, Asia and South America who also seek refuge at the southern border.
Immigrant advocates say the plan is illegal because it circumvents the process Congress has established for asylum.
PERSIAN GULF-TENSIONS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Iran says it helped a tanker with tow to harbor
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s state-run media is quoting the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying the Islamic Republic helped an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz amid U.S. concern that Tehran seized one there.
The state-run IRNA news agency early Wednesday quoted Abbas Mousavi as saying Iran towed an unnamed vessel to harbor after it suffered a technical malfunction.
However, both the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates, where the tanker is based, say that the vessel hasn’t been in contact with its owner since its transponder turned off late Saturday night.
A U.S. defense official told The Associated Press that America “has suspicions” Iran seized the vessel amid tensions between Tehran and Washington over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.
TRUMP-FAMILY PLANNING-THE LATEST
The Latest: Planned Parenthood won’t comply with Trump rule
WASHINGTON (AP) — Planned Parenthood says it won’t comply with a Trump administration rule that bars taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions.
Jacqueline Ayers, the organization’s top lobbyist, said Tuesday that Planned Parenthood clinics will stop accepting federal money as they press Congress and the courts to reverse the administration’s new requirement.
Ayers told The Associated Press in an interview that Planned Parenthood will tap emergency funding, but she’s not sure how long that can last. She says Planned Parenthood believes it is wrong for health care providers to withhold information from patients.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services informed clinics Monday that it will begin enforcing the ban on abortion referrals, as well as a requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions.
R KELLY-THE LATEST
The Latest: Judge orders R&B singer R. Kelly held in jail
CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has ordered R&B singer R. Kelly held in a Chicago jail without bond on sex crime charges.
U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber handed down the ruling Tuesday after Kelly was arrested last week and charged in Chicago and New York with sex crimes including having sex with minors and trying to cover it up.
Kelly, wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the ankles, did not speak except to say “yes sir” when the judge asked if he understood the charges. His attorney, Steve Greenberg, submitted a not guilty plea.
Prosecutors argued that Kelly would be an extreme risk if released, especially to minors, and that he might flee.
MOON LANDING-ANNIVERSARY-THE LATEST
The Latest: Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Sentinel commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch by republishing its front page from 1969 and writing minute-by-minute accounts of launch day.
The headline on July 16, 1969, was simple: Moon, Here We Come.
The newspaper detailed how the day started for astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins as they prepared for launch.
The caption for a rendering of the astronauts read: Pioneers for Man’s Greatest Quest.
On its website, the Sentinel offered readers a look at the morning’s activities, complete with photos of the astronauts, Mission Control and the crowds that gathered along Florida’s Space Coast to watch history.
GIANT TELESCOPE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Telescopes near Hawaii protest pause operations
HONOLULU (AP) — Existing telescopes on the summit of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea are suspending operations while protesters block the road downslope to prevent the construction of a new observatory.
East Asian Observatory Deputy Director Jessica Dempsey said in a statement Tuesday the existing observatories made a joint decision to withdraw personnel from their telescopes at the summit.
She says they’re acting to secure the safety of their staff.
She says the observatories will resume normal operations as soon as the situation allows.
There are 13 existing telescopes at the summit, many of which are used by the world’s leading astronomers to study the skies.
Protesters are blocking the road in an attempt to prevent the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, which would be the largest optical telescope in the Northern Hemisphere.
South African musician Johnny Clegg dies at 66 after cancer
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Johnny Clegg, a groundbreaking South African musician, has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 66.
His manager Roddy Quin told the country’s state broadcaster that the singer died peacefully at home in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Clegg’s multi-racial bands during white minority rule attracted an international following. He crafted hits inspired by Zulu and township harmonies, as well as folk and other influences, in defiance of racial barriers imposed by South Africa’s apartheid system decades ago.
One of his best-known songs is “Asimbonanga,” which means “We’ve never seen him” in Zulu. It refers to South Africans during apartheid when images of then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela were banned.
Clegg told South African news channel eNCA in December that the “toughest part of my journey will be the next two years.”
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