Tribune News Service

News Budget for Friday, March 1, 2019


Updated at 4 p.m. EST (2100 UTC).




Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^US military to permanently cancel large-scale exercises on Korean Peninsula<

USKOREAS-MILITARY:LA — The Pentagon is permanently canceling the large-scale military exercises in South Korea usually held in the spring, U.S. officials said Friday, handing Pyongyang a long-sought concession only days after a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke up without a deal.

The timing of the decision raised questions about whether Trump was giving away a major piece of leverage over North Korea, which has long denounced the exercises as provocative, and failing to get anything in return.

500 by David S. Cloud in Washington. MOVED


^Otto Warmbier's parents say Kim and his regime were responsible for his death<

USNKOREA-SUMMIT-WARMBIER:BLO — The parents of Otto Warmbier rejected President Donald Trump's comments that he took Kim Jong Un "at his word" that the North Korean leader had no role in the torture of their son, who later died from injuries sustained during imprisonment.

250 by Mike Dorning in Washington. MOVED


^Trump says Cohen book pitch shows he 'committed perjury on a scale not seen before'<

TRUMP:CON — President Donald Trump on Friday demanded that lawmakers obtain a transcript of a book reportedly pushed by his former fixer Michael Cohen that paints a very different picture of his former client than he described to a House panel on Wednesday.

The president also lodged a major allegation against Cohen, who already has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, saying he "committed perjury on a scale not seen before" during testimony this week.

700 by John T. Bennett in Washington. MOVED


^Jay Inslee, governor of Washington, launches a climate-first presidential campaign<

INSLEE:LA — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee entered the presidential race early Friday morning focused on just one issue: climate change.

The Democrat, who remains an unknown to most voters outside the West, plans to run a campaign built around his record fighting global warming, a crusade he says must take priority over everything else. The unconventional approach was unveiled in a campaign launch video.

350 by Evan Halper in Washington. (Moved as a politics story.) MOVED



^How will Netanyahu's indictment affect US-Israeli relations, peace efforts?<

USMIDEAST-NETANYAHU:LA — Israel's attorney general recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust on Thursday in a series of corruption scandals that have dogged his recent years in office and overshadowed his current re-election campaign. What does that mean for U.S.-Israeli relations?

850 by Tracy Wilkinson in Washington.

Moving later

^Pence continues White House, GOP push to paint Democrats as socialists<

CPAC-PENCE:CON — Vice President Mike Pence warned a conservative audience Friday that allowing Democrats to gain more power would mean allowing them to enact "tired" policies that amount to socialism.

"Over the next 20 months, we have a decision to make. Will we re-elect a president who is making America great again?" Pence asked. "Or will we let America take a hard left turn?"

The crowd roared boos.

700 by John T. Bennett in Washington. MOVED


^Some Democrats on House oversight panel pumping the brakes on interviews with Trump family members<

CONGRESS-TRUMP-FAMILY:CON — After Chairman Elijah Cummings suggested earlier this week that his House Committee on Oversight and Reform could try to schedule interviews with members of the Trump family, including the president's sons Donald Jr. and Eric and daughter Ivanka, some Democrats urged caution about making such moves.

The president's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen implicated Trump's family members in multiple crimes in his public testimony on Wednesday. Specifically, Cohen described Donald Jr. and Eric's involvement in an illegal hush-money scheme to buy the silence of two women who allege they had sex with the president, onetime Playboy model Karen McDougal and pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford, better known by her stage name Stormy Daniels.

900 by Griffin Connolly in Washington. MOVED


^Cummings letter says White House is stalling on probe into security clearances<

CUMMINGS-WHITEHOUSE-CLEARANCES:CON — Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone on Friday accusing the White House of purposefully delaying the committee's investigation into executive security clearances.

"The White House has stalled, equivocated, and failed to produce a single document or witness to the committee," the letter reads.

350 by Ben Peters in Washington. MOVED


^Democrats want Acosta out over Epstein. Republicans want to know more. Then there's Matt Gaetz<

EPSTEIN-SEXABUSE-GAETZ:WA — Democrats are calling for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta's resignation. Republicans support an internal investigation into Acosta's role in a controversial plea deal for multimillionaire sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein in 2008.

But Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of President Donald Trump's biggest defenders in Congress, is taking a different approach.

In an interview with the Miami Herald, Gaetz said re-examining Acosta's handling of Epstein's case, which came under increased scrutiny after the Herald's three-part series Perversion of Justice, sets a "dangerous" precedent for prosecutors. A federal judge ruled last week that prosecutors run by Acosta, then the U.S. attorney for South Florida, broke the law when they failed to inform Epstein's underage victims of the plea agreement.

1000 by Alex Daugherty in Washington. MOVED


^Congressman says Sean Hannity should be subpoenaed over Michael Cohen<

COHEN-HANNITY:CON — Fox News host Sean Hannity appeared to insert himself into the congressional investigation of President Donald Trump in an interview with Trump aired Thursday night, leading to speculation that he could be subpoenaed.

Hannity asserted to the president that Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney who testified in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday, gave him information that conflicts with Cohen's testimony.

200 by Ben Peters in Washington. MOVED



^Rep. Joaquin Castro might run for Texas Senate seat<

TEXASSENATE-CASTRO:CON — Rep. Joaquin Castro is weighing a run for the Senate in Texas.

"Congressman Castro will seriously consider running for Senate in 2020," his office said in a statement Friday.

650 by Emily Kopp in Washington. MOVED


^Ex-congressman who lost GOP primary in NC's 9th District urges Trump to weigh in now<

NCCONGRESS-9THDISTRICT-PITTENGER:CON — Former Rep. Robert Pittenger, the most recent person to hold North Carolina's vacant 9th District seat, urged President Donald Trump on Friday to help the GOP "coalesce" behind someone by choosing his preferred primary candidate as early as possible.

"The president does need to weigh in on this now," Pittenger said in a radio interview Friday with WBT in Charlotte.

350 by Griffin Connolly in Washington. MOVED



^Pilot dead after small plane crashes into condo building on Fort Lauderdale beach<

FLA-PLANECRASH:FL — A pilot died Friday when a yellow plane towing a banner crashed into a Fort Lauderdale high-rise condominium and fell onto a pool deck several floors below.

It was about 11:42 a.m. local time when calls came that a small plane had crashed into an 18-story condominium building, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephan Gollan said.

600 by Linda Trischitta and Wayne K. Roustan in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^Family sues after jailed man overdoses on medication for his mental illness<

LA-JAIL-OVERDOSE:LA — Lewis Nyarecha was found unresponsive on a top bunk at the Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles by a fellow inmate. He had missed dinner the night before and breakfast that day.

Two L.A. County sheriff's deputies began to haul the 25-year-old Nyarecha off the bunk, only to drop him, slamming the back of his head on a metal desk.

Nyarecha's family filed suit this week, alleging negligence in his death and battery over the incident that caused the head wound.

800 (with trims) by Richard Winton in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Trump policy that sends asylum-seekers back to Mexico is about to be expanded to Texas<

IMMIGRATION-ASYLUM:DA — Plans to dramatically expand the Trump administration's controversial "Remain in Mexico" policy are expected any day, paving the way for what critics say will be thousands of migrants left in limbo on the border.

Migration Protection Protocol, also known as Remain in Mexico, went into effect as a pilot project at the Tijuana-San Diego border in December to serve as a deterrent by forcing Central America migrants to return to Mexico pending the outcome of their legal petitions, a process that can take months, if not years.

The proposed policy, facing a lawsuit by the ACLU, is expected to take effect soon in other parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, according to sources.

950 (with trims) by Alfredo Corchado in El Paso, Texas. MOVED


^Ex-Minneapolis officer Mohamed Noor pleads not guilty in woman's fatal shooting<

MINN-POLICE-SHOOTING:MS — Ex-Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor formally pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and manslaughter charges in the July 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

Noor did not speak during the 30-minute evidentiary hearing, but his attorney Thomas Plunkett entered the plea on his behalf.

700 by Chao Xiong in Minneapolis. MOVED


^Demand for legal marijuana in Illinois would far exceed licensed growers' ability to supply it, study shows<

ILL-MARIJUANA:TB — Legal recreational marijuana in Illinois could drive demand as high as 550,000 pounds a year, far more than the state's licensed growers can supply, according to a new study commissioned by state legislators.

The study, performed by the Colorado consulting firm Freedman & Koski, lends support to those who argue that Illinois' fledgling marijuana industry should expand and diversify, allowing the participation of more black and Latino entrepreneurs — people whose communities have disproportionately suffered during America's war on drugs.

750 by John Keilman in Chicago. MOVED


^Texas church shooting victims, family members sue Academy Sports<

TEXAS-CHURCH-SHOOTING-LAWSUIT:AU — Families and survivors of the gruesome church shooting in Sutherland Springs that left 27 people dead in 2017 have filed a new lawsuit against Academy Sports + Outdoors, alleging the company never should have sold to Devin Kelley the rifle used in the attack.

The lawsuit, filed by 56 plaintiffs each seeking monetary relief over $1 million, said Academy violated firearms laws when they sold Kelley a Ruger AR-556 rifle because he reported that his address was in Colorado at the time of purchase, and produced a state-issued identification card that matched the address he gave.

400 by Mark D. Wilson in Austin, Texas. MOVED


^'Girl in the Closet' Lauren Kavanaugh indicted after admitting she sexually assaulted a teenage girl<

GIRLINCLOSET:DA — A Denton County grand jury Thursday indicted "Girl in the Closet" Lauren Kavanaugh on three counts of sexual assault of a child after she admitted sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

A sexually explicit Facebook conversation led police to question Kavanaugh and approach the girl's family about the allegations. The girl and Kavanaugh met through a Facebook fan page called "The Lauren Kavanaugh Story" that has since been disabled.

500 by Jennifer Emily in Dallas. MOVED


^Brothers connected to Jussie Smollett case regret their involvement, lawyer says<

^SMOLLETT:NY—<A little over a week after actor Jussie Smollett was arrested for allegedly staging an attack on himself, the brothers connected with the scandal are sharing their remorse.

"My clients have tremendous regret over their involvement in this situation, and they understand how it has impacted people across the nation, particularly minority communities and especially those who have been victims of hate crimes themselves," lawyer Gloria Schmidt said in a statement obtained by CNN.

300 by Peter Sblendorio. MOVED


^Despite 1991 ruling, foes of new family planning rules see law on their side<

^HEALTHCARE-FAMILY-PLANNING:KHN—<State attorneys generals and women's health advocates hoping to block in court new Trump administration rules for the federal family planning program face one major obstacle: The Supreme Court upheld very similar rules in 1991.

Those rules were summarily canceled after a change in administrations. But the court is arguably more conservative than it was 28 years ago.

Still, those who oppose the rules say that the ground has shifted enough to help them succeed this time. They point to protections enacted in the 2010 Affordable Care Act and changes made by Congress in the mid-1990s in funding bills for the family planning program, known as Title X.

900 by Julie Rovner. MOVED


^Planned Parenthood of Illinois could lose millions over new rule surrounding abortion<

ILL-PLANNEDPARENTHOOD:TB — Days after the Trump administration issued a rule barring many health centers from providing abortion referrals, Planned Parenthood of Illinois said that it expects to continue offering such services despite the prospect of losing millions of dollars in funding.

Under the new rule, finalized by the Trump administration last week, health providers such as Planned Parenthood will no longer be allowed to directly refer patients for abortions if they accept Title X money. That funding supports family planning services and related preventative care, especially for low-income patients.

Providers who accept those dollars will also have to make sure that if they do perform abortions, those are financially and physically separated from services supported by Title X money. And they will no longer, as the current rules stipulate, be required to discuss abortion as an option when counseling pregnant patients.

In response, Planned Parenthood of Illinois has said that it will not participate in the Title X program if the new rule goes into effect in two months.

600 by Lisa Schencker in Chicago. MOVED



^Indian pilot released at Pakistan border in 'gesture of peace'<

PAKISTAN-INDIA-AIRCRAFT:BLO — An Indian Air Force pilot captured by Pakistan was released on Friday, offering the two countries a chance to de-escalate the worst military tensions in decades.

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was handed over to Indian authorities after his jet was shot down over the disputed region of Kashmir earlier this week. Indian and Pakistani television channels showed Varthaman being handed over at the Wagah-Attari border crossing in the state of Punjab.

350 by Iain Marlow in New Delhi and Khalid Qayum in Islamabad. MOVED


^35 dead as al-Shabab siege ends in Mogadishu, police say<

SOMALIA-ATTACK:DPA — Thirty-five people were dead after an almost 24-hour siege in Somalia's capital came to an end Friday evening, officials said.

The death toll included five of the al-Shabab militants behind the attack in Mogadishu, according to police officer Ahmed Bashane.

250 by Mohamed Odowa in Mogadishu, Somalia. MOVED


^State Department deploys envoy to break political stalemate in Haiti<

^USHAITI:MI—<A relatively unknown diplomat who once served as special envoy for Middle East peace has been charged by the Trump administration with trying to break a political stalemate in Haiti.

After violent protests last month, a relative calm has returned to Haiti, where a deepening political crisis, sinking economy and corruption charges sparked violent protests and "do not travel" warnings from Canada and the U.S. government.

650 by Jacqueline Charles. (Moved as an international story.) MOVED


^Trump and Kim left their summit empty-handed, but there was one clear winner: Vietnam<

USNKOREA-SUMMIT-VIETNAM:LA — With few logistical headaches and no mentions of human rights, Vietnam burnished its image as a modernizing economy and emerging global player.

950 by Shashank Bengali in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Moving later



NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later


^Cancer's complications: Confusing bills, maddening errors and endless phone calls<

MED-CANCER-TREATMENT:KHN — Carol Marley wants everyone to know what a life-threatening cancer diagnosis looks like in America today.

Yes, it's the chemotherapy that leaves you weak and unable to walk across the room. Yes, it's the litany of tests and treatments — the CT scans and MRIs and biopsies and endoscopies and surgeries and blood draws and radiation and doctor visits. Yes, it's envisioning your funeral that torments you day and night.

But none of these is her most gnawing, ever-present concern.

That would be the convoluted medical bills that fill multiple binders, depleted savings accounts that destroy early retirement plans, and so, so many phone calls with insurers and medical providers.

Coping with the financial fallout of cancer is exhausting. And nerve-wracking. But the worst part, Marley said, is that it's unexpected.

1350 by Anna Gorman. MOVED


^Alleged Florida sex parlors were hiding in plain sight, neighbors say<

FLA-SEXPARLORS:MI — In the drab, cookie-cutter world of Florida strip mall storefronts, there was little about the five Asian-themed spas lining Federal Highway in northern Palm Beach and southern Martin counties that screamed "hub of human trafficking."

Yet, more than a dozen witnesses to the daily routine in the suburban shopping centers told the Miami Herald they knew something was off about the parlors long before last week's police raids, part of a sex trafficking and prostitution sting that nabbed New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and hundreds of other customers, along with several business owners.

1000 by Sarah Blaskey in Jupiter, Fla. MOVED




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