Tribune News Service

News Budget for Saturday, October 19, 2019


Updated at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 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.


^Johnson Asks EU for Brexit Delay, But Hopes He Won't Need It<

^BREXIT-DELAY:BLO—<Boris Johnson is sending the letter to Brussels he never wanted to write.

Bound by a law passed by opposition Members of Parliament, he will formally ask the European Union to delay Brexit until Jan. 31, according to a person familiar with the matter. At the same time, he pledged to push on with his plans to leave by his Oct. 31 deadline.

250 by Tim Ross and Ian Wishart. MOVED


Also moving as:

^Johnson expected to write to EU amid pressure to seek Brexit delay<

BREXIT-DELAY-1ST-LEDE:DPA — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to write to European Council President Donald Tusk late Saturday amid legal and political pressure for him to seek another delay to Brexit, after he lost on crucial vote in parliament on the deal he agreed with Brussels.

500 by Bill Smith and Helen Maguire in London/Brussels. MOVED


^Giuliani associate made millions in Ukraine before his US fortunes turned<

GIULIANI-ASSOCIATE-UKRAINE:WA — Long before Igor Fruman was arrested in a widening political scandal that threatens the American presidency, the Soviet-born emigre and sometime Florida man came to riches through political connections in Ukraine.

Fruman's fortunes were made in Ukraine in the late 1990s thanks in part to ties to at least one politician there, according to anti-corruption groups. A review of his last two decades in business suggests he might have been trying to rekindle sagging fortunes at the time of his Oct. 9 arrest for what the indictment said was "a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office" in order to "buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns" and foreign governments.

Aside from his scowling mug shot — taken after the FBI arrested him at Dulles International Airport with a one-way ticket out of the country — not much is known about Fruman, though in 2012 he was ranked the 195th wealthiest person in Ukraine worth almost $29 million by Focus, a weekly Ukrainian news magazine published in Russian.

2150 (with trims) by Kevin G. Hall and Alexandra Marquez in Washington. MOVED



^Congress has long sought to bar foreign campaign contributions<

CAMPAIGNS-FOREIGN-INFLUENCE:CON — In the decades before President Donald Trump asked Ukraine to launch an investigation into his main political rival in the upcoming presidential election, Congress tried again and again to keep foreign nationals out of American elections and government decisions.

The lawmakers' adversaries over the years sound as if they come straight out of Hollywood scripts: the Nazi party in the 1930s, the Philippine sugar industry in the 1960s, a Greek industrialist in the 1970s, an international businessman turned Chinese government agent in the 1990s.

Congress passed laws to ban what they saw as threats to the integrity of elections, foreign policy and national security. Foreign nationals found loopholes or new ways to contribute to campaigns.

Now, the person testing the legal limits of the current ban isn't a foreign national, but the president of the United States and his political team.

1500 (with trims) by Todd Ruger in Washington. MOVED


^Pay to play: Will California prompt congressional action on college athletics?<

COLLEGE-ATHLETES-PAY:CON — For college football fans, nothing compares to waking up on that first crisp autumn Saturday morning to prepare for a whole day of game watching. Tuning in to ESPN's "College GameDay." Sipping bourbon at the tailgate without facing societal judgment for drinking before noon.

College football's shared rituals and traditions provide millions with a weekly source of escapism and entertainment every fall. The game offers excitement, frustration and camaraderie on any given Saturday, thanks to the dizzying skills of its student-athletes.

But as the billion-dollar behemoth steadily grows, so too does criticism of its governing body's rule prohibiting players from profiting off their labor.

1150 (with trims) by Clyde McGrady in Washington. MOVED



^Democrats seeking votes in Trump country tout miners' benefits<

DEMOCRATS-REDSTATES:CON — Senate Republicans say they're close to unveiling a plan to address a $66 billion funding shortfall affecting coal miners' and other union pension plans, an issue Democrats see as advantageous politically and as a possible bargaining chip in trade talks with the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump championed manufacturing and coal industry jobs during his 2016 campaign, including in critical swing states he won like Pennsylvania and Ohio. In the 2020 campaign, Democrats have been touting "broken promises" to workers in those states and others, including more traditional GOP bastions like Kentucky where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is up for reelection next year.

1300 (with trims) by Doug Sword in Washington. MOVED


^Florida GOP Rep. Francis Rooney not seeking reelection<

GOP-ROONEY:CON — Florida Rep. Francis Rooney, who broke with many of his Republican colleagues when he said he wouldn't rule out supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump, announced he will not seek reelection next year.

The two-term Republican grew more receptive this week to the House impeachment inquiry after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said in a televised briefing that seeking help to investigate Democrats was part of the reason military aid to Ukraine was temporarily withheld.

350 by Chris Cioffi in Washington. MOVED


^Who might run for the rare opportunity that is U.S. Rep. Elijah Cumming's seat?<

CUMMINGS-SEAT-1019:BZ — Landing a congressional seat is a dream for many politicians — a position that rarely opens up, can be held for decades, and marks the pinnacle of a career.

So, the sudden death Thursday of Democrat U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings — a venerated figure who mentored a younger generation of public servants — leaves many lawmakers, even while mourning, facing a tough decision.

Should they defer to Cummings' wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who many believe would be a logical successor? Or should they run for the office themselves?

1400 Luke Broadwater in Baltimore. MOVED



^Tropical Storm Nestor loses tropical status, makes Florida landfall<

WEA-NESTOR-1ST-LEDE:OS. — Tropical Storm Nestor became Post-Tropical Cyclone Nestor on Saturday and made landfall on St. Vincent Island, Florida, the National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. Eastern Time update.

The system's sustained winds dropped to 45 mph as it picked up speed, heading east-northeast at 23 mph. The outer bands of Nestor, which still has tropical-storm-force winds out 185 miles from the storm's center, were wreaking havoc throughout the state late Friday and throughout Saturday.

650 by Richard Tribou in Orlando, Fla. MOVED


^Southern California back on fire watch as dangerous winds return<

CALIF-WILDFIRE-WATCH:LA — Southern California is back on fire watch this weekend amid winds and warm temperatures, with Southern California Edison warning of possible preventive power outages.

300 by Alex Wigglesworth in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Goldman banker arrested over U.S. insider trading allegations<

GOLDMAN-ARREST:BLO — A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment banker was arrested by federal prosecutors over allegations of insider trading, according to court records unsealed on Friday.

Bryan Cohen, a vice president, leaked nonpublic information for almost three years as part of an international insider trading scheme that led to $2.6 million in illicit gains, according to a separate complaint from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that didn't identify his employer. Some information was tied to pending deals involving Syngenta AG and Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., the documents show.

300 by Sridhar Natarajan and Matt Robinson. MOVED



^Kurdish-led forces say Turkey is not abiding by Syria truce<

TURKEY-SYRIA-TRUCE:BLO — Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces accused Turkey of violating a U.S.-brokered five-day truce and called for the creation of a safe corridor to evacuate the wounded from a key border town.

100 by Lin Noueihed. MOVED


^Trudeau's Liberals edge ahead before Monday election, poll shows<

CANADA-ELECTION-POLL:BLO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party edged ahead with a two-point lead over its Conservative rival, within the margin of error, according to the latest poll conducted days before Monday's election.

200 by Natalie Obiko Pearson. MOVED


^Giuliani's conspiracy theories cost this anti-corruption lawmaker in Ukraine his job<

GIULIANI-LAWMAKER:LA — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's team realized it had a potential problem in U.S. relations on May 10, when Rudolph W. Giuliani told Fox News that a Ukrainian advisor to the newly elected leader was a Trump enemy.

"I'm convinced that (Zelenskiy) is surrounded by people who are enemies of the president, and one person in particular, who is clearly corrupt and involved in this scheme," Giuliani said.

1050 Sabra Ayres in Kyiv, Ukraine. MOVED


^A smuggler describes how children die and he gets rich onb<

BORDER-SMUGGLER:BLO — Roberto the coyote can see a stretch of border fence from his ranch in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, about a mile south of El Paso. Smuggling drugs and people to "el otro lado," the other side, has been his life's work.

There's always a way, he says, no matter how hard U.S. President Donald Trump tries to stop the flow. But this year's crackdown has made it a tougher proposition. A deadlier one, too — especially for women and children, who are increasingly dying in the attempt.

1850 by Nacha Cattan. MOVED




These stories moved earlier in the week and remain suitable for publication.


^In the age of mass shootings, terror waits at the mall<

SHOOTINGS-FALSEALARMS:FL — Meredyth Capasso could see the familiar look of panic wash over her daughter's face. As mall shoppers cried out while racing for cover, and police in tactical gear fanned out in search of a suspected shooter, Capasso reached into her bag and pulled out something to take the edge off.

Capasso took a bite of a pill and offered the other half to her daughter, who took cover under a desk in a back room of Tiffany & Co. They stayed in their hiding spot, fearful that a shooter would find them inside Boca Raton's Town Center mall.

It was that moment on Oct. 13 that Capasso, her daughter and apparently the thousands inside the mall believed they were caught up in yet another mass shooting in yet another city in yet another venue that has now marred the United States' landscape. They thought they'd joined the ever-expanding network of communities touched by mass violence. They thought that they, too, could possibly die.

That's life in America now. We all live in terror, waiting to become the next victim.

1800 (with trims) by Eileen Kelly and Brooke Baitinger in Boca Raton, Fla. MOVED


^Judge who drew fire for jailing jurors has faced criticism before<

FLA-JURYDUTY-JAILED-JUDGE:FL — As a criminal court judge, John Kastrenakes put murderers in prison for life, sent fraudsters away for decades and issued thousands of orders.

But no ruling he ever made in 10 years on the bench has stoked more anger and prompted more second-guessing than the 10 days he made DeAndre Alexander Somerville serve in Palm Beach County Jail.

Who puts a 21-year-old man with no criminal record and a solid family upbringing behind bars with violent gang members, rapists and drug dealers for the offense of juror misconduct, of all things?

Yet it was a page right out of Kastrenakes' playbook. He gave a similar contempt of court punishment to another young juror scofflaw six months earlier. And, it just so happens he pounced on two misbehaving jurors twice in early 2015.

1750 by Marc Freeman in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^His classmates set him on fire a decade ago. But survivor won't let horrific past consume him.<

TEENONFIRE:FL — Michael Brewer held his baby girl in his arms. More than anyone else, she helps him to forget the pain he once felt, the pain he almost always feels, from a horror that nearly claimed his life 10 years ago. Her tiny hands reached for his beard and tugged. He laughed.

"I just look at her and I don't think of any of that stuff," he said. "It's a wonderful feeling. She's what keeps me going."

In fall 2009, Brewer's was a household name. He was the survivor, a 15-year-old Deerfield Beach Middle School student who was set on fire by a group of schoolmates in the parking lot of an apartment complex near his home.

With second- and third-degree burns covering two-thirds of his body, Brewer's survival at the time was far from certain.

The boy who was engulfed in flames emerged with scars inside and out, but he emerged alive, and that was more than most on Oct. 12, 2009, expected.

"I do know how lucky I am," he said.

1350 by Rafael Olmeda in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^What New Orleans can teach other cities about reducing homelessness<

NEWORLEANS-HOMELESS:SH — In the shadow of the Superdome — the epicenter of Hurricane Katrina's horrors — Will Vanslaughter zips in and out of traffic, scrubbing windshields, charming drivers, armed with a squeegee, a water bottle and a smile.

"A lot of people think we're bums," said Vanslaughter, 46, who recently landed an apartment with the help of a local nonprofit after living under a bridge for three years. "But I don't come out here to get money for drugs. I come out here to feed myself. This is how I survive."

Vanslaughter is one of thousands of homeless and formerly homeless people the city of New Orleans is struggling to stabilize. Still, in many ways, New Orleans is a success story.

1600 (with trims) by Teresa Wiltz in New Orleans. MOVED



^In the rush to harvest body parts, death investigations have been upended<

BODYPARTS-HARVESTING-1:LA — When 69-year-old Marietta Jinde died in September 2016, police had already been called to her home several times because of reports of possible abuse. A detective described conditions at the woman's home in Gardena as "horrendous."

She was so emaciated and frail that the hospital asked Los Angeles County adult protective services officials to look into her death.

Yet by the time a coroner's investigator was able to examine Jinde's 70-pound body, the bones from her legs and arms were gone. Also missing were large patches of skin from her back. With permission from county officials and saying they did not know of the abuse allegations, employees from a Southern human tissue procurement company had gained access to the body, taking parts that could have provided crucial evidence.

The case is one of dozens of death investigations across the country that the Los Angeles Times found were complicated or upended when transplantable body parts were taken before a coroner's autopsy was performed.

4150 by Melody Petersen in Los Angeles. MOVED


^How organ and tissue donation companies worked their way into the county morgue<

BODYPARTS-HARVESTING-2:LA — As the sun set over the Nevada desert, coroners from across the country mingled with business executives, sipping icy margaritas and Tanqueray and tonics by a pool.

The private party, held on the terrace of Las Vegas' Golden Nugget hotel on a summer night in 2017, was a gift from Cryolife, a biotech company that sells valves sliced from human hearts to be used as medical devices. The festivities reflected the cozy relationship that has grown in recent years between the nation's coroners and the industry that trades in tissues from human cadavers.

The relationship wasn't always so warm. Only a decade before, coroners and medical examiners complained they were shut out as the companies helped rewrite the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. Within three years and with a push from the company's lobbyists, a version of this new model law had been passed by 46 states.

The act makes it much easier for body parts to be harvested quickly — even in cases in which coroners believe it interferes with their ability to determine the cause of death.

4350 by Melody Petersen and David Willman in Los Angeles. MOVED




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