Tribune News Service

News Budget for Wednesday, September 11, 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.


^Trump plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes<

ECIGARETTES-1ST-LEDE:LA — President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration plans to ban non-tobacco-flavored vaping products amid heightened concerns about their health hazards and surging use by teenagers.

The move comes after reports of at least six deaths and more than 400 cases of severe lung illnesses that are believed linked to the electronic cigarette products that feature sweet, fruity and minty flavors as well as conventional tobacco flavors.

900 by James F. Peltz and Jennifer Haberkorn in Washington. MOVED


^Trump threatens Afghanistan militants after ousting Bolton<

TRUMP-TALIBAN:LA — President Donald Trump sought Wednesday to justify his now-scuttled summit with the Taliban while threatening the Afghan militants and other enemies with "power the likes of which the United States has never used before."

The comments, at a Pentagon ceremony commemorating the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, underscored the president's seemingly conflicting inclinations on foreign policy and his tendency to cloak his isolationist, deal-making leanings in bellicose threats.

700 by Eli Stokols and Chris Megerian in Washington. MOVED


^At least 2,500 people registered as missing in the Bahamas; oil spill spreads<

^BAHAMAS:MI—<At least 2,500 people have been registered as missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, the Bahamas government said Wednesday, as it confirmed that oil from tanks damaged by the storm had spread along the coast of Grand Bahama.

The National Emergency Management Agency became aware of the oil spill as soon as it was able to fly over Grand Bahama and alerted the Norwegian company, Equinor, that owns and manages the facility, said spokesperson Carl Smith.

600 by Jacqueline Charles. MOVED


^Court ruling suggests Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have broken the ultimate taboo: Lying to Her Majesty<

^BRITAIN:LA—<It's one thing to make up tabloid-style tales of bumbling European Union bureaucrats, as former colleagues say Boris Johnson routinely did when he was a journalist in Brussels years ago.

It's another thing to mislead the public about how Brexit would supposedly benefit Britain's struggling National Health Service, as critics say Johnson and his hard-charging fellow Brexiters did during the 2016 referendum campaign over whether to leave the EU.

But it would be quite, quite, quite another thing to deceive Her Majesty the Queen — to actually lie to the 93-year-old monarch's face.

A Scottish court has ruled that the prime minister appeared to have done just that when he sought royal assent last month to suspend Parliament for five weeks. According to the sharply worded ruling, he was untruthful about his main motive for the suspension: to shut down debate over Brexit.

950 by Laura King. MOVED



Also moving as:

BRITAIN:DPA — 500 by Bill Smith in London. MOVED


^'Not a wandering tourist': Guilty verdict for woman accused of trespassing at Trump's Mar-a-Lago<

MARALAGO-ARREST:MI — A Chinese businesswoman was found guilty Wednesday of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago and lying to a federal agent about why she was at President Donald Trump's private Palm Beach club, capping a bizarre federal trial where the enigmatic defendant's true purpose in coming to the resort was never answered.

Was Yujing Zhang, 33, just a bumbling tourist or an agent of Beijing's government? One thing is certain: Zhang, who has been in federal custody since her arrest March 30, now faces up to one year in prison on the trespassing charge and five years on the false-statement offense.

1100 by Jay Weaver and Nicholas Nehamas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^Families, firefighters gather at World Trade Center site for 18th annual memorial service for 9/11 victims<

SEPT11-ANNIVERSARY-NEWYORK:NY — The families and friends of 9/11 victims gathered for the 18th year at Ground Zero Wednesday for a memorial service both familiar and freshly heartbreaking.

The observance began as its always does: With a moment of silence and tolling bells at 8:46 a.m., the time when the first hijacked plane slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. This year's memorial came beneath blue skies reminiscent of the sunny September morning when Islamic terrorists took down the two 110-story buildings, killing 2,753 people.

"In many ways this is my cemetery," said Margie Miller, whose husband Joel died on the 97th floor in his office. "He loved his work here, he loved being here, he died here and this is the place I feel closest to him. So I come here as often as I can but especially today.

300 by Wes Parnell and Larry McShane in New York. MOVED



^Democrats ramp up Trump inquiries<

TRUMP-INVESTIGATIONS:BLO — Heading into his re-election campaign, President Donald Trump faces months of inquiries by House Democrats beyond a potential impeachment probe.

The scrutiny extends from Trump's personal finances to decisions made by the White House on issues such as health care and immigration, his alleged direct involvement in payments to silence two women claiming to have had affairs with him and whether his closest aides improperly used private messaging services to conduct official business.

Most probes don't have a direct tie-in to whether the Judiciary Committee opens a formal presidential impeachment inquiry. But many do, and the interconnected investigations will add to the drumbeat of Democratic attacks on Trump leading up to the 2020 election.

Here are some of the biggest investigations to keep tabs on in upcoming months:

1350 by Billy House in Washington. MOVED


^Trump closes in on background check decision, key senators say<

TRUMP-GUNS:CON — President Donald Trump may soon announce whether he will support a yet-to-be-written Senate bill expanding background checks for commercial gun sales, a bipartisan group of senators said Wednesday.

Trump spoke for about 45 minutes by phone with the trio of members at the center of background check talks. Sens. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., and Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., told reporters the president discussed options for securing a potential deal.

500 by Katherine Tully-McManus in Washington. MOVED


^3 Bolton allies resign from Trump administration<

BOLTON-ALLIES:BLO — Three top allies of John Bolton resigned from President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday, departing the White House a day after the former national security adviser left amid disputes with the president over a range of policy issues.

300 by Justin Sink and Jennifer Jacobs in Washington. MOVED


^Hoyer contradicts Judiciary Committee on impeachment inquiry<

DEMOCRATS-IMPEACHMENT:CON — House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer on Wednesday directly contradicted Judiciary Committee Democrats' assertion that they're engaged in an impeachment inquiry.

150 by Lindsey McPherson in Washington. MOVED


^Appeals court nominee won't answer questions about role in White House immigration policies<

APPEALSCOURT-NOMINEE:CON — President Donald Trump's nominee for a lifetime seat on the federal appeals court based in New York told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he cannot discuss his role in developing the administration's immigration policy.

Steven Menashi, who works in the White House counsel's office, has been among the top targets for progressive groups trying to derail Trump nominees to the federal bench, citing a variety of past writings and statements.

At a Wednesday morning confirmation hearing an exchange between Menashi and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California saw Menashi confirm that he had spoken with senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller, but repeatedly declined to talk about specifics.

500 by Niels Lesniewski in Washington. MOVED

^Ways and Means to weigh rollback of state, local tax deduction cap<

HOUSE-DEMOCRATS-TAXDEDUCTIONS:CON — Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee will soon hold "at least a full-throttle discussion" about their concerns with the $10,000 cap on state and local income tax deductions that was part of the 2017 tax code overhaul, though it is uncertain whether that will lead to legislation that would increase or even repeal the limit.

750 by Doug Sword in Washington. MOVED


^House passes bill to permanently ban offshore drilling off Florida's Gulf Coast<

CONGRESS-DRILLING:WA — The House of Representatives passed a bill to permanently ban offshore drilling off Florida's Gulf Coast on Wednesday, a move Florida lawmakers said will help the state's tourism industry and military installations.

The bill, Protecting and Securing Florida's Coastline Act, passed on a vote of 248-180, with 21 Republicans joining 227 Democrats in favor. Four Democrats and one independent, along with 175 Republicans, voted against the bill.

900 (with trims) by Alex Daugherty in Washington. MOVED


^Ocasio-Cortez makes $1,200 student loan payment — in middle of hearing on student loan debt<

^OCASIOCORTEZ-PAYMENT:NY—<U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a payment on her five-figure student loan debt — right in the middle of a hearing about America's $1.5 trillion student debt problem.

The New York Democrat said the dramatic $1,200 online payment should be a wake-up call to her Republican colleagues about how widespread the student debt burden is.

250 by Dave Goldiner. MOVED



^Poll: Democrats see Biden, Warren as close fits ideologically, view Sanders as more extreme<

DEMOCRATS-2020-POLL:LA — Democratic primary voters nationwide see former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren as relatively close to their own political views but regard Sen. Bernie Sanders as significantly further to their left, a new University of Southern California Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll shows.

The Democrats see Biden as slightly more conservative than themselves and Warren as slightly more liberal, the poll found.

As with other recent surveys, the latest USC/L.A. Times poll shows Biden, Sanders and Warren as the top choices for Democrats nationwide, with Warren having moved into a rough tie with Sanders for second place behind Biden. Sen. Kamala Harris has faded, having lost many of her supporters after a spike earlier in the summer.

Among the lead trio, Sanders has a couple of significant disadvantages, the poll indicates.

1450 by David Lauter in Washington. MOVED


^What time is the Democratic debate in Houston and which candidates are on stage?<

^DEMOCRATS-DEBATE-QA:LA—<It's mid-September, a time when the days grow shorter, the leaves begin to fall and all across the land thoughts turn to well, not to presidential politics.

Even so, 10 Democrats clamoring to win the White House in 2020 will return to the debate stage Thursday night for three hours of questions and answers, elbows and jockeying, and all the carefully scripted spontaneity the candidates can muster.

850 by Mark Z. Barabak. MOVED


^As next debate nears, trailing candidates soldier on in obscurity<

DEMOCRATS-2020-STALLED-CANDIDATES:LA — Bill de Blasio bounded into New Hampshire with a turnaround plan for his floundering presidential campaign: opposing robots.

The New York mayor predicted that a newfound focus on protecting American workers against automation through imposition of a "robot tax" could lead to his electoral salvation.

"People are responding to it," he insisted to a smattering of reporters over the weekend, noting that the issue even allowed him to find common ground with an archenemy, Tucker Carlson of Fox News. "That is the kind of thing that causes a lot of people to pay attention."

So it goes for the dozen or more presidential candidates whose place on the campaign trail straddles obscurity and oblivion.

1400 by Evan Halper in Manchester, N.H. MOVED


^Lewandowski leads New Hampshire GOP Senate primary field, poll finds<

NHSENATE-POLL:CON — Former Trump campaign manager and political commentator Corey Lewandowski would lead a GOP primary for New Hampshire's Senate seat, a new poll shows.

Lewandowski, the president's first campaign manager in the 2016 election who helped him navigate a crowded GOP primary field, captured 23% support in a hypothetical primary race, an Emerson College poll released Tuesday found.

450 by Griffin Connolly in Washington. MOVED



^5 people injured in stabbing in Tallahassee<

FLA-STABBING:PT — Several people were stabbed at a building materials business in Tallahassee Wednesday morning before a suspect, identified by police as an employee, was taken into custody.

The attack, at Dyke Industries on the northwest side of the city, left five people with multiple stab wounds.

500 by Lawrence Mower, Elizabeth Koh and Emily L. Mahoney in Tallahassee, Fla. MOVED


^Trump administration bars access to immigration tent courts<

IMMIGRATION-TENT-COURTS:LA — The Trump administration announced Wednesday that new immigration courts in tents on the Texas border with Mexico will be closed to legal observers, the media and the public.

Immigration lawyers condemned the restrictions as a violation of the due process rights of asylum-seekers.

550 by Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Houston. MOVED


^California boat fire investigators hope burned remains of Conception hold vital clues<

CALIF-BOATFIRE:LA — The investigation into the boat fire that killed 34 people is expected to shift later this week to the burned out remains of the Conception, which officials hope can yield new clues.

Authorities have been planning to raise the boat from the Santa Barbara Channel for days, but those efforts have been repeatedly put off due to bad weather. Officials now expect the salvage process to begin Thursday or Friday.

650 by Richard Winton, Mark Puente and Alex Wigglesworth in Santa Barbara, Calif. MOVED


^In wake of boat fire, Coast Guard sets out new safety rules on preparedness, battery charging<

CALIF-BOATFIRE-SAFETY:LA — The Coast Guard has issued new emergency safety requirements to passenger vessels in the wake of the Labor Day boat fire off Santa Cruz Island that killed 34 people.

The bulletin calls on boat operators nationwide to review safety measures, make sure safety equipment is operational and reduce potential hazards from lithium batteries, power strips and extension cords.

600 by Richard Winton, Mark Puente and Matt Hamilton in Santa Barbara, Calif. MOVED


^North Carolina House overrides budget veto in surprise vote with almost half of lawmakers absent<

NC-BUDGET:RA — In a surprise move Wednesday morning, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the state budget with just over half of the 120 members present to vote.

Democrats in the chamber objected to the bill being brought up, saying they were told there would be no votes during the 8:30 a.m. session and that it was just a formality so work could begin. Rep. Jason Saine, a Lincolnton Republican, made the motion to reconsider the state budget and chaos in the chamber quickly ensued.

850 by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan, Lauren Horsch and Paul A. Specht in Raleigh, N.C. MOVED


^California could soon ban sale of new fur products under bill sent to governor<

CALIF-FUR:LA — New fur coats and mink shawls could soon face extinction in California.

State lawmakers in the Assembly on Wednesday gave final approval to legislation that would outlaw new items made from the fur of undomesticated animals, including mink, rabbit and coyote. If signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, California would be the first state in the nation to ban the sale of new fur products.

1000 by Phil Willon and Sonja Sharp in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED


^Odds increase as next tropical storm could form from wave targeting Bahamas, then Florida<

WEA-TROPICALSYSTEM-1ST-LEDE:OS — A tropical wave in the Southwestern Atlantic has highly increased chances of developing into an organized storm and possibly Tropical Storm Humberto over the next two days as it heads toward the Bahamas and Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The wave, over the Turks and Caicos, has a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression as early as Friday over the Bahamas or South Florida.

350 by Joe Mario Pedersen in Orlando, Fla. MOVED


^L.A. student took a bullet in the jaw, but the district didn't disclose the shooting for 2 weeks<

LA-STUDENTSHOT:LA — A student was shot in the jaw on Aug. 27 at Hollenbeck Middle School in Boyle Heights, possibly struck by a bullet fired from off campus, an incident that Los Angeles school officials publicly acknowledged for the first time Tuesday.

950 by Howard Blume, Sonali Kohli And Richard Winton in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Attorney for Fotis Dulos questions whether missing woman was ill or may have been undergoing pregnancy testing<

MISSINGMOTHER:HC — The attorney for Fotis Dulos, in court filings Tuesday, said he is seeking access to the medical records of Dulos' missing wife and mother of his five children in an effort to determine whether she was undergoing pregnancy testing or suffers from a serious disease, disclosures that could bolster defense attorneys' "Gone Girl" theory about her disappearance.

1150 (with trims) by Dave Altimari in Hartford, Conn. MOVED


^T. Boone Pickens, larger-than-life energy tycoon, dies at 91<

PICKENS-OBIT:DA — T. Boone Pickens, legendary energy executive, philanthropist, ardent Oklahoma State University supporter and one of America's most famous entrepreneurs, died peacefully Wednesday of natural causes at his Dallas home. He was 91.

Pickens had an energy career that went from laborer to corporate take-over raider to tycoon to business soothsayer.

L.A. movie producers would have been hard-pressed to create an exaggerated Hollywood version of the real-life man.

2900 (with trims) by Cheryl Hall in Dallas. MOVED


^Cal State universities may up their college admissions requirements. But will that hurt low-income students?<

^CMP-CALSTATE-REQUIREMENTS:LA—< As a high school freshman, Jennifer Velasquez worked every day after classes helping her mom sell elotes, raspados and tacos from a street cart in East Los Angeles. With rent to pay and siblings to support, they would often work late into the night, sometimes until 2 a.m. — and she would get only a few hours of sleep.

It's why, in part, she failed Algebra I.

She repeated the class her sophomore year, and then moved on junior and senior years to Geometry and Algebra II, determined to meet the requirements for admission to the California State University system. She was accepted to California State, Los Angeles, and, last month, Velasquez, 19, became the first in her family to attend college.

"It was difficult," Velasquez said. "If I had to do four years of math, it would have been more difficult."

1750 (with trims) by Nina Agrawal in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Judge in Brock Turner case lands new job — high school tennis coach<

CALIF-JUDGE-NEWJOB:SJ — More than a year after being recalled by voters, the controversial judge in the Brock Turner sexual assault case is now working as a coach at a California high school.

In a statement Tuesday, the Fremont Union High School District confirmed Aaron Persky was hired to head the junior varsity girls tennis team at Lynbrook High School in San Jose. Persky applied for the open position over the summer and successfully completed all of the district's hiring requirements, including a fingerprint background check.

350 by Jason Green in San Jose, Calif. MOVED


^ICE opens detention facility in Tacoma, Wash., for tour to dispel 'bad information'<

IMMIGRATION-DETENTIONCENTER:SE — After years of complaints and lawsuits over its treatment of immigrant detainees, the federal government invited reporters this week to take an "inside look" at its detention center in Tacoma, recently renamed the Northwest ICE Processing Center.

Nathalie Asher, who arrived in August to head enforcement and removal operations throughout the Northwest for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said she initiated the first-of-its-kind tour to dispel myths and "bad information" that she said had created a hostile environment for officers at the facility.

1050 by Nina Shapiro in Tacoma, Wash. MOVED



^Al-Qaida leader urges attacks against the West on Sept. 11 anniversary<

SEPT11-ANNIVERSARY-ALQAIDA:DPA — Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called for attacks against Israel and its allies around the world, in a recording released on the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

"My Mujahid brothers in Palestine and in the rest of the Muslim Ummah (nation)! The interests of Israel and its American, British, French, Russian and European allies are spread all over the world," Al-Zawahiri said in a video recording aired on Wednesday by al-Qaida media arm As-Sahab.

300 by dpa in Cairo. MOVED



^Deaths of 9/11 first responders from ground zero-related illnesses are on the rise — diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis are just beginning to take their toll<

^MED-SEPT11-ILLNESSES:TB—<Like most first responders, former New York City detective Tom Frey is a master of understatement — even when it comes to talking about the World Trade Center terror attacks on 9/11, the most devastating assignment of his life.

"We were going down there, just trying to find anyone who was alive," he says of the hours and days that followed the collapse of the towering skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan. "We were digging in, moving concrete with our hands, basically just trying to find anyone, anybody who was alive. I was never lucky enough to find a survivor, but we did all we could."

America would never be the same. Neither would Tom Frey.

Frey, who now lives in Florida, is one of many 9/11 first responders with serious illnesses brought on by exposure to the dust, smoke and chemicals of ground zero.

1000 by Cindy Dampier. MOVED




NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later


^Argentina election raises doubts about Trump's bet on right-wing leaders<

ARGENTINA-ELECTION:LA — The White House is bracing for the likely electoral defeat of Argentina's conservative, pro-U.S. government, the latest example of how shifting Latin American politics are complicating President Donald Trump's agenda in the region, including ousting Venezuela's leftist President Nicolas Maduro and stemming the flood of refugees to the U.S.

The diminution of partners for Trump stems from his preference for and reliance on right-wing leaders in Latin America just as they are increasingly falling out of favor with voters amid corruption investigations and resurging guerrilla violence.

The most immediate looming crisis is here in Argentina. President Mauricio Macri, who has had business ties with the Trumps for decades, faces an uphill reelection battle in voting next month.

1200 by Tracy Wilkinson in Jujuy, Argentina. MOVED


^Biden is labeled a moderate. But his agenda is far more liberal than Hillary Clinton's<

BIDEN-AGENDA:WA — Many Democrats see Joe Biden as a voice of ideological restraint in a party rapidly moving to the left.

But the 2020 Democratic front-runner's emerging policy agenda is anything but moderate — at least compared to the party's last presidential nominee.

From health care to climate change to criminal justice, Biden has proposed ideas more ambitious and liberal than policies supported by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign, a McClatchy review of the candidates' platforms found.

1250 by Alex Roarty in Washington. MOVED




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