Tribune News Service

News Budget for Friday, July 12, 2019


Updated at 2 p.m. EDT (1400 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.


^With Epstein in jail again, Acosta is out as Trump's labor secretary<

^ACOSTA:MI—<Alex Acosta, the U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration, is resigning six days after accused child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was arrested and charged in New York. The resignation of the former top prosecutor in South Florida comes a dozen years after his decision to forge a lenient plea deal in a sex crime case against Epstein in Florida.

President Donald Trump came out with Acosta at the White House at 9:34 a.m. and said Acosta called him Friday morning to say he's resigning. Though Acosta spent nearly an hour Wednesday defending his handling of Epstein's South Florida case in 2007 and 2008, Trump said the decision to resign was Acosta's.

"I want to thank Alex Acosta. He was a great, great secretary," Trump said before shaking Acosta's hand.

1650 (with trims) by David Smiley and Jay Weaver. MOVED



Also moving as:

ACOSTA:LA — 350 by Caroline S. Engelmayer in Washington. MOVED


^R. Kelly hit with federal indictments in New York, Chicago<

RKELLY:NY — R&B superstar R. Kelly had an unsettling request for his underage sexual partners: Call me "Daddy."

The detail was included Friday in a sweeping new federal indictment in Brooklyn that accuses the singer and his underlings of coercing and grooming women to sleep with the 52-year-old Grammy winner. Kelly was charged with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child.

550 by Stephen Rex Brown, Thomas Tracy and Larry McShane in New York. MOVED


^House considering a delay of Robert Mueller's testimony<

CONGRESS-MUELLER:LA — Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's testimony before Congress, planned for Wednesday, could be delayed one week amid new discussions to allow more time during the hearing for lawmakers to ask questions.

150 by Jennifer Haberkorn in Washington. MOVED



^Trump's fight to shield his finances faces skepticism in court<

CONGRESS-TRUMP-RECORDS:BLO — Lawyers for Donald Trump, in court Friday morning to keep the president's financial records out of Congress' hands, faced skeptical questioning.

The hearing, before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, is over a subpoena from congressional Democrats seeking financial information from Trump's longtime accountants, Mazars USA LLP.

450 by Andrew Harris and Bob Van Voris in Washington. MOVED


^Rep. Greg Meeks issues veiled primary threat to AOC amid 'convenient' racial feud with Pelosi<

OCASIOCORTEZ-MEEKS:NY — The Democrats' D.C. brawl is turning into a Queens street fight.

New York Rep. Greg Meeks warned fellow Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to back off on her racially tinged feud with Democratic leaders — or face a battle for her own political life.

"If they want to come after members of the Black Caucus, it's two ways," Meeks, who is also the Queens Democratic party boss, told The Hill.

450 by Dave Goldiner in New York. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED


^Trump cheers on Sebastian Gorka for starting scuffle with journalists in Rose Garden<

^TRUMP-GORKA:NY—<President Donald Trump cheered on Sebastian Gorka on Friday after the fired White House aide tried to start a fight with reporters at a Rose Garden news conference.

"Gorka Wins Big, no contest," Trump tweeted.

150 by Dave Goldiner. MOVED


^Former Sen. Harry Reid still has a few punches left<

REID:CON — Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid retired from Congress back at the end of 2016, but the old boxer still has a few punches left for the institution he served in for 30 years, not to mention the New York Yankees.

The 79-year-old Nevada Democrat met with CQ Roll Call in his office off the casino floor at the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip last week to talk his health, politics and a little baseball.

1150 (with trims) by Niels Lesniewski in Las Vegas. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED



^Democratic winners start pulling ahead in the 2020 money race<

DEMOCRATS-2020-FUNDRAISING:BLO — In the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential field, campaign bank accounts are beginning to separate the contenders from the also-rans.

When the candidates report their second-quarter fundraising totals to the Federal Election Commission on Monday, the numbers will show who's catching fire — and who's not.

While it's still early in the election cycle, the figures are likely to cement Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris as the big five — though political fortunes can change quickly.

1300 (with trims) by Bill Allison in Washington. MOVED


^With policy and outreach, Elizabeth Warren makes inroads with black voters<

WARREN-BLACKVOTERS:BLO — Elizabeth Warren's trademark pitch of her personal story blended with wonky policy proposals has helped her win over white liberals. Now, she's hoping her message will resonate with blacks, a crucial Democratic constituency that will play a large role in deciding who will challenge President Donald Trump next year.

More important, Warren is trying to avoid the missteps of her chief progressive rival Bernie Sanders in 2016, when his campaign was ultimately doomed by his inability to win over black voters.

850 (with trims) by Tyler Pager in New Orleans. MOVED



^Trump called Oakland mayor a 'disgrace' for revealing ICE raids. Then he did the same thing<

^TRUMP-MAYOR-IMMIGRATION-RAIDS:LA—<When Oakland, Calif., Mayor Libby Schaaf tipped residents off last year that immigration agents would be conducting enforcement operations, President Donald Trump called her actions a "disgrace."

A Republican congressman from Iowa proposed criminal penalties for officials in so-called sanctuary cities who make similar disclosures.

The acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director at the time, Thomas Homan, said Schaaf was "no better than a gang lookout yelling 'police!' when a police cruiser comes in the neighborhood."

Then, in the last month, Trump himself announced impending immigration operations.

1150 by Brittny Mejia. MOVED


^4.6 earthquake shakes Seattle region overnight<

SEATTLE-EARTHQUAKE:SE — A magnitude 4.6 earthquake shook Seattle and the Puget Sound region just before 3 a.m. local time Friday, according to the United States Geological Survey.

"It's been widely felt throughout the Seattle area," said Paul Caruso, a USGS geophysicist.

The shaking emanated from Three Lakes, Snohomish County, about nine miles east of downtown Everett. The earthquake was relatively shallow, originating about 14 miles beneath the surface, according to a USGS map.

950 (with trims) by Evan Bush in Seattle. MOVED


^Trump makes more false claims about 'thousands' outside during Orlando rally<

TRUMP-RALLY-CROWD:OS — President Donald Trump again made incorrect claims about the size of crowds at his June 18 rally in Orlando, telling a group at the White House on Thursday that there were thousands "outside" the Amway Center event during his speech — despite video and photos showing only a few dozen people left outside during the actual event.

The remarks at Thursday's "Social Media Summit" of conservative internet celebrities came two weeks after Trump had previously claimed that "literally tens of thousands of people" were outside the arena and couldn't get inside his 2020 reelection campaign kickoff event.

450 by Steven Lemongello in Orlando, Fla. MOVED


^Girlfriend of slain Grammy-winning jazz drummer and her friend are indicted on manslaughter charges<

MUSICIAN-SLAYING:NY — The girlfriend of Grammy-award winning jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers is one of two people facing manslaughter charges in Leathers' choking death in his Bronx apartment building.

Leathers, 37, died June 2 during a fight with his girlfriend, Lisa Harris, 41, in the couple's home in Mott Haven.

200 by John Annese in New York. MOVED


^St. Louis police union urges members to post controversial symbol on social media pages<

STLOUIS-POLICE-PUNISHER:SL — The St. Louis Police Officers' Association has urged its members to use a controversial symbol on their social media pages to show solidarity with officers who are now under investigation for using a similar image online.

The union's president, Ed Clark, posted a letter late Wednesday on the organization's Facebook page, asking members to use the "Blue Line Punisher" image as their profile picture on social media. The union represents about 1,200 officers; the union's Facebook site has more than 14,000 followers.

1050 (with trims) by Christine Byers in St. Louis. MOVED


^NOAA seeks answers after impaled dolphin found in Florida<

IMPALED-DOLPHIN:OS — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is seeking help after a dolphin was impaled in the head and found dead in Florida in May, the organization said in a news release.

150 by Stephen Ruiz in Orlando, Fla. MOVED




NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later


^A retired teacher found some seahorses off Long Beach. Then he built a secret world for them<

SCI-SEAHORSES-TEACHER:LA — Rog Hanson emerges from the coastal waters, pulls a diving regulator out of his mouth and pushes a scuba mask down around his neck.

"Did you see her?" he says. "Did you see Bathsheba?"

On this quiet Wednesday morning, a paddle boarder glides silently through the surf off Long Beach. Two stick-legged whimbrels plunge their long curved beaks into the sand, hunting for crabs.

But Hanson, 68, is enchanted by what lies hidden beneath the water. Today he took a visitor on a tour of the secret world he built from palm fronds and pine branches at the bottom of the bay: his very own seahorse city.

Hanson is a retired schoolteacher, not a scientist, but experts say he probably has spent more time with Pacific seahorses, also known as Hippocampus ingens, than anyone on Earth.

2100 by Deborah Netburn in Long Beach, Calif. MOVED


^Sobering up: In an alcohol-soaked nation, more seek booze-free social spaces<

SOBER-SOCIALIZING:KHN — Not far from the Anheuser-Busch brewery, Joshua Grigaitis fills a cooler with bottles and cans in one of the city's oldest bars.

It's Saturday night, and the lights are low. Frank Sinatra's crooning voice fills the air, along with the aroma of incense. The place has all the makings of a swank boozy hangout.

Except for the booze.

Pop's Blue Moon bar, a fixture of this beer-loving city since 1908, has joined an emerging national trend: alcohol-free spaces offering social connections without peer pressure to drink, hangovers or DUIs. From boozeless bars to substance-free zones at concerts marked by yellow balloons, sober spots are popping up across the nation in reaction to America's alcohol-soaked culture, promising a healthy alternative for people in recovery and those who simply want to drink less.

1350 (with trims) by Laura Ungar and Jayne O'Donnell in St. Louis. MOVED




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