Tribune News Service
News Budget for Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Updated at 10 a.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.
^Justice agrees to turn over some intelligence to House committee<
CONGRESS-MUELLER:BLO — The Justice Department has agreed to begin turning over some counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials uncovered in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to House lawmakers, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said.
Schiff said in a statement Wednesday that the department has agreed to start turning over 12 categories of information that his panel had subpoenaed and the process should be completed by next week. He canceled a meeting at which the committee was to consider unspecified action against Justice for defying the subpoena.
350 by Terrence Dopp and Billy House in Washington. MOVED
^Senior military officers rebel against Trump plan to pardon troops accused of war crimes<
TRUMP-PARDONS-OFFICERS:LA — Current and former military officers urged the White House not to pardon service members and security contractors implicated in war crimes, warning that forgiving their offenses would send a dangerous signal to U.S. troops and potential adversaries.
Aides to President Donald Trump have been examining high-profile war crimes cases from Iraq and Afghanistan, preparing paperwork so Trump could issue pardons during Memorial Day commemorations next week, according to two senior U.S. officials.
700 by David S. Cloud in Washington. MOVED
^Trump, Democrats make little progress on infrastructure proposal<
TRUMP-INFRASTRUCTURE:LA — President Donald Trump meets again Wednesday with top Democrats to discuss a sweeping infrastructure plan. But there's still no agreement on how to pay for it.
800 by Eli Stokols in Washington
^Americans may vote in 2020 using old, unsecured machines<
VOTING-2020-MACHINES:CON — The first primary in the 2020 presidential race is a little more than 250 days away, but lawmakers and experts worry that elections will be held on voting machines that are woefully outdated and that any tampering by adversaries could lead to disputed results.
Although states want to upgrade their voting systems, they don't have the money to do so, election officials told lawmakers last week.
Overhauling the nation's election systems would mean injecting as much as $1 billion in federal grants that would then be supplemented by states, but top Senate Republicans have said they are unlikely to take up any election security bills or give more money to the states.
1400 (with trims) by Gopal Ratnam in Washington. MOVED
^Senate, House start to chip away at 'kiddie tax' hike<
CONGRESS-KIDDIETAX:CON — Both chambers are moving to reverse tax law changes that unintentionally subjected investment earnings of low-income children to the same tax rates paid by wealthier households.
600 by Doug Sword in Washington. MOVED
^Trump, Biden and the battle for Pennsylvania<
TRUMP-BIDEN-PA:CON — Three times President Donald Trump mentioned former Vice President and Pennsylvania native Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic front-runner, and three times his crowd of loyalists booed at a rally Monday night in Lycoming County. But it is swing voter-rich places, like the one here in Lehigh County, two hours to the southeast, that will help determine who is president in January 2021.
Biden clearly has attracted the president's attention since he jumped into his party's race to take on Trump in the general election.
1150 (with trims) by John T. Bennett in Allentown, Pa. MOVED
^Trump wants to cut payments to California for fighting wildfires on federal land<
CALIF-WILDFIRES-TRUMP:LA — The relationship between President Donald Trump and California has long been fraught, but in the aftermath of the state's deadliest wildfire season, the acrimony is burning hotter than ever.
In November, as crews battled the Camp and Woolsey fires, Trump blamed the state for "gross mismanagement of the forests" and delivered this ultimatum: "Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"
Then, while visiting the devastated town of Paradise later that month, Trump suggested California could eliminate the threat of wildfire by "raking."
Now, the Trump administration has taken matters a step further.
1000 by Joseph Serna in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Chris Darden got death threats during Nipsey Hussle case; they come with the territory<
DEFENSEATTORNEYS-DARDEN:LA — The threatening phone calls to Chris Darden's law office began almost immediately. The messages on Instagram and Facebook trickled in soon after, some from anonymous accounts.
One caller left a voicemail, Darden recalled, saying he hoped someone would walk up behind the attorney and shoot him in the head.
"And I'm a shooter," the voice said.
1550 (with trims) by Alene Tchekmedyian in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Populists, nationalists again test their strength in pan-European vote<
^EU-ELECTIONS:LA—<The last time elections for the European Parliament were held, the vote was dismissed by many as a sleepy, low-stakes affair.
Five years ago, Brexit wasn't even a blip on the horizon. Populist and extreme-right parties were mainly political sideshows. The pillars of the postwar order — NATO, the European Union — were weathering occasional family squabbles but hardly riven by existential threats. And the trans-Atlantic relationship hadn't been turned on its head by an impetuous U.S. president who speaks far more harshly of traditional European allies than he does of tyrants such as North Korea's Kim Jong Un.
This time around, it's an entirely different landscape.
1300 (with trims) by Laura King. MOVED
^SCIENCE, MEDICINE, ENVIRONMENT<
NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.
^TODAY'S TOP NEWSFEATURES<
^Federal response to white supremacist terror threat under scrutiny in wake of synagogue attack<
WHITESUPREMACISTS-TERROR:SD — Life After Hate got the good news in January 2017. The nonprofit dedicated to de-radicalizing neo-Nazis was chosen to receive $400,000 in federal grant money set aside to fight extremism.
But the funding never came.
Donald Trump was sworn in as president weeks later, and the Countering Violent Extremism grants were yanked from programs such as Life After Hate and re-allocated to groups with a heavy focus on curbing Islamic radicalism.
Come next year, the $10 million grant program won't be funded at all.
While the monetary amount is a sliver of the government's $4 trillion budget, the episode is emblematic of the continued prioritization of a global terrorism threat over that posed by white nationalist extremists in the homeland — even as violence committed by far-right radicals has increased.
The result is a blind spot that has allowed white supremacy extremism to metastasize, experts argue.
1750 (with trims) by Kristina Davis in Sand Diego. MOVED
^Researchers seek answers to gray whale deaths after 57 are stranded this year<
ENV-GRAYWHALES:SE — Gray whales are dying at twice the usual rate as a brutal migration unfolds, with whales washing up on Washington state beaches, apparently starved to death.
As if gray whales didn't already have enough troubles, with transient killer whales preying on their calves as the mighty grays swim north in their annual migration from their birthing lagoons in Baja. But now, gray whale mothers in particular, depleted by the demands of lactation, are starving, too.
1150 (with trims) by Lynda V. Mapes in Seattle. MOVED
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