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    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' outdid another weekend's worth of newcomers to top the North American box office for the third straight weekend, making the surprise hit the fifth-highest grossing film of all time for Sony Pictures.'Jumanji,' starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, sold $20 million in tickets, according to studio estimates Sunday, bringing its five-week domestic total to $317 million. That makes Sony's reboot the studio's best non-Spider-Man movie domestically, not adjusting for inflation.The film's unexpectedly strong staying power has lent a boost to the January box office but kept new releases from reaching the top of the box-office chart. 'Jumanji' has also reigned overseas, where it has grossed $450.8 million and topped all films internationally for three straight weeks.The war drama '12 Strong,' starring Chris Hemsworth, debuted in second with $16.5 million in ticket sales. The Warner Bros. release, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, is a fact-based tale, adapted from Doug Stanton's best-seller 'Horse Soldiers,' about a group of Special Forces soldiers sent into northern Afghanistan just weeks after Sept. 11.'12 Strong' appealed largely to an older crowd. Seventy-nine percent of its audience was over the age of 25, said Warner Bros.The heist thriller 'Den of Thieves' slotted in at third place with an opening weekend of $15.3 million. The STXfilms release stars Gerard Butler and Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson.Though 'Paddington 2' disappointed last weekend in its debut, the acclaimed sequel slid just 25 percent in its second week. 'Paddington 2,' which has set a new record for the most widely reviewed 100-percent fresh movie on Rotten Tomatoes, grossed $8.2 million in its second week of domestic release thanks in part to good word of mouth. Warner Bros. acquired the film's North American distribution from The Weinstein Co. in November.Also showing unexpected legs was 'The Greatest Showman,' the Hugh Jackman-led musical about P.T. Barnum. It dipped just 12 percent in its fifth week of release. With another $11 million, 'The Greatest Showman' has now grossed $113.5 million for 20th Century Fox.Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Phantom Thread' expanded nationwide, taking in $3.4 million from 896 theaters. The Focus Features release, starring Daniel Day-Lewis in what the actor has said will be his final performance, has grossed $6.2 million.Also notable: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' crossed the $600 million mark domestically with $6.6 million in its sixth week of release. The Disney release stands at $604.3 million domestically — or no. 9 all-time, not accounting for inflation — and $1.296 billion worldwide.Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final four-day domestic figures will be released Monday.1. 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,' $20 million ($32.6 million international).2. '12 Strong,' $16.5 million ($2.5 million international).3. 'Den of Thieves,' $15.3 million ($1.3 million international).4. 'The Post,' $12.2 million ($6.6 million international).5. 'The Greatest Showman,' $11 million ($11 million international).6. 'Paddington 2,' $8.2 million ($2.4 million international).7. 'The Commuter,' $6.7 million ($10.2 million international).8. 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi,' $6.6 million ($9.9 million international).9. 'Insidious: The Last Key,' $5.9 million ($18.4 million international).10. 'Forever My Girl,' $4.7 million.___Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:1. 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,' $32.6 million.2. 'Secret Superstar,' $25.9 million.3. 'Forever Young,' $22.5 million.4. 'Insidious: The Last Key,' $18.4 million.5. 'Coco,' $18.3 million.6. 'Ferdinand,' $17.5 million.7. 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure,' $15.2 million.8. 'Wonder,' $12.6 million.9. 'Darkest Hour,' $12.1 million.10. 'The Greatest Showman,' $11 million.___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
  • Iran's supreme leader has ordered the Revolutionary Guard to loosen its hold on the economy, the country's defense minister says, raising the possibility that the paramilitary organization might privatize some of its vast holdings.The comments this weekend by Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami appear to be a trial balloon to test the reaction of the idea, long pushed by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate. Protests over the country's poor economy last month escalated into demonstrations directly challenging the government.But whether the Guard would agree remains unclear, as the organization is estimated to hold around a third of the country's entire economy.Hatami, the first non-Guard-affiliated military officer to be made defense minister in nearly 25 years, made the comments in an interview published Saturday by the state-run IRAN newspaper. He said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered both the country's regular military and the Guard to get out of businesses not directly affiliated to their work.'Our success depends on market conditions,' the newspaper quoted Hatami as saying.He did not name the companies that would be privatized.The Guard did not immediately acknowledge the supreme leader's orders in their own publications, nor did Khamenei's office. However, the supreme leader has relied on intermediaries to make comment on his behalf over controversial issues, especially since the 2009 Green Movement protests. The Guard serves as one of his most-powerful constituencies.The Guard formed out of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution as a force meant to protect its political system, which is overseen by Shiite clerics. It operated parallel to the country's regular armed forces, growing in prominence and power during the country's long and ruinous war with Iraq in the 1980s. It runs Iran's ballistic missile program, as well its own intelligence operations and expeditionary force.In the aftermath of the 1980s war, authorities allowed the Guard to expand into private enterprise.Today, it runs a massive construction company called Khatam al-Anbia, with 135,000 employees handling civil development, the oil industry and defense issues. Guard firms build roads, man ports, run telecommunication networks and even conduct laser eye surgery.The exact scope of all its business holdings remains unclear, though analysts say they are sizeable. The Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which long has been critical of Iran and the nuclear deal it struck with world powers, suggests the Guard controls 'between 20 and 40 percent of the economy' of Iran through significant influence in at least 229 companies.In his comments, Hatami specifically mentioned Khatam al-Anbia, but didn't say whether that too would be considered by the supreme leader as necessary to privatize. The Guard and its supporters have criticized other business deals attempting to cut into their share of the economy since the nuclear deal.It's unclear what private holdings the regular Iranian military holds.Iran always has maintained some level of state control over its economy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. However, the government pushed even further into it during years it faced crushing international sanctions over its contested nuclear program, said Adnan Tabatabai, an Iran analyst based in Germany who is the CEO of the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient.How any privatization of Guard-owned companies would work remains to be seen, as Guard-linked officials permeate Iran's economy. However, Tabatabai said even bringing the topic up represented a good sign.'We may never find out what the real deal is all about,' Tabatabai said.___Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap . His work can be found at http://apne.ws/2galNpz .
  • Women and inclusivity continued to dominate the awards season conversation Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards, where Guillermo del Toro's fantastical romance 'The Shape of Water' won the top award and honorees like Jordan Peele and Ava DuVernay gave rousing speeches to the room of entertainment industry leaders.The untelevised dinner and ceremony, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., is closely watched for its capacity to predict the eventual Oscar best picture winner, but this year the 'awards race' seemed to be the secondary show to the more urgent questions facing the industry, including the crisis of representation and sexual misconduct.The Producers Guild on Friday ratified guidelines for combating sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, and everyone from DuVernay to Universal Chair Donna Langley and television mogul Ryan Murphy made mention of the changing times and the work that still needs to be done.'If we want more brilliant films like 'Get Out' ...we need to have many different perspectives including equal numbers of women, people of color, people of all faiths and sexual orientation involved in every stage of filmmaking,' Langley said in accepting the Milestone Award — noting that she was only the third woman to do so.It was not the only time 'Get Out' got a special mention, despite not winning the top award. Peele also won the Stanley Kramer Award.Del Toro was not present to accept the PGA's Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, due to the health of his father.His film was up against 10 others this year, including 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,' which won big at the Golden Globes earlier this month, 'Lady Bird,' ''Get Out,' ''Dunkirk,' ''The Post,' ''Call Me By Your Name,' ''The Big Sick,' ''I, Tonya' ''Wonder Woman' and 'Molly's Game' — many of which were represented by actors and directors in attendance like Timothee Chalamet, Christopher Nolan, Margot Robbie, Patty Jenkins and Greta Gerwig.Other presenters included the likes of Tom Hanks, Reese Witherspoon, Mary J. Blige, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kerry Washington and Morgan Freeman in the ceremony that saw Disney and Pixar's 'Coco' pick up best animated feature and Brett Morgen's Jane Goodall film 'Jane' win best documentary.In television, 'The Handmaids Tale' picked up best drama series, 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' won best comedy series, 'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver' won best TV variety series, 'Black Mirror' for long-form TV, 'Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath' for nonfiction television, 'Sesame Street' for children's program and 'Carpool Karaoke' for best short-form program.The pre-announced honorees stole most of the show, however.Norman Lear presented the Stanley Kramer Award to Peele invoking the award's namesake in speaking of 'Get Out,' which Lear proudly said he's seen three times.Peele said he was proud to call Lear a friend.'I want to say, you can use my body for your brain anytime,' Peele laughed, before taking a more serious turn in his speech.Peele likened the idea of 'the sunken place' in the film to what is happening in the world right now, referencing Haiti, the water crisis in Flint, and President Donald Trump's criticisms of athletes for protesting on the field.'What really scares me...is the silencing of voices,' Peele said ''Get Out' is my protest against that.'Peele ended on a hopeful note, however.'Finally unique voices are breaking through,' he said. 'Diverse and honest storytelling opens eyes and hearts. We can break out of the sunken place together.'Selma' and 'A Wrinkle in Time' director Ava DuVernay gave a similarly poignant speech in accepting the Visionary Award,'It's an odd moment, you have a women's march and you have a country with a government shut down,' DuVernay said. 'We're in the midst of times that will be long remembered.'DuVernay said what is important is, 'The way we work. The people we actually choose to see. That we choose to amplify in the moments where no one is looking.'Don't think of diversity as a good thing to do,' she added. 'Think of it as a must. An absolute must.'Like many awards shows in the midst of Me Too and Time's Up, even the men accepting awards devoted large portions of their time on stage to talk about extraordinary women in their lives.'Wonder Woman' producer Charles Roven used his David O. Selznick Achievement Award acceptance speech to call out powerful women he's worked with, from his late wife Dawn Steel, to Langley, Sue Kroll, Amy Pascal and Jenkins, who he said 'has reignited this industry.'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy, who got the Norman Lear Achievement Award, said, 'Women were always my champions and mentors for 20 years now and I believe that's because they deeply related to my struggle — what it's like to be an outsider.' He has taken steps to ensure that women occupy at least half of the directing spots in his productions.In the larger context of awards season 'The Shape of Water's' win Saturday surprised some who expected 'Three Billboards' to continue its ascendancy after the Globes. 'The Shape of Water' is also up for two Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be announced Sunday.The Producers Guild's choice for top film has eight times in the last 10 years matched the eventual Academy Award best picture winner. Last year, its nominees predicted all 9 best picture nominees, although the PGA went to 'La La Land' which lost out to 'Moonlight' at the Academy Awards.Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday in advance of the ceremony on March 4.___For full coverage of awards season, visit: https://apnews.com/tag/AwardsSeason
  • Restive Senate moderates in both parties expressed hopes of finding a way out of the government shutdown mess Sunday as their leadership engaged in unrelenting finger-pointing over who was to blame for the stalemate.Lawmakers on Capitol Hill said they were pursuing a deal to reopen the government before the start of the workweek Monday. In exchange for Democratic votes, GOP leadership would agree to address immigration policy and other pressing legislative matters in the coming weeks. Nothing has been agreed to, the lawmakers said, and there were no indications that leaders of either party or the White House was on board.A stopgap spending measure was slated for a vote on Monday after midnight.Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said there would not be a vote on immigration tied to reopening the government as part of a deal. But, he said, 'there would be an agreement that we would proceed to immigration with a broad understanding of what that is.'The approach found advocates in South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, both Republicans. Lawmakers said they were taking the proposal to leadership Sunday afternoon.Graham urged Democrats to take the deal. 'To my Democratic friends, don't overplay your hand,' he told reporters. 'A government shutdown is not a good way to get an outcome legislatively.'Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, indicated earlier Sunday that he would continue to lead a filibuster of the stopgap spending measure, while congressional Republicans appeared content to let the pressure build on the second day of the government shutdown.Senate Democrats blocked a temporary governmentwide funding bill Friday night, demanding progress on legislation to protect about 700,000 so-called Dreamer immigrants who were brought illegally to the country as children.'I think they miscalculated on the shutdown. It's very unpopular, and they're trying to find a way out of it,' said Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn of Texas.Absent a breakthrough, the vote early Monday will prove to be a test of unity among Democrats, who have wagered shutting down the government to push the immigration question. Five Democrats from states won by President Donald Trump broke ranks in a vote Friday. The measure gained 50 votes to proceed to 49 against, but 60 were needed to break a Democratic filibuster.The president took to Twitter on Sunday morning to call on the GOP-controlled Senate to consider deploying the 'nuclear option' — changing Senate rules to end the filibuster — and reopen the government with a simple majority.But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back against that call, saying Republicans will welcome the filibuster when they return to being the Senate minority.Democratic lawmakers challenged the president to get more involved and to accept bipartisanship, and they accused Trump of hurting negotiations by initially expressing support for a compromise Friday and then abruptly turning it away.'How can you negotiate with the president under those circumstances where he agrees face to face to move forward with a certain path and then within two hours calls back and pulls the plug?' said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on ABC's 'This Week.'At the White House on Sunday, there were few signs of activity, as a skeleton crew of aides remained at work. Trump remained in regular contact with Republican leadership, aides said, but it wasn't clear whether he had reached out to any Democrats over the weekend.The shutdown began Saturday on the anniversary of Trump's inauguration. As lawmakers bickered in the Capitol, protesters marched outside in a reprise of the women's march from a year ago. The president remained out of sight and canceled plans to travel to his resort in Florida for the weekend. He did tweet, making light of the timing by saying Democrats 'wanted to give me a nice present' to mark the start of his second year in office.Republicans blamed the breakdown on Schumer, the Senate minority leader. Democrats increasingly focused their messaging on criticizing Trump, whose popularity is dismal. Democrats were using his zigzagging stance in immigration talks — first encouraging deals, then rejecting them — to underscore his first, chaotic year in office.'People from one end of the country to the other know it's the Trump shutdown, and they know why,' Schumer said Sunday. 'It's a direct result of a president who has proven unwilling to compromise and is thus unable to govern.'Republicans seemed content to hope more Democrats will break as pressure builds and the impact of the shutdown becomes clearer. GOP lawmakers argued that Democrats were blocking extra Pentagon money by keeping the government closed and thwarting a long-term budget deal.'Bipartisan, bicameral negotiations have been underway for months. But they can go nowhere until Senate Democrats realize that the extreme path their leader has charted leads them nowhere,' said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.Some sites were closed, including Philadelphia's Liberty Bell, but visitors had access to other sites such as Yellowstone. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island would reopen for visitors Monday, with the state of New York picking up the tab for federal workers for the duration of the government shutdown.Social Security and most other safety-net programs were unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions continued, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay.___Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.
  • Thousands of federal employees began their weekends gripped with doubt, uncertain of when they'll be able to return to work and how long they'll have to go without being paid after a bitter political dispute in Washington triggered a government shutdown.Many government operations will continue — U.S. troops will stay at their posts and mail will get delivered. But almost half the 2 million civilian federal workers will be barred from doing their jobs if the shutdown extends into Monday.The longer the shutdown continues, the more likely its impact will be felt. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Republicans and Democrats share the blame.'Political gamesmanship, an unwillingness to compromise, and a lack of resolve on both sides have led us to this point,' McCain said in a statement Saturday.How key parts of the federal government would be affected by a shutdown:___IRSA shutdown plan posted on the Treasury Department's website shows that nearly 44 percent of the IRS' 80,565 employees will be exempt from being furloughed during a shutdown. That would mean nearly 45,500 IRS employees will be sent home just as the agency is preparing for the start of the tax filing season and ingesting the sweeping changes made by the new GOP tax law.The Republican architects of the tax law have promised that millions of working Americans will see heftier paychecks next month, with less money withheld by employers in anticipation of lower income taxes. The IRS recently issued new withholding tables for employers.But Marcus Owens, who for 10 years headed the IRS division dealing with charities and political organizations, said it's a 'virtual certainty' that the larger paychecks will be delayed if there's a lengthy government shutdown.___HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENTHalf of the more than 80,000 employees will be sent home. Key programs will continue to function because their funding has ongoing authorization and doesn't depend on annual approval by Congress. But critical disruptions could occur across the vast jurisdiction of HHS programs — including the seasonal flu program.Medicare, which insures nearly 59 million seniors and disabled people, will keep going. And so will Medicaid, which covers more than 74 million low-income and disabled people, including most nursing home residents.States will continue to receive payments for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers about 9 million kids. However, long-term funding for the program will run out soon unless Congress acts to renew it.Deep into a tough flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be unable to support the government's annual seasonal flu program. And CDC's ability to respond to disease outbreaks will be significantly reduced.___JUSTICE DEPARTMENTMany of the nearly 115,000 Justice Department employees have national security and public safety responsibilities that allow them to keep working during a shutdown. Special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election will also continue working. His office is paid for indefinitely.The more than 95,000 employees who are 'exempted' include most of the members of the national security division, U.S. attorneys, and most of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals Service and federal prison employees. Criminal cases will continue, but civil cases will be postponed as long as doing so doesn't compromise public safety. Most law enforcement training will be canceled, per the department's contingency plan.___STATE DEPARTMENTMany State Department operations will continue in a shutdown. Passport and visa processing, which are largely self-funded by consumer fees, will not shut down. The agency's main headquarters in Washington, in consultation with the nearly 300 embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions around the world, will draw up lists of nonessential employees who will be furloughed.Department operations will continue through the weekend and staffers will be instructed to report for work as usual on Monday to find out whether they have been furloughed.___DEFENSE DEPARTMENTThe U.S. military will continue to fight wars and conduct missions around the world, including in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. And members of the military will report to work, though they won't get paid until Congress approves funding.Mattis said in a departmentwide memo Friday that 'ships and submarines will remain at sea, our aircraft will continue to fly and our warfighters will continue to pursue terrorists throughout the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.'But Mattis said during remarks on Friday at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies that a shutdown will still have far-reaching effects on the Defense Department.Weapons and equipment maintenance will shut down, military intelligence operations would stop and training for most of the reserve force would be put on hold, he said. And any National Guard forces heading out to do weekend training duty around the country will arrive at armories and be told to go home.___U.S. INTELLIGENCE AGENCIESThe workforce at the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies will be pared down significantly, according to a person familiar with contingency procedures.The official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity, said employees who are considered essential and have to work will do so with no expectation of a regular paycheck.While they can be kept on the job, federal workers can't be paid for days worked during a shutdown. In the past, however, they have been paid retroactively even if they were ordered to stay home.___HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENTA department spokesman said nearly 90 percent of Homeland Security employees are considered essential and will continue to perform their duties during a government shutdown.That means most Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration workers will stay on the job, according to the department's shutdown plan, dated Friday.Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be staffed at about 78 percent, meaning more than 15,000 of the agency's employees will keep working. The Secret Service, also part of Homeland Security, will retain more than 5,700 employees during the shutdown.___INTERIOR DEPARTMENTThe Interior Department said national parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible. That position is a change from previous shutdowns, when most parks were closed and became high-profile symbols of dysfunction.Spokeswoman Heather Swift said the American public — especially veterans who come to the nation's capital — should find war memorials and open-air parks available to visitors. Swift said many national parks and wildlife refuges nationwide will also be open with limited access when possible.She said public roads that already are open are likely to remain open, though services that require staffing and maintenance such as campgrounds, full-service restrooms and concessions won't be operating. Backcountry lands and culturally sensitive sites are likely to be restricted or closed, she said.Yet the shutdown had an instant impact on two of the world's top tourist destinations: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.The National Park Service announced that both New York sites would be closed 'due to a lapse in appropriations.' The park service said the closure of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island was effective immediately and until further notice.For ticket refunds, visitors were instructed to contact the Statue Cruises company that runs ferries to the statue and Ellis Island, the historic entry point in New York Harbor for immigrants to the United States that is now a museum.___TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENTMore than half — 34,600 — of the Department of Transportation's 55,100 employees will continue working during a shutdown. The bulk of those staying on the job work for the Federal Aviation Administration, which operates the nation's air traffic control system.Controllers and aviation, pipeline and railroad safety inspectors are among those who would continue to work.But certification of new aircraft will be limited, and processing of airport construction grants, training of new controllers, registration of planes, air traffic control modernization research and development, and issuance of new pilot licenses and medical certificates will stop.At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, investigations on auto safety defects will be suspended, incoming information on possible defects from manufacturers and consumers won't be reviewed and compliance testing of vehicles and equipment will be delayed.The Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, whose operations are mostly paid for out of the Federal Highway Trust Fund, will continue most of their functions. The fund's revenue comes from federal gas and diesel taxes, which will continue to be collected. But work on issuing new regulations will stop throughout the department and its nine agencies.___NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTHDr. Anthony Fauci, the agency's infectious disease chief, said a government shutdown will be disruptive to research and morale at the National Institutes of Health but will not adversely affect patients already in medical studies.'We still take care of them,' he said of current NIH patients. But other types of research would be seriously harmed, Fauci said.A shutdown could mean interrupting research that's been going on for years, Fauci said. The NIH is the government's primary agency responsible for biomedical and public health research across 27 institutes and centers. Its research ranges from cancer studies to the testing and creation of vaccines.'You can't push the pause button on an experiment,' he said.___ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCYEPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has instructed workers there to come to work next week even with a shutdown. Pruitt said in an email to all EPA employees on Friday that the agency had 'sufficient resources to remain open for a limited amount of time.' He said further instructions would come if the shutdown lasts for more than a week.The instructions from Pruitt are different from how the agency has operated during prior shutdowns and the contingency plan posted on EPA's website. A spokesman for the agency said earlier on Friday that the December 2017 plan was no longer valid.___Associated Press writers Sadie Gurman, Joan Lowy, Michael Biesecker, Lolita Baldor, Andrew Taylor, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Laurie Kellman, Deb Riechmann, Matthew Lee and Marcy Gordon contributed to this report.___Contact Richard Lardner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rplardner
  • Closed attractions like the Statue of Liberty and suspended services such as the American Forces Network are examples of victims of the government shutdown.Federal services fall into two categories during a shutdown, essential and non-essential. Essential services such as the mail and Social Security checks continue. Non-essential services like processing of new veterans benefits claims are suspended until funding is restored.The air traffic control system stays up and running, as do the FBI, Customs and Border Protection and veterans hospitals. Active-duty troops will stay at their posts during a shutdown. But those serving abroad and expecting the American Forces Network to broadcast radio and television programming will miss the NFL playoffs.Almost half the 2 million civilian federal workers will be barred from doing their jobs.
  • Oprah Winfrey and Rob Lowe give Montecito its star power, but it's people like Antonio and Victor Benitez who keep the wealthy Southern California community running. The Mexican brothers are gardeners and part of the town's working-class immigrant population, which suffered outsized losses from the recent mudslides that killed at least 21, injured dozens and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes. Antonio and Victor Benitez suffered broken bones and each lost a child. Antonio's wife was killed. Victor's wife was killed - her body was found Saturday - and his toddler son was injured. Nearly a third of those killed in the Jan. 9 mudslides were from immigrant families working in service jobs in the largely white and retired Pacific coast town of 9,000. Many of these families are from developing countries seizing the opportunities provided by the area's wealth to make a better life for their children. Among them was 30-year-old Pinit Sutthithepa from Thailand who worked at a Toyota dealership in Santa Barbara and sent money to his wife and two children for years before being able to bring them to the United States in 2016. The mudslides killed him, his 6-year-old son and his 79-year-old stepfather. Crews are still searching for Sutthithepa's 2-year-old daughter. His wife and mother were working at a grocery store when rocks and rushing water obliterated their home, Mike Caldwell, Sutthithepa's boss wrote on a GoFundMe page seeking help for the family. Martin Cabrera Munoz, 48, worked long hours as a landscaper so he could send money to his children in his native Guanajuato, Mexico. He was sleeping in the room he kept at his boss's home when an avalanche of mud ripped through the property. 'He wanted to give his kids a better life,' his youngest sister, Diana Montero, told the Los Angeles Times. His funeral was held Wednesday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Barbara, where people are also mourning the deaths in the Benitez family. The Rev. Pedro Lopez has tried to offer words of comfort to his tightknit, Spanish-speaking parish — but he knows the healing will be slow and painful. 'We've let everyone know the importance of being available to one another to share their grief,' Lopez said. Many members of the modest church are without work now that the million-dollar homes they cared for have been destroyed by the storm-triggered landslides, which also closed U.S. Highway 101, a major route for commuters between the coastal region's two major cities, Santa Barbara and Ventura. A lot of families 'can't get to work because of the freeway closure, or they don't know where to work now, and they don't know how they are going to pay rent or buy groceries,' Lopez said. Victor and Antonio Benitez built a thriving gardening business after coming to the United States as teenagers from Mexico, joining their father and another brother. The two brothers, their wives and children shared a home so they could afford the rent in Montecito, where the median home price is more than $4 million. They were asleep when the mud and rocks thundered down the hillsides. As it poured in, collapsing the walls, some of the family members tried to escape through the kitchen door but were swept away. The body of Victor's son, 10-year-old Jonathan Benitez, was found nearly 2 miles (3 kilometers) away. 'He was quite a popular young man. He took everybody under his wing,' Lopez said, adding that one girl cried when recalling how Jonathan welcomed her to the first communion class. The body of Jonathan's mother, 28-year-old Faviola Benitez Calderon, a housekeeper, was located Saturday, another victim of the mudslides. Antonio and Victor Benitez, and Victor's toddler son, Ian, remain in the hospital with broken bones and bruises. Antonio Benitez underwent surgery for abdominal injuries from being dragged by the landslide. He is recovering but overwhelmed with grief over the loss of his 27-year-old wife, Marilyn Ramos, and his 3-year-old daughter, Kailly, their only child. 'Antonio wakes up, cries and cries, and then is given a sedative to go back to sleep, only to wake up again later and cry again,' said his sister-in-law, Jennifer Ramos. Marilyn Ramos was living the American dream that had spurred her to come to the United States at age 20, said her sister, who remained in Marquelia, a small Mexican fishing community south of Acapulco. Ramos met her husband in California. 'All she wanted was to be a mother and have a good family life, which she had,' Jennifer Ramos said. Nearly a third of Pamela Viale's upscale neighborhood in nearby Goleta hired Antonio and Victor Benitez. The brothers worked for her for five years. 'Once people saw what wonderful work they do and what a strong work ethic they have, word spread,' she said. 'It grew from one family to 18 families here, and everyone feels strongly about them. They are always willing to go the extra mile, always smiling — very friendly, just amazing people. 'We're really very devastated by their loss.' Viale and others organized GoFundMe pages to help the family, who also lost their tools and truck and face mounting medical bills and funeral costs before they can rebuild their lives. Lori Lieberman, a recording artist who lives part-time in Montecito, said the outpouring of support has been incredible. 'Everyone really loves this family,' she said. ___ This story corrects the spelling of names in paragraphs 19-20.
  • If the shutdown lasts just days or even a couple of weeks, the robust stock market that President Donald Trump has boasted about probably will emerge unscathed. A longer impasse, economists say, could rattle consumer and investor confidence, pulling stocks lower and dragging down the economy. Economists and investment advisers interviewed by The Associated Press generally didn't foresee the shutdown that began Saturday lasting long enough to stifle the economy much. With pivotal elections in November, both parties would want to shield voters from any pain. Investors and consumers are feeling optimistic now based on the tax cut signed into law last month, and the economy is strong enough to power through a short shutdown. But Randy Warren, CEO of Warren Financial Service, a Philadelphia-area investment advisory firm, said shutdown that drags on for six weeks or longer — an unimaginable scenario — could kill a bull market and discourage people from spending money. 'These things start to pile up,' he said Saturday. 'When you start to doubt the future, then you start to doubt investing.' And that's among the reasons Warren and others don't see a lengthy stalemate. 'It seems unlikely at this point that it would be a four-week shutdown,' said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at Standard & Poor's. 'It will hopefully be a blip.' The Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite closed at record highs Friday. The Russell 2000 index, composed of smaller, more domestically-focused companies, climbed more than 1 percent and also finished at a record high. 'Unless it meaningfully impacts the U.S. consumer and leads them to spend much less money, leading to some kind of major (economic) slowdown, it's not a big deal,' said Sameer Samana, global equity and technical strategist for the Wells Fargo Investment Institute. The economy could take a hit if national parks and monuments are closed or operations curtailed for a long period. Trips could be canceled, cutting vacation dollars that roll into communities near the parks. The Interior Department pledged to keep as many parks and public lands open as possible, but the pattern on Saturday was spotty. Some parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite were open with limited services, but the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia were closed. After the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that it trimmed an annualized 0.3 percent from growth during the final three months of that year. The reduced growth was mostly because federal employees worked fewer hours. Leslie Preston, a senior economist at TD Bank, said the economy is currently 'strong enough to withstand' a similarly sized hit because growth is projected to be nearly 2.5 percent in the January-March quarter. ____ Krisher reported from Detroit. AP Economics Writer Josh Boak in Washington and Markets Writer Marley Jay in New York contributed to this report.
  • Update: While the House passed legislation on Thursday to fund government  services, the Senate on Friday failed to vote on a continuing resolution that would keep the government up and running. With no bill to fund the government, non-essential services have been shutdown.  Below is the original story that explains what will happen now that the government has been shut down. Watch the video The fight over a border wall, the fate of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients, and the wrangling over the funding of an insurance program for children could force a U.S. government shutdown after midnight on Friday if Congress does not pass legislation that would keep the government running. While negotiations on a temporary spending bill, called a continuing resolution, are ongoing, House Republican leaders said late Wednesday that   they lacked the votes to prevent a shutdown, but that they are pressing members to back Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, (R-Wisconsin), on the  temporary spending bill. “I think it passes,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker, (R-North Carolina), told reporters on Wednesday. “I don’t think it’s overwhelming, but I think it passes.” What would happen if no bill is passed and the government “shuts down?” Here’s what to expect: First, a government shutdown doesn’t mean the government completely shuts down. Employees and services deemed “essential” would remain in place. About half of the federal employee workforce, however, could be furloughed – sent home without pay. Government agencies would shut down because of the lack of a bill that funds services those agencies provide. What Congress will be considering Thursday night and Friday is a continuing resolution, a way to temporarily fund the government. What is a continuing resolution? A continuing resolution, or “CR,” is legislation that funds government operations at the current spending level. In normal years, a bill that funds government operations is signed by Oct. 1, which is the end of the fiscal year. That didn’t happen this year. CRs can fund the government for days, weeks or months. The CR that could be considered Thursday would fund the government through Feb. 16. Here is a list of services and how they would be affected if a CR is not passed by Friday night: Air travel Air travel would not be affected as federal air traffic controllers would remain on the job and Transportation Security Administration screeners would remain in place. Federal court For about two weeks, federal courts would continue operating normally. After that time, the judiciary would have to furlough employees not considered essential. Food safety The Food and Drug Administration would handle high-risk recalls. Most routine safety inspections would be halted. Health Patients in the National Institutes of Health would continue to be treated. New patients would not be accepted until a funding bill is in place. International travel You could still get a passport and visa applications would still be processed by the State Department. Fees collected when someone applies for a visa or a passport fund those services. Loans  The Federal Housing Administration, the agency that guarantees about 30 percent of all American home mortgages, wouldn’t be able to underwrite or approve any new loans during a shutdown, causing a delay for those using one of those loans to purchase a home. The mail You would still get mail, as the U.S. Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer dollars for everyday operations. Military Active-duty military personnel would stay on duty, but their paychecks would be delayed. National parks All national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian museums. Visitors in overnight campgrounds in national parks would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park. School lunches, SNAP and WIC School breakfasts and lunches funded by the federal government would not be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, could be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which used to be called the Food Stamp Program, would continue to be funded and SNAP benefits would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs would not have the money to operate. Science The National Weather Service would keep forecasting weather. Social Security Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits would be paid, but new applications for those payments could be delayed. Veterans services Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs would continue. Sources: The Associated Press; Politico; the Congressional Research Service
  • The snowy mountains and frozen lakes of Rocky Mountain National Park are still accessible to visitors, despite the federal government shutdown.But across the country in New York, the nation's most famous monuments to immigration — the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island — were closed Saturday.The National Park Service oversees both natural wonders and historic landmarks across the nation. The park service's parent agency, the Interior Department, had vowed to keep as many parks and public lands open as possible during the shutdown, which began at midnight Friday on the East Coast.But by mid-day Saturday, the pattern was spotty.The USS Constitution, the 220-year-old warship anchored at Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, was open, but Boston's Bunker Hill Monument was closed.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • The National Women's March continued over the weekend, and people started showing up at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando as early as 8 a.m. on Sunday to join the cause.   Some of those in attendance include people from the Time's Up and Me Too Movements. Demonstrators held up signs about women's rights and say they're fed up with sexual harassment and assault. They also are calling for racial equality and environmental reform.      Hundreds of women and women also attended a Women's March in Melbourne Saturday afternoon. Demonstrators of all ages marched along the Eau Gallie Causeway, across the Indian River Lagoon.    Many carried signs with quotes of empowerment, along with some obscenities.    This is the second year for the march, which also lands on the one year mark that President Trump has been in office.
  • At least 48 people have been displaced after a fire occurred at the Windsor Cove apartments Saturday morning.   Firefighters say the fire broke out at 1470 Mercy Drive around 10am. Investigators say it started on accident when a child was using a space heater to light a paper on fire. 30 of the 48 displaced residents were children. One of those children were treated for smoke inhilation, but no one was injured.      The American Red Cross was notified and deployed an emergency response vehicle and supplied 11 families with personal hygiene kits, support to replace medication and money to find a hotel to stay in temporarily.    The Fire Department says all 12 units in the building were evacuated because the power was turned off due to fire damage to the electrical system.    Some residents will be able to return home once the system is fixed, but for others, it may take longer.
  • Two people were shot, leaving one dead and another in the hospital in Southwest Orlando on Saturday night.    At 8:47 p.m., deputies responded to the 1000 block of 23rd Street in reference to a report of gunshots. Upon arrival, deputies located two victims, a white female and a black male, who were suffering from gunshot wounds.    Both victims were transported by Orange County Fire Rescue to ORMC, but the female, identified as 51 year old Kelly Lee Foley, died from her injuries. Detectives are seeking information on a vehicle that looks like this. It is reference to an older model red or maroon Dodge Ram van with a camper top and possible damage to the right tail light area. The suspect is described as a black or Hispanice male, bald with light complexion, between the ages of 45 to 50, and is 5’9’’ weighing 180 pounds with black plastic framed glasses. If you have any information about this case, you are asked to contact Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS(8477). There is a reward up to 5,000 dollars.
  • A new ad released by President Donald Trump's campaign is claiming that Democrats are “complicit” in killings by undocumented immigrants. The ad was released after Senate Democrats opposed a short-term spending bill to keep the government from shutting down. >> Click here to watch “President Trump is right — build the wall, deport criminals, stop illegal immigration now,” the ad said, showing clips of top Democrats. “Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.” >> Trump cancels Florida trip as government shutdown looms “President Trump will fix our border and keep our families safe,” the ad concluded. The ad was released on the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. >> Government shutdown: What closes; will you get your Social Security check; what happens to SNAP, WIC On Friday, Senate Democrats opposed a short-term spending bill to fund the government and keep it from shutting down after Republicans refused to include a provision to protect thousands of immigrants brought here as children. >> Read more trending news  President Trump bashed Democrats after the failed vote, saying that they wanted “unchecked illegal immigration.” “Democrats are holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration. Can’t let that happen!” he tweeted Saturday morning. Earlier on Saturday, he again bashed Democrats, tweeting that they were more “concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border.” (H/t: The Hill)
  • David and Louise Turpin are facing a string of charges, including torture, after police say the couple kept their 13 children locked away in subhuman conditions in their Perris, California, home. On Thursday, the Turpins made their first court appearance. >> Watch the video here >> On Rare.us: Here’s what the children in the California torture house did to cope with the alleged abuse David Turpin appeared in chains, wearing a lavender shirt and black jacket while his wife sat nearby, also in chains and a black jacket. The Turpins entered not guilty pleas to all of the charges, some of which date back to 2010. The district attorney says the couple is facing 94 years to life in prison if convicted on all counts. >> Dogs found in perfect condition in home where 13 siblings held captive During the arraignment, the Turpins were quiet and spoke only to say they acknowledged their right to a speedy preliminary hearing, CBS reports. They will appear in court again on Feb. 23, and their bail was set at $13 million. District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in a press conference, “As a prosecutor, there are cases that stick with you, that will haunt you. Sometimes, in this business, we’re faced with looking at human depravity, and that’s what we’re looking at here.” Authorities said the parents were able to keep their children hidden away by listing their home as a private school. Some of the kids, who ranged in ages from 2 to 29, reportedly didn’t know what a police officer was. The children were only allowed to eat once a day and shower twice a year, authorities said. However, the parents reportedly did allow them to keep journals, and authorities said the kids filled hundreds of notebooks. Those have not been released and are still being reviewed by law enforcement. The children are currently being cared for in the hospital, authorities said. The Riverside University Health System has set up a fund for the children that will go to their long-term needs, according to a press release. The hospital said the children have already seen a tremendous outpouring of support. >> Read more trending news  Brian Rokos of the Press-Enterprise was present at the hearing and reported that David Turpin is being represented by a public defender, while Louise Turpin has outside counsel. During Thursday’s arraignment, the public defender requested that media be banned from the trial, but the judge shot that down. Rokos said reporters from around the world were in the courtroom. The Turpins' lawyers have not announced whether they will try to have the case moved out of Riverside County.