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    Asian markets were mixed in subdued trading Wednesday as Japan reported weak export data and news surfaced of possible hiccups in China-U.S. trade talks. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index shed 0.1 percent to 20,593.72, after the Bank of Japan kept its short and long term interest rates intact as expected but lowered its inflation forecasts. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.5 percent to 2,127.78. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was almost flat at 27,018.60. The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.1 percent to 2,581.00. Australia's S&P ASX 200 slipped 0.3 percent to 5,843.70. Shares fell in Taiwan and Singapore but rose in Malaysia and Indonesia. WALL STREET: U.S. investors returned from a holiday Tuesday to lower global growth estimates by the International Monetary Fund and news that China's economy expanded last year at its slowest pace since 1990. Reports that the Trump administration recently rejected a meeting with Chinese trade officials caused major indexes to slip further. The S&P 500 index declined 1.4 percent to 2,632.90. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1.2 percent to 24,404.48 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.9 percent at 7,020.36. JAPANESE TRADE: On Wednesday, Japan released weaker-than-expected trade data for December. The country said its exports fell by 3.8 percent from a year earlier, its largest drop in two years. It also posted its first full-year trade deficit since 2015. Imports climbed 1.9 percent in December, missing the market estimate of a 3.7 percent rise, and way below November's 12.5 percent surge. Weaker Japanese exports suggest that a slowdown in China, the world's second largest economy, is starting to have an impact on companies elsewhere that rely on it for business. U.S-CHINA RELATIONS: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow refuted reports by media outlets including the Financial Times and CNBC saying the U.S. had turned down an offer by Chinese trade officials to meet in Washington this week due to a lack of progress on issues such as protection of intellectual property. He said both sides are working toward the higher level talks. The reports, citing unnamed sources close to the matter, said the preparatory talks had been meant to pave the way for meetings between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer next week. ANALYST'S TAKE: 'The U.S. strategy might be to raise pressure on the Chinese ahead of the hard deadline in March, but this makes for uncomfortable interpretation by markets, and could potentially induce excessive volatility in the interim,' Chang Wei Liang of Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. ENERGY: U.S. crude picked up 26 cents to $53.27 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed $1.03 lower at $53.01 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 36 cents to $61.86 per barrel. It dropped $1.24 to $61.50 per barrel in London. CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 109.68 yen from 109.37 yen late Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.1369 from $1.1361.
  • The Latest on the Los Angeles teachers strike (all times local): 8 p.m. Los Angeles teachers have approved a contract deal between their union and school officials, ending a six-day strike in the nation's second-largest district. Although all votes haven't been counted, the union said Tuesday evening that a 'supermajority' of its 30,000 members voted in favor of the tentative agreement. Educators will go back to work Wednesday morning. They walked off the job Jan. 14. The agreement reached shortly before dawn Tuesday gives teachers a raise, additional support staff and smaller class sizes. The Board of Education is expected to move quickly to ratify the deal. ___ 2:30 p.m. A tentative deal between Los Angeles school officials and the teachers union includes a 6 percent raise for educators, a slight reduction in some class sizes and additional support staff, including nurses and librarians. The Los Angeles Unified School District released additional details after an agreement was reached Tuesday. Teachers will vote on the deal later in the day. Officials say every campus will see an increase in nursing services over the next three school years. Teachers complained that some schools only had a nurse on staff once a week. The new contract also eliminates a longstanding clause that gave the district authority over class sizes. Grades 4 through 12 will be reduced by one student during each of the next two school years and two pupils in 2021-2022. Teachers are expected back in classrooms on Wednesday. ___ 12:25 p.m. Striking Los Angeles teachers are optimistic their union leaders have negotiated a contract they can support. Thousands of striking teachers were jubilant at a rally Tuesday after the mayor and union negotiators announced a tentative agreement with the superintendent of the nation's second-largest school district. Some Los Angeles Unified School District teachers were already declaring victory despite a lack of details about the agreement. Some teachers at the boisterous rally outside City Hall say they trust their union and will vote for the pact later in the day unless it doesn't go far enough in reducing class size or weakens their health care. One high school teacher, Sharon Maloney, says she's leaning against supporting it because she's skeptical the district made enough concessions. She says she'll need to see the details before she supports it. ___ 9:52 a.m. Contentious contract negotiations have resulted in a tentative deal between Los Angeles school officials and the teachers union that will allow striking educators to return to classrooms on Wednesday. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the deal Tuesday. He says it requires the approval of the teachers and the Board of Education. Tens of thousands of members of United Teachers Los Angeles walked off the job Jan. 14 for the first time in 30 years. Schools stayed open, staffed by a skeleton crew of substitute teachers and administrators. The Los Angeles Unified School District is projecting a half-billion-dollar deficit this budget year and has billions obligated for pension payments and health coverage for retired teachers. ___ 7:46 a.m. The office of Mayor Eric Garcetti says leaders of the Los Angeles Unified School District and the striking teachers union will give an update on contract negotiations. Garcetti says the two sides will hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. The mayor's office said earlier that the latest round of contract bargaining ended before dawn after 21 hours. The strike by United Teachers Los Angeles is the first against the huge school district in 30 years. It began on Jan. 14 following 21 months of unsuccessful talks. The latest bargaining began last week after efforts by the mayor to seek a resolution. ___ 7 a.m. The office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says the latest bargaining session between striking teachers and the Los Angeles Unified School District lasted 21 hours and ended before dawn Tuesday. The mayor's office says negotiators plan to reconvene at 9:15 a.m. The update on the status of talks comes as the strike by United Teachers Los Angeles enters its second week. Thousands of educators walked off the job and onto picket lines Jan. 14 for the first time in 30 years. The union and the school district are at odds over issues including salary, class sizes and support staff. Schools have stayed open during the strike with substitute teachers in classrooms. Negotiations between the two sides continued through the long holiday weekend. ___ 6:50 a.m. Hundreds of firefighters are marching in downtown Los Angeles to support public school teachers as their strike enters its second week. The firefighters are taking time out Tuesday morning from a conference of the International Association of Fire Fighters to back the teachers. Thousands of educators represented by United Teachers Los Angeles walked off the job and onto picket lines Jan. 14 for the first time in 30 years. The union and the Los Angeles Unified School District are at odds over issues including salary, class sizes and support staff. Schools have stayed open during the strike with substitute teachers in classrooms. Negotiations between the two sides continued through the long holiday weekend. The district is the second largest in the U.S. after New York City.
  • Japan's exports fell 3.8 percent in December from a year earlier, hit by slowing demand in China, as the trade balance shifted back into deficit for the year, the government reported Wednesday. For the year, imports outpaced the rise in exports, leaving a trade deficit for the first time in three years, the Ministry of Finance reported. Japan's imports rose 1.9 percent in December from the same month in 2017, leaving a deficit of 55.3 billion yen (about $507 million). The preliminary data from the Ministry of Finance showed that shipments to China sank 7 percent in December from the same month of 2017. China's economy has slowed most quickly than anticipated recently, partly as a result of trade friction with the U.S. Economic growth in 2018 fell to 6.6 percent, the slowest annual pace since 1990 and well below the 6.9 percent expansion in 2017. Vibrant growth in the U.S. and China, among other regions, is vital for Japan's export-oriented economy. Junichi Makino, chief economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo, said the trade balance will likely turn to a surplus in the long run because of healthy auto exports to the U.S. and the recent fall in oil prices. Japan imports much of its oil. ___ Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama On Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en
  • Flight arrivals at Newark Airport were briefly suspended Tuesday evening after a drone was spotted over another nearby airport, officials said, in the latest incident of the unmanned aircraft affecting commercial air travel. At about 5 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration received two reports from flights headed to Newark that they had spotted a drone about 3,500 feet (1,000 meters) over nearby Teterboro Airport. The administration said in a statement that arriving flights were held briefly but resumed after no further sightings were reported. The airport, which serves New York City, said just after 7 p.m. that it was operating normally again. The FAA had no reports of delays at the airport on its website. Brett Sosnik was on a United Airlines flight bound for Newark when the pilot told passengers that they would be circling in the air because of a drone spotted in Newark airspace. Sosnik, who was returning from the Bahamas, said his plane circled for about half an hour. 'I was looking around trying to find a drone in the air when we were closer to landing, but I didn't see anything,' said Sosnik, a New York City resident who works in marketing. 'There's got to be a way to combat that stuff and not have it affect huge airports with such a little piece of technology.' United Airlines spokesman Robert Einhorn said the impact on its operations 'has been minimal so far.' London's Heathrow Airport briefly halted departing flights earlier this month after a reported drone sighting — just three weeks after multiple reports of drone sightings caused travel chaos at nearby Gatwick Airport. In the U.S., unless the operator gets a waiver from the FAA, drones are not allowed within 5 miles (8 kilometers) of most airports, and are not supposed to fly above 400 feet (120 meters).
  • Consumer activist Erin Brockovich, who famously took on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the 1990s, urged California lawmakers Tuesday not to let the utility go bankrupt because it could mean less money for wildfire victims. 'I'm mad, I think we should all be mad,' Brockovich said as she stood outside the Capitol in Sacramento alongside people who lost their homes to destructive fires. PG&E announced last week it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because it can't afford to pay at least $30 billion in expected damages due to deadly 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires. California law makes utilities entirely liable for damage caused by wildfires sparked by their equipment, even if the utility isn't found to be negligent. The cause of a 2017 fire that swept through Santa Rosa and the 2018 fire that destroyed Paradise are still under investigation. PG&E is under scrutiny in both cases, and lawsuits have been filed by people who lost their homes and are underinsured or lack insurance. Brockovich is part of the legal team representing victims of the 2017 fires. Under a PG&E bankruptcy, wildfire victims likely won't get all of the money they have sued for, experts have said. Brockovich and Noreen Evans, a former state lawmaker representing wildfire victims, suggested the Legislature should allow PG&E to take out state-backed bonds to cover the costs of the 2018 fire and potentially pass some costs to ratepayers to avoid bankruptcy. Lawmakers allowed the utility to pay for 2017 wildfires in a similar manner but did not apply the same standard to 2018 fires, something the lawyers called a serious oversight. Critics, including Evans, have called the law a 'bailout' for the utility in the past. Now, she said, 2018 wildfire victims deserve to be treated the same way as 2017 wildfire victims. 'It's not a bailout, although I've referred to it as a bailout in the past,' she said. State Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa, who authored last year's wildfire bill, has said 2018 was not included because lawmakers didn't want to discourage PG&E from focusing on its safety if it thought it would have a guaranteed way to pay for wildfire damage. Beyond the short term, Brockovich urged state lawmakers to adopt stricter oversight of PG&E, a utility that she said has a well-documented history of negligent or dangerous behavior that the state has let continue for too long. 'Be at the head of the table and take control of this runaway monopoly,' she said. PG&E is 'committed to working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders to continue to provide PG&E customers the safe gas and electric services they expect and need,' utility spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo said. The company's board has decided bankruptcy under Chapter 11 is 'the only viable option,' she said. Brockovich rose to fame while fighting PG&E in the 1990s over a toxic chemical in the water supply of a Southern California community. Her fight became the subject of a movie starring Julia Roberts. Currently U.S. Judge William Alsup is overseeing a jury verdict against PG&E stemming from a deadly 2010 gas pipeline explosion, and he is considering whether the company's role in recent wildfires was a violation of its probation in the criminal case. Alsup has noted that California fire investigators referred 12 wildfires caused by PG&E equipment for possible criminal prosecution. He has proposed imposing new probation terms on the utility, including that it remove or trim all trees that could fall onto its power lines, poles or equipment in high-wind conditions and re-inspect its entire electric grid. The judge gave PG&E until Wednesday to respond to his proposal. Brockovich said regulators should consider forcing the company to bury or cover its lines. The utility said Tuesday in a regulatory filing it has lined up $5.5 billion in credit and loans to continue operating as it prepares for the bankruptcy. Gov. Gavin Newsom said last week it's his goal to prevent the bankruptcy from going through but it may not be possible. Evans said there have been 'very preliminary discussions' about settling claims related to the 2017 fires at a judge's request. __ This story has been clarified by removing comments from Noreen Evans that a PG&E bankruptcy could threaten power service, which she says she was not implying.
  • On the same day Netflix scored its first best picture nomination from the Oscars, the streaming company is also joining the lobbying group the Motion Picture Association of America. The MPAA announced Tuesday that Netflix will join its ranks, becoming the first streaming service to do so. The only other members of the MPAA are the six major studios. One of the MPAA's chief goals is to combat piracy, which is a concern for Netflix as it continues to expand its footprint overseas. Netflix, though, doesn't use the MPAA's ratings system to stamp its films PG-13 or R, for example. The MPAA is largely uninvolved in theatrical window debates, an ongoing dispute that has put Netflix at odds with theater owners. The trade group is set to lose one member this year when 20th Century Fox is acquired by the Walt Disney Co. Netflix on Tuesday landed 15 Academy Awards nominations, including best picture for 'Roma.
  • Owners of five Hyundai and Kia cars and SUVs file fire insurance claims at a rate far higher than the average for comparable vehicles, according to an insurance industry study. The Highway Loss Data Institute, which analyzes data from insurers representing about 85 percent of the U.S. industry, found that some Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with four-cylinder engines have double the noncrash fire claim rates than the average of comparable vehicles. Last week the South Korean brands announced they would recall about 168,000 vehicles to fix a fuel pipe problem that can cause fires. The problem stems from improper repairs during previous recalls for engine failures. They also announced additional sensor software for another 3.7 million vehicles. Hyundai and Kia started recalling 1.7 million vehicles in 2015 — about 618,000 of which are Kias — because manufacturing debris can restrict oil flow to connecting rod bearings. That can cause bearings in 2-liter and 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines to wear and fail. The problem can also cause fires. The repair in many cases is an expensive engine block replacement. Results of the Arlington, Virginia-based institute's study have been turned over the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is investigating engine failures and fires in Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The agency is mostly closed this week due to the partial government shutdown. Hyundai said Tuesday that the majority of its models in the study are already being recalled or are part of additional actions to keep customers safe. 'Hyundai actively monitors and evaluates potential safety concerns, including non-collision fires, with all of its vehicles and acts swiftly to recall any vehicles with safety-related defects,' spokesman Michael Stewart said. Kia spokesman James Bell said the company is cooperating with NHTSA 'and will take any necessary corrective action in a timely manner.' Many of the fires involve vehicles included the engine failure recall and could have been prevented if owners had the recall repairs done, he wrote. The institute began studying fire claims after the Center for Auto Safety petitioned NHTSA last year seeking a wider recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The center had found a higher-than-normal number of consumer complaints about Hyundai and Kia fires in the agency's database. NHTSA has used Highway Loss Data Institute studies in the past to help make recall decisions. According to claims data, the 2011 to 2015 Kia Optima, the 2011 through 2014 Hyundai Sonata, the 2011 through 2015 Kia Sorento, the 2011 and 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe and the 2013 and 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport all had higher noncrash fire claim rates per 10,000 insured vehicle years than the average of comparable vehicles. The Optima with a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine had five claims, nearly triple the average of 1.7 claims for 21 other midsize cars. With a 2.4-liter engine, the Optima had 2.8 claims. Hyundai's midsize Sonata with the 2-liter engine had 4.2 claims, while its 2.4-liter engine had 2.7. The Kia Sorento with a 2.4-liter engine had 2.6 claims, double the 1.3 for the average of 50 comparable SUVs. Hyundai's Santa Fe with the 2.4-liter engine had 2.1 claims, while the Santa Fe Sport with the 2-liter turbo had 2.9 claims per 10,000 vehicle years and 2.2 claims for the 2.4-liter engine. The institute also found that while noncrash fire claims are infrequent, turbocharged engines have higher claim rates. Turbos help to send more gasoline into engines, making smaller engines more powerful. The Hyundai-Kia fuel injector pipe recalls cover some 2011 through 2014 Kia Optimas, 2012 through 2014 Sorrento SUVs, and 2011 through 2013 Sportage SUVs, all with four-cylinder engines. Also covered are many 2011 to 2014 Hyundai Sonata cars and 2013 and 2014 Santa Fe Sport SUVs. The companies say owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified by letter. Dealers will check the fuel pipe for leaks and replace the pipe if needed. More than 2 million 2011 Sonatas from the 2011 through 2018 model years and Santa Fe Sports from 2013 through 2018 are covered by software and engine knock sensor updates. About 1.7 million Kias including the 2011 through 2018 Optima, the 2012 through 2018 Sorento and 2011 through 2018 Sportage are covered.
  • Greece's government has removed hundreds of archaeological museums, ancient sites and castles inadvertently put on a provisional list of properties up for private development under the country's bailout terms. The culture ministry said Tuesday that following careful cross-checks, 2,330 properties were taken off the portfolio of state-owned real estate scheduled for development over the next 99 years. Among them was the 4,000-year-old palace of Knossos on Crete, Greece's second most-popular ancient monument. Also, the tomb of King Philip II of Macedon —Alexander the Great's father — in northern Greece, more than a dozen museums and most archaeological sites in No. 2 city Thessaloniki, including its White Tower, were removed from the list. The list of heritage sites was compiled in June, sparking protests, but the ministry only published it Tuesday.
  • Ambulance crews on the Crimean Peninsula transported a dozen survivors of a ship fire to hospitals on Tuesday while six of their crewmates have remained missing in the Black Sea. At least 14 sailors died in the tragedy. Two Tanzanian-flagged tankers caught fire Monday while liquefied petroleum gas was being pumped from one tanker to another. The blaze spread quickly, prompting the crews to jump overboard. The ships were about 30 kilometers (15 nautical miles) off the Crimean coast when the fire started. Russian authorities said 12 of 32 crewmembers were rescued Monday in a salvage effort complicated by rough seas. Sea temperatures of about 10 C (50 F) made it hard for the crew to hold out for long. Emergency officials said they recovered 11 bodies from the water and saw another three dead but failed to recover them. Strong winds prevented a quick transfer of survivors ashore, but on Tuesday they were finally taken to hospitals in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The two vessels crews consisted of Turkish and Indian citizens. The ships have continued burning. Russian media reports said both tankers, the Maestro and the Candy, belonged to a Turkish company, Milenyum Denizcilik Gemi. It was sanctioned by the U.S. in 2015 for fuel deliveries to Syria. The U.S. have also placed both vessels on its sanctions lists, making any company that deals with them subject to penalties — restrictions that might explain the ship-to-ship fuel transfer at sea. Russian shipping registers indicate, however, that both tankers have made repeated calls at Russian ports recently. The Maestro sailed out of the Russian port of Temryuk on Sunday, and another vessel last called there last month.
  • Google's self-driving car spinoff Waymo said Tuesday it will bring a factory to Michigan, creating up to 400 jobs at what it describes as the world's first plant '100 percent' dedicated to the mass production of autonomous vehicles. The company plans to spend about $13.6 million to retrofit a to-be-determined manufacturing facility in the Detroit area. In exchange, it will get a state incentive grant worth up to $8 million that was approved Tuesday by the Michigan Strategic Fund Board. Waymo spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson said the company plans to hire up to 400 people to work at the factory, including engineers, operations experts and fleet coordinators. She said Waymo is looking for a site and hopes to open the plant in the middle of this year. A memo from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. says Waymo will create 100 jobs, with the potential for up to 400, and it chose Michigan despite a 'high level of interest' from states in the Midwest, South and Southwest. The company integrates its self-driving system into vehicles it buys from automakers and is currently testing autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans in a preferred rider program for passengers in the Phoenix area, but with human backup drivers on board. It plans to expand the service to the San Francisco area but has not given a time frame. Waymo previously announced plans to buy 62,000 Pacificas and 20,000 I-Pace electric SUVs from Jaguar. Waymo, which has a 20-employee facility in the Detroit suburb of Novi where it tests vehicles in snowy weather, will put the new factory in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties, where the auto industry dominates the economy with thousands of jobs from U.S. and foreign-based automakers as well as parts supply companies. 'As we begin to commercialize our business and vehicle supply grows, we're laying the foundation for a scalable, robust vehicle integration plan, starting in Michigan,' the company said in a blog. Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor who studies autonomous vehicles, said the announcement shows that Waymo, which was spun off from Google and is part of parent company Alphabet Inc., has plans to integrate itself into the existing auto industry. 'You can't reinvent everything. Coming to Michigan in some ways is your complete recognition of that,' Smith said. 'Michigan is where you go in the United States to be fully immersed in automotive culture and industry.' Smith said Waymo will find abundant labor supply at a lower cost than in California, where it is now headquartered. The announcement confirms that Waymo will use the Michigan factory to produce a large number of vehicles for ride-hailing services in many cities, Smith said. But it did not say when it will deploy the vehicles without human backup drivers. 'This is an announcement about a facility to be, and the cars that will come from that facility one day,' Smith said. 'What this is is that Waymo plans to eventually expand. They've been setting that foundation for a couple of years now.' Michigan Economic Development Corp. CEO Jeff Mason said Silicon Valley companies are increasingly interested in relocating to or expanding in the state. He cited KLA-Tencor's plan to open a $70 million semiconductor research-and-development center in Ann Arbor and Samsung SDI's plan to build a $60 million-plus electric vehicle battery pack plant in Auburn Hills. ___ Krisher reported from Detroit.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • According to officials, a man said he was just joking when he threatened on social media to shoot third-graders at a North Carolina elementary school. >> Watch the news report here Isaiah David Napier, 18, is now charged with with making a false report concerning mass violence on an educational property. >> On WSOCTV.com: Man sends inappropriate Snapchats to 13-year-old boy, mother says Wake Forest authorities said Napier was arrested after a tipster pointed out a concerning Snapchat post. 'Any threat against school property and children of this county will be taken seriously no matter what your age and no matter the intent,' said Eric Curry, with the Wake County Sheriff's Office. Napier allegedly posted a picture of himself on Snapchat holding what appeared to be a rifle and threatened to shoot third-graders at a nearby school for calling his mom names. >> Read more news stories  Wake County deputies credit the person who notified law enforcement officers for Napier's arrest. 'They immediately took steps to call the authorities for us to step in to investigate. That's the kind of community support we need to have,' said Curry. Deputies said the weapon seen in Napier's post was actually an airsoft gun.
  • Nine people were hurt, two critically, in a military vehicle crash in New Mexico, authorities said Tuesday night. According to KDBC and KFOX, the wreck, which involved two Stryker vehicles, occurred about 7:30 p.m. on U.S. Highway 54 in Otero County.  >> Read more trending news  The nine victims, all military personnel, were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Read more here or here.
  • A New York man was arrested Friday in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a well-known and beloved gas station manager who investigators said was trying to stop him from leaving without paying for $22 worth of gas.   Joshua E. Roston, 33, of Baldwin, was arrested in Philadelphia on a vehicular homicide warrant out of Nassau County, according to Nassau County police officials. Though he was in the process of being extradited, he remained in the Philadelphia Jail Tuesday morning.  Roston is accused of running over Cemal “John” Dagdeviren, 59, of Levittown, the morning of Jan. 14 after Dagdeviren, who managed the Pit Stop Repair Shop in Baldwin, confronted him over payment for gas that had been pumped into the 1999 GMC Suburban Roston was driving. The slaying of the Turkish immigrant, who moved his family to the United States 25 years ago, has made international news.  The entire incident was recorded by surveillance cameras at the Pit Stop, which is a combination gas station and repair shop. Dagdeviren was also a mechanic there.  Police officials said the incident began shortly before 7:30 a.m. that morning, when the driver of the Suburban asked that an attendant fill up his SUV’s gas tank at the full-service island. According to NBC News, Nassau County Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick told reporters at a news conference that the attendant became suspicious because the truck had no license plates and the driver was acting oddly.  “They stopped at $22 and asked him to pay at that time,” Fitzpatrick told reporters, according to the news network. “The attendant said to pull over to the side.” The driver, who was dressed in an orange knit hat and gray sweatshirt, went inside the store to pay, but gave the clerk a fake credit card that was declined, Fitzpatrick said. He then went back into the parking lot, where Dagdeviren stepped in and confronted him. The surveillance video, a portion of which was released by police officials, shows Dagdeviren talking with the driver as he goes back to the SUV and climbs inside. Dagdeviren appears to realize the man plans to drive off without paying and goes to the driver’s side door and knocks on the window.  See raw footage of the final moments of Cemal Dagdeviren’s life below, courtesy of Fox News.  When the man doesn’t roll the window down, Dagdeviren tries to open the door, but it appears to be locked. He hurries behind the vehicle and stands behind it as the driver begins to back up. The SUV bumps into his body.  Dagdeviren returns to the front of the vehicle after standing behind it does not stop the driver and, as the driver begins to inch forward across the parking lot, he stands directly in front of the SUV.  Dagdeviren is standing in front of the vehicle with his hands on the hood when the vehicle appears to accelerate into him. The video released by police officials ends at that point, but investigators said Dagdeviren was run over, suffering a severe head injury.  The driver then fled the scene, investigators said, leaving Dagdeviren lying mortally wounded in the roadway. Dagdeviren was taken to South Nassau Communities Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police officials said.  Parminder Singh, who works at a neighboring gas station, told CBS New York that he saw Dagdeviren lying on the ground and went to see what had happened.  “Does anybody’s life cost $22?” Singh said. “No. It’s really bad. People don’t think before they commit something.” Dagdeviren’s son, Ali Dagdeviren, called his father’s killer a monster. “If you do that to anybody for $22, you can do anything,” Ali Dagdeviren, 35, told the news station.  Cemal Dagdeviren came to the United States nearly 25 years ago to provide a better future for his family, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help the Dagdeviren family lay the patriarch to rest. He and his wife have two grown sons, Ali Dagdeviren, who was recently married, and Ceyhun “Jay” Dagdeviren, who is in the academy to become a New York City firefighter. Jay Dagdeviren, 25, also volunteers as a firefighter and emergency medical technician with the Bethpage Fire Department.  “Cemal was a hardworking and kind man who will be dearly missed by his friends and family,” reads the fundraising page, which exceeded its $20,000 goal by $4,000 in just seven days.  “My father worked hard for his family and never got into trouble, never even got a parking ticket,” Ali Dagdeviren told Newsday. “We are in a lot of pain. This is really hard for us.” Cemal Dagdeviren’s customers paid their respects in a steady stream the day after his death. They also held a candlelight vigil in his honor that night at the station, which was closed for business.  According to Newsday, crime scene tape surrounded the station and blood stained the street where Dagdeviren died. Flowers and candles fashioned a makeshift memorial on the sidewalk, built by distraught patrons who described Dagdeviren as a good, trustworthy mechanic with a quick smile and a tendency to wave off payment for minor repairs he’d made for his customers.  “It is very sad,” Yvonne Holloway said. “He was a very hardworking man and one of the nicest people you could ever meet.” “He would say, ‘Have a good day,’ and he meant it,” longtime customer Liz Boylan told Newsday as she dropped off flowers. “I am upset because he was just so sweet.” A funeral was held Wednesday for Dagdeviren in the U.S., Newsday reported. Turkish news media reported a second service was held in Istanbul, where the family returned his body for burial.  Homicide detectives announced Thursday that they had tracked down the Suburban and identified Roston as the man in the orange ski hat. The SUV was impounded as evidence.  Detectives began a manhunt for Roston, who they suspected had fled the New York area. A $10,000 reward was offered for his capture, the details of which were not immediately available Tuesday.  “He knew what he was doing when he stepped on the gas and crushed that man’s life and his family’s life,” a police official told NBC New York.  Roston has a criminal history that includes stealing gas, shoplifting and stripping vehicles for parts, the news station reported. 
  • After just over two years in office, President Donald Trump’s White House has clearly decided that the televised White House briefing – a regular staple since Bill Clinton came into office – is no longer needed, as Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has not formally taken questions from reporters at the podium in the Brady Briefing Room in over a month. “I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway!” President Trump tweeted on Tuesday. Before the briefings became a daily televised event in the Clinton Administration, White House briefings were mainly what’s known as ‘pen and pad’ gatherings – that is, no television, no radio recording, a throwback to the days when newspaper and magazine reporters dominated those covering the White House. The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the “podium” much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press. I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019 The number of briefings dwindled throughout 2018 – for example, Sanders held only three in July, only once in both November and December. The last formal briefing was on December 18. Critics of the briefings say it’s become a place for reporters to grandstand – the President in his tweet today said reporters acted ‘rudely’ – but it’s also been an important venue over the years for a President, in order to get out the message of that administration. Before the Clinton White House – with Communications Director George Stephanopoulos and Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers – made the briefing into a daily televised event which kept the focus on the White House, standard procedure allowed for only a few minutes of televised proceedings at the start of a briefing. After about five minutes, the TV lights would be turned off, the microphone would go silent, and the briefing would continue to be on the record, but not for broadcast. The White House Correspondents Association on Tuesday urged the President to reconsider. Statement on White House news briefings from WHCA President Olivier Knox. pic.twitter.com/jhQjVrz1bC — WHCA (@whca) January 22, 2019 While Sanders has not been on television much in recent months, the President has made himself available repeatedly, often entertaining questions as he departs the White House, or in photo opportunities with reporters. Mr. Trump has held only two formal, solo news conferences; the last one – the day after the November elections – included a verbal showdown with CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
  • Officials in Kentucky said a Catholic school at the center of a controversial encounter among white teenagers, Native American protesters and others was closed Tuesday after officials learned of a planned protest at the school. >> Read more trending news In a statement, officials with the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School said police warned them of the planned protest in the days after video surfaced online that appeared to show teenagers from the school surrounding a Native American man outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. “Due to threats of violence and the possibility of large crowds the Diocese was advised to close Covington Catholic High School, the Diocesan Curia and neighboring Covington Latin School,” officials said in the statement. >> Teen wearing MAGA hat in protest video speaks out A video surfaced online last week of a student, who identified himself in a statement as Covington Catholic High School junior Nick Sandmann, smirking as a Native American elder beat a ceremonial drum near his face. The video sparked outrage nationwide, though longer videos from wider perspectives later revealed that the drummer -- Omaha Nation elder Nathan Phillips -- had intervened between the boys and members of a black religious sect, according to The Associated Press. Phillips appeared to intervene at a time when the teens seemed to be getting rowdier and the black street preacher who had been shouting racist statements against both groups was escalating his rhetoric, the AP reported. >> Trump says Catholic students ‘treated unfairly’ after encounter at National Mall The incident drew the attention of President Donald Trump, who said Monday on Twitter that Sandmann and his classmates “were treated unfairly with early judgement s proving out to be false – smeared by media.” Officials with the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School said a third-party investigation of the incident at the Lincoln Memorial will be launched this week. “This is a very serious matter that has already permanently altered the lives of many people,” officials said. “It is important for us to gather the facts that will allow us to determine what corrective actions, if any, are appropriate. We pray that we may come to the truth and that this unfortunate situation may be resolved peacefully and amicably and ask others to join us in this prayer.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.