On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

clear-night
66°
Sunny
H 79° L 61°
  • clear-night
    66°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 79° L 61°
  • clear-day
    80°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 79° L 61°
  • cloudy-day
    74°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 83° L 65°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

The Latest Business Headlines

    Facing almost-certain impeachment, President Donald Trump and his GOP allies are blasting theHouse inquiry into whether he abused his office as illegal and declaring him completely free of taint on Ukraine and in the Russia investigation. Those claims are untrue. When certain associates and acquaintances of Trump get into hot water, he also suddenly forgets he ever knew them. Various figures from the Ukraine matter as well as a British prince have fallen out of familiarity with the president in this way. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg wasn't truthful about why he recently apologized for supporting the controversial “stop and frisk” policy, falsely claiming no one had ever asked him about it before. A look at recent remarks by political figures, including Trump from the NATO summit in London and back home as House Democrats sped toward impeaching him: STOP AND FRISK BLOOMBERG, asked about the timing of his recent apology for supporting the “stop and frisk” policy: “Well, nobody asked me about it until I started running for president, so, c’mon.” — interview Friday with “CBS This Morning.” THE FACTS: That’s not true. Bloomberg has been repeatedly asked about his position on the policing strategy that he embraced as New York City mayor from 2002 to 2013. He defended it each time — most recently in January. Stop-and-frisk gave police wide authority to detain people they suspected of committing a crime, and Bloomberg aggressively pursued the tactic. Under the program, New York City police officers made it a routine practice to stop and search multitudes of mostly black and Hispanic men to see if they were carrying weapons. “We focused on keeping kids from going through the correctional system,” Bloomberg said while taking questions at the United States Naval Academy’s 2019 Leadership Conference. “The result of that was, over the years, the murder rate in New York City went from 650 a year to 300 a year when I left.” He added that most police departments do the same thing, “they just don't report it or use the terminology.” Bloomberg also defended the policy after a federal judge in 2013 struck down the policy as violating the civil rights of blacks and Latinos who were disproportionately affected. He called it a “dangerous decision made by a judge who I think does not understand how policing works and what is compliant with the U.S. Constitution.” Bloomberg then wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2013 entitled “’Stop and frisk’ keeps New York safe.” He later argued in a 2013 radio interview that NYPD had stopped too many white people. “They just keep saying, 'Oh, it's a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group.' That may be, but it's not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the (crime),” he said. “In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.' Last month, Bloomberg apologized for his longstanding support of “stop and frisk,” telling those in a black church that he was “sorry” and acknowledged it often led to the detention of blacks and Latinos. The Nov. 17 announcement came a week before he announced he was running for president. ___ IMPEACHMENT TRUMP: “No Due Process.” — tweet Sunday. STEPHANIE GRISHAM, White House press secretary: “We're not going to participate in a sham hearing that doesn't give him any rights ... I'll also mention to people that the president was overseas when they invited him to be part of that silly hearing, so that timing was on purpose.” — interview Saturday on “Fox & Friends: Weekend.” TRUMP: “For the hearings, we don’t get a lawyer.” — remarks Tuesday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. THE FACTS: Trump and his spokeswoman are wrong that he was deprived a chance to be heard in the House Judiciary Committee hearings. The committee invited Trump and his lawyers to appear if he wishes, but the White House refused. In a letter last week to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., White House counsel Pat Cipollone declined the invitation for the president’s counsel to appear at the first hearing last Wednesday while Trump was at the NATO summit, insisting that the inquiry violates “basic due process rights.” The committee's invitation was issued before Trump left on that trip, not during, as Grisham asserts. For hearings this week, Trump had until Friday to decide whether he would take advantage of due process protections afforded to him under House rules adopted in October. He was offered an opportunity to ask for witness testimony and to cross-examine the witnesses called by the House. But he decided not to participate in that round, too. If the House impeaches Trump, the Senate trial will look like a normal trial in some respects, with senators as the jury. Arguments would be heard from each side’s legal team for and against Trump’s removal from office. The Intelligence Committee hearings, in contrast, were like the investigative phase of criminal cases, conducted without the participation of the person under investigation. ___ TRUMP: “The word ‘impeachment’ is a dirty word, and it's a word that was only supposed to be used in special occasions: high crimes and misdemeanors. In this case, there was no crime whatsoever. Not even a little tiny crime. There was no crime whatsoever, and they know it. ” — remarks Wednesday with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. THE FACTS: That's a misrepresentation of the conditions for impeaching a president. The constitutional grounds for impeachment do not require any crime to have been committed. In setting the conditions, treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors, the Founding Fathers said that a consequential abuse of office — crime or not — was subject to the impeachment process they laid out. Months after the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton explained in the Federalist Papers that a commonly understood crime need not be the basis of impeachment. Offenses qualifying for that step “are of a nature ... POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself,' he wrote. As they draft articles of impeachment, though, Democrats are alleging crimes involving obstruction of justice as part of their case that Trump abused his office. ___ TRUMP, on his July 25 call with Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy: “All you have to do is listen to the call or read the call. We had it transcribed perfectly. But he was — he said — no pressure, no nothing. There was no nothing.” — remarks Wednesday with Conte. TRUMP: “Breaking News: The President of Ukraine has just again announced that President Trump has done nothing wrong with respect to Ukraine and our interactions or calls ... case over!” — tweet on Dec. 2. THE FACTS: Trump misleads in suggesting that Zelenskiy didn’t have any concerns about the call. Nor was the call “transcribed perfectly;' only a rough transcript was released by the White House. While Zelenskiy initially said there was no discussion of a quid pro quo, he said in an interview Monday with Time that Trump should not have blocked military aid to Ukraine. Zelenskiy also criticized Trump for casting the country as corrupt, saying it sends a concerning message to international allies. On that call discussing military aid, Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate Trump’s political rivals in the U.S. “Look I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo,” Zelenskiy said. “But you have to understand. We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness.' On corruption, Zelenskiy said it unfairly undermines support for the country. “Everyone hears that signal,” he said. “Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have international capital in Ukraine, it’s a signal to them that says, ‘Be careful, don’t invest.’ Or, ‘Get out of there.’” It’s true that in early October, Zelenskiy had told reporters “there was no pressure or blackmail from the U.S.” But he did not state Trump had done “nothing” wrong, even as he let his criticisms simmer before surfacing them. In any event, Zelenskiy knew months before the call that much-needed U.S. military support might depend on whether he was willing to help Trump by investigating Democrats. ___ RONNA MCDANIEL, Republican National Committee chairwoman, on Democrats who said the Russia investigation should be part of the basis for impeaching Trump, not just his actions with Ukraine: 'Are you kidding me? They lied for 2 years about collusion & POTUS was exonerated.' — tweet Thursday, using POTUS as an abbreviation of president of the U.S. THE FACTS: She's wrong to suggest that special counsel Robert Mueller's report cleared the Trump campaign of collusion with Russia. Nor did the report exonerate Trump on the question of whether he obstructed justice. Instead, the report factually laid out instances in which Trump might have obstructed justice, leaving it open for Congress to take up the matter or for prosecutors to do so once Trump leaves office. Mueller's two-year investigation and other scrutiny revealed a multitude of meetings with Russians. Among them: Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on Clinton. On collusion, Mueller said he did not assess whether that occurred because it is not a legal term. He looked into a potential criminal conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign and said the investigation did not collect sufficient evidence to establish criminal charges on that front. Mueller noted some Trump campaign officials had declined to testify under the Fifth Amendment or had provided false or incomplete testimony, making it difficult to get a complete picture of what happened during the 2016 campaign. The special counsel wrote that he 'cannot rule out the possibility' that unavailable information could have cast a different light on the investigation's findings. Mueller also did not reach a conclusion as to whether the president obstructed justice or broke any other law. He said his team declined to make a prosecutorial judgment on whether to charge Trump, partly because of a Justice Department legal opinion that said sitting presidents shouldn't be indicted. ___ PRINCE ANDREW TRUMP: “I don’t know Prince Andrew. ... I don’t know him.' — remarks Tuesday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. THE FACTS: Trump knows the British prince. Andrew hosted a breakfast for him in June, they toured Westminster Abbey together and photos spread over two decades capture some occasions when they've met. The prince stepped back from royal duties after his involvement with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was exposed. Trump also recently declared, repeatedly, that he did not know Gordon Sondland, his ambassador to the EU, “very well” and “I have not spoken to him much.” Sondland provided some of the most damning testimony in the House impeachment inquiry about how he had tried to carry out Trump's wishes to persuade Ukraine to investigate the president's political rivals in the U.S. Sondland testified that he's had many conversations with Trump, who called the ambassador “a really good man and great American” before Sondland's problematic testimony. Several people in prominent positions in the Trump campaign or known as close advisers were similarly marginalized — as mere volunteers, hangers-on or low-level functionaries — when it became troublesome during the Russia investigation to acknowledge their stature. ___ STOCK MARKET TRUMP: “If the stock market goes up or down — I don’t watch the stock market. I watch jobs.' — remarks Tuesday during NATO summit after stocks fell sharply. THE FACTS: This is not true. Trump watches the stock market, as he demonstrated Friday when the market rebounded and he tweeted precise percentages of how much the S&P, Dow and Nasdaq have gone up this year. “Stock Markets Up Record Numbers,” he tweeted. Trump uses the stock market as a leading barometer of his presidency, giving the subject a rest only when the market's performance is down. It's an almost constant companion, through thick but not thin. On a good day, he will tweet about it. Otherwise, his rally speeches and White House remarks are laced with references to the market's growth since he became president. He takes credit for gains and blames losses on other things, like Democrats. Trump tweeted about the stock market more than a dozen times in November as it repeatedly edged into record highs. On one occasion, his boastfulness became too much even for him. He tweeted: “Stock Markets (all three) hit another ALL TIME & HISTORIC HIGH yesterday! You are sooo lucky to have me as your President.' Then he added: '(just kidding!).” ___ MACRON TRUMP, on French President Emmanuel Macron's assertion that NATO is suffering “brain death”: “He’s taken back his comments very much so on NATO.' — remarks Wednesday in London. THE FACTS: No, Macron did not back off what Trump had called a “very, very nasty” statement about NATO. He conspicuously stood by it, before the summit, after it and when face to face with Trump in a tense joint news conference. If anything, Macron appeared to relish the provocation he had brought on. “I do stand by it,” he said Tuesday as Trump looked on. “I assume full responsibility for it,” he said Wednesday. And Macron tweeted: “The comments I made about NATO prompted a debate among members of the alliance. This dialogue is a very good thing.” He likened himself to an ice-breaker smashing through ice. Macron characterized NATO as brain dead last month, citing a lack of U.S. leadership and confusion in the alliance about what its fundamental missions should be. He said the U.S. was turning its back on NATO and — in light of Trump's unexpected announcement in October that he would withdraw troops from Syria — not coordinating with allies on strategic decision-making. On Wednesday, Macron mildly praised the summit as “constructive” while emphasizing that the fundamentals that sparked his complaint had not been resolved. ___ OCEAN DEBRIS TRUMP: 'I also see what’s happening with our oceans, where certain countries are dumping unlimited loads of things in it. They float — they tend to float toward the United States. I see that happening, and nobody has ever seen anything like it, and it’s gotten worse.'' — remarks Tuesday Trudeau. THE FACTS: He's right that garbage from abroad has come to U.S. shores by sea. What he does not say, when making this repeated complaint, is that garbage from the U.S. also makes it over the ocean to other countries and that Americans have plenty to do with trashing their own shores. Debris from Asia was most noticeable after the 2011 Japanese tsunami, said marine debris expert Kara Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association, “but the same can be said about debris entering the ocean from the U.S. and washing ashore in Asia.” In fact, she said, most debris is not tracked to the country of origin. The United States produces the largest amount of plastic waste in the world by weight, Law said. “Most debris we find on the coast of the US is likely from the US,” Denise Hardesty, a scientist who researches ocean trash for Australia’s federal science organization, said by email. Hardesty surveyed the U.S. West Coast from Washington to the California border with Mexico and found the dirtiest place was in Long Beach at the river mouth, where researchers found 4,500 items. Marcus Eriksen, chief science officer and co-founder of the 5 Gyres Institute, which fights plastics pollution, said Asian fishing gear arrives as debris in Alaska and British Columbia because of north Pacific currents, a problem exacerbated by the lack of regulation of such gear. But in pointing the finger at Asia, Trump is ignoring “our own problems with plastic waste here at home.' ___ TRADE TRUMP: “We won, in the World Trade Organization, we won seven and a half billion dollars. We never used to win before me, because, before me, the United States was a sucker for all of these different organizations.” — remarks Tuesday with Stoltenberg. THE FACTS: He is wildly wrong to state that the U.S. never won victories in disputes taken to the trade organization before him. The U.S. has always had a high success rate when it pursues cases against other countries at the WTO. In 2017, trade analyst Daniel Ikenson of the libertarian Cato Institute found that the U.S. won 91% of the cases it took to the Geneva-based trade monitor. As Ikenson noted, countries bringing complaints to the organization tend to win because they don't bother going to the WTO in the first place if they don't have a strong case. As for Trump's claim that the U.S. “won” $7.5 billion from the WTO, that's not quite right. Trump was referring to a WTO decision in October siding with the U.S. on imposing tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European imports annually. The value of the tariffs on those imports is much less than $7.5 billion. The WTO announcement culminated a 15-year fight over EU subsidies for Airbus — a fight that began long before Trump was in office. ___ ISLAMIC STATE TRUMP: “We have a tremendous amount of captured fighters, ISIS fighters over in Syria. And, they're all under lock and key, but many are from France, many are from Germany. Many are from U.K. They are mostly from Europe.” — remarks Tuesday with Macron. MACRON: There are “very large number of fighters ... ISIS fighters coming from Syria, from Iraq and the region.” Those from Europe are 'a tiny minority of the overall problem.' THE FACTS: Trump is incorrect to say the Islamic State fighters who were captured and held by the Kurds in Syria are mostly from Europe. Of the more than 12,000 IS fighters in custody in Kurdish areas, only 2,500 are from outside the region of the conflict, some from Europe, some from other parts of the world. Most of the captured fighters — about 10,000 — are natives of Syria or Iraq. European nations have indeed been reluctant to take detainees who came from Europe, frustrating Trump. But such detainees are far fewer than the majority he frequently claims. ___ BRITAIN'S HEALTH CARE TRUMP, speaking about claims that Britain's state-funded health care system would be part of future U.K.-U.S. trade talks: “I don't even know where that rumor started. We have absolutely nothing to do with it and we wouldn't want to. If you handed it to us on a silver platter, we want nothing to do with it.” — remarks Tuesday with Stoltenberg. THE FACTS: He's referring to his own past statements as a “rumor.” Asked about the National Health Service during a visit to Britain in June, he said “when you're dealing in trade, everything’s on the table. So, NHS or anything else.' The service, which provides free health care to all Britons, could in fact be a bargaining chip in U.S.-U.K. trade talks. U.S. health-services companies can already bid for contracts if they have European subsidiaries. A future government could increase the amount of private-sector involvement or let U.S. companies bid directly. As well, the U.S. could demand during trade talks that Britain pay American pharmaceutical companies more for drugs. Medicines became a big issue in negotiations on a revamped North American free trade deal, as the U.S. pushed successfully for tighter restrictions on the development in Canada and Mexico of generic versions of U.S.-patented drugs. Leaked documents from preliminary talks between U.S. and U.K. negotiators over two years from July 2017 — released by the Labour Party last week — said “patent issues” around “NHS access to generic drugs will be a key consideration” in talks. It’s an overstatement to say the national health service as a whole would be up for sale, as Labour has alleged will happen if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives win the Dec. 12 election and try to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the U.S. Britain would not be “selling off” the health service, as Labour asserts, because taxpayers would still be footing the bill. But it's also improbable to think U.S. negotiators would “want nothing to do' with Britain's health care market, despite Trump’s words. ___ EDITOR'S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures. ___ Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Darlene Superville, Seth Borenstein and Paul Wiseman in Washington, Jill Lawless in London and Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed to this report. ___ Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck
  • Japan's economy expanded at a faster than earlier estimated annual rate of 1.8% in July-September, powered by stronger consumer purchases and corporate investment ahead of an Oct. 1 tax hike. However that tax increase is expected to hurt growth in coming months. The data issued Monday were a revision of the earlier reported 0.2% growth in the last quarter. The quarterly rate of expansion was 0.4%. The world's third largest economy has marked four straight quarters of expansion. The better results reported by the Cabinet Office also reflect a less severe drop in exports than preliminary reports suggested. However economists are forecasting much weaker growth in the October-December quarter. A Bank of Japan measure of consumer demand showed a 7.4% drop in October following the increase in the sales tax to 10% from 8%. That “points to a sharp fall in private consumption in the fourth quarter,” Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a commentary. “We are more pessimistic about the outlook for global GDP growth than most analysts and therefore think that external demand will remain weak,' he said. “The upshot is that we expect GDP growth to shrink by 0.2% next year.
  • In November, newspaper publisher GateHouse completed its acquisition of USA Today owner Gannett, creating the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S. Executives behind the merger, which was funded in part by a high-interest, $1.8 billion loan from a private equity firm, have pledged significant cost cuts, but say they are aiming to shield reporting jobs as much as possible. The combined company, which will use the Gannett name, also has big aspirations for new digital ventures that it likens to a modern and reimagined form of classified advertising. The Associated Press spoke recently with Gannett CEO Mike Reed and the head of its new operating unit, Paul Bascobert. The conversation has been edited for clarity and length. Q: Tell us about new products you might launch. Bascobert: If you go back to think about what a local newspaper was, even 20 years ago, you were provided with news and information. But you also had connections to the local community through classifieds, which connected you with local providers. You could find a dog or cat, personals, a car, etc. We think we can actually go back to that through better digital innovation. Q: You have 140 million online visitors, but that digital business is small for each local paper. Bascobert: We can use 140 million as a national advertising buy. What's more powerful is actually the market share within each of those little communities. The amount of digital activity on our platforms and the engagement, the frequency of people on our digital platforms is actually where the real opportunity is. Q: How is the $300 million cost-cut estimate going to translate to job cuts? Bascobert: There’s a lot of duplication of senior-level folks and duplication of management. There’s duplication of printing delivery. Not just people, but operating costs, systems costs, audit costs, things that we’re buying twice that we only need to buy once. Q: What about the newsroom? Bascobert: Formatting and layout, digital placements, digital research. There's lots of things that can be done in one place, which leaves us more resources to keep our frontline reporting intact. That's the thing that has given us the trust in the brand and these local markets that let us build the digital businesses on the back of it. It's the last place that we want to touch. Q: Would you be able to hire reporters? Bascobert: If that's what we determined to be the right answer, sure. But I don't necessarily think that the answer is adding more bodies. There's a lot more interesting innovation to be done through things like use of large datasets. Q: GateHouse, and now Gannett, is managed by private equity firm Fortress through 2021. There’s a lot of wariness of media companies connected to investment companies. What’s your response? Bascobert: To make the transformation that we need to make, we need to invest in new products, new technology, new approaches. Those investments come from shareholders who do demand the return. You know, for lack of investment from companies, from shareholders, the business doesn't change. It just continues to decline. Reed: I’m a 31-year media guy who cares deeply about the future of journalism. This is not an investment where I'm at the table saying we've got to cut these journalists because we've got to pay fees to somebody else. That's never a discussion that would be had.
  • Women in Saudi Arabia will no longer need to use separate entrances from men or sit behind partitions at restaurants in the latest measure announced by the government that upends a major hallmark of conservative restrictions that had been in place for decades. The decision, which essentially erodes one of the most visible gender segregation restrictions in place, was quietly announced Sunday in a lengthy and technically worded statement by the Municipal and Rural Affairs Ministry. While some restaurants and cafes in the coastal city of Jiddah and Riyadh's upscale hotels had already been allowing unrelated men and women to sit freely, the move codifies what has been a sensitive issue in the past among traditional Saudis who view gender segregation as a religious requirement. Despite that, neighboring Muslim countries do not have similar rules. Restaurants and cafes in Saudi Arabia, including major Western chains like Starbucks, are currently segregated by 'family' sections allocated for women who are out on their own or who are accompanied by male relatives, and “singles” sections for just men. Many also have separate entrances for women and partitions or rooms for families where women are not visible to single men. In smaller restaurants or cafes with no space for segregation, women are not allowed in. Reflecting the sensitive nature of this most recent move, the decision to end requirements of segregation in restaurants was announced in a statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. The statement listed a number of newly-approved technical requirements for buildings, schools, stores and sports centers , among others. The statement noted that the long list of published decisions was aimed at attracting investments and creating greater business opportunities. Among the regulations announced was “removing a requirement by restaurants to have an entrance for single men and (another) for families.” Couched between a new regulation about the length of a building's facade and allowing kitchens on upper floors to operate was another critical announcement stating that restaurants no longer need to “specify private spaces”— an apparent reference to partitions. Across Saudi Arabia, the norm has been that unrelated men and women are not permitted to mix in public. Government-run schools and most public universities remain segregated, as are most Saudi weddings. In recent years, however, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed for sweeping social reforms ,with women and men now able to attend concerts and movie theaters that were once banned. He also curtailed the powers of the country's religious police, who had been enforcers of conservative social norms, like gender segregation in public. Two years ago, women for the first time were allowed to attend sports events in stadiums in the so-called “family” sections. Young girls in recent years have also been allowed access to physical education and sports in school, a right that only boys had been afforded. In August, the kingdom lifted a controversial ban on travel by allowing all citizens — women and men alike — to apply for a passport and travel freely, ending a long-standing guardianship policy that had controlled women’s freedom of movement. The new rules remove restrictions that had been in place, but do not state that restaurants or cafes have to end segregated entrances or seated areas. Many families in conservative swaths of the country, where women cover their hair and face in public, may prefer eating only at restaurants with segregated spaces. ___ Batrawy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • France braced for even worse transportation woes when the new work week begins Monday due to nationwide strikes over the government's redesign of the national retirement system. French President Emmanuel Macron convened top officials to strategize for the high-stakes week ahead. Sunday saw more travel chaos as the strikes entered their fourth day, with most French trains at a standstill. Fourteen of Paris' subway lines were closed, with only two lines — using automated trains with no drivers — functioning. International train routes also suffered disruptions. Monday will be an even bigger test of the strike movement's strength and of commuters' and tourists' patience. Unions are calling for more people to join the strike Monday. Many employees worked from home or took a day off when the strikes began last week, but that's not sustainable if the strikes drag on. Warning of safety risks, the SNCF national train network and the Paris transit authority RATP warned travelers to stay away from train stations Monday instead of packing platforms for the few trains still running. “On Dec. 9, stay home or find another means of locomotion,” SNCF warned travelers. Facing a challenging week ahead, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe met Sunday afternoon and evening with government ministers involved in the pension reform, and later met with Macron. Macron, a centrist former investment banker, argues that the retirement overhaul will make a convoluted, out-dated pension system more fair and financially sustainable, uniting 42 different plans into one. The government says it won't change the official retirement age of 62, but the new plan is expected to include financial conditions to encourage people to work longer as lifespans lengthen. Unions see the reforms as an attack on worker rights and fear that people will have to work longer for smaller pensions. Some French workers can now retire in their 50s. The new retirement plan will affect all French workers but the strikes involve primarily public sector workers, including train drivers, teachers and hospital employees. New nationwide protests are scheduled Tuesday and the prime minister will release details of the new retirement plan on Wednesday. Yellow vest activists joined the protests Saturday, adding retirement reform to their list of economic grievances in protests around the country. Police fired tear gas on rowdy protesters at largely peaceful marches through Paris and the western city of Nantes.
  • For years, Kim Cobb was the Indiana Jones of climate science. The Georgia Tech professor flew to the caves of Borneo to study ancient and current climate conditions. She jetted to a remote South Pacific island to see the effects of warming on coral. Add to that flights to Paris, Rome, Vancouver and elsewhere. All told, in the last three years, she’s flown 29 times to study, meet or talk about global warming. Then Cobb thought about how much her personal actions were contributing to the climate crisis, so she created a spreadsheet. She found that those flights added more than 73,000 pounds of heat-trapping carbon to the air. Now she is about to ground herself, and she is not alone. Some climate scientists and activists are limiting their flying, their consumption of meat and their overall carbon footprints to avoid adding to the global warming they study. Cobb will fly just once next year, to attend a massive international science meeting in Chile. “People want to be part of the solution,” she said. “Especially when they spent their whole lives with their noses stuck up against” data showing the problem. The issue divides climate scientists and activists and plays out on social media. Texas Tech’s Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist who flies once a month, often to talk to climate doubters in the evangelical Christian movement, was blasted on Twitter because she keeps flying. Hayhoe and other still-flying scientists note that aviation is only 3% of global carbon emissions. Jonathan Foley, executive director of the climate solutions think-tank Project Drawdown, limits his airline trips but will not stop flying because, he says, he must meet with donors to keep his organization alive. He calls flight shaming “the climate movement eating its own.” Over the next couple of weeks, climate scientists and environmental advocates will fly across the globe. Some will be jetting to Madrid for United Nations climate negotiations. Others, including Cobb, will fly to San Francisco for a major earth sciences conference, her last for a while. “I feel real torn about that,” said Indiana University’s Shahzeen Attari, who studies human behavior and climate change. She calls Cobb an important climate communicator. “I don’t want to clip her wings.” But Cobb and Hayhoe are judged by their audiences on how much energy they use themselves, Attari said. Attari’s research shows that audiences are turned off by scientists who use lots of energy at home. Listeners are more likely to respond to experts who use less electricity. “It’s like having an overweight doctor giving you dieting advice,” Attari said. She found that scientists who fly to give talks bother people less. In science, flying is “deeply embedded in how we do academic work,” said Steven Allen, a management researcher at the University of Sheffield, who recently organized a symposium aimed at reducing flying in academia. He said the conference went well, with 60 people participating remotely from 12 countries. Pennsylvania State University’s Michael Mann, who flies but less than he used to, said moderation is key. “I don’t tell people they need to become childless, off-the-grid hermits. And I’m not one myself,” Mann said in an email. “I do tell people that individual action is PART of the solution, and that there are many things we can do in our everyday lives that save us money, make us healthier, make us feel better about ourselves AND decrease our environmental footprint. Why wouldn’t we do those things?” Mann said he gets his electricity from renewables, drives a hybrid vehicle, doesn’t eat meat and has one child. When Hayhoe flies, she makes sure to bundle in several lectures and visits into one flight, including 30 talks in Alaska in one five-day trip. She said more people come out to see a lecture than if it were given remotely, and she also learns from talking to the people at lectures. “They need a catalyst to get to the next step and me coming could be that catalyst,” Hayhoe said. Marshall Shepherd of the University of Georgia will receive a climate communications award at the American Geophysical Union conference Wednesday in San Francisco. But he won’t pick it up in person, saving 1.2 tons of carbon by not flying. He said he doesn’t judge those who fly but wrote about his decision to stay grounded in hopes that people “think about choices and all of the nuances involved in these decisions.” Former Vice President Al Gore, who has long been criticized by those who reject climate science for his personal energy use, said he has installed 1,000 solar panels at his farm, eats a vegan diet and drives an electric vehicle. “As important as it to change lightbulbs,” he said in an email, “it is far more important to change the policies and laws in the nation and places where we live.” Teen activist Greta Thunberg drew attention when she took a zero-carbon sailboat across the Atlantic instead of flying. “I’m not telling anyone else what to do or what not to do,” Thunberg told The Associated Press before her return boat trip. “I want to put focus on the fact that you basically can’t live sustainable today. It’s practically impossible.” Cobb is trying. In 2017, she started biking to work instead of driving. She’s installed solar panels, dries clothes on a line, composts and gave up meat. All these made her feel better, physically and mentally, and gave her more hope that people can do enough to curb the worst of climate change. But when she did the math, she found “all of this stuff is very small compared to flying.” Cobb began turning down flights and offering to talk remotely. This year she passed on 11 flights, including Paris, Beijing and Sydney. “There hasn’t been a single step I have taken that has not brought me a deeper appreciation for what we’re up against and what’s possible,” Cobb said. “This gave me a profound appreciation for how individual action connects to collective action.” But there’s a cost. Cobb was invited to be the plenary speaker wrapping up a major ocean sciences conference next year in San Diego. It’s a plum role. Cobb asked organizers if she could do it remotely. They said no. She promised to do many roles for the conference from Atlanta. Conference organizers withdrew the offer. Brooks Hanson, executive vice president of the American Geophysical Union, which runs the conference, said in an email that the group supports remote presentations whenever possible. But the wrap-up speaker position “requires in-person interactions with attendees to get the vibe of the meeting and discussions,” Hanson said. Foley said that shows the problem: “Climate scientists and activists should walk the walk. But we can only walk so far. Then you bump into other things.” ___ Associated Press writer Ben Finley in Hampton, Va., contributed to this report. Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at @borenbears . ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
  • French environmental activists brandished stolen portraits of President Emmanuel Macron at a protest Sunday near the Eiffel Tower to try to push the government to do more to fight climate change. The protest is part of an unusual climate movement that has taken root around France this year, in which activists have stolen more than 130 portraits of Macron from town halls from the Alps to the Atlantic. They feel the centrist, business-friendly Macron isn't doing enough to reduce France's emissions, even though he portrays himself on the global stage as Mr. Climate. The activists brought the portraits to Sunday's protest — carrying them upside down to show what they consider Macron's hypocrisy — to call for bolder government action at the U.N. COP25 climate talks currently underway in Madrid. Pauline Boyer from climate group ANV COP21 said the demonstration is aimed at showing “that Emmanuel Macron uses doublespeak, by presenting himself as a climate champion while he is not enforcing a true policy in France that could tackle the environment challenge.” Activists are notably angry that France has lagged on its international commitments to increase use of solar and wind energy and reduce emissions. France remains well behind its European neighbors in its use of renewable energy. Macron has stood up to U.S. President Donald Trump on the need for countries and corporations to cooperate to cut emissions. However, Macron backed down on a fuel tax last year meant to help wean France off fossil fuels, because the tax triggered the yellow vest protest movement against economic injustice. The activists at Sunday's protest held 100 portraits, to mark 100 days until France's municipal elections to replace mayors in town halls across the country. They want to urge future mayors to take local climate action, and some held a banner reading: 'Local elections — D-day minus 100, let’s reveal Macron’s real face.” Activists are facing trials around France for the thefts, with some acquitted and some hit with fines.
  • When new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy sits down Monday for peace talks in Paris with Russian President Vladimir Putin in their first face-to-face meeting, the stakes couldn't be higher. More than five years of fighting in eastern Ukraine between government troops and Moscow-backed separatists has killed more than 14,000 people, and a cease-fire has remained elusive. While Zelenskiy has made ending the conflict a priority, the political novice arrives at the table with the veteran Kremlin leader in what appears to be a less-advantageous position: — Zelenskiy still hasn't had the White House meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump that he sought to bolster his stature on the world stage. — French President Emmanuel Macron, the host of the meeting, has made clear recently that he wants to re-engage with Russia and get back to doing business again after five years of sanctions imposed on Russia over its actions in Ukraine. — Macron and the other mediator in the talks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will be meeting Zelenskiy for the first time since it emerged that he criticized them in the July 25 phone call that has become the focus of an impeachment investigation against Trump. So there are concerns among those who support Ukraine's sovereignty that Zelenskiy might end up giving too many concessions to Putin. That could lead to a backlash from Ukrainians who strongly oppose any rapprochement with Russia. The talks are being organized in the so-called Normandy Format, which was launched soon after Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and its backing of the separatists in eastern Ukraine. The consultations had stalled since 2016 but have been revived following Zelenskiy's election. “There is a whole cocktail of economics and geopolitics that make the situation for Ukraine very difficult and is posing lot of challenges,' said Bruno Lete, a security expert at the German Marshal Fund of the U.S., a leading think tank. “But it’s critical that Europeans and the U.S. support Ukraine,” Lete argued. 'Without peace and stability in Ukraine, there will never be peace and stability in Europe.” The biggest challenge for Kyiv probably comes from France itself, with Macron speaking recently of the “brain death” of NATO because of a lack of coordination and leadership from Washington and also saying he wants to re-engage with Russia. “It’s like telling Russia, ‘I will work with you and we’ll see about Ukraine,’” Lete said. “He should have waited until after the Normandy meeting. It doesn’t help the cause of European security.” The Normandy Format talks had have also been revived following several confidence-building steps between Moscow and Kyiv, including prisoner swaps and troop withdrawals by both sides. On Sunday, Pope Francis said he was praying for the talks to bring peace 'to that territory and its population.” Taras Kuzio, a security expert and professor at National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, said Zelenskiy has already weakened his own position by agreeing to the talks even though Russia insists Crimea is non-negotiable. Kuzio described the 41-year-old Zelenskiy, until recently a comedic actor, as “extremely naïve about international relations” and said he will find himself in a difficult place — facing a tough opponent in Putin and a population that would reject any capitulation to Moscow. He said Zelenskiy doesn’t grasp that the Russian leader will never compromise over the conflict in eastern Ukraine because “for Putin, compromise is a defeat.” And Macron’s pursuit of a reset with Moscow doesn't help Ukraine either. “The danger is that Zelenskiy will be ambushed by Macron working in effect for Putin because his new agenda is to repair relations with Russia, to get back to a normal relationship, get back to doing business,” Kuzio said. Despite the challenges, Ukraine still has the support from the European Union, its biggest foreign donor, while Merkel has strongly supported sanctions on Russia. But Germany's longer-term economic interests are a continual challenge for Ukraine. Berlin is seen as having harmed Ukraine's interests by moving forward with the completion of a Russian-German gas pipeline called Nord Stream 2 that will bring Russian natural gas to Western Europe. Its route bypasses Ukraine, cutting off its leverage as a transit country and an income source. Germany's relationship with Moscow has been complicated by last week's expulsion of two Russian diplomats over the brazen killing of a Georgian national in Berlin in August, with prosecutors suggesting the slaying was either ordered by Russia or authorities in the republic of Chechnya. Zelenskiy also isn't helped by the revelations in the July 25 phone call with Trump. A rough transcript of the call revealed him accusing Merkel and Macron of giving too little help to Ukraine. At one point, Zelenskiy tells Trump: “When I was speaking to Angela Merkel, she talks Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything.” At the time of the call, the White House was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to Kyiv, adding to Ukraine's fears that the U.S. was turning its back on the vulnerable nation. Ukrainian suspicions that the West cares more about doing business with Russia than Ukraine's sovereignty go back to when the former Soviet republic declared its independence in 1991. A diplomatic cable written in 2009 by then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor described frustration by Kyiv's political elite. The Ukrainians believed Berlin was an 'obstacle in their drive towards EU and NATO membership,” Taylor wrote in the cable, which has been published by Wikileaks. Taylor, now the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who testified in the impeachment hearings in Congress, cited a colorful formulation by Ukraine’s former National Security and Defense Council Chairman Volodymyr Horbulin which underscored that. Taylor wrote that Horbulin joked that there are two Russian embassies in Kyiv, but “one speaks German.' Vadim Karasev, head of the Institute of Global Strategies, an independent Kyiv-based think tank, said the Europeans 'have grown tired of Kyiv’s endless problems and are increasingly looking at Moscow, which has all the instruments to leverage the situation.” “They increasingly remind Kyiv about delayed reforms and corruption instead of talking about solidarity and a common European home,” Karasev said. European powers, he said, 'can’t endlessly deal with Kyiv’s problems when they have their own issues to solve.” ___ Associated Press writer Yuras Karmanau in Kyiv contributed to this report.
  • The leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party says she would have liked a clear signal from its junior governing partner that it intends to stay in Merkel's coalition, and is deeply skeptical about its calls for new concessions. The Social Democrats, the junior partner in Merkel's fractious government, have elected a left-leaning new leadership duo, Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans. A party convention on Friday gave them a mandate to hold talks with Merkel's center-right Union bloc aimed at raising the national minimum wage, increasing public investment and raising the price of carbon dioxide in a recently agreed climate package. The Social Democrat convention rejected a call from left-wingers to leave the government immediately, but left open when a decision would be made on whether the party stays or goes. Merkel's bloc has made clear that it has no intention of radically renegotiating the accord underpinning the “grand coalition” of what were traditionally Germany's biggest parties. “I would have liked a really clear signal from the Social Democrats' convention on the continuation of the ‘grand coalition,'” Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the leader of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, told Sunday's edition of the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Asked what her party's red lines are, she replied that she doesn't believe in “so-called ‘red lines,’ but I won't accept conditions along the lines of ‘if this doesn’t happen, then we're going.'” “Governing a bit is just as impossible as being a bit pregnant,” she said. Kramp-Karrenbauer said that “we can't start from scratch again” on the climate package, details of which are already due to be haggled over after parliament's upper house, which represents state governments, halted parts of it. As for the call for a massive increase in public investment, she argued that there is no shortage of money and that, as long as already-agreed funding hasn't been used, it makes no sense to run up billions of euros in new debt. In separate comments to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper, Kramp-Karrenbauer criticized the Social Democrat leadership's call for raising the minimum wage, which currently stands at 9.19 euros per hour and is due to rise to 9.35 euros in January, to 12 euros ($13.25). The minimum wage was introduced in 2015 at the Social Democrats' insistence and its level is reviewed regularly by an independent commission. Kramp-Karrenbauer was quoted as saying that its level should “not be set politically.” The Social Democrats only reluctantly agreed to join Merkel's fourth-term government last year and are stuck in a long-term poll slump. The parliamentary term is due to end in the fall of 2021 and Merkel has said she won't seek another term.
  • Brazil can’t stop deforestation in the Amazon without the help of rich countries, the country’s environment minister said at the United Nations' two-week climate change conference. Ricardo Salles, who declined to set a target for limiting deforestation in the coming year, said in an interview Saturday with The Associated Press that his country is committed to reducing illegal activity, but needs the support of developed nations. 'We are willing to do whatever is necessary to do so, but we need that back up,” Salles said. “That back up was promised many years ago and we're still expecting the rich countries to participate in a proper way. Proportional funds are really are what are going to be needed for that task.” While participating in the climate conference known as COP25, Salles is working to assure others of the environmental policies of Brazil's far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro has squabbled with some European leaders this year over his commitment to protecting the Amazon. He has worried environmental activists and others by criticizing Brazil's environment regulator and by calling for more development in the Amazon region. He also accused activists groups, without evidence, of having set fires in that region to undermine his administration. Deforestation in the 12 months through July reached the highest annual rate in 11 years. Brazil’s annual deforestation report released in November showed a nearly 30% jump from the prior year in the Amazon, which lost 3,769 square miles (9,760 square kilometers) of forest. Salles said developed nations should help Brazil on the basis of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement signed in 2015 on tackling the effects of climate change. The article says monetary compensation mechanisms must be created to help developing countries. Brazil already receives money from wealthy nations, namely Germany and Norway, to fight deforestation in the vast Amazon rainforest. Norway alone has donated $1.2 billion to Brazil’s Amazon Fund since its creation in 2008. However, both European nations have suspended contributions, citing the continued deforestation and questioning whether the government wants to stop it. The Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported this past week that the fund's disbursements this year were the smallest since 2013 and said zero projects were approved despite the fact the fund has 2.2 billion reais ($530 million) available. Salles in the past has questioned the fund’s effectiveness. He said in the interview that Brazil is negotiating with the two European countries to restart the program. He said they exchanged draft documents, and he expects them to meet next week to discuss new terms of the fund. Brazil now has “an appropriate approach on the problem of deforestation,'' Salles said. He said the government is putting a new emphasis on balancing protection with efforts to develop biological resources that can provide livings for people in the Amazon region. “If we don't solve the economic development for more than 20 million Brazilians who live there and people who need to have this sustainable, from both a financial and environmental perspective, they will be easily co-opted by illegal activities,” Salles said. “It is a huge effort to attract the private sector to participate.” ___ Marcelo De Sousa reported from Rio de Janeiro.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Police in Titusville, Florida, said a man was arrested after a 9-year-old girl was accidentally shot Saturday afternoon. >> Read more trending news  Police said Titusville resident Dustin Adkins, 34, was arrested and is now facing charges including aggravated child neglect with great bodily harm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Adkins is on probation for manslaughter involving the shooting death of a child, police said. The shooting occurred as four young juveniles were with an adult relative target shooting in the woods near State Road 407 and I-95, authorities said. Police said that at some point, the adult left the children unsupervised, and the 9-year-old girl was shot by a sibling accidentally while the sibling was shooting at a target. 'It is outrageous that this adult provided firearms and ammunition to these young children,' said Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson. 'Especially given his past arrest and conviction.' Police said the family transported the child to the hospital. The child was critically injured and is in stable condition, officers said. After a lengthy search, officers found several firearms on a trail hidden under a disposed tire in the wooded area, officials said. No other details were made available.
  • An Arkansas officer was killed in a shooting outside the Fayetteville Police Department on Saturday night, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  Update, 11:22 a.m. EST Dec. 8: Fayetteville police Chief Mike Reynolds identified the officer who was shot and killed outside the Fayetteville Police Department on Saturday night and also identified the shooter, KFSM reported. Reynolds said Officer Stephen Carr was alone in the parking lot waiting for his partner when the suspect, London T. Phillips, 35, approached and fatally shot him, the television station reported. Original story: According to a Fayetteville police news release, the shooting occurred just after 9:40 p.m. in the parking lot behind the police station. Officers in the building heard gunfire and rushed outside to find their colleague down and the suspected shooter fleeing, the release said. Police then chased the suspect, who exchanged fire with officers in a nearby alley, KTHV reported. The suspect was shot, authorities said. The officer and suspect both died from their injuries, according to the news release. Officials have not released the name of the slain officer or suspected shooter. No further information was immediately available. Read more here or here.
  • A suspect died Friday morning after opening fire at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing at least three people and injuring seven others. >> Read more trending news  Authorities said the shooting was reported just before 7 a.m. local time in a classroom building at NAS Pensacola. Responding deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office exchanged gunfire with the suspected shooter, killing him, officials said. Here are the latest updates: Update 3:42 p.m. EST Dec. 8: Officials are still trying to determine whether Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani acted alone or was part of a terrorist group Friday when he opened fire at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola, The Washington Post reported. Rachel Rojas, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville division, said at a news conference that the agency’s main goal is to determine whether the Saudi air force lieutenant worked as “part of a larger network,” the newspaper reported. Rojas said Shamrani’s weapon, a 9mm Glock, was purchased legally, but she did not describe how Shamrani obtained it and brought it onto the base, according to the Post. Update 10:38 p.m. EST Dec. 7: The third victim of the Naval Air Station Pensacola shooting was identified as Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill Georgia. “The Sailors that lost their lives in the line of duty and showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil,” Capt. Tim Kinsella, commanding officer at the installation, said in a release. 'When confronted, they didn’t run from danger; they ran towards it and saved lives. If not for their actions, and the actions of the Naval Security Force that were the first responders on the scene, this incident could have been far worse.” Update 9:58 p.m. EST Dec. 7: Two of the three victims in the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola were identified. Mohammed “Mo” Haitham, of St. Petersburg, Florida, was killed as he tried to stop the shooter, The Tampa Bay Times reported. Haitham, 19, joined the Navy after graduating high school last year. He was assigned to flight crew training and was expected to graduate later this month. “He said he was going to get his flight jacket for Christmas,” his mother, Evelyn Brady, who also served in the Navy, told the Times. Update 3:08 p.m. EST Dec. 7: Authorities said Mohammed Saeed Ashamrani, the Saudi student who fatally shot three people at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola hosted a dinner party earlier in the week, and he and three other people watched videos of mass shootings, The Associated Press reported Saturday. The official was briefed by federal investigators, according to the AP. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, whose district includes the Pensacola area, tweeted he received condolences from Saudi Ambassador Reema Al-Saud, WEAR-TV reported. Update 11:05 a.m. EST Dec. 7: Family members identified one of the victims fatally shot at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Pensacola News Journal reported Saturday. Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who reported to Pensacola two weeks ago, was one of the three people killed during Friday’s shooting, the newspaper reported. Watson’s brother, Adam Johnson, confirmed the death in a Facebook post, the News Journal reported “Joshua Kaleb Watson saved countless lives today with his own,” Adam Johnson wrote Friday night. ”After being shot multiple times he made it outside and told the first response team where the shooter was and those details were invaluable. 'He died a hero and we are beyond proud but there is a hole in our hearts that can never be filled.” Watson’s father, Benjamin Watson, told the News Journal his son was the officer on deck at the time of the shooting. Joshua Watson was shot at least five times, his father told the newspaper. Update 11:05 a.m. EST Dec. 7: Family members identified one of the victims fatally shot at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Pensacola News Journal reported Saturday. Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who reported to Pensacola two weeks ago, was one of the three people killed during Friday’s shooting, the newspaper reported. Watson’s brother, Adam Johnson, confirmed the death in a Facebook post, the News Journal reported. Update 9:30 p.m. EST Dec. 6: The shooter has been identified as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani according to WKRG. He is one of hundreds of international military members who are receiving training there. In a news conference Friday night, the FBI declined to comment on his possible motivations. “There are many reports circulating, but the FBI deals only in facts,” said Rachel L. Rojas, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the Jacksonville Field Office. “This is still very much an active and ongoing investigation.” Update 2:25 p.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities declined to confirm the identity of the person who shot several people Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three people before being shot and killed by deputies. “I think there’s obviously going to be a lot of questions about this indivdual being a foreign national, being a part of the Saudi Air Force and then to be here training on our soil and to do this,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday morning at a news conference. “The FBI is working with (the Department of Defense), they’re working with (the Florida Department of Law Enforcement), they’re working with Escambia County sheriff’s to answer those questions.” DeSantis said he spoke earlier Friday with President Donald Trump. “One of the things that I talked to the president about is given that this was a foreign national in the employ of a foreign service ... obviously the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for the victims,' DeSantis said. 'I think that they, they are going to owe a debt here, given that this was one of their individuals.” Authorities confirmed at a news conference that the suspect used a handgun in Friday’s shooting. Capt. Tim Kinsella, commanding officer of NAS Pensacola, said the suspect was at NAS Pensacola for aviation training. Earlier in the day, deputies said the suspect opened fire just before 7 a.m. local time in a classroom building at NAS Pensacola. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 1:45 p.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities in Pensacola are expected to provide an update Friday afternoon on the investigation into the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola that left four people dead. Update 1:20 p.m. EST Dec. 6: President Donald Trump said Friday afternoon that he’s spoken to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and received a full briefing on the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time,” Trump said. “We are continuing to monitor the situation as the investigation is ongoing.” Update 12:50 p.m. EST Dec. 6: An official told The Associated Press that the person who opened fire Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three people and wounding several others before being shot and killed by authorities, was an aviation student from Saudi Arabia. Authorities are investigating to determine whether the shooting was terrorism-related, according to the AP. Military from around the globe attend the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Authorities are expected to hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. local time Friday to update the public on the investigation. Update 11:50 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities expect to hold a news conference at 12 p.m. local time Friday to provide more updates on the shooting that left four people dead at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Update 11:05 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities said a total of 11 people were injured or killed in Friday morning’s shooting, including the suspected shooter. The injured included two responding deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff David Morgan said Friday at a news conference. One deputy was shot in the arm and the other was shot in the knee, Morgan said. They were both expected to survive. Morgan described walking through the scene left by Friday’s attack as being similar to “being in a movie.” “You just don’t expect this to happen here at home,” he said. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 10:45 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials are holding a news conference to update the public on Friday morning’s deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Update 10:25 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Vice President Mike Pence said he’s monitoring the situation in Florida after a shooting left two victims and a suspect dead at Naval Air Station Pensacola. “Praying for the victims & their families,” Pence wrote Friday morning in a Twitter post. “We commend the first responders for their swift action in taking down the shooter & getting those on base to safety.”  Update 10:20 a.m. EST Dec. 6: White House officials said President Donald Trump has been briefed on the deadly shooting reported Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Update 10:15 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials with Naval Air Station Pensacola said the base will closed for the day Friday after a shooting left three people dead earlier in the day. Authorities said at least three people, including the suspected shooter, were killed in the incident. Reports indicated at least eight other people were wounded in the shooting. The incident happened two days after authorities said a U.S. sailor shot and killed two civilian employees before turning the gun on himself at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. One other person was injured in that shooting. Naval Air Station Pensacola employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel, according to officials. Update 10:10 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said his office has been in “close contact with all the relevant officials & closely monitoring events” after a shooter opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday morning, killing two people. Authorities said the shooter also died. “Please pray for everyone impacted by this horrible situation,” Rubio said in a Twitter post. Update 10 a.m. EST Dec. 6: A spokesman at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital told CNN that hospital officials expected to get three patients who had been injured in Friday morning’s shooting, down from the six expected earlier in the day. Hospital spokesman Mike Burke told the news network most victims were taken to Baptist Hospital because of its proximity to the base. Kathy Bowers, a spokeswoman for Baptist Hospital, earlier told the Pensacola News Journal that the hospital had received five patients wounded in Friday’s shooting. Update 9:45 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials with the U.S. Navy have confirmed that a second person has died after a shooter opened fire Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Update 9:35 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials told the Pensacola News Journal two people were confirmed dead after Friday morning’s shooting, in addition to the shooter. Naval officials previously said at least one person had been killed. Update 9:20 a.m. EST Dec. 6: At least 11 people were hospitalized in the immediate aftermath of Friday’s deadly shooting, according to The Associated Press. Ascension Sacred Heart spokesman Mike Burke told the AP six people were taken to the hospital after a shooter opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola early Friday. The Pensacola News Journal previously reported five other people were taken to Baptist Hospital with injuries. Naval officials said at least one victim was killed in Friday’s shooting. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 9:10 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials with the U.S. Navy said at least one person died Friday morning in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. Authorities said the suspected shooter was also dead Friday morning. Update 9 a.m. EST Dec. 6: An official with Baptist Hospital told the Pensacola News Journal five patients were taken to the hospital after Friday morning’s reported shooting. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 8:55 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said a suspected shooter was dead Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Original report: Authorities are responding Friday morning to reports of shots fired at Naval Air Station Pensacola, according to base officials. Authorities at NAS Pensacola said both gates to the base were closed Friday morning as authorities investigated. Officials with the U.S. Navy said the base was on lockdown around 7:45 a.m. local time. A spokeswoman for ECSO told the Pensacola News Journal deputies were working to “take down” what was described as an active shooter around 7:30 a.m. local time. Officials with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office told WEAR-TV injuries were reported. Details on the number of people wounded and the extent of their injuries was not immediately available. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy has now been given the go ahead by a judge with his lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company. According to AV Club, the complaint stems from when his show was produced by Buena Vista Television. The agreement reportedly entitled Nye to 16.5% of the net profits from sales and distribution of the show. Back in April 2008, he received a payment of $585,123, but then it was retracted by Disney three months later, with them claiming it was an accounting error, and they asked for a payment back of $496,111 and that he would not get any more money until he paid that back.  In the complaint, Nye says he hired an auditor to review Buena Vista's records, which he claims Disney dodged until May of 2016, which showed that he was owed more than $9 million in under-reported royalty payments.  After making certain changes to his complaint, the judge ruled that he may proceed with his $28 million lawsuit, which not only covers what he is owed, but also includes legal fees and damages. In a statement from Nye's legal team, they told Fox Business that 'it is our hope that this case, which Disney has fought so hard to stall, will finally shine some light upon the improper accounting practices that Disney utilizes to unjustly deprive profit participants, like our clients, of their fair share of revenues from the programming that they work so hard to create.'  While Disney has sold a select amount of episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy to Netflix( which has since been removed in May of this year), the show cannot be found on Disney+.
  • Despite it being a week since a 73 year old Sanford man has been missing, his family and members of the community are not giving up. Police in Sanford say Robert Ford left his home on November 29th on the 300 block of Fern Drive and has not been back since. They say Ford is a Navy veteran who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and is on medication for depression.  While police continue their search, his daughter has put up flyers around the community and has even set up a Facebook page so that volunteers can help look for him.  Ford is 5 feet, 7 inches weighing 160 pounds and was last seen wearing a dark colored shirt and a jacket. Police say he may act confused and might not know his own name. Anyone who knows where he is is asked to contact the Sanford Police Department at 407-688-5070.

Washington Insider

  • Even as Democrats press ahead with a historic effort to impeach President Donald Trump in the House, lawmakers in both parties are on the cusp of possibly producing series of major, bipartisan legislative deals, covering everything from a crackdown on surprise medical bills to a compromise establishing the President's plan for a 'Space Force' at the Pentagon in exchange for a big benefits change for federal workers. The calendar doesn't offer much time for action in either the House or Senate, as lawmakers hope to leave town by the weekend before Christmas - which would give the House and Senate until around December 20-23. Here are some of the big issues which might get resolved in Congress at the same time as Democrats force a vote on impeachment. 1. Lawmakers cut deal on surprise medical bills. Sunday brought news that a group of key lawmakers - in both parties from the House and Senate - had reached agreement on a plan to rein surprise bills which consumers often face, especially after emergency care. Backers stressed the bipartisan nature of the agreement. 'The legislation includes proposals from 80 Senators, 46 Democrats and 34 Republicans,' said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in a Sunday statement. That does not necessarily mean this deal gets voted on in the next two weeks. 2. New minimum age to buy tobacco products. The deal on the issue of surprise medical bills also has some other items involved in it, including a provision which would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 years. The idea of raising the legal age for buying cigarettes and tobacco has been supported in recent months by the Senate's top Republican - Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - but it's not clear if McConnell would rush such a bill to the Senate floor over the next two weeks. 3. 'Space Force' might be ready for launch. Lawmakers in both parties were trying to finalize a major defense policy bill early this week, and the details are expected to finally give President Trump his plan to set up a 'Space Force' inside the Pentagon. The plan - which has been resisted by lawmakers in both parties - would not set up a brand new branch of the military, as sought by President Trump. Instead, the Space Force would operate out of the Air Force, sort of like the Marines are considered part of the Navy. Critics argued a plan to set up a separate new branch of the military would have been too expensive, and would create an unnecessary new bureaucracy. 4. Paid family leave benefit for federal workers? The President won't get his Space Force for nothing in this major defense policy bill, as reportedly the deal with the White House will give around 2.7 million federal workers a new benefit - paid family leave. The plan would reportedly include up to 12 weeks of such leave for federal civilian workers. While no final bill language has been released, a tweet from over the weekend by President Trump's daughter shows this exchange could well be part of the defense bill. Stay tuned. 5. USMCA trade deal still a late year possibility. With a flurry of late negotiations involving U.S., Mexican, and Canadian trade officials, it's still possible that the final touches could be put on a new trade deal among the three nations, and have it voted on by the House and Senate. The White House has been quietly working with Mexico and Canada in recent weeks to work out tweaks to the agreement, mainly dealing with labor and environmental enforcement, trade dispute resolution, and issues dealing with some medical drugs. While the President and his allies keep saying the plan has been sent to Congress already for a vote - that is simply not true. 6. Government funding plan remains in limbo. While there were seemingly agreement on surprise medical billing, the Space Force, and more, lawmakers still have not finalized a giant package of bills to fund the operations of the federal government for 2020. The current temporary funding bill runs out on December 20. While there is obviously the threat of a government shutdown, lawmakers in both parties hope they can either reach a deal now - or extend that temporary spending plan into the New Year. So, this could also be part of a late rush of big legislation.