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The Latest Political Headlines

    Jane Fonda is joining a group of Hollywood power players to host a fundraiser for Democratic presidential contender Steve Bullock. It's a show of support that could lend credibility among donors to the little-known Montana governor's bid for the White House. The Academy Award-winning actress is among a handful of Los Angeles agents, producers and lawyers hosting the Thursday event. An invitation obtained by The Associated Press indicates it will be held at the home of model and professional golfer Anna Chervin and her talent-agent husband, Ted. Bullock may seem like an unusual benefactor of campaign cash from members of the Hollywood elite. But the executive from a rural state won by President Donald Trump also enacted some progressive priorities, like expanding Medicaid.
  • South Carolina's Democratic leader says he granted MSNBC exclusive live rights to this weekend's party convention because the network agreed to show 21 presidential contenders speak and it offered a strong chance to reach black voters. The coverage arrangement for the event, a stop in a key early primary state and a chance for candidates to make their case before next week's opening debate, angered other media outlets. C-SPAN says it shuts them out of a previously open political event it has covered live for many years. Journalist Roland Martin, former host at TV One, said the 'terrible' decision hurts black-owned media outlets. Fox News Channel lodged a complaint. 'These are the events that should be open to all media,' said Steve Scully, political editor at C-SPAN, which just spent $13,351 to give out tote bags to attendees of Saturday's session. State Party Chairman Trav Robertson said Wednesday that MSNBC did not pay for the exclusive arrangement. 'This is a fair and equitable way to get time for every candidate running for office,' he said. Two of MSNBC's African American anchors, Joy Reid and the Rev. Al Sharpton, will be live all day from the event, interviewing each candidate after he or she addresses the convention. The network was chosen in part, Robertson said, because of Reid and Sharpton's appeal to black voters, who make up the majority of the Democratic primary electorate in South Carolina. MSNBC's audience is 21% African American during the week, but jumps to 30% on the weekend, when Reid and Sharpton have regular shows. The network has received some criticism for a lack of diversity with its all-white weeknight lineup of hosts from 4 p.m. to midnight. Other outlets may tape Saturday's proceedings, which run all day in the capital city of Columbia, but may not broadcast anything until three hours after its afternoon conclusion. Scully said he doesn't blame MSNBC for making the deal; journalists always seek exclusivity. But it has made him check with Democratic officials in states like Iowa and New Hampshire to make sure other events won't face similar restrictions. Robertson said more than 100 members of the media had been given permission to cover the event, albeit with restrictions, and that no credential request had been denied. 'We understand that any time we try to do something new or different, we're going to take criticism,' he said. The deal further solidifies MSNBC, which is simulcasting next week's debate with NBC News, as a friendly forum for Democrats. While it will show live speeches from 21 Democratic candidates this weekend, the network aired none of Republican President Donald Trump's campaign kickoff in Florida on Tuesday night. ____ Bauder reported this story from New York.
  • A majority of Americans are concerned that a foreign government might interfere in some way in the 2020 presidential election, whether by tampering with election results, stealing information or by influencing candidates or voter opinion, a new poll shows. The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds Democrats far more likely to express the highest level of concern, but Democrats and Republicans alike have at least some concerns about interference. Overall, half of Americans say they're extremely or very concerned about foreign interference in the form of altered election results or voting systems, even though hackers bent on causing widespread havoc at polling places face challenges in doing so. An additional quarter is somewhat concerned. Similarly, about half are very concerned by the prospect of foreign governments influencing political candidates or affecting voters' perceptions of the candidates, along with hacking candidate computer systems to steal information. In total, the poll, conducted Thursday through Monday, shows 63% of Americans have major concerns about at least one of those types of foreign election interference, including 80% of Democrats and 46% of Republicans. The results make clear that despite the efforts of U.S. officials to ward off election interference and to urge public awareness and calm, Americans remain anxious that some of the same tactics Russia used to meddle in the 2016 presidential election could surface again in the next race. Those include the spread of disinformation online to sow divisions among American voters, and the hacking by military intelligence officers of Democratic emails that were then published by WikiLeaks in the run-up to the election. The efforts were aimed at helping Republican Donald Trump over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, according to special counsel Robert Mueller's report. 'I think that it's been pretty well-documented that people have been influenced in the past by social media,' said Luci Dvorak, 32, an Illinois teacher. She said she found it concerning that Trump has been 'very casual' about getting foreign help and even seemed to invite it. Trump said in a television interview last week that he would be open to receiving a foreign government's help in the next election. He slightly walked back those comments in a follow-up interview, saying that though he would want to look at foreign dirt on an opponent to assess if it was correct, he would 'of course' also report it to the FBI or the attorney general. U.S. officials are on high alert to protect against interference like what occurred in 2016. FBI Director Chris Wray has said the bureau regards last November's midterm elections as a 'dress rehearsal for the big show in 2020.' He has said efforts to undermine democracy and influence public opinion through social media, propaganda and false personas have continued unabated and are 'not just an election-cycle threat.' 'We saw that, therefore, continue full speed in 2018, in the midterms,' Wray said in April at a Council on Foreign Relations event. 'What we did not see in 2018 was any material impact or interference with election infrastructure or, you know, campaign infrastructure.' The decentralized nature of the country's elections, which are run on a local level and rely on different and varied voting systems, would make it hard for hackers to cause widespread problems. But concerns remain: Russian hackers gained access to voter databases in two Florida counties ahead of the 2016 election. Federal officials are also conducting a forensic analysis of electronic poll books to see if Russian military hackers who targeted a software provider may have tampered with registration information to disrupt voting in a North Carolina county. The poll was conducted roughly two months after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on his investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. That report did not establish a criminal conspiracy between Trump associates and the Kremlin to sway the outcome of the election. It did not reach a conclusion on whether the president had criminally obstructed justice, citing a Justice Department legal opinion that says sitting presidents cannot be indicted. Trump has repeatedly said the report found 'no collusion' and claimed vindication in Attorney General William Barr's announcement that he found Mueller's evidence insufficient to establish an obstruction charge. The poll shows about half of Americans think the Mueller report did not completely clear Trump of obstruction, while many also think it didn't clear him of coordinating with Russia. Overall, 48% said they think the report didn't clear Trump of obstruction, while just 20% think it did. Another 30% say they don't know enough to say. Many Americans — 44% — also think the report did not clear Trump of coordination with Russia, while 24% think it did and 31% aren't sure. 'It's the twisting of the opposition party that's given him all this static, where he's not able to move or do what he'd like to do,' said 88-year-old Dennis Halaszynski, who is retired and lives in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. 'They said at the beginning that he's going to go to jail, and they're doing their best to put him in jail,' he added. 'He's just not having the time, the proper time, to do what he'd like to do.' ___ The AP-NORC poll of 1,116 adults was conducted June 13-17 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points. Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone. ___ Online: AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org/
  • President Donald Trump's Iran policy is ultimately aimed at bringing Tehran to the negotiating table, the U.S. special envoy for Iran testified Wednesday as lawmakers demanded clarity about the administration's strategy in the Middle East. Both Trump and Iran said they are not seeking war, but many lawmakers fear that as the U.S. builds up its forces in the region, it increases the chances of the two sides being accidentally drawn into a conflict. 'No one should be uncertain about our desire for peace or our readiness to normalize relations should we reach a comprehensive deal,' Brian Hook told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. 'We have put the possibility of a much brighter future on the table for the Iranian people.' Hook added, 'our pressure campaign is working.' The Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal negotiated with Iran under President Barack Obama and began imposing layers of punishing sanctions on Tehran that have strangled its economy. The U.S. blames Iran for a number of attacks against U.S. or Western interests in the Middle East over the past few months, including on tankers near the Persian Gulf and a rocket attack near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Iran denies responsibility for the attacks. Lawmakers, Democrats in particular, question whether the administration's so-called maximum pressure campaign is really a recipe for war. 'Rather than force Iran back to the negotiating table, the administration's policy is increasing the chances of miscalculation, which then would bring the United States and Iran closer to a military conflict,' said Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, who chairs the House panel. Hook told lawmakers that Iran has chosen to use military force despite Trump's Iran policy largely relying on diplomatic and economic tools like sanctions. 'Our policy is at its core an economic and diplomatic one. Recently, however, Iran has responded to it with violence. Iran should meet diplomacy with diplomacy, not with terror, bloodshed and extortion' he said. On Monday, Iran said it could soon start enriching uranium to just a step away from weapons-grade levels, breaching a cap that was set under the nuclear deal abandoned by the United States. The announcement followed warnings from President Hassan Rouhani that a new deal needs to be in place by July 7 or the Islamic Republic would increase its enrichment of uranium.
  • A modified version of President Donald Trump's $4 billion-plus request to care for tens of thousands of migrant refuges massing at the southern border swept through a key Senate panel on Wednesday after senior lawmakers removed 'poison pills' that Democrats objected to. The Appropriations Committee approved the bill by a 30-1 vote on its way to a floor vote next week. The Democratic-controlled House has yet to unveil its version of the bill as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has struggled to win support from the chamber's potent Hispanic Caucus. The bipartisan vote likely means that the Senate will take the lead in writing the legislation, which needs to pass into law before the House and Senate leave for vacation next week. A spokesman for House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said the panel has drafted its version of the measure and expects a bipartisan vote early next week. The $4.6 billion legislation contains $2.9 billion to care for unaccompanied migrant children — more than 50,000 children have been referred to government care since October — and $1.3 billion to care for adult migrants. There's also money to hire new judges to decide asylum claims. All told, about 675,000 undocumented immigrants have crossed the border over that time. The bipartisan session came after weeks of acrimony and just in time to avert a humanitarian disaster as money is about to run out. To win Democratic support, panel chair Richard Shelby, R-Ala., agreed to drop Trump's request for Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds and agreed to a Democratic provision to block any of the money in the legislation from being diverted to building a border wall. 'Let's stay with the humanitarian aid,' Shelby said, describing his pitch to fellow lawmakers. 'Let's keep the poison pills out.' The White House and Capitol Hill Republicans had sought to attach the emergency border funding to a popular disaster aid bill that passed Congress last month, but objections by House liberals and the Hispanic Caucus scotched the idea. But pressure has steadily built this month amid warnings that money to care for the surge of migrants is about to run out and that the situation would turn from a crisis into a catastrophe. 'Our facilities are bursting at the seams,' said Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va. Top panel Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont and others described terrible, overcrowded conditions in federal holding facilities. 'Children in our care are being forced to sleep under bridges, and families are being placed in outdoor pens without shelter,' Leahy said. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., cast the sole 'nay' vote, outlining a variety of concerns with the government's handling of the migrant crisis, including abuses by for-profit detention facilities. 'America is better than this,' Merkley said. 'The way we are treating migrant children, the way we are treating migrant families awaiting adjudication.' But both Democrats and Republicans praised the legislation, which contains $30 million to reimburse local governments and nonprofits who assist refugees.
  • President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next U.S. envoy to the United Nations on Wednesday defended her record on climate change, saying it is a 'real risk to our planet' that must be addressed. Kelly Knight Craft told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that she believes human behavior has contributed to climate change and she'll push countries deal with it. However, she also said the United States should not have to bear an 'outsized burden' in mitigating its effects that harm American economic growth. 'I acknowledge there is a vast amount of science regarding climate change and the tools and the role that humans have played in climate change,' she said. 'If confirmed, I will be an advocate for addressing climate change.' Her comments came in response to questions from Democrats on the panel prompted by previous remarks she made doubting the causes and severity of climate change and suggesting that climate change skeptics have valid arguments. Democrats were also concerned about possible conflicts of interest as she holds extensive investments in fossil fuels. 'Climate change needs to be addressed as it poses real risk to our planet,' she said. 'Human behavior has contributed to the changing climate. Let there be no doubt: I take this matter seriously, and if confirmed, I will be an advocate for all countries to do their part in addressing climate change.' The Trump administration has been criticized by environmentalists and scientists for rolling back regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and announcing its withdrawal, effective next year, from the Paris Climate Accord that aimed to limit climate change. She also said that withdrawing from the Paris agreement did not mean the administration was ceding a leadership role on climate change. 'We don't need to be a member to show leadership,' she said, arguing that developing countries like China and India were not being asked to make the same contributions as the United States. Craft is a longtime GOP activist from Kentucky who is currently U.S. ambassador to Canada. She and her husband, Joe Craft, have donated millions of dollars to Republican presidential and other political candidates and if confirmed, she would be first major political donor to occupy the top U.N. post for any administration. Joe Craft is the chief executive of Alliance Resource Partners, one of the largest coal producers in the country. In response to questions from Democratic Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Craft tried to allay climate-related conflict-of-interest concerns. 'Senator, as we discussed, where there is the issue of coal and or fossil fuels, I will recuse myself in meetings through the U.N.,' she said.' Craft's response did not satisfy some on the committee. Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon said after the hearing that he would oppose her nomination. 'With Kelly Craft's nomination, we have been sent a nominee who will personally profit from the continued burning of fossil fuels and who infamously proclaimed that there are 'good scientists on both sides' of the climate debate,' he said. Craft has been credited by supporters with playing a major role in her current role in helping to secure a proposed new trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico but has been criticized for frequent absences from Ottawa. The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, called the amount of time she spent away from the embassy to be 'staggering,' ''very troubling' and 'an abdication of leadership.' Craft testified that all of her travel had been approved in advance by the State Department, that much of it was work-related and that she and her husband had paid for all personal trips. Republican senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, downplayed the significance of her absences and pointed to her involvement in trade negotiations as one reason for the time away. In addition to climate change and travel, Craft also faced Democratic questions about her relative lack of diplomatic experience, which her Republican supporters said was belied by her nearly two years as serving as the top envoy to a close ally and neighbor. Craft vowed to continue the efforts of Trump's first ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, to push for reform at the world body and to fight against anti-Israel resolutions and actions by the United Nations and its affiliated agencies. During Haley's tenure, the administration withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. educational and scientific agency for adopting positions it deemed to be hostile to Israel. Trump nominated Craft to replace Haley after his first choice for the job, former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew from consideration.
  • The Latest on an environmental rule covering coal-fired power plants (all times local): 11:50 a.m. The Trump administration expects new coal-fired power plants to open as a result of a major new regulatory change. Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler says he expects that increase in coal plants as a result of the repeal of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. Wheeler spoke to reporters after signing the final version of the repeal. The Obama-era plan sought to fight climate change by prodding coal-fired power plants out of the nation's electrical grid. Wheeler says the administration's repeal will lead investors to put money into more coal plants. U.S. coal-plant closings have reached near record numbers in recent years owing to competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy. ___ 11:30 a.m. New York's attorney general says the state will sue to block the Trump administration's rollback of an Obama-era rule designed to wean the nation's electrical grid off coal-fired power plants and their climate-damaging pollution. Attorney General Letitia James announced the state's intentions on Twitter shortly after the Environmental Protection Agency replaced the rule with a less ambitious one. She makes reference to the administration's '#DirtyPower rule.' She tweets that it's 'another prime example of this administration's attempt to rollback critical regulations that will have devastating impacts on both the safety & health of our nation.' The Trump administration says the Obama administration overstepped its legal authority in approving the Clean Power Plan. EPA chief Andrew Wheeler says coal is essential to the nation's power grid. ___ 11:05 a.m. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the Trump administration's rollback of a rule targeting coal-fired power plants is 'a stunning giveaway to big polluters.' Pelosi says in a statement that climate change is 'the existential threat of our time' and that the administration is ignoring scientific studies about climate change and yielding to special interests. Pelosi is reacting to Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler's scrapping of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which sought to reduce the country's reliance on coal and move to renewable energy sources. Wheeler replaced it with a less ambitious rule. The administration argues that Obama's EPA overstepped its legal authority in approving the Clean Power Plant rule. ___ 10:35 a.m. The Trump administration has rolled back a landmark Obama-era effort targeting coal-fired power plants and their climate-damaging pollution. It's replacing the Obama rule with a less ambitious one that gives states more discretion in regulating those power plants. Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler says it's a sign that 'fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the mix' in the U.S. energy supply. President Donald Trump campaigned partly on a pledge to bring back the U.S. coal industry, which has been hit hard by competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy. The rule will go into effect shortly after publication in the Federal Register. Environmental groups pledge court challenges. ___ 12:25 a.m. The Trump administration is close to completing one of its biggest rollbacks of environmental rules. Lawmakers, environmentalists and others are readying for an announcement about a replacement for an Obama-era regulation that sought to limit coal-fired plants in the nation's electrical grid. The Clean Power Plan was one of President Barack Obama's signature efforts to curb climate-changing emissions. Critics of the Obama administration say it overstepped its legal authority in issuing the power plant rule. Those opposing the rollback say it will worsen climate change and increase deaths from coal-plant pollution.
  • President Donald Trump's participation in the nation's annual Fourth of July celebration will include a Trump speech honoring America's armed forces, along with music, military demonstrations and flyovers, the administration announced Wednesday, about two weeks before the patriotic holiday. Federal lawmakers, local officials and others have voiced concerns that Trump could alter the tone of what traditionally is a nonpartisan celebration of America's founding by delivering an overtly political speech after he added himself to an event that typically has not included the president. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said Wednesday that Trump will use the speech, which the president promised in a February tweet, to honor the military. Trump teased his event, which he is calling 'Salute to America,' during his reelection kick-off rally Tuesday night in Florida. 'And by the way on July 4 in Washington, D.C., come on down. We're going to have a big day. Bring your flags, bring those flags, bring those American flags,' the president said. 'We're going to have hundreds of thousands of people. We're going to celebrate America.' Bernhardt, who supervises the National Mall, which is the backdrop for one of the nation's largest July 4 celebrations, also said the World War II Memorial and areas around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool will be opened to the public for the first time in recent memory for viewing the annual fireworks display. As part of Trump's addition to the Washington schedule of July 4 events, the fireworks show is being moved west to West Potomac Park, closer to the Lincoln Memorial, from the area around the Washington Monument. Independence Day usually draws tens of thousands of people to the National Mall for the celebration. Regular events this year include the National Independence Day Parade down Constitution Avenue, a concert featuring the National Symphony Orchestra on the West Lawn of the Capitol and the fireworks display. After losing out on his wish for a military parade in Washington , Trump tweeted in February for people to 'HOLD THE DATE!' for the 'Salute to America' event, which he said would be held at the Lincoln Memorial and feature a major fireworks display, entertainment 'and an address by your favorite President, me!' Some groups are organizing anti-Trump protests. Democratic Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Chris Van Hollen, all members of the Appropriations Committee, requested details about plans and funding for the event in a letter this week to Bernhardt. They asked Bernhardt to carefully manage taxpayer funds and ensure that Trump's event 'remains a nonpartisan event focused on national unity and pride.' The lawmakers set a June 28 deadline for Bernhardt to reply. The White House said Trump's event was not meant to detract from the other events on the schedule. White House officials also declined to discuss the specific military aircraft that are expected to execute the flyovers. ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap
  • The Latest on congressional investigations and special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report (all times local): 10:05 a.m. Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks has arrived for a closed-door interview with members of the House Judiciary Committee. The interview is part of the panel's investigation of President Donald Trump and obstruction of justice. Hicks is the first testimony they will hear from someone linked to Trump's inner circle since the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report. It is unclear how much information she will provide, as the White House has said she is 'absolutely immune' from testimony with respect to her service to the president. A White House lawyer will be in the room. Hicks did not respond to questions as she made her way through a throng of photographers into the second-floor hearing room. ___ 6:40 a.m. The closed-door interview that House lawmakers have with Hope Hicks, a former communications director for President Donald Trump, marks the first time they are hearing from someone linked to his inner circle since the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report. Obtaining the testimony Wednesday from Hicks, a close and trusted former Trump aide, is a significant victory for Democrats. The House Judiciary Committee originally subpoenaed Hicks to give public testimony, but agreed to the private interview after negotiations. Still, it is unclear how much new information Hicks will provide. She already cooperated extensively with Mueller's probe, and a White House lawyer who will be in the room for the interview is expected to try and block her from answering certain questions.
  • President Donald Trump raised $24.8 million less than 24 hours after kicking off his reelection campaign, a figure that dwarfs what the top Democratic contenders took in over the course of months. The staggering total was announced in a tweet on Wednesday morning by Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. She declared that it was proof that 'enthusiasm across the country for this president is unmatched and unlike anything we've ever seen.' Trump's massive haul is a demonstration of the power of incumbency, underscoring simmering Democratic worries they are not doing enough to prepare for the matchup with Trump. It's also a sign that Trump's fundraising operation is already in high gear at a time when many Democratic donors have yet to engage and their party contends with a sprawling primary that has drawn more than 20 candidates. Many Democratic White House candidates have hyped their fundraising pulls in the 24 hours after launching their campaign. Former Vice President Joe Biden reported a $6.3 million haul in the first 24 hours, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke took in $6.1 million and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders reported $5.9 million. Trump beat all three combined, including the front-runner Biden, whom he bested by nearly fourfold. Still, his campaign has yet to release a breakdown of how he raised the money, leaving it unclear how much was raised from wealthy Republican megadonors, versus grassroots supporters who chipped in a few dollars online. But the cash will add to the existing gulf in resources between Republicans and Democrats. Trump already reported $48.7 million cash on hand at the end of March, spread across three committees tied to his campaign. The Republican National Committee had an additional $34.7 million during the same period. The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, had just $7.5 million with $6.2 million in debt, records show.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Police arrested a 33-year-old man Monday on suspicion of intentionally driving into pedestrians in Jefferson City, injuring a 61-year-old man and killing a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old son, according to investigators. >> Read more trending news  Authorities said William David Phillips, of Jefferson City, swerved to intentionally hit Tillman Gunter, 61, while driving west on East Main Street on Monday afternoon. Police said Phillips traveled less than a mile before swerving again, striking Sierra Wilson Cahoon, 30, and her 2-year-old son, Nolan Cahoon. Cahoon, Nolan and Cahoon’s unborn child were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to investigators. Gunter was taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, police said. Authorities were called around 3:30 p.m. Monday after Phillips lodged the car he was driving into a building for Sustainable Aquatics, a fish hatchery, according to The Citizen Tribune and the Knoxville News Sentinel. Witness Bill Ray Jones told WBIR-TV he heard Phillips yelling that the “government told him to do it” as he tried to flee from the scene of the crash. 'He knew he had hit (Cahoon) and I'm sure he did because he was talking all crazy,' he told the news station. Sustainable Aquatics owner John Carberry told the News Sentinel he arrived at the scene of the crash within minutes Monday and found Cahoon and her son dead on the sidewalk. “There was a hole in the building and one of my employees ran out,” Carberry told the News Sentinel. “She had minor injuries. She ran up to the main building, and the perpetrator ran out of the hole and ran up and some local citizens grabbed him.” The crash ruptured several fish tanks and destroyed four fish systems, Carberry told The Citizen Tribune and the News Sentinel. He estimated about 2,000 wild-caught fish died after the crash caused more than 10,000 gallons of water to rush from the tanks. “I just want to let the police do their job and mourn the passing of this mother and child,” Carberry told The Citizen Tribune. “It’s very sad.” Phillips, of Jefferson City, was arrested on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. Authorities filed an additional murder charge against Phillips on Wednesday for the death of Cahoon's unborn child, WATE reported. In a news release, police said investigators believed 'this was an intentional act of violence toward randomly chosen pedestrians. “Investigators have determined that Phillips did not know the victims,” police said. In an arrest warrant obtained Wednesday by the News Sentinel, authorities said Phillips told investigators “a voice told him that he needed to go kill meth addicts.” After Phillips spotted Cahoon and her son, 'He said the voice told him that the baby stroller had meth in it so he intentionally drove into (the mother and child) ... killing them both,' the warrant said, according to the News Sentinel. Records from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department showed he remained jailed Wednesday. A spokesperson for Carson-Newman University, a Christian university in Jefferson City, told WBIR-TV that Cahoon and Nolan were the wife and son of Matt Cahoon, an assistant athletic trainer at the school. “Our hearts are breaking for one of our own,” Carson-Newman University interim President Paul Percy said Tuesday in a statement. “We take comfort in knowing that God also feels our pain and hears our prayers. Because of this, we ask for prayers for Matt and his family now and in the days ahead.” Officials at First Steps Preschool at the First United Methodist Church told WBIR-TV Nolan was a happy student who always gave out hugs and high-fives. 'He was a joy,' the preschool’s director, Jessica Lawson, told WBIR-TV. 'He would walk through the door smiling every morning.' Officials at Carson-Newman University started a fund to benefit the Cahoon family. Those wishing to contribute can donate online to The Randall and Kay O’Brien Benevolent Fund on the university’s website.
  • A man who stabbed a New York City man early Tuesday also partially severed his own finger during the attack, police said. >> Read more trending news  The 35-year-old victim, who was repeatedly stabbed, lived in the Bronx, WPIX reported. According to police, the attacker and victim were arguing outside a bar at 1:15 a.m. when the stabbing occurred. The victim was stabbed in the back, while the attacker partially cut a finger on his left hand, WPIX reported. The assailant then ran away, police said. Police said the attacker appeared to be in his mid- to late 20s, the television station reported. The man had a beard and tattoos on his right forearm and upper right arm, WPIX reported. Police said the man was last seen wearing a red baseball cap, white T-shirt and dark colored shorts, the television station reported.
  • A mentally ill Oregon woman suffered life-threatening injuries Monday when she apparently climbed into a garbage chute at her boyfriend’s condominium community and plunged 16 stories to the bottom. The Oregonian reported that the woman, who was not publicly identified, suffered head injuries in her fall from the 16th floor of the Civic, a condo building in Portland’s Pearl District.  Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman Rich Chatman told the newspaper the woman, who is in her late 20s, slid down into the garbage collection area, where firefighters found her unconscious. Police declined to file charges against the woman. “I can say there was a mental health component involved,” Chatman told the paper.  On Tuesday, Chatman said it appeared the woman put herself in the chute.  “The prevailing assumption is that she got into the chute on her own will,” he said.  Steven Lofton, who lives on the 16th floor of the Civic, told a reporter that the woman and her boyfriend are known on their floor for getting into fights, both verbal and physical. Neighbors had voiced their concerns to the building’s management. >> Read more trending news Lofton said he heard someone pounding on his door just after lunchtime Monday and went to the door to find the woman, who told him she was afraid. When he opened his door, she rushed in, screaming, and began trashing his condo, he told the paper.  “She was wild, just absolutely wild,” Lofton said. “She was breaking and throwing everything in her sight. Plates, vases, cutlery. You name it.” The woman ran out into the hallway, where she encountered her boyfriend. They got into a physical confrontation, Lofton said.  Lofton said he closed his door and called 911. The woman went down the garbage chute moments later, The Oregonian said.  A Portland police spokeswoman told the paper Tuesday that a domestic violence investigation is ongoing, though detectives are waiting for the woman’s condition to improve. “The involved woman’s medical situation is of a higher priority than the criminal investigation at this time,” Jones said in an email to the newspaper.  
  • Meet Poncho Via - the newest holder of a Guinness World Record with a sensational set of 10 foot-7.4 inches horns from tip to tip. The 7-year-old steer makes his home in Goodwater, Alabama and has been living with his family, the Pope’s, since he was six-months old. The family said they knew Poncho was something special when his horns began to grow out to the sides inside of curving up, like other longhorns’ do. Poncho is very popular around town too, with his ‘dad’ saying of him, 'All my neighbors (around) here, any time they have company, they come over to see the longhorn. He's just a big, gentle character. Everyone brings (food) with them -- he likes apples, carrots and marshmallows.' Mobile user see tweet here. His humongous horns aren’t all glitz and show, though. They’ve gotten him into trouble a time or two. George Jones, a family member who helps out with Poncho on the ranch, tells the story, “He pulled a water bottle right out my pocket with his tongue. He's there playing with the bottle and I reached and scratched him for a bit.'  The caretaker said he was knocked into a pond once, when the longhorn became spooked by something. 'That went on for a little while and I guess a horsefly got on him or something (because), all of a sudden, he turned that head and I went airborne into the pond. He just knocked me completely off my feet into the water,' Jones said. The former record holder, a Texas longhorn named Sato, had a horn spread of 10 feet, 6.3 inches, when measured in September, according to Guinness World Records. As the tweet below mentions, Poncho’s horns measures more than twice the width of a concert grand piano. Mobile user see tweet here.
  • An independent investigator for the United Nations says there is 'credible evidence' warranting a probe into Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's possible involvement in the 2018 slaying of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.  >> Read more trending news  According to The Associated Press, U.N. special rapporteur Agnes Callamard said in a 101-page report that 'a proper authority' should consider whether the crown prince or senior adviser Saud Alqahtani bore 'criminal responsibility' in the death. 'Mr. Khashoggi's killing constituted an extrajudicial killing for which the State of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible,' the report said.  Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi regime, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. Saudi officials later blamed the death on 'rogue operators,' CNN reported. Eleven people – five of whom could receive the death penalty – are being tried in Saudi Arabia in connection with the slaying. The report said Callamard made 'no conclusion' as to whether the crown prince or Alqahtani are guilty but determined that Khashoggi's execution was 'deliberate' and 'premeditated,' news outlets reported. The report also named 15 suspects in the incident, during which Khashoggi was drugged, suffocated and dismembered, CNN reported. Read more here or here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Washington Insider

  • After weeks of negotiations over a White House request for extra money to deal with a surge of illegal immigrants along the southern border with Mexico, Senators on a key spending panel voted 30-1 on Wednesday to approve a $4.59 billion spending package to insure that various federal agencies have enough money to address what President Donald Trump has said is a crisis at the border. 'This situation as most of us realize is past the breaking point,' said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). 'I believe we must act.' 'The fact is that we do have a humanitarian crisis on the border that does need to be addressed,' said Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who recounted crowded holding facilities for illegal immigrants. 'We've seen big numbers in the past, but we're going to exceed that this year,' said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). 'This bill is absolutely necessary,' said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). 'There are families and children who need our support.' The only 'no' vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee came from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). The bill only deals with money to help address the humanitarian needs along the border - it does not address any changes in U.S. immigration laws desired by President Trump. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee had been scheduled to start work on a bill which would make some of those immigration reforms, but that work will be delayed into July in search of a bipartisan agreement. “This is not a crisis - this is a disaster,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is leading President Trump's charge to change immigration laws. 'Our immigration laws are a disgrace and the Democrats can get together with the Republicans and solve the problem quickly,' the President told his campaign kickoff rally on Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida. It's expected the full Senate could vote on the package next week. It is not clear if the House would follow suit before lawmakers leave town at the end of June for a break during the week of July Fourth.