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Tribune News Service

International Budget for Friday, March 9, 2018

Updated at 0100 UTC (8 p.m. U.S. EST Thursday).

Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.


^South Koreans meet White House aides to 'talk about talks' with North Korea<

USNKOREA:TBW _ South Korean officials briefed President Donald Trump's national security team Thursday about their discussions this week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his offer to negotiate a freeze of his country's nuclear weapons programs, but U.S. officials warned that talks are still not certain.

The South Korean delegation, led by Chung Eui-yong, the national security director, and Suh Hoon, chief of the National Intelligence Service, said it was delivering a message from Kim directly to the White House.

Meeting at the White House for several hours, the South Korean team briefed national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

450 by Brian Bennett and Tracy Wilkinson in Washington. MOVED


^Trump imposes sweeping tariffs on steel, but excludes Canada, Mexico and maybe other allies<

TRUMP-TARIFFS-1ST-LEDE:TBW _ Brushing aside stern warnings from from ally nations, U.S. companies and lawmakers in his own party, President Trump imposed substantial tariffs Thursday on steel and aluminum imports from across the globe.

His order included an indefinite but conditional exemption for Canada and Mexico.

The order marked the first time in more than three decades that a U.S. president has invoked national security as the basis for ordering such trade restrictions.

600 by Don Lee in Washington. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED



^Thousands displaced, aid delivery halted as violence consumes Syrian enclave<

SYRIA:LA _ In a thunderous assault, the Syrian army all but sliced the rebel-held enclave of Ghouta in two Thursday, pushing the death toll to more than 900 since the onslaught began last month and stalling the delivery of food and desperately needed medical supplies.

The fighting created a chaotic and uncertain situation on the ground as world leaders raised concerns regarding the safety of the some 400,000 trapped in the battered territory, just miles from the Syrian capital of Damascus.

1000 (with trims) by Nabih Bulos in Beirut. MOVED


^Women's Day marches worldwide bolstered by groundswell of #MeToo<

INTERNATIONAL-WOMENS-DAY:LA _ Galvanized by hopes that the #MeToo movement might at last herald a social sea change, women across the globe rallied, chanted and in some cases walked off the job Thursday to mark International Women's Day.

From Moscow to Mexico City to Manila, women and their supporters pressed for a range of demands, including equal pay for equal work, a halt to workplace sexual harassment, a greater voice in public policy, more educational and professional opportunities and an end to violence against women.

But amid expressions of solidarity and determination, many of those bearing the heaviest burdens of inequality were too busy simply trying to get through another day to think about attending a march.

1450 (with trims) by Laura King in Washington, Kate Linthicum in Mexico City and Sabra Ayres in Moscow. MOVED


^Colombian guerrilla candidate drops out of race for president<

COLOMBIA-POLITICS:MI _ Colombia's FARC political party on Thursday dropped out of this year's presidential race, as their candidate, former guerrilla commander Rodrigo "Timochenko" Londono, recovers from heart surgery.

In a statement, the political party cited Wednesday's surgery and the overall political environment for the decision, saying they were abandoning "our presidential aspirations."

200 by Jim Wyss in Bogota, Colombia. MOVED


^Indian court upholds marriage amid claims of Muslims forcibly converting Hindu women<

INDIA-WOMEN:LA _ India's highest court Thursday upheld the marriage of a Muslim man and a woman who converted to Islam against the wishes of her Hindu parents in a case that fueled claims that Muslims were forcibly converting Hindu women.

The case of 24-year-old Hadiya, who uses one name, and her husband gained national attention after a court in the southern state of Kerala nullified their marriage last year and the Supreme Court asked India's federal investigative agency to examine allegations of forced religious conversions.

450 by Shashank Bengali and Parth M.N. in Mumbai, India. MOVED


^Iranians tried to rally for International Women's Day. Police were waiting for them<

IRAN-WOMEN:LA _ Iranian police on Thursday arrested several people outside the Labor Ministry building in Tehran, blocking a rally that activists had organized to mark International Women's Day.

Uniformed and plainclothes officers cited women for violating the Islamic dress code requiring them to cover their hair, according to the Kargari news channel, an opposition media outlet based outside Iran.

500 by Shashank Bengali ion Mumbai, India, and Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran, Iran. MOVED


^British police: 21 required medical care in former Russian spy poisoning case<

BRITAIN-RUSSIA-SPY:DPA _ Twenty-one people have received medical treatment in connection with this week's nerve agent attack on former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in southern England.

The Skripals and a police officer who arrived on the scene to respond to the incident are included in the count, Wiltshire Police said Thursday, according to the Press Association.

450 by Bill Smith and Monica Raymunt in London. MOVED



^Gun safety win on the horizon for GOP-controlled Senate<

CONGRESS-GUNS:WA _ A gun safety bill with support from both parties should reach the crucial 60-vote hurdle it needs to advance, according to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas.

The proposal, crafted by Cornyn, brings together unusual allies: The National Rifle Association, the pro-gun safety group Everytown for Gun Safety and President Donald Trump.

600 (with trims) by Andrea Drusch in Washington. MOVED


^Paul Manafort will face trial first in Virginia and then in Washington<

USRUSSIA-HACKING-MANAFORT:LA _ Paul Manafort Jr., no stranger to expensive duds, has something new to wear.

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager is facing two separate criminal trials _ one in Washington and one in northern Virginia _ so he has been ordered to wear two different monitoring bracelets to ensure he shows up for proceedings in both courthouses.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III made the decision Thursday when Manafort was arraigned on additional charges filed by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Manafort pleaded not guilty to 18 counts.

250 by Chris Megerian in Washington. MOVED



Also moving as:



^Corey Lewandowski testifies in House Russia investigation<

USRUSSIA-HACKING-LEWANDOWSKI:LA _ Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, left Democrats disappointed on Thursday by refusing to answer some questions from the House Intelligence Committee, one of three congressional panels investigating Russian political interference.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the committee's ranking Democrat, said Lewandowski wouldn't talk about several key episodes, including Trump's firing of former FBI Director James B. Comey in May 2017 and his reported discussions about firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Lewandowski also declined to answer questions about the drafting of an inaccurate statement last year on Air Force One about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower involving the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

250 by Chris Megerian in Washington. MOVED


^Florida senator takes Twitter to task over hoax<

FLA-SCHOOLSHOOTING-FAKENEWS:WA _ Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said Thursday that Twitter is taking steps to guard against the kind of fake tweets that hit the Miami Herald last month, but that "a lot more has got to be done."

Nelson called for a technical summit, led perhaps the Federal Trade Commission, to "get all of the relevant companies in the same room and talk about this problem with a collective sense of urgency and come up with some solutions."

700 by Tim Johnson in Washington. MOVED


^Trump's Twitter blocking is his personal call, government argues<

TRUMP-TWITTER:BLO _ President Donald Trump's tweets may be official statements, but blocking some followers of his Twitter account is strictly personal, government lawyers argued in seeking to dismiss a lawsuit by a nonprofit group claiming the move violates the Constitution.

300 by Chris Dolmetsch in New York. MOVED


^911 calls from Parkland school shooting released<

FLA-SCHOOLSHOOTING-911CALLS:FL _ Two Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students hid alone in a classroom, petrified as the sound of gunfire overtook the 1200 Building, according to a recording of a 911 call made during the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the Parkland school.

"She's terrified right now," the caller told the dispatcher. "She's afraid to talk, they're hiding right now."

The caller was on the line with a mother who was talking by cellphone to one of her two daughters at the school.

"Be quiet, be quiet, keep the phone line open," the dispatcher warned. "Don't move. Just stay hidden."

400 by Tonya Alanez in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^Nikolas Cruz in jail: Isolated, restless _ and asking for Bible<

FLA-SCHOOLSHOOTING-CRUZ-JAIL:FL _ School shooter Nikolas Cruz spends his days in isolation, interrupted only by occasional visits from family members, mental health experts and his lawyers.

He sleeps fitfully, eats inconsistently and spends most of his time in silence and "deep thought," according to jail records released this week by the Broward Sheriff's Office.

400 by Rafael Olmeda in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^Trump calls Oakland mayor's warning about ICE raids 'a disgrace'<

TRUMP-IMMIGRATION-MAYOR:SJ _ In his first direct comments about Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf since she warned of impending ICE raids last month, President Donald Trump on Thursday called the move "very dangerous."

"What the mayor of Oakland did the other day was a disgrace," Trump said during a White House meeting.

300 by Matthias Gafni and David DeBolt in San Jose, Calif. MOVED


^Border Patrol turns to private sector to solve some sewage problems affecting agents on the beat<

BORDERPATROL-POLLUTION:SD _ With health complaints continuing from Border Patrol agents who work the polluted areas of the Tijuana River Valley, the federal Customs and Border Protection agency is quietly trying to solve some of the problems of toxic sewage flows from Mexico _ on its own.

The agency posted a notice on a federal contracting website last week seeking ideas from private industry on how to get a handle on cross-border sewage and hazardous materials, to which Border Patrol agents are routinely exposed.

800 by Greg Moran in San Diego. MOVED


^Potential jurors dismissed over views on Pulse shooter's motive, widow's involvement<

ORLANDO-SHOOTING-WIFE:OS _ Attorneys in the trial of Noor Salman on Thursday morning struggled to add jurors to the pool of candidates to try the case against Pulse gunman Omar Mateen's widow, finding some potential jurors had detailed knowledge of the case or strong feelings about Salman's guilt.

One man said his intuition told him Salman could have stopped her husband. He said he believed she was partially responsible for what happened.

600 by Krista Torralva in Orlando, Fla. MOVED

^Woman named in Stormy Daniels' 'hush agreement' is another porn star accusing Trump of sexual assault<

^TRUMP-CLIFFORD-DRAKE:NY_< A mystery woman named in Stormy Daniels' non-disclosure agreement is a fellow porn star who publically accused Donald Trump of sexual assault during the campaign, her attorney said Thursday.

Jessica Drake, who accused Trump of forcibly touching and kissing her over a decade ago, is referred to as "Angel Ryan" in a hush agreement that Stormy Daniels signed in exchange for $130,000 from Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen. Drake was listed in the agreement along with three other people who knew of Trump's extramarital affair with Daniels.

Lawyer Gloria Allred confirmed to The New York Daily News that Ryan is in fact Drake.

500 by Chris Sommerfeldt in New York. MOVED


^Turtle smugglers wrapped critters in candy and noodles, feds say<

TURTLES-SMUGGLING:CS _ Three South Carolinians and a North Carolinian have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of operating an illegal scheme to smuggle tiny turtles in and out of the United States.

The turtles were shipped by U.S. mail and FedEx, packaged in socks and covered up with little pieces of candy or noodles, according to the indictment. Many of the packages were labeled "snacks."

600 by John Monk in Columbia, S.C. MOVED

^New York Times runs obits for 'overlooked' women on International Women's Day<

NYTIMES-WOMEN-OBITS:TB _ The New York Times set out to right a historic wrong on this International Women's Day, publishing the obituaries of 15 remarkable women whose deaths went unremarked upon, simply because they were women.

"Since 1851," Amisha Padnani and Jessica Bennett write, "The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries: of heads of state, opera singers, the inventor of Stove Top stuffing and the namer of the Slinky. The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones."

650 by Heidi Stevens. MOVED


^On Twitter, fake news spreads faster and further than real news _ and bots aren't to blame<

SCI-SOCIALMEDIA-FAKENEWS:LA _ A new scientific analysis offers rigorous proof of something that social media acolytes have known for years: Twitter is an excellent platform for spreading actual news.

Unfortunately, the analysis shows, it's even better at spreading fake news.

Compared to tweets about claims that were verifiably true, tweets about claims that were undeniably false were 70 percent more likely to be retweeted in the Twitterverse. And false claims about politics spread further than any other category of news included in the analysis.

1050 by Karen Kaplan. MOVED


^DIY or die: How an Australian outback nurse diagnosed his own heart attack and saved his life<


Alone at his station, more than 600 miles from the city of Perth and 100 miles from any hospital at all, the 44-year-old man experiences a sudden bout of dizziness and severe chest pain.

What he does next is remarkable, life-saving and _ to a considerable degree _ instructive.

950 by Melissa Healy. (Moved as an international story.) MOVED



^Steve Kerr to participate in town-hall discussion on gun violence<


As part of his continued outspokenness about gun violence in the United States, the Warriors coach will participate in a town-hall style meeting with Rep. Ro Khanna and high school students in at Newark (Calif.) Memorial High School on Monday. The students will be from California's 17th congressional district, which represents areas in Silicon Valley.

Beyond Kerr's strong political beliefs and criticism toward President Donald Trump, he has a personal stake in the issue.

250 by Mark Medina. MOVED

^NASCAR at Phoenix: What you need to know<


200 by Brendan Marks. MOVED




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