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Tribune News Service

News Budget for Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Updated at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 UTC).




Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^Hurricane Florence path shifts toward South Carolina as storm looks to slow, strengthen<

WEA-FLORENCE:CH _ The path of Hurricane Florence is still set squarely on the Carolinas, but early Wednesday morning, the storm's path shifted south and west, encompassing more of South Carolina and western North Carolina.

The "probable" forecast path for Florence, a Category 4 hurricane, as of 5 a.m. Wednesday showed the storm shifting further toward the southern North Carolina coast and the northern half of the South Carolina coast, with the forecast cone stretching into Georgia, western North Carolina and Tennessee, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Meanwhile, the projections for rain are growing, adding to growing concerns about flooding across the two states: Coastal North Carolina now expects 20 to 30 inches, with isolated areas of 40 inches projected in South Carolina.

700 by Abbie Bennett, Noah Feit And Mark Price in Charlotte, N.C. MOVED


^Household incomes rise to new high, but rate of health coverage flattens<

CENSUS-INCOME:LA _ With unemployment steadily declining and more people working full-time in year-round jobs, household incomes in the United States rose moderately last year, and the poverty rate fell to the lowest point in more than a decade, according to new federal government data.

But in another important measure of economic well-being, the share of Americans without medical insurance remained unchanged in 2017, ending a three-year trend of improving health coverage that was largely the result of Obamacare.

300 by Don Lee in Washington. MOVED



^Trump again defends Puerto Rico response as Hurricane Florence nears<

WEA-FLORENCE-TRUMP:CON _ President Donald Trump on Wednesday warned Hurricane Florence could prove "bigger than anticipated" as it barrels toward the Carolinas and sharply blamed a Puerto Rican mayor for the widely panned federal response to a storm there last year.

550 by John T. Bennett in Washington. MOVED


^Because of Hurricane Florence, SC candidate for governor activated by National Guard<

WEA-FLORENCE-CANDIDATE:CS _ Hurricane Florence could impact people across South Carolina this week, regardless of their background or job.

It has already had an effect on James Smith, the Democrat who is running for governor.

The 51-year-old Smith was activated for duty in the National Guard because of Hurricane Florence, both his campaign and the military organization confirmed to The State Tuesday.

550 by Noah Feit, Jeff Wilkinson and Tom Barton in Columbia, S.C. MOVED


^Hurricane Florence evacuees can find free lodging through Airbnb<

WEA-FLORENCE-AIRBNB:CH _ Hurricane Florence evacuees and disaster relief workers can find free temporary lodging through Airbnb.

Airbnb hosts in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia are offering free stays through the online company's Open Homes Program.

300 by Joe Marusak in Charlotte, N.C. MOVED


^SC zoo begins to secure animals from Hurricane Florence<

WEA-FLORENCE-ZOO:CS _ Riverbanks Zoo began securing its more than 2,000 animals from Hurricane Florence on Tuesday, beginning with the birds.

250 by Jeff Wilkinson in Columbia, S.C. MOVED



^Trump is more unpopular than any president with a strong economy<

TRUMP-UNPOPULAR:BLO _ President Donald Trump's unpopularity is unprecedented given the strength of the economy.

That's according to a Bloomberg analysis of polling data. It shows that Trump is the first U.S. leader dating back to at least Ronald Reagan whose approval rating is consistently low and lagging consumers' favorable assessment of the economy.

500 by Alex Tanzi and Rich Miller in Washington. MOVED


^How far can California push the nation _ and the world? Jerry Brown's climate summit may provide the answer<

ENV-CLIMATE-SUMMIT:LA _ Even as California forged its own path for years to battle global warming, pressing forward whether Washington agreed or not, skeptics have persistently scolded that it is just a state _ it can't set policy for the nation, much less the world.

If California ever had a moment to prove them wrong, it is now. At the international climate summit Gov. Jerry Brown will kick off Wednesday in San Francisco, the state is playing a role none ever has, pushing the rest of the country to join other nations in enforcing a landmark agreement on climate change that President Trump has quit.

Put simply, the three-day environmental summit will test whether California can bring the country to a place Congress and the White House won't.

1150 (with trims) by Evan Halper in Washington. MOVED


^Coons wants info on Kavanaugh's knowledge of 'sexually explicit' emails<

SCOTUS-KAVANAUGH-EXPLICITEMAILS:CON _ A Democratic senator wants to know if Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ever received email from an alleged "sexually explicit email list" run by a former federal appellate judge who resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Alex Kozinski served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, for over 30 years until he retired in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski in 1991, and Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware wants to know if the high court nominee was part of the illicit email list.

300 by John T. Bennett in Washington. MOVED



^Andrew Gillum slightly ahead of Ron DeSantis in Florida governor's race, poll shows<

FLAGOV-POLL:FL _ Democrat Andrew Gillum has a slight lead over Republican Ron DeSantis in a statewide poll of Florida voters released Wednesday.

The survey, conducted for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, shows Gillum with 47 percent. DeSantis has 43 percent.

150 by Anthony Man in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^Georgia being flooded by outside political money this election season<

GA-CAMPAIGN-MONEY:AT _ A California billionaire put $8.3 million into a campaign to pass a constitutional amendment this fall in Georgia. A San Francisco mega-donor gave $3.25 million to a political action committee backing Stacey Abrams' gubernatorial bid.

And a D.C. Republican PAC barely waited for the GOP gubernatorial runoff votes to be tallied before spending $2 million on ads attacking Abrams in support of their party's nominee, Brian Kemp.

Out-of-state political money is flowing into Georgia like never before, and election watchers say the money being disclosed by so-called "independent groups" and PACS in recent days is only the beginning.

900 (with trims) by James Salzer in Atlanta. MOVED



^Why is Dallas officer charged with manslaughter, not murder, for killing Botham Jean?<

DALLAS-POLICE-SHOOTING-MANSLAUGHTER:DA _ A grand jury will ultimately decide whether a Dallas police officer should be charged with murder or manslaughter _ or nothing at all _ for killing Botham Jean in his own apartment.

But defense attorneys who've handled hundreds of murder cases say murder is the charge that best fits the case against Amber Guyger, who says she mistook Jean for an intruder.

"She intended to kill the burglar," defense attorney Brad Lollar said. "Her thought process was 'I'm going to shoot the bad guy.'"

The same legal experts say critics demanding justice should be careful what they wish for because a murder case may be easier to defend.

900 by Jennifer Emily in Dallas. MOVED


^Girl, 16, dies after stabbing at Michigan high school<

MICH-GIRLSTABBED:DE _ A 16-year-old student died Wednesday after she was stabbed by another teenager during a fight in a classroom at Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Mich., Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said during a news conference.

The suspect, a 17-year-old girl, is in custody, he said, and a homicide charge will be sought.

300 by Christina Hall in Detroit. MOVED


^After public outcry, Texas unlikely to ax references to 'heroism' of Alamo defenders from history curriculum<

TEXAS-SCHOOLS-ALAMO:DA _ Every year, a group of elected education officials discusses and debates new classroom standards for Texas' 5.4 million schoolchildren. And almost every year, there's a huge controversy.

This time, the fight centered around the state's most iconic battle. Last week, Texas Monthly reported that the Texas State Board of Education would discuss removing a reference to the Alamo's defenders as "heroic" from the state's middle school social studies curriculum requirements.

1300 (with trims) by Lauren McGaughy in Austin, Texas. MOVED


^Puerto Ricans in Florida slam Trump for calling Hurricane Maria response 'successful'<

TRUMP-PUERTORICO-REACTION:OS _ Puerto Rican leaders in Central Florida were outraged Tuesday over President Trump's remarks in the Oval Office calling the federal response to Hurricane Maria "incredibly successful."

"Tell that to the 3,000 people who died," said Jose Rodriguez, the priest in charge at the Episcopal Church of Jesus of Nazareth in Azalea Park. "Tell that to the millions of people without power. Tell that to the 44 people huddled in hotel rooms today in Central Florida wondering if they'll be homeless Saturday morning."

500 by Steven Lemongello in Orlando, Fla. MOVED


^Author of 'How to Murder Your Husband' arrested for allegedly killing her husband<


In a twist of irony so devious it would have turned Agatha Christie green with envy, Oregon chef Daniel Brophy was found shot to death nearly seven years after his wife of 27 years penned an essay titled "How to Murder Your Husband."

300 by Storm Gifford. MOVED


^He killed 4 Florida tourists in a wreck. His punishment: traffic school, license suspension<

FLA-DEADLYCRASH:MI _ Carlos Manso Blanco was speeding slightly when he barreled his truck into a rental car on the Overseas Highway in Islamorada, killing four Spanish tourists in a grisly wreck that drew international media attention.

He won't be going to jail. Instead, his punishment was traffic school and the suspension of his driver's license for six months.

Investigators have decided that Manso's driving that March afternoon was "careless," but not reckless _ not enough to warrant a vehicular manslaughter charge under state law.

650 by David Ovalle in Miami. MOVED



^Kim's peace push gives Trump leverage to finally win concessions<

USNKOREA-KOREANWAR:BLO _ Three months after President Donald Trump's historic handshake with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader is holding up talks over one consequential demand: a declaration ending the Korean War.

For Trump, the request presents a dilemma. Granting it could guarantee himself another headline-grabbing moment to play the peacemaker weeks before a pivotal midterm election. Withholding it could give the U.S. a second chance to win real concessions in its goal of eliminating the regime's nuclear threat.

Either way, the prospect of a peace declaration to end the 70-year conflict is one of the biggest pieces of leverage Trump has left in dealing with Kim without going back to "fire and fury" threats of nuclear war. The stakes are high.

850 by David Tweed and Jihye Lee in Hong Kong. MOVED


^Amnesty International says Curacao is denying protection to Venezuelans fleeing the crisis<


The woman, identified only as Vanessa, said she was then sent to the "foreigners' barracks" where she was fed only bread and peanut butter and received no medical attention. She was later deported to Venezuela, where doctors told her the baby had died.

Vanessa's story is part of an Amnesty International report, "Detained and Deported: Venezuelans denied protection in Curacao," detailing allegations of human rights violations against Venezuelans who seek refuge on the Caribbean island from the economic and political crises lashing their country.

800 by Sonia Osorio. MOVED




NEWSBRIEFS:MCT _ Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later


^Mike Espy sees runoff as path to a Mississippi Senate seat. Here's why it's a bumpy road<

MISSSENATE-RUNOFF:WA _ Mike Espy is running for the runoff _ the sort of election that some African-Americans have said for years is designed to keep them from winning.

Espy, President Bill Clinton's agriculture secretary and a former congressman, is counting on Mississippi's runoff election system in his bid to become the ruby red state's first African-American U.S. senator since Reconstruction and its first Democratic senator in nearly four decades.

The runoff is baked into Espy's campaign strategy against Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and conservative firebrand Chris McDaniel, Republicans who he'll face in a so-called "jungle" primary special election Nov. 6 to finish the final two years of GOP Sen. Thad Cochran's six-year term.

950 by William Douglas in Jackson, Miss. (Moved as a politics story.) MOVED


^Vulnerable GOP candidates in the suburbs are torn over whether to run with Trump _ or from him<

MIDTERMS-GOP-TRUMP:LA _ As the midterm elections approach and vulnerable House Republicans nervously navigate around an unpopular president, charting a course is particularly fraught in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where the dominant ideology is pragmatism and fickle voters have little patience for Washington's political drama.

And it is here that two Republican lawmakers representing nearly adjacent districts, and espousing similar centrist goals, have nonetheless chosen divergent paths to seek victory as representatives of a party now thoroughly defined by President Donald Trump.

Rep. Tom MacArthur, from a district just over the state line in New Jersey, tilted right as opportunities emerged to ally with Trump. Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick stubbornly kept his distance.

1400 by Evan Halper in Waretown, N.J. (Moved as a politics story.) MOVED




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