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Tribune News Service

News Budget for Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Updated at 2 p.m. EST (1900 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.


^In aftermath of New Hampshire results, a scramble for black votes<

DEMOCRATS-BLACKVOTERS:LA _ What's one thing Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar all have in common, other than the fact they each had a good showing in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary?

They all come from mostly white states and have little history of electoral success with black voters. They now have only a few weeks to try to change that.

With the continued decline of Joe Biden's candidacy, which endured a miserably bad night in New Hampshire, African Americans, a crucial Democratic constituency, may now be up for grabs to an extent that has not been true in a Democratic primary in many years.

1250 (with trims) by Janet Hook in Manchester, N.H. MOVED


^White House scraps new post for Justice Department lawyer who oversaw Stone case<

STONE:BLO _ The Trump administration is withdrawing the nomination of a former federal prosecutor to oversee sanctions at the Treasury Department, according to two White House officials.

Jessie Liu had been the U.S. attorney in charge of the office that prosecuted Roger Stone, a political ally of President Donald Trump. The decision to pull her nomination came after the Justice Department on Tuesday reduced its recommendation for the duration of Stone's sentence, a reversal that followed a Trump tweet criticizing prosecutors' initial recommendation as too harsh.

650 by Josh Wingrove in Washington. MOVED



^House action on Equal Rights Amendment sets up legal fights<

HOUSE-ERA:CON _ The House will attempt to revive the Equal Rights Amendment later this week, with a vote to remove the 1982 deadline for state ratification and reopen the process for amending the Constitution to prohibit discrimination based on sex. But removing the deadline won't clear a path for the 28th Amendment. Hurdles, including the Republican-led Senate, a lawsuit from GOP state attorneys general and opposition from the current Justice Department, remain.

1250 (with trims) by Katherine Tully-McManus in Washington. MOVED


^Without a budget, how will Democrats communicate their fiscal priorities?<

HOUSE-DEMOCRATS-BUDGET:CON _ House Democrats do not plan to draft a budget resolution this year, so how do they communicate their fiscal priorities with voters ahead of a crucial 2020 campaign?

The answer depends on whom you ask, but it boils down to this: Democrats have shown through the appropriations process which programs they think taxpayer dollars should be spent on and through their legislative agenda where they think additional investments are needed. But when it comes to addressing the trajectory of $1 trillion annual deficits, Democrats point the blame at Republicans' 2017 tax law and have largely opted against offering their own solutions.

1300 (with trims) by Lindsey McPherson in Washington. MOVED


^Investors push companies to make business case on abortion<

INVESTORS-ABORTION:CON _ Shareholder groups that have won corporate boardroom concessions on climate change and diversity are beginning to press corporations on women's reproductive health issues, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in a case that could fundamentally alter abortion rights in the United States.

A group of 36 investors managing $236 billion in assets sent a letter to CEOs of more than 30 companies asking them to discuss their positions related to sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion, according to a copy of the letter reviewed by CQ Roll Call.

1150 (with trims) by Laura Weiss in Washington. MOVED


^Democratic Caucus governance still shrouded in secrecy<

HOUSE-DEMOCRATS-RULES:CON _ House Democratic Caucus rules are not publicly available online, leaving the public in the dark on how those lawmakers assume power within the party and the procedures that members follow as part of that collective group.

It has been over a year since the progressive group Demand Progress, joined by others, originally wrote to House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York asking him to publish the rules governing the caucus online. Last year, Jeffries said he would present the issue to the caucus, but nothing has come of it.

450 by Chris Marquette in Washington. MOVED



^'Let me talk about race': Steyer appeals to black voters in South Carolina ahead of state primary<


1000 (with trims) by Cailyn Derickson. MOVED


^Deval Patrick drops out after brief leap into 2020 race<

PATRICK:BLO _ Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick dropped his presidential bid on Wednesday, just three months after entering the Democratic race.

Patrick, who resigned his post as a managing director at Bain Capital LP to join the race, left the 2020 campaign trail after failing to secure 1% of the vote in the primary in New Hampshire, which borders Massachusetts.

200 by Wendy Benjaminson in Manchester, N.H. MOVED


^Mark Meadows backs only woman in crowded race to replace him<

HOUSE-MEADOWS-BACKING:CON _ There's just one woman in the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus, but there could soon be another if the group's political arm gets it way.

Eighteen candidates are running to replace Republican Mark Meadows, the former chairman of the Freedom Caucus, in North Carolina's 11th District. The House Freedom Fund and Meadows are backing real estate agent and GOP activist Lynda Bennett, the only woman in the 11-person Republican field.

1200 (with trims) by Simone Path in Washington. MOVED



^At least one US Marshal shot in Baltimore, police say<

BALTIMORE-SHOOTING:BZ _ At least one U.S. Marshal was reported injured in a shooting in Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon, according to Baltimore police.

Officers were called to Radecke and Cedonia avenues in the Frankford neighborhood shortly after noon.

200 by Jessica Anderson and McKenna Oxenden in Baltimore. MOVED


^Jury acquits Chinese woman on Mar-a-Lago trespass charge, but convicts on resisting cop<

MARALAGO-INCIDENT:FL _ In a Mar-a-Lago trespassing case, a jury Wednesday acquitted a woman from China who claimed she was innocently sightseeing on President Donald Trump's property two months ago.

But Lu Jing was found guilty of a second misdemeanor charge, resisting a police officer without violence during her arrest on Worth Avenue.

300 by Marc Freeman in Miami. MOVED


^Judge overturns Silent Sam settlement between UNC and Confederate group<

CMP-UNC-STATUE:RA _ A judge on Wednesday voided the settlement that requires UNC Chapel Hill to pay $2.5 million and give the Silent Sam Confederate monument to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The ruling came at a hearing held to determine whether the Sons of Confederate Veterans had the legal standing to bring the lawsuit against the UNC System over the statue in the first place. Orange County Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour said the group didn't have standing.

600 by Kate Murphy in Hillsborough, N.C. MOVED


^New York Gov. Cuomo to meet with Trump over expedited traveler program ban<

NY-GLOBALENTRY:NY _ Gov. Andrew Cuomo will meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday to discuss the Department of Homeland Security's decision to ban New Yorkers from enrolling in programs that expedite border crossings.

DHS last week prohibited New York residents from signing up for four Trusted Traveler programs that allow low-risk travelers such as truckers to quickly cross borders in response to the state's "Green Light Law" that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.

450 by Denis Slattery in Albany, N.Y. MOVED


^Inside a Philadelphia lab, scientists race to design a coronavirus vaccine<

CORONAVIRUS-VACCINE-LAB:PH _ Faraz Zaidi and Daniel Park peered at a series of small, black blots that appeared on a clear sheet of plastic _ confirming they had created a type of protein that, until January, was unknown to science.

It was a signal alerting them to the presence of the microscopic "spikes" on a coronavirus _ the infectious microbe that, at last count, had killed more than 1,000 people in China.

Health officials worldwide have attempted to quell the outbreak by restricting travel, isolating infected people and quarantining others who were exposed to someone with the infection. But from the moment the Chinese government published the genetic code for the new virus in January, scientists such as Zaidi and Park have been racing to develop a more potent safeguard: a vaccine.

900 by Tom Avril in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Report: White nationalists turn focus to college campuses, with trial run at Kansas State<

CMP-WHITENATIONALISTS:KC _ The white nationalist movement, tarnished in the aftermath of Charlottesville, is repackaging its bigotry through a new mainstreaming strategy that focuses on college campuses and Trump supporters, according to a report released Tuesday by a national watchdog organization.

Its first test case: a new group at Kansas State University launched by a student whose former organization was the subject of protests on campus.

1000 (with trims) by Judy L. Thomas in Kansas City, Mo. MOVED


^Jeffrey Epstein company ripped us off, Virgin Islands attorney general says<


George filed the court documents Monday and Tuesday, and made them public Tuesday night, also telling Epstein's lawyers she intends to fight his estate's involvement in creating a compensation fund for victims.

550 by Kevin G. Hall. MOVED


^Two Ohio State football players charged with rape, kidnapping<

FBC-OHIOSTATE-PLAYERS-CHARGED:OH _ Two defensive players for the Ohio State University football team have been charged with rape, accusing them of participating in the sexual assault of a woman.

450 by Jim Woods in Columbus, Ohio. (Moved as a sports story.) MOVED


^Surge in Minnesota drug seizures reflects influence of Mexican cartels<

MINN-DRUGSEIZURES:MS _ Minnesota law enforcement saw surges in meth, cocaine and heroin seizures last year, more evidence that drug cartels are operating a thriving network from Mexico to the Midwest.

The state's task forces, called the Violent Crime Enforcement Teams, impounded 1,706 pounds of meth last year, a 49% increase from 2018 and 625% rise over the past five years, according to data released by the Department of Public Safety this week.

500 by Andy Mannix in Minneapolis. MOVED


^The fight over Fotis Dulos' assets _ from his cat to his bank accounts _ heads to probate court<

MISSINGMOTHER:HC _ Seven attorneys haggling over the estate of Fotis Dulos attended a probate court hearing Tuesday in search of what the accused killer left behind, including his motorcycle, a crepe maker and the $194,000 left in a Fidelity account.

After about 30 minutes, about all that appeared to be settled was the fate of Dulos' 16-year-old cat, Madonna, who was rescued from his Jefferson Crossing home last weekend and may end up with Anna Curry _ the woman who paid $147,000 to post a bond for Dulos weeks before he tried to kill himself.

1050 (with trims) by Dave Altimari in Hartford, Conn. MOVED


^A 6-year-old with Down syndrome pointed a finger gun at her teacher and said 'I shoot you.' Her school called the cops<

PHILLY-STUDENT-FINGERGUN:PH _ Maggie Gaines understands why her daughter's teacher at Valley Forge Elementary School went to the principal after the 6-year-old pointed her finger at the teacher like a gun and said, "I shoot you."

What she doesn't understand is why she and her husband had to end up on a conference call with the Tredyffrin Township police the next day, giving their names and ages to an officer.

"'You don't understand, this is insane,'" Gaines recalls saying.

Gaines was told that her daughter, Margot, who has Down syndrome, had triggered a threat assessment by the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District _ and that, under district policy, school officials had to call police.

1050 (with trims) by Maddie Hanna in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Swastika painted over pro-Trump sign sparks police investigation in Connecticut<

TRUMPSIGN-SWASTIKA-CORRECTION:HC _ Ledyard police said they are trying to find out who vandalized a sign supportive of President Donald Trump by spray-painting a swastika over it.

The homemade, plywood sign _ which was put up by the property owner _ read, "Go Trump, Shif liar" in blue paint

200 by Christine Dempsey in Hartford, Conn. MOVED



^Pope Francis refuses to open door to married priests in the Amazon<

RELIG-POPE-MARRIEDPRIESTS:DPA _ Pope Francis did not endorse a proposal to let married men serve as priests in the Amazon region, in what would have been a special exception to a long-standing celibacy rule for clergy.

The exception, albeit limited to the Amazon region, would have likely enraged traditionalists, who already see Francis' papacy as too liberal.

In an October summit known as a synod, Amazon bishops called for admitting married men into the priesthood only in their region, to make up for an acute lack of clergy in remote rainforest areas.

500 by Alvise Armellini in Vatican City. MOVED



^There are rivers in the sky drenching the US because of climate change<


Atmospheric rivers are narrow ribbons of concentrated moisture that originate in the Pacific and can flow thousands of miles before dropping rain and snow on land. Scientists are ramping up their research into the systems this winter fearful that warmer temperatures tied to climate change will boost the moisture they carry, supercharging them moving forward.

750 by Brian K Sullivan. MOVED




NEWSBRIEFS:MCT _ Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later


^Rising seas already overwhelm the Bay Area. Here is the desperate bid to avert disaster<

ENV-BAYAREA-SEALEVEL:LA _ When Jeff Moneda first started working for Foster City, where trails wind along the town's scenic lagoons and the nicest homes perch along its picturesque canals, he received an email from federal emergency officials that jolted him into action.

"The first thing in my inbox was a letter from FEMA that said, 'You need to raise your levee or we're going to place the entire city in a flood zone,'" said Moneda, the city manager.

For a city of 34,000 that was built on filled-in marshland along San Francisco Bay, the future hinges on the strength of an eight-mile-long levee that for decades has held back the rising sea. But with every tide and storm, the water keeps trying to move back and reclaim the town. Flood maps, even in more moderate scenarios, show much of the city inundated if nothing is done.

1200 (with trims) by Rosanna Xia in Foster City, Calif. MOVED


^Census gives opposite advice to tornado-damaged Dayton, flood-ravaged Houston<

CENSUS-NATURALDISASTERS-DISPLACED:SH _ Josh Hollon was shocked when he stepped onto his porch on Memorial Day last year and saw three churning triangles of cloud closing in on his house in suburban Northridge, Ohio.

A series of tornadoes surprised the Dayton area and blew a hole right through the Hollon home, filling the backyard with wreckage. They were lucky to have insurance to make basic repairs.

Many of their neighbors are still fighting to make their homes habitable again, along an 18-mile swath of destruction that left thousands of crumpled houses and apartment buildings across the Dayton area.

Residents displaced by recent natural disasters in Dayton and elsewhere around the country raise tricky questions for this year's census count. They're getting conflicting advice from the U.S. Census Bureau on whether to count themselves at a temporary address or at the damaged homes where they plan to return.

1900 (with trims) by Tim Henderson in Dayton, Ohio. MOVED




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