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VOL. 42 | NO. 50 | Friday, December 14, 2018

Most Valuable Mom

AL MVP Mookie Betts developed hand-eye coordination at local lanes – thanks to his mother

Diana Collins has a lot on the ball these days. The longtime Nashville resident is a regular league bowler at Donelson Plaza Strike & Spare and other lanes around Music City and serves as president of the Music City Senate of The National Bowling Association. Oh, and she’s the mother of baseball superstar Mookie Betts of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

Game-changing Donelson Plaza gets a ‘bit of love,’ makeover

What’s old is soon to be new again. The year was 1958, and construction of Donelson Plaza was underway, a transformational project that would reshape a rural community less than 10 miles east of downtown Nashville.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Sure, you can shoot a bear but why would you?

When I recently came across news that Tennessee is on track for a record bear harvest this year, two questions sprang to mind:

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
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Partly Cloudy
Wind: Calm mph
Humidity: 76%

EVENTS

Street Eats. Enjoy a gathering of up to 20 local food trucks parked along Deaderick Street between 4th Avenue North and 5th Avenue North. Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Information

more events »

TIM GHIANNI: STREET LEVEL

Brother Z has church service, Sunday lunch covered

Brother Z isn’t bothered that his homeless congregation members gather across Dickerson Pike, generally not even coming near the door into the carport-turned-church snuggled behind his takeout shack specializing in 15 spicy flavors of chicken wings.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Lackluster year? It might be another record-breaker

Nashville’s November real estate sales were 7 percent less than November 2017, the Greater Nashville Realtors reports using statistics provided by Realtracs.

REAL ESTATE

Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for November 2018

Top residential real estate sales, November 2018, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

US mortgage rates fall to 3-month low; 30-year at 4.63 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week to their lowest level in three months, an inducement to prospective homebuyers in a haltingly recovering market.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Unpredictable? That means Titans fit in with rest of NFL

What have we learned about the Tennessee Titans as the 2018 regular season winds down to its final three games?

Titans at Giants: What to watch

See if the Giants want to play. The Titans overcame a slow start vs. the Jets and then gave the Jaguars a knockout blow early last week. The Giants have improved in recent weeks, and had they done so about two games earlier they would be in the thick of the NFC playoff chase, and maybe even in the NFC East race. As it is, they are teetering on the brink of elimination. If the Titans can start fast and get a quick lead, will the Giants have much interest in playing for four quarters?

Beckham to miss Titans game with quad injury

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — New York Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will miss his second straight game with a quad injury.

NEWSMAKERS

Bass, Berry & Sims welcomes 13 attorneys

Bass, Berry & Sims has 13 new attorneys in Nashville. The following seven attorneys counsel clients on corporate and securities issues including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions, private equity financings, and securities regulations matters and filings:

BRIEFS

Electroplating maker expanding in Portland

Advanced Plating, Inc., an electroplating manufacturer, is locating its new facility in Portland, creating 200 jobs and investing approximately $4 million in Sumner County.

CAREER CORNER

Holiday parties are gold mine for job seekers

It’s party time! Chances are, you have a holiday party coming up for work or with friends that you just can’t avoid.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Four tech tasks to keep your parents safer online

All of us are vulnerable to fraud. But the ways some older people use technology can put them at higher risk.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

How to shop for a car when interest rates are high

If you’re new to car buying or it’s been a few years since your last purchase, get ready for a shock when it comes to financing. Interest rates on loans for new vehicles hit an average of 6.2 percent in October 2018, the highest since January 2009, Edmunds research shows.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

3 web metrics you can’t afford to ignore in 2019

If there’s one takeaway from 2018, it’s that the internet is changing. Search engines have more content than ever before to sort through, and they’re increasingly expected to provide the best results. Transparency has been taken to a new level as privacy protection laws and website accessibility lawsuits increase. A website’s online reputation is now factored into search rankings as Google continues to prioritize expertise and industry knowledge.

ENVIRONMENT

European officials agree on ban of some single-use plastics

BERLIN (AP) — Plastic knives just won't cut it any longer, if the European Union has its way.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volkswagen shakes up management pay after diesel scandal

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen says it is changing the pay system for its senior management, dropping personal performance bonuses and increasing the extent to which the company's performance is reflected in variable pay.

TECHNOLOGY

Report: Facebook shared private messages with partners

Facebook gave some companies more extensive access to users' personal data than it has previously revealed, letting them read private messages or see the names of friends without consent, according to a New York Times report.

Consumer groups allege Google misleads kids in FTC complaint

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Nearly two dozen consumer, privacy and public health groups are urging U.S. regulators to investigate whether children are being endangered by deceptive apps in Google's app store for smartphones running on its Android software.

HEALTH CARE

US stocks rise before Federal Reserve meeting; oil rebounds

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are climbing Wednesday morning as a modest recovery in oil prices pulls energy companies slightly higher following huge losses a day earlier.

REAL ESTATE

US home sales rose 1.9% in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales increased in November for the second straight month, but sales plummeted 7 percent from a year ago amid growing affordability pressures.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks open higher on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street and oil prices are climbing back after a huge drop the day before.

Fed is expected to raise rates while Trump presses criticism

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is expected Wednesday to raise its benchmark rate for a fourth time this year despite President Donald Trump's repeated assertions that doing so would be a terrible idea.

Poland signs 20-year deal to buy natural gas from the US

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland has signed a long-term deal with a U.S. company for supplies of liquefied natural gas as part of an effort to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.

US, China face off again at World Trade Organization

GENEVA (AP) — China and the United States traded barbs again Wednesday at the World Trade Organization, with the U.S. ambassador accusing China of technology theft while Beijing's envoy retorted that the U.S. was "finger-pointing."

100 days to Brexit: EU acts to cushion no-deal shock

BRUSSELS (AP) — With British politics gridlocked and just 100 days until Brexit, the European Union on Wednesday triggered contingency plans designed to cushion some of the shock of a "no-deal" U.K. exit from the bloc.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Trump says he's eager to sign sweeping criminal justice bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate passed a sweeping criminal justice bill Tuesday that addresses concerns that the nation's war on drugs had led to the imprisonment of too many Americans for non-violent crimes without adequately preparing them for their return to society.

Judge's rebuke of Flynn upends sentencing, prolongs case

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge who described himself as disgusted by Michael Flynn's behavior upended a straightforward sentencing hearing, postponing punishment for President Donald Trump's first national security adviser and telling him in a stinging rebuke, "Arguably you sold your country out."

Trump appears to back off his demand for $5B for border wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump appeared to back off his demand for $5 billion to build a border wall, signaling for the first time that he might be open to a deal that would avoid a partial government shutdown.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18
STATEWIDE

Tennessee to halt most highway construction during holidays

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are halting most highway construction over the holidays.

PREDATORS

Chabot scores in OT, Senators recover to beat Predators 4-3

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and took it, saving the Senators two points in the process.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

Sharp-shooting VU beats No. 18 Arizona St. 81-65

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt used a 12-day break for final exams to figure out how to play without freshman Darius Garland.

ENVIRONMENT

Farmers asked to support Trump rollback of water rules

LEBANON (AP) — The Trump administration is calling on farmers to throw their support behind a proposal to withdraw federal protections for many of the country's waterways and wetlands.

Scary statistic: 90.5 percent of plastic is not recycled

LONDON (AP) — The world's burgeoning plastic waste crisis has won the attention of Britain's Royal Statistical Society, which chose 90.5 percent — the proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled — as its international statistic of the year.

REAL ESTATE

US home construction rose last month, led by apartments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. developers broke ground on more homes last month, but the increase occurred entirely in apartments. The construction of new single-family houses fell.

AUTO INDUSTRY

US: German company to plead guilty in VW emissions scheme

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. authorities say a German engineering company has agreed to plead guilty and pay $35 million for its role in the Volkswagen vehicle emissions scandal.

Former VW boss Winterkorn leaves Bayern supervisory board

MUNICH (AP) — Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has left German soccer champion Bayern Munich's supervisory board, three years after he resigned from the automaker amid its diesel emissions scandal.

TECHNOLOGY

Elon Musk to unveil underground tunnel, transport cars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk is set to unveil an underground transportation tunnel on Tuesday that could move people faster than subways.

Kroger, Nuro bringing unmanned delivery to customers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Deliveries from an Arizona grocery store will soon be arriving with no one behind the wheel.

Huawei calls on US, others to show proof of security risk

DONGGUAN, China (AP) — The chairman of Huawei challenged the United States and other governments to provide evidence for claims the Chinese tech giant is a security risk as the company launched a public relations effort Tuesday to defuse fears that threaten its role in next-generation communications.

HEALTH CARE

US surgeon general warns of teen risks from e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government's top doctor is taking aim at the best-selling electronic cigarette brand in the U.S., urging swift action to prevent Juul and similar vaping brands from addicting millions of teenagers.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks waver as plunging oil prices pull energy stocks lower

NEW YORK (AP) — After two days of huge losses, U.S. stocks ended the day back where they started on Tuesday. Energy companies sank as crude oil plunged 7 percent, but technology and consumer-focused companies climbed.

CBS denies former CEO $120M severance

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS announced Monday that former CEO Les Moonves will not receive his $120 million severance package after the board of directors concluded he violated company policy and was uncooperative with an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Trump administration moves to ban bump stocks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration moved Tuesday to officially ban bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like automatic firearms, and has made them illegal to possess beginning in late March.

White House pulls back from shutdown threat over wall funds

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Tuesday appeared to inch away from forcing a partial government shutdown over funding for a southern border wall, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying there are "other ways" to secure the $5 billion in funding that President Donald Trump wants.

For Trump, the economy is a potential 2020 storm cloud

WASHINGTON (AP) — Forget Robert Mueller. The greatest threat to President Donald Trump's re-election bid may not be the slew of investigations closing in on his Oval Office but a possible economic slowdown. And the president knows it.

UK to ramp up 'no-deal' Brexit preparations amid impasse

LONDON (AP) — Britain's government ramped up preparations Tuesday for the possibility that the country could leave the European Union in 101 days without a divorce deal — putting soldiers on standby and warning thousands of businesses and millions of households to get ready for the worst.

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump launched the Pentagon's new Space Command Tuesday, an effort to better organize and advance the military's vast operations in space that could cost as much as $800 million over the next five years.

Flynn heads to sentencing, with 'Good luck' wish from Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Flynn will likely walk out of a courtroom a free man due to his extensive cooperation with federal prosecutors, but the run-up to his sentencing hearing Tuesday has exposed raw tensions over an FBI interview in which he lied about his Russian contacts.

Report: Russia still using social media to roil US politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia's sweeping political disinformation campaign on U.S. social media was more far-reaching than originally thought, with troll farms working to discourage black voters and "blur the lines between reality and fiction" to help elect Donald Trump in 2016, according to reports released Monday by the Senate intelligence committee.


MONDAY, DECEMBER 17
STATEWIDE

Alexander won’t seek re-election in 2020

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee announced Monday that he won't seek re-election in 2020, giving the red state its second open Senate contest in two years.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Haslam giving Senate bid 'serious consideration'

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says he will give a U.S. Senate bid "serious consideration" after GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander announced he wouldn't run again in 2020.

Auditors cite environmental agency's data management issues

NASHVILLE (AP) — An audit of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation found data management was such a mess that auditors were unable to determine whether the department was adequately addressing environmental safety concerns.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Henry rushes for 170 and 2 TDs, Titans win 3rd straight

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are hoping to get to the playoffs riding the tandem of Derrick and the Defense.

Titans cornerback Logan Ryan says he has broken left leg

NASHVILLE (AP) — Titans cornerback Logan Ryan says he broke his left leg in Tennessee's victory over the Giants, writing on social media he believes a player should release his own injury news.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Nissan to replace rock-star chairman amid arrest scandal

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan's board is meeting to pick a chairman to replace Carlos Ghosn, arrested last month on charges of violating financial regulations.

ENVIRONMENT

Talks adopt 'rulebook' to put Paris climate deal into action

KATOWICE, Poland (AP) — Almost 200 nations, including the world's top greenhouse gas producers, China and the United States, have adopted a set of rules meant to breathe life into the 2015 Paris climate accord by setting out how countries should report their emissions and efforts to reduce them.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Dow falls 500, declines 1,003 points in two days

NEW YORK (AP) — Another day of big losses knocked U.S. stocks to their lowest levels in more than a year Monday. Investors dumped high-growth technology and retail companies as well as steadier, high-dividend companies. Oil fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since October 2017.

After the Fed's likely rate hike this week, all bets are off

WASHINGTON (AP) — Having raised interest rates with steady regularity in recent months, the Federal Reserve may embrace a new message this week: Flexibility.

Health care sector roils after ACA court ruling

The health care sector is getting punished at the opening bell after a federal judge in Texas ruled Friday that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

US, China spar again over respective trade policies

GENEVA (AP) — China and the United States clashed again over their respective trade policies Monday at a time the two countries are trying to iron out their differences so further U.S. tariffs are not imposed on Chinese goods.

Silicon Valley East: Google plans $1B expansion in New York

Silicon Valley is becoming Silicon Nation. Google announced Monday it will spend more than $1 billion to build a new office complex in New York City that will allow the internet search giant to double the number of people it employs there.

Malaysia files criminal charges against Goldman Sachs

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two former executives on Monday for their role in the alleged multibillion-dollar ransacking of state investment fund 1MDB.

Kremlin welcomes oligarch invitations to Davos forum

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin welcomed Monday the decision by the World Economic Forum to renew invitations for three high-profiled Russians after an initial snub.

Investors seeking tax breaks skip poverty-stricken areas

WASHINGTON (AP) — A real estate investment firm co-founded by President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, is betting big on the administration's Opportunity Zone tax breaks but isn't that interested in steering its investors to the poorest, most-downtrodden areas that the program seeks to revitalize.

NATIONAL POLITICS

May calls Brexit deal vote for week of Jan 14

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May says the delayed vote in Parliament on the Brexit deal between her government and the European Union will be held the week of Jan. 14.

White House digs in on border wall, risking shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pushing the government to the brink of a partial shutdown, the White House is insisting that Congress provide $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border despite lawmaker resistance from both parties.

Russia social media influence efforts ongoing, report says

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia's sweeping political disinformation campaign on U.S. social media was more far-reaching than originally thought, with troll farms working to discourage black voters and "blur the lines between reality and fiction" to help elect Donald Trump in 2016, according to reports released Monday by the Senate intelligence committee.

Trump lawyer Giuliani rules out Mueller interview with Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval Office, President Donald Trump and his attorney unleashed a fresh series of attacks on the investigators, questioning their integrity while categorically ruling out the possibility of a presidential interview with the special counsel.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's distorted reality in expanding probes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump keeps changing his story in the swirling investigations into Russia election interference and hush money payments to women who say they had affairs with him.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14
PREDATORS

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

NASHVILLE (AP) — Leading by two late in the third period, the Nashville Predators nearly let this one get away.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Lawmakers urge more scrutiny on public records exemptions

NASHVILLE (AP) — A small group of Tennessee lawmakers is recommending more scrutiny for all future public records exemptions.

Tennessee Democratic Party chairwoman draws challengers

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Democratic Party chairwoman Mary Mancini is drawing challengers for her job.

MIDSTATE

Green sparks pushback after vaccine comment

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee physician recently elected to Congress received criticism Thursday from top state leaders for alleging without evidence that vaccines may cause autism.

EDUCATION

Obama-era rule leads to $150M in student loan forgiveness

The U.S. Education Department says it will start forgiving federal loans for 15,000 former students whose colleges closed before they could graduate.

HEALTH CARE

Renewed battle over using fetal tissue in medical research

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers clashed over science, ethics and politics at a House hearing Thursday on using fetal tissue in critically important medical research, as the Trump administration reviews the government's ongoing support for such studies.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM says it has 2,700 jobs for workers, some in Spring Hill

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' plans to lay off 14,000 salaried and blue-collar workers might not be as bad as originally projected.

Volkswagen on track to break last year's sales record

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen, which last year vied for the title of world's largest carmaker, says it is on track to beat that performance with a new annual sales record — despite trouble getting vehicles certified for new European emissions tests.

China suspends tariff hikes on $126B of US cars, auto parts

BEIJING (AP) — China announced a 90-day suspension on Friday of tariff hikes on $126 billion of U.S. cars, trucks and auto parts following its cease-fire in a trade battle with Washington that threatens global economic growth.

Arrest of Nissan star Ghosn raises speculation over coup

TOKYO (AP) — The surprise arrest of Nissan's former chairman on charges of falsifying financial reports is providing a window into possible corporate intrigue at the Japanese automaker.

Renault: no wrongdoing by Ghosn in compensation

PARIS (AP) — Renault says an internal investigation has found no wrongdoing in the awarding of compensation to CEO Carlos Ghosn, who has been indicted in Japan on charges of falsifying financial reports.

ENVIRONMENT

Climate talks extended as island nations demand action

KATOWICE, Poland (AP) — Weary officials from almost 200 countries faced another day of negotiations at the U.N. climate talks to bridge their last remaining differences as small island nations on Friday demanded an ambitious stance against global warming.

TECHNOLOGY

Facebook: Bug might have exposed user photos to developers

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's privacy controls have broken down yet again, this time through a software flaw affecting nearly 7 million users who had photos exposed to a much wider audience than intended.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks plunge to 8-month lows on growth fears; J&J nosedives

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks staggered to eight-month lows Friday after weak economic data from China and Europe set off more worries about the global economy. Mounting tensions in Europe over Britain's impeding departure from the European Union also darkened traders' moods.

Apple upstages Amazon in selecting new tech hub locations

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — One tech giant strung dozens of North American cities through a circus-like contest that led mayors and governors to desperately pitch their regions — and offer huge sums of public money — in hopes of landing a gleaming new corporate campus. The other swept in quietly before making its big move.

Debt threat: Business debt, worries about it are up

NEW YORK (AP) — Homeowners appear to have learned the lesson of the Great Recession about not taking on too much debt. There is some concern that Corporate America didn't get the message.

US industrial production climbed 0.6 percent in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production climbed 0.6 percent on surging output at mines and utilities. But manufacturing production was flat.

US retail sales rose 0.2% in Nov., helped by holiday boost

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales increased a slight 0.2% in November, as strong sales tied to holiday shopping were offset by lower gasoline prices.

EU leaders vow to press on with 'no-deal' Brexit plans

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders expressed deep doubts Friday that British Prime Minister Theresa May can live up to her side of their Brexit agreement and they vowed to step up preparations for a potentially-catastrophic "no-deal" scenario.

US budget deficit hits record $204.9 billion for November

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal budget deficit surged to a record for the month of November of $204.9 billion, but a big part of the increase reflected a calendar quirk.

With OK from Congress, US hemp market set to boom

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Hemp is about to get the nod from the federal government that marijuana, its cannabis plant cousin, craves.

Boy Scouts' money struggles: Is bankruptcy an option?

NEW YORK (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America deflected questions about a report suggesting it is considering seeking bankruptcy protection, though the head of the organization said it is exploring "all options" as it tries to stay afloat while facing sexual abuse lawsuits and dwindling membership.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

BRUSSELS (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May was seeking a Brexit lifeline from European Union leaders Thursday after winning a no-confidence vote among her own Conservative lawmakers at home — a victory won only after she put a time limit on her leadership.

Detention of Canadians raises stakes in China-US-Canada row

BEIJING (AP) — China confirmed Thursday that it has detained two Canadian men, raising the stakes in a three-way dispute over a Chinese technology executive facing possible extradition from Canada to the United States.

Apple deepens Austin ties, expands operations east and west

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, break ground on smaller locations in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California, and over the next three years expand in Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado, Boston, and Portland, Oregon.

Eurozone stimulus program to end as growth worries resurface

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank is ending the massive stimulus program that helped nurse the eurozone economy back to health over the past four years — despite the emergence of new risks including a global trade war and Brexit.

NATIONAL POLITICS

US, Canada hold high-stakes talks amid turmoil with China

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and Canada began high-stakes talks on Friday amid an escalating dispute with China that threatens to further complicate ties between the North American neighbors.

Michael Cohen claims Trump knew hush money payments wrong

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shaken and facing a prison term, President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer said Friday that Trump directed him to buy the silence of two women during the 2016 campaign because he was concerned about how their stories of alleged affairs with him "would affect the election." He says Trump knew the payments were wrong.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsely claims Flynn didn't lie to FBI

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is skimming over the facts when it comes to former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea for lying in the Russia investigation.

Senate rebukes Trump, Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi, Yemen

WASHINGTON (AP) — In back-to-back votes against Saudi Arabia, the Senate delivered an unusual rebuke of President Donald Trump's response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and signaled new skepticism from Capitol Hill toward the longtime Middle East ally.

Republican senator distances himself from Raytheon stock buy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee quickly unloaded newly acquired Raytheon stock following a report that the purchase was made after he urged President Donald Trump to boost defense spending by billions of dollars.

Pelosi says House Dems will start seeking Trump tax returns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats controlling the House next year will start trying to obtain President Donald Trump's income tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, the likely next speaker said Thursday.

As probe closes in, Trump distances himself from Cohen

WASHINGTON (AP) — Abandoned by two of his most powerful protectors, President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that he did not violate campaign finance laws and that the liability for hush-money payments to two women alleging affairs with him rests with his former fixer, Michael Cohen.

Flake's Senate farewell speech cites threats to democracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona is warning in his farewell address that the "threats to our democracy from within and without are real."

Senate passes overhaul of sexual harassment claim process

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has passed a bill to overhaul the process for handling sexual assault and harassment claims in Congress.

Trump argues he 'never directed' longtime fixer to break law

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is contending he "never directed" longtime lawyer Michael Cohen to break the law. Trump's tweet Thursday comes a day after Cohen was sentenced to prison for crimes including arranging hush money payments to conceal Trump's alleged affairs.

Trump's new Africa strategy takes sharp aim at China, Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Thursday announced a sharp refocus of its Africa strategy to counter what it called the "predatory" practices of China and Russia, which are "deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage."

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