National News

Library named for Charleston church shooting victim targeted

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Police in South Carolina are looking for whoever is responsible for racist and anti-gay graffiti at three buildings, including a library named for one of the victims of the 2015 Charleston church shootings. Area news outlets report that workers found the graffiti when ...

Tight budgets could complicate Sessions’ vow to fight crime

By SADIE GURMAN, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is promising his Justice Department will lead the charge in helping cities fight violent crime, and police chiefs are ready with their wish-lists. More technology to trace guns after shootings. More grant ...

Trump adviser says gov’t has many ways to surveil people

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says she doesn't have any evidence to support President Donald Trump's claim that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower phone lines during the election. Instead, Conway is pointing to recent revelations about other government ...

Democrats warn against funding border wall in catchall bill

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Senate Democrats are warning Republicans controlling Congress against adding billions of dollars for President Donald Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall to an upcoming $1 trillion-plus catchall spending package. The warning from Senate ...

Republicans brace for downbeat CBO analysis of health bill

By HOPE YEN, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans pushing a plan to dismantle Barack Obama's health care law are bracing for a Congressional Budget Office analysis widely expected to conclude that fewer Americans will have health coverage under the proposal, despite President ...

AP Exclusive: Under radar, Florida spent $240M on lawyers

By GARY FINEOUT, Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Gov. Rick Scott and other top Florida Republicans frequently complain about government spending, but they have quietly spent more than $237 million on private lawyers to advance and defend their agendas, an Associated Press ...

University launches Biden policy institute

NEWARK, Del. (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden is joining officials at the University of Delaware, his alma mater, for the launch Monday of the Biden Institute. The Institute is a new research and policy center focused on domestic issues including economic reform, environmental ...

Nor’easter to bring heavy snow, strong winds to Northeast

NEW YORK (AP) — A powerful nor'easter could bring blizzard conditions and more than a foot of snow to some parts of the Northeast, proving that winter is not done yet. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard watch from late Monday night through Tuesday evening for New York City and ...

Now-fired Preet Bharara proud of ‘absolute independence’

By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — A defiant Manhattan federal prosecutor, in announcing his firing after he refused to resign, says "absolute independence" was his touchstone for over seven years as he battled public corruption. Preet Bharara, 48, revealed his firing ...

Storm to hit Northeast; blizzard watch for NYC, Boston

By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Sunny days and T-shirt-wearing temperatures made it appear winter had made an early exit. But it's not finished with us yet — at least in the Northeast where a powerful storm with high winds and up to a foot of snow is ...

House committee wants evidence for Trump’s wiretap claim

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The House intelligence committee is asking the Trump administration for evidence that the phones at Trump Tower were tapped during the campaign as its namesake has charged. President Donald Trump asserted in a tweet last week: "Terrible! ...

Trump budget timeline mixes deadlines, uncertainty

By The Associated Press President Donald Trump's release of a spending blueprint for the upcoming budget year will set in motion a debate that's full of uncertainty — and the potential for gridlock, even a government shutdown. There's also a more immediate quandary: What to do about the ...

Advocates say First Amendment can withstand Trump attacks

By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Whenever Donald Trump fumes about "fake news" or labels the press "the enemy of the people," First Amendment scholar David L. Hudson Jr. hears echoes of other presidents — but a breadth and tone that are entirely new. Trump may not know ...

US rig count increases 12 this week to 768; Louisiana up 5

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 12 this week to 768. A year ago, 480 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 617 rigs sought oil and 151 explored for natural gas this week. Louisiana ...

Democratic AGs step up legal fight against Trump travel ban

By MARTHA BELLISLE and JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER, Associated Press SEATTLE (AP) — In stepping up legal challenges to President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, Democratic attorneys general are trying to use the court system to thwart the executive branch in the same way their GOP ...

House GOP health bill would cut women’s services

By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Women seeking abortions and some basic health services, including prenatal care, contraception and cancer screenings, would face restrictions and struggle to pay for some of that medical care under the House Republicans' proposed ...

Volkswagen pleads guilty in US diesel emissions scandal

By TOM KRISHER and ED WHITE, Associated Press DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a brazen scheme to get around U.S. pollution rules on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles by using software to suppress emissions of nitrogen oxide during ...

Prosecutors gone from jobs after AP report on church abuse

By MITCH WEISS and JEFFREY COLLINS, Associated Press A North Carolina district attorney said Friday that two assistant prosecutors no longer work for him after The Associated Press reported ex-members of a church said the men, who belong to the sect, derailed criminal investigations into ...

Book filled with blank pages tops Amazon’s best seller list

SEATTLE (AP) — A joke book "written" by a conservative author and filled with blank pages in a dig at Democrats is the top selling book on Amazon. "Reasons to Vote for Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide" consists of 266 pages. It has a table of contents, chapters and a bibliography, but no ...

Officials say Kansas wildfires are under control

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Officials say wildfires that have charred more than 1,100 square miles in Kansas are under control, prompting the state to withdraw response teams from the firefighting effort. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management said Friday that crews in Clark County have a blaze ...