AP News in Brief 01-20-19

Trump offers a ‘Dreamers’ deal for border-money proposal

WASHINGTON — In a bid to break the shutdown impasse and fund his long-promised border wall, President Donald Trump on Saturday offered to extend temporary protection for young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. But while Trump cast the move as a “common-sense compromise,” Democrats were quick to dismiss it at a “non-starter.”


Trump declared from the White House that “both sides in Washington must simply come together,” adding that he was there “to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward to end the government shutdown and solve the crisis on the southern border.”

Hoping to put pressure on Democrats, the White House billed the announcement as a major step forward. But Trump did not budge on his $5.7 billion demand for the wall and, in essence, offered to temporarily roll-back some of his own hawkish immigration actions — actions that have been blocked by federal courts.

Democrats dismissed Trump’s proposal even before his formal remarks. Reacting to the anticipated announcement earlier in the day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the proposal was “a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable.” The California Democrat said Trump’s expected offer was “not a good-faith effort” to help the immigrants and could not pass the House. She again called on Trump to reopen the government, shut for a record 29 days.

Democrats made their own move late Friday to break the impasse when they pledged to provide hundreds of millions of dollars more for border security.

A scaled-down, but still angry, Women’s March returns

WASHINGTON — Amid internal controversies and a capital city deeply distracted by the partial government shutdown, the third Women’s March returned to Washington on Saturday with an enduring message of anger and defiance aimed directly at President Donald Trump’s White House.

The original march in 2017, the day after Trump’s inauguration, flooded the city with pink-hatted protesters. The exact size of the turnout remains subject to a politically charged debate, but it’s generally regarded as the largest Washington protest since the Vietnam era.

This year was a more modest affair for multiple reasons. An estimated 100,000 protesters packed several blocks around Freedom Plaza, just east of the White House, holding a daylong rally. The march itself took about an hour and only moved about four blocks west along Pennsylvania Avenue past the Trump International Hotel before looping back to Freedom Plaza.

Organizers submitted a permit application estimating up to 500,000 participants even though it was widely expected that the turnout would be smaller. The original plan was to gather on the National Mall. But with the forecast calling for snow and freezing rain and the National Park Service no longer plowing snow because of the shutdown, organizers on Thursday changed the march’s location and route.

As it turned out the weather was chilly but otherwise pleasant, and the mood among the marchers a now-familiar mix of sister-power camaraderie and defiant anger toward Trump and the larger power structure. As always the Trump administration was the direct target of most of the abuse — with fresh bitterness stemming from more recent events like Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s successful confirmation last fall despite a direct accusation of sexual misconduct when he was in high school.

Winter storm forces airline cancellations, road troubles

DETROIT — A plane carrying 129 people skidded Saturday from a slick Chicago runway and a plow driver was killed when his truck rolled over outside Kansas City following a winter storm that covered many parts of the Midwest in snow and ice.

No injuries were reported on the United Airlines flight at O’Hare International Airport as it arrived Saturday morning from Phoenix, Chicago Fire officials said. The massive storm which dumped 10 inches of snow on some areas in the Midwest prompted the cancellation of nearly 1,000 flights at Chicago’s airports. The average delay at O’Hare was nearly an hour Saturday afternoon.

Kansas Department of Transportation snowplow Stephen Windler, 25, died about 6 a.m. Saturday on U.S. Highway 69, according to the Wichita Eagle . A police crash report says his truck “traveled to the right, traversing the shoulder and drove into the grass” before it rolled over. Windler was thrown from the vehicle which landed on top of him.

The storm moved Saturday toward the Northeast and New England. Some northern parts of New England could see up to 18 inches of snow.

From wire sources

A 15-vehicle crash blocked a section of Interstate 55 in southeastern Missouri near Ste. Genevieve Saturday afternoon and drivers were urged to find an alternative route. In Detroit, many motorists were moving well below posted speed limits along freeways due to slushy conditions. Amtrak canceled some trains Saturday from Chicago to Washington and New York and between New York and Boston and Pennsylvania on Sunday.

In deadly Nairobi attack, stories of fear, bravery and loss

NAIROBI, Kenya — Trapped in a Kenyan hotel under attack by extremists, June Chepkemei said she made peace with the fact that she might die.

Chepkemei, a communications specialist, was attending a workshop at the dusitD2 hotel in Nairobi on Tuesday when she heard a loud boom and gunfire. She told the Saturday Nation newspaper that she packed her laptop and fled upstairs, where she hid in a bathroom. Other colleagues hid behind curtains or under pillows on the bed. Security forces eventually broke down the door and led them to safety, ending hours of fear.

“I wrote to a close friend who I had contacted via text message and told her my final wishes,” Chepkemei said.

Days after the assault on the hotel complex in Kenya’s capital, stories of those who were there — victims and survivors, saviors and killers — have emerged, bringing depth to jarring images of civilians fleeing the chaos that were broadcast around the world. Authorities said 21 people, including a police officer, were killed by the attackers, all five of whom died.

There is a familiarity to what happened in Kenya, an East African economic power and popular tourist destination that has been a periodic target of bombings and other attacks for years. Once again it is mourning the dead, celebrating the brave and pursuing the perpetrators.


Call for political action after Laquan McDonald cases

CHICAGO — Activists and others who were disappointed by the outcome of two historic cases involving the killing of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white Chicago police officer see a way forward — by turning tragedy into political power.

A judge on Friday sentenced former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke to less than seven years in prison for McDonald’s 2014 death.

Video of Van Dyke firing 16 shots at McDonald as he walked away from the officer prompted protests, a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the Chicago Police Department and the firing of the police superintendent, among other changes. It also was a key piece of evidence in Van Dyke’s trial, when a jury last year found him guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery.

The judge’s sentence of six years and nine months — less than half of the penalty sought by prosecutors — means the 40-year-old could be released in just over three years. It came a day after a different judge acquitted three other Chicago police officers accused of lying about the shooting to protect Van Dyke.

Activist William Calloway, who helped force Mayor Rahm Emanuel to release police video of the shooting, said he and other community members were “heartbroken” by the judges’ decisions, but won’t give up seeking changes.


Archbishop calls for unity at slain Polish mayor’s funeral

WARSAW, Poland — A Catholic archbishop and other speakers at the funeral Saturday of slain Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz urged an end to the political and social divisions in Poland, targeting some of their comments at the country’s ruling right-wing party.

Top Polish and European officials and thousands of citizens joined Adamowicz’s widow, two daughters and other family members at the Mass held at Gdansk’s vast Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica.

Adamowicz, 53, died Monday after being stabbed the night before at a charity event in the northern Polish city. The arrested suspect is an ex-convict who publicly voiced a grudge against an opposition party, Civic Platform, that Adamowicz once belonged to.

The slaying, which came as Poland faces a deep political divide over actions by the conservative ruling Law and Justice party, was a shock to the nation. It has drawn calls for greater national unity and condemnation of hate speech that has intensified in public amid political rivalries.

Adamowicz himself was the target of criticism in state media and hate messages by some far-right activists for his tolerance and openness to others regardless of their race or beliefs. He was against Poland’s refusal to accept migrants and against the government’s moves to control the judiciary. He had called Gdansk a city of “freedom and Solidarity.”


Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Seven weeks after a massive earthquake rocked Alaska, aftershocks are still shattering 7-year-old Connor Cartwright’s sense of safety.

They shake the earth far less than the 7.0 magnitude quake that sent a mirror, TV and dishes crashing to the ground in the Anchorage home where Connor lives with his mother, father and 11-year-old brother.

But the seemingly never-ending aftershocks deepen quake anxiety for the second-grader and many other Alaska residents in the wide swath of the state shaken by the Nov. 30 quake.

When the big aftershocks hit, Connor fears his home will collapse.

“I feel like the house won’t hold up,” he said.


Multiple women eyeing 2020 hands Dems ‘wonderful challenge’

DES MOINES, Iowa — Advocates for gender equality are reckoning with what one called a “wonderful challenge” — four or more women running for president in 2020.

To many activists, that means a field more reflective of a party that counts women as a crucial voting bloc.

But the prospect of multiple women in the race also presents obstacles, with no single candidate holding a claim to women’s votes to the degree Hillary Clinton did in 2016. The women’s vote, and groups that provide financial and grassroots support, could split.


Looming over it all is persistent gender bias and the question of whether Americans are ready to elect a female president.

“We do realize there’s still sexism in this country, and what we’re trying to do is change minds. I think this country is more than ready for this to happen, I really do,” said EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock, whose group aids the campaigns of Democratic women supporting abortion rights. “But that doesn’t make it easy.”

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