AP News in Brief 03-08-19

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., walks to the chamber Thursday on Capitol Hill as the House was preparing to vote on a resolution to speak out against anti-semitism and bigotry. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House broadly condemns hate after anti- Semitism dispute

WASHINGTON — Divided in debate but mostly united in a final vote, the House passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other bigotry Thursday, with Democrats trying to push past a dispute that has overwhelmed their agenda and exposed fault lines that could shadow them through next year’s elections.

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The one-sided 407-23 vote belied the emotional infighting over how to respond to freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent comments suggesting House supporters of Israel have dual allegiances. For days, Democrats wrestled with whether or how to punish the lawmaker, arguing over whether Omar, one of two Muslim women in Congress, should be singled out, what other types of bias should be decried in the text and whether the party would tolerate dissenting views on Israel.

Republicans generally joined in the favorable vote, though nearly two-dozen opposed the measure, one calling it a “sham.”

Generational as well as ideological, the argument was fueled in part by young, liberal lawmakers — and voters — who have become a face of the newly empowered Democratic majority in the House. These lawmakers are critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, rejecting the conservative leader’s approach to Palestinians and other issues.

They split sharply from Democratic leaders who seemed caught off guard by the support for Omar and unprepared for the debate. But the leaders regrouped.

Scientists discover different kind of killer whale off Chile

WASHINGTON — For decades, there were tales from fishermen and tourists, even lots of photos, of a mysterious killer whale that just didn’t look like all the others, but scientists had never seen one.

Now they have.

An international team of researchers says they found a couple dozen of these distinctly different orcas roaming in the oceans off southern Chile in January. Scientists are waiting for DNA tests from a tissue sample but think it may be a distinct species.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration felt confident enough to trumpet the discovery of the long rumored killer whale on Thursday. Some outside experts were more cautious, acknowledging the whales are different, but saying they’d wait for the test results to answer the species question.

“This is the most different looking killer whale I’ve ever seen,” said Robert Pitman, a NOAA marine ecologist in San Diego. He was part of the team that spotted the orcas off Cape Horn at the tip of South America.

After making millions, R. Kelly could be left with nothing

CHICAGO — R. Kelly grew up in a public housing project in one of Chicago’s toughest South Side neighborhoods and built a worldwide musical brand that earned tens of millions of dollars over a nearly 30-year career.

But tax and legal issues — including recently filed charges that he sexually abused three girls and a woman — could leave the Grammy winner who has written songs for some of music’s top stars with next to nothing.

In an emotional interview that aired this week, Kelly told “CBS This Morning” that people stole money from his bank accounts. He offered no details.

His defense attorney said last month that the performer’s finances were “a mess” after Kelly was unable to post $100,000 in bail after his arrest on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

From wire sources

The lack of cash forced Kelly to spend a weekend in a Chicago jail, until a 47-year-old suburban business owner put up the money. She identified herself on the bond slip as “a friend” of Kelly’s.

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Suspect in death of Illinois deputy arrested after standoff

ROCKFORD, Ill. — A man suspected of fatally shooting a sheriff’s deputy and wounding a woman at an Illinois hotel was taken into custody Thursday after an hours-long standoff that began when he crashed his vehicle along an interstate highway, authorities said.

Floyd E. Brown, 39, was arrested hours after the crash in central Illinois, State Trooper Sean Ramsey said. Police employed flash grenades to disable the suspect after trying for hours to negotiate with him to surrender, Ramsey said.

Brown was taken for treatment at a hospital for several injuries, the cause of which wasn’t immediately known, Ramsey said.

He is accused of fatally shooting Deputy Jacob Keltner, 35, a 12 ½-year veteran of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department. Keltner was pronounced dead at the hospital several hours after he was shot, spokesman David Dezane said.

Police said a woman described as an acquaintance of Brown suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being hit with one of Brown’s rounds.

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Trump disappointed by activity at North Korea missile sites

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday that he’s a “little disappointed” by reports of new activity at a North Korean missile research center and long-range rocket site and that time will tell if U.S. diplomacy with the reclusive country will be successful.

South Korea’s military said it is carefully monitoring North Korean nuclear and missile facilities after the country’s spy agency told lawmakers that new activity was detected at a research center where the North is believed to build long-range missiles targeting the U.S. mainland.

Defense Ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said the U.S. and South Korean militaries are sharing intelligence over the developments at the North’s missile research center in Sanumdong on the outskirts of the capital, Pyongyang, and at a separate long-range rocket site. She did not elaborate on what the developments were.

Asked if he was disappointed in the new activity, Trump told reporters at the White House that he was “a little disappointed.” Then he said time will determine the future of U.S. efforts to get North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to give up his pursuit of nuclear weapons in exchange for relief from sanctions stalling economic growth.

“We’ll let you know in about a year,” Trump told the reporters.

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Chimps varied ‘culture’ matters for conservation, study says

WASHINGTON — Some chimpanzee groups are stone-throwers. Some use rocks to crack open tree nuts to eat. Others use sticks to fish for algae.

As researchers learn more about Homo sapiens’ closest living genetic relatives, they are also discovering more about the diversity of behaviors within chimpanzee groups — activities learned, at least in part socially, and passed from generation to generation.

These patterns are referred to as “traditions” — or even animal “culture.” In a new study , scientists argue that this diversity of behaviors should be protected as species themselves are safeguarded, and that they are now under threat from human disturbance.

“What we mean by ‘culture’ is something you learn socially from your group members that you may not learn if you were born into a different chimpanzee group,” said Ammie Kalan, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

“As chimpanzee populations decline and their habitats become fragmented, we can see a stark decline in chimpanzee behavioral diversity,” said Kalan, co-author of the sweeping new study published Thursday in the journal Science.

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Mystery good Samaritan enables man’s $273M lottery win

TRENTON, N.J. — An unemployed New Jersey man who won last Friday’s $273 million Mega Millions jackpot said he wants to reward the mystery person who returned the tickets to a store where he’d left them a day earlier.

Mike Weirsky said at a news conference with lottery officials Thursday that he bought the tickets last Thursday at a Quick Check store in Phillipsburg, near the Pennsylvania border, and forgot them there because he was more focused on his cellphone.

Someone found them and gave them to the store to hold. When Weirsky returned on Friday, he verified the tickets were his and store employees returned them.

Lottery officials said Thursday that if the person who found the tickets had held onto them and signed them, they could have claimed the jackpot.

“I’m looking for the guy that handed them in, I want to thank him,” Weirsky said. “I’m going to give him something, but I’m going to keep that private.”

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Run, bull, run. Longest bull market looks to keep going

Wall Street has rewarded its most patient investors handsomely over the past 10 years. Is there more to come?

The S&P 500, the U.S. market’s benchmark index, has gained about 309 percent since bottoming out at 676.53 points in March 2009 during the Great Recession, according to FactSet. The index is now 5.4 percent below its recent peak of 2,930.75 set on Sept. 20.

This bull market’s lifespan, the longest on record, speaks to financial markets’ resiliency in the face of a variety of shocks, including a brutal fourth quarter of 2018.

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Whether the bull keeps running hinges on whether companies can continue raking in profits, a key driver of the stock market, and whether the U.S. economy can avoid sliding into a recession. Bull markets tend to wither when fear of a recession kicks in.

“As long as corporate profits are growing, that’s usually the oxygen for further gains in the stock market,” said David Lefkowitz, senior Americas equity strategist at UBS Global Wealth Management.

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