Washington DC News, [BC-MCT-NEWS-BJT] – Daily Inter Lake


The three additional suspects also allegedly watched videos of mass shootings at a dinner party hosted by the alleged gunman days earlier, signaling a possible wider terror plot involving Saudis training on the base in Pensacola.

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^US and Iran swap prisoners in rare diplomatic breakthrough

USIRAN-PRISONERS-1ST-LEDE:DPA _ Iran released an American researcher accused of spying in exchange for an Iranian scientist convicted of violating U.S. sanctions, both sides announced on Saturday.

The swap was an unusual diplomatic breakthrough, facilitated by Switzerland, as the U.S. maintains tight sanctions on Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.

350 by Farshid Motahari and Eliyahu Kamisher in Tehran, Iran. MOVED

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^Someone ate the $120,000 banana at Art Basel. Yes, really

120K-BANANA:MI _ Someone ate a really expensive snack at Art Basel Saturday afternoon _ to the tune of $120,000.

For one banana.

By now you have probably heard of the now world-famous banana duct-taped to Emmanuel Perrotin’s outer gallery wall at Art Basel Miami Beach. The piece that sold to an art collector for $120,000.

The $120,000 banana _ a real, rather ripe and edible one _ is the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and titled “Comedian.” The work comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, and owners are told that they can replace the banana, as needed.

Instructions on how to replace the banana are not included.

But New York-based performance artist David Datuna ate the banana in front of a convention center full of art lovers, according to gallery representatives.

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^WASHINGTON

^Trump says Giuliani will file a report on findings from Ukraine

TRUMP-GIULIANI:BLO _ President Donald Trump said that his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, plans to prepare a report for the U.S. Justice Department and Congress about allegations of misconduct the former New York mayor says he uncovered during a recent trip to Ukraine.

Trump said Giuliani, a central figure in the impeachment investigation into whether Trump pressured Ukraine into a politically motivated investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, hadn’t briefed him on his findings.

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^House Democrats review new trade agreement from White House, Mexico

NORTHAMERICA-TRADE:BLO _ Negotiations on the stalled U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement reached a crucial phase on Saturday as the Trump administration sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a proposal for changes to the deal for review.

The plan was worked out during marathon talks this week between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and top Mexican negotiator Jesus Seade in Washington, according to people familiar with the talks.

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^POLITICS

^Trump’s boasts about Republican unity mask possible election peril

TRUMP-GOP:BLO _ Donald Trump likes to boast that he has unwavering Republican support even as the House impeachment advances, yet that backing is softer than he suggests, creating a potential risk for the president heading into 2020.

“We have tremendous support. Probably the most united that our party has ever been,” Trump said Tuesday at a news conference during the NATO summit in London. “I just had a 95% approval rating. It’s the highest in the history of the Republican Party.”

There’s no evidence for that. Trump has consistently had support in the high 80s among Republicans _ strong, but not a record for a president of that party.

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^Cory Booker will likely miss the December presidential debate, but says he’s not quitting

BOOKER:PH _ Cory Booker says he’s not leaving the presidential race.

But the New Jersey senator is facing questions about his viability. He is almost certain to miss the December Democratic debate after months of failing to move his poll numbers, and with another candidate who seemed to have vast potential, Sen. Kamala Harris, quitting the contest this week, the questions have come at Booker fast and furious as he races through Iowa.

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^UNITED STATES

^Tributes mount to 3 soldiers killed in Guard helicopter crash

GUARD-COPTERCRASH:MS _ The Minnesota National Guard on Saturday identified the three soldiers who died when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed this week in a snowy Stearns County farm field.

The three were Chief Warrant Officer 2 Charles Nord, 30; Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr., 28, and Sgt. Kort M. Plantenberg, 28. All three soldiers were assigned to Company C, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion, based in St. Cloud. They had returned in May from a nine-month deployment to the Middle East, where they conducted medical evacuations in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve.

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500 by Liz Sawyer and Mary Lynn Smith in St. Cloud, Minn. MOVED

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^Video shows how 16-year-old migrant died in his cell on Border Patrol’s watch

IMMIGRANT-DETENTION-DEATH:NY _ A 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant died in a South Texas Border Patrol station on the morning of May 20, but his death wasn’t discovered the way the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency reported, published video indicates.

Carlos Gregario Hernandez Vasquez “was found un-responsive this morning during a welfare check,” Border Patrol said in a statement published May 20.

But Vasquez wasn’t found by a Border Patrol official; he was found by his cellmate.

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^12-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy charged with involuntary manslaughter in fatal Charlotte school fight

CHILDREN-CHARGED:CH _ A 12-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy were charged with involuntary manslaughter after another 11-year-old boy was hit by a vehicle near a Charlotte middle school Thursday night.

150 by Joe Marusak in Charlotte, N.C. MOVED

^Tesla on auto-pilot collides with Connecticut state police cruiser

AUTO-TESLA-AUTOPILOT-CRASH:HC _ A Tesla in auto-pilot mode collided with a Connecticut state police cruiser early Saturday morning as the trooper was assisting a disabled motor vehicle in the center lane of Interstate 95.

According to police, a pair of troopers responded to a disabled vehicle in the left center lane of northbound I-95 near exit 15 in Norwalk. While troopers awaited a tow truck, a 2018 Tesla Model 3 struck the rear of one cruiser and then continued north, striking the disabled motor vehicle.

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^Americans say foreign policy knowledge is vital, still flunk quiz

AMERICANS-FOREIGNPOLICY:BLO _ Americans overwhelmingly agree that knowledge about geography and foreign policy is important in their lives. You wouldn’t know it by looking at their test scores.

The Council on Foreign Relations and the National Geographic Society commissioned Gallup to survey 2,500 Americans for their thoughts and aptitude on international issues. While seven in 10 respondents said such knowledge was important, just 6% scored an 80% or more on the quiz.

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^Caroline Kennedy christens aircraft carrier named for her father

USSKENNEDY:NN _ With the crash of a bottle against its hull, the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy was christened Saturday at Newport News Shipbuilding.

Caroline Kennedy, the late president’s daughter, did the honors as ship’s sponsor. It marked the second time she christened an aircraft carrier in her father’s name. The first aircraft carrier named for JFK served through Vietnam and into the post-9/11 era. Caroline Kennedy, then a child, launched that ship in 1967.

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^THE WORLD

^North Korea’s UN envoy says denuclearization off table

USNKOREA-NUCLEAR:BLO _ Denuclearization is off the negotiating table with the U.S., North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations said Saturday in a strongly worded statement that also criticized European Union member nations for playing “the role of pet dog” to Washington.

Ambassador Kim Song said that the “sustained and substantial dialogue” sought by the U.S. with Pyongyang was a trick done to suit its domestic political agenda, according the statement, which was first reported by Reuters.

350 by Chiara Vasarri and David Wainer in New York. MOVED

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^Zelenskiy, dragged into Trump impeachment drama, faces a tougher challenge: Putin

UKRAINE-RUSSIA:LA _ Volodymyr Zelenskiy looked up from his treadmill and addressed the people of Ukraine.

“Some say that it’s impossible to have a dialogue with Putin,” he said, “but without dialogue it’s like we’re on a treadmill _ we are running forward, but not moving.”

Days before his first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukraine’s president promised his war-battered nation of 43 million that he would not betray them to the enemy.

“This meeting is already a victory for Ukraine,” Zelenskiy said in the video, recorded as he worked out and then posted on his Facebook page.

Zelenskiy will meet Putin in Paris on Monday to resume peace talks aimed at ending Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatist militias in its eastern Donbas region.

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^Netanyahu suggests direct election for prime minister as way out of deadlock

ISRAEL:DPA _ With no sign of an end to Israel’s political stalemate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday proposed that he and his main challenger, Benny Gantz, go head-to-head in a runoff vote.

250 by Sara Lemel in Tel Aviv, Israel. MOVED

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^City of conflict turns into key election battleground

NIRELAND-ELECTION:BLO _ It doesn’t take much to bring old tensions back to the surface in a city that’s synonymous with sectarian conflict.

As campaigning before the U.K. election on Dec. 12 heads into the final stretch, lampposts in Belfast are adorned with the red, white and blue of the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party’s posters. Sinn Fein, formerly the political wing of the Irish Republican Army and the DUP’s most bitter adversary, is campaigning under the slogan “Time for Unity,” or reunification with Ireland. Both sides trade insults about alleged links to paramilitary forces.

Brexit may have blurred the lines between political tribes in the U.K., but in Northern Ireland it’s entrenched them even more.

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^US dollar is going further in Cuba, as value of the convertible peso drops

^CUBA-CURRENCY:MI_

But he was stunned, Prieto said, when his 75-year-old mother told him she intended to sell the dollars on the black market and make a profit.

“I always sent her $100 with Western Union, but she said it’s preferable that I send it with mules,” he said, using Cuban slang for travelers who deliver goods and cash to the island. “Because on the street, she gets a better exchange rate.”

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^EDITORIAL

^Los Angeles Times: We’ve seen enough. Trump should be impeached

^IMPEACHMENT-EDITORIAL:LA_

The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board was a reluctant convert to the impeachment cause. We worried that impeaching Trump on essentially a party-line vote would be divisive. It is also highly likely that Trump would be _ will be _ acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate, and that, rightly or wrongly, he would point to that in his reelection campaign as exoneration.

But those concerns must yield to the overwhelming evidence that Trump perverted U.S. foreign policy for his own political gain. That sort of misconduct is outrageous and corrosive of democracy. It can’t be ignored by the House, and it merits a full trial by the Senate on whether to remove him from office.

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^WEEKEND STORIES

^

These stories moved earlier in the week and are still suitable for publication.

^

^Their kids died on the psych ward. They were far from alone

MED-PSYCHWARD-DEATHS:LA _ Mia St. John’s cellphone lit up with a message from the psychiatrist treating her son. The voicemail shimmered with hope, the first she had felt in months.

The doctor said Julian, admitted to a psychiatric facility with schizophrenia, seemed more cheerful, was talking more with other patients and would soon begin a new art project.

Julian, 24, had been living at La Casa Mental Health Rehabilitation Center in Long Beach for two months, after his parents had resorted to involuntarily committing their son after he threatened to kill himself in September.

But three days after Mia received the physician’s voicemail, she got another call from La Casa. This time the message offered only despair.

Julian had suffocated himself with a plastic bag. Her son was dead.

How many others die in California psychiatric facilities has been a difficult question to answer. No single agency keeps tabs on the number of deaths at psychiatric facilities in California, or elsewhere in the nation.

3000 by Soumya Karlamangla in Los Angeles. MOVED

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^Pete Buttigieg is polling at 0% with black voters in South Carolina. Here’s how he’s trying to win them over

BUTTIGIEG-SCAROLINA:TB _ On a barren patch of land shaded by a single Southern live oak tree sits a cinder block building that serves as the Democratic headquarters of the smallest, poorest and most African American county in South Carolina.

Inside the modest structure, Pete Buttigieg stood under exposed beams and on a concrete floor partially covered with old scraps of orange carpet, eager to field questions as the first presidential candidate to visit Allendale County in more than a decade. Willa Jennings, the party’s 70-year-old chairwoman, didn’t start with a softball.

“I have to ask you this, OK? I hear a lot about how you don’t have support from African Americans,” she said. “I just want to know why they’re saying that about you.”

Buttigieg can pack white folks into high school gyms in Iowa and New Hampshire with the best of them, and he leads the polls in those key first two voting states.

But if the 37-year-old political star is going to broaden his appeal enough to win the Democratic nomination, he’s going to have to solve his struggles with black voters, one of the party’s key voting blocs.

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^She was a test case for resettling detainees of Japanese descent _ and unaware of the risk

^JAPANESE-RELOCATION:LA_

The internment camp was surrounded by barbed wire fences and eight machine gun towers. Esther wanted nothing more than to return to California to start college.

That opportunity arrived sooner than expected. On a summer day, an old family friend named Hugh Anderson had come in on the train from Los Angeles with news. The federal government had given him the go-ahead to bring a single Japanese American student back to Southern California to enroll in college. It was a test case for the resettlement of all the detainees of Japanese descent, and he thought Esther, 19, would be a perfect candidate.

Esther’s resettlement would gauge the public reaction and, if all went well, lead the way for tens of thousands more to return to the West Coast.

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^50 years after Black Panther leaders were killed in a hail of gunfire, the fight against police brutality continues

BLACKPANTHER-LEADER-POLICE:TB _ For a generation of Chicagoans, their opinion of what happened in 1969 when Chicago police raided the West Side apartment of Black Panther Party members depended greatly on what neighborhood they called home.

For the public at large, it was as police officials described: a dramatic gunfight launched against police by violent black nationalists that left two dead and four wounded.

But for others, particularly socially conscious African Americans, the Dec. 4 raid on the two-flat was a cold-blooded execution of Black Panthers leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, ordered by federal authorities eager to snuff out burgeoning black leadership.

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^In a converted bus in Tijuana, a school emerges for asylum-seekers

TIJUANA-BUS-CLASSROOM:LA _ It’s a Friday morning and, as at any other school, children are cutting paper, drawing, reading aloud and playing with friends. There’s some shouting and pushing too, and their teacher patiently arranges the desks and gives instructions.

What’s unusual is the setting: the inside of a passenger bus that has been converted into a classroom.

The school is part of the Yes We Can Mobile Schools project of the Yes We Can World Foundation, a nonprofit formed to support migrant children trapped on Mexico’s northern border while they wait for U.S. authorities to accept or deny their asylum applications.

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^The fall of the Berlin Wall once gave South Korea hope. Not anymore

SKOREA-BERLINWALL:LA _ Office workers, delivery boys and teenagers in school uniforms hurried through the rain, past the battered concrete slab without giving it a second glance.

Hana Lee strode up, stared at it pensively, then snapped a photograph.

The panel _ 12 feet wide, about as tall and 15 inches thick _ is a piece of the Berlin Wall. It has been on display in downtown Seoul since 2005, when Germany gifted it to South Korea as a “symbol of hope for the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula.”

Pieces of the wall are also exhibited in Germany, but Lee wanted to see it here, 30 miles from the proverbial final Cold War frontier between North and South Korea _ a heavily guarded barrier no closer to crumbling than it was when the one in Berlin fell in 1989.

When the Berlin Wall came down, the predominant emotion in South Korea was envy, soon followed by hope.

Today, that hope has faded.

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