Tribune News Service
International Budget for Thursday, September 12, 2019
Updated at 0305 UTC (11:05 p.m. U.S. EDT Wednesday).
Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.
^Court ruling suggests Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have broken the ultimate taboo: Lying to Her Majesty<
^BRITAIN:LA—<It's one thing to make up tabloid-style tales of bumbling European Union bureaucrats, as former colleagues say Boris Johnson routinely did when he was a journalist in Brussels years ago.
It's another thing to mislead the public about how Brexit would supposedly benefit Britain's struggling National Health Service, as critics say Johnson and his hard-charging fellow Brexiters did during the 2016 referendum campaign over whether to leave the EU.
But it would be quite, quite, quite another thing to deceive Her Majesty the Queen — to actually lie to the 93-year-old monarch's face.
A Scottish court has ruled that the prime minister appeared to have done just that when he sought royal assent last month to suspend Parliament for five weeks. According to the sharply worded ruling, he was untruthful about his main motive for the suspension: to shut down debate over Brexit.
950 by Laura King. MOVED
Also moving as:
BRITAIN:DPA — 500 by Bill Smith in London. MOVED
^UK warns of protests, chaotic border scenes in no-deal Brexit<
BRITAIN-BREXIT-DOCUMENT:BLO — The full scale of the damage a no-deal Brexit could cause to the U.K. was revealed when Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government published its worst-case scenario — a document it tried to keep secret.
The paper warned of food and fuel shortages, disruption to the supply chain, public disorder and intense pressure to return to the negotiating table if the U.K. crashes out of the European Union without an agreement. The five-page summary of no-deal planning, code-named Yellowhammer, was released late Wednesday to meet a deadline forced upon the government by Parliament.
1000 (with trims) by Alex Morales and Robert Hutton in London. MOVED
^Al-Qaida leader urges attacks against the West on Sept. 11 anniversary<
SEPT11-ANNIVERSARY-ALQAIDA:DPA — Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called for attacks against Israel and its allies around the world, in a recording released on the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
"My Mujahid brothers in Palestine and in the rest of the Muslim Ummah (nation)! The interests of Israel and its American, British, French, Russian and European allies are spread all over the world," Al-Zawahiri said in a video recording aired on Wednesday by al-Qaida media arm As-Sahab.
300 by dpa in Cairo. MOVED
^Trump delays China tariff increase as trade talks approach<
USCHINA-TARIFFS:BLO — President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he was postponing the imposition of 5% extra tariffs on Chinese goods by two weeks, a move that delays the next escalation of the trade war and brightens the backdrop for upcoming trade negotiations.
300 by John Harney in Washington and Jeffrey Black in Hong Kong. MOVED
^Tongan prime minister dies in New Zealand hospital<
TONGA:DPA — Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva died in a New Zealand hospital Thursday, according to local reports.
Pohiva was admitted to Vaiola Hospital in Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa two weeks ago and was treated for pneumonia, a government statement said Wednesday.
On Tuesday, doctors decided that the 78-year-old had to be medically evacuated to a hospital in Auckland. Earlier this year Pohiva was treated for a liver condition in the New Zealand city.
250 in Wellington, New Zealand. MOVED
^Elephant hunts start in Botswana with cautious pricing approach<
ENV-BOTSWANA-ELEPHANTS:BLO — Botswana has reintroduced elephant hunts with a cautious approach to pricing, a move likely to further inflame the controversy threatening a $2 billion tourism industry after a five-year ban on hunting was lifted.
The government will auction licenses to hunting operators for the right to shoot 158 elephants but is yet to decide on the minimum price it will set at the sales, said Kitso Mokaila, the country's environment minister.
There will also be a charge of 20,000 pula, or $1,834, for each of 72 elephant hunting licenses designated for foreigners, according to government documents seen by Bloomberg.
400 by Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg. MOVED
^Supreme Court rules for Trump on asylum ban at southern border<
SCOTUS-IMMIGRATION-ASYLUM-1ST-LEDE:LA — The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled for President Donald Trump and cleared the way for his administration to enforce a ban on nearly all asylum-seekers arriving at the southern border.
The justices by a 7-2 vote granted an emergency appeal from Trump's lawyers and set aside orders from judges in California who had blocked Trump's new rule from taking effect.
700 by David G. Savage in Washington. MOVED
^Trump suggests he might soften Iran sanctions, day after firing hard-liner Bolton<
TRUMP-TALIBAN-1ST-LEDE:LA — President Donald Trump opened the door Wednesday to lifting some sanctions on Iran in an effort to set up a meeting with that country's leaders, a softening of his "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran just a day after the firing of national security adviser John Bolton.
Trump has long claimed that the sanctions would cripple Iran's economy to the point of forcing its government back to the bargaining table. So far, that has not occurred.
1300 by Eli Stokols and Chris Megerian in Washington. MOVED
^Trump rules out unilateral move on cutting capital gains tax<
TRUMP-TAXES:BLO — President Donald Trump has decided against making an end-run around Congress to cut the tax on capital gains by indexing gains to inflation, the White House said Wednesday evening.
The decision was announced after a meeting earlier in the day between Trump and his economic advisers, where they discussed whether to move ahead with the tax break.
550 by Jordan Fabian, Laura Davison and Saleha Mohsin in Washington. MOVED
^At least 2,500 people registered as missing in the Bahamas; oil spill spreads<
^BAHAMAS:MI—<At least 2,500 people have been registered as missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, the Bahamas government said Wednesday, as it confirmed that oil from tanks damaged by the storm had spread along the coast of Grand Bahama.
The National Emergency Management Agency became aware of the oil spill as soon as it was able to fly over Grand Bahama and alerted the Norwegian company, Equinor, that owns and manages the facility, said spokesperson Carl Smith.
600 by Jacqueline Charles. MOVED
^Memorial service for 9/11 victims turns political with attack on Rep. Omar, call to end gun violence<
SEPT11-ANNIVERSARY-NEWYORK-1ST-LEDE:NY — Anguish mixed uncomfortably with advocacy at ground zero as mourners again filled the sacred space for the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, with a memorial service both sadly familiar and freshly heartbreaking.
The typically nonpartisan remembrance of the 2,753 victims killed in the World Trade Center terrorist attack veered suddenly into the political Wednesday, with the son of a Sept. 11 victim ripping U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar shortly after the mother of a man killed in the Twin Towers called for an end to America's continued gun violence.
800 by Wes Parnell and Larry McShane in New York. MOVED
^'That's a turnoff': Democratic debate attacks make some primary voters cringe<
^DEMOCRATS-DEBATE-INFIGHTING-ADV12:LA—<When Ray Watkins watches the third Democratic presidential primary debate, he'll do so with a twinge of trepidation.
In the last two debates, he saw his party's candidates rip into each other over healthcare, immigration and criminal justice policy. It wasn't a pleasant sight.
"It's like you have your brothers and sisters fighting against each other," said Watkins, a 46-year-old voter from Londonderry. "That's a turnoff."
The 10 Democratic candidates who take the stage in Houston on Thursday may see a verbal haymaker as a way to knock out a rival and claim victory in the debate. But many of their party's primary voters dread more attacks, fearing that intraparty sparring will harm their nominee in a general election against President Donald Trump.
That presents the presidential contenders, particularly those lagging in the polls, with a conundrum: How do you break from the pack when voters blanch at any sign of discord?
1100 (with trims) by Melanie Mason in Londonderry, N.H., and Matt Pearce in Fort Dodge, Iowa. MOVED
^ 'Not a wandering tourist': Guilty verdict for woman accused of trespassing at Trump's Mar-a-Lago<
MARALAGO-ARREST:MI — A Chinese businesswoman was found guilty Wednesday of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago and lying to a federal agent about why she was at President Donald Trump's private Palm Beach club, capping a bizarre federal trial where the enigmatic defendant's true purpose in coming to the resort was never answered.
Was Yujing Zhang, 33, just a bumbling tourist or an agent of Beijing's government? One thing is certain: Zhang, who has been in federal custody since her arrest March 30, now faces up to one year in prison on the trespassing charge and five years on the false-statement offense.
1100 by Jay Weaver and Nicholas Nehamas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED
^White House says no protected status now for Bahamians post-Dorian<
BAHAMIANS-TPS:BLO — President Donald Trump's administration doesn't plan at this time to invoke a special immigration status for Bahamians displaced by Hurricane Dorian who are already in the U.S, an official familiar with the matter said.
The official, speaking Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. continues to support the recovery effort with aid and services.
300 by Josh Wingrove in Washington. MOVED
^Democrats ramp up Trump inquiries<
TRUMP-INVESTIGATIONS:BLO — Heading into his re-election campaign, President Donald Trump faces months of inquiries by House Democrats beyond a potential impeachment probe.
The scrutiny extends from Trump's personal finances to decisions made by the White House on issues such as health care and immigration, his alleged direct involvement in payments to silence two women claiming to have had affairs with him and whether his closest aides improperly used private messaging services to conduct official business.
Most probes don't have a direct tie-in to whether the Judiciary Committee opens a formal presidential impeachment inquiry. But many do, and the interconnected investigations will add to the drumbeat of Democratic attacks on Trump leading up to the 2020 election.
Here are some of the biggest investigations to keep tabs on in upcoming months:
1350 by Billy House in Washington. MOVED
^Trump plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes<
ECIGARETTES-1ST-LEDE:LA — President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration plans to ban non-tobacco-flavored vaping products amid heightened concerns about their health hazards and surging use by teenagers.
The move comes after reports of at least six deaths and more than 400 cases of severe lung illnesses that are believed linked to the electronic cigarette products that feature sweet, fruity and minty flavors as well as conventional tobacco flavors.
900 by James F. Peltz and Jennifer Haberkorn in Washington. MOVED
^Hoyer contradicts Judiciary Committee on impeachment inquiry<
DEMOCRATS-IMPEACHMENT-1ST-LEDE:CON — House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer on Wednesday directly contradicted Judiciary Committee Democrats' assertion that they're engaged in an impeachment inquiry.
"No," the Maryland Democrat told reporters during his weekly press briefing when asked if he thought an impeachment inquiry was underway. "I think the delineation ought to be whether or not they're considering a resolution of impeachment."
Since such a resolution is not currently before the committee, Hoyer said he would not characterize their proceedings as an impeachment inquiry.
"I don't want to be simplistic about it but I don't want to quibble on words, either," he said.
Roughly an hour after the pen-and-pad briefing ended, however, Hoyer sent out a statement trying to clarify his comments.
900 by Lindsey McPherson in Washington. MOVED
^Narco-terror charges await Venezuela's former spymaster. Will he cooperate?<
VENEZUELA-SPYMASTER-CHARGES:MI — Former Venezuelan military spymaster Hugo Carvajal Barrios faces U.S. prosecution under a unique provision of the 2006 Patriot Act that treats him as an alleged narco-terrorist.
Spanish judges are expected to hear Carvajal's extradition case as early as Thursday. He was arrested last April 12 by Spanish authorities as he entered under a false name after fleeing Venezuela despite holding a legislative seat there.
U.S. prosecutors in New York filed a sealed indictment in 2011 against Carvajal, 59, for alleged drug trafficking. He had already been placed on a Treasury Department sanctions list in 2008.
1100 (with trims) by Kevin G. Hall and Antonio Maria Delgado in Washington. MOVED
^Poll: Democrats see Biden, Warren as close fits ideologically, view Sanders as more extreme<
DEMOCRATS-2020-POLL:LA — Democratic primary voters nationwide see former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren as relatively close to their own political views but regard Sen. Bernie Sanders as significantly further to their left, a new University of Southern California Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll shows.
The Democrats see Biden as slightly more conservative than themselves and Warren as slightly more liberal, the poll found.
As with other recent surveys, the latest USC/L.A. Times poll shows Biden, Sanders and Warren as the top choices for Democrats nationwide, with Warren having moved into a rough tie with Sanders for second place behind Biden. Sen. Kamala Harris has faded, having lost many of her supporters after a spike earlier in the summer.
Among the lead trio, Sanders has a couple of significant disadvantages, the poll indicates.
1450 by David Lauter in Washington. MOVED
^Trump grew weary of Bolton's push for military force against Venezuela<
^BOLTON-VENEZUELA:WA—<President Donald Trump ousted John Bolton in part because of frustration with his third national security adviser's guidance to pair military power with economic pressure against Venezuela, according to current and former administration officials.
One senior administration official said that Trump had grown weary of repeated vows from Bolton that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would be out of office in short order. A second official said that they had clashed over Bolton's efforts to advance planning for military intervention.
That official pointed to the administration's national security strategy, which predated Bolton's tenure and called for "strong diplomatic engagement" to isolate rogue nations in the Western Hemisphere. "That has been and remains the policy," the official told McClatchy, although officials across the administration insist that all options are on the table.
650 by Michael Wilner in Washington. MOVED
^Trump administration bars access to immigration tent courts<
IMMIGRATION-TENT-COURTS:LA — The Trump administration announced Wednesday that new immigration courts in tents on the Texas border with Mexico will be closed to legal observers, the media and the public.
Immigration lawyers condemned the restrictions as a violation of the due process rights of asylum-seekers.
550 by Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Houston. MOVED
^Odds increase as next tropical storm could form from wave targeting Bahamas, then Florida<
WEA-TROPICALSYSTEM-1ST-LEDE:OS — A tropical wave in the Southwestern Atlantic has highly increased chances of developing into an organized storm and possibly Tropical Storm Humberto over the next two days as it heads toward the Bahamas and Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The wave, over the Turks and Caicos, has a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression as early as Friday over the Bahamas or South Florida.
350 by Joe Mario Pedersen in Orlando, Fla. MOVED
^North Carolina's 9th District highlights trouble spots for both parties<
NCCONGRESS-9THDISTRICT-LESSONS:CON — Within eight minutes of each other Wednesday morning, the two House campaign committees blasted out dueling memos about what Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop's 2-point victory in North Carolina's 9th District means for the country's political future.
The posturing was typical of reactions to special elections in the era of President Donald Trump. Publicly, at least, Republicans say everything is fine, while Democrats celebrate a narrow loss in a district that shouldn't have been competitive.
Still, there are warning signs for both parties in Tuesday's result.
1200 by Simone Pathe in Washington. MOVED
^T. Boone Pickens, larger-than-life energy tycoon, dies at 91<
PICKENS-OBIT:DA — T. Boone Pickens, legendary energy executive, philanthropist, ardent Oklahoma State University supporter and one of America's most famous entrepreneurs, died peacefully Wednesday of natural causes at his Dallas home. He was 91.
Pickens had an energy career that went from laborer to corporate take-over raider to tycoon to business soothsayer.
L.A. movie producers would have been hard-pressed to create an exaggerated Hollywood version of the real-life man.
2900 (with trims) by Cheryl Hall in Dallas. MOVED
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