Tribune News Service
International Budget for Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Updated at 0000 UTC (8 p.m. U.S. EDT Tuesday).
Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.
^Trump backs down again, delays many new tariffs on China until December<
USCHINA-TARIFFS-2ND-LEDE:LA — President Donald Trump on Tuesday pulled back from the brink of a dangerous escalation of his trade war with Beijing, putting off until at least mid-December his plan to impose new tariffs on tens of billions of dollars worth of cellphones, laptops, toys, shoes and clothes made in China.
Trump said he reconsidered the original Sept. 1 tariff start date because of the potential effect on American consumers during a critical shopping period. It also came after financial markets reeled for several days over fears that there was no end in sight for the ongoing trade war.
1200 by Don Lee in Washington. MOVED
^Chaos at Hong Kong airport as protests turn violent, disrupting flights for second day in a row<
HONGKONG-1ST-LEDE:LA — Chaos consumed Hong Kong's international airport Tuesday as formerly peaceful pro-democracy protests took a turn toward vigilantism.
Thousands of protesters blocked passengers and occupied terminals, forcing the airport to suspend all check-ins for the second day in a row, later clashing with riot police and attacking suspected undercover cops in their midst.
1200 by Alice Su and Ryan Ho Kilpatrick in Hong Kong. MOVED
^New study definitively links western Antarctic ice melt to human-caused climate change<
^ENV-CLIMATE-ANTARCTICA:NY—<As scientists watch the world's ice melt away, predict sea level rises, and sound the alarm about climate change, they have been struggled to demonstrate a direct link between that and human activity, at least when it comes to the western Antarctic ice sheets — until now.
Atmospheric warming has been linked by researchers to the loss of ice in the Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost part of the continent. But air temperatures have remained quite low in the rest of Antarctica, including West Antarctica, causing scientists to look to the ocean as the cause for ice loss there, researchers say.
700 by Theresa Braine. MOVED
^New information reveals Dayton gunman's activities before the shooting<
DAYTON-SHOOTING:DY — Police released more information about the gunman's actions in the two hours leading up to a mass shooting in Dayton's Oregon District on Aug. 4.
Various video surveillance cameras in the neighborhood helped police piece the timeline together, showing the gunman as he visited two bars on East Fifth Street before returning into his vehicle and changing into a dark hoodie and grabbing his backpack.
450 by Cornelius Frolik and Will Garbe in Dayton, Ohio. MOVED
^California sues to stop Trump rollback of Obama-era restrictions on coal-burning power plants<
ENV-COAL-POWERPLANTS-LAWSUIT:LA — California and a coalition of 21 other states on Tuesday sued to block the Trump administration's attempt to gut restrictions on coal-burning power plants, limits that were central to President Barack Obama's climate change policy.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra said President Donald Trump's effort to dismantle 2015's Clean Power Plan undercuts efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allows the Environmental Protection Agency to abandon its legal responsibility to crack down on air pollution.
600 by Phil Willon in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED
^Trump aides see incompetence, not conspiracy, in Epstein's death<
EPSTEIN-TRUMP:WA — Trump administration officials suspect a portrait of incompetence, rather than conspiracy, will emerge from a series of federal investigations underway into the Bureau of Prisons' handling of Jeffrey Epstein's death at a Manhattan jailhouse.
Speaking with McClatchy, White House officials expressed relief that Attorney General Bill Barr moved swiftly to open an inquiry into the death of the accused sex trafficker.
800 by Michael Wilner and Lesley Clark in Washington. MOVED
Also moving as:
EPSTEIN-TRUMP:NY — 600 by Chris Sommerfeldt. MOVED
^Warden being replaced, 2 staffers put on leave at Manhattan federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein died<
^EPSTEIN-JAIL:NY—<The warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan where Jeffrey Epstein apparently killed himself was pulled from his post and two staffers were put on leave Tuesday amid an ongoing investigation into the high-profile inmate's death.
The Department of Justice announced that current MCC Warden Shirley Skipper-Scott would be replaced by James Petrucci, who ran the medium-security prison at Otisville, N.Y.
350 by Stephen Rex Brown. (Moved as a national story.) MOVED
^White House foreign aid cuts to spare Ivanka, Pence favorite programs<
FOREIGNAID:CON — Funding to support global health programs, promote women's economic development and protect Christians and other religious minorities abroad from persecution would be exempt from a package of cuts to foreign aid that the White House is developing.
A senior administration official said Monday those programs are a high priority for President Donald Trump.
"He's not going to touch those" as part of a forthcoming request for spending cuts, or rescissions, affecting the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, the official said.
550 by Paul M. Krawzak in Washington. MOVED
^Pelosi's litigation-first impeachment strategy has its own risks<
PELOSI-IMPEACHMENT-LEGAL:BLO — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's strategy of slow-walking moves to impeach President Donald Trump depends on fighting first in the courts to see how much more evidence Democrats can get.
The reality, though, is that litigation may take months or even years to play out, and pressure to act is building as time goes on. The courts may not resolve some issues by late autumn, the deadline House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler has floated to make a decision on filing articles of impeachment before election year arrives.
1200 (with trims) by Billy House in Washington. MOVED
^Julian Castro targets Trump in Fox News ad: 'You stoked the fire of racists'<
CASTRO-AD:AU — Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro is blaming President Donald Trump for last week's mass shooting in El Paso, saying Americans were killed because the president "stoked the fire of racists."
And his message is intended to be delivered in a way that is very personal to the president — via a new ad that will run Wednesday on a Fox News channel where Trump is vacationing at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J.
500 by Matt Zdun in Austin, Texas. MOVED
^Trial of Mar-a-Lago intruder pushed to September<
MARALAGO-ARREST:MI — The Chinese woman arrested in March trying to enter Mar-a-Lago with a trove of electronics appeared in federal court in Fort Lauderdale briefly Tuesday, where a judge accused her of being intentionally difficult when she refused to answer his questions out loud.
"The defendant has decided that she wants to play games with the court," said U.S. District Judge Roy Altman. On several occasions Altman was forced to describe Zhang's nods or smiles into the record when she refused to answer.
800 by Sarah Blaskey in Miami. MOVED
^Rep. Duncan Hunter's criminal trial rescheduled for January<
CONGRESS-HUNTER:SD — Lawyers for Rep. Duncan Hunter asked a federal judge Tuesday to delay his political corruption trial so the Republican congressman from San Diego County can argue before an appeals court that the criminal charges should be dismissed.
The trial, which had been scheduled to start Sept. 10, will now take place Jan. 14, according to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan.
200 by Jeff McDonald and Morgan Cook in San Diego. MOVED
^Ohio state lawmaker wants to use seized fentanyl in executions<
OHIO-LAWMAKER-EXECUTIONS:OH — An Ohio lawmaker intends to introduce a bill to allow state prison officials to used seized fentanyl to execute prisoners residing on death row.
In a Monday evening email to his colleagues, state Rep. Scott Wiggam, a Wooster Republican, sought co-sponsors for his planned legislation, which would employ an opioid that has killed thousands of Ohioans through accidental overdoses.
550 by Randy Ludlow in Columbus, Ohio. MOVED
^In El Paso's wake, a corrido honors the dead and points fingers at the villains<
^MUS-ELPASO-CORRIDO:LA—<Two young musicians stood outside the El Paso Walmart, guitars in hand. Days earlier, 22 victims had been gunned down at that store in what officials described as a racially motivated terror attack against Latinos.
But as their community tried to recover and mourn the dead, the two musicians turned to a small crowd around them, and Josue Rodriguez began to sing a mournful corrido.
The first verses recounted the ghastly, heartbreaking events from days before. "At Walmart by Cielo Vista / People walked peacefully / But they never imagined / Their lives would be changed."
But by the end, the song was a statement of resilience and resistance.
900 by August Brown. MOVED
^Quentin Tarantino says 'Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy'<
^MOVIE-TARANTINO-LEE:LA—<Quentin Tarantino is not apologizing for "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's" portrayal of Bruce Lee after receiving backlash from Lee's family and friends.
During a press conference for the film in Moscow last week, Tarantino defended his controversial decision to paint the late action star, played by Mike Moh, as a narcissist. In an interview with The Times, Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, criticized the movie for turning her father into an "arrogant, egotistical punching bag."
"Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy," Tarantino said in a video posted by Radar Magazine. "The way he was talking, I didn't just make a lot of that up. I heard him say things like that, to that effect. If people are saying, 'Well, he never said he could beat up Muhammad Ali,' well yeah, he did. Not only did he say that, but his wife, Linda Lee, said that in her first biography I ever read She absolutely said it."
500 by Christi Carras. MOVED
^Placido Domingo sexual harassment allegations will be investigated by L.A. Opera<
^DOMINGO:LA—<Los Angeles Opera said Tuesday that it will "engage outside counsel" to investigate the sexual harassment accusations against general director Pl cido Domingo.
250 by Makeda Easter. MOVED
^Commentary: Blaming mental health for mass shootings shows 'complete lack of understanding' of gun violence in America<
^MASS-SHOOTINGS-MENTALHEALTH-COMMENTARY:BZ—<GOP pivots towards mental health, video games and rates of interpersonal gun violence in urban centers like Chicago in the wake of mass carnage are both disingenuous and tiring. It shows a complete lack of understanding about gun violence in America and an even greater lack of conviction in addressing it.
800 by Louise A. Flavahan. MOVED
^Commentary: Scientists can't be trusted on gene editing<
^GENE-EDITING-PROGRESSIVE-COMMENTARY:MCT—<In mid-July, a bipartisan trio of U.S. senators — Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California and Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Republican Marco Rubio of Florida — introduced a resolution calling for the creation of an international commission to set ethical standards for gene-editing research.
How badly is this needed? Let's just look at what has happened since.
700 by Pete Shanks. MOVED
^Commentary: Michael R. Bloomberg: New Democratic unity can overpower the NRA<
^BLOOMBERG-GUNS-COMMENTARY:BLO—<The fact is, 30 Americans are murdered with guns every day. Very few of those murders make national news.
But think about it: That's the equivalent to multiple mass shootings every 24 hours. And, on top of that, another 61 people commit suicide with guns every day.
1600 by Michael R. Bloomberg. MOVED
^Commentary: Donald Trump: the amusical president<
^TRUMP-MUSIC-COMMENTARY:BZ—<The last installment of PBS's "In Performance at the White House" was broadcast in 2016. It appears that only the United States Marine Corps Band performs at the White House under the current president.
Thomas Jefferson called music "the favorite passion of my soul," but Donald Trump has other passions.
750 by Steven G. Kellman. MOVED
^Editorial: Trump's callous attack on immigrants who need public aid<
^IMMIGRATION-EDITORIAL:LA—<The Trump administration is moving — again — to make it more difficult for even legal immigrants to get a foothold in the United States.
750 by The Times Editorial Board. MOVED
^Editorial: Trump guts the Endangered Species Act. Polar bears and bald eagles, take notice<
^ENV-ENDANGEREDSPECIES-EDITORIAL:LA—<The Trump administration announced reckless and potentially devastating new rules Monday that will weaken the Endangered Species Act, which currently bestows a mantle of protection over 1,663 species of animals and plants. Of those, 1,275 are considered endangered and close to extinction. Another 388 are listed as threatened — the polar bear is one — and at risk of becoming endangered.
600 by The Times Editorial Board. MOVED
^Editorial: 2020 Democrats are talking gun control. Will they propose ideas that would actually work?<
^GUNCONTROL-EDITORIAL:BZ—<The twin mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton have brought gun control to the forefront of the Democratic presidential race in a way it hasn't been for at least a generation, but not all of them are pushing hard enough to make a real difference.
^Editorial: America's mental illness is guns<
^GUNS-EDITORIAL:PH—<Rattlesnakes are only poisonous if you think they are.
Women can stop their bodies from getting pregnant as a result of rape.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is prohibited from computerizing gun sale records into a searchable database that would allow them to easily trace guns used in crimes.
All of these statements are insane. And one of them is true: the ATF is forced to rely on primitive digital records on gun sales, forcing a cumbersome search, via paper or phone, whenever a gun used in a crime is investigated.
^Editorial: Justice for Jeffrey Epstein's accusers<
^EPSTEIN-ACCUSERS-EDITORIAL:TB—<The death of convicted sex offender and wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein in a Manhattan jail cell Saturday provided yet another shock in a grotesque, appalling story that still has many unanswered questions. Epstein was found unresponsive, and authorities say he somehow managed to kill himself — despite having previously been under suicide watch.
^Editorial: An EPA decision reviving Alaska's Pebble Mine endangers Bristol Bay and a vibrant fishing economy<
^EPA-ALASKA-EDITORIAL:LA—<Just five years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency determined that a proposal to dig a massive open-pit copper and gold mine near southwest Alaska's Bristol Bay — one of the world's most important salmon fisheries — threatened an environmental disaster. So it issued rules to severely curtail the potential project.
What a difference an election makes.
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