McCarthy's last-ditch plan to keep the government open collapses, making a shutdown almost certain
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's last-ditch plan to keep the federal government temporarily open collapsed in dramatic fashion Friday as a robust faction of hard-right holdouts rejected the package, making a shutdown almost certain.
McCarthy’s right-flank Republicans refused to support the bill despite its steep spending cuts of nearly 30% to many agencies and severe border security provisions, calling it insufficient.
The White House and Democrats rejected the Republican approach as too extreme. The vote was 198-232, with 21 hard-right Republicans voting to sink the package. The Democrats voted against it.
The bill’s complete failure a day before Saturday’s deadline to fund the government leaves few options to prevent a shutdown that will furlough federal workers, keep the military working without pay and disrupt programs and services for millions of Americans.
A clearly agitated McCarthy left the House chamber. “It’s not the end yet; I've got other ideas,” he told reporters.
New York City area gets one of its wettest days in decades, as rain swamps subways and streets
NEW YORK (AP) — Rain walloped the New York metropolitan area with a startling punch Friday, knocking out several subway and commuter rail lines, stranding drivers on highways, flooding basements and shuttering a terminal at LaGuardia Airport for hours in one of the city's wettest days in decades.
More than 7.25 inches (18.41 centimeters) of rain had fallen in parts of Brooklyn by nightfall, with at least one spot seeing 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) in a single hour, according to weather and city officials. The 8.65 inches (21.97 centimeters) at John F. Kennedy Airport surpassed its record for any September day, a bar set during Hurricane Donna in 1960, the National Weather Service said.
And more downpours were expected.
The deluge came two years after the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped record-breaking rain on the Northeast and killed at least 13 people in New York City, mostly in flooded basement apartments. Although no deaths or severe injuries have been reported so far from Friday's storm, it stirred frightening memories.
Ida killed three of Joy Wong's neighbors, including a toddler. And on Friday, water began lapping against the front door of her building in Woodside, Queens.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, trailblazer and champion of liberal priorities, dies at age 90
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a centrist Democrat and champion of liberal causes who was elected to the Senate in 1992 and broke gender barriers throughout her long career in local and national politics, has died. She was 90.
Feinstein died on Thursday night at her home in Washington, D.C., her office said on Friday. Tributes poured in all day. Opening the Senate floor, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that “we lost a giant in the Senate.”
“As the nation mourns this tremendous loss, we know how many lives she impacted and how many glass ceilings she shattered along the way," Schumer said, his voice cracking.
President Joe Biden, who served with Feinstein for years in the Senate, called her “a pioneering American,” a “true trailblazer” and a “cherished friend."
California Gov. Gavin Newsom will appoint a temporary replacement, and there is sure to be a spirited battle to succeed her.
United Auto Workers strikes spread as 7,000 more workers at two plants join the picket line
DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union expanded strikes against Detroit automakers Friday, ordering 7,000 more workers to walk off the job in Illinois and Michigan to put more pressure on the companies to improve their offers.
It was the second time the union has widened the walkouts, which started two weeks ago at three assembly plants before the most recent addition of a Ford plant in Chicago and a General Motors factory near Lansing.
Union President Shawn Fain told workers in a video appearance that the strikes were escalated because Ford and GM refused “to make meaningful progress” in contract talks. Jeep maker Stellantis was spared from the third round of strikes.
Ford and GM shot back as a war of words with the union also intensified. Ford accused the UAW of holding up a deal mainly over union representation at electric vehicle battery plants, most of which are joint ventures with a Korean manufacturer.
“We still have time to reach an agreement and avert a real disaster," Ford CEO Jim Farley said. The company said the work stoppages are starting to affect fragile companies that make parts for the factories on strike.
The Navy will start randomly testing SEALs and special warfare troops for steroids
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy will begin randomly testing its special operations forces for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs beginning in November, taking a groundbreaking step that military leaders have long resisted.
Rear Adm. Keith Davids, commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, announced the new program Friday in a message to his force, calling it necessary to protect their health and military readiness. The Navy will be the first to begin random testing, but Army Special Operations Command said it will soon follow suit, although no start date has been set.
The Army and Navy have the largest and most well known special operations forces, including the Navy SEALs and Army’s Delta Force, Green Berets and Ranger Regiment. They are often called on to do the military’s most sensitive and dangerous missions. The physical and mental challenges of getting through their selection and training programs and the pressures of the risky missions can lead to some to use performance-enhancing drugs, although officials say the numbers are small.
The use of these drugs has been a somewhat limited but persistent problem across the military, but leaders have balked at increased testing because it is highly specialized, costly and requires contracting with the few labs that do such work. The military services have done occasional tests when they perceive a problem with an individual service member, but they must get special permission from the Pentagon to do routine, random testing.
The Air Force and the Marine Corps special operations commands said they have not yet requested a similar policy change.
Last living suspect in 1996 drive-by shooting of Tupac Shakur indicted in Las Vegas on murder charge
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man who prosecutors say ordered the 1996 killing of rapper Tupac Shakur was arrested and charged with murder Friday in a long-awaited breakthrough in one of hip-hop’s most enduring mysteries.
Duane “Keffe D” Davis has long been known to investigators as one of four suspects identified early in the investigation. He isn’t the accused gunman but was described as the group's ringleader by authorities Friday at a news conference and in court. In Nevada you can be charged with a crime, including murder, if you help someone commit the crime.
“Duane Davis was the shot caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime," said Las Vegas police homicide Lt. Jason Johansson, "and he orchestrated the plan that was carried out.”
Davis himself has admitted in interviews and in his 2019 tell-all memoir, “Compton Street Legend,” that he provided the gun used in the drive-by shooting.
Authorities said Friday that Davis' own public comments revived the investigation.
Trump animates California Republicans with calls to shoot people who rob stores
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — In an occasionally dark and profane speech, Donald Trump on Friday sought to win over Republicans in California by complaining that rich people in Beverly Hills smell bad because they're denied water, reiterating lies about widespread election fraud and calling on police to shoot people robbing stores.
While many of his remarks at the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim were familiar retreads of Trump's attacks and grievances, his encouragement of violent retribution against criminals marked an escalation of his longstanding tough-on-crime message.
“We will immediately stop all of the pillaging and theft. Very simply: If you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store,” he said, drawing loud applause. “Shot!” he added for emphasis.
Trump was one of several Republican presidential contenders appearing at the event in this Democratic stronghold. While there's little hope for any of them to defeat President Joe Biden here in a general election, California will play a critical role in the slate of states voting March 5 in the so-called Super Tuesday primaries.
With 169 delegates at stake, a win in California would move a Republican presidential candidate much closer to the nomination. And a recent rule change could give Trump, who is so far dominating the primary, an advantage. If he wins more than 50% of the vote, he would be awarded all of the state's delegates.
Dozens dead after blast in southwestern Pakistan at a rally celebrating birthday of Islam's prophet
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up among a crowd of people celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday in southwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 52 people and wounding nearly 70 others, authorities said, in one of the country's deadliest attacks targeting civilians in months.
An open area near a mosque was left strewn with the shoes of the dead and wounded, TV footage and videos on social media showed. Bodies lay covered with bedsheets. Residents and rescuers were seen rushing the wounded to hospitals.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Mastung, a district of Baluchistan province. But suspicion is likely to fall on the militant Islamic State group’s regional affiliate, which has claimed previous deadly bombings around Pakistan. IS carried out an attack days earlier in the same area after one of its commanders was killed there.
On Friday, around 500 people had gathered for a procession from the mosque to celebrate the birth of the prophet, known as Mawlid an-Nabi. Similar events were held in communities across Pakistan, often including parades of children in traditional garb. The blast went off before the Mastung procession was to begin, while people were still coming to join, said one witness, Asadullah Bangulzai.
Bangulzai told The Associated Press said he was some distance away when the explosion occured and rushed to join other bystanders helping with the wounded.
Baltimore Archdiocese files for bankruptcy before new law on abuse lawsuits takes effect
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Archdiocese of Baltimore on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization days before a new state law goes into effect removing the statute of limitations on child sex abuse claims and allowing victims to sue their abusers decades after the fact.
The step will allow the oldest diocese in the United States “to equitably compensate victim-survivors of child sexual abuse” while the local Catholic church continues its mission and ministries, Archbishop William E. Lori said in a statement posted on the archdiocese website.
But attorneys and advocates said the church is simply trying to protect its assets and silence abuse victims by halting all civil claims against the archdiocese and shifting the process to bankruptcy court, a less transparent forum.
Michael McDonnell, interim executive director of the national group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the Baltimore archdiocese is following in the footsteps of other jurisdictions across the country that have similarly sought bankruptcy protection to offset settlement costs and avoid further scrutiny.
“Catholic bishops are employing the same deception from coast to coast,” he said. “Cover up child sex offenses while maintaining the ministry of the abusers. Next, oppose any modifications to the statute of limitations that might make those offenses more visible. Finally, go to federal bankruptcy courts and act as though you have run out of money when secular laws offer a window to justice. When will church officials make true amends?”
Judge says she is ending conservatorship between former NFL player Michael Oher and Memphis couple
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge said Friday she is ending a conservatorship agreement between former NFL player Michael Oher and a Memphis couple who took him in when he was in high school, but the highly-publicized dispute over financial issues will continue.
Shelby County Probate Court Judge Kathleen Gomes said she is terminating the agreement reached in 2004 that allowed Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy to control Oher’s finances. Oher signed the agreement when he was 18 and living with the couple as he was being recruited by colleges as a star high school football player. Their story is the subject of the film "The Blind Side, which earned Sandra Bullock an Oscar.
Gomes said she was not dismissing the case. Oher has asked that the Tuohys provide a financial accounting of money that may have come to them as part of the agreement, claiming that they used his name, image and likeness to enrich themselves and lied to him that the agreement meant the Tuohys were adopting him.
In Tennessee, a conservatorship removes power from a person to make decisions for themselves, and it is often used in the case of a medical condition or disability.
But Oher’s conservatorship was approved “despite the fact that he was over 18 years old and had no diagnosed physical or psychological disabilities,” his petition said.
The Associated Press