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    Venting his frustration in a series of tweets on Sunday, President Donald Trump again demanded to know how the Justice Department, FBI, and Obama Administration handled questions of Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying he would request a new review specifically to see if an investigation was opened for ‘political purposes’ involving his campaign. “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” the President said. It was one of a number of tweets where Mr. Trump flashed aggravation with the investigation into questions of Russian interference in the 2016 elections this weekend, as he repeated his charge that the feds had gone easy on Hillary Clinton and Democrats, while focusing investigative resources on his own campaign. I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 Things are really getting ridiculous. The Failing and Crooked (but not as Crooked as Hillary Clinton) @nytimes has done a long & boring story indicating that the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 ….At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP! They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction, but they aren’t looking at the corruption… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 …in the Hillary Clinton Campaign where she deleted 33,000 Emails, got $145,000,000 while Secretary of State, paid McCabes wife $700,000 (and got off the FBI hook along with Terry M) and so much more. Republicans and real Americans should start getting tough on this Scam. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 Now that the Witch Hunt has given up on Russia and is looking at the rest of the World, they should easily be able to take it into the Mid-Term Elections where they can put some hurt on the Republican Party. Don’t worry about Dems FISA Abuse, missing Emails or Fraudulent Dossier! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 What ever happened to the Server, at the center of so much Corruption, that the Democratic National Committee REFUSED to hand over to the hard charging (except in the case of Democrats) FBI? They broke into homes & offices early in the morning, but were afraid to take the Server? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 ….and why hasn’t the Podesta brother been charged and arrested, like others, after being forced to close down his very large and successful firm? Is it because he is a VERY well connected Democrat working in the Swamp of Washington, D.C.? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 The Witch Hunt finds no Collusion with Russia – so now they’re looking at the rest of the World. Oh’ great! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 What seemingly set off Mr. Trump on Sunday was a report in the New York Times, which said Donald Trump Jr. had held a meeting at Trump Tower in the months before the elections, to hear an offer of help from emissaries of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “The Witch Hunt finds no Collusion with Russia – so now they’re looking at the rest of the World,” the President tweeted. The President’s call for a review of how the FBI handled questions about Russian interference is already the subject of a review inside the Justice Department – it wasn’t clear how this request would be dealt with by officials. “There are rules,” said Carrie Cordero, a former Justice Department national security lawyer, who is now a professor at Georgetown University Law School. The Department of Justice doesn't open investigations for political puposes, which is what the president says today he will order tomorrow. There are rules. And I'm convinced there are people left in this government who will follow them. — Carrie Cordero (@carriecordero) May 20, 2018 In Congress, Democrats saw the President’s tweets as a signal of one thing – that he’s worried about what investigators are finding out about the 2016 probe, as they raised questions of whether the President is trying to exert political pressure on the Justice Department. “The President has sent 8 tweets in 5 hours on Hillary and the Mueller investigation,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). “He is unhinged.” I would like a lawyer to explain to me why that last tweet from POTUS is not a big deal, because it seems like maybe it’s a pretty big deal. — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) May 20, 2018 “A President who has nothing to hide would not have done another series of tweets this Sunday Morning smearing the DOJ investigation,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday that he will 'demand' this week that the Justice Department open an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes and whether any demands or requests for such action originated with the Obama administration. Trump tweeted: 'I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!' Trump has been promoting a theory circulating in conservative circles about a possible FBI spy on his 2016 campaign, though his attorney has cast doubt on it. Rudy Giuliani, the attorney representing Trump in the ongoing special counsel's investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election, said in a television interview last week that neither he nor the president knows for certain if there was a spy on the campaign. Giuliani said they had been told of 'some kind of infiltration.' In any event, the Justice Department's internal watchdog is already examining Republican complaints of FBI misconduct in the early stages of the Russia investigation. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced an investigation in March at the request of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and congressional Republicans. Sessions and the lawmakers had urged Horowitz to review whether FBI and Justice Department officials abused their surveillance powers by using information compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy, and paid for by Democrats as part of the basis to justify monitoring Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to Trump. Horowitz said his office will look at those claims as well as communications between Steele and DOJ and FBI officials. Trump did not elaborate on his 'demand,' one of a series of tweets he sent throughout the day Sunday. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, 'If the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal.' He said only the release or review of documents the House Intelligence Committee is seeking from the Justice Department 'can give conclusive answers.' The Justice Department declined to comment Sunday afternoon on Trump's tweet. The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump last week accused the Justice Department of trying to frame him by planting a spy in his 2016 campaign. Trump quoted Fox Business anchor David Asman and tweeted Friday: 'Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn't commit.' But when asked whether there was an informant on the campaign, Giuliani told CNN, 'I don't know for sure, nor does the president, if there really was one,' though he said they have long been told there was 'some kind of infiltration.' Earlier this month, the National Review raised the question of a possible FBI spy in Trump's campaign. The article cites work by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, an ardent Trump supporter and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who has demanded information on an FBI source in the Russia investigation. Opponents of Nunes' request have stressed the need to protect sources and methods. The New York Times reported separately last week that at least one government informant met several times with Page and George Papadopoulos, another former foreign policy adviser on Trump's campaign. The Times reported, citing current and former FBI officials, that the informant talked to Page and Papadopoulos because they had suspicious contacts linked to Russia. Papadopoulos was charged last year in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. He has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap
  • Hillary Clinton is being honored with a medal during Harvard University's graduation week. The former First Lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State and Democratic candidate for president will be awarded Friday in Cambridge with the Radcliffe Medal, which the university says honors individuals whose life and work have had a 'transformative impact on society.' Organizers say Clinton was chosen because she's a 'champion for human rights,' a 'skilled legislator' and 'an advocate of American leadership' on the world stage. Former Secretary of State and 2001 Radcliffe Medalist Madeleine Albright will deliver a personal tribute to Clinton, and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey will take part in a keynote conversation with her Friday. Previous medal recipients include Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole.
  • Florida's wide-open race for governor won't be decided for another six months, but it's already triggered a wave of expensive television ad buys from groups taking advantage of gray areas in the state's campaign finance laws. Campaigns are interpreting the law so liberally — and some experts think they will get away with it — that it could essentially render the laws meaningless. So far, at least $13 million has been spent on television ads in the governor's race that includes two Republicans and four Democrats vying for the job that will be vacated by Gov. Rick Scott. Television ads are poised to play a crucial role in the race since polls continue to show a majority of the state's voters don't really know the Republican or Democratic candidates vying to replace him. Some of the ads are being paid for by groups that insist they have no legal obligation to disclose who's paying for them. Other ads are being coordinated with campaigns relying on their own legal interpretation to sidestep laws and rules intended to place limits on ad campaigns being funded by large donors. But the surge of ads highlights Florida's arcane and loosely regulated campaign finance system. Over the years, the Republican-controlled Legislature has made it easier for candidates and their allies to raise large amounts of money, while at the same time making it harder for the state's elections commission to go after those who violate the law. 'Florida really has no campaign finance laws,' joked Christian Ulvert, a political consultant who is a senior adviser for the campaign of Philip Levine, the former mayor Miami Beach running for the Democratic nomination for governor. Adds Mark Herron, an election law attorney based in Tallahassee: 'You can do almost anything in Florida if you put it in the right bucket.' Here's a look at the ways that campaigns and groups are navigating state laws: — Florida Grown, a political committee linked to Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, has raised millions, much of it coming from large donations from companies such as Publix, Florida Power & Light and Disney. The committee has already spent nearly $3 million to pay for television ads featuring Putnam. Committees can accept unlimited donations, but donations directly to statewide campaigns are limited to $3,000 per person. A 2016 opinion by the Division of Elections suggests that if a political committee runs an ad featuring a candidate months ahead of an election it could be considered a contribution to the campaign. But Putnam's campaign maintains their ads are legal and are not violating contribution limits. Bucky Mitchell, an attorney for the committee, contends that the first ad launched by Florida Grown focuses 'on issues and public policy rather than express advocacy or electioneering on behalf of a candidate.' In the ad, Putnam talks about how he is guided by faith and that he has learned to work hard. — Levine also has a political committee that paid for more than $4 million worth of television ads, but Ulvert stressed that the initial ads discussed issues such as oil drilling and guns and not Levine's campaign for governor. He noted that Levine has started to pay for new television ads directly out of his campaign account in the last few months. — An organization known as The Collective Super PAC, which is linked a national group that promotes black political candidates, has taken out ads in south Florida that sharply criticize Gwen Graham, one of the Democrats running for governor. The group supports Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. But the organization has not registered with the state and is not reporting to state authorities how it is paying for the ads. Graham's campaign maintains this is against Florida law, which states a committee must register with the state if it is receiving contributions for the purpose of influencing a state election. — National Liberty Federation, a nonprofit group, is running television ads sharply targeting U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who is running against Putnam. Organized under the part of the tax laws for social welfare organizations, this group is not registered with the state and it's not revealing the source of its money. Everett Wilkinson, the head of the group, says his organization has had 'zero communication' with the Putnam campaign and that 'we would never coordinate with a candidate.' Critics say state laws are flouted because the commission is slow to handle complaints and operates under too many constraints placed on it by the Legislature. 'They handle nickel and dime cases but overlook the huge problems of unregulated and improper spending,' Herron said. 'They will kill you to death if you don't file a report on time or don't put a disclaimer on a sign. But to deal with these big issues? It ain't happening.
  • The State Department unit overseeing the fight against the Islamic State group will stay in business for at least six more months, reversing an administration plan for the unit's imminent downgrade even as President Donald Trump presses ahead with a speedy U.S. exit from Syria. A plan initiated by Rex Tillerson before he was fired as secretary of state in March would have folded the office of the special envoy to the global coalition into the department's counterterrorism bureau as early as spring, officials said. Tillerson's successor, Mike Pompeo, canceled the plan this month, and the office will stay an independent entity until at least December, when there will be a new review, said the officials, who weren't authorized to discuss the plan publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The office reports directly to the secretary of state and the president, and the planned shift would have undercut its status and the priority of its mission. It could have led to staffing and budget cuts as well as the departure of the special envoy, Brett McGurk. He is now expected to remain in his job at least through the end of the year. Still, the officials said Trump's intent to reduce the U.S. military and civilian stabilization presence in Syria has not changed and is, in fact, accelerating. The State Department has ended all funding for stabilization programs in Syria's northwest. Islamic State militants have been almost entirely eliminated from the region, which is controlled by a hodgepodge of other extremist groups and Syrian President Bashar Assad's government forces. At least some of the U.S. money for those projects is expected to be redirected Syria's northeast where IS fighters remain, the officials said. The conflicting moves of retaining McGurk's office while pulling out of the northwest illustrate how the administration is being pulled in different directions by Trump's two competing interests: extricating the U.S. from messy Mideast conflicts and delivering a permanent defeat to the Islamic State group. Trump has said the United States will be withdrawing from Syria 'like very soon.' In late March, the State Department, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies tried to dissuade him from pulling troops out immediately, warning there was a risk IS would manage to regroup. Trump relented slightly, but told aides they could have only five months or six months to finish off IS and get out. The U.S. announced in September 2014 that it was forming a coalition of nations to defeat the nascent extremist group that had taken over vast swathes of Iraq and Syria. Days later, President Barack Obama named retired Marine Gen. John Allen the first special presidential envoy for the coalition. McGurk, his deputy, replaced him in 2015. Almost four years later, IS no longer controls territory in Iraq, though U.S. officials say its ideology remains a threat there. The final vestiges of the self-proclaimed caliphate are in Syria, where civil war has made it far trickier to wrest the militants from the few pockets of territory they still control. Yet, as Trump's administration eyes an exit as soon as IS is vanquished, the broader situation in Syria is not getting any better as far as American interests are concerned. Assad's forces are making inroads against the opposition and now control roads between Syria's three main cities for the first time since the war broke out in 2011. Moscow is solidifying its influence, even hosting Assad for a surprise visit Thursday to Russia, where he met with President Vladimir Putin. And an outbreak of direct fighting between Israel and Iranian forces based in Syria has catalyzed concerns about Tehran's involvement in Syria and the potential for a broader regional conflict. 'Hopefully, Syria will start to stabilize,' Trump said last week as he met with NATO's secretary-general at the White House. 'You see what's been happening. It's been a horror show.' Nevertheless, there are no signs that Trump is backing away from his determination to limit U.S. involvement to the narrow task of defeating IS, leaving to others the longer-term challenges of stabilizing the country, restoring basic services and resolving the civil war. A $200-million pledge that Tillerson made in February for stabilization programs in Syria remains on hold on Trump's orders and is under review. Tillerson, who had advocated for maintaining the U.S. presence, was fired shortly after he made the pledge at a conference in Kuwait. Then the administration this month decided to halt funding U.S. military and reconstruction programs in the Syrian northwest, the officials said. Pending the results of the overall review, the canceled money is expected to be shifted to programs in northeast Syria, where U.S. troops are still battling IS, and civilian teams from the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development are working in newly liberated areas.
  • The Latest on U.S.-China trade talks (all times local): 10:05 a.m. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the United States and China are 'putting the trade war on hold' after two days of talks that he says produced meaningful progress. Despite not getting China to agree to trim its overall trade surplus with America by a specific amount, Mnuchin said the U.S. team did get a number of commitments on a framework for reducing the deficit over time, including a doubling of purchases of U.S. energy products. Because of this progress, Mnuchin tells 'Fox News Sunday' that the Trump administration has agreed to put on hold punitive tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products. China had promised to retaliate in a move that threatened a trade war between the world's two biggest economies. ___ 12:15 a.m. The United States and China have agreed to take measures to 'substantially reduce' America's massive trade deficit with China. While the Trump administration failed to get the Chinese to commit to a specific numerical goal, the three-day talks that ended Saturday may have helped to ease tensions at least slightly between the world's two biggest economic powers. In recent months the two have threatened to impose punitive tariffs on billions of dollars in each other's exports. In a joint statement, Beijing committed to 'significantly increase' its purchases of American goods and services, saying that the increase would 'meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development.' The two countries also agreed on 'meaningful increases' of U.S. agriculture and energy exports.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says efforts to renegotiate a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico could spill into next year. The Trump administration missed an informal deadline last Thursday that had been set by House Speaker Paul Ryan to get a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement to Congress in time for lawmakers to vote on it in a midterm election year. Mnuchin says on 'Fox News Sunday' that the negotiators are 'still far apart' but continue to work through many issues. Mnuchin says President Donald Trump is more determined to get a deal he believes is good for the U.S. than he is worried about meeting a specific deadline. Trump has long said NAFTA was bad for the U.S. and its workers.
  • Criminal investigators are getting their first look at materials gathered from raids on the home and office of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer as a process to separate items subject to attorney-client privilege appears to be meeting a judge's demand that it occur speedily and efficiently. The progress comes just days before U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood will preside over a fourth hearing resulting from Michael Cohen's efforts to gain influence over what potential evidence seized in the April 9 raids can be deemed subject to the privilege and blocked from the view of criminal prosecutors. Prosecutors say they are investigating possible fraud as they study Cohen's personal business dealings. Wood last month designated a former federal judge, Barbara Jones, to serve as a neutral party — known as a special master — and resolve disputes over what items can be kept secret and out of the view of investigators. Twice, Jones has filed letters updating the status of the privilege search, most recently a week ago. She said she will provide Wood with a timeline for concluding the privilege review once she has received enough of Cohen's electronic property. In a letter to the court on Friday, Cohen's lawyers indicated they were encouraged by the system that was set up, noting the 'careful review procedure that is currently being overseen by the special master.' The letter was filed as they sought to exclude Michael Avenatti, an attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, from joining the court case. The first materials to face the scrutiny of Jones and lawyers for Cohen, Trump and the Trump Organization, were likely the easiest to study: eight boxes of paper documents. The majority of what was seized, though, was contained on over a dozen electronic devices, including computers, cellular phones and an iPad. The paper documents, numbering in the hundreds or thousands, were processed over a two-week period, enabling criminal prosecutors in recent days to begin scrutinizing raid materials for the first time. But it is likely that the electronic documents, containing a much larger volume of materials, will take longer to process. Jones said in a letter to the court a week ago that the government was expected to produce all of the content from the raids except for the electronic contents of a single computer by Friday. Then, lawyers for Cohen and Trump will designate items they think are subject to attorney-client privilege as the same time Jones is making her own designations. At hearings last month, Wood said she wanted the process to move much faster than the more than a year that it took lawyers to resolve privilege disputes after a civil rights attorney was arrested in a terrorism probe in 2002. Joanna Hendon, a lawyer for Trump, said last month that even the president was ready to 'make himself available, as needed' to aid the attorney-client privilege search. Lawyers for Cohen had pledged that they were ready to work around around-the-clock, if necessary, to ensure there was no delay. Last month, Cohen's lawyers revealed that his three clients in 2017 and 2018 were Trump, Elliott Broidy — a Trump fundraiser who paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate with whom he had an extramarital affair — and Fox News host Sean Hannity. In court papers, prosecutors have said the searches 'are the result of a months-long investigation into Cohen, and seek evidence of crimes, many of which have nothing to do with his work as an attorney, but rather relate to Cohen's own business dealings.' The raids were authorized by a federal magistrate judge based on factual information presented by federal prosecutors in New York. They were triggered in part by a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who separately is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
  • Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump. The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to up-and-comers including California Sen. Kamala Harris — don't necessarily put it that way. But the potential 2020 candidates are making the rounds, raising and distributing campaign cash among fellow Democrats, endorsing candidates and meeting political activists. Their movements reflect competing strategies for establishing their reputations and shaping a party that lacks a clear leader and consistent message in the Trump era. For senators trying to get better known, a primary goal is proving fundraising strength and party loyalty, without necessarily taking sides in the larger fight between the left and moderates who split on the minimum wage, health insurance and other issues. 'I just want to do whatever I can' to help Democrats win, Harris said at a recent stop in Georgia, where she was campaigning and raising money for Stacey Abrams' race for governor. It is part of an aggressive effort for the freshman senator. She's raised $3.5 million for her Senate colleagues and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, plus what she helps candidates such as Abrams raise directly when she appears with them, and at the end of April Harris had nearly a $1 million balance in the political action committee that she uses to back other Democrats. Warren boasts that she's raised $15 million for other Democrats since her 2013 election. The Massachusetts senator faces a re-election campaign this fall, but not as tough a race as confronts 10 colleagues running in states where Trump won. Like Harris, Warren and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker have aided those senators. Warren is also helping other branches of the party: a transfer of money to House Democrats' campaign committee, $5,000 for every state party and $175,000 spread across state legislative campaigns in contested states. Democratic and Republican campaign veterans say such contributions and fundraising trips aren't explicitly about future campaigns. 'We're not playing 3D chess,' says Harris spokeswoman Lily Adams, who describes the senator's priority as 'building our numbers in the Senate' for the final two years of Trump's term, while looking for strong women and minority candidates. (Abrams would be the first female African-American governor in U.S. history.) Operatives also insist there are no quid pro quos, though Republican presidential campaign veteran Rick Tyler says, 'These guys are out there accumulating chits.' Tyler worked for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's 2016 White House campaign. Cruz was among the conservatives who traveled the country before his campaign, endorsing like-minded conservatives and raising money. Trump's improbable rise obliterated that groundwork, but Tyler said it's nonetheless a necessary part of a national campaign, because prospective presidents build their networks and test messages as they meet activists and voters beyond their personal bases. Harris, for example, is noticeably avoiding most early presidential nominating states — no trips to Iowa or New Hampshire so far. Because 10 Senate Democrats must seek re-election in states Trump won, her travels do put her in some of the pivotal states in the battle to control the Senate. She's been to Ohio five times for Sen. Sherrod Brown, twice to Michigan for Sen. Debbie Stabenow and once to Florida for Sen. Bill Nelson. She has a June trip planned for Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Warren has been to Ohio at least four times this campaign season and traveled to Michigan and Wisconsin, among others states. Those states helped give Trump the presidency. They also could prove important as primary states in an extended nominating fight that could materialize with a large field and Democrats' proportional distribution of nominating convention delegates. Sanders, whose insurgent presidential campaign in 2016 emboldened the Democrats' left flank, is perhaps the most unabashed of the potential 2020 group about using this year's midterms to put his preferred policy stamp on the party. A prolific small-dollar fundraiser, the Vermont senator no longer has to prove he can raise money or draw a crowd. 'I have been very critical about the business model of the Democratic Party,' Sanders told The Associated Press. He said his travel to 28 states since Trump took office and his endorsements in federal and state races are part of his promised 'political revolution' intended to advance ideas like a $15 minimum wage, tuition-free college and universal health insurance. Sanders bet on liberal challenger Marie Newman in her unsuccessful House Democratic primary battle against conservative Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois. But Sanders scored a notable win Tuesday in Pennsylvania when his pick for lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, finished with a surprise primary victory. Biden is at the opposite end of Democrats' identity battle. His endorsement list and fundraising itinerary are replete with state party dinners, events for sitting Democratic senators and rallies for candidates running as moderates, at least in tone, if not in policy preference. 'I love Bernie, but ... I don't think 500 billionaires are the reason we are in trouble,' Biden said at a recent Brookings Institution speech about his priorities for the middle class. Biden's aides say he's willing to help any Democrat get elected, but the native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, who loves to wax eloquent about his working-class upbringing is in demand to campaign for Democrats running in GOP-leaning places. He headlined fundraisers and campaign rallies for first-year Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and new Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb, who won among voters who had sided overwhelmingly with Trump in 2016. Biden's next planned campaign venture is to North Carolina on behalf of Democrat Dan McCready, a veteran trying to win a suburban Charlotte House district that wasn't competitive two years ago. Certainly, many Democratic hopefuls around the country are accepting help from multiple would-be presidents, and the alignments don't always follow cleanly along the party's philosophical battle lines. Abrams has campaigned as a liberal, but her primary opponent has hammered her for cutting deals with Republicans in Georgia's General Assembly. Besides Harris, she's campaigned alongside Booker and gotten an endorsement from Sanders, who's offered to campaign for her. When reporters tried to ask Harris and Abrams about 2020, they both smiled and walked away. ___ Follow Barrow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP.
  • The world's two biggest economies are pulling back from the brink of a trade war after making progress in talks aimed at bringing down America's massive trade deficit with China. 'We are putting the trade war on hold,' U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on 'Fox News Sunday.' After high-level talks Thursday and Friday, Beijing agreed in a joint statement with the U.S. to 'substantially reduce' America's trade deficit with China — but didn't commit to cut the gap by any specific amount. The Trump administration had sought to slash the deficit by $200 billion. Still, Mnuchin said that the two countries had made 'meaningful progress' and that the Trump administration has agreed to put on hold proposed tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products. China had promised to retaliate in a move that threatened a tit-for-tat trade war. Mnuchin said they expect to see a big increase — 35 to 45 percent this year alone — in U.S. farm sales to China. He also forecast a doubling in sales of U.S. energy products to the Chinese market, increasing energy exports by $50 billion to $60 billion in the next three to five years. Mnuchin said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who has been part of the U.S. negotiating team, would soon be traveling to China to follow up on last week's discussions. In Saturday's statement, Beijing committed to 'significantly increase' its purchases of American goods and services, saying the increase would 'meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development.' Last year, the U.S. racked up a record $376 billion deficit with China in the trade of goods, largest by far with any nation. Trade analysts were not surprised that China refused to agree to a numerical target for cutting the trade gap, but they said the talks likely were more successful in de-escalating trade tensions. 'The Trump administration seems eager to engineer at minimum a temporary peace with China to ensure a smooth run-up to the Kim-Trump summit in June,' Cornell University economist Eswar Prasad said, referring to the June 12 meeting scheduled between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. If there is success in the U.S.-China discussions, analysts suggest it likely would involve the countries' presidents this fall before the U.S. midterm elections. 'Part of the good news for markets: as long as both sides continue to be 'constructively' engaged, imposition of additional tariffs by either side is very unlikely,' analysts at investment management firm Evercore ISI said in a research note. 'There is no reason for either side — particularly the U.S. — to destroy the process that both sides are building, which is what imposing tariffs would do.' Republican. Sen Lindsey Graham of South Carolina praised the Trump administration's efforts with China. 'It's smart to engage China on trade abuses, and it would also be smart to get them more involved in trying to help us with North Korea,' Graham said on 'Fox News Sunday.' Trump, a Republican, campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to get tough on China and other U.S. trading partners. He views the U.S. trade deficit with China as evidence that Beijing is engaged in abusive trading practices and has outmaneuvered previous U.S. administrations. Last August, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer began investigating Beijing's strong-arm tactics to challenge U.S. technological dominance. These include outright cybertheft of U.S. companies' trade secrets and China's demands that American corporations hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese markets. Last month, the Trump administration proposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports to protest the forced technology transfers. Trump later ordered Lighthizer to seek up to an additional $100 billion in Chinese products to tax. China responded by targeting $50 billion in U.S. products, including soybeans — a shot at Trump supporters in America's heartland. The prospect of an escalating trade war has shaken financial markets and alarmed business leaders. In a separate controversy, the Commerce Department last month blocked China's ZTE Corp. from importing American components for seven years, accusing the telecommunications company of misleading U.S. regulators after it settled charges last year of violating sanctions against Iran and North Korea. The ban amounted to a death sentence for ZTE, which relies heavily on U.S. parts, and the company announced that it was halting operations. A week ago, Trump tweeted that he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to put ZTE 'back in business, fast.' Media reports suggested that the U.S. was offering to swap a ZTE rescue for an end to proposed Chinese tariffs on U.S. farm products. Speaking Sunday on CNN's 'State of the Union,' Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called Trump's intervention in the case 'outrageous' and said that using ZTE 'as a bargaining chip ... is not in the best interests of our national security.' Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday on ABC's 'This Week' that there could be 'some small changes around the edges' in the sanctions against ZTE. But Kudlow added: 'Do not expect ZTE to get off scot-free. It ain't gonna happen.' ___ AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon contributed to this report from Washington.

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  • Venting his frustration in a series of tweets on Sunday, President Donald Trump again demanded to know how the Justice Department, FBI, and Obama Administration handled questions of Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying he would request a new review specifically to see if an investigation was opened for ‘political purposes’ involving his campaign. “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” the President said. It was one of a number of tweets where Mr. Trump flashed aggravation with the investigation into questions of Russian interference in the 2016 elections this weekend, as he repeated his charge that the feds had gone easy on Hillary Clinton and Democrats, while focusing investigative resources on his own campaign. I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 Things are really getting ridiculous. The Failing and Crooked (but not as Crooked as Hillary Clinton) @nytimes has done a long & boring story indicating that the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 ….At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP! They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction, but they aren’t looking at the corruption… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 …in the Hillary Clinton Campaign where she deleted 33,000 Emails, got $145,000,000 while Secretary of State, paid McCabes wife $700,000 (and got off the FBI hook along with Terry M) and so much more. Republicans and real Americans should start getting tough on this Scam. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 Now that the Witch Hunt has given up on Russia and is looking at the rest of the World, they should easily be able to take it into the Mid-Term Elections where they can put some hurt on the Republican Party. Don’t worry about Dems FISA Abuse, missing Emails or Fraudulent Dossier! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 What ever happened to the Server, at the center of so much Corruption, that the Democratic National Committee REFUSED to hand over to the hard charging (except in the case of Democrats) FBI? They broke into homes & offices early in the morning, but were afraid to take the Server? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 ….and why hasn’t the Podesta brother been charged and arrested, like others, after being forced to close down his very large and successful firm? Is it because he is a VERY well connected Democrat working in the Swamp of Washington, D.C.? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 The Witch Hunt finds no Collusion with Russia – so now they’re looking at the rest of the World. Oh’ great! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 What seemingly set off Mr. Trump on Sunday was a report in the New York Times, which said Donald Trump Jr. had held a meeting at Trump Tower in the months before the elections, to hear an offer of help from emissaries of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “The Witch Hunt finds no Collusion with Russia – so now they’re looking at the rest of the World,” the President tweeted. The President’s call for a review of how the FBI handled questions about Russian interference is already the subject of a review inside the Justice Department – it wasn’t clear how this request would be dealt with by officials. “There are rules,” said Carrie Cordero, a former Justice Department national security lawyer, who is now a professor at Georgetown University Law School. The Department of Justice doesn't open investigations for political puposes, which is what the president says today he will order tomorrow. There are rules. And I'm convinced there are people left in this government who will follow them. — Carrie Cordero (@carriecordero) May 20, 2018 In Congress, Democrats saw the President’s tweets as a signal of one thing – that he’s worried about what investigators are finding out about the 2016 probe, as they raised questions of whether the President is trying to exert political pressure on the Justice Department. “The President has sent 8 tweets in 5 hours on Hillary and the Mueller investigation,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). “He is unhinged.” I would like a lawyer to explain to me why that last tweet from POTUS is not a big deal, because it seems like maybe it’s a pretty big deal. — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) May 20, 2018 “A President who has nothing to hide would not have done another series of tweets this Sunday Morning smearing the DOJ investigation,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
  • An exchange student and a substitute teacher are among the victims of a mass shooting Friday at Santa Fe High School in Galveston County, Texas, where 10 people were killed and 10 injured when a gunman opened fire at the school. >> Read more trending news  Shana Fisher Shana Fisher doted on her dog Kallie and was a beautiful, smart, funny and talented girl, her mother, Sadie Rodriguez, told the Houston Chronicle. She turned 16 the same month she was killed. Rodriguez told The Los Angeles Times that her 16-year-old daughter 'had 4 months of problems from this boy (the gunman).” 'He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no,' the Times reported, citing a private message from Rodriguez. Rodriguez told The Associated Press that the week before the shooting, Fisher 'stood up to him' by 'embarrass(ing) him in class.' Rodriguez gave no other details, the AP reported. On Facebook, Rodriguez said she created a fundraiser in her daughter’s memory. “i want to help teachers and parents (be) more aware of teens and their mental state,” she wrote. “My daughter was the most sweet and shy young lady. She never hurt anyone.  “This boy. i cant even do this. i cant even finish this. it isnt even fair. i have to stay strong for Kaylenn, her younger sister. My heart is being ripped out. My baby is gone. i cant even go into her room.” Sabika Sheikh Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh, 18, was among the nine students killed in the massacre, according to news reports.  Sheikh came to the United States as part of the YES program, which was established by Congress after 9/11 and is funded by the State Department. >> Related: Santa Fe High School shooting: 10 dead, 10 injured, suspect charged with capital murder  The program provides scholarships for high school students from majority Muslim countries to spend an academic year in the U.S. They go to school, live with host families, learn about American values and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures. The Pakistani Embassy in Washington confirmed Sheikh’s death to CBS News.  Sheikh was scheduled to return home next month. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an official statement Saturday on the death of Sheikh. Ann Perkins Substitute teacher Ann Perkins, 64, happened to be teaching Friday when gunfire erupted at the school. She is the only teacher killed in the massacre. She’s described as a “beloved teacher,” who loved spending time with her children and grandchildren. >> Related: Parkland students, families offer condolences to victims of Santa Fe school massacre >> Related: Texas shooting: Who is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, suspect in the Santa Fe High School attack Chris Stone A junior at Santa Fe High School, Chris Stone was one of the victims of Friday’s shooting rampage, according to ABC 13. He was a student in an art class at the school, which was the first target the gunman attacked. Stone was among several students who blocked the door to try to prevent the gunman from entering their art classroom, freshman Abel San Miguel, who was in the class, told The Associated Press.  Cynthia Tisdale Cynthia Tisdale was a teacher’s aide at Santa Fe High School, her family told CNN.  Her niece, Leia Olinde, said the family was notified of her death Friday night. Her brother-in-law, John Tisdale, posted on Facebook that Cythnia Tisdale was a member of the Anchor Bible Baptist Church in Pharr, Texas. “We are all heart-broken,” John Tisdale wrote. Kimberly Vaughan KImberly Vaughan was in art class when shots rang out Friday morning. Her mother, Rhonda Hart, announced on Facebook that her daughter was one of the children who did not make it. 'She is in heaven,' Hart said. 'I am heartbroken.' Later on Facebook Hart urged people to “Call your damn senators. Call your congressmen.” “We need gun control. We need to protect our kids,” she wrote. Jared Black Jared Black, 17, really liked comic books, his uncle, John Conrad, told KHOU. Conrad said his nephew loved to draw his own artwork. Black’s birthday party had been scheduled for Saturday, family members said. Black loved playing Minecraft on Xbox and Pokémon Go on his cellphone, they told the Chicago Tribune. Aaron Kyle McLeod  Aaron Kyle McLeod, 15, a freshman who went by Kyle, could always be counted on to make light of any situation, close friend Kali Reeves told the Chicago Tribune.  'He was never one to be a sad or down person, he always had to joke or laugh about things,' Reeves told the Tribune. 'He was just outgoing and super sweet. He definitely didn't deserve this.' Christian Riley Garcia Family members told KHOU that 15-year-old Christian Riley Garcia, who hoped to enlist in the military after high school, “died a true hero.” 'From what we've gathered thus far he got in front of other students and barricaded the door,' his aunt, Sarah Saunders told KHOU. 'He laid down his life so others could have a chance.' Saunders said Christian hoped to enlist in the military when he became of age. He felt it was his calling to serve others. 'He had the biggest heart and the biggest chunk of ours feels to have left with him,'d Saunders said. On Facebook, Crosby Church, which Garcia attended, announced it would have a memorial service Monday to remember Garcia and the others killed in the shooting. “Our hearts are broken to see such deep loss of so many precious individuals,” the church wrote. “We will especially be lifting up (Garcia’s) family -- mother Shannon, father D J little sister Candace who are a part of our body, our family, our church. Angelique Ramirez Family members confirmed to KHOU that Angelique Ramirez was among the victims in the shooting. Sylvia Pritchett, who identified herself as Ramirez's aunt posted on Facebook that 'with a broken heart and a soul that just can't process all this right now, I have to announce my niece was one of the fatalities.' Ramirez’s family told KHOU that the student “was creative beyond belief.” Check back for updates on this developing story.
  • The suspect in the Santa Fe High School shooting in Galveston County Texas was arraigned on capital murder and aggravated assault charges Friday in the deaths of 10 people and the wounding of a police officer.  Thirteen people were also injured in the massacre Friday morning at the high school in southeastern Texas, the FBI said Saturday. >> Read more trending news  The gunman was identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, a student at the school. When he finally surrendered, nine students and one teacher had been killed. Pagourtzis used two weapons in the attack on the school, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a shot gun and a .38-revolver, which belonged to his father.  The governor also confirmed a Molotov cocktail and “various other types of explosive devices” were found at the school and two other locations. >>Read: Texas shooting: Who is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, suspect in the Santa Fe High School attack Authorities were interviewing two other people in connection with the shooting, but it’s unclear what part, if any, they played in the massacre. >>Read: What are the worst school shootings in modern US history? Update May 20, 8:13 a.m. EST: The Galveston County Criminal District Attorney released the complete list of the people killed in the shooting, the Houston Chronicle reported. The teachers were identified as Glenda Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale, 64. The students included Shana Fisher, 16; Angelique Ramirez, 15; Christopher Jake Stone, 17; Jared Black, 17; Christian Riley Garcia, 15; Sabika Sheikh; Aaron Kyle McLeod, 15; and Kimberly Vaughan. Update May 19, 2:47 p.m. EST: Santa Fe High School students are being allowed to return to campus to pick up their cars and belongings left behind after Friday’s deadly shooting.  According to a post on the Santa Fe ISD Facebook page, students with cars are meeting officials at the junior high cafeteria between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. CST. The school district states that students will not be allowed to go directly to the high school. Update May 19, 2:14 p.m. EST: A teen who was shot in the leg during Friday’s shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas is in good condition, according to a Twitter update from the University of Texas Medical Branch.  A woman in the intensive care unit (ICU) is in serious condition. John Barnes, the student resource officer and former police officer, remains in critical condition.  Officials gathered Saturday afternoon at Santa Fe High School in an adjacent grassy lot. According to KHOU, the Santa Fe Independent School District superintendent and Santa Fe mayor called for unity and peace. Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said there were no new updates to the investigation, KHOU reports.  Update May 19, 11:40 a.m. ET: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an official statement on the death of Sibika Sheikh, the Pakistani exchange student who was one of the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting. Update 10:30 p.m. ET: Three of the victims in the shooting massacre have now been identified, according to news reports. A substitute teacher, Ann Perkins, an exchange student, Sibika Sheikh and high school junior Chris Stone are among the victims killed in the rampage. The FBI and ATF are still processing the scene in Santa Fe, using SWAT teams, bomb techs and K-9 teams to search for explosives investigators say the suspect planted around the school. Update 7:20 p.m. ET: Santa Fe High School shooting suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis made his first court appearance in court and was denied bond on capital murder and aggravated assault. Update 6:15 p.m. ET: Police are searching homes and cars for more explosives related to the attack on the school, CNN reported. Pagourtzis, who wanted to kill himself, but surrendered instead, according to authorities, allegedly built explosives and planned to use them in the attack. Federal authorities in Texas, including the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are teaming up and scouring the crime scene at the school and surrounding locations, according to the FBI in Houston. “The FBI Houston and ATF Houston are combining resources to meticulously process the scene,” the FBI said in a tweet. Update 5:15 p.m. ET: The suspect in the Santa Fe High School shooting, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, has been charged with capital murder in the deaths of 10 people at the school Friday morning and aggravated assault of a peace officer for the shooting injury of school resource officer John Barnes, the Santa Fe Independent School District has confirmed. Pagourtzis is jailed without bond in the Galveston County Jail. Schools superintendent Leigh Wall called the rampage “a terrible tragedy. “Words cannot express the sorrow in our hearts for those we have lost,” Wall said in a statement posted on the district’s website. “Our campus remains an active crime scene with law enforcement personnel from throughout our region supporting Santa Fe ISD Police Chief, Walter Braun.” Wall also pledged to keep the community informed on developments in the investigation. Update 4:10 p.m. ET: The school resource officer, John Barnes,  who was wounded in the shooting rampage at Santa Fe High School is in the operating room and is in critical condition, University of Texas Medical Branch officials said at an afternoon press conference. Barnes was injured in the arm, according to Dr. David Marshall, shot in the elbow. There are two other patients at the hospital, a middle aged woman and a young male, but both are still unidentified. The female patient suffered a fractured leg bone and is now out of surgery. The male suffered a gun shot to the leg and is listed in stable condition, Marshall said. Seven other victims were transported to several other medical centers near Santa Fe. Update 3:15 p.m. ET: Governor Greg Abbott said during a press conference that Pagourtzis used two weapons, both of which were legally owned by his father, a shot gun and a .38-revolver. There are two persons of interest, one who is currently being interviewed by law enforcement and a second who will be.  Abbott says he plans to take action because people need to “do more than just pray for the victims and families. It’s time in Texas that we begin to take action to make sure this tragedy is not repeated ever again.” Abbott vowed to begin roundtable discussions next week to work on solutions to prevent shootings in the future. He plans to speak with anyone with a vested interest in stopping gun violence --  parents, students, those who want to support second amendment rights, safety personnel. He wants to address mental health to help prevent gun violence. He also said that the state needs to make sure schools have resources and can identify those who could pose a risk of violence. According to Abbott, Pagourtzis had journals on his computer that outlined the attack and that he planned on committing suicide after the shooting. Abbott also spoke to parents across the country telling them to “hold your children close tonight and let them know how much you love them.” UTMB confirms that John Barnes is the man who is in critical condition. He is a recently retired detective who started working for the Santa Fe ISD police.    Update 2:33 p.m. ET: Police are talking to Pagourtzis. CNN is reporting he was injured in today’s shooting but did not say what injuries he suffered. Update 2:17 p.m. ET: A second person is now in custody in connection with Friday’s deadly shooting. Earlier police said that a second person had been detained. Update 1:44 p.m. ET: Clear Lake Regional Medical Center officials said that eight patients were taken to their hospital and of the eight, six have been discharged. Of the remaining, one patient is listed in critical condition. The other is listed in fair condition, KHOU reported. KHOU is also reporting that the adult male being treated at UTMB was retired police officer John Barnes.  Update 12:35 p.m. ET: Santa Fe Independent School District police administration chief  Walter Braun said that the campus has been cleared of all students and staff.  Braun said that at least six people, including a SFISD police officer, were transported to area hospitals with injuries.  Doctors clarified that the adult male who has in the operating room did not have a chest wound, but had an upper arm injury, near the chest. The middle age female has been transferred to the operating room for surgery on her leg wound. The teen, who is a 16-year-old male, is in the pediatric ward with a wound to the leg. Update 12:18 p.m. ET: The Santa Fe school district has confirmed via a Twitter post that police have found possible explosive devices at the school and off campus. President Trump spoke earlier about this latest shooting. Update 12:04 p.m. ET: Doctors at UTMB said that the adult male who is undergoing surgery is a middle aged man who has chest injuries. He has been listed in critical condition. Doctors said they are unsure how many times he was shot. The male teen who was admitted to the hospital was shot and has a leg wound and is listed in good condition. The other patient, who was being treated in the emergency room, has a gunshot wound to the leg also and is listed in good condition. Update 11:47 a.m. ET: In a news conference with Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales there are between eight and 10 fatalities, but media sources are reporting 9 deaths. The majority of those killed are students according to the sheriff but there were some adult staff fatalities.  Law enforcement is doing a systematic search of the building to make sure that there are no additional injured students or students still in hiding. Police are also looking for any potential devices that were left behind.  Gonzales said it is an active crime scene and a family reunification area that has been set up to get families and their children reunited. As for the shooter, Gonzales did not have an age or identification but said that the shooter was a male student at the school. Another student, again no name or age was available, was detained. Update 11:14 a.m. ET: The University of Texas Medical Branch officials held a news conference. During it they announced that three patients have been taken to UTMB -- two adults and one person under the age of 18. Officials with the hospital said that an adult male was taken to surgery. One adult was still being treated in the emergency room and person under the age of 18 has been admitted to the hospital. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says that one person is in custody, another is detained. A police officer was hurt and is being treated. Update: 11:06 a.m. ET: There are now reports of a possible explosive being found near an area roadway and the potential that the gunman was not alone, KHOU reported.  President Donald Trump has reacted via Twitter about this latest deadly school shooting. Update: 10:40 a.m. ET: Two sources familiar with the situation have told KHOU that there are multiple student fatalities and that an officer was wounded. KHOU reported that once source was a federal official, the other was a county official, both close to the situation. Federal officials told KHOU that the suspected gunman was a student. The district has a dedicated police force, including resource officers, crossing guards and a dispatcher, according to the district website.  Update: 10:20 a.m. ET: The school has confirmed that there are injuries, but there is no information on the extent of those injuries.  Update: 10:01 a.m. ET: Dr. Cris Richardson, the assistant principal of Santa Fe High School, quickly briefed the media outside the school. She told reporters that the active shooter has been arrested and secured. She did not disclose the suspect’s name. School officials are starting to reunite students with their parents. The school district had only two weeks left in the school year. Richardson confirmed that the school has trained for the situation. Richardson had no details on any injuries. Update: 9:54 a.m. ET: University of Texas Medical Branch has told local news outlets that patients are on the way to the hospital. They have no number of patients or their injuries. A news brief from the hospital is expected in a few hours. The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office told KPRC that one person is in custody. >>Read: Santa Fe High School Shooting: What to know about Santa Fe Independent School District Update: 9:37 a.m. ET: Witnesses told KTRK that it happened in an art class at the school. Santa Fe Police, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and ATF agents are responding, KTRK reported. Neighboring schools are also in what is called “protect mode” because of the shooting at Santa Fe High School. >>Read: Over 170 Texas school districts allow staff to be armed Update 9:23 a.m. ET: KHOU is reporting that some students were evacuated to a business down the street from the school complex. There are unconfirmed reports that police exchanged fire with the shooter and that there may be injuries, KHOU reported.  The school has also posted a warning to its website that reads:  Important Message SFISD District Response to SFHS Active Shooter This morning an incident occurred at the high school involving an active shooter. The district has initiated a lockdown at the high school. We will send out additional information as soon as it is available. The school also posted the message to its Facebook page.  The school usually starts its day at 7:10 a.m., according to the school website and dismisses at 2:35 p.m. On late-arrival days school starts at 9:15 a.m. >>Read: Texas school marshals allowed to carry guns on campus Original story: Details are still coming in, but it has been confirmed that police are on scene for an active shooter situation, KPRC reported. >> Read more trending news  There have not been any official reports of injuries, KPRC reported. However, a medical helicopter has been sent to the scene, KHOU reported.  The school district has confirmed that there was an active shooter situation at the high school. A student at the school told KTRK that fire alarms went off around 7:45 a.m. local time and students left their classrooms. The student told the station that others thought they heard shots fired. She and other students, along with teachers, have found shelter near campus, KTRK reported.
  • Houston police Chief Art Acevedo is calling for gun reform, after 10 people were shot and killed and 10 more hurt in a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. >>Read: Santa Fe High School shooting: 10 dead, 10 injured, suspect arraigned on capital murder charges The gunman was identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student at the school. Pagourtzis was arraigned on capital murder and aggravated assault charges Friday.  >>Read: Texas shooting: Who is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, suspect in the Santa Fe High School attack In the post on his Facebook page, Acevedo said that he has hit “rock bottom” after this deadly shooting. “Today I spent the day dealing with another mass shooting of children and a responding police officer who is clinging to life. I'm not ashamed to admit I've shed tears of sadness, pain and anger,” Acevedo posted. “I know some have strong feelings about gun rights but I want you to know I’ve hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue.” >> Read more trending news  School resource officer John Barnes was injured in Friday’s shooting. He remains in critical condition, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) tweeted Saturday. According to CNN, Barnes is a former officer with the Houston Police Department. Acevedo also called “shame” to those in power who are not speaking out against gun violence, in a post on Twitter. Acevedo has been vocal about gun control in the past. According to CNN, Acevedo urged others to join him to change legislation after the deadly massacre in Las Vegas last year were 58 people were killed.  Acevedo is the first Hispanic to lead the department. Before that, he was chief of the Austin Police Department, according to the Houston police department website.  He was sworn in as Houston police chief in 2016.
  • Lava from the Kilauea volcano has crossed Highway 137 and entered the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaii County Civil Defense said Sunday. A second lava flow is about 437 yards from the highway, the Star Advertiser of Honolulu reported. >> Read more trending news Big Island residents may now have to contend with laze -- a mixture of lava and haze -- that forms when hot lava hits the ocean, CNN reported. After making contact with the water, the laze sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air. Laze can lead to lung, eye and skin irritation, CNN reported. 'This hot, corrosive gas mixture caused two deaths immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows,' the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory wrote on its website. Officials have told people to avoid areas where lava meets the ocean, CNN reported. Powerful eruptions accompanied by thunderous booms punctuated the air Friday around Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island. The volcano spewed lava bombs the size of cows as molten rock flowed from several of the 22 fissures that have opened around the volcano.  More than 40 structures, mostly homes, have been destroyed in the eruption that started more than two weeks ago. Lava has now inundated almost 325 acres around Kilauea. Update May 19, 2018, 2 a.m. EDT: Fast-moving lava isolated about 40 homes in a rural subdivision, forcing at least four people to be evacuated by county and National Guard helicopters, the Star-Advertiser of Honolulu reported. According to the Hawaii County Civil Defense, police, firefighters and National Guard troops were stopping people from entering the area. Update May 18, 2018 11:30 p.m. EDT: Hawaiian authorities have sent the National Guard, police and fire units into the East Rift Zone in Puna, according to the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency. “There are approximately 40 homes in the area that are isolated. Officials are gaining access by helicopter to the area to assess how many people are there and if they need assistance. All persons in that area are asked to stay where they are and wait for further instructions,” the agency said on its website. The Hawaii Volcano Observatory has confirmed another fissure opened on Friday, bringing the total number of fissures to 22.  Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as Kilauea continues its violent eruptions. Update May 18, 2018 8:35 a.m EDT:  More lava is spewing  from the Kilauea volcano as the 21st fissure opened Thursday, CNN reported. Meanwhile, state officials have been handing out masks to protect people who live near Kilauea, ABC News reported. About 18,000 masks have been distributed, CNN reported. The safety measure protects residents from breathing in pieces of rock, glass and crystals that fall as the volcano continues to erupt, ABC News reported. Update May 17, 2018 10:45 p.m EDT: Lava is erupting from points along the fissure system on Kilauea volcano, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, but the agency is calling it a “low-level eruption” at this point.  Although lava is still spattering from Fissure 17, the flow has not advanced significantly over the past day, the USGS said. There are currently 18 fissures that have opened due to seismic activity on Kilauea’ over the past two weeks.  Volcanic gas emission are still elevated throughout the area and residents are urged to remain on alert.  “This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area,” the USGS reported late Thursday.  Rain on the Big Island Thursday helped the situation with the ashfall, but volcano experts are warning the situation on Kilauea is  still very dynamic. (Previous story) Several schools were closed as ash continued to fall Thursday due to elevated sulfur dioxide levels. Officials warned people in the area to take shelter and protect themselves from the falling ash. >> Here's how to help victims of Hawaii volcano, earthquakes 'The resulting ash plume will cover the surrounding area,' officials with the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said in a 5 a.m. alert. In a subsequent update, USGS officials said the ash plume was moving to the northeast. The plume could be seen in an image taken from a webcam at the USGS’ Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. 'Driving conditions may be dangerous so if you are driving pull off the road and wait until visibility improves,' the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency warned. Michelle Coombs, of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, told Hawaii News Now that the situation remained “very, very active and very dynamic,” on Thursday. “The potential for larger explosions is still there,” she said. Officials with the USGS warned Tuesday that an eruption of Kilauea's volcano appeared 'imminent.' >> Red alert declared on Hawaii’s Big Island; major Kilauea eruption ‘imminent’ The eruption on Kilauea began May 3. It has since forced thousands of people from their homes, destroyed nearly 40 structures -- including dozens of homes -- and created more than two dozen fissures in the ground surrounding the volcano. Check back for updates to this developing story.

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