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    Iran's foreign minister is blasting the United States' 'unhealthy fixation' with his country and condemning the Trump administration's efforts to press European countries to pull out of the nuclear agreement with Tehran. Mohammad Javad Zarif addressed the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, a day after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence prodded European powers Germany, France and Britain to follow Washington in withdrawing from the deal and to 'stop undermining U.S. sanctions.' The U.S. withdrew unilaterally last year from the 2015 agreement, which offers Iran sanctions relief for limiting its nuclear program. Zarif says 'we have long been the target of an unhealthy fixation, let's say obsession' from the U.S. He said Pence 'arrogantly demanded that Europe must join the United States in undermining its own security and breaking its obligations.
  • Hundreds of passengers throughout Europe have been stranded by the abrupt collapse of the British regional airline Flybmi. British Midland Regional Limited, which operates as Flybmi, said it's filing for administration — a British version of bankruptcy — because of higher fuel costs and uncertainty caused by Britain's upcoming departure from the European Union. 'Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and a lack of confidence around bmi's ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe,' the airline said on its website. Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29 but there are serious doubts about whether the British Parliament will approval the Brexit withdrawal deal that Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU. That is making it more difficult for businesses to plan for the separation. The airline operated 17 jets on routes to 25 European cities. It employed 376 people in Britain, Germany, Sweden and Belgium. The airline said all flights will be cancelled and advised passengers to seek refunds from credit card issuers, travel agents or travel insurance companies. Thanking workers for their dedication, the airline said 'it is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement.' Pilots union chief Brian Strutton said the airline's collapse 'is devastating news for all employees' and came with no warning. 'Our immediate steps will be to support Flybmi pilots and explore with the directors and administrators whether their jobs can be saved,' he said. The airline was still encouraging bookings the day before its collapse, urging passengers in a tweet to book flights to Germany for winter sports. Flybmi says it carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights last year.
  • French yellow vest protesters are marking three months since the kickoff of their anti-government movement, after anti-Semitic remarks by some demonstrators raised national concerns about the movement's ascendant radical fringe. Demonstrators called for multiple rallies around Paris and some other French cities Sunday, including a Paris march expected to start at the Arc de Triomphe monument. The increasingly divided movement has held protests every Saturday since Nov. 17, but some groups are holding rallies this Sunday too, to celebrate its 3-month birthday. An online invitation to Sunday's main Paris march says 'Let's stay peaceful.' Police fired tear gas and brought in water cannons and a horse brigade to disperse yellow vest protesters Saturday in Paris. A few demonstrators hurled anti-Semitic remarks, prompting criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron and many others.
  • A biennial arms fair has opened in the United Arab Emirates as the country faces increasing scrutiny over its involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. While the war went unmentioned at the opening ceremony of the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, it was clearly present in the theatrical show offered to spectators. In it, a militia threatens an unknown country with both launchpad-based and mobile ballistic missiles. Saudi Arabia has faced over 100 such launches by Yemen's Houthi rebels into the kingdom. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the leading members of a coalition that has been at war with the Iran-aligned Houthis since March 2015. The conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and caused the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
  • It's said that history often repeats itself — the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. Many Britons feel they are living through both at the same time as their country navigates its way out of the European Union. The British government awarded a contract to ship in emergency supplies to a company with no ships. It pledged to replace citizens' burgundy European passports with proudly British blue ones — and gave the contract to a Franco-Dutch company. It promised to forge trade deals with 73 countries by the end of March, but two years later has only a handful in place (including one with the Faroe Islands). Pretty much everyone in the U.K. agrees that the Conservative government's handling of Brexit has been disastrous. Unfortunately, that's about the only thing this divided nation can agree on. With Britain due to leave the EU in six weeks and still no deal in sight on the terms of its departure, both supporters and opponents of Brexit are in a state of high anxiety. Pro-EU 'remainers' lament the looming end of Britons' right to live and work in 27 other European nations and fear the U.K. is about to crash out of the bloc without even a divorce deal to cushion the blow. Brexiteers worry that their dream of leaving the EU will be dashed by bureaucratic shenanigans that will delay its departure or keep Britain bound to EU regulations forever. 'I still think they'll find a way to curtail it or extend it into infinity,' said 'leave' supporter Lucy Harris. 'I have a horrible feeling that they're going to dress it up and label it as something we want, but it isn't.' It has been more than two and a half years since Britons voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the EU. Then came many months of tense negotiations to settle on Brexit departure terms and the outline of future relations. At last, the EU and Prime Minister Theresa May's government struck a deal — then saw it resoundingly rejected last month by Britain's Parliament, which like the rest of the country has split into pro-Brexit and pro-EU camps. May is now seeking changes to the Brexit deal in hope of getting it through Parliament before March 29. EU leaders say they won't renegotiate, and accuse Britain of failing to offer a way out of the impasse. May insists she won't ask the EU to delay Britain's departure, and has refused to rule out a cliff-edge no-deal Brexit. Meanwhile, Brexit has clogged the gears of Britain's economic and political life. The economy has stalled, growing by only 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter as business investment registered a fourth straight quarterly decline. Big political decisions have been postponed, as May's minority Conservative government struggles to get bills through a squabbling and divided Parliament. Major legislation needed to prepare for Brexit has yet to be approved. Britain still does not have a deal on future trade with the EU, and it's unclear what tariffs or other barriers British firms that do business with Europe will face after March 29. That has left businesses and citizens in an agonizing limbo. Rod McKenzie, director of policy at the Road Haulage Association, a truckers' lobby group, feels 'pure anger' at a government he says has failed to plan, leaving haulers uncertain whether they will be able to travel to EU countries after March 29. McKenzie says truckers were told they will need Europe-issued permits to drive through EU countries if Britain leaves the bloc without a deal. Of more than 11,000 who applied, only 984 — less than 10 percent — have been granted the papers. 'It will put people out of business,' McKenzie said. 'It's been an absolutely disastrous process for our industry, which keeps Britain supplied with, essentially, everything.' He's not alone in raising the specter of shortages; both the government and British businesses have been stockpiling key goods in case of a no-deal Brexit. Still, some Brexit-backers, such as former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore, relish the prospect of a clean break even if it brings short-term pain. 'Perhaps it is time for a Brexit recipe book, like those comforting wartime rationing ones full of bright ideas for dull things,' Moore wrote in The Spectator, a conservative magazine. He added that he and his neighbors were willing to 'set out in our little ships to Dunkirk or wherever and bring back luscious black-market lettuces and French beans, oranges and lemons.' Brexit supporters often turn to nostalgic evocations of World War II and Britain's 'finest hour,' to the annoyance of pro-Europeans. The imagery reached a peak of absurdity during a recent BBC news report on Brexit, when the anchor announced that 'Theresa May says she intends to go back to Brussels to renegotiate her Brexit deal,' as the screen cut to black-and-white footage of World War II British Spitfires going into battle. The BBC quickly said the startling juxtaposition was a mistake: The footage was intended for an item about a new Battle of Britain museum. Skeptics saw it as evidence of the broadcaster's bias, though they disagreed on whether the BBC was biased in favor of Brexit or against it. Some pro-Europeans have hit back against Brexit with despairing humor. Four friends have started plastering billboards in London with 20-foot-by-10-foot (6-meter-by-3-meter) images of pro-Brexit politicians' past tweets, to expose what the group sees as their hypocrisy. Highlights included former U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage's vow that 'if Brexit is a disaster, I will go and live abroad,' and ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's pledge to 'make a titanic success' of Brexit. The friends dubbed the campaign 'Led by Donkeys,' after the description of British soldiers in World War I as 'lions led by donkeys.' The billboards are now going nationwide, after a crowdfunding campaign raised almost 150,000 pounds ($193,000). 'It was a cry of pain, genuine pain, at the chaos in this country and the lies that brought us here,' said a member of the group, a London charity worker who spoke on condition of anonymity because their initial guerrilla posters could be considered illegal. A similar feeling of alienation reigns across the Brexit divide in the 'leave' camp. After the referendum, Harris, a 28-year-old classically trained singer, founded a group called Leavers of London so Brexiteers could socialize without facing opprobrium from neighbors and colleagues who don't share their views. It has grown into Leavers of Britain, with branches across the country. Harris said members 'feel like in their workplaces or their personal lives, they're not accepted for their democratic vote. They're seen as bad people.' 'I'm really surprised I still have to do this,' she said. But she thinks Britain's EU divide is as wide as it ever was. 'There can't be reconciliation until Brexit is done,' she said. Whenever that is. ___ Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless . Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit
  • The victims of a disgruntled employee who opened fire at a suburban Chicago industrial warehouse were co-workers ranging from an intern to the plant manager. A look at the victims: TREVOR WEHNER The 21-year-old Northern Illinois University student was on his first day as an intern in human resources at Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora and attended the fateful meeting where the gunman was fired and then started shooting. Jay Wehner said his nephew grew up about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Aurora in Sheridan and was expected to graduate from Northern Illinois University in May with a degree in human resource management. He was on the dean's list at NIU's business college. 'He always, always was happy,' Jay Wehner said. 'I have no bad words for him. He was a wonderful person. You can't say anything but nice things about him.' RUSS BEYER Ted Beyer said his son had a 'big heart' and tried his best to make his office a better place. He told the Chicago Sun-Times that's why the 20-year mold operator and union chairman sat in on Gary Martin's termination meeting Friday afternoon. Ted Beyer said his son had helped Martin win back his job months earlier. Russ Beyer was shot outside the meeting 'He was a hard worker, just like I was,' Ted Beyer, 71, said of his son. 'I loved him ... We were close. He was my first kid.' Russ Beyer had followed in the footsteps of his father, a previous union chairman who worked at Henry Pratt Co. for four decades. Ted and his 46-year-old son enjoyed camping, fishing and swimming together, usually at Taylorville Lake in central Illinois. They also shared one more connection: Ted Beyer had also previously vouched for Martin in grievance meetings with management. Beyer remembered Martin as a kind, caring man who brought him coffee and walked with him following back surgery. But, Beyer said, that doesn't take away the pain of losing Russ, the oldest of three children, who also had two adult children of his own. 'Anybody who knew him knew he had a big heart,' Ted Beyer said of his son. 'I just recently lost my sister and now this and, you know, it hurts. It's just like somebody reached in there and took your heart out.' CLAYTON PARKS The 32-year-old from Elgin, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Aurora, had just joined Henry Pratt in November 2018 as HR manager responsible for operations in Aurora, Illinois, Hammond, Indiana and Denver, the company said. He also was in the meeting where the gunman was being fired from his job. Parks was married and had an infant son Axel, according to a Facebook post by his wife Abby. 'Every time I've closed my eyes over the last twelve hours, I've opened them hoping to wake from a terrible dream, but that's not the case,' Abby posted. 'I'm living my worst nightmare. My husband, my love, my best friend.' Parks was a 2014 graduate of the Northern Illinois University College of Business. VICENTE JUAREZ Neighbors remembered Vicente Juarez as a hard-working grandfather and rock of his tight-knit family. Juarez was shot outside the meeting where the gunman was being fired from his job. Juarez had been employed at Henry Pratt since 2006 and was a member of the shipping and warehouse team in Aurora. He had held several other jobs previously in the warehouse, the company said. The Chicago Tribune reported that Juarez lived with his wife, adult daughter and four grandchildren in a subdivision in Oswego, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) south of Aurora Relatives declined comment, saying they appreciate the support but are still dealing with the shock. Neighbor Julie Zigman called Juarez 'the patriarch of the family' and said 'everyone looked to him.' Neighbor Joven Ang said anytime he was working outside Juarez asked him if he needed help. 'That's the kind of person he was,' Ang said. JOSH PINKARD A native of Alabama, Pinkard became plant manager at Henry Pratt in the spring of 2018. He was also in the meeting with the gunman. The company said Pinkard, 37, joined the parent company 13 years ago at its Albertville, Alabama facility. The father of three earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Mississippi State University and a master's degree from University of Arkansas, according to his LinkedIn account. 'He loved God, his family and Mississippi State sports,' a cousin wrote in a text to the Chicago Tribune that he said was written on behalf of Pinkard's wife, Terra.
  • The man who opened fire and killed five co-workers including the plant manager, human resources manager and an intern working his first day at a suburban Chicago manufacturing warehouse, took a gun he wasn't supposed to have to a job he was about to lose. Right after learning Friday that he was being fired from his job of 15 years at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Gary Martin pulled out a gun and began shooting, killing the three people in the room with him and two others just outside and wounding a sixth employee, police said Saturday. Martin shot and wounded five of the first officers to get to the scene, including one who didn't even make it inside the sprawling warehouse in Aurora, Illinois, a city of 200,000 about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Chicago. After that flurry of shots and with officers from throughout the region streaming in to help, he ran off and hid in the back of the building, where officers found him about an hour later and killed him during an exchange of gunfire, police said. 'He was probably waiting for us to get to him there,' Aurora police Lt. Rick Robertson said. 'It was just a very short gunfight and it was over, so he was basically in the back waiting for us and fired upon us and our officers fired.' Like in many of the country's mass shootings, Friday's attack was carried out by a man with a violent criminal history who was armed with a gun he wasn't supposed to have. Martin, 45, had six arrests over the years in Aurora, for what police Chief Kristen Ziman described as 'traffic and domestic battery-related issues' and for violating an order of protection. He also had a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi that should have prevented him from buying his gun, Ziman said. He was able to buy the Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun on March 11, 2014, because he was issued a firearm owner's identification card two months earlier after passing an initial background check. It wasn't until he applied for a concealed carry permit five days after buying the gun and went through a more rigorous background check using digital fingerprinting that his Mississippi conviction was flagged and his firearm owner's ID car was revoked, Ziman said. Once his card was revoked, he could no longer legally have a gun. 'Absolutely, he was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm,' she said. But he was, and on Friday he took it and several magazines of ammunition to work. Scott Hall, president and CEO of Mueller Water Products Inc., which owns Henry Pratt, said that Martin came to work for his normal shift Friday and was being fired when he started shooting. 'We can confirm that the individual was being terminated Friday for a culmination of a various workplace rules violations,' he told a news conference Saturday. He gave no details of the violations by Martin at the plant that makes valves for industrial purposes. A company background check of Martin when he joined Henry Pratt 15 years ago did not turn up a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi, Hall said. The employee who survived being shot is recovering at a hospital, Ziman said Saturday. None of the officers who were shot received life-threatening wounds, she said. Police identified the slain workers as human resources manager Clayton Parks of Elgin; plant manager Josh Pinkard of Oswego; mold operator Russell Beyer of Yorkville; stock room attendant and fork lift operator Vicente Juarez of Oswego; and human resources intern and Northern Illinois University student Trevor Wehner, who lived in DeKalb and grew up in Sheridan. It was Wehner's first day on the job, his uncle Jay Wehner told The Associated Press. Trevor Wehner, 21, was on the dean's list at NIU's business college and was on track to graduate in May with a degree in human resource management. 'He always, always was happy. I have no bad words for him. He was a wonderful person. You can't say anything but nice things about him,' Jay Wehner said of his nephew. ___ Associated Press writers Carrie Antlfinger and Amanda Seitz contributed to this report. Babwin and Rousseau reported from Chicago.
  • The Latest on the investigation of the attack on Jussie Smollett (all times local): 11 p.m. Attorneys for Jussie Smollett say there is no truth to reports that the 'Empire' actor played a role in an assault on him last month by what he described as two men shouting homophobic and racial slurs. In a statement late Saturday the lawyers say: 'Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.' His lawyers say that Smollett will continue to cooperate with a Chicago police investigation into the reported attack. Chicago police earlier Saturday said their investigation of the attack had 'shifted' following the interrogation of two men. The brothers from Nigeria were first considered suspects, but then released from police custody Friday without being charged. Smollett's attorneys say that one of the men was the actor's personal trainer, hired to prepare him physically for a music video. ___ 7 p.m. Chicago police say 'the trajectory of the investigation' into the reported attack on Jussie Smollett has shifted and they want to conduct another interview with the 'Empire' actor. Chicago police late Friday released without charges two Nigerian brothers they had detained for questioning earlier in the week. On Saturday, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told CBS Chicago: 'We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We've reached out to the Empire cast member's attorney to request a follow-up interview.' Smollett, who is black and gay, has said he was attacked by two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and 'This is MAGA country!' He said they looped a rope around his neck before running away as he was out getting food at a Subway restaurant early on Jan. 29. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him. Police have been unable to find surveillance video of the attack. A spokeswoman for Smollett did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Guglielmi's comment. ___ See AP's complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case: https://www.apnews.com/JussieSmollett
  • Patrick Caddell, the pollster who helped propel Jimmy Carter in his longshot bid to win the presidency and later distanced himself from Democrats, has died, a colleague said Saturday night. He was 68. Caddell died Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina, after suffering a stroke. That's according to Professor Kendra Stewart of the College of Charleston, who confirmed the death to The Associated Press. After working with Democrats in the 1970s and 1980s, Caddell eventually drifted away from the Democratic Party and began advising supporters of Republican Donald Trump and was a contributor to Fox News for a time. Caddell worked for 1972 Democratic nominee George McGovern, then joined with Carter in the mid-1970s to develop a campaign strategy to overcome the cynicism spawned by the Vietnam War and Watergate. In an oral history for the University of Virginia's Miller Center, Caddell said Carter's best bet was to present himself as an outsider who could help heal the country. As a student at Harvard, Caddell had studied Southern politics and was helpful to Carter and his close advisers as they studied how to maneuver their campaign between the competing forces of the McGovern liberals and supporters of conservative firebrand George Wallace. Caddell, a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and the Georgia governor found they had many ideas in common about how he could win the presidency. As a one-term governor from the South, Carter would have to offer a compelling outsider theme. 'In order to win, he had to articulate a sense of what had happened to the country through Vietnam and Watergate. If you go back and look at those speeches that he gave early in the campaign, he would talk about the damage to the country, its psychology,' Caddell said in the oral history. 'Essentially, what he was running on in the campaign was that the country had been psychologically devastated by the previous decade of events. He was offering himself as a healer...' Carter won the presidency, but Caddell, known at the time for his bushy black beard with a gray streak, preferred to advise the president from outside the White House. Caddell warned Carter of the dangers of getting out of touch with the voters who had embraced him during the campaign. But one bit of Caddell advice seemed to backfire. Caddell wrote a memo warning of crisis of confidence that Americans were experiencing and urged Carter to address them directly about it. That became known as the 'malaise' speech, though Carter never used that word. He lost re-election a year later, in a bid complicated by economic fears, an intraparty challenge and the Iran hostage situation. The winner, Ronald Reagan, offered an optimistic vision of the country. Caddell consulted with other Democratic presidential candidates in the 1980s and was a close adviser to Joe Biden during his failed 1988 bid for the presidency. In explaining his break from Democrats, Caddell said he thought the party was no longer 'a party of the people' but had been hijacked by elites, the well-educated, Wall Street and interest groups. He noted in a 2016 speech to students at Michigan's Hillsdale College that he was offended when the Democrats at their national convention would not allow Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey Sr., who was against abortion, to deliver a convention speech. Caddell considered the Democrats to be guilty of 'the stifling of dissent.' And he commended Trump for reaching out to people the Democrats were not effective in reaching, and his willingness to take on 'the political class.' Stewart said Caddell died early Saturday at the hospital and had not been ill, so it was a surprise to those who knew him. Among his many projects, he was a guest lecturer at the College of Charleston and the Citadel, she said. 'After escaping Washington, he sought refuge in L.A., where he was a writer and producer on 'West Wing' with Aaron Sorkin and consulted on other films such as 'Outbreak,' 'Air Force One' and 'In the Line of Fire,'' Stewart said. 'These past years he has been consulting, conducting research and writing on the state of voter unrest and dissatisfaction with the political system. I worked with him through his company, Caddell Associates, on many of these projects,' Stewart said. 'He was a passionate man who wanted nothing more than to leave his grandchildren a better country.
  • Chicago police said Saturday the investigation into the assault reported by Jussie Smollett has 'shifted' due to information received from two brothers questioned in the case, and attorneys for the 'Empire' actor blasted reports alleging he played a role in his own attack. Chicago police had arrested, then released the two Nigerian brothers without charges late Friday and said they were no longer suspects in the attack. 'We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation,' Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in an emailed statement Saturday. 'We've reached out to the Empire cast member's attorney to request a follow-up interview.' Guglielmi did not elaborate on what he meant by a shift in the case. Smollett's attorneys later Saturday issued a statement saying the actor would continue to cooperate with police, but felt 'victimized' by reports that he might have been involved in the attack. 'Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,' the statement from attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said.. Smollett, who is black and gay, has said he was physically attacked by two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and 'This is MAGA country!' He said they looped a rope around his neck before running away as he was out getting food at a Subway restaurant. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him. On Wednesday, Chicago police picked up the brothers at O'Hare International Airport as they returned from Nigeria. They described them as 'suspects' in the assault, questioned them and searched their apartment. Then, late Friday evening they released the two men without charges and said they were no longer suspects. They said they had gleaned new information from their interrogation of them. One of the men is Smollett's personal trainer who he hired to get him physically ready for a music video, the statement from Smollett's attorneys said. 'It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie's complicity,' the statement said. Police have said they were investigating the attack as a possible hate crime and considered Smollett a victim. Reports of the assault drew outrage and support for him on social media, including from U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California and TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Smollett gave an emotional speech during a concert in West Hollywood, California , on Feb. 2 saying that he went ahead with the show because he couldn't let his attackers win. Smollett also gave an interview to Robin Roberts of ABC News that aired Thursday, saying that he was 'pissed' at people who did not believe he was attacked. 'I've heard that it was a date gone bad, which I also resent that narrative,' he said. 'I'm not gonna go out and get a tuna sandwich and a salad to meet somebody. That's ridiculous. And it's offensive.' Earlier this week, police said reports that the attack against Smollett was a hoax are unconfirmed .. Producers of the Fox television drama have supported Smollett, saying his character on 'Empire,' James Lyon, was not being written off the show. Police said they combed surveillance video in the heavily-monitored downtown Chicago area but were unable to find any footage of the attack. Smollett turned over redacted phone records that police said were not sufficient for a criminal investigation. ___ See AP's complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case: https://www.apnews.com/JussieSmollett

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  • A Georgia father has been arrested after deputies say his 2-year-old ate meth.  Keith Edward Teubner Sr. of Spalding County was charged with cruelty to children in the second degree, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and other charges.  >> Read more news stories  Deputies were called to WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital on Thursday on reports that a child had eaten methamphetamine.  Deputies got a warrant for Teubner's home on Greer Road, where they found drugs in the bedroom, authorities said. Deputies also learned Teubner knew his child had ingested the drug but didn't seek medical care, authorities said. It's unclear who took the toddler to the hospital.  The child was turned over to the Division of Family and Children's Services. 
  • It’s an important election cycle in Duval County, with Mayor, Sheriff, 15 City Council seats, Property Appraiser, and Tax Collector all up for a vote.  FULL LIST: Candidates for office in Duval County WOKV is bringing you the information you need to get ready for Election Day. How the Unitary elections works There are two election days coming up, March 19th and May 14th. March is not considered a primary, rather it’s the “First Unitary Election”. It’s an important difference from what you generally consider a primary, because in Florida, partisan primary elections are closed to only voters registered in the party on the ballot. This First Unitary Election is open to all voters regardless of party registration, and you will be able to vote in all of the races that are relevant for you based on where you live- and therefore which City Council District you’re in- not your party affiliation. You can get a sample ballot, which lists all the races that you will vote on, through the Duval County Supervisor of Elections website. Some races will be settled in the March election. If, in a race, a candidate does not get 50%+1 of the votes, then the top two vote-getters advance to the General Unitary Election in May, where a winner will be decided. While you do not have to be registered with any specific party to participate in these elections, you do have to be registered to vote. The deadline for that is February 19th for the March election, and April 15th for the May election. The Duval Supervisor of Elections website has more information about how to register to vote. Vote-by-mail To vote absentee in March, you must request a ballot be mailed by March 13th at 5PM. That deadline for the May election is May 8th. Military and overseas voting has different deadlines, with full information also on the Supervisor of Elections website. If you are going to vote-by-mail, it is incredibly important to ensure how you sign your name matches the signature on file with the Supervisor of Elections, because that is how your identity is confirmed, and therefore how your vote is counted. You must fill out a signature affidavit if there is a signature problem, including a mismatch or missing signature. You can avoid the problem outright by contacting the Supervisor of Elections Office ahead of time to verify your signature. Vote-by-mail ballots must be received at the Supervisor of Elections by 7PM on Election Day. If you have a completed absentee ballot, you can either mail it or turn it in at the Supervisor of Elections. If you received an absentee ballot but decide you want to vote on Election Day instead, you can turn in your vote-by-mail ballot to any early voting site or polling location, and cast your ballot in person. Early voting and Election Day For the March election, early voting takes place over 14 days- Monday, March 4th through Sunday, March 17th. May election early voting begins Monday, April 29th and lasts through Sunday, May 12th. The locations are open 8AM through 5PM weekdays and 10AM through 6PM weekends.  There are 19 early voting sites, and you can vote at any of them, regardless of what precinct you would normally use on Election Day. Among the locations, early voting will be held at the University of North Florida and Edward Waters College for only the second and third time- in March and then May- after being first done in November. There are 199 precincts where voters cast ballots in Duval County on Election Day. To find the one you vote at, you can check on the Supervisor of Elections website.  Whether voting early or on Election Day, you must show a current, valid picture and signature ID, which can include a Florida driver license, US passport, Florida ID card, or similar forms.  Provisional ballots If there are any problems with your ballot, including if you do not have a photo and signature ID,  you will be issued a provisional ballot. If the provisional ballot relates to an ID issue, the ballot will be compared to your voter registration record by the Canvassing  Board. If your ballot deals with any other issue, like you were at the wrong precinct, you will be able to present evidence of your eligibility.  You can check the status of your ballot on the Supervisor of Elections website.
  • As the investigation of a quadruple shooting in Northwest Jacksonville continues, police now say the situation escalated from a planned fight. JSO responded to Elizabeth Powell Park on Redpoll Avenue Thursday night following reports of a shooting. Police initially said several people were gathered at the basketball courts when a fight broke out and several people on scene shot at each other. In all, a 14-year-old and a 24-year-old were killed, and two other people suffered non-life threatening injuries. Investigators now say the fight was actually planned in advance between two female acquaintances who were in an ongoing dispute. JSO says people learned about the fight and gathered to watch, and several ultimately got involved. Some of those spectators then pulled guns and started shooting. In light of this, JSO says they do not believe the shooting was random. Police are asking for any information you have, including asking people who were at the park or watching the fight to come forward. If anyone has video of the fight or has seen posts on social media, they’re asking those people to let them know. You can contact JSO at 904-630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. You can also submit an anonymous tip and be eligible for a possible $3,000 reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • A gunman opened fire at the Henry Pratt Company, a valve manufacturer in suburban Chicago on Friday, killing five people and wounding at least five police officers before he was fatally shot, police said. >> Read more trending news Officers arrived within four minutes of receiving reports of a shooting and were fired upon as soon as they entered the 29,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse, Aurora, Police Chief Kristen Ziman said in a news conference. Update 6:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: The chief of police says five people were killed and five officers were wounded in a shooting at a business in suburban Chicago. Aurora Police Chief, Kristen Ziman, identified the gunman as 45-year-old Gary Martin. Ziman says the gunman was also killed. The five police officers that were injured in the shooting are in stable condition according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Update 5:15 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A spokesman for the coroner’s office says at least one person is dead following a shooting at a business in suburban Chicago.  Kane County coroner’s office spokesman Chris Nelson says at least one person was killed in the attack Friday afternoon at the Henry Pratt Co. building in Aurora. Update 4:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A city spokesman told WGN that at least four police officers were injured.  Police have not said if anyone else has been injured. Update 4:15 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Initial reports indicate that the shooter has been apprehended, but the area is still on lockdown. Update 3:55 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A man who said he witnessed Friday’s shooting told WLS-TV that he recognized the person who opened fire at the Henry Pratt Company. The man told WLS-TV that the shooter was one of his co-workers. Update 3:50 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Police confirmed they are continue to respond Friday afternoon to an active shooting reported in Aurora. Update 3:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Citing preliminary reports from the scene, the Daily Herald reported several people were injured in the ongoing active shooter situation reported Friday afternoon in Aurora. Police did not immediately confirm the report. Update 3:40 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Authorities with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are responding to the reported shooting, officials said. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday to fund his promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border after Congress passed a bipartisan border security bill that offered only a fraction of the $5.7 billion he had sought. >> Read more trending news  White House officials confirmed Friday afternoon that Trump also signed the spending compromise into law to avoid a partial government shutdown. Update 3:25 p.m. EST Feb. 15:A lawsuit filed Friday by an ethics watchdog group aims to make public documents that could determine whether the president has the legal authority to invoke emergency powers to fund his promised border wall. In a statement, officials with the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said the group requested documentation, including legal opinions from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, to determine whether the president wrongfully used his emergency powers. “President Trump’s threatened declaration of a national emergency for these purposes raised some serious questions among the public and Congress that the president was considering actions of doubtful legality based on misstated facts and outright falsehoods to make an end-run round Congress’ constitutional authority to make laws and appropriate funds,” attorneys for CREW said in the lawsuit. >> Read the lawsuit filled by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington  The group said it submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Office of Legal Counsel last month and that it got a response on Feb. 12 that indicated authorities would not be able to expedite the request or respond to it within the 20-day statutory deadline. “Americans deserve to know the true basis for President Trump’s unprecedented decision to enact emergency powers to pay for a border wall,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union said the group also plans to file suit. Update 2:30 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump has signed a bill passed by Congress to fund several federal departments until September 30, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Friday afternoon to The Associated Press. Update 12:35 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, accused Democrats of playing partisan politics in refusing to fund Trump’s border wall. “President Trump’s decision to announce emergency action is the predictable and understandable consequence of Democrats’ decision to put partisan obstruction ahead of the national interest,” McConnell said. Democrats have repeatedly voice opposition to the border wall, which critics say would not effectively address issues like drug trafficking and illegal immigration, which Trump purports such a wall would solve. Update 11:25 a.m. EST Feb. 15: In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, condemned what they called “the president’s unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist.” “This issue transcends partisan politics and goes to the core of the founders’ conception for America, which commands Congress to limit an overreaching executive. The president’s emergency declaration, if unchecked, would fundamentally alter the balance of powers, inconsistent with our founders’ vision,” the statement said. “We call upon our Republican colleagues to join us to defend the Constitution.” Update 11:10 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump said he’s expecting the administration to be sued after he signs a national emergency declaration to fund the building of wall on the southern border. “The order is signed and I'll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the Oval Office,” Trump said Friday while addressing reporters in the Rose Garden.  “I expect to be sued -- I shouldn’t be sued,” Trump said Friday while addressing reporters in the Rose Garden. “I think we’ll be very successful in court. I think it’s clear.” He said he expects the case will likely make it to the Supreme Court, the nation’s highest court. “It’ll go through a process and happily we’ll win, I think,” he said. Update 10:50 a.m. EST Feb. 15: “I’m going to sign a national emergency,” Trump said. “We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”  >> National emergency likely to be blocked by courts, DOJ tells White House: reports Update 10:25 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump will declare a national emergency and use executive actions to funnel over $6 billion in funds from the Treasury Department and the Pentagon for his border wall, Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree reported. “With the declaration of a national emergency, the President will have access to roughly $8 billion worth of money that can be used to secure the southern border,” Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters in a call before the president’s announcement. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: White House: Trump using national emergency and executive actions for border wall Update 10 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump is expected on Friday morning to deliver remarks from the Rose Garden on the southern border after White House officials said he plans to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall. Update 10 p.m. EST Feb. 14: At 10 a.m. on Friday, President Donald Trump is expected to deliver remarks from the Rose Garden about the southern border. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Congress passes border deal as Trump readies emergency for border wall The White House announced earlier that Trump will declare a national emergency that would enable him to transfer funding from other accounts for additional miles of border fencing. Update 9 p.m. EST Feb. 14: The House easily approved border funding plan, as President Donald Trump prepared an emergency declaration to fund a border wall. The bill also closes a chapter by preventing a second government shutdown at midnight Friday and by providing $333 billion to finance several Cabinet agencies through September. Trump has indicated he’ll sign the measure though he is not happy with it, and for a few hours Thursday he was reportedly having second thoughts. Update 4:30 p.m. EST Feb. 14: The government funding bill that includes $1.375 billion for 55 miles of border wall, passed the Senate with a 83 - 16 vote. The bill will go to the House for a final vote Thursday evening. Update 4 p.m. EST Feb. 14: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says if President Donald Trump declares a national emergency at the border he’s making an “end run around Congress.” “The President is doing an end run around the Congress and the power of the purse,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who reserved the right to lead a legal challenge against any emergency declaration. Pelosi said that there is no crisis at the border with Mexico that requires a national emergency order. >> Trump's border wall: What is a national emergency? She did not say if House Democrats would legally challenge the president. But Pelosi said if Trump invokes an emergency declaration it should be met with “great unease and dismay” as an overreach of executive authority. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Thursday afternoon that the White House is “very prepared” for a legal challenge following the declaration of a National Emergency. Update 3:15 p.m. EST Feb. 14: Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that President Donald Trump is going to sign a border deal and at the same time issue a national emergency declaration. The compromise will keep departments running through the fiscal year but without the $5.7 billion Trump wanted for the border wall with Mexico.  The House is also expected to vote on the bill later Thursday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sent a statement confirming that Trump intends to sign the bill and will issue “other executive action - including a national emergency.” An emergency declaration to shift funding from other federal priorities to the border is expected to face swift legal challenge. Update 12:40 p.m. EST Feb. 14: Trump said in a tweet Thursday that he and his team were reviewing the funding bill proposed by legislators. Congress is expected to vote Thursday on the bipartisan accord to prevent another partial federal shutdown ahead of Friday's deadline. Trump has not definitively said whether he’ll sign the bill if it passes the legislature. The bill would fund several departments, including Agriculture, Justice and State, until Sept. 30 but it includes only $1.4 billion to build new barriers on the border. Trump had asked Congress to provide $5.7 billion in funding. Update 9:55 a.m. EST Feb. 14: The more than 1,600-page compromise, made up of seven different funding bills, was unveiled early Thursday. It includes $1.4 billion to build new barriers on the border and over $1 billion to fund other border security measures. If passed, the bill would prevent a partial government shutdown like the 35-day closure that started after lawmakers failed to reach a compromise in December.  >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Five tidbits from the border security funding deal in Congress President Donald Trump has given mixed signals in recent days over whether he plans to sign the bill or not. He’s told reporters in recent days that a second government shutdown as federal workers continue to dig out from the last closure “would be a terrible thing.” However, Adam Kennedy, the deputy director of White House communications, told NPR that the president “doesn’t want his hands tied on border security.” 'I think the president is going to fully review the bill,' Kennedy said. 'I think he wants to review it before he signs it.' Original report: President Donald Trump is expected to sign the deal lawmakers have hammered out to avoid a second shutdown, CNN is reporting. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump hints at ‘national emergency’ to funnel money to border wall On Tuesday, Trump said he was “not happy” with the spending plan negotiators came up with Monday night, CNN reported. That deal includes $1.375 billion in funding for border barriers, but not a concrete wall, according to Cox Media Group Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree. “It’s not doing the trick,” Trump said, adding that he is “considering everything” when asked whether a national emergency declaration was on the table. He said that if there is another shutdown, it would be “the Democrats’ fault.” Trump also took to Twitter later Tuesday, claiming that the wall is already being built. >> See the tweet here The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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