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Jamie Dupree's Impeachment Trial Coverage

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  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed Saturday to end the separatist conflict in the east of his country, where fighting between Russia-backed rebels and Ukrainian troops has killed more than 14,000 people since 2014. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Zelenskiy said he hopes to end the conflict by the end of his presidential term in 2024. “If in five years, we will end the war, bring our people back, then I did (became president) for a reason,” he said. The conflict in eastern Ukraine erupted in April 2014, weeks after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, and has devastated the country's industrial heartland. Thanking the United States for supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, Zelenskiy expressed hope to “start afresh” Kyiv's relations with the U.S. now that proceedings for President Donald Trump's impeachment are over. Ukraine and Zelenskiy were at the center of the impeachment hearings. In a phone call in July that triggered a congressional inquiry, Trump pressured Zelenskiy to investigate the involvement of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son with Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company. In Munich, Zelenskiy said he wants to visit the White House, and he invited Trump to Kyiv. “We have a good relationship with the U.S., and I'm grateful to Americans for their support,” he said. Zelenskiy, a 42-year-old comic actor with no political experience, won Ukraine's presidential election in 2019 on promises to end the fighting. He has expressed willingness to negotiate a peace agreement with Russia. However, several contentious issues complicate the peace process, including Ukraine regaining control of its border and allowing elections that would give rebel-controlled regions more autonomy. Zelenskiy said Saturday in Munich he wants local elections held across Ukraine, including certain areas of the east, in October. But the votes can't take place while fighting continues, he said. “People in Donbass need elections that would be recognized as legitimate. But they can't be that if held not in accordance with Ukrainian laws, to the sound of gunfire and without (Kyiv's) control of Ukraine's border,” the president said. Zelenskiy announced discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin in April about another exchange of prisoners. There are currently 200 Ukrainians held in the rebel-controlled areas, Zelenskiy said. __ Yuras Karmanau in Minsk and Daria Litvinova in Moscow contributed.
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld in February 2019 became the first Republican to announce plans to challenge President Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. Weld, 73, announced that he’d formed a presidential exploratory committee on Feb. 15, 2019, a move that enabled him to raise money for a White House run. 'We cannot sit passively as our precious democracy slips quietly into the darkness,' Weld said in his announcement, according to The Washington Post. 'Congress must do its duty, and as citizens we must do ours.' Here are some things to know about Weld: Weld was born on July 31, 1946, in Smithtown, New York. According to the Justice Department, Weld’s father was a partner in the family’s investment banking firm on Wall Street. Weld graduated from Harvard College in 1966 with his bachelor’s degree and went on to study at economics at University College, Oxford, before graduating from Harvard Law School with his juris doctorate in 1970. After graduation, he launched a private practice in Boston and, in 1973, became involved in the Watergate scandal when he was hired by the House Impeachment Committee as counsel to research the legal grounds for impeachment. President Ronald Reagan appointed Weld to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts from 1981 to 1986, when he left to become assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. He held that role until 1988. Weld was elected in 1990 to serve as the 68th governor of Massachusetts. He was reelected once, in 1994. Weld has run for office several times since 1994. In 1996, he made an unsuccessful run for a seat in the U.S. Senate before returning to private practice. He ran for the Republican nomination for governor of New York in 2005, but he failed to secure the nomination. In 2016, Weld was the Libertarian Party’s nominee for vice president on a ticket headed by Gary Johnson. Weld and his wife, Leslie Marshall, live in Canton, Massachusetts. Weld has five children from a previous marriage and three step-children.
  • Billionaire investor and philanthropist Tom Steyer launched his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in July 2019 with a message posted on social media. “It’s true,” he wrote July 9 in a post on Twitter. “I’m running for president.” Here are 8 things to know about him: Steyer was born June 27, 1957, in New York City. Steyer in 1979 earned his bachelor's degree from Yale University, where he was captain of the soccer team, according to a 2014 profile in Men's Journal. He went on to earn his MBA at Stanford University, according to the magazine. Steyer moved to San Francisco in 1986, where he started the hedge fund Farallon Capital Management LLC. He stepped down from the company in 2012, telling investors he planned to focus on giving back to the community full-time, including 'continuing participation in our community bank, in encouraging the advanced energy economy and in specific public policy initiatives here in California,' The Wall Street Journal reported in 2012. According to Forbes, Steyer has an estimated net worth around $1.6 billion. He and his wife, Kat Taylor, signed The Giving Pledge in 2010, promising to donate most of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Steyer first entered politics in 2010, when he partnered with President Ronald Reagan's former Secretary of State George Shultz to oppose California's Proposition 23, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The ballot measure would have suspended a landmark 2006 climate change law aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the state. In 2013, he founded NextGen America, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group. Steyer in 2017 launched the Need to Impeach campaign, an effort focused on removing Trump from the White House. He kicked off the campaign with a $10 million, 60-second ad and later pumped another $10 million into efforts to oppose Trump's tax reform effort, according to CNN. It's not the first time Steyer has thought about running for office. In 2018, he considered joining California's gubernatorial race, and in 2016, he eyed a bid for the U.S. Senate, according to The Associated Press. Steyer and his wife live in San Francisco. The couple has four children.
  • Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Friday there is no investigation into the Army officer who until last week worked at the White House National Security Council and was a key witness in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. McCarthy said Lt. Col. Alex Vindman has been moved to a short-term assignment at Army headquarters until he starts a regularly scheduled stint at a military college later this year. McCarthy's comments at the National Press Club appeared to put an end to any debate about potential punishment of the officer, who came under fire for raising concerns about Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president. Trump on Tuesday suggested the Pentagon should review Vindman's conduct and said any potential disciplinary action would be up to the military. He said military officials “can handle him any way they want,” but added that the military would certainly take a look at his conduct. Vindman was detailed by the Pentagon to the White House and testified before the House impeachment panel that Trump inappropriately pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Last week, just two days after the Senate acquitted Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges, Vindman was ousted from his NSC job. His twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, who worked as an ethics lawyer at the NSC, also was removed from his job and was re-assigned to the Army General Counsel's Office. Vindman also got support from Trump's former chief of staff earlier this week. John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, said that Vindman did exactly as he was trained by raising concerns to his superiors after hearing “questionable” comments from Trump, according to a report by The Atlantic magazine. Trump on Thursday lashed out against former White House chief of staff John Kelly for being disloyal after he came to the defense of the former national security aide who offered key testimony in the impeachment inquiry. The president's comments came after Kelly defended Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was among the administration officials who raised concerns about Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president. That call spurred the president's impeachment trial, which ended in acquittal last week. McCarthy did not provide details about Vindman's new assignment. It's routine for up-and-coming officers to go to war college or another advanced school when they are lieutenant colonels, as part of the process for likely promotion to higher rank.
  • Unbowed by a public rebuke from his attorney general, President Donald Trump says he has the 'legal right' to intervene in criminal cases and sidestep the Justice Department's historic independence. At the same time, it was revealed federal prosecutors have been ordered to review the criminal case of his former national security adviser. A day after Attorney General William Barr said the president's tweets were making it “impossible for me to do my job,' Trump declared he had the right to ask the agency to intervene in cases but so far has “chosen not to.” It was a rare public flare-up of tensions, simmering for weeks at the upper echelon of the Trump administration, as Barr marked one year on the job Friday. While Barr complained that Trump's tweets undermine the department's perception as independent from political interference, he has proven to be eager to deliver on many of the president's investigative priorities — often laid out by Trump for all to see on Twitter. The attorney general stepped in this week to alter the sentencing recommendation that Trump had denounced as too harsh for his ally Roger Stone. Also, Justice Department prosecutors are reviewing the handling of the federal investigation into Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Friday. And Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney who is conducting a criminal investigation into the origins of the FBI's probe of the 2016 election that morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of possible Trump-Russia cooperation. Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during its probe of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, but his sentencing has been postponed several times after he complained he was misled during his questioning. The U.S. attorney in St. Louis, Jeff Jensen, is working with Brandon Van Grack, a member of Mueller’s team, to review the Flynn case, a Justice Department official said. As president, Trump technically has the right to compel the Justice Department, an executive branch agency, to open investigations. But historically, when it comes to decisions on criminal investigations and prosecutions, Justice has functioned independently, unmoved and unbound by political sway. And that reputation is important to Barr, as he made clear in an interview Thursday on ABC News. “I’m happy to say that, in fact, the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case,” Barr said. “However, to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people ... about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.” The attorney general has repeatedly shared the same sentiment in private conversations with the president in recent weeks, telling Trump he was frustrated with the president's public comments and tweets about Justice Department cases, a person familiar with the matter told the AP. The person was granted anonymity to discuss the private conversations. Barr was directly asked in the ABC interview whether he believed Trump had the authority to direct him to open an investigation. In many cases yes, such as “terrorism or fraud by a bank or something like that,” Barr said. However, 'If he were to say, you know, go investigate somebody because — and you sense it’s because they’re a political opponent, then an attorney general shouldn’t carry that out, wouldn’t carry that out.' Still, Barr has proven to be a largely reliable ally and defender of presidential power. That includes his preemptive framing of the results from special counsel Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation last year in a manner favorable to Trump when Mueller pointedly said he couldn’t exonerate the president of obstruction of justice. Trump has publicly and privately threatened payback in the form of investigations against his perceived enemies including former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, whom prosecutors said Friday they would not charge with lying about leaking. He's also pressed for investigations into political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter, especially following Trump's impeachment acquittal over a phone call where he asked Ukraine's leaders to investigate the Bidens. And Flynn's case has become something of a cause for Trump supporters, who have seized on the former Trump aide's assertion that he was somehow ambushed by the FBI during an interview at the White House. As for Comey, Trump has tweeted scores of times that he should be charged with crimes. Trump was particularly incensed that no charges were filed over the former FBI director’s handling of memos about his interactions with Trump, according to a White House official and Republican close to the White House not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions. The president angrily denounced the decision not to charge Comey to aides and berated Barr over it, according to the officials. Aides expected the decision not to charge McCabe could produce a similar angry reaction. Trump has also repeatedly complained about FBI Director Christopher Wray in recent months, saying that Wray has not done enough to rid the bureau of people who are disloyal to him. An administration official acknowledged there has been some tension between Trump and Barr in recent weeks, but said Trump still has confidence in his attorney general. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss private conversations, said Trump also knows it would be risky to remove Barr ahead of the 2020 election and that it is highly unlikely he could find a suitable replacement before then. Earlier this week, the Justice Department overruled its own prosecutors — who had recommended in a court filing that Trump’s longtime ally and confidant Stone be sentenced to 7 to 9 years in prison — and took the extraordinary step of lowering the amount of prison time it would seek. The entire trial team of prosecutors quit the case after the amended filing, and one quit the DOJ altogether. Barr faced intense criticism over the decision, which followed just hours after Trump tweeted his displeasure about the harsher recommendation. Trump greeted the reversal with another tweet congratulating Barr for taking action, which proved to be a tipping point for the attorney general. He opted for a public interview to air his frustrations with the president while word was sent to the White House just a short time before it aired. On Friday, Trump quoted one of Barr's comments in the interview: “The president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.” A.G. Barr — and then Trump added in his tweet — “This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!” Stone is to be sentenced by a federal judge next week. His lawyers filed a motion Friday evening seeking a new trial, though details of the motion remained under seal. House Democrats frustrated over the Senate’s acquittal of Trump on impeachment charges want answers from Barr about what they see as his efforts to politicize federal law enforcement. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Barr will testify before the panel March 31. The Justice Department insisted the decision to undo the sentencing recommendation was made Monday night — before Trump blasted the recommendation on Twitter as “very horrible and unfair”— and prosecutors had not spoken to the White House about it. Barr joined a roster of high-level aides who have publicly criticized Trump, though the rest left their jobs first. Former national security adviser John Bolton is to publish a book next month detailing his time in the White House, including criticism of Trump actions such as his decision to withhold military assistance while seeking a political favor from Ukraine. And former chief of staff John Kelly, who has largely kept a low profile since leaving the White House, has grown more open about his unflattering assessments of the president. ___ Associated Press writers Jonathan Lemire, Deb Riechmann, Lisa Mascaro and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.
  • House Democrats frustrated over the Senate’s acquittal of President Donald Trump are pushing their oversight efforts toward the Justice Department and what they call Attorney General William Barr’s efforts to politicize federal law enforcement. Democrats have demanded more information about Barr's intervention in the case of Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidant who was convicted in November of lying to Congress and other charges. Barr this week overruled prosecutors who had recommended that Stone be sentenced to 7 to 9 years in prison. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Barr on Thursday, calling him one of Trump’s “henchmen.” “The attorney general has stooped to such levels,” Pelosi said. “What a sad disappointment. The American people deserve better.” The sharpened look at Barr’s activities comes at a time when many Democrats appear wary of prolonging the Ukraine inquiry that led to Trump’s impeachment. Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff have put off — but not ruled out — a subpoena for former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who refused to participate in the House impeachment inquiry but later said he would testify in the Senate trial. Bolton is writing a book. Issuing a subpoena for Bolton could bring dramatic testimony about Trump's conduct, but also risk a court fight that could take months to resolve. Many Democrats privately say they want to look forward, not backward, and conduct oversight of the Republican president's actions in real time. First up will be examining whether Barr inappropriately intervened in the Stone case. Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election. Trump congratulated the attorney general afterward on Twitter. Meanwhile, the four prosecutors on the case immediately withdrew. The turmoil within the Justice Department has given Democrats a new way forward for their investigations after the sting of the Senate's impeachment acquittal. While there is little interest in pursuing another impeachment case, Democrats want to leverage the power of their majority to conduct oversight as they try to defeat Trump at the polls in November. “The resignation and defection of these prosecutors is a huge alarm bell going off in our system,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, one of the most vocal Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee who pushed for impeachment. “So, that is the immediate emergency.” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler announced Wednesday that Barr will testify before the committee March 31 and that lawmakers will ask him about his involvement in the Stone case. People familiar with the committee’s plans said there could be other Judiciary committee hearings before then that examine the politicization of the department. The people requested anonymity because the plans aren’t yet set. Barr appeared to try and deflect some of the rising criticism Thursday, saying in an interview with ABC News that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department prosecutors and cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.” But he also said the decision to undo the sentencing recommendation was made before Trump tweeted about it, and he said the president had not asked him to intervene in any cases. That answer won't be enough for Democrats, who also want to ask Barr about his decision to take information from Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, about Joe Biden and his son. Those same efforts by Giuliani in Ukraine were at the heart of Trump's impeachment. “In the past week alone, you have taken steps that raise grave questions about your leadership,” the Democrats wrote in a letter to Barr. The GOP-led Senate has shown less interest in grilling the attorney general. Republicans defended the department's decision to reduce Stone’s sentence and said they didn't expect to request Barr's testimony. “President Trump, in selecting Bill Barr to be attorney general, has done a great service to the people serving in the Department of Justice and our nation as a whole,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a statement Thursday. Graham added that Barr has his “complete confidence.” ___ Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.
  • While not technically a campaign visit, Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday made a trip to South Carolina an opportunity to rail on Democrats for their failed attempt to oust President Donald Trump from office and for having difficulty tabulating results following last week's Iowa caucuses. “President Donald Trump was acquitted forever,' Pence said to cheers and applause at a dinner in his honor at The Citadel military college, referencing the Senate impeachment trial. Pence also took the opportunity to criticize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for ripping up her copy of Trump's State of the Union remarks, musing, “I didn't know if she'd ripped up the State of the Union speech or the Constitution.' Pence's visit comes amid a whirlwind of political attention on South Carolina, which holds its Democratic presidential primary on Feb. 29. On Wednesday, Trump said he would “probably” hold a campaign rally in the state, as he has done in other early voting states, including Iowa and New Hampshire. Next week, he's slated to travel to Nevada, which holds its caucuses Feb. 22. Citing cost savings and high levels of support for Trump in the state, South Carolina’s Republican Party in September opted not to hold a primary this year, a move that's not unusual for the party of the White House incumbent seeking reelection. But the effort has also helped Trump consolidate his support as Democrats have worked to winnow their large candidate field. There is no party registration in South Carolina, meaning that Republicans would be free to cross over and vote in the Democratic primary. Some Republican groups in the conservative state have said they are trying to organize efforts to encourage Republicans to vote for progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, angling to take support away from former Vice President Joe Biden, a moderate who has traditionally led support in the state. In his dinner remarks, Pence poked fun at the slow count of votes in the Iowa caucuses. “Friday, while the Democrats were still counting votes in Iowa, we were counting 225,000 new jobs in the month of January,” he said. “How about that?” Pence visited The Citadel to receive the Nathan Hale Patriot Award from the Republican Society, which gave the honor to Trump in 2015 — before he was president — and to former White House adviser Steve Bannon in 2018. In remarks earlier Thursday, he told about 2,000 Citadel cadets that he had never had the opportunity to serve himself but urged them to lead from within. “Be a leader. Be men and women of integrity. People follow leaders they trust,' Pence said. 'To lead others, you must lead yourself first. Be an example to those around you.” Cadets from The Citadel are not obligated to join the U.S. armed forces, although many do. For those who take the oath, Pence thanked cadets for being willing to serve and pledged to support them. “You will have a commander in chief who will always have your back,” Pence said. Earlier Thursday, Pence spoke at a fundraising luncheon in Columbia that was closed to the media, raising about $1.5 million, according to his office. On his way to The Citadel, Pence stopped at a downtown Charleston florist to pick up a Valentine's Day bouquet for his wife, Karen. ___ Meg Kinnard can be reached at https://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
  • Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump's most trusted and longest-serving aides, is returning to the White House as the president works to surround himself with loyalists as his reelection campaign moves into high gear. Hicks, a former White House communications director who was one of Trump's original 2016 campaign staffers, is expected to serve as counselor to the president, working with presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity before the announcement had been made public. She left the White House in 2018 and moved to California to work as a top executive at the Fox Corporation, though she and Trump remained in touch. Hicks's move comes just one week after Trump was acquitted by the Senate on impeachment charges. Since then, he's been on a tear to clear his administration of those he sees as insufficiently loyal, including ousting staffers at the national security council and state department and pulling the nomination of a top treasury department pick who had overseen cases involving Trump's former aides as U.S. Attorney. More departures are expected in the coming days, including at the shrinking foreign policy arm of the White House, where Trump's national security adviser has been pushing for months to cull staff. At the same time, Trump has been working to surround himself with longtime aides he believes he can trust as he heads into what is expected to be a bruising general election campaign to remain in the White House. In addition to Hicks, Trump recently brought back John McEntee, another longtime staffer who began on the 2016 campaign as an intern and rose to become one of Trump's closest staffers, with an office adjacent to the Oval Office. McEntee had served as Trump's personal aide until he was forced out of the White House in 2018 on the orders of former chief of staff John Kelly over issues with his security clearance. McEntee has now been tapped to lead the White House Presidential Personnel Office, an influential posting that coordinates the screening and hiring of thousands of federal government workers . As part of that mission, he is expected to work to ensure that only those who believe in Trump's mission are offered jobs. “This is bringing back Ringo and John and Paul and George,' said Jason Miller, senior communications adviser to Trump's 2016 campaign, referring to the members of the super group “The Beatles.” “This is putting the band back together for what is probably going to be the most consequential and important concert of their lives,' he said, noting that the people being brought back into the fold “are people that understand Trump as a person, who understand President Trump's priorities, who he likes personally” and who 're going to spend every waking moment of their lives trying to help him.” In her new role, Hicks will not be part of the White House communications department, but will work closely with Kushner and White House political director Brian Jack “in a number of strategic areas,” according to a White House official. She is expected to start early next month, though details were still being worked out Thursday. Known for her loyalty and low public profile, Hicks was part of the small inner circle that traveled the country with Trump aboard his private jet as he waged his unlikely campaign for the Republican nomination and then the presidency in 2015 and 2016. She was often described as someone who was especially deft at reading the president's moods and helping others navigate his instincts. Trump never wanted Hicks to leave the White House, which she chose to do as she was called to testify before lawmakers and the special counsel's office during the Russia investigation. And she and the president remained in regular touch while she was at Fox, with the president trying to convince her to return to the White House since nearly the day she left, according to one of the people. The president's sales pitch, the person said, intensified in recent months amid impeachment. The news of her decision was praised publicly by top administration officials, including Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary who also serves as the current White House communications director. “I have worked with Hope for almost six years and can say without hesitation she is one of the most talented and savvy individuals I have come across,' Grisham said in a statement. “She has always impressed me with her quiet confidence, loyalty and expertise, and I am beyond thrilled to welcome Hope back to the White House.” “There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump’s agenda than Hope Hicks,' Kushner added. “We are excited to have her back on the team.” Even before Trump's acquittal, his national security adviser Robert O'Brien had been working to shrink the ranks at the National Security Council, where Alexander Vindman, the director for European Affairs, had worked before he was escorted out of the White House last week. O'Brien said the streamlining will be completed by the of the week, with about 70 fewer staffers than the 115 to 120 staffers when he started the job in September. Meanwhile, the conservative Newsmax TV announced Thursday that Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, will be hosting a political talk show that will air weeknights at 6 p.m. from Washington. “Spicer & Co.” will debut on March 3. __ Associated Press writers Jonathan Lemire and Deb Riechmann contributed to this report. ___ Follow Miller and Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ZekeJMiller and https://twitter.com/colvinj.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • The Boy Scouts of America said Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the organization faces numerous sexual abuse lawsuits. In an early morning news release, the organization said it hoped to “equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come.” 'Tragically, there have been times when individuals took advantage of the BSA’s programs to harm children,' the news release said. 'The BSA firmly believes that a proposed Victims Compensation Trust structure is the best means of compensating victims in a way that is equitable and protects their identities.' During the process, the organization’s programs, meetings, activities, service projects and other events will continue “for many years to come,” the release said. “The BSA fully intends to maintain its commitments to its members, families, volunteer leaders, employees, retirees, donors and alumni to the fullest extent permitted by bankruptcy laws,” the organization added. In a letter to participants’ families, the organization also clarified that local councils have not filed for bankruptcy and “are legally separate, distinct and financially independent.” It also stressed that Boy Scouts of America has ramped up background checks and “developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization.” Read more here.
  • Officials are looking for a mountain lion that attacked a 6-year-old girl at a park in Cupertino, California, multiple news outlets are reporting. According to the Sacramento Bee, the incident happened Sunday morning as a group of visitors walked in Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve. The animal “came out of the bushes and ... grabbed a hold of the girl,” Ranger Brad Pennington told KGO-TV. An adult who was with the group punched the mountain lion, striking its ribs, the outlets reported. The girl suffered minor puncture wounds, officials said. Authorities have closed the park until they find the animal, the outlets reported. Read more here or here.
  • A woman in her 80’s died in a three car crash on A1A and L’Atrium in Ponte Vedra Beach on Monday night. According to Florida Highway Patrol, a vehicle headed north on A1A collided with a car that was making a left turn from A1A to L’Atrium Drive. A third car sustained minor damage from flying debris.  82-year-old Sarita May of Ponte Vedra Beach, who was a passenger in one of the cars, died. The driver, 74-year-old David Sparrow, sustained critical injuries.  The other drivers involved had minor injuries.  FHP says charges are pending additional investigation. 
  • A Wisconsin man has received a life sentence in the death of a 2-year-old boy, authorities said. According to WBAY-TV, David Heiden, 29, of Two Rivers, was sentenced in Manitowoc County Circuit Court on Monday, about three months after he pleaded guilty to a charge of child abuse causing death in the April 2019 slaying of Gilbert Grant. Court documents alleged that Heiden was watching the toddler at a Two Rivers home on April 26 when he hit the boy with a sandal and “forcefully shook him hard while yelling at him to go to sleep,” the Herald Times reported. Emergency crews later responded to a report of an unresponsive child at the home and found the boy dead, authorities said. Police said that after they arrested Heiden, he said he “didn’t care” about the boy because Gilbert wasn’t his child, according to the Herald Times. It will be at least 25 years before Heiden is eligible for parole, the newspaper reported. Two other adults, Rena Santiago and Bianca Bush, also face child abuse-related charges in the case, the Herald Times reported. Gilbert was Santiago’s son. Read more here or here.
  • A Dense Fog Advisory is in effect through 9 am, with poor visibility early as you head back to work and school following the long holiday weekend.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says we'll turn very warm and quite humid today.  “A fairly wide range in temperatures from near the Florida/Georgia border where temperatures will only be in the 70’s to low to mid 80’s when you get across parts of Clay and St. Johns County, especially south of State Road 16”, Buresh said.  It’s going to feel humid, too, and that will help trigger scattered showers in the afternoon and evening hours.  Wednesday is another pretty warm day with scattered showers, temperatures will be in the upper 70’s.  Then we transition to cooler air for the end of the week and into the start of the weekend.  Thursday will be breezy with a few showers and temperatures around average in the mid-60’s. Friday will feel quite raw with temperatures struggling to get in the mid-50’s with blustery conditions. 

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