Thursday, February 11
UPDATE: Candidates share similar views, clash on Obama loyalty
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Hillary Clinton is criticizing Bernie Sanders for comments he made about President Barack Obama's leadership.
In an MSNBC interview, Sanders said presidential leadership was needed to close a gap between Congress and the American people. Asked if he though Obama had provided that leadership, Sanders said: "No, I don't. I mean, I think he has made the effort. But I think what we need, when I talk about a political revolution, is bringing millions and millions of people into the political process in a way that does not exist right now."
During the Democratic presidential debate Thursday night, Clinton questioned the remarks, saying she "couldn't disagree more" and arguing that Obama doesn't get "the credit he deserves."
Sanders said the attack was a "low blow." He said he has been supportive of the president, but also said it was appropriate to have disagreements.
Trump launches Bush attack at Louisiana rally
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republican Donald Trump is previewing the attacks he plans to unleash against George W. Bush when the former president hits the campaign trail for his brother next week.
Trump tells a crowd of thousands at a rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that he has read reports about the former president's plans to campaign with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Trump says Jeb Bush "tried the mother, that didn't work out so good. Now he's bringing in his brother."
Trump repeated his own opposition to the war in Iraq and pointed to George W. Bush "getting us in that quicksand."
He says, "That was a horrible call to go in."
Trump says he'll leave Jeb Bush alone if his campaign stops airing negative ads against him.
Groups decry US election official acting on citizenship rule
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — More than 30 advocacy groups are asking a federal elections official to withdraw changes made to a national form requiring residents of Kansas, Alabama and Georgia to provide proof of U.S. citizenship in order to register to vote.
The groups sent a letter Thursday to the new executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, arguing the impact would be particularly significant because 2016 is a presidential election year when people typically register in greater numbers.
The EAC had no immediate comment, but executive director Brian Newby has insisted that the action he took at the states' request is within his authority.
One of the agency's commissioners has said Newby's action contradicts policy and precedent.
Among those signing the letter were nonprofits Common Cause and Public Citizen and the NAACP.
Cop fired after conviction in stairwell shooting
NEW YORK (AP) — A spokesman for the New York Police Department says an officer convicted of fatally shooting a man in a darkened stairwell of a public housing building has been fired.
Spokesman Peter Donald says Peter Liang (lee-ANGZ) was dismissed from the police force after the verdict was delivered Thursday evening.
Liang was convicted of manslaughter and official misconduct in connection with the death of 28-year-old Akai Gurley.
But an uncertainty remains: Brooklyn state Supreme Court Danny Chun has yet to rule on Liang's lawyers' request to dismiss the charges. They made it before the verdict.
The rookie officer was patrolling the stairwell with his gun drawn in 2014 when he fired.
Prosecutors said Liang was reckless and did little to help Gurley.
The 28-year-old Liang said he fired by accident after a noise startled him. His lawyers argued it was a tragedy, not a crime.
Venezuela says 3 dead from Zika complications
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela has announced the first Zika-related deaths in the South American country.
President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday that at least three people have died in Venezuela due to complications related to the mosquito-borne Zika virus. He added that 68 people have been hospitalized with complications confirmed to be related to the virus.
Maduro did not say what the complications were or how the deaths had been confirmed to be Zika-related.
Venezuela is reporting more than 5,000 suspected cases of Zika since November of last year. Local health organizations say the real number of Zika is likely much higher.
Investigators are studying a possible link to Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis and is sometimes fatal, and to birth defects.
UNITED NATIONS-NORTH KOREA-SANCTIONS
Britain hopes UN will agree soon on tough NKorea sanctions
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Britain's United Nations ambassador says he hopes the U.N. Security Council will agree as soon as possible on a resolution imposing tough new sanctions on North Korea in response to its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.
Matthew Rycroft told reporters Thursday that Britain is pressing for sanctions "that will go beyond traditional nonproliferation areas in order to demonstrate the seriousness of the test and the launch."
The United States and China are negotiating the text of a new resolution and the council pledged after Sunday's launch to "expeditiously" adopt a new resolution with "significant" new sanctions.
The U.S. and its allies want sanctions that go beyond the North's nuclear and missile programs but China, Pyongyang's ally, is reluctant to impose measures that could cause the country's economy to collapse.
Last occupier surrenders
BURNS, Ore. (AP) — The occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon is over.
Surrounded by FBI agents in armored vehicles, the last four occupiers surrendered Thursday. They were the last holdouts from a group that had seized the refuge nearly six weeks ago, demanding that the government turn the land over to locals and release two ranchers who'd been imprisoned for setting fires.
The FBI says "no one was injured, and no shots were fired" when all four were taken into custody. The surrender of the holdouts played out live over a phone call streamed online.
Authorities say Sean Anderson, 47; his wife Sandra Anderson, 48, both of Riggins, Idaho; and Jeff Banta, 46, of Yerington, Nevada, were arrested around 9:40 a.m. Thursday.
The FBI says 27-year-old David Fry, of Blanchester, Ohio, who delayed leaving the refuge, was apprehended about 11 a.m.
They all face a federal felony charge of conspiracy to keep federal workers from doing their duties through force or intimidation. The four will appear before a judge in Portland on Friday.
US says precise location of Iran's enriched uranium unknown
WASHINGTON (AP) — A State Department official says the U.S. does not know the precise location of tons of low-enriched uranium shipped out of Iran on a Russian vessel under the landmark nuclear agreement.
Testifying Thursday, Ambassador Stephen Mull tells the House Foreign Affairs Committee the stockpile is a Russian custody issue.
Critics of the nuclear deal seized on the shipment's status to show the agreement's flaws. New Jersey GOP congressman Chris Smith says it's "outrageous and unbelievable" that Russia is being trusted to be the repository for such sensitive material. Russia is a close ally of Iran.
The low-enriched uranium is suitable mainly for generating nuclear power and needs substantial further enrichment for use in the core of a nuclear warhead.
Mull says he's confident the material will be controlled properly.
NEW: Uber to pay $28.5M to settle safety ad lawsuits
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber says it will pay $28.5 million to settle two lawsuits that said the ride-hailing firm misled customers about its safety procedures and fees.
The company on Thursday told a federal judge in San Francisco that it wants to settle the class-action lawsuits by paying about 25 million riders who made trips between Jan. 1, 2013, and Jan. 31, 2016.
The judge must still approve the deal.
The lawsuits attacked Uber for charging a fee of up to $2.30 per trip for what the ride-hailing firm called industry-leading background checks on drivers. In fact, Uber doesn't do the kind of fingerprint checks required of taxi drivers.
Under the settlement, Uber would stop using certain "safety-related" advertising language and would rename its "Safe Ride Fee" as a "Booking Fee."
NEW: Jackie Robinson West parents sue league, ESPN, whistleblower
CHICAGO (AP) — The parents of 13 members of the Chicago Little League team stripped last year of its 2014 U.S. championship are suing team officials, Little League Baseball, an ESPN sportscaster and the man who exposed the team's residency violations.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court claims Jackie Robinson West officials and the Little League "concealed the ineligibility of team members in order to reap the benefits of notoriety and media attention."
The lawsuit alleges Little League officials should have figured out the team's violations sooner. The parents say ESPN's Stephen Smith defamed them by accusing them of "perpetrating a fraud."
Spokesmen for ESPN and the Little League said their organizations had not yet reviewed the lawsuit.
Bill Haley, JRW director in 2014, and Chris Janes, who reported the residency issues, couldn't immediately be reached.