National News

Trump offers holiday greetings to US troops

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday wished U.S. troops stationed around the country and the world a merry Christmas. "I know it's a great sacrifice for you to be away from your families, but I want you to know that every American ...

An icon of Christmas cheer went dark, some parks close

By ELLEN KNICKMEYER and CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The lights were not twinkling. The toy trains were not whirring. Even the nearby bathrooms were locked. The national Christmas tree, symbol of a country's seasonal cheer, instead stood as an icon of a government in ...

Trump: ‘I can’t tell you when’ government will reopen

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that parts of the federal government will stay closed until Democrats agree to put up more walls along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter criminal elements. He said he's open to calling the wall ...

Santa tracker will still run despite government shutdown

By DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press DENVER (AP) — The government may be partially shut down, but that won't stop hundreds of volunteers dressed in Christmas hats and military uniforms Monday from taking calls from children around the world who want to know when Santa will be coming. The ...

AP Explains: What happens in a partial government shutdown

By The Associated Press A look at the impact of the partial government shutdown: ____ WHAT'S OPEN AND WHAT'S CLOSED Social Security checks will go out and troops will remain at their posts. Doctors and hospitals will receive their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. The U.S. Postal ...

Government unlikely to get fully back to business for days

By LISA MASCARO, DARLENE SUPERVILLE and KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is expected to remain partially closed past Christmas Day in a protracted standoff over President Donald Trump's demand for money to build a border wall with Mexico. With Trump's ...

Oklahoma quickly becoming medical marijuana hotbed

By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The rollout of statewide medical and recreational marijuana programs typically is a grindingly slow process that can take years. Not so in Oklahoma, which moved with lightning speed once voters approved medical cannabis in June. The ...

Open and closed: shutdown’s varied impact on parks, tourists

By MICHAEL R. SISAK, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — The huddled masses are still able to visit the Statue of Liberty. The Grand Canyon is open for business. The government says other national parks "will remain as accessible as possible," although some roads at Rocky Mountain National Park ...

Trump’s 2018: A year in a stranger-than-sitcom presidency

By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The stranger-than-sitcom American presidency opened 2018 with a big tease about mutual nuclear destruction from two leaders who then found "love" not war. It seems President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un were just playing ...

Trump on verge of giving up best chance to secure wall money

By ZEKE MILLER and JILL COLVIN, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump's loyal supporters cried "Build the wall!" throughout his 2016 presidential campaign. Come 2020, they may well still be chanting for Trump to make good on his signature campaign promise as prospects dim for him ...

Fed’s Powell embraces uncertainty and risks that go with it

By JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Jerome Powell sounded a note of humility Wednesday. The question for the Federal Reserve chairman is whether humility plays well with the financial markets. Speaking at a news conference after the Fed raised its key interest rate for the ...

Florida school shooting voted top news story in AP survey

DAVID CRARY, AP National Writer NEW YORK (AP) — The mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school — which killed 17 students and staff, and sparked nationwide student-led marches for gun control — was the top news story of 2018, according to The Associated Press' annual poll of U.S. ...

USDA moves to tighten restrictions on food stamps

By JULIET LINDERMAN, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is setting out to do what this year's farm bill didn't: tighten work requirements for millions of Americans who receive federal food assistance. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday is proposing a ...

Black leaders forged alliance with Trump on sentencing deal

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — A rare bipartisan deal in Congress to overhaul federal sentencing laws passed after a few black ministers, leaders and lawmakers forged an alliance with President Donald Trump, who some have condemned as racist for the last two ...

‘Laverne’ role gave Marshall springboard to historic career

By JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Penny Marshall was typically self-effacing whenever her brother, the late filmmaker Garry Marshall, proudly boasted that his sister was the first female director to direct a $100 million box-office hit. "They didn't give ME the money," Marshall ...

Funding government without border wall appears back on table

By LISA MASCARO, MATTHEW DALY and CATHERINE LUCEY, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump appeared to back off his demand for $5 billion to build a border wall, signaling for the first time that he might be open to a deal that would avoid a partial government ...

Fed is expected to raise rates while Trump presses criticism

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is expected Wednesday to raise its benchmark rate for a fourth time this year despite President Donald Trump's repeated assertions that doing so would be a terrible idea. The president fired off two tweets this ...

Trump says he’s eager to sign sweeping criminal justice bill

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate passed a sweeping criminal justice bill Tuesday that addresses concerns that the nation's war on drugs had led to the imprisonment of too many Americans for non-violent crimes without adequately preparing them for their return ...

Elon Musk unveils underground tunnel, offers rides to VIPs

By AMANDA LEE MYERS, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elon Musk unveiled his underground transportation tunnel on Tuesday, allowing reporters and invited guests to take some of the first rides in the revolutionary albeit bumpy subterranean tube — the tech entrepreneur's answer to what ...

Pope accepts resignation of LA bishop accused of misconduct

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Los Angeles auxiliary bishop, Monsignor Alexander Salazar, following allegations of misconduct with a minor in the 1990s, officials said Wednesday. The Vatican announced the resignation ...