AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions

5.6°C

AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST

February 15, 2019 - 8:04 PM

Gunman kills 5 people, wounds 5 police at Illinois business

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — An employee of a manufacturing company opened fire in its suburban Chicago plant Friday, killing five people and wounding five police officers before he was fatally shot, police said.

Aurora, Illinois, Police Chief Kristen Ziman identified the gunman as 45-year-old Gary Martin and said he was believed to be an employee at the Henry Pratt Co. — which makes valves for industrial purposes — in the city about 40 miles (65 kilometres) west of Chicago. She told a news conference that officers arrived within four minutes of receiving reports of the shooting and were fired upon as soon as they entered the 29,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse.

Police said they did not know the gunman's motive.

"May God bless the brave law enforcement officers who continue to run toward danger," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at the news conference.

Hospitals reported treating at least seven patients from the shooting, though their conditions weren't released. Two of the officers were airlifted to trauma centres in Chicago, Ziman said. She said a sixth officer suffered a knee injury. Officials did not say the total number of people injured including police and civilians.

___

Trump declaration faces uncertain fate in coming court fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Let the lawsuits begin.

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency along the southern border Friday and predicted his administration would end up defending it all the way to the Supreme Court.

That might have been the only thing Trump said Friday that produced near-universal agreement.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced its intention to sue less than an hour after the White House released the text of Trump's declaration that the "current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency."

Non-profit watchdog group Public Citizen filed suit later, urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to "bar Trump and the U.S. Department of Defence from using the declaration and funds appropriated for other purposes to build a border wall."

___

Nigeria delays election until Feb. 23 over 'challenges'

KANO, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's electoral commission delayed the presidential election until Feb. 23, making the announcement a mere five hours before polls were set to open Saturday. It cited unspecified "challenges" amid reports that voting materials had not been delivered to all parts of the country.

Residents of Africa's most populous nation and largest democracy will soon wake up to outrage. Many had relocated for the chance to vote.

"This was a difficult decision to take but necessary for successful delivery of the elections and the consolidation of our democracy," commission chairman Mahmood Yakubu told reporters in the capital, Abuja. He said more details would be released during an afternoon briefing.

A review of logistics, along with the determination to hold a credible vote, led the commission to conclude that going ahead with the election as planned was "no longer feasible," he said.

Nigeria also postponed the previous presidential election in 2015 because of deadly insecurity in the northeast, which remains under threat from Islamic extremists.

___

Chicago police release 2 men questioned in Smollett case

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police late Friday released without charges two Nigerian brothers arrested on suspicion of assaulting "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett and said they have new evidence to investigate as a result of questioning them.

"The individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete," Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a brief statement.

He gave no details of the new evidence.

Smollett, who is black and gay, has said two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and "This is MAGA country!" beat him and looped a rope around his neck early on Jan. 29 before running away. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him.

Smollett, 36, said he was out getting food at a Subway sandwich shop in downtown Chicago when the attack happened.

___

Court filing: Manafort faces more than 19 years in prison

WASHINGTON (AP) — Paul Manafort, the one-time chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, could spend more than 19 years in prison on tax and bank fraud charges, prosecutors said Friday.

Court documents filed by special counsel Robert Mueller's office reveal that Manafort faces possibly the lengthiest prison term in the Russia investigation. The 69-year-old Manafort is also at serious risk of spending the rest of his life in prison if a federal judge imposes a sentence within federal guidelines.

The potential sentence stems from Manafort's conviction last year on eight felony counts related to an elaborate scheme to conceal from tax authorities the millions of dollars he earned overseas from Ukrainian political consulting. It is one of two criminal cases pending against Manafort in which he faces prison time.

Manafort, who led Trump's campaign for months during the 2016 presidential campaign, is not charged with any crimes directly related to Russian election interference, the thrust of Mueller's probe. But prosecutors have recently revealed that they remain deeply interested in his contacts during and after the campaign with an associate the FBI says has ties to Russian intelligence.

In a 27-page court filing Friday, prosecutors did not recommend a precise sentence for Manafort, but they agreed with a calculation by federal probation officials that his crimes deserve a punishment of between 19.5 and 24.5 years. They also lay out in great detail for U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III how they say Manafort's greed drove him to disregard American law.

___

APNewsBreak: Allred contacted authorities about R Kelly tape

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorney Gloria Allred told The Associated Press Friday she has contacted law enforcement about concerns one of her clients may be the person in a VHS tape recently given to Chicago prosecutors that purportedly shows R&B star R. Kelly having sex with an underage girl.

Allred, who represents multiple R. Kelly accusers, some of whom haven't come forward publicly, spoke a day after attorney Michael Avenatti said he gave Chicago prosecutors the video.

"I've made law enforcement in a different jurisdiction (other than Chicago) aware of my concerns that it may, in fact, be my client and I want to protect her privacy," Allred told the AP in a telephone interview.

Kelly has been dogged for decades with allegations of sexual misconduct. Through his lawyers, he has consistently denied them. His current attorney, Steve Greenberg, told the AP Allred's comments were "speculative."

Greenberg also said he wasn't aware of any moves afoot to charge Kelly with anything.

___

Kaepernick, Eric Reid settle collusion grievances with NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — With a public hearing looming and the threat of owners and league officials facing depositions, the NFL settled collusion cases brought by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid.

The league, about to celebrate its 100th season, faced criticism from all sides thanks to the protest movement started by Kaepernick. Many Kaepernick supporters wanted to see him back on the field, while other fans said they wouldn't watch if the league allowed players to protest during the national anthem.

The league and Kaepernick's lawyer sent out statements Friday saying that "the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances" and that a confidentiality agreement would prevent either side from commenting further.

It remains unclear if the NFL admitted wrongdoing or how much money Reid, Kaepernick or others may have received. Considering the lost salary both players claimed and legal costs, the settlement could have climbed into the tens of millions of dollars.

"For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL," the league statement said. "As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party."

___

Payless ShoeSource to shutter all of its remaining US stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Payless ShoeSource is shuttering all of its 2,100 remaining stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, joining a list of iconic names like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton that have closed down in the last year.

The Topeka, Kansas-based chain said Friday it will hold liquidation sales starting Sunday and wind down its e-commerce operations. All of the stores will remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May.

The debt-burdened chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2017, closing hundreds of stores as part of its reorganization.

At the time, it had over 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries. It remerged from restructuring four months later with about 3,500 stores and eliminated more than $435 million in debt.

The company said in an email that the liquidation doesn't affect its franchise operations or its Latin American stores, which remain open for business as usual. It lists 18,000 employees worldwide.

___

Academy reverses plans, will air all awards live at Oscars

NEW YORK (AP) — Bowing to a backlash that had threatened to engulf an already blunder-plagued Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday reversed its decision to present four awards during the commercial breaks of this year's Oscar broadcast.

All 24 categories will be shown live, after all, at the 91st Academy Awards on February 24, the academy announced in a statement. On Monday, the academy had said that the winning speeches for cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling and live-action short would be aired in a shortened, taped segment during the broadcast.

"Nine days until the showtime, still tweaking the script" the Academy tweeted Friday.

The academy did not address whether the change meant extending the show's length, which organizers have said would be reduced to three hours.

The academy's move to strike awards from the live broadcast was fiercely contested by many of this year's Oscar nominees, including "Roma" director Alfonso Cuaron and "BlacKkKlansman" filmmaker Spike Lee. The American Society of Cinematographers on Wednesday issued an open-letter to the academy, signed by Martin Scorsese, Brad Pitt and others, calling the plans an insult to the cinematic arts.

___

Snow too thick to plow keeps skiers from California resorts

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Winter weather enveloping California's mountains for a fourth straight day Friday kept skiers from hitting the slopes at the start of the Presidents Day holiday weekend, with snow so deep that plows could not tackle it and cities scrambled to find places to pile it.

Several routes to the ski mecca of Lake Tahoe shut down, including about 70 miles (110 kilometres) of Interstate 80 from Colfax, California, to the Nevada state line.

I-80 was reopened to passenger vehicles Thursday evening.

Chains were required for travel in many other parts of the towering Sierra Nevada.

"All avid skiers are itching to get out on the mountain, but the roads are pretty treacherous right now," said Kevin Cooper, marketing director for Lake Tahoe TV.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile