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Cruises keep getting canceled due to the pandemic. Here’s the latest update


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Reporter Update: Military Aircraft Dumps Fuel Over City of Jeannette


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Reporter Update: Pittsburgh Police Deal With Multiple Incidents Overnight


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Florida man who saved his puppy from alligator’s jaws shares update on dog’s recovery


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Biden Tops Iowa Poll by Democratic Rural Group: Campaign Update

Biden Tops Iowa Poll by Democratic Rural Group: Campaign Update(Bloomberg) — A new Iowa poll has Joe Biden leading the Democratic presidential race in the first caucus state. The former vice president also placed as likely caucusgoers’ top second choice, putting him in a strong position with just two weeks to go until voters begin to choose their nominee.Biden had the support of 24% of likely caucus-goers polled by Focus on Rural America, an Iowa group with Democratic ties that has been polling in the state since last year. Biden’s backing in the survey has been roughly stable since the group’s September poll, when he was at 25%. He is also the second choice of 24% of those surveyed, an important measure given that caucusgoers have the chance to choose a second candidate if their first choice gets below 15% at their caucus site on Feb. 3.Elizabeth Warren was in second place at 19%, a 4-point drop from her showing in the previous poll. Pete Buttigieg was in third place at 16% and Bernie Sanders was in fourth at 12%. Amy Klobuchar, who’s staking her campaign on success in Iowa, was in fifth place at 11%. Buttigieg was the second most-popular second-choice candidate, with 21% of likely caucus-goers saying they’d support him if their first choice is not viable.The poll’s ordering of the top four candidates is different than the well-regarded Des Moines Register poll released 10 days ago, which had Sanders leading and Biden in fourth. The discrepancies probably reflect what’s expected to be a messy caucus night result that few Iowa Democrats are willing to predict.The poll, conducted by David Binder Research, surveyed 500 likely caucusgoers and has an error margin of 4.4 percentage points.COMING UP:Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, both plan to address the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Wednesday.The candidates will debate again in New Hampshire on Feb. 7.The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3. The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11. Nevada holds its caucuses on Feb. 22 and South Carolina has a primary on Feb. 29.(Michael Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Epstein in Washington at jepstein32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Edward DufnerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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Parnas Messages to Be Part of House Filing: Impeachment Update

Parnas Messages to Be Part of House Filing: Impeachment Update(Bloomberg) — The Senate will be ready to begin Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on Tuesday after House prosecutors and the president’s lawyers file their trial briefs over the weekend.Here are the latest developments:Parnas Messages to Be Part of House Filing (6:36 p.m.)House Democrats plan to include material from Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, as part of the official impeachment record accompanying the brief they will file before Trump’s trial starts Tuesday.The brief will argue for admitting evidence not presented during the House investigation — such as the material from Parnas — as well as for calling witnesses not heard during the House probe, Democrats said in a briefing.Documents released earlier this week by House Democrats contained messages to Parnas from GOP congressional candidate Robert Hyde suggesting that someone had then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch under surveillance near Kyiv in March 2019.Additional Parnas material that will be part of the record was released by House Democrats Friday night, including a transcript of a Jan. 16 interview of Parnas on CNN, in which he says he’s willing to testify at the trial.Democrats said they will argue that blocking witnesses goes against the history of impeachment trials, and that even Mitch McConnell spoke in favor of a request for three witnesses during President Bill Clinton’s 1999 trial.The seven House managers plan to work through the weekend to prepare for the trial, and will do a walk-through of the Senate chamber Monday, the eve of the trial. Their individual roles haven’t been fully determined.House Democrats set up a web page to serve as a repository for documents related to the impeachment trial. Pompeo to Probe Possible Envoy Surveillance (12:18 p.m.)Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said he has an obligation to investigate reports suggesting that the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was under surveillance and possibly threatened by associates of Lev Parnas, who worked with Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to find dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine.“I suspect that much of what’s been reported will ultimately prove wrong, but our obligation, my obligation as secretary of State, is to make sure that we evaluate, investigate,” Pompeo said on the “Tony Katz Today” syndicated radio show.The comments were Pompeo’s first public response to the claims surrounding Marie Yovanovitch, the ambassador in Kyiv who was recalled two months early in 2019 after Giuliani launched an effort to oust her.Documents released earlier this week by House Democrats contained messages to Parnas from GOP congressional candidate Robert F. Hyde suggesting that someone had Yovanovitch under surveillance near Kyiv. “If you want her out they need to make contact with security forces,” Hyde wrote in one message in March 2019.Pompeo has faced criticism for not defending Yovanovitch during the impeachment drama. His silence about the possible threats to Yovanovitch provoked a new wave of outrage from current and former diplomats who said he was sacrificing security to preserve his relationship with Trump. — Nick WadhamsWeekend Briefs Promise Window Into Trial (10:17 a.m.)The Senate, now converted into an impeachment court, has given the president and the House a series of deadlines to prepare for next week’s trial.Trump’s legal team has until 6 p.m. on Saturday to respond to the Senate’s summons and must file its trial brief by noon on Monday.The House must file its trial brief by 5 p.m. on Saturday, which is expected to be released publicly. The managers who will be prosecuting the House’s case have until noon on Monday to file their reply to Trump’s response to the summons. The House can also reply to the president’s brief by noon Tuesday.The impeachment trial will begin at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, which will include a vote on the resolution from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to set the terms of the trial. — Steven T. Dennis, Billy HouseCatch Up on Impeachment CoverageTrump Impeachment Defense Remains Work in Progress Near TrialKey EventsChief Justice John Roberts was sworn in Thursday as presiding officer, and then administered the oath to senators as impeachment jurors. The Senate still needs to adopt trial rules.The House impeachment resolution is H.Res. 755. The Intelligence Committee Democrats’ impeachment report is here.Gordon Sondland’s transcript is here and here; Kurt Volker’s transcript is here and here. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s transcript is here and here; the transcript of Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to the secretary of State, is here. The transcript of David Holmes, a Foreign Service officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, is here.The transcript of William Taylor, the top U.S. envoy to Ukraine, is here and here. State Department official George Kent’s testimony is here and here. Testimony by Alexander Vindman can be found here, and the Fiona Hill transcript is here. Laura Cooper’s transcript is here; Christopher Anderson’s is here and Catherine Croft’s is here. Jennifer Williams’ transcript is here and Timothy Morrison’s is here. The Philip Reeker transcript is here. Mark Sandy’s is here.\–With assistance from Laura Litvan, Steven T. Dennis and Nick Wadhams.To contact the reporter on this story: Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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Trump Highlights Support for Black Colleges: Campaign Update

Trump Highlights Support for Black Colleges: Campaign Update(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump is seeking to appeal to African American voters by highlighting funding for historically black colleges and criminal justice reform, even as polls show he faces an uphill battle.As part of the effort, White House advisers on Thursday said Trump pushed Congress to provide $ 75 million for his First Step program, which gives inmates a personalized assessment and recidivism reduction program. “The president’s leadership on this issue is fundamentally changing the future of our criminal justice system,” Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser and the president’s son-in-law, said in a statement.Separately, the Trump administration has sought to highlight legislation permanently restoring annual funding to historically black colleges and universities, though that effort hit a snag. The White House planned an event Tuesday for black university leaders to celebrate the president signing the bill — only to have the ceremony scuttled by last-minute legislative maneuvering that left Trump without anything to sign. He ended up inviting guests to the Oval Office for a private meet and greet instead. On Thursday, he signed the legislation and issued a statement celebrating the bill.Trump alluded to the aborted event during his rally in Michigan on Wednesday night, saying the “only bad thing” about the bill is that the university leaders wouldn’t come lobby him each year any more.Trump won about 8% of the black vote in 2016, and Democrats have sought to capitalize on the president’s polarizing rhetoric on race. Last month, his campaign created a group, “Black Voices for Trump,” to advocate for the president’s re-election — after a September poll by the Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago showed that 92% of African Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of race relations.Warren Staff Say Backers List Had Errors (5:05 p.m.)Elizabeth Warren’s campaign said it made a mistake by including Democratic donor and political activist Ed Buck, who’s facing criminal charges over the death of two men, in a list of endorsements she received from alumni of Barack Obama’s administration and campaign.On Wednesday, Warren released a list of about 200 former Obama staffers who signed on to support her 2020 bid. Buck was on the list, even though he is being held without bail on charges involving the death of two men who fatally overdosed at his Los Angeles home in 2017.The Warren campaign said someone added fake names to the list that was being compiled by volunteers who used to work for Obama. The volunteers caught most of them, but missed Buck, the campaign said.“This was a mistake considering Ed Buck was not staff or an alum,” campaign representative Chris Hayden said in a statement. “This was put together via Google Doc by some Obama alums and they caught some non-staff that populated the list but obviously they missed one. They are removing it.” — Misyrlena EgkolfopoulouBloomberg Offers Public Health-Insurance Option (2:27 p.m.)Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg would create a “Medicare-like” public health-insurance option, rejecting the progressive notion of government-run health insurance that replaces private coverage.Bloomberg’s campaign said it’s still figuring out how much his plan would cost, but estimated about $ 1.5 trillion over 10 years, offset partly by cost savings from capping out-of-network charges and negotiating prescription drug prices. Some revenue would come from a forthcoming tax plan, and he intends to raise enough money to pay for the policy proposals, the campaign said.The former New York mayor’s plan is similar to those proposed by Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and other 2020 candidates who oppose the government-run system championed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren is proposing a public option for the first three years of a Warren presidency until she can enact Medicare-for-all.Bloomberg’s plan would create a public option run by the government but funded by consumer premiums to cover people, including those in states that didn’t expand Medicaid. It would also build on the Affordable Care Act in part by expanding subsidies, and Bloomberg would increase enrollment efforts rather than reinstate the law’s individual mandate.Bloomberg has said a Medicare-for-all system would cost trillions of dollars and “bankrupt us for a very long time.” He’s advocating a “practical, achievable plan” to move toward universal coverage and lower costs.“We don’t need Medicare-for-All proposals that are more likely to re-elect Donald Trump than to expand coverage,” Bloomberg said while discussing his plan in Memphis, Tennessee, on Thursday.Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. — Mark NiquetteBiden Tops All Other Democrats in National Poll (7:18 a.m.)Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the top pick nationally for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.Biden was backed by 28% of voters surveyed. His closest rivals were Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders — the top choice of 21% of respondents — and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who was favored by 18%. Biden, Warren and Sanders were the only three candidates to win double-digit support.Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg garnered 4% support, behind South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who drew 9%, and Senator Amy Klobuchar, who registered 5%.Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.The poll of 410 registered voters who said they would participate in a Democratic caucus or primary was conducted Dec. 14-17 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.84 percentage points. — Kathleen MillerBooker to Air His First TV Ad During Debate (7 a.m.)Cory Booker didn’t make the cut for the Democratic debate Thursday, but he still wants voters to hear his message thanks to a television ad that will be broadcast during the event.The campaign commercial, entitled “Together,” centers on Booker’s intention to stay in the race even though he won’t be on the debate stage at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. It will appear in the four early voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — and in New York City, Washington and Los Angeles.“You’re only going to see this ad once because I’m not a billionaire,” Booker says. “I won’t be on tonight’s debate stage, but that’s OK because I’m going to win this election anyway.”To be eligible to take part in the sixth Democratic debate, candidates had to receive donations from 200,000 individuals and reach 4% in four polls approved by the Democratic National Committee or 6% in two-DNC approved polls of early states. Booker obtained the donor minimum but did not reach 4% in any DNC-approved polls by the deadline. — Emma KineryCOMING UPBiden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer will participate in the final Democratic presidential debate of 2019 in Los Angeles on Thursday.(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)\–With assistance from Emma Kinery, Kathleen Miller, Mark Niquette and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou.To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Sink in Washington at jsink1@bloomberg.net;Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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UPDATE 2-Huawei's CFO wins Canada court fight to see more documents on her arrest

UPDATE 2-Huawei's CFO wins Canada court fight to see more documents on her arrestLawyers for Huawei’s chief financial officer have won a court battle after a judge asked Canada’s attorney general to hand over more evidence and documents relating to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, according to a court ruling released on Tuesday. Meng’s legal team has contested her extradition in the Canadian courts on grounds that the United States is using it for economic and political gain, and that she was unlawfully held, searched and interrogated by Canadian authorities acting for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes in the Supreme Court of British Columbia agreed with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s appeal for Canada’s attorney general to release more documents relating to the run-up to and events of the arrest.



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UPDATE 4-New Jersey gun battle leaves six dead, including cop and both suspects

UPDATE 4-New Jersey gun battle leaves six dead, including cop and both suspectsPolice waged an hours-long gunfight with two men armed with high-powered rifles on Tuesday in and around a New Jersey cemetery and kosher market, leaving six people dead, including one officer and both suspects, authorities said. The violence began after noon in the heart of Jersey City, the state’s second-largest municipality directly across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan, prompting a lockdown of all Jersey City schools as law enforcement swarmed the area. Police arriving on the scene immediately came under “high-powered rifle fire,” Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly told reporters.



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UPDATE 1-Iran foreign ministry issues travel advisory for citizens not to visit America

UPDATE 1-Iran foreign ministry issues travel advisory for citizens not to visit AmericaIran warned its citizens, particularly scientists, on Tuesday not to visit America, saying Iranians there were subjected to arbitrary and lengthy detention in inhuman conditions. “Iranian citizens, particularly elites and scientists, are requested to seriously avoid traveling to America, even to take part in scientific conferences and even having an invitation,” a travel advisory on the foreign ministry website said. It cited, “America’s cruel and one-sided laws toward Iranians, especially Iranian elites, and arbitrary and lengthy detention in completely inhuman conditions” as reasons for the travel advisory.



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