Mueller documents: Manafort pushed Ukraine hack theory
WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly released documents show a Trump campaign official told the FBI that during the 2016 presidential race the campaign’s chairman, Paul Manafort, pushed the idea that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s servers.
That unsubstantiated theory was advanced by President Donald Trump even after he took office, and it would later help trigger the impeachment inquiry now consuming the White House.
Notes from an FBI interview were released Saturday after a lawsuit by BuzzFeed News that led to public access to hundreds of pages of documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Information related to Ukraine has taken on renewed interest after calls for impeachment based on efforts by Trump and his administration to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden.
Is the anti-Trump suburban revolt escalating? Watch Virginia
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — There are no easy answers for Republicans in the Virginia suburbs.
They are fighting to hold onto their narrow state legislative majorities next week, but they are also fighting a suburban shift against President Donald Trump that’s reshaping the national political landscape.
Voters across several other states also head to the polls Tuesday, including Mississippi and Kentucky. But more than anywhere, Virginia’s lower-profile state legislative elections will test the magnitude the GOP’s suburban slide.
Democrats are hopeful that new victories there could serve as a model for other southern states.
US judge blocks Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge in Portland, Oregon, has put on hold a Trump administration rule requiring immigrants prove they will have health insurance or can pay for medical care before they can get visas.
U.S. District Judge Michael Simon on Saturday granted a preliminary injunction that prevents the rule from going into effect Sunday.
Seven U.S. citizens and a nonprofit organization filed the lawsuit on Wednesday contending the rule would block nearly two-thirds of all prospective legal immigrants.
The lawsuit also says the rule would greatly reduce or eliminate the number of immigrants who enter the United States with family-sponsored visas.
The rule is the Trump administration’s latest effort to limit immigrant access to public programs while trying to move the country away from a family-based immigration system to merit-based system.
IRAN-HOSTAGE CRISIS-LEADER’S REGRETS
Iran student leader says he regrets 1979 US Embassy attack
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — One of the Iranian student leaders of the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover says he regrets seizing the diplomatic post and the 444-day hostage crisis that followed.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Ebrahim Asgharzadeh now acknowledges that the repercussions of the takeover still reverberate 40 years later, as tensions soar between the U.S. and Iran over Tehran’s collapsing nuclear deal with world powers.
Asgharzadeh cautions others against following in his footsteps, despite the takeover becoming enshrined in hard-line mythology. He also disputes a revisionist history offered by supporters of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard that they directed the attack.
He insists that all the blame rests with the Islamist students who let the crisis spin out of control.
Asgharzadeh says: “Like Jesus Christ, I bear all the sins on my shoulders.”
Long-running coal plant on Navajo reservation nears its end
One of the largest coal-fired power plants in the U.S. West is winding down operations.
The Navajo Generating Station near the Arizona-Utah border has been producing electricity since the 1970s. One unit already has shut down and the other two are scheduled to go offline by the end of the year.
Others in the region are on track to shutter or reduce their output in the next few years.
Those shifts are upending the livelihoods of people across the area. That includes hundreds of mostly Native American workers who mined coal from tribal land, loaded it from a roadside silo and helped produce electricity.
The Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe now are hard-pressed to replace the losses, including money for student scholarships and coal as a heating source.
Biden defends his ‘vision’ against Warren’s indirect attacks
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Joe Biden says his vision for the country is bolder than what progressive Democrats give him credit for in the 2020 presidential race.
The former vice president says there’s “nothing moderate” and “nothing small” about his ideas on health care, education and the climate crisis. He compared his policy agenda to “going to the moon.”
Biden didn’t mention Elizabeth Warren during his remarks to supporters at one of his campaign offices in Des Moines, Iowa.
But his pushback came the day after the Massachusetts senator warned Iowa Democrats to avoid any presidential candidate asking voters to “dream small” as she touted plans like her single-payer “Medicare-for-all” plan.
The increasingly tense back-and-forth between Biden and Warren comes three months ahead of the Iowa caucuses that begin Democrats’ nominating process.
Latest: Airbnb bans ‘party houses’ after Halloween shooting
ORINDA, Calif. (AP) — Airbnb’s CEO says the company is banning “party houses” in the wake of a deadly shooting at a Halloween party held at an Airbnb rental home in California.
In a series of tweets Saturday, Brian Chesky said the San Francisco-based company is expanding manual screening of “high risk” reservations. He also said the company is forming a party house rapid response team.
Chesky said the company will remove guests who fail to comply.
Five people were killed after a Thursday night shooting in the San Francisco suburb of Orinda. According to people with knowledge of the transaction, the woman who rented the home lied to her Airbnb host, saying she was renting it for family members who needed to escape smoky air from wildfires.
Chesky tweeted that the company “must do better, and we will.”
World Series champs Washington Nationals get their parade
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals are getting a hero’s welcome home from a city that had been thirsting for a World Series championship for nearly a century.
Tens of thousands of fans are expected for a parade Saturday honoring the Nationals, who won a nail-biting, come-from-behind victory against the Houston Astros in Game 7 to clinch the World Series.
Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted Thursday, “When they tell you dreams come true, point them toward our @Nationals.”
She included the hashtag SportsCapital, a reference, too, to the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup championship in 2018 and the Washington Mystics’ WNBA championship this year.
A Washington team hadn’t won a World Series since the Senators in 1924.
President Donald Trump has invited the Nationals to the White House on Monday.
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-THE LATEST
The Latest: Firefighters contain 30% of California blaze
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ventura County officials say firefighters contained 30% of the Maria Fire, which has burned nearly 15 square miles (39 sq. kilometers) and continues to threaten more than 2,500 homes and other buildings.
The officials add that the humidity is expected to stay low and winds will be more favorable to firefighting in Southern California.
The fire began Thursday during what had been expected to be the tail end of Santa Ana winds that fanned destructively across Southern California.
While the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined, Southern California Edison reported Friday that it had re-energized a high-voltage power line minutes before a nearby hilltop exploded into a blaze.
Edison had earlier turned off the line due to heavy winds.
Jane Fonda spends night in jail after demonstration arrest
WASHINGTON (AP) — Actress and activist Jane Fonda spent a night in a local jail after her fourth arrest in as many weeks while participating in a climate change demonstration on Capitol Hill.
The 81-year-old Oscar winner was among more than 40 people arrested Friday while sitting in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. A spokesman for Fire Drill Fridays, Ira Arlook, says Fonda was the only one who spent the night in jail, her first as part of the ongoing demonstration.
Arlook says Fonda appeared in Superior Court about 1 p.m. Saturday and was released.
Fonda has said she plans to get arrested every Friday as she advocates for reducing the use of fossil fuels. A rally with speakers on various climate-related topics precedes the civil disobedience.