AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST - NEWS 95.7
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AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST

Last Updated Jan 2, 2018 at 12:20 am ADT

Perils abroad, full plate at home, as Trump opens 2nd year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The glamour of his holiday break behind him, President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Monday night to face a hefty legislative to-do list, critical midterm elections and perilous threats abroad.

Trump started his second year in Washington after a lengthy sojourn at his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, capped by a New Year’s Eve bash. Before his departure for the capital, he fired angry tweets at Iran and Pakistan, slamming Islamabad for “lies & deceit” and saying the country had played U.S. leaders for “fools,” a reference to frustrations that Pakistan isn’t doing enough to control militants.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted that his government was preparing a response that “will let the world know the truth.”

Meantime, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday the United States should be aware that his country’s nuclear forces are now a reality, not a future threat. To that, Trump only said: “We’ll see.”

The president is hoping for more legislative achievements after his pre-Christmas success on taxes. He plans to host Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin at Camp David next weekend to map out the 2018 legislative agenda.


Iran protests have violent night; at least 13 dead overall

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Protests across Iran saw their most violent night as “armed protesters” tried to overrun military bases and police stations before security forces repelled them, killing 10 people, Iranian state television said Monday.

The demonstrations, the largest to strike Iran since its disputed 2009 presidential election, have seen five days of unrest across the country and a death toll of at least 13 with the slaying of a police officer announced late Monday.

The protests began Thursday in Mashhad over Iran’s weak economy and a jump in food prices and have expanded to several cities, with some protesters chanting against the government and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Hundreds of people have been arrested.

Iranian state television aired footage of a ransacked private bank, broken windows, overturned cars and a firetruck that appeared to have been set ablaze. It said 10 people were killed by security forces during clashes Sunday night.

“Some armed protesters tried to take over some police stations and military bases but faced serious resistance from security forces,” state TV said.


10 Things to Know for Tuesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:


The president returns to Washington from his Florida club to face a hefty legislative to-do list, critical midterm elections and thorny issues abroad.


Anti-government demonstrations see their deadliest night as “armed protesters” try to overrun military bases and police stations before security forces repel them, killing 10 people, Iranian state TV says.


Leader of NYC Ballet retiring amid misconduct investigation

NEW YORK (AP) — The longtime leader of the New York City Ballet is retiring in the midst of an investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct.

The New York Times reports Peter Martins wrote a letter to the company’s board of directors on Monday announcing his retirement.

The 71-year-old Martins told board members he continues to deny that he sexually harassed or abused members of the company.

City Ballet announced last month that Martins would take a leave of absence from the company and its School of American Ballet during an independent investigation. The company hired a law firm to conduct the investigation after receiving an anonymous letter accusing Martins of harassment.

Board chairman Charles Scharf has issued a statement thanking Martins for his contributions. But Scharf says the investigation is continuing.


California pot: Smoke ’em (or eat ’em) if you can get ’em

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — It wasn’t exactly reefer madness Monday as California launched the first legal sales of recreational marijuana, but those who could find the drug celebrated the historic day, lining up early for ribbon cuttings, freebies and offerings ranging from cookies to gummy bears to weed with names like “heaven mountain” and “alien rock candy.”

Jeff Deakin, 66, his wife Mary and their dog waited in the cold all night to be first in a line of 100 people when Harborside dispensary, a longtime medical pot shop in Oakland, opened at 6 a.m. and offered early customers joints for a penny and free T-shirts that read “Flower to the People — Cannabis for All.”

“It’s been so long since others and myself could walk into a place where you could feel safe and secure and be able to get something that was good without having to go to the back alley,” Deakin said. “This is kind of a big deal for everybody.”

Harbourside founder Steve DeAngelo used a giant pair of scissors to cut a green ribbon, declaring, “With these scissors I dub thee free,” before ringing up the first customer at a cash register.

Sales were brisk in the shops lucky to score one of the roughly 100 state licenses issued so far, but customers in some of the state’s largest cities were out of luck. Los Angeles and San Francisco hadn’t authorized shops in time to get state licenses and other cities, such as Riverside and Fresno, blocked sales altogether.


‘Dawgs run wild: Georgia beats Oklahoma 54-48 in Rose Bowl

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — After ending the first Rose Bowl game ever to go into overtime, one of the greatest Granddaddies of Them All, Sony Michel was swarmed by Georgia teammates as he broke down in tears.

The senior tailback had gone from goat to hero and sent the Bulldogs to the national championship game.

Michel burst through the line for a 27-yard touchdown run to give No. 3 Georgia a 54-48 victory Monday night against No. 2 Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinal.

Michel, who had a fumble in the fourth quarter returned for a go-ahead Oklahoma touchdown, ran for 181 yards and three scores for the Bulldogs (13-1), but none bigger than the last one in the second overtime.

“I made plays. I gave up plays. My team just had faith in me,” said Michel, who did all that damage on just 11 carries. “That’s what this team is all about. They showed true character today.”


Japan emperor greets cheering crowd at palace for new year

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Emperor Akihito, who is handing the Chrysanthemum Throne to his son next year, was showered with cheers from tens of thousands of New Year’s well-wishers Tuesday at the Imperial Palace.

“Happy New Year,” the 84-year-old emperor said from a balcony. “I wish that this year will prove a gentle and spiritually fulfilling one for as many people as possible.”

Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife appeared at the emperor’s side. Masako, a former diplomat, has suffered from stress and has often skipped public events. It’s unclear how she will step up to her upcoming role as empress.

Emperors have rarely abdicated in Japan, the last being 200 years ago. Akihito’s father, wartime Emperor Hirohito, died in 1989 of an illness.

Akihito’s abdication was set for April 30, 2019, after he expressed his wish to retire because of his age and health concerns.


Colorado shooter was lawyer, Iraq war veteran

DENVER (AP) — A man who shot and killed a Colorado deputy and wounded four others along with two civilians was an attorney and an Iraq war veteran who had posted videos online in recent months criticizing professors and law enforcement officials, authorities said Monday.

Shooter Matthew Riehl, 37, died Sunday during what officials called an ambush at his apartment building in Highlands Ranch, 16 miles (28 kilometres) south of Denver.

Authorities say Riehl fired more than 100 rounds in his apartment before he was killed by a SWAT team.

Douglas County Deputy Zackari Parrish was killed.

Riehl had received warnings from authorities about his online videos involving University of Wyoming professors and Colorado law enforcement officers.


Chicago sees drop in homicides, shootings in 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago ended 2017 with fewer homicides than the year before, but gang violence in the city’s most dangerous neighbourhoods kept the total number of killings above the 600 mark for only the second time in more than a decade.

The Chicago Police Department released statistics Monday that show the number of homicides fell from 771 in 2016 to 650 last year. The number of shootings dropped from 3,550 to 2,785 during the same period.

Although the drops were significant, the homicide total in a repeat of 2016 eclipsed the number of killings in New York City and Los Angeles combined.

“You still have to start with the fact that 600 people dead in Chicago is a hell of a lot of people to be dead in one year,” said the Rev. Marshall Hatch, whose church is in one of the most violent neighbourhoods on the city’s West Side.

Still, the drops — and the reasons behind the lower numbers — have police and others optimistic that some of their efforts will lead to more declines over the next year. Chief among those efforts will be the expansion of the high-tech strategies and equipment to fight crime, including devices that pinpoint where gunshots are fired.


2018 starts with record cold in parts of the Midwest

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Bone-chilling cold gripped much of the central U.S. as 2018 began Monday, breaking century-old records, icing over some New Year’s celebrations and leading to at least two deaths attributed to exposure to the elements.

The National Weather Service issued wind chill advisories covering a vast area from South Texas to Canada and from Montana and Wyoming through New England. Dangerously low temperatures enveloped much of the Midwest, yet didn’t deter hundreds of people from ringing in the new year by jumping into Lake Michigan.

Despite sub-freezing temperatures and a warning of potential hypothermia from the local fire chief, throngs of people took part in the annual tradition in Milwaukee, warming up later with chili or heat from a beach fire pit.

A similar event was cancelled from the Chicago lakefront, where the temperature dipped below zero as thick white steam rose from the lake Monday morning. Organizers said the arctic blast made jumping into the lake too dangerous.

“I’m not happy about it. But I was down by the lake and, gosh, if you were dropped in there, it’d take you 10 minutes to get out,” Jeff Coggins, who helped organize the thwarted Chicago event, told WBBM-TV.

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