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Tribune News Service

International Budget for Saturday, March 16, 2019

Updated at 0000 UTC (8 p.m. U.S. EDT Friday).

Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.


^New Zealand's prime minister vows to change gun laws after deadly terror attack<

NEWZEALAND-SHOOTING-2ND-LEDE:DPA _ New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed Saturday to change the country's gun laws, a day after a suspected white supremacist killed at least 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch.

"Today as the country grieves we are seeking answers," she told media in the morning.

650 by Jule Scherer in Wellington, New Zealand. MOVED



^US changes its B2 visa policy for Cuban citizens<


B2 visas cover visits by relatives, for tourism and travel for medical purposes.

150 by David J. Neal. MOVED


^Trump claims there's not 'really' a rise in white nationalism after racist gunman kills dozens of Muslims in New Zealand<


"I don't really," the president told reporters in the Oval Office. "I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess. If you look what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case. I don't know enough about it yet."

400 by Chris Sommerfeldt. MOVED


^Pompeo dismisses North Korean threat to end nuclear talks<

USNKOREA-NUCLEAR:LA _ Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo sought to downplay a North Korean warning Friday that Kim Jong Un was considering breaking off nuclear talks with the Trump administration and resuming the country's nuclear and missile tests.

Pompeo said that during last month's nuclear summit in Hanoi, Kim had assured President Donald Trump "on multiple occasions" that he would not lift a self-imposed moratorium on the tests.

600 by Tracy Wilkinson and Victoria Kim in Washington. MOVED


^Analysis: 3 things to watch: Kim lets Trump know their 'mysteriously wonderful' chemistry isn't enough<

USKNOREA-ANALYSIS:CON _ President Donald Trump once claimed he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "fell in love." But the dictator he once called "Little Rocket Man" on Friday let him know their "mysteriously wonderful" relationship might not be enough to strike a disarmament pact.

800 by John T. Bennett in Washington. MOVED


^Trump issues first veto, defying Congress' rebuke of his border emergency order<

TRUMP-VETO-1ST-LEDE:LA _ With the first veto of his presidency, President Donald Trump on Friday defied Congress' bipartisan rejection of his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border and insisted on his power to circumvent the legislative branch to direct billions of dollars for a border wall.

Defiant despite a remarkable rebuke from Republicans as well as Democrats in Congress, Trump signed his veto before television cameras in the Oval Office, flanked by law enforcement officers and the parents of victims of crime and drug addiction.

While Congress likely can't muster the votes to override his veto _ the votes for the resolution in both houses were well short of the two-thirds that would be needed for an override _ the emergency declaration still faces challenges in federal court as an executive power grab.

1200 (with trims) by Eli Stokols in Washington. MOVED


^Christchurch attacks follow a trend in violence targeting houses of worship<

RELIG-MASS-SHOOTINGS:LA _ The deadly attacks on Christchurch, New Zealand Muslim worshippers follow an alarming trend over the years of violent targeting of houses of worship. including Tree Of Life Synagogue, Mother Emanuel AME Church, Oak Creek Sikh Temple, Overland Park Jewish Center and Islamic Center of Quebec City.

Jaweed Kaleem

^Attorney General William Barr tries to restore confidence in Justice Department<

BARR:LA _ In his first month in office, Attorney General William Barr has sent a reassuring message to the beleaguered Justice Department _ he wants a return to basics after years of disruptive firings, tweet storms and scandals.

In briefings, Barr has asked detailed questions about cases, suspects and legal arguments. He has wandered his fifth-floor hallway to converse about the law.

And he declined the traditional "clap in" where a newly confirmed attorney general walks through the building and subordinates applaud. Instead, Barr held a three-hour coffee reception in his conference room.

Advisers and associates said the approach reflects Barr's low-key persona, and his top goals of steering the Justice Department out of the line of political fire, boosting public confidence in it, and improving the morale of its 110,000 employees.

1200 (with trims) by Del Quentin Wilber in Washington. MOVED


^College admissions scandal: USC to deny entry to some students involved in alleged scam<

CMP-ADMISSIONS-FRAUD-USC:LA _ USC, reeling from the exposure of a college admissions scheme with deep ties to the university, has announced a variety of measures aimed at addressing the scandal.

In a letter to the campus community Thursday, USC interim President Wanda Austin said the university has launched its own investigation into the scandal and is trying to identity donations made as part of the bribery scheme revealed by an FBI investigation that resulted in dozens of charges against a consultant, wealthy parents and college officials nationwide.

Austin also said USC would "deny admission to applicants in the current admissions cycle who are connected to the alleged scheme."

500 by Los Angeles Times Staff in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Pipe bomb mailer Cesar Sayoc expected to plead guilty<


The online court docket for Sayoc's case says, "The pretrial conference scheduled for March 21, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. is now a plea."

300 by David J. Neal. MOVED


^Spa operator brought head of US Chinese Communist Party group to mingle with Trump aides<

TRUMP-SPA-FOUNDER:MI _ South Florida day spa entrepreneur Cindy Yang _ now famous for her Super Bowl party selfie with the president _ used her burgeoning political access to bring Xianqin Qu, a leader from the foreign arm of the Communist Party of China, to an event where she met top Republicans and members of the Trump administration, including Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump.

Qu is the president of the Florida Chapter of the Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Unification _ a group "directly subordinate" to the Communist Party of China, according to a 2018 U.S. government report. The group's stated purpose is to push for reunification of China and Taiwan, although in recent years members in chapters around the world actively promoted a wide range of policies in harmony with Beijing's agenda abroad.

1250 by Caitlin Ostroff, Sarah Blaskey and Nicholas Nehamas in Miami. MOVED


^Judge allows cameras at court hearings for R. Kelly on sex abuse charges<

RKELLY-CORRECTION:TB _ A Cook County, Ill., judge has allowed cameras in a Cook County courtroom for hearings in the sex abuse charges facing R. Kelly, a sharp contrast to the secrecy in the R&B superstar's court fight over child support.

In making the ruling Friday, Judge Lawrence Flood, who is presiding over Kelly's case, noted that only two of the four alleged victims had objected to airing their images from the witness stand.

550 by Rosemary Sobol and Megan Crepeau in Chicago. MOVED


^Slain Gambino crime boss Frank Cali possibly lured outside by fake car crash staged by killer<

CRIMEBOSS-HIT:NY _ The cold-blooded killer who gunned down Gambino crime boss Frank (Franky Boy) Cali likely lured his victim outside with a fake car crash _ then blew him away in front of his Staten Island home.

1000 (with trims) by Esha Ray and Rocco Parascandola in New York. MOVED


^Boeing is haunted by a 50-year-old feature of 737 jets<


First introduced in West Germany as a short-hop commuter jet in the early Cold War, the Boeing 737-100 had folding metal stairs attached to the fuselage that passengers climbed to board before airports had jetways. Ground crews hand-lifted heavy luggage into the cargo holds in those days, long before motorized belt loaders were widely available.

That low-to-the-ground design was a plus in 1968, but it has proved to be a constraint that engineers modernizing the 737 have had to work around ever since.

1450 by Ralph Vartabedian. MOVED


^How an LA parent's tip uncovered massive college admissions scandal<

CMP-ADMISSIONS-FRAUD-TIP:LA _ A key tip that led to what authorities describe as the largest college admissions cheating scandal ever came from a Los Angeles parent who was under investigation in an unrelated securities case, according to a law enforcement source.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, could not identify the parent but said the subject provided vital information that launched the investigation.

600 by Richard Winton, Matthew Ormseth and Suhauna Hussain in Los Angeles. MOVED



^With Fox, Disney will have an even bigger footprint in Hollywood<


The long-anticipated $71 billion acquisition will put the X-Men, Homer Simpson, the Avengers, Buzz Lightyear, Kylo Ren and the gang from "Avatar" under the same roof, giving the Burbank company an unprecedented share of film and television franchises.

The deal, expected to close in the coming days, would boost Disney's share of the domestic box office to at least 40 percent and reinforce its stronghold in toys, theme parks and cruise lines. The Mouse House will have an unrivaled say over when and how movies are released.

2200 by Ryan Faughnder in Los Angeles. MOVED



^Tiger Woods makes career-worst quadruple-bogey 7 at 17th hole island green at TPC Sawgrass<

GLF-PLAYERS-WOODS:OS _ The 17th hole island green at TPC Sawgrass claimed another victim Friday during the second round of The Players Championship.

This time, it snared the biggest catch of all: Tiger Woods.

Woods made a mess of TPC's signature hole to go from in contention to flirting with the cutline.

A day after he scratched out a 2-under par 70, Woods arrived at the 17th hole 3-under par on his round and 5-under overall _ two shots behind the leaders.

450 by Edgar Thompson in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. MOVED


^Rise of horse deaths at Santa Anita to be investigated by district attorney<

RAC-SANTAANITA-DEATHS-1ST-LEDE:LA _ The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has assigned investigators to work with the California Horse Racing Board to look into the sudden rise of horse deaths at Santa Anita since the track started its meeting on Dec. 26.

The move comes after 22 horses incurred fatal injuries resulting in euthanasia at the Arcadia track. The district attorney's office has also been in contact with the Pasadena Humane Society, which has notified the Arcadia Police Department, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

750 by Eric Sondheimer, John Cherwa and Nathan Fenno in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Bryce Miller: Santa Anita makes major misstep in addressing horse deaths<

RAC-MILLER-COLUMN:SD _ Imagine being a car owner with tires that keep going flat. You change the windshield wipers and install new brake pads. Hey, it's safer. See? But um why are the tires going flat?

You did something, without answering or addressing the question.

That's the alarming lack of dot-connecting happening at Santa Anita Park in the wake of yet another horse death at the track. The facility in Arcadia, reeling from 22 fatalities since Dec. 26 _ including one Thursday, a day after re-opening the main track for training _ came across as a flailing misdirection.

1000 by Bryce Miller in San Diego. MOVED


^Spence Jr. sees Garcia as a stepping stone to boxing greatness (and Pacquiao)<

BOX-SPENCEJR:FT _ When boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao fought at AT&T Stadium in 2010, a wide-eyed Errol Spence, Jr. sat in the audience largely as an obscure 20-year-old boxer from Desoto.

He was in the midst of a three-year run as the national amateur welterweight champion. But it was two years before he started to make a semi-name for himself as a 2012 Olympian before losing in the quarterfinals and deciding to turn pro.

As the laid back and understated Spence grew as a professional, he had to call other boxers out to get attention and fights.

1050 by Clarence E. Hill Jr. in Arlington, Texas. MOVED


^US Soccer 'surprised' by federal lawsuit, committed to reaching common ground<

SOC-US-LAWSUIT:OS _ The United States Soccer Federation was surprised by the federal class-action lawsuit filed by the entire U.S. women's national team last week, according to an open letter from U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro.

"U.S. Soccer believes that all female athletes deserve fair and equitable pay, and we strive to meet this core value at all times," Cordeiro wrote in the letter released Friday, the federation's first response to the allegations of gender-based discrimination outlined in the lawsuit.

700 by Alicia DelGallo in Orlando, Fla. MOVED




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