CLOSINGS AND DELAYS:

Enon Church of Christ,

breaking news


The Latest: Trump and Putin cross paths again in Vietnam

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 2:01 AM
Updated: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 2:00 AM


            Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang, right, shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Danang, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (Jorge Silva/Pool Photo via AP)
Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang, right, shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Danang, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (Jorge Silva/Pool Photo via AP)

The Latest on President Donald Trump's trip to Asia (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is crossing paths — again — with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump and Putin chatted Saturday as they strolled to a brief photo op at the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Danang, Vietnam. Chinese President Xi Jinping flanked Trump's other side. Trump stood in the second row for the photo.

Trump and Putin shook hands Saturday morning as leaders of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation opened their meetings.

That followed a Friday night handshake and small talk at the summit's welcome gala.

The White House says the two will not hold a formal meeting in Vietnam.

___

10:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is beginning a day full of meetings at an economic summit in Vietnam.

He arrived Saturday morning at a leaders retreat at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting being held in the coastal city of Danang.

Trump was expected to attend a series of larger meetings and private audiences with other world leaders. He was not expected to have a formal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, though aides have said an informal encounter is possible.

Trump has pulled the United States out of the Pacific Rim trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He says he wants one-on-one agreements with other nations. On Saturday, the 11 remaining TPP nations announced they had reached a trade pact without the U.S.

___

6:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is in Danang, Vietnam, for a second day of meetings with Asian economic leaders.

Trump told attendees at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Friday that he won't let the United States be "taken advantage of anymore" on trade, adding he'll always "put America first."

Trump says the United States "can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses."

The president — who pulled the United States out of the Pacific Rim trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership — says the U.S. will no longer join "large agreements that tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible."

After the APEC meetings Saturday, Trump will travel to the capital, Hanoi, for a state banquet.

__

2:09 a.m.

It may be an offbeat photo, but it's no joke.

World leaders, including President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin, donned matching silk button-down shirts at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Friday in Vietnam. Since 1994, the summit included a "family photo" in local attire an annual display of cooperation among world leaders.

It was a departure for Trump, who's rarely photographed in anything but a suit and tie or a golf shirt.

President Barack Obama tried to end the custom when he hosted the summit in Hawaii in 2012, when leaders wore suits, but that proved temporary. Previous APEC shirts have included ponchos in Peru, colorful batik shirts in Malaysia, and overcoats called durumaki in Korea.

U.S. news organizations weren't given access to the event, unlike previous summits.

___

9:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin have shaken hands at a summit in Vietnam.

The two leaders were spotted on video greeting one another ahead of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit gala dinner in the coastal city of Danang.

Trump and Putin were expected to hold a formal meeting on the sidelines of the summit. But as Trump was about to land on Friday, the White House announced no meeting would take place.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed scheduling conflicts.

But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said earlier this week that the pair would not meet unless they had something substantive to discuss.

___

8:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is attending a welcome event and gala dinner as part of a trade summit in Vietnam.

Trump arrived at a Danang hotel Friday evening for the events for world leaders and their spouses. The first lady had stayed in China and planned to return to Washington after touring the Great Wall.

Trump is attending annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam. It is one of several summits he is planning to attend during a five-country Asian tour. Formal talks are set to begin Saturday.

Earlier in the day Friday, Trump used a speech in Vietnam to denounce multilateral agreements embraced by the region and deliver what appeared to be a rebuke to China, railing against trade practices he says have put Americans out of work.

___

4:10 p.m.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump toured China's famed Great Wall at Mutianyu, two hours north of Beijing city center.

She rode a cable car to a watchtower, signed a guestbook and strolled along a stretch of the wall for about half an hour with a small group of aides and security officers.

Mrs. Trump received a scroll as a gift and chatted with her Chinese hosts before she departed.

The first lady stayed in China as President Donald Trump flew to Danang, Vietnam, to participate in a regional economic and security conference.

She planned to return to Washington after touring the Great Wall. The president tweeted that his wife will first stop in Alaska "to greet our AMAZING troops."

Earlier Friday, she went to the Beijing zoo to check out the pandas.

___

3:30 p.m.

Chinese President Xi Jinping says nations need to stay committed to economic openness or risk being "left behind."

Xi made the remarks in a speech to a business conference in Danang, Vietnam, Friday. He spoke shortly after President Donald Trump told the same group that "we are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore."

The Chinese president urged support for the "multilateral trading regime" and progress toward a free-trade zone in the Asia-Pacific, drawing loud applause. He said that "self-seclusion leaves one behind."

In his remarks, Trump reiterated his preference for country-to-country trade deals.

The leaders were speaking on the sidelines of the annual summit of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

___

3 p.m.

President Donald Trump is signing a proclamation saluting the veterans of the Vietnam War.

Trump is in Danang, Vietnam, the site of an American air base that was used during the Vietnam War.

The president on Friday stood with seven veterans and praised their service. Some of the veterans spoke and praised Trump's support of the military. One began to cry as he talked about fallen veterans and Trump hugged him.

Trump is in the midst of a lengthy Asia trip and is in Danang to attend an international summit.

___

2:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is continuing his tough talk against North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Trump told an audience of CEOs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam that the region's future "must not be held hostage to a dictator's twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail." He was referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump referenced his address in South Korea earlier this week when he called on countries to unite against North Korea. He said "every single step the North Korea regime takes toward more weapons is a step it takes into greater and greater danger."

Trump also says civilized people must "come together" to drive out terrorists and extremists from our societies.

___

2 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he won't let the United States be "taken advantage of anymore" on trade and add that he'll always "put America first."

Trump is speaking Friday to a gathering of CEOs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam. He says: "we can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses and we will not tolerate them."

Trump says the U.S. will seek trade relationships that are rooted in the principles of fairness and reciprocity. He says the opposite has happened for "too long."

Trump says the United States has lowered market barriers but "other countries didn't open their markets to us."

He adds: "Simply put we have not been treated fairly by the World Trade Organization."

___

1:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the whole world is being lifted by America's economic renewal.

Trump is telling a gathering of CEOs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam that a "new optimism" has swept across the United States since his election.

He's reciting statistics about economic growth, low unemployment and stock market highs.

Trump says he's had the pleasure of sharing the "good news from America" everywhere he's been on his first official visit to Asia.

Says Trump: "The whole world is lifted by America's renewal."

___

This version corrects the 8:30 a.m. item to note that first lady Melania Trump did not travel to Vietnam with President Trump.

Trump delays lifting ban on import of elephant trophies from Africa

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 8:37 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 8:37 PM



Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
(Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Update (Friday, November 17)

President Donald Trump said in a tweet Friday he’s delaying a new policy allowing the body parts of African elephants shot for sport to be imported until he can review “all conservation facts.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday that it will allow the importation of body parts from African elephants shot for sport. The agency said encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the threatened species would help raise money for conservation programs.

Animal rights advocates and environmental groups criticized the decision. On Friday, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee urged the administration to reverse the policy, calling it the “wrong move at the wrong time.”

Trump said that the policy had been “under study for years.” He says he will review the issue with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Earlier

The Trump administration plans to lift a ban on Friday that barred big game hunters from bringing trophies from elephants killed in a pair of African nations to America, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

A spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told ABC News in a statement Wednesday that the decision was made after officials in Zimbabwe and Zambia provided them with information to support a reversal of the ban.

"Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation," the spokesperson told ABC News.

The decision will overturn a 2014 ban implemented by President Barack Obama’s administration in response to falling elephant populations. 

African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A provision in the act, however, allows for the government to give permits that let people import trophies from such animals if evidence shows that hunting them helps conservation efforts, according to NBC News.

The rule reversal will apply to elephants hunted in Zimbabwe from Jan. 21, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2018, the news station reported. It will also apply to elephants killed in Zambia in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and “applications that meet all other applicable permitting requirements,” a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson told NBC News.

According to the 2016 Great Elephant Census, Savanna elephant populations fell by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014. About 352,000 elephants were spotted during the survey, 82,300 in Zimbabwe and 21,700 in Zambia.

Both countries had areas that saw substantial declines in elephant populations along the Zambezi river in Zambia and in Zimbabwe’s Sebungwe region, according to the census.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sen. Al Franken accused of kissing, groping news anchor without consent

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 11:39 AM
Updated: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 2:38 PM

Al Franken Accused Of Groping A Woman In 2006

Update 2:37 p.m. Nov. 16: Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, on Thursday called for an ethics investigation of himself after a Los Angeles news anchor came forward with allegations that he kissed her forcibly and groped her as she slept during a USO tour in 2006.

Leeann Tweeden on Thursday shared an image taken on the trip back to the U.S. at the end of the tour. Franken can be seen smiling up at the camera as his hands hover over her chest.

"I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter," Franken said in a statement released Thursday. "There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn't funny. It's completely inappropriate. It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture."

He said that he would “gladly cooperate” with an ethics investigation into the incident.

"The truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories," he said. "They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.”

Update 11:58 a.m. Nov. 16: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for an Ethics Committee investigation after a Los Angeles news anchor accused Sen. Al Franken of kissing and groping her without her consent in 2006.

“As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter. I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this,” McConnell said, according to Politico. “Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable – in the workplace or anywhere else.”

Leeann Tweeden wrote in a blog post for KABC that Franken “forcibly kissed” her and groped her as she slept during a USO tour in December 2006. Franken was an Air America radio host at the time. He was voted into office in 2008.

Franken apologized to Tweeden in a statement Thursday.

Original report: A Los Angeles news anchor and sports broadcaster on Thursday accused Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, of “forcibly kissing” her and groping her as she was asleep during a USO tour in 2006.

>> Read more trending news

In a blog post for KABC, Leeann Tweeden wrote that Franken, who was a radio host for Air America at the time, forced himself on her as they were practicing a skit he wrote for the tour.

She said that, as the show’s emcee, she hadn’t expected to do more than introduce the acts, “but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.”

In this image provided by the U.S. Army, sportscaster Leeann Tweeden and then-comedian Al Franken meet and greet military members during an autograph signing session of the USO Sergeant Major of the Army's 2006 Hope and Freedom Tour in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on Dec. 14, 2006. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., apologized Nov. 16, 2017, after Tweeden accused him of forcibly kissing her during the 2006 USO tour. Colleagues, including fellow Democrats, urged a Senate ethics investigation. Tweeden also accused Franken of posing for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept, while both were performing for military personnel two years before Franken was elected to the Senate. (Sgt. Thomas Day/U.S. Army 40th via AP)(Sgt. Thomas Day/AP)

“When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss,’” Tweeden wrote. “I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.”

She said he badgered her to practice the kiss scene, and that she eventually agreed, despite her discomfort.

“We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth,” she wrote. “I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.”

She said that after the incident, she made sure not to be alone with Franken again.

“I felt disgusted and violated,” she wrote. “No one saw what happened backstage. I didn’t tell the sergeant major of the Army, who was the sponsor of the tour. I didn’t tell our USO rep what happened.”

She said she focused on entertaining the troops and didn’t speak up because she “didn’t want to cause trouble.”

“We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our holiday tour, I was a professional and I could take care of myself,” she wrote. “I told a few of the others on the tour what Franken had done, and they knew how I felt about it.”

She said that it wasn’t until she was looking through a CD of photos from the tour that she learned that Franken had groped her while she was asleep. She shared a photo of the incident, which showed her sleeping in a flak vest and Kevlar helmet as Franken’s hands hovered over her chest.

“I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” she wrote. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated. How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?”

Franken apologized for the incident in a statement Thursday.

“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny, but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

Tweeden said she decided to come forward because “there may be others.”

“I want the days of silence to be over forever,” she wrote. “I want them, and all the other victims of sexual assault, to be able to speak out immediately, and not keep their stories –  and their anger – locked up inside for years, or decades.”

6 Democrats file articles of impeachment against Trump

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 5:20 PM

Six House Democrats File To Impeach President Trump

Six House Democrats filed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing the president of obstructing justice and undermining the freedom of the press in a likely ill-fated push by lawmakers to oust the president.

>> Read more trending news

"We have taken this action because of great concerns for the country and our Constitution and our national security and our democracy," Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, said Wednesday at a news conference.

Cohen sponsored the resolution and was joined by five of his colleagues in the House of Representatives: Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois; Rep. Al Green, D-Texas; Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio; Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-New York; and Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Kentucky.

Announcing Introduction of Articles of Impeachment against Donald Trump

Posted by Congressman Steve Cohen on Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The group filed five articles of impeachment against the president, claiming, among other things, that the president obstructed justice in connection with the FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and connections to Trump presidential campaign officials; and that he has undermined the federal judiciary and the freedom of the press.

>> Related: Larry Flynt offering up to $10M for information leading to Trump's impeachment

“The time has come to make clear to the American people and to this president that his train of injuries to our Constitution must be brought to an end through impeachment,” Cohen said.

In the resolution, lawmakers accused Trump of obstructing justice with his firing in May of FBI Director James Comey. In congressional testimony, Comey said he felt the president tried to get him to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign less than a month into his tenure after it was revealed that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his contact with Russian officials.

>> Related: Read James Comey’s complete testimony before the Senate committee 

In response to the resolution, a Republican House Judiciary Committee aide told Politico that, “It’s the policy of the committee to consider impeachment articles if and when the constitutional criteria for impeachment exist.”

Democrats also expressed skepticism over the future success of the resolution.

 >> Related: Impeach Trump, says billboard near Mar-a-Lago

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said that many Democrats believe that Trump should be impeached, but “we have just made the judgment that the facts aren’t there to pursue that,” Politico reported.

The Associated Press noted that the measure was likely to fail in the Republican-led House.

 >> Related: Tennessee congressman to file articles of impeachment

“Indeed, the large majority of Democrats seem intent on having nothing to do with the effort either as lawmakers await the results of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia,” the wire service reported. “Democratic leaders have argued that the impeachment campaign riles up Trump's GOP base, a critical bloc in next year's midterm elections.”

Read the resolution:

Articles of Impeachment filed against Donald Trump by National Content Desk on Scribd

Trump criticized after apparently tweeting condolences for wrong mass shooting

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 5:39 PM

US President Donald Trump speaks about his 12-day trip to Asia, fair trade, and the economy, at the White House on November 15, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump speaks about his 12-day trip to Asia, fair trade, and the economy, at the White House on November 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump faced criticism after he appeared to have copied a tweet shared after a mass shooting earlier this month at a Texas church in the wake of an attack Tuesday that left five people dead and 10 injured in Northern California.

>> Read more trending news

“May God be with the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas,” Trump tweeted Tuesday evening, according to Newsweek. “The FBI and Law Enforcement has arrived.”

The tweet came nearly 10 days after authorities said Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, opened fire on people gathered for Sunday service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, killing 26 people and wounding 20 others.

It came on the same day that a man killed five people and injured 10 others in attacks in Tehama County, California.

>> Related: 6 dead, including suspected gunman, in shooting at California home, elementary school

After the attack in Texas, Trump tweeted a nearly identical message to the one shared Tuesday, writing, “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.”

Twitter users accused Trump of copying and pasting his condolences and forgetting to change the location of the attack.

Trump’s tweet was subsequently deleted.

Authorities said officers shot and killed Kevin Janson Neal, 43, Tuesday after he fired shots in at least seven locations in Tehama County, including an elementary school. Five people were killed in the attack, including two of Neal’s neighbors and his wife.

Related