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AP-NORC poll: Many support inquiry but it's not top priority
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans approve of the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump than disapprove of it.
That's according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
But there are warning signs for both parties. Many think the inquiry is motivated mainly by politics.
And only about a third say the inquiry should be a top priority for Congress.
The poll comes as the impeachment investigation is entering a new, public phase as the Democratic-led House investigates the Republican president's dealings with Ukraine and whether he abused his office or compromised national security when he tried to pressure the country to dig up dirt on a political rival.
Trump has denied doing anything wrong.
Beto O'Rourke announces he's dropping 2020 presidential bid
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Beto O'Rourke has announced he's dropping his 2020 presidential bid.
O'Rourke tweeted Friday that his campaign "has always been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively." He writes, "In that spirit: I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee."
O'Rourke had been struggling to break through a crowded Democratic field. He entered the race in March with buzz from his narrow 2018 Senate loss to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in Texas.
But as the excitement over his candidacy began to fade, O'Rourke was forced to stage a "reintroduction" of his campaign to reinvigorate it. After a mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, he began to center his campaign on gun violence prevention.
The Latest: Utility re-energized power line before fire
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California utility that shut off power to tens of thousands of people to prevent wildfires says it restored electricity to a line minutes before another blaze exploded nearby.
Southern California Edison says it began to re-energize a 16,000-thousand-volt circuit 13 minutes before flames broke out Thursday evening on a hilltop northwest of Los Angeles.
However, SCE says it has no information about the actual cause of the blaze.
The fire near Santa Paula was driven by gusts that lingered after calming elsewhere. It's threatening about 2,300 buildings and some 8,000 people are under evacuation orders.
Utilities up and down the state shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people this week out of concerns that high winds could cause power lines to spark and start fires.
Strike-ending deal will shape Chicago schools for years
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago teachers and students affected by an 11-day strike have returned to classrooms.
A tentative agreement that ended the walkout is expected to shape education in the nation's third largest city for the next five years, including class size limits, additional social workers and nurses and support for homeless students.
The outlined agreement, though, shows both sides secured key victories and fell short on other priorities.
Experts said those details also will inform teachers' unions and school districts as a national wave of activism by educators is expected to continue.
More than 300,000 students and their families were affected by the strike, Chicago's longest walkout by teachers since 1987.
The union's 25,000 members still must vote on the tentative agreement. Union officials haven't discussed a timeline for that process yet. Students and teachers returned to classrooms Friday.
ELECTION 2020-WARREN-THE LATEST
The Latest: Biden campaign faults Warren's health care math
WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden's campaign is dismissing as "mathematical gymnastics" Elizabeth Warren's promise of financing a single-payer government insurance system without a middle-class tax hike.
A top Biden presidential campaign deputy said Warren's plan understates the cost and overstates savings while obscuring the costs to the middle class.
Kate Bedingfield on Friday dismissed Warren's idea of having employers transfer to the government almost all of the $8.8 trillion she estimates will be spent on private insurance for employees. Bedingfield argues that's a "sleight of hand."
Health care is perhaps the starkest policy difference between Warren and Biden. The former vice president backs a "public option" plan that would introduce a government insurance option to compete alongside private insurers.
Biden and other more moderate Democrats point to a public option's lower cost and say it allows Americans more choice.
HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY
DHS official Wolf named acting head of Homeland Security
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has named Chad Wolf to be the next acting head of Homeland Security, the fifth person in the job for this administration.
Trump made the announcement Friday outside the White House, ending weeks of speculation over who would head up the department after Kevin McAleenan resigned in October.
Wolf was chief of staff to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
He has been involved with the 240,000-person department, which also manages disaster relief and election security, off and on since its creation following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
It's not clear whether Wolf will be nominated for the job permanently. Trump and others pushed for a fervent supporter of his policies to lead the department, but nomination rules made it difficult.
CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR-UTILITY BANKRUPTCY
California seeks quick fix to utility bankruptcy
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to speed up the troubled Pacific Gas & Electric bankruptcy case so the company can be restructured in time for next year's wildfire season.
Newsom announced Friday he is calling a meeting of wildfire victims and PG&E executives, shareholders and creditors next week to accelerate what Newsom called "a consensual resolution" to the bankruptcy case.
Shareholders and creditors are battling for control of the company and have put forth competing plans for the utility to emerge from bankruptcy.
PG&E filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after a 2018 wildfire mostly destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.
The utility is facing up to $30 billion in potential damages from recent fires that were started by its equipment.
HALLOWEEN SHOOTINGS-THE LATEST
Latest: Police: No public threat after Halloween shooting
ORINDA, Calif. (AP) — A San Francisco Bay Area police chief says there's no ongoing threat to the public after four people were fatally shot and others wounded at a crowded Halloween party held at an Airbnb rental.
Orinda police Chief David Cook had very few details Friday afternoon, saying investigators are trying to contact more than 100 party-goers who fled after shots rang out about a quarter to 11 p.m. Thursday.
He said there was no risk to the community east of San Francisco because there is no reason to believe the suspect or suspects are from Orinda or remained in the area.
He said at least four people are injured but there may be others who went to hospitals on their own.
Reports: US launches review of China-owned video app TikTok
Multiple published reports say that the U.S. government has launched a national-security review of the China-owned video app TikTok, popular with millions of U.S. teens and young adults.
The reports from Reuters,The New York Times and others say that the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has opened an inquiry. Several senators have recently noted concerns about censorship and data collection on TikTok.
The Treasury Department, which houses CFIUS, says it does not comment on specific cases. TikTok says it cannot comment on ongoing regulatory processes but earning the trust of U.S. users and regulators is its highest priority.
TikTok's owner, ByteDance, acquired Musical.ly in 2017 and merged it into TikTok. Musical.ly operated out of offices in Shanghai and California.
The Latest: Trump cites impeachment in Miss. campaign pitch
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — President Donald Trump is citing the House impeachment inquiry as a reason that voters in Mississippi should vote for a Republican candidate for governor.
Trump is in Mississippi trying to shore up Republican support for Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.
Trump says of the impeachment inquiry that "it always helps when you didn't do anything wrong."
But he adds, "We're going to send a signal by sending a terrific new Republican governor to Jackson."
Democratic candidate Jim Hood is wrapping up his fourth term as attorney general and making it a competitive race in a conservative Deep South state where Trump is popular.
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