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AP-US-RUSSIA-HACK-UKRAINE-SCANDAL

Russians hacked company key to Ukraine scandal: researchers

BOSTON (AP) — A U.S. cybersecurity company says Russian military agents successfully hacked the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the scandal that led to President Donald Trump's impeachment. Russian agents launched a phishing campaign in early November aimed at stealing the login credentials for employees of Burisma Holdings, the gas company, according to Area 1 Security, a Silicon Valley company that specializes in e-mail security. It is not clear what the hackers were looking for or may have obtained, although the operation's timing suggests that Russian agents may have been searching for material that could damage former U.S. vice president Joe Biden, whose son Hunter previously served on Burisma's board.

TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT

Trump's fate rests with McConnell in impeachment trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, finally facing his impeachment trial, needs Mitch McConnell more than ever. It's a defining moment for both men. They started their relationship unevenly three years ago but have since fallen into an easy partnership. The House is poised to transmit the articles of impeachment against Trump this week. On Monday, McConnell and Senate Republicans were trying to decide whether to seek a motion to simply dismiss the charges, as Trump suggested, once the trial starts. That's just one of the crucial decisions that McConnell will make or at least influence.

ELECTION 2020-WARREN-SANDERS

Sanders didn't think woman could win presidency, Warren says

WASHINGTON (AP) — Elizabeth Warren says fellow Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told her during a private meeting two years ago that he didn’t think a woman could win the White House. For his part, Sanders has denied telling Warren that a woman couldn't win. The dispute marks an extraordinary turning point in a Democratic primary that, with few exceptions, has been characterized by genial differences over domestic issues such as health care. The feud brewing between Warren and Sanders will likely change the tone of the campaign going into Tuesday's debate.

IRAQ-US

US troops in Iraq got warning hours before Iranian attack

AIN AL-ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AP) — U.S. officials say American troops were informed of an impending attack hours before a barrage of Iranian ballistic missiles struck their air base in Iraq. An officer at Ain al-Asad air base described giving an order for troops to go on lockdown and later into bunkers before the missiles struck early on Jan. 8. Officials said no U.S. troops were killed or injured, although one officer said several were treated for concussions. An Associated Press crew touring base saw large craters and damaged military trailers and housing units. The attack was in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike near Baghdad airport that killed a top Iranian commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3. .

BC-FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian shares rise on optimism about US-China trade deal

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares are following Wall Street higher amid optimism that a trade deal between the U.S. and China will be a boon for the regional economy. Benchmarks in Japan, Australia, South Korea and China rose in Tuesday morning trading. The rally follows broad gains on Wall Street ahead of the signing of so-called “Phase 1” trade deal with China on Wednesday. The gains came a day before major banks kick off the latest earnings reporting season for U.S. companies.

TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT-CONGRESS

GOP senators reject plans to dismiss Trump impeachment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are signaling they will reject the idea of simply voting to dismiss the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. As the House prepares to send the charges to the chamber, senators are still negotiating the ground rules for the historic trial. Trump has suggested Republicans could dismiss the charges. But key senators say that is not likely and they want to hear the case. Trump is charged with abuse of power for pushing Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden. He also faces a charge of obstruction of Congress in the probe. Trump says he did nothing wrong.

TRUMP-WAR POWERS-CONGRESS

McConnell on US-Iran strategy: 'Let's not screw it up'

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan resolution asserting that President Donald Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran is drawing opposition from the Senate’s Republican leader, Mitch McConnell. He says passing the resolution would send the wrong message to U.S. allies after the Trump administration killed Iran's top general in a drone strike. McConnell says hostilities have subsided since Tehran responded by attacking two military bases that house American troops and adds, “Let's not screw it up.” The sponsor of the measure, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, says Democrats don't think any president should send U.S. troops into war without a vote of Congress.

IRAN-PLANE CRASH

Anger in Iran over jet's downing; gunfire disperses protests

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Popular anger is swelling in Iran over the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian jetliner and the government's attempt to conceal its role in the tragedy. Online videos appeared to show security forces firing live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protests in the streets. Iranians already are suffering under crippling U.S. sanctions, and they have expressed shock and outrage over the plane crash that killed scores of young people. They also decried the misleading statements from top officials, who only admitted responsibility three days later in the face of mounting evidence. Video verified by The Associated Press show protesters scattering amid clouds of tear gas Sunday night. In another, a woman is carried away as people shout that she is wounded by gunfire.

BORDER PATROL FREEZING CELLS

Trial opens in suit over Border Patrol detention conditions

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The trial in a lawsuit alleging unsafe and inhuman detention conditions in several of the Border Patrol’s Arizona stations has begun in Tucson. The lawsuit filed in 2015 applies to eight Border Patrol facilities where attorneys say migrants are held in unsafe and inhumane conditions. The Border Patrol is already required to provide thin blankets and clean sleeping mats to migrants held for longer than 12 hours after the judge overseeing the case issued a preliminary injunction in 2016. But advocates say the Border Patrol still holds immigrants for prolonged periods in filthy and freezing conditions. The agency says its facilities are designed for adults and short-term stays.

NAVAL AIR STATION SHOOTING

US sends home nearly two dozen Saudi cadets after shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr says the United States is removing nearly two dozen Saudi military students from a training program and sending them back to their home country. This follows an investigation into a deadly shooting last month by a Saudi aviation student at a Florida Navy base. Barr says some of the students had contact with child pornography and possessed “jihadist” or anti-American material. None is accused of having advanced knowledge of the shooting. Barr says the shooter was motivated by “jihadist ideology” and describes the killings as an act of terrorism.

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