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Barr swipes at Trump: Tweets make it 'impossible' to do job

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr has taken a public swipe at President Donald Trump, saying the president’s tweets about Justice Department prosecutors and cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.” Barr made the comment during an interview with ABC News just days after the Justice Department overruled its own prosecutors. They had initially recommended in a court filing that Trump’s longtime ally and confidant Roger Stone be sentenced to 7 to 9 years in prison. But the next day, the Justice Department took the extraordinary step of lowering the amount of prison time it would seek for Stone.


Trump says he might keep others from listening in on calls

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he might end the long-running White House practice of letting administration officials and staffers listen in on presidential calls with foreign leaders. Trump's comment comes after his impeachment was triggered by his July phone call with the president of Ukraine. Trump told Geraldo Rivera in a radio interview that aired Thursday that he “may end the practice entirely.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House staffers listened in on Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. In it, Trump asked Zelenskiy to look into Ukraine's involvement in the 2016 presidential election and the activities of Democrat Joe Biden and his son Hunter.


Senate moves to limit Trump on military force against Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a bipartisan measure aimed at limiting President Donald Trump's authority to launch military operations against Iran. Eight Republicans joined Democrats in a post-impeachment bid to constrain the White House. The rebuke was the Senate's first major vote since acquitting Trump on impeachment charges last week. Trump is expected to veto the war powers resolution if it reaches his desk. He's warned that if his “hands were tied, Iran would have a field day." The three senators seeking the Democratic nomination for president all returned to the Capitol from campaigning and backed the war powers resolution.


Nevada's Culinary Union will not endorse in Democratic race

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Culinary Union, the most influential union in Nevada politics, has decided to stay out of the state's Democratic presidential caucuses. The move denies candidates who aggressively courted the group from getting a major leg up in the state's upcoming contest. The casino workers’ Culinary Union is a 60,000-member group made up of housekeepers, porters, bartenders and more who keep Las Vegas’ glitzy casinos humming. The group said Thursday that it will instead use its organizing power to get out the vote for the Feb. 22 caucuses.


In win for Amazon, judge freezes work on Pentagon contract

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal court has ordered the Pentagon to temporarily halt work with Microsoft on a $10 billion military cloud contract that Amazon was initially favored to win. Amazon sued last November, alleging that President Donald Trump's bias against the company hurt its chances to win the project. In July, before the contract was awarded, Trump publicly claimed that other companies told him the contract wasn’t competitively bid and said the administration would take a long look at it. Amazon has asked to depose Trump, the former and current secretaries of defense and other officials as part of its case.


US stocks edge mostly lower after China virus cases spike

Stocks are ending a wobbly day mostly lower as investors turn cautious following news of a surge in cases of the new virus in China. The latest figures dashed hopes that the spread of the outbreak was peaking, which had helped lift stocks throughout the week. The S&P 500 index fell 5 points, or 0.2%, to 3,373. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 128 points, or 0.4%, to 29,423. It was down as many as 205 points earlier. The Nasdaq fell 13 points, or 0.1% to 9,711. Small-company stocks rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.61%.


Trump to transfer $3.8B from military to fund his wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is slashing $3.8 billion in recently passed military funding to finance construction of the president's long-sought U.S.-Mexico border wall. Thursday's move by the Pentagon angered not just Democrats but also GOP defense hawks. It would cut money for National Guard units, shipbuilding accounts and 17 aircraft and transfer it to anti-drug accounts that can finance construction of new wall. The maneuver was announced in “reprogramming” documents provided to lawmakers and came in for harsh criticism by Rep. Mack Thornberry of Texas, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. Democrats slammed the transfers as well, but Trump faced no consequences when making similar transfers last year.


MIT: Hackers could alter ballots in widely used voting app

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found serious security concerns in a voting app used in elections in West Virginia, Denver, Oregon and Utah. The report on the Voatz app was released Thursday. It found that attackers could “alter, stop or expose how an individual has voted" and said the app's voter identification methods pose potential privacy issues. The Boston-based Voatz has disputed the research methods, issuing a statement that said the analysts used an old version of the app and accused them of acting in “bad faith.” The company noted it hasn't had any reported issues in its counting of less than 600 votes.


Last month was hottest January on record, US scientists say

WASHINGTON (AP) — Last month was the hottest January since scientists began keeping temperature records in 1880. U.S. government forecasters announced the record on Thursday. The global average land and ocean surface temperature in January was 2.05 degrees F above the average January temperatures for the 20th century, due to the changing climate. In parts of Russia, Scandinavia and eastern Canada, temperatures exceeded the old averages by 9.0 degrees. Warmer temperatures mean melting snow and ice. The extent of Arctic sea ice was 5.3% below the average from 1981-2010. Antarctic sea ice was 9.8% below the average.


Brrrr! Arctic front brings dangerous wind chills to Midwest

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Students are staying home from school and several businesses are closed in the upper Midwest as arctic air pushes wind chill readings to more than 40 below zero in some areas. A wind chill warning is in effect Thursday for northeastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota. Forecasters are warning people to bundle up because exposed skin could suffer frostbite in as little as 10 minutes. At least one death could be related to the cold. Omaha police say the body of an 80-year-old man was found early Thursday near an assisted-living home. Police say he wasn't dressed for the weather, as the wind chill was minus 26 degrees.

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