Here is the latest news from The Associated Press at 11:40 p.m. EST

By The Associated Press | Updated - Feb. 18, 2020 at 9:40 p.m. | Posted - Feb. 17, 2020 at 10:40 p.m.



WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr has told people close to him he’s considering quitting his post after President Donald Trump wouldn’t heed his warning to stop tweeting about Justice Department cases. That's according to an administration official who spoke Tuesday to The Associated Press. The revelation comes days after Barr said in a television interview that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases and staffers make it “impossible” for him to do his job. The next day, Trump ignored Barr’s request and insisted that he has the “legal right” to intervene in criminal cases. Barr’s spokeswoman says the attorney general "has no plans to resign.”

CHICAGO (AP) — Forrmer Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is out of prison hours after his sentence for political corruption was commuted by President Donald Trump. Reporters and onlookers were on hand Tuesday as the now silver-haired Blagojevich left the gates of the Federal Corrections Institution Englewood south of Denver. Blagojevich served more than eight years of a 14-year sentence for crimes that included seeking to sell an appointment to Barack Obama’s former Senate seat and trying to shake down a children’s hospital. The president said the punishment imposed on the Democrat and one-time contestant on Trump's reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice" was excessive.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Amy Klobuchar is trying to make amends for not being able to name Mexico’s president recently -- but she's still making a small mistake. The Minnesota senator was unable to name Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador when asked by a Telemundo reporter during a candidate forum in Nevada last Friday. She was asked about that flub during a CNN town hall Tuesday night and said, “I would like to give my greeting to Andre Manuel Lopez Obrador” mispronouncing the president’s first name slightly. Klobuchar offered the excuse that she’d had a long day in the Senate and landed in Nevada late before the forum.

BEIJING (AP) — New virus cases in China continue to fall, with 1,749 new infections and 136 new deaths announced after China's leader said disease prevention and control was at “a critical time.” The much-criticized quarantine of a cruise ship in Japan to avoid spreading the virus ended. The 542 cases on the ship were the most outside China. The updated figures for mainland China bring the total for cases to 74,185 and deaths to 2,004. New cases have fallen to under 2,000 daily for the past two days. China has locked down several hard-hit cities, halting nearly all movement except for the quarantine efforts, medical care and delivery of food and basic necessities. China also may postpone its biggest political meeting of the year.

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Hundreds of passengers began leaving the Diamond Princess cruise ship after their two-week quarantine ended. Results were still pending for some passengers who've been tested for the virus that has sickened tens of thousands of people in China and more than 540 on the ship. Some passengers said they received health check forms asking if they had any symptoms such as headache, fever, cough. Passengers who tested negative and had no symptoms still had to get their body temperature checked before leaving. A Japanese passenger said he was still waiting for his virus results and was getting worried.

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