CNS

Ousted Ambassador Testifies on Trump Smear Campaign

‘The Color Drained From My Face’

Six months after her unceremonious ouster, former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch received a standing ovation Friday in Congress after testifying for six hours about the harrowing intimidation campaign she faced from President Donald Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

by BRANDI BUCHMAN & ADAM KLASFELD

Transcripts Show Sondland Had Greater Role in Ukraine Push

Ambassador Gordon Sondland was described as having a central role in President Trump’s push to have Ukraine investigate his political rival in exchange for release of military aid funding, according to new transcripts released Saturday.

by JON PARTON

Testimony of Trump Call With EU Ambassador Described as ‘Damning’

A witness who overheard President Trump’s call with Gordon Sondland, his handpicked ambassador to the European Union, described Trump as a driving force behind the push for a Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens in testimony on Friday.

by ADAM KLASFELD

Democratic Candidates Vow Progressive Change At California Convention

A host of 2020 presidential candidates promised California Democratic Convention attendees Saturday they would back progressive reforms, including citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a ban on assault weapons and a single-payer health care option.

by MARTIN MACIAS JR.

White House Budget Official Testifies in Impeachment Inquiry Hearing

President Trump’s chokehold on White House officials called to testify in the impeachment inquiry gave way Saturday with closed-door testimony from a White House budget official who called the delay in military aid to Ukraine was highly irregular and without explanation.

by MEGAN MINEIRO

Poll: Most Americans Want Religion Out of Politics

Despite feeling that religious institutions do more good than harm overall, a new poll finds most Americans want them to avoid endorsing political candidates.

by JAMES PALMER
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain. (William Dotinga / CNS)

Most Americans Believe They Are Being Tracked by Corporations, Government

A strong majority of Americans believe they are being spied upon and tracked by private companies and the government on a regular basis, according to a report released by Pew Research Center Friday.

by MATTHEW RENDA

New Rules Require Transparency in Health Care Prices

The Trump administration announced new rules Friday that would require hospitals and insurers to disclose the actual cost of common medical procedures.

by JACK RODGERS

Trump Restores Navy SEAL’s Rank, Pardons Servicemen From Murder

by BIANCA BRUNO

Judge Advances Challenge of Asbestos Reporting Loopholes

A federal judge on Friday advanced a lawsuit claiming the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fails to track how much hazardous asbestos is made, imported and added to U.S. products.

by NICHOLAS IOVINO

Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady Dies Suddenly at Age 66

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady died suddenly of a heart attack Friday. He was 66.

by ROX LAIRD

Roy Moore Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Super PAC

Roy Moore, the Republican candidate who lost the 2017 U.S. Senate special election in Alabama, filed a defamation lawsuit in federal court Friday against the creators of a series of political attack ads that targeted Moore during his run.

by CARSON MCCULLOUGH

Columns

No Sympathy for the Devil

by ROBERT KAHN
Julius Morton

“One of the wisest things ever said about the newspaper business was said by the late J. Sterling Morton, of Nebraska. He declared that a newspaper’s enemies were its assets, and the newspaper’s liabilities its friends. This is particularly true of a country newspaper.”

— William Allen White, “In Our Town”

Harris Rolls Out Bill to Help Cities Plan for Wildfires

Firefighters try to save a home on Tigertail Road from the Getty fire, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, in Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/ Christian Monterrosa)

With California trudging through another wildfire season marked by mass evacuations and widespread pre-emptive blackouts, Democratic presidential hopeful and Sen. Kamala Harris on Friday proposed $1 billion in credits for cities willing to fireproof neighborhoods and update vulnerable electrical systems.

by NICK CAHILL

Warren Envisions Slow Rollout for Medicare for All

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks with supporters after filing to have her name listed on the New Hampshire primary ballot, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

About two weeks after announcing her plan to provide Medicare for All without raising middle-class taxes, Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren explained Friday how she intends to launch that new health care system.

by AMANDA OTTAWAY

Trump Seeks Block of House Quest for Financial Data

Gearing up for a final showdown with House Democrats, President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Friday to block a court order to release his personal financial records to Congress.

by MEGAN MINEIRO

Oklahoma Judge Lowers Opioid Damages to $465M

Judge Thad Balkman listens Tuesday, May 28, 2019, during opening arguments for the state of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., as the nation's first state trial against drugmakers blamed for contributing to the opioid crisis begins in Oklahoma. At right is a slide from the state's presentation shown on a monitor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Oklahoma judge that awarded the state $572 million from Johnson & Johnson in the first opioid crisis lawsuit to go to trial formally reduced his damages award by $107 million Friday, admitting to a three-digit calculation error.

by DAVID LEE

Judge in Guyger Trial Can't Hear DA Contempt Case

State District Judge Tammy Kemp, right, gives Botham Jean's mother, Allison Jean, a hug while Botham's father, Bertrum Jean, stands at left, following the 10-year sentence given to former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger for murder, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Dallas. Guyger, who said she mistook neighbor Botham Jean's apartment for her own and fatally shot him in his living room, was sentenced to a decade in prison. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

The judge in former Dallas cop Amber Guyger’s murder trial was blocked Friday from presiding over a contempt case against the district attorney accused of violating a gag order by giving a TV interview on the eve of trial.

by DAVID LEE

Read the Nightly Brief

World News

Chileans to Vote on New Constitution in Response to Protests

Chile said Friday it will hold a referendum to replace the country’s dictatorship-era constitution – a key demand of protesters after nearly a month of violent civil unrest.

AFP

Evo Morales Says There Was a Price on His Head

In exile in Mexico this week, ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales said he’d learned there was a $50,000 bounty on his head and feared that if he remained there would be a massacre of his supporters.

by MIGUEL PATRICIO

UK Labour Party Promises Free Broadband Service and Nationalizations

The British Labour Party’s latest plan for public ownership of big industries sent shivers through the telecom sector Friday with an electoral promise to nationalize part of the former phone monopoly BT to provide free fiber optic broadband.

AP

Diplomacy 2019: North Korea Calls Joe Biden a ‘Rabid Dog’

North Korea called former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden a “rabid dog” that “must be beaten to death with a stick” in its latest swipe against foreign and political leaders it sees as hostile to the North’s leadership.

AP

Texas Stays Execution of Death Row Inmate

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2017, file photo, death row inmate Rodney Reed waves to his family in the Bastrop County District Court in Bastrop, Texas. Supporters for Reed, who's facing lethal injection in less than two weeks for a murder he says he didn't commit, are mounting a final push in the courts and on social media to stop his execution, which is being called into question by lawmakers, pastors, celebrities and the European Union.  (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

A Texas appeals court on Friday stayed the execution of a black man who has been on death row for more than 20 years for the rape and murder of a white woman. His attorneys say it is “scientifically impossible” to pin the killing on him based on new evidence.

by CAMERON LANGFORD

After 20 Years, Tribe Hopes to Hunt Whales Again

FILE - In this May 17, 1999, file photo, two Makah Indian whalers stand atop the carcass of a dead gray whale moments after helping tow it close to shore in the harbor at Neah Bay, Wash. Earlier in the day, Makah Indians hunted and killed the whale in their first successful hunt since voluntarily quitting whaling over 70 years earlier. Two decades after the Makah Indian tribe in the northwestern corner of Washington state conducted its last legal whale hunt from a hand-carved canoe, lawyers, government officials and animal rights activists will gather in a small hearing room in Seattle to determine whether the tribe will be allowed once again to harpoon gray whales as its people had done from time immemorial. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

For decades, the only American Indians with a treaty right to hunt whales have been awaiting government permission to hunt again as their people historically did. The next step is a weeklong administrative hearing that began Thursday in Seattle.

AP
Roger Stone, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, waves Tuesday as he arrives at federal court in Washington for a hearing. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Trump Ally Roger Stone Convicted of Lying to Congress

Roger Stone can now add convicted felon to the list of colorful monikers he’s collected over decades in Washington, besides dirty trickster, political provocateur and longtime Trump adviser.

by MEGAN MINEIRO
The Google logo at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. France’s data privacy watchdog has slapped Google with a $57 million fine, the first penalty for a U.S. tech giant under new European data privacy rules that took effect last year. The National Data Protection Commission said on Jan. 21, 2019, it fined the U.S. internet giant for “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent” regarding ad personalization for users. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

High Court Will Hear Google-Oracle Copyright Clash

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to weigh in on a high-stakes tech battle between Google and Oracle over whether companies can copyright certain types of computer code.

by TIM RYAN
FILE - In this Oct. 31, 2018, file photo, the HealthCare.gov website is photographed in Washington. The Trump administration is arguing in court that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down as unconstitutional. But at the same time Justice Department lawyers have suggested that federal judges could salvage an important part _ its anti-fraud provisions. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

First National-Scale ACA Fraud Case Makes Waves in Connecticut

Federal prosecutors on Friday touted the indictment of a California man as the “first of its kind” involving large-scale fraudulent enrollments of people in plans under the federal health care law.

by CHRISTINE STUART

California Opens New Front in Fight Over Car Emissions Waivers

Intensifying their battle with the federal government over vehicle emissions, California and 22 states sued the Trump administration Friday for revoking a waiver that allows the Golden State to set strict greenhouse gas and zero emissions requirements for auto manufacturers.

by NICK CAHILL
cat-litter

The Purrfect Crime: Chinese Pet Detective Seeks Lost Animals

Private sleuth Sun Jinrong brings heat detectors, tiny surveillance cameras, and a blow dart loaded with a tranquilizer to his search for one desperate client’s missing loved one: A cat named Duoduo.

AFP
FILE - In this July 30, 2008 file photo, Jeffrey Epstein, center, is shown in custody in West Palm Beach, Fla. The wealthy financier and convicted sex offender has been arrested in New York on sex trafficking charges. Two law enforcement officials said Epstein was taken into federal custody Saturday, July 6, 2019, on charges involving sex-trafficking allegations that date to the 2000s. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP, File)

Florida Newspapers Seek Grand Jury Records From Epstein Case

A South Florida newspaper is demanding grand jury records from wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s criminal case, in hopes the documents will shed light on the role Sunshine State prosecutors played in his sidestepping a long prison term.

by IZZY KAPNICK

In Brief

by ROBERT KAHN

Walt Girdner was born in central Iowa in 1922, one of five children. His father took a job as a Christian minister in Alameda after the family moved to California in 1925. Growing up during the Great Depression, Walt worked double shifts at a cannery to make money for college. He attended Stanford where he put together a string of letters and wins, running the quarter and half-mile. An invitation to join the U.S. Olympic team was negated by World War II and cancellation of the games. During the war, he disembarked in Normandy, fought in the infantry and marched into Germany .

As a young man, he developed an interest in imagery, first through drawing then through the developing technology of photography. Although he left the church where his mother and father were pastors, he kept a lifelong faith in the power and mystery of the natural environment, seeing in its beauty an overriding and everlasting spiritual force. His subjects focused on people and their settings. Farmers, flower sellers, youth were recurring themes.

He traveled in large part to find new images and capture them, in France at first, then the rest of Europe and later Africa and Mexico. Towards the end of his life, Walt focused on images in nature, including letters and numbers that emerged through abalone shells, beach tableaus and patterns in the sand.  He had faith that imagery was a powerful way to communicate and believed young people were much better at interpreting the language of imagery, gifted with imaginations more agile and unencumbered.

Daily Brief

by KELSEY JUKAM

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Space Needle from Chihuly Garden greenhouse, Seattle, Washington. (William Dotinga / CNS)