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December 17, 2018

BORDER WALL OR BUST?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pushing the government to the brink of a partial shutdown, the White House is insisting that Congress provide $5 billion to build a border wall despite lawmaker resistance from both parties.

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that President Donald Trump is holding to his position of doing whatever it takes to build a wall, even if it means a shutdown.

Trump said last week he would be “proud” to have a shutdown to get Congress to approve a $5 billion down payment to fulfill his campaign promise. But the president doesn’t have the votes from the Republican-controlled Congress to support funding for the wall at that level.

Without a resolution, parts of the federal government will close at midnight Friday.

“JUSTICE” IS WORD OF THE YEAR

NEW YORK (AP) — Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year.

Editor at large Peter Sokolowski said ahead of today’s announcement the word experienced specific spikes in lookups on the company’s website for much of the year. It also consistently bubbled up in the rankings from somewhere in the top hundreds of searches into the top 20 or 30 through 2018.

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year follows the Oxford Dictionaries choice of “toxic” and Dictionary.com’s pick of “misinformation.”

Among Merriam-Webster’s runners-up are “maverick,” which spiked after the death of Sen. John McCain, and “respect,” which did the same following Aretha Franklin’s death.

MOTHER SPEAKS AFTER NYPD CONFRONTATION

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York mother who had her toddler yanked from her arms by police in a widely seen video says she went into “defense mode.”

Jazmine Headley told The New York Times she refused to move after a security guard “viciously” told her she couldn’t sit on the floor of the Brooklyn social services office on Dec. 7.

She says she asked to see a supervisor. The security guards returned with two police officers.

In the interview published yesterday, Headley said her memory of the incident is blurry. She says she picked up her son and tried to leave after one of the officers said they didn’t want to arrest her.

Police say that’s when one of the guards grabs the 23-year-old mother’s arm and they fall to the ground.

TEEN ROUGHED UP BY POLICE AT SCHOOL DENOUNCES CHARGES AGAINST OFFICERS

BRUSLY, La. (AP) — An attorney for a Louisiana teenager slammed to the ground by police during an altercation at school says charges against two officers are a “slap on the wrist.”

News outlets report a grand jury on Friday indicted former Brusly police Officer Dan Cipriano on a charge of simple battery and another ex-officer, Kip Dupre, on a charge of malfeasance in office.

Both officers resigned in November after video from Brusly Middle School showed one of the officers wrestling with a young male student before slamming him down. Another officer later comes in to help handcuff the student and slams him against a desk.

Kwame Asante is an attorney representing the student. He says the boy’s family feels the charges were insufficient considering the evidence on the video.

PAYMENTS AUTHORIZED FOR JEWISH CHILDREN EVACUATED DURING HOLOCAUST

BERLIN (AP) — The organization that handles claims on behalf of Jews who suffered under the Nazis says Germany has agreed to one-time payments to survivors who were evacuated from Germany as children.

The New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany says Germany will make a payment of $2,800 to each of those still living among the 10,000 people who fled what has become known as the “Kindertransport.”

It’s the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the transport of the mostly Jewish children to Britain from Nazi Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Many never saw their parents again.

Claims Conference negotiator Greg Schneider says about 1,000 survivors are thought to be alive today, about half living in Britain.

Since 1952, Germany has paid more than $80 billion in compensation.

ZOO FIRE CLAIMS INSECTS, FROGS, OTHER SPECIES

LONDON (AP) — A zoo in northwest England says insects, frogs, fish and small birds perished in a fire that broke out in an enclosure devoted to exotic tropical habitats.

Chester Zoo says in a statement that keepers were able to lure all mammal species to safety, including critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, Sulawesi macaques and endangered silvery gibbons. But creatures kept near the fire’s starting point in the Monsoon Forest habitat area could not be saved.

Chief Operating Officer Jamie Christon says it’s “absolutely heart-breaking to lose any animal, especially when conservationists have worked so hard to breed these wonderful species.”

The zoo, which is near Chester, south of the English city of Liverpool, says the cause of Saturday’s fire remains under investigation.

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