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Here is the latest news from The Associated Press at 5:40 a.m. EST

January 3, 2019

BEIJING (AP) — China’s burgeoning space program has achieved a first: a landing on the so-called dark side of the moon. The United States, the former Soviet Union and more recently China have all sent spacecraft to the near side of the moon, which faces Earth, but this is the first-ever landing on the far side. Thursday’s feat highlights China’s growing ambitions to rival the U.S., Russia and Europe in space, and more broadly, to cement China’s position as a regional and global power.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and congressional officials plan to try, try again Friday after their meeting at the White House didn’t succeed in producing an agreement to end a partial government shutdown. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi tells NBC’s “Today” that budget legislation in the House won’t include money for Trump’s border wall and asks, “How many more times can we say no?” Trump said Wednesday the shutdown will last “as long as it takes” to get the funding he wants for a border wall.

ROME (AP) — The Italian Foreign Ministry says the envoy who had been North Korea’s acting ambassador in Rome has not asked Italian authorities for asylum. South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers in Seoul on Thursday that North Korean diplomat Jo Song Gil went into hiding with his wife in November before his term in Italy ended. His whereabouts are not publicly known now.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nancy Pelosi is poised to become speaker of the House, again. The California Democrat is expected to be elected to the office on Thursday. With President Donald Trump in the White House and Republicans still controlling the Senate, Pelosi’s return to the speaker’s office to lead a Democratic majority shakes up the dynamic in Washington even beyond the new era of divided government.

NEW YORK (AP) — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and his chief lieutenants are offering contrition and defiance as they face allegations of sexual harassment that plagued his last presidential campaign and now threaten to derail a second White House bid before it begins. Sanders apologized late Wednesday “to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately.” The apology followed a New York Times report detailing allegations of unwanted sexual advances and pay inequity on his first campaign.

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