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January 29, 2019

TRUMP - STATE OF THE UNION

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to give his State of the Union speech on Feb. 5.

Trump said in a letter to Pelosi yesterday that it is his “great honor” to accept her invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress next week.

The speech had initially been scheduled for Jan. 29, but Pelosi postponed it amid what turned into a 35-day partial government shutdown over Trump’s demand for border wall funding. It was the first known time that a speaker had rescinded an invitation to deliver the State of the Union.

The House and Senate still must pass a resolution officially inviting Trump to speak to a joint session of Congress.

FLORIDA ELECTIONS SUPERVISOR RESIGNS; MISSED SEVERAL NOV. DEADLINES

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A suspended Florida county elections supervisor who failed to meet deadlines during recounts after November’s election has resigned.

Susan Bucher, a Democrat, sent a letter to the Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this past Friday officially stepping down as Palm Beach County elections supervisor.

DeSantis suspended Bucher earlier this month, and the state Senate would have had the final say in whether she should have been permanently removed.

Bucher she said in a statement that she resigned because she doubted that she could get a fair hearing in the Republican-controlled legislative body.

Florida had recounts in three statewide races: governor, U.S. Senate and agriculture commissioner.

DeSantis previously said Bucher violated the law by not completing recounts by a state-mandated deadline.

U.N. CHIEF WARNS OF ANTI-SEMITISM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning that hatred of Jews is getting worse and says that “we must rise up against rising anti-Semitism.”

He told the United Nations’ annual commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day that attempts are being made to rewrite the history of the Holocaust, during which 6 million Jews and many others were killed by Adolf Hitler’s forces during the Nazi occupation of Europe in World War II.

The U.N. chief also warned yesterday about the proliferation of neo-Nazi groups.

In his words, “Inevitably, where there is anti-Semitism, no one else is safe. Across the world, we are seeing a disturbing rise in other forms of bigotry.”

MILLION-DOLLAR SETTLEMENT FOR BLACK MAN ACCUSED OF STEALING OWN CAR

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago suburb is poised to settle a lawsuit for $1.25 million with an African-American man who was tackled by police officers who believed he’d stolen a car that was actually his.

Before the Evanston City Council was scheduled to vote on the settlement Monday night, Lawrence Crosby says the 2015 traffic stop gave him a firsthand look at the kind of police violence that other black men have experienced around the country.

The 28-year-old engineer says he now wants to speak out on the bias that people have when they see a black man that make it easier to believe he’s a criminal.

Crosby says he hopes by speaking out he can help others avoid the kind of experience that has made it difficult for him to sleep at night and trust strangers.

WOMAN STUCK ON NYC ELEVATOR FOR THREE DAYS

NEW YORK (AP) — Police say a 53-year-old woman was trapped for three days in the elevator of the Manhattan town house owned by billionaire investment banker Warren Stephens.

She was rescued yesterday after authorities responded to a 911 call from the home near Central Park. Firefighters freed the housekeeping employee after forcing entry into the elevator.

The Stephens’ family issued a statement, calling Marites Fortaliza “a valued member of the Stephens extended family for 18 years.”

They said they were “relieved and thankful” that she is doing well at a New York hospital, where she arrived suffering from dehydration.

The cause of the elevator mishap is under investigation.

OXYCONTIN LAWSUIT DETAILS TO BE RELEASED

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts judge says more details contained in a lawsuit that accuses the maker of OxyContin of deceiving patients and doctors about the risks of opioids must be made public.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders sided yesterday with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and media outlets, which argued the full complaint against Purdue Pharma should be released.

Healey’s lawsuit accuses Purdue Pharma of fueling the opioid crisis by hiding the dangers of the drug from doctors and patients.

Purdue Pharma argued that redacted portions of Healey’s lawsuit should stay secret. The judge said only one paragraph containing medical information can remain redacted.

She said the new version must be made public by noon on Friday.

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