Tribune News Service

News Budget for Saturday, November 16, 2019


Updated at 2 p.m. EST (1900 UTC).


Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^Detectives probe how teen got gun as California community mourns<

CALIF-SCHOOLSHOOTING:LA — As Santa Clarita mourned the two students killed in the shooting at Saugus High School, law enforcement authorities tried to uncover a motive for the attack and how the shooter obtained the gun he used.

Throughout the day and into Friday night, residents, students and families came together around a makeshift memorial in Central Park, a short walk from the school.

The teenager who opened fire on his classmates before shooting himself died Friday night at a hospital, authorities said. Officials said his mother was with him.

1300 by Leila Miller, Richard Winton and Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Saturday impeachment hearing to feature White House budget aide<

IMPEACHMENT:BLO — The House impeachment inquiry will hold a rare Saturday session with the only official willing to testify from the White House agency responsible for withholding U.S. military aid for Ukraine, a decision that's at the center of allegations against President Donald Trump.

Mark Sandy, responsible for national security at the Office of Management and Budget, will face questions about why the Trump administration withheld almost $400 million that Congress designated to help Ukraine defend its borders and fend off Russian aggression.

450 by Daniel Flatley in Washington. MOVED



^Some Democrats see political system overhaul as winning 2020 issue<

DEMOCRATS-POLITICALSYSTEM:CON — If Rep. Max Rose's voters expected the freshman lawmaker from Staten Island, N.Y., to quiet down this election cycle about a major overhaul of the nation's political system, they were mistaken.

It was a centerpiece of the Democrat's campaign-trail mantra in 2018. And now, as one of the most vulnerable incumbents in Congress, he's not stopping. Neither are many of his similarly situated colleagues.

Rose was among the challengers who pressed the party's leadership to take up a sweeping campaign finance, ethics, voting rights and lobbying law revamp, assigned the symbolically significant HR 1 bill number, as a first order of business this Congress. House members passed it on a party-line vote, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has lived up to his promise to block it.

1200 (with trims) by Kate Ackley in Washington. MOVED



^5 men arrested in connection with shooting at New Jersey high school football playoff game<

^NJ-SHOOTING:PH—<Five men have been arrested, one on charges of attempted murder, in connection with the shooting of three people Friday night at a playoff football game between Camden and Pleasantville high schools in New Jersey.

Alvin Wyatt, 31, of Atlantic City is charged with three counts of attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, according to the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.

The other four arrested have been identified as Michael Mack, 27, Tyrell Dorn, 28, Shahid Dixon, 27, all of Atlantic City, and Vance Golden, 26, of Pleasantville. Prosecutors say those four were at the game at the Pleasantville High School Athletic Complex and fled from police in a vehicle after the shootings. One of the men threw a gun out of that vehicle as it neared Atlantic City, authorities said. They have been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and certain persons not to posses a weapon.

The victims include a 10-year-old boy, who is in critical condition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, according to a statement issued Saturday by Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner. Witnesses have said he was shot in the neck.

850 (with trims) by Tommy Rowan and Phil Anastasia. MOVED


^Haiti is awash in illegal guns. Could US policy be to blame?<

HAITI-ILLEGAL-GUNS:MI — As the mystery surrounding an American Airlines passenger arrested in a Haiti airport with an arsenal of weapons continues, both the airline and U.S. security agencies say it's not their responsibility to police where weapons ultimately end up.

Nor is it their role, they say, to determine whether a passenger, after signing a firearms declaration form before boarding a flight, has the proper authorization from the country to which they are traveling.

1300 by Taylor Dolven and Jacqueline Charles in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. MOVED




These stories moved earlier in the week and remain suitable for publication.

^How the US betrayed the Marshall Islands, kindling the next nuclear disaster<

ENV-MARSHALLISLANDS-RADIATION:LA — Five thousand miles west of Los Angeles and 500 miles north of the equator, on a far-flung spit of white coral sand in the central Pacific, a massive, aging and weathered concrete dome bobs up and down with the tide.

Here in the Marshall Islands, Runit Dome holds more than 3.1 million cubic feet of U.S.-produced radioactive soil and debris, including lethal amounts of plutonium. Nowhere else has the United States saddled another country with so much of its nuclear waste, a product of its Cold War atomic testing program.

Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes.

Now the dome, which locals call "the Tomb," is at risk of collapsing from rising seas and other effects of climate change.

5400 (with trims) by Susanne Rust in Majuro, Marshall Islands. MOVED


^He saw a Marshall Islands nuclear bomb test up close. It's haunted him since 1952<

ENV-MARSHALLISLANDS-WITNESS:LA — In the summer of 1952, Alan Jones, an industrious redhead with an impish smile, yearned for excitement and adventure. He drove down the California coast from Berkeley to La Jolla, hoping to join an oceanographic expedition heading to the South Pacific.

It wasn't until he was preparing to board the Scripps Institution of Oceanography's research vessel, a rusty old tuna hauler called the Horizon, that he discovered the mission involved more than mapping the ocean floor: The crew of Ph.D.s and handy guys like Jones, who "could fix things," was going to the Marshall Islands to record waves generated by the world's first hydrogen bomb.

Six months later, on Nov. 1, after watching an island get vaporized, Jones and the crew on the Horizon were doused in a shower of radioactive fallout.

1750 by Susanne Rust in Menlo Park, Calif. MOVED


^Okies disappearing from Dust Bowl Festival, replaced by Latino migrants tending California's fields<

DUSTBOWL-FESTIVAL:LA — The girl was afraid to speak in class because of her accent.

The clothes sewn by her farmworker mother made her self-conscious. She lived in a field laborers' camp outside the dusty town of Lamont, and many Californians despised people like her. Go back to where you came from, they said.

In the 1940s, Pat Rush's family was part of the wave of migrants who fled their farms in the drought-ravaged South and Midwest after the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, traveling west on Route 66 in search of work, and hope.

They were hated newcomers lumped together — people from places such as Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Kansas — under a single pejorative: Okies.

Rush is 84 now. It's a hot autumn day at the Dust Bowl Festival, the last one after 30 years because its organizers have grown too old, too tired.

2300 (with trims) by Hailey Branson-Potts in Weedpatch, Calif. MOVED


^This state pays to help asylum-seekers avoid deportation<

ORE-IMMIGRANTS:SH — One day five years ago, Alexander decided he'd had enough. Fed up with the culture of extortion in his home country of Honduras, Alexander stopped bribing the gang members who accosted him on his way to pay workers at his father's small ranch.

The police told Alexander to change his phone number, and he did, but within days, the gangs had his new number — and issued new ultimatums. They vowed to kill him if he didn't pay up.

Alexander fled for Texas, where after three days of detention in the Houston airport, he applied for asylum in the United States. But the same Honduran gangs had a presence in Houston and, reportedly, a list of names and photos of people who had fled north. Once again, Alexander feared for his life, and two years ago, he left Texas for Oregon, where he works as a house painter.

Now, Alexander is represented by Equity Corps of Oregon, the state's new legal defense effort that uses technology to pair immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees with help in immigration court, no matter their ability to pay.

1850 (with trims) by Erika Bolstad in Portland, Ore. MOVED


^Ukraine's young corruption fighters struggle against elites — and Donald Trump<

UKRAINE-ANTICORRUPTION:LA — From her second-story walk-up office in Kyiv's old Perchersk neighborhood, Daria Kaleniuk has been fighting the fire-breathing dragons of Ukrainian corruption — oligarchs and politicians and judges on the take.

Little did she know she would also be going up against the most powerful man on Earth, Donald Trump.

Kaleniuk is one of an entire new generation of Ukrainians who grew up in a freshly independent former Soviet republic that struggled to break free of Russia and to build institutions of basic governance. These young reformers speak English, aspire to Western values, reject their country's Soviet past, have turned away from Moscow — and now fear that the U.S. has turned away from them.

1500 (with trims) by Tracy Wilkinson and Sabra Ayres in Kyiv, Ukraine. MOVED


^More vapers are making their own juice, but not without risks<

MED-VAPING-JUICE:KHN — Danielle Jones sits at her dining room table, studying the recipe for Nerd Lyfe (v2) vape juice. The supplies she's ordered online are arrayed before her: a plastic jug of unflavored liquid nicotine, a baking scale and bottles of artificial flavors that, combined, promise to re-create the fruity taste of Nerds Rope candy in vapor form.

This is Jones' first attempt to make her own e-liquid after buying it for the past five years. Jones, 32, wants to be prepared for the worst-case scenario: a ban on the sale of the e-liquids she depends on to avoid cigarettes.

As more states, cities and even the federal government consider banning flavored nicotine, thousands of do-it-yourself vapers like Jones are flocking to social media groups and websites to learn how to make e-liquids at home.

1300 (with trims) by Jenny Gold in Menlo Park, Calif. MOVED




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