WVPA Sharing

10 things to know: Friday, July 19

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The regional bureau of The Associated Press, shares 10 things you need to know Friday, July 19, 2019. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items and much more in West Virginia newspapers.

1. Senate GOP bid to repeal ObamaCare with no replacement collapses

Senate Republican leaders’ push to simply repeal ObamaCare, which they launched after their proposal to replace it died, collapsed almost instantly on Tuesday, as Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said they would vote against it. The opposition effectively killed the repeal effort, advocated by President Trump. “I did not come to Washington to hurt people,” Capito said via Twitter. Trump responded by saying his plan now will be “to let ObamaCare fail.” “I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it,” he said. “We’ll let ObamaCare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us.” [The Washington Post]

2. Trump had undisclosed second talk with Putin

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a second, previously undisclosed conversation this month at the Group of 20 summit, a White House official confirmed Tuesday. The official said the pair spoke during a couples-only social dinner in Hamburg. The White House never announced that this meeting took place, or what they discussed. Ian Bremmer, president of the international consulting firm Eurasia Group, first reported on the meeting. He said it lasted an hour, and was within sight but not earshot of others. Trump tweeted that media reports on the meeting were “dishonest,” because the coverage suggested it was secret even though journalists knew he would be talking with other leaders at the dinner. [NBC News, The Washington Post]

3. Eighth participant in Trump Jr. meeting identified

Ike Kaveladze has been named as the eighth attendee at the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer in June 2016. Kaveladze is an American-based employee of Emin and Aras Agalarov, Russian developers who hosted the 2013 Miss Universe pageant at one of their properties. Trump Jr.’s meeting was arranged by Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who represents Emin Agalarov. An attorney for the Agalarovs told The Washington Post that Kaveladze’s identity was requested over the weekend by “a representative of Special Counsel Robert Mueller,” in the first indication that Mueller is looking into the meeting in the inquiry into Russia’s election meddling and possible collusion by Trump associates. [The Hill, The Washington Post]

4. House GOP unveils budget blueprint

House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a 2018 budget plan calling for big defense spending increases offset by $203 billion in cuts to domestic social programs like Medicare, Social Security, federal employee benefits, and welfare over the next decade. The blueprint, set for a House Budget Committee vote on Wednesday, also sets up special procedures that could let Republicans prevent Democrats from blocking the bills. House GOP leaders hope to use the procedures, known as reconciliation, to push through a tax overhaul, too. House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black (R-Tenn.) called the blueprint “not just a vision for our country, but a plan for action” and “a governing document with real solutions to address our biggest challenges.” [The New York Times]

5. Ex-House Speaker Hastert released from prison

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) has been released from prison after serving 13 months of a 15 month sentence for bank fraud. The case stemmed from his effort to hide hush money he paid to a former student he sexually abused while working as a high school wrestling coach before his career in Congress. Hastert, 75, admitted the abuse during his trial and apologized to the teenage boys he “mistreated.” One of his alleged victims, Scott Cross, said Hastert’s sentence was a “slap on the wrist.” Hastert now faces two years of supervised release, including sex-offender treatments, and several lawsuits involving alleged victims. [USA Today, The Associated Press]

6. Turkish court jails 6 human rights activists

A Turkish court on Tuesday jailed six human rights activists, including Amnesty International Turkey director Idil Eser, on charges of aiding an armed terrorist group. The accusations are the latest in a massive crackdown by the government on opponents since a failed coup last year. Four other activists were released but barred from leaving the country until the trial is completed. The 10 activists were detained in a July 5 raid on a hotel where they were participating in a digital security workshop. “This is not a legitimate investigation, this is a politically motivated witch-hunt that charts a frightening future for rights in Turkey,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary general. [The Associated Press]

7. Report: Hundreds abused in German Catholic boys choir

At least 547 boys in the Domspatzen choir in Regensburg, Germany, were physically or sexually abused between 1945 and 1992, according to a report released Tuesday. Allegations of abuse at the prestigious boys’ choir surfaced in 2010, and lawyer Ulrich Weber was assigned to investigate. His report tallied 500 cases of physical violence, and 67 cases of sexual abuse committed by 49 people. “Violence, fear, and helplessness dominated” at the choir’s pre-school, the report said. The choir was led from 1964 to 1994 by the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI’s elder brother, who has acknowledged slapping pupils but said he was not aware of sexual abuse. [The Associated Press]

8. Trump administration imposes new sanctions against Iran

The Trump administration announced new sanctions against Iran on Tuesday for threatening security in the Middle East, a day after President Trump reluctantly certified Iran’s compliance with the two-year-old deal that relaxed sanctions in exchange for the curbing of Iran’s nuclear program. “The United States remains deeply concerned about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. The sanctions target 18 individuals and entities linked to Iran’s ballistic missile program, software theft, and weapons deals. Trump has called the nuclear deal a dangerous capitulation to Iran, and threatened to scrap it. [CNN, The New York Times]

9. Trump picks Jon Huntsman as ambassador to Russia

President Trump will nominate former Utah governor Jon Huntsman as the next ambassador to Russia, the White House announced Tuesday. If the Senate confirms Huntsman, he’ll head to Moscow. Back in the U.S., a special counsel and Congress are investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Huntsman has served as an ambassador twice before, representing then-President George H.W. Bush’s administration in Singapore and former President Barack Obama’s administration in China, until he returned to the U.S. to launch his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination. [The Associated Press]

10. Chipotle temporarily closes Virginia restaurant after illnesses reported

Chipotle shares closed down by 4.3 percent on Tuesday after the Mexican grill chain temporarily closed a Virginia restaurant where customers had reportedly fallen ill. The company said the shutdown in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Sterling, Virginia, came after a “small number” of reported cases of symptoms consistent with norovirus, which it noted “does not come from our food supply.” The company said the restaurant would undergo a “complete sanitization” before reopening. The scare came as the restaurant chain struggles to recover from damage it suffered during previous food safety incidents, including an E. coli outbreak and a norovirus case in 2015. Chipotle has since altered its cooking methods and provided more food-safety training for workers. [Reuters, The Associated Press]

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