With Senate talks falling short, shutdown enters workweek WASHINGTON (AP) - The government shutdown is set to sow more disruption and political peril Monday after the Senate inched closer but ultimately fell short of an agreement that would have reopened federal agencies before the beginning of the workweek. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said negotiations lasted late into the night, with a vote to break a Democratic filibuster on a short-term funding bill scheduled for noon Monday. Under the proposal taking shape, Democrats would agree to a three-week spending measure - until Feb. 8 - in return for a commitment from the Republican leadership in the Senate to address immigration policy and other pressing legislative matters in the coming weeks.
US officials delay departure to Davos meeting amid shutdown WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House said Monday that Cabinet members are delaying their departure for this year's World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland amid the federal government shutdown. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said they will determine what to do "as the day goes on and as we see how the next couple of hours go." Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin is leading a delegation of Cabinet members and top aides to the glitzy summit in the Swiss Alps. He was scheduled to leave Monday, with President Donald Trump following later in the week. Trump planned to bring his "America First" message to the conference, a gathering of global political and business elites which has rarely been attended by recent sitting presidents.
Pence tells Israel US Embassy to move to Jerusalem in 2019 JERUSALEM (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence on Monday told Israel's parliament that the U.S. Embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of 2019, ahead of schedule, receiving a rousing ovation as he pledged to barrel ahead with a plan that has set off weeks of unrest and thrown U.S. peace efforts into disarray. The move, in the first ever address of a sitting American vice president to the Israeli Knesset, marked the highlight of Pence's three-day visit to Israel celebrating President Donald Trump's decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "The United States has chosen fact over fiction - and fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace," Pence said.
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Turkish troops face fierce battles in Syrian Kurdish enclave HASSA, Turkey (AP) - Intense clashes erupted Monday as Turkish troops and their allies advanced on a Kurdish enclave in Syria, the third day of the Ankara offensive aimed at ousting the U.S.-backed Kurdish militia from the area, the militia and a war monitoring group said. The Turkish offensive on Afrin, codenamed Operation Olive Branch, started on Saturday, heightening tensions in the already complicated Syrian conflict and threatening to further strain ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States. Turkey says it aims to create a 30-kilometer (20-mile) deep "secure zone" in Afrin, the Kurdish-controlled enclave that straddles its borders.
Beset by traffic via navigation apps, town restricts access LEONIA, N.J. (AP) - A town less than two miles from the George Washington Bridge is putting up the "keep out" sign for motorists seeking a shortcut to the world's busiest span. As a response to navigation apps that re-route some of the tens of thousands of vehicles headed to the bridge each morning, the New Jersey town of Leonia started barring the use of side streets to non-residents during the morning and evening commutes Monday. Violators could face a $200 fine. Local officials and police have said the decision isn't a hasty one and that they've done extensive studies of traffic patterns.
'Executed' North Korean pop diva takes Olympic spotlight PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - Just a few years ago, she was reportedly executed by a North Korean firing squad. Now, Pyongyang's top pop diva is a senior ruling party official and a surprise headliner in the run-up to the South Korean Winter Olympics. Hyon Song Wol, the photogenic leader of Kim Jong Un's hand-picked Moranbong Band, has made two excursions across the Demilitarized Zone as a negotiator and advance team leader working out the details of Kim's surprise offer for the North to participate in the Pyeongchang Games. South Korea's media have been treating her like a true K-pop celebrity.
Doctor who aided hunt for bin Laden languishes, forgotten PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) - Shakil Afridi has languished in jail for years - since 2011, when the Pakistani doctor used a vaccination scam in an attempt to identify Osama bin Laden's home, aiding U.S. Navy Seals who tracked and killed the al-Qaida leader. Americans might wonder how Pakistan could imprison a man who helped track down the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Pakistanis are apt to ask a different question: how could the United States betray its trust and cheapen its sovereignty with a secret nighttime raid that shamed the military and its intelligence agencies? "The Shakil Afridi saga is the perfect metaphor for U.S-Pakistan relations" - a growing tangle of mistrust and miscommunication that threatens to jeopardize key efforts against terrorism, said Michael Kugelman, Asia program deputy director at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.
Deaths of Canadian billionaire, wife a tantalizing mystery TORONTO (AP) - There were no signs of forced entry on the cold December morning when a Canadian billionaire businessman and his wife were found dead inside their mansion, reportedly hanging from a railing at the edge of their indoor pool. Since that time, investigators have scoured the 12,000-square-foot home, hauled away the couple's cars and even checked the sewers in one of Toronto's most exclusive neighborhoods for clues. But police haven't made any arrests or announced a search for any suspects nor have they said practically anything publicly about the deaths of drug company founder Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey.
AP Exclusive: New rules to prevent Oscars envelope gaffe LOS ANGELES (AP) - After taking responsibility for the epic best picture flub at the Oscars last year, Tim Ryan of PwC got down to business. He grilled the partners who made the gaffe, then personally reached out to the dozens of people affected by it: The show's producers, presenters and stage managers, as well as the filmmakers behind "La La Land" and "Moonlight." In the months that followed, PwC met with the academy many times to come up with new protocols and safeguards to prevent such a blunder in the future. Ryan revealed six new reforms to The Associated Press.