Post-election, Trump closes companies tied to Saudi Arabia WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Donald Trump shut down some of his companies in the days after the election, including four that appeared connected to a possible Saudi Arabia business venture, according to corporate registrations in Delaware. News of the move comes days before Trump was expected to describe changes he is making to his businesses to avoid potential conflicts of interest as the U.S. president. The Trump Organization's general counsel, Alan Garten, described shutting down the four companies as routine "housecleaning," and said there was no existing Trump business venture in Saudi Arabia. The four Saudi-related companies were among at least nine companies that Trump filed paperwork to dissolve or cancel since the election.
AP sources: Mattis received anonymous email in Petraeus case WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Donald Trump's choice for defense secretary was among U.S. military officials who the FBI concluded received anonymous emails from the woman whose affair with then-CIA director David Petraeus led to his downfall, The Associated Press has learned. The emails to now-retired Marine Gen. James Mattis and others, warning them to stay away from a Tampa, Florida, socialite, led to the discovery of the affair and revelations that Petraeus had shown classified secrets to his lover, Paula Broadwell. According to an FBI report and a U.S. official, agents interviewed Mattis, who said he always had proper interactions with the socialite, Jill Kelley.
Shutdown averted, Senate backs stop-gap spending bill WASHINGTON (AP) - With less than hour to spare, the Senate late Friday backed legislation averting a government shutdown as coal-state Democrats retreated on long-term health care benefits for retired miners but promised a renewed fight for the working class next year. The vote was 63-36 and sent the stop-gap spending bill to President Barack Obama for his signature ahead of a midnight deadline. It came hours after Democrats dropped threats to block the measure in hopes of using the shutdown deadline to try to win a one-year respite for 16,500 miners facing the loss of health care benefits at year's end.
Watch Top News Video
Trump deepens Goldman ties as he builds out economic team WASHINGTON (AP) - In the heat of the presidential campaign, Donald Trump accused primary rival Ted Cruz of being controlled by Goldman Sachs because his wife, Heidi, previously worked for the Wall Street giant. He slammed Hillary Clinton for receiving speaking fees from the bank. "I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over him," Trump said of Cruz. "Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton." Now, Trump is putting Goldman executives at the helm of his administration's economic team. He's expected to name bank president Gary Cohn to an influential White House policy post, according to two people informed of the decision, and has already nominated former Goldman executive Steve Mnuchin to lead the Treasury Department.
Obama orders review of election-season hacking WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has ordered intelligence officials to conduct a broad review of election-season cyberattacks, including the email hacks that rattled the presidential campaign and raised fresh concerns about Russia's meddling in U.S. elections, the White House said Friday. The review, led by intelligence agencies, will be a "deep dive" into a possible pattern of increased "malicious cyber activity" timed to the campaign season, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. The review will look at the tactics, targets, key actors and the U.S. government's response to the recent email hacks, as well as incidents reported in past elections, he said.
Syrian forces squeeze Aleppo, bring new wave of evacuations BEIRUT (AP) - Nearly two weeks into a crushing blitz, Syrian forces and their allies have taken control of nearly all of what was once an opposition stronghold in eastern Aleppo, touching off a new wave of evacuations Friday and raising concerns about hundreds of men who have disappeared and are feared to have been seized by the government. A flood of civilians streamed out on foot in the wake of the relentless campaign by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad to drive rebels from their rapidly crumbling enclave. They joined tens of thousands who have fled since Nov. 26, seeking shelter from the nonstop bombardment and crippling siege.
Dylann Roof laughed during church slaying confession to FBI CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Dylann Roof wanted the world to know he hated black people and thought they were criminals. He thought about attacking drug dealers, but they might shoot back. So, he told the FBI, he picked a historic black church in Charleston he had learned about online. In a videotaped confession shown Friday during his death penalty trial, Roof laughed several times and made exaggerated gun motions as he recounted the massacre. He explained that he wanted to leave at least one person alive to tell what happened and complained that his victims "complicated things" when they hid under tables.
Large crowds to celebrate S. Korean president's impeachment SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Large crowds were expected to gather in South Korea's capital on Saturday to celebrate the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye over an explosive corruption scandal that saw millions protest in previous weeks. Protesters were planning to march near the Seoul presidential palace where the notoriously aloof Park will remain mostly alone for up to six months until the Constitutional Court rules whether she should step down permanently. On Friday, South Korean lawmakers impeached Park, a stunning and swift fall for the country's first female leader. The vote came weeks after state prosecutors accused Park of colluding with a longtime friend to extort money and favors from companies and to give that confidante extraordinary sway over government decisions.
Conspiracy theorists: 'Pizzagate' shooting just a false flag WASHINGTON (AP) - For conspiracy theorists, the bizarre rumors of "pizzagate" didn't end when a man brought a gun to a Washington restaurant this week in a misguided attempt to rescue nonexistent child sex slaves. Instead, the shooting sparked discussion that the conspiracy runs deeper. On blogs, YouTube channels and internet radio shows devoted to conspiracy theories, the arrest of Edgar Maddison Welch on Sunday was just the latest "false flag," a term for a cover-up or distraction orchestrated by the government or other powerful figures. The persistent belief in the false-flag theory shows just how stubborn fabricated conspiracies can be, according to experts.
John Glenn, astronaut and senator, to lie in state in Ohio COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - John Glenn will lie in state in Ohio's capitol building before a celebration of his life of military and government service and two history-making voyages into space. The public viewing at the Ohio Statehouse and a memorial service at Ohio State University's Mershon Auditorium are planned for late next week. The dates and times were being worked out Friday, said Hank Wilson, of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Statehouse officials meet Monday to authorize the public viewing. Glenn, who died Thursday at age 95, was the first American to orbit the Earth, in 1962, and was the oldest man in space, at age 77 in 1998.