Former FBI Deputy Director McCabe booted from agency WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he has fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, a regular target of President Donald Trump's anger and criticism, just two days before his scheduled retirement date. McCabe immediately decried the move and suggested it was part of the Trump administration's "war on the FBI." The Friday dismissal was made on the recommendation of FBI disciplinary officials and comes ahead of an inspector general report expected to conclude that McCabe had authorized the release of information to the news media and had not been forthcoming with the watchdog office as it examined the bureau's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
State: Voicemail about cracking in bridge wasn't picked up MIAMI (AP) - An engineer left a voicemail two days before a catastrophic bridge failure in Miami to say some cracking had been found at one end of the concrete span, but the voicemail wasn't picked up until after the collapse, Florida Department of Transportation officials said Friday. The voicemail left on a landline wasn't heard by a state DOT employee until Friday because the employee was out of the office on an assignment, the agency said in an email. In a transcript released Friday night, Denney Pate with FIGG Bridge Group says the cracking would need repairs "but from a safety perspective we don't see that there's any issue there so we're not concerned about it from that perspective." The bridge collapsed Thursday, killing at least six people.
Trump's possible China tariffs send opponents scrambling WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is considering sweeping tariffs on imports from China, with an announcement possible as early as next week. And that has industry groups and some lawmakers scrambling to prevent the next front in a potential trade war that could reverberate across the U.S. economy. Early indications from the White House have officials braced for tariffs across a wide variety of consumer goods, from apparel to electronics, and even on imported parts for products made in the U.S. The size and scope remain under debate, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is warning that annual tariffs of as much as $60 billion on Chinese goods would be "devastating."
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Bye-bye box seats? Tax law may curb corporate cash at games WASHINGTON (AP) - Could the crackdown on tax loopholes clamp down on corporate schmoozing? The new tax law ends a benefit prized by business for impressing customers or courting new ones. And the impact could be felt in the pricey boxes at sports stadiums, or even at Double-A baseball games in small towns with loyal company backers. In Washington, lobbyists who helped craft the Republican tax legislation could now be pinched by it. U.S. companies spend hundreds of millions annually on entertaining customers and clients at sporting events, tournaments and arts venues, an expense that until this year they could partially deduct from their tax bill.
Senators want CIA to lift veil on nominee's black site past WASHINGTON (AP) - Gina Haspel's long spy career is so shrouded in mystery that senators want documents declassified so they can decide if her role at a CIA black site should prevent her from directing the agency. It's a deep dive into Haspel's past that reflects key questions about her future: Would she support President Donald Trump if he tried to reinstate waterboarding and, in his words, "a lot worse"? Is Haspel the right person to lead the CIA at a time of escalating Russian aggression and ongoing extremist threats? Haspel's upcoming confirmation hearing will be laser-focused on the time she spent supervising a secret prison in Thailand.
No. 16 UMBC etches name in sports lore, routs No. 1 Virginia CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Jairus Lyles couldn't suppress a smile, knowing that a school known more for chess than hoops had finally made it happen - a 16 ousting a 1 in March Madness. The University of Maryland-Baltimore County stunned the sports world by pulling off the most surprising upset in college basketball history, trouncing Virginia 74-54 on Friday night to become the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed in the men's NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers secured their underdog legacy in sports lore, alongside Buster Douglas, the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team and Joe Namath's Jets.
Lawyer: Porn star who alleges Trump affair has faced threats LOS ANGELES (AP) - A porn actress who said she had sex with Donald Trump before he became president has been threatened with physical harm, her attorney said Friday. Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has been seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election in order to discuss their relationship, which she said began in 2006 and continued for about a year. Lawyers for Trump, in a filing late Friday, claimed Clifford could owe more than $20 million in damages for violating the agreement. Clifford's attorney, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press his client had been "physically threatened," but he didn't provide details.
Report: Abortion is safe but barriers reduce quality of care WASHINGTON (AP) - Abortions in the U.S. are very safe but getting one without facing delays and false medical information depends on where women live, says a broad examination of the nation's abortion services. Friday's report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine shows abortion increasingly is performed early in pregnancy, when it's safest. The risk of maternal death is higher from tonsillectomies, colonoscopies and childbirth, according to the independent panel, which advises the government on scientific issues. While state restrictions may be intended to reduce overall abortions, the panel said those barriers can reduce the quality of care for women who undergo the procedure by preventing them from receiving the type of abortion that best meets their needs in a timely, equitable, science-based manner.
White House chief tells staff their jobs safe_ for now WASHINGTON (AP) - With whispers of a staffing purge permeating the West Wing, the White House pushed back Friday and insisted that reports of tumult and imminent departures are overblown. Chief of staff John Kelly, himself the subject of rumors that his days are numbered, assured a group of staffers their jobs were safe, at least for now. "The chief of staff actually spoke to a number of staff this morning reassuring them that there were no immediate personnel changes at this time and that people shouldn't be concerned," said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. But days after President Donald Trump's secretary of state was ousted, many close to the president think more upheaval is coming soon.
FBI at site where Civil War gold rumored to be buried A 155-year-old legend about buried federal gold appears to have caught the attention of the FBI. Dozens of FBI agents, along with Pennsylvania state officials and members of a treasure-hunting group, trekked this week to a remote site where local lore has it that a Civil War gold shipment was lost or hidden during the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. The treasure-hunting group Finders Keepers has long insisted it found the gold buried in a state forest at Dents Run, about 135 miles (217 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh, but said the state wouldn't allow it to dig. The FBI has refused to say why it was at the site Tuesday, revealing only that it was conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity.