Trump still campaigning, hopes to boost GOP in Louisiana NEW YORK (AP) - Tending to party politics, President-elect Donald Trump is rallying supporters in Louisiana on Friday ahead of the state's Senate runoff election, aiming to pad the Republican majority he will inherit. Trump was campaigning for Republican John Kennedy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and then making another stop on his "thank you" tour in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a state that helped him prevail against Democrat Hillary Clinton in last month's election. Ahead of his trip, he met with House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss policy priorities. "We are really excited about getting to work and hitting the ground running in 2017," Ryan said after the meeting.
Big business warns Trump against mass deportation WASHINGTON (AP) - Still grappling with Donald Trump's surprise election, the nation's business community has begun to pressure the president-elect to abandon campaign-trail pledges of mass deportation and other hard-line immigration policies that some large employers fear would hurt the economy. The push, led by an advocacy group backed by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, is still in its infancy as the business world struggles to understand the tough-talking Trump's true intentions on an issue that defined his outsider campaign. Some groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are holding off, doubtful that Trump will actually create a deportation force, as he suggested before his election, to expel those estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.
McConnell to coal-state Dems: Accept 4-month deal for miners WASHINGTON (AP) - Coal-state Democrats who are threatening a government shutdown over health benefits for retired miners should "take yes for answer" and stop stalling a short-term spending bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday. McConnell said he understands Democrats' frustration, but he said the stopgap spending bill ensures that retired miners - including thousands in his home state of Kentucky - will keep their health care through April 28. "Would I have preferred that provision to be more generous? Of course I would have," the Republican said in a speech on the Senate floor. McConnell said he asked Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and other House leaders to fund health-care benefits for a year, as Democrats are seeking, but his request was denied.
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South Korean president is impeached in stunning fall SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korean lawmakers on Friday impeached President Park Geun-hye, a stunning and swift fall for the country's first female leader amid protests that drew millions into the streets in united fury. After the vote, parliamentary officials hand-delivered formal documents to the presidential Blue House that stripped Park of her power and allowed the country's No. 2 official, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, to assume leadership until the Constitutional Court rules on whether Park must permanently step down. The court has up to six months to decide. "I'd like to say that I'm deeply sorry to the people because the nation has to experience this turmoil because of my negligence and lack of virtue at a time when our security and economy both face difficulties," Park said after the vote, before a closed-door meeting with her Cabinet where she and other aides reportedly broke down in tears.
Hero-astronaut John Glenn to lie in state in Ohio COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - American hero-astronaut John Glenn will lie in state in Ohio's capitol building preceding 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 is planned for next week; the dates and times were being worked out Friday, said Hank Wilson of the John Glenn School 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 the oldest man in space at age 77 in 1998.
Alabama inmate coughs, heaves, during execution by injection ATMORE, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama inmate coughed repeatedly and his upper body heaved for at least 13 minutes during an execution using a drug that has previously been used in problematic lethal injections in at least three other states. Ronald Bert Smith Jr., 45, also appeared to move slightly during two tests meant to determine consciousness before he was finally pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. Thursday - about 30 minutes after the procedure began at the state prison in southwest Alabama. Alabama uses the sedative midazolam as the first drug in a three-drug lethal injection combination. Oklahoma's use of midazolam as the first in a three-drug protocol was challenged after the April 2014 execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed on a gurney, moaned and clenched his teeth for several minutes before prison officials tried to halt the process.
Rats! Paris fights back against rodent infestation PARIS (AP) - Both Nadine Mahe des Portes and the rat panicked when she inadvertently stepped on it on her walk back from work through Paris. "I heard a terrible squeak," the property agent recalled with a shudder. "I thought I'd stepped on a child's toy or something." When Parisians are literally tripping over rats on the sidewalk, it is clear that the City of Light has a problem. Professional exterminators with decades on the job struggle to recall infestations as impressive - perhaps that should be repulsive - as those now forcing the closure of Paris parks, where squirmy clumps of rats brazenly feed in broad daylight, looking like they own the place.
Dylann Roof hesitates just a moment before confessing CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Dylann Roof hesitated for about 20 seconds when an FBI agent asked him what he was doing on the night nine black church members were killed during Bible study. "Uh, I did it," Roof said in a video recording of the questioning, which was played for the public for first time Friday at his death penalty trial. After waiving his rights and about a minute of small talk, the agents pressed Roof gently - asking him exactly what he did. He paused another 30 seconds or so. "I killed them," Roof said. As he talked more, he chuckled and said, "Well, I killed them, I guess." Only the first few minutes of Roof's confession was shown before the court took a break.
Could familial DNA crack case of slain New York City jogger? NEW YORK (AP) - With a DNA profile but no suspect to match in the strangling of a woman who went for a run and met a killer, authorities are looking to an emerging approach: using the DNA to look for the killer's relatives. The technique, known as familial DNA searching, has made inroads in some U.S. states and other countries in the last decade, leading to both high-profile arrests and civil-liberties qualms. Now, New York state officials plan to discuss Friday whether to introduce it after a request from prosecutors and police yearning for a lead in the case of 30-year-old runner Karina Vetrano.
Reinhold apologizes to Dallas police, embarrassed by arrest DALLAS (AP) - Actor Judge Reinhold has apologized to police, saying he's embarrassed that he was arrested after a confrontation with security at Dallas Love Field Airport. Police arrested the 59-year-old actor Thursday afternoon on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge after he refused a Transportation Security Administration screening. It is punishable by a fine of up to $500. Reinhold apologized after his release from jail Friday. He says he walked through a TSA scanner but refused to let agents examine his backpack, which contained DVDs and CDs. He indicated that his "self-righteous indignation" was connected to an adverse reaction he had to medication for a respiratory infection earlier in the week.