Use the form below to filter for articles containing certain key words. Use the calendar on the right for articles published during a certain Month, Year.

President Trump will give his first major congressional address at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, laying out his agenda for the nation. In addition to lawmakers, the audience is expected to include most of his cabinet, the Supreme Court justice and top military brass. His appearance follows an invitation last month from House Speaker Paul Ryan who called the address "an opportunity for the people and their representatives to hear directly from our new president about his vision and our shared agenda."
--The chairman on the House Intelligence Committee said Monday that he had not seen any "evidence" of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian government amid an investigation into Russian activities during the 2016 election. At a separate press conference, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that it's premature to draw any conclusions on the alleged communications.
--The Senate on Monday confirmed billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary as President Donald Trump adds to his economic team.  The vote was 72-27.   

Investors will be all ears on President Trump's address hoping to hear more spending and tax plans.  The Dow Jones closed at a record high for a 12th straight day Monday. The Dow's longest winning streak since January 1987.

A sad scene of devastation in Riverside, California.  There are three confirmed deaths after a small plane crashed into multiple homes leaving two destroyed.  Fire officials believe the plane was carrying a family of five who had attended a cheerleading conference at Disneyland.  They were heading back home to San Jose Monday.  Two from the place survived.  At least one of the deaths was from a home.  Two to five people are possibly still missing.  The NTSB is on its way and will be lead investigator.

The FBI is investigating a new outbreak of threats against Jewish targets; including schools with young children Monday. Preschool children were evacuated after a bomb threat at the Jewish Community Center in Davie, Florida.  It comes after hundreds of  gravestones were vandalized at a cemetery in Philadelphia.

President Trump has intensified his assault on the reporters who cover him, saying he will not attend the annual White House Correspondents dinner and renewing his assertion that the media are “the enemy of the people.” A former president, George W. Bush, refutes that claim, saying that “it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere." Bush is on a tour to promote his newest book.

A bartender at the restaurant where a man was arrested last week for an apparently racially motivated bar shooting of two Indian men told a 911 dispatcher that the suspect admitted shooting two people, but described them as Iranian. A recording from Henry County, Missouri, 911 reveals that the bartender warned police not to approach the building with sirens blaring or the man would "freak out" and "something bad's going to happen." The man, Adam Purinton, 51, of Olathe, made his first appearance in court Monday via video link. He has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder. According to witnesses, Purinton yelled "get out of my country" at two 32-year-old Indian men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, before he opened fire at Austin's Bar and Grill in the Kansas City suburb on Wednesday evening.

Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp. pleaded guilty to fraud Monday and agreed to pay $1 billion in penalties for concealing an air bag defect blamed for at least 16 deaths, most of them in the U.S.  

SpaceX said Monday it will fly two people to the moon next year, a feat not attempted since NASA's Apollo heyday close to half a century ago.  Tech billionaire Elon Musk -- the company's founder and chief executive officer -- announced the surprising news barely a week after launching his first rocket from NASA's legendary moon pad.   

New Orleans closes Mardi Gras 2017 Tuesday. The first Mardi Gras parade was held in New Orleans on Feb. 24, 1857 by the Krewe of Comus. Mardi Gras refers to Fat Tuesday, the final day of revelry before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins.

Across the country drivers are paying about a cent more for regular unleaded compared to a week ago according to new numbers out from the Energy Department.  Nationwide, drivers are now paying 53 cents more per gallon than they were a year ago at this time.  Prices up because of the cost of oil and in some areas refinery maintenance is being blamed.

Residents, the mayor, even the police chief of a Southern Illinois community have written letters trying to get a Mexican restaurant owner out of custody for living in the country illegally.  Juan Carlos Hernandez Pacheco has been the manager of La Fiesta Mexican restaurant in West Frankfort for a decade.  He was detained February 9th, immigration officials citing past drunken-driving convictions.  The letters call Hernandez a role model, and highlight his civic service to the community.  West Frankfort, Illinois overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump during the election.

--The Malaysian government announced the two women seen on CCTV at the airport attacking Kim Jong-nam and under arrest, will be charged with murder on Wednesday local time and will appear in court.
--A delegation from North Korea has arrived in Kuala Lampur to discuss several issues including repatriation of the body of Kim Jong-nam.

Germany's Interior Ministry says a new report showing more than 3,500 attacks in 2016 on migrants and their homes is "alarmingly high and cause for concern" but says authorities are prosecuting the crimes aggressively and the numbers are now falling.

--Now the Academy is officially sorry for #EnvelopeGate and is vowing to take "action" against the responsible party - their accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologized for Sunday's Oscar-ending fiasco, which saw presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway initially, and incorrectly, awarding the best picture award to La La Land - instead of the actual winner Moonlight.
--Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel talked about the bizarre scene that unfolded at the Academy Awards on his show on Monday night.

A massive mix-up brought the 89th Academy Awards to a raucous end  ... when La La Land was erroneously announced as Best Picture after Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong envelope. The mistake wasn't realized until after the La La Land producers were well into their acceptance speech - with producer Jordan Horowitz correcting the record and calling the Moonlight cast on stage to accept the win. Price Waterhouse Coopers, the accounting firm that handled the Oscars envelopes, has apologized and said they are investigating the matter. Other top winners: Mahershala Ali took best supporting actor for the film "Moonlight", Viola Davis won best actress in a supporting role for "Fences", Emma Stone won best actress for "La La Land" and Casey Affleck best actor for "Manchester By The Sea". "La La Land" was up for a record tying 14 Oscars, won six, including Best Song.

The President makes his first speech before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. Ahead of that much-anticipated speech, the administration is expected to release the broad outlines of a budget on Monday. Reportedly it includes big increases in defense spending, cuts to the EPA, and no change in big entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.

A prominent Republican, California Rep. Darrell Issa, has called for a special prosecutor into Russian interference i in the 2016 election, and said it would be improper for Atty. General Jeff Sessions to lead the investigation.  Sessions was an early supporter of President Donald Trump's candidacy.  Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is steering clear of directly answering whether the former Alabama senator should step aside from overseeing the bureau's investigation.

A Pentagon statement says Navy Secretary nominee, businessman Philip Bilden, withdrew his name from consideration because he could not separate his business interests enough to meet ethical requirements.

"We're very happy with the way things are working." That's how President Trump assessed his administration so far as he spoke to the nation's governors at the Annual Governors Ball at the White House. The president teased forward to Monday's talks with governors and Tuesday's address, talked specifically about repealing and replacing Obamacare, and celebrated the strong attendance at this year's dinner – which he said was "the highest that have ever showed up for this evening." "I can say that after four weeks -- it's been a lot of fun -- but we've accomplished almost everything we've started out to accomplish. The borders are stricter, tighter," Trump said, praising the work of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. He meets with them again Tuesday.

A nationwide manhunt is underway. Authorities in Mississippi.. warning others to be on the lookout for a 28 year old man on the run. Alex Deaton - wanted for questioning after two women were killed, a third.. injured while out for a jog last week. Investigators think it's possible that Deaton is using his dead girlfriend's car... a white 2012 G-M-C Acadia S-U-V... as his escape vehicle.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf calls it a "cowardly, disturbing act."  Dozens...maybe hundreds of tombstones were toppled at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, and police call it an act of vandalism.

New Orleans Police say are charging Neilson Rizzuto first degree negligent injury and reckless operation of a vehicle, after he plowed down a couple of cars, a dump truck, and injured 28 people as he rammed into them during the Endymion [IN-dim-ee-on] Mardi Gras parade this weekend. The 25-year-old had a blood alcohol content of .23 - nearly 3 times the legal limit, according to New Orleans police. 

A tumultuous Daytona 500 ends with Kurt Busch the winner...his first Daytona 500 victory.

--A White House official tells ABC News, chief of staff Reince Priebus did ask an FBI official to dispute media reports that Donald Trump’s campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the 2016 election. The White House official said that Priebus’ request came after the FBI told the White House it believed a New York Times report last week describing those contacts was not accurate. The White House official would not comment when asked if the administration was concerned about the appropriateness of Priebus’ communications with McCabe.
--Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee told the Associated Press, “The White House is simply not permitted to pressure the FBI to make public statements about a pending investigation of the president and his advisers.”

President Trump speaks Friday morning (10 am ET) to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. Vice President Mike Pence told the CPAC gathering Thursday night: "Donald Trump turned the blue wall red," but "the harder work, the most important work lies ahead."

President Trump tells Reuters he wants to make sure the US nuclear arsenal is at the "top of the pack."

The government has given civil rights attorneys a list of 746 people subject to President Donald Trump's travel ban who were detained or processed by U.S. border agents in the 27 hours after a judge partially blocked enforcement of the executive order. A federal judge in New York had ordered the list turned over Thursday.  It's unclear how many of the 746 were ultimately admitted.

Iraqi forces have reclaimed the airport in Mosul after days of fighting. In a statement from the spokesman to the Iraqi Joint Military Operation Command, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, that following a day of fierce fighting, most of the airport was under Iraqi forces' control.  A federal police officer said fighting was still underway in a small northern section of the airport, with pockets of ISIS militants there. Meanwhile, an Iraqi special forces official said his troops have retaken all of a sprawling military base adjacent to the airport. Both the federal police and special forces officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Transgender advocates are vowing to fight... The Trump administration has lifted Obama-era federal guidelines that Republicans had called an example of federal overreach. Now it will fall to states and school districts to decide whether students can use restrooms in accordance with their expressed gender identity, or with their biological sex. Caitlyn Jenner responded with a video message: "I have a message for President Trump. From one republican to another, this is a disaster and you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.”

Saturday the Democratic National Committee chooses a new chairman...and for the first time it's been a heavily contested race. Front runners: Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOOT-itch-itch) and Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison.

The FBI is involved in the investigation into a shooting in a crowded suburban Kansas City bar Wednesday night that killed one man and injured two others. Witnesses say the shooting was racially motivated.  Prosecutors have charged 51-year-old Adam Purinton with murder and attempted murder. A bartender says Adam Purinton used "racial slurs" before opening fire on patrons. 

Leaders in Anaheim, California are trying to calm anger in the wake of videos that have appeared online this week of an off duty LAPD officer in a struggle with a 13-year-old boy when a shot is fired outside the officer’s house.

Malaysia federal police say it was the extremely deadly nerve agent VX that killed Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

Police in riot gear made 33 arrests as they cleared out a camp in North Dakota where opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline have been defying orders to leave.  Most protestors left the day before, when authorities closed the camp in advance of spring flooding, but there have been holdouts.

Authorities in Georgia... believe they've found the man... who murdered a former *Miss Georgia* contestant.... back in 2005. Investigators.. zeroing in on Ryan Alexander Duke, after a tip came in just a few days ago. They've arrested him for burglary, aggravated assault, murder and concealing a death in the case of 30-year-old Tara Grinstead, a beauty queen and high school history teacher who disappeared from her Ocilla [o-SILL-uh] (GA) home in October 2005.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will meet Friday with the US Attorney Preet Bharara amid questions about de Blasio's fundraising, according to an official familiar with the matter.

Is Jimmy Kimmel ready to host his first Oscars show this Sunday? He tells ABC News he's nervous, and he's well aware of the show's history of great performances.


Millions of people living in the United States illegally could be targeted for deportation -- including people simply arrested for traffic violations -- under a sweeping rewrite of immigration enforcement policies announced Tuesday by the Trump administration.  Any immigrant who is in the country illegally and is charged or convicted of any offense, or even suspected of a crime, will now be an enforcement priority, according to Homeland Security Department memos signed by Secretary John Kelly. That could include people arrested for shoplifting or minor offenses -- or simply having crossed the border illegally.  The Trump administration memos replace more narrow guidance focusing on immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes, are considered threats to national security or are recent border crossers.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. During their visit, the two Secretaries will meet with President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto and the Mexican ministers of Interior, Foreign Relations, Finance, National Defense, and Navy. The group will discuss border security, law enforcement cooperation, and trade, among other issues.

On the eve of the deadline for anti-Dakota Access Pipeline protesters to vacate camps in North Dakota, the company in charge of construction said in a court filing on Tuesday that oil could start flowing in as early as two weeks, beating previous estimates. Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners said in the filing to the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that the company "estimates and targets that the pipeline will be complete and ready to flow oil anywhere between the week of March 6, 2017 and April 1, 2017." The court filing was required as part of an ongoing legal battle that is challenging the construction at the site by Lake Oahe.

A Missouri native who said he wanted to participate in a terrorist attack that would cause many deaths and injuries is charged with helping plan a Presidents Day attack on buses, trains and a train station in Kansas City, federal officials said Tuesday.  Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr., a Missouri-born U.S. citizen from Columbia, was charged in federal court in Kansas City with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He was arrested Friday when he arrived at a meeting with what he thought was an Islamic State sympathizer who was an undercover FBI agent. The arrest was made public Tuesday after Hester made his first court appearance, during which a judge ordered him to remain in custody.

--Records were threatened today from Colorado to Wisconsin; Denver, Omaha, Des Moines, Minneapolis, and Chicago all could see more record highs. Chicago has had 4 days of record highs as temperatures soared into the upper 60s and low 70s since Friday. Never before since 1871 (146 years of record keeping) have there been two 70 degree days or warmer in February. Record warmth continues on Wednesday, as Chicago might reach 70 degrees again. Record highs are possible in Kansas City, St. Louis, Green Bay, Detroit, and Omaha as temperatures are in the 70s for much of the Midwest. By Thursday the warm spell stretches into the Northeast again, with upper 60s and 70s possible from DC to NYC.
-San Jose firefighters rescued more than 200 residents by boat in flood waters in the Rocksprings neighborhood at Senter and Phelan. The San Jose Fire Department is now saying that more than 180 residents are evacuated and seeking shelter Tuesday.

In her district during the congressional break, Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee faced tough questions at a town hall on issues ranging from health care reform to President Trump's appointees. Now many Republican lawmakers are opting against holding public town halls, instead conducting conference calls or meeting privately.  In Kentucky, nearly 1,000 jeered Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In Iowa, contentious crowds lobbed questions at Republican Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst. And protesters booed in Montana when Sen. Steve Daines canceled a speech to state lawmakers.  Elsewhere, a liberal group in Maine organized its own town halls against GOP Sen. Susan Collins.

Texas can't stop Medicaid dollars going to Planned Parenthood following secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015.  That's according to  federal judge's ruling Tuesday.

A bitter battle over tax cuts is coming to a head in Kansas.  Republican Governor Sam Brownback is vowing to veto a bipartisan bill that would roll back personal income tax cuts he's championed.  The bill's tax increases would raise more than $1 billion over two years starting in July.  Brownback says the hike will hurt middle-class families and small business owners, but supporters say it's necessary to help close more than a $1 billion dollar projected budget shortfall.

Indiana State Police say they'll release more information in the murders to two teenage girls near Delphi, Indiana last week. They have a Wednesday morning news conference scheduled.  Thirteen-year-old Abigail Williams, and 14-year-old Liberty German were found dead, hours after going on a hike.  Investigators are calling a man seen in a photo the "main suspect" in the girls murder.  They've been widening their search area, and asking for the public's help with information into the case, even for information on any hitchhikers who were seen in Northern Indiana around the time the girls went missing. 

The pilot of a plane that crashed into an Australian shopping center called "mayday" several times before the crash on Tuesday, authorities said. The pilot did not specify the nature of the emergency before the twin-engine Beechcraft crashed near Melbourne, killing four American tourists from Texas.

UNICEF is warning that almost 1.4 million children are at risk of “imminent death” as famine threatens parts of South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen.  UNICEF for months has warned about severe malnutrition in north-eastern Nigeria, especially in areas that have been largely inaccessible because of the Boko Haram insurgency.

- NASA will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 22, to present new findings on planets that orbit stars other than our sun, known as exoplanets

In images that could pass as the climax of a Hollywood blockbuster - with an A-list actor featured in the starring role - a small yellow plane, that sources say was piloted by Harrison Ford, darts over a jetliner and lands on an airport taxiway, instead of its intended runway. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane's pilot was cleared by air traffic controllers to land on runway 20L and correctly repeated the clearance but then landed on a taxiway adjacent to the runway. On its descent, the single-engine Aviat Husky passed over the American Airlines Boeing 737 which was waiting just short of the runway.

--The President heads back to Washington from his Florida estate Monday. Sunday he met with potential candidates to be his new national security adviser, after the ouster of Mike Flynn, and after retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward turned down the position.
-- A Senate aide says the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee have sent letters to a dozen-plus agencies, individuals and organizations directing the preservation of records and information related to the panel's investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.
-- "We don't know of any, any contacts with Russian agents," asserts White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, in response to a NY Times story that says members of Trump's campaign and his associates were in repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.
--What happened in Sweden? People there have been asking that after President Trump seemed to suggest during his Florida rally that some kind of major incident had taken place in the Scandinavian country. Mr. Trump is now clarifying his comments, tweeting that he was referring to something he saw on TV the night before. A spokeswoman says Trump was talking about rising crime and recent incidents in general.

Anti-Trump protesters around the country will be taking to the streets this President's Day holiday for "Not My President's Day" demonstrations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and another two dozen cities. Organizers are plan what's being billed as a "mass mobilization" to protest Trump administration policies.

Vice President Pence is in Brussels for meetings with NATO and European Union officials. Both the EU and NATO have been in President Donald Trump's crosshairs - he's called NATO "obsolete" and praised the UK for voting to leave the EU in "Brexit". But at a press conference, Pence said President Trump had asked him quote "to express the strong commitment of the United States to continued cooperation and partnership with the European Union whatever our differences". He also said that the US will hold Russia accountable for honoring the Minsk peace deal for Ukraine, but will seek new "common ground" with Moscow. Meanwhile British lawmakers are debating whether to un-invite President Trump from his first European state visit. It comes after a petition signed by nearly two million Brits said they wanted to hear the issue debated. The verbal give-and-take is non-binding, but it could prove to be very embarrassing for the administration. One recommendation might be to downgrade the visit so it doesn't involve the Queen.   


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is in Iraq, his first trip there as head of the Pentagon. Speaking to reporters ahead of his unannounced visit, Secretary Mattis offered reassurances that the US is not going to "seize anybody's oil". It's a reference to an idea repeatedly proposed by President Trump that bewildered Iraq's leaders. The secretary's visit comes one day after Iraqi forces, with U.S. support, launched an operation to re-take western Mosul from the Islamic State. 

California is dealing with a weekend of deadly, massive storms, first in the south and now in the northern part of the state. Forecasters say a powerful Pacific storm came into the San Francisco Bay Area Sunday night and is moving to the already soggy Central Valley. The San Joaquin River at a measuring station near Vernalis remains at "danger stage," meaning it keeps approaching the top of levies. Residents of low-lying areas have been told to be ready to evacuate.
- Strong winds and rain, hail and possibly tornadoes near San Antonio might be responsible for the damage that was done to dozens of homes late Sunday. Austin also saw some damage. The storm brought up to five inches of rain to some parts of Texas.

-- Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has signed sweeping new guidelines that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the United States and at the border.  In a pair of memos, Kelly offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests.
-- President Donald Trump is expected to release a revised immigration ban this week, targeting the same seven countries listed in his original executive order. But a draft circulating exempts travelers who already have a visa to travel to the U.S., even if they haven't used it yet, as well as green-card holders and dual citizens of the U.S. and any of those countries are exempt. The new draft also no longer directs authorities to single out -- and reject -- Syrian refugees when processing new visa applications.
-- Meanwhile, undocumented immigrants living in America are streaming across the open northern border to Canada, trying to seek asylum there.

CCTV footage has emerged, shoing what is allegedly the moment the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was murdered.

Now considered the main suspect in the killing of two Indiana teens: a man photographed walking on a trail near the last place 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German were last seen. Indiana State police don't have a name for the suspect. The teens' bodies were found last Tuesday.

Parents need to do a better job at keeping opioid painkillers away from their kids in the home. In a national survey of 681 adults who use prescription opioid pain relievers in the past year, only 31 percent reported safely storing them away from children.  That's according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

55-hundred pounds of supplies and science experiments are set to arrive at the International Space Station Monday.  A SpaceX rocket with the supply capsule launched from Kennedy Space Center's historic moonshot pad, launch complex 39A on Sunday.

On filing for divorce from Brad Pitt....Angelina Jolie tells our partners at the BBC "My whole family have all been through a difficult time."

--Pressed at his White House news conference whether anyone on his campaign staff had contact with Russian officials, President Trump says "nobody that I know of." ABC's Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked about intelligence leaks on those contacts and Mr. Trump said "The leaks are real... the news is fake."
--In his nearly 80-minute news conference, President Trump criticized leaks, the intelligence community, and the press.  Mr. Trump blasting reports that his administration is in chaos ... calling it a, quote, "fine-tuned machine."  At one point talking again about his election victory.

Justice Department attorneys are intensely reviewing why former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn made misleading statements to the White House about his conversations with Russia's Ambassador to the U.S. and whether he broke any laws in the process.  Sources familiar with the case tell ABC News Flynn was less than entirely forthcoming in an interview with the FBI in the days just after the inauguration, but apparently did not cross the threshold of intentional lying.

On the eve of Scott Pruitt's confirmation vote (Friday) as President Trump's EPA Administrator, an Oklahoma judge ordered Pruitt to release emails with oil and gas companies by the end of business Monday. District Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons said Thursday "there really is no reasonable explanation" why Pruitt's office hasn't complied with a request filed in January 2015 by the Center for Media and Democracy.
-- Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward had been offered the position of National Security Advisor to replace the ousted Mike Flynn, but tells ABC News he declined. "I was humbled and honored." He says of the job, "It takes 24 hours a day of focus ... It's a tough sacrifice" and after 40 years of military service he wasn't not ready to come back from retirement. Harward is an ABC News consultant.

A win for the coal industry Thursday.  President Trump signed into law a measure that will let coal mining operations release more waste into streams.  The measure overturns the so-called "Stream Protection Rule" ... which put into place safeguards for streams ... and required the restoration of streams that were damaged by mining operations. Environmental groups says communities downstream will be more vulnerable to pollution.

--The federal government has now officially filed paperwork with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals saying it wants to go no further with the case against the President's immigration ban because President Trump will be issuing a new immigration Executive Order soon.
--Hispanic lawmakers are furious that they were denied entry to a meeting with the acting director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, Thursday at the Capitol.

A Florida man has been charged in connection with a plot to bomb Target stores along the East Coast, with hopes that such an attack would force the retailer's stock to plunge and allow him to cheaply buy its stock, federal investigators announced Thursday. Mark Charles Barnett of Ocala has been charged with "possession of a firearm (destructive device) affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon," according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.

The Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov is no longer off the coast of Connecticut, but has moved southward to a position northeast of Norfolk, Virginia. The vessel's presence 30 miles south of a U.S. Navy submarine base in New London, Connecticut drew international headlines this week even though U.S. officials were not concerned by the ship's operations, which are in international waters.

Worry about flooding and mudslides has some southern Californians sandbagging...ahead of what's forecasat as one of the strongest storms to hit the region in years.

--U-S intelligence continues to pour through reported communications between the Trump team and Russians prior to the election.  The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee are asking the attorney general and FBI director for a briefing on the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The request came from Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa and Dianne Feinstein of California, who also requested copies of the transcripts of Flynn's intercepted calls to the Russian ambassador to the U.S.  President Trump says his ousted national security adviser is a "wonderful man" who has been treated "very, very unfairly" by the media.
--The GOP chairmen of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees have asked the Department of Justice IG to immediately investigate whether classified information was mishandled at the department following media reports on communications between department and White House officials regarding Michael Flynn. Republicans are increasingly pointing to leaks behind some of the Flynn reports as the most troubling developments surrounding  the resignation of the  former national security adviser. 

Who'll be the next labor secretary? Not Andrew Puzder. President Trump's pick.. dropping out Wednesday -- the chief executive of restaurant chains including Hardees and Carls Jr... coming under intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill.. for his opposition to the minimum wage... and increasing questions... about alleged scandals in his personal life, too.

President Trump is asking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "hold back" on settlements for a bit. At a bilateral press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the President said that the US will let Israel and Palestinian authorities negotiate their peace deal on their own ... possibly together with other Arab nations ... but that the US would no longer be pushing for a two-state solution.

--Dozens of DC area restaurants plan to observe a "Day Without Immigrants." Immigrants in Washington DC and elsewhere are stay out of work in protest of President Trump's pledge to crackdown on undocumented immigrants.
--A mother of U-S citizens who's been living in Denver for 20 years... moved into a church basement this week... because she's scared she's going to get kicked out of the country. Jeannette Vizguerra came to the U-S from Mexico twenty years ago and is undocumented.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bonn Germany. It's the first meeting between senior players since National Security Advisor Mike Flynn was forced to resign.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed an emergency evacuation order, ramping up efforts to clear out a camp  that has housed thousands of Dakota Access pipeline opponents. Federal and state officials announced plans  to accelerate cleanup at the camp, fearing it will soon flood due to warm weather and rapid snowmelt.

California's Oroville Reservoir is continuing to drain as state water officials scramble to reduce the lake's level ahead of impending storms.  Forecasts call for 2-4 inches of rain and snow in the foothills and mountains. Officials say  the reservoir was down 20 feet since it reached capacity on Sunday when it overflowed and sparked an evacuation order for nearly 200,000 people south of the dam.

A onetime close friend of real estate heir Robert Durst testifying in Durst's murder case says that Durst's wife told him she was afraid of her husband before she disappeared. The witness, Nathan "Nick" Chavin, is a New York advertising executive who was a longtime friend of Robert Durst and his wife Kathleen Durst. He was also a friend of Susan Berman, whom Durst is charged with killing.

The National weather service is warning the strongest storm of the season for Southern California will hit Thursday night into Friday. Forecast for 4 to 8" of rain in southern cali mountains. Rainfall rates in Los Angeles county could reach 1" per hour.

Two bodies found about outside Delphi, Indiana were positively identified Wednesday as two missing Carroll County teens. Liberty "Libby" German, 14, and Abigail "Abby" Williams,13, were reported missing Monday afternoon after they were dropped off to go hiking. The two were found by volunteers on Tuesday less than a mile from where the girls were originally dropped off.

ABC News has confirmed that U-S officials were concerned about, and looking at, communications between several Trump associates and suspected Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.  The Trump administration has long denied any communications with Russia during the campaign.  This development as questions surround former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, over his pre-inauguration contacts with a Russian diplomat. The Senate Intelligence Committee says it will be investigating, and wants to hear from Flynn. Officials say President Trump was informed that Flynn had been misleading about phone calls discussing election hacking sanctions on Russia before Mr. Trump took office. The White House says Flynn was fired weeks later because of trust issues, not for doing anything illegal. The White House blames the Justice Department for not airing its concerns for nearly two weeks.  Congressional Democrats are increasing their calls for an independent investigator to be appointed.

A US official confirms that Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile that is now operational, an apparent violation of a 1987 treaty. The missile has been in development for years and was tested most recently in 2014.  The Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty bans American and Russian intermediate-range missiles based on land.

Another indication that Russia may be testing the limits of its relationship with the US: The Pentagon says that on three occasions last Friday Russian military aircraft flew low and fast over the destroyer USS Porter in the Black Sea.  One of the aircraft flying 300 feet above the American warship. The Pentagon has labeled the flights unsafe and unprofessional noting the Russian planes ran the risk of an accident or miscalculation.  But Russia’s Defense Ministry says the incidents didn’t happen.

Ahead of President Trump's Wednesday White House meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu the administration seems to be modifying its position on a two state solution, an official telling reporters Tuesday evening: "Maybe, maybe not. It's something the two sides have to agree to...It's not for us to impose that vision."

Police in Malaysia Wednesday announced the arrest an alleged female secret agent suspected in the brazen airport assassination of Kim Jong Un's half-brother, Kim Jong Nam. Malaysian police say surveillance footage led them to a 29-year-old woman traveling on Vietnamese documents. She was arrested at the airport. On Tuesday, Nam, once rumored to be the regime's heir apparent, was poisoned in the airport. He complained to a ground attendant that a woman had covered his nose and mouth with a piece of cloth and that his eyes burned. He died in in the ambulance on the way to the airport.

--The mandatory evacuation lifted, those nearly 200-thousand Northern California residents evacuated last weekend over fear that an emergency spillway might give way are beginning to go home now
--With more rain in the forecast - President Trump declaring a major disaster exists in California because of nearly non stop rain and snow leading to flooding.  Separately, the President is also declaring an emergency in California because of concerns that water from Lake Oroville could inundate towns if an emergency spillway fails.

Chicago Police are looking for a gunman who opened fire on a car, killing two people including a two-year-old.  Police believe the gunman targeted the vehicle, which was parked in an alley.  Frustrated Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says the man killed was a known gang member.

The Obama administration policy protecting the children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States in their youth may face its first test under the Trump administration when Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested a Mexican migrant in Washington state last week. The arrest of Daniel Ramirez, 23, first reported by Reuters Tuesday evening, is possibly the first of an immigrant protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program during the presidency of Donald Trump.

A Minnesota judge will hear oral arguments on whether to dismiss the case against the officer who shot and killed Philando Castile during a July traffic stop. St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez is charged with manslaughter and other counts. His attorneys will argue at Wednesday's hearing that the case should be dismissed. They've said in court papers that Castile was reaching for his gun and the shooting was justified. Prosecutors disagree. They've filed documents saying issues raised by the defense should be decided by a jury. The shooting's gruesome aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend.

There are three cases of a bacterial infection caused by rat urine in New York City, one of them fatal, in the Bronx according to city officials. Officials say they are monitoring the situation and in touch with the Health Department. Two patients were diagnosed in December and one in February. Two of the patients recovered while one has died.

One person was killed in Tuesday from an avalanche in an extremely remote part of Garfield County wilderness in western Colorado, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department tells ABC. This would make the ninth U.S. avalanche death this season, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Former Missouri Dairy Queen Manager Harley Branham waived formal arraignment Tuesday during her first court appearance since she was charged with involuntary manslaughter earlier this month. During a coroner's inquest, Branham was found to be the "principal cause of death" in the death of Kenneth Suttner, who committed suicide in December. Branham is accused of harassing Suttner when he worked at Dairy Queen, where she was his manager, which prosecutors said eventually led to his suicide.

Harrison Ford was involved in an incident involving a passenger jet, sources told ABC News. The actor, who is also a private pilot, was landing a plane at John Wayne Airport in Orange County when he flew over an American Airlines 737 aircraft bound for Dallas - Ft. Worth. There were no injuries and the FAA is currently investigating the situation. Ford's publicist told ABC News he had no official statement about the incident.

Rumor has it!  The German shepherd named Rumor won best in show at 141st Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City Tuesday night.

--President Trump has accepted the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn after it was revealed that Flynn had improper communications with a Russian diplomat during the presidential transition. Retired Army Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg was named acting national security adviser to replace Flynn, who admitted in his resignation letter that he "inadvertently" gave "incomplete information" about multiple "calls" with the ambassador.  The resignation came after the Washington Post reported that the then-acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, warned the White House that Flynn my have been compromised since he did discuss the sanctions against Russia but withheld that information from the administration. Yates was fired after she refused to the defended the president's executive order on immigration. Authorities are investigating communications between Flynn and Russian officials, but have not yet found clear evidence of wrongdoing.
--Sworn in Monday night as Treasury Secretary: former Goldman Sachs exec and hedge fund manager Steve Mnuchin. The Senate voted 57-43 to confirm his nomination.  The Senate voted unanimously to confirm VA undersecretary David Shulkin to lead Department of Veterans Affairs.
--The Trump administration decreed sanctions against Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami on Monday, accusing him of playing a major role in international drug trafficking.  The announcement, made on the Treasury Department's website late in the day, is bound to ratchet up tensions between the U.S. and its harshest critic in Latin America. 
--Before boarding his plane to Washington D.C., Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on the tarmac in Tel Aviv that he and the new U.S. president see "eye to eye."  After three weeks of sending mixed messages, Netanyahu and President Trump will finally meet Wednesday.
--White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a group of reporters that President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe only discussed logistics for a press conference on North Korea during their dinner at Mar-a-Lago Saturday - a moment memorialized in photographs on social media and drawing criticism from Democrats.

-The federal judge in Washington state overseeing the case involving President Trump's immigration ban has refused a request by the federal government to slow down the case and has now issued a preliminary injunction, instead of a temporary restraining order, against enforcement of the ban.  After an attorney representing the federal government tried to get the case delayed... The judge said "I'm surprised to hear that since the President announced he wanted to see each other in court.  Are you confident that is the argument you want to make."  The federal attorney responded Yes your honor.  This is the judge President Trump called a so-called judge. 
-A federal judge also issued a preliminary injunction barring the President's travel ban from being implemented in Virginia.  

Water levels are continuing to fall at the Oroville Dam, where officials ordered nearly 200,000 people to evacuate to safer ground over fears that the country's tallest dam would release uncontrolled floodwaters downstream. Spillage from the dam has stopped as a result of the lower water levels, The Associated Press said. The objective is to lower the lake level by 50 feet in order to prepare for the future inflow of water, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a news conference this afternoon. Lake Oroville, which is 75 miles north of Sacramento and about 25 miles southeast of Chico, is one of California's largest manmade lakes, and it swelled after a month of heavy rains that battered the region. Water began topping the emergency spillway on the 770-foot-tall dam Saturday, causing erosion damage that could lead to a surge of water being released, officials said

The legal wrangling continues as Energy Transfer Partners moves swiftly to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Two tribes are asking for a temporary restraining order to stop construction of the final mile of pipeline.  In an opposition briefing, the company constructing the pipeline calls the effort a "last-ditch desperation throw to the end zone" that "could not conceivably meet the required showing of irreparable harm needed to support a restraining order or preliminary injunction."  The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has said their best effort to stop the progression of the pipeline is in federal court. 

A major winter storm battered the Northeast on Monday with blizzard conditions in Maine.   More than two feet of snow fell in some parts of Maine, including Kennebec and Somerset counties.  Portland received more than 14 inches of snow.  Winds have gusted over 70mph in White Plains, NY and at an AFB in Maryland; winds gusted to 66mph at Ronald Reagan Airport in Arlington, Virginia.

Verizon, in a major reversal, has joined other carriers in offering an unlimited data plan. As recently as January, Verizon's chief financial officer said unlimited plans were "not something we feel the need to do" even though rivals had made inroads against Verizon by offering them. Verizon stopped offering such plans to new customers in 2012 and has been trying to push longtime customers off those old plans through rate hikes. The arrival of the iPhone and other smartphones made unlimited plans more of a rarity as carriers saw opportunities to make money by charging customers based on how much data they use.

One of Jerry Sandusky's sons was charged Monday with sex crimes involving two girls, more than five years after the former Penn State assistant coach was himself first arrested on child molestation charges.  Jeffrey S. Sandusky, 41, was charged by state police and arraigned by a district judge in Bellefonte on 14 counts. He was jailed on $200,000 bail.  Sandusky was a stalwart supporter of his father and accompanied his mother, Dottie, to many of his court proceedings. On Monday, Dottie accompanied Jeffrey Sandusky to his.  Police accused him of soliciting naked photos from a then-16-year-old girl last year and seeking oral sex in 2013 from her then-15-year-old sister.

A man considered an “imperial wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan has been found dead alongside a river in Washington County, Missouri, and locals wonder whether his involvement with the white-supremacist organization had anything to do with his murder. Now police say they’re holding a family member in connection with the killing of Frank Ancona.

Naked women are back in Playboy magazine, ending a year-old ban on the nudity that made the magazine famous.  Playboy celebrated the reversal on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag NakedIsNormal.  The about-face came Monday with the release of Playboy's March-April issue. The 63-year-old magazine had banished naked women from its print edition, because it felt the content had become passe in an era of online porn that is just a click away on personal computers and smartphones.  But there’s a new guy in charge.  Cooper Hefner, Playboy's chief creative officer and the son of magazine founder Hugh Hefner, called the nudity ban a mistake Monday in a post on his Twitter account.

All eyes in dogdom will be on New York's Madison Square Garden for The 141st Westminster Kennel Club show. Best in Show winners will be named Tuesday night.

A federal judge on Monday refused to block the government's $100 million lawsuit against Lance Armstrong, putting the former cyclist on course for trial in a 2010 case stemming from his performance-enhancing drug use. The lawsuit was filed by Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis.

Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.

Another winter blast bears down on the Northeast, and it's cancelled flights around the country. Winter storm warnings from New York to Maine are in effect through Monday, and blizzard conditions with up to 2 feet of snow are possible in some areas. Officials warn of coastal flooding and wind gusts up to 50 miles an hour. Boston schools will be closed Monday.

Immediate evacuations were ordered Sunday evening for Yuba County California residents near the Oroville Dam, north of Sacramento, after officials determined an emergency spillway was about to fail. It was the first time in the nearly 50 year history of the reservoir that the emergency spillway was used, after erosion damaged the main spillway...meant to drain massive overflow from recent heavy runoff.

Immigration officials say a surge in enforcement that saw hundreds of undocumented immigrants rounded up in raids around the country were "routine," and no different from arrests under President Obama. President Trump tweets that the crackdown is "merely the keeping of my campaign promise."

President Trump's chief policy adviser, Stephen Miller, who helped draft the travel ban executive order, says "all options" remain on the table, including a Supreme Court appeal after last week's legal blow.  Three judges of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the government's argument that the President's immigration ban should resume.

North Korea confirms it fired a medium range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, as President Trump hosted Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe calling the test launch "intolerable" and President Trump assuring the US has Japan's back "100 percent."

--More Trump cabinet members may be on board this week. Senators are to vote Monday evening on banker Steven Mnuchin, Trump's pick to lead the Treasury Department; votes are expected this week on Obama holdover David Shulkin to be promoted to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, and on former wrestling exec Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration.
--Fast food CEO Andy Puzder, up for Labor Secretary, gets a Senate hearing this week, and may face questions about his employment of undocumented immigrants.

President Trump welcomes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House Monday. The two leaders have different outlooks on trade, refugees and other issues. The liberal, 49-year-old prime minister says he is sure they will talk about things they disagree on, but do so "in a respectful way." Trudeau also says he expects they will talk about things they agree on, like jobs and economic growth and opportunities for the middle class.


More contentious town halls this past weekend, featuring voters worried about what will happen to their health care once Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Constituents of Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner gave him an earful at a meeting in Elm Grove, Wisconsin on Sunday.

Early winners at the 59th Grammy Awards include 21 Pilots as Best Pop Duo (they accepted after taking off their pants), and Chance the Rapper as best new artist. Adele won two Grammys during the pre-televised part of Sunday's competition. David Bowie won a posthumous award.

February 10--  Today's Top Stories from ABC News

In a 3-0 unanimous ruling, the 9th U-S Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to keep the temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of President Trump's immigration ban in effect. The appellate court said the government presented no evidence to explain the urgent need for the executive order to take effect immediately. The court rejected the Trump Administration's argument that the courts don't have the authority to review the president's executive order and also denied the argument that Washington State doesn't have standing to bring such a case. President Trump responded via twitter in all caps: "SEE YOU IN COURT. THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE". Speaking to reporters in the White House, the president said he was confident the administration would win. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said that they "respect that the President has broad authority when it comes to issuing executive orders, but they still have to follow the Constitution."

- President Trump spoke to China President Xi Jinping in a lengthy telephone conversation Thursday evening. In a significant concession, President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor the "one China" policy.  
- President Trump will bold bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the White House today/Friday. The two will have a working lunch and then leave together later in the afternoon for West Palm Beach, where President Trump will be hosting the dignitary at Mar-a-Lago.

The White House is denying confirmed reports that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch called President Trump's attacks on the Washington state federal judge who issued the stay of his immigration executive order - who Trump called a "so-called judge" quote "demoralizing and disheartening." Spokesman Sean Spicer said Gorsuch was making general statements, not specifically about President Trump's comments. But two Republican Senators, Kelly Ayotte and Nebraska's Ben Sasse, have confirmed the comments. 

Another late night in the Senate as Republican Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a 2am vote Friday morning to confirm health and human services nominee Representative Tom Price (R-GA).  Democratic senators debated against President Trump's pick who they say made questionable biomedical investments while legislating and would work to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Bipartisan blow back against the president's top aide Kellyanne Conway, who may now be under review for ethics violations. Conway went on Fox and Friends Thursday calling on people to buy Ivanka Trump brand clothes even though Nordstrom has stopped selling them, saying: "I'm going to give a free commercial here go buy it today everyone you can buy it on line." Federal Ethics law says government workers can't endorse any product or service. Republican House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings have sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics, calling on Director Shaub to "recommend appropriate disciplinary action", citing that while that would normally fall to Conway's superior, President Trump has "an inherent conflict of interest" since the statements relate to his daughter's business. 

- The family of a woman deported as a result of one of President Donald Trump's executive orders has vowed to keep fighting for her case.  Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos was detained at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Phoenix, Arizona, Wednesday night reportedly after presenting herself for a previously scheduled check-in appointment. ICE officers "removed Ms. Garcia to Mexico" Thursday morning in coordination with Mexican officials, according to a statement from the agency.  Garcia de Rayos’ daughter said on Thursday "no one, no one should ever go through the pain of having their mom taken away from them or the pain of packing her suitcase. No one should go through their mother’s clothes, seeing, 'Oh is she going to need this? Oh is she going to need that?' Nobody should be packing their mother’s suitcase."
- In Los Angeles, protesters blocked an entrance to the 101 Freeway in downtown Thursday night following a demonstration against what they said were stepped-up immigration raids across Southern California.


A predicted snowstorm in the Northeast didn’t fail to deliver around a foot of snow in lots of areas.   East Hartford, Connecticut was one of the harder hit areas, with 19 inches of snow.   East Longmeadow, MA also got 19 inches of snow.   Boston got 10.7 inches, while New York’s Central Park got 9.4 inches.    School is closed again on Friday in Boston, Hartford and Providence. 

Officials in southern Louisiana say an underground gas pipeline exploded Thursday night.  Six workers from two different energy companies were cleaning a low-level twenty-inch pipe rack when the blast occurred at around 7-PM local time. The fire is still burning - authorities have turned off the source within the pipe but it is a high-pressure line that runs for miles. Sixty homes in St. Charles Parish were evacuated.  

A plane caught fire while on the runway at JFK Airport Thursday night. Aerolineas Argentinas flight 1301, bound for Buenos Aires, is sitting on the runway after experiencing a fire around 11 p.m. People on the ground said they heard a loud bang. Other pilots reported seeing a fire. Once the fire was out, the plane taxied under its own power off the runway.

A storm system developing in the Midwest is forecast to move across country and bring the heaviest snowfall of the season to the Northeast. ABC News meteorologists tracking the storm said it will sweep into the Northeast and dump snow from Washington, D.C., to New York by 7 a.m. Eastern time Thursday. The snowstorm will move from New York and arrive in eastern New England by 3:30 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, according to ABC News meteorologists. The weather system could bring as much as a foot of snow to major Northeast cities Thursday. Philadelphia could get 4 to 6 inches of snow, New York City could see 6 to 10 inches, and Boston could end up with 12 inches, according to ABC News meteorologists.  More than 26-hundred U.S. flights have already been cancelled for Thursday. 
--Airlines have cancelled more than two thousand flights across the U-S Thursday. Jetblue has cancelled more than 500 flights as of Thursday morning.

Some harsh words from Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court...over Trump's criticism of judges.  As Gorsuch made the rounds on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said Gorsuch called Trump's comments "demoralizing and disheartening."

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced on Wednesday that no decision on the suspension of President Trump’s executive order will be made on Wednesday, a day after oral arguments were heard.  


The bitter fight that led to a Senate rebuke of Elizabeth Warren ends with the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

President Trump criticized Nordstrom, the latest company to be the focus of his Twitter attention, saying Wednesday that the department store chain that decided to stop selling his daughter's clothing and accessory line has treated her "so unfairly."   Though he has tweeted in the past about companies such as the U.S. automakers, Boeing and Carrier, ethics experts saw the fact that this one was about a business run by his daughter raising conflict-of-interest concerns and even carrying an implicit threat.  

The Army on Wednesday granted the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline formal permission to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, clearing the way for completion of the disputed $3.8 billion project.  With the green light from the federal government, the company building the Dakota Access oil pipeline said Wednesday it plans to resume work immediately to finish the long-stalled project. Opponents of the $3.8 billion project meanwhile protested around the country in an action some dubbed their "last stand."

A federal judge blocks the merger of health insurance giants Anthem and Cigna.  In the ruling, the judge said linking arms in a $54 billion dollar deal would increase prices and decrease competition. The resulting health insurance giant would stifle innovation in the field, according to the judge.\

CIA Director Mike Pompeo is in Turkey Thursday to discuss security issues, including Turkey's fight against a movement led by a U.S.-based cleric accused of orchestrating the failed military coup.

More than half of all Marine aircraft were unable to fly in December, and the numbers were worse for their F-18 fighter aircraft with only 1 in 4 ready to fly.  The Marines have struggled to get their aging aircraft into necessary the long-term maintenance needed after the constant wear and tear of a decade of use in the Middle East.  And with delays in rolling out the new F-35 fighter the Marines will still be pressed to keep their planes able to fly.

The top US military commander in Iraq, General Stephen Townsend, says that within six months ISIS  will be driven out of its two main strongholds -- Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. Earlier the spokesman said it was likely that Raqqa would be all but completely cut off in the next few weeks -- preparing the way for a full assault on the city.

A former government contractor accused in a massive theft of top secret information has been indicted on charges of mishandling classified materials.  A federal grand jury in Baltimore indicted Harold T. Martin III on Wednesday on 20 counts of willful retention of national defense information. He could face decades in prison if convicted of the charges.  The indictment accuses Martin, who worked as a private contractor for the National Security Agency and other government agencies, of stealing top secret documents between 1996 and 2016 and keeping them in his home and car.

It was purely coincidence, but on the same day that New Orleans awoke to the devastation left by at least seven tornadoes, Facebook was launching a new addition to its Safety Check feature. Community Help is intended to connect the victims of a man-made or natural disaster like the Crescent City twisters with people and agencies providing food, shelter or clothing.

Dysfunction on the court has now turned to chaos off the court with the New York Knicks,  Former player Charles Oakley was arrested and faces assault charges after being escorted out of the game at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night. Oakley's beef was apparently with Knicks owner James Dolan who was sitting nearby.  The Knicks lost another tough game to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers

Five circus performers are injured after falling from an eight-person pyramid in a high-wire accident at a Florida circus, a circus official said.  None of those involved received life-threatening injuries, and all are expected to make full recoveries, according to a circus spokeswoman.  The official also says this particular stunt had been practiced several times without incident, and that it was not equipment or rigging failure and “accidents do happen.”

Three federal appeals court judges will now decide the immediate future of President Trump's immigration ban.  They  heard arguments by conference call between the government and several states over the ban. The judges grilled a Justice Department lawyer on whether the ban was intended to discriminate against Muslims. The court says it will decide as soon as possible if a lower-court stay of the order will remain in effect while the case is resolved.


Betsy DeVos has been sworn in as Education Secretary. It was Vice President Mike Pence who cast the tie-breaking Senate confirmation vote, and who issued the oath of office.

Senate floor fight! The Senate's top Republican interrupted a blistering speech by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, accusing the Massachusetts Democrat of breaking Senate rules by "impugning" Attorney General nominee and fellow Senator Jeff Sessions. Warren was quoting a letter from Coretta Scott King at the time. Sen. Mitch McConnell called for a vote to sanction Warren under the Senate's "Rule 19."

Signaling Democrats may be ready to dig in for a fight over President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Sen. Chuck Schumer met with Judge Neil Gorsuch Tuesday, and said he has "severe doubts about him." Schumer said Gorscuh "avoided answers like the plague."

A standoff outside a Georgia motel ended with one capital murder suspect dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and his alleged accomplice in police custody.

A status conference takes place Wednesday to discuss implementation of the NFL concussion settlement.  From now until August retired pro football players can register to receive payment from the fund.

Its owner died in 1987, but a painting looted by the Nazis is being returned to Max Stern's foundation Wednesday.

February 7-- The City of Vidalia along with ESG, Republic Services, and Calvary on Aimwell will be hosting the 2017 Vidalia Cleanup on February 18, 2017.

The purpose of the event is to clean our gateways (Hwy. 280, Hwy. 292, Hwy. 15 South, Hwy. 130) into the city along with other areas. Our team is asking your team to help in the event!

Participants will be asked to gather at the ESG location on Brinson Road at 9 a.m. Everyone will be given reflective vests, trash bags, gloves, hand sanitizer and a map showing your group where to cleanup. As a thank you for participating, each volunteer can return to the ESG location for a lunch sponsored by Calvary on Aimwell and a t-shirt.

For T-Shirt info, call City Hall, 537-8718 or email city manager Nick Overstreet, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



February 6--  If you are on the jury list for Montgomery County Superior Court for Tuesday, you do not have to report for duty.  Clerk of Court Keith Hamilton reports all cases on the docket have been settled and there is no need for jury trials.

The Labor Department Friday releases the first jobless numbers since President Trump took office, but they will really reflect the last month of the Obama administration. Thursday's weekly figures on how many Americans filed for unemployment checks were lower than expected - down to fewer than 250-thousand. Economists say anything under 300-thousand signals a healthy labor market, and it's been that way for 100 weeks.

The President is expected to sign two executive actions Friday. One directs the Treasury Secretary and other agencies to look for ways to eliminate "overreaching" elements of the 2010 Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank and the Volcker Rule), with an eye toward eliminating some regulations, or recommending "personnel decisions."  The second is an executive memorandum that delays implementation of rules that require financial advisers to act in the "best interests" of their clients.

Senior White House officials told ABC News Thursday that new sanctions on Iran are “in the works” and could come as soon as today. The sanctions are President Donald Trump’s administration's response to Iran’s ballistic missile test on Sunday. Just Wednesday National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn said the White House was "officially putting Iran on notice.” Flynn said some of Iran’s “provocative” behavior included the ballistic missile launch and an attack conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants on a Saudi naval vessel on Monday

New Israeli settlements 'may not be helpful' in achieving peace with Palestinians, White House says.White House press secretary Sean Spicer made the comments during yesterday’s press briefing. While the Trump administration does not believe the "existence of settlements is an impediment to peace," Spicer said, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders is unadvisable. The United Nations in December voted on a resolution to end Israeli settlements.

A federal judge in Washington state will hold a hearing Friday on the lawsuit filed by that state and joined by Minnesota...that argues that the President's immigration ban is unconstitutional. In New York Thursday, a federal judge extended the ruling that keeps anyone detained under the President's executive order from being immediately sent back to February 21st. A protest against the President's executive order, organized by Yemeni convenience store owners in New York City drew a large crowd to Brooklyn.

A French soldier on duty at the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall in Paris opened fire Friday morning on a man who attempted to attack him with a knife, according to police. France's Minister of the Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, described the attack as "terrorist in nature," and has opened a terror investigation. Paris Police Chief Michel Cadot said a man armed with a machete and shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great" in Arabic) launched himself at soldiers and police officers. One of the soldiers shot the attacker five times, seriously wounding him in the stomach, Cadot said. Cadot said the attacker was also carrying two backpacks but they were later found not to contain any explosives.

Army vet and Muslim convert - Joshua Cummings is scheduled to appear in court on first-degree murder charges Friday. He was arrested Tuesday night for  allegedly killing a Denver Transit Security Officer. The leaders of the mosque where Cummings worshiped were so alarmed by his extremist views they wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security - saying "he seems pretty advanced on the path to radicalization."

After President Trump participates in a strategy and policy forum Friday, and signs executive actions, he makes a quick getaway, heading to his Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago, what the White House calls the "Winter White House."

The Senate will hold a rare Friday morning vote to advance the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary, a procedural move that will tee up a final confirmation vote early next week.  Two Republicans have said they will vote against DeVos, and there's been opposition from constituents and outside groups against the Michigan billionaire. But Republicans are confident they'll have the 51 votes needed.

A senior White House official tells ABC News the new sanctions on Iran are “in the works” and could come “as soon as tomorrow.”  A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to President Trump Thursday urging more sanctions against Tehran because of its latest ballistic missile test.

About President Trump's reported contentious call with Australia's Prime Minister, Sen. Lindsay Graham says "To the extent that politics is music, probably the phone call was a little off key."

The FAA confirms to ABC News it is investigating an apparent close call at Maui’s Kahului Airport Wednesday morning.  The FAA says a Cessna Caravan took off without clearance from runway 5 as a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 was taking off, with clearance, from Runway 2.  The two runways intersect.  Per the FAA, a controller in the tower spotted the conflict and ordered the Cessna to turn to avoid hitting the Hawaiian Airlines jet.  By the time the controller alerted the Hawaiian Airlines plane the jet was already turning right to avoid the Caravan.  Hawaiian Airlines tells ABC flight 155 had 125 passengers and five crew members onboard.

The Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, also known as "El Chapo," is set to make an appearance in  federal court Friday.

In an explicit warning to North Korea, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday said any use of nuclear weapons by the North on the United States or its allies would be met with what he called an "effective and overwhelming" response. U.S. defense secretaries have long offered assurances to South Korea and Japan that its nuclear "umbrella" will protect them, but Mattis's statement was perhaps more pointed than most. Mattis sought to reassure South Koreans of the longstanding U.S. commitment to a defense treaty that President Donald Trump suggested during the campaign was a bad deal for America.

South Dakota's governor Dennis Daugaard has signed an act to repeal a voter approved measure on government ethics before it could be implemented.

This weekend marks 20 years since the verdict in the OJ Simpson civil trial, that found Simpson liable for the deaths of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

Gearing up for the main event....Super Bowl week gives way to the main event... Super Bowl LI (51) Sunday.

A planned appearance Wednesday night by controversial internet figure Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor for the conservative website Breitbart was canceled after protests turned violent on the University of California Berkeley campus.  Police say some 15-hundred protesters showed up with some of the prime antagonists wearing all black with weapons.

--President Trump took to Twitter Wednesday night complaining that Iran was taking over parts of Iraq and criticizing a refugees deal with Australia.  The President had a lively phone call with the Australian Prime Minister saying the deal - to accept the 12-hundred some refugees that was made by the Obama administration - was a bad deal. 
- The President delivers remarks at the 65th annual National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning and later hosts executives of Harley Davidson for lunch at the White House. Spokesman Sean Spicer says the White House had been considering a presidential trip to Milwaukee to meet with the execs but opted instead to host them in Washington.

President Trump made brief remarks about his Supreme Court nominee during his meeting with SCOTUS groups and responded to a question about the nuclear option, saying he would advise GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to use the nuclear option on his SCOTUS nominee if he doesn't have 60 votes, meaning Neil Gorsuch could get through with a simple majority. The president said he wants Gorsuch to go through an elegant and dignified confirmation process.

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, as Secretary of State on a largely party-line vote of 56-43.
- Defense Secretary James Mattis is overseas in South Korea.
Two Republican senators announced they will vote against President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of education, casting serious doubt on whether Betsy DeVos has the support to be confirmed. 

Making an appearance at Wednesday's White House press briefing, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn delivered a stern warning to Iran for recent weapon testing and actions by state-supported militants, saying that the United States is putting the country "on notice." A U.S. government official confirmed to ABC News on Monday that Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile over the weekend that exploded after travelling 550 miles. The official classified the event as a failed test.

U.S. Central Command has released further details of the military raid in Yemen that claimed the life of a Navy SEAL on Sunday.  Centcom determined that civilians, possibly including some children, were killed in the raid targeting a key Al Qaeda compound in Yemen. An investigation found they were likely killed by aerial gunfire called in to help Navy SEALS taking fire from all sides  US Central Command is still investigating whether other civilians mixed in with the al Qaeda fighters might have been killed in other crossfire. The SEAL's death marked the first combat fatality of the Trump administration.  The President made an unannounced trip to the Air Force base in Dover Wednesday as the SEAL's body arrived. 

Inmates at Delaware's largest prison were still holding two correction officers hostage, after a nearly day long standoffInmates had released two other officers. The incident began with a radio call for help in Building C of the James Vaughn Correctional Facility in Smyrna. The prison houses 25-hundred minimum, medium, and maximum security inmates. Officials say they are in radio contact with the hostage takers. Delaware Governor John Carney called it a "long and difficult day."

The 131st year of Groundhog Day at Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania takes place. Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow on in front of thousands of followers from all over the world - to predict the weather for the rest of winter.

An escaped bobcat at the National Zoo in Washington, DC has returned after a two-plus day walkabout. Zoo officials say the female bobcat known as Ollie walked right into a trap where some "goodies" had been left for her Wednesday.

An insatiable demand for bacon depleted frozen pork belly supplies in the U.S. to a record low level for December, but the pork industry is confident it can keep up with demand and avoid any serious shortages. Bottom line: A pound of it may cost a little more as winter wears on, but prices should stabilize by summer. 

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a Canadian filmmaker who was reported missing while diving Tuesday near Alligator Reef. Rob Stewart, 37, of Toronto, was reported missing by a crew member on the Pisces about 5:15 p.m., according to a Coast Guard news release.

During a news conference on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the fallout from Deflategate, and said there was a violation, but the league went through the process and applied the discipline. Goodell says it was litigated extensively and they are moving on.  He says his relationship with New England Patriots is “not awkward at all” and that if he’s invited to a home game at Foxborough, that he would come. 

--President Trump has selected Neil Gorsuch as his pick to be the next Supreme Court justice.  Mr. Trump touted Gorsuch’s “outstanding legal skills, brilliant mind, and tremendous discipline.” Gorsuch thanked the President for giving him a "most solemn assignment.”  If confirmed by the Senate, Gorsuch would take the seat vacated by Antonin Scalia after his death in February, 2016.
--Gorsuch is currently a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. He was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2006 and confirmed by the Senate in a voice vote.  Like Scalia, he's both a textualist and an originalist. At 49, he would be the youngest justice since Clarence Thomas joined the court in 1991 at age 43.   
--Republicans and conservative groups quickly heaped praise on President Trump's selection, declaring Gorsuch a worthy successor to Justice Scalia; a fair, reliable, and mainstream conservative; and a strict constitutional originalist.   Leading Democratic and progressive groups – from the DNC to Human Rights Campaign – immediately called him dangerous and discriminatory, urging Senate Democrats to oppose the nomination if not outright block it.  

--A Detroit business owner who tried flying his ailing mother from Iraq to the U.S. for medical treatment blames President Trump executive order travel ban for her death.  He says she died a day after being refused to travel to America for treatment.
- At least four more lawsuits were filed on Tuesday against President Trump’s executive order on immigration. Virginia became the second state to file (after Washington state) a lawsuit in response to Trump’s executive action. 
--White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made the case in Tuesday's briefing that the president's Executive Order temporarily restricting travel from seven countries is not a travel ban.  However, President Trump himself used the word "ban" to describe the order on Twitter.  
--Department of Homeland Security officials say 872 refugees will be allowed to enter the U.S. this week, while defending President Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday boycotted scheduled votes for two of President Donald Trump's Cabinet picks, arguing the nominees lied to the committee about their business or investment dealings.  The move seemed to take Republicans on the committee by surprise and stalled the confirmation process for Trump's nominees for secretary of health and human services, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., and for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin.  Committee votes for Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions could be delayed until Wednesday.   The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions did confirmed, along party lines, the nomination of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
--President Donald Trump's nomination of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state is headed toward Senate confirmation after several Democrats crossed party lines to back the former Exxon Mobil CEO.
--No president has had so few nominees confirmed at this point since the inauguration date was moved to January 20 after 1933.  For recent comparisons, Presidents Obama had 14, Bush had 15, and Clinton had 17 at this point in their presidency.

As we witness the ascendancy of Steve Bannon -- USA Today is out with a remarkable review of hours of recordings from Breitbart News Daily Radio in which Bannon discusses his world view. His controversial outlook casts America in the middle of a "global existential war" with Islam and headed for a clash with China. 

New questions whether al -Qaeda knew the Americans were coming when a secret U.S, mission in Yemen turned deadly leaving a Navy SEAL dead. It's the first combat death for the Trump administration.  ABC News has learned the weekend raid started going terribly wrong from the beginning.  The mission targeting the al-Qaeda operations compound had been in the works for months. But as the team of Navy SEALS --flown in secretly from a U.S. warship and dozens of partner forces approached- The SEALS were met by withering gunfire.

Noor Zahi Salman, the widow of the Pulse nightclub shooter, is scheduled to have a bond hearing Wednesday in California, about two weeks after she pleaded not guilty to federal charges. Salman’s attorney filed a motion Tuesday outlining reasons to lower her bond, saying that her mother and uncle are willing to put up their houses as collateral if she were to be released.

President Trump briefly spoke in his meeting with Pharma industry leaders, telling executives that drug prices need to come down and pledged to streamline approval of new drugs. 

By visiting Japan and South Korea on his first official overseas trip, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is seeking to reinforce longstanding alliances after President Donald Trump's campaign-trail complaints that defense treaties with the Asian allies disadvantaged the United States. The visits also reflect the urgency of concerns on both sides of the Pacific about North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Mattis is due in Seoul on Thursday.

Vigils continue in Quebec City following Sunday's mosque attack that left six people dead.  Friends of suspect - French Canadian university student - Alexandre Bissonnette say he's espoused far-right, nationalist views including support for a rightist party in France. Bissonnette also expressed support on his Facebook page for President Trump.

The Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius Prime take the top marks for electric vehicle safety from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s awards in 2017.  The 2017 Tesla Model S and the 2017 BMW i3, on the other hand, have some room for improvements.

Houston officials are talking security ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl.  When celebrities, athletes, and more come to town, so do the crooks. Since Friday, Houston Police have made several arrests at Super Bowl events. Most of them have been for minor crimes, but there have also been 38 prostitution-related arrests.