Nov. 13 News Briefs

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ginsburg, 85, improving after fall but misses court session

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has missed a brief court session while recovering from a fall and broken ribs. Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said the 85-year-old justice would not join her colleagues Tuesday morning when the court took the bench. Arberg says Ginsburg "continues to improve and is working from home." The court previously said Ginsburg fractured three ribs in a fall last week. The court did not hear arguments Tuesday but took the bench briefly for other routine business. Ginsburg is the Supreme Court's oldest justice. She fell in her office at the court last Wednesday, experienced discomfort overnight and went to George Washington University Hospital in Washington on Thursday. She was released from the hospital on Friday.

Court challenge to be filed over appointment of acting AG

WASHINGTON (AP) — Maryland is challenging the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as the new U.S. acting attorney general. A draft filing obtained by The Associated Press argues that President Donald Trump sidestepped the Constitution and normal procedure by naming Whitaker to the position in place of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Whitaker was appointed Nov. 7 after the White House demanded the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Whitaker had been Sessions' chief of staff. The Maryland filing was expected to be made Tuesday in a legal dispute with the Trump administration over the Affordable Care Act. That lawsuit names Sessions as a defendant. The state seeks to name Rosenstein as a defendant over Whitaker. Spokespeople for the Justice Department haven't responded to an email seeking comment.

US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. jury is set to hear an epic tale about the notorious Mexican drug lord known as "El Chapo." Opening statements at the trial of Joaquin Guzman began Tuesday morning in a New York City courtroom under tight security. The evidence will include the testimony of more than a dozen cooperating witnesses who prosecutors say are risking retribution by taking the stand. There also will be evidence about multiple murders committed in drug wars in Mexico, about cocaine smuggled in jalapenos cans and Guzman's brazen escapes from jail. His arrest and extradition to New York City shook up Mexico's drug underworld and remains a big story there. He could face life in prison if convicted of drug-trafficking charges. His lawyers say he's being framed by the cooperators.

More races go to Democrats, including Senate seat in Ariz.

NEW YORK (AP) — Democrats are continuing to chalk up victories in midterm elections, giving the party opposing President Donald Trump more to cheer about than originally thought on election night. The latest congressional seat to flip came with Democrat Kyrsten Sinema's win in Arizona's Senate race. In the House, Democrats have picked up at least 32 seats and lead in races for four more. The overall results in the first nationwide election of the Trump presidency represent the Democratic Party's best midterm performance since 1974 when that year's midterm elections followed the Watergate scandal and President Richard Nixon's resignation. Trump and his allies are discounting the Democratic victories, pointing to GOP successes in Republican-leaning states, particularly in Senate races the Democrats had hoped to win.

US analysts identify 13 secret North Korean missile sites

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. analysts say they have located more than half of an estimated 20 secret North Korean missile development sites. The findings come as the Trump administration's denuclearization talks with the North appear to have stalled. And they highlight the challenge the U.S. faces in ensuring that North Korea complies with any eventual agreement that covers its nuclear and missile programs. The report released Monday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies draws on commercial satellite imagery. The authors say their analysis identifies 13 of the secret facilities used to produce missiles and related technology. Although the sites are not launch facilities, the authors say they must be declared by North Korea and inspected in any credible, verifiable deal.

Roger Stone associate expects to be charged in Mueller probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — An associate of longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone says he expects to be indicted by a federal grand jury in the special counsel’s Russia investigation. Conservative conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi said on his YouTube show Monday that negotiations fell apart with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and he expects to be charged with making false statements in the coming days. Mueller’s team has questioned Corsi as part of an investigation into Stone’s connections with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election. American intelligence agencies have assessed that Russia hacked the emails of Democratic groups, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and provided that material to WikiLeaks for release. Corsi was formally the Washington bureau chief of the conspiracy theory outlet InfoWars.