AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EST


Women for Trump Cabinet: Haley picked for UN, DeVos for Ed

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Injecting the first diversity into his Cabinet-to-be, Donald Trump selected two Republican women on Wednesday who had unflattering things to say about him during the presidential campaign: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and charter school advocate Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education.

Gov. Haley has little foreign policy experience, yet Trump praised her as “a proven dealmaker.” DeVos, like Trump, is new to government but has spent decades working to change America’s system of public education.

DeVos and Haley are the first women selected for top-level administration posts as the president-elect works to shape a White House team from scratch. Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants, so she also would be his first minority selection after a string of announcements of white men.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said “an announcement is forthcoming” on his role, which would make him the first black choice — possibly as secretary of Housing and Urban Development — but he also suggested he’d be thinking about it over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone,” Carson wrote on his Facebook page.

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A look at 5 Trump business ties that pose conflicts

NEW YORK (AP) — After Ivanka Trump appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes” wearing a $10,800 bracelet from her jewelry line, someone at her company sent photos from the interview to fashion writers to drum up free publicity. A firestorm of criticism erupted over the impropriety of profiting off the presidency, and the company apologized.

If only the bracelet brouhaha was the end of it.

Experts on government ethics are warning President-elect Donald Trump that he’ll never shake suspicions of a clash between his private interests and the public good if he doesn’t sell off his vast holdings, which include roughly 500 companies in more than a dozen countries. They say just the appearance of conflicts is likely to tie up the new administration in investigations, lawsuits and squabbles, stoked perhaps by angry Oval Office tweets.

“People are itching to sue Donald Trump and stick him under oath,” said Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush.

In an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday, Trump insisted that the “law’s totally on my side,” and ethics experts agree that federal conflicts of interest rules don’t apply to the president so he can run his business pretty much the way he pleases while in office. His company, The Trump Organization, had no comment on the conflicts issue, other than a statement reiterating its plans to transfer control of the company to three of the president-elect’s adult children.

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Wayne State University officer dies from gunshot wound

DETROIT (AP) — A Wayne State University police officer died Wednesday, a day after he was shot in the head while on patrol near the Detroit campus.

Officer Collin Rose, 29, died about 5:45 p.m. at a hospital, Detroit police Sgt. Michael Woody said.

“This is a tragedy felt by all of us,” Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson said in a statement. “Collin served Wayne State with distinction, and we owe those he left behind our deepest sympathies and our strong support.”

Wilson said Rose, a five-year veteran of the university’s police force, is the only Wayne State officer killed in the line of duty.

Police said a suspect in the shooting was arrested late Tuesday night a few blocks from where Rose was shot, but no charges have been filed. The Detroit man in custody has had several run-ins with police.

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Thanksgiving travel expected to be heaviest since 2007

CHICAGO (AP) — Elizabeth Thompson can’t wait to leave the big city behind and decompress over the Thanksgiving holiday at her grandmother’s house in rural south-central Indiana. But first she has to get there.

On Wednesday, Thompson, 23, missed her Amtrak train from Chicago to Galesburg, Illinois, where she’d planned to catch a ride with a family member the rest of the way to Edinburgh, Indiana.

“It’s just where we go to unplug and escape,” said Thompson, who had to decide whether to wait several hours for the next train or hop on a bus and get going.

Americans took to the roads, air and railways Wednesday for what is expected to be the busiest Thanksgiving travel period in almost a decade. Almost 49 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more between Wednesday and Sunday, the most since 2007, because of lower gas prices and an improving economy, according to AAA.

And while they look forward to eating turkey and watching football, many are ready to abandon another, more recent, American pastime: rehashing the rancorous election between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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“Joy” or “hope”? Holiday giving may depend on how you voted

NEW YORK (AP) — This holiday season, elves and “joy” may be on the way out and “peace” and “hope” on the way in. A divisive election that left half the country deflated and the other half rejuvenated could reverberate through the holiday shopping season in the gifts people give or how they spend.

Some retailers say they have seen a surge in feel-good items such as spa treatments, candles and comfort food, while executives at some major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Macy’s have said there’s no discernable shift in consumer behavior since the presidential election won by Republican Donald Trump.

The divide in the outlook may reflect the rift in the election, as Americans split along geographic lines as well as by income.

“I don’t need a comfort dog. I don’t need anybody to feel sorry for me,” said Rhondi Bleeker, 50, of Totowa, New Jersey. “I’m actually happy because I was for Trump.”

Bleeker, who owns an eyelash extension business, believes the economy will be better now. She says she’ll still be spending the same $3,000 as she does every holiday season, but she believes her business could do even better because whether people are sad or happy, most will want retail therapy.

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Kansas killing, abduction suspect living in US illegally

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Dallas woman accused of killing a Wichita mother and taking her baby was in the country illegally when she was released from a Kansas jail this summer before immigration officials had a chance to request she be held, law enforcement authorities said Wednesday.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not receive the July 25 list of arrests from the Sedgwick County sheriff’s office showing Yesenia Sesmas’ name on it until the following day, and by that time she had already been released from local custody, said ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok. The agency would have asked that she be detained if Sesmas, a Mexican national, had still been in jail, he said.

Sesmas posted bond and was released less than 24 hours after her arrest in that case, said Col. Brenda Dietzman, undersheriff for the Sedgwick County sheriff’s office.

Even if ICE had made the request, it is not clear that the county would have honored it. Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter announced in 2014 that the jail would no longer honor ICE requests to hold inmates unless the agency presents a warrant or court order requiring them to hold an inmate in custody longer. The policy change stems from an 3rd Circuit appeals court ruling finding a Pennsylvania jail unjustly held a man on suspicion he might be in the unlawfully in the country after he posted bail. Several jails across the country have refused to automatically honor ICE requests after the American Civil Liberties Union warned they could be sued.

Now if Sedgwick County gets a request a hold on an inmate, jail officials call the agency about 2 to 3 hours before that person is released, and tell ICE “if you want them come get them,” Dietzman said.

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Sudden currency move spoils business at Indian food market

NEW DELHI (AP) — The scale of India’s cash economy can be seen in the Azadpur Mandi wholesale fruit and vegetable market. Trucks bring load after load of fresh produce to its grimy lanes every day. Then a complex web of wholesale merchants, smaller traders and retailers delivers the produce to most of north India.

Almost every transaction, like most in India, is done in cash. And business at the massive New Delhi market is evaporating, the food spoiling and wasted, two weeks after the government’s surprise currency move made more than 80 percent of India’s banknotes useless.

By withdrawing all 500- and 1,000-rupee notes from circulation, the government is trying to clean India’s economy of “black money,” or untaxed wealth. Its success remains to be seen, but for now the move has created serpentine queues outsides banks and ATMs of people replacing their rupee notes or making small withdrawals.

Few people have access to banks, however. The vast majority of Indians earn and spend in cash, and more than half of the country’s 1.3 billion people have no bank accounts.

In Azadpur people are upset: the impossibly wiry laborers who transport fruit and vegetables in handcarts around the 90-acre market, the big traders who conduct hundreds of thousands of rupees of business in a day and the small retailers who buy a few baskets or crates of food to sell each day.

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Man who killed abortion doctor gets more lenient sentence

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The man who seven years ago ambushed and fatally shot one of the few U.S. doctors performing late-term abortions was given a more lenient sentence Wednesday of at least 25 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.

At a surprise resentencing hearing, prosecutors withdrew their request that Scott Roeder serve at least 50 years before parole eligibility. Roeder also was sentenced to an additional two years for aggravated assault for threatening two church ushers as he fled.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said that the decision not to seek the added time was reached by prosecutors after examining Roeder’s health, his expected life span and the likelihood of whether he would ever be released from prison alive. The family of victim Dr. George Tiller also was consulted, he said.

Roeder was convicted in January 2010 of premeditated first-degree murder for the shooting death of Tiller as he was serving as an usher in the foyer of the doctor’s church in Wichita on May 31, 2009.

Tiller’s murder was among the most notorious acts of violence since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the procedure nationwide in 1973. It alarmed the abortion rights community and came as numerous conservative states, including Kansas, passed restrictions making it harder for women to obtain abortions.

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FBI: No hallucinogens found in system of face-biting suspect

STUART, Fla. (AP) — The Florida college student accused of randomly killing a couple and chewing on the dead man’s face had no detectable hallucinogenic drugs in his system, according an FBI toxicology report released Wednesday.

Austin Harrouff had a trace amount of marijuana in his system when he allegedly beat and stabbed John Stevens, 59, and his 53-year-old wife, Michelle Mishcon, outside their Tequesta-area home Aug. 15, according to the report.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder had previously speculated that Harrouff may have been on flakka or bath salts, but those drugs weren’t detected.

Harrouff, 19, was hospitalized for two months after the killings for a burned esophagus, possibly from ingesting chemicals found in the couple’s garage.

Nellie King, Harrouff’s attorney, said Wednesday that her client is mentally ill.

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Branca, pitcher who gave up ‘Shot Heard ‘Round World,’ dies

Ralph Branca’s career was defined by that one high-and-inside fastball.

The Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who gave up Bobby Thomson’s famed “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” still echoing more than six decades later among the most famous home runs in baseball history, died Wednesday. He was 90.

His son-in-law, former big league manager Bobby Valentine, said Branca died at a nursing home in Rye Brook, New York.

Branca was a three-time All-Star and spent 12 seasons in the majors. Brought in from the bullpen in the bottom of the ninth inning during the deciding Game 3 of the National League pennant playoff on Oct. 3, 1951, he gave up a three-run homer to Thomson that gave the rival New York Giants a stunning 5-4 victory.

The one-out line drive into the left field lower deck at the Polo Grounds prompted the frenetic call from announcer Russ Hodges, “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” The team and its fans celebrated wildly as Thomson breezed around the bases while Branca, wearing his unlucky No. 13 jersey, trudged off the mound.

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