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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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AP Top News at 11:53 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved a plan to impose punishing tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of Chinese goods as early as Friday, a move that could put his trade policies on a collision course with his push to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons. Trump has long vowed to fulfill his campaign pledge to clamp down on what he considers unfair Chinese trading practices. But his calls for billions in tariffs could complicate his efforts to maintain China's support in his negotiations with North Korea. Trump met Thursday with several Cabinet members and trade advisers and was expected to impose tariffs on at least $35 billion to $40 billion of Chinese imports, according to an industry official and an administration official familiar with the plans.Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday: 1. WHAT NY ATTORNEY GENERAL ACCUSED TRUMP OF DOING New York's attorney general filed a lawsuit accusing Donald Trump of illegally using money from his charitable foundation to settle disputes involving his business empire and to burnish his image during his run for the White House. 2. WATCHDOG SEES ERRORS, NOT BIAS, IN COMEY'S CLINTON PROBE In a stinging report, the Justice Department watchdog said that former FBI Director James Comey was "insubordinate" in his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the 2016 presidential election, but found no evidence that Comey was biased.WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Thursday defended President Donald Trump's decision to return a military salute to a North Korean three-star general. "It's a common courtesy when a military official from another government salutes, that you return that," presidential spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters two days after Trump returned from his summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. North Korean state media released video from the visit of Trump reaching out to shake the hand of the minister of the People's Armed Forces, who instead saluted during the summit in Singapore. The two then reversed gestures, with Trump saluting and the general reaching out to shake hands.WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's decision to suspend major U.S. military exercises in South Korea could weaken allied defenses, depending on the length and scope of the hiatus. But the potential for diplomatic damage seems even greater. The United States, South Korea and Japan were making a public display of solidarity Thursday over the outcome of Trump's summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. But analysts and former officials with experience in U.S.-Asia policy were shaken by Trump's failure to inform the Asian allies — or even the Pentagon — before mothballing the military maneuvers. "Those exercises are critically important because they are deterrence," said Chuck Hagel, a former defense secretary in the Obama administration.SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen's exiled government captured a town south of the port city of Hodeida on Thursday as fierce fighting and airstrikes pounded the area on the second day of an offensive to capture the strategic harbor that is the main entry point for food in a country teetering on the brink of famine. A Saudi military spokesman said the forces were drawing closer to the Red Sea port in a campaign aimed at driving out Iranian-aligned Shiite rebels known as Houthis, who have held Hodeida since 2015, and breaking the civil war's long stalemate.WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans distanced themselves Thursday from the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border even as the White House cited the Bible in defending its "zero tolerance" approach to illegal border crossings. "I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible," said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. "It's a moral policy to follow and enforce the law." Attorney General Jeff Sessions had earlier cited the Bible in his defense of the border policy that has resulted in hundreds of children being separated from their parents.WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans unveiled a "discussion draft" of a sweeping immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for young immigrants, $25 billion in border security — including advance funds for President Donald Trump's wall with Mexico — and a provision aimed at addressing the crisis of family separations at the border. Presented to lawmakers Thursday, the measure sticks to Trump's immigration priorities while trying to join the party's warring conservative and moderate factions on an issue that has divided the GOP for years. Passage is far from certain. Speaker Paul Ryan wants to hold a vote as soon as next week to put the issue to rest before the midterm election.NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Dawn was just beginning to break when Joseph Kamonjo Kariuki woke to find his donkeys missing. The villager searched the bush frantically for the animals he depends on to deliver water for a living, but they were nowhere to be found. It was the village's children who led Kariuki to the ghastly remains: three bloody, severed donkey heads lying on the ground. "I was in shock," said Kariuki, 37, who is known in his Kenyan village of Naivasha as "Jose wa Mapunda" — "Joseph of the Donkeys" in Swahili. Kariuki believes his donkeys were the latest victims of a black market for donkey skins, the key ingredient in a Chinese health fad that's threatening the beasts of burden many Africans rely on for farm work and transporting heavy loads.

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