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Thursday, Jan 19, 2017
National News

AP Top News at 3:19 p.m. EST

NEW YORK (AP) Breaking with presidential precedent, Donald Trump said Wednesday he will continue to profit from his global business empire after he enters the White House this month. The Trump Organization, which will be run by the president-elect's adult sons and a longtime company executive, will pursue new deals in the U.S. but will not enter new foreign arrangements while he is in office, his lawyer said at a news conference. Trump will put his business assets in a trust but will hand over the management of his international real estate development, property management and licensing company based in New York, said the lawyer.WASHINGTON (AP) Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, adopted a tough new line on Russia on Wednesday, calling it a "danger" to the United States and saying he would have recommended a muscular response to Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. Both assertions appeared to contradict the views of the president-elect, who has repeatedly spoken of improving U.S.-Russian ties. Tillerson, a friend of the Kremlin and foe of sanctions in his corporate life, said last week's intelligence report that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election was troubling and that it was a "fair assumption" Russian President Vladimir Putin would have personally ordered the intervention.CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) One by one, family members of nine slain church members confronted Dylann Roof on Wednesday before he was formally sentenced to die for the slaughter. There were laughter and tears; love and hate; anger and forgiveness; despair and hope. Some shouted at the avowed white supremacist as he stared ahead emotionless. One woman said she would visit him in prison and pray with him. They told Roof their hearts were forever broke, but that he failed his goal to stir up more racial hatred for blacks because the goodness of those he killed shined through much brighter than his cold, dark heart.WASHINGTON (AP) Six high-level Volkswagen employees have been indicted by a grand jury in the company's emissions cheating scandal, as the company admitted wrongdoing and agreed to pay a record $4.3 billion penalty. In announcing the federal indictments and plea deal Wednesday in Washington, the Justice Department detailed an elaborate and wide-ranging scheme to commit fraud and then cover it up. At least 40 VW employees were involved in destroying evidence, the government said. The penalty against the company is the largest ever levied by the government against an automaker, eclipsing the $1.2 billion fine against Toyota in 2014 over safety issues related to unintended acceleration.BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) The front lines of the battle against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline are shifting away from the dwindling encampment in North Dakota, with main opposing groups asking for activism to be spread around the U.S., a call heeded when a banner was unfurled during an NFL game on New Year's Day. The message also has evolved from a struggle against a single four-state pipeline to an effort to advance the rights of Native Americans, the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe says. "The opportunity to build awareness started at Standing Rock, and it's spreading out to other communities, other areas of the United States," tribal Chairman Dave Archambault told The Associated Press.CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) It turns out the moon is older than many scientists suspected: a ripe 4.51 billion years old. That's the newest estimate, thanks to rocks and soil collected by the Apollo 14 moonwalkers in 1971. A research team reported Wednesday that the moon formed within 60 million years of the birth of the solar system. Previous estimates ranged within 100 million years, all the way out to 200 million years after the solar system's creation, not quite 4.6 billion years ago. The scientists conducted uranium-lead dating on fragments of the mineral zircon extracted from Apollo 14 lunar samples.PASADENA, Calif. (AP) Barack Obama is not leaving his presidency quietly. Besides his farewell address to the nation Tuesday night, Obama has been on a media blitz during his final weeks in office. The biggest broadcast networks have all been granted interviews, culminating in a full-circle talk Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes." The History network airs a two-hour interview special on Sunday and next week CNN shows its own two-hour film, "The End: Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House." Obama also gave lengthy interviews to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin for a Vanity Fair feature and to Jann Wenner for his 10th Rolling Stone magazine cover.PARIS (AP) French investigators have released a chauffeur for Kim Kardashian West and two other people in their probe into the robbery of more than $10 million worth of jewelry from the star's Paris apartment in October. The driver's brother and 13 others, including two women, remained in custody Wednesday night after a round of arrests this week, according to the Paris prosecutor's office. Authorities are focusing on the possibility that the robbery was an inside job. The Paris prosecutor's office said chauffeur Michael Madar, 40, was among three people released overnight, including a woman. Madar is believed to have driven Kardashian the night of the robbery.