National News at a Glance
Posted March 12, 2018 10:07 p.m. EDT
House GOP Ends Inquiry on Collusion
Even as the special counsel expands his inquiry and pursues criminal charges against at least four Trump associates, House Intelligence Committee Republicans said Monday that they have found no evidence of collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election. Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, said committee Republicans agreed with U.S. intelligence agencies' conclusions that Russia had interfered with the election, but they broke with the agencies on one point: that the Russians had favored Trump’s candidacy. In a statement Monday evening, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the committee's top Democrat, said the committee had put partisan politics over fact-finding and had failed to serve American voters.
Conceding to NRA, Trump Abandons Brief Gun Control Promise
President Donald Trump has abandoned his promise to work for gun control measures the National Rifle Association opposes, instead bowing to the gun group and embracing its agenda of armed teachers and incremental improvements to the background check system. After the Florida high school massacre last month, Trump called on live television for raising the age limit to purchase rifles and backed 2013 legislation for near-universal background checks. He later told lawmakers that while the NRA has “great power over you people, they have less power over me.” But on Monday, it was the president who seemed to knuckle under, again dramatizing the sway the NRA maintains in Republican circles.
Relentless Weather: More Snow as Another Nor’easter Takes Aim
New England is bracing for yet another winter storm, which could bring up to 2 feet of snow across parts of the region. A winter storm watch was in effect from Monday evening through Tuesday evening for much of New England, and a blizzard warning was issued for coastal Massachusetts. The snow was expected to begin around midnight Monday and could continue for 24 hours, forecasters said. Officials called off school for Tuesday in Boston and several surrounding districts. Amtrak suspended service between New York City and Boston until at least 11 a.m. Tuesday. Ferries were canceled, as were scores of flights in and out of Boston’s Logan International Airport.
Winner of $560 Million Can Remain Undisclosed
The winner of a $560 million Powerball jackpot — one of the largest prizes in U.S. history — can remain anonymous, a New Hampshire judge ruled Monday. The woman who bought the winning ticket had gone to court to keep her name from being made public. Her lawyers argued that she feared being overwhelmed with requests for a share of her winnings and was concerned about her safety. The state had argued that lottery winners' names must be disclosed to ensure that winners are not related to lottery employees. In the end, the court sided with the woman, saying disclosing her name would amount to an invasion of privacy.
White House Aides Blur the Legal Lines Between Partisans and Public Servants
Over the past 14 months there have been at least eight complaints against White House officials for potential violations of the Hatch Act, the federal law that since 1939 has barred government officials from using their positions to engage in partisan politics, according to the agency charged with enforcing it. That number has put the Trump White House on a pace to far surpass complaints against his predecessor's staff. The number of complaints suggest that Trump is surrounded by aides who blur the line between their roles as partisans and public servants, sometimes skirting or disregarding standards that govern the behavior of senior White House officials.
Man Arrested in 1986 Massachusetts Murder of a Teenager
For more than three decades, the killing of Tracy Gilpin remained unsolved. But Sunday, authorities in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, announced that they had made an arrest. Two days earlier, police in Troutman, North Carolina, helped Massachusetts state troopers arrest Michael Hand, 61. Rendition proceedings are underway to bring Hand back to Massachusetts, where he will be charged with murder. Gilpin, of Kingston, Massachusetts, was 15 when she disappeared on Oct. 1, 1986. Three weeks later, her body was found in a park in neighboring Plymouth. Her skull was fractured, and her cause of death was determined to have been blunt head trauma, probably suffered the night she vanished.