National News

National News at a Glance

Posted June 4, 2018 10:07 p.m. EDT

Trump Disinvites Super Bowl Champions From White House

President Donald Trump abruptly called off the White House celebration honoring the Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagles after nearly all the players and coaches said they would boycott the visit after the president’s demands that players stand during the national anthem. White House officials said that fewer than 10 members of the team were planning to attend the celebration Tuesday, which is usually a nonpolitical celebration. Instead, this year’s event to honor the Eagles has become a bitter reflection of the deep divisions in the nation over race, patriotism and Trump himself. When it became clear that most of the team would not attend, Trump issued a blistering statement disinviting them.

Mueller Accuses Paul Manafort of Attempted Witness Tampering

Federal prosecutors on Monday accused President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, of attempting to tamper with witnesses in his federal tax and lobbying case. In court documents, prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert Mueller III, said that Manafort tried to contact witnesses by phone and through an encrypted messaging program. Prosecutors said that was a violation of Manafort’s release while he awaits trial. They asked a federal judge to revise the terms of his release or revoke it entirely, which would send him to jail until trial. An FBI agent wrote in court documents that at least one witness reported Manafort’s contact.

Suspect in 4 Killings in Arizona Fatally Shoots Himself, Police Say

A man suspected of killing two medical professionals and two paralegals in the Phoenix area in recent days fatally shot himself Monday, officials said. Detectives located the man, whose name was not publicly released, in a hotel room in Scottsdale, Arizona. The man shot himself as officers were trying to evacuate people out of nearby rooms, officials said. Detectives linked the man to the killings of Steven E. Pitt, a forensic psychiatrist; two paralegals at a Phoenix law firm; and Marshall Levine, 72, a medical counselor. Officials declined to elaborate on how the cases were connected or what linked them to the suspect.

Supreme Court Sides With Baker Who Turned Away Gay Couple

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who had refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple. The court’s decision was narrow, and it left open the larger question of whether a business can discriminate against gay men and lesbians based on rights protected by the First Amendment. The court passed on an opportunity to either bolster the right to same-sex marriage or explain how far the government can go in regulating businesses run on religious principles. Instead, the majority opinion turned on the argument that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which originally ruled against the baker, had been shown to be hostile to religion because of the remarks of one of its members.

4 Parkland Seniors Who Died in School Shooting Are Honored at Graduation

The names of Nicholas Dworet, Joaquin Oliver, Meadow Pollack and Carmen Schentrup echoed through a South Florida arena Sunday, laying bare how much has changed for the Class of 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The four seniors were among the 17 people killed Feb. 14 when a gunman opened fire inside the school in Parkland, Florida. On Sunday, their families walked onto the stage to receive what would have been for them: a diploma, a medal, and a cap and tassel. Since the shooting on Valentine’s Day, a group of surviving students and parents of the victims have led a vocal gun-control movement that has spread across the country.

Georgia Police Officer Is Fired After Striking Man With Patrol Car

A rookie police officer in Georgia was fired over the weekend after body camera video showed him striking a man with his patrol car during a pursuit. An internal investigation by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department determined that officer Taylor Saulters used excessive force when he struck the man, Timmy Patmon, with his vehicle Friday. Chief Scott Freeman fired Saulters on Saturday, a police spokesman said. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation. Patmon suffered scrapes and bruises and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. Saulters had been with the department for about a year.

Trump Calls Special Counsel ‘Unconstitutional’

President Donald Trump declared Monday that the appointment of the special counsel in the Russia investigation was “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” and asserted that he had the power to pardon himself, raising the prospect that he might take extraordinary action to immunize himself from the continuing inquiry. Trump’s assertion that “numerous legal scholars” believe he could pardon himself ignores the one official opinion on the subject. In August 1974, just days before former President Richard M. Nixon resigned, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, Mary C. Lawton, said in a memorandum that “it would seem” that Nixon could not pardon himself.

Maine Voted to Expand Medicaid. Judge Orders the State to Get Moving.

Seven months after Maine voters approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid, a state judge on Monday ordered Gov. Paul LePage’s administration to stop stonewalling and move ahead with the plan. It was the second victory in a week for Medicaid expansion, which became possible under the Affordable Care Act. Lawmakers in Virginia voted last week to open the program to an additional 400,000 residents. Advocates in Utah have succeeded in getting a question on the November ballot about expanding Medicaid, and similar efforts are underway in Idaho and Nebraska. In Maine, Medicaid expansion advocates sued the LePage administration in April after it missed the deadline for submitting a plan to the federal government to expand the program.