Nation & World Briefs

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
‘Person of interest’ redacted from Vegas shooting records

LAS VEGAS — Search warrant records unsealed Tuesday show that in the first hours after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Las Vegas police and FBI agents identified two people of interest along with the lone gunman, Stephen Paddock.

The name of one of those people is blacked out in the court records released to The Associated Press.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing police documents, identified that person as Douglas Haig. He could not immediately be reached by the AP.

The other person is Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley. She was in the Philippines at the time of the attack and is cooperating with investigators.

Authorities have said she’s not likely to face criminal charges.

Putin: Russia list is hostile move driven by Trump foes

MOSCOW — Mixing irony with scorn, President Vladimir Putin on Thursday described a new list including Russian officials and tycoons under a U.S. sanctions law as a hostile and “stupid” move spearheaded by President Donald Trump’s political foes, but he said the Kremlin will refrain from retaliation for now.

Putin’s reluctance to criticize Trump shows that he still hopes for normalizing ties with Washington. At the same time, the U.S. move could help the Russian leader in his re-election bid in March.

Some observers warn that the blanket list of 210 names, which reads like a who’s who in Russian officialdom and business elite, could further fuel anti-Western feelings in Russia and bolster support for Putin.

Putin immediately struck that chord, pointing that those blacklisted by the U.S. control companies employing millions of Russians. He cast the U.S. move as a blow to ordinary people.

“All of us, all 146 million, have been put on some kind of list,” he said at a meeting with activists of his campaign. “Certainly, this is an unfriendly move, which further exacerbates the already strained Russia-US relations and hurts international relations as a whole.”

Budget talks bogged down by immigration, deficit concerns

WASHINGTON — A week after a standoff forced a three-day government shutdown, congressional budget talks remain bogged down by Democrats’ demands to protect “Dreamer” immigrants and GOP conservatives’ concerns about a booming federal deficit.

The deadlock is deflating hopes that lawmakers will reach a breakthrough before another shutdown deadline next week.

At risk are up to $80 billion in increases for the Pentagon this year alone, and nearly as much money for domestic programs. Almost $100 billion worth of overdue assistance for hurricane-slammed Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida is being held up.

The knot involves about $1.2 billion in agency operating budgets for the fiscal year that began in October, along with hurricane relief, President Donald Trump’s $18 billion-plus border wall, and other odds and ends.

The measure has been hung up for months as lawmakers in both parties struggle first with a deal to increase tight limits on spending that are left over from a failed 2011 budget agreement. It takes both Republicans and Democrats to lift the limits, called spending “caps” in Capitol-speak.

But talks have proceeded slowly and are now awaiting agreement on legislation to address younger immigrants currently protected from deportation under the soon-to-expire Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

From Associated Press