East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, November 25, 2017, WEEKEND EDITION, Page Page 10A, Image 10

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    Page 10A
NATION/WORLD
East Oregonian
Flynn may be moving to cooperate
with Mueller’s Russia probe
BRIEFLY
Retailers work to
attract shoppers
on Black Friday
NEW YORK (AP) —
Retailers worked hard to
attract shoppers to stores
on Black Friday, offering
in-person deals meant to
counter the ease of shopping
by phone on Amazon.
A better economy and
colder weather helped, to
be sure. But stores have
also tried to improve the
store experience and offer
better service. They’ve also
made a big push toward
offering store pickup for
online orders, hoping to
get people to pick up more
items. But they’re fighting
a circumstance in which
online leader Amazon is the
first and only stop for many
shoppers.
Still, Black Friday isn’t
what it used to be. It has
morphed from a single day
when people got up early
to score doorbusters into a
whole month of deals. That
has thinned out the crowds.
And brick-and-mortar stores
face plenty of challenges.
With the jobless rate at a
17-year-low of 4.1 percent
and consumer confidence
stronger than a year ago,
analysts project healthy sales
increases for November and
December. The National
Retail Federation trade
group expects sales for that
period to at least match last
year’s rise of 3.6 percent and
estimates online spending
and other non-store sales
will rise 11 to 15 percent.
U.S. backtracks
on closure
of Palestinian
office in D.C.
WASHINGTON (AP) —
The Trump administration
backtracked Friday on
its decision to order the
Palestinians’ office in
Washington to close, instead
saying it would merely
impose limitations on the
office that it expected would
be lifted after 90 days.
Last week, U.S. officials
said the Palestine Liberation
Organization mission
couldn’t stay open because
the Palestinians had violated
a provision in U.S. law
requiring the office to close
if the Palestinians try to get
the International Criminal
Court to prosecute Israelis.
The move triggered a major
rift in U.S.-Palestinian
relations that threatened to
scuttle President Donald
Trump’s ambitious effort to
broker Mideast peace before
it ever got off the ground.
Yet the United States
delayed shuttering the office
for a week while saying
it was working out the
details with the Palestinians,
before abruptly reversing
course late Friday, as many
Americans were enjoying
a long Thanksgiving Day
Jessica Reilly/Telegraph Herald via AP
Sara Wernimont, left, and Christina Wernimont, both of
Dubuque, Iowa, look for deals at Theisen’s Home-Farm-
Auto in Dubuque, Iowa, on Friday.
weekend. State Department
spokesman Edgar Vasquez
said the U.S. had “advised
the PLO Office to limit its
activities to those related
to achieving a lasting,
comprehensive peace
between the Israelis and
Palestinians.”
Vasquez said even those
restrictions will be lifted
after 90 days if the U.S.
determines the Israelis and
Palestinians are engaged
in serious peace talks. The
White House, in an effort
led by Trump adviser and
son-in-law Jared Kushner,
has been preparing a
comprehensive peace plan
to present to both sides in
the coming months.
Trump tells
Turkey: U.S.
to stop arming
Syrian Kurds
ANKARA, Turkey
(AP) — The United States
will cut off its supply of
arms to Kurdish fighters
in Syria, President Donald
Trump told the Turkish
president on Friday, in a
move sure to please Turkey
but further alienate Syrian
Kurds who bore much of
the fight against the Islamic
State group.
In a phone call with
Turkish President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, Trump
said he’d “given clear
instructions” that the
Kurds will receive no more
weapons — “and that this
nonsense should have ended
a long time ago,” said
Turkish Foreign Minister
Mevlut Cavusoglu. The
White House confirmed the
move in a cryptic statement
about the phone call that
said Trump had informed
the Turks of “pending
adjustments to the military
support provided to our
partners on the ground in
Syria.”
The White House called
the move “consistent with
our previous policy” and
noted the recent fall of
Raqqa, once the Islamic
State group’s self-declared
capital but recently liberated
by a largely Kurdish force.
The Trump administration
announced in May it would
start arming the Kurds in
Saturday, November 25, 2017
anticipation of the fight to
retake Raqqa.
The move could help
ease strained tensions
between the U.S. and
Turkey, two NATO allies
that have been sharply at
odds about how best to wage
the fight against IS. Turkey
considers the Kurdish
Syrian fighters, known
by the initials YPG, to be
terrorists. Yet the U.S. chose
to partner with the YPG
anyway, arguing that the
battle-hardened Kurds were
the most effective fighting
force available.
Tiger escapes from
zoo, roams
streets of Paris
PARIS (AP) — Police
in Paris say a tiger escaped
from a circus in the city and
roamed the streets of the
French capital for “some
time” before being killed.
Police said that the big
cat was “neutralized” by a
staff member from the circus
near a bridge over the River
Seine, about 1.24 miles from
the Eiffel Tower.
Police authorities
tweeted “all danger is over”
alongside a tiger emoticon.
A Paris police official,
who spoke on condition of
anonymity, confirmed that
the tiger had been loose for
“some time” Friday but said
there had been no reported
injuries or casualties.
California mother,
daughter killed in
collision with bear
SAN ANDREAS, Calif.
(AP) — Authorities say a
woman and her daughter
were killed when the car she
was driving struck a black
bear in Northern California
on Thanksgiving evening.
California Highway
Patrol Sgt. Sean Fitzgerald
says the 27-year-old woman
was driving a Subaru
Impreza on a rural road
near San Andreas Thursday
around 6 p.m. when a black
bear came in front of the
vehicle’s path.
The bear was struck
and killed, but the impact
with the bear killed the
unidentified driver and her
19-month daughter.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a
move that could signal cooperation
with the government, lawyers for
former national security adviser
Michael Flynn have told President
Donald Trump’s lawyers that they
are no longer communicating
with them about special counsel
Robert Mueller’s investigation into
Russian election interference.
Flynn’s legal team communi- Flynn
cated the decision this week, said
a person familiar with the move who spoke
to The Associated Press on condition of
anonymity to discuss an ongoing investiga-
tion. The New York Times first reported the
decision.
The decision could be a sign that Flynn
is moving to cooperate with Mueller’s
investigation or negotiate a deal for himself.
In large criminal investigations, defense
lawyers routinely share information with
each other. But it can become unethical to
continue such communication if one of the
potential targets is looking to negotiate a
deal with prosecutors.
Robert Kelner, a lawyer for Flynn,
declined to comment, as did a lawyer for
Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr., who has also
come under investigation from Mueller’s
prosecutors.
Flynn was forced to resign as national
security adviser in February after White
House officials concluded that he had
misled them about the nature of his contacts
during the transition period with the Russian
ambassador to the United States.
FBI agents interviewed Flynn in
January about his communications with the
ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. Days later,
Sally Yates, then acting attorney
general, informed White House
counsel Don McGahn that Flynn
was in a compromised position
and vulnerable to blackmail
because of inaccurate public
statements from the White House
about Flynn’s contacts with
Kislyak.
Flynn was facing a Justice
Department investigation over
his foreign business dealings even
before Mueller was appointed as special
counsel in May to investigate potential
coordination between the Trump campaign
and Russia to influence the 2016 presiden-
tial election. Mueller has since inherited that
investigation.
Flynn, a prominent Trump backer in the
campaign, has been a key figure in Mueller’s
probe and of particular interest to Trump.
Former FBI Director James Comey, for
instance, said that Trump encouraged him to
end an FBI investigation into Flynn during
a private Oval Office meeting in February.
In addition to scrutinizing Flynn’s
contacts with Russia during the transition and
campaign, Mueller has been investigating
the retired U.S. Army lieutenant general’s
role in $530,000 worth of lobbying work his
now-defunct firm performed for a Turkish
businessman during the final months of the
2016 presidential campaign.
Mueller announced his first charges in
the investigation last month, including the
guilty plea of a foreign-policy adviser to the
campaign, George Papadopoulos, and the
indictments of former campaign chairman
Paul Manafort and business associate Rick
Gates.
Group asks web hosts to shut down ‘ghost gun’ sites
LOS ANGELES (AP)
— A gun control group
founded by former U.S.
Rep. Gabby Giffords asked
two web hosting companies
to shut down websites
selling parts and machines
that help make untraceable
homemade firearms known
as “ghost guns.”
The Giffords Law Center
to Prevent Gun Violence
asked the providers that
host GhostGunner.net and
GhostGuns.com to disable
the websites for violating
the terms of service.
The sites sell kits,
components and machines
that help create homemade
semi-automatic weapons.
It’s legal to build a gun in
a home or a workshop, and
advances in 3-D printing and
milling have made it easier
to do so. The kits can be
purchased legally for a few
hundred dollars without the
kind of background check
required for traditional gun
purchases.
Attorneys for the gun
control advocacy group said
the homemade weapons are
increasingly being used in
crimes and asked each of
the companies to “invoke
its policies to help stem the
tide of this illegal, deadly
behavior.”
They argue that the
hosting companies should
invoke their ability to
disable and terminate the
websites. The group argues
that the two sites sell “the
sort of products that have
already caused scores of
senseless deaths — and are
likely to cause many more,
unless taken off the market.”
The gunman who killed
his wife and four others
in a rampage in Northern
California
earlier
this
month had been barred
from having guns but built
two semi-automatic rifles
at home that he used in
the shooting, authorities
said. Federal officials are
sounding the alarm about an
increasing black market for
homemade military-style
semi-automatic rifles and
handguns.
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