Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Hawaii volcano: 5 things to know Thursday
Mueller’s Russia probe, one year later
May 17 marks one year since Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel in the Russia investigation. It’s also the day after Senate investigators released a transcript in which Donald Trump Jr. said he couldn’t remember who he talked to for 11 minutes when he called a blocked number after meeting with Russian agents in 2016. These days President Trump, Vice President Pence and others in the administration are hitting the message: “wrap it up.” Of course, Trump refuses to testify before Mueller. The standoff could lead to a Mueller subpoena that Trump would likely challenge in court, which would further delay Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Volcano taking toll on Hawaii economy
Spooked by the eruption of the Kilauea volcano, tour operators and other businesses are canceling visits to Hawaii’s Big Island. Norwegian Cruise Line’s 2,186-passenger Pride of America on Tuesday skipped a call to Hilo, the island’s largest town, and will skip a Thursday stop on the other side of the island at Kailua-Kona. Lodging and tour bookings are down 50% for the May-July period, according to the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau. The volcano isn’t just stifling the local economy, but the air quality as well: Warnings have been issued for ashfall and “vog,” or volcanic smog.
49ers’ Foster to appear in court in domestic violence case
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Thursday on charges related to an alleged domestic violence incident in February. Foster last week pleaded not guilty to three felony charges relating to the incident, which carry a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison. The alleged victim in the case, Foster’s girlfriend, initially told police that Foster punched her about 10 times, dragged her by her hair downstairs and forcibly threw her out of the front door, according to the police report. She later recanted the accusations. USA TODAY Sports does not name the alleged victims of domestic violence.
The ex-girlfriend of Reuben Foster says she lied to authorities when she accused the 49ers linebacker of domestic violence.
Department of Justice to add more prosecutors across the country
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will announce the addition of more than 300 new prosecutors Thursday to fight the opioid epidemic, violent crime and immigration violations. The 311 new assistant attorney positions, the biggest addition of prosecutors in over a decade, comes as President Trump has urged federal prosecutors to pursue harsh penalties on opioid distributors and illegal immigrants. The prosecutors will be deployed throughout the U.S. with 190 focused on violent crimes, 86 on civil enforcement and 35 on immigration-related crimes.
Trump officials gear up for new round of trade talks with China
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead talks with China Thursday aimed at heading off a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. The Trump administration has proposed tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products to punish Beijing for forcing American companies to turn over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market, which China has forcefully counterpunched. The scheduled talks come days after Trump tweeted his support of troubled Chinese telecom manufacturer ZTE, putting him at odds with the Commerce Department and its decision to impose trade restrictions on the company amid allegations it violated U.S. sanctions.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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