Shutdown labors on as political maneuverings take precedence
The government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, is in its 28th day on Friday as the political feud between President Donald Trump and Democrats heats up. Trump threw the latest political punch Thursday in his ongoing battle with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, canceling her military plane for an overseas trip after she suggested that he postpone his State of the Union address. Meanwhile, observers across the country and political leaders in Washington are asking the same question: Where’s Mitch McConnell? The Senate Majority Leader has refused to bring a vote forward to reopen the government and he believes the Democrats should come back to the negotiating table first.
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‘Blockbuster’ storm could drop 40 inches of snow in New England
A powerful winter storm that already hammered California will next take aim at the Midwest and East. On Friday, snow is forecast for South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa, AccuWeather said. Then, the storm will roar into the Northeast and New England on Saturday and Sunday. Up to 40 inches of snow is possible in parts of northern New England, while close to 30 inches of snow may fall on central and northern New York state and the northern tier of Pennsylvania. Road travel may become “impossible” due to the heavy snow; flight delays and cancellations are also likely. Bitter cold will roll in after the storm on Sunday, bringing below-freezing temperatures to 200 million Americans.
Abortion opponents rally in Washington at March for Life
Thousands of anti-abortion activists will descend on the National Mall on Friday for the 46th annual March for Life. Billed as the world’s largest anti-abortion event, the march is held each year on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. Last year, President Donald Trump spoke by video feed, becoming the first chief executive to directly address the march. This year, Vice President Mike Pence will speak at a post-march dinner. Activists are eagerly waiting to see if Trump’s two Supreme Court appointees will side with them in the ongoing battle over restricting abortion, but they face resurgent opposition from the new Democratic House.
Judge set to sentence Chicago cop for murder of Laquan McDonald
A judge is scheduled to sentence ex-Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke on Friday in the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald, a black teen whose killing by the white police officer sparked public outrage. Van Dyke was convicted in October of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, one for each shot he fired. Prosecutors have asked for a sentence of at least 18 years in prison, but Van Dyke faces up to 96 years. The development comes a day after another judge found Officer Thomas Gaffney, former Officer Joseph Walsh and former Detective David March not guilty of conspiring to cover-up damning details of the shooting.
Pompeo expected to meet with North Korea’s top negotiator
North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator, Kim Yong Chol, is expected to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday as a potential second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gains momentum. The expected meeting, which has not been confirmed by the State Department, would come a day after a Pentagon report described North Korea’s missile and nuclear program as an “extraordinary threat” to the United States. The Missile Defense Review report emphasized that Pyongyang has invested considerable resources and undertaken extensive nuclear and missile testing “in order to realize the capability to threaten the U.S. homeland with missile attack.” Trump, who introduced the report during a speech at the Pentagon but mentioned the reclusive nation only in passing, has underplayed the threat posed by North Korea in recent statements and characterized Washington’s relationship with Pyongyang in glowing terms.
Bonus: Warriors welcome NBA All-Star to their lineup
On Friday, the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors will get even stronger as they welcome newcomer and four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to the starting lineup for their game against the Los Angeles Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN). Cousins hasn’t played in nearly a year after rupturing left Achilles tendon, but is eager to play a role in making the Warriors “the most hated team in sports.”