Nation & World

AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST

Morales says he's headed for Mexico as clashes rock Bolivia

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Former Bolivian President Evo Morales said Monday he was headed for Mexico after being granted asylum there, as his supporters and foes clashed on the streets of the capital following his resignation and a tearful opposition leader laid out a possible path toward new elections.

Morales stepped down Sunday following weeks of massive protests over a disputed presidential election, but the resignations of every constitutionally designated successor left unclear who will take his place and how.

Angry supporters of the socialist leader set barricades ablaze to block some roads leading to the country's main airport, while his foes blocked most of the streets leading to the capital's main square in front of Congress and the presidential palace. Police urged residents of La Paz to stay in their homes and said they were joining with the army to avoid an escalation of the violence.

Morales tweeted that he was leaving Monday evening, and Mexico's Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard confirmed in a tweet that Morales was on a plane sent by Mexico City.

"I am leaving for Mexico, grateful for the openness of these brothers who offered us asylum to protect our life," Morales tweeted. "It hurts me to leave the country, for political reasons, but I will always be concerned. I will return soon, with more strength and energy."

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National security officials objected to stopping Ukraine aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — The view among the national security officials was unanimous: Military aid to Ukraine should not be stopped. But President Donald Trump's acting chief of staff thought otherwise.

As the aid was being blocked this summer, Ukraine officials began quietly asking the State Department about the hold-up. The concern was clear for the young democracy battling an aggressive Russia.

"If this were public in Ukraine it would be seen as a reversal of our policy," said Catherine Croft, the special adviser for Ukraine at State, who fielded the inquiries from the Ukrainians.

"This would be a really big deal," she testified. "It would be a really big deal in Ukraine, and an expression of declining U.S. support for Ukraine."

Croft's remarks were among the transcripts released Monday from the House impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

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Democrats, GOP to vie for impeachment narrative -- on TV

WASHINGTON (AP) — Impeachable or not?

Both Democrats and Republicans see the televised impeachment hearings starting this week as their first and best opportunity to shape public opinion about President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

Democrats believe the testimony will paint a vivid picture of presidential misconduct. Republicans say it will demonstrate just how lacking the evidence is for impeachment.

The stakes are high, and historic. Trump faces the prospect of being just the third American president impeached by the House of Representatives, a dubious distinction for a commander in chief facing reelection. Yet Democrats are privately uncertain about how the public will view the proceedings, particularly if Trump is impeached along party lines.

In the hearings beginning Wednesday, Democrats plan a narrow focus and a narrative retelling of Trump's pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrats as his administration withheld military aid to an Eastern European ally on Russia's border.

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AP sources: Deval Patrick mulling Democratic White House run

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is considering making a late run for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to two people with knowledge of his deliberations, underscoring some Democrats' deep uncertainty about the party's current crop of contenders.

Patrick, a close friend and ally of former President Barack Obama, ruled out a presidential bid earlier this year but has since been talking with Democratic operatives and donors about launching a campaign. He has not made a final decision on whether to run, but he is expected to do so quickly, given fast-approaching deadlines to get on the ballot in key states.

Patrick is the second Democrat to weigh jumping into the race at this late juncture, less than three months before the kickoff Iowa caucuses. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also reconsidering a run, citing concerns about the current Democratic front-runners' ability to defeat President Donald Trump. Bloomberg is expected to make a final decision on his 2020 prospects within days.

The people with knowledge of Patrick's deliberations spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Democrats plunged into the 2020 race with sky high enthusiasm about the prospects of defeating Trump and with a historic number of candidates vying for the nomination. But as the field has started to dwindle, some in the party have raised concerns about the durability of former Vice President Joe Biden and the ability of liberal Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to win in a general election.

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Former President Jimmy Carter enters hospital for surgery

ATLANTA (AP) — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was admitted to a hospital on Monday evening for a surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, caused by bleeding due to his recent falls, his spokeswoman said.

The procedure is scheduled for Tuesday morning at Emory University Hospital, Deanna Congileo said in a statement.

Carter has fallen at least three times this year, and the first incident in the spring required hip replacement surgery. He traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, and helped build a Habitat for Humanity home after getting 14 stiches following a fall on Oct. 6. And he was briefly hospitalized after fracturing his pelvis on Oct. 21. He received a dire cancer diagnosis in 2015 but survived and has since said he is cancer-free.

Nearly four decades after he left office and despite a body that's failing after 95 years, the nation's oldest-ever ex-president still teaches Sunday school roughly twice a month at Maranatha Baptist Church in his tiny hometown of Plains in southwest Georgia. His message is unfailingly about Jesus, not himself.

Rev. Tony Lowden, Carter's pastor, said the ex-president was hospitalized Monday on what he called "a rough day."

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Winter already? Snow, deep freeze from Rockies to East Coast

CHICAGO (AP) — An arctic air mass that brought snow and ice to an area stretching from the Rocky Mountains to northern New England on Monday was poised to give way to record-breaking cold temperatures.

In mid-Michigan, three people were killed in a two-vehicle crash that the Eaton County sheriff's department attributed to heavy snowfall. And in Kansas, the highway patrol reported that a truck lost control on an icy highway and slammed head-on into another truck, killing an 8-year-old girl in the other vehicle.

In Chicago, where as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow fell, an Envoy Air flight from Greensboro, North Carolina, slid off an icy runway at O'Hare International Airport as it tried to land at about 7:45 a.m. None of the 38 passengers and three crew members were injured, according to the city's aviation department.

Snowfall totals could reach up to a foot or more in some areas of Indiana, Michigan and Vermont, according to the National Weather Service. Other places in the path of the air mass saw ice and rain. Denver saw just a few inches of snow but suffered numerous accidents on icy roadways because the snow fell during the morning commute.

About 1,220 flights were canceled at Chicago's airports and officials in the area opened warming centers. In Michigan, some schools closed early, as did dozens of schools in the St. Louis area.

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Rebirth, angst and the 'new normal' of California wildfires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Tina Chandler walks outside her home and sniffs the air. "Do you smell smoke?" she asks.

Even when the scent is no longer there, it haunts her. So does the fear of the monstrous winds of autumn, the kind that stoked the wildfires that destroyed her northern California neighborhood once and, in recent days, threatened it yet again. "That wind and the stink," she says, frowning.

Two years ago, the Chandlers had only minutes to escape before their longtime family home burned to the ground before their eyes. They rose from the ashes to build a new home. Their two sons bought lots down the street, one starting his home.

Then, in recent weeks, they spent tense days watching the orange glow of the Kincade Fire rise behind a ridge near the new homes in their once-flattened neighborhood.

California has long been seen as a golden land of opportunity. But this "new normal" — fires of enormous size and ferocity — is making everyone edgy and causing some to flee.

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Burger King brings a plant-based Whopper to Europe

Burger King is introducing a plant-based burger in Europe. But it's not the Impossible Whopper that's been a hit with U.S. customers.

Instead, a Dutch company called The Vegetarian Butcher will supply the new soy-based Rebel Whopper. It will go on sale Tuesday at 2,400 restaurants across Europe.

Impossible Foods' burger hasn't been approved for sale in the European Union because it contains genetically modified ingredients. The EU requires testing on such products before they are sold.

A spokesman for the Dutch government confirmed that Impossible submitted an application last month and is awaiting a ruling from the European Food Safety Authority.

The Vegetarian Butcher was founded in 2007. Unlike Impossible, which only makes burger meat, The Vegetarian Butcher makes plant-based chicken, hot dogs, sausages and even tuna, and sells its products in 17 European countries. Consumer goods company Unilever acquired The Vegetarian Butcher at the end of 2018.

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Utah death-row inmate featured in best-selling book dies

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah death-row inmate who killed his brother's wife and her toddler because of his strong polygamist beliefs in a case made famous by the book "Under the Banner of Heaven" has died of natural causes, prison officials said Monday.

Ron Lafferty, 78, died at the state prison in the Salt Lake City suburb of Draper, Utah Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kaitlin Felsted said.

The state attorney general's office had expected him to be executed next year and become the first American put to death by firing squad in nearly a decade.

Lafferty's case became well-known after it was featured in Jon Krakauer's 2003 book about radical offshoots of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Krakauer also wrote "Into Thin Air" and "Into the Wild."

Lafferty claimed he had received a revelation from God to kill the mother and child in 1984 because of the sister-in-law's resistance to his fundamentalist belief in polygamy. Lafferty carried out the killlngs with his brother, Dan Lafferty, who received a life sentence.

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Mets' Alonso, Astros' Álvarez named Rookies of the Year

NEW YORK (AP) — Young sluggers known for their prodigious power, Pete Alonso and Yordan Álvarez knocked the Rookie of the Year voting out of the park.

In a rarity for the major league home run leader, Alonso didn't land the biggest blow.

Alonso, a star first baseman with the New York Mets, got 29 of 30 first-place votes for NL Rookie of the Year. Braves right-hander Mike Soroka got the other first-place vote and finished second in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America revealed Monday night.

"To just win the award, doesn't matter if it's unanimous or not," Alonso said. "It's still such a blessing."

Álvarez, a hulking designated hitter from the Houston Astros, earned all 30 first-place votes to become the 24th unanimous selection since the award was introduced in 1949.

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