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    Welfare reform was one of the defining issues of President Bill Clinton's presidency, starting with a campaign promise to 'end welfare as we know it,' continuing with a bitter policy fight and producing an overhaul law that remains hotly debated 20 years later.Now, President Donald Trump wants to put his stamp on the welfare system.Trump, who has been signaling interest in the issue for some time, said Monday at a Cabinet meeting that he wants to tackle welfare reform after the tax overhaul he is seeking by the end of the year. He said changes were 'desperately needed in our country' and that his administration would soon offer plans.For now, the president has not offered details. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said more specifics were likely early next year. But the groundwork has already begun at the White House and Trump has made his interest known to Republican lawmakers.Paul Winfree, director of budget policy and deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council, told a gathering at the conservative Heritage Foundation last week that he and another staffer had been charged with 'working on a major welfare reform proposal,' adding that they have drafted an executive order on the topic that would outline administration principles and direct agencies to come up with recommendations.'The president really wants to lead on this. He has delivered that message loud and clear to us. We've opened conversations with leadership in Congress to let them know that that is the direction we are heading,' Winfree said.Trump said in October that welfare reform was 'becoming a very, very big subject, and people are taking advantage of the system.'Welfare reform proved challenging for Clinton, who ran in 1992 on a promise to 'end welfare as we know it,' but struggled to get consensus on a bill, with Democrats divided and Republicans pushing aggressive changes. Amid that conflict, he signed a law in 1996 that replaced a federal entitlement with grants to the states, placed a time limit on how long families could get aid and required recipients to go to work eventually.It has drawn criticism from some liberal quarters ever since. During her presidential campaign last year, Democrat Hillary Clinton faced activists who argued that the law punished poor people.Kathryn Edin, a professor at Johns Hopkins University who has been studying welfare since the 1990s, said the law's legacy has been to limit the cash assistance available to the very poor and has never become a 'springboard to work.' She questioned what kinds of changes could be made, arguing that welfare benefits are minimal in many states and that there is little evidence of fraud in other anti-poverty programs.Still, Edin said that welfare has 'never been popular even from its inception. It doesn't sit well with Americans in general.'Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at Heritage, said he would like to see more work requirements for a range of anti-poverty programs and stronger marriage incentives, as well as strategies to improve outcomes for social programs and to limit waste. He said while the administration could make some adjustments through executive order, legislation would be required for any major change.'This is a good system. We just need to make this system better,' he said.Administration officials have already suggested they are eyeing anti-poverty programs. Trump's initial 2018 budget proposal, outlined in March, sought to sharply reduce spending for Medicaid, food stamps and student loan subsidies, among other programs.Budget director Mick Mulvaney said earlier this year, 'If you are on food stamps and you are able-bodied, we need you to go to work.
  • South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal increased the jail sentence for former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius to 13 years, 5 months, the BBC reported Friday. >> Read more trending news Pistorius was originally sentenced to six years in prison for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.  'The sentence imposed by the … [High Court] with respect to murder is set aside and substituted with the following –- the respondent’s imprisonment for 13 years and five months,' Justice Legoabe Willie Seriti said.  He said Pistorius should have been sentenced to 15 years, but the Supreme Court of Appeal took into account the time he had already served, News24 reported.  Pistorius was arrested on Valentine’s Day in 2013 –- the day of the killing. North Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa initially sentenced Pistorius to five years for culpable homicide in 2014, News 24 reported. Pistorius served only 10 months of the five-year sentence in prison before being released and put under house arrest. The state appealed the culpable homicide conviction, and it was later replaced with murder by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2016, and Masipa handed down a six-year jail term, News24 reported. Previously, the six-time Paralympic gold medallist had made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics, in 2012 in London, running on prosthetic 'blades.” He had his legs amputated below the knee as a baby, the BBC reported.
  • The Latest on inauguration of Zimbabwe's new president Emmerson Mnangagwa (all times local):10:55 a.m.Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans are awaiting the swearing-in of new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has arrived at the stadium.Opposition leaders and diplomats are in attendance as the country prepares to hear the first address of Mnangagwa, who replaced Robert Mugabe after his 37 years in power.Mnangagwa is just the second president for Zimbabwe since its independence from white minority rule in 1980.The 93-year-old Mugabe will remain in Zimbabwe, reportedly assured by his former deputy Mnangagwa of his 'maximum security.'___10:45 a.m.Zimbabweans are cheering the arrival of incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa for his inauguration.He raises his fist and the stadium crowd jumps to its feet and erupts with shouts and singing.Mnangagwa will be Zimbabwe's second president, taking over after Robert Mugabe resigned on Tuesday amid impeachment proceedings.___10:20 a.m.An American citizen charged with subversion over an alleged tweet insulting Robert Mugabe has appeared in court on Friday in Zimbabwe and has had her case pushed back to Dec. 8.Martha O'Donovan's court appearance comes a few days after Mugabe resigned under pressure from the military, the ruling party and the people.She denies the accusation that she tweeted calling the 93-year-old Mugabe a 'sick man.'Longtime Mugabe deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa is being sworn in Friday as president.___10 a.m.Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper says incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has assured Robert Mugabe and his family of their 'maximum security' as they remain in the country.The report says the two men agreed that Mugabe would not attend Friday's swearing-in of Mnangagwa as president because the 93-year-old Mugabe 'needed time to rest.'Mugabe's firing of his longtime deputy Mnangagwa earlier this month led to his own downfall as the military and ruling party members objected to the idea of Mugabe's wife succeeding him in power.___9:45 a.m.A big cheer is going up as the military commander who put Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe under house arrest, Gen. Constantino Chiwenga, arrives at the inauguration of the country's new leader.The once-feared military has seen an outpouring of support from some Zimbabweans after it moved in last week to stop Mugabe's unpopular wife from positioning herself to succeed him as president.Former defense chief Emmerson Mnangagwa is poised to be sworn in as just the second president in independent Zimbabwe's 37-year existence.___9:15 a.m.Zimbabweans are converging on a stadium ahead of the presidential inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who will become the country's second leader since independence from white minority rule in 1980.Mnangagwa, fired earlier this month as vice president, is poised to lead after the resignation of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, who succumbed to pressure to quit from the military, the ruling party and massive demonstrations.Mnangagwa, a former justice and defense minister, was a key Mugabe confidant for decades until they fell out because of the presidential ambitions of Mugabe's wife, Grace. Despite his long association with the government, Mnangagwa has promised democracy.In the end, Mugabe was isolated and showing few of the political skills that kept him in power for 37 years. He will not attend Friday's swearing-in.
  • South Korean media say North Korea appears to have replaced all of its guards at a jointly patrolled border area where a North Korean soldier defected last week under a hail of gunfire.South Korea's Defense Ministry on Friday couldn't confirm the report by Yonhap news agency, which cited an unnamed intelligence source saying there were 'signs' the North had replaced its entire security force of 35 to 40 men at the Joint Security Area.Yonhap also reports the North seems to have temporarily closed a bridge over which the defector drove a military jeep to reach the border before his dramatic escape on foot Monday.The defector is recovering from multiple gunshot wounds at a South Korean hospital.
  • Oscar Pistorius' prison sentence was increased to 13 years and five months by South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday, a decision that more than doubled the Olympic runner's jail term for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.In an announcement that took a matter of minutes, Supreme Court Justice Willie Seriti said the Supreme Court upheld an appeal by prosecutors against Pistorius' original six-year sentence for shooting Steenkamp multiple times in his home in 2013.Prosecutors had called that six-year sentence 'shockingly' lenient.Pistorius should have been sentenced to the prescribed minimum of 15 years for murder in South Africa, Seriti said, as he delivered the verdict that was reached by a panel of five judges at the Supreme Court in the central city of Bloemfontein.The new sentence of 13 years and five months took into account time Pistorius had already served in prison and at home under house arrest, Seriti said.Pistorius, who turned 31 on Wednesday, has served over a year of his initial six-year sentence.Pistorius killed Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013 after shooting four times through a closed toilet cubicle door in his home. Claiming he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder, he was initially convicted of manslaughter. That conviction was overturned and replaced with a murder conviction by the Supreme Court in 2015.Friday's decision likely brings an end to a near five-year legal saga surrounding the double-amputee athlete, a multiple Paralympic champion and record-breaker who was once one of the most celebrated sportsmen in the world.Pistorius' lawyers have just one avenue open to them if they want to challenge the new sentence handed down by the Supreme Court, and that is to appeal to the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa.Pistorius failed with an appeal to the Constitutional Court last year to challenge his murder conviction.
  • Missionaries in Provo wore red and blue hairnets, sang songs and rang cowbells as they assembled more than 350,000 Thanksgiving meals to donate to the Utah Food Bank, The Deseret News reported. >> Read more trending news The ingredients to make the apple pie oats kits -- Scottish oats, puffed rice, dehydrated apple bits and nutmeg -- were contributed by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and organizers from Orlando, Florida-based Feeding Children Everywhere. There were 60 assembly tables set up at the Missionary Training Center to accommodate 1,500 volunteers, the News reported. Working in teams of 12, the missionaries sang holiday hymns and rang a cowbell each time a kit was sealed and ready for delivery. Dave Green, CEO of Feeding Children Everywhere, told missionaries during a meeting before the service project, “Our mission as an organization is activating people for a hunger-free world.” The completed meals were stacked up on pallets and will be picked up Monday by the Utah Food Bank, then distributed throughout the state by next week, the News reported. Ginette Bott, chief development officer of the Utah Food Bank, said the work by the volunteers was gratifying. “I think we all are able to be more grateful when we give to someone else,” Bott told the News. “I hope this will be a lasting memory for these [missionaries].”
  • No matter how many injuries they accumulate, no matter how slender their playoff hopes might be, the Washington Redskins at least have this on their side: Each opponent the rest of the way currently owns a losing record.Starting next week with the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys.With a victory against another division foe Thursday night, 20-10 over the New York Giants, the Redskins (5-6) hope they took a step in the right direction after dropping four of their preceding five games.'Defensively our mentality was to come out here and win this game. It's like a playoff series for us. We're trying to stay alive, so every game is a must-win for us,' cornerback Bashaud Breeland said. 'It's that time of year. Crunch-time football. That's when people remember you.'Washington's defense was coming off consecutive losses in which it allowed more than 30 points each time.But against the Giants (2-9) — a team dealing with as many key injuries as the Redskins — Washington was more stout. It held Eli Manning and the rest of New York's offense to one first down and 47 yards in the second half.So what if the game was, in general, rather ugly? So what if the score was 3-all at halftime?'It's always very pretty,' Redskins coach Jay Gruden said, 'when you win.'Next is another Thursday game, this one at Dallas, which dropped to 5-6 by losing 28-6 to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Cowboys have two TDs in three games without suspended star running back Ezekiel Elliott, who will sit out another three games.Washington's schedule after that: Chargers (5-6), Cardinals (4-6), Broncos (3-7), Giants.Here is what else we learned from Washington's win against New York:CROWDER-SOURCINGWith their top two running backs done for the season, along with wideout Terrelle Pryor, and No. 1 tight end Jordan Reed sidelined for the past month with a hamstring injury, the Redskins are going to need to count on third-year receiver Jamison Crowder. He had a game-high seven catches for a career-high 141 yards, including a 15-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins in the third quarter — the wideout's first score this season. It's part of a trend in the right direction: After having 19 catches for 149 yards in the season's first half-dozen games, he has 27 catches 412 yards in the past four. 'Jamison and I have had a good rapport since he showed up as a rookie,' Cousins said.KERRIGAN CANConsistent pressure from Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan could help mask the fact that the team has two inside linebackers on injured reserve and a third (Martrell Spaight) missed Thursday's game with an injury. Kerrigan took advantage of New York's problems along the offensive line to get two sacks and raise his season total to a team-high nine. It was Kerrigan's 11th career game with more than one sack. 'He's a giant,' teammate Junior Galette said. 'He's been a monster in the league for years.'THEY MIGHT NOT BE GIANTSManning is a two-time Super Bowl MVP, but without targets such as Odell Beckham Jr. or Brandon Marshall, he's been unable to do much lately. Over the past five games, New York is averaging a paltry 13.4 points — and there isn't much reason to believe that sort of production will improve any time soon. 'Our margin for error is small with the way things are right now,' coach Ben McAdoo said. 'We know that going in.'ROOKIE RUNNERWith RBs Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson among the 15 Redskins on IR, it falls to rookie Samaje Perine to make Washington's ground game go. And so far, so good: He has run for at least 100 yards in each of the past two games. Against the Giants, he set aside a poor first half — 3 yards on five carries — to finish with 100 yards on 24 carries, plus another 30 yards on three catches.ENGRAM'S DROPSRookie TE Evan Engram has been a rare bright spot for the Giants, leading the team with 44 catches, but they'll want him to avoid the sort of problems that contributed to multiple dropped passes Thursday. 'A big concern,' Engram acknowledged. McAdoo said they discussed it. 'Evan looked like a rookie playing on a short week tonight,' the coach said. 'He needs to get that out of his system. He needs to learn from it, and I'm confident he will learn from it and move on.'___For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL___Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
  • Japanese authorities were investigating Friday eight men found on Japan's northern coast who say they are from North Korea and washed ashore after their boat broke down.Investigators believe the men are not defectors and wish to return home, according to Japanese media reports.Akita prefectural police said they found the men late Thursday after receiving a call about suspicious people standing around at the seaside in Yurihonjo town. Police also found a wooden boat reportedly carrying squid at a nearby marina.Police said the Korean-speaking men were in good health and identified themselves as North Koreans who were fishing before the boat broke down and washed ashore. The boat carried a sign saying 'Chongjin,' possibly related to a major port city on North Korea's eastern coast, Kyodo News agency reported.Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the investigation, which was to include the possibility of illegal fishing, was still continuing. He said police were still inspecting the boat.Suga said government officials were carefully studying how to handle the case.A week earlier, the coast guard rescued three North Korean men from a capsized fishing boat off Japan's northern coast. They were transferred hours later to another North Korean vessel that was to return them home. The coast guard later found three bodies of missing crew members from that boat, then four more bodies in another capsized boat believed to be North Korean. They were thought to have drowned.Japan and North Korea have no diplomatic ties and tensions are often high due to their colonial and wartime history and Pyongyang's missile and nuclear threats.Waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula are known to be rich fishing grounds, where poachers from North Korea and China have been spotted.Wreckage believed to be North Korean boats regularly washes ashore in northern Japan during winter due to seasonal winds.In 2015, a wooden boat drifted ashore in another coastal town in Akita and skeletal remains of two men were found — one inside the vessel and another one nearby. Three North Korean boats with 10 bodies inside also washed up on the Noto Peninsula.This year, more than a dozen cases of wreckages were reported in three northern prefectures facing the Sea of Japan, according to the Coast Guard.___Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchiFind her work at https://www.apnews.com/search/mari%20yamaguchi
  • A Texas state trooper was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Thursday, WFAA reported. >> Read more trending news Damon Allen, 41, was a 15-year veteran of the Texas Highway Patrol. He was shot and killed at about 4 p.m. on Interstate 45 just south of Fairfield, WFAA reported.  The Texas Department of Public Safety said Allen had pulled over the suspect's vehicle for a traffic violation at about 3:45 p.m. After making contact with the driver, the trooper had returned to his patrol car when the suspect fired multiple shots from a rifle, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Allen died at the scene, WFAA reported.  Allen was a husband and father of three, the Texas Highway Patrol said. Authorities later arrested the driver of the vehicle, Dabrett Montreal Black, 32, of Lindale, the Star-Telegram reported. The Waller County Sheriff's Officer posted on Facebook that one of its deputies had spotted Black driving in that county west of Houston and that shots had been fired afterward. Just before 9 p.m., Black was found hiding in a field and taken into custody. He did have nonlife-threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital, KBTX reported. He was being treated for a K-9 bite, authorities said late Thursday. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement that “this trooper died selflessly serving Texas. Please join Angela and me as we pray for the trooper's family and for the entire Department of Public Safety.” Gov. Greg Abbott reacted from his Twitter account. “Sad on Thanksgiving to lose one of our state troopers in the line of duty,”he wrote. “Prayers for his family. Swift justice for his killer.”
  • Zimbabweans converged on a stadium ahead of the presidential inauguration Friday of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who will become the country's second leader since independence from white minority rule in 1980.Mnangagwa, fired earlier this month as vice president, is poised to lead after the resignation of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, who succumbed to pressure to quit from the military, the ruling party and massive demonstrations.Mnangagwa, a former justice and defense minister, was a key Mugabe confidant for decades until they fell out because of the presidential ambitions of Mugabe's wife, Grace. Despite his long association with the government that has presided over Zimbabwe's decline, including economic collapse and human rights abuses, Mnangagwa has promised democracy and reached out to other countries for help.Mugabe was the world's oldest head of state when he quit Tuesday amid impeachment proceedings. In the end, he was isolated and showing few of the political skills that kept him in power for 37 years and made him a prominent but polarizing figure on the world stage.Mugabe will not attend Friday's swearing-in, and ruling party officials have said he will remain in Zimbabwe with their promise that he is 'safe' and his legacy as a 'hero' will stand after his fight for an independent Zimbabwe.Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper reported that Mnangagwa has assured Mugabe and his family of their 'maximum security.' The report says they agreed Mugabe would not attend Friday because he 'needed time to rest.'Some people ahead of the inauguration began to dance in the stadium stands. Banners erected in read 'Dawn of a new era' and 'No to retribution,' even as human rights activists began to report worrying details of attacks on close allies of the former first lady and their families. Mnangagwa has warned against 'vengeful retribution.'Tendai Lesayo held a small Zimbabwean flag as she sold drinks from a cooler outside the stadium. She said she would welcome a fresh start, saying 'life now is impossible.'Elsewhere in the capital, long lines formed outside banks, a common sight in a nation struggling with cash shortages and other severe economic problems that the new president will have to confront.'Right now, nothing has really changed for me. I still cannot get my money from the bank,' said Amon Mutora, who had been in line since 6 am.'Attending the inauguration will not bring food for my family,' said Kelvin Fungai, a 19-year-old selling bananas from a cart. Many young people are well-educated but jobless, reduced to street vending to survive. Others have left the country.Elsewhere, there were signs of hope amid the uncertainty. Black market rates for cash have tumbled since Mugabe left office. Before he stepped down, one had to deposit $170 into a black market dealer's bank account to get $100 cash. On Friday, $100 cash was selling for between $140 and $150.As the inauguration crowds streamed by, Sharon Samuriwo sat on a ledge, watching. She said she hoped Mnangagwa would learn from the errors of his predecessor, and she acknowledged that the path ahead for Zimbabwe is unknown.Still, 'after 37 years, we've got someone different.