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World
Anatoly Lukyanov, ex-Soviet parliament speaker, dies at 88
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Anatoly Lukyanov, ex-Soviet parliament speaker, dies at 88

Anatoly Lukyanov, ex-Soviet parliament speaker, dies at 88
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Boris Yurchenko, File
FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 28, 1990 file photo, Former Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel, right, is met at airport by Russian Vice President Anatoly Lukyanov on arrival in Moscow. Anatoly Lukyanov, the speaker of the Soviet parliament who joined a hard-line coup that precipitated the Soviet collapse, has died at 88. Russia's Channel One state television said Lukyanov died Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Boris Yurchenko, File)

Anatoly Lukyanov, ex-Soviet parliament speaker, dies at 88

Anatoly Lukyanov, a Communist politician who as parliament speaker was imprisoned for his role in a coup attempt that precipitated the Soviet Union's collapse, has died. He was 88.

Russia's Channel One state television said Lukyanov died Wednesday. It didn't specify the cause.

During the 1980s, Lukyanov, a senior Communist Party official, was a top associate of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. A lawyer by training, he had known Gorbachev since they were university students.

Lukyanov moved into the speaker's seat in parliament, presiding over the intense political infighting that marked the waning years of the Soviet Union.

He also played a key role in revamping the country's laws amid Gorbachev's political and economic reforms, but eventually grew critical of Gorbachev's policies and openly spoke against them.

Lukyanov hadn't formally joined a group of hard-line Communist officials that staged a botched coup to topple Gorbachev in August 1991, but still was charged with complicity.

He was arrested along with others and spent more than a year in prison until he was released.

During 1993-2003, Lukyanov served in the Russian parliament after winning elections on the Communist Party ticket.

His burial is set for Friday at Moscow's Troyekurov cemetery.

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  • A day after offering Democrats a compromise designed to break an almost month-long impasse over border security funding, which has idled hundreds of thousands of federal government workers as a result of a partial government shutdown, President Donald Trump on Sunday denied that his plans amounted to ‘amnesty’ for illegal immigrants, as he pressed Democrats to accept the deal. “Amnesty is not a part of my offer,” the President wrote in one of a series of Sunday posts on Twitter about his Saturday afternoon speech, which basically offered temporary protection from deportation for about 1 million illegal immigrants, in exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall. Mr. Trump also sought to put pressure on Democrats – especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as the White House touted the support of Republicans in the Senate, who will try to advance the border plan later this week. “Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak,” the President said. No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2019 There were some conservative voices who gave the President’s plan a thumbs-down, not pleased with the move to shield around 700,000 DACA recipients, and another 300,000 people who had overstayed their temporary permission to be in the U.S. – but Republicans in the Senate tried to make it look like those voices were a minority of the GOP. “All members of Congress should take this proposal seriously,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). “I will absolutely vote for this proposal,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). The irony of the President’s immigration proposals weren’t lost on Democrats – as the Trump Administration has tried to end protections for DACA recipients, and targeted hundreds of thousands of others with “Temporary Protective Status” for deportation. “The President cancelled DACA. He stopped TPS,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). “He got us into this mess.” “Once again, Trump is trying to find leverage with problems that he created. No deal,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The president tried to end DACA in 2017. He slashed and ended TPS protections in 2018. In December, he shut down the government. Using people as leverage is immoral. Reopen the government now. — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 20, 2019 “Stop holding federal employees hostage and stop holding the young people in DACA hostage,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). As for the actual legislative details of the President’s plan, those still weren’t available on Sunday, but Politico reported that the plan may also include over $12 billion in hurricane and wildfire disaster relief, along with other spending provisions – all of that would need 60 votes to advance in the Senate. The House and Senate are not in session on Monday, because of the federal holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This was originally a legislative break week for Congress, but now will be ground zero for the fight over the border wall and the partial shutdown. If no final deal is reached this week, 800,000 federal workers would miss a second paycheck on Friday, January 25.
  • With a partial government shutdown extending into a fifth week, President Donald Trump on Saturday offered a deal to Democrats on immigration, setting out a plan which provides $5.7 billion for border security measures which he wants – with some of that money going to build a border wall – in exchange for temporary protection for two different classes of immigrants in the United States, an exchange which was quickly labeled a non-starter by top Democrats in Congress. “I am here today to break the logjam,” Mr. Trump said in his speech, as he said his new plan would be voted on next week in the U.S. Senate. “This is a common sense compromise both parties should embrace,” the President added in his remarks from the White House. “Everyone has made their point — now it’s time to make a law,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “I intend to move to this legislation this week.” 'As a candidate for President I promised I would fix this crisis, and I intend to keep that promise one way or the other,' President Trump says in a national address on border security https://t.co/PkxaI92qXK pic.twitter.com/uK4n43tybw — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 19, 2019 The plan offered by the President has two main compromise items, one is a bipartisan legislative effort known as the “BRIDGE ACT” – would only be a temporary solution for those known as “Dreamers” – offering them a three-year protected status in the United States, but not resolving any question about a longer-term pathway to U.S. citizenship. The President is also offering to extend protections for certain immigrants and refugees who have come to the U.S. under a “Temporary Protected Status” or TPS, and have remained in the United States longer than originally envisioned. That’s a change from last year, when the Trump Administration moved to send back thousands of people to their home countries – Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, and Sudan – ending an extended temporary protection for those who had come to the United States – but a federal court put that move by the President on hold in October. It was the first major offer made by the President since this impasse began before Christmas, as Mr. Trump had previously waved off efforts by some GOP lawmakers to add provisions dealing with DACA and other programs which helped illegal immigrants in the United States. But his Saturday speech did little to sway Democratic leaders in Congress. “It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as she and other Democrats said the immigration offers were temporary, while the wall was permanent. “Unfortunately, the president doesn’t understand that an honest negotiation can’t take place while he’s holding the government hostage,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). Democrats were hopeful that @realDonaldTrump was finally willing to re-open government & proceed with a much-needed discussion to protect the border. Unfortunately, reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of previously rejected initiatives. https://t.co/MFwebWSevG pic.twitter.com/yMTm4iP27h — Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 19, 2019 “You don’t negotiate a compromise with your own Vice President and your son in law,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), as Democrats noted there have been no direct talks in almost two weeks. “That’s not how this works.” “No genuine path to citizenship for dreamers, more intransigent insistence on an ineffective, impractical wall—nothing new from Trump today,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Republicans said the Democrats should accept the President’s offer, as both sides pointed the shutdown finger of blame at each other on the 29th day of the border security impasse, which began back before Christmas, when Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. “The President has made a very reasonable offer to extend DACA and TPS protections in exchange for the border security measures he supports,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). “Democrats have yet to make a single legitimate counteroffer throughout the last month the government has been shut down,” said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). “This is an important step in the right direction to restart negotiations,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who has broken repeatedly with GOP leaders and the White House to vote for Democratic plans to re-open the government. Mr. Trump’s plan also includes: + $800 million in humanitarian aid to deal with an influx of illegal immigrants + $805 million for drug detection efforts at major ports of entry + 2,750 new border agents and other law enforcement personnel + 75 new legal teams of immigration judges #Shutdown can only end through mutual concessions that lead to an agreement. It appears @POTUS will offer concessions this afternoon. I hope Democrats won’t just automatically reject his offer. Demanding his unconditional surrender is not a reasonable position. — Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 19, 2019 But the plan also ran into opposition from some voices on the conservative right as well. 100 miles of border wall in exchange for amnestying millions of illegals. So if we grant citizenship to a BILLION foreigners, maybe we can finally get a full border wall. — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 19, 2019
  • A mother from Minnesota is now facing charges of endangering a 20-month-old child after video showed a car seat, with her child strapped into it, tumbling out of a moving car. Maimuna Kunow Hassan, 40, could face up to a year behind bars and a $3,000 fine, KMSP reported. >>Read: Toddler strapped in car seat falls out of car in shocking dashcam video; child not hurt Police said Hassan, of Mankato, Minnesota, did not secure the car seat correctly. She is also charged with improperly restraining her child in the car seat and violating an instructional driver’s permit that requires a licensed driver in the car with her. She did not have another licensed driver with her at the the time of the incident, police told KMSP. Police were alerted to the child falling out of the car by an eyewitness who told police that he saw a car seat fall from a car and into the road as the car drove off. Officers identified Hassan, who had walked up to police with another child as officials interviewed witnesses. Hassan, crying, then hugged the child who had fallen from the car, KMSP reported. Officers said Hassan told them the door of the car opened as she drove and the toddler fell out. She parked the car farther down the road, walking back to where the child fell. She told police that the child was secure in the car and had unlocked the door. A police officer said the car seat’s chest straps were not closed and there was not a LATCH strap to connect the car seat to the vehicle. Hassan’s car was LATCH-compatible, police said, but there was not a seat restraint system in the car, KMSP reported. Hassan is scheduled to appear in court next month.
  • The partial government shutdown is hitting home for President Donald Trump in a very personal way. He lives in government-run housing, after all. Just 21 of the roughly 80 people who help care for the White House — from butlers to electricians to chefs — are reporting to work. The rest have been furloughed. Even so, the shutdown doesn't mean Trump is making his own bed or emptying the trash on the second floor of the White House, where he and the first lady live with their 12-year-old son, Barron. The pared-down White House residence staff typically still includes a butler and a chef. Basic housekeeping continues. But forget fresh flower arrangements from the White House florist — that's hardly considered an essential service. Trump joked this week that because of the skeletal staff, Melania Trump might have had to make salads for members of the championship Clemson football team when they visited the White House on Monday. Instead, he shelled out for a mega fast food order of burgers, fries and pizza for the team. Still, the slim staffing may be contributing to Trump's oft-expressed sense of loneliness about life in the White House during the longest closure in history. 'I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security,' the president tweeted on Christmas Eve. The shutdown also has thrown cold water on the White House social scene, turning the historic mansion into a museum with few visitors. Selfies at receptions are out. Public tours of the famed Red, Blue and Green rooms are at a halt. Until the Clemson players came through this week, Trump had not hosted a large group at the White House since he and the first lady said goodbye to guests at their final holiday reception before Christmas. Staffing is one reason. But it's also a matter of optics. It simply would look bad for Trump to continue hosting social events while about one-fourth of the executive branch he presides over has been forced to halt operations. Congressional leaders and various groups of legislators have come by the White House from time to time to negotiate with Trump, and even shared a few meals there. But in the absence of the larger catering staff, it fell to the Navy-run 'mess' in the basement of the West Wing to prepare steak for a small group of Republican House members who recently had lunch with Trump. Since the shutdown began, Trump has put off travel to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he typically gets in daily rounds of golf and catches up with old friends. He's scrapped his usual pattern of spending Christmas and New Year's at the resort, where he spends many weekends during the winter and hosts an annual Super Bowl bash. The White House hasn't said where he will be on game day Feb. 3. A military plane with the call sign reserved for the first family when the president is not with them landed in Palm Beach on Thursday night but the White House did not comment on who was aboard. The 132-room White House and its priceless contents require 24-hour maintenance and monitoring, so mechanical and operations engineers and electricians are part of the skeletal crew, said Gary Walters, a former White House chief usher, the person responsible for managing the residence staff. The shutdown also has trimmed the first lady's already lean East Wing staff in half. Just five of 11 aides are reporting to work, said Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman. While social events have been put on hold, planning for future events continues, such as the annual ball with the nation's governors set for Feb. 24, St. Patrick's Day festivities in March and the annual Easter Egg Roll on April 22. Those events could still be canceled or postponed depending on the length of the shutdown. Trump has said the government could be closed for a 'long time.' ___ Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report. ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap
  • A video posted Friday to Twitter shows a woman wearing black on her face and hands while using a racial slur. OU's Office of University Community confirmed in a statement that it is an OU student in the video, which it described as 'inappropriate and derogatory.'  The statement says university officials are following up with the students. In 2015, the university severed ties with a fraternity and expelled two students after several members took part in a racist chant caught on video that referenced lynching.