[ {"id":"237d6aab-6902-5bbb-ada0-f602104beb6d","type":"article","starttime":"1487889597","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-23T16:39:57-06:00","lastupdated":"1487890302","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"govt-and-politics":"news/national/govt-and-politics"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"US factory CEOs to Trump: Jobs exist; skills don't","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/article_237d6aab-6902-5bbb-ada0-f602104beb6d.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/us-factory-ceos-to-trump-jobs-exist-skills-don-t/article_237d6aab-6902-5bbb-ada0-f602104beb6d.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/President-Donald-Trump-brought-two-dozen-manufacturing-CEOs-to-the-White-House-on-Thursday-and-declared-their-collective-commitment-to-restoring-factory-jobs-lost-to-foreign-competition/id-22d25696b2074d1a90a4ca519c630ecd","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER\nAP Economics Writer","prologue":"WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 President Donald Trump brought two dozen manufacturing CEOs to the White House on Thursday and declared their collective commitment to restoring factory jobs lost to foreign competition.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","government and politics","production facilities","corporate news","tax reform","government taxation and revenue","government finance","government business and finance","national taxes","national governments","trade regulation","industry regulation","government regulations","politics"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"f481f557-b58d-58ee-87ac-811d1b0f53e9","description":"President Donald Trump welcomes manufacturing executives to a meeting at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. From left are, Archer Daniels Midland CEO Juan Luciano, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Trump, and Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)","byline":"Evan Vucci","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/48/f481f557-b58d-58ee-87ac-811d1b0f53e9/58af4eaba4677.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/48/f481f557-b58d-58ee-87ac-811d1b0f53e9/58af4eaba4677.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/48/f481f557-b58d-58ee-87ac-811d1b0f53e9/58af4eaba4677.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/48/f481f557-b58d-58ee-87ac-811d1b0f53e9/58af4eaba4677.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"fc7487b8-24c2-527d-8d2b-5b6d1f671f36","description":"President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with manufacturing executives at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. From left are, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Trump, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, and Ford CEO Mark Fields. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)","byline":"Evan Vucci","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/c7/fc7487b8-24c2-527d-8d2b-5b6d1f671f36/58af4eab17699.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/c7/fc7487b8-24c2-527d-8d2b-5b6d1f671f36/58af4eab17699.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/c7/fc7487b8-24c2-527d-8d2b-5b6d1f671f36/58af4eab17699.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/c7/fc7487b8-24c2-527d-8d2b-5b6d1f671f36/58af4eab17699.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"237d6aab-6902-5bbb-ada0-f602104beb6d","body":"

WASHINGTON (AP) \u2014 President Donald Trump brought two dozen manufacturing CEOs to the White House on Thursday and declared their collective commitment to restoring factory jobs lost to foreign competition.

Yet some of the CEOs suggested that there were still plenty of openings for U.S. factory jobs but too few qualified people to fill them. They urged the White House to support vocational training for the high-tech skills that today's manufacturers increasingly require \u2014 a topic Trump has seldom addressed.

\"The jobs are there, but the skills are not,\" one executive said during meetings with White House officials that preceded a session with the president. (Reporters were permitted to attend the meetings on the condition of not quoting individual executives by name.)

The discussion of job training and worker skills is a relatively new one for Trump, who campaigned for the White House on promises to restore manufacturing jobs that he said had been lost to flawed trade deals and unfair competition from countries like Mexico and China.

Again and again, Trump brought up that theme in his meeting with the CEOs.

\"Everything is going to be based on bringing our jobs back,\" Trump said. \"The good jobs, the real jobs. They've left.\"

White House officials said Trump heard the CEOs' concerns about a shortage of qualified workers and said he supports efforts to increase training for factory jobs. But they didn't provide details.

\"We were challenged by the president to ... come up with a program to make sure the American worker is trained for the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow,\" Reed Cordish, a White House official, said after Thursday's meetings.

Trump officials said the meetings were intended to provide the White House with ideas in four areas: taxes and trade; regulatory reform; infrastructure; and the \"workforce of the future,\" including advanced training. Proposed solutions may be included in future presidential executive orders or legislative proposals, a White House official said.

The gathering occurred amid the same kind of jovially informal atmosphere that has prevailed in several meetings Trump has held with CEOs in the four weeks since his inauguration. Most of the executives thanked the president for reaching out to them, and several expressed gratitude for his interest in meeting them face to face.

\"All the CEOs are very encouraged by the pro-business policies of President Trump,\" Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical, said afterward outside the White House. \"Some of us have said this is probably the most pro-business administration since the Founding Fathers.\"

Other CEOs at the meeting included Jeff Immelt of General Electric, Doug Oberhelman of Caterpillar, Inge Thulin of 3M and Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup.

One executive said in discussions with White House officials that his company has 50 participants in a factory apprenticeship program, but could take 500 if enough were qualified. But he said that in his experience, most students coming out of high school lack the math and English skills to absorb technical manuals.

Some economists argue that businesses should offer higher pay and adopt more training if they can't find the workers they need. Higher pay would draw more young people into the field.

In the meantime, some data supports the CEOs' concerns about the shortage of qualified applicants. Government figures show there are 324,000 open factory jobs nationwide \u2014 triple the number in 2009, during the depths of the recession.

Separately, the administration sent mixed signals Thursday about a contentious proposed tax on imports, known as a \"border adjustment.\" The proposal has the support of House Republican leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan.

In an interview with Reuters, Trump expressed general support for a \"form of tax on the border,\" saying it \"could lead to a lot more jobs in the United States.\" But he stopped short of endorsing the House proposal specifically.

Earlier Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave a more lukewarm assessment of the proposal in an interview with the business network CNBC.

\"We think there are some very interesting aspects of it,\" Mnuchin said but added: \"We think there are some concerns about it.\"

Several of the manufacturing CEOs pushed for the tax during their meeting with Trump, a White House official said. But others, particularly those who rely on imported goods, were opposed, the official said.

The border-adjusted tax is opposed by large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, who argue that they could end up paying more in taxes than they earn in profits under the proposal. The official wasn't authorized to discuss a closed-door meeting and spoke on condition of anonymity.

___

AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.

"}, {"id":"6ed00613-a96e-5709-bb73-a25cf308d3c5","type":"article","starttime":"1487889545","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-23T16:39:05-06:00","lastupdated":"1487890281","priority":0,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/national/govt-and-politics"},{"featured":"video/featured"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"White House: Feds will step up marijuana law enforcement","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/article_6ed00613-a96e-5709-bb73-a25cf308d3c5.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/white-house-feds-will-step-up-marijuana-law-enforcement/article_6ed00613-a96e-5709-bb73-a25cf308d3c5.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/news/national/govt-and-politics/white-house-feds-will-step-up-marijuana-law-enforcement/article_49cb591c-f927-505b-85dd-4752fa7c139e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Kevin Liptak, CNN White House Producer","prologue":"The White House said Thursday it expects law enforcement agents to enforce federal marijuana laws when they come into conflict with states where recreational use of the drug is permitted.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","politics"],"internalKeywords":["#lee","#cnn"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"6ed00613-a96e-5709-bb73-a25cf308d3c5","body":"

The White House said Thursday it expects law enforcement agents to enforce federal marijuana laws when they come into conflict with states where recreational use of the drug is permitted.

\"I do believe you will see greater enforcement of it,\" White House press secretary Sean Spicer said regarding federal drug laws, which still list marijuana as an illegal substance.

That's a reversal from the Obama administration's stance, which laid out in an official memo that the federal government wouldn't interfere in states where nonmedical use of marijuana is allowed.

That guidance was issued after two states -- Colorado and Washington -- voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Obama said in the immediate aftermath of those votes that the federal government had \"bigger fish to fry\" than cracking down on marijuana use in states where it's considered legal.

Most drug enforcement operations are carried out by state and local authorities, with little involvement by the federal government. Enforcing marijuana laws has been considered a lower priority for federal drug agents, who have remained focused on curbing narcotics trafficking and combating a nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse.

Spicer on Thursday, however, linked marijuana use with the widespread abuse of painkillers, suggesting that allowing recreational use of marijuana could be interpreted as condoning drug use more widely.

\"When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people,\" Spicer said. \"There is still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and drugs of that nature.\"

He was careful to distinguish between use of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. President Donald Trump, he said, understood that marijuana could help ease suffering for patients with terminal illnesses.

Trump took varying positions on marijuana during his campaign for president. He said during remarks in June 2015 that legal recreational use was \"bad,\" adding he felt \"strongly about it.\"

But later that year he suggested the issue should be decided by individual states and not by the federal government.

\"In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state,\" he said in Nevada in October 2015.

He's remained staunchly supportive of medical marijuana, telling Fox News host Bill O'Reilly he was \"in favor of medical marijuana 100%.\"

\"I know people that have serious problems and they did that they really -- it really does help them,\" he said.

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(AP Photo/James MacPherson)","byline":"James MacPherson","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"326","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/76/5761b16b-772f-5947-a452-51d5ba568017/58af2498232dc.image.jpg?resize=512%2C326"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/76/5761b16b-772f-5947-a452-51d5ba568017/58af2498232dc.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"191","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/76/5761b16b-772f-5947-a452-51d5ba568017/58af2498232dc.image.jpg?resize=300%2C191"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"652","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/76/5761b16b-772f-5947-a452-51d5ba568017/58af2498232dc.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"9d79c217-4015-5cc9-acdf-f80ada206a02","description":"Authorities arrest one of the last remaining holdouts from the now-closed Dakota Access pipeline protest camp in southern North Dakota near Cannon Ball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Police made about several dozen arrests, and declared the camp cleared after about 3 1/2 hours. (Mike McCleary/Bismarck Tribune via AP)","byline":"Mike McCleary","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"377","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/d7/9d79c217-4015-5cc9-acdf-f80ada206a02/58af5fd04d317.image.jpg?resize=512%2C377"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"74","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/d7/9d79c217-4015-5cc9-acdf-f80ada206a02/58af5fd04d317.image.jpg?resize=100%2C74"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"221","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/d7/9d79c217-4015-5cc9-acdf-f80ada206a02/58af5fd04d317.image.jpg?resize=300%2C221"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"754","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/d7/9d79c217-4015-5cc9-acdf-f80ada206a02/58af5fd04d317.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"bf79dafe-e9fa-538c-82f1-e487485411e7","description":"Authorities arrest the last remaining holdouts in the now-closed Dakota Access pipeline protest camp in southern North Dakota near Cannon Ball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Police made about several dozen arrests, and declared the camp cleared after about 3 1/2 hours. 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CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) \u2014 Authorities on Thursday cleared a protest camp where opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline had gathered for the better part of a year, searching tents and huts and arresting three dozen holdouts who had defied a government order to leave.

It took 3 \u00bd hours for about 220 officers and 18 National Guardsmen to methodically search the protesters' temporary homes and arrest people, including a man who climbed atop a building and stayed there for more than an hour before surrendering.

Native Americans who oppose the $3.8 billion pipeline established the Oceti Sakowin camp last April on federal land near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to draw attention to their concerns that the project will hurt the environment and sacred sites \u2014 claims Dallas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners disputes. The camp gained increased attention starting in August after its population had grown and authorities made their first arrests. At its height, the camp included thousands of people, but the numbers had dwindled during the winter and as the fight over the pipeline moved into the courts.

The Army Corps of Engineers said it needed to clear the camp ahead of spring flooding, and had ordered everyone to leave by 2 p.m. Wednesday. The agency said it was concerned about protesters' safety and about the environmental effects of tents, cars, garbage and other items in the camp being washed into nearby rivers.

Most protesters left peacefully Wednesday, when authorities closed the camp, but some stayed overnight in defiance of the government order.

As police in full riot gear worked to arrest the stragglers Thursday, cleanup crews began razing buildings on the square-mile piece of property at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers.

Protesters maintain the camp is on land that rightfully belongs to American Indians under old treaties. The Indigenous Environmental Network, which once had a strong presence in the camp, denounced the eviction of those who remained. Executive Director Tom Goldtooth said it \"is a continuation of a centuries-old practice, where the U.S. government forcefully removes Indigenous people from our lands.\"

Authorities entered the camp \"cautiously and tactfully\" to ensure the safety of officers and protesters, according to Highway Patrol Lt. Tom Iverson. The arrests were a last resort, he said.

\"We did not want this. Unfortunately, there were some bad actors that forced us into this position,\" he said.

Only one person resisted arrest; otherwise there were no major incidents, and there were no injuries, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said.

Afterward, officers showed visible relief, smiling, shaking hands and patting one another on the back.

Guardsmen and officers entered the camp from two directions shortly before midday, alongside numerous law enforcement and military vehicles and with a helicopter and airplane overhead. As they checked and cleared buildings, they marked them with a fluorescent orange \"X.\"

They declared the camp cleared shortly after 2 p.m., though Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said 15 protesters crossed the frozen Cannonball River on foot to the south bank. That land also is Corps-managed but is on the Standing Rock Reservation, where North Dakota authorities don't have jurisdiction. They planned to station officers on the north shore to keep anyone from re-entering the camp.

Before authorities moved in, Gov. Doug Burgum had said those remaining at the camp still had a chance to leave without facing charges. The state sent a bus to the site on Thursday to transport anyone to Bismarck, where officials were doling out basic necessities, along with hotel and bus vouchers.

No one took advantage of the offer Thursday, and only nine people used the center Tuesday and Wednesday. The center was closed Thursday due to the lack of use, state Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong said.

Energy Transfer Partners began work on the last big section of the oil pipeline this month after the Army gave it permission to lay pipe under a reservoir on the Missouri River. When complete, the pipeline will carry oil through the Dakotas and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois.

___

Nicholson reported from Bismarck, N.D. Follow him on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/NicholsonBlake

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The setting was a Manhattan restaurant, and after 25 minutes what allegedly emerged was a pro-Russian peace plan for Ukraine that its author believes may have ended up in the White House.

In a CNN interview, Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Artemenko told CNN that he discussed his left-field proposal for Ukraine in January with US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who offered to deliver the plan to the Trump administration.

The exact details of the plan are unclear, yet reports have suggested it revolves around leasing Crimea -- annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014 -- to Moscow for 50 to 100 years. In exchange, Russia would withdraw its troops from the separatist regions in Ukraine's war-torn east.

Artemenko declined to discuss the plan's details, yet hinted that a lease might be part of the idea.

Artemenko says Cohen, who has long advised Trump, wanted to take the plan to Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser.

Any suggestion that the White House might consider a plan that formalizes Russia's control of Crimea would cause consternation in Kiev and among its allies in Europe. The White House has flatly denied any knowledge of the proposal.

In his interview with CNN, Artemenko shines a light on how a key Trump associate was allegedly prepared to push a controversial peace plan that might benefit Russia at a time when questions were being raised about the Trump's ties to that country.

The Ukrainian member of parliament told CNN he met Cohen through a mutual acquaintance, businessman Felix Sater, and that the three had dinner in a Manhattan hotel in January.

Cohen told CNN in a text message that although he had dinner with Artemenko, they never discussed peace in Ukraine. Other media organizations reported that he offered them a different account. The White House has denied that Cohen delivered any peace plan to Flynn.

Russia and Ukraine have since rejected the plan, and Artemenko has now become the subject of investigation for treason for suggesting it to Cohen.

In a hurried interview in a Kiev hotel, Artemenko said Cohen told him that Flynn -- who resigned in mid-February due to a controversy over calls with the Russian ambassador to the US -- was his best connection at the White House.

\"Michael Flynn is the best person, the best of my connections in the Trump administration, who if he likes [it], it's going to [get] huge support, huge support,\" Cohen said, according to Artemenko.

Flynn did not respond to CNN's request for comment on this story.

Artemenko knew the proposal would be controversial as it undercuts both the US and Ukrainian diplomatic corps, and he says he knows it angered Kiev, who will have seen it as a pro-Russian proposal.

\"That's why I feel pressure, and for sure today I can see people accusing me, and I see the prosecutor of Ukraine is trying to do something, to open a new case, to do an investigation about me,\" he told CNN.

He said of the January meeting that Sater invited Cohen to \"a dinner in the hotel in Manhattan, and we probably spoke around 20-25 minutes, where I presented my intentions, my peace plan for the Ukraine, how we can stop the war, how we can stop the killing.\"

Artemenko said he had never dreamed that his proposal would be seen by the White House, but he claims Cohen said the plan had \"great potential\" and wanted to deliver it to the Trump administration.

\"It was Michael Cohen's idea,\" he said. \"He [Cohen] mentioned his name first in my meetings. And he said 'listen, Michael Flynn' -- from his personal opinion -- 'is most powerful man who can really support this idea, who can support, who can help you, who can provide this information to President Trump.'\"

Flynn resigned 24 days into the job after misleading administration officials regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the US before Trump took office.

Flynn made several calls to the ambassador in December, including some on the same day that the outgoing Obama administration placed fresh sanctions on Russia over alleged election meddling.

The Justice Department also warned the Trump administration in January that Flynn could be subject to Russian blackmail, a person familiar with the matter told CNN last month.

In a text message to CNN, Cohen denied delivering any documents to Flynn, and refuted Artemenko's recollection of their January conversation.

\"If this continued fake news narrative wasn't so ridiculous, I would be angered. Despite the multitude of statements issued denying any nexus between Presidents Trump and [Russian President Vladimir Putin], the main stream media just keeps on trying to perpetuate this lie.

\"I acknowledge that the brief meeting took place, but emphatically deny discussing this topic or delivering any documents to the White House and/or General Flynn; something I stated to the New York Times.\"

According to the Times, Cohen said he left a sealed envelope with the proposed peace plan in Flynn's office. Later, Cohen denied delivering a peace plan to Flynn.

Artemenko insists, however, that it was Cohen's idea to show the peace proposal to the senior White House official. \"It was his idea, absolutely his idea,\" he said.

After Russia seized the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, it sent military help to separatists in the country's east, where violent conflict over disputed territory drags on to this day.

Kiev has refused to discuss the official transfer of the peninsula to Russia, and dismissed Artemenko's plan as a result.

Moscow considers the peninsula already its territory, after its residents -- under a substantial Russian military presence -- voted in a 2014 referendum to join the Russian Federation.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov says Russia refuses to discuss the lease of a region it already controls: \"How can Russia rent its own region? This question itself is absurd.\"

Sater, who attended the dinner with Artemenko, did not respond to emailed questions, yet he emphatically denied any links between the Trump camp and Russia in an interview with Fox News: \"What could be wrong in helping stop a war and trying to achieve peace? I have done so much for my country and thought that promoting peace was a good thing. People are getting killed, it's a war.\"

A White House spokesman offered this statement in response to CNN's request for comment: \"No one in the White House -- including the President, Vice President and senior members of the NSC -- has spoken to Mr. Cohen about any Russia-Ukraine peace proposal, and no one has spoken to Andrii Artemenko at all about any matter.

\"In addition, the NSC keeps comprehensive records of documents received, and we have no record of receiving any proposal from Mr. Cohen. This is another absurd, misleading attempt to distract from the real reform taking place under President Trump.\"

Artemenko left the interview with CNN to attend what he said was a meeting with the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, although the presidential administration denied such a meeting took place.

Yet moments after leaving the interview, Ukrainian prosecutors announced he would be investigated for \"treason\" over the deal.

"}, {"id":"ac140cbb-18f8-5dfa-a353-e4b0a01d904f","type":"article","starttime":"1487888852","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-23T16:27:32-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"national":"news/national"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Conspiracy charge added against Penn State ex-administrators","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/article_ac140cbb-18f8-5dfa-a353-e4b0a01d904f.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/conspiracy-charge-added-against-penn-state-ex-administrators/article_ac140cbb-18f8-5dfa-a353-e4b0a01d904f.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/A-judge-s-ruling-is-increasing-the-possible-penalty-that-three-former-Penn-State-administrators-could-face-if-convicted-of-crimes-for-how-they-responded-to-the-Jerry-Sandusky-child-moles/id-2ebc9ed16a3a43a29946dbeefd852924","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) \u2014 A judge's ruling is increasing the possible penalty that three former Penn State administrators could face if convicted of crimes for how they responded to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","general news","sports","child endangerment","crimes against children","crime","conspiracy","legal proceedings","law and order","court decisions","child abuse"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1,"commentID":"ac140cbb-18f8-5dfa-a353-e4b0a01d904f","body":"

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) \u2014 A judge's ruling is increasing the possible penalty that three former Penn State administrators could face if convicted of crimes for how they responded to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Judge John Boccabella on Thursday granted a request by the attorney general's office to add a related conspiracy count to the charges of endangering the welfare of children.

Prosecutors say each felony count carries up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Jury selection is scheduled for March 20 in the case of former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.

They've recently sought permission from the judge for an appeal. If the judge agrees, that could delay the trial.

"}, {"id":"72f3aff1-f460-5927-adf8-8e9aa6aaf41b","type":"article","starttime":"1487888840","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-23T16:27:20-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"national":"news/national"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Key dates for transgender rights in the US","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/article_72f3aff1-f460-5927-adf8-8e9aa6aaf41b.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/key-dates-for-transgender-rights-in-the-us/article_72f3aff1-f460-5927-adf8-8e9aa6aaf41b.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Key-dates-in-the-history-of-transgender-rights-in-the-US/id-5c9ecb09e2684da4af67c6e7ab586213","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By The Associated Press","prologue":"Some important events in the history of transgender rights in the United States:","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","general news","lifestyle","gay rights","human rights and civil liberties","social issues","social affairs","sexual orientation discrimination","discrimination","gender issues","gender identity"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1,"commentID":"72f3aff1-f460-5927-adf8-8e9aa6aaf41b","body":"

Some important events in the history of transgender rights in the United States:

1952: Christine Jorgensen completes sex-reassignment surgery in Denmark; she was the first American known for undergoing such a transition.

1969: Transgender people are in the forefront of the Stonewall Inn riots in New York City, which helped spark the U.S. gay-rights movement.

1977: The New York Supreme Court rules in favor of transgender physician/athlete Renee Richards in her bid to play pro tennis as a woman.

1993: Transgender man Brandon Teena is raped and murdered in Nebraska; his story is later made into the film \"Boys Don't Cry.\" Minnesota becomes the first state to ban anti-transgender discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

1999: Observance of the first international Day or Remembrance, an annual event honoring victims of anti-transgender violence.

2005: A pioneering California law bars health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people.

2008: Isis King becomes first transgender model featured in the reality TV show \"America's Next Top Model.\"

2009: President Obama signs a federal hate-crimes law that covers crimes motivated by anti-transgender bias.

2010: In response to a lawsuit, players of the Ladies Professional Golf Association vote to allow transgender players to compete on tour.

2012: Miss Universe opens its competition to transgender contestants. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules that discrimination based on transgender status is sex discrimination in violation of the Civil Rights Act.

2013: The American Psychiatric Association updates its diagnostic manual to stipulate that being transgender is no longer considered a mental disorder.

2014: Actress Laverne Cox becomes first transgender person featured on the cover of Time magazine. Maine's highest court rules that a transgender fifth-grader should have been allowed to use the girls' bathroom at her school.

2015: Caitlyn Jenner completes her gender transition, appears on the cover of Vanity Fair. Voters in Houston defeat an ordinance that would have extended nondiscrimination protections to transgender people.

2016: The U.S. military lifts its ban on transgender service members. The U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear a Virginia case involving Gavin Grimm, a transgender boy seeking the right to use the boys' restroom at his high school. The Obama administration advises public schools that transgender students should be allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

2017: The Trump administration revokes the Obama-era directive, saying policies for transgender students' bathroom access should be set at the state and local level.

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(AP) \u2014 Blacks who celebrate the civil rights movement and whites who commemorate the Civil War are suddenly finding themselves fighting on the same side in historic Selma, Alabama: against City Hall.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","general news","historical reenactment","hobbies","recreation and leisure","lifestyle","african-americans","political movements","political issues","government and politics","human rights and civil liberties","social issues","social affairs"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"8910cfa6-7484-53a0-83cd-612a25a36640","description":"FILE -In this Tuesday, March 3, 2015 file photo, a billboard erected to draw visitors to Civil War history sites in Selma, Ala, is seen. Organizers of an annual Civil War re-enactment and a civil rights commemoration are upset by the mayor's plan to charge them thousands of dollars for police, fire and cleanup services. Organizers of the annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee say they won't pay, and the battle re-enactment was canceled for this year. 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Bush, and civil rights leaders make a symbolic walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., on the 50th anniversary of \"Bloody Sunday,\" a civil rights march in which protestors were beaten, trampled and tear-gassed by police at the site. Blacks who celebrate the civil rights movement and whites who commemorate the Civil War are suddenly finding themselves fighting on the same side in historic Selma, Alabama: against City Hall. 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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) \u2014 Blacks who celebrate the civil rights movement and whites who commemorate the Civil War are suddenly finding themselves fighting on the same side in historic Selma, Alabama: against City Hall.

Both groups say the city is squeezing them with demands for thousands of dollars in up-front payments to stage annual events that bring tens of thousands of visitors to an otherwise sleepy community where unemployment is high and boarded-up homes and businesses are a common sight.

Plans for next month's Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee, which commemorates the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march of 1965, are up in the air over the city's demand. And the re-enactment of the 1865 Battle of Selma, involving hundreds of history buffs in Civil War garb, has been canceled because organizers couldn't afford the tab.

The jubilee draws mostly blacks, the battle re-enactment mostly whites. So now, two groups with different interests and membership rosters are united in being upset with Mayor Darrio Melton and other leaders who say the city can't afford the police overtime, fire protection and cleanup the events require.

For a change in Selma, where race sometimes seems like a factor in everything, something isn't solely black and white.

\"Maybe we've been able to bring two opposing sides together for a month,\" the first-term mayor of Selma \u2014 a city of around 20,000 people, about 80 percent of them black \u2014 said with a chuckle Thursday.

State Sen. Hank Sanders, a black Selma Democrat, said organizers of the four-day Bridge Crossing Jubilee still plan to hold the celebration March 2-5 but won't pay the demanded $23,882. The event in part recalls Bloody Sunday, when black marchers were beaten by white police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

\"We will not pay in 2017 to commemorate sacrifices made and celebrate victories won in 1965,\" Sanders wrote in an opinion piece in The Selma Times-Journal. Sanders and his wife head the group that organizes the jubilee.

But the city says that without the payment, it won't close streets or provide assistance as usual until the climactic final day, when thousands typically gather to walk across the bridge. That means plans for three days of street concerts, vendors and other events are uncertain.

\"Every day we have people who come to this city to walk across that bridge. We welcome everyone to do that,\" the mayor said. But to stage other parts of the event, he said, \"they'll have to pay.\"

A few weeks ago, organizers of the far-smaller Battle of Selma re-enactment canceled over a similar demand for $22,054 from City Hall. Volunteers who stage that event say their total budget is only $28,000 and they simply can't afford it.

\"It's disappointing. But I certainly understand the need to have a balanced budget,\" said Candace Skelton, a former Selma tourism director who now chairs the committee that stages the Battle of Selma.

The jubilee includes a music festival, a beauty pageant and workshops, while the Battle of Selma has days of simulated fighting and a military-style ball, plus encampments for the re-enactors at a city park.

Losing either gathering could hurt the economy in Selma and surrounding Dallas County, which has one of Alabama's highest unemployment rates at 9.2 percent. Visitors spent $81.7 million in the Selma area in 2015, according to the state tourism agency.

While planners of the two events haven't actually joined forces to try to overturn the city's decision, battle re-enactment organizer James Hammonds said there have been \"casual conversations\" about such an alliance.

Even that is unusual in a city where blacks have fought a Confederate statue in a cemetery and whites typically send their kids to private academies rather than public schools. But Hammonds said both blacks and whites want to promote history and generate tourist dollars.

\"Selma is so unique to have two tracks of history that draw from different groups that may not be interested in one part but are interested in the other,\" he said. \"I think to not utilize that uniqueness is the wrong way to go.\"

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) \u2014 New Mexico's two senators have introduced legislation they say has been years in the making to set aside tens of thousands of acres as wilderness on opposite ends of the state in areas already designated as national monuments.

But ranchers from some rural communities fear the new designations will amount to another layer of bureaucracy aimed at pushing them from the land. Their concerns mark just the latest battle over public lands in the West, where the federal government already controls millions of acres.

The Northern New Mexico Stockman's Association has passed a resolution against future wilderness and monument designations, and its members along with groups representing ranchers from elsewhere in the state are standing up to the latest wilderness proposal.

Dave Sanchez, vice president of the stockman's group, said wilderness designations have been used as a tool by the federal government to terminate grazing permits and suggested that as many as 80 percent of permits on national forest land have been lost over the years in the Southwest region alone.

\"The economy of rural New Mexico cannot afford any more wilderness designations,\" Sanchez said.

The association maintains that U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, both Democrats who were advocates of efforts by the Obama administration to add more wilderness to the nation's conservation system, are aware of their opposition and that Heinrich has declined a request for a meeting to discuss public land matters.

The senators have billed the wilderness proposals as community-driven efforts, and Heinrich's office has said all stakeholders were invited to the table when discussions first began years ago.

The latest legislation calls for establishing several tracts of wilderness covering more than 300 square miles within rugged parts of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico. In the north, more than 30 square miles would be set aside as wilderness within the Rio Grande del Norte Monument.

\"For both monuments, this legislation will preserve traditional practices, increase recreational access, and help New Mexico's outdoor recreation economy create new jobs,\" Heinrich said in a statement.

Supporters argue that New Mexico's newest monuments have resulted in increased tourism, evidenced through more gross-receipts and lodgers' tax revenue.

While the legislation allows for existing grazing rights to be managed under the provisions of the federal Wilderness Act, ranchers say making the areas off limits to vehicles and other mechanized equipment would make their jobs more difficult.

\"This continues to put layer after layer of federal discretion over land that doesn't do any more to protect it but places more constrains on the people who have been living off the land for generations,\" said Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association.

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, the lone Republican in New Mexico's congressional delegation, has been an outspoken critic of federal efforts to lock up more land in the West and is concerned about the legislation, said spokeswoman Keeley Christensen.

\"New Mexicans want more access to federal lands for recreation, hunting, grazing and economic opportunity for local communities,\" she said. \"This bill is out of step with our values and where we want to be going as a state.\"

The ranchers' opposition to new wilderness also comes as minority farm and ranching groups continue to push the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address decades of discrimination and civil rights violations, particularly against Hispanic ranchers and land grant heirs in New Mexico.

"} ]