National News Briefs

By: 
The Associated Press

Hotel questions new timeline of Las Vegas massacre

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A day after authorities revised the timeline of events on the night of the Las Vegas mass shooting, the hotel where the gunman was staying is casting doubt on the changes.

Police said earlier this week that they believe Stephen Paddock shot a hotel security guard through the door of his high-rise hotel suite six minutes before he unleashed a barrage of bullets into a crowd at a musical performance below. The injured guard ran down a hall using his radio and possibly a hallway phone to call for help, reporting he had been shot in the leg.

That account differs dramatically from the one police gave last week: that Paddock ended his hail of fire on the crowd, where 58 people were killed and hundreds injured, in order to shoot through his door and wound the unarmed guard, Jesus Campos.

But late Tuesday, the company that owns the Mandalay Bay hotel casino questioned the new timeline.

“We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline,” said Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts International. “We believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate.”

Trump to pitch tax plan as boon for over-the-road truckers

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will pitch his tax plan as a boon for truckers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Wednesday — the latest stop on a cross-country tour aimed at selling his tax reform proposal.

Trump will be speaking in front of an audience of roughly 1,000 people, including lots of truckers, against a backdrop of big rigs at a local air plane hangar, according to the White House. Trump is pitching a plan that would dramatically cut corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 20 percent, reduce the number of personal income tax brackets and boost the standard deduction.

At his latest stop, Trump will argue that his tax reform framework will benefit truckers by lowering their tax rates, boosting manufacturing, and making it easier for families to pass their trucking businesses onto their children, the White House says.

“When your trucks are moving, America is growing. That is why my administration is taking historic steps to remove the barriers that slow you down,” he’s expected to say, according to excerpts provided by the White House. “America first means putting American truckers first.”

Trump has left it up to Congress to fill in many specifics of his plan, which leaves out details such as which income levels his new tax brackets would apply to.

Puerto Ricans leave for US mainland as storm woes linger

MIAMI (AP) — Lourdes Rodriguez fled Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria filled her home in the northern town of Vega Baja with mud, ruining mattresses and other belongings. She thought it would be a short stay with her daughter in Florida, but three weeks later there’s still no power or water back home.

“We’re going to be here indefinitely,” the 59-year-old retiree said in an interview at the daughter’s home in Tampa. “It’s been crazy, totally unexpected, like nothing I’ve experienced before.”

In San Juan, Efrain Diaz Figueroa, 70, sat listening to a battery-powered radio amid the wreckage of his home, its walls collapsed into the yard and clothes and mattresses soaking in the rain. A sister was coming to take him to family in Boston: “I’ll live better there,” Figueroa said.

Tens of thousands of islanders left for the U.S. mainland to escape the immediate aftermath of the storm. With conditions back home still grim — about 85 percent of residents still lack electricity and 40 percent are without running water, and neither is expected to be fully restored for months — many find themselves scrambling to build new lives away from the island.

Particularly in states with large Puerto Rican populations, such as New York, Illinois, Florida and Connecticut, people are bunking with relatives while trying to find longer-term housing, jobs and schools for their kids.

Speaker Ryan to feuding Trump and Corker: ‘Talk it out’

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan is offering his advice in the feud between President Donald Trump and Sen. Bob Corker: “Talk it out among yourselves.”

Ryan took questions Wednesday about the war of words as Trump erroneously blamed Corker for the Iran nuclear deal and dismissed him as “liddle’” Corker. The Tennessee Republican suggested Trump was a man-child in an “adult day care center” and could lead the U.S. on the path to World War III.

Ryan also was asked about an ex-Republican congressman from New York, Michael Grimm, who spent eight months in prison for federal tax evasion. Grimm, with the backing of former White House adviser Steve Bannon, is challenging Republican Rep. Dan Donovan.

Ryan said: “I support Dan Donovan.” Regarding Bannon, Ryan said: “It’s a free country.”

Couple killed in California
wildfire were wed 75 years

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Mike Rippey stood among pieces of metal, porcelain and other remnants of the California home where his 100-year-old father and 98-year-old mother had died in the raging wine country wildfires.

Rippey said Tuesday his brother had discovered their bodies after driving to the home and managing to get past security. He said his father Charles appeared to be heading to the room of his mother, Sara, when he was overcome by the smoke and flames.

“My father certainly wouldn’t have left her,” Mike Rippey said.

The couple had met in grade school in Wisconsin and been together ever since, celebrating their 75th anniversary last year. Rippey, 71, said he and his siblings couldn’t imagine how either parent would have navigated life if just one had survived the flames.

 

Category: