News Shorts, Weather and Sports for Wednesday, December 20, 2017

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Weather for Wednesday December 20, 2017


(BBC) The US Senate has approved the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax system in more than three decades. Republicans say the tax cuts for corporations, small businesses and individuals will boost economic growth. Democrats, who all voted against it, say it is designed to benefit the ultra-rich at the expense of the national deficit.

For final approval, the legislation must go back to the House on Wednesday for a procedural issue.

If it passes, as expected, it will be President Donald Trump’s first major legislative triumph.


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced former archbishop of Boston whose failures to stop child molesters in the priesthood sparked what would become the worst crisis in American Catholicism, died early Wednesday, the Vatican said. He was 86.

Law had been sick and was recently hospitalized in Rome.

Law was once one of the most important leaders in the U.S. church. He broadly influenced Vatican appointments to American dioceses, helped set priorities for the nation’s bishops and was favored by Pope John Paul II.

But in January 2002, The Boston Globe began a series of reports that used church records to reveal that Law had transferred abusive clergy among parish assignments for years without alerting parents or police. Within months, Catholics around the country demanded to know whether their bishops had done the same.


(AP)The rush to launch service on a new, faster Amtrak route near Seattle came at a deadly cost — critical speed-control technology that could have prevented a derailment was not active before the train set off on its maiden voyage. Work to install the sophisticated, GPS-based technology known as positive train control isn’t expected to be completed until next spring on the newly opened 15-mile (24-kilometer) span where the train derailed, according to Sound Transit, the public agency that owns the tracks.


WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix a tax code that stifles business investment, keeps trillions in corporate profits languishing overseas and slows the American economy.

So argue Republicans in Congress, who hail their tax overhaul as an economic tonic that will deliver benefits to ordinary Americans well into the future.

Democrats and most nonpartisan analysts see things rather differently — and they point to history to argue their case. They see the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as an ill-conceived bill that will further enrich the wealthy and swell the government’s debts by at least $1 trillion in the next decade. Previous tax cuts, they note, have done little to boost hiring, raise wages or accelerate economic growth.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency says an internal task force appointed to revamp how the nation’s most polluted sites are cleaned up generated no record of its deliberations.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in May announced the creation of a Superfund Task Force that he said would reprioritize and streamline procedures for remediating more than 1,300 sites. Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma, appointed a political supporter from his home state with no experience in pollution cleanups to lead the group.


(BBC) Harvey Weinstein’s former personal assistant has told the BBC how she was silenced after alleging sexual assault against her boss. Zelda Perkins says she thought her only option was to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which stopped her from speaking out. Lawyers for Mr Weinstein told the BBC he “categorically denies engaging in any non-consensual conduct or alleged threatening behaviour”. Ms Perkins told BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis that while the film maker is now seen as a “repulsive monster”, at the time he was “an extremely exciting person to be around”.


(NWI Times)PORTER TOWNSHIP — A 60-year-old driver was killed in a single-vehicle crash early Tuesday on Ind. 2, just north of Hebron, Porter County sheriff’s police said. Ronald L. Sheets, of Hebron, was traveling north on Ind. 2 in a red 2008 Ford F-150 about 6:15 a.m. when he attempted to pass another vehicle in the area of County Road 450 South, officials said. Sheets hit a patch of black ice on the road and lost control, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said. The F-150 went off the road into a ditch and rolled several times, coming to rest 50 to 75 yards from the road in a cornfield, officials said.


(NWI Times) VALPARAISO — A 22-year-old Chicago man faces numerous charges after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase Monday night following an attempted traffic stop.

Porter County police said they attempted to stop the vehicle along U.S. 20 in Burns Harbor just before 9 p.m. after learning it was reported stolen in Chicago.

The driver, later identified as Herschel Liddell, took off at a high rate of speed and was reportedly followed by Porter County and Burns Harbor police.

A Portage police officer placed spike strips at U.S. 6 and County Road 450 West, which flattened three of the vehicle’s tires, police said. The pursuit ended near the IMAX movie theater in Portage.

Liddell faces charges of auto theft, possession of stolen property, resisting law enforcement, reckless driving and possession of paraphernalia.

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