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Daily News Digest – December 5, 2018

PRESENTED BY the Stop The HIT Coalition

Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, December 5.


1. One last time.

  • Today is a National Day of Mourning for former President George H.W. Bush.
  • The national memorial service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Central at National Cathedral in Washington.
  • You can watch, well, most anywhere.
  • Former President George W. Bush will deliver the eulogy for his father.
  • President Trump said today the service “is not a funeral, this is a day of celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life. He will be missed!”
  • Thousands of mourners continued to visit the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday to pay their respects. The line wrapped around 2nd Street and I’m told the wait was five hours or longer with temperatures in the 30s.
  • Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole paid his respects by being helped out of his wheelchair and issuing a military salute. If you haven’t seen that incredibly moving video, you really need to.
  • After the service, Bush’s casket will travel via railroad to Houston, Texas. Interestingly, Alabama’s Progress Rail had a role to play in building the special locomotive that will drive the president’s train, as YellowHammer’s Sean Ross reports.
  • Read more about the memorial service, who is attending, and how you can watch HERE.


2. Shelby speaks after Saudi briefing.

  • “Somebody should be punished.”
  • That’s what Sen. Richard Shelby told reporters after walking out of a closed-door briefing with CIA director Gina Haspel about the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • Shelby was one of a handful of Senators in the briefing, most of who came away convinced that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the grisly killing and dismemberment of Khashoggi.
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said that if presented with the same evidence, a jury would convict MBS “in about 30 minutes.”
  • Sen. Lindsay Graham said there was no “smoking gun,” per se, but “a smoking saw,” referring to reports that Saudi agents used a bone saw to dismember Khashoggi after he was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
  • Graham said “you have to be willfully blind” not to conclude that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the crown prince’s command.
  • But, it’s not that easy, Shelby acknowledged.
  • “Now, the question is, how do you separate the Saudi crown prince and his group from the nation itself,” he said.
  • “This is conduct that none of us in America would approve of in any way.”
  • Corker also acknowledged that the United States had to be careful in not undermining American interests.
  • What are those interests? Keeping Iran in check. The Saudis are some of our strongest allies in pushing back against the Iranian regime as it tries to exert its influence in the Middle East.
  • That’s one reason Trump Administration officials are asking Senators not to pass a resolution curtailing U.S. backing for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
  • The Senate passed a procedural motion to allow debate on the bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said the House won’t pass it.
  • Full story HERE.

A Message from the Stop The HIT Coalition

  • The Stop The HIT Coalition thanks Senator Doug Jones for protecting Alabama small businesses, middle-class families and seniors from the 2020 Health Insurance Tax.
  • This costly, unfair and hidden tax increases the cost of health insurance in the small business market, needlessly stifles economic growth and should be repealed.
  • Senator Jones joined a bipartisan group in urging Senate leadership to prioritize urgent cost savings for hardworking Alabamians before the tax returns.
  • Thank Senator Jones for working for Alabama small businesses and families by supporting efforts to stop the 2020 Health Insurance Tax.



3. Another night of protests in Hoover.

  • Dozens of protesters took to Walmart, a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, and finally the Interstate Tuesday in continued protest of the killing of E.J. Bradford.
  • Bradford was shot by police responding to an incident at Riverchase Galleria Thanksgiving night. Tuesday’s protests were near the Galleria, but not on the property.
  • Activists are also attempting to release the name of the Hoover Police officer involved in the shooting, but media outlets are not publishing it.
  • Read more from’s Carol Robinson and watch coverage from WBRC Fox 6’s Alan Collins, both of whom followed the protesters through the businesses and finally to the I-459 exchange where they succeeded in shutting down traffic for a time.
  • ALEA is continuing to investigate the incident and neither the state nor city police will release the video evidence until the investigation is complete.
  • Meanwhile, shooting suspect Erron Brown has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. His lawyer says he is not responsible, but did not elaborate.


4. Skip Tucker: Nuts! D.T. has a little fun with his northern guest.

  • As promised, Skip Tucker has more tales of his protagonist “D.T.” from Walker County.
  • Having been offended by a condescending northern visitor, the imaginative D.T looked for ways to have a little good-natured country fun with his guest as they were walking through the woods.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
As the sun lowered and they hiked toward headquarters, he stopped suddenly, awestruck.
“Is that a wild pecan tree?” he asked softly, pointing though the failing light to a young cottonwood in a grove full of them. Flick started to snicker but was stopped by a wide smile that crossed D.T.’s face.
“Why, sure,” said D.T carefully. “Sure it is.”
As noted, it’s a stretch to put cottonwood tree and pecan tree in the same sentence, except to say one is no wise the other.
Our Hero couldn’t believe the smartest engineer in the world, replete with woodslore, hadn’t a clue. While it’s true a cottonwood bears drooping grapelike seedpod clusters, it’d take the wildest and weirdest flight of fancy, or a very peculiar mushroom, to see them as small green pecans.
“Really?” the man said. “You mean they grow wild out here and anyone can pick them, free?” D.T. paused to make sure he wasn’t the one about to be snookered and tooken, saw the poor man was in earnest, and breathed out a sigh of pure joy.
“Why, sure,” he said.
  • Read Skip’s full column HERE.


5. News Briefs.

Michael Flynn gets leniency
  • President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser has been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller since his decision to plead guilty for lying to the FBI a year ago.
  • Flynn has provided so much information to the Russia investigation that prosecutors say he shouldn’t do any prison time, according to a court filing that describes Michael Flynn’s cooperation as “substantial.”
  • The filing provides the first details of Flynn’s assistance in the Russia investigation, including that he participated in 19 interviews with prosecutors and cooperated extensively in a separate and undisclosed criminal probe. But the filing’s lengthy redactions also underscore how much Mueller has yet to reveal.
  • Remember, Flynn spent a lot of time in Russia doing speaking engagements and other security work. That doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Trump, but he probably knows a lot about what the Russians could have been up to.
  • Read more HERE.
China trade deal murky
  • China has yet to confirm President Trump’s assertion that Beijing has committed to cut auto tariffs and buy more American farm exports.
  • That, coupled with some conflicting statements by U.S. officials, reduced the optimism that existed on Monday and triggered a triggered a tumble in U.S. stock prices.
  • The president took to Twitter to try to explain his tough trade policies, calling himself a “Tariff Man” and discussing how he uses the import duties to fight unfair behavior.
  • He also said any agreement with China has to be the “Real Deal”
  • Full story HERE.
Committees coming together?
  • With so many new faces in the Alabama Legislature this coming year, the makeup of House and Senate Committees will likely be a lot different.
  • As previously noted, Republicans in the House will actually pick up seats on committees while Democrats will lose them.
  • In the Senate, there are a few plum committee chairmanships up for grabs.
  • Legislative leadership is being tight-lipped about assignments, but Inside Alabama Politics (subscription) reports today that Sen. Greg Albritton could be assuming the chairmanship of Finance & Taxation – General Fund after the retirement of Sen. Trip Pittman.
  • That would be a big get for Mr. Albritton.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Shelby after CIA briefing: ‘somebody should be punished’ for Saudi killing
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – China promises action on US trade deal but gives no details
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ceremonies for Bush draw together presidents, world envoys
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Prosecutors recommend no jail time for cooperative Flynn
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Skip Tucker: Nuts! Our Hero Confustigates a Damn Yankee
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Defense attorney: Alabama mall shooting suspect not guilty
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – December 4, 2018
AL.COM – First impression: Elton John at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena in Birmingham
AL.COM – Woodfin talks priorities with Birmingham business community
AL.COM – Hoover mall shooting protesters shut down I-459.
AL.COM – Birmingham seeks to boost economy, partners with national think tank.
AL.COM – USA trauma center gets state boost as governor eyes rural health problem.
AL.COM – Settlement with debt-buying firms benefits some consumers.
AL.COM – O’Neal Industries donates $30 million to UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.
AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: As tensions rise, Hoover must address its mistake, hold someone accountable.
AL.COM – Birmingham NAACP elects new president after North Birmingham EPA scandal.
AL.COM – Navy approves some funding for new Austal ship.
AL.COM – Company moving operations to west Alabama.
AL.COM – $387 million sale of Drummond mine finalized.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Keiauna Williams family to shooter: ‘Just turn yourself in so we can have closure’
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Driver of hit-and-run that killed 15-year-old arrested
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama prison official retires amid misconduct probe
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – 63 years later, Attorney Fred Gray urges taking a similar path to solve today’s problems
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Elevator operator Samuel Gadson endured abuse, arrest for driving people during Montgomery Busy Boycott
DOTHAN EAGLE – Holmes County school bus crash: Children unhurt, other driver seriously injured
DOTHAN EAGLE – Bond reduction hearing scheduled for mother accused of leaving dead infant in motel room freezer
DOTHAN EAGLE – Dothan Public Works director suggests keeping curbside recycling – with some major changes
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Peabody Energy completes acquisition of Alabama met coal mine from Drummond
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – While the media hyperventilates about voter fraud in North Carolina, they may want to take a look at California (and Alabama)
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama prison official retires during investigation
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Alabama falls to buzzer-beater in final second against Georgia State
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – ROUNDUP: Stillman rolls over Martin Methodist (Tenn.)
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Probe ongoing in bus crash that killed 1 child, hurt dozens
DECATUR DAILY – Grinch strikes in Decatur: Thieves take equipment from shoe repairman, 82
DECATUR DAILY – Dec. 5 police reports
DECATUR DAILY – Nucor connection is bringing new plant to Decatur
TIMES DAILY – Project Say Something to present sculpture request
TIMES DAILY – Sheffield School Board considering Early College agreement
TIMES DAILY – Cause of fatal fire remains under investigation
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Lettuce is back, but demand has driven up prices
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Merry Market opens
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Local teen charged in robbery
TROY MESSENGER – Trojans fall: Troy lets 11 point lead slip away in 67-64 loss to Middle Tennessee State
TROY MESSENGER – Shelia Jackson Holiday Concert planned for December 14
TROY MESSENGER – Davenport ruled ineligible
THE ANNISTON STAR – George Smith: Idle shots from the Toy Shop
THE ANNISTON STAR – Anniston man charged in November domestic violence incident
THE ANNISTON STAR – Ruby Tuesday closes South Quintard location
GADSDEN TIMES – Council votes against rezoning Hinds Road property
GADSDEN TIMES – Mueller recommends no prison time for Flynn due to “substantial” cooperation
GADSDEN TIMES – Troopers investigate fatal crash in Blount County
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Chip Lindsey leaving Auburn to become Kansas offensive coordinator
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Kelly Bryant commits to Missouri, passes up Auburn
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Opelika council to discuss skate park partnership
CULLMAN TIMES – Confusion and fear on US-China deal
CULLMAN TIMES – (Video) After CIA briefing, senators lay blame on Saudi crown prince
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Post offices to be closed, mail delivery suspended Wednesday
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Auburn-bound: Community sends Warriors off in style
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Greater Shelby and South Shelby chambers become one
THE MADISON RECORD – Inside-Out stops daily operations, reduces outreach
THE MADISON RECORD – Chip Lindsey Joins Kansas Staff As Offensive Coordinator
THE MADISON RECORD – MPD advises citizens against ‘porch pirates’ this season
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Shelter project moves on; extra costs to be paid
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Saragossa firefighter to be laid to rest
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Chamber parade set for tonight at 6:30 p.m.
NEW YORK TIMES – Saudi Prince ‘Complicit’ in Khashoggi’s Murder, Senators Say After C.I.A. Briefing
NEW YORK TIMES – Flynn Was Key Cooperator and Deserves Little Prison Time, Mueller Team Says
NEW YORK TIMES – Maryland and District of Columbia Seek Business Records Related to Trump Hotel
WASHINGTON POST – Mueller seeks no prison time for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, citing his ‘substantial assistance’
WASHINGTON POST – ‘Chaos breeds chaos’: Trump’s erratic and false claims roil the globe. Again.
WASHINGTON POST – Cracks appear in Trump’s claims of China trade agreement
USA TODAY – George H.W. Bush and national day of mourning: What’s open and what’s closed
USA TODAY – Terror-related deaths decline worldwide for third straight year: report
USA TODAY – Confidential informants are supposed to keep their work confidential. These two didn’t
POLITICO – Deval Patrick to announce he won’t run for president, sources say
POLITICO – Senate Democrats demand details from DOJ on any conflicts of interest for Whitaker
POLITICO – Hill watchdog report: Rep. Garrett misused staff


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