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Daily News Digest – September 9, 2019

Good morning! Hope you had a good weekend. You probably did if you like football. Well, unless you’re a Tennessee fan. In which case, boy, I don’t know.
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, September 9.


1. Doug Jones kicks off reelection campaign.

  • Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones officially launched his reelection campaign Sunday night, casting himself as a moderate against Republican criticisms that he is too left-leaning.
  • Invoking the campaign theme of “One Alabama,” Jones said he is a senator who represents all of Alabama and will fight for everyone in the state.
  • “No matter the zip code you live in, your race, your religion, your disability, your economic status — no matter who you love— we all want to succeed in a world where no one, no one is left behind,” Jones said.
  • The campaign kickoff comes less than 21 months after Jones won an improbable special election to succeed Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate. Of course, Jones’ success was due in part to the implosion of Roy Moore, the former Alabama chief justice who faced accusations of sexual misconduct and pursuing young women while in his 30s.
  • This time around, Jones may not have the good fortune of facing Moore, whose popularity has waned among the Republican electorate in recent polls.
  • The GOP has wasted no time targeting Jones. The National Republican Senatorial Committee purchased a truck billboard to drive around Birmingham all day attacking Jones for being “liberal” and “siding with socialists.”
  • Jones acknowledged and responded to the socialist charge saying, “If that’s the best they’ve got… Bring it on.”
  • “There is no way … if they look at my record they can say I’m a liberal.. I keep telling people. ‘I’m just Doug. I do what I think is right for the state.'”
  • Congressman Bradley Byrne, who is among several Republicans vying to take on Jones next November, was more specific in rattling off the wedge issues that will likely come to define that general election.
  • “Whether it was voting against Judge Kavanaugh, supporting on-demand abortions, or advocating for gun control, Doug is totally out of touch with Alabama,” Byrne said.
  • Read the full story from Kim Chandler HERE.


2. Congress returns.

Congress returns from August recess, ahem, I mean district work period, today, and a lengthy to-do list awaits. Here are some of those items…
  • They need to pass a National Defense Authorization Act, and there’s plenty of disagreement over the details from the House, Senate and White House. Border wall funding, the Space Force, our posture toward Iran, and the nuclear arsenal are among some of those sticking points. Read more at Defense News HERE.
  • They need to fund the government. Last year, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby helped orchestrate some budget magic that saw Congress enact most appropriations bills on time for the first time in a long time. It remains to be seen whether they can pull it off again amid this year’s much more partisan atmosphere. The Senate Appropriations Committee will be marking up four of the 12 titles this week: Defense; Energy & Water; State & Foreign Ops; Labor/HHS/Education. Read more on that from Roll Call HERE.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled his priority will be to continue confirming Trump-appointed judges and administration officials. Dubbed the “Grim Reaper” for House-passed bills, McConnell embraces the criticism as a badge of honor.
  • On the gun safety front, McConnell is taking a wait and see approach to determine what policy initiatives President Donald Trump will support and sign into law. Legislation on background checks and “red flag” mental health measures have been discussed, but won’t likely come to the floor until McConnell has assurances from the White House.
  • “We’re in a discussion about what to do on the gun issue in the wake of these horrendous shootings. I said several weeks ago that if the president took a position on a bill so that we knew we would actually be making a law and not just having serial votes, I’d be happy to put it on the floor. And the administration is in the process of studying what they are prepared to support, if anything. And I expect to get an answer to that next week. If the president is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly, and I know that if we pass it it’ll become law, I’ll put it on the floor,” McConnell told Hugh Hewitt last week.
  • Read more from AP’s Lisa Mascaro HERE and from the Washington Post’s Paul Kane HERE.


3. Ivanka Trump in Alabama Tuesday.

  • Daughter and special adviser to the president Ivanka Trump will visit Alabama on Tuesday for a special workforce development announcement.
  • The White House announced Trump will visit the Alabama Robotics Park in Decatur where the state’s community college system has partnered with outside industry to build a state-of-the-art training facility for workers in the robotics industry. Robotics are widely used in the automotive industry, and the park was cited as instrumental in recruiting the Mazda-Toyota auto manufacturing facility now under construction in nearby Huntsville.
  • Trump is expected to announce new program opportunities related to workforce development and apprenticeship. Earlier this year, the Trump Administration announced a new Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship program through the Department of Labor that aims to help students and workers gain skills directly applicable to careers in the trades.
  • In June, Ivanka Trump and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta co-wrote an op-ed announcing the new program.
  • “Our nation needs to empower more industries and professions to embrace apprenticeship opportunities… This program would enable industries to come together through associations, consortia, nonprofits and other mechanisms to offer skills education to American students and workers,” they wrote.
  • Also, as you can see, Ivanka Trump is sporting a new hair cut.
  • Read more HERE.



In Case You Missed It, there was a lot of news over the weekend.
There were several items in Caroline Beck’s Weekend Digest that are worth your attention this morning.
Full rundown HERE .

5. AP Top 25 .

  • The Southeastern Conference now has three of the top four spots in the Associated Press poll, and five of the top ten.
  • LSU jumped from #6 to #4 after their big win over Texas Saturday, leap-frogging Oklahoma and Ohio State.
  • Auburn moved up to #8 and Florida moved to #9 after Texas’ loss and Michigan’s poor performance against Army sent them down the polls.
  • See those storylines and others along with the full poll results HERE.


News Briefs.

Alabama’s Tuskegee seeks to expand tourism with conference
  • TUSKEGEE, Ala. (AP) — Officials are trying to encourage more tourism in the Alabama city of Tuskegee and surrounding Macon County.
  • The east Alabama town of 8,500 is home to Tuskegee University and Moton Field, where the nation’s first black military pilots trained during World War II. It’s also the birthplace of civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
  • Leaders hope to capitalize on that history and more next month at what’s being called the inaugural African American/African Cultural Heritage Tourism Conference.
  • News outlets report the town and Tuskegee University hope to bring the community together to promote cooperation and tourism in the area.
  • University President Lily McNair says culture and tourism are growing areas, and the event could benefit the area.
  • The five-day conference opens Oct. 4. It will feature speakers and events around town.
Trump calls off secret meeting with Taliban, Afghan leaders
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Saturday he canceled a secret weekend meeting at Camp David with Taliban and Afghanistan leaders after a bombing in the past week in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier, and has called off peace negotiations with the insurgent group.
  • Trump’s tweet was surprising because it would mean that the president was ready to host members of the Taliban at the presidential retreat in Maryland just days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. More than 2,400 U.S. troops have been killed since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to go after the Taliban, which were harboring al-Qaida leaders responsible for 9/11.
  • “Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday,” Trump tweeted Saturday evening.
  • “They were coming to the United States tonight. Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations,” he wrote.
  • Full story HERE.
Purdue Pharma says settlement talks in opioid cases not over
  • OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and lawyers representing local governments both said Sunday that they’re interested in continuing negotiations to settle lawsuits over the toll of the opioid crisis a day after two state attorneys general told colleagues that their talks with the company were at an impasse and that they expected the company to file imminently for bankruptcy.
  • The statements add another layer of uncertainty to attempts to strike a deal with a company that’s portrayed as a prime villain in the national opioid crisis.
  • In a statement, the company said, “negotiations continue and we remain dedicated to a resolution that genuinely advances the public interest.”
  • The company said it is prepared to defend itself in litigation, but that “Purdue Pharma believes a settlement that benefits the American public now is a far better path than years of wasteful litigation and appeals.”
  • Earlier in the day, Paul Hanly, a lead lawyer for the group of local governments, unions, hospitals and others suing the drug industry in federal court, said in a statement that any breakdown in talks didn’t represent his group of clients.
  • Those plaintiffs, he said, “will continue to explore resolution of our clients’ claims against Purdue and the Sacklers, whether with or without the states and within or without bankruptcy court.”
  • A bankruptcy filing, if it happens, could change the landscape instantly for a complicated series of lawsuits.
  • Full story HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS- Sen. Doug Jones kicks off 2020 reelection bid
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivanka Trump visits Alabama robotics park Tuesday
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Congress returns to McConnell’s legislative ‘graveyard’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump calls off secret meeting with Taliban, Afghan leaders
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS- Purdue Pharma says settlement talks in opioid cases not over
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: LSU moves up to give SEC 3 of top 4 in AP poll
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former AG Troy King files to run for Congress
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Women facing restrictions seek abortions out of state
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – So far, so good for state hemp crop as THC tests pass muster
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Report: Alabama 44th in nation for educational opportunities and performance
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NOAA assailed for defending Trump’s Hurricane Dorian claim
AL.COM  – Lung disease linked to vaping now in 33 states, blamed for 5 deaths
AL.COM  – Doug Jones kicks off 2020 campaign in Birmingham
AL.COM  – Ivanka Trump to visit Alabama tech park for announcement
AL.COM  – Marker to memorialize 2 lynching victims in Alabama
AL.COM  – Tuskegee seeks to expand tourism with conference
AL.COM  – UA professor offers alternate campus tour highlighting enslaved people
AL.COM  – University of Alabama studying isolation as factor in veterans suicides
AL.COM  – Columnist Dana McCain: Political savvy isn’t leadership
AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: The truth about Alabama austerity
BIRMINGHAM WATCH  – Time for new Alabama Democratic Party leadership, says Sen. Doug Jones
Montgomery Advertiser – New study ranks Alabama as 43rd for student achievement, grade of D+
Montgomery Advertiser – Two women shot at late-night gathering on Spruce St. in Montgomery
Montgomery Advertiser – Climate and change: A different world, above and below Mobile Bay
YellowHammer News – BIO Alabama names director as bioscience sector growth is targeted
YellowHammer News – Workers at Hyundai’s Alabama plant to use new ‘wearable robot’ exoskeleton
YellowHammer News – Hargrove Engineers + Constructors Commits $1.5 Million to USA’s Hancock Whitney Stadium
Dothan Eagle – Answer Man: Who is responsible for maintaining road behind Westgate Winn-Dixie?
Dothan Eagle – Florida woman dies in Covington County crash
Dothan Eagle – How one Ohio school district brought guns into its classrooms
Tuscaloosa News – Jordan, Foxx debut injustice drama ‘Just Mercy’ at film fest
Tuscaloosa News – Georgia: Search on for 4 missing after cargo ship overturned
Tuscaloosa News – New marker at Sloss Furnaces to memorialize 2 lynching victims
Decatur Daily – From New York teacher to Decatur doctor: Reyes part of OB-GYN team at Decatur Morgan Women’s Healthcare
Decatur Daily – Morgan County seeks law that would allow first redistricting in 60 years
Decatur Daily – Lawmaker wants retired Navy vessel for Decatur
Times Daily – Museum to host Chickasaw entertainer Thursday
Times Daily – Girl Scouts earn Alabama Music Hall of Fame patches
Times Daily – Natchez marker recalls Trail of Tears
Gadsden Times – Albertville man killed in early-morning shooting
Gadsden Times – Church of the Highlands buys 22.8 acres in Gadsden for new campus
Gadsden Times – Sen. Doug Jones kicks off 2020 reelection bid
Anniston Star – Jacksonville merchants expect good business from 7-home-game season
Anniston Star – Calhoun County set to remember Sept. 11
Anniston Star – Deal on Ladiga extension could come soon
Troy Messenger – Robbery, kidnapping trial begins Monday
Troy Messenger – Tatom bonds with wild raccoon over cornbread
Troy Messenger – ON TARGET: New archery park opens at Pike County Lake
Andalusia Star News – Surgeon General releases advisory on marijuana
Andalusia Star News – Extreme Experience Retreat gearing up for 10th year
Opelika-Auburn News – Algal blooms can pose threat to dogs
Opelika-Auburn News – Cardiology-care services group breaks ground for Opelika facility
Opelika-Auburn News – TURNER: Rod to Andy today: ‘Touchdown Auburn!’… say it, and say it often
Daily Mountain Eagle – WCSO: 98 arrests for distribution made since January
Daily Mountain Eagle – Aderholt praises Trump on issues
Daily Mountain Eagle – Record crowds show up for Foothills Festival
Trussville Tribune – Trussville Downtown: 2 buildings slated for demolition
Trussville Tribune – Toddler not expected to survive injuries; mother and her boyfriend jailed in Blount County
Trussville Tribune – In Alabama, Sen. Doug Jones kicks off 2020 reelection bid, GOP chair responds
Athens News Courier – REPORTS: Ivanka Trump to visit Tanner Tuesday
Athens News Courier – Ship overturns near Georgia port; 4 crew members missing
Athens News Courier – Biden in lead, but does campaign have enthusiasm to keep it?
Sand Mountain Reporter – School News: BHS welcomes friendliest employee
Sand Mountain Reporter – College News: Mathis named 2019 Wallace State’s Most Outstanding Alumni
Sand Mountain Reporter – School News: Stressful transition from 8th to 9th grade
WSFA Montgomery – 10 traffic fatalities, 0 boating fatalities over Labor Day weekend
WSFA Montgomery – Ivanka Trump to speak in North Alabama on Tuesday
WSFA Montgomery – Tribute honors former Voice of the Auburn Tigers before kickoff at home game
Fox 6 Birmingham – Kids learn coding at McWane Science Center
Fox 6 Birmingham – Events around the state to commemorate 9/11
Fox 6 Birmingham – New board members confirmed for Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
WAFF Huntsville – Vinemont man arrested for sexual abuse of a child
WAFF Huntsville – Ivanka Trump to speak in North Alabama on Tuesday
WAFF Huntsville – One person dead in overnight shooting in Albertville
WKRG Mobile – Okaloosa County Deputies looking for suspects in car burglaries
WKRG Mobile – Spanish Fort Police investigate late-night shooting
WKRG Mobile – Possible shooting off St. Stephens Road in Mobile
WTVY Dothan – Dothan first responders recognized by local business
WTVY Dothan – Dothan police looking for firearm shop burglar
WTVY Dothan – Alabama fugitive wanted on 58 counts of sexual abuse arrested in Knoxville
WASHINGTON POST  – Collapse of Afghanistan peace talks spotlights internal Trump administration divisions
WASHINGTON POST  – Epstein’s donations to universities reveal a painful truth about philanthropy
NEW YORK TIMES  – Trump Campaign Manager Sees President’s Family as Political ‘Dynasty’
NEW YORK TIMES  – The World Wastes Tons of Food. A Grocery ‘Happy Hour’ Is One Answer



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