Thursday morning news: April 18, 2019

Justice Dept. expected to release Mueller report today » The Justice Department is expected to publish special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report today.

The report will test President Trump’s declaration that Mueller’s findings completely exonerated him of wrongdoing.

The headline from Attorney General William Barr’s summary last month was no collusion. But Mueller reached no decision on possible obstruction of justice.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that means there’s nothing there.

SANDERS: They couldn’t make a determination, which is basically Mueller’s way legally of saying we can’t find anything. We’re going to leave that up to the process, which is the attorney general. He has made a decision, and so we consider this to be case closed. 

But the White House is reportedly bracing for some potentially embarrassing information.

The report is nearly 400 pages long. Portions of it will be blacked out for legal reasons.

U.S. to allow lawsuits over property in Cuba » The Trump administration says it will allow lawsuits against foreign firms operating on properties that Cuba seized from Americans after the 1959 Cuban revolution.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday the move is part of the U.S. effort to hold the Cuban government accountable.

POMPEO: We are helping those who the regime has robbed get compensation for their rightful property, and we are advancing human rights and democracy on behalf of the Cuban people. 

Starting May 2nd, Americans will have the right, under a law passed in 1996 to sue companies that operate out of hotels, tobacco factories, distilleries, and other properties Cuba nationalized after Fidel Castro took power.

Every president since Bill Clinton has suspended a key clause in the law to avoid trade clashes. The change could affect dozens of Canadian and European companies, and countries around the globe have protested the move.

It’s the latest in a series of moves by the Trump administration to get tougher on Cuba. That’s in no small part due to the country’s support for the Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela.

President Trump vetoes Yemen resolution » President Trump has used his veto pen for the second time since taking office. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The president on Wednesday vetoed a resolution Congress passed earlier this month that would have pulled the plug on U.S. military backing for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Congress lacks the votes to override the veto.

Lawmakers said by passing the never-before-used war powers resolution they were reasserting their war-making authority. But in explaining his veto, President Trump said “This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Woman who threatened Denver schools found dead » An 18-year-old Florida woman who traveled to Colorado and threatened violence ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting is now dead.

Officials say it appears Miami Beach high school student Sol Pais shot herself.

FBI special agent Dean Phillips said Pais made threatening remarks that sparked an area-wide manhunt.

PHILLIPS: She has expressed an infatuation with Columbine and the events—the shooting there that happened tragically 20 years ago. And because of that we were concerned. 

Citing a credible threat, officials shut down schools, keeping nearly a half-million students at home. Jason Glass is Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools.

GLASS: While Jeff-Co was epicenter of this threat, it extended across the whole metro area and affected us all.

Authorities said Pais flew to Colorado on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition from a gun shop in Littleton … not far from Columbine High School.

Yuma declares emergency amid migrant overcrowding » The city of Yuma, Arizona, has declared a state of emergency as an influx of migrants has pushed area holding facilities well beyond capacity.

Mayor Doug Nicholls says there is an “imminent threat [of] having too many migrants released into” the city.

NICHOLLS: Trying to avert the threat of hundreds of people roaming the streets, looking to satisfy basic human needs in our community and not having the resources to do so and the reaction of the citizens of Yuma looking to protect their property and their way of life. 

The state of emergency doesn’t actually allocate any funds but calls on the federal government to help. The mayor is asking for resources, suggesting a FEMA response.

Nicholls, a Republican, said “This isn’t a natural disaster but it is a disaster either way.”

In the Yuma area, Border Patrol officials have seen a staggering number of immigrant families who show up at the border and turn themselves in. Most are from Guatemala, and many are seeking asylum.

Former president of Peru dead from apparent suicide » Former Peruvian President Alan García fatally shot himself in the head Wednesday as police arrived at his home. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has that story.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Police say when they entered Garcia’s mansion to arrest him they heard gunfire. They then forced their way through a locked door and found the former leader near death. He died later at a local hospital.  

It was a shocking end for a man who twice ruled Peru before becoming ensnared in the corruption scandal involving the construction giant Odebrecht.

Prosecutors suspect the former president accepted a $100,000 bribe from the company.

Odebrecht admitted in a 2016 plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that it paid nearly $800 million throughout Latin America in exchange for public works contracts.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) A sign for the Department of Justice hangs in the press briefing room Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Washington, at the Justice Department. 

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