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V I SALI A , CALIF . school teacher in cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of felony child en­dan­ger­ment af­ter forcibly cut­ting the hair of one of her stu­dents while singing the na­tional an­them, au­thor­i­ties said.

The 52-year-old science and chem­istry teacher Mar­garet Gieszinger sang the “Star Span­gled Ban­ner” while cut­ting chunks of the boy’s hair and toss­ing them be­hind her.

Gieszinger grabbed at a girl’s long hair be­fore the stu­dents made a run for it out of the class­room.

Ecuador pres­sures As­sange to leave em­bassy.

Ecuador’s pres­i­dent has ramped up pres­sure on Ju­lian As­sange to leave his coun­try’s em­bassy in Lon­don, say­ing that Bri­tain had pro­vided suf­fi­cient guar­an­tees that the Wik­iLeaks founder won’t be ex­tra­dited to face the death penalty abroad.

Lenin Moreno didn’t say he would force As­sange out but said the ac­tivist’s le­gal team is con­sid­er­ing its next steps. As­sange has been holed up in the em­bassy since 2012, when he was granted asy­lum while fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of sex crimes in Swe­den that he said were a guise to ex­tra­dite him to the U.S.

McCon­nell says there’s lit­tle chance of Se­nate vote on crim­i­nal jus­tice bill.


ON» Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell has told al­lies there is lit­tle chance the Se­nate will con­sider a bi­par­ti­san crim­i­nal jus­tice bill in the wan­ing days of the year, even as his own Repub­li­cans say there is more than enough sup­port for the leg­is­la­tion fa­vored by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

One McCon­nell ad­viser said the sen­a­tor does not in­tend to have a vote on the leg­is­la­tion be­cause he does not have enough time and is more fo­cused on other things — like fund­ing the gov­ern­ment and con­firm­ing judges.

“He doesn’t like the bill,” Repub­li­can donor Doug Dea­son said of the mea­sure.

Pris­oner swap deal bol­sters hopes of progress in Yemen talks.


» Yemen’s war­ring S W EDEN sides agreed to a broad pris­oner swap Thurs­day, sit­ting down in the same room to­gether for the first time in years at U.N.-spon­sored peace talks in Swe­den aimed at halt­ing a cat­a­strophic war that has brought the coun­try to the brink of famine.

The 3-year-old con­flict pits the in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized gov­ern­ment, which is backed by a Saudi-led coali­tion, against Shi­ite rebels known as Houthis, who took the cap­i­tal of Sanaa in 2014.

Trump picks Ha­ley’s re­place­ment at U.N.


ON» Pres­i­dent Don­ald ING T

Trump has de­cided to nom­i­nate State De­part­ment spokes­woman Heather Nauert to re­place de­part­ing U.N. Am­bas­sador Nikki Ha­ley.

Nauert, 48, is an un­ortho­dox choice given that she had lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence in gov­ern­ment or for­eign pol­icy be­fore join­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2017 af­ter sev­eral years as an an­chor and cor­re­spon­dent for Fox News, in­clud­ing on the “Fox and Friends” show watched by Trump.

Nev­er­the­less, Nauert has gained Sec­re­tary of State Michael Pom­peo’s trust af­ter be­ing ex­cluded from the in­ner cir­cle of his pre­de­ces­sor, Rex Tiller­son. She is also closely aligned with Trump’s daugh­ter Ivanka.


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