The nation’s capital bids its final farewell to the late president, George H.W. Bush, in a service of prayer and praise that is drawing together world envoys, Americans of high office and a guy from Maine who used to fix things in Bush’s house on the water. The ceremony Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral, the nexus of state funerals, will cap three days of remembrance by dignitaries and ordinary citizens as they honored the Republican president who oversaw the post-Cold War transition and led a successful Gulf War, only to lose re-election in a generational shift to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992. The four living ex-presidents are coming — among them, George W. Bush will eulogize his father — and President Trump will attend but is not scheduled to speak. Also attending: one king (Jordan), one queen (Jordan), two princes (Britain, Bahrain), Germany’s chancellor and Poland’s president, among representatives of more than a dozen countries. Soldiers, citizens in wheelchairs and long lines of others on foot wound through the hushed Capitol Rotunda to view Bush’s casket and honor a president whose legacy included World War military service and a landmark law affirming the rights of the disabled. Former Sen. Bob Dole, a compatriot in war, peace and political struggle, steadied himself out of his wheelchair and saluted his old friend and one-time rival.
Mueller Recommends No Prison for Flynn, Citing Cooperation
President Trump’s former national security adviser provided so much information to the special counsel’s 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 by special counsel Robert Mueller 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. It was filed two weeks ahead of Flynn’s sentencing and just over a year after he became one of five Trump associates to plead guilty in the Russia probe, in his case admitting to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Though prosecutors withheld specific details of Flynn’s cooperation because of ongoing investigations, their filing nonetheless illustrates the breadth of information Mueller has obtained from people close to Trump as the president increasingly vents his anger at the probe — and those who cooperate with it.
Stock Market Plunges on Doubts Over Trump’s Trade Deal
Stocks fell sharply in the biggest decline since the October rout as investors worried about a bond-market phenomenon signaling a possible economic slowdown. Lingering worries around U.S.-China trade also added to jitters down Wall Street, CNBC reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 791 points, or 3.06 percent, posting its worst day since Oct. 10. At its low of the day, the Dow had fallen more than 800 points. Boeing and Caterpillar, two major exporters that would have much to lose if trade tensions don’t ease, weighed the most on the Dow. The S&P 500 declined 3.2 percent to close below its 200-day moving average as the financials sector lagged. Despite the Trump administration’s celebrating earlier the 90-day truce it reached in its trade war with China as a significant breakthrough, a hazy timetable and scant details have caused widespread skepticism that Beijing will yield to U.S. demands anytime soon.
Feds Expand Beef Recall as Salmonella Outbreak Broadens
More than 5 million more pounds of raw beef products have been added to a national recall over concerns about possible salmonella contamination, and the number of people sickened has soared to 246 patients in 26 states, federal officials said. The initial recall announced by the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service in early October included 6.5 million pounds of raw beef products. The addition brings the total recalled amount to 12,093,271 pounds, and authorities say they’re concerned it could be in consumers’ freezers. The number of those sickened has increased drastically in recent weeks. Initially it was around 60 people in 16 states. The recall marks a more than four-fold increase in the number of cases in two months; nearly 60 people have been hospitalized as a result of the current outbreak. The affected products were produced and packaged at an Arizona facility owned by JBS Tolleson from July 26 through Sept. 7 and shipped to retailers nationwide under many brand names.
Actor-Comedian Kevin Hart Will Host 2019 Oscars
Kevin Hart has a new job — he will host the 2019 Academy Awards, a role the prolific actor-comedian says fulfills a longtime dream. Hart announced his selection for the 91st Oscars in an Instagram statement. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences followed up with a tweet that welcomed him “to the family.” The announcement came hours after trade publication The Hollywood Reporter posted a story calling the Oscars host position “the least wanted job in Hollywood.” Hart clearly doesn’t feel that way, writing on Instagram that it has been on his list of dream jobs for years. The 2019 Oscars will be broadcast Feb. 24. Hart takes over hosting duties from Jimmy Kimmel, who presided over the last two ceremonies, including 2016’s flub that resulted in the wrong best picture winner being announced. Last year’s ceremony was an all-time ratings low, and the film academy has announced a series of changes to the upcoming show.
Hugh Jackman Readies Massive World Tour
Hugh Jackman is set to launch a pop star-like tour next year, but he’s done his research: He’s been to a Beyonce concert. A Justin Timberlake concert. AND A MICHAEL JACKSON CONCERT. Jackman says he’s “seen some of the greats. And the great performers for me are the ones who can connect with the person in the back and in the front.” The actor, who was born in Australia, did an arena tour there three years ago, but never thought he would be able to replicate that success. But then came “The Greatest Showman” — a game changer for Jackman’s music career. He says the opportunity to go around the world … “I probably wouldn’t have had it if it wasn’t for ‘The Greatest Showman.’ That tipped me over.”