House Republicans’ big TAX REFORM moment — TRUMP TEASES a Wednesday trade announcement — MNUCHIN and IVANKA to NJ to sell tax reform — DEMS smell opportunity in the South — GREG KELLY gets married

Driving the Day Good Monday morning. With the Roy Moore controversy continuing to rage, Republicans in Washington are looking to return to more comfortable territory this week -- tax reform. After months of work, the House is expected to pass its overhaul of the tax code while the Senate Finance Committee is slated to pass their own version. The forward progress is welcomed by the White House and GOP operatives who believe passing a tax package before the midterm elections is even more essential to holding their majorities in Congress than it was just a week ago. BUT, BUT, BUT -- Nothing is over in Washington until it is over. There are still massive differences in the House and Senate bills and it’s unclear how Republicans will find a path forward on key issues like state and local tax deductions. So Republicans could find themselves one step forward, two steps back when it comes to final passage. Story Continued Below WHERE THINGS STAND -- “GOP leaders bullish tax bill will pass the House this week,” by Rachael Bade: “Republican leaders are confident they have the votes to pass their once-in-a-generation tax reform bill in the House this week. There was little arm-twisting over the weekend, multiple sources close to leadership told POLITICO. And unlike with the Obamacare repeal effort earlier this year, when leaders made final-hour tweaks to win over resistant members, Speaker Paul Ryan’s team doesn’t intend to make significant changes to the legislation before the vote this time. “‘I think they’ve made the calculation that they have 218,’ Rep. Peter King said in a Saturday phone interview. The New York Republican, currently a ‘no’ on the bill, said he hasn’t heard from leadership in more than two weeks. Fellow New York Rep. Dan Donovan, another GOP opponent of the legislation, said the same. The lack of outreach to GOP holdouts suggests leadership feels good about the level of support Continue Reading

CBS News Logo Suspect in Kim Jong Nam attack says she got $90 for a prank

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysia’s health minister said Sunday autopsy results suggested a nerve agent caused “very serious paralysis” that killed the exiled half brother of North Korea’s leader, as police completed a sweep of the budget terminal where he was poisoned and declared it safe of any toxin. The investigation has unleashed a serious diplomatic fight between Malaysia and North Korea, a prime suspect in the Feb. 13 killing of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur’s airport. Friday’s revelation by Malaysian police that the banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent was used to kill Kim raised the stakes significantly in a case that has broad geopolitical implications. Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam said the state chemistry department’s finding of the VX toxin confirmed the hospital’s autopsy result that suggested a “chemical agent caused very serious paralysis” that led to death “in a very short period of time.” The VX agent can lead to death very quickly in high doses, he said.  The killing of Kim Jong Nam took place amid crowds of travelers at Kuala Lumpur’s airport and appeared to be a well-planned hit. Kim died on the way to a hospital, within hours of the attack.  Tens of thousands of passengers have passed through the airport since the apparent assassination was carried out. No areas were cordoned off, and protective measures were not taken. Subramaniam said there have been no reports so far of anyone else being sickened by the toxin. Late Saturday, however, police said they would begin a sweep of the budget terminal where Kim was attacked to check for traces of VX. The sweep started around 2 a.m. Sunday involving officers from the police’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear teams, as well as the fire department’s hazardous materials unit and the government’s atomic energy board. Although VX is not radioactive, police said the Continue Reading

How they became us: Orange County changed forever in the 40 years since the fall of Saigon

Teresa Nguyen, left, and Phu Nguyen, right, with the family's first car, a Ford Pinto. Phu's family came as boat people in 1981, when Phu was age 3. Several children died when the boat got stranded for 29 days . In Orange County Phat Nguyen salvaged junk in alleys, then started a small market. Now they run cargo business, then a money transfer business with 30 branches in the US and 100 employees in Vietnam. Phu Nguyen stands in front of the oldest branch of Hoa Phat, the family money transfer business named after his parents Phat Nguyen and Hoa Nguyen. The family experienced a harrowing escape from Vietnam. Today the family gained financial success in the US and Vietnam. Now the family runs a cargo business, and a money transfer business with 30 branches in the US and 100 employees in Vietnam. These identification cards, given to the Loan Pham Thai family in December 1979, were typical of those issued to refugees from Vietnam by authorities such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Rescue Committee. At the Vietnamese Community Tet Festival, aboard the Dragon Wagon ride, Sharon Nguyen, left, takes a "selfie" photo of herself, as Lucy Bang, Sim Vo, and her daughter Angeline Nguyen ride behind. All four women live in Garden Grove. La Quinta high students gather in the quad at lunch break during a Spring Fest event on Friday. Around 75 percent of the students are Vietnamese-American. First Vietnamese refugees arrive at El Toro Marine Air Station on April 29, 1975. Most were American dependents and workers with the U.S Mission. Nearly 900 Marines and civilians worked for six days to erect the 958 tents and 140 Quonset huts that would serve as homes for Vietnamese refugees. Camp Pendleton was the only tent city in the West; other resettlement sites were built at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania. Photo taken on April 30, 1975, by Continue Reading

The remarkable final days of a war hero who was killed in the Tet Offensive. 50 years later, he’s honored for his sacrifice.

AUBURN, Ala. — No one saw it coming that previously calm, cool, 1968 morning in the heart of Vietnam, and certainly not a young United States Marine captain from Auburn, Alabama, who found himself there working on a CIA mission before the enemy struck. Sadly, 50 years ago last Sunday and during that surprise attack that changed the course of an entire war, Capt. Robert W. Hubbard lost his life. But not until he put up a damned good fight, as one witness described it. The following is an account of how Capt. Hubbard fought to the end, killing numerous enemy combatants while saving the lives of fellow Americans at a time when enemy yells struck fear, their bullets struck death, and heroes struck back. * * * They attacked everywhere Out of ammunition, out of food, out of water and mostly surrounded, the handful of young Marines knew they had to do what Marines do: stay mobile. It would be days after his death on Feb. 4, 1968, before Hubbard’s bullet-riddled body could be recovered and returned to Auburn for burial, but the story behind the four harrowing days leading up to that tragic ending recently was allowed by the CIA to be shared by one of the men who survived the events. It was called the Tet Offensive. Tet, which celebrates the lunar new year, is the most important holiday on the Vietnamese calendar. Vietnam at the time was torn from years of war, with the Communist North Vietnam battling the U.S.-supported South Vietnam. American officials feared the spread of communism if the North took control of the entire country. The war in general, however, seemed to be at a stalemate. The overall strategy of the North Vietnamese was to inflict as many casualties as it could and try to sway an already-divided American public against the war and for the U.S. to leave Vietnam. The war’s momentum took a drastic shift with the massive holiday offensive launched on Jan. 30-31, 1968, when most Vietnamese families were celebrating the first day of Tet, Continue Reading

50 years ago, Vietnamese forces launched the Tet Offensive and changed how America saw the Vietnam War

Ben Brimelow, provided by Published 3:41 pm, Tuesday, January 30, 2018 Associated Press Just before the end of January 1968, South Vietnam's communist guerilla force, the Viet Cong (VC), launched an unprecedented offensive in coordination with the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) that would change the course of the Vietnam War. The Tet Offensive saw the VC and the NVA attack all of South Vietnam's largest towns and cities — bringing a war that had been mostly confined to the countryside into the streets of metropolitan cities. With a combined force of 85,000 soldiers and guerrillas, the objective was to take over the cities, destroy political and military targets, and provoke a popular uprising all over South Vietnam. Local Channel Now Playing: Now Playing Pickup truck T-bones sedan on rural S.A.-area road, killing woman San Antonio Express-News Galveston PD releases image of 'Little Jacob' Galveston Police Department Man found covered in blood after crashing car into ditch San Antonio Express-News Man+killed+by+police+after+stealing+bike%2C+riding+onto+Loop+410 Jacob Beltran Police: Drive-by gunman fires 30+ rounds into home, strikes man San Antonio Express-News Woman killed as firefighters battle flames for hours San Antonio Express-News SAPD: Man catches 2 suspect breaking into car on West Side, opens fire Caleb Downs Kawhi Leonard's Relationship with Spurs Is Just Fine, According to His Uncle Sports Illustrated Shots fired call near Alamo Heights prompts large police presence Fares Sabawi UTEP athlete, SA native snubbed @lamTre_/ Twitter The offensive would be a battlefield failure for the communists; the general uprising they had hoped to provoke didn't happen, they didn't hold on to a single town or city that was seized, and the Viet Cong was effectively wiped out as an independent fighting force. But it would prove to be a political and propaganda victory. American and international news Continue Reading

This Day in History: When Muhammad Ali Took the Weight

In an era defined by endless war, we should recognize a day in history that won’t be celebrated on Capitol Hill or in the White House. On June 20, 1967, the great Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston for refusing induction in the US armed forces. Ali saw the war in Vietnam as an exercise in genocide. He also used his platform as boxing champion to connect the war abroad with the war at home, saying, “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?” For these statements, as much as the act itself, Judge Joe Ingraham handed down the maximum sentence to Cassius Clay (as they insisted upon calling him in court): five-years in a Federal penitentary and a $10,000 fine. The next day, this was the top-flap story for the New York Times with the headline, “Clay Guilty in Draft Case; Gets Five Years in Prison.” The sentence was unusually harsh, and deeply tied to a bipartisan Beltway effort to crush Ali and ensure that he not develop into a symbol of antiwar resistance. The day of Ali’s conviction the US Congress voted 337-29 to extend the draft four more years. They also voted 385-19 to make it a federal crime to desecrate the flag. Their fears of a rising movement against the war were well-founded. The summer of 1967 marked a tipping point for public support of the Vietnam “police action.” While the Tet Offensive, which exposed the lie that the United States was winning the war, was still six months away, the news out of Southeast Asia was increasingly grim. At the time of Ali’s conviction, 1,000 Vietnamese noncombatants were being killed each week by US forces. One hundred US soldiers were being marked as "casualties" every day, and the war was costing $2 billion a month. Antiwar sentiment was growing and it was thought that a stern rebuke of Ali would help put out the fire. Continue Reading

Trips to Mexico City, plots to kill Castro: What the JFK records are likely to reveal

Ask not what’s in the documents — ask why are there so many pages. The National Archive is set to dump thousands of pages of documents Thursday about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy — the source of swirling conspiracy theories for more than 50 years. “I’m astonished at the sheer number of documents,” said Ken Hughes, a researcher with the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Policy. Hughes said a significant amount of the documents are likely to focus on assassin Lee Harvey Oswald as well as clandestine efforts to overthrow foreign governments and kill their leaders. “Some of them have to do with Kennedy-era covert operations,” he said. “Those are the real gems.” The CIA’s plans to overthrow and possibly assassinate Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro is likely to pop up amongst the files. They’re also likely to cover how much of a role Uncle Sam played in the coupe and assassination of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem, who was killed three weeks before JFK, Hughes said. Some conspiracy theorists have wondered whether JFK’s Nov. 22, 1963 assassination was retaliation for either events, the historian noted. “It’s very unclear what his position was regarding the assassination of Diem,” Hughes told the Daily News on Wednesday. “That’s one of the things that tomorrow’s documents can clear up.” Don’t expect to glean any information about second shooters on the grassy knoll or vast conspiracies by the military industrial complex to take out the 35th President. The documents “are not going to give us anything other than Lee Harvey Oswald as the assassin,” he said. What historians have said will be new are details about a trip Oswald took to Mexico City just weeks before he fired three shots at Continue Reading

Suspects in assassination of North Korean leader’s half brother coated hands with poison

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The two women suspected of fatally poisoning a scion of North Korea's ruling family were trained to coat their hands with toxic chemicals then wipe them on his face, police in Malaysia said Wednesday, announcing they were seeking a North Korean diplomat in connection with the attack. But the North Korean embassy ridiculed the police account of Kim Jong Nam's death, demanding the immediate release of the two "innocent women" and saying there was no way for them to have poisoned him. If the toxins were on their hands "then how is it possible that these female suspects could still be alive?" demanded a statement from North Korea's embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Police say the women — one of them Indonesian, the other Vietnamese — washed their hands soon after poisoning Kim, the long-estranged half brother of the North Korean ruler. Earlier Wednesday, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar also told reporters that authorities are searching for two new North Korean suspects, the second secretary of North Korea's embassy in Kuala Lumpur and an employee of North Korea's state-owned airline Air Koryo. "We hope that the Korean embassy will cooperate with us, allow us to interview them and interview them quickly," he said. "If not, we will compel them to come to us." Police say the substance used remains unknown, but it was potent enough to kill Kim before he could even make it to the hospital. Khalid said the women knew they were handling poisonous materials and "were warned to take precautions." Surveillance footage showed both keeping their hands away from their bodies after the attack, he said, then going to restrooms to wash. He said the women had practiced the attack at two Kuala Lumpur malls. "We strongly believe it is a planned thing and that they have been trained," he told reporters. Khalid couldn't confirm whether North Korea's government was behind Kim's death but added, "What is clear is Continue Reading

Family reunites in U.S. after 29 years

In 1984, two young girls were put on a boat outside Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and cast into the ocean. Scared and alone, surrounded by strangers, the two sisters had nothing but each other.Their boat hit an island in Malaysia, and the girls wound up in a refugee camp for more than a year, uncertain of their fate. Then, in 1986, Catholic Charities stepped in, and the girls prepared for a new journey.More than 9,000 miles away from their family and the place of their birth, the two girls found a new home in foster care in Jackson. The two were separated, however, when the older sister, Thuy Le Djedjos, aged out of foster care. Djedjos vowed that one day her family — her entire family — would be reunited.Every day for the last 29 years, Djedjos has diligently worked to make that dream a reality. With the help of local immigration attorney L. Patricia Ice, Djedjos has spent countless hours navigating the legal red tape to bring her family to the United States legally. With her brother’s arrival Tuesday night, Djedjos came one step closer to her goal.Sitting in a coffee shop in Flowood, Djedjos begins to cry when she thinks about the obstacles she and her sister, Marley Le Allen, overcame to come to America. Djedjos doesn’t like to talk about how long she and Allen were on the boat, and she will not discuss their ages for fear of repercussions for her remaining family in Vietnam. The story she does tell, however, is one of courage, perseverance and hope.Because of Djedjos, her parents, two brothers, a sister-in-law and two nephews have legally immigrated to the United States. An older sister is the only family member remaining in Vietnam. Djedjos vows to bring her to the United States as well.Djedjos became an American citizen in 1995. Seven years later, and for the first time since she left the country in 1984, Djedjos returned to Vietnam. The first thing she wanted to do was find the American Embassy, she said. Vietnam may be the place of her Continue Reading

United States ‘abandoned Cambodia and handed it over to the butcher’ during pullout 40 years ago: ex-ambassador

PARIS — Twelve helicopters, bristling with guns and U.S. Marines, breached the morning horizon and began a daring descent toward Cambodia’s besieged capital. Residents believed the Americans were rushing in to save them, but at the U.S. Embassy, in a bleeding city about to die, the ambassador wept. Forty years later, John Gunther Dean recalls one of the most tragic days of his life — April 12, 1975, the day the United States “abandoned Cambodia and handed it over to the butcher.” “We’d accepted responsibility for Cambodia and then walked out without fulfilling our promise. That’s the worst thing a country can do,” he says in an interview in Paris. “And I cried because I knew what was going to happen.” Five days after the dramatic evacuation of Americans, the U.S.-backed government fell to communist Khmer Rouge guerrillas. They drove Phnom Penh’s 2 million inhabitants into the countryside at gunpoint. Nearly 2 million Cambodians — one in every four — would die from executions, starvation and hideous torture. Many foreigners present during the final months remain haunted to this day by Phnom Penh’s death throes, by the heartbreaking loyalty of Cambodians who refused evacuation and by what Dean calls Washington’s “indecent act.” I count myself among those foreigners, a reporter who covered the Cambodian War for The Associated Press and was whisked away along with Dean and 287 other Americans, Cambodians and third country nationals. I left behind more than a dozen Cambodian reporters and photographers — about the bravest, may I say the finest, colleagues I’ve ever known. Almost all would die. The pullout, three weeks before the end of the Vietnam War, is largely forgotten, but for historians and political analysts, it was the first of what then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger termed Continue Reading