The House approves the spending bill to keep the government open; social media site tries to fight violent posts; Tony Alamo dies at 82; and more headlines for your drive home Wednesday, May 3, 2017.
House heads toward passage of bill to keep gov't running
WASHINGTON — The House easily passed a $1.1 trillion governmentwide spending bill on Wednesday, awarding wins to both Democrats and Republicans while putting off until later this year fights over President Donald Trump's promised border wall with Mexico and massive military buildup.
The 309-118 vote sends the bill to the Senate in time for them to act to avert a government shutdown at midnight Friday. The White House has said Trump would sign the measure, which is the first major legislation to pass in Trump's short, turbulent presidency.
House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the measure as bipartisan, and said the biggest gain for conservatives came as Democrats dropped longstanding demands to match Pentagon increases with equal hikes for nondefense programs.
"No longer will the needs of our military be held hostage by the demands for more domestic spending," Ryan said. "In my mind, that is what's most important here."
Facebook to hire 3,000 to review videos of crime and suicide
NEW YORK — Facebook plans to hire another 3,000 people to review videos and other posts after getting criticized for not responding quickly enough to murders shown on its service.
The hires over the next year will be on top of the 4,500 people Facebook already has to identify crime and other questionable content for removal. CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote Wednesday that the company is "working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner — whether that's responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down."
Videos and posts that glorify violence are against Facebook's rules, but Facebook has been criticized for being slow in responding to such content, including videos of a murder in Cleveland and the killing of a baby in Thailand that was live-streamed. The Thailand video was up for 24 hours before it was removed.
Disgraced preacher, child sex abuser Tony Alamo dies
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Tony Alamo, a one-time street preacher whose apocalyptic ministry grew into a multimillion-dollar network of businesses and property before he was convicted in Arkansas of sexually abusing girls he considered his wives, has died in prison. He was 82.
Once known for designing elaborately decorated jackets for celebrities including Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, Alamo died on Tuesday at a federal prison hospital in Butner, North Carolina, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
The disgraced preacher was convicted in 2009 on charges that accused him of taking girls across state lines for sex, including a 9-year-old girl. The judge who sentenced him to the maximum 175 years in prison told him: "One day you will face a higher and a greater judge than me. May he have mercy on your soul."
US attorney details why no charges in Alton Sterling case
BATON ROUGE, La. — An investigation into the police shooting death of a black man in Baton Rouge found that there was not enough evidence to prove that the white officers acted unreasonably and willfully, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday.
The Justice Department's decision may not be the final legal chapter, however, because state authorities can conduct their own investigation of Alton Sterling's death last summer and possibly pursue state charges. The governor and Baton Rouge mayor planned a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson described the federal investigation at a news conference after meeting with Sterling's family, saying every agent and prosecutor involved in the probe believed charges were not warranted for Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II.