WASHINGTON

GOP leaders suggest

flexibility on border

Wary of reigniting a clash that proved damaging to Republicans, congressional GOP leaders signaled Tuesday that they want to de-escalate the battle over President Donald Trump's border wall and suggested they could be flexible as bargainers seek a bipartisan agreement.

In what seemed a message aimed at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the two confrontational tactics that Trump has threatened to employ if negotiators can't craft a border security accord to his liking. The president has said he'd trigger a fresh shutdown or declare a national emergency on the Southwest boundary.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he would not insist that any deal include the word "wall." The comment signaled the GOP's latest rhetorical retreat from a battle cry — "Build the wall!" — that Trump made a keystone of his presidential campaign.

 

LONDON

UK leader seeking 

Brexit deal changes

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday won a few weeks to salvage a Brexit deal but headed toward a clash with the European Union by promising to overhaul the divorce agreement she spent a year and a half negotiating with the bloc.

Trying to break the U.K.'s Brexit deadlock, May got Parliament's backing for a bid to rework an Irish border guarantee in the withdrawal deal — a provision May and the EU both approved, and which the bloc insists cannot be changed.

 

LAS VEGAS

No specific motive

found in gun rampage

The high-stakes gambler responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history sought notoriety in the attack but left his specific motive a mystery, the FBI said Tuesday as it concluded the investigation of the 2017 massacre that killed 58 country music fans.

While the agency found no "single or clear motivating factor" to explain why Stephen Paddock opened fire from his suite in a high-rise casino hotel, Paddock may have been seeking to follow in his father's criminal footsteps, the FBI said.

 

BATON ROUGE, LA.

Man confesses to killing

five with father's gun

A young man from Louisiana has confessed to killing his parents, his girlfriend, and two of her family members who had taken him in after he was kicked out of his house, authorities said Tuesday.

Dakota Theriot, 21, told authorities he used a gun he stole from his father, Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said at a news conference. He said while Theriot was cooperating and had provided authorities with a lot of information about how the killings unfolded, they still haven't determined exactly why the killings happened.

 

BISMARCK, N.D.

Midwest takes action  

against brutal cold

Winter's sharpest bite in years moved past painful into life-threatening territory Tuesday, prompting officials throughout the Midwest to take extraordinary measures to protect the homeless and other vulnerable people from the bitter cold, including turning some city buses into mobile warming shelters in Chicago.

Temperatures plunged as low as minus-26 in North Dakota with wind chills as low as minus-62 in Minnesota. It was nearly that cold in Wisconsin and Illinois. Governors in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan declared emergencies as the worst of the cold threatened on Wednesday.

 

CARACAS, VENEZUELA

Opposition leader barred

from leaving country

Venezuela's Supreme Court barred opposition leader Juan Guaido from leaving the country Tuesday, a move certain to heighten tensions as the man challenging President Nicolas Maduro's claim to the presidency presses forward with establishing a transitional government and the U.S. warns of "serious consequences" if he is harmed.

The government-stacked high court announced the order just hours after chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab announced that he was opening a criminal investigation into Guaido's anti-government activities and requested that restrictions be placed on his movements abroad. The court also approved Saab's request that all of Guaido's financial assets be frozen.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires