Star Tribune front page headline stories
Kushner is top Trump aide
Trump has come to rely heavily on Kushner, who is married to the president-elect’s daughter Ivanka. Since the election, the political novice has been one of the transition team’s main liaisons to foreign governments, communicating with Israeli officials and meeting Sunday with Britain’s foreign minister. He’s also huddled with congressional leaders and helped interview Cabinet candidates.
Ivanka Trump, who also played a significant role advising her father during the presidential campaign, will not be taking a formal White House position. Transition officials said the mother of three young children wanted to focus on moving her family from New York to Washington.
Kushner’s own eligibility for the White House could be challenged, given a 1967 law meant to bar government officials from hiring relatives. Kushner lawyer Jamie Gorelick argued Monday that the law does not apply to the West Wing. She cited a later congressional measure to allow the president “unfettered” and “sweeping” authority in hiring staff.
Family’s backyard brood raises a squawk
National debate comes home to roost for Ramsey family sued for having chickens and potbellied pig.
Peter — a 45-pound female pig named by the Harers’ two youngest sons — even came up at a recent City Council meeting, where officials granted the family a nontraditional animal license to keep her, despite objections from the association, which considers Peter prohibited livestock.
City leaders noted, however, that the license does not supersede the association’s pet guidelines, which can be stricter than the city’s.
In Northfork, uproar over chickens came before drama over Peter. The ensuing dispute has been described by one resident as the “great Northfork chicken debate,” and neighbors are not of one mind about keeping fowl.
There have been mailings, social media jabs, a ballot survey, threats of fines, door-to-door canvassing and allegations of trespassing. The Harers also recently led a signature drive and knocked on more than 200 doors of the 274 homes in their neighborhood. The couple have several binders full of documents, tucked in page protectors, and are building their response to the suit.
“They’re throwing a lawsuit at us, and we will be responding,” Edie Harer said.
Remove pipeline tribe says
Bad River bands’ move surprise company
Although protests against new pipelines seem to be growing in the U.S. — witness the outcry over the Dakota Access Pipeline — a decision to pull out an existing pipeline is unusual. And it could prove to be a major headache for Enbridge, one of the largest North American pipeline operators.
The pipeline in question has been operating on the Bad River reservation since 1953, running from Superior, Wis., to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and eventually to Sarnia, Ontario.
Last week, the Bad River Tribal Council passed a resolution not to renew certain right-of-way easements. The band and Enbridge had been negotiating the easement renewals since their expiration in 2013.
The 645-mile Enbridge pipeline — known as Line 5 — crosses about 12 miles of the Bad River reservation, which covers more than 124,000 acres on Lake Superior’s South Shore. The Bad River Band, which has 7,000 members, says fears of oil spills spurred its decision.
State auditor OTTO seeks DFL nod for governor
Her job is not well known but she has won three statewide elections and hopes to stand out.
Voters statewide elected Otto to the office of state auditor in 2006 and re-elected her twice, including by a wide margin in 2014. She previously served one term in the state House.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is not running again in 2018. So far, Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman have announced they will seek the DFL nomination. A number of other big names from both political parties are also considering the race.
Otto said she plans to seek the DFL endorsement at the state convention next year, forgoing a primary if she doesn’t get it. She said she would not run for auditor again no matter what.
As auditor, Otto oversees more than $20 billion spent annually by local governments. It has typically been a low-profile job compared to other statewide elected offices, although two other state auditors from the recent past went on to the governor’s office: Dayton and Republican Arne Carlson.
“Rebecca has a deep understanding of money at all levels of government,” reads a biography on her campaign website. In her interview, Otto touted experience in three key areas: government finance, education and small business.
St. Jude’s devices are hackable
FDA issues warning, but patch reportedly ready
The potential for such attacks was first alleged by an investment firm last August. Such an attack could cause a lifesaving device to rapidly deplete its battery or give inappropriate electric shocks. However, federal officials stress there has never been a documented case of a cyber attack intended to harm a patient.
“As medical devices become increasingly interconnected via the internet, hospital networks, other medical devices and smartphones, there is an increased risk of exploitation of cyber security vulnerabilities, some of which could affect how a medical device operates,” the FDA’s Monday safety alert says.