General Motors strike

Mara Paulic, a 42-year GM employee, pickets outside the General Motors Fabrication Division in Parma, Ohio.

Strike enters 4th week

DETROIT — Contract talks aimed at ending a 22-day strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors continued Monday after United Auto Workers union bargainers rejected a company offer on Sunday.

In a letter to members, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes cast doubt on whether there will be a quick settlement in the contract dispute, which sent 49,000 workers to the picket lines on Sept. 16, crippling GM’s factories.

Dittes’ letter said the union presented a proposal to the company Saturday. He said GM responded Sunday morning by reverting back to an offer that had been rejected and made few changes.

The company’s proposal did nothing to address a host of items, Dittes wrote on Sunday, specifying job security for members during the term of the four-year contract.

Normally in contract talks, the union bargains for commitments from the company to build new vehicles, engines, transmissions and other items at U.S. factories represented by the union.

“It did nothing to provide job security during the term of this agreement,” Dittes wrote. “We, in this union, could not be more disappointed with General Motors who refuse to recognize the experience and talent of our membership.”

Braun suspends congressional bid

INDIANAPOLIS — The brother of U.S. Sen. Mike Braun says a health problem is causing him to suspend his campaign for the central Indiana congressional seat being given up by Republican Rep. Susan Brooks.

Former state Rep. Steve Braun didn’t identify the problem in a statement released Monday but said he was stepping away from the 5th Congressional District campaign for the next few months.

Braun filed federal documents in August to start his Republican campaign. Other Republicans seeking the nomination include state Treasurer Kelly Mitchell and Chuck Dietzen, a retired Riley Hospital for Children doctor who entered the race last week.

Brooks announced in June she would not seek re-election in 2020 after eight years in Congress.

Former Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Christina Hale is also campaigning for the seat.

Democrats issue subpoenas

WASHINGTON — House Democrats leading an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine issued subpoenas Monday to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and acting White House budget director Russell Vought.

Three Democratic committee chairmen demanded that Esper and Vought produce documents requested by Democrats by Oct. 15.

The House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees are investigating Trump’s actions pressing Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son, potentially interfering in the 2020 election. Trump also withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance to Ukraine.

Democrats say the documents are needed to examine the sequence of events and the reasons behind the White House’s decision to withhold aid appropriated by Congress to counter Russian aggression. The aid was later released.

The subpoenas come as a new whistleblower stepped forward with what the person’s lawyer said was firsthand knowledge of key events.

Judge says she couldn’t refuse ex-cop hug

DALLAS — The judge who gave a hug and Bible to a former Dallas police officer after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing her neighbor said Monday that she watched the woman change during her trial and wants her to live a purposeful life.

Judge Tammy Kemp said she had never previously acknowledged her Christian faith to a defendant or given one a Bible, but Amber Guyger said she didn’t have one at the end of her trial for the September 2018 killing of her upstairs neighbor, Botham Jean.

In her first interview since the jury convicted Guyger of murder last week, Kemp said she felt her actions were appropriate since the trial was over and the former officer told her she didn’t know how to begin seeking God’s forgiveness.

“She asked me if I thought that God could forgive her and I said, ‘Yes, God can forgive you and has,’” Kemp told The Associated Press.

Supreme Court’s term opens with insanity case

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court began its election-year term Monday by wrestling over whether states must allow criminal defendants to plead insanity.

The one minor surprise when the justices took the bench just after 10 o’clock was the absence of Justice Clarence Thomas. The 71-year-old Thomas was at home, likely with the flu, the court said.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was in her customary seat to the left of Chief Justice John Roberts. The 86-year-old Ginsburg asked the first question in the insanity arguments.

Ginsburg was treated this summer for a tumor on her pancreas.

Meeting for the first time in public since late June, the court opened a term that could reveal how far to the right and how fast the court’s conservative majority will move, even as Roberts has made clear he wants to keep the court clear of Washington partisan politics. The court is beginning its second term with both of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, on board.

The justices could be asked to intervene in disputes between congressional Democrats and the White House that might also involve the possible impeachment of the Republican president.

Sanders releases finance plan while recuperating

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders is unveiling a major campaign finance plan, continuing his 2020 presidential bid even as he’s at home recuperating from a heart attack.

The Vermont senator said Monday that as president he’d enact mandatory public financing laws for all federal elections and ban corporate donations for inaugural events.

Sanders also would institute a lifetime lobbying prohibition for former members of Congress and senior staffers and ban advertising during presidential debates.

Sanders says if he wins Democrats’ presidential nomination he’ll ban corporate contributions to the Democratic Party Convention. He notes that in 2016, 17 donors gave three-quarters of funding for the party’s convention.

Sanders has promised to return to work after “a short time off.” Following a strong fundraising quarter through September, his campaign’s war chest was worth $33.7 million.

Warren aims to build appeal among Republicans

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Elizabeth Warren was greeted by Republican activists chanting “Stop impeachment!” as she strode toward baggage claim at a Nevada airport. There were more protesters at a Carson Center rec center where she spoke, including one atop hay bales yelling “Trump 2020” until he was hoarse. And during her speech, Warren was interrupted by a man screaming “you’re all socialists!”

Warren wasn’t in Manhattan anymore.

The Massachusetts senator has proven she’s popular in Democratic strongholds, perhaps most memorably when she filled New York’s Washington Square Park last month. But as she’s rising in the polls and sitting on a fresh pile of campaign cash, Warren is also frequently hitting places where she might be less welcome. That includes Nevada’s capital, a conservative area with a proud cowboy streak that’s a seven-hour drive from the glitz of Democrat-friendly Las Vegas.

These trips test whether the progressive message that has fueled Warren’s rise can resonate in all regions. It’s an important hurdle for Warren to clear to prove that, if she were to become the Democratic nominee, she could win back voters in areas that sided with President Donald Trump in 2016.

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