Missouri governor names second AG
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Republican Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday named his general counsel, Andrew Bailey, to replace U.S. Sen.-elect Eric Schmitt as Missouri's attorney general.
Bailey, a 41-year-old who has never held elective office, previously served as an assistant attorney general and assistant prosecuting attorney for Warren County.
Bailey's appointment marks the fourth time Parson has picked a replacement for a vacant statewide elected seat and his second time naming a new attorney general, a position often used as a launching pad for higher political office.
No other Missouri governor has filled more than three such positions, making Parson the most influential in state history in terms of his impact on the executive branch.
"The historical significance of this decision has not been lost on me," Parson said Wednesday outside his Capitol office. "Few Missouri governors have had the opportunity and responsibility to appoint an attorney general on behalf of the people of Missouri once, let alone twice."
Parson also was not initially elected. He ascended from lieutenant governor after Republican Gov. Eric Greitens resigned in the face of potential impeachment.
Naming a new lieutenant governor to replace him was among Parson's first acts as governor in 2018 when he took over. Parson named Mike Kehoe, a longtime state Senate colleague.
Within months, the attorney general's seat became vacant when Attorney General Josh Hawley ousted U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill from her seat.
Parson turned one appointment opportunity into two: naming Treasurer Schmitt to be the next attorney general and former state House budget leader Scott Fitzpatrick to the treasurer's seat.
Parson will name yet another statewide official to replace Republican Scott Fitzpatrick as state treasurer after voters in November elected him auditor.
Gunfire hurts 4 youths in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA -- Four students were injured in an apparent drive-by shooting shortly after their Philadelphia high school let out early Wednesday, a city schools spokesperson said.
"One was shot in the shoulder, one was shot in the knee and the two others have graze wounds," said the district's deputy chief of communications, Monique Braxton.
The shooting took place about 11:30 a.m. about a block from Overbrook High School, where school let out early because of parent-teacher conferences, Braxton said. She said the district's Office of School Safety told her the students were at a corner store when the shooting occurred.
"We don't know who was targeted, if any of the four of them were targeted," Braxton said. All four victims were taken for hospital treatment and their parents were being notified.
"This is outrageous, that young people would be shot shortly after being dismissed from their high school," Braxton said.
Stalker unverified in 4 Idaho slayings
MOSCOW, Idaho -- Authorities investigating the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students as they slept said detectives have looked extensively into information that one of the victims had a stalker and have not been able to verify it.
Investigators have pursued hundreds of pieces of information about Kaylee Goncalves having a stalker but haven't been able to identify one, the Moscow Police Department said Tuesday.
Authorities have said they have no suspect or weapon more than a week after the Nov. 13 killings shook the Idaho panhandle town of 25,000 residents.
Police said they believe a fixed-blade knife was used in the attacks, with each of the victims stabbed multiple times and some having defensive wounds. They have said evidence leads them to believe the students were targeted, but have declined to give details.
Toss Trump defamation suit, CNN asks
NEW YORK -- CNN asked a judge to toss out former President Donald Trump's defamation suit against the network over its coverage of his 2020 election conspiracy theory and critical reports about his demeanor.
Trump's lawsuit, filed in October, contains deeply flawed legal arguments and is barred by the First Amendment, CNN said in a motion to dismiss filed Tuesday in federal court in Florida.
"The complaint seeks to silence any criticism of plaintiff's debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was 'stolen,'" CNN said in the motion. "The lawsuit, though, does not even try to prove this claim is true, for the simple reason that evidence of material election fraud does not exist."
CNN rejected Trump's claim that he'd been defamed by its on-air personalities' comparisons of the former president to Hitler for his attempts to overturn the election and remain in power. CNN said such comments are protected as "rhetorical hyperbole" and "pure opinion" under principles of defamation law.
"These claims are untenable and repugnant to a free press and open political debate," CNN said, adding that Trump "utterly failed" to prove the remarks were intentionally malicious.