WASHINGTON — The White House sent a clear signal Thursday to the defeated Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama: It’s time to concede.

Roy Moore refused to concede the race Tuesday night when Doug Jones, the Democrat, was declared the winner. Election night results show Jones winning by about 1.5 percentage points, three times more than the state’s standard for a recount. Although a few absentee and provisional ballots remain to be counted, there’s no indication they would change the result.

On Wednesday, Moore notably did not call to congratulate Jones — even as President Donald Trump and other leading Republicans did. Instead, he released a video declaring “the battle rages on.”

Asked at the daily news briefing whether the White House thinks Moore should concede today, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “It probably sounds like it maybe should have already taken place.”

Sanders also dismissed the idea, pushed by some Moore supporters, that Jones’ victory was tainted in some fashion. Asked if the Democrat had won “fair and square,” she said, “I think the numbers reflect that.”

—Tribune Washington Bureau


LA County animal control confirms investigation into death of 29 horses in Creek fire

LOS ANGELES — Animal care officials confirmed Thursday that they are investigating the death of 29 horses at a Sylmar ranch during the fast-moving Creek fire last week.

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control issued a lengthy statement last week in which they shared their officers’ efforts to save horses at Rancho Padilla. The statement did not include details about an investigation.

The ranch boarded its own horses, but also rented stalls to horse owners.

“We are actually looking into it and investigating the entire situation,” Don Barre, a spokeswoman for the department, said Thursday. “We can’t say anything about the investigation until it’s over.”

The fire was first reported at 3:43 a.m. on Dec. 5. The family members who own the ranch said they awoke to flames and were instructed by a fire crew to leave.

The department received a request for help at 8:45 a.m. Animal control officers rescued as many horses as they could, and broke the padlocks off 10 stalls, the department said in a statement.

A member of the Padilla family has stated that she told owners who boarded their horses at the ranch not to put locks on their stalls. Twenty-nine horses perished.

In an interview last week, Danny Ubario, deputy director of operations for the county’s animal control department, said the department was trying to set up an interview with the Padilla family.

The department wants to understand all the details of what happened and determine if the family had an evacuation plan in place, he said.

It is unclear what the outcome of the investigation could be.

The department has conducted other investigations, including one on cock-fighting and another earlier this year regarding 80 snakes and a pool full of alligators at a Thousand Oaks home.

In San Diego County, at least 46 horses died at San Luis Rey Downs, a thoroughbred training facility, during the Lilac wildfire.

The County of San Diego’s Department of Animal Services said they are not investigating the deaths at the training facility.

—Los Angeles Times


EU extends economic sanctions against Russia by 6 months

BRUSSELS — EU leaders on Thursday extended economic sanctions against Russia for six months over the country’s role in the Ukraine conflict.

“EU united on roll-over of economic sanctions on Russia,” European Council President Donald Tusk posted on Twitter.

The sanctions were first adopted in July 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and its support for separatists in the country’s east.

The European Union has tied easing the sanctions to Russia implementing the Minsk peace agreement, which calls for an unconditional cease-fire and for both sides to pull heavy weapons from the frontline in eastern Ukraine.

After the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the sanction extension was debated “intensely” though there was overall support for it.

She said that while “escalation” was avoided, there had not been enough progress to justify a lifting of the sanctions and it was agreed that more needed to be done to kick start the Minsk agreement.

The restrictive measures target the financial, energy and defense industries, impeding Russian banks’ access to EU markets and limiting Russian access to certain EU imports.

The decision on extending the sanctions comes just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin used a three-hour televised news conference to reinforce his reputation as the country’s guarantor of stability.

Putin also insisted that there was no Russian army presence in eastern Ukraine.

According to the U.N., more than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict that started in 2014.



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