Lawmakers seek details from Trump group on foreign payments

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Leaders of a House investigations panel asked the Trump Organization on Friday for specifics on how it will donate its profits from foreign government payments to the U.S. Treasury. Before taking office, President Donald Trump promised to donate profits from foreign governments paying for services at his hotels, including one near the White House.

Trump pick for Commerce's No. 2 withdraws, blames conflicts

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's pick for deputy commerce secretary has withdrawn from consideration. Todd Ricketts, a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and son of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, was unable to resolve conflict-of-interest issues in taking the No. 2 job at the department. Ricketts says in a statement that he is "deeply honored" that Trump nominated him for the post, a selection he made at the end of November.

Ivanka's biz prospers as politics mixes with business

SHANGHAI (AP) -- Since her father was elected president of the United States, global sales of Ivanka Trump merchandise have surged and the company has applied for at least nine new trademarks in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Canada and the U.S. The commercial engine of the first daughter's brand is stronger than ever even as she builds a new political career from her West Wing office.

US, Canada, Mexico ask FIFA for faster World Cup bid process

GENEVA (AP) -- The North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup has asked FIFA for a decision in June 2018, two years ahead of schedule. In a letter seen by The Associated Press, the soccer federations from the United States, Canada and Mexico asked FIFA to consider their request next month in Bahrain at its annual congress.

Alabama governor resigns, pleads guilty to misdemeanors

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned Monday rather than face impeachment and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor campaign violations that arose during an investigation of his alleged affair with a top aide. In a remarkable fall, the mild-mannered 74-year-old Republican and one-time Baptist deacon stepped down as the sex-tinged scandal gathered force over the past few days. Legislators turned up the pressure by opening impeachment hearings Monday.

Alabama governor halts impeachment, not disparaging report

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley won a court fight Friday to halt his looming impeachment hearings, but couldn't prevent the release of an investigative report that describes his paranoia and obsession over trying to keep his romance with a staffer from becoming public. The stunning events capped a wild week in Alabama politics.

The Latest: Governor praises halt of impeachment proceedings

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Latest on the scandal involving Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (all times local): 6 p.m. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's lawyer praised a judge's decision to halt impeachment proceedings. Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin on Friday said he was blocking the proceedings to give the governor more time to respond to allegations that he misused state resources.

Alabama governor defiant as sex scandal trouble mounts

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley made a last-ditch attempt to stop proceedings that could lead to his impeachment and calls for his resignation grew Friday, with the House speaker warning that continuing a sex-tinged scandal would drag the state through "a long, painful and embarrassing journey whose ending is likely known.

The Latest: Trump calls House intel chair an 'honorable guy'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on the congressional inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election (all times local): 3:15 p.m. President Donald Trump says House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes (NOO'-nehs) is a "good person" and "a very honorable guy." Trump says he only recently heard that Nunes stepped aside from the committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to the Trump campaign.

Nunes steps away from Russia probe, citing ethics complaints

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Republican chairman is stepping aside from leading a congressional investigation of Russian interference in last year's U.S. presidential election, citing ethics complaints that he mishandled classified information. The decision by Rep. Devin Nunes of California comes amid partisan turmoil on the House intelligence committee. Democrats have alleged that Nunes, who was on President Donald Trump's transition team, is too close to the White House and cannot lead an impartial inquiry.

BC-AP News Digest 2 pm

Here are the AP's latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT. ---------------- ONLY ON AP ---------------- AP POLL-TRUMP-BUDGET -- Most Americans oppose funding President Donald Trump's wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a poll released by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. By Andrew Taylor and Emily Swanson. SENT: 920 words, photos. With AP POLL-TRUMP-BUDGET-HIGHLIGHTS; AP POLL-TRUMP-BUDGET-METHOD (both sent).

Ethics panel sends Alabama governor's case to prosecutors

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley could face criminal prosecution after a state ethics panel found probable cause that he broke ethics and campaign finance law in a sex-tinged scandal that has engulfed him for more than a year. The Alabama Ethics Commission, after an all-day meeting, voted to refer four issues to the district attorney's office, which will decide whether to pursue charges.

Alabama governor could face prosecution after ethics ruling

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley could face criminal prosecution after a state ethics panel found probable cause that he broke ethics and campaign finance law in a sex-tinged scandal that has engulfed him for more than a year. The Alabama Ethics Commission, after an all-day meeting, voted to refer four issues to the district attorney's office, which will decide whether to pursue charges.

The Latest: IS-held Syrian dam said to be functioning again

BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the suspected chemical attack in Syria (all times local): 11 p.m. U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces say the gates to the Tabqa Dam held by the Islamic State group in northern Syria are functioning again, releasing water from the swollen Lake Assad into the Euphrates River.

'Winter White House' a winning brand for Trump's business

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- No doubt Florida's oceanfront Mar-a-Lago resort is an impressive site for a summit between the presidents of the U.S. and China. And it's a pretty nice business advertisement, too, for the owner of the luxurious, members-only private property. That would be Donald J. Trump.

The Latest: Rebel official says UN 'responsible' for deaths

BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the suspected chemical attack in Syria (all times local): 5:20 p.m. A top Syrian rebel representative says he holds U.N. mediator Staffan De Mistura "personally responsible" for the suspected chemical weapons attack that killed more than 70 people in northern Syria one day ago. Mohammad Alloush, the rebels' chief negotiator at U.N.-mediated talks with the Syrian government, said the U.N.

Chemical attack kills dozens in Syria, US blames Assad

BEIRUT (AP) -- A chemical weapons attack in an opposition-held town in northern Syria killed dozens of people on Tuesday, leaving residents gasping for breath and convulsing in the streets and overcrowded hospitals. The Trump administration blamed the Syrian government for the attack, one of the deadliest in years, and said Syria's patrons, Russia and Iran, bore "great moral responsibility" for the deaths.

Kushner, Ivanka Trump face ethical land mines ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, presidential relatives with powerful White House jobs, can help shape America's foreign and domestic policies. They've also built a business empire worth as much as $740 million that has ties around the world, newly released financial disclosures show.