WASHINGTON — The administration is hitting a deadline to say whether it believes Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal that President Donald Trump in his campaign promised to obliterate; an announcement is expected soon, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

“The secretary of state will have an announcement very shortly on that deal,” Spicer told reporters Monday during an off-camera briefing at the White House.

“I think you all know that the president has made very clear that he thought this was a bad deal, a bad deal for the United States.”

Calling the agreement bad is hardly an assurance that Trump will rip it up, as he promised on the campaign trail.

By law, every 90 days the administration has to decide whether to certify that Iran is in compliance with the pact negotiated by the Obama administration. Earlier this year, Trump made the first such certification, and numerous reports have quoted White House officials saying he is likely to do so again.

Spicer defended the first certification Monday, saying Trump “had the luxury of having an entire team” re-examine the deal before he decided whether to dismantle it.

“That time is up,” he said, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make his announcement shortly.

—Tribune Washington Bureau


Promoter asks judge to drop Christina Grimmie lawsuit, says slain singer wasn’t under contract

ORLANDO, Fla. — Lawyers for the promoter behind Christina Grimmie’s last show are asking a judge to dismiss her wrongful death lawsuit, explaining they aren’t on the hook because the singer wasn’t under contract.

AEG Live filed the motion last week in Orange County Circuit Court.

The request comes after a judge dismissed the first complaint filed by the singer’s relatives and they amended their lawsuit against AEG and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Plaza Foundation Inc., which owns the venue where she was killed last year.

The suit alleges the two groups should have provided better security.

Grimmie, who rose to fame on YouTube, finished in third place on the sixth season of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2014.

She was killed June 10, 2016, while signing autographs after a performance at The Plaza Live in Orlando. Her brother tackled the gunman, Kevin Loibl, who then shot and killed himself.

AEG claims it did not have any contract with Grimmie and wasn’t promoting the tour she was on with Orlando band Before You Exit, saying it only promoted the June 10 show where Grimmie was killed, court records show.

The company argues that even if there had been an agreement with the singer, Florida law puts the burden on the venue where she was shot, court records show.

It also says that if Grimmie was an employee of theirs, the case was filed in the wrong court and should be brought before a judge in compensation claims, the motion states.

Lawyers for Grimmie’s family say the singer had an oral agreement but did not go into detail as to what that entailed or when it was established, AEG claims.

The family is suing to cover Grimmie’s medical and funeral expenses, support they would have gotten from her future earnings and the emotional toll of losing her. The suit says a specific dollar amount would be determined at trial.

—Orlando Sentinel


Tropical Storm Don forms in Caribbean

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Don formed east of the Windward Islands late Monday, but is expected to weaken again as it continues churning westward, National Hurricane Center forecasters said.

The compact storm, located about 485 miles southeast of Barbados and moving west at 17 mph, mustered a center Monday afternoon. Sustained winds reached 40 mph. The storm may pick up speed as the eye passes over the Windward Islands Tuesday, forecasters said.

However, Don is expected to fizzle in about three days when it encounters strong upper level winds in the eastern Caribbean, forecasters said. Tropical storm force winds extend just 25 miles from Don’s center.

As it nears the Lesser Antilles Tuesday, the system is likely to dump heavy rain, forecasters said. A tropical storm warning was issued for Grenada while a watch was issued for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia.

A second system is also brewing in the Central Atlantic but has slighter odds of forming. Forecasters say there’s about a 30 percent chance that storm, located about 850 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands off Africa’s west coast, will become a tropical cyclone as it moves slowly across ocean waters over the next five days.

—Miami Herald

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