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  • In Syria’s Raqqa, IS makes last stand at city’s stadium

    BEIRUT (AP) — U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria on Tuesday captured the city hospital in Raqqa, leaving IS militants holed up at the local stadium, their last stand in the fight over what was once the extremists’ de facto capital.

    The hospital was one of IS last holdouts in Raqqa and had doubled as a hospital and an IS command center. Its capture left IS militants cornered in and around the notorious municipal stadium.

    Musafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, said 22 IS militants were killed in the advance on the hospital. The fighting was still underway with militants who had refused to surrender, he said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that a major push by the SDF on the municipal stadium was underway. […]
  • Construction done for Detroit River school ship dock, pier

    TRENTON, Mich. (AP) — Construction has been completed for a school ship dock and fishing pier at the gateway to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

    Officials said in a release Monday the dock opens this spring. It extends 740 feet (225 meters) into the river and connects to a 200-foot (61-meter) fishing pier.

    The new dock supports operations of Michigan Sea Grant’s Great Lakes school ship, which will use the river and refuge as a living laboratory for children.

    Hundreds of donors contributed to the pier’s construction. The Refuge Gateway, the site of a former automotive parts factory, was cleaned up and serves as an ecological buffer to the Humbug Marsh wetland. A visitor center, canoe and kayak launch and other amenities also are expected to open this spring. Copyright © The Associated Press. […]
  • US tech giants may find their future shaped by Europe

    LONDON (AP) — Silicon Valley is a uniquely American creation, the product of an entrepreneurial spirit and no-holds-barred capitalism that now drives many aspects of modern life.

    But the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple are increasingly facing an uncomfortable truth: it is Europe’s culture of tougher oversight of companies, not America’s laissez-faire attitude, which could soon rule their industry as governments seek to combat fake news and prevent extremists from using the internet to fan the flames of hatred.

    While the U.S. has largely relied on market forces to regulate content in a country where free speech is revered, European officials have shown they are willing to act. Germany recently passed a law imposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($59 million) on websites that don’t remove hate speech within 24 hours. British […]
  • Bergdahl guilty pleas leave room for drama at sentencing

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s guilty plea to charges of endangering comrades in Afghanistan has set up a dramatic sentencing hearing that could land him in prison for life.

    Bergdahl, who was captured and held by the Taliban for five years after leaving his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009, pleaded guilty Monday to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, a rare charge that carries a potential life sentence.

    Because Bergdahl had no plea deal with prosecutors, his punishment will be decided by the judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, at a hearing starting Oct. 23. Bergdahl was thoroughly questioned by Nance at his plea hearing and the soldier acknowledged that his actions — and subsequent military search missions — put fellow service members […]
  • Airbus shares jump on Bombardier deal, despite legal woes

    PARIS (AP) — Airbus shares have risen thanks to an unusual no-cost deal with Canada’s Bombardier that has angered U.S. rival Boeing.

    Airbus CEO Tom Enders sought to assure investors Tuesday that the deal will improve the appeal for Bombardier’s C-Series passenger jets, which had struggled for customers. The deal announced late Monday gives Airbus a majority stake in the C-Series business.

    Enders said some C-Series planes will be built at a plant in Alabama, which could allow Bombardier to avoid heavy U.S. duties that had hurt the Canadian company.

    Airbus shares rose 2.8 percent in Tuesday morning Paris trading before falling back slightly to 79.20 euros. The deal comes as Airbus is facing growing legal troubles stemming from corruption investigations in Britain, France and Austria. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Rape allegation makes Muslim teen’s death a capital case

    FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — An already disturbing case about a 17-year-old Muslim girl killed as she walked to her mosque took another unsettling turn after an indictment alleged the victim was raped as well.

    The indictment Monday includes capital murder and rape charges and will allow prosecutors to pursue a death-penalty case against Darwin Martinez-Torres, 22, of Sterling.

    He is accused in the slaying of Nabra Hassanen of Reston, whose death back in June rattled northern Virginia’s Muslim community.

    Prior to Monday’s indictment, much of the discussion surrounding the case revolved around whether prosecutors should bring hate-crime charges — as sought by some activists — or whether it was a case of road rage, as police have long maintained. Monday’s indictment, though, brought into focus another aspect of the case: While police had said […]
  • Trump, McConnell make a show of unity, despite tensions

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell have reaffirmed their alliance of necessity in a raucous Rose Garden news conference that also underscored their sharp differences. The garrulous president claimed they were longtime friends, now closer than ever; the reserved Senate Republican leader allowed that they share goals and speak often.

    It was a spectacle that mesmerized Washington, as Trump and McConnell appeared side by side for more than a half-hour, the president tossing off answers — sometimes mini-speeches — on all topics while McConnell, disciplined as always, delivered brief, scholarly explanations about the legislative process and the risks to their party of nominating candidates who can’t win.

    At various points, the president denounced the Russia-Trump campaign investigation, lauded himself for his record on judicial nominations, argued wrongly that “it took years for the Reagan administration to get taxes done,” and claimed that past presidents hadn’t necessarily contacted bereaved family members to mourn lost service members — before backtracking on that assertion when […]
  • Trump’s claim about predecessors, fallen troops disputed

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For U.S. presidents, meeting the families of military personnel killed in war is about as wrenching as the presidency gets. President Donald Trump’s suggestion Monday that his predecessors fell short in that duty brought a visceral reaction from those who witnessed those grieving encounters.

    “He’s a deranged animal,” Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, tweeted about Trump. With an expletive, she called Trump’s statement in the Rose Garden a lie.

    Trump said in a news conference he had written letters to the families of four soldiers killed in an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger and planned to call them, crediting himself with taking extra steps in honoring the dead properly. “Most of them didn’t make calls,” he said of his predecessors. He said it’s possible […]
  • Cochran’s illness shows risks to GOP leaders of aging Senate

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Republicans coping with a razor-thin majority as they try pushing a partisan agenda through the Senate are running smack into another complication — the sheer age and health issues of some senators.

    When the office of the ailing Sen. Thad Cochran announced Monday that it was the Mississippi Republican’s “intention to return to the Senate when his health permits,” it underscored the challenges of navigating a chamber that’s the second oldest ever. Cochran’s absence narrows the GOP’s margin for error on a pivotal budget vote this week, and the Appropriations Committee that he chairs hasn’t churned out any spending bills for next year since he was last in Washington in mid-September.

    Cochran isn’t the only GOP senator with health issues that have caused them to miss time this year in Washington. In July, the Senate delayed votes for a week on repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law after Sen. John McCain of Arizona, now 81, was diagnosed with brain cancer. And Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, […]
  • Exact cause of fatal Honolulu high-rise fire remains mystery

    HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu fire officials say investigators can’t determine the cause of a deadly high-rise apartment fire that resulted in more than $107 million in damage.

    Fire Chief Manuel Neves said at a news conference Monday that investigators determined the fire began in the living room of unit 2602. He says investigators have been able to rule that the July 14 fire wasn’t intentionally set.

    However, the exact manner in which the fire began will remain a mystery because of the extensive damage.

    The Marco Polo apartment building has no fire sprinkler system. The tower overlooking Waikiki was constructed in 1971, before sprinklers were required for new construction in the city. A new bill would require sprinklers in all high-rise buildings regardless of when they were constructed. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may […]
  • Me Too: Alyssa Milano elevates Harvey Weinstein conversation

    NEW YORK (AP) — Alyssa Milano was in bed with her two young children when a friend of a friend on Facebook suggested something that struck her as a great way to elevate the Harvey Weinstein conversation. She took the idea to Twitter, posting: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”

    That was Sunday night. By Monday night, more than 53,000 people had left comments and thousands of women had declared “Me Too,” sharing their stories of rape, sexual assault and harassment across social media, including some for the first time.

    The hashtag was tweeted nearly half a million times in 24 hours, according to Twitter. Some left it at, simply: “Me Too,” without explanation, and a small contingent of men have posted: “I Have,” noting shock at the groundswell and remorse for their own past misdeeds. Milano said the idea was to elevate the Harvey […]
  • Californians brace for emotional toll from wildfires

    SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — A week after fleeing wildfires, tens of thousands of Californians are drifting back into their neighborhoods.

    Some will face the prospect of destroyed homes. All will face the possibility of lasting emotional damage.

    “It’s never going to be the same,” said Rob Brown, a supervisor in Mendocino County, where all 8,000 evacuees were cleared to go home Monday. “You’re going to have to seek a new normal.”

    The fires, the deadliest cluster in California history, have killed at least 41 people and destroyed nearly 6,000 homes. The thousands of calls coming from concerned residents in neighboring Sonoma County “have shifted from questions about evacuation to questions about coping,” Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane said. “Many people who call are sad and worried, […]
  • Dr. Seuss’ stepdaughter calls for mural to stay in museum

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — One of Dr. Seuss’ two stepdaughters is calling for a mural that was deemed offensive for its depiction of a Chinese character from one of the author’s books to remain on the walls of a Massachusetts museum.

    In a statement released Monday to The Republican , Leagrey Dimond says she wishes the images did not exist, but she feels they should remain in the museum. She says “there is no better place to begin the conversation.”

    The mural is located inside the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield. It features a character from the author’s first children’s book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.” Three children’s authors have said the mural contains a “jarring racial stereotype.” The museum has said the mural will be replaced. […]
  • New home for NYC museum’s collection of gems to open in 2019

    NEW YORK (AP) — Exotic gemstones and minerals will soon be on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, including a recently announced 12-foot-tall (3-meter-tall) amethyst geode acquired from Uruguay.

    The new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will open in 2019 in conjunction with the museum’s 150th anniversary. The New York Times reports the new gallery also will display the Star of India blue sapphire and the 632-carat Patricia Emerald.

    The current mineral and gem halls at the museum will close on Oct. 26. The museum’s collection includes about 105,000 minerals and 5,000 gems. ___ Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • The 10 things to know going into this NBA season

    Happy New Year, NBA.

    The 72nd regular season starts Tuesday night, when Boston heads to Cleveland and Houston goes to Golden State. Fans in Cleveland will boo Kyrie Irving, fans in Oakland will cheer the Warriors’ latest championship banner, and the march toward April will finally be underway.

    The offseason was loaded with changes. Carmelo Anthony and Paul George went to Oklahoma City, Gordon Hayward and Irving went to Boston, Isaiah Thomas got sent to Cleveland, Jimmy Butler is now in Minnesota and Paul Millsap calls Denver home. That’s seven All-Stars who moved, a record for an NBA offseason.

    Every coach who started last season will start this season. That’s an NBA first. Here’s 10 things to know about the NBA season that is finally here: ___ 10. QUICK STARTERS San Antonio, Toronto and Miami will likely start 1-0 — because under current management, San Antonio, Toronto and Miami almost always start 1-0. Spurs […]