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Update October 2016


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Today in History - Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Oct. 23, the 297th day of 2016. There are 69 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 23, 1956, a student-sparked revolt against Hungary's Communist rule began; as the revolution spread, Soviet forces started entering the country, and the uprising was put down within weeks.

On this date:

In 1864, forces led by Union Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis repelled Confederate Maj. Gen. Sterling Price's army in the Civil War Battle of Westport in Missouri.

In 1915, tens of thousands of women paraded up Fifth Avenue in New York City, demanding the right to vote.

In 1935, mobster Dutch Schultz, 34, was shot and mortally wounded with three other men during a gangland hit at the Palace Chophouse in Newark, New Jersey. (Schultz died the following day.)

In 1941, the Walt Disney animated feature "Dumbo," about a young circus elephant who learns how to fly, premiered in New York.

In 1942, during World War II, Britain launched a major offensive against Axis forces at El Alamein (el ah-lah-MAYN') in Egypt, resulting in an Allied victory.

In 1944, the World War II Battle of Leyte (LAY'-tee) Gulf began, resulting in a major Allied victory against Japanese forces.

In 1946, the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York for the first time, at an auditorium in Flushing Meadow.

In 1963, the Neil Simon comedy "Barefoot in the Park," starring Elizabeth Ashley and Robert Redford, opened on Broadway.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon agreed to turn over White House tape recordings subpoenaed by the Watergate special prosecutor to Judge John J. Sirica.

In 1983, 241 U.S. service members, most of them Marines, were killed in a suicide truck-bombing at Beirut International Airport in Lebanon; a near-simultaneous attack on French forces killed 58 paratroopers. NBC News reporter and anchorwoman Jessica Savitch, 36, and New York Post executive Martin Fischbein, 34, died in a car accident in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

In 1991, Cambodia's warring factions and representatives of 18 other nations signed a peace treaty in Paris.

In 2001, the nation's anthrax scare hit the White House with the discovery of a small concentration of spores at an offsite mail processing center.

Ten years ago: Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced by a federal judge in Houston to 24 years, four months for his role in the company's collapse. (In 2013, a federal judge shaved a decade off the sentence.) Police in Budapest clashed with protesters in anti-government demonstrations coinciding with Hungary's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of its uprising against Soviet rule.

Five years ago: Libya's interim rulers declared the country liberated, formally marking the end of Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year tyranny. A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey, killing some 600 people. The Texas Rangers evened the World Series at two games apiece, shutting out the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0.

One year ago: Hurricane Patricia roared ashore in a sparsely populated area of southwestern Mexico as a Category 5 storm, then quickly abated to a tropical storm. A bus carrying retirees on a day trip through southwest France's wine region hit a truck and went up in flames, killing 43 people. The Justice Department announced that neither Lois Lerner nor any other IRS official would face criminal charges in the political controversy over the processing of applications for tax-exempt status. The Kansas City Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 in Game 6 of the AL championship, earning their second straight trip to the World Series.

Today's Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning, R-Ky., is 85. Movie director Philip Kaufman is 80. Soccer great Pele (pay-lay) is 76. Rhythm-and-blues singer Barbara Ann Hawkins (The Dixie Cups) is 73. ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross is 68. Actor Michael Rupert is 65. Movie director Ang Lee is 62. Jazz singer Dianne Reeves is 60. Country singer Dwight Yoakam is 60. Community activist Martin Luther King III is 59. Movie director Sam Raimi is 57. Parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic is 57. Rock musician Robert Trujillo (Metallica) is 52. Christian/jazz singer David Thomas (Take 6) is 50. Rock musician Brian Nevin (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 50. Country singer-musician Junior Bryant is 48. Actor Jon Huertas is 47. Movie director Chris Weitz is 47. CNN medical reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta is 47. Bluegrass musician Eric Gibson (The Gibson Brothers) is 46. Country singer Jimmy Wayne is 44. Actress Vivian Bang is 43. Rock musician Eric Bass (Shinedown) is 42. TV personality and host Cat Deeley is 40. Actor Ryan Reynolds is 40. Rock singer Matthew Shultz (Cage the Elephant) is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Miguel is 31. Actress Masiela Lusha (MAH'-see-ella loo-SHA') is 31. Actress Emilia Clarke is 30. Actress Briana Evigan is 30. Actress Jessica Stroup is 30. Neo-soul musician Allen Branstetter (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 26. Actress Amandla Stenberg is 18.

Thought for Today: "Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind." — Bertrand Russell, English philosopher (1872-1970).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sprinter explores ways to mentor youth after daughter' death

In this May 3, 2014, photo, Trinity Gay, a seventh-grader racing for her Scott County High School team, poses for a photo with her father Tyson Gay

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay says he will help explore ways to mentor youth in Lexington after the shooting death of his 15-year-old daughter over the weekend.

Gay said in a statement released Friday that he's determined his daughter's death won't be "senseless. We must come together as a community to protect each other, giving our young people the tools they need to resolve their conflicts and lead successful lives — the kind that Trinity was well on her way to living."

Witnesses told police that gunfire was exchanged between two vehicles early Sunday. Trinity Gay was hit by a round.

Tyson Gay offers support so that the "spirit of Trinity will sprint on long after we say goodbye to her this weekend."

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Overloaded train derails in Cameroon, killing at least 53

People walk beside a derailed train carriage after the accident in Eseka, Cameroon.(Equinox TV via AP)

Edwin Kindzeka Moki, Associated Press

ESEKA, Cameroon (AP) — An overloaded train derailed along the route that links Cameroon's two major cities on Friday, killing at least 53 people and injuring more than 300, the government said.

The injured could not be evacuated until rail travel is re-established, said government spokesman Issa Tchiroma, adding that the death toll is likely to rise.

"It has been a sad day in Cameroon," he said. "The president has extended his message of condolence to the families that lost their loved ones and asked me to tell all of you that he is concerned about your well-being and quick recovery."

Some of the dead are still lying amid the overturned rail cars while others have been evacuated to the Eseka hospital mortuary.

Volunteer rescue workers, family members and others at the scene gave first aid as those stranded and hurt cried for help in Eseka, where the trained derailed and damaged the rail lines about 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of the capital, Yaounde.

The train that derailed between Yaounde and the port city of Douala had been carrying 1,300 passengers instead of the usual 600, rail officials told state radio. The accident came as heavy rains have caused landslides along roads in the region. A portion of the road linking the capital Yaounde to Douala had collapsed, so the 30-year-old rail lines were overtaxed, the rail officials said.

Eseka is hard to reach by road, and there was panic at the site of the crash where very few doctors and medical staff were available.

Health Minister Andre Mama Fouda, who flew to the scene with other officials, called on medical staff from neighboring towns to come and help and said that the government would take care of the injured.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 


Philippine president says he won't sever ties with US

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, poses with a fist bump with Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana, left, during his "Talk with the Airmen" on the anniversary of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing, at the Philippine Air Force headquarters in suburban Pasay city, southeast of Manila, Philippines.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

Jim Gomez, Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday he did not mean he would cut off ties with the United States when he said in China that he was separating from the U.S., adding it's in his country's best interest to stay with America.

Despite the clarification, the tough-talking president kept up on his tirades against the U.S., saying in a late-night speech in his southern hometown of Davao city that he would never travel to America "in this lifetime."

At an economic forum Thursday in Beijing, where he made a state visit, Duterte declared "my separation from the United States ... both in military and economics also." His pronouncement was met with applause, but Duterte did not explain what he exactly intended to do and when.

Duterte, however, said in an arrival speech in Davao that he was not severing ties with his country's treaty ally that is home to a large number of Filipino expatriates.

"When you say severance of ties, you cut the diplomatic relations. I cannot do that. Why? It's to the best interest of my country that we maintain that relationship," Duterte said, adding that Filipinos were not ready to embrace such an option.

What he meant by his remarks in China, Duterte said, was ending a Philippine foreign policy that closely leaned toward the U.S.

Ahead of his China visit, Duterte made a series of pronouncements to curb Philippine security engagements with the U.S., including the removal of American counterterrorism forces in the country's south and his opposition to planned joint patrols with the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea. He also wanted to stop annual joint combat exercises the Philippines hosted alongside the U.S. military that China opposes.

Duterte has said he did not want to embroil the Philippines in an unwinnable war with China, which could instead be tapped as a major trading partner and source of development funds.

U.S. officials said they have not received any formal Philippine notice of Duterte's pronouncements, adding the alliance benefits both countries and should continue to blossom.

However, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday there had been "too many troubling public statements" by Duterte in recent months leading to uncertainty about his intent. He said that the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia would discuss that uncertainty when he travels to the Philippines this weekend.

U.S.-Philippine ties also got attention on the U.S. presidential campaign trail Friday. Republican candidate Donald Trump told a rally in North Carolina that the Philippine shift toward closer relations with China after decades of a pro-U.S. foreign policy showed that "America has grown weak."

He said that the Philippines is a "very important strategic ally" and China and Russia "are probably going to take it."

Duterte's reaching out to China, which has been locked in longstanding territorial disputes with the Philippines in the South China Sea, and his severe criticisms of the U.S. has come under fire at home.

Former Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, who brought the triumphant arbitration case against China over the disputes, said Duterte's shift from Washington to Beijing should be regarded "a national tragedy."

"The declared shift in foreign policy, casting aside a long-time reliable ally to hastily embrace an aggressive neighbor that vehemently rejects international law, is both unwise and incomprehensible," del Rosario said in a statement.

"What is unfolding before us must be considered a national tragedy, which does not need to happen," he said.

The criticism by del Rosario, a respected Asian diplomat, is among the strongest so far of Duterte's declared policy to back away from America while reaching out to China and Russia. His main political ally, former President Fidel Ramos, has also criticized Duterte's profane tirades against President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

As the foreign secretary of Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, del Rosario spearheaded the filing of an arbitration case that challenged the validity of China's claims to virtually the entire South China Sea. In its July ruling, the tribunal invalidated China's claims under a 1982 U.N. treaty in an embarrassing defeat that Beijing has ignored.

The U.S. and its Western and Asian allies have called on China to respect the outcome.

At the end of Duterte's trip to China, both countries announced in a joint statement several trade and business deals and closer cooperation on a range of concerns. They added they have resumed dialogue on the South China Sea.

There was no mention of the arbitration ruling or Duterte's call for China to respect the rights of Filipinos to fish in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, where Beijing's coast guard ships continue to drive them away. But both sides agreed to continue talking.

"Without prejudice to other mechanisms, a bilateral consultation mechanism can be useful, which will meet regularly on current and other issues of concern to either side on the South China Sea," the joint statement said.

____

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Wonder Woman named a special UN ambassador, despite protests

Actress Lynda Carter, who starred in the 1970s series,"Wonder Woman," left, and actress Gal Gadot, who stars in the upcoming film, "Wonder Woman." (Marion Curtis/Starpix via AP)

Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP)
— The United Nations celebrated Wonder Woman's 75th birthday on Friday by naming the comic book character as its new Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Woman and Girls, despite frustration from both inside and outside the world organization that the spot should go to a real — and less sexualized — woman.

The carefully choreographed ceremony was marred by some 50 U.N. staffers protesting by the visitors' entrance to the U.N., who then went inside the Economic and Social Council chamber and silently turned their back to the stage during the opening speech, some with their fists in the air.

U.N. staffer Cass DuRant, who held a sign saying "Real Women Deserve a Real Ambassador," said the protesters "don't think that a fictitious comic book characters wearing basically what looks like a Playboy-type bunny outfit is really the right message we need to send to girls or even boys for that matter."

The super heroine's image will be used by the U.N. on social media platforms to promote women's empowerment, including on gender-based violence and the fuller participation of women in public life (using the hashtag WithWonderWoman). The push, hoping to reach young people, is backed by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros., which produce both comics and films featuring Wonder Woman.

But an online petition , started by U.N. staffers, asked the secretary-general to reconsider the appointment, saying, "The message the United Nations is sending to the world with this appointment is extremely disappointing." As of Friday afternoon, it had more than 1,100 signatures.

Honorary ambassadors — as opposed to goodwill ambassadors like Nicole Kidman and Anne Hathaway — are fictional characters. The U.N. previously tapped Winnie the Pooh to be an honorary Ambassador of Friendship in 1998, and Tinker Bell as the honorary Ambassador of Green in 2009. But the protest on Friday seemed to unnerve many of the U.N.'s press officers.

The Friday event brought together actress Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the 1970s TV series, and Gal Gadot, who has taken on the role in the forthcoming "Wonder Woman" film, as well as Girl Scouts in Wonder Woman T-shirts and U.N. staffers' kids who skipped school, with one girl wearing a full Wonder Woman costume, complete with head piece. Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment, gave a speech in which she argued that stories — even comic book stories — can "inspire, teach and reveal injustices."

Carter, who gave a moving speech about how Wonder Woman embodies the inner strength of every woman, was the only one to acknowledge the protesters in her remarks, saying "Please embrace her," she said. "To all those who don't think it's a good idea, stand up and be counted."

As for Gadot, she said after the event: "I'm the kind of person who always looks at the half-full glass. I care for the people who care and I'm here for a wonderful cause today." She added, through a thin smile: "That's all what my focus is."

But among those thinking the glass was half empty was Shazia Z. Rafi, managing director of the consulting firm Global Parliamentary Services. She argued that the choice of Wonder Woman was tone deaf at a time when real women are fighting against sexual exploitation and abuse.

"I think it's a lot of rubbish that you can appoint a cartoon female to represent gender equality in this day and age, even if it is to reach younger women," said Rafi.

Rafi said there were plenty of real heroines that could be the face for gender equality.

The Wonder Woman appointment came after many women were dismayed that another man, Antonio Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal, was chosen to be the next secretary-general, even though more than half the candidates were women.

Rafi, who had campaigned for a woman to be appointed the world's diplomat-in-chief, said the decision to name Wonder Woman as an ambassador was effort to appease disappointed staffers.

Rafi and the petition also take issue with Wonder Woman's skimpy outfit, arguing that the world might not embrace a scantily clad character in a thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots.

It is not the first time the United Nations has partnered with a huge media company. In March, the U.N. appointed Red, the leader of the "Angry Birds" mobile game characters, as an envoy to tackle climate change. That campaign is in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer contributed to this report.


Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 


Today in History - Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Oct. 22, the 296th day of 2016. There are 70 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 22, 1926, Ernest Hemingway's first novel, "The Sun Also Rises," was published by Scribner's of New York.

On this date:

In 1746, Princeton University was first chartered as the College of New Jersey.

In 1797, French balloonist Andre-Jacques Garnerin (gahr-nayr-AN') made the first parachute descent, landing safely from a height of about 3,000 feet over Paris.

In 1836, Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first constitutionally elected president of the Republic of Texas.

In 1928, Republican presidential nominee Herbert Hoover spoke of the "American system of rugged individualism" in a speech at New York's Madison Square Garden.

In 1934, bank robber Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd was shot to death by federal agents and local police at a farm near East Liverpool, Ohio.

In 1953, the Franco-Lao Treaty of Amity and Association effectively made Laos an independent member of the French Union.

In 1962, in a nationally broadcast address, President John F. Kennedy revealed the presence of Soviet-built missile bases under construction in Cuba and announced a quarantine of all offensive military equipment being shipped to the Communist island nation.

In 1979, the U.S. government allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical treatment — a decision that precipitated the Iran hostage crisis. French conductor and music teacher Nadia Boulanger died in Paris.

In 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization was decertified by the federal government for its strike the previous August.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law sweeping tax-overhaul legislation. Jane Dornacker, 39, a traffic reporter for New York radio station WNBC-AM, was killed when the helicopter she was riding in plunged into the Hudson River during a live report (pilot William Pate was badly injured, but survived).

In 1991, the European Community and the European Free Trade Association concluded a landmark accord to create a free trade zone of 19 nations by 1993.

In 2014, a gunman shot and killed a soldier standing guard at a war memorial in Ottawa, then stormed the Canadian Parliament before he was shot and killed by the usually ceremonial sergeant-at-arms.

Ten years ago: Senior U.S. diplomat Alberto Fernandez apologized for saying in an al-Jazeera TV interview that U.S. policy in Iraq had displayed "arrogance" and "stupidity." The Detroit Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 to tie up the World Series 1-1. Actor Arthur Hill died in Los Angeles at age 84.

Five years ago: The Obama administration pulled U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford from Syria amid what were termed "credible threats against his personal safety." The heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud, died in New York. (He was succeeded as crown prince by his half-brother, Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, who died in June 2012; Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz was then named the new heir to the throne.) Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal easily coasted to a second term in a landslide election. In the World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals romped past the Texas Rangers 16-7 for a 2-1 edge. Veteran CBS News correspondent Robert C. Pierpoint died in Santa Barbara, California, at age 86.

One year ago: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton battled Republican questions in a marathon hearing that revealed little new about the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Acting on word of an "imminent mass execution" by Islamic State militants, dozens of U.S. special operations troops and Iraqi forces raided a northern Iraqi compound, freeing approximately 70 Iraqi prisoners but losing one American service member. A sword-wielding masked man stabbed four people at a school with a large immigrant community in Trollhatan, Sweden, killing a teacher and a student before being shot dead by police. President Barack Obama vetoed a sweeping $612 billion defense policy bill. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., formally declared his candidacy for speaker of the U.S. House. Jazz vocalist Mark Murphy, 83, died in Englewood, New Jersey.

Today's Birthdays: Black Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale is 80. Actor Christopher Lloyd is 78. Actor Derek Jacobi is 78. Actor Tony Roberts is 77. Movie director Jan (yahn) de Bont is 73. Actress Catherine Deneuve is 73. Rock musician Leslie West (Mountain) is 71. Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is 69. Actor Jeff Goldblum is 64. Rock musician Greg Hawkes is 64. Movie director Bill Condon is 61. Actor Luis Guzman is 59. Actor-writer-producer Todd Graff is 57. Rock musician Cris Kirkwood is 56. Actor-comedian Bob Odenkirk is 54. Olympic gold medal figure skater Brian Boitano is 53. Christian singer TobyMac is 52. Singer-songwriter John Wesley Harding is 51. Actress Valeria Golino is 50. Comedian Carlos Mencia is 49. Country singer Shelby Lynne is 48. Reggae rapper Shaggy is 48. Movie director Spike Jonze is 47. Rapper Tracey Lee is 46. Actress Saffron Burrows is 44. Actress Carmen Ejogo is 43. MLB player Ichiro Suzuki is 43. Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson is 41. Christian rock singer-musician Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) is 40. Actor Michael Fishman is 35. Talk show host Michael Essany is 34. Rock musician Rickard (correct) Goransson (Carolina Liar) is 33. Rock musician Zac Hanson (Hanson) is 31. Actor Jonathan Lipnicki is 26. Actress Sofia Vassilieva (vas-ihl-lee-A'-vuh) is 24.

Thought for Today: "Life is easier to take than you'd think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable and bear the intolerable." — Kathleen Norris, American author (1880-1960).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 


France warns UK premier of tough time ahead in Brexit talks

British Prime Minister Theresa May, second left, and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, centre, gesture for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to take his place as they arrive for the EU summit group photo in Brussels, Belgium.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Raf Casert, Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — France warned British Prime Minister Theresa May at her maiden European Union summit that she would face a tough, unyielding bloc if she sought too many concessions during the negotiations to leave the 28-nation EU.

May briefed her European counterparts on the exit road for Britain and left leaders with many uncertainties about the divorce because Britain has yet to trigger the two-year negotiations for "Brexit" — and confirmed she is unlikely to do so until the end of March.

"It's in the interests of the U.K. and the EU that we continue to work closely together," said May, who immediately faced opposition.

French President Francois Hollande insisted that the EU would not surrender the bloc's core values just to keep Britain close as a future ally.

"I have said so very firmly: Mrs. Theresa May wants a hard Brexit? The negotiations will be hard," Holland said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also chimed in saying that "In practice, that will be a tough road."

Britain's June 23 breakup referendum has forced the 27 other nations to plot their future without a major but often recalcitrant member state. European leaders have grumbled that Britain's tardiness in starting the negotiations slow down their own planning for the next few years.

Merkel said the other leaders would underscore the urgency and would "make clear again: We are waiting for the notification from Britain."

The 27 leaders already had their first summit without Britain in Bratislava last month. May told the leaders Thursday they had to realize that even if they all agreed on issues they should not expect Britain to automatically jump on board at official summits of 28.

Once May activates the exit clause — Article 50 in the EU's governing Lisbon Treaty — negotiations on the terms of Britain's departure would run for two years. The time frame could be extended, but only if the 27 remaining member states agree unanimously.

The Brexit referendum to leave the EU was a milestone in the history of the bloc and the disentanglement is expected to be long, difficult and confrontational.

Still, EU President Donald Tusk, who chairs the summit, reiterated that Britain could still reconsider when asked if May could still turn back the clock. "If it is reversible or not, it is in the British hands. I will be the happiest one if it is reversible."

He said that he hoped "she will also realize that the European Union is simply the best company in the world."

May said Britain would continue to be a responsible member right up to the day it leaves the EU. "I'm here with a very clear message. The U.K. is leaving the EU but we will continue to play a full role until we leave."

Like Hollande, Tusk vowed last week not to compromise on the bloc's principles in negotiating Britain's departure and warned that London is heading for a hard exit.

He insisted that Britain can't hope to both stay in Europe's single market of seamless business and restrict the movement of EU migrants, saying there would be no compromises.

May has appeared to signal that her government would prioritize controls on immigration over access to the European single market, an approach informally called a "hard Brexit."

EU Parliament President Martin Schulz said Thursday that the bloc's fundamental freedoms "are inseparable."

"I refuse to imagine a Europe where lorries and hedge funds are free to cross borders, but citizens are not," Schulz said.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


UN urges greater investment in the world's 10-year-old girls

Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. population agency is urging greater investment in the world's 60 million 10-year-old girls, saying what happens at that age can determine their futures.

The State of World Population 2016 launched Thursday said more than half of these girls live in the 48 countries considered to have the worst gender equality, and they are less likely than boys to finish school and more likely to be forced to work and to be child brides.

The U.N. Population Fund said if all 10-year-old girls in developing countries who never attend school or drop out early were to complete secondary education, their earnings would trigger a $21 billion annual dividend.

According to the report, 10 is a pivotal age for girls as puberty approaches because of choices that start being made about education, work, marriage and child bearing.

While some girls enjoy limitless opportunities, it said, others are seen "as a commodity that may be bought, sold or traded," pulled out of school, forced to marry, and "begin a lifetime of servitude."

"Impeding a girl's safe, healthy path through adolescence to a productive and autonomous adulthood is a violation of her rights," the Population Fund's Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said. "How we invest in and support 10-year-old girls today will determine what our world will look like in 2030."

The report said almost 90 percent of 10-year-olds live in less developed regions of the world, with half in Asia and the Pacific, including 20 percent in India and about 13 percent in China. Of the top 10 countries with the largest number of 10-year-olds, the only one that isn't classified as "less developed" is the United States, it said.

In the area of education, for example, the report said less than half the boys and only about a third of girls of primary school age in South Sudan were attending school in 2015, and the report said there are similarly low levels in countries like Congo and Liberia.

In Nigeria, one of Africa's most populous countries with one of the world's largest youth populations, the report said only 60 percent of girls and 71 percent of boys are enrolled in primary school.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


EU leaders lash Russia over Syria but split on sanctions

European Union Council President Donald Tusk speaks to media reporters as he arrives for the EU summit in Brussels.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Lorne Cook, Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) —
European Union leaders pledged early Friday to keep all options open to respond to any atrocities committed by President Bashar Assad's regime and his Russian backers in Syria but stopped short of threatening Moscow with sanctions.


Despite strong rhetoric against Russia's military actions in Syria, notably in aiding regime attacks on the besieged city of Aleppo, the leaders failed to agree on a tough joint statement sending a clear message to Moscow that it could face punitive measures.

As they debated ways to take a unified approach toward President Vladimir Putin, Russian warships steamed toward the English Channel on their way to the Mediterranean, bound for the waters off Syria, watched by NATO navies.

"Russia's strategy is to weaken the EU," said European Council President Donald Tusk, after chairing the first day of a two-day summit in Brussels.

Tusk said the EU leaders strongly condemned attacks on civilians by the Syrian regime and its backers, led by Russia, called for a lasting ceasefire declared and stands ready to consider "all available options if these atrocities continue."

French President Francois Hollande said "the aim, during this crucial time of ceasefire in Aleppo, is to find a path toward talks and negotiations, and to bring an end to the atrocities that we have witnessed for too long."

"If there are any more atrocities, all options would be considered," he said, without specifically mentioning the word sanctions.

One of the fundamental reasons for the EU's internal divisions over dealing with Putin is economic. Unlike the United States, the EU depends on Russia for much of its energy, and as a major market for its exports.

Due to EU sanctions and the retaliatory measures imposed by Russia, trade between Hungary and Russia dropped by nearly half in 2015. Italy and Slovakia, which now holds the rotating EU presidency, also have been reluctant to back harsher sanctions.

"We have approved a document that recalls the need to get as quickly as possible to an agreement, to a real truce and to a political transition process that we have been awaiting for a while. But I think that there is no point in also adding here a reference to sanctions," Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said in the early hours of Friday.

The leaders had hoped to hold broader talks about Russia ties without the issue of sanctions weighing over them, as they have in the past most notably over Russia's actions in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.

However, the siege of Aleppo and increasing civilian casualties in Syria meant that punitive measures were being considered once again, however cautiously.

Earlier Thursday, as she arrived for the summit, British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was "vital that we work together to continue to put pressure on Russia to stop its appalling atrocities, its sickening atrocities, in Syria."

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas also took a hard line against Moscow and Assad.

"They have the ambition of turning Aleppo into a new Grozny. This is absolutely unacceptable," he said, referring to the destruction of the Chechen capital in 1999-2000 by Russian troops.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven summed up the hesitancy on sanctions, saying "I don't think there is unity now ... but I think it should be on the table, that this is an option for the future."

John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


US confirms 11th death due to Takata air bags

(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers
Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writers


DETROIT (AP) — A 50-year-old woman who died after a car wreck last month in California is the 11th U.S. victim of Takata Corp.'s defective air bag inflators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed the woman's death on Thursday but didn't release her name. Up to five people also may have been killed by the air bags in Malaysia, bringing the number of deaths globally to as many as 16.

The agency said the woman, identified in Riverside County, California, coroner's records as Delia Robles, 50, of Corona, was driving a 2001 Honda Civic. Riverside police said in a statement that a man making a left turn in a Chevrolet pickup truck was hit head-on by the Civic. The woman was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she died from her injuries, the statement said.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of the driver during this difficult time," Honda said in a statement.

Takata air bags can inflate with too much force, which causes a metal canister to rupture and spew shrapnel into the vehicle. Tokyo-based Takata, unlike other manufacturers, uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that inflates air bags in a crash.

But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to prolonged high heat and humidity and can burn faster than designed. That can blow apart a metal canister designed to contain the explosion.

The problem touched off what is now the largest auto recall in U.S. history. More than 69 million inflators have been recalled in the U.S. and more than 100 million worldwide. Takata faces billions in costs.

Honda said the Civic involved in the California crash had been included in multiple recalls since 2008. The company said it mailed more than 20 recall notices to the car's registered owners, but its records indicate the vehicle was never repaired.

Company spokesman Chris Martin said "multiple" notices were sent to the victim's address, but he did not know if she received them. She bought the car at the end of 2015, he said.

In June, NHTSA urged owners of 313,000 older Hondas and Acuras to stop driving them and get them repaired, after new tests found that their Takata inflators are extremely dangerous. The agency said it had data showing that chances are as high as 50 percent that the inflators can explode in a crash. Martin said about 300,000 have not been repaired, and that the owners have been difficult to reach. Just over 1 million Hondas originally had the risky type of inflators.

NHTSA's urgent advisory covers vehicles that are up to 16 years old including 2001 and 2002 Honda Civics and Accords, the 2002 and 2003 Acura TL, the 2002 Honda Odyssey and CR-V, and the 2003 Acura CL and Honda Pilot, NHTSA said. They were recalled from 2008 to 2011, and about 70 percent of them already have been repaired, the agency said.

Honda says it has sufficient supplies of replacement air bags for owners who still need them.

The older the inflators are, and the more time they spend in heat and humidity, the more likely they are to malfunction.

The government urged people to go to safercar.gov and enter their vehicle identification number to see if their car or truck is being recalled.

Associated Press writer Justin Pritchard in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Friday, Oct. 21, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Friday, Oct. 21, the 295th day of 2016. There are 71 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 21, 1966, 144 people, 116 of them children, were killed when a coal waste landslide engulfed a school and some 20 houses in Aberfan, Wales.

On this date:

In 1797, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, also known as "Old Ironsides," was christened in Boston's harbor.

In 1805, a British fleet commanded by Adm. Horatio Nelson defeated a French-Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar; Nelson, however, was killed.

In 1892, schoolchildren across the U.S. observed Columbus Day (according to the Gregorian date) by reciting, for the first time, the original version of "The Pledge of Allegiance," written by Francis Bellamy for The Youth's Companion.

In 1917, members of the 1st Division of the U.S. Army training in Luneville (luhn-nay-VEEL'), France, became the first Americans to see action on the front lines of World War I.

In 1941, superheroine Wonder Woman made her debut in All-Star Comics issue No. 8, published by All-American Comics, Inc. of New York.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. troops captured the German city of Aachen (AH'-kuhn).

In 1959, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened to the public in New York.

In 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon clashed in their fourth and final presidential debate in New York.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon nominated Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Both nominees were confirmed.)

In 1985, former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White — who'd served five years in prison for killing Mayor George Moscone (mah-SKOH'-nee) and Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay-rights advocate — was found dead in a garage, a suicide.

In 1986, pro-Iranian kidnappers in Lebanon abducted American Edward Tracy (he was released in Aug. 1991).

In 1991, American hostage Jesse Turner was freed by his kidnappers in Lebanon after nearly five years in captivity.

Ten years ago: Al-Jazeera television aired an interview with State Department official Alberto Fernandez, who offered a striking assessment of the Iraq war, saying in Arabic that the United States had shown "arrogance" and "stupidity" in Iraq. (Fernandez issued an apology the next day.) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, visiting Moscow, delivered a symbolic rebuke to Russia over shrinking press freedoms, even as she courted President Vladimir Putin for help punishing Iran over its nuclear program. The St. Louis Cardinals cruised past the Detroit Tigers 7-2 win in Game 1 of the World Series.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama declared that America's long and deeply unpopular war in Iraq would be over by the end of 2011 and that all U.S. troops "will definitely be home for the holidays."

One year ago: Vice President Joe Biden announced he would not be a candidate in the 2016 White House campaign, solidifying Hillary Rodham Clinton's status as the Democratic front-runner. Actor-comedian Marty Ingels, 79, died in Los Angeles. The New York Mets finished an NL playoff sweep of the Chicago Cubs to advance to the World Series as the Mets brushed aside the Cubs 8-3. The Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 to close to 3-2 in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Joyce Randolph is 92. Author Ursula K. Le Guin is 87. Rock singer Manfred Mann is 76. Musician Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MG's) is 75. Singer Elvin Bishop is 74. TV's Judge Judy Sheindlin is 74. Actor Everett McGill is 71. Musician Lee Loughnane (LAHK'-nayn) (Chicago) is 70. Actor Dick Christie (TV: "The Bold and the Beautiful") is 68. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 67. Actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson is 67. Musician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go's) is 63. Movie director Catherine Hardwicke is 61. Actress-author Carrie Fisher is 60. Singer Julian Cope is 59. Rock musician Steve Lukather (Toto) is 59. Actor Ken Watanabe (wah-tah-NAH'-bee) is 57. Actress Melora Walters is 56. Rock musician Che (chay) Colovita Lemon is 46. Rock singer-musician Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator) is 45. Christian rock musician Charlie Lowell (Jars of Clay) is 43. Actor Jeremy Miller is 40. Country singer Matthew Ramsey (Old Dominion) is 39. Actor Will Estes is 38. Actor Michael McMillian is 38. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian (kahr-DASH'-ee-uhn) West is 36. Actor Matt Dallas is 34. Actress Charlotte Sullivan is 33. Actor Aaron Tveit (tuh-VAYT') is 33.

Thought for Today: "Happiness is not a horse; you cannot harness it." — Russian proverb.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Leaders agree to create 'road map' for Ukraine peace process

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Geir Moulson, Associated Press
Frank Jordans, Associated Press


BERLIN (AP) — The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France agreed Wednesday on a 'road map' aimed at reviving the stalled peace process in eastern Ukraine, though details of the plan still need to be worked out by the countries' foreign ministers over the coming month.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had invited Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Francois Hollande of France to Berlin for the first four-way talks in over a year, insisting that while major progress was unlikely it was important for top-tier negotiations to continue.

"I'm convinced it was right to reopen the channel of talks at this level again," Merkel said after the meeting. She conceded that the four "didn't achieve miracles" but maintained the talks were necessary "in order not to lose momentum."

Also discussed was the creation of so-called disengagement areas to separate the warring parties, as well as measures to improve the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine, Merkel said.

Ukraine's president said an agreement had been reached that the road map should be adopted by the end of November. Poroshenko was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying it would include all security issues, including restoration of Ukraine's control of its entire border with Russia.

The road map is part of an effort to implement the so-called Minsk Agreement of February 2015 on ending the conflict, in which more than 9,600 people have been killed.

Poroshenko was also quoted as saying that an agreement was reached on the deployment of an armed police mission in the areas held by pro-Russian separatists.

But Merkel told reporters that such a step would first require Ukraine to pass laws for local elections in the disputed territory, something Kiev hasn't yet done.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in May that it would consider sending a mission to help conduct elections in the separatist east.

The 2015 Minsk agreement brokered by France and Germany has helped end large-scale battles between Ukrainian troops and separatists, but clashes have continued and efforts to reach a political settlement have stalled.

The decision to hold the meeting in Berlin follows a flurry of telephone diplomacy over the past week.

Merkel told reporters afterward that the issue of Syria was also been discussed with Russia.

Merkel and Hollande have been sharply critical of Russia's support for Assad's forces, with Merkel suggesting Tuesday that Moscow was partly responsible for atrocities, citing "Syrian and Russian airstrikes on helpless people, hospitals and doctors."

Both indicated that the possibility of imposing sanctions against Russia for its actions in Syria remained on the table and would be discussed by European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

Outside Merkel's chancellery, hundreds of demonstrators staged competing rallies as the four leaders arrived, including a group of about 30 people waving Russian and Soviet flags chanting "Thank you Putin."

Nearby, larger groups of Ukrainian and Syrian protesters demonstrated against the Russian president.

Vladimir Isachenkov and James Heintz in Moscow contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Syrian forces prepare corridors out of Aleppo

Syrian civilians and anti-Syrian government fighters gather as they prepare to leave the government-besieged Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh, Syria. (AP Photo)

Philip Issa, Associated Press
Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press


BEIRUT (AP)
— Hundreds of residents left a formerly rebel-controlled suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus Wednesday, as government and Russian forces prepared to open corridors out of the contested city of Aleppo in the hopes of facilitating an exodus from its rebel-held quarters.

Aleppo's besieged eastern quarters experienced relative peace for the second consecutive day in the run-up to the hoped-for evacuation Thursday, after weeks of bombardment left the area in ruins. Russia's military has promised two corridors will be opened for militants to flee to the neighboring rebel-held province of Idlib, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m, while other corridors will allow civilians to move to government-held areas.

The government's overture to rebels and civilians trapped in Aleppo's east follows a pattern of evacuations around the country that the U.N. has likened to "forced displacement." On Wednesday, some 2,000 residents of the once autonomous Moadamiyeh suburb of Damascus were carried by government buses to Idlib as part of an arrangement to restore government control after three years of siege at the hands of the military.

Hassan Ghandour, a former Moadamiyeh resident who liaised between the suburb and besieging forces, said Wednesday the evacuees included 700 gunmen. He said the government is to release all detainees from the suburb in exchange for the evacuation.

Several activists also left with the convoy. Wassim al-Ahmad told The Associated Press it would be "impossible" to live again under government authority, saying he didn't trust official promises for amnesty.

Some of those remaining in Moadamiyeh struck a defiant tone.

"I'm not going to settle anything with the government," said local resident Mahmoud, who declined to give his family name out of safety concerns. "I'm going to stay in my home."

"I've spent five years of my life besieged here. I've been through war, siege, starvation ... bombardment, and poison gas — I've survived with all this so I can stay here."

The suburb and two other areas around the capital were gassed with sarin poison in 2013, according to a U.N. investigation. A Human Rights Watch report concluded the government was the most likely culprit.

Some 28,000 people remain in Moadamiyeh, down from a pre-war population of 105,000, according to the government.

In Aleppo, government buses queued at checkpoints leading to the besieged east prepared to take evacuees to Idlib on Thursday, according to the media arm of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside the government in Syria.

The government's foreign ministry said soldiers were withdrawing from the designated corridors to reassure evacuees.

It is unclear how many people will take up the government's offer after weeks of siege and bombardment pulverized the east and shattered its medical network.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 640 people, including 128 children, have been killed in rebel-held parts of Aleppo and the surrounding rural areas since a truce brokered by the U.S. and Russia collapsed on September 19. It said 88 people, including 14 children, were killed in retaliatory shelling on government-held Aleppo.

Bassam Heji, a member of the Nour el-Din al-Zinki rebel faction, said the Russian offer is a "trap" that only reflects its intention to "exterminate" the residents of the eastern, rebel-held Aleppo neighborhoods.

The arrangement follows a proposal by the U.N. Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to allow al-Qaida-linked militants to leave Aleppo in exchange for a truce and local autonomy for the city's eastern districts. Rebels, along with many residents, rejected the offer.

Russia and Syria moved ahead unilaterally with the evacuation arrangements without making any promises for an extended cease-fire or self-administration, although Russian President Vladimir Putin has held out the hope of an indefinite halt to his country's airstrikes on Aleppo after meeting with the French and German leaders, who condemned Moscow's actions in the Syrian city.

Russia had promised an eight-hour pause on Thursday in attacks on the city by Syrian government forces under the cover of Russian air power in order to allow suffering civilians to leave and to give rebels safe passage.

"We informed them of our intention to continue, as much as possible, considering the situation on Syrian territory, a pause in the air strikes. We are ready to do this for as long as there are no clashes with rebel formations entrenched in Aleppo," Putin said after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Berlin.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government would work with Russia's government to evacuate the al-Qaida-linked Fatah al-Sham Front, formerly known as Nusra Front from the east.

Erdogan warned about the possibility of an influx of at least one million people to Turkey in the event of a population movement from Aleppo.

"We cannot pay this cost. Those who incite this must sit down with Turkey and talk," he said.

Elsewhere, a 44-truck convoy delivered food aid and health supplies to the rebel-held pocket of Douma, east of Damascus, the U.N. and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent said. The suburb and surrounding towns are besieged by pro-government forces.

Kurdish-led forces meanwhile pressed their campaign to drive Islamic State militants from areas in northern Aleppo province, expanding the front line with rival Turkish-backed opposition fighters also operating in the area, according to local rebels and activists.

The Russian military accused a U.S.-led coalition airstrike of killing six civilians in Hassajek, hours before the announcement that the village had been taken from IS.

Despite the brief lull in the fighting for Aleppo, most of the surrounding province has become Syria's hottest theater of combat, showcasing the complexity of the terrain where rival forces are vying for control.

In the area of Hassajek, three rival groups are battling IS: the Kurdish-led forces, Turkey-backed Syrian rebels and troops loyal to the government of President Bashar Assad.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Kurdish-led forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, gained control of Hassajek, killing at least 10 IS militants in fighting there.

One of the fighting units in SDF, the Rebel Army, said in a statement that the clashes with IS militants continued for the third straight day further to the south. It said its troops also seized weapons and ammunition from IS.

The advance by the Kurdish-led forces has widened the front line between them and rival Syrian rebels, who in recent weeks have pushed into northern Aleppo backed by Turkish tanks and aircraft, driving out the Islamic State group from villages and towns it controlled. The Turkey-backed offensive also aims to undercut Kurdish aspirations for a contiguous and independent east-to-west stretch of territory in Syria.

The Russian military's Reconciliation Center in Syria said the strike Hassajek also wounded four people and destroyed two houses.

Russian military surveillance spotted two Belgian F-16 fighter jets over the area at the time of the strike, the center said, adding that Russian and Syrian warplanes were not flying over the area. Russia's Tass news agency reported from Brussels that the Belgian defense minister denied Belgian aircraft had struck the area.

Associated Press writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow and Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Tesla equipping cars to drive completely on their own

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tesla Motors is starting to build its electric cars with all the sensors, cameras and other gear needed to drive completely on their own when regulations allow the technology to take over that responsibility.

The announcement made late Wednesday by Tesla CEO Elon Musk marks the Silicon Valley automaker's next step toward selling cars that can navigate the roads without the help of a human.

Google, ride-hailing service Uber and an assortment of other automakers also are working on a range of self-driving cars in an effort to ultimately turn the steering wheel over to robots.

Tesla has offered an automatic steering and braking system called Autopilot in its cars since last year, but that technology is meant to be monitored at all times by a driver.

After additional testing and getting the necessary regulatory clearance, all the cars rolling off Tesla's assembly lines will have the equipment needed to be fully autonomous, Musk said. By auto-industry standards Tesla is small, making about 100,000 cars a year, although hopes to increase its production to 500,000 vehicles per year by 2018.

Musk predicted the technology will be twice as safe as a human driver. But adding the protection will jack up prices on Tesla vehicles that already can run over $80,000 depending on what features a buyer wants. Adding the software and activating the hardware needed for a fully autonomous car will cost an additional $8,000 — a more than 20 percent increase on the cost of Tesla's $35,000 Model 3 sedan that is scheduled to be delivered next year.

Musk said he thinks the price will prove to be a pittance if he meets his goal of improving the technology so it's eventually 10 times safer than a human driver. The cars with the fully self-driving technology will get those improvements in upgrades delivered online.

Tesla's future cars will have eight cameras instead of the single one currently on the vehicles running the less-sophisticated Autopilot system. They will have sensors with twice the range as the current vehicles and have 40 times more computing power capable of performing 12 trillion operations per second, according to Musk.

"It will basically be a supercomputer in a car," he said.

But it's an open question when federal and state regulators in the U.S. will settle on laws that allow robots to drive cars.

Even if regulations were to allow it now, Tesla is conceding it's not ready to flip switch yet, saying it still needs to do more testing and gather more data. For that reason, safety features such as automatic emergency breaking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control that are currently available in current cars using the first generation of Autopilot won't be immediately be turned on in the vehicles designed to be fully autonomous.

Those limitations make buying Tesla's autonomous cars a "vanity purchase" akin to buying a TV offering ultrahigh-definition 4K pictures when relatively little programming is available in that format, said Edmunds.com analyst Jessica Caldwell.

"There's also a risk that by the time all these self-driving features are fully tested and activated, other manufacturers may be ready to roll out more advanced hardware with better capabilities," Caldwell said.

Consumer watchdogs have questioned whether Tesla's first Autopilot system was ready to be on the road after a driver earlier this year using the system was killed when his Model S sedan struck a tractor-trailer in Florida. Tesla maintains Autopilot wasn't at fault. Government regulators are investigating the circumstances of the accident.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


US says it detected failed NKorean missile launch

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military says it detected a "failed" North Korean missile launch on Wednesday.

The U.S. Strategic Command issued a statement late Wednesday saying it presumed the missile was a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, said the U.S. condemns the attempted missile launch, calling it a provocation. He said the U.S. government intends to raise its concerns at the United Nations.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Oct. 20, the 294th day of 2016. There are 72 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 20, 1976, 78 people were killed when the Norwegian tanker Frosta rammed the commuter ferry George Prince on the Mississippi River near New Orleans.

On this date:

In 1714, the coronation of Britain's King George I took place in Westminster Abbey.

In 1803, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.

In 1914, "Stay Down Here Where You Belong," an anti-war song by Irving Berlin, was published by Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co. in New York.

In 1936, Helen Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy, died in Forest Hills, New York, at age 70.

In 1944, during World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur stepped ashore at Leyte (LAY'-tee) in the Philippines, 2 1/2 years after saying, "I shall return." A series of gas storage tank explosions and fires in Cleveland killed 130 people.

In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence and infiltration in the U.S. motion picture industry.

In 1964, the 31st president of the United States, Herbert C. Hoover, died in New York at age 90.

In 1965, in one of the more colorful moments of his presidency, Lyndon B. Johnson, recovering from gall bladder surgery at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, pulled up his shirt and jacket to show off his abdominal scar to reporters and photographers.

In 1968, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

In 1973, in the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre," special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox was dismissed and Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus resigned.

In 1981, a bungled armored truck robbery carried out by members of radical groups in Nanuet, New York, left a guard and two police officers dead.

In 1994, actor Burt Lancaster died in Los Angeles at age 80.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush conceded in an Associated Press interview that "right now, it's tough" for American forces in Iraq, but the White House said he would not change U.S. strategy in the face of pre-election polls indicating voters were upset. Actress Jane Wyatt, perhaps best remembered as Margaret Anderson on "Father Knows Best," died in Los Angeles at age 96.

Five years ago: Moammar Gadhafi, 69, Libya's dictator for 42 years, was killed as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte (SURT) and captured the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell. Greek lawmakers passed a deeply resented new austerity bill, caving in to the demands of international creditors in order to avoid a national bankruptcy as a second day of riots left one protester dead and more than 100 people wounded. The Texas Rangers evened up the World Series at one game apiece, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1.

One year ago: The United States and Russia signed an agreement to minimize risks of air collisions as they separately carried out airstrikes in Syria. Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) began a much anticipated state visit to Britain, where he was welcomed as an honored guest at Buckingham Palace and Parliament. Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said he was dropping out of the Democratic race for president. The Kansas City Royals romped past the Toronto Blue Jays 14-2 for a 3-1 lead in the American League Championship Series. The New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 5-2 for a 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series. Cory Wells, 74, a founding member of the popular 1970s band Three Dog Night, died in Dunkirk, New York.

Today's Birthdays: Actor William Christopher is 84. Japan's Empress Michiko is 82. Rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson is 79. Former actress Rev. Mother Dolores Hart is 78. Singer Tom Petty is 66. Actor William "Rusty" Russ is 66. Actress Melanie Mayron is 64. Retired MLB All-Star Keith Hernandez is 63. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is 61. Movie director Danny Boyle is 60. Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is 59. Actor Viggo Mortensen is 58. Rock musician Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & The Blowfish) is 52. Rock musician David Ryan is 52. Rock musician Doug Eldridge (Oleander) is 49. Journalist Sunny Hostin (TV: "The View") is 48. Political commentator and blogger Michelle Malkin is 46. Actor Kenneth Choi is 45. Rapper Snoop Dogg is 45. Singer Dannii Minogue is 45. Singer Jimi Westbrook (country goup Little Big Town) is 45. Country musician Jeff Loberg is 40. Actor Sam Witwer is 39. Actor John Krasinski is 37. Rock musician Daniel Tichenor (Cage the Elephant) is 37. Actress Katie Featherston is 34. Actress Jennifer Nicole Freeman is 31.

Thought for Today: "Next to ingratitude, the most painful thing to bear is gratitude." — Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman (1813-1887).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


China economic growth holds steady as retail spending rises

Chinese shoppers stand near a sale advertisement at a shopping area in Beijing.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

BEIJING (AP) — China's economic growth held steady in the quarter ending in September as trade weakened but consumer spending rose.

The economy expanded by 6.7 percent compared with a year earlier, the government reported Wednesday. That was in line with the two previous quarters and better than some forecasters expected.

Exports have contracted this year due to weak global demand but data showed retail sales grew 10.4 percent in the first three quarters of the year, up 0.1 percentage point from the first half.

"The general performance was better than expected," said a government statement.

Growth has declined steadily over the past five years as Beijing tried to steer China to a slower, more self-sustaining expansion based on domestic consumption instead of trade and investment.

An unexpectedly sharp slowdown over the past two years prompted fears of politically dangerous job losses. Beijing launched mini-stimulus measures with higher spending on construction of highways and other public works.

State media have warned China's economic outlook will be "L-shaped," meaning the downturn should bottom out but growth will not rebound to the double-digit rates of the past decade.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


No-brainer: $300K campaign to rescue Dorothy's ruby slippers

The sequin-covered ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" at the offices of Profiles in History in Calabasas, California.(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Ben Nuckols, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — It will take more than three clicks of the heels to preserve the ruby slippers that whisked Dorothy back to Kansas at the end of "The Wizard of Oz."

The slippers, which for more than 30 years have been one of the most beloved items at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, were crafted almost 80 years ago by the MGM Studios prop department. Like most movie props, they weren't built to last. Now, the frayed shoes aren't even ruby-colored anymore — they're more like a dull auburn.

On Monday, the Smithsonian asked the public to help save the slippers, launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $300,000. In addition to keeping the shoes' color from deteriorating further, the money will go toward a technologically advanced display case that will preserve them for future generations.

The Smithsonian's museums are federally funded, but the institution frequently solicits private and corporate contributions for major projects that its budget doesn't cover. This is the Smithsonian's second Kickstarter campaign. In 2015, the National Air and Space Museum raised $700,000 through the crowd-funding site to preserve the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon.

"This particular pair of ruby slippers really belongs to the American people, and so we thought as we sought support that we would invite the public to join us on this journey to help preserve them for the next generation," said Melinda Machado, a museum spokeswoman.

If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, the slippers will be the second-most-researched item in the museum's collection, behind the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," said Richard Barden, the museum's head of conservation.

The shoes are the most recognizable prop for the beloved 1939 musical, their deep red hue dazzling audiences when the movie made its dramatic transition from black-and-white to Technicolor. They have been on near-constant display since they were anonymously donated to the museum in 1979.

Their age is showing, and preserving them is more complicated than it might appear. The slippers contain a dozen different materials. The sequins are made of gelatin with a primitive plastic coating, and many are no longer red because the coating has flaked off, in part because of decades of exposure to light and moisture. The undersides of the sequins, or portions that did not have direct exposure to light, have retained more of their color.

The shoes also include glass beads and red felt on the soles that was used to muffle their sound when Judy Garland wore them during dance sequences.

The pair is also mismatched: One shoe is wider than the other, and there are other subtle differences in their shape. Each has Garland's name written inside.

The museum will research the ideal conditions for the various materials that make up the shoes. The new case is likely to contain a gas other than oxygen, with controls on temperature, humidity and barometric pressure, Barden said.

"That case becomes very expensive to build, and we want to build one that will be efficient and low-maintenance so we're doing the best for the slipper and keeping our costs as low as possible," Barden said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, donors had pledged nearly $80,000 on Kickstarter. If the museum does not reach its $300,000 goal in 30 days, no one will be charged. Donations start at $1 and, depending how much they give, contributors can receive rewards including T-shirts and tote bags created by William Ivey Long, a Tony award-winning costume designer.

Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Roman coins ID'd in Japanese ruins, but their origin baffles

People work at an excavation site where 10 coins including a few likely dating to the Roman Empire were found at Katsuren Castle in Uruma on Japan's southernmost prefectural island of Okinawa.(Uruma City Board of Education via AP)

The tail of a coin, which is likely dating to the 17th-century Ottoman Empire. (Uruma City Board of Education via AP)

Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — The eyes of a visiting archaeologist lit up when he was shown the 10 tiny, tarnished discs that had sat unnoticed in storage for two and a half years at a dig on a southern Japan island.

He had been to archaeological sites in Italy and Egypt, and recognized the "little round things" as old coins, including a few likely dating to the Roman Empire.

"I was so excited I almost forgot what I was there for, and the coins were all we talked about," said Toshio Tsukamoto of the Gangoji Institute for Research of Cultural Property in Nara, an ancient Japanese capital near Kyoto.

The discovery, announced last month, is baffling. How did the coins, some dating to the third or fourth century, wind up half a world away in a medieval castle on Okinawa, the island that was not part of Japan then. Experts suspect they may have arrived centuries later via China or Southeast Asia, not as currency but as decoration or treasure.

The 10 copper coins were unearthed in December 2013 at the 12th-15th century Katsuren Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, during an annual excavation for study and tourism promotion by the board of education in Uruma, a city in central Okinawa.

While the find has yet to be submitted for publication in an academic journal, an outside expert is convinced the coins are real.

"There is almost no mistake" about their authenticity, said Makiko Tsumura, a curator at the Ancient Orient Museum in Tokyo, though she allowed that they could also be counterfeit versions from about the same time.

Four of the coins are from the third to fourth-century Roman Empire, and a fifth one from the 17th-century Ottoman Empire. The remaining five are still being examined.

The coins, which are on display at the Uruma City Yonagusuku Historical Museum through Nov. 25, were dug up from about 1 meter (yard) underground in a layer believed to be from the 14th to 15th century.

"At first, we didn't think they were coins. Those little round things, to us, seemed like armor parts," said Masaki Yokoo, a city official in charge of the archaeological project.

Details that were barely distinguishable emerged more clearly in X-ray analysis. One bears an image of fourth-century Roman Emperor Constantine I, and another shows a helmeted soldier holding a shield in one hand, while stabbing an enemy with a spear in the other.

The Ottoman coin is inscribed with the year equivalent to 1687, Yokoo said.

Tsumura said the X-ray analysis, photos, size and weight match typical Roman and Ottoman coins, resembling those excavated in China, Indonesia or India — places that had trade with Okinawa.

Tsukamoto said the coins might have been intentionally planted as a pacifying ritual at the castle, which was abandoned in 1458, similar to armor, jewelry and other valuables buried in funeral rituals in Okinawa.

Further investigation, including analysis of the copper content and other artifacts found with the coins, may help identify the coins' origin.

Researchers are also seeking an explanation for why coins from two distinct eras were found near each other, and how a 17th-century coin could have been in a layer believed to be 200 to 300 years older than that.

"There are still lots of unknowns," said Okinawa International University archaeologist Hiroki Miyagi. "Our findings this time are just the beginning."

Follow Mari Yamaguchi at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Find her work also at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/mari-yamaguchi

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Chinese astronauts enter space station following docking

Two Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng, left and Chen Dong salute in the space lab Tiangong 2. (Ju Zhenhua/Xinhua via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — A pair of Chinese astronauts entered the country's orbiting space station for a month-long stay early Wednesday, as China's sixth and longest crewed mission gets underway in earnest.

The Shenzhou 11 spacecraft that blasted off Monday morning docked with the Tiangong 2 station using an automated maneuver worked out during missions to an earlier experimental station.

Having changed from his space suit into blue overalls, veteran mission commander Jing Haipeng opened the hatch and entered the station shortly after 6 a.m. Beijing time (2200 GMT), followed by astronaut Chen Dong, who is making his first journey into space, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

"The two astronauts extended greetings to all the people of the nation in the space lab, and checked the status of the space complex," Xinhua said.

The space station launched Sept. 15 is orbiting about 393 kilometers (244 miles) above the earth.

The mission displays the growing sophistication of the country's manned program that first launched a human into space 13 years ago.

During their 30-day stay, the astronauts will conduct experiments in medicine and space-related technologies, and test systems and processes in preparation for the launching of the station's core module in 2018. A fully functioning space station is on course to begin full operations six years from now and slated to run for at least a decade.

China's manned space program has also conducted a spacewalk, while the lunar program recently decommissioned its Yutu rover and is considering sending a crew to the moon.

The Tiangong, or "Heavenly Palace," space stations are considered stepping stones to a mission to send a rover to Mars by the end of the decade. Communications with the disused Tiangong 1 station have been cut and it is expected to burn up on entering the atmosphere next year.

China was excluded from the International Space Station mainly due to U.S. legislation barring such cooperation and concerns over the Chinese space program's strongly military character.

Chinese officials are now looking to internationalize their own program by offering to help finance other countries' missions to Tiangong 2, which, at 60 tons when completed, would still be considerably smaller than the 420-ton ISS.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Oct. 19, the 293rd day of 2016. There are 73 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 19, 1216, John, King of England, died, more than a year after affixing his royal seal to Magna Carta ("The Great Charter").

On this date:

In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress, meeting in New York, adopted a declaration of rights and liberties which the British Parliament ignored.

In 1781, British troops under Gen. Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, as the American Revolution neared its end.

In 1789, John Jay was sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.

In 1864, Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early's soldiers attacked Union forces at Cedar Creek, Virginia; the Union troops were able to rally and defeat the Confederates.

In 1914, the U.S. Post Office began delivering mail with government-owned cars, as opposed to using contracted vehicles. The First Battle of Ypres (EE'-pruh) began during World War I.

In 1936, H.R. Ekins of the New York World-Telegram beat out Dorothy Kilgallen of the New York Journal and Leo Kieran of The New York Times in a round-the-world race on commercial flights that lasted 18 1/2 days.

In 1944, the U.S. Navy began accepting black women into WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). The play "I Remember Mama" by John Van Druten opened at the Music Box Theater on Broadway.

In 1951, President Harry S. Truman signed an act formally ending the state of war with Germany.

In 1960, the United States began a limited embargo against Cuba covering all commodities except medical supplies and certain food products.

In 1977, the supersonic Concorde made its first landing in New York City.

In 1987, the stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508 points, or 22.6 percent in value, to close at 1,738.74.

In 1994, 22 people were killed as a terrorist bomb shattered a bus in the heart of Tel Aviv's shopping district. Entertainer Martha Raye died in Los Angeles at age 78.

Ten years ago: Gunmen ambushed a car carrying Afghan civilians working for a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, killing eight of them execution-style. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 12,000 for the first time, ending at 12,011.73. The St. Louis Cardinals won the NL pennant, beating the New York Mets 3-1 in Game 7 of their championship series. Actress Phyllis Kirk died in Los Angeles at age 79.

Five years ago: Authorities in the Zanesville, Ohio, area started wrapping up their hunt for wild animals unleashed by a private farm owner who'd taken his own life; sheriff's deputies shot and killed a total of 48 animals. In Greece, hundreds of youths smashed and looted stores in central Athens and clashed with riot police during a massive anti-government rally against painful new austerity measures. The St. Louis Cardinals won Game 1 of the World Series, defeating the Texas Rangers 3-2.

One year ago: Canadians voted for a sharp change in their government as the Liberals led by Justin Trudeau, the son of a former prime minister, won a landslide victory to end Conservative Stephen Harper's near decade in office. Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas teenager arrested after a homemade clock he'd brought to school was mistaken for a bomb, capped a whirlwind month with a visit to the White House, where he met with President Barack Obama for "Astronomy Night." The Toronto Blue Jays roughed up Johnny Cueto for an 11-8 victory over the Royals that cut Kansas City's AL Championship series lead to 2-1.

Today's Birthdays: Author John le Carre (luh kah-RAY') is 85. Artist Peter Max is 79. Author and critic Renata Adler is 79. Actor Michael Gambon is 76. Actor John Lithgow (LIHTH'-goh) is 71. Feminist activist Patricia Ireland is 71. Singer Jeannie C. Riley is 71. Rock singer-musician Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers) is 68. Talk show host Charlie Chase is 64. Rock singer-musician Karl Wallinger (World Party) is 59. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is 58. Singer Jennifer Holliday is 56. Boxer Evander Holyfield is 54. Host Ty Pennington (TV: "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition") is 52. Rock singer-musician Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 51. Actor Jon Favreau is 50. Amy Carter is 49. "South Park" co-creator Trey Parker is 47. Comedian Chris Kattan is 46. Rock singer Pras Michel (The Fugees) is 44. Actor Omar Gooding is 40. Country singer Cyndi Thomson is 40. Writer-director Jason Reitman is 39. Actor Benjamin Salisbury is 36. Actress Gillian Jacobs is 34. Rock singer Zac Barnett (American Authors) is 30. Singer/actress Ciara Renee (TV: "Legends of Tomorrow") is 26. Actress Hunter King is 23.

Thought for Today: "To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something." — Walker Percy, American author (1916-1990)

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Russia sets brief cease-fire for Aleppo as strikes kill 36

Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military's General Staff speaks to the media, with a map of the area around Aleppo seen in the background..(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Bassem Mroue, Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) — Russian and Syrian forces will halt hostilities for eight hours in the eastern districts of Aleppo, Russia's military announced on Monday, a day on which opposition activists said their airstrikes killed at least 36 people, including several children, in and around the divided city.

The two militaries will observe a "humanitarian pause" between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Oct. 20 to allow civilians and militants safe passage out of the city, Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of Russia's general staff said in Moscow. Militants, the wounded and sick would be allowed to evacuate to the neighboring rebel-held province of Idlib.

U.N. humanitarian officials have pleaded with combatants to observe weekly 48-hour cease-fires to allow humanitarian relief into the city's besieged eastern districts, but Russian and Syrian forces have only escalated their aerial and ground assault on the rebel-held areas in recent weeks. The airstrikes have claimed hundreds of lives, wounded many, flattened apartment buildings and laid waste to the already crippled medical sector.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York that the eight-hour pause was a unilateral halt to fighting. A 48-hour or 72-hour cease-fire "will require some sort of mutual arrangement," he said.

Russian and Syrian leaders are now capitalizing on a proposal made by the U.N.'s envoy earlier this month to allow al-Qaida-linked militants to leave in exchange for peace and local administration for the eastern districts.

Rebels in the east, along with many residents, spurned the proposition, citing their distrust of the government side. And Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution mandating an immediate cease-fire.

Russia's Churkin said that at a meeting Saturday co-chaired by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar said they would work to separate moderate opposition groups from the former al-Qaida affiliate once known as the Nusra Front in rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

Military experts from all these countries were scheduled to meet Monday, he said.

If the separation succeeds — which is a key Russian and Syrian demand — there are two options, Churkin said. Nusra fighters must leave Aleppo or they will be defeated, he said.

Churkin said "the understanding" reached at Saturday's meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, is that once Nusra is gone the moderate opposition and the Syrian government will agree on a cease-fire to end the bloodshed.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner, speaking to reporters in Washington, noted that the people of Aleppo "have been subjected to near constant bombardment and air strikes" that have killed many civilians and leveled much of the city's infrastructure in an effort "to starve out and to drive out the opposition and civilians."

"If there is actually an eight-hour pause in the unremitting suffering of the people of Aleppo, that would be a good thing. But frankly, it's a bit too little, too late," Toner said.

Monday's Russian announcement did not include any promises of an extended cease-fire or local administration. It followed a bloody day of airstrikes on rebel-held districts in and around Aleppo.

At least 23 people were killed in airstrike that also wounded dozens in the village of Oweijel, just west of Aleppo, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Another monitoring group, the Local Coordination Committees, said the air raid was carried out by Russian warplanes and put the death toll at 30.

More than a dozen people were also killed in the Marjeh neighborhood in eastern Aleppo. The Aleppo Media Center, an activist collective, said those killed included 11 people with the same family name of Qabs ranging from a six-week-old baby girl to a 25-year-old man.

The Observatory said at least 50 civilians, including 18 children, were killed in airstrikes on the eastern part of the city in the 24 hours before the Russian announcement.

Monday's airstrikes coincided with the launch in neighboring Iraq of a major operation by Iraqi and Kurdish forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, to retake the northern city of Mosul from the Islamic State group. There have been concerns the government in Damascus could use the timing of the Mosul offensive to press its onslaught in Aleppo while world attention is diverted to developments in Iraq.

Also Monday, Syrian state media claimed 49 rebels were killed and wounded in fighting in the neighborhoods of Sheikh Saeed and Shurfa on the southern edges of Aleppo.

In the nearby province of Idlib, a U.S.-led coalition drone struck a car in the provincial capital that carries the same name, killing all inside, according to the Observatory and a jihadi official. It was not immediately clear who was in the vehicle, but such attacks have previously targeted officials with al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria, known as Fatah al-Sham Front.

The Observatory said the attack targeted a faction commander. An official with Fatah al-Sham Front, formerly known as Nusra Front, said all those in the car were "martyred." The man, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said it was not clear if members of his group were targeted.

Earlier this month, a drone attack killed top al-Qaida official Ahmed Salama Mabrouk.

The United States and Britain on Sunday acknowledged the Western world's weak support for any military action against Syria's government as they seek ways to pressure Syrian President Bashar Assad and his chief backer, Russia, to halt the deadly Aleppo offensive.

After a meeting of 11 governments opposing Assad's rule, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson each insisted that all options were on the table. But their stark explanations about the danger of resorting to military force appeared to rule out such a move.

The government in Damascus, meanwhile, appears to be trying to improve relations with Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation, following the first public meeting between Egyptian and Syrian security chiefs.

Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, head of the National Security Bureau and one of Assad's top aides, visited Cairo Sunday at the head of a delegation to coordinate with Egypt in the fight against "terrorism" in the region, Syria's state-run news agency SANA said.

SANA said the Syrians met with top intelligence officials, including deputy chief of Egypt's intelligence agency. It said both sides agreed on "coordinating political standpoints" and strengthening the "cooperation in fighting terrorism." Egypt's pro-government Sada al-Balad and other news websites reported on Sunday that six Syrians arrived on a private jet from Damascus.

Earlier this month, Egypt voted for rival French and Russian draft resolutions on Syria at the U.N. Security Council, arguing that both called for a truce and for aid for besieged Syrians in the rebel-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo.

The move angered Egypt's major financier Saudi Arabia, which supports rebels fighting against Assad's Moscow-backed government.

Egypt and Syria are both fighting extremists, including members of the Islamic State group. Both countries also have poor relations with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, James Heintz in Moscow, Philip Issa in Beirut and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Rocket launch reignites space station deliveries in Virginia

(Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)

Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — One of NASA's main delivery companies made a triumphant comeback seen up and down the East Coast Monday night, launching its first space station shipment from Virginia since a rocket explosion two years ago.

It was the first flight of Orbital ATK's unmanned Antares rocket since the Oct. 28, 2014, blast that wrecked the pad and destroyed everything on the space station supply run.

The launch provided a show for sky gazers along much of the East Coast. Reports poured in via Twitter from observers in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and even Raleigh, North Carolina.

For Antares' long-awaited return, the pad underwent a $15 million restoration, and the rocket got new Russian engines to replace the vintage ones from a half-century earlier.

As the Antares streaked through the night sky from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, it appeared as though all the work had paid off. Launch controllers applauded when the supply ship reached orbit and victory was declared.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden described the launch as "magnificent" and personally thanked the Orbital ATK team.

"It's been a very difficult two years, and I can't imagine what those of you in the Orbital team went through. I can't imagine how long you were holding your breath tonight," Bolden told the launch control crowd. "But you know, we made it and that's what's all important."

Getting a lift from the Antares was Orbital ATK's Cygnus capsule, loaded with more than 5,000 pounds of food, equipment and research, including some experiments to study flames in space and the robotic toy ball Sphero, part of an educational effort.

The Cygnus — named after the swan constellation — will have to hang around in orbit until Sunday before delivering the goods. That's because three astronauts are awaiting launch from Kazakhstan on Wednesday, which would get them to the space station on Friday. NASA wants the new crew to settle in before the Cygnus pulls up.

This will be the sixth Cygnus to arrive at the orbiting outpost since 2013. While the Antares was being redesigned, Orbital ATK made good on two deliveries using another company's rockets flying from Cape Canaveral.

NASA's other commercial shipper, SpaceX, has made nine station deliveries since 2012, but is currently grounded, pending an investigation into last month's rocket explosion during prelaunch testing at Cape Canaveral.

Given the riskiness of space flight, Orbital ATK officials expressed nervousness before the launch, but said they had full confidence in the rocket.

NASA has been relying on Orbital ATK and SpaceX to keep the space station stocked ever since the shuttles retired in 2011.

Next up will be private flights for the station crews, as the space agency works on getting astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.

SpaceX and Boeing are building capsules to carry U.S. astronauts to the 250-mile-high station; those launches are expected in the next couple of years. Until then, NASA will keep flying its astronauts on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.

The space station is currently home to an American, a Russian and a third astronaut from Japan. They will be joined by an American and two Russians.

Orbital ATK weathered brief hurricane delays over the past 1ฝ weeks, then a bad cable at the pad on Sunday bumped the launch by a day.

Online:

Orbital ATK: http://www.orbitalatk.com/

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


UN announces agreement on 72-hour Yemen cease-fire

Making a joint statement on Yemen, with left - right, US Secretary of State John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, at Lancaster House in London Sunday Oct. 16, 2016.(JUSTIN TALLIS / Pool via AP)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The warring parties in Yemen have agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire which is to take effect shortly before midnight Wednesday, the U.N. special envoy to Yemen announced Monday.

A U.N. statement said Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed "welcomes the restoration of the Cessation of Hostilities, which will spare the Yemeni people further bloodshed and will allow for the expanded delivery of humanitarian assistance."

Ahmed said he had received assurances from all Yemeni parties to cease hostilities at 11:59 p.m. Yemen time on Oct. 19 "for an initial period of 72 hours, subject to renewal."

He said the warring factions had agreed to follow the terms and conditions of a temporary April cease-fire agreement. He expressed hope that the upcoming cease-fire would lead "to a permanent and lasting end to the conflict."

Ahmed said the agreement obliges all parties "to allow free and unhindered access for humanitarian supplies and personnel" to all parts of Yemen.

The cease-fire agreement was announced a day after Ahmed met in London with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as a flurry of diplomacy focused on the impoverished war-torn country.

"This is the time to implement a cease-fire unconditionally and then move to the negotiating table," Kerry said after Sunday's meeting.

More than 4,000 civilians have been killed and 3 million of the country's 26 million people have been driven from their homes by the fighting. Hunger has become widespread in the Arab world's poorest country.

The war in Yemen began in 2014 when Shiite rebels known as Houthis based in the north seized the capital Sanaa. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launched a campaign of airstrikes against the rebels. The Saudi-led coalition and the United States are backing the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Vietnam braces for Typhoon Sarika as flood toll rises to 31

A few residents walk on a promenade under a slight rain brought about by Typhoon "Sarika" Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016 in Manila, Philippines.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam is bracing for Typhoon Sakira as the death toll from flooding in central part of the country triggered by heavy rains rose to 31.

The typhoon with sustained winds of 165 kph (103 mph) and gusts of up to 200 kph (124 mph) is moving toward northern Vietnam at 15 kilometers per hour (9 miles per hour), the national weather forecast center said Tuesday.

The government has urged ships and vessels to stay away from the typhoon path in the South China Sea and take shelter. It also urged local authorities to stand ready to evacuate people from high-risk areas.

Sarika, named after a singing bird in Cambodia, slammed northern Philippines on Sunday, killing two people and displacing 150,000.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Oct. 18, the 292nd day of 2016. There are 74 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 18, 1962, James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were honored with the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for determining the double-helix molecular structure of DNA.

On this date:

In 1685, King Louis XIV signed the Edict of Fontainebleau, revoking the Edict of Nantes that had established legal toleration of France's Protestant population, the Huguenots.

In 1767, the Mason-Dixon line, the boundary between colonial Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, was set as astronomers Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey.

In 1867, the United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.

In 1892, the first long-distance telephone line between New York and Chicago was officially opened (it could only handle one call at a time).

In 1922, the British Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (later the British Broadcasting Corp.) was founded.

In 1931, inventor Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, New Jersey, at age 84.

In 1944, Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia during World War II.

In 1954, Texas Instruments unveiled the Regency TR-1, the first commercially produced transistor radio.

In 1969, the federal government banned artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates (SY'-kluh-maytz) because of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.

In 1977, West German commandos stormed a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner on the ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers.

In 1982, former first lady Bess Truman died at her home in Independence, Missouri, at age 97.

In 1997, a monument honoring American servicewomen, past and present, was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery.

Ten years ago: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, visiting Tokyo, said the United States was willing to use its full military might to defend Japan in light of North Korea's nuclear test. The Dow Jones industrial average passed 12,000 for the first time before pulling back to close at 11,992.68.

Five years ago: Fifty wild animals were released by the owner of a Zanesville, Ohio, farm, Terry Thompson, who then committed suicide; authorities killed 48 of the creatures, while the remaining two were presumed eaten by other animals. The Republican presidential candidates laced into each other in their latest debate, held in Las Vegas; Mitt Romney emerged as still the person to beat, even as he was called out on the issues of illegal immigration, health care and jobs. Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit (gee-LAHD' shah-LEET') emerged from five years in captivity as Hamas militants handed him over to Egyptian mediators in an exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

One year ago: Habtom Zerhom, an Eritrean migrant, died after he was shot by an Israeli security guard and then attacked by bystanders who'd mistaken him for a Palestinian assailant in a deadly bus station attack in the southern city of Beersheba. The Mets breezed past the Chicago Cubs 4-1 for a 2-0 lead in the NL Championship Series. Actor-comedian Eddie Murphy was honored with the Mark Twain Prize, the nation's top prize for humor, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Today's Birthdays: Rock-and-roll performer Chuck Berry is 90. Sportscaster Keith Jackson is 88. Actress Dawn Wells is 78. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka is 77. Singer-musician Russ Giguere is 73. Actor Joe Morton is 69. Actress Pam Dawber is 66. Author Terry McMillan is 65. Writer-producer Chuck Lorre is 64. Gospel singer Vickie Winans is 63. Director-screenwriter David Twohy (TOO'-ee) is 61. International Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova is 60. Boxer Thomas Hearns is 58. Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme is 56. Actress Erin Moran is 56. Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis is 55. Actor Vincent Spano is 54. Rock musician Tim Cross is 50. Tennis player Michael Stich (shteek) is 48. Singer Nonchalant is 43. Actress Joy Bryant is 42. Rock musician Peter Svenson (The Cardigans) is 42. Actor Wesley Jonathan is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer-actor Ne-Yo is 37. Country singer Josh Gracin is 36. Country musician Jesse Littleton (Marshall Dyllon) is 35. Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn is 32. Jazz singer-musician Esperanza Spalding is 32. Actress-model Freida Pinto is 32. Actor Zac Efron is 29. Actress Joy Lauren is 27. TV personality Bristol Palin is 26. Actor Tyler Posey is 25. Actor Toby Regbo is 25.

Thought for Today: "Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why." — Eddie Cantor, American comedian-singer (1892-1964).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Defense chief calls Iraqi offensive moment to defeat IS

Defense Secretary Ash Carter. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter is calling the start of Iraqi operations to liberate Mosul "a decisive moment in the campaign" to deliver a lasting defeat to the Islamic State group.

Carter says the United States and other members of the international coalition "stand ready to support the Iraqi Security Forces, Peshmerga fighters and the people of Iraq in the difficult fight ahead."

Carter expressed confidence in the Iraqis to prevail against the extremists and "free Mosul and the rest of Iraq" from the militants.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (HY'-dahr ahl ah-BAH'-dee) announced the start of the military operation on state TV on Monday. The offensive to drive IS from Iraq's second-largest city was widely anticipated to be the country's toughest battle since American troops left nearly five years ago.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


China launches manned mission to experimental space station

(Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — China launched a pair of astronauts into space Monday on a mission to dock with an experimental space station and remain aboard for 30 days in preparation for the start of operations by a full-bore facility six years from now.

The Shenzhou 11 mission took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northern China at 7:30 a.m. (2330 GMT) aboard a Long March-2F carrier rocket.

It will dock with the Tiangong 2 space station precursor facility within two days, conduct experiments in medicine and various space-related technologies, and test systems and processes in preparation for the launching of the station's core module in 2018.

Space program commander-in-chief Gen. Zhang Youxia declared the launch a success at 7:46 a.m. (2346 GMT). Defense Minister Fan Changlong then read a congratulatory message from President Xi Jinping calling for China's astronauts to explore space "more deeply and more broadly."

Premier Li Keqiang and propaganda chief Liu Yunshan visited the Beijing control center to congratulate staff. It is the sixth time China has launched astronauts into space and the duration will be the longest by far.

Following the attachment of two experiment modules, the completed station is set to begin full operations in 2022 and will run for at least a decade.

An earlier Tiangong 1 experimental space station launched in 2011 went out of service in March after docking with three visiting spacecraft and extending its mission for two years. The Tiangong, or "Heavenly Palace," stations are considered stepping stones to a mission to Mars by the end of the decade.

The Shenzhou 11 astronauts are Jing Haipeng, who is flying his third mission, and 37-year-old Chen Dong.

"It is any astronaut's dream and pursuit to be able to perform many space missions," Jing, who turns 50 during his time in space, told a briefing Sunday.

China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, becoming only the third country after Russia and the U.S. to do so, and has since staged a spacewalk and landed its Yutu rover on the moon. Administrators suggest a crewed landing on the moon may also be in the program's future.

China was prevented from participating in the International Space Station, mainly due to U.S. concerns over the Chinese space program's strongly military character. Chinese officials are now looking to internationalize their own program by offering to help finance other countries' missions to Tiangong 2.

China's space program also opened its massive fourth spacecraft launch site at Wenchang on China's southernmost island province of Hainan in June. It was inaugurated with the launch of the newly developed Long March 7 rocket that was hailed as a breakthrough in the use of safer, more environmentally friendly fuels.

China is currently developing the Long March 5 heavy-lift rocket needed to launch the Tiangong 2's additional components and other massive payloads.

China also plans to land a rover on Mars by 2020, attempting to recreate the success of the U.S. Viking 1 mission that landed a rover on the planet four decades ago.

A source of enormous national pride, China's space program plans a total of 20 missions this year at a time when the U.S. and other countries' programs are seeking new roles.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pyongyang's latest fad: Sightseeing in ultralight airplanes

North Korean pilot Mun Jong Hun flies an ultralight aircraft over the city of Pyongyang (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Eric Talmadge, Associated Press

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Until a few months ago, if you wanted a bird's eye view of North Korea's capital, there was basically only one option: a 150-meter (492-foot) -tall tower across the river from Kim Il Sung Square.

Now, if you have the cash, you can climb into the back seat of an ultralight aircraft.

With the support of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has vowed to give North Koreans more modern and "cultured" ways to spend their leisure time, and with foreign tourism companies looking to entice visitors with unique things to do besides visit war museums and political monuments, a Pyongyang flying club has started offering short flights over some of the capital's major sights.

The tours, which began in late July, are operated by the Mirim flying club out of a fancy new facility on an old airfield adjacent to another of Kim's signature modernization projects: a sprawling equestrian club and horse racetrack.

Officials say more than 4,000 North Koreans have gone up in the ultralight fleet since, along with "hundreds of foreigners" from 12 countries.

The flights go directly over some of Pyongyang's most iconic spots, including the gargantuan May Day stadium, the torch-tipped Juche Tower and Kim Il Sung Square area, and the Munsu Water Park, yet another of Kim's leisure spot "gifts" to the city.

Flights start off over a typically rural setting, with a mixture of farmland and small hamlets.

But that quickly transforms into what one would expect from a city of about 2.5 million: block after block of densely concentrated high-rise residential buildings, some in the drab gray color of concrete but many painted over in pink, beige or blue pastels. Toward the center of the city, spaces open up once again with large public plazas and the parks that surround Pyongyang's many monuments to its leaders and war memorials.

Considerations of places best not subjected to flyovers were almost certainly a factor before the tours could get off the ground. And, just to be safe, photographs taken from the air are screened by club officials after each flight.

But seeing the city from a height of 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) or less while slowly puttering through the skies provides quite a different perspective from anything tourists, and even most Pyongyang residents, had ever been able to get before.

The flights aren't cheap — a 25-minute ultralight ride from the airstrip on the outskirts of the city to Kim Il Sung Square and the Juche Tower, which had previously been the best place to get an urban panorama, goes for around $150. Shorter flights are offered at cheaper prices, starting from about $65, but those only fly around the immediate vicinity of the flight club.

Prices for North Koreans are much cheaper, though club officials wouldn't say exactly how much.

Officials say the ultralight aircraft used for the flights were made in North Korea.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Australian company says 18 employees questioned in China

ROD McGUIRK, Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A Crown Resorts Ltd. senior executive was among 18 employees detained in China, the Australia-based gambling company said Monday.

"Crown's Executive Vice President VIP International, Jason O'Connor, is one of 18 Crown employees being questioned by Chinese authorities," the company said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

"Crown is yet to be provided with details of why its employees have been detained," it said.

Three Australians visiting China on business as well as local Chinese employees based in several major Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, were detained late Thursday, Fairfax Media reported over the weekend. O'Connor was among the Australians.

Crown declined to say why O'Connor was in China.

Crown said it had not been able to speak with its employees and was working with Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to make contact and to check on their welfare.

The department said China had three days to notify Australia of the Australians' detention under a bilateral agreement. Since the Australians were reported detained on Thursday or Friday, notification could be expected on Monday.

"Consular officials will seek to offer appropriate consular assistance to the detained Australians," the department said in a statement.

It was not clear whether any of the staff had been charged.

Crown said it was supporting the Chinese and Australian families of the detained employees.

Crown shares fell more than 10 percent in early trading after the Australian stock market opened on Monday.

Headquartered in Melbourne, Crown has gambling interests in Australia, Macau, Manila and London.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Monday, Oct. 17, the 291st day of 2016. There are 75 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 17, 1777, British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American troops in Saratoga, New York, in a turning point of the Revolutionary War.

On this date:

In 1610, French King Louis XIII, age nine, was crowned at Reims, five months after the assassination of his father, Henry IV.

In 1807, Britain declared it would continue to reclaim British-born sailors from American ships and ports regardless of whether they held U.S. citizenship.

In 1919, Radio Corp. of America was chartered.

In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion. (Sentenced to 11 years in prison, Capone was released in 1939.)

In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.

In 1941, the U.S. destroyer Kearny was damaged by a German torpedo off the coast of Iceland; 11 people died.

In 1945, Col. Juan Peron, the future president of Argentina, was released from prison after protests by trade unionists.

In 1956, the all-star movie "Around the World in 80 Days," produced by Michael Todd, had its world premiere in New York.

In 1966, 12 New York City firefighters were killed while battling a blaze in lower Manhattan. The TV game show "The Hollywood Squares" premiered on NBC.

In 1979, Mother Teresa of India was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1989, an earthquake measuring a surface-wave magnitude of 7.1 struck northern California, killing 63 people and causing $6 billion worth of damage.

In 1991, entertainer Tennessee Ernie Ford died in Reston, Virginia, at age 72.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush signed legislation authorizing tough interrogation of terror suspects and smoothing the way for trials before military commissions. America's official population passed the 300 million mark, fueled by a growing number of immigrants and their children. Megan Meier, the 13-year-old victim of a cyberbullying hoax, died a day after hanging herself at home in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri. CBS News correspondent Christopher Glenn died in Norwalk, Connecticut, at age 68.

Five years ago: Rolling through small Southern towns in a campaign-style bus, President Barack Obama pressed lawmakers back in Washington to start taking up pieces of his rejected jobs bill and mocked the Republicans who had shot it down. Financier Carl Lindner Jr., who used his experience running the family dairy store to build a business empire whose reach included baseball, banks and bananas, died at age 92.

One year ago: Thousands of migrants seeking a better life in Western Europe surged into Slovenia using a new route after Hungary sealed its border with Croatia. The final US Airways flight landed in Philadelphia, completing the last leg of its roundtrip journey. (The US Airways brand disappeared as the result of a merger with American Airlines.) The Kansas City Royals rolled to a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jay for a 2-0 lead in the AL Championship Series. The New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 in their NL Championship Series opener.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Marsha Hunt is 99. Actress Julie Adams is 90. Newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin is 86. Country singer Earl Thomas Conley is 75. Singer Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts) is 74. Singer Gary Puckett is 74. Actor Michael McKean is 69. Actress Margot Kidder is 68. Actor George Wendt is 68. Actor-singer Bill Hudson is 67. Astronaut Mae Jemison is 60. Country singer Alan Jackson is 58. Movie critic Richard Roeper is 57. Movie director Rob Marshall is 56. Actor Grant Shaud is 56. Animator Mike Judge is 54. Rock singer-musician Fred LeBlanc (Cowboy Mouth) is 53. Actor-comedian Norm Macdonald is 53. Singer Rene' Dif is 49. Reggae singer Ziggy Marley is 48. Actor Wood Harris is 47. Singer Wyclef Jean (zhahn) is 47. World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els is 47. Singer Chris Kirkpatrick ('N Sync) is 45. Rapper Eminem is 44. Actress Sharon Leal is 44. Actor Matthew Macfadyen is 42. Rock musician Sergio Andrade (an-DRAY'-day) is 39. Actress Felicity Jones is 33. Actor Chris Lowell is 32. Actor Dee Jay Daniels is 28.

Thought for Today: "The thinking of a genius does not proceed logically. It leaps with great ellipses. It pulls knowledge from God knows where." — Dorothy Thompson, American journalist (1894-1961).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016

The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Oct. 16, the 290th day of 2016. There are 76 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 16, 1916, Planned Parenthood had its beginnings as Margaret Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne, opened the first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York. (The clinic was raided nine days later by police who arrested Sanger, Byrne and Russian-born interpreter Fania Mindell.)

On this date:

In 1793, during the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, was beheaded.

In 1846, dentist William T. Morton demonstrated the effectiveness of ether as an anesthetic by administering it to a patient undergoing jaw surgery before an audience of doctors in Boston.

In 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry in western Virginia. (Ten of Brown's men were killed and five escaped. Brown and six followers were captured; all were executed.)

In 1934, Chinese Communists, under siege by the Nationalists, began their "long march" lasting a year from southeastern to northwestern China.

In 1946, ten Nazi war criminals condemned during the Nuremberg trials were hanged.

In 1957, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip began a visit to the United States with a stopover at the site of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia.

In 1968, American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos sparked controversy at the Mexico City Olympics by giving "black power" salutes during a victory ceremony after they'd won gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter race.

In 1969, the New York Mets capped their miracle season by winning the World Series, defeating the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3, in Game 5 played at Shea Stadium.

In 1978, the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (voy-TEE'-wah) to be the new pope; he took the name John Paul II.

In 1987, a 58-1/2-hour drama in Midland, Texas, ended happily as rescuers freed Jessica McClure, an 18-month-old girl trapped in an abandoned well.

In 1991, a deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as a gunman opened fire at a Luby's Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life.

In 1995, a vast throng of black men gathered in Washington, D.C. for the "Million Man March" led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush personally assured Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee) by phone that he had set no timetable for pulling troops out of Iraq. Lynne Stewart, a firebrand civil rights lawyer, was sentenced in New York to 28 months in prison for helping an imprisoned terrorist sheik communicate with his followers on the outside. (Stewart had her original sentence increased to 10 years in July 2010 by a judge who concluded she'd lied to a jury and lacked remorse; Stewart was released in Jan. 2014 because she was suffering from terminal cancer.)

Five years ago: The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was formally dedicated in Washington, D.C. British race car driver Dan Wheldon, 33, died in a fiery 15-car wreck in the Las Vegas Indy 300. Danell Leyva became the first American male gymnast to win a gold medal at the World Championships since 2003, taking the parallel bars title in Tokyo. The St. Louis Cardinals captured their 18th NL pennant with a 12-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 6.

One year ago: Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the federal government was canceling federal petroleum lease sales in U.S. Arctic waters that had been scheduled for 2016 and 2017. Four Palestinians, including one assailant, were killed by Israeli fire amid continuing widespread unrest as the U.N. Security Council convened an emergency meeting to discuss the escalation.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Angela Lansbury is 91. Actor-producer Tony Anthony is 79. Actor Barry Corbin is 76. Sportscaster Tim McCarver is 75. Rock musician C.F. Turner (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) is 73. Actress Suzanne Somers is 70. Rock singer-musician Bob Weir is 69. Producer-director David Zucker is 69. Record company executive Jim Ed Norman is 68. Actor Daniel Gerroll is 65. Actor Morgan Stevens is 65. Actress Martha Smith is 64. Comedian-actor Andy Kindler is 60. Actor-director Tim Robbins is 58. Actor-musician Gary Kemp is 57. Singer-musician Bob Mould is 56. Actor Randy Vasquez is 55. Rock musician Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 54. Actor Christian Stolte is 54. Actor Todd Stashwick is 48. Jazz musician Roy Hargrove is 47. Actress Terri J. Vaughn is 47. Singer Wendy Wilson (Wilson Phillips) is 47. Rapper B-Rock (B-Rock and the Bizz) is 45. Rock singer Chad Gray (Mudvayne) is 45. Actor Paul Sparks is 45. Actress Kellie Martin is 41. Singer John Mayer is 39. Actor Jeremy Jackson is 36. Actress Caterina Scorsone is 36. Actress Brea Grant is 35.

Thought for Today: "To walk into history is to be free at once, to be at large among people." — Elizabeth Bowen, Irish-born author (1899-1973).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


7 coal miners dead in China after gas explosion

(Wang Peng/Xinhua via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — A gas explosion inside a coal mine in southwestern China has killed seven people and injured two more.

Rescue crews at the Rongsheng mine in Guizhou province were able to save 11 people, including the two injured. Authorities would not say what caused the explosion, and a phone number listed for the mine wasn't working.

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of coal, though it announced plans this year to shutter more than 1,000 outdated mines. The head of China's State Administration of Work Safety said this year that struggling coal mines might be likely to overlook maintenance.

The administration reported 931 coal mine accident deaths in 2014, though outside experts often question government figures.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Helen Mirren calls on women to change the future by voting

 

Helen Mirren arrives at the 2016 Variety Power of Women luncheon on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Sandy Cohen, AP Entertainment Writer

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — At a Friday event to recognize philanthropic contributions by Hollywood women, Helen Mirren said women can "change the landscape for future generations" by voting in the upcoming presidential election.

"It's time for the best role model in the White House," Mirren said to cheers from the overwhelmingly female audience.

The annual Variety Power of Women luncheon celebrates women's leadership in charitable and humanitarian efforts. Held at the Beverly Wilshire hotel, the event also recognized Miley Cyrus, Scarlett Johansson, Ava DuVernay, Laverne Cox, fashion designer Georgina Chapman and Spanx founder Sara Blakely and the various nonprofits they support.

Mirren, who was honored for her work with the Stuttering Association for the Young, said she used to think such women's events weren't necessary, that women should just "barge their way in" to positions of power.

"I've come to realize this is a fantasy," she said. "Without an organization, without a megaphone to make your voice heard, your voice remains feeble. It is ignored.

"In the next few weeks we will see a real-life example of this," she continued, "as women of all ages and all economic situations, all professions, vote."

Mirren wasn't the only honoree to mention the upcoming election and women's role in it. Johansson, an advocate for Planned Parenthood, said reproductive rights should be "taken off the ballot."

"A woman's right to choose what to do with her body shouldn't just be a women's rights issue," she said. "It's the year 2016, and this is a human rights issue."

DuVernay, who works with 1000 Black Girl Books, said it's important to celebrate women, "especially in a society, in our culture right now, where at the highest levels of public discourse there's been such a degradation of women."

The filmmaker said she's inspired by women's rising voices against sexism and sexual assault inspired by recent news events.

"There have been women throughout history who have fought, but so often on the margins, so often pushed out and unheard," she said. "The fact that this is coming to the middle and becoming a national conversation is a positive thing in a really negative time."

Blakely, who pledged in 2013 to donate half of her billion-dollar fortune to help women, said, "the world would be a much better place if the male and female energy on the planet were more balanced."

The Power of Women event recognized one man: Universal Music executive Lucian Grainge, who has promoted numerous women to leadership positions. He said he was inspired by his mother.

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

___

AP Entertainment Writer Marcela Isaza contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


3 arrested in alleged bomb plot targeting Somalis in Kansas

Curtis Allen is one of three members of a Kansas militia group were charged Friday Oct. 14, 2016.(Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Eric Tucker, Associated Press
Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press


WICHITA, Kan. (AP)
— Three members of a Kansas militia group were charged Friday with plotting to bomb an apartment complex that's home to Somali immigrants in the western Kansas meatpacking town of Garden City, a thwarted attack prosecutors say was planned for the day after the November election.

The arrests were the culmination of an eight-month FBI investigation that took agents "deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence," Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

A complaint unsealed Friday charges Curtis Wayne Allen, 49; Patrick Eugene Stein, 47; and Gavin Wayne Wright, 49, with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. Their first court appearance is Monday.

Prosecutors said the men don't yet have attorneys. Publicly listed phone numbers for the men couldn't immediately be found.

The men are members of a small militia group that calls itself "the Crusaders," and whose members espouse sovereign citizen, anti-government, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant extremist beliefs, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges group members chose the target based on their hatred for Muslims, people of Somali descent and immigrants — and out of a desire to inspire other militia groups and "wake people up."

The FBI began a domestic terrorism investigation of the group in February, and a confidential source attended its meetings in southwestern Kansas.

In a June meeting, Stein brought up the Orlando nightclub shooting, and proposed carrying out a similar attack against Muslim refugees in Garden City, according to the complaint.

They ultimately decided to target the apartment complex because of the number of Somalis who lived there and the fact that one of the apartments was used as a mosque. The complex houses about 120 Somali residents, Beall said.

The complaint said that Stein discussed the explosives used in the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh.

The men, who were arrested in Liberal on Friday morning, performed surveillance of the apartment building and prepared a manifesto, Beall said.

In a profanity-laced conference call that law enforcement monitored, Stein said the only way "this country's ever going to get turned around is it will be a bloodbath," according to the complaint.

If convicted, the men could be sentenced to up to life in federal prison without parole.

Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, called the details of the plot disturbing, saying it "should serve as a warning to those who traffic in the politics of fear and bigotry."

Garden City is home to a Tyson Foods beef slaughterhouse that has drawn a diverse immigrant population to the area.

Dr. John Birky, a physician who's helping to create a clinic and working with refugees on a language program, said some local residents fear the refugees, mistakenly associating them with militants in Somalia.

"People do express more of a general sentiment of, 'Why are we letting these refugees in here? Why are we? They're taking our jobs, plus they're Muslim,'" he said.

Birky said between 300 and 500 Somali refugees live in the area. The state Department for Children and Families said that of the 906 refugees who arrived in Kansas from October 2014 through January 2016, 68 were from Somalia, or 7.5 percent.

Garden City Mayor Chris Law said in a statement that he was shocked by the planned attack, and Birky called it "crazy."

Birky said most are fleeing militants in Somalia and want to assimilate once they reach Kansas.

"They're trying to make a better life for their families here," he said. "They want to pursue the American dream."

Friday's arrests and charges prompted the Council on American-Islamic Relations to call on state and federal law enforcement agencies across the nation to increase protection for mosques and other Islamic institutions. The group also cited reports of threats against a Michigan center and anti-Muslim graffiti at a New Jersey mosque.

"We ask our nation's political leaders, and particularly political candidates, to reject the growing Islamophobia in our nation," Nihad Awad, the group's national executive director, said in a statement.

The case is the latest involving militia groups in the state. Earlier this year, a planned armed protest outside a Wichita mosque prompted the Islamic Society of Wichita to cancel an appearance by a speaker whom protesters believed supported terrorism.

The Justice Department's National Security Division created a new position a year ago to help coordinate investigations into violent homegrown extremism, like the one that resulted in the three arrests.

___

Eric Tucker reported from Washington. Associated Press writer John Hanna contributed to this story from Topeka.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


NASA spacecraft's next close pass to Jupiter delayed

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — NASA says a rocket engine burn designed to put a spacecraft close to Jupiter has been delayed until December.

The space agency said Friday the maneuver scheduled for Oct. 19 has been postponed as engineers investigate a valve issue.

Juno entered orbit around Jupiter in July after a nearly five-year journey to map the giant planet's poles, atmosphere and interior.

The solar-powered spacecraft made its first close pass over Jupiter in late August, coming within 2,500 miles of the planet's dense clouds and beaming back stunning pictures of turbulent storms in the north pole.

Juno chief scientist Scott Bolton says the delay will not affect the quality of the science collected.

Some three dozen close flybys of Jupiter are planned during the 20-month mission.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Oct. 15, the 289th day of 2016. There are 77 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On Oct. 15, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill creating the U.S. Department of Transportation. The revolutionary Black Panther Party was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California.

On this date:

In 1783, the first manned balloon flight took place in Paris as Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier ascended in a basket attached to a tethered Montgolfier hot-air balloon, rising to about 75 feet.

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte, the deposed Emperor of the French, arrived on the British-ruled South Atlantic island of St. Helena, where he spent the last 5 1/2 years of his life in exile.

In 1905, Claude Debussy's "La Mer" (The Sea), a trio of symphonic sketches, premiered in Paris.

In 1914, the Clayton Antitrust Act, which expanded on the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.

In 1917, Dutch dancer Mata Hari, convicted of spying for the Germans, was executed by a French firing squad outside Paris.

In 1940, Charles Chaplin's first all-talking comedy, "The Great Dictator," a lampoon of Adolf Hitler, opened in New York.

In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed for treason.

In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering (GEH'-reeng) fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.

In 1969, peace demonstrators staged activities across the country as part of a "moratorium" against the Vietnam War.

In 1976, in the first debate of its kind between vice-presidential nominees, Democrat Walter F. Mondale and Republican Bob Dole faced off in Houston.

In 1990, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev was named the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. South Africa's Separate Amenities Act, which had barred blacks from public facilities for decades, was formally scrapped.

In 1991, despite sexual harassment allegations by Anita Hill, the Senate narrowly confirmed the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, 52-48.

Ten years ago: A strong earthquake struck the Big Island of Hawaii, damaging buildings and roads but apparently causing no deaths. Three members of Duke University's lacrosse team appeared on CBS' "60 Minutes" to deny raping a woman who'd been hired to perform as a stripper (Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans were later exonerated). Pope Benedict XVI named four new saints of the Catholic Church.

Five years ago: Italian riot police fired tear gas and water cannons in Rome as violent protesters hijacked a peaceful demonstration against corporate greed, smashing bank windows, torching cars and hurling bottles. Iran's Foreign Ministry dismissed U.S. accusations that Tehran was involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, saying the claims had no "legal logic." The Texas Rangers finished off the Detroit Tigers to become the American League's first repeat champion in a decade with a 15-5 win in Game 6 of the ALCS. Former Hollywood superagent Sue Mengers died in Beverly Hills, California.

One year ago: President Barack Obama abandoned his pledge to end America's longest war, announcing plans to keep at least 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office in 2017 and hand the conflict off to his successor. Ken Taylor, Canada's ambassador to Iran who'd sheltered Americans at his residence during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, died in New York at age 81.

Today's Birthdays: Former auto executive Lee Iacocca is 92. Jazz musician Freddy Cole is 85. Singer Barry McGuire is 81. Actress Linda Lavin is 79. Rock musician Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) is 74. Actress-director Penny Marshall is 73. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Palmer is 71. Singer-musician Richard Carpenter is 70. Actor Victor Banerjee is 70. Former tennis player Roscoe Tanner is 65. Singer Tito Jackson is 63. Actor-comedian Larry Miller is 63. Actor Jere Burns is 62. Actress Tanya Roberts is 61. Movie director Mira Nair is 59. Britain's Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 57. Chef Emeril Lagasse is 57. Rock musician Mark Reznicek (REHZ'-nih-chehk) is 54. Singer Eric Benet is 50. Actress Vanessa Marcil is 48. Singer-actress-TV host Paige Davis is 47. Country singer Kimberly Schlapman (Little Big Town) is 47. Actor Dominic West is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ginuwine is 46. Actor Devon Gummersall is 38. Actor Chris Olivero is 37. Christian singer-actress Jaci (JAK'-ee) Velasquez is 37. Actor Brandon Jay McLaren is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Keyshia Cole is 35. Tennis player Elena Dementieva is 35. Actor Vincent Martella is 24. Actress Bailee Madison is 17.

Thought for Today: "The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking." — John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian-born American economist (1908-2006).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 


Samsung Note 7 recall to cost at least $5.3 billion

Returned boxes of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 7 smartphones are placed at a shop of South Korean mobile carrier in Seoul.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics said Friday that the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7 would cost the company about $3 billion during the current and next quarters, bringing the total cost of the recall to at least $5.3 billion.

The Note 7 discontinuation will cost in the mid-2 trillion won range during the October-December period and another 1 trillion won ($884 million) during the January-March quarter, the company said in a statement.

Samsung already slashed its third-quarter profit forecast by $2.6 billion earlier this week, an amount that could wipe out its entire mobile business profit. That did not include the cost of Samsung's first recall, which analysts estimated at 1 trillion won to 2 trillion won.

Samsung has enough cash and other businesses to absorb the shock from the phone recall. It said it expected to generate 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion) in operating income during the third quarter after the recall cost. Analysts said most of the income will be generated by sales of advanced displays and semiconductors.

Samsung added that it will make significant changes in its quality assurance processes to enhance product safety for consumers. It did not elaborate.

The company said it will expand sales of two other smartphones released in spring, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, quashing rumors that it may try to release updated versions of those devices. Samsung usually releases a new iteration of the Galaxy S series in spring, so the company may have to provide a strong incentive to sell the 6-month-old phones, such as lowering their prices.

Due to unexplained fires and overheating problems, more than 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones were recalled before the product was discontinued earlier this week just two months after its launch in August.

In the United States, 1.9 million Note 7 phones are subject to the two recalls. Samsung also recalled about 200,000 phones in China and about half a million phones in South Korea.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said there were 96 reports of batteries in Note 7 phones overheating in the country, including 23 new reports since the first recall announcement last month. The company received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damages associated with the phones.

"Consumers should immediately stop using and power down all Galaxy Note 7 devices, including Note 7 devices received as replacements in the previous recall," the agency said.

The botched recall raised questions about Samsung's initial analysis of the Note 7 phone's problems. At first, Samsung said a minor manufacturing error in the batteries for the Note 7 was causing the phones to overheat.

The problem with the replacements is still unclear. Experts say Samsung may have rushed to conclude the Note 7's problem was a battery issue and it may take a long time to find the real cause.

Seeking to retain customers, Samsung is giving an incentive of a $100 credit to Note 7 owners who switch to another Samsung phone.

The Note 7 device was one of the most expensive smartphones in the market with all the latest technologies from Samsung, including the ability to unlock the phone by scanning a user's iris. It was sold for between $850 and $890.

Follow Youkyung Lee on Twitter at twitter.com/YKLeeAP

Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/youkyung-lee

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Dylan book sales soar after Nobel announcement

This July 22, 2012, file photo shows U.S. singer-songwriter Bob Dylan performing onstage at "Les Vieilles Charrues" Festival in Carhaix, western France. Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature, announced Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — He won his Nobel for writing songs, but Bob Dylan's unexpected honor also is providing a boost for his books.

Dylan's memoir "Chronicles: Volume One" and a bound compilation, "The Lyrics: 1961-2012," were among two of Amazon.com's fastest sellers Thursday. His book of lyrics jumped from No. 73,543 on Amazon's best-seller list the night before Thursday's announcement to No. 209. Over the same 24-hour period, "Chronicles" soared from No. 15,690 to No. 278 and was out of stock by the end of the day.

Not surprisingly, sales were up on Amazon for many of his albums. Two of them, "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits" and "Blonde on Blonde," were in the top 25 for CDs and vinyl by Thursday night.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Disability rights group sues Uber over wheelchair access

Michael Tarm, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago disability rights group sued Uber Thursday over wheelchair accessibility, arguing that the mobile ride-hailing company's adherence to federal disability laws "ranges from token to non-existent" despite its expanding role in the nation's transportation system.

The 19-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago on behalf of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago and several individuals, seeks an order requiring that Uber comply with the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA, by making far more wheelchair-accessible vehicles available.

"(Uber's) position threatens a return to the isolation and segregation that the disability rights movement has fought to overcome," the filing says.

A Chicago spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Uber, Molly Spaeth, emailed a brief statement that didn't address specific allegations in the lawsuit. It said Uber is committed to "increasing mobility and freedom for all riders and drivers, including those members of our communities who are disabled."

Both Uber and rival Lyft, which allow customers to use a cellphone app to pay drivers who use their own cars, have argued previously that they are technology, not transportation firms, and so aren't subject to the ADA, considered landmark legislation in bids for equal rights for the disabled.

A few related suits have been filed elsewhere. Uber and advocates for the blind this year reached a settlement in San Francisco in which Uber agreed to require that drivers confirm they understand their legal obligations to transport riders with guide dogs or other service animals. Uber didn't admit any liability and denied violating any laws.

What distinguishes the new suit is that it seeks a definitive ruling about whether the ADA applies to Uber and similar companies, said Access Living attorney Charles Petrof.

"Once this is resolved with Uber, the rest of the industry will have to follow," he said.

The ADA contains an exemption for taxi companies on wheelchair-accessibility rules, but such requirements do apply to cabs in Chicago due to a local ordinance, Petrof said. Advocates tried but failed to push through provisions that would force Uber and similar companies to meet the same city requirements.

If Uber isn't a cab company it could be subject to the ADA requirements, but if it is, the Chicago ordinance could apply, Petrof said.

Uber does offer a service called UberWAV, which allows would-be customers to locate vehicles with ramps or lifts. But Thursday's suit says Uber's mobile map frequently indicates that no such vehicles are available anywhere in or near Chicago.

In an attempt to demonstrate how hard it is for disabled people to utilize Uber, the suit cites data that Uber provided nearly 2 million rides in Chicago in June of last year alone. But it says Uber gave just 14 rides to motorized wheelchair users over a four-year period starting in 2011.

Rahnee Patrick, a plaintiff in the case who uses a wheelchair, says the lack of suitable Uber vehicles shouldn't force her and her husband to travel separately.

"Going to dinner with my husband should be the same for me as it is for everyone else," she said in a statement released by Access Living.

There are around 200 wheelchair-accessible Chicago cabs, Petrof said. To approach similar levels of service, he said Uber should have similar numbers available.

Follow Michael Tarm on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mtarm

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


ICC prosecutor warns Philippine authorities over killings

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.Bas Czerwinski POOL via AP)

Mike Corder, Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said she is "deeply concerned" about reports of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and users in the Philippines.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda also said Thursday that statements by "high officials" in the Asian nation "seem to condone such killings."

The written statement by Bensouda appeared aimed as a blunt warning to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose anti-drug crackdown has left an estimated 3,000 people allegedly involved in the drug trade dead.

The Philippines is a member state of the International Criminal Court, the world's first global court prosecuting war crimes and crimes against humanity, so crimes committed there could be prosecuted at the Hague-based institution.

"Any person in the Philippines who incites or engages in acts of mass violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing, in any other manner, to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is potentially liable to prosecution before the Court," Bensouda said.

In the Philippine capital, Manila, Duterte exuded confidence in a speech late Thursday that he could easily parry any criminal investigation into the killings. He said he has written letters to invite President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, U.N. and E.U. officials to visit the Philippines to investigate him, but warned he would publicly humiliate them by disproving their allegations.

As a former trial lawyer for eight years, "they cannot be brighter than me, believe me," saying that after he's investigated, he should be allowed to grill his inquisitors.

"I will play with you in public. I will ask five questions that will humiliate you. And I will ask 10 questions for you to agree with me," Duterte said in a speech at a business conference. "It would be a spectacle. You better watch it all ... It will give you an entertainment."

E.U. lawyers alleging he may be criminally liable for threatening criminals with death are "idiots," Duterte said. He has said that there's no Philippine law barring presidents from doing that.

Human rights advocates, however, say Duterte swore during his inauguration in June to ensure the execution of Philippine laws, some of which prohibit serious threats, especially death, toward people. The constitution also prohibits any cruel and inhumane punishments, including the death penalty.

Bensouda said her office will closely monitor developments in the Philippines in coming weeks with a view to establishing whether she should open a preliminary investigation.

Since becoming president in June, Duterte has drawn widespread criticism for his country's deadly war on drugs.

Last week, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. remains "deeply concerned by reports of widespread extrajudicial killings by or at the behest of government authorities in the Philippines. The use of that kind of tactic is entirely inconsistent with universal human rights and the shared values of our two countries."

Associated Press writer Jim Gomez contributed to this report from Manila, Philippines

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Friday, Oct. 14, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Friday, Oct. 14, the 288th day of 2016. There are 78 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 14, 1066, Normans under William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings.

On this date:

In 1890, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, was born in Denison, Texas.

In 1912, former President Theodore Roosevelt, campaigning for the White House as the Progressive ("Bull Moose") candidate, went ahead with a speech in Milwaukee after being shot in the chest by New York saloonkeeper John Schrank, declaring, "It takes more than one bullet to kill a bull moose."

In 1926, "Winnie-the-Pooh" by A.A. Milne was first published by Methuen & Co. of London.

In 1939, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the HMS Royal Oak, a British battleship anchored at Scapa Flow in Scotland's Orkney Islands; 833 of the more than 1,200 men aboard were killed.

In 1944, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel committed suicide rather than face trial and certain execution for allegedly conspiring against Adolf Hitler.

In 1947, Air Force test pilot Charles E. ("Chuck") Yeager (YAY'-gur) broke the sound barrier as he flew the experimental Bell XS-1 (later X-1) rocket plane over Muroc Dry Lake in California.

In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy suggested the idea of a Peace Corps while addressing an audience of students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

In 1964, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev was toppled from power; he was succeeded by Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and by Alexei Kosygin as Premier.

In 1977, singer Bing Crosby died outside Madrid, Spain, at age 74.

In 1986, Holocaust survivor and human rights advocate Elie Wiesel (EL'-ee vee-ZEHL') was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The International Olympic Committee decided to separate the years of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games beginning in 1994.

In 1987, a 58-hour drama began in Midland, Texas, as 18-month-old Jessica McClure slid 22 feet down an abandoned well at a private day care center; she was rescued on Oct. 16.

In 1996, Madonna and her boyfriend, Carlos Leon, became parents as the pop star gave birth to a girl, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 6,000 for the first time, ending the day at 6,010.00.

Ten years ago: The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to impose punishing sanctions on North Korea for carrying out a nuclear test. The Detroit Tigers swept the American League championship with a 6-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics. A sideline-clearing brawl interrupted the third quarter of Miami's 35-0 victory over Florida International. Gerry (GEH'-ree) Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress, died in Boston at age 69; singer Freddy Fender died in Corpus Christi, Texas, at age 69.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama cast himself as a savior of the U.S. auto industry as he stood in a once-shuttered Michigan assembly plant with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to boast of a new trade deal and the auto bailout he'd pushed through Congress. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the NL championship series. In Tokyo, Japan's Kohei Uchimura (koo-hay oo-chee-mur-uh) gave the home fans what they wanted, becoming the first man to win three titles at the world gymnastics championships.

One year ago: Hundreds of soldiers fanned out in cities across Israel and authorities erected concrete barriers outside some Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem in a stepped-up effort to counter a monthlong wave of Palestinian violence. The state of Texas executed Licho Escamilla (LEE'-cho es-kuh-MEE'-uh) for the fatal 2001 shooting of Christopher Kevin James, a Dallas police officer who was trying to break up a brawl involving Escamilla.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Roger Moore is 89. Classical pianist Gary Graffman is 88. Movie director Carroll Ballard is 79. Former White House counsel John W. Dean III is 78. Country singer Melba Montgomery is 79. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren is 77. Singer Sir Cliff Richard is 76. Singer-musician Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues) is 70. Actor Harry Anderson is 64. Actor Greg Evigan is 63. TV personality Arleen Sorkin is 61. World Golf Hall of Famer Beth Daniel is 60. Singer-musician Thomas Dolby is 58. Actress Lori Petty is 53. MLB manager Joe Girardi is 52. Actor Steve Coogan is 51. Singer Karyn White is 51. Actor Edward Kerr is 50. Actor Jon Seda is 46. Country musician Doug Virden is 46. Country singer Natalie Maines (The Dixie Chicks) is 42. Actress-singer Shaznay Lewis (All Saints) is 41. Singer Usher is 38. TV personality Stacy Keibler is 37. Actor Ben Whishaw is 36. Actor Jordan Brower is 35. Director Benh Zeitlin is 34. Actress Skyler Shaye is 30. Actor-comedian Jay Pharoah is 29.

Thought for Today: "Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." — George Washington Carver, American botanist (1864-1943).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 


Singapore scores poorly in ability to prevent illicit trade

Annabelle Liang, Associated Press

SINGAPORE (AP) — The wealthy city-state of Singapore — with its flourishing trade, orderly life and almost non-existent crime — is hardly a place one would associate with illegal trade. But a new report by a reputed organization reveals that in fact the country has a poor record of preventing just that.

The Economist Intelligence Unit released a 100-point index Wednesday that placed Singapore at seven out of 17 Asian countries for its ability to prevent illicit trade that includes counterfeit goods, arms and endangered wildlife. Singapore's low ranking was largely the result of its lacunae in its free trade zones.

Commissioned by the European Chamber of Commerce, the index evaluated countries against 14 indicators including transparency, intellectual property and customs.

Singapore scored 69.8 points to tie with Taiwan. Still, it is behind neighbor Malaysia (71.8), often seen as a nation with a far less efficient government. The top performers were Australia (85.2), New Zealand (81.8) and Hong Kong (81.4).

"While it has the strongest customs environment, a failure to monitor its busy free trade zones dragged Singapore's score down," the EIU said in a press release.

One of the index's indicators rated countries between zero to four for free trade zone governance, including checks on warehouses for smuggled goods. Singapore was handed a score of one, meaning that there was little to no monitoring. It also received a poor rating for government cooperation with stakeholders.

In an emailed statement late Wednesday, Singapore Customs said the island nation was "not a major origin or destination" for intellectual property rights infringements and counterfeit goods.

"Singapore's domestic laws apply within the free trade zones and normal trade and customs requirements are in place for goods imported into or exported from Singapore," it said.

Given that Singapore ports have a high volume of trade and tight turnaround times, it would be more effective to adopt an intelligence-led approach based on information received from overseas counterparts to enforce against such suspected shipments, it said.

Simon Jim, the chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce's Committee on Intellectual Property Rights, told reporters at a news conference where the report was released, that fake goods don't just take revenue away from companies or governments. "They threaten the security of nations by supporting transnational crime syndicates and terrorist groups," he said.

Southeast Asian counterparts, except Brunei that did not feature in the index, ranked low on the table. The bottom three were Cambodia (23.9), Laos (12.9) and Myanmar (10.8). China, which carries a reputation of being a hub for counterfeit goods, had a score of 61.6.

Illicit trade is more than just counterfeit goods. Illicit trade includes guns, endangered species, endangered wildlife and trafficked humans, said author Chris Clague from the EIU. A lot of these other forms of illicit trade follow the same channels that counterfeit goods do, he said.

EIU said that rising labor costs in China could encourage manufacturers to look for cheaper sites, causing illicit trade to flow to developing Southeast Asian countries.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Toyota, Suzuki tying up in technology, ecology partnership

Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda.
(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP)
— Toyota, the world's top automaker, and Suzuki, a Japanese rival that specializes in tiny vehicles, are tying up in a partnership.

Both sides announced in a joint statement Wednesday they will study areas where they can work together in developing technology for the environment, safety and information networking. They said such areas are likely to benefit from a partnership since the industry is changing rapidly in those areas.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. said they will continue to compete in other ways. They expressed hopes other automakers will join the partnership to help work toward an industry standard in such areas.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda said survival depends on such collaborations, and it was not enough for a company to be doing just its own research.

"It is very important now to have partners who share the same goal and passion," he said.

Suzuki specializes in minicars, which benefit from tax breaks in Japan and are reputed to boast good mileage. But it has acknowledged problems with its emissions tests in Japan after Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said it had cheated on such tests.

Suzuki denied violating any laws, but the Japanese government ordered all automakers to re-examine their emissions tests after the Mitsubishi scandal.

Suzuki does not have a hybrid, electric car or fuel cell vehicle in its lineup.

Suzuki Chairman Osamu Suzuki stressed that he has been eager for such a partnership and had discussed it first with Toyoda's father, and Toyota's honorary chairman, Shoichiro Toyoda.

"Toyota is the industry-leading, and the most reliable company which is actively working on various advanced and future technologies," Suzuki said.

Toyota leads the world in selling gas-electric hybrids, headed by the Prius, and it is also working on fuel cells and electric vehicles. Emissions regulations are tightening around the world, amid growing concerns about the environment and global warming.

Toyota recalled 340,000 Prius cars around the world, 212,000 of them in Japan and 94,000 in North America, Wednesday for a defect in their parking brakes. Toyota said in a statement Thursday that it was not aware of any reports of accidents linked to the defect.

Self-driving cars also all the rage in the industry, although the use of artificial intelligence in cars on the roads has had mixed results. Toyota tends to be more cautious than its rivals in commercializing the technology, but all the world's automakers are competing intensely in that research.

Also Wednesday, Interbrand, a research company that ranks brands, found in its 2016 "Best Global Brands" report that Toyota was the first Asian company and the only automaker to break into the top five on the list that ranks the best brands.

Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/yuri-kageyama

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Janet Jackson confirms pregnancy at age 50

Janet Jackson accepts the ultimate icon: music dance visual award at the BET Awards in Los Angeles 2015. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Janet Jackson has confirmed she's pregnant at 50.

The star showed off her baby bump in a photo Wednesday, smiling in a white dress and cradling her belly.

She told People, "We thank God for our blessing."

In April, Jackson said she was postponing her Unbreakable World Tour the following month to focus on "planning" a family with husband Wissam Al Mana.

She has kept a low profile since but was recently spotted shopping for baby gear at a London furniture store.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Toyota recalls 340,000 Prius hybrid cars for faulty brakes

Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 340,000 gas-electric hybrid Prius cars around the world 212,000 of them in Japan and 94,000 in North America, for a defect in their parking brakes.

Japanese automaker Toyota said in a statement Thursday that it was not aware of any reports of accidents linked to the defect "as of Oct. 3, 2016," updating an earlier statement, in which it had said it was still looking into various reports.

Toyota said the parking brake cable can disengage unexpectedly, causing the brakes to stop working properly. So if the car is left in any gear other than park, it could start rolling away, and possibly crash.

In the recall announced Wednesday, Toyota said 17,000 Prius vehicles were recalled in Europe, and the rest in Australia and other regions. The problem models were manufactured from August 2015 through October 2016. Owners will receive notices starting next month.

The company said all the vehicles were manufactured at its Tsutsumi plant in Toyota city, Japan, the company's headquarters, one of a handful of plants around the world that make the Prius.

Toyota's brand suffered in 2009, when the company was embroiled in a massive global recall over quality lapses, including faulty brakes, defective floor mats and sticky gas pedals. Its brand power has bounced back since then, after the company, long known for high worker morale, reviewed its quality control.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Oct. 13, the 287th day of 2016. There are 79 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 13, 1792, the cornerstone of the executive mansion, later known as the White House, was laid during a ceremony in the District of Columbia.

On this date:

In A.D. 54, Roman Emperor Claudius I died, poisoned apparently at the behest of his wife, Agrippina (ag-rih-PEE'-nuh).

In 1775, the United States Navy had its origins as the Continental Congress ordered the construction of a naval fleet.

In 1843, the Jewish organization B'nai B'rith (buh-NAY' brith) was founded in New York City.

In 1932, President Herbert Hoover and Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes laid the cornerstone for the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington.

In 1944, during World War II, American troops entered Aachen, Germany.

In 1957, CBS-TV broadcast "The Edsel Show," a one-hour live special starring Bing Crosby designed to promote the new, ill-fated Ford automobile. (It was the first special to use videotape technology to delay the broadcast to the West Coast.)

In 1962, Edward Albee's four-character drama "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" opened on Broadway.

In 1966, actor-singer-dancer Clifton Webb, 76, died in Los Angeles.

In 1972, a Uruguayan chartered flight carrying 45 people crashed in the Andes; survivors resorted to feeding off the remains of some of the dead in order to stay alive until they were rescued more than two months later.

In 1981, voters in Egypt participated in a referendum to elect Vice President Hosni Mubarak (HAHS'-nee moo-BAH'-rahk) the new president, one week after the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

In 1999, the Senate rejected the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, with 48 senators voting in favor and 51 against, far short of the 67 needed for ratification. In Boulder, Colorado, the JonBenet Ramsey grand jury was dismissed after 13 months of work with prosecutors saying there wasn't enough evidence to charge anyone in the 6-year-old beauty queen's 1996 slaying.

In 2010, rescuers in Chile using a missile-like escape capsule pulled 33 men one by one to fresh air and freedom 69 days after they were trapped in a collapsed mine a half-mile underground.

Ten years ago: The United Nations General Assembly appointed South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon the next U.N. secretary-general. Banker Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh won the Nobel Peace Prize for using microcredit to lift people out of poverty. U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, pleaded guilty in an influence-peddling investigation of Congress. (Ney served nearly a year and a-half of his original 2 1/2-year prison sentence.) Arnold Palmer tearfully said it was time to stop playing competitive golf after withdrawing from a Champions Tour event in Spring, Texas, early in the first round.

Five years ago: Raj Rajaratnam (rahj rah-juh-RUHT'-nuhm), the hedge fund billionaire at the center of one of the biggest insider-trading cases in U.S. history, was sentenced by a federal judge in New York to 11 years behind bars. The Detroit Tigers took a 3-2 lead in the AL championship series, defeating the Texas Rangers 7-5. The Milwaukee Brewers tied the NL championship series at two games apiece with a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. American Jordyn Wieber won another gold medal, beating Russia's Viktoria Komova for the all-around title at the world gymnastics championships in Tokyo.

One year ago: Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders clashed over U.S. involvement in the Middle East, gun control and economic policy in the first Democratic presidential debate held in Las Vegas, but in a moment of political unity, Sanders leapt to Clinton's defense on the issue of her controversial email practices as secretary of state. Twitter announced it was laying off up to 336 employees. Playboy announced it would no longer run photos of completely naked women in its magazine. Former NBA and reality TV star Lamar Odom was hospitalized after he was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel.

Today's Birthdays: Gospel singer Shirley Caesar is 79. Actress Melinda Dillon is 77. Singer-musician Paul Simon is 75. Actress Pamela Tiffin is 74. Musician Robert Lamm (Chicago) is 72. Country singer Lacy J. Dalton is 70. Actor Demond Wilson is 70. Singer-musician Sammy Hagar is 69. Pop singer John Ford Coley is 68. Actor John Lone is 64. Model Beverly Johnson is 64. Producer-writer Chris Carter is 60. Actor Reggie Theus (THEE'-us) is 59. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., is 58. Singer Marie Osmond is 57. Rock singer Joey Belladonna is 56. Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer is 56. NBA coach Doc Rivers is 55. Actress T'Keyah Crystal Keymah (tuh-KEE'-ah KRYS'-tal kee-MAH') is 54. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice is 54. Actress Kelly Preston is 54. Country singer John Wiggins is 54. Actor Christopher Judge is 52. Actor Matt Walsh is 52. Actor Reginald Ballard is 51. Actress Kate Walsh is 49. Rhythm-and-blues musician Jeff Allen (Mint Condition) is 48. Actress Tisha Campbell-Martin is 48. Classical singer Carlos Marin (Il Divo) is 48. Olympic silver-medal figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is 47. Country singer Rhett Akins is 47. Classical crossover singer Paul Potts is 46. TV personality Billy Bush is 45. Actor Sacha Baron Cohen is 45. Rock musician Jan Van Sichem Jr. (K's Choice) is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singers Brian and Brandon Casey (Jagged Edge) are 41. Actress Kiele Sanchez is 40. NBA All-Star Paul Pierce is 39. DJ Vice is 38. Singer Ashanti (ah-SHAHN'-tee) is 36. Christian rock singer Jon Micah Sumrall (Kutless) is 36. Olympic gold medal swimmer Ian Thorpe is 34.

Thought for Today: "There are some things one can only achieve by a deliberate leap in the opposite direction. One has to go abroad in order to find the home one has lost." — Franz Kafka, author (1883-1924).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 


Airstrikes in Syria's Aleppo and shelling in south kill 20

Medical staff treating a girl in a hospital in the southern city of Daraa, Syria. (SANA via AP)

Rescue workers work the site of airstrikes in al-Mashhad neighborhood in the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria.(Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

(AP) — Airstrikes on rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo killed at least 14 people Tuesday, while the shelling of a government-held neighborhood in southern Syria hit a school, killing at least six, including children, opposition activists and state media said.

Syria's official news agency SANA also reported rare shelling of neighborhoods in the capital, Damascus, including several mortar shells fired by opposition groups based on the edge of the city that landed in the residential Qasaa district and close to the Umayyad Mosque, wounding an unspecified number of people.

Fighting on a number of fronts across the country has intensified in recent weeks following the collapse of a U.S. and Russian-brokered cease-fire.

The northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest and its former commercial center, has seen particularly fierce fighting, as pro-government forces try to capture neighborhoods in besieged opposition-held parts of the city.

The activist-operated Aleppo Today TV station and Qasioun news agency say bunker-busting bombs were used in an attack on the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood in rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

Other activist groups and a member of the Aleppo local council, Zakaria Amino, said rescue workers were searching for people under the rubble. Amino said bombs fell on a number of other rebel-held neighborhoods.

The opposition-held part of Aleppo has been battered by an intensive aerial campaign since last month, when the truce collapsed after just a week. Syrian pro-government forces are also conducting a ground offensive into the rebel-held districts, advancing slowly in the north, east and south of the city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the airstrikes on Aleppo killed at least 16 people, while the Local Coordination Committees said 14 were killed.

In the southern city of Daraa, where the conflict began following anti-government protests in March 2011, rebels fired rockets at government-held areas. One hit a primary school, killing six people — among them five children — and wounding 18 students, according to state-run news agency SANA. It said some of the wounded are in serious condition.

SANA posted a photo of a boy carried on a stretcher, his grey trousers stained with blood and his bandaged right hand on his stomach. Another photo showed a boy and a girl inside what appeared to be a hospital with IV drips in their arms.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


US to require safety valves on more gas lines

In this Nov. 24, 2012 file photo, inspectors assess damage around the area of a gas explosion that leveled a strip club in Springfield, Massachusetts.(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

Mathew Brown, Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — New or replaced gas service lines for hundreds of thousands of apartments and small businesses across the U.S. must be equipped with inexpensive safety valves starting next year, following deadly fires and explosions over decades that could have been avoided, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board and many advocates had pressed for years to broaden requirements for so-called excess flow valves, which can shut off gas automatically when a line is ruptured.

An Associated Press investigation in 2012 uncovered more than 270 accidents dating to 1968 that could have been averted or made less dangerous if the valves had been in place.

The valves were required for new, single-family homes beginning in 2009. Tuesday's move expands that mandate to include lines serving multiple homes, duplexes and small multi-family buildings, and shops ranging from doctor's offices and shopping centers to banks.

It does not require the valves on tens of millions of existing service lines. Those customers could request that valves be installed by their gas utility, but Tuesday's U.S Department of Transportation rule left it up to regulators to decide who will pay for the work.

The valves can cost about $30 apiece for residential use. The price can increase exponentially for retrofits of older lines, to hundreds or even thousands of dollars if a line runs beneath pavement or a sidewalk, according to utility industry representatives.

The valves don't prevent lines from being ruptured, such as when a backhoe doing excavation work slices through a gas pipe servicing an apartment building.

But by limiting the amount of gas that escapes, officials say the valves can prevent a buildup of fuel that can contribute to explosions or fires.

American Public Gas Association Vice President John Erickson said his group was generally supportive of the new rule. He added that feelings were mixed within the industry about how to pay for retrofits.

"It's really a question of whether it's the customer who requested it or it's spread among customers," Erickson said. "Some think that telling an individual they have to pay $1,200 or $1,500 to get a valve would be really bad publicity."

Other industry representatives opposed allowing customers to request excess flow valves on existing lines. Those decisions should be made by utilities that operate the lines, not their customers, The Northeast Gas Association said.

Federal safety officials have said the valves could have averted accidents that killed at least 10 people and injured many more since 1998.

Among those was a 2012 Springfield, Massachusetts, explosion that levelled a strip club, injured at least 20 people and damaged dozens of buildings. Others include a 2005 apartment building explosion that killed three people in Bergenfield, New Jersey, a 2002 explosion that injured 14 people in Wilmington, Delaware, and a 1999 blast that killed four and injured six in Bridgeport, Alabama.

The head of the Transportation Department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Marie Therese Dominguez, said the valves will result in greater protection for the public from leaks caused primarily by unsafe digging.

The rule also requires gas distribution companies to install curb valves - manually-operated shut-off valves located near the service main - or excess flow valves for larger-diameter lines to protect against uncontrolled gas releases from larger commercial and industrial users.

Out of more than 67 million gas service lines in the U.S., more than 9 million have excess flow valves, according to information previously submitted to regulators. A breakdown by type of customer was not available.

About 220,000 valves annually would be installed under the rule, according to Dominguez's agency.

Follow Matthew Brown on Twitter at https://twitter.com/matthewbrownap

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Samsung scraps Note 7, so what next for consumers?

Photo shows a damaged Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on a table.(Shawn L. Minter via AP)

Bree Fowler, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Samsung has officially scrapped the Note 7. So what's next for consumers?

Reports of battery fires first prompted a round of recalls followed by exchanges for what the company said were safer devices. Then Samsung was forced to junk the huge phone-bordering-on-tablet altogether after reports that the replacement phones were causing fires too. All of the major U.S. mobile carriers halted sales and trade ins.

So what's a Note 7 owner to do? Here are some answers to common questions:

___

I HAVE ONE OF THE REPLACEMENT PHONES. DO I REALLY NEED TO STOP USING IT?

Absolutely. The multiple investigations into replacement units catching fire and the fact Samsung has pulled the plug on the model should tell you something.

In addition, South Korean safety authorities said Tuesday that they may have found a new defect that may not be related to the batteries.

If you insist on using a Note 7 until obtaining a replacement, don't plug it in at night at your bedside, and don't give it to your kids. Use it at your own risk.

___

HOW BAD HAVE THE FIRES BEEN?

Social media are filled with pictures of smoldering phones. While dramatic, these occurrences are far from common. But you don't want to become the next headline.

Michael Klering of Nicholasville, Kentucky, says his replacement Note 7 caught fire while he was sleeping last week. The fire scorched a nightstand and filled his house with smoke that he says has caused his family to suffer breathing problems.

And when U.S. regulators announced their recall of the original Note 7s last month, they cited 92 reports of the batteries overheating in the U.S., including 26 reports of burns and 55 of property damage. The property damage included fires in cars and a garage.

___

DID I JUST WASTE NEARLY A THOUSAND DOLLARS ON THE NOTE 7?

Samsung has been slow to release specific information on the replacement phones. Its initial recall offered owners a refund, a replacement Note 7 or another Samsung phone such as the Galaxy S7 with a refund of any difference in price.

While the replacement phone isn't an option anymore, the offer of a refund or another model of Samsung phone still stands. All major U.S. carriers are also letting customers switch to another manufacturer's phone.

Customers who exchange a Note 7 for another Samsung product also get a $25 in the form of a gift card, in-store credit or bill credit from select carriers or retailers.

___

WHAT ABOUT ACCESSORIES?

It depends on the carrier. T-Mobile and AT&T, for instance, are giving full refunds on accessories.

Some Samsung gadgets, such as its Gear Fit2 fitness tracker, will work with other Android phones. The Gear VR virtual reality headset requires a recent Samsung phone, though.

___

I'D LIKE TO STICK WITH SAMSUNG. WHAT'S AVAILABLE?

The Galaxy S7, which came out in March, doesn't offer the same huge screen as the Note 7, but it has many of the same features. Notable exceptions are the Note 7's iris scanner and pen.

Samsung's Galaxy S8 is expected in February or March, making the S7 feel old already. Even older is last year's Note 5 (there was no Note 6).

It's unlikely that Samsung will try to push out the S8 earlier to fill the gap, as the company is dependent on parts that might not be ready until next year.

___

COULD OTHER PHONES CATCH FIRE?

Given consumer demand for batteries that are more powerful, last longer and charge faster, it's a little surprising that Note 7 is the only phone catching fire these days.

Not that long ago, some laptop batteries were going up in flames too.

The Note 7 is still being dissected by tech experts for Samsung and the government. They may find that the problem isn't with the battery at all.


Follow Bree Fowler at https://twitter.com/APBreeFowler . Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/bree-fowler .

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Officials partner with fishermen to assess Hawaii table fare

A Ehu, also known as a short-tail red snapper, is shown on a NOAA research vessel off Hawaii. (NOAA Fisheries via AP)

National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration biologist Benjamin Richards talks about an upcoming study of seven species of Hawaii’s deep-water bottom fish during a news conference on Ford Island near Honolulu. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

Caleb Jones, Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — Federal officials are embarking on a study of seven Hawaii fish species to assess the overall health of their populations.

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the start of the upcoming study at a news conference Tuesday on Ford Island. The survey will bring local commercial fishermen and scientists together to get a count of several species of deep-water grouper and snapper, which are popular table fare.

NOAA marine biologist Benjamin Richards, the survey's lead researcher, said that based on their last assessment the species are not currently doing well, but the bottom dwellers are popular with consumers, especially around the holidays.

"The bottom fish are the deep seven, the nice big red fish that you see at nice restaurants, that you see on your nice holiday platters" Richards said. "Our most recent stock assessment shows that the deep seven stock is not overfished. ... The data that we are collecting is to help ensure that continues for the future."

The last survey was done in 2014 using traditional methods. But this is a cooperative research project using new technology and commercial fishermen to create a comprehensive assessment of the bottom fish around the islands. Researchers will use deep-sea video technology as well as data provided by fishermen who will use standardized fishing techniques.

"This is the first operational mission where we will actually be collecting data that goes into the stock assessment," Richards said.

The commercial fisherman, who are using traditional line and hook methods for catching and recording their takes, are already at sea collecting data. The NOAA team will be doing its video analysis later this month, and the team should have conclusions by early next year. The information will be used for the 2018 assessment.

The data will be given to management officials so they can come up sustainable fisheries, Richards said.

The NOAA team is using a new, lightweight camera system that the team sinks to the bottom of the ocean and leaves for 15 minutes at a time. The highly light-sensitive cameras use no external lights so as to not scare away the fish that are there or to attract other fish to the area.

"It could bias the information that we get, so we're trying to be as stealthy as possible," Richards said.

The system, which has two cameras, can get an accurate count and measurement for the fish that are found. Researchers then use that data to assess the overall population health of the seven target species.


Find more stories by AP's Caleb Jones at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/caleb-jones Follow Jones on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CalebAP

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Oct. 12, the 286th day of 2016. There are 80 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 12, 1492 (according to the Old Style calendar), Christopher Columbus arrived with his expedition in the present-day Bahamas.

On this date:

In 1810, the German festival Oktoberfest was first held in Munich to celebrate the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

In 1870, General Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Virginia, at age 63.

In 1915, English nurse Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from occupied Belgium during World War I. Former President Theodore Roosevelt, speaking to the Knights of Columbus in New York, criticized native-born Americans who identified themselves by dual nationalities, saying that "a hyphenated American is not an American at all."

In 1933, bank robber John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of his gang, who killed the sheriff, Jess Sarber.

In 1942, during World War II, American naval forces defeated the Japanese in the Battle of Cape Esperance. Attorney General Francis Biddle announced during a Columbus Day celebration at Carnegie Hall in New York that Italian nationals in the United States would no longer be considered enemy aliens.

In 1964, the Soviet Union launched a Voskhod space capsule with a three-man crew on the first mission involving more than one crew member (the flight lasted just over 24 hours).

In 1976, it was announced in China that Hua Guofeng had been named to succeed the late Mao Zedong as chairman of the Communist Party; it was also announced that Mao's widow and three others, known as the "Gang of Four," had been arrested.

In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher escaped an attempt on her life when an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded at a hotel in Brighton, England, killing five people.

In 1986, the superpower meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, ended in stalemate, with President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev unable to agree on arms control or a date for a full-fledged summit in the United States.

In 1997, singer John Denver was killed in the crash of his privately built aircraft in Monterey Bay, California; he was 53.

In 2000, 17 sailors were killed in a suicide bomb attack on the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen.

In 2002, bombs blamed on al-Qaida-linked militants destroyed a nightclub on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people, including 88 Australians and seven Americans.

Ten years ago: The United States introduced a draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council to punish North Korea for its nuclear test. Suspected Shiite militiamen broke into an Iraqi television station and gunned down 11 executives, producers and other staffers. Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel prize in literature. Madonna and Guy Ritchie took custody of David Banda, a 1-year-old boy from Malawi, and received preliminary approval from a judge to adopt him. Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo ("The Battle of Algiers") died in Rome at age 86.

Five years ago: A Nigerian al-Qaida operative pleaded guilty to trying to bring down a jetliner with a bomb in his underwear; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (OO'-mahr fah-ROOK' ahb-DOOL'-moo-TAH'-lahb) defiantly told a federal judge in Detroit that he had acted in retaliation for the killing of Muslims worldwide. Eight people were killed in a shooting at a hair salon in Seal Beach, California. (Scott Dekraai, whose ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, was among the victims, pleaded guilty to murder in 2014, but has yet to be sentenced.) The Texas Rangers won Game 4 of the AL championship series, defeating the Detroit Tigers 7-3 for a 3-1 lead. The St. Louis Cardinals gained a 2-1 edge in the NL series as they beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3. Actress Patricia Breslin, 80, died in Baltimore.

One year ago: Princeton University's Angus Deaton won the Nobel prize in economics for work that helped redefine the way poverty was measured around the world, notably in India. Actress Joan Leslie, 90, died in Los Angeles. Jamie Zimmerman, a doctor and reporter with ABC News' medical unit, drowned while on vacation in Hawaii; she was 31.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Antonia Rey is 89. Comedian-activist Dick Gregory is 84. Former Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, is 84. Singer Sam Moore (formerly of Sam and Dave) is 81. Broadcast journalist Chris Wallace is 69. Actress-singer Susan Anton is 66. Rock singer-musician Pat DiNizio is 61. Pop/rock singer/songwriter Jane Siberry is 61. Actor Hiroyuki Sanada is 56. Actor Carlos Bernard is 54. Jazz musician Chris Botti (BOH'-tee) is 54. Rhythm-and-blues singer Claude McKnight (Take 6) is 54. Rock singer Bob Schneider is 51. Actor Hugh Jackman is 48. Actor Adam Rich is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Garfield Bright (Shai) is 47. Country musician Martie Maguire (Courtyard Hounds, The Dixie Chicks) is 47. Actor Kirk Cameron is 46. Olympic gold medal skier Bode Miller is 39. Rock singer Jordan Pundik (New Found Glory) is 37. Actor Brian J. Smith is 35. Actor Tyler Blackburn is 30. Actor Marcus T. Paulk is 30. Actor Josh Hutcherson is 24.

Thought for Today: "To know one's self is wisdom, but not to know one's neighbors is genius." โ€? Minna Antrim, American writer (1861-1950).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


 


DAILY UPDATE

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Today in History - Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016

Sprinter explores ways to mentor youth after daughter' death

Overloaded train derails in Cameroon, killing at least 53

Philippine president says he won't sever ties with US

Wonder Woman named a special UN ambassador, despite protests

Today in History - Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016


France warns UK premier of tough time ahead in Brexit talks

UN urges greater investment in the world's 10-year-old girls

EU leaders lash Russia over Syria but split on sanctions

US confirms 11th death due to Takata air bags

Today in History - Friday, Oct. 21, 2016


Leaders agree to create 'road map' for Ukraine peace process

Syrian forces prepare corridors out of Aleppo

Tesla equipping cars to drive completely on their own

US says it detected failed NKorean missile launch

Today in History - Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016


China economic growth holds steady as retail spending rises

No-brainer: $300K campaign to rescue Dorothy's ruby slippers

Roman coins ID'd in Japanese ruins, but their origin baffles

Chinese astronauts enter space station following docking

Today in History - Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016


Russia sets brief cease-fire for Aleppo as strikes kill 36

Rocket launch reignites space station deliveries in Virginia

UN announces agreement on 72-hour Yemen cease-fire

Vietnam braces for Typhoon Sarika as flood toll rises to 31

Today in History - Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016


Defense chief calls Iraqi offensive moment to defeat IS

China launches manned mission to experimental space station

Pyongyang's latest fad: Sightseeing in ultralight airplanes

Australian company says 18 employees questioned in China

Today in History - Monday, Oct. 17, 2016


Today in History - Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016

7 coal miners dead in China after gas explosion

Helen Mirren calls on women to change the future by voting

3 arrested in alleged bomb plot targeting Somalis in Kansas

NASA spacecraft's next close pass to Jupiter delayed

Today in History - Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016


Samsung Note 7 recall to cost at least $5.3 billion

Dylan book sales soar after Nobel announcement

Disability rights group sues Uber over wheelchair access

ICC prosecutor warns Philippine authorities over killings

Today in History - Friday, Oct. 14, 2016


Singapore scores poorly in ability to prevent illicit trade

Toyota, Suzuki tying up in technology, ecology partnership

Janet Jackson confirms pregnancy at age 50

Toyota recalls 340,000 Prius hybrid cars for faulty brakes

Today in History - Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016


Airstrikes in Syria's Aleppo and shelling in south kill 20

US to require safety valves on more gas lines

Samsung scraps Note 7, so what next for consumers?

Officials partner with fishermen to assess Hawaii table fare

Today in History - Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016

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