Suddenly unsure on immigration, Trump trying to clear it up
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — It’s been the driving issue of Donald Trump’s campaign. Build a wall along the southern border. Make Mexico pay for it. And expel everyone living in the U.S. illegally with the help of a “deportation force.”
Ten weeks before the election, however, buffeted by conflicting advice from aides and advisers, Trump has seemed to be in full indecision mode.
At a Fox News town hall tall taping last week, in the face of pressing questions, he proceeded to poll the audience at length on the fate of an estimated 11 million people.
Trump is now planning a major speech Wednesday, during which he’s expected to finally clarify his stance. Supporters are hoping for a strong, decisive showing. But for critics, many already disposed to vote against him, his wavering on what has been his signature issue seems like a warning that he’s unable to handle a central element of any president’s job — making decisions.
It also underscores how little his Republican campaign has invested in the nitty-gritty of outlining what he would do as president, especially when compared with the more detailed plans of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
Clinton aide Abedin dumps husband Weiner over new scandal
NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is done playing the good wife to Anthony Weiner, announcing Monday she is leaving the serially sexting ex-congressman after he was accused of sending raunchy photos and messages to yet another woman.
Abedin, who as vice chair of Clinton’s campaign is destined for big things if the Democrat is elected president, stayed with Weiner after a sexting scandal led him to resign from Congress in 2011 and after a new outbreak of online misbehavior wrecked his bid for New York mayor in 2013. She didn’t leave even when a recent documentary blew up tense moments in their marriage to big-screen proportions.
But on Monday, she effectively declared she had had enough.
“After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband,” she said in a statement issued by the campaign. “Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life.”
The New York Post published photos late Sunday that it said Weiner had sent last year to a woman identified only as a “40-something divorcee” who lives in the West and supports Republican Donald Trump. The photos included two close-ups of Weiner’s bulging underpants.
Brazil’s Rousseff defends self ahead of Senate’s ouster vote
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — On what could prove to be her last day as Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff mounted a forceful defense of her time leading Latin America’s most populous nation, warning senators that ousting her would hurt a young democracy while defiantly promising to go down fighting in what many see as a losing battle.
Rousseff, who has been suspended since May, delivered a 30-minute address Monday at her impeachment trial in the Senate, then sat for questioning by senators that ran for more than 14 hours, until just before midnight. The Senate was scheduled to begin proceedings for a final vote on whether to remove her permanently Tuesday.
Some exchanges were heated, but most were civil and traversed themes that the country has been wrestling with since an impeachment measure was introduced in the lower House of Deputies late last year, polarizing the nation.
Opposition senators accused Rousseff of breaking fiscal responsibility laws to hide holes in the federal budget, saying that exacerbated a recession that has led to 10 percent inflation and daily announcements of layoffs.
She called that nonsense, contending she broke no laws and noting previous presidents used similar accounting measures. She said she was forced to make tough choices on the budget in the face of declining revenues and a refusal by opponents in Congress to work with her.
Actor Gene Wilder, star of Mel Brooks movies, dies at 83
Gene Wilder, the frizzy-haired actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such unforgettable roles as the neurotic accountant in “The Producers” and the mad scientist of “Young Frankenstein,” has died. He was 83.
Wilder’s nephew said Monday that the actor and writer died late Sunday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. No funeral arrangements have been announced.
Jordan Walker-Pearlman said in a statement that Wilder was diagnosed with the disease three years ago, but kept the condition private so as not to disappoint fans.
Wilder started his acting career on the stage, but millions knew him from his work in the movies, especially his collaborations with Mel Brooks on “The Producers,” ”Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein.” The last film — with Wilder playing a California-born descendant of the mad scientist, insisting that his name is pronounced “Frahn-ken-SHTEEN” — was co-written by Brooks and Wilder and earned the pair an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay.
“Gene Wilder, one of the truly great talents of our time, is gone,” Brooks wrote in a statement Monday. “He blessed every film we did together with his special magic and he blessed my life with his friendship. He will be so missed.”
Kaepernick’s decision to sit through anthem scrutinized
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — From the White House to San Francisco police union headquarters, Colin Kaepernick’s name came up Monday as his decision to sit down during the national anthem reached far beyond football.
And many aren’t thrilled with the 49ers quarterback’s strong words about why he is doing it : To instigate change and challenge authority when it comes to race relations and what he considers police brutality.
Even his former coach, outspoken Michigan leader Jim Harbaugh, chimed in from afar in disagreement with Kaepernick’s tactics — clarifying some earlier remarks that questioned the quarterback’s motivation.
“I apologize for misspeaking my true sentiments. To clarify, I support Colin’s motivation. It’s his method of action that I take exception to,” Harbaugh posted on Twitter.
A day after Kaepernick called Donald Trump “openly racist,” the Republican presidential candidate fired back on Seattle’s KIRO radio.
North Carolina warily watching 2 tropical weather systems
RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) — Beachgoers, boat captains and business owners on North Carolina’s Outer Banks warily eyed a potent tropical weather system Monday that could rain out one of the last busy weeks of the summer.
The first system was expected by forecasters to become a tropical storm before brushing the North Carolina coast Tuesday, bringing heavy rain and high winds to barrier islands popular for serene beaches.
Another tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico could hit northern Florida as a tropical storm later in the week and possibly head toward the Atlantic coast, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. They cautioned that the storm’s exact path remained uncertain days in advance.
Coastal Dare County in North Carolina could face winds of up to 45 mph with higher gusts and heavy rain that could flood low-lying areas from through Wednesday, according to an emergency management news release. To the south, Carteret County officials also warned of flooding and advised residents to monitor forecasts.
A tropical storm warning was issued for areas of the coast from Cape Lookout to the Oregon Inlet along the Outer Banks.
2 slain nuns remembered for helping the needy
DURANT, Miss. (AP) — Hundreds of people filled a cathedral in Mississippi’s capital city on Monday to remember two nuns who spent decades helping the needy and were found stabbed to death last week in their home in one of the poorest counties of the state.
Bail was denied during the initial court appearance for the man charged with two counts of capital murder in the slayings of Sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill, both 68. Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, of Kosciusko, Mississippi, was also charged with one count of burglary and one count of grand larceny. He was not represented by an attorney during his appearance Monday afternoon in Durant city court. City Judge Jim Arnold said the state will appoint an attorney for Sanders.
Capital murder is punishable by execution or life in prison; the sisters’ religious orders have issued a joint statement against the death penalty.
“We are going to consider the heinous nature of the crime and their wishes,” District Attorney Akillie Malone-Oliver said Monday, referring to the families of the sisters and their religious orders.
Sanders confessed to the killings but gave no reason, said Holmes County Sheriff Willie March, who was briefed by Durant police and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation officials who took part in Sanders’ interrogation. Sanders had been living about 15 miles east of the sisters’ Durant home. He has been held at an undisclosed jail since his arrest late Friday.
Airport scare hard to avoid with cascade of false reports
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In the moments before reports of gunshots spread panic at Los Angeles International Airport, police with weapons drawn had confronted a masked man outside a terminal who was carrying a plastic sword and dressed like Zorro.
Authorities have now determined there were no gunshots. The only people at the airport with guns Sunday night were officers, but false reports of an active shooter triggered a ripple of chaos that sent frantic travelers racing to the street and onto the tarmac.
As police tried Monday to sort out the cause of the disruption, experts said the incident — the second of its kind at a major U.S. airport in two weeks — highlights one of the challenges faced by airports at a time of terrorism and frequent unsubstantiated reports.
“You can’t always avoid them, and when they occur you need to respond as if it’s a legitimate attack every single time,” said Anthony Roman, who runs a security consulting firm in Lynbrook, New York. “There are false alarms. There are pranksters who pull fire alarms, and we evacuate right away because we’re all terrified of fire.”
Investigators were focusing on what prompted the first of several 911 calls from multiple terminals, airport police officer Rob Pedregon said. The initial call came from Terminal 8 around 8:45 p.m. — about five minutes after officers detained the man dressed as Zorro.
Slain New Mexico girl’s relatives mystified over mom’s role
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Michelle Martens kept her new relationship with a man convicted of child endangerment a secret from friends and family for weeks — as she helped plan her daughter’s 10th birthday party, sent the girl off daily to the school bus and held down her job at a local grocery store.
Now relatives and friends of the 35-year-old single mother are trying to figure out why they never knew about her involvement with the boyfriend and her invitation for his cousin who is a convicted felon to live in her apartment.
Court records show all three face charges in the death of Victoria Martens, who was expected to celebrate her 10th birthday the day her body was found last week after police say she was drugged, raped and killed in the apartment as her mother watched.
“Whatever demons she had we don’t know because she didn’t share them with us,” said Laura Bobbs, who lived in Martens’ apartment complex for five years and now serves as a spokeswoman for Victoria’s relatives. “I should have been the one to see all this and I didn’t.”
An officer responding to a report of a pre-dawn Aug. 24 disturbance at the apartment found Victoria’s remains in a bathtub, partially wrapped in a blanket that had been set on fire.
Human Rights Watch: Palestinians abuse media, activists
JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian authorities are silencing dissent by cracking down on free speech and abusing local journalists and activists critical of their policies, a leading international human rights group said Tuesday.
Human Rights Watch said both the Western-backed Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank and its rival, the ruling Islamic militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, are “arresting, abusing, and criminally charging journalists and activists who express peaceful criticism of the authorities.”
In 2007, Hamas ousted Abbas’ Fatah forces from Gaza in bloody street battles, leaving the Palestinians divided between two governments. Attempts at reconciliation have repeatedly failed, and both Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority have periodically launched crackdowns against their rivals in efforts to consolidate power.
“The Palestinian governments in both Gaza and the West Bank are arresting and even physically abusing activists and journalists who express criticism on important public issues,” said Sari Bashi, the Israel and Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch.
HRW said that in the West Bank, Palestinian forces arrested activists and musicians who “ridiculed Palestinian security forces” and “accused the government of corruption” in statements posted on Facebook or stated in graffiti and rap songs.