AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT
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Officials: White nationalist rally linked to 3 deaths
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally Saturday in a Virginia college town, killing one person, hurting more than a dozen others and ratcheting up tension in a day full of violent confrontations.
Shortly after, a Virginia State Police helicopter that officials said was assisting with the rally crashed outside Charlottesville, killing the pilot and a trooper.
The chaos boiled over at what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade. The governor declared a state of emergency, and police dressed in riot gear ordered people out. The group had gathered to protest plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and others arrived to protest the racism.
Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, said several hundred counter-protesters were marching when "suddenly there was just this tire screeching sound." A silver Dodge Challenger smashed into another car, then backed up,
The impact hurled people into the air. Those left standing scattered, screaming and running for safety in different directions.
North Korea still mastering how to deliver a nuke to US
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence officials are pretty sure North Korea can put a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental missile that could reach the United States. But experts aren't convinced the bomb could make it all that way intact.
They cite lingering questions about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's nuclear know-how.
"I don't think North Korea has a good measure of how accurate the missile is at this point," said Michael Elleman, an expert with the International Institute for Strategic Studies. "They don't know if the re-entry technologies will really hold up — whether the bomb will survive the trip."
North Korea has short-range missiles that can hit its
The North must conduct more tests to master what is known as "re-entry" in missile parlance, experts believe. The process involves shielding a nuclear warhead from the high temperatures and force it faces when it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere at about 15,500 mph (7
Trump blames 'many sides' for violent clashes in Virginia
BEDMINSTER, N.J. (AP) — President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed "many sides" for the violent clashes between protesters and white supremacists in Virginia and contended that the "hatred and bigotry" broadcast across the country had taken root long before his political ascendancy.
That was not how the Charlottesville mayor assessed the chaos that led the governor to declare a state of emergency, contending that Trump's campaign fed the flames of prejudice.
Trump, on a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, had intended to speak briefly at a ceremony marking the signing of bipartisan legislation to aid veterans, but he quickly found that those plans were overtaken by the escalating violence in the Virginia college town. One person died and at least 26 others were sent to the hospital after a car plowed into a group of peaceful anti-racist counterprotesters amid days of race-fueled marches and violent clashes.
And officials later linked the deaths of two people aboard a crashed helicopter to the protests, though they did not say how they were linked.
Speaking slowly from a podium set up in the golf clubhouse, Trump said that he had just spoken to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va. "We agreed that the hate and the division must stop, and must stop right now. We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and ... true affection for each other," he said.
White House's Omarosa Manigault jeered during panel talk
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — White House official Omarosa Manigault-Newman clashed with a veteran news anchor during a panel discussion on policing in black communities held at the largest gathering of black journalists in the country.
The director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison was a late addition to the Friday afternoon panel at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in New Orleans.
Her conversation with anchor Ed Gordon became testy when he attempted to question Manigault-Newman on President Donald Trump's policies around policing in communities of
The conversation quickly escalated into a tense exchange before Manigault-Newman, a former "Apprentice" contestant, left the stage. Several people in the audience, which included non-journalists, turned their backs in protest during the discussion.
Lawmaker seeks probe after AP reveals maggots in NY facility
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state lawmaker is demanding a federal investigation into New York state's care for the disabled following a recent Associated Press story that revealed the case of a man infested with maggots in a state-run group home.
Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, of Utica, told the AP on Saturday that he is asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate the group home and other state-regulated facilities for the disabled where there have been allegations of abuse and neglect.
"It's clear from seeing this that New York state cannot be relied on to police itself," said Brindisi, who is running for Congress. "When you have thousands of cases (of abuse and neglect) happening across the state — this being one of the most egregious — we must give some reassurance to families that their loved ones are being taken care of."
The call for a federal probe comes after the AP published a story Thursday showing that it's often easier to find health and safety information for local restaurants than it is to learn about conditions at facilities serving approximately 1 million of the state's most vulnerable residents.
Forty-one-year-old Steven Wenger was twice found to have maggots crawling around his breathing tube in a state-owned and -operated small group home in Rome, New York, last summer. Wenger cannot walk, talk or feed himself after suffering severe brain trauma in a 1991 car crash.
Trump's verbal shots against McConnell complicate his agenda
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump's attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell come at the worst possible time, if the president's goal is actually to advance his agenda on health care, infrastructure and taxes that he's goading his GOP ally to pass.
Congress, now on summer break, will return next month to confront a brutal workload that includes two absolute must-do items: funding the government to head off a shutdown, and raising the federal borrowing limit to avert a potentially catastrophic first-ever default on U.S. obligations.
Both will require bipartisan
That's in addition to Trump's demand for a tax rewrite to lower rates, a public works bill, and renewed efforts to repeal the Obama-era health law. McConnell, R-Ky., tried but failed last month to replace the Affordable Care Act — an outcome that Trump called "a disgrace."
So the president's rhetoric this past week has widened divisions at a moment when his party should try to work together on shared goals. His agenda only can pass if McConnell navigates it through the Senate. The veteran lawmaker may not feel more motivated to do that with his president working against him.
Texas Senate OKs restricting insurance coverage for abortion
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Republican-controlled Texas Senate backed a plan Saturday night to restrict insurance coverage for abortions, over the objections of opponents who expressed concern it could force some women to make heart-wrenching choices because no exceptions will be made in cases of rape and incest.
The 20-10 party-line vote for preliminary approval requires women to purchase extra insurance to cover abortions except amid medical emergencies. A final vote Sunday will see the measure clear the chamber, meaning it's now on a fast-track to Gov. Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign it into law.
Legislators debated other bills limiting insurance coverage for abortion during Texas' regular session that ended in May, but Abbott called a special session and revived the issue.
Ten states already have laws restricting insurance coverage of abortion in all private insurance plans: Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Utah. All make exceptions if the mother's life is endangered; only Indiana and Utah also make exceptions for rape and incest.
"Texas must take steps to prohibit taxpayer and premium dollars from subsidizing abortions that are not medically necessary," said Sen. Brandon Creighton, a Republican from Conroe, near Houston.
After 6 months on job, education chief still highly divisive
WASHINGTON (AP) — Among the paintings and photographs that decorate Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' sunlit, spacious office is the framed roll call from her Senate confirmation. It's a stark reminder of the bruising process that spurred angry protests, some ridicule and required the
Six months on the job, DeVos is no less divisive.
Critics see her as hostile to public education and indifferent to civil rights, citing her impassioned push for school choice and her signing off on the repeal of some protections for LGBT students.
Conservatives wish she had been less polarizing and more effective in promoting her agenda, noting that the department's budget requests are stalled in Congress and no tangible school choice plan has emerged.
DeVos is undeterred.
Taylor Swift groping trial draws attention to hidden outrage
DENVER (AP) — Taylor Swift's allegation that a former morning radio host reached under her skirt and grabbed her backside during a photo op is bringing attention to a common but largely hidden outrage for many women, one that few report.
A 2014 survey found nearly 1 in 4 women in the United States had been groped or brushed up against in a public place by a stranger at least once.
But many never talked about it, let alone went to the police. A 2015 survey of more than 16,000 people globally found more than half of the respondents outside the U.S. had been fondled or groped.
The then-girlfriend of former DJ David Mueller, who was standing with Mueller and Swift when the singer says he groped her, even testified that a co-worker had grabbed her backside at another concert.
Mueller denies groping Swift and sued the singer, saying he was fired because of her false allegation.
LA deputies' private body cams raise transparency questions
LOS ANGELES (AP) — America's largest sheriff's department still lacks a policy for body cameras after years of studying the issue, so hundreds — perhaps thousands — of its deputies have taken matters into their own hands and bought the cameras themselves.
It's reassuring for those Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who have the devices, which sell for about $100 online, but it raises a host of thorny questions about transparency. Chief among them: How can the public be assured critical footage will be shared if there are no policies for what gets disclosed?
"It's a recipe for disaster," said Melanie Ochoa, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. "I would imagine officers would be quite willing to turn it over if it paints them in a good light, but what is the access if it does not?"
Nearly every large U.S. police department has a policy for officers who wear body cameras, and it has become somewhat common to see video from these cameras emerge — sometimes due to court orders — following high-profile shootings and other clashes.
An estimated 20