AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST
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Trump says US 'cannot afford' Roy Moore loss in Alabama
PENSACOLA, Florida (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday urged voters to elect a Republican Senate candidate in Alabama who has been dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct, warning that America "cannot afford" to have a Democrat win the hard-fought campaign instead.
Trump gave a boost to the campaign of GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore during a raucous campaign rally in the Florida panhandle, near the state line with Alabama.
"Get out and vote for Roy Moore. Do it. Do it," Trump told the crowd.
"We cannot afford, the future of this country cannot afford to lose the seat," Trump said, referring to his party's razor-thin 52-48 advantage in that chamber of Congress.
Trump said Moore's opponent, Doug Jones, is a "liberal Democrat" who would be "completely controlled" by Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi in the House and Chuck Schumer in the Senate.
Ex-aide: Rep. Franks offered $5m to carry his child
WASHINGTON (AP) — A former aide to Republican Rep. Trent Franks has told The Associated Press the congressman repeatedly pressed her to carry his child, at one point offering her $5 million to act as a surrogate mother.
The eight-term lawmaker abruptly resigned Friday, bowing to an ultimatum from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Ryan told Franks that he would refer the allegations to the Ethics Committee and urged him to step aside.
The former staffer said the congressman at least four times asked if she'd be willing to act as a surrogate in exchange for money. Franks, in his statement announcing his resignation, said he and his wife, who have struggled with infertility, have twins who were carried through surrogacy.
The former aide said the conversations took place in private, sometimes in the congressman's car, and that she repeatedly told him she wasn't interested. She said she never filed a formal complaint because until recently she didn't know where to go, but that his
The Associated Press verified the identity of the staffer and confirmed that she worked in Franks' office. She asked that her name be withheld out of concern for her privacy,.
Trainers rushed to save terrified horses as flames closed in
BONSALL, Calif. (AP) — A routine day at an elite training
Turned loose by their trainers in a last-ditch effort to save their lives, the huge, muscular animals, their eyes wide with fear, charged through thick smoke and past dancing flames.
While hundreds made it to the safety of a nearby racetrack, others galloped in circles, unsure which way to run. Still others, too frightened to leave their paddocks, stayed there and died.
Workers at San Luis Rey Downs said an estimated 30 to 40 horses perished Thursday in the wildfire still raging out of control north of San Diego on Friday. At least two stable workers were injured, and their conditions were not immediately known.
Trainers described a terrifying scene that erupted at the facility Thursday afternoon, recalling how only minutes after smelling smoke, they saw flames roaring down a nearby hillside.
Moore accuser: Expert confirmed his 1977 yearbook signature
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An attorney for a woman who says Roy Moore assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old waitress says a handwriting expert has confirmed that his inscription in her 1977 yearbook is authentic. Moore's campaign says the accuser's admission that she added the time and place of Moore's yearbook inscription in her own handwriting undermines her entire story.
Beverly Nelson's high school yearbook has become key evidence supporting her claim that the 34-year-old prosecutor was a regular at the Olde Hickory House restaurant where she worked as a teenager — and where she says he attacked her in his car after she accepted his offer of a ride home one cold winter night.
Moore has denied knowing Nelson, or the restaurant in Gadsden, for that matter.
With just days to go before Tuesday's voting in Moore's Senate race against Democrat Doug Jones, his campaign has been roiled by this and other accusations of sexual misconduct decades ago.
Moore has aggressively sought to discredit his accusers, suggesting that both establishment Republicans and liberals are behind the claims. Moore has posted on Twitter frequently about the yearbook, calling his signature a forgery.
American evangelist leads rare event in communist Vietnam
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — More than 10,000 Vietnamese filled up a stadium in a rare Christian evangelistic event led by the Rev. Franklin Graham, who said he wants the communist government to consider Christians its best citizens.
Despite sweeping economic reforms over the past 30 years that made Vietnam one of the fasting growing countries in the region, the ruling Communist Party maintains strict control over all aspects of society, from media to religions. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 100 Vietnamese are in prison for peaceful religious and political activities.
Graham told The Associated Press that the prayer rally in Hanoi on Friday was unprecedented in size for Vietnam and the government did not attach any conditions for the event, which took a year a organize. Authorities granted permission last week, he said.
"This is unprecedented really for us and for the government," Graham said. "We don't want to do anything that would embarrass the government or the people of Vietnam. Again we're guests, the government has not told me what to say or not say. I'm going to talk about God we are not here to talk about politics."
Graham said he hoped the government through the event will see Christianity in a different way.
Angry worshippers lash out against Trump across Muslim world
JERUSALEM (AP) — Large crowds of worshippers across the Muslim world staged anti-U.S. marches Friday, some stomping on posters of Donald Trump or burning American flags in the largest outpouring of anger yet at the U.S. president's recognition of bitterly contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
In the holy city itself, prayers at Islam's third-holiest site dispersed largely without incident, but Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops in several dozen West Bank hotspots and on the border with the Gaza Strip.
Israeli warplanes struck Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip Friday in response to a rocket fired from the zone that Israel's military said was intercepted by its Iron Dome missile-
The Palestinian health ministry said at least 15 people were injured in Friday's air strikes.
Earlier, a 30-year-old Gaza man was killed by Israeli gunfire, the first death of a protester since Trump's dramatic midweek announcement. Two Palestinians were seriously wounded, health officials said.
New Mexico school shooter left note plotting attack, suicide
AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — A 21-year-old gunman who disguised himself as a student to get into a New Mexico high school where he killed two students had caught the attention of U.S. investigators more than a year ago, authorities said Friday.
William Atchison, a former student at small-town Aztec High School, had legally purchased a handgun at a local store a month ago and planned the attack, authorities said. He left a message on a thumb drive found on his body that detailed his plan to wait until the students got off buses and made their way to class.
He mingled with students, then walked into school with them and went into a second-floor bathroom to "gear up." Atchison's plan was to shoot up a classroom and then kill himself.
"Work sucks, school sucks, life sucks. I just want out of this (expletive)," he wrote.
More lives could have been lost had Francisco I. Fernandez not walked into the bathroom, authorities said. The gunman shot Fernandez, then walked out into the hallway and encountered the second victim, Casey J. Marquez. He immediately killed her.
Southern snowfall isn't deep, but many fear overnight freeze
ATLANTA (AP) — Snowfall blanketed parts of the Deep South on Friday, delighting schoolchildren with an unexpected holiday but also reviving panicky memories for many adults of past storms that trapped commuters on interstates for hours.
Businesses closed and commuters left work early as snow mixed with rain fell in downtown Atlanta, jamming traffic on slushy roads far ahead of the usual rush hour.
"We're surprised that this little snowfall would cause this much disruption to the entire city," said Lucas Rachow, who stood outside with several colleagues as they waited for a ride to the airport.
Rachow was heading home to Switzerland after a business meeting and said he didn't know if his flight had been
The National Weather Service said just 1 to 2 inches (3-5
Blood test may help predict which breast cancers will recur
A blood test five years after breast cancer treatment helped identify some women who were more likely to relapse, long before a lump or other signs appeared, a preliminary study found.
It was the largest experiment so far to use these tests, called liquid biopsies , for breast cancer. Results suggest they someday may help reveal which women need longer preventive therapy and which ones can be spared it.
"It could be providing an early warning sign" for some women that cancer is returning, said Dr. Joseph Sparano of Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care in New York.
On the other hand, "if you had a negative test, there was a 98
Sparano led the study and gave results Friday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Star Wars cast reflects on Carrie Fisher's and Leia's legacy
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Carrie Fisher may have been the "madcap Auntie Mame" to Mark Hamill's "square" homebody, but despite their differences, the Star Wars siblings got along famously right till the end.
While both skyrocketed to celebrity with their Star Wars roles in 1977 and remained inextricably linked through their on-screen family, Hamill says he missed a lot of Fisher's life — during "the Bryan Lourd years" and when her daughter Billie Lourd was an infant. That's why, even before her untimely death last year, he felt especially grateful to just get to spend time with his friend during the filming of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
"I'd see her periodically during charity events or when there were Star Wars celebrations and so forth. But this was the first time where we could really hang and enjoy each other. Even if I wasn't shooting I was coming in for stunt training and this or that, hair tests, coming into her trailer and hanging out with her and (her dog) Gary," Hamill said. "There was a comfort level we'd developed over all these years. She knew me. She knew I hadn't really changed. She knew I wasn't out to get something."
Fisher was apparently beloved by all in the cast, both for who she was and what the character of Leia meant to them. Her death at age 60 came after filming had finished and deep into post-production, but presented a bit of a conundrum for the filmmakers who had anticipated Leia being part of the next film too.
"The Last Jedi" writer-director Rian Johnson said he ultimately didn't end up changing anything about her role in this installment, which is the eighth in the Star Wars films about the lives and adventures of the Skywalker clan. That'll be something J.J. Abrams will have to grapple with in Episode IX, in which Fisher was meant to have a much more prominent role.