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AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

‘Big and vicious’: Hurricane Florence closes in on Carolinas

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Motorists streamed inland on highways converted to one-way evacuation routes Tuesday as about 1.7 million people in three states were warned to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a hair-raising storm taking dead aim at the Carolinas with 140 mph (225 kph) winds and potentially ruinous rains.

Florence was expected to blow ashore late Thursday or early Friday, then slow down and wring itself out for days, unloading 1 to 2½ feet (0.3 to 0.6 meters) of rain that could cause flooding well inland and wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

Forecasters and politicians pleaded with the public to take the warnings seriously and minced no words in describing the threat.

“This storm is a monster. It’s big and it’s vicious. It is an extremely dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

He added: “The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you’ve ever seen. Even if you’ve ridden out storms before, this one is different. Don’t bet your life on riding out a monster.”

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Hurricane Florence has ingredients that make experts worry

WASHINGTON (AP) — To whip up a monstrous storm like the one chugging for the Carolinas you need a handful of ingredients — and Florence has them all.

Warmer than normal sea temperatures to add energy and rain to a storm. Check.

A wind pattern that allows a storm to get strong and stay strong. Check.

Higher sea levels to make a storm surge worse. Check.

A storm covering enormous area, to drench and lash more people. Check.

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Gay man, ex-single mom highlight New Hampshire primary wins

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Democrats on Tuesday nominated a former state senator who emphasized her single-mom background as governor and a gay man who worked his way up through local politics as their nominee for Congress in a key swing district.

Former state Sen. Molly Kelly defeated former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and will face Republican Gov. Chris Sununu in November. Sununu, in his first term, faced no primary opposition.

Executive Councilor Chris Pappas won an 11-way race for the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional district, where Democrat Carol Shea-Porter’s decision to step down after four nonconsecutive terms resulted in a swarm of candidates seeking to replace her. They included Levi Sanders, son of Vermont senator and former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, who came up short.

The district, which covers the eastern half of the state, was once reliably Republican but has flipped in each of the past four cycles. In 2016, it returned Shea-Porter to Congress but backed President Donald Trump.

On the crowded Democratic side, former Obama administration official Maura Sullivan raised more money than the other 10 candidates combined, but she’s faced criticism for being both new to the state and voting in general. She moved to the state last year, and acknowledged not voting in several recent elections.

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US marks 9/11 with somber tributes; Trump speaks at PA site

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans looked back on 9/11 Tuesday with tears and somber tributes as President Donald Trump hailed “the moment when America fought back” on one of the hijacked planes used as weapons in the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

Victims’ relatives said prayers for their country, pleaded for national unity and pressed officials not to use the 2001 terror attacks as a political tool in a polarized nation.

Seventeen years after losing her husband, Margie Miller came from her suburban home to join thousands of relatives, survivors, rescuers and others on a misty morning at the memorial plaza where the World Trade Center’s twin towers once stood.

“To me, he is here. This is my holy place,” she said before the hours-long reading of the names of her husband, Joel Miller, and the nearly 3,000 others killed when hijacked jets slammed into the towers, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.

The president and first lady Melania Trump joined an observance at the Sept. 11 memorial near Shanksville, where one of the jetliners crashed after 40 passengers and crew members realized what was happening and several passengers tried to storm the cockpit.

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AP FACT CHECK: Obama was harsh against leakers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama’s recent denunciation of President Donald Trump’s treatment of the press overlooks the aggressive steps the Justice Department took to keep information from the public when he was president. Obama also made a problematic claim that Republican “sabotage” has cost 3 million people their health insurance.

With his return to the political donnybrook on behalf of Democrats in the November elections, Obama has brought a once-familiar style back into the discourse. It’s measured, nuanced and distinct from the torrent of misstatements from Trump. That doesn’t mean Obama always tells the story straight.

Obama campaigned in Illinois and California last week, with more politicking planned. Here’s a look at some of his remarks:

OBAMA: “It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say that we don’t threaten the freedom of the press because they say things or publish stories we don’t like. I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down or call them enemies of the people.” — rally Friday at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

THE FACTS: Trump may use extraordinary rhetoric to undermine trust in the press, but Obama arguably went farther — using extraordinary actions to block the flow of information to the public.

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Elizabeth Smart outraged 1 of her kidnappers to be freed

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap Elizabeth Smart in 2002 will be freed from prison more than five years earlier than expected, a surprise decision that Smart called “incomprehensible” on Tuesday.

Wanda Barzee, 72, will be released Sept. 19 after the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole determined it had miscalculated the time she was required to serve in prison, board spokesman Greg Johnson said.

Barzee pleaded guilty to kidnapping Smart and helping keep her captive for nine months before then-teenager was found and rescued.

Smart, now 30, said in a statement she was “surprised and disappointed” to learn that Barzee will be freed next week. She said she’s exploring her options and plans to speak publicly in the coming days.

“It is incomprehensible how someone who has not cooperated with her mental health evaluations or risk assessments and someone who did not show up to her own parole hearing can be released into our community,” Smart said.

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Dallas leaders’ proactive stance helps tamp down protest

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas police swiftly admitted that a white officer who shot a black man in his own apartment last week had made a mistake. They expressed contrition, turned the case over to independent investigators and reached out to the victim’s family.

That proactive approach appeared to tamp down anger in the community in the first few days after the killing on Sept. 6. There have been protests but not large-scale unrest since the death of Botham Jean, a native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia who went to a Christian university in Arkansas and worked in Dallas for accounting firm PwC.

The killing by officer Amber Guyger — who told officers she believed the victim’s apartment was her own— could have led to an “explosive situation” on the streets, said Frederick Haynes, pastor of a Baptist church in Dallas and vice president of the African-American Pastors Coalition.

Haynes praised the actions of Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall, who has been in her job only a year.

“She has gone out of her way to communicate not only to the family but also to community leaders,” he said, “and as a consequence that has helped keep calm.”

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Woodward book goes on sale as ex-Trump aides push back

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new White House tell-all from journalist Bob Woodward, the election season’s most-talked-about political book, officially went on sale Tuesday as several former aides of President Donald Trump sought to distance themselves from the depiction of a chaotic West Wing.

Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter and onetime economic adviser Gary Cohn both pushed back against “Fear,” which portrays a White House mired in dysfunction, with aides disparaging the Republican president and working to prevent him from making disastrous decisions.

While neither former staffer directly denied details in the book, Porter said in a statement that the book offers a “selective and often misleading portrait.” And Cohn told Axios that the “book does not accurately portray my experience at the White House.”

Speaking to reporters in the White House on Tuesday, Trump praised his former aides’ supportive statements and again labeled the book “fiction.”

Woodward, a longtime Washington Post reporter, has staunchly defended his work in an extensive media tour.

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Apple expected to unveil bigger, pricier iPhone on Wednesday

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is expected to unveil its biggest and most expensive iPhone on Wednesday as part of a lineup of three new models aimed at widening the product’s appeal amid slowing sales growth.

Most of the buzz is swirling around a rumored iPhone that is supposed to boast a 6.5-inch OLED screen, up from 5.8 inches on the existing iPhone X. OLED is a step up from traditional LCD technology in offering a display without a backlight, so black is truly black rather than simply dark.

If the speculation pans out, the even-bigger iPhone would represent Apple’s attempt to feed consumers’ appetite for increasingly bigger screens as they rely on smartphones to watch and record video, as well as take photos wherever they are.

The iPhone X, a dramatically redesigned model released last fall, got rid of the home button and introduced facial-recognition technology to unlock the device. It was the first mass-market smartphone to demand a $1,000 starting price. Although the iPhone X didn’t fulfill analysts’ lofty sales expectations, it fared well enough for Apple to up the ante with the bigger model, whose price is expected to unveil Wednesday.

Apple also is expected to release an iPhone with minor updates to last year’s $1,000 model and another version made of cheaper materials, including a 6.1-inch LCD screen. Even so, the cheaper iPhone is still expected to sell for $650 to $750. The cheaper phone also is expected to lose the home button. Price cuts for older models, with the home button, are also likely.

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Red Sox become 1st team in majors to clinch playoff spot

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox became the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season, rallying on pinch-hitter Brock Holt’s go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Tuesday night.

Guided by rookie manager Alex Cora, the Red Sox improved the best record in baseball at 99-46. They assured themselves at least a spot in the AL wild-card game while reaching the postseason for the third straight year.

The AL East-leading Red Sox began the night with an eight-game lead over the New York Yankees.

Boston starter Chris Sale came off the disabled list and pitched one scoreless inning, striking out two and throwing 26 pitches. Sale has been slowed by inflammation in his left shoulder, and the Red Sox had said they would ease their ace back into action.

Sale continued tossing in the bullpen after he was pulled, trying to rebuild his arm strength for the postseason.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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