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

UN’s Nikki Haley to leave in latest Trump shake-up

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the latest shake-up for President Donald Trump’s turbulent administration, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley abruptly announced Tuesday she is resigning at the end of the year, raising fresh questions about the Trump team and about the outspoken diplomat’s own political ambitions.

The news blindsided some key U.S. allies and many congressional Republicans involved in foreign policy matters. And it came less than a month before congressional elections, thwarting White House efforts to project an image of stability, with the loss of one of the highest-profile women in the administration at a time when women’s votes are being vigorously pursued.

But Haley, the former South Carolina governor, has often been an unpredictable and independent force in the Trump administration. At times she has offered strikingly different perspectives on world events from her more isolationist-minded boss.

A smiling Haley announced her decision at an Oval Office meeting alongside the president, bringing up her own political prospects even as she underscored her continued support for Trump. Without prompting from reporters, she said she had no plans to run for president “in 2020” and would campaign for Trump.

Haley, who is 46 and not personally wealthy, hinted in her resignation letter to Trump that she is headed to the private sector.

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Major Hurricane Michael bearing down on Florida Panhandle

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A fast and furious Hurricane Michael sped toward the Florida Panhandle on Tuesday night with 120 mph winds and a potential storm surge of 13 feet, giving tens of thousands of people precious little time to get out or board up.

Drawing energy from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the storm strengthened rapidly into a potentially devastating Category 3 and was getting much better organized after nightfall. Forecasters said Michael could be near a very dangerous Category 4 by landfall, with further strengthening expected overnibght.

It was expected to blow ashore around midday Wednesday near Panama City Beach, along a lightly populated stretch of fishing villages and white-sand spring-break beaches.

While Florence took five days between the time it turned into a hurricane and the moment it rolled into the Carolinas, Michael gave Florida what amounted to two days’ notice. It developed into a hurricane on Monday, and by Tuesday, more than 180,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders.

“We don’t know if it’s going to wipe out our house or not,” Jason McDonald, of Panama City, said as he and his wife drove north into Alabama with their two children, ages 5 and 7. “We want to get them out of the way.”

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Trump rally crowd chants ‘Lock her up!’ about Sen. Feinstein

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Chants of “Lock her up!” rang once again throughout an Iowa arena as President Donald Trump rallied supporters Tuesday night.

But this time, the staple of Trump’s 2016 campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton had a new target: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Trump, who was in the state boosting Republican candidates ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections, claimed that Feinstein, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had leaked a letter written by California professor Christine Blasey Ford alleging Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

Feinstein has denied her office was the source of the leak.

“Can you believe that?” Trump said, as his supporters turned the chant once deployed against the former secretary of state on another Democratic woman.

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Limo driver’s family believes he was given an unsafe vehicle

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (AP) — Relatives of the limousine driver involved in a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York said Tuesday they believe he was unwittingly assigned an unsafe vehicle.

The family of Scott Lisinicchia released a statement through a lawyer shortly after another attorney representing the limousine company, Prestige Limousine, said the driver might have been unfamiliar with the rural road.

Lisinicchia was driving the limousine that ran through a stop sign Saturday at the bottom of a T-intersection on a rural road 25 miles west of Albany. Two pedestrians and all 18 people in the limo celebrating a woman’s birthday died.

The statement from Lisinicchia’s lawyer said he would never have “knowingly put others in harm’s way” and cautioned against jumping to conclusions.

“The family believes that unbeknownst to him he was provided with a vehicle that was neither roadworthy nor safe for any of its occupants,” according to the statement from Grant & Longworth.

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From squalid refugee camp, Rohingya teen plans for higher ed

KUTUPALONG, Bangladesh (AP) — At an age when many young Rohingya women have children, Rahima Akter has other plans.

From the refugee camp in southern Bangladesh where she was born, Akter, a 19-year-old with a confident smile who goes by the name Khushi, says she aspires to become the most educated Rohingya woman in the world.

Akter was born and has lived her whole life in the camp, a makeshift settlement of bamboo and tarpaulin huts spread out over rolling hills that were once protected forestland.

Her parents were among a wave of 250,000 Rohingya Muslims who escaped forced labor, religious persecution and violent attacks from Buddhist mobs in Myanmar during the early 1990s.

She sees education as her ticket out of the camp.

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Court mood is jovial as Kavanaugh takes his place on bench

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brett Kavanaugh took the bench with his new Supreme Court colleagues for the first time Tuesday in a jovial atmosphere that was strikingly at odds with the tension and rancor surrounding his high-court confirmation.

The new justice dived into his new job, asking a handful of questions in the first arguments of the day following a traditional welcome from Chief Justice John Roberts, who wished Kavanaugh “a long and happy career in our common calling.”

Kavanaugh took his seat at the end of the bench to Roberts’ far left, a visible manifestation of a moment that Republicans have dreamed of for decades, with five solidly conservative justices on the court, and Democrats have dreaded.

His path to confirmation was turbulent — opposition to him intensified after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her decades ago, when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh denied it.

In court, Kavanaugh asked questions of both sides in arguments over increased prison sentences for repeat offenders. He jumped in with his first question after most of the other justices had spoken.

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AP Investigation: Deported parents may lose kids to adoption

As the deportees were led off the plane onto the steamy San Salvador tarmac, an anguished Araceli Ramos Bonilla burst into tears, her face contorted with pain: “They want to steal my daughter!”

It had been 10 weeks since Ramos had last held her 2-year-old, Alexa. Ten weeks since she was arrested crossing the border into Texas and U.S. immigration authorities seized her daughter and told her she would never see the girl again.

What followed — one foster family’s initially successful attempt to win full custody of Alexa — reveals what could happen to some of the infants, children and teens taken from their families at the border under a Trump administration policy earlier this year. The “zero-tolerance” crackdown ended in June, but hundreds of children remain in detention, shelters or foster care and U.S. officials say more than 200 are not eligible for reunification or release.

Federal officials insist they are reuniting families and will continue to do so. But an Associated Press investigation drawing on hundreds of court documents, immigration records and interviews in the U.S. and Central America identified holes in the system that allow state court judges to grant custody of migrant children to American families — without notifying their parents.

And today, with hundreds of those mothers and fathers deported thousands of miles away, the risk has grown exponentially.

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Gecko butt-dials ‘bazillion’ times from Hawaii seal hospital

HONOLULU (AP) — If you got incessant phone calls last week from a hospital that cares for Hawaiian monk seals, you were butt-dialed.

Or, more specifically, foot-dialed.

By a gecko.

Marine mammal veterinarian Claire Simeone was at lunch when she got a call from Ke Kai Ola, the Big Island hospital where she’s director. There was silence on the other end. Nine more silent calls followed. Fearing a seal emergency, she rushed back.

She wasn’t the only one getting calls, and people started asking why the hospital was calling non-stop.

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Taylor Swift performs, Cardi B wins at American Music Awards

Taylor Swift kicked off the American Music Awards with an explosive performance and Cardi B won the first award of the night, dedicating the honor to her daughter.

Cardi B beat out Drake and Post Malone for favorite rap/hip-hop artist during Tuesday night’s show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

“I really want to thank my daughter,” Cardi B said, adding: “I gotta prove people wrong. They said I wasn’t going to make it after I had a baby.”

The rapper gave birth to Kulture Kiari Cephus in July. She is married to rapper Offset of the hip-hop group Migos.

The AMAs, airing live on ABC, started with Swift onstage singing “I Did Something Bad” from her “reputation” album. She was backed by more than a dozen dancers during the dramatic and smoky performance as a large snake hovered behind her onstage.

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10 minutes of terror: A quake, a tsunami and a missing son

PALU, Indonesia (AP) — The Muslim call to prayer had just started echoing across the Indonesian city of Palu when Musrifah’s home began to shake violently.

Family photos fell from the walls. Dishes and glasses crashed to the floor. A television smashed onto the white tiles of their living room, prompting Musrifah to scoop her 2-year-old son into her arms.

Seconds later, the concrete sides of their one-story house cracked, then crumbled, filling the air inside with pale clouds of dust.

“Mommy!” the terrified boy cried, his body trembling as his hands pressed into her back.

“Don’t worry,” she told him. “I’m here.”

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



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