Trump asks Turkey for audio, video evidence on Khashoggi
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. has asked Turkey for a recording that could reveal gruesome details of what happened to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump said Wednesday. But he’s not confirming there is any such recording, as reported by Turkish media, and he’s continuing to urge patience while Saudi Arabia says it’s investigating.
Asked about a recording described by the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, Trump said, “We’ve asked for it, if it exists.” At another point, he said, “I’m not sure yet that it exists.”
Trump, who threatened punishment for Saudi Arabia when Khashoggi’s disappearance first came to light two weeks ago, has repeatedly noted Saudi leaders’ denials since then and insisted the U.S. must know the facts before taking action.
But when asked if he was “giving cover” to the Saudi leaders, he said Wednesday that he was not.
“No, not at all,” he declared.
Jubilant customers light up as pot sales begin in Canada
MONTREAL (AP) — Jubilant customers stood in long lines for hours then lit up and celebrated on sidewalks Wednesday as Canada became the world’s largest legal marijuana marketplace.
In Toronto, people smoked joints as soon as they rolled out of bed in a big “wake and bake” celebration. In Alberta, a government website that sells pot crashed when too many people tried to place orders.
And in Montreal, Graeme Campbell welcomed the day he could easily buy all the pot he wanted.
In the past, it was “hard to find people to sell to me because I look like a cop,” the clean-cut, 43-year-old computer programmer said outside a newly opened pot store.
He and his friend Alex Lacrosse were smoking when two police officers walked by. “I passed you a joint right in front of them and they didn’t even bat an eye,” Lacrosse told his friend.
Analysis: With ‘America First,’ where do human rights rank?
WASHINGTON (AP) — If it’s an “America First” presidency, where does that rank human rights?
President Donald Trump’s refusal to put public pressure on Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is raising a question that has dogged his foreign policy. In dealing with Russia, across Asia and, this week, in the Mideast, Trump has often appeared comfortable downplaying concerns about rights abuses and dismissing the importance of U.S. moral leadership. The onetime real estate mogul is as likely to let U.S. financial or security interests guide his choices and his words.
In an Associated Press interview Tuesday, Trump repeated the Saudi royals’ denials of any involvement in Khashoggi’s apparent killing and suggested he trusted them.
“I spoke to the crown prince, so you have that. He said he and his father knew nothing about it. And that was very important,” Trump said. He compared blame directed at the Saudis over Khashoggi, who Turkish officials have said was killed in the Saudis’ Istanbul consulate, to the allegations of sexual assault leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. Both, he suggested, had been considered “guilty until proven innocent.”
Not many U.S. leaders would cast Saudi Arabia as innocent. Saudi Arabia is engaged in a bloody civil war in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians and exacerbated a famine that has killed many more. Domestically, the absolute monarchy strictly regulates speech and dress, and its security services have been accused of torture.
Mexico Beach residents return home again _ some to no home
MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — With stunned faces and tears, residents of hard-hit Mexico Beach returned home for the first time Wednesday about a week after Hurricane Michael hit to find pieces of their lives scattered across the sand and a community altered.
Nancy Register sobbed uncontrollably after finding no trace of the large camper where she’d lived with her husband. She was particularly distraught over the loss of an old, black-and-white photo of her mother, who died of cancer.
Husband Taylor Register said he found nothing but a stool that he uses for cutting his hair, a hose and a keepsake rock that was given to him by a friend 40 years ago.
“That’s my belongings,” he said, pointing to a small pile beside his red pickup truck. Choking up, he said: “I appreciate God humbling me. Everybody needs it.”
Just up the road, tears ran down Lanie Eden’s face as she and husband Ron Eden sifted through sand in search of items they left before evacuating from the small beach house they’ve rented each October for years. They didn’t find much – just a large pack of toilet paper that somehow stayed dry and a son’s camp chair.
You’ve won the Mega Millions jackpot. Now what?
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Despite the terrible odds — one in 302.5 million for those keeping score at home — someone will eventually match all six numbers and win the Mega Millions jackpot, now at $900 million. It could happen as soon as Friday night, when the next drawing is held, leaving most of us disappointed but some lucky winner beset by a host of questions.
Here are some answers for someone holding that prized lottery ticket.
I’VE WON. NOW WHAT?
Lottery officials recommend winners take a deep breath, put their winning ticket in a safe spot and consult with a reputable financial planner before popping over to the lottery headquarters. Their first decision is whether to take the cash option, which would now be $513 million, or an annuity, with one initial payment and annual installments over 29 years. Nearly all winners opt for cash, but the annuity has advantages, as it reduces the tax bill a little and offers a stable flow of income that climbs by 5 percent annually.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO CLAIM THE JACKPOT?
AP FACT CHECK: Trump distorts migrant policy, Russia probe
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump mischaracterized his immigration-law achievements, the plight of children taken from parents at the Mexico border and what’s known about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election in his wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press.
A look at his comments on those subjects Tuesday:
TRUMP: “We have the worst laws in the history of the world on immigration and we’re getting them changed one by one. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last couple of weeks even, but we’re getting them changed one by one.”
THE FACTS: He’s actually failed to achieve changes in immigration laws. All of the immigration-related changes pushed by his administration were done by executive order, not legislation, or through policy shifts like the zero tolerance policy that criminally prosecuted anyone caught crossing illegally and gave rise to family separations. The administration has also used regulations to tighten the rules on how immigrants can receive public benefits. Immigration legislation has failed despite Republican control of the White House and both houses of Congress.
Orange County, California’s diversity emboldens Democrats
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Pushy midday shoppers nose their carts through the Korean market, stocking up on bottled kimchi and seaweed spring rolls. A few doors away, customers grab pho to go at a Vietnamese takeout counter. Across the street, lunchtime diners line up for tacos “al pastor” — spit-roasted pork — at a Mexican-style taqueria.
It’s a snapshot of how much Orange County, California, has changed.
For decades, the county southeast of Los Angeles represented an archetype of middle-class America, a place whose name evoked a “Brady Bunch” conformity set amid freeways, megachurches and Disneyland’s spires. The mostly white, conservative homeowners voted with time-clock regularity for Republican candidates like Richard Nixon, whose getaway from Washington, the Western White House, sat on the coast.
The Korean barbecue shops and Mexican bakeries along Orangethorpe Avenue in Fullerton are a signpost of the shifting demographics and politics that have emboldened Democrats eager to flip four Republican-held U.S. House seats in Orange County . The districts, partly or completely within the county, went to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and have become closely watched national battlegrounds as part of Democrats’ strategy to retake the House in November.
In an election season shaped by divisions over President Donald Trump and the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct, perhaps the most telling evidence of the changing county is in the 39th Congressional District.
Police officer lectures black 11-year-old carrying BB gun
A police officer in Columbus, Ohio, instructed an 11-year-old caught Saturday with a BB gun to remember one name: Tyre King.
The 13-year-old King was killed in 2016 when another police officer responding to reports of an armed robbery saw him pull what appeared to be a gun from his waistband. By the time officers determined the object was a BB gun, it was too late.
When Officer Peter Casuccio stepped out of his patrol car to confront an 11-year-old on Saturday, his own weapon was drawn. Like King, the youngster pulled the gun from his waistband before dropping it onto the sidewalk. Casuccio said he knew it was a BB gun only when it broke into pieces on impact.
“You could’ve been gone,” Casuccio told the youngster in front of his family members. “Everything you wanted to do in this life could’ve been over in less than three seconds.”
Casuccio was patrolling the neighborhood when he heard a report of two young black males flashing a gun. Body camera video shows Casuccio telling the youths, ages 11 and 13, “this is getting kids killed all over the country.”
Migrants moving again in Guatemala, Trump targets Democrats
CHIQUIMULA, Guatemala (AP) — More than 2,000 Honduran migrants traveling en masse through Guatemala resumed their journey toward the United States on Wednesday as U.S. President Donald Trump sought to turn the caravan into a political issue three weeks before midterm elections.
A day after warning Central American governments they risk losing U.S. aid if they don’t do something and saying that anyone entering the U.S. illegally would be arrested and deported, Trump turned his sights on Democrats and urged Republican allies to campaign on border security.
“Hard to believe that with thousands of people from South of the Border, walking unimpeded toward our country in the form of large Caravans, that the Democrats won’t approve legislation that will allow laws for the protection of our country. Great Midterm issue for Republicans!” Trump said in a Wednesday morning tweet.
“Republicans must make the horrendous, weak and outdated immigration laws, and the Border, a part of the Midterms!” he continued.
In Guatemala, the migrants rose early and many left without eating breakfast, bound for Zacapa, the next city on their route. Overcast skies and a light drizzle took the edge off the sweltering heat and humidity, making the trek more bearable.
Banksy posts video saying incomplete shredding a malfunction
Banksy posted a new video to his website Tuesday implying the partial shredding of his “Girl With Balloon” at a London auction was supposed to have been complete.
The video shows the famously anonymous artist constructing the shredding mechanism inside an ornate frame and pushing a button in a black box to activate the destruction at Sotheby’s in London earlier this month. The act shocked the crowd, but the winning bidder, a European collector, went ahead and bought it anyway for $1.4 million, according to the auction house.
Sotheby’s did not name the buyer.
The partial shredding drew speculation that the act was a stunt to increase the value of the painting of a young girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon. The canvas was shredded to right above the girl’s head, leaving the balloon intact. The end of the new video notes: “In rehearsals it worked every time…” A complete shredding of the same design is then shown.
The nearly 3-minute long video is titled, “Shred the Love, the Director’s cut.” It shows hands and a hooded figure (Banksy is fond of hoodies) constructing the mechanism in a studio space, then it rolls on to the outside of Sotheby’s before the auction. People milling about sipping Champagne and nibbling hors d’oeuvres are next up, including some standing in front of the painting.
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