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Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 p.m. EDT

ELECTION 2018-TRUMP-THE LATEST

The Latest: Trump kicks off rally blitz with immigrant fears

ESTERO, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump has kicked off his final campaign rally blitz before the midterm elections by accusing the media of sowing division and stoking fears about illegal immigration.

Trump’s rally in Estero, Florida, on Wednesday was the first of 11 events he will hold across eight battlefield states over the next six days as he tries to bolster Republican turnout and counter Democratic enthusiasm heading into Election Day.

The president continued the grievance airing that has long been a fixture of his rallies, seizing on news reports about protests during his Tuesday visit to Pittsburgh, where he paid his respects to the 11 people killed at a synagogue.

The president implored rallygoers to vote and painted a dark picture of the stakes. He also railed against birthright citizenship, which he has threatened to end via executive order.

TRUMP-IMMIGRATION-THE LATEST

The Latest: Trump doubles possible number of border troops

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says the number of military troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexican border could reach 15,000 — roughly double the number the Pentagon said it currently plans for a mission whose dimensions are shifting daily.

The Pentagon says “more than 7,000” troops are being sent to the Southwest border to support the Customs and Border Protection agents. Officials say that number could reach a maximum of about 8,000 under present plans.

The troop numbers have been changing at a dizzying pace, with Trump drawing a hard line on immigration in the lead-up to the midterm elections.

Trump’s new troop estimate caught the Pentagon by surprise. Later, he told ABC News, “We have to have a wall of people.”

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SHOOTING-SYNAGOGUE-FUNERALS-THE LATEST

The Latest: Synagogue suspect indicted on 44 counts

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

The indictment, which was expected, was announced Wednesday. It charges Robert Bowers with 44 counts, including hate crimes. Federal prosecutors have previously indicated they plan to seek the death penalty.

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady says “today begins the process of seeking justice for the victims of these hateful acts.”

Authorities say Bowers opened fire in the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, killing 11 and wounding six, including four police officers.

Bowers is jailed without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

The funerals for the victims began Tuesday and are continuing through the rest of the week.

KOREAS-DIPLOMACY

S. Korea’s Moon: N. Korean leader Kim to visit Seoul ‘soon’

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will “soon” visit Seoul.

Moon didn’t provide any other details about the trip during a speech on the economy given before the parliament Thursday.

Moon has previously said that Kim told him he would visit Seoul within this year when the leaders met in Pyongyang in September.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Moon was repeating his previous statement or if he had new details about Kim’s trip.

Moon also says a second North Korea-U.S. summit is “near at hand.” He says Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit North Korea and that Kim is to travel to Russia soon.

Moon has shuttled between North Korea and the United States to arrange nuclear talks.

NKOREA-SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Women in N.Korea suffer serious sexual abuse but no ‘MeToo’

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean refugees say sexual violence against women in their former homeland was routine. A new report suggests there’s little chance that abused women in the North will get to say “MeToo” anytime soon.

Human Rights Watch published a report on the issue based on interviews with 106 North Koreans who left their country. It found many North Korean women feel powerless to demand accountability and are ashamed of being abused. Some keep silent because of flimsy law enforcement and support systems.

Three women who left North Korea and three South Korean experts told The Associated Press in separate interviews that sexual violence was a serious problem in the North even though women have gained a voice and economic power in recent years by participating in new capitalist-style markets.

WHITEY BULGER

Official: Mafia hit man is suspect in death of Whitey Bulger

BOSTON (AP) — A former federal investigator says a Mafia hit man is a suspect in the prison slaying of Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger.

The official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Fotios “Freddy” Geas and at least one other inmate are believed to have been involved in 89-year-old Bulger’s killing Tuesday at a West Virginia prison.

The longtime investigator spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the case.

Geas was convicted in the 2003 killing of western Massachusetts mobster Adolfo Bruno.

Bulger was a longtime informant for the FBI who provided information on the Mafia. Geas was known to despise gangsters who ratted each other out.

Attorney David Hoose, who initially represented Geas in the Bruno case, says Geas “did not and would not rat on anyone.”

Federal officials say they are investigating Bulger’s death as a homicide.

CANADA MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

Gone to pot: Marijuana shortages plague Canada

TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s legal recreational market is off to a bumpy start.

Supply shortages have been rampant in the two weeks since Canada became the largest national pot marketplace.

Quebec closed its government-run shops from Monday to Wednesday because there was no pot to sell. Ontario’s online government store can’t fill all its orders, and British Columbia still has just one legal retail outlet.

The Canadian government has added 300 people to more quickly process licenses for producers to increase supply.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-WEINSTEIN

Lawsuit alleges Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted girl, 16

NEW YORK (AP) — A new legal filing alleges Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted a 16-year-old Polish model and aspiring actress.

A woman identified as Jane Doe says the movie producer forced her to touch his penis in his New York City apartment in 2002.

Court papers filed Wednesday say Weinstein went on to harass and emotionally abuse Jane Doe for nearly a decade and blocked her from having a successful acting career.

Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, called the allegations “preposterous.”

The Jane Doe allegations were contained in an amended complaint in a lawsuit that accuses Weinstein’s movie studio board of enabling and covering up his alleged sexual misconduct.

Doe’s lawyer said she was brave to come forward.

Weinstein is facing criminal charges involving two other women. That case was roiled recently by allegations that a police detective acted improperly.

CANCER SURGERY-SURPRISE

More deaths seen for less invasive cervical cancer surgery

New evidence about a cancer operation in women finds a higher death rate for the less invasive version.

The unexpected findings are prompting changes at some hospitals that perform radical hysterectomies for early-stage cervical cancer.

Researchers compared two types of radical hysterectomy. Women who had the less invasive technique were four times more likely to see their cancer return compared to women who had traditional surgery.

Experts suspect there may be something about the technique that spreads cancer cells from the tumor to the abdominal cavity.

Results were published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.

OBIT-MCCOVEY

Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey has died at age 80

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Willie McCovey, the sweet-swinging Hall of Famer nicknamed “Stretch” for his 6-foot-4 height and those long arms, has died. He was 80.

The San Francisco Giants announced his death, saying the fearsome hitter passed “peacefully” Wednesday afternoon “after losing his battle with ongoing health issues.”

He had attended games at AT&T Park as recently as the final game of the season.

Even four-plus decades later, it still stung for the left-handed slugging McCovey that he never won a World Series after coming so close. He lined out to end the Giants’ 1962 World Series loss to the Yankees.

McCovey had been getting around in a wheelchair in recent years because he could no longer rely on his once-dependable legs, yet was still regularly seen at the ballpark in his private suite.

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