The Latest: Haley departure raises question about Trump team
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s abrupt announcement that she is resigning has raised fresh questions about President Donald Trump’s team.
The news has blindsided some key U.S. allies and many congressional Republicans involved in foreign policy matters.
It comes less than a month before congressional elections, thwarting White House efforts to project an image of stability. The loss of one of the highest-profile women in the administration comes at a time when women’s votes are being vigorously pursued.
Trump says he’s narrowed down a short list of five people to replace Haley. Former White House adviser Dina Powell is among those on the short list.
BC-TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Major Hurricane Michael nearing Cat 4 strength
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) — Major Hurricane Michael is still gaining strength and forecast to become a potentially devastating Category 4 storm before making landfall along Florida’s northeast Gulf Coast.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said at 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday that a hurricane hunter plane found Michael’s top sustained winds have increased to near 125 mph (205 kph) with higher gusts.
While Michael is now a strong Category 3 major hurricane, forecasters say, it’s still strengthening and is expected to become a Category 4 hurricane before it makes landfall Wednesday.
At 11 p.m. EDT, the eye of Michael was about 220 miles (355 kilometers) south-southwest of Panama City, Florida. It also was about 200 miles (325 kilometers) south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida.
ELECTION 2018-TRUMP-THE LATEST
The Latest: Feinstein calls Trump attack ‘an embarrassment’
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is calling President Donald Trump’s attack on her handling of an allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh “ridiculous and an embarrassment.”
The ranking member of the Judiciary Committee is again denying she breached the confidence of Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. Kavanaugh denied the allegation.
Feinstein says: “Dr. Blasey Ford knows I kept her confidence, she and her lawyers said so repeatedly. Republican senators admit it. Even the reporter who broke the story said it wasn’t me or my staff. The president’s remarks are ridiculous and an embarrassment.”
At a political rally in Iowa on Tuesday, Trump alleged Feinstein leaked the allegation to sink Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The crowd chanted “Lock her up!”
LIMOUSINE CRASH-THE LATEST
The Latest: State says limo owner was warned not to use it
SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (AP) — A state transportation official says the owner of the limousine that crashed and killed 20 people in upstate New York was warned not to operate the vehicle after it failed an inspection.
Department of Transportation spokesman Joseph Morrissey says Tuesday that the 2001 Ford Excursion that crashed Saturday was placed out of service after a September inspection and was subject to additional inspections.
Lee Kindlon, attorney for Prestige Limousine, says code violations cited in a Sept. 4 inspection had been corrected and the limousine cleared for service. Morrissey says that’s “categorically false.”
The limousine ran a stop sign and crashed on a rural road 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Albany on Saturday, killing the driver, all 17 passengers and two pedestrians.
State police and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating what caused the crash.
SUPREME COURT-KAVANAUGH-THE LATEST
The Latest: Kavanaugh takes Supreme Court spot for 1st time
WASHINGTON (AP) — Brett Kavanaugh has taken the bench with his new Supreme Court colleagues for the first time.
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.”
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.
Questions from Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s two high-court picks, suggested they could vote against the Trump administration and side with a criminal defendant from Florida who is fighting an increase in his sentence.
IMMIGRATION-THE BATTLE FOR ALEXA
AP Investigation: Deported parents can lose custody of kids
When she was two years old, Alexa Flores was separated from her mother by federal agents and sent to a foster family. Her mother was deported to El Salvador, but Alexa’s foster family became convinced the girl would be harmed by her mother if they reunited.
The foster parents sought, and were granted, temporary custody by a state judge. The case exposes holes in the U.S. legal system that could allow deported mothers and fathers to have their parental rights terminated.
Today, with hundreds of those parents deported thousands of miles away, the risk has grown exponentially.
Alexa’s mom eventually got her daughter back to El Salvador. But at 3 years old, the girl had spent a third of her life away from her mother and no longer spoke Spanish.
MUSIC-AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Swift wins at AMAs, encourages fans to vote
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Taylor Swift won artist of the year at the American Music Awards.
She beat out Drake, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and Post Malone at the fan-voted show Tuesday night.
The singer, who opened up politically in a lengthy Instagram post this week, used her speech to encourage fans to vote.
“I just wanted to make a mention at the fact that this award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people is the midterm elections on November 6.”
She also won tour of the year and favorite pop/rock album with “reputation.”
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 getting lunch when she got a call from 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. Simeone says on Twitter the phone company acknowledged a “bazillion” calls were made.
Simeone walked into a lab at the hospital and found the culprit. The gecko was perched on a phone, making calls to everyone in the recent call history with “HIS TINY GECKO FEET!”
Being killed for their work is growing risk for journalists
NEW YORK (AP) — The recent death or disappearance of three journalists in Turkey, Bulgaria and Mexico illustrate the growing dangers to reporters who are targeted for doing their jobs.
Authorities in Turkey are searching for a Washington Post columnist missing and feared killed since entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Journalists in Bulgaria and Mexico involved in uncovering instances of corruption were also slain recently.
The Committee to Protect Journalists says that some 43 reporters have been killed on the job this year. That’s not an unusually high number. But it used to be that the biggest danger facing reporters was getting caught in the crossfire while covering conflict. This year’s cases show instead that being targeted for death because of their work is a greater risk.
FRANCE-CHINA-FORMER INTERPOL PRESIDENT
APNewsBreak: Wife of ex-Interpol boss describes threats
LYON, France (AP) — The wife of the former Interpol president who disappeared in China has detailed to The Associated Press the telephoned threats she received that prompted French authorities to place her under police protection.
In her first one-on-one interview since Meng Hongwei went missing, Grace Meng also told the AP that speaking out about the disappearance of her high-profile husband was placing her “in great danger.”
He is a long-time Communist Party insider who appears to have become the target of a purge.
Grace Meng said she received a threatening phone call and an alarming text from her husband with an emoji of a knife. She has had no information on where he is.
Untold scores of people have been swept up in a crackdown under authoritarian President Xi Jinping.
Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.