BC-TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Hurricane victims getting IRS tax filing relief
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service says victims of Hurricane Michael will get a grace period before having to file some tax returns and payments.
The IRS said Friday it’s offering the relief in parts of Florida and other regions that may be added later to the disaster area as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Individuals who had a valid extension to Oct. 15 for filing their 2017 return now will have until Feb. 28, 2019, to file. Because tax payments related to the 2017 returns were due on April 18, however, those payments don’t qualify for relief.
The new Feb. 28 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income-tax payments normally due on Jan. 15, 2019, and to quarterly payroll and excise tax returns due on Oct. 31, 2018 and Jan. 31, 2019. The IRS says it will automatically provide relief for people with addresses in the counties designated a disaster area.
Taxpayers who qualify for relief but live outside the disaster area can call the IRS at 866-562-5227.
TROPICAL WEATHER-STORM SURVIVORS
‘It was life or death’: Face-to-face with Michael’s fury
MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Some residents of a Gulf Coast beach community devastated by Hurricane Michael are telling harrowing tales of how they faced the storm and barely escaped.
Mexico Beach, Florida, is where the storm roared ashore Wednesday, smashing homes from their foundations, submerging residential streets and sending debris flying through the air.
Tom Garcia fought to keep the sliding doors of his beachfront home closed as the storm surge rose chest-high inside the house.
Hector Morales fled his floating mobile home and took shelter with two neighbors in a fishing boat tied to a palm tree.
An 86-year-old named Bill Shockey watched with his cat from a second-floor bedroom of his daughter’s house as water reached almost to the roofline of his own single-story home next door.
Garcia called it a “life or death” ordeal.
BC-SAUDI ARABIA-MISSING WRITER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Missing writer’s fiancee says he wasn’t nervous
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Turkish fiancee of missing Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi says he wasn’t nervous when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and did not suspect that anything bad would happen to him.
Hatice Cengiz told The Associated Press on Friday that Khashoggi’s last words to her before entering the building were “See you later my darling.” She says they would have been married this week and had planned a life together split between Istanbul and the United States, where Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile since last year.
The 59-year-old writer and Washington Post contributor has been missing since he entered the Saudi mission on Oct. 2 to obtain paperwork required to marry Cengiz. Turkish officials are not commenting on reports that the government has told U.S. officials it has audio and video proof that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.
In written responses to questions by the AP, Cengiz said Turkish authorities had not told her about any recordings and that Khashoggi is officially “still missing.”
She confirmed reports that Khashoggi was wearing an Apple watch when he entered the consulate and said investigators were examining his cell phones, which he had left with her.
The Latest: Trump says freed pastor to be checked in Germany
ALIAGA, Turkey (AP) — President Donald Trump says an American pastor who had been detained in Turkey is “now free from jail” and on his way to Germany.
North Carolina native Andrew Brunson was convicted on charges of terrorism links by a Turkish court Friday. Turkey’s government then freed him to return home.
Trump told a campaign rally in Ohio on Friday that Brunson will get checked out in Germany and predicted that “he’s going to be in great shape.”
Trump says Brunson will then arrive in Washington on Saturday “and we’ll say hello to him.”
The president says the 50-year-old Brunson “went through a lot but he’s on his way back.”
Brunson was imprisoned for nearly two years after being detained in October 2016. Brunson has denied the charges against him.
Trump urges Ohio supporters to vote GOP in November midterms
LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — President Donald Trump is urging his supporters in Ohio to vote Republican in the Nov. 6 midterm election.
It’s the president’s third campaign rally this week. He has a fourth one scheduled for Saturday night in Kentucky.
Trump is using Friday’s event to boost Ohio GOP candidates for governor and for Congress.
He is also touting economic gains under his leadership and says those achievements would be reversed if Republicans are voted out of office.
The audience at the Warren County Fairgrounds also cheered when Trump said an American pastor who had been imprisoned for nearly two years in Turkey has been freed and is en route to Washington after stopping in Germany for a check-up.
Trump is expected to meet pastor Andrew Brunson at the White House on Saturday.
MATTHEW SHEPARD-HATE CRIMES
Mixed views on hate crime law bearing Matthew Shepard’s name
NEW YORK (AP) — Twenty years after Matthew Shepard’s death , the federal hate crimes law bearing his name is viewed with mixed feelings by LGBT organizations that lobbied for it over nearly a decade.
The act was signed into law Oct. 28, 2009, about 11 years after Shepard died. The gay 21-year-old had been beaten by two Wyoming men and left tied to a rail fence.
The act expanded the 1969 federal hate-crime law to include crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Since then, some activists have been disappointed by the relatively low number of anti-LGBT cases prosecuted under the law. Others consider it a success because of its role in motivating state and local prosecutors to take anti-LGBT violence more seriously.
A leader with the New York City Anti-Violence Project says the U.S. needs broader change such as “economic justice” and better housing options for marginalized LGBT people.
DEFENDANT GUN GRAB
Defendant lunges for officer’s gun in Oregon courtroom
NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — Video shows a dramatic Oregon courtroom scuffle in which a defendant lunges for a police officer’s gun.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports a judge had denied a request by deputies to restrain 27-year-old Scott Lemmon in court Wednesday.
In the video, Lemmon stands up and grabs for a gun worn by a Newport police officer sitting at a table nearby.
The officer turned away and a courthouse deputy tackled Lemmon to the floor.
Lemmon was on trial for robbery and other charges and was later convicted. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office says he could face new charges.
His defense attorney, Brian Gardner, did not return a request for comment Friday.
Mega Millions drawing Friday offers awful odds, huge jackpot
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A lucky player could soon overcome remarkably bad odds to win the ninth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
Numbers will be drawn Friday night for a chance at the estimated $548 million Mega Millions prize. The jackpot has been growing since July, when a group of California office workers won $543 million.
It costs $2 to play the game, but the odds of instant wealth aren’t good. The chance of matching all six numbers and winning the jackpot is one in 302.5 million.
The $548 million jackpot refers to the annuity option, paid out over 29 years. Most winners opt for cash, which for Friday night’s drawing would be an estimated $309 million.
Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
EX-3 DOORS DOWN BASSIST-SENTENCED
Ex-3 Doors Down bassist gets 10 years on gun charge
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — The founding member and former bassist of the rock band 3 Doors Down has been sentenced to 10 years in Mississippi state prison for possession of a firearm by a felon.
News outlets report Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Krebs gave Todd Harrell the maximum penalty during a hearing Thursday.
Authorities responded to Harrell’s home after an alarm went off in June. Harrell’s wife told deputies they had got into an argument that turned physical. While deputies were talking to the couple, they noticed guns and drugs in the home.
Harrell had served two years in prison for causing a fatal crash in Nashville in 2013. He testified in 2015 that he had been addicted to prescription drugs and was speeding.
The band, which has had hits including “Kryptonite,” suspended Harrell after a second-offense DUI in 2012.
‘I love the Saudis’: Trump business ties to kingdom run deep
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s business ties to Saudi Arabia are under scrutiny following the disappearance of one of its critics, writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump has rented event space to Saudis and sold an entire floor of one of his buildings to them. He got a billionaire from the country to buy his yacht and his hotel overlooking Central Park.
Trump pronounced “I love the Saudis” when he announced his presidential run at Trump Tower in 2015.
Trump’s close Saudi ties are attracting attention as pressure mounts from Congress to find out if Khashoggi was killed in a Saudi consulate in Turkey, as Turkish officials say.
Trump said Friday he’ll soon speak with Saudi Arabia’s king about Khashoggi’s disappearance. Saudi Arabia calls allegations it killed Khashoggi baseless.
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