Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 10:20 p.m. EDT

AP-US-ELECTION-2020-TRUMP-THE-LATEST

The Latest: Sanders says Trump rally was ‘lies, distortions’

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says President Donald Trump is “a man way out of touch with the needs of ordinary people and a man who must be defeated.”

Speaking after Trump’s 2020 campaign kickoff event in Florida on Tuesday night, Sanders said Trump’s rally was “an hour and a half speech of lies, distortions and total, absolute nonsense.”

The Vermont senator was the only candidate among the nearly two dozen Democrats seeking the presidency to offer a live rebuttal immediately following the speech. Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign released a statement nearly an hour before Trump was scheduled to speak.

Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said that the country faces a choice, “we can make Trump an aberration or let him fundamentally and forever alter the character of this nation.”

HUGE COCAINE SEIZURE-THE LATEST

The Latest: 2 charged in huge cocaine bust at Philly port

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two members of a container ship’s crew face federal drug charges after agents raided their vessel at a Philadelphia port and seized about 33,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms) of cocaine.

Court documents filed Tuesday charge Ivan Durasevic and Fonofaavae Tiasage with conspiracy to possess cocaine aboard a ship subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

An affidavit says the two crew members admitted they helped load cocaine onto the MSC Gayane while it was at sea. Agents say a total of 14 boats approached the vessel on two separate occasions. Crew members allegedly helped transfer bales of cocaine from the boats to the container ship.

An online court docket does not list defense attorneys for the defendants.

Federal prosecutors call it one of the largest cocaine seizures in U.S. history.

UNITED STATES-IRAN-THE LATEST

The Latest: McConnell: US not trying to start war with Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Trump administration is “certainly not trying to start a war with Iran.”

The Kentucky Republican told reporters at his weekly news conference Tuesday that President Donald Trump is taking a “measured approach” to what he considers Iranian aggression.

The United States has blamed Iran for attacks on two tankers in the Persian Gulf. Iran denies that.

Trump also is sending another 1,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East after Iran said it will break the international agreement on its nuclear program.

Trump administration officials are set to give Congress a series of briefings on Iran this week.

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CONGRESS-RUSSIA PROBE

Hope Hicks to meet with Judiciary panel behind closed doors

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee will interview former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks behind closed doors on Wednesday, the first time lawmakers will hear from a person linked to the president’s inner circle since the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Obtaining the testimony from Hicks is a significant victory for Democrats, as President Donald Trump has broadly stonewalled their investigations. She is a trusted former aide to Trump who worked for his presidential campaign and in the White House.

Still, it is unclear how much new information she will provide after cooperating extensively with Mueller’s investigation.

A White House lawyer who will be in the room is expected to try and block Hicks from answering certain questions. Democrats plan to release a public transcript of the interview.

NAVY SEAL-MURDER CASE-THE LATEST

The Latest: Photo of dead militant shown at Navy SEAL trial

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A military prosecutor says a decorated Navy SEAL bragged about killing a teenage Islamic State prisoner in Iraq.

During opening statements in a court-martial Tuesday, Lt. Brian John showed jurors a photo of the dead, bandaged militant.

John says Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher texted friends the photo along with a note that said he “got him” with his hunting knife.

A defense lawyer told the seven-man jury that Gallagher treated the captive’s wounds and never killed him.

Attorney Tim Parlatore says the case is built on lies by junior SEALs who hated Gallagher. He says there’s no body, autopsy or forensic evidence to prove there was a killing.

Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder.

The politically charged case against Gallagher is expected to last two to three weeks.

HARVARD-PARKLAND SURVIVOR

Harvard case offers reminder of perils of online misbehavior

The racist social-media posts that led Harvard University to revoke an admission offer to a Parkland high school survivor were originally shared only among friends.

The comments were in text messages and a Goggle document. But someone took screenshots.

That prompted the decision announced Monday. It serves as a reminder to aspiring college students and all young people that online comments, even those considered private, can resurface and be used against them.

It’s relatively unusual for colleges to rescind admission offers. When they do, it’s more often for a slip in academic performance or disciplinary issues than social media posts. But experts say it’s not uncommon for offers of admission to be jeopardized by the emergence of damaging communications. Sometimes it happens because of people motivated by competition or jealousy.

SAN FRANCISCO-E-CIGARETTE BAN-THE LATEST

The Latest: San Francisco closer to ban on e-cigarette sales

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco supervisors have voted unanimously to move the city toward becoming the first in the United States to ban all sales of electronic cigarettes.

Supervisors on Tuesday approved a measure to stop the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes until the Food and Drug Administration completes a review of the effects of e-cigarettes on public health.

They also supported a ban on manufacturing e-cigarettes on city property as they move to crack down on teen vaping.

Supervisor Shamann Walton says there was a battle against tobacco in the 1990s, and “now we see its new form in e-cigarettes.”

Walton introduced the measures, and they will require another vote before becoming law.

NORTH KOREA-CHINA

Xi supports North Korea’s direction on issues ahead of visit

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping says North Korea is taking the “right direction” by politically resolving issues on the Korean Peninsula in a rare op-ed published by a North Korean state newspaper a day ahead of Xi’s visit to Pyongyang to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Xi didn’t mention stalled nuclear weapons talks between Washington and Pyongyang in the Rodong Sinmun article Wednesday. He said that his visit would “strengthen strategic communication and exchange” between the traditional allies.

Xi will visit North Korea on Thursday and Friday. Kim met Xi four times in China last year during a diplomatic outreach that also involved meetings with the leaders of the United States and South Korea.

TRUMP-IMMIGRATION

Trump threatens to deport millions beginning next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is threatening to remove millions of people in the country illegally.

In a late-night tweet Monday, Trump says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin the removal process next week. He tells his Twitter followers, “They will be removed as fast as they come in.”

An administration official says the effort will focus on people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the country.

Trump has threatened a series of increasingly drastic actions as he tries to stem the flow of Central American migrants crossing the southern border, which has risen dramatically on his watch.

Immigration is expected to be a central issue of Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, which officially launches Tuesday.

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