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

RACE FOR THE ARCTIC

World powers increasingly see icy Arctic as a hot property

TASIILAQ, Greenland (AP) — A frozen wasteland with an inhospitable climate? Or a strategic outpost with vast resources of oil, natural gas and rare earths just waiting to be tapped as the ice recedes and reveals the treasures?

As warmer temperatures cause the ice to retreat, Greenland and the rest of the Arctic region are taking on new geopolitical and economic importance.

As melting ice opens shipping lanes and reveals incredible riches, the United States, Russia, China and others all want in.

But experts still caution that the race to the Arctic will be an incredibly challenging marathon, not a sprint.

TRUMP-WOMEN

Woman to woman: Female Trump backers try to sell his message

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Donald Trump’s campaign is rallying and training a corps of female defenders, mindful that Trump’s shaky standing with women could sink his hopes of reelection next year.

They’ll be leading volunteer training sessions in 13 battleground states, including Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Ohio.

It’s a recognition of the president’s persistent deficit with women that could be made worse by an economic slowdown.

In 2016 and over the course of Trump’s presidency, women have been consistently less supportive of him than men have been. The most recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found, for instance, that while 42% of men approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president, just 30% of women agree.

BRAZIL-AMAZON FIRES

Rights group blames Brazilian government for Amazon fires

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Amnesty International says Brazilian government failures are responsible for fires raging in the Amazon rainforest.

The comment by the rights group on Thursday came after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro suggested some non-governmental groups could be setting the blazes in retaliation for losing state funds under his administration.

Bolsonaro did not provide any evidence for his allegation, which escalated international concern over the vast rainforest that is a major absorber of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Kumi Naidoo is secretary general of London-based Amnesty International. He says the group has documented illegal land invasions and arson attacks in the Amazon, including a region where many fires are raging.

The World Meteorological Organization said this week that satellite images show smoke from Amazon fires is reaching the Atlantic coast and Sao Paulo.

EXECUTION-SERIAL KILLER-THE LATEST

The Latest: Serial killer who preyed on gay men executed

STARKE, Fla. (AP) — A serial killer who preyed on older gay men during a rampage 25 years ago around the U.S. East Coast has been put to death.

The office of Gov. Ron DeSantis says 57-year-old Gary Ray Bowles was pronounced dead at 10:58 p.m. Thursday after receiving a lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Starke.

He was condemned to die for his murder conviction in the 1994 slaying of Walter Hinton in Jacksonville Beach. That was one of the six known killings that terrorized the Interstate 95 corridor that year and earned him the nickname of the “I-95 killer.”

Hinton was Bowles’ sixth victim in the killing spree that began in Daytona Beach with the slaying of John Hardy Roberts. In between, there were victims in Maryland, Georgia and Florida. In each case, Bowles stuffed the victims’ throats.

ELECTION 2020-DEMOCRATS-ECONOMY

Democrats see opening on economy, resist cheering recession

PROLE, Iowa (AP) — As the U.S. economy flashes recession warning signs, Democratic presidential candidates are leveling preemptive blame on President Donald Trump.

They argue that his aggressive and unpredictable tariff policies are prompting gloomy economic forecasts. Yet they’re also straining to avoid the appearance of cheering for a downturn that would inflict economic pain on millions of Americans, but potentially help their party’s political fortunes in 2020.

An election year slump would likely scramble the White House race. A strong economy would be a bulwark for Trump, helping him maintain the support of many independents and moderate Republicans who are turned off by his incendiary statements and pugnacious personality.

Trump’s advisers worry that support could deteriorate if there’s an economic downturn in the coming months.

MICHAEL AVENATTI-CHARGES

Avenatti seeks trial delay amid effort to prove Nike claims

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyer Michael Avenatti says charging Nike $25 million to probe corruption at the sportswear giant was a bargain rather than extortion.

An attorney for Avenatti told a judge Thursday that a November extortion trial should be postponed until January so he can gather more proof.

Attorney Scott Srebnick said at a Manhattan hearing that he wants to subpoena Nike employees and others to prove Avenatti acted appropriately.

U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe (GAHR’-duh-fee) told Srebnick to submit written arguments next week. A message for comment was left with a Nike spokesman.

Avenatti was arrested this spring, when prosecutors said he demanded up to $25 million from Nike to conduct an internal probe of the company or he would splatter the company with bad publicity. Avenatti has pleaded not guilty.

CHICKEN SANDWICH WARS

Fans choose sides in the ‘Chicken Sandwich War’ of our time

NEW YORK (AP) — A nation already polarized finds itself divided once again, but this time politics isn’t at the heart of it: The blame lies squarely on a fried piece of poultry.

People are choosing sides and beefing over chicken, thanks to Popeyes’ release of its crispy chicken sandwich last week and the social media debate that has followed. With just one addition to a fast-food menu, the hierarchy of chicken sandwiches in America was rattled, and the supremacy of Chick-fil-A and others was threatened.

It’s been a trending topic on social media, fans have weighed in with YouTube commentaries and memes, and some have endured long lines just to get a taste of the new sandwich.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-WEINSTEIN

Weinstein to be rearraigned as DA seeks actress’s testimony

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on a new indictment as prosecutors seek to have jurors hear from an actress who has accused him of a 1993 rape .

Court officials say the disgraced movie mogul is due in court the same day an appeals court is expected to rule on his lawyers’ motion to move his trial out of New York City.

Prosecutors have said the new indictment won’t result in additional charges and shouldn’t delay Weinstein’s Sept. 9 trial.

Prosecutors say having “The Sopranos” actress Anabella Sciorra testify will solve a problem the judge found in one of the charges.

The judge is allowing other accusers who aren’t involved in the criminal case to testify, as prosecutors look to show a pattern of misconduct.

A telephone message was left with Weinstein’s lawyer.

CHILD SEX ABUSE-YESHIVA UNIVERSITY

Yeshiva University hit with sexual abuse lawsuit

NEW YORK (AP) — Thirty-eight former students of an orthodox Jewish school in Manhattan operated by Yeshiva University are suing over claims they were molested by two rabbis in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

The suit was filed Thursday in Manhattan.

It alleges the university failed to protect students at Yeshiva University High School and even promoted one of the rabbis to principal after receiving abuse reports.

One of the accused men is dead.

The other, George Finkelstein, lives in Israel. He denies the allegations.

The lawsuit is one of hundreds of that have been filed since New York state opened a one-year window for suits over alleged child sex abuse that were barred by the state’s old statute of limitations.

A Yeshiva University spokesperson declined to comment.

CYBERATTACKS-CITIES

Cyberattacks on Texas cities put other governments on guard

CHICAGO (AP) — Cyberattacks that recently crippled nearly two dozen Texas cities have put other local governments on guard.

The attacks offer the latest evidence that hackers can halt routine operations by locking up computers and demanding steep ransoms. Officials are increasingly turning to cybersecurity insurance to help safeguard against the growing threat.

Alan Shark of the Public Technology Institute says the ransom attacks have entered “an epidemic stage” and that the bad actors have been “emboldened.”

The attacks have the potential to set governments back decades. Libraries can’t use electronic checkout systems. Police can’t access electronic records, and utility bills must be paid with paper checks rather than online.

Protection is expensive, particularly for smaller cities whose employees may not be trained on the latest ransomware.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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