AP-TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Category 4 Hurricane Dorian growing stronger
MIAMI (AP) — Forecasters say Hurricane Dorian, hours after become an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm, has gotten even stronger.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is now packing top sustained winds of 140 mph (220 kph) as it approaches the northwestern Bahamas. The storm hours earlier had winds of about 130 mph (215 kph).
At 11 p.m. EDT Friday, Dorian was centered about 375 miles (605 kilometers) east of the northwestern Bahamas. That was about 545 miles (880 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach, Florida.
The storm is moving to the west-northwest at 10 mph (17 kph). The Miami-based center says Dorian should be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday and be near Florida’s east coast by late Monday.
BC-US-ELECTION 2020-THE SQUAD
Nancy who? GOP targets House Dem ‘squad’ in campaign attacks
WASHINGTON (AP) — Move over, Nancy Pelosi. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the “squad” of freshmen women of color are emerging as stars of Republican attacks against Democrats running for Congress.
The tone is being set from the top as President Donald Trump bashes the four squad members with a strategy Republicans are quick to mimic, modeled on his own rise to the White House. Trump made some Republicans uneasy in 2016 by taunting rivals and branding them with exaggerated nicknames intended to make them unelectable.
The GOP is embracing the tactic for 2020.
A first test will be a Sept. 10 special election in North Carolina, where Trump-endorsed Republican Dan Bishop is portraying Dan McCready and other Democrats as “crazies,” ”clowns” and “socialist.”
It remains to be seen whether the strategy will work.
GLOBAL OPIOIDS-DRUG RING
Utah man found guilty of running massive opioid ring
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man has been found guilty of running a multimillion-dollar opioid ring that sent hundreds of thousands of potentially deadly pills across the country from his suburban basement.
A US jury reached the verdict Friday after deliberating less than a day in the case against 29-year-old Aaron Shamo.
Prosecutors say he was the kingpin of the ring that peddled fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl to thousands of people.
Authorities say the ring helped fuel the nation’s opioid epidemic and the 2016 bust ranked among the country’s largest.
The jury deadlocked and made no finding on a charge that Shamo sold the drugs that caused the overdose death of a 21-year-old California man.
The defense acknowledged that Shamo was selling drugs but argued that he couldn’t have run the operation alone and there wasn’t proof he caused the overdose.
Valerie Harper, TV’s Rhoda, has died at 80
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Valerie Harper, who scored guffaws and stole hearts as Rhoda Morgenstern on back-to-back hit sitcoms in the 1970s, has died. She was 80.
Longtime family friend Dan Watt confirmed Harper died Friday, adding the family wasn’t immediately releasing any further details.
Harper was a breakout star playing the lovable sidekick on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” then as the funny leading lady of the spinoff series, “Rhoda.”
In March 2013, she revealed that she had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She had battled lung cancer in 2009, and her husband-manager had said recently that he’d been advised to place her in hospice.
Harper appeared on Broadway and in feature films including “Freebie and the Bean” and “Chapter Two.”
Some states, towns skeptical over proposed opioid settlement
HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) — An offer from OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family to settle some 2,000 lawsuits over their contribution to the national opioid crisis is receiving growing pushback from state and local officials.
They say the proposed deal doesn’t include enough money or accountability.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong on Friday called for the company, which is headquartered in the state, to be forced out of the opioid business altogether.
He said he wants the controlling Sackler family to pay billions of dollars they siphoned out of Purdue.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says she wants any settlement to include more than the $10 billion to $12 billion offered by Purdue and the $3 billion offered from the Sacklers, an amount that represents just a portion of the family’s fortune.
CHARLESTON CHURCH SHOOTING-LAWSUIT
Appeals court reinstates lawsuit in SC church shooting case
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit over a faulty background check that allowed Dylann Roof to buy the gun he used to kill nine people in a racist attack at a South Carolina church.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday reversed a ruling from a lower court judge who threw out the claims. The claims were brought by relatives of people killed in the 2015 massacre at Charleston’s AME Emanuel Church, and by survivors.
The lower court judge found that the government was immune from liability. The appeals court disagreed.
The FBI has acknowledged that Roof’s drug possession arrest weeks before the shooting should have prevented him from buying a gun.
Roof has been sentenced to death in the massacre.
ELECTION 2020-VIRTUAL CAUCUS
DNC to recommend scrapping Iowa, Nevada virtual caucus plans
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Democratic National Committee will recommend scrapping state plans to offer virtual, telephone-based caucuses in 2020 due to security concerns, sources tell The Associated Press.
The final choice whether to allow virtual caucuses in Iowa and Nevada is up to the party’s powerful Rules and Bylaws Committee.
But opposition from DNC’s executive and staff leadership makes it highly unlikely the committee would keep the virtual caucuses, leaving two key early voting states just months to figure out an alternative.
The state parties had planned to allow some voters to cast caucus votes over the telephone in February 2020 instead of showing up at traditional caucus meetings.
Iowa and Nevada created the virtual option to meet a DNC mandate that states open caucuses to more people.
TWITTER-JACK DORSEY HACKED
Twitter CEO Dorsey’s account sent racist tweets after hack
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account has gotten hacked, and whoever broke in sent racist and vulgar tweets to his 4.2 million followers.
Some of the tweets were up for about 30 minutes before Twitter took them down.
The tweets included messages such as “Hitler is innocent” and, using a vulgarity, asked “bald skeleton head,” referring to Dorsey, to unsuspend certain accounts.
Twitter says it’s investigating. The company suspended accounts that the hacker or hackers retweeted while they had control of Dorsey’s account.
The incident comes as Twitter and Dorsey have promised to improve the “health” and civility of discourse on the social media service, cracking down on hate speech and abuse.
RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan stable after prison stabbing
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin is hospitalized in stable condition after being stabbed by a fellow inmate at a Southern California prison.
The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says the stabbing of Sirhan Sirhan took place Friday afternoon at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego.
A corrections department statement says the wounded inmate was hospitalized in stable condition.
The statement did not name the victim, but a government source with direct knowledge confirmed to The Associated Press that it was Sirhan. The source spoke under condition of anonymity, citing prison privacy regulations.
The stabbing was first reported by TMZ.
Sirhan was convicted of fatally shooting Kennedy immediately after the New York senator declared victory in the 1968 California Democratic presidential primary.
Prison officials say Sirhan’s attacker has been identified.
ANGELS-SKAGGS DEATH-THE LATEST
The Latest: Ausmus misses Skaggs, no matter how pitcher died
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus says a coroner’s report that pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of an accidental drug overdose “doesn’t change” that “we lost a friend, a teammate and we still miss him.”
A Texas coroner said in a report made public Friday that Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system.
Skaggs missed the 2015 season recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left elbow. He also spent significant time on the injured list each of the past two seasons because of muscle strains.
Ausmus says Skaggs hadn’t been complaining of any physical pain before he died, but said he “would be the last guy he would come to because he wants to stay in the rotation.”
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