NOAA assailed for defending Trump’s Hurricane Dorian claim
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former top officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are assailing the agency for undermining its weather forecasters as it defends President Donald Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian had threatened Alabama.
They say NOAA’s action risks the credibility of the nation’s weather and science agency and may even risk lives.
The critics served both Republican and Democratic presidents. Among them are four former top NOAA officials and a former disaster response chief.
On Friday, a NOAA statement from an anonymous spokesperson lent support to Trump’s warning days earlier that Alabama faced danger from Dorian. Alabama had never been included in official hurricane advisories and his information was outdated.
The statement undermined a National Weather Service tweet from Sunday that had said Alabama would see no impact from Dorian.
Trump calls off secret meeting with Taliban, Afghan leaders
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is saying he has called off a secret Camp David meeting with Taliban and Afghanistan leaders.
Trump tweeted Saturday that a meeting slated for the following day was canceled because of a Taliban attack in Kabul on Thursday that killed 11 people, including a U.S. soldier.
The president tweeted that he “called off peace negotiations” and demanded to know who “would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position” in the negotiations.
He added that if the Taliban could not hold to a cease-fire during the negotiations, “they probably don’t have the power” to negotiate a peace deal.
The attack came as the U.S. and the Taliban had hoped to be close to finalizing a peace deal.
The Latest: Widespread blackouts as Dorian continues march
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — Weather officials say Dorian is tearing across the Canadian Maritimes and has left about half a million customers without power.
In an 11 p.m. advisory, the U.S.-based National Hurricane Center says the post-tropical cyclone is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of the Magdalen Islands with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (145 kph).
Forecasters expect Dorian to produce dangerous storm surge in parts of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, southwestern Newfoundland and eastern Nova Scotia.
It is traveling north-northeast at 26 mph (42 kph).
Dorian made landfall Saturday evening about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, a city of about 400,000 people.
Opioid talks at impasse; Purdue bankruptcy filing expected
CLEVELAND (AP) — Attempts to reach a nationwide settlement over the opioid crisis with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma have hit an impasse, and the company is expected to file for bankruptcy.
State attorneys general for Tennessee and North Carolina have been leading the negotiations. They sent a message Saturday to other attorneys general saying the Sackler family, which owns Purdue, had rejected two offers from the states and declined to offer counterproposals.
As a result, the attorneys general said they expect Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue to file “for bankruptcy protection imminently.”
Purdue spokeswoman Josephine Martin said the company would decline to comment.
The breakdown puts the first federal trial over the opioid epidemic on track to begin next month and sets the stage for a complex bankruptcy involving more than 30 states and 2,000 local governments.
Mulvihill reported from New Jersey.
JEFFREY EPSTEIN-MIT-THE LATEST
The Latest: Researcher tied to Epstein quits NY Times board
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The director of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology research lab who resigned from the university over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein has also resigned from the boards of The New York Times Co. and of two foundations.
Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger and the company’s president, Mark Thompson, said in a companywide email Saturday that former Media Lab director Joi Ito has resigned from the board “effective immediately.”
The MacArthur Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced Ito’s resignation from their boards, as well.
The New Yorker reported Friday that Media Lab had a more extensive fundraising relationship with Epstein than it previously acknowledged and tried to conceal the extent of the relationship.
Epstein killed himself in jail in New York on Aug. 10 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Cut by Raiders, Brown becoming a Patriot on eve of opener
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Antonio Brown has agreed to terms with the New England Patriots hours after the Oakland Raiders cut him, going from the NFL’s cellar to the defending Super Bowl champions on Saturday despite wearing out his welcome with two teams in one offseason.
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed the agreement to The Associated Press. Brown had been scheduled to earn up to $50 million from Oakland over the three-year deal. Instead, the Patriots guaranteed him $9 million this season, with the potential to earn up to $15 million.
Brown posted a picture of himself in a Patriots uniform on Instagram shortly after ESPN reported the signing. The post was soon liked by New England receiver Julian Edelman.
A Patriots spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
New England opens the season against the Steelers on Sunday night, when the Patriots will raise their sixth Super Bowl championship banner.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
State Republican parties mull canceling primaries, caucuses
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Republicans in several states are set to decide whether they’ll cancel plans to hold presidential preference selections before the 2020 election. It wouldn’t be unusual move by the party of the White House incumbent seeking a second term.
In meetings Saturday, Republican parties in South Carolina, Kansas and Nevada are expected to debate canceling primaries, caucuses or other voting. Arizona is expected to make a decision later in the month.
Several challengers to President Donald Trump have emerged, including Bill Weld , a former Massachusetts governor, and Joe Walsh , a former Illinois congressman. Others may join them.
In years past, both Republicans and Democrats have scrapped state nominating contests when an incumbent president from their party ran for a second term.
Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
Pain of scuba diving deaths off California felt across globe
The pain of the ill-fated scuba diving tour was felt across the United States and far beyond.
An exceptional group of people had boarded the Conception vessel for the three-day excursion in California’s rugged Channel Islands before the boat erupted in fire on Labor Day and sank, killing 34 people.
They included highly accomplished engineers, biologists, computer scientists, nurses, artists and photographers. Several had graduated from top universities with advanced degrees. All shared a love of nature and adventure.
After reading some of the names of those identified so far, Santa Barbara County Bill Brown said those killed were from throughout California, across the United States and from around the world. He vowed investigators will determine the cause of the fire.
US OPEN-THE LATEST
The Latest: Andreescu tops Serena Williams for US Open title
NEW YORK (AP) — Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu has upset Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5 in the U.S. Open final for her first Grand Slam title.
Andreescu’s victory Saturday prevented Williams from claiming what would have been her record-tying 24th major singles championship.
This is the second year in a row that Williams has lost in the U.S. Open final.
She has now been the runner-up at four of the seven majors she has entered since returning to the tour after having a baby two years ago.
The 19-year-old Andreescu is the first woman to win the trophy at Flushing Meadows in her tournament debut in the Open era, which began in 1968 when professionals were allowed to enter the majors.
MASS SHOOTINGS-GUNS ACCESS
US mass shooters exploited gaps, errors in background checks
The vast majority of U.S. mass shooters have acquired their firearms legally with nothing in their background that would have prohibited them from possessing a gun.
However, there have been examples of lapses in the background check system that allowed guns to end up in the wrong hands, including weapons used attacks at churches in Charleston, South Carolina, and Sutherland Springs, Texas, in recent years.
Very few states also have a mechanism to seize firearms from someone who is not legally allowed to possess one.
In 2018, there were more than 26 million background checks conducted and fewer than 100,000 people failed. Of those, the vast majority were for a criminal conviction. Just over 6,000 were rejected for a mental health issue.
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