Trump ramps up minority outreach with Philadelphia visit
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Donald Trump was met with tears and gratitude as he sat with African-American supporters Friday, including the mother of a slain young woman who was killed in an attack by a group that included men who were living in the U.S. illegally.
The back-to-back meetings, held in a ballroom in Northwest Philadelphia, underscored the balancing act the Republican nominee is playing as he tries to expand his support in the race against Democrat Hillary Clinton. While Trump works to broaden his appeal among more moderate and minority voters, he's also working to maintain his popularity with his core GOP base by pressing his hard-line views on immigration.
At an invite-only roundtable discussion, Trump met with a dozen local business, civic and religious leaders who praised him for coming to "the hood" as part of his outreach efforts. Trump was warmly received by the group, including Daphne Goggins, a local Republican official, who wiped away tears as she introduced herself to Trump. "For the first time in my life," she told him, "I feel like my vote is going to count."
Renee Amoore, a local business leader, assured Trump that he has support in the black community, despite his low standing in public opinion surveys.
"People say, Mr. Trump, that you have no African-American support. We want you to know that you do," she said. "We appreciate you and what you've done, coming to 'the hood,' as people call it. That's a big deal."
FBI publishes notes on Clinton's use of private email
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton told the FBI she relied on her staff not to send emails containing classified information to the private email server she used as secretary of state.
The revelation came Friday as the FBI, in a rare step, published scores of pages summarizing interviews with Clinton and her top aides from the recently closed criminal investigation into her use of a private email server in the basement of her Chappaqua, New York, home.
The Democratic presidential nominee told the FBI she never sought or asked permission to use a private server or email address during her tenure as the nation's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013. A prior review by the State Department's internal watchdog concluded the practice violated several polices for the safekeeping and preservation of federal records.
The latest developments highlight competing liabilities for Clinton. Either she made a conscious effort to prevent a full public accounting of her tenure at State or she was nonchalant about decisions with national security consequences and risks. The first scenario plays into Republican arguments and voter concerns about her trustworthiness and transparency, while the second casts doubt on her pitch as a hyper-competent, detail-driven executive.
Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said Friday the campaign was pleased the FBI had released the documents.
After slamming Florida, Hermine threatens East Coast
DEKLE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The first hurricane to hit Florida in more than a decade wiped away beachside buildings and toppled trees onto homes Friday before plowing inland on a path that could send it rolling up the densely populated East Coast with heavy rain, high winds and flooding.
Hermine (her-MEEN) quickly weakened to a tropical storm as it spun through Georgia and the Carolinas. But the National Hurricane Center predicted it would regain hurricane strength after emerging over the Atlantic Ocean. The system could then lash coastal areas as far north as Connecticut and Rhode Island through Labor Day.
"Anyone along the U.S. East Coast needs to be paying close attention this weekend," said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.
In Florida, Hermine's main impact came in the form of power outages and damage from storm surges. A homeless man south of Gainesville died when a tree fell on him, Gov. Rick Scott said.
He later took to a Blackhawk helicopter to visit the coastal communities of Cedar Key and Steinhatchee hit hard by the damage from flooding and storm surge that crumpled docks and washed out homes and businesses.
Obama's Asian pivot leaves closer ties, new challenges
BEIJING (AP) — As Barack Obama embarks on what is likely to be his final trip to Asia as president, attention is returning to what is known as the U.S. "pivot" to the continent launched during his first term.
The policy adjustment aimed to reinforce alliances and shift military assets to a region that has grown in importance alongside the rise of China as a global economic and political power. A look at some of the impacts on different countries in the Asia-Pacific region:
CHINA: KEY ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP MEETS REGIONAL RIVALRY
The U.S. shift of focus to Asia has been driven by China's emergence as a global force and America's rival in the region. Such frictions have persisted despite an economic relationship that has seen the world's largest economies and biggest military spenders amass two-way trade of more than $600 billion in 2015.
US, China expected to join climate deal during Obama visit
HONOLULU (AP) — Opening his final trip to Asia, President Barack Obama is expected to join Chinese leader Xi Jinping in announcing their countries are formally taking part in a historic global climate deal. Yet thornier issues like maritime disputes and cybersecurity shadow Obama's visit.
The president departed Friday for Hangzhou, China, where he will meet on Saturday with Xi ahead of a summit of the Group of 20, a collection of industrial and emerging-market nations. Environmental groups and experts tracking global climate policy said they expected the two leaders would jointly enter the sweeping emissions-cutting deal reached last year in Paris. Unlikely partners on addressing global warming, the U.S. and China have sought to use their collaboration to ramp up pressure on other countries to take concrete action as well.
Entering the climate agreement has been an intricate exercise in diplomatic choreography. The deal was reached in December, and the U.S., China and many others signed it in April, on Earth Day. Even the third step — formally participating in the deal — doesn't bring it into force in the U.S. or China. That won't happen until a critical mass of polluting countries joins.
Aiming to build on previous cooperation, the U.S. and China have also been discussing a global agreement on aviation emissions, though there's some disagreement about what obligations developing countries should face in the first years. The aviation issue is expected to be on the agenda for Obama's meeting with Xi, along with ongoing efforts to phase out hydrofluorocarbons, another greenhouse gas.
The alliance on climate has been a rare bright spot between the U.S. and China in recent years, a relationship otherwise characterized by tensions over China's emergence as a key global power. Washington has been deeply concerned about China's territorial ambitions in waters far off its coast, while Beijing looks warily at Obama's efforts to expand U.S. influence in Asia, viewing it as an attempt to contain China's rise.
Early voting already: Trump chances may hinge on non-whites
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two months before Election Day, early voting kicks off next week in North Carolina, the first in a run of key states where minority voters and young adults who cast ballots in advance could give one of the White House contenders a decisive advantage.
For Donald Trump, it's a major test of whether his recent outreach to non-white groups is translating into votes. In the increasingly diverse battleground states of North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia — all must-win states for Trump, except Colorado — it's minorities in particular who can tip the scales.
Early voters are expected to make up between 50 to 75 percent or more of all ballots in the six states, based on 2012 figures. That's compared to a national average of 35 percent, up from 22 percent in 2004, according to election data compiled by The Associated Press.
Mail-in ballots are popular among older, white Republicans, and party officials are betting they can bank plenty of their votes. But in several swing states, Hispanics, blacks and first-time voters typically have been more likely than whites to cast ballots early — and cast them for Democrats. Therein lies the challenge for team Trump.
Says Marlon Marshall, Hillary Clinton's director of state campaigns and political engagement: "We can't say this will be locked up with early voting, but it can absolutely make a huge difference."
Philippine blast kills 12, hurts 24 in president's hometown
DAVAO, Philippines (AP) — An explosion killed at least 12 people and wounded at least 24 at a night market in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown in the southern Philippines, a region under a heightened security alert because of a military offensive against Abu Sayyaf militants, officials said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion late Friday at a massage section of the market, which was cordoned off by police bomb experts and investigators, said regional military commander Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo.
Witnesses gave conflicting accounts, with some saying that a cooking gas tank exploded while others suggested it may have been some kind of an explosive, said police Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan.
Police set up checkpoints in key roads leading to the city, a regional gateway about 980 kilometers (610 miles) south of Manila.
TV footage showed plastic chairs strewn about at the scene of the blast, where witnesses said the bodies of some of the dead lay scattered a few hours after the explosion. Ambulance vans drove to and from the area following the blast.
Brock Turner leaves jail, gets hate mail for sexual assault
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Brock Turner, the former Stanford University swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman on campus, was handed a package by guards as he exited a California jail on Friday after serving half of his six-month sentence: A big packet of hate mail.
Turner's early release for good behavior was the latest turn in a case that sparked widespread outcry by many who believed he was given preferential treatment and too light of a sentence for the January 2015 assault. For hours after his pre-dawn release from the Santa Clara County jail about 200 people demonstrated outside, calling for the judge in the case to resign.
Wearing a wrinkled dress shirt, Turner walked with his head down and didn't say a word as he made his way through a gauntlet of television camera lights and into a waiting SUV. The 21-year-old intends to live with his parents near Dayton, Ohio, where he is required to register for life as a sex offender.
Turner was convicted of assaulting the woman near a trash bin after they drank heavily at a fraternity party. The woman had passed out and Turner was on top of her when confronted by two graduate students passing by on bicycles. They chased and tackled him when he tried to flee, holding him on the ground until police arrived.
A jury in March found Turner guilty of three felony sexual assault counts. Judge Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to six months in jail, citing the "extraordinary circumstances" of Turner's youth, clean criminal record and other considerations in departing from the minimum sentence of two years in prison. Prosecutors had argued for six years.
President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan dies at age 78
MOSCOW (AP) — Islam Karimov, who crushed all opposition in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan as its only president in a quarter-century of independence from the Soviet Union, has died of a stroke at age 78, the Uzbek government announced Friday.
Karimov will be buried Saturday in the ancient city of Samarkand, his birthplace, the government said in a statement.
His younger daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, said in a social media post Monday that he had been hospitalized in the capital of Tashkent after a brain hemorrhage Aug. 27. On Friday, she posted again, saying: "He is gone."
Little other information was available. Media freedom and human rights have been harshly repressed ever since he became leader in 1989 while it was still a republic of the Soviet Union.
One of the world's most authoritarian rulers, Karimov cultivated no apparent successor, and his death raised concerns that the predominantly Sunni Muslim country could face prolonged infighting among clans over its leadership, something its Islamic radical movement could exploit.
Police losing battle to get drivers to put down their phones
WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (AP) — State troopers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have been known to patrol in a tractor-trailer so they can sit up high and spot drivers texting behind the wheel.
In Bethesda, Maryland, a police officer disguised himself as a homeless man, stood near a busy intersection and radioed ahead to officers down the road about texting drivers. In two hours last October, police gave out 56 tickets.
And in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, south of Boston, an officer regularly tools around town on his bicycle, pedals up to drivers at stoplights and hands them $105 tickets.
Texting while driving in the U.S. is not just a dangerous habit, but also an infuriatingly widespread one, practiced both brazenly and surreptitiously by so many motorists that police are being forced to get creative — and still can't seem to make much headway.
"It's everyone, kids, older people — everyone. When I stop someone, they say, 'You're right. I know it's dangerous, but I heard my phone go off and I had to look at it,'" said West Bridgewater Officer Matthew Monteiro.