Growing caravan of migrants pushes deeper into Mexico

TAPACHULA, Mexico — Thousands of Honduran migrants hoping to reach the U.S. stretched out on rain-soaked sidewalks, benches and public plazas in the southern Mexico city of Tapachula, worn down by another day’s march under a blazing sun.

Keeping together for strength and safety in numbers, some huddled under a metal roof in the city’s main plaza Sunday night. Others lay exhausted in the open air, with only thin sheets of plastic to protect them from ground soggy from an intense evening shower. Some didn’t even have a bit of plastic yet.

“We are going to sleep here in the street, because we have nothing else,” said Jose Mejia, 42, a father of four from the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. “We have to sleep on the sidewalk, and tomorrow wake up and keep walking. We’ll get a piece of plastic to cover ourselves if it rains again. Continue reading “Growing caravan of migrants pushes deeper into Mexico”

Ex-FBI agent gets 4 years in prison for leaking documents

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A former FBI agent in Minnesota who admitted to leaking classified defense documents to a reporter was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.

Terry James Albury, 39, pleaded guilty in April to one count each of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and unauthorized retention of national defense information. He apologized in court before the sentence was handed down.

Prosecutors said Albury betrayed public trust when he stole more than 70 documents, including 50 that were classified. The information he shared with an online news organization included a document classified as “secret” that related to how the FBI assesses confidential informants.

U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright said Albury abused his security clearance and position as an FBI agent to commit a crime.

“You did so knowingly. You did so willingly. You knew that what you did was a criminal act, and you knew that Continue reading “Ex-FBI agent gets 4 years in prison for leaking documents”

Hillary Clinton seemingly unharmed in car crash

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Hillary Clinton was seemingly unharmed when the Secret Service vehicle she was riding in was involved in a crash.

The former secretary of state and first lady was headed to a fundraiser for Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey in Jersey City on Tuesday night. The vehicle pulled into a parking garage, made a left turn and hit a concrete column.

Clinton emerged from the van and walked to the fundraiser, where she was the featured guest.

The Secret Service says no injuries were reported and the Jersey City Police Department is investigating.

The police department expects to release more details Wednesday.

Nevada brothel owner and Republican state legislature candidate dies

LAS VEGAS — Nevada authorities say a brothel owner and Republican candidate for the state legislature, who gained popularity for an HBO series about his business, has died.

Nye County sheriff Lt. David Boruchowitz said an employee at Dennis Hof’s Love Ranch brothel outside of Las Vegas summoned authorities a little before 11 a.m. Tuesday after Hof was found unresponsive and not breathing.

Boruchowitz says there is no sign of foul play.

Hof was the Republican nominee this year for a heavily GOP legislative district. Ballots have already been printed in the race and it wasn’t immediately clear how elections officials would handle Hof’s death.

He owned a handful of brothels in Nevada, the only state that allows them to legally operate.

Hof ran for office in 2016 as a Libertarian but lost the race.

This year, he ran as a Republican and earned backing from Trump associate Roger Continue reading “Nevada brothel owner and Republican state legislature candidate dies”

Pence set to accuse China of trying to undermine Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday plans to accuse China of trying to undermine President Donald Trump as the administration deploys tough new rhetoric over Chinese trade, economic, and foreign policies.

In a speech to the Hudson Institute, Pence will say China is using its power in “more proactive and coercive ways to interfere in the domestic policies and politics of the United States.”

“China wants a different American president,” Pence will say, according to excerpts of prepared remarks from his office.

Pence’s speech comes a week after the Republican president accused China during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council of interfering in American elections to help his Democratic rivals.

“Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election,” Trump said. “They do not want me, or us, to win because I am the first president ever to Continue reading “Pence set to accuse China of trying to undermine Trump”

Official: Multiple people killed in Maryland shooting

ABERDEEN, Md. — Three people were killed Thursday morning in a shooting at a Rite Aid distribution center in northeast Maryland, officials said.

A law enforcement official with knowledge of the shooting stressed that the number of dead is based on preliminary information. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss details by name and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.

The attack came nearly three months after a man armed with a shotgun attacked a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five staff members.

The FBI described the Aberdeen incident as an “active shooter situation” and said its Baltimore field office was assisting.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that the shooting involved “multiple victims” and warned that the situation was still fluid and asked people to avoid the area.

In a tweet, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said his office is monitoring the situation in Aberdeen and that Continue reading “Official: Multiple people killed in Maryland shooting”

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if U.S. takes steps too

PYONGYANG, North Korea — The leaders of North and South Korea announced a wide range of agreements Wednesday which they said were a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula. But the premier pledge on denuclearization contained a big condition, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stating he’d permanently dismantle his main nuclear complex only if the United States takes unspecified corresponding measures.

Compared to the vague language of their two summits earlier this year, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed in their second day of meetings to an ambitious program meant to tackle soaring tensions last year that had many fearing war as the North tested a string of increasingly powerful weapons.

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon, and both leaders vowed to work together to try Continue reading “Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if U.S. takes steps too”

Kavanaugh: I didn’t recognize Parkland dad seeking handshake

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he would have shaken the hand of a school shooting victim’s father during a break in last week’s Senate hearing had he recognized him before being whisked away by security detail.

Kavanaugh’s explanation for the encounter with Fred Guttenberg— captured in an Associated Press photo that went viral on social media — was among a 263-page response to written questions from senators on a range of issues including abortion, executive power and his personal finances.

Kavanaugh wrote that he assumed the man who approached him “and touched my arm” during a break at the Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings had been one of the many protesters in the hearing room. Guttenberg’s 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was among 17 people killed on Feb. 14 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

“It had been a chaotic morning,” Kavanaugh wrote. “I unfortunately did not realize Continue reading “Kavanaugh: I didn’t recognize Parkland dad seeking handshake”

Mourners gather for Arizona church service for McCain

PHOENIX — People waved American flags and campaign-style signs along the side of the road Thursday as a motorcade carrying Sen. John McCain’s body traveled from the state Capitol to a church for a second day of memorial services for the maverick politician, former prisoner of war and two-time presidential candidate.

Family members watched in silence as uniformed military members removed the senator’s flag-draped casket from the black hearse and carried it into the North Phoenix Baptist for a commemoration featuring Vice President Joe Biden and other dignitaries.

As the hearse made its way along the 8-mile (13-kilometer) route, people held signs that read simply “McCain” and cars on the other side of the highway stopped or slowed to a crawl in apparent tribute.

A few firefighters saluted from atop a fire engine parked on an overpass when the 11-vehicle motorcade with a 17-motorcycle police escort passed underneath on Interstate Continue reading “Mourners gather for Arizona church service for McCain”

Sen. John McCain’s casket arrives at Arizona Capitol

PHOENIX — A black hearse carrying the flag-draped casket of U.S. Sen. John McCain arrived at Arizona’s Capitol on Wednesday for the first of two services before he is taken for the last time from the state he has represented since the 1980s.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey embraced McCain’s wife, Cindy, when the police motorcade arrived.

Uniformed Arizona National Guard members carried the casket into the Arizona State Capitol Museum rotunda, where McCain will lie in state after a private morning service on what would have been his 82nd birthday. McCain died Saturday of brain cancer.

Black curtains hung in the rotunda at the museum that hosts tourists and history buffs on a typical day as well state capitol workers bustling from one office to another. Arizona and U.S. flags encircled the room.

Before the ceremony started, veterans and active military members had staked out spots on the Continue reading “Sen. John McCain’s casket arrives at Arizona Capitol”

Sen. John McCain’s casket arrives at Arizona Capitol

PHOENIX — A black hearse carrying the flag-draped casket of U.S. Sen. John McCain arrived at Arizona’s Capitol on Wednesday for the first of two services before he is taken for the last time from the state he has represented since the 1980s.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey embraced McCain’s wife, Cindy, when the police motorcade arrived.

Uniformed Arizona National Guard members carried the casket into the Arizona State Capitol Museum rotunda, where McCain will lie in state after a private morning service on what would have been his 82nd birthday. McCain died Saturday of brain cancer.

Black curtains hung in the rotunda at the museum that hosts tourists and history buffs on a typical day as well state capitol workers bustling from one office to another. Arizona and U.S. flags encircled the room.

Before the ceremony started, veterans and active military members had staked out spots on the Continue reading “Sen. John McCain’s casket arrives at Arizona Capitol”

California congressman and wife plead not guilty

SAN DIEGO — U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret have pleaded not guilty in San Diego to charges they illegally used his campaign account for personal expenses.

The California Republican and his wife entered their pleas Thursday morning in federal court.

Prosecutors said bond could be set low because the Hunters are living paycheck to paycheck.

Bail was set at $15,000 for the congressman and at $10,000 for his wife.

An indictment alleges they used more than $250,000 to finance family trips to Italy and Hawaii, golf outings, school tuition, theater tickets and even fast food purchases.

Hunter easily finished first in a June primary and established himself as a strong favorite to hold onto California’s 50th Congressional District in San Diego and Riverside counties.

Bolton presses Russia about meddling in U.S. election process

GENEVA (AP) — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Thursday he pressed top Russian officials about meddling in the U.S. election process, while saying Russians will face no new U.S. sanctions if they stop such interference.

John Bolton spoke to The Associated Press in an interview at the U.S. mission in Geneva between morning and afternoon meetings with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, a follow-up meeting to the summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month.

It marked the first top-level meeting in what could be a series between the two presidents’ national security teams, a result of what Bolton called the only “concrete” result from the summit in the Finnish capital. Such meetings were aimed toward “opening up channels” and “break through some of the difficulties we’ve had.”

Bolton wasted little time in mentioning he had brought up the election Continue reading “Bolton presses Russia about meddling in U.S. election process”

Leaker of secret report on Russian hacking faces sentencing

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia woman who leaked a secret report on Russian hacking of U.S. voting systems could get a tough sentence.

Reality Winner was preparing to face a judge Thursday in Augusta, Georgia. Prosecutors recommended five years and three months, which would be the longest sentence ever given for a federal crime involving leaks to the news media.

The 26-year-old former National Security Agency contractor pleaded guilty in June to copying a classified U.S. report and mailing it to an unidentified news organization.

Her arrest was announced the same day The Intercept reported on a secret NSA document. It detailed Russian government efforts to penetrate a Florida-based supplier of voting software and the accounts of election officials ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

U.S. intelligence agencies later confirmed Russian meddling.

Puerto Rico concedes Hurricane Maria deaths more than 1,400

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico has conceded that Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people on the island last year and not just the 64 in the official death toll.

The government acknowledged the higher death toll with no fanfare in a report submitted to Congress this week in which it detailed a $139 billion reconstruction plan for the island.

That quiet acknowledgement was first reported Thursday by The New York Times.

Puerto Rican officials have admitted that more than 64 people likely died from the powerful storm that knocked out the power grid and caused widespread flooding that made many roads impassable. But a more exact number has been a matter of debate that the government has sought to end by commissioning an academic study due out in coming weeks.

Council wants to remove Trump star from Walk of Fame

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — The West Hollywood City Council has unanimously approved a resolution seeking to remove President Donald Trump’s star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The resolution urges the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and Los Angeles to remove the star because of what it says is Trump’s “disturbing treatment of women and other actions.”

However, chamber president Leron Gubler tells the Los Angeles Times the chamber has never removed a star because it’s considered part of the walk’s “historic fabric.”

Monday’s vote came after a man accused of taking a pickax to the star last month was charged with a felony count of vandalism. The star was previously vandalized days before the November 2016 election.

It has been repaired.

The star recognized Trump for his work on the TV reality show “The Apprentice.”

Pompeo says sanctions a pillar of U.S. policy toward Iran

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran will be rigorously enforced and remain in place until the Iranian government radically changes course.

Speaking to reporters aboard his plane on his way home from a three-nation trip to Southeast Asia, Pompeo said Monday’s re-imposition of sanctions is an important pillar in U.S. policy toward Iran. He said the Trump administration is open to looking beyond sanctions but that would “require enormous change” from Tehran.

“We’re hopeful that we can find a way to move forward but it’s going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime,” he said Sunday. “They’ve got to behave like a normal country. That’s the ask. It’s pretty simple.”

Pompeo called the Iranian leadership “bad actors” and said President Donald Trump is intent on getting them to “behave like a normal country.”

A first Continue reading “Pompeo says sanctions a pillar of U.S. policy toward Iran”

Acting CIA watchdog up for top job resigns

ASPEN, Colo. — The acting watchdog at the CIA, who has been accused of retaliating against whistleblowers, is resigning, the agency confirmed Friday.

Christopher Sharpley, whose nomination for the inspector general post had stalled in the Senate, said in a memo to employees at his office that he was stepping down.

CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said in a statement the agency was grateful to Sharpley for his service, "including his work to professionalize" the office. Sharpley has 36 years of investigative and law enforcement experience and created two inspectors general offices within the government.

"After three decades of public service, he has decided to continue his career outside the agency, and we wish him the best in this new chapter," Trapani said. "CIA’s commitment to rigorous, independent oversight is unwavering, and the Office of Inspector General will carry on that important mission through the transition."

The announcement did not Continue reading “Acting CIA watchdog up for top job resigns”

Officials: DHS asks military for 12,000 beds to detain families

WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security has formally requested space for up to 12,000 beds at a military base to detain families caught crossing the border illegally, the Defense Department said Wednesday.

The request seeks 2,000 beds to be up and running in the next 45 days, and the remaining space to be available on an as-needed basis, the Defense Department said in a statement.

The facility must comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s family residential standards, as well as a 1997 agreement known as the Flores settlement, which governs how children are housed in immigration custody. Those standards require air conditioning, libraries, private showers, plus medical, dental and mental health facilities. Those rules also state there must be freedom of movement within the facility during the day.

The facility will be housed at a military base, but it’s not clear yet which one. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Continue reading “Officials: DHS asks military for 12,000 beds to detain families”

Woman accused of leaking U.S. secrets pleads guilty

AUGUSTA, Ga. — A woman accused of leaking U.S. secrets to a news outlet pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Georgia.

Reality Winner, 26, entered her guilty plea after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors that calls for her to serve five years and three months behind bars, news outlets reported. A judge will sentence her later.

“All of these actions I did willfully, meaning I did them of my own free will,” she told the court, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported .

Winner has been held without bail since she was arrested in June 2017 and charged under the Espionage Act. Her trial had been set to start Oct. 15.

She is a former Air Force linguist who speaks Arabic and Farsi and had a top-secret security clearance. She worked for the national security contractor Pluribus International at Fort Gordon in Georgia when she was charged in June 2017 Continue reading “Woman accused of leaking U.S. secrets pleads guilty”