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AP Top News at 6:13 a.m. EDT

Turkey in cross-border operation to free IS-held Syrian town
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - After a pre-dawn barrage of heavy artillery and airstrikes, Turkey sent tanks and special forces into Syria on Wednesday to help clear a border town of Islamic State militants in Ankara's most significant military involvement so far in the Syria conflict. Syrian opposition fighters were also part of the cross-border incursion, which was reported by both Turkish state media and Syrian opposition activists. Turkey said its intention was to clear the town of Jarablus, located right across the border from Turkey, from IS militants. But Turkey is also concerned about the growing power of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces, who it says are linked to Kurdish groups waging an insurgency in southeastern Turkey.


Strong quake rocks central Italy, at least 37 reported dead
AMATRICE, Italy (AP) - A devastating earthquake rocked central Italy early Wednesday, collapsing homes on top of residents as they slept. At least 37 people were killed in hard-hit towns where rescue crews raced to dig survivors out of the rubble, but the toll was likely to rise as crews reached homes in more remote hamlets. "The town isn't here anymore," said Sergio Pirozzi, the mayor of Amatrice. The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome, where residents felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. The temblor was felt from the Lazio region into Umbria and Le Marche on the Adriatic coast.


10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. MAGNITUDE 6 QUAKE KILLS AT LEAST 37 IN CENTRAL ITALY The hardest-hit towns are Amatrice and Accumoli, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Rome. The toll is expected to rise as crews reach homes in more remote hamlets. 2. TURKEY SAYS OPERATION LAUNCHED TO FREE IS-HELD SYRIAN TOWN As many as 20 tanks reportedly cross into Syria in a bid to liberate Jarablus, following the Turkish foreign minister's pledge of "every kind" of support for operations against the extremist group along a 100-kilometer (62-mile) stretch of Syria's frontier.


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Blacks question Trump outreach delivered to white audiences
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Black Republicans cheer Donald Trump for a newfound outreach to African-Americans, but say the GOP presidential nominee must take his message beyond arenas filled with white supporters and venture into the inner cities. Many rank-and-file black voters, meanwhile, dismiss the overtures as another racially charged pitch from a campaign aimed exclusively at whites, from Trump's emphasis on "law and order" to his withering critiques of President Barack Obama, the nation's first black chief executive. It was Trump in 2011 who fiercely challenged Obama's U.S. birth. "Any minority who would vote for him is crazy, ought to have their head examined," said Ike Jenkins, an 81-year-old retired business owner in the predominantly black suburb of East Cleveland.


Horrified by Trump, Democrats getting nostalgic about Romney
WASHINGTON (AP) - When President Barack Obama ran for re-election, Democrats made no secret of their disdain for Mitt Romney. That was all before Donald Trump. Horrified by the prospect of Trump in the White House, Obama and his party have changed their tune about Romney. As they denounce Trump as "unhinged" and unfit, they're getting nostalgic about the 2012 Republican nominee they now describe as principled, competent and honorable. It's a sharp reversal from four years ago. Back then, Democrats spent hundreds of millions of dollars portraying the former Massachusetts governor as a callous, unpatriotic, pet-abusing caricature of the uber-rich.


Japan, China, S. Korea unite in condemning N. Korea missile
TOKYO (AP) - The foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea put aside frictions over territorial disputes and wartime history to sharply criticize North Korea's latest submarine missile test on Wednesday in a rare display of unity. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who chaired the meeting with China's Wang Yi and South Korea's Yun Byung-se, said that North Korea's missile launch is a "provocation that simply cannot be tolerated." North Korea fired a ballistic missile from a submarine into the Sea of Japan, South Korean and U.S. officials said. Seoul officials condemned the launch as an "armed protest" against the start of annual South Korean-U.S.


Raped and tortured by IS, Yazidi women recover in Germany
VILLINGEN-SCHWENNINGEN, Germany (AP) - The Yazidi girl had been in the safety of a refugee camp in Iraq for two weeks when she imagined she heard the voices of Islamic State fighters outside her tent. Petrified by the thought of again facing rape and abuse at their hands, 17-year-old Yasmin vowed to make herself undesirable. So she doused herself in gasoline and lit a match. The flames burned her hair and face, peeling away her nose, lips and ears. That was her state when German doctor Jan Ilhan Kizilhan found her in a refugee camp in northern Iraq last year - physically disfigured and mentally so scarred that she had falsely thought her former captors were coming for her.


Forced relocations raise doubts over Jordan's tribal customs
IRBID, Jordan (AP) - It was four in the morning when Asma Dawaghreh fled her home with her sick husband and six children. With nothing but the loose change in her pockets, she packed her family into a car and left under the cover of darkness. Her family is one of dozens uprooted every year in the kingdom under the tribal practice of "jalwa"- Arabic for "eviction"- in which an entire clan can be forced to relocate because of a crime committed by a family member. In Dawaghreh's case, a nephew on her husband's side of the family stabbed his cousin to death, forcing three dozen relatives to flee their village in northern Jordan.


Park Service seeks minorities' support as it marks 100 years
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) - When Asha Jones and other Grand Canyon interns arrived for their summer at the national park, they were struck by its sheer immensity, beauty and world-class hiking trails. Soon, they noticed something else. "It is time for a change here, specifically, at Grand Canyon and in the National Park Service in general, to get people who look like me to your parks," said Jones, a 19-year-old black student at Atlanta's Spelman College. The National Park Service, which oversees more than 131,000 square miles of parks, monuments, battlefields and other landmarks, thinks it's time for a change, too.


APNewsBreak: Ohio literary peace award to Marilynne Robinson
CINCINNATI (AP) - Writer Marilynne Robinson has been named the winner of a lifetime achievement award that celebrates the power of literature to foster peace, social justice and global understanding. Dayton Literary Peace Prize organizers announced Wednesday that Robinson, 72, will receive this year's Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, named for the late U.S. diplomat who brokered the 1995 Bosnia peace accords reached in Ohio. Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for "Gilead," the first of a trilogy of Iowa-set novels that includes "Home" and "Lila." Her 1980 book "Housekeeping" explored themes of family and home in a story about two sisters.