AP News

AP Top News at 9:13 a.m. EDT

Italy buries quake dead, recalls sisters embracing in rubble
ASCOLI PICENO, Italy (AP) - A young man wept over a little girl's white coffin, while a woman nearby gently stroked another small casket, as Italians bid farewell Saturday to victims of the devastating earthquake that struck a mountainous region of central Italy this week. As Italians observed a day of national mourning, President Sergio Mattarella and Premier Matteo Renzi joined grieving family members for a state funeral for 35 of the 290 people killed in Wednesday's quake. Mourners, among them many injured, wept and held each other in a sweltering community gym in the town of Ascoli Piceno as the local bishop, Giovanni D'Ercole, urged them to rebuild their communities.


Little precedent for $400 million cash payment to Iran
WASHINGTON (AP) - A $400 million cash delivery to Iran to repay a decades-old arbitration claim may be unprecedented in recent U.S. history, according to legal experts and diplomatic historians, raising further questions about a payment timed to help free four American prisoners in Iran. The money was sent to Iran on Jan. 17, the same day Iran agreed to release the prisoners. The Obama administration claimed for months the events were separate, but recently acknowledged the cash was used as leverage until the Americans were allowed to leave Iran. Only then, did the U.S. allow a plane with euros, Swiss francs and other foreign currency loaded on pallets to take off in the other direction for Tehran.


Man faces 2 capital murder charges in Mississippi nun deaths
LEXINGTON, Miss. (AP) - A man suspected in the slayings of two Mississippi nuns who were found dead inside a residence within the community they served has been arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder, Mississippi authorities said. Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, of Kosciusko, Mississippi, was charged in the deaths of Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill, both 68, Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said in a statement released late Friday night. The bodies of both women were discovered Thursday after they failed to show up for work at a clinic in Lexington, Mississippi, about 10 miles from where they lived.


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Mosul fight is already redrawing the map of northern Iraq
QARQASHAH, Iraq (AP) - In the buildup to a long-awaited offensive on the city of Mosul, Kurdish forces are seizing new territory in northern Iraq that they say will become part of their autonomous region. The moves are further straining relations between the Kurds and the Baghdad government and Shiite militias, all ostensibly allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. Just east of Mosul, Kurdish engineering teams on a recent day were laying down a 3-meter wide, 20-kilometer long trench and 2-meter high berms, marking the new front line after recapturing the village of Qarqashah and neighboring hamlets from IS earlier this month.


Kaine's wife, Anne Holton, no stranger to political stage
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Anne Holton first stepped into the spotlight in 1970 as a white student enrolling in a predominantly black middle school in Virginia's capital as part of a push for school integration by her father, the state's governor at the time. Decades later she's stepping onto an even bigger stage as she works to get Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Holton's husband, vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, elected to the White House. A vivacious Harvard Law graduate, former judge and former state secretary of education, Holton has begun campaigning solo for Clinton. She's expected to stay on the campaign trail, both with her husband and by herself, through Election Day.


As Trump courts Latinos, Clinton links him to radical fringe
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump met with about two dozen Latino supporters in Nevada to discuss strategies for boosting Hispanic turnout in the swing state, part of his effort to make the case that his economic policies would be better for small minority-owned businesses than those of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. "People don't know how well we're doing with the Hispanics, the Latinos," Trump said Friday at his hotel just off the Vegas Strip. "We're doing really well." Trump has suggested that minorities have been left behind by Democratic economic policies and hammered the nation's sluggish GDP growth as "a catastrophe," saying that the United States has "some very, very serious problems and it's going to get worse with this group of people" in charge.


Filipinos seen backing Duterte despite rising drug killings
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - On the day he was sworn into office, President Rodrigo Duterte went to a Manila slum and exhorted residents who knew any drug addicts to "go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful." Two months later, nearly 2,000 suspected drug pushers and users lay dead as morgues continue to fill up. Faced with criticism of his actions by rights activists, international bodies and outspoken Filipinos, including the top judge, Duterte has stuck to his guns and threatened to declare martial law if the Supreme Court meddles in his work.


N. Korea threatens to fire at US, S. Korea troops' lights
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea on Saturday threatened to aim fire at the lighting equipment used by "provocative" American and South Korean troops at a truce village inside the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas. The North's Korean People's Army accused U.S. and South Korean soldiers of "deliberate provocations" by aiming their lights at North Korean guard posts at Panmunjom since Friday evening. The KPA said in a statement that the soldiers' actions have seriously threatened the safety of North Korean troops and disrupted their normal monitoring activities. It said the activities have further raised the anger of North Korean soldiers at a time when the Korean Peninsula has reached the "brink of war" due to last Monday's start of annual joint military drills between the U.S.


Bangladesh police kill 3, including suspect in Dhaka attack
NEW DELHI (AP) - Police in Bangladesh killed three suspected militants Saturday, including an alleged mastermind of a major attack on a cafe last month that left 20 people dead. Police sharpshooters raided a two-story house in Narayanganj district near the capital, Dhaka, after receiving a tip that Tamim Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi-born Canadian, and others were hiding there, top counterterrorism official Monirul Islam said. Police say Chowdhury is one of two masterminds of the attack on a popular restaurant in Dhaka on July 1 that that killed 20 people, including 17 foreigners. The militants belonged to the banned group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, or JMB, Bangladesh's police chief A.K.M.


Dwyane Wade's cousin fatally shot pushing baby in stroller
CHICAGO (AP) - NBA star Dwyane Wade's cousin was shot and killed in Chicago while pushing her baby in a stroller near a school where she intended to register her children. Wade lamented on Twitter what he called another "act of senseless gun violence." Nykea Aldridge, 32, had recently relocated to an area on the city's South Side, her family said. On Friday, Aldridge was near the school, which is about a mile and a half southwest of the University of Chicago, when two males walked up and fired shots at a third man but hit Aldridge in the head and arm.

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