Clinton kicks off swing state tour vowing to create jobs PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Kicking off her fall campaign for the White House, Hillary Clinton used her first post-convention rally Friday to stress the "stark choice" voters will face in November between her and Republican rival Donald Trump. "There's no doubt in my mind that every election is important in its own way, but I can't think of an election that was more important in my lifetime," the Democrat told thousands of supporters in the first stop of a three-day bus tour through the Rust Belt battlegrounds of Pennsylvania and Ohio. "It's not so much that I'm on the ticket, it's because of the stark choice that's posed to Americans in this election," she said.
Trump transition tests outsider's governing ability WASHINGTON (AP) - His status as a presidential nominee barely a week old, Donald Trump is already tasked with assembling a complex transition team capable of hiring thousands of high-level government officials and crafting a detailed policy agenda should he win the presidency. It's a herculean task that will test the limits of Trump in particular, a political outsider who, thus far, has struggled to attract experienced talent to his presidential campaign. Experienced officials warn that the safety and economic security of the nation depends on both White House contenders aggressively preparing for the transition to a new presidency in the coming weeks, even as they intensify their political operations for the three-month sprint to Election Day.
Trump's Russia reset ideas alarming allies, many in US PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Donald Trump's flurry of offhand remarks and abrupt zingers on Russia - praising Vladimir Putin, dismissing NATO - have jolted the world, not to mention the U.S. presidential campaign. With Russia's behavior rattling nerves in the U.S. and abroad, the Republican presidential nominee is accused of cozying up to a "dictator." Of threatening the very underpinnings of America's relationship with Europe. And of naivete. Yet for all that, Trump's words are consistent with some long-held U.S. views, many experts say. The idea of fostering U.S.-Russian cooperation isn't outlandish - after all, Hillary Clinton tried to "reset" relations with Russia as secretary of state.
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Computers hacked at Democrats' House campaign committee WASHINGTON (AP) - The computers of the House Democratic campaign committee have been hacked, an intrusion that investigators say resembles the recent cyber breach of the Democratic National Committee for which the Russian government is the leading suspect. The digital break-in at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which the organization acknowledged Friday, added another layer of mystery to the hacking of Democratic Party information that has been revealed in the heat of this year's presidential and congressional elections. Details were initially unclear about exactly who tapped into the computers and which information was accessed at the congressional campaign committee, which raises money and provides other assistance for Democratic House candidates.
Mosquitoes have apparently begun spreading Zika in U.S. MIAMI (AP) - Mosquitoes have apparently begun spreading the Zika virus on the U.S. mainland for the first time, Florida officials said Friday in a long-feared turn in the epidemic that is sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean. Four recently infected people in the Miami area - one woman and three men - are believed to have caught the virus locally through mosquito bites, Gov. Rick Scott said at a news conference. No mosquitoes in Florida have actually been found to be carrying Zika, despite the testing of 19,000 by the state lab. But other methods of Zika transmission, such as travel to a stricken country or sex with an infected person, have been ruled out.
Pope visits Auschwitz, begs God to forgive "so much cruelty" OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) - Pope Francis paid a somber visit in silence to the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau on Friday, with his only public comment a guest book entry begging God's "forgiveness for so much cruelty." The Argentine-born pontiff made an early morning pilgrimage to the place where Adolf Hitler's forces killed more than 1 million people, most of them Jews, during World War II. Francis entered the camp on foot, walking slowly in his white robes beneath the notorious gate at Auschwitz that bears the cynical words "Arbeit Macht Frei (Work sets you free)." Among the 11 survivors he met briefly was a woman in her mid-90s who helped deliver babies born to Auschwitz women; another, 101, played the violin in an orchestra the death camp.
2 San Diego police officers shot, 1 fatally, in traffic stop SAN DIEGO (AP) - One San Diego police officer was killed and another was wounded in a shootout following a late-night traffic stop, authorities said Friday. A suspect was wounded and taken into custody a short time later and hours later police surrounded a home as they searched for man described as a possible accomplice. Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman identified the dead officer as Jonathan DeGuzman, a 16-year veteran of the force who was married with two children. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Officer Wade Irwin, 32, underwent surgery after being shot and was expected to survive, Zimmerman said. His wife was at the hospital during surgery.
New Sandy Hook school reopens nearly 4 years after massacre NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - The new Sandy Hook Elementary School, built to replace the one demolished after a massacre that took the lives of 20 children and six educators, features three courtyards, study spaces designed to look like treehouses and a moat-like raingarden. Still, many would give anything to have the old building back. "But, let me state unequivocally that we would trade in a minute this beautiful new school for the more familiar and ancient Sandy Hook school, built in the '50s, if we could just change the past," said Pat Llodra, the town's first selectman. The new 86,000-square-foot school opened Friday for the first time to the media and the general public, containing no obvious memorials to the 26 people who died in December 2012, but officials said it was created with them in mind.
6 more Michigan public workers charged in Flint water crisis FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Six current or former state employees were charged Friday with misconduct and other crimes in the Flint water crisis, bringing to nine the number of public officials facing prosecution over the lead contamination that alarmed parents across the country. Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a total of 18 new charges against three employees from the Department of Environmental Quality - Liane Shekter Smith, Adam Rosenthal and Patrick Cook - and three from the Department of Health and Human Services - Nancy Peeler, Corinne Miller and Robert Scott. In addition to the misconduct in office charges, there were willful neglect of duty and various conspiracy counts.
UN Syria envoy tells Russia: Leave Aleppo corridors 'to us' GENEVA (AP) - The U.N. special envoy for Syria on Friday urged Russia to leave the creation of humanitarian corridors around Aleppo to the United Nations and its partners, issuing a gentle snub to Moscow, which had made the proposal a day earlier as pro-government troops tightened their encirclement of rebel-held parts of the northern Syrian city. In comments carried later Friday by Russia's Interfax news agency, deputy defense minister Anatoly Antonov said that Russia was willing to work with the U.N. on setting up the corridors. He said that Russia is "ready for close and constructive cooperation with all international humanitarian organizations and, of course, with the office of the U.N.