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AP Top News at 9:24 p.m. EDT

Trump rebukes racism claims as Clinton warns of radicalism
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Donald Trump confronted head-on allegations that he is racist on Thursday, defending his hard-line approach to immigration while trying to make the case to minority voters that Democrats have abandoned them. His general election opponent, Hillary Clinton, meanwhile hammered the point that Trump unleashed the "radical fringe" within the Republican Party, including anti-Semites and white supremacists, dubbing the billionaire businessman's campaign as one that will "make America hate again." The ping-pong accusations come as the two candidates vie for minorities and any undecided voters with less than three months until Election Day. Weeks before the first early voting, Trump faces the urgent task of revamping his image to win over those skeptical of his candidacy.


The Latest: Trump says 'nobody even knows' what alt-right is
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the U.S. presidential race (all times EDT): 9:10 p.m. Republican Donald Trump is continuing to push back on allegations from rival Hillary Clinton that his candidacy has courted the "alt-right" movement. In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Trump insists: "Nobody even knows what it is. And she didn't know what it was." He says, "There's no alt-right or alt-left. All I'm embracing is common sense." Trump's new campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, had previously said that the news site he oversaw, Breitbart News, was "the platform for the alt-right." Trump says, "I don't know what Steve said," adding, "We're bringing love." -- 9 p.m.


10 Things to Know for Friday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday: 1. WHAT'S BEING ASKED IN AFTERMATH OF DEADLY EARTHQUAKE Soul-searching mounts over why quake-prone Italy has continually failed to ensure that buildings can withstand such catastrophes. 2. TRUMP SWINGS TOWARD RIVALS ON IMMIGRATION The billionaire businessman defeated 16 rivals in the GOP primary by being the most anti-immigrant of them all - but now he's sounding a lot like the people he defeated. 3. WHY TURKEY IS RAMPING UP MILITARY PRESENCE IN SYRIA Turkey's aim in part is to contain expansion by the Kurds, who have used the chaos of the civil war to seize nearly all the territory along Syria's northern border with Turkey.


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Belgian media report blast at Chimay sports center
BRUSSELS (AP) - A Belgian newspaper is reporting that an explosion has rocked a sports center in the Belgian town of Chimay, with reports of at least one person dead and two injured. Het Laatse Niews quoted a rescue services spokesman as saying early Friday that the blast happened just after midnight and that several people were in the building at the time. The spokesman, who was not named, said that a large section of the building had collapsed and that people were feared trapped in the rubble. The cause of the explosion is unknown. Police in Chimay, which lies some 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the capital Brussels, could not be immediately reached for confirmation.


Aftershocks rattle Italian quake zone; toll rises to 250
PESCARA DEL TRONTO, Italy (AP) - As the search for survivors ground on, Premier Matteo Renzi pledged new money and measures Thursday to rebuild quake-devastated central Italy amid mounting soul-searching over why the seismic-prone country has continually failed to ensure its buildings can withstand such catastrophes. A day after the deadly quake killed 250 people, a 4.3 magnitude aftershock sent up plumes of thick gray dust in the hard-hit town of Amatrice. The aftershock crumbled already cracked buildings, rattled residents and closed already clogged roads. It was only one of the more than 470 temblors that have followed Wednesday's pre-dawn quake.


Nun in iconic Italy quake photo texted friends 'adieu'
ASCOLI PICENO, Italy (AP) - She became the face of Italy's earthquake: Sister Marjana Lleshi, blood staining her veil as she texted her family and friends in her native Albania that she was alive. In an interview Thursday at the mother house of her religious order, the 35-year-old nun recounted how she thought she would die when her convent walls collapsed. She texted her friends asking that they pray for her soul, only to be rescued by a man she has called her "angel." Now safe, Lleshi says she wants nothing more than to go to next week's Rome canonization of Mother Teresa, the ethnic Albanian nun "who gave hope to those who didn't have any." Lleshi was sleeping in the Don Minozzi convent beside the Church of the Most Holy Crucifix in Amatrice when the quake struck at 3:36 a.m.


US swimmer Lochte's legal troubles mount in Brazil
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Brazilian police charged American swimmer Ryan Lochte on Thursday with filing a false robbery report over an incident during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. A police statement said Lochte would be informed in the United States so he could decide whether to introduce a defense in Brazil. The indictment will also be sent to the International Olympic Committee's ethics commission, it said. "The investigation was concluded on Thursday and Olympic American swimmer Ryan Lochte was indicted for the crime of falsely reporting a crime," the statement said. It said the case was turned over to a special Brazilian court that has jurisdiction over crimes related to major sporting events.


Turkey sends more tanks to Syria, insists on Kurdish retreat
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey sent more tanks into northern Syria on Thursday and gave Syrian Kurdish forces a week to scale back their presence near the Turkish border, a day after it launched a U.S.-backed cross-border incursion to establish a frontier zone free of the Islamic State group and Kurdish rebels. Skirmishes broke out between Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and the U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters, raising the potential for an all-out confrontation between the two American allies that would also jeopardize the fight against the Islamic State group in the volatile area. Turkey's incursion Wednesday to capture the town of Jarablus was a dramatic escalation of Turkey's role in Syria's war and adds yet another powerhouse force on the ground in an already complicated conflict.


2 nuns killed in Mississippi; signs point to home break-in
DURANT, Miss. (AP) - Two nuns who worked as nurses and helped the poor in rural Mississippi were found slain in their home, perhaps victims of a break-in and vehicle theft, officials said Thursday. Authorities would not say if they have a suspect or what kind of vehicle is missing from the nuns' home. They also did not release a cause of death, but the Rev. Greg Plata said police told him the sisters were stabbed. The nuns were identified as Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill. Their bodies were taken to a state crime lab for autopsies. The women, both nurse practitioners, were found Thursday morning when they didn't report to work at a nearby clinic, where they provided flu shots, insulin and other medical care for children and adults who couldn't afford it.


Activist discovers iPhone spyware, sparking security update
AJMAN, United Arab Emirates (AP) - The suspicious text message that appeared on Ahmed Mansoor's iPhone promised to reveal details about torture in the United Arab Emirates' prisons. All Mansoor had to do was click the link. Mansoor, a human rights activist, didn't take the bait. Instead, he reported it to Citizen Lab, an internet watchdog, setting off a chain reaction that in two weeks exposed a secretive Israeli cyberespionage firm, defanged a powerful new piece of eavesdropping software and gave millions of iPhone users across the world an extra boost to their digital security. "It feels really good," Mansoor said in an interview from his sand-colored apartment block in downtown Ajman, a small city-state in the United Arab Emirates.


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