Governor hopefuls distancing themselves from Clinton, Trump JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - In West Virginia, the Democrat running for governor has defended the coal industry while decrying his party's presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. In Vermont, the Republican nominee for governor declared his support for transgender bathroom rights and denounced GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Those types of unconventional strategic calculations are helping to make for close races this year in several states. A dozen governor's offices will be up for grabs in the Nov. 8 elections, including at least seven that appear competitive. The national Republican and Democratic governors associations already have spent more than $25 million in those states, according to an Associated Press analysis of financial reports and interviews.
AP-GfK poll: Third party backers a wild card in 2016 race WASHINGTON (AP) - Most people who are drawn to third party candidates in the presidential election aren't sold on their choice, making these voters wild cards in an already unpredictable contest. A shift in their support toward either of the major party nominees - away from Libertarian Gary Johnson, Jill Stein of the Green Party or another third party candidate - could drastically change the shape of the race. A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that nearly 7 in 10 third-party supporters say they could still change their minds. They are about evenly split between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump if forced to choose between just those two.
Powerful Hurricane Matthew soaks Colombia, heads for Jamaica KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - One of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history weakened a little on Saturday as it drenched coastal Colombia and roared across the Caribbean on a course that still puts Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba in the path of potentially devastating winds and rain. Matthew briefly reached the top hurricane classification, Category 5, and was the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Felix in 2007. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said its winds had slipped from a peak of 160 mph (260 kph) to a still-devastating 145 mph (230 kph) and it was expected to reach the eastern part of Jamaica on Monday.
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Orthodox delegation stays away from pope's Mass TBILISI, Georgia (AP) - Pope Francis' efforts to improve relations with the Georgian Orthodox Church suffered a public setback Saturday after the patriarchate decided not to send an official delegation to his Mass and repeated that Orthodox faithful cannot participate in Catholic services. In the run-up to Francis' Caucasus visit, the Vatican spokesman had said the Orthodox Patriarchate would send a delegation to the Mass in a Tbilisi sports stadium "in a sign of the rapport between the two churches" - suggesting that the chill that had clouded the 1999 visit of St. John Paul II to Georgia had warmed slightly.
March planned in memory of man shot by police in California EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) - Alfred Olango, the unarmed black man shot and killed by police in a suburb of San Diego, will be remembered in a demonstration Saturday organized by clergy members and supporters of Olango's family. The event comes a day after two videos of the shooting were released by authorities, something the family and community leaders in El Cajon had urged. The videos show the officer fired four times at close range almost immediately after Olango, 38, suddenly raised both hands to chest level and took what was described as a shooting stance. The shots came less than a minute after police arrived at the scene in response to Olango's sister calling 911 and reporting he was acting erratically.
Supreme Court in holding pattern, awaiting ninth justice WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is set to begin its new term as it ended the last one, down one justice and ideologically deadlocked on a range of issues. The absence of a ninth justice since Antonin Scalia's death in February has hamstrung the court in several cases and forced the justices to look for less contentious issues on which they are less likely to divide by 4-4 votes. It could be several months, at least, before the nation's highest court is again operating at full strength. "It's a very interesting time at the court. That doesn't necessarily translate into interesting cases.
US mood hardens as leader of ally Philippines stokes outrage WASHINGTON (AP) - As the body count mounts in the Philippines' deadly war on drugs, and its combative president's rhetoric plumbs new depths, the mood in Washington toward a key Asian ally is hardening. Influential U.S. lawmakers are warning that the extra-judicial killings in the drug war - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday compared it to the Holocaust - could affect American aid. And while the Obama administration maintains that its 65-year-old alliance with the Philippines remains "ironclad," a senior U.S. diplomat is cautioning Duterte against more anti-U.S. posturing. "I think it would be a serious mistake in a democratic country like the Philippines to underestimate the power of the public's affinity for the U.S.
NTSB probe of deadly crash focuses on engineer, black box HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) - Here's what is known about the investigation into a commuter train crash that killed one person and injured more than 100 others Thursday in Hoboken, New Jersey. THE INVESTIGATION The National Transportation Safety Board is gathering information about what caused the train to barrel through a station and crash into a barrier. The agency is seeking information from the train's engineer, the black boxes that record train data and other crew members. Authorities would not estimate how fast the train was going before it hit a bumper at the end of its track. But the speed limit into the station is 10 mph.
Jewish-American ex-sailor, 90, recalls Cyprus internment NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - Seventy years later, Murray Greenfield can still remember the anger he felt when he was locked up with hundreds of Jewish Holocaust survivors in a British detention camp on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. "Your first reaction is you're mad as hell," 90-year-old Greenfield told The Associated Press from his home in Israel, recalling the feelings of many stuck behind double rows of barbed wire fences and under armed guard. "Why should we, the survivors, be behind barbed wire?" Born and raised in New York City to Jewish immigrant parents, Greenfield reminisced about his time in Cyprus during a September visit to the island organized by his family for his 90th birthday.
Will Round 2 at Ryder Cup bring more wild momentum swings? CHASKA, Minn. (AP) - Sweep, then almost swept. That describes the U.S. team's opening day at the Ryder Cup. The Americans won all four of Friday morning's foursomes matches, then nearly got shut out when they dropped three of four in the afternoon fourballs. The momentum swing left Europe trailing 5-3, but encouraged captain Darren Clarke enough to shoehorn the last two of his six rookies into Saturday morning's foursomes sessions. Asked whether he'd rather have a small lead or the momentum, Clarke thought about it for a moment. "As I'm sitting in my seat right now, in the position we were in at lunchtime (down 4-0), I would definitely say ...