Kim fires off insults at Trump and hints at weapons test SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un lobbed a string of insults at President Donald Trump on Friday, calling him a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard" and hinting at a frightening new weapon test. It was the first time for a North Korean leader to issue such a direct statement against a U.S. president, dramatically escalating the war of words between the former wartime foes and raising the international nuclear standoff to a new level. Trump responded by tweeting that Kim is "obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people." In a lengthy statement carried by state media, Kim said Trump would "pay dearly" for his recent threat to destroy North Korea.
Analysis: Kim Jong Un, taking on Trump, makes it personal SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - So much for keeping the U.S.-North Korea crisis a country-to-country war of words. North Korea's dictator, taking his cue from America's president, has made it a decidedly personal matter. Put aside for a moment the name-calling - "Rocket Man" from Donald Trump earlier this week, "mentally deranged U.S. dotard" from Kim Jong Un in comments released Friday. What really stands out is the overall tone of Kim's first-person response - the first of its kind from the North, Seoul says. The North Korean leader's personal warning is aimed directly at Trump. Despite plenty of insults, for the most part it avoids the breathless histrionics that mark typical North Korean screeds even as it lays out what much of the world will see as a frightening vision.
Trump piles on new economic sanctions against North Korea NEW YORK (AP) - President Donald Trump has added economic sanctions to his fiery military threats against North Korea, and renewed his rhetorical offensive against Kim Jong Un on Friday, calling the reclusive leader "obviously a madman." Trump's move to punish foreign companies that deal with the North was the latest salvo in a U.S.-led campaign to isolate and impoverish Kim's government until his country halts its missile and nuclear tests. Trump announced the measures Thursday as he met leaders from South Korea and Japan, the nations most immediately imperiled by North Korea's threats of a military strike. "North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile development is a grave threat to peace and security in our world and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime," Trump said as he joined Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in for lunch.
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Puerto Rico faces weeks without electricity after Maria SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - The eye of Hurricane Maria was nearing the Turks and Caicos early Friday as Puerto Rico sought to recover from the storm's devastation. Two days after Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, flooding towns, crushing homes and killing at least two people, millions on the island faced the dispiriting prospect of weeks and perhaps months without electricity. The storm knocked out the entire grid across the U.S. territory of 3.4 million, leaving many without power. The loss of power left residents hunting for gas canisters for cooking, collecting rainwater or steeling themselves mentally for the hardships to come in the tropical heat.
Search for Mexico quake survivors enters day 4, some success MEXICO CITY (AP) - Survivors are still being pulled from rubble in Mexico City as rescue operations stretch into a fourth day Friday, spurring hope among desperate relatives gathered at the sites of buildings collapsed by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. Mexico's federal police said several people were lifted out of the debris of two buildings Thursday. Rescuers removed or broke through slabs until they found cracks that allowed workers to wiggle through to reach the victims, then lift them to safety. The city government said 60 people in all had been rescued since the quake hit at midday Tuesday. Still, with the hours passing, fewer of the living were being found, and the official death toll rose to 286, with more than half, 148, in the capital.
Mexico shocked by news: Girl trapped in rubble didn't exist MEXICO CITY (AP) - Hour after excruciating hour, Mexicans were transfixed by dramatic efforts to reach a young girl thought buried in the rubble of a school destroyed by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. She reportedly wiggled her fingers, told rescuers her name and said there were others trapped near her. Rescue workers called for tubes, pipes and other tools to reach her. News media, officials and volunteer rescuers all repeated the story of "Frida Sofia" with a sense of urgency that made it a national drama, drawing attention away from other rescue efforts across the quake-stricken city and leaving people in Mexico and abroad glued to their television sets.
Obama campus assault guidance gets scrapped under Trump WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration is scrapping Obama-era guidance on investigating campus sexual assault, replacing it with new interim instructions for universities. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said the Obama rules were unfairly skewed against the students accused of assault. In a statement Friday, DeVos says, "Schools must continue to confront these horrific crimes and behaviors head-on." But she adds, "The process also must be fair and impartial, giving everyone more confidence in its outcomes." The temporary guidance will be in place while the Education Department gathers comments and comes up with new rules.
NASA's asteroid chaser swings by Earth on way to space rock CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA's asteroid-chasing spacecraft is swinging by Earth on its way to a space rock. Launched a year ago, Osiris-Rex will pass within about 11,000 miles (17,700 kilometers) of the home planet Friday afternoon. It will use Earth's gravity as a slingshot to put it on a path toward the asteroid Bennu. If all goes well, Osiris-Rex should reach the small, roundish asteroid next year and, in 2020, collect some of its gravel for return to Earth. Friday's close approach will occur over Antarctica. It will be a quick hello: The spacecraft will speed by at about 19,000 mph (31,000 kph).
Florida family looks forward after losing home to sinkhole APOPKA, Fla. (AP) - A Florida family will soon be searching for a new place to gather after their home of nearly five decades was lost to a sinkhole. Elena Hale said cracks began appearing in the wall of her grandparents' Apopka home Monday night, and the wall was separating from the ceiling when they woke early Tuesday morning. A hole in the yard grew larger as the morning went on, and the bottom of the house was starting to sag by 11 a.m. "By that point, my grandparents had the fire department there, so they helped them move a lot of the furniture toward the front of the house so that we could get it out," Hale said.
Bhutan's leader calls for 3 moments of silence in UN speech UNITED NATIONS (AP) - In a forum where world leaders come to be heard, Bhutan's leader has punctuated his U.N. General Assembly speech with moments of silence to honor people afflicted by hurricanes, poverty and terrorism. Prime Minister Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay paused for three periods of silence during his speech Friday. He also discussed the international challenges of curbing global warming, reducing poverty and fighting terrorism. He noted that his tiny, heavily forested Himalayan nation is a rare country that absorbs more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide than it emits. Tobgay also said Bhutan has reduced acute poverty by half and aims to cut it significantly more in the next five years.