Grief erupts in Italy as nation honors, buries quake dead ASCOLI PICENO, Italy (AP) - Mourners in Italy prayed, hugged, wept and even applauded as coffins carrying victims of the country's devastating earthquake passed by at a state funeral Saturday, grieving as one nation after three desperate days of trying to save as many people as possible. In the central town of Ascoli Piceno, they gathered to bid farewell to 35 of the 291 people confirmed dead so far after the quake that struck a swath of countryside early Wednesday at the foothills of the central Apennine mountains. The caskets of 35 people had been brought to a community gym - one of the few structures in the area still intact and large enough to hold hundreds of mourners.
Scams & waste loom as charity millions donated after Orlando The more than 430 fundraisers posted on the GoFundMe website after the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando have exposed weaknesses inherent in these popular do-it-yourself charity campaigns: waste, questionable intentions and little oversight. The fundraisers - an average of more than four for each of the 49 killed and 53 wounded - include travelers asking for cash, a practitioner of ancient healing, a personal safety instructor who sells quick loaders for assault rifles, and even convicted identity impostors. "There was a deluge," said Holly Salmons, president of the Better Business Bureau for Central Florida. "It was almost impossible for us or anyone else to be able to vet." The crowdfunding sites operate outside traditional charitable circles and often beyond the reach of government regulation.
Man arrested in shocking killings of 2 Mississippi nuns DURANT, Miss. (AP) - A man suspected in the slayings of two nuns found dead in their Mississippi home has been arrested and charged with capital murder in the shocking killing that rocked the small town communities where the women served, authorities said. Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, of Kosciusko, Mississippi, was charged in the deaths of Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill, Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said late Friday. Both women were 68. People who knew the nuns, known for their generosity and commitment to improving health care for the poor, have been grappling with why anyone would want to kill them.
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Colombian rebels announce final conference of peace talks BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - Top commanders from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are preparing to gather one final time to ratify a peace accord reached this week with government negotiators and map out its political strategy without weapons. "The historic importance of this event merits the people of Colombia and the world see firsthand the development and conclusions of what will be the last conference of our armed organization," the FARC said in a statement Saturday inviting media to cover the 10th conference. The summit will take place Sept. 13-19 in jungled surroundings of San Vicente del Caguan, an area where the rebels have long been dominant and which was the center of a Switzerland-sized demilitarized zone ceded to the FARC during the last serious attempt at peace more than a decade ago.
Clinton receives first intelligence briefing as nominee WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - Hillary Clinton received her first national security briefing Saturday as the Democratic presidential nominee, meeting with intelligence officials for an overview of the major threats facing the nation around the globe. Clinton attended the briefing for more than two hours at the FBI office in White Plains, New York, near her suburban New York City home. Republican Donald Trump received his briefing earlier this month, a customary move for major party nominees but one that has been the subject of a political tussle during the campaign. Trump was campaigning on Saturday in Iowa, headlining Republican Sen.
Nevada becomes one of Trump's big hopes for swing state win LAS VEGAS (AP) - Russ Wheeler bears the financial scars of Nevada's lost decade, and he hopes Donald Trump can heal them. He worked for a Las Vegas roofing company when the real estate bust crushed the state's economy. He took two pay cuts before getting laid off. He had to commute into the California desert to find work after that. Wheeler considers himself one of the lucky ones. He was able to build up enough savings to retire, but even now his wife had her teaching hours reduced at a community college, dramatically reducing their household's income. "It'll be better with Trump because he'll bring the jobs back," Wheeler, 66, said as he stopped by a Republican Party office to scoop up some "Make America Great Again" yard signs and bumper stickers.
Kurdish-led Syria forces face off with Turkish-backed rebels BEIRUT (AP) - Backed by Turkish tanks and reports of airstrikes, Turkey-allied Syrian rebels clashed with Kurdish-led forces in northeastern Syria in a new escalation that further complicates the already protracted Syrian conflict. Turkey's military didn't specify what the airstrikes hit, saying only that "terror groups" were targeted south of the village of Jarablus, where the clashes later ensued. A Kurdish-affiliated group said their forces were the target and called the attack an "unprecedented and dangerous escalation." If confirmed, it would be the first Turkish airstrikes against Kurdish allied forces on Syrian soil. Late Saturday night, Turkey's official news agency reported that one Turkish solider had been killed and three wounded by what it said was a Kurdish rocket attack in Jarablus, near where the fighting has raged.
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.
In wake of cousin's fatal shooting, Dwyane Wade speaks out CHICAGO (AP) - NBA star Dwyane Wade's cousin was an innocent bystander, police said, pushing her baby in a stroller near a Chicago school where she intended to register her children when she was fatally shot Friday. Nykea Aldridge's famous relative, who grew up in Chicago's south suburbs, tweeted to his nearly 6 million followers about her death, saying Friday it was an "act of senseless gun violence" and posting Saturday morning that Chicago needs "more help& more hands on deck." Wade ended both days of tweets with the hashtag "EnoughIsEnough." The 32-year-old mother of four recently relocated to an area on the city's South Side, her family said.
Niners QB Kaepernick refuses to stand for anthem in protest SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is refusing to stand for the national anthem before games because he believes the United States oppresses African Americans and other minorities. Kaepernick sat on the team's bench Friday night during the anthem before the Niners played host to the Green Bay Packers in an exhibition game. He later explained his reasoning in an interview with NFL Media . "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick said. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.