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AP Top News at 3:52 a.m. EDT
Italian president visits quake town, thanks rescue workers ASCOLI PICENO, Italy (AP) - Italian President Sergio Mattarella paid a visit on Saturday to Amatrice, a town devastated in the earthquake that hit central Italy this week and the place with the highest death toll. The visit comes as Italy observes a day of national mourning for the 284 victims of the earthquake. Mattarella will also attend a state funeral in the town of Ascoli Piceno along with Premier Matteo Renzi for some of the victims. Mattarella arrived by helicopter to the edge of Amatrice and was guided around by the mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, who showed him the extent of the damage.
Man faces 2 capital murder charges in Mississippi nun deaths LEXINGTON, Miss. (AP) - A man has been arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths of two nuns who were slain in Mississippi, police said. Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, of Kosciusko, was charged in the deaths of Sister Margaret Held and Sister Paula Merrill, both 68, Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain said in a statement released late Friday night. Their bodies were discovered Thursday after they failed to show up for work at a clinic in Lexington, Mississippi, about 10 miles from where they lived. "Sanders was developed as a person of interest early on in the investigation," Lt.
As Trump courts Latinos, Clinton links him to radical fringe LAS VEGAS (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump met with about two dozen Latino supporters in Nevada to discuss strategies for boosting Hispanic turnout in the swing state, part of his effort to make the case that his economic policies would be better for small minority-owned businesses than those of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. "People don't know how well we're doing with the Hispanics, the Latinos," Trump said Friday at his hotel just off the Vegas Strip. "We're doing really well." Trump has suggested that minorities have been left behind by Democratic economic policies and hammered the nation's sluggish GDP growth as "a catastrophe," saying that the United States has "some very, very serious problems and it's going to get worse with this group of people" in charge.
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US: Clinton calendars won't be released until after election WASHINGTON (AP) - Seven months after a federal judge ordered the State Department to begin releasing monthly batches of the detailed daily schedules showing meetings by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, the government told The Associated Press it won't finish the job before Election Day. The department has so far released about half of the schedules. Its lawyers said in a phone conference with the AP's lawyers that the department now expects to release the last of the detailed schedules around Dec. 30, weeks before the next president is inaugurated. The AP's lawyers late Friday formally asked the State Department to hasten that effort so that the department could provide all Clinton's minute-by-minute schedules by Oct.
Mosul fight is already redrawing the map of northern Iraq QARQASHAH, Iraq (AP) - In the buildup to a long-awaited offensive on the city of Mosul, Kurdish forces are seizing new territory in northern Iraq that they say will become part of their autonomous region. The moves are further straining relations between the Kurds and the Baghdad government and Shiite militias, all ostensibly allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. Just east of Mosul, Kurdish engineering teams on a recent day were laying down a 3-meter wide, 20-kilometer long trench and 2-meter high berms, marking the new front line after recapturing the village of Qarqashah and neighboring hamlets from IS earlier this month.
Filipinos seen backing Duterte despite rising drug killings MANILA, Philippines (AP) - On the day he was sworn into office, President Rodrigo Duterte went to a Manila slum and exhorted residents who knew any drug addicts to "go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful." Two months later, nearly 2,000 suspected drug pushers and users lay dead as morgues continue to fill up. Faced with criticism of his actions by rights activists, international bodies and outspoken Filipinos, including the top judge, Duterte has stuck to his guns and threatened to declare martial law if the Supreme Court meddles in his work.
Does China still harvest organs of executed? Doctors divided BEIJING (AP) - A Canadian patient's receipt of a kidney transplant after waiting just three days during a recent visit to China raised an immediate red flag among surgeons at the Montreal-based Transplantation Society: A turnaround that quick indicates the organ likely came from the body of an executed prisoner. The case adds to doubts among many doctors internationally about whether China has met its pledge to stop harvesting the organs of executed inmates. The practice is widely condemned by the World Health Organization and others because of concerns over coercive practices and fears it could encourage executions. China officially claims it ended the harvesting of executed inmates' organs in January 2015.
Transgender North Carolinians get restroom-access win RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A federal judge ruled Friday that two students and an employee must be allowed to use restrooms matching their gender identity at University of North Carolina campuses, and he said they have a strong chance of proving the state's bathroom-access measure violates federal law, a judicial rebuke that transgender rights advocates hailed as a victory. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder temporarily blocked the University of North Carolina from making the three plaintiffs follow the restroom provision of the so-called HB2 law as the larger case makes its way to trial in November. His final decision on the law won't come until after trial.
Dwyane Wade's cousin fatally shot pushing baby in stroller CHICAGO (AP) - NBA star Dwyane Wade's cousin was shot and killed in Chicago while pushing her baby in a stroller near a school where she intended to register her children. Wade took to Twitter to lament what he called another "act of senseless gun violence." Her family said Nykea Aldridge, 32, had recently relocated to the area on the city's South Side. Chicago police said she was killed Friday when two males walked up and fired shots at a third man but hit Aldridge in the head and arm. She wasn't the intended target, police said. Family members are caring for the baby, who wasn't hurt.
Max Ritvo, poet who chronicled cancer battle, dies at 25 LOS ANGELES (AP) - Max Ritvo, a poet who chronicled his long battle with cancer in works that were both humorous and searing, has died. He was 25. Ritvo died Tuesday morning at his home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, his mother, Ariella Ritvo-Slifka, said Friday. Ritvo was diagnosed at 16 with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare cancer that affects bones and soft tissue in children and young adults. Treatment brought about a remission that permitted Ritvo to finish high school and attend Yale University, where he performed in an improv comedy group. His teachers included Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Gluck.