Air strikes on Aleppo amid calm in other parts of Syria BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian government warplanes and helicopter gunships launched new airstrikes Saturday on insurgent-held neighborhoods in the northern city of Aleppo. The fresh violence comes as the International Committee of the Red Cross warned that the intensification of fighting brings millions of people closer to a humanitarian disaster. Contested Aleppo, Syria's largest city and former commercial center, has been the scene of intense shelling and air raids over the past nine days that killed nearly 250 civilians according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The surge in fighting has caused the collapse of a two-month cease-fire brokered by the U.S.
Kenya burns huge pile of ivory tusks to protest poaching NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Kenya's president set fire Saturday to 105 tons of elephant ivory and more than 1 ton of rhino horn, believed to be the largest stockpile ever destroyed, in a dramatic statement by this East African country against the trade in ivory and products from endangered species. Uhuru Kenyatta put a flame to the biggest of 11 pyres of ivory tusks and one of rhino horn in a chilly afternoon. Overnight torrential rains that stopped midday had threatened to ruin the event and created a mud field around the piles inside Nairobi National Park. "A time has come when we must take a stand and the stand is clear ...
Woman, 4 grandchildren killed in East Texas flooding PALESTINE, Texas (AP) - A 64-year-old woman and four grandchildren were killed early Saturday after a creek overflowed its banks, flooding an East Texas neighborhood as many residents slept. Capt. James Muniz of the Palestine Police Department told The Associated Press that six to 10 homes in a Palestine cul-de-sac were severely damaged following heavy rainfall over the course of just a few minutes after midnight. All other residents of the cul-de-sac were accounted for, he said. City crews found the five bodies - including the four children, all younger than 9 - near one of the homes before dawn after the floodwaters had receded.
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Trump, Clinton angle for advantage in politics of gender WASHINGTON (AP) - She has no stamina. She shouts. She's got nothing going for her but being a woman. Donald Trump, after toying with gender politics off and on during the campaign, is all in on a mission to undercut Hillary Clinton's credentials by syncing up his say-anything campaign strategy with his alpha-male persona. The same Republican presidential candidate who mocked "little" Marco Rubio, dismissed "low-energy" Jeb Bush and promises to "cherish" and "protect" women as president is dismissing the former senator, secretary of state and first lady as little more than a token female who's playing the "woman's card." "Frankly, all I'm doing is stating the obvious," Trump insisted, when pressed about whether his latest Clinton take-downs were sexist.
Rowdy Trump protests portend explosive California primary BURLINGAME, Calif. (AP) - Hundreds of rowdy protesters broke through barricades and threw eggs at police outside a hotel where Donald Trump addressed the state's Republican convention. Several Trump supporters said they were roughed up but no serious injuries were reported. The protest just outside San Francisco occurred Friday, a day after anti-Trump protesters took to the streets in Southern California, blocking traffic and damaging five police cars in Costa Mesa following a speech by the leader in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Demonstrators at both locations waved Mexican flags, an action meant to counter Trump's hard stance on immigration and disparaging remarks about Mexico.
Iraqi protesters breach Green Zone, storm parliament BAGHDAD (AP) - Hundreds of protesters climbed over the blast walls surrounding Baghdad's highly-fortified Green Zone for the first time on Saturday and stormed into parliament, carrying Iraqi flags and chanting against the government. The breach marked a major escalation in the country's political crisis following months of anti-government protests, sit-ins and demonstrations by supporters of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The Green Zone is home to most ministries and foreign embassies and has long been the focus of al-Sadr's criticism of the government. Earlier Saturday, al-Sadr accused Iraqi politicians of blocking political reforms aimed at combating corruption and waste. While al-Sadr didn't call for an escalation to the protests, shortly after his remarks, his supporters began scaling the compound's walls.
The Latest: Iraqi forces stand down amid protests Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces, who have in the past been called on to reinforce security in the capital, say they are standing down for now after anti-government protesters breached the Green Zone. Police and troops guarding the heavily-fortified zone, where most ministries and embassies are located, appeared to be taking no action after protesters breached the walls and stormed into parliament Saturday. Sabah al-Numan, spokesman for the counterterrorism forces, says "we still view this as a demonstration" and "aren't taking any part in this as it's not something regarding terrorism." He adds, however, that if the unrest escalates his forces may be forced to intervene to "protect the legitimacy of the government." The protesters, who support Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, are demanding political reforms to combat corruption and mismanagement.
Senate candidate paid relative $170K for past campaign work INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indiana Senate candidate who has railed against out-of-control government spending paid his brother-in-law nearly $170,000 to manage the finances of his congressional campaign. The relative worked as a car salesman and actor but had no experience rounding up political donations. Marlin Stutzman, a tea party-backed Republican facing fellow U.S. Rep. Todd Young in Tuesday's primary, gave his relative an average of $5,000 a month from the campaign account for the nearly three years he served as finance director. That was about $800 a month higher than the salary paid to Gabe Rivera's successor, who raised about $400,000 more for the campaign in six fewer months.
Supreme Court trying to find its way after Scalia WASHINGTON (AP) - Two months, 31 arguments and 18 decisions since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, is the Supreme Court hopelessly deadlocked or coping as a party of eight? The answer varies with the issue, but arguments last week in the corruption case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell show there are high-profile cases on which justices from the left and the right agree more often than they don't. There also is some indication, hazy though it may be, that the court is trying to avoid division in an era of stark political partisanship and during a rollicking presidential campaign.
China lays out firm conditions for improved ties with Japan BEIJING (AP) - China laid out firm conditions Saturday for improved ties with Japan, telling Tokyo's visiting foreign minister that there could be "no ambiguity or vacillation" in meeting Beijing's demands over historical interpretation, relations with Taiwan and other key matters. Beijing portrayed the visit by Fumio Kishida as an act of outreach to an angry China, as the two sides try to repair relations bedeviled by disputes over territory, history and competition for influence in East Asia. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Kishida that the ties must be based on "respect for history, adherence to commitment, and on cooperation rather than confrontation." Relations have gone through "twists and turns in recent years due to reasons best known by Japan," Wang said, adding that China desires "healthy and stable relations" with its neighbor and key economic partner.