Bling and baseball: Cleveland at center of sports storm CLEVELAND (AP) - Blinking back tears, LeBron James extended his right ring finger, the one sparkling with 400 diamonds, and touched the championship banner. As it rose from a golden, miniature Cleveland skyline toward the ceiling, Queen's "We Are The Champions" filled Quicken Loans Arena and Cavs fans sang along with Freddie Mercury just as they did in June. And, incredibly, this was just the warm-up act for a night this city won't soon forget. Welcome to the center of the sports galaxy - Cleveland, Ohio. On the same night the Cavs celebrated their historic comeback in the NBA Finals, winning a title that not only ended a 52-year drought in Cleveland but energized an entire region, the Indians hosted Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs next door at Progressive Field.
Trump, GOP look to 'Obamacare' report as comeback lifeline DORAL, Florida (AP) - Suddenly armed with fresh political ammunition, Donald Trump and anxious Republicans across the nation seized on spiking health care costs Tuesday in a final-days effort to spark election momentum. The Republican presidential nominee, trekking across must-win Florida, insisted "Obamacare is just blowing up" after the government projected sharp cost increases for President Barack Obama's signature health care law. Democrat Hillary Clinton, fighting to block Trump in the same battleground state, has vowed to preserve insurance for the millions of Americans covered under the law, but her team described the cost surge as a "big concern." Trump closed out the day by casting the government's projections about the health care law in personal terms.
Fearing Election Day trouble, some US schools cancel classes FALMOUTH, Maine (AP) - Rigged elections. Vigilante observers. Angry voters. The claims, threats and passions surrounding the presidential race have led communities around the U.S. to move polling places out of schools or cancel classes on Election Day. The fear is that the ugly rhetoric of the campaign could escalate into confrontations and even violence in school hallways, endangering students. "If anybody can sit there and say they don't think this is a contentious election, then they aren't paying much attention," said Ed Tolan, police chief in this seaside community, which decided to call off classes on Election Day and put additional officers on duty Nov.
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Venezuela braces for anti-government protests amid crisis CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela's standoff deepened after congress voted to open a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro for breaking the constitutional order and opposition leaders called for mass protests on Wednesday to drive the unpopular socialist leader from office. Tuesday's vote by the opposition-led legislature is unlikely to have any legal effect as Maduro still controls other branches of government, including the military and Supreme Court, which has already declared the National Assembly illegitimate. But it raised tensions even further following last week's suspension of an opposition push to hold a referendum to try to recall Maduro. Opposition legislators argued that Venezuela's leader has effectively abandoned the presidency by neglecting his job and several lawmakers questioned whether he was a dual Colombian national and therefore ineligible to hold Venezuela's highest office.
Lawsuit challenges Denver's sweeps of the homeless DENVER (AP) - When Jerry Burton's sleeping bag and tent were removed by city workers from his campsite near a rapidly developing area close to downtown Denver, he was able to start over again with backup gear he keeps hidden for emergencies - whether his or someone else's. Now he's one of nine homeless people suing in federal court to try to stop the city's sweeps of homeless encampments and, as he sees it, restore the dignity and respect of people who can't find a home of their own in a growing city. Burton, a former Marine who has had trouble finding housing despite veterans' rental assistance, compared the city's seizures of the homeless' property with someone walking into a home and taking a television.
Oregon weighs whether all kids should get outdoor education MOUNT HOOD NATIONAL FOREST, Ore. (AP) - Each year, thousands of Oregon parents hug their kids goodbye and send them tramping into the wilderness for up to a week to learn about their state's natural wonders. The Outdoor School program was groundbreaking when it started more than a half-century ago. Since then, more than 1 million children have enjoyed - or endured - this rite of passage at campsites scattered from Oregon's stormy coast to its towering evergreen forests to its rugged high desert. At the program's heyday, 90 percent of sixth-graders spent the week testing water samples, studying fungi and digging through topsoil.
Police: Oklahoma man wanted for violent crimes had hit list OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma man who's been wanted since Sunday in a string of violent crimes, including the killings of two relatives, had a hit list purporting to target several more people, authorities said Tuesday. Michael Dale Vance Jr., a 38-year-old man from Chandler, Oklahoma, is wanted on multiple charges, including two counts of first-degree murder. He was last seen early Monday about 30 miles from the Texas border in western Oklahoma - 165 miles from where the manhunt began Sunday night in Wellston. "Obviously, as long as he isn't apprehended, we're extremely concerned about those he may have indicated that he wishes harm to," Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel told The Oklahoman newspaper on Tuesday.
Iraq battles IS in western town, far from Mosul BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi forces battled Islamic State fighters for a third day in a remote western town far from Mosul on Tuesday, but the U.S.-led coalition insisted the latest in a series of "spoiler attacks" had not forced it to divert resources from the fight to retake Iraq's second-largest city. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi acknowledged that the militants briefly seized the local government headquarters in the western town of Rutba, offering new details about the assault, which U.S. and Iraqi officials have sought to downplay since it began on Sunday. The White House envoy to the U.S.-led coalition battling IS insisted the militants' strategy was failing, saying there had been "no diversion whatsoever" of forces taking part in the Mosul operation, which is expected to take weeks, if not months.
Justin Timberlake's ballot selfie highlights mixed laws Now even Justin Timberlake has been forced to deal with the question of whether a ballot selfie is legal. Timberlake flew from California to Tennessee to vote early this week, but his posting of an image of himself at the voting booth on Instagram on Monday drew questions about whether he was breaking the law. A Tennessee law that took effect earlier this year bars voters from taking photographs or video while they're inside a polling location. While secrecy in the voting booth has become a thing of the past for those ready to share their views and daily lives on social media, laws nationwide are mixed on whether voters are allowed to take pictures of themselves voting and their ballots.
Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in World Series opener CLEVELAND (AP) - Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians are off to a pitch-perfect start in the World Series. The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, fell completely flat in their first appearance since 1945. Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Roberto Perez had four RBIs with a pair of home runs and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in Tuesday night's opener of a highly anticipated matchup between the teams with baseball's longest championship droughts. "It's almost like you have that extra level of intensity," said Kluber, who became the first Series pitcher to strike out eight batters in the first three innings.