National & World News

AP Top News at 12:36 p.m. EDT

Italy buries quake dead, recalls sisters embracing in rubble
ASCOLI PICENO, Italy (AP) - A young man wept over a little girl's white coffin, while a woman nearby gently stroked another small casket, as Italians bid farewell Saturday to victims of the devastating earthquake that struck a mountainous region of central Italy this week. As Italians observed a day of national mourning, President Sergio Mattarella and Premier Matteo Renzi joined grieving family members for a state funeral for 35 of the 290 people killed in Wednesday's quake. Mourners, among them many injured, wept and held each other in a sweltering community gym in the town of Ascoli Piceno as the local bishop, Giovanni D'Ercole, urged them to rebuild their communities.


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 faces 2 capital murder charges in Mississippi nun deaths
LEXINGTON, Miss. (AP) - A man suspected in the slayings of two Mississippi nuns who were found dead inside a residence within the community they served has been arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder, Mississippi 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 in a statement released late Friday night. Both women were 68. The bodies of both women were discovered Thursday after they failed to show up for work at a clinic in Lexington, Mississippi, about 10 miles from where they lived.


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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.


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.


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.


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 lamented on Twitter what he called another "act of senseless gun violence." Nykea Aldridge, 32, had recently relocated to an area on the city's South Side, her family said. On Friday, Aldridge was near the school, which is about a mile and a half southwest of the University of Chicago, when two males walked up and fired shots at a third man but hit Aldridge in the head and arm.


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.


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.


You talkin' to me? English no longer a must for NYC cabbies
NEW YORK (AP) - People who hope to drive New York City's famous yellow cabs must pass tests on such details as driving rules and where they can pick up passengers. But one test they no longer have to take? Whether they have a grasp of English. A new law that streamlines licensing requirements for different kind of drivers has done away with the longstanding English proficiency test for taxi drivers, which supporters say will eliminate a barrier to the profession for immigrants, who make up 96 percent of the 144,000 cabbies in the city. It's also a recognition of how technology has transformed the business.

 

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