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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP: Top Headlines Top Headlines From the Associated Press


15 bodies found after landslide buries scores in China

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 00:48:04 UT

BEIJING (AP) — Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing. About 3,000 rescuers were using detection devices and dogs to look for signs of life in an area that once held 62 homes and a hotel, Xinhua, the official news agency, reported. Xu Zhiwen, executive deputy governor of the Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba, the region where the landslide struck Saturday, also said that all 142 tourists who were visiting a site in the mountain village of Xinmo have been found alive. The provincial government said on its website that an estimated 8 million cubic meters (282 million cubic feet) of earth and rock — equivalent to more than 3,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools — slid down the mountain.

Koch chief says health care bill insufficiently conservative

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 00:43:42 UT

(AP) — Chief lieutenants in the Koch brothers' political network lashed out at the Senate Republican health care bill on Saturday as not conservative enough, becoming a powerful outside critic as GOP leaders try to rally support for their plan among rank-and-file Republicans. Tim Phillips, who leads Americans For Prosperity, the Koch network's political arm, called the Senate's plans for Medicaid "a slight nip and tuck" of President Barack Obama's health care law, a modest change he described as "immoral." Some Republican senators have raised concern about cuts to Medicaid, which provides health care coverage to millions of poor and middle-income Americans. Invitations were extended only to donors who promise to give at least $100,000 each year to the various groups backed by the Koch brothers' Freedom Partners — a network of education, policy and political entities that aim to promote small government. President Donald Trump continued to push for replacing Obama's health care law, tweeting Saturday: "I cannot imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer!" The Senate measure resembles legislation the House approved last month that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would mean 23 million additional uninsured people within a decade and that recent polling shows is viewed favorably by only around 1 in 4 Americans.

CIA chief: Intel leaks on the rise, cites leaker 'worship'

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 23:54:03 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — CIA Director Mike Pompeo says he thinks disclosure of America's secret intelligence is on the rise, fueled partly by the "worship" of leakers like Edward Snowden. Besides Snowden, who leaked documents revealing extensive U.S. government surveillance, WikiLeaks recently released nearly 8,000 documents that it says reveal secrets about the CIA's cyberespionage tools for breaking into computers. Last year, former NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, was accused of removing highly classified information, storing it in an unlocked shed and in his car and home. —Pompeo said U.S. national security also is threatened by Iran, which he described as the world's largest state sponsor of terror.

Venezuelan protesters, security forces clash at air base

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 23:28:22 UT

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Young protesters broke down a metal fence guarding an air base in Caracas on Saturday before being repelled by security forces firing tear gas in another day of anti-government protests in Venezuela's capital. The clashes took place after a peaceful mass demonstration next to La Carlota base where a 22-year-old protester was killed this week when a national guardsman shot him in the chest at close range with rubber bullets.

Concert in Utah park honors man killed in London attack

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 23:07:47 UT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The life of a Utah man who ran a recording studio at his home before he was killed in a high-profile London attack that also injured his wife was celebrated Saturday with the local music he loved. Melissa Cochran, 46, said she was looking at her camera and didn't see the sport utility vehicle coming before it plowed into a crowd of pedestrians. Kurt Cochran was thrown from London's Westminster Bridge when he and his wife were struck by a sport utility vehicle that plowed into a group of pedestrians. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack that killed four people and injured scores more. Cochran's wife, Melissa, suffered a broken leg in the March 22 attack and arrived at the concert using crutches.

Lawyer: Race a factor in St. Louis cop being mistakenly shot

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 22:42:06 UT

An off-duty black St. Louis police officer's race factored into him being mistakenly shot by a white officer who didn't recognize him after a shootout with black suspects this week, the wounded officer's lawyer contends. St. Louis' interim police chief, Lawrence O'Toole, said the incident began when officers with an anti-crime task force followed a stolen car and were twice fired upon by its occupants. When the off-duty officer who lived nearby heard the commotion and arrived at the scene Wednesday night to help, two on-duty officers ordered him to the ground but then recognized him and told him to stand up and walk toward them. A year earlier in the suburb of White Plains, New York, a black off-duty Mount Vernon police officer was killed by a Westchester County policeman while holding an assault suspect at gunpoint. A jury later rejected a $20 million federal lawsuit by Young's mother against the city and its police force, who she claimed didn't properly train officers about how to identify their off-duty and plainclothes counterparts. Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics show such accidental police-on-police shootings occur at a low rate given the tense, confusing circumstances officers routinely face.

Al Capone song, pocket watch fetch over $100K at auction

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 22:22:33 UT

A diamond pocket watch that belonged to Al Capone and was produced in Chicago in the 1920s, along with a handwritten musical composition he wrote in Alcatraz in the 1930s, were among the items that sold at the "Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen" auction. Livingston told The Associated Press he wasn't surprised that lyrics written by a man better known for organized crime than his musical talents sold at the auction because of the way Capone "resonates in the American imagination." The ring was not made by Barrow— a skilled amateur craftsman who engaged in jewelry making, woodworking and leathercraft behind bars — as originally believed, according to RR Auction's website. The 1998 letter to the daughter of a mob associate urges the recipient to tell her father "to keep the martinis cold."

Now in Washington, Melania Trump still no social butterfly

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 21:27:45 UT

Even the smallest details of every recent Barron sighting have drawn interest: his T-shirt reading "The Expert," his grasp on a popular fidget spinner toy as he exited Air Force One, his pivot to take a picture of the Marine One helicopter as the family returned from a Father's Day weekend retreat at Camp David. In her first lady role, Mrs. Trump has played host to her counterpart from Panama for a lunch upstairs in the private quarters of the White House. Like some presidents, first ladies complain about the constraints of White House life even as they try to find ways to cope with Secret Service agents guarding them around the clock. [...] it's much easier for first ladies than presidents to venture out in public because they travel with far less security and staff. Hillary Clinton said she walked around town wearing a baseball cap, sunglasses and sweat clothes, and required the members of her security detail to try to blend in with tourists. Kathy Hollinger, president and CEO of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, said the hope with every new administration is that the president, White House staff and their families will dine out frequently. "The Obama family and his administration were visible in countless restaurants across the region, raising the profile of our industry as a whole, and we hope the trend continues," Hollinger said in an emailed statement.

Yemen to probe alleged interrogation abuses by UAE, US

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 21:22:04 UT

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's internationally-recognized government on Saturday ordered the creation of a committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations, following reports that U.S. military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen. American defense officials said U.S. forces have interrogated some detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in, or knowledge of, human rights abuses. In Washington, pressure has been mounting on the U.S. Defense Department after multiple U.S. senators called for investigations into the reports, with John McCain, Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the ranking Democrat, Jack Reed, calling the reports "deeply disturbing." "Even the suggestion that the United States tolerates torture by our foreign partners compromises our national security mission by undermining the moral principle that distinguishes us from our enemies — our belief that all people possess basic human rights," the senators wrote Mattis. "Reports of acts of torture by agents of a government that is supported by the United States, and the possibility that U.S. military personnel may have been aware of it, should ring alarm bells at the Department of Defense," Leahy said in a statement to the AP.

Clue to Gorsuch's ideology seen in pairings with Thomas

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 21:21:33 UT

The court sided with Perry, ruling 7-2 that he could file his lawsuit in a federal district court instead of first waiting for a federal appeals court to consider part of his case. A day earlier, Gorsuch wrote a separate opinion when the Supreme Court unanimously limited the government's ability to strip U.S. citizenship from immigrants who lie during the naturalization process. In a separate case decided Thursday, the court by a 7-2 vote refused to overturn the murder conviction of a Boston man whose lawyer failed to object when the trial judge closed the courtroom during jury selection. Gorsuch agreed with the outcome of the case, but he signed on to a concurring opinion from Thomas that encouraged the court to reconsider whether the right to a public trial even extends to jury selection. [...] last month, Gorsuch and Thomas disagreed when the court turned away an appeal from Louisiana Republicans seeking to ease limits on so-called soft money by political parties in federal elections. Thomas, appointed to the court in 1991, takes pride in his many dissents — often alone — insisting that the justices follow the original meaning of the Constitution even when that means overturning established case law.