GOP panel defeats anti-Trump effort on convention delegates
CLEVELAND (AP) — In a major blow to Republican foes of Donald Trump, a committee at the GOP national convention voted late Thursday to rebuff a push to let delegates vote for any presidential candidate they’d like.
The rules committee used a voice vote to reject a proposal by Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh to let delegates “cast a vote of conscience” and abandon the candidate they’d been committed to by state primaries or caucuses.
The amendment became the focal point of furious lobbying that’s pitted conservatives against the Trump campaign and top leaders of the Republican Party. On a 112-member rules panel dominated by party and Trump loyalists, the outcome was expected.
Unruh, like many of her allies a delegate for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and his abandoned presidential campaign, has said she expects to collect signatures from 28 members of the rules panel. That would be enough to bring her proposal to a vote by the full convention, which opens Monday.
Trump campaign and Republican National Committee officials say they expect to prevent her from accomplishing that.
AP-GfK Poll: More people think life improves under Clinton
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans have mixed feelings on which presidential candidate will do better on health care, trade, the economy, terrorism and other important issues. But when they simply consider whether they personally would be better off, they prefer Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The latest Associated Press-GfK poll shows that Americans are more likely to think people like themselves would benefit more from a Clinton White House than one run by Republican Donald Trump, by 36 percent to 29 percent.
They also are much more likely to think women, LGBT people, Hispanics, Muslims and blacks would be better off under Clinton, while they largely think men and whites would be better off under Trump.
Miles Kafka, 43, of Brooklyn, New York, said his life would “definitely” be better under Clinton “because Donald Trump’s policies are gibberish.” A registered Republican who works in computer programming, he supported Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, in the primary.
“She’ll get the best done that she can,” Kafka said, adding that both Trump and Clinton were too aggressive on foreign policy for his taste.
Unable to stop Syria’s war, US offers Russia new partnership
MOSCOW (AP) — The United States on Thursday offered Russia a broad new military partnership in Syria, hoping the attraction of a unified campaign against the Islamic State group and al-Qaida — and a Russian commitment to ground Syria’s bombers — could end five years of civil war. If finalized, the deal could dramatically alter America’s role in the conflict.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on Thursday to present him the new ideas. The eight-page proposal, which The Washington Post published on its website, shows the U.S. offering intelligence and targeting sharing, and even joint bombing operations. It is a pact Moscow long had wanted, but the Obama administration resisted.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to make some genuine progress that is measurable and implementable and that can make a difference in the course of events in Syria,” Kerry said.
Putin said he was looking for “tangible results.”
The proposal would undercut months of U.S. criticism of Russia’s military actions in Syria, and put the United States alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chief international backer, despite years of American demands for the to leave power.
At town hall, Obama confronts race issues bigger than police
WASHINGTON (AP) — The son of the Louisiana man shot dead by police wants President Barack Obama to help end world racism. The mother of a policeman pleads for ways to keep her son safe. A single mom who has sent her son away from a rough Baltimore neighborhood worries over how to keep him safe when he’s home on the weekends.
America’s fraught debate about tensions between blacks and police spilled over Thursday into hang-wringing about societal problems beyond any one person’s capacity to fix — even the president. At a town hall meeting recorded to be broadcast in prime time, Obama cautiously offered suggestions, but no surefire solutions.
The good news, Obama said, is at least people are finally talking about the problems. Calling for “open hearts,” he urged Americans not to cloister themselves in separate corners.
“Because of the history of this country and the legacy of race, and all the complications that are involved with that, working through these issues so that things can continue to get better will take some time,” Obama said.
More time than Obama has left in office, he readily conceded.
Property owners: Get off my lawn, Pokemon!
LOS ANGELES (AP) — As throngs of “Pokemon Go” players traipse around to real-world landmarks in pursuit of digital monsters, some ticked-off property owners are asking to have their locations in the fictional Poke-verse removed.
For Valerie Janovic, a 19-year-old psychology major at Brandeis University, the game went too far when the image of a poison-gas-emitting pocket monster called “Koffing” was pictured near the U.S. Holocaust museum’s exhibit on World War II gas chamber victims. Her online petition to have the site removed from the game has collected more than 4,500 supporters by Thursday.
“I just don’t think people should be playing a game where people remember people who suffered and were tortured and who died,” she says.
Besides the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, several churches and cemeteries including Arlington National Cemetery want their in-game locations removed to keep crowds of players away.
The addictive, location-aware smartphone game gives digital incentives like “Pokeballs” as rewards for visiting real places. The locations, known as “Pokestops” and “Gyms,” are based on landmarks submitted by players of Niantic’s earlier game, “Ingress.”
‘Game of Thrones’ tops Emmy nods, but streaming makes gains
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Emmy Awards nominations told us what is already evident — the power and reputation of streaming services Netflix and Amazon are on the rise, and broadcast networks and even longtime premium cable star HBO are paying the price.
In Thursday’s announcement of prime-time Emmy contenders , television academy voters also signaled their regard for what people of color are bringing to the industry table: Each of the top acting categories included at least one minority nominee. It’s a reality the Oscars have failed to embrace in recent years.
Although HBO claimed the most nominations and the top nominee with fantasy epic “Game of Thrones,” the channel’s tally dropped from last year’s 126 nods to 94, a stunning change in what had been a steadily upward trajectory since its salad days of “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos.”
Of the four major broadcast networks, ABC, CBS and Fox saw a drop in their positive Emmy feedback — with the exception, NBC, only holding year-to-year ground with 41 nominations.
In contrast, Netflix looked like a thoroughbred just starting to show what it can do. With buzz-provoking, critically acclaimed series including the political drama “House of Cards” and the multi-part documentary “Making a Murderer,” the service grabbed 54 nods, compared with 34 last year.
Consumer Reports says Tesla should drop Autopilot name
DETROIT (AP) — Consumer Reports said Thursday that Tesla Motors is misleading car owners by calling its semi-autonomous driving system “Autopilot,” potentially giving them too much trust in their car’s ability to drive itself.
The influential magazine said Tesla should drop the Autopilot name and disconnect the automatic steering system until it’s updated to make sure a driver’s hands stay on the wheel at all times. The system currently warns drivers after a few minutes of their hands being off the wheel.
In an email, a Tesla spokeswoman said the company has no plans to change the name, and that data it collects show drivers who use Autopilot are safer than those who don’t.
With its statement, Consumer Reports joined a debate over autonomous driving technology that escalated after authorities revealed that Joshua Brown, 40, of Canton, Ohio, died in a May crash in Florida with the Autopilot on in his 2015 Model S. The system didn’t detect a tractor-trailer that had turned in front of the car in bright sunshine, and Brown also failed to react.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the wreck and the functioning of the Autopilot system. After the Brown crash, critics accused Tesla of giving drivers access to a system that wasn’t ready, while supporters contended the company was improving automotive safety.
How Castile told officer about gun critical in final moments
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The final moments before Philando Castile was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in suburban St. Paul revolved around a gun he was licensed to carry, trained to use safely and instructed to tell authorities about when stopped.
But just how he informed the officer — and whether the officer followed his own training — gets to the heart of the investigation into Castile’s death last week.
Castile, who was black, was fatally shot July 6 after he was pulled over by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who is Latino. Castile’s girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook and said Castile was shot while reaching for his ID after telling the officer he had a gun permit and was armed.
Yanez’s attorney has said the officer reacted after seeing a gun, and that one of the reasons he pulled Castile over was because he thought he looked like a “possible match” for an armed robbery suspect. Castile’s family members say he was profiled because of his race. They were among the mourners who filled the 3,000-seat Cathedral of St. Paul for his funeral Thursday.
A letter from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office confirms Castile, 32, got his permit last year. The letter, dated June 4, 2015, says Castile’s permit is enclosed. It also says that he must have his permit card and photo identification when carrying a pistol, and must display those items “upon lawful demand by a peace officer.”
DIVIDED AMERICA: Bridging the gap between police, policed
NEW YORK (AP) — On an unusually cool night for summer, Mike Perry and his crew thread the sidewalks running through Staten Island’s Stapleton Houses, tracked by police cameras bolted to the apartment blocks and positioned atop poles.
Perry’s group, five black men and one Latino, all acknowledge past crimes or prison time. Perry, himself, used to deal drugs around another low-income housing complex, two miles away. Now, though, their Cure Violence team works to defuse arguments that can lead to shootings. Their goals are not so different from those of the police.
While Perry gives cops their due, he keeps his distance. Two years ago, within walking distance of this spot, a black man named Eric Garner died in a confrontation with police officers. Garner was suspected of selling loose cigarettes; an officer wrestled him to the ground by his neck. His last words — “I can’t breathe” — were captured on cellphone video that rocketed across the internet.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story is part of Divided America, AP’s ongoing exploration of the economic, social and political divisions in American society.
AP EXCLUSIVE: Militant with US bounty walks free in Pakistan
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — The United States has put a $10 million bounty on his head, labeling him a terrorist. He is one of the most wanted men in India. Yet, Hafiz Saeed walks free in his home country of Pakistan, denouncing Washington and New Delhi in public speeches.
Now the man identified by the U.S. as a founding member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group is weighing in on the flare-up of violence in Kashmir, the mountainous region divided between Pakistani and Indian control, where dozens have died in clashes with protesters after Indian security forces killed a top rebel leader.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Saeed accused the U.S. of giving India a free hand to crush the anti-India protests in its Himalayan territory, warning that will only lead to an escalation of violence.
“America is supporting this oppression by India by saying it is an internal matter,” the 66-year-old Saeed said in the interview, which took place Wednesday at his two-story home behind a steel barrier separating it from the narrow streets of the eastern city of Lahore.
“This has given India encouragement, and because of this, the killings and violence” will continue, he said.