Clinton tries economic appeal on Ohio voters
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Returning to Ohio for the first time in a month, Hillary Clinton tried to make up for lost time Monday with a fiery populist pitch aimed at upending rival Donald Trump in a battleground state where he’s tapped into voters’ economic anxieties.
“He abuses his power, games the system, and puts his own interests ahead of the country’s,” Clinton said during a rally in Toledo, one of two stops she was making in Ohio.
Clinton was away from Ohio nearly all of September. During that time, Trump displayed strength in the state in public opinion polls, helped along by his appeal with Ohio’s white working-class voters. In another blow for Democrats, party groups have cut funding for their Senate candidate, Ted Strickland, the former Ohio governor who has struggled in a race that was once expected to be among the most competitive in the nation.
In previous election years, any sign of shakiness in Ohio — long a crown jewel of presidential politics — would have a campaign on edge. But Democrats’ increasing reliance on minority voters to win presidential elections has opened new avenues to the White House for Clinton, and turned Ohio — where about 80 percent of the state’s population is white — into a less essential state.
In a memo to supporters last month, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook outlined several scenarios in which the Democratic nominee can win the election without carrying Ohio. “Hillary has a lot of paths,” he said confidently.
Clinton tears into Trump on taxes; he says he’ll save nation
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Hillary Clinton tore into Donald Trump’s tax maneuvering, business skills and trustworthiness Monday as she sought to capitalize on news that the New York real estate mogul may have paid no federal taxes for years. Unfazed, he boasted of using U.S. tax laws “brilliantly” and cast himself as a savvy business survivor poised to save a reeling nation.
Campaigning at a Toledo train station, Clinton castigated Trump as a cold-hearted and bungling businessman who “represents the same rigged system that he claims he’s going to change.” She called for a new law requiring presidential candidates from major parties to release their tax returns, as Trump has refused to do, and she accused him of shirking his responsibility as a taxpayer.
“He’s taken corporate excess and made a business model out of it,” she said. “It’s Trump first and everyone else last.”
The Democrat’s broadside was her first response to a weekend New York Times report that Trump claimed a loss of nearly $916 million in a single year on his personal tax filings. The Times said the size of the loss could have allowed him to avoid federal taxes for nearly two decades, an assertion his campaign neither confirmed nor disputed.
Nor did Trump.
Trump angers with suggestion that vets with PTSD are weak
HERNDON, Virginia (AP) — Donald Trump is drawing scorn from veterans’ groups after he suggested that soldiers who suffer from mental health issues might not be as strong as those who don’t.
Trump was speaking at an event organized by the Retired American Warriors political action committee Monday when he was asked about his commitment to faith-based programs aimed at preventing suicides and helping soldiers suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other issues.
“When you talk about the mental health problems — when people come back from war and combat, and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over, and you’re strong and you can handle it. But a lot of people can’t handle it,” he said.
“And they see horror stories. They see events that you couldn’t see in a movie, nobody would believe it,” he added.
The comment drew condemnation from critics as well as veterans’ groups that have been working for years to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues in an effort to encourage soldiers to seek treatment.
Los Angeles chief defends 2 fatal weekend shootings
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles police chief on Monday defended the use of deadly force against two men in separate fatal shootings over the weekend, saying one turned toward officers with a gun and the other pointed what looked like a real gun at police.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck released new details of Saturday’s shooting of 18-year-old Carnell Snell in South Los Angeles and a fatal police shooting of an unidentified Hispanic man on Sunday.
The shootings come amid heightened tensions over police actions involving black people and other minorities across the country.
In Snell’s shooting, officers tried to pull over a car he was in because it had paper plates that didn’t match the year of the vehicle — a possible indication of a stolen car and something commonly seen in drive-by shootings, Beck said.
Snell, seated in the back, looked at officers and then ducked down “as if to hide from them,” Beck said.
Hurricane Matthew drenches Haiti, threatens catastrophe
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The leading edge of dangerous Hurricane Matthew drenched Haiti on Monday night, flooding streets and sending people scrambling to emergency shelters as the Category 4 storm threatened to batter the hemisphere’s poorest nation overnight with life-threatening winds, rains and storm surge.
A slightly strengthened Matthew had sustained winds of 145 mph (230 kph) late Monday, up from 140 mph (220 kph) earlier in the day. Its center was expected to pass near or over the southwestern tip of impoverished Haiti after dawn on Tuesday, then head for another landfall in eastern Cuba, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
“We are looking at a dangerous hurricane that is heading into the vicinity of western Haiti and eastern Cuba,” said Richard Pasch, a senior hurricane specialist with the center. “People who are impacted by things like flooding and mudslides hopefully would get out and relocate because that’s where we have seen loss of life in the past.”
In the Port-au-Prince suburb of Tabarre, officials spent Monday urging shantytown residents living next to a muddy river to take shelter at a local school where cots were set up. While some went, many refused in fear their few possessions might be stolen.
“If we lose our things we are not going to get them back!” Toussaint Laine said as police and officials from the mayor’s office urged the jobless man and his family to evacuate.
Among young voters, Obama’s popularity may not transfer
DURHAM, North Carolina (AP) — Paulos Muruts is set to cast his first presidential ballot for Hillary Clinton — if he makes it to the ballot box.
“I might need someone on Election Day to actually convince me to go out and vote,” says the 19-year-old Duke University student, arguing that the Democratic nominee “has the experience” and “exudes the right temperament” but “doesn’t inspire excitement.”
Yet mention Clinton’s would-be predecessor and Muruts’ eyes light up.
“Love President Obama,” he says. “He’s got swagger.”
Muruts represents a frustrating political reality for Clinton in her matchup against Republican nominee Donald Trump: She’ll fare far better on Election Day among voters age 18-30, but she could fall short of Obama’s totals and turnouts that drove his national victories in 2008 and 2012, a new GenForward survey suggests.
US-Russia relations plummet further over Syria, Ukraine
WASHINGTON (AP) — Already testy, relations between the United States and Russia plummeted Monday as Washington suspended diplomatic contacts with Moscow over failed efforts to end the war in Syria and President Vladimir Putin put on hold a deal with the U.S. on disposing weapons-grade plutonium.
On the surface, the suspensions were unrelated. But both underscored deep mistrust and rising tensions between the former Cold War foes, who are increasingly at odds on a number of issues, particularly Syria and Ukraine. In the short term, the end of discussions on Syria deals a potential death blow to efforts to slow the civil war and begin negotiations on possible elections in the country that could mean the ouster of President Bashar Assad.
Underscoring the deterioration between the U.S. and Russia, Putin suspended a deal on plutonium disposal hours before the U.S. announcement. The two powers will still continue discussions on the Iran nuclear deal, Ukraine and other non-Syria issues.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the U.S. has “done all it could to destroy the atmosphere encouraging cooperation.” It cited U.S. sanctions on Moscow over its annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and NATO’s deployment of forces near Russian borders.
U.S. officials said that despite the suspension of talks with Russia, they would continue to work for a truce and aid deliveries to Syria in other gatherings, including the International Syria Support Group, a collection of nations, including Russia.
Family of black man shot 14 times by police wants charges
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The family of a man killed in July by Sacramento police after 911 callers reported he was waving a knife and acting erratically demanded Monday that two officers face murder charges after dash-cam video revealed they talked inside their police cruiser about running him down. He dodged the cruiser twice and was shot 14 times less than a minute later by the same two officers.
The officers “behaved like big game hunters closing in on an animal,” said John Burris, a lawyer for the family of Joseph Mann, who was mentally unstable and homeless.
The demand for the murder charges came as Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck defended his officers in the fatal shootings of a black man Saturday who police say was armed with a loaded semi-automatic gun and a Hispanic man on Sunday who officers say was wielding replica handgun.
The latest police shootings happened amid heightened tensions over police actions involving black people and other minorities across the country, and followed two more fatal encounters between California police and black men last week in San Diego and Pasadena.
In the Sacramento case, police have said Mann was waving a knife in the air and doing karate moves in the streets just before police responded. But Burris told reporters he was not threatening anybody and that the two officers who shot him, John Tennis and Randy Lozoya, should face a U.S. Justice Department civil rights investigation in addition to murder charges.
After emerging from hideouts, Colombia’s rebels now in limbo
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — As peace talks in Colombia advanced over the past year, 7,000 rebel fighters began slowly emerging from their jungle hideouts hoping for, if not a hero’s welcome, at least an outstretched hand from fellow Colombians tired of a half century of bloody combat.
But with the peace deal’s stunning defeat in a referendum Sunday, the future of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s rebels is now in limbo just a few days after they unanimously ratified the accord and began planning a return to civilian life.
For now, a return to the battlefield in a war that has already killed 220,000 people and displaced 8 million seems unlikely. Within hours of defeat, FARC leader Rodrigo Londono reaffirmed the group’s commitment to peace, saying its only weapon going forward would be the power of its word. On Monday, he said his troops would honor its commitments to the government and stick by a permanent cease-fire.
The government has vowed the same and President Juan Manuel Santos quickly dispatched his negotiators to Cuba to try to salvage the accord. He also extended an olive branch to arch-rival former President Alvaro Uribe, inviting the hard-line conservative who led the opposition to the accord to join him in a bid to renegotiate and strengthen it.
But the rebels’ ambition, enshrined in a 297-page document that would have allowed them to avoid jail time and form a political movement with seats in Congress, is now at risk. As part of the deal, rebels who confess their crimes to special peace tribunals were to be spared prison sentences and instead perform development work in areas hard-hit by the conflict.
Kardashian detailed flashy Paris trip to the world
NEW YORK (AP) — “Can you guys guess where I’m at?”
So teased Kim Kardashian West recently on her massively popular social media streams, where she freely shares her glamorous life. She was talking about Paris Fashion Week, and she telegraphed her moves to millions, from the mundane (a room service order) to the fabulous (fittings with designers and her usual front-row perch next to other rich and famous folk) — all before armed robbers broke into her flat, tied her up and fled with more than $10 million of her jewels early Monday.
Did the reality star provide them with a map via Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and her for-pay phone app? In answering her teased question, she told the world: “In a private room, after the Balmain show.”
Was it the same room at a private residence where Paris police said the crime occurred? That’s unclear, for in this reality star’s life, there are many private rooms, and much to share.
As details of the heist continued to surface, and as Kardashian West made her way to New York on a private jet after the harrowing holdup, one thing is clear: She was excited to be in Paris for fashion week; her Snapchats and Instagram posts were filled with exclamation points and emojis.