AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EDT


Republicans tell Trump to quit, billionaire vows to press on

NEW YORK (AP) — A defiant Donald Trump insisted Saturday he would “never” abandon his White House bid, rejecting a growing backlash from Republican leaders nationwide who disavowed the GOP’s presidential nominee after he was caught on tape bragging about predatory advances on women.

Trump’s own running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, declared he could neither condone nor defend Trump’s remarks in a 2005 videotape that sparked panic inside Trump Tower and throughout the Republican Party with early voting already underway exactly one month before Election Day.

“We pray for his family,” Pence said in a statement after canceling a Wisconsin appearance scheduled with House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, both of whom had condemned Trump’s remarks the day before but stopped short of withdrawing support altogether.

The furor places enormous pressure on Trump to try to tamp down a crisis sure to spill into Sunday night’s presidential debate.

But even as the fallout deepened fractures in a party already torn about Trump, many remained loyal to the political outsider. Wisconsin voter Jean Stanley donned a shirt proclaiming “Wisconsin Women Love Trump” and called Ryan a “traitor” for denouncing the presidential contender’s comments.

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Analysis: Republicans dropping Trump must answer: Why now?

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Why now? And why this?

For the legion of Republicans who abandoned Donald Trump on Saturday, recoiling in horror from comments their party’s White House nominee made about using his fame to prey on women, there is no escaping those questions.

For months, they stomached his incendiary remarks about Mexicans, Muslims, prisoners of war, a Gold Star military family and a Hispanic judge, along with offensive statements about women too numerous to count. Democratic critics argue that their silence — or the promise to vote for Trump, but not endorse him — amounted to tacit approval of misogyny and racism.

There were no good answers Saturday, and few Republicans attempted to offer any.

Some, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, didn’t say anything at all about the top of the party’s ticket. A steady stream of others revoked their endorsements or called for Trump to drop out of the race, condemning the New York billionaire in emailed statements and carefully crafted tweets.

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Hurricane’s blow was less than feared; ‘We are blessed’

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A weakening Hurricane Matthew lashed Georgia and the Carolinas on Saturday in what appeared to be the last leg of its march up the East Coast, leaving in its wake millions of Americans relieved that one of the most fearsome storms on record in the U.S. wasn’t that bad after all.

The hurricane was blamed for at least 10 deaths in the U.S., including that of a 68-year-old Georgia man who died when two trees fell on his home. And hundreds were left dead in Matthew’s wake in Haiti.

By Saturday night, North Carolina felt the brunt of Matthew, with more than a foot of rain falling in the southeastern part of the state, causing life-threatening flash flooding, forecasters said. Homes, businesses and roads as far west as Raleigh were also damaged by the deluge.

But in many places along the Southeast coast, the damage consisted mostly of flooded streets, blown-down signs and awnings, flattened trees and power outages.

As the storm passed and the skies cleared, many people were already cleaning up, reopening their businesses or hitting the beach. The power started coming back on. And all three major theme parks in Orlando, Florida, including Walt Disney World, were up and running.

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Police chief: 2 officers killed, 1 hurt; shooter at large

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — Two Palm Springs police officers trying to resolve a family dispute were shot to death Saturday when a man they had been speaking calmly with suddenly pulled out a gun and opened fire on them, the city’s police chief told reporters.

A third officer was wounded. The shooter was not immediately apprehended.

“It was a simple family disturbance and he elected to open fire on a few of the guardians of the city,” police Chief Bryan Reyes, his voice breaking, told reporters.

The chief, near tears, identified the slain officers as Jose “Gil” Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny.

Police said Zerebny recently returned to the force from maternity leave after giving birth to a now-4-month-old daughter. Vega, the father of eight, was a 35-year veteran who planned to retire in December. The wounded officer’s name was not released.

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Aid convoys arrive as Haiti gauges full extent of disaster

JEREMIE, Haiti (AP) — A small airstrip at the edge of town hums with activity. Aid convoys are arriving from the capital, now that some roads washed out by Hurricane Matthew have been cleared. A barge carrying food and water is moored offshore of this coastal town.

An international response to the staggering blow delivered by Hurricane Matthew to southwestern Haiti was finally getting underway Saturday even as authorities were still trying to gauge the full extent of the death and destruction.

“It’s beginning to pick up now,” said Stephane Rolland, a regional coordinator for the International Federation of the Red Cross, as workers unloaded blankets, soap, bleach and other critical items in Jeremie.

There are clearly limits, though, including the fact that the airstrip in Jeremie is unable to accommodate large cargo planes, and only operates in the daytime. Many of the villages in the southwestern peninsula are difficult to reach. And people are growing increasingly desperate after losing everything when the storm ripped through the area on Tuesday.

One woman stared with outstretched arms as a U.N. convoy drove through town. “I am hungry. I hope they can help,” said Fabienne Charles, explaining that she would normally be working as a market vendor but lost her supplies in the storm.

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Commuter train derails east of New York City

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (AP) — A commuter train has derailed east of New York City after it hit a work train on the tracks.

A spokesman for the Long Island Rail Road says the eastbound train derailed east of New Hyde Park just after 9 p.m. Saturday.

A spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says 11 people have been taken to hospitals. He says none of the injuries are life-threatening.

The Democratic governor says about 600 people were on the train when it crashed.

LIRR spokesman Sal Arena says the first three cars of the 12-car train derailed. He says the work train caught fire after the crash.

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Despite anti-India protests, Kashmiris seek police jobs

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — When massive anti-India protests erupted in Indian-control Kashmir three months ago after the killing of a charismatic militant leader, Aqib Mir was among tens of thousands of Kashmiris who defied curfew and clashed with government forces.

He chanted for freedom from Indian rule. He hurled abuses and sometimes rocks at police and paramilitary soldiers. Three months later, he joined thousands of other young Kashmiris to try and get a job with the local police.

“Unemployment, what else,” the 24-years-old Mir said when asked why he had lined up inside a soccer stadium in Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar to appear for a physical fitness test to become a cop.

“We want freedom from India, that’s our fundamental right. But we also have to earn livelihood.”

He’s among some 20,000 young people, the majority of them men, who are trying out for 8,000 jobs advertised by the state police in the troubled Himalayan region that is wracked by rampant unemployment.

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UNICEF calls for end to ‘dire’ situation in Aleppo

BEIRUT (AP) — UNICEF’s representative in Syria called Saturday for an end to the violence that has beset northern Aleppo, causing “dire” humanitarian and psychological impacts on both sides of the divided city.

U.N. agencies are on “standby” to deliver needed assistance, Hanaa Singer of the U.N.’s children agency told The Associated Press.

With the key powers deeply divided, the U.N. Security Council on Saturday once again failed to agree on the course of action in war-ravaged Aleppo, and Syria in general. Russia vetoed a resolution drafted by France demanding an immediate halt to the bombing of Aleppo. A resolution put forward by Russia that called for a separation of moderate and extremist forces in Syria but making no mention of a bombing halt in Aleppo failed to get the minimum nine “yes” votes required for passage.

Also on Saturday, Syrian state media and a Syria monitoring group said pro-government troops advanced in a northern district of eastern Aleppo, wrestling control from rebel fighters in their latest push into the besieged area.

Singer said conditions in besieged Aleppo are “terribly dire,” with hospitals hit, doctors overwhelmed, and over 100 children killed in bombings since Sept. 19. Conditions for thousands of displaced in the government-held part of the city are also deteriorating, with some of them being displaced for up to six times in the last three years, she said.

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Leaked campaign emails show ‘moderate’ side of Clinton

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Hillary Clinton took nearly every precaution to ensure voters would never know what she told investment bankers, lobbyists and corporate executives in dozens of closed-door paid speeches before running for president.

Turns out, the Democratic presidential nominee had good reason to do so.

The private comments strike a tone starkly at odds with the fiery message she’s pushed throughout her campaign, particularly during the hard-fought Democratic primary. Some of her remarks give fresh fuel to liberals’ worst fears about Clinton, namely that she is a political moderate, happy to cut backroom deals with corporate interests and curry favor with Wall Street for campaign dollars.

The WikiLeaks organization on Friday posted what it said were thousands of emails obtained in a hack of the Clinton campaign chairman’s personal email account. Among the documents posted online was an internal review of the speeches conducted by campaign aides to survey the political damage her remarks could cause if they ever became public.

In what aides calculated were the most damaging passages, she reflects on the necessity of “unsavory” political dealing, telling real estate investors that “you need both a public and private position.” To investment bankers from Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, Clinton admits that she’s “kind of far removed” from the middle-class upbringing that she frequently touts on the campaign trail. She tells Xerox CEO Ursula Burns that both political parties should be “sensible, moderate, pragmatic.”

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German police blow up explosives stashed in raided apartment

BERLIN (AP) — German investigators found several hundred grams of “highly volatile” explosives in an apartment they raided Saturday in the eastern city of Chemnitz as they sought a Syrian man suspected of planning a bombing attack. The suspect remained on the run but three contacts were detained and being questioned, police said.

Saxony police spokesman Tom Bernhardt told reporters the explosives were found by investigators who combed carefully through the apartment, which was raided midday.

“They were not just lying out on the kitchen table, they were relatively well hidden,” he said.

About 100 people were evacuated from the five-story apartment building in Chemnitz as the bomb squad removed the explosives, which were not considered stable enough to move far. They were then destroyed in a controlled detonation, police said.

“It’s a highly volatile mixture,” Bernhardt said, adding that experts said it was considered it more dangerous than TNT. He did not identify the type of explosive.

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