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AP News in Brief at 6:04 am EDT – Washington Post

Search called off for 3 US Marines who crashed off Australia

SYDNEY — U.S. military officials called off a search and rescue operation on Sunday for three U.S. Marines who were missing after their Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia while trying to land.

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps suspended the rescue operation and launched a recovery effort instead, the Marine base Camp Butler in Japan said in a statement, essentially confirming the military does not expect to find the missing Marines alive.

The Marines’ next of kin had been notified, and Australia’s defense force was assisting the Americans with the recovery effort, the statement said.

The MV-22 Osprey had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard and was conducting regularly scheduled operations on Saturday when it crashed into the water, Camp Butler said. The ship’s small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts, and 23 of 26 personnel aboard the aircraft were rescued.

“Recovery and salvage operations can take several months to complete, but can be extended based on several environmental factors,” Camp Butler’s statement said. “The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation, and there is no additional information available at this time.”

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China urges N. Korea to halt tests as global pressure mounts

MANILA, Philippines — A global pressure campaign on North Korea propelled by sharp new U.N. sanctions received a welcome boost Sunday from China, the North’s economic lifeline, as Beijing called on the pariah nation to halt its missile and nuclear tests.

The Trump administration cautiously embraced China’s apparent newfound cooperation, while putting it on notice that the U.S. would be watching closely to ensure it didn’t ease up on Pyongyang if and when the world’s attention is diverted elsewhere. But there were no signs the U.S. would acquiesce to China’s call for a quick return to negotiations.

The diplomatic wrangling sought to build on the sweeping new North Korea sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council a day earlier — the strongest in a generation, the U.S. said. As diplomats gathered in the Philippines for an annual regional meeting, President Donald Trump was cheering the move from afar. He touted the “very big financial impact” of the sanctions and noted optimistically that both China and Russia had joined in the unanimous vote.

“It was a good outcome,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in characteristically understated fashion as he met with South Korea’s top diplomat.

For the U.S., it was a long-awaited sign of progress for Trump’s strategy of trying to enlist Beijing’s help to squeeze Pyongyang diplomatically and economically. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, meeting with North Korea’s top diplomat during the gathering in Manila, urged the North to “maintain calm” despite the U.N. vote.

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N. Korean missiles add urgency to Hiroshima A-bomb appeals

HIROSHIMA, Japan — Hiroshima’s appeal of “never again” on the anniversary Sunday of the world’s first atomic bomb attack has gained urgency as North Korea moves ever closer to acquiring nuclear weapons, showing its growing prowess with increasingly frequent missile launches.

When the U.S. dropped the bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, Toshiki Fujimori’s mother was carrying him, then just a year old, piggyback to the hospital. The impact of the explosion threw them both to the ground, nearly killing him.

“Obviously tensions are growing as North Korea has been pushing ahead with nuclear tests and development,” said Fujimori. “Nuclear weapons just are unacceptable for mankind.”

Many Japanese and others in the region seem resigned to North Korea’s apparent newfound capacity to launch missiles capable of reaching much of the continental United States. But the threat lends a deeper sense of alarm in Hiroshima, where 140,000 died in that first A-bomb attack, which was followed on Aug. 9, 1945, by another that killed more than 70,000 people in Nagasaki.

“This hell is not a thing of the past,” Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said in his peace declaration at Sunday’s ceremony. “As long as nuclear weapons exist and policymakers threaten their use, their horror could leap into our present at any moment. You could find yourself suffering their cruelty.”

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Venezuela constitutional assembly removes chief prosecutor

CARACAS, Venezuela — A newly installed constitutional assembly ousted Venezuela’s defiant chief prosecutor Saturday, a sign that President Nicolas Maduro’s embattled government intends to move swiftly against critics and consolidate power amid a fast-moving political crisis.

Cries of “traitor” and “justice” erupted from the stately, neo-classical salon where 545 pro-government delegates voted unanimously to remove Luisa Ortega from her post as the nation’s top law enforcement official and replace her with a staunch government supporter.

They said they were acting in response to a ruling by the government-stacked Supreme Court, which banned Ortega from leaving the country and froze her bank accounts while it weighs criminal charges against her for alleged irregularities.

Ortega, a longtime loyalist who broke with the socialist government in April, refused to recognize the decision and vowed to continue defending the rights of Venezuelans from Maduro’s “coup” against the constitution “with my last breath.”

“This is just a tiny example of what’s coming for everyone that dares to oppose this totalitarian form of government,” Ortega said in the statement she signed as chief prosecutor. “If they’re doing this to the chief prosecutor, imagine the helpless state all Venezuelans live in.”

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McConnell to consider bipartisan plan to pay health insurers

FANCY FARM, Ky. — A week after an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’d consider a bipartisan effort to continue payments to insurers to avert a costly rattling of health insurance markets.

McConnell told reporters Saturday there is “still a chance” the Senate could revive the measure to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” but he acknowledged the window for that is rapidly closing.

The Kentucky senator noted Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is working on “some kind of bipartisan approach” that would involve subsidies for insurance companies.

Alexander recently said he will work with the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, on a bill next month that would pay insurers through 2018. In exchange, Alexander wants Democrats to agree to make it easier for states to choose their own health coverage standards that insurers must provide rather than abiding by former President Barack Obama’s law.

“If the Democrats are willing to support some real reforms rather than just an insurance company bailout, I would be willing to take a look at it,” McConnell said, hours before he was expected to speak at the famously raucous Fancy Farm picnic in western Kentucky.

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Fox News host Eric Bolling suspended amid investigation

LOS ANGELES — Fox News said Saturday that it has suspended Eric Bolling, co-host of its late-afternoon news program “The Specialists,” while it investigates allegations he sent a lewd photo to co-workers.

Word of the suspension came one day after a HuffPost report relying on anonymous sources stated Bolling had sent a lewd photo to at least three female colleagues at Fox News and Fox Business.

“Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway,” Fox News said in a brief statement.

An attorney for Bolling, Michael J. Bowe, denied the allegations.

“The anonymous, uncorroborated claims are untrue and terribly unfair,” Bowe wrote in an email Saturday. “We intend to fully cooperate with the investigation so that it can be concluded and Eric can return to work as quickly as possible.”

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Despite Trump claim, Hezbollah operation boosts Lebanon role

BEIRUT — As President Donald Trump recently stood beside the Lebanese prime minister praising his government for standing up to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militants were busy demonstrating just how wrong he was. They were clearing the country’s eastern frontier from al-Qaida fighters in a sweeping offensive and negotiating a complex prisoner deal with the group.

Far from being an ally in the fight against Hezbollah, the Lebanese government headed by Saad Hariri is based on a partnership with the Shiite group, whose clout and dominance in the tiny country is on the rise.

“Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against (the Islamic State group), al-Qaida and Hezbollah,” Trump said at the press conference in Washington, lighting up social media with comments from Lebanese who ridiculed his perceived ignorance of Lebanese politics.

The Lebanese government headed by Hariri was formed in December following an extended paralysis and a presidential vacuum that lasted nearly three years. Hariri, a Sunni politician squarely opposed to Hezbollah and Assad, was made prime minister only after an overall bargain was reached with Hezbollah that included the election of Michel Aoun, a Christian and Hezbollah ally, as president. Aoun has repeatedly said that Hezbollah’s arms complement those of the Lebanese military.

Trump aside, there is much about Hezbollah’s role in Lebanon that is sometimes difficult for outsiders to understand.

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Northwestern professor, Oxford staffer jailed in stabbing

SAN FRANCISCO — Far from their prestigious campuses, a Northwestern University professor and a University of Oxford finance officer were jailed in the San Francisco area on Saturday after eight days as fugitives in the death of a young hairdresser in Chicago who was repeatedly stabbed until the knife broke, police said.

The Northwestern microbiologist, Wyndham Lathem, had a personal relationship with the victim, although the nature of it wasn’t clear, and Lathem had made a video apologizing for what he called “the worst mistake of my life,” according to investigators.

Lathem, 42, was being held without bail in Alameda County and faced a court appearance in the city of Pleasanton. Lathem was under intensive observation Saturday in jail, Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said.

The other suspect, Andrew Warren, a treasury assistant at one of Oxford’s residential colleges in England, was being held at the county jail in San Francisco.

Both men surrendered separately and peacefully on Friday evening in the Bay Area.

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As he so often did on the field, LT stole the show.

CANTON, Ohio — As he so often did on the field, LaDainian Tomlinson stole the show.

With a powerful speech calling for “Team America” to be a place for inclusion and opportunity, the great running back of the San Diego Chargers was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

The 2017 roster of entrants into the shrine was deeply impressive: fellow running back Terrell Davis ; quarterback Kurt Warner; defensive end Jason Taylor ; safety Kenny Easley ; placekicker Morten Andersen ; and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones .

All spoke eloquently, with bursts of humor and heartwarming stories. But Tomlinson’s words resonated so strongly that he drew several standing ovations not only from the crowd of 13,400, but from his now-fellow Gold Jackets.

“Football is a microcosm of America,” Tomlinson said. “All races, religions and creeds, living, playing, competing side by side. When you’re part of a team, you understand your teammates — their strengths and weaknesses — and work together toward the same goal, to win a championship.

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Bronze and gone: In a shocker, Bolt takes third at worlds

LONDON — One final time, Usain Bolt peered down the last 50 meters of his lane and saw sprinter upon sprinter running footsteps ahead of him.

One final time, the World’s Fastest Man furiously pumped the arms and legs on his gangly 6-foot-5 frame, desperately trying to reel in all those would-be winners as the finish line fast approached.

This time, the afterburners kicked in but not hard enough. Not one, but two overlooked and underappreciated Americans — Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman — withstood what was once Bolt’s undeniable late charge.

This time, Bolt finished third in the 100-meter dash at world championships. That’s right: A bronze-medal finish Saturday night in the going-away party for one of the planet’s most entertaining icons and track and field’s lone shining star.

“No regrets,” Bolt insisted, long after a result that stunned a pumped-up crowd into near silence. “It was always going to end, no matter what happened — win, lose or draw. It doesn’t change anything in my career.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP News in Brief at 6:04 am EDT – Washington Post

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