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Trump offers scattershot response to global protests
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump offered a scattershot response to the sweeping protests against his new administration that followed his inauguration, both sarcastically undermining the events and defending the rights of the demonstrators over the course of about 90 minutes on Sunday morning. "Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly," tweeted Trump, at 7:51 am. Ninety-five minutes later, he struck a far more conciliatory tone. "Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views," the president tweeted at 9:26 am.


Analysis: Trump promises big change, picks small fights
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump won the White House promising big changes to the nation's economy, health care system and foreign policy. He spent his first full day in office picking small fights. Trump turned what was intended to be a bridge-building visit to the CIA on Saturday into a media-bashing session centered on what he saw as low-ball reports about the crowd size on Inauguration Day. He berated a magazine journalist by name for an inaccurate report about Oval Office decor that had been quickly corrected. Then, he dispatched his press secretary, Sean Spicer, to the White House briefing room to reinforce the message in an angry tirade that included false - and easy to fact-check - statements.


11 people killed in Georgia following severe weather
ATLANTA (AP) - A powerful tornado ripped through a mobile home park in south Georgia early Sunday, destroying half of its structures and killing seven people. Another four people died in neighboring counties, bringing the weekend death toll from severe weather in the southeastern U.S. to 15. No respite from the specter of tornadoes was in sight for the Georgia-Florida line, however. The National Weather Service said Sunday that southern Georgia, northern Florida and the corner of southeastern Alabama could face "intense and long track" tornadoes, scattered damaging winds and large hail. "A severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreak is expected today across north Florida and south Georgia, with the significant severe threat also expected to extend southward into central Florida and northeastward into South Carolina this evening," the weather service's storm prediction center.


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Israel pushes ahead with settlements as Trump takes office
JERUSALEM (AP) - The municipality of Jerusalem granted final approval Sunday for the construction of hundreds of new homes in east Jerusalem, while a hard-line Cabinet minister pushed the government to annex a major West Bank settlement as emboldened Israeli nationalists welcomed the presidency of Donald Trump. After eight years of testy ties with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is looking forward to a new era of close relations with the U.S. under Trump. The two were scheduled to talk on the phone later Sunday. At his weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu thanked Trump for his friendship and his inauguration speech pledge to battle radical Islamic militants.


Italy rescuers say ice thwarts manual search of buried hotel
FARINDOLA, Italy (AP) - Rescuers digging through an Italian hotel buried by an avalanche reported hearing no signs of life Sunday from the 24 people still missing inside and appealed for equipment to help them penetrate the ruins where they say air pockets might be sustaining more survivors. Rescue crews last reported hearing voices from the snow-entombed Hotel Rigopiano on Friday, when four children and five adults were located alive in small spaces that contained enough air for them to breathe. Among them were Vincenzo Forti and Giorgia Galassi, a couple who huddled with another woman in the gap where a girder split a sofa and ate dirty ice to stay hydrated, a friend of the couple told reporters at Pescara hospital Sunday.


Gambia awaits new leader, but exiled one has right to return
BANJUL, Gambia (AP) - Gambia's capital on Sunday was awaiting the arrival of the country's new leader and an era of democracy, hours after the authoritarian ruler of 22 years flew into exile with an extraordinary set of assurances from the international community. Even as new President Adama Barrow remained in neighboring Senegal awaiting a triumphant return after a whirlwind political crisis sparked by his December election win, former leader Yahya Jammeh appeared to be guaranteed the right to come home. A joint declaration issued shortly after Jammeh left by the United Nations, African Union and West African regional bloc ECOWAS said the bodies will work with Barrow's government to make sure Jammeh, his family and his close associates are not the target of punishment.


In midst of Aleppo wreckage, a Syrian family returns home
ALEPPO, Syria (AP) - The street looks as if it was hit by an earthquake and the bombed-out building in a former rebel-held northeastern neighborhood of Aleppo is deserted - except for the second-floor apartment where Abdul-Hamid Khatib and his family are staying. There is no electricity or running water. The apartment windows are covered with nylon sheets and a hole caused by a shell in the sitting room wall is closed with a piece of metal, pierced by the exhaust pipe for the wood-burning heater. Khatib and his family are the only occupants of the six-story building and they keep its main gate locked with a metal chain, fearing looters.


Cautious welcome from congressional Republicans to Trump era
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional Republicans anxiously monitor President Donald Trump's Twitter feed, parse his pronouncements, and brace for potential controversy each time he gives an interview. But GOP lawmakers also say they're growing increasingly accustomed to expecting the unexpected from Trump, and they're learning to take his abrupt pivots in stride, even when what he says stirs divisions or casts doubt on key Republican goals. So at the dawn of the Trump presidency, the most optimistic Republicans on Capitol Hill have high hopes they can learn to work with the new chief executive to bring about positive change for a bitterly divided nation.


French voters choosing left-wing presidential nominee
PARIS (AP) - French left-wing voters cast ballots Sunday in a nationwide presidential primary aimed at producing a candidate strong enough to confront formidable conservative and nationalist rivals in the April-May general election. That's no easy task. France's once-powerful left is struggling for political survival after President Francois Hollande's pro-business reforms split his Socialist Party. And in a campaign marked by anti-immigrant populism and fears of economic stagnation, many disillusioned working class voters are abandoning the Socialists for far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Tough-talking, center-leaning former Prime Minister Manuel Valls is a leading contender in Sunday's first round primary, but has faced fierce attacks from harder-left rivals who associate him with Hollande's unpopular moves to relax labor protections to encourage hiring.


Tough at the top: Murray, Kerber make 4th-round exits in Oz
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber had much in common heading into the first Grand Slam of the season as the No. 1 seeds. They shared an unwanted link on Sunday, though, when both were upset in the fourth round of the Australian Open. By the end of a chaotic first week at Melbourne Park, five-time finalist Murray had extended his Australian drought following a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 loss to No. 50-ranked Mischa Zverev a matter of hours before defending women's champion Kerber lost 6-3, 6-2 to CoCo Vandeweghe in an upset that finished at six minutes past midnight.



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