Funeral held for US soldier at center of Trump fight COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) - Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him. Some of the 1,200 mourners exiting the church after Saturday's service said the portrait of Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, was joined on stage by photographs of Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia. The four died Oct. 4 in Niger when they were attacked by militants tied to the Islamic State.
Trump has no plans to block scheduled release of JFK records WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump says he doesn't plan to block the scheduled release of thousands of never publicly seen government documents related to President John F. Kennedy's assassination. "Subject to the receipt of further information," he wrote in a Saturday morning tweet, "I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened." The National Archives has until Thursday to disclose the remaining files related to Kennedy's 1963 assassination. The trove is expected to include more than 3,000 documents that have never been seen by the public and more than 30,000 that have been previously released but with redactions.
Foreigners who joined IS faced almost certain death in Raqqa PARIS (AP) - The forces fighting the remnants of the Islamic State group in Syria have tacit instructions on dealing with the foreigners who joined the extremist group by the thousands: Kill them on the battlefield. As they made their last stand in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, an estimated 300 extremists holed up in and around a sports stadium and a hospital argued among themselves about whether to surrender, according to Kurdish commanders leading the forces that closed in. The final days were brutal - 75 coalition airstrikes in 48 hours and a flurry of desperate IS car bombs that were easily spotted in the sliver of devastated landscape still under militant control.
Watch Top News Video
54 Egyptian police killed in ambush, say officials CAIRO (AP) - At least 54 policemen, including 20 officers and 34 conscripts, were killed when a raid on a militant hideout southwest of Cairo was ambushed, officials said Saturday. The ensuing firefight was one of the deadliest for Egyptian security forces in recent years. Two police officials told The Associated Press that the exchange of fire began late Friday in the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza province, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) southwest of Cairo. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media. The firefight began when security forces acting on intelligence moved against a militants' hideout in the area.
Wildfires plunge vineyard workers, owners into same struggle SONOMA, Calif. (AP) - When the wildfires ignited, vineyard workers stopped picking grapes and fled for their lives. Some vineyard owners decided to stay and fight back, spending days digging firebreaks and sleeping among their vines for safety. As the danger drew closer, grape pickers spread word of the threat and helped neighbors pack their homes. The owner of an elite golf resort abandoned his home to try to save his golf course. The deadliest and most destructive wildfires in California history imperiled both the low-wage workers who harvest the nation's most valuable wine grapes and the wealthy entrepreneurs who employ them.
After Raqqa, Trump says US shifts to 'new phase' in Syria STERLING, Va. (AP) - President Donald Trump is portraying the Islamic State group's ouster from its Syrian stronghold as a milestone in the U.S. fight against terrorism and a step toward a political transition and lasting peace in Syria. That assessment, in a statement released Saturday, runs counter to warnings in recent days from his national security aides that the militants remain fully capable of striking American interests. And there are no signs of an impending political transition, with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government newly strengthened. Kurdish-led forces on Friday declared victory in Raqqa, the extremists' self-declared capital, where they had terrorized the population for four years.
Court, for now, blocks immigrant teen's access to abortion WASHINGTON (AP) - An appeals court is blocking, for now, an abortion sought by a pregnant 17-year-old immigrant being held in a Texas facility, ruling that the government should have time to try to release her so she can obtain the abortion outside of federal custody. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its ruling Friday hours after arguments from lawyers for the Trump administration and the teenager. The court ruled 2-1 that the government should have until Oct. 31 to release the girl into the custody of a sponsor, such as an adult relative in the United States.
Spanish PM aims to take over Catalan govt; residents aghast BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - The Spanish government announced an unprecedented plan Saturday to sack Catalonia's separatist leaders, install its own people in their place and call a new local election, using previously untapped constitutional powers to take control of the prosperous region that is threatening to secede. Even moderate Catalans were aghast at the scope of the move, and the announcement was met with banging pots and honking cars in the streets of Barcelona. The city's mayor, Ada Colau, who opposes independence without a valid referendum, called Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's measures "a serious attack" on the self-government of Catalonia.
This week in odd news: Bathtub gator; Too fat for prison? BROKE? NOPE. MAN SAYS HE'S PENNILESS, BUT DEPUTIES FIND $4K ON HIM COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio defendant who vowed he was penniless and couldn't pay a fine now faces a big one after deputies escorting him from court found he had over $4,000 in his clothes. The Columbus Dispatch reports that 36-year-old Lawrence Knox swore he was indigent during an Oct. 5 hearing after pleading guilty to a drug charge in Franklin County court. Deputies taking him to be processed for his six-year prison sentence then found he had $4,060 on him. When the judge learned that, he gave Knox the maximum fine of $20,000, plus court costs.