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Aftershocks rattle Italian quake zone; toll rises to 250
PESCARA DEL TRONO, Italy (AP) - Aftershocks in central Italy rattled residents and rescue workers alike Thursday, as crews worked to find more earthquake survivors and the country anguished over its repeated failure to protect ancient towns and modern cities from seismic catastrophes. A day after a shallow quake killed 250 people and leveled three small towns, a 4.3 magnitude aftershock sent up plumes of thick gray dust in the hard-hit town of Amatrice. The aftershock crumbled already cracked buildings, prompted authorities to close roads and sent another person to the hospital. It was only one of the more than 470 temblors that have followed Wednesday's pre-dawn quake.


Chicago Story: Trump sends GOP donors spinning
CHICAGO (AP) - Ron Gidwitz, Dan Webb and William Kunkler are veteran Republicans - and friends - from Chicago's political money circuit. They raised buckets of cash for Mitt Romney four years ago. This time, however, their party's nominee has sent them spinning off in three directions. Gidwitz is hosting fundraisers for Donald Trump. Webb wrote a big check for Hillary Clinton. And Kunkler won't do anything for either candidate, saying he prefers not to enable "stupid behavior." "Everyone is trying to make the best of a bad situation," Kunkler said. Illinois is especially ripe for this hodgepodge of political feelings.


Trump meets with minority leaders ahead of Clinton speech
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Republican Donald Trump is courting minority voters as rival Hillary Clinton prepares to deliver a speech that will accuse his campaign of fostering hate. Trump met Thursday with members of a new Republican Party initiative meant to train young - and largely minority - volunteers to drive up voter turnout among their peers. His poll numbers falling behind Hillary Clinton's with less than three months until Election Day, Trump has been working to win over blacks and Latinos in an effort to broaden his appeal. At rallies over the past week, the Republican presidential nominee cast Democratic policies as harmful to minority communities and urged them to give him a chance, despite his occasional use of inflammatory rhetoric.


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Turkey: US says Syria Kurds are pulling back in north Syria
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Syrian Kurdish forces have started withdrawing east of the Euphrates River, Turkish officials said Thursday, a move that could fulfill a major demand by Ankara and the United States a day after Turkey sent in tanks across the border to help Syrian rebels take a key Islamic State stronghold. The Turkish officials were quoting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who relayed the news in a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart. Turkey's surprise incursion Wednesday to capture the town of Jarablus was a dramatic escalation of Turkey's role in Syria's war. But Ankara's objective went beyond fighting extremists.


Iran: Forces will warn any vessel after US warship incident
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's naval forces will warn or confront any foreign ship entering the country's territorial waters, the Iranian defense minister said Thursday, remarks that came after an incident this week involving a U.S. warship. The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Gen. Hosein Dehghan as saying that "if any foreign vessel enters our waters, we warn them, and if it's an invasion, we confront." He added that Iranian boats patrol to monitor traffic and foreign vessels in its territorial waters. Dehghan's comments came after four Iranian small boats sailed near the guided missile destroyer USS Nitze on Wednesday in the Persian Gulf.


Marines say 2 men didn't help raise 1st flag at Iwo Jima
After acknowledging they misidentified some of the men shown in an iconic image raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima during World War II, the Marines now say they were also mistaken in listing the names of those who raised an earlier flag amid intense fighting on the island. In a statement Wednesday, the Marines said two men long thought to have participated in the first flag-raising on Feb. 23, 1945, were nearby but didn't actually help raise the flag. The accomplishment gave hope to troops engaged in the long, bloody battle on the island though it has long been overshadowed by the subsequent raising of a larger flag.


Apple boosts iPhone security after Mideast spyware discovery
PARIS (AP) - A botched attempt to break into the iPhone of an Arab activist using hitherto unknown espionage software has trigged a global upgrade of Apple's mobile operating system, researchers said Thursday. The spyware took advantage of three previously undisclosed weaknesses in Apple's iPhone to take complete control of the devices, according to reports published Thursday by the San Francisco-based Lookout smartphone security company and internet watchdog group Citizen Lab. Both reports fingered the NSO Group, an Israeli company with a reputation for flying under the radar, as the author of the spyware. "The threat actor has never been caught before," said Mike Murrary, a researcher with Lookout, describing the program as "the most sophisticated spyware package we have seen in the market." The reports issued by Lookout and Citizen Lab outlined how an iPhone could be completely compromised with the tap of a finger, a trick so coveted in the world of cyberespionage that in November a spyware broker said it had paid a $1 million dollar bounty to programmers who'd found a way to do it.


Auto, technology industries clash over talking cars
WASHINGTON (AP) - Cars that wirelessly talk to each other are finally ready for the road, creating the potential to dramatically reduce traffic deaths, improve the safety of self-driving cars and someday maybe even help solve traffic jams, automakers and government officials say. But there's a big catch. The cable television and high-tech industries want to take away a large share of the radio airwaves the government dedicated for transportation in 1999, and use it instead for superfast Wi-Fi service. Auto industry officials are fighting to hang on to as much of the spectrum as they can, saying they expect they will ultimately need all of it for the new vehicle-to-vehicle communications, or V2V.


AP EXPLAINS: Why burkini swimsuits are causing controversy
PARIS (AP) - French mayors are drawing international anger for banning the burkini, an all-encompassing swimsuit worn by a small minority of Muslim women. The Associated Press explains the core of the controversy. WHAT ARE BURKINIS? They're a recent retail invention, not a religious requirement in any country. Around a decade ago an Australian woman of Lebanese origin created a swimsuit for Muslim women designed to permit them to keep their bodies covered while working as lifeguards on Australian beaches. Her design was dubbed the burkini or burqini. Burkinis cover the head, torso and limbs - much like a wetsuit with a hood.


Quake damages scores of Myanmar's heritage Bagan temples
BAGAN, Myanmar (AP) - It was a time of conquest and conversions. Above all, it was a time of construction, on a scale never seen before. Over 250 years, from the 11th century onwards, the rulers of Bagan built more than 10,000 magnificent religious monuments. The stupas, temples and monasteries became the defining emblems of Bagan, the capital of the Pagan (pronounced PUH'-gahn) empire that ruled Myanmar from roughly 1044 to 1287. On Wednesday, scores of the monuments - of which only about 2,200 remain - were damaged in a powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake. Yet much of what fell was modern material, sanctioned by Myanmar's former army rulers who had put top priority on restoring the temples with little regard for the original architectural styles.