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Trump and the new politics of honoring war dead
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump has pulled bereaved military families into a painful political fight of his own making, going so far Tuesday as to cite the death of his chief of staff's son in Afghanistan to question whether Barack Obama and other presidents did enough to honor the military dead. He's boasted that "I think I've called every family of someone who's died," though The Associated Press found relatives of two soldiers who died overseas during Trump's presidency who said they never received a call or a letter from him, as well as relatives of a third who did not get a call from him.


US Rep: Trump says fallen soldier knew what he signed up for
MIAMI (AP) - President Donald Trump told the widow of a slain soldier that he "knew what he signed up for," according to a Florida congresswoman. Rep. Frederica Wilson said she was in the car with Myeshia Johnson on the way to Miami International Airport to meet the body of Johnson's husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, when Trump called. Wilson says she heard part of the conversation on speakerphone. When asked by Miami station WPLG if she indeed heard Trump say that she answered: "Yeah, he said that. To me, that is something that you can say in a conversation, but you shouldn't say that to a grieving widow." She added: "That's so insensitive." Sgt.


Al-Qaida set to gain as Islamic State disintegrates
BEIRUT (AP) - Over several nights in September, some 10,000 men, women and children fled areas under Islamic State control, hurrying through fields in northern Syria and risking fire from government troops to reach a province held by an al-Qaida-linked group. For an untold number of battle-hardened jihadis fleeing with the civilians, the escape to Idlib province marked a homecoming of sorts, an opportunity to continue waging war alongside an extremist group that shares much of the Islamic State's ideology - and has benefited from its prolonged downfall. While the U.S.-led coalition and Russian-backed Syrian troops have been focused on driving IS from the country's east, an al-Qaida-linked insurgent coalition known as the Levant Liberation Committee has consolidated its control over Idlib, and may be looking to return to Osama bin Laden's strategy of attacking the West.


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Senate health care deal in doubt as Trump says he's opposed
WASHINGTON (AP) - A bipartisan Senate deal to curb the growth of health insurance premiums is reeling after President Donald Trump reversed course and opposed the agreement and top congressional Republicans and conservatives gave it a frosty reception. Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced their accord Tuesday after weeks of negotiations and five days after Trump said he was halting federal subsidies to insurers. Under the lawmakers' agreement, the payments would continue for two years while states were given more leeway to let insurers sidestep some coverage requirements imposed by President Barack Obama's health care law. In remarks Tuesday in the Rose Garden, Trump called the deal "a very good solution" that would calm insurance markets, giving him time to pursue his goal of scrapping Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, the target of Republican derision since it was signed into law.


Big question for US cities: Is Amazon's HQ2 worth the price?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Dozens of cities are working frantically to land Amazon's second headquarters, raising a weighty question with no easy answer: Is it worth it? Amazon is promising $5 billion of investment and 50,000 jobs over the next decade and a half. Yet the winning city would have to provide Amazon with generous tax breaks and other incentives that can erode a city's tax base. Most economists say the answer is a qualified yes - that an Amazon headquarters is a rare case in which a package of at least modest enticements could repay a city over time. That's particularly true compared with other projects that often receive public financial aid, from sports stadiums to the Olympics to manufacturing plants, which generally return lesser, if any, benefits over the long run.


Judge: Newest travel ban 'same maladies' as previous version
HONOLULU (AP) - Just hours before President Donald Trump's latest travel ban was to take full effect, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked the revised order, saying the policy has the same problems as a previous version. The revised order "suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor," U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson wrote in his ruling, which prevented the Trump administration from enforcing the travel ban set to go into effect early Wednesday. It was the third set of travel restrictions issued by the president to be thwarted, in whole or in part, by the courts. Watson's Tuesday ruling said the new ban, like its predecessor, fails to show that nationality alone makes a person a greater security risk to the U.S.


As congressional investigations wear on, some eye a finish
WASHINGTON (AP) - As congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections wear on in the Capitol, some lawmakers are starting to wonder when - and how - the probes will end. After months of clandestine interviews and a few public, partisan committee clashes, some Republicans on the House intelligence panel have been pushing for their probe to wrap up by the end of the year. And Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., is signaling he wants his more bipartisan investigation to finish in the next several months, before the 2018 elections get into full swing and the Russians have a chance to again interfere.


Xi urges stronger Chinese stand against 'grim' challenges
BEIJING (AP) - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday urged a reinvigorated Communist Party to take a stronger role in society and economic development to better address the nation's "grim" challenges as he opened a twice-a-decade national congress. Speaking in the massive Great Hall of the People near Tiananmen Square, Xi laid out his vision of a ruling party that serves as the vanguard for everything from defending national security to providing moral guidance to ordinary Chinese. He struck a nationalistic line throughout his speech, calling for the party not only to safeguard China's sovereignty but also to revitalize Chinese culture, oppose "erroneous" ideology and promote religion that is "Chinese in orientation." "The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is no walk in the park or mere drum-beating and gong-clanging.


UN, US failed to prevent ethnic cleansing in South Sudan
YEI, South Sudan (AP) - Until the summer of 2016, South Sudan's Yei region was a leafy oasis in the midst of the country's civil war. But when a national peace deal broke down and government soldiers ransacked the area, a handful of U.N. and U.S. officials begged their leaders for help. The United Nations must send peacekeepers to Yei to protect civilians from President Salva Kiir's forces, who are burning villages and slaughtering men, women and children, they argued. And the U.S. needs to change its approach in the face of a potential genocide, they warned. The pleas of officials and residents fell on deaf ears.


Ultra-personal therapy: Gene tumor boards guide cancer care
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Doctors were just guessing a decade ago when they gave Alison Cairnes' husband a new drug they hoped would shrink his lung tumors. Now she takes it too, but the choice was no guesswork. Sophisticated gene tests suggested it would fight her gastric cancer, and they were right. Cancer patients increasingly are having their care guided by gene tumor boards, a new version of the hospital panels that traditionally decided whether surgery, radiation or chemotherapy would be best. These experts study the patient's cancer genes and match treatments to mutations that seem to drive the disease.

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