AP Top News at 12:19 p.m. EDT

Police: Attacks in Spain are linked, took long time to plan
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - The back-to-back vehicle attacks in Barcelona and a nearby resort had been planned for a long time by an Islamic terrorist cell - and could have been far deadlier had its base not been destroyed by an apparently accidental explosion this week, Spanish officials said Friday. Police intensified their manhunt for an unknown number of suspects still on the loose Friday. They shot and killed five people early Friday who were wearing fake bomb belts as they attacked the seaside resort of Cambrils with a speeding car. Police also arrested four others believed linked to the Cambrils attack and the carnage Thursday on a famous Barcelona promenade.


Barcelona's victims: A snapshot of the world
PARIS (AP) - The dead and injured in Barcelona were a snapshot of the world - men, women and children from nearly three dozen nations - testifying to the huge global appeal of the sun-kissed city. Families, friends and government officials from Paris to Sydney, San Francisco to Berlin scrambled Friday to discover whether their loved ones and citizens were among those mowed down by suspected Islamic extremists who zig-zagged down Barcelona's always crowded Las Ramblas promenade in a van, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100 others. A related attack early Friday morning in the popular seaside town of Cambrils, south of Barcelona, took the death toll to 14.


Trump defends Confederate statues, berates his critics
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) - With prominent Republicans openly questioning his competence and moral leadership, President Donald Trump burrowed deeper into the racially charged debate over Confederate memorials and lashed out at members of his own party in the latest controversy to engulf his presidency. Out of sight but still online, Trump tweeted his defense of monuments to Confederate icons - bemoaning rising efforts to remove them as an attack on America's "history and culture." And he berated his critics who, with increasingly sharper language, have denounced his initially slow and then ultimately combative comments on the racial violence at a white supremacist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Trump won places drowning in despair. Can he save them?
ABERDEEN, Wash. (AP) - One-hundred-fifty baskets of pink petunias hang from the light posts all over this city, watered regularly by residents trying to make their community feel alive again. A local artist spends his afternoons high in a bucket truck, painting a block-long mural of a little girl blowing bubbles, each circle the scene of an imagined, hopeful future. But in the present, vacant buildings dominate blocks. A van, stuffed so full of blankets and boxes they are spilling from the windows, pulls to the curb outside Stacie Blodgett's antiques shop. "Look inside of it," she says. "I bet you he's living in it." Around the corner, a crowded tent city of the desperate and addicted has taken over the riverbank, makeshift memorials to too many dead too young jutting up intermittently from the mud.


Finnish police shoot man who stabs several people in Turku
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - A man stabbed several people in Finland's western city of Turku before police shot him in a leg and detained him Friday, police said, adding that authorities were looking for more potential suspects. Finnish broadcaster YLE says several people were seen lying on the ground in Puutori square in central Turku. On Twitter, police urged people to avoid that part of Turku. One person has been "apprehended," Finnish police said, adding "several people had been stabbed" in two squares in the city. Their conditions weren't immediately available. Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat says six people were injured, one man and five women, and that a woman with stroller was attacked by a man with a large knife.


After Charlottesville, colleges brace for more hate attacks
BOSTON (AP) - Nicholas Fuentes is dropping out of Boston University and heading south, pressing ahead with his right-wing politics despite receiving online death threats. The 19-year-old joined a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend and posted a defiant Facebook message promising that a "tidal wave of white identity is coming," less than an hour after a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters. Now, he's hoping to transfer to Auburn University in Alabama. "I'm ready to return to my base, return to my roots, to rally the troops and see what I can do down there," Fuentes said in an interview this week.


Widow won't sign, and that puts timeshare giant in a bind
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - There's a new twist in the standoff between an octogenarian widow in Florida who refused to sell her townhome and the giant developer that constructed a timeshare resort around her vacant, two-story building anyway. In order to get a county permit for tenants to move into the new timeshare units, the company needs her signature - and she's not giving it. That prompted the parent company of Westgate Resorts to sue Orange County, Florida, this month, demanding that the county issue the occupancy permit anyway. The timeshare giant's lawsuit is the latest development in the ongoing fight between Julieta Corredor and Westgate Resorts.


NASA, PBS marking 40 years since Voyager spacecraft launches
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Forty years after blasting off, Earth's most distant ambassadors - the twin Voyager spacecraft - are carrying sounds and music of our planet ever deeper into the cosmos. Think of them as messages in bottles meant for anyone - or anything - out there. This Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of NASA's launch of Voyager 2, now almost 11 billion miles distant. It departed from Cape Canaveral on Aug. 20, 1977 to explore Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager 1 followed a few weeks later and is ahead of Voyager 2. It's humanity's farthest spacecraft at 13 billion miles away and is the world's only craft to reach interstellar space, the vast mostly emptiness between star systems.


'Spectacular' autumn foliage is forecast for New England
BOSTON (AP) - New England's fall foliage forecast is looking so fine it's enough to make a maple leaf blush. For the first time in several years, little has conspired against a truly glorious autumn. There's no more drought, the summer has been mild and the leaves - largely spared by marauding gypsy moth caterpillars - look healthy. Translation: A pretty great season for leaf peeping seems to be shaping up. "It's the most optimistic forecast I've had in a couple of years," said Jim Salge, who tracks the region's annual autumn pageant for Yankee Magazine. "The biggest thing that can go wrong with foliage is a really wet couple of weeks leading up," Salge cautioned.


Charlie Cox, Finn Jones on 2 Marvel-ous 'Defenders' roles
NEW YORK (AP) - Maybe you know them as Iron Fist and Daredevil. But now Finn Jones and Charlie Cox, who star as these Marvel superheroes on the Netflix series "Iron Fist" and "Daredevil," have joined forces with Mike Colter ("Luke Cage") and Krysten Ritter ("Jessica Jones") for a much-awaited miniseries hybrid. "The Defenders," which finds this Fab Four uniting to fight a fearsome conspiracy mounted against New York City, is now available on Netflix . Jones continues as Danny Rand, co-CEO of Rand Enterprises who, now a Buddhist monk and martial arts master, has the ability to call upon the mystical power of the Iron Fist as his alter ego.

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