McCain doesn't back GOP health care bill, drawing Trump ire WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare," dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party's years of vows to kill the program. It was the second time in three months the 81-year-old McCain emerged as the destroyer of his party's signature promise to voters. "I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried," McCain said of the bill, co-written by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, his best friend in the Senate, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
World wonders could NKorea fire nuclear missile over Japan SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Will North Korea's next nuclear test involve a thermonuclear missile screaming over Japan? That's a question being asked after North Korea's foreign minister said his country may test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean. The world hasn't seen an above-ground, atmospheric nuclear test since an inland detonation by China in 1980 and North Korea upending that could push the region dangerously close to war. The room for error would be minimal and any mistake could be disastrous. Even if successful, such a test could endanger air and sea traffic in the region. Because of that many experts don't think North Korea would take such a risk.
Dam failing as scope of Puerto Rico's disaster becomes clear SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Puerto Rican officials rushed to evacuate tens of thousands of people downstream of a failing dam and said they could not reach more than half the towns in the U.S. territory as the massive scale of the disaster wrought by Hurricane Maria started to become clear on Friday. Government spokesman Carlos Bermudez said that officials had no communication with 40 of the 78 municipalities on the island more than two days after the Category 4 storm crossed the island, toppling power lines and cellphone towers and sending floodwaters cascading through city streets. Officials said 1,360 of the island's 1,600 cellphone towers had been downed, and 85 percent of above-ground and underground phone and internet cables were knocked out.
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Earthquake dims stylish nightlife in Mexico City district MEXICO CITY (AP) - In the stylish Condesa neighborhood young revelers typically spill out from dimly lit bars and restaurants on a Friday night. But the first weekend since a 7.1-magnitude earthquake toppled buildings just blocks away began on a somber note. Instead of crowds gathered with beers, small handfuls of rescue workers still dressed in reflective vests took breaks from digging through rubble. Entire restaurants with white linen tables were empty. Metal gates shuttered others. "It feels lifeless," said Mariana Aguilar, 27, a hostess at a bar and restaurant who stood waiting for guests yet to arrive. "I walk through these streets every day and you never imagine something like this would happen." The upscale Mexico City neighborhood was one of the hardest hit, with more than a half-dozen collapsed buildings in the immediate vicinity.
Trump says protesting players in NFL should be fired HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - President Donald Trump says National Football League owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he's encouraging spectators to walk out in protest. In an extended riff during a freewheeling rally speech in Alabama Friday night, Trump also bemoaned that football games have become less violent. "They're ruining the game," he complained. Several athletes, including a handful of NFL players, have refused to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest of the treatment of blacks by police. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the trend last year when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, hasn't been signed by an NFL team for this season.
First lady set to embark on first solo trip outside US WASHINGTON (AP) - Melania Trump is set to take her biggest step yet as first lady. She's leading the U.S. delegation to an international sporting event for wounded service members, her first solo trip outside of the U.S. to represent her adopted country without President Donald Trump at her side. The daylong stop Saturday in Toronto also includes a brush with royalty. The first lady is scheduled to meet for the first time with Britain's Prince Harry, who founded the Invictus Games in 2014. She was also meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and delivering remarks at a reception for the nearly 100 American athletes participating in the weeklong Olympic-style competition.
Iran tries to reconcile Syria and Hamas, rebuilding alliance BEIRUT (AP) - Iran is working to restore a lost link in its network of alliances in the Middle East, trying to bring Hamas fully back into the fold after the Palestinian militant group had a bitter fall-out with Iranian ally Syria over that country's civil war. Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah are quietly trying to mediate a reconciliation between Syria and Hamas. If they succeed, it would shore up a weak spot in the alliance at a time when Iran has strengthened ties with Syria and Iraq, building a bloc of support across the region to counter Israel and the United States' Arab allies.
'Little Rock Nine' members mark school's 1957 desegregation LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - When she saw images unfold from a deadly white supremacist rally this summer in Virginia, Minnijean Brown Trickey immediately thought about the angry mob she and eight other black students faced when they integrated an all-white high school in Little Rock 60 years ago. "That triggered me so much and watching the mindless mob action just touched me, and I thought, 'This is 60 years later. I can't believe this happened in this time,'" Trickey said Friday, referring to the violence that erupted at a rally of white nationalists opposed to the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen.
Worlds of Islam, Michael Jackson collide in Egyptian film CAIRO (AP) - An Egyptian ultraconservative Muslim preacher hears on his car radio news of the death of Michael Jackson, the pop singer he idolized in his teens, and he becomes so distraught he crashes his car. The news of the passing of the King of Pop is the start of a crisis of conscience for Sheikh Khalid Hani, the main character of the movie "Sheikh Jackson," Egypt's first feature film to focus on the religious movement known as Salafis, followers of one of the strictest interpretations of Islam. It follows Sheikh Hani, a Salafi, as his love for Michael Jackson throws him onto a bumpy journey to discover his own identity, mirroring how Egypt's conservative society is torn between its Islamic and Arab traditions and Western culture in an age when television, telecommunications and social media bring together people and cultures from all corners of the world.