Return to Site
AP Top News at 2:34 a.m. EDT

Trump commits US to fight on in Afghanistan; no speedy exit
WASHINGTON (AP) - Reversing his past calls for a speedy exit, President Donald Trump recommitted the United States to the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan Monday night, declaring U.S. troops must "fight to win." He pointedly declined to disclose how many more troops will be dispatched to wage America's longest war. In a prime-time address to unveil his new Afghanistan strategy, Trump said the U.S. would shift away from a "time-based" approach, instead linking its assistance to results and to cooperation from the beleaguered Afghan government, Pakistan and others. He insisted it would be a "regional" strategy that addressed the roles played by other South Asian nations - especially Pakistan's harboring of elements of the Taliban.


Analysis: Trump vows to win the seemingly unwinnable war
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is vowing to win what has seemed to be an unwinnable war. How he plans to do so is still murky despite the months of internal deliberations that ultimately persuaded Trump to stick with a conflict he has long opposed. In a 26-minute address to the nation Monday, Trump alluded to more American troops deploying to Afghanistan, but refused to say how many. He said victory would be well-defined, but outlined only vague benchmarks for success, like dismantling al-Qaida and preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan. He said the U.S. would not offer Afghanistan a "blank check," but provided no specific timetable for the end of an American commitment that has already lasted 16 years.


The Latest: Divers to search flooded McCain compartments
The U.S. 7th Fleet says Navy and Marine Corps. divers have joined the search for 10 missing sailors and will access flooded compartments on the USS John S. McCain, which is docked at Singapore's Changi Naval Base. It says the sea-based search by aircraft and ships from the U.S., Singapore and Malaysian navies will continue east of Singapore where the McCain and an oil tanker collided at daybreak Monday. "Equipped with surface supplied air rigs, divers will access sealed compartments located in damaged parts of the ship," the 7th Fleet's statement says. "Additionally, they will conduct damage assessments of the hull and flooded areas."


Watch Top News Video




Navies search for 10 US sailors as 7th Fleet review ordered
SINGAPORE (AP) - Three navies searched Southeast Asian waters for 10 missing U.S. sailors for a second day Tuesday as the Navy ordered a broad investigation into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided east of Singapore. Aircraft from the amphibious assault ship USS America and ships and aircraft from the navies of Malaysia and Singapore were focusing their search east of the city-state where the two vessels collided around daybreak Monday at an approach to a busy shipping lane. The guided missile destroyer is now docked at Singapore's naval base and its crew is working on emptying compartments that flooded when the collision ruptured the McCain's hull at its waterline, the 7th Fleet said in a statement.


NKorea issues trademark fiery rhetoric over US-SKorea drills
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea's military on Tuesday greeted the start of annual U.S.-South Korean military drills with its standard fiery threats, vowing "merciless retaliation" for exercises Pyongyang claims are an invasion rehearsal. North Korea routinely issues such warlike rhetoric or conducts weapons tests to respond to the U.S.-South Korean exercises. Tuesday's threat came as top U.S. generals, including Adm. Harry Harris, the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, visited South Korea. Ties between the Koreas are almost always fraught, but anxiety is higher than normal following weeks of tit-for-tat threats between President Donald Trump and Pyongyang in the wake of the North's two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month.


Anger over rally violence boils over in Charlottesville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Anger boiled over at the first Charlottesville City Council meeting since a white nationalist rally in the city descended into violent chaos, with some residents screaming and cursing at councilors Monday night and calling for their resignations. Scores of people packed the council's chambers, and The Daily Progress reported Mayor Mike Signer was interrupted by shouting several times in the first few minutes of the meeting. As tensions escalated, the meeting was halted. Live video showed protesters standing on a dais with a sign that said, "Blood on your hands." After talking with members of the crowd, Councilor Wes Bellamy said the council would drop its agenda and focus on the crowd's concerns, the newspaper reported.


'A primal experience': Americans dazzled by solar eclipse
The stars came out in the middle of the day, zoo animals ran in agitated circles, crickets chirped, birds fell silent and a chilly darkness settled upon the land Monday as the U.S. witnessed its first full-blown, coast-to-coast solar eclipse since World War I. Millions of Americans gazed in wonder at the cosmic spectacle, with the best seats along the so-called path of totality that raced 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) across the continent from Oregon to South Carolina. "It was a very primal experience," Julie Vigeland, of Portland, Oregon, said after she was moved to tears by the sight of the sun reduced to a silvery ring of light in Salem.


Police: Fugitive's death 'breaks' cell behind Spain attacks
SUBIRATS, Spain (AP) - The lone fugitive from the Spanish cell that killed 15 people in and near Barcelona was shot to death Monday after he flashed what turned out to be a fake suicide belt at two troopers who confronted him in a vineyard not far from the city he terrorized, authorities said. Police said they had "scientific evidence" that Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, drove the van that barreled through Barcelona's crowded Las Ramblas promenade, killing 13 people on Thursday, then hijacked a car and fatally stabbed its driver while making his getaway. Abouyaaqoub's brother and friends made up the rest of the 12-man extremist cell, along with an imam who was one of two people killed in what police said was a botched bomb-making operation.


Mattis: IS militants caught in Iraq-Syria military vise
BAGHDAD (AP) - Expelled from their main stronghold in northern Iraq, Islamic State militants are now trapped in a military vise that will squeeze them on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said. Mattis arrived in the Iraqi capital on an unannounced visit Tuesday just hours after President Donald Trump outlined a fresh approach to the stalemated war in Afghanistan. Trump also has vowed to take a more aggressive, effective approach against IS in Iraq and Syria, but he has yet to unveil a strategy for that conflict that differs greatly from his predecessor's. In Baghdad, Mattis was meeting with senior Iraqi government leaders and with U.S.


Chile families fight for acceptance of transgender children
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Monica Flores was returning from a holiday abroad when Chilean police stopped her for questions at the airport. They were bothered that their records didn't match: She had left the country with a son and returned with a daughter. Flores had to explain that her 6-year-old registered as a boy identifies as a girl. "It was a distressing moment. I realized that it was urgent that the different institutions of our country could be trained about trans issues to avoid having children undergo these questionings," Flores said. The uncomfortable incident two years ago, led Flores and her husband to launch a legal battle for the rights of their daughter - a struggle that has encouraged the families of other trans children to demand greater acceptance and that has fed the broader debate about gender rights in a country so socially conservative that it legalized divorce just 13 years ago.