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AP Top News at 2:52 a.m. EST

Trump campaign created own rules on sexual harassment
WASHINGTON (AP) - "You can do anything," Donald Trump once boasted, speaking of groping and kissing unsuspecting women. Maybe he could, but not everyone can. The candidate who openly bragged about grabbing women's private parts - but denied he really did so - was elected president months before the cascading sexual harassment allegations that have been toppling the careers of powerful men in Hollywood, business, the media and politics. He won even though more than a dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct, and roughly half of all voters said they were bothered by his treatment of women, according to exit polls.


Moore critic: Alabama Senate race a battle for nation's soul
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A leading figure among religious liberals says the candidacy of Republican Roy Moore for U.S. Senate is a struggle for the "soul of the nation." The remarks Saturday by the Rev. William J. Barber come a day after a letter signed by dozens of progressive pastors in Alabama said Moore - dogged by recent allegations of inappropriate conduct toward teenage girls decades ago - is unfit to serve. Barber, former head of the North Carolina NAACP, spoke at an anti-Moore rally at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that drew more than 100 people. The event was in direct contrast to a news conference Thursday during which religious conservatives expressed their commitment to Moore, who describes himself as a conservative Christian who hews to family values.


Anti-gay supporters rally for Moore, worrying LGBT community
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A smiling Roy Moore stood shoulder to shoulder with his fiercest religious allies. Flanked by a huge sign for Moore's Senate campaign, one supporter railed against the "LGBT mafia" and "homosexualist gay terrorism." Another warned that "homosexual sodomy" destroys those who participate in it and the nations that allow it. And still another described same-sex marriage as "a mirage" because "it's phony and fake." Thursday's news conference was designed to send a powerful message to the political world that religious conservatives across America remain committed to Moore, a Christian conservative and former judge whose Alabama Senate campaign has been rocked by mounting allegations of sexual misconduct.


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US general says illegal nuclear launch order can be refused
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) - The top officer at U.S. Strategic Command said Saturday an order from President Donald Trump or any of his successors to launch nuclear weapons can be refused if that order is determined to be illegal. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of Strategic Command, told a panel at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday that he and Trump have had conversations about such a scenario and that he would tell Trump he couldn't carry out an illegal strike. "If it's illegal, guess what's going to happen. I'm going to say, 'Mr President, that's illegal.' And guess what he's going to do?


Sinn Fein's divisive leader to step down after over 30 years
LONDON (AP) - Gerry Adams, the divisive politician known around the world as the face of the Irish republican movement as it shifted from violence to peace, announced Saturday that he was stepping down as leader of Sinn Fein next year after heading the party for over 30 years. The 69-year-old veteran politician - who has been president of Northern Ireland's second-largest party since 1983 - told the party's annual conference in Dublin he would not run in the next Irish parliamentary elections. "Leadership means knowing when it is time for change and that time is now," he said, adding the move was part of an ongoing process of leadership transition within the party.


Palestinians vow to suspend talks if US closes PLO mission
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Palestinians threatened on Saturday to suspend all communication with the United States if the Trump administration follows through with plans to close their diplomatic office in Washington. The potential rupture in relations threatens to undermine President Donald Trump's bid for Mideast peace - a mission he has handed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the U.S. decision was "very unfortunate and unacceptable," and accused Washington of bowing to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government "at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal." In a video statement on social media, Erekat said: "We will put on hold all our communications with this American administration." There was no immediate reaction from the Trump administration.


Argentina says it may have received signals from missing sub
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Argentina's Navy detected seven brief satellite calls Saturday that officials believe may have come from a submarine with 44 crew members that hadn't been heard from in three days. The communication attempts "indicate that the crew is trying to re-establish contact, so we are working to locate the source of the emissions," the Navy said on its Twitter account, adding that the calls lasted between four and 36 seconds. Argentine authorities clarified that it has not been confirmed the calls came from the submarine, the ARA San Juan, though that is the working hypothesis. Earlier Saturday, Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said the area being searched off the country's southern Atlantic coast has been doubled as concerns about the fate of the submarine and its crew grew.


2nd round of Mugabe exit talks as party poised to oust him
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Clinging to his now virtually powerless post, longtime Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Sunday was set to discuss his expected exit with the army commander who put him under house arrest, while the ruling party prepared to recall the world's oldest head of state as its leader. A day after huge crowds rallied peacefully in the capital, Harare, for the 93-year-old Mugabe to go, the ruling party's Central Committee was gathering to meet Sunday on demands by provincial branches to recall him. It also was expected to reinstate the vice president whose firing nearly two weeks ago led the military to step in, and recall the unpopular first lady as head of the women's league.


Deduction targeted by GOP used by tax filers in most states
ATLANTA (AP) - A popular deduction targeted in the GOP's overhaul of the tax code is used by more than a quarter of all filers in a majority of states, including many led by Republicans where some residents eventually could see their federal tax bills rise. The exact effect in every state isn't known, in part because of differences in the Senate and House versions of the bill. But the change to the deduction for state and local taxes could alter the bottom lines for millions of taxpayers who itemize. Residents in high-tax, Democratic-led states appear to be the hardest hit.


Why few women of color in wave of accusers? 'Stakes higher'
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - In the weeks since dozens of women have accused movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape or sexual harassment, unleashing an avalanche of similar charges against other prominent men across American life, women and men of color have been largely absent from the national furor. The stories of abuse have roiled the entertainment industry, politics, tech and more, raising the possibility that this could be a watershed moment to end tolerance of such behavior. But some observers fear minority women may miss the moment, as they often are more reticent to speak up about sexual harassment. "The stakes are higher in a lot of instances for us than they are for a lot of other women," said Tarana Burke, a black activist who founded the #MeToo movement on Twitter in 2006 to raise awareness around sexual violence.

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