Italy probes whether negligence played role in quake toll AMATRICE, Italy (AP) - Italian authorities are vowing to investigate whether negligence or fraud in adhering to building codes played a role in the high death toll in last week's earthquake in Italy. They also called for efforts to ensure organized crime doesn't infiltrate lucrative construction contracts to eventually rebuild much of the picturesque towns leveled in the disaster. Meanwhile, rescue workers pressed on with the task of recovering bodies from the rubble, with hopes of finding any more survivors virtually vanished more than four full days after the powerful quake. Over the past two days, they found six more bodies in the rubble of Hotel Roma in Amatrice, the medieval hill town in mountainous central Italy that bore the brunt of destruction and loss of life in the powerful quake.
Trump stand-ins struggle to speak for and defend nominee WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump isn't making it easy for top supporters and advisers, from his running mate on down, to defend him or explain some campaign positions. Across the Sunday news shows, a parade of Trump stand-ins, led by vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, couldn't say whether Trump was sticking with or changing a central promise to boot the roughly 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally, with the help of a ``deportation force.'' And they didn't bother defending his initial response Saturday to the killing of a mother as she walked her baby on a Chicago street.
FARC sets permanent cease-fire under Colombia peace deal HAVANA (AP) - The commander of Colombia's biggest rebel movement said Sunday its fighters will permanently cease hostilities with the government beginning with the first minute of Monday, as a result of their peace accord ending one of the world's longest-running conflicts. Rodrigo Londono, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, made the announcement in Havana, where the two sides negotiated for four years before announcing the peace deal Wednesday. "Never again will parents be burying their sons and daughters killed in the war," said Londono, who also known as Timoshenko. "All rivalries and grudges will remain in the past." Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Friday that his military would cease attacks on the FARC beginning Monday.
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Can Clinton save health overhaul from its mounting problems? WASHINGTON (AP) - With the hourglass running out for his administration, President Barack Obama's health care law is struggling in many parts of the country. Double-digit premium increases and exits by big-name insurers have caused some to wonder whether "Obamacare" will go down as a failed experiment. If Democrat Hillary Clinton wins the White House, expect her to mount a rescue effort. But how much Clinton could do depends on finding willing partners in Congress and among Republican governors, a real political challenge. "There are turbulent waters," said Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's first secretary of Health and Human Services. "But do I see this as a death knell?
Turkey-backed rebels expel Kurdish forces from Syrian towns BEIRUT (AP) - Rebels backed by Turkey made major gains Sunday in northern Syria, expelling Kurdish-led forces from towns and villages as part of a determined campaign by Ankara to push the militants east of the Euphrates River. At least 35 civilians were killed, according to activists. The dramatic escalation of Turkey's involvement in the Syrian civil war last week aimed to help the Syrian rebels drive the Islamic State group out of the border town of Jarablus. But it also is aimed at U.S.-allied Kurdish forces that have gained control in recent months of most of the territory along the Turkey-Syria border.
Dallas police squelch critics, questions about sniper attack DALLAS (AP) - The day after five Dallas officers were killed by a sniper, the city's police chief described the men as "guardians" of democracy, praising them for protecting the freedom to protest at a large demonstration against police brutality. President Barack Obama later eulogized the slain officers, saying they died while defending essential constitutional rights. But nearly two months after the shootings, Dallas police have moved to silence critics and squelch lingering questions about the attack. Officers in riot gear have been told to ticket protesters who block or disrupt traffic, and Police Chief David Brown has refused to meet with demonstrators unless they agree to end their marches through downtown, which he says pose a threat to officers.
Visitor misbehavior abounds as US parks agency turns 100 YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) - Tourist John Gleason crept through the grass, four small children close behind, inching toward a bull elk with antlers like small trees at the edge of a meadow in Yellowstone National Park. "They're going to give me a heart attack," said Gleason's mother-in-law, Barbara Henry, as the group came within about a dozen yards of the massive animal. The elk's ears then pricked up, and it eyed the children and Washington state man before leaping up a hillside. Other tourists - likewise ignoring rules to keep 25 yards from wildlife - picked up the pursuit, snapping pictures as they pressed forward and forced the animal into headlong retreat.
German economy minister says EU-US trade talks have failed BERLIN (AP) - Free trade talks between the European Union and the United States have failed, Germany's economy minister said Sunday, citing a lack of progress on any of the major sections of the long-running negotiations. Both Washington and Brussels have pushed for a deal by the end of the year, despite strong misgivings among some EU member states over the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany's vice chancellor, compared the TTIP negotiations unfavorably with a free trade deal forged between the 28-nation EU and Canada, which he said was fairer for both sides.
Turkish president vows to 'destroy terrorists' ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkey's president vowed on Sunday to "destroy terrorists" after months of deadly attacks throughout the country and reiterated his claim that a child suicide bomber was responsible for last weekend's explosion that claimed at least 54 lives in the southeast. Speaking at a rally in Gaziantep where the suicide bombing took place at a Kurdish wedding, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the "terrorists" are being "picked up one by one" by Turkey's security forces. "They will all be cleansed out like a cancer cell," he told a roaring crowd of his supporters. "We will find them and punish them." Last week, Erdogan said a 12- to 14-year-old child was the suicide bomber, but Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said later that the bomber was still unidentified and investigations continued.
Kaepernick will sit through anthem until there's change SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Colin Kaepernick plans to sit through the national anthem for as long as he feels is appropriate and until he sees major change in America, specifically when it comes to race relations. He knows he could be cut for this stand. Criticized, ostracized - and he'll go it alone if need be. The quarterback realizes he might be treated poorly in some road cities, and he's ready for that, too, saying he's not overly concerned about his safety, but "if something happens that's only proving my point." Two days after he refused to stand for the "The Star Spangled Banner" before the 49ers' preseason loss to the Packers, Kaepernick said his stand will continue.