Trump shrugs off fuss over Taiwan call BEIJING (AP) - President-elect Donald Trump is unapologetic about roiling diplomatic waters with his decision to speak on the phone with Taiwan's leader, a breach of long-standing tradition that risks enmity from China. The U.S. severed diplomatic ties with the self-governing island in 1979 but has maintained close unofficial relations and a commitment to support its defense. Trump's conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen drew an irritated, although understated, response from China, as Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the contact was "just a small trick by Taiwan" that he believed would not change U.S. policy toward China, according to Hong Kong's Phoenix TV.
The "Two Trumps" surface in president-elect's transition NEW YORK (AP) - Donald Trump's skeptics hope the presidency will reveal a serious side of the brash businessman. His supporters want him to keep the freewheeling style that rattled Washington. In true Trump fashion, so far he's doing both. Trump has soothed some Republican establishment anxieties with many of his early Cabinet picks, including the respected retired Gen. James Mattis to lead the Pentagon and Georgia Rep. Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon tapped to head the Department of Health and Human Services. He's hinted that he's open to shifting some of his most controversial policies, including his rejection of climate change and support for torture.
For now, Trump bears signs of a dealmaker, not a policymaker WASHINGTON (AP) - He phones. He kibitzes. He cajoles. He threatens. He rewards. It's a freewheeling style that President-elect Donald Trump used to stop Carrier from shipping 800 jobs from an Indiana factory to Mexico. And it marks a radical shift from the measured words and scripted events that typify most presidents-elect. It's the agenda of a dealmaker, one who seems inclined to take a transactional, ad hoc approach to economic policy - offering some help to this company, perhaps directing a warning to others. Thursday's announcement by Carrier that it had reversed its decision to move certain jobs outside the country spotlighted Trump's inclination to personally intervene in the economy, down to a company's assembly line.
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At least 9 killed in warehouse fire, dozens still missing OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - At least nine people died in a blaze that broke out during a party in a converted warehouse late Friday night in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to fire officials. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloche-Reed said at least another 25 people are unaccounted for as of Saturday morning. Authorities are working to verify who was in the building when the fire broke out. Deloche-Reed said the roof collapsed and that fire investigators will have to search through debris to find any remaining bodies. Authorities are working to verify who was in the building when the blaze broke out around 11:30 p.m.
Bergdahl seeks pardon from Obama to avert desertion trial WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the former prisoner of war who's accused of endangering comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan, is asking President Barack Obama to pardon him before leaving office. White House and Justice Department officials on Saturday said Bergdahl had submitted copies of the clemency request seeking leniency. If granted by Obama, it would allow Bergdahl to avert a court-martial trial scheduled for April where he faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, the latter of which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held captive by the Taliban and its allies for five years.
Israeli TV journalist becomes a thorn in Netanyahu's side JERUSALEM (AP) - After a series of embarrassing reports about Israel's first family, an investigative journalist has become a particular target of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Raviv Drucker of Channel 10 TV has been a longtime thorn in Netanyahu's side, exposing several scandals about the Israeli leader. In return, Netanyahu has berated him, sued him and even reportedly tried to get him fired. But Drucker has kept at it, and two of his recent stories have triggered police investigations. First, he broke the story that Netanyahu's personal attorney had represented a German company involved in a $1.5 billion sale of submarines to Israel, raising questions about the prime minister's possible involvement.
Within hours, wildfires set Tennessee mountain city aflame GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - Tracey Mayberry told her boss to fire her. It was 2 o'clock Monday afternoon in Gatlinburg, and the sky was dark with smoke. Mayberry's shift as a manager at the resort where she worked did not end until 5 p.m., but she could see a wildfire crawling down the mountain. Local officials said the city had nothing to worry about, and Mayberry's boss had no plans to close. But she knew something was wrong, so she walked home, coughing and crying through the smoke until a stranger handed her a mask. That wildfire had ignited five days earlier on a steep, rugged peak known as Chimney Tops, about 4 miles away from Gatlinburg.
Guns at zoos? Texas says no while struggling to tame rules AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - More than a year after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made firearms, including openly holstered weapons, legal in more places in the state, disputes remain over where guns are allowed - much to the frustration of advocates on both sides of the debate. Firearms are banned in zoos but not wildlife preserves. Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton has warned community and junior colleges to not impose blanket bans, even though children sometimes attend classes on campus. And a judge has upheld a ban on guns at the Waller County courthouse near Houston. "We can see a mess getting created here," said Terry Holcomb, who runs a gun-rights group called Texas Carry.
Man convicted of murder in hot car death to be sentenced ATLANTA (AP) - A judge is set to sentence a Georgia man Monday after a jury last month found that he intentionally left his toddler son in a hot SUV to die. A jury convicted Justin Ross Harris, 36, in the June 2014 death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper. Police were suspicious from the start and took Harris into custody in the strip mall parking lot where he had pulled over and removed his son's lifeless body from the SUV. Harris' defense attorneys argued that he was a loving father and that while he was responsible for the boy's death, it was a tragic accident.
Keys, lightbulbs tied to Thomas Edison go up for auction TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Keys to the New Jersey lab where Thomas Edison invented the phonograph are up for auction in Dallas, along with some of the lightbulbs that he perfected. A Pittsburgh man acquired the items from his great aunt, who was married to one of the attorneys whose law firm represented Edison in patent lawsuits. Tags on five of the six keys list the doors that they opened, including the Menlo Park lab which Edison opened in 1876 that became known as the "invention factory." It is where Edison was credited with perfecting the incandescent light for commercial purposes.