Maduro meets pope as Vatican steps into Venezuela crisis CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met Monday with Pope Francis as the Vatican took a more active role trying to defuse a tense political standoff in the South American nation. Maduro spoke with the Pope in a private meeting on his way back to Venezuela following a tour of oil-producing nations of the Middle East. As news of the surprise papal meeting surfaced, back in Venezuela Monsignor Emil Paul Tscherrig, who Francis dispatched in a bid to jumpstart dialogue between the government and the opposition, announced that representatives of the two sides would meet Oct. 30 on the Venezuelan island of Margarita under the auspices of the Vatican and the Union of South American Nations.
Trump rejects 'phony' polls, insists 'we are winning' ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) - A defiant Donald Trump blamed his campaign struggles on "phony polls" from the "disgusting" media on Monday, fighting to energize his most loyal supporters as his path to the presidency shrinks. With just 14 days until the election, the Republican nominee campaigned in battleground Florida as his team conceded publicly as well as privately that crucial Pennsylvania may be slipping away to Democrat Hillary Clinton. That would leave him only a razor-thin pathway to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House on Nov. 8. Despite continued difficulties with women and minorities, Trump refuses to soften his message in the campaign's final days to broaden his coalition.
Obama administration confirms double-digit premium hikes WASHINGTON (AP) - Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama's health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That's sure to stoke another "Obamacare" controversy days before a presidential election. Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less. Moreover, about 1 in 5 consumers will only have plans from a single insurer to pick from, after major national carriers such as UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Aetna scaled back their roles.
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10 Things to Know for Tuesday Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday: 1. WHICH BATTLEGROUND STATE IS RAISING ALARMS FOR TRUMP Crucial Pennsylvania may be slipping away to Clinton. A loss there would leave Trump only a razor-thin pathway to winning the White House. 2. ISLAMIC MILITANTS BLAMED FOR DEADLY ATTACK ON POLICE TRAINING CENTER Dozens of police trainees are killed when gunmen attack the facility in Pakistan's restive southwestern Baluchistan province. 3. WHAT'S LATEST BAD NEWS FOR 'OBAMACARE' The administration confirms that premiums will go up sharply next year for health insurance sold to millions of consumers through HealthCare.gov.
France moving more than 6,000 migrants from makeshift camp CALAIS, France (AP) - France began the mass evacuation Monday of the makeshift migrant camp known as "the jungle," a mammoth project to erase the humanitarian blight on its northern border, where thousands fleeing war or poverty have lived in squalor, most hoping to sneak into Britain. Before dawn broke, long lines of migrants waited in chilly temperatures to board buses in the port city of Calais, carrying meager belongings and timid hope that they were headed to a brighter future, despite giving up their dreams of life across the English Channel in Britain. Closely watched by more than 1,200 police, the first of dozens of buses began transferring them to reception centers around France where they can apply for asylum.
Pakistani officials say 48 police trainees killed in attack QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) - Gunmen stormed a police training center late Monday in Pakistan's restive Baluchistan province and detonated explosive vests, killing at least 48 police trainees, authorities said. Baluchistan's top health official, Noorul Haq, said at least 116 people were wounded - mostly police trainees and some paramilitary troops. A security official put the death toll at 51. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media, Major General Sher Afgan, chief of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, told reporters Tuesday that the attackers appeared to be in contact with handlers in Afghanistan. He said the attackers belonged to the banned Lashker-e-Jhangvi Al-Almi group, an Islamic militant group affiliated with al-Qaida.
Authorities find no sign of braking by bus driver in crash PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) - Ana Car didn't remember the sudden impact, only that she woke up among dead and injured passengers in a dark bus filled with screams of terror and agony. The retired factory worker had spent an evening gambling at a desert casino and was sound asleep when the bus heading to Los Angeles smashed into the rear of a slow-moving tractor-trailer. The crash killed the bus driver and 12 passengers and injured 31 other people. "I can't believe how many died," she said, sobbing Monday as she recovered from bumps, bruises and a sore back. "It was so horrible.
Guard seeks federal aid for soldiers told to return bonuses SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Members of Congress and veterans leaders on Monday called for federal action to absolve the debts of nearly 10,000 soldiers in California alone who have been ordered by the Pentagon to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after they signed up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lawmakers from California expressed outrage, including Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer; House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat. Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers said the California National Guard is working with members of Congress to introduce legislation that, if approved and signed by the president, would order the National Guard Bureau to clear the debts of soldiers who were wrongly told they were eligible for bonuses of $15,000 or more.
In year of 3,000 shootings, a teen faces life beyond bullet CHICAGO (AP) - He suddenly felt as if a hot wire had torn through his chest. It hurt to breathe. Jonathan Annicks wasn't sure he'd been shot. It was after midnight when he'd dashed outside his family's house to retrieve a phone charger from the car. Now, slumped over in anguish, he frantically punched his brother's number into his phone. "You might have to take me to the hospital," he gasped, "Come outside, please!" He slid from the car; his legs ended up splayed across the floorboard, the top half of his body sprawled on the pavement. The driver's side window was shattered, the passenger door flung open.
For some low-income workers, retirement is only a dream CHICAGO (AP) - It was a striking image. A photo of an 89-year-old man hunched over, struggling to push his cart with frozen treats. Fidencio Sanchez works long hours every day selling the treats because he couldn't afford to retire. The photo and his story went viral and thousands of people donated more than $384,000 for his retirement. His story is a window into a dark reality: Many low-wage workers say they can't afford to retire. With no money saved for retirement, home care worker Gwen Strowbridge, 71, of Deerfield, Florida, plans to stay on the job until she can't physically work anymore.