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AP Top News at 2:11 p.m. EST

Trump aides debate which version of vulgarity Trump uttered
WASHINGTON (AP) - As the fallout over President Donald Trump's use of a vulgarity bleeds into a second week, aides to the president are locked in an internal debate over which version of the word the president used to describe certain countries during immigration talks with senators. Trump was said to have uttered "shithole" during last Thursday's conversation in the Oval Office, a version backed up by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and some Republicans. Asked about Trump's comments challenging his honesty, Durbin told reporters Tuesday: "I stand by every word I said about what was said." But Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified under oath Tuesday that she "did not hear" President Donald Trump use the vulgarity to describe African countries.


Trump ends 1st year with lowest average approval rating
WASHINGTON (AP) - This is a record not to be coveted: Donald Trump is wrapping up a year in office with the lowest average approval rating of any elected president in his first year. That's according to polling by Gallup, which shows that Trump has averaged just a 39 percent approval rating since his inauguration. The previous low was held by Bill Clinton, whose first-year average stood 10 points higher than Trump's, at 49 percent. Recent surveys show most Americans view Trump as a divisive figure and even question his fitness for office. One relative bright spot for Trump is his handling of the economy, though even there his ratings are not as high as might be expected given a relatively strong economy.


Parents arrested after children found chained in house
PERRIS, Calif. (AP) - A 17-year-old girl called police after escaping from her family's home where she and her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, some so malnourished that officers at first believed they all were children, even though seven are adults. The girl was so small that officers initially thought she was only 10. She called 911 and was met by police who interviewed her and then went to the family home in Perris, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles. They found several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark, foul-smelling surroundings, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.


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Rebel ex-policeman among dead in Venezuela shootout
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Officials in Venezuela confirmed Tuesday that a rebellious police officer who led a brazen helicopter attack in Caracas last year was among those killed in a violent shootout with security forces. Oscar Perez was among the seven who died fighting against police and soldiers Monday in a small mountain community outside of Caracas, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said. Two police officers were killed and eight others gravely injured, he said. "The terrorist acts committed by this terrorist cell showed the destabilizing objectives that they were pursuing," Reverol said. Opposition lawmakers and human rights groups called for a transparent investigation into the deaths after video images showed Perez shouting over gunfire that they wished to surrender.


Pope begs forgiveness for 'irreparable' harm from sex abuse
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Pope Francis begged for forgiveness Tuesday for the "irreparable damage" done to children who were raped and molested by priests, opening his visit to Chile by diving head-first into a scandal that has greatly hurt the Catholic Church's credibility here and cast a cloud over his visit. Francis faced controversy on another front as well: Overnight three more Catholic churches were torched, including one burned to the ground in the southern Araucania region where Francis will visit on Wednesday to meet with Chile's indigenous peoples. While not causing any injuries, the nine church firebombings in the past few days have marked an unprecedented level of protest against history's first Latin American pope on his home turf.


Sexual abuse victim to ex-doctor: 'You are a repulsive liar'
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - One after one, gymnasts and other victims of a disgraced former sports doctor stepped forward in a Michigan courtroom Tuesday to recount the sexual abuse and emotional trauma Larry Nassar inflicted on them as children - one with the warning that "little girls don't stay little forever." Nearly 100 women and girls planned to speak or have their statements read during an extraordinary four-day sentencing hearing. Many of them cried as they gave the initial testimonies Tuesday. Some requested that their identities not be made public. The judge consoled the victims and said they should not blame themselves.


House panel interviewing Bannon after his fall from power
WASHINGTON (AP) - Steve Bannon, the onetime close confidant to President Donald Trump, arrived early Tuesday for his interview before the House Intelligence Committee. His interview follows his spectacular fall from power after being quoted in a book that he sees the president's son and others as engaging in "treasonous" behavior for taking a meeting with Russians during the 2016 campaign. In Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury," Bannon accuses Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of essentially betraying the nation by meeting with a group of Russian lawyers and lobbyists who they believed were ready to offer "dirt" on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.


The 'Boogie Oogie Oogie' band wins? Grammy's big shocks
NEW YORK (AP) - There was little doubt who should take home the album of the year Grammy in 1984. That was Michael Jackson with a little record called "Thriller." He won, of course, but the Recording Academy hasn't always been seen to make the right call over its 60 years. And you don't have to point to just Milli Vanilli to find some surprising decisions. Here are some others. STAR CROSSED The winner of album of the year honor in 1981 wasn't Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra or Pink Floyd. The winner was soft rocker Christopher Cross, whose self-titled album contained the hit "Sailing." Streisand's album "Guilty" gave us "Woman in Love," the Joel record "Glass Houses" yielded "You May Be Right" ''Don't Ask Me Why" and "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," the Sinatra album "Trilogy: Past, Present, Future" contained his classic version of "New York, New York" and the double-LP "The Wall" is considered by Rolling Stone magazine to be among the top 100 greatest albums of all time.


US meets Korean War allies, wants more pressure on NKorea
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Tuesday for nations to step up the U.S.-led "maximum pressure" campaign against North Korea by thwarting sanctions evasion and interdicting ships conducting illicit trade with the pariah nation. The uncompromising message delivered to a gathering of 20 nations that were on America's side during the Korean War came despite the recent diplomatic opening between the rival Koreas after a year of escalating tension. "We must increase the costs of the regime's behavior to the point that North Korea must come to the table for credible negotiations," Tillerson said in his opening remarks at the meeting on Canada's western coast.


AP News Guide: Big decisions await Congress on immigration
WASHINGTON (AP) - Before a potential government shutdown at midnight Friday night, a host of leftover Washington business is bottled up in Congress, waiting on a deal to prevent the deportation of young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children and an agreement on other immigration-related issues, including President Donald Trump's long-sought U.S.-Mexico border wall. Lawmakers in both major parties are confronted with a consequential week that includes shutdown brinksmanship linked to politically freighted negotiations over immigration. House Republicans leaders scheduled a Tuesday evening meeting to discuss options with the GOP rank and file to avert a shutdown at midnight Friday.