DIVIDED AMERICA: Yearning for unity, enduring divisiveness Though they live about 1,730 miles apart, though they've never met, though they are of different races and backgrounds, Lauren Boebert and Dorothy Johnson-Speight speak almost in unison when they lament the fracturing of America. Americans must "come together, be non-judgmental about people and their opinions," says Johnson-Speight. Americans must "come together as one," says Boebert. And yet these two women stand squarely at the epicenter of American acrimony - territory explored by The Associated Press in "Divided America," a series of stories that surveyed a United States that is far from united. --- EDITOR'S NOTE - This is the final installment of Divided America, AP's exploration of the economic, social and political divisions in American society.
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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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.
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 took $17 million in insurance for damage few remember PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Donald Trump said he received a $17 million insurance payment in 2005 for hurricane damage to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, but The Associated Press found little evidence of such large-scale damage. Two years after a series of storms, the real estate tycoon said he didn't know how much had been spent on repairs but acknowledged he pocketed some of the money. Trump transferred funds into his personal accounts, saying that under the terms of his policy, "you didn't have to reinvest it." In a deposition in an unrelated civil lawsuit, Trump said he got the cash from a "very good insurance policy" and cited ongoing work to the historic home.
How autism in girls may help reveal the disorder's secrets CHICAGO (AP) - Think autism and an image of an awkward boy typically emerges, but the way autism strikes girls - or doesn't - may help reveal some of the developmental disorder's frustrating secrets. Autism is at least four times more common in boys, but scientists taking a closer look are finding some gender-based surprises: Many girls with autism have social skills that can mask the condition. And some girls do not show symptoms of autism even when they have the same genetic mutations seen in boys with the condition. "Autism may not be the same thing in boys and girls," said Kevin Pelphrey, an autism researcher at George Washington University.
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.
Obama reads mean tweets as part of Jimmy Kimmel show LOS ANGELES (AP) - President Barack Obama entertained Jimmy Kimmel's audience with some of the mean tweets sent his way, beginning with one sent by Donald Trump in August when he said "President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States." Obama's reply: "Really? Well, @realDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president." The president appeared on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" during the middle of his three-day visit to Nevada and California, where he is campaigning and raising money for presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates. The segment contained a mix of humor and serious talk about the current election.
Denver gives Osweiler rude welcome in 27-9 win over Houston DENVER (AP) - The Denver Broncos ruined Brock Osweiler's homecoming Monday night, incessantly hurrying, hitting and harassing their former teammate in a 27-9 win over his Houston Texans. Coach Gary Kubiak returned to the sideline following his second health scare in three years, and he liked what he saw as the Broncos (5-2) snapped a two-game skid in sending the overwhelmed Texans home at 4-3. C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker energized Denver's sputtering ground game, both running for a touchdown. Anderson gained 107 yards on 16 carries and Booker had 83 on 17 hand-offs. But the big story was Trevor Siemian, Peyton Manning's surprise successor, outplaying Osweiler, who was groomed to be Denver's next QB but instead bolted to Houston in free agency, famously declaring the Texans gave him the better chance to be successful.