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Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown
WASHINGTON (AP) - A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported. Democrats in the Senate have served notice they will filibuster a four-week, government-wide funding bill that passed the House Thursday evening, seeking to shape a subsequent measure but exposing themselves to charges they are responsible for a looming shutdown. Republicans controlling the narrowly-divided chamber took up the fight, arguing that Democrats were holding the entire government hostage over demands to protect "Dreamer" immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.


Pope shocks Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slander
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Pope Francis accused victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country. Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, such accusations against Barros are "all calumny." The pope's remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of "penance and prayer" for his crimes in 2011.


10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. WHERE BUDGET BILL STANDS Congress hurtles toward a government shutdown this weekend in large part over Democratic demands to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported. 2. POPE STRIKES DEFIANT TONE IN CHILE Francis accuses victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile priest of slandering Bishop Juan Barros, calling accusations that Barros was complicit in covering up the priest's sex crimes as "all calumny." 3. PENCE THE IMPETUS FOR TRUMP POLICIES ON ISRAEL On the eve of his trip to the Holy Land, the U.S.


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Thorny global issues abound a year into Trump presidency
With a sharp departure from years and sometimes decades of U.S. foreign policy, President Donald Trump has made a seismic global impact during his first year in office. It has been delivered with his own brand of bombast and occasional threats. Contentious issues have always existed, especially in conflict-ridden or volatile countries, but has he improved or worsened matters? Twelve months into his presidency, Associated Press correspondents take stock: RUSSIA Trump repeatedly declared in his campaign that he would improve relations with Russia but was never specific. A year into his presidency, it's no clearer. Moscow and Washington are at odds over issues ranging from North Korea to Ukraine, despite Trump's open admiration of President Vladimir Putin.


Pence has long pushed for Trump policies on Israel
WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence is making his fifth visit to Israel, returning to a region he's visited "a million times" in his heart. An evangelical Christian with strong ties to the Holy Land, Pence this time comes packing two key policy decisions in his bags that have long been top priorities for him: designating Jerusalem as Israel's capital and curtailing aid for Palestinians. Since his days in Congress a decade ago, Pence has played a role in pushing both for the shift in U.S. policy related to the capital and for placing limits on funding for Palestinian causes long criticized by Israel.


California DA says couple's abuse of 12 kids became torture
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - They were starved and shackled to their beds, sometimes for months. They were beaten and choked. They were given scant medical care, often denied use of a toilet and allowed to shower but once a year. They lived mostly at night, out of sight of neighbors, and knew virtually nothing of the outside world. And yet, some of the children of David and Louise Turpin hatched an escape plan. It took two years to carry out but last weekend a 17-year-old girl and her sister climbed out of the window of their Southern California home. The other girl turned back out of fear but the teen persisted and called 911.


Trump steps to forefront of anti-abortion movement
WASHINGTON (AP) - He once called himself "pro-choice." But a year into his presidency, Donald Trump is stepping to the forefront of his administration's efforts to roll back abortion rights. And though his record is mixed and a midterm election looms, abortion opponents say they have not felt so optimistic in at least a decade. "I don't think anybody thinks that the White House is a perfectly regimented and orderly family ... but that doesn't change their commitment to the issue," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which is expanding its door-knocking operation across states with Senate incumbents who have voted for abortion rights.


Anti-smoking plan may kill cigarettes--and save Big Tobacco
WASHINGTON (AP) - Imagine if cigarettes were no longer addictive and smoking itself became almost obsolete; only a tiny segment of Americans still lit up. That's the goal of an unprecedented anti-smoking plan being carefully fashioned by U.S. health officials. But the proposal from the Food and Drug Administration could have another unexpected effect: opening the door for companies to sell a new generation of alternative tobacco products, allowing the industry to survive - even thrive - for generations to come. The plan puts the FDA at the center of a long-standing debate over so-called "reduced-risk" products, such as e-cigarettes, and whether they should have a role in anti-smoking efforts, which have long focused exclusively on getting smokers to quit.


Clues sought in copter crash that killed Zimbabwean leader
RATON, N.M. (AP) - A husband and wife who pushed for political change in Zimbabwe, an adventurous Texas investor and a pair of decorated pilots died in a fiery helicopter crash in a remote area in the U.S. state of New Mexico. Investigators will comb through the charred wreckage in search for clues as to why the helicopter carrying the group of prominent friends went down after dark Wednesday. Friends and family members confirmed Thursday that Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett and his wife, Heather, had traveled to New Mexico to spend their holiday with friend and wealthy businessman Charles Burnett III at his ranch.


Maybe next time: Cities see failed Amazon bids as trial runs
DETROIT (AP) - For some of the 200-plus cities knocked out of the running for Amazon's second headquarters, the effort may turn out to be a trial run for other opportunities. But they're advised not make the same kind of promises to just anyone. Cities like Detroit, Memphis, Tennessee; and Gary, Indiana, failed to make Amazon's first cut as the online giant narrowed its list to 20 prospective sites for the $5 billion project that could employ up to 50,000 people. Looking on the bright side, several leaders whose proposals didn't make it say the time spent putting together juicy tax incentives, massive chunks of land and infrastructure studies was not wasted.