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In a break with decadeslong diplomatic tradition, President-elect Donald Trump has spoken directly with the president of Taiwan, a move that drew an irritated response from China and looked set to cast uncertainty over U.S. policy toward Asia
BEIJING (AP) - In a break with decadeslong diplomatic tradition, President-elect Donald Trump spoke directly with the president of Taiwan, a move that drew an irritated response from China and looked set to cast uncertainty over U.S. policy toward Asia. It is perhaps unprecedented for a U.S. president or president-elect to speak directly with a leader of Taiwan, a self-governing island the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with in 1979. In first comments apparently to downplay the significance of the call, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday the contact between Taiwan's president and Trump was "just a small trick by Taiwan" that he believed would not change U.S.


Donald Trump's skeptics hope the presidency will reveal a more serious side of the brash businessman
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.


Donald Trump's move to pack his administration with military brass is getting mixed reviews, as Congress and others weigh personal regard for the individuals he's choosing with a broader worry about an increased militarization of American policy
WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump's move to pack his administration with military brass is getting mixed reviews, as Congress and others struggle to balance their personal regard for the individuals he's choosing with a broader worry about an increased militarization of American policy. No fewer than three combat-experienced retired Army and Marine leaders, with multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, are on tap for high-level government jobs normally reserved for civilians. Others are entrenched in Trump's organization as close advisers. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn will serve as the president's national security adviser, and Trump announced retired Marine four-star Gen.


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Residents and business owners in Gatlinburg got their first look at the wildfire destruction, and many walked around the once-bustling tourist city in a daze, sobbing
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - Residents and business owners in Gatlinburg got their first look at the wildfire destruction on Friday, and many walked around the once-bustling tourist city in a daze, sobbing. They hugged each other and promised that they would stay in touch. "We love it up here so much," said Gary Moore, his voice trembling. "We lost everything. But we're alive, thank goodness. Our neighbors are alive, most of them. And we're just so thankful for that." A county mayor raised the death toll to 13 and said the number of damaged buildings now approached 1,000. After days of waiting to see their homes, some of the shock began to give way to anger, and local authorities bristled when asked why they waited so long to order the evacuation.


A moment of silence has been held in San Bernardino to recall the 14 county health employees killed and the 22 others who were wounded in the terror attack one year ago
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) - Exactly a year to the moment that a pair of shooters unleashed a terrorist attack on San Bernardino, a bell rang 14 times Friday at the city's Inland Regional Center in honor of the people who died there. "We will never forget that day or the victims of this senseless act of violence. We strive to move forward and search for the good that is in us all," said Lavinia Johnson, the center's executive director. During the ceremony outside the center, employees of nearby businesses who sheltered people during the chaos were also thanked by Keith Nelson, the center's chairman.


Colombia began repatriating the victims of this week's tragic air crash in the Andes as Bolivia's president called for "drastic measures" against aviation officials who signed off on the flight plan
RIO NEGRO, Colombia (AP) - Victims of this week's tragic air crash in the Andes were flown home Friday as Bolivia's president called for "drastic measures" against aviation officials who signed off on a flight plan that experts and even one of the charter airline's executives said should never have been attempted because of a possible fuel shortage. The move by President Evo Morales came after evidence emerged that the pilot reported the plane was out of fuel minutes before it slammed into a muddy mountainside, killing all but six of the 77 people on board. Among the dead were players and coaches from a small-town Brazilian soccer team that was headed to the finals of one of South America's most prestigious tournaments after a fairy-tale season that had captivated their soccer-crazed nation.


A small Brazilian city that was captivated by the rise of its modest soccer club prepared on Saturday to bury the dead from a plane crash that claimed most of the team's players and staff
CHAPECO, Brazil (AP) - This Brazilian hometown of the soccer team whose dream season ended in tragedy this week prepared Friday for the sad return of so many whose lives were cut short on an Andes mountainside, hanging origami figures of peace in the team's green and white colors from the fence of the local soccer stadium. As the bodies of the victims killed in the plane crash began the journey home Friday, gravediggers finished preparing the ground at cemeteries in the small city of Chapeco. A memorial service was planned for Saturday in the southern Brazilian city that was home to the Chapecoense soccer club, which was on its way to the finals of one of South America's most prestigious tournaments when the plane went down in Colombia on Monday, killing all but six of the 77 people on board.


Three weeks after Sherri Papini disappeared, the question of whether she was dead or alive was answered when the young mother and wife was spotted frantically waving for help along a California freeway early on Thanksgiving morning
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Three weeks after Sherri Papini disappeared, the question of whether she was dead or alive was answered when the young mother and wife was spotted waving frantically for help along a California freeway early on Thanksgiving morning. But the mystery over what happened to her during those 22 days just seemed to grow stranger. She was battered and bruised, her hands were chained, her long blond hair had been chopped off, and her flesh had been branded with a threatening message. The 34-year-old Papini told authorities that she had been kidnapped at gunpoint by two women Nov. 2 while she was out for a run near her home.


Steve Kerr, the reigning NBA Coach of the Year with the Golden State Warriors, acknowledged he tried marijuana twice in the past 18 months while dealing with debilitating back pain
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Steve Kerr, the reigning NBA Coach of the Year with the Golden State Warriors, acknowledged he tried marijuana twice in the past 18 months while dealing with debilitating back pain. Kerr told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Warriors Insider Podcast with Monte Poole on Friday that he used medicinal marijuana but it didn't help - but painkillers have been worse. "I have no idea if I would, maybe I would have failed a drug test, I don't even know if I'm subject to a drug test or any laws from the NBA," Kerr said. "I tried it and it didn't help at all." The 51-year-old Kerr missed the first 43 games last season and the team's record 24-0 start while on a leave of absence following complications from two back surgeries.


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says President-elect Donald Trump wished his deadly crackdown on illegal drugs would succeed during a telephone call, and he assured Trump that the Philippines would maintain its ties with America
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - President Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday Donald Trump wished his deadly crackdown on illegal drugs would succeed during a telephone call, and he assured the U.S. president-elect the Philippines would maintain its ties with America - a departure from Duterte's hostility toward the Obama administration. Duterte called to congratulate Trump late Friday in their first talk that was described by an aide of the Philippine president as "very engaging, animated conversation" in which both leaders invited each other to visit his country. In a video released by Duterte's close aide, Bong Go, the Philippine leader is seen smiling while talking to Trump and saying: "We will maintain ...

 

 

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