Associated Press

AP Top News at 3:57 a.m. EDT

In Comey memos, Trump talks of jailed journalists, 'hookers'
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a series of startlingly candid conversations, President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about the judgment of a top adviser, asked about the possibility of jailing journalists and described a boast from Vladimir Putin about Russian prostitutes, according to Comey's notes of the talks obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday night. The 15 pages of documents contain new details about a series of interactions with Trump that Comey found so unnerving that he chose to document them in writing. Those seven encounters in the weeks and months before Comey's May 2017 firing include a Trump Tower discussion about allegations involving Trump and prostitutes in Moscow; a White House dinner at which Comey says Trump asked him for his loyalty; and a private Oval Office discussion where the ex-FBI head says the president asked him to end an investigation into Michael Flynn, the former White House national security adviser.


First clues emerge about Cuba's future under new president
HAVANA (AP) - Miguel Diaz-Canel has been the presumptive next president of Cuba since 2013, when Raul Castro named the laconic former provincial official to the important post of first vice president and lauded him as "neither a novice nor an improviser," high praise in a system dedicated to continuity over all. Castro said nothing about how a young civilian from outside his family could lead the socialist nation that he and his older brother Fidel created from scratch and ruled with total control for nearly 60 years. Exiles in Miami said Diaz-Canel would be a figurehead for continued Castro dominance.


Moon faces tough challenges ahead of summit with Kim
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The meeting next week between the leaders of the rival Koreas will be the ultimate test of South Korean President Moon Jae-in's belief that his nation should lead international efforts to deal with North Korea. Previous summits saw beaming grins, strong handshakes and high hopes for lasting peace and flourishing trade between the war-separated rivals after decades of bad blood. There will be significantly less room for sentimentality, and much higher stakes, when the dovish Moon faces off with the decidedly un-dovish North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom next Friday.


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Trump legal team in Russia probe gets Rudy Giuliani
WASHINGTON (AP) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump since the early days of his campaign, is joining the team of lawyers representing the president in the special counsel's Russia investigation. With the addition of Giuliani, Trump gains a former U.S. attorney, a past presidential candidate and a TV-savvy defender at a time when the White House is looking for ways to bring the president's involvement with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to a close. The president has been weighing whether to sit for questioning by Mueller's team, and his legal team has repeatedly met with investigators to define the scope of the questions he would face.


Judge to hear arguments about delaying Stormy Daniels case
LOS ANGELES (AP) - President Donald Trump's lawyer is asking a federal judge in Los Angeles to delay a court case brought by a porn actress who claims she had an affair with the president. U.S. District Judge James Otero is set to hear arguments Friday morning about whether to delay Stormy Daniels' case after FBI agents raided the office and residence of Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, seeking records about a nondisclosure agreement Daniels signed days before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has been seeking to invalidate the agreement and has offered to return the $130,000 she was paid in order to publicly discuss the relationship and "set the record straight." She argues the agreement is legally invalid because it was only signed by Daniels and Cohen, but was not signed by Trump.


'This is my family': Where the travel ban debate hits home
NEW YORK (AP) - At the New York City convenience store where he works the overnight shift, Radad Alborati takes a sip of coffee and surveys his life. His wife is stuck in war-torn Yemen after his yearslong effort to bring her to the U.S. ended last month with a few phrases on a letter from an embassy. "Ineligible for a visa" due to President Donald Trump's restrictions on immigration and travel from certain countries. "A waiver will not be granted." "Today's decision cannot be appealed." As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments next week on Trump's travel ban, its effects are playing out for Alborati and others from Manhattan to Minnesota to the Middle East.


Kushner Cos. subpoenaed by feds after AP report
NEW YORK (AP) - The Kushner Cos. confirmed Thursday it was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for information related to an Associated Press report that the company filed dozens of false documents about its buildings in New York City. The real estate company issued a statement saying it has "nothing to hide and is cooperating fully with all legitimate requests for information, including this subpoena." The statement said the federal subpoena came last month, just a day after the AP reported the Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city stating it had zero rent-regulated tenants in buildings across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds.


Arizona teachers vote for statewide walkout
PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona teachers have voted to walk off the job to demand increased school funding, marking a key step toward a first-ever statewide strike that builds on a movement for higher pay in other Republican-dominant states. A grassroots group and the state's largest teacher membership group said Thursday that teachers will walkout April 26. Arizona jumped into a movement for higher teacher pay that started in West Virginia, where a strike garnered a raise, and spread to Oklahoma, Kentucky and most recently Colorado. Thursday's vote followed weeks of protests in Arizona and an offer from Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to give teachers 20 percent raise by 2020.


Barbara Bush believed literacy could cure other ills
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - On a hot summer day in 1978, as her husband mulled his first presidential run, Barbara Bush headed to Houston's leafy Memorial Park for a jog while she thought about what issues she'd like to focus on should she become first lady. Bush was concerned about stubborn societal problems like crime, the homeless, drugs and hunger. But as she ran, the then-53-year-old came to the realization that teaching more people to read could help decrease the other major problems, which can grow out of lack of literacy and educational opportunity. "After much thought, I realized everything I worried about would be better if more people could read, write and comprehend," Bush wrote in her 1994 autobiography, "Barbara Bush: A Memoir." It would be another decade before Bush became first lady, but, in the interval, she was active in literacy programs.


Americans reflect on legal pot ahead of 420 holiday
America's marijuana supporters have a lot to celebrate on this 420 holiday : Thirty states have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to a national advocacy group. Nine of those states and Washington, D.C., also have broad legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year. Yet cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and it still has many opponents. Here's a look at what some advocates and critics have to say about the state of marijuana in the U.S. today: KELLY PEREZ, DENVER CEO and founder of kindColorado, which provides community engagement opportunities for the cannabis industry to be assets in communities.