AP Top News at 3:42 p.m. EST

Trump offers scattershot response to global protests
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is striking a more unifying tone as he gets down to business on his second full day in the White House. Speaking in the East Room of the White House during a swearing-in ceremony for 30 new "assistants to the president," Trump told his top advisers that they're in the White House not to "help ourselves" but to "devote ourselves to the national good." "This is not about party, this is not about ideology. This is about country, our country. It's about serving the American people," he said. Trump also held up the letter left to him by his predecessor, Barack Obama - a White House tradition.


More tornadoes ahead as death toll reach 15 in southeast US
ADEL, Georgia (AP) - Deadly weather in the Southeast killed 15 people and injured dozens more, authorities said Sunday, as residents along the Georgia-Florida line braced for more intense, fast-moving storms - including unusually strong "long track" twisters. On Sunday, an apparent tornado blew through a mobile home park in rural Cook County in southern Georgia - sheering off siding, upending homes and killing seven people, officials said. Coroner Tim Purvis said the tornado "leveled" the park before dawn Sunday and that emergency responders searched for survivors for hours after the twister struck. Purvis said the park had about 40 mobile homes, and roughly half were destroyed.


Israeli leader delays West Bank annexation vote
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed a vote Sunday on an explosive proposal to annex one of the West Bank's largest settlements, apparently to coordinate his policy toward the Palestinians with the new administration of President Donald Trump. The move put on hold legislation that threatens to unleash fresh violence and damage already faded hopes for Palestinian independence. It also may mark Trump's first foray into Middle East diplomacy. After eight years of frosty relations with President Barack Obama, Netanyahu has welcomed Trump's election as an opportunity to strengthen ties between two allied nations. The two men were scheduled to talk on the phone Sunday.


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Avalanche survivors: sipping tea, then world crashed down
FARINDOLA, Italy (AP) - Some of the lucky ones were sipping hot tea near the fireplace in their mountain resort hotel, waiting for snowplows to arrive so they could finally go home, after a winter holiday made nerve-wracking by a day of ground-shaking earthquakes and heavy snowfall. Suddenly, Vincenzo Forti and girlfriend Giorgia Galassi were knocked violently off a wicker sofa. A few other guests nearby tumbled off their chairs in the elegant yet rustic reception hall. An avalanche of snow - and not a tremendously powerful earthquake as survivors first imagined - had just barreled down the mountainside Wednesday evening, smashing into the Hotel Rigopiano and trapping more than 30 holiday-makers, including four children, and workers inside.


Gambia's ex-leader made off with millions, luxury cars
BANJUL, Gambia (AP) - Exiled Gambian ruler Yahya Jammeh stole millions of dollars in his final weeks in power, plundering the country's state coffers and shipping luxury vehicles by cargo plane, a special adviser for the new president said Sunday. Mai Ahmad Fatty told journalists in neighboring Senegal that already they have determined Jammeh made off with more than $11.4 million during a two-week period alone. "The Gambia is in financial distress. The coffers are virtually empty. That is a state of fact," Fatty said. "It has been confirmed by technicians in the ministry of finance and the Central Bank of the Gambia." Fatty also confirmed that a Chadian cargo plane had transported luxury goods out of the country on Jammeh's behalf in his final hours in power, including an unknown number of vehicles.


Intensive negotiations ahead of Russia-led Syria talks
ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) - Delegates from Russia, Turkey and Iran held hours-long talks in Kazakhstan Sunday on the eve of negotiations between Syrian rebels and President Bashar Assad's government, trying to forge common ground that would nudge forward a political settlement for the country's civil war. The talks between the two warring sides are the first in a year, and are meant as a first step to consolidate a cease-fire reached last month. Whether Russia and Turkey will manage to bolster the cease-fire they brokered on Dec. 30 will be a key measure of success for the Astana meetings, Syrian opposition spokesman Yahya al-Aridi told reporters in the Kazakh capital Sunday.


Partial results: Valls, Hamon advance in French primary
PARIS (AP) - Partial results suggest that Manuel Valls, a center-leaning former prime minister who rallied France together after extremist attacks, will confront stalwart Socialist Benoit Hamon in the country's left-wing presidential primary runoff next week. Hamon, a former government minister, was leading with 35.2 percent followed by Valls with 31.6 percent, based on more than one-third of the vote count, organizers of Sunday's first round of primary voting said. Whoever wins the Jan. 29 primary runoff will face the April-May presidential election battling more popular candidates from the far right to the far left riding frustration with immigration and economic stagnation.


Russia set to move closer to decriminalize domestic violence
MOSCOW (AP) - In Russia, giving one's spouse a slap is nothing extraordinary for many people. This week, the Russian parliament is expected to take a step closer toward decriminalizing it altogether. Battery is a criminal offense in Russia, but nearly 20 percent of Russians openly say they think it is sometimes OK to hit a spouse or a child. In a bid to accommodate conservative voters, deputies in the lower house of parliament have given initial approval to a bill eliminating criminal liability for domestic violence that stops short of serious bodily harm or rape. If the measure passes its second reading in the Duma on Wednesday, when the draft can be changed, approval in the third and final reading would be a foregone conclusion.


Royals' Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Yordano Ventura quit school as a teenager so he could begin working a construction job to help his family make ends meet, laboring day after day in the hot sun of the Dominican Republic. It was a chance tryout with the Kansas City Royals that changed the trajectory of his life. Yordano wowed scouts with an electrifying fastball, the best they had seen in years, and a confident demeanor that bordered on brash and arrogant. And both of those traits served him well as he rocketed to the major leagues, helped the Royals win a long-awaited World Series championship in 2015, and became one of the most popular players in a city that embraced baseball one again.


The Latest: Nelson looks fit, but Packers trail
Jordy Nelson may have broken ribs, but the Packers' leading receiver looks like his old self, catching passes for 27 and 15 yards from Aaron Rodgers on Green Bay's opening drive. Nelson missed last week's win at Dallas and did not practice this week. The drive fizzled on Mason Crosby's missed 41-yard field goal wide right and Atlanta leading 7-0. - George Henry reporting from Atlanta