Trump takes charge, assertive but untested 45th US president WASHINGTON (AP) - Pledging emphatically to empower America's "forgotten men and women," Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, taking command of a riven nation facing an unpredictable era under his assertive but untested leadership. Under cloudy, threatening skies at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, Trump painted a bleak picture of the America he now leads, declaring as he had throughout the election campaign that it is beset by crime, poverty and a lack of bold action. The billionaire businessman and reality television star - the first president who had never held political office or high military rank - promised to stir a "new national pride" and protect America from the "ravages" of countries he says have stolen U.S.
On first day, Trump signs health care executive order WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump quickly assumed the mantle of the White House on Friday, making his first executive order one aimed at his predecessor's signature health care law and swearing-in members of his national security team to his Cabinet. Hours after delivering a stinging rebuke of the political status quo in his inaugural address, Trump sat at the president's formal desk in the Oval Office as he signed the order that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said was aimed at "minimizing the economic burden" of the "Obamacare" law. The order notes that Trump intends to seek the "prompt repeal" of the law.
Fires, bricks mark daylong assault on inaugural festivities WASHINGTON (AP) - Protesters set fires and hurled bricks in a daylong assault on the city hosting Donald Trump's inauguration, registering their rage against the new president in a series of clashes that led to more than 200 arrests. Police used pepper spray and stun grenades to prevent the chaos from spilling into Trump's formal procession and evening balls. Several spirited demonstrations unfolded peacefully at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through to the inaugural ceremony. Signs read, "Resist Trump Climate Justice Now," ''Let Freedom Ring" and "Free Palestine." But about a mile from the National Mall, police gave chase to a group of about 100 protesters who smashed the windows of downtown businesses including a Starbucks, a Bank of America and a McDonald's as they denounced capitalism and Trump.
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El Chapo's new home: a jail that held mobsters, terrorists NEW YORK (AP) - In the heart of bustling lower Manhattan sits one of the country's most secure federal lockups - and the new home of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Guzman, who pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges he ran one of the world's biggest drug-trafficking operations, can expect to be kept in a special unit inside the drab 12-story Metropolitan Correctional Center, where such other high-profile, high-risk inmates as Gambino crime family boss John Gotti and several former close associates of Osama bin Laden awaited trial. "It's got extra security above and beyond what you would have in a restricted housing area," second only to the super-maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, said Catherine Linaweaver, who served as the lockup's warden for 15 months before retiring in 2014.
Bomb blast kill 18, wounds 51 in northwest Pakistan PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) - Authorities say a bomb exploded in a market in a northwestern tribal region in Pakistan that borders Afghanistan, killing at least 18 people and wounding 51. Dr. Sabir Hussain at the Parachinar main hospital says 11 critically wounded people brought from the blast Saturday morning at a vegetable market died during treatment. He said there are still several people in serious condition who are being shifted to other hospitals for better care. Government official Shahid Khan says the explosion took place as the market was crowded with retailers buying fruits and vegetables from a wholesale shop. Parachinar is the capital of Kurram tribal region which has been the scene of high militant activities in the past years.
'Miracle underway': Rescuers pull out avalanche survivors FARINDOLA, Italy (AP) - After two days huddled in freezing cold, tons of snow surrounding them in the wreckage of the avalanche-demolished hotel, survivors greeted their rescuers Friday as "angels." Among the 10 people pulled out alive was a plucky 6-year-old who just wanted her favorite cookies. But for the loved ones of at least 16 others still trapped in the doomed mountain resort in central Italy, the agonizing wait to learn their relatives' fate dragged on. "Whoever had good news is happy," said Francesco Provolo, the prefect of the nearby town of Pescara, where the survivors were taken to a hospital.
Gambia's defeated leader agrees to cede power, leave BANJUL, Gambia (AP) - Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh announced early Saturday he has decided to relinquish power, after hours of last-ditch talks with regional leaders and the threat by a regional military force to make him leave. "I believe it is not necessary that a single drop of blood be shed," Jammeh said in a brief statement on state television. He promised that "all the issues we currently face will be resolved peacefully." He did not give details on any deal that was struck, and it was not immediately clear when Adama Barrow, who beat Jammeh in last month's election, would return from neighboring Senegal to take power.
1 wounded in school shooting, 'could have been much worse' WEST LIBERTY, Ohio (AP) - A school shooting that left one student hospitalized and others scrambling out classroom windows could have been far worse if not for the heroics of staff members who stopped the shooter and had him pinned down when police arrived, authorities said. The shooter, a 17-year-old senior, used a shotgun and intended to harm more than the student who was hit, Champaign County Sheriff Matthew Melvin said. The shooter was in custody facing a preliminary charge of felonious assault, with an initial hearing scheduled Monday, authorities said. "As tragic as this situation is, we are very, very fortunate," prosecutor Kevin Talebi said.
Obama exits the presidency voicing optimism for the future WASHINGTON (AP) - Closing out a barrier-breaking chapter in history, former President Barack Obama left the White House on Friday much the way he entered it eight years ago: insisting Americans have reason for optimism despite the national sense of unease. He was gracious to President Donald Trump to the end, warmly welcoming his successor to the home where he raised his daughters. Yet to those fearful about Trump's presidency, Obama suggested it would be a mere blip. "This is just a little pit stop," Obama told supporters just before departing Washington. "This is not a period, this is a comma in the continuing story of building America." Obama leaves the national stage as a widely popular figure, with his poll numbers approaching 60 percent.
Turkish assembly passes polemic bill to boost Erdogan powers ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's parliament on Saturday approved a contentious constitutional reform package, paving the way for a referendum on a presidential system that would greatly expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office. The decision marks a victory for Erdogan, a polarizing but overall popular figure, who critics view as increasingly autocratic. In an all-night session that ended early Saturday, lawmakers voted in favor of a set of amendments presented by the ruling party, founded by Erdogan. The reform bill cleared the minimum threshold necessary to put the measures to a national referendum for final approval. The vote took place with 488 lawmakers in the 550-seat assembly in attendance.