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AP Top News at 1:22 p.m. EDT

The Pentagon says it has detected "active preparations" by Syria for a chemical weapons attack
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon on Tuesday said it detected "active preparations" by Syria for a chemical weapons attack, giving weight to a White House statement hours earlier that the Syrian government would "pay a heavy price" if it carried out such an attack. The U.S. accusation and ominous warning marked a further escalation of tensions in a country where the U.S. is using Syria Arab and Kurdish proxy soldiers to combat the Islamic State group in its remaining strongholds, even as Russia and Iran work to prop up President Bashar Assad, who has gained the upper hand in a long civil war.


Top Senate Republicans are laboring to rescue a floundering health care bill that lacks enough GOP votes to even start debate
WASHINGTON (AP) - Top Senate Republicans labored Tuesday to rescue a floundering health care bill that lacked enough GOP votes to even start debate, as the White House stepped up its efforts to win over recalcitrant senators whose resistance was threatening to sink one of the party's long-cherished goals. Utah's Mike Lee became the fifth Republican senator to oppose letting the chamber formally begin considering the proposal, which leaders have hoped the Senate would approve this week. Lee was among four conservatives who announced last week that they were against the current version of the legislation. His spokesman, Conn Carroll, said Tuesday that Lee would not vote to commence debate on the bill "as it is currently written," a roll call that's expected Wednesday.


The Supreme Court's ruling to allow President Donald Trump's travel ban go forward in part leaves more questions than it answers
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court's decision to partially reinstate President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban has left the effort to keep some foreigners out of the United States in a murky middle ground, with unanswered questions and possibly more litigation ahead. The justices ruled Monday in an unsigned opinion they would hold a full hearing on the case in October. In the meantime, the administration can bar travelers from six majority-Muslim countries from the U.S. if they don't have a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship" with someone or some entity in the country. It's unclear what will ultimately constitute a "bona fide relationship," though the ruling suggested that an American job, school enrollment or a close relative could meet that threshold.


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Hackers have caused widespread disruption across Europe, hitting Ukraine especially hard
PARIS (AP) - A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across the world, hitting companies and governments in Europe especially hard. Officials in Ukraine reported serious intrusions of the country's power grid as well as at banks and government offices, where one senior executive posted a photo of a darkened computer screen and the words, "the whole network is down." The prime minister cautioned that the country's "vital systems" hadn't been affected. Russia's Rosneft oil company also reported falling victim to hacking and said it had narrowly avoided major damage, as did Danish shipping giant A.P.


The European Union has slapped a record 2.42 billion euro fine on internet giant Google for breaching antitrust rules with its online shopping service
BRUSSELS (AP) - After a seven-year legal battle, European authorities came down hard on Google on Tuesday for taking advantage of its dominance in online searches to direct customers to its own businesses, fining the tech giant a record 2.42 billion euros ($2.72 billion) and raising the prospect of more. A years-long analysis of Google's online search results showed that the company lists links to its own online shopping services above those of rivals, European regulators said. On average, Google lists search results to its biggest rivals in online shopping only on page 4 - and smaller rivals even lower. That's a huge advantage for Google when 90 percent of use-clicks are on page one.


An inmate tells The Associated Press how he and a partner killed 4 fellow prisoners in a bid to land on death row instead of spend life in prison
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - One by one, Denver Simmons recalled, he and his partner lured inmates into his cell. William Scruggs was promised cookies in exchange for doing some laundry; Jimmy Ham thought he was coming to snort some crushed pills. Over the course of about a half-hour, four men accepted Simmons' hospitality. None of them made it out alive. Calmly, matter-of-factly, the 35-year-old inmate told The Associated Press how he and Jacob Philip strangled and beat their blockmates to death and hid their bodies to avoid spooking the next victims. They had nothing against the men; one of them was even a friend, Simmons admitted.


A New York City subway train has derailed near a station in Harlem, frightening passengers and resulting in a power outage as people were evacuated from trains along the subway line
NEW YORK (AP) - A subway train derailed near a station in Harlem on Tuesday, frightening passengers and resulting in minor injuries as hundreds of people were evacuated from trains along the subway line. "We started seeing sparks through the windows. People were falling," said passenger Susan Pak, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. She said the A train jerked and began shaking violently as it approached the station at 125th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. Two of the eight cars on the train derailed just before 10 a.m. Sparks from the skidding train briefly ignited garbage on the track, but there was no serious fire, said Joe Lhota, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


Workers have installed a Ten Commandments monument outside Arkansas' Capitol, two years after lawmakers approved a measure permitting the statue on state grounds
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Workers have installed a Ten Commandments monument outside Arkansas' Capitol, two years after lawmakers approved a measure permitting the statue on state grounds. The 6-foot-tall (1.8-meter-tall) monument was placed on the Capitol grounds early Tuesday. Opponents of the monument have said it amounts to an unconstitutional endorsement of religion and have threatened to sue. Plans for Arkansas' monument sparked a push by the Satanic Temple for a competing statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed, angel-winged creature accompanied by two children smiling at it. Efforts to install that display, however, were blocked by a law enacted this year requiring legislative approval before the commission could consider a monument proposal.


Colombia is taking a big step toward peace as members of the country's largest rebel group lay down their guns
MESETAS, Colombia (AP) - Guerrillas from Colombia's largest rebel army no longer carry their guns along the road miles from the nearest city, a byway with mud so deep that even earth-moving equipment is paralyzed when it rains. In recent days, each of the rebels stationed at this demobilization camp carved from Colombia's eastern jungles have relinquished their weapons to United Nations observers and vowed to help end the country's half-century conflict. President Juan Manuel Santos traveled here Tuesday to join Rodrigo Londono, top commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, for a ceremony marking the conclusion of the disarmament process by 7,000 rebels nationwide.


President Donald Trump is using the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network's credibility.
NEW YORK (AP) - President Donald Trump used the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network's credibility Tuesday. The story was about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between a Trump associate and the head of a Russian investment fund. CNN accepted the journalists' resignations Monday. Trump wrote in a Tuesday morning tweet, "Wow, CNN had to retract big story on 'Russia,' with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!" A message seeking comment was left at CNN. The story was posted on the network's website Thursday and was removed, with all links disabled, Friday night.

   
   

 

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