Unscripted Trump overshadows his own economic message
MANHEIM, Pa. (AP) — Donald Trump questioned Hillary Clinton’s loyalty to her husband on Saturday night, adding an explosive personal charge against his Democratic opponent to a turbulent week when he repeatedly veered off script.
“Hillary Clinton’s only loyalty is to her financial contributors and to herself,” Trump told thousands gathered in Manheim, Pennsylvania. “I don’t think she’s even loyal to Bill if you want to know the truth … Why should she be, right? Why should she be?”
The extraordinary personal attack, a reference to former Bill Clinton’s infidelities, came as Trump works to sharpen his focus on the economy — and his Democratic opponent’s shortcomings — as he treks across the Midwestern battlegrounds he needs to become the 45th president of the United States.
The audience roared with approval when Trump, reading from a teleprompter, lashed out at an economic system he said was rigged against everyday Americans. Friends and foes agree he is at his best in those scripted moments.
But Trump’s frequent unscripted moments are often drowning them out — diverting attention from his economic message and alienating women and minorities with early voting already underway in some states.
AP-GfK poll: Third party backers a wild card in 2016 race
WASHINGTON (AP) — Most people who are drawn to third party candidates in the presidential election aren’t sold on their choice, making these voters wild cards in an already unpredictable contest.
A shift in their support toward either of the major party nominees — away from Libertarian Gary Johnson, Jill Stein of the Green Party or another third party candidate — could drastically change the shape of the race.
A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that nearly 7 in 10 third-party supporters say they could still change their minds.
They are about evenly split between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump if forced to choose between just those two. Nearly one-third refused to pick or said they would just not vote if it came down to that.
Margaret Bonnem, a stay-at-home mother in Colliersville, Tennessee, had previously supported Stein. But now she says she’ll vote for Clinton because she realizes that “a third party candidate can’t really do anything but pull votes away” from the major parties.
Hurricane Matthew soaks Colombia, heads for Jamaica, Haiti
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — One of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history roared over the open Caribbean Sea on Saturday on a course that threatened Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba.
Matthew briefly reached the top hurricane classification, Category 5, and was the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Felix in 2007.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Matthew’s winds had slipped slightly from a peak of 160 mph (260 kph) to a still-potentially devastating 150 mph (240 kph), a Category 4 storm. It was expected to near eastern Jamaica and southwestern Haiti on Monday.
The latest forecast had Matthew’s path passing closer to Haiti than before and the center issued a hurricane warning for Jamaica and “much of Haiti,” and said life-threatening rainfall was expected in parts of the impoverished Caribbean nation.
The forecast track would also carry Matthew across Cuba and into the Bahamas, with an outside chance of a brush with Florida, though that would be several days away.
Boy, 6, dies days after South Carolina school shooting
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A 6-year-old boy who was critically wounded in a school shooting died Saturday, days after a 14-year-old boy opened fire on a school playground, authorities said.
Jacob Hall had been fighting for his life at a hospital after a bullet struck him in a main artery in his leg, causing him a major brain injury due to a “catastrophic” loss of blood, his doctor said. Jacob died about 1 p.m. Saturday, and an autopsy will be done Sunday, Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said.
Authorities say Jacob, another student and a first-grade teacher at Townville Elementary were wounded by the teenager, who had just killed his father at their home. After the slaying, the teen — who is not old enough to have a driver’s license — drove a pickup truck about 3 miles down a country road, crashed at the school and started firing with a handgun, authorities said.
The wounded were struck as a door opened for recess. Another teacher who heard the first gunshot was able to get other students safely inside, school officials have said. The other wounded student and the injured teacher, Meghan Hollingsworth, were treated and released from a hospital.
Jacob’s parents, Renae and Rodger Hall, thanked the nurses and doctors who cared for Jacob and Hollingsworth, “who put her life on the line to try to protect and save Jacob.”
Governor hopefuls distancing themselves from Clinton, Trump
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — In West Virginia, the Democrat running for governor has defended the coal industry while decrying his party’s presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.
In Vermont, the Republican nominee for governor declared his support for transgender bathroom rights and denounced GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Those types of unconventional strategic calculations are helping to make for close races this year in several states.
A dozen governor’s offices will be up for grabs in the Nov. 8 elections, including at least seven that appear competitive. The national Republican and Democratic governors associations already have spent more than $25 million in those states, according to an Associated Press analysis of financial reports and interviews.
The number of early TV ads in governor’s races is up 40 percent from 2012, according to the Wesleyan Media Project.
Investigators: No signal problems before New Jersey crash
HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — Here’s what is known about the investigation into a commuter train crash that killed one person and injured more than 100 others Thursday in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Federal investigators say there were no problems with signals at a New Jersey station where the commuter train crashed.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Saturday that the signals leading to the Hoboken Terminal appear to be working normally. It says a full study can’t be completed yet because the train is still in the station.
Officials say structural issues are preventing work crews from removing the New Jersey Transit train from the terminal.
Father: Son’s killing is a ‘turning point’ to change police
EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — The father of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by police in a San Diego suburb on Saturday told hundreds of demonstrators who peacefully marched through downtown streets that his son’s death was a turning point in a struggle to change police practices.
Richard Olango Abuka called the El Cajon officer who fired his gun “a coward” and demanded that Police Chief Jeff Davis resign.
The orderly protest followed days of angry, sometimes unruly, protests that led to Friday’s release of two videos by the authorities, something that the family and community had urged.
The videos show the officer fired four times at close range almost immediately after Alfred Olango, 38, suddenly raised both hands to chest level and took what police described as a shooting stance. In addition to the videos, police showed the 4-inch electronic cigarette device Olango had in his hands when he was shot.
The shots came less than a minute after police arrived at the scene in response to Olango’s sister calling 911 and reporting he was acting erratically.
Russia warns against US attack on Syrian forces
BEIRUT (AP) — Russia warned the United States Saturday against carrying out any attacks on Syrian government forces, saying it would have repercussions across the Middle East as government forces captured a hill on the edge of the northern city of Aleppo under the cover of airstrikes.
Meanwhile, airstrikes on Aleppo struck a hospital in the eastern rebel-held neighborhood of Sakhour on Saturday, putting it out of service, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees. They said at least one person was killed in the airstrike.
Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying that a U.S. intervention against the Syrian army “will lead to terrible, tectonic consequences not only on the territory of this country but also in the region on the whole.”
She said regime change in Syria would create a vacuum that would be “quickly filled” by “terrorists of all stripes.”
U.S.-Russian tensions over Syria have escalated since the breakdown of a cease-fire last month, with each side blaming the other for its failure. Syrian government forces backed by Russian warplanes have launched a major onslaught on rebel-held parts of Aleppo.
Marijuana labs spawn lethal explosions across the country
NEW YORK (AP) — An explosion that destroyed a New York City home and killed a firefighter has drawn attention to marijuana-making methods that are legal in many states — but can also be lethal.
A New York fire battalion chief died responding to the blast Tuesday in a Bronx home that authorities say had been converted into an indoor marijuana farm. They’re investigating whether the alleged growers tampered with gas lines and mishandled other materials in ways that caused the explosion.
Indoor marijuana farmers can create potential fire hazards by using natural gas, propane or butane to power carbon dioxide generators that make the plants grow. In recent years across the country, similar methods used to produce more potent marijuana extracts have resulted in explosions and other catastrophes.
Indoor gas use “is a standard way to grow marijuana,” says Michael O’Hare, a professor at the University of California in Berkeley who is an expert in cannabis cultivation. “If you raise the CO2 level, it’ll grow faster.”
Some growers rely on propane or butane gas because using large amounts of metered gas from a utility could draw the attention of authorities, who might question why so much fuel is needed for a house of a certain size, O’Hare said. In those conditions, a gas leak could spell disaster, he said.
Americans take 3-point lead at Ryder Cup
CHASKA, Minn. (AP) — The Americans are making all the right moves in this Ryder Cup.
Even Tiger Woods.
Europe was riding the momentum as it inched within one point Saturday at Hazeltine. U.S. captain Davis Love III heard conflicting ideas on the radio and by text message from his assistant captains, all of them weighing in with the best lineup for the final session of team matches. The question was Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, the only Americans who had yet to sit out.
“I finally just said to Tiger, ‘Are we playing them or are we sitting them?’ He said, ‘No, you have to send them back out there,'” Love said.
Reed delivered another moment sure to burnish his growing Ryder Cup reputation.