AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EDT


Clinton pushes back against ‘unprecedented’ new FBI review

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Hillary Clinton lashed out Saturday at the FBI’s handling of a new email review, leading a chorus of Democratic leaders who declared the bureau’s actions just days before the election “unprecedented” and “deeply troubling.” Emboldened Republican rival Donald Trump seized on the reignited email controversy, hoping to raise new doubts about Clinton’s trustworthiness.

Rallying supporters in Florida, Clinton pressed FBI Director James Comey to put out the “full and complete facts” about the review into a cache of recently discovered emails. Clinton backers panned Comey’s letter to Congress about the new emails as severely lacking crucial details.

“It is pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election,” Clinton said. She accused Trump of using the issue to confuse and mislead voters in the final leg of the campaign for the Nov. 8 election.

The controversy over Clinton’s email practices at the State Department has dogged her for more than a year. The former secretary of state has often been reluctant to weigh in on the matter — and defensive when she’s been pushed to do so.

But Clinton’s approach to this latest flare-up is markedly different, underscoring worries that the matter could damage her standing with voters in the election’s final days. Clinton advisers have been rallying Democratic lawmakers and other supporters to her defense, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Found emails? Clinton aide didn’t delete old messages

WASHINGTON (AP) — The longtime Hillary Clinton aide at the center of a renewed FBI email investigation testified under oath four months ago she never deleted old emails, while promising in 2013 not to take sensitive files when she left the State Department.

FBI Director James Comey notified Congress on Friday, less than two weeks before the election, that the emails had led agents to re-examine whether classified information was mishandled. That had been the focus of the bureau’s earlier criminal inquiry into the former secretary of state’s use of a private email server, which Comey said in July didn’t warrant charges.

The newly discovered emails were on a device seized during a sexting investigation of disgraced former New York congressman, Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, one of Clinton’s closest aides.

Abedin’s testimony in a recent civil lawsuit about State Department records may help explain why agents found emails that Comey said “appear to be pertinent” and would be reviewed “to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

Abedin told lawyers in June in a deposition that, like millions of internet users who don’t manage their inboxes, she simply never deleted old emails, either at work with Clinton or at home with Weiner.

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A look at FBI chief Comey’s decisions in Clinton email case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI’s announcement that it recently came upon new emails possibly pertinent to the Hillary Clinton email investigation raised more questions than answers.

FBI Director James Comey said in a letter to Congress on Friday that the bureau had discovered the emails while pursuing an unrelated case and would review whether they were classified.

The announcement, vague in details, immediately drew both criticism and praise to Comey himself. Some questions and answers:

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Q: WHERE DID THE EMAILS COME FROM?

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Parallels seen in protests of Dakota pipeline, Oregon refuge

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — On the same day seven defendants celebrated their acquittal in the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, law enforcement officers dressed in riot gear and firing bean bag rounds arrested nearly 150 oil pipeline protesters camped out in North Dakota.

The sudden developments in the two protests drew an unsettling contrast for some between the treatment of mostly Native American citizens at an encampment near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the heavily armed occupiers who held the federal government at bay for weeks in the remote Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

“How is it that people who were seen on national media with guns having a standoff with police officials were acquitted … and we’re being treated like we’re terrorists?” said Cody Hall, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and a spokesman for the pipeline protesters.

Yet experts on public land policy who have watched both situations unfold cautioned it is too soon to draw conclusions about either protest’s outcome — and pointed to broad yet important themes that underlie movements otherwise separated by hundreds of miles and an ideological chasm.

Both the Standing Rock Sioux and the Oregon occupiers consider themselves marginalized groups fighting to preserve a way of life.

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Shiite militias join the battle as Iraqis push toward Mosul

SHURA, Iraq (AP) — State-sanctioned Shiite militias joined Iraq’s Mosul offensive on Saturday with a pre-dawn assault to the west, where they hope to complete the encirclement of the Islamic State-held city and sever supply lines from neighboring Syria.

Other Iraqi forces aided by U.S.-led airstrikes and heavy artillery meanwhile drove IS from the town of Shura, south of Mosul, where the militants had rounded up civilians to be used as human shields.

The twin thrusts come nearly two weeks into the offensive to retake Iraq’s second largest city, but most of the fighting is still taking place in towns and villages far from its outskirts, and the entire operation is expected to take weeks, if not months.

The involvement of the Iranian-backed Shiite militias has raised concerns that the battle for Mosul, a Sunni-majority city, could aggravate sectarian tensions. Rights groups have accused the militias of abuses against civilians in other Sunni areas retaken from IS, accusations the militia leaders deny.

The umbrella group for the militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Units, says they will not enter Mosul itself and will instead focus on retaking Tal Afar, a town to the west that had a Shiite majority before it fell to IS in 2014.

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Syrian airstrikes on Aleppo amid intense clashes

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces launched a counteroffensive Saturday under the cover of airstrikes in an attempt to regain control of areas they had lost to insurgents the day before in the northern city of Aleppo, activists and state media said.

Meanwhile, insurgents launched a fresh offensive on the city, a day after embarking on a broad ground attack aimed at breaking a weeks-long government siege on the eastern rebel-held neighborhoods of Syria’s largest city.

The insurgents were able to capture much of the western neighborhood of Assad where much of Saturday’s fighting was concentrated, according to the Syrian army and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Observatory said the new offensive by Syrian troops and their allies went under the cover of Russian and Syrian airstrikes but government forces did not succeed in regaining control of areas they lost. The group said the fighting and airstrikes are mostly on Aleppo’s western and southern edges.

The Syrian army command said troops and their allies are pounding insurgent positions with artillery shells and rockets adding that “all kinds of weapons” are being used in the fighting in the Assad neighborhood.

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Powder sprinkled into opera pit may have been human ashes

NEW YORK (AP) — A powdery substance a man sprinkled into the orchestra pit at New York’s Metropolitan Opera may have been an opera lover’s ashes, police said Saturday.

The freakish incident during an afternoon performance of Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” forced Met officials to cancel the rest of the show as well as an evening performance of a second opera.

John Miller, the New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner in charge of intelligence and counterterrorism, said several audience members said a man told them he was there to sprinkle the ashes of a friend, his mentor in the opera.

Miller said the man was in front of the first row of seats when he sprinkled the powder into the orchestra pit during the second intermission when most of the musicians were not present.

He said the powder will be tested, but the possibility that it was in fact human ashes “is certainly an area that we are pursuing.”

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Pot ballot drives put medical, recreational users at odds

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A handful of recreational marijuana legalization drives has the medical pot industry bracing for something it never expected to deal with: competition.

Legalization is on the ballot in five states this November, and all five currently allow some form of medical marijuana already.

Growers, medical professionals and users of medical marijuana say they worry that people who want medical marijuana will buy it on the open market instead of going through the hassle of getting a doctor’s recommendation.

“This is being structured for big corporations to come in and in a very short period of time wipe out the caregivers,” said Lori Libbey, a board director of a Maine group campaigning against legalization and a nurse who administers cannabis. “I wonder who is going to be able to provide for pediatric patients.”

But in Maine and the other states considering legalization, others in the marijuana business are very much looking forward to the possibility of legalization. And some proponents believe medical marijuana professionals just don’t want to lose their monopoly.

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Rolling Stone publisher disagreed with rape story retraction

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Rolling Stone magazine publisher and co-founder Jann Wenner said in a video deposition that he disagreed with a top editor’s decision to retract an entire article about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity after the story was discredited.

In a video played for jurors Friday in the defamation trial against Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner said that although the account given by the woman known only as “Jackie” turned out not to be accurate, the bulk of the 2014 story, “A Rape on Campus,” is still valid, The Daily Progress reports (http://bit.ly/2dQ8RnM ).

The article described in harrowing detail the alleged gang rape of the woman.

A police investigation found no evidence to back up Jackie’s claims and the magazine officially retracted the article in April 2015.

Nicole Eramo, former University of Virginia associate dean of students, is now seeking $7.5 million from the magazine over the story, saying it defamed her and portrayed her as its chief villain. Wenner’s deposition video was played shortly before Eramo’s attorneys rested their case.

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Kluber, Indians beat Cubs 7-2, now lead World Series 3-1

CHICAGO (AP) — One more win and baseball fans everywhere might finally believe in these Cleveland Indians.

That’s all it will take for Corey Kluber & Co. to clinch this World Series.

Kluber pitched six sparkling innings on short rest for another win, Jason Kipnis hit a three-run homer in his hometown and the Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 7-2 Saturday night to take a 3-1 lead.

Carlos Santana also connected for the first of his three hits as Cleveland moved closer to its first championship since 1948. Trevor Bauer gets the ball Sunday night at Wrigley Field in Game 5 when the Indians try for the franchise’s third World Series title against Jon Lester and the faltering Cubs.

“I think we like the position we’re in, but the task isn’t done yet,” Kluber said. “We still have one more game to win, and we’re going to show up tomorrow and play with the same sense of urgency we’ve played with until this point. We don’t want to let them build up any momentum and let them get back in the series.”

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