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


Trump triumphs as GOP nominee, completing stunning climb

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cementing an extraordinary political takeover, Republicans nominated Donald Trump Tuesday night as their presidential standard-bearer, hitching their hopes of keeping Democrat Hillary Clinton out of the White House on an unorthodox candidate who has sown divisions within the party and across the nation.

While it was Trump’s night, Clinton was frequently the focus.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie energized the crowd with a full-throated takedown of Clinton, imploring delegates to shout “Guilty!” as he ticked through numerous accusations of wrongdoing.

Trump addressed the convention briefly in videotaped remarks, thanking them for formally nominating him as the party’s White House candidate. “

“This is a movement, but we have to go all the way,” he said.

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Plagiarism charges mar Melania Trump’s moment

CLEVELAND (AP) — This was to have been Melania Trump’s moment, her first real introduction to American voters who’d seen her by her husband’s side for months but had barely heard her speak.

But within moments of Mrs. Trump’s triumphant appearance on the Republican National Convention stage, accusations of plagiarism surfaced, eclipsing her achievement in the latest stumble by the Trump campaign.

Trump’s advisers defiantly denied the charge Tuesday, though the word-for-word overlap was obvious between Mrs. Trump’s remarks the night before and two passages in Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech to the Democratic convention in Denver. How that had come about remained unclear.

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort called the criticism “just absurd” and said the issue had been “totally blown out of proportion.”

“There were a few words on it, but they’re not words that were unique words,” he told The Associated Press. “Ninety-nine percent of that speech talked about her being an immigrant and love of country and love of family and everything else.”

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AP EXPLAINS: Why do Republicans say sky is falling? Is it?

The United States depicted at the Republican National Convention is a scary place. It is wrenched by economic uncertainty, social upheaval, political dysfunction, runaway immigration, violent streets and existential threats from abroad. Republicans want voters to see the need for drastic change. The nation’s only choice, they say, is Donald Trump.

Why Republicans would paint such a bleak portrait and whether things really are as they say:

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

GOP Chairman Reince Priebus opened the convention acknowledging “troubling times.” Others used less measured terms. Americans live in fear, they said. The country is disrespected by the world, its military is gutted, its police are shamed. Borders are porous. Terrorism is a constant threat.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions said the U.S. suffers from “an economic disaster … and the American people know it.” Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst said “our allies see us shrinking from our place as a leader in the world.”

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10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday:

1. TRUMP SECURES GOP NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT

A roll call vote at the party convention makes official something the political establishment once deemed impossible.

2. MELANIA’S MOMENT MARRED BY PLAGIARISM CLAIM

A defiant Trump campaign slaps away criticism as questions swirl about how part of his wife’s speech happened to mirror nearly word-for-word Michelle Obama’s in 2008.

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Writer-director Garry Marshall dies at age 81

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Writer-director Garry Marshall, whose deft touch with comedy and romance led to a string of TV hits that included “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley” and the box-office successes “Pretty Woman” and “Runaway Bride,” has died. He was 81.

Marshall died Tuesday in at a hospital in Burbank, California of complications from pneumonia after having a stroke, his publicist Michelle Bega said in a statement.

The director also had an on-screen presence, using his New York accent and gruff delivery in colorful supporting roles that included a practical-minded casino boss unswayed by Albert Brooks’ disastrous luck in “Lost in America” and a crass network executive in “Soapdish.”

“In the neighborhood where we grew up in, the Bronx, you only had a few choices,” Marshall said in a 1980s interview. “You were either an athlete or a gangster, or you were funny.”

Marshall, brother of actress-director Penny Marshall, earned a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and worked at the New York Daily News. But he found he was better at writing punchlines.

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Turkey fires tens of thousands in coup plotters hunt

ISTANBUL (AP) — Asserting that “all the evidence” points to a U.S.-based Muslim cleric as the mastermind of last week’s failed coup, Turkey’s government on Tuesday fired tens of thousands of teachers, university deans and others accused of ties to the plot and demanded the cleric’s extradition.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the issue in a phone call with U.S. President Barack Obama, and his spokesman said the government was preparing a formal extradition request for the cleric, Fethullah Gulen. But he also suggested that the U.S. government shouldn’t require the facts before extraditing him.

“A person of this kind can easily be extradited on grounds of suspicion,” said the spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin. “And there is very strong suspicion for his involvement, for Gulen’s involvement, in this coup attempt. So this is sufficient ground.”

Later, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that Turkey had submitted materials related to Gulen and the administration was reviewing whether they amounted to a formal extradition request. Earnest added that a decision on whether to extradite would be made under a longstanding treaty between the two countries, and wouldn’t be made by Obama.

The extradition demand is likely to strain U.S.-Turkey ties as the Obama administration refers the matter to the Justice Department, which will determine whether the Turkish government has established probable cause that a crime was committed.

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Funding threatens future of giant telescope in Puerto Rico

ARECIBO, Puerto Rico (AP) — The world’s largest single-dish radio telescope is nestled deep in the lush green hills of Puerto Rico, where it performs tasks like searching for gravitational waves, listening for extraterrestrial signals and tracking asteroids that might be on a collision course with Earth.

But the outlook is increasingly faint for the Arecibo Observatory, which features a 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) dish used in research involving stars that led to a Nobel Prize.

Dwindling funds from the U.S. government and construction of bigger, more powerful telescopes in places like China and Chile are threatening the existence of the telescope even as a group of scientists campaigns to keep it open, saying it can still be used for important research.

“It’s the most sensitive telescope on Earth, and that’s a very good reason why we should keep funding it,” said Robert Kerr, a former director at the observatory. “With that kind of power, I can hear an ant walking on the surface of Mars.”

Each year the telescope draws about 90,000 visitors and some 200 scientists who come to do research. Cinema-goers have seen it in the Jodie Foster film “Contact” and the James Bond movie “GoldenEye.”

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Kansas officer killed while looking for drive-by suspect

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City, Kansas, police officer was shot and killed on Tuesday while searching for a suspect in a drive-by shooting, police said.

Capt. Robert Melton was searching for the suspect when he drove up to someone who matched that person’s description just before 2 p.m., police spokesman Tom Tomasic said. Before Melton could get out of his vehicle, the person opened fire, hitting the officer multiple times, Tomasic said. The alleged shooter was caught five minutes later about a block away, he said.

A police spokeswoman said the suspect was being questioned Tuesday evening along with another person suspected in the initial drive-by shooting. Police weren’t releasing the suspects’ names because charges hadn’t been filed. A third person who had been taken into custody was determined not to have been involved and was released, police said.

It’s the second time a Kansas City, Kansas, police officer has been shot and killed this year. In early May, detective Brad Lancaster was fatally shot near the Kansas Speedway, and Melton had served in the police honor guard at Lancaster’s funeral. The shooting also comes as police departments across the country are on edge after ambush attacks left eight officers dead in Texas and Louisiana.

“There’s a lot of pain and brokenness in our community and our nation right now, and we just want to ask everyone to be prayerful and thoughtful right now,” Mayor Mark Holland of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County said.

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German train attacker vowed ‘revenge on the infidels’

WUERZBURG, Germany (AP) — A 17-year-old Afghan asylum-seeker vowing “revenge on these infidels” went on an ax-and-knife rampage on a train in southern Germany, wounding five people before being shot and killed by police — an attack that German authorities conceded Tuesday was almost impossible to prevent.

German officials didn’t identify the attacker or the victims, but Hong Kong’s immigration department said among those wounded were four members of a family of five from the southern Chinese city.

The dpa news agency reported the attacker wounded the 62-year-old father, the 58-year-old mother, their adult daughter and her boyfriend. The teenage son was not hurt. The father and the boyfriend had tried to defend the other family members, dpa said.

At least one member of the Chinese family and another woman attacked outside the train were in life-threatening condition, according to Bamberg prosecutor Erik Ohlenschlager.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Monday night train attack, which came less than a week after the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, France, also claimed by IS, in which 84 people were killed.

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Fox News chief Roger Ailes denies harassing Megyn Kelly

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer for Roger Ailes denied Tuesday that the embattled Fox News Channel chief executive sexually harassed network star Megyn Kelly.

Susan Estrich’s statement came amid a swirl of contradictory reports that Ailes had been ousted as head of the influential network he built from scratch, that he hadn’t been ousted, and that he was negotiating a departure.

Attributing anonymous sources, New York magazine reported on Tuesday that Kelly had told investigators working for Fox News Channel parent 21st Century Fox that Ailes had sexually harassed her when she was a reporter at Fox 10 years ago.

“Roger Ailes has never sexually harassed Megyn Kelly,” Estrich said. “In fact, he has spent much of the last decade promoting and helping her achieve the stardom she earned, for which she has repeatedly and publicly thanked him.”

A former Fox anchor, Gretchen Carlson, alleged in a lawsuit that Ailes had forced her out following a meeting where he told her that “you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago.” The contract of Carlson, who said there was an atmosphere of harassment at Fox, was not renewed when it ended last month.