In bumpy coronation, Trump takes the crown
CLEVELAND (AP) — The art of the coronation has taken something of a beating at the Republican National Convention. Nevertheless, Donald Trump now has the crown — and a final chance to summon unity from the party’s restive ranks in the ritual’s closing days.
The roll call of the states Tuesday night delivered Trump the nomination, which he welcomed from afar in a videotaped message saying “This is a movement, but we have to go all the way.” House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Trump had amassed 1,725 delegates, more than triple the number of his nearest competitor, the fruits of a political phenomenon without parallel in modern times.
Day 3 of the convention will bring two conservative stalwarts to the stage: Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a favorite of evangelicals; and the nominee’s most tenacious challenger in the primaries, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the man Trump used to call “Lyin’ Ted.”
Pence is heartily on board the Trump bandwagon; Cruz isn’t yet, nor are many of his supporters in Cleveland. The senator’s scheduled prime-time address will be keenly watched as a barometer of the party’s fighting spirit as the GOP turns to the fall campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton, who accepts her nomination next week.
Trump, the in-your-face outsider, won at the cost of alienating many traditional Republicans both on the right and in the center, and the divide has spilled over into the convention, though without overwhelming it. The roll call unfolded largely according to plan after a day dominated by unwelcome attention over passages from an eight-year-old Michelle Obama speech that made their way into Melania Trump’s address to the convention, almost word for word, the night before.
Defense, foreign ministers to plan next steps against IS
WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense and foreign ministers from more than 30 nations are gathering in Washington to plan the next steps in the fight against the Islamic State and to determine what more they can do as the fights for key cities in Iraq and Syria move forward.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter will meet with his counterparts on Wednesday to discuss how they can accelerate the campaign and build on some of the momentum, particularly in Iraq. The meeting comes as Iraqi security forces, aided by the coalition, are preparing to encircle and eventually attempt to retake the key northern city of Mosul.
The meeting of defense ministers at Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington, D.C., will be the fourth time that Carter has convened an anti-Islamic State coalition meeting. Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Carter will talk about the military campaign, and how it can be accelerated.
On Thursday, for the first time, Secretary of State John Kerry will host a joint meeting of defense and foreign ministers in the counter-IS coalition. They are expected to talk about the coordination of political and military efforts, including counter-terrorist financing, combating the flow of foreign fighters, and the stabilization of cities and towns that have been freed from Islamic State control.
“We are succeeding on the ground in Iraq and Syria but we have a lot of work to do,” said Brett McGurk, the president’s special representative to the counter-ISIL coalition. “This is an enormous challenge that will be with us for years to come.”
10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
1. IN BUMPY CORONATION, TRUMP TAKES THE CROWN
The roll call of states delivers Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination, which he welcomed by saying: “This is a movement, but we have to go all the way.”
2. HOW TOM VILSACK’S POLITICAL STOCK SOARED
The agriculture secretary’s journey has taken him from an orphanage to a Cabinet position — and now he’s being considered as running mate to Hillary Clinton.
No exit: Safety failures turned Baghdad bombing into inferno
BAGHDAD (AP) — Dozens of men were watching a soccer match at the “Smile” cafe when the blast hit in the street below. Within minutes, a fire ripped through the Baghdad shopping mall where they were gathered, trapping them in a crowd on the second floor.
There were no fire exits, no firefighters. An iron gate to the roof was padlocked.
One of those watching the match, Majid Toamah, kicked a hole in an aluminum wall in the cafe and leaped 20 meters (yards) to the alley below. The 40-year-old broke both his legs. As he lay in agony, he looked up to see terrified faces staring out of the hole.
“They were too scared to jump. The face of one of them caught fire,” Toamah remembered. “In the end, they all died.”
At least 292 people died from the July 3 car bombing in Baghdad’s central Karradah district. Most of the deaths resulted not from the blast itself, but from the ensuing inferno, fed by a tinderbox of shops in two malls filled with clothing and oil-based perfumes for sale and lined with flammable panels. It was all worsened by a slow response by firefighters, building code violations — and a lack of water.
‘Pretty Woman’ filmmaker Garry Marshall dies at age 81
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Garry Marshall knew how to tug at moviegoers’ heartstrings, whether with unlikely love in “Pretty Woman” or sentimental loss in “Beaches.”
But it was goofy, crowd-pleasing comedy that endeared the writer and director to generations of TV viewers in hit sitcoms including “Happy Days, “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy.” Marshall, who died Tuesday at 81, said in a 1980s interview that humor was his necessary path in life.
“In the neighborhood where we grew up in, the Bronx, you only had a few choices. You were either an athlete or a gangster, or you were funny,” the New York native said.
Marshall also had a memorable on-screen presence, using his hometown accent and gruff delivery in colorful supporting roles that included a practical-minded casino boss untouched by Albert Brooks’ disastrous luck in “Lost in America” and a crass network executive in “Soapdish.”
He died at a hospital in Burbank, California, of complications from pneumonia following a stroke, his publicist Michelle Bega said in a statement. An outpouring of respect and affection quickly followed.
Turkish jets strike rebels in Iraq following failed coup
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Days after a failed coup attempt in Turkey, the country’s jets carried out cross-border strikes against Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, killing some 20 alleged militants, state media reported Wednesday.
F-16 jets pounded targets belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, in Iraq’s Hakurk region, Anadolu Agency reported. The Turkish military has been regularly hitting suspected PKK hideouts and position in Iraq since last year, but Wednesday’s strikes were the first since the July 15 botched takeover attempt by a faction within the armed forces, in which several F-16 pilots were involved. It came as the military was reeling from the failed putsch and appeared to be an attempt to show that the forces are on top of security matters.
Authorities have rounded up close to 9,000 people — including 115 generals, 350 officers and some 4,800 other military personnel — for alleged involvement in the coup attempt.
Tens of thousands of civil service employees, including teachers, accused of ties to the plot or suspected of links to a U.S.-based cleric whom authorities accuse of being the behind the plot, have also been fired. The purges were intended to blunt the influence of the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, a rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The coup has led to public anger and calls for the government to reinstate capital punishment, while the state-run religious affairs body declared no religious rites would be performed for the coup plotters killed in the uprising. Capital punishment was abolished in 2004 as part of Turkey’s bid to join the European Union, and several European officials have said its reinstatement would be the end of Turkey’s attempts to join.
Gunfire often connected to gangs hitting Chicago children
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago mother thought she knew when it was safe to take her children outside, that her ability to size up and avoid people trouble seemed to follow would protect them.
Then a bullet fired from a gun that D’Antignay Brashear never saw pierced the cheek of her 4-year-old son, Kavan Collins. It fractured the boy’s jaw and shattered some teeth before it went out his other cheek, all while he held his mother’s hand.
“He was with his mother, and it wasn’t like I was doing something wrong, having him out after hours,” said Brashear, a 21-year-old single mother of two, referring to the shooting that happened before sundown June 28 on Chicago’s South Side. “I thought he was safe.”
Kavan is part of a growing roster of children who have been shot in the city this year amid a spike in killings and shootings. More than 330 killings have occurred in the city.
So far, no child has died from the gunfire that’s often connected to gangs. Children have been struck while doing normal kid things like playing with sparklers, drawing on the sidewalk or holding a mother’s hand.
Police shootings touch nerve among military veterans
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Back-to-back attacks on police in Texas and Louisiana by former military men have touched a nerve among veterans who traditionally share a close bond with law enforcement.
Veterans and active-duty troops started posting messages on social media almost immediately after the news broke last weekend that a masked ex-Marine had ambushed law enforcement along a busy highway, killing three officers — including a fellow former Marine.
Seeing one Marine kill another Marine after both had returned home safely from the battlefield in Iraq has been especially painful for the military’s smallest branch, which considers service life-long membership among a force that goes by the motto: “The Few. The Proud.”
“In the Marine community, we don’t believe in ‘ex-Marines’. However that is not the case when one decides to break the moral and ethical values we hold dear. The ex-Marine that opened fire on officers is everything we swear to protect our Nation from,” Marine Cpl. Eric Trichel wrote on a Facebook page with about 25,000 mostly Marine members.
In an email to The Associated Press, he emphasized he was not speaking on behalf of the Marine Corps.
Group clones California giant trees to combat climate change
CAMP NELSON, Calif. (AP) — At the foot of a giant sequoia in California’s Sierra Nevada, two arborists stepped into harnesses then inched up ropes more than 20 stories into the dizzying canopy of a tree that survived thousands of years, enduring drought, wildfire and disease.
There, the arborists clipped off tips of young branches to be hand-delivered across the country, cloned in a lab and eventually planted in a forest in some other part of the world.
The two are part of a cadre of modern day Johnny Appleseeds who believe California’s giant sequoias and coastal redwoods are blessed with some of the heartiest genetics of any trees on Earth — and that propagating them will help reverse climate change, at least in a small way.
“It’s a biological miracle,” said tree climber Jim Clark, firmly back on the ground and holding a green sprig to his lips as if to kiss it. “This piece of tissue … can be rooted, and we have a miniature 3,000-year-old tree.”
The cloning expedition to Camp Nelson, a mountain community about 100 miles southeast of Fresno, was led by David Milarch, co-founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive.
Kids leaving home doesn’t always lead to parents saving more
CHICAGO (AP) — Raising kids costs a lot of money, so when they finally strike out on their own it stands to reason that parents would have more money to spend, save or invest. How they spend that money can have large consequences for their retirement security.
A report by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research found that empty nesters do increase savings, but the increases are “extremely small,” suggesting that baby boomers may be losing out on a critical opportunity to save for retirement.
“If you want to believe that households are saving enough for retirement, then you have to believe that their savings will increase dramatically when the kids leave and we’re not seeing that,” says Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, a research economist at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research and co-author of the report.
The Agriculture Department has estimated that a middle-income family would spend about $245,340 raising a child born in 2013 to age 18. That includes food, housing childcare and school but not higher education.
So, in theory at least, it would seem, “there is this sweet spot when the kids are off the payroll,” says Joy Kenefick, managing director of investments at Wells Fargo Advisors.