AP News in Brief at 9:04 p.m. EDT


Trump’s VP pick taking the stage; Cruz to ‘suggest’ support

CLEVELAND (AP) — Straining to shore up Republican unity, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will urge conservatives to shed their unease about Donald Trump Wednesday night as he makes his national convention debut as the businessman’s running mate.

But much of the attention will be on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a favorite of the right who has yet to endorse Trump.

The gulf between Pence’s hearty embrace of Trump and Cruz’s reluctance was emblematic of the turmoil still roiling the GOP. A day after Trump formally became the presidential nominee, some delegates at state gatherings around Cleveland were still struggling to come to terms with their unorthodox new standard-bearer.

Iowa delegate Cecil Stinemetz called Trump “the worst nominee that we have put forward for the Republican Party in the history of the Republican Party” and said he didn’t plan to return to the convention floor the rest of the week.

Republican worries about Trump’s preparedness for a general election battle with Democrat Hillary Clinton have only been reinforced during the convention. The campaign struggled to respond to plagiarism charges involving Melania Trump’s Monday night address, finally releasing a statement Wednesday from a speechwriter who took blame for including lines from a Michelle Obama speech in the remarks.

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In Cleveland, sea of white reflects GOP’s math problem

After Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election, Republican Party heavyweights uniformly agreed that white voters alone do not hold the keys to winning the White House.

Yet in 2016, another overwhelmingly white gathering of Republican convention delegates — the makeup clear on television images or a walk through the Quicken Loans Arena floor — has nominated an all-white male ticket: businessman Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Trump leaned almost exclusively on white voters to win the nomination and, in the process, alienated swaths of minorities with his push for a border wall to stop illegal immigration, calls for a “deportation force” and proposals to ban non-citizen Muslims from entering the country.

“He offended so many people,” said Texas GOP delegate Adryana Boyne, who is Latina. “I think he needs to apologize and he hasn’t.”

At the ballot box, simple math is at play as the country becomes less white with each presidential cycle. The more Trump struggles with non-whites, the more pressure there is for him to reach levels of white support no candidate has managed since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 landslide.

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Hating on Hillary: Republican convention down and dirty

CLEVELAND (AP) — Liar. Garbage. Lock her up.

Republicans at their national convention are putting Hillary Clinton on mock trial, declaring her guilty and issuing sentences that include death by firing squad, in a remarkable display of political rhetoric gone wild. Even some Clinton haters say the vitriol has gone too far.

The focus on Clinton has sometimes upstaged what’s supposed to be a weeklong celebration and promotion of Donald Trump. Instead of extolling the virtues of their nominee, Republicans have turned to increasingly crass slurs against his opponent.

One GOP delegate and adviser to Trump on veteran’s issues, Al Baldasaro, took it a step further than the rest. He dubbed her a “piece of garbage” and suggested a punishment for alleged inaction during the 2012 Benghazi, Libya, attacks that left four Americans dead.

“Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason,” the New Hampshire state lawmaker said in a radio interview Tuesday.

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Turkey declares 3-month state of emergency after failed coup

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s president on Wednesday declared a three-month state of emergency following a botched coup attempt, declaring he would rid the military of the “virus” of subversion and giving the government sweeping powers to expand a crackdown that has already included mass arrests and the closure of hundreds of schools.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was accused of autocratic conduct before the insurrection, said the measure would counter threats to Turkish democracy. Possibly anticipating investor jitters, Erdogan criticized Standard & Poor’s for downgrading its credit rating for Turkey deeper into “junk” status and said the country would remain financially disciplined.

The president did not announce details, but the security measure could facilitate longer detentions for many of the nearly 10,000 people who have been rounded up since loyalist security forces and protesters quashed the rebellion that started Friday night and was over by Saturday.

“This measure is in no way against democracy, the law and freedoms,” Erdogan said in a national televised address after a meeting with Cabinet ministers and security advisers.

The state of emergency announcement needs to be published in a state gazette and lawmakers have to approve it for it to take effect, according to analysts.

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Defense, foreign ministers to plan next steps against IS

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AP) — Defense leaders at a counter-Islamic State meeting expressed concerns about what happens after the expected defeat of the militant group, and whether countries are ready to help stabilize and rebuild the war-torn cities, particularly in Iraq, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday.

Carter also said that some nations have agreed to step up their contributions to the fight, as battles for the key cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria loom.

Defense and foreign leaders from more than 30 countries are in Washington for two days of meetings on the next steps to be taken in the fight to defeat the Islamic State group, which still maintains control of large sections of Iraq and Syria.

Speaking to reporters after the first day’s session wrapped up at Joint Base Andrews, Carter said a lot of the conversations were about identifying the needs for reconstruction after the battles are over.

“The biggest strategic concern of this group of defense ministers was that the stabilization and governance effort will lag behind the military campaign,” Carter said. “Making sure there’s no such lag must be a significant strategic priority for us. We discussed it today and it will be an important focus of our conversation tomorrow at the State Department with our foreign ministry counterparts.”

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Appeals court: Texas voter ID law discriminates; orders fix

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ strict voter ID law discriminates against minorities and the poor and must be weakened before the November elections, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, following claims that at least a half-million registered voters could have struggled to cast a ballot.

The ruling was a striking election-year victory for President Barack Obama’s administration, which took the unusual step of bringing the U.S. Justice Department into Texas to fight the case. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the ruling affirmed that the 2011 law — which Texas enforced in three elections — abridged the right to vote based on race or color.

Republicans were dealt a second blow in as many days to a new breed of strict voter ID measures that limits the kind of photo identifications that are valid. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that residents without a photo ID in that state will still be allowed to vote in November.

Elections experts widely agree that the Texas law, which accepted concealed handgun licenses but not college IDs, was the toughest in the nation.

Voters must still show identification at the polls in Texas under the decision by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is regarded as one of the most conservative panels in the country. But a lower court is now instructed to devise a way for Texas to accommodate those who cannot.

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Black Lives Matter activists in Rio to highlight racism

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games could prove deadly for the city’s poor black people, a delegation of U.S. activists from the Black Lives Matter movement and local activist groups warned Wednesday.

The American activists were on a four-day visit to Rio aimed at highlighting the risks posed by the giant Olympic security apparatus in a country where a United Nations report has concluded law enforcement officers are responsible for a “significant portion” of the nearly 60,000 annual violent deaths.

During the Aug. 5-21 games, some 85,000 soldiers and police will be on patrol in a bid to secure this notoriously dangerous city for the 10,000 athletes and the 350,000 to 500,000 foreigner spectators expected to flood in for the games. That’s roughly twice the security contingent at the 2012 Summer Games in London.

But while the mammoth security apparatus may help insulate foreign visitors from the armed muggings, carjackings and drug gang shootouts that are a regular part of life in Rio, the U.S. activists and their local counterparts warned that the increased police presence could result in a spike in police killings.

“We are learning about Olympic construction costs, and dirty water and Zika and crime, but I want the world to know about the horror that is the police killing citizens as part of Olympic preparations,” said Elizabeth Martin, a Massachusetts woman whose nephew Joseph was shot to death in 2007 by an off-duty police officer while celebrating his 30th birthday in Rio.

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AP EXPLAINS Trump’s push for border wall is not a new idea.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Donald Trump’s push for a border wall is not a new idea. The U.S.-Mexico border is already lined with intermittent miles of barriers. In some places, a tall fence ascends desert hills. In others, sturdy wire mesh or metal pillars end suddenly.

The pieces come from different moments in history when the U.S. government wanted stronger barriers to halt unwanted immigration, drug trafficking, Prohibition-era bootleggers and even meandering cattle.

When Trump formally accepts the GOP nomination for president on Thursday, the billionaire will likely repeat his promise to build a single wall to stem illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

Historians say that idea has been pursued for a century with spotty results due to changing politics and technologies and pressure to divert enforcement attention elsewhere.

Here’s a look at the history of U.S.-Mexico border barriers.

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Absent during protests, Baton Rouge mayor is more visible

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — After police killed a man outside a convenience store and protesters filled the streets, the first black mayor of the Louisiana capital seemed to be conspicuously missing. Kip Holden’s absence was so glaring that demonstrators called for his resignation.

But with the shooting deaths of three law enforcement officers on Sunday, the 63-year-old Democrat has become more visible, standing up for his police force and accepting condolences from mayors across the country, including the leaders of Orlando and Dallas, and from President Barack Obama.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Holden vowed Wednesday to unify Baton Rouge after two weeks of violence and anguish.

The day the officers were killed “was one of the worst days in the history of Baton Rouge” and in his 12 years as mayor, Holden said.

He said he was confident that the city would endure.

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Kathleen Carroll, AP’s executive editor, stepping down

NEW YORK (AP) — Kathleen Carroll, the executive editor of The Associated Press who championed ambitious, investigative journalism and pushed the cooperative forward in a rapidly changing digital world, announced Wednesday that she will step down after 14 years leading the world’s oldest news agency.

Gary Pruitt, president and chief executive officer of the AP, praised Carroll warmly and said she will help with the leadership transition. Carroll is to leave at the end of the year, and a successor is expected to be in place in by Jan. 1.

“If AP were a sports team, we would be retiring Kathleen’s number” Pruitt said. “I respect Kathleen’s decision to move on from AP and appreciate her years of leadership and service… Her combined extraordinary editorial skill, committed engagement with staff, toughness and compassion have made AP news what it is today.”

The announcement of Carroll’s departure comes three months after the AP was awarded its first Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, for an exhaustive investigation of slavery in the Southeast Asian fishing industry. The AP won four other Pulitzers, six George Polk Awards and 15 Overseas Press Club Awards under Carroll’s tenure.

“Fourteen years is a long, long time to do this job,” Carroll said in an interview. “I’ve had a good run. The place is strong and the people are strong and they’ll take it to the next level. It feels like a good time. You don’t want to stay too long. You don’t want to be stinky cheese.”