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


Thunderous boos for Cruz for refusing to endorse Trump

CLEVELAND (AP) — Undercutting calls for Republican unity, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stubbornly refused to endorse Donald Trump Wednesday night as he addressed the GOP convention, igniting thunderous boos from furious delegates as he encouraged Americans to simply “vote your conscience” in November.

In a surreal moment, Trump unexpectedly walked into the arena just as Cruz was wrapping up his remarks. Delegates chanted Trump’s name and implored Cruz to voice his support for the businessman, to no avail.

“Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution,” Cruz said. While he backed some of Trump’s policy proposals, including building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, he mentioned the GOP nominee by name only once.

Cruz’s defiance ripped open party divisions anew, on the summer’s biggest political stage. Trump allies were infuriated, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said Cruz’s decision was “totally selfish.”

The remarkable moment upended what was shaping up to be the convention’s most successful night, and overshadowed Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s national convention debut as Trump’s running mate.

___

Ted Cruz booed lustily as he refuses to endorse Donald Trump

CLEVELAND (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tried to link arms with Republicans at the party’s national convention on Wednesday, but was booed lustily by delegates when he ended his speech without offering Donald Trump his endorsement — or even saying he would vote for the New York billionaire.

As he appeared on stage, Cruz basked in a minute-long standing ovation. Cruz finished second to Trump in the crowded Republican primary campaign and congratulated the GOP nominee on his victory.

But as close as Cruz came to saying he wanted Trump to win the White House came when he said: “I want to see the principles that our party believes in prevail in November.”

Cruz didn’t tell the convention crowd that he plans to vote for Trump. Nor did he ask his supporters, hundreds of whom encouraged him to run for president in four years at an event on Wednesday afternoon, to vote for the newly minted Republican nominee.

Interrupted by chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump,” Cruz paused and said with a smile, “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.”

___

AP FACT CHECK: The GOP rush to blame Clinton

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s new running mate and other Republicans are wrongly accusing Hillary Clinton of speaking with indifference about the death of Americans in Benghazi, Libya — twisting her comments out of context to make their indictment.

A look at some of the claims from the stage of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night and how they compare with the facts:

INDIANA GOV. MIKE PENCE, Trump’s choice for vice president: “It was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm’s way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell, said: What difference, at this point, does it make?”

TEXAS SEN. TED CRUZ: “Theirs is the party that … responds to the death of Americans at Benghazi by asking, What difference does it make?”

THE FACTS: At no point has Clinton said — or even implied — that it makes no difference whether Americans died in the Benghazi attacks.

___

10 Things to Know for Thursday

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

1. CRUZ ANGERS GOP FAITHFUL

Boos fill the convention hall as the one-time presidential candidate finishes his prime-time speech without endorsing Trump.

2. TRUMP AIDE TAKES BLAME FOR CRIBBING MATERIAL

A staff writer at Trump’s business says she was the one who lifted several phrases from Michelle Obama that wound up in Melania Trump’s speech to the GOP convention.

___

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.

___

In Peru’s Andes, bitter cold devastates alpaca farmers

SAN ANTONIO DE PUTINA, Peru (AP) — After three days of heavy snowfall and bone-chilling temperatures, Mateo Mullisaca watches as one of his alpacas falls to the ground in agony on his farm almost 16,400 feet (5,000 meters) high in Peru’s Andes.

“Without water and without food, the weak ones die,” the 62-year-old shepherd says as the animal takes its final breath with vultures lurking nearby.

Peru’s government has declared a state of emergency in the southern Andes and promised $3 million in relief amid a bitter cold snap that has killed 50,000 alpacas. Authorities fear that if the mercury continues to hit minus 9 Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius) as many as 300,000 camelids could die, devastating the largely indigenous families who raise them.

Mullisaca, who last year lost about a fifth of his herd of 150 animals, says promised food and corrals haven’t arrived in large enough numbers to protect them from the cold. Sheep, the only other animal that can survive on the grassland plateaus, are also dying in large numbers as evidenced by Mullisaca’s loss the night before of five lambs a few hours after entering the world.

Peru is the world’s largest producer of alpaca wool, an almost silky natural fiber coveted by the world’s top designers, and has about 4 million of the camelids. But in stark contrast to the high prices charged by the likes of Armani and Gucci is the daily struggle against the elements and poverty by the thousands of shepherds whose livelihood depends on the trade.

___

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.

___

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.”

___

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.

___

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.