AP News in Brief at 6:04 a.m. EDT


It’s Trump’s moment to talk to the nation _ and GOP doubters

CLEVELAND (AP) — It’s Donald Trump’s big moment to make his case to the country — and to the many rattled doubters in his own party. The most important speech of his presidential campaign will bring down the balloons on a convention marked by divided loyalties and unwanted distractions as well as full-throated roars against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Competing passions were sharply on display Wednesday night in a hall that echoed first with cheers for Trump’s fiercest opponent in the primaries, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, from his supporters, then thunderous boos from the pro-Trump masses when Cruz wrapped up his speech without endorsing the nominee.

Mike Pence’s acceptance speech as Trump’s running mate was overshadowed as a result, one more missed opportunity at a convention with a daily drip of them. That raised the stakes even higher for what is intended to be Trump’s triumphant turn on the stage Thursday night as he accepts the Republican nomination.

“No big deal!” Trump tweeted afterward about Cruz’s speech. He said Cruz did not honor the pledge that Republican primary candidates had made to support the eventual nominee.

He said he saw the text of Cruz’s speech two hours before it was delivered but thought, “let him speak anyway.”

___

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 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 Wednesday night, 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 was 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 Today

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

1. IT’S TRUMP’S MOMENT TO TALK TO THE NATION — AND GOP DOUBTERS

The most important speech of his presidential campaign will bring down the balloons on a convention marked by divided loyalties and unwanted distractions.

2. CRUZ JEERED AS HE REFUSES TO ENDORSE TRUMP

The Texas senator tries to link arms with Republicans at the party’s national convention but is booed lustily by delegates when he ended his speech without offering the New York billionaire his endorsement.

___

Turkish lawmakers set to approve 3-month state of emergency

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish lawmakers are expected Thursday to approve President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s request for a three-month state of emergency in the wake of last week’s failed coup.

In an address to the nation late Wednesday, Erdogan announced a cabinet decision to seek additional powers, saying the state of emergency would give the government the tools to rid the military of the “virus” of subversion.

Under the terms of the Turkish constitution, lawmakers in the 550-member parliament have to approve a request for a state of emergency. Of those, 317 are members of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party.

The state of emergency will give the government sweeping powers to expand a crackdown that has already included mass arrests and the closure of hundreds of schools.

On Thursday, Turkish state media said a further 32 judges and two military officers have been detained by authorities during the crackdown since last week’s coup.

___

Florida mosquitoes being tested for Zika to confirm case

MIAMI (AP) — Florida health officials have trapped mosquitoes in an area of Miami-Dade County and are testing them for Zika to confirm whether a woman with the virus could be the first person infected directly by a mosquito bite in the continental United States.

Florida’s Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not immediately respond to questions about their investigation, but health officials said the case had no apparent connection to travel outside the country.

The patient is a woman who lives in Miami-Dade County, according to a health official familiar with the case who wasn’t authorized to reveal details beyond the statements of the agencies involved, and thus spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Mosquitos have been trapped in the area of investigation and are being tested,” Health Department spokeswoman Mara Gambineri said in an email Wednesday to The Associated Press.

More than 1,300 Zika infections have been reported in the U.S., none involving bites from local mosquitoes; 14 of these were sexually transmitted, and one lab worker was stuck with a contaminated needle.

___

Israel takes on Facebook in battle against incitement

JERUSALEM (AP) — Nine months ago, Dareen Tatour posted a poem to Facebook about her frustration over spiking violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Days later, Israeli police banged on her door in the middle of the night and arrested her, accusing her of inciting violence on the social network.

Tatour, an Arab citizen of Israel, is one of several hundred people detained in recent years for allegedly spreading incitement.

Hoping to further clamp down on what it sees as the driving force behind a 10-month spate of Palestinian attacks, Israel is now preparing a law that aims to rein in content on social media, including Facebook, a platform it says plays a central role in inspiring attackers.

Critics say Israel is going too far, and that the new legislation will make it easier to violate freedom of expression, especially of Israel’s Arab citizens.

“Where is the democracy here? There is no democracy. Voicing your opinion is the only medium for an individual in a democracy,” Tatour, 34, said by phone from the apartment outside Tel Aviv where she was confined to house arrest after spending three months in jail. She has no access to the internet and is forced to wear an electronic ankle monitor.

___

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.

___

Comic-Con launches with preview night, ‘Trek’ premiere

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The hordes of zombies, legions of Stormtroopers, leagues of superheroes and crews of Starfleet officers have already begun crawling, marching, flying and beaming into San Diego for that other big convention this week: Comic-Con International.

The pop-culture celebration kicked off Wednesday evening with the festival’s preview night, where con-goers with four-day passes have first crack at the collectables, free swag and photo opportunities on the San Diego Convention Center floor.

New York City resident and toy store employee Mike Williams, 49, came solely for the collectibles. Armed with eight massive shopping bags packed to the brim with all kinds of toys, from G.I. Joe to Transformers to Star Wars exclusives less than an hour after the doors opened, Williams said he simply “doesn’t have time for the panels.”

Others gathered on the packed convention floor to gaze at the impressive installations. While there won’t be any major “Star Wars” panels this year, the brand took up a huge amount of space on the floor with a Jedi Temple containing looks at costumes from the upcoming anthology film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” alongside merchandise such as Princess Leia socks, BB-8 lamps, and Captain Phasma leggings.

Not to be upstaged, Warner Bros. and DC Comics rolled out the fashions, too, with looks at some of the metallic “Wonder Woman” costumes and the neon duds of “Suicide Squad.”

___

Russia loses appeal against Olympic track and field ban

LONDON (AP) — Russia lost its appeal Thursday against the Olympic ban on its track and field athletes, a decision which could add pressure on the IOC to exclude the country entirely from next month’s games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the appeal of 68 Russian athletes seeking to overturn the ban imposed by the IAAF following allegations of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups.

The court, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, upheld the “validity” of the IAAF ban, saying a country whose national federation is suspended is ineligible from entering international competitions, including the Olympics.

The three-person panel ruled that the Russian Olympic Committee “is not entitled to nominate Russian track and field athletes to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games considering that they are not eligible to participate under the IAAF competition rules.”

CAS, however, said it had no jurisdiction on whether the International Olympic Committee can accept or refuse the entry of Russian track and field athletes, either those representing their country or as “neutral athletes.”