Search for Flight 370 will be suspended, possibly forever
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (AP) — The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will be suspended once the current search area in the Indian Ocean has been completely scoured, the ministers of the three countries conducting the operation announced Friday, possibly ending all hopes of solving aviation’s greatest mystery.
“In the absence of new evidence, Malaysia, Australia and China have collectively decided to suspend the search upon completion of the 120,000-square-kilometer (46,300-square-mile) search area,” Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said after a meeting with his Australiana and Chinese counterparts.
He said suspension of the search does not mean an end to it.
“Should credible new information emerge which can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given in determining next steps,” he said, reading from a joint statement. But it was clear that the searchers have given up hopes of finding the jetliner with less than 10,000 square kilometers (3,900 square miles) left to be searched.
In their statement, the ministers acknowledged that “the likelihood of finding the aircraft is fading.”
Trump’s closer is over, Clinton set to snag attention
CLEVELAND (AP) — In the swirl of balloons and cheers of the masses, Donald Trump finally had his Rocky moment after a rocky convention, and now Democrats are eager to step up for their own spectacle. Hillary Clinton is set to snatch attention from Republicans by naming her running mate in advance of the Democratic convention, with Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine the leading contender.
Trump’s forceful promises to be the champion of disaffected Americans closed out his convention on a high note for the party, not a moment too soon after shows of disharmony and assorted flubs before Thursday night’s closer.
Speaking to “the forgotten men and women of our country,” the people who “work hard but no longer have a voice,” he declared: “I am your voice.” With that, he summed up both the paradox and the power of his campaign — a billionaire who made common cause with struggling Americans alienated from the system, or at least a portion of them.
He pledged as president to restore a sense of public safety, strictly curb immigration and save the nation from Clinton’s record of “death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.”
“I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves,” Trump said.
Making GOP history, Trump vows to protect LGBTQ community
CLEVELAND (AP) — With five letters, Donald Trump brushed off decades of Republican reluctance to voice full-throated support for gay rights — at least for a night.
Trump’s call in his speech to the Republican National Convention for protecting the “LGBTQ community” was a watershed moment for the Republican Party — the first time the issue has been elevated in a GOP nomination address. Four years ago, Mitt Romney never uttered the word “gay,” much less the full acronym — standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning.
But Trump, as if to drive the point home, said it not once, but twice.
“I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” Trump said, adding for emphasis: “Believe me.”
If Republican delegates gathered in Cleveland to nominate Trump were caught off-guard, they didn’t show it. They cheered him — loudly.
Turkish city streets are calm after emergency declaration
ISTANBUL (AP) — The streets of Turkey’s major cities were calm Friday, a day after Turkish lawmakers responded to an attempted coup by approving a three-month state of emergency that allows the government to extend detention times and issue decrees.
However, in a sign of the underlying tensions in the country, protesters went to the Etimesgut military base in Ankara late Thursday and parked trucks and a bulldozer outside — possibly for fear that tanks might try to leave the facility.
It was not clear what sparked the tension, and power to the base appeared to have been cut.
Parliament on Thursday voted 346-115 to approve the national state of emergency, which gives sweeping new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has said the state of emergency will counter threats to Turkish democracy, though critics are urging restraint because they fear the measure would violate basic freedoms.
Even without the emergency measures, Turkey has already imposed a crackdown that has included mass arrests, mass firings and the closure of hundreds of schools.
Daughter Ivanka Trump raises issues father rarely mentions
CLEVELAND (AP) — Donald Trump’s daughter promised Thursday that her father will fight for equal pay for women and affordable childcare for parents, issues the Republican nominee has rarely if ever addressed on the campaign trail.
Ivanka Trump got an enthusiastic welcome at the Republican National Convention. Her primetime speech elicited repeated applause and much praise from delegates in the arena.
Touting a side of her father rarely seen on the campaign trail, Ivanka Trump cast her father as a leader who would fight to address the student debt problem and would be a champion for equal pay for mothers and single women.
“As president, my father will change the labor laws that were put in place at a time when women weren’t a significant portion of the workplace, and he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all,” Ivanka Trump said.
Trump has not addressed childcare costs or the gender pay gap so far in his 2016 presidential bid. These are issues usually touted by Democrats.
AP FACT CHECK: Trump resurfaces debunked claims in speech
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite promising “the truth, and nothing else” in his convention speech, Donald Trump presented the nation with a series of previously debunked claims and some new ones Thursday night — about the U.S. tax burden, the perils facing police, Hillary Clinton’s record and more.
A look at some of the Republican presidential candidate’s claims and how they compare with the facts:
TRUMP: “Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years.”
THE FACTS: A rollback? President Barack Obama has actually achieved some big increases in spending for state and local law enforcement, including billions in grants provided through the 2009 stimulus. While FBI crime statistics for 2015 are not yet available, Trump’s claim about rising homicides appears to come from a Washington Post analysis published in January. While Trump accurately quotes part of the analysis, he omits that the statistical jump was so large because homicides are still very low by historical standards. In the 50 cities cited by the Post, for example, half as many people were killed last year as in 1991.
Roger Ailes, a fallen TV titan who mixed politics and media
NEW YORK (AP) — As a TV impresario and political puppet-master, Roger Ailes is unmatched in our time.
He didn’t invent anything, as Ted Turner did with “superstations” and cable news. He didn’t assemble a media empire, as did his now-former boss Rupert Murdoch.
Instead, with an uncanny instinct for matching messages with fiercely held desires, he has strip-mined the cultures of entertainment, news and politics that he began disrupting a half-century ago, and merged them as a form of propaganda retooled for the TV age.
Now, at age 76, Ailes has been vanquished from Fox News Channel, which he masterminded almost 20 years ago and had lorded over ever since. Little more than two weeks ago, a lawsuit filed by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson charged him with sexual harassment. He denied her allegations, and those from other past and present female co-workers who spoke up after her. But with blistering speed his reign ended Thursday.
Where that leaves Fox News Channel, Ailes’ grandest enterprise, is anybody’s guess. It has been the ratings leader for 15 years and is hugely profitable for parent company 21st Century Fox. But more than one observer has opined that “Ailes IS Fox News Channel,” that Fox News is an engine that only Ailes can gun to full speed.
The post-Ailes Fox News may have bigger problems
NEW YORK (AP) — Roger Ailes built the Fox News Channel into a ratings juggernaut, one that successfully presented a conservative alternative to mainstream news and garnered a large new audience in the Age of Trump.
But you don’t have to look too far down the road to see big challenges that have nothing to do with Ailes’ untimely departure .
While Fox has been the top-rated U.S. cable-news channel for 14 years, overall cable news audiences have been shrinking outside of presidential elections. More than half of Fox’s viewers are over 65, says data tracker Nielsen, compared to just 15 percent of Americans as a whole. They’re also more conservative than the general public, at a time when younger generations are trending more liberal, according to Pew . And it’s lagging in the digital efforts that many analysts consider key to attracting young people.
TV remains the dominant news source, but smartphone-addicted younger people are spending less time with it. Some 84 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds get news from social media like Facebook, and increasingly on their phones, according to Pew Research Center. Research firm eMarketer has predicted that digital ad spending will surpass TV ad spending in the U.S. next year for the first time.
“Fox News has been far more of a TV-centric business than a web or mobile business, if you compare it even to CNN,” said BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield. He pointed out as one example CNN’s spot on Snapchat’s Discover page, which spools up video and quick-read articles from media companies. Snapchat, a messaging app, is a blockbuster hit with young adults and teenagers.
Rio security push crumbles as murders, police killings rise
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — On the eve of hosting the world’s largest sporting event, Rio de Janeiro’s decade-long push to curb violence in hundreds of slums appears to be crumbling.
Murders rose sharply in the first half of 2016, just as officials wanted to use the Aug. 5-21 Olympic Games to showcase the city as a tourist destination. Shootouts erupt daily, even in Rio slums where community policing programs created to pacify them had successfully rewritten the narrative in recent years.
The number of people killed by police, who many residents accuse of shooting first and asking questions later, has spiked in the past two years after dropping significantly the previous six. Police, in turn, are increasingly under attack: 61 have been killed in Rio since January, the majority while off duty.
“2016 has been a very bad year. We have seen a dramatic increase in homicides, robberies and other crimes,” said Ignacio Cano, a sociologist at the Violence Studies Lab of Rio de Janeiro State University. “We lost a big opportunity to transform police and develop a new public safety model.”
The victims are overwhelmingly young, black men like Jhonata Dalber Mattos Alves, a 16-year-old who was shot to death June 30 — family members say by police — in a slum with a much-vaunted community policing program.
How ‘Pokemon Go’ went from prank to phenomenon
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The origin of “Pokemon Go” is as peculiar as any of the Voltorbs or Snorlaxes that players track and capture in the surprise hit game.
Its hybrid DNA flows from a digital mapping pioneer’s fascination with the world around him, Google’s affinity for offbeat ideas, Nintendo’s comeback quest and a 20-year-old menagerie of animated monsters so popular that it spawned a company just to be its talent agency.
Then all it took was a prank to hatch a mobile video game that has turned into a cultural phenomenon.
APRIL FOOL, POKEMON
Google unwittingly planted the seed for “Pokemon Go” two years ago in one of the many April Fools’ Day jokes the internet company is famous for. In a mischievous 2014 post, Google announced a new training tool, created in conjunction with Pokemon and Nintendo, for hunting Pokemon using Google Maps. Its goal, the company said, was to hire the world’s best Pokemon Master — because it valued technically savvy risk takers who can “navigate through tall grass to capture wild creatures.”
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