8 dead in Munich mall shooting; police hunt up to 3 suspects
MUNICH (AP) — Police hunted for an unknown number of gunmen who opened fire in a Munich shopping mall and at a McDonald’s across the street Friday, killing eight people and wounding others in a rampage they described as suspected terrorism. Authorities urged residents to remain inside and put the Bavarian capital on lockdown.
“At the moment no culprit has been arrested,” police in the Bavarian capital said on social media as Germany’s elite GSG9 anti-terror unit and federal police were called in to help in the manhunt. “The search is taking place at high speed.”
Witnesses reported seeing three men with firearms near the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall.
Police could not say how many people were wounded. Munich police spokesman Marcus Martins said a ninth body had been found and police were “intensively examining” whether it might be one of the suspects. That body was not found in the mall but police did not say exactly where it was.
The city sent a smartphone alert declaring an “emergency situation” and telling people to stay indoors and German rail company Deutsche Bahn stopped train traffic to Munich’s main station.
Convention missteps renew concerns about Trump and governing
CLEVELAND (AP) — Donald Trump followed the script in his big speech to the Republican National Convention. Less than 12 hours later, he was free-form again, Trump being Trump, resurrecting a conspiracy theory linking the father of his chief rival from the primaries to John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Trump’s plunge into a lengthy litigation of past spats with Ted Cruz — even bringing up his retweet of an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife, Heidi — did nothing to assuage Republican fears about their standard bearer after a national convention complicated by unforced errors.
The episode raised questions, too, about how he might govern inside the White House, having so far led a scattershot campaign marked by a short temper and a seemingly improvised approach to policymaking.
Presidential candidates typically come out of their conventions looking ahead to the general election and intent on expanding their appeal beyond the partisans who showed up. Trump took a bizarre look backward at what was billed as a post-convention thank you reception Friday for supporters and staff at his Cleveland hotel.
Reviewing one of the ugliest chapters of the nomination contest, Trump mentioned Cruz’s father, saying “All I did was point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast.” There is no evidence linking Rafael Cruz to JFK’s murder.
AP source: Clinton’s choice for VP to be announced Friday
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — Hillary Clinton will introduce her running mate Friday, seeking to snatch attention from newly crowned Republican nominee Donald Trump just hours after he closed out his convention with a fiery and foreboding turn at the podium.
A person familiar with the Clinton campaign’s plans said Friday first word would come later in the day in a text message to supporters and the new team will appear together in Florida on Saturday.
The person was not authorized to discuss the campaign’s internal plans publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is the leading contender, according to a pair of Democrats familiar with Clinton’s search.
Active in the Senate on foreign relations and military affairs, Kaine has a reputation for working with both parties as Virginia’s governor and Richmond’s mayor.
Clinton made no mention of her impending pick during a somber meeting with community leaders and family members affected by the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. She later visited the site of the rampage that killed 49 people, placing a bouquet of white flowers at the site next to a candle and a framed picture of a cross.
Obama rejects Trump depiction of US in crisis
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama fiercely rejected Donald Trump’s depiction of an America in crisis on Friday, arguing that violent crime and illegal immigration have plunged under his leadership to their lowest rates in decades.
Looking to November’s election, Obama said, “We’re not going to make good decisions based on fears that don’t have a basis in fact.”
At a news conference alongside Mexico’s president, Obama sought to undermine two pillars of Trump’s speech Thursday night in which he accepted the Republican presidential nomination. Trump said that if he is elected, “safety will be restored” at home and abroad.
“This idea that American is somehow on the verge of collapse, this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn’t really jibe with the experience of most people,” Obama told journalists.
The violent crime rate, he said, has been lower during his presidency than any time in the last three or four decades. While he acknowledged an uptick in murders in some U.S. cities this year, Obama said the violent crime rate today is still far lower than when Ronald Reagan was president in the 1980s.
Turkey criticizes US over cleric accused of coup plot
ISTANBUL (AP) — A top Turkish official on Friday accused the United States of “standing up for savages” by not immediately handing over a U.S.-based Muslim cleric who the government claims orchestrated last week’s failed coup. Speaking in Washington, President Barack Obama said there was a legal process for extradition and encouraged Turkey to present evidence.
In a sign of increasing tension, Turkey said it was dispatching its justice and interior ministers to the United States next week to push for the extradition of the cleric, Fethullah Gulen.
The two NATO countries are allies in the fight against the Islamic State group; American military jets have been flying missions against extremists in Iraq and Syria out of the Turkish air base at Incirlik.
U.S. officials said Friday that electric power was restored to the Incirlik base, which had been operating on a backup generator since July 16, when power was shut off at all military bases in Turkey following the failed coup.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s prime minister, Binali Yildirim, warned that coup plotters still at large might stage attacks, saying there is “a remote chance some madmen might take action, acting out of a sense of revenge and defeat.”
Cadets arrested in coup in Turkey were duped, relatives say
ISTANBUL (AP) — Military school cadets who were arrested following the failed coup in Turkey were unwitting participants because their commanders told them they would be attending a “surprise party” for the new head of the academy, relatives of the youths said Friday.
Standing outside the juvenile detention facility in the Istanbul suburb of Maltepe, families of about 60 cadets called on authorities to release them and put their commanders on trial instead.
The cadets were rounded up after daybreak Saturday from outside the Kuleli Military High School, one of Turkey’s largest and most prestigious academies, as the rebellion by a faction of the military fell apart.
The families said they have not been able to see the youths since their arrest, and neither have their lawyers. An official complaint was filed Thursday against the commanders by the relatives.
Nearly 10,000 people have been rounded up since the failed coup on July 15, most of them from the military. Many of those arrested apparently are from the lower ranks, including cadets. Relatives said the many of the teenagers thought they were going to take part in a training exercise.
Shooting highlights police trouble spotting autism traits
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. (AP) — The four North Miami police officers who aimed rifles at a black therapist and an autistic man in the middle of an intersection were responding to a 911 call about a suicidal man with a gun. The 27-year-old autistic man sat cross-legged. He yelled. He didn’t obey commands to lie down with his hands up, as the therapist was doing, and he fidgeted with a metal object.
One of the officers, Jonathan Aledda, thought the disabled man was about to shoot his therapist Charles Kinsey, who was trying to coax him back to a nearby group home, the officer’s union said. The officer fired three shots at the disabled man because he thought he was a threat, but he missed and accidentally struck Kinsey in the leg.
The metal object turned out to be a toy truck and there was no suicide threat. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has taken over the investigation. Meanwhile, a police commander was suspended for allegedly fabricating information about the shooting.
Monday’s shooting was the latest in a violent month of police shootings, but it also highlights the difficulties officers have in identifying people with autism. The characteristics of autism range from mild quirks or obsessions, to people who can’t communicate, yell and occasionally become violent.
National groups such as the Autism Society and Autism Speaks help train officers, paramedics and other first responders to recognize autistic traits.
Obama, Mexican president stress importance of relationship
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto reaffirmed the importance of the US-Mexico relationship Friday, promoting the benefits of trade and friendship in an election year that has sometimes stressed that alliance.
In a news conference with Pena Nieto at the White House, Obama said trade with Mexico brings important investment and jobs to the U.S. He said the United States sells more to Mexico than to China, India and Russia combined.
Obama said he has worked to deepen the relationship during his presidency.
“We’re not just strategic and economic partners, we’re also neighbors and we’re friends,” Obama said.
The news conference came the morning after the closing of the Republican National Convention and a speech by GOP nominee Donald Trump, whose demands that Mexico pay for a U.S. border wall and descriptions of Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists has offended the neighboring country.
Indiana court tosses woman’s feticide conviction
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the feticide conviction of a woman found guilty of killing her premature infant by taking abortion-inducing drugs, saying Friday the state’s law wasn’t intended to be used “to prosecute women for their own abortions.”
The ruling comes in the case of Purvi Patel, who was convicted of neglect and feticide last year. However, the court upheld a lower-level felony neglect of a dependent conviction.
She was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2015, two years after her self-induced abortion at her family’s home. Women’s advocacy groups have been heavily involved in the case, saying it marks the first time a state feticide law was used against a woman because of an alleged self-induced abortion.
The appeals court ruled that Patel, who is currently in state prison on the neglect and feticide convictions, should be resentenced on the lower-level felony charge, which carries a possible prison term of between six months and three years. It wasn’t immediately clear how quickly that resentencing could happen and whether Patel could soon be released from prison.
Stanford University law professor Larry Marshall, who represented Patel during the appeals court hearing in May, said Friday that he was reviewing the court’s 40-page decision and would discuss it with Patel before deciding the next legal steps.
IOC: 45 more positive cases in retests of 2008, ’12 samples
LONDON (AP) — Forty-five more athletes, including 31 medalists, have been caught for doping after retesting of samples from the last two Summer Olympics, the IOC said Friday.
The new cases bring to 98 the total number of athletes who have failed tests so far in the reanalysis of their stored samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Games.
Using “the very latest scientific analysis methods,” the latest round of retests produced 30 “provisional” positive findings from Beijing and 15 confirmed positives from London, the International Olympic Committee reported.
The IOC said 23 medalists from Beijing and eight medal winners from London were among those caught.
No names were given.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU