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


Police hunt for motive in Munich shooting that left 10 dead

MUNICH (AP) — Police were hunting Saturday for clues to explain why an 18-year-old German-Iranian man opened fire at a crowded Munich shopping mall and fast-food restaurant, killing nine people and wounding 16 others before killing himself.

The attack in the Bavarian capital sparked a massive security operation as authorities — already on edge after the recent attacks in Wuerzburg and Nice, France — received witness reports of multiple shooters carrying rifles shortly before 6 p.m. (1600 GMT). Six hours later police declared a “cautious all clear,” saying the suspect was among the 10 dead and that he had likely acted alone.

Peter Beck, a Munich police spokesman, said officers were still collecting evidence at the scene of the crime Saturday morning.

“With regard to the suspect we have to examine everything, but we don’t know yet what triggered the crime,” Beck told The Associated Press.

He declined to confirm reports by German daily Bild that officers had raided a home in the city’s Marxvorstadt district about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the mall and were interviewing the suspect’s father, citing “ongoing police operations.”

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Clinton and Kaine to debut as Democratic ticket in Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine will debut as a presidential ticket in the crucial battleground state of Florida as they head toward next week’s Democratic Party convention.

Clinton ended a monthslong search for a running mate with a Friday evening phone call to the senator from Virginia, the state’s former governor and mayor of Richmond. Long viewed as a likely choice to partner with Clinton, he is a fluent Spanish speaker with a reputation for working with Republicans.

“Trying to count the ways I hate @timkaine,” Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake wrote on Twitter. “Drawing a blank. Congrats to a good man and a good friend.”

Kaine’s selection completes the line-up for the general election. Clinton and Kaine will face Republican Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, the Indiana governor.

Kaine, 58, was the choice over Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a longtime friend of the candidate and former President Bill Clinton. Kaine’s strong ties to politically important Virginia, as well as his foreign policy experience, put him over the top, according to a person close to the campaign, who insisted on anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the process publicly.

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Self-assured, Kaine brings a steady hand to Clinton ticket

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Tim Kaine has an Election Day tradition when his name is on the ballot. The avid outdoorsman votes early, then goes hiking in the woods with friends and family for a few hours of calm away from the nervous last-minute energy of political campaigns.

It’s a ritual that’s so far served him well: He’s never lost a race in his rise from a part-time city council member in a medium-size city to Democratic vice presidential running mate.

It’s also the mark of a man, friends say, who is not wedded to a political life and would be happy doing many other things.

“One of the wonderful things about Tim is that he does not need anybody’s title,” said Tom Wolf, a former law partner and longtime friend. “You could sit next to him on a cross-country flight, and he would never tell you that he was a Virginia governor or a U.S. senator.”

Instead of wealth or prestige, supporters and colleagues said the former missionary is a man motivated by deep convictions and his Roman Catholic faith.

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AP EXCLUSIVE: Iraq digs security trench around Fallujah

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi military will use a medieval tactic to keep control of Fallujah after recapturing it from the Islamic State group last month: It is digging a trench around the city.

The trench will have a single opening for residents to move in and out of the city, which is virtually empty since the offensive that defeated the IS militants, said Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, deputy commander of the counterterrorism forces that led the successful campaign.

It will be about 7 miles (11 kilometers) long and “will protect the city’s residents, who have lived through many tragedies, as well as security forces deployed there,” al-Saadi said in an interview with The Associated Press at his Baghdad headquarters.

Cutting off all roads but one will allow authorities to monitor the movements of residents more closely. Fallujah has been a source of car bombs used against Baghdad, which is 40 miles (65 kilometers) to the east. Restricting traffic will be one way to try to stop any explosives-laden vehicles from leaving the city.

Besides the trench, more modern security measures also will be used.

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Analysis: South China Sea ruling has so far fueled tensions

It’s a ruling that China cannot accept, and one that the Philippines must.

An international arbitration panel’s decision on the contested waters of the South China Sea so far is fueling regional tensions rather than tamping them down.

In the ensuing 11 days, China has responded to the sweeping victory for the Philippines by flexing its military might. The Philippines faces pressure both at home and abroad not to cede an inch to China after the July 12 decision by a tribunal at The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The South China Sea is dotted with reefs and rocky outcroppings that several governments claim, including China and the Philippines. The arbitration panel didn’t take a position on who owns the disputed territories. It did conclude that many of them are legally rocks, even if they’ve been built into islands, and therefore do not include the rights to develop the surrounding waters. That and other findings invalidated much of what China’s called its historic claims to the resource-rich sea.

In order to ease tensions, China, the Philippines and possibly other claimants must define what the ruling means for fishing, offshore oil and gas exploration, and military and other activities in the vast body of water that lies between the southern Chinese coast and the Philippine archipelago.

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California governor denies parole for Manson follower

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Leslie Van Houten, the youngest member of the Manson “family” to take part in a series of gruesome California murders in 1969, has been denied freedom again — her past overshadowing her decades as a model prisoner.

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday overturned a parole board recommendation in April that found Van Houten, 66, was no longer the violent woman who helped slaughter a wealthy grocer and his wife.

The board noted that during her 46 years in prison, Van Houten completed college degrees, ran self-help groups for other inmates and had a spotless disciplinary record.

Brown disagreed with their conclusion.

“She remains an unacceptable risk to society if released,” he wrote in a five-page review that denied Van Houten parole for the 20th time.

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Ex-KKK leader Duke tries political comeback in US Senate run

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A quarter century after his credible run for governor of Louisiana rattled the national political establishment, white supremacist David Duke has jumped into the crowded competition for a U.S. Senate seat in his home state, receiving rebuke from Republicans who don’t want him running on a ballot as a member of their party.

Duke — once an avowed Nazi sympathizer who headed a Ku Klux Klan group — fell back into relative obscurity after losing a 1991 runoff to scandal-scarred Democrat Edwin Edwards.

A follow-up presidential run from Duke went nowhere, and 10 years later, he pleaded guilty to bilking supporters in 2002 and spent a year in federal prison, although he later declared he did nothing wrong. He had occasional run-ins with authorities in Europe, such as the time he was detained by Czech authorities in 2009 on suspicion of denying the Holocaust.

On Friday, however, he declared “the climate of this country has moved in my direction,” as he registered to run on the Nov. 8 ballot as a Republican for the Senate seat being vacated by David Vitter. Duke said he was partially spurred by the recent shooting deaths of three law enforcement officers by a black man.

“I believe my time has come,” he said after submitting his paperwork. He added: “The people of this country, the patriotic, decent, God-fearing people of this country are now right with me.”

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‘Merciless’ heat, humidity sticks to nearly all of US

WASHINGTON (AP) — Call it the United Sweats of America. A heat wave spreading across the country is leaving few places to hide. Not even the cool of night.

By Friday afternoon, all but one of the Lower 48 states had hit 90 degrees somewhere, with only Washington around for cooler comfort. For much of the country, it was expected to get even worse over the weekend.

“It’s just day after day. Merciless,” said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground. “We don’t often see this much of the country this hot for this length of time.”

And while the extra hot weather will ease a bit next week for good chunks of the country, the temperature forecast for the next three months isn’t exactly promising, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For the first time in more than 20 years, the Climate Prediction Center map is shades of one color: orange for above normal temperatures.

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Russian balloonist lands safely in Australia after 11 days

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A cold and exhausted 65-year-old Russian balloonist came back to Earth safely in the Australian Outback on Saturday after claiming a new world record by flying solo around the world nonstop in 11 days, an official said.

Fedor Konyukhov landed 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of the town of the Northam, where he started his journey on July 12, about three hours after he flew over it on his return, flight coordinator John Wallington said.

“He’s landed, he’s safe, he’s sound, he’s happy,” Wallington said from the landing site. “It’s just amazing.”

“It’s fantastic — the record’s broken, everyone’s safe. It’s all good,” he added.

Konyukhov demonstrated precision navigation of his 56-meter (184-foot) -tall helium and hot-air balloon by returning to Australia directly over the west coast city of Perth, then over the airfield at Northam, 96 kilometers (60 miles) to the east by road.

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Tight-lipped ‘Game of Thrones’ cast reflects on last season

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jon Snow isn’t dead, but he is missing — at least from Comic-Con.

The cast of “Game of Thrones” gathered Friday at the annual fan convention, minus a few key figures including Snow actor Kit Harrington, George R. R. Martin and Emilia Clarke.

Those present included co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, actress Sophie Turner and others.

With few questions as juicy as last year’s “is Jon Snow dead,” the panel was mostly retrospective but still lively — Benioff said Turner made them all take shots of vodka before they came out on stage.

They also offered a few insights into possible character motivations left unexplained by the show. Turner, for one, said that her character Sansa might not be entirely thrilled that her half-brother (at least to her knowledge) Jon Snow was declared King of the North.

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