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AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EST

November 05, 2017 - 8:06 PM

26 killed in church attack in Texas' deadliest mass shooting

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — A man dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a church in a small South Texas community on Sunday, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 in what the governor called the deadliest mass shooting in the state's history. The dead ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old.

Authorities didn't identify the attacker during a news conference Sunday night, but two other officials — one a U.S. official and one in law enforcement — identified him as Devin Kelley. They spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the investigation.

The U.S. official said Kelley lived in a San Antonio suburb and didn't appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups. Investigators were looking at social media posts Kelley made in the days before Sunday's attack, including one that appeared to show an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon.

An Air Force spokeswoman said Sunday night that Devin P. Kelley received a bad-conduct discharge from the Air Force for allegedly assaulting his spouse and child, and was sentenced to 12 months' confinement after a 2012 court-martial. Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge, spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

At the news conference, the attacker was described only as a white man in his 20s who was wearing black tactical gear and a ballistic vest when he pulled into a gas station across from the First Baptist Church around 11:20 a.m.

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Man linked to Texas shooting faced military court martial

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) — The man authorities have identified as the gunman in a mass shooting at a Texas church was discharged from the Air Force for allegedly assaulting his spouse and child, according to an Air Force spokeswoman.

The spokeswoman, Ann Stefanek, said Sunday that Devin Kelley was sentenced to 12 months' confinement after a 2012 court-martial. He ultimately received a bad conduct discharge and reduction in rank. She said Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge in 2014.

Authorities did not announce his name at a news conference on the shooting, saying only that the suspect was a white male in his 20s.

But a U.S. official and a law enforcement official identified Kelley as the person who opened fire Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 others.

The U.S. official told The Associated Press that Kelley lived in a San Antonio suburb and that he doesn't appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups. The official said investigators are looking at social media posts Kelley may have made in the days before Sunday's attack, including one that appeared to show an AR-15 style semiautomatic weapon. The official requested anonymity because the person did not have authorization to speak publicly.

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10 Things to Know for Monday

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

1. GUNMAN OPENS FIRE AT TEXAS CHURCH, KILLING 26

The deadliest mass shooting in the state's history also leaves 20 people injured at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

2. SMALL TEXAS CHURCH IS CENTER OF COMMUNITY

The white wood-frame church where a gunman opened fire is a cornerstone of Sutherland Springs, one of the hundreds of tiny towns that dot rural Texas.

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In Japan, Trump pushes new trade deal, mourns Texas shooting

TOKYO (AP) — President Donald Trump opened his second day in Japan by pushing for stronger, more equitable economic ties between the allies, yet his message in Asia threatened to be overshadowed by a tragic shooting back home.

Trump on Monday called the Texas church shooting that claimed at least 26 lives "an act of evil," denounced the violence in "a place of sacred worship" and pledged the full support of the federal government. He said that in a time of grief "Americans will do what we do best: we pull together and join hands and lock arms and through the tears and sadness we stand strong."

He then shifted to his message to a group of American and Japanese business leaders: the United States was open for business, but he wanted to reshape the nations' trade relationship.

"For the last many decades, Japan has been winning" the trade relationship, Trump said. "The U.S. has suffered massive trade deficits with Japan for many years."

He rebuked the current relationship, saying the trade deals were "not fair and not open." Trump downplayed the potentially contentious nature of the negotiations, though the Japanese government has not shown much appetite for striking a new bilateral trade agreement. Tokyo had pushed to preserve the Trans- Pacific Partnership, which Trump has abandoned.

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Saudi arrests of princes consolidates another's power grab

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's heir to the throne is overseeing an unprecedented wave of arrests of dozens of the country's most powerful princes, military officers, influential businessmen and government ministers — some potential rivals or critics of the crown prince now consolidating his power.

Among those taken into custody overnight Saturday in the purported anti-corruption sweep were billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world's richest men with extensive holdings in Western companies, as well as two of the late King Abdullah's sons.

The arrest of senior princes upends a longstanding tradition among the ruling Al Saud family to keep their disagreements private in an effort to show strength and unity in the face of Saudi Arabia's many tribes and factions. It also sends a message that the 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has the full backing of his father, King Salman, to carry out sweeping anti-corruption reforms targeting senior royals and their business associates, who have long been seen as operating above the law.

Reports suggested those detained were being held at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, which only days earlier hosted a major investment conference that the crown prince attended with global business titans. A Saudi official told The Associated Press that other five-star hotels across the capital were also being used to hold some of those arrested.

The Ritz Carlton had no availability for bookings until Dec. 1, 2017 — a possible sign that an investigation of this scale could take weeks. Marriott International said in a statement that it is currently evaluating the situation at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, but declined to comment further, citing privacy concerns.

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Saudi-led coalition warns Iran over Yemen missile launch

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen closed off the land, sea and air ports to the Arab world's poorest country early Monday after a rebel-fired ballistic missile targeted Riyadh, blaming the launch on Iran and warning it could be "considered as an act of war."

The coalition's statement ramps up tensions between the ultraconservative Sunni kingdom and its Shiite rival Iran, both of which have interests in Yemen's yearslong conflict. The bloodshed continued Sunday as an Islamic State-claimed militant attack in Aden killed at least 17 people.

In a statement, the coalition accused Iran of supplying Yemen's Houthi rebels and their allies with the missile launched Saturday toward the Saudi capital's international airport.

Iran has backed the rebels, but denies arming them. The Houthi militants have said their Volcano-variant ballistic missile is locally produced.

The Saudi-led coalition's statement said the closures would be temporary and "take into account" the work of humanitarian and aid organizations. The war has claimed more than 10,000 lives and driven the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of famine.

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APNewsBreak: Paul recovering from 5 broken ribs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was recovering Sunday from five broken ribs after he was assaulted by a neighbour who tackled him from behind at the senator's Kentucky home, officials said.

Senior Adviser Doug Stafford said it is unclear when the Republican will return to work since he is in considerable pain and has difficulty getting around, including flying. Stafford said this type of injury is marked by severe pain that can last for weeks to months.

"This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force," Stafford said in an email to The Associated Press.

The Bowling Green Daily News reported that an arrest warrant said Paul told police his neighbour came on his property and tackled him from behind Friday, forcing him to the ground. He had trouble breathing because of a rib injury, the warrant said.

A Warren County official did not immediately respond to an AP request for a copy of the arrest warrant.

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Report: Commerce head has stake in firm tied to Putin orbit

NEW YORK (AP) — Newly leaked documents show that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the Trump administration's point man on trade and manufacturing policy, has a stake in a company that does business with a gas producer partly owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Ross is an investor in Navigator Holdings, a shipping giant that counts Russian gas and petrochemical producer Sibur among its major customers. Putin's son-in-law Kirill Shamalov once owned more than 20 per cent of the company, but now holds a much smaller stake.

Commerce Department spokesman James Rockas said Ross "never met" Shamalov and has generally supported the Trump administration's sanctions against Russia, according to the ICIJ report. Rockas added that Ross has withdrawn from matters related to transoceanic shipping vessels and has met the "highest ethical standards."

The details are likely to add to the questions about ties between Russia and the Trump administration, connections that for months have shadowed the White House and are a focus of an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. Yet it wasn't immediately clear how many partners Ross might have or what the profit-sharing agreement might be.

ICIJ disclosed the Ross holding as part of reporting on 13.4 million records of offshore entities in tax havens leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper then shared the records with ICIJ and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries. The New York Times is its U.S. partner in this inquiry.

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Brazile stirs Dem party strife as bellwether gov race nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are struggling to put the bitter 2016 election behind them as the party's current chairman and his predecessor bicker over Hillary Clinton's failed campaign, further exposing deep divisions two days before the closely watched Virginia governor's race that could foretell Democratic prospects in 2018 and beyond.

The dueling across Sunday news shows was triggered by the disclosure that Donna Brazile, the interim Democratic leader during the final months of the campaign, considered an effort to replace Clinton as the presidential nominee because of health concerns.

"The charge that Hillary Clinton was somehow incapacitated is quite frankly ludicrous," said Tom Perez, who took over as Democratic National Committee chairman after Donald Trump won the election.

Brazile, who claimed "tremendous pressure" to devise a backup ticket led by then-Vice-President Joe Biden after Clinton fainted at an event, pushed back: "Go to hell. I'm going to tell my story."

The dispute was spurred by revelations by Brazile in a memoir being released Tuesday and reported on by The Washington Post. It reflected simmering tensions between establishment and insurgent wings that will set the party's future course on issues from its platform to the primary schedule and use of superdelegates — party leaders and elected officials who get a say in the nomination — in the 2020 presidential race.

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Catalan Five get conditional freedom in Belgium

BRUSSELS (AP) — Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and four close separatist allies regained their freedom at the end of a tumultuous Sunday that started when they surrendered in Brussels to face possible extradition to Spain for allegedly plotting a rebellion.

But a Brussels investigative judge quickly ruled there was no reason to put the five politicians behind bars and released them on condition they stay in Belgium and attend their court sessions within two weeks.

Hours after the former Catalan regional president and four ex-ministers turned themselves in to Belgian authorities, Puigdemont's party put him forward as its leader for an upcoming regional election called by the Spanish government — meaning he could end up vocally heading a campaign from Brussels while he fights a forced return to Spain.

The decision was rife with implications for Spain and political consequences for Catalonia, the restive Spanish region fighting Madrid for independence.

The five Catalan politicians who fled to Belgium after Spanish authorities removed them from office Oct. 28 were taken into custody Sunday on European arrest warrants issued after they failed to show up in Madrid last week for questioning.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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