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

November 01, 2017 - 8:06 PM

Truck attack suspect is charged with terrorism offenses

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors brought terrorism charges Wednesday against the Uzbek immigrant accused in the truck rampage that left eight people dead, saying he was spurred to attack by the Islamic State group's online calls to action and picked Halloween because he figured streets would be extra crowded.

Even as he lay wounded in the hospital from police gunfire, Sayfullo Saipov asked to display the Islamic State group's flag in his room and said "he felt good about what he had done," prosecutors said in court papers.

Saipov, 29, was brought to court in a wheelchair to face charges that could bring the death penalty. Handcuffed and with his legs shackled, Saipov nodded his head repeatedly as he was read his rights in a brief court proceeding that he followed through a Russian interpreter. He was ordered held without bail.

Outside court, his appointed lawyer, David Patton, said he hoped "everyone lets the judicial process play out."

"I promise you that how we treat Mr. Saipov in this judicial process will say a lot more about us than it will say about him," Patton said.

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Acquaintances say bike path suspect was argumentative, angry

NEW YORK (AP) — Some saw him as disagreeable and argumentative, others as quiet and prayerful. He was said to be hardworking but also seemed to simmer with disillusionment over financial and career setbacks.

As Sayfullo Saipov lay in a hospital bed Wednesday, police tried to piece together the life of the 29-year-old immigrant accused of driving a truck onto a New York bike path and killing eight people. A fuller portrait began to emerge of the suspect who was described by the president as an animal and by the mayor as a coward.

Saipov legally emigrated from Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic and predominantly Sunni Muslim nation north of Afghanistan that is estimated to have produced hundreds if not thousands of supporters for the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Notes found at the crime scene indicate Saipov acted in the name of IS, authorities said.

After arriving in the U.S. in 2010, Saipov made his first home in Ohio, acquaintances said.

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Officer who halted truck rampage hailed as a modest hero

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City police officer Ryan Nash was responding to a call about an emotionally disturbed person at a high school not far from the World Trade Center when someone reported an accident on the bike path outside.

Nash and his partner, John Hasiotis, raced to a gruesome sight: A man in a truck had slammed into a school bus after mowing down people in a bike lane. He was waving guns around and yelling. Nash, 28, told him to drop the weapons and then fired, striking the man once.

Nash stopped the attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, in his tracks, but the officer is too modest to admit he's a hero, officials said.

"He was a hero," said Gov. Andre Cuomo. "And the NYPD is not just the leadership, it's the men and women who are out there every day who are on the first line, and I think officer Nash really showed how important they are and how talented and how brave."

Saipov was actually wielding a pellet gun and a paintball gun, authorities said, but they looked like real guns. Witnesses reported the 29-year-old hollered "Allahu akbar," or "God is great!" in Arabic.

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10 Things to Know for Thursday

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

1. FEDS: ATTACKER SPURRED BY PROPAGANDA

Prosecutors bring terrorism charges against the Uzbek immigrant accused in the truck rampage in New York that left eight people dead, saying that he responded to the Islamic State group's online calls to action.

2. TRUMP DEMANDS 'MUCH TOUGHER' IMMIGRATION LAW

Roused by the first major ISIS-inspired attack on U.S. soil since he took office, the president urges swift repeal of the visa lottery program under which suspect Sayfullo Saipov entered the country.

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Astros, Dodgers keep lineups intact for World Series Game 7

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers are keeping their lineups intact for the deciding Game 7 of the World Series.

Center fielder George Springer leads off Wednesday night for the Astros, followed by third baseman Alex Bregman, second baseman Jose Altuve, shortstop Carlos Correa, first baseman Yuli Gurriel, catcher Brian McCann, left fielder Marwin Gonzalez and right fielder Josh Reddick. Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. starts.

Centre fielder Chris Taylor tops the Dodgers' lineup. He's followed by shortstop Corey Seager, third baseman Justin Turner, first baseman Cody Bellinger, right fielder Yasiel Puig, left fielder Joc Pederson, second baseman Logan Forsythe and catcher Austin Barnes. Right-hander Yu Darvish is on the mound.

The Dodgers won 3-1 on Tuesday night to tie it up 3-all and force the first World Series Game 7 in Dodger Stadium history.

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Trump demands 'much tougher' immigration law after NY attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roused by the first major ISIS-inspired attack on U.S. soil since he took office, President Donald Trump urged swift repeal of an immigration program that brought the suspect to America and laid into a political foe he said was responsible for it — though Republican George H. W. Bush signed the law.

Trump insisted Wednesday that Congress must end the visa lottery program under which Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov entered the country, and he ordered still tighter scrutiny of immigrants already subject to what he calls "extreme vetting." But the White House offered no indication of what new steps the president might be planning.

"We have to get much tougher, much smarter, and less politically correct," Trump said. He also said the U.S. justice system for dealing with such cases must be strengthened, declaring, "What we have right now is a joke and it's a laughingstock." Again, there was no elaboration from the White House.

Trump denounced the 29-year-old suspect in the truck attack, which killed eight and injured many more, as an "animal," and said he was open to sending the man to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, instead of to trial in New York. "I would certainly consider that. Send him to Gitmo," Trump said.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House considered Saipov an "enemy combatant" and had yet to decide whether to seek to move him out of the civilian judicial system to military detention.

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House GOP's evolving tax bill leaves retirement plan intact

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans would leave intact current tax rules on retirement accounts popular with middle class Americans and maintain a top income tax rate for million-dollar earners as negotiators scrambled to finalize the first major overhaul in three decades.

The legislation is a long-standing goal for Capitol Hill Republicans who see a once-in-a-generation opportunity to clean up an inefficient, loophole-cluttered tax code. But there is lingering opposition from northeastern Republicans fearful of losing a cherished deduction for state and local taxes and anxiety among other rank-and-file lawmakers over emerging details.

Senior GOP lawmakers confirmed the decision to retain existing rules on 401(k) accounts, which came after assurances from President Donald Trump that they would not be changed. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, had hoped to reduce 401(k) contribution limits, in part to generate new tax revenues in the near term to finance the cuts to income tax rates.

Another lawmaker cautioned that the decision might still change. The lawmakers required anonymity because the tax panel is trying to keep its deliberations secret until the tax measure is released Thursday.

Influential conservative Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., dismissed proposed retirement changes as a "non-starter," adding "that's what most of middle-income America uses as their nest egg."

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CIA releases 470,000 more files from bin Laden raid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Never-before-seen video of Osama bin Laden's son and potential successor was released Wednesday by the CIA in a trove of material recovered during the May 2011 raid that killed the al-Qaida leader at his compound in Pakistan.

The video offers the first public look at Hamza bin Laden as an adult. Until now, the public has only seen childhood pictures of him.

In recent years, al-Qaida has released audio messages from Hamza bin Laden. And to mark a recent anniversary of 9-11, al-Qaida superimposed a childhood photo of him over a photo of the World Trade Center. He is expected to rise to prominence in the jihadist movement and is being closely watched as the rival Islamic State organization suffers setbacks in the Middle East.

One hourlong video shows Hamza bin Laden, sporting a trimmed moustache but no beard, at his wedding. He is sitting on a carpet with other men. A man chanting Quranic verses can be heard in the background. Sporting a traditional white headdress, he verbally accepts his marriage to his bride "on the book of God and the example of the prophet. Peace be upon him."

"Takbeer!" the others shout, marking his marriage with a kind of religious hooray.

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Newly disclosed Facebook ads show Russia's cyber intrusion

WASHINGTON (AP) — A trove of Facebook ads made public Wednesday by Congress depicts Russia's extraordinary cyber intrusion into American life in 2016 aimed at upending the nation's democratic debate and fomenting discord over such disparate issues as immigration, gun control and politics.

The ads, seen by vast numbers of people, encouraged street demonstrations against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and fostered support and opposition to Bernie Sanders, Muslims, gays, blacks and the icons of the Civil Rights movement.

The few dozen ads, a small sampling of the roughly 3,000 Russia-connected ones that Facebook has identified and turned over to Congress, were released amid two consecutive days of tough and sometimes caustic questioning by House and Senate lawmakers about why social media giants hadn't done more to combat Russian interference on their sites.

The ads underscore how foreign agents sought to sow confusion, anger and discord among Americans through messages on hot-button topics. U.S. intelligence services say the Russian use of social media was part of a broad effort to sway the 2016 presidential election in favour of Trump. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether the Kremlin worked with the Trump campaign to influence voters.

Many of the ads show careful targeting, with messages geared toward particular audiences. One ad, aimed at those with an interest in civil rights and their leaders, highlights a man who claims to be Bill Clinton's illegitimate son. Another video parodying Trump was targeted at blacks who also are interested in BlackNews.com, HuffPost Politics or HuffPost Black Voices.

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Studio cuts ties to director Ratner after harassment report

NEW YORK (AP) — Hollywood's widening sexual harassment crisis has ensnared a prominent film director after six women — including actress Olivia Munn — accused Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct in a Los Angeles Times report on Wednesday.

Playboy Enterprises quickly distanced itself from Ratner as his attorney denied the allegations and late Wednesday Warner Bros. severed ties with the director, whose expired first-look deal with the studio will not be renewed, according to a person with knowledge of the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The reverberations also reached back 32 years as Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman came forward to apologize for allegedly sexually harassing a 17-year-old intern in 1985.

Writer Anna Graham Hunter alleged in a Wednesday column in The Hollywood Reporter that the now 80-year-old actor groped her on the set of TV movie "Death of a Salesman" and "talked about sex to me and in front of me."

Hoffman issued a statement Wednesday, apologizing for "anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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