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After Raqqa, Trump says US shifts to ‘new phase’ in Syria

STERLING, Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump is portraying the Islamic State group’s ouster from its Syrian stronghold as a milestone in the U.S. fight against terrorism and a step toward a political transition and lasting peace in Syria. That assessment, in a statement released Saturday, runs counter to warnings in recent days from his national security aides that the ... Read More »

Trump has no plans to block scheduled release of JFK records

John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, John Connally, Nellie Connally

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he doesn’t plan to block the scheduled release of thousands of never publicly seen government documents related to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. “Subject to the receipt of further information,” he wrote in a Saturday morning tweet, “I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.” ... Read More »

Truex confident as NASCAR’s dominant driver hits Kansas

Martin Truex Jr.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. already looks like the coolest cat at the club, with his shades and scruff and disarming smile, yet he has even more reason to be relaxed and confident at Kansas Speedway this weekend. Start with the fact that he’s already clinched a spot in the next round of NASCAR’s playoffs with his ... Read More »

Spanish PM aims to take over Catalan govt; residents aghast

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Spanish government announced an unprecedented plan Saturday to sack Catalonia’s separatist leaders, install its own people in their place and call a new local election, using previously untapped constitutional powers to take control of the prosperous region that is threatening to secede. Even moderate Catalans were aghast at the scope of the move, and the ... Read More »

After years of influence, GOP kingmaker’s future uncertain

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina political strategist Richard Quinn has boasted a client list that includes Republican notables such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain. The veteran consultant’s name has long been synonymous with Republican political success in South Carolina. Quinn’s indictment this week on criminal conspiracy and illegal lobbying charges could mean difficult and, at the very least, ... Read More »

Venus Williams returns to WTA Finals for 1st time since 2009

Venus Williams

SINGAPORE (AP) — Venus Williams returns to the year-end WTA Finals for the first time since 2009 and will face Karolina Pliskova on Sunday. The top eight players in the world will play in the round-robin event, which also features No. 1 Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Ostapenko and Caroline Garcia. “They’re all pretty special,” said ... Read More »

Funeral held for US soldier at center of Trump fight

COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him. Some of the 1,200 mourners exiting the church after Saturday’s service said the portrait of Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, was joined ... Read More »

UK paper sorry for airbrushing out Solange Knowles’s braids

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Evening Standard newspaper has apologized to Solange Knowles for digitally altering an image of the singer on the cover of its magazine. Knowles — who had released a song called “Don’t Touch My Hair” — complained on Instagram that an elaborate braided crown on her head had been digitally removed from the cover photo. The magazine ... Read More »