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    The offense that Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez has been waiting for showed up just in time to prevent a sweep at the hands of a division rival Sunday night. Daniel Murphy's single drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning and the Nationals rallied past the Philadelphia Phillies 8-6 to salvage the finale of the three-game series. Anthony Rendon homered and doubled, Bryce Harper tied a career high with three doubles and Michael A. Taylor and Murphy each had three singles as Washington pounded out 17 hits in a game that was delayed 38 minutes by rain in the bottom of the fourth inning. 'We weren't scoring very many runs,' Martinez said, 'and for us to come out and compete like we did today and put up eight runs . and just really work very good at-bats, I felt really good for the boys and I know they'll feed off it.' Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams homered for the Phillies, who had won three straight. Pinch hitter Brian Goodwin led off the eighth with a walk. With one out, right-hander Seranthony Dominguez (1-2) came on to face Harper, who doubled to right, with Goodwin stopping at third. After Rendon grounded out, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler elected to walk rookie Juan Soto and pitch to the veteran Murphy, who began the day hitting .135. 'You pick your poison right there,' Kapler said. 'You have two very good hitters. The first one in Soto has been elite. And Murphy has struggled a little bit. And we went after the guy that was struggling and coming off injury.' After throwing three 98-mph plus fastballs to get ahead 1-2, Dominguez tried a slider that Murphy lined to shallow right. Taylor's single made it 8-6. 'I was watching some film on him and he had kind of gone with the slider as a kill shot to a couple lefties, so once I got two strikes I was aware of it,' Murphy said. 'I hadn't seen it yet, so that's never any fun, but fortunately I was able to get it in the air enough and kind of scoop it over Cesar (Hernandez's) head at second base.' Ryan Madson (2-3) pitched the eighth inning, and Sean Doolittle finished for his 21st save. The Phillies took a 6-2 lead in the fifth on a two-run triple by Odubel Herrera and a two-run homer by Williams, but the bullpen surrendered six runs. Washington pulled within a run at 6-5 in the sixth with four two-out hits, including an RBI triple by Trea Turner and RBI doubles by Harper and Rendon. RENDERFUL Rendon has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games is batting .447 (17-for-38) in that span with three homers, seven RBIs and nine runs scored. TRAINER'S ROOM Phillies: C Andrew Knapp left in the seventh with a right knee contusion. ... 3B Maikel Franco slipped on first base and fell hard in the eighth. He stayed in to run but left after the half-inning with lower back tightness. ... INF Jesmuel Valentín was placed on the paternity leave list and OF Dylan Cozens (left quadriceps strain) was reinstated from the 10-day DL. Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right hamstring strain) allowed 11 runs in 4 2/3 innings of a rehab start at Class A Potomac on Sunday. 'I'm more concerned with the way he feels,' manager Dave Martinez said, downplaying the results. 'We'll go from there.' ... RH reliever Brandon Kintzler (right forearm flexor strain) threw a scoreless inning at Potomac. ... RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) played catch on the field again. 'We'll keep doing his throwing progression and figure out when he can actually throw from the mound,' Martinez said. UP NEXT Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.82) starts the opener of a series against the Yankees on Monday. He is 0-0 with a 3.24 ERA in two games vs. New York. Nationals: RHP Gio Gonzalez (6-4, 3.08) opens a series at Tampa Bay on Monday. He is 2-2 with a 5.54 ERA in six games against the Rays. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for the past 15 years, was set on Monday to extend his rule with sweeping new powers after winning landmark presidential and parliamentary elections. Turkey's High Electoral Board declared Erdogan, 64, the winner of Sunday's polls, which usher in a new executive presidential system that was approved in a referendum last year. Under the system, the office of the prime minister is eliminated and executive powers are transferred to the president, who can rule with only limited checks and balances. The Turkish leader, who is accused by critics of adopting increasingly authoritarian tactics but is loved by supporters for bringing prosperity and stability, may be facing rough times ahead, however. Analysts predict an economic downturn amid rising inflation and a struggling currency. His win could deepen Turkey's rift with Western allies, who are already concerned by setbacks in democracy and human rights as well as Turkey's closer ties with Russia. Still, Turkey's currency, the lira, rallied on Monday over Erdogan's victory, which allows the country to avoid instability in the short-term. In his victory speech, Erdogan said he would work toward achieving his goal of making Turkey one of the world's top 10 economies by 2023, when the Turkish Republic marks its centenary. He also pledged a more 'determined' fight against outlawed Kurdish rebels and alleged members of a movement led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he accuses of orchestrating a 2016 failed coup against his government. Gulen denies involvement. 'Turkey made its choice in favor of a more determined fight against the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and (Gulenists),' Erdogan said. 'We will go after terror organizations with stronger determination.' Under the new system, Erdogan will appoint ministers, vice presidents and high-level bureaucrats, issue decrees, prepare the budget and decide on security policies. According to unofficial results that have yet to be confirmed by the electoral board, Erdogan garnered 52.5 percent of the votes, while his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, won 42.5 percent in the parliamentary vote. Erdogan's closest contender, Muharrem Ince of the main opposition Republican People's Party, won 30.7 percent. Erdogan's AKP fell short of a parliamentary majority but a better-than-expected performance by its nationalist ally should allow the party to control the 600-seat legislature. Ince, who complained of unfair elections, has yet to formally concede defeat. A prominent journalist said, however, that he received a message from the politician acknowledging Erdogan's victory. Ince was scheduled to hold a news conference later on Monday. The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party, whose presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas was forced to campaign from jail, received the more than 10 percent of votes required to win seats in parliament, spilling thousands of its supporters into the streets in celebration.
  • Asian stock markets fell Monday and oil prices gave up some of their gains after Chinese regulators freed up extra money for bank lending amid a trade dispute with Washington. KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent to 2,883.20 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.5 percent to 22,409.55. Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 0.4 percent to 29,213.98 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 declined 0.3 percent to 6,208.30. India's Sensex shed 0.2 percent to 35,625.38 while Seoul's Kospi advanced 1 point to 2,357.85. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Singapore fell while New Zealand and Bangkok advanced. CHINA LENDING: Beijing freed up an about $100 billion for additional bank lending in a move financial analysts said might help to reassure investors rattled by trade tensions with Washington. The cut in the amount of money banks are required to hold in reserve, the second this year, is one of a series forecasters had expected before the dispute over China's trade surplus and technology policy erupted. The central bank said the move is aimed at facilitating debt-for-equity swaps meant to help clear away a backlog of nonperforming bank loans owed by state companies. ANALYST'S TAKE: 'The mixed start to the week for Asian markets appears to be becoming a repetitive theme in recent sessions that saw global equity markets shrouded in the gloom of trade tensions,' said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. 'China's latest reserve ratio reduction, while expected, serves as a counterbalance to the soft sentiment.' WEEK AHEAD: The United States is due to report quarterly economic growth on Thursday. On Friday, Japan and South Korea report monthly factory output and the European Union announces June inflation. CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.53 yen from Friday's 109.97 yen. The euro retreated to $1.1651 from $1.1657. ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 19 cents to $68.39 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $3.04 on Friday to $$68.58. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped $1.37 to $73.95 per barrel in London. It gained $2.52 the previous session to close at $75.32.
  • Joel Johnson examines the shipping labels on 35-ton coils of American-made steel that will be unspooled, bent and welded into rounded sections of pipe. One's from Nucor, a mill in Arkansas. Another's from Steel Dynamics in Mississippi. But much harder to spot in the sprawling factory yard is the imported steel that's put his company in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump's bitter trade dispute with America's allies and adversaries. Trump says his tariffs on steel, aluminum and other goods will put U.S. companies and workers on stronger footing by winding back the clock of globalization with protectionist trade policies. But the steel tariff — essentially a 25 percent tax — may backfire on the very people the president is aiming to help. The Commerce Department has been deluged with requests from 20,000 companies seeking exemptions. Johnson is the CEO of Borusan Mannesmann Pipe US, a company with Turkish roots that manufactures the welded pipe used by energy companies to pull oil and natural gas out of the earth. He has been fighting an uphill battle to get a two-year exemption from Trump's tariff on steel imports. Without a waiver, Johnson said, Borusan faces levies of up to $30 million a year — a staggering sum for a business with plans to expand. 'We don't have any proof we're being heard,' Johnson said. Eighty miles southwest, in Bay City, global steel giant Tenaris also is seeking an exemption from the tariffs. The company churns out steel pipe in a $1.8 billion state-of-the-art facility that began operating late last year, using solid rods of steel called billets that are made in its mills in Mexico, Romania, Italy and Argentina. Of the four, only Argentina has agreed to limit steel shipments to the U.S. in exchange for being spared the tariff. 'The decision is out of our hands,' said Luca Zanotti, president of Tenaris's U.S. operations, while expressing confidence its request would be approved. If it's not? 'We'll adapt,' he said. Steelworkers, meanwhile, are cheering the tariff even as they remain skeptical of Trump's pledge to empower blue-collar Americans. They also worry about the possibility of too many exemptions. 'You put these tariffs (in place) but now you're going to exclude everybody so they're kind of pointless,' said Durwin Royal, president of United Steelworkers' Local 4134 in Lone Star, Texas. The diverse views illustrate the complexity, confusion and concern lurking behind Trump's 'America First' pledge. Pipe mills are numerous in Texas, which leads the country in oil and natural gas production. Factories that use imported steel typically do so when they can't get the exact type or quantity they need from U.S. producers. Many of them are among the thousands of companies that have filed exclusion requests to avoid being hit by the steel tariff. Most of them are in the dark, unsure if their applications will be approved as the Commerce Department struggles to process a dramatically higher number of requests than it expected to receive. A denial may torpedo plans to expand a factory. Or a company may have to lay off employees. The stakes are especially high in Texas: Economists Joseph Francois and Laura Baughman have estimated the Trump steel tariff and separate 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum will trigger the loss of more than 40,000 jobs. There's no playbook to guide companies through an exemption process Johnson described as chaotic and unpredictable. He's hired a lobbyist, former New York Gov. George Pataki. He's fending off opposition from competitors, including a Tenaris-owned business, who want Borusan's request denied. On a sweltering afternoon earlier this month, Johnson assembled dozens of his employees in an air-conditioned room for what amounted to a Hail Mary pass. After lunching on sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, Borusan workers wrote personal messages on oversized postcards to be sent to Trump and other senior officials in Washington and Austin, the Texas capital, pleading for their help in securing the tariff exemption. 'I don't know what motivates politicians besides votes,' Johnson said. 'That's why we're doing this crazy exercise.' ___ UNION BLUE Royal is in his third term as the president of Local 4134. He and the local's vice president, Trey Green, are union Democrats in the heart of Trump country. Lone Star is in Morris County, Texas, where Trump received nearly 70 percent of the vote in the 2016 presidential election. Royal and Green initially backed independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders before casting their votes for Democrat Hillary Clinton. Their union hall is a mile and a half from the U.S. Steel factory that manufactures welded pipe made from metal produced in the company's mills in Indiana and Illinois. Like the union, U.S. Steel backed Trump's tariff, declaring that his action would 'level the playing field' by blocking other countries from dumping inexpensive steel in the United States. Much of it comes from China. Although Royal and Green were heartened by the steel tariff, they said they're under no illusion Trump is a friend to organized labor. Nor are they convinced his tough talk on trade will lead to a rebuilt U.S. steel industry with more and better jobs. Echoing Sanders, they called for a broader strategy to prevent corporations from sending American jobs to low-wage countries. 'I don't know that putting tariffs on just one or two particular items are going to be the mainstay that helps us in the future,' Green said. Royal and Green said they're still waiting for Trump to follow through on his pledge to empower working-class Americans that he said were 'forgotten' by Washington. 'So much money is in politics now it's kind of drowning people like us out,' Royal said. 'We're not going to take (a congressman) to dinner and buy him a new set of golf clubs or give $250,000 toward his campaign. You can tell who's got the loudest voice there.' ___ COST OF DOING BUSINESS The Tenaris factory is a massive, modern facility just off the highway leading into Bay City, 21 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. About 640 people work here, but only a handful come into direct contact with the 50,000 tons of pipe the 1.2 million-square-foot factory is able to manufacture each month. The process is almost entirely automated, watched over by employees huddled in front of computer screens. The company manufactures seam-free pipe typically used in offshore energy production or for transporting highly corrosive gas. Tenaris began construction of the Bay City plant five years ago, long before anyone anticipated an American president would slap a tariff on steel. Zanotti declined to say how much Tenaris may have to pay, but he downplayed the expense as a cost of doing business on a global scale. Tenaris operates in 16 countries, including Nigeria, which ranks 145 out of 190 countries on the World Bank's 'ease of doing business' index. 'Of course we don't like it,' Zanotti said of the tariff. But, he added, 'we're used to dealing with moving parts. This is another moving part.' The company doesn't have a registered lobbyist in Washington, let alone an office. But Tenaris has deep pockets and is in the U.S. for the long haul. Zanotti said the company has spent $8 billion over the last decade to expand its foothold in America, a figure he doesn't think the Commerce Department should overlook. The investment includes the Bay City factory and the acquisition of the Maverick Tube Corporation, based in Houston. Like Borusan and U.S. Steel, Maverick makes pipe with a welded seam. 'We're positive we're going to get a good conclusion,' Zanotti said. ___ LET'S MAKE A DEAL Johnson said he has a proposition for a president who prides himself on being a master dealmaker. About 60 percent of Borusan's welded pipe is manufactured with American-made steel. The rest is shipped from Turkey already in tube form; it's heat-treated, threaded and inspected in Baytown. Johnson is proposing that Borusan be allowed to bring in 135,000 tons of Turkish pipe each year for the next two years, tariff-free. In return, the company will build a new factory, right next to its existing plant. That's a $75 million investment that will allow Borusan to hire 170 new employees, augmenting its existing workforce of 267, according to Johnson. The expanded capacity also will allow Borusan to wean itself from the Turkish imports. He said he's gotten no reply to his pitch. The company brought ex-Gov. Pataki, a Republican, on board in March and has paid him $75,000 to drum up support in Washington. But Johnson said he's unsure if Pataki's made a difference. 'We're not politicians. We make pipe,' he said. 'We felt like that was a move we had to make because we are so far out of our element.' Johnson said he had for weeks unsuccessfully sought support from GOP Rep. Brian Babin, whose district includes Baytown. Babin wrote to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday, expressing his strong support for Borusan's request and urging Ross to give it 'your highest consideration.' 'Finally,' Johnson said. The Commerce Department has been posting the thousands of requests for tariff exemptions online to allow third parties to offer comments and objections — even competitors who have an interest in seeing a rival's request denied. Several of them, including U.S. Steel and Tenaris-owned Maverick Tube, objected to Borusan's bid, saying the Turkish pipe it imports is readily available from American suppliers. They added that Turkey has been cited by the Commerce Department for dumping steel pipe in the U.S. But Johnson said the objections are aimed at undercutting Borusan. He said no U.S. pipe mill is serious about selling to him because he'd want very detailed information about their products — such as the composition of the steel and a history of customer complaints. 'They just don't want to see another factory go up here,' Johnson said. 'They don't want to see a competitor grow.' ___ Contact Richard Lardner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rplardner
  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis laid out plans for a less contentious, more open dialogue with Chinese leaders as he travels to Asia, less than a month after he slammed Beijing at an international conference for its militarization of islands in the South China Sea. Speaking to reporters on his plane Sunday en route to a stop in Alaska, Mattis avoided any of the sharp criticism of China that he had voiced recently. Instead, he insisted that he is going into the talks with Chinese leaders without any preconceived notions, and wants to focus on larger, more strategic security issues. According to officials, a key topic of the discussions later this week will be the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the role China can play, considering its longstanding friendship with North Korea. 'I want to go in right now without basically poisoning the well at this point. I'm going there to have a conversation,' said Mattis. 'I do not want to immediately go in with a certain preset expectation of what they are going to say. I want to go in and do a lot of listening.' Mattis' more diplomatic tack reflects the U.S. administration's recognition of China's crucial influence on Korea as negotiations move ahead to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. One senior U.S. official said that while Mattis will willingly lay out America's position on China's military buildup in the South China Sea and other points of contention, the Pentagon chief doesn't want to open the conversations with 'the irritants.' Instead, the goal is to have higher quality talks about the two countries' military relationship, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations on the trip. Last month, however, Mattis abruptly disinvited China from a multinational exercise in the Pacific that will begin in a few days, in retribution for Beijing putting weapons systems on manmade islands in the South China Sea. And days later he publicly threatened 'much larger consequences in the future' if the militarization continued. China recently has deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles, electronic jammers and other equipment on the Spratly Islands, and landed a bomber aircraft at Woody Island. China says it is within its rights to build up defenses on islands in the South China Sea that it believes are its sovereign territory. Many nations fear that Beijing will use the construction on the islands to extend its military reach and potentially try to restrict navigation in the South China Sea. It's all but certain the Chinese will raise those issues with Mattis, as well as Beijing's long-held opposition to increasing U.S. contacts with Taiwan. China claims the self-ruled island as its territory. For the U.S., however, North Korea will be a primary topic in the talks with senior Chinese leaders. And while the U.S. would like to see China use its influence to reinfore the denuclearization negotiations with North Korea, it also wants Beijing to remain committed to enforcing sanctions against the North, as part of the pressure campaign. China also is likely pleased that the U.S. has suspended any major military exercises with South Korea as part of the nuclear negotiations. Mattis said Sunday that the Pentagon cancelled two Marine military exchanges as well as the larger Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise this fall, because the defense department considered them consistent with what President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had agreed on at the summit about two weeks ago. The U.S. has also long been frustrated that China doesn't share much information about any war scenarios or other contingencies it has in place in the event of a conflict on the Korean peninsula or the collapse of the North Korean government. By improving its relationship with Beijing, Washington believes it could better prepare for any problems and be able to coordinate more effectively with China. This is Mattis' first trip to China, both personally and as defense secretary. He said he has been in Hong Kong several times. The last Pentagon chief to visit China was Chuck Hagel in April 2014. But both Mattis and his immediate predecessor, Ash Carter, have spent a great deal of time in Asia, in the wake of the much-vaunted U.S. increased emphasis on the Indo-Pacific region. Mattis has traveled to Asia seven times during his 17-month tenure as defense secretary, and this marks his third visit so far this year. During his stop in Alaska, Mattis will visit a key element of the America's missile defense system at Fort Greely, the strategic missile interceptors. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, flew with Mattis from Washington and is expected to go to Fort Greely with him. The Pentagon budget calls for increasing the number of interceptors from 44 to 64, and that additional 20 will be located at Fort Greely. Critics question the reliability of the interceptors, arguing that years of testing has yet to prove them to be sufficiently effective against a sophisticated threat. In addition, Mattis will travel to South Korea and Japan to meet with his defense counterparts as well as other national leaders.
  • Indonesia has identified the suspected location of an overcrowded ferry that sank last week in a deep volcanic crater lake but will need international help to recover the wreck, the chief of the national search and rescue agency said Monday. The ferry had some 200 people on board, about five times over capacity, but only 18 people including the boat's captain survived the sinking in rough weather June 17 on Lake Toba. The rescue agency said in a statement Sunday an object that was possibly the ferry was at a depth of 490 meters (1,607 feet). Few bodies have been recovered and officials have said many of the dead are likely trapped inside the vessel. Separately, police said four people including transport officials have been arrested on suspicion of negligence that led to the sinking. The search agency chief, Muhammad Syaugi, said in a television interview that Indonesia needs international help to recover the wreckage. Sonar equipment from Indonesia's navy was deployed on Friday. Divers could reach depths of only 50 meters (164 feet) in the lake's cold and dark waters. Anguished relatives have criticized the search effort but Syaugi defended it, saying there had been an 'all out' effort. The object believed to be the ferry is about 20 meters long (66 feet) and 5 meters (16 feet) wide, Syaugi said, consistent with its dimensions. 'We will do our best to salvage this wreck,' he said. 'Because we do not have robots, we are trying to find from other countries, but most of them have tools to lift a vessel from just 100 meters depth and the wreck must be cut first.' 'For us, the most important thing is to get as many victims as possible,' Syaugi said. Ferry tragedies are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, with weak enforcement of safety regulations often to blame. Lake Toba, formed out of an ancient super volcano, is a popular sightseeing destination on the island of Sumatra and among the destinations that Indonesia's government is promoting as a magnet for domestic and foreign tourists. North Sumatra police chief Paulus Waterpau told Indonesian TV that the boat's captain and three regional transport officials including the head of the port authority at Lake Toba and the head of North Sumatra province's transport office were arrested. 'We've arrested them because of negligence that resulted in people losing their lives,' he said. ___ This story has been corrected to show search and rescue agency chief's name is Muhammad Syaugi, not one name Syaugi.
  • Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled late Sunday after it was reported by news organizations, her attorney said. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was supposed to meet with prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance as they work to assemble a case against Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. But after several news organizations, including The Associated Press, reported on the meeting, two prosecutors called Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, and told him that they were concerned about media attention in the case, he said. 'I was shocked at that response,' Avenatti said. Avenatti offered to move the meeting to another location and reiterated that Daniels — who he says has been cooperating with prosecutors for months — was ready to go forward with the meeting, but they called back to cancel it, he said. The meeting has not been rescheduled and prosecutors offered no other explanation for the cancellation, he said. Daniels has said she had sex with Trump in 2006 when he was married, which Trump has denied. As part of their investigation into Cohen, prosecutors have been examining the $130,000 payment that was made to Daniels as part of a confidentiality agreement days before the 2016 presidential election. 'We believe canceling the meeting because the press has now caught wind of it is ridiculous,' Avenatti wrote in an email to Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos. 'We do not think it was any secret that at some point you were going to meet with my client.' A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan had declined to comment on the meeting earlier Sunday night and did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the cancellation. Daniels is suing to invalidate the confidentiality agreement that prevents her from discussing the alleged relationship with Trump. She argues the nondisclosure agreement should be invalidated because Cohen, signed it, but the president did not. Daniels and Avenatti have also turned over documents in response to a subpoena from federal prosecutors about the $130,000 that Daniels was paid, a person familiar with the matter said. They weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Daniels' interview had been in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance in the federal investigation into Cohen's business dealings, the person familiar with the matter said. If prosecutors bring a case to a grand jury, they could call witnesses to testify under oath and the grand jury would decide whether to bring criminal charges with a written indictment. In April, FBI agents raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room as part of a probe into his business dealings and investigators were seeking records about the nondisclosure agreement that Daniels had signed, among other things. Cohen had said he paid Daniels himself, through a limited liability company known as Essential Consultants, LLC, and that 'neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.' In May, Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's attorneys, said the president had repaid Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, contradicting Trump's prior claims that he didn't know the source of the money. Earlier this month, Trump said he hadn't spoken with Cohen — his longtime fixer and a key power player in the Trump Organization — in 'a long time' and that Cohen is 'not my lawyer anymore.' __ Lucey reported from Washington.
  • Melania Trump said Sunday that kindness, compassion and positivity are important traits in life. The first lady helped SADD — Students Against Destructive Decisions — open its annual national conference at a hotel just outside Washington. The appearance followed her trip last week to the U.S.-Mexico border to see the effect on children of her husband's 'zero-tolerance' policy against illegal immigration. It also followed her recent announcement of a campaign called 'Be Best' that's about adults helping children be their best selves. 'I feel very strongly that it is the job of adults to provide you with the tools you need to become the best you can be in all areas of life,' she said during brief remarks to about 450 students and adults attending the conference. 'That is why I am here today. I believe in SADD's mission of empowering you to confront the risks and pressures you are challenged with every day.' 'Kindness, compassion and positivity are very important traits in life,' she continued. 'It is far easier to say nothing than it is to speak words of kindness. It is easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand. It is often easier to see a glass half empty rather than half full.' 'Nevertheless, you have the power to be the positive force in so many people's lives,' added the first lady, who is the mother of a 12-year-old boy. 'Show respect to each other. Treat your community like your family, and look out for one another.' SADD was founded in 1981 as Students Against Drunk Driving but changed its name and mission in the late 1990s to focus on prevention of all behaviors and attitudes that are harmful to middle, high school and college students, including substance abuse, traffic safety and bullying. Mrs. Trump said she was 'inspired' when she first heard about the organization and the conference. The audience erupted into loud squeals and cheers when she was introduced by Dylan Mullins, of Marlboro, New Jersey, who is SADD's National Student of the Year. Mullins said the first lady's campaign aims to highlight programs and organizations, like SADD, that seek to help young people overcome some of the issues they face every day. Before she addressed the gathering, which concludes Wednesday, Mrs. Trump met with the organization's leadership and helped make blankets the group is donating to shelters, said her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham. As audience members awaited the appearance, they rocked out in their seats to music by Justin Bieber, Neil Diamond and Journey. ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap
  • Republican apprehension over President Donald Trump's next tweet and fear of riling conservative voters are undermining GOP leaders' election-year struggle to shove an immigration bill through the House this week, leaving prospects dubious. Party leaders are trying to finally secure the votes they need for their wide-ranging bill with tweaks they hope will goose support from the GOP's dueling conservative and moderate wings. But more importantly, wavering Republicans want Trump to provide political cover for immigration legislation that's despised by hard-right voters. His recent statements on their bill and history of abruptly flip-flopping on past health care and spending measures have not been reassuring. Last Tuesday, he privately told House Republicans that he backed their legislation '1,000 percent' and would protect them during their campaigns, lawmakers said. By Friday, he was tweeting that 'Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration' and wait until after the November elections, when he said the GOP would approve tougher legislation because it will gain strength in Congress. That proposition is dicey at best. 'I think that the best way to pass legislation is to consistently support a position and help move it forward,' Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, a senior House Republican. Asked if Trump was doing that, Walden pivoted toward a door and said: 'I'll leave it at that.' Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on 'Fox News Sunday' that he talked to the White House on Saturday and 'they say the president is still 100 percent behind us.' The bill would make citizenship a possibility for 'Dreamer' immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. when young. It would also finance Trump's aspirational $25 billion wall with Mexico and curb government agencies from wrenching migrant children from detained parents. The measure is the product of weeks of bargaining between party conservatives and moderates. Even so, the two GOP factions have been unable to resolve their final differences and vote-counters have yet to round up a majority. Republicans are getting no help from Democrats, who uniformly oppose the legislation. The GOP divisions come at a bad time for the party: Elections are approaching and immigration has riveted public attention for months. Republicans who are battling to retain House control have hoped to focus this fall's campaigns on the economy and tax cuts. Instead, Republican blockades against ending deportations of young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children were major news earlier this year. In recent days, the focus has shifted to the Trump administration's wrenching of migrant children from their parents. Neither of those have been good looks for Republicans from swing districts with large numbers of moderate voters — the very incumbents who must be re-elected for the GOP to retain House control. Lawmakers said leaders wanted to round up GOP votes by adding provisions requiring companies to verify workers' citizenship, which conservatives like. They would also ease restrictions on seasonal migrant workers, a priority for farm-district, moderate Republicans. Until now, party leaders have hesitated to include those items because they could end up costing votes, not gaining them. Moderate Republicans don't like the citizenship verification requirement and some conservatives don't like helping immigrants stay in the U.S. Another problem is the two additional provisions don't address the major reason for GOP defections: Conservatives say helping Dreamers stay in the U.S. is handing amnesty to lawbreakers. 'I'm a 'no,'' said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., a member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus. He said he couldn't defend helping the Dreamers 'to people waiting in line the right way' to immigrate to the U.S. The House defeated a more conservative immigration alternative last week. GOP leaders said the House will vote on its compromise immigration bill despite Trump's flashing red light on the subject. Top Republicans have wanted to hold the votes, win or lose, partly to defuse an effort by GOP moderates to force the chamber to vote on liberal-leaning bills helping immigrants win citizenship. Those measures could pass the House backed by Democrats and a few Republicans, an outcome that would enrage conservative voters. In addition, some Republicans are eager for roll calls to show voters back home that they've tried to address the issue. 'I think it's important that the House be able to show we can take the action,' said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. __ Associated Press writer Ken Thomas contributed to this report.
  • One by one, around Father's Day, the surge of Amazon boxes containing shirts, pants, underwear and many other items began arriving at an asylum-seeker rest center in the border town of McAllen, Texas. Included in the packages were notes of support. One read: 'As someone who has a dad who would do anything for their child I hope this helps a few of the dads that come through your doors with the same ideas.' The boxes started arriving as people across the country began to learn about President Donald Trump's policy of separating children from their families. 'All of the sudden they started getting like a thousand boxes a day and then more and then more. And they had to come and secure space here and that filled up and they got another space and that filled up,' said Natalie Montelongo, a native of nearby Brownsville who flew in from Washington, D.C., to volunteer at the center. She set up an Amazon wish list with items needed by the shelter and posted the link on social media. Now, the immigrant respite center run by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley has received so many boxes that it had to rent additional storage space. 'I feel like each one of these boxes represents one person that wishes they were here and is following the issue and that cares,' Montelongo said. But donations also came the old fashioned way, too. Local residents stopping by and dropping off what they could and caravans of volunteers from around the country who made the journey to McAllen in Texas Rio Grande Valley packed with donations and cash. Every day, busloads of migrants are transferred from federal facilities to a central station in McAllen. There, volunteers from the respite shelter help find the right buses and purchase bus tickets. As a group, they then walk to the shelter three blocks away, where they can shower, eat, and pick up new clothes, medicine and hygiene products. Colorado librarian Wyne Cler saw a Facebook post from a friend's friend asking for volunteers to help. Even with her limited Spanish, she jumped at the chance, raised $4,000 in one day and brought her daughter. She spent hours trying her best to help migrants at the center and trying to cheer up their day with hearty hugs and laughter. Cler and her family fled Vietnam as the war ended, she said. 'This is not my America. When we came in '75 we were welcomed with open arms. And we were not separated. My entire family got here safely,' Cler said. On a typical day, more than 100 asylum-seekers are released from McAllen-area holding facilities, clutching their belongings in clear plastic bags stamped with Department of Homeland Security logos, said Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. Now, Pimental is trying to channel some of the help into cash donations so they can construct a new building by their church. The rest center currently rents its space. The center also needs more volunteers to keep up with the flow of people and donations, and it needs additional medicine for babies. Montelongo said the center has seen several babies arriving sick. 'I'm so devoted to this respite because I think it's the first glimpse of what we all think the U.S. stands for,' Montelongo said. ____ On the web: Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley donation page: https://www.facebook.com/donate/2052979071443386/