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    A lawyer for former U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman is denying allegations in a lawsuit accusing him of being a sexual 'predator.' The attorney said in a statement on Sunday that the New York Democrat will fight the allegations he abused a teenager at a Boy Scout camp five decades ago. A suit filed earlier this month in New York City accuses the now 76-year-old Ackerman of abusing the 17-year-old while he was a director at the Ten Mile River Camp in upstate New York. Ackerman was 23 at the time. It says the Boy Scouts should have been aware that Ackerman was a 'known predator' with the potential to harm kids. An email seeking comment was sent Sunday to the Boy Scouts of America.
  • After a recent bloody weekend in Chicago, the city's top police officer reiterated something he's said many times in recent months: People accused of gun-related offenses are too quickly and easily getting back on the street. This time, Superintendent Eddie Johnson unveiled a new online tool aimed at illustrating his point by giving the public a quick way to see who's been arrested on gun-related charges and whether they have posted bail. 'If we're OK with how things are going, then don't look at it,' Johnson said as he announced the Gun Offender Dashboard. 'But if you want to know why we are suffering from some of the things we are, then take a look at it and come to your own conclusions.' The tool is part of a public relations offensive to draw attention to what Johnson and Mayor Lori Lightfoot say is a cause of gun violence in Chicago, where more people are fatally shot than in any other city in the U.S. But critics decry it as a scare tactic that lumps people arrested while carrying or even standing near a gun with those who have pulled them out and used them. They say it unfairly maligns people who under the law are presumed innocent and is aimed at pressuring judges into keeping people locked up while they await trial. 'The people on this list have not been convicted of the crimes for which they were charged,' Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli said in a written statement. 'Yet CPD is flaunting bond court stats as if they have already been convicted.' 'Even sex offenders have to be found guilty in a court of law before we put them on a public registry labeling them as sex offenders,' added Era Laudermilk, a top Campanelli deputy. The dispute over the tool stems from a larger disagreement over changes to Cook County's bail system. To ensure people don't languish in jail while waiting for trial, the county's chief judge, Timothy Evans, two years ago implemented a policy that requires judges to set affordable bail amounts for those not deemed a danger to the community. By all accounts, the policy has had a dramatic effect. Today, 1,500 fewer are people in the county's jail. But Johnson and Lightfoot contend the county's judicial system is failing to protect the public from violent criminals who they say have discovered that the price of getting caught with a gun can be as little as a day or two of freedom and a couple hundred dollars for bail. Or no money at all. They point out that the information they're using is already available to the public through police and court records. 'Since when is it a problem to put out public information?' Lightfoot asked during a recent press briefing. But critics say even the name of the tool — Gun Offender Dashboard — implies guilt. 'These are not offenders, they're arrestees,' said Stephanie Kollman, policy director of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University's law school. The disagreement comes even as the number of shootings in Chicago has reached a four-year low. The city saw 1,210 shootings and 282 homicides in the first seven months of the year, down from 1,363 shootings and 321 homicides during the same period of 2018. Some critics say Johnson's talk about a revolving door at the jail is little more than an effort to distract from his department's inability to bring violent offenders to justice. In a letter to Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle noted a study that found police make arrests in only about one in four homicides and only about one in 20 shootings. 'The problem is not what happens when violent criminals come before judges in Chicago, but rather what happens when violent criminals are never brought before a judge,' Preckwinkle, who lost the mayoral race to Lightfoot in April, wrote. That leaves 'families of victims with no closure while violent perpetrators of crime are emboldened to continue wreaking havoc in our communities.' Johnson disputes any suggestion that he's trying to distract the public from focusing on his department. Both sides point to statistics they say support their arguments. Johnson wrote to Campanelli that more than one in 10 of those arrested on felony gun charges last year was arrested again for a violent crime or another weapons charge. Seventy-two of the 4,300 people arrested on gun charges have since been shot. But Campanelli points to a report from Judge Evans that found in the first 15 months of the new bail policy, just 147 — or 0.6% — of more than 24,000 pretrial felony defendants released from custody were charged with a new violent offense. 'So, do we lock up 99.4% of the people who come to bond court because 0.6% are committing new offenses?' she asked. 'That's just fear-mongering.
  • Joe Walsh, a former Illinois congressman ad tea party favorite turned radio talk show host, announced a longshot challenge Sunday to President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020, saying the incumbent is 'completely unfit' for office and must be denied a second term. 'Somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative' among Republicans, Walsh told ABC's 'This Week,' adding that 'the country is sick of this guy's tantrum. He's a child. ... He lies every time he opens his mouth.' Already in the race is former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld. Walsh narrowly won a House seat from suburban Chicago in the 2010 tea party wave but lost a 2012 reelection bid and has since hosted a radio talk show. He has a history of inflammatory statements regarding Muslims and others and declared just before the 2016 election that if Trump lost, 'I'm grabbing my musket.' But he has since soured on Trump, criticizing the president in a recent New York Times column over growth of the federal deficit and calling him 'a racial arsonist who encourages bigotry and xenophobia to rouse his base.' Walsh promises to contest Trump from the right as opposed to Weld, who is regarded as fiscally conservative but socially liberal. Weld was the 2016 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee. The road ahead for any Republican primary challenger will certainly be difficult. In recent months, Trump's allies have taken over state parties that control primary elections in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and elsewhere. State party leaders sometimes pay lip service to the notion that they would welcome a primary challenger, as their state party rules usually require, but they are already working to ensure Trump's reelection. South Carolina Republicans have gone so far as to discuss canceling their state's GOP primary altogether if a legitimate primary challenge emerges to eliminate the threat. At the same time, polling consistently shows that Trump has the solid backing of an overwhelming majority of Republican voters. An Associated Press-NORC poll conducted this month found that 78% of Republicans approve of Trump's job performance. That number has been hovering around 80% even as repeated scandals have rocked his presidency. 'Look, this isn't easy to do. ... I'm opening up my life to tweets and attacks. Everything I've said and tweeted now, Trump's going to go after, and his bullies are going to go after,' Walsh told ABC. Asked whether he was prepared for that, Walsh replied: 'Yes, I'm ready for it.' Walsh, 57, rode a wave of anti-President Barack Obama sentiment to a 300-vote victory over a Democratic incumbent in the 2010 election. He made a name for himself in Washington as a cable news fixture who was highly disparaging of Obama. Walsh was criticized for saying that the Democratic Party's 'game' is to make Latinos dependent on government just like 'they got African Americans dependent upon government.' At another point, he said radical Muslims are in the U.S. 'trying to kill Americans every week,' including in Chicago's suburbs. He lost his 2012 reelection bid by more than 20,000 votes to Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who was elected to the U.S. Senate four years later. Walsh told Obama to 'watch out' on Twitter in July 2016 after five police officers were killed in Dallas. Just days before Trump's 2016 win over Hillary Clinton, Walsh tweeted: 'On November 8th, I'm voting for Trump. On November 9th, if Trump loses, I'm grabbing my musket. You in?' Walsh later said on Twitter that he was referring to 'acts of civil disobedience.' Walsh wrote in his New York Times column that 'In Mr. Trump, I see the worst and ugliest iteration of views I expressed for the better part of a decade.' 'On more than one occasion, I questioned Mr. Obama's truthfulness about his religion,' Walsh wrote. 'At times, I expressed hate for my political opponents. We now see where this can lead. There's no place in our politics for personal attacks like that, and I regret making them.' Walsh said his 2016 vote for Trump was actually against Clinton and faulted Trump for his unwillingness to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin. 'He encouraged Russian interference in the 2016 election, and he refuses to take foreign threats seriously as we enter the 2020 election. That's reckless,' Walsh wrote. 'For three years, he has been at war with our federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as he embraces tyrants abroad and embarrasses our allies. That's un-American.' ___ Associated Press writers Tom Davies in Indianapolis and Steve Peoples in New York contributed to this report.
  • Countries have agreed to protect more than a dozen shark species at risk of extinction, in a move aimed at conserving some of the ocean's most awe-inspiring creatures who have themselves become prey to commercial fishing and the Chinese appetite for shark fin soup. Three proposals covering the international trade of 18 types of mako sharks, wedgefishes and guitarfishes each passed with a needed two-thirds majority in a committee of the World Wildlife Conference known as CITES on Sunday. 'Today we are one step closer to protecting the fastest shark in the ocean, as well as the most threatened,' said Jen Sawada, who directs The Pew Charitable Trusts' shark conservation work. The measures don't ban fishing these sharks and rays, but any trade must be sustainable. The move isn't final but is a key sign before an official decision at its plenary this week. Conservationists applauded and exchanged hugs after the tallies. Opponents variously included China, Iceland, Japan, Malaysia and New Zealand. The U.S. voted against the mako shark measure, but supported the other two. Rima Jabado, a shark expert and lead scientist of the Gulf Elasmo project, said many of the species included in the CITES proposals are classified as 'critically endangered.' Jabado said there has been an 80% decline in the number of wedgefishes, based on available data. Like giant guitarfishes, the enigmatic wedgefish has an elongated triangle-shaped head and can be found in oceans in Southeast Asia, the Arabian Sea and East Africa. Makos are the world's fastest sharks, reaching speeds of up to 80 mph (nearly 130 kph). But they often get caught up in the nets of fishing trawlers hunting for tuna. Several countries with large fishing fleets, including Japan, opposed the measure to protect mako sharks. 'Japan has been highly dependent on (live) marine resources from the ancient times,' said Hideki Moronuki, director of fisheries negotiations at the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. 'It's very, very important for us in Japan to sustainably use all those marine riches,' he said, noting that even the CITES secretariat had recommended rejecting the mako shark proposal. CITES concluded that 'with the possible but uncertain exception of the Mediterranean, the population of (mako sharks) does not seem to have declined below the 30% threshold in different ocean regions' and that 'it is currently not projected that declines would continue.' Still, Jabado said some species of sharks and rays are becoming so difficult to find in the wild that scientists only often see them when they are on sale at local fish markets. 'How are we ever going to save these species if we only see them when fishermen bring them in?' she said, adding that even if actions are taken now, it will be decades before shark populations start to recover. Losing more sharks and rays could also have other unintended consequences since they are top ocean predators and help to balance the ecosystems, Jabado said. Scientists warn that although warming oceans and climate change are also hurting sharks, it is the demand for shark fin soup that is threatening to drive some species to extinction. The Pew Trust estimates that between 63 million and 273 million sharks are killed every year, mostly to feed the shark fin trade centered in Hong Kong. Dried shark fin can draw up to $1,000 per kilogram. The fins are often turned into shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy that symbolizes good fortune, in which the gelatinous fin is served in a broth whose recipe dates back to the 10th-century Song Dynasty. Fishermen often slice off a shark's fin while the animal is still alive before tossing the writhing carcass back into the ocean. While Chinese celebrities like retired basketball star Yao Ming are trying to persuade diners to abandon the soup, many aren't convinced. 'Shark fin soup is a Chinese tradition so why should I stop eating it?' Wilson Kwan said outside a seafood restaurant in London's Chinatown. 'I know some people say it's cruel to sharks, but sharks are killers too.' Last year, there were an estimated 66 unprovoked shark attacks on humans globally, including four fatalities, according to the Florida Museum, which tracks such incidents. It is exceedingly rare for sharks to bite humans — and when they do, it's often because they have mistaken them for seals or other prey. Conservationists say movies like 'Jaws' have unfairly maligned society's perception of sharks and in turn, made it difficult to garner support to protect them. 'People would be outraged if they were serving dolphins in restaurants,' said Graham Buckingham of the British shark group, Bite-Back. 'But because it's a shark, they think it's perfectly OK.' ___ Maria Cheng reported from London.
  • Putting small containers of liquids in plastic bags could soon be a thing of the past for airline passengers in Britain after the government announced plans Sunday to introduce 3D screening equipment for carry-on luggage at all major airports. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement that the new technology will improve security and could also mean 'an end to passengers having to use plastic bags or rationing what they take away with them.' Under current security restrictions, passengers are not allowed containers carrying more than 100 milliliters (3.38 fluid ounces) of liquids in their carry-on luggage and the containers have to be in a clear plastic bag. That could come to an end under the new screening regime and passengers may also be able to keep electrical equipment such as their laptops in their cabin bags. The screeners already are being used in trials at London's Heathrow Airport and they will progressively be rolled out to other British airports by Dec. 1, 2022, the government said. Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye says the technology 'will transform the passenger experience, making air travel simple, streamlined and more secure through the U.K.'s only hub airport.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged Sunday that the prospect of a Brexit deal was 'touch and go,' as other European Union capitals grasp the problems Britain has with the withdrawal agreement. Speaking on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit, Johnson said that in the last few days, following visits to France and Germany, it has dawned on the EU what 'the shape of the problem is for the U.K.' As the clock runs down to the Oct. 31 exit date, Johnson injected doubt into hopes that a deal might be stuck. 'I think it's going to be touch and go,' he said. 'But the important thing is to get ready to come out without a deal.' The comments came after Johnson won U.S. President Donald Trump's approval for his plans to take a tough approach in talks to leave the EU after a chummy meeting on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in France. Johnson glowed as Trump said he gave him a vote of confidence in carrying out the Brexit talks. The British prime minister has vowed to bring his country out of the EU on Oct. 31 no matter what, an approach that has raised worries about a chaotic divorce that could cause chaos and hurt the economy. Trump promised that he and Johnson would work out 'a very big trade deal' between their nations once the United Kingdom leaves the EU. 'I'm very grateful for that,' Johnson said. 'And we're looking forward to having some pretty comprehensive talks about how to take forward the relationship in all sorts of ways, particularly on trade. We're very excited about that.' But the pair were barely past the elegant winding staircase at the Hotel du Palais when it became clear that each had a different vision of what a trade deal might look like. The United States has said it is ready to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal with the U.K. in pieces — rather than London's wish of a comprehensive pact. Johnson pledged a 'fantastic deal once we clear up some of the obstacles in our path.' Trump interrupted promising 'lots of fantastic mini-deals.' The British prime minister badly needs a trade deal with the United States. After taking power last month he vowed that Britain would leave the EU on time with or without a divorce deal, cutting the country off from the EU's single market of 500 million people. A no-deal Brexit would see new tariffs and border checks on trade between Britain and the EU, seriously disrupting business. Supporters of Brexit say a free trade deal with the United States can help make up for any reduction in commerce with the EU after Britain leaves the bloc's single market for goods and services. In 2018, Britain did almost half its trade with the EU, while the U.S. accounted for 18% of U.K. exports and 11% of imports. 'We're working on a very big trade deal and I think it's going to work out,' Trump said. The meeting between the leaders came a day after Johnson warned that getting a trade deal with the United States won't be 'plain sailing' as he bemoaned barriers to the United Kingdom's goods in American markets. Speaking to reporters as he flew to France for the Group of Seven meeting, Johnson cited examples small and large of British goods that struggle in U.S. markets for bureaucratic reasons. He cited things like cauliflower, English wine, pillows, rail cars and even parts for showers. It wasn't just goods on Johnson's radar, but professional services, which far and away make up most of Britain's economy. 'If you want to sell insurance in the U.K. you only need to speak to two regulators,' Johnson fumed. 'If you want to sell insurance in the U.S. you have to speak to 50 regulators. The same point can be made about architects and many other professions.' Even though he needs a deal, Johnson was at pains to say he wasn't giving away the store. Some sectors of the U.K. economy wouldn't be part of any pact. Johnson has promised the National Health Service will be off-limits and that animal welfare standards would be safeguarded. The odds don't look good for Johnson, who holds a majority in Parliament of a single vote and a wish to honor a highly divisive 2016 referendum that resulted in his present course. Nonetheless, whenever cameras are near at least, he remains unflaggingly optimistic. 'Let me give you a metaphor,' Johnson told ITV as the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashed behind him. 'I swam round that rock this morning. From here you cannot tell there is a gigantic hole in that rock. There is a way through,' he said. 'My point to the EU is that there is a way through, but you can't find the way through if you just sit on the beach.
  • The head of Germany's central bank is warning against taking an overly pessimistic view of the economy, days after the bank cautioned that Europe's biggest economy could enter a recession in the current quarter. The German economy contracted by 0.1% in the April-June period and the central bank, the Bundesbank, said Sunday that it 'could decline slightly' again in the summer. But Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that he sees 'no reason to panic.' He noted that Germany is coming off a long upswing with record employment and said 'the outlook is particularly uncertain at the moment,' citing political factors such as Brexit and international trade conflicts. He added that the response shouldn't be pessimism or taking action for the sake of it.
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday that he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China, but the White House later reversed that message saying the president was misinterpreted and that his only regret in hiking tariffs is that he didn't raise them higher. Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France. During a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump suggested he had qualms about the spiraling conflict. 'Yeah. For sure,' Trump told reporters when asked if he has second thoughts about escalating the dispute, adding he has 'second thoughts about everything.' But hours later, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement saying Trump's comments about U.S. tariffs on China were 'greatly misinterpreted.' She said Trump only responded 'in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.' The comments appeared at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the famously hard-nosed leader. But the later reversal fit a pattern for Trump in recoiling from statements he believes suggest weakness. Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the U.S. ahead of his reelection. Trump's counterparts, including Johnson, are trying to convince him to back off his trade wars with China and other countries, which they see as contributing to the economic weakening. The meetings come days after Trump escalated his trade war with China, following China's announcement Friday that it would slap new tariffs on $75 billion in American goods. Trump responded with more tariffs of his own and issued an extraordinary threat to declare a national emergency in an attempt to force U.S. businesses to cut ties with China. Johnson praised Trump for America's economic performance during the jovial breakfast, their first since his elevation to the prime minister post in July. But he chided Trump on his unbending China policy. 'Just to register a faint sheep-like note of our view on the trade war,' he told the American leader. 'We're in favor of trade peace.' Trump told reporters he has 'no plans right now' to follow through on his emergency declaration threat, but insisted he would be within his rights to use a 1977 law used to target rogue regimes, terrorists and drug traffickers as the newest weapon in the clash between the world's largest economies 'If I want, I could declare a national emergency,' Trump said. He cited China's theft of intellectual property and the large U.S. trade deficit with China, saying 'in many ways that's an emergency.' Trump then entered the first official summit meeting, initially set to be a discussion of foreign policy and security issues. But White House aides claimed he engineered a late change to the summit schedule, adding economic issues to the agenda. Trump planned to press leaders about what can be done to spur growth in the U.S. and abroad, as well as to open European, Japanese and Canadian markets to American manufacturers and producers. Trump has imposed or threatened to impose tariffs on all three markets in his pursuit of free, fair and reciprocal trade. The meeting of the G-7 nations — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. — in the beach resort town of Biarritz comes at one of the most unpredictable moments in Trump's presidency. His public comments and decision-making increasingly have seemed erratic and acerbic of late. Only hours before his arrival in Biarritz Saturday, Trump threatened anew to place tariffs on French wine imports to the U.S. in a spat over France's digital services tax; the European Union promised to retaliate. That was the backdrop for a late addition to his summit schedule — a two-hour lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron outside the opulent Hotel du Palais. The summit host said the two men were discussing 'a lot of crisis' around the world, including Libya, Iran and Russia, as well as trade policy and climate change. But he also echoed Trump's calls for Europe to do more to address the global slowdown, including by cutting taxes. 'When I look at Europe, especially, we need some new tools to relaunch our economy,' Macron said. Trump disputed reports Sunday of friction with other G7 leaders, saying that he has been 'treated beautifully' since he arrived. But moments later cracks emerged anew between Trump and his counterparts, after the French government said that it was agreed at Saturday's opening dinner that Macron would deliver a message to Iran on behalf of the group. Macron, in recent months, has tried to play intermediary between the U.S. and Iran, as tensions flare over Iran's nuclear program and the Trump administration's increasingly restrictive sanctions on that country. But Trump disputed that he had signed off on any message. 'No I haven't discussed that,' he told reporters during a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. 'No I haven't.' Macron says he has no formal mandate to speak for the G-7 leaders in delivering a message to Iran, but said he would be able to address the issue in the context of what they agreed to during a dinner. The annual G-7 summit has historically been used to highlight common ground among the world's leading democracies. But in a bid to work around Trump's impulsiveness, Macron has eschewed plans for a formal joint statement from this gathering. __ AP writer Kevin Freking contributed from Washington.
  • The Latest on the Group of Seven leaders' summit (all times local): 4:15 p.m. A senior French official says France invited Iran's foreign minister to the venue of the G-7 summit to try to ease tensions over its nuclear program. The official said the decision to invite Jawad Zarif on Sunday to the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, came after the G-7 leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, gathered for dinner Saturday night. Asked whether the White House was aware of the visit, the French official said 'we operate on our own terms' but noted that Macron and Trump met for two hours yesterday and discussed Iran at length, as well as at the group dinner with other leaders. The French official, who was not authorized to be named publicly, said that France considers it important to check in with Zarif to continue to bring positions closer together and de-escalate tensions. The official said the Americans in Biarritz will not meet with Zarif, and that France 'is working in full transparency with the U.S. and in full transparency with European partners.' -Sylvie Corbet ___ 3:50 p.m. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman says the Islamic Republic's top diplomat has landed at the French city hosting the G-7 leaders' summit, though he won't be negotiating nor meeting with U.S. officials while there. Abbas Mousavi wrote on Twitter on Sunday that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had arrived in Biarritz. Mousavi made the announcement just after an Airbus A321 registered to the Iranian government landed there, fueling speculation Zarif could be on board. This is a surprise trip by Zarif. He had only been known to be traveling in the coming days to Asia as part of his tour to get support for Iran amid the U.S. campaign against it since President Donald Trump withdrew America from Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Mousavi stressed in his tweet that 'there will be no meetings or negotiations' with American officials during Zarif's trip. ___ 3:40 p.m. An Airbus A321 registered to the Iranian government has landed in the French city where the ongoing G-7 leaders' summit is happening. According to the flight tracking site FlightRadar24, the Airbus left Tehran and landed Sunday afternoon at the Biarritz airport, which has been closed to all air traffic except that linked to the summit of the Group of Seven, which includes U.S. President Donald Trump. The incoming flight has raised speculation a senior official could be on board. This plane previously flew Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on his recent trip to Europe. However, Zarif is only known to have plans to travel to Asia in the coming days. There was no immediate word from Iranian state media. ___ 2:15 p.m. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has acknowledged that the prospect of a Brexit deal is 'touch and go,' as other European Union governments grasp the problems Britain has with the withdrawal agreement. Johnson told the BBC on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in France that in the last few days 'there has been a dawning realization in Brussels and other European capitals what the shape of the problem is for the U.K.' The British parliament has three times rejected a Brexit deal that Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May, had agreed upon with the EU. Among the key issues is how to prevent the return of a border between EU member Ireland and Britain's Northern Ireland. Johnson said: 'I think it's going to be touch and go but the important thing is to get ready to come out without a deal.' ___ 1:55 p.m. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Council President Donald Turk sought out a bit of common ground during a meeting at the Group of Seven summit, the day after a testy exchange about Britain's pending exit from the European Union. The long-running tensions over Britain's departure from the EU got more personal on Saturday. Johnson and Tusk each suggested that the other is bent on scuttling the chances that the U.K. will break away from the single market of 500 million people with an agreement. But on Sunday, the exchange was a bit friendlier. Johnson said he and Tusk largely agreed on the world's major issues, regardless of whether there is a deal on Brexit. Tusk agreed Britain and Europe would remain close regardless of what happens at the Oct. 31 deadline. ___ 1:50 p.m. French President Emmanuel Macron says leaders of the world's major democracies are nearing an agreement on how to help fight the fires burning in the Amazon and repair the damage. He said they were trying to come up with appropriate mechanisms, both technical and financial. He thrust the Amazon fires to the top of the agenda of the G-7 summit after declaring it a global emergency and threatening to torpedo a trade deal with Brazil and other South American countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come down against blocking the so-called Mercosur trade accord but said she was in favor of treating the Amazon fires as an urgent threat. France claims a small part of the Amazon in its overseas department of French Guiana. ___ 1:45 p.m. Anti-capitalist protesters have canceled demonstrations planned outside the G-7 summit in southwest France after one of their leaders was among dozens detained in skirmishes with police. Alexis Chaussalet of activist group Attac said further actions Sunday are postponed because 'conditions are not met' to demonstrate peacefully. Police have locked down the area around the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, and detained 68 people at a protest Saturday accused of throwing projectiles and other disruptions. Local authorities said no one was injured but Chaussalet said dozens of demonstrators were hurt. He also said a protest leader who had been central to negotiations with local authorities to ensure peaceful demonstrations was arrested overnight. The Group of Seven leaders are discussing economic inequality at their lunch Sunday, in a luxury resort on the Atlantic coast, prepared by a Michelin-starred chef. ___ 1:35 p.m. French President Emmanuel Macron says France is ready to give up its tax on the digital services of tech companies as soon as there is a global agreement on how to tax internet giants such as Facebook and Google. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened tariffs on French wines in retaliation for the tax, which he says unfairly targets American companies. The tax is among the major focuses of this year's G-7 summit of the leaders of major democracies. Macron told reporters Sunday: 'I said very clearly to Trump yesterday that if we can come to an agreement together in the framework of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), we don't need to keep our tax.' Britain has proposed a similar tax. ___ 1:15 p.m. French President Emmanuel Macron says he has no formal mandate to speak for the G-7 leaders in delivering a message to Iran, but said he would be able to address the issue in the context of what they agreed to during a dinner. His comments came after U.S. President Donald Trump denied agreeing to anything regarding how to negotiate with Iran. Macron described the dinner as 'an informal discussion, free, intense, extremely long' that touched especially on the fires in the Amazon, the Ukrainian crisis and Russia. He said Trump is the president of the 'world's number one power' who has to defend his voters' interest, and had made his views on Iran and other subjects quite clear. Macron is walking a fine line as the host of this year's G-7 summit of major democracies, which is focused on the threat of a global recession, climate change and other major issues. ___ 12:50 p.m. Melania Trump, Brigitte Macron and other world leaders' wives are visiting the home of a famed French red pepper and tasting Basque country wine on the sidelines of the G-7 summit. The women are visiting the village of Espelette on Sunday, famed for its piment d'Espelette peppers. The peppers were used in the dinner that the Group of Seven leaders shared in nearby Biarritz on Saturday night. The spouses will have lunch at the Villa Arnaga, built by the French playwright who wrote 'Cyrano de Bergerac.' The villa is also where separatists from Basque group ETA signed a peace accord last year after decades of sometimes violent activism in Spain and France. The U.S. and French first ladies are joined by Akie Abe, wife of Japan's prime minister, Chile's first lady Cecilia Morel, Jenny Morrison, wife of Australia's prime minister, and Malgorzata Tusk, wife of the European Council president. ___ 12:45 p.m. French President Emmanuel Macron is treading the line on negotiations among G-7 leaders over how to handle Iran, after U.S. President Donald Trump disputed his claim that they had agreed he could deliver a message to Iran on the leaders' behalf. In an interview on LCI television just before Trump spoke, Macron said the leaders had agreed on what to say to Iran on their objectives. But Trump said he had agreed to nothing, and within a half-hour the French president's office released a new statement apparently trying to assuage Trump. Macron said he would continue his efforts to de-escalate the situation around Iran as president of the G-7. 'He will address a message to the Iranians on the basis of the exchanges in the G-7 format last night. Everyone will pursue their own outreach.' ___ 12:10 p.m. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson began his G-7 summit with a swim outside the rocky outcrop near the Hotel du Palais in the French resort of Biarritz. Johnson, who is known more as a runner than a swimmer, took a dip in the Atlantic with Britain's ambassador to France. French security officers, including one on a surfboard, accompanied the British leader as he swam around the rock. Johnson took the dip before an early morning breakfast meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. The beach is usually packed this time of year but is eerily empty this weekend because of heavy security for the Group of Seven summit with world leaders. ___ 12:05 p.m. President Donald Trump is disputing statements by the French government that the Group of Seven nations agreed to empower French President Emmanuel Macron to send a message on behalf of the advanced democracies to Iran. Asked if he signed onto the message, Trump told reporters, 'I haven't discussed that.' The French presidency said earlier Sunday that the leaders of the G-7 countries agreed to allow French President Emmanuel Macron to address a message to Iran in their name and to hold talks with Iranian officials. No details were provided on the message but the French presidency said the goal is to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons and avoid further escalating tensions in the Middle East. Trump says during a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo that he's not stopping any leader from talking with Iran, noting Abe's recent outreach. He says: 'If they want to talk, they can talk.' ___ 11:50 a.m. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, shaking the hand of French President Emmanuel Macron, congratulated him on his handling of a 'difficult' discussion at the G-7 leaders' dinner the night before. Before taking their seats around the negotiating table Sunday morning to discuss the world economy, the leaders chatted and exchanged greetings. Johnson and Macron have sparred over Britain's plans to leave the European Union, but they were all smiles on Sunday. During a long handshake, Johnson told Macron 'You did very well last night. My God, that was a difficult one.' He added, in French, 'bien joué' - or 'well played.' The leaders dined together Saturday to kick off a summit that has laid bare huge differences between longtime allies on a range of topics, from trade to climate change and how to save a deal on Iran's nuclear program. The French presidency said they agreed to let Macron speak for the G-7 in a message to Iran. ___ 11:15 a.m. Leaders of the G-7 countries agreed to allow French President Emmanuel Macron to address a message to Iran in their name. The French presidency said Macron will hold talks with Iranian authorities on the basis of discussions at the Group of Seven summit informal dinner with U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders on Saturday night in the French town of Biarritz. No details were provided on the message but the French presidency said the goal is to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons and avoid further escalating tensions in the Middle East. France holds the presidency of the Group of Seven rich democracies this year. For several months, Macron has taken a lead role in trying to save the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, which has been unraveling since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement. Macron met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Paris on Friday before heading to Biarritz for the summit. ___ 10:50 a.m. Critics of French President Emmanuel Macron are marching near the G-7 summit he is hosting to demand he do more to protect French workers and the planet. A mix of activists, some wearing yellow vests, carried portraits of Macron as they marched Sunday through the southwest city of Bayonne. Some held the portraits upside down. The march came as Macron hosted U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of major democracies for talks Sunday in neighboring Biarritz on the shaky global economy. The protesters are holding portraits in solidarity with environmental activists who removed official portraits of Macron from town halls around France earlier this year to protest his climate change policies. Internationally, Macron is a vocal champion of fighting climate change, and has challenged Trump on the issue. At home in France, however, activists accuse him of lagging on promises to wean France from fossil fuels. ___ 10:35 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson say they are talking about the way forward on a comprehensive trade agreement after Britain leaves the European Union. In a joint statement Sunday after their first meeting, on the sidelines of the G-7 summit, the two said they would create a working group on trade issues. Johnson has complained about American restrictions on imports of food and other items. The British prime minister is meeting later Sunday with European Council President Donald Tusk, whose welcome will be considerably less warm. The two are widely expected to discuss the bill for Brexit. ___ 9:45 a.m. Leaders of the Group of Seven are arriving for a working meeting focused on looming threats to the global economy. U.S. President Donald Trump and the leaders of the other G-7 countries, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, Germany, Canada as well as the European Union were expected to discuss the spread of trade disputes, notably the U.S. trade war with China. Sunday's gathering in the French seaside resort of Biarritz comes on the heels of the first face-to-face meeting between Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hoping for a quick trade accord with the United States as Britain's exit from the European Union approaches. ___ 9:20 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump has offered British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a boost, saying he's the 'right man' to deliver Brexit. Speaking on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in France, Trump was asked what his advice was for Britain's departure from the European Union. Trump responded: 'He needs no advice. He is the right man for the job.' Johnson replied that the president was 'on message there.' The much-anticipated meeting was the first since Johnson took Britain's top job last month. The pair met for a working breakfast on Sunday after being photographed on Saturday night walking and talking on the margins of the summit. Johnson desperately needs a U.S. trade deal post-Brexit, as Britain will lose its easy access to the EU's single market. ___ 9:15 a.m. Leaders of major world economies are meeting to discuss the shaky world economy amid trade disputes and uncertainty over U.S. President Donald Trump's policies. Trump tried to play down tensions among Group of Seven leaders after they had dinner Saturday in the southwest French resort of Biarritz. He is worried that the global economic slowdown is spreading to the U.S. before next year's elections. The G-7 leaders are meeting Sunday morning to focus on what they can do together to boost the economy. They include the heads of Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy. Disputes on trade have unsettled the global economy because businesses don't know where tariffs will be imposed. Anti-capitalist protesters also plan demonstrations Sunday after clashing with police near Biarritz on the summit's opening day Saturday.
  • Authorities say a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who said he was shot in a station parking lot was lying. Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon said at a news conference late Saturday that Wednesday's 'reported sniper assault was fabricated' by Angel Reinosa, a 21-year-old deputy. A department statement on Thursday had said a round hit the top of Reinosa's shoulder, damaging his uniform shirt but failing to penetrate his flesh. But Sheriff's Capt. Kent Wegener says no bullets were recovered from the scene and detectives saw 'no visible injuries.' He says Reinosa eventually admitted making up the story and using a knife to cut the two holes in his shirt. Reinosa has been relieved of his duties and will face a criminal investigation. Wegener says Reinosa didn't explain a motive.

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  • Officials are investigating after an explicit video was shared “inadvertently and unknowingly” from a Mississippi teacher’s phone, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  According to a statement from Horn Lake police, the department received information regarding the video Wednesday.  DeSoto County Schools are conducting an investigation into the video, which reportedly showed explicit content of a teacher in the district. Police said if there was a “criminal element regarding the release of the video,” Horn Lake officers will then initiate a full investigation. School officials have not identified the teacher who was seen in the video, and the contents of the video have not been released at this time. The school district did confirm to WHBQ that the teacher involved is no longer an employee there. Again, officials told WHBQ that the video was shared without the teacher’s knowledge.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help identifying a suspect they say committed a burglary involving a battery in Arlington. According to police, their investigation has revealed that a suspect entered a victim's home overnight while she was asleep. Police say the suspect woke up the victim, threatened and battered her, and then took some of her belongings.  If you have information on who this individual is, you're urged to contact the sheriff's office at (904) 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • In a series of tweets Friday, President Donald Trump announced new retaliatory tariffs against China, bumping up taxes by 5 percentage points.  >> MORE: China, Trump ratchet up tensions with new tariffs >> Read more trending news  Here’s a look at trade tariffs and what they do. What is a tariff? A tariff is a tax on imports or exports that increases their prices. Tariffs are used by governments to make foreign products less attractive to consumers in order to protect domestic industries from competition. Money collected under a tariff is called a duty or customs duty. What types of tariffs are there?There are two types of tariffs – an ad valorem tariff and a specific tariff. An ad valorem tariff is a tariff that is a fixed percentage of the value of an imported good. If the price of the imported good goes up, the ad valorem tariff goes up. If it goes down, the tariff goes down. For instance, if a company exports an item to the United States costing $50 and the ad valorem tariff on that product is 20 percent, the company would have to pay the tariff -- $10 in this case -- to export the product to the U.S. If the price of the item goes up to $75, the company will have to pay a tariff of $15 to sell the item in the US. A specific tariff is a fixed amount of money placed on the item no matter the cost. Say there is a $20 specific tariff on that $50 item. The company exporting the item to the US would have to pay $20 to sell the item in the U.S. If the item goes up in cost to $75, the company will still have to pay $20 to export the item. Why should I care if the US government puts a tariff on items? The manufacturer pays for that, right? Sure, manufacturers pay the tariff upfront, but the cost of the tariff will be passed along to the consumer. Or, if the cost of the tariff is too high for those exporting goods, then they stop exporting goods. Tariffs affect the cost of goods you buy, and the U.S. buys many more products than it sells. So, why slap tariffs on goods if it will hurt the US consumer? The theory is that as goods made by people outside the U.S. get more expensive, manufacturers within the country will either increase their production of the product or other companies will begin to produce the product, thus strengthening the U.S. economy.
  • The Baker County Sheriff's Office is announcing an arrest, following an incident Thursday were a young child was found unresponsive in a hot car. According to the sheriff's office, the 3-year-old boy's mother is now being charged with child neglect. Deputies say 23-year-old Katie Davis failed to provide the toddler with proper care and supervision.  Investigators say the boy's father had been at work all night and went to bed at approximately 7:00 AM, Thursday morning. They say that Davis also went back to sleep around that same time with the child, despite having slept some the night before.  Investigators say when Davis woke up around 1:30 PM, she realized the boy was no longer in the bed. We're told that she then discovered him inside the couple's car outside, where some of his toys had been kept.  Deputies say Davis and her husband were able to get him out by smashing one of the windows and unlocking the doors.  The boy was airlifted to Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Thursday afternoon. Deputies said Friday he's recovering and stable.
  • According to many polls, Americans – especially those who say they are Democrats -- are not that fond of the Electoral College. Neither are many of the Democratic candidates for president. >> Read more trending news  With just over 14 months until the 2020 presidential election, a movement to change the way electoral votes are awarded and who will be elected president has gained some steam. The National Popular Vote Compact (NPV), which has its roots in the most contested presidential election in U.S. history, sets in state law a policy that awards all a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. Under the Electoral College system used today, 48 states have a “winner-take-all” system that awards all the state’s electoral votes to the person who gets a majority of votes in that state. The Electoral College does not take into consideration that national popular vote. Sixteen states, along with the District of Columbia, have passed the NPV agreement. They are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island. While legislation has been passed in the 16 states and the District of Columbia, the agreement would not go into effect until states with a collective 270 electoral votes — the number needed to win the presidency — agree to join. Currently, the District of Columbia and the 16 states in the agreement hold a combined total of 196 electoral votes, meaning the pact would need enough new state members to get 74 electoral votes.Supporters say the system would give the person who got the most votes country-wide the presidency he or she deserves. Opponents say states would be forced to hand over electoral votes to a candidate who did not win that state. For instance, in the 2016 election, a state such as Florida, in which President Donald Trump earned more votes, would have had to pledge its 29 electoral votes to Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, who won the national popular vote in the 2016 election. The Electoral College of today was established by the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution which replaced the method for electing the president and vice president provided in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3. Under the system, when voters cast a ballot for president, they are actually choosing members of the Electoral College, called electors, who are pledged to that presidential candidate. Following the election for president, electors then meet to choose the president. Electors almost always vote for their state’s popular vote winner, and some states have laws requiring them to do so. However, electors are not bound by federal law to vote for a specific candidate – for instance, the one who won the popular vote in their state. In 29 states and the District of Columbia, electors are bound by state law or by a pledge they sign to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote of the state they represent. Five men have won the presidency in the Electoral College while not winning the country’s popular vote: John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016. The National Popular Vote campaign goes back to Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore's loss to Bush in 2000, according to The Associated Press. Gore won the popular vote but lost the election over a vote count in Florida.

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