Isaias whips up eastern US
WINDSOR, N.C. — At least four people were killed as Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain Tuesday along the U.S. East Coast after making landfall as a hurricane in North Carolina, where it caused floods and fires that displaced dozens of people. Two people died when Isaias spun off a tornado that struck a North Carolina mobile home park. Authorities said two others were killed by falling trees toppled by the storm in Maryland and New York City. More than 18 hours after coming ashore, Isaias still had sustained top winds of 65 mph at 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday. The storm’s center was about 20 miles west of Albany, New York. As Isaias sped northward at 40 mph, the National Hurricane Center warned of flash flood threats in the New York’s Hudson River Valley and potential for minor to moderate river flooding elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic region. Two people died after a tornado demolished several mobile homes in Windsor, North Carolina. Emergency responders finished searching the wreckage Tuesday afternoon. They found no other casualties, and several people initially feared missing had all been accounted for, said Ron Wesson, chairman of the Bertie County Board of Commissioners. He said about 12 people were hospitalized. Sharee and Jeffrey Stilwell took shelter in their living room about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday as the tornado tore through Windsor. Sharee Stillwell said their home shook “like a freight train.” “I felt like the house was going to cave in,” said Jeffrey Stillwell, 65, though once the storm passed, the couple found only a few damaged shingles and fallen tree branches in the yard. The mobile home park less than 2 miles away wasn’t so fortunate. Aerial video by WRAL-TV showed fields of debris where rescue workers in brightly colored shirts picked through splintered boards and other wreckage. Nearby, a vehicle was flipped onto its roof. “It doesn’t look real; it looks like something on TV. Nothing is there,” Bertie County Sheriff John Holley told reporters, saying 10 mobile homes had been destroyed. “All my officers are down there at this time. Pretty much the entire trailer park is gone.”
Sunken military tank found
SAN DIEGO — The Navy has located a seafaring tank that sank off the Southern California coast last week and was working to recover human remains. The Navy planned to place equipment near the amphibious assault vehicle that is under 385 feet of water by the end of the week to begin the recovery of the remains. After that process is complete, it will raise the amphibious vehicle. Seven Marines and one Navy sailor were missing after the 26-ton landing craft sank Thursday. Another Marine was pronounced dead at the scene and seven others were rescued. Two remain hospitalized with injuries. The military ended rescue efforts on Sunday. The troops had completed routine training and were heading back to a Navy ship when the craft sank less than a mile from San Clemente Island off the coast of San Diego. The U.S. Navy’s Undersea Rescue Command said the human remains were seen aboard the craft using remotely operated video systems from the merchant vessel HOS Dominator, a ship specializing in undersea search and rescue. The commandant of the Marine Corps has suspended all waterborne operations of its more than 800 amphibious assault vehicles until the cause of the accident is determined.
Ex-MSU gym coach sentenced
LANSING, Mich. — A former Michigan State University head gymnastics coach was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in jail for lying to police during an investigation into former Olympic and university doctor Larry Nassar. Kathie Klages, 65, was found guilty in February of a felony and a misdemeanor for denying she knew of Nassar’s abuse prior to 2016 when survivors started to come forward publicly. She also was sentenced to 18 months of probation. Klages testified at trial, and in a tearful statement Tuesday, that she did not remember being told about the abuse. She said she had been seeing a therapist to try to remember the conversations, and she apologized to victims if they occurred. “Even when I don’t express it to others, I struggle with what I’ve been accused of and what my role in this tragedy may have been,” she said in court. Two women testified in November 2018 that they told Klages in 1997 that Nassar had sexually abused them and spoke Tuesday in court ahead of the sentencing. One of the women, Larissa Boyce, testified that Klages held up a piece of paper in front of the then-teenager and warned that if she filed a report there could be serious consequences.
Young sues Trump campaign
NEW YORK — Neil Young sued President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign Tuesday for copyright infringement, saying he doesn’t want his music used as a theme song for a “divisive un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.” The Grammy-award winning Canadian-born musician filed the lawsuit through his lawyers in Manhattan federal court, seeking up to $150,000 in statutory damages for each infringement. The legendary singer cited repeated use of two songs: “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk.” The campaign has used the tunes numerous times at rallies and political events, including on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the lawsuit said. Young said he was not suing to “disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing,” the lawsuit said. “However,” it added, “Plaintiff in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.”
Sturgis rally expecting 250K
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Sturgis is on. The message has been broadcast across social media as South Dakota, which has seen an uptick in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, braces to host hundreds of thousands of bikers for the 80th edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. More than 250,000 people are expected to rumble through western South Dakota, seeking the freedom of cruising the boundless landscapes in a state that has skipped lockdowns. The Aug. 7 to 16 event, which could be the biggest anywhere so far during the pandemic, will offer businesses that depend on the rally a chance to make up for losses caused by the coronavirus. But for many in Sturgis, a city of about 7,000, the brimming bars and bacchanalia will not be welcome during a pandemic. Though only about half the usual number of people are expected at this year’s event, residents were split as the city weighed its options. Many worried that the rally would cause an unmanageable outbreak of COVID-19. In a survey of residents conducted by the city, more than 60% said the rally should be postponed. But businesses pressured the City Council to proceed. Rallygoers have spent about $800 million in past years, according to the state Department of Tourism. Though the rally has an ignominious history of biker gangs and lawlessness, bikers of a different sort have shown up in recent years — affluent professionals who ride for recreation and come flush with cash. Though the rally still features libertine displays, it also offers charity events and tributes to the military and veterans.
Husband of DA charged
LOS ANGELES — The husband of Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey has been charged with pointing a gun at Black Lives Matter members who demonstrated outside the couple’s home the day before she faced a primary election in March. The state attorney general filed three misdemeanor charges Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court against David Lacey for assault with a firearm for the March 2 incident. Lacey, 66, pointed a gun at demonstrators who protested outside the couple’s home before dawn on March 2 and said “I will shoot you,” according to video of the incident. Jackie Lacey offered an emotional apology at the time, saying her husband told her he pulled the gun and told protesters to leave. Lacey’s campaign issued a statement Tuesday saying her husband thought they were in danger and was trying to protect them.
Honda recalls 1.6M vans, SUVs
DETROIT — Honda is recalling over 1.6 million minivans and SUVs in the U.S. to fix problems that include faulty backup camera displays, malfunctioning dashboard displays and sliding doors that don’t latch properly. The problems were revealed in four recalls posted Tuesday by the government. They cover certain Odyssey minivans and Pilot and Passport SUVs. Some vehicles are included in several of the recalls. The largest recall covers nearly 608,000 Odysseys from 2018 to 2020, the 2019 and 2020 Passport and the 2019 through 2021 Pilot. Honda says critical dashboard functions such as the speedometer, engine oil light and gear position can fail to display due to faulty software. Dealers will reprogram the software starting Sept. 23. Another recall covers almost a half-million Odysseys and Passports from 2019 and 2020 and Pilots from 2019 through 2021. Incorrect software programming can stop the rear camera displays from working. Honda will notify owners when updated software is available. They can follow mailed instructions to download the updates for free or visit a dealer. The recall also starts Sept. 23. The third recall covers over 324,000 2018 through 2020 Odysseys. Water can get into the outer door handle cables for the sliding doors. It can freeze in cold temperatures, stopping the doors from latching properly. Dealers will replace the sliding door outer handle cables starting Sept. 23. The fourth recall includes over 212,000 2019-2020 Odysseys for another water problem. It can get into the rearview camera mounting holes and distort the camera image, or it may not display. Honda will replace the rearview camera at no cost starting Sept. 23.
Unarmed Minuteman 3 tested
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from California early Tuesday on a test flight to a target in the Pacific Ocean, the Air Force Global Strike Command said. The missile blasted off at 12:21 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base and its three reentry vehicles traveled 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands as part of a developmental test, the command said from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. Test launches are essential to sustaining the aging Minuteman 3 nuclear weapon system, Col. Omar Colbert, the 576th Flight Test Squadron commander, said in a statement.
Plan to boost conservation, parks
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed legislation Tuesday that will devote nearly $3 billion a year to conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands following its overwhelming approval by both parties in Congress. Supporters say the Great American Outdoors Act is the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly half a century. Opponents countered that the money isn’t enough to cover the estimated $20 billion maintenance backlog on federally owned lands. The Great American Outdoors Act requires full, permanent funding of the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund and addresses the maintenance backlog facing national parks and public lands. The law would spend about $900 million a year — double current spending — on the conservation fund and another $1.9 billion per year on improvements at national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and range lands. Interior Secretary David Bernardt said the law will help create more than 100,000 jobs.
2 new gorilla babies in Uganda
KAMPALA, Uganda — Two new baby gorillas have been discovered in a Ugandan national park where a beloved primate named Rafiki was killed in June, a wildlife official announced Tuesday, saying the infants are part of a baby boom in the protected forest popular with tourists. “For us it’s a sign of relief. We lost one. We got two. But, of course, losing one is bad enough,” said Bashir Hangi, a spokesman for Uganda Wildlife Authority, talking about the loss of Rafiki. The babies are believed to have been born in the same week last month to two separate groups of habituated gorillas — primates that seem comfortable in the presence of humans — in the remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, according to wildlife authorities. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies the mountain gorilla as an endangered species. Until November 2018, the same group classified mountain gorillas as critically endangered. The population of mountain gorillas has increased to allow for the less severe classification.
Kanye withdraws ballot petition
TRENTON, N.J. — Kanye West withdrew his petition to appear as a presidential candidate on New Jersey’s ballot, according to an email chain between a judge and what appears to be the rapper’s campaign email address. In email correspondence obtained by The Associated Press, an unidentified person writing from a Kanye 2020 address tells Administrative Law Judge Gail Cookson that West is dropping his effort to appear on New Jersey’s ballot.
“At this time, Kanye 2020 has no further option than to regrettably withdraw from New Jersey and cease further efforts to place Mr. West’s name on the New Jersey ballot,” the Kanye 2020 email said late Monday. Election law attorney Scott Salmon objected to West’s petition last month, arguing that it failed to pass legal muster because signatures were incomplete and in some cases appeared written in very similar handwriting. Salmon, who is a registered Democrat but brought the complaint on his own behalf, reacted positively to the news that West had withdrawn. “I am glad that the Kanye campaign has realized that their petition was so deficient that it wasn’t even worth defending,” Salmon said in a phone interview. “It sort of highlights the fact that it shouldn’t have been submitted in the first place.”
Progress slow as urgency grows
WASHINGTON — Frustrated Senate Republicans re-upped their complaints on Tuesday that Democratic negotiators are staking too hard a line in talks on a sweeping coronavirus relief bill, but an afternoon negotiating session brought at least modest concessions from both sides, even as an agreement appears far off. Top Democrats emerged from a 90-minute meeting with Trump administration officials to declare more progress. The Trump team agreed with that assessment and highlighted its offer to extend a moratorium on evictions from federally subsidized housing through the end of the year. “We really went down, issue by issue by issue slogging through this. They made some concessions which we appreciated. We made some concessions that they appreciated,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “We’re still far away on a lot of the important issues but we’re continuing to go back.”
US nears 5 million virus cases
BOSTON — Fourth of July gatherings, graduation parties, no-mask weddings, crowded bars — there are reasons the U.S. has racked up more than 155,000 coronavirus deaths, by far the most of any country, and is fast approaching an off-the-charts 5 million confirmed infections, easily the highest in the world. Many Americans have resisted wearing masks and social distancing, calling such precautions an overreaction or an infringement on their liberty. Public health experts say the problem has been compounded by confusing and inconsistent guidance from politicians and a patchwork quilt of approaches to containing the scourge by county, state and federal governments. “The thing that’s maddening is country after country and state after state have shown us how we can contain the virus,” said Dr. Jonathan Quick of the Duke Global Health Institute. “It’s not like we don’t know what works. We do.” Confirmed infections in the U.S. have topped 4.7 million, with new cases running at more than 60,000 a day. While that’s down from a peak of well over 70,000 in the second half of July, cases are on the rise in 26 states, many in the South and West, and deaths are climbing in 35 states.
Man charged in Chicago death
CHICAGO — A 39-year-old convicted felon appeared to be “hunting” for somebody to shoot shortly before he opened fire and killed a 9-year-old boy as he played in front of his Chicago home, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Darrell Johnson has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Janari Ricks on Friday evening in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood. Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy told the judge that security video footage shows a man wearing a mask who they believe was Johnson looking through fences and into courtyards, apparently searching for his intended target. “He went hunting” and “was looking for somebody to shoot,” Murphy said. When the gunman opened fire, several people tried to run away, including Janari, but one bullet struck the boy in the back and exited through his chest, while another hit him in the arm, prosecutors said. The child was pronounced dead soon after. Authorities have said Janari was not the gunman’s intended target.
Teen hack suspect pleads not guilty
TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida teen identified as the mastermind of a scheme that gained control of Twitter accounts of prominent politicians, celebrities and technology moguls pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to multiple counts of fraud. Graham Ivan Clark, 17, is accused of using the hijacked Twitter accounts to scam people around the world out of more than $100,000 in Bitcoin. He is charged with 17 counts of communications fraud, 11 counts of fraudulent use of personal information, and one count each of organized fraud of more than $5,000 and accessing computers or electronic devices without authority. The brief hearing in Tampa took place via the video conferencing service Zoom.
Clark is scheduled for a bond hearing on Wednesday. He remains in the Hillsborough County Jail with bail set at $725,000, according to court records.