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News

  • Ten sailors are missing and five are injured after a U.S. Navy destroyer collided with an oil and chemical tanker early Monday. >> Read more trending news The USS John S. McCain collided with the 'Alnic MC' at 6:24 a.m. in the Strait of Malacca off the coast of Singapore in the Pacific Ocean, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. The USS John S. McCain sustained damage to its left rear side. Osprey aircraft and Seahawk helicopters from the USS America are helping with search and rescue efforts, officials said. Tug boats and coast guard vessels are also helping. The ship is named for both McCain Sr. and Jr. who served in the Navy. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Morrow police are investigating a homicide they said is the first one in the city in 11 years. Police said they responded to a report of gunshots in the area of Oxford Townhomes around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. It happened near a Walmart, across the highway and railroad tracks, police said. Officers found an 18-year-old man dead from a gunshot wound. They said he was pronounced dead at the scene. “This is a murder investigation at this point and all available resources for the Detective Division are being utilized,” Morrow Police Chief James Callaway said in a statement. There are no suspects at this time, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call Morrow police or Atlanta Crime Stoppers. There will be at least a $2,000 reward for information, which police said is likely to increase. Tips can be anonymous. 
  • The victims of last week's attacks in Barcelona and a nearby resort town came from around the world and across generations — a Canadian with an adventurous spirit, a Portuguese woman celebrating her 74th birthday, a 3-year-old Spanish boy enjoying a day out with his family. They are among 14 people killed and more than 120 others wounded in Barcelona and the nearby town of Cambrils on Thursday and Friday. The dead and injured represented nearly three dozen countries, places where loved ones are in mourning or experiencing a new kinship with the people of Spain. Here are some details about the victims: ___ Julian Cadman, 7, Australia and Britain The British and Australian governments and Catalan emergency services announced the death of 7-year-old Julian Cadman on Sunday. The boy, a dual citizen of Australia and Britain, had been missing since the attack that seriously injured his mother. Julian and his mother, Jom Cadman, were in Barcelona for a family wedding and enjoying the sights when a van sped down the Las Ramblas promenade targeting pedestrians. His mother, a 43-year-old from the Philippines who had been living in Australia, was hospitalized. 'He was so energetic, funny and cheeky, always bringing a smile to our faces,' the child's family said in a statement released by the Australian department for foreign affairs after his death was announced. On Friday, Julian's grandfather posted an appeal on Facebook with Julian's photo asking for help finding him. The Australian prime minister asked people to pray for him, and the British prime minister said the government was urgently looking into his situation. The family statement extended sympathy to others coping with losses and thanked all those who helped search for Julian, saying, 'Your kindness was incredible during a difficult time.' 'We are so blessed to have had him in our lives and will remember his smiles and hold his memory dear to our hearts. ___ Ian Moore Wilson, 53, Canada Ian Moore Wilson's daughter Fiona described him as an adventurous traveler and 'much-loved husband, father, brother and grandfather.' The Vancouver police department issued a statement from Fiona, a staff sergeant in the force, saying that Wilson had been killed and his wife, Valerie, had been injured in the attack. Fiona Wilson and the Vancouver police thanked the emergency workers and others who helped her father in his final moments and got medical assistance for her mother. 'In the midst of this tragedy, my dad would want those around him to focus on the extraordinary acts of human kindness that our family has experienced over the past several days, and that is exactly what we intend to do,' she wrote. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said four other Canadians were injured in the extremist attacks. ___ Granddaughter and grandmother, 20 and 74, Portugal The two were in Barcelona to celebrate the grandmother's birthday when they were caught up in the horror on Las Ramblas, according to Portuguese media reports. They had arrived in the city for a week's vacation just a few hours before they were killed, Jose Luis Carneiro, a Lisbon official, told reporters. The older woman was reported dead Friday, while the younger woman was initially reported as missing before finally being identified Saturday. Those hours left her parents in a painful limbo, Carneiro said. The parents are 'broken-hearted,' Carneiro said. 'Firstly, because they were caught by surprise by the death of the man's mother and then spent hours not knowing what had happened to their daughter.' The victims' names were not released. ___ Pepita Codina, 75, Spain Pepita Codina is being honored with a makeshift memorial in Hipolit de Voldrega, her hometown of 3,000 people near Barcelona. Mayor Xavier Vilamala said on Twitter he was 'very sad and distressed' by the news of her death. Local media reported that Codina's daughter, Elisabet, was injured in the attack, but is currently out of danger at Hospital del Marin Barcelona. Neighbor Enriqueta Ordeig described Codina as a 'very good woman' who moved to the town when her husband retired, according to the El Pais newspaper. ___ Bruno Gulotta, 35, Italy A father from Legnano in northern Italy is being praised as a hero who protected his children during an attack in Barcelona. One of his Gulotta's work colleagues, Pino Bruno, told the Italian news agency ANSA that he saved the life of his two young children — Alessandro, 6, and Aria, 7 months — by throwing himself between them and the van that mowed people down. Bruno said he spoke to Gulotta's wife, Martina, and she told him her husband had been holding the 6-year-old's hand on the tourist-thronged avenue in Barcelona when 'the van appeared suddenly.' 'Everyone knelt down, instinctively, as if to protect themselves,' Bruno said, adding that Gulotta put himself in front of his children and was fatally struck. Gulotta was a sales manager for Tom's Hardware Italia, an online publication about technology. 'Rest in peace, Bruno, and protect your loved ones from up high,' read one tribute on the company's website. ___ Carmen Lopardo, 80, Italy Lopardo, apparently the oldest person to die in the attack, was among three Italians killed in Barcelona, according to Italy's foreign ministry. In a statement, it said Lopardo was killed in the 'vile terrorist attack in Barcelona,' without providing details. News reports said Lopardo was an Italian who had immigrated to Argentina in 1950 and was visiting Barcelona. ___ Silvina Alejandra Pereyra, 40, Argentina and Spain Argentina's Foreign Ministry says Pereyra, an Argentine-Spanish dual citizen who resided in Barcelona for the last 10 years, is among those who died. It says in a statement that her death was confirmed through family members living in Bolivia after a cousin identified her body at a morgue in Barcelona. The Argentine government expressed its deep regret over the pain caused to Pereyra's family and friends and said its diplomatic missions in Barcelona and Madrid are working to assist. ___ Francisco Lopez Rodriguez, 57, and Javier Martinez, 3, Spain Francisco Lopez Rodriguez was killed with his 3-year-old grand-nephew, Javier Martinez, while walking along Las Ramblas. Lopez was accompanied by his wife, Roser — who is recovering from her wounds in a hospital — her niece and the niece's two children, one of them Javier. 'He was a lovely man, kind and charitable' and always telling jokes, said 81-year-old Natalia Moreno Perez from Lopez's native Lanteira, a town of 700 inhabitants outside Granada in southern Spain. Lopez left the town with his family in the 1960s to seek work and was a metal worker living in Rubi, a migrant town of 75,000 people northwest of Barcelona. 'We are a broken family,' niece Raquel Baron Lopez posted on Twitter. ___ Luca Russo, 25, Italy One of Italy's three victims in the Barcelona van attack is being mourned as a brilliant young engineer dragged to his death before his girlfriend's eyes. A determined Luca Russo, 25, already had a job in electronic engineering, no easy feat in Italy, where youth unemployment runs stubbornly high. 'We were investing in him. We wanted to make him grow professionally,' the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Stefano Facchinello, one of the partners in the Padua-area company where Russo had worked for a year, as saying. The girlfriend, Marta Scomazzon, who was hospitalized with a fractured foot and elbow, told an aunt that 'we were walking together, then the van came on top of us.' ___ Ana Maria Suarez, Spain The Spanish royal family sent condolences to Ana Maria Suarez's family via Twitter after she died in the attack in the resort town of Cambrils. According to local media, the 67-year-old woman was originally from the city of Zaragoza, and was on vacation with her family. Suarez's husband and one of her sisters were injured and being treated at a hospital. They had just eaten dinner and were celebrating the husband's 69th birthday, walking in the crowded port area of Cambrils, when a van drove down a path hours after the Barcelona attack, according to El Mundo newspaper. Suarez is the only civilian to have been killed in Cambrils, where five attackers wearing fake explosives belts were shot to death by police. ___ Jared Tucker, 42, United States California resident Jared Tucker, 42, and his wife were ending their European vacation in Barcelona after visiting Paris and Venice, and were on their way to a beach when they decided to stop at a cafe on Las Ramblas. Shortly after her husband left to use the restroom, 'all mayhem broke out,' Heidi Nunes-Tucker told NBC News. Later, she learned that he was among those killed in the truck attack in Barcelona, the only known American fatality. Nunes-Tucker, 40, called her husband 'truly the love of my life' and says she's struggling to make sense of the violence. Tucker's father, Daniel Tucker, said the couple had saved for the vacation to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary. Jared Tucker, who worked with his father in a family business remodeling swimming pools, had 'a magnetic personality, and people loved him,' his father told The Associated Press. He liked to fish, play golf and other sports, and leaves behind three daughters. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed condolences to the victim's family. ___ Elke Vanbockrijck, Belgium Vanbockrijck was at the KFC Heur Tongeren soccer club 'nearly every day' ferrying her 10- and 14-year-old boys back and forth to training and matches, said team president Arnould Partoens. The family was on vacation in Barcelona. The boys and their father, a policeman, were unhurt, he said. Team vice president Herwig Dessers said coaches and players would stand in silence to remember her over the next few days 'and talk to the children about what happened.' A picture of Vanbockrijck now rests on the bar inside the clubhouse. ___ The Potot family, Ireland Norman Potot and his family were scouting for souvenir keychains when 'suddenly, a white van came running through us,' the Philippines-born Ireland resident later told the Irish Independent. Potot was hit in the ribcage and lost consciousness, regaining it to observe police and bystanders running and blood everywhere. His family — 39-year-old wife, Pederlita, or Pearly, and their two children — were injured in the stampeding crowd. Daughter Nailah Pearl, 9, had a broken arm. Son Nathaniel, 5, suffered a broken leg that needed surgery on what had been a trip to celebrate his birthday. 'My kids are traumatized. All of us are traumatized,' Potot, 45, told the Independent from his Barcelona hospital bed. He suffered kidney and head injuries. By Saturday, the Potots were feeling well enough to greet Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia as the royals visited their hospital ward. Norman Potot, originally from the Filipino municipality of Cordova, and his wife, who's from the city of Ozamiz, moved to Dublin to work in the hotel industry, friend Dennis Santillan told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The Potots are Irish citizens, according to media reports. ___ Danica Kirka in London; Barry Hatton and Helena Alves in Lisbon, Portugal; Ciaran Giles in Madrid, Jocelyn Gecker in Walnut Creek, California; Lorne Cook in Brussels, Nicole Winfield in Rome, Kristen Gelineau in Sydney, and Jennifer Peltz in New York contributed.
  • In a heinous case on the Navajo Nation, an 11-year-old girl was lured into a van, sexually assaulted and killed. The tribe did not seek to have the man who recently admitted to killing her put to death. American Indian tribes for decades have been able to tell federal prosecutors if they want a death sentence considered for certain crimes on their land. Nearly all have rejected that option. Tribes and legal experts say the decision goes back to culture and tradition, past treatment of American Indians and fairness in the justice system. 'Most Indian tribes were mistreated by the United States under past federal policies, and there can be historical trauma in cases associated with the execution of Native people,' said Robert Anderson, a University of Washington law professor and a member of the Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. 'This allows tribes to at least decide in those narrow circumstances when there should be a federal death penalty or not.' In the Navajo case, Ashlynne Mike's body wasn't found until the next day. Her death in May 2016 renewed discussions there about capital punishment. Ashlynne's mother has urged the tribe to opt into the death penalty, particularly for crimes that involve children. The tribe long has objected to putting people to death, saying the culture teaches against taking a human life for vengeance. For years, Theda New Breast has seen the effects of domestic violence, drug addiction and poverty on her Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. The healer helps those who suffer from the associated trauma. But regardless of the nature of the crime, the 61-year-old is staunchly against capital punishment. 'Our beliefs, that I was raised with, say that no one has a right to take away a life except the Creator. Period,' New Breast said. 'End of story.' Congress expanded the list of death-penalty eligible crimes in the mid-1990s, allowing tribes to decide if they wanted their citizens subject to the death penalty. Legal experts say they are aware of only one tribe, the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, that has opted in. Tribal leaders there hoped the decision would deter serious, violent crimes on the reservation in east-central Oklahoma, said Truman Carter, a Sac and Fox member, attorney and tribal prosecutor. 'The tribal leaders have said yes over the years, and they left it alone,' he said. No American Indian has been executed in any case from the Sac and Fox reservation. Still, the ability of tribes to decide on the death penalty doesn't completely exempt Native Americans from federal death row. According to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., 16 Native Americans have been executed since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. The executions were for crimes occurring off tribal land or in the handful of states where the federal government does not have jurisdiction over major crimes on reservations. That was the case earlier this year when a California jury imposed the death penalty for Cherie Rhoades. The former leader of the Cedarville Rancheria Tribe was convicted of fatally shooting four people and trying to kill two others. Modac County District Attorney Jordan Funk said he didn't consult with the tribe and wasn't required to before deciding to pursue the death penalty. He said Rhoades expressed no remorse for the killings at a tribal meeting where officials were considering her eviction from the tribe. 'If they would have told me they don't want us to execute her, I would have done it anyway,' Funk said. Tribes also don't have a say over the death penalty when certain federal crimes like carjacking or kidnapping resulting in death, or killing a federal officer occurs on reservation land. Those carry a possible death sentence no matter where they happen. That's how Lezmond Mitchell, a Navajo man, became the only American Indian now on federal death row. He was convicted in a 2001 case of killing a fellow Navajo tribal member and her 9-year-old granddaughter who were driving to see a medicine man. Their beheaded, mutilated bodies were found in a shallow grave on the reservation. Mitchell stole the woman's car and later robbed a trading post in Red Valley, Arizona. The Navajo Nation government objected to the death penalty on the murder charges. It had no choice on the charge of carjacking resulting in death. Tamera Begay, a Navajo woman, has studied the Mitchell case and agrees the tribe should steer clear of the death penalty. 'There's so much federal jurisdiction, that's worrisome,' she said. Laura Harris, executive director of Americans for Indian Opportunity and member of the Comanche Nation, said her tribe sees banishment as a much worse punishment than death because it cuts off a person's ability to be part of the community. She said tribes also recall how the death penalty has been used against them. In December 1862, for example, 38 Dakota men who were at war with settlers in Minnesota were hanged in the largest mass execution in U.S. history. An annual horseback ride is held to commemorate the men, ending at the site of the hangings in what's now Reconciliation Park. Today, the death penalty is more likely to be carried out in the case of a white victim than a victim of color. Native Americans make up less than one-quarter of 1 percent of victims in cases that result in executions, according to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. For whites, it's 75 percent, for blacks 15 percent and nearly 7 percent for Latinos. 'It's not surprising you'd see a distrust of the judicial process similar to the distrust you see in the African American community,' said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. 'When you look at who is executed, you see that there are a class a favored victims and a class of disfavored defendants.' Melissa Tatum, a research professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, said most tribes believe the criminal justice system in Indian Country doesn't work, 'not in a sufficient way that they would opt into the death penalty, and the statistics bear that out.' Pursuing the death penalty in a federal case isn't taken likely, said Kevin Washburn, a University of New Mexico law professor and member of the Chickasaw Nation. A U.S. Department of Justice panel has to review the case. Tribes also can't decide on a case-by-case basis, Washburn said. 'You can't have a murder that happens today and have the Navajo Nation authorize the death penalty tomorrow and have it apply to the murder that happened today,' he said. Ashlynne's family is looking toward future change. The Navajo man who recently admitted to killing her, Tom Begaye Jr., cannot get the death penalty at his upcoming sentencing. He faces life in prison without the possibility of release under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. After Ashlynne's death, Navajo leaders met with medicine people and talked for at least two hours about the tribe's general position on the death penalty and decided to maintain a position against it, Tribal Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates said. 'Navajos see life as precious, good or bad, and so we don't pick and choose,' he said. 'All life is precious.' Pamela Foster, Ashlynne's mother, has been gathering signatures online to convince the tribe to change its mind. 'If traditional teachings are squarely against the taking of human life, WHY are we allowing it to happen?' Foster wrote in an online post. ___ Felicia Fonseca and Russell Contreras are members of The Associated Press' race and ethnicity team. Contreras reported from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Follow Felicia Fonseca on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/FonsecaAP Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras
  • Sen. John McCain's packed agenda while on break from Congress in his home state of Arizona has hardly been the schedule of a typical brain cancer patient - or even someone about to turn 81. McCain has been undergoing targeted radiation and chemotherapy treatments at the local Mayo Clinic on weekday mornings before going about his day with vigor. In the past two weeks, the Republican has discussed a development project with local mayors, given a radio interview and held a Facebook town hall. The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee outlined a military strategy for Afghanistan, attended an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game and went hiking several times with his family. He has been active on Twitter, including condemning the white nationalist attack in Virginia while criticizing President Donald Trump's response to the violence. McCain's spokeswoman in Washington, Julie Tarallo, said the senator was not available for an interview with The Associated Press. His daughter, Meghan McCain, tweeted Friday that he had just finished his first round of chemotherapy. 'His resilience & strength is incredible,' she wrote. 'Fight goes on, here's to small wins.' Those who know the former POW well say they aren't surprised by McCain's upbeat and feisty approach to his latest challenge. 'This is all so characteristic of him, going back to his early days in Arizona politics,' said Grant Woods, the state's former attorney general who served as McCain's administrative assistant while he campaigned in 1982 for a seat in Congress' lower house. 'He outworked everyone, went door-to-door all summer in 110 temperatures.' McCain's trip home during the August congressional recess comes as other lawmakers have returned to hostile constituents amid debates in Washington over health care and other elements of the president's agenda. Despite his busy schedule, McCain has avoided town hall meetings. He has no upcoming election to worry about, having won a sixth term in November. Still, during McCain's time in Arizona, tensions have increased with Trump, who recently criticized the senator again for voting against the GOP health-care bill he backed. 'You mean Senator McCain, who voted against us getting good health care?' Trump asked when his name came up during a news conference. Trump's remark came a day after McCain criticized him for saying both the white nationalists and counterprotesters bear responsibility for the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. The senator insisted in a tweet that 'there's no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry' and the president should say so. Trump also has sharpened his criticism of McCain's fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in the lead-up to a Tuesday night rally Trump has planned in Phoenix, calling the senator 'WEAK' on the border and crime. McCain's friend Woods said McCain hasn't slowed down since undergoing surgery in mid-July to remove a 2-inch (51-millimeter) blood clot in his brain and being diagnosed with an aggressive tumor called a glioblastoma. It's the same type of tumor that killed Sen. Edward M. Kennedy at age 77 in 2009 and Beau Biden, son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, at 46 in 2015. Glioblastoma is a somewhat unusual cancer, with the American Brain Tumor Association estimating only about 12,400 new cases will be diagnosed this year. McCain's natural energy aside, his upbeat attitude is typical of people who've recently had a brain tumor removed, said Dr. Michael Lawton, chairman of neurosurgery and CEO and president at Phoenix's Barrow Neurological Institute. 'They experience a lot of relief from the problems the tumor caused,' such as headaches or seizures from pressure on the brain. Patients usually do well in the early post-operative stage, Lawton said. 'But there could be some tough things down the road,' he added, speaking generally about typical experiences with glioblastoma because Barrow is not involved in McCain's treatment. Typical treatment of a glioblastoma involves chemotherapy and radiation to halt division of any possible remaining cancer cells and shrink any existing mass, followed by an MRI every two months to monitor for a recurrence, he said. McCain's three-week round of treatments that ended Friday forced the globe-trotter to stay near home rather than travel to meet with troops or international leaders as he normally does each August. The senator said during his Facebook appearance that after this round, doctors will 'see if there is anything additional that needs to be done.' In the meantime, 'I feel good. I have plenty of energy.' McCain warned friends and foes with a laugh: 'I'm coming back!' Survival amid seemingly unsurmountable odds has been a constant in the life of this son and grandson of four-star admirals. As a Navy pilot, McCain lived through a July 1967 fire that killed 134 sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. The following October, his plane was shot down during a bombing mission over Hanoi. He endured more than five years as a prisoner of war. McCain also has survived several bouts with melanoma, a dangerous skin cancer. He was first elected to the Senate in 1986. Over his six terms, McCain carved out a reputation as a maverick and became one of the best-known figures in American politics. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 and won it in 2008, but then lost to Barack Obama. McCain returned to Washington after his operation, entering the Senate on July 25 to a standing ovation from his colleagues. He sported a wound from the surgery above his left brow and bruising under his eye. In a widely praised speech, McCain complained to his fellow senators they had been 'getting nothing done' because of partisanship and called the U.S. health care system a 'mess.' He then cast a thumbs-down vote against the latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, winning praise from Democrats and scorn from the right. Michael O'Neil, an Arizona pollster who writes a political column and has a local radio show, said facing such a serious illness will likely bring McCain even greater freedom to act on his beliefs. 'All the political constraints are now gone,' he said. The American Cancer Society says the odds of surviving for five years or more are only 4 percent for people over 55. Despite the diagnosis, the senator seems to be a man filled with gratitude as he approaches his 81st birthday on Aug. 29. 'Even those that want me to die don't want me to die right away,' he said during his Facebook appearance. 'Thank you for everything you've done for literally the luckiest guy on Earth.' ___ Follow Anita Snow on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/asnowreports