Nation & World

AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

Man who reported girl missing arrested in her disappearance

HOUSTON (AP) — The man who reported 4-year-old Maleah Davis had been abducted last weekend was arrested near Houston Saturday in connection with her disappearance and police said they found blood in his apartment linked to her.

Derion Vence, who had lived with Maleah and her mother, was arrested without incident at his brother's home in Sugar Land, Texas, about 22 miles (35 kilometers) southwest of Houston, a statement from Houston police said. He was charged with tampering with evidence. Police spokesman Kese Smith declined to give more detail on the charge.

Vence told police last Saturday that men in a pickup truck abducted him, Maleah and his 2-year-old son before freeing him and the boy. But Sugar Land police, who initially interviewed him, said his story kept changing and didn't add up.

Houston police set out in the press release Saturday some of those false claims.

Vence reported that his silver Nissan Altima was taken in the abduction but surveillance video showed that vehicle was used to drop Vence off later at a hospital, where he first reported the abduction, police said.

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Duterte allies seek to dominate Philippine midterm polls

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's name is not on the ballot but Monday's midterm elections are seen as a crucial referendum on his rise to power with a brutal crackdown on illegal drugs, unorthodox style and contentious embrace of China.

Nearly 62 million Filipinos have registered to choose among 43,500 candidates vying for about 18,000 congressional and local posts in one of Asia's most rambunctious democracies.

The most crucial race is for 12 seats in the 24-member Senate, which Duterte wants to fill with allies to bolster his legislative agenda. That includes the return of the death penalty, lowering the age for criminal liability of child offenders and revising the country's 1987 constitution primarily to allow a shift to a federal form of government, a proposal some critics fear may be a cover to remove term limits.

Opposition aspirants consider the Senate the last bastion of checks and balances given the solid dominance of Duterte's loyalists in the lower House of Representatives. Last year, opposition senators moved to block proposed bills they feared would undermine civil liberties.

Duterte's politics and key programs, including his drive against illegal drugs that has left more than 5,200 mostly urban poor suspects dead, have been scrutinized on the campaign trail and defended by close allies running for the Senate, led by his former national police chief Roland dela Rosa, who first enforced the crackdown when the president took office in mid-2016.

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Venezuela's Guaidó asks for relations with US military

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó on Saturday said he's instructed his political envoy in Washington to immediately open relations with the U.S. military in a bid to bring more pressure on President Nicolás Maduro to resign.

The leader said he's asked Carlos Vecchio, who the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela's ambassador, to open "direct communications" toward possible military "coordination."

The remarks, at the end of a rally Saturday, mark one of his strongest public pleas yet for greater U.S. involvement in the country's fast-escalating crisis. While Guaidó has repeatedly echoed comments from the Trump administration that "all options" are on the table for removing Maduro, few in the U.S. or Venezuelan opposition view military action as likely nor has the White House indicated it's seriously considering such a move.

But with tensions between the U.S. and Maduro running high, the saber rattling is getting louder.

On Saturday, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino condemned what he said was an illegal incursion by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter into Venezuelan territorial waters. He provided no evidence to back the claim but said that the Venezuelan Navy vessels forced it to withdraw..

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More 'heartbeat' abortion bans advancing in South, Midwest

If a new Mississippi law survives a court challenge, it will be nearly impossible for most pregnant women to get an abortion there.

Or, potentially, in neighboring Louisiana. Or Alabama. Or Georgia.

The Louisiana legislature is halfway toward passing a law — like the ones enacted in Mississippi and Georgia — that will ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women know they're pregnant. Alabama is on the cusp of approving an even more restrictive bill.

State governments are on a course to virtually eliminate abortion access in large chunks of the Deep South and Midwest. Ohio and Kentucky also have passed heartbeat laws; Missouri's Republican-controlled legislature is considering one.

Their hope is that a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court will approve, spelling the end of the constitutional right to abortion.

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Trump's tariffs on China: What are they? How do they work?

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has heightened tensions with China by escalating his tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.

As a tool of national policy, tariffs had long been fading into history, a relic of the 19th and early 20th centuries that most experts came to see as harmful to all nations involved. Yet more than any other modern president, Trump has embraced tariffs as a punitive tool — against Europe, Canada and other key trading partners but especially against China , the second-largest economy after the U.S.

The Trump administration asserts, and many independent analysts agree, that Beijing has deployed predatory tactics to try to give Chinese companies an edge in such advanced technologies as artificial intelligence, robotics and electric vehicles. Beijing's tactics, the U.S. contends, include hacking into U.S. companies' computers to steal trade secrets, forcing foreign companies to turn over sensitive technology in exchange for access to China's markets and unfairly subsidizing Chinese companies.

Trump has also complained angrily about America's gaping trade deficit with China for which he blames weak and naive negotiating by previous U.S. administrations.

Last July, Trump began gradually imposing tariffs on Chinese imports. After Friday's increase, the administration is now imposing 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Beijing has counterpunched by taxing $110 billion of American products, focusing on agricultural goods, notably soybeans, in a calculated effort to inflict pain on Trump supporters in the farm belt.

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Self-impeach? Talk shifts toward Trump defiance of Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has introduced a new concept into the debate over President Donald Trump's actions: "self-impeaching."

As Trump all but goads Democrats into impeachment proceedings , viewing the showdown as potentially valuable for his 2020 re-election campaign , Democrats are trying to show restraint. Their investigations are both intensifying but also moving slowly as Democrats dig into the special counsel's Trump-Russia report and examine Trump's finances and governance.

The more they push, the more Trump resists, the president making what Pelosi says is his own case for impeachment with his stonewalling of Congress.

"The president is self-impeaching," she told her colleagues last week during a private caucus meeting, echoing comments she also aired in public. "He's putting out the case against himself. Obstruction, obstruction, obstruction. Ignoring subpoenas and the rest."

She added, "He's doing our work for us, in a certain respect."

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Alyssa Milano calls for sex strike, ignites social media

Actress Alyssa Milano ignited social media with a tweet Friday night calling for women to join her in a sex strike to protest strict abortion bans passed by Republican-controlled legislatures.

The former star of "Charmed" and current cast member of "Insatiable," which is filmed in Georgia, urged women in her tweet to stop having sex "until we get bodily autonomy back." Her tweet came days after Georgia became the fourth state in the U.S. this year to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant.

"We need to understand how dire the situation is across the country," Milano told The Associated Press on Saturday. "It's reminding people that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them."

She noted that women have historically withheld sex to protest or advocate for political reform. She cited how Iroquois women refused to have sex in the 1600s as a way to stop unregulated warfare. Most recently, she noted that Liberian women used a sex strike in 2003 to demand an end to a long-running civil war.

Milano received support from fans and fellow actress Bette Midler joined her in also calling for a sex strike with her own tweet. But both liberals and conservatives also lampooned her idea, with conservatives praising her for promoting abstinence and liberals saying she was pushing a false narrative that women only have sex as a favor to men.

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Turkish opposition journalist hospitalized following attack

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A journalist critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government and its nationalist allies was hospitalized after being attacked outside his home, his newspaper said Saturday.

The Yenicag newspaper said columnist Yavuz Selim Demirag was beaten up by about five or six people with baseball bats after appearing on a TV show Friday. The assailants escaped the scene in a vehicle.

The reason for the attack was not known but it comes amid tensions over the top electoral authority's decision to cancel the results of the March 31 mayoral race for Istanbul, which was won by the opposition. It ordered a revote June 23.

Erdogan's party says the Istanbul vote was marred by fraud but the opposition says the electoral board was pressured by the government, which desperately wants to hold on to power in Turkey's largest city.

The nationalist party that Demirag supports is part of an opposition alliance whose candidate, Ekrem Imamoglu, won control of Istanbul city hall before his mandate was revoked this week.

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Texas boys ranch moves forward as more men discuss abuse

DALLAS (AP) — When Allan Votaw stepped onto Cal Farley's Boys Ranch in Texas in 1957, the 5-year-old hoped he and his two brothers — ages 3½ and 6 — had found a home. Instead, the now-66-year-old says, they found a "horror house" where sadistic staff members whipped children until they were bruised and bloody and children were molested by older kids.

"You lived in fear, you totally lived in fear," said Votaw, who said he still has nightmares from his 10 years on the sprawling ranch for at-risk youths outside of Amarillo.

He railed against the ranch for years, feeling alone in his fight until reading a 2017 story in the British newspaper The Guardian that featured a handful of men — including childhood friends — describing abuse they suffered there as children.

Since then more men have come forward, but the reckoning some had hoped for hasn't happened. Despite the revelations, the ranch continues to glorify its past, from the description on its website of founder Cal Farley's desire to provide a haven for children to celebrations of the ranch's 80th anniversary this year that have included a gala and inspirational film depicting life there.

Ranch President and CEO Dan Adams said while he believes the men, he's focused on current residents — and the future. He said the ranch will pay for former residents' counseling, adding they responded last month to those not comfortable contacting the ranch by arranging for a third party to set it up. But, he said, he doesn't want the men's stories incorporated into the ranch's account of its history, and noted it's not part of a book the Christian ranch produced for the anniversary.

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Polish nationalists protest US over Holocaust claims

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Thousands of Polish nationalists marched to the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw Saturday, protesting that the U.S. is putting pressure on Poland to compensate Jews whose families lost property during the Holocaust.

The protest took place amid a dramatic rise in anti-Semitic hate speech in public life in Poland and it appeared to be one of the largest anti-Jewish street demonstrations in recent times. It also comes as far-right groups are gaining in popularity, pressuring the conservative government to move further to the right.

Protesters, including far-right groups and their supporters, say the United States has no right to interfere in Polish affairs and that the U.S. government is putting "Jewish interests" over the interests of Poland.

Poland was a major victim of Nazi Germany during World War II and those protesting say it is not fair to ask Poland to compensate Jewish victims when Poland has never received adequate compensation from Germany.

"Why should we have to pay money today when nobody gives us anything?" said 22-year-old Kamil Wencwel. "Americans only think about Jewish and not Polish interests."

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