Tuesday, October 13
Obama will probably watch some of the debate
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama will probably watch at least some of tonight's debate featuring Democrats who are hoping to succeed him.
But a spokesman says Obama probably won't watch it "wire to wire." Josh Earnest points out that "there is some pretty good playoff baseball on tonight."
At the debate in Las Vegas, Hillary Rodham Clinton will be joined by independent senator Bernie Sanders and three other Democrats. They are former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, and Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican from Rhode Island who served as governor and in the U.S. Senate.
Webb is a decorated Vietnam veteran who criticized Clinton for her early support of the Iraq war, and could challenge her foreign policy positions.
But one Democratic strategist who worked for Clinton's 2008 White House campaign, Maria Cardona, says that as long as the issue of Clinton's email doesn't dominate the debate, "this will be a win for her no matter how you look at it."
Palestinians say Israeli fire kills Palestinian man during protest
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian Health Ministry says a Palestinian man has been killed by Israeli fire during a protest in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
Spokesman Osama Najar said the 27-year-old was shot in the back, and nine other people were wounded in Tuesday's clash.
The Israeli military says it opened fire as a protester threw a firebomb at a car.
Some 28 Palestinians have been killed in a month of Israeli-Palestinian unrest, which has spread from Jerusalem to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
UNITED STATES-IRAN-MISSILE TEST
White House: Iran missile test a likely UN violation
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says there are "strong indications" that Iran violated U.N. Security Council resolutions when it test fired a new ballistic missile.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that such violations are nothing new.
Earnest says the Iranians have "almost serially" violated international concerns about the country's ballistic missile program.
But the White House spokesman added that those violations are "entirely separate" from the historic nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers.
Earnest said that Iran over the last few years has had a track record of abiding by its commitments related to the nuclear talks.
Iranian state TV reported on Sunday that the Iranians successfully test fired a new guided long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile.
Russian official: Dutch MH-17 report is 'biased'
MOSCOW (AP) — A top Russian official says the Dutch Safety Board report into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is flawed.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says Tuesday the "attempt to make a biased conclusion, in essence to carry out a political order, is obvious." The Dutch say the Buk missile that brought the plane down was fired from a specific territory eastern Ukraine — land that was held at the time by Russia-backed separatists.
Even before the Dutch report was released, the Russian maker of Buk missiles presented its own report trying to clear the separatists, and Russia itself, of any involvement in downing the plane.
Almaz-Antey contended that its experiments — in one of which a Buk missile was detonated near the nose of an airplane similar to a 777 — contradict that conclusion. The experimental aircraft's remains showed a much different damage pattern than the remnants of MH17, the company said.
Rebel leaders in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk refused to comment Tuesday on the Dutch report.
US says Iraqis now in position to retake Ramadi
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military says conditions are now right for the Iraqi army to make a decisive assault on Ramadi and reclaim the provincial capital from Islamic State fighters.
The statement was made Tuesday by Army Col. Steve Warren, a spokesman in Baghdad for the U.S.-led coalition that is fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Warren said the U.S. has intensified its airstrikes in the Ramadi area over the past 10 days and Iraqi ground forces are beginning to make progress. He said the Iraqis are in the outer Ramadi suburbs, with Iraqi F-16 fighter jets recently joining the operation in support of Iraqi ground troops.
Ramadi fell to the Islamic State in May when Iraqi troops fled, prompting the U.S. to question their will to fight.
Chief says not enough evidence for murder charge
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis police say there is not enough evidence to charge a man with murder in the fatal shooting of an off-duty police officer.
Police Director Toney Armstrong said Tuesday that there have been different stories from witnesses in the death of 31-year-old Terence Olridge. Armstrong says there will be no charges directly related to the death of Olridge at this time, but authorities are still investigating.
Police say Olridge was shot multiple times as he exchanged gunfire with 36-year-old Lorenzo Clark on Sunday afternoon. Armstong said Olridge was on his way to work when he "exchanged words" with Clark, his neighbor in the Memphis suburb of Cordova.
Armstong says the shooting is not being treated as a death of an officer in the line of duty.
Clark has been charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm in relation to the shooting.
BALTIMORE POLICE-ARREST VIDEO
NEW: Criminal probe under way on claim that officer spat on man
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police say an officer has had his police powers suspended and a criminal investigation is underway after a video may have shown the officer spitting on a man he arrested.
An onlooker in the video says the officer spit on the man. Department spokesman T.J. Smith said in an email Tuesday evening that an investigation is underway after a video appeared to show Sgt. Robert Mesner, a 34-year veteran, spit on a suspect while he was in handcuffs.
Smith says the incident occurred Monday night in northeast Baltimore, and a man was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said earlier Tuesday that the video shows the officer's body and head move forward in a way that indicates he may have spit on the man under arrest, handcuffed and on the ground.
NEW: Gun shop ordered to pay millions to injured police officers
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A jury has ordered a gun shop to pay nearly $6 million to two Milwaukee police officers who were seriously wounded when shot by a gun purchased at the store.
Jurors issued the ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit against Badger Guns.
The lawsuit alleges the store was negligent and should've spotted clear warning signs that the gun was being sold to a "straw buyer," or someone who was buying the gun for someone who couldn't legally do so.
Officer Bryan Norberg and now-retired Officer Graham Kunisch were both shot in the face by a man they stopped in 2009.
The issue gained national attention when presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would push to repeal a George W. Bush-era gun law that Badger Guns' attorneys say protected the store.
Parents charged with fatally beating son in New York church
NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (AP) — Police say a central New York couple has been charged with fatally beating their 19-year-old son inside a church and four fellow church members have been charged with assault.
The victim's 17-year-old brother is hospitalized in serious condition with injuries from an assault.
The New Hartford Police Department say 65-year-old Bruce Leonard and 59-year-old Deborah Leonard of Clayville are charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of their son Lucas.
Police say Lucas Leonard died Monday after he was beaten at Word of Life Church in New Hartford, 80 miles northwest of Albany.
The six church members were arraigned Tuesday and sent to Oneida County Jail without bail. Information on whether they have lawyers wasn't immediately available.
Police said more arrests are expected as the investigation continues. A possible motive wasn't disclosed.
Civil rights groups oppose King monument at Stone Mountain
ATLANTA (AP) — A proposal to erect a monument to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. atop Georgia's Stone Mountain is getting a chilly reception from some of the civil rights groups that King worked with.
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which King co-founded, and the Atlanta and DeKalb branches of the NAACP say they oppose placing a tribute to King near the figures of three Confederate leaders engraved on the mountain outside Atlanta.
SCLC President Charles Steele said Tuesday that a reference to King doesn't belong near the carving of "three traitors."
Officials with the groups say they will meet Wednesday with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to discuss the issue.
A Confederate heritage group also has opposed the King monument at Stone Mountain.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported on the proposal Sunday.