Flooding fears surge as rivers rise; Wilmington cut off

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Catastrophic flooding from Florence spread across the Carolinas on Sunday, with roads to Wilmington cut off by the epic deluge and muddy river water swamping entire neighborhoods miles inland. “The risk to life is rising with the angry waters,” Gov. Roy Cooper declared as the storm’s death toll climbed to 17.

The storm continued to crawl westward, dumping more than 30 inches (75 centimeters) of rain in spots since Friday, and fears of historic flooding grew. Tens of thousands were ordered evacuated from communities along the state’s steadily rising rivers — with the Cape Fear, Little River, Lumber, Waccamaw and Pee Dee rivers all projected to burst their banks.

In Wilmington , with roads leading in and out of the city underwater and streams still swelling upward, residents waited for hours outside stores and restaurants for basic necessities like water. Police guarded the door of one store, and only 10 people were allowed inside at a time.

Woody White, chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County, said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city of nearly 120,000 people.

“Our roads are flooded,” he said. “There is no access to Wilmington.”

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Woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct comes forward

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was thrust into turmoil Sunday after the woman accusing him of high school-era sexual misconduct told her story publicly for the first time. Democrats immediately called for a delay in a key committee vote set for this later week and a Republican on the closely divided panel said he’s “not comfortable” voting on the nomination without first hearing from the accuser.

The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, told The Washington Post in her first interview that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed at a Maryland party they attended in the early 1980s, clumsily tried to remove her clothing and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford said. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Ford, 51 and a clinical psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California, says she was able to get away after a friend of Kavanaugh’s who was in the room jumped on top of them and everyone tumbled.

Kavanaugh, 53 and a federal appeals judge in Washington, on Sunday repeated an earlier denial of Ford’s allegation.

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Typhoon pounds China after mud buries dozens in Philippines

HONG KONG — Typhoon Mangkhut barreled into southern China after lashing the Philippines with strong winds and heavy rain that caused landslides feared to have buried dozens.

More than 2.4 million people had been evacuated in southern China’s Guangdong province by Sunday evening to flee the typhoon, state media said. “Prepare for the worst,” Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents.

That warning followed Mangkhut’s devastating march through the northern Philippines on Saturday with sustained winds of 205 kilometers (127 miles) per hour. National police said 64 people had died there as of Sunday, mostly due to landslides and collapsed houses, with two additional deaths reported in China.

Landslides caused by the pounding storm hit two villages in Itogon town in the Philippine mountain province of Benguet. Police Superintendent Pelita Tacio said 34 villagers had died and 36 were missing.

Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan told The Associated Press by phone that at the height of the typhoon’s onslaught Saturday afternoon, dozens of people, mostly miners and their families, rushed into an old three-story building in the village of Ucab.

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When Moon meets Kim: Can roads pave way to denuclearization?

PYONGYANG, North Korea — Reunification Highway runs all the way from the North Korean capital of Pyongyang to the Demilitarized Zone that divides the North from South Korea, 170 kilometers (100 miles) away. It starts under a giant concrete arch depicting two women in traditional gowns reaching out to each other and holding up a map of a unified Korea. Road signs along the way show the distance to Seoul, though it’s impossible to actually drive there.

The highway is one of the best in North Korea. It’s paved — a rarity in the North. It’s broad and visibility is generally good. But it’s also riddled with cracks and potholes. Lanes aren’t marked well, if at all. At night it’s pitch black, unless there are oncoming headlights. If it were on the South side, it wouldn’t be one of the best, it would be among the very worst.

Could fixing it help pave the way to denuclearization?

When South Korean President Moon Jae-in travels to Pyongyang this week for his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, he will have two major tasks: He needs to keep Pyongyang’s talks with Washington on denuclearization from breaking down so that his own efforts at rapprochement can continue, and he needs to speed up a series of inter-Korean cooperation and engagement projects to keep frictions with the North low and his domestic critics at bay.

With each summit, the stakes get higher. It’s still unclear what Kim, riding a wave of successes in his debut on the world stage and fresh off a major celebration marking North Korea’s 70th anniversary, intends to do with his nuclear weapons. And pressure is mounting in the administration of President Donald Trump for quick and concrete progress.

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Co-founder of Salesforce buys Time magazine for $190 million

WASHINGTON — Time Magazine is being sold by Meredith Corp. to Marc Benioff, a co-founder of Salesforce, and his wife, it was announced Sunday.

Meredith announced that it was selling Time magazine for $190 million in cash to Benioff, one of four co-founders of Salesforce, a cloud computing pioneer.

Meredith had completed the purchase of Time along with other publications of Time Inc. earlier this year.

The Benioffs are purchasing Time personally, and the transaction is unrelated to Salesforce.com, where Benioff is chairman and co-CEO and co-founder. The announcement by Meredith said that the Benioffs would not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions at Time. Those decisions will continue to be made by Time’s current executive leadership team, the announcement said.

“We’re pleased to have found such passionate buyers in Marc and Lynne Benioff for the Time brand,” Meredith president and CEO Tom Harty said in a statement. “For over 90 years, Time has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation.”

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Grim warnings for White House, Republicans ahead of election

WASHINGTON — The prognosis for President Donald Trump and his party was grim.

In a post-Labor Day briefing at the White House, a top Republican pollster told senior staff that the determining factor in the election wouldn’t be the improving economy or the steady increase in job creation. It would be how voters feel about Trump. And the majority of the electorate, including a sizable percentage of Republican-leaning voters, doesn’t feel good about the president, according to a presentation from pollster Neil Newhouse that spanned dozens of pages.

Newhouse’s briefing came amid a darkening mood among Republican officials as the November election nears. Party leaders were already worried that a surge in enthusiasm among Democrats and disdain for Trump by moderate Republicans would put the House out of reach. But some Republicans now fear their Senate majority is also in peril — a scenario that was unthinkable a few months ago given the favorable Senate map for the GOP.

“For Republican candidates to win in swing states, they need all of the voters who support President Trump, plus a chunk of those who do not,” said Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster. “That is threading a very narrow strategic needle.”

Operatives in both parties say Republicans still have the edge in the fight for control of the Senate. But GOP officials are increasingly worried that nominees in conservative-leaning states like Missouri and Indiana are underperforming, while races in Tennessee and Texas that should be slam-dunks for Republicans are close.

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$2.5M bond for Border Patrol agent in killings of 4 in Texas

HOUSTON — A U.S. Border Patrol supervisor was jailed Sunday on $2.5 million bond in Texas, accused of killing at least four women and injuring a fifth who managed to escape.

Juan David Ortiz, 35, was in custody in Laredo on four counts of murder along with charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful restraint, Webb County jail records showed.

Ortiz was arrested a day earlier, after being found hiding in a truck in a hotel parking lot in Laredo, at about 2 a.m. Saturday, capping what investigators portrayed as a 10-day string of violence. Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said Saturday that investigators “consider this to be a serial killer” whose victims were believed to be prostitutes.

Alaniz described how the Customs and Border Patrol supervisor continued going to work as usual throughout that time.

“As law enforcement was looking for the killer ... he would be reporting to work every day like normal,” he said.

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Palestinian stabs American-Israeli man to death in West Bank

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian assailant on Sunday fatally stabbed an Israeli settler outside a busy mall in the West Bank.

The victim was identified as Ari Fuld, a U.S.-born activist who was well-known in the local settler community and an outspoken Israel advocate on social media platforms.

The military said the attacker arrived at the mall near a major junction in the southern West Bank, close to the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, and stabbed the Fuld before fleeing.

Video footage showed Fuld giving chase and firing at his assailant before collapsing. Other civilians shot the attacker, whom Israeli media identified as a 17-year-old from a nearby Palestinian village. He was reportedly in moderate condition.

Fuld, a 45-year-old father of four who lived in the nearby settlement of Efrat, was evacuated to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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AP Top 25: LSU jumps to No. 6; Wisconsin tumbles from top 10

LSU surged to No. 6 in The Associated Press college football poll after its second victory of September against a highly ranked team, and Wisconsin tumbled to No. 18 after becoming the first top-10 team to be upset by an unranked team.

Top-ranked Alabama strengthened its hold on No. 1 on Sunday , receiving a season-high 58 first-place votes from the media panel. Clemson slipped out of the No. 2 spot for the first time this season. Georgia moved up a spot to second behind the Crimson Tide, giving the Southeastern Conference the top two teams in the ranking. Clemson is third with three first-place votes, followed by No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Oklahoma.

LSU has now gone from No. 25 to start the season to No. 6 in three weeks.

The Tigers beat Miami, the preseason No. 8, in Week 1 in Arlington, Texas, and then knocked off Auburn on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn slipped from No. 7 to No. 9.

Wisconsin’s loss to BYU was Saturday’s most surprising result. The Badgers were three-touchdown favorites but missed a last-second field goal to tie and lost 24-21 in Madison. The Big Ten had five teams in the top 14 to begin the seasons and three (Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin) have already lost.

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Roads shut after 2 fall ill in UK city where ex-spy poisoned

LONDON — Police closed roads and called a hazardous response team Sunday night after two people became ill at a restaurant in the English city where a Russian ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned with a chemical nerve agent.

Wiltshire Police described the emergency steps taken in response to “a medical incident” in Salisbury as a precaution. Authorities later lifted the alert and said no evidence of the nerve agent Novichok involved in the earlier case was found when the two ill people were examined at a hospital.

Salisbury spent months with quarantine tents and investigators in full-body protective gear combing for evidence after Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter were found unconscious on a bench in March.

Its residents were put back on edge in June when a man and a woman living in a nearby town were hospitalized with signs of exposure to the same Soviet-made Novichok. The woman, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, died.

Britain’s counter-terrorism police said this month they think Sturgess’ boyfriend found a counterfeit perfume bottle containing remnants of the substance originally applied on the front door of Skripals home in Salisbury.

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