Israel's Netanyahu rejects any Palestinian sovereignty in post-war Gaza, rebuffing Biden
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that he “will not compromise on full Israeli control” over Gaza and that “this is contrary to a Palestinian state,” rejecting U.S. President Joe Biden’s suggestion that creative solutions could bridge wide gaps between the leaders' views on Palestinian statehood.
In a sign of the pressures Netanyahu’s government faces at home, thousands of Israelis protested in Tel Aviv calling for new elections, and others demonstrated outside the prime minister’s house, joining families of the more than 100 remaining hostages held by Hamas and other militants. They fear that Israel's military activity further endangers hostages' lives.
Netanyahu is also under heat to appease members of his right-wing ruling coalition by intensifying the war against Hamas, which governs Gaza, while contending with calls for restraint from the United States, its closest ally.
Netanyahu posted his statement on social media a day after his first conversation with Biden in nearly a month. Discussing his administration's position Friday, Biden said “there are a number of types of two-state solutions" and, asked if a two-state solution was impossible with Netanyahu in office, Biden replied, “No, it’s not.”
After Netanyahu's statement, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for the United States to go further. "It is time for the United States to recognize the state of Palestine, not just talk about a two-state solution,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement.
Iran launches satellite that is part of a Western-criticized program as regional tensions spike
JERUSALEM (AP) — Iran said Saturday it had conducted a successful satellite launch into its highest orbit yet, the latest for a program the West fears improves Tehran’s ballistic missiles.
The announcement comes as heightened tensions grip the wider Middle East over Israel's continued war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and just days after Iran and Pakistan engaged in tit-for-tat airstrikes in each others' countries.
Meanwhile Saturday, the U.S. conducted new strikes on Yemen's Houthi rebels, who have been targeting shipping in the Red Sea over the war, and Iranian-backed militias in Iraq struck a base housing U.S. troops, wounding several personnel.
The Iranian Soraya satellite was placed in an orbit at some 750 kilometers (460 miles) above the Earth's surface with its three-stage Qaem 100 rocket, the state-run IRNA news agency said. It did not immediately acknowledge what the satellite did, though telecommunications minister Isa Zarepour described the launch as having a 50-kilogram (110-pound) payload.
The launch was part of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' space program alongside Iran's civilian space program, the report said.
GOP Speaker Mike Johnson has a House majority in name only. He's left with daunting choices ahead
WASHINGTON (AP) — New Speaker Mike Johnson finds himself leading House Republicans with a majority in name only.
Unable to unite his unruly right flank and commanding one of the slimmest House majorities in history, Johnson is being forced to rely on Democrats for the basics of governing, including the latest bill to prevent a federal shutdown.
Approaching his first 100 days on the job, Johnson faces daunting choices ahead. He can try to corral conservatives, who are pushing rightward in endless hours of closed-door meetings, to work together as a team. Or he can keep reaching out to Democrats for a bipartisan coalition to pass compromise legislation.
So far, rather than the speaker of a dysfunctional GOP majority, Johnson, R-La., has shown he is willing to compile a rare, large supermajority of Democrats and Republicans to get things done with Democratic President Joe Biden.
And that supermajority is exactly what some in Congress want, but others fear is coming.
Donald Trump goes from calm to indignant in newly released deposition video of civil fraud lawsuit
NEW YORK (AP) — Months before Donald Trump’s defiant turn as a witness at his New York civil fraud trial, the former president came face-to-face with the state attorney general who is suing him when he sat for a deposition last year at her Manhattan office.
Video made public Friday of the seven-hour, closed-door session last April shows the Republican presidential frontrunner’s demeanor going from calm and cool to indignant — at one point ripping Attorney General Letitia James lawsuit against him as a “disgrace” and “a terrible thing.”
Sitting with arms folded, an incredulous Trump complained to the state lawyer questioning him that he was being forced to “justify myself to you” after decades of success building a real estate empire that’s now threatened by the court case.
Trump, who contends James’ lawsuit is part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” was demonstrative from the outset. The video shows him smirking and pouting his lips as the attorney general, a Democrat, introduced herself and told him that she was “committed to a fair and impartial legal process.”
James’ office released the video Friday in response to requests from media outlets under New York’s Freedom of Information Law. Trump’s lawyers previously posted a transcript of his remarks to the trial docket in August.
Election-year politics threaten Senate border deal as Trump and his allies rally opposition
WASHINGTON (AP) — A politically treacherous dynamic is taking hold as negotiators in Congress work to strike a bipartisan deal on the border and immigration, with vocal opposition from the hard right and former President Donald Trump threatening to topple the carefully negotiated compromise.
Senators are closing in on the details of an agreement on border measures that could unlock Republican support for Ukraine aid and hope to unveil it as soon as next week. But the deal is already wobbling, as House Speaker Mike Johnson faces intense pressure from Trump and his House allies to demand more sweeping concessions from Democrats and the White House.
“I do not think we should do a Border Deal, at all, unless we get EVERYTHING needed to shut down the INVASION of Millions & Millions of people,” Trump posted on social media this week.
It's a familiar political dynamic, one that has repeatedly thwarted attempts to reform U.S. immigration law, including in 2013 when House Republicans sought to pin illegal immigration on a Democratic president and in 2018 when Trump helped sink another bipartisan effort. The path for legislation this time around is further clouded by an election year in which Trump has once again made railing against illegal immigration a central focus of his campaign.
Even though the terms of the policy negotiations have shifted significantly in the Republicans' direction, skepticism is running high among conservatives, creating a precarious moment that could determine not only the contours of U.S. immigration and border law for years to come, but the future of Ukraine as it faces dwindling U.S. supplies in its fight against Russia.
Brutally cold weather reaching deep into lower United States
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Arctic weather brought more misery to much of the U.S. on Saturday, especially for people unaccustomed to such bitter cold in places like Memphis, Tennessee, where residents were urged to boil water and some had no water at all after freezing temperatures broke water mains across the city. Temperatures weren't expected to rise until after the weekend.
The bracing cold followed a week of storms blamed for at least 61 deaths around the U.S., many involving hypothermia or road accidents.
At the Four Way Grill in Memphis, owner Patrice Bates Thompson said the water problems have closed their soul food kitchen for days.
“This is our staple, and this is what basically drives the force of my family financially," Thompson told Fox-13 Memphis. "We depend on business, and we have been at home.”
So many pipes broke in Memphis that water pressure fell throughout the city. Concerned about possible contamination, Memphis Light, Gas & Water urged its more than 400,000 customers to boil water for drinking or teeth-brushing or use bottled supplies on Saturday while crews worked around the clock to make repairs.
911 calls from Maui capture pleas for the stranded, the missing and those caught in the fire's chaos
The day after the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century destroyed a seaside community on Maui, the barrage of 911 calls didn't stop: Reports of missing people, stranded family members and confused tourists trapped without food or water lit up the emergency lines every few minutes, interspersed with reports of new fires starting and older ones flaring back up.
The 911 recordings from the morning and early afternoon of Aug. 9 were the third batch of calls released by the Maui Police Department in response to a public record request. They show how first responders and emergency dispatchers — many of whom had already worked long hours during what was likely the most harrowing experience of their lives — continued to be hindered by limited staffing and widespread communication failures.
Several callers reached out to 911 throughout the morning asking for wellness checks for relatives or friends they couldn’t reach. Cell communications were still down in some areas. Authorities told people to call the nonemergency police number to file missing person reports or so that police could check with the Red Cross and other volunteers who had registered evacuees at the shelters.
But callers who couldn’t get through on the nonemergency line, turned to 911.
“My house is in Lahaina, in the fire area. And I have not been able to contact my husband. Is there any way that I can get someone to drive by the house?” a woman asked just after 1:30 p.m.
An Israeli airstrike on the Syrian capital killed at least 5 Iranian advisers, officials say
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — An Israeli strike on the Syrian capital on Saturday destroyed a building used by the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, killing at least five Iranians, Syrian and Iranian state media reported.
The Syrian army said the building in the tightly guarded western Damascus neighborhood of Mazzeh was entirely destroyed, adding that the Israeli air force fired the missiles while flying over Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Israeli military did not comment.
A few hours later, an Israeli drone strike on a car near the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre killed two people, including a Hezbollah member, who were in the vehicle and two people who were in a nearby orchard, an official with the group and Lebanon's state news agency said. One of those killed was Ali Hudruj, a local Hezbollah commander, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, without giving further details.
Nour News, which is believed to be close to Iran’s intelligence apparatus, identified two of the dead in Damascus as Gen. Sadegh Omidzadeh, the intelligence deputy of the guard's expeditionary Quds Force in Syria, and his deputy, who goes by the nom de guerre Hajj Gholam. The guard later issued statements identifying the five dead as Hojjatollah Omidvar, Ali Aghazadeh, Hossein Mohammadi, Saeed Karimi and Mohammad Amin Samadi. It gave no ranks for them. The difference in information could not be immediately reconciled.
An opposition war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said at least six people — five Iranians and a Syrian — were killed in the missile attack that struck while officials from Iran-backed groups were holding a meeting. The Observatory's chief, Rami Abdurrahman, said three of the Iranians were commanders, adding that four other people are still missing under the rubble.
Nikki Haley has spent 20 years navigating Republican Party factions. Trump may make that impossible
When Nikki Haley was a South Carolina legislator, she backed budgets boosted by federal aid. Running for governor, she criticized a “bailout culture” and dependence on Washington.
She once called the Confederate battle flag a heritage symbol and sidestepped calls to remove it from statehouse grounds. After a racist massacre in Charleston, Haley moved to take it down.
When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, she opposed him before joining his administration as U.N. ambassador. Now, Haley is running against Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination saying he is an agent of chaos.
For almost 20 years, Haley has worked to navigate Republicans' rightward march, trying to cultivate both the GOP establishment and the firebrand conservative base that gave rise to Trump. She is seen as either a pragmatic unifier or a finger-to-the-wind politician, and as she seeks the Republican nomination, her political pivots have become her opponents' most persistent line of attack.
“Maybe she can be a bit of a chameleon,” said former state Rep. Doug Brannon, a fellow Republican. “The governor and I did not get along,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t a brilliant politician.”
Lamar Jackson and Ravens pull away in the second half to beat Texans 34-10 and reach AFC title game
BALTIMORE (AP) — Lamar Jackson had already done plenty of running by the time he reached the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Apparently, he still had quite a bit of energy, leaping past the photographers and disappearing into the tunnel in a celebration that seemed cathartic for the All-Pro quarterback.
Jackson threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores, and the Baltimore Ravens pulled away in the second half for a 34-10 win over the Houston Texans on Saturday to advance to the AFC championship game. It was only the second victory in five playoff games for Jackson, a fact he was well aware of.
“You know I heard that,” he said. “I don't even got to hear it. I see it. But it is what it is. I really don't care about what people say. ... Those guys just had our team's number in the past, but it's a different team.”
Jackson made some more history Saturday, becoming the first quarterback since at least 1948 — in the regular season or playoffs — with at least two touchdown passes, two TD runs, 100 yards rushing and a 100 passer rating in the same game.
The Associated Press