Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:

Posted September 16


Trump finally acknowledges Obama born in US

Donald Trump has finally acknowledged the fact that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

Trump said Friday that "that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period."

As he did so, the Republican nominee repeated the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for president started the so-called the "birther controversy."

There is no evidence that is true, and Clinton and her allies have strongly denied that suggestion.

Trump says of the "birther" movement: "I finished it. You know what I mean."

The Republican nominee has for years been the most prominent "birther," the name given to those who propagated the falsehood that Obama was born outside of the country.


UPDATE: Clinton denounces Trump birth remarks

Hillary Clinton says on Twitter that Donald Trump's news conference about President Barack Obama's citizenship was a "disgrace," and her Republican rival expressed "zero regret" for years of "pushing a racist conspiracy theory."

Clinton said in a series of tweets Friday that when Trump tries to "deflect blame" for denying that Obama was born in the United States, her Republican opponent "is lying."

The Democratic presidential nominee said "leading the birther movement is deplorable," and trying to say that Trump "did a great service" to Obama "is asinine."

Trump had made brief remarks earlier Friday in which he finally acknowledged that Obama was born in the United States. He also claimed he had put falsehoods about the president's birth to rest. Trump had long been the most prominent "birther," the name given to those who propagated the false claim that Obama was born outside of the country.


NEW: Kasich says presidential race 'almost surreal'

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says the presidential election is "almost surreal" and stranger than fiction.

He says if the story of the election were pitched in Hollywood, it would be rejected as too unbelievable.

The former Republican presidential candidate made the comments at the White House Friday. Kasich met with President Barack Obama and other backers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Kasich tried to resist commenting on campaign and his party's nominee. But shortly before he spoke, Republican Donald Trump announced he does accept that Obama was born in the United States, after years of questioning that fact.

Kasich joked that Bruce Springsteen has to be happy by the news, "because 'Born in the USA' is probably going to sell a lot more albums."


NEW: Pentagon: US troops now operating with Turks in Syria

The Pentagon says U.S. troops for the first time are operating alongside Turkish government forces who are fighting Islamic State militants inside Syria.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said Friday the American special operations forces are accompanying Turkish troops who are operating with moderate Syrian opposition forces. He said the Americans are providing the same training, advice and other assistance that U.S. forces have been providing to other Syrian groups -- such as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces -- fighting the Islamic State in northern Syria.

Davis did not say how many U.S. troops are working with the Turks, but others said it was approximately a few dozen.

Davis said the Americans are just south of the Turkish border, between the towns of Jarablus and Ar Rai.


UN Security Council to meet on Syria

The United States and Russia have called for a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the situation in Syria.

The council will hold closed consultations later on Friday.

The development comes a day after Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he hoped the Security Council would adopt a resolution endorsing the cease-fire agreement at next week's high-level General Assembly meeting, which draws leaders from around the globe.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said his country would like to publish details of the cease-fire deal he hammered out with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister last week.


NEW: Senator says Israel made a mistake by signing security deal

The Republican senator who oversees the U.S. foreign aid budget says Israel made a mistake by signing a $38 billion security agreement with the Obama administration.

Speaking Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could have gotten a better deal if he had waited until President Barack Obama left office.

He says Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would be willing to give Israel more military aid.

Graham is chairman of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

The security deal, which amounts to $3.8 billion annually over the next 10 years, is the largest such agreement the U.S. ever has had with any country.

Graham also says he opposes the agreement because it would block Congress from allotting more money than the deal mandates.


Detectives investigating whether mosque arsonist had help

Authorities are investigating whether a man accused of torching a Florida mosque was part of a conspiracy.

Lt. Adam Goodner of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said in an email Friday that detectives are investigating who Joseph Schreiber spoke to on his cellphone moments before the fire was set Sunday night. Detectives said in their arrest affidavit that surveillance cameras at the mosque, which was once attended by Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, caught the arsonist on his cellphone.

Former inmate Ralph Alfonso served prison time with the 32-year-old Schreiber. He told The Associated Press he doesn't think Schreiber is intellectually capable of plotting the blaze and must have been put up to it. He says Schreiber is easily led.

Detectives say Schreiber confessed after his arrest Wednesday.


Senate passes bill to combat wildlife trafficking

The Senate has approved a bill to boost efforts to combat illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking, a growing, worldwide problem with an estimated value of up to $10 billion a year.

The measure is aimed at protecting a variety of animals, from lions, elephants and rhinos to exotic birds and sharks. It supports ongoing work of a presidential task force on wildlife trafficking and directs U.S. agencies to work with countries affected by wildlife crime, such as the 2015 killing of Cecil the lion by an American during an illegal hunt in Zimbabwe.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, was approved unanimously Thursday. The senators have traveled together to several African countries.

The bill now goes to the House.


House panel to probe Wells Fargo opening of accounts

A House panel says it's starting an investigation of Wells Fargo in its opening of millions of unauthorized accounts that has become a growing scandal.

The House Financial Services Committee on Friday announced an investigation of the allegedly illegal activity by Wells Fargo employees to meet aggressive sales goals as well as the role of federal regulators in the debacle.

California and U.S. regulators fined San Francisco-based Wells Fargo a combined $185 million last Thursday. The bank also will pay restitution to affected customers.

The committee says it will summon Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf to testify at a hearing this month. Stumpf and several regulators are appearing before the Senate Banking Committee at a separate hearing on Tuesday.


Union: Cop who shot boy did what he had to do

A police union leader says the Ohio officer who fatally shot a 13-year-old boy while investigating a reported armed robbery is a well-respected policeman who did what he had to do in that circumstance.

Columbus police say Officer Bryan Mason repeatedly shot Tyre (ty-REE') King on Wednesday night after the teen ran from investigators and pulled out a BB gun that looked like a real firearm.

Jason Pappas, the president of the police union representing Mason, said Friday it's a situation no officer wants to encounter.

The case started with a 911 call about the robbery. Police say officers followed potential suspects into an alley, and Tyre pulled a weapon from his waistband and was shot.

Mason is on administrative leave as the shooting is investigated.


3 suspects in New Mexico girl's death plead not guilty

The three suspects charged in the horrific killing of a 10-year-old New Mexico girl have pleaded not guilty in state court.

Fabian Gonzales, Jessica Kelley and the victim's mother, Michelle Martens, are charged with child abuse resulting in death, kidnapping and tampering with evidence in connection with the killing of Victoria Martens.

The arraignment hearing came three weeks after authorities say the girl was drugged, sexually assaulted and killed Aug. 24.

Police say the girl's mother told investigators after her arrest that the other suspects drugged and assaulted the victim as she watched.

Victoria was found dead by police in her mother's apartment the day she was to celebrate her 10th birthday, with authorities saying her remains had been wrapped in a blanket and set on fire in a bathtub.


Bobbi Kristina Brown's partner loses wrongful death case

A judge in Atlanta has ruled against Bobbi Kristina Brown's partner, Nick Gordon, in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by her estate.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford signed an order Friday saying Gordon repeatedly failed to meet court deadlines in the case. The order says that means the conservator of her estate wins by default.

Brown, the daughter of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, was found unresponsive in a bathtub in her suburban Atlanta townhome in January 2015. She died about six months later in hospice care.

The judge's order says a jury trial will be set to determine how much Gordon will be required to pay in damages.

Online court records did not list an attorney for Gordon.

Gordon has not been charged with a crime.


Banks, energy stocks lead US market lower

Banks and energy companies are leading a broad decline in midday trading on Wall Street.

The U.S.-listed shares of Germany's Deutsche Bank plunged 9 percent Friday after the Department of Justice said the bank should pay $14 billion to settle claims over its handing of mortgage-backed securities.

Major U.S. banks also fell. JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup each lost 1 percent.

Business software maker Oracle dropped 4 percent after its earnings fell short of analysts' forecasts.


Americans' household wealth rises to $89.1 trillion

U.S. household wealth rose at a solid pace in the April-June quarter, pushed by steady gains in home values and stock portfolios.

The Federal Reserve says net worth climbed 1.2 percent to $89.1 trillion, led by a $474 billion increase in housing wealth. Americans' stock and mutual portfolios climbed by $452 billion. Money in checking and saving accounts also rose slightly.

Americans are also taking on more debt, particularly mortgages, which suggests they are more confident in their economic futures and their ability to handle the debts. Mortgage debt rose 2.5 percent, the most since the recession.

Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of homes, stocks and other assets minus mortgages, credit card debt and other borrowing. The Fed's figures aren't adjusted for population growth or inflation.


FAA contemplating whether millions of drones will fill skies

Federal aviation officials say so many people are registering drones and applying for drone pilot licenses, they wonder if there will eventually be millions of drones crowding the nation's skies.

Earl Lawrence is director of the Federal Aviation Administration. Lawrence told a government-industry committee Friday that 550,000 drones have been registered with the agency in the 9 months since the registration process was created. He says new registrations are coming in at a rate of 2,000 a day.

By comparison, the FAA says there are 260,165 manned aircraft registered in the U.S.

The FAA began issuing drone pilot licenses less than a month ago. Already, 13,710 people have applied to take the pilot exam, and 5,080 have passed it.

The FAA had previously forecast 1,343 drone pilots by 2020.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all