Liberal icon Trudeau appears set to hold onto government
TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared set to win a second term in Canada's parliamentary elections Monday, seemingly fending off a challenge from rival Conservatives despite having been weakened by a series of scandals.
Trudeau's Liberal party was projected to win the most seats in the 338-seat Parliament, giving it the best chance to form the next government. However, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said it would be a minority government, forced to rely on an opposition party to stay in power.
"It's way better than I expected. It was conceivable that the Liberals would lose," said Robert Bothwell, a professor of Canadian history and international relations at the University of Toronto.
"Trudeau is going to have to command a caucus that will not be as grateful than it was in 2015. A lot of them will say 'Look we won but not because of you.'"
The Canadian vote came down to what was essentially a choice between the handsome and charismatic Trudeau and the Conservatives' unassuming leader, Andrew Scheer, who was seen as the perfect antidote to Trudeau's flash and celebrity.
'America is running away': Syrian withdrawal turns chaotic
BEIRUT (AP) — The crowd hurled potatoes that thudded on the sides of the hulking U.S. armoured vehicles. "What happened to Americans?" one man shouted in English up at the sole U.S. soldier visible on the back of a vehicle. The soldier stared silently straight ahead, away from the show of fury.
It was yet another indignity in a U.S. withdrawal that has been carried out over the past two weeks with more haste and violence than expected — and which may now be partially reversed.
The turmoil was only in part because President Donald Trump's Oct. 13 order to leave was so abrupt. It also seemed there had been little U.S. preparation for how to deal with a subsequent invasion by Turkey, though Ankara had been threatening it for months. And when it did strike, Turkey hit more widely across northeastern Syria than anticipated and was startlingly aggressive, seemingly trying to shove U.S. soldiers out of its way. Turkish artillery fire and Turkish-backed fighters came dangerously close to three American positions, U.S. and Kurdish officials said.
On Monday, a U.S. convoy was passing down an avenue in the Kurdish-dominated city of Qamishli, apparently on the way out of Syria, when it caught the brunt of residents' anger and frustration at the American military that was once their closest ally and was now abandoning them.
"Like rats, America is running away," one man shouted in Arabic at the vehicles, shown in a video put out by the Kurdish news agency.
Trump viewed Ukraine as adversary, not ally, witnesses say
WASHINGTON (AP) — Behind closed doors, President Donald Trump has made his views on Ukraine clear: "They tried to take me down."
The president, according to people familiar with testimony in the House impeachment investigation, sees the Eastern European ally, not Russia, as responsible for the interference in the 2016 election that was investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller.
It's a view denied by the intelligence community, at odds with U.S. foreign policy and dismissed by many of Trump's fellow Republicans, but part of a broader skepticism of Ukraine being shared with Trump by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his key regional ally Viktor Orban of Hungary.
Trump's embrace of an alternative view of Ukraine suggests the extent to which his approach to Kyiv — including his request, now central to the impeachment inquiry, that the Ukraine president do him a "favour" and investigate Democrats — was colored by a long-running, unproven conspiracy theory that has circulated online and in some corners of conservative media.
On Monday, Trump derided the impeachment probe anew as a "witch hunt," insisting that he did nothing wrong in his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Israel's Netanyahu gives up on forming new coalition
JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that he had failed to form a majority government in parliament, marking a major setback for the embattled Israeli leader that plunges the country into a new period of political uncertainty.
In a statement, Netanyahu said he had worked "tirelessly" to establish a unity government with his chief rival, former military chief Benny Gantz, but been repeatedly rebuffed. Facing a Wednesday deadline, Netanyahu said he was returning the "mandate" to President Reuven Rivlin, who will now ask Gantz to try to form a coalition. Gantz, however, could face an equally difficult task.
While Netanyahu remains at the helm of his Likud party, his announcement marked the second time this year that he has been unable to form a government. With Israel's attorney general set to decide in the coming weeks on whether to indict Netanyahu in a series of corruption cases, the longtime Israeli leader could come under heavy pressure to step aside. One party rival, Gideon Saar, has already indicated he would challenge Netanyahu if Likud holds a primary.
In last month's national election, Netanyahu fell short of securing a 61-seat parliamentary majority. But Rivlin gave Netanyahu the first opportunity to form a government because he had more support — 55 lawmakers — than Gantz, who was supported by only 54.
Netanyahu had hoped to form a broad "unity" government with Gantz, who heads the centrist Blue and White party. But Netanyahu insisted that his coalition include his traditional allies, a collection of hardline and religious parties, drawing accusations from Gantz that he was not negotiating in good faith.
$260 million deal averts 1st federal trial on opioid crisis
CLEVELAND (AP) — The nation's three biggest drug distributors and a major drugmaker agreed to an 11th-hour, $260 million settlement Monday over the terrible toll taken by opioids in two Ohio counties, averting the first federal trial over the crisis.
The trial, involving Cleveland's Cuyahoga County and Akron's Summit County, was seen as a critical test case that could have gauged the strength of the opposing sides' arguments and prodded the industry and its foes toward a nationwide resolution of nearly all lawsuits over opioids, the scourge blamed for 400,000 U.S. deaths in the past two decades.
The agreement was struck in the middle of the night, just hours before a jury that was selected last week was scheduled to hear opening arguments in federal court in Cleveland.
Drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson will pay a combined $215 million, said Hunter Shkolnik, a lawyer for Cuyahoga County. Israeli-based drugmaker Teva will contribute $20 million in cash and $25 million worth of generic Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction.
"People can't lose sight of the fact that the counties got a very good deal for themselves, but we also set an important national benchmark for the others," Shkolnik said.
Clusters of illness linked to CBD vapes share 2nd connection
CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Some of the people rushing to emergency rooms thought the CBD vape they inhaled would help like a gentle medicine. Others puffed it for fun.
What the vapours delivered instead was a jolt of synthetic marijuana, and with it an intense high of hallucinations and even seizures.
More than 50 people around Salt Lake City had been poisoned by the time the outbreak ended early last year, most by a vape called Yolo! — the acronym for "you only live once."
In recent months, hundreds of vape users have developed mysterious lung illnesses, and more than 30 have died. Yolo was different. Users knew immediately something was wrong.
Who was responsible for Yolo? Public health officials and criminal investigators couldn't figure that out. Just as it seemed to appear from nowhere, Yolo faded away with little trace.
Trump blasts critics who pushed him to cancel G-7 at Doral
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump lashed out Monday at critics who prompted him to move next year's Group of Seven summit from his golf club in Florida, saying "Democrats went crazy" with criticisms that he would have violated the "phoney emoluments clause" of the Constitution.
"I was willing to do this for free," Trump said during a Cabinet meeting on Monday, comparing it to his decision not to take his $400,000 presidential salary. But now, he said, "It will cost a fortune for the country."
At one point, he lamented, "You people with this phoney emoluments clause."
He brushed aside the criticism that, even without accepting payments, hosting the summit at his Trump National Doral near Miami would have been one big promotion for his brand. "You don't think I get enough promotion? I get more promotion than any human being that's ever lived," he said.
Trump reversed course Saturday on hosting the G-7 at Doral after Republicans joined Democrats in raising alarm about self-dealing and violating the emoluments clause that bans presidents from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments. His acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said that the president had realized that "it looks lousy" to steer business to his own property.
Distinctive accent on torture video leads police to suspect
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The suspect in a torture killing in Alaska's biggest city ended up leading police right to him, first by losing a digital memory card labeled "Homicide at midtown Marriott" that contained video of the dying woman.
Then came an even more innocuous blunder: He spoke on the tape in his distinctive, very un-Alaska accent.
When a woman found the memory card on the street and turned it over to police, what detectives saw was horrific. At one point, the suspect complained to the victim, whose face was swollen and bloodied: "My hand's getting tired." He then stomped her throat with his right foot.
Amid the footage, a clue: The man spoke in an "English sounding accent," and detectives recalled Brian Steven Smith, a 48-year-old South African, from another investigation, the details of which they have not disclosed.
They arrested Smith, who has pleaded not guilty to the September killing of 30-year-old Kathleen Henry, an Alaska Native woman. During his interrogation, police say he confessed to shooting another Alaska Native woman. Police won't say if there may be other victims.
New blow to Johnson's Brexit plan after vote on deal blocked
LONDON (AP) — Britain faced another week of grinding political gridlock after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was denied a chance Monday to hold a vote by lawmakers on his Brexit divorce bill.
With just 10 days before Britain's scheduled departure date, Johnson's government had sought a "straight up-and-down vote" on the agreement he struck last week with the 27 other EU nations laying out the terms of Britain's exit.
But the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, refused to allow it because lawmakers voted to delay approving the Brexit deal on Saturday, and parliamentary rules bar the same measure from being considered a second time during a session of Parliament unless something has changed.
Bercow's ruling plunged the tortuous Brexit process back into grimly familiar territory. The government must now try to implement its Plan B — attempt to pass a Brexit-implementing bill through Britain's fractious Parliament before the country's scheduled Oct. 31 departure date.
Bercow — whose rulings in favour of backbench lawmakers have stymied government plans more than once before — said the motion proposed by the government was "in substance the same" as the one Parliament dealt with on Saturday. He said it would be "repetitive and disorderly" to allow a new vote Monday.
Hot Cole, Astros face Scherzer, Nats in World Series opener
HOUSTON (AP) — Gerrit Cole rattles off the names of the pitching greats with ease, featuring the same command he shows with his vaunted four-seam fastball.
Bob Gibson. Tom Seaver. Don Drysdale.
Plus the guys he saw in person as a kid — Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling — when they dominated in October.
Now in the midst of perhaps the most remarkable run in baseball history, it's his turn, starting Game 1 of the World Series.
"The people you keep referring to," Cole said Monday, "got the job done. So I'm trying to deliver on that front."