AP News in Brief 02-01-18

McGowan to Harvey Weinstein: There was no consent

NEW YORK — Rose McGowan says it’s time for Harvey Weinstein to drop his story about a “consensual” relationship.

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“He can fall off the planet,” the activist said during an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. “My statement is truth. My statement is reality. Stop saying it’s consensual, you pig! You know it’s not true.”

Weinstein issued a statement Tuesday that quoted an alleged email from McGowan’s former manager, saying that the actress had spoken of a consensual encounter with him. Weinstein is accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, revelations that helped lead to allegations against Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and dozens of other men.

McGowan, 44, is promoting a trilogy (a “holy trinity without the ‘holy,’” she calls it) of new projects this week, including the album “Planet 9,” the E! docuseries “Citizen Rose” and the memoir “Brave.”

Her book includes a graphic account of being assaulted by the movie producer, whom she calls “the monster,” in a hotel 20 years ago. Besides her comment to the AP, McGowan issued a statement Wednesday saying that his remarks were part of an ongoing effort to “smear” her.

Syria’s Kurds push US to stop Turkish assault on enclave

BEIRUT — Syria’s Kurdish militia is growing frustrated with its patron, the United States, and is pressing it to do more to stop Turkey’s assault on a key stronghold in Syria.

The issue reflects a deeper concern among the Kurds over their alliance with the Americans, which proved vital to defeating the Islamic State group in Syria. The Kurds fear that ultimately they and their dream of self-rule will be the losers in the big powers’ play over influence in Syria. Already the U.S. is in a tough spot, juggling between the interests of the Kurds, its only ally in war-torn Syria, and its relations with Turkey, a key NATO ally.

The Kurdish militia views defending the Kurdish enclave of Afrin as an existential fight to preserve their territory. Afrin has major significance — it’s one of the first Kurdish areas to rise up against President Bashar Assad and back self-rule, a base for senior fighters who pioneered the alliance with the Americans and a key link in their efforts to form a contiguous entity along Turkey’s border. The offensive, which began Jan. 20, has so far killed more than 60 civilians and dozens of fighters on both sides, and displaced thousands.

“How can they stand by and watch?” Aldar Khalil, a senior Kurdish politician said of the U.S.-led coalition against IS. “They should meet their obligations toward this force that participated with them (in the fight against terrorism.) We consider their unclear and indecisive positions as a source of concern.”

Khalil, one of the architects of the Kurds’ self-administration, and three other senior Kurdish officials told The Associated Press that they have conveyed their frustration over what they consider a lack of decisive action to stop the Afrin assault to U.S. and other Western officials. They said U.S. officials have made confusing statements in public. One of the officials who agreed to discuss private meetings on condition of anonymity said some U.S. comments even amounted to tacit support for the assault.

Train carrying GOP lawmakers strikes trash truck; 1 killed

CROZET, Va. — A train carrying dozens of Republican members of Congress to a strategy retreat in the countryside slammed into a garbage truck in rural Virginia on Wednesday, killing one person in the vehicle and sending several lawmaker-doctors rushing to help the injured.

No serious injuries were reported aboard the chartered Amtrak train, which set out from the nation’s capital with lawmakers, family members and staff for the luxury Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. At least two other people in the truck were reported seriously hurt.

The collision happened about 11:20 a.m. in Crozet, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Washington, tearing the truck in two, crumpling the nose of the locomotive and scattering trash alongside the tracks.

Rep. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina said he was standing at the train’s refreshment stand, waiting to be served a soft drink, when he felt “an enormous slam. … It was a huge jolt. We all hung on to whatever we had.”

He said he looked out the window and saw a big pile of garbage, and it appeared the train had pushed the truck for a few hundred yards.

Trump infrastructure plan seeks to shift burden to states

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — When President Donald Trump called for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure investment in his State of the Union address, he didn’t pledge that the federal government actually would provide that much money for roads, bridges, rail and waterways.

To the contrary, Trump’s plan counts on state and local governments working with private investors to come up with much of the cash.

Exactly how that would work remained unclear Wednesday, as state transportation officials noted that Trump’s proposal could put more pressure on them to raise taxes, fees and tolls just to qualify for a share of his infrastructure program. Questions surrounding Trump’s plan are likely to leave costly projects, such as plans for a new Hudson River tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey, in limbo.

“The Trump administration has issued a charge that sounds a lot like ‘show me the money,’” said Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna, who is president of the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials.

In his speech Tuesday night, Trump called upon Congress to pass a plan “that generates at least $1.5 trillion” for infrastructure.

Abuse victims say they were required to see disgraced doctor

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — Another wave of victims confronted Larry Nassar on Wednesday, this time about sexual abuse at an elite Michigan gymnastics club where young athletes felt they had to use the disgraced doctor’s services and could not question the adults who ran the facility.

The judge presiding over the case said the number of people who allege they were abused by Nassar has topped 265. That total includes 150-plus victims who offered statements at a different hearing last week, as well as scores of new ones expected to speak over the next few days.

Nassar faces another long prison sentence on top of the two he has already received. He was sentenced to 60 years on federal child-pornography charges and another 40 to 175 years on state charges that he abused women and girls while working for Michigan State University. Either one of those sentences effectively mean life in prison for the 54-year-old.

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“You are the most vile, disgusting creature I have ever met,” said Katherine Ebert, who was a gymnast from 5 to 18 and started seeing Nassar at 15. “There are black holes in my memory that come back as nightmares or flashbacks, not wanting to believe they’re true.”

Nassar, once the doctor for the national gymnastics team, sat at a table with his lawyers as nearly 30 accusers rebuked him. They discussed the psychological scars from his abuse — depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, trouble being around male teachers and other men and fractured relationships with family.