AP News in Brief 09-09-19

  • People are shown on Jekyll Island’s Driftwood Beach as the Golden Ray cargo ship is capsized in the background, off the Georgia coast, Sunday. (AP Photo/Terry Dickson)

India locates lander lost on final approach to moon

NEW DELHI — The lander module from India’s moon mission was located on the lunar surface on Sunday, one day after it lost contact with the space station, and efforts are underway to try to establish contact with it, the head of the nation’s space agency said.

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The Press Trust of India news agency cited Indian Space and Research Organization chairman K. Sivan as saying cameras from the moon mission’s orbiter had located the lander. “It must have been a hard landing,” PTI quoted Sivan as saying.

ISRO officials could not be reached for comment.

The space agency said it lost touch with the Vikram lunar lander on Saturday as it made its final approach to the moon’s south pole to deploy a rover to search for signs of water.

A successful landing would have made India just the fourth country to land a vessel on the lunar surface, and only the third to operate a robotic rover there.

Georgia: Search on for four missing after cargo ship overturned

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Rescuers scoured the Georgia coast on Sunday for four missing crew members of a cargo ship that overturned and caught fire, but the efforts ran into trouble amid the flames and instability of the ship, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Golden Ray cargo ship’s problems began early Sunday morning when it listed heavily and rolled on its side in St. Simons Sound near the Port of Brunswick with 23 crew members and one pilot on board.

Coast Guard Capt. John Reed said 20 were safely evacuated from the ship before rescuers determined the situation, as smoke and flames appeared, was too risky to go further inside the vessel. The vessel was just offshore in view of beachgoers on the shoreline.

Reed said rescue teams Sunday were trying to stabilize the 656-foot vehicle carrier to continue their search for the missing crew, but they have been unable to determine if the fire has been extinguished. The Coast Guard tweeted later Sunday afternoon that one of its groups, called the Atlantic Strike Team, was preparing to depart to the site to assess what it called a complex situation.

“Once salvage professionals have determined the vessel to be stable, we will identify the best option to continue our rescue efforts for the four crew remembers who remain on board,” Reed said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.

UK worries Brexit could bring ‘chlorinated chicken’ from US

NEW YORK — Could Brexit bring America’s “chlorinated chicken” to the United Kingdom?

The European Union has long refused to import poultry from the United States that is routinely rinsed with chemical washes to kill germs. But the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU is putting the practice back in the spotlight, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson even taunting Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by calling him a “chlorinated chicken.”

The term has come to sum up concerns that Britain could be pressured to accept looser food safety standards when negotiating its own post-Brexit trade deals.

Unlike in the EU, the use of antimicrobial sprays and washes is widespread in the U.S. chicken industry. Companies apply them to kill germs at various stages during processing, such as when carcasses are de-feathered, gutted or any other point when feces could splatter and spread germs like salmonella. The chemicals used in rinses have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and their use is limited to specified amounts. The agency says the rinses are present in finished products at insignificant levels.

The U.S. chicken industry says the use of chlorine has declined to about 10% of the country’s plants, as other chemicals have become more common. It says the rinses help improve food safety, but that it’s difficult to completely rid raw chicken of salmonella and campylobacter germs, which don’t sicken birds and are commonly found in their guts.

A Purdue bankruptcy would make opioids cases even messier

WASHINGTON — State and local governments have sought billions of dollars from Purdue Pharma as a way to hold the company and the family that owns it accountable for the nation’s opioid epidemic, a potential payout that is now clouded in uncertainty after state attorneys general said settlement talks had broken down, while the company says talks are not over.

The attorneys general directly involved in the negotiations with the maker of OxyContin and the Sackler family said they anticipated Purdue filing soon for bankruptcy protection.

Sunday evening, the company released a statement saying that “negotiations continue and we remain dedicated to a resolution that genuinely advances the public interest.”

The company said it is prepared to defend itself in litigation, but that “Purdue Pharma believes a settlement that benefits the American public now is a far better path than years of wasteful litigation and appeals.”

A company spokeswoman declined to answer further questions about with whom negotiations are taking place.

From wire sources

Plan for Taliban meeting latest bold Trump gamble to unravel

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s weekend tweet canceling secret meetings at Camp David with the Taliban and Afghan leaders just days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks is the latest example of a commander in chief willing to take a big risk in pursuit of a foreign policy victory only to see it dashed.

What had seemed like an imminent deal to end the war has unraveled, with Trump and the Taliban blaming each other for the collapse of nearly a year of U.S.-Taliban negotiations in Doha, Qatar.

The insurgents are promising more bloodshed. The Afghan government remains mostly on the sidelines of the U.S. effort to end America’s longest war. And as Trump’s reelection campaign heats up, his quest to withdraw the remaining 14,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan remains unfulfilled.

Trump said he axed the Camp David meetings and called off negotiations because of a recent Taliban bombing near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that killed a U.S. service member, even though nine other Americans have died since June 25 in Taliban-orchestrated violence.

Trump’s secret plan for high-level meetings at the presidential retreat in Maryland resembled other bold, unorthodox foreign policy initiatives — with North Korea, China and Iran — that the president has pursued that have yet to bear fruit.

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Ex-SC Gov. Sanford adds name to GOP long shots against Trump

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and congressman, joined the Republican race against President Donald Trump on Sunday, aiming to put his Appalachian trail travails behind him for good as he pursues an admittedly remote path to the presidency.

“I am here to tell you now that I am going to get in,” Sanford said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” ”This is the beginning of a long walk.”

When asked why he was taking on an incumbent who’s popular within the party, Sanford, who has acknowledged his slim chances by saying he doesn’t expect to become president, said: “I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican. I think that as the Republican Party, we have lost our way.”

Sanford joins Joe Walsh, a former tea-party-backed, one-term congressman from Illinois, and Bill Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, as primary challengers to Trump.

“This vanity project is going absolutely nowhere,” said Drew McKissick, the South Carolina Republican Party chairman.

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Dorian lashes east Canada at hurricane force most of Sunday

TORONTO — The storm that already walloped the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and North Carolina lashed at far-eastern Canada with hurricane-force winds for much of Sunday, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people before beginning to weaken late in the day.

Dorian hit near the city of Halifax Saturday afternoon, ripping roofs off apartment buildings, toppling a huge construction crane and uprooting trees. There were no reported deaths in Canada, though the storm was blamed for at least 50 elsewhere along its path.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the post-tropical cyclone was centered about 25 miles (45 kilometers) east-northeast of St. Anthony, Newfoundland, in Sunday night. Its top sustained winds had fallen to 60 mph (95 kph), after being above the 74 mph threshold of hurricane force earlier in the day. It was heading to the northeast, roughly up the St. Lawrence River, at 23 mph (37 kph).

The storm swept over northwestern Newfoundland and southeastern Labrador during the afternoon and began moving out over the North Atlantic in the evening.

Nova Scotia officials asked people in the province to stay off the roads so crews could safety remove trees and debris and restore power.

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Trial to begin in 9-year-old’s killing that shocked Chicago

CHICAGO — It stands as one of Chicago’s most horrific crimes, in large part because of small details that are impossible to shake: The promise of a juice box that lured the 9-year-old boy off a playground and into an alley, and the basketball he dropped when he was shot and killed there.

Jury selection will begin Friday in the murder trial of two of three men charged with carrying out the November 2015 attack on Tyshawn Lee, a smart fourth-grader who prosecutors say was killed by gang members to send a message to his father, a purported member of a rival gang.

“It was one of the most evil things I’ve ever seen,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest who presided over the boy’s funeral Mass. “I was over there and to see a young boy laying in an alley next to a garbage can with his basketball a few feet away, this assassination of a 9-year-old child took violence in Chicago to a new low.”

Dwright Boone-Doty, who will represent himself, and Corey Morgan will be tried together but before separate juries, each of which will only consider the evidence as it pertains to one of the defendants. The third man accused in the attack, the alleged getaway driver Kevin Edwards, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.

The story that prosecutors will tell at the trial is at once unimaginable and all too familiar in pockets of Chicago that have been plagued by gang warfare for years: The shooting was the result of a feud between the defendants’ Bang Bang Gang/Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones and the Killa Ward faction of the Black Gangster Disciples, which the slain boy’s father, Pierre Stokes, allegedly belonged to.

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Search warrants served in California boat fire investigation

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Authorities served search warrants Sunday at the Southern California company that owned the scuba diving boat that caught fire and killed 34 people last week.

Agents with the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other agencies searched Truth Aquatics’ offices in Santa Barbara and the company’s two remaining boats, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s Lt. Erik Raney said.

The warrants served shortly after 9 a.m. are part of the ongoing investigation into the tragedy to determine whether any crimes were committed, he said. The office was ringed in red “crime scene” tape as more than a dozen agents took photos and carried out boxes.

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Thirty-four people died when the Conception burned and sank before dawn on Sept. 2. They were sleeping in a cramped bunkroom below the main deck and their escape routes were blocked by fire.

The bodies of all but one victim have been recovered. The search for the final body was suspended this weekend because of strong winds and rough seas, Raney said.

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