AP News in Brief 11-08-19

Judge fines Trump $2 million for misusing charity foundation

NEW YORK — A judge Thursday ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to an array of charities as a fine for misusing his own charitable foundation to further his political and business interests.

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New York state Judge Saliann Scarpulla imposed the penalty after the president admitted to a series of abuses outlined in a lawsuit brought against him last year by the New York attorney general’s office.

Among other things, Trump acknowledged in a legal filing that he allowed his presidential campaign staff to coordinate with the Trump Foundation in holding a fundraiser for veterans during the run-up to the 2016 Iowa caucuses. The event was designed “to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign,” Scarpulla said.

In a defiant statement issued Thursday evening, though, Trump suggested he was neither sorry nor in the wrong.

“I am the only person I know, perhaps the only person in history, who can give major money to charity (19M), charge no expense, and be attacked by the political hacks in New York State,” he wrote.

Iran 5.9 magnitude earthquake kills at least 5, injures 300

TEHRAN, Iran — A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck northwestern Iran early Friday, killing at least five people and injuring more than 300 others, officials said.

The temblor struck Tark county in Iran’s Eastern Azerbaijan province at 2:17 a.m., Iran’s seismological center said. The area is some 400 kilometers (250 miles) northwest of Iran’s capital, Tehran.

Over 40 aftershocks rattled the rural region nestled in the Alborz Mountains, and residents rushed out of their homes in fear. The quake injured at least 312 people, state television reported, though only 13 needed to be hospitalized. It described many of the injuries happening when people fled in panic.

The head of Iran’s emergency medical services, Pirhossein Koulivand, gave the casualty figures to state television. There were no immediate video or images broadcast from the area.

Rescuers have been dispatched to the region, officials said. State TV reported the earthquake destroyed 30 homes at its epicenter.

Hong Kong student dies after fall during protest clash

HONG KONG — A Hong Kong university student who fell off a parking garage after police fired tear gas during clashes with anti-government protesters died Friday, in a rare fatality after five months of unrest that is expected to intensify anger in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

A hospital official, identified only as Chow, said the 22-year-old died Friday morning, but couldn’t give further details.

Although the cause of his fall has not been determined, his death is bound to deepen anger among youths against police, who have been accused of heavy-handed tactics since protests demanding democratic reforms started in June.

Local media reported that Chow Tsz-Lok has been in a coma with brain injury since he was found early Monday sprawled in a pool of blood on the second floor of the building. Police believed he plunged from an upper floor but it wasn’t captured by security cameras.

Minutes earlier, television footage showed riot police firing tear gas at the building after objects were hurled down at the officers in the street when they chased off a mob. Police didn’t rule out the possibility he was fleeing from tear gas but noted officials fired from a distance. Police also denied claims that officials pushed the victim down and had delayed emergency services.

From wire sources

Mexico farm town buries 3 of 9 slain Americans

LA MORA, Mexico — As Mexican soldiers stood guard, a mother and two sons were laid to rest in hand-hewn pine coffins in a single grave dug out of the rocky soil Thursday at the first funeral for the victims of a drug cartel ambush that left nine American women and children dead.

Clad in shirt sleeves, suits or modest dresses, about 500 mourners embraced in grief under white tents erected in La Mora, a hamlet of about 300 people who consider themselves Mormon but are not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some wept, and some sang hymns.

Members of the extended community — many of whom, like the victims, are dual U.S-Mexican citizens — had built the coffins themselves and used shovels to dig the shared grave in La Mora’s small cemetery. Farmers and teenage boys carried the coffins.

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Mourners filed past to view the bodies and pay their final respects to Dawna Ray Langford, 43, and her sons Trevor, 11, and Rogan, 2.

They were laid to rest together, just as they died together Monday when attackers fired a hail of bullets at their SUV on a dirt road leading to another settlement, Colonia LeBaron. Six children and three women in all were killed in the attack on the convoy of three SUVs.

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