Trump drops plan to host G-7 at Doral
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world leaders' meeting at his Doral, Florida, golf resort.
Accused of using the presidency to enrich himself, Trump announced a rare backtrack on Twitter on Saturday night.
He writes that, "based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020." He says his administration "will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately."
The president's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulavey, held a press conference Thursday announcing the choice of Doral for the summit. He insisted his staff had concluded it was "far and away the best physical facility."
The Latest: Johnson sends EU request for Brexit delay
LONDON (AP) — The British government has formally asked the European Union for a delay to Brexit — but also sent a letter from Prime Minister Boris Johnson arguing against it.
Johnson was forced to request a delay after Parliament voted to delay a decision on whether to back his Brexit deal. A law passed last month compelled the government to try to postpone Britain's departure if no deal was agreed by Saturday.
British media said Johnson made it clear in the correspondence that he personally opposes an extension.
EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted late Saturday: "The extension request has just arrived. I will now start consulting EU leaders on how to react."
The Latest: Syria Kurds say they will withdraw from border
BEIRUT (AP) — A senior Syrian Kurdish official says his forces will pull back from a border area in accordance with a U.S.-brokered deal after Turkey allows the evacuation of its remaining fighters and civilians from a besieged town there.
Redur Khalil, a senior Syrian Democratic Forces official, said Saturday the plan for evacuation from the town of Ras al-Ayn is set for the following day, if there are no delays.
He says only after that will his force pull back from a 120-kilometer (75-mile) area between the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal-Aybad. It will withdraw and move back from the border 30 kilometers (19 miles).
This is the first time the Kurdish force has publicly acknowledged it will withdraw from the border, saying it has coordinated it with the Americans. The agreement has not specified the area of its pullback.
Previous agreements between the U.S. and Turkey over a "safe zone" along the Syria-Turkish border floundered over the diverging definitions of the area.
Khalil said a partial evacuation happened earlier Saturday from Ras al-Ayn after much stalling and with U.S. coordination.
Defense chief: US troops leaving Syria to go to western Iraq
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq, and that the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent a resurgence in that country.
Esper also isn't ruling out the idea that U.S. forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. He says those details will be worked out over time. He was speaking to reporters traveling with him Saturday to the Middle East,
His comments were the first to lay out where American troops will go as they leave Syria and what the counter-IS fight could look like. Esper said he spoke to his Iraqi counterpart about the plan to shift the more than 700 troops leaving Syria into western Iraq.
Trump outstripping Obama on pace of executive orders
WASHINGTON (AP) — It wasn't too long ago that Donald Trump derided presidential executive orders as "power grabs" and a "basic disaster."
He's switched sides in a big way: In each year of his presidency, he has issued more executive orders than did former President Barack Obama during the same span.
He surpassed Obama's third-year total just recently.
Back in 2012, Trump tweeted: "Why Is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?"
Andrew Rudalevige, a professor at Bowdoin College, says Trump appears to have learned what his predecessors discovered, too: It's easier and often more satisfying to get things done through administrative action than to get Congress to go along.
Trump has so far issued 130 executive orders. By comparison, Obama issued 108 in his first three years.
Hong Kong protesters pray, gird for unauthorized rally
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are set for another weekend of civil disobedience as they prepare to hold an unauthorized protest march to press their demands.
Supporters are holding a prayer rally on Saturday night. The protest march is planned for Sunday, with organizers vowing to hold the event even though it failed to win approval from police, who cited risks to public order.
As the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's political crisis extends into a fifth month, protesters are trying to keep the pressure on the government to respond to their demands, including full democracy and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers wrote to tech company Apple and video game studio Activision Blizzard to condemn what they called protest-related censorship on behalf of China.
MEXICO-GOVERNMENT ON THE RUN
In many parts of Mexico, government ceded battle to cartels
EL AGUAJE, Mexico (AP) — The Mexican city of Culiacan lived under drug cartel terror for 12 hours as gang members forced the government to free a drug lord's son. The massive gunbattle was shocking for the openness of the government's capitulation — and for the brazenness of gunmen who drove machine-gun mounted armored trucks through the streets.
But in state after state, the Mexican government long ago relinquished effective control of whole towns, cities and regions to the drug cartels.
A young mother in the Michoacan town of El Aguaje says the cartels "are the law here. If you have a problem, you go to them. They solve it quickly."
When a convoy of Michoacan state police did make a rare appearance in El Aguaje, they were ambushed and slaughtered by Jalisco cartel gunmen.
Impeachment inquiry puts spotlight on Perry, who shunned it
WASHINGTON (AP) — Energy Secretary Rick Perry was one of the survivors in President Donald Trump's Cabinet, avoiding scandals that have taken out higher-profile figures.
Perry's announcement that he's quitting by year's end comes as the House impeachment investigation highlights his work in Ukraine. It was Ukraine where Perry promoted U.S. natural gas — and where Trump hoped to find dirt on political rival Joe Biden.
Perry was one of his Trump's longest serving Cabinet members. Trump said Perry had planned for months to quit. But it's the latest turnover in a Cabinet that's seen plenty of change.
Perry says his Ukraine work followed U.S. policy. He says he never heard anyone push Ukraine to investigate Biden.
The Energy Department has rejected a House subpoena for Perry.
TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Nestor brings rain, tornado warnings to Georgia
MIAMI (AP) — Former Tropical Storm Nestor has spread heavy rains over a large part of Georgia and triggered warnings for two potential twisters in the state.
The National Weather Service issued two tornado warnings Saturday evening for southern Georgia. Radar indicated possible tornados in areas around Rhine, Georgia and Vienna, Georgia. But there was no immediate confirmation of any tornadoes and no injuries or damages were reported. Elsewhere, news outlets reported downed trees and power lines in metro Atlanta as heavy rains spread across Georgia. Photographs showed downed trees blocking some roadways in that major city.
Nestor made landfall earlier Saturday on Florida's northern Gulf Coast as a post-tropical cyclone after losing its tropical storm status. Remnants of the storm were forecast to head overnight across the Carolinas, raising the threat of severe thunderstorms over a wide swath of the coast during the night.
Soldiers patrol Chilean capital after violent protests
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Soldiers are patrolling the streets in Chile's capital for the first time since the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet ended in 1990.
The military presence is part of a state of emergency declared by President Sebastián Piñera in response to student-led protests over a rise in subway fares that paralyzed the city.
Protesters burned several subway stations and damaged dozens of others. Officials reported 156 police officers and 11 civilians injured and more than 300 people arrested.
The streets of Santiago were calmer Saturday morning, but new protests broke out at midday and police fired tear gas to break them up.
The government recently raised subway fares from about $1.12 to $1.16 due to rising fuel prices.