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    A young rape victim who was suspected of having an abortion and charged with homicide was acquitted by a judge at a retrial Monday in a case that attracted international attention to El Salvador's strict abortion laws. Evelyn Beatriz Hernández, now 21, had served 33 months of a 30-year prison sentence when her conviction was overturned in February for lack of evidence and a new trial was ordered. Prosecutors had asked for a 40-year sentence. The retrial was a first for such a case in the Central American nation, where prosecutors aggressively pursue legal cases against women who have miscarriages or other obstetric emergencies, accusing them of murder. 'Thank God, justice was done,' Hernández said following the announcement of the verdict, visibly emotional as dozens of women waited at the courthouse. 'I also thank you who have been present here.' 'Yes we did!' the women chanted. Hernández also thanked foreign diplomats who have followed the case closely. The Associated Press usually does not name victims of alleged sexual assault, but Hernández has spoken publicly about her case. Hernández's fetus was at 32 weeks in 2016 when she felt intense abdominal pains and delivered it into an outdoor toilet, and it was later found lifeless in a septic tank. Her mother said she found her passed out next to the latrine, and Hernández said she didn't know she was pregnant. Both women said they didn't know there was a fetus in the tank, but prosecutors didn't believe them and pressed charges. Forensic experts were unable to determine whether it died in the uterus or in the septic tank. 'We believe the judge has been very fair in his ruling,' defense lawyer Bertha María Deleón said. 'He has said that there was no way to prove a crime and for that reason he absolved her.' El Salvador is one of three Central American nations with total bans on abortion. 'This is a resounding victory for the rights of women in El Salvador. It reaffirms that no woman should be wrongly accused of homicide for the simple fact of suffering an obstetric emergency,' said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International. Guevara-Rosas called on El Salvador to cease 'criminalizing women once and for all by immediately revoking the nation's draconian anti-abortion laws.
  • Nerves are being frayed by a global economy that increasingly looks breakable. Growth is stalling. Factory output is down. Oil demand is off. U.S. tariffs on China have slowed trade. Investors have crowded into government bonds and sent interest rates sliding in a way that has often preceded a recession. So is a recession near? Hard to tell. What's clear is that many of the world's most powerful countries have skidded into a moment of uncertainty that has left consumers, businesses, markets and much of the political world feeling gloomier. President Donald Trump has asserted that the U.S. economy is strong. Yet on Monday, Trump called for the Federal Reserve to slash interest rates with the kind of aggressiveness the Fed normally uses to combat a recession. Things have grown muddled. ___ BOTTOM LINE: SO IS THE U.S. ECONOMY HEADED FOR A RECESSION? Lots of economists think so. A new survey shows that a clear majority of economists expect a downturn to hit by 2021 at the latest, according to a report Monday from the National Association of Business Economics. Some of that pessimism is a natural byproduct of the duration of the U.S. expansion: The economy has been growing for more than a decade — the longest expansion on record — and a recession at some point is inevitable. Of course, the old joke is that economists have predicted nine of the past two recessions. Adding to the challenge is that recessions often go unrecognized until they are well underway. The Great Recession, for example, began in December 2007. Yet not until 11 months later, by which time it was obvious, did the official arbiter, the National Bureau of Economic Research, declare a recession. At that point, layoffs were spiking, home foreclosures were mounting and a financial panic had set the economy hurtling toward a devastating meltdown. OK, BUT HOW REALISTIC ARE THOSE RECESSION FEARS? Parts of the economy remain sturdy. Retail sales surged last month, for example, and the bulk of U.S. economic activity depends on consumer spending. Also, the unemployment rate is near a 50-year low at 3.7%. Administration officials cite these kinds of figures to argue, as Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway did Monday on Fox News Channel, that the economy's fundamentals are 'very strong.' What's more, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has committed himself to prolonging the expansion. After cutting their benchmark interest rate in July for the first time in a decade, Fed officials might do so several more times if the data worsens. Yet at the same time, as the Fed reported, factory output has dropped for the past 12 months. Home sales have tumbled. Trump's tariffs against China have hindered business investment. And while Trump has asserted that additional Fed rate cuts would turbocharge the economy, the central bank's July cut actually caused a drop in consumer confidence, according to a University of Michigan survey. The fears built last week when an economic barometer called the yield curve briefly 'inverted.' This occurs when the interest rate on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note falls below the rate on a two-year Treasury note. In theory, a short-term Treasury should carry the lower rate. When it doesn't, it's regarded as a possible recession warning. As analysts at the bank UBS said, a recession on average has started 21 months after this kind of inversion. But rates are already so low that it's possible that the inversion signals only that growth will remain persistently weak, not that the economy will succumb to a recession. IS EUROPE DRIVING THE JITTERS? Very possibly. The world is more interconnected than ever. Germany's economy shrank last quarter, and analysts expect it to decline again, which could put Germany in a technical recession. Recessions are usually linked to two straight quarters of economic shrinkage. Germany's downturn resulted from a decline in industrial production. Much of that decline reflected spillover effects from Trump's escalation of his trade war with China and Britain's plans to withdraw from the European Union later this year. The damage to Germany's economy could flow into the financial markets and harm the U.S. economy. Trade tensions between Japan and South Korea are also rising. And OPEC has whittled down its forecast for global oil demand this year by 40,000 barrels a day to 1.10 million barrels. Falling oil prices could result in fewer U.S. manufacturing and drilling jobs. HOW CONCERNED IS THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION? The president has repeatedly declared that America's economy remains the strongest in the world. The White House has deployed an array to top advisers — including Larry Kudlow, Peter Navarro and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross — to drive home the message that the economy is flourishing and that any data-driven concerns are being distorted by the news media. Yet as The Associated Press and other news organizations have reported, the president is privately fearful that a slumping economy will dim his re-election chances. He has also taken the unusual step of publicly attacking the politically independent Fed for not cutting rates more to try to juice growth. On Monday, Trump tweeted that the Fed's benchmark rate should be slashed by at least a full percentage point — a step that has usually signaled a major economic emergency — and that Powell, Trump's own choice to lead the Fed, has a 'horrendous lack of vision.' Trump added: 'Democrats are trying to 'will' the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election.' WHAT REPORTS SHOULD BE WATCHED FOR EARLY SIGNS OF A RECESSION? Major clues could come from reports on job growth, the gross domestic product, retail sales, construction spending and auto sales, among others. It isn't just the headline numbers but often the details of these reports that matter. Which sectors of the economy, for example, are improving or weakening? How fast are wages rising? Are people spending more money at a restaurants? Or are they spending more at grocery stores in a sign they might be cutting back?
  • Loved ones propped photos of more than a dozen young people lost to the opioid crisis against the outside of the federal courthouse in Philadelphia on Monday as a judge inside heard arguments on whether the city could become the nation's first to open a supervised injection center. U.S. Attorney William McSwain, an appointee of President Donald Trump, believes the plan normalizes the use of heroin and fentanyl and violates federal drug laws. He has sued to block the site, supported by several leading Democrats in the city, including the mayor and district attorney, and at least seven state attorneys general. In court Monday, with McSwain in the unusual role of lead attorney, U.S. District Judge Gerald McHugh Jr. heard from an emergency room doctor and a nonprofit leader supporting the plan to open Safehouse, presumably in the city's drug-ravaged Kensington neighborhood. 'We believe that this public health approach is lifesaving,' said Jose Benitez, who runs a nonprofit that runs a needle exchange program and other health services and is spearheading the Safehouse effort with former Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, and others. Benitez has worked in addiction services for nearly three decades, and said clients today are using heroin and fentanyl as much as eight to 10 times a day, up from once or twice a day just five years ago. He directs an agency called Prevention Point, which reversed more than 500 overdoses in the Kensington area last year. Staff members have often had to run several blocks through the neighborhood with medical equipment to reach people in time, he said. Still, Philadelphia endured 1,100 overdose deaths last year, more than 200 of them in the Kensington ZIP code, he said. Benitez, in declaring opioids a public health emergency, noted the 1,100 overdose deaths is more than three times the city's homicide rate. Benitez and other organizers have visited a supervised injection site in Vancouver, British Columbia, that is something of a model for their program. The site looks like an urgent care center, with a central desk and individual bays. 'Clearly, I thought we should organize and try to do overdose prevention since we were losing so many Philadelphians,' Benitez testified. Safehouse would provide drug users with clean needles and ties and let them use their own drugs in the presence of medical staff. Advocates believe it will also provide a trusted place for them to be offered treatment. 'There would be medical staff observing an overdose reaction if one was to occur . and then providing medical care,' Benitez said. McSwain, questioning the proposed name, asked whether people who use marijuana might move on to heroin or fentanyl after thinking 'now there's a safe place, called Safehouse, to take these drugs.' 'Anything's possible,' Benitez said. 'It's not likely.' McSwain also questioned whether the Vancouver program had reduced fatal overdoses, and Safehouse's mission to provide a place to use drugs, in his words, 'without judgment or stigma.' And he questioned how staff would screen out minors since clients can remain anonymous. Benitez said that anyone who looked under 18 would be asked for proof of age or referred to other programs. Rendell, who was in the courtroom, has said Safehouse founders would consider an appeal if McSwain prevails. McHugh did not indicate when he would rule.
  • The head of Congo's Ebola response says another vaccine will be used to fight the outbreak that has killed more than 1,800 people in a year. Dr. Jean-Jaques Muyembe is the director of Congo's National Institute for Biomedical Research. He said Monday the World Health Organization has recommended the use of a preventative vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Muyembe also promised to put an end to the Ebola outbreak in the next four months. Health officials have already vaccinated more than 197,000 people. USAID head Mark Green visited Congo on Monday and promised that the organization and others will continue to work to end Ebola and invest in medicines and community development. Response efforts have been hampered by attacks on health workers and continuing mistrust among the affected communities.
  • Mark Halperin's planned book about the 2020 election has been officially announced amid protests that the 'Game Change' co-author hasn't earned a second chance since facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment. Regan Arts announced Monday that 'How To Beat Trump' will come out in November. It draws upon the input of dozens of Democratic party strategists, among them Donna Brazile and David Axelrod. Reports Sunday of the book's publication were met with numerous denunciations , with former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson calling the news 'a slap in the face to all women' and others condemning the participation of Brazile and others. Axelrod and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm are among those expressing regret about their decision to work with Halperin. Representatives for CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN all have told The Associated Press that Halperin will not be appearing on any of their programs. Regan Arts founder Judith Regan said in a statement that she did not 'in any way, shape, or form condone' Halperin's behavior. 'I have also lived long enough to believe in the power of forgiveness, second chances, and offering a human being a path to redemption,' she said. ''How To Beat Trump' is an important, thoughtful book, and I hope everyone has a chance to read it.' Halperin was a best-selling author and high-profile political commentator before numerous women alleged in 2017 that he had made crude sexual advances, leading to the cancellation of a book deal he had with Penguin Random House and to his firing by Showtime and NBC News. Halperin apologized for causing 'pain and anguish,' but also contended that some allegations were not true. Regan has a history of taking on books that have inspired enraged responses. In 2006, she announced plans to publish O.J. Simpson's 'If I Did It,' billed as a fictionalized confession to the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. The book was soon cancelled and by the end of the year Regan had been fired by News Corp., where for years she had her own imprint. She launched Regan Arts in 2013, and had attracted far less attention in recent years.
  • The Latest on migration issues in Europe (all times local): 9:50 p.m. A Spanish humanitarian group's founder says the Open Arms rescue boat with 107 migrants isn't aiming to breaking the law and dock in Italy. An Italian crackdown on charity rescue ships forbids those boats from entering Italy's ports. Asked by The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday night if Open Arms might do what a German NGO captain did recently in forcibly docking at Lampedusa island, Oscar Camps said 'we have no intention of disobeying' the law. The migrants are in their 18th day aboard Open Arms, which is anchored off the Italian island of Lampedusa. Camps also said Italy's coast guard offered to transport some of the migrants to Spain, but Open Arms said they must take them all. Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli says Italy also offered to escort Open Arms to Spain. ___ 1:35 p.m. A Spanish humanitarian rescue boat carrying 107 migrants who have been aboard for nearly three weeks has rejected the possibility of taking the passengers to a Spanish port in the Mediterranean Sea, saying even though it is closer than mainland Spain, it is still too far. In a statement Monday, Open Arms said Spain's offer of docking in the Balearic Islands between Italy and Spain, was 'incomprehensible,' given the distance and the conditions on its boat. The ship is currently docked off the Italian island of Lampedusa, hundreds of miles to the east. Italy's hard-line interior minister, Matteo Salvini, refuses to let the boat dock in Italy. Open Arms said it would consider Spain's offer if a better and faster vessel were provided.
  • As a civilian tenured English professor, Bruce Fleming believes he has made important contributions to the U.S. Naval Academy during his 30 years on staff, providing views from outside the military while teaching writing, literature and critical thinking skills to future Navy and Marine officers. Fleming also hasn't been afraid to publicly criticize what he perceives as the shortcomings of military academy training — and that is what he believes ultimately prompted school officials to fire him last year. His iconoclastic op-eds questioning the academies' very existence have drawn the ire of military officials for years, he says. But Fleming's critics say it's not just the professor's quest for public headlines that leads them to support his ouster. They say he has behaved inappropriately in the classroom and become too disruptive to the academy's mission. An administrative law judge overturned Fleming's dismissal last month, and he returned to the academy on Monday on the first day of the new school year — but not as a classroom professor. The academy has assigned him to scholarly research and other tasks while it appeals the judge's ruling. 'His duties will not include teaching or advising midshipmen, as his presence in the classroom and engaging with midshipmen in any advisory role would be an undue disruption to the academic environment,' said Cmdr. Alana Garas, an academy spokeswoman. In a 2017 op-ed in The Federalist, Fleming, who makes $135,000 a year, wrote that academy students have become 'cast members in a military Disneyland run for the benefit of the brass and the tourists, not the taxpayers who pay their way and want better-than-average officers.' Fleming contends military service academies are more like military indoctrination centers than learning institutions that cultivate creative, outside-the-box thinking, which is what he says is needed in future military leaders. 'The more you treat them like children — the more you tell them what to think, the more you circumscribe their ability to make their own decisions — the less effective fighting force you're going to have,' he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. 'I see myself as an escape value for their frustration and as someone who can teach them to respectfully disagree with superior officers.' Fleming's contrarian views are accompanied by an unusual teaching style: The 65-year-old professor is known for doing one-armed pushups in class and participated in physical workouts with his midshipmen students to help win their respect. He once sent a photo of himself in a Speedo to an all-male class, as part of a discussion about John Keats' poem 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.' John Schofield, a former academy spokesman who said he respected Fleming as a professor, said the administration was concerned about his behavior in the classroom. In 2018, the academy launched an investigation after five midshipmen filed complaints against the professor. Among the allegations: that he referred to students as 'right-wing extremists,' made comments in class about sex and transgender surgery and touched students without their approval. Schofield also cited Fleming's criticism of the academy's sexual harassment prevention training several years ago — the professor said it presumed guilt on the part of the accused — and how he criticized two female midshipmen who complained about his comments. 'Our needle was not moved by the op-eds,' said Schofield, who is now retired from the Navy. 'Our needle was moved by things that he did beyond that in the classroom that became a distraction from the mission.' Mark Syska, a judge for the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, overturned Fleming's dismissal last month. In his ruling, Syska cited 'credibility issues' with the midshipman who filed the longest complaint. Syska described Midshipman Matthew DeSantis' 16-page grievance as 'greatly exaggerated — to the point of being hard to credit on certain points.' The judge also concluded that, based on the testimony of eight others, including two professors, 'the overwhelming majority of his students' enjoyed his teaching style. Fleming contends the effort to fire him is an encroachment on academic freedom. The Naval Academy is the only major service academy with tenured civilian professors who outnumber military professors, unlike at the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy. 'I think they're just now waking up to the fact that they made a mistake by tenuring civilians,' Fleming said. 'I think what they really want is ... subservient faculty members the way they want subservient students.' Michael Johnson, an academy graduate who studied creative writing with Fleming and graduated as an English major in 2002, said he thinks the professor is good for the school. 'I think he's an asset ... because of his viewpoints, and he pushes people to think differently and to question things,' Johnson said. 'I respect him, and I hope that he teaches midshipmen again soon. I think it's a win-win-win for him, the midshipmen and the academy.
  • Ohio State coach Ryan Day on Monday made official what most people figured was a foregone conclusion: Georgia transfer Justin Fields will be the starting quarterback when the No. 5 Buckeyes open the season Aug. 31 against Florida Atlantic. Day had lured the talented sophomore in January to succeed Dwayne Haskins Jr., and Fields practiced with the starters from the moment he arrived. His main competition this preseason was Gunnar Hoak, a graduate transfer from Kentucky who got to campus this summer and is still memorizing the playbook. Still, Day was measured in his praise of Fields, who was one of the highest-rated prep prospects in the nation in 2018 but couldn't wrest the starting job away from Jake Fromm at Georgia last season before deciding to transfer. 'All that means is that Justin will be taking the first snap on (in the opener), and where it goes from there, who knows,' Day said. 'All the guys had good camps, but Justin kind of separated himself the last week.' Fields showed some chops but was not spectacular in the spring game, and Day said it took him a few weeks of preseason camp to find his feet. 'I think just now he's starting to scratch the surface,' Day said. 'I still don't think he's where he needs to be.' Fields said he has worked hard to get better on the field and has been trying to be more vocal and become a more forceful leader, an area where Haskins initially struggled last season. 'I feel like I'm improved a lot overall, just every part of my game,' Fields said. 'I feel way more comfortable than in the spring, and I think all my teammates see that. Coach Day definitely sees it. I just feel more comfortable with the playbook and more comfortable in the pocket.' THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN The seven captains voted on by their teammates include two from last year: linebacker Tuf Borland and safety Jordan Fuller. First-time captains are receivers K.J. Hill and C.J. Saunders, running back J.K. Dobbins, and defensive linemen Chase Young and Jonathan Cooper. 'I never really visualized (becoming a captain) like I did other things,' acknowledged Young, a junior who with a big season could be a first-round NFL draft pick next spring . 'But when I got more into the program and more into what being a Buckeye was, I wanted to be part of that group of people who can lead a team.' By most accounts, Young is the loudest and most demonstrative among the seven. Saunders is a former walk-on who plays mostly on special teams. STILL LOOKING FOR BACKUP RB One of the biggest challenges of the preseason for Day is trying to line up a tailback to spell Dobbins , who is expected to shoulder most of the load if he stays healthy. Demario McCall, who was expected to be an H-back, is the most likely candidate, Day said Monday. Master Teague was a front-runner, but he just got back on the field after an injury. Behind them are a couple of promising true freshmen. 'Demario has had a good camp,' Day said. 'I think there's a chance you see them all play. (But) Demario has a leg up.' ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 ___ Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy
  • A fishing magnate known as the Codfather will never be allowed to return to U.S. fisheries, the federal government said Monday in announcing it has settled its civil case against a man whose arrest for shirking quotas and smuggling profits overseas shocked the East Coast industry. The settlement with Carlos Rafael and his fishing captains will clear the way for his assets to be divested, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. Those assets have been embroiled in litigation. Rafael was based out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison in 2017. He was owner of the one of the largest commercial fishing operations in the country. NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver said Monday the settlement 'accomplishes NOAA's chief objective of permanently removing Mr. Rafael from participation in federal fisheries.' It will also help return Rafael's assets to productive use when they are sold, he said. 'Mr. Rafael's forced divestiture and permanent ban from commercial fishing is a fitting end to this case, on top of the criminal sentence he is already serving,' Oliver said. Rafael's attorney did not return a phone call seeking comment. NOAA's settlement with Rafael also states he is required to pay a civil penalty of just over $3 million and relinquish a seafood dealer permit. He has until the end of 2020 to sell fishing permits and vessels he owns and controls, and the transactions must be approved by NOAA. Seventeen of Rafael's former fishing vessel captains also face penalties under the settlement. One condition is that they must serve suspensions during which they can't board federally permitted vessels while the vessels are at sea, or even offloading. Those suspensions vary from 20 to 200 days based on the captain's violations. Rafael eventually pleaded guilty to false labeling and other charges after federal authorities charged he was operating an elaborate fish fraud. They said his vessels claimed to catch haddock or pollock when they had actually brought species to shore that are subject to stricter quotas. He then smuggled proceeds to Portugal. Rafael's scheme, and his combative attitude, have made him the subject of television specials, including an episode of the CNBC series 'American Greed' that quotes him boasting about controlling the market in New Bedford, one of the most important U.S. fishing ports. The episode was called 'Something's Fishy: The Codfather,' a nickname for Rafael often used by media. New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said Monday the settlement 'enables the Port of New Bedford to turn the page on the Carlos Rafael saga.
  • The U.S. military has conducted a flight test of a type of missile banned for more than 30 years by a treaty that both the United States and Russia abandoned this month, the Pentagon said. The test off the coast of California on Sunday marked the resumption of an arms competition that some analysts worry could increase U.S.-Russian tensions. The Trump administration has said it remains interested in useful arms control but questions Moscow's willingness to adhere to its treaty commitments. The Pentagon said it tested a modified ground-launched version of a Navy Tomahawk cruise missile, which was launched from San Nicolas Island and accurately struck its target after flying more than 500 kilometers (310 miles). The missile was armed with a conventional, not nuclear, warhead. Defense officials had said last March that this missile likely would have a range of about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and that it might be ready for deployment within 18 months. The missile would have violated the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987, which banned all types of missiles with ranges between 500 kilometers (310 miles) and 5,500 kilometers (3,410 miles). The U.S. and Russia withdrew from the treaty on Aug. 2, prompted by what the administration said was Russia's unwillingness to stop violating the treaty's terms. Russia accused the U.S. of violating the agreement. The newly tested cruise missile recalls a nuclear-armed U.S. weapon that was deployed in several European NATO countries in the 1980s, along with Pershing 2 ground-based ballistic missiles, in response to a buildup of Soviet SS-20 missiles targeting Western Europe. With the signing of the treaty, those missiles were withdrawn and destroyed. In addition to the land-variant of the Tomahawk cruise missile, the Pentagon has said it also intends to begin testing, probably before the end of this year, an INF-range ballistic missile with a range of roughly 3,000 kilometers (1864 miles) to 4,000 kilometers (2485 miles). Both missiles are to be non-nuclear. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said this month that he hopes the Pentagon can develop and deploy INF-range missiles 'sooner rather than later,' but no specific timeline has been announced. He disputed the notion that abandoning the INF treaty will spark an arms race. 'I don't see an arms race happening here,' he told reporters on the day Washington and Moscow withdrew from the treaty. 'Russia has been racing, if anybody, to develop these systems in violation of the treaty, not us.