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    A transgender activist who won a discrimination lawsuit after her school refused to let her use the girls' bathroom will be TV's first transgender superhero. Nicole Maines will star in The CW/Warner Bros.' 'Supergirl' as Nia Nal, aka Dreamer. Producers describe her character as a 'soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others.' Maines gained national attention for her battle against her Orono, Maine school district over her right to use the girls' bathroom. Maine's highest court ruled in 2014 that school officials violated state anti-discrimination law when they required her to use a staff restroom. It was the first time a state high court concluded that a transgender person should use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda jumped up to a podium shortly after landing in Puerto Rico on Sunday to announce he has helped create a multimillion-dollar fund to boost the arts in the U.S. territory as it struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria. The 'Hamilton' playwright said he hopes the fund will grow to $15 million in upcoming years. He added that he will donate all funds from the Broadway hit when it is performed January in Puerto Rico. 'The goal wasn't just artistic satisfaction, but how can we leave Puerto Rico a little better than we found it,' said Miranda, whose parents are from the island. Hurricane Maria caused damage estimated at more than $100 billion when it hit in September. Cultural and artistic groups across Puerto Rico have been greatly affected, losing government and nonprofit support amid an 11-year-old recession. The first five recipients of the fund include a dance school and a theater company. 'This will allow us to start dreaming again, to come up with new ideas, to visit more cities. This will allow us to breathe,' Julio Morales, artistic co-director of the local theater company, Y No Habia Luz, told The Associated Press. The seven-member company will receive $180,000. It had struggled to find funds and was forced to cancel all events for several months after the hurricane. The nonprofit Flamboyan Foundation will manage the fund, which will award $1 million each to the Theater of the University of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Museum of Art. An award of $900,000 will go to an art education program and a dance school. Among those visiting Puerto Rico for the announcement was Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller. 'Arts will be at the center of the rebuilding effort,' he said, noting that he is excited about the show's upcoming run in Puerto Rico. 'The point it to lift everybody up for those three weeks.' Hundreds of people in Puerto Rico recently auditioned for the historical musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, and Miranda said he would like to bring the newest cast members on tour in the U.S. mainland. Miranda said he has to prepare for Hamilton in Puerto Rico, adding with a laugh: 'I still have to memorize my lines.
  • Migos rapper Offset came home Saturday after he was arrested on suspicion of drug and weapon charges Friday. WSB reported the 25-year-old and his bodyguard, Senay Gezahgn, were traveling in Jonesboro, Georgia, when police pulled over Offset for an improper lane change. Offset, whose real name is Kiari Cephus, was driving a 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera. >> Read more trending news  According to WSB, Clayton County police said officers searched the vehicle and found less than 1 ounce of marijuana and more than $107,000 in cash. Offset was charged with improper lane change; possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce; possession of a weapon by a convicted felon; and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. Related: Rapper Offset, of trio Migos, arrested in metro Atlanta on weapon, drug charges Offset and his Migos group mates, Quavo and Takeoff, were arrested on drug and gun charges in 2015 during a show at Georgia Southern University. While Quavo and Takeoff were able to post bail after two nights in jail, Offset remained in jail for eight months because of past burglary and theft convictions.  Gezahgn was charged with possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. Quavo confirmed Offset was home on Twitter. People reported that Offset’s wife, rapper Cardi B, posted a quick glimpse of the rapper at home with her and their newborn daughter on her Instagram story. She also cleared up details of Offset’s arrest, saying, “For the record Offset is NOT ON PROBATION.” Offset’s lawyer, Drew Findling, told People the rapper’s top priority is his family. He also said his client was not guilty of any crime.  “He did not commit any traffic offense and he certainly was not in possession of any weapons,” Findling told People. “This was an improper arrest and I believe in his innocence. “He’s up as best he can considering the circumstances and knows he has not broken any laws. He is going to have his day in court.”
  • In the battle of two very different sequels at the box office this weekend, Denzel Washington's action pic 'The Equalizer 2' has narrowly won out over the ABBA jukebox musical 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.' Studios on Sunday estimate that the R-rated Denzel Washington joint grossed $35.8 million from North American theaters over the weekend. It's Washington's first ever sequel and the biggest opening of director Antoine Fuqua's career. The first 'Equalizer,' from 2014, opened similarly and went on to earn over $190 million worldwide. Second place went to Universal Pictures' 'Mamma Mia 2,' which took in $34.4 million, a sum that was driven by an audience that was 83 percent female and 64 percent over the age of 25. The film brought back much of the original cast, like Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried and Pierce Brosnan, and added Cher, Andy Garcia and Lily James to the mix. Critics overall gave the sequel better marks than the first, which still went on to gross over $600 million worldwide 10 years ago. 'We consider this a terrific opening,' said Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic distribution. 'And knowing the audience for these types of films, we are going to have a very healthy run at the domestic and worldwide box office. This is a very fun, very uplifting movie that people need right now.' It's also a rare showdown of two star-driven films that succeeded in targeting two very different audiences. 'It's amazing how well-matched these contenders are,' said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. 'Both studios really did a great job of marketing each of these movies to their target audience. It's classic counter-programming.' Sequels powered the top six spots at the domestic box office this weekend and eight out of the top 10 overall. 'Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation' came in third with $23.2 million in its second weekend, 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' took fourth place with $16.1 million in its third weekend, 'Incredibles 2' landed in fifth with $11.5 million, and 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' came in sixth with $11 million. The weekend's other big new opener, 'Unfriended: Dark Web,' also a sequel, scared up $3.5 million for a ninth-place start. The only two originals in the top 10 were 'Skyscraper' and 'Sorry to Bother You.' 'People are enjoying these films,' said Dergarabedian. 'It doesn't matter if there's a number after the title.' And yet there are still original films and documentaries making their own modest impact on the charts, including 'Blindspotting,' a buddy comedy with some serious themes about race and class starring Tony-winner Daveed Diggs that opened in 14 theaters and made an estimated $332,500. 'Movies like 'Sorry to Bother You' and 'Blindspotting' are showing that in the summer people don't live by blockbusters alone,' Dergarabedian said. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday. 1. 'The Equalizer 2,' $35.8 million ($3.3 million international). 2. 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,' $34.4 million ($42.4 million international). 3. 'Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,' $23.2 million ($37.7 million international). 4. 'Ant-Man and the Wasp,' $16.1 million ($21.6 million international). 5. 'Incredibles 2,' $11.5 million ($36.5 million international). 6. 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,' $11 million ($17.3 million international). 7. 'Skyscraper,' $11 million ($27.3 million international). 8. 'The First Purge,' $5 million ($8.9 million international). 9. 'Unfriended: Dark Web,' $3.5 million. 10. 'Sorry to Bother You,' $2.8 million. ___ Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore: 1. 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,' $42.4 million. 2. 'Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,' $37.7 million. 3. 'Incredibles 2,' $36.5 million. 4. 'Skyscraper,' $27.3 million. 5. 'Dying to Survive,' $25.3 million. 6. 'Ant-Man and the Wasp,' $21.6 million. 7. 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,' $17.3 million. 8. 'Hidden Man,' $10.4 million. 9. 'The First Purge,' $8.9 million. 10. 'Animal Crackers,' $3.7 million. Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC. ___ Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr
  • Michael Scott Moore is walking a bit gingerly these days, but it has nothing to do with the 2½ years he spent imprisoned by Somali pirates, the beatings he suffered, his time spent in chains or the lousy food that caused him to lose 40 pounds. 'I got thumped by a wave surfing off Manhattan Beach the other day,' the author of 'The Desert and the Sea: 977 days Captive on the Somali Pirate Coast' says with a sheepish grin. 'I've got a cracked rib.' Otherwise Moore, freed by his pirate captors in 2014 after his mother raised a $1.6 million ransom, looks fine. He's dressed casually in a dark blue shirt and jeans as he sits down in the shade of the century-old art-deco building that houses Los Angeles' downtown library to talk about his latest book. 'The Desert and the Sea' goes on sale Tuesday, and its 49-year-old author is about to embark on a cross-country tour of readings and signings. The page-turning thriller, published by Harper Collins, takes readers on a relentless journey as Moore reveals the squalid living conditions that nearly killed him, the beatings he endured and the thoughts of suicide he weighed, along with other thoughts of grabbing one of his captor's machine guns (they were careless about leaving them lying around) and seeing how many of them he could kill before they killed him. 'I don't know,' he says with a smile when asked how he survived it all. After several seconds of quiet contemplation, he adds that a combination of giving up any immediate hope of freedom and living in the moment helped. So did maintaining a sense of humor while trapped in a very unfunny situation. Thus, the book contains several darkly comic moments. Like the one when Moore hid the keys to the chains the pirates kept him in after he tried to escape by leaping from an old fishing vessel and attempting to swim to shore. They never could find them and had to buy a new set, something that delighted their captive. Or the time one of the friendlier pirates, knowing Moore holds dual U.S.-German citizenship, woke him one morning to say excitedly that Germany, that year's World Cup winner, defeated Brazil 7-1 in the semifinal game. Moore dismissed the news as 'more pirate bull----,' replying that no team scores seven goals in a soccer game. Then he turned on the radio and learned it was true. Moore first thought of writing a book about modern-day piracy when he came across examples of it in coastal African and southeast Asian nations he visited while seeking out some of the world's best surfing spots for a 2010 book. 'Sweetness and Blood,' documenting how a loose-knit band of hippies, star-struck wanderers and U.S. military personnel helped turn an ancient Hawaiian sport into an international pop-culture phenomenon, has been hailed as arguably the best historical account of modern-day surfing. His plans to report on piracy weren't sealed, however, until he covered the trial of 10 pirates captured after abducting a German cargo ship off Somalia in 2010. Their two-year trial, which Moore covered for the publication Spiegel Online, marked the first case of piracy prosecuted in Germany in nearly 400 years. 'I really wanted to write a book that had material that I hadn't seen. On pirates,' he says now. 'And it became an obsession.' By the time he arrived in Somalia in January 2012, piracy had become a cottage industry for a nation plunged into poverty and lawlessness by years of civil unrest. Young men unable to find other work sailed the high seas in small skiffs looking for people to kidnap and hold for multimillion-dollar ransoms. Moore says he knew going to Somalia was dangerous, but he thought he'd taken all necessary precautions. A 'fixer' with clan connections arranged the trip in which he was accompanied by a large contingent of machine-gun-toting guards. But a pirate leader Moore interviewed betrayed him, paying off most of his security team. Moore was captured on a dusty desert road by pirates who demanded a $20 million ransom. As his mother spent years negotiating the price and raising money from family and friends, Moore's plight went largely unreported. His employer, Der Spiegel, asked other news organizations to withhold the story, fearing publicity would drive up the price. Almost all, including The Associated Press, complied. 'Honestly, I don't know if it was better or worse to keep it quiet,' he says now. Tall and trim with graying hair, Moore says he has fully recovered physically from his ordeal, although it took more than a year. He laughs when he recalls that several Asian fishermen he was held captive with remarked, 'Michael, you got fat,' when they saw him during an emotional 2016 reunion. He still struggles with some emotional scars and takes part in a therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which involves concentrating on what happened to you while focusing the eyes. 'I don't know if it's trendy or cutting edge,' he jokes. 'At times, I think he still has very much trouble sleeping, although he says he doesn't have nightmares,' his 78-year-old mother, Marlis Saunders, says in a phone interview from the Redondo Beach home where her only child grew up and became an avid surfer. Another ex-hostage, former Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, says it's unlikely anyone gets completely over such an ordeal. 'That kind of an experience does damage to you that takes a long time to compensate for,' said Anderson, who was AP's chief Middle East correspondent when he was abducted by Islamic militants in Lebanon in 1985 and held for nearly seven years. 'You don't forget it.' Anderson, 70, says he's glad to hear Moore is getting counseling, adding he underwent it himself but still struggled to accept how emotionally damaging his experience was. For now, Moore is busy with his book tour and working on a feature story about three men recently convicted of plotting to blow up a Kansas apartment building housing Somali refugees. After that he'd like to get back to some of the travel writing that took him to many fascinating parts of the world when he was researching his surfing book. 'I don't want to give that up,' he says. Then he laughs as he quickly adds, 'It doesn't have to be dangerous travel.
  • Who doesn't like birthdays? Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate have released a new photo of their son Prince George to mark his fifth birthday. The photo shows George grinning in the garden of Clarence House after the christening of his younger brother Prince Louis on July 9. George is third in line for the British throne. His grandfather, Prince Charles, is heir to the throne and his father William comes next. George has seemed increasingly self-assured in public this year, serving as a page boy at Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle in May at Windsor Castle and making several other appearances.
  • Someone looks very happy to be turning 5. Kensington Palace shared an adorable photo of a smiling Prince George, the oldest child of Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on Saturday, one day before the pint-sized royal's birthday. >> Prince Louis' christening portraits revealed: Kate Middleton, royal family stun in new photos 'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share a new photograph of Prince George to mark his fifth birthday – thank you everyone for your lovely messages,' the palace tweeted along with the photo, taken by Matt Porteous. >> See the photo here The tweet quickly racked up 57,000 likes and 6,500 shares in 10 hours. >> PHOTOS: Prince Louis christened Take a look at his previous birthday portraits below: >> Read more trending news 
  • Ryan Reynolds has made a triumphant return to San Diego Comic-Con Saturday to promote the release of a 'Deadpool 2' extended cut. Speaking to a packed Hall H audience, Reynolds said that the first 'Deadpool' was made because of the people in the room. The enthusiasm around footage shown at the comic book convention in 2014 convinced the studio to make it. The second movie, Reynolds deadpanned, was made because of 'corporate greed and a splash of destiny.' The two films have made over $1.5 billion worldwide. The 'Deadpool 2: Super Duper Cut' features alternate jokes, extended and deleted scenes. Reynolds said that they shot so many alternate versions of every joke that they could basically release a different film. 'Deadpool 2' will be available on blu-ray on Aug. 21.
  • A private inspector said Saturday that he warned the company operating duck boats on a Missouri lake about design flaws putting the watercraft at greater risk of sinking, less than a year before the accident that killed 17 people during a sudden storm. Steve Paul, owner of the Test Drive Technologies inspection service in the St. Louis area, said he issued a written report for the company in August 2017. It explained why the boats' engines — and pumps that remove water from their hulls — might fail in inclement weather. He also told The Associated Press that the tourist boats' canopies make them hard to escape when they sink — a concern raised by regulators after a similar sinking in Arkansas killed 13 people in 1999. The accident Thursday evening on Table Rock Lake outside the tourist town of Branson also is raising questions about whether storm warnings in the area went unheeded and whether any agency can keep boaters off the water when inclement weather approaches. 'If you have the information that you could have rough waters or a storm coming, why ever put a boat on that water?' Paul said. A witness' video of the duck boat just before it capsized suggests that its flexible plastic windows might have been closed and could have trapped passengers as the hybrid boat-truck went down. It does not show passengers jumping clear. 'The biggest problem with a duck when it sinks is that canopy,' Paul said. 'That canopy becomes what I'll call a people catcher, and people can't get out from under that canopy.' A spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, the company operating the duck boats in Branson, did not respond Saturday to telephone and email messages seeking comment. Spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala has noted that Thursday's accident was the only one in more than 40 years of operation. An archived version of Ripley's website said it operates 20 duck boats in Branson and described them as 'built from the ground up under United States Coast Guard (USCG) supervision with the latest in marine safety.' In central Wisconsin, Original Wisconsin Ducks in the Dells has no plans to change how it operates after 73 years of safe rides, general manager Dan Gavinski said. But his company operates World War II-vintage boats, not the modified modern version. Since 1999, duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people, with a troubled safety record on the road and water alike. Their height can obscure cars, pedestrians or bicycles from a driver's view, and maintenance problems can be severe. Paul said he won't know until the boat that sank is recovered from the lake whether it's one of the two dozen he inspected for Ripley Entertainment in August 2017. The U.S. Coast Guard said the boat that sank was built in 1944 and had passed an inspection in February, The Kansas City Star reported . But Paul said the boat would have been heavily modified to make it longer so that only part of it dates to World War II. He said it would still have the design flaw he identified in his report. He declined to share a copy of his report with The Associated Press but said he said he is willing to make it available to authorities. 'I'm sure eventually it will be subpoenaed,' he said. Paul said the duck boats he inspected — which the company had just purchased or repaired — vented exhaust from the motor out front and below the water line. He said in rough conditions, water could get into the exhaust system, and then into the motor, cutting it off. With the motor off, he said, its pump for removing water from the hull would not operate. 'If you watch that video, that water is definitely being slammed up into that exhaust without a doubt,' Paul said. After the deadly sinking in Arkansas in 1999, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended doing away with the canopies and adding more floatation capacity so duck boats could remain upright and keep floating even if they took on water. The industry took little heed, said Robert Mongeluzzi, a Philadelphia attorney who has represented victims of duck boat crashes. The canopies can protect customers from rain or sun, he noted, and closed windows allow companies to heat the cabins, extending operating hours. The NTSB called the industry's response to the recommendations disappointing, saying companies cited the cost of engineering and installing additional flotation capacity as prohibitive. 'The duck boat is notoriously unstable and unsuited for what they were attempting to do with it,' said Daniel Rose, an attorney whose New York-based law firm has represented victims in several accidents. 'It tries to be a boat and a car and does neither, really, except under ideal circumstances.' State officials said the Coast Guard regulates such craft; its officials did not immediately respond to requests for more information. Spokesmen said the Department of Transportation doesn't regulate duck boats because they're amphibious, and the Department of Public Safety doesn't in this case because it's a commercial vessel, as opposed to a recreational one. It's also not clear that any agency had the authority to keep boats off the lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built it in the late 1950s, but its officials said they don't have such authority. Witnesses have said the weather appeared calm before a storm suddenly whipped up strong waves and spray. But nearly eight hours earlier, the National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the western and central Missouri counties. A severe thunderstorm warning that went out at 6:32 p.m. specifically mentioned Table Rock Lake. The first emergency calls over the accident occurred just after 7 p.m. Meteorologist Elisa Raffa of KOLR-TV in Springfield said in a phone interview Saturday that her station was forecasting the threat of severe weather all morning. 'This storm didn't come out of nowhere,' she said. 'That is what pains me. I feel like we did everything, at least we tried to do everything, by the book as meteorologists and we still had this horrible tragedy on our hands.' ___ Hanna reported from Topeka, Kansas. Johnson reported from Seattle. Jim Salter in St. Louis; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; Roxana Hegeman in Wichita, Kansas, and James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota, contributed.
  • Wonder Woman 1984' is only three and a half weeks into production, but that didn't stop star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins from bringing some footage to Comic-Con. Audiences in the comic book convention's Hall H on Saturday got an early look at a scene where Diana Prince saves a young girl from some bad guys in their Miami Vice-finest in a very '80s-looking mall. The clip played Saturday came in a stuffed presentation by Warner Bros. that included footage from two other DC Comics films, 'Aquaman' and 'Shazam!' The Wonder Woman and Aquaman characters are key characters in DC's Justice League franchise, the superhero supergroup that is meant to be the studio's answer to Marvel's 'Avengers.' The first 'Wonder Woman' film was a cultural and financial blockbuster, earning more than $800 million globally. It also became the most successful live-action film directed by a woman. Jenkins explained Saturday why she set the movie in the 1980s. 'It was mankind at its best and worst,' she said. 'We see Wonder Woman in a period of time that is us at our most extreme...We thought it could go on forever, everything we were doing right then.' Chris Pine also joined Gadot and Jenkins on stage, but all stayed mum about how and why his character Steve Trevor is back considering his fate in the first movie. 'I am actually not really here right now,' Pine said. 'I am just an aura of emotional support for my friends.' Jenkins did say, however, that his presence is a 'very important part' of the movie and that audiences will have to see it in November 2019 to find out why.

News

  • It was Hank Aaron who convinced the Braves to draft Chipper Jones. What led him to believe, at a young age, that Chipper was going to be a Hall of Famer? WSB Radio’s Jay Black and Chris Camp sat down with the baseball legend to discuss his answer to that question, and many more on topics including the Braves’ success during the first half of the season and his take on the crop of young players having success this year: LISTEN TO WSB’S FULL INTERVIEW WITH HANK AARON HERE.
  • One person was killed and the suspect is dead after a gunman shot 14 people in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood Sunday, police said. A child was among the injured, police said. Here are the latest updates: Update 1:06 a.m. EDT July 23: The child who was shot, a young girl, is currently in critical condition, according to Toronto police. Police say it is “too early to say whether the shooting is terrorism,” The Associated Press reported. One city official, Councillor Paula Fletcher, said the shooting was not gang-related. Fletcher and Councillor Mary Fragedakis also said the gunman was emotionally disturbed. >> Read more trending news 
  • A man's feud with his grandmother turned into a bizarre and deadly confrontation that ended with a supermarket worker dead and dozens of people held hostage in a store miles away. Gene Evin Atkins, 28, was booked Sunday on suspicion of murder after an explosion of violence that a relative said may have been brewing for weeks. Melyda Corado, 27, was shot to death Saturday at a Trader Joe's market in the Silver Lake neighborhood after a gunfight that shattered the store's glass doors, witnesses said. 'I'm sad to say she didn't make it. My baby sister. My world,' her brother, Albert Corado said on Twitter. On Sunday, grieving family members, co-workers and customers remembered Corado as lively, hardworking and always smiling. A makeshift memorial of flowers, candles and notes grew on the sidewalk outside of the store. 'Yesterday marks the saddest day in Trader Joe's history as we mourn the loss of one our own,' company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel said in a statement. The violence began when Atkins shot his 76-year-old grandmother several times at their South Los Angeles home after she complained about his having too many television sets on, said a cousin, Charlene Egland. Mary Elizabeth Madison was taken to a hospital in critical condition but Egland said she underwent surgery and was improving Sunday. Madison raised Atkins from the age of 7 and he had never been violent toward her but recently had seemed upset and distant, Egland said. 'He didn't seem right to me,' Egland said. For the past two or three weeks, the two had argued over Atkins' girlfriend, who was staying at their home, Egland said. 'She didn't want the girl over there anymore,' Egland said. Egland said she was walking toward the house when she heard about six gunshots. Another cousin, who lives in the house, came running from the porch and shouted to Egland, 'I think Gene shot my mama!' Police said Atkins' girlfriend was grazed in the head by a bullet, but the injury is not life threatening. Egland ran to call 911 but Atkins allegedly forced his wounded girlfriend into his grandmother's car and drove away. A stolen-car device helped police track the car to Hollywood but Atkins refused to pull over, police said. During the chase, Atkins fired at officers, blowing out the car's back window, and there was more shooting before the car crashed into a pole outside the Trader Joe's, followed by another shootout with police, Police Chief Michel Moore said. Customers and employees frantically dove for cover and barricaded themselves inside storerooms and bathrooms as bullets flew. Glass fragments injured a 22-year-old woman who later took herself to a hospital for treatment, police said. As he heard gunfire, Sean Gerace, who was working in the back of the supermarket, grabbed several of his co-workers and the group made their way into an upstairs storage area. He grabbed a folding ladder and tossed it out a window, helping his colleagues escape to safety, he told KNBC-TV. 'I grabbed an emergency ladder, barricaded the hallway, grabbed a weapon, put the ladder out the window and just tried to get the attention of the SWAT officer,' Gerace told the television station. About three hours later, Atkins — who'd been shot in the left arm — agreed to handcuff himself and walked out the front door, surrounded by four of the hostages. He was being held on $2 million bail Sunday and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney to comment on the allegations. A gun was found inside the store, police said. Trader Joe's said the store — known by customers as a neighborhood hangout with great customer service — would remain closed for the foreseeable future. Atkins, who has two daughters, bounced between several jobs, including working as a security guard, but had been repeatedly fired, Egland said. His grandmother had tried to help him find employment and 'was just trying to make him do better,' she said. ___ Associated Press writers Christopher Weber and Robert Jablon contributed to this report.
  • Harsh drought conditions in parts of the American West are pushing wild horses to the brink and spurring extreme measures to protect them. For what they say is the first time, volunteer groups in Arizona and Colorado are hauling thousands of gallons of water and truckloads of food to remote grazing grounds where springs have run dry and vegetation has disappeared. Federal land managers also have begun emergency roundups in desert areas of Utah and Nevada. 'We've never seen it like this,' said Simone Netherlands, president of the Arizona-based Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. In May, dozens of horses were found dead on the edge of a dried-up watering hole in northeastern Arizona. As spring turned to summer, drought conditions turned from bad to worse, Netherlands said. Parts of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico are under the most severe category of drought, though extreme conditions are present from California to Missouri, government analysts say. Parts of the region have witnessed some of the driest conditions on record, amid a cycle of high temperatures and low snowmelt that appears to be getting worse, National Weather Service hydrologist Brian McInerney said. The dry conditions have fed wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of buildings across the West. This month, a firefighter was killed battling a blaze near California's Yosemite National Park. The federal Bureau of Land Management — which oversees vast expanses of public land, mostly in the West — says the problem facing wild horses stems from overpopulation aggravated by severe drought. The region is home to roughly 67,000 wild horses. 'You're always going to have drought issues. That's a common thing out on the range,' agency spokesman Jason Lutterman said. 'What really exacerbates things is when we're already over population, because then you already have resource issues.' The agency's emergency roundup in western Utah began a week ago, aiming to remove roughly 250 wild horses from a population of approximately 670. The operation is expected to take several weeks. Once the horses are rounded up, the government gives them veterinary treatment and offers them for sale or adoption. Those that aren't sold or adopted are transferred to privately contracted corrals and pastures for the long term. A similar emergency roundup began this month in central Nevada, where officials said some horses in a herd of 2,100 could die from lack of water in coming weeks. The operation was quickly halted, ironically because of extreme rain, but will likely resume. 'The ground's so dry it's not absorbing that water. It's running off,' bureau spokeswoman Jenny Lesieutre said. Volunteers are also taking action. Since late spring, Netherlands's Salt River group has hauled hay to a dozen locations outside Phoenix to feed a herd of starving wild horses. Roughly 200 miles (320 kilometers) north, a couple near Gray Mountain, on the Navajo Nation, have spearheaded an effort to leave water and food for horses they say would die without human intervention. In western Colorado, volunteers say they're preparing to bring up to 5,000 gallons (18,900 liters) of water per day to a herd of 750 desperate horses. 'Springs are drying up that have never dried up,' said Cindy Wright, co-founder of Colorado conservation group Wild Horse Warriors for Sand Wash Basin. Horses in the area stalk the dry earth with their ribs exposed, desperate for a drop, she said. Wild horse advocates have balked at the Bureau of Land Management's insistence that wild horse populations are too high. Critics say the agency is using dry conditions as a smoke screen to shrink horse populations in response to pressure from ranchers whose livestock compete with the horses for grazing land. 'I do have a concern about the larger numbers that they're pulling off, and then a bigger concern about the BLM under this administration using all kinds of excuses to pull off horses,' said Suzanne Roy, executive director of the American Wild Horse Campaign, an advocacy organization. The agency is prohibited from euthanizing the wild horses it rounds up, though President Donald Trump has proposed allowing the animals to be killed or sold for slaughter. Activists in Nevada held a rally last Tuesday at the bureau's state headquarters in Reno to protest a planned roundup later this year. Critics want the government to instead use birth control to manage wild horse populations. The bureau says the fertility treatment, which must be administered yearly and fired from a dart gun at close range, is too difficult for use except in certain cases where herds are easy to approach and have markings that make horses distinguishable from one another. Whatever the long-term answer, volunteers say their efforts can't go on forever. Trucking in water and food could cost several thousand dollars per month and make horses overly dependent on humans, they said. 'If we don't have a very good fall with a lot of rain — and it's also warm so that our fall vegetation grows — we're going to lose horses,' Wright said. ___ Associated Press writers Felicia Fonseca in Flagstaff, Arizona, and Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada, contributed to this report.
  • President Donald Trump warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani early Monday that he will face dire consequences for threatening the United States. Trump tweeted about the dangers to Iran of making hostile threats after Rouhani said Sunday 'American must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.' Trump responded with a tweet that warned: 'NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.' Trump earlier this year pulled the United States out of the international deal meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon and ordered increased American sanctions. Rouhani had warned Trump Sunday to stop 'playing with the lion's tail' and threatening Iran, 'or else you will regret it.' Trump has suggested Iranian leaders are 'going to call me and say 'let's make a deal'' but Iran has rejected talks. Rouhani has previously lashed out against Trump for threatening to re-impose the sanctions, as well as for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and banning travel to the U.S. from certain Muslim-majority countries. Trump's tweet suggested he has little patience with the trading of hostile messages with Iran, using exceptionally strong language and writing an all-capitalized tweet. 'WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!,' he wrote. Trump has a history of firing off heated tweets that seem to quickly escalate long-standing disputes with leaders of nations at odds with the U.S. In the case of North Korea, the public war of words cooled quickly and gradually led to the high profile summit and denuclearization talks. On Sunday in California, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was strongly critical of Iran. He called the religious leaders of Iran 'hypocritical holy men' who amassed vast sums of wealth while allowing their people to suffer, part of a highly critical broadside issued as the republic approached the 40th anniversary of its Islamic revolution and the U.S. prepared to reimpose the economic sanctions. In a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Pompeo castigated Iran's political, judicial and military leaders, too, accusing several by name of participating in widespread corruption. He also said the government has 'heartlessly repressed its own people's human rights, dignity and fundamental freedoms.' He said despite poor treatment by their leaders, 'the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government's many abuses,' Pompeo said. 'And the United States under President Trump will not stay silent either. In light of these protests and 40 years of regime tyranny, I have a message for the people of Iran: The United States hears you,' he said. 'The United States supports you. The United States is with you.
  • Police are investigating a stabbing the victim says was likely racially motivated. The victim, Humberto Sanchez, 26, needed 25 stitches and told Channel 2's Michael Seiden he believes he is targeted because of his skin color. The assault happened at a bar in Kennesaw on July 13. Sanchez, who works in construction and lives in Marietta, said he had just spent a night out with coworkers when two white men approached him and started making racist comments, asking if him if he had any drugs for sale. He said they accused him of being a member of a Mexican drug cartel  “They were like, 'Yeah, you have it. Can I get some?’ I was like, ‘No. I don’t even know what you're talking about,” he said. RELATED STORIES: Man accused of groping woman at Roswell park turns himself in Man found malnourished, children unsupervised in southwest Atlanta home, police say Boaters' window shot out while cruising on Lake Lanier Sanchez said he felt uncomfortable and decided to start walking toward his car, parked at another bar about a mile away. But about five minutes into his walk, Sanchez said a car pulled up from behind him and someone got out. 'That’s when I got hit from the back and I got cut. I didn’t even second guess what was going on. I ran, I ran,' he said. Sanchez ran for his life and immediately called his family who alerted police He said he believes his attackers are the same men who confronted him outside the bar. “I just want to get everything over with, hopefully these guys get caught,' he said. An employee at the bar told Seiden racism won't be tolerated and said they handed over surveillance video to police in hopes of identifying the attackers.