LOS ANGELES

Amazon boss says

Enquirer made threats

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said Thursday he was the target of "extortion and blackmail" by the publisher of the National Enquirer, which he said threatened to publish revealing personal photos of him unless he stopped investigating how other private photos and messages were obtained by the tabloid.

Bezos, who is also owner of The Washington Post, detailed his interactions with American Media Inc. in an extraordinary blog post Thursday on the Medium.com website.

After the tabloid published a story about his extramarital affair last month, Bezos ordered a team of private investigators to get to the bottom of how the Enquirer obtained lurid texts between the executive and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.

An attorney for American Media, the Enquirer's parent company, did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment Thursday.

 

WASHINGTON

Kushner, others set

for Middle East

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and other administration officials are headed to the Middle East later this month to brief diplomats in at least five countries on the economic section of a U.S. proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Kushner, who is President Donald Trump's son-in-law, will be joined by U.S. Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt, U.S. envoy on Iran Brian Hook and other administration officials who have worked on the economic part of the plan. Stops are confirmed in Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Other stops could be added to the trip, according to a White House official.

The plan includes an economic development proposal for Palestinians that foresees major infrastructure and industrial work, particularly in Gaza.

Also, Kushner is to participate next Thursday in Warsaw in a discussion to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a senior White House official.

 

WASHINGTON

FDA warns of

implant complications

U.S. health officials are telling doctors to be on the lookout for a rare cancer linked to breast implants after receiving more reports of the disease.

The Food and Drug Administration sent a letter Wednesday to family doctors, nurses and other health professionals warning about the form of lymphoma that affects breast implant patients. In suspected cases, the FDA recommends laboratory testing to confirm or rule out of the disease. It's the first time regulators have issued a direct warning to doctors other than plastic surgeons.

The disease is not breast cancer, but usually forms in the scar tissue that forms around implants. The cancer usually grows slowly and most patients are treated with surgery to remove the implant.

 

CUCUTA, Colombia

Trucks with U.S. aid

arrive at border

Trucks carrying U.S. humanitarian aid destined for Venezuela arrived Thursday at the Colombian border, where opposition leaders vowed to bring them into their troubled nation despite objections from embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

Two semi-trailers rolled into the Colombian border city of Cucuta, which is just across the river from Venezuela.

"The United States is prepositioning relief items — including food, nutritional supplements, hygiene kits and medical supplies — in Colombia so they are available to reach those most in need in Venezuela, as soon as possible," said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.

 

NEW YORK

Study sees fish

flake out by mirror

Scientists report that a fish can pass a standard test of recognizing itself in a mirror — and they raise a question about what that means. Does this decades-old test, designed to show self-awareness in animals, really do that?

Since the mirror test was introduced in 1970, scientists have found that relatively few animals can pass it. Most humans can by age 18 to 24 months, and so can chimps and orangutans, says the test's inventor, evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. of Albany College in New York.

The test exposes animals to a mirror and looks for reactions that indicate some recognition of themselves. Alex Jordan, who's at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Konstanz, Germany, and colleagues observed a reef-dwelling species called the cleaner wrasse doing odd behaviors like swimming upside-down by the mirror.

 

The Associated Press