WASHINGTON

More US troops may

be headed to border

The Pentagon may send about 300 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in roles that could put them in contact with migrants and thus mark a break from current practice, officials said.

Charles Summers, a spokesman for Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, said Shanahan was expected to approve the proposal. The new troops would be in support roles such as driving buses with detained migrants and providing meals to them.

 

SAN FRANCISCO

Police say motorist

wanted to hit Muslims

An Iraq War veteran deliberately drove into a group of pedestrians because he thought some of the people were Muslim, California authorities said Friday.

Isaiah Joel Peoples, 34, faces eight counts of attempted murder for injuring eight people, including four who remain hospitalized. The most seriously injured is a 13-year-old Sunnyvale girl of South Asian descent who is in a coma with severe brain trauma.

 

NEW YORK

United Methodist Church

panel upholds LGBT bans

The United Methodist Church's judicial council on Friday upheld major portions of a new plan that strengthens bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT pastors.

Conservatives welcomed the decision and said key elements of the policy, called the Traditional Plan, could begin taking effect in January. Among liberal and centrist opponents of the plan, there was dismay; one group, Reconciling Ministries Network, called for an upsurge of resistance.

 

LAKEWOOD, COLO.

Police investigate crash,

explosions that killed 4 

Four people died after a semi truck hauling lumber lost control and plowed into vehicles on a crowded highway near Denver, triggering explosions and a fire so intense that it melted the roadway and metal off cars, authorities said Friday.

"It was crash, crash, crash and explosion, explosion, explosion," said John Romero, a spokesman for the Lakewood, Colorado, police department, describing the 28-vehicle chain reaction of blasts from ruptured gas tanks.

The truck driver, Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, of Houston, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide as police investigate how the crash happened Thursday on Interstate 70.

 

WASHINGTON

Trump defends comments

about Charlottesville 

President Donald Trump on Friday defended his controversial 2017 comments about a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., saying his remarks were perfect when he said both sides were to blame for the violence that left one person dead.

"If you look at what I said you will see that question was answered perfectly," Trump said Friday as he left the White House for an event in Indianapolis.

Trump's remarks came a day after former Vice President Joe Biden highlighted the president's reaction to Charlottesville in a video announcing he's running for president.

 

NEW YORK

Harvey Weinstein's trial

delayed until September

Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial has been postponed until September, a judge said Friday after a closed-door hearing that focused on the prosecution's bid to have jurors hear from many women who say the movie mogul violated them.

Weinstein's trial had been scheduled to begin June 3, but both the prosecution and the defense indicated they would need more time to sort through potential witnesses and evidence issues. It is now set for Sept. 9.

 

DAMASCUS, SYRIA

Ambassador alleges

'economic terrorism'

Syria's ambassador to the United Nations on Friday accused the United States and the European Union of practicing "economic terrorism" against his country by imposing what he described as illegitimate and unilateral sanctions.

Bashar Ja'afari made his comments in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan, where Russia, Turkey and Iran held a new round of talks with the Syrian government and the opposition on steps to bring peace to the country.

 

TOPEKA, KAN.

High court bolsters

abortion rights in state

Kansas' highest court declared for the first time Friday that the state constitution protects abortion rights, a sweeping ruling that blocks a ban on a common second trimester method for ending pregnancies and endangers other restrictions as well.

The state Supreme Court's decision immediately roiled Kansas politics. Abortion opponents called for amending the state constitution.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires