AP news in brief coffee

Iran says it will break uranium stockpile limit in 10 days

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran will break the uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers in the next 10 days, the spokesman for the country's atomic agency said Monday while also warning that Iran has the need for uranium enriched up to 20%, just a step away from weapons-grade levels.

The announcement indicated Iran's determination to break from the landmark 2015 accord, which has steadily unraveled since the Trump administration pulled America out of the deal last year and re-imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran, sending its economy into freefall.

The spokesman for Iran's nuclear agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, made the announcement during a press conference with local journalists at Iran's Arak heavy water facility that was carried live on Iranian state television.

The development comes in the wake of suspected attacks on oil tankers last week in the region, attacks that Washington has blamed on Iran, and also as tensions have spiked between Iran and the United States, a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America for the nuclear deal.

The deal was meant to keep Tehran from building atomic weapons in exchange for economic incentives.

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Hunt for cause of massive South America power outage begins

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — As lights turned back on across Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay after a massive blackout that hit tens of millions people, authorities were still largely in the dark about what caused the collapse of the interconnected grid and were tallying the damage from the unforeseen disaster.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri promised a thorough investigation into what he called an "unprecedented" outage, one that raised questions about flaws in South America's grid, which connects many of the region's largest countries.

Energy officials said the results of the investigation would be available in 10 to 15 days, and they could not immediately provide details on the economic impact of the outage, which came on a Sunday, and a day before a national holiday in Argentina.

Argentine Energy Secretary Gustavo Lopetegui said the blackout began with a failure in the country's "interconnection system," adding that it happens in other countries as well. But he said a chain of events took place later, causing a total disruption.

"This is an extraordinary event that should have never happened," he told a news conference. "It's very serious. We can't leave the whole country all of a sudden without electricity." He did not discount the possibility of a cyberattack, but said it was unlikely.

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Pakistani women sold in marriage, then prostitution in China

FAISALABAD, Pakistan (AP) — At first, in her desperate calls home to her mother in Pakistan, Natasha Masih couldn't bring herself to say what they were doing to her.

All the 19-year-old would say was that her new husband — a Chinese man her family sold her off to in marriage — was torturing her. Eventually she broke down and told her mother the full story, pleading with her to bring her home. The husband had hidden her away in a hotel in a remote corner of China and for the past weeks had been forcing her to have sex with other men.

"I bought you in Pakistan," she said her husband told her. "You belong to me. You are my property."

Her mother turned to the only people she knew who could help, her small evangelical church in a run-down slum of the Pakistani city of Faisalabad. There, a group of parishioners began putting together an elaborate plan to rescue the girl from the hotel more than 1,100 miles away.

Natasha was one of hundreds of Pakistani girls who have been married off to Chinese men in return for cash payments to their families, most of them Christians, a community that is among the poorest of the poor in the country. The Associated Press reported previously how Christian pastors and Pakistani and Chinese brokers work together in a lucrative trade, aggressively pursuing Pakistani girls who are tricked into fraudulent marriages and find themselves trapped in China with sometimes abusive husbands.

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LAPD investigates officer's actions in Costco shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Police Department is gathering evidence and video footage in an administrative investigation into an off-duty officer who shot and killed a man authorities say attacked him inside a Southern California Costco Wholesale warehouse store.

Authorities remained tight-lipped Sunday, not responding to requests for comment about what provoked the Friday night confrontation and whether anyone but the officer was armed. Two others were critically injured in the shooting in Corona, which is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

The officer opened fire after Kenneth French, 32, of Riverside, assaulted him without provocation as the officer held his young child, Corona police said Saturday.

Bullets struck French and two of his family members, according to police. The officer was the only person who fired shots in the store, police said.

Rick Shureih, French's cousin, told The Press-Enterprise that he was a "gentle giant" who was mentally disabled.

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Hong Kong police clear streets as protesters move to park

HONG KONG (AP) — Protesters cleared out of Hong Kong's streets Monday, averting possible clashes with police, but stayed near government headquarters to press their demands that the city's leader resign and abandon an extradition bill that stoked fears of Beijing's expanding control.

The demonstrators took shelter from rain in a covered plaza outside the Legislative Council. Their decision to move there allowed police to reopen streets to traffic.

The activists have rejected an apology from Chief Executive Carrie Lam for her handling of the legislation. Organizers said nearly 2 million Hong Kong residents, young and old, joined a march that lasted late into the night.

"We are very angry that Carrie Lam has not responded to the demands of all the protesters, but now is the time to talk about strategy, and talk about strategy is about how to make the whole struggle into a long-term struggle and not a day struggle, so if Carrie Lam does not respond to the demands by the protesters, people will come back and the struggle will continue," Lee Cheuk-yan, a former legislator and activist, said Monday.

Shortly after daybreak, the police asked for cooperation in clearing the road but said the protesters could stay on the sidewalks. The protesters, many in masks and other gear to guard against possible use of tear gas, argued with police for a time but eventually relented.

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50 years after Stonewall, LGBT rights are a work in progress

NEW YORK (AP) — They didn't set out to change history; they weren't the first LGBT Americans to mobilize against bias.

Yet the June 1969 uprising by young gays, lesbians and transgender people in New York City, clashing with police near a bar called the Stonewall Inn, was a vital catalyst in expanding LGBT activism nationwide and abroad. This month's anniversary provides an opportune moment to ask: How has the movement fared over the past 50 years? What unfinished business remains?

From the perspective of veteran activists, the progress has been astounding. In 1969, every state but Illinois outlawed gay sex, psychiatric experts classified homosexuality as a mental disorder, and most gays stayed in the closet for fear of losing jobs and friends.

Today, same-sex marriage is the law of the land in the U.S. and at least 25 other countries. LGBT Americans serve as governors, big-city mayors and members of Congress, and one — Pete Buttigieg — is waging a spirited campaign for president.

Among those looking back with marvel is Stephen Rutsky, 68, a lifelong New Yorker who joined in rioting and protests sparked by a police raid targeted at gay patrons of Stonewall. He engaged in a wide variety of LGBT activism over the ensuing decades.

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Huawei founder says revenue will be billions below forecast

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Huawei's founder said Monday that the Chinese telecom giant's revenue will be $30 billion less than forecast over the next two years, as he compared the company to a "badly damaged plane" in the face of U.S. government actions against it.

"We never thought that the U.S.'s determination to attack Huawei would be so strong, so firm," Ren Zhengfei, who is also the CEO, said during a panel discussion at company headquarters in Shenzhen.

Ren said Huawei will reduce capacity and expects revenues of about $100 billion annually for the next two years, compared to $105 billion in 2018. In February, he said the company was targeting $125 billion in 2019.

Huawei's overseas cellphone sales will drop by 40%, Ren said, confirming a Bloomberg report published Sunday. But the Chinese market is growing rapidly, and Huawei will not allow restrictive measures to curb its research and development, he added.

Huawei is embroiled in an ongoing trade dispute between China and the U.S., which has accused Chinese companies such as Huawei of committing forced technology transfers and stealing trade secrets. Last month, the U.S. placed Huawei on its "Entity List," which effectively bars American companies from selling components to Huawei without government approval.

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Overcrowding, abuse seen at Mexico migrant detention center

TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — The 36-year-old Cuban mechanic's eyes glazed over as he recalled his time at the Siglo XXI holding facility: 50 people sleeping in 9-by-12-foot pens, feces overflowing the latrines, food and water always scarce.

Women slept in hallways or in the dining hall among rats, cockroaches and pigeon droppings, as children wailed, mothers reused diapers and guards treated everyone with contempt.

"They threw us in there like little animals," a Honduran woman said.

Many migrants who cross into southern Mexico end up in Siglo XXI, Spanish for "21st century," said to be the largest immigration detention center in Latin America. Located in the city of Tapachula, near the border with Guatemala, it's a secretive place off-limits to public scrutiny where cellphones are confiscated and journalists aren't allowed inside.

The Associated Press was denied access, and the National Immigration Institute, which oversees the facility, did not respond to requests for comment. But about 20 people interviewed by AP including migrants, officials and rights workers who've been inside, described it as sorely overcrowded and filthy, and alleged repeated abusive treatment by agents tasked with running it.

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Battleground Florida: Both parties prepare for 2020 fight

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump's early strength in Florida on the night of the 2016 election was the first sign that he was about to score an upset victory. In an otherwise bleak 2018 for the GOP, the state was again a bright spot for Republicans who won the governor's mansion and flipped a Senate seat.

But as another campaign heats up, Democrats aren't ceding the Sunshine State.

Though the state has trended — by the narrowest of margins — toward Republicans in recent elections, both parties are mobilizing for a fierce and expensive battle in Florida. Democratic candidates, including early front-runner Joe Biden, have already visited the state to tap donors and connect with voters, and will descend on Miami later this month for their first round of debates. And Trump will return on Tuesday for his latest reelection announcement.

The attention is a recognition that, despite its expensive media markets and hyper-polarized politics, neither party can ignore Florida. For Trump, there are few ways for him to remain in the White House without keeping Florida's 29 electoral votes. And for Democrats, a win here would validate the party's emphasis on building diverse coalitions — not to mention all but obliterate Trump's reelection prospects.

Florida Democrats say it's wrong to interpret recent election results as the state slipping away.

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