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    The Latest on the investigation into possible contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election (all times local): 1:05 p.m. Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone has concluded an interview with the House intelligence committee after more than three hours. Stone says he told lawmakers that he's aware of 'no evidence whatsoever' that there was coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. Stone told reporters Tuesday after the meeting that the majority of lawmakers' questions focused on his communications with Guccifer 2.0, the unnamed hacker who has taken credit for breaking into Democratic National Committee email servers. He said questions also focused on communications he had through an intermediary with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Stone spoke to the panel as part of an investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. He said that he has had no contact with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is also conducting an investigation. __ 4:51 a.m. The House intelligence panel will interview two of President Donald Trump's associates behind closed doors this week as congressional committees step up their investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone and former staffer Boris Epshteyn will talk to the House panel. Stone confirmed his interview, which will be held Tuesday. Epshteyn also will speak to the committee this week, according to a source familiar with the interview. The person declined to be named because the panel's meetings are private. The interviews come as the House and Senate intelligence panels are looking into the meddling and scrutinizing the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media. The Senate Intelligence committee will speak to officials from Twitter on Wednesday, also behind closed doors.
  • The Latest on President Donald Trump's meetings with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (all times local): 1:15 p.m. President Donald Trump says the U.S. and Spain are allies in the fight against terrorism. Trump says at the beginning of a working meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY') that the two countries are comparing notes and intelligence. He says they are 'very, very unified in the fight.' Spain last month was the victim of attacks that killed 16 people in the tourist haven of Barcelona and a nearby town. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks. Trump says Spain is a special country with incredible people. Trump also mentioned his desire to renegotiate trade deals the U.S. has with other countries, but suggested that isn't the case with Spain. On trade, Trump says he's had a 'good nine months' with Spain. ___ 12:45 p.m. President Donald Trump says he and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY') will discuss trade and other issues. The leaders are meeting at the White House on Tuesday, days before a critical secession vote Sunday in Spain. The region of Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, wants to separate from Spain. Spain's federal government says such a vote would be illegal. Neither leader mentioned the vote during brief remarks as they appeared before journalists in the Oval Office. Rajoy says the two countries have good cooperation on defense and terrorism issues. ___ 12:25 p.m. President Donald Trump is welcoming Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY') to the White House days before a crucial secession vote in his country. The regional government in Catalonia is holding a binding referendum Sunday on separating from Spain. But the Spanish government insists such a vote is illegal and promises it won't take place. Catalonia is one of Spain's 17 autonomous regions. Its capital is the Mediterranean port city of Barcelona, a favorite for tourists. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert recently said the U.S. has no position on the referendum. She says the U.S. will work with any government or entity that comes out of the vote. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday she had nothing to add to the State Department's position on the issue.
  • Hurricane Maria has devastated Puerto Rico, destroying buildings leaving its more than 3.4 million residents largely without power. Food and drinking water are also difficult to come by, and the recovery will be long, difficult and expensive. While the urge to donate clothes and other supplies is natural, money is the best way to contribute during times of disaster, charities and philanthropy experts say. That's not to say there's never a time and place for supplies. Diapers, for example, are often requested. And donating directly through a website gets money to a charity faster than a text donation, even though the text might seem easier. Here's how to make sure you are giving in a way that matters the most. ___ GIVE TO ESTABLISHED CHARITIES GuideStar's website has a database that lets you vet charities . You can find information on a charity's expenses, assets and revenue, as well as its programs. Stacy Palmer, editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, also suggests looking at a charity's website for information on how it will use donations. And look through local news reports for information on a charity's work, or contact the local United Way (in this case, Puerto Rico's). It's up to you whether to go with a local charity that might know the area better, or a national charity that has wider reach. ___ TEXTING TO GIVE? It might be tempting to make a donation through a text and have the phone company charge it on your phone bill. It's easy, and it might feel as though it's the quickest way to get money to a charity. But Palmer says that's not the case, as charities have to wait for the phone companies to release the money. The quickest way to give is to go to the charity's website and donate directly, using a credit or debit card. That said, relief agencies will need money beyond first few days or even weeks, so if the ease of text donations appeals to you, tap away. To donate $10 to the Red Cross via text, send a text message saying 'REDCROSS' to the number 90999. Apple users in the U.S. can also donate to the American Red Cross through the company's iTunes and app stores to help people affected by Hurricane Maria and the earthquake in Mexico. Amounts range from $5 to $200, and you can't use store credit. The donations will be split equally between the two disasters. On Google, searching for terms such as 'Hurricane Maria' will let you donate directly in the search results. Just scroll down and you'll find an option to give $5, $25 or $50 to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy . ___ TIMING Donations often pour in immediately after disaster strikes but peter out during the long recovery process. While there are a lot of immediate needs, Palmer says, charities are going to need support for the long haul. Consider saving some of your money so you can donate again in a few weeks or months. Better yet, set up a recurring donation to support your chosen charity over time. Some charities will say when they have raised enough for a particular disaster and use any extra money for their general fund, Palmer says. This isn't bad. 'One of the things this disaster shows is that it's important to have resilience,' she says. 'It's smart to just give and say that it can be used wherever it's most needed.' ___ CROWDFUNDING Group fundraising services such as GoFundMe let people raise money for friends, families, neighbors or themselves — as well as for charity. As always, do your homework before giving to a stranger or cause online. GoFundMe has a special page for Hurricane Maria pleas for charities, individuals and families. GlobalGiving , a crowdfunding site for charities, is trying to raise $2 million for local relief and recovery efforts. Remember that donations are tax-deductible only if they go to a registered nonprofit or charity. Otherwise, they are generally considered gifts. ___ HOLD OFF ON MATERIAL DONATIONS Donating food, clothing and household items can complicate and even hinder relief efforts, experts say. After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, for example, there were reports of relief agencies not knowing what to do with the piles of clothing and other unsolicited items pouring in. The U.S. Center for Disaster Information says such donations 'require transportation — which is expensive and logistically complicated — and a pre-identified recipient on the ground who will receive the shipment, pay customs and other fees, sort and distribute the items.' Unsolicited goods, the agency says , are 'never required in early stages of response, and they compete with priority relief items for transportation and storage.' ___ LOCAL HELP Puerto Rico's first lady, Beatriz Rossello, has launched an emergency fund with help from private companies. United for Puerto Rico (Unidos Por Puerto Rico) lets you donate through PayPal or directly to its bank account.
  • Tired of living a life in which you are not making bank on royalties from the 43rd Grammy Awards Best Rap Solo Performance, 'The Real Slim Shady?' The world may turn for you come October. Royalty Flow Inc., through its parent Royalty Exchange, is offering stakes in Eminem's recordings from 1999 to 2013 through an initial public offering of stock. The company hopes to raise up to $50 million. According to Royalty Flow, royalties from the catalog grew 43 percent between 2015 and 2016, though the artist hasn't released a new album since 2013. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week, the company cites the growth of digital downloads and streaming music as a driver. 'Music streaming is booming and we believe is leading the way toward an anticipated music industry resurgence,' the company said. Still, overall music sales have been declining for the better part of a decade, and the recording industry itself often contends with slim margins. Another key risk for the company is that it will only initially have one asset: the music catalog of Eminem, who's actual name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III. The company is working with F.B.T Productions to acquire royalty rights. It was founded by Jeff and Mark Bass, the producers who worked with Eminem. The company intends to sell up to 3.3 million shares of stock for $15 apiece. Investors would be required to purchase a minimum of $2,250 in stock. If the IPO is approved, the company expects to trade under the 'RLTY' symbol on the Nasdaq.
  • The overturning of another politician's corruption conviction has added intrigue to the bribery trial of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey. On Tuesday, a New York appeals court invalidated the 2015 conviction of former Republican state Senate leader Dean Skelos (SKEH'-lohs). The same court reversed former Democratic New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's corruption conviction two months ago. Both times, the court cited a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of former Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell that narrowed the definition of a corrupt act. Menendez has cited the McDonnell ruling to argue his bribery and fraud indictment should be dismissed. The judge has said he will wait until the prosecution rests its case to make a ruling. Menendez's trial is in its fourth week.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen acknowledged Tuesday that the Fed is puzzled by the persistence of unusually low inflation and that it might have to adjust the timing of its interest rate policies accordingly. Speaking to a conference of economists, Yellen touched upon key questions the Fed is confronting as it tries to determine why inflation has remained chronically below its inflation target of 2 percent annually. The Fed chair said officials still expect the forces keeping inflation low to fade eventually. But she conceded that the Fed may need to adjust its assumptions. Most analysts expect the central bank to raise rates in December, for a third time this year, in a reflection of the economy's improvement. But the Fed has said its rate hikes will depend on incoming data. In her speech in Cleveland to the annual conference of the National Association for Business Economics, Yellen went further than she has before in suggesting that the Fed could be mistaken in the assumptions it is making about inflation. 'My colleagues and I may have misjudged the strength of the labor market, the degree to which longer-run inflation expectations are consistent with our inflation objective or even the fundamental forces driving inflation,' Yellen said. The Fed seeks to control interest rates to promote maximum employment and stable prices, which it defines as annual price increases of 2 percent. While the Fed has met its goal on employment, with the jobless rate at 4.4 percent, near a 16-year low, it has continued to miss its inflation target. Chronically low inflation can depress economic growth because consumers typically delay purchases when they think prices will stay the same or even decline. Inflation, which was nearing the 2 percent goal at the start of the year, has since then fallen further behind and is now rising at an annual rate of just 1.4 percent. Yellen has previously attributed the miss on inflation this year to temporary factors, including a price war among mobile phone companies. She and other Fed officials have predicted that inflation would soon begin rising toward the Fed's 2 percent inflation target, helped by tight labor markets that will drive up wage gains. In her remarks Tuesday, Yellen said this outcome of a rebound in inflation is still likely. But she said the central bank needed to remain alert to the possibility that other forces not clearly understood might continue to keep inflation lower than the Fed's 2 percent goal. She said in the face of 'significant uncertainties,' she believed the Fed's best course was to move gradually in adjusting its benchmark interest rate. Yellen said that the Fed needed to balance the risk of raising rates too quickly against the risk of raising rates too slowly. The Fed chair said that if the central bank moved too slowly, it could inadvertently allow the economy to become overheated and thus have to raise rates so quickly in the future that it could push the country into a recession. 'It would be imprudent to keep monetary policy on hold until inflation is back to 2 percent,' Yellen said. Yellen's remarks came a week after Fed officials left their benchmark rate unchanged but announced that they would start gradually shrinking their huge portfolio of Treasury and mortgage bonds. Those holdings had grown from purchases the Fed made over the past nine years to try to lower long-term borrowing rates and help the U.S. economy recover from the worst downturn since the 1930s. The Fed did retain a forecast showing that officials expect to boost rates three times this year. So far, they have increased their benchmark lending rate twice, in March and June, leaving it at a still-low range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent. Last week, the Fed said the reductions in its bond holdings would begin in October by initially allowing a modest $10 billion in maturing bonds to roll off the $4.5 trillion balance sheet each month. The size of the monthly reductions will be increased by $10 billion each quarter until they reach $50 billion a month a year from now. The balance sheet is expected to remain just under $3 trillion two years from now, still far higher than the $900 billion level in effect before the financial crisis erupted in 2008. ___ Crutsinger reported from Washington, Kang from Cleveland.
  • A man claims he found maggots in a sandwich he ordered from a convenience store in New Jersey. Chris Garcia tells The Trentonian (http://bit.ly/2xufxRC ) he bought a buffalo chicken cheesesteak hoagie Saturday from a Wawa store in Ewing, where he lives. He claims after a taking few bites, he noticed sauce from the sandwich was moving. The 22-year-old says he found two maggots moving around his sandwich. Garcia's mother recorded video of maggots crawling on the sandwich wrapper. A spokeswoman for the 750-store chain says Wawa inspects its stores daily and holds itself to the 'highest standard of quality' in the food it serves. Garcia says he was given a refund after returning to the store with the sandwich. Wawa also has stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. ___ Information from: The (Trenton, N.J.) Trentonian, http://www.trentonian.com
  • President Donald Trump is welcoming Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY') to the White House days before a crucial secession vote in his country. The regional government in Catalonia is holding a binding referendum Sunday on separating from Spain. But the Spanish government insists such a vote is illegal and promises it won't take place. Catalonia is one of Spain's 17 autonomous regions. Its capital is the Mediterranean port city of Barcelona, a favorite for tourists. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert recently said the U.S. has no position on the referendum. She says the U.S. will work with any government or entity that comes out of the vote. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday she had nothing to add to the State Department's position on the issue.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the U.S. Justice Department will intervene on behalf of people who sue colleges claiming their free speech rights were violated. Sessions told a Georgetown University law school audience Tuesday that freedom of thought and speech are under attack on college campuses. The issue of free speech on campuses has become a popular cause for conservatives. They complain their voices are being drowned out as speeches by right-wing figures have been derailed by protests and threats of violence. Sessions says universities are 'becoming an echo chamber of political correctness and homogenous thought.' More than 100 students and faculty protested the invitation-only speech. One demonstrator, law student Ambur Smith, said: 'there can be no freedom of speech when it's only reserved for a few.
  • Poland's president and defense minister are visiting Polish and other NATO troops as they perform major defense exercises. President Andrzej Duda and Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz on Tuesday watched land and airborne troops at the test range in Drawsko Pomorskie in northwestern Poland. The Dragon-17 exercise involves some 17,000 land, air force and navy troops and 3,500 units of equipment from 12 NATO and partner nations. It runs through Sept. 29 at locations in northern Poland. For the first time, the biannual drill is being joined by Poland's new Territorial Defense Forces, which train civilian volunteers to support regular troops. The defensive scenario of the maneuvers was inspired by Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Poland and the Baltic region are concerned about Russia's increased military activity.