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    Authorities in central California say a passenger bus has crashed while carrying the road crew for country and gospel singer Josh Turner, leaving one dead and seven injured. Turner and his band were not on the bus. Two of the passengers are said to have sustained major injuries and five had moderate injuries. The bus was traveling eastbound on Highway 46 in San Luis Obispo County when it crashed in Shandon late Wednesday night. The trip followed a Turner concert at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, according to media reports.
  • The Bank of England kept its main interest rate unchanged at 0.75% Thursday, its last scheduled interest rate decision before Britain is due to leave the European Union. In a statement, the bank said all nine of its rate-setters voted to keep rates unchanged and warned that prolonged uncertainty over Britain's departure from the European Union would further weigh on economic growth. 'Brexit-related developments are making U.K. economic data more volatile,' rate-setters said. 'It is possible that political events could lead to a further period of entrenched uncertainty about the nature of, and the transition to, the United Kingdom's eventual future trading relationship with the European Union.' In the second quarter of 2019, the British economy shrank by a quarterly rate of 0.2%. Though the bank expects that to be made up in the third quarter of the year, rate-setters said underlying growth has slowed and 'that a degree of excess supply appears to have opened up within companies' — a sign that firms are holding back from making any major decisions until they get clarity over Brexit. Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on Oct. 31 and Britain's new prime minister, Boris Johnson, has stated that he will take the country out on that date come what may. However, lawmakers have enacted a law that would compel Johnson to seek an extension to Britain's departure date in the event no withdrawal agreement has been backed by Parliament. Johnson says he won't do that, further stoking uncertainty over Brexit. The major economic impact of Britain's vote in June 2016 has been on business investment, which has come in way lower than would have been anticipated at a time of global growth. Firms are clearly worried about what the economic relationship will be between Britain and the EU — around half of Britain's trade goes to the other 27 EU countries and it's undertaken in a frictionless manner. A no-deal Brexit at the end of October raises the prospect of tariffs and other barriers imposed on trade. 'Brexit uncertainties have continued to weigh on business investment, although consumption growth has remained resilient, supported by continued growth in real household income,' rate-setters said. 'The longer those uncertainties persist, particularly in an environment of weaker global growth, the more likely it is that demand growth will remain below potential, increasing excess supply,' they said. 'In such an eventuality, domestically generated inflationary pressures would be reduced.' Though they said interest rates could rise or fall in the event of a no-deal Brexit, that comment suggests that a cut would be more likely especially as inflation has fallen to 1.7% and below the bank's primary economic target of keeping price rises at 2%. 'There is an increasing air of caution creeping into the narrative,' said James Smith, developed markets economist at ING. The bank's next scheduled interest rate decision is Nov. 7, a week after the scheduled Brexit date. ___ Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and British politics at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit
  • USA Basketball has kept its No. 1 spot in the FIBA world men's rankings, even after a disappointing seventh-place showing in the World Cup that ended earlier this week. It's now nine-years-and-counting in the top spot for the U.S., which has held the No. 1 ranking since winning the 2010 world championship. World Cup champion Spain stayed No. 2, Australia leaped eight spots to No. 3, World Cup finalist Argentina rose one spot to No. 4 and World Cup bronze-medalist France fell two slots to No. 5. FIBA's rankings take results from the most recent eight years into account — which means the U.S. is still reaping point benefits from the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medals and the 2014 World Cup title. 'In this day and age, basketball in other countries is not a secret,' U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said after the Americans completed their run in the World Cup. 'So it's not like there's an epiphany or a revelation to be made. There are wonderful teams and wonderful coaches all over the world. You go compete and the best teams win.' It's now expected that the U.S. will retain the No. 1 ranking going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Several top NBA players, including Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Damian Lillard have said in recent days that they intend to play for the U.S. in Tokyo, where the Americans will try to win a fourth consecutive gold medal. Most top U.S. players declined to be part of the World Cup team. 'I'm expecting them to be so strong next year,' Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said. OLYMPIC UPDATE The new rankings confirmed that European champion Slovenia, which didn't earn a spot in the World Cup field after many of its top players couldn't take part in qualifying since those games conflicted with the NBA and Euroleague schedules, will still have a chance to compete in the Olympics — as will seven other teams that found out they're headed to playoffs next year. Angola, Senegal, Mexico, Uruguay, China, Korea and Croatia also still have Olympic hopes. Those last eight playoff spots awarded Thursday went to the top two teams from Africa, Europe, Asia-Oceania and the Americas regions who hadn't either already clinched Olympic berths or spots in the last-chance playoffs. Japan is automatically qualified for the 12-team Olympic tournament as the host country. The U.S., Argentina, Nigeria, Spain, France, Iran and Australia clinched Olympic spots at the World Cup by finishing as the best teams in their respective FIBA regions — the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania. That leaves four unclaimed Olympic berths, and 24 teams to compete for them in playoffs next year. There will be four six-team tournaments held from June 23-28, 2020 — winner-take-all, all in this case meaning an Olympic berth. Bidding for sites is expected to begin shortly, FIBA said. The other 16 playoff spots were awarded based on World Cup placing. They went to Serbia, Lithuania, Greece, Russia, Brazil, Italy, Puerto Rico, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic, Poland, New Zealand and Tunisia. MOVING UP Belize was the top mover in the new rankings, climbing 50 spots to No. 118. Kosovo rose 21 spots to No. 69, Togo went up 21 spots to No. 136, Tunisia climbed 18 spots to No. 33 and Ivory Coast went up 16 spots to No. 48. STILL SWEEPING FIBA has four sets of rankings — for men, women, boys and girls. The U.S. holds the No. 1 spot in all four of those rankings, though the race is tightest among the men. The U.S. men hold a lead of 54.9 points over Spain in those rankings, while the rankings margins held by the U.S. women (310 points over No. 2 Spain), boys (291 points over No. 2 Canada) and girls (155 points over No. 2 Spain) are far more comfortable. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Philippine health officials declared a polio outbreak in the country on Thursday, nearly two decades after the World Health Organization declared it to be free of the highly contagious and potentially deadly disease. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said at a news conference that authorities have confirmed at least one case of polio in a 3-year-old girl in southern Lanao del Sur province and detected the polio virus in sewage in Manila and in waterways in the southern Davao region. Those findings are enough to declare an outbreak of the disease in a previously polio-free country like the Philippines, he said. The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund expressed deep concern over polio's reemergence in the country and said they would support the government in immunizing children, who are the most susceptible to the crippling disease, and strengthening surveillance. 'As long as one single child remains infected, children across the country and even beyond are at risk of contracting polio,' UNICEF Philippines representative Oyun Dendevnorov said. WHO and UNICEF said in a joint statement the polio outbreak in the Philippines is concerning because it is caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2. The weakened virus used in vaccines replicates for a short time in children's intestines and is excreted in their feces. In rare instances, they said, the weakened virus can strengthen in areas with poor sanitation and hygiene. Children who have not been immunized can be susceptible. They said the last known case from a wild strain of the virus in the Philippines was in 1993. Wild poliovirus type 2 was declared globally eradicated in 2015.
  • China's foreign ministry on Thursday accused U.S. congressional leader Nancy Pelosi of making irresponsible remarks about pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, one day after she welcomed activists from the city to the U.S. Capitol. Spokesman Geng Shuang said Pelosi and other American lawmakers had confused right and wrong by engaging with what he termed Hong Kong separatists. 'We urge the U.S. to stop bolstering radical violent forces in Hong Kong that advocate Hong Kong independence, and stop intensifying words and actions that undermine the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,' he said at a daily briefing. In Hong Kong, the government announced that city leader Carrie Lam and other officials will hold their first community dialogue next week with up to 150 members of the public. The goal is 'to invite people from all walks of life to express their views to the government, so as to fathom the discontent in society and to look for solutions,' it said in a statement. Lam had announced earlier that the government would create a platform for dialogue in a bid to end the protests demanding democracy that have riven Hong Kong all summer with no resolution in sight. Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, was joined by Republican lawmakers at a news conference Wednesday with democracy activists including Joshua Wong and pop singer Denise Ho. She sided with their demand for fully democratic elections and thanked them for 'challenging the conscience' of the Chinese government and the world. Pelosi has monitored China from her early years in Congress, when she appeared with other lawmakers in Beijing's Tiananmen Square to pay tribute to protesters who died in 1989 pro-democracy protests. This year's protesters believe that China is eroding the rights and freedoms that Hong Kong has under a 'one country, two systems' framework that allows the semi-autonomous city to have its own legal system. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to advance legislation that would require an annual review of Hong Kong's special economic and trade status, providing a potential check on the Chinese government's influence. Geng said Hong Kong is an internal Chinese issue, and that China accepts no interference in its internal affairs. 'We strongly urge the U.S. to ... respect China's sovereignty, stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form and stop promoting the review of relevant Hong Kong-related proposals,' he said.
  • Academy Award-winning Pawel Pawlikowski and other top Polish filmmakers are demanding artistic independence for the nation's most prestigious film festival after a politically charged movie was withdrawn. The filmmakers' guild wants the selection procedure for the ongoing annual Polish Film Festival in Gdynia to become independent from its organizers. These include the Culture Ministry, which tends to promote art in line with the conservative government's policy. The appeal came late Wednesday, after the last-minute withdrawal of a movie inspired by the Amber Gold pyramid scheme that was revealed in 2012, when the current government's opponents were in power. It was one of Poland's biggest financial scandals in which some 19,000 investors lost over 850 million zlotys ($225 million). The 'Solid Gold' movie was generally believed to be harmful to the opposition ahead of Oct. 13 elections, but its producers had it withdrawn after its director, Jacek Bromski, refused to re-edit it. Government-controlled television TVP is among the producers. In reaction, Bromski said he understood that since he 'did not agree for the movie to be used for propaganda purposes ahead of the elections, TVP pressured the main producer to have my movie withdrawn from all planned festival screenings, including those for which tickets had been sold.' Pawlikowski and other filmmakers like Agnieszka Holland and Malgorzata Szumowska demanded that the festival should have an independent artistic director and that movie selection be made independent of the organizing body, in the best interest of Poland's successfully developing cinematography. They threatened to launch a separate festival. 'We would like to believe that truly the best movies are chosen' for the festival, the guild's head, Andrzej Jakimowski, said. 'We would like to believe that the jury is not put under any pressure.' Initiated in the 1970s the festival promotes Poland's cinematography. Its jury awards Golden Lions and Silver Lions to movies it considers best. Its 2019 edition runs through Saturday.
  • Two alleged leaders of a predominantly Christian militia involved in a bitter conflict with Muslim forces in Central African Republic appeared Thursday at the International Criminal Court for a hearing at which prosecutors will seek to persuade judges that there is sufficient evidence to send the suspects to trial. Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona and Alfred Yekatom are suspected of involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity including murder, persecution, torture and use of child soldiers when they were senior leaders in the anti-Balaka militia. Ngaissona, who was chief of his country's soccer federation when he was arrested on an ICC warrant in Paris last year, faces 111 charges and Yekatom, who was turned over to the court in 2018, faces 21 charges. Neither man entered a plea as the pretrial hearing, which is scheduled to last several days, began. Yekatom's lawyer, Mylène Dimitri, argued that her client cannot adequately defend himself because prosecutors are withholding evidence that they have collected in their investigations into the mainly Muslim armed group known as Seleka. Yekatom 'is defending himself in the dark,' Dimitri told the three-judge panel assessing evidence at the hearing. The anti-Balaka group is accused of targeting Muslims in interreligious and intercommunal fighting that erupted in 2013 when predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in Central African Republic's capital, Bangui. The violence left thousands dead and displaced hundreds of thousands more. Central African Republic's government asked the ICC in 2014 to investigate crimes allegedly committed by both the Seleka and the anti-Balaka. So far, no Seleka fighters have been publicly targeted by the court's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.
  • FIFA president Gianni Infantino is raising hopes Iran will lift a ban on women entering soccer stadiums before a World Cup qualifying game next month. Attention on the ban intensified when a 29-year-old activist, Sahar Khodayari, died this month after setting herself on fire. She had been detained for dressing as a man to enter a soccer stadium. Infantino says in a statement 'now is the moment to change things and FIFA is expecting positive developments starting in the next Iran home match.' Iran, the top-ranked team in Asia, hosts Cambodia at the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Oct. 10. Infantino has been urging Iran's government to lift the 40-year ban imposed after the Islamic Revolution. He says: 'Our position is clear and firm. Women have to be allowed into football stadiums in Iran.' FIFA has officials in Iran monitoring preparations at the stadium should the ban be lifted. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
  • Former British Prime Minister John Major accused current leader Boris Johnson of a 'conspicuous' failure to explain why he suspended Parliament for five weeks, as a landmark Brexit case at the Supreme Court came to a head on Thursday. Meanwhile, the European Union and Britain announced new talks on an elusive divorce deal, even as they squabbled over whether or not the U.K. had brought any new ideas to the table. The U.K.'s top court is sitting to decide whether Johnson broke the law by sending lawmakers home just weeks before the U.K. is due to leave the European Union on Oct. 31. The government says the suspension is routine and not motivated by Brexit, and argues that judges should not interfere in politics. Opponents of the government claim Johnson shut Parliament until Oct. 14 to prevent lawmakers scrutinizing his plan to take Britain out of the EU at the end of next month, with or without a divorce deal. They also accuse the prime minister of misleading Queen Elizabeth II, whose formal approval was needed to suspend the legislature. They are being backed by Major, who was prime minister between 1990 and 1997 — and, like Johnson, is a Conservative. Major's lawyer, Edward Garnier, told the court that it was an 'inescapable' conclusion that Johnson had shut down the legislature to stop lawmakers blocking his Brexit plans. A written submission on behalf of Major said Johnson had failed to provide a sworn statement explaining the reasons for suspending Parliament, and argued that 'his failure or refusal to do so is conspicuous.' Major said the inescapable conclusion was that 'the decision was in fact substantially motivated by a desire to obstruct Parliament from interfering with the prime minister's plans.' The three-day hearing ends Thursday, but 11 Supreme Court justices are unlikely to give their judgment before Friday at the earliest. If the court rules that the suspension was illegal, Johnson could be forced to call lawmakers back to Parliament. It would be a new blow for Johnson, who is battling to fulfil his pledge to lead Britain out of the EU on the scheduled date of Oct. 31 come what may. Johnson insists he is working hard to get an agreement with the EU that will ensure a smooth departure. EU leaders are skeptical of that claim, saying the U.K. has not produced any concrete proposals. Finland's Prime Minister Antti Rinne warned that 'it's all over' if Britain didn't come up with solid new Brexit proposals by the end of the month. 'If the U.K. wants to discuss alternatives to the existing exit agreement, then these must be presented before the end of the month,' Rinne said after meeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Wednesday. Finland currently holds the rotating presidency of the 28-nation bloc. Britain says it has not revealed detailed proposals because they would likely leak, to the detriment of negotiations. But the government insisted Thursday it has sent 'confidential technical non-papers which reflect the ideas the U.K. has been putting forward.' Non-papers are documents intended for discussion, rather than formal proposals. The British government said in a statement it would not meet an 'artificial deadline' but would make formal submissions 'when we are ready.' The EU confirmed it has received new documents from Britain relating to ways of maintaining an open border between EU member Ireland and the U.K.'s Northern Ireland — the key sticking point to a deal. European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said the two sides would hold 'technical discussions' on Thursday, followed by a meeting between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Britain's chief Brexit minister Steve Barclay on Friday. Barclay insisted that the six weeks until Oct. 31 were 'sufficient for a deal' if both sides provided 'creative and flexible solutions.' 'A rigid approach now at this point is no way to progress a deal and the responsibility sits with both sides to find a solution,' he said during a visit to Madrid. ___ Samuel Petrequin in Brussels, Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen and Jari Tanner in Tallinn, Estonia contributed to this story. ___ Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and British politics at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit
  • The Latest on tensions in the Persian Gulf (all times local): 4:05 p.m. The United Nations says its panel of experts on Yemen have arrived in Saudi Arabia to investigate an attack on the kingdom's oil facilities. U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq acknowledged their arrival in a statement to journalists Thursday. He said the inspectors had 'started their mission, undertaken at the invitation of the Saudi authorities.' He did not elaborate. ___ 3:30 p.m. Iraq's Foreign Ministry spokesman says it will not join a U.S.-led coalition to protect waterways across the Mideast after an attack on Saudi oil installations. Ahmad al-Sahhaf says Gulf security is the responsibility of Gulf countries. In a statement Thursday, he said Iraq rejects Israel's participation in the coalition. The U.S. formed the coalition after attacks on oil tankers that American officials blame on Iran, as well as Iran's seizure of tankers in the region. Israeli media quoted an Israeli official in August saying the country had joined the coalition, but the only publicly pledged countries recognized by the U.S. are Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the U.K. and the United Arab Emirates. Iraq, which is allied with both Iran and the U.S., has tried to keep a neutral stance amid the tensions. ___ 2:40 p.m. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is warning that any U.S. or Saudi military strike on Iran will result in 'all-out war.' Zarif made the comment in an interview published by CNN Thursday. It comes after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called an attack on Saudi oil installations an 'act of war.' The U.S. accuses Iran of being behind the attack. Iran denies that. Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have claimed the attack, saying it is over the yearslong Saudi-led war there that's killed tens of thousands of people. However, experts told The Associated Press the cruise missiles used in the assault did not have the range to have been launched from Yemen and reach their targets. ___ 12:50 p.m. Saudi Arabia's ambassador to German says his country has not ruled out any options in response to the recent attacks on its oil infrastructure. Prince Faisal bin Farhan told Deutschlandfunk radio Thursday it's not yet clear where the attacks originated but 'Iran is definitely behind them.' Asked whether military retaliation was being considered, he said 'everything is on the table.' He says his country's ultimate response to the oil attacks would also depend on the international community. He says the situation could deescalate if Iran can be convinced 'something like this is not acceptable.' ___ 11:55 a.m. France's top diplomat is expressing doubt at claims by Yemen's rebel Houthis that they are responsible for recent drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday on CNews television that the claims are 'not very credible.' He would not speculate on who was responsible, but reiterated that France sent its own experts to Saudi Arabia to investigate what happened. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia suspect Iran was behind Saturday's attack on the world's largest oil processing facility and a major oil field. Le Drian urged Iran to respect its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and 'come back to the table' to restore calm in the increasingly tense Persian Gulf region. He said France is talking to 'everyone in the region' as it pushes for a diplomatic solution instead of a new military conflict. ___ 9:20 a.m. The United Arab Emirates says it has joined a U.S.-led coalition to protect waterways across the Mideast after an attack on Saudi oil installations. The state-run WAM news agency announced the UAE's decision in a statement Thursday. It quoted Salem al-Zaabi of the Emirati Foreign Ministry as saying the UAE joined the coalition to 'ensure global energy security and the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy.' Saudi Arabia joined the coalition on Wednesday. Australia, Bahrain and the United Kingdom also are taking part. The U.S. formed the coalition after attacks on oil tankers that American officials blame on Iran, as well as Iran's seizure of tankers in the region. Iran denies being behind the tanker explosions. The Saudi oil installation attack Saturday has further heightened Mideast tensions.