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    Authorities in the Spanish city of Melilla say that around 200 migrants have tried to climb a barrier separating the European country's north African enclave from Morocco. The local office of the Spanish government's representative said Friday that one migrant suffered a fractured leg while six Spanish police were injured when around 50 migrants managed to scale the security fence surrounding the coastal city. The other 150 were repelled by Spanish and Moroccan border guards. The migrants who reached Spanish soil were taken to a holding center, where they can ask for asylum while authorities start procedures to return them to their countries of origin. Spain has become the leading entry point for migrants to Europe. Most cross the Mediterranean Sea in small boats unfit for open waters.
  • A strong earthquake has hit near the Greek capital of Athens, causing residents to run into the streets in fear. The Athens Institute of Geodynamics gave the earthquake a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 but the U.S. Geological Survey gave it a preliminary magnitude of 5.3. The Athens Institute says the quake struck at 2:13 p.m. local time (1113 GMT) about 26 kilometers (13.7 miles) north of Athens. The shock was caught live in the studios of state broadcaster ERT. Authorities say there was no immediate word on injuries or damages. The quake sparked limited power cuts around Athens and the fire brigade reported receiving calls about people being trapped in building elevators.
  • The IOC says top-tier sponsor Alibaba will run ticketing services for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, putting the Chinese online retail giant in line to do the same for future hosts Paris and Los Angeles. The International Olympic Committee says the Beijing contract to sell tickets worldwide 'will harness Alibaba's technological and data expertise.' It also shapes as a trial to establish the Chinese firm as ticket provider during a sponsorship which initially runs through the 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles Summer Games. The IOC says it wants 'a single provider ... over several Games editions' to cut costs and be simpler than each games organizing committee in turn running its own system. The Olympic body notes that Alibaba owns Damai 'one of China's largest ticketing platforms.' ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Investigators on Friday returned to the skeletonized building where a man raging about theft set a fire that gutted an animation production studio, killed 33 people and crushed the hearts of comic fans in Japan and beyond. Witness accounts and reports suggested the man had a grudge against Kyoto Animation, but police have not discussed the alleged motive of the suspect, a 41-year-old man who did not work for the studio. The man told police that he set the fire 'because (Kyoto Animation) stole novels,' according to Japanese media, though it was not known if he had any contact with the studio. The company founded in 1981 and better known as KyoAni made mega-hit anime series about high school girls and trained aspirants to the craft. The shocking attack drew an outpouring of grief for the dead and injured, most of them workers at the studio. Construction worker Takumi Yoshida, 23, liked many of the studio's works. 'I am shocked and I'm sure for their families it must be very difficult. So with those feelings in my mind, I brought flowers,' Yoshida said. Anime fan and university student Yuki Seki took a day trip to Kyoto after hearing the news. 'After properly recovering while taking their time, I hope Kyoto Animation can once again share their power and energy with us.' On Thursday morning, about 70 employees were inside the three-story Kyoto Animation No. 1 studio in southern Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital. The arsonist arrived carrying two containers with flammable liquid he was believed to have purchased on the way; shouting 'You die!' he entered the studio's unlocked front door, dumped the liquid and set it on fire with a lighter, according to officials and media reports. Police have secured the gasoline tanks, as well as a knapsack containing knives, though it's not known if those items were the attacker's. The blaze blocked the front door and quickly engulfed the workspace, rising up the stairs to the third floor, sending panicked employees fleeing, some crawling out the windows. The man fled, too, but was chased by studio employees who eventually caught him. He collapsed to the ground outside a house and was quickly surrounded by police. 'They are always stealing. It's their fault,' he told policemen bending over and asking him why he set the fire, according to a witness who described the scene outside her house. The man complained bitterly about something that had been stolen from him, the witness told NHK and other networks. The suspect was considered a troublemaker by neighbors of the apartment believed to be his in Saitama, north of Tokyo. A neighbor knocked on the man's door earlier this month to ask him to stop banging on the walls, but he was instead yelled at, 'I will kill you,' according to TBS network. The neighbor alleged the man pulled his hair and grabbed him by the chest. Thirty-six people were injured in the fire, some critically. The suspect was also injured and remained hospitalized Friday. Kyoto Animation's hits include 'Lucky Star' of 2008, 'K-On!' in 2011 and 'Haruhi Suzumiya' in 2009. It has an upcoming feature film, 'Violet Evergarden,' about a woman who professionally writes letters for clients. It's also done secondary animation work on a 1998 'Pokemon' feature that appeared in U.S. theaters and a 'Winnie the Pooh' video. ___ Yamaguchi reported from Tokyo. ___ Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi
  • The Latest on Britain's impending departure from the European Union (all times local): 12:45 p.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she trusts that Britain will 'find its way' on Brexit under a new prime minister, but isn't saying whether she advocates a further delay to its exit from the European Union or a new referendum. Merkel said at her annual summer news conference Friday in Berlin that a declaration on future relations between Britain and the EU could be refined. But she indicated no readiness to budge on the basic divorce deal that the British Parliament has rejected three times, saying 'the withdrawal agreement is the withdrawal agreement.' She also defended an arrangement intended to keep an open Irish border after Brexit, which both British leadership candidates want to ditch. Asked whether she favors another British referendum on its EU membership, Merkel said she won't interfere. She added: 'I trust very firmly that Britain will find its way. It is a proud, great nation and it will remain our partner even if Britain is no longer a member of the European Union.' ___ 10 a.m. British lawmakers were meeting with the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, seeking an iron-clad guarantee that the 1.3 million U.K. citizens in the bloc won't have their rights removed and their lives disrupted if Britain leaves the EU without a deal. The rights of U.K. citizens living in the 27 other EU nations, and of the more than 3 million EU citizens in Britain, are one of the thorniest issues of the Brexit negotiations. Their rights to live, work and study are protected under an agreement struck between the two sides — but the divorce agreement has been rejected by Britain's Parliament, raising the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. The U.K. is due to leave the bloc on Oct. 31, and both men vying to take over as prime minister next week, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, say it's imperative that Brexit happens, with or without a deal. Conservative lawmaker Alberto Costa, who is leading the cross-party delegation meeting EU negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels, said 'If there's no agreement, there's no protection.' ___ Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and the Conservative Party leadership race at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit
  • AB Inbev, the world's biggest brewer with brands like Budweiser and Corona, is selling its unit in Australia to reduce debt after it decided against listing shares in Asia. The company said Friday that it is selling Carlton & United Breweries for $16 billion AUD ($11.3 billion) to Japanese rival Asahi Group. AB Inbev, which is based in Belgium, said it will use almost all the money from the deal to pay down debt. The company has accrued high debt after going on an acquisition spree, including buying Anheuser-Busch in 2008 and its next closest rival, SABMiller, in 2015. The company had planned to list some shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange but said this month it no longer plans to do so due to tough market conditions.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's comments about Democratic lawmakers of color, saying they run counter to what she considers 'the strength of America' and expressing solidarity with the women. Merkel was asked at her annual summer news conference whether there she still sees a basis of common values with Trump after he said the congresswomen should 'go back' to their own countries if they don't like America. All of the congresswomen are Americans, and three of them were born in the United States. 'People of very different nationalities have contributed to the strength of the American people, so these are ... comments that very much run counter to this firm impression that I have,' said Merkel. 'This is something that contradicts the strength of America.' Pressed later on whether she feels solidarity with the congresswomen, she replied: 'Yes. I distance myself firmly from this and feel solidarity with the three women who were attacked.' Trump actually targeted four freshman Democratic lawmakers — Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley. Merkel, a strong advocate of a multilateral approach to world affairs who took a welcoming approach to an influx of refugees and other migrants in 2015, has had a cool relationship with Trump.
  • Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee who will question former special counsel Robert Mueller next week plan to focus on a narrow set of episodes laid out in his report, an effort to direct Americans' attention to what they see as the most egregious examples of President Donald Trump's conduct. The examples from the Mueller report include Trump's directions to White House counsel Donald McGahn to have Mueller removed and, later, orders from Trump to McGahn to deny that happened. Democrats also will focus questioning on a series of meetings Trump had with former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in which the Republican president directed Lewandowski to persuade then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit Mueller's investigation. Mueller laid out several episodes in which Trump tried to influence his investigation and wrote that he could not exonerate the president on obstruction of justice. Democratic aides say they believe the McGahn and Lewandowski narratives, explained in detail in the 448-page report, are clear examples of such obstruction and will be easy to understand as lawmakers try to educate the American public on a report that they believe most people haven't read. The aides requested anonymity to freely discuss members' plans for questioning. The House Judiciary and intelligence committees will question Mueller in back-to-back hearings July 24. The testimony had been scheduled for July 17 but was delayed . Time will be extremely limited under an agreement with Mueller, who is a reluctant witness and has said he will stick to the contents of the report. To effectively highlight what they see as the most damaging parts of the report, lawmakers said Thursday that they will have to do something that members of Congress aren't used to doing: limit the long speeches and cut to the chase. 'Members just need to focus,' said Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democratic member of the intelligence panel. 'Nobody's watching them. Keep it short, keep focused, listen to each other, work together. Make this as productive as possible.' Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat on the Judiciary panel, said: 'You will find little or no editorializing or speechifying by the members. This is all about allowing special counsel Mueller to speak.' Lawmakers on the Judiciary panel said that they have been working with committee staff on which members will ask what. The staff wants to make sure that they ask targeted questions, such as on Trump's directions to McGahn and Lewandowski. 'It's going to be fairly scripted,' said Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, another Democrat on the Judiciary panel. 'The main goal is to get Robert Mueller to say what Robert Mueller wrote in the Mueller report. And then get it on national TV, so people can hear him saying it.' The Judiciary Committee aides said that they want lawmakers to take multiple pieces of information in Mueller's report and connect the dots for viewers. Besides the episodes with McGahn and Lewandowski, they said lawmakers also will focus on the president's conduct toward his former lawyer Michael Cohen and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort. The report looks at how Trump praised both men when he perceived they were on his side, contacting Cohen to tell him to 'stay strong' and publicly praising Manafort for 'refusing to break.' There also were subtle hints that he could pardon each. Cohen eventually started cooperating with the government, and Trump then publicly called him a 'rat' and suggested his family members had committed crimes. The House intelligence panel, which has fewer members, is expected to focus on the first volume of Mueller's report, which details multiple contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia. Mueller found that there was not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy between the two. House intelligence committee aides, who also declined to be identified to discuss the confidential preparations, said that lawmakers on that panel are expected to focus on those contacts and on what the report says about WikiLeaks, the website that released Democratic emails stolen by the Russians. As the Democrats methodically work through the highlights of the report, it could start to feel a bit like a class: Mueller 101. Raskin, a longtime constitutional law professor, says he plans to use some visual aids, like posters, to help people better understand what Mueller wrote. 'We have different kinds of learners out there,' Raskin said. 'And we want people to learn, both in an auditory way but also in a visual way, about these dramatic events that Mueller will be discussing.' Republicans are preparing as well and are expected to focus more on Mueller's conclusions — that there isn't enough evidence of a conspiracy and no charges on obstruction — than the individual episodes detailed. The top Republican on the Judiciary panel, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, said his members will be asking questions that aim to confirm what is in the report. But while the Democrats are eagerly anticipating the opportunity, many of the Republicans are weary. 'Frankly the American people have moved on,' Collins said. They 'want to get it behind us.
  • China urged Washington on Friday to 'correct' sanctions imposed on Chinese companies accused of helping Iran acquire materials for its nuclear program. U.S. pressure on Iran and its 'long-arm jurisdiction' against companies in third countries is the 'root cause' of tension with Tehran, a foreign ministry spokesman said. 'China has consistently and resolutely opposed the United States imposing unilateral sanctions and so-called long-armed jurisdiction over other countries, including China,' said the spokesman, Geng Shuang. 'We urge the United States to immediately correct this wrong approach and earnestly respect the legitimate rights and interests of all parties,' The U.S. Treasury said Thursday it had imposed sanctions on what it called a network of front companies and agents. It said they are based in Iran, China and Belgium. The Treasury gave no details but said the purchases violated U.N. restrictions on materials that can be used for nuclear programs. Geng said Beijing opposes nuclear proliferation but rejects Washington's unilateral sanctions. 'We resolutely oppose any form of proliferation activities, always strictly implement relevant international obligations and stay committed to international cooperation on non-proliferation,' Geng said.
  • Former South African president Jacob Zuma has abandoned his testimony to a state commission probing graft allegations against him, asserting that he is being treated unfairly. The commission is probing wide-ranging allegations of graft in government and state-owned companies. His lawyers said Friday that Zuma, who denies the allegations, will no longer participate. Zuma was president from 2009 to 2018, when he resigned under pressure from his ruling African National Congress party and was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa. Zuma began his testimony this week by calling the allegations part of an international intelligence conspiracy that began more than 25 years ago to assassinate his character. He has been questioned about his close relationship with the wealthy Gupta family and allegations that they exerted influence over cabinet appointments and state contracts.