FEMA estimates 25 percent of Florida Keys homes are gone
LOWER MATECUMBE KEY, Fla. (AP) — With 25 percent of the homes in the Florida Keys feared destroyed, emergency workers Tuesday rushed to find Hurricane Irma's victims — dead or alive — and deliver food and water to the stricken island chain.
As crews labored to repair the lone highway connecting the Keys, residents of some of the islands closest to Florida's mainland were allowed to return and get their first look at the devastation.
"It's going to be pretty hard for those coming home," said Petrona Hernandez, whose concrete home on Plantation Key with 35-foot walls was unscathed, unlike others a few blocks away. "It's going to be devastating to them."
But because of disrupted phone service and other damage, the full extent of the destruction was still a question mark, more than two days after Irma roared into the Keys with 130 mph (209 kph) winds.
Elsewhere in Florida, life inched closer to normal, with some flights again taking off, many curfews lifted and major theme parks reopening. Cruise ships that extended their voyages and rode out the storm at sea began returning to port with thousands of passengers.
First look: Apple's luxury iPhone both copies and innovates
CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — As soon as you see the iPhone X up close, you'll realize that it's nothing like any of the previous models that Apple has released during the past decade.
But you might notice striking similarities with some of the sleek smartphones that Samsung, Google and others have been churning out during the past year or two.
Like its rivals, Apple has finally gotten around to making a phone with an edge-to-edge display, a nod to consumers' desire for more space to view their photos, watch movies and TV shows, read books and play games.
In that sense, Apple is playing a game of catch-up with the iPhone X — a name that refers to the Roman numeral for "10." But the device still manages to live up to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' mandate to "think different."
The iPhone X comes with what appears to be sophisticated facial recognition. On a basic level, that allows its owner to unlock the phone with a quick glance. But it also opens the door for a menagerie of emojis that can be controlled and manipulated with facial expressions and voice.
10 Things to Know for Wednesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday:
1. IRMA DEALT HARSH BLOW TO FLORIDA KEYS
Search-and-rescue teams make their way to the Keys' farthest reaches as federal officials estimate one-quarter of all homes on the islands were destroyed.
2. 'ONE MORE THING'
With a phrase paying homage to Steve Jobs, CEO Tim Cook unveils Apple's latest — and, at $999, its most expensive — new version of the device, the iPhone X.
Suicide of teen who made sex video shows dilemma for schools
CHICAGO (AP) — Staff at a suburban Chicago high school called 16-year-old Corey Walgren to the dean's office to ask about a video he made of himself having sex with a classmate. A few hours later, the teen walked to the top of a five-story parking deck and jumped.
The suicide of the honor-roll student underscored a dilemma for schools when confronting students suspected of recording and sharing sexual images: Should school officials wait until parents arrive to pose questions and search cellphones for illicit photos or video? Or do they, as de facto parents, have the authority to investigate crimes that might include child pornography?
The issue also raises a high-stakes legal question because many child porn laws predate the phenomena of teens sharing sexual images by cellphone. And neither they nor their parents usually have any idea that doing so can trigger serious penalties, including being labeled a sex offender for life.
"It's not that big a deal until it happens to your school," said Joshua Herman, a lawyer who represents schools across Illinois. "Then it's a nightmare."
Police reports, court filings, witness accounts, emails and other documents obtained by The Associated Press offer an inside look at how Naperville North High School and police responded in the hours before Walgren's death in January.
Roaring 20: Indians tie AL record with 20th straight win
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians share a record with a team celebrated by Hollywood.
"Moneyball" has its sequel.
Following a familiar script of scoring first, playing strong defense and riding dominant pitching, the Indians extended their winning streak to 20 games and matched the AL mark held by the 2002 Oakland Athletics, beating the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Cleveland's streak, which began on Aug. 24 in Boston, is tied for the majors' second-longest in 82 years — and the Indians show no signs of stopping.
Corey Kluber (16-4) strengthened his Cy Young Award case with a four-hitter as Cleveland joined the 2002 A's, 1935 Chicago Cubs (21) and 1916 New York Giants (26) as the only teams to win at least 20 in a row.
Senate GOP struggles with deficit in work on budget, taxes
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are struggling with how many billions of dollars President Donald Trump's tax code overhaul will add to the deficit as they work on a GOP budget plan that's a prerequisite to any far-reaching change in the nation's tax system.
Trump had dinner Tuesday with a group of Republican and Democratic senators to talk taxes, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP members of the Budget Committee met with two top Trump administration officials to make progress on forging the budget plan, which is required to stave off potential Democratic blocking tactics and pass the subsequent tax bill with just GOP votes.
The as-yet-undrafted bill to overhaul the tax code is the top priority for Trump and Republicans after the collapse of their effort to dismantle Barack Obama's health care law. Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with McConnell, R-Ky., and budget panel members.
"From my standpoint, let's set ourselves up for success on tax reform," Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., a member of the committee, said before the meeting.
The meeting ended in late afternoon without specific proposed numbers for the size of the budget coming forward. Not wanting to show disappointment, participants stressed that it was intended to be preliminary.
Bernie Sanders' health care plan puts Democrats on the spot
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders rode his impassioned liberal army of supporters through a tumultuous 2016, fighting to snatch the Democratic presidential nomination from Hillary Clinton. Now he's disrupting the party anew, forcing Democrats to take sides over his plan to provide government-financed health care for all.
The Vermont independent's proposal, which he plans to unveil Wednesday, is thrilling the party's progressive base and attracting many potential 2020 presidential hopefuls eager to align those activists behind them. Yet Democratic leaders are stopping short of embracing it, and others are warning it's a political and policy trap.
Meanwhile, the so-called single-payer bill has Republicans gleefully anticipating wielding it as a campaign weapon, particularly against the 10 Democrats defending Senate seats in states President Donald Trump won last year and where liberal voters are scarce.
"I'm not seeing any evidence single payer is attractive to the swing voters Democrats would need to win control of the House and Senate," said Jim Hobart, a GOP political consultant. Using it against Democrats will be "a very inviting attack line," he said.
Sanders evolved last year from a fringe senator to a major force commanding loyalty from progressive Democratic voters, activists and contributors. He could still seek the presidency in 2020, when he'd be 79. Clinton, in her new book, accuses him of inflicting lasting damage that hurt her chances of defeating Republican Donald Trump.
Rebel Wilson awarded millions in Australia defamation case
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A judge has awarded Rebel Wilson 4.56 million Australian dollars ($3.66 million) in damages over magazine articles she said cost her roles in Hollywood films.
A jury in Australia's Victoria state had decided in June the articles claiming she lied about her age, origins of her first name and her upbringing in Sydney were defamatory.
Justice John Dixon said Wednesday a substantial award amount was required to "vindicate" Wilson after her reputation as an "actress of integrity was wrongly damaged."
Bauer Media is publisher of the Australian magazines Woman's Day, Australian Women's Weekly, NW and OK. Bauer said it was considering the judgment.
The 37-year-old Wilson, best known for the comedies "Pitch Perfect" and "Bridesmaids," did not attend court on Wednesday.
Justices allow Trump administration ban on most refugees
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees.
The justices on Tuesday agreed to an administration request to block a lower court ruling that would have eased the refugee ban and allowed up to 24,000 refugees to enter the country before the end of October.
The order was not the court's last word on the travel policy that President Donald Trump first rolled out in January. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments on Oct. 10 on the legality of the bans on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries and refugees anywhere in the world.
It's unclear, though, what will be left for the court to decide. The 90-day travel ban lapses in late September and the 120-day refugee ban will expire a month later.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday night: "We are pleased that the Supreme Court has allowed key components of the order to remain in effect. We will continue to vigorously defend the order leading up to next month's oral argument in the Supreme Court."
Edith Windsor, who helped end gay marriage ban, dies at 88
NEW YORK (AP) — Edith Windsor, a gay rights pioneer whose landmark Supreme Court case struck down parts of a federal anti-gay-marriage law and paved a path toward legalizing same-sex nuptials nationwide, died Tuesday. She was 88.
Windsor died in New York, said her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan. The cause of death wasn't given, but Windsor had struggled with heart issues for years.
Former President Barack Obama called her one of the "quiet heroes" whose persistence had furthered the cause of equality.
"Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor — and few made as big a difference to America," the Democrat said in a statement Tuesday, adding that he had spoken to her a few days earlier.
Windsor already was 81 when she brought a lawsuit that proved to be a turning point for gay rights. The impetus was the 2009 death of her first spouse, Thea Spyer. The women had married legally in Canada in 2007 after spending more than 40 years together.