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    A Boston-based consumer watchdog group is issuing its annual summer safety report flagging toys it says pose a danger to children. World Against Toys Causing Harm — better known by its acronym, W.A.T.C.H. — says its latest report will highlight 'warm weather recreational products and hazards that parents should avoid.' W.A.T.C.H.'s 2018 warnings are set to be made public Thursday morning at Franciscan Children's Hospital in the city's Brighton neighborhood. The group says more than 2.5 million American children are injured each summer. It says many of those accidents are preventable. Last summer, the organization singled out fidget spinners — those popular plastic and metal toys that users spin around a finger — saying they pose a choking hazard.
  • Hundreds of family members were waiting in desperation at a small port on Indonesia's Lake Toba for news of missing relatives as the search for more than 190 people unaccounted for after a ferry sinking entered its fourth day. Separately, Indonesia's President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo called for an overhaul of safety standards for passenger boats in response to what is likely the worst sinking in the archipelago nation in more than a decade. Only 18 passengers were rescued and four confirmed dead since the overcrowded ferry sank early Monday evening in waters said to be up to 500 meters (1,640 feet) deep. No more bodies had been recovered as of midmorning Thursday.
  • Peter Fonda apologized Wednesday for a late-night Twitter rant in which he suggested 12-year-old Barron Trump should be ripped from 'his mother's arms and put in a cage with pedophiles.' The all-capitals tweet in the wee hours went on to call President Donald Trump an expletive. The actor later deleted the tweet and drew sharp rebukes from first lady Melania Trump and Donald Trump Jr. The two-time Oscar nominee, brother of Jane Fonda and son of Hollywood legend Henry Fonda said in a statement hours later that he was upset over children separated from their parents on the U.S.-Mexico border. 'I tweeted something highly inappropriate and vulgar about the president and his family in response to the devastating images I was seeing on television,' Fonda said in the statement, released by both his manager and his publicist. 'Like many Americans, I am very impassioned and distraught over the situation with children separated from their families at the border, but I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it. I immediately regretted it and sincerely apologize to the family for what I said and any hurt my words have caused.' In another tweet, Fonda suggested people opposed to the border policy should track down the addresses of federal agents and 'surround their homes in protest,' adding: 'We should find out what schools their children go to and surround the schools in protest.' Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman, said via email regarding the Barron remarks: 'The tweet is sick and irresponsible.' She said the U.S. Secret Service was notified. A spokesman for the agency said via email the Secret Service is aware of Fonda's tweets but 'as a matter of practice' would have no additional comment. Donald Trump Jr., meanwhile, did some tweeting of his own, addressing Fonda: 'You're clearly a sick individual' who behaved 'like a bully and a coward.' Trump Jr. called on Sony Pictures Classics to stop the release of its film 'Boundaries,' in which Fonda has a small role. The company condemned Fonda's tweets as 'abhorrent' but said the film would be released as planned. ___ Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.
  • Florida's busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement Thursday at Orlando International Airport alarms some privacy advocates who say there are no formal rules in place for handling data gleaned from the scans, nor formal guidelines on what should happen if a passenger is wrongly prevented from boarding. Airports in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and Washington already use face scans for some departing international flights, but they don't involve all international travelers at the airports like the program's expansion in Orlando would. The image from the face scan is compared to a Department of Homeland Security biometric database that has images of people who should be on the flight, in order to verify the traveler's identity. U.S. citizens at these airports can opt out, but the agency 'doesn't seem to be doing an adequate job letting Americans know they can opt out,' said Harrison Rudolph, an associate at the Center on Privacy & Technology at the Georgetown University Law Center. U.S. citizens at the Orlando airport will be able to opt out just like at the other airports if they don't want to provide their photograph, Jennifer Gabris, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in an email. However, a notice about a possible rule change for the program states that 'U.S. citizens may be required to provide photographs upon entering or departing the United States.' The Orlando announcement marks a step up in the scope of the face scan program, Rudolph said. 'We're not talking about one gate,' he said. 'We're talking about every international departure gate, which is a huge expansion of the number of people who will be scanned. Errors tend to go up as uses go up.' Orlando International Airport had about 6 million international passengers in the past year. Rudolph said he has concerns about the face scans' accuracy, since some research shows they are less accurate with racial minorities, women and children. Researchers say this is because photos used to train the face-scanning software underrepresent minorities, women and young people. Two U.S. senators last month sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, which is home to the border protection agency, urging that formal rules be implemented before the program is expanded. 'It will also ensure a full vetting of this potentially sweeping program that could impact every American leaving the country by airport,' said the letter from U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. and U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.
  • Giancarlo Stanton lined a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees erased a five-run deficit to beat the Seattle Mariners 7-5 on Wednesday night. Gary Sanchez tied the score with a two-run homer in the eighth, and the Yankees went on to complete their largest comeback victory of the season. Didi Gregorius singled with two outs in the ninth and Stanton hammered an 0-2 breaking ball from reliever Ryan Cook (1-1). The slugger knew it was gone the moment he connected, and he took a little jump at home plate and pumped his arm before tossing his bat aside and circling the bases. The drive traveled a projected 453 feet to left-center for Stanton's first walk-off homer with the Yankees — his previous one came in April 2014 for the Marlins (also vs. Seattle). He was mobbed by teammates and doused as he crossed the plate, throwing his helmet into the air and smiling from ear to ear. 'I'm not worried about my personal signature moment,' Stanton said. 'Just happy to be able to get it for us.' New York is a season-high 27 games above .500 with the majors' best record at 49-22. The Yankees have won nine of 11 against Seattle (46-28) and will try for a three-game series sweep Thursday afternoon. 'Until the game is over, we've got a chance. It showed tonight,' Stanton said. Aroldis Chapman (3-0) pitched a perfect inning for the win. The Mariners have lost three straight for the first time since April 17-19 against the World Series champion Astros. Seattle starter Felix Hernandez lasted five innings and 95 pitches. He was charged with two runs, one earned, and six hits. Sanchez drove Alex Colome's cutter 439 feet off the back wall of the left-center bullpen, knotting the score at 5. Dee Gordon had two RBIs for the Mariners. Denard Span and Ryon Healy each drove home a run in the fifth, extending Seattle's advantage to 5-0. Yankees rookie Jonathan Loaisiga, making his second major league start in place of injured Masahiro Tanaka, allowed three runs on six hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. New York broke through in the fifth with two outs and runners on first and second. Aaron Judge hit a broken-bat single to left, scoring Miguel Andujar. Aaron Hicks also came home when Span bobbled the ball. Gregorius' sacrifice fly in the seventh made it 5-3. SAYING GOODBYE A moment of silence was held before the game for Billy Connors, a three-time Yankees pitching coach and confidant of late owner George Steinbrenner. Connors died Saturday, the team said. He was 76. Connors also served as vice president of player personnel from 1996 to 2012. TRAINER'S ROOM Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (right shoulder surgery) remains in Arizona, where his first rehab start was pushed back due to soreness. He was scheduled to play catch Wednesday. ... OF Guillermo Heredia was not in the starting lineup after batting just .122 this month, but entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh. 'G is struggling a bit lately,' manager Scott Servais said. 'Also, extra left-handed hitter in this ballpark (is) not a bad thing.' Yankees: OF Brett Gardner (swollen right knee) ran and took batting practice before the game. He has not played since Saturday. 'Feeling optimistic that it's not going to be a DL thing,' manager Aaron Boone said. ... Tanaka (two strained hamstrings) played catch and rode an exercise bike. ... Jacoby Ellsbury is in Florida and might be getting close to resuming baseball activities, according to Boone. The outfielder has been sidelined all season by a string of injuries, including a strained right oblique, sore back, sore left hip and plantar fasciitis in his right heel. UP NEXT Mariners: LHP James Paxton (6-1, 3.44 ERA) starts the series finale. He is 5-0 with a 2.55 ERA since the beginning of May, a span of nine starts that included a no-hitter in Toronto. Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (10-2, 2.09) threw eight scoreless innings Saturday against Tampa Bay, becoming the first Yankees pitcher with 10 wins before the All-Star break since Tanaka in 2014. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Now that he's no longer an active player, maybe Ichiro Suzuki wants to start swinging for the fences. How about at next month's Home Run Derby during All-Star festivities in Washington? What began as light-hearted banter among Seattle Mariners coaches grew into something that caused a stir in the clubhouse before Wednesday night's game against the New York Yankees. 'He's got power and he's been launching balls into the seats,' Mariners manager Scott Servais said. 'A couple of coaches said the other day, 'You know, no one wants to do this Home Run Derby. Why don't we just send Ichiro? He'd be awesome.'' The idea gained momentum when Servais mentioned it on a radio show Wednesday, and suddenly a new Twitter hashtag was born — #IchiForDC. Not officially retired but unlikely to appear in another major league game, the Japanese-born Suzuki shifted to a new role with Seattle as special assistant to the chairman in early May after batting .205 in 15 games this season. The 44-year-old travels with the team and is in uniform for games, helping out with batting practice and other drills while keeping a locker in the clubhouse. Even though he's still in game shape, Suzuki didn't seem to be entertaining the idea of throwing his hat in the ring for the annual power contest. 'I'm not a player (anymore) and just the long, great history that MLB has, I don't think it would be good for it,' Suzuki said through a translator. 'But I think it's fun and I'm happy that it's come up.' Servais was happy the concept was being discussed, even if it was nothing more than a joke. 'This is really good because he's been giving me a hard time so I'm really glad to throw this back in his lap,' he said with a grin. Suzuki, the 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year, found humor in the situation — but promised revenge on Servais. 'It's the funniest thing he's said this first half of the year,' Suzuki said. 'I'm definitely going to get him back. I'm going to continue to get him.' Suzuki has 3,089 big league hits, but only 117 of those were home runs. Despite reaching double-digit homers in just three of his 18 major league seasons, Suzuki often displayed surprising power in batting practice and it was widely believed he could have clubbed a lot more over the fence if he tried. But the 10-time All-Star maintained his unorthodox, slashing swing throughout his career, leading the league in hits seven times. 'Right now I'm eating two hamburgers at lunch, and now that this Home Run Derby thing came up I'll have to up it to three cheeseburgers for lunch, get some more power,' he quipped. If Suzuki did try his hand against some of the game's top sluggers in the nation's capital, however, he knows who he'd want pitching to him. 'Mark Buehrle,' he said, after a long, contemplative pause. Suzuki was 27 for 66 (.409) against the left-hander, who won 214 games over 16 seasons. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch might want to consider giving Jose Altuve more days off. A night after he was out of the starting lineup for the first time all season, the 2017 American League MVP homered twice, including the last of three straight by the Astros in the sixth inning, to lift Houston to a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night. Altuve, who pinch-hit in the ninth inning on Tuesday night, said getting a little break gave him a chance to regroup. 'It felt good. It's always good to sit down and think about how you feel,' he said. 'And I came back strong today.' The game was tied in the bottom of the sixth when George Springer's 15th homer this season made it 2-1. Two pitches later Alex Bregman sent an 87 mph slider from Rays' starter Nathan Eovaldi (1-3) into the seats in left field for his 11th home run. But the Astros weren't done yet, as Altuve put one on the train tracks atop left field for the second time on Wednesday night to push the lead to 4-1. It was the first time the Astros had hit three home runs in a row since May 2, 2008 when Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee did it against the Milwaukee Brewers. Altuve got a little amped up after seeing the balls by Springer and Bregman leave the yard, and once he got in a hitter's count he was looking for a ball to drive. 'There was a lot going on in that inning and I got a little excited,' he said. It was a welcome display of power for a team which managed just five singles in a 2-1 loss to the Rays on Tuesday night that snapped Houston's 12-game winning streak. Wednesday night's win made the Astros the first team to reach 50 victories this season. 'It was a pretty electrifying crowd after three home runs one after another after another,' manager A.J. Hinch said. 'Obviously, it was a huge inning for us. What energy that got put back into the building and also our team. Pretty impressive.' Houston starter Charlie Morton (9-1) allowed just two hits and one unearned run in six innings for the win. Eovaldi, who grew up in suburban Houston, entered the game 1-0 with a 2.52 ERA in four career starts against the Astros. But he allowed seven hits and four runs in six innings for his third straight loss. 'It's just a matter of time before that offense gets you,' manager Kevin Cash said. 'He was efficient, they made some adjustments, but it was a lot of power and by that third time through, it kind of caught up. It's just a very talented offense.' Jake Bauers doubled with two outs in the first inning before Morton walked Wilson Ramos and plunked Joey Wendle to load the bases. But he escaped the jam when left fielder Tony Kemp made a diving catch on a ball hit by Willy Adames to end the inning. 'That's probably the highlight of the game defensively for us just because a lot of things can happen there,' Hinch said. 'We're playing a little bit deep, it looked like he got a little bit of a late start and then comes in with an acrobatic catch.' Mallex Smith singled with one out in the fourth and scored when Carlos Gomez grounded out and first baseman Yuli Gurriel badly overthrew first base for an error to make it 1-0. Altuve tied it up with his first home run of the night with one out in the fourth. It was the first multi-homer game in the regular season since July 24, 2016 for Altuve, who hit a career-best three in Game 1 of the ALDS against Boston last season. The Astros added a run on an RBI single by Kemp with one out in the seventh. TRAINER'S ROOM Astros: Hinch said RHP Joe Smith (right elbow inflammation) was feeling a lot better on Wednesday and is likely to throw off the mound either this weekend or early next week. Rays: Manager Kevin Cash said INF Daniel Robertson (left hamstring strain) is doing well and should come off the disabled list on Friday. KIERMAIER'S STRUGGLES Tampa Bay's Kevin Kiermaier went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts after going 0 for 5 on Wednesday night in his first game back after missing more than two months following thumb surgery. His slump is a continuation of the struggles he had before the injury and he's hitting just .135 in 14 games this season. 'Unfortunately, K.K. just got off to a rough start and takes a month or two months off,' Cash said. 'The numbers are going to be ugly for a little while, but I'm very confident he'll get going.' UP NEXT Rays: Tampa Bay is off on Thursday before beginning a three-game series with the New York Yankees on Friday. They have yet to announce their pitching rotation for that series. Astros: Houston also has a day off on Thursday before hosting Kansas City in the opener of a three-game series on Friday. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-8, 4.15 ERA), who got his first win since May 13 in his last start, will oppose Royals' lefty Danny Duffy. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • The British government saw its flagship Brexit legislation pass through Parliament on Wednesday, but remains locked in a tussle with lawmakers over the direction of the country's departure from the European Union. The EU Withdrawal Bill was approved after Prime Minister Theresa May's government narrowly won a key vote. The House of Commons rejected by 319-303 a proposal to require Parliament's approval before the government agrees to a final divorce deal with the EU — or before walking away from the bloc without an agreement. Later in the day, the withdrawal bill — intended to replace thousands of EU rules and regulations with U.K. statute on the day Britain leaves the bloc — also passed in the unelected House of Lords, its last parliamentary hurdle. It will become law once it receives royal assent, a formality. A majority of lawmakers favor retaining close ties with the bloc, so if the amendment requiring parliamentary approval had been adopted, it would have reduced the chances of a 'no deal' Brexit. That's a scenario feared by U.K. businesses but favored by some euroskeptic members of May's Conservative minority government, who want a clean break from the EU. May faced rebellion last week from pro-EU Conservative legislators, but avoided defeat by promising that Parliament would get a 'meaningful vote' on the U.K.-EU divorce agreement before Brexit occurs in March. Pro-EU lawmakers later accused the government of going back on its word by offering only a symbolic 'take it or leave it' vote on the final deal and not the ability to take control of the negotiations. Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer accused May of telling Parliament: 'Tough luck. If you don't like my proposed deal, you can have something much worse.' The rebels sought to amend the flagship bill so they could send the government back to the negotiating table if they don't like the deal, or if talks with the EU break down. The government claimed that would undermine its negotiating hand with the EU. 'You cannot enter a negotiation without the right to walk away,' Brexit Secretary David Davis told lawmakers. 'If you do, it rapidly ceases to be a negotiation.' But Davis also told lawmakers it would be for the Commons speaker to decide whether lawmakers could amend any motion on a Brexit deal that was put to the House of Commons. The concession was enough to get Conservative lawmaker Dominic Grieve, a leader of the pro-EU rebel faction, to back down and say he would support the government. Grieve said the government had acknowledged 'the sovereignty of this place (Parliament) over the executive.' While the withdrawal bill cleared a major hurdle, the government faces more tumult in Parliament in the months to come over other pieces of Brexit legislation. It has been two years since Britain voted by 52-48 percent to exit the 28-nation EU after four decades of membership, and there are eight months until the U.K. is due to leave the bloc on March 29, 2019. But Britain — and its government — remains divided over Brexit, and EU leaders are frustrated with what they see as a lack of firm proposals from the U.K about future relations. May's government is divided between Brexit-backing ministers such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who support a clean break with the EU, and those such as Treasury chief Philip Hammond who want to keep closely aligned to the bloc, Britain's biggest trading partner. A paper setting out the U.K. government position on future relations, due to be published this month, has been delayed until July because the Cabinet cannot agree on a united stance. The European Parliament's leader on Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt, said Wednesday that he remains hopeful a U.K.-EU withdrawal agreement could be finalized by the fall so national parliaments have time to approve it before March. 'The worst scenario for both parties is no deal,' he told a committee of British lawmakers. 'The disruption that would create to the economy, not only on the continent but certainly in Britain, would be huge and that we have to avoid.
  • Hours after reversing himself to end the forced separations of migrant families, President Donald Trump returned to the warm embrace of his supporters at a raucous rally Wednesday to defend his hard-line immigration policies while unleashing a torrent of grievances about the media and those investigating him. Trump downplayed the crisis that has threatened to envelop the White House amid days of heart-wrenching images of children being pulled from their immigrant parents along the nation's southern border. He made only a brief mention of his decision to sign an executive order after spending days insisting, wrongly, that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of federal law and a court decision. 'We're going to keep families together and the border is going to be just as tough as it's been,' Trump told the cheering crowd in Duluth. Seemingly motivated to promote his hawkish immigration bona fides after his about-face on forced separations, the president denounced his political opponents and those who make unauthorized border crossings, suggesting that the money used to care for those immigrants could be better spent on the nation's rural communities and inner cities. 'Democrats put illegal immigrants before they put American citizens. What the hell is going on?' asked Trump, prompting the crowd to chant 'Build the wall!' He even invoked his campaign kickoff speech, held three years ago this week, in which he declared that Mexico 'wasn't sending their best' in terms of migrants crossing into the U.S. That wasn't the only throwback moment at the rally, featuring a packed arena festooned with American flags and approximately 8,000 people responding in chants to many of Trump's cues. He fumed over what he deemed 'dishonest' coverage of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He raved about the economy and his tough new tariffs meant to create fair trade. And he erroneously suggested that a recent Department of Justice watchdog report into the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe proved his innocence in the special counsel's Russia investigation while covering up Clinton's guilt. 'Have you been seeing this whole scam? Do you believe what you're seeing — how that no matter what she did, no matter how many crimes she committed, which were numerous, they wanted her to be innocent,' Trump said. 'But with me, nothing. No collusion, no nothing. They wanted to put us in trouble.' The crowd responded with a 'Lock her up!' chant. Trump simply shook his head. Again attacking the special counsel probe as a 'witch hunt,' Trump went on to blast the media for focusing on the recent immigration crisis at the expense of covering what he contends is bias against him at the FBI. He also accused the media of providing one-sided reports about his Singapore summit with Kim. 'We had a great meeting. We had great chemistry,' said Trump, who predicted that Kim 'will turn that country into a great successful country.' 'These people,' said Trump, gesturing to the media at the back of the arena, 'say, 'He's given away so much.' You know what I gave up? A meeting.' The Duluth rally was Trump's first in a blue state since taking office. He narrowly lost Minnesota in 2016. And with the industrial and upper Midwest looming large for Trump's re-election hopes, the president vowed to spend more time there before 2020. 'You know, I hate to bring this up, but we came this close to winning the state of Minnesota,' the president said. 'And in 2½ years, it's going to be really easy, I think.' Trump was in Minnesota to back Pete Stauber, a Republican congressional candidate running in a traditionally Democratic district. Home of the Iron Range, Minnesota is a place where Trump's tariffs on foreign steel could play especially well. While economists wince and farmers brace for blowback, the crowd cheered when tariffs were mentioned on Wednesday. Trump also held a small roundtable with representatives from the mining industry and local leaders before the rally. Trump brought Stauber to the stage and offered an enthusiastic endorsement. But he made no mention of the state's GOP gubernatorial primary to replace outgoing Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. It pits former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Trump critic running for his old job, against Jeff Johnson, the state GOP's endorsed candidate who has been stronger in his support of the president. Energized by the roaring crowd in his first rally since the Singapore summit, Trump soaked in the applause and caustically dismissed a few protesters who tried to interrupt. He beamed as the crowd chanted 'Space Force!' in response to his plan to create a new branch of the military to safeguard the cosmos. And he leaned hard into his self-appointed role as champion of the working class and defender of traditional American values, but also mocked the idea that his opponents — whether liberals or media executives — were always called 'the elite.' 'The elite! Why are they elite?' Trump wondered. 'I have a much better apartment than they do. I'm smarter than they are. I'm richer than they are. I became president and they didn't.' ___ Lemire reported from New York ___ Follow Colvin on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@colvinj and Lemire at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire
  • New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrived Thursday at the country's largest public hospital as she prepared to give birth to her first child. Her pregnancy has been followed around the world, with many hoping the 37-year-old will become a role model for combining motherhood with political leadership. The last elected leader to give birth while holding office was the late Benazir Bhutto, who was prime minister of Pakistan when she gave birth to daughter Bakhtawar in 1990. Ardern, whose due date was June 17, has not said whether she's expecting a boy or a girl. A spokesman said Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford drove Ardern to Auckland City Hospital just before 6 a.m. and that Ardern was in labor at the time. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has taken over as acting prime minister. Ardern plans to take six weeks of leave before returning to work. Under the arrangement, Ardern will still be consulted on major decisions, including issues of national security. She has said she's confident the government will continue to run smoothly in her absence. She said she hoped to be 'sharing the good news' in an announcement but then to have some quiet time to enjoy as a family. Jennifer Curtin, a professor of politics at the University of Auckland, said there was symbolic importance in the pregnancy in that it showed political parties around the world that it was fine to have younger women as candidates. She said women often tended to be older when they entered politics. She said in other fields, women have been combining motherhood and paid work for decades, but it has only recently become more manageable thanks to paid parental leave. 'What I think is valuable, if she becomes a role model, is the way in which she is normalizing the combination of motherhood and participation in the paid labor market, and in politics,' Curtin said. She said there was also an upside in Gayford's plans to become the main caregiver once Ardern returned to work. Gayford is the host of a television fishing show. Asked earlier this month how the couple had been faring while trying to choose a baby name, Ardern responded: 'Terribly. Do you have any suggestions?