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    Rep. Paul Cook served 26 years as a Marine and was awarded two Purple Heart medals for combat wounds suffered in Vietnam. But amid his seventh year in Congress, the aching and discouraged California Republican has decided he's endured enough. At 76 and nursing brittle knees that make cross-country flights an ordeal, Cook is past the age when many lawmakers head home. Cook, who announced last week that he won't seek reelection next year, is the oldest of 18 House Republicans who have said they are leaving. He also is a case study in how some old-school moderate Republicans — the type that like him have Chamber of Commerce backgrounds and consider compromise laudable — feel alienated in an increasingly fractious capital. Cook believes Republicans will not win back the House majority in the 2020 elections, leaving the GOP once again with frustratingly little clout after spending most of this decade controlling the chamber. He dislikes President Donald Trump's late-night tweets and his criticisms of NATO and some of its member nations. And he bemoans Washington's 'toxic' political atmosphere, which he blames on hard-right Republicans and hard-left Democrats. 'The Freedom Caucus, a lot of them, they have a very right-wing agenda that encourages the same things that the far left does. And that is, 'We're going to raise hell,'' Cook said in an interview. 'That is not the road that I would advocate if you're going to try and reach a compromise. Our whole government is built on compromise.' His reference was to the House Freedom Caucus, about 30 fervent conservatives who try pushing the GOP rightward. 'We're mean. I don't know how else to say it,' Cook said. Conservatives say they make no apologies for not yielding on what they consider core principles such as the right to possess guns. 'I think that sometimes the fights are worth having and I'm happy to be in them,' said one Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. Of the 18 exiting Republicans, only a handful have openly cited Washington's sharp elbows, though others who've retired previously have expressed similar complaints. Three of this year's other departing lawmakers could have faced tough reelection fights. Three are running for the Senate or governor, two are leaving as their allotted time as committee leaders is expiring and others have voiced variants of, 'It's time to go.' 'Most moderates are fighting through it. We're not a dying breed,' said Sarah Chamberlain, who heads the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership. Nonetheless, lawmakers concede that frequent, consuming conflicts between the parties take a toll. Both Democrats and Republicans have fewer House moderates than they did two decades ago. That's partly due to increasingly sophisticated district lines that strongly favor one side or the other, putting a premium on candidates voicing ardent adherence to party dogma. As a result, it's been harder for each side to find supporters from across the aisle for legislation. 'I don't know if frustration is the right word. There's an acknowledgement that it's become a zero-sum game on both sides of the aisle,' said Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., a leader of the Tuesday Group of moderate Republicans, which claims around 50 members. GOP leaders reject the assumption that they won't recapture the House majority, following last fall's drubbing in which they lost 41 seats. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., who leads House Republican's political committee, says that while 2018's Democratic challengers 'didn't stand for anything,' next year they'll have to defend hot-button progressive proposals like the Green New Deal. Cook is from safe, conservative GOP terrain: a vast, dry district that sprawls along the Nevada border and includes the Mojave Desert and Death Valley. Trump took it easily in 2016 and Cook has never won less than 57 percent of the vote since his first election in 2012. He hopes to win local office when he returns. Cook worked for his area Chamber of Commerce, taught history at colleges and was elected to local government and the California Legislature before coming to Congress. His legislative focus has included military and veterans' issues, and he's had a low public profile. He's tweeted 15 times all year on his official Twitter account — fewer than Trump might unleash on a raucous day. But Cook says he's bothered by a White House that takes positions that contradict prior policy, particularly on foreign affairs. He recoiled at Trump's questioning of NATO's value and episodes such as his musings about purchasing Greenland, a territory of Denmark that the NATO member spurned. 'You have to respect your allies or you're not going to have your allies when you need them the most,' Cook said. Cook tempers his criticisms of Trump, who endorsed him last year when he faced a conservative GOP challenger. Like most Republicans he's stood by Trump on most House votes, backing him 97 percent of the time, according to the nonpartisan website Fivethirtyeight.com. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., a friend since they served together in the California Legislature, calls Cook 'a prince of a human being.' He says he thinks the ex-Marine privately disdains Trump, citing Cook's military service and sense of honor. Cook is 'a prisoner to a Republican politics that has turned into a Trump cult,' Huffman says. Most of all, Cook laments a hardball political atmosphere that he says inhibits compromise. 'I have a lot of great colleagues here,' he said. 'It's just a very difficult environment when you should be striving to see the other point of view.
  • Several thousand people have taken to the streets across northwest Russia to protest a controversial plan to build a major waste plant there. Police in the regional capital of Arkhangelsk said Sunday that about 1,000 people attended a rally there while local media reported that more than 2,000 protesters showed up. Protesters also rallied in more than a dozen towns in the area against the dump. Local media reported three activists have been detained at Arkhangelsk rally on charges related to their participation in unsanctioned gatherings earlier this year. The outcry against plans for the waste plant in a pristine Russian forest gained national prominence earlier this year. Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked local officials to heed public concerns but the construction project has not been shelved.
  • The Nobel Peace Prize-winning surgeon whose hospital in war-torn Congo has treated over 50,000 victims of sexual violence has launched a fund with the goal of providing reparations for survivors of conflicts around the world. Dr. Denis Mukwege said in an interview Saturday that he and his team at Panzi Hospital in eastern Bukavu province could physically and mentally help victims of rape and other abuse, but that the only way to really heal survivors is for society to accept the wrong that was done to them through reparations. Legal action can be taken against an alleged perpetrator, he said, but even in cases in which women win, 'there is no reparation.' Mukwege said reparations can be individual or collective, symbolic or financial, depending on the victim, the case and the context. 'In some cases, women are just asking us to ask the leaders to ... say, 'I apologize for what just happened to you because I was maybe the leader in this place and I didn't protect you,'' Mukwege said. 'Then maybe for the women, this can be enough.' But in other cases, women might want financial reparations to support them, to pay for school, or to return to previous activities or start new ones, he said, 'so this fund really works in different ways, depending with the conflicts.' 'For 10 years I was fighting to get a global fund,' Mukwege said, 'because ... what is happening in Congo is happening everywhere where we have conflict.' The fund is trying to get governments and the private sector to give money, he said, but its board will also include victims of sexual violence and civil society representatives. France is the first country to commit to the fund, pledging $2 million a year for three years in an important show of support, Mukwege said. Mukwege is in New York on a tour organized by Doctors of the World, a longtime funder of the Panzi Hospital. It will also take him to California and Washington state to talk to foundations about the fund. Mukwege is also planning to meet several world leaders and attend events on the sidelines of the upcoming annual gathering of presidents, prime ministers and monarchs at the U.N. General Assembly. Female victims around the world face similar challenges, Mukwege said, and he has recently seen how sexual violence survivors from the Bosnian war have overcome their problems, 'and how they can help Congolese women to help face this big problem.' He also traveled to South Korea to see the 'comfort women' used as sex slaves by Japanese soldiers in World War II and visited Colombia and victims of that country's long civil war. He plans to start programs for victims of sexual violence in the Central African Republic and Burundi, he said. Mukwege shared the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize with Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman who was raped by Islamic State militants in Iraq and has become a global advocate for victims of sexual violence. 'She and I are working together,' he said. 'I was in Iraq to see exactly what was happening there, and I hope that this year, I will start to support Yazidi women.' The program will operate in different camps where the Yazidis are, not in the Sinjar region where Islamic State extremists stormed Yazidi communities in 2014, Mukwege said. Having spent much of his life treating female victims of sexual violence, Mukwege said, 'today my policy is to work more with men because I think that it is very important in talking about a positive masculinity.' 'We are really in a patriarchal system where men dominate everything and women are treated just as objects,' he said. 'We need to change our way to treat women and see women in our society and ... let young boys grow up to respect women and understand that women are equal to men — and this has to start very early.
  • Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's main opposition Labour Party, insists he would serve a full term as prime minister if his party wins the next general election, which is widely expected to take place in the next few months. Countering speculation that the 70-year-old is considering standing down, Corbyn told the BBC on Sunday that he would lead Labour into the next election. Asked if he would serve a full term, Corbyn said: 'Of course.' Corbyn is at Labour's annual conference in the southern English city of Brighton. The gathering has been overshadowed by an attempt by a close ally of Corbyn's to oust his deputy Tom Watson, a move that was abandoned after Corbyn intervened. Watson has upset many of Corbyn's left-wing supporters by seeking to make Labour an anti-Brexit party.
  • Get the snacks and a scorecard ready for the 2019 Emmy Awards. As TV academy voters honor what they consider the small-screen's best, viewers can join in by tallying up wins, snubs and records during the no-host, three-hour ceremony airing Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox. The reward for TV geeks whose predictions pan out at the 71st annual Emmy Awards: no trophy, but bragging rights. There's also the fun of cheering your favorites and rooting against their competitors. Conflicted feelings may loom for 'Game of Thrones' fans who loved the series, hated its finale. HBO's fantasy saga headed into the ceremony with a record 32 nominations, collecting 10 awards at last weekend's creative arts ceremony for technical and other achievements. If the series adds three more wins on Sunday, it will break its own record for most awards in a season, 12, which it earned in 2015 and again in 2016. If it claims the top drama trophy, it will be its fourth and make it one of a handful of series to achieve that tally. It could also build on its record of the most Emmys ever for a drama or comedy series, now at 57. 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' is defending the top comedy award it captured last year, when three-time winner 'Veep' was on hiatus. As with 'Game of Thrones,' the political satire is entered for its final season and could benefit from voter sentiment as well as evident respect. Same goes for 'Veep' star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose potential seventh Emmy for the show would combine with two others she's won to make her the most-honored performer in Emmy history. 'Game of Thrones' is competing in six categories besides best drama, including directing, writing and acting — with stars Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington vying for lead acting honors for the first time, and Peter Dinklage seeking his fourth supporting actor award. Clarke's competition includes Sandra Oh of 'Killing Eve,' who would be the first actress of Asian descent to win the Emmy, along with Oh's co-star Jodie Comer and past winner Viola Davis of 'How to Get Away with Murder.' A win for Clarke or any of the four 'Game of Thrones' actresses competing for a supporting trophy would be the first for a woman on the show. The best drama actor field includes Billy Porter of 'Pose,' who would be the first openly gay man to win the award, and past winner Sterling K. Brown for 'This Is Us.' Presenters are set to include Angela Bassett, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hugh Laurie, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm, Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Randall Park. Actor-comedian Thomas Lennon has the off-camera job of regaling viewers with factoids and jokes as winners head to the stage. Halsey will perform during the in memoriam tribute. ___ Online: http://www.emmys.com . ___ Lynn Elber is at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber
  • A humanitarian ship with 182 rescued migrants is sailing back and forth Sunday in international waters between Italy and Malta as it awaits permission from some European government to dock. The Ocean Viking, a Norwegian-flagged ship operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, rescued four groups of migrants fleeing Libya on human traffickers' unseaworthy boats last week. On Friday it disembarked 35 people it had rescued under Maltese orders because their migrant boat was in a Mediterranean Sea region under Malta's search-and-rescue responsibility. But the remaining 182 people, including 13 children under age 15 and a newborn, have so far been rejected by Malta and Italy, which contend that charity boats help Libyan-based human traffickers. Italy is demanding that other European nations take many of those rescued.
  • The World Health Organization has issued an unusual statement raising questions about whether Tanzania is covering up possible cases of the deadly Ebola virus, a significant cause for concern during a regional outbreak that has been declared a rare global health emergency. The statement Saturday says Tanzania's government 'despite several requests' is refusing to share the results of its investigations into a number of patients with Ebola-like symptoms and is refusing to ship patient samples to an outside WHO partner lab. Tanzania's government, which has said it has no Ebola cases, could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday. The cases would be the first-ever Ebola infections confirmed in the East African country. The United Nations health agency says it was made aware on Sept. 10 of the death in Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, of a patient suspected to have Ebola. A day later, it received unofficial reports that an Ebola test had come back positive. On Thursday, it received unofficial reports that a contact of the patient, who had traveled widely in the country, was sick and hospitalized. A rapid response is crucial in containing Ebola, which can be fatal in up to 90% of cases and is most often spread by close contact with bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms or with contaminated objects. The WHO statement said the lack of information from Tanzania made it difficult to assess potential risks. The Ebola outbreak based in neighboring Congo has infected over 3,000 people and killed nearly 2,000 of them. A few cases have been confirmed in neighboring Uganda as well, and other neighboring countries have been preparing for the outbreak's possible spread. This is not the first time health officials have raised serious questions about the suspected Tanzania cases. On Monday, the U.S. health and human services secretary, Alex Azar, told reporters in Uganda that he and others were 'very concerned about the lack of transparency' in Tanzania. Critics have shown increasing alarm as Tanzanian President John Magufuli's government has restricted access to key information and cracked down on perceived dissent. Lawmakers recently approved an amendment to a statistics law to make it a crime to distribute information not sanctioned by the government or which contradicts the government. The World Bank was among those expressing concern at that amendment. ___ Associated Press writer Rodney Muhumuza in Kampala, Uganda contributed. ___ Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa
  • The European Union will insist that border controls be put up along the Irish border if Britain leaves the bloc without a deal and the British government will be responsible for that, a top EU official said. Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, told Sky News in an interview broadcast Sunday that the blame for that would rest squarely on Britain. Border controls could in theory go up soon after Oct. 31, Britain's scheduled departure date. Brussels was 'in no way responsible' for the consequences of a no-deal Brexit, Juncker told Sky News. 'We have to make sure that the interests of the European Union and of the internal market will be preserved,' he said. How to maintain a frictionless border between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, is the thorniest issue in the Brexit discussions. An invisible border is a key component of 1998's Good Friday peace accord that brought peace in Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian violence. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is insisting that the Irish border provision in the Brexit deal negotiated by his predecessor, Theresa May, be scrapped. The so-called Irish backstop is effectively a guarantee that no border will go up on the island of Ireland by requiring that Britain stick to EU trade rules — even though it won't have any say in the formulation of those rules after Brexit — until the two sides have negotiated a comprehensive trade deal. That would leave Britain locked into the EU's orbit for years. British lawmakers rejected May's deal three times this year, with many doing so because of their opposition to the backstop. Johnson is trying to get the EU to agree to replace the backstop with 'alternative arrangements' — a mix of technology to replace border checks and a common area for agricultural products and animals covering the whole island of Ireland. Juncker said he is open to alternative arrangements, but noted that in a no-deal Brexit, an animal entering Northern Ireland could then enter the EU via Ireland if there are no border controls. 'This will not happen,' he said. 'We have to preserve the health and the safety of our citizens.' Under the rules of the EU's single market, goods and people can move across the 28 countries seamlessly. Johnson got elected by Conservative Party members in July on the promise that the country will leave the EU on Oct. 31 come what may. British lawmakers, however, have passed a law that says the prime minister has to request an extension to the Brexit date if Parliament does not back a deal or a no-deal departure by Oct. 19. That law has raised questions on exactly when the country will leave. Parliament is now suspended until Oct. 14, just over two weeks before the U.K. is due to leave the EU. However, it may be forced to return if the Supreme Court decides this week that Johnson's request broke the law when he suspended Parliament. The Supreme Court is deciding whether Johnson unlawfully shut Parliament to prevent lawmakers from scrutinizing his plan to leave the EU with or without a divorce deal. Opponents also accuse him of misleading Queen Elizabeth II, whose formal approval was needed to suspend the legislature. The government says that Johnson acted lawfully and the issue of suspending parliament is one for politicians, not the courts. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government will respect the Supreme Court's ruling on Johnson's move to suspend Parliament. 'Of course, we will respect whatever the legal ruling is from the Supreme Court,' he told the BBC on Sunday. Pressed on whether Northern Ireland could have different EU customs arrangements than the rest of the UK, Raab said: 'No, of course, that would be wrong.' ___ Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and British politics at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit
  • More than 600,000 travelers with Thomas Cook were on edge Sunday wondering if they will be able to get home as one of the world's oldest and largest travel companies teetered on the edge of collapse. The company, which confirmed Friday it was seeking 200 million pounds ($250 million) in extra funding to avoid going bust, was in last-ditch talks with shareholders and creditors to stave off a collapse. Sky News reported that discussions were taking place Sunday at the London-based headquarters of law firm Slaughter & May. Thomas Cook would not comment on that report but said it has sought to reassure customers that their flights are continuing to operate as normal. It said most package holidays for British travelers are protected by the ATOL insurance scheme. The financial difficulties were also raising questions about the jobs of the 22,000 staff employed by Thomas Cook around the world, including 9,000 in Britain. The tour operator recently raised 900 million pounds ($1.12 billion) in new capital, including from its leading Chinese shareholder Fosun. Unions and the main opposition Labour Party have urged the British government to intervene financially to save jobs if the company cannot raise the necessary funds. A collapse could leave around 150,000 travelers from Britain stranded, along with hundreds of thousands of travelers from other countries. In that scenario, Britain's Civil Aviation Authority would likely be ordered by the government to launch a major repatriation operation to fly stranded vacationers home, much like it did when Monarch Airlines went bust nearly two years ago. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said British holidaymakers will not be left stranded and that contingency planning was underway. 'I don't want to give all the details of it because it depends on the nature of how people are out there,' he told the BBC. 'But I can reassure people that, in the worst-case scenario, the contingency planning is there to avoid people being stranded.' Thomas Cook, which first started operating in 1841 with a one-day train excursion in England, has been struggling over the past few years for a variety of reasons. In May, the company reported in half-year results that it had a net debt burden of 1.25 billion pounds and cautioned that political uncertainty related to Britain's departure from the European Union had led to softer demand for summer holiday travel. Heatwaves over the past couple of summers in Europe have prompted many potential vacationers to stay at home, while higher fuel and hotel costs have weighed on the travel business. The company's troubles appear to be already afflicting those travelling under the Thomas Cook banner. One British vacationer told BBC radio that the Les Orangers beach resort in the Tunisian town of Hammamet, near Tunis, was demanding that visitors pay extra money for fear it won't be paid what it is owed by Thomas Cook. Ryan Farmer from Leicestershire told the BBC early Sunday that the hotel had summoned guests who were due to leave to go to its reception and 'pay additional fees, obviously because of the situation with Thomas Cook.' He said many tourists refused the demand since they had already paid Thomas Cook, so the hotel's security guards shut the hotel's gates and 'were not allowing anyone to leave.' It was like 'being held hostage,' said Farmer, who is due to leave Tuesday. He said he would also refuse to pay if the hotel asked him. The Associated Press called the hotel, as well as the British embassy in Tunis, but no officials or managers were available for comment.
  • A U.S. Marine believed to have left Arizona for California's Camp Pendleton never arrived, but was found days later at a Texas rest area, unharmed. Lance Cpl. Job Wallace was taken into custody Saturday night by Naval Criminal Investigative Service and other law enforcement officers at a rest area in Navarro County, according to a NCIS statement cited by The San Diego Union-Tribune. The 20-year-old had last been seen leaving a friend's house in Surprise, Arizona, on Monday night, his mother, Stacy Wallace, said. He was due back at Camp Pendleton after a three-day leave that took him home to the suburbs west of Phoenix and a camping trip. About an hour south of Dallas, Navarro County is more than 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers) east of Surprise and in the opposite direction from Camp Pendleton in Southern California. The statement from Kurt Thomas, the special agent in charge of the NCIS Marine Corps West field office, did not include details about how Wallace was found or what he was doing. Stacy Wallace had said her son loved the Marines and was excited to get back to Camp Pendleton, having been recently promoted. 'He got into several colleges and missed scholarship opportunities just so that he could be a Marine, because he felt it was his duty to serve his country,' Wallace said. Wallace's mother had said law enforcement officials told her that her son's phone was last pinged Monday night in Arizona. But a Border Patrol camera spotted his truck the next morning traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 near Fort Hancock, Texas, southeast of El Paso. A Surprise police spokesman had said officers took a report and turned the matter over to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Thomas' Saturday night statement thanked law enforcement partners in Texas, Arizona and on the federal level 'for their aid in bringing this to a safe resolution.