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Meghan Markle supports Prince Harry at Invictus Games

Prince Harry’s girlfriend Meghan Markle attended Saturday’s opening ceremony of the prince’s Invictus Games for injured military service members. Markle was seen in the stands at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, but she was not sitting next to Harry.

>> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A relationship timeline

During the ceremony, the prince told the audience he wanted the world to be inspired “by the spirit of those who wear the uniform.”

There had been speculation that the event would mark the first official public appearance of Prince Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, as a couple.

>> On Rare.us: Prince Harry’s surprise meeting at the Invictus Games had the internet buzzing

The actress, who lives in the host city, smiled and applauded as the competitors arrived in the stadium. Markle recently spoke about her relationship with the prince to Vanity Fair magazine. “We’re two people who are really happy and in love,” the 36-year-old said.

>> Read more trending news

As People reports, the prince was sitting in a separate VIP area next to first lady Melania Trump and near Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trump administration announces new travel ban: 'The tougher, the better'

The Trump administration late Sunday announced it is replacing its travel ban with a new proclamation barring visitors from eight countries, saying those nations are not doing enough to block terrorists from reaching the United States. 

>> On AJC.com: Dishwasher to Doctor: Syrian refugee achieves American dream. Now he helps others do the same.

The new directive continues existing restrictions against Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. And it adds new ones for Chad, North Korea and Venezuela starting Oct. 18 and remaining in place indefinitely until the countries toughen their security procedures. Venezuela’s restrictions narrowly apply to that nation’s government officials – and their immediate relatives – who are responsible for traveler screening procedures.

>> On AJC.com: From March: Trump travel ban again targets refugees 

“The travel ban: The tougher, the better,” President Donald Trump told reporters in Washington on Sunday. 

The first version of Trump’s travel ban — announced in January — sowed widespread confusion, triggered angry demonstrations in Atlanta and across the nation and ultimately stalled amid constitutional challenges. Trump replaced it in March with an order barring visitors from six Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. 

>> On MyAJC.com: From June: U.S. Supreme Court reinstates key parts of Trump’s travel ban

It also halted this nation’s refugee resettlement program. Senior administration officials said Sunday they would announce plans for next fiscal year’s refugee resettlements in the coming days.

Like his original travel ban, Trump’s March 6 order drew court challenges. Trump has cast his travel restrictions as efforts to block terrorist attacks, while his critics say they are driven by discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about it on Oct. 10. 

>> On MyAJC.com: From June: Travel ban begins as guidelines draw fire

Walt Wallace — a traveler from Richmond, Virginia, who was traveling through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Sunday — said he understood the security issues involved in the travel ban. But he also said he was concerned about the impact on "people who are legitimately trying to come here... escaping persecution."

>> Read more trending news

Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Friday his organization might send attorneys to the airport. Mitchell added his organization will be watching to see if the restrictions are "motivated by legitimate concerns about national security, or are they motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry." 

"If the order only impacts people who do not already have visas to travel here, then nobody should be caught up at the airport," Mitchell said. But "if the order affects those already in transit like the first order did, then chaos could erupt and we'd need our attorneys at the airport."

Mexico earthquake: 'Frida Sofia,' girl supposedly trapped in rubble, never existed, officials say

As rescue workers tirelessly searched and the world waited breathlessly for them to find a 12-year-old girl believed to be trapped under the rubble of a caved-in school toppled by the devastating earthquake in Mexico City, it became apparent that the little girl never existed, Mexican officials said.

>> PHOTOS: Major earthquake strikes Mexico City

According to the New York Post, the girl, called “Frida Sofia,” was a case of a story that ran wild in the frantic aftermath of the disaster.

>> How you can help Mexico and people affected by the Mexico earthquake

“We are certain that it was not an actuality,” Adm. Angel Enrique Sarmiento, assistant secretary of the Mexican navy, told local paper El Universal. “We don’t have any knowledge, we never had any knowledge of the account.”

>> Frida, the hero rescue dog, saves 12 following Mexico earthquake

In the face of unimaginable destruction and hundreds killed, the story took on a life of its own as a symbol of much-needed help. A report first surfaced Wednesday that a little girl had signaled to rescuers from under the rubble of the Enrique Rebsámen school.

>> On Rare.us: A family is devastated after this baptism turned tragic during the Mexican earthquake

From that report came a series of details that included the girl’s name and age, and even reports of communication with the girl. Rescuers said they managed to slide a hose to her for her to drink, and other workers told MSNBC that they handed the little girl a phone and that she reported two other children were trapped with her under a granite table.

>> On Rare.us: Salma Hayek generously pledges $100,000 to Mexican earthquake victims

However, no parents came to claim the girl, which led some to believe she was misidentified. And, then Thursday, Sarmiento announced that after 11 children had been rescued, and 19 other children, plus six adults found dead, there were no other children beneath the collapsed school.

>> Read more trending news

“We have carried out a full count with the directors of the school, and we are sure that all the children are either safe at home, in the hospital or, unfortunately, died,” Sarmiento said.

Iran tests new ballistic missile

Iran tested a new ballistic missile that reportedly is capable of carrying multiple warheads, CNN reported Saturday, citing the nation's state-run broadcaster announced.

>> Read more trending news

“Iran has released footage of the successful test-launch of its new ballistic missile, Khorramshahr, a few hours after it was unveiled during a military parade in the capital city of Tehran,” Press TV said.

“The Khorramshahr missile has become smaller in size and more tactical and it will be operational in the near future.”

The missile was launched from an unknown location, CNN reported.

Called the Khorramshahr missile, the weapon has a range of 1,250 miles and can carry multiple warheads, according to Press TV. That would make it capable of reaching Israel and Saudi Arabia, CNN reported.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Friday that the country would press ahead with strengthening its missile capabilities and military defenses, Press TV reported.

“We will promote our defensive and military power as much as we deem necessary," Rouhani said. “We seek no one's permission to defend our land.”

“Whether you like it or not we are going to help Syria, Yemen, and Palestine, and we will strengthen our missiles.”

Uber stripped of London license

London stripped Uber on Friday of its license to operate beginning at the end of September, a move that will affect more than 40,000 drivers in one of the world’s biggest cities, Reuters reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Regulator Transport for London (TfL) said Uber’s conduct posed risks to public safety and it would not renew its license when it expires on Sept. 30. Uber has 21 days to appeal and can continue to operate until the appeal process has finished, Reuters reported.“Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” TfL said.Uber said in a statement that it would "immediately challenge this [decision] in the courts," CNN reported.

It can continue to operate while it appeals.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said he "fully supports" the decision, CNN reported.

"All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect -- particularly when it comes to the safety of customers," he said in a statement. "Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security."

 

L'Oréal heiress, world’s wealthiest woman, dies at 94

Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L'Oréal cosmetics dynasty ranked as the world’s richest woman, died Wednesday, NPR reported. She was 94.

>> Read more trending news

In March, Forbes placed Bettencourt’s net worth at $39.5 billion. Bettencourt and her family were the largest stakeholders of L'Oréal, owning 33.1 percent of the company, the Financial Times reported.

Bettencourt's daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, confirmed the death in a statement to French media, saying her mother died "peacefully" at her home in France.

Bettencourt's father, Eugene Schueller, founded L'Oréal in 1909. The chemist created and patented a hair dye that helped launch the company into an international multibillion-dollar powerhouse. Upon his death in 1957, he left his daughter controlling interest in L'Oréal, The New York Times reported.

Bettencourt served as board director until stepping down in 2012 when she was replaced by her then-25-year-old grandson, Jean-Victor Meyers.

"We all had a great admiration for Liliane Bettencourt who always looked after L'Oréal, the company and its employees, and was very attached to its success and development," Jean Paul Agon, chairman and CEO of L'Oréal Group, said in a statement. "She has personally contributed greatly to its success for many years."

Bettencourt's past included a long-standing family controversy that spilled into French politics, known as l'affaire Bettencourt, NPR reported. The scandal not only titillated French media but may have resulted in Nicolas Sarkozy's losing the presidency.

In 2007, Bettencourt-Meyers, an only child, filed a criminal suit, accusing her mother's friend François-Marie Banier of taking advantage of an elderly woman not in full control of her faculties. Bettencourt had given Banier some billion dollars' worth of gifts, and he had reportedly suggested that she adopt him.

Banier and several others, including business associates and lawyers, were all found guilty of exploiting Bettencourt, who the French court said was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Banier was sentenced to prison and fined.

Secretly recorded tapes and accusations by a disgruntled employee implicated Sarkozy as benefiting from Bettencourt's “largesse,” NPR reported.

Sarkozy denied any wrongdoing, but was tainted by the scandal and was defeated by François Hollande in 2012.

Florida pastor uses ham radio to get information from Puerto Rico

A Florida pastor with a heart for helping is going old school to get information from Puerto Rico.

>> Read more trending news

An antenna coming out of his window, strung through the trees up over his house, is connecting Ian Thomas to the unreachable.

Early Thursday morning, his ham radio was silent. 

"And by 9:30, things started jumping. And then we were talking to Puerto Rico,” he said.

Many people in Central Florida, like Alexandra Ale, have family on the island that was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

"I was feeling like I was suffocating because my hands are tied and kind of just waiting around to hear from someone," Ale said.

Thomas is taking requests from people across the United States, then doing what he can to find out through radio waves if they're all right.

"They just need someone to knock on the door and say, 'Are you still alive? Are you OK, Grandma?'

“Because you have an 80-year-old lady who didn't think anything would happen and no one's checked on her,” Thomas said.

The process is tedious, but he's not going to stop because he knows for so many families, giving up on loved ones is not an option.

Ale is thankful because her family is one of few with enough phone service to get a message out.

She now knows at the very least they are alive.

"My sister's words, 'It looks like a bomb exploded,’” she said.

Look it up: Twitter abuzz after Kim Jong-Un calls Trump a ‘dotard’

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had Twitter users rushing to dictionaries as he revived a centuries-old insult.

>> Read more trending news 

Kim had some choice words for President Donald Trump during a speech on Friday, accusing him of “mentally deranged behavior,” CNN reported.

But it was Kim’s use of the word “dotard” that sent the Twitterverse to dictionary websites. While not generally used, the insult has been used in medieval literature from the ninth century.

>> Defining dotard through the ages

Kim basically called Trump old and senile, but while Kim did not actually say the word “dotard,” it was translated that way, Mashable reported. The dated word choice might come from how Kim's statement was translated by state news agency KCNA, CNN reported. The actual translated quote: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire." In Korean it was written as "늙다리미치광이" ("neulg-dali-michigwang-i"), which literally translates as “old lunatic.”

Later in the KCNA translation of Kim's address, the North Korean leader advises Trump to "exercise prudence in selecting words," CNN reported.

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning that Kim “was obviously a madman” and “will be tested like never before.”

British police release 2 men in London train attack probe

British police said they have released two men arrested as part of the investigation into last week’s London Underground train station attack in Parsons Green, which injured 30 people, Reuters reported.

>> Read more trending news

A 21-year-old man arrested in Hounslow on Sept. 16 and a 48-year-old man arrested in Newport on Sept. 20 were released by the police with no further action, the police said in a statement, Reuters reported.

“We have four males in custody and searches are continuing at four addresses. Detectives are carrying out extensive inquiries to determine the full facts behind the attack,” the police said.

A homemade bomb exploded Sept. 15 during the morning rush hour on a packed underground Tube train at Parsons Green station, sending flames through the carriage, Reuters reported.

It was the fifth major militant incident in Britain this year.

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the latest attack.

Disaster declared in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastates island

President Donald Trump on Thursday declared a federal disaster in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria brought pounding rain and punishing winds to the island, knocking out power and causing widespread flooding and landslides.

>> Read more trending news

The declaration allows for federal resources to be used for Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts.

The island is reeling after Maria made landfall Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane. With maximum sustained winds measured at 155 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years.

"Months and months and months and months are going to pass before we can recover from this," Felix Delgado, mayor of the northern coastal city of Catano, told The Associated Press.

Videos posted on social media showed swift floodwaters and powerful winds brought to Puerto Rico by Maria.

Maria knocked out power to the entire island and its 3.4 million residents, officials said Wednesday.

Ricardo Ramos, CEO of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, told CNN that it could be as long as six months before power is restored.

“The system has been basically destroyed,” he said.

Maria continued to churn over the Atlantic Ocean as a major Category 3 hurricane on Thursday afternoon with maximum sustained winds measured at 115 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in an 11 a.m. advisory. Officials warned that the storm, which is expected to turn to the north early Friday, could still strengthen over the next day or two.

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