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Trump Slams Media at Phoenix Rally…Commander of Navy’s 7th Fleet Dismissed…North Korea Shows Off Missile Design

PHOENIX (AP) – President Donald Trump is blaming the media for the widespread condemnation of his response to violence at a Charlottesville, Virginia, protest organized by white supremacists. At a political rally in Phoenix, he unabashedly acknowledged that he was defying his advisers’ recommendations to stick to the script and appear “presidential.”

TOKYO (AP) – The Navy has announced that the commander of its 7th Fleet has been dismissed “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.” U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift relieved Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin of his command on Wednesday.

TOKYO (AP) – North Korea’s state media have released photos of what appear to be the designs for one or possibly two new missiles. The designs were seen hanging on a wall behind Kim Jong Un while the leader was visiting a plant that makes solid-fuel engines for the country’s ballistic-missile program. Kim reportedly told workers at the plant to produce more solid-fuel rocket engines and rocket warhead tips.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – A colorful collection of activists is taking on one of the world’s most isolated nations with weapons that include leaflets, DVDs and flash drives. A few dozen South Koreans send thousands of such items every year across the border into North Korea – mostly by homemade hot-air balloon. Some are scorned as little more than attention-hungry cranks, but the activists look across the border and see a country they believe they are already reshaping.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – The defense lawyer of the Danish inventor who is suspected of manslaughter in the case of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who is believed to have died on a submarine that sank, says police statements Wednesday do not “change my client’s explanation that an accident happened” aboard the submarine. Danish police confirmed Wednesday that DNA tests from a headless torso found washed ashore off Copenhagen match with 30-year-old Wall.

Trump Boosting Troop Levels in Afghanistan…China: US Navy “a Danger”…Mattis: ISIS Making “Last Stand”

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is declaring that U.S. troops “will fight to win” the long war in Afghanistan. He pointedly declined Monday to disclose how many more U.S. troops will be sent. In a prime-time address billed as the unveiling of his new Afghanistan strategy, Trump said the U.S. would shift away from a “time-based” approach, instead linking its assistance to results and to cooperation from the beleaguered Afghan government, Pakistan and others.

SINGAPORE (AP) – China, Washington’s main rival for influence in the Asia-Pacific, has seized on the collision of a U.S. destroyer to accuse the Navy of endangering maritime navigation in the region. The official China Daily newspaper said a string of accidents this year shows the U.S. Navy “is becoming a dangerous obstacle in Asian waters.”

BAGHDAD (AP) – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says Islamic State militants are caught in a military vise that will squeeze them from both ends of the Euphrates River valley that bisects Iraq and Syria. He calls this their last stand. Mattis arrived in Baghdad Tuesday to consult with U.S. commanders and Iraqi government officials.

MADRID (AP) – French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has confirmed reports that an Audi used by the attackers in the Spanish town of Cambrils had been photographed in the Paris region for speeding some time before last week’s attacks. Collomb said in an interview on Tuesday on BFM-TV that the black Audi A3 was photographed by radar, but did not give a timeframe or location or clarify whether it was transiting through the area.

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (AP) – A regional rail spokeswoman says the driver of a train that crashed into a parked train at a suburban Philadelphia terminal has been treated at a hospital and released. Agency spokeswoman Heather Redfern says 42 people were injured in the Tuesday morning crash at the 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby. She says none of the injuries are life threatening. Commuters from Norristown can expect some delays.