AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

Maine mass killing suspect has been found dead, ending search that put entire state on edge

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — The man wanted in the mass shooting at a bowling alley and bar that killed 18 people and wounded 13 was found dead Friday, bringing an end to a search that put the entire state of Maine on edge for the last two days.

Robert Card, who was wanted in connection with the shootings at Schemengees Bar and Grille and at Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley in Lewiston, was found dead in Lisbon Falls, Maine, Gov. Janet Mills said at a Friday night news conference.

Commissioner of Maine Department of Public Safety Mike Sauschuck said Card was found at 7:45 p.m. near the Androscoggin River of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He declined to provide a specific address.

Police found Card’s body at a recycling facility where he recently worked, a law enforcement official told the AP. The official was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity.

Card, 40, of Bowdoin, Maine, was a U.S. Army reservist who underwent a mental health evaluation in mid-July after he began acting erratically during training, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.


Israel steps up air and ground attacks in Gaza and cuts off the territory's communications

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel knocked out internet and communications in the Gaza Strip in stepped-up bombardment Friday night, largely cutting off its 2.3 million people from contact with each other and the outside world and creating a near-blackout of information, as the military said it was “expanding” ground operations in the territory.

The military’s announcement signaled it was moving closer to an all-out invasion of Gaza, where it has vowed to crush the ruling Hamas militant group after its bloody incursion in southern Israel three weeks ago.

Explosions from continuous airstrikes lit up the sky over Gaza City for hours after nightfall. The Palestinian telecom provider, Paltel, said the bombardment caused “complete disruption” of internet, cellular and landline services. The cutoff meant that casualties from strikes and details of ground incursions could not immediately be known. Some satellite phones continued to function.

Already plunged into darkness after most electricity was cut off weeks ago, Palestinians were thrown into isolation, huddling in homes and shelters with food and water supplies running out.

Relatives outside Gaza panicked after their messaging chats with families inside suddenly went dead and calls stopped going through.


Live updates | UN calls for ‘humanitarian truce’ in Gaza as Israel expands activity in the territory

The Israeli military says its ground forces will expand their activities in Gaza Friday night. The announcement came hours after Israeli forces conducted a second ground raid in as many days and after Israel’s defense minister said the country expects to launch a long and difficult ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory.

The development also came after communication services in the Gaza Strip were cut, following a heavy round of Israeli airstrikes that lit up the night sky over the darkened territory. Later in the day, the U.N. General Assembly called for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza.

The Palestinian death toll passed 7,300 as Israel launched waves of airstrikes in response to the bloody Hamas rampage in southern Israel on Oct. 7. The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which tracks the toll, released a detailed list, including names and ID numbers on Thursday. In the occupied West Bank, more than 110 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids since the war's start three weeks ago.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians slain during the initial Hamas attack. In addition, 229 people — including foreigners, children and older adults — were taken by Hamas during the incursion and remain in captivity in Gaza. Four hostages were released earlier.



Agreement reached for Biden-Xi talks, but details still being worked out, official tells AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to meet on the sidelines of next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, according to a U.S. official familiar with the planning.

The two sides worked out an agreement in principle to hold a meeting during the summit as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Friday with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, according to the official, who was not authorized to comment and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The official added that the two sides have still not worked out details on the exact day of the meeting, venue and other logistics.

The White House said in a statement following Friday's meetings that the two sides were “working toward” a Biden-Xi face-to-face on the sidelines of APEC, a forum of 21 Pacific countries.

Earlier Friday, Biden met with Wang, holding an hourlong talk with the senior Chinese official in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. The meeting, with Blinken and Sullivan present, was the latest in a series of high-level contacts between the two countries as they explore the possibility of stabilizing an increasingly tense relationship at a time of conflict in Ukraine and Israel.


Maine's close-knit deaf community is grieving in the wake of shootings that killed 4 beloved members

FALMOUTH, Maine (AP) — Maine's close-knit community of deaf and hard of hearing people is grieving in the wake of the Lewiston shootings that killed beloved members, many of whom were ardent advocates.

The shootings, at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, killed at least four people in the deaf community, the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf said Friday. The shootings killed 18 people in total and injured 13 others.

Joshua Seal, 36, was a sign language interpreter among those killed while he was playing in a cornhole tournament at Schemengees Bar with friends. In the past couple years, he became known as an interpreter during Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention's pandemic briefings.

His wife Elizabeth Seal said in a Facebook post that he was “a wonderful husband, my best friend, and my soulmate. He was also a wonderful boss, an incredible interpreter, a great friend, a loving son, brother, uncle, and grandson.”

“It is with a heavy heart that I share with you all that Joshua Seal has passed away … no, he was murdered, in the 10/25 shooting in Lewiston. It still feels surreal,” she wrote.


Families hunt for loved ones not heard from since Hurricane Otis pummeled Acapulco

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Desperate families made missing posters Friday and joined online groups to look for loved ones out of touch since Hurricane Otis devastated the Mexican Pacific coast city of Acapulco.

Officials said they were moving in supplies and evacuating people from the devastated metropolis of 1 million people.

As cellphone service returned to some parts of the city, many residents had help from friends and relatives living in other parts of Mexico and in the United States.

Residents joined together by neighborhood using online messaging platforms. On Thursday there were some 1,000 people in 40 chats, which grew in number through the day. Late Thursday, Guerrero state Gov. Evelyn Salgado followed their lead, urging people to send messages to government WhatsApp accounts about the missing.

Norma Manzano spent a day debating whether to make a digital missing poster, like so many people have done, for her two brothers, whom she had not heard from since shortly after Otis made landfall early Wednesday.


Pope orders Vatican to reopen case of priest accused of adult abuse but allowed to keep ministering

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has ordered the Vatican to reopen the case of a well-known priest-artist accused of sexually, psychologically and spiritually abusing adult women, and removed the statute of limitations that had previously prevented a church trial based on their claims.

The Vatican's announcement Friday marked a major turnaround for the Holy See and followed a growing outcry among abuse victims and their advocates over the handling of the case of the Rev. Marko Ivan Rupnik, a once-exalted Jesuit preacher whose mosaics grace churches and basilicas around the world.

The Rupnik scandal has been a headache for the Jesuits, the Vatican and Francis himself due to suspicions that he received favorable treatment from the Holy See, where a Jesuit is pope and other Jesuits head the sex crimes office that investigated Rupnik and declined to prosecute him because the claims against him were deemed too old.

A Vatican statement said Francis' abuse prevention commission had flagged “serious problems” in the way his case was handled initially, particularly in the “lack of outreach to victims.” That terminology was significant in itself because church authorities previously refused to even consider the women with claims against Rupnik as “victims.”

Francis asked the Vatican's Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles abuse-related crimes according to church law, “to review the case and decided to lift the statute of limitations to allow a trial to take place," the statement said.


AP PHOTOS: Scenes of sorrow and despair on both sides of Israel-Gaza border on week 3 of war

A bullet-riddled family photo tacked to a refrigerator in Kibbutz Kissufim in southern Israel following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. Horrific scenes of the lifeless bodies of Palestinian children pulled from the rubble in the Gaza Strip following Israeli retaliatory airstrikes.

Week 3 of the Israel-Hamas war was filled with sorrowful images on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border.

Outside the morgue at Gaza's Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah, the bodies of a dead Palestinian father clutching his curly-haired toddler were wrapped in a blanket. In Israel, grief-stricken soldiers attended the funeral of a young Israeli sergeant and her father killed in the Hamas attack on Kibbutz Kfar Azza in southern Israel, just one of many funerals this week.

Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes left large swathes of Gaza a mass of rubble, where Palestinian rescue workers searched for any sign of life — and mournful screams went up when dead children and others were pulled out.


Donald Trump is set to testify Nov. 6 in civil fraud trial. Daughter Ivanka also will testify

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump is set to testify Nov. 6 at his New York civil fraud trial, following his three eldest children to the witness stand in a case that threatens to disrupt their family's real estate empire, state lawyers said Friday.

It was already expected that the former president and sons Donald Jr. and Eric would testify. The timing became clear Friday, after Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that daughter Ivanka Trump also must appear, rejecting her bid to avoid testifying.

The schedule sets up a blockbuster stretch in the trial of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit. She alleges that the former president, now the Republican front-runner for 2024, overstated his wealth for years on financial statements that were given to banks, insurers and others to help secure loans and deals.

Trump denies any wrongdoing and has called the trial a politically motivated sham. The case could strip Trump of some of his corporate holdings and marquee properties such as Trump Tower. James and Engoron are Democrats.

Donald Trump and the two sons are defendants in the lawsuit, but the state is initially calling them to the stand before the defense begins its case. The defense can then call them again.


A salty problem for people near the mouth of the Mississippi is a wakeup call for New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The heating element removed from Monique Plaisance's water heater in September was disintegrating, streaked with rust and covered in a dry crust. She blamed the corrosion on the water piped in from the area's longtime drinking water source: the Mississippi River.

It was a similar story not far away at the Black Velvet Oyster Bar and Grill.

“We're draining the hot water heater every few days to get most, or a good bit, of the salt out of that,” owner Byron Marinovich said. “The ice machine has been off since the third week of April.”

Plaisance's home and Marinovich's restaurant are in the Buras community of rural Plaquemines Parish, roughly 60 miles (about 96 kilometers) southeast of New Orleans and 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 kilometers) upriver from where the Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico. As in New Orleans, drinking water in the parish is drawn from the river.

But this year, the gulf pushed back. A wedge of salt water slipped up along the river bottom, beginning in the spring.

The Associated Press