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AP-SAUDI-ARABIA-WRITER-KILLED-THE-LATEST The Latest: Iran claims US backed Saudi killing of Khashoggi RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is claiming that Saudi Arabia would not have dared have journalist Jamal Khashoggi killed inside…

AP-SAUDI-ARABIA-WRITER-KILLED-THE-LATEST

The Latest: Iran claims US backed Saudi killing of Khashoggi

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is claiming that Saudi Arabia would not have dared have journalist Jamal Khashoggi killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul without having some sort of backing from the United States.

The remarks follow Turkey’s assertion that the writer was killed by a 15-man Saudi hit squad that included a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage on overseas trips.

Wednesday’s report by the state-run IRNA news agency quotes Rouhani as saying: “I don’t think that without getting support from the United States, a country would dare to commit such a crime.”

Rouhani offered no evidence for his allegations.

Rouhani also called the Saudi system of government a “tribal rule” under which individuals enjoy protection and support from those in power. That protection is such that no court would initiate any actions against those individuals.

AP-LT-CENTRAL-AMERICA-MIGRANT-CARAVAN-THE-LATEST

The Latest: Analyst says aid cut for CentAm could backfire

HUIXTLA, Mexico (AP) — An analyst with Moody’s Analytics says that if U.S. President Donald Trump follows through on cutting or reducing aid to Central America, it could backfire by worsening poverty and violence that are root causes of migration.

Alfredo Coutino writes in a report Tuesday that slashing funding for employment, health care, education and security “will have an important consequence on vulnerable people.”

Coutino says any increase in insecurity and reduction in well-being would provide “additional incentive” for people to leave, “potentially aggravating the migration of Central Americans” northward.

The analyst’s conclusion: “President Trump might get the opposite result of what he thought would be by punishing the Central American governments.”

Trump tweeted Monday: “We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to” Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

It is Congress, not the president, that appropriates aid money. The White House would have to notify Congress if it wanted to cut or reallocate aid, which could delay or complicate the process.

BC-TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST

The Latest: Willa weakens to tropical storm, rain continues

MAZATLAN, Mexico (AP) — The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Willa has weakened to a tropical storm but torrential rains will continue in west-central Mexico.

The meteorologists said Wednesday that Willa is moving toward the northeast at speeds near 20 mph (32 kph), movement expected to continue during the next 12 hours.

The Hurricane Center added that the government of Mexico has discontinued all coastal tropical cyclone warnings for the country.

Willa came ashore about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Mazatlan, a resort city that is home to high-rise hotels and about 500,000 people, including many U.S. and Canadian expatriates.

10 p.m

Hurricane Willa began losing power overnight after roaring over a stretch of beach towns, fishing villages and farms on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Sinaloa state as a Category 3 storm.

Damage assessments were scanty during the night because of darkness and poor communications, but federal officials said power had been knocked out in some spots and there were early reports of flimsy structures with tin roofs sustaining damage.

Before hitting the mainland near Isla del Bosque with 120 mph (195 kph) winds Tuesday night, Willa swept over an offshore penal colony about 60 miles (100 kilometers) out in the Pacific.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm’s forward movement had sped up to 17 mph (28 kph) late Tuesday and it was expected to rapidly weaken. It warned, however, that the storm could still cause heavy rains in portions of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states, with flash flooding and landslides possible in mountainous areas.

Willa came ashore about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Mazatlan, a resort city that is home to high-rise hotels and about 500,000 people, including many U.S. and Canadian expatriates.

JAPAN-SYRIA-MISSING JOURNALIST-THE LATEST

The Latest: Japanese freed from Syria confirms he is well

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese freelance journalist who was kidnapped three years ago in Syria says he is well and safe in Turkey.

Jumpei Yasuda spoke in brief videotaped comments in English carried online Wednesday by Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

He said he was safe in Turkey after being held for 40 months.

Yasuda has been at an immigration center in southern Turkey near the border with Syria since he was freed Tuesday.

He was kidnapped in 2015 by al-Qaida’s branch in Syria.

WORLD SERIES-THE LATEST

The Latest: Red Sox come out swinging, beat Dodgers 8-4

BOSTON (AP) — Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez and the Boston Red Sox came out swinging in the World Series opener, seizing every advantage in their quirky ballpark to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 on a chilly Tuesday night.

Benintendi delivered four hits, Martinez drove in two early runs and pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez golfed a three-run homer to seal it. The 108-win Red Sox got a solid effort from their bullpen after an expected duel between aces Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw never developed.

Xander Bogaerts hit into a go-ahead forceout in the fifth and Rafael Devers followed with an RBI single for a 5-3 lead.

After Manny Machado hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh for his third RBI, Nunez homered over the Green Monster off Alex Wood in the bottom half.

Boston’s David Price faces Hyun-Jin Ryun in Game 2 on Wednesday. This marks just the third World Series in which both starting pitchers in the first two games are lefties.

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH SHOOTING

Utah university slay suspect was sex offender, records show

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities say the man accused of killing a University of Utah student he had dated was a sex offender and his victim reported him to police.

Investigators had been working to build a case against Melvin Rowland after receiving the report from 21-year-old senior Lauren McCluskey, of Pullman, Washington.

Police say Rowland killed McCluskey Monday night. He later killed himself when police tracked him down.

McCluskey’s mother said her daughter had dated Rowland for about a month but ended the relationship when she learned he had lied about his age, name and criminal history.

According to court records, Rowland spent nearly a decade in prison after pleading guilty to trying to lure an underage girl online and attempted sex abuse charges, according to court records.

ELECTION 2018-GEORGIA GOVERNOR-FIRST DEBATE

Voting access dominates Georgia debate between Abrams, Kemp

ATLANTA (AP) — The first debate between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp in the race for Georgia governor was dominated by charges of voter suppression and counterclaims of encouraging illegal voting.

Disputes over voting access took center stage at the debate, highlighting Abrams’ historic bid to become the first black female governor in American history and the long-simmering politics of race in the Deep South. Kemp, who is white, continued to fend off charges that he’s using his position as Georgia secretary of state to make it harder for minority voters to cast ballots.

The race is being watched as a barometer for Democrats’ success in the midterm elections, as they try to make gains in Congress and in important state positions to counter President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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Ontario’s new automated speed enforcement explained

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(NC) To wage the war against speeding, many municipalities across Ontario have turned to automated speed enforcement. Most recently introduced in Toronto, speed cameras are a high-tech solution to reduce speeding and are considered one of the most effective ways to create safer roads and save lives.  

Recognizing police officers cannot catch all speeders, these cameras fill the gap, providing monitoring in specific locations around the clock. When a car’s speed is even one kilometre over the posted amount, it will take a picture of the offending vehicle’s license plate, using the captured photo as indisputable evidence. A ticket is then served to the vehicle’s owner, regardless of who was driving. 

With a focus on high-risk areas, Ontario’s automated speed enforcement cameras are located in two specific municipal areas: school and community safety zones. School zones are designated streets close to a school, featuring reduced speed limits as dictated by local bylaws. Community safety zones are high-risk corridors and intersections, subject to increased fines and penalties.  

While the Ontario Highway Traffic Act outlines the use of automated speed enforcement, municipalities can decide when and where to use cameras to curb speeding. The act does dictate financial penalties for speed violations captured with cameras, which vary depending on the number of kilometres caught over the speed limit.  

Speed enforcement is not new, but part of a broader, integrated road safety strategy that includes infrastructure improvements, awareness campaigns and new uses of technology. City officials hope for a halo effect, inspiring better driving behaviour across entire communities, not only in areas with cameras. A controversial topic, some critics take exception to speed cameras, labelling them as sneaky cash grabs for municipalities. Governments think the opposite. 

Safety advocate and auto insurance provider Onlia is hopeful that the cameras will provide drivers with a reminder to slow down, especially in high-risk areas like school and community safety zones.  

For those who obey the speed limit, automated speed enforcement shouldn’t change anything about your driving style, says Alex Kelly, Safety Ambassador at OnliaDrivers have fair warning as they approach areas with speed cameras, as mandatory signs provide reasonable notice of upcoming automated speed enforcement. Regardless of warnings, the best speed is the posted speed. 

You can start to understand your speeding style by downloading the insurance provider’s new safe driving app that coaches and rewards for you for safe driving habits.

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Online banking: How to protect yourself from fraud

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(NC) Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, a growing number of consumers are regularly using mobile and online banking to paybill payments, transfer money and make purchases.

Although these tools can give you easy access to your personal finances on demand, there are also some risks involved. For instance, your banking information—such as your debit or credit card number, user name, or personal identification number (PIN)—could be stolen. If criminals have access to your online banking information, they can steal your money, which is why it’s so important to be  vigilant when you bank online.

Follow these tips to help protect your personal and banking information:

  • For your online bank accounts, use a strong password that can’t be easily guessed, and never share your user name or password with anyone.
  • Check your accounts regularly to make sure there are no transactions you didn’t make or authorize.
  • When making online purchases, never authorize a website to save your credit card information, password or other personal information. Giving websites this permission will save you some time the next time you access the site, but it poses a real threat if a hacker manages to access your information.

Most financial institutions have policies to protect you from transactions that you didn’t make.

However, you are responsible for protecting your online and mobile banking information. If you give your details to anyone—including your spouse or partner, a family member or a friend—your financial institution may hold you responsible for any unauthorized transactions in your account, and even strip you of protection from unauthorized transactions in the future.

If you suspect your information may have been compromised, change your passwords immediately, and check your account and credit card statements for anomalies and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has created resources to help you protect your online banking information.

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Payday loans: Not the best way to borrow money

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(NC) Payday loans are a very expensive way to borrow money. Even if you’re struggling financially, think twice—and crunch the numbers—before getting this type of loan.

Depending on the rules in your province, payday lenders can charge fees of $15 to $25 per $100 that you borrow.

As an example, let’s say you borrow $300 for home repairs. The payday lender charges you $51 in fees, or $17 for every $100 borrowed. Your loan balance is therefore $351, which amounts to an interest rate of 442 per cent.

There can be serious consequences if you don’t repay your loan by the due date. These may include the following:

  • The payday lender may charge you a fee if there isn’t enough money in your account.
  • Your financial institution may also charge you a fee if there isn’t enough money in your account.
  • The total amount that you owe, including the fees, continues to increase.

There are better options out there

Payday loans should be your last resort to borrow money. Consider cheaper ways of borrowing money, such as:

  • Cashing in vacation days or asking for a pay advance from your employer.
  • Getting a line of credit, a cash advance on a credit card or a personal loan from your financial institution.
  • Getting a loan from family or friends.

Before getting a payday loan and to avoid getting stuck in a debt trap, consider other, less expensive ways to borrow money.

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