MADRID (AP) — Almost 500 migrants forced their way into Spanish territory in North Africa early Friday by breaking through gates in the 20-foot (6-meter) high fence that separates Morocco from Spain’s Ceuta enclave.
The Ceuta regional government gave the figures, with officials saying it was believed to be the biggest border invasion in recent years. Ceuta is separated from the rest of Spain by the Strait of Gibraltar.
Some 700 migrants attempted to smash through several gates simultaneously at about 6 a.m., a Ceuta government official told The Associated Press. He refused to be identified, in accordance with government rules.
He said 498 migrants made it into Spanish territory, with two hospitalized due to injuries they sustained in the assault. He said 11 Spanish police were also hurt.
A Civil Guard spokesman said police clashed with the migrants at the Tarajal area of the fence. He declined to disclose his identity in line with internal policy. At least 10 members of Morocco’s armed forces were also injured, he said.
More than 30 migrants were treated at a migrant center for bone fractures and other injuries. Some were also cut trying to scale the fence, which is topped with barbed wire, said Clemen Nunez, director of Ceuta’s Red Cross emergency response team.
According to the Civil Guard, a surveillance camera showed hundreds of people approaching the fence, using tools and clubs to break one of the gates.
In video filmed by Faro TV Ceuta, some of the migrants can be seen with blood on their faces and bruises but mostly celebrating the arrival in Spanish territory. Some wrapped themselves with Spanish and European flags and screamed “Freedom, freedom!”
Hundreds of sub-Saharan African migrants are living illegally in Morocco and regularly attempt to enter Ceuta and Melilla, Spain’s other North African enclave, in hopes of getting into Europe. Most are fleeing poverty, violence or both.
On Friday, 55 of them were rejected, according to the Civil Guard, because those who are intercepted on the spot can be returned to Morocco. But those that make it over the fences are usually taken to migrant centers and eventually repatriated or let go, many choosing to seek asylum or work informally in Spain or other European countries.
Before the latest arrival, the migrant center Ceuta was already struggling to cope with more than 600 people and making use of military tents in nearby parking lots.
AP reporter Barry Hatton contributed from Lisbon, Portugal.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was charged with four first-degree felonies and one misdemeanor after allegedly being involved in a fight with two men last weekend.
According to a docket sheet filed Thursday night, the 31-year-old Revis is facing two counts of aggravated assault, along with charges of robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and terroristic threats — a misdemeanor — after the incident Sunday at 2:43 a.m.
Revis’ attorney, Blaine Jones, said in a statement while the charges were still pending that Revis was “physically assaulted while at that location by a group of at least five people.” He added that the Jets cornerback “feared for his safety” and sought medical attention, but didn’t offer details about the severity of Revis’ injuries.
Jones told The Associated Press that once a warrant was issued, he would arrange for Revis to turn himself in.
“One of the other guys initiated physical contact,” Jones said. “Darrelle was walking away. He was in fear for his life and fear for his safety.”
But in a statement earlier Thursday, Pittsburgh police said the alleged fight started when a 22-year-old man from Kittanning, Pennsylvania, not identified in the statement, spotted a man who he believed to be Revis walking along East Carson St. After Revis confirmed he was the NFL player, the man started recording the interaction. Revis grabbed the phone and tried to delete the video. Another 21-year-old man from Ross Township tried to help the other man, but Revis tossed the phone into the road, the statement says.
An argument ensued, ending with another man helping Revis, according to the police statement. Police say the 22-year-old man and the 21-year-old man claimed they were punched and knocked out. According to police, the two men regained consciousness and spoke to authorities.
Witnesses told police that the two men were unconscious for about 10 minutes. The responding officers viewed the video on the phone and confirmed that the person was Revis.
In his statement, Jones said that Revis, an Aliquippa native, was in the Pittsburgh area to visit family and friends last weekend. During the time of the incident, Jones said Revis “went by a location in the Southside that he is in the process of developing.” That is when, according to Jones, Revis was assaulted.
The Jets said in a statement that the team is aware of the incident and has spoken to Revis, but issued no further comment.
Revis was a star at the University of Pittsburgh and was drafted No. 14 overall by the Jets in 2007. He quickly established himself as one of the top players at his position — and in franchise history — while also earning the nickname, “Revis Island” for his penchant for routinely shutting down opposing teams’ top receivers.
His second tenure with New York, after stints with Tampa Bay and New England, might be over after two seasons. Revis is scheduled to make $15 million, including a $2 million roster bonus due on March 11, next season — but that would be a lofty salary for an aging player who admittedly had a subpar year that he attributed to age and injuries.
The Jets would still owe him $6 million if they cut him as part of the $39 million in guarantees in the five-year, $70 million deal he signed with New York in 2015. Revis, who could perhaps agree to a pay cut, has also entertained the idea of making a position change to safety.
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1. Which two countries are allies?
a. North Korea and Japan
b. North Korea and South Korea
c. the United States and Japan
d. the United States and North Korea
2. Where do Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Trump hope to find common ground?
b. labor policy
c. environmental policy
d. trade policy
3. How are the Russian missiles in violation of a treaty?
a. They fired at targets in Europe.
b. They carry a nuclear payload (or bomb).
c. They can travel more than 300 miles.
d. They were sold to the Syrian regime.
4. What did Trump express that would be a possible shift in American foreign policy?
a. support for settlements on Palestinian land
b. openness to a one-state solution
c. support for Israel’s military defense
d. support for ending Israeli control of Palestinian areas
5. Which of these best explains why videos can help a GoFundMe campaign raise money?
a. Most people would rather click on a video than read a social media post.
b. Seeing a person in need allows viewers to empathize with him or her.
c. It is easier to share a video than any other type of media.
d. Videos help the campaign get media coverage.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A judge on Thursday denied a request by the Illinois attorney general to stop paying state workers unless lawmakers resolve an ongoing budget impasse.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she will appeal the judge’s ruling, noting the state’s constitution requires an enacted appropriation for state spending.
“Under the current injunction, the state has spent over $3 billion in taxpayer money without any transparency or legislative debate as required by law.” Madigan said in a statement. “The governor is using this injunction to avoid following the Constitution and enacting a budget, irreparably harming the people of Illinois.”
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien refused to reverse a previous court order requiring Illinois to pay state employees in the absence of a spending plan. Madigan argued stopping pay would hasten a budget agreement.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has criticized Madigan’s legal move, suggesting the daughter of House Speaker Michael Madigan wanted to create a “crisis” that would shut down the government.
“We’re pleased our hard working state employees, who show up to work every day on behalf of the people of Illinois, will continue to be paid,” Rauner said in a statement, adding he hopes Madigan drops her efforts and allow negotiations in the Senate on a balanced budget to succeed.
Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature have been fighting for years over how to balance the budget. Rauner repeated Wednesday that he will support a tax increase to help close a multibillion-dollar budget deficit, but only if it is accompanied by measures he wants to help businesses, such as reduced workers’ compensation costs.
Democrats oppose Rauner’s agenda, with Speaker Madigan calling it “extreme” and harmful to the middle class.
Without a budget in place, social service agencies, higher education and other programs have suffered. Other spending has continued, however, because of court orders or state law. That has included employee pay.
Both Democrats and Republicans in the Illinois House say worker paychecks should continue and have introduced separate bills seeking to avert a government shutdown if Madigan’s motion succeeds.
Rauner said in a video message to state employees last week that he would veto the Democrat-backed plan, which would appropriate money for state agencies to continue paying employees through the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
The Republican plan wouldn’t expire at the end of the fiscal year, but it puts the governor’s office and state agencies in charge of deciding how much money employees receive — authority that Democrats are not willing to give.
Rauner and the state’s largest public-employee union have been at odds over a new contract, with the governor seeking millions in savings.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees contends the General Assembly has appropriated funds for the state employee payroll by agreeing to abide by court orders.
“Through all state government’s chaos of the past two years, the people of Illinois have been able to rely on state workers to be there, providing important public services,” AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said. “This decision ensures that that commitment can continue.”
AFSCME Council 31 is holding a strike authorization vote to determine if members are willing to walk out. That vote, which started last month, continues through Sunday.
NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T says any cellphone customer can sign up for unlimited data plans starting Friday. That option had been limited to customers of AT&T-owned DirecTV.
The change comes just days after Verizon announced an unlimited plan without such restrictions.
All four major cellphone providers now offer unlimited plans, a major reversal from a few years ago. AT&T’s version costs the same as Verizon’s — $180 — for a family of four but is pricier for an individual. Sprint and T-Mobile are cheaper.
Sprint also said Thursday that it’s letting unlimited customers watch video in high definition rather than DVD quality. T-Mobile announced a similar change Monday after Verizon said HD video was included. AT&T’s unlimited plan degrades video to DVD quality, but customers can turn HD video back on for free.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — For its next trick, an internet-beaming balloon factory spun out of Google believes it can outmaneuver the wind.
In doing so, the 4-year-old “Project Loon” says it will be able to bring remote parts of the world online more quickly with a smaller fleet of the balloons than it previously thought.
Engineers involved in the eccentric project, a part of the X Lab owned by Google’s corporate parent Alphabet Inc., say they have come up with algorithms that enable the high-flying balloons to do a better job anticipating shifting wind conditions so they hover above masses of land for several months instead of orbiting the earth.
X now expects to need fewer balloons to fulfill its goal of delivering internet service to billions of people living in unconnected regions in the world, ranging from small villages in Africa to the woods of California.
The need for fewer balloons should lower Project Loon’s costs and accelerate plans to start selling internet-services subscriptions to consumers and businesses.
The X lab, like other parts of Alphabet that are funded by Google’s highly profitable digital advertising network, is under pressure to start making money on its own. The Alphabet subsidiaries operating outside Google, a hodgepodge of far-flung projects, have lost a combined $7.1 billion during the past two years. In an acknowledgement of their lofty goals and risky nature, Alphabet CEO Larry Page calls them “moonshots.”
Astro Teller, who runs the X Lab, declined to provide a specific timetable for when Project Loon might start selling internet access plans.
Meeting with reporters Thursday at X’s headquarters in a former shopping mall in Mountain View, California, Teller said the project hopes to team up with a telecommunications provider within the next few months to begin testing how well the balloons’ new navigational system will work. He likened the newly developed algorithms’ objectives to “a game of chess with the wind.”
If the algorithms prevail in their metrological battle, Project Loop hopes to need only 10 to 30 beams floating about 60,000 feet above the earth to transmit high-speed internet signals to a target market, instead of up to 400 balloons orbiting around the globe. Keeping the balloons in smaller clusters will also make them easier to locate and retrieve once they descend back to land after several months in the stratosphere, Teller said.
Project Loon has been doing most of its testing recently in South America, although Teller said that isn’t necessarily where it will team up with a telecommunications provider to determine the effectiveness of its wind-defying technology. Since launching in New Zealand in 2013, the balloons have traveled 19 million kilometers, or nearly 12 million miles, according to Project Loon.
Alphabet frames Project Loon as a noble endeavor striving to enable people currently without reliable internet service to tap into the vast reservoir of knowledge, entertainment and conveniences available online. But it could also enrich Google by expanding the potential audience that can query its search engine, watch video on YouTube, correspond through Gmail and click on digital ads.