WATCH: DNC underway - DNC apologizes for `inexcusable remarks'

By Associated Press 9:49am, July 25, 2016 - Updated 5:00pm, July 25, 2016
Jimmy Wright installs the Pennsylvania delegation placard ahead of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
The Democratic National Convention kicks off today in Philadelphia amid a backdrop of lingering bitterness among supporters of defeated candidate Bernie Sanders over a process they say was tilted in favor of Hillary Clinton.

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The Latest on the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (all times EDT):

4:45 p.m.

The Democratic National Committee is offering its "deep and sincere apology" to Bernie Sanders, his supporters and the entire party for what it calls "the inexcusable remarks made over email."

The statement from incoming interim party leader, Donna Brazile, and six other officials says the comments in the emails "do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process."

The statement says the party won't tolerate disrespectful language.

The statement wasn't signed by the outgoing DNC head, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

She announced on Sunday that she'd step down from that job at the end of this week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The emails suggested party officials favored Clinton over rival Sanders during the primaries.

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4:15 p.m.

Democrats have gaveled in their convention in Philadelphia - after a day of discord that sent the party chief into exile.

It was Baltimore's mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who called the 47th Democratic convention to order. Her formal welcome was briefly held up a slight oversight - she forgot the gavel and had to retrieve it off stage.

Rawlings-Blake is a last-minute fill-in Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the ousted Democratic National Committee leader.

The Florida congresswoman was forced out of her post by a trove of leaked emails that appeared to show DNC officials favored Hillary Clinton over Sanders in their fierce primary fight. She's set to step down from the party job after the convention.

Rawlings-Blake serves as secretary of the DNC.

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2:38 p.m.

The White House is pitching first lady Michelle Obama's speech Monday night as a barometer of party unity.

Democrats are trying to overcome anger from Bernie Sanders supporters to the leaked emails indicating staffers at the Democratic National Committee favored Clinton over Sanders.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says he's confident Mrs. Obama will be warmly received at the Democratic National Convention. He says the first lady will give voice to the values and agenda that the Obama administration has pursued over the past seven years.

The White House says Mrs. Obama plans to talk about the role the president plays in the lives of children, shaping their values and aspirations, and why she believes Clinton is the leader with the ability to best fill that role.

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2:33 p.m.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has been chosen to gavel in the full convention on Monday in place of Democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for the mayor, confirmed Monday she has accepted the role.

Rawlings-Blake currently serves as secretary of the Democratic National Committee.

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2:27 p.m.

Former Vice President Al Gore is endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, but he says he is "not able" to attend the Democratic National Convention this week.

In a trio of tweets Monday, Gore said that he's voting for Clinton "given her qualifications and experience - and given the significant challenges facing our nation and the world." He did not tweet his reason for not attending the nominating convention.

Gore, an outspoken activist on the issue of global warming, specifically said that Clinton would help to raise awareness on the issue.

Gore was the Democratic nominee for president in 2000, but he lost the general election in a highly contentious race against George W. Bush.

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2:23 p.m.

Delegates for Bernie Sanders say they do not want to be taken for granted as the Democratic Party falls behind Hillary Clinton and nominates her for president this week.

Amos Miers of St. Petersburg, Fla., said Sanders should do more explaining before instructing supporters of his year-long challenge to Clinton. He says Sanders' supporters are "not going to get steamrolled."

Colorado delegate Anita Lynchsaid she "had to boo" and wants to take some type of action later on the convention floor. She wore a shirt depicting Sanders as a muppet.

They and other delegates pledged to Sanders booed him when he called for Clinton's election to the presidency.

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1:50 p.m.

Bernie Sanders drew boos and angry chants from his delegates as he called for the election of Hillary Clinton.

Many in the crowd chanted, "We want Bernie" as Democrats gathered in Philadelphia to nominate Clinton.

Sanders responded to his supporters with pragmatism; Clinton weeks ago locked up the number of delegates she needs to win the nomination. Sanders said, "This is the real world." He added that electing Clinton was the way to stop Republican Donald Trump, who he described as "a bully and a demagogue," from becoming president.

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1:36 p.m.

Outgoing Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman says she won't gavel her party's national convention to order on Monday afternoon.

She abruptly cancelled that plan just a few hours before she was to gavel open the nominating convention. In a brief phone conversation with the Sun Sentinel newspaper of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Wasserman Schultz said:

"I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention."

The Florida congresswoman had announced she would resign her post at the helm of the DNC in the wake of an email scandal involving her aides - but still gavel open and closed the Democrats' nominating convention this week. That was before she was booed and heckled as she spoke to her home state delegation from people angry that the hacked emails apparently showed some aides favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the party's presidential primary.

She added in her comments to the newspaper: "This needs to be all about making sure that everyone knows that Hillary Clinton would make the best president."

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1:23 p.m.

Bernie Sanders says that Debbie Wasserman Schultz's departure from the Democratic National Committee will "open the doors of the party to people who want real change."

To roaring cheers from delegates in Philadelphia, Sanders also touted progressive wins in the Democratic party platform and over future nominating rules. Many of his supporters ?- frustrated by the primary process and the recent leaked emails from Democratic party officials -? have been threatening protests at the DNC.

Sanders says his supporters should continue to push for the "transformation of American society."

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1:17 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is thanking his delegates at a meeting before the Democratic National Convention, saying "make no mistake about it, we have made history."

Sanders addressed over a thousand delegates packed into a ballroom at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, in advance of the Democratic National Convention. Many of his supporters ?- frustrated by the primary process and the recent leaked emails from Democratic party officials -? have been threatening protests at the DNC.

To wild cheers, Sanders said his candidacy proved that "the American people want a bold progressive agenda that takes on the billionaire class."

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1:00 p.m.

Former Vice President Al Gore is not attending the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week.

Spokeswoman Betsy McManus told The Tennessean newspaper that Gore has "obligations in Tennessee," but she did not elaborate.

Gore is one of eight Tennessee superdelegates, but he has not pledged his support to presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton.

Gore was a Tennessee U.S. senator before joining Bill Clinton's presidential ticket in 1992. Gore lost the 2000 presidential race to Republican George W. Bush.

Since then Gore has become increasingly less active in electoral politics and more active in environmental causes, sharing the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for that effort.

Gore spoke on behalf of Democratic nominees John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008, but he did not attend the 2012 convention.

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12:30 p.m.

Danny Glover has told the Democratic National Convention's black caucus that it's important to push for "transformative change" and "listen to new voices that demand speaking truth to power."

The actor described Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a fascist and said citizens have to turn out to vote to defeat him.

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and DNC Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile were among the group that spoke to the group Monday.

Brazile says Bernie Sanders will "point the way forward" in his convention speech Monday night.

She apologized to those offended or betrayed by "ridiculous and insensitive" hacked emails from the Democratic Party that appeared to show the DNC favored Clinton over Sanders during the primaries.

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12:05 p.m.

Philadelphia's police commissioner says he was pleased with how police and protesters handled the first day of protests at the Democratic National Convention, but he compared Sunday to a "scrimmage game."

Commissioner Richard Ross said Monday that the protests around the city will only get bigger.

Ross stood outside City Hall as a group of Bernie Sanders supporters gathered, chanting "Nominate Sanders or lose in November!"

The commissioner says heat ranks high on his list of concerns as the city experiences an oppressive heat index above 100 degrees.

Ross says his officers on bikes were "hardcore" Sunday and he couldn't get them to take breaks in air conditioning. He says he hopes the officers will take breaks Monday to get water and spend some time in the shade.

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11:20 a.m.

Democratic National Convention protesters are gathering on the New Jersey side of a bridge leading to Philadelphia, preparing to march across it and possibly shut down traffic.

Busloads of activists are expected to march Monday across the Ben Franklin Bridge, most of them supporters of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Organizer Gary Frazier says if the crowd is big enough, they'll try to shut down traffic on the bridge.

Frazier says the goal is to get the convention to nominate Sanders for president. He says if that doesn't happen, there will be a push to withdraw Sanders supporters from the Democratic Party.

Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Sanders supporters are angry over hacked emails that reveal the DNC might have favored Clinton over Sanders during the party's presidential primaries.

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10 a.m.

Protesters are gearing up outside Philadelphia's City Hall for a long, hot day of marches and rallies on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention.

Members of Equality Coalition, which supports the beliefs of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, are arranging to have hundreds of spray bottles filled with water to hand out to protesters. They're also preparing buckets full of ice and towels to help overheated marchers cool off.

The National Weather Service says temperatures will hover in the mid- to upper-90s on Monday. With humidity, it will feel more like 105 degrees.

Organizer Jenni Kelleher says she marched Sunday when temperatures were in the high 90s. She doesn't think the heat will keep protesters away.

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9:56 a.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager says there's no comparison between the disunity at the Republican convention and the state of the Democratic Party.

Robby Mook is noting that no living Republican presidents attended the GOP convention, nor did the governor of Ohio, which hosted the gathering. He says in contrast, "Everybody is actually showing up at our convention and they're endorsing Hillary Clinton."

He sidestepped questions about the role of ousted Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role at the convention. He says it was "her decision" to step down at the end of the convention.

Mook spoke to reporters at a Bloomberg breakfast.

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9:54 a.m.

Vice President Joe Biden will hold his first campaign rally for Hillary Clinton next month in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Biden had planned to campaign for Clinton earlier this month but postponed the event after five police officers were killed in Dallas. That incident also led Clinton's GOP rival Donald Trump to scrap events.

The White House says Biden will now travel to Scranton on August 15. The locale has dual significance - it's also where Clinton's father lived for years.

The rally will come nearly three weeks after Biden speaks Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention. Biden has endorsed Clinton and promised to campaign hard for her but was seen as a potential chief rival to her had he run for president. He opted out last year.

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9:38 a.m.

Furious protesters nearly drowned out Debbie Wasserman Schultz' speech to her home state delegation Monday, crowding the stage and screaming, "You're ruining our democracy!"

A row of police officers stood between the stage and the protesters as the Florida congresswoman, who is up for re-election, finished her speech. Several of her supporters stood on chairs and waved T-shirts bearing her name, whole some yelled at the Sanders' supporters to step back or sit down.

The Sanders' supporters held paper signs that said "E-mails" on one side and "Thanks for the `help' Debbie," on the other.

Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday she would step down from the party chairmanship after the convention this week. She was pressured to resign after hacked emails revealed the DNC may have favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the party's presidential primaries.

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9:22 a.m.

Outgoing Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is being heckled at a breakfast of Florida delegates, with opponents shouting, "Shame!"

The Florida congresswoman announced Sunday that she would resign as the party's chair at the end of this week's Democratic National Convention.

Wasserman Schultz is telling the crowd during a raucous scene that "we have to make sure that we move together in a unified way." But supporters of Bernie Sanders shouted at her during her brief remarks to the breakfast.

Her ouster came after a firestorm over hacked emails that suggested the DNC favored Hillary Clinton in the presidential primaries against Bernie Sanders.

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9:20 a.m.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is downplaying turmoil in the Democratic Party, saying it "doesn't really matter" who is the party chair.

Pelosi blames the Russians for the hack of Democratic National Committee emails that revealed that party officials strategized against Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Pelosi says the matter should be "scrutinized," and "I do think there should be some examination of what happened at the DNC and action should be taken."

The revelations led party chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to announce she would step down after the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

Pelosi predicts that development will end up being "probably one of the most unimportant things that happened at the convention."

She made her comments at a breakfast hosted by Bloomberg News Monday in Philadelphia.

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9:17 a.m.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic Party, said Monday that "we're done" with the controversy over hacked party emails.

"I think the good news now is we're done," McAuliffe said, after speaking to a delegate breakfast in Philadelphia on the first day of the Democratic National Convention. "We've dealt with the issue. Debbie has resigned and now we've got to go forward. She did the right thing. I used to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee. You should never tolerate anyone on your staff or allow people to write those kinds of things."

McAuliffe said he hopes the delegates will treat Wasserman Schultz with respect, noting that "she wants to get up there" and participate this week. He added that she has worked hard and "it's not an easy job."

McAuliffe said he spoke to Wasserman Schultz last night and said the resignation "was very hard on her. You don't like to see anyone have to go through this."

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8:36 a.m.

Hillary Clinton's spokesman says hacked emails in which Democratic party officials discuss how to undermine Bernie Sanders' campaign don't mean the nomination process was rigged.

But campaign spokesman Brian Fallon is not defending emails that discuss using Sanders' religious beliefs against him. He calls those emails "completely unacceptable" and noted that the official involved has apologized. Fallon left open the possibility that the person could face "further action."

He says that, "by every standard Hillary Clinton won a decisive victory."

He noted that Clinton won more pledged delegates and had a greater popular vote than Sanders, and that the Vermont senator himself has acknowledged that Clinton is the "rightful nominee."

Fallon spoke on CNN.

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8:03 a.m.

Donald Trump is brushing off claims that Russia is trying to help his campaign by leaking thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee.

Trump said in a Tweet Monday that reports of Russia releasing the emails because Russian President Vladimir Putin likes him is "the new joke in town."

The Republican presidential nominee was reacting a day after Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign manager accused "Russian state actors" of breaking into the DNC's emails to boost Trump. Robby Mook told CNN that it's no coincidence the emails are coming out on the eve of the party's nominating convention in Philadelphia. Some Republicans opposed to Trump have sought to cast him as pro-Putin.

Wikileaks has posted emails that suggested the DNC was favoring Clinton during the primary season. The disclosures forced the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

In another Tweet, Trump says "bad judgment was on display" by DNC officials who criticized Clinton's primary rival Bernie Sanders.

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7:48 a.m.

Retired Gen. John Allen is endorsing Democrat Hillary Clinton for president, calling it "a very personal decision."

Allen, who most recently served as America's special envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said Monday that he generally keeps out of politics but "given the complexities of issues facing our country today and its longtime allies, I felt compelled to speak up and be heard."

He added: "I have no doubt that she is the leader we need at this time to keep our country safe."

Allen is the former deputy commander of U. S. Central Command and previously oversaw NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Republican Donald Trump has said that in his administration, the U.S. might not come to the defense of NATO allies who don't contribute enough to the alliance. Republicans and Democrats have widely panned that position as dangerous and evidence of Trump's lack of fitness for high office. NATO members promise that an attack against any of them is considered an assault against all.

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7:07 a.m.

Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of liberals, will deliver the keynote address at the Democratic convention.

The Massachusetts senator speaks Monday night in an opening lineup that also includes first lady Michelle Obama, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who finished second in the Democratic primary.

Sanders will notably deliver the night's closing address. Sanders generated enormous enthusiasm among young people and liberals during the Democratic primary, voters Hillary Clinton needs to show up for her in November.

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3:20 a.m.

Democrats are opening their national convention in Philadelphia eager to show off a forward-looking party united behind Hillary Clinton. But they face lingering bitterness among supporters of defeated rival Bernie Sanders and a fresh political mess of the party's own making.

The resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee made for a rocky start on Sunday. The Florida congresswoman heeded Sanders' longstanding call to leave as party chief. Her departure comes a few days after the publication of 19,000 hacked emails, which the Vermont senator said confirmed his belief the national party played favorites for Clinton during the primary.

Wasserman Schultz's abrupt departure was undoubtedly an effort to keep the Democrats' gathering from devolving into the tumult that marred last week's Republican National Convention.


DNC Protests: Sanders supporters march across Ben Franklin Bridge

By Associated Press 2:19pm, July 25, 2016 - Updated 4:59pm, July 25, 2016
Demonstrators make their way to downtown on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The Latest on protests on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Philadelphia police say they haven't issued a single citation to protesters marching through town on the first day of the Democratic convention.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross says no major problems have been reported from any of the demonstrations taking place across town.

The stifling heat with temperatures in the high-90s has led a few marchers to seek medical aid. And officials are keeping an eye on the threat of severe storms in the forecast Monday night.

Many of the protesters are gathering in an outdoor park near the convention site.

Hundreds of people marched several miles from City Hall to the park Monday afternoon to support former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the Green Party and other causes.

Sanders has met with his delegates in Philadelphia and asked them to support front-runner Hillary Clinton.

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4:30 p.m.

Philadelphia will remove Mississippi's state flag from lamppost after a group of about 50 protesters sat in a roadway in protest while marching down Philadelphia's Broad Street ahead of the Democratic convention.

The flag includes the Confederate emblem.

Brian Abernathy, Philadelphia's first deputy managing editor, says that the flag and a second one nearby will be removed Monday night.

He says the city started to receive complaints from residents since the flags went back up as part of reinvigoration efforts of the so-called Avenue of the States ahead of the convention.

The flags of all 50 states fly from light poles flanking Broad Street.

Philadelphia police told the marchers they can't climb the pole and take the flag down. The crowd heckled the officers, telling them to think for themselves.

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4 p.m.

Activists Cornel West and Chris Hedges are helping lead a march against poverty and homelessness on the opening day of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

Monday's March for Our Lives also features Jill Stein, the Green Party's presidential candidate. She spoke to the crowd of hundreds, who chanted "Jill not Hill!" It was organized by The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign.

The city initially denied the anti-poverty group's application for a permit to march. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit in June on the group's behalf, and the city settled by giving them a permit.

The group is marching to a park near the arena that is the site for the convention. Stein is set to have a rally for her campaign there.

Other events in FDR Park include a candlelight vigil organized by Bernie Sanders supporters who are mourning "The Death of Democracy."

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3:30 p.m.

A group of about 50 protesters have stopped their march down Philadelphia's Broad Street ahead of the Democratic convention and are sitting on the roadway refusing to move until Mississippi's state flag is taken down from a lamppost.

The flag includes the Confederate emblem. The marchers, mostly supporters of Bernie Sanders, say the DNC protects this type of mentality.

Philadelphia police are telling the marchers they can't climb the pole and take the flag down. The crowd is heckling the officers, telling them to think for themselves.

The flags of all 50 states fly from light poles flanking Broad Street.

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2:30 p.m.

Hundreds of protesters are marching south of Philadelphia's City Hall in support of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and other causes despite high temperatures that have led a few people to seek medical help.

The Philadelphia Fire Department says that nine people in town for the Democratic convention have been treated by emergency responders. Three of them have been taken to hospitals for evaluation.

The National Weather Service says temperatures will hover in the mid- to upper-90s on Monday. With humidity, it will feel more like 105 degrees.

Some of the protesters marching down Broad Street are criticizing the Democratic Party a day after emails suggested a party bias against Sanders.

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1:55 p.m.

A Cleveland police union, with the help of local businesses, is sending two refrigerated trucks full of water, sports drinks and the city's famed corned beef sandwiches to Philadelphia for law enforcement officers providing security at that city's Democratic convention.

Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis said Monday that the trucks would be headed to Philadelphia as soon as they're loaded.

Loomis says individuals dropped off thousands of cases of water and sports drink at the union hall last week for officers working security at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. People also donated large amounts of non-perishable food like granola bars, as well as items such as suntan lotion and bug spray.

Loomis says volunteers distributed a truckload of bottled water each day during the four-day convention.

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1:30 p.m.

Actress and Bernie Sanders supporter Rosario Dawson says followers need to listen to the Vermont senator "and see how we can take this revolution to the next level."

Dawson spoke to a group of Sanders' delegates at an event before the Democratic convention on Monday.

Dawson, an outspoken Sanders supporter who starred in "Rent," says that it's important to make sure that liberal initiatives included in the Democrats' party platform are followed.

She says if it isn't, "then civil disobedience will follow."

Dawson opened for Sanders, who told supporters that they need to support presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump.

Dawson says that Clinton is a follower and not a leader and that "our revolution is depending on your time, your energy, your blood sweat and tears."

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1:15 p.m.

Bernie Sanders supporters who marched across a bridge from New Jersey into Philadelphia in the sweltering heat have arrived in the City of Brotherly Love ahead of the Democratic convention.

About 100 marchers chanting "We are the 99 percent" have made their way across the Ben Franklin Bridge and spilled onto the Philadelphia side.

They plan to meet up with a rally at Philadelphia's City Hall. The group will then march down Broad Street toward a park across the street from where the convention begins late Monday.

The heat wave hasn't keep protesters away from Monday's rallies, but Police Commissioner Richard Ross is urging marchers to be careful and not overestimate their abilities. Temperatures are in the high 90s but feel more like 105 degrees.

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12:30 p.m.

Danny Glover has told the Democratic National Convention's black caucus that it's important to push for "transformative change" and "listen to new voices that demand speaking truth to power."

The actor described Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a fascist and said citizens have to turn out to vote to defeat him.

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and DNC Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile were among the group that spoke to the group Monday.

Brazile says Bernie Sanders will "point the way forward" in his convention speech Monday night.

She apologized to those offended or betrayed by "ridiculous and insensitive" hacked emails from the Democratic Party that appeared to show the DNC favored Clinton over Sanders during the primaries.

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12:05 p.m.

Philadelphia's police commissioner says he was pleased with how police and protesters handled the first day of protests at the Democratic National Convention, but he compared Sunday to a "scrimmage game."

Commissioner Richard Ross said Monday that the protests around the city will only get bigger.

Ross stood outside City Hall as a group of Bernie Sanders supporters gathered, chanting "Nominate Sanders or lose in November!"

The commissioner says heat ranks high on his list of concerns as the city experiences an oppressive heat index above 100 degrees.

Ross says his officers on bikes were "hardcore" Sunday and he couldn't get them to take breaks in air conditioning. He says he hopes the officers will take breaks Monday to get water and spend some time in the shade.

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11:20 a.m.

Democratic National Convention protesters are gathering on the New Jersey side of a bridge leading to Philadelphia, preparing to march across it and possibly shut down traffic.

Busloads of activists are expected to march Monday across the Ben Franklin Bridge, most of them supporters of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Organizer Gary Frazier says if the crowd is big enough, they'll try to shut down traffic on the bridge.

Frazier says the goal is to get the convention to nominate Sanders for president. He says if that doesn't happen, there will be a push to withdraw Sanders supporters from the Democratic Party.

Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Sanders supporters are angry over hacked emails that reveal the DNC might have favored Clinton over Sanders during the party's presidential primaries.

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10 a.m.

Protesters are gearing up outside Philadelphia's City Hall for a long, hot day of marches and rallies on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention.

Members of Equality Coalition, which supports the beliefs of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, are arranging to have hundreds of spray bottles filled with water to hand out to protesters. They're also preparing buckets full of ice and towels to help overheated marchers cool off.

The National Weather Service says temperatures will hover in the mid- to upper-90s on Monday. With humidity, it will feel more like 105 degrees.

Organizer Jenni Kelleher says she marched Sunday when temperatures were in the high 90s. She doesn't think the heat will keep protesters away.

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8:15 a.m.

After some early morning thunderstorms, the heat wave that's been steaming Philadelphia ahead of the Democratic National Convention is set to reach its peak.

The National Weather Service says temperatures will hover in the mid- to upper-90s on Monday, the first day of the convention. With humidity, it will feel more like 105 degrees.

Protester Tony Schuster is staying at a campground in New Jersey. The Bernie Sanders supporter from Michigan says despite all the thunder, it didn't rain too heavily there. He says campground conditions are good and it's not too muddy. Mostly, he says, it's just hot.

The city is under an excessive heat warning until 6 p.m.

Sanders is due to deliver Monday's closing address at the convention, where Hillary Clinton will receive the formal nomination for president.

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12:30 a.m.

The Democratic National Convention gets underway in Philadelphia on Monday.

The city is preparing for much bigger demonstrations than the Republican convention last week in Cleveland, and much higher temperatures.

In one of the largest rallies planned for the day, a pro-Bernie Sanders group is expected to walk across the Ben Franklin Bridge, which connects Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.

The demonstrations, largely driven by Sanders supporters, have been peaceful, so far.

On Sunday, several protests were held around the city.

Volunteers will be handing out water all week to demonstrators as the region copes with an oppressive heat wave. The National Weather Service says it will hit a peak on Monday with temperatures in the city possibly reaching 100 degrees, but feeling like 108.


Fudge to Sanders supporters: Don't vote Green

By Joe Irizarry 1:37pm, July 25, 2016
Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge speaks in Philadelphia (WDEL/Joe Irizarry)
The new chair of this week's Democratic National Convention says Debbie Wasserman Schultz did the right thing by stepping down as chair of the party.

"I think that Debbie, who is my friend, did what was right - and not just for her, but for the party. I think that it was a distraction, and she took the high road and said, 'Look, I don't want to be this distraction anymore. I need for this party to come together. If I step aside, it may help the process.' And I think that's what she did and I'm really, really pleased," said Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge at the Embassy Suites-Philadelphia Airport.

Fudge warned Sanders supporters against following through on threats to not vote for Clinton and to vote for a third-party candidate instead.

"When has the Green Party ever won anything. Let's be realistic about this. There is too much at stake for us to play politics. We must win," Fudge said.

And she believes a good number of Sanders delegates are on board with Clinton.

"I think of the 1900 Bernie delegates that are here, we have two-thirds of them already," Fudge said.

As for running this week's convention, Fudge promised to be fair, even handed and allow Bernie Sanders delegates to have their say. She hopes Democrats can leave Philadelphia it together and knowing they're the stronger party and do everything they can to win the White House.




Coons: DWS stepping down is appropriate

By Chris Carl 3:17pm, July 25, 2016
Sen. Chris Coons (WDEL File)
Delaware Senator Chris Coons has no problems with says Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepping down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and the decision by Wasserman Schultz to not gavel the convention to order on its opening day.

"I think that's appropriate, that there's some sacrifice in the interest of party unity, and in order to clarify that this it the kind of action that we shouldn't accept," Coons told WDEL's Rick Jensen.

Coons, one of Delaware's super delegates at the convention, said he hasn't seen the leaked DNC e-mails - which reportedly show the committee was favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders - but he says any appearance of bias is "unfortunate" - especially if reports are true that some wanted to use Sanders' faith against him.

"That's just appalling. My hope is these prove to be e-mails from relatively junior staffers who were venting their personal feelings. But, in any event, it's inappropriate," Coons said.

Coons sais the DNC has to be neutral in primary campaigns.

"You can't publicly say that the DNC is neutral and then privately have staff running around trying to figure out ways to trip up Senator Sanders. That's very unfortunate," Coons dais.





Coons spent part of his first day at the convention speaking on a panel on voting rights and criminal justice reform at the National Constitution Center. He was also scheduled to speak about U.S. business opportunities in Africa.


Early morning storm downs trees, causes power outages

By WDEL Staff 1:49pm, July 25, 2016 - Updated 3:01pm, July 25, 2016
A tress lies across Harvey Road in Arden (WDEL/Mike Phillips)
Severe thunderstorms swept across New Castle County early Monday morning - leaving down trees and power outages in its wake.

The storms packed heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds and briefly eased the heat and humidity that are baking the region.

Forecasters said there's also a chance for another round of thunderstorms before Tuesday morning.

A tree lies across Hillside Road in Arden

Click to enlarge

An excessive heat warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Monday. The predicted high temperature for Monday was 96 degrees, which would tie a record set in 1987.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


Delaware State Fire School receives $300K grant for new fire engine

By Rob Petree 5:14pm, July 25, 2016
Sen. Tom Carper was on-hand to unveil the competitive grant the Delaware State Fire School received. (Photo/Rob Petree)
The Delaware State Fire School received a $300,000 grant--for the third year in a row--to help assist with training new firefighters.

The money from the Assistance to Firefighters will supply the program with much-needed props and simulators and a brand new fire engine.

Senator Tom Carper was at the school in Dover on Monday to announce that the fire school would be receiving the grant, which he says is very competitive.

"For every dollar in the federal grant that can be distributed to states, the fire companies, or fire school's like ours, for every dollar that's available in grants, there is probably three, four, or five dollars in requests. So not everybody gets the grant, they have to be well thought out, well written, and they have to actually demonstrate a good benefit to the cost," he said.

Tucker Dempsey, training administrator at the fire school said the grant will provide a more realistic approach to firefighting training.



"We want to make sure that we have all the training we can, so we make sure the guys know exactly what their supposed to do," said Dempsey. "All the men and woman that come out here, they want to make sure that they learn how to put their gear on properly, and they want to make sure that their facing realistic situations, so we're going to put them in this simulator, and it's going to be a lot more realistic than what we have now, and that way when they get to a real fire their going to be prepared and ready to go, and put the fire out."

Since 2001, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, training, along with other resources that are needed in the line of duty.


Chincoteague ponies corralled for Wednesday's annual pony swim

By Kelli Steele 1:58pm, July 25, 2016
Chincoteague ponies (Courtesy of the Chincoteague Island Facebook page)
Thousands of people are in Chincoteague already, gearing up for the annual pony swim on Wednesday.

The ponies from the northern corral were led down the beach on Monday morning to join the ponies of the southern corral.

On Wednesday, the ponies will swim across the Assateague Channel during the period of time between high and low tide.

Although the official time will be announced at the carnival grounds right before they swim, it's expected to be around 9:30 a.m.


DNC closes some Philly roads

By WDEL staff 8:21pm, July 24, 2016
Courtesy of the City of Philadelphia
Travel in South Philadelphia will be restricted by road closures and highway restrictions.

Roads began shutting down on Saturday, although the closures are mainly contained to the area around the sports complex. The closures are also far less restrictive than those ordered during the Pope’s visit last fall.

Courtesy of the City of Philadelphia

Click to enlarge

Throughout convention week, the following streets will be closed to traffic:

— Broad Street from Packer Avenue to the Navy Yard/Terminal Avenue.

— Pattison Avenue from 7th Street to the eastern entrance to FDR Park.

— Terminal Avenue from Broad to 11th Street.

— 11th Street from Hartranft Street to Terminal Avenue.

Authorized vehicles only will be allowed on the following streets:

— Pattison Avenue from 20th Street to the eastern entrance to FDR Park.

— Hartranft Street from Broad to Darien Street.

— Darien Street from Packer Avenue to Lurie Way.

— 10th Street south of Packer Avenue.

Additionally, the I-76 eastbound ramp at Packer Avenue will be closed from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. from Monday through Friday. The I-95 northbound exit ramp at Broad Street will be closed through to midday Friday. The I-95 southbound ramp at Broad Street will also be closed for most of the week, allowing access to the Navy Yard at designated times.

I-95 will be closed to commercial vehicles between I-76/Route 291 and I-676 until Friday.

The area within 30 nautical miles of downtown Philadelphia, including FDR Park will be a “no drone zone” from Monday through Thursday.


2 dead, 17 wounded in Florida nightclub shooting

By Associated Press 11:53am, July 25, 2016 - Updated 3:06pm, July 25, 2016
NBC10
A shooting that left two dead and 17 wounded broke out in the parking lot as parents picked up their children from a party for teens at a Florida night club.

Here's the latest:

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on a shooting a nightclub in Fort Myers, Florida. (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

The interim Fort Myers police chief said authorities have three persons of interest in custody and they are looking for others in the slayings of two teens at a nightclub.

Chief Dennis Eads said Monday that his officers responded to a chaotic scene at Club Blu at about 12:30 a.m. and immediately started helping the wounded. Nearly 20 people were wounded. He says some of the victims drove themselves to hospitals and others were taken there by ambulances.

The chief said the shooting was not an act of terrorism but he did not release a motive for the shooting.

Gov. Rick Scott promised the state would do everything it could to help the victims and hold those responsible accountable. He also noted that the shooting happened as the state is seeing a 45-year low in the crime rate.





2 p.m.

A security guard at a nightclub where two teens were killed said she saw someone attack with a semi-automatic weapon, spraying bullets in the vicinity.

Brandy Mclaughlin was hired for the event, billed as a party for teens, as a security guard. She said she heard what sounded like firecrackers when the shooting started.

She said the gunman wasn't targeting anyone in particular, adding: "It was an idiot. An idiot with a firearm."

Mclaughlin said her girlfriend, Terry Parnell, who also was hired for the security detail that night, was next to one of the teens who was killed and that she also was shot and wounded in the gunfire.

Mclaughlin said she gave her girlfriend a tourniquet, and Parnell is now doing fine.

---

1:45 p.m.

The owner of a Florida nightclub where two teens were shot and killed says she hired 10 security guards to patrol a party for youths before the shooting happened.

Cheryl Filardi said Monday that she was in the club's back room when the shots rang out. She says two guards were in the parking lot, one or two at the door and the rest floating inside.

The club has had four or five teen parties over the past half-dozen years, and this was the second one this summer. She said the parties are something positive for a rough and often-violent neighborhood. She said the club always hires extra security for the parties and has never had a problem.

A 14-year-old and 18-year-old were killed, and 17 were wounded in the shooting.

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12:50 p.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and leaders in Fort Myers are planning on holding a news conference to talk about the shooting at a nightclub that killed two teenagers and wounded more than a dozen other people.

The city said in a statement that the news conference would be held at 2 p.m. Monday. The mayor, interim police chief and sheriff are also scheduled to speak.

Authorities are working to determine a motive into the shooting at Club Blu. They have said it was not an act of terror.

11:30 a.m.

Police investigating a nightclub shooting in Fort Myers said some of the people injured were treated at a hospital and released without talking to investigators.

Police Capt. Jim Mulligan said in a statement Monday that it is imperative that those who were treated and released speak with investigators.

He said investigators are working to determine a motive into the shooting at Club Blu. They have said it was not an act of terror.

Two teens were killed and 17 other people were wounded when gunfire erupted at the club early Monday.

Four people are still in the hospital.

---

10:45 a.m.

Hospital officials said four people remain hospitalized after a nightclub shooting in Florida that left two dead and 17 wounded.

Lisa Sgarlata, chief administrative officer for Lee Memorial Health System, says two people are in critical condition, and two are in fair condition. Officials said earlier that the others wounded were treated and released Monday morning.

The victims ranged in age from 12 to 27.

Authorities said the shooting was not an act of terror, but what sparked the violence is not yet clear. The shooting happened at Club Blu in Fort Myers, which had hosted a swimsuit-themed party for teens late Sunday night.

The club said on its Facebook page that the shooting broke out as parents came to pick up their children.

---

10:20 a.m.

Fort Myers police said the shooting at a nightclub that left two dead was not an act of terrorism.

Police Capt. Jim Mulligan said in a statement that the investigation is active and investigators are working to determine a motive into the shooting at Club Blu.

Authorities also identified the two victims who died as 14-year-old Sean Archilles and 18-year-old Ste'fan Strawder.

---

9:30 a.m.

Online state records show the alcohol license for a Fort Myers, Florida, club that was the site of a deadly shooting was revoked June 7.

The records from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation state that Club Blu's license was revoked due to an incident that occurred a year ago but there are no details available.

The same records also show a complaint was filed in 2014 for "criminal activity" and that the club was given an official notice.

Two people were killed and 17 wounded in a shooting at the club early Monday after the club hosted a swimsuit-themed party for teens. It was not immediately clear what triggered the violence.

---

9:20 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he's canceling his scheduled events for the day to meet with officials in Fort Myers, where a nightclub shooting killed two and wounded 17.





In a statement, Scott said he's spoken with Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson, Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott and Ft. Myers Interim Police Chief Dennis Eads to offer any assistance from the state.

Florida Governor Rick Scott's statement after the nightclub shooting.

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The early Monday shooting at Club Blu happened as parents were picking up their children from a party for teens.

Scott said they will continue to pray for the victims and their families.

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7:50 a.m.

Officials said a shooting broke out at a nightclub as parents picked up their kids from a party for teens, leaving two dead and at least 17 wounded.

Cheryl Garn, a spokeswoman for Lee Memorial Health System, said that three people remain hospitalized Monday morning. Garn says the victims range in age from 12 to 27.

Club Blu says on its Facebook page that the shooting broke out as parents picked up their children. The post from the Fort Myers nightclub says armed security had been posted at the event inside and outside.

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7:25 a.m.

Club Blu posted on its Facebook page Monday morning that it was trying to give the teens "what we thought was a safe place to have a good time." The post from the Fort Myers nightclub says armed security had been posted at the event inside and outside.



The club said the shooting happened as the club was closing.

Hospital officials said the victims range in age from 12 to 27. Four people were still being treated Monday morning.

---

7 a.m.

Officials said two people have been killed and at least 16 wounded in a shooting outside a nightclub in Florida.

Lee Memorial Health System said, in a press release, that 16 victims ranging in age from 12 to 27 started arriving at the facility around 1:30 a.m. One of those people died at the hospital.

Four people remained at the hospital early Monday, including two in the intensive care unit. All others were treated and released. One person was treated and released at a different hospital.

Police said the area around Club Blu has been deemed safe, and three people have been taken into custody.

The shooting comes more than a month after a nightclub shooting in Orlando that was the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.

---

5:55 a.m.

Police in Fort Myers said the area around a deadly nightclub shooting has been deemed safe.

But in an e-mail, police Capt. Jim Mulligan said the street will remain closed as authorities investigate.

The shooting at Club Blu killed two people and as many as 17 people were shot early Monday.

Three people have been taken into custody.

The shooting comes more than a month after a nightclub shooting in Orlando that was the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history. The shooting at the Pulse nightclub on June 12 left 49 victims dead and 53 others wounded.

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5:40 a.m.

Authorities said two people have been killed and more than a dozen shot at a nightclub in Fort Myers, Florida.

Capt. Jim Mulligan of the Fort Myers Police Department told WINK-TV as many as 17 people have been shot in the early Monday shooting at Club Blu.

Mulligan told the station three people have been taken into custody and that there are two active crime scenes.

The shooting comes more than a month after a nightclub shooting in Orlando that was the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.


Delaware has never had a woman in US Senate, House

By Associated Press 9:23am, July 25, 2016
The First State is still waiting for its first female member of Congress.

Data compiled by The Associated Press show that Delaware is among 22 states that have never had a female U.S. senator, and one of six that has never had a U.S. House member.

The 15 women serving in the state legislature comprise 24 percent of the total legislative seats in a state that's 52 percent female.

Delaware has had one female governor, Democrat Ruth Ann Minner, who served from 2001 to 2009.

There's just woman serving as mayor of a sizeable town. She's Polly Sierer, mayor of Newark.

Nationally, women account for one-fifth all U.S. representatives and senators, and one in four state lawmakers.


Coast Guard: Boaters found in disabled boat in Delaware Bay

By Associated Press 5:09pm, July 25, 2016
The U.S. Coast Guard said a missing father and son were found on their disabled boat in the Delaware Bay after a seven-hour search.

They went boating near Cedar Creek Boat Ramp on Sunday afternoon, but the Coast Guard received a report from a 911 dispatcher Sunday night that they were overdue.

The Coast Guard and other agencies searched for more than seven hours before they were found on a disabled 20-foot recreational boat around 4 a.m. Monday.

Petty Officer 3rd Class David Micallef said the man and his 17-year-old son were found five miles from the dock in the bay.

No injuries were reported.


Man shot several times in Wilmington

By Frank Gerace 5:36pm, July 24, 2016 - Updated 5:47pm, July 24, 2016
A man is recovering from several wounds after a Saturday shooting in Wilmington.

When officers arrived in the 3500 block of North Church Street around 10 p.m. Saturday, they heard shots and saw several people running away from 2 parked cars, city police said.

The cops found a 27-year-old man in one of the cars--he'd been wounded several times in both legs and his left arm, and was treated at the scene by New Castle County Paramedics before being taken to Christiana Hospital, where he's in stable condition.

Investigators learned the shots were fired from Eastlawn Park, but there are no suspects yet.

Anyone with information can call Detective R. Flores at 302.576.3620.


Delaware State Police: Dover-area liquor store robbers still on the loose

By Frank Gerace 5:50pm, July 24, 2016 - Updated 11:24am, July 25, 2016
Two men who held up a Dover-area liquor store at gunpoint are still on the lam.

The suspects, one of whom had a gun, targeted the Village Package Store on South Governors Avenue around 11 p.m. Saturday, Delaware State Police said.

The armed suspect demanded and got cash, and both men took several bottles of booze before they fled.

Police described both men as black. They said the armed suspect is 5'7" and about 150 lbs. and was wearing a gray hoodie and blue jeans. The second suspect is 5'9" and 170 lbs. and wore a black hoodie and dark-colored jeans.

Anyone with information can call Detective Ryan White at 302.698.8429.

Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333 or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."


Maryland man charged with New Castle-area Wawa robbery attempt

By Frank Gerace 6:18pm, July 24, 2016 - Updated 11:24am, July 25, 2016
Brett Gunther
A Maryland man, who tried to rob an elderly woman at a New Castle-area Wawa store is cooling his heels in jail.

Brett Gunther approached a 78-year-old woman at the Wawa on North DuPont Highway Thursday morning and asked for change, Delaware State Police said.

When she said she didn't have any, Gunther grabbed the woman's arm and tried to rip a $20 from her hand, but failed.

Gunther fled, and the woman described him to a Newark police officer who was in the store at the time of the attempted robbert. The officer contacted troopers, and Gunther was caught a short distance from the Wawa.

He was booked into the Howard R. Young Correctional Center for lack of bail.


12 arrested after 2 Ocean City, MD boardwalk confrontations with police

By Associated Press 3:35pm, July 25, 2016 - Updated 5:09pm, July 25, 2016
Police in Ocean City, Maryland said 12 people were arrested during two confrontations with officers on the boardwalk over the weekend.

Police said in a statement Monday that officers saw a man kick a trashcan to the center of the crowded boardwalk near 1st Street on Saturday night. When officers approached, police say the man became aggressive and a crowd gathered. Police say people assaulted officers as they tried to disperse the crowd and five were arrested.

About three hours later, officers found a disorderly crowd of about 200 people near 7th Street and the boardwalk with some were yelling profanities and throwing bottles. The crowd was hostile and aggressive toward the dozens of officers dispersing the crowd and police say seven people were arrested.

Police said no injuries were reported.


Behavior changes offer clues that dementia could be brewing

By Amy Cherry 3:13pm, July 25, 2016
Changes in behavior or personality--not memory loss--might be an early warning sign that dementia is brewing.

Researchers on Sunday outlined a syndrome called "mild behavioral impairment" that may be a harbinger of Alzheimer's or other dementias. They proposed a checklist of symptoms to alert doctors and families.

The checklist makes clear the symptoms such as apathy, anxiety and unusual aggression must reflect changes in someone's prior behavior that have lasted at least six months.

Depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms aren't uncommon in people who already have dementia. But in determining who's at risk, specialists said it's time to consider more than just forgetfulness.

The checklist was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto.




Doctors urged to check pregnant women for Zika at each visit

By Associated Press 3:13pm, July 25, 2016
Zika can cause birth defects. (AP Photo)
U.S. health officials are strongly urging doctors to ask all pregnant women about a possible Zika infection at every checkup.

So far, there have been no confirmed cases of a Zika infection from a mosquito bite in the United States, although officials expect mosquitoes will start spreading it in Southern states.

All U.S. illnesses have been connected to travel to areas with Zika outbreaks.

The advice came Monday as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fine-tuned its guidance. It urged doctors to at least ask pregnant women if they or their sex partner were in an outbreak area, and suggested expanded use of a sophisticated blood test.

The Zika virus is mainly spread by mosquito bites, but also through sex. Infection during pregnancy can result in birth defects.


The recipe for building wealth hasn't changed

By Associated Press 3:13pm, July 25, 2016
Building wealth has gotten harder for most people in recent years. But the habits that can make you rich haven't changed.

It boils down to this: putting aside money, regularly and consistently, that can be invested for your future. You have to leave that money alone to grow, which means you also need an emergency fund. And you must be careful with debt, because the wrong kinds can erode your wealth rather than build it.

It's a simple formula but one that's become increasingly hard to implement as incomes stagnate and prices rise. A shocking number of American households - nearly half, by the Federal Reserve's last count - don't have enough savings to cover an unexpected $400 expense. Our inability to save has contributed to a 21 percent decline in household median net worth between 1998, the year median incomes peaked in America, and 2013, the last year for which Fed stats are available.

Hardest-hit are households in the lower middle class, which in 2013 meant incomes from $23,300 to $40,499. Their net worth fell by half.

Creating wealth is more difficult when you don't have the economy behind you lifting your income, but it's still possible. Here are the habits that people who build wealth use:

THEY PAY THEMSELVES FIRST: If you have nothing saved, start. You don't need to have several months' worth of expenses set aside, at least not yet: $500 is enough for now. That will cover many minor emergencies that might otherwise add to your debt.

Put aside something, anything, into an emergency fund every single paycheck. Pay the minimums on your credit cards and student loans and mortgages if that's the only way to get a little breathing room. Make the transfers automatic, so they happen before you see the money and are tempted to spend it.

THEN INVEST FOR RETIREMENT: If there's one thing every 20-something should be doing, it's contributing to a retirement fund. (See "The Smartest Financial Decision You'll Ever Make ") There's no better time to put money aside than when you have decades ahead of you for that money to grow.

Those who start early have a much easier time of it: To retire with 60 percent of current income, someone starting at age 25 needs to put aside 6.4 percent of his pay. A 45-year-old would need to save 19.4 percent.

Even if you got a late start, you still need to save and invest. Most people have to stop working eventually, and even a small cushion can help you have a more comfortable retirement.

Oh, and you need to have most of your portfolio in equities, such as stock mutual funds and stock exchange traded funds. The financial crisis and continuing stock market volatility scared many people into keeping their money in low-risk investments, but that's no way to get ahead. You need the kind of investment growth that can outpace inflation, and that's what stocks offer.

THEY'RE SMART ABOUT DEBT: Moderate amounts of student loan debt can help you get an education that boosts your income. A reasonably sized mortgage can help you build equity in a home. Otherwise, you need to be cautious about adding new debts and vigilant about getting rid of any toxic debt that's weighing you down.

Payday loans, auto title loans and credit card debt are among the biggest wealth-killers. If you have so much of this debt that you cannot pay it off in five years - while staying afloat with food and shelter - you should be talking with a bankruptcy attorney or credit counselor.

Otherwise, you need to target this debt for extinction. It may take years to dig yourself out, but keep chipping away. You'll gain financial flexibility and, even better, lose the ever-present worry that comes with overwhelming debt.

Having some wealth doesn't mean you stop worrying, of course. Even millionaires don't feel like they're out of the woods. Six out of 10 people with $1 million to $5 million in assets said one major setback, such as a lost job or a stock market crash, could have a major impact on their lifestyle, according to a survey by investment bank UBS.

As you move away from a paycheck-to-paycheck life, though, you're getting financially stronger. You're better able to weather setbacks and you'll have assets, such as stocks and a home, that can grow in value during good times. Even if you never make it to millionaire status, you can build a decent net worth that means a more comfortable life.




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