'You are changing culture' - Trump and May trade comments on Europe immigration after Trump labels it 'a very negative thing'

President Donald Trump pressed ahead Friday (overnight NZT) with his complaints that European immigration policies are changing the "fabric of Europe" and destroying European culture.

During a news conference with British Prime Minster Theresa May, Trump backtracked on the criticism of May that he made in an explosive interview released as he began his visit to the country. But he reiterated his belief that Europe's decision to accept migrants from Middle Eastern and African countries is "a very negative thing for Europe."

Standing next to May at Chequers, the prime minister's official country estate, Trump acknowledged that his remarks were "politically not necessarily correct." But he said European countries need to "watch themselves."

"You are changing culture, you are changing a lot of things," he said, adding, "You see the same terror attacks that I do."

Trump was reiterating a position he articulated in an interview released Thursday (Yesterday NZT) by The Sun, in which he also criticized May's handling of Brexit negotiations and said "I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad."

May quickly rebutted Trump during their joint appearance, saying the UK has a "proud history of welcoming people who are fleeing persecution to our country."

"Over the years, overall immigration has been good for the UK," she added. "It's brought people with different backgrounds, different outlooks here to the UK and we've seen them contributing to our society and our economy."

Critics have faulted the president for using language that echoes white supremacist laments about the loss of white power.


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US Border Patrol supervisor charged with murders of four women - Police 'consider this to be a serial killer'

A US Border Patrol supervisor was jailed Sunday on $2.5 million bond in Texas, accused in the killing of at least four women and of injuring a fifth who managed to escape.

Juan David Ortiz, 35, was being held in Laredo on four counts of murder along with charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful restraint, Webb County jail records showed.

Ortiz was arrested a day earlier, after being found hiding in a truck in a hotel parking lot in Laredo, at about 2am Saturday, capping what investigators portrayed as a 10-day string of violence. Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said Saturday that investigators "consider this to be a serial killer" whose victims were believed to be prostitutes.

Alaniz described how the Customs and Border Patrol intel supervisor continued going to work as usual throughout that time.

"As law enforcement was looking for the killer ... he would be reporting to work every day like normal," he said.

It all began with the discovery Sept. 4 of the body of 29-year-old Melissa Ramirez. According to a police affidavit, Ortiz said he killed Ramirez a day earlier. Like the other victims, Ramirez was shot in the head and left in a road in rural northwest Webb County.

She was a mother of two.

A second victim, 42-year-old Claudine Anne Luera, was found shot and left in the road Thursday morning, badly injured but still alive, according to the affidavit.

The mother of five died at a hospital later that day.

On Friday, according to the affidavit, Ortiz picked up a woman named Erika Pena. She told police she struggled with Ortiz inside his truck, where he pointed a pistol at her, but that she was able to flee. She made it to a gas station where she found a state trooper whom she asked for help.

According to the affidavit, Ortiz told investigators that after Pena ran off, he picked up his last two victims, whose identities have not yet been released by authorities.

Jail records don't list an attorney to speak for Ortiz, who had worked for Border Patrol for 10 years.

Alaniz said the dead are believed to have been prostitutes and that one of them was a transgender woman. At least two were US citizens; the nationalities of the others were not known, he said. He said investigators are still working to determine a motive.

Ortiz was believed to have acted alone.

The federal agency issued a statement offering its "sincerest condolences" to the victims' families and saying criminal activity by its employees is not tolerated.

The Texas Department of Public Safety, whose Texas Rangers are investigating, referred questions on the case to the Webb County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Martin Cuellar did not return several messages seeking comment.

35-year-old Juan David Ortiz was nabbed early Saturday after a 10-day string of violence against female sex workers in Laredo. Source: Associated Press

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Police find no evidence of nerve agent at 'medical incident' in Salisbury, site of Russian attack

Police closed roads and called a hazardous response team Sunday night after two people became ill at a restaurant in the English city where a Russian ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned with a chemical nerve agent.

Wiltshire Police described the emergency steps taken in response to "a medical incident" in Salisbury as a precaution.

Authorities later lifted the alert and said no evidence of the nerve agent Novichok involved in the earlier case was found when the two ill people were examined at a hospital.

Police wearing protective gear have swarmed on a pizza restaurant in the English town. Source: Breakfast

Salisbury spent months with quarantine tents and investigators in full-body protective gear combing for evidence after Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter were found unconscious on a bench in March.

Its residents were put back on edge in June when a man and a woman living in a nearby town were hospitalised with signs of exposure to the same Soviet-made Novichok. The woman, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, died.

Britain's counter-terrorism police said this month they think Sturgess' boyfriend found a counterfeit perfume bottle containing remnants of the substance originally applied on the front door of Skripals home in Salisbury.

The man and woman who got sick at the Prezzo restaurant in Salisbury remained in the hospital under observation but "we can now confirm that there is nothing to suggest that Novicho" was involved, Wiltshire Police said in a statement.

"A cordon will remain in place around Prezzo at this time as part of ongoing routine enquiries. All other areas that were cordoned off will now be reopened," the statement added.

British prosecutors have charged two Russian men in absentia with poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. They have alleged Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were Russian intelligence agents, which they and Moscow have denied.

The scene in Salisbury. Source: Twitter/Sam Proudfoot.

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Hurricane Florence death toll rises to 15, causes collapse near coal ash landfill

Heavy rains from Florence caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station near the North Carolina coast, Duke Energy says.

Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said late Saturday about 1,530 cubic metres of ash were displaced at the L. V. Sutton Power Station outside Wilmington and that contaminated runoff likely flowed into the plant's cooling pond.

The company has not yet determined whether the weir that drains the lake was open or if contamination may have flowed into the Cape Fear River. That's roughly enough ash to fill 180 dump trucks.

Florence slammed into the North Carolina coast as a large hurricane Friday, dumping nearly 1 metre of rain and swelling the region's rivers. The resulting flooding forced swift-water rescues and left several people dead.

Sheehan said the company had reported the incident to state and federal regulators "out of an abundance of caution."

The storm dropped 10 to 18 inches of rain along the North Carolina coast. Source: Associated Press

The coal-fired Sutton plant was retired in 2013 and the company has been excavating millions of tons of ash from old waste pits and removing it to safer lined landfills constructed on the property. The grey ash left behind when coal is burned contains toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead and mercury.

Duke has been under intense scrutiny for the handling of its coal ash since a drainage pipe collapsed under a waste pit at an old plant in Eden in 2014, triggering a massive spill that coated 110 kilometres of the Dan River in grey sludge.

In a subsequent settlement with federal regulators, Duke agreed to plead guilty to nine Clean Water Act violations and pay $102 million in fines and restitution for illegally discharging pollution from coal-ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants. The company is in the process of closing all of its coal ash dumps by 2029.

Spokeswoman Megan S. Thorpe at the state's Department of Environmental Quality said state regulators will conduct a thorough inspection of the site as soon as safely possible.

"DEQ has been closely monitoring all coal ash impoundments that could be vulnerable in this record breaking rain event," Thorpe said. She added that the department, after assessing the damage, will "hold the utility accountable for implementing the solution that ensures the protection of public health and the environment."

The death toll of Florence now stands at 15, 10 in North Carolina and five in South Carolina.

A driver died Sunday (local time) when a pickup truck struck an overpass support beam in Kershaw County, South Carolina, state troopers said.

Michael Dalton Prince, 23, died after the truck he was riding in lost control on a flooded two-lane road in Georgetown County, South Carolina, said Coroner Kenny Johnson.

The driver and another passenger escaped after the truck landed upside down in a flooded ditch.

Authorities said 63-year-old Mark Carter King and 61-year-old Debra Collins Rion of Loris, South Carolina, died of carbon monoxide poisoning from running a generator indoors.

That follows the deaths from Saturday when a mother and her 8-month-old child were killed when a massive tree crushed their brick house Friday in Wilmington, North Carolina

"It was very dark, all you could see was water and wind, you couldn't really figure out what was going on out there," a neighbour said. Source: Associated Press

An 81-year-old man died while trying to evacuate Wayne County, North Carolina, a 78-year-old man was electrocuted in the rain while trying to connect extension cords for a generator in Lenoir County, North Carolina, a 77-year old man died after he went outside to check on his hunting dogs and was blown down by strong winds

Three people died in Duplin County, North Carolina, because of flash flooding and swift water on roadways

Amber Dawn Lee, 61 also died Saturday when the vehicle she was driving struck a tree near the town of Union, South Carolina

Authorities say the storm did not cause some other deaths that occurred during Florence in North Carolina: a woman who died of undetermined causes in a shelter, and a woman who suffered a heart attack at home during the storm.

Flood waters from hurricane Florence inundate the town of Engelhard, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Waters inundate a town in North Carolina. Source: Associated Press


US resort area Cape Cod reeling after first fatal shark attack in more than 80 years

Friends say a 26-year-old man who was killed in a shark attack off a Cape Cod beach in the United States was an engineering student who loved the outdoors.

Arthur Medici, of Revere, Massachusetts, was bitten by a shark Sunday while boogie boarding off Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet and later died at a hospital. He was the state's first shark attack fatality in more than 80 years and the second attack victim this summer on Cape Cod.

Bunker Hill Community College in Boston said in a statement that Mr Medici was a part-time engineering student at the school last spring. It did not provide any other information about him.

Friends told WCVB-TV that Mr Medici moved to the US from Brazil two years ago to attend college. Friends say he loved to hike and surf.

The beach remained closed to swimming today.

The victim Arthur Medici was boogie boarding at Newcomb Hollow Beach when the attack occurred. Source: Breakfast