Nation and World briefs for January 26

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Pioneering TV actress Mary Tyler Moore dies at 80

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Pioneering TV actress Mary Tyler Moore dies at 80

NEW YORK (AP) — Mary Tyler Moore, the star of TV’s beloved “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” whose comic realism helped revolutionize the depiction of women on the small screen, died Wednesday. She was 80.

Moore gained fame in the 1960s as the frazzled wife Laura Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” In the 1970s, she created one of TV’s first career-woman sitcom heroines in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

“She was an impressive person and a talented person and a beautiful person. A force of nature,” producer, creator and director Carl Reiner, who created the “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” told The Associated Press. “She’ll last forever, as long as there’s television. Year after year, we’ll see her face in front of us.”

Moore won seven Emmy awards over the years and was nominated for an Oscar for her 1980 portrayal of an affluent mother whose son is accidentally killed in “Ordinary People.”

Tributes came pouring in. “Mary’s energy, spirit and talent created a new bright spot in the television landscape and she will be very much missed,” Robert Redford, director of “Ordinary People,” said in a statement. Ellen DeGeneres took to Twitter to say: “Mary Tyler Moore changed the world for all women.”

Battles escalate between Syria rebels, al-Qaida-affiliate

BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaida-linked militants attacked a prison Wednesday where its fighters are held by other Syrian rebels in escalating violence in northern Syria after Russian-led talks urged mainstream insurgents to break with the extremists.

The infighting, some of the worst in recent years, is likely to weaken the rebellion but also could help isolate the extremist group.

The fighting pits the al-Qaida-linked Fatah al-Sham Front against several other groups, including its former ally, Ahrar al-Sham, one of the most powerful insurgent organizations in Syria’s nearly 6-year-old civil war.

Some of the rebels involved in the fighting were represented at talks this week in Astana, Kazakhstan, which were brokered by Russia and Turkey and aimed at shoring up a shaky Dec. 30 cease-fire with President Bashar Assad’s forces. The talks brought the armed rebel factions face-to-face with Assad’s representatives for the first time.

The two-day talks ended Tuesday with an agreement among Russia, Turkey and Iran to consolidate the cease-fire, take joint action against extremist groups and jumpstart peace negotiations.

EPA science under scrutiny by Trump political staff

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is scrutinizing studies or data published by scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, and new work is under a “temporary hold” before it can be released.

The communications director for President Donald Trump’s transition team at EPA, Doug Ericksen, said Wednesday the review extends to all existing content on the federal agency’s website, including details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth’s climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame.

Ericksen clarified his earlier statements to The Associated Press, which reported that the Trump administration was mandating that any studies or data from EPA scientists undergo review by political appointees before they can be released to the public. He said he was speaking about existing scientific information on the EPA website that is under review by members of the Trump administration’s transition team.

He said new work by the agency’s scientists is subject to the same “temporary hold” as other kinds of public releases, which he said would likely be lifted by Friday. He said there was no mandate to subject studies or data to political review.

Former EPA staffers under both Republican and Democratic presidents said the restrictions imposed under Trump far exceed the practices of past administrations.

Chicago mayor welcomes help, warns against deploying troops

CHICAGO (AP) — A day after President Donald Trump declared he was ready to “send in the Feds” if Chicago can’t reduce its homicides, Mayor Rahm Emanuel warned against deploying the National Guard, saying it would hurt efforts to restore trust in the police.

Trump offered no details on what kind of federal intervention he was suggesting or if it could involve troops, but the mayor cautioned that using the military could make matters worse.

“We’re going through a process of reinvigorating community policing, building trust between the community and law enforcement,” the mayor told reporters Wednesday. Sending troops “is antithetical to the spirit of community policing.”

He said he welcomed federal help battling “gangs, guns and drugs.”

On Tuesday night, Trump tweeted: “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!”

Trump says torture works as his government readies a review

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Wednesday he believes torture works as his administration readied a sweeping review of how America conducts the war on terror. It includes possible resumption of banned interrogation methods and reopening CIA-run “black site” prisons outside the United States.

In an interview with ABC News, Trump said he would wage war against Islamic State militants with the singular goal of keeping the U.S. safe. Asked specifically about the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, Trump cited the extremist group’s atrocities against Christians and others and said: “We have to fight fire with fire.”

Trump said he would consult with new Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo before authorizing any new policy. But he said he had asked top intelligence officials in the past day: “Does torture work?”

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“And the answer was yes, absolutely,” Trump said.

He added that he wants to do “everything within the bounds of what you’re allowed to do legally.”

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