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Nation and World briefs for October 12

Thousands of young US children get no vaccines, survey finds

NEW YORK — A small but growing proportion of the youngest children in the U.S. have not been vaccinated against any disease, worrying health officials.

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An estimated 100,000 young children have not had a vaccination against any of the 14 diseases for which shots are recommended, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Thursday.

“This is pretty concerning. It’s something we need to understand better — and reduce,” said the CDC’s Dr. Amanda Cohn.

Most young children — 70 percent — have had all their shots. The new estimate is based on finding that, in 2017, 1.3 percent of the children born in 2015 were completely unvaccinated. That’s up from the 0.9 percent seen in an earlier similar assessment of the kids born in 2011. A 2001 survey with a different methodology suggested the proportion was in the neighborhood of 0.3 percent.

Young children are especially vulnerable to complications from vaccine-preventable diseases, some of which can be fatal.

Saudi crown prince’s carefully managed rise hides dark side

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — In a kingdom once ruled by an ever-aging rotation of elderly monarchs, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stands out as the youthful face of a youthful nation. But behind the carefully calibrated public-relations campaign pushing images of the smiling prince meeting with the world’s top leaders and business executives lurks a darker side.

Last year, at age 31, Mohammed became the kingdom’s crown prince, next in line to the throne now held by his octogenarian father, King Salman. While pushing for women to drive, he has overseen the arrest of women’s rights activists. While calling for foreign investment, he has imprisoned businessmen, royals and others in a crackdown on corruption that soon resembled a shakedown of the kingdom’s most powerful people.

As Saudi defense minister from the age of 29, he pursued a war in Yemen against Shiite rebels that began a month after he took the helm and wears on today.

What the crown prince chooses next likely will affect the world’s largest oil producer for decades to come. And as the disappearance and feared death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul may show, the young prince will brook no dissent in reshaping the kingdom in his image.

“I don’t want to waste my time,” he told Time Magazine in a cover story this year. “I am young.”

Manhattan DA drops part of Weinstein case

NEW YORK — New York City prosecutors abandoned part of their sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein on Thursday after evidence surfaced that a police detective dead set on putting the Hollywood mogul behind bars had coached a witness to stay silent about evidence that cast doubt on the allegations of one of his earliest accusers.

The behind-the-scenes drama spilled into court, with Weinstein looking on, as the Manhattan District Attorney’s office elected to drop the lone charge stemming from Lucia Evans’ allegations that he forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004, when she was a college student and aspiring actress.

Weinstein, 66, still faces charges over allegations that he raped an unidentified woman in his hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. He has pleaded not guilty and denies all allegations of non-consensual sex. He is free on $1 million bail and is due back in court Dec. 20.

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon insisted the rest of the case is strong and said that the district attorney’s office was looking into the possibility of bringing additional charges against the 66-year-old Weinstein.

“In short, your honor, we are moving full steam ahead,” she said.

Army expelled 500 immigrant recruits in 1 year

During the course of 12 months, the U.S. Army discharged more than 500 immigrant enlistees who were recruited across the globe for their language or medical skills and promised a fast track to citizenship in exchange for their service, The Associated Press has found.

The decade-old Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest recruiting program was put on hold in 2016 amid concerns that immigrant recruits were not being screened sufficiently. The Army began booting out those enlistees last year without explanation .

The AP has interviewed more than a dozen recruits from countries such as Brazil, Pakistan, Iran, China and Mongolia who all said they were devastated by their unexpected discharges or canceled contracts.

Until now, it’s been unclear how many were discharged and for what reason because the Army has refused to discuss specific cases. But the Army’s own list, submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last month, says 502 service members who enlisted under MAVNI were discharged between July 2017 and July 2018.

The list, which was unsealed this week after a request from the AP, offers “refuse to enlist” as the reason for expelling two-thirds of the recruits. That is the reason given for 35 percent of enlistee discharges Army-wide, according to a research study posted on a Defense Department website.

Fox News cutting back on Trump rally coverage

NEW YORK — Fox News Channel recently pulled back from airing President Donald Trump’s campaign-style rallies during prime time, a move that could put a crimp in Republican efforts to reach voters in the weeks before midterm elections.

During much of the late summer, Fox would pre-empt its lucrative nightly lineup of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham in order to air the rallies. None of its rivals did so. It was an important platform for the president and his supporters, since Fox’s opinionated hosts are generally their first choice for political coverage.

On Tuesday of last week, Carlson told viewers that Fox would be monitoring the president’s rally from Mississippi and would break in for any news. He did interrupt his show later to tell viewers of Trump’s comments about Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who had accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual harassment.

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During Martha MacCallum’s show two nights later, Fox showed a portion of Trump speaking in Minnesota with the battle over Kavanaugh’s mission coming to a climax. With Hurricane Michael in the news Wednesday, Fox didn’t air Trump’s rally from Pennsylvania.

Without live coverage of his rally on Wednesday, the president found other ways to reach Fox’s audience. He had a phone interview with Fox’s Shannon Bream on Wednesday night and called into the morning “Fox & Friends” show on Thursday.

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