WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday defended former aide Rob Porter, wishing him well in his future endeavors without any mention of the two ex-wives who have accused Porter of physical and emotional abuse. Trump's comments set off a firestorm at a time of national conversation about the mistreatment of women. And they came amid rampant White House finger-pointing about who knew what, and when, about the severity of the spousal abuse allegations. Trump said Porter, who resigned when the abuse allegations became public this week, had "worked hard" at the White House and wished him well. "It's a, obviously, tough time for him.A late-afternoon rally reversed steep losses for U.S. stocks Friday, lifting the Dow Jones industrial average more than 300 points and capping a turbulent week on Wall Street that left the market with its steepest weekly slide in two years. The big point swings that pummeled stocks reflected a return of volatility after an unprecedented period of calm. Until this week, the market had not endured a 5 percent drop since January 2016. "There's a fair amount of volatility in the market, and our belief is the volatility is leaving investors riddled with stress and uncertainty, which is likely to continue," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S.WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's No. 3 official is planning to step down at a time of turmoil in the agency. Rachel Brand is leaving for the top legal job at Walmart, friend and former colleague Jamie Gorelick told The Associated Press Friday. Brand attracted interest because of her potential to assume a key role in the Trump-Russia investigation. The official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, has been repeatedly criticized by Trump. If Rosenstein had been fired or quit, oversight would have fallen to Brand. That job would now fall to Solicitor General Noel Francisco.LAS VEGAS (AP) — The much anticipated autopsy report on Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock did nothing to help explain why he carried out the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history — his body didn't hold diseases or drugs or other substances that could have caused aggressive behavior. In fact, it showed he was a sober, healthy 64-year-old. The report — released Friday in response to a lawsuit by The Associated Press and the Las Vegas Review-Journal — showed gunman Stephen Paddock had anti-anxiety drugs in his system but was not under the influence of them. Paddock unleashed a barrage of bullets from his high-rise hotel suite into a crowd at a country music festival below, killing 58 people and injuring more than 800 others on Oct.CHICAGO (AP) — A winter storm pounding the Midwest caused at least two deaths Friday, authorities said, while closing schools and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights. Snow-related crashed snarled highways across southern Michigan, with one person killed when a semitrailer struck the rear of a car stopped in traffic on U.S. 23 near Flint, police said. A Michigan State Police trooper was hospitalized after a pickup truck lost control and slammed into his stopped squad on Interstate 94 northeast of Detroit. A pileup on the same highway just east of Kalamazoo in southwestern Michigan of collected 38 vehicle including 16 semitrailers in eastbound lanes Friday afternoon, causing only minor injuries.The Equifax data breach exposed more of consumers' personal information than the company first disclosed last year, according to documents given to lawmakers. The credit reporting company announced in September that the personal information of 145.5 million consumers had been compromised in a data breach. It originally said that the information accessed included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and — in some cases — driver's license numbers and credit card numbers. It also said some consumers' credit card numbers were among the information exposed, as well as the personal information from thousands of dispute documents. However, Atlanta-based Equifax Inc.NEW YORK (AP) — The flu has further tightened its grip on the U.S. This season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic nine years ago. A government report out Friday shows 1 of every 13 visits to the doctor last week was for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu. That ties the highest level seen in the U.S. during swine flu in 2009. And it surpasses every winter flu season since 2003, when the government changed the way it measures flu. "I wish that there were better news this week, but almost everything we're looking at is bad news," said Dr.LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Gavin, the tall, strikingly handsome actor who appeared in "Spartacus," ''Psycho" and other hit films of the 1960s before forsaking acting to become President Ronald Reagan's ambassador to Mexico, died Friday at age 86. Gavin, who was also a former president of the Screen Actors Guild, died Friday, said Brad Burton Moss, manager of Gavin's wife, actress Constance Towers. Moss did not provide the cause of death. After appearances in a handful of 1950s B-movies, Gavin's breakthrough came in 1958 when he landed the lead role of a World War II German soldier in "A Time to Love and a Time to Die." The film was based on an Erich Maria Remarque novel, and Universal Studios, having won an Academy Award in 1930 with its adaptation of Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front," was hoping lightning would strike again.
AP Top News at 11:27 p.m. EST