Happening Today: Trump Tower Meeting, Indonesia Earthquake, Charlotte Rae, Demi Lovato

What to Know

  • President Trump appeared to change his story about a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that is pivotal to the special counsel's investigation
  • 'The Facts of Life' and 'Diff'rent Strokes' actress Charlotte Rae has died at age 92, her son, Larry Strauss, confirms
  • Nearly two weeks after suffering a drug overdose, Demi Lovato is reaching out with a message to her many supporters

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Powerful Quake Rocks Indonesia's Lombok Island, 98 Dead

A powerful earthquake struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, killing at least 98 people and shaking neighboring Bali, as authorities said rescuers still hadn't reached some hard-hit areas and the death toll could climb. It was the second deadly quake in a week to hit Lombok. A July 29 quake killed 16 people and damaged hundreds of houses, some of which collapsed in the magnitude 7.0 temblor, killing those inside. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference that damage was "massive" in the north of Lombok. Some areas still hadn't been reached, with rescuers hampered by collapsed bridges, electricity blackouts and damaged roads blocked with debris. Sutopo said the death toll had risen to 91 and more than 200 people were seriously injured. Thousands of homes and buildings were damaged and 20,000 people are in temporary shelters.

5 Dead After Small Plane Crashes in California CVS Parking Lot

Five people died after an airplane crashed at a shopping center parking lot in Orange County, the Orange County Fire Authority said. The plane went down around 12:30 p.m. in Santa Ana, the OCFA said, adding the Costa Mesa Fire Department was also responding to the scene. All five victims were adult passengers on the airplane, and no one on the ground was injured, OCFA Public Information Officer Tony Bommarito said. The flight tower at nearby John Wayne Airport gave approval for the aircraft to land at one of its runways after the pilot declared an emergency, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said. Moments later, the plane crashed. At least one car on the ground was hit by airplane parts, with a red sedan showing extensive damage that included a broken windshield and a totally destroyed trunk.

Tower Meeting Meant to “Get Information” on Clinton, Trump Says

President Trump appeared to change his story about a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that is pivotal to the special counsel's investigation, tweeting his son met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer to collect information about his political opponent. "Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower," Trump wrote. "This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!" That is a far different explanation than Trump gave 13 months ago, when a statement dictated by the president but released under the name of Donald Trump Jr.,. read: "We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago." The misdirection came amid a series of searing tweets sent from his New Jersey golf club, in which he tore into two of his favorite targets, the news media and Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into possible links between the president's campaign and Russia. Trump unleashed particular fury at reports that he was anxious about the Trump Tower meeting attended by Donald Trump Jr. and other senior campaign officials.

11 Kids Removed From Filthy Compound After Armed Standoff, Police Say

Law enforcement officers searching a rural northern New Mexico compound for a missing 3-year-old boy didn't locate him but found 11 other children in filthy conditions and hardly any food, a sheriff said. The children ranging in age from 1 to 15 were removed from the compound in the small community of Amalia, New Mexico, and turned over to state child-welfare workers, Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said. Two men were arrested during the search while two women at the compound were initially detained before being released pending further investigation, Hogrefe said. One of the men, 39-year-old Siraj Wahhaj, was jailed on a Georgia warrant alleging child abduction while the other man, identified only as Lucas Morten, was arrested on suspicion of harboring a fugitive, Hogrefe said.

“Facts of Life” Actress Charlotte Rae Dies at 92

"The Facts of Life" and "Diff'rent Strokes" actress Charlotte Rae has died. She was 92. Her son, Larry Strauss, confirmed her death to NBC News. "She died peacefully with her family by her side at home," he said. A cause of death was not immediately indicated. "I don't know how old you are, but when I was young we called it dying of old age," Strauss said. Rae revealed last April that she had been diagnosed with bone cancer. She originated the character of Mrs. Garrett in 1978 during the first season of NBC's comedy "Diff'rent Strokes," then took Mrs. Garrett with her for the spinoff "Facts," which premiered the following season. Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, on April 22, 1926, she had studied drama at Northwestern University, then moved to New York where, despite early plans to be a "serious" actress, she quickly found work doing satirical sketches in Greenwich Village clubs.

Demi Lovato Breaks Her Silence Nearly Two Weeks After Overdose

Nearly two weeks after suffering a drug overdose, Demi Lovato is reaching out with a message to her many supporters. In a lengthy statement posted to her Instagram, the 25-year-old pop star broke her silence for the first time. "I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction," she writes. "What I've learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet." Lovato thanks God for "keeping me alive and well," and tells fans their "positive thoughts and prayers have helped me navigate through this difficult time." On the morning of Tuesday, July 24, emergency medical personnel responded to Lovato's Hollywood home, where she was discovered unconscious after what sources described as a long night of partying. She was administered naloxone, an opioid-overdose antidote, and then taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for further treatment.

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