In Brief: 5-3-16

Cruz fights for survival as Trump eyes Indiana knockout

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Cruz fights for survival as Trump eyes Indiana knockout

OSCEOLA, Ind. — Ted Cruz’s conservative crusade for the presidency fought for new life Monday ahead of an Indiana vote that could effectively end the GOP’s primary season. The fiery Texas senator hinted at an exit strategy, even as he vowed to compete to the end against surging Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

“I am in for the distance — as long as we have a viable path to victory,” Cruz told reporters after campaigning at a popular breakfast stop.

With his supporters fearing Cruz could lose a seventh consecutive state Tuesday, the candidate’s formulation hinted at a time when he may give up.

Like Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Cruz is already mathematically eliminated from reaching a delegate majority before the Republican Party’s national convention in July. He retreated to Indiana more than a week ago, hoping a win could at least help him deny Trump an outright primary victory and lead to a contested convention.

But a recent poll of likely Indiana voters showed Trump holding a commanding lead.

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Donald Trump far behind in preparing for general election

WASHINGTON — The Republican presidential nomination may be in his sights, yet Donald Trump has so far ignored vital preparations needed for a quick and effective transition to the general election.

The New York businessman has collected little information about tens of millions of voters he needs to turn out in the fall. He’s sent few people to battleground states compared with likely Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, accumulated little if any research on her, and taken no steps to build a network capable of raising the roughly $1 billion needed to run a modern-day general election campaign.

“He may be able to get by on bluster and personality during the primaries, but the general election is a whole different ballgame,” said Ryan Williams, a veteran of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns. “They’re essentially starting from zero heading into the general election.”

Trump’s early campaign efforts — fueled in the primary season by the sheer force of his personality and free media coverage — have defied all who predicted they would fall short of what’s required to win the nomination.

Yet the billionaire’s aides acknowledged they’ll tap into the resources of the party’s establishment — the Republican National Committee, above all — as the scale and scope of the 2016 contest grow exponentially. That’s even as he rails daily against his party’s establishment as corrupt, and they predict his unique success so far will pay off again in November.

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Bitcoin’s creator unmasks himself — well, maybe

LOS ANGELES — The mystery creator of the digital currency bitcoin has finally stepped forward. Or has he?

Australian inventor Craig Steven Wright announced Monday that he is “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the elusive, pseudonymous bitcoin founder.

In interviews with the Economist, BBC, GQ and a few bitcoin insiders, bolstered by a technical demonstration intended to prove that he and Nakamoto are one and the same, Wright tried to lay to rest one of the biggest mysteries in the tech world.

But Wright, who first emerged as a leading Nakamoto contender last December , may not have closed the case.

While some bitcoin experts accept his demonstration as evidence that Wright is indeed Nakamoto, others argue that his supposed proof — a series of complex mathematical operations listed in a blog post — doesn’t prove anything.

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Trump’s rise is driving immigrants to become citizens

MIAMI — On a recent Saturday morning in South Florida, 50-year-old Edgar Ospina stood in a long line of immigrants to take the first step to become an American.

Ospina has spent almost half his life in the U.S. after emigrating from his native Colombia, becoming eligible for citizenship in 1990. But with Donald Trump becoming a more likely presidential nominee by the day, Ospina decided to wait no more, rushing the paperwork required to become a citizen.

“Trump is dividing us as a country,” said Ospina, owner of a small flooring and kitchen remodeling company. “He’s so negative about immigrants. We’ve got to speak up.”

Nationwide, immigrants like Ospina are among tens of thousands applying for naturalization in a year when immigration has taken center stage in the presidential campaign, especially in the race for the Republican nomination.

Trump, the GOP front-runner, has pledged to deport the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally. He’s also vowed to bar Muslims from entering the country and threatened to cut off remittances that Mexican immigrants in the U.S. send back home. And he’s called for building a border wall — among other proposals to deal with unlawful immigration, saying the federal government has failed to protect the border from people and drugs illegally entering the country.

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Prince siblings in probate court in 1st hearing on estate

CHASKA, Minn. — Five of Prince’s six surviving siblings appeared in court Monday for the first hearing to start sorting out an estate certain to be worth millions, a task complicated because the star musician isn’t known to have left a will.

In a hearing that lasted a little over 12 minutes, Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide formalized his appointment last week of Bremer Trust to handle matters involving the estate of Prince, who died suddenly last month at age 57.

Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, requested the appointment so that the company can manage Prince’s estate until an executor is named. Eide asked the packed courtroom whether anyone knew of a will, and the courtroom was silent. Lawyers for Bremer Trust said they hadn’t found one but would keep looking.

“The court is not finding that there is no will, but that no will has yet been found,” the judge said.

The hearing didn’t address how long the estate may take to settle or how much it is worth. His property holdings alone in Minnesota, including his Paisely Park studios in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, were worth about $27 million, but music industry experts say his earnings after death are likely to be far more.

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Prince siblings stand to make millions but keep low profiles

CHASKA, Minn. (AP) — Prince’s death at age 57 stands to make instant millionaires out of six surviving siblings if no will is ever found. So who are they? Two sought to follow in their brother’s musical footsteps. One is a military veteran. Most have kept low public profiles. Two other siblings who sued the superstar have died. Here’s a look at what’s known about the family:

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TYKA NELSON

Tyka Nelson, 55, is Prince’s only full sibling, and his little sister has taken the lead in the initial work to settle his estate. Both are children of John L. Nelson and Mattie Della Shaw, who divorced when Prince and Tyka were young and have since died.

By most appearances, she’s the sibling to whom Prince was closest. She stepped out of his Paisley Park studios on the day Prince died to tell mourning fans that Prince loved them and to thank them for loving him back. But it wasn’t always so. She admitted in a 2003 interview with The National Enquirer that she had been addicted to crack cocaine, prostituted herself to support her babies and pawned a car Prince had given her to buy drugs.

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Prosecutor: Evidence speaks for 10 ‘Grim Sleeper’ victims

LOS ANGELES — The victims were all young black women, some were prostitutes and most had been using cocaine before their bodies were discovered in alleys in a rough part of Los Angeles, hidden in trash bins or covered by mattresses or debris.

For decades, the serial killer dubbed the “Grim Sleeper” eluded police, dumping at least 10 bodies and leaving one woman for dead after shooting her in the chest.

After months of testimony, a prosecutor Monday said that the evidence overwhelmingly points to Lonnie Franklin Jr. and speaks for the vulnerable victims he silenced as he spent years hiding in plain sight.

“How do we figure out what happened here? How do we know who committed these crimes?” Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman asked as she closed her case in Los Angeles Superior Court.

“Ten of the victims can’t tell you themselves. The defendant took their voices when he brutally murdered them. … The evidence in this case is the voice of the victims.”

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Metallics reigned on Met Gala red carpet

NEW YORK — Gladiator-worthy metallics and sparkly embellishments, along with a show of feathers and chunky boots, swept the red carpet at the Met Gala on Monday night.

The event celebrates the Met’s new exhibit opening Thursday, “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,” which celebrates the convergence of man and machine.

Who better to take on that vibe than Lady Gaga, in towering platform shoes, fishnet stockings and a silvery Versace bodysuit paired with an equally silvery short jacket.

Grande dame Anna Wintour was the first to arrive, in a fringed, white body-hugging gown by Chanel. She acknowledged her life is not a great example of the evening’s theme.

“Me? I can’t cook. I can’t do anything with my hands,” the editor-in-chief of American Vogue told reporters, kicking off the huge night of fashion and celebrity at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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AP Exclusive: Migrant children kept from enrolling in school

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Candelario Jimon Alonzo came to the U.S. dreaming of becoming something more than what seemed possible along the rutted roads of his hometown in Guatemala’s highlands. This was his chance: He could earn a U.S. high school education and eventually become a teacher.

Instead, the 16-year-old spends most days alone in the tumbledown Memphis house where he lives with his uncle, leaving only occasionally to play soccer and pick up what English he can from his friends.

Local school officials have kept Jimon out of the classroom since he tried to enroll in January. Attorneys say Jimon and at least a dozen other migrant youth fleeing violence in Central America have been blocked from going to Memphis high schools because officials contend the teens lacked transcripts or were too old to graduate on time.

The Associated Press has found that in at least 35 districts in 14 states, hundreds of unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have been discouraged from enrolling in schools or pressured into what advocates and attorneys argue are separate but unequal alternative programs — essentially an academic dead end, and one that can violate federal law.

Instead of enrolling Jimon and the other minors in high school, their cash-strapped district routed them to an adult school in East Memphis that offered English classes a few hours a week. But before Jimon could even register, the state shut the GED and English-language programs over concerns that few students were graduating, effectively ending his chances for a formal education.

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4 arrested in slaying of Honduran environmental activist

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Honduran authorities arrested four people Monday in the killing of environmental activist Berta Caceres, including an active duty army officer and at least one man who worked for a hydroelectric project she opposed.

A spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office, Yuri Mora, said the three did work for or were direct employees of Desarrollos Energeticos SA, also known as DESA, which was developing the project that Caceres’ organization successfully stopped.

The Hidroelectrica Agua Zarca Company, which is managed by DESA, said in a statement that only one of the men was employed by the firm, and denied it had anything to do with Caceres’ killing.

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The Goldman Environmental Prize-winning activist was shot dead March 3 by gunmen who invaded her home. Caceres had reported death threats from security personnel for the company, which is known as DESA.

Caceres’ children and the group she founded, the Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras, said in a statement that they wanted an international group of experts from the Inter American Human Rights Commission to participate in the investigation, because “we do not know if these arrests reach all the levels of the masterminds” behind the killing.

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