AP News in Brief 04-28-19

  • Emergency crews work at the scene of a construction crane collapse near the intersection of Mercer Street and Fairview Avenue near Interstate 5 Saturday in Seattle. Several people were killed and others wounded when the crane collapsed Saturday afternoon in downtown Seattle, pinning cars underneath. (Alan Berner/The Seattle Times via AP)

19-year-old kills 1, wounds rabbi and 2 others at synagogue

POWAY, Calif. — A 19-year-old gunman opened fire inside a synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday, killing a woman and wounding the rabbi and two others Saturday, authorities said.

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President Donald Trump and other elected officials decried what they called an anti-Semitic attack exactly six months since 11 people were killed at a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest assault on Jews in U.S. history.

There were indications an AR-type assault weapon might have malfunctioned after the gunman fired numerous rounds inside the Chabad of Poway, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said.

An off-duty Border Patrol agent working as a security guard fired at the shooter as he ran away, missing him but striking his getaway vehicle, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said.

Shortly after fleeing, the shooter called 911 to report the shooting, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said. When an officer reached him on a roadway, “the suspect pulled over, jumped out of his car with his hands up and was immediately taken into custody,” Nisleit said.

4 die after crane crushes cars in Seattle

SEATTLE — Four people died and three were injured when a construction crane on the new Google Seattle campus collapsed Saturday, pinning six cars underneath.

One female and three males were dead by the time firefighters got to the scene, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said. He said two of the dead were crane operators and the other two were people who had been in cars.

A 25-year-old mother and her 4-month-old daughter as well as a 28-year-old man were taken to Harborview Medical Center, according to Seattle Fire spokesman Lance Garland. A fourth person also was injured and treated at the scene.

Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg said Saturday evening that the mother and baby would be discharged, while the man injured was in satisfactory condition.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office said it would not release names of people who died until Monday.

Oliver North out as NRA president after leadership dispute

INDIANAPOLIS — Oliver North announced Saturday that he would not serve a second term as National Rifle Association president, making it clear he had been forced out by the gun lobby’s leadership after his own failed attempt to remove the NRA’s longtime CEO in a burgeoning divide over the group’s finances and media operations.

“Please know I hoped to be with you today as NRA president endorsed for reelection. I’m now informed that will not happen,” North said in a statement that was read by Richard Childress, the NRA’s first vice president, to members at the group’s annual convention.

North, whose one-year term ends Monday, did not show up for the meeting, and his spot on the stage was left empty, his nameplate still in its place. His statement was largely met with silence. Wayne LaPierre, whom North had tried to push out, later received two standing ovations.

It was a stunning conclusion to a battle between two conservative and Second Amendment titans — North, the retired Marine lieutenant colonel with a ramrod demeanor who was at the center of the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, and LaPierre, who has been battle-tested in the decades since he took up the mantle of gun rights. He has fought back challenges that have arisen over the decades, seemingly emerging unscathed each time. In this latest effort, he pushed back against North, telling members of the NRA’s board of directors that North had threatened to release “damaging” information about him to them and saying it amounted to an “extortion” attempt.

Hundreds of the NRA’s estimated 5 million members packed into the convention center in Indianapolis where the group’s annual meetings were being held. Near the end of the two-hour meeting, some members challenged efforts to adjourn and pushed to question the board about controversies involving its financial management, the relationship with its longtime public relations firm and details of what North sought to raise about alleged misspending, sexual harassment and other mismanagement.

Trump cheers economy, criticizes Democrats at Wisconsin rally

GREEN BAY, Wis. — President Donald Trump boasted of a strong economy and criticized his Democratic presidential opponents Saturday night as he rallied supporters with familiar themes.

Trump pointed to the economy’s 3.2% growth in the first quarter before drawing even more applause by citing gains in employment and reductions in family poverty in Wisconsin. The state helped propel Trump’s 2016 victory, and Democrats are focused on reclaiming its electoral votes in 2020.

Turning to presidential politics, the president had a suggestion for members of the Democratic Party.

“They should change that to the Radical Left Democrat Party,” he told a crowd that nearly filled the 10,500-seat Risch Center in Green Bay. “It’s crazy what’s going on with them. Oh, do I look forward to running against them.”

It was a signal that what the president and Republicans have been saying about Democrats for months could be a lasting part of his reelection campaign story. Trump, who loves branding opponents, pointed to the Green New Deal, abortion rights policy and the self-described socialism of prominent Democrats to paint the whole party as radical.

From wire sources

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Trump’s executive privilege strategy could mean messy fight

WASHINGTON — Since George Washington’s time, presidents have used executive privilege to resist congressional inquiries in the name of protecting the confidentiality of their decision-making.

President Donald Trump threatened this past week to broadly assert executive privilege to block a number of current and former aides from testifying, including some who have cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. It’s a strategy that could lead to a messy, protracted legal fight, but even if the White House is eventually defeated in court, the president and his allies could have the chance to run out the clock to the 2020 election.

“This is all about delaying things. The strategy of every administration is to drag it out,” said the University of Virginia’s Saikrishna Prakash, an expert on presidential power.

Trump in recent days has complained about House Democrats stepping up their investigations in the aftermath of the special counsel’s probe , which ended last month without concluding the president colluded with Russia or obstructed justice.

“With all of this transparency, we finished ‘no collusion, no obstruction,’” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday. “Then I get out, the first the day they’re saying, ‘Let’s do it again.’ And I said, ‘That’s enough.’”

IS claims 3 militants who blew selves up in Sri Lanka raid

AMPARA, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s Catholics on Sunday awoke preparing to celebrate Mass in their homes by a televised broadcast as churches across the island nation shut over fears of militant attacks, a week after the Islamic State-claimed Easter suicide bombings killed over 250 people.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, prepared for services that would be carried on TV, an extraordinary measure underlining the fear still gripping this nation of 21 million people.

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo has warned against attending any service at a place of worship this weekend.

In the eastern district of Ampara on Sunday, where a gunfight and explosions left 15 people dead the previous day, soldiers guarded St. Mary Magdalen’s Church, where a sign on the gate said the church and the school would be closed until May 6. A nearby mosque also had soldiers stationed outside.

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PBS film ‘KOREA’ eyes social, political tolls of Korean War

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — To escape the poverty of South Texas migrant camps, Homer Garza joined the U.S. Army. Months later he and his company found themselves surrounded in South Korea by an invading North Korean force.

Garza’s story is one of many shared in the PBS documentary “KOREA: The Never-Ending War.” The film, a production of WETA Washington, is scheduled to air on most PBS stations Monday and examines the lasting social and political costs of the Korean War — a conflict largely forgotten in the U.S. It also tells the story of a war that redefined the region from the perspective of families, U.S. veterans and journalists.

Filmmaker John Maggio said he wanted to create something that wasn’t focused on solely on views of ambassadors and historians but real people affected by the war. In addition, he wanted his project to explain why tensions between North and South Korea remain nearly 70 years after a series of diplomatic blunders and violent massacres.

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“I also was curious. My uncles fought in the Korean War and never talked about it,” Maggio said. “My granduncles were in World War II and always talked about it.”

Former CIA analyst Sue Mi Terry is among those interviewed in the film. But instead of merely laying out strategic mistakes made by the U.S., she details how an imaginary border — the 38th parallel — dreamt up by the U.S. eventually divided her family. Such painful family separations, and the legacy of violence, still define tensions that remain today.

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