The judge in Donald Trump’s criminal case is holding a hybrid hearing Tuesday to make sure that the former president is aware of new rules barring him from using evidence to attack witnesses. Trump won’t have to show up to court for the hearing at a Manhattan courthouse. Instead, the Republican will be connected by video conference, with his face beamed onto courtroom TV monitors. His lawyers and prosecutors must still appear in person. The judge agreed to the extra step of personally instructing Trump on the restrictions after listing them May 8 in what’s known as a protective order. Trump pleaded not guilty and says the prosecution is politically motivated.
A judge has rejected Kari Lake’s remaining legal claim challenging her loss in the race for Arizona governor. Judge Peter A. Thompson said in his written ruling Monday night that Lake failed to prove that Maricopa County did not verify signatures on mail ballots as required by law. Lake presented her case in a three-day hearing last week. Witnesses who were called to testify included two lower level screeners of ballot signatures and someone in handwriting forensics. County officials had defended the signature verification efforts and said they had nothing to hide. Lake did not immediately comment on the ruling.
The Supreme Court says it won’t get involved in a dispute over a California animal cruelty law that bars foie gras from being sold in the state. That leaves in place a lower court ruling dismissing the case.Foie gras is made from the enlarged livers of force-fed ducks and geese, and animal welfare groups had supported the law. As is typical, the court did not comment in declining to hear the case.The law doesn’t completely bar Californians from eating foie gras in the state. Courts have ruled that residents can still order foie gras from out-of-state producers and have it sent to them. But restaurants and retailers are still forbidden from selling it or giving it away.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave final approval Monday to the state's new red flag law during a bill signing just outside of Detroit. The law is expected to take effect next spring and will allow family members, police, mental health professionals, roommates and former dating partners to petition a judge to remove firearms from those they believe pose an imminent threat to themselves or others. Questions remain whether the state will have better success in enforcing the law than others have after multiple Michigan sheriffs told The Associated Press that they won’t enforce the law if they don’t believe it’s constitutional. The law's passage follows a mass shooting in February at Michigan State University that killed three students.
Social media company TikTok has filed a lawsuit to overturn Montana’s first-in-the-nation ban on the video sharing app. The company argues the law is an unconstitutional violation of free speech based on “unfounded speculation” that the Chinese government could access users’ data. The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Missoula. That's the same court where content creators filed their lawsuit last week. Both lawsuits also argue that the state of Montana has no authority to take action on matters of national security. Montana's TikTok ban is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.
Nebraska’s Republican governor has signed a bill that bans abortion at 12 weeks and restricts gender-affirming medical care for people younger than 19. The law was signed Monday by Gov. Jim Pillen. The abortion ban takes effect immediately. The restrictions on gender-affirming care take effect Oct. 1. Nebraska’s conservative-led, unicameral Legislature passed the bill that included the two contentious issues on Friday after hours of heated debate. The law restricting gender-affirming care was the flashpoint of an epic filibuster led by Omaha Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, who slowed the business of passing laws to a crawl.
As Sen. Tim Scott enters the 2024 GOP presidential field, he will be eager to introduce himself to voters who might not know much about him. He will be the first to say his Christian faith is an integral part of his political and personal narrative. He joined the Senate in 2012 after getting appointed by now-rival Nikki Haley and is the only Black Republican in the chamber. And while he often points out that his is the only face of color in a room of conservatives, he also rejects the notion that the country is inherently racist and has repudiated the teaching of critical race theory.
Mutual supporters of Sen. Tim Scott and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley are in a conundrum now that the two South Carolina natives are both candidates for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. The two have a long history: They worked alongside each other in the state House, and then-Gov. Haley appointed Scott to a Senate seat in 2012. For his part, Scott has dismissed any awkwardness, saying they will remain friends. Haley has declined to comment on Scott when asked by The Associated Press.
Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware says he will not seek reelection to a fifth term in the U.S. Senate. Carper announced Monday that he will retire when his current term expires in 2024. His announcement paves the way for a wide-open contest for the seat he has held since 2001 in heavily blue Delaware. He is the fourth Democratic senator to announce plans to retire in this coming cycle. Carper served five terms in the U.S. House and two terms as governor before being elected to the Senate in 2000. In the Senate, Carper built a reputation as a moderate lawmaker and a champion of environmental protection and the U.S. Postal Service.
Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware says he will not seek reelection to a 5th term, opening up seat in liberal state.
If the debt crisis roiling Washington were eventually to send the United States crashing into recession, America’s economy would hardly sink alone. The repercussions of a first-ever default on the federal debt would quickly reverberate around the world. Orders for Chinese factories that sell electronics to the United States could dry up. Swiss investors who own U.S. Treasurys would suffer losses. Sri Lankan companies could no longer deploy dollars as an alternative to their own dodgy currency. Moody’s Analytics has concluded that even if the debt limit were breached for no more than week, the U.S. economy would weaken so much, so fast, as to wipe out 1.5 million jobs.
The European Union has slapped Meta with a record $1.3 billion privacy fine and ordered it to stop transferring user data across the Atlantic. The record Monday is the latest salvo in a decadelong case sparked by U.S. cybersnooping fears. Meta, which had previously warned that services for its users in Europe could be cut off, vowed to appeal and ask courts to immediately put the decision on hold. The legal battle began in 2013 when Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems filed a complaint about Facebook’s handling of his data following former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. cybersnooping.
For many of those who live in Florida, recent months have brought some changes — many linked to Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Don’t say gay.” Regulation of books and classroom discussion. Teachers, parents and school librarians are all navigating new and uncertain ground. LGBTQ+ rights under attack. A very public spat between the state government and Disney. And at the center of it all is DeSantis, who has emerged as a rival of former President Donald Trump and likely has his eyes set on the White House. Lost in all of this are more traditional concerns like the rising cost of living. Rents are going sky-high and property insurance is becoming less available and less affordable.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is set to announce his bid for president. With Monday's launch, he will officially wade into a Republican primary battle already largely dominated by two commanding figures: former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Scott's team acknowledges the challenge but notes that the political environment can change, that Scott won reelection by a commanding 20 points in November and that Scott has more money to start his campaign than any presidential candidate in history. In addition to Trump and DeSantis, he will enter a field that includes former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and “Woke, Inc.” author Vivek Ramaswamy.
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are to meet face to face on Monday after a weekend of on again, off again negotiations over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Their meeting comes mere days before the government could reach a “hard deadline” and run out of cash to pay its bills. The two sides are working to reach a budget compromise before June 1. McCarthy and Republicans are insisting on spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit; Biden has come to the negotiating table after balking for months but says the GOP lawmakers will have to back off their “extreme positions.”
Just 33% of American adults say they approve of President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy and only 24% say national economic conditions are in good shape. That's according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Public approval of Biden’s handling of the economy remains low in a time of high inflation, a difficult housing market and concerns about a potential U.S. government debt default. American opinion is also gloomy about Biden’s efforts on gun policy and immigration, with only 31% saying they approve of the president’s performance on those hot button issues. Overall, 40% say they approve of the way Biden is doing his job.
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have a pivotal meeting coming up on the impasse over the debt ceiling. Washington is racing to strike a budget compromise and raise the nation’s borrowing limit in time to avert a devastating federal default. They're to meet face to face Monday afternoon. After a weekend of start-stop talks, both men appeared upbeat as they face a deadline, as soon as June 1, when the government could run out of cash to pay its bills. Back in the U.S. after the G-7 summit, Biden said his phone call with McCarthy earlier Sunday went well.
The NAACP over the weekend issued a travel advisory for Florida, joining two other civil rights groups in warning potential tourists that recent laws championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers are “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.” The NAACP has long been an advocate for Black Americans. It joins the League of United Latin American Citizens, a Latino civil rights organization, and Equality Florida, a gay rights advocacy group, in issuing travel advisories for the Sunshine State. Florida is one of the most popular states in the U.S. for tourists, and tourism is one of its biggest industries.
Conservative groups that have targeted and won majorities on local boards and commissions across the United States over the past couple years are now pressing agendas that include election distrust, skepticism of government and a desire to have religion play a greater role in public decision-making. The consequences are becoming apparent in places such as Sumner County, Tennessee, where a local Constitutional Republicans group won a majority last year on the county commission. Members have waged a political war on fellow Republicans they view as insufficiently conservative and are feuding with the county’s election commission in ways that could affect preparations for the 2024 presidential election.
Before Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman checked himself in to a hospital for clinical depression in February, he used to walk the halls of the Senate stone-faced and dressed in formal suits. These days, he’s back to wearing the hoodies and gym shorts he was known for before he became a senator. People close to Fetterman say his more relaxed style is a reflection of the progress he's made after six weeks of inpatient treatment for clinical depression. He was treated with medication and fitted for hearing aids for hearing loss that had made it harder for him to communicate. His hospitalization came less than a year after he had a stroke during his Senate campaign.
Ukrainian military officials say that soldiers are still engaging Russian forces in fierce battles in and around Bakhmut. The statement on Sunday came hours after Moscow and the private army Wagner announced that their troops had taken full control of the eastern city. The fog of war made it impossible to confirm the situation on the ground in the invasion’s longest battle. And a series of comments from Ukrainian and Russian officials added confusion to the matter. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minsiter Hanna Malyar even went so far as to say that Ukrainian troops “took the city in a semi-encirclement.”
Democratic leaders in major U.S. cities are finding themselves politically squeezed when it comes to addressing homelessness. Their constituents are tiring of seeing homeless encampments sprouting across communities. Advocates for homeless people are denouncing the hardline approaches being taken in large cities including New York and Los Angeles. A unanimous New York City Council has passed a “Homeless Bill of Rights." It not only codifies a long-standing right to shelter but would establish the right to sleep outside. New York would be the first big U.S. city to establish the right if Adams allows the measure to become law.
Polls have opened in Greece’s parliamentary election, the first since the country’s economy ceased to be subject to strict supervision and control by international lenders who had provided bailout funds during its nearly decade-long financial crisis. The two main contenders in Sunday’s vote are conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a Harvard-educated former banker, and Alexis Tsipras, who heads the left-wing Syriza party and served as prime minister during some of the financial crisis’ most turbulent years. A new electoral system of proportional representation makes it unlikely that whoever wins the election will be able to garner enough seats in Greece’s parliament to form a government without coalition partners, meaning a second election is likely.
Unfounded claims about Indiana University’s sex research institute, its founder and child sex abuse have been so persistent over the years that when the Legislature prohibited the institute from using state dollars, one lawmaker hailed the move as “long overdue.” Now, funding from the university remains unclear, but the largely symbolic move does not halt the Kinsey Institute’s work, which ranges from studies on sexual assault prevention to contraception use among women. Researchers tell The Associated Press the Republican-dominated Legislature’s February decision is based on an enduring, fundamental misunderstanding of their work. They say it's a false narrative they cannot shake despite efforts to correct such misinformation.
A lawyer who quit Donald Trump’s legal team this past week is attributing his decision to strategy disagreements with a close adviser to the former president. Timothy Parlatore, who had been a key lawyer for Trump in a Justice Department special counsel investigation into the potential mishandling of classified documents at his Florida estate, told CNN in an interview on Saturday that there were “certain individuals that made defending the president much harder than it needed to be.” In a statement responding to Parlatore’s comments, a Trump spokesman said Parlatore's "statements regarding current members of the legal team are unfounded and categorically false.”
Debt limit talks between the White House and House Republicans stopped, started and stopped again heading into a weekend where President Joe Biden and world leaders watched from afar, hoping high-stakes negotiations would make progress on avoiding a potentially catastrophic federal default. In a sign of a renewed bargaining session, food was brought to the negotiating room at the Capitol on Saturday morning, only to be carted away hours later. No meeting was likely Saturday, according to a person familiar with the state of the talks. Biden is attending a meeting of global leaders in Japan and on Saturday he tried to reassure them that the United States would not default.
Perhaps the most unlikely feature of high-stakes budget negotiations going on in Washington is a debate over permitting. That's essentially the regulatory process for deciding what gets built where. It could be power plants, transmission lines or other projects. For decades, industry and labor have chaffed at what they describe as overly strict rules that limit development. Now environmentalists also view red tape as a problem because it limits the construction of projects necessary for a clean energy future. Reaching a compromise won't be easy, but it's critical to achieving President Joe Biden's vision of slashing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years.
A new batch of states are looking to legislate the level of informed consent when it comes to medical students performing pelvic exams for educational purposes on unconscious patients. At least 20 states already have consent laws for this practice. Montana’s governor signed a bill in April, Missouri has legislation that needs the governor’s signature to become law and Ohio lawmakers are also considering it. Colorado lawmakers want to go a step further. That state's bill would require naming the involved students ahead of time and introducing them to the patients. Colorado’s proposed law wouldn’t allow others to step in if the other students were not available.
The super political action committee promoting Ron DeSantis plans to shoulder the load of organizing support for him in Iowa while the Florida governor moves toward launching a 2024 presidential campaign. It's a strategy aimed at making the most of the unlimited sums from wealthy donors that the political group, Never Back Down, can receive. The money is intended to be pumped into the labor-intensive work of canvassing neighborhoods and signing up supporters. The stakes are high in early-voting Iowa, where DeSantis would need to show strength against former President Donald Trump. The PAC must essentially build a separate grassroots network to win commitments from Iowans to back DeSantis, and do that without coordinating with him.
One of two companion bills that would enhance fentanyl penalties in Nevada failed to pass after a hearing in an Assembly committee, while another was significantly altered in a last-minute shift in Nevada Democratic leadership’s plans to send fentanyl legislation to the governor’s desk. The amended legislation starts low-level trafficking charges at 28 grams of possession for fentanyl, which was formerly proposed at 4 grams. Committee hearings and back-door discussion for the bills were animated by questions over whether the legislation starting at 4 grams would repeat “war on drug” policies criminalizing low-level users. The bills were pushed by Democratic leadership but questioned by many rank-and-file Assembly members.
The political divide affecting the United States is hitting Oregon hard. The Legislature is in gridlock and Republican senators are in a prolonged walkout. Oregonians are wistfully recalling “The Oregon Way,” when politicians of different stripes forged agreements for the common good. The gridlock in the state Capitol in Salem comes as Oregon grapples with homelessness, mental health issues, a fetid open-air drug market in Portland and gun violence in the state’s main city. Some businesses are fleeing, including REI. The boycott threatens to derail hundreds of pending bills, approval of a biennial state budget and the boycotters’ own political futures.
Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker is expected to formally join next year’s race for North Carolina governor this weekend. Walker scheduled a Saturday announcement at a Christian K-12 school in Kernersville to reveal his plans. Walker served three terms in Congress through 2020, then lost the 2022 Republican U.S. Senate primary to eventual general election winner Ted Budd. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and State Treasurer Dale Folwell announced their gubernatorial bids earlier in the spring. Attorney General Josh Stein is running on the Democratic side. Primaries are in March. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is barred by term limits from running again.
Republican presidential hopefuls have rushed to support Daniel Penny, a white U.S. Marine veteran who was caught on video pinning an agitated Black subway passenger to the floor in a fatal chokehold. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged the nation to show Penny that “America’s got his back.” Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley called for New York’s governor to pardon Penny, and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy donated $10,000 to his legal defense fund. Top Republicans have tried to make rising crime rates a political liability for Democrats. Democrats and racial justice advocates counter that GOP messaging around restoring “law and order” plays on deep-seated racism.
Japan says that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will travel to Japan to join Group of Seven leaders in a session on Ukraine. Zelenskyy is expected to arrive in Hiroshima, the site of the world’s first atomic attack in western Japan, later Saturday. The Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement Zelenskyy will join leaders of the G7 wealthy nations at a session on Ukraine on Sunday. He was originally scheduled to join a session online on Friday, but that plan changed after Zelenskyy expressed a “strong wish” to participate in person.
Debt limit talks came to an abrupt standstill after Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said it’s time to “pause” negotiations. A White House official acknowledged there are “real differences” that are making talks difficult. Wall Street markets were down Friday amid the developments. It's not clear when the talks will resume. Biden’s administration is racing to strike a deal with Republicans as the nation careens toward a potentially catastrophic debt default if the nation fails to pay its bills. McCarthy says it's an “easy” problem to resolve by cutting government spending.
Hyundai Motor America and Kia America say they have reached a settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit prompted by a surge in vehicle thefts. The companies say the settlement could be valued at $200 million and covers about 9 million 2011-2022 model year Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the U.S. The cars are not equipped with push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft devices. That has allowed thieves to easily steal them using just a screwdriver and a USB cord, creating a recent rash of auto thefts across the country. The total settlement amount will depend on how many customers participate.
Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury visit the Los Angeles Sparks as part of a four-game slate on the first day of the WNBA season. It's the first regular-season game for Griner since she was detained in Russia on drug-related charges. The 32-year-old center was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February 2022 after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. She returned to the U.S. in December after she was part of a high-profile prisoner swap.
Transgender people in El Salvador face violence and discrimination in their deeply religious country. They are unable to obtain IDs that are consistent with their gender identity, making daily life a struggle. Catholic and evangelical churches have a large presence in El Salvador, where the government of President Nayib Bukele has not shown the political will to guarantee the rights of the LGBTQ community. Last year, the country’s Supreme Court determined that the inability of a person to change their name because of gender identity constitutes discriminatory treatment. A ruling ordered the National Assembly to issue a reform that enables the process, but the deadline expired three months ago, and the lawmakers did not comply.
Sean Penn has strongly backed the current Hollywood screenwriters strike while speaking at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday, saying the dispute over Artificial Intelligence is “a human obscenity.” Penn addressed the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike in a press conference for his new film, “Black Flies,” director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s harrowing, gritty drama about New York paramedics. Asked about the strike, Penn said “the industry has been upending the writers and actors and directors for a very long time.” Penn’s comments come as the potential for a wider work stoppage in Hollywood may be growing, with directors and actors also considering their next steps.
Arab leaders have been joined by Syrian President Bashar Assad for the first time in more than a decade at an annual Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia. The focus of Friday's summit in the Red Sea city of Jeddah is on Sudan and other conflicts. In recent months, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pursued regional diplomacy with the same vigor he previously brought to the oil-rich kingdom’s confrontation with Iran and its proxies. Saudi Arabia has restored diplomatic relations with its archrival Iran and is working to end its war against Iran-aligned rebels in Yemen. The Saudis have even offered to mediate between Ukraine and Russia, following a prisoner exchange deal they brokered last year.
Social media has law enforcement facing increasing pressure to release information fast amid a surge of mass shootings. Police began to harness social media a decade ago, most famously after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. The four-day manhunt ended with police tweeting: “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over." It was groundbreaking at the time. Now experts says it is the the basic level expected of law enforcement. The issue is that bystanders are sometimes shooting videos of the bodies and posting them online, as happened after a recent mall shooting in Texas. When police don't talk, that is what the public finds when they search for information.
A judge is poised to decide whether a Massachusetts Air National Guard member accused of leaking highly classified military documents will remain behind bars while he awaits trial. Jack Teixeira is due back in federal court Friday in Worcester, Massachusetts, where a magistrate judge is expected to hear arguments on prosecutors’ request to keep the 21-year-old locked up before issuing a ruling. Prosecutors said in court papers filed this week that Teixeira was caught by superiors months before his April arrest taking notes on classified information or viewing intelligence not related to his job.
With pedestrian deaths in the U.S. at their highest point in four decades, advocates and urban residents across the nation are urging city councils and state lawmakers to break from transportation spending focused on road improvements and car culture. From Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Charlotte, North Carolina, frustrated residents are pushing for increased funding for public transportation and improvements that make it safer to travel by bike or on foot. Despite some encouraging plans and proposals in cities across the U.S., advocates face high hurdles to creating walkable and transit-friendly communities.
A new poll finds that most U.S. adults say they are highly concerned about the impact on the national economy if the U.S. debt limit is not increased and the government defaults on its loans. That's according to a survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll shows 6 in 10 adults say they want any increase in the debt limit to be coupled with agreed-upon terms for reducing the federal budget deficit. At the same time, Americans are more likely to disapprove than approve of how President Joe Biden and congressional negotiators on both sides of the aisle are handling negotiations. Still, slightly more approve of Biden’s handling of the situation than of congressional Republicans.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office says she is suffering from Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a complication from the shingles virus that can paralyze part of the face. Feinstein's office on Thursday said she contracted encephalitis while recovering from the singles virus earlier this year. Feinstein, who is 89, had not previously disclosed those medical details, though she said in a statement last week that she had suffered complications from the virus. The longtime California senator returned from a more than two-month absence on May 10 after weeks of questions about her declining health and whether she would be back in the Senate at all.
Federal health advisers are backing a first-of-its-kind RSV vaccine to protect newborns by immunizing their moms late in pregnancy. The virus fills hospitals with wheezing babies each winter. Pfizer's research shows a late-pregnancy shot is 82% effective at preventing severe RSV in the infants' first months of life. The Food and Drug Administration asked if there's a hint that the vaccine might affect premature birth but its advisers weren't convinced. The FDA recently approved a different RSV vaccine for older adults, the world's first made by rival GSK. FDA will consider Thursday's recommendation in deciding the fate of Pfizer's maternal vaccine.
The Walt Disney Co. says it's scrapping plans to build a new campus in central Florida and relocate 2,000 employees from Southern California to work in digital technology, finance and product development. Thursday's announcement follows a year of attacks from Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature, with Disney filing a First Amendment lawsuit against him and other officials last month. Disney had planned to build the campus about 20 miles from the giant Walt Disney World theme park resort. But a company official says in a memo employees that “new leadership and changing business conditions” prompted Disney to abandon those plans.
The Supreme Court has sided with Google, Twitter and Facebook in lawsuits seeking to hold them liable for terrorist attacks. But the justices sidestepped the big issue hovering over the cases — namely the federal law that shields social media companies from being sued over content posted by others. The justices unanimously rejected a lawsuit alleging that the companies allowed their platforms to be used to aid and abet an attack in Turkey and. In the case of an American college student who was killed in an Islamic State terrorist attack in Paris, a unanimous court returned the case to a lower court, but said there appeared to be little, if anything, left of it.
As political leaders work to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling, some online have pointed fingers as to who is to blame for the national debt. One online claim argues former President Donald Trump increased the debt “more than any other President in American history.” While the debt did increase a lot during the Trump era, it wasn't the highest increase. Moreover, experts say, attributing the debt to one president glosses over a lot of complexities — including the fact that spending decisions are made by lawmakers, too, and policies put in place by one administration affect the debt down the line.
Election falsehoods are thriving on Twitter after former President Donald Trump dug in on those claims during a recent CNN town hall. That's going on despite Twitter owner Elon Musk insisting that stolen-election claims on the platform “will be corrected.” An analysis for The Associated Press shows the 10 most widely shared tweets promoting a “rigged election” narrative in the five days after the town hall have not been labeled or removed. Tech accountability experts say monitoring content on such a large scale is difficult. But they say Musk has reinstated notorious election deniers, overhauled the site's verification system and gutted much of the staff that had moderated such posts.
All the hand-wringing over a potential government default if Congress doesn’t increase the national debt limit has conjured up images of past government shutdowns. In fact, there’s a big difference between a government default and a government shutdown. The U.S. very well knows what happens in a shutdown — it's had four of them in the past 30 years. “Essential” work continues — the military stays on guard — but most federal workers stay home. Work piles up in offices, litter in national parks. There's a lot more uncertainty, though, about what would happen in a default. Officials say it could well have far more wide-ranging and devastating impacts.
A ballot question aimed at making it harder to amend Ohio's constitution has been cleared for an August vote. The Ohio Ballot Board voted Thursday to certify the question and assigned teams of Republican and Democratic lawmakers that will write pro and con arguments, respectively. Issue 1 will ask voters whether to raise the threshold for passing future constitutional amendments from a simple majority to 60%. Backers made clear during debate the higher bar is intended to vex a November issue that would enshrine a constitutional right to abortion access. Opponents call the higher threshold undemocratic.
The Supreme Court has sided with a photographer who claimed the late Andy Warhol had violated her copyright on a photograph of the singer Prince. The Supreme Court sided 7-2 with photographer Lynn Goldsmith. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a majority opinion that: “Lynn Goldsmith’s original works, like those of other photographers, are entitled to copyright protection, even against famous artists."The case involved images Warhol created of Prince as part of a 1984 commission for Vanity Fair. Warhol used a Goldsmith photograph as his starting point. Warhol died in 1987.
The stubbornness of high inflation is dividing the Federal Reserve over how to manage interest rates in the coming months, leaving the outlook for the Fed’s policies cloudier than at any time since it unleashed a streak of 10 straight rate hikes in March 2022. Many Fed watchers have expected the officials to forgo another increase in their benchmark rate when they next meet in mid-June. Yet recent warnings from several of them about the continuing inflation threat suggest that that outcome is far from certain. On Thursday, Lorie Logan of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said she believes that the economic data so far doesn’t support a pause in the central bank’s rate hikes next month.
President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign is vowing to hold the states that won him the White House in 2020 but also compete in places it lost like North Carolina and Florida, providing what it says are “a number of viable pathways" to victory. Campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez, in her first extensive comments on strategy since she got the job last month, wrote in a memo that the 2024 race presents “significant opportunities to grow Democratic support.” The letter was released while Biden was traveling in Japan.
Pakistani police are keeping up their siege around the home of Imran Khan as a 24-hour deadline given to the former premier to hand over suspects sheltered inside is about to expire. The siege and the authorities demand for the suspects, wanted in violent protests over Khan’s recent detention, has angered the former prime minister’s many followers. It is also raising concerns about more clashes between them and the security forces on Thursday. Last week, Khan’s supporters attacked puallegedly blic property and military installations after he was dragged out of a courtroom and arrested. At least 10 people were killed in clashes with police across the country. The violence subsided only when Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered Khan’s release.
Israel is deploying over 2,000 police for a parade by flag-waving Jewish nationalists through the main Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City. Authorities say the heightened security presence is part of a determined effort to ensure the contentious event passes without violence on Thursday. Police have decided to allow the thousands of marchers to take the “traditional” route through the Old City’s Damascus Gate. That's despite an uptick in Israeli-Palestinian violence over the past year and heavy fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza last week. While Israeli officials describe the parade as a festive event, it has been marred by anti-Arab racist chants in the past. The Hamas militant group has urged Palestinians to confront the march.
A dozen poor countries are facing economic instability and even collapse under the weight of hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign loans, much of them from the world’s biggest and most unforgiving government lender, China. An Associated Press analysis of a dozen countries most indebted to China — including Pakistan, Kenya, Zambia and Mongolia — found payments on the debt are consuming an ever-greater amount of the tax revenue needed to provide basic services. And it’s draining foreign currency reserves these countries use to pay interest on those loans, leaving some with just months before that money is gone.
Attorneys for a Wisconsin Native American tribe are set to present their arguments that a federal judge should order an energy company to shut down an oil pipeline because rapid erosion could expose it and cause a massive oil spill on reservation land. In some places, the Bad River now flows less than 15 feet from where Enbridge's Line 5 is buried. The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa are worried that a spill could devastate their land, but Enbridge says a spill is unlikely and is asking the tribe to instead let it reinforce the riverbank, saying the pipeline is critical to the Great Lakes economy.
The Democrat who will almost certainly become Philadelphia’s next mayor wants to hire hundreds of additional police officers and says officers should be able to stop and search pedestrians if they have a legitimate reason to do so. Those positions would seem out of step in a progressive bastion like Philadelphia. But Cherelle Parker trounced her rivals in this week’s mayoral primary with a message that centered on tougher law enforcement to combat crime and violence. While local politics don’t always align with the ideological divides that guide the national debate, Parker’s victory offers a fresh case study for Democrats as they wrestle with how to approach the issue of violent crime.
Hundreds of measures targeting transgender people have been proposed in statehouses this year, and several have moved forward this week. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a ban on gender-affirming care for minors along with restrictions on transgender people as he appears to approach a presidential bid. Missouri and Nebraska proposals are poised for action as well, and could add to the list of at least 17 states that have enacted laws restricting or banning gender affirming care for minors. Meanwhile, some Democrat-led states are enacting measures aimed at protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ youth, and Michigan could be next.
A sweeping immigration bill recently signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is sparking fears of deserted workplaces – and barren grocery shelves. The new law, set to take effect in July, will require businesses with more than 25 staffers to verify that their employees can legally work in the U.S. through a federal system, among other restrictions. Amid the outcry, a pair of videos circulating widely on social media are claiming to show empty supermarkets in the Sunshine State, purportedly due to truck drivers boycotting deliveries to the state in protest of the immigration overhaul. But the footage is unrelated.
A resolution to expel New York Republican Rep. George Santos from Congress is being referred to the House Ethics Committee. Republicans successfully sidestepped an effort Wednesday to force them into a vote that could have narrowed their already slim four-seat majority. California Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia introduced a resolution in February to expel Santos. He sought to force a vote on that resolution under a process that left three options for Republicans: a vote on the resolution, a move to table or a referral to committee. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy chose the third option, much to the chagrin of Democrats who described it as a “complete copout.”
College programs that leave graduates underpaid or buried in loans would be cut off from federal money under a proposal issued by the Biden administration on Wednesday. The rules would apply only to for-profit colleges and a tiny fraction of programs at traditional universities. The Education Department is calling it a significant step toward accountability. The measure aims to weed out low-performing programs and assure students that the cost of tuition will pay off. Opponents say the scope is too narrow and unfairly targets for-profit colleges. Known as gainful employment, it revives an Obama-era policy that was dismantled by the Trump administration.
A Senate bill requiring anyone in Delaware wanting to buy a handgun to first be fingerprinted, undergo training and obtain permission from the state has cleared a House committee. The Democrat-led Judiciary Committee voted to release the bill Wednesday after a lengthy public hearing similar to one conducted in the Senate last month. The legislation was immediately reassigned to the Appropriations Committee for consideration of the price tag that comes with the new permit scheme. Gun-control advocates say the proposal will help reduce the number of homicides and suicides in Delaware. Opponents argue that the bill infringes on the rights of law-abiding citizens and will have no effect on criminals who ignore gun laws and are to blame for the state’s gun violence problem.
Montana has become the first state to completely ban TikTok. Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the legislation Wednesday. The measure is more sweeping than bans put in place in nearly half the states and by the U.S. federal government that prohibit TikTok on government devices. The law is expected to face legal challenges and become a testing ground for whether it’s possible for a TikTok-free America many national lawmakers have envisioned. TikTok has vowed to fight for Montana residents to be able to use the video-sharing app, which is owned by a Chinese tech company.
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are turning to a select group of negotiators to help broker a deal to increase the nation’s borrowing authority and avoid the economic carnage that would ensue if a deal is not reached soon. Republican Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana will represent House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Those representing Biden are presidential counselor Steve Ricchetti, legislative director Louisa Terrell and Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget. The four have been tapped as the hopeful closers on a debt-limit deal.
Democrat Donna Deegan’s decisive win over a Republican in the Jacksonville mayor’s race will make her the first woman to hold the job in the Florida city’s history, sparking a flicker of hope for a besieged Democratic Party that has few levers of power in a state dominated in recent years by the GOP. Deegan earned 52% of the vote in Tuesday’s election to defeat Republican Daniel Davis, according to unofficial results. About 217,000 people voted in the race, for a turnout of 33%. The Democratic victory is the party’s first for the Jacksonville mayor’s office since Alvin Brown's win in 2011. Republican Lenny Curry defeated Brown in 2015. Curry could not run this year because of term limits and Deegan will take over July 1.
The president of Ecuador has dismissed the legislature in a move that promised more turmoil around a conservative leader unable to enact his agenda aimed at widening business opportunities and attracting more investment. Heavily armed soldiers surrounded the National Assembly Wednesday after the move by President Guillermo Lasso, who had been locked in a showdown with legislators who wanted to impeach him. Lawmakers had accused Lasso of not stopping a corrupt deal between the state-owned oil transport company and a private tanker company, accusations he denies. Ecuador’s top military leader warned that the armed forces would crack down on any violence.
Elon Musk announced last week Twitter would be “purging accounts that have had no activity at all for several years.” The move caused outrage among people fearing they could lose tweets from now-inactive accounts, including those belonging to users who have died. Some users reported seeing profiles of late loved ones disappear — or have an “account suspended” message listed on it. Musk said that impacted accounts would be archived, and that pointed to freeing up abandoned handles as a reason behind removing the accounts. But most details remain unknown. In 2019, Twitter tried to implement a similar policy and received the same backlash.
President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he was “confident” that the U.S. would avoid an unprecedented and catastrophic debt default, saying the talks were productive as he prepared to leave for a global summit in Japan. “I’m confident that we’ll get the agreement on the budget and America will not default,” Biden said from the Roosevelt Room of the White House. He said he and lawmakers will come together “because there’s no alternative.”
Florida is banning gender affirming care for minors among a series of anti-LGBTQ+ bills signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis chose a Christian school Wednesday to sign the bills, which also restricts pronoun use in schools and force people to use the bathroom corresponding with their sex at birth. DeSantis has made anti-LGBTQ+ legislation a large part of his agenda as he builds towards a presidential campaign. He signed the bills in front of