Trump's potential indictment caps decades of legal scrutiny
NEW YORK (AP) — For 40 years, former President Donald Trump has navigated countless legal investigations without ever facing criminal charges. That record may soon come to an end.
Trump could be indicted by a Manhattan grand jury as soon as this week, potentially charged with falsifying business records connected to hush money payments during his 2016 campaign to women who accused him of sexual encounters.
It's one of several investigations that have intensified as Trump mounts his third presidential run. He has denied any allegations of wrongdoing and accuses prosecutors of engaging in a politically motivated “witch hunt” to damage his campaign.
An indictment in New York would mark an extraordinary turn in American history, making Trump the first former president to face a criminal charge. And it would carry tremendous weight for Trump himself, threatening his long-established ability to avoid consequences despite entanglement in a dizzying number of cases.
Indictment, says biographer Michael D’Antonio, would be a “shocking event, both because of the fact that a former president is being indicted for the first time, but also because one of the slipperiest people at the highest level of business, whose devotion to abusing the system is so well established, is being caught."
Arkansas restricts school bathroom use by transgender people
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday signed a law prohibiting transgender people at public schools from using the restroom that matches their gender identity, the first of several states expected to enact such bans this year amid a flood of bills nationwide targeting the trans community.
The bill signed by the Republican governor makes Arkansas the fourth state to place such restrictions at public schools, and it comes as bills in Idaho and Iowa also await their governor's signature. And it might be followed by an even stricter Arkansas bill criminalizing transgender adults using public restrooms that match their gender identity.
Arkansas' law, which won't take effect until later this summer, applies to multi-person restrooms and locker rooms at public schools and charter schools serving prekindergarten through 12th grade. The majority-Republican Legislature gave final approval to the bill last week.
“The Governor has said she will sign laws that focus on protecting and educating our kids, not indoctrinating them and believes our schools are no place for the radical left’s woke agenda,” Alexa Henning, Sanders' spokesperson, said in a statement. “Arkansas isn’t going to rewrite the rules of biology just to please a handful of far-left advocates.”
Similar laws have been enacted in Alabama, Oklahoma and Tennessee, although lawsuits have been filed challenging the Oklahoma and Tennessee restrictions.
Fox, Dominion face off over airing of false election claims
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Fox News and a voting machine company that claims the conservative network defamed it by amplifying baseless allegations of fraud following the 2020 presidential election faced off in a courtroom Tuesday during a key hearing over whether journalists have a responsibility to be cautious with explosive and implausible allegations.
Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems argued that Fox recklessly repeated false accusations from supporters of former President Donald Trump that its machines and the software used were responsible for Trump's 2020 election loss. Documents released during the lawsuit have shown that top Fox executives and personalities didn't believe the claims but aired them anyway.
“There was a deliberate decision by those responsible for the broadcasts … to let the story be out there,” Dominion attorney Rodney Smolla said, adding that Fox News was desperate to win back viewers infuriated that the network had correctly called Arizona, a key battleground state, on election night for Joe Biden. “What they did to get viewers back was start this new narrative that the election had been stolen and that Dominion was the thief.”
But Fox contended it was simply reporting on newsworthy allegations — a sitting president's claim that the election was being stolen from him.
“We never reported those to be true,” Fox lawyer Erin Murphy said. “All we ever did was provide viewers the true fact that these were allegations that were being made.”
Los Angeles schools shut down as staff strike for better pay
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thousands of service workers backed by teachers began a three-day strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday, shutting down education for a half-million students in the nation's second-largest school system.
Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 30,000 teachers’ aides, special education assistants, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers and other support staff, walked out amid stalled contract talks.
Teachers joined rain-soaked picket lines early Tuesday as workers demanded better wages and increased staffing before heading to a huge rally outside the district's headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. Some held signs that read “We keep schools safe, Respect Us!” The district has more than 500,000 students from Los Angeles and all or part of 25 other cities and unincorporated county areas. Nearly three-quarters are Latino.
Bus driver Mike Cervantes began his day of protest with a 4 a.m. rally at a bus yard before joining a demonstration at a school and then heading downtown.
“I'm going to be here, rain or shine,” he said. “This is historic.”
Ohtani fans Trout, Japan tops US 3-2 for WBC championship
MIAMI (AP) — Shohei Ohtani emerged from the bullpen and fanned Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout for the final out in the matchup the whole baseball world wanted to see, leading Japan over the defending champion United States 3-2 Tuesday night for its first World Baseball Classic title since 2009.
“Whether I got him out or he got a hit off me, I didn’t want to make any regrets. I wanted to make my best pitch,” Ohtani said through an interpreter.
Ohtani, the two-way star who has captivated fans across two continents, was voted MVP of the WBC and clutched the trophy against his chest.
Ohtani beat out an infield single in the seventh inning as a designated hitter before walking down the left-field line to Japan’s bullpen to warm up for his third mound appearance of the tournament.
Flashing his 100 mph heat, Ohtani walked big league batting champion Jeff McNeil to begin the ninth before getting Mookie Betts to ground into a double play.
Superbug fungus cases rose dramatically during pandemic
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. cases of a dangerous fungus tripled over just three years, and more than half of states have now reported it, according to a new study.
The COVID-19 pandemic likely drove part of the increase, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in the paper published Monday by Annals of Internal Medicine. Hospital workers were strained by coronavirus patients, and that likely shifted their focus away from disinfecting some other kinds of germs, they said.
The fungus, Candida auris, is a form of yeast that is usually not harmful to healthy people but can be a deadly risk to fragile hospital and nursing home patients. It spreads easily and can infect wounds, ears and the bloodstream. Some strains are so-called superbugs that are resistant to all three classes of antibiotic drugs used to treat fungal infections.
It was first identified in Japan in 2009 and has been seen in more and more countries. The first U.S. case occurred in 2013, but it was not reported until 2016. That year, U.S. health officials reported 53 cases.
The new study found cases have continued to shoot up, rising to 476 in 2019, to 756 in 2020, and then to 1,471 in 2021. Doctors have also detected the fungus on the skin of thousands of other patients, making them a transmission risk to others.
Man gets 4 years for attacking police at Jan. 6 Capitol riot
A Virginia man who assaulted police with a stolen baton and used a flashing strobe light to disorient officers trying to defend the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 was sentenced Tuesday to more than four years in prison.
Geoffrey Sills of Mechanicsville, Virginia, was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon, obstruction of Congress and robbery for his role in the violence at the Capitol's Lower West Terrace tunnel, where police were beaten and crushed as as they tried to beat back the angry mob of President Donald Trump supporters.
The 31-year-old has already served a year and a half behind bars since his June 2021 arrest.
In a separate case on Tuesday, a judge declared a mistrial after jurors failed to reach an agreement on whether a man described as the Oath Keepers “operations leader” for Jan. 6 was guilty of obstruction. Michael Greene was acquitted of all other felony charges on Monday, but convicted of a misdemeanor offense. Greene is the only defendant in three trials involving more than a dozen members and associates of the far-right extremist group to not be convicted of a felony charge.
Sills — who arrived at the Capitol with a gas mask and goggles — threw several pole-like objects at police, stole a police baton from an officer and hit at least two officers with it, according to prosecutors. He also pointed a strobe light at a line of officers in the tunnel.
Last call: Dodge unveils last super-fast gasoline muscle car
DETROIT (AP) — The last gas-powered muscle car from Dodge isn't leaving the road without some squeals, thunder and crazy-fast speed.
The 2023 Challenger SRT Demon 170 will deliver 1,025 horsepower from its 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, and the automaker says it will be the quickest production car made.
Stellantis, formed in 2021 by combining Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA Peugeot, says it can go from zero to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) in a scary 1.66 seconds, making it faster than even electric supercars from Tesla and Lucid.
It's what the performance brand from Stellantis is calling the last of the rumbling cars that for decades were a fixture of American culture on Saturday night cruises all over the country.
Stellantis will stop making gas versions of the Dodge Challenger and Charger and the Chrylser 300 big sedan by the end of this year, squeezed out by stricter government fuel-economy regulations and an accelerating shift to electric vehicles to fight climate change.
Gwyneth Paltrow's lawyer calls Utah ski collision story ‘BS’
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow's lawyer called the story of a retired optometrist who is suing her over a 2016 ski collision “utter B.S.” on Tuesday during the trial's opening day in Utah, where the actor-turned-lifestyle influencer appeared in court looking somber.
Paltrow and Terry Sanderson, the man suing her, sat across from each other in a Park City courtroom as their attorneys gave opening statements that provided strikingly different accounts of the crash. Both described their clients as victims and blamed the other for the collision at Deer Valley, one of the country’s most upscale ski resorts.
The two showed little emotion as attorneys questioned their credibility and version of events on the first day of the trial, which is expected to last eight days. Sanderson's attorneys said that they plan to call Paltrow to the stand to testify on Friday, but they could do so earlier in the week depending on the other witnesses' availability.
Paltrow — wearing a cream-colored knit sweater, tweed harem pants and aviator-style reading glasses — shielded her face from photographers using a blue “GP”-initialed notebook as she entered and exited the courtroom. Sanderson wore a gray suit and left halfway before witnesses began testifying.
Sanderson claims that Paltrow was cruising down the slopes so recklessly that they violently collided, leaving him on the ground as she and her entourage continued their descent down the skiers-only mountain known for its groomed runs, après-ski champagne yurts and posh clientele.
'Winnie the Pooh' film pulled from Hong Kong cinemas
HONG KONG (AP) — Public screenings of a slasher film that features Winnie the Pooh were scrapped abruptly in Hong Kong on Tuesday, sparking discussions over increasing censorship in the city.
Film distributor VII Pillars Entertainment announced on Facebook that the release of “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” on Thursday had been canceled with “great regret” in Hong Kong and neighboring Macao.
In an email reply to The Associated Press, the distributor said it was notified by cinemas that they could not show the film as scheduled, but it didn't know why. The cinema chains involved did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
For many residents, the Winnie the Pooh character is a playful taunt of China's President Xi Jinping and Chinese censors in the past had briefly banned social media searches for the bear in the country. In 2018, the film “Christopher Robin,” also featuring Winnie the Pooh, was reportedly denied a release in China.
The film being pulled in Hong Kong has prompted concern on social media over the territory’s shrinking freedoms.
The Associated Press