Trump hopes message appeals to Democrats, independents too
RACINE, Wis. (AP) — Donald Trump wants voters to know his message to the disaffected isn’t meant for Republicans alone.
The party’s presidential front-runner told supporters Saturday that he’s out to bring independents and Democrats behind his cause even though “right now I’m catering to the Republicans.”
Contenders in both parties bid for an edge ahead of Wisconsin’s primaries Tuesday, none more actively than Trump, who’s had a rough week and faces a likely struggle against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the state.
The Republican race is overshadowed by a persistent effort by Trump’s rivals in the campaign and the party to force the nomination fight into the July convention — and by his equivocations on whether he will be loyal to the GOP or bolt for an independent candidacy if he feels mistreated.
In Racine, in the first of his three rallies Saturday, Trump said little to suggest his allegiance with the GOP is cast in stone. He offered the critique that the Republican Party had a “falling-asleep reputation” until his campaign caught fire and brought millions of new voters out to primaries and caucuses.
Clinton’s frustration grows, as primary race drags on
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Hillary Clinton snapped at a Greenpeace protester. She linked Bernie Sanders and tea party Republicans. And she bristled with anger when nearly two dozen Sanders supporters marched out of an event near her home outside New York City, shouting “if she wins, we lose.”
“They don’t want to listen to anyone else,” she shot back. “We actually have to do something. Not just complain about what is happening.”
After a year of campaigning, months of debates and 35 primary elections, Sanders is finally getting under Clinton’s skin in the Democratic presidential race.
Clinton has spent weeks largely ignoring Sanders and trying to focus on Republican front-runner Donald Trump. Now, after several primary losses and with a tough fight in New York on the horizon, Clinton is showing flashes of frustration with the Vermont senator — irritation that could undermine her efforts to unite the party around her candidacy.
According to Democrats close to Hillary and former President Bill Clinton, both are frustrated by Sanders’ ability to cast himself as above politics-as-usual even while firing off what they consider to be misleading attacks. The Clintons are even more annoyed that Sanders’ approach seems to be rallying — and keeping — young voters by his side.
Passenger flights to resume Sunday in Brussels: Airport CEO
BRUSSELS (AP) — Partial, symbolic airline service will begin Sunday at Brussels Airport after a 12-day shutdown of passenger flights caused by a deadly bombing attack, the airport’s chief executive said Saturday.
Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Co., said the Brussels Airlines flights to Athens, Turin in Italy and Faro in Portugal, the first of which he said should take off around 2 p.m. (1200 GMT) Sunday, were chiefly symbolic.
Effective Monday, Belgium’s biggest airport should be back at around 20 percent of capacity and able to process 800 passengers an hour.
It has been closed since devastating suicide bombings in the airport’s main terminal and a Brussels subway train killed 32 people and wounded 270 on March 22.
Speaking at a joint news conference, Feist called it “a sign of hope” and a demonstration of “shared will” that even partial passenger service could resume so soon following what he called “the darkest days in the history of aviation in Belgium.”
Foreign fighters are evading Europe’s security net
BRUSSELS (AP) — When Ibrahim El Bakraoui blew himself up in the Brussels Airport check-in area, killing and maiming scores of travelers, it was at least the third time he had passed unimpeded through an airport terminal in recent months.
Suspected by Turkey of being a “foreign terrorist fighter” and known at home in Belgium as an ex-con wanted for parole violations, Bakraoui was still allowed to board a commercial airliner unaccompanied last summer, flying freely from Istanbul to the Netherlands and disappearing without a trace.
The ease with which he did so raises questions about how much governments know about the movements of returnees among the 5,000 home-grown jihadis who have trained and fought in places like Syria or Iraq. Many now pose a “serious threat,” according to the police agency Europol. Some, like Bakraoui, have already used their deadly skills in cities like Brussels or Paris.
Testimony from government ministers, extracts of documents and conversations with police, border and aviation officials reveal a series of security gaps, misunderstandings and procedural red-tape that surrounded the deportation last July of this future suicide bomber.
Even those who take some responsibility for missing the threat Bakraoui posed find it hard to understand why his capture raised no alarms. This was a man picked up by Turkish authorities in Gaziantep near Syria, who had done jail time in Belgium for armed robbery, including shooting at police with a Kalashnikov.
Airlines still offering waivers for travel to Brussels
Travelers who booked trips through Brussels have options while the airport in the Belgian capital works to resume operations after last month’s bombings.
Brussels Airport said it plans to partially reopen Sunday, but the limited number of flights by Brussels Airlines following a 12-day shutdown is meant to be largely symbolic. The airport plans to be back up to 20 percent of capacity by Monday.
In the meantime, passengers whose flights on U.S. airlines are canceled can get a full refund. The airlines are also allowing passengers to rebook without paying the usual ticket-change fee, but the terms differ by carrier.
Customers who want to rebook or request a refund should call the airline rather than do it themselves online in order to avoid surprise charges or fare changes.
Once the airport reopens, it will take time for flights to build back up. British Airways says it won’t fly to Brussels until Tuesday at the soonest.
Justices asked to rule that racial bias trumps jury secrecy
WASHINGTON (AP) — The American jury room is a bit like Las Vegas: What happens there is supposed to stay there.
But a Supreme Court appeal from a Hispanic defendant in Colorado raises the prospect that a juror’s comments during deliberations can be so offensive that they deprive a defendant of a fair trial.
The justices could say as early as Monday whether they will take up a case in the fall involving competing tenets of the legal system: a defendant’s constitutional right to trial by an impartial jury, and the need for secrecy in jury deliberations.
After a jury convicted Miguel Angel Pena Rodriguez of attempted sexual assault involving teenage sisters at a Denver-area horse race track, two jurors provided his lawyer with sworn statements claiming that a third juror made derogatory remarks about Mexican men before voting guilty.
“I think he did it because he’s Mexican and Mexican men take whatever they want,” is one of several racially tinged statements attributed to the juror identified in court records by the initials H.C. In another comment, the juror is said to have cast doubt on an alibi provided by a Hispanic witness for Pena Rodriguez because the witness was “an illegal.” The witness testified that he was in the country legally.
Los Angeles father charged with killing son for being gay
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man charged with fatally shooting his 29-year-old son for being gay had repeatedly threatened to kill him over his sexual orientation, prosecutors say.
Amir Issa, 29, was found shot to death just outside the family home on Tuesday. While the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office charged father Shehada Issa, 69, on Friday with murder as a hate crime in the son’s death, investigators on Saturday still were trying to determine responsibility for a second killing at the home discovered by police at the same time, that of Amir’s mother, police spokesman Officer Mike Lopez said.
The mother, 68-year-old Rabihah Issa, had been stabbed repeatedly, coroner’s Lt. David Smith said.
Shehada Issa told police he shot his son Amir in self-defense after he discovered his wife’s body in their house.
Prosecutors gave a different motive for the son’s killing, however. “The murder was committed because of the victim’s sexual orientation and because of the defendant’s perception of that status and the victims’ association with a person and a group of that status,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Plane crash kills 1 on freeway where it once landed safely
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A small plane that made headlines when it landed safely on a Southern California freeway years ago crashed on the same stretch of road Saturday, slamming into a car and killing a woman in the vehicle.
Five others, including the pilot and his passenger, were injured in the crash on a stretch of Interstate 15 that has been the scene of several emergency landings.
Witnesses said the single-engine plane appeared to be having problems before it banked and came down, California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Parent said. One man said he didn’t hear the plane’s engine as it passed overhead.
The Lancair IV landed on its belly and skidded about 250 feet before striking the rear of a black Nissan Altima sedan that was stopped on the shoulder of the road in San Diego County near Fallbrook. The driver of the car had pulled over to synchronize the Bluetooth device on his phone, Parent said.
The impact crumpled the back of the car, fatally crushing Antoinette Isbelle, 38, of San Diego in the back seat and injuring three others in the vehicle, authorities said.
AP Explains: The roots of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh
Since 1994, Nagorno-Karabakh, where heavy fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces erupted Saturday, has existed in a tense limbo. AP explains what’s behind the conflict:
HOW BIG IS THE AREA?
This mountainous region of Azerbaijan, with about 150,00 residents in an area of 12,000 square kilometers (4,400 square miles) — somewhat smaller than the U.S. state of Connecticut — has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military since the end of a full-scale war that killed about 30,000 and displaced an estimated 1 million.
WHEN DID IT START?
Long-simmering tensions between Christian Armenians and mostly Muslim Azeris began boiling over as the Soviet Union frayed in its final years. Once the Soviet Union collapsed and the republics became independent nations, war broke out. A 1994 cease-fire left Armenian and Azerbaijani forces facing each other across a demilitarized zone, where clashes were frequently reported.
Final Four: Buddy Ball vs. Philly Ball, Hall of Fame matchup
HOUSTON (AP) — Buddy Ball vs. Philly Ball and a matchup of Hall of Fame coaches.
The Final Four tips off Saturday night at NRG Stadium in Houston with Oklahoma facing Villanova, a couple of sharp-shooting No. 2 seeds. The Sooners are led by Buddy Hield, who is averaging 29 points per game in the NCAA Tournament while showing off almost unlimited range. The Wildcats from Philadelphia, led by Ryan Arcidiacono, are hitting 46 percent of their 3s so far in the tournament.
The Sooners are making their fifth Final Four appearance and Villanova is making its sixth.
In Game 2, top-seed North Carolina with coach Roy Williams faces Jim Boeheim and 10th-seeded Syracuse. Williams and Boeheim have combined for 125 NCAA Tournament wins, including some Boeheim wins vacated by the NCAA.
The Orange is the fourth double-digit seed to reach the Final Four, but none have made it to the title game.