Trump foes plan to push conservative views at GOP convention
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top adviser from Sen. Ted Cruz’s defunct presidential campaign wants supporters to push a conservative agenda, including limits on the bathrooms transgender people can use, a fresh example of the headaches Donald Trump could face at this summer’s Republican National Convention.
With Trump’s last two rivals —Texas’ Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — abandoning their campaigns, there’s no remaining talk of snatching the presidential nomination away from Trump with a contested, multiballot convention battle.
Instead, anti-Trump forces are trying to figure out how to use the GOP meeting in July to keep the billionaire from reshaping the party and its guiding principles, perhaps with fights over the platform, the rules or even his vice presidential pick.
Many expect Trump to build momentum as the convention approaches, narrowing his opponents’ options. Even so, here’s what may be in store:
Anxiety over Trump cuts into House Republicans’ support
WASHINGTON (AP) — Anxiety over Donald Trump spread among congressional Republicans Monday, pushing several to follow House Speaker Paul Ryan’s lead and withhold their support from the divisive billionaire. Ryan himself declared there’s no point in trying to “fake” party unity.
“If we go forward pretending that we’re unified, then we are going to be at half-strength this fall,” Ryan told The Journal Times in Racine, Wisconsin, defending his stunning decision last week to refuse to endorse his party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
Still, in interviews with home-state reporters Monday, Ryan denounced the idea of any Republican launching a third-party or independent candidacy to challenge Trump, telling the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel it “would be a disaster for our party.”
And Ryan said he’d step aside from the House speaker’s traditional role as chairman of the Republican National Convention if Trump wants him to, a scenario that Trump left open over the weekend, underscoring the depths of strife now afflicting a GOP divided against itself.
“He’s the nominee. I’ll do whatever he wants in respect to the convention,” Ryan said, striking a conciliatory note.
10 Things to Know for Tuesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:
1. JUSTICE DEPT., N. CAROLINA SUE EACH OTHER OVER TRANSGENDER LAWS
Billions in federal aid for the state is at stake as the governor refuses to back away from the law requiring transgender people to use public restrooms and showers corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate.
2. ‘A FIRE LIKE I’VE NEVER SEEN IN MY LIFE’
That’s how Fire Chief Darby Allen describes the devastation from a wildfire that burned 2,400 homes in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
2 confirmed dead in Oklahoma as tornadoes hit Plains
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tornadoes swept across portions of the Plains on Monday, killing two people in Oklahoma including an elderly man who was inside a home that was torn apart by one of the violent storms.
An emergency management director said a man believed to be in his upper 70s died when a tornado hit a home near Wynnewood, south of Oklahoma City. Authorities also confirmed the death of a man near the town of Connerville, Johnston County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Stacey Pulley said.
The storm was considered so violent that forecasters declared a “tornado emergency” for communities in the twister’s path.
“You are in a life-threatening situation,” forecasters declared while warning the communities of Roff, population 725, and Hickory, population 71, which were ultimately spared major damage. “Flying debris will be deadly to those caught without shelter.”
Dana Lance was driving through the Pontotoc County community of Roff on her way home from work Monday when the skies grew ominous, and she heard tornado sirens and forecasters on the radio urging people in the area to take cover.
Surviving tornadoes doesn’t have to be a matter of luck
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Storms swept through the nation’s midsection Monday, spawning numerous tornadoes. While tornadoes can form any time weather conditions are right, the area from Texas to Nebraska typically sees tornadoes between April and June.
Here are some items from the nation’s tornado history and some tips on how to stay safe:
Advances in science and communications have lengthened warning times over the years, but even then the wrong storm at the wrong place can kill dozens or even hundreds.
The nation’s worst tornado outbreak was only five years ago, on April 27-28, 2011, when 175 tornadoes killed 316 in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. That series of storms surpassed those of April 3-4, 1974, when 127 tornadoes killed 310, mostly in the Ohio Valley.
Effort to impeach Brazil’s president thrown into chaos
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The impeachment process against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was thrown into chaos Monday as the acting speaker of the lower Chamber of Deputies annulled a majority vote by his own colleagues that favored ousting the embattled leader.
The surprise move by acting Speaker Waldir Maranhao touched off a firestorm of debate over the move’s legality and its possible implications, a standoff that will likely have to be solved by the country’s supreme court.
The Senate had been expected to decide Wednesday whether to accept the impeachment case against Rousseff and put her on trial for allegedly breaking fiscal rules in her management of the national budget. If a simple majority of senators decides in favor, Rousseff will be suspended and Vice President Michel Temer will take over until a trial is conducted.
Senate Head Renan Calheiros told colleagues he intended to ignore Maranhao’s decision and move forward with the proceedings as scheduled. He slammed the speaker’s action as “toying with democracy.”
Whether the Senate would be able to go forward was unclear, since both the government and opposition were likely to appeal Maranhao’s decision. At the very least, the impeachment process could be pushed back a few days.
Alberta PM says Fort McMurray saved from worst of wildfire
FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta (AP) — At least two neighborhoods in this oil sands city were scenes of utter devastation with incinerated homes leveled to the ground from a wildfire that Fort McMurray’s fire chief called a “beast … a fire like I’ve never seen in my life.”
But the wider picture was more optimistic as Fire Chief Darby Allen said 85 percent of Canada’s main oil sands city remains intact, including the downtown district. Alberta’s premier declared the city had been saved, adding that officials hope to provide a schedule within two weeks for thousands of evacuated residents to begin returning to their homes.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said about 2,400 homes and buildings were destroyed in the city, but firefighters managed to save 25,000 others, including the hospital, municipal buildings and every functioning school.
“This city was surrounded by an ocean of fire only a few days ago but Fort McMurray and the surrounding communities have been saved and they will be rebuilt,” Notley said.
Notley got her first direct look at the devastation in Fort McMurray on Monday after cold temperatures and light rain had stabilized the massive wildfire to a point where officials could begin planning to get thousands of evacuated residents back.
In Flint crisis, questions grow over quest for pipeline
FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — With drab olive chairs and worn carpet, the conference room in the low-slung administrative building near the Genesee County wastewater treatment plant isn’t fancy, but it showcases one of Jeff Wright’s greatest treasures: Permit No. 2009-001.
Wright, a wiry man with trademark moustache and slicked-back hair, is the county drain commissioner, a title that dates to Michigan’s early days of draining swamps. The job gives him sway over almost everything involving water, from diverting runoff to building major sewer projects.
The permit framed on the wall will allow a new 74-mile pipeline to draw water from Lake Huron to the county and its largest city, Flint, the realization of a dream Wright has nurtured for most of his 15 years in office.
For months, national attention has focused on how children were poisoned with lead-tainted drinking water in the onetime auto manufacturing powerhouse of 100,000 people. But without the pipeline, the Flint crisis almost certainly would never have happened. The contamination occurred when Flint switched from the metropolitan Detroit utility system to a temporary water source, the Flint River, until it could connect to the new pipeline.
That is raising questions about the $285 million project, which is still under construction and has yet to deliver a drop of water. A look at its history shows the pipeline is rooted in local officials’ long-simmering resentment toward much-bigger Detroit, an hour away, and was built because of a resourceful politician’s ambition and perseverance.
Theater shooting victims can’t cite federal security memo
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Victims of a deadly shooting at a Colorado movie theater can’t show jurors a federal security memo, dated months before the attack, warning theaters that they could be targeted by international terrorists, a judge ruled Monday.
That dealt a blow to the case against Cinemark, which victims argue should be held accountable for not doing more to prevent James Holmes’ 2012 rampage. The victims argued Cinemark never shared the U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo with theater managers, failing to put them on notice to bolster security.
Opening statements are expected Tuesday in the civil trial, where jurors will be asked to determine whether, in an age of mass shootings, the theater should have foreseen the possibility of violence. Six jurors and two alternates were selected Monday.
In the civil case in state court, 28 victims and their families say Cinemark should have had armed guards at the packed opening of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” and alarms that would have sounded when James Holmes slipped into the darkened auditorium through an emergency exit and opened fire, killing 12.
The families, some of whom filled the first rows of the courtroom, say the theater company knew the midnight blockbuster would attract at least 1,000 people and should have had guards patrolling the parking lot, where they might have seen Holmes suiting up in head-to-toe body armor in his car. The lawsuit says theater employees failed to check doors, lacked closed-circuit television cameras that would have allowed them to spot trouble and did not intervene as victims lay wounded and dying in the aisles.
Golden State’s Curry returns in Game 4 against the Blazers
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry will return from a right knee sprain for Game 4 of Golden State’s playoff series against the Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Curry’s return would depend on how he looked in pregame warmups. Moments later, the star guard did not appear to be hampered by the sprain he sustained in Game 4 of the first-round series against Houston.
The Warriors announced his availability a short time later but he was not listed among the starters for the game.
“He’s not really under a minutes restriction from (the) training staff,” Kerr said. “It’s more what he can handle conditioning-wise.”
Curry has not played in the first three games of the Western Conference semifinals against the Blazers. The Warriors lead the series 2-1.