Trump: China, US working on ‘North Korea problem’
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Donald Trump asserted on Sunday that China was working with the United States on “the North Korea problem,” and his vice president told American and South Korea service members that the North’s latest “provocation,” a failed missile launch shortly before his arrival in Seoul, laid bare the risks they face.
While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential escalated U.S. response trailed Pence as he began a 10-day trip to Asia amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric. Trump’s national security adviser cited Trump’s recent decision to order missile strikes in Syria after a chemical attack blamed on the Assad government as a sign that the president “is clearly comfortable making tough decisions.”
But at the same time, H.R. McMaster said, “it’s time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully.”
In a broadcast interview that aired on Sunday, McMaster said the U.S. would rely on its allies as well as on Chinese leadership to resolve the issues with North Korea. “I mean, North Korea is very vulnerable to pressure from the Chinese,” McMaster said on ABC’s “This Week.”
The bottom line, McMaster said, is to stop the North’s weapons development and make the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free: “It’s clear that the president is determined not to allow this kind of capability to threaten the United States. And our president will take action that is in the best interest of the American people.”
Tension spikes over N. Korea, but Pyongyang barely notices
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — The clouds of war, it might seem, are gathering around the Korean Peninsula.
The North Korean government flaunts an increasingly sophisticated arsenal of intercontinental missiles and launches a midrange version, which apparently fails seconds after takeoff. The U.S. moves an immense warship to the waters off the peninsula in a display of military might. President Donald Trump warns he’s ready to “solve North Korea,” while North Korea’s deputy foreign minister says his country will conduct its next nuclear test whenever it sees fit.
And in Pyongyang, where war would mean untold horrors, where neighborhoods could be reduced to rubble and tens of thousands of civilians could be killed, few people seem to care much at all.
On Sunday, the city’s zoo was crowded, playgrounds were full of children and families strolled along downtown sidewalks speckled with the falling blossoms of apricot trees. At the city’s annual Kimilsungia flower show — held to celebrate Saturday’s 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korea’s founding ruler, Kim Il Sung, and the purple orchid named for him — thousands crowded around the displays, many using cellphones to take photos of friends and family.
In a country where the propaganda is all-encompassing, and where the same family has held power for three generations, every display mixed bright flowers with reminders of Kim Il Sung or the nation that his grandson, Kim Jong Un, now rules. So there were dioramas of Kim Il Sung’s birthplace, photos of him meeting foreign leaders, paintings of new housing developments — and models of missiles.
10 Things to Know for Monday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:
1. TRUMP SAYS CHINA, U.S. WORKING ON ‘NORTH KOREA PROBLEM’
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence visits a military base near the Demilitarized Zone separating the Koreas a day after the North conducted a failed missile launch.
2. WHAT TURKEY VOTED FOR
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wins a historic referendum that will greatly expand the powers of his office, although opposition parties question the outcome.
Turkey votes to expand president’s powers; critics cry fraud
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a historic referendum Sunday that will greatly expand the powers of his office, although opposition parties questioned the outcome and said they would challenge the results.
With nearly all ballots counted, the “yes” vote stood at 51.41 percent, while the “no” vote was 48.59 percent, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency. The head of Turkey’s electoral board confirmed the “yes” victory and said final results would be declared in 11-12 days.
Although the margin fell short of the sweeping victory Erdogan had sought in the landmark referendum, it could nevertheless cement his hold on power in Turkey and is expected to have a huge effect on the country’s long-term political future and its international relations.
The 18 constitutional amendments that will come into effect after the next election, scheduled for 2019, will abolish the office of the prime minister and hand sweeping executive powers to the president.
Erdogan, who first came to power in 2003 as prime minister, had argued a “Turkish-style” presidential system would bring stability and prosperity to a country rattled by a failed coup last year that left more than 200 people dead, and a series of devastating attacks by the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants.
Police urge man who livestreamed homicide to turn himself in
CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio man who allegedly shot and killed another man while streaming it live on Facebook on Sunday claimed in the video that he snapped because of a woman, according to police, who urged the suspect to turn himself in.
Law enforcement was searching the Cleveland area and beyond for Steve Stephens, the suspect who police said walked up to an elderly man and shot him while on video, said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.
The victim was identified as 74-year-old Robert Goodwin Sr.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson publicly urged Stephens to turn himself in to police and not to “do any more harm to anybody.”
“Any problems he is having, we can have a conversation,” Jackson said.
Virginia Tech marks 10 years after shooting that killed 32
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Ten years after a mentally ill student fatally shot 32 people at Virginia Tech, survivors and families of the slain returned Sunday to the campus to honor the lives that were lost that day.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, widely known as Virginia Tech, held a series of events to mark the anniversary of the deadly campus shooting on April 16, 2007. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine were among the 10,000 to 20,000 people on the Blacksburg campus for the solemn occasion.
Kaine, who was governor at the time of the shooting, said he still vividly remembers the horrors of that day, but has also grown close to many of the survivors and the victims’ families.
“We’re going with a lot of different emotions, but we wouldn’t be anywhere else,” said Kaine, who attended the service with his wife, Anne Holton.
The shooting at Virginia Tech was, at the time, the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. A massacre that claimed 49 lives at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub surpassed it last year. It forced schools across the country to rethink campus security and reignited the debate over gun control that rages to this day.
Which state sends most taxes to DC? Hint: It’s not a state
WASHINGTON (AP) — As Tax Day approaches, show some love for the good people who live in the nation’s capital.
Washington, that swampy den of iniquity that politicians love to scorn, sends the most tax dollars per person to the U.S. government.
By a lot.
Last year, the District of Columbia paid Uncle Sam $37,000 per person in federal income, payroll and estate taxes. The next closest was Delaware, at $16,000 per person.
“It’s where the money is,” said Roberton Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center. “The reason the District pays so much in taxes is that there are a lot of high-income people there.”
China car dilemma: Beijing wants electric, buyers want SUVs
BEIJING (AP) — Automakers face a dilemma in China’s huge but crowded market: Regulators are pushing them to sell electric cars, but buyers want gas-guzzling SUVs.
The industry is rattled by Beijing’s proposal to require that electric cars make up 8 percent of every brand’s production as early as next year. Consumers are steering the other way: First-quarter SUV sales soared 21 percent from a year earlier to 2.4 million, while electric vehicle purchases sank 4.4 percent to just 55,929.
“It’s tough for someone with an EV to come and take away market share from SUVs,” said Ben Cavender of China Market Research Group.
The Shanghai auto show, which opens to the public on Friday, will showcase work on electric models meant to appeal to Chinese drivers who are wary of the unfamiliar technology’s reliability and cost.
The pressure for electrification in China is an added headache for automakers at a time when sales growth is slowing and competition heating up in a market they are counting on to drive global revenue.
NYC Easter: Costume spectacle meets elegant tradition
NEW YORK (AP) — Fifth Avenue came alive on Easter Sunday with outlandish costumes mingling with elegant bonnets fit for St. Patrick’s Cathedral and nearby churches.
The secular spectacle was a takeoff on a New York tradition from the 1800s, when the city’s elite paraded their Sunday best to mark the holiday. New York’s Easter parade is now an outdoor free-for-all of participants and spectators from around the world.
One faithful Christian mixed formality with pushing-the-envelope style: Cynthia Gable, of Easton, Connecticut, attended Mass wearing a shocking pink suit and a hat exploding with matching-colored feathers, while her husband, Scott Doerr, wore a black top hat.
“I think it’s exciting,” her demurely clad mother, Florence Gable, said of New York’s unusual annual rite celebrating Christians’ belief in the resurrection of Christ.
Weeks were spent making costumes, with some even adorning their pets.
Bulls top Celtics 106-102; Thomas plays after sister’s death
BOSTON (AP) — The Chicago Bulls waited until the final night of the regular season to cement their spot in the postseason. Jimmy Butler made sure the wait for a playoff victory was a short one.
Butler had 30 points and nine rebounds and the Bulls outlasted top-seeded Boston 106-102 in Game 1 on Sunday on an emotional night for grieving Celtics star Isaiah Thomas.
Playing a day after 22-year-old sister Chyna Thomas was killed in a car accident in their home state of Washington, Thomas led the Celtics with 33 points. But Butler overcame a united Garden crowd and led Chicago to the victory, scoring 23 points in the second half.
“We were so locked in all week,” Butler said. “We knew their stuff, just like they knew ours. But we executed extremely well. We haven’t done that all season, but this is the right time to do it.”
He also got a big lift from the Bulls’ young reserves, who outscored their Boston counterparts 35-22.
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