Ivanka visiting in Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Far from the din of Washington, Ivanka Trump toured businesses run by women in Ethiopia on Sunday while promoting a White House global economic program for women. President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior adviser visited a coffee shop and textile company in Addis Ababa. It was her first stop in Africa on a four-day trip to Ethiopia and Ivory Coast on behalf of a White House project intended to boost 50 million women in developing countries by 2025. Aiming to offer assistance and learn about the struggles of women in business, she took part in a traditional coffee ceremony, visited with weavers and announced new financial support for businesses. “Investing in women is smart development policy and it’s smart business,” Trump said, sitting in Dumerso Coffee, a dimly lighted space with a woven ceiling, tile floor and colorful paintings. Alongside were women who work in the industry. “It’s also in our security interest, because women, when we’re empowered, foster peace and stability,” she said. This is Ivanka Trump’s first visit to Africa since the president launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. It’s a program she hopes will outlast an administration better known for “America First” isolationism.
‘Mayor Pete’ joins Dem race
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Pete Buttigieg, the little-known Indiana mayor who has risen to prominence in the early stages of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, made his official campaign entrance Sunday by claiming the mantle of a youthful generation ready to reshape the country. “I recognize the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor,” he said to cheers of “Pete, Pete, Pete” from an audience assembled in a former Studebaker auto plant. “More than a little bold, at age 37, to seek the highest office in the land.” The South Bend mayor, a Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan War veteran who has been essentially campaigning since January, has joined a dozen-plus rivals vying to take on President Donald Trump. “The forces of change in our country today are tectonic,” he said. “Forces that help to explain what made this current presidency even possible. That’s why, this time, it’s not just about winning an election — it’s about winning an era.” Buttigieg will return this week to Iowa and New Hampshire, which hold the nation’s first nominating contests, to campaign as a full-fledged candidate now being taken more seriously.
Strong storms kill at least 8
Powerful storms swept across the South on Sunday after unleashing suspected tornadoes and flooding that killed at least eight people, injured dozens and flattened much of a Texas town. Three children were among the dead. Nearly 90,000 customers were without electricity in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia as of midday Sunday, according to www.poweroutage.us as the severe weather left a trail of destruction. Two children were killed on a back road in East Texas when a pine tree fell onto the car in which they were riding in a severe thunderstorm Saturday near Pollok, about 150 miles (241 kilometers) southeast of Dallas. The tree “flattened the car like a pancake,” said Capt. Alton Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office. The children, ages 8 and 3, were dead at the scene, while both parents, who were in the front seat, escaped injury, he said. At least one person was killed and about two dozen others were injured after a suspected tornado struck the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site in East Texas during a Native American cultural event in Alto, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) southeast of Dallas. Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis said the fatality that was reported was of a woman who died of her critical injuries.
Social Dems tops in Finland
HELSINKI — Finland’s Social Democratic Party won the most votes in the country’s parliamentary election Sunday, trailed closely by a populist party that campaigned on ensuring the government does not overdo its efforts to combat climate change. A near complete vote count late Sunday gave the Social Democrats 40 seats in Finland’s 200-member parliament, and the euroskeptic, anti-immigration Finns Party 39 seats. The election was watched for signs of how a populist bloc might do in next month’s European Parliament elections. The Finns Party is part of an alliance of populist parties that aims to become the strongest faction in the European Union legislature and to radically transform EU policies on migration, security, family and environment. “I have to make a honest confession: I hoped still for a better result,” Social Democratic Party leader Antti Rinne, a former finance minister and union leader, said at an election night party in central Helsinki. “Let us, my friends, take the Finnish society toward sustainable climate, social and economic policies.”
VW to sell electric SUV in China
Volkswagen is planning to release a fully-electric SUV in China which could compete with Tesla’s Model X. The German automaker said Sunday the ID. ROOMZZ will be unveiled at the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show and will be available in 2021. Volkswagen says the zero-emission vehicle can go approximately 280 miles before the battery has to be recharged. The concept car includes a fully-automatic driving mode which allows seats to be rotated 25 degrees to create a lounge-like atmosphere. The announcement comes one month after Volkswagen’s former CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged by U.S. regulators with defrauding investors during its massive diesel emissions scandal. VW has said it will boost electric vehicle production to 22 million over the next decade. It made fewer than 50,000 battery-only vehicles last year.
First look at ‘The Mandalorian’
NEW YORK — Jon Favreau gave fans their first look at the “The Mandalorian” at the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago on Sunday, previewing the most anticipated series yet from the galaxy far, far away. Favreau’s eight-episode series will debut on the Disney-Plus streaming service on November 12. It’s set in the aftermath of “The Return of the Jedi,” taking place five years after the Rebellion’s victory. Favreau premiered behind-the-scenes clips and some finished footage to attendees. The series stars Pedro Pascal as the title character, a lone gunfighter the actor compared to a Western or samurai hero. It co-stars Gina Carano as a character named Cara Dune and Carl Weathers as a bounty hunter named Greef. Werner Hergog and Giancarlo Esposito also co-star. Favreau called himself “a product of a Star Wars imagination” who was eager to plunge into the post-“Jedi” landscape. “You have vestiges of the Empire. You have only the strong surviving. You have chaos taking over the galaxy,” Favreau said. On Friday, Lucasfilm debuted the trailer for next theatrical “Star Wars” film, “The Rise of Skywalker.”
Ambassador’s car rammed
LONDON — British police say a man suspected of purposefully driving into parked cars in front of the Ukrainian Embassy in London has been hospitalized for mental health treatment. London’s Metropolitan Police force said officers fired at the 40-year-old driver’s vehicle and took him into custody Saturday after he allegedly rammed the Ukrainian ambassador’s car and several others outside the embassy. London police say he also drove his car toward officers. No one was injured. Police say the man’s actions were not related to extremism.
Co-conspirator wins boxing title
CHICAGO — One of two brothers who say Jussie Smollett paid them to help him stage a racist, anti-gay attack against himself has won an amateur boxing title in Chicago. Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo became a Chicago Golden Gloves champion with a technical knockout Friday night at a stadium in the Chicago suburb of Cicero. Osundairo won the senior novice division at the 178-pound limit.
Kids researched slave games
SHOREWOOD, Wis. — A Wisconsin middle school gym teacher has been placed on indefinite leave while district officials look into claims that she separated students in one class by race and assigned the black children to research games that enslaved children played. The Shorewood Intermediate School teacher was instructing seventh-graders about games from around the world on April 1 when she allegedly gave the assignment to the black students, Shorewood School District Superintendent Bryan Davis said in a Thursday letter to parents. He didn’t name the teacher. One of the black students, MaHailey Stephens, told WITI-TV that she and her classmates were separated into groups based on race and asked to research games from their cultures. “I went to my mom, I’m like, ‘mom, what are slave games?'” she said. Her mother, Reshunda Stephens, told the station that the same teacher asked her older daughter to be part of “the colored club,” last year. “How many more times do people have to feel uncomfortable until change happens?” she asked.
Widow of Serbian leader dies
BELGRADE, Serbia — The widow of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, who was often dubbed Lady Macbeth of the Balkans because of the huge influence she had on her husband, died Sunday in Russia at the age of 76, friends and party associates said. Serbian state television said Mirjana Markovic died in a hospital in Moscow. Milosevic’s Socialist party sent condolences to the family, saying it “respected her as the wife of Slobodan Milosevic and as a scientist.” There were no officials details from Russia, where she had lived since 2003, about the cause of death, but Serbian media said Markovic died of pneumonia and had undergone several recent surgeries. Markovic, who had been a sociology professor at Belgrade University, served as leader of a neo-Communist party during her husband’s presidency in the 1990s, a coalition partner with a major influence on Milosevic. Markovic, whose trademark was a plastic flower she often wore in her hair, was known for “diaries” she published in local newspapers that were widely read because they often predicted future political moves by her husband. The former Serbian first lady’s notes were written in a poetic, flowery style that contrasted with her often ruthless behavior toward her husband’s political opponents.
‘Shazam!’ bests newcomers
NEW YORK — A rush of newcomers couldn’t shake “Shazam!” from the top spot, as the superhero comedy led the box office for the second straight weekend with $25.1 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. Lionsgate’s “Hellboy” (pictured) reboot, the animated Laika Studios release “Missing Link,” the college romance “After” and even the long-delayed “Mary Magdalene,” originally to be released by the Weinstein Co., all opened in theaters. But the strongest new release of them all was, predictably, the Will Packer-produced one: “Little.” The body-swap comedy “Little” came in second with $15.5 million for Universal Pictures. Made for just $20 million, “Little” is just the most recent profit-maker for Packer, the “Girls Trip” producer. It was an out-of-body weekend at the box office. The body-swap comic-book adaptation “Shazam!” — about a teenage boy (Asher Angel) who can turn into an adult-sized superhero (Zachary Levi) with a simple command — held solidly in its second week. Capitalizing on good reviews and word-of-mouth, “Shazam!” is Warner Bros.’ New Line’s latest DC Comics success. It has grossed $94.9 million through Sunday with a worldwide total of $258.8 million. Lionsgate and Millennium’s “Hellboy” had been expected by many to vie with “Shazam!” on the weekend. But on the heels of terrible reviews (just 15% “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes), it flopped with $12 million against a $50 million budget.
Porn tossed, man sues folks
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An Indiana man is suing his parents for getting rid of his vast pornography collection, which he estimates is worth $29,000. The 40-year-old man last week filed a lawsuit in federal court in Michigan, where he moved in with his parents in 2016 following a divorce. He says that when he moved out 10 months later, they delivered his things to his new home in Muncie, Indiana, but that his 12 boxes of pornographic films and magazines were missing. His parents admit they dumped the porn, which included titles such as “Frisky Business” and “Big Bad Grannys.” The man filed a complaint with police, but the Ottawa County prosecutor declined to press charges. The lawsuit includes an email excerpt from the man’s father, who told his son, “I did you a big favor by getting rid of all this stuff.” The man is seeking triple financial damages of roughly $87,000.
Pelosi: Tear down that tweet
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she has taken steps to ensure the safety of Rep. Ilhan Omar after President Donald Trump’s retweet of a video that purports to show the Minnesota Democrat being dismissive of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The California Democrat also called on Trump to take down the video. Soon after her public request, the video was no longer pinned atop Trump’s Twitter feed, but it was not deleted. Pelosi was among Democrats who had criticized Trump over the tweet, with some accusing him of trying to incite violence against the Muslim lawmaker. An upstate New York man recently was charged with making death threats against her. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended Trump earlier Sunday, saying the president has a duty to highlight Omar’s history of making comments that others deem anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive and that he wished no “ill will” upon the first-term lawmaker. Pelosi issued a statement while traveling in London saying she had spoken with congressional authorities “to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff.”
Promoting gun rights outside US
BOISE, Idaho — The recent revelation that National Rifle Association representatives had met with Australian politicians to discuss talking points after a mass shooting generated outrage from various politicians. The reality is that the NRA has been exerting its influence on gun debates outside the U.S. for a number of years, exporting its firebrand rhetoric and belief that more guns will lead to less crime. The lobbying group has sought sway at the United Nations to make it easier to sell American guns overseas and has on more than one occasion guided gun-rights groups in Brazil, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. It advised gun activists in Russia, entanglements that in recent years made the NRA vulnerable to allegations it allowed alleged Russian operatives to use the organization to influence American politics. While American gun rights are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution — something that doesn’t translate to most countries around the world — the group’s track record of aggressively shaping the debate has nevertheless turned it into the go-to group for other gun-rights activists outside the U.S. There are several reasons why the NRA doesn’t confine itself to the U.S.
Sudan promises civilian Cabinet
CAIRO — Sudan’s new ruling military council announced Sunday that it will name a civilian prime minister and Cabinet but not a president to help govern the country following the coup that removed longtime leader Omar al-Bashir. An army spokesman, Lt. Gen. Shamseldin Kibashi, also said in televised remarks that the military had begun to overhaul security organizations and would not break up demonstrations that have continued outside the military headquarters since Thursday’s coup. The statement came after a second day of meetings between the army and organizers of the months of escalating street protests that led to al-Bashir’s ouster. The announcement was unlikely to satisfy protesters, who have demanded full civilian rule. Protest organizers have urged the military to “immediately and unconditionally” hand power to a transitional civilian government that would rule for four years. The Sudanese Professionals Association, which has spearheaded the protests, also posted a nine-point list of demands earlier Sunday, including prosecution of those behind the Islamist-backed military coup in 1989, dissolution of all pro-government unions, a freeze on the assets of top officials in al-Bashir’s government and dismissal of all top judges and prosecutors.
Traffic stops in Phoenix plunge
PHOENIX — Traffic stops by sheriff’s deputies in metropolitan Phoenix have dropped by more than half since a federal judge found the department was racially profiling Latinos in then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration crackdowns, and ordered a massive overhaul to rid it of biased policing. With the agency still under court supervision, deputies worry their reasons for pulling over motorists will be unfairly scrutinized or they’ll face internal affairs investigations, according to Arpaio’s successor, Sheriff Paul Penzone, and several other people interviewed. “It all stems from this fear and mentality that the court orders were intended to do harm to the office, instead of improving the quality of the office,” Penzone told The Associated Press. Traffic stops by Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies have fallen 52% from 2015 to 2018, according to figures provided to the AP by the department. The dramatic decline — from 31,700 stops in 2015 to 15,200 in 2018 — raises questions about whether officers are missing evidence of illegal drugs, burglaries and other crimes that are sometimes discovered when pulling over motorists. Penzone conceded officers may be missing criminal activity but emphasized it’s unacceptable for them to back away from their bread-and-butter duties.