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  • The Senate's top Democrat wants an investigation into whether a plan for new subway cars in New York City designed by a Chinese state-owned company could pose a threat to national security. Sen. Charles Schumer said in a statement to The Associated Press on Sunday he's asked the Commerce Department to conduct a 'top-to-bottom review' after CRRC won a design contest for new subway cars in New York City. The company hasn't won a contract in New York, although it has been awarded contracts for new rail cars in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia. Rail security experts are warning of prior cyberthreats and hacking attacks from China. CRRC says it welcomes any inquiry. It says there's no evidence of any manufacturer intentionally opening railcars to cyberthreats.
  • Scenic State Highway 83 gently curves through southeastern Arizona's wine country, past waves of blond grass dotted with orange-tipped ocotillo plants before the dark Santa Rita Mountains loom into view. The Milepost 44 pullout offers a panorama of the range in the Coronado National Forest where a Canadian firm wants to carve out a massive copper mine near Tucson. The $1.9 billion Rosemont Mine, at a half-mile deep and a mile wide, would sprawl across federal, state and private land, leaving a waste pile the height of skyscraper. Native American tribes and environmental groups have sued to stop Hudbay Minerals Inc. of Toronto, arguing its mine could desecrate sacred, ancestral lands and dry up wells and waterways while ravaging habitat for endangered jaguar and other species. Last week, they asked a federal judge to prevent the project from proceeding until the lawsuits are decided. 'I pray to our Creator every morning that things will work out,' said Austin Nunez, chairman of the Tohono O'odham's San Xavier District, a piece of tribal land just south of Tucson. 'Our ancestors' remains are there, along with archaeological sites, including a ball court. We cannot risk any further harm to our ancestral heritage.' The Tucson and state chambers of commerce are Rosemont cheerleaders, noting the project will immediately create 500 jobs and pour $16 billion into the local economy over 20 years. The fight comes amid a larger battle across the West over using public lands for mining. The Trump administration in late 2017 slashed about 85% of Utah's Bear Ears National Monument to allow for mining claims. New Mexico tribal leaders have pressured U.S. officials to ban oil and gas exploration near the remnants of an ancient Pueblo civilization at Chaco Culture National Historical Park. And conservationists fret over plans to reopen a gold mine in California's Castle Mountains National Monument, home to ancient rock art and a Joshua tree forest. 'You could go to virtually every state and find a push by big corporations to grab resources before it's too late,' said Richard White, a historian of the American West at Stanford University. 'It's a resurrection of these extractive industries that were so much a part of the Old West.' Arizona produces about two-thirds of U.S. copper for wiring and other electronics, generating about $5.38 billion in 2017, according to the Arizona Mining Association. 'Mining in Arizona represents 60,000 jobs,' said Amber Smith, president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce. She is confident Hudbay will mitigate any potential problems by building extra roadways and employing technology to recycle water used in the mining process. Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry spokesman Garrick Taylor said Rosemont would be among the biggest construction projects in Arizona history. 'Its impacts will be measured in the billions of dollars,' he said. Responding to questions in writing, Hudbay told The Associated Press that delaying the project would result in 'significant financial costs' and 'we're proposing in the short term to move forward on aspects that don't fall under the litigation.' The company said the current project was the result of a dozen years of review and 'it's designed intelligently and in accordance with public and policy priorities.' It has told Tucson officials the mine would not harm water quality or affect supplies. Still, environmentalists worry about the impacts on the Santa Rita Mountains, where white-tailed deer and black bear, bobcats and the occasional cougar roam among the Apache pines and Douglas firs. Numerous kinds of hummingbirds and woodland warblers fly through Madera Canyon, among the world's premier bird-watching spots. Randy Serraglio, a conservation advocate with the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity, predicted ore trucks would rumble down a scenic highway built in 1927 that stretches some 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Interstate 10 to the tourist hotspot of Sonoita. 'It's going to look like a nuclear bomb was set off,' he said. Winery owner Todd Bostock worries Rosemont could injure a tourism industry that includes boutique lodging focused on wine and the region's natural beauty. 'The mine will have a direct, negative and permanent impact on our business,' said Bostock, whose Dos Cabezas winery annually produces some 5,000 cases of dry red, rosé and white wine. 'They are gambling with our investment and our livelihood.' Rosemont detractors also point to the yawning Lavender Pit, a former open pit copper mine outside Bisbee that still scars the landscape 45 years after ending operations. Serraglio's group, along with Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition and the Arizona Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club this year sued to stop Rosemont, as did the Tohono O'odham Nation, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the Hopi Tribe. The environmental law firm Earthjustice filed the recent request for an injunction to stop Hudbay from revving up its bulldozers. U.S. District Court Judge James A. Soto has said he hopes to rule on the first three suits by summer's end before tackling two more recent ones filed over a Clean Water Act permit granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a mine operations plan approved by the U.S. Forest Service. ___ Follow Anita Snow: https://twitter.com/asnowreports
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May plans a 'bold offer' to Parliament to win support for her Brexit deal, urging lawmakers to look at her ideas with fresh eyes. Writing in The Sunday Times, May says her bill will come 'with an improved package of measures that I believe can win new support.' Britain was due to leave the EU on March 29, but the bloc extended the deadline until Oct. 31 amid the political impasse. That deadlock deepened amid the collapse of cross-party talks and intensifying pressure on May from within the Conservative Party to quit. Cabinet ministers will discuss measures this week aimed at securing cross-party support, but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says nothing he's heard 'leads me to believe it's fundamentally any different' from previous Brexit offers.
  • Advocates for legalizing marijuana have long argued it would strike a blow for social justice after a decades-long drug war that disproportionately targeted minority and poor communities. But social equity has been both a sticking point and selling point this year in New York and New Jersey, among other states weighing whether to join the 10 that allow recreational use of pot. Complicating the law-making process, sometimes even among supporters, are questions about how best to erase marijuana convictions and ensure that people who were arrested for pot benefit from legal marijuana markets. Advocates say legalization elsewhere hasn't done enough to achieve those goals. Critics maintain legal pot is even accelerating inequality as the drug becomes big business for companies generally run by white men. 'We're at the stage of marijuana reform 2.0,' said Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who follows marijuana policy. The conversation, he said, has shifted from just being about legalization to, 'which track should we make sure we head down?' Questions about conviction-clearing and other issues contributed to delaying legislative votes on legalizing recreational pot that had been expected earlier this spring in New York and New Jersey . The states' Democratic governors and legislative leaders support legalization but confronted differences even within their own party. The New Jersey measure fizzled this week, when the state Senate president said he'll aim for a 2020 referendum while pursuing separate legislation to expand medical marijuana and expunge low-level pot convictions. Meanwhile, some New York lawmakers said they'll soon unveil an updated proposal to legalize pot and foster racial and economic equity. Activists remain hopeful the state can set an example. 'Social justice is what's going to propel us, not what's going to hold us back,' said Kassandra Frederique, the New York director for the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance. Federal data shows similar percentages of white and black people use marijuana. But the arrest rate for blacks is higher, according to reports by the American Civil Liberties Union and others. Legalization of recreational pot in 10 states and the District of Columbia, and medical pot in two-thirds of the states, hasn't eliminated the gaps. In Colorado, for instance, a state report found arrests were fewer but the rate remained higher among blacks five years after a 2012 vote for legalization. Meanwhile, the emerging marijuana industry is very white, according to the limited data available. 'It's obviously a problem,' said Morgan Fox of the National Cannabis Industry Association, which has helped craft suggestions for social equity legislation. Another industry group, the Cannabis Trade Federation, this week announced plans to craft a diversity and equity policy in conjunction with national NAACP officials and other civil-rights advocates. Some would-be minority entrepreneurs have been caught in a cannabis Catch-22, unable to work in a legal pot business because of a past conviction. Others struggle to raise start-up money in an expensive industry that banks are leery about entering because of the federal government's prohibition on pot. 'We're not going to have much time to make a space in the market for ourselves,' said Jason Ortiz, vice president of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. Marijuana got Ortiz arrested as a teenager, but now he hopes to start a business if recreational pot becomes legal in Connecticut, where he lives. Some states and cities have started post-legalization initiatives to expunge criminal records and open doors in the cannabis business for people with pot convictions. California, for instance, passed a sweeping expungement law last year affecting hundreds of thousands of drug offenders. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has proposed a national legalization measure that includes expungements and a community 'reinvestment' fund, and several of his fellow Democratic senators and 2020 presidential primary contenders have signed on . Some veterans of early state legalization campaigns have reckoned with their limitations. 'We were overly cautious at the time, looking back,' said Art Way, the Drug Policy Alliance's director in Colorado. 'But it didn't feel that way' when legalizing marijuana and ending many arrests were unprecedented goals in themselves. He's been fighting to make Colorado's cannabis industry more accessible to people with drug convictions and entrepreneurs of modest means. Opponents, too, are looking at how legalization has played out. They say it shows authorizing pot is no way to help minorities. 'The social justice issue is a big front' for states and big business to make money off marijuana, said New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Ronald Rice, a Democratic senator from Newark and former police officer. He supports ending criminal penalties for marijuana but not legalizing recreational use. 'I know what social justice looks like,' Rice says. 'I also know when people are being used.' He doesn't foresee pot shops enhancing neighborhoods where drugs have been a wellspring of problems. And he's skeptical that, even with special incentives, residents would reap the profits in an industry already infused with big money. New York Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes agrees legalizing marijuana isn't a panacea for minority communities. But the Assembly's first African-American majority leader is championing a recreational-pot proposal that's currently being revised. 'It will not end racism. But it is a crucial step in the right direction,' Peoples-Stokes, a Buffalo Democrat, recently wrote in Newsweek. As an aspiring marijuana businessman in New York, Andrew Farrior is following the legalization debate and its talk of social equity. Farrior, who is black, is intrigued by the possibility of incentives for entrepreneurs like him but not confident such plans would translate into action. Meanwhile, he and co-founder Ethan Jackson are plowing ahead with plans to launch Greenbox.NYC as a subscription and delivery business for hemp and other legal cannabis-related products. 'We're ready to take what the market gives us,' Farrior said. ___ Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed to this report. ___ Peltz is a member of AP's marijuana beat team. Follow AP's complete marijuana coverage: https://apnews.com/Marijuana .
  • Austria's president said the first few days of September would be the best time to hold an early election after a covert video scandal shook up the country's politics and warned that the government needed to remain capable of taking part in important European Union decisions in the interim. President Alexander Van der Bellen spoke Sunday after meeting with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Kurz called for a new election after the resignation Saturday of his vice chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, who apologized for his statements in a video where he was apparently offering government construction contracts to a purported Russian investor at a boozy gathering in Ibiza. The video from 2017 was published by two German media outlets. After the scandal broke, Kurz decided not to continue the governing coalition between his center-right People's Party and Strache's anti-immigration Freedom Party, saying he was fed up with missteps by his coalition partner. Those have included a poem in a party newsletter comparing migrants to rats. Van der Bellen said that before new elections, it was crucial for the government to remain 'capable of taking action and a reliable partner in the European Union' since after the European Parliament elections, EU member countries will be discussing crucial decisions. Those include deciding on the next head of the European Commission to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker, whose term is coming to an end. To that end, Van der Bellen said he would hold talks with the designated Freedom Party head, Norbert Hofer, and with opposition leaders on how to proceed. Pamela Rendi-Wagner, head of the opposition Social Democrats, said that three Freedom Party ministries — defense, interior and justice — should be filled with independent experts in the interim to the elections, the dpa news agency reported. In the videos, Strache appeared to discuss ways to receive unreported campaign contributions and how the investor, purportedly the niece of a Russian oligarch, could buy a stake in a major Austrian newspaper and use it to support his party. The 49-year-old politician said he had been set up through illegal surveillance, but conceded his behavior had been 'stupid, irresponsible and a mistake.' Van der Bellen said the video showed behavior 'that is not Austria.' He added that 'everything must be done to restore trust in officeholders, in the representatives of the people.' Strache's resignation was a setback for populist and nationalist forces as Europe heads into the final days of campaigning for elections to the 751-seat European Parliament. Although the EU legislature has limited powers, the campaign has become a test of strength between populist movements seeking to curb immigration and return more powers to national governments from the EU on the one side, and on the other side mainstream center-right and center-left parties supporting the bloc as a force for cooperation among its 28 member countries. The scandal also underlined concerns about Russian influence among European populist movements, in particular because the Freedom Party was in government and could influence legislation and policy.

News

  • A Mississippi teen is fighting for her life after being shot in a drive-by shooting in Jonestown, Mississippi. >> Read more trending news  Family members said Lamonshae Williams was shot in the stomach during a graduation party overnight. She was rushed to Regional One in critical condition. Williams graduated from Coahoma Early College High School on Saturday. Relatives told FOX13 she graduated sixth in her class.  Another victim who was shot at the scene was treated at a local hospital and is expected to be OK. Lamonshae's mother Luetisha Gardner said she is heartbroken about the situation. She told FOX13 that Lamonsha's older sister was killed a few years ago. Jonestown has very limited police coverage, so Coahoma County deputies are currently handling the case. Officers have not identified any suspects at this time. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
  • A year ago, the world watched as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married at Windsor Castle’s historic St. George’s Chapel. Less than a year after their nuptials, they welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. On Sunday, the couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary. >> Read more trending news  Harper’s Bazaar reported that the couple has shared behind-the-scenes moments from their big day in an Instagram post on Sussex Royal. Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A relationship timeline The video slideshow begins with a series of black-and-white photos that include images of Markle holding hands with her mother, Doria Ragland, and Prince Harry pretending to hitchhike to his wedding. Audio of “This Little Light of Mine,” which Sussex Royal said was selected by the couple for their recessional, can be heard as the images are displayed. The video slideshow ends in color images of the big day and wedding bells. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also shared a message to supporters, saying, “Thank you for all of the love and support from so many of you around the world. Each of you made this day even more meaningful.” Watch the video below.
  • Billionaire Robert F. Smith, who received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College at institution’s Sunday morning graduation exercises, had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school.  But during his remarks in front of the nearly 400 graduating seniors, the billionaire technology investor and philanthropist surprised some by announcing that his family was providing a grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire class of 2019.  >> Read more trending news  “This is my class, and I know my class will pay this forward,” he said. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony. The announcement elicited the biggest cheers of the morning. Tonga Releford, whose son, Charles Releford III, is a member of the class of 2019, estimates that her son’s student loans are around $70,000. “I feel like it’s Mother’s Day all over again,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Smith’s gift has been estimated at $40 million. Tonga Releford’s husband, Charles Hereford Jr., is also a Morehouse graduate. He said their younger son, Colin, is a junior at Morehouse, an all-male historically black college. The father said he doesn’t know who the keynote speaker will be at Colin’s graduation ceremony but is hoping for a return performance by Smith.  “Maybe he’ll come back next year,” he said.
  • The creepy, unsettling image of the “Momo challenge” will be coming to the big screen, according to one report. Deadline reported that “Getaway,” a horror film directed by Lilton Stewart III, will follow a group of teens on their last summer vacation before college who end up secluded in a cabin. >> Read more trending news  “In ghost story fashion, one tells the story of the urban legend, MOMO, a strange spirit of a bird-like woman that taunts its victims with specific personal details and violent commands via text message and phone calls,” Deadline reported. “What starts out as a harmless prank soon turns more sinister over the next 24 hours as the teens start disappearing without any motive or pattern.” The urban legend is inspired by the viral internet hoax that made the rounds last year. Related: What is the ‘Momo challenge’ and is it a hoax? Despite endless media coverage and local law enforcement warnings on social media of the supposed internet challenge, there were no verified cases of the “challenge” or people being harmed because of the game. “We’ve seen no recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube,”  the video platform said on Twitter in February 2019. “Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies.”
  • DJ Khaled has released the music video for his single “Higher,” which stars John Legend and the late rapper Nipsey Hussle. The song comes from the producer-DJ’s new album “Father of Asahd.” >> Read more trending news  Billboard reported that the video, directed by Eif Rivera, starts with a tribute to Hussle, who died after he was shot outside his now-shuttered The Marathon Clothing brick-and-mortar store March 31. The video, TMZ reported, is the last one Hussle shot. Behind-the-scenes video obtained by the tabloid site shows Legend, Hussle and Khaled standing on top of a parking structure with a piano and retro cars in shades of blue. Khaled said in a statement Wednesday that the video footage was shot days before Hussle died. Legend reflected on shooting the music video after news broke of Hussle’s death. “Recently, I embarked on a soul-searching journey down a road I never thought I would travel in a million years. It began when a tragedy robbed the world of an enlightened soul, a brother, a father, a partner and my friend, Nipsey Hussle,” the statement said. “Just days prior, he shared his energy and positivity with me on a video set for a song called, ‘Higher.’ After much prayer and reflection, and with the full blessing of the Asghedom family, I am sharing that moment with the world. “The very title of the song reminds us that vibrating on a ‘Higher; level was the essence of Nipsey’s soul. It is in this spirit, of moving forward, of preserving his mission that I, my co-workers, producers and label partners are donating 100% of all our proceeds from 'Higher' to Nipsey's children, Emani and Kross. “The Marathon Continues.” Watch the music video on YouTube and see a teaser below.
  • Alec Baldwin, Robert DeNiro and 'Saturday Night Live' cast members took one last jab at President Donald Trump's administration this week in the comedy show's final cold open of the season. In Saturday's sketch, Baldwin's Trump led first lady Melania Trump (Cecily Strong), Vice President Mike Pence (Beck Bennett), White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant) and other cast members in a musical number set to the tune of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now.'  >> Click here to watch 'Tonight, I'm gonna have myself a real good time,' Baldwin's Trump crooned from behind his Oval Office desk before the others joined in, one by one, dancing and singing. 'He's a billionaire unless you take a look at his tax returns,' Strong's Melania Trump sang at one point. 'He's gonna hide, hide, hide, oh, there's no showing you.' 'I wanna make a super-straight man out of you,' Bennett's Pence chimed in later. >> Read more trending news  Several other 'SNL' regulars appeared in the sketch, including Kenan Thompson as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Chris Redd as Kanye West, Kate McKinnon as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Mikey Day as Donald Trump Jr. and Alex Moffat as Eric Trump. But DeNiro, appearing as special counsel Robert Mueller, nearly put a damper on the celebration. 'Wait a second,' DeNiro's Mueller bellowed. 'I have something very important to say to the American people – something they need to hear.' 'No collusion, no obstruction, so don't stop me now,' Baldwin's Trump interjected as the song resumed. Read more here.