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Hank Aaron was in attendance Sunday for the grand opening of the Braves’ new spring home, just 45 miles — and a world away — from where he reported to spring training as a young player in the 1950s.  “It was in Bradenton, Fla. There were two players to each locker,” Aaron said with a laugh. “There is space galore here.”  The Braves opened CoolToday Park — located in the southwest Florida city of North Port — for a 4-2 exhibition win Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays. The $125 million complex will be the Braves’ spring-training site for the next 30 years under terms of their contract with Sarasota County.  After a pregame ribbon-cutting and a ceremonial first pitch by former National League MVP Terry Pendleton, former Braves manager Bobby Cox faced part of the crowd with microphone in hand and proclaimed: “It’s time for Braves baseball. Let’s play ball!” Now THAT was a house warming party! CoolToday Park, Spring Training Home of the Atlanta Braves. #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/U2E46Fu9Oe — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 25, 2019 The occasion was momentous enough that Aaron, 85, flew in from Atlanta at the invitation of Braves chairman Terry McGuirk.  In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a suite that bears his name — the Aaron Suite — the Braves icon marveled at the evolution of spring-training facilities through the decades.  “I played in so many of them. They all were minor-league ballparks,” Aaron said. “Then you turn around and look at this thing, and this is a major-league facility. This is gorgeous.  “It’s a long way from Bradenton and West Palm Beach,” Aaron added.  The Boston and Milwaukee Braves held spring training in Bradenton from 1948 through 1962. The Braves, who relocated from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966, trained in West Palm Beach from 1963 through 1997.  On Saturday, they played their final game at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando, their spring home since 1998. That 22-year-old stadium still seems perfectly fine when viewed from the exterior or within the seating bowl, but behind the scenes it had become cramped, outdated and inefficient.  Braves WIN! 1-0 at CoolToday Park 😎#BravesST | #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/bJzVGHko7U — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 24, 2019 On Sunday morning, for their final exhibition game in Florida this year, the Braves bused the 135 miles from Disney to North Port. “What they have done down here is pretty spectacular,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said shortly after arriving at CoolToday Park. “We’ll be able to get our work done more efficiently here. I feel like there was so much attention to detail in the little things, and that is going to make us even better through the years.”  Said catcher Brian McCann: “It’s top of the line. They thought of everything.”  One of the first things Freeman noticed was the spacious and well-appointed clubhouse, which lacks the wall that divided players into essentially two different rooms at Disney.  “Now you’re going to be able to see everyone,” Freeman said. “That is what you want.”  “The clubhouse is probably nicer than the majority of major-league (regular-season) clubhouses,” manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s going to be a really good working atmosphere here.” Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos hadn’t seen the new facility until Sunday. “I’d heard about it being the best (spring training) place in Florida, and it exceeded every expectation,” Anthopoulos said. “The clubhouses, the lounges, the offices, the work space — fantastic. You can just tell with the players there are a lot of smiles right now. “This is just such a significant improvement on all levels.” Also in attendance for the opening was former Braves president (now vice chairman emeritus) John Schuerholz, who was a leader of the organization’s long search for a new spring-training home. In fact, one of the first serious discussions between the Braves and Sarasota County came at baseball’s winter meetings in Nashville in December 2015, when Schuerholz and others sketched potential plans on napkins over breakfast. “It was a labor of love,” Schuerholz said of how it all turned out.
Albanian prosecutors say they have questioned opposition Democratic Party leaders about suspicious spending abroad of $650,000 during parliamentary elections two years ago. A statement by the Tirana prosecutor's office on Monday said Democrats' leader Lulzim Basha and three other politicians were questioned on why their party had not declared the money spent in United States and Scotland. Basha denied breaking any laws, saying that responses from the authorities in the United States and Britain 'prove that the Democratic Party and its leaders have not broken any law.' The U.S. publication Mother Jones has alleged that the Democrats received secret funds from Russian sources using a U.S. lobbyist, Nick Muzin, who was paid by a Russian-linked company called Biniatta Trade. The center-right Democrats have rejected the allegations.
Migrants trying to reach Europe face routine rape and sexual torture throughout their journey — and especially in Libya — with men facing abuse nearly as routinely as women, according to a study based on dozens of interviews with aid workers and migrants. The graphic study released Monday by the Women's Refugee Council comes as Europe has blocked rescues at sea and outsourced its migration policy to Libya's coast guard instead. With European Union funding, the Libyan coast guard retrieves migrants from the Mediterranean and returns them to detention centers nominally run by the government, where migrants say the abuse resumes. Smugglers torture migrants and film it to extract ransom payments from their families, and to thin the number of people in their unofficial prisons, according to the study. Previous studies have found that nearly all women who cross from North Africa have been raped or sexually abused along the journey; this one found that the danger was likely nearly as prevalent among men. A mental health worker described graves filled with men with their genitals sliced off — a description corroborated by the account of a survivor of a mass mutilation. Migrants told similarly horrific stories about rape, forced incest, and mass sexual abuse intended to humiliate detainees who had to strip naked and become either rapists themselves or victims. According to a 20-year-old man from Guinea, 'when the men came back crying, they would talk about what the guards did to them and how violent it was.' Because the men were victimized together, they were willing to talk about it in ways that might otherwise be taboo. Mostly, they don't talk about it. In repeated AP interviews with migrants in Europe and in Africa, Libya is the place they don't discuss. The area around Bani Walid is particularly notorious for its clandestine prisons, where migrants have described being held in sunless warehouses for months and even years on end while smugglers try to extract money from them to continue their journey. Last May, more than 100 migrants and refugees broke out from one of the lockups, fleeing under their captors' gunfire. At least 15 people died and 40 were left behind, according to the aid group Doctors Without Borders. The survivors were ultimately shipped to an official Libyan detention center. And now official detention is likely where they will end up even if they make it into the Mediterranean, due to European policy that has effectively banned rescues at sea in an effort to slow migration. The EU has spent 338 million euros ($382 million) in Libya since 2014 to stem migration, much of it on strengthening the Libyan coast guard and the detention centers. Migrants turned back in the Mediterranean are unlikely to fare much better in official detention than they did in the warehouses, according to the study's lead researcher, Sarah Chynoweth. United Nations staff and aid groups have limited access to the centers and Chynoweth said migrants told her than in any case 'we were just too terrified to say anything.' At one of the official prisons, a 19-year-old Nigerian woman told a health worker that women faced near constant threat of rape, and men only marginally less. Migrants bribe their way to freedom or escape if they can. 'They said that if we tell in Europe what is happening in Libya, our brothers and sisters in the prison will pay,' she said, according to the study. Chynoweth has carried out similar studies among the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Syrian refugees in the Middle East. What differs in the European context, she said, is how widespread it is, and the fact that profoundly disturbing forms of sexual torture are used for purposes of extorting ransoms — sent via video to desperate families. 'The minute people are stopped at sea, Europeans wash their hands of it,' said Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, the humanitarian affairs adviser for Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres. Earlier this month, the European Union issued a statement saying the continent's migration crisis is over, 'and current levels are a mere 10 percent of what they were at their peak in 2015.' The statement cited 'appalling conditions' in Libya's detention centers as an issue, without suggesting solutions. One of the study's few bright points came aboard the MSF rescue ship Aquarius. On the ship, the medical team realized that men and boys appeared not to know that what they'd experienced was sexual abuse. Trained health workers decided in 2018 to emphasize free medical and psychological counseling. As a result, the study said, 33 percent of sexual assault survivors who came forward last year on the Aquarius were male, compared with just 3 percent in 2017. 'It was about creating that safe environment, allowing the men and boys to know they're not alone,' said Aoife Ni Mhurchu, who was a nurse on board the Aquarius at the time and specializes in working with vulnerable populations. Few migrants had any illusions that their attackers would face justice, said Ni Mhurchu, who worked in four detention centers in Libya before her time at sea. She said few detained in Libya would dare come forward while there. 'This climate of impunity in Libya signals to this extremely vulnerable population that reporting is not only dangerous but futile,' she said. The Aquarius is now chartered for a scientific expedition. The only people pulling migrants from the Mediterranean waters off the Libyan coast take them right back where they came from.
Indonesian police said Monday they also found geckos and chameleons in the luggage of a Russian tourist who was arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of Bali. Andrei Zhestkov was detained late Friday at Bali's international airport after security officers found a 2-year-old endangered male orangutan sleeping in a rattan basket in his luggage. Police showed the suspect along with the lizards and other evidence at a news conference Monday. Zhestkov, wearing an orange detainee uniform, refused to comment. Local police chief Ruddi Setiawan said Zhestkov had confessed that he bought the orangutan for $3,000 from a street market on Indonesia's main island of Java. He said Zhestkov said he fed it allergy pills mixed with milk so it would lose consciousness for up to 10 hours on his planned flight back home to Vladivostok. 'We are still investigating his motive in attempting to smuggle the orangutan out of Indonesia,' Setiawan said. 'We are also searching for the trader who sold the animals to the suspect.' He said authorities found two geckos and four chameleons in his bags. He said Zhestkov, if found guilty, faces up to five years in jail and $7,000 in fines for attempting to smuggle wildlife. Orangutans are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Only around 13,400 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild. A 2018 comprehensive study of Borneo's orangutans estimated their numbers have plummeted by more than 100,000 since 1999, as the palm oil and paper industries shrink their habitat and fatal conflicts with people increase.
For President Donald Trump, the fight over the 'witch hunt' is only just beginning. Now that special counsel Robert Mueller's two-year investigation into Trump's campaign is over, it's being transformed into a rallying cry and a weapon for the president's re-election campaign. The pall of the two-year probe lifted Sunday, when Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Mueller's findings that said the wide-ranging investigation found no evidence of collusion by Trump's 2016 campaign with the Russian government. Barr's four-page letter was immediately seized upon by the Republican president and his allies as a weapon to use against Democrats, the Deep State and the media. Even before Mueller's conclusions were revealed, it was clear that Trump saw the end of the investigation as a political opportunity. As the president's lawyers debated legal strategy, Trump aides and political allies developed a plan to turn the end of the probe into the launching pad for a new round of attacks on the president's foes and a moment to reinvigorate his supporters in the run-up to the 2020 campaign. With pre-written tweets and talking points, Trump surrogates rushed to claim victory and rub the results in the face of Democrats, many of whom had spent months promising that Mueller would turn up more. 'Democrats and their liberal media allies for two years slandered President @realDonaldTrump for 'conspiring with Russia,'' press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted. 'It was all a malicious, preposterous lie given wall to wall media coverage despite zero evidence. This should never again happen to an American President.' Breaking a 48-hour stretch of lawyer-imposed silence on Twitter, Trump stood on the tarmac beside Air Force One on Sunday and jubilantly hailed the results, exaggerating the findings as a total exoneration. He also seethed that those behind the probe, which he compared to a failed coup, should be held responsible. Trump's campaign moved quickly to raise money off the Mueller news, with a text message to supporters stating, 'Dems raised millions off a lie. Now we FIGHT BACK!' The team's plans going forward are more expansive, according to seven aides and allies involved with the effort, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about private deliberations. While Trump's base has long been suspicious of Mueller, the president's team believes independents and moderate Democrats who backed him in the last election but have since soured may return to the fold if convinced he was unfairly targeted. Some Republicans who had mused about a primary challenge to Trump if Mueller returned a smoking gun may now stay on the sidelines. Some major talking points for Democrats who had pinned great hopes on Mueller may have vanished. And some swing voters, weary at the prospect of endless investigations and talk of impeachment, may prove more sympathetic to the president. The president and his allies will now link the report with the investigations launched by House Democrats and try to make the case that, in the wake of Mueller's findings, further probes are partisan overreach. 'I think they can't move forward until they apologize,' Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told The Associated Press. He singled out Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and said the congressman's investigation would have no credibility because he had deemed Trump 'treasonous' and promised clear evidence of collusion that didn't materialize. 'If there are people who contrived this investigation, who made up this collusion, maybe they themselves should be investigated,' Giuliani said. The president's allies also intend to use the moment to heighten attacks on the media, which many Trump supporters believe unjustly fanned the flames of the special counsel's probe in an effort to bring down the president. They aim to highlight specific news organizations and, in some cases, individual reporters and paint them as biased and untrustworthy, according to two presidential confidants. Eric Trump, the president's son, took to Twitter moments after Barr's letter was released to ask for a 'simple apology' from the news media 'for the hell everyone has been put through for the past two + years,' listing a half-dozen news organizations. In the days before Mueller submitted his report, Trump told his inner circle that, if the release validated him, he would use Twitter and the power of his office to trumpet the findings, complain about the probe's cost and depict the entire investigation as an attempt to obstruct his agenda, according to advisers and confidants. The president's campaign and pro-Trump outside groups are poised to amplify the message, while his advisers expect Fox News and the conservative media to act as an echo chamber. A full-throated attack on the investigation also will be the centerpiece of Trump campaign events, including rallies, they say. Trump's next rally is set for Thursday in Michigan, a state he narrowly won in 2016 and will invest in heavily this time. Count on hearing an earful. ___ Lemire reported from New York. ___ Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire and Miller at http://twitter.com/@zekejmiller
A day after the outlines of the Special Counsel investigation were delivered to the Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court kept alive one part of the Russia probe, refusing to hear arguments in the so-called 'Mystery Case' involving an unknown foreign company owned by an unidentified foreign government, which is trying to get out of a subpoena for grand jury testimony involving the Mueller investigation. In a simple order issued by the Justices on Monday morning, the Court refused to allow arguments on efforts to block the grand jury subpoena, in a case which has proceeded with dramatic secrecy through the courts over the past few months. 'The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied,' the order stated, in the case officially known as 'In Re Grand Jury Subpoena.' The unidentified company has argued that federal laws don't allow foreign governments or businesses to be ensnared in criminal cases in the U.S. - while the involvement of prosecutors from the Special Counsel's office was finally revealed in recent weeks, it's still not clear what company, what country, or what information is at play in this grand jury subpoena fight. The lack of information about the case has left legal experts grasping for clues - and now with the Mueller investigation wrapping up its work - it’s not clear how long legal battles like this one over testimony will continue in the courts. The unknown company at the center of this dispute has been paying a fine of $50,000 for every day that it does not comply with the grand jury subpoena for information. It’s been estimated those legal penalties topped $2 million in late February, and would continue to mount with today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court says it won't referee a dispute between Nike and a photographer who took a famous image of basketball great Michael Jordan. The high court declined Monday to hear the copyright case brought by photographer Jacobus Rentmeester. Rentmeester took a famous photograph of Jordan for Life magazine in 1984. It shows Jordan holding a basketball and leaping toward a basketball hoop. Nike later commissioned a new image that is inspired by Rentmeester's photo. The logo for Nike's Air Jordan shoes, called the 'Jumpman Logo,' is based off Nike's photo. Rentmeester sued Nike in 2015 saying it had violated copyright law. The Supreme Court's decision not to take the case means lower court rulings against Rentmeester will stand.
Kielbasa Recalled Because of Possible Metal Fragment Contamination
The Supreme Court is rejecting an appeal from a company owned by an unidentified foreign government that has refused to turn over information demanded by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The justices didn't comment Monday in turning away the company, which is racking up a fine of $50,000 a day for not complying with the grand jury subpoena for documents. Mueller turned over his report to Attorney General William Barr on Friday, but the status of the grand jury is unclear. Fines have been accruing since Jan. 15 and could total nearly $3.5 million. New daily fines stop once the grand jury is discharged. Mueller found no evidence President Donald Trump's campaign 'conspired or coordinated' with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. Trump claims vindication.
The head of an ethnic Dogon militia blamed for a massacre in central Mali is denying that his fighters were involved in the gruesome attack. Youssouf Toloba also dismissed the Malian president's vow to eliminate the group, because 'he isn't the one who created it.' Human Rights Watch has said that Toloba's ethnic militia known as Dan Na Ambassagou has been implicated in scores of attacks in recent months. Suspicion immediately fell on the group when at least 134 people were slain over the weekend in an ethnic Peulh village. Toloba maintained in an interview with The Associated Press that he had created the militia because of attacks within his community. He accused the Malian military of being absent during that violence.
Avocados Recalled in Six States Due to Potential Listeria Contamination
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) says he's cutting short his visit to Washington after a Gaza rocket attack on Israel. Netanyahu described Monday morning's rocket launch that struck a home in central Israel as a 'criminal attack' and vowed to strike back hard. He says he will return to Israel to handle the crisis shortly after meeting with President Donald Trump on Monday. An Israeli rescue service says the rocket from the Gaza Strip wounded seven people. Netanyahu arrived in Washington on Sunday for what was to have been a three-day visit. He was going to speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and was to be hosted at a White House dinner.
Sims ranks as the top pitching prospect in Georgia for 2019.
Hugh Jackman says he's looking forward to coming back to Broadway next year as a classic roguish traveling salesman in a play he first performed in as a teenager. 'I'm very, very excited about doing 'The Music Man',' he told The Associated Press. The two-time Tony winner said he first performed the show in high school, and that it was the first musical he ever acted in. 'It's amazing I'm going back to it,' he said. As con man Harold Hill, Jackman will sing such favorites as 'Ya Got Trouble,' ''Seventy-Six Trombones' and 'Gary, Indiana.' Jackman was speaking with the AP on Sunday at the Global Teacher Prize award ceremony in Dubai, where he announced the winner and performed musical numbers from his 2017 film 'The Greatest Showman.
Avoid fast food, eat vegetables and exercise. It sounds like generic health advice, but they're tips supposedly tailored to my DNA profile. The suggestions come from 23andme, one of the companies offering to point you toward the optimal eating and exercise habits for your genetics. As with most dieting schemes, the idea is appealing because it implies there's an elusive reason why you can't get in shape — in this case, your genes. But Isaac Kohane, a biomedical researcher at Harvard, said research in the field is still limited and that there's little evidence any small effects from genetic variations can be translated into meaningful dietary advice. 'By and large, these are not giving a lot of value to the people who are purchasing them,' he said, adding that other factors play a far bigger role on health, such as how much we eat. Still, it's tempting to think your DNA holds clues to your ideal diet. To see what my genes might reveal, I tried two services, 23andMe and DNAFit. 23andMe If you pay $99 for a 23andMe ancestry report, you can spend $125 more for its health reports based on the same saliva sample. Among the extras you get are several wellness reports, including one that predicts your 'genetic weight' and offers other dietary insights. These findings are based on comparisons to data from other 23andMe customers. After adjusting the default setting from European to East Asian descent, my report said I'm predisposed to weigh 'about average.' For a 40-year-old, 5-foot-6 woman, the company defined average as 138 pounds. 23andMe notes that most its customers are of European descent, and that its data for other ethnicities is more limited. The report then lists 10 habits associated with healthy weights for your DNA profile. For me, that included limiting red meat, avoiding fast food and exercising at least twice a week. Given how formulaic that sounded, I wondered how much results vary for others. It turns out everyone gets the same 10 habits, since those are the ones 23andMe decided to survey people about. But the order in which they're listed varies to indicate the magnitude of their supposed effect for you. Alisa Lehman, senior product scientist for 23andMe, said the top two habits for most people are limiting red meat and avoiding fast food, as they were for me. Like many other nutrition studies, the findings do not establish cause-and-effect relationships, but are links the company makes between customers' genes and the survey results. Other wellness reports said I'm more likely to be lactose intolerant (check), to flush when drinking alcohol (check) and to consume less caffeine (check). They were more interesting because of their specificity, but didn't reveal anything surprising. Another report said my weight isn't likely to be affected by my intake of saturated fat, which is commonly found in meat. The only surprise was learning I have a genetic variant 'common in elite power athletes.' When I followed the link, however, I saw about half of customers have the same variant. DNAFit For $99.99, you get a saliva collection to produce reports on a variety of fitness and dietary traits. If you already have your DNA file from 23andMe, you can upload it to get instant results for $79. DNAFit says its reports are based on the broader universe of scientific research about genes and diet. Given the general fear of carbs among many dieters, I started with the 'carbohydrate sensitivity' report. It started with an overview explaining the difference between complex carbs like brown rice and refined carbs like sugar that are digested more quickly. After scrolling down, the report said I have a 'very low' sensitivity, meaning I'm less susceptible than others to sugar highs and diabetes. Despite this carb tolerance, it suggested I limit refined carbs to 10 percent of daily calories. Again, this sounded like fairly generic advice and made me wonder how much the recommendations vary for others. Andrew Steele, head of product at DNAFit, said that depending on people's sensitivity, the recommended limit for refined carbs ranges from 6 to 10 percent of total calories. For someone who eats 2,500 calories a day, that's a range from 150 calories to 250 calories. While that may not seem like a big difference, DNAFit notes cutting back from 10 to 6 percent would mean a 40 percent reduction. Still, the relatively tight range reinforces the idea that dietary advice would be largely consistent regardless of your genes. Another report said my sensitivity to saturated fat is low, and suggested limiting it to 10 percent of calories. DNAFit said the range for that recommendation is also 6 to 10 percent. Other reports were more nutrient specific. One said I have a raised need for omega-3, the cholesterol-lowering fatty acid. Another said I have a raised risk for DNA damage from chargrilled meats and should limit them. (This advice was provided over an image of candle-lit steak.) On the fitness side, the reports said I'm more prone to endurance activities than high intensity activities. I don't know if I'll take this into consideration if I start exercising. Others have questioned the accuracy of the fitness reports, which rated one Olympic runner's aerobic potential as 'medium.' DNAFit and 23andMe say knowing your genetic predisposition can motivate you to stick with diet or exercise routines. You may also have specific reasons for wanting to try the services, particularly 23andMe, which most get for the ancestry tests and provides many other reports. But for me, the findings from both felt too broad to influence my habits. One small note: DNAFit is based in the United Kingdom, so if you decide to try it, you may notice a small currency exchange fee on your credit card statement. ____ Follow Candice Choi at www.twitter.com/candicechoi ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan has your forecast
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Istanbul's Hagia Sophia — a Byzantine-era cathedral that was turned into a mosque and now serves as a museum — could be reconverted into a mosque. Erdogan spoke during a television interview Sunday ahead of Turkey's March 31 local elections. The former Byzantine cathedral was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453. Turkey's secular founder turned the structure into a museum in 1935 that attracts millions of tourists each year. There have been increasing calls for the government to convert the symbolic structure back into a mosque, especially following reports that the gunman who killed Muslim worshippers in New Zealand left a manifesto saying the Hagia Sophia would be 'free of minarets.
An employee at a Missouri Enterprise Rent-A-Car is accused of spiking the drinks of co-workers with LSD because he wanted to get rid of his co-workers’ “negative energy.” Lt. Clinton Wooldridge said two employees of the Arnold, Missouri, location were dizzy and shaky but couldn’t figure out why, so they were taken to an area hospital, KMOV reported. Police questioned the 19-year-old employee, whose name has not been released, who officials said admitted he put LSD in two workers’ water bottles, because he wanted to change their energy, KMOV reported. >> Read more trending news  The business’ manager said she saw the employee holding a water dropper and he was doing something to her water jug, but she said she didn’t drink from it, The Leader reported. The Jefferson County Municipal Enforcement Group said the workers’ reaction is what happens with LSD. No charges have been filed until the lab results come back. If the water tests positive, the employee could face charges, KMOV reported. The water was tested at the business, but the results were inconclusive, The Leader reported. The employees allegedly drugged were OK after the effects wore off.
The U.S-backed Syrian fighters who drove the Islamic State group from its last strongholds are calling for an international tribunal to prosecute hundreds of foreigners rounded up in the nearly five-year campaign against the extremists. The administration affiliated with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said Monday such a tribunal is needed 'for justice to take its course,' particularly after countries have refused to bring home their detained nationals. The SDF has detained more than 1,000 foreign fighters, including many from Western countries. The SDF has been fighting IS since 2014 and has retaken large areas in northern and eastern Syria. Its administration is not recognized internationally or by the Syrian government, which has vowed to bring all the country's territory back under its control.
Ethiopian Airlines' CEO says the pilots who flew the plane that crashed on March 10 had trained on 'all appropriate simulators,' rejecting reports that they had not been adequately prepared to handle the new aircraft. Tewolde Gebremariam said in a statement Monday that the airline owns simulators to help pilots train on the Boeing 737 Max, which has software installed that requires new training. The software can pitch the plane's nose down in some cases to keep it from stalling. There is speculation that the software could have contributed to the crash, which killed 157 people, as well as to the crash of another Boeing 737 Max, a Lion Air flight, in October. Regulators say both planes had similar erratic flight paths shortly after take-off, an important part of their decision to ground the roughly 370 Max planes around the world. After the Lion Air crash off the coast of Indonesia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing issued new training material for pilots. Questions lingered, however, whether the required training was sufficient and whether airlines like Ethiopian had access to simulators to give pilots thorough experience handling the software. Gebremariam said Ethiopian Airlines owns and operates a Boeing 737 Max simulator. 'Contrary to some media reports, our pilots who fly the new model were trained on all appropriate simulators,' Gebremariam said. 'The crews were well trained on this aircraft.' The CEO, however, had told The Associated Press this weekend that he thinks the warnings and extra training material from Boeing and U.S. regulators 'might not have been enough.' Ethiopian Airlines is widely seen as Africa's best-managed airline. It had been using five of the Max planes and was awaiting delivery of 25 more. Boeing is updating the plane's anti-stall software and has invited more than 200 pilots, technical experts and regulators to its factory in Renton, Washington, for a briefing. The Federal Aviation Administration expects Boeing's update this week. As part of the update, Boeing said it is tweaking the anti-stall software. After the update, the system will rely on data from more than one sensor before it automatically pushes the plane's nose lower. The system won't repeatedly push the nose down, and it will reduce the magnitude of the change. Boeing said it will pay to train airline pilots.

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  • An employee at a Missouri Enterprise Rent-A-Car is accused of spiking the drinks of co-workers with LSD because he wanted to get rid of his co-workers’ “negative energy.” Lt. Clinton Wooldridge said two employees of the Arnold, Missouri, location were dizzy and shaky but couldn’t figure out why, so they were taken to an area hospital, KMOV reported. Police questioned the 19-year-old employee, whose name has not been released, who officials said admitted he put LSD in two workers’ water bottles, because he wanted to change their energy, KMOV reported. >> Read more trending news  The business’ manager said she saw the employee holding a water dropper and he was doing something to her water jug, but she said she didn’t drink from it, The Leader reported. The Jefferson County Municipal Enforcement Group said the workers’ reaction is what happens with LSD. No charges have been filed until the lab results come back. If the water tests positive, the employee could face charges, KMOV reported. The water was tested at the business, but the results were inconclusive, The Leader reported. The employees allegedly drugged were OK after the effects wore off.
  • Police in North Carolina are searching for a gunman after they said a person was shot inside the AMC Theaters at the Concord Mills Mall on Sunday evening. >> Read more trending news  Police said the male victim was rushed to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities said the shooting happened around 6 p.m. during an argument over seating in the theater and was not an active shooter situation. Officials said they did not believe the suspect and the victim knew each other.  Concord police said the shooter left the mall before police arrived. Officials said the suspect is described as a man with short dreads wearing a black and white striped shirt and said to be with a woman. Authorities closed the mall immediately after the shooting.  Moviegoers described a chaotic scene that included people running and falling over each other, crime scene tape and blood on the ground inside the movie theater. A teenager who heard the gunshots said he did not know if he was more nervous or scared. 'It sounded like gunshots, it sounded like popping noises and everyone started running so I started running so I didn't have to be in the chaotic moment,' Brach Walker said. Jonathan Winchell said he traveled from Greenville, South Carolina, because Concord was the closest theater showing the film he wanted to see. 'What's scarier is the fact that it's not so scary because it happens all the time,' Winchell said. 'Anyone being shot should be a horrendous, unlikely, should never happen.' Winchell said he also let a stranger use his phone so they could let their family know they were safe as law enforcement evacuated the mall. AMC officials said guns are not allowed in the theaters. According to the AMC Theater Code of Conduct, 'Carrying or displaying weapons of any kind -- real or toy -- are not allowed.' It also bans fighting, engaging in intimidating, disordering, or disruptive behavior. No other information has been released. If you have information regarding this case, you are encouraged to call the Concord Police Department at 704-920-5000.
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller delivered the results Friday of an investigation into possible collusion in the 2016 presidential election to Attorney General William Barr, ending a two-year saga that, at times, pitted the president against his own Justice Department.  >> Read more trending news  On Sunday, the Justice Department delivered a summary of Mueller’s findings to the House Judiciary Committee.  >> Barr: Mueller found no evidence of Trump-Russia conspiracy Update 9 a.m. EDT March 25: President Donald Trump celebrated the findings of the probe early Monday in a series of tweets. >> Mueller report: Trump claims 'Complete and Total’ exoneration Update 10:25 p.m. EDT March 24: President Donald Trump was at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, when he first learned the details of what Attorney General William Barr said in his summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report for Congress, according to the Associated Press. The AP cited White House spokesman Hogan Gidley, who briefed reporters aboard Air Force One as the president was flying back to Washington. “This is very good,” Gidley said the president told him. The president watched TV in his office aboard Air Force One and made phone calls according to CNN, which described the atmosphere during the flight as “jovial.” Update 8:25 p.m. EDT March 24: Vice President Mike Pence weighed in on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Mueller report Sunday, issuing a statement calling the report “a total vindication of the President of the United States.” “After two years of investigation, and reckless accusations by many Democrats and members of the media, the Special Counsel has confirmed what President Trump said (all) along; there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election,” Pence said. “This total vindication of the President of the United States and our campaign should be welcomed by every American who cherishes the truth and the integrity of our elections,” he said. Update 7:45 p.m. EDT March 24: Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein called Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary on the Mueller report “inadequate.” Feinstein said in a statement Sunday that Barr’s summary “demonstrates why Congress needs to obtain the full report and underlying evidence.” She also said she’ll call on Barr to release the whole report and underlying material to Congress for proper Congressional oversight of the investigation. Feinstein said Barr was obviously biased in his summary of the report. “Mueller elected to describe the facts, leaving it to Attorney General Barr to decide whether the president committed a crime. However, months ahead of his nomination,  Barr wrote a 19-page memo concluding the president couldn’t commit obstruction, so it’s no surprise he reached the same conclusion now,” she said in the statement. Update 7:00 p.m. EDT March 24: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report. Pelosi and Schumer said Barr’s letter “raises as many questions as it answers.” The pair are calling for the Justice Department to release the full report. “The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public,” Schumer said on social media. The statement calls into question Barr’s ability to be objective about the Mueller report. “Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report,” according to Pelosi and Schumer’s statement. “And most obviously, for the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr. Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility,” the statement said. Update 6:00 p.m. EDT March 24: The Mueller report is divided into two parts, according to the summary Attorney General William Barr sent to Congress Sunday. The first part of the report describes the Mueller team’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and outlines Russia’s attempts to influence the election, including the crimes committed by people associated with the Russian government, Barr said. A primary focus for the Mueller team was whether any Americans, and specifically associates of President Donald Trump, worked with the Russians in interfering with the election, which would be a federal crime. “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” according to the Mueller report. >> Related: Mueller report: Trump claims 'Complete and Total’ exoneration The second part of the report, according to Barr’s summary, focuses on whether Trump obstructed justice.  The Mueller report leaves “unresolved whether the president’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction,” Barr said in his summary. “While the report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” on obstruction allegations, Barr said. Mueller left a decision on obstruction of justice charges against Trump to the Justice Department. Barr confirmed he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided that Trump’s conduct did not constitute a crime. >> Related: What is in the Mueller report? Update 5:20 p.m. EDT March 24: The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, responded to President Donald Trump’s statement Sunday afternoon that the Mueller report offered him “complete and total exoneration.” Nadler disputed Trump’s characterization of the report, clarifying what Mueller actually said in the report. “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,’” Nadler said Nadler also confirmed his plan to call Attorney General William Barr to testify before the committee. “In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before (the House Judiciary Committee) in the near future, Nadler said on Twitter. Update 5:10 p.m. EDT March 24: Attorney General William Barr detailed the resources special prosecutor Robert Mueller used during his two-year investigation in his summary of the report to Congress. Barr said the Mueller team “employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.” Barr said Mueller’s report also does not recommend any further indictments. Update 4:50 p.m. EDT March 24: President Donald Trump and members of his administration feel vindicated by the Mueller report. Trump just sent his first tweet on the report since Robert Mueller sent it to the Justice Department on Friday. “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!,” the president wrote. His press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued this statement after Attorney General William Barr sent a summary of Mueller’s report to Congress Sunday afternoon. 'The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.” Update 4:15 p.m. EDT March 24: The summary included these points: -The investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller did not find President Donald Trump or any of his campaign team coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, according to a summary Attorney General William Barr sent to Congress Sunday. -The probe also did not find sufficient evidence that the president illegally obstructed justice, but the Mueller team stopped short of exonerating the president, according to The Associated Press.  -Barr’s summary said Mueller did not reach any conclusions on the president’s conduct. -Barr also said in the summary that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not consider constitutional questions relating to criminal charges against a sitting president in reaching their conclusion, the AP reported. Update 3:30 p.m. EDT March 24: Rep. Jerry Nadler said the Department of Justice issued a letter saying it is “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgement” in terms of the findings in the report. Related: What is in the Mueller report? Nadler tweeted quotes from the letter, which can be read in full here. Update 3:10 p.m. EDT March 24: Congress has been told to expect a Mueller report summary with in the hour, The Associated Press reported, according to two unnamed sources familiar with plans from the Justice Department. Update 2:30 p.m. EDT March 24: President Donald Trump has been relatively quiet leading up to the release of the report, according to The Associated Press. Sources not authorized to speak publicly claim Trump is relieved no new indictments have come from the probe. The AP reported that Trump has been in Palm Beach, Florida, over the weekend, golfing and spending time with family. He’s also been less engaged on Twitter, only posting “Good Morning, Have A Great Day!” and “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Sunday morning. Update 9 p.m. EDT March 23: Attorney General William Barr scoured special counsel Robert Mueller’s confidential report on the Russia investigation with his advisers Saturday, deciding how much Congress and the American public will get to see about the two-year probe into President Donald Trump and Moscow’s efforts to elect him, according to The Associated Press. Barr was on pace to release his first summary of Mueller’s findings on Sunday, people familiar with the process said. Update 1:50 p.m. EDT March 23: Congress will not receive a summary of Mueller’s findings  Saturday, multiple media outlets have reported. The Washington Post cited a “senior Justice Department official” for this information, while Politico tweeted that “two sources familiar with the discussion” confirmed the news. President Trump flew Friday to his Mar-a-Lago resort with senior White House officials and lawyers, The Washington Post reported. Original report: The delivery of the report to Barr officially concludes the probe that has cast a shadow over the Trump administration from its earliest days. Trump, who flew to Florida on Friday, has not yet commented on the report. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House would not be seeing the report -- at least not for now. Barr, in a one-page letter, told Congressional leaders he would be able to advise them of the “principal conclusions” of the report as soon as this weekend. In the letter, Barr confirmed that there was no requests made by Mueller to take a specific action – such as subpoenaing a witness – that was not granted by the DOJ. “There were no such instances during the Special Counsel’s investigation.' >> Read the letter William Barr sent to members of Congress It is up to Barr how much of the report Congress or the public will be able to see. Trump has said he would not care if the report was released to the public. According to an anonymous DOJ source, there will be no further indictments born out of the investigation, meaning Mueller’s work is done. >> Who has Robert Mueller already indicted in his investigation? Since the investigation began in May of 2017, Mueller’s team of prosecutors has indicted or accepted plea deals from 35 people. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, issued a joint statement, saying “it is imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress. . . . The American people have a right to the truth.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • California authorities are investigating an alleged arson attack at an Escondido mosque early Sunday after the suspect left a note referencing the terrorist attacks in New Zealand that killed 50 people on March 15, KNSD reported. >> Read more trending news  The fire broke out at 3:15 a.m. at the Dar-ul-Arqam mosque, the television station reported. 'If it’s an arson, it’s possibly a hate crime as well,' Escondido Police Department Lt. Chris Lick told KNSD. Lick said the note was found in the parking lot of the mosque but did not reveal its contents, the Sacramento Bee reported. >> Image of Jacinda Ardern projected on world’s tallest building The fire caused minor damage to the building's exterior, the newspaper reported. Seven people were inside the mosque when the fire broke out, KNSD reported. They were able to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher. Yusef Miller, a member of the Muslim community in Escondido, told KNSD it was fortunate the fire happened before the early morning prayer service. 'God bless that it didn’t happen that way,” MIller told the television station. “We’re not surprised by this incident,' Miller said. 'But, we’re very on edge right now.”
  • A brand of avocados sold in California, Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin have been voluntarily recalled due to possible listeria contamination. KABC reported Henry Avocado Corp. announced the voluntary recall Saturday. >> Read more trending news  'We are voluntarily recalling our products and taking every action possible to ensure the safety of consumers who eat our avocados,” Phil Henry, president of Henry Avocado, said in a statement. The avocados are grown in California but are sold at retailers in bulk. The recalled products have been removed from stores.  The company urges those who have purchased affected avocados to discard  them or return them to the point of purchase for a full refund. “For conventional products purchased at retail, consumers can identify the recalled products by the ‘Bravocado’ stickers,” the company announcement said. “Henry Avocado organic products do not carry the ‘Bravocado’ label on the sticker. Instead those products are labeled ‘organic’ and include ‘California’ on the sticker. Retailers can identify Henry Avocado organic products by the bar code on the stickers.”
  • Before you fire up the grill, you may want to check what you’re cooking after the Department of Agriculture announced a recall of kielbasa because of possible metal fragments in the meat. North Country Smokehouse, based in New Hampshire, has announced a recall of about 2,686 kielbasa, also known as Polish sausage. The kielbasa was produced on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 and have the establish number EST. 5390A in the USDA inspection mark.  >> Read more trending news  There are three varieties affected by the recall: 1 pound North Country Smokehouse Original Old Fashioned Polish Style Kielbasa, use by May 9, 2019. 12 oz. North Country Smokehouse Natural Old Fashioned Polish Style Kielbasa, use by April 23, 2019. 1 pound Kilchurn Estate Smoked Kielbasa, use by May 9, 2109. The affected products should either be thrown away or returned to the place from which they were purchased. If you have any questions, you can call North Country Smokehouse at 603-543-0234 ext. 207.