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AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

Original Publication Date June 29, 2024 - 9:11 PM

Gathered at Camp David, Biden's family tells him to stay in the race and keep fighting

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's family used a Sunday gathering at Camp David to urge him to stay in the race and keep fighting despite his dreadful debate performance, and some members criticized how his staff prepared him for the faceoff, according to four people familiar with the discussions.

Biden spent the day sequestered with first lady Jill Biden, his children and grandchildren. It was a previously scheduled trip to the presidential retreat in Maryland for a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

But the gathering was also an exercise in trying to figure out how to quell Democratic anxiety that has exploded following Thursday's performance.

While his family was aware of how poorly he performed against Donald Trump, they also continue to think he's the best person to beat the Republican presumptive nominee. They also believe he is capable of doing the job of president for another four years, according to the people who were not authorized to speak publicly about internal discussions and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Among the most vocal: Jill Biden and son Hunter, whom the president has long gone to for counsel and advice. Both believe the president shouldn't bow out when he's down, and believe that he can come back from what they see as one subpar performance. The family questioned how he was prepared for the debate by staff and wondered if they could have done something better, the people said.


French far right ahead in 1st round of snap elections. Here's how runoff works and what comes next

PARIS (AP) — French voters face a decisive choice on July 7 in the runoff of snap parliamentary elections that could see the country’s first far-right government since the World War II Nazi occupation — or no majority emerging at all.

Projections by polling agencies suggest the far-right National Rally stands a good chance of winning a majority in the lower house of parliament for the first time, but the outcome remains uncertain amid the complex voting system.

In Sunday's first round, the National Rally arrived ahead with an estimated one-third of the votes. The New Popular Front coalition that includes center-left, greens and hard-left forces came out in second position, ahead of President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance.

Here’s a closer look:

The French system is complex and not proportionate to nationwide support for a party. Legislators are elected by district.


US wants Boeing to plead guilty to fraud over fatal crashes, lawyers say

The U.S. Justice Department is pushing Boeing to plead guilty to criminal fraud in connection with two deadly plane crashes involving its 737 Max jetliners, according to several people who heard federal prosecutors detail a proposed offer Sunday.

Boeing will have until the end of the coming week to accept or reject the offer, which includes the giant aerospace company agreeing to an independent monitor who would oversee its compliance with anti-fraud laws, they said.

The case stems from the department's determination that Boeing violated an agreement that was intended to resolve a 2021 charge of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government. Prosecutors alleged at the time that Boeing misled regulators who approved the 737 Max and set pilot-training requirements to fly the plane. The company blamed two relatively low-level employees for the fraud.

The Justice Department told relatives of some of the 346 people who died in the 2018 and 2019 crashes about the plea offer during a video meeting. The family members, who want Boeing to face a criminal trial and to pay a $24.8 billion fine, reacted angrily. One said prosecutors were gaslighting the families; another shouted at them for several minutes when given a chance to speak.

“We are upset. They should just prosecute,” said Massachusetts resident Nadia Milleron, whose 24-year-old daughter, Samya Stumo, died in the second of two 737 Max crashes. “This is just a reworking of letting Boeing off the hook."


Hurricane Beryl closes in on southeast Caribbean after strengthening into dangerous Category 4 storm

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Beryl closed in on the southeastern Caribbean late Sunday after strengthening into what experts called an "extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm, and government officials pleaded with people to take shelter.

The storm was expected to make landfall in the Windward Islands on Monday morning. Hurricane warnings were in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“This is a very dangerous situation,” warned the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, saying Beryl was “forecast to bring life-threatening winds and storm surge.”

Beryl was centered about 150 miles (240 kilometers) southeast of Barbados late Sunday. It had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph) and was moving west at 20 mph (31 kph). It is a compact storm, with hurricane-force winds extending 30 miles (45 kilometers) from its center.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Martinique and Trinidad. A tropical storm watch was issued for Dominica, Haiti's entire southern coast, and from Punta Palenque in the Dominican Republic west to the border with Haiti.


Bolivian president orchestrated a 'self-coup,' political rival Evo Morales claims

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Former President Evo Morales on Sunday accused his political ally-turned-rival President Luis Arce of deceiving Bolivians by staging a “self-coup” last week to earn political points among the electorate, marking a sharp downturn in an already fraught relationship.

Morales was initially among the country's most powerful voices to say the approximately 200 members of the military who marched on Bolivia's government palace alongside armored vehicles Wednesday had attempted a “coup d’état.” He called for "all those involved in this riot to be arrested and tried.”

But on Sunday, Morales joined others who contend Arce himself orchestrated the incident in an attempt to win the sympathy of Bolivians at a time when his popularity is extremely low.

Arce “disrespected the truth, deceived us, lied, not only to the Bolivian people but to the whole world,” Morales said in a local broadcast program Sunday. Morales also called for an independent investigation into the military action in a post on X.

Morales is throwing his support behind an accusation made by former Gen. Juan José Zuñiga, who allegedly led the coup attempt. Morales said Zuñiga had informed colleagues and family of his plan beforehand and while in custody had told authorities that Arce had “betrayed” him.


Ultra-Orthodox protest against order to enlist in Israeli military turns violent in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of Jewish ultra-Orthodox men clashed with Israeli police in central Jerusalem on Sunday during a protest against a Supreme Court order for them to begin enlisting for military service.

The landmark decision last week ordering the government to begin drafting ultra-Orthodox men could lead to the collapse of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition as Israel wages war in Gaza.

Tens of thousands of men rallied in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood to protest the order. But after nightfall, the crowd made its way toward central Jerusalem and turned violent.

Israeli police said protesters threw rocks and attacked the car of an ultra-Orthodox Cabinet minister, pelting it with stones. Water cannons filled with skunk-scented water and police mounted on horses were used to disperse the crowd. But the demonstration was still not under control late Sunday.

Military service is compulsory for most Jewish men and women in Israel. But politically powerful ultra-Orthodox parties have won exemptions for their followers to skip military service and instead study in religious seminaries.


Simone Biles secures third trip to the Olympics after breezing to victory at U.S. trials

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Simone Biles is heading back to the Olympics and the white-hot spotlight that comes with it.

The gymnastics superstar earned a third trip to her sport's biggest stage by cruising to victory at the U.S. Olympic trials on Sunday night, posting a two-day all-around total of 117.225 to clinch the lone automatic spot on the five-woman team.

Three years removed from the Tokyo Olympics — where she pulled out of multiple finals to prioritize her safety and mental health — Biles heads back to the games looking perhaps as good as ever.

“Trusting the process and (my coaches), I knew I'd be back,” Biles said.

A trip to France has never really been in doubt since she returned from a two-year break last summer. All she's done over the last 12 months is win a sixth world all-around title and her eighth and ninth national championship — both records — while further cementing her status as the best-ever in her sport.


Will Smith performs new song, 'You Can Make It' at 2024 BET Awards

Will Smith stood in a circle of fire — joined by Fridayy and the gospel choir Sunday Service — to make the live debut of his latest single, “You Can Make It," at the 2024 BET Awards.

“I don’t know who needs this right now,” Smith opened his set. “But I am here to tell you, you can make it.”

Mid-way through, Kirk Franklin joined, and then two rapped together. “Nobody gets an easy ride,” Smith, who is in the midst of his comeback from slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars two years ago, told the room. “There is wisdom in that fire. Dance in your darkest moments.”

The forthcoming presidential election was a huge topic of conversation at Sunday’s show. After Childish Gambino presented Killer Mike with the album of the year award for “Michael,” the rapper used his acceptance speech to address his Grammys arrest and voting.

“Technically, I was not supposed to be here. I was put in handcuffs, and I was marched out of this building. But I want to tell you, look at God. ’Cause I’m back, baby. I’m back and I’m winning,” he said in his speech. Killer Mike was arrested at the Grammys earlier this year over a physical altercation he said was caused by an “over-zealous” security guard; he was not charged over the incident.


Family demands accountability for NY police killing of 13-year-old boy. Police said he aimed BB gun

On Wednesday, Nyah Mway finished middle school in the central New York city where his family moved about a decade ago as refugees from Myanmar, relatives said.

By Friday night, the 13-year-old was fatally shot by police who’d tackled him to the ground after he allegedly pointed what turned out to be a BB gun at them during a foot chase.

Struggling to comprehend his death, his anguished relatives and outraged members of their immigrant community called Sunday for justice for him and accountability for police.

“We came to the United States, finally, to get the education and to get the good jobs here” and hoping for a peaceful life after decades of strife and violence in Myanmar, said Lay Htoo, who identified himself as one of Nyah's cousins.

But instead of celebrating the teen's ascent to high school, his parents were waiting for medical examiners to release his body and wondering what would become of the officers.


LGBTQ+ Pride Month culminates with parades in NYC, San Francisco and beyond

NEW YORK (AP) — The monthlong celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride reached its exuberant grand finale on Sunday, bringing rainbow-laden revelers to the streets for marquee parades in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and elsewhere across the globe.

The wide-ranging festivities functioned as both jubilant parties and political protests, as participants recognize the community’s gains while also calling attention to recent anti-LGBTQ+ laws, such as bans on transgender health care, passed by Republican-led states.

“We’re at a time where there’s a ton of legislation, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation,” Zach Overton, 47, said at the New York parade. “It feels like we’re taking a step backwards in the fight for equality and so it’s a great moment to come out and be with our community and see all the different colors of the spectrum of our community and remind ourselves what we’re all fighting for.”

Thousands of people gathered along New York’s Fifth Avenue to celebrate Pride. Floats cruised the street as Diane Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” played from loudspeakers. Pride flags filled the horizon, and signs in support of Puerto Rico, Ukraine and Gaza were visible in the crowd.

This year, tensions over the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza also seeped into the celebrations, exposing divisions within a community that is often aligned on political issues. Protesters temporarily blocked the New York parade on Sunday, chanting: “Free, free, free Palestine!” Police eventually took some of them away.

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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