Rally seeks justice for black man shot by police in backyard
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The family of Stephon Clark joined hundreds at a rally Saturday, urging California's capital city not to let his memory or calls for police reform fade nearly two weeks after the 22-year-old unarmed black man was killed by Sacramento officers.
Clark's fiance, Salena Manni, stood on stage with his two young sons, grandmother and uncle for the gathering organized by Sacramento native and former NBA player Matt Barnes, who pledged to create a scholarship fund for the children of black men killed by police.
"All he wanted to do was go see his sons again, and unfortunately he can't," Curtis Gordon, Clark's uncle, said as he recalled seeing his nephew hours before the shooting. "So remember that — while we mourn, while we shout, while we cry — because it ain't just our pain, it's their pain."
Barnes amplified calls for charges against the two officers who are on administrative leave.
"It's more than colour — it comes down to right and wrong," he said. "You're trying to tell me I can kill someone and get a paid vacation?"
Spy case: Russia, US envoys leave Washington, St. Petersburg
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian diplomats and their families climbed aboard buses and left their embassy in Washington on Saturday while across the Atlantic, American envoys took down the flag from outside the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg, loaded up boxes, closed the office down and headed home.
The moves were the latest in a spy poisoning case that has escalated East-West tensions, with both sides expelling more than 150 of each other's diplomats from two dozen countries.
Britain has insisted that the Russian government was behind the nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter March 4 in the English city of Salisbury, a charge the Russians vehemently deny.
The Tass news agency says all of the 60 Russian diplomats ordered out of the United States were heading for a homebound flight on Saturday night.
In St. Petersburg, workers at the US consulate hurried to meet the Saturday deadline to close the consulate, imposed by Russia just two days earlier. In brief comments to reporters, U.S. Consul-General Thomas Leary said "we are ready to leave."
AP FACT CHECK: Trump departs from reality on wall, Amazon
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump hailed the start of his long-sought U.S.-Mexico border wall this past week, proudly tweeting photos of the "WALL!" Actually, no new work got underway. The photos showed the continuation of an old project to replace 2 miles of existing barrier.
And on Saturday, he ripped Amazon with a shaky claim that its contract with the post office is a "scam."
Trump and his officials departed from reality on a variety of subjects in recent days: the census, Amazon's practices and the makeup of the Supreme Court among them. Here's a look at some statements and their veracity:
TRUMP: "Great briefing this afternoon on the start of our Southern Border WALL!" — tweet Wednesday, showing photos of workers building a fence.
TRUMP: "We're going to be starting work, literally, on Monday, on not only some new wall -- not enough, but we're working that very quickly -- but also fixing existing walls and existing acceptable fences." — Trump, speaking the previous week after signing a bill financing the government.
AP analysis: Blacks largely left out among high-paying jobs
BOSTON (AP) — Jonathan Garland's fascination with architecture started early: He spent much of his childhood designing Lego houses and gazing at Boston buildings on rides with his father away from their largely minority neighbourhood.
But when Garland looked around at his architectural college, he didn't see many who looked like him — there were few black faces in classroom seats, and fewer teaching skills or giving lectures.
"If you do something simple like Google 'architects' and you go to the images tab, you're primarily going to see white males," said Garland, 35, who's worked at Boston and New York architectural firms. "That's the image, that's the brand, that's the look of an architect."
And that's not uncommon in other lucrative fields, 50 years after the Rev. Martin Luther King — a leader in the fight for equal-employment opportunities — was assassinated.
An Associated Press analysis of government data has found that black workers are chronically underrepresented compared with whites in high-salary jobs in technology, business, life sciences, and architecture and engineering, among other areas. Instead, many black workers find jobs in low-wage, less-prestigious fields where they're overrepresented, such as food service or preparation, building maintenance and office work, the AP analysis found.
Teens begin Mississippi-to-Memphis march in honour of King
DUNDEE, Miss. (AP) — Wearing aqua-colored T-shirts and hydration backpacks, a group of teenagers on Saturday launched a 50-mile walk from northern Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee, a tribute to slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
Escorted by police cars, support vans and a portable restroom, six middle school, high school and college students, along with two adult mentors, began their march in rural Dundee. Their journey along Highway 61 will take them past Mississippi Delta fields and farms, then the casinos of Tunica, before they meet friends and family on the Tennessee-Mississippi line Tuesday.
The decision to walk 50 miles (80 kilometres) was deliberate; the distance represents one mile for each year since King was gunned down while standing on the balcony of the old Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968. The teens, who are from Pearl and Richland, will discuss issues related to race and civil rights as they make the slow trek to Memphis.
They range in ages from 14 to 19. Five are black. One is white.
"It's a way to show people that you can have friendships with different people of different backgrounds, different races, on all levels," said Damonte Steele, a 15-year-old sophomore at Pearl High School.
Wagner, Michigan end Loyola's run 69-57 in Final Four
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Staring down a 10-point, second-half deficit against an underdog that seemed nothing short of blessed during the madness of March, Moe Wagner and Michigan clamped down on Loyola-Chicago and ended one of the most memorable NCAA Tournament runs ever.
Wagner scored 24 points, Charles Matthews added 17 and the Wolverines rallied to beat the Ramblers 69-57 Saturday night in the Final Four.
The third-seeded Wolverines (33-7) will take a 14-game winning streak, the longest in the nation, into their first national championship game appearance since 2013, and second under coach Jon Beilein.
"We're not done yet," Michigan senior Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman said.
Michigan will play a No. 1 seed, either Villanova or Kansas, for its first NCAA title since 1989 on Monday night at the Alamodome.
Michigan and Loyola, Villanova and Kansas meet in Final Four
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — It's game day at the Final Four in San Antonio.
Saturday night features two NCAA Tournament semifinals at the Alamodome. The first is West Region champion and third-seeded Michigan against South Region champion and 11-seed Loyola-Chicago. Both teams have had wins during this tournament with last-moment shots.
The second is a battle of No. 1 seeds between East champion Villanova and Midwest champion Kansas. They've both played at a high level all year and entered March Madness as popular picks to win it all.
All four teams are past national champions. The Wildcats are pursuing a second national title in three seasons. The Jayhawks are trying for their first title since winning one in San Antonio in 2008.
Michigan won the title in 1989, while Loyola-Chicago won it in 1963.
Pope in Easter Vigil baptizes Nigerian migrant-hero
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Saturday urged Catholics to not remain paralyzed in the face of the injustices around them as he baptized eight adults, including a Nigerian beggar who became a hero in Italy for having disarmed a thief with his bare hands.
In an Easter Vigil homily, Francis challenged Catholics to not remain silent, as Jesus' disciples were after his crucifixion. Rather, he urged Catholics to "break out" of their routines and let God in.
It wasn't clear if he had a particular reference in mind, but John Ogah certainly didn't stand by speechless as he witnessed a supermarket robbery on Sept. 26.
According to Italian news reports, Ogah had been begging for spare change outside the Carrefour market in Rome's Centocelle neighbourhood when a masked thief, armed with a meat cleaver, tried to make off with 400 euros ($493) he had stolen from the cashiers.
Security cameras captured Ogah's courageous next steps: With nothing more than his bare hands, he confronted the thief, wrested the cleaver away and held him by the collar until police arrived, after the man fell from his attempted getaway motorcycle.
Hundreds line Cambridge streets to honour Stephen Hawking
LONDON (AP) — The life of renowned physicist and author Stephen Hawking was celebrated Saturday in English city of Cambridge, with hundreds of well-wishers lining the streets for a glimpse of the hearse carrying his remains to a private funeral.
There was a spontaneous burst of applause outside St. Mary the Great church when the hearse arrived. The bells of the church tolled 76 times, one for each year of Hawking's remarkable life.
Hawking was remembered as a brave man who triumphed over motor neurone disease by continuing his research into space and time even after paralysis set in and his muscles faded.
Some 500 invited guests attended the funeral for Hawking, who died on March 14.
Actor Eddie Redmayne, who portrayed the scientist in the 2014 biographical film "The Theory of Everything," gave a reading from Ecclesiastes during the service. There was also a reading by Astronomer Royal Martin Reese and eulogies by one of Hawking's children and a former student.
Officials: 2 dead in homebuilt plane crash in California
SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) — Officials say two people have been killed after a homebuilt airplane crashed into a shed outside the Southern California city of Santa Paula.
Ventura County fire Capt. Stan Ziegler says the two-seat aircraft went down Saturday afternoon. It was a clear and sunny day.
He says the two people were pronounced dead when firefighters got to the scene less than a mile from Santa Paula Airport.
Santa Paula is roughly 65 miles (105 kilometres) northwest of Los Angeles.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane was a homebuilt Vans RV-6A that caught fire after it went down.