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

Original Publication Date June 19, 2024 - 9:06 PM

Trump dwarfs Biden in latest fundraising numbers in show of political force after felony convictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump's campaign outraised President Joe Biden by more than $60 million last month, according to federal filings made public Thursday that detailed the Republican fundraising explosion sparked by Trump's felony convictions.

Biden's campaign and the Democratic National Committee together raised a robust $85 million in May and reported $212 million in the bank at the end of the month. The strong showing does not include roughly $40 million raised by Biden and his top surrogates in recent days — or a separate $20 million donation from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to pro-Biden groups.

Still, Trump's fundraising for, for one month at least, seemed to dwarf Biden's.

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee said it raised a jaw-dropping $141 million in May, including tens of millions donated immediately after Trump was convicted of 34 felonies in the New York hush money case. At the same time, billionaire Timothy Mellon donated a stunning $50 million to a pro-Trump super PAC the day after Trump's guilty verdict, according to the filings.

Trump's campaign declined to report how much money it had in the bank at the end of May, prompting Biden's campaign to question whether the groups were still spending heavily to cover Trump's legal fees.


New Louisiana law requiring classrooms to display Ten Commandments churns old political conflicts

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A bill signed into law this week makes Louisiana the only state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every classroom in public schools and colleges — and stirs the long-running debate over the role of religion in government institutions.

Under the new law, all public K-12 classrooms and state-funded universities will be required to display a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” next year.

Civil liberties groups planned lawsuits to block the law signed by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry, saying it would unconstitutionally breach protections against government-imposed religion. “We’re going to be seeing Gov. Landry in court,” said Rachel Laser, the president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

State officials are stressing the history of the Ten Commandments, which the bill calls “foundational documents of our state and national government.”

Similar bills requiring the Ten Commandments be displayed in classrooms have been proposed in other statehouses — including Texas, Oklahoma and Utah.


Border Patrol reports arrests are down 25% since Biden announced new asylum restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of arrests by Border Patrol agents of people illegally crossing into the United States fell in May to the third lowest of any month during the Biden presidency, while preliminary figures released Thursday show encounters with migrants falling even more in the roughly two weeks since the president announced new rules restricting asylum.

The figures are likely welcome news for a White House that has been struggling to show to voters concerned over immigration that it has control of the southern border. But the number of people coming to the border is often in flux, dependent on conditions in countries far from the U.S. and on smugglers who profit from global migration.

Border Patrol made 117,900 arrests of people entering the country between the official border crossing points in May, Customs and Border Protection said in a news release. That's 9% lower than during April, the agency said. The agency said preliminary data since President Joe Biden's June 4 announcement restricting asylum access shows arrests have fallen by 25%.

“Our enforcement efforts are continuing to reduce southwest border encounters. But the fact remains that our immigration system is not resourced for what we are seeing,” said Troy A. Miller, the acting head of CBP.

The U.S. has also benefitted from aggressive enforcement on the Mexican side of the border, where Mexican authorities have been working to prevent migrants from making their way to the U.S.-Mexico border.


The Putin-Kim summit produced an unusual — and speedy — flurry of glimpses into North Korea

The imagery from Pyongyang emerged quickly, notable in its variety — glimpses into North Korea in near-real time that showed its leader, Kim Jong Un, grinning and glad-handing with Russian President Vladimir Putin and showing him around the capital of one of the world's least accessible nations.

For those who follow the happenings of the Kim family's three-generation rule, the coverage of the Kim-Putin meeting this week — visuals released only by the respective propaganda arms of each government — represented an extraordinary flurry of views into a nation where imagery that feels even remotely off the cuff, not vetted and edited ad nauseam, is rare.

The pair marched on the red carpet in Kim Il Sung Square, named after the current leader's grandfather and the nation's founder. They gazed upon a sea of balloon-toting children. They reviewed a military parade and eyed a crowd waving pompoms. They saw — but were not shown interacting with — groups of North Korean citizens, who if the past is any indication were meticulously vetted before getting anywhere near the scene.

Those images were vivid and plentiful, but they represented the predictable output of an experienced propaganda apparatus.

Far more striking were the in-between moments that managed to peek through — also calibrated carefully, but revealing a smidgen more about the North and its leader than most imagery does. From stills and videos made by both Russian and North Korean state media operations (independent journalists were not given access to cover Putin's visit), the images were many and varied.


US will redirect air defense interceptor missiles to Ukraine that other allies had on order

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House announced Thursday that it will rush delivery of air defense interceptor missiles to Ukraine by redirecting planned shipments to other allied nations, as Washington scrambles to counter increased Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure.

National security spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. had taken the “difficult but necessary decision to reprioritize near-term planned deliveries of foreign military sales to other countries,” though he wouldn't say which nations would be affected or how many.

“Right now, we know that Ukraine urgently needs these additional capabilities,” Kirby said on a call with reporters, adding, “Obviously more is needed, and it’s needed now.”

The announcement comes after President Joe Biden, during last week's Group of Seven meeting in Italy, suggested such action might be necessary, saying, “We’ve let it be known for those countries that are expecting, from us, air defense systems in the future, that they’re going to have to wait."

“Everything we have is going to go to Ukraine until their needs are met,” Biden said. “And then we will make good on the commitments we made to other countries.”


As millions sweat out the heat wave, blocks of lake ice keep these campers cool

SQUAM LAKE, N.H. (AP) — As New England baked in a heat wave Thursday, guests at one campground were keeping their food and beer cold with blocks of ice harvested months earlier from a frozen lake.

And while some relief is expected in the eastern Great Lakes region and New England starting Friday, the National Weather Service said scorching temperatures will linger across the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic region, and even rise in places, including California and Arizona, where they could eclipse 100 degrees (nearly 38 degrees Celsius).

On Squam Lake in central New Hampshire, ice blocks about the size of microwaves that had been packed in sawdust since winter were lifted from an insulated storage hut. It's been a tradition at the rustic Rockywold Deephaven Camps for more than a century, keeping fresh ice available throughout the summer and into the fall.

Angela Wilcox, who has vacationed at the camp for 16 years, took her children and nephews boating Thursday in search of the lake's coldest swimming spot.

“This is the hottest it’s ever been, especially in June,” Wilcox said. “We’re kind of shocked.”


Appeals court panel refuses to delay Trump ally Steve Bannon’s 4-month contempt prison sentence

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court panel on Thursday rejected longtime Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon's bid to stay out of prison while he fights his conviction for defying a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the U.S. Capitol attack.

Bannon is supposed to report to prison by July 1 to begin serving his four-month sentence for contempt of Congress.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, who was nominated to the bench by Trump, earlier this month granted prosecutors' request to send Bannon to prison after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld his conviction.

Bannon's lawyers asked the appeals court to allow him to remain free while he continues to fight the conviction all the way up to the Supreme Court, if necessary. But in a 2-1 vote, the D.C. Circuit panel said Bannon's case “does not warrant a departure from the general rule” that defendants begin serving their sentence after conviction.

Judges Cornelia Pillard, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama, and Bradley Garcia, a nominee of President Joe Biden, voted to send Bannon to prison. Judge Justin Walker, who was nominated by Trump, dissented, writing that he should not have to serve time before the Supreme Court decides whether to take up his case.


Biden approves disaster declaration, freeing up resources in battle against deadly New Mexico fires

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday issued a disaster declaration for parts of southern New Mexico, freeing up funding and more resources as crews worked, under the threat of flooding and lightning, to battle a pair of deadly wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands of people to flee.

The declaration will help with recovery efforts including temporary housing, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property and other emergency work in Lincoln County and on lands belonging to the Mescalero Apache Tribe.

Residents of Ruidoso, a mountain village, fled the larger fire with little notice as it swept into neighborhoods on Monday. More areas were evacuated on Tuesday as the fire ballooned, consuming homes nestled among the the ponderosa pines that dominate the hillsides.

The flames advanced Thursday along the mountain headwaters of Eagle Creek and the Rio Ruidoso with 0% containment. Crews used heavy equipment to build fire lines while water and retardant dropped from the air.

“The big concern right now is flooding,” Ruidoso Mayor Lynn Crawford told the KWMW “W105” radio on Thursday. “We got less than two-tenths of an inch of rain yesterday but because of all the burn scar, there’s nothing holding it up. We had flooding already over the bridges.”


Donald Sutherland, the towering actor whose career spanned 'M.A.S.H.' to 'Hunger Games,' dies at 88

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Sutherland, the Canadian actor whose wry, arrestingly off-kilter screen presence spanned more than half a century of films from “M.A.S.H.” to “The Hunger Games,” has died. He was 88.

Sutherland died Thursday in Miami after a long illness, according to a statement from Creative Artists Agency, which represented him.

Kiefer Sutherland said on X he believed his father was one of the most important actors in the history of film: “Never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly. He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that.”

The tall and gaunt Sutherland, who flashed a grin that could be sweet or diabolical, was known for offbeat characters like Hawkeye Pierce in Robert Altman's "M.A.S.H.," the hippie tank commander in "Kelly's Heroes" and the stoned professor in "Animal House."

“Donald was a giant, not only physically but as a talent," Sutherland's “M.A.S.H.” co-star Elliott Gould said in a statement to The Associated Press as many paid tribute. “He was also enormously kind and generous.”


Celebrations honor Willie Mays and Negro League players ahead of MLB game at Rickwood Field

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — As Ajay Stone strolled around historic Rickwood Field and gazed at tributes displayed in honor of Willie Mays and other Negro Leaguers, he clutched a cherished memory under his arm.

It was a picture from 2004 of Mays holding Stone's then-10-month-old daughter Haley, who was wearing San Francisco Giants gear. In Mays' hand was a chunk of a chocolate chip cookie, which he was handing over for Haley to eat.

“Willie gave her that cookie. She had no teeth,” Stone remembered. "But we took the cookie and we kept it in her stroller for a year and a half. The great Willie Mays gave it to her, so it was special to us.”

Stone and his wife Christina traveled from Charlotte, North Carolina, to be in Birmingham, Alabama, on Thursday for a moment they deemed just as special.

It was hours before Rickwood Field hosted its first Major League Baseball game between the Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. The game, which MLB called “A Tribute to the Negro Leagues,” was meant to honor the legacy of Mays and other Black baseball greats who left an enduring mark on the sport.

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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