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

April 02, 2019 - 8:04 PM

May: UK to seek further Brexit delay, try to break logjam

LONDON (AP) — With Britain racing toward a chaotic exit from the European Union within days, Prime Minister Theresa May veered away from the cliff-edge Tuesday, saying she would seek another Brexit delay and hold talks with the opposition to seek a compromise.

May made the announcement after the EU's chief negotiator warned that a disruptive and costly Brexit was likely unless Britain broke the impasse that has paralyzed the government and Parliament.

After failing repeatedly to win Parliament's backing for her Brexit blueprint, May said the country needed "national unity to deliver the national interest."

Following the defeat of the government's plan and a range of lawmaker-written alternatives, May said Britain would need a further delay to its EU departure, currently scheduled for April 12. She offered to hold talks with opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in an attempt to find a compromise solution.

"This debate, this division, cannot drag on much longer," May said in a televised statement from 10 Downing St. after an all-day Cabinet meeting.

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Police: Suspected killer of rapper Nipsey Hussle arrested

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police on Tuesday arrested a man they say fatally shot rapper Nipsey Hussle and evaded authorities for two days.

Eric Holder, 29, was captured in Bellflower, a Los Angeles-area city about 20 miles southeast of Hussle's clothing store, where the musician was shot Sunday.

Hussle and Holder knew each other, and the two had some kind of personal dispute in the hours before the rapper was killed, Police Chief Michel Moore said.

Police released Holder's name and photo Monday night and asked for public's help in finding him.

It was not immediately clear how authorities located him. He was detained first by sheriff's deputies until LA police arrived and confirmed that he was wanted in Hussle's slaying, authorities said.

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Chinese woman carrying malware allegedly got into Mar-a-Lago

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A woman carrying two Chinese passports and a device containing computer malware lied to Secret Service agents and briefly gained admission to President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club over the weekend during his Florida visit, federal prosecutors allege in court documents.

Yujing Zhang, 32, approached a Secret Service agent at a checkpoint outside the Palm Beach club early Saturday afternoon and said she was a member who wanted to use the pool, court documents said. She showed the passports as identification.

Agents say she wasn't on the membership list, but a club manager thought Zhang was the daughter of a member. Agents say that when they asked Zhang if the member was her father, she did not answer definitively but they thought it might be a language barrier and admitted her.

Zhang's story changed when she got inside, agents say, telling a front desk receptionist she was there to attend the United Nations Chinese American Association event scheduled for that evening. No such event was scheduled and agents were summoned.

Agent Samuel Ivanovich wrote in court documents that Zhang told him that she was there for the Chinese American event and had come early to familiarize herself with the club and take photos, again contradicting what she had said at the checkpoint. She showed him an invitation in Chinese that he could not read.

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Lightfoot wins Chicago mayor race; pledges end to corruption

CHICAGO (AP) — Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot easily won the Chicago mayor's race Tuesday, earning support from every part of the city to defeat a longtime political insider and become the first black woman and openly gay person to lead the nation's third-largest city.

Lightfoot, who had never been elected to public office, delivered a commanding victory over Toni Preckwinkle, who served in the City Council for 19 years before becoming Cook County Board president. Preckwinkle also is chairwoman of the county Democratic Party.

Lightfoot promised to rid City Hall of corruption and help low-income and working-class people she said had been "left behind and ignored" by Chicago's political ruling class. It was a message that resonated with voters weary of political scandal and insider deals, and who said the city's leaders for too long have invested in downtown at the expense of neighbourhoods.

"Together we can and will make Chicago a place where your zip code doesn't determine your destiny," Lightfoot told a cheering crowd at her victory party. "We can and we will break this city's endless cycle of corruption and never again — never ever — allow politicians to profit from elected positions."

She said people are seeing "a city reborn" — a place where race and "who you love" don't matter.

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US expands 'catch and release' amid surge in migrants

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The surge of migrant families arriving at the southern border has led the Trump administration to dramatically expand a practice President Donald Trump has long mocked as "catch and release."

With immigrant processing and holding centres overwhelmed, the administration is busing people hundreds of miles inland and releasing them at Greyhound stations and churches in cities like Albuquerque, San Antonio and Phoenix because towns close to the border already have more than they can handle.

Relief organizations in some cities are struggling to feed and house the migrants and warning that a public health crisis is taking shape, especially with sick infants and children among the many immigrant families who need medical attention.

"We're asking volunteer doctors and nurses and community members to step up and do what the government should be doing. If this was a hurricane, FEMA would be on the ground helping," said Jim Gannon, CEO and executive director of Catholic Charities in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

For many years, families arriving at the border were typically released from U.S. custody immediately and allowed to settle in this country with family or friends while their cases wound their way through the courts, a process that often takes years.

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Maduro loyalists strip Venezuela's Juan Guaido of immunity

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Maduro loyalists stripped Venezuela's Juan Guaidó of immunity Tuesday, paving the way for the opposition leader's prosecution and potential arrest for supposedly violating the constitution when he declared himself interim president.

But whether the government of President Nicolas Maduro will take action against the 35-year-old lawmaker following the Constituent Assembly's decision remains unclear. Guaidó has embarked on an international campaign to topple the president's socialist administration amid deepening social unrest in the country plagued by nearly a month of power outages .

He declared himself Venezuela's interim president in January, and vowed to overthrow Maduro. So far, however, Maduro has avoided jailing the man that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump and roughly 50 other nations recognize as Venezuela's legitimate leader.

A defiant Guaidó spoke publicly moments after the vote, saying he's undeterred, while knowing he runs the risk of being "kidnapped" by the Maduro government.

"We are aware of that," Guaido said. "But we will not change our path."

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Florida man says pipe bombs weren't meant to hurt anybody

NEW YORK (AP) — A Florida man who pleaded guilty to sending pipe bombs to CNN and prominent critics of President Donald Trump says he thinks he was misunderstood at his guilty plea.

Cesar Sayoc said in a letter to a judge that was made public Tuesday that it was never his intent to harm anyone.

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff asked prosecutors and defence lawyers whether Sayoc's comments in his March 23 letter will impact a guilty plea he entered two weeks ago regarding the fall mailings. In an order, Rakoff gave lawyers a week to comment.

During the plea proceeding, Rakoff asked Sayoc if he knew the devices would hurt anyone.

In his handwritten letter, Sayoc said his lawyer told him to say yes.

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Trump eases up on border shutdown threat

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump eased up Tuesday on his threats to shut the southern border this week as officials across his administration explored half-measures that might satisfy the president's urge for action, like stopping only foot traffic at certain crossings.

Facing a surge of Central American migrants trying to enter the U.S., Trump last week threatened to seal the border this week if Mexico did not immediately halt all illegal immigration into the U.S., a move that would have enormous economic consequences on both sides of the border.

While Trump on Tuesday did not back off the idea completely, he said he was pleased with steps Mexico had taken in recent days and renewed his calls for Congress to make changes he contends would solve the problem.

"Let's see if they keep it done," he said of Mexico. "Now, if they don't, or if we don't make a deal with Congress, the border's going to be closed, 100%." He also said that he might only close "large sections of the border" and "not all of it." He added that his posturing was "the only way we're getting a response."

Later Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen held an emergency call with Cabinet members and White House aides, saying, "We are going to treat it as if we have been hit by a Category 5 hurricane," according to a person on the call. The person was not authorized to discuss the call publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

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2nd Texas chemical fire in about 2 weeks kills worker

HOUSTON (AP) — A tank holding a flammable chemical caught fire at a Texas plant Tuesday, killing one worker, critically injuring two others and sending panicked employees fleeing over a fence to safety.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed the fatality in a tweet and said the two injured had been taken by helicopter to a hospital. The two injured were in critical condition, said Rachel Moreno, spokeswoman for the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office.

Authorities shut down a roadway near Tuesday's fire at a KMCO chemical plant in Crosby, about 25 miles (40 kilometres) northeast of Houston, Gonzalez said. Fire crews battled the blaze for about 5 1/2 hours before they extinguished it, according to the fire marshal's office.

All residents within a one-mile radius of the plant were ordered to stay indoors or shelter in place for about four hours. It was not immediately known how many residents were affected by the shelter in place. Crosby has about 2,300 residents. The fire sent a large black plume of smoke into the air.

The fire erupted about two weeks after a March 17 blaze at a petrochemical storage facility in Deer Park , located about 20 miles (32 kilometres) south of Crosby. That fire at a facility owned by Intercontinental Terminals Company burned for days and triggered air quality warnings. Crosby also is where an Arkema chemical plant was inundated by water during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Some chemicals eventually caught fire and partially exploded.

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North Carolina GOP chair, major donor charged with bribery

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The chairman of North Carolina's Republican Party, an insurance magnate and two of his associates are facing federal charges for a plan to shower the state's top insurance regulator with campaign contributions to ensure special business treatment, a criminal indictment unsealed Tuesday said.

State GOP Chairman Robin Hayes and insurance and investment firm founder Greg Lindberg were among those charged with bribery, conspiracy and other crimes.

The four defendants appeared Tuesday before a federal magistrate.

Hayes also was charged with lying to the FBI. The 73-year-old former congressman announced Monday that he wouldn't seek re-election as party chairman, citing health problems.

Hayes "steadfastly denies the allegations made against him" and is eager to clear his name, his attorney, Kearns Davis, said in a statement.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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