Uvalde tells Biden to 'do something'; he pledges 'we will'
UVALDE, Texas (AP) — President Joe Biden grieved with the shattered community of Uvalde on Sunday, mourning privately for three hours with anguished families of the 19 schoolchildren and two teachers killed by a gunman. Faced with chants of “do something” as he departed a church service, Biden pledged: “We will.”
At Robb Elementary School, Biden visited a memorial of 21 white crosses — one for each of those killed — and first lady Jill Biden added a bouquet of white flowers to those already placed in front of the school sign. The couple then viewed individual altars erected in memory of each student, the first lady touching the children's photos as they moved along the row.
After visiting the memorial, Biden attended Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where several victims’ families are members, and one of the families was in attendance.
Speaking directly to the children in the congregation, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller tried to assuage the fears of the youngsters, some appearing about the same age as the victims.
“You have seen the news, you have witnessed the tears of your parents, friends,” he said, encouraging them not to be afraid of life. “You are the best reminders to us that the lives of the little ones are important."
Justice Dept. to review response to Texas school shooting
UVALDE, Texas (AP) — The Justice Department said Sunday it will review the law enforcement response to the Texas school shooting, an unusual federal look back prompted by questions about the shifting and at times contradictory information from authorities that have enraged a community in shock and sorrow.
Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the review would be conducted in a fair, impartial and independent manner and the findings would be made public. The announcement came as President Joe Biden was visiting Uvalde, where he and first lady Jill Biden paid their respects at a memorial to the 19 students and two teachers killed at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.
The goal of the review, which the mayor requested, is “to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and response that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events,” Coley said in a statement.
Handling the review is the department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. It was not immediately clear how the review would be conducted, whether law enforcement officials could be compelled to cooperate in the review and when it might be completed.
Such a review is somewhat rare and most after-action reports that come after a mass shooting are generally compiled by local law enforcement agencies or outside groups. The Justice Department conducted similar reviews after 14 people were killed in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, in 2015, and after the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in U.S. history that left 49 people dead and 53 people wounded.
Ukraine, Russia battle in the east as Zelenskyy visits front
POKROVSK, Ukraine (AP) — Russian and Ukrainian troops traded blows in fierce close-quarter combat Sunday in an eastern Ukrainian city as Moscow’s soldiers, supported by intense shelling, attempted to gain a strategic foothold to conquer the region. Ukraine's leader also made a rare frontline visit to Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, to assess the strength of the national defense.
In the east, Russian forces stormed Sievierodonetsk after trying unsuccessfully to encircle the strategic city, Ukrainian officials said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the situation there as “indescribably difficult,” with a relentless Russian artillery barrage destroying critical infrastructure and damaging 90% of the buildings.
“Capturing Sievierodonetsk is a principal task for the occupation force,” Zelensky said, adding that the Russians don’t care about casualties.
The city's mayor said the fighting had knocked out power and cellphone service and forced a humanitarian relief center to shut down because of the dangers.
The deteriorating conditions raised fears that Sieverodonetsk could become the next Mariupol, a city on the Sea of Azov that spent nearly three months under Russian siege before the last Ukrainian fighters surrendered.
Christian nationalism on the rise in some GOP campaigns
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The victory party took on the feel of an evangelical worship service after Doug Mastriano won Pennsylvania's Republican gubernatorial primary this month. As a Christian singer led the crowd in song, some raised their arms toward the heavens in praise.
Mastriano opened his remarks by evoking Scripture: “God uses the foolish to confound the wise.” He claimed Pennsylvanians’ freedom would be “snatched away” if his Democratic opponent wins in November, and cast the election in starkly religious terms with another biblical reference: “Let’s choose this day to serve the Lord.”
Mastriano, a state senator and retired Army colonel, has not only made faith central to his personal story but has woven conservative Christian beliefs and symbols into the campaign — becoming the most prominent example this election cycle of what some observers call a surge of Christian nationalism among Republican candidates.
Mastriano — who has ignored repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press, including through his campaign last week — has rejected the “Christian nationalist” label in the past. In fact, few if any prominent candidates use the label. Some say it's a pejorative and insist everyone has a right to draw on their faith and values to try to influence public policy.
But scholars generally define Christian nationalism as going beyond policy debates and championing a fusion of American and Christian values, symbols and identity.
Wreckage of plane with 22 on board found in Nepal mountains
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The wreckage of a plane carrying 22 people that disappeared in Nepal's mountains was found Monday scattered on a mountainside, the army said. There was no word on survivors.
The Tara Air turboprop Twin Otter was on a 20-minute flight Sunday when it the lost contact with the airport tower while flying in an area of deep river gorges and mountaintops just before it was scheduled to land.
The army said the plane crashed in Sanosware in Mustang district close to the mountain town of Jomsom where it was heading after taking off from from the resort town of Pokhara, 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Kathmandu.
An aerial photo the army posted on Twitter of the crash site showed parts of the aircraft scattered around the mountainside.
No other details were given.
Pelosi's husband arrested on suspicion of DUI in California
NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Paul Pelosi, the 82-year-old husband of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, was arrested this weekend on suspicion of DUI in Northern California, police records showed Sunday.
Paul Pelosi was taken into custody late Saturday in Napa County north of San Francisco, according to a sheriff's office online booking report.
He could face charges including driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or higher, the report said.
Pelosi’s bail was set for $5,000 for the two misdemeanors, records showed.
No other details were immediately available. California Highway Patrol Officer Andrew Barclay said more information would be released later Sunday.
Israeli nationalists chant racist slogans in Jerusalem march
JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of Israeli nationalists, some of them chanting “Death to Arabs,” paraded through the heart of the main Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday, in a show of force that risked setting off a new wave of violence in the tense city.
The crowds, who were overwhelmingly young Orthodox Jewish men, were celebrating Jerusalem Day -- an Israeli holiday that marks the capture of the Old City in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians see the event, which passes through the heart of the Muslim Quarter, as a provocation. Last year, the parade helped trigger an 11-day war with Gaza militants, and this year's march drew condemnations from the Palestinians and neighboring Jordan.
Israel said it deployed thousands of police and security forces for the event, and violent scuffles between Jewish and Palestinian groups erupted inside the Old City before the parade began.
As the march got underway, groups of Orthodox Jewish youths gathered outside Damascus Gate, waving flags, singing religious and nationalistic songs, and shouting “the Jewish nation lives” before entering the Muslim Quarter. One large group chanted “Death to Arabs,” and “Let your village burn down” before descending into the Old City.
Police cleared Palestinians out of the area, which is normally a bustling Palestinian thoroughfare. At one point, a drone flying a Palestinian flag flew overhead before police intercepted it.
Colombia presidential race to runoff; leftist vs businessman
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — In a blow to Colombia’s political class, a leftist former rebel and a populist businessman took the top two spots in the country’s presidential election Sunday and headed to a runoff showdown in June.
Leftist Sen. Gustavo Petro led the field of six candidates with just over 40% of the votes, while independent real estate tycoon Rodolfo Hernández finished second with more than 28%, election authorities said Sunday evening.
A candidate needed 50% of the total votes to win outright the contest held amid a polarized environment and growing discontent over increasing inequality and inflation.
No matter who wins June 19, the South American country long governed by conservatives or moderates will see a dramatic shift in presidential politics.
Petro has promised to make significant adjustments to the economy, including tax reform, and to change how Colombia fights drug cartels and other armed groups. Hernández, whose spot in the runoff contest came as a surprise, has few connections to political parties and promises to reduce wasteful government spending and to offer rewards for people who report corrupt officials.
Agency: 1 dead, 7 injured in Oklahoma festival shooting
TAFT, Okla. (AP) — Authorities said a 26-year-old man was in custody after one person was killed and seven people were injured in a shooting early Sunday at an outdoor festival in eastern Oklahoma, where witnesses described frantic people running for cover amid gunfire.
An arrest warrant was issued for Skyler Buckner and he turned himself in to the Muskogee County sheriff's office Sunday afternoon, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. OSBI said that those shot at the Memorial Day event in Taft, located about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa, ranged in age from 9 to 56.
A 39-year-old woman was killed, OSBI said. The injuries of those wounded were considered non-life-threatening.
OSBI had earlier said two juveniles were injured in the shooting but said Sunday afternoon that only one juvenile was injured.
Witnesses said an argument preceded the gunfire just after midnight, the agency said.
Sweden's Ericsson gives Ganassi another Indy 500 victory
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Marcus Ericsson, once a Formula One backmarker, is now an IndyCar frontrunner.
And an Indianapolis 500 champion.
Ericsson became the second Swede to win the Indy 500 on Sunday when he held off some of the biggest names in North American auto racing in front of the largest crowd of his life.
“It’s the biggest race in the world,” said Ericsson, who called it his biggest victory “by a million miles.”
The 31-year-old showed up in IndyCar something of a mystery in 2019 following five unremarkable seasons in Formula One. He'd worked his entire life to make it to the top level of motorsports then washed out winless — not even a single podium finish — over 97 starts.