Trump digs in on election lies, attacks accuser during CNN town hall event

Former President Donald Trump is digging in on his lies about the 2020 election during a tense CNN town hall. He is also downplaying the violence on Jan. 6, 2021, and has repeatedly insulted a woman in response to a civil jury’s finding this week that he was liable of sexually assaulting her. During the contentious back-and-forth Wednesday night in early-voting New Hampshire, Trump continued to insist the election had been “rigged,” even though state and federal election officials, his own campaign and White House aides, and numerous courts have rejected his allegations. Moderator Kaitlan Collins sometimes struggled to fact-check Trump's misstatements in real time.

George Santos pleads not guilty to federal indictment and says he won't resign

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Rep. George Santos has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging financial fraud at the heart of a political campaign built on dubious boasts about his personal wealth and business success. Santos, the New York Republican whose biography began to unravel after his election last fall, is accused of duping donors, stealing campaign funds, lying to Congress and cheating to collect unemployment benefits he didn’t deserve. Santos, 34, was released on a $500,000 bond following his arraignment Wednesday at a Long Island federal courthouse, about five hours after he surrendered to authorities. Santos told reporters he would not resign.

Dutch suspect in Natalee Holloway disappearance will be sent from Peru to US to face fraud charges

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The government of Peru has issued an executive order allowing the extradition to the United States of the prime suspect in the unsolved 2005 disappearance of American Natalee Holloway in the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba. The Peruvian Embassy in Washington told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the order allows for the extradition of Dutchman Joran van der Sloot to be prosecuted on extortion and wire fraud charges. Van der Sloot is serving 28 years in prison in Peru for his conviction in the killing of 21-year-old Peruvian student Stephany Flores after meeting her in a Lima casino in 2010.

GOP says Biden family financial records a smoking gun. White House calls it a 'political stunt'

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have detailed what they say are concerning new findings about President Joe Biden’s family and their finances. The GOP has been facing growing pressure to show progress in their investigations. Republicans say the smoking gun is recently obtained financial records connected to the president’s son Hunter Biden, brother James Biden and a growing number of associates who allegedly received millions of dollars in payments from foreign entities in China and Romania. Investigators have relied on more than 150 suspicious activity reports as a roadmap to follow what they call the Bidens’ complicated financial money trail. The White House on Wednesday dismissed the whole investigation as “yet another political stunt.”

Israeli-Palestinian fighting intensifies as Egyptian cease-fire efforts falter

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian militants have fired hundreds of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, while Israel is pressing ahead with a series of airstrikes that have killed 23 Palestinians, including three senior militants and at least 10 civilians. A state-run Egyptian TV station announced Wednesday that Egypt, a frequent mediator between the sides, had brokered a cease-fire. But the fighting only intensified and neither side showed any sign of backing down. It was the heaviest fighting between the sides in months. But in signs that both sides were trying to show restraint, Israel avoided attacks on the ruling Hamas militant group, targeting only the smaller and more militant Islamic Jihad faction. Hamas also appeared to stay on the sidelines.

DeSantis signs immigration overhaul ahead of expected White House run

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — With Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' signature, a sweeping immigration bill that bolsters his migrant relocation program and limits social services for immigrants lacking permanent legal status is now law. The measure signed Wednesday is part of DeSantis' plan to harden Florida's immigration laws. DeSantis regularly heaves criticism on federal border policy and takes a hard-right stance geared toward Republican primary voters. The Republican is expected to announce his presidential candidacy in the coming weeks. This week, the DeSantis administration made public that it had selected three vendors it intends to use for the governor’s migrant relocation program, suggesting that additional flights or relocations are likely.

Mommy blogger Heather Armstrong, known as Dooce to fans, dead at 47

NEW YORK (AP) — The pioneering mommy blogger Heather Armstrong, known as Dooce to fans, has died at home in Salt Lake City. She was 47. Her live-in partner, Pete Ashdown, confirmed her death by suicide. He said he found her Tuesday night. Armstrong had laid bare her struggles as a mother and her battles with depression and alcoholism on her site,, and on social media since 2001. Ashdown told The Associated Press that Armstrong had been sober for more than 18 months but had recently relapsed. She was one of the first and most popular mommy bloggers. She wrote frankly about her children, relationships and other challenges.

As Mexicans observe Mother's Day, parents of disappeared demand answers

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hundreds of parents and others have observed Mexico's Mother’s Day with a march through the capital to demand justice for the country's disappeared. As violence deepens and disappearances grow more common in Mexico, the day brings little more than anguish for many mothers. So far this year, 4,145 people have been reported as disappeared in Mexico, according to government figures. While researchers and activists say the real number is likely far larger, the figure represents a more than 20% increase from the same period last year. One of the mothers in Wednesday's march said: “Not knowing where your child is, it’s like this horrible hopelessness — knowing that someone took him and you can’t do anything about it,”

2nd Michigan school district bans backpacks after loaded gun found

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A second Michigan school district is banning backpacks, this time because an elementary school student was found with a loaded gun. Grand Rapids Public Schools announced Wednesday that backpacks are banned until further notice. Hours earlier, a third-grade student was found with a loaded gun at Stocking Elementary School. Flint Community Schools also banned backpacks beginning May 1, citing a nationwide “increase in threatening behavior and contraband, including weapons, being brought into schools at all levels.” Grand Rapids Public Schools said it's the fourth time this year that a student has been found with a handgun, three of them in backpacks.

Army sergeant who fatally shot BLM protester in Texas sentenced to 25 years as governor seeks pardon

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A U.S. Army sergeant who fatally shot an armed protester at a Black Lives Matter march in Texas has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. The sentence Wednesday came after prosecutors used Daniel Perry's social media history and text messages to portray him as a racist who may commit violence again. Perry was convicted in April of killing Garrett Foster at the social justice protest in Austin in July 2020. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked the state Board of Pardons and Paroles to send him a pardon recommendation for Perry soon after. Abbott has not responded to Associated Press requests for comment on the sentence or whether he still intends to issue a pardon.

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