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US House panel investigates ties between US Interior secretary, environmentalists

Jun 01, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Republican members of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources are raising concerns about ties between Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and an Indigenous group from her home state that advocates for halting oil and gas production on public lands.

The members on Monday sent a letter to Haaland requesting documents related to her interactions with Pueblo Action Alliance as well as those of her daughter, Somah, who has worked with the group and has rallied against fossil fuel development.

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Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

State media in Somalia are reporting that security forces have ended an hourslong extremist attack on a beachside hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, that began Friday night. There was no immediate word Saturday on any deaths. Al-Qaida's East Africa affiliate, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack. The Somalia-based extremist group is known for carrying out attacks on hotels and other high-profile locations in Mogadishu, usually starting with a suicide bombing. Witnesses had told The Associated Press that some people were trapped inside the Pearl Beach hotel, which is popular with government officials. The Lido Beach area is one of Mogadishu's most popular.

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Renowned photographer and artist Roger Ballen is staging an art exhibition in the heart of Johannesburg that is addressing the destruction of African wildlife and the relationship between humans and animals on the continent. From the killing of elephants in the 18th century that began the ivory trade to the decimation of the rhino population from hunting, Ballen argues through his provocative art installations and multimedia artworks that humans remain at the forefront of the destruction of African wildlife. The exhibition continues to draw crowds nearly three months after it first went on display.

Exiting from the pandemic, the assumption might be students who returned quickly to in-person learning might be the least scathed academically. But the upheaval still took a toll, even in tiny rural communities like Columbus, Kansas. Three years later, an elementary school teacher has more third graders than ever who are reading below grade level. Third grade typically is the last year students are taught to read. The school adopted a science-backed phonics curriculum during the pandemic — the kind gaining momentum nationwide — and is using it to help kids catch up. "I have kids," one teacher said midway through the year, "that legitimately cannot read."

Pinch-hitter Nico Hoerner hit a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh to back Marcus Stroman's fifth straight winning start, and the Chicago Cubs rallied to beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2 to snap a four-game losing streak.Stroman (7-4) has won each time out since a loss at Minnesota on May 14. He allowed two runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings, struck out five and walked four in his team-leading 14th start of the year. Joc Pederson had four hits for the Giants against his former club.

It seems everyone from the structural engineer to city officials to tenants had concerns about the 116-year-old Davenport apartment building. But no one ordered residents out, and it was only when a section of the six-story building tumbled to the ground on May 28 that everyone seemed to connect the dots. By then, three men were dead, about 50 tenants were left homeless and the city was faced with one of its taller buildings at risk of crumbling in the heart of its downtown. Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said, "I don't know that anyone can anticipate a building collapsing." Maybe not, but what is clear is that while many people anticipated trouble, no one took definitive action to prevent it.

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The biggest Pride parade in New England returns to Boston Saturday after a three-year hiatus. Organizers say this year's focus will be less on corporate backing and more on social justice and inclusion. The parade's return comes at a time of growing hostility toward members of the LGBTQ+ community in some parts of the country. This year marks the first time since 2019 that the parade will be held. The hiatus was due only in part to COVID-19 restrictions. The organization that used to run the event dissolved in 2021 amid criticism from some in the LGBTQ community that it excluded racial minorities and transgender people.

Legislative debates can be stuffy. This year's session in Nebraska was more like reality TV, featuring culture-war rhetoric and open hostility. Nebraskans couldn't get enough of it, tuning in constantly and sending thousands of comments to their state senators. Viewership soared as attention focused on a filibuster by Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, who tried to shut down restrictions on transgender health care. The drama peaked when Sen. Julie Slama hobbled in from a hospital to cast a deciding vote to restrict abortion and transgender care. Protesters howled outside the chamber. Nebraskans now must wait until January 2024 for the next season.

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Former President Donald Trump's indictment on charges of mishandling classified documents is set to play out in federal court in Florida. But thousands of miles away in Washington, part of Trump's defense is well underway in a different venue — the halls of Congress, where Republicans have been preparing for months to wage an aggressive counter-offensive against the Justice Department. The federal indictment against Trump unsealed Friday includes 37 counts, including allegations that the former president intentionally possessed classified documents, showed them off to visitors, willfully defied Justice Department demands to return them and made false statements about them.

Yu Darvish pitched into the sixth inning to earn his 100th career win and was backed by five home runs as the San Diego Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 9-6. Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Gary Sánchez, Trent Grisham and Brandon Dixon all went deep to help the Padres win consecutive games for the first time since May 25-26. Darvish (5-4) earned the benchmark victory after allowing four earned runs and five hits while striking out six and walking four in 5 1/3 innings. Jake Cronenworth had his second-consecutive three-hit game for San Diego after batting just .198 in his first 60 games of the season. Josh Hader picked up his 14th save of the season.

Shohei Ohtani homered and had three hits, but did not factor in the decision after allowing three runs in five innings, Mickey Moniak hit the go-ahead, two-run homer and the Los Angeles Angels extended their winning streak to five with a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night. It was the seventh time, and second this season, the Japanese two-way superstar has homered in a game where he has also pitched. Two of Moniak's five homers this season have ended up being the game-winning hit. Jarred Kelenic and Mike Ford homered for the Mariners, who have dropped five of their last six.

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Bennett Thompson hit two home runs, Drew Cowley singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning and Oregon rallied from an eight-run deficit to beat Oral Roberts 9-8, snapping the Golden Eagles’ 21-game win streak. Oregon (41-20), which won the second regional title in program history last week, can punch its ticket to the College World Series with a win over Oral Roberts (49-12) on Saturday in the best-of-3 series. The Ducks have made only one previous CWS appearance — in 1954. They lost both games. The Golden Eagles have to win Saturday and Sunday to advance to their second CWS and first since 1978.

Four Indigenous children survived an Amazon plane crash that killed three adults and then wandered on their own in the jungle for 40 days before being found alive by Colombian soldiers. The announcement of their rescue on Friday brought a happy ending to a saga that had seized the attention of many Colombians, a watch with highs and lows as searchers frantically combed through the rainforest hunting for the youngsters. President Gustavo Petro celebrated the news upon returning from Cuba and said the children were getting medical attention and he hoped to talk with them Saturday. No details have been released on how the four siblings aged 13, 9, 4 and 11 months managed to survive on their own for so long, though they belong to an Indigenous group that lives in the remote region.

Once again, the Miami Heat are facing elimination. The question now is if they have enough left in the tank to overcome it. The team whose improbable run from the play-in tournament to the NBA Finals has kept finding ways to win. No matter the opponent, no matter the adversity, finding a way when their backs were against the wall has been part of the Heat's identity in these playoffs. But the Heat seem to have met an opponent in Denver that is too good and too deep. The eighth-seeded Heat are on the brink of elimination after Friday's 108-95 loss in Game 4, falling into a 3-1 hole as the series heads back to Denver.

Trump set for first public appearances since federal indictment, speaking in Georgia, North Carolina

Two passenger planes have accidentally touched each other on a runway at a major Tokyo airport. No injuries were reported in the incident on Saturday. Japanese media reports said a Thai Airways International jet headed to Bangkok made contact with an Eva Airways plane headed to Taipei at Haneda airport, and the runway was subsequently closed. TBS TV News showed footage of two commercial jets stopped on the same runway. The airlines, the airport and Japan's Transport Ministry were not immediately available for comment and did not answer repeated calls. The cause of the accident was not clear. Some flights were delayed. A winglet may have been damaged on one of the planes, reports said.

UN aid chief says Ukraine faces `hugely worse' humanitarian situation after the dam rupture

Will Brennan doubled home Tyler Freeman immediately after Freeman's RBI double in the 14th inning, and the Cleveland Guardians outlasted the Houston Astros 10-9. The Guardians fell behind 4-0 in the second inning and never led until Brennan's game-ending hit. Cleveland tied it at 5-5, 6-6, 7-7 and 8-8, but Houston pushed back ahead by one run each time. The Astros made it 9-8 in the 14th when Kyle Tucker singled in automatic runner Jose Altuve. Xzavion Curry pitched one inning for the Guardians, who played their major league-high 30th one-run game. Seth Martinez worked the final 3 1/3 innings for the Astros.

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Ramón Laureano hit a two-run triple, Jonah Bride also drove in a pair of runs and the Oakland Athletics beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Friday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season. The Athletics (15-50) entered the day having put together the worst 64-game start by any team since the 1982 Minnesota Twins also went 14-50, but they’ve won their last three games by a combined score of 25-9. All three of those wins have come away from home. The Athletics — planning to move to Las Vegas — had lost 15 straight road games before this streak. After winning 11-2 and 9-5 in the final two games of a series at Pittsburgh, the Athletics carried that momentum into Milwaukee.

Former President Donald Trump is set to make his first public appearances since his federal indictment. He is speaking on Saturday to friendly Republican audiences in Georgia and North Carolina as he seeks to rally his supporters to his defense. Trump is expected to use state party conventions in the two states to amplify his assertions that he is the victim of a politically motivated prosecution by President Joe Biden's Justice Department. His appearances will come a day after a 37-count felony indictment was unsealed accusing the president of willfully defying government demands to return documents he had taken and enlisting aides in his efforts to hide the records.

More changes could be coming to voting districts in some states. The 2022 elections marked the first using new districts for Congress and state capitols that were drawn from updated census data. But they could be short-lived in some places. That's because court challenges could force some states to redraw districts again before the 2024 elections. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a ruling that Alabama's congressional districts should be redrawn to enhance Black voting strength. That ruling also could lead to new House districts in Louisiana, and potentially Georgia. Some other places in line for new districts include New York, North Carolina and Ohio.

Donald Trump stored, showed off and refused to return classified documents, indictment says

A Florida organization is helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental and physical ailments get back into the civilian world. The Boca Raton-based Grey Team has worked with more than 700 veterans since its founding seven years ago. The center uses a 90-day program of exercise and high-tech machines to help the veterans. Co-founder Cary Reichbach says the center is performing magic. Several of his clients agree, saying they feel better mentally and physically. One 81-year-old Vietnam vet has gone from a walker to a cane and hopes to jog 3 miles soon. Yet one expert in veterans health is skeptical of the program's selective participant pool and high-tech machines.

June 3 - June 9, 2023

Americans may not like political gridlock, but a new Associated Press analysis indicates that the closely divided Congress relatively accurately reflects the desires of voters. The AP used a statistical formula designed to detect political gerrymandering to analyze the outcome of the 2022 elections. The results show that Republicans won just one more seat than would have been expected based on the average share of the vote they received nationwide. That's essentially a political wash — and sharp contrast to the significant edge the GOP enjoyed the previous decade. The 2022 elections marked the first under new districts drawn based on the 2020 census.

The Denver Nuggets keep getting major contributions from unlikely sources in the NBA Finals. The latest came from Bruce Brown who scored 21 points off the bench in Denver's 108-95 victory in Game 4 that put them up 3-1 on the Miami Heat in the series. The Nuggets are now one victory away from their first championship in franchise history. But they would not have gotten here if not for rookie Christian Braun scoring 15 points in Game 3 two nights earlier. Brown was crucial to Denver on Friday night when Nikola Jokic exited in the fourth quarter because of foul trouble.

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