05/26/2019

Trump downplays North Korea launches on Japan visit

US President Donald Trump was helped by a sumo official as he presented the President’s Cup to sumo wrestler Asanoyama (Brendan SMIALOWSKI)Tokyo (AFP) – US President Donald Trump Sunday downplayed recent North Korean missile launches as he teed off a state visit to Japan with a round of golf and a t

05/26/2019

Former manager of Marvel’s Stan Lee arrested for elder abuse

Lee had been the victim in an elder abuse investigation that began in March 2018 (Frazer Harrison)Los Angeles (AFP) – Late Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee’s former manager was arrested in Arizona on Saturday in connection with allegations of elder abuse, fraud, theft and false imprisonment, Los Angele

05/26/2019

Japanese sumo vs Trump’s WWE: big differences in clash of big men

The revered sport of sumo is steeped in centuries-old traditions, starting with the sipping of sacred water and the sprinkling of purifying salt before a bout (Charly TRIBALLEAU)Tokyo (AFP) – President Donald Trump will be ringside Sunday for Tokyo’s big sumo tournament, but if he hopes his longtim

05/26/2019

Trump tees up Japan summit with Abe golf match

US President Donald Trump and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe headed to the golf course before scheduled official talks (Brendan SMIALOWSKI)Chiba (Japan) (AFP) – US President Donald Trump teed off Sunday with “golf buddy” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the pair relaxed before official talks likely to

05/26/2019

Counter-protesters drown out white supremacist rally in Ohio

The Dayton chapter of the Black Panthers protest against a small group from the KKK-affiliated Honorable Sacred Knights in Dayton, Ohio, May 25, 2019 (Seth HERALD)Washington (AFP) – Less than a dozen people affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group were drowned out by hundreds of coun

05/25/2019

Trump urges fairer trade with Japan at start of state visit

Trump’s visit is expected to focus on trade and North Korea but also cement US-Japanese ties (Brendan Smialowski)Tokyo (AFP) – President Donald Trump Saturday vowed to make the US trade relationship with Japan a “little bit more fair”, as he kicked off a four-day visit to Tokyo aimed at cementing ti

05/25/2019

Britain’s Beecham joins A-list with Cannes best actress win

Beecham has spent most of her career in supporting roles (Valery HACHE)Cannes (France) (AFP) – Britain’s Emily Beecham has been catapulted into the movie big time by winning best actress at the Cannes film festival for playing an enigmatic scientist in “Little Joe”.Beecham, who has spent most of her

05/25/2019

Bikers stage last ‘Rolling Thunder’ to honor missing US soldiers

A crowd of motorcyclists gathered at the Washington National Cathedral at the start of Memorial Day weekend for the “Blessing of the Bikes” before the main ride on May 26, 2019 (Eva HAMBACH)Washington (AFP) – Thousands of bikers, many of them Vietnam War veterans, converged Saturday on the US capita

05/25/2019

Former WWII Navajo code talker, lawmaker Pinto dead at 94

New Mexico State Senator John Pinto, who served as a Navajo code talker during World War II, has died at age 94, his party announced (HO)Los Angeles (AFP) – John Pinto, a Navajo code talker during World War II who went on to a long career as a Democratic state lawmaker in New Mexico, has died at age

05/25/2019

US hiker found after two weeks lost in Hawaii forest

Found hiker Amanda Eller (2nd L) is seen with her rescuers, (L-R) Javier Cantellops, Troy Helmer and Chris Berquist, on May 24, 2019, at Makawao Forest Reserve on the Hawaiian island of Maui (Javier CANTELLOPS)Los Angeles (AFP) – An American yoga instructor who spent two weeks lost in the wilds of

05/25/2019

Trump arrives for sumo summit with Abe

Trump’s visit is expected to focus on trade and North Korea but also cement US-Japanese ties (Brendan Smialowski)Tokyo (AFP) – US President Donald Trump arrived in Japan Saturday for a four-day state visit likely to be dominated by warm words and friendly images, but relatively light on substantive

05/25/2019

US judge blocks Mississippi ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban

More than a dozen states have adopted laws banning or drastically curtailing access to abortion which was legalized in the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court ruling Roe v Wade (Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)Washington (AFP) – A US federal judge Friday blocked Mississippi’s strict abortion law which would ha

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US judge deals blow to Trump’s border wall plans

US President Donald Trump declared an emergency in a bid to bypass Congress to obtain money for border wall construction after a standoff over funding for the project led to the longest government shutdown in US history (Guillermo Arias)Washington (AFP) – A US federal judge dealt a blow Friday to Pr

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Opera singers prepare like Olympic athletes for ‘Tosca’ in Washington

Italian tenor Riccardo Massi, left, performs as Cavaradossi on stage with bass Wei Wu as the sacristan in Washington National Opera’s (WNO) production of ‘Tosca’ at the Kennedy Center in Washington on May 22, 2019 (Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)Washington (AFP) – On the eve of every performance, Riccard

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‘A long ride’: 50 years ago, a dress rehearsal for the Moon landing

The Apollo 10 mission became synonymous with Snoopy and Charlie Brown in the minds of the public, because the three-man crew named their lunar module and command module after the iconic cartoon characters (Handout)Washington (AFP) – As Earth grew ever smaller below his spacecraft, Apollo 10 commande

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Trump, Abe to burnish ties over golf, sumo and steak

The relationship between Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe has been hailed as ‘unprecedented’ by Japanese and US officials (Handout)Tokyo (AFP) – US President Donald Trump arrives in Japan on Saturday for a four-day trip likely to be dominated by warm words and friendly images, but light on substantive pr

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US judge suspended for anti-Trump comments

A US judge has been suspended by the Utah state supreme court after making derogatory comments about Donald Trump (Brendan Smialowski)Los Angeles (AFP) – A US judge has been suspended for six months without pay after making derogatory comments about Donald Trump, including criticizing his “inability

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Does Assange indictment set dangerous precedent for journalists?

For many, “freedom of speech is unconditional,” as the placard says, and that includes for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (MUNIR UZ ZAMAN)New York (AFP) – Does the indictment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the US Espionage Act for publishing classified military and diplomatic documents

05/25/2019

Young orchestra musicians bridge US-Cuba divide

James Ross (C) conducts the Cuban American Youth Orchestra during a rehearsal at Havana’s National Theater (ADALBERTO ROQUE)Havana (AFP) – Baton in hand, conductor James Ross mixes English and Spanish to set the rhythm for his orchestra of young Cuban and American musicians playing in a convivial at

05/25/2019

Trump move to declassify Russia intel draws sharp criticism

US President Donald Trump says the Russia meddling investigation was a “hoax” (JIM WATSON )Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump is defending his unprecedented decision to give his Justice Department chief unfettered access to the country’s deepest foreign intelligence secrets amid an outcry fro

05/25/2019

Record number of US black women graduating from West Point

34 young black women, pictured May 7, are to graduate from prestigious West Point, the US military academy (Hallie H. Pound)Washington (AFP) – They pose proudly in uniform, swords in hand: 34 young black women are set to graduate from West Point on Saturday, a record for the prestigious US military

05/25/2019

Life in prison for ‘evil’ loner who kidnapped US teen, killed parents

Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, is pictured in this police booking photo released on January 11, 2019, by the Barron County Sheriff’s Department in Wisconsin (HO)Chicago (AFP) – Calling him the “embodiment of evil,” a US judge on Friday sentenced a 21-year-old man to life in prison for murdering a coupl

05/25/2019

US plans rollback of transgender healthcare protections

The US Department of Health and Human Services proposed removing a provision of the Affordable Care Act that defined discrimination “on the basis of sex” to include gender identity (Yana Paskova)Washington (AFP) – US President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday announced plans to roll back anti

05/25/2019

Weinstein accusers poised to see first compensation as trial looms

Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein (C) — seen at his last court appearance on April 26, 2019 — is due to go on trial for sex assault in September 2019 (Don Emmert)New York (AFP) – Harvey Weinstein and his former studio partners have reportedly reached a tentative settlement with women who fil