National News

Texas governor: 15 killed in school shooting; gunman dead

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says 15 people were killed in a shooting Tuesday at an elementary school. Abbott says the suspected shooter, an 18-year-old man, also died and was believed to be killed by responding officers. He says 14 children and one teacher were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 85 miles west of San Antonio. Abbott says the shooter had a handgun and possibly a rifle. . It was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history and occurred four years after a gunman fatally shot 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area.

Ohioans got short shrift as political map fight dragged on

Accusations have flown for months over who's to blame for Ohio’s redistricting protracted redistricting predicament. It's been a mess of a political mapmaking fight that has left the state with unsettled political boundaries and no date for its Statehouse primaries. Voting rights groups blame Statehouse Republicans. Lawmakers blame national Democrats and the Ohio Supreme Court. The court implicitly faults the Ohio Redistricting Commission. Commissioners fault census delays. An Associated Press review settled on one key finding: After hundreds of days of time with government statisticians, lawyers, judges and politicians, the public was the group given the least time with the maps.

Lawsuit accuses 3 automakers and parts maker in air bag case

A class action lawsuit is accusing three automakers and a parts manufacturer of knowingly selling vehicles containing air bag inflators that are at risk of exploding. Two deaths and at least four injuries have been linked to such explosions. The federal lawsuit names ARC Automotive Inc. of Knoxville, Tennessee, which made the inflators and sold them to air bag manufacturers. The air bag makers, in turn sold them to General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen, which are named in the lawsuit, too. The five plaintiffs are the owners of vehicles with ARC inflators who contend the defective air bag parts were not disclosed when they made their purchases.

Suspect under arrest in deadly New York City subway shooting

A man has been arrested in an apparently unprovoked fatal shooting aboard a New York City subway train. Andrew Abdullah was taken into custody hours after authorities posted his name and photo on social media and implored the public to help find him. The 25-year-old is expected to face a murder charge in the death of 48-year-old Daniel Enriquez. Enriquez was shot to death while heading to brunch Sunday morning. The fatal shooting came about six weeks after 10 people were shot and wounded in an attack on another subway train.

After Cawthorn's loss, candidate challenge ruling reversed

Days after U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn lost his primary race, a federal appeals court has overturned a judge’s decision that blocked an elections board from examining whether he should be disqualified. Tuesday's ruling by a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came just a week after Cawthorn lost his Republican primary in North Carolina. The judges overturned the decision of a district judge who found a section of the 14th Amendment addressing insurrection and serving in Congress didn’t apply to Cawthorn. Voters who challenged Cawthorn's candidacy cited his speech at a rally before the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot. Cawthorn denies participating in an insurrection.

19 indicted in international drug money laundering scheme

Nineteen people have been indicted in a complex money laundering scheme to move millions of dollars in drug proceeds from Colombian cartels through U.S. banks. Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that the charges brought in Massachusetts are the result of a five-year investigation into the money laundering organization based in Colombia. Authorities say they laundered at least $6 million through the U.S. banking system. Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins says nearly 3,000 kilograms of seized cocaine has been traced back to the money laundering organization.  Rollins says those charged played a variety of roles in the conspiracy, including drug suppliers and dollar purchasers.

Top Southern Baptists plan to release secret list of abusers

Southern Baptist leaders say they will release a secret list of hundreds of pastors and church-affiliated staff members accused of sexual abuse. The announcement comes two days after a scathing 288-page report by Guidepost Solutions that detailed how the committee mishandled sex abuse allegations and stonewalled numerous survivors. Administrators also say they will look into revoking retirement benefits for committee staffers who were involved in the cover-up. Survivors and advocates have long called for a public database of abusers. One of the key recommendations of the report is to create an “Offender Information System.”

Buddhist chaplains on the rise in US, offering broad appeal

Christian clergy have long dominated the chaplaincy in the United States. But the profession is becoming more religiously diverse, and Buddhists are leading the way. Buddhist chaplains say they’re uniquely positioned for the times due to their ability to minister to a wide cultural and religious spectrum. That includes the growing number of Americans who identify as nonreligious. In response to the demand, study and training opportunities for Buddhist chaplains have been established or expanded in recent years at colleges across the country. Nonaccredited certification programs are also popular. And graduates are finding jobs, as institutions eagerly snap them up to diversify staff and appeal more broadly to those they serve.

Judge: Surfside collapse property owners bumped up to $96M

A judge says homeowners with condos in the Florida building that collapsed and killed 98 people nearly a year ago but whose families suffered no loss of life will share at least $96 million from a court settlement. That is in addition to the payout of about $1 billion to be shared by families of the victims of the June 24 collapse in Surfside. The initial amount for property owners was previously set at $83 million, but Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman in Miami agreed at a hearing Tuesday that the higher amount was proper for 136 condo owners in the 12-story building. Meanwhile, state legislative leaders introduced a bill that would require all condominiums higher than three stories statewide to undergo periodic inspections of their structural integrity.

Indiana lawmakers enact trans sports ban with veto override

Republican lawmakers in Indiana have voted to override the GOP governor’s veto of a bill banning transgender females from competing in girls school sports and join more than a dozen other states adopting similar laws. State senators voted 32-15 Tuesday favor of overriding Gov. Eric Holcomb following the same action in a 67-28 vote by the House earlier in the day. Holcomb said the bill didn’t provide for “fairness in K-12 sports” when he unexpectedly vetoed it in March. The American Civil Liberties Union intends to file a lawsuit against what it called “hateful legislation” in hopes of blocking it from taking effect on July 1. Supporters maintain the ban is needed to protect the integrity of girls sports.

Attorney: Police shot man seconds after order to raise hands

A lawyer for the family of a 29-year-old Black man who was fatally shot last month by a Houston police officer said body camera video released Tuesday shows he was given only seconds to raise his hands before he was shot. Jalen Randle was shot April 27 as he exited a vehicle. Officers were trying to arrest him that day because he was wanted on three felony warrants. Police released the video after the family demanded it but officials said they are in the early stages of investigating the shooting. Attorney Ben Crump said the video show Randle had no time to comply with the officer's order before he was shot.

Alabama Gov. Ivey seeking to avoid runoff in crowded primary

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is facing eight challengers in Alabama's Republican primary Tuesday, and the question is whether a hard swing to the right will help her avoid a runoff. Ivey has repeated former President Donald Trump's false claims about election theft in 2020, and she aired a commercial showing her pulling a pistol out of her purse. But challengers including former Trump ambassador Lindy Blanchard and Tim James accuse her of not being conservative enough. A runoff will be held June 21 if no one gets at least 50% of the vote. The eventual GOP nominee will face a longshot Democratic challenger in the general election.

Chihuahua found with arrow through neck expected to survive

Southern California authorities say a chihuahua puppy shot through the neck with an arrow in is expected to survive. The Riverside County Animal Services agency says a woman reported to 911 that she found the wounded dog Monday in a neighborhood near Desert Hot Springs after hearing it screaming. The 4-month-old female was brought to veterinarians who determined the arrow did not strike vital arteries and removed it. Animal Services Director Erin Gettis says it is disgusting that someone willfully shot the puppy. Gettis says the agency will continue treating the puppy and work to find her a home.

Pandemic-weary Americans plan for summer despite COVID surge

Surges in COVID-19 cases are causing disruptions in many parts of the U.S., but as the school year wraps up and Americans prepare for their summer vacations, many people have returned to their pre-pandemic routines. Case counts are as high as they’ve been since mid-February, and those figures are likely a major undercount because of unreported positive home test results and asymptomatic infections. An influential modeling group at the University of Washington in Seattle estimates that only 13% of cases are being reported to U.S. health authorities. Yet vaccinations have stagnated and elected officials nationwide seem loath to impose new restrictions.

GOP hopefuls face off in Alabama Senate primary

Party nominations for the seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby will be the top draw on Tuesday's primary ballot. U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, former Shelby aide Katie Boyd Britt, veteran Mike Durant, Lillie Boddie, Karla M. Dupriest and Jake Schafer are seeking the GOP nomination. Former President Donald Trump had initially endorsed Brooks in the race but rescinded that backing in March, citing unhappiness with Brooks’ performance and accusing the conservative congressman of going “woke” for suggesting it was time to move on from Trump’s 2020 election fraud claims. The winner will face the Democratic nominee in November.

Georgia Senate primaries will set up high-stakes showdown

Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker have six challengers between them in Tuesday’s primaries, but the two are already looking ahead to the general election. The GOP is trying to take back the seat Warnock won last year, helping Democrats squeak out a congressional majority. Former President Donald Trump has thrown his heft behind Walker, but five other candidates are hoping to get Walker below the 50% mark needed to avoid a runoff. Warnock's one opponent in the Democratic primary is beauty industry professional Tamara Johnson-Shealey. She has shown few signs of posing a serious threat to him.

Gas wells leak explosive levels of methane in Bakersfield

Residents of Bakersfield are concerned for their health and safety after a state agency found that six idle oil wells near homes were leaking methane in the past several days. State and regional inspectors found concentrations of methane in the air around some of the wells at levels considered potentially explosive and environmental activists in the region are concerned about what other chemicals could be leaking from the wells. Uduak-Joe Ntuk, head of the California Geologic Energy Management division of the California Department of Conservation, the agency that confirmed that wells were leaking, said leaks were “minor in nature and do not pose an immediate threat to public health or safety.”

Kemp, Perdue duel could end with Georgia's GOP primary

Georgia's Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday could bring an end to the faceoff between Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and former U.S. Sen. David Perdue. On the Democratic side, Stacey Abrams is running unopposed and will be crowned as her party's nominee. With three other Republicans running, it’s possible neither Kemp nor Perdue will win a majority, requiring a June 21 runoff. But polling has shown Kemp extending his lead, raising the possibility that the nomination could be settled Tuesday. Perdue was personally courted by former President Donald Trump to enter the race as retribution for Kemp not backing Trump’s effort to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Delaware Gov. John Carney vetoes marijuana legalization bill

Delaware Gov. John Carney has vetoed a bill to legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults for recreational use. Tuesday's veto came after Carney's repeated concerns in recent years about legalizing recreational pot. Those concerns did not dissuade fellow Democrats from pushing the legislation through the General Assembly. Carney said he supports the medical marijuana industry and agrees that decriminalization was appropriate. But he said promoting or expanding the use of recreational marijuana is not in the best interests of the state, and that questions remain about the long-term health, economic and societal impacts of recreational marijuana use.

Stellantis, Samsung plan Indiana electric car battery plant

A joint venture between Stellantis and Samsung plans to build an electric vehicle battery factory in Indiana that will employ up to 1,400 workers and become the company’s second such factory in North America. The venture announced Tuesday aims to spend more than $2.5 billion on the plant in Kokomo that will supply electric battery modules for a range of vehicles produced at Stellantis’ North American assembly plants. The Kokomo plant is expected to open in early 2025. Stellantis formed last year with the merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA Peugeot. It announced in March that it plans to spend $4.1 billion in a joint venture with LG Energy Solution of Korea to build electric vehicle battery factory in Windsor, Ontario.