AP News in Brief at 6:04 a.m. EST


Clinton, Sanders tangle on economy in Democratic debate

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tangled aggressively on economic issues in a Democratic presidential debate over trade, Wall Street influence and more.

Clinton accused him of turning his back on the auto industry and Sanders countered in the Sunday night debate that Clinton’s friends on Wall Street had “destroyed this economy.”

It was a marked change in tone for the two Democrats, signaling Sanders’ increasingly difficult effort to slow the momentum of the party’s front-runner. Both candidates frequently interrupted one another and accused each other of misrepresenting their records.

“Let’s have some facts instead of some rhetoric for a change,” Clinton snapped at Sanders at one point.

“Let me tell my story, you tell yours,” Sanders shot back at another. “Your story is voting for every disastrous trade amendment and voting for corporate America.”

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AP FACT CHECK: Misfires on Wall Street, poverty in debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton had more regard for Wall Street movers and shakers than she acknowledged when claiming she scolded the financial industry for “wrecking the economy.” The criticism she leveled at Wall Street came mixed with praise — and thanks for the political donations.

Bernie Sanders, like his Democratic presidential rival, understated what officials in Michigan are doing about the Flint water crisis, and said white people don’t know what it’s like to live in poverty.

A look at some of the claims in the debate Sunday night, staged in Flint:

CLINTON: “I went to Wall Street when I was a United States senator. I told them they were wrecking the economy. I asked for a moratorium on foreclosures. I asked that we do more to try to prevent what I worried was going to happen.”

THE FACTS: In the same speech she is referring to, she praised Wall Street and thanked the “wonderful donors” in the audience — while urging changes in behavior.

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10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. A MARKED CHANGE IN TONE FOR HILLARY CLINTON AND BERNIE SANDERS

Both candidates frequently interrupted one another and accused each other of misrepresenting their records at the Democratic presidential debate.

2. NORTH KOREA AGAIN THREATENS NUCLEAR STRIKES ON U.S. AND SOUTH KOREA

The latest belligerent threat came in response to the start of huge U.S.-South Korean military drills.

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Analysis: Don’t dismiss, or panic over, N. Korea threats

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — When North Korea makes threats to nuke its enemies, as it has twice over the last several days, outsiders often have one of two reactions: to dismiss it as yet another example of empty propaganda or to panic.

There are good reasons to do neither. There are many ways the North can retaliate that fall short of war, nuclear or conventional.

North Korea’s latest warning came Monday in response to the beginning of annual South Korean-U.S. military drills, and included vows to turn its enemies into “seas in flames and ashes” with nuclear missiles aimed at South Korea, U.S. bases in the Pacific and the U.S. mainland.

Pyongyang always responds furiously to the springtime South Korean-U.S. drills, which it views as an invasion rehearsal. This year’s drills are the largest ever, meant to respond to the North’s recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing unidentified military sources, reported that the allies will work on drills for precision attacks on North Korean leadership and its nuclear and missile arsenal in the event of war.

The first thing to keep in mind is that Pyongyang’s near-term nuclear warnings are mostly bluff; more of a strong deterrent that Pyongyang can use in its propaganda, rather than an actual sign of imminent war.

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Nancy Reagan remembered for her forceful, private style

NEW YORK (AP) — Unlike other presidential wives, Nancy Reagan didn’t testify before Congress about health care, celebrate controversial Supreme Court decisions or sit in on Cabinet meetings.

“She never emerged as a political player in her own right. Nor did she seek to,” says historian David Greenberg, the author of “Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency.”

“On the other hand, neither did she confine herself to the domestic sphere. And by taking an active role in her husband’s business, she helped to reconcile conservatism to the reality of women’s changing roles. Her views may have been conservative, but her political involvement implied that it wasn’t improper for women to participate in what conservatives considered the man’s sphere.”

Reagan, who died Sunday at 94, wasn’t out to break the rules of being first lady. But she knew well how to work within them. Ronald Reagan had promised to champion conservative values when elected in 1980, and Nancy Reagan was in some ways a throwback to a more old-fashioned approach. Her immediate predecessor, Rosalynn Carter, had attended Cabinet meetings. Betty Ford had spoken candidly about gun control, premarital sex and her surgery for breast cancer and praised the ruling of Roe v. Wade, when the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to abortion, as “the best thing in the world.” In the 1990s, Hillary Clinton would try (and fail) to overhaul the country’s health care system.

Nancy Reagan’s most public issue was more in line with expectations for first ladies: her “Just Say No” to drugs campaign, which she launched after a schoolgirl asked what to do if someone offered her drugs. The effectiveness of “Just Say No” remains in dispute, but it became a catchphrase (and punchline) for the 1980s and part of an effort that included drug-free zones and “zero tolerance” policies in schools. Reagan herself gave speeches and even made a cameo appearance on the NBC sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes.”

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Iraqi refugees return after Europe disappoints

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq (AP) — Surkaw Omar and Rebien Abdullah quit their jobs and spent their life savings to migrate to Europe, only to find crowded asylum camps, hunger and freezing weather. Now back home in northern Iraq, they describe their quest for a better life as a disaster.

They each spent some $8,000 on the trip, much of it on smugglers, only to get stuck in asylum-seekers’ camps in Germany and Sweden for months on end, where they say they were given very little food or money.

“It was very bad,” Omar, 25, said of the German camp. “Honestly, we were starving there. We ran away because of hunger. They gave us only cheese and tea, and our weekly allowance was 30 euros.”

They decided to try their luck in Sweden instead, but that didn’t work either.

“When we arrived there, it was winter. It was freezing. They put me in a room with three Syrians. I couldn’t speak Arabic and they couldn’t speak Kurdish. We were communicating like deaf people,” Omar said. After trying Germany one more time, they gave up.

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Possible Supreme Court pick championed black history museum

WASHINGTON (AP) — To remind him of some of the work done by potential Supreme Court nominee Robert L. Wilkins, all President Barack Obama has to do is look down the street from the White House to the nearly completed National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Wilkins was instrumental in advocating for the museum, which is set to open in September, quitting his job as a public defender to push for it and later serving on a presidential commission whose work led to its creation.

Now a judge on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Wilkins has credentials that would make him an attractive nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last month. A native of Muncie, Indiana, who was raised by a single mother, he graduated from Harvard Law School and spent a decade as a public defender in Washington.

As a young lawyer, Wilkins also became known for his role in a landmark lawsuit about racial profiling. The class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union came about after Wilkins and three family members were stopped by a Maryland State Police trooper in 1992 while driving back from his grandfather’s funeral and detained for a search by a drug-sniffing dog.

The state police were accused of using race as a factor in stopping and searching cars. The case was ultimately settled, with the police agreeing to prevent racial profiling and to compile and publish data about traffic highway stops and searches, including the motorists’ race. A follow-up case he was involved in ultimately pushed the state to do even more to combat racial profiling.

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With ‘Downton Abbey’ ending, 10 favorite bygone finales

NEW YORK (AP) — Now that we know our “Downton Abbey” friends are (mostly) happy and healthy, we can part with this splendid series satisfied that it has ended in fine fashion.

Among the finale’s reassuring milestones (beware: spoiler alert!):

The habitually forlorn Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and Bates (Brendan Coyle) found happiness, at last, in parenthood with the birth of a healthy baby boy.

Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) buried the hatchet with her sister, arranging for Edith (Laura Carmichael) to cross paths with Bertie (Harry Hadden-Paton), who then asked for Edith’s hand, and the wedding bells chimed. Separately, magazine editor Edith decided to expand to a full page the red-hot column penned by Spratt (Jeremy Swift) in this butler’s unlikely new sideline as a romance adviser.

Mary’s new hubby Henry (Matthew Goode) teamed up with Tom (Allen Leech) to go into business together selling cars.

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Manning changed the way we play, and watch, football

To find the true measure of what Peyton Manning meant to football, don’t bother poring over the highlights from his record 186 wins, or re-watching either of his Super Bowl victories, or looking at a single throw he made on his way to a record-setting 71,940 passing yards over 18 seasons.

Instead, simply wait ’til September. When it comes, pick any weekend, turn on any game — pro, college, high school — and watch quarterbacks lining up in the shotgun, changing plays at the line of scrimmage, dissecting defenses at will and rolling up numbers that were once deemed unthinkable.

All those quarterbacks are doing what Manning showed was possible. He created the passing game as we know it in 2016 and, in turn, forced defenses to adapt and disguise and get better. He won as much with his mind as his arm, and put as much work into Monday through Friday as he did when he suited up on Sunday.

“It’s not to say audibles didn’t exist before Peyton Manning came around, because they did,” said Tim Hasselbeck, the former NFL quarterback who is now an analyst for ESPN. “But he’d go to the line of scrimmage with the ability to get to the play that would be best for the defense out there. You look around the league at what other teams were trying to do, and they were trying to emulate what Peyton Manning was doing as a quarterback.”

Set on the notion that every defense had a weak spot, the Colts-turned-Broncos quarterback spent hours analyzing them, the way a wealth manager looks at stocks. Then, on Sundays, he tore them apart. His calls of “Omaha, Omaha” — whatever that meant — were as frustrating to the defenses as they were entertaining to those counting along at home.

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Cuban entrepreneurs quietly build network of private schools

HAVANA (AP) — “This is a conversation between two children,” Graciela Lage Delgado tells a rapt class of third-graders, tightly enunciating each English word from a textbook called “Welcome to America.”

“Is it a TV?” Lage asks in a girl’s voice, pointing to an illustration of a boxy silver robot.

“No, it’s not!” the kids shout back in English. “It’s a robot!”

The kids in Lage’s class wear sweat shirts and jeans, not the neat maroon uniforms of Cuba’s public schools. Their classroom has an air conditioner and a computer with speakers for watching videos, unimaginable in a state school. And unlike most Cubans their age, the children can hold simple conversations in English, thanks to fast-moving, profound change in an important pillar of Cuba’s six-decade-old socialist system.

Cuba touts its free, public kindergarten-to-post-grad schools as one of the jewels of its revolution, a force for social equality that virtually wiped out illiteracy across the island and gave even the poorest citizens a shot at educations often superior to wealthier countries’. As the government has allowed an explosion of private businesses ranging from restaurants to car washes, the school system, like health care, has remained under state control. Private schools remain illegal except for children of diplomats and foreign business people. Even the Catholic Church cannot open parochial schools.

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