French put pro-EU Macron into presidency, dash Le Pen hopes
PARIS (AP) — Ripping up France’s political map, French voters elected independent centrist Emmanuel Macron as the country’s youngest president Sunday, delivering a resounding victory to the unabashedly pro-European former investment banker and dashing the populist dream of far-right rival Marine Le Pen.
Macron, who had never run for office before, celebrated with thousands of jubilant, flag-waving supporters outside the Louvre Museum in Paris on Sunday night.
The European anthem “Ode to Joy” played as he strode out to address the swelling crowd.
“France has won!” he said. “Everyone said it was impossible. But they do not know France!”
Marine Le Pen, his far-right opponent in the runoff, quickly called the 39-year-old Macron to concede after voters rejected her “French-first” nationalism by a large margin. Le Pen’s performance punctured her hopes that the populist wave which swept Donald Trump into the White House and led Britain to vote to leave the EU would also carry her to France’s presidential Elysee Palace.
Analysis: Despite Le Pen’s loss, European populism lives on
PARIS (AP) — It’s a triple-whammy. The last six months have seen three European elections and three defeats for far-right populists. The tempting conclusion is that populism’s destructive ability to dismantle old worlds without having credible blueprints for building new ones has been contained for now — at least in western Europe.
In Austria, in the Netherlands and now in France, not only were there no cigars for Norbert Hofer, Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen, but they got, at best, no closer than sniffing distance to power. Hofer came nearest, with 46 percent of the vote for Austria’s presidency in December. Le Pen lost by a projected 30 percentage points in Sunday’s presidential runoff to Emmanuel Macron, an economically liberal, socially responsive middle-way pro-European.
European moderates and the political establishment can release the breath they’ve been holding. The populist contagion that convinced 52 percent of Britons last year that their future would be brighter outside the European Union and made working-class Americans believe that a reality TV star would champion their interests from the White House has been kept offshore, quarantined, away from the heart of mainland Europe.
But for how long?
Despite the electoral setbacks, populism is down but not out, still growing in strength and influence.
Banker, economic adviser and now youngest French president
PARIS (AP) — Emmanuel Macron has been a star student, a champion of France’s tech startup movement, an investment banker and economy minister.
But the man who will become France’s youngest president has never held elected office. After a campaign based on promises to revive the country through pro-business and pro-European policies, the 39-year-old centrist independent defeated far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen and her protectionist, anti-immigration party.
In his victory speech, Macron vowed to “rebuild the relationship between Europe and the peoples that make it.” He pledged to open a new page for France based on hope and “restored confidence.”
It won’t be his first experience in the challenge of reforming France.
He quit his job as a banker at Rothschild to become Socialist President Francois Hollande’s economic adviser, working for two years by Hollande’s side at the presidential palace.
Texas governor signs ban on so-called ‘sanctuary cities’
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday night signed what he calls a ban on so-called “sanctuary cities” that allows police to ask about a person’s immigration status and threatens sheriffs with jail if they don’t cooperate with federal authorities. He did so over intense opposition from immigrant-rights groups and Democrats, who say the law echoes Arizona’s immigration crackdown in 2010 that prompted national controversy and lawsuits.
Abbott, a Republican in his first term, took the unusual step of signing the bill on Facebook with no public notice in advance. He said Texas residents expect lawmakers to “keep us safe” and said similar laws have already been tested in federal court, where opponents have said the bill likely will be immediately challenged.
“Let’s face it, the reason why so many people come to America is because we are a nation of laws and Texas is doing its part to keep it that way,” Abbott said. His spokesman, John Wittman, later said they chose to sign the bill on a Facebook livestream because that’s “where most people are getting their news nowadays.”
The bill cleared a final hurdle this week in the Republican-controlled Legislature over objections from Democrats and immigrant rights supporters who’ve packed the Texas Capitol. They call it a “show-me-your-papers” measure that will be used to discriminate against Latinos.
Every major police chief in Texas opposed the bill. Republicans say it is needed to ensure local jails honor requests from federal officials to keep dangerous offenders behind bars.
Family sues Texas officer, department in 15-year-old’s death
DALLAS (AP) — The family of a black 15-year-old shot and killed by a white suburban Dallas police officer has sued the officer and his department, accusing the department of inadequately training the officer and ignoring warning signs that he was prone to erratic behavior.
Jordan Edwards’ funeral was Saturday, one week after he was shot dead in a vehicle leaving a house party in Balch Springs, Texas. According to the Edwards family’s lawyers, Officer Roy Oliver fired his rifle at the vehicle as it was driving away, piercing a passenger-side window and striking Edwards.
Oliver was fired last week and arrested on a murder charge.
The lawsuit, filed Friday, says police should have known Oliver had “exhibited a pattern of escalating encounters with the public,” including a prosecutor’s complaint about his aggressive behavior detailed in personnel records. The complaint said prosecutors had a hard time getting Oliver to attend a trial and used language vulgar enough that one prosecutor sent an intern out of the room. Oliver received a 16-hour suspension over the complaint.
But the lawsuit also blames Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber and the department for having “failed to provide adequate training to Oliver on appropriate methods and techniques to control situations similar to the one” that occurred on the night of April 29, when police were called to investigate underage drinking at a chaotic house party with dozens of teenagers.
Trump pushes Senate Republicans to act on health care bill
BRANCHBURG, N.J. (AP) — President Donald Trump urged Senate Republicans on Sunday to “not let the American people down,” as the contentious debate over overhauling the U.S. health care systems shifts to Congress’ upper chamber, where a vote is potentially weeks, if not months, away.
Some senators have already voiced displeasure with the health care bill that cleared the House last week, with Republicans providing all the “yes” votes in the 217-213 count. They cited concerns about potential higher costs for older people and those with pre-existing conditions, along with cuts to Medicaid.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate Republican whose vote will be critical to getting a bill to Trump’s desk and who voiced similar concerns, said the Senate would not take up the House bill.
“The Senate is starting from scratch. We’re going to draft our bill, and I’m convinced we will take the time to do it right,” she said.
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, also said the version that gets to the president will likely differ from the House measure. Such a scenario would then force the House and Senate to work together to forge a compromise bill that both houses can support.
Nigeria leader meets Chibok girls, leaves for medical trip
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed joy Sunday night at meeting with the 82 Chibok schoolgirls newly freed from Boko Haram extremists — then jolted the country by announcing he was leaving for London immediately for medical checkups as fears for his health continue.
“We’ve always made it clear that we will do everything in our power to ensure the freedom & safe return of our daughters” and all captives of Boko Haram, Buhari said on his Twitter account.
Minutes later, the 74-year-old president startled Africa’s most populous nation with the news of his departure. Buhari, who has missed three straight weekly Cabinet meetings, spent a month and a half in London on medical leave earlier this year and said he’d never been as sick in his life. The exact nature of his illness remained unclear.
“There is no cause for worry” about this latest medical leave, a statement from his office said, adding that the length of Buhari’s stay in London will be determined by his doctors.
Photos released by the government showed the rail-thin president standing and addressing the Chibok schoolgirls at his official residence Sunday evening, a day after their release.
Cuts put spotlight on student race questions on school forms
LOS ANGELES (AP) — After volunteering at her children’s Los Angeles middle school for nearly a decade, Carol Convey was told the number of teachers suddenly would be cut.
The problem? The school now had too many white students.
To Convey, the diverse, multiethnic community looked no different from before, so she began to wonder whether her neighbors had changed, or only how they identified on paper.
The question has sparked a lively debate in the country’s second-largest school district, which under a decades-old court settlement aimed at desegregation provides additional staffing when more than 70 percent of students hailing from the surrounding neighborhood are not white.
Across the country, school districts have long grappled with desegregation and pursued a range of policies including changing boundaries, opening magnet schools and focusing resources on campuses with nonwhite students.
MTV heralds summer viewing season with its Movie & TV Awards
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite glowering skies and dime-size hail stones, MTV on Sunday was heralding the start of the summer viewing season with its Movie & TV Awards.
The red carpet outside Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium was a swamp as luminaries made their water-logged arrival for the shindig. They included award nominee RuPaul, who joked that he was on hand “to find my next job.”
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters arrived trash-talking President Donald Trump, while seven members of the cast from the Netflix hit “Stranger Things” teamed up for interviews arm-in-arm.
A few minutes later, well-heeled stars and their handlers scrambled for cover from a downpour, deserting the carpet.
The entire arrivals area was haphazardly relocated inside, but not before scores of guests and media crews were soaked. (While most awards shows make contingency plans for weather, apparently none was in place.)
LeBron James scores 35 points, Cavaliers sweep Raptors
TORONTO (AP) — LeBron James and the Cavaliers are headed back to a familiar place after sweeping aside another overmatched opponent.
James scored 35 points, Kyrie Irving added 27 and Cleveland swept Toronto, beating the Raptors 109-102 on Sunday to give James his seventh consecutive trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
“It’s rewarding when you can advance,” James said. “It’s not just given to you, you have to go out and earn it. Once again I’m part of a team that’s been able to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s going to be my ninth time in 14 years. I’ll take those numbers.”
Kyle Korver scored 18 points to help the Cavaliers become the first team to win eight straight playoff games the year following a title, and the first team to win eight straight in consecutive postseasons.
“The fact that we play our best basketball in the postseason lets us know that we’re up for the challenge,” said James, who had nine rebounds and six assists.
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