National & World News

New US hospitals face fiscal crisis over COVID relief money

A handful of U.S. hospitals are facing a financial crisis that officials say was caused by the federal government's rules for pandemic relief money. A trio of hospitals in Alabama, Kansas and New Mexico say they're not getting as much assistance as other hospitals because they're so new they can't prove financial losses from before the pandemic. In rural southwest Alabama, Thomasville Regional Medical Center says it's in danger of closing after just two years. Federal health officials say all three hospitals have gotten some money from the CARES Act, and no health providers are getting all their losses reimbursed.

5-term Idaho attorney general in tough GOP primary battle

Idaho's five-term Republican attorney general has handled the state's legal questions with a strategy he describes as calling legal “balls and strikes.” He's facing two primary challengers who see a more activist role for the office. Lawrence Wasden, a former prosecutor backed by establishment Republicans, is likely in the toughest primary race of his career against former U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador and Art Macomber, a political newcomer who has never held public office. Labrador lost to Republican Gov. Brad Little in the 2018 Republican primary. The attorney general post could be a stepping stone for another gubernatorial run in 2026.      

Idaho governor faces Trump-backed candidate in GOP primary

Idaho Gov. Brad Little is fighting back a Republican primary challenge from his far-right lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin. The intraparty contest between Little and McGeachin is emblematic of the choice GOP voters face nationwide as Idaho’s ascendant far-right tries to take the state’s highest post and expand legislative gains. McGeachin has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and made headlines last year with a power grab when Little was out of state, issuing executive orders that the governor had to overturn. Little decried her actions as an “irresponsible, self-serving political stunt,” while McGeachin accused him of abandoning conservative principles.

Execution for Georgia man who killed girl temporarily stayed

A judge has temporarily delayed the execution of a Georgia man who was scheduled to die Tuesday for killing an 8-year-old girl 46 years ago. Virgil Delano Presnell Jr. killed the girl and raped her 10-year-old friend after abducting them as they walked home from school just outside Atlanta, on May 4, 1976. He was scheduled to die by injection at the state prison in Jackson at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Georgia’s parole board on Monday declined to halt the execution, however lawyers for the Federal Defender Program filed a lawsuit last week and an emergency motion Monday in Fulton County Superior Court. They said the setting of his execution date violates a written agreement with the office of state attorney general that temporarily put executions on hold during the coronavirus pandemic.

AP Exclusive: Black Lives Matter has $42 million in assets

A new, 63-page IRS tax filing shared exclusively with The Associated Press shows the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc. ended its last fiscal year with nearly $42 million in net assets. The foundation spent more than $37 million on grants, real estate, consultants, and other expenses. And it has invested $32 million in stocks from the $90 million it received as donations amid racial justice protests in 2020. Release of this tax filing, the first public accounting of the BLM foundation’s finances since incorporating in 2017, comes on the heels of controversy over its purchase of a $6 million property in Los Angeles.

Buffalo shooter's previous threat raises red-flag questions

A warning about possible violence last year involving the 18-year-old now being held in the Buffalo, New York, supermarket shooting is turning attention to New York's “red flag” law. Such laws are designed to keep firearms away from people who could harm themselves or others. Payton Gendron was still able to legally buy an AR-15-style rifle even though police had investigated a report of concerning behavior. State police say no request was made to remove any firearms. In many cases, family members or law enforcement must petition the court for an order. In New York, educators can also start the process.

AP Exclusive: Black Lives Matter has $42 million in assets

A new, 63-page IRS tax filing shared exclusively with The Associated Press shows the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc. ended its last fiscal year with nearly $42 million in net assets. The foundation spent more than $37 million on grants, real estate, consultants, and other expenses. And it has invested $32 million in stocks from the $90 million it received as donations amid racial justice protests in 2020. Release of this tax filing, the first public accounting of the BLM foundation's finances since incorporating in 2017, comes on the heels of controversy over its purchase of a $6 million property in Los Angeles.

Asian shares advance despite losses on Wall Street

Shares are higher in Asia after another wobbly day on Wall Street extended a losing streak for markets. Hong Kong advanced nearly 2.5% and other benchmarks were moderately higher. Oil prices slipped. On Monday, the S&P 500 failed to hold onto an afternoon gain, losing 0.4%. The benchmark index is coming off a six-week losing streak. Tech companies were among the biggest losers, pulling the Nasdaq down 1.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended barely in the green. Spirit Airlines jumped after JetBlue said it would make a hostile offer for the budget carrier. ManTech surged after investment firm Carlyle Group said it will buy the defense contractor. 

Accused Buffalo gunman followed familiar radicalization path

The white gunman charged in a deadly, racist rampage inside a Buffalo supermarket didn’t need to travel abroad for tactical training, nor did he need to join an organization of like-minded militants who shared his world view. All Payton Gendron needed on his path to radicalization was exposure on the internet to a stew of hate-filled conspiracies, peddled in some cases by white killers whose massacres he had extensively researched online. The 18-year-old now stands accused in a murderous assault that left 10 Black people dead, and the rant-filled diatribe attributed to him fits an all-too-familiar profile — an aggrieved white man driven to violence by racist extremism.

Big cross-border tunnel found linking Tijuana, San Diego

Authorities have announced the discovery of a major drug smuggling tunnel — running about the length of a six football fields — from Mexico to a warehouse in an industrial area in the U.S. The cross-border tunnel from Tijuana to the San Diego area was built in one of the most fortified stretches of the border, illustrating the limitations of border walls. The tunnel discovered Friday includes electricity, ventilation, railway cars and reinforced walls. It may signal a shift from previous tunnels that were used to smuggle marijuana. Six people from Southern California were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Arizona state senator slammed for Buffalo shooting comments

The Arizona Senate has voted to open an ethics investigation into a firebrand Republican member who tweeted inflammatory comments about last weekend’s racist attack at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. But the Senate rejected a bid by minority Democrats to immediately expel Sen. Wendy Rogers for her tweet implying the federal government was behind the Buffalo shooting that left 10 dead. GOP Majority Leader Rick Gray said due process considerations require an ethics probe. Democrats were furious, noting Rogers was censured in March for tweets and statements that embraced white nationalism and called for violence. Rogers said nothing during discussion but later issued a statement saying her tweet had been “taken completely out of context.”

Live updates | Russia-Ukraine War

The head of the world’s largest humanitarian network has some harsh words about Europe’s speedy acceptance of millions of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s aggression. Francesco Rocca says Europe’s actions demonstrate its “double standard” in dealing with people fleeing violence in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere who cross the Mediterannean Sea and are not welcomed. Rocca is president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. He told a news conference Monday he doesn’t think there is any difference between someone fleeing eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region and someone escaping from the Boko Haram extremist group in Nigeria.

Online diary: Buffalo gunman plotted attack for months

Detailed diary entries online appears to show that the white gunman accused of massacring 10 Black people in a racist rampage at a Buffalo supermarket wrote as early as November about staging a livestreamed attack on African Americans. Materials posted on the chat platform Discord also talk about practicing shooting from a car and scout the grocery store in March. The FBI’s top agent in Buffalo, Stephen Belongia, indicated on a call with other officials Monday that investigators are looking at accused killer Payton Gendron’s Discord activity, citing threads about body armor and taunts to federal authorities. The 18-year-old Gendron has pleaded not guilty to murder. Messages were left with his attorneys Monday. No one answered the door at his family's home.  

Death penalty sought in Texas for man who admitted killing 5

Prosecutors in Texas say they will seek the death penalty for a man who authorities have said confessed to killing five people, including three whose dismembered bodies were found in a burning dumpster last year. The Tarrant County district attorney’s office said Monday that they’ve filed the paperwork to seek the death penalty for 41-year-old Jason Thornburg. He was arrested in September on a charge of capital murder in the deaths of three people whose bodies were found in a burning dumpster in Fort Worth. Thornburg's arrest warrant says he confessed to killing those three as well as his roommate and girlfriend, a Navajo woman from New Mexico who went missing after traveling to Arizona with him.