Romney loyalists ponder a future with Trump
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Donald Trump can be an effective president, and he’s going to win with you or without you, Republican Chairman Reince Priebus told several hundred of the party’s top donors and strategists Saturday.
Trump is setting a dangerous example for Americans by promoting “trickle-down racism,” and the party must look beyond this presidential election to find its future, the 2012 nominee Mitt Romney told the same group later that morning.
Delivered within moments of each other at Romney’s annual business and politics summit at a five-star ski resort, those opposite messages were enough to cause whiplash. That’s a hazard of being a Republican this year, as the party struggles to figure out what to do with its controversial presumptive presidential nominee.
Blinking back tears as he spoke, an impassioned Romney said many have asked him to get off his “high horse” and back Trump, seeing presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as unacceptable. “Either choice is destructive,” Romney said. “I love this country. I love the founders. I love what this country is built upon, and its values. And seeing this is breaking my heart.”
Romney said he would not spend time campaigning for or against Trump and predicted 90 percent of Republicans would vote for Trump.
Road to 270: Donald Trump faces uphill climb to White House
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The presidential primaries are just about over and the nominees have emerged. And the general election begins with Democrat Hillary Clinton already ahead of Republican Donald Trump on the Road to 270.
Trump, who shook the last of his rivals weeks before Clinton locked up her nomination, has made the GOP’s uphill path to the White House more treacherous by failing to seize on that head start in the race for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
In the dozen or so states most likely to determine the race, Trump has made little progress building a campaign operation to match Clinton’s sophisticated get-out-the-vote machine. At the same time, he’s created new problems in Florida, Colorado and Nevada with comments that Republican leaders decry as racist.
There is a path for the billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star to find his way to 270. But it’s narrow, given the map’s opening tilt toward the Democratic Party, and hinges on Trump’s ability to continue to defy political norms.
Trump will need to turn out white voters in the Upper Midwest in numbers that far exceed those in past presidential elections. Even if that happens, he’s still likely to need to convince women in swing-voting suburbs that he has the temperament to be commander in chief.
Police: Christina Grimmie killer at show just to attack her
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A gunman who shot and killed a singer who rose to fame after appearing on “The Voice” traveled to Orlando from another Florida city specifically to attack her and then fatally shot himself, authorities said Saturday.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a news conference that the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Kevin Loibl of St. Petersburg, Florida, didn’t appear to know Christina Grimmie personally. Grimmie was shot to death after giving a concert in Orlando on Friday night. She died early Saturday.
“She was doing a meet-and-greet, just signing autographs and selling merchandise. This white male approached her and opened fire, striking her,” Mina said. “We believe he came here to commit this crime.”
The 22-year-old singer from New Jersey finished third during season six of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2014, competing on the team of Maroon 5 star Adam Levine. She began amassing a following on YouTube as a teenager, gripping online viewers with her powerful renditions of hit songs. Her videos on YouTube have garnered millions of views.
In an earlier statement, police said Grimmie had performed with the band Before You Exit at The Plaza Live in Orlando. The concert ended around 10 p.m., and Grimmie was shot as she signed autographs for fans at a merchandise table in The Plaza Live concert venue.
Christina Grimmie: A star on the rise cut down by gunman
NEW YORK (AP) — Hours after she died, Christina Grimmie’s face still beamed from a selfie video she had posted online inviting everyone to be there for her concert Friday night.
“Please come out!” the young singer said, then added with an effervescent lilt, “Bye!”
Minutes after that Orlando, Florida, performance — Grimmie’s last — she was shot as she signed autographs.
Thus did a deadly, senseless attack cut down at age 22 a star on the ascent, while leaving fans horrified and at least one fellow singer shaken at the danger that being in the public eye can represent: “Now I’m scared to do meet and greets,” tweeted country artist RaeLynn who, like Grimmie, competed on “The Voice.”
Grimmie was most widely known from those appearances on “The Voice” two years ago, when she rocked listeners with her renditions of songs including “Wrecking Ball” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” and finished third.
In Sanders’ hometown, people proud of his mark on campaign
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — People in this lakeside city that Bernie Sanders helped transform as mayor before embarking on a career in Congress are proud of the mark he’s left in the 2016 presidential race even as they recognize that his White House bid is almost certainly going to fall short.
The senator returned to Burlington, his hometown, after a week of major developments in the campaign: Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination, President Barack Obama endorsed her after meeting with Sanders at the White House, and the party kept up efforts to ease Sanders from the race while trying not to offend his many supporters.
Sanders was largely staying out of public view this weekend, though he was booked on some Washington-based news shows on Sunday and his campaign spokesman, Michael Briggs, said Sanders and his wife, Jane, invited “a couple dozen key supporters and advisers from around the country to come to Burlington to share ideas.”
Briggs said he expected “a lot of thoughtful discussion among smart people and good friends.”
Sanders was expected to return to Washington for Tuesday’s primary in the District of Columbia, the final one on the nomination calendar. In an email Saturday to supporters, Sanders reminded them of their “chance to stand up and be heard.” His message ended: “I thank you for everything you’ve shared with me and all the support you’ve given our campaign. Now it’s time to bring it home on Tuesday.”
Emotions raw in hometown of man in Stanford assault case
OAKWOOD, Ohio (AP) — Sadness over a hometown boy’s fall. Anger at a perceived light sentence for a brutal crime. Disgust with an international spotlight.
Emotions are running high in this wealthy suburban town following intense scrutiny of a six-month sentence handed down to a former star student-athlete convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in California.
The case against Brock Turner — a student athlete at Stanford University at the time of the assault — has gripped people where he grew up and observers across the country, with letters to a judge from his family and friends drawing outrage from critics who say they are shifting blame from a 20-year-old man who won’t take responsibility for his actions.
Now the unwanted attention is highlighting what some say are cracks in the idyllic image of Oakwood, Ohio, which some locals dubbed “The Dome.” The suburb of Dayton is known for a high standard of living with good schools and low crime rates. But some say that’s a veneer for underlying social problems, now exposed by the wrongdoing of a once-favored son.
Many people who went to high school with Turner have supported him online, posting that he was a good kid and lamenting the fact that he wouldn’t make it to the Olympics. Backlash against those comments and others have made some people here nervous to speak publicly about Turner, his family or the town’s reputation. A childhood friend and a high school guidance counselor later apologized for writing letters of support urging leniency.
Official: Rapist seeking revenge suspected in Mexico deaths
TEHUACAN, Mexico (AP) — The prime suspect in the slaying of 11 family members is an alleged rapist seeking revenge against a victim whose complaint had him jailed, a Mexican law enforcement official said Saturday.
The official told The Associated Press that authorities believe two attackers fatally shot the woman, her family, and other relatives, including two girls. The killers also slashed a male victim believed to be the woman’s partner, and may have tried to decapitate him.
The official was not authorized to be quoted by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Puebla state prosecutor’s office said that one of the dead women had been raped and had a child by one of the attackers, apparently several years ago.
The killings took place Thursday night in the remote mountain hamlet of San Jose El Mirador, in the municipality of Coxcatlan in the central state of Puebla.
Sister of cyanide victim says police have done ‘nothing’
CHICAGO (AP) — The sister of a Chicago businessman who authorities say was poisoned with cyanide after winning the lottery four years ago said Saturday that police have done nothing to solve the case.
Meraj Khan took exception to a statement police provided to The Associated Press on Friday that said the probe into Urooj Khan’s death remains “very much an open and active investigation.” She said the detective in charge of the case has told relatives over the years that he’s too busy with other things to even answer their phone inquiries seeking updates.
“Every time we called them, he hands it to somebody else who says, ‘Oh, we are looking into it,'” she said. “They haven’t done nothing, really.”
The Associated Press sought updates on the case as the medical examiner who first declared it a homicide left office this week with the matter still unresolved. His findings, which reversed an initial ruling that Khan died of natural causes, led to the exhumation of the man’s body, divided his family and drew packs of international reporters to Chicago to cover the story.
Over the course of nearly four years, police say they have interviewed three family members: Khan’s wife, daughter and father-in-law, who all had dinner with him at their home on the night he died. Detectives are continuing to talk with family members, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Friday.
Archaeologist points to hidden monument in Jordan’s Petra
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Satellite and drone images have led to a new discovery in the ancient city of Petra — a massive man-made stone platform hidden under sand.
The platform might have been used for ceremonial purposes because it was fronted on one side by columns and a monumental staircase, said Christopher A. Tuttle, executive director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Only excavations would be able to shed more light on its original use, but no digs are planned for now, he said.
Petra is a sprawling archaeological site of tombs and monuments carved into rose-hued desert sandstone some 2,000 years ago by traders known as Nabataeans. Petra’s most famous building is the Treasury, where scenes from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” were filmed in the 1980s.
Scientific exploration of Petra goes back some 200 years, and Tuttle worked at the site for close to a decade.
The platform is located about 900 meters (3,000 feet) from the ancient city center, but away from paths used by tourists and away from major monuments, Tuttle said late Friday. It is not clearly visible from the ground or nearby hills, and its outlines only emerged in satellite and drone images, he said.
Creator closes out Triple Crown with upset in Belmont
NEW YORK (AP) — The finish was dramatic, even without a Triple Crown on the line.
Creator found an opening in the stretch and ran down Destin in the final stride to win the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes by a nose — the closest possible margin of victory. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., pointed to the sky in an appropriate winning salute given the horse’s name.
“Today was perfect for us by inches,” said Steve Asmussen, who will be inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame this summer at Saratoga. “Being the victor of the Belmont Stakes will look good on that plaque.”
The 50-year-old trainer has won more than 7,300 races, including the Preakness with champions Curlin in 2007 and Rachel Alexandra in 2009. He was taken off the Hall of Fame ballot last year, though, because of allegations made by PETA about the way he treated his horses. He was later cleared by racing authorities in Kentucky and New York.
The 1 1/2-mile “Test of the Champion” wraps up the Triple Crown a year after American Pharoah’s run to glory in becoming the first horse in 37 years to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. A different horse won each leg — Nyquist took the Derby and Exaggerator won the Preakness.