TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Pence claims total vindication in Mueller report
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence says special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions are a “total vindication” of President Donald Trump and “our campaign” and “should be welcomed by every American who cherishes the truth and the integrity of our elections.”
Pence calls it a “great day for America,” Trump and the administration.
Attorney General William Barr declared Sunday that Mueller’s long investigation found no evidence that Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller also looked into whether Trump tried to obstruct the inquiry, but did not provide a definitive answer on that point.
Pence called on Democrats, who he says spent “so much time on these discredited allegations,” to join the White House and Republicans to help make the nation more prosperous and secure.
Trump lays low as he awaits findings of Mueller report
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump is laying low at his Florida estate as he awaits the findings of the special counsel investigation.
He’s heeding the advice of his lawyers, who warned him against tweeting about the probe before details were released.
Trump is said to be relieved and happy that Robert Mueller’s probe ended without any new indictments. That’s according to people close to the White House, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Still, it was unclear whether Mueller’s report was critical of Trump’s actions, and the president’s lawyers told him tweeting about the investigation before that was clear might make his life more difficult.
TRUMP RUSSIA PROBE-AMERICA REACTS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Divided reaction on Mueller’s work in divided US
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Stephen Turner, an electrical engineer from Belmont, North Carolina, is a Republican who voted for Donald Trump for president. He says he’s glad the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller is over.
“My first reaction is I’m glad … I’m glad maybe we can move on,” Turner told The Associated Press. “The ones side that’s happy is happy. And the other side that’s not happy wants to do some more investigation.”
He says it’s time to move on “and actually do stuff for the country and not spend all these resources and time on these investigations.”
ELECTION 2020-CAMPAIGN RDP-THE LATEST
The Latest: Candidates push for new Democratic leadership
Democratic presidential candidates are making it clear that there are new voices competing for voters’ attention.
California Sen. Kamala Harris sent a signal to the nation’s old-guard that there’s a time to move aside. At an Atlanta church service Sunday dedicated to youth, the presidential candidate compared leadership to a relay race in which older leaders must ask themselves and decide “when to pass the baton.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made her official announcement in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York and called him a coward who “punches down.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a New Hampshire crowd that the NRA is holding Congress hostage on gun laws.
NORWAY-CRUISE SHIP-MAYDAY-THE LATEST
The Latest: All Viking Sky passengers, crew safe; ship docks
STAVANGER, Norway (AP) — The Viking Ocean Cruises company says all the passengers and crew of its Viking Sky cruise ship are safe, the ship has docked in the western Norwegian port of Molde and passengers are flying home as soon as possible.
The cruise ship line said the next scheduled trip for the boat, a visit to Scandinavia and Germany that was to leave on Wednesday, has been cancelled. It said it did not anticipate any further cancellations to the ship’s schedule.
The company thanked both Norwegian rescue services and residents for helping the Viking Sky’s passengers and crew under such difficult circumstances.
The cruise ship issued a mayday call on Saturday afternoon as it had engine problems and feared it would be dashed against the rocks in a storm off the coast of Norway. Rescuers worked all night and into Sunday to airlift half of its passengers, 479 people, to shore by helicopter before the ship was able to slowly make it way to Molde on Sunday.
PENNSYLVANIA POLICE SHOOTING-THE LATEST
The Latest: Slain teen’s mother joins supporters at vigil
RANKIN, Pa. (AP) — The mother of a black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer outside Pittsburgh told supporters at a vigil that she was glad to see her son’s life celebrated at a place that meant so much to him.
Michelle Kenney, mother of 17-year-old Antwon Rose II, joined friends and supporters at a vigil Sunday afternoon at the Hawkins Village housing complex in Rankin.
Scores of people brought red roses, white flowers and candles, and purple ribbons to the basketball court, which Kenney called “his spot.” They read a poem by Rose, sang and prayed.
Kenney said supporters put together the vigil while she slept. She said “I haven’t slept in I don’t know how long … And after the verdict was read, I literally went home and I collapsed.”
Hundreds marched in protest Saturday after former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted Friday in the shooting of Rose last summer.
Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ scares up $70.3M debut
NEW YORK (AP) — Jordan Peele has done it again. Two years after the filmmaker’s “Get Out” became a box-office sensation, his frightening follow-up, “Us,” debuted with $70.3 million in ticket sales, according to estimates Sunday.
“Us” took over the top spot at the box office from “Captain Marvel,” which had reigned for two weeks. The Marvel Studios superhero release slid to second place with $35 million in its third week.
But all eyes were on Peele in anticipation of his sophomore effort. In today’s franchise-driven movie world, seldom has a young director been such a draw for moviegoers.
“Get Out” opened with $33.4 million domestically before grossing $255.4 million on a $4.5 million budget. “Us” cost $20 million to make, meaning it’s already a huge hit for Peele and Universal Pictures.
NCAA TOURNAMENT-THE LATEST
NCAA Latest: Virginia gets control against Oklahoma
Finally, No. 1 seed Virginia claimed a halftime lead.
The Cavaliers led 31-22 over No. 9 seed Oklahoma at the break of their second-round South region game.
On Friday, Virginia trailed No. 1 6 seed Gardner-Webb 36-30 at halftime before winning by 15. In their 2018 epic 20-point upset to No, 16 seed UMBC, the game was tied at half.
The Cavaliers got off to a good start by scoring the game’s first seven points before Oklahoma went on a 13-2 run.
After that, Virginia’s trademark stifling defense cracked down. The Sooners made just four of their last 18 shots of the first half.
Virginia is trying to make sure all the No. 1 seeds make it to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016 — the last time the Cavaliers made it to the second week of the tournament.
— Jeffrey Collins reporting from Columbia, South Carolina.
Williamson, Duke survive UCF’s late misses, reach Sweet 16
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Zion Williamson took on 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall at the end and won. So did top-seeded Duke — barely — when two last-ditch shots by UCF rolled off the rim.
Aubrey Dawkins finished with 32 points, but his tip-in try just missed Sunday, and Duke advanced with a 77-76 victory to reach the Sweet 16.
Williamson had 32 points, including a layup over Fall with 14.4 seconds left and his team trailing 76-73. Fall fouled out on the play and the 6-foot-7 Williamson missed the free throw, but RJ Barrett scored on a putback to put the Blue Devils (31-5) ahead.
Ninth-seeded UCF (24-9) had a final chance. Two of them, actually, from in close.
B.J. Taylor missed a short jumper and Dawkins failed on his tip attempt with less than 2 seconds left, the ball spinning off the rim. Duke got the rebound, ran out the clock and moved on to the Sweet 16 for 27th time and fourth time in the past five years.
Dawkins cringed at the miss. His father, Johnny, is the UCF coach and was a former Duke star and longtime assistant under coach Mike Krzyzewski. The two coaches shared a long embrace at midcourt after it was over.
Barrett finished with 16 points.
It looked as if Dawkins might take down his dad’s alma mater in the NCAAs.
His last basket broke a 70-all tie and when Fall dunked Taylor’s miss — the play was reviewed for a possible shot-clock violation — the Knights were ahead 74-70.
UCF missed a huge chance to go up six when it couldn’t quite on an alley-oop dunk attempt with 1:49 left, and Cam Reddish came back with a 3-pointer for Duke. Taylor made 76-73 with two foul shots with 45 seconds to go.
Williamson then missed a 3, but Duke grabbed the rebound and got the ball back to their dominant freshman. Williams caught a pass left of the key and dribbled straight into Fall’s 7-6, 310-pound frame.
Fall had stuffed Williamson three previous times and Duke’s young star was less effective underneath than he’d been his past four games. But Williamson got this shot to drop, shouting as he fell hard to the ground.
When Duke dribbled away with the final rebound, Williamson and his teammates jumped in celebration and relief. They were moving on.
Duke will face fourth-seeded Virginia Tech or No. 12 seed Liberty in Washington, D.C., on Friday night for a spot in the Elite Eight.
Williamson, the game’s most explosive player, was clearly affected by Fall. Who wouldn’t be as the Knights senior stood 11 inches taller than Williamson and has a wingspan of 8-foot-4?
But with Fall inside, Williamson went outside hitting three 3-pointers after entering with just 18 on the season. And when Fall was hit with foul trouble, Williamson charged to the hoop.
Fall finished with 15 points and six rebounds in his final college game.
Duke’s four fantastic freshmen combined for 72 of its 77 points. Reddish had 13 points and Tre Jones 11.
It was the second straight sluggish start for Duke in the NCAA Tournament. But, boy, when the Blue Devils got going, it was a sight to behold as they closed the half with a 12-2 run to move in front.
Trailing 34-32 in the final four minutes of the opening half, Williamson hit a short jumper, then collected Jordan Goldwire’s miss for a three-point play. Barrett added a three-point play and Williamson threw a one-handed bounce pass to a streaking Jones for an easy layup as Duke led 44-36 at the break.
Williamson had 15 points in the first half, but had not dunked on the tall Fall — mainly because UCF’s center played just eight minutes due to foul trouble.
The two were the focus of this one and at the start mimicked the start of the classic Rocky III final fight scene where a stone-faced Rocky Balboa stared straight at talkative Clubber Lang. The expressionless Fall played the Rocky part this time while the energetic Williamson bounced around before the game’s opening tip.
Both players outjumped the referee’s toss, but Fall easily tipped it toward his teammates before Williamson could bounce up again.
UCF: The Knights will have some big shoes to fill (size 22) next season with Fall’s senior season complete. They also lose Taylor, the point guard who has started 101 of 104 games since arriving at UCF in 2014-15. UCF has a solid core of experienced starters returning, led by Dawkins, who was second on the team in scoring average at 15.1 points a game.
Duke: The Blue Devils have had too many tentative stretches in their first two games, but their overwhelming talent edge saved them against North Dakota State in the opening round and UCF in this one. Duke will need to be more consistent if it hopes to make a championship run.
UCF’s season is over.
Duke advances to play fourth-seeded Virginia Tech or 12th-seeded Liberty in the Sweet 16 at Washington, D.C., on Friday night.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/MarchMadness and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Mueller didn’t say whether Trump committed obstruction
WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, special counsel Robert Mueller drew no conclusion at all.
That put the obstruction question in the hands of Attorney General William Barr and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein. Barr told Congress on Sunday there wasn’t enough evidence to prove Trump had committed that crime.
The Justice Department released the main findings from Mueller’s Russia investigation, saying there was no evidence Trump’s campaign conspired with the Kremlin. But Mueller’s conclusion on obstruction was not nearly so clear-cut.
Barr quoted Mueller’s report as saying it “does not exonerate” the president on obstruction.
Barr said he reached his conclusion about obstruction without considering constitutional questions about whether criminal charges could be brought against a sitting president.
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