NEW ZEALAND-MOSQUE SHOOTING-THE LATEST The Latest: New Zealand rugby match canceled for mourning CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — A Super Rugby match between the Christchurch-based Crusaders and the Dunedin-based Highlanders has been canceled in the…
NEW ZEALAND-MOSQUE SHOOTING-THE LATEST
The Latest: New Zealand rugby match canceled for mourning
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — A Super Rugby match between the Christchurch-based Crusaders and the Dunedin-based Highlanders has been canceled in the wake of the shootings at two mosques that killed 49 people.
New Zealand Rugby spokesman Nigel Cass said the decision to cancel Saturday’s game in Dunedin was made after an urgent meeting involving both teams, venue management and police.
Cass said police advised that the game could go ahead but both teams agreed to not proceed with the match as a mark of respect.
The Crusaders are the defending champions in Super Rugby, a competition that involves teams from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Argentina.
Crusaders chief executive Colin Mainsbridge says “yesterday’s horrific attacks have left us all feeling stunned. All other issues and considerations pale in significance.”
TRUMP-BORDER SECURITY-THE LATEST
The Latest: Trump issues 1st veto, on border resolution
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has issued the first veto of his presidency, rejecting an effort by Congress to block the emergency declaration he had used to try to shake loose funds for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The monthslong confrontation now moves to the courts, but not before marking a new era of divided government and Republicans’ increasing independence from the White House.
Trump said Friday, “Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it.”
A dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats in approving the joint resolution Thursday. It is unlikely that Congress will have the two-thirds majority required to override Trump’s veto.
WINTER WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Weather service confirms 4 tornadoes in Michigan
VERNON, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say four tornadoes touched down in mid-Michigan during a fast-moving storm that swept across the state.
National Weather Service meteorologist Danny Costello says two tornadoes struck Thursday in Shiawassee County. Homes were reported damaged, while power was knocked out to thousands of utility customers.
Two tornadoes also touched down in nearby Genesee County.
No injuries have been reported.
The first tornado touched down about 6:45 p.m. Thursday near Corunna. The second touched down at 7:03 p.m. to the southeast around Vernon, about 21 miles (34 kilometers) southwest of Flint. Officials say the second tornado also touched down in nearby Durand about 7:05 p.m.
The tornadoes that hit Genesee County struck the Flushing area just after 7 p.m. and just before 7:30 p.m. near Genesee Township.
Lower Michigan also saw severe thunderstorm warnings, watches, flooding, high winds and hail as a late-winter storm system trekked across the Midwest.
CLIMATE-STUDENT PROTESTS-THE LATEST
The Latest: 16 arrested at NYC student climate protest
BERLIN (AP) — Police say 16 people have been arrested for blocking traffic during a climate protest in front of New York City’s American Museum of Natural History.
The protesters face charges of disorderly conduct stemming from Friday’s die-in at the museum. The protest was one of several around New York City as thousands of high school students walked out of class.
One student protesting in front of City Hall carried a sign that said: “I’m not showing up for school because adults aren’t showing up for climate.”
ELECTION 2020-BETO O’ROURKE-THE LATEST
The Latest: O’Rourke sorry for teen writing, wife comment
FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) — Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke is acknowledging mistakes he made as a teen and as a candidate as he responds to criticism of his campaign rhetoric toward his wife as well as writings he produced online as a teenager.
While taping the “Political Party Live” podcast in Iowa on Friday, he said his joke that his wife had raised their three kids “sometimes with my help” was a “ham-handed” attempt to highlight her work. He said that criticism of his comment was “right on” and that he won’t make the remark again.
He also said he was “mortified” by the violent fiction he wrote as at 15. O’Rourke wrote a handful of posts on a hacker group’s message board, including a fictional piece about children getting run over by a car.
NEW ZEALAND-MOSQUE SHOOTING-VICTIMS
Foreigners among those targeted in New Zealand mosque attack
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Initial reports indicate that several of those killed or wounded in the shooting rampage at two New Zealand mosques were from the Middle East or South Asia.
The attack by an immigrant-hating white nationalist killed at least 49 people as they gathered for Friday prayers.
Bangladesh’s honorary consul in Auckland, Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, told The Associated Press that “so far” three Bangladeshis were among those killed and four or five others were wounded, including two left in critical condition.
Two Jordanians were among those killed, and others were wounded. Four Pakistanis were wounded and five are still missing.
Malaysia says two of its citizens were hospitalized, and the Saudi Embassy in Wellington says two Saudis were wounded. Two Indonesians, a father and son, were also among those shot and wounded.
W.S. Merwin, prize-winning poet of nature, dies at 91
HONOLULU (AP) — W.S. Merwin, a prolific and versatile master of modern poetry who evolved through a wide range of styles as he celebrated nature, condemned war and industrialism and reached for the elusive past, has died. He was 91.
The Merwin Conservancy confirmed to The Associated Press that he died in his sleep Friday in his home on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Merwin founded the nonprofit with his wife.
A Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. poet laureate, Merwin completed more than 20 books and ranked high in the pantheon for decades, from early works inspired by myths and legends to late meditations on age and time.
Merwin received virtually every honor a poet could ask for — more, it turned out, than he wanted. In protest of the Vietnam War, he declined a Pulitzer in 1971 for “The Carrier of Ladders.”
NEW ZEALAND-MOSQUE SHOOTINGS-SOCIAL MEDIA
Tech companies scramble to remove New Zealand shooting video
LONDON (AP) — Internet companies say they’re working to remove video filmed by a gunman in the New Zealand mosque shooting that was widely available on social media hours after the horrific attack.
Facebook said Friday it took down a livestream of the shootings and removed the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts after being alerted by police. At least 49 people were killed at two mosques.
The gunman reportedly broadcast 17 minutes of the attack. Twitter and YouTube owner Google also said they were working to remove the footage from their sites.
Facebook New Zealand spokeswoman Mia Garlick said in a statement that the company is “also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.”
She said Facebook is working directly with New Zealand police as they carry out their investigation.
SAGE GROUSE-ENERGY LEASES-THE LATEST
The Latest: House chairman blasts Trump sage grouse plans
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The chairman of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee says the Trump administration’s decision to ease restrictions on energy development in the West will “hand over” more public land to fossil fuel companies.
Rep. Raul Grijalva is an Arizona Democrat and said Friday’s decision will most directly benefit former clients of Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Bernhardt was an oil and gas industry lobbyist.
Drilling rules and other land use restrictions are being eased through changes to plans meant to guide conservation efforts for greater sage grouse, a ground-dwelling bird that’s been in decline.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management Acting Director Brian Steed told The Associated Press the changes better align federal and state management of grouse habitat.
The chicken-sized birds range across portions of 11 Western states.