Forced from Grand Canyon National Park, the Havasupai Tribe embraces spiritual homecoming
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) — Carletta Tilousi hit the trail as the sun rose, the light revealing a grouping of cottonwood and ash trees deep in the Grand Canyon.
Birds soared above and reptiles scampered across the rocks as the canyon walls grew taller and taller behind her. This was home, yet she rarely had been there over the years.
“I can't believe how far I've come, it's amazing,” she said about halfway through the 4.5-mile hike over steep, rocky terrain. “I can't believe my ancestors used to do this all the time.”
Tilousi's journey marked a pivotal moment in the Havasupai Tribe's relationship with the U.S. government nearly a century after the last tribal member was forcibly removed from what's now Grand Canyon National Park — one of the biggest tourist draws in the world. They recently partnered on events marking the rededication of a popular campground in the inner canyon from Indian Garden to Havasupai Gardens or “Ha'a Gyoh."
Tribal members are hopeful it means a new era of cooperation that will give them more access to sites in the canyon and to tell their story through their lens and language.
DeSantis in Iowa warns of GOP 'culture of losing' as weather sidelines Trump's event in the state
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) — Decrying a Republican “culture of losing,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sought Saturday to weaken former President Donald Trump’s grip on the GOP as tornado warnings interrupted a collision of leading presidential prospects in battleground Iowa.
DeSantis, expected to announce his 2024 presidential campaign any day, briefly flipped burgers and pork chops at an afternoon picnic fundraiser in Sioux Center that drew hundred of conservatives to the northwest corner of the state. From the podium, the 44-year-old governor highlighted his eagerness to embrace conservative cultural fights and sprinkled his remarks with indirect jabs at Trump.
“Governing is not about entertaining. Governing is not about building a brand or talking on social media and virtue signaling,” said DeSantis, who wore a blue button-down shirt without a tie or jacket. “It’s ultimately about winning and producing results.”
Trump, a candidate since November, had hoped to demonstrate his political strength with a large outdoor rally in Des Moines, the capital, later in the day. He canceled the appearance hours before its scheduled start time due to a tornado warning.
Roughly 200 supporters had already gathered at the venue.
Biden's reelection pitch that he can govern well faces daunting challenges with debt, border, more
WASHINGTON (AP) — A showdown with Congress that has the nation’s creditworthiness at stake; a frenzied scene at the border as pandemic restrictions ease; a pivotal foreign trip meant to sustain support for Ukraine and contain a more assertive China in the Indo-Pacific.
Three weeks since launching his reelection campaign, President Joe Biden is confronting a sweeping set of problems in his day job that defy easy solutions and are not entirely within his control. If, as his advisers believe, the single best thing Biden can do for his reelection prospects is to govern well, then the coming weeks can pose a near-existential test of his path to a second term.
Economists warn that the country faces a debilitating recession — and worse — if Biden and lawmakers can’t agree on a path to raising the debt limit. Biden wants Congress to raise it without precondition, equating Republicans’ demands for spending cuts with ransom for the country’s full faith and credit.
The expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency meant the end of special pandemic restrictions on migrant procedures on an already taxed U.S.-Mexico border. His administration has responded with new policies to crack down on illegal crossings while opening legal pathways encouraging would-be migrants to stay put and apply online to come to the U.S. But Biden himself has predicted a “chaotic” situation as the new procedures take effect.
These tests comes as Biden prepares to depart Washington on Wednesday for an eight-day trip to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Biden will try to marshal unity among Group of Seven leading democratic economies to maintain support for Ukraine as it prepares to launch a counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion, and to invigorate alliances in the face of China’s forceful regional moves.
North Carolina governor vetoes abortion limits, launches override showdown
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — In front of an exuberant crowd, North Carolina’s Democratic governor vetoed legislation Saturday that would have banned nearly all abortions in his state after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion-rights activists and voters watched on a plaza in the capital of Raleigh as Gov. Roy Cooper affixed his veto stamp to the bill in an unconventionally public display. The veto launches a major test for leaders of the GOP-controlled General Assembly to attempt an override vote after they recently gained veto-proof majorities in both chambers. The bill was the Republican response to last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
"We’re going to have to kick it into an even higher gear when that veto stamp comes down,” Cooper told the crowd. “If just one Republican in either the House or the Senate keeps a campaign promise to protect women’s reproductive health, we can stop this ban.”
Andrea Long, a 42-year-old mother of three from Cary, said she was honored be part of the “electric” crowd on what she called a “historic day for freedom” in North Carolina.
“I couldn’t stop crying tears of joy seeing the governor hold up the veto stamp, but I know it’s an uphill battle to keep this momentum going,” Long said. In a statement provided late Saturday through Cooper’s office, State Capitol Police Deputy Chief Terry Green said the crowd estimate was over 2,000 people.
Zelenskyy meets Pope Francis at Vatican and seeks backing for Ukraine's peace plan
ROME (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had private talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday, later saying he sought support for Ukraine's peace plan from the pontiff, who in the past has offered to try to help end the full-scale war launched by Russia a year ago.
Zelenskyy held his hand over his heart and said it was a “great honor" to meet with the pope. Francis, using a cane for his knee problem, came to greet the Ukrainian president before ushering him into a papal studio near the Vatican's audience hall.
In a tweet after the 40-minute audience, Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to Francis for “his personal attention to the tragedy of millions of Ukrainians.” He said he spoke with the pontiff “about the tens of thousands of deported (Ukrainian) children. We must make every effort to return them home.”
Last month, Ukraine's prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, asked the pope to help get children returned from Russia to Ukraine. But the Vatican's statement Saturday made no mention of the request.
Instead, the Vatican said the two men spoke about Ukraine’s “humanitarian and political situation provoked by the ongoing war."
Swedish singer Loreen wins Eurovision Song Contest for 2nd time at event feting Ukraine
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Swedish singer Loreen won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night with her power ballad “Tattoo,” at a colorful, eclectic music competition clouded for a second year running by the war in Ukraine.
The diva from Stockholm beat acts from 25 other countries to take the continent’s pop crown at the final of the competition in Liverpool. Finnish singer Käärijä was second in a close-fought battle of the Nordic neighbors.
Loreen, 39, previously won Eurovision in 2012 and is only the second performer to take the prize twice, after Ireland’s Johnny Logan in the 1980s. It’s Sweden’s seventh Eurovision victory, matching Ireland's record.
“I am seriously overwhelmed," Loreen said. “This is so beautiful.”
She said returning to the contest that helped make her a star was “like coming back to a family. We’ve had an 11-year-long relationship. We know each other by now.”
Michigan boy uses a slingshot to save his sister from being abducted from backyard, police say
ALPENA, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan girl was able to escape an attempted kidnapping when her brother used a slingshot to strike the would-be attacker, authorities said this week.
Mlive.com reports that the Michigan State Police arrested the accused assailant in the city of Alpena on Wednesday.
The 17-year-old's name has not been released though he has been charged as an adult with one count of attempted kidnapping/child enticement, one count of attempted assault to do great bodily harm less than murder, and one count of assault and battery.
Michigan State Police said in a news release that the 8-year-old girl was in her backyard when the alleged assailant came out of the woods, grabbed her and covered her mouth. Authorities said the girl's brother, 13, hit the alleged attacker in the head and chest using a slingshot.
Police later arrested the 17-year-old based on another family member's description of the suspect. Authorities also said the teenager had visible wounds from the slingshot.
Kelly Clarkson responds to report accusing her daytime talk show of being a toxic workplace
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kelly Clarkson has responded to a Rolling Stone report accusing her daytime talk show of being a toxic workplace.
Clarkson issued a statement on her Instagram page Saturday. She addressed the allegations after 11 current and former employees complained about being overworked and underpaid on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” and also called their work “traumatizing to their mental health” in the magazine’s Friday report.
In the report, the anonymous employees called Clarkson “fantastic” but said show producers were “monsters” who made their lives “hell.”
Clarkson said she loves her team.
“To find out that anyone is feeling unheard and or disrespected on this show is unacceptable,” she said in the post. The talk show host said she wants to maintain a healthy and safe work environment.
Tennessee company refuses US request to recall 67 million potentially dangerous air bag inflators
DETROIT (AP) — A Tennessee company could be heading for a legal battle with U.S. auto safety regulators after refusing a request that millions of potentially dangerous air bag inflators be recalled.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is demanding that ARC Automotive Inc. of Knoxville recall 67 million inflators in the U.S. because they could explode and hurl shrapnel. At least two people have been killed in the U.S. and Canada, and seven others have been hurt as a result of defective ARC inflators, the agency said.
The recall would cover a large portion of the 284 million vehicles now on U.S. roads, but the percentage is difficult to determine. Some have ARC inflators for both the driver and front passenger.
In a letter posted Friday, the agency told ARC that it has tentatively concluded after an eight-year investigation that ARC front driver and passenger inflators have a safety defect.
“Air bag inflators that project metal fragments into vehicle occupants, rather than properly inflating the attached air bag, create an unreasonable risk of death and injury,” Stephen Ridella, director of NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation, wrote in a letter to ARC.
Phoenix Suns fire coach Monty Williams after 4 years, AP sources say
The Phoenix Suns fired Monty Williams on Saturday, two years after reaching the NBA Finals and a year after he was the overwhelming choice as the coach of the year, two people with knowledge of the decision said.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the decision.
Williams had great success in his four regular seasons in Phoenix, winning 63% of his games. But three consecutive years of playoff frustration was likely too much for the Suns to overlook — especially after two straight years of Phoenix trailing by 30 points at halftime of elimination games at home.
ESPN and The Athletic first reported the decision.
The Suns had a 2-0 lead in the 2021 NBA Finals, only to lose in six games. They lost in the second round in each of the last two seasons, both times in an embarrassing finale — last year to Dallas, this year to Denver.
The Associated Press