World leaders warn China and North Korea on nukes as Ukraine's Zelenskyy travels to G7 summit
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Leaders of the world’s most powerful democracies warned China and North Korea against building up their nuclear arsenals, pivoting to major northeast Asian crises ahead of the arrival later Saturday of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The focus on Asia at the Group of Seven summit comes as leaders tighten sanctions meant to punish Moscow and change the course of its 15-month invasion of Ukraine. Japan confirmed that Zelenskyy’s decision to visit Hiroshima stemmed from his “strong wish” to participate in talks that will influence his nation’s defense against Russia.
U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that President Joe Biden and Zelenskyy would have direct engagement at the summit, a day after Biden announced his support for training Ukrainian pilots on U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, a precursor to eventually providing those aircraft to Ukraine’s Air Force.
World leaders have faced a high-stakes balancing act at the G7 in Hiroshima as they look to address a raft of global worries demanding urgent attention, including climate change, AI, poverty and economic instability, nuclear proliferation and, above all, the war in Ukraine.
China, the world’s No. 2 economy, sits at the nexus of many of those concerns.
Jim Brown, all-time NFL great and social activist, dead at 87
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jim Brown was virtually unstoppable in every arena.
Whether on the field, as a Hollywood film hero or civil rights advocate, Brown was a force.
One of the greatest players in NFL history, Brown, who retired at the peak of his playing career to pursue acting and remained in the public spotlight as an activist — and due to off-field transgressions that included allegations of violence against women — has died. He was 87.
A spokeswoman for Brown’s family said he died peacefully in his Los Angeles home on Thursday night with his wife, Monique, by his side.
“To the world, he was an activist, actor, and football star,” Monique Brown wrote in an Instagram post. “To our family, he was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Our hearts are broken.”
COVID emergency orders are among `greatest intrusions on civil liberties,' Justice Gorsuch says
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court got rid of a pandemic-related immigration case with a single sentence.
Justice Neil Gorsuch had a lot more to say, leveling harsh criticism of how governments, from small towns to the nation's capital, responded to the gravest public health threat in a century.
The justice, a 55-year-old conservative who was President Donald Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, called emergency measures taken during the COVID-19 crisis that killed more than 1 million Americans perhaps “the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country.”
He pointed to orders closing schools, restricting church services, mandating vaccines and prohibiting evictions. His broadside was aimed at local, state and federal officials — even his colleagues.
“Executive officials across the country issued emergency decrees on a breathtaking scale,” Gorsuch wrote in an eight-page statement Thursday that accompanied an expected Supreme Court order formally dismissing a case involving the use of the Title 42 policy to prevent asylum seekers from entering the United States.
'A day of joy': Brittney Griner opens 1st WNBA season since detainment in Russia
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brittney Griner wasted no time making her presence felt in her first WNBA regular-season game since she was jailed in Russia.
She fired a pass to Moriah Jefferson, who hit a 3-pointer to open the Phoenix Mercury's game against the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday night. Griner went 2 for 3 with three rebounds and two blocked shots in the first four minutes while helping the Mercury to a 7-0 lead.
For the first time since last season, Phoenix coach Vanessa Nygaard opened her pregame comments without announcing how many days Griner had been jailed.
Griner has been free since December when she was part of a high-profile prisoner swap.
“Until the day we got the news in the morning that she was on her way home, no one thought that it was going to happen,” Nygaard said. “We did our jobs probably with less joy than professional athletes do. It was heavy every day.”
Debt limit talks start, stop as Republicans, White House face 'serious differences'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Debt limit talks between the White House and House Republicans stopped, started and stopped again Friday at the U.S. Capitol, a dizzying series of events in high-stakes negotiations to avoid a potentially catastrophic federal default.
President Joe Biden’s administration is reaching for a deal with Republicans led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as the nation faces a deadline as soon as June 1 to raise the country's borrowing limit, now at $31 trillion, to keep paying the nation’s bills. Republicans are demanding steep spending cuts the Democrats oppose.
Negotiations came to an abrupt standstill earlier in the day when McCarthy said it’s time to “pause” talks. But the negotiating teams convened again in the evening only to quickly call it quits for the night.
The president, who has been in Japan attending the Group of Seven summit, had no immediate public comment. But White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden was “still optimistic” that a deal could be reached.
“The president is confident there is a path forward,” said Jean-Pierre, but she acknowledged the difficulty of negotiations. “There’s no question we have serious differences.”
Search for 4 kids missing after deadly Amazon plane crash leaves Colombia on edge
BOGOTÁ, Colombia (AP) —
Colombians were on edge Friday as authorities searched for four Indigenous children who were on a small plane that crashed in the Amazon jungle this month but have not been found. The three adults aboard died.
The crash happened in the early hours of May 1 when the Cessna single-engine propeller plane with six passengers and a pilot declared an emergency due to an engine failure. The small aircraft fell off radar a short time later and a frantic search for survivors began.
Colombian troops found the wreckage Tuesday along with the bodies of the pilot, a guide and the children's mother. But there was no sign of the youngsters.
The children, members of the Uitoto Indigenous community, were identified as Lesly Jacobombaire Mucutuy, 13; Soleiny Jacobombaire Mucutuy, 9; Tien Noriel Ronoque Mucutuy, 4; and Cristin Neriman Ranoque Mucutuy, 11 months.
Japan's Toyota discloses improper crash tests at Daihatsu subsidiary
TOKYO (AP) — Toyota has found improper crash tests for a model and suspended shipments, in the latest in a series of embarrassing woes plaguing Japan’s top automaker.
The latest problem, disclosed late Friday, affects 56,111 Toyota Raize hybrid vehicles produced by Daihatsu Motor Co., a manufacturer specializing in small models that is wholly owned by Toyota.
It also affects 22,329 vehicles sold as the Daihatsu Rocky, according to the automakers. The vehicles were all sold in Japan.
In the faulty crash tests, results for a pole used to measure impact on the left side were used for the right, when both sides had to be tested, Daihatsu said.
Just a week ago, Toyota Motor Corp. acknowledged there had been a data breach at its online Connected service, run by a group company. The breach spanned a decade, meaning that drivers’ information on more than 2 million vehicles had been at risk for leaks. No breaches were reported.
Diplomatic tour by Ukraine’s Zelenskyy highlights Putin’s stark isolation
TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — While the world awaits Ukraine’s spring battlefield offensive, its leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has launched a diplomatic one. In the span of a week, he's dashed to Italy, the Vatican, Germany, France and Britain to shore up support for defending his country.
On Friday, he was in Saudi Arabia to meet with Arab leaders, some of whom are allies with Moscow.
President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, was in the southern Russian city of Pyatigorsk, chairing a meeting with local officials, sitting at a large table at a distance from the other attendees.
The Russian president has faced unprecedented international isolation, with an International Criminal Court arrest warrant hanging over his head and clouding the prospects of traveling to many destinations, including those viewed as Moscow's allies.
With his invasion of Ukraine, “Putin took a gamble and lost really, really big time,” said Theresa Fallon, director of the Brussels-based Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies. “He is an international pariah, really.”
Adidas to start selling stockpile of Yeezy sneakers later this month
NEW YORK (AP) — Adidas said Friday that it will begin selling its more than $1 billion worth of leftover Yeezy sneakers later this month, with the proceeds to be donated to various anti-racism groups.
The German sportswear brand said recipients will include the Anti-Defamation League, which fights antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, run by social justice advocate Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd.
“After careful consideration, we have decided to begin releasing some of the remaining Adidas Yeezy products," said Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden in a statement. “Selling and donating was the preferred option among all organizations and stakeholders we spoke to. There is no place in sport or society for hate of any kind and we remain committed to fighting against it.”
Yeezy products have been unavailable to shoppers since Adidas terminated its partnership with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in October 2022 following his antisemitic comments on social media and in interviews.
The items to be sold include existing designs as well as designs that were in the works in 2022 for sale this year, Adidas said.
Jimmy Butler scores 27, Miami beats Boston 111-105 to take 2-0 lead in East finals
BOSTON (AP) — Jimmy Butler went forehead-to-forehead with the Boston Celtics and came away with another decisive victory.
Butler scored 27 points, hitting back-to-back buckets to tie the game and give Miami the lead, and the eighth-seeded Heat left Boston with a 111-105 victory Friday night and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Butler added eight rebounds and six assists. When Grant Williams started jawing with the Miami star — with both players drawing technical fouls for the double head-butt — Butler stared down Williams and the Heat refused to relent.
“I love that gnarly version of Jimmy,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But you get that regardless. I think now people are just paying more attention. ... Jimmy is just a real competitor.”
Bam Adebayo had 22 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists, and Caleb Martin came off the bench to score 25 points for Miami, which returns home with a chance to sweep and become just the second No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals.
The Associated Press