State Department condemns killing of American citizen in Nicaraguan prison

(CNN)The State Department condemned the killing of an American citizen being held in Nicaragua after a prison uprising, according to Nicaraguan and US officials. “We call for an immediate, thorough, and transparent investigation of Montes’s death. We reiterate our call for the unconditional release of all political prisoners. The United States will hold accountable the Ortega regime and Nicaraguan security forces involved in human rights abuses and violations,” she continued. The Nicaraguan government said Montes was part of a group of prisoners who apparently charged security guards and, after a scuffle, he was shot by a prison guard. The government also said he was shot in “self-defense.” “The death of US citizen Eddy Montes at the hands of prison authorities …

Watching for the Supreme Court to set the terms for the eventual Roe v. Wade showdown

Washington (CNN)Rapid and dramatic moves by states to ban abortion at six weeks of pregnancy, including Tuesday night’s vote in Alabama to pass the most restrictive abortion bill in the country, appear to set up an immediate fight over Roe v. Wade. On this week’s episode of “United Shades of America,” W. Kamau Bell visits Jackson, Mississippi to explore the divisive world of reproductive rights and reproductive justice including abortion, sex education and women’s health. Tune in on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT. That means dueling advocates are homing in on themes of precedent and regard for the court in the public eye. They are focusing on respect for — or rejection of — past decisions involving the right to …

Who killed the prime minister? The unsolved murder that still haunts Sweden

The long read: Three decades ago, Olof Palme was assassinated on Stockholms busiest street. The killer has never been found. Could the discovery of new evidence finally close the case? On the last night of February 1986, the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme and his wife, Lisbet, were strolling home through downtown Stockholm. They had taken an impromptu trip to the cinema and decided, as they often did, not to bring bodyguards. Palme made a point of living as much as possible like an ordinary person; he did not want the fact that he was running the country to come between him and his countrymen. You saw him in the streets all the time, says the Swedish ethnologist Jonas Engman. …

The top 5 2020 stories this week, ranked

(CNN)With267 daysuntil the Iowa caucuses and a record number of Democratic candidates, the 2020 election is already in full swing.Every Sunday, I will preview the 5 BIG storylines you need to know to understand the upcoming week on the campaign trail. And they’re ranked — so the No. 1 story is the most important of the coming week. I mean, does it get any worse than that? If so, how??  4. Happy commencement season!: It’s May, which means college graduations. And commencement speeches. And, of course, presidential aspirants angling to give those speeches in key early primary and caucus states. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker kicked things off Friday with a commencement address at South Carolina State University. “Life is not about …

Brexit: Corbyn told to back new EU referendum or lose millions of supporters

A generation of young people could desert the party, says Richard Corbett, leader of Labour MEPs Jeremy Corbyn has been warned by Labours leader in the European parliament and other grandees that the party will be deserted by millions of anti-Brexit voters if it fails to clearly back a second referendum in its manifesto for next months EU elections. The message from Richard Corbett, who leads Labours 20 MEPs, comes amid growing fears at the top of the party that it could lose a generation of young, pro-EU voters if it does not guarantee another public vote. That age group, as well as many other Remainers, MPs say, could turn instead to unambiguously anti-Brexit parties, including the fledgling independent group …

Militias, chaos and starvation: Britain 10 years after Brexit

The Queen has fled, Polish workers have been forced out, and violent factions roam a broken land. Writer Jonathan Meades imagines the country The Great Chaos will create The Great Chip Shortage In 2019, older bigots and veteran xenophobes still recalled with pride the successful campaign Boston and the area of Lincolnshire around it waged in the 1960s against nutria. Once these shy, intelligent South American beasts got wind of their fate, they began to escape from the 50 or so farms that had imported them, head for wetlands, breed prolifically, guzzle crops (wheat, beetroot, turnip) and destabilise fen dykes by burrowing into their banks. The situation was later exacerbated by nutria fur falling out of fashion and the farms …

Andrew Miller still fighting special counsel subpoena, in limbo after Mueller wraps investigation

(CNN)Andrew Miller, believing he may still be wanted to testify against Roger Stone to a grand jury, will continue to “pursue further judicial review” of his court losses after he challenged the constitutionality of Robert Mueller as special counsel, his attorney said on Friday after Mueller announced his investigation’s end. “Regardless of today’s action, the National Legal Policy Center will continue to support the legal challenge to the subpoena and Mueller’s authority,” added Peter Flaherty, chair of the center. A spokesman from the special counsel’s office declined to comment on Miller on Friday night. Before Stone was indicted, the prosecutors sought information Miller had about Stone, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, the Democratic National Committee and the online monikers the Russians used …

Explosive revelations in Russia saga add up to a bad day for Trump

(CNN)It would be hard to think of a more damaging day for a President than one on which his former campaign chairman disappeared behind bars for years to come. But Paul Manafort’s new sentence was the least of Donald Trump’s worries Wednesday as his Russia investigation nightmare took yet another turn for the worse. Both new angles on the Russia intrigue came on the day that a judge added to the prison sentence of Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, after he was snared in Mueller’s investigation. He faces a total of 7.5 years in prison. For the second time in a week, a Manafort attorney emerged from a sentencing hearing and appeared to twist a judge’s words in a way …

Vitriol and deflection: The return of the White House press briefing

Washington (CNN)The only thing worse than the near extinction of press briefings in the Trump White House might be actually having a briefing. “I’m not aware of those specific, uh, checks,” Sanders said. She also couldn’t say when the President will install a permanent defense secretary — at a time when the US remains at war across the globe. “When the President’s ready to make an announcement on that front, he certainly will,” said Sanders, who was preceded at the podium by Acting Budget Director Russell Vought. She dodged answering about claims Trump had tried to use the Justice Department to block the AT&T merger with Time Warner, the parent company of CNN — a possible abuse of power. “I’m …

Sanders plans to weave family story into first major 2020 speech

(CNN)Sen. Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally on Saturday will deliver some of his most deeply personal remarks since emerging as a national political figure, according to excerpts provided to CNN by a campaign source. Eli Sanders, his father, came to the United States in the early 1920s, eventually marrying Dorothy Glassberg, the daughter of immigrants. They had two children, older brother Larry, who would become a politician in the United Kingdom, and Bernie, who in 2016 became the first self-identified Jewish candidate to win a major party presidential primary when he defeated Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. Sanders’ mother died decades earlier, shortly after her younger son graduated high school. “Coming from a lower middle class family I will …

Sanders warns against outside intervention in Venezuela, stops short of calling Maduro a ‘dictator’

(CNN)Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday night steered clear of calling Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro a “dictator, ” despite criticizing Maduro’s government for failing to hold democratic elections. Venezuela is in a state of upheaval after opposition leader Juan Guaido was named president of the National Assembly and then, weeks later, declared himself acting president in a dramatic swearing-in before throngs in Caracas. The White House and other Western countries have since recognized him as the legitimate leader of Venezuela — despite Maduro’s grip on the military and other institutions. Maduro’s re-election in May 2018, which Sanders labeled “undemocratic,” was boycotted by many eligible voters. Venezuela holds the world’s largest supply of crude oil, which once seemed to guarantee an endless …

If the 2020 election were today, Trump would lose

Washington (CNN)The 2020 election is 620 days away. Which, according to new state-by-state polling data from Gallup, is a very good thing for President Donald Trump. Which puts a pretty fine point on the challenge facing Trump and his 2020 campaign team between now and November 3. But to put an even FINER point on it — here are just a sampling of the states where Trump’s approval rating is currently below 49%: Texas (41%), Pennsylvania (42%), Michigan (42%) and Florida (43%). Those four states have 103 electoral votes between them. And Trump won ALL of them in 2016.

Roger Stone apologizes to judge for controversial Instagram post

(CNN)Roger Stone formally apologized Monday for his controversial Instagram posts about federal district court Judge Amy Berman Jackson in a letter filed with the court. The photo appears to come from a conspiracy website that features pictures of others, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff against the same background. Stone told CNN a “volunteer” who works on his social media posted the initial Instagram post and the photo was “random,” and not “meant anyway to threaten the judge.” Stone says he “ordered it taken down because it was open to misinterpretation.” Stone wrote in the caption of the second post that his upcoming trial before the judge is a “show trial,” and accused special …

Negotiators say they reached an agreement in principle to avert shutdown

(CNN)Congressional negotiators say they have reached an agreement in principle to avert a partial government shutdown at the end of this week. About 25% of funding for the federal government runs out at the end of the week and a group of bipartisan lawmakers have been meeting for weeks to negotiate over border security as part of the budget for the Department of Homeland Security. In a sign that made it look like a shutdown was increasingly likely, talks broke down over the weekend, but four members of that group — the top Democrat and Republican from both the House and Senate Appropriations committees — kept meeting Monday to try and broker a deal. Asked what was different today than …

Why we shouldn’t underestimate Joe Biden

(CNN)One of the biggest mistakes analysts made in the 2016 Republican primary season was not listening to what voters were telling them. The early polls said Donald Trump had a good chance of winning, but many (including yours truly) decided to dismiss them because they didn’t match with our preconceived notions of what Republicans would want. The top three factors line-up with Biden’s arguments for the nomination pretty much perfectly. More Democrats (26%) said beating Republican President Donald Trump was more important than anything else. That’s not too surprising given that Democrats really don’t like Trump. Biden, of course, will claim (rightly or wrongly) that polls showing him leading Trump by the most of any Democrats demonstrate that he is …