National Politics

Analysis: Controversies had unexpected twists in La. session

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's legislative session saw lawmakers engage in many of the same cultural clashes as their counterparts in other states and several of their own unique disputes, but with some surprising outcomes.

Diplomats: Progress made in Vienna at Iran nuclear talks

VIENNA (AP) — Top diplomats said Sunday that further progress had been made at talks between Iran and global powers to try to restore a landmark 2015 agreement to contain Iranian nuclear development that was abandoned by the Trump administration. They said it was now up to the governments involved in the negotiations to make political decisions.

Pollsters: French conservatives lead 1st round regional vote

PARIS (AP) — France’s traditional conservative party dominated the first round of regional elections Sunday and Marine Le Pen’s far-right party performed less well than expected, according to polling agency projections.

Ivory Coast's former president Gbagbo attends Mass in public

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo has made one of his first public appearances since returning home after nearly a decade in exile, attending Mass on Sunday as residents of his hometown made preparations for his visit.

New leaders, new era: US-Israel relations reach crossroads

WASHINGTON (AP) — Their countries at crossroads, the new leaders of the United States and Israel have inherited a relationship that is at once imperiled by increasingly partisan domestic political considerations and deeply bound in history and an engrained recognition that they need each other.

Ex-UK Speaker Bercow, scourge of Brexiteers, joins Labour

LONDON (AP) — Former U.K. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, a longtime Conservative lawmaker who gained international fame refereeing the country’s bruising political drama over Brexit, said Sunday he has switched allegiances and joined the opposition Labour Party.

VA moves to offer gender confirmation surgery to vets

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving to offer transgender veterans gender confirmation surgery, Secretary Denis McDonough announced at a Pride Month event in Orlando Saturday.

Las Vegas pushes land swap to balance growth, conservation

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Record-breaking heat and historic drought in the U.S. West are doing little to discourage cities from planning to welcome millions of new residents in the decades ahead.

Memphis erases Confederate general from its public spaces

Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s polarizing presence has hung over Memphis, Tennessee, since he moved there in 1852 with his family. Defenders consider him a hero for his Civil War exploits. Detractors call him a violent racist and note his early leadership role in the Ku Klux Klan. Now his remains are set to be moved to a new Confederate museum in Columbia, Tennessee. With the approval of Forrest’s relatives, the Sons of Confederate Veterans have agreed to transport them there, another milestone in the effort to remove statues, monuments — and now the remains — of Confederate leaders from public spaces.

Conservative activists heckle Pence at conference in Florida

Some attendees at a conference in Florida for conservative activists heckled former Vice President Mike Pence during a speech. Several attendees shouted, “Traitor!” as Pence spoke Friday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Policy Conference at a resort in Orlando. Pence ignored the shouts and plowed through his address. Many supporters of former President Donald Trump have been angry with Pence after the former vice president said he did not have the power to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory. During the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, some angry protesters chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!”

Federal holiday pressures companies to give Juneteenth off

NEW YORK (AP) — The declaration of Juneteenth as a federal holiday is putting the pressure on more U.S. companies to give their employees the day off, accelerating a movement that took off last year in response to the racial justice protests that swept the country.

Putin names Lavrov, Shoigu to United Russia elections list

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said his foreign minister and his defense minister will head the candidates’ list for the dominant United Russia party in September’s parliamentary election.

Amid reform movement, some GOP states give police more power

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After a year of protests over police brutality, some Republican-controlled states have ignored or blocked police-reform proposals, moving instead in the other direction by granting greater powers to officers, making it harder to discipline them and expanding their authority to crack down on demonstrations.

An architect of European unity moves ahead on sainthood path

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Robert Schuman, a French statesman who paved the way for the bloc that eventually evolved into European Union, has moved ahead on the Catholic church’s path toward possible sainthood.

AP FACT CHECK: Putin's twisted tale on rival; Biden GOP jab

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin faulted his imprisoned political rival for leaving Russia without legal permission, omitting the vital detail that the departure was, literally, an unconscious decision: Alexei Navalny was in a coma.

Voting debate roils Washington but leaves many voters cold

PLANO, Texas (AP) — Brenda Martinez, a 19-year-old community college student, thinks the government should help immigrant students more. Donald Huffman is worried about turning 50 next week with no work available because the federal government is delaying the pipelines he usually helps build. Binod Neupane, who just moved to Texas to research alternative fuels, wants action on climate change.

Hit by a ransomware attack? Your payment may be deductible

WASHINGTON (AP) — As ransomware attacks surge, the FBI is doubling down on its guidance to affected businesses: Don't pay the cybercriminals. But the U.S. government also offers a little-noticed incentive for those who do pay: The ransoms may be tax deductible.

Polarized by war, Armenia votes Sunday in an early election

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Armenia's leader is facing a tough challenge at the polls after a humiliating defeat for Armenian forces in last year's fighting with Azerbaijan over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

California residents urged to conserve power amid heat wave

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California residents were asked to voluntarily conserve power again Friday as the heat wave that is baking the U.S. West strained the state's energy grid and raised the possibility of rotating outages.