Accepting Rights Award, Kaepernick Decries 'Lawful Lynching'
4/29/2018 7:43:52 PM

By Mike Corder   AMSTERDAM—Amnesty International gave former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award on Saturday for his kneeling protest of racial injustice that launched a sports movement and might have cost him his job. Onetime San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid presented Kaepernick with the award during a ceremony in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. In his acceptance speech, the award-winner described police killings of African Americans and Latinos in the United States as lawful lynchings. “Racialized oppression...

Clinton: Free Press Is Under 'Open Assault' in Trump Era
4/29/2018 7:43:11 PM

By Jocelyn Noveck   NEW YORK—Hillary Clinton excoriated President Donald Trump for his treatment of the media, saying in remarks on Sunday that press rights and free speech are “under open assault” in the current administration, which she compared to an authoritarian regime. “We are living through an all-out war on truth, facts and reason,” Clinton said at the PEN America World Voices Festival, in Manhattan. “When leaders deny things we can see with our own eyes, like the size of a crowd at the inauguration, when they refuse to accept settled...

Science Says: Amount of Straws, Plastic Pollution Is Huge
4/29/2018 7:34:32 PM

By Seth Borenstein   WASHINGTON—Cities and nations are looking at banning plastic straws and stirrers in hopes of addressing the world's plastic pollution problem. The problem is so large, though, that scientists say that's not nearly enough. Australian scientists Denise Hardesty and Chris Wilcox estimate, using trash collected on U.S. coastlines during cleanups over five years, that there are nearly 7.5 million plastic straws lying around America's shorelines. They figure that means 437 million to 8.3 billion plastic straws are on the entire world's...

New Data: Americans Filling Far Fewer Opioid Prescriptions
4/29/2018 7:33:30 PM

The number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year, showing their biggest drop in 25 years and continuing a decline amid increasing legal restrictions and public awareness of the dangers of addiction, new data show. Health data firm IQVIA's Institute for Human Data Science released a report Thursday showing an 8.9 percent average drop nationwide in the number of prescriptions for opioids filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies. All 50 states and the District of Columbia had declines of more than 5 percent. Declines topped 10 percent in...

Mental Health and Guns an Issue After Waffle House Attack
4/29/2018 7:18:20 PM

By Sheila Burke   NASHVILLE, Tenn—Without knowing who he was or what he might do, police briefly had Travis Reinking in their sights days before the deadly assault on a Waffle House restaurant. Alerted to the theft of a BMW from a car dealer last week, officers decided against a risky police chase, knowing the car had a GPS device and could soon be located. Sure enough, the car was recovered the same day, outside Reinking's apartment. But police didn't figure out who stole it until Sunday, after the Waffle House attack. By then, police say, the 29-year-old with...

Moving Tributes Usher Nina Simone into Rock Hall of Fame
4/19/2018 8:29:15 PM

By Mesfin Fekadu Nina Simone, the “High Priestess of Soul,” who taught herself to play piano by ear at the age of 3 in rural North Carolina, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past weekend in Cleveland. The late icon was welcomed to the prestigious music club with show-stopping performances from Lauryn Hill and Andra Day. Simone, who died in 2003, was welcomed into the Rock Hall in a groundbreaking way from performers who she has deeply inspired, from Hill to Mary J. Blige. Hill was exceptional, stretching her voice as wide as possible, and singing...

A Somber Close to the Bridal Fashion Career of Amsale Aberra
4/19/2018 8:26:44 PM

By Leanne Italie NEW YORK—It was a somber end Friday to the last bridal collection created by the late Amsale Aberra, closing silently with the first gown she ever designed for her namesake line—a sleek satin column look with an illusion neckline from 1990, when so many brides favored huge ball skirts and pouffy sleeves. The music was shut off and only the clicks of photographers' cameras were heard as the model in Aberra's “A101” dress walked on a terrace of the Gramercy Park Hotel, on the city's first warm and sunny day of spring. The model was of...

Eva Longoria Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
4/19/2018 8:25:21 PM

HOLLYWOOD—A star was unveiled Monday on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to honor Eva Longoria, fulfilling a prophecy the "Desperate Housewives" star said she made in 1998. The ceremony came nearly 20 years to the day when Longoria moved to Hollywood from Texas and "I stood on the corner of La Brea (Avenue) and Hollywood Boulevard and said, `One day, I'm going to have a star,"' Longoria said. "To be here is so surreal," Longoria said. Longoria recalled being an extra for two years before getting a line of dialogue, including on the 1999 Ricky...

Commercial and Critical Darling Kendrick Lamar Wins Pulitzer
4/19/2018 8:21:44 PM

By Mesfin Fekadu NEW YORK—Compton native Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for music Monday, making history as the first non-classical or jazz artist to win the prestigious prize. The revered rapper is also the most commercially successful musician to receive the award, usually reserved for critically acclaimed classical acts who don't live on the pop charts. The 30-year-old won the prize for “DAMN.,” his raw and powerful Grammy-winning album. The Pulitzer board said Monday the album is “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular...

California to Join Guard Border Mission, But with Conditions
4/19/2018 8:20:42 PM

By Kathleen Ronayne and Elliott Spagat SACRAMENTO—California Gov. Jerry Brown accepted President Donald Trump's call to send the National Guard to the Mexican border, but rejected the White House's portrait of a burgeoning border crisis and insisted that his troops will have nothing to do with immigration enforcement. The Democratic governor broke a week of silence last Wednesday by agreeing to contribute 400 troops, though not all will be on the border. Brown's commitment brought the pledges from four states that border Mexico to just shy of the low end of the...