Taylor Swift kicks off US Eras Tour at Super Bowl stadium
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Taylor Swift opened her U.S. concert series with a three-hour tour of her career. Swift kicked off the first concert of the 52-date Eras Tour with a six-song set Friday night from her album “Lover” at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, where the Super Bowl was played a month ago. She ended the concert with seven songs from her latest album “Midnights." In between she played at least one song from each of her albums. After another show at the same venue Saturday night, the tour moves on to Allegiant Stadium outside Las Vegas then AT&T Stadium near Dallas.
GOP donor faces trial on charges of sex trafficking minors
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A formerly well-connected Republican donor goes on trial in Minnesota on Tuesday accused of sex trafficking minors. Anton “Tony” Lazzaro is charged with seven federal counts involving five minors ages 15 and 16 in 2020, when he was 30 years old. His indictment touched off a political firestorm that led to the downfall of Jennifer Carnahan as chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota. A co-defendant pleaded guilty to two counts last year and will testify against him. Lazzaro has denied the allegations. He says the government targeted him for political reasons. Prosecutors say it’s simply a sex-trafficking case.
Republican bills push cash bail, subvert Democratic changes
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican lawmakers across the country are pushing to increase the use of cash bail and pretrial detention. Their efforts are a counter to Democratic measures that have sought to eliminate cash bail and ensure most defendants are released before trial in states such as Illinois and New York. GOP lawmakers in at least 14 states have introduced 20 bills to bolster cash bail since legislative sessions began anew in 2023. Criminal justice advocates say the measures would do little more than increase disparity in the justice system and favor wealthy defendants. Republicans argue they will protect the public from people accused of violent crimes.
Miami Beach sets spring break curfew after 2 fatal shootings
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Miami Beach officials imposed a curfew beginning Sunday night during spring break after two fatal shootings and rowdy, chaotic crowds that police have had difficulty controlling. The city said in a news release the curfew would be from 11:59 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday, with an additional curfew likely to be put in place Thursday through next Monday, March 27. The curfew mainly affects South Beach, the most popular party location for spring breakers. The release said the two separate shootings Friday night and early Sunday that left two people dead and “excessively large and unruly crowds” led to the decision. The city commission plans a meeting Monday to discuss potential further restrictions next week.
Mysterious streaks of light seen in the sky over California
Mysterious streaks of light were seen in the sky in the Sacramento area Friday night, shocking St. Patrick’s Day revelers who then posted videos on social media of the surprising sight. Jonathan McDowell says he can solve the mystery. McDowell is an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. McDowell said Saturday he’s 99.9% confident the streaks of light were from burning space debris. He identified the debris as a Japanese communications package that became obsolete and was jettisoned from the International Space Station in 2020 because it was taking up valuable space and would burn up completely upon reentry.
Some Trump rivals rally to his side as possible charges loom
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Top Republicans, including some of Donald Trump’s potential rivals for the GOP's 2024 presidential nomination, are rushing to his defense after Trump said he's bracing for possible arrest. The reaction points to the political risks faced by would-be opponents who are eager to convince voters that it's time to move on from the former president but also fear alienating his loyal base. The comments came hours after Trump declared in a social media post that he expects to be arrested this coming week in a case that the Manhattan district attorney is investigating over hush money payments made to women who alleged Trump had sexual encounters with them. Trump has denied the allegations.
Sandler receives Mark Twain Prize, praise from comic pals
WASHINGTON (AP) — A host of comedic and entertainment royalty gathered Sunday night at Washington’s Kennedy Center as Adam Sandler received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. For his part, Sandler placed his hand on the award, a bronze bust of Mark Twain, and speculated that it “one day might be the weapon used to bludgeon me in my sleep.” Sandler thanked his parents and siblings for what he called “that weird irrational confidence thing that I guess I still have” Now 56, he first came to national attention on TV's “Saturday Night Live.” One of Sandler's “SNL” colleagues, Dana Carvey, remarked before the ceremony, “Who has lasted this long and stayed this beloved?”
California to seek beds for mental health, drug treatment
SAN DIEGO (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom's latest plan for the state's homelessness crisis asks voters to fund a major expansion of housing and treatment for residents suffering from mental illness and addiction. Newsom announced Sunday that he will ask allies in the Democratic-controlled Legislature for a measure on the 2024 ballot to authorize funding to build residential facilities where over 10,000 people a year could live and be treated. The plan is the latest by the governor who took office in 2019 vowing to own the issue of homelessness in a state where an estimated 171,000 were unhoused last year.
Los Angeles TV meteorologist says she's OK after fainting
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A TV meteorologist in Los Angeles says she's recovering after fainting on the air during a weekend newscast. Alissa Carlson was starting her forecast Saturday on CBS Los Angeles when she suddenly slumped onto the desk and then collapsed to the floor. News co-anchor Rachel Kim exclaimed “Oh!” and the broadcast cut to a commercial break. In a post on Facebook, Carlson thanked viewers for the well wishes. “I am going to be ok!” she wrote. The news station and Carlson did not disclose any details about why she fainted.
Pope Benedict XVI's aide acknowledges criticism over memoir
ROME (AP) — The longtime secretary to Pope Benedict XVI has acknowledged that his tell-all memoir has been criticized for casting Pope Francis in an unfavorable light. But Archbishop Georg Gaenswein insisted that some of the polemics were more about prejudice than anything else. Gaenswein said Sunday in some of his first public comments since Benedict’s Dec. 31 death that he remained loyal to Francis. He said that he was still waiting for the pontiff to give him a new job. Gaenswein’s future has been the subject of much speculation following Benedict’s death and the publication of “Nothing But the Truth: My Life Beside Pope Benedict XVI.”
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