Trump says he expects to be arrested, calls for protest

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump says in a social media post that he expects to be arrested Tuesday and he's calling on supporters to protest. A New York grand jury is investigating hush money payments to women who alleged sexual encounters with the former president. But there's no evidence that prosecutors have made any formal outreach to him. And a spokesperson and a lawyer for Trump says his Truth Social post was based on media reports rather than any actual update from, or communication with, prosecutors. The district attorney’s office declined comment. Trump's post seems designed to preempt a formal announcement from prosecutors and to galvanize outrage from his base of supporters in advance of charges widely seen as coming soon.

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.

From highlands to the coast, quake damages Ecuador, Peru

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — A strong earthquake that shook southern Ecuador and northern Peru has killed at least 15 people and left others trapped under rubble. Saturday's earthquake with about 6.8 magnitude has also brought down homes and buildings in vastly different communities, from coastal areas to the highlands. But in Ecuador, regardless of geography, many of those homes had a lot in common: They housed the poor, were old and did not meet building standards in the earthquake-prone country. Juan Vera says the government has offered to pay for the funerals of three relatives. But he wonders why authorities allowed them to live in the house that killed them.

Facing arrest warrant, Russia's Putin visits annexed Crimea

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has traveled to Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine. Putin visited an art school and a children’s center on Saturday, the day after the International Criminal Court’ issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader accusing him of war crimes. The court specifically accused him on Friday of bearing personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine during Russia’s full-scale invasion of the neighboring country that started almost 13 months ago. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move that most of the world considered illegal.

Arkansas ousts defending champ Kansas from March Madness

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Kansas’ national title defense ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament when Arkansas’ Ricky Council IV made five free throws in the closing seconds and the eighth-seeded Razorbacks beat the No. 1 seed Jayhawks 72-71. Davonte Davis scored 25 points and Council added 21 as Arkansas rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit. Kansas, playing without ailing coach Bill Self, became the second top seed not to escape the tournament’s first weekend after Purdue lost on Friday night to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson. Arkansas and coach Eric Musselman return to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year.

Russia, Ukraine extend grain deal to aid world's poor

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations officials say an unprecedented wartime deal that allows grain to flow from Ukraine to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia has been extended. Neither the U.N. nor Erdogan said how long the agreement would last. Ukraine announced a 120-day extension on Saturday, the day the deal was set to expire. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson says Moscow agreed to a 60-day renewal. Ukraine and Russia signed separate agreements with the U.N. and Turkey last year to allow food to leave the Black Sea region after Russia invaded its neighbor more than a year ago. Moscow has complained about the implementation.

Bank failures: Anger in Congress, but division on what to do

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is trying to  figure out how best to respond to the abrupt failure of two U.S. banks. Lawmakers are up in arms over the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, and they're questioning what went wrong. But while President Joe Biden has urged Congress to strengthen the rules for banks to prevent more failures, lawmakers are divided on legislation. Republicans say the laws already in place were sufficient to prevent the bank failures, if only regulators had done their job. Democrats say a law signed by President Donald Trump in 2018 is a major contributor to what happened. The first of several hearings on the bank failures has been scheduled for March 29.

Pro-Moscow voices tried to steer Ohio train disaster debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Not long after the Ohio train derailment, pro-Russian voices on Twitter began spreading anti-U.S. propaganda about the incident. Many of the accounts were awarded blue check marks by Twitter under a new verification policy announced since Elon Musk bought the social media platform. The accounts also parroted Kremlin talking points about Russia's invasion of Ukraine and in many cases recycled material from Russian state-controlled media. Researchers at Reset, the London-based nonprofit that uncovered the accounts, say they show how authoritarian governments are hijacking social media platforms operated by U.S. companies for the purpose of meddling in domestic debates.

Election conspiracy movement grinds on as 2024 approaches

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — As the U.S. barrels toward the next presidential election, the election conspiracy movement that mushroomed after the last one shows no signs of slowing down. Millions of Americans have been convinced that any election in which their preferred candidate loses has been somehow rigged against them, a belief that has fed efforts among conservatives to ditch voting machines and to halt or delay certification of election results. The deep distrust about elections is fueled by former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen and by allies who have been traveling the country holding community forums.

Prosecutor to release video of death of man in custody

DINWIDDIE, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors plan next week to release the video that led authorities in Virginia to charge seven deputies and three state mental hospital employees with second-degree murder in the death of a handcuffed and shackled man. Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the family of Irvo Otieno gave their blessing to release the video after watching it. Attorneys for the family described the video to reporters as 12 agonizing minutes of deputies pushing down on Otineo, who is Black. The attorneys said his arms and legs were restrained. Defense attorneys say they haven't seen the video yet, and prosecutors are trying to curry public favor rather than assure a fair trial.

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