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    Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, driven from power and now languishing in a prison where his opponents were once jailed and tortured, is more vulnerable than ever to a decade-old international arrest warrant for war crimes committed in Darfur. But the military, which forced him from power after four months of mass protests, has said it will not extradite him to the International Criminal Court at the Hague. Even many opponents of al-Bashir have expressed reluctance about handing him over to the ICC, saying they would prefer to bring him to justice within Sudan. Any attempt to hold him and other top officials accountable could pose risks to the transition to civilian rule sought by the protesters. The charges against al-Bashir stem from the conflict in western Sudan's vast and long-neglected Darfur region, where an insurgency broke out in 2003. Al-Bashir's government mobilized Arab militias known as the Janjaweed, who are accused of burning villages to the ground, massacring civilians and carrying out mass rapes among three ethnic African groups, the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa. The conflict killed an estimated 300,000 people and displaced some 2.7 million. Few dispute the allegations, but the ICC warrants proved controversial. Several African and Arab leaders — most recently Syria's President Bashar Assad — have hosted al-Bashir and refused to arrest him despite a U.N. Security Council resolution urging them to do so , arguing that the ICC warrants infringe on national sovereignty. Critics have also claimed the court is biased, noting that all of its outstanding arrest warrants target Africans. The United States, China and Russia have yet to ratify the Rome Statute establishing the court. The U.S. has rejected its jurisdiction over alleged war crimes committed by American forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, and in March moved to block ICC investigators from entering the country . Experts say the ICC warrant against al-Bashir likely pushed him to resort to even more brutal tactics to remain in power, prolonging his autocratic rule and the conflict in Darfur, where low-level unrest continues to this day. The warrant may have sent a similar message to other leaders accused of war crimes, such as Assad, that the only way to avoid prosecution is to remain in power by any means necessary. 'The ICC probably delayed democratization by 10 years because Bashir believed he could not safely step down, and it shouldn't do any further damage to Sudanese democratization,' said Alex de Waal, an expert on Sudan at Tufts University. The organizers of four months of protests that eventually drove al-Bashir from office have demanded that the military immediately hand power to a civilian council that would govern for four years. They fear the military, which is dominated by al-Bashir appointees, will replace him with another general. The military insists it is committed to governing for no more than two years, during which civilian elections will be held. It says al-Bashir will be brought to justice by Sudanese courts, and has sacked top judges and prosecutors who were appointed by him. Any international demands for al-Bashir's extradition could complicate those plans, because senior members of the security forces may fear they'll be targeted as well. The ICC has warrants out for three other defendants linked to al-Bashir's government, and may have evidence against others who now sit on the transitional military council. Those officials may conclude, like al-Bashir, that their only way of avoiding detention in the Hague is to cling to power. The protesters are aware of such concerns and have thus far refrained from calling for al-Bashir's extradition. Mohammed al-Asam, a senior member of the Sudanese Professionals Association, which has organized the protests, said that if a new judicial system can be established with 'independent standards,' then 'no one would object to the trial of Omar al-Bashir inside Sudan.' Without such standards, he said, 'the Sudanese are going to look for justice elsewhere in the world.' De Waal said an earlier proposal by the African Union to set up a hybrid court of international and Sudanese judges to investigate crimes in Darfur was accepted by nearly everyone except al-Bashir and his top lieutenants, and could offer a model for justice going forward. But that depends on whether the protesters and the military are able to agree on a transitional government that could pursue such a process. Protest organizers on Sunday suspended talks with the military council, saying it had failed to meet their demands for an immediate transfer to a civilian government. In the meantime, the 75-year-old al-Bashir is confined in Khartoum's Koper prison, a facility where political prisoners were once held and abused , and where al-Asam was held for 98 days. The protesters hope al-Bashir will one day be brought to justice for an array of crimes. Besides the atrocities committed in Darfur and other regions, as well as during the long war in South Sudan, his security forces fired on protesters earlier this month, and his long ruled has been marked by corruption — a key issue for the ongoing protest movement. 'We have to take another direction,' said Amal al-Zein, a 53-year-old activist who was detained under al-Bashir. 'We are used to, in Sudan, for us to be forgiving of crimes against (the) nation, but I think we have to start a new page.' 'We need to hold people accountable,' she said. 'He needs to be prosecuted here and face the national justice system.' ___ Krauss reported from Cairo.
  • An Arizona man is accused of trespassing after Phoenix homeowners allegedly discovered him in their attic, KNXV reported. >> Read more trending news  Adriel Luna Rodriguez, 18, was charged with criminal damage and trespassing, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. According to court records, the homeowners called police around 11 a.m. April 13 after allegedly hearing noises coming from their attic. Police discovered Rodriguez in the attic after his legs went through the ceiling drywall, KNXV reported. According to court documents, officers shot pepper balls into the attic to get Rodriguez out, but he did not cooperate, KTVK reported. 'It just kept dragging on and dragging on and dragging on ... and he wouldn't come out,' one of the homeowners told the television station. Police were finally able to extricate Rodriguez from the home and arrested him, KTVK reported. Police said there was about $4,000 worth of damage to the home’s roof, attic, and ceiling, KNXV reported.
  • The financial condition of the government's bedrock retirement programs for middle- and working-class Americans remains shaky, with Medicare pointed toward insolvency by 2026, according to a report Monday by the government's overseers of Medicare and Social Security. It paints a sobering picture of the programs, though it's relatively unchanged from last year's update. Social Security would become insolvent in 2035, one year later than previously estimated. Both programs will need to eventually be addressed to avert automatic cuts should their trust funds run dry. Neither President Donald Trump nor Capitol Hill's warring factions has put political perilous cost curbs on their to-do list. The report is the latest update of the government's troubled fiscal picture. It lands in a capital that has proven chronically unable to address it. Trump has declared benefit cuts to the nation's signature retirement programs off limits and many Democratic presidential candidates are calling for expanding Medicare benefits rather than addressing the program's worsening finances. Many on both sides actually agree that it would be better for Washington to act sooner rather than later to shore up the programs rather than wait until they are on the brink of insolvency and have to weigh more drastic steps. But potential cuts such as curbing inflationary increases for Social Security, hiking payroll taxes, or raising the Medicare retirement age are so politically freighted and toxic that Washington's power players are mostly ignoring the problem. Monday's report by three Cabinet heads and Social Security's acting commissioner, urges lawmakers to 'take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls, so that a broader range of solutions can be considered and more time will be available to phase in changes while giving the public adequate time to prepare.' If Congress doesn't act, both programs would eventually be unable to cover the full cost of promised benefits. With Social Security that could mean automatic benefit cuts for most retirees, many of whom depend on the program to cover basic living costs. For Medicare, it could mean that hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical providers would be paid only part of their agreed-upon fees.
  • The WNBA is nearly doubling its national TV exposure with a multiyear deal with CBS Sports. CBS Sports Network will broadcast 40 WNBA games beginning next month when the season opens. 'Through our partnership with CBS Sports Network, the WNBA is joining an elite lineup of premium sports programming,' said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. 'We thank CBS Sports for making such a meaningful commitment to women's basketball and for providing another platform to showcase the world-class athletes of the WNBA.' The league, which will begin its 23rd season on May 24, also has a deal with ESPN to show 16 regular season telecasts, including three on ABC. Last year, the WNBA had a strong regular season with combined average viewership across ESPN2 and NBA TV up 31% over 2018. Minnesota versus Chicago on Saturday, May 25, will be the first game on the CBS Sports Network. The TV channel will use local broadcast feeds for now, similar to what NBA TV does in showing WNBA games. NBA TV showed 49 games last year. 'We are truly excited to partner with the WNBA, bringing the country's premier women's sports league to CBS Sports Network. This partnership is one of the biggest and most impactful women's sports programming arrangements ever at CBS Sports, offering national exposure of 40 games per year,' said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus. 'This agreement provides great live content throughout the summer in primetime and on weekends, and aligns two great brands in the WNBA and CBS Sports. We look forward to working with the WNBA for many years to come.' CBS executive vice president of programming Dan Weinberg said the WNBA was exactly what CBS was looking for to bolster its schedule. 'We are looking to partner with established brands that are growing with dedicated fan bases,' he said in a phone interview. 'The WNBA checks every one of those boxes. (Playing in the) Spring-Summer lends itself to our programming schedule. We are clearly and obviously talking about the best basketball players in the world at the highest level. Associating ourselves with WNBA, it's a great powerful established brand with popularity across the country.' The sides are still discussing expanding the coverage to include features and other WNBA programming. 'It's going to be beyond highlights,' said David Denenberg, who is the Senior Vice President, Global Media Distribution and Business Affairs for the NBA Entertainment. 'Whether it's features we develop or CBS develops we want to do more.' It's unclear how the WNBA will decide which games will air on ESPN or CBS going forward after this year. The league didn't seem too concerned. 'Suffice it to say we have enough games we think we'll put together a robust schedule for everyone,' Denenberg said. 'We'll announce the CBS schedule, ESPN schedule. I think we're going to well serve all our partners.' ___ Follow Doug Feinberg on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg
  • Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is lobbying for a presidential primary debate in his home state, which is a projected battleground in the 2020 presidential election. Casey's letter Monday to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says holding a primary debate in Pennsylvania would benefit the party in a state that holds great electoral importance to Democrats. Casey said Democrats can't afford to lose Pennsylvania if they hope to beat President Donald Trump, after Trump in 2016 became the first Republican to win Pennsylvania since 1988. Casey described Trump's victory as a 'wake-up call' and said a debate in the politically divided state would help Democrats. The DNC is planning a dozen debates, and has announced two locations — starting with Miami this June and Detroit in July.
  • SpaceX has suffered a serious setback in its effort to launch NASA astronauts into orbit this year. Over the weekend, the Dragon crew capsule that flew to the International Space Station last month was engulfed in smoke and flames on an engine test stand. SpaceX says it was testing the Dragon's abort thrusters at Cape Canaveral, Florida, when Saturday's accident occurred. The company says the test area was clear and no one was injured. This Dragon was supposed to be used in a launch abort test in June, with another capsule making the first flight with a crew as early as July. NASA said Monday it's too early to revise the target launch dates. Earlier this month, NASA announced major delays for test flights of Boeing's Starliner crew capsule.
  • Indiana State Police on Monday will release 'very significant information' about the 2017 deaths of two teenage girls who were killed during a hiking trip, an agency spokesman said. No arrest warrants have been issued and no arrests have been made in the killings of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams, Sgt. Kim Riley said. But he said the agency would release new information about the investigation into the unsolved slayings during a news conference in Delphi, the city near where the girls were found dead in February 2017. State Police Superintendent Doug Carter will discuss how the investigation had gone in a 'new direction,' according to police. Carter will be joined by a State Police captain but they won't take questions, Riley said. The teenagers' bodies were found in a rugged, wooded area one day after they went hiking near their hometown of Delphi, a community of about 3,000 people roughly 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis. Within days of the killings, investigators released two grainy photos of a suspect walking on the abandoned railroad bridge the girls had visited, and an audio recording of a man believed to be the suspect saying 'down the hill.' That evidence came from German's cellphone, and police have hailed the girl as a hero for recording potentially crucial evidence. Investigators have reviewed thousands of leads looking for the man. Police also have released a composite sketch from eyewitnesses who believe they saw the man in Delphi. ___ For the latest developments in this case: https://apnews.com/099ee1da042941dfb96d90377e08dde4
  • The White House lawn is the scene of its biggest social event of the year: the annual Easter Egg Roll. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are hosting Monday's festivities on the South Lawn for more than 30,000 adults and children who will stream through the gates all day. The main event is the traditional rolling of hard-boiled eggs across the lawn, but the first lady has announced two new additions to the lineup of festivities: musical eggs and a game of hopscotch named for her 'Be Best' children's initiative. There's also a nook where Mrs. Trump and other officials will read storybooks and a station for kids to make greeting cards to send to U.S. troops. The White House Easter Egg Roll dates to 1878.
  • Kelly Stafford, the wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, says she is home after surgery to remove a brain tumor. She says the surgery lasted 12 hours and shared other details Sunday on her Instagram account. Earlier this month, she shared that an MRI showed the tumor after she had vertigo spells within the last year. Kelly and the Matthew Stafford have three daughters. They started dating at Georgia where she was a cheerleader and he was the star of the football team. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL draft and has spent his entire career with the Lions. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a bid by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to be released from jail for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating Wikileaks. The three-paragraph, unanimous decision from a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond rejects both Manning's argument that she was erroneously found in civil contempt of court and her request for bail while the contempt decision is litigated. Manning has been jailed at the Alexandria Detention Center since March 8 after refusing to testify to the Wikileaks grand jury. Since her incarceration, criminal charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange have been unsealed and U.S. officials have requested his extradition . Manning's lawyers argued that her testimony is unnecessary in part because Assange has already been charged. Manning served seven years in a military prison for leaking a trove of military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks before then-President Barack Obama commuted the remainder of her 35-year sentence. Manning's lawyers also argued that she told authorities everything she knew during her court-martial investigation and that her incarceration was unnecessarily cruel because the jail is unable to provide adequate medical care in connection with gender-reassignment surgery Manning underwent. Prosecutors responded that they believe Manning, who was granted immunity for her grand jury testimony, may have more to say about her interactions with Wikileaks than has been previously disclosed, and that Manning is out of line for disrupting the grand-jury process simply on her speculation that she is being singled out for harassment. They also say that the jail has gone out of its way to accommodate her medical needs. Prosecutors have called Manning's leak to Wikileaks one of the largest compromises of classified information in U.S. history. Monday's opinion was issued by judges Allyson Duncan, a George W. Bush appointee; Paul Niemayer, a George H.W. Bush appointee; and Robert King, a Bill Clinton appointee. Manning's lawyer said she expected to issue a statement later Monday. Under the terms of the judge's contempt finding, Manning will remain jailed until she agrees to testify or until the grand jury's term is concluded. That date is unknown.