WASHINGTON — Rep. Ted Lieu walked out of the House chamber Monday night when Speaker Paul D. Ryan called for a moment of silence for the 26 victims of a shooting at a Texas church.

“It wasn’t something I planned. I just felt angry. I’ve been to so many of these, and then nothing happens. I just thought, I can’t do another one,” the California Democrat said Tuesday.

Lieu, who is Catholic, said he prayed for the victims Sunday after hearing about the shooting, but he couldn’t stomach another moment of silence that isn’t followed by congressional action. He called it a spectacle and said he doesn’t plan to stand for another one, joining other members of the California delegation who don’t participate in such moments of silence.

“All we choose to do is a 60-second moment of silence, and then that’s it and then we move on and I think that is very disrespectful,” Lieu said. “Until we get reasonable gun safety legislation, I’m just not going to do any more moments of silence.”

—Tribune Washington Bureau


Alec Baldwin claims Melania Trump ‘loves’ his ‘SNL’ impression of the president

NEW YORK — Alec Baldwin thinks he has at least one fan in the Oval Office.

The actor, who has been on the wrong end of President Donald Trump’s Twitter outbursts on more than one occasion, thinks his foe’s wife appreciates his “Saturday Night Live” impersonation.

“Someone told me, who’s friends with someone in the White House or formerly in the White House, that Melania Trump loves ‘SNL’ and she loves my impersonation,” Baldwin said on “The Brian Lehrer Show.”

He also claimed the first lady told his mystery source, “That’s exactly what he’s like.”

“Trump is horrified and beside himself that his wife actually thinks it’s funny,” Baldwin said.

The White House, however, disagrees.

“That is not true, which is why Mr. Baldwin has no actual names to go with his bizarre assertion,” Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s director of communications, said in a statement to Newsweek.

—New York Daily News


Kansas City detective cuts short his interview with ‘flatulent’ suspect

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — His flatulence stopped one police interrogation, but not a continuing investigation that has resulted in a 24-year-old Kansas City man facing federal gun and drug charges.

Sean A. Sykes Jr. is charged in U.S. District Court possession with intent to sell cocaine and being a felon in possession of three firearms, two of which were reported stolen.

The charges stem from Kansas City police traffic stops on Sept. 1 and Nov. 5, according to court documents.

On Sept. 1, Sykes was in a car that police searched and found a backpack that contained various drugs and two handguns. One of the guns, a .357 Magnum, had been reported stolen out of a car in Independence a few days earlier, according to the documents.

While being questioned, Sykes denied knowing anything about the guns and drugs.

In his report about the interview, the detective wrote that when asked about his address, “Mr. Sykes leaned to one side of his chair and released a loud fart before answering with the address.

“Mr. Sykes continued to be flatulent and I ended the interview,” the detective wrote.

Charges were not filed at that time.

Then on Nov. 5, police pulled over a car driven by Sykes.

According to the allegations in court documents, police found marijuana and crack cocaine inside the vehicle. They also found a .38-caliber revolver that had been reported stolen from Overland Park, Kan.

Sykes made an initial court appearance Monday and was ordered held in custody pending a hearing later this week to determine if a bond will be set.

—The Kansas City Star


7 reported killed in Nicaragua post-election violence

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Violence has erupted in Nicaragua following municipal elections, with seven people killed and dozens injured in clashes between opposition and government supporters and police, a human rights group said Tuesday.

The ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front took nearly 70 percent of Sunday’s vote, winning 135 out of a total 153 mayoral seats, according to the electoral commission.

The Nicaraguan Center of Human Rights (Cenidh) reported violence in the city of Puerto Cabezas in the northeast on Monday and Tuesday, as well as clashes in the province of Jinotega in the north and in the province of Rio San Juan in the south on Monday.

Elizabeth Hernandez, president of the indigenous party Yatama, accused the government of having used fraud to dislodge the party from power in Puerto Cabezas.

Yatama and pro-government activists set buildings on fire, according to media reports. Hernandez said two Yatama members were shot dead. Puerto Cabezas Mayor Reynaldo Francis told dpa that more than 40 injured people were brought to hospital.

Police did not issue any comment on the reported violence.

An observer mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) said occasional irregularities, such as people voting outside their area of residence, did not substantially alter the election result.



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