France's next leader: centrist Macron vs. far-right Le Pen PARIS (AP) - Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen advanced Sunday to a runoff in France's presidential election, remaking the country's political system and setting up a showdown over its participation in the European Union. French politicians on the left and right immediately urged voters to block Le Pen's path to power in the May 7 runoff, saying her virulently nationalist anti-EU and anti-immigration politics would spell disaster for France. The selection of Le Pen and Macron presented voters with the starkest possible choice between two diametrically opposed visions of the EU's future and France's place in it.
The Latest: Early French count continues to show Le Pen lead With 34 percent of the vote counted, France's Interior Ministry says that far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is leading with 24.6 percent of the vote followed by centrist Emmanuel Macron with 21.9 percent. The early vote count includes primarily rural constituencies that lean to the right, while urban areas that lean left are counted later. Both candidates will advance to the May 7 runoff after their rivals conceded defeat. For the first time in modern French history, no mainstream party candidate is advancing, upending the country's political system.
Tight, tense French presidential vote echoes around world PARIS (AP) - As French voters cast ballots for president Sunday, they're making a choice that will resonate far beyond France's borders, from Syrian battlefields to Hong Kong trading floors and the halls of the U.N. Security Council. The future of Europe is at stake as this country faces an election unlike any other, one that may reshape France's post-war identity and indicate whether global populism is ascendant or on the decline. Here are a few reasons why the French election, taking place in two rounds starting Sunday, matters: RISK OF A FREXIT Most of the 11 candidates are campaigning against the European Union, blamed for myriad woes.
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Trump at 100 days: 'It's a different kind of presidency' WASHINGTON (AP) - For nearly 100 days, President Donald Trump has rattled Washington and been chastened by its institutions. He's startled world leaders with his unpredictability and tough talk, but won their praise for a surprise strike on Syria. He's endured the steady drip of investigations and a seemingly endless churn of public personnel drama. "It's a different kind of a presidency," Trump said in an Oval Office interview with The Associated Press, an hourlong conversation as he approached Saturday's key presidential benchmark. Trump, who campaigned on a promise of instant disruption, indirectly acknowledged that change doesn't come quickly to Washington.
Trump heads into tough week with budget, health care battles WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is heading into one of the most challenging weeks of his presidency, juggling a renewed health care push and a looming budget deadline. It's all complicated by a potential showdown with Democrats over paying for a border wall. The symbolic 100-day mark for the administration is Saturday. That's the same day government could shut down without a budget deal. Trump has announced a rally in Pennsylvania that day. Despite Trump's dismissal that the 100-day marker is "artificial," the White House is planning a packed week of activities leading up to Saturday. Trump will sign executive orders on energy and rural policies, dine with Supreme Court justices, meet with the president of Argentina and travel to Atlanta for a National Rifle Association event.
NKorea detains US citizen, the 3rd American being held there PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - North Korea has detained a U.S. citizen, officials said Sunday, bringing to three the number of Americans now being held there. Tony Kim, who also goes by his Korean name Kim Sang-duk, was detained on Saturday, according to Park Chan-mo, the chancellor of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Park said Kim, who is 58, taught accounting at the university for about a month. He said Kim was detained by officials as he was trying to leave the country from Pyongyang's international airport. A university spokesman said he was trying to leave with his wife on a flight to China.
Plight of Palestinian refugees now spans 5 generations JERASH REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan (AP) - As a boy, Palestinian Abdullah Abu Massoud fled the war over the creation of Israel in 1948 and sought refuge in the nearby Gaza Strip. As a young man, Abu Massoud was displaced again when Israeli forces captured Gaza, along with the West Bank and east Jerusalem, in 1967. This time he boarded a truck to Jordan. Now 77, Abu Massoud has been living in a refugee camp in Jordan for the past 50 years. He is the white-bearded patriarch of a refugee family spanning five generations, including seven children, 46 grandchildren, scores of great-grandchildren and an infant great-great-granddaughter, Tuqaa.
Erin Moran, Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days," dies at 56 NEW YORK (AP) - Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died. She was 56. Moran was found dead Saturday by emergency responders after a dispatcher for the Harrison County, Indiana, sheriff's department received a 911 call, the department said. The cause of death has not been determined. An autopsy is pending. A Burbank, California, native, Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She had several years of experience when she was cast in 1974 in "Happy Days" as Joanie Cunningham, the kid sister to high school student Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard, who went on to become a successful filmmaker.
More Venezuelans struggle in US as their country implodes MIAMI (AP) - People crowd outside a church near Miami's international airport, chatting about family and friends left behind in Caracas, Valencia and Maracaibo as they wait more than an hour to receive rice, beans, yogurt and other food for their families. At a storage space not far away, about 60 other Venezuelans line up for free sheets, towels, cookware and other goods donated to help them get on their feet in their new country. Volunteers at South Florida social service organizations say they have seen an increasing number of Venezuelan seeking help. It's a reflection of the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, where the opposition has held massive protests against President Nicolas Maduro for his handling of the economy and a Supreme Court decision that briefly stripped the opposition-led congress of most of its power.
Doctor's arrest brings attention to US female circumcisions DETROIT (AP) - Zehra Patwa learned only a few years ago that during a family trip to India at age 7, she was circumcised, which is common for girls in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Patwa, 46, doesn't remember undergoing the procedure, which is also called female genital mutilation or cutting and which has been condemned by the United Nations and outlawed in the U.S. But she doesn't want to. "I have no desire to get that memory back. ... Psychologically, it feels like a violation, even though I don't remember it," said Patwa, a technology project manager from New Haven, Connecticut, who now campaigns against the centuries-old practice.