Like a showman, Trump suggests DMZ for ‘big event’ with Kim

By MATTHEW PENNINGTON, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Like a consummate showman, President Donald Trump began rolling the drum Monday for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, suggesting the “big event” take place in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Koreas. That’s where Kim just met his South Korean counterpart.
But Trump said that the Southeast Asian city state of Singapore was also in the running to host what few would have predicted when nuclear tensions were soaring last year — the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the United States and North Korea.
While policy experts, and even his own national security adviser, voice skepticism that North Korea is sincere about giving up its nuclear efforts, Trump sounds like he’s gearing up for a date with history, and clearly wants the backdrop to be just right.
First by Twitter, and then at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said he likes the idea of going to the southern side of the demarcation line that separates the Koreas, where South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Kim on Friday.
“There’s something that I like about it because you are there, you are actually there,” Trump said. “If things work out there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country.”
There’s been much speculation about where Trump and Kim might meet. Countries in Europe and Southeast Asia, in Mongolia and even a ship in international waters have all been suggested as possible venues. Monday was the first time that Trump had publicly named potential locations.
His planned meeting with Kim will be the crucial follow-up to the summit between Kim and Moon on Friday where they pledged to seek a formal end this year to the Korean War — a conflict that was halted in 1953 by an armistice and not a peace treaty, leaving the two sides technically at war. They also committed to ridding the peninsula of nuclear weapons.
Former reality television star Trump now has to help turn the Korean leaders’ bold but vague vision for peace into reality. Undaunted, he gave the impression Monday that governments were vying to host his face-to-face with Kim and share in the attention it would bring.
“Everybody wants us. It has the chance to be a big event,” the president said on a bright spring day in Washington, alongside Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he’d just met at the White House. “The United States has never been closer to potentially have something happen with respect to the Korean Peninsula that can get rid of the nuclear weapons, can create so many good things, so many positive things, and peace and security for the world.”
It wasn’t clear whether his enthusiasm was stirred by the South Korean president’s suggestion Monday that Trump could take the Nobel Peace Prize if the two Koreas win peace. Moon’s remark came when he deflected a question about whether he might win the award as one of his predecessors, Kim Dae-jung, did in 2000 after the first ever inter-Korean summit.
The United States has reached aid-for-disarmament deals with North Korea before, but they’ve ultimately failed. The most enduring effort negotiated by the Bill Clinton administration in 1994 halted the North’s production of plutonium for nearly a decade. But it collapsed over suspicions that North Korea had a secret program to enrich uranium, giving it an alternative route to make fissile material for bombs.
Trump’s recently installed national security adviser, John Bolton, who has in the past advocated military action against North Korea, reacted coolly Sunday to its reported willingness to give up nuclear programs if the United States commits to a formal end to the war and a pledges not to attack.
“We’ve heard this before,” Bolton told CBS’ “Face the Nation,” adding that the U.S. wanted to see concrete action “not just rhetoric.”
This year, Kim has already suspended his nuclear and missile tests. According to South Korean officials, he told Moon that he’s going to shut down his country’s only known nuclear testing site and allow experts and journalists to observe.
Trump cited that prospect with approval on Monday, saying Kim is “talking about no research, no launches of ballistic missiles, no nuclear testing.” But as usual, the president left open the possibility of pulling the plug on talks, saying: “If it’s not a success, I will respectfully leave.”
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Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

Israel says documents prove Iran lied about nuclear program

By JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister on Monday unveiled what he said was a “half ton” of Iranian nuclear documents collected by Israeli intelligence, claiming it proved that Iranian leaders covered up a nuclear weapons program before signing a deal with world powers in 2015.
In a speech delivered in English and relying on his trademark use of visual aids, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed the material showed that Iran cannot be trusted, and encouraged President Donald Trump to withdraw from the deal next month.
“Iran lied big time,” Netanyahu declared.
In Washington, Trump said it vindicated his past criticism of the nuclear deal.
But Netanyahu’s presentation, delivered on live TV from Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv, did not appear to provide evidence that Iran has violated the 2015 deal, raising questions about whether it would sway international opinion ahead of Trump’s decision.
The U.S.-led agreement offered Iran relief from crippling sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
Netanyahu furiously fought the deal while President Barack Obama was negotiating it, and he has been a leading critic since it was signed. He says it does not provide sufficient safeguards to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear weapons capability.
Netanyahu has found a welcome partner in Trump, who has called the agreement “the worst deal ever.”
Trump has signaled he will pull out of the agreement by May 12 unless it is revised, but he faces intense pressure from European allies not to do so. Netanyahu said he already has given the information to the U.S., and he plans to share it with Western allies and the international nuclear agency.
Ahead of the announcement, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, belittled Netanyahu in a tweet, saying: “The boy who can’t stop crying wolf is at it again.”
He later tweeted: “Pres. Trump is jumping on a rehash of old allegations already dealt with by the IAEA to ‘nix’ the deal. How convenient. Coordinated timing of alleged intelligence revelations by the boy who cries wolf just days before May 12. But Trump’s impetuousness to celebrate blew the cover.”
Iran’s deputy foreign minister and senior nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araghchi, called Netanyahu’s presentation “childish and ridiculous” and said the purported evidence was “fake and fabricated.”
Iran has denied ever seeking nuclear weapons.
The exchange ratcheted up already heightened tensions between Israel and Iran. Israel considers Iran to be its biggest threat, citing Tehran’s hostile rhetoric, support for militants and growing influence in the region.
Israel has said it will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence in neighboring Syria, where Iran supports President Bashar Assad. Overnight Monday, a missile attack in northern Syria killed more than a dozen pro-government fighters, many of them Iranians, a war monitoring group and an Iranian news agency said.
There was no official confirmation of the death toll or the target. But Israel was widely suspected of being behind the attack.
In his presentation, Netanyahu said Israel had obtained some 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs of secret information from an Iranian nuclear weapons program called “Project Amad.” He said the material was gathered from a facility in the Tehran neighborhood of Shourabad a few weeks ago “in a great intelligence achievement.”
He said the uncovered filed included “incriminating” documents, charts, blueprints, photos and videos. He pointed to one presentation that allegedly called for producing and testing five warheads.
The authenticity of the documents could not be verified, and it was not clear whether they shed any new light on what international inspectors already have concluded. The documents appeared to date back to the early 2000s, when international inspectors already believe Iran was pursuing a weapons program.
A 2015 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, for example, concluded that Iran “conducted computer modeling of a nuclear explosive device” before 2005 and between 2005 and 2009. It said, however, that those calculations were “incomplete and fragmented.”
Netanyahu provided no direct evidence that Iran has violated the 2015 deal. But he said the existence of the documents proves Iran is waiting to resume its race to build a bomb.
“We can now prove that Project Amad was a comprehensive program to design, build and test nuclear weapons,” he said. “We can also prove that Iran is secretly storing Project Amad material to use at a time of its choice to develop nuclear weapons.”
He said that after the project was disbanded in 2003, its director, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, continued his work under another agency called Sapan.
Netanyahu said the material proves the international nuclear deal is a failure. He said it allows Iran to continue enriching some uranium, and does not address its research efforts or development of long-range ballistic missiles.
He noted that Trump was weighing whether to pull the U.S. out of the nuclear deal, saying “I am sure he will do the right thing.”
At the White House, Trump praised Netanyahu’s presentation and said it vindicated the president’s past statements about Iran and the shortcomings of the nuclear deal, adding that recent events have “really shown that I’ve been 100 percent right.” Although Trump was hosting Nigeria’s president for a visit during Netanyahu’s speech Monday, he said he watched part of it on television.
“That is just not an acceptable situation,” Trump said. He declined to say whether he’ll pull out of the deal on May 12 but said that even if he does, “that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t then negotiate a real agreement.”
Trump has set a May 12 deadline to decide whether to pull out of the Iran deal — something he appears likely to do despite heavy pressure to stay in from European allies and other parties.
Both Trump and Netanyahu say the deal should address Iranian support for militants across the region and Iran’s development of long-range ballistic missiles, as well as eliminate provisions that expire over the next decade.
Netanyahu’s office later issued a statement saying the prime minister had spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, and agreed to share the intelligence with them. He also spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the findings.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, issued a statement saying Netanyahu’s presentation will be assessed.
“I have not seen from Prime Minister Netanyahu arguments for the moment on non-compliance, meaning violation by Iran of its nuclear commitments under the (nuclear) deal,” she said.
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Associated Press writers Amir Vahdat and Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, and Josh Lederman in Washington contributed to this report.

Raptors rested, ready for third shot at LeBron, Cavaliers

By IAN HARRISON, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Raptors seem to have everything lined up in their favor heading into their postseason matchup against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
They’re rested. The Raptors feel they are ready. They have home-court advantage.
But they’ve been confident before heading into a playoff showdown with James and have come up short — twice.
“Gotta go through the best to get to that trophy,” All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan said. “Every step of the way we’re going to come across somebody.”
The Raptors open their second-round playoff series at home to James and the Cavs on Tuesday night. Cleveland has eliminated Toronto in two straight postseasons, including the 2016 conference finals and a second-round sweep last year.
This time, however, Toronto is the top-seeded team in the East after a team-record 59-win season. The Raptors have been off since a Game 6 victory over Washington last Friday night finished their first-round series, while James and the Cavs were pushed to the limit in grinding out a Game 7 win over Indiana on Sunday.
That’s a stark contrast to 2016, when Cleveland had eight days of rest before facing a Toronto team that had played consecutive seven-game series. Or last year, when the Cavs got a week off while waiting for Toronto to complete a six-game victory over Milwaukee in the opening round.
“They’re coming off a series where they were banging and bumping for seven games,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said. “I think our energy has been great. I think the days off will definitely have helped us a little bit.”
James, meanwhile, has shouldered a heavy load for the Cavs, scoring 40 or more three times in the first round. He played 43 minutes in Game 7, and was briefly forced off the court in the second half because of leg cramps.
Nevertheless, Raptors coach Dwane Casey expects James to be fully fresh once tip-off time arrives Tuesday.
“I don’t believe he’s tired,” Casey said. “He’s on a mission. I’m not saying he’s a lying man, but I don’t think he’s tired.”
These Cavs don’t have All-Star guard Kyrie Irving anymore, either, while Toronto has flourished with a new emphasis on ball movement and 3-point shooting.
“We have a great opportunity ahead of us to show how good of a team we’ve been,” Lowry said. “We’re ready.”
DeRozan agreed, saying there’s “no question” the Raptors are better equipped to face Cleveland than in years past.
“I feel it,” DeRozan said. “We all have that confidence in ourselves.”
Some other things to watch in the series between the Cavaliers and the Raptors:
BENCH MOB
Lowry and DeRozan started resting before their first-round series with the Wizards was even over. Lowry played 31 minutes in the clincher, and DeRozan 33, as Toronto’s deep bench took over in the fourth quarter. The reserve unit was bolstered by the return of guard Fred VanVleet, who had missed all but three minutes of the first five games because of a sore right shoulder. Pascal Siakam led Toronto’s bench with 11 points in Game 6 as the Raptors outscored Washington 29-14 in the fourth.
“That’s the type of intensity that we need from every quarter, every time we step on the floor,” Siakam said. “That’s what we want, just being able to wear down our opponent and playing physical.”
HOME SWEET HOME
The Raptors matched Houston with an NBA-leading 34-7 home record during the regular season and won all three home games against Washington in the first round. Toronto’s two wins against Cleveland in the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals came north of the border, and its only win in three meetings with the Cavs this season happened at home, a 133-99 win on Jan. 11.
“They’re a very tough team that plays well at home,” Cavaliers forward Kevin Love said. “They’re another team, like Indiana, that can play a number of different ways. They have bigs that are somewhat unorthodox and can play inside or outside, pick and pop. They have a lot of guards, especially those two guys out front in Lowry and DeRozan, that are going to be very tough to stop.”
FINALS FOUR
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue used four different starting lineups against the Pacers, but the one he went to in Game 7 might stick for a while. Lue started Kyle Korver alongside James, Love, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith — the four remaining players from Cleveland’s 2016 championship team. The move was as savvy as it was desperate, but it worked. Now Lue, who has used 34 starting lineups this season, has something to fall back on if things don’t go as planned against the Raptors.
“We’ve been in situations before,” James said of the Game 7 starters. “We’ve played big games before so that’s a comfort starting the game.”
BY GEORGE
Back spasms sidelined Cavs guard George Hill for three games against Indiana, but he returned in Game 7 and sparked Cleveland. Hill attacked the rim and finished with 11 points — nine on free throws — and had six rebounds and three assists while playing the final 19 minutes. He gives the Cavs not only another ball handler to take pressure off James, but a dependable veteran who has been through playoff battles with San Antonio and Indiana. The 31-year-old has played in 87 postseason games, starting 75.
“George is a really good player,” Lowry said. “He’s been doing this a long time. Having a healthy Hill helps them.”
Hill had one of his best games with Cleveland against the Raptors on March 21, scoring 22 points.
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AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.
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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Kingham moves into Pirates rotation after near-perfect debut

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pirates rookie Nick Kingham’s nearly perfect debut has earned him at least one more start in the majors.
Kingham took a perfect game into the seventh inning of his first big league start, retiring the first 20 batters in Pittsburgh’s 5-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
He left after seven innings, allowing one hit on 98 pitches, in the best debut by a major league starter in more than a half-century.
The Pirates weren’t necessarily planning to keep Kingham in the majors after his spot start. Now he’s slated to pitch again on Friday at Milwaukee.
“We had two different plans drawn up and that was one of the plans we had drawn up,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Monday. “We felt if he pitched competitively to his skillset and gave us the chance to win the game, we’d like to give him the ball another time. There’s no promises after that.”
The Pirates moved left-hander Steven Brault to the bullpen to make room for Kingham.
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Stephen Curry expected to return from knee injury for Game 2

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry is expected to return from a left knee injury to play in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals Tuesday night against New Orleans.
Coach Steve Kerr is listing the two-time MVP as probable with the idea that he’s a go as long as no issues arise in the morning shootaround or before the game. Kerr didn’t say whether Curry would start or come off the bench but he won’t have a minutes restriction.
Golden State leads the best-of-seven series 1-0 after a 123-101 rout in the opener Saturday.
Curry has scrimmaged with some of the reserves and the Warriors brass and medical staff determined he is ready for game action.
He was injured March 23 in the same game where he had come back from a six-game absence with a right ankle injury.
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Haye fighting to save career in rematch with Bellew

By STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer
Former world heavyweight champion David Haye is 37, has fought just three times in six years, and has an unfortunate knack of picking up injuries in and out of the ring.
Yet the British fighter thinks he should still be in the conversation for world heavyweight titles, that he can “achieve the very best in the division.”
Tony Bellew scoffs at that notion.
“David is not back to win world titles, he’s back to try to rob the bank,” Bellew said on Monday, ahead of his all-British rematch against Haye. “He wants to fight little fatties like me.”
Haye certainly looked like a boxer on his way out of the fighting game when he fell through the ropes — bloodied, battered and with only one functioning leg — in an 11th-round loss to Bellew in March 2017.
Known for his impressive physique, athleticism, speed and explosiveness, Haye appeared a spent force that night at the O2 Arena despite being clearly hampered by an Achilles injury sustained in the sixth round. He openly acknowledges underestimating Bellew, a cruiserweight, and thinking he could just turn up and knock him out.
“The last fight was a cracker — everyone enjoyed it, apart from me,” Haye said. “I’m going to do what I tried to do last time, but failed miserably.”
So, Haye has kept a lower profile this time round. He has dispensed with the trash talk and cheap shots. There’ve been no punches thrown in news conferences like in November 2016
“Last time round I was a bit angry,” Haye said, “this time round not so much.”
Haye said he has never been in better shape, that his bodily feels “eerily nice” — like a car having a major service, with “new tires, new clutch, oil change, it’s had everything revamped.”
The proof will come back at the O2 on Saturday, when he tries to avenge the third loss of his 31-fight professional career.
“For the first time in your career, you are fighting for your career,” the 35-year-old Bellew said at a news conference in his home city of Liverpool. “If this goes wrong, nothing can save you. I’ve done this five or six times. I know the kind of pressure it brings. You’re in a lot of trouble on Saturday.”
The original date for the rematch was Dec. 17, but it was postponed after Haye sustained an injury to his bicep falling down some stairs while doing a conditioning exercise.
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Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80

DL Dylan Thompson transfers from Ohio State to Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Virginia says defensive lineman Dylan Thompson has transferred from Ohio State to the Cavaliers.
The school announced the move Monday. It says Thompson will graduate from Ohio State this summer and enroll at Virginia. He will be eligible to play immediately.
Thompson has played in only two games for the Buckeyes. He made three tackles in 2017 but was limited by injuries.
A native of Addison, Illinois, Thompson played on state championship-winning teams in his first three seasons at Montini Catholic near Chicago. The team lost in the championship game his senior season.
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State/In Brief

The Associated Press

Southwest plans to fly to 4 airports

KAILUA-KONA — Southwest Airlines says it intends to fly to four Hawaii airports.

West Hawaii Today reports the Dallas-based carrier announced this week that it plans to offer service to Kona International Airport on the Big Island, Lihue Airport on Kauai, Kahului Airport on Maui and Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oahu.

The airline is still awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to offer trips across the Pacific Ocean.

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Lawmakers pass bump stock ban

HONOLULU — State lawmakers have passed legislation banning bump stocks.

Bump stocks allow guns to be fired like assault weapons. The gunman who killed 58 people in Las Vegas in October used the device.

The state Senate voted 24-0 to pass the measure last week. The House passed the bill earlier this month. Spokeswoman for Gov. David Ige, Jodi Leong, says he supports the bill.

Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington and Vermont have each banned the devices since the Las Vegas shooting.

Hawaii lawmakers backing the bill say they want to do all they can to ensure mass shootings don’t occur in the islands.

Michigan wildfire spreads

FERRYSBURG, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a beach home along the Lake Michigan shoreline in western Michigan was damaged when a wildfire spread, catching its deck on fire.
Chief Brian Sipe of the Spring Lake Township Fire Department tells The Muskegon Chronicle that the blaze at the Ferrysburg home was extinguished Sunday afternoon. He says fire crews remained to check surrounding homes for fire damage. Sipe says dry conditions likely contributed to the fire. The blaze remains under investigation.
The wildfire started near a lakefront park and spread along the shoreline before going up a beach slope and reaching the home.

Michigan students unveil inventions for veterans

DETROIT (AP) — College students have created devices they say will improve the quality of life for disabled veterans and others with impairments.
Seniors from Lawrence Technological University and University of Detroit Mercy presented devices like detachable drive units for manual wheelchairs, accessible sink installations, a harness for those who uses walkers and a leg flexure for a veteran with edema.
The project means students can test their problem-solving skills and prepare for careers in areas such as nursing and engineering, and recipients can benefit from the hands-on, specific-need approach.
They recently unveiled the devices they’ve been working on since September at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, The Detroit News reported.
Students work in groups of six and create a device for a specific client, typically a disabled veteran but others with disabilities often participate.
The students were nursing, biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering majors.