International Headlines

UK PM Boris Johnson marries fiancee in private ceremony

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has married his fiancée, Carrie Symonds, in a small private ceremony that came at the end of a tumultuous week during which a former top aide said he was unfit for office.
The couple wed Saturday at the Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral in front of a small group of friends and family, Johnson’s office said Sunday, confirming newspaper reports that were published overnight. Photos taken after the ceremony in the garden of the prime minister’s residence showed Symonds in a long white dress and floral headband. Johnson wore a dark suit.
“The Prime Minister and Ms. Symonds were married yesterday afternoon in a small ceremony at Westminster Cathedral,” Downing Street said. “The couple will celebrate their wedding with family and friends next summer.”
The couple have reportedly sent save-the-date cards to family and friends for a celebration on July 30, 2022. Under current coronavirus restrictions in England, no more than 30 people can attend a wedding.
Johnson, 56, and Symonds, a 33-year-old Conservative Party insider and environmental advocate, announced their engagement in February 2020. Their son, Wilfred, was born in April last year.
The marriage is Johnson’s third. He has at least five other children from previous relationships.
Johnson’s previous marriages would not have stopped him from having a Catholic wedding because they didn’t take place in the Catholic church, Matt Chinery, an ecclesiastical and canon lawyer, told Times Radio.
“In the eyes of the Catholic church, Boris Johnson woke up last week as somebody who wasn’t married and had never been married and so was free to marry in the cathedral this weekend,” he said.
Johnson was baptized as a Catholic but he was confirmed as a member of the Church of England as a teenager.
The last British prime minister to marry in office was Lord Liverpool in 1822.
The wedding followed a difficult political week for Johnson.
His former top aide, Dominic Cummings, on Wednesday told lawmakers that Johnson had bungled the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and said he was “unfit for the job.”
Britain has Europe’s highest coronavirus death toll, at over 128,000 people, but it has also produced one of the world’s most successful vaccination programs, inoculating 74% of its adults. Daily deaths have plummeted to single digits of late, compared to over 1,800 one day in January.
On Friday, a government ethics adviser released his long-awaited findings on the “cash for curtains” scandal in which Johnson was criticized for failing to disclose that a wealthy Conservative Party donor had paid for the redecoration of the prime minister’s official residence in London. Although Johnson later settled the bill, the inquiry found that Johnson had acted “unwisely” in carrying out the work without knowing where the money had come from. He was cleared of misconduct.
The opposition Labour Party was not giving Johnson any space for a honeymoon, with one Labour lawmaker, Jon Trickett, suggesting that the weekend wedding was “a good way to bury this week’s bad news.”

International Headlines

Chinese city locks down neighborhood after virus upsurge

BEIJING (AP) — The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou shut down a neighborhood and ordered its residents to stay home Saturday for door-to-door coronavirus testing following an upsurge in infections that has rattled authorities.
Guangzhou, a business and industrial center of 15 million people north of Hong Kong, has reported 20 new infections over the past week. The number is small compared with India’s thousands of daily cases but has alarmed Chinese authorities who believed they had the disease under control.
The spread of infections was “fast and strong,” the official Global Times newspaper cited health authorities as saying.
Saturday’s order to stay home applied to residents of five streets in Liwan District in the city center.
Outdoor markets, child care centers and entertainment venues were closed. Indoor restaurant dining was prohibited. Grade schools were told to stop in-person classes.
People in parts of four nearby districts were ordered to limit outdoor activity.
The city government earlier ordered testing of hundreds of thousands of residents following the initial infections. The government said some 700,000 people had been tested by Wednesday.
China reports a handful of new cases every day but says almost all are believed to be people who were infected abroad. The mainland’s official death toll stands at 4,636 out of 91,061 confirmed cases.
On Saturday, the National Health Commission reported two new locally transmitted cases in Guangzhou and 14 in other parts of the country that it said came from abroad.
Most of the latest infections in Guangzhou are believed to be linked to a 75-year-old woman who was found May 21 to have the variant first identified in India, state media say. Most of the others attended a dinner with her or live together.
That infection spread to the nearby city of Nanshan, where one new confirmed case and two asymptomatic cases were reported Saturday after people from Guangzhou were tested, according to The Global Times.

International Headlines

Vietnam finds new virus variant, hybrid of India, UK strains

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam has discovered a new coronavirus variant that’s a hybrid of strains first found in India and the U.K., the Vietnamese health minister said Saturday.
Nguyen Thanh Long said scientists examined the genetic makeup of the virus that had infected some recent patients, and found the new version of the virus. He said lab tests suggested it might spread more easily than other versions of the virus.
Viruses often develop small genetic changes as they reproduce, and new variants of the coronavirus have been seen almost since it was first detected in China in late 2019. The World Health Organization has listed four global “variants of concern” – the two first found in the U.K. and India, plus ones identified in South Africa and Brazil.
Long says the new variant could be responsible for a recent surge in Vietnam, which has spread to 30 of the country’s 63 municipalities and provinces.
Vietnam was initially a standout success in battling the virus — in early May, it had recorded just over 3,100 confirmed cases and 35 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
But in the last few weeks, Vietnam has confirmed more than 3,500 new cases and 12 deaths, increasing the country’s total death toll to 47.
Most of the new transmissions were found in Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, two provinces dense with industrial zones where hundreds of thousands of people work for major companies including Samsung, Canon and Luxshare, a partner in assembling Apple products. Despite strict health regulations, a company in Bac Giang discovered that one fifth of its 4,800 workers had tested positive for the virus.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s largest metropolis and home to 9 million, at least 85 people have tested positive as part of a cluster at a Protestant church, the Health Ministry said. Worshippers sang and chanted while sitting close together without wearing proper masks or taking other precautions.
Vietnam has since ordered a nationwide ban on all religious events. In major cities, authorities have banned large gatherings, closed public parks and non-essential business including in-person restaurants, bars, clubs and spas.
Vietnam so far has vaccinated 1 million people with AstraZeneca shots. Last week, it sealed a deal with Pfizer for 30 million doses, which are scheduled to be delivered in the third and fourth quarters of this year. It is also in talks with Moderna that would give it enough shots to fully vaccine 80% of its 96 million people.

National News

Defense for some Capitol rioters: election misinformation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Falsehoods about the election helped bring insurrectionists to the Capitol on Jan. 6, and now some who are facing criminal charges for their actions during the riot hope their gullibility might save them or at least engender some sympathy.
Lawyers for at least three defendants charged in connection with the violent siege tell The Associated Press that they will blame election misinformation and conspiracy theories, much of it pushed by then-President Donald Trump, for misleading their clients. The attorneys say those who spread that misinformation bear as much responsibility for the violence as do those who participated in the actual breach of the Capitol.
“I kind of sound like an idiot now saying it, but my faith was in him,” defendant Anthony Antonio said, speaking of Trump. Antonio said he wasn’t interested in politics before pandemic boredom led him to conservative cable news and right-wing social media. “I think they did a great job of convincing people.”
After Joe Biden’s victory in last year’s presidential election, Trump and his allies repeatedly claimed that the race was stolen, even though the claims have been repeatedly debunked by officials from both parties, outside experts and courts in several states and Trump’s own attorney general. In many cases, the baseless claims about vote dumps, ballot fraud and corrupt election officials were amplified on social media, building Trump’s campaign to undermine faith in the election that began long before November.
The tide of misinformation continues to spread, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote Wednesday in a decision denying the release of a man accused of threatening to kill U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“The steady drumbeat that inspired defendant to take up arms has not faded away,” Berman wrote in her ruling ordering Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr. to remain in custody. “Six months later, the canard that the election was stolen is being repeated daily on major news outlets and from the corridors of power in state and federal government, not to mention in the near-daily fulminations of the former president.”
The defendants represent only a fraction of the more than 400 people charged in the failed attempt to disrupt the certification of Biden’s victory. But their arguments highlight the important role that the falsehoods played in inspiring the riot, especially as many top Republicans try to minimize the violence of Jan. 6 and millions of others still wrongly believe the election was stolen.
At least one of those charged plans to make misinformation a key part of his defense.
Albert Watkins, the St. Louis attorney representing Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon shaman, likened the process to brainwashing, or falling into the clutches of a cult. Repeated exposure to falsehood and incendiary rhetoric, Watkins said, ultimately overwhelmed his client’s ability to discern reality.
“He is not crazy,” Watkins said. “The people who fell in love with (cult leader) Jim Jones and went down to Guyana, they had husbands and wives and lives. And then they drank the Kool-Aid.”
Similar legal arguments failed to exonerate Lee Boyd Malvo, who at age 17 joined John Allen Mohammed in a sniper spree that killed 10 people in the Washington, D.C., area in 2002. His lawyers tried to argue that Malvo wasn’t responsible for his actions because he had been deluded by the older Mohammed.
Attorneys for newspaper heiress Patty Hearst also argued, unsuccessfully, that their client had been brainwashed into participating in a bank robbery after being kidnapped by the radical Symbionese Liberation Army group.
“It’s not an argument I’ve seen win,” said Christopher Slobogin, director of Vanderbilt Law School’s Criminal Justice Program, a psychiatry professor and an expert on mental competency.
Slobogin said that unless belief in a conspiracy theory is used as evidence of a larger, diagnosable mental illness — say, paranoia — it’s unlikely to overcome the law’s presumption of competence.
“I’m not blaming defense attorneys for bringing this up,” he said. “You pull out all the stops and make all the arguments you can make,” he said. “But just because you have a fixed, false belief that the election was stolen doesn’t mean you can storm the Capitol.”
From a mental health perspective, conspiracy theories can impact a person’s actions, said Ziv Cohen, a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University. Cohen, an expert on conspiracy theories and radicalization, often performs mental competency exams for defendants.
“Conspiracy theories may lead people to commit unlawful behavior,” Cohen said. “That’s one of the dangers. Conspiracy theories erode social capital. They erode trust in authority and institutions.”
Lawyers for Bruno Joseph Cua, a 19-year-old accused of shoving a police officer outside the U.S. Senate chamber, attributed his client’s extremist rhetoric before and after the riot to social media. Attorney Jonathan Jeffress said Cua was “parroting what he heard and saw on social media. Mr. Cua did not come up with these ideas on his own; he was fed them.”
In a Parler posting a day after the riot, Cua wrote: “The tree of liberty often has to be watered from the blood of tyrants. And the tree is thirsty.”
Cua’s attorney now characterizes such comments as bluster from an impressionable young person and said Cua regrets his actions.
Antonio, 27, was working as a solar panel salesman in suburban Chicago when the pandemic shut down his work. He and his roommates began watching Fox News almost all day long, and Antonio began posting and sharing right-wing content on TikTok.
Even though he’d never been interested in politics before — or even voted in a presidential election — Antonio said he began to be consumed by conspiracy theories that the election was rigged.
Court records portray Antonio as aggressive and belligerent. According to FBI reports, he threw a water bottle at a Capitol police officer who was being dragged down the building’s steps, destroyed office furniture and was captured on police body cameras yelling “You want war? We got war. 1776 all over again” at officers.
Antonio, who wore a patch for the far-right anti-government militia group The Three Percenters, is charged with five counts, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder.
Joseph Hurley, Antonio’s lawyer, said he won’t use his client’s belief in false claims of election fraud in an attempt to exonerate him. Instead, Hurley will use them to argue that Antonio was an impressionable person who got exploited by Trump and his allies.
“You can catch this disease,” Hurley said. Misinformation, he said, “is not a defense. It’s not. But it will be brought up to say: This is why he was here. The reason he was there is because he was a dumbass and believed what he heard on Fox News.”

Hawaii Headlines

Endangered Hawaiian monk seal deaths investigated as crimes

HONOLULU (AP) — Federal and state officials in Hawaii are investigating the suspicious deaths of two endangered monk seals on the island of Molokai.

The seals were found dead on April 27 on the west side of Molokai, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

Examinations revealed that both died as a result of human-inflicted trauma, wildlife officials said.

There have been seven suspicious monk seal deaths on Molokai since 2009.

Both seals found dead last month had been observed in good health in previous days and neither had any diseases, according to the officials.

“There is a strong, deep-rooted tradition of natural resources stewardship on Molokai, and we know that news of these deaths will be keenly felt by many on the island,” said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries division in a statement. “We are grateful to the community and our response network partners for assisting with recovery and transportation of the seals.”

On April 25, NOAA also reported the death of a 3-year-old male monk seal on Kauai. The cause of that seal’s death remains unknown.

There are only about 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals left in the wild. Killing a monk seal is a federal and state crime.

NOAA’s Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement and the Hawaii Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement are leading the investigation.

Hawaii Headlines

Study seeks origins of ghost nets that haunt Hawaii’s shores


The Associated Press

HONOLULU — “Ghost nets” from unknown origins drift among the Pacific’s currents, threatening sea creatures and littering shorelines with the entangled remains of what they kill.

Lost or discarded at sea, sometimes decades ago, this fishing gear continues to wreak havoc on marine life and coral reefs in Hawaii.

Now, researchers are doing detective work to trace this harmful debris back to fisheries and manufacturers — and that takes extensive, in-depth analysis on tons of ghost nets.

The biggest concern is that derelict gear keeps killing fish and other wildlife such as endangered Hawaiian monk seals, seabirds and turtles long after it’s gone adrift, said Drew McWhirter, a graduate student at Hawaii Pacific University and one of the study’s lead researchers.

“These nets bulldoze over our reefs before they hit shore,” McWhirter added. “They leave a path of destruction, pulling coral heads out, and can cause a lot of ecological damage.”

Ghost nets foul oceans throughout the world, but the Hawaiian Islands — with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the east and another gyre of floating trash to the west — are an epicenter for marine waste.

Past efforts to identify origins of nets have proven difficult because debris comes from so many countries and nets have few, if any, unique identifying marks or features.

Experts believe many nets are lost accidentally, but boats occasionally ditch nets to avoid prosecution when fishing illegally. Other fishermen cut away portions of damaged nets instead of returning them to shore.

The ghost net study is being supervised by Hawaii Pacific University’s Center for Marine Debris Research co-director, Jennifer Lynch, a research biologist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“We’re going to have a very challenging time . . . trying to identify it back to its source,” said Lynch. “And if we fail, . . . that’s going to be increased evidence for policymakers to see the importance of gear marking and potentially bring those kinds of regulations to the front.”

For Lynch, it’s not about pointing fingers. Rather, she hopes the study, which will be presented to the fishing industry first, will help develop new ways to prevent damage to the marine environment.

“We’re doing this study in a very forensic way where we’re gathering as much evidence as we possibly can so that we can present the best, most accurate story,” Lynch said.

The crew gets ghost nets from three sources: The main Hawaiian Islands, the fishing grounds of the Hawaii longline tuna fleet that often snags nets — and the shores of the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, which are part of Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument.

An April cleanup expedition to Papahanaumokuakea — the largest protected environment in the United States and a UNESCO World Heritage Site — brought back nearly 50 tons of nets and other lost gear.

In a shed on the university’s campus, researchers pull apart bundles of fishing gear, noting the relationships between items. Then samples are taken to a lab for analysis.

“We only really need a small sample here to really understand how it’s constructed,” said Raquel Corniuk, a research technician at the university.

Researchers look at about 70 different aspects of each piece of net, including its polymer types. “We look at how it’s twisted. Is it twisted versus braided? We are trying to look at how many strands does it have, its twine diameter, mesh stretch size,” Corniuk said.

The information is entered into a database, which will help scientists find patterns that could lead to manufacturers and eventually individual fisheries or nations.

The researchers have spent about a year collecting data and hope to have findings peer reviewed and published this year.

Among the ghost gear are fish aggregation devices — or FADs — floating bundles of material fishing vessels leave in the ocean to attract fish. The devices have receivers linked to satellites, but when they drift outside designated fishing areas, they’re usually abandoned.

Mike Conroy, president of West Coast Fisheries Consultants, works with purse seine and gillnet operators off California. He said FADs are prohibited in U.S. waters and that fishers do everything they can to prevent loss of nets.

“An average one of those nets is going to run the operator somewhere between 150 and 250 grand,” he said.

Conroy acknowledged ghost gear is a problem. “These types of research activities will point the finger in the right direction,” he said. “I think what you’ll see is that West Coast fisheries probably aren’t contributing much.”

The researchers have already found debris from all corners of the Pacific, including Asian countries and the U.S. West Coast.

Much of the ghost net problem lies with less developed nations that have few fishing regulations and sometimes buy or manufacture low-quality nets, according to a career fisherman who now works for a net manufacturer in Washington state.

“Their products tend to be weaker,” said Brian Fujimoto, a sales executive for NET Systems Inc., in Bainbridge Island. “And if you look at the poly netting and ropes that you’re finding, they’re all very inexpensive stuff.”

Fujimoto said his company uses technology, colors and other construction techniques unique to their products, so they’re easily identifiable.

Making that an industry standard, he said, is “only going to happen with the more industrialized nations, say for example, the U.S., Canada, Japan.”

Daniel Pauly, a marine biologist and professor at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, said, “We kill fish for fishing and for consumption, but these fish that are killed by lost gear are killed for no reason, not to mention the marine mammal and turtles and other animals that we like.”

“Clamping down on this loss, which is too easily accepted, . . . is a good thing,” added Pauly.

Jonathan Moore, principal assistant secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. State Department, said last year, “Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, which is sometimes associated with ghost gear, is among the greatest threats to the sustainable use of our shared ocean resource.”

“Certainly, gear-marking guidelines and regulations should be a central pillar of all responsible fisheries management operations,” he said.

Although U.S. and some international laws require identifying markers on some fishing gear, such as crab pots and buoys, nets are not required to be marked.

Minnesota Headlines

Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline enters critical month in June

By STEVE KARNOWSKI Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — June will be a critical month for Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline as the company resumes construction and opponents mobilize for large-scale protests and civil disobedience.
One prominent opponent, Winona LaDuke, founder of the Indigenous-based environmental group Honor the Earth, said she expects thousands of people from across the state and country to join the protests along the route in northern Minnesota.
Both sides are also waiting for a major ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals in June on a legal challenge by environmental and tribal groups that are seeking to overturn state regulators’ approval of the project. The opponents also hold out hope that Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and President Joe Biden will intervene.
“I expect that unless Walz stops the project over 1,000 people are going to get arrested,” LaDuke said.
Line 3 carries Canadian crude from Alberta. It clips a corner of North Dakota on its way across northern Minnesota to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge says the 1960s-era pipeline is deteriorating and can run at only about half its original capacity. It says the new line, made from stronger steel, will better protect the environment while restoring its capacity and ensuring reliable deliveries to U.S. refineries.
The Canadian and Wisconsin replacement segments are already carrying oil. The Minnesota segment is about 60% complete as a planned construction pause for the spring thaw ends June 1. Enbridge plans to finish the work and put the line into service in the fourth quarter, said Mike Fernandez, the Calgary-based company’s chief communications officer.
That adds to the urgency for opponents, who are organizing a “Treaty People Gathering” for June 5-8 and preparing for mass arrests. More than 250 “water protectors” already have been arrested since major construction began in December.
The opposition says the replacement pipeline, which would carry Canadian tar sands oil and regular crude, would aggravate climate change and risk spills in sensitive areas where Native Americans harvest wild rice, hunt, fish, gather medicinal plants and claim treaty rights.
“We will gather in Northern Minnesota to put our bodies on the line, to stop construction and tell the world that the days of tar sands pipelines are over,” organizers say in appeal on their website. “Only a major, nonviolent uprising — including direct action — will propel this issue to the top of the nation’s consciousness and force Biden to act.”
Over 300 groups delivered a letter to the Biden administration on Thursday calling on the president to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to suspend or revoke Enbridge’s federal clean water permit for the project.
“Due to the urgency of the climate crisis and the fact that Indigenous leaders have not consented to the Line 3 project, large-scale non-violent civil disobedience is now being organized for early June along the Line 3 pipeline route,” they warned the president.
They urged Biden to follow the example he set on the first day of his administration, when he cancelled the disputed Keystone XL pipeline on climate-change grounds.
Biden has not taken a stand on Line 3, while Walz is letting the legal process play out. The Biden administration has declined to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline, which is owned by a different company and was the subject of major protests near the Standing Rock Reservation in the Dakotas in 2016 and 2017. In Michigan, Enbridge is defying an order by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to shut down its Line 5 because of the potential for a spill in a channel linking two Great Lakes.
Enbridge, which updated the projected total cost in February to $7.3 billion (U.S.), has been touting the economic benefits of Line 3. Fernandez said employment on the project will shoot up to 4,000 as full-scale work resumes. More than half the workforce has been from Minnesota with most of the rest coming from neighboring states. Around 500 are Native Americans, many of whom were specifically trained for the project. He put the total local benefit at over $250 million.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals is expected to rule by June 21 on whether Enbridge adequately proved a long-term need for the project. The independent Public Utilities Commission approved the project, but the state Department of Commerce, two tribes and other opponents argue that the company’s demand projections failed to meet the legal requirements. Enbridge and the PUC say the projections complied.
The opponents aren’t disclosing many specifics about their plans for protests because law enforcement also is getting prepared, but they say they’re determined to step up the fight as the final construction push approaches.
“I expect there will be pretty strong resistance,” LaDuke said. “I really have no idea what it will look like.”

Minnesota Headlines

Minnesota candidate backs move to block COVID shots for kids

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen signed onto a lawsuit seeking to stop COVID-19 vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-olds that, among other things, compares such inoculations to Nazi experimentation on imprisoned Jews.
Jensen, a family physician from Chaska who served in the state Senate from 2017 to 2021, is the first named plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Alabama by America’s Frontline Doctors, a group that has downplayed the pandemic and pushed misleading and false information, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Friday.
The group’s leader, Simone Gold, is among those facing charges for allegedly entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection that sought to halt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory over then-President Donald Trump.
The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for everyone as young as 12 and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible, saying it is safe and effective.
The court petition seeks to undo the vaccine’s emergency use authorization for children in that age group through a temporary restraining order. It calls the vaccines “dangerous biological agents that have the potential to cause greater harm than the COVID-19 disease itself.” It also alleges a widespread collusion among national media outlets to suppress information, challenges the official death and case counts as “false,” and compares the vaccination effort to Nazi doctors convicted in the Nuremburg trials for experimenting on imprisoned Jews without their consent.
Jensen told the newspaper that he didn’t read the entire lawsuit before endorsing it. He said he’s “quietly” been a member of America’s Frontline Doctors and that he signed an affidavit supporting the petition before reading it all. And he said he didn’t know about Gold’s involvement in the insurrection.
Jensen previously told the Star Tribune that he wants to see vaccinations aimed at children paused “so that the status quo can be maintained until we have a chance to have a broader, more robust discussion.” He said the disease is less of a threat to kids younger than 16 than for adults over age 70.
Asked about the lawsuit’s claim that it is unethical to give vaccines with emergency authorization to young people, Kris Ehresmann, the state’s infectious disease director, said that although the approval was expedited, all the typical safeguards were in place.
Jensen’s criticism of state and federal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major focus of his gubernatorial bid, which he launched in March
“Scott Jensen has spent over a year pushing dangerous conspiracy theories and peddling misinformation to the detriment of Minnesotans,” Minnesota Democratic Party Chairman Ken Martin in a statement. “Now he’s joined a fringe group of right-wing doctors and January 6th insurrectionists to spread dangerous lies that will only harm public health.”.

Minnesota Headlines

Man arrested in assault of boy at park in Brooklyn Park

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (AP) — Brooklyn Park police said Friday they’ve made an arrest in the sexual assault of a 6-year-old boy in a portable toilet in a local park.
According to officials, the boy’s family was having a gathering in Willowstone Park Wednesday when the child disappeared. A family member then saw the boy coming out of a port-a-potty followed by an unknown man. The child’s family later learned that he had been sexually assaulted inside the port-a-potty.
Police say they received a tip about a possible suspect and arrested a man who lives near the park on Friday. Authorities say the suspect was uncooperative and resisted arrest.
He’s being held in the Hennepin County Jail on possible charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and resisting arrest. Formal charges are expected next Tuesday.

Minnesota Headlines

2 children die in separate incidents in Twin Cities pools

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two children have drowned in separate incidents in pools in the Twin Cities.
Authorities say a 4-year-old died five days after he was found in the pool at a downtown Minneapolis hotel, and a 5-year-old boy died earlier this week at an apartment complex pool in Burnsville.
In the Minneapolis incident, Alani King’Yeh Tyler of Minneapolis was found unresponsive on May 20 in the pool at the Best Western Normandy Inn & Suites. He was taken to the hospital but died on Tuesday from complications of drowning, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said.
In Burnsville, Ilyaas Said was found Wednesday in the pool at the Southwind Village Apartments. He died that evening, the Star Tribune reported.
Both deaths are being investigated.