Candlelites

Everything from Everywhere

StarTribune

Latest headline news from StarTribune with momentary update to provide the online news, world news, sports news, family news, health news, video news, national news, food news and politics news from StarTribune.



police: woman shared home with decomposing body for months

warren, mich. — police who found a badly decomposed body in bed in a detroit-area home believe a 62-year-old woman may have shared the home with her dead roommate for months.police in warren found the body of 68-year-old george curtis on monday. an autopsy will be performed.wjbk-tv and the macomb daily of mount clemens report tuesday that relatives contacted police after hearing nothing from curtis for months.the woman has been hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation.police commissioner bill dwyer tells the newspaper "it's just bizarre (that) she stayed in the home like that and didn't report anything."police say curtis may have been dead for months.dwyer says the house may have to be condemned and demolished due to the condition inside and the odor.





black woman golfer: it was like we had targets on our backs

york, pa. — black people have long complained about getting pulled over by police for "driving while black," or being eyed suspiciously by store security guards for "shopping while black." now a group of women says it got into trouble for golfing while black.officials at the grandview golf club in york called police on the group of black women, accusing them of playing too slowly and holding up others behind them.no charges were filed, but the confrontation saturday touched a raw nerve after two other somewhat similar incidents. two black men in philadelphia were handcuffed and arrested on april 12 after a starbucks employee called police because they hadn't bought anything in the store. and employees of an la fitness in new jersey wrongly accused a black member and his guest of not paying to work out and called police, prompting an apology from the company.one of the black women golfers, sandra harrison, said they were at the second hole when representatives of the grandview golf club told the group they were playing too slowly.after the ninth hole, about an hour and 45 minutes later, they were told that they took too long a break and needed to leave.harrison said she and two other women left because they were so rattled by the treatment."it was like we were playing with targets on our backs," she said. "what other reason could there be other than we were guilty of being black while golfing?"the club called police on the two women who remained.club co-owner jj chr...





trump says va nominee targeted by 'vicious group' of politicians

washington — president donald trump said tuesday his choice to lead veterans affairs would soon make a decision on whether to withdraw after the emergence of late-surfacing allegations about inappropriate behavior on the job and overprescribing prescription drugs. "it's totally his decision," trump said.trump said during a joint news conference at the white house with french president emmanuel macron that he would "stand behind" dr. ronny jackson to become his va secretary, calling him "one of the finest people that i have met." but he questioned why jackson would want to put up with the scrutiny, which he characterized as unfair."i told adm. jackson just a little while ago, i said, 'what do you need this for?' this is a vicious group of people that malign and they do and i lived through it," trump said. "i said, 'what do you need it for?' he's an admiral, he's a great leader. and they question him about every little thing."trump said he didn't want to put jackson through "a process like this — it's too ugly and too disgusting. so we'll see what happens. he'll make a decision." trump added, "i wouldn't do it. what does he need it for? to be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren't thinking nicely about our country?"jackson's hearing had been set for wednesday at the senate veterans affairs committee but was indefinitely postponed amid the allegations."we take very seriously our constitutional duty to thoroughly and carefully vet each nomin...





ap interview: iran says if us exits deal, it likely will too

new york — iran's top diplomat warned the trump administration on tuesday that a u.s. withdrawal from the nuclear deal would undermine talks with north korea by proving that america reneges on its promises, telling the associated press that iran would "most likely" abandon the deal as well.in a wide-ranging interview, foreign minister mohammad javad zarif said his country would no longer be bound by international obligations imposed as part of the landmark 2015 accord, freeing up iran to resume enrichment far beyond the deal's strict limits. he said any move by president donald trump to re-impose sanctions lifted under the deal would "amount to basically killing the deal.""if the united states were to withdraw from the nuclear deal, the immediate consequence in all likelihood would be that iran would reciprocate and withdraw," zarif said. he added: "there won't be any deal for iran to stay in."as trump prepares for a high-stakes summit with north korean leader kim jong un aimed at resolving nuclear weapons concerns, zarif emphasized that u.s. credibility was at stake. he said iran would welcome lower tensions on the korean peninsula, but that trump was showing the world that the u.s. is "not a trustworthy, reliable negotiating partner.""they're prepared to take everything that you've given, then renege on the promises that they have made in the deal," zarif said. "that makes the united states a rather unlikely partner in any international agreement."iran ...





opioid treatment gap in medicare: methadone clinics

one in three older americans with medicare drug coverage is prescribed opioid painkillers, but for those who develop a dangerous addiction there is one treatment medicare won't cover: methadone.methadone is the oldest, and experts say, the most effective of the three approved medications used to treat opioid addiction. it eases cravings without an intense high, allowing patients to work with counselors to rebuild their lives.federal money is flowing to states to open new methadone clinics through the 21st century cures act, but despite the nation's deepening opioid crisis, the medicare drug program for the elderly covers methadone only when prescribed for pain.joseph purvis, a former heroin and prescription painkiller user, said he went into a depressive tailspin because he initially feared he might have to stop methadone treatment when he went on medicare at 65."i was terrified that i might have to leave the program. there's no way i wanted to go back to addiction on the streets," said purvis, 66, of gaithersburg, maryland.methadone doesn't meet the requirement of medicare's part d drug program because it can't be dispensed in a retail pharmacy.instead, in the highly regulated methadone system, patients first are assessed by a doctor, then show up daily at federally certified methadone clinics to take their doses of the pink liquid. or, like purvis in maryland, they prove through repeated urine screens that they have earned the right to weekly take-home doses.in cong...





greece to investigate claims over unicef branch's finances

athens, greece — a greek prosecutor has ordered an investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement in the local branch of unicef.unicef said last week it was "terminating its arrangements" with its national committee in greece "due to concerns arising out of a recent independent audit."unicef said in a statement it has concluded that "the necessary reforms" in the greek committee won't be achieved. it offered no further details.an athens prosecutor ordered the probe tuesday following claims by the head of unicef's greek committee that an audit of the local branch's finances revealed alleged mismanagement.unicef has said it will continue its work with children in greece through its regional office for europe and central asia, in collaboration with the greek government and civil society partners.





ask star tribune opinion: what would you like to know about the legislature?

the 2018 minnesota legislature has been in session since feb. 20, and we’re guessing you have questions about what’s been going on at the state capitol.maybe you’re wondering about state taxes in the wake of federal tax reform, or you’re curious about whether a building project you favor has a chance to be funded in the bonding bill this year. maybe you’re concerned about the future of the state’s two health care programs, medical assistance (also called medicaid) and minnesotacare.submit your best questions about the session by using the form below, and we’ll answer one or more in an editorial or column. if we receive enough submissions, we’ll ask readers to vote on the question they most want to see answered.you asked, we answered





rfk funeral train photo exhibit: kennedy's final journey

san francisco — the assassination of robert f. kennedy jr. 50 years ago this june fractured the nation just two months after the assassination of martin luther king, jr. and five years after his brother john f. kennedy was killed.but rfk's funeral, particularly the train that took his body from a memorial service in new york city to washington, d.c., brought the country together: an estimated 2 million ordinary americans spontaneously gathered beside railroad tracks to honor him as the train passed by.an exhibit at the san francisco museum of modern art, "the train: rfk's last journey," displays 21 of the 1,000 unique color slides made by photographer paul fusco on june 8, 1968. the images captured america's grief in a way that was unusual in photography, by seeing the events through the eyes of ordinary people.the photos show americans of all colors and classes. catholic schoolgirls, field hands, firemen, blue-collar workers and housewives in their bonnets create a tableau of those who came to say farewell to the man many knew simply as "bobby."some climbed fence posts to get a better view. some saluted. others stood rock-ribbed straight. some waved american flags or handmade posters: "so long bobby." others turned from work to see what all the fuss was about as the maroon train car holding his coffin rolled by en route to washington, and from there to his final resting place at arlington national cemetery in virginia.fusco, at the time a staffer for look magazine...





lawmakers: epa security chief improperly runs outside firm

washington — the security chief for the head of the environmental protection agency has been operating an outside consulting firm without proper approval from ethics officials, democratic lawmakers said tuesday.epa administrator scott pruitt last year tapped epa special agent pasquale "nino" perrotta to be his security chief and lead his 20-member personal protective detail. perrotta also is the top executive at sequoia security group, a maryland-based security firm.perrotta received clearance in march 2013 for limited nongovernment consulting work but was required to get updated approval if his job duties changed. perrotta received a significant promotion and pay raise last year.the 2013 approval, which was in effect for a five-year period that expired last month, also barred perrotta from using his government position to advance his personal interests.the associated press reported in december that epa paid $3,000 to contractor edwin steinmetz associates last year to search pruitt's office for secret listening devices. steinmetz is also listed as a vice president at perrotta's security firm.emails obtained by congressional democrats showed that perrotta played a role in the decision to conduct the bug sweep, the contract for which the lawmakers allege he improperly steered to steinmetz.tuesday's letter was signed by democratic sens. tom carper of delaware and sheldon whitehouse of rhode island, who serve on a committee with oversight of epa. they ask an agency ethics ...





caterpillar forecast sends stocks plunging; dow down 500

new york — u.s. stocks are sinking tuesday as investors fear that growth in company profits will slow down. the worries began to set in after construction and mining equipment maker caterpillar said it doesn't expect to top its first-quarter profit for the rest of this year. industrial and basic materials companies and technology firms are taking some of the worst losses as the dow jones industrial average fell as much as 619 points.keeping score: the s&p 500 index sank 42 points, or 1.6 percent, to 2,626 as of 2:15 p.m. eastern time. it was up as much as 13 points in the morning. the dow jones industrial average was down 503 points, or 2.1 percent, to 23,945. the nasdaq composite dropped 144 points, or 2 percent, to 6,984.small-company stocks held up slightly better than the rest of the market. the russell 2000 index declined 13 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,548.industrial weakness: caterpillar had a strong first quarter, but company executives told analysts on a conference call in the late morning that the company doesn't expect to report a larger per-share profit for the rest of the year. the stock dropped 6.6 percent to $143.76.wall street had cheered caterpillar's results earlier in the day. the company said the strong global economy helped its sales of construction and energy industry machinery and it raised its forecasts for the year.3m, which makes post-it notes and industrial coatings and ceramics, shed 8.6 percent to $197.35 after cutting its annual forecast. 3m...





world cup: salah can rouse egypt after 28-year wait

cairo — mohammed salah has the ability to light up any team, including egypt.the liverpool striker has been in superb form this season, but playing at the world cup will be a new experience for him. egypt qualified for the tournament for the first time in 28 years, and its chances in group a against host russia, saudi arabia and uruguay mainly rest on the 25-year-old salah's shoulders.in last month's warm-up games, headers proved to be egypt's undoing. salah put egypt in the lead against portugal, but cristiano ronaldo scored two late goals with his head for the european champions. in a dour game against greece, egypt lost 1-0 after another goal was nodded in.here's a closer look at the egypt team:coachhector cuper took over in 2015 after a dismal run under former united states coach bob bradley. the argentine inherited a seven-time african champion that had failed to qualify for the last three continental championships.not only did cuper lead the team to the 2017 african cup of nations, but they reached the final before losing to cameroon. the world cup exile then ended with a game to spare in qualifying.the pair of feats halted media criticism of cuper's tactics and turned him into a national hero. so much so that football federation officials are hoping cuper reverses plans to leave the job after the world cup.however, doubts persist over whether cuper has done enough to improve a squad that is notorious for losing the ball, squandering chances in front of goal and ...





commission to unveil ideas to fix college basketball's woes

raleigh, n.c. — college basketball played an entire season amid a federal corruption investigation that magnified long-simmering troubles within the sport, from shady agent dealings to concerns over athletes who'd rather go straight to the pros.now it's time to hear new ideas on how to fix the complex, wide-ranging problems.on wednesday morning, the commission headed by former secretary of state condoleezza rice will present its proposed reforms to university presidents of the ncaa board of governors and the division i board of directors at the ncaa headquarters in indianapolis. and that starts what could be a complicated process in getting changes adopted and implemented for next season."i expect the proposals will be strong," ncaa president mark emmert told the associated press. "they'll certainly break with the status quo. that's their charge and their mission. that's what we need."i think it's going to be a very good day for college sports," he said.that would be welcome, considering there has been no shortage of bad days in recent months.the commission on college basketball formed in october , a few weeks after federal prosecutors announced they had charged 10 men — including assistant coaches at arizona, auburn, usc and oklahoma state along with a top adidas executive — in a fraud and bribery scandal.the case involves hundreds of thousands of dollars in alleged bribes and kickbacks designed to influence recruits on choosing a school, agent or apparel co...





leader of german governing party backs amazon protest

berlin — the new leader of one of germany's governing parties said she supports a protest against working conditions at amazon during ceo jeff bezos' visit to berlin on tuesday.andrea nahles, the chairwoman of the center-left social democrats, said she would take part in the demonstration held outside publisher axel springer's berlin offices.bezos was to be presented there with an award for his "visionary entrepreneurship" in online business and digitalization strategy at the washington post. the amazon ceo bought the post in 2013.nahles argued that amazon's tax practices and working conditions aren't worthy of a prize.the company said in a statement tuesday that it "provides a safe and positive workplace for thousands of people across germany with competitive pay and benefits from day one."the statement added that public tours are given at amazon's fulfillment centers "so customers can see firsthand what happens after they click 'buy.'"nahles is working to boost her party's profile after a disastrous election result last year and its decision to enter the new german government as conservative chancellor angela merkel's junior partner.





kansas makes case for visit from 'star wars' actor

wichita, kan. — kansas is rolling out the welcome mat after "star wars" actor mark hamill tweeted about wanting to visit.gov. jeff colyer suggested monday in a tweet that hamill come on may 4, which fans call star wars day for the wordplay on "may the force be with you."kansas highway patrol trooper ben gardner responded with "i only let jedi warriors drive my patrol car." the state touted its roads in a tweet that included a video clip of batman's archenemy, the joker, whom hamill has voiced.the love fest began after hamill was asked in twitter where he'd never been but wanted to go. he responded with the one-word answer of "kansas." one fan photo edited the cowardly lion, tin man, scarecrow and dorothy into the millennium falcon's cockpit.





ex-yahoo paying $35m to settle sec charges over 2014 hack

washington — the company formerly known as yahoo is paying a $35 million fine to resolve federal regulators' charges that the online pioneer deceived investors by failing to disclose one of the biggest data breaches in internet history.the securities and exchange commission announced the action tuesday against the company, which is now called altaba after its email and other digital services were sold to verizon communications for $4.48 billion last year. the sunnyvale, california-based company, which is no longer publicly traded, neither admitted nor denied the allegations but did agree to refrain from further violations of securities laws.personal data was stolen from hundreds of millions of yahoo users in the december 2014 breach attributed to russian hackers. the sec alleged that, although yahoo senior managers and attorneys were told about the breach, the company failed to fully investigate. the breach wasn't disclosed to the investing public until more than two years later, when yahoo was working on closing verizon's acquisition of its operating business in 2016, the sec said."yahoo's failure to have controls and procedures in place to assess its cyber disclosure obligations ended up leaving its investors totally in the dark about a massive data breach," jina choi, director of the sec's san francisco regional office, said in a statement.





in closing, defense calls cosby accuser 'pathological liar'

norristown, pa. — bill cosby's lawyers urged a jury tuesday to acquit the 80-year-old comedian of sexual assault charges they said were based on "flimsy, silly, ridiculous evidence," arguing he was falsely accused by a "pathological liar" scheming for a big payday.the first big celebrity trial of the #metoo era was nearly in the hands of a jury after the defense declared that cosby himself was the victim of an elaborate frame-up.lawyers tom mesereau and kathleen bliss said in their closing argument that chief accuser andrea constand consented to a sexual encounter at cosby's home in suburban philadelphia, then leveled false accusations against the "cosby show" star so she could sue him and extract a big settlement."you're dealing with a pathological liar, members of the jury," mesereau said. "you are."prosecutors were to deliver their closing argument next. the jury was expected to get the case later in the day.the former tv star was accompanied tuesday for the first time in the trial by his wife of 54 years, who sat in the gallery as his lawyers pleaded with the jury to clear him. camille cosby, 74, had been absent from the courtroom as the prosecution built its case that cosby maintained a sordid double life that involved preying on women sexually.before the jury came in, she went to the defense table and put her arm around her husband. they embraced, smiled and chatted, and he gave her a peck on the cheek.constand, 45, alleges cosby knocked her out with thre...





anger spreads across puerto rico over lack of basic services

san juan, puerto rico — puerto rico's senate has ordered government agencies to explain why tens of thousands of people in rural areas remain without power or appropriate shelter as anger grows about the lack of basic services more than seven months after hurricane maria.the agencies have five days to present a plan on how and when they will address the needs of rural towns.the order comes as police in a small mountain town blocked power crews from leaving on tuesday while residents demanded they stay to restore electricity service that many still lack.the standoff ended after the power company promised it would keep crews in las piedras until service is fully restored. the crews were obeying company orders to head off to another town.





man shackled for days in prisoner transport van files suit

harrisonburg, va. — a virginia man who spent 18 days in transit between jails shackled in the back of a van on a charge that was ultimately dismissed is suing the company that conducted the transfer.edward kovari of stephens city was arrested in virginia in september 2016 on charges in texas alleging he had stolen a car.according to a federal lawsuit filed tuesday in harrisonburg, a private contractor botched kovari's transfer from virginia to texas. kovari says he spent 18 days in a van as it crisscrossed the country picking up and depositing inmates at a variety of jails.the lawsuit alleges that the contractor, prison transportation services, routinely subjects inmates to inordinately long trips to pick up as many inmates as possible.the company didn't respond to requests for comment.





drought, wildfires force ranchers to scramble for feed

oklahoma city — ongoing drought and wildfires have cattle ranchers in at least five southwestern u.s. states scrambling for hay or pastureland, while others are selling off some of their herds.extreme drought conditions have contributed to wildfires in colorado, kansas, oklahoma, texas and new mexico, delaying the growth of or destroying grass and wheat used to feed cattle in spring.rancher darrel shepherd of custer, oklahoma, says finding hay in northwest oklahoma is nearly impossible and two wildfires that burned about 545 square miles (1412 sq. kilometers) have destroyed pastures.federal agriculture officials in new mexico say ranchers may not have feed to maintain their herd sizes and that some are already trimming their herds, while farmers along the rio grande are bracing for less water to irrigate their crops





suicide bombers kill 6 police, wound 8 troops in pakistan

quetta, pakistan — suicide bombers struck a police vehicle and a security checkpoint in separate attacks tuesday in the pakistani city of quetta, killing six police and wounding eight paramilitary troops, officials said.a suicide bomber on a motorcycle rammed into a police vehicle on an airport road, killing the six police and wounding seven others, said abdur razzaq cheema, the quetta police chief.separately, a military statement said two suicide bombers targeted a checkpoint outside a frontier corps base in the mian ghundi area.cheema and the military said the paramilitary fighters killed both suicide bombers. but mohammad aslam, another police officer, said eight troops were hospitalized, indicating that one or both attackers detonated his explosives vest.no one claimed responsibility, but the attacks bore the hallmarks of islamic extremist groups, which regularly target security forces and minority shiites in quetta and the surrounding province."we are in a warlike situation," cheema said at the scene of the attack on the police vehicle. "security forces are on alert and we have to win this war."