AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EDT

 Far-right gains in the EU election deal stunning defeats to France’s Macron and Germany’s Scholz BRUSSELS (AP) — Far-right parties rattled the traditional powers in the European Union and made major gains in parliamentary elections Sunday, dealing an especially humiliating defeat to French President Emmanuel Macron. On a night where the 27-member bloc palpably shifted [[{“value”:”

Far-right gains in the EU election deal stunning defeats to France’s Macron and Germany’s Scholz

BRUSSELS (AP) — Far-right parties rattled the traditional powers in the European Union and made major gains in parliamentary elections Sunday, dealing an especially humiliating defeat to French President Emmanuel Macron.

On a night where the 27-member bloc palpably shifted to the right, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni more than doubled her seats in the EU parliament. And even if the Alternative for Germany extreme right party was hounded by scandal involving candidates, it still rallied enough seats to sweep past the slumping Social Democrats of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Sensing a threat from the far right, the Christian Democrats of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had already shifted further to the right on migration and climate ahead of the elections — and were rewarded by remaining by far the biggest group in the 720-seat European Parliament and de facto brokers of the ever expanding powers of the legislature.

Undoubtedly however, the star on a stunning electoral night was the National Rally party of Marine Le Pen, which dominated the French polls to such an extent that Macron immediately dissolved the national parliament and called for new elections. It was a massive political risk since his party could suffer more losses, hobbling the rest of his presidential term that ends in 2027.

Le Pen was delighted to accept the challenge. “We’re ready to turn the country around, ready to defend the interests of the French, ready to put an end to mass immigration,” she said, echoing the rallying cry of so many far-right leaders in other countries who were celebrating substantial wins.


Here’s what happened in some key countries in the EU Parliament elections

BRUSSELS (AP) — It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the EU elections. Voters cast ballots in two dozen languages in 27 countries with scores of different campaign issues.

So here’s a look at what happened in some key countries in the June 6-9 elections for a new European Parliament.

This was the biggest bombshell of Europe’s mass election night: President Emmanuel Macron’s moderate pro-business party was so badly trounced by the far-right party of Marine Le Pen in the EU vote that he called a snap legislative election in France.

Propelled by her anti-immigration, nationalist ideas, Le Pen’s National Rally party is forecast to win the most of France’s 81 seats in the European Parliament — about twice as many as Macron’s Renaissance movement.

The snap French legislative election is a big gamble for Macron and his party, which risks further losing support while Le Pen’s National Rally could see its influence surge.


UN food agency pauses its aid work at US pier in Gaza over security concerns, in latest setback

WASHINGTON (AP) — The director of the U.N. World Food Program said Sunday the program has “paused” its distribution of humanitarian aid from an American-built pier off Gaza, saying she was “concerned about the safety of our people” after what had been one of the deadliest days of the war there.

Saturday saw both an Israeli military assault that freed four hostages but left 274 Palestinians and one Israeli commando dead, and, Cindy McCain said, two of WFP’s warehouses in Gaza had been “rocketed” and a staffer injured.

Sunday’s U.N. announcement of the pause appears the latest setback for the U.S. sea route, set up to try to bring more aid to Gaza’s starving people.

The U.S. Agency for International Development described the pause as a step to allow for a security review by the humanitarian community in Gaza. USAID works with the World Food Program and their humanitarian partners in Gaza to distribute food and other aid coming from the U.S.-operated pier.

Completed in mid-May, the U.S. pier was operational for only about a week before being knocked offline by storm damage for two weeks. After repairs, it returned to operation again Saturday, bringing in 1.1 million pounds (492 metric tons) of food and other aid, before McCain said her agency was pausing its humanitarian work there.


Centrist Benny Gantz is quitting Israel’s war Cabinet, citing frustrations with Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (AP) — Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Israel’s three-man war Cabinet, announced his resignation Sunday, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of mismanaging the war effort and putting his own “political survival” over the country’s security needs.

The move does not immediately pose a threat to Netanyahu, who still controls a majority coalition in parliament. But the Israeli leader becomes more heavily reliant on far-right allies who oppose the latest U.S.-backed cease-fire proposal and want to press ahead with the war.

“Unfortunately, Netanyahu is preventing us from achieving true victory, which is the justification for the painful and ongoing price,” Gantz said. He added that Netanyahu was “making empty promises,” and the country needs to take a different direction as he expects the fighting to continue for years to come.

The popular former military chief joined Netanyahu’s government shortly after the Hamas attack in a show of unity. His presence also boosted Israel’s credibility with its international partners. Gantz has good working relations with U.S. officials.

Gantz had previously said he would leave the government by June 8 if Netanyahu did not formulate a new plan for postwar Gaza.


Trump complains about his teleprompters at a scorching Las Vegas rally

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former President Donald Trump rallied voters in the scorching heat of Las Vegas, at points telling his supporters to ask for help if needed and appearing irritable with the teleprompters that he said were not working.

The presumptive GOP nominee’s campaign hired extra medics, loading up on fans and water bottles and allowed supporters to carry umbrellas to an outdoor rally Sunday in Las Vegas, where temperatures exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius). The Clark County Fire Department said most of the medical calls were related to the heat, and six people were sent to a hospital and 24 others were treated on site.

“I don’t want anybody going on me. We need every voter. I don’t care about you. I just want your vote,” he said, adding that he was joking.

Earlier in his speech, he said the campaign would offer help to people who were feeling tired and joked that “everybody,” including the U.S. Secret Service, was worried about the safety of the crowds and not about him.

“They never mentioned me. I’m up here sweating like a dog,” he said. “This is hard work.”


Trump to undergo probation interview Monday, a required step before his New York sentencing

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to be interviewed by New York probation officials Monday, a required step before his July sentencing in his criminal hush money case, according to three people familiar with the plan.

Trump will do the interview via a computer video conference from his residence at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, the people told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose the plans publicly.

One of Trump’s lawyers, Todd Blanche, will be present for the interview. People convicted of crimes in New York usually meet with probation officials without their lawyers, but the judge in Trump’s case, Juan Merchan, said in a letter Friday that he would allow Blanche’s presence.

The usual purpose of a pre-sentencing probation interview is to prepare a report that will tell the judge more about the defendant, and potentially help determine the proper punishment for the crime.

Such reports are typically prepared by a probation officer, a social worker or a psychologist working for the probation department who interviews the defendant and possibly that person’s family and friends, as well as people affected by the crime.


Hunter Biden’s family weathers a public and expansive airing in federal court of his drug addiction

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — In a span of less than 48 hours this past week, first lady Jill Biden shuttled from a Normandy ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in France to the front row of a Delaware courtroom, where Hunter Biden is on trial in a gun case, and then back to Paris for an elaborate state visit at Élysée Palace.

“Here we are again,” the first lady said with a laugh as she and President Joe Biden were greeted by French President Emanuel Macron and his wife, Brigette, at the palace on Saturday, the light comment an oblique nod to her transatlantic commute.

It was a manifestation of the great lengths to which the Biden family has gone to support Hunter Biden as he stands trial in Wilmington, Delaware, accused of lying on a federal gun purchase form when he said he did not have a drug problem. Jill Biden has been a regular presence in the courtroom, buttressed by a rotating cast of other family members.

“The back and forth, the push and pull, of family responsibilities, of first lady duties, of her career, of the campaign — that’s just who she is,” said Elizabeth Alexander, the first lady’s communications director.

Every family wrestles with personal challenges, and politicians are often left to navigate those dynamics in public. But the very expansive airing in court of tawdry details surrounding Hunter Biden’s addiction – in the glare of an election year — is of an order of greater magnitude. And the president’s family has shown a determination to ensure Hunter Biden does not weather it alone.


Venezuela’s ruling party tests its organizing efforts ahead of next month’s presidential election

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — With its decades-long grip on power under threat, Venezuela’s ruling party on Sunday tested a voter organizing campaign aimed at shoring up President Nicolás Maduro’s bid for a third term.

The assessment followed weeks of efforts by local organizers of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela to increase support for Maduro. Each was tasked with adding into a database 10 voters who have promised to vote for Maduro in the highly anticipated July 28 presidential election.

Local organizers as well as voters who pledged their support were expected to receive verification phone calls Sunday. Organizers who had not yet entered voter information into the database due to lack of internet access or experience with databases received help at party meetings across the country.

On election day, local party leaders must ensure the voters they registered make it to the polls no matter what.

The effort to measure support comes as Chavistas — devotees of the late fiery leader Hugo Chávez — are no longer the reliable force that easily claimed electoral victories while the often divided opposition continues to work in unison.


Celtics beat Mavericks 105-98, take 2-0 lead in NBA Finals as series heads to Dallas

BOSTON (AP) — Jrue Holiday had 26 points and 11 rebounds, and Jayson Tatum made up for a rough shooting night with 12 assists and nine rebounds as the Boston Celtics beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-98 on Sunday night to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals.

Luka Doncic, who was listed as questionable to play less than two hours before the opening tipoff, scored 32 points with 11 rebounds and 11 assists — the first NBA Finals triple-double in Mavericks franchise history. But he missed a one-footed, running floater from 3-point range with 28 seconds left, ending Dallas’ last chance at a comeback.

Game 3 is Wednesday night in Dallas. The Mavericks need a win then or in Game 4 on Friday to avoid a sweep and earn a trip back to the Boston Garden, where the local fans are already making space in the rafters for what would be an unprecedented 18th NBA championship banner.

The Celtics won the opening pair in the NBA Finals for the ninth time. They have won the previous eight, and have never been forced to a Game 7 in any of them.

Jaylen Brown scored 21 points, Tatum had 18 and Derrick White also scored 18 points for top-seeded Boston. Kristaps Porzingis limped his way to 12 points. Tatum was 6 for 22 shooting and 1 of 7 from 3-point range; the Celtics were 10 for 39 from long distance overall.


Bill would rename NYC subway stop after Stonewall, a landmark in LGBTQ+ rights movement

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City subway station would be renamed to commemorate the Stonewall riots that galvanized the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement, under legislation approved by state lawmakers as they wrapped up their session this month.

The state Legislature approved a bill Wednesday directing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to change the name of the Christopher Street-Sheridan Square subway station in Greenwich Village to the Christopher Street-Stonewall National Monument Station.

“This change will memorialize the history of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement and inspire NY to demand justice and equality for all,” state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, a Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the proposal, wrote on the social platform X following the Senate’s passage of the measure.

The bill now heads to Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul for her approval. Her office said late Sunday it will review the legislation.

The Stonewall Inn was raided by police June 28, 1969, sparking a riot and several days of protests that marked a groundbreaking moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the country.

The Associated Press


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