AM-Prep: Cooler Copy
UNDATED (AP) — For devoted Democrats, Robert Mueller has become a sort of folk hero since his appointment as special counsel. And they’ve found all sorts of ways to express their adoration.
Mueller is a 74-year-old registered Republican, Marine and former director of the FBI. He has inspired his own genre of arts and crafts as he leads the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
One can buy Mueller paintings, prayer candles, valentines and ornaments. A necklace, earrings, key chains. And there are other products like a stuffed toy of Mueller in a Superman outfit, cross-stitch patterns, baby onesies — even an illustration of his haircut to hang on the wall.
Others, like Kansas City resident Alicia Barnett, take it even further. She has given her family’s chocolate Lab puppy the name Mueller.
SUPREME COURT - BLACK JURORS
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is hearing arguments over a Mississippi prosecutor’s decision to keep African-Americans off a black death row inmate’s jury in a murder trial.
The appeal before the court today comes from inmate Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for the same crime.
Three convictions were tossed out, including one when the prosecutor improperly excluded African-Americans from the jury. Two other trials ended when jurors couldn’t reach unanimous verdicts.
Flowers argues that the court should throw out his latest conviction and death sentence for killing four people because of racial bias in jury selection at his sixth trial.
The Supreme Court tried to end discrimination in the composition of juries in 1986, but it has been harder to root out in practice.
BOBCAT THAT SURVIVED CALIF. WILDFIRE STRUCK BY CAR, KILLED
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say a bobcat that survived a Southern California wildfire has been hit and killed by a car.
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area tweeted Monday that the adult male bobcat known as B-361 died last week.
The animal was struck by a car in Calabasas, about 30 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.
Scientists had been tracking B-361 as it roamed between the burned and unburned areas of Malibu Canyon. The area was scorched by last year’s Woolsey Fire, which destroyed 1,600 structures and left three people dead.
A necropsy is planned.
BABY CHIMP BORN IN N.C. ZOO
ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) — A baby chimpanzee has been born at the North Carolina Zoo, adding to a trickle of such births at U.S. zoos.
The zoo announced that the healthy baby was born Monday to a chimp named Gerre (Zha’-ree), and started nursing quickly. The baby’s gender hasn’t been determined.
The announcement said there have been only two other successful chimpanzee births in the past two years at Association of Zoos and Aquariums zoos. Since 2010, three have been born at the North Carolina Zoo.
Gerre is around 20 years old and came to North Carolina in 2012 from the Dallas Zoo.
WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J. (AP) — A referee who was heavily criticized for telling a New Jersey high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match has taken a step toward filing a defamation lawsuit.
The tort claim notice sent by referee Alan Maloney to a dozen possible defendants alleges $100,000 damages, defamation of character and emotional distress.
Buena Regional student Andrew Johnson had his dreadlocks cut minutes before the Dec. 19 match. Johnson, who is black, had been wearing a hair covering, but Maloney, who is white, said that wouldn’t do.
A widely circulated video showed the wrestler’s hair being haphazardly cut on the sidelines.
Maloney has been barred from officiating pending investigations by state civil rights and interscholastic athletic association officials.
The legal claim preserves Maloney’s right to a possible lawsuit.
LAX - FLOWERS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Travelers flying in and out of Los Angeles International Airport are being treated to a rare visual spectacle of large wildflower fields coming into bloom between runways.
Heavy winter rains spawned the super bloom of flowers at the airport and elsewhere around California.
The largest concentration of blooming flowers at the airport is on its north side between two runways that stretch for 10,880 feet.
The Southern California city of Lake Elsinore about a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles was swamped last weekend with an influx of about 150,000 people who wanted to see this year’s rain-fed flaming orange patches of poppies lighting up the hillsides.