West Bank, Apr 15 (AP/UNB) — The Palestinian Authority government has been sworn in a second time in as many days after the prime minister and his Cabinet failed to recite part of the oath.
Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtayeh, a veteran peace negotiator and harsh critic of Gaza's Hamas rulers, and his 22-member cabinet returned to President Mahmoud Abbas's office on Sunday to take the oath of office a second time.
The ministers neglected to include a clause pledging faithfulness "to the people and its national heritage" during Saturday's ceremony.
Ishtayeh's appointment by Abbas is expected to deepen the rift between the Fatah-party dominated Palestinian Authority, which governs areas of the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules the Gaza Strip.
Ishtayeh's Cabinet will convene for the first time on Monday.
New Orleans, Apr 15 (AP/UNB) — The U.S. Coast Guard said it worked with a cruise ship to rescue 23 people adrift for days in the Gulf of Mexico.
A Coast Guard news statement issued Sunday saying 22 Cubans started traveling on a wooden boat from Cuba to Mexico before losing power and drifting three days. A Cuban-Mexican man took them aboard his sports fishing boat, but then its engines malfunctioned and the group drifted three more days.
The Coast Guard said it was contacted early Sunday by a brother of one of the Cubans. In addition to launching its own effort to find the disabled fishing boat, the Coast Guard alerted the Carnival Fantasy.
The cruise ship took the 23 people aboard within hours, about 130 nautical miles (210 kilometers) off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
The statement said two of the people rescued had minor medical issues and were treated by medical staff on the cruise ship. It added that the 23 people would be transferred Tuesday to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Coast Guard Investigative Services in Mobile, Alabama.
Washington, Apr 15(AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump wants to explore a twice-rejected proposal to send migrants to "sanctuary cities," but that is not the preferred solution to fix the straining immigration system, the White House said Sunday.
Press secretary Sarah Sanders said it was one of many options, though she hoped Congress would work with the president on a comprehensive immigration overhaul.
The Trump administration is dealing with an ever-increasing number of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, an influx that has pushed the immigration system to the breaking point.
Laws make it hard to quickly return Central Americans, and many of them spend years in the U.S. waiting for their immigration cases to play out. Others claim asylum and wait just as long, living and working in the U.S. as they wait.
"Sanctuary cities" are mostly left-leaning places such as New York City and San Francisco where laws prohibit local police and correction officers from working with immigration officials to help arrest and deport people living here illegally.
Trump seized on reports last week of the proposal that sought to send migrants already detained to Democratic locations or transport migrants that have just crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to sanctuary cities.
Sanders said the idea would be to spread out the number of migrants so the strain would not be on "one or two border communities."
"The president likes the idea and Democrats have said they want these individuals into their communities so let's see if it works and everybody gets a win out of it," Sanders said. "Again, this is not the ideal situation."
Trump tweeted on Saturday evening that the U.S. had the "absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities."
But the plan had already been eschewed twice.
People with knowledge of the discussions say it was first brought to the Department of Homeland Security from White House staff in November, and was again discussed in February but was put down after DHS officials reviewed it and found it was too costly, a misuse of funds and would be too timely. The people were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
It actually could make it more difficult for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to arrest people facing deportation because sanctuary cities do not work with ICE.
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University announced last week that an analysis found that immigrants in sanctuary cities are 20% less likely to be arrested out in the community than in cities without such policies.
Democrats criticized the White House proposal as a political stunt that used humans as pawns and would not work.
"Look, you can't threaten somebody with something they're not afraid of," said Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state, a candidate for president. "And we are not afraid of diversity in the state of Washington. We relish it. It is the basis of our economic and cultural success. We're built as a state of immigrants."
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., questioned the legality of the proposal.
"This is again his manufactured chaos that he's created over the last two years on the border," Thompson said of Trump, adding Democrats were more than willing to sit down and talk about immigration legislation.
But Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said sanctuary cities showed contempt for the law, though he didn't know whether there were any legal concerns with transporting migrants to the locales.
"I mean, maybe he's just saying this to make everybody crazy," he said of Trump.
Sanders appears on ABC's "This Week" and "Fox News Sunday." Scott was on CNN's "State of the Union" and Inslee was on NBC's "Meet the Press." Thompson appeared on ABC.
New York, Apr 15 (AP/UNB) - Powerful storms swept across the South on Sunday after unleashing suspected tornadoes and flooding that killed at least eight people, injured dozens and flattened much of a Texas town. Three children were among the dead.
Nearly 90,000 customers were without electricity in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia as of midday Sunday, according to www.poweroutage.us as the severe weather left a trail of destruction.
Two children were killed on a back road in East Texas when a pine tree fell onto the car in which they were riding in a severe thunderstorm Saturday near Pollok, about 150 miles (241 kilometers) southeast of Dallas.
The tree "flattened the car like a pancake," said Capt. Alton Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff's Office. The children, ages 8 and 3, were dead at the scene, while both parents, who were in the front seat, escaped injury, he said.
At least one person was killed and about two dozen others were injured after a suspected tornado struck the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site in East Texas during a Native American cultural event in Alto, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) southeast of Dallas. Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis said the fatality that was reported was of a woman who died of her critical injuries.
In neighboring Houston County, the sheriff's office said one person was killed in Weches, 6 miles southwest of Caddo Mound.
There was widespread damage in Alto, a town of about 1,200, and the school district canceled classes until its buildings can be deemed safe.
A tornado flattened much of the south side of Franklin, Texas, overturning mobile homes and damaging other residences, said Robertson County Sheriff Gerald Yezak. Franklin is about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Dallas.
The weather service said preliminary information showed an EF-3 tornado touched down with winds of 140 mph (225.3 kph).
It destroyed 55 homes, a church, four businesses, a duplex, and part of the local housing authority building, authorities said. Two people were hospitalized for injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening, while others were treated at the scene, Yezak said. Some people had to be extricated from damaged dwellings.
Heavy rains and storms raked Mississippi into the night Saturday as the storms moved east.
Roy Ratliff, 95, died after a tree crashed onto his trailer in northeastern Mississippi, Monroe County Road Manager Sonny Clay said at a news conference, adding that a tornado had struck. Nineteen residents were taken to hospitals, including two in critical condition. A tornado was reported in the area 140 miles (225 kilometers) southeast of Memphis, Tennessee, at the time.
In Hamilton, Mississippi, 72-year-old Robert Scott said he had been sleeping in his recliner late Saturday when he was awakened and found himself in his yard after a tornado ripped most of his home off its foundation.
His 71-year-old wife, Linda, was in a different part of the house and also survived, he said. They found each other while crawling through the remnants of the house they have lived in since 1972.
"We're living, and God has blessed us," Scott, a retired manager for a grocery store meat department, said Sunday as neighbors helped him salvage his belongings.
National Weather Service meteorologist John Moore said a possible twister touched down in the Vicksburg, Mississippi, area. No injuries were reported, but officials reported damage to several businesses and vehicles.
The storm damaged a roof of a hotel in New Albany, Mississippi, and Mississippi State University's 21,000 students huddled in basements and hallways as a tornado neared the campus in Starkville.
University spokesman Sid Salter said some debris, possibly carried by the tornado, was found on campus, but no injuries were reported and no buildings were damaged. Trees were toppled and minor damage was reported in residential areas east of the campus.
The large storm system also caused flash floods in Louisiana, where two deaths were reported.
Authorities said 13-year-old Sebastian Omar Martinez drowned in a drainage canal after flash flooding struck Bawcomville, near Monroe, said Deputy Glenn Springfield of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Department. Separately, one person died when a car was submerged in floodwaters in Calhoun, also near Monroe.
As the storm moved into Alabama, a possible tornado knocked out power and damaged mobile homes in Troy, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Montgomery.
Near the Birmingham suburb of Hueytown, a county employee died after being struck by a vehicle while he was helping clear away trees about 2:15 a.m. Sunday, said Capt. David Agee of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. The man, whose name was not immediately released, died after being taken to a hospital.
The forecast of severe weather forced officials at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, to start the final round of the tournament early on Sunday in order to finish in midafternoon before it began raining.
Kathmandu, Apr 14 (AP/UNB) — A small passenger plane crashed into a parked helicopter during takeoff at the only airport in Nepal's Everest region on Sunday, killing at least three people and injuring four others, officials said.
The crash occurred while the plane, a Twin Otter belonging to Summit Air, was trying to take off from Lukla for Kathmandu on Sunday morning, said aviation official Raj Kumar Chhetri. He said the plane skidded off the runaway, hitting the helicopter of Manang Air.
Both are private airline companies that cater to tourists and Nepalese in the country's remote areas.
The injured were airlifted to Kathmandu by helicopter, Nepal police spokesman Uttam Raj Subedi said. The dead included a pilot of the plane and two police officers who were near the parked helicopter.
A civil administrator, Narendra Kumar Rana, said the four passengers and a flight attendant on the plane were safe.
Following the crash, authorities suspended services at Tenzing Hillary Airport at Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest.
The airport is often referred to as the world's most dangerous because of the short runway and difficult approach. It's open only to helicopters and small fixed-wing aircraft. It sits at an elevation of 9,334 feet (2,845 meters).
In May 2017, a cargo flight was landing in Lukla when it lost altitude and crashed into a mountain below the runway, killing both pilots. Poor visibility was blamed for the accident.
In February, a helicopter flying in bad weather crashed into a mountain in northeastern Nepal, killing all seven people on board, including the country's tourism minister.