Washington, Apr 21 (AP/UNB) — Sen. Mitt Romney says he's "sickened" by the dishonesty the Russia investigation found in the Trump White House, but the president fires back that Romney should have put the same energy into running for president in 2012 that the Utah Republican has tapped in criticizing him.
Romney also tweeted Friday that in reading the special counsel's report he was "appalled" Americans working on the Trump campaign had welcomed help from Russia.
On Saturday, Trump responded via Twitter, saying if Romney "spent the same energy fighting Barack Obama as he does fighting Donald Trump, he could have won the race (maybe)!"
In 2012 Romney won a slightly greater percentage of the popular vote than Trump in 2016. He's one of the few prominent Republicans to criticize Trump since Trump's election.
Malaysia, Apr 20 (AP/UNB) — Malaysia's government said it will resurrect a multibillion-dollar property and transportation project in Kuala Lumpur involving a Chinese state company, calling it a contribution to China's global "Belt and Road" infrastructure initiative.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is traveling to China next week to attend the second Belt and Road forum, said Friday the Cabinet agreed to reinstate the Bandar Malaysia project, which is expected to cost 140 billion ringgit ($33.8 billion).
It comes a week after Malaysia resumed a China-backed rail link project after the Chinese contractor agreed to cut the construction cost by one third to 44 billion ringgit ($10.6 billion). Mahathir said that both projects will boost ties with China and add economic value.
He said that Bandar Malaysia, which is 40% owned by the government, will be developed with the same consortium partners, Malaysian developer Iskandar Waterfront Holdings and China Railway Engineering Corp. The 500-acre (202-hectare) project will boost urban development and serve as a hub to woo global finance, technology and entrepreneurial firms, he added.
Bandar Malaysia was started by the indebted 1MDB state investment fund in 2011 but it later sold a 60% stake to the consortium. The government took over 1MDB's stake due to its debt problems, but the project was terminated by the previous government in May 2017 due to a payment dispute with the consortium.
The 1MDB scandal led to the election ouster last May of former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is currently on trial for alleged corruption.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has made the Belt and Road initiative a signature policy. The estimated $1 trillion-plus plan aims to weave a network of ports, bridges and power plants linking China with Africa, Europe and beyond.
"These two major projects will also be a significant contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative, which Malaysia expects to be able to tap on and exploit its multiplier effects along the value chain," Mahathir said.
Mahathir said the revived project will include 10,000 affordable homes and a people's park and will prioritize the use of local construction material.
It was originally designed to house the main hub for a high-speed rail line connecting Singapore to Kuala Lumpur that would cut travel time to 90 minutes, but Mahathir's government suspended the rail project on the ground that it was too costly.
Mahathir said there will be "sufficient room for the station" if the government later decides to go ahead with the high-speed rail line.
Monroe, Apr 20 (AP/UNB) — World-wide paranormal investigator and author Lorraine Warren, whose decades of ghost-hunting cases with her late husband inspired such frightening films as "The Conjuring" series and "The Amityville Horror," died. She was 92.
Warren's son-in-law Tony Spera and grandson Chris McKinnell posted Friday on Facebook that Warren died in her sleep Thursday night at her Connecticut home. Phone messages and emails were left with several of Warren's family members. Warren's attorney, Gary Barkin, confirmed his client's death via email to The Associated Press.
"She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul," Spera wrote.
The Warrens founded the New England Society for Psychic Research in Monroe, Connecticut, in 1952 to investigate suspected hauntings. The group also posted of her passing on Facebook.
During their 61 years of marriage, Lorraine and Ed Warren investigated more than 10,000 cases in the U.S. and abroad, often writing about their experiences. Their unusual profession has been credited with sparking popular interest in the paranormal, as well as the television shows and films now dedicated to the subject.
"When nobody was really even talking about ghosts, they were just two people from Bridgeport, Connecticut, who came together and fell in love and Ed happened to have had a lot of paranormal instances when he was growing up and Lorraine was always the sensitive clairvoyant," said Larry Dwyer, a staff writer at the Horror News Network, a website that covers the horror film industry. He said the couple realized they could use their "gifts" and Catholic faith to help people who believed they were being tormented by ghosts or demons.
Ed Warren died in 2006 and Spera now oversees the New England Society for Psychic Research. The organization's website said Lorraine Warren had "decided to retire from active investigations regarding the areas of haunted homes and demonic infestations/possessions" but was still a consultant to the organization at the time of her death.
The Warrens' work did receive criticism from doubters over the years. The New England Skeptical Society in 1997 said the Warrens' "copious anecdotal evidence" of reports of hauntings vastly outnumbered their "low-grade physical evidence."
Warren told The AP in a 2013 interview that she understood it was very difficult for people to accept she could see ghosts if they had never seen one themselves.
"I hope you never will," she said. "I really don't."
The 2013 film "The Conjuring" is based on the couple's investigation into alleged events at a Rhode Island farmhouse in the 1970s. Lorraine Warren visited the set during the filming. She also spent time at her Connecticut home with actress Vera Farmiga, who portrays Warren in the movie and its sequels. Farmiga expressed her condolences on Twitter Friday, saying she was "blessed to have known" Warren and "honored to portray her."
London, Apr 19 (AP/UNB) — Police in Northern Ireland said Friday they are searching for multiple suspects in the fatal shooting of a journalist during overnight rioting in the city of Londonderry.
The dissident republican group, the New IRA, was most likely responsible for killing Lyra McKee, police said after a clear escalation in recent violence.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the 29-year-old journalist and author was shot and killed, probably by a stray bullet, during rioting in the Creggan area.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said a gunman fired a number of shots at police during the unrest Thursday evening.
"We believe this to be a terrorist act," he said. "We believe it has been carried out by violent dissident republicans."
Hamilton said the force's assessment "is that the New IRA are most likely to be the ones behind this and that forms our primary line of inquiry."
A murder investigation has been launched but there have been no arrests. Police appealed for calm to prevail on Easter weekend.
Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin said police believe more than one person was involved in the shooting.
"We certainly believe there was more than one person who was involved in this last night. Obviously only one person pulled the trigger but there was more than one person," he said.
He said the violence started after police entered the area to search for weapons and that the gunman was aiming at policemen when the rioting intensified.
Mayor John Boyle said the city was united in mourning her death.
"I have known her since she was 16 years old," he said.
"She was bright, she was warm, she was witty, but most of all she was an outstanding individual, a great friend to so, so many people in this city in the short time that she was with us."
The New IRA is a small group of republicans who reject the 1998 Good Friday agreement that marked the Irish Republican Army's embrace of a political solution to the long-running violence known as "The Troubles" that claimed more than 3,700 lives.
The group is also blamed for a Londonderry car bombing that did not cause any injuries in January. It is regarded as the largest of the splinter dissident groups still operating and has been linked to several other killings in the past decade.
There has been an increase in tensions in Northern Ireland in recent months with sporadic violence, much of it focused in Londonderry, also known as Derry.
McKee, the victim of the shooting, rose to prominence in 2014 with a moving blog post — "Letter to my 14 year old self " — describing the struggle of growing up gay in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.
In the post, she described the shame she felt at 14 as she kept the "secret" of being gay from her family and friends and the love she received when she was finally able to reveal it.
McKee had recently signed a contract to write two books.
Hours before her death she tweeted a photo of the riot with the words: "Derry tonight. Absolute madness."
Sydney, Apr 19 (AP/UNB) — Rescue personnel said a father fought off several dingoes to save his 14-month-old son from one of the wild dogs that was dragging the boy from their campervan on an Australian island early Friday.
The boy had deep cuts on his head from the attack on Fraser Island in Queensland state, paramedic Ben Du Toit said.
The family was sleeping when a dingo entered their campervan. Du Toit said the parents awoke to their son's cries, the sound fading as he was dragged away.
The father ran outside and fought off several dingoes to rescue his son.
"He was apparently grabbed around the back of the neck area and dragged away. So, if it wasn't for the parents and their quick thinking and fighting off the dingoes, he probably would have had more severe injuries," Frank Bertoli, a pilot for RACQ Life Flight, told Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The boy was airlifted to a hospital early Friday.
Bertoli said the boy is the third child attacked by dingoes on Fraser Island this year.
The island is part of an Australian national park and is known for its rainforests, wetlands and extensive coastal dunes.
Fraser Island authorities also issue strong warnings for visitors to avoid dingoes and to not try to draw their attention or leave food behind.