U.S. Box Office: ‘Curse of La Llorona’ Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as a reliable box office draw. Even so, “La Llorona” and other new releases “Breakthrough” and “Penguins” couldn’t salvage movie theaters from suffering the worst Easter weekend showing in almost 15 years. This weekend’s offerings amassed $112 million in ticket sales, the…

Bombs kill 138, wound hundreds in Easter attacks on Sri Lanka churches, hotels

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Easter Day bomb blasts at three Sri Lankan churches and four hotels killed 138 people and wounded more than 400, hospital and police officials said, following a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago. The explosions, some of which officials said were suicide bomb attacks, led to an immediate clampdown, with the government declaring a curfew and blocking access to most major social media and messaging sites. It was unclear when the curfew would be lifted. More than 50 people…

Fed up with status quo, Ukrainians tipped to elect comedian as president

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainians began voting on Sunday in an election expected to thrust a comedian with no prior political experience into the presidency of a country at war and hungry for change. Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy demonstrates his ballot while standing in front of the media at a polling station during the second round of a presidential election in Kiev, Ukraine April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko At stake is the leadership of a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia following the 2014 Maidan street…

Fed up with status quo, Ukrainians may elect comedian in presidential run-off

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainians vote on Sunday in the second round of an election that could thrust a comedian with no prior political experience into the presidency of a country at war and wanting transformational change. Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a policy debate with his rival, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, at the National Sports Complex Olimpiyskiy stadium in Kiev, Ukraine April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn OgirenkoVolodymyr Zelenskiy, who plays a fictitious president in a popular TV series, has led opinion polls against the incumbent Petro Poroshenko, whose popularity has been…

Environment emerges as major issue for Australian voters

FILE PHOTO – A man runs across a hill in front of the Sydney city skyline under a smoke tinted sky at daybreak September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The environment has emerged as a major issue for Australian voters, a poll showed on Sunday, but healthcare and the cost of living are the top concerns ahead of next month’s elections. For 32 percent of Australians, access to affordable health services is the biggest worry, followed by the cost of living at 31 percent and crime at 25…

Mexico warns of ‘deep concern’ over armed groups on U.S. border

FILE PHOTO – A general view shows a newly built section of the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Sunland Park, U.S. opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in this picture taken from the Mexico side of the U.S.-Mexico border April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis GonzalezMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico said on Saturday it had “deep concern” about armed groups that intimidate and extort migrants on the border, shortly after the ACLU and Democratic senators called for a probe into such citizen efforts to block migrants from crossing. “These…

FBI arrests leader of U.S. ‘patriots’ stopping migrants at border

TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) – The FBI on Saturday said it had arrested Larry Hopkins, the leader of an armed group who have been stopping migrants who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico. FILE PHOTO: U.S. soldiers walk next to the border fence between Mexico and the United States, as migrants are seen walking behind the fence, after crossing illegally into the U.S. to turn themselves in, in El Paso, Texas, U.S., in this picture taken from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, April 3, 2019. The writing on the wall reads,…

Ukraine election: Voters to choose between comedian and president

Media playback is unsupported on your device Ukrainians will head to the polls on Sunday in a run-off election to pick the country’s next president. Voters face a stark choice between incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and television comedian, and political newcomer, Volodymyr Zelensky. The celebrity is favourite in the polls, having dominated the first round of voting three weeks ago when 39 candidates were on the ticket. Poll stations will open 08:00 local (05:00 GMT) and close 12 hours later. A court in the capital, Kiev, has rejected a lawsuit…

UK PM May to be told to quit by top Conservative: Sunday Times

FILE PHOTO – British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after a news conference following an extraordinary European Union leaders summit to discuss Brexit, in Brussels, Belgium April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Yves HermanLONDON (Reuters) – A top member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party will tell her in the coming week that she must step down by the end of June or her lawmakers will try again to depose her, the Sunday Times reported, without citing sources. May survived a vote of no confidence in December and although party rules mean…

Solemn service to mark 20th anniversary of Columbine High massacre

LITTLETON, Colo. (Reuters) – A week-long series of events commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre culminates on Saturday with a remembrance ceremony celebrating the lives of the 13 victims slain in the rampage. On April 20, 1999, two Columbine students, just three weeks shy of graduation, stormed the suburban Denver school armed with shotguns and semiautomatic weapons, fatally shooting 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide. For the relatives of those they killed, April 20 evokes a mix of emotions from sorrow and anguish to…

Yellow vest demonstrators, police clash in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) – Clashes broke out between dozens of demonstrators and police in Paris on the 23rd Saturday of yellow-vest protests after authorities warned that rioters could return to the French capital to spark a new wave of violence. Dozens of black-hooded demonstrators threw rocks at police and some set fire to scooters and trash cans in the center of the French capital, according to Reuters TV footage. Police responded by firing tear gas and stun grenades. Some officers also marched toward demonstrators to control the crowd and funnel it…

Pop singer Adele parts with husband

FILE PHOTO: Singer Adele arrives at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File PhotoLONDON (Reuters) – British pop singer Adele and her husband have separated, her representatives said on Saturday. One of the most successful singer-songwriters of all time, Adele and water charity executive Simon Konecki met in 2011. They had a son a year later, and married in 2016. “Adele and her partner have separated. They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be…

Syria war: Kosovo brings back 110 citizens including jihadists

Kosovo has brought back 110 of its citizens from Syria, mostly mothers and their children but also several jihadist fighters. The group contained 74 children, 32 women and four men suspected of fighting for the Islamic State group (IS) who were arrested on arrival. They flew back with the help of the US military before police escorted them to an army barracks near Pristina. The issue of repatriations has come to the fore since the collapse of IS. « An important and sensitive operation was organised in which the government…

N Korea embassy raid in Madrid: ‘US Marine arrested’

US authorities have arrested a former US Marine who is allegedly part of a group that raided North Korea’s embassy in Madrid, reports say. Christopher Ahn appeared in a Los Angeles federal court, sources say. It would be the first arrest over the incident, which happened in February days before US President Donald Trump met North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in Vietnam. Free Joseon, a self-styled human rights group, says it was involved. US federal agents have also raided the apartment of Adrian Hong, one of the group’s leaders, says the…

Northern Ireland leaders urge calm as police arrest two over journalist’s killing

LONDONDERRY (Reuters) – Two men have been arrested in Northern Ireland over the killing of a journalist during a riot, police said, with politicians calling for calm after the shooting added to concerns about the stability of the region’s 21-year-old peace deal. Lyra McKee, 29, an award-winning journalist who was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during decades of violence in Northern Ireland, was shot dead on Thursday as she watched Irish nationalist youths attack police following a raid. Her death, which follows a large car bomb…

UK police say total of environment activists arrested passes 700

Police officers are seen during the Extinction Rebellion protest on Waterloo Bridge in London, Britain April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Simon DawsonLONDON (Reuters) – More than 700 climate change activists blocking roads at some of London’s most famous landmarks have been arrested over the last six days, police said on Saturday, up from a total given on Friday of more than 682. The protests, organized by climate group Extinction Rebellion, have for several days disrupted travel through parts of central London, including at Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Waterloo Bridge. Extinction Rebellion…

Vulnerable House Democrats tread carefully in wake of Mueller report

(Reuters) – Vulnerable House Democrats, mindful of President Donald Trump’s continued strength among Republican voters, are using caution in how they respond to the special counsel’s report, which detailed Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation into Russian efforts to help him win the White House. FILE PHOTO – U.S. Representative Haley Stevens speaks with constituents at a town hall meeting in Livonia, Michigan, U.S. April 18, 2019.. REUTERS/Steve Friess More than 30 Democratic representatives, many of whom are in their first term, represent districts that supported Trump in 2016. The…

Thai navy boards cabin of fugitive ‘seasteaders’ facing death penalty

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The Thai navy on Saturday boarded the floating cabin of a fugitive U.S. bitcoin trader and his Thai girlfriend, both prominent members of the “seasteading” movement who possibly face the death sentence for setting up their offshore home. A floating home, lived in by an American man and his Thai partner, is pictured in the Andaman Sea, off Phuket island in Thailand, April 13, 2019. Picture taken April 13, 2019. Royal Thai Navy/Handout via REUTERS Thai authorities have revoked the visa of American citizen Chad Elwartowski and…

Northern Ireland police arrest two over murder of journalist

LONDONDERRY (Reuters) – Two men have been arrested in connection with the killing of Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee during a riot in Londonderry on Thursday, police said, as politicians in the divided British region united to condemn the attack. Journalist Lyra McKee poses for a portrait outside the Sunflower Pub on Union Street in Belfast, Northern Ireland May 19, 2017. Jess Lowe Photography/Handout via REUTERS McKee, an award-winning 29-year-old journalist who was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during decades of violence in Northern Ireland, was…

U.S. intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

(Reuters) – U.S. intelligence has accused Huawei Technologies of being funded by Chinese state security, The Times said on Saturday, adding to the list of allegations faced by the Chinese technology company in the West. A Huawei logo is pictured during the media day for the Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Aly SongThe CIA accused Huawei of receiving funding from China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and a third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network, the British newspaper reported, citing a source. Earlier…

Hundreds sign online petition supporting woman suing JD.com CEO in rape case

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Hundreds of people have added their names to an online petition in support of a University of Minnesota student who said she was raped last August by Richard Liu, the chief executive officer of China’s e-commerce retailer JD.com Inc. FILE PHOTO: JD.com founder Richard Liu attends a Reuters interview in Hong Kong, China June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File PhotoThe student, Liu Jingyao, from China, filed a civil lawsuit against JD’s CEO in a Minneapolis court on Tuesday, nearly four months after prosecutors declined to press criminal charges…

U.S. arrests former Marine connected to North Korea embassy raid in Spain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities have arrested a former U.S. Marine who is a member of a group that allegedly raided the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February and stole electronics, two sources familiar with the arrest said on Friday. FILE PHOTO: A Spanish National Police car is seen outside the North Korea’s embassy in Madrid, Spain February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File PhotoChristopher Ahn was arrested on Thursday and appeared on Friday in federal court in Los Angeles, according to a law enforcement official and a source close to…

California couple sentenced to life in prison in severe child abuse case

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Southern California couple was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Friday after the pair pleaded guilty to charges stemming from grim, headline-making accusations they beat, starved and shackled their 13 children in the family’s home, prosecutors said. David Turpin, 57, and his wife Louise Turpin, 50, had agreed to be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison as part of an agreement with Riverside County prosecutors that saw them plead guilty in February to torture, child abuse and false imprisonment charges.…

Trump approval drops 3 points to 2019 low after release of Mueller report: Reuters/Ipsos poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The number of Americans who approve of President Donald Trump dropped by 3 percentage points to the lowest level of the year following the release of a special counsel report detailing Russian interference in the last U.S. presidential election, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll. U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to board Marine One en route to his Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida following the release of the Mueller report at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos BarriaThe…

Emma Thompson, weeping teenagers join peaceful climate protest in London

LONDON (Reuters) – Film star Emma Thompson joined climate change activists in a central London shopping district on Friday to read poetry praising Earth’s bounties, part of five days of protests which clogged the British capital with transport snarl-ups. Organizers Extinction Rebellion have called for non-violent civil disobedience to force the British government to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 and stop what they call a global climate crisis. The protests did not cause major travel disruption on Friday during one of Britain’s biggest holiday weekends, but…

Ukraine presidential rivals trade barbs in stadium debate

Ukraine’s rival presidential candidates have held a long-awaited head-to-head televised debate at Kiev’s giant Olympic stadium. Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent president Petro Poroshenko shook hands before launching scathing attacks on one another. Mr Zelensky is the clear favourite for Sunday’s second-round vote, polls say. But Mr Poroshenko argues that he is a political novice unfit for such a demanding job. Mr Zelensky has relied on a slick social media campaign to tap into the frustration of many younger Ukrainians with establishment politicians, cronyism and corruption. The debate in the…

Saudi sisters in Georgia: ‘We were treated like slaves’

« We have to cover our face, we have to cook…like slaves. We don’t want this, we want real life, our life, » says 25-year-old Wafa, the latest woman to flee Saudi Arabia with her sister. Wafa and Maha al-Subaie, 28, are now in the republic of Georgia and are under state protection in a shelter. They had made their case for international help on Twitter, under the account @GeorgiaSisters. The sisters are appealing to the UN to help them get to a third, safe country. They travelled to Georgia…

Pompeo says nothing’s changed on North Korea talks: ‘It’ll be my team’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said U.S. diplomatic efforts will continue toward the goal of denuclearization of North Korea, a day after a North Korean official said it no longer wanted to deal with him in talks. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo escorts Vice Chairman of the North Korean Workers’ Party Committee Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s lead negotiator in nuclear diplomacy with the United States, into talks aimed at clearing the way for a second U.S.-North Korea summit as they meet at a…

U.S. homebuilding near two-year low; permits extend decline

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. homebuilding dropped to a near two-year low in March, pulled down by persistent weakness in the single-family unit segment, suggesting the housing market continued to struggle despite falling mortgage rates. FILE PHOTO: A construction worker builds a single family home in San Diego, California, U.S. February 15, 2017. Picture taken February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mike BlakeThe second straight monthly decline in homebuilding reported by the Commerce Department on Friday probably reflected in part massive flooding in the Midwest, with housing starts in the region plunging to levels…

Off-duty journalist shot dead during Northern Ireland riot

BELFAST (Reuters) – An off-duty journalist was killed after shots were fired during rioting in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry overnight, an attack that shocked the province and police said was likely the work of nationalist militants. Journalist Lyra McKee poses for a portrait outside the Sunflower Pub on Union Street in Belfast, Northern Ireland May 19, 2017. Jess Lowe Photography/Handout via REUTERS Rioting erupted in the Irish nationalist Creggan area of the city late on Thursday following a raid by police, who said they were trying to prevent…