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LONDON (AP) — British police say the suspect in a nightclub acid attack that injured many people has been charged with multiple crimes.

Police say Arthur Collins was charged late Sunday with 14 counts of wounding with intent to do severe bodily harm and one count of throwing corrosive fluid on a person with intent to cause harm.

The April 17 attack at the Mangle nightclub left two people partially blinded and others with serious burns. Police say the fluid was thrown after a dispute developed between two groups in the east London club.

Collins is the boyfriend of reality TV performer Ferne McCann, who had urged him to turn himself in to authorities.

He is scheduled to appear in Thames Magistrates Court on Monday. Another suspect has also been charged.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

NEW YORK (AP) — Apprentices no more, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. are now at the helm of the Trump Organization and adjusting to the reality presented by their father’s presidency. They’re eyeing ways to use the new lease on the family fame by expanding the brand into parts of the United States that embrace him.

Some business has slowed as a result of the pledge to stall international deal-making while Trump is president. But a U.S. push is planned, and two new hotel chains are being considered — a four-star brand and a less luxurious line — possibly in states where Trump triumphed over Democrat Hillary Clinton last November.

“I think it makes it naturally easier if you’re going into a place that’s not adversarial to you,” Donald Trump Jr. said in a recent interview.

The Trump Organization is a private, family-run business that owns billions of dollars’ worth of hotels, office buildings, golf courses and management and licensing agreements. Although foreign deals are on hold, the company will complete existing projects, including ones in India, the United Arab Emirates and the Dominican Republic.

Because overseas markets have been hotter for the Trump brand, the company could lose some new revenue, the president’s sons suggested.

Last fall, the company announced the creation of a four-star hotel chain called Scion, which is meant to offer upscale service in U.S. cities that could not support a full-fledged Trump luxury property. More than two dozen letters of intent have been signed, though no ground has been broken yet.

Among the possible locations being considered: Texas, parts of the South, and perhaps the nation’s capital, where the hotel would exist with the Trump luxury property in the former home of the Old Post Office not far from the White House. The company is also in the very early stages of considering a three-star hotel chain.

Experts said the plan would not seem to run afoul of any ethics standards, even if the hotels ended up in some of the economically depressed regions whose voters rallied for Trump and may not be able to afford a luxury brand. It would be no different from cashing in on the name of a nonpolitical celebrity, they said.

Similarly, daughter Ivanka Trump has made a pitch for Trump’s blue-collar supporters by replacing her high-end jewelry line with a mass-market brand.

“It would not seem to blur any lines with the presidency,” said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University. She said that while “questions can be raised” about some of the company’s behavior, a pitch into Trump-friendly states seems like “a reasonable business strategy.”

Any new investment, particularly if it involves foreign funds, will face additional scrutiny, including a review by an in-house and outside ethics counsel, Donald Trump Jr. said.

“It’s a complicated procedure that changes the dynamic. There are plenty of deals that two years ago or eight years from now, ‘Oh, yeah, you can do this,'” he said. “Today, we have to take that much more seriously. There is an optical component that has to be taken into account.”

He bristled at the idea that his father ran for president to enrich himself or his family, as some critics contended during the campaign.

“He spent $75 million of his own money to run against 17 incredibly seasoned Republican candidates to then go against Hillary Clinton,” Donald Trump Jr. said. “No one in their right mind would do that. That’s not a good business model! I get it, it sells papers, it creates headlines. But it’s ridiculous.”

Donald Trump Jr. said he barely spoke to his father during his first weeks in office. That changed after the younger Trump’s 5-year-old son, Tristan, was hurt in a skiing accident.

Eric Trump said he does talk to his father more regularly but insists that any discussions about the family business are limited to broad strokes and adheres to the guidelines the president laid out in January.

“We don’t talk about the business. At most it’s ‘How’s Turnberry? Turnberry’s great,'” Eric Trump said, referring to a Trump golf property in Scotland. He would tell his father, if asked, “A profit or loss in a quarter, that’s it.”

“That doesn’t talk about any business sectors, that doesn’t talk about any assets, that doesn’t talk about anything specific in the business. That is a pure number, one number on a piece of paper,” Eric Trump said. “That’s more than permissible. None of these laws even apply to him — he’s the president — but that is more than permissible in a trust structure.”

Experts disagree, noting that it is not a true trust structure because Trump retained ownership of the company.

“As long as President Trump insists on owning the Trump Organization, the conflicts of interest that may occur run directly to him and the so-called firewall plays no role in preventing them,” said Fred Wertheimer, head of the ethics watchdog group Democracy 21. “It’s an illusion and does not protect the American people.”

Both Eric and Donald Trump Jr. said they missed their father’s presence. Eric Trump said he sometimes looks upon the stack of $1 bills that he won during a series of friendly business bets with his father.

The winner would give the other a dollar bill with a note scrawled upon it. The elder Trump would use the bills, or a newspaper clipping about a Trump property, as a means of communicating to his sons, and his trademark scrawl would carry his congratulations — or his wishes — to those he was training to someday lead his company.

“It was his way of saying ‘Get this done’ or ‘Great job, ET – this is going to be amazing,'” said Eric Trump. “It’s a simple way of communicating but I learned a lot. I miss that.”

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Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of delay, the Senate is expected to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary.

Perdue would be the first Southerner in the post in more than two decades. He’s the son of a farmer and has owned several agricultural companies. The Senate plans to vote on his nomination Monday.

At his confirmation hearing in March, Perdue assured nervous farm-state senators that he will advocate for rural America, even as President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed deep cuts to some farm programs. He promised to reach out to Democrats, and several Democratic senators have said they will vote for him.

Still, Perdue, 70, is getting a late start on the job. Trump nominated him just two days before his inauguration, and then the nomination was delayed for weeks as the administration prepared his ethics paperwork. Perdue eventually said he would step down from several companies bearing his name to avoid conflicts of interest.

As agriculture secretary, he’ll be in charge of around 100,000 employees and the nation’s food and farm programs, including agricultural subsidies and conservation efforts, food safety, research and rural development programs for small towns.

Perdue’s main task over the coming year will be working with Congress and coordinating his department’s input on the next five-year farm bill. Current farm policy expires next year, and lawmakers on the House and Senate agriculture committees will have to find a way to push it through Congress amid heightened partisan tensions and concerns over spending.

At his hearing, he pledged to help senators sustain popular crop insurance programs and fix problems with government dairy programs.

Perdue may also find himself in the uncomfortable position of defending agriculture in an administration that has given the issue very little attention, despite Trump’s strong support in rural areas. Trump has proposed a 21 percent cut in USDA programs and has harshly criticized some international trade deals, saying they have killed American jobs. But farmers who produce more than they can sell in the United States have heavily profited from some of those deals, and are hoping his anti-trade policies will include some exceptions for agriculture.

At the hearing, Perdue said he would be a “tenacious advocate and fighter” for rural America when dealing with the White House and other agencies and noted a growing middle class around the world that is hungry for U.S. products.

“Food is a noble thing to trade,” Perdue said.

After Perdue, remaining nominees for Trump’s Cabinet to be confirmed are Robert Lighthizer for U.S. trade representative and Alexander Acosta for labor secretary.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Vice President Mike Pence will head back to Washington, D.C. one day earlier than planned after a trip to Asia and Hawaii due to a busy week tackling health care, government funding legislation, and a tax code overhaul, an aide to Pence said, according to the vice president pool report.

The Vice President was initially scheduled to visit the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbour on Tuesday, but will instead leave Hawaii on Monday to arrive in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

Congressional lawmakers will return to D.C. this week after a two-week recess in their home districts, and are faced with a busy legislative agenda.

Members this week must pass legislation to keep the government open past April 28. The White House has demanded that the funding legislation this week include funding to begin construction on the wall along the southern border. But Democrats will likely not vote for a spending bill that includes funding for the border wall.

The White House is also pressuring Republican lawmakers in Congress to push through a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare before Trump hits his 100-day mark, though House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Saturday that funding will be the priority for the House this week.

President Donald Trump has postponed a dinner planned for Thursday with justices on the Supreme Court.

The Hill first reported Sunday night that Trump would no longer have dinner with the justices on Thursday due to scheduling conflicts. ABC News’ Jonathan Karl confirmed Monday morning that the dinner is not on the President’s schedule anymore.

The White House said earlier on Sunday that Trump would dine with justices on the Supreme Court this week. The Trump administration did not confirm which members planned to attend, but the newest member of the court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, was expected to attend, according to the Huffington Post.

It’s unusual for a president to dine with members of the Supreme Court, but it’s not entirely unprecedented. But the Trump administration faced criticism Sunday for the planned dinner.

President Donald Trump has said that he will not fire White House Press Secretary because the spokesman “gets great ratings” for his daily press briefings, the Washington Post reported on Sunday evening.

“I’m not firing Sean Spicer,” Trump said last month when asked if Spicer’s job was in jeopardy, a person “familiar with the encounter” told the Post. “That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.”

Spicer is often under intense scrutiny as he attempts to answer for Trump’s policy proposals and tweets. The White House in March had to apologize to Great Britain after Spicer cited an unsubstantiated claim from a Fox News analyst that British intelligence spied on Trump for President Barack Obama.

In April, Spicer had to apologize after falsely claiming that Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons.

After a two-weeks of being berated by their constituents at raucous town halls—and watching Democrats come close to flipping two solidly red districts in Kansas and Georgia—members of Congress return to DC Monday. With few legislative accomplishments under their belts so far, they now face a government funding deadline, a debt ceiling increase, demands from the White House to take another swing at repealing Obamacare, and the daunting, likely impossible task of overhauling the tax code by August.

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President Donald Trump on Sunday claimed that his approval numbers are “very good,” though a poll released the same day shows that Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president approaching their 100-day mark in office since 1945.

“New polls out today are very good considering that much of the media is FAKE and almost always negative,” Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.

Trump cited an ABC News-Washington Post poll released on Sunday as proof of his standing. That poll found that 96 percent of respondents who voted for Trump in November said it was the right thing to do, while only 2 percent of Trump voters regretted their decision.

According to ABC’s writeup, however, Trump also has “the lowest approval rating at this point of any president in polls since 1945.”

Just 42 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s performance as he approaches his 100th day in office, according to the national survey, while 53 percent disapprove.

The ABC-Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone from April 17–20 among a national sample of 1,004 adults. Respondents were interviewed in both English and Spanish, and the margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

President Donald Trump appeared to downplay expectations for the 100th day of his presidency in an interview with the Associated Press published on Sunday.

“It’s an artificial barrier. It’s not very meaningful,” Trump told the Associated Press.

In the interview, Trump also appeared to suggest that the “100-day action plan” he unveiled in the last days before the election was not actually his idea.

“Somebody put out the concept of a 100-day plan,” he told the Associated Press.

Trump will likely reach the 100-day mark of his own presidency without a single notable piece of legislation under his belt.

 

PARIS (AP) — Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen advanced Sunday to a runoff in France’s presidential election, remaking the country’s political landscape and setting up a showdown over its participation in the European Union.

French politicians on the left and right immediately urged voters to block Le Pen’s path to power in the May 7 runoff, saying her virulently nationalist anti-EU and anti-immigration politics would spell disaster for France.

“Extremism can only bring unhappiness and division to France,” defeated conservative candidate Francois Fillon said. “As such, there is no other choice than to vote against the extreme right.”

The selection of Le Pen and Macron presented voters with the starkest possible choice between two diametrically opposed visions of the EU’s future and France’s place in it. It set up a battle between Macron’s optimistic vision of a tolerant France, a united Europe with open borders against Le Pen’s darker, inward-looking platform that called for closed borders, tougher security, less immigration and dropping the shared euro currency to return to the French franc.

With Le Pen wanting France to leave the EU and Macron wanting even closer cooperation between the bloc’s 28 nations, Sunday’s outcome meant the May 7 runoff will have undertones of a referendum on France’s EU membership.

The absence in the runoff of candidates from either the mainstream left Socialists or the right-wing Republicans party — the two main groups that have governed post-war France — also marked a seismic shift in French politics. Macron, a 39-year-old investment banker, made the runoff on the back of a grassroots campaign without the support of a major political party.

With 50 percent of the vote counted, the Interior Ministry said Sunday night that Le Pen had 24 percent of the vote, Macron had 22 percent, Fillon had 20 percent and far-right Jean-Luc Melenchon had 18 percent.

Melenchon refused to cede defeat. In a defiant speech to supporters, he said he would continue to await the results from France’s cities. The early vote count includes primarily rural constituencies that lean to the right.

Le Pen, in a chest-thumping speech to cheering supporters Sunday night, declared that she embodies “the great alternative” for French voters. She portrayed her duel with Macron as a battle between “patriots” and “wild deregulation” — warning of job losses overseas, mass migration straining resources at home and “the free circulation of terrorists.”

“The time has come to free the French people,” she said at her election day headquarters in the northern French town of Henin-Beaumont, adding that nothing short of “the survival of France” will be at stake in the presidential runoff.

Her supporters burst into a rendition of the French national anthem, chanted “We will win!” and waved French flags and blue flags with “Marine President” inscribed on them.

In Paris, protesters angry at Le Pen’s advance — some from anarchist and anti-fascist groups — scuffled with police. Officers fired tear gas to disperse the rowdy crowd.

Macron supporters at his election day headquarters in Paris went wild as polling agency projections showed the ex-finance minister making the runoff, cheering, singing “La Marseillaise” anthem, waving French tricolor and European flags and shouting “Macron, president!”

Mathilde Jullien, 23, said she is convinced Macron will beat Le Pen and become France’s next president.

“He represents France’s future, a future within Europe,” she said. “He will win because he is able to unite people from the right and the left against the threat of the National Front and he proposes real solutions for France’s economy.”

Fillon said he would vote for Macron on May 7 because Le Pen’s program “would bankrupt France” and throw the EU into chaos. He also cited the history of “violence and intolerance” of Le Pen’s far-right National Front party, founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was trounced in the presidential runoff in 2002.

In a brief televised message after the last polling stations closed, Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve urged voters to back Macron to beat the National Front’s “funereal project of regression for France and of division of the French.”

Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon, who was far behind in Sunday’s results, quickly conceded defeat. Declaring “the left is not dead!” he also urged supporters to back Macron.

Voting took place amid heightened security in the first election under France’s state of emergency, which has been in place since gun-and-bomb attacks in Paris in 2015.

Polling agency projections for the overall race showed Macron in the lead with between 23 and 24 percent support, followed by Le Pen with between 21 and 23 percent.

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Elaine Ganley and Alex Turnbull in Henin-Beaumont, Chris den Hond in Le Touquet, Angela Charlton, Raphael Satter, Samuel Petrequin, Nicolas Vaux-Montagny, Sylvie Corbet, Nadine Achoui-Lesage and Philippe Sotto in Paris and Brian Rohan in Cairo contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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