Republicans Texas

Sign supporting various candidates sit outside an early voting location on April 27 in Mansfield.

STATE

ARLINGTON (AP) — A runoff for a U.S. House seat in Texas is set between Republican Susan Wright, whose husband was the first member of Congress to die after being diagnosed with COVID-19, and Republican Jake Ellzey.

Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez was narrowly locked out of the runoff in Texas’ 6th Congressional District, which has long been GOP territory. With nearly all votes counted, Sanchez had trailed Ellzey by 354 votes. She said in a statement Sunday that her campaign “came up short.”

“Democrats have come a long way toward competing in Texas but we still have a long way to go,” Sanchez said in a statement.

Ellzey is a state lawmaker who narrowly lost the GOP nomination for the seat in 2018 and carried the backing of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Susan Wright had already been seen as a favorite in a crowded race to fill the seat of her late husband, who died in February after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was 67.

The date of the runoff has not yet been set.

NATION

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — Mourners will gather on Monday for the funeral of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man shot and killed by deputies in North Carolina, with eulogists planning to celebrate his legacy and reflect on his life.

The invite-only service at noon in a church in Elizabeth City follows public viewings the previous day. The Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy, and other speakers will include Brown’s relatives as well as civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who’s representing Brown’s family, and the Rev. William Barber II, leader of the Poor People’s campaign.

Brown, 42, was shot and killed on April 21 by deputies attempting to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants, sparking days of protests in the city in rural northeastern North Carolina. An independent autopsy commissioned by his family said that he was shot five times, including once in the back of the head.

Family members have said that Brown was a proud father of seven, who was known for entertaining relatives with his stories and jokes.

YAZOO CITY, Miss. (AP) — Multiple tornadoes were reported across Mississippi on Sunday, destroying homes and uprooting trees. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Just south of Yazoo City, Vickie Savell looked at the remains of her brand new mobile home, where she and her husband had just moved in eight days ago. It was her first new home in 40 years, and it had been lifted off its foundation, moved about 25 feet and was completely destroyed.

“Oh my God, my first new house in 40 years and it’s gone,” she said Monday, amid tree tops strewn about the neighborhood and the roar of chainsaws as people worked to clear roads.

A line of severe storms rolled through the state Sunday afternoon and into the nighttime hours. Late Sunday, a “tornado emergency” was declared for Tupelo and surrounding areas. Meteorologists urged residents to take cover.

WORLD

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rican boxer Félix Verdejo turned himself in to federal agents to face charges hours after authorities identified the body of a dead woman as his 27-year-old pregnant lover, officials said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said late Sunday that Verdejo was being charged with kidnapping and carjacking resulting in death and with intentionally killing an unborn child.

A criminal complaint filed by the FBI accuses Verdejo of punching Keishla Rodríguez in the face and injecting her with a syringe filled with an unidentified substance bought at a public housing complex. It alleges he then bound her arms and feet with wire and tied a heavy block to her before throwing her off a bridge at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

ROME (AP) — A project to build a high-tech, lightweight stage inside the Roman Colosseum will allow visitors a central viewpoint from within the ancient structure “to see the majesty of the monument,” Italy’s culture minister said Sunday.

Dario Franceschini announced a 18.5 million euro ($22 million) contract to build and install the retractable structure that will restore the traditional “arena,” or stage for combat for gladiatorial shows in ancient Rome.

The stage was original to the first-century amphitheater and existed until the 1800s when it was removed for archaeological digs on the subterranean levels of the ancient structure, Franceschini said.

The project should be completed by 2023. The mobile system will be able to quickly cover or uncover the underground structures below, to both protect them from rain or allow them to be aired out. The project is reversible, meaning it can be removed if plans for the Colosseum change in the future.

MADRID (AP) — Bullfighting with fans returned to Madrid on Sunday for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with several thousand spectators allowed into the Spanish capital’s Las Ventas ring.

Regional authorities allowed the event, whose earnings are to help the bullfighting industry, which like all activities that rely on live audiences has been hard hit by coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions.

Regional authorities put a limit of 40% occupancy for Madrid’s first bullfight in over a year, meaning up to 6,000 fans could attend. Fans had assigned seats and had to wear face masks at all times. The lineup included top bullfighters Enrique Ponce and Julián “El Juli” López.

Last summer, bullfighting returned in Spain’s southern region of Andalusía with 50% occupancy following the country’s complete lockdown during the worst months of the pandemic.

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