AP Explains: Catalans appear at ‘trial of century’ in Spain
MADRID (AP) — It's being billed as Spain's "trial of the century": A dozen politicians and activists are in in the Supreme Court on Tuesday stemming from their involvement in Catalonia's push for independence in 2017.
AP Explains: How immigration detention works
PHOENIX (AP) — A new proposal by Democrats in negotiations for a funding bill to avert another government shutdown would cap the number of people the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is allowed to hold in detention.
They say they want ICE to focus its interior enforcement — outside of the border — on criminals only. Being in the country illegally is an administrative violation, not a crime.
AP Explains: The promise of 5G wireless - speed, hype, risk
NEW YORK (AP) — A much-hyped network upgrade called "5G" means different things to different people.
To industry proponents, it's the next huge innovation in wireless internet. To the U.S. government, it's the backbone technology of a future that America will wrestle with China to control. To many average people, it's simply a mystery.
AP Explains: Venezuela’s humanitarian aid standoff
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido declared himself Venezuela's interim president last month, vowing to oust President Nicolas Maduro from power and end the once-wealthy nation's deepening political and humanitarian crisis.
AP Explains: Racist history of blackface began in the 1830s
WASHINGTON (AP) — A racist photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's yearbook page and a subsequent admission from his attorney general that he wore blackface in 1980 has roiled Virginia politics. The photo in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook shows someone in blackface standing next to a person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. Attorney General Mark Herring said Wednesday that he wore brown makeup to look like a black rapper during a party as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. The revelations offer the latest examples of prominent white people facing harsh criticism for wearing blackface.
AP Explains: Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam may be win for all
BANGKOK (AP) — Vietnam's selection as the venue for the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is largely a matter of convenience and security, but...
AP Explains: Racist history of blackface began in the 1830s
WASHINGTON (AP) — A racist photo from a 1984 yearbook threatens to end Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's political career. The photo shows two people: one in blackface and one wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. The image generated intense pressure for Northam to resign and offered the latest example of a prominent white person facing harsh criticism for wearing blackface. Here's a look at the practice and its history:
AP Explains: Cucuta, Colombia _ The gateway into Venezuela
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido is moving ahead with plans to try to bring in humanitarian aid through the Colombian border city of Cucuta, where the U.S. government will transport and store food and medical supplies destined for Venezuela.
AP Explains: Trump revives debate about Robert E. Lee
President Donald Trump on Friday revived the debate over the legacy of Gen. Robert E. Lee when he described the Confederate military leader as "a great general, everybody knows that."
AP Explains: Why Congo’s Ebola outbreak still going strong
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo, the second deadliest in history, marks six months on Friday and is moving toward the major border city of Goma, a development that would greatly complicate any hope of stopping the virus' spread in the unstable region.
AP Explains: Anti-assimilation claims haunt Latinos, Asians
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — NBC's Tom Brokaw drew strong criticism for saying that Hispanics needed to work harder at assimilating and learning English. Megan Neely, a Duke University graduate studies director, also sparked anger for warning international Asian students in an email against speaking Chinese in public.
AP Explains: What are dangers of mining waste in Brazil?
As rescuers in Brazil search for survivors of a dam collapse, questions abound about the health and environmental risks of the thick, brown, metal-laden mine waste that flowed over buildings. The accident comes after the United Nations and others warned that dam failures in the mining industry are becoming increasingly catastrophic because the structures are growing larger and more numerous around the globe. A look at some of the hazards:
AP Explains: US sanctions to hit Venezuelan oil company
NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, its harshest economic punishment to date against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, whom the U.S. and other countries no longer recognize as the legitimate leader of the South American country.
Here's a look at how the measures might affect both the U.S. and Venezuela.
AP Explains: Why Nigeria’s election faces multiple threats
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Nigeria has slid into a constitutional crisis three weeks before the presidential election after President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the country's chief justice, a key player in what likely will be a disputed vote affecting the lives of some 190 million people. The president's rival calls the suspension "an act of dictatorship" meant to influence the election.
AP Explains: How Germany hopes to quit using coal
BERLIN (AP) — Germany wants to stop using coal, a major source of the carbon emissions that drive climate change. But finding the least disruptive way to get there has been a challenge.
A big question is not only when the last mines and power plants will close down, but how quitting coal can be done without generating drawn-out protests or harming the German economy.
AP Explains: What a Venezuelan oil embargo could mean for US
NEW YORK (AP) — Diplomatic relations between U.S. and Venezuela have hit a new low over President Donald Trump's decision to recognize the leader of the South American country's opposition as its legitimate president. But the two countries have long history of interdependency when it comes to oil that has endured through years of political tensions. Trump has long considered imposing sanctions that would block imports of Venezuela oil. Here's a look at how such a move might affect both countries.
AP Explains: Brexit awakens old fears in Northern Ireland
LONDON (AP) — Northern Ireland's wounds are deep: Bloody Sunday, Enniskillen, Belfast's sectarian killings of Catholics and Protestants by paramilitaries on both sides and British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary shootings and crackdowns.
AP Explains: Why are France and Germany renewing their vows?
BERLIN (AP) — The leaders of France and Germany signed a treaty Tuesday renewing their friendship and pledging greater cooperation between their two nations.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron signed the Aachen accord exactly 56 years after their predecessors inked the Elysee Treaty that set the tone for the two countries' relations after centuries of fierce rivalry and bloody conflict.
AP Explains: Can Trump ground Pelosi’s plane?
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump canceled House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's planned trip to Belgium and Afghanistan just hours before the congressional delegation, known as a CODEL, was set to depart. The AP explains:
AP Explains: Who are al-Shabab attackers of Kenya hotel?
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The overnight attack on a hotel complex in Nairobi that left 14 dead was quickly claimed by the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which has targeted Kenya with several devastating assaults in recent years, leaving hundreds dead. Here's a look at the group which has been called the deadliest in Africa:
AP Explains: Why Zimbabwe’s military supports Mnangagwa
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Zimbabwe's military deployed in several areas of the capital, Harare, Monday, to put down anti-government demonstrations against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government.
This is the second time that the military has been called in to put down protests since Mnangagwa came to power in late 2017. Both times the military opened fire and wounded civilian bystanders.
AP Explains: How Yemen’s rebels increasingly deploy drones
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In Yemen, the high-pitched whine of drones has been a part of life for over 15 years, ever since the first U.S. drone strike here targeting al-Qaida in 2002. On Thursday, an attack on a military base where America once ran its drone program showed that the U.S. is no longer the only force deploying them.
AP Explains: Can Trump declare emergency to build his wall?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is weighing using a national emergency declaration to circumvent Congress and the budget stalemate and force construction of the president's long-promised southern border wall.
AP Explains: Why Congo’s election could lead to violence
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The results of Congo's presidential election were delayed Sunday. Some 80 U.S. military personnel have been deployed to Central Africa to protect U.S. assets from possible "violent demonstrations" in Congo over the election outcome. The international community has warned Congo's government that the results must accurately reflect the people's will — and that internet service should be restored.
AP Explains: What happens in a partial government shutdown
A look at the impact of the partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22:
WHAT'S OPEN AND WHAT'S CLOSED
Social Security checks will go out and troops will remain at their posts. Doctors and hospitals will receive their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. The U.S. Postal Service is an independent agency and won't be affected. Passport services, which are funded by fees and not government spending, will also continue.
AP Explains: Russia-Ukraine dispute raises new tensions
MOSCOW (AP) — A dispute between Russia and Ukraine in the waters off the Crimean Peninsula has raised the prospect of a larger military confrontation between the two neighbors.
It follows 4½ years of bloodshed between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
A look at the conflict, its roots and possible outcomes:
AP Explains: The hunt for missing, dead in California fire
CHICO, Calif. (AP) — Given the size and scope of the devastation after a deadly wildfire swept Northern California, experts say the search to find the missing and identify victims could take months.
AP Explains: Dispute between Seoul, Tokyo over WWII brothels
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's decision to dissolve a foundation funded by Japan to compensate South Korean women who were forced to work in Japan's World War II military brothels has thrown fuel on the diplomatic fire between the countries, who share a bitter wartime history.
AP Explains: Florida’s difficult, high-profile recounts
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's election started badly when Hurricane Michael disrupted early voting in some Panhandle counties. Long lines, ballot shortages and other problems followed statewide, both during early voting and on Election Day. Now the state is having recounts in its U.S. Senate and governor races.
AP Explains: The latest in Sri Lanka’s political crisis
NEW DELHI (AP) — Sri Lanka is in the midst of a political crisis set off by the president's decisions to remove the South Asian island nation's prime minister, dissolve Parliament and call snap...
AP EXPLAINS: Pakistani Christians, an embattled minority
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The uproar surrounding Aasia Bibi — a Pakistani Christian woman who was acquitted of blasphemy charges and released from death row but remains at a secret location for her protection — has drawn attention to the plight of the country's Christians.
The minority, among Pakistan's poorest, has faced an increasingly intolerant atmosphere in this Muslim-majority nation where radical religious and sectarian groups have become more prominent in recent years.
AP Explains: Ranking candidates 1, 2, 3 on ballot in Maine
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine embarked on a voting experiment on Election Day.
Instead of selecting a single winner, voters were asked to rank all of the candidates from best to worst on the ballot in a new way of voting approved by state voters.
The election marked the first time what is known as ranked-choice voting was used in U.S. House and Senate races.
AP Explains: A close, maybe disputed Georgia governor’s race
ATLANTA (AP) — The Republican nominee has declared victory in a hotly Georgia governor's race, which he oversees as the state's top elections official.
His Democratic opponent says ballots remain to be counted.
Here's a look at what's happening in the contest between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams one of the nation's top midterm matchups that pitted a disciple of President Donald Trump and the would-be first black woman ever to lead a U.S. state as governor.
AP Explains: The fund at center of Malaysia’s graft scandal
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — U.S. authorities have charged a fugitive Malaysian financier and two former Goldman Sachs bankers in a money laundering and bribery scheme that allegedly pilfered billions from Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB. The corruption scandal involving the fund had already upended Malaysian politics. The long-ruling coalition was ousted in a May election, and then-Prime Minister Najib Razak, who set up the fund, now faces criminal charges in Malaysia. Last year, the country sank to its worst-ever rating in the influential Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International. Here's a look at the fund and how the scandal has played out:
AP Explains: How the Native American vote evolved
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Native Americans are running for high-profile seats this year in New Mexico, Kansas, Minnesota and Idaho in what could bring historic gains for a population once excluded from electoral politics.
Indian voters also could swing important races in Montana, Arizona and North Dakota.
The midterm election Tuesday comes 70 years after Isleta Pueblo member Miguel Trujillo's landmark court challenge against a New Mexico law that had prevented Native Americans from voting.
AP Explains: How US birthright citizenship emerged, endured
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants to end a constitutional right that automatically grants citizenship to any baby born in the United States. Trump, in an interview with "Axios on HBO," said his goal is halting guaranteed citizenship for babies of noncitizens and unauthorized immigrants.
AP Explains: Gab, where Pittsburgh shooting suspect ranted
NEW YORK (AP) — A social media service believed to be used by the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect to post hateful rants advertises itself as a haven for free speech.
No, not Twitter. The site is Gab, which has become a breeding ground for white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other extremists as more mainstream sites cracked down on hate speech and threats of violence.
AP Explains: How Sri Lanka plunged into political crisis
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka is in a constitutional stalemate, torn between two leaders who both claim to be its legitimate prime minister. President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and dissolved his Cabinet on Friday, abruptly ending a strained coalition government between two traditionally opposed political parties. Former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the new prime minister and Parliament was suspended, sowing economic and political uncertainty in the South Asian island nation. A look at Sri Lanka and the origins of its ongoing political crisis:
AP Explains: How Brazil’s Bolsonaro used Trump tactics
SAO PAULO (AP) — Observers have long flirted with the idea that far-right Brazilian congressman Jair Bolsonaro, the front-runner in Sunday's presidential runoff, was a "tropical Trump." Bolsonaro has presented himself as someone who tells it like it is while promising to dismantle a dysfunctional political system, and who seeks to capture the imagination of many citizens afraid of losing their place in an increasingly diverse and inclusive society.
AP Explains: Why the world’s biggest lottery jackpot wasn’t
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Call it the world's largest lottery prize that wasn't.
AP Explains: Diplomatic immunity and the Khashoggi case
ROME (AP) — The killing of Jamal Khashoggi shocked the world not only because of the grisly details of his death, but also because of where it took place: inside a consulate, which enjoys special protections under international law.
The case has raised questions about the immunity offered to diplomats and diplomatic premises, and the risk of abusing the system for unlawful activities and to obstruct criminal investigations.
AP Explains: The growing migrant caravan on way to US border
TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — The caravan of Central American migrants moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border has bloomed to more than 7,000 people. Here's why the caravan is bigger than previous...
AP Explains: Driven by climate change, fire reshapes US West
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildfires in the U.S. have charred more than 10,000 square miles so far this year, an area larger than the state of Maryland, with large fires still burning in every Western state including many that are not fully contained.
Whether sparked by lightning or humans, fire has long been a force shaping the landscape of the U.S. West.
AP Explains: Why the 2016 Trump Tower meeting matters
WASHINGTON (AP) — Adoptions of Russian children? Opposition research on Hillary Clinton?
President Donald Trump has for the first time acknowledged that a June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower...
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it's not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so .
Throughout American history, during times of war and unrest, authorities have cited various reasons and laws to take children away from their parents. Here are some examples:
AP Explains: The US pivot on Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (AP) — Breaking with decades of U.S. policy, President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital this week, a declaration that set off a wave of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces and drew sharp criticism from U.S. allies in the Middle East and beyond.
Here's a look at why the U.S. recognition of the holy city as Israel's capital matters.
AP Explains: What is bitcoin? A look at the digital currency
LONDON (AP) — The price of a single bitcoin has pierced the $10,000 level and some experts say it could rise further. The world's most popular virtual currency allows people to buy goods and services and exchange money without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties.
It has a fuzzy history, having been used by hackers to demand ransom and for the purchase of illegal drugs online. But recently it's become more popular with a different crowd: speculative investors.
AP Explains: How Trump’s Pocahontas remark can be offensive
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Members of Virginia tribes that count Pocahontas among their ancestors said Tuesday that President Donald Trump should not use her name for political gain.
The historical figure is well-known through a Disney movie and Halloween costumes but less so for her sacrifices to protect her people from British forces, historians say.
AP Explains: What the Uber data breach is all about
When Uber paid a $100,000 ransom so that hackers who broke into its data warehouse would destroy the personal information they stole, it allowed the ride-sharing company to keep a massive breach of 57 million user and driver accounts secret for nearly a year.
AP Explains: Farm runoff and the worsening algae plague
Harmful algae blooms have become a top water polluter, fueled by fertilizers washing into lakes, streams and oceans. Federal and state programs have spent billions of dollars on cost-sharing payments to farmers to help prevent nutrient runoff, yet the problem is worsening in many places. Here's a look at the algae menace and what's being done: