More McCain comments — Casting aside rare censure from Republican lawmakers, President Donald Trump aimed new blasts of invective at the late John McCain on Wednesday and claimed credit for the senator’s Washington funeral. By the time Trump began speaking in Ohio, several leading Republicans had signaled a new willingness to defy him by defending the Vietnam War veteran as a hero seven months after he died of brain cancer. One GOP senator publicly called Trump’s remarks “deplorable.” McCain’s family had made clear Trump was not welcome during the 2008 Republican nominee’s services. “I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted,” Trump told reporters at a rally in Lima, Ohio. “I didn’t get (a) thank you, but that’s OK.”
May: Delay Brexit until June 30 — Exactly 1,000 days after Britain voted to leave the European Union, and nine days before it is scheduled to walk out the door, Prime Minister Theresa May hit the pause button Wednesday, asking the bloc to postpone the U.K.’s departure until June 30. EU leaders, who are exasperated by Britain’s Brexit melodrama, will only grant the extension if May can win the U.K. Parliament’s approval next week for her twice-rejected Brexit deal. Otherwise, the U.K. is facing a chaotic “no-deal” departure. “It is high time we made a decision,” May said.
New Zealand rifle ban — New Zealand has banned military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday, six days after attacks on two mosques in Christchurch that left 50 people dead. A buyback program will be launched to take existing weapons out of circulation, and those who do not comply will be subject to fines, she said. AR-15 rifles were used in the attack. New Zealand has a tradition of hunting and shooting as sport, but there is no legal provision to own weapons for self-defense. As of Thursday, all of the victims were identified.
Busload of students kidnapped in Italy — An Italian school bus driver took 51 seventh-graders hostage in northern Italy on Wednesday, pouring gasoline on the bus floor and later setting it afire. After someone on the bus made an emergency call, military police reached the bus and safely rescued all of the children, as well as two teachers and a janitor aboard, as it burst into flames. The driver, Osseynou Sy, an Italian of Senegalese origin, said “he wanted to vindicate the dead of the Mediterranean,” according to authorities.
Bosnian war crimes — A United Nations court increased the sentence of Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, Wednesday from 40 years to life in prison for his role in the Bosnian war of the 1990s, reaffirming his conviction on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Both the prosecution and the defense had appealed the 2016 result of Karadzic’s trial before the U.N. Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The court’s decision to raise the penalty drew cheers from Bosnians in the gallery.
Overflowing migrant centers — Border Patrol detention centers in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley have soared well past their capacity in recent days, prompting mass releases of migrants onto the streets as local leaders scramble to house and feed hundreds of new arrivals daily. The officials have released more than 2,200 people from government processing facilities in the valley since Monday, setting aside the Trump administration’s vow to end what it calls “catch and release.” Unauthorized border crossings have spiked in recent months, with more than 76,000 migrants apprehended on the southwest border in February, an 11-year high.
Chemical cleanup in Texas — Crews on Wednesday extinguished a fire that had burned for days at a Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility and led to concerns about air quality among some residents despite reassurances from officials that testing shows nothing amiss. An Intercontinental Terminals Co. spokeswoman said Wednesday crews were cleaning up the facility in Deer Park, southeast of Houston, so the investigation can begin into what sparked the blaze Sunday. The tanks that caught fire contained components of gasoline and materials used in nail polish remover, glues and paint thinner.