Man showed no emotion after fatal synagogue shooting, federal warrant says

SAN DIEGO — The Rancho Bernardo man who is charged with the shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue that killed one person and injured three others told investigators he had developed a hatred for Jews in the previous 18 months, and according to a federal search warrant.

John T. Earnest, 19, was also described in an affidavit by an FBI agent as having a “flat affect,” or dispassionate demeanor, “as though he was detached or unaffected by his actions” when he was arrested just minutes after the shooting April 27.

The new information was contained in a search warrant that the FBI obtained for information on postings Earnest made on the online forum 8chan. The site is a well-known forum for hate and extremism.

The warrant also sought information on 8chan users who commented on Earnest’s posts, both as potential witnesses or co-conspirators, according to FBI Special Agent Michael J. Rod. The warrant was issued on April 28.

Earnest has been charged in both state and federal courts with murder, attempted murder and hate crimes stemming from the shooting, and arson charges related to an attack on an Escondido mosque on March 24.

He could face the death penalty in either or both cases, He has pleaded not guilty to all charges in both jurisdiction. His federal public defender Kathleen Nester declined to comment on the warrant Sunday.

—San Diego Union-Tribune

No dreadlocks or weaves? North Carolina pool criticized over ‘racist’ rules

RALEIGH, N.C. — An outdoor recreation center in North Carolina defended its policies that some people on social media have called racist and discriminatory.

A Facebook user posted a photograph of the pool rules for the Outdoor Recreation Center in Wendell on Sunday. One rule says “no baggy pants, no dread-locks/weaves/extensions or revealing clothes will be permitted or you will be asked to leave.”

Some people on Facebook spoke out against the rule.

“Is this really allowed in Wendell!!!” Nikki Nechole Harris wrote on the Wendell NC Community Connections Facebook group.

“Definitely racial discrimination! Never will see me there!!” another user wrote.

Others defended the Outdoor Recreation Center, which requires people to buy a membership to visit the pool.

“If you don’t like the rules then don’t go! This is a private business and it’s within their rights to make the rules,” Ann Honeycutt wrote on Facebook. “Unless you own a business of this type you can’t know what problems they have had that prompted the owners to make these rules.”

The Outdoor Recreation Center said in a Facebook post that has since been deleted that hair extensions are banned because they can get into pumping equipment, causing an “automatic shutdown of 3 days or more.”

—The News & Observer

China’s Xi to meet North Korea’s Kim in Pyongyang ahead of G-20

SHANGHAI — Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to North Korea on Thursday for talks with Kim Jong Un, state media in Beijing and Pyongyang reported.

The state visit will take place on June 20-21, China’s official Xinhua News Agency and the Korean Central News Agency reported Monday, without elaborating.

This will be Xi’s first visit as Chinese leader to North Korea and the first by China’s top official in about 14 years to the impoverished state that depends on Beijing for economic support. It comes ahead of next week’s Group of 20 summit in Japan that’s expected to be attended by Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump as well as Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

“This trip to North Korea is part of China’s strengthening of neighboring diplomacy against the backdrop of a China-U.S. trade war,” said Wang Sheng, professor of international politics of Jilin University. “The move is also intended to make it clear to the United States that China’s role cannot be overlooked, whether it is in Northeast Asia or a multinational occasion as the G-20.”

The visit comes after a Feb. 28 meeting between Kim and Trump collapsed in Hanoi, in a fight over the U.S.-backed sanctions that are pressuring North Korea’s economy. Beijing is North Korea’s biggest backer, and Xi’s visit continues a pattern of close coordination between the neighbors during negotiations with the U.S. over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

—Bloomberg News

Argentina investigates reasons behind ‘unprecedented’ power outage

BUENOS AIRES — Argentinian authorities are trying to clarify the reasons for a massive blackout that left about 50 million people in South America without electricity.

The malfunction in a network serving both Argentina and Uruguay left the two countries almost completely without power and also affected parts of Paraguay, Chile and Brazil on Sunday.

Electricity has been almost completely restored in Argentina and Uruguay after an outage of up to 15 hours, suppliers in both countries said late Sunday.

“This had never happened in the history of Argentina,” Energy Secretary Gustavo Lopetegui said on Monday.

He said there had been excessive voltage in a transmission line linking the hydropower plants Yacyreta and Salto Grande with the national grid, following which the supply system was automatically switched off.

Such automatic shutdowns in case of voltage fluctuations are common, but should remain localized, the minister said. “The problem and the question is, why did a system that is designed to isolate the affected section not do so?” he asked.

“It is an unprecedented case, which will be thoroughly investigated,” President Mauricio Macri tweeted on Sunday.

— dpa