Meghan McCain asks Klobuchar not to talk about her father on campaign trail

MINNEAPOLIS — The daughter of Sen. John McCain asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar to stop talking about her late father on the presidential campaign trail.

The Sunday tweet from Meghan McCain followed coverage of remarks by Klobuchar, the Minnesota senator running for the Democratic nomination, about Sen. McCain’s views of President Donald Trump.

Klobuchar was in Iowa Saturday night celebrating her 59th birthday at a Des Moines winery. According to a Des Moines Register story, she was telling the crowd about her experience at Trump’s inauguration, where she sat next to McCain.

“John McCain kept reciting to me names of dictators during (Trump’s inaugural) speech. Because he knew more than any of us what we were facing as a nation. He understood it. He knew because he knew this man more than any of us did,” the paper quoted Klobuchar as saying.

Meghan McCain, who is a co-host of the syndicated talk show “The View,” tweeted at Klobuchar on Sunday: “On behalf of the entire McCain family — @amyklobuchar please be respectful to all of us and leave my fathers legacy and memory out of presidential politics.”

Tim Hogan, the communications director for Klobuchar’s presidential campaign, released a statement in response: “Senator Klobuchar had a long-time friendship with Senator McCain, she has defended him against President Trump’s attacks in the past, and she has deep respect for his family. While she was simply sharing a memory, she continues to believe that the best stories about Senator McCain are not about the views he had about President Trump: They are about McCain’s own valor and heroism.”

Klobuchar has spoken often in the past about both John and Cindy McCain, with whom she previously collaborated in attempts to crack down on human trafficking.

— Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Woman shot and killed while shielding her baby from gunfire on West Side

CHICAGO — A woman in her 20s was shot and killed while shielding her baby from gunfire on Chicago’s West Side Tuesday morning, according to Chicago police.

The woman, 24, had gotten out of a black sedan and was holding her 1-year-old when someone started firing from a silver car around 8:50 a.m. in the North Austin neighborhood, police said.

The woman was hit on the right side but was able to take cover behind a car and place her body over the baby, according to Chicago police spokeswoman Michelle Tannehill. “She shielded the baby from the gunfire.”

Passers-by found her near the car and took her to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where she was pronounced dead about 9:25 a.m.

Detectives believe the shooter was targeting three people who were near the woman, police said. Officers may have found the car the gunman fired from, but were still investigating.

— Chicago Tribune

Henry DA says Georgia’s new ‘heartbeat’ law is unconstitutional

ATLANTA — The district attorney for Henry County is joining several of his peers in metro Atlanta in pledging not to prosecute women for seeking an abortion under the state’s new “heartbeat” law.

“HB 481 is unconstitutional because it is contrary to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which is presently the law of the land,” Henry District Attorney Darius Pattillo said in a statement.

“This office will not prosecute any woman for decisions regarding her own personal health, nor any physician or other healthcare professional, under HB 481,” he wrote.

District attorneys for Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb and DeKalb counties told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week they would not, or could not, prosecute women under the new law.

— Atlanta Journal-Constitution

EU leaders put aside differences, set June goal to settle top posts

BRUSSELS — EU leaders agreed Tuesday to aim for a package of top EU appointments by June, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron sparred over the selection process for the key post of European Commission president.

The informal EU summit in Brussels was a first chance to hash out the political consequences of last week’s European Parliament elections, which dealt losses to the main centrist parties. The elections started a new political cycle.

However, several EU leaders, notably Macron, are at odds with the parliament, whose political groups have nominated candidates for the commission presidency under a system of lead candidates that is not supported by all.

EU leaders have previously stressed that they will not be restricted by the so-called Spitzenkandidaten system, which Macron described on Tuesday as a “prison.”

The next commission president must be nominated by two thirds of EU leaders, but also requires a majority in parliament.

The 28 EU leaders tasked European Council President Donald Tusk with finding an acceptable commission nominee by the time they next meet on June 20-21, alongside three other top jobs.

“There can be no automaticity” in the selection process, Tusk said after the talks. He will negotiate over the coming weeks with the parliament, as well as EU leaders.

Merkel called for a consensual approach, warning against creating “wounds” that would hamper the EU’s future ability to act.

The chancellor has put her weight behind the lead candidate of the European People’s Party, parliamentary chief Manfred Weber — a fellow German from the Bavarian sister party of her Christian Democratic Union.

But Macron insisted Tuesday that policies must come before names.

The challenges ahead — including climate change and economic issues — necessitate a candidate with “experiences either in one’s own country or in Europe that provide credibility and know-how,” the French president said ahead of the summit talks.

His comments appeared to be a dig at Weber, has no government experience and whose record on climate issues is less convincing than that of other candidates.

Macron cited EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and commission Vice President Frans Timmermans — who are both declared candidates — as well as EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier as having the skills required.

Macron is not the only critic of the Spitzenkandidaten system.

The leaders of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia don’t consider it the “Holy Bible,” said Slovakian Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini on behalf of the so-called Visegrad group.

Meanwhile, several members of the liberal ALDE group with which Macron has aligned himself came out in favor of the liberal candidate, Denmark’s Margrethe Vestager.

— dpa