The U.S. at a glance ...
San Bernardino, Calif.
Elementary school shooting: A teacher and her 8-year-old student were fatally shot this week when the woman’s husband walked into her special-needs classroom and opened fire. Karen Elaine Smith and Cedric Anderson, both 53, had been married just two months when he carried out his attack at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino. The couple had recently separated, and Smith was hiding at a relative’s home out of concern about Anderson’s threatening behavior, said San Bernardino’s police chief. During the attack, Anderson pulled out a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver and fired 10 shots before turning the gun on himself. Two students were struck by bullets; 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez was airlifted to the hospital and died. Martinez was born with a genetic condition known as Williams syndrome, but “was always happy,” said one of the student’s parents, “even if he was sick.”
Wichita and Atlanta
GOP close calls: Republicans managed to narrowly hold on to the Kansas congressional seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo in a special election this week, as they scrambled to secure victory in another crucial upcoming redstate race in Georgia. The two special elections are widely seen as the first referendums on the Trump administration. In Kansas’ 4th Congressional District, State Treasurer Ron Estes defeated civil rights lawyer James Thompson by 7 points. Trump won Kansas by 27 points in November, and posted a last-minute tweet of support to Estes the day of the special election. In Georgia’s April 18 contest to succeed Tom Price, who resigned to serve as Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary, first-time Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, 30, was leading the field of five Democrats and 11 Republicans. The seat, in Georgia’s 6th District, has not been held by a Democrat in nearly four decades.
Tragic prank: A 13-year-old girl in Michigan is facing criminal charges after playing a social media prank on her boyfriend that led to his suicide. Tysen Benz, 11, was at his Marquette home texting and Snapchatting when he allegedly received messages, sent by his girlfriend from someone else’s phone, pretending that she had died. Distraught, Benz replied that he was going to kill himself, too, and no one did anything to stop him, said his mother, Katrina Goss. When Goss went to Tysen’s room to tuck him in that evening, he wasn’t in his bed. “I thought he was being silly,” said Goss. She found him hanging in the closet. “I tried to lift him up,” Goss said. “I was screaming.” The paramedics were able to revive Tysen, but he died after a three-week hospitalization. The unnamed girl has been charged with malicious use of telecommunication services and using a computer to commit a crime.
‘Love Gov’ quits: Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned this week and promised to never again seek public office after pleading guilty to charges tied to an alleged affair with a former senior adviser. Rumors began to circulate that Bentley, 74, was involved with his aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason, 45, in 2015, when Bentley’s wife of 50 years filed for divorce. This week, the Alabama House Judiciary Committee began impeachment proceedings against Bentley, days after a damning 3,000-page report was released outlining his relationship with Mason— claiming that Bentley routinely called her “baby” in meetings and sent her passionate text messages from an iPhone synced to his wife’s iPad. “You look beautiful and feel so soft,” read one. Bentley, who denies having had a physical affair with Mason, pleaded guilty to misuse of office resources to cover up their relationship. Under a plea deal, Bentley must perform 100 hours of community service.
Trump adviser surveilled: The FBI obtained a secret court order to monitor the communications of one of Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers in the runup to last year’s election, The Washington Post reported this week. While investigating possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign, the FBI and Justice Department were able to convince a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause that energy consultant Carter Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power—in this case, Russia. The surveillance application cited Page’s contacts with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013; according to separate court documents, the Russian operative tried to recruit Page as a source. Page started a business in Moscow, and in July gave a speech there advocating “mutual respect’’ between the U.S. and Russia. In March 2016, Trump listed Page as a member of his foreign policy team. But he said earlier this year that “I don’t think I ever met him.”
Palm Beach, Fla.
Trump hosts Xi: President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping struck an optimistic tone as they met for the first time at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last week, in a much-touted summit that focused on the trade relationship between the world’s two largest economies. On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly accused China of “currency manipulation” and of destroying American jobs, but the two presidents enjoyed “very positive” faceto- face talks, they told reporters. Ivanka Trump’s daughter at one point serenaded the Chinese president and his wife with a traditional folk song in Mandarin. Trump and Xi had “candid” discussions on the nuclear threat from North Korea, a Chinese ally, and ended their summit by unveiling a 100-day plan to tackle trade imbalances. Days later, Trump warned on Twitter that China would get a much better trade deal “if they solve the North Korean problem!”