Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.
How Paul Ryan lost the Republican Party: Larry Bartels of the Washington Post writes: Two years ago, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan was the Republican Party’s indispensable man, uniting the party’s unruly congressional caucus behind an agenda of cutting taxes and shrinking the welfare state. Now Ryan is retiring to spend more time with his teenage children. What happened? Ryan’s speakership began with strong support from rank-and-file Republicans, but that support eroded substantially as he struggled to distance himself from President Trump. His departure underlines the extent to which, as Robert Reich put it, “the Republican Party no longer stands for anything other than Trump.” Ryan’s relationship with the president has been fraught from the start. He expressed repeated, if carefully modulated, criticism of Trump during the campaign, eventually withdrawing his support in the wake of the infamous “Access Hollywood” recording. Read more.
Chaos, consultation: Inside Trump’s decision to strike Syria: Catherine Lucey and Jill Colvin of the Associated Press write: For the second time in his presidency, President Donald Trump stared, horrified at pictures of children killed in a chemical attack in Syria. And for the second time in his presidency, those visceral images helped propel Trump toward military strikes in a country he sees as a trap for the United States. At times, the lead-up to Friday’s strikes was orderly — a traditional decision-making process for an unconventional president. He sought the input of national security advisers and convened Situation Room meetings. He consulted with allies, who shared his anger at the photos emerging from Syria of children and adults apparently killed or sickened by poisonous gases. Read more.
Spring storm set to shatter record for April snow in northeastern Wisconsin: Rick Barrett and Karen Herzog of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel write: On track to become the biggest April snowstorm ever to hit northeastern Wisconsin, a dangerous storm left roads impassable Saturday and created whiteout conditions in some areas that could make travel impossible into Sunday evening. Air travel wasn't much better, as several flights at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee were canceled Saturday. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport canceled 400 flights as heavy snow made it difficult to keep runways clear and planes de-iced. The storm glazed the Milwaukee area with ice, and dumped nearly a foot of snow in the Green Bay area Saturday. Read more.
Starbucks CEO apologizes for arrests of two black men waiting in Philadelphia store: the Associated Press writes: The chief executive of Starbucks has apologized after a video of two black men being arrested at a Philadelphia location went viral. Starbucks' CEO Kevin Johnson issued a statement saying the situation had a "reprehensible outcome." He promised the company has "immediately begun a thorough investigation of our practices." The video, captured by author Melissa DePino, shows the tail end of what occurred during the incident that has led to public outrage. The men were waiting to meet their friend when they were asked to leave, witnesses said. Police were then called to the scene. Lauren Wimmer, an attorney for the men, declined to identify them but told CBS Philadelphia they were at the Starbucks for less than 15 minutes, waiting for a third person to arrive for a business meeting over a real estate project. By the time that person arrived, so did the police. Read more.
FEMA’s plan underestimated Puerto Rican hurricane: Danny Vinik of Politico writes: The federal government significantly underestimated the potential damage to Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria and relied too heavily on local officials and private-sector entities to handle the cleanup, according to a POLITICO review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s plan for the disaster. The plan, which was developed by a FEMA contractor in 2014 in anticipation of a catastrophic storm and utilized by FEMA when Maria hit last September, prepared for a Category 4 hurricane and projected that the island would shift from response to recovery mode after roughly 30 days. In fact, Hurricane Maria was a “high-end” Category 4 storm with different locations on the island experiencing Category 5 winds. More than six month after Maria made landfall, the island is just beginning to shift to recovery mode. Read more.