THE DRIVE: Mayor condemns violence; Putin, Trump talk Syria; one-eyed Derby horse
Portland, Oregon, mayor condemns violent May Day protest
PORTLAND, Ore. — The mayor of Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday condemned the actions of protesters after more than two dozen people were arrested a day earlier during a May Day march that turned violent.
The violence and vandalism in Portland and several other Pacific Northwest cities stood out amid largely peaceful marches elsewhere in the U.S. to honor immigrants and support workers' rights.
With piles of charred debris on street corners, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler denounced the actions of a small group of protesters the night before and praised police for a "tremendous job under very dangerous circumstances."
"In Portland, we respect peaceful protest, but we cannot and do not support acts of violence and vandalism. That's not political speech," Wheeler said. "That's a crime."
White ex-officer pleads guilty in black man's slaying
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A white former police officer whose killing of an unarmed black man running from a traffic stop was captured on cellphone video pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal civil rights charges that could send him to prison for decades.
The plea from Michael Slager, 35, came five months after a jury deadlocked on state murder charges against him in the 2015 shooting of Walter Scott. South Carolina prosecutors had planned to retry Slager, but as part of Tuesday's plea bargain, they agreed to drop the murder case.
Slager admitted violating Scott's civil rights by shooting him without justification. He could get up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing, though prosecutors agreed to ask for more than 20 years behind bars. No sentencing date was set.
US, Russia agree to increased diplomacy on Syria
The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to step up U.S.-Russian diplomatic efforts on Syria.
The Kremlin says the two leaders agreed in a telephone call Tuesday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will intensify their efforts to bring about a cease-fire, with the goal of beginning a real peace process in Syria.
The Kremlin characterized the call as "business-like" and "constructive." The White House says Trump and Putin discussed the creation of safe zones in Syria, but there was no mention of this in the Kremlin readout of the call.
One-eyed horse to run in Kentucky Derby
His name is Patch, a horse with one eye, and he'll be running in the Kentucky Derby. How he lost the eye is a mystery.
"No one really knows," trainer Todd Pletcher said. If Patch comes up big, he'll be the first Derby winner with one eye.
Patch has adjusted to a limited field of vision. But the circumstances surrounding his condition are murky. "We came in one morning and his eye was a little bit swollen, and he was tearing heavily," Pletcher said.
There was no evidence of additional trauma, suggesting the colt had fallen or run into an object. Aggressive treatment failed and the eye was removed. "Everyone is stumped as to exactly what happened," Pletcher said.
Musician collapses during birthday concert finale and dies
ATLANTA — When Col. Bruce Hampton slowly fell to his knees during the finale of his star-studded birthday concert, fans and musicians alike thought it was another one of his quirky performance acts.
Fourteen-year-old guitar phenom Brandon "Taz" Niederauer tore into a blistering solo as the 70-year-old man lay motionless just feet away, his arm draped over a speaker.
For several more minutes, dozens of musicians — including John Popper of Blues Traveler, Warren Haynes of The Allman Brothers Band and John Bell of Widespread Panic — jammed away to one of Hampton's favorite songs "Turn On Your Love Light." The fans danced and the musicians smiled as they waited for him to get up.
But Col. Bruce never did.
The eccentric guitarist and singer known as the forefather of the jam band scene died after collapsing Monday night at the end of the show billed by Atlanta's Fox Theatre as "Hampton 70: A Celebration of Col. Bruce Hampton." He had turned 70 a day earlier.