WTOP News https://wtop.com Washington's Top News Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:21:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wtop.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/WtopNewsLogo_500x500-150x150.png WTOP News https://wtop.com 32 32 Storms move into DC area Thursday night, bringing risk of flooding, 30 mph winds https://wtop.com/weather-news/2024/04/april-showers-flooding-warm-weekend/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:20:07 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25928510 Showers are moving through the D.C. area as a band of thunderstorms approaches that’s expected to bring heavy rain and gusty winds overnight Thursday.

The storms biggest potential threats are damaging winds and possible flooding. 7News First Alert Chief Meteorologist Veronica Johnson said an isolated tornado is possible, especially east of Interstate 81 and west of D.C.

“It’s going to be a noisy night for us with the thunder, some of the lightning that you’ll see even in the distance and some pockets of heavy to moderate rain,” said 7News First Alert Chief Meteorologist Veronica Johnson.

The heaviest showers and storms are expected to last from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. During those storms, winds could reach up to 30 mph and temperatures will be in the mid 50s.

“Watch out for the possibility of a squall line to develop across the western suburbs and then sweep across the area,” said WTOP Meteorologist Mike Stinneford.

Most storms are expected to wrap up after midnight.

The National Weather Service is warning that coastal areas could flood between now and Friday evening, including shorelines in D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

The Weather Prediction Center has the area as a low category 1 risk for storms and a “slight” risk for flooding, especially around the Southwest Waterfront and Hains Point Loop Road, with the heaviest rain expected overnight.

If you need to travel during these storms, take necessary precautions for flooding and allow extra travel time as some roads may be closed.

Some passing showers could move through on Friday and it will be windy and cooler.

Fortunately, these stormy conditions won’t last for long.

Heading into the weekend, you can expect to see mostly sunshine. Saturday will be breezy with highs in the 60s, while Sunday’s highs will near 80 with lighter winds, making it the perfect time to get outside.


THURSDAY NIGHT: Scattered showers, storms. Pockets of moderate rain, fog. Lows: 50s. Winds: Southeast 10-15, Gusts to 25 mph.

FRIDAY: Lingering morning showers. Breezy. Highs: 60s. Winds: Southwest 10-15, Gusts 25 mph.

SATURDAY: Partly to mostly sunny, windy. Highs: around 65. Winds: West 10-20, gusts to 30 mph.

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs: 75-80. Winds: Southwest 10-15 mph.

Current weather


House will try again on reauthorization of US spy program after Republican upheaval https://wtop.com/government/2024/04/house-will-try-again-on-reauthorization-of-us-spy-program-after-republican-upheaval/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:12:13 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25930073&preview=true&preview_id=25930073 WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans will try again Friday to advance a bill that would reauthorize a crucial national security surveillance program, a second attempt just days after a conservative revolt prevented similar legislation from reaching the floor.

Speaker Mike Johnson is expected to bring forward a Plan B that would reform and extend a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act known as Section 702 for a shortened period of two years, instead of the full five-year reauthorization first proposed, in hopes that the shorter timeline will sway GOP critics.

“We’re going to try to find a way to unlock the rule. And I think it’s possible,” Johnson told reporters Wednesday evening, referring to the step needed to bring up the legislation. “I mean, there are some differences of opinion. But I think everyone — most everyone — understands the necessity of getting this right and getting it done.”

It is unclear if Johnson, who has called the program “critical” to national security, will have the Republican support necessary to move ahead.

Skepticism of the government’s spy powers has grown dramatically in recent years, particularly on the right. Republicans have clashed for months over what a legislative overhaul of the surveillance program should look like, creating divisions that spilled onto the House floor this week as 19 Republicans broke with their party to prevent the bill from coming up for a vote.

However, some of the original opponents signaled their support for the new plan late Thursday.

“The two-year timeframe is a much better landing spot because it gives us two years to see if any of this works rather than kicking it out five years,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said Thursday. “They say these reforms are going to work. Well, I guess we’ll find out.”

The legislation in question would permit the U.S. government to collect, without a warrant, the communications of non-Americans located outside the country to gather foreign intelligence. The reauthorization is currently tied to a series of reforms aimed at satisfying critics who complained of civil liberties violations against Americans.

But far-right opponents have complained that those changes did not go far enough. Among the detractors are some of Johnson’s harshest critics, members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, who have railed against the speaker the last several months for reaching across the aisle to carry out the basic functions of the government.

To appease some of those critics, Johnson plans to bring forward next week a separate proposal that would close a loophole that allows U.S. officials to collect data on Americans from big tech companies without a warrant.

“All of that added up to something that I think gave a greater deal of comfort,” Roy said.

House passage of the bill is dependent on GOP support as Democrats on Thursday ruled out helping Johnson break the impasse on the legislation.

Though the program is technically set to expire April 19, the Biden administration has said it expects its authority to collect intelligence to remain operational for at least another year, thanks to an opinion earlier this month from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which receives surveillance applications. But officials say that court approval shouldn’t be a substitute for congressional authorization, especially since communications companies could cease cooperation with the government.

First authorized in 2008, the spy tool has been renewed several times since then as U.S. officials see it as crucial in disrupting terror attacks, cyber intrusions and foreign espionage. It has also produced intelligence that the U.S. has relied on for specific operations.

But the administration’s efforts to secure reauthorization of the program have repeatedly encountered fierce, and bipartisan, pushback, with Democrats like Sen. Ron Wyden who have long championed civil liberties aligning with Republican supporters of former President Donald Trump, who in a post on Truth Social on Wednesday stated incorrectly that Section 702 had been used to spy on his presidential campaign.

“Kill FISA,” Trump wrote in all capital letters. “It was illegally used against me, and many others. They spied on my campaign.” A former adviser to his 2016 presidential campaign was targeted for surveillance over potential ties to Russia under a different section of the law.

A specific area of concern for lawmakers is the FBI’s use of the vast intelligence repository to search for information about Americans and others in the U.S. Though the surveillance program only targets non-Americans in other countries, it also collects communications of Americans when they are in contact with those targeted foreigners.

In the past year, U.S. officials have revealed a series of abuses and mistakes by FBI analysts in improperly querying the intelligence repository for information about Americans or others in the U.S., including about a member of Congress and participants in the racial justice protests of 2020 and the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Those violations have led to demands for the FBI to have a warrant before conducting database queries on Americans, which FBI director Chris Wray has warned would effectively gut the program’s effectiveness and would also be legally unnecessary given that the information in the database has already been lawfully collected.

“While it is imperative that we ensure this critical authority of 702 does not lapse, we also must not undercut the effectiveness of this essential tool with a warrant requirement or some similar restriction, paralyzing our ability to tackle fast-moving threats,” Wray said in a speech Tuesday.


Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.


Sports Betting Line https://wtop.com/sports/2024/04/sports-betting-line-1281/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:11:36 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25927256&preview=true&preview_id=25927256 NBA


at PHILADELPHIA (211) Orlando
at BOSTON OFF (OFF) Charlotte
at CLEVELAND (233½) Indiana
at NEW YORK 10½ (210) Brooklyn
at MIAMI 15 (215) Toronto
Denver 10½ (224) at SAN ANTONIO
LA Lakers 13½ (228) at MEMPHIS
at OKLAHOMA CITY 11 (223) Milwaukee
at DALLAS OFF (OFF) Detroit
Phoenix 3 (225) at SACRAMENTO



American League

Minnesota -120 at DETROIT +102
LA Angels -116 at BOSTON -102
N.Y Yankees -142 at CLEVELAND +120
at HOUSTON -138 Texas +118

National League

at PHILADELPHIA -168 Pittsburgh +142
Atlanta -200 at MIAMI +168
St. Louis -118 at ARIZONA +100
at LA DODGERS -200 San Diego +168


at TAMPA BAY OFF San Francisco OFF
Milwaukee -118 at BALTIMORE +100
at TORONTO -220 Colorado +184
at N.Y METS -120 Kansas City +102
Cincinnati -180 at CHICAGO WHITE SOX +152
at OAKLAND -132 Washington +112
at SEATTLE -120 Chicago Cubs +102

National Hockey League (NHL)


Carolina -210 at ST. LOUIS +172
Nashville -255 at CHICAGO +205
at EDMONTON -265 Arizona +215
at VEGAS -164 Minnesota +136
Calgary -162 at ANAHEIM +134

For the latest odds, go to BetMGM Sportsbook, https://sports.betmgm.com/en/sports


Maine shooter’s commanding Army officer acknowledges his inaction over missed counseling sessions https://wtop.com/national/2024/04/maine-shooters-commanding-army-officer-says-he-had-limited-oversight-of-the-gunman/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:09:28 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25928662&preview=true&preview_id=25928662 AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The commanding officer of an Army reservist responsible for the deadliest shooting in Maine history acknowledged to an independent commission on Thursday that he didn’t take action when the reservist skipped counselor sessions, and didn’t attempt to verify that the shooter’s family took away his guns.

Capt. Jeremy Reamer said he understood that the shooter, Robert Card, was suffering from a psychiatric breakdown during training last summer but said he was limited in the level of oversight he could provide after Card returned home and was no longer actively participating in drills with his Army Reserve unit.

Under questioning, Reamer said he was aware that Card was not going to mandated counseling sessions and acknowledged that an email problem prevented him from seeing a July message pertaining to Card’s health until after the Oct. 25 shootings.

But Reamer defended his decision to rely on a subordinate, an Army reservist who was Card’s best friend, to serve as a go-between with Card’s family. The reservist, Sean Hodgson, told Reamer that he reached out to Card’s family in Bowdoin and that family members agreed to take away his guns after he was hospitalized. Reamer said he thought those actions were adequate, and insisted that as an Army Reserve officer, he had no jurisdiction over Card’s personal guns.

“My understanding was that an agreement was made and the family agreed to remove the weapons from the home,” Reamer told Commissioner Toby Dilworth, who expressed skepticism about leaving such an important task for the family to handle. “I just know that the family agreed to remove the firearms,” Reamer said.

Reamer, who gave up control of the Maine-based unit after what he described as a routine change of command in February, was called back to testify after his previous testimony was cut short because of time constraints.

Commissioners used the break to review medical records, text exchanges, emails and call logs before peppering Reamer with more questions over several hours Thursday at the University of Maine at Augusta. At one point, Reamer suggested that more aggressive actions and oversight would have been possible if Card had been a full-time soldier instead of a reservist.

Others testifying Thursday included several survivors who spoke of the horror of the shooting and the difficulties they encountered afterward. Some witnesses said a lack of translators fluent in American Sign Language hampered communications with deaf survivors and deaf family members of victims.

Dr. Mark Flomenbaum, the state’s retired chief medical examiner, said it was difficult to ascertain the gunman’s time of death. But Flomenbaum, who testified via Zoom, stood by his earlier assessment that Card died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound that likely happened 12 to 18 hours before his body was found.

Flomenbaum’s conclusions suggested that Card was alive and possibly on the run during much of the two-day search, the biggest in state history. Card’s body was found in the back of a tractor-trailer on a former employer’s property.

Appointed by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, the independent commission is determining facts around the shooting that claimed 18 lives at a bowling alley and at a bar and grill, both in Lewiston.

In its interim report released last month, the commission concluded that the Sagadahoc County sheriff’s office had probable cause under Maine’s “yellow flag” law to take Card into custody and seize his guns because he was experiencing a psychiatric crisis and was a danger to others.

Maine lawmakers are currently debating whether the law, which requires police to initiate the process, should be supplemented with a “red flag” law, which would allow family members or others to directly petition a judge to remove guns from someone in a psychiatric crisis. It’s one of several mental health and gun control measures being considered by the Maine Legislature in response to October’s mass shooting.

The commission’s work is far from complete, Chairman Dan Wathen said last month.

“Nothing we do can ever change what happened on that terrible day, but knowing the facts can help provide the answers that the victims, their families and the people of Maine need and deserve,” he said.


Major League Baseball Leaders https://wtop.com/sports/2024/04/major-league-baseball-leaders-1145/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:08:49 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25929399&preview=true&preview_id=25929399 NATIONAL LEAGUE

BATTING_W.Smith, Los Angeles, .412; McMahon, Colorado, .383; Steer, Cincinnati, .372; Betts, Los Angeles, .364; Willi.Contreras, Milwaukee, .364; M.Taylor, Pittsburgh, .361; Arcia, Atlanta, .357; Turang, Milwaukee, .342; Harris, Atlanta, .341; 5 tied at .333.

RUNS_Betts, Los Angeles, 19; E.De La Cruz, Cincinnati, 13; Acuña, Atlanta, 12; K.Marte, Arizona, 12; Ohtani, Los Angeles, 12; Bogaerts, San Diego, 11; Happ, Chicago, 11; T.Hernández, Los Angeles, 11; Joe, Pittsburgh, 11; Machado, San Diego, 11; Merrill, San Diego, 11; Morel, Chicago, 11.

RBI_Steer, Cincinnati, 15; Burger, Miami, 15; T.Hernández, Los Angeles, 15; Gurriel, Arizona, 14; Ozuna, Atlanta, 13; Cronenworth, San Diego, 13; Albies, Atlanta, 12; Suzuki, Chicago, 12; W.Smith, Los Angeles, 12; 5 tied at 11.

HITS_Ohtani, Los Angeles, 21; W.Smith, Los Angeles, 21; Betts, Los Angeles, 20; Freeman, Los Angeles, 18; McMahon, Colorado, 18; Cronenworth, San Diego, 17; T.Hernández, Los Angeles, 17; Willi.Contreras, Milwaukee, 16; Gurriel, Arizona, 16; Steer, Cincinnati, 16; Tovar, Colorado, 16.

DOUBLES_Ohtani, Los Angeles, 8; Olson, Atlanta, 6; Arcia, Atlanta, 5; Benson, Cincinnati, 5; L.García, Washington, 5; Joe, Pittsburgh, 5; Profar, San Diego, 5; Reynolds, Pittsburgh, 5; 14 tied at 4.

TRIPLES_Blackmon, Colorado, 2; Kim, San Diego, 2; 23 tied at 1.

HOME RUNS_Yelich, Milwaukee, 5; Ozuna, Atlanta, 5; Betts, Los Angeles, 5; Marsh, Philadelphia, 4; T.Hernández, Los Angeles, 4; Tatis, San Diego, 4; 18 tied at 3.

STOLEN BASES_Turang, Milwaukee, 7; E.De La Cruz, Cincinnati, 6; L.Thomas, Washington, 6; Acuña, Atlanta, 4; Fairchild, Cincinnati, 4; Kim, San Diego, 4; Lipscomb, Washington, 4; B.Thompson, Cincinnati, 4; Turner, Philadelphia, 4; Young, Washington, 4.

PITCHING_Glasnow, Los Angeles, 3-0; M.Kelly, Arizona, 2-0; Hicks, San Francisco, 2-0; R.Suárez, Philadelphia, 2-0; Gallen, Arizona, 2-0; M.King, San Diego, 2-0; Paxton, Los Angeles, 2-0; Rea, Milwaukee, 2-0; T.Williams, Washington, 2-0; Lambert, Colorado, 2-0; Peguero, Milwaukee, 2-0.

ERA_R.López, Atlanta, 0.75; Manaea, New York, 0.82; Hicks, San Francisco, 1.00; Rea, Milwaukee, 1.64; Pérez, Pittsburgh, 1.90; Wheeler, Philadelphia, 1.90; Cease, San Diego, 2.16; Montas, Cincinnati, 2.16; Gallen, Arizona, 2.25; Glasnow, Los Angeles, 2.25.

STRIKEOUTS_Glasnow, Los Angeles, 29; J.Jones, Pittsburgh, 25; Greene, Cincinnati, 22; Cease, San Diego, 20; Darvish, San Diego, 20; Wheeler, Philadelphia, 20; Gallen, Arizona, 19; R.Suárez, Philadelphia, 19; Lynn, St. Louis, 18; B.Miller, Los Angeles, 18.


Major League Baseball Leaders https://wtop.com/sports/2024/04/major-league-baseball-leaders-1144/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:08:06 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25929395&preview=true&preview_id=25929395 AMERICAN LEAGUE

BATTING_Kwan, Cleveland, .386; Volpe, New York, .372; Altuve, Houston, .370; Soto, New York, .360; Witt, Kansas City, .358; O’Hoppe, Los Angeles, .353; Caballero, Tampa Bay, .351; O’Neill, Boston, .343; Turner, Toronto, .342; Diaz, Houston, .340.

RUNS_Kwan, Cleveland, 13; O’Neill, Boston, 13; Witt, Kansas City, 13; J.Ramírez, Cleveland, 12; Volpe, New York, 11; Altuve, Houston, 10; Giménez, Cleveland, 10; Semien, Texas, 10; 6 tied at 9.

RBI_A.García, Texas, 13; Soto, New York, 12; Garcia, Kansas City, 12; Alvarez, Houston, 12; Santander, Baltimore, 11; Ward, Los Angeles, 11; Paredes, Tampa Bay, 10; Perez, Kansas City, 10; Semien, Texas, 10; J.Ramírez, Cleveland, 10.

HITS_Kwan, Cleveland, 22; Altuve, Houston, 20; Witt, Kansas City, 19; Alvarez, Houston, 18; Soto, New York, 18; Diaz, Houston, 17; J.Duran, Boston, 17; Perez, Kansas City, 17; Peña, Houston, 17; Volpe, New York, 16.

DOUBLES_Altuve, Houston, 6; Turner, Toronto, 6; Bregman, Houston, 5; Giménez, Cleveland, 5; Melendez, Kansas City, 5; Mountcastle, Baltimore, 5; Rocchio, Cleveland, 5; Witt, Kansas City, 5; Bichette, Toronto, 4; Carter, Texas, 4; Cowser, Baltimore, 4; Sheets, Chicago, 4; Siri, Tampa Bay, 4.

TRIPLES_Kirilloff, Minnesota, 3; Henderson, Baltimore, 2; Rafaela, Boston, 2; Witt, Kansas City, 2; 16 tied at 1.

HOME RUNS_O’Neill, Boston, 6; Trout, Los Angeles, 6; Langeliers, Oakland, 4; Stanton, New York, 4; Paredes, Tampa Bay, 4; A.García, Texas, 4; Witt, Kansas City, 4; Alvarez, Houston, 4; 10 tied at 3.

STOLEN BASES_J.Duran, Boston, 6; Siri, Tampa Bay, 6; D.Blanco, Kansas City, 5; Caballero, Tampa Bay, 5; Adell, Los Angeles, 3; Báez, Detroit, 3; Garcia, Kansas City, 3; Henderson, Baltimore, 3; Isbel, Kansas City, 3; Laureano, Cleveland, 3; Volpe, New York, 3; Witt, Kansas City, 3.

PITCHING_Bradford, Texas, 3-0; Weaver, New York, 3-0; S.Miller, Detroit, 3-0; 13 tied at 2-0.

ERA_T.Anderson, Los Angeles, 0.00; Bieber, Cleveland, 0.00; Blackburn, Oakland, 0.00; R.Blanco, Houston, 0.00; Houck, Boston, 0.00; K.Crawford, Boston, 0.57; Singer, Kansas City, 0.98; Javier, Houston, 1.10; Littell, Tampa Bay, 1.17; Bradford, Texas, 1.40.

STRIKEOUTS_Gilbert, Seattle, 23; Crochet, Chicago, 21; Ragans, Kansas City, 21; Bieber, Cleveland, 20; Burnes, Baltimore, 20; Kikuchi, Toronto, 20; Detmers, Los Angeles, 19; Eovaldi, Texas, 19; Castillo, Seattle, 18; Civale, Tampa Bay, 18; K.Crawford, Boston, 18; Singer, Kansas City, 18.


Baseball Glance https://wtop.com/sports/2024/04/baseball-glance-588/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:08:03 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25928239&preview=true&preview_id=25928239 All Times EDT

East Division

W L Pct GB
New York 10 3 .769
Baltimore 7 4 .636 2
Boston 7 5 .583
Tampa Bay 7 6 .538 3
Toronto 6 7 .462 4

Central Division

W L Pct GB
Cleveland 9 3 .750
Kansas City 9 4 .692 ½
Detroit 7 4 .636
Minnesota 4 6 .400 4
Chicago 2 10 .167 7

West Division

W L Pct GB
Texas 7 6 .538
Los Angeles 6 6 .500 ½
Oakland 5 8 .385 2
Seattle 5 8 .385 2
Houston 4 10 .286


East Division

W L Pct GB
Atlanta 7 4 .636
Philadelphia 7 6 .538 1
New York 5 7 .417
Washington 5 7 .417
Miami 2 11 .154 6

Central Division

W L Pct GB
Milwaukee 8 3 .727
Pittsburgh 9 4 .692
Chicago 7 5 .583
Cincinnati 6 6 .500
St. Louis 6 7 .462 3

West Division

W L Pct GB
Los Angeles 10 5 .667
San Diego 7 8 .467 3
Arizona 6 7 .462 3
San Francisco 5 8 .385 4
Colorado 3 10 .231 6



Wednesday’s Games

Minnesota 3, L.A. Dodgers 2

Seattle 6, Toronto 1, 10 innings

Tampa Bay 4, L.A. Angels 2

Cleveland 7, Chicago White Sox 6, 10 innings

Baltimore 7, Boston 5

Miami 5, N.Y. Yankees 2

Kansas City 11, Houston 2

Texas 6, Oakland 2

Thursday’s Games

Houston at Kansas City, 2:10 p.m.

Oakland 1, Texas 0

Baltimore at Boston, 7:10 p.m.

Minnesota at Detroit, ppd.

Friday’s Games

Minnesota (López 1-1) at Detroit (Skubal 1-0), 6:40 p.m.

San Francisco (Winn 0-2) at Tampa Bay (TBD), 6:50 p.m.

Milwaukee (Peralta 1-0) at Baltimore (Wells 0-1), 7:05 p.m.

Colorado (Feltner 0-1) at Toronto (Gausman 0-1), 7:07 p.m.

Kansas City (Wacha 1-0) at N.Y. Mets (Severino 0-1), 7:10 p.m.

L.A. Angels (Detmers 2-0) at Boston (Houck 2-0), 7:10 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees (Schmidt 0-0) at Cleveland (Carrasco 0-0), 7:10 p.m.

Cincinnati (Abbott 0-1) at Chicago White Sox (Flexen 0-2), 7:40 p.m.

Texas (Dunning 1-1) at Houston (France 0-1), 8:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs (Wicks 0-1) at Seattle (Miller 1-1), 9:40 p.m.

Washington (Irvin 0-1) at Oakland (Blackburn 1-0), 9:40 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

Minnesota at Detroit, 1:10 p.m., 1st game

Kansas City at N.Y. Mets, 1:40 p.m.

Cincinnati at Chicago White Sox, 2:10 p.m.

Colorado at Toronto, 3:07 p.m.

Milwaukee at Baltimore, 4:05 p.m.

Texas at Houston, 4:05 p.m.

Washington at Oakland, 4:07 p.m.

L.A. Angels at Boston, 4:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Tampa Bay, 4:10 p.m.

Minnesota at Detroit, 5:40 p.m., 2nd game

N.Y. Yankees at Cleveland, 6:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Seattle, 9:40 p.m.



Wednesday’s Games

Minnesota 3, L.A. Dodgers 2

Philadelphia 4, St. Louis 3

San Francisco 7, Washington 1

Arizona 5, Colorado 3

Milwaukee 7, Cincinnati 2

San Diego 10, Chicago Cubs 2

Miami 5, N.Y. Yankees 2

N.Y. Mets at Atlanta, ppd.

Thursday’s Games

N.Y. Mets 16, Atlanta 4

Philadelphia 5, Pittsburgh 1

Milwaukee at Cincinnati, ppd.

Friday’s Games

Pittsburgh (Falter 0-0) at Philadelphia (Sánchez 0-1), 6:40 p.m.

San Francisco (Winn 0-2) at Tampa Bay (TBD), 6:50 p.m.

Milwaukee (Peralta 1-0) at Baltimore (Wells 0-1), 7:05 p.m.

Colorado (Feltner 0-1) at Toronto (Gausman 0-1), 7:07 p.m.

Atlanta (Fried 0-0) at Miami (Rogers 0-1), 7:10 p.m.

Kansas City (Wacha 1-0) at N.Y. Mets (Severino 0-1), 7:10 p.m.

Cincinnati (Abbott 0-1) at Chicago White Sox (Flexen 0-2), 7:40 p.m.

Chicago Cubs (Wicks 0-1) at Seattle (Miller 1-1), 9:40 p.m.

St. Louis (Matz 1-0) at Arizona (Pfaadt 1-0), 9:40 p.m.

Washington (Irvin 0-1) at Oakland (Blackburn 1-0), 9:40 p.m.

San Diego (King 2-0) at L.A. Dodgers (Yamamoto 1-1), 10:10 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

Kansas City at N.Y. Mets, 1:40 p.m.

Cincinnati at Chicago White Sox, 2:10 p.m.

Colorado at Toronto, 3:07 p.m.

Milwaukee at Baltimore, 4:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, 4:05 p.m.

Washington at Oakland, 4:07 p.m.

Atlanta at Miami, 4:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Tampa Bay, 4:10 p.m.

St. Louis at Arizona, 8:10 p.m.

San Diego at L.A. Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Seattle, 9:40 p.m.


10 years after Chibok, Nigerian families cope with the trauma of more school kidnappings https://wtop.com/education/2024/04/10-years-after-chibok-nigerian-families-cope-with-the-trauma-of-more-school-kidnappings/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:08:03 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25927371&preview=true&preview_id=25927371 KADUNA, Nigeria (AP) — His weak body stood in the doorway, exhausted and covered in dirt. For two years, the boy had been among Nigeria’s ghosts, one of at least 1,500 schoolchildren and others seized by armed groups and held for ransom.

But paying a ransom didn’t work for 12-year-old Treasure, the only captive held back from the more than 100 schoolchildren kidnapped from their school in July 2021 in the northwestern Kaduna state. Instead, his captors hung on, and he had to escape the forests on his own in November.

Treasure’s ordeal is part of a worrying new development in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country where the mass abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls a decade ago marked a new era of fear —with nearly 100 of the girls still in captivity. Since the Chibok abductions, at least 1,500 students have been kidnapped, as armed groups increasingly find in them a lucrative way to fund other crimes and control villages in the nation’s mineral-rich but poorly policed northwestern region.

The Associated Press spoke with five families whose children have been taken hostage in recent years and witnessed a pattern of trauma and struggle with education among the children. Parents are becoming more reluctant to send their children to school in parts of northern Nigeria, worsening the education crisis in a country of over 200 million where at least 10 million children are out of school — one of the world’s highest rates.

The AP could not speak with Treasure, who is undergoing therapy after escaping captivity in November. His relatives, however, were interviewed at their home in Kaduna state, including Jennifer, his cousin, who was also kidnapped when her boarding school was attacked in March 2021.

“I have not recovered, my family has not recovered (and) Treasure barely talks about it,” said Jennifer, 26, as her mother sobbed beside her. “I don’t think life will ever be the same after all the experience,” she added.

Unlike the Islamic extremists that staged the Chibok kidnappings, the deadly criminal gangs terrorizing villages in northwestern Nigeria are mostly former herdsmen who were in conflict with farming host communities, according to authorities. Aided by arms smuggled through Nigeria’s porous borders, they operate with no centralized leadership structure and launch attacks driven mostly by economic motive.

Some analysts see school kidnappings as a symptom of Nigeria’s worsening security crisis.

According to Nigerian research firm SBM Intelligence, nearly 2,000 people have been abducted in exchange for ransoms this year. However, armed gangs find the kidnapping of schoolchildren a “more lucrative way of getting attention and collecting bigger ransoms,” said Rev. John Hayab, a former chairman of the local Christian association in Kaduna who has often helped to secure the release of abducted schoolchildren like Treasure.

The security lapses that resulted in the Chibok kidnappings 10 years ago remain in place in many schools, according to a recent survey by the United Nations children’s agency’s Nigeria office, which found that only 43% of minimum safety standards such as perimeter fencing and guards are met in over 6,000 surveyed schools.

Bola Tinubu, who was elected president in March 2023, had promised to end the kidnappings while on the campaign trail. Nearly a year into his tenure there is still “a lack of will and urgency and a failure to realize the gravity of the situation, or to respond to it,” said Nnamdi Obasi, senior adviser for Nigeria at the International Crisis Group.

“There is no focused attention or commitment of resources on this emergency,” he added.

Treasure was the youngest of more than 100 children seized from the Bethel Baptist High School in the Chikun area of Kaduna in 2021. After receiving ransoms and freeing the other children in batches, his captors vowed to keep him, said Rev. Hayab.

That didn’t stop his family from clinging to hope that he would one day return home alive. His grandmother, Mary Peter, remembers the night he returned home, agitated and hungry.

“He told us he was hungry and wanted to eat,” she said of Treasure’s first words that night after two years and three months in captivity.

“Treasure went through hell,” said Rev. Hayab with the Christian association. “We need to work hard to get him out of … what he saw, whatever he experienced.”

Nigerian lawmakers in 2022 outlawed ransom payments, but desperate families continue to pay, knowing kidnappers can be ruthless, sometimes killing their victims when their relatives delay ransom payments often delivered in cash at designated locations.

And sometimes, even paying a ransom does not guarantee freedom. Some victims have accused security forces of not doing anything to arrest the kidnappers even after providing information about their calls and where their hostages were held.

Such was the experience of Treasure’s uncle Emmanuel Audu, who was seized and chained to a tree for more than a week after he had gone to deliver the ransom demanded for his nephew to be freed.

Audu and other hostages were held in Kaduna’s notorious Davin Rugu forest. Once a bustling forest reserve that was home to wild animals and tourists, it is now one of the bandit enclaves in the ungoverned and vast woodlands tucked between mountainous terrains and stretching across thousands of kilometers as they connect states in the troubled region.

“The whole forest is occupied by kidnappers and terrorists,” Audu said as he talked about his time in captivity. His account was corroborated by several other kidnap victims and analysts.

Some of his captors in the forest were boys as young as Treasure, a hint of what his nephew could have become, and a sign that a new generation of kidnappers is already emerging.

“They beat us mercilessly. When you faint, they will flog you till you wake up,” he said, raising his hand to show the scars that reminded him of life in captivity.

No one in the Peter family recovered after their experience with kidnapping.

Jennifer says she rarely sleeps well even though it’s been almost three years since she was freed by her captors. Her mother, a food trader, is finding it hard to raise capital again for her business after using most of her savings and assets inherited from her late husband to pay for ransoms.

Therapy is so costly, that the church had to sponsor that of Treasure while other members of the family are left to endure and hope they eventually get over their experiences.

“Sometimes, when I think about what happened, I wish I did not go to school,” said Jennifer with a rueful grin. “I just feel sorry for the children that are still in boarding school because it is not safe. They are the main target.”


The Associated Press receives financial support for global health and development coverage in Africa from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org.


Find more of AP’s Africa coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/africa


Italian coast guard rescues 22 shipwrecked people, recovers 9 bodies. Some 15 reported missing https://wtop.com/world/2024/04/italian-coast-guard-rescues-22-shipwrecked-people-recovers-9-bodies-some-15-reported-missing/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:06:35 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25928623&preview=true&preview_id=25928623 MILAN (AP) — The Italian coast guard rescued 22 people and recovered nine bodies after a smugglers’ boat capsized in a storm about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the island of Lampedusa, authorities said Thursday.

Survivors indicated that the steel-bottom boat had departed from Sfax, Tunisia, overnight Sunday carrying 46 people from Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ivory Coast. The boat capsized Wednesday morning as waves reached up to 5 meters (16 feet) and “the group became very agitated when the engine broke down and they were left adrift,’’ the U.N. refugee agency said.

The victims were a 6-month-old child and eight men, UNHCR said. Six of the survivors were treated for severe hypothermia and dehydration; two remain hospitalized.

After the rescue in rough seas with waves reaching more than 2 1/2 meters (8 feet), the Coast Guard said it continued air surveillance of the area, which is under Malta’s search-and-rescue area.

Attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Europe generally increase as summer approaches, raising concerns about more shipwrecks, especially as Italian port rules are restricting operations of charity rescue boats. Italy’s far-right-led government has recently been instructing charity boats to go to northern ports after each rescue, reducing their operations, and has been impounding boats that it says violates its rules.

“With the arrival of the summer season, we can expect more incidents at sea, as more and more people are leaving with completely unseaworthy metal boats, as we are seeing in these weeks,’’ said Federico Fossi, a spokesman for the UNHCR in Italy.

The International Organization for Migration put the number of migrants missing along the deadly central Mediterranean route from northern Africa to Italy at 385 so far this year and 23,109 since they launched the missing migrants project in 2014.


Day 1 of the Masters at a glance https://wtop.com/sports/2024/04/day-1-of-the-masters-at-a-glance/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:05:23 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25930055&preview=true&preview_id=25930055 AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A brief look at the first round Thursday of the Masters, which was suspended just before 8 p.m. EDT due to darkness:

LEADING: Bryson DeChambeau after a 7-under 65.

CHASING: Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler was one shot behind after his 66.

MOVING UP: Masters rookie Nicolai Hojgaard was 5 under with three holes left to play Friday. Danny Willett, the 2016 champ, had an opening-round 68. Max Homa was at 4 under with five holes left in his first round.

FADING: Rickie Fowler followed his victory in the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday with an opening 76 that included a double bogey on the par-3 16th, when his tee shot spun back into the water. Hideki Matsuyama also was at 4 over.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Patrick Cantlay holed out from 146 yards on the par-4 17th, taking him from 1 over for the championship to 1 under. He made par at the 18th to shoot 71.

TIGER TRACKS: Tiger Woods was 1 under when play was suspended with five holes to go. That means he will need to walk 23 holes on Friday, a stern test for his battered body, as he tries to make the cut for a record 24th consecutive time.

KEY STATISTIC: Play began 2 1/2 hours late Thursday. It was the sixth straight year the schedule was affected by weather.

NOTEWORTHY: DeChambeau had his best start to a major. It also was his lowest score ever in the Masters.

QUOTEWORTHY: “Golf is not a very satisfying game, I would say. You win one week and then you show up the next week and you don’t win. It’s like, well, that’s it. The win is over. Now I finished second. That’s too bad.” — Scheffler, the 2022 champion.

TELEVISION: First-round coverage resumes Friday at 7:50 a.m. EDT on ESPN. Second-round coverage from 3-7:30 p.m. on ESPN.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf


Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, Bryson Stott go deep for Phillies in 5-1 win over Pirates https://wtop.com/sports/2024/04/alec-bohm-brandon-marsh-bryson-stott-go-deep-for-phillies-in-5-1-win-over-pirates/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:05:22 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25930053&preview=true&preview_id=25930053 PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ranger Suárez struck out eight over six shutout innings, Brandon Marsh and Bryson Stott hit two-run homers and Alec Bohm also went deep to lead the Philadelphia Phillies past the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 on Thursday night.

The Phillies won the opener of a season-high, 10-game homestand that included four with the Pirates, and three games each against the Colorado Rockies and Chicago White Sox.

Maybe an extended stay at home will get the Phillies bats on a tear.

Yes, it’s April and the merits of batting average as a significant statistic is debatable in baseball these days, but the Phillies entered with just three players in the starting lineup hitting above .240, while two — including All-Star outfielder Nick Castellanos — were below .170.

“We haven’t hit yet, that’s the biggest thing,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said before the game. “We haven’t slugged yet. I think our approach has been decent. But we just haven’t slugged. This team’s gonna slug at some point.”

How about in the fourth inning?

Bohm — who had no homers this season after hitting 20 last season — socked his first off Pirates starter Jared Jones over the outstretched glove of centerfielder Michael A. Taylor for the 1-0 lead.

How about in the seventh?

Marsh hit a two-run homer — after a brief review overturned a double call — in the inning that chased Jones. Stott also hit his first homer of the season, a two-run shot later in the inning off reliever Colin Holderman for a 5-0 lead — proving Thomson prophetic that his homer-happy team would start going deep.

“Just keep running them out there because we’re going to slug,” Thomson said. “If you don’t think we’re going to slug, you ain’t watching the games.”

Jones (1-2) was otherwise solid and struck out eight over 6 1/3 innings.

Suárez (2-0) was even better, and sent the surprising Pirates to their first back-to-back losses of the season. The Pirates are 5-1 this season against starting left-handers.

Bohm raised his right arm in triumph and was soundly cheered by 33,362 Phillies fans on the two-year anniversary of when the third baseman was caught muttering “ I (expletive) hate this place,” after committing his second error in a three-error game.

Bohm not only immediately moved past the misstep and grew into a fan favorite on a team that has made two straight playoff appearances, the Phillies will even offer a Bohm “I Love This Place” T-shirt next month as part of a promotion night.

Bohm made a sliding catch on a popup in foul territory to end the game.


Holderman was reinstated him from the 15-day injured list (illness).

Phillies RHP Taijuan Walker (right shoulder) opened a rehab assignment Thursday for Class A Clearwater. RHP Orion Kerkering (right forearm strain) also had his rehab assignment transferred to Clearwater.


Former Phillies LHP Bailey Falter (0-0, 5.40 ERA) gets the start for Pittsburgh against Phillies LHP Cristopher Sánchez (0-1, 4.82 ERA) on Friday.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB


U.S. stocks soar above global markets, giving investors solid path for growth https://wtop.com/news/2024/04/u-s-stocks-soar-above-global-markets-giving-investors-solid-path-for-growth/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:03:21 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25927918&preview=true&preview_id=25927918 NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. markets are far outpacing their global counterparts in 2024, continuing a decade-long trend of strong growth compared with the rest of the world.

The S&P 500 is up 10% for the year, compared to just 4% for developed markets outside the U.S. Since 2019 the S&P has gained 48%, compared to just 10% for other developed markets, according to the MSCI, a benchmark of global stocks.

Since 2004, the S&P 500 has nearly quadrupled, while the MSCI is up 48%.

Faster earnings per share growth is the main driver of the trend: Earnings for the S&P 500 are up nearly 47 times that of the broader global market over the last 17 years, according to Scott Wren, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

Earnings growth overall for companies in the S&P 500 is expected to jump 11% in 2024, following nearly 2% growth in 2023 and 4.5% growth in 2022. Strong consumer spending and a solid jobs market have been fueling the U.S. economy, despite stubbornly high inflation and high interest rates making it more difficult to borrow money.

The U.S. economy has historically been far more consumer-driven than counterparts in Europe and Asia, helping to fuel steady earnings growth for U.S. companies over a longer period of time. Stock buybacks have also steadily increased over the last few decades, which tends to inflate earnings. Also, big tech companies typically dominate the movement of the S&P 500 and their profits have skewed growth for the benchmark index.

“The bottom line is investors pay for earnings growth and developed markets (outside the U.S.) haven’t delivered,” Wren said, in a note to investors.

A series of recent reports on jobs, manufacturing and spending have reaffirmed that the U.S. economy remains strong. Inflation also remains stubbornly high, adding more uncertainty to hopes for interest rate cuts this year.

The strong economic data bodes well for investors focused on earnings growth as a key investment consideration. The U.S. government’s latest jobs report for March is a key example, coming in much stronger than expected and helping to rally stocks.

“To the extent that consumer spending and corporate profits are more important to investors than how soon, and how many times, the Fed will cut rates, then stock prices can move higher on this report,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief Investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.

The European Central Bank also has its key interest rate at a record high, but has hinted that it could start making cuts in June. The Swiss National Bank made a surprise cut to its key interest rate in March. The moves could boost confidence in the European economy, which all but stalled in 2023.

Markets in Japan are poised for growth as the nation’s central bank raises interest rates for the first time since 2007, ending a policy of negative rates. Corporate confidence is improving, which could lead to more corporate investments by Japanese companies that would benefit shareholders, according to a market assessment from J.P.Morgan.

Meanwhile, weak consumer spending and lackluster income growth could continue to hamper China’s economy. Retails sales growth slowed early in 2024 and consumer sentiment remains weak.

“Despite some constructive developments at the aggregate level, the Chinese recovery remains lopsided,” said Alejandra Grindal, chief economist at Ned Davis Research, in a report.


Meghan, la duquesa de Sussex, y el príncipe Harry están produciendo dos nuevos programas con Netflix https://wtop.com/news/2024/04/meghan-la-duquesa-de-sussex-y-el-principe-harry-estan-produciendo-dos-nuevos-programas-con-netflix/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 01:03:04 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25930069&preview=true&preview_id=25930069 (CNN) — Meghan, la duquesa de Sussex y el príncipe Harry siguen trabajando con Netflix.

El gigante del streaming confirmó a CNN este jueves que Archewell Productions, propiedad de la pareja, tiene dos nuevas series de no ficción en etapa de producción en Netflix, como parte de un acuerdo general de varios años firmado en 2020.

La noticia fue reportada inicialmente reportada por Deadline.

La primera serie tendrá contenido seleccionado por Meghan y “celebrará los placeres de la cocina y la jardinería, el entretenimiento y la amistad”, según Netflix.

Esta es la razón por la que un ejecutivo de Spotify llamó “estafadores” a Harry y Meghan

Se produce inmediatamente después del anuncio de otro proyecto empresarial suyo, una aparente marca de estilo de vida llamada American Riviera Orchard.

La segunda nueva serie, según Netflix, “filmada principalmente en el Campeonato Abierto de Polo de Estados Unidos en Wellington, Florida, brindará a los espectadores un acceso sin precedentes al mundo del polo profesional”.

Ambos programas se encuentran en las primeras etapas de producción y sus títulos y fechas de lanzamiento se darán a conocer más adelante.

Las 11 cosas que reveló el final de “Harry & Meghan”: amenazas de muerte, distancias en la familia real y tormentas mediáticas

Netflix ya ha trabajado con la pareja en otras tres series de no ficción, incluida “Harry & Meghan”, que abrió el telón sobre su relación con la familia real y su mudanza a EE.UU. después de que renunciaron a sus funcionaes reales.

La compañía también produjo para el gigante del streaming “Live To Lead”, una serie de entrevistas con líderes mundiales, y “Heart of Invictus”, una serie documental sobre el evento y la organización cuyo patrocinador fundador es el príncipe Harry.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.


Driver of electric Ford SUV was using automated system before fatal Texas crash, investigators say https://wtop.com/national/2024/04/driver-of-electric-ford-suv-was-using-automated-system-before-fatal-texas-crash-investigators-say/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 00:59:28 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25929379&preview=true&preview_id=25929379 DETROIT (AP) — The driver of a Ford electric SUV involved in a February fatal crash in Texas was using the company’s partially automated driving system before the wreck, federal investigators said Thursday.

Data from the 2022 Mustang Mach E SUV showed that Ford’s “Blue Cruise” driver-assist system was in use ahead of the Feb. 24 crash, according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The crash is one of two recent fatal wrecks involving Ford Mustang Mach Es that are under investigation by the NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which often send teams to probe incidents involving automated technology.

The NTSB can only make recommendations, but NHTSA has the authority to take action including seeking recalls for safety issues.

In both cases, the Mach Es hit vehicles stopped on freeways at night, and neither the driver nor the system were able to prevent the collisions. Ford says on its website that its driving systems do not replace human drivers, who have to be ready to take control at any time.

A company spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on the NTSB report Thursday, deferring to a previous statement saying that Ford is cooperating in the investigations.

The Texas crash occurred on Interstate 10 in San Antonio. The NTSB report says the Mach E struck the rear of a 1999 Honda CR-V that was stopped in the middle of three lanes around 9:50 p.m. The 56-year-old driver of the CR-V was killed.

Another driver who was able to avoid the CR-V told investigators that neither its tail nor hazard lights were working at the time.

The agency said it intends to issue safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes. It has said it opened the probe due to continued interest in advanced driver assistance systems and how vehicle operators interact with the new technology.

The other crash involving a Mach E killed two people around 3:20 a.m. March 3 in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania State Police said Thursday that a Mach E was in the left lane when it struck a stationary Hyundai Elantra that earlier had collided with a Toyota Prius.

The Mach E hit the Hyundai, pushing it into the rear of the Prius. During the crash, the driver of the Prius, who was outside of his vehicle, also was struck and thrown into the southbound lanes, the release said.

A police spokeswoman said a person from the Hyundai also was on the roadway and was hit. Both victims, males ages 21 and 20, were pronounced dead at the scene.

A police news release on the crash says a criminal investigation is under way and a charge of homicide by motor vehicle while driving under the influence is possible against the 23-year-old woman driving the Mach E.

Ford’s Blue Cruise system allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel while it handles steering, braking and acceleration on highways. The company says the system isn’t fully autonomous and it monitors drivers to make sure they pay attention to the road. It operates on 97% of controlled access highways in the U.S. and Canada, Ford says.

There are no fully autonomous vehicles for sale to the public in the U.S.

Both NHTSA and the NTSB have investigated multiple previous crashes involving partially automated driving systems, most involving Tesla’s Autopilot. In past investigations, the NTSB has examined how the system functioned.


Tiger Woods off to rousing start in pursuit of more Masters history, maybe another green jacket https://wtop.com/sports/2024/04/tiger-woods-tees-off-in-the-masters-in-pursuit-of-a-record-24th-made-cut-perhaps-more-by-sunday/ Fri, 12 Apr 2024 00:57:28 +0000 https://wtop.com/?p=25929506&preview=true&preview_id=25929506 AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods can still draw a crowd.

And the way he started the Masters on Thursday, there seems a good chance the patrons will get to cheer him on through the weekend.

With a massive gallery hanging on his every swing at windy Augusta National, Woods recorded a pair of birdies on the front side and was 1-under when darkness cut short the opening round.

Woods’ performance was especially impressive in swirling gusts that were forecasted to climb to 45 mph, the towering Georgia pines swaying like those inflated stick figures advertising a mattress store sale.

“The wind was all over the place,” Woods said. “It was one of the most tricky days that I’ve ever been a part of. It was hard to get a beat not only on what direction it was going, but the intensity, and it kept switching all over the place.

“It was a very difficult day,” he added.

Woods will return Friday morning to finish the last five holes before he sets his sights on another bit of Masters history in the second round.

If the five-time winner of the green jacket can make the cut, it would mark a record 24th consecutive time he’s advanced past the midway point at the first major championship of the year.

He’s currently tied with three-time champion Gary Player, who made 23 straight cuts beginning in 1959, and 1992 winner Fred Couples, whose own streak lasted until 2007.

Of course, Woods has his sights on bigger goals than just playing four rounds, even with a battered body that has endured multiple injuries, countless surgeries and a devastating car wreck.

Even though he has played just one tournament this year — and a mere 24 holes in that one before he withdrew with an illness — the 48=year-old certainly looked far fitter than he did in his last two appearances at Augusta National.

“It’s there,” Woods said in the briefest of medical updates. “The body is OK. We’ve got some work to do yet tonight.”

In 2021, a little over a year after a car wreck nearly claimed his right leg, Woods hobbled around the hilly course with a noticeable limp, his clubs doubling as canes as he negotiated the undulations.

A year ago, he didn’t even make it to the end, his feet aching and his game in shambles when he withdrew before completing a water-logged third round that extended into the final day.

“He sure looks good,” one fan remarked, a sentiment that was expressed numerous times as Woods strolled around the challenging layout with barely a hitch in his step.

A buzz began to sweep through the gallery in front of the clubhouse before Woods — surrounded by a cauldron of security officers — popped out for a tee time that was delayed 2 1/2 hours by morning storms.

As he walked toward the putting green, a steely determination in his eyes, he seemed oblivious to the ubiquitous chants of “Go get ’em, Tiger!”

Nearly three decades after his first trip around Augusta National, Woods hit a huge, sweeping fade to begin his round. He stuck his approach shot to 8 feet and made the slight bender to quickly get into the red numbers on a day when those who went off early were going low.

“A bird on the opening hole!” a young man shouted out to his buddies, hustling off to get a good spot at the the next hole. “The big cat is on the prowl!”

Woods followed his impressive start with some deft scrambling after hitting a wayward tee shot into the trees left of No. 2. He punched back into the fairway his left-handed, then flew his approach shot over the green, but managed to get up and down from there for par.

“Boy, I hit a nice pitch from over the green,” Woods said, clearly proud of himself. “That was nice.”

There was a brief bobble at par-3 fourth, where Woods sent his tee shot over the green, followed by a slippery pitch that raced past the hole, leading to his first bogey.

It would be his only one of the day.

Woods capitalized on the par-5 eighth, reaching the massive green in two shots and converting a tricky two-putt to get his score back into red numbers. In fading light, there was more impressive scrambling to salvage three straight pars through the heart of Amen Corner.

When Woods walked off the course shortly before 8 p.m. local time, he was six strokes behind leader Bryson DeChambeau, who went out early and posted a 65.

A bit of a daunting deficit, to be sure, but one that is unlikely to shake Woods’ belief that he still has a shot at joining Jack Nicklaus as the only six-time Masters champions.

“If everything comes together, I think I can get one more,” Woods said earlier in the week. He paused briefly before adding, “Do I need to describe that any more than that, or are we good?”

Woods played with Jason Day and Max Homa four groups from the end, which meant there was no chance of finishing the round before sundown.

But it was certainly an encouraging start for the big crowd that shadowed Woods for 13 holes on Thursday.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf