Protests spread as activists fight telescope in Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) — Demonstrations against a giant telescope planned for Hawaii’s tallest peak have spread to New York, Las Vegas and Honolulu’s tourist mecca of Waikiki as Native Hawaiians push to protect what they say is a sacred place.

In Nevada, a few hundred Native Hawaiians and former Hawaii residents gathered under the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign to show their solidarity with protesters back home.

Elsewhere, video on Twitter showed a few dozen protesters chanting and holding signs and flags in New York’s Union Square.

In Waikiki, hundreds of people marched on sidewalks past tourists and high-rise hotels in opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Several businesses joined a one-day “tourism boycott” organized by activists.

Old Lahaina Luau on Maui called off its nightly luau, leading to cancellations for 450 people. Because the show is sold out through the middle of next month, it wasn’t able to accommodate most guests on another night.

The company acted because it believed most of its employees would likely have decided to join the boycott regardless.

2 officers fired over post suggesting Rep. Ocasio-Cortez should be shot

GRETNA, La. (AP) — Two members of a police department in a New Orleans suburb were fired Monday — one for a Facebook post calling U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “vile idiot” and suggesting that she be shot, the other for “liking” the post.

Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson announced the terminations Monday. Officer Charlie Rispoli was fired for a post saying Ocasio-Cortez “needs a round” and not “the kind she used to serve” — an apparent reference to her having once been a bartender.

Officer Angelo Varisco was fired for “liking” the post.

“It’s very disappointing,” Lawson said, adding that the Gretna department trains officers on diversity issues and use of social media — and that officers were undergoing such training this month.

Lawson said an internal investigation began after he was informed of the post by The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.