Leaders of the Group of Seven nations said Sunday they were preparing to help Brazil fight the fires burning across the Amazon rainforest and repair the damage even as tens of thousands of soldiers were being deployed to fight the blazes that have caused global alarm. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country and others will talk with Brazil about reforestation in the Amazon once fires there have been extinguished. "Of course (this is) Brazilian territory, but we have a question here of the rainforests that is really a global question," she said.
Jeff J Mitchell/ReutersIt looked like President Donald Trump was set up for a diplomatic ambush at the Group of Seven summit on Sunday when Iran’s foreign minister suddenly flew into town.The arrival of the smooth-talking Javad Zarif at the elegant French beach resort of Biarritz, where the leaders of the seven most industrialized democracies are gathered, underscored a key conflict between Trump and the rest about how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. ‘Absolute Amateur Hour’: Team Trump Mangles Messages to IranLast year, the U.S. pulled out of an agreement that severely limited for several years Iran’s production and stockpiling of nuclear fuel and imposed an extensive inspection regime. Trump claimed the accord forged under Barack Obama was a disastrous deal, and he could do better.A senior French diplomat told reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz that Macron informed Trump over lunch on Saturday that Zarif would be coming, and told the rest of the summit participants at dinner that night. The Trump administration imposed sanctions specifically targeting Zarif earlier this month, but when Trump was asked for a reaction after the the visit became public, his initial comment was, “No comment.”Although Trump has said he would be willing to meet with Iran’s leaders, they have so far declined, and a tweet from the Iranian foreign ministry stated flaty, “There will be no meetings or negotiations with the American delegation on this trip.”Trump has insisted he can force Iran to make more concessions, not only about nukes, but about its missiles and extensive proxy forces outside its borders, most notably Hezbollah, and to that end the U.S. has imposed draconian sanctions crippling the Iranian economy while punishing its trading partners.Germany, France and Britain–all signatories of the Iran deal, and all represented at the G7–have sought desperately to shore up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the agreement is called. They share Trump’s view that missiles and proxies are serious issues, but they believe it makes more sense to keep the nuclear agreement that exists rather than throw all the cards up in the air.To try to keep Iran on board, the Europeans have been discussing various mechanisms to try to bypass the American sanctions, but with little success. Meanwhile, step by calculated step, Iran terminates bits of the JCPOA. As Iran-U.S. Tensions Rise, Hezbollah Readies for War With IsraelIn June, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also at the G7 this weekend, visited Tehran to try to calm the situation, but to no avail. Indeed, holes were blown in a Japanese tanker by mysterious, presumably Iranian, agents at the same time as Abe’s visit.It’s likely that Zarif’s visit to Biarritz is mainly political theater orchestrated by Macron, and there is little hope it will resolve an increasingly dangerous standoff between the U.S. and Iran. Already we have seen attacks on shipping near the strategic Strait of Hormuz and the recent British seizure, then release against U.S. objections, of an Iranian tanker at Gibraltar. Last month, when Iran downed an American drone it claimed was over its territorial waters, Trump gave a green light, then a red one, to a retaliatory attack that would have killed several Iranian personnel.Meanwhile, as The Daily Beast has reported, Iran’s clients in Lebanon and Syria, the Hezbollah militias, are preparing for war with Israel as part of a wider conflagration, and Israel is attacking Iranian installations in Iraq as well as Syria.What Zarif’s visit to the G7 summit might do is calm the situation and buy some time.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
The leader of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah vowed to down any Israeli drones in Lebanese airspace and warned Israel's military to be ready for a response after what he said was an Israeli drone attack in Beirut on Sunday. Hassan Nasrallah's words also followed overnight strikes claimed by Israel that he said killed two members of Hezbollah forces in Syria.
Iran wants to export a minimum of 700,000 barrels per day of its oil and ideally up to 1.5 million bpd if the West wants to negotiate with Tehran to save a 2015 nuclear deal, two Iranian officials and one diplomat told Reuters on Sunday. A second official said "Iran's ballistic missile program cannot and will not be negotiated.
CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter called on media outlets to focus more coverage on what he feels is President Trump’s obvious mental instability, saying Sunday morning that it is an issue we can no longer “tiptoe around.”“He’s getting worse,” Stelter said at the top of his weekend show focussing on the media CNN’s Reliable Sources. “We can see it. It’s happening in public but it’s still a very hard, very sensitive story to cover. I’m talking of course about President Trump, about his behavior, about his instability.”Noting that several prominent conservative figures—notably, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband—are pleading with the press and Republicans to take the president’s erratic behavior more seriously, the CNN host then ticked off a list of the president’s comments and actions that have raised eyebrows.“Look, all of these stories are covered in the moment, individually, by reporters,” Stelter said. “News outlets use words like erratic, volatile, unstable but rarely are Trump’s words and actions covered as a whole and rarely do news outlets take it to that next level. Okay, what he just said seems crazy—what does that reveal about him? We rarely see it go to that next step.”Pointing out that Trump will always have a chorus of supporters backing him up and defending him, the CNN media analyst added that Trump’s “Fox fans pretend the worst episodes didn’t happen at all or blame the media for bad coverage.”While Stelter went on to credit CNN and MSNBC for doing a decent job of showing the “ugly reality” with their on-screen graphics, he also stated that there is not “really a vocabulary” or a “format” for covering concerns about a president’s mental well-being. “It’s really a series of questions that no one is able to answer,” he declared. “Why does he make it all about himself even after visiting a hospital after a massacre? Why does he lie so often? Is there a method to the madness or is something wrong? Is he suffering from some sort of illness? It’s questions, questions and then just more questions.”Prior to bringing on two psychiatrists to debate the ethics of media outlets openly discussing the president’s mental fitness, Stelter ended his monologue by noting “we can’t tiptoe around it anymore.”“We’ve got to talk about this,” he concluded. “So let’s talk about it. Let’s do it.”This isn’t the first time that Stelter has taken to the air to speculate about the president’s mental health. In Aug. 2017, the CNN personality wondered aloud why more journalists weren’t asking the “uncomfortable questions” about whether Trump was fit for office or “suffering from some kind of illness.” And in Jan. 2018, called on reporters to do “more reporting” on Trump’s possible mental instability. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Some 200,000 Rohingya rallied in a Bangladesh camp Sunday to mark two years since they fled a violent crackdown by Myanmar forces, just days after a second failed attempt to repatriate the refugees. During the brutal August 2017 offensive, around 740,000 of the Muslim minority escaped Myanmar's Rakhine state -- joining those who had fled earlier persecution. A total of nearly one million refugees now live in three dozen squalid camps in Bangladesh's southeastern border district of Cox's Bazar.
Seven people, including two minors, were killed on Sunday in a collision between a helicopter and a light plane on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the regional government said. Five people were on board the helicopter, two of them minors, and they were all likely Germans, the Balearic Islands government said on Twitter. Emergency services were notified of the crash at 1:35 p.m. time in the municipality of Inca.
After a recent bloody weekend in Chicago, the city's top police officer reiterated something he's said many times in recent months: People accused of gun-related offenses are too quickly and easily getting back on the street. This time, Superintendent Eddie Johnson unveiled a new online tool aimed at illustrating his point by giving the public a quick way to see who's been arrested on gun-related charges and whether they have posted bail. The tool is part of a public relations offensive to draw attention to what Johnson and Mayor Lori Lightfoot say is a cause of gun violence in Chicago, where more people are fatally shot than in any other city in the U.S.
South Africa has impounded a plane belonging to Tanzania's national carrier over a farmer's $33-million compensation claim for his land which the Tanzanian government nationalised decades ago, a lawyer said Sunday. The Air Tanzania aircraft was seized on Friday at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport after it landed during a scheduled flight from Tanzanian economic capital Dar-es Salaam. Lawyer Roger Wakefield of Werksmans Attorneys said the seizure followed an order granted by the High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Lebanon's army said two drones that hit Hezbollah's stronghold in south Beirut on Sunday were Israeli, while the Shiite group said one of the aircraft damaged its media centre. "Two drones belonging to the Israeli enemy violated Lebanese airspace (at dawn)... over the southern suburbs of Beirut. The early morning incident came hours after Israel launched air strikes in neighbouring Syria.
A Muslim man left in a coma after being interrogated at a notorious Thai detention centre died Sunday, as pressure mounts on the army to release further findings of a probe into the case. Abdulloh Esormusor, a suspected rebel from the country's restive south died early Sunday morning, more than a month after he was taken to the Inkayuth military camp, his cousin Mohammatrahmat Mamu told AFP. Inkayuth is the Thai army's biggest detention centre in the south, where suspects are taken for interrogation and held under emergency laws and where rights groups have documented torture.
The head of a Mexican news website was found stabbed to death in the center of the country, authorities said Saturday, the 10th such killing this year. The body of Nevith Condes Jaramillo "was found Saturday morning... showing injuries from a sharp object," the state prosecutor said in a statement. Condes Jaramillo, 42, was the head of a local news site in Tejupilco and was also an announcer on a community radio station.
Chip East/ReutersA New Jersey cop accused of breaking into his estranged wife’s home, shooting her, and then chasing her into the streets to put a final bullet in her head—all while in uniform—will finally face a judge next week.Newark Lt. John Formisano was arrested a couple of hours after the July 15 slaying. But instead of being brought to court, he was taken to a psychiatric unit after telling investigators that he “blacked out” just before the shooting.According to a police affidavit, the 49-year-old exhibited “suicidal behavior.” Five weeks later, he was still in the hospital and had not been arraigned in a court of law—frustrating victim Christie Solaro-Formisano’s family.“What we feel is we want to have some justice. Any justice can bring a small fraction of peace and closure,” her aunt, Joy Mandara, said earlier this week. “Right now, it seems justice is working very slowly and differently from how we expected.”Uniformed Cop Who Allegedly Gunned Down Screaming Wife Hasn’t Faced JusticeAfter The Daily Beast and local media reported on the delay, the wheels of justice seemed to speed up. Prosecutors confirmed Saturday that there will be a hearing in the case on Wednesday, and that Formisano will appear via video hookup from the psychiatric unit.Before the hearing was scheduled, prosecutors had insisted Formisano was not getting special treatment because he is a police officer.“If this defendant was a house painter or a businessman on Wall Street in the same circumstances, it would have been handled in the same way,” a spokesman for the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office told The Daily Beast earlier in the week.At the time of the shooting, Solaro-Formisano and the Newark lieutenant were in the process of getting a divorce.Formisano told investigators that he went to her home to drop off glasses for their 8-year-old daughter, the older of their two children. The mother of two was home with her boyfriend, and went down to the door.“He’s got a gun!” Solaro-Formisano yelled, according to the boyfriend. “Call 911!”A nightmarish scene ensued. Formisano allegedly chased his estranged wife through the house, shooting at her, then broke down the bedroom door and shot the boyfriend in the abdomen, thigh, arms, and hand.Bleeding from her wounds, Solaro-Formisano ran outside. She was scrambling up the steps to a neighbor’s house when the cop allegedly caught up to her and shot her in the head.The neighbor called 911 and identified the gunman. “He’s a Newark cop. He lives on the corner. I saw it. I saw him through my window. He’s in his uniform,” she told the dispatcher.N.J. Cop Claims He ‘Blacked Out’ Before Killing Estranged Wife, Shooting Her Boyfriend: AuthoritiesAccording to police, Formisano locked his service weapon in the trunk of his car, tossed his cellphone and drove 30 miles. He was nabbed in a parking lot.During a police interview, he did not deny his role in the bloodshed.“After entering the residence, Formisano stated he began to suspect that [his estranged wife] had a male guest in the bedroom, at which point he ‘blacked out,’” the police affidavit said.“He stated that he recalls firing his weapon numerous times.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Israel’s economic transformation has turned it into an “emerging markets safe haven” that continued to absorb money from abroad despite maintaining near-zero interest rates, according to central bank Governor Amir Yaron.The inflows in recent years were a reflection of “the structural change in the fundamentals of the Israeli economy,” including the county’s declining debt burden and current-account surpluses, Yaron said in a speech at the annual retreat for central bankers from around the world in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,“In spite of having kept rates very low, Israel faced capital inflows following the U.S. rate hikes,” Yaron said in prepared remarks. “And appreciation pressures emerged -- a marked change from past patterns.”Israel has struggled to normalize its monetary policy after years of near-zero borrowing costs. As a strong currency dampened inflation this year and major central banks turned more dovish, Yaron put off a future hike and said in late July that rates won’t rise for a “long time.”Yaron cited research to demonstrate how “Israel is caught in between” policies in major economies. Unlike the period before the global financial crisis a decade ago, short maturities on Israeli government bond yields are now more correlated with Europe’s while longer tenors more closely track the U.S.“A challenge for the policy makers in markets like Israel is to deal with divergence of policies in the major blocs,” Yaron said.Another issue he raised in Jackson Hole was Israel’s weak inflation, which he said had been higher than among its peers before slowing.“Such developments make real-time assessments of whether policy makers are faced with transitory divergence or structural economic changes a challenge,” Yaron said. “While there is a wish to not be behind the curve, the uncertainty and ambiguity suggest a call for greater patience and risk aversion.”To contact the reporter on this story: Ivan Levingston in Tel Aviv at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paul AbelskyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
South Korea Sunday began two days of war games to practise defending disputed islands off its east coast against an unlikely attack from Japan, further stoking tensions between the Asian neighbours. The annual drills come just days after Seoul terminated a military intelligence-sharing pact with Tokyo, with the countries at loggerheads over Japan's use of forced labour during World War II. The two-day exercise will involve warships and aircraft, the South Korean navy said in a text message without providing more detail.
JERUSALEM/DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Israeli aircraft on Saturday struck Iranian forces near Damascus that had been planning to launch "killer drones" at targets in Israel, an Israeli military spokesman said. "The strike targeted Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite militias which were preparing to advance attack plans targeting sites in Israel from within Syria over the last number of days," the military said in a statement. The elite Quds Force is the overseas arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
Oregon's criminal justice system would be "overwhelmed" if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in an upcoming case that nonunanimous jury verdicts are unconstitutional, the state's attorney general has told the court. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in an amicus brief on Friday that if the U.S. Supreme Court finds nonunanimous juries unconstitutional, it could invalidate hundreds or even thousands of convictions in Oregon. Oregon is the only state in America allowing 11-1 or 10-2 jury verdicts in criminal trials, except first-degree murder convictions.
The world can be a cruel, unforgiving place. But, somehow, watching Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez play and dance with a penguin makes everything just a little bit better. Even if only for a moment. On Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a video of herself and her flipper-sporting friend engaged in a round of what looks to be playful dance. Seriously, it's adorable. The penguin is all the way in."A new day, a new friend," Ocasio-Cortez wrote of her encounter. Importantly, Ocasio-Cortez is not roaming around Antarctica. Rather, she appears to be in a science museum or zoo. The display next to the penguin enclosure includes facts about African Penguins -- which have a home in the Maryland Zoo, among other places.SEE ALSO: Australian strangers engage in weird, elaborate feud over their coffeeshop fandom"The Maryland Zoo maintains the largest colony of African penguins in North America," the Zoo helpfully notes on its website for all you penguin heads out there.Regardless of the specific location, we're totally in. Now excuse us while we play this video on repeat to drown out the world's sorrows. WATCH: A prehistoric human-sized penguin has been discovered in New Zealand
A third British warship is heading to the Gulf, the Royal Navy announced Saturday, amid heightened tensions in the region. Britain has already sent the HMS Kent to cover for frigate HMS Montrose while it undergoes maintenance in nearby Bahrain, and is now redirecting the Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender from its mission to the Pacific. Britain outraged Iran by seizing one of its tankers -- the Grace 1 -- on July 4 on suspicion it was carrying oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.
(Bloomberg) -- Iceland’ prime minister is open to a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence during his trip to the Nordic island, should the visit be extended.The option was discussed during a pre-scheduled meeting on Friday between Katrin Jakobsdottir and ambassador Jeffrey Gunter, a government spokesman told Bloomberg.Jakobsdottir, a left-of-center feminist and LGBT advocate, is due to attend a conference by Nordic trade union leaders in Sweden on Sept. 4. That’s the same day in which Pence is due to arrive.Jakobsdottir’s decision to not change her schedule to accommodate the vice president’s visit has been criticized at home.Olafur Hardarson, a professor of political science at the University of Iceland, told local media Morgunbladid it would be “unusual” for the prime minister not to greet the American vice president.According to her spokeswoman, a final decision on whether the meeting can take place has not yet been made.The White House said Pence planned to discuss trade opportunities, the Arctic and NATO efforts to counter Russian aggression in the region.The scheduling snafu is the latest episode in a series of exchanges involving Donald Trump and the Nordics.Pence’s visit would take place in the wake of a very public spat between the U.S. president and Denmark over its refusal to sell Greenland.Trump said Saturday he had held a “nice” conversation with Mette Frederiksen, with the exchange coming just days after labeling the Danish prime minister as “nasty.”In 2017, Sweden reacted forcibly to Trump’s portrayal of the Nordic nation as being in a state of chaos and overrun by crime after an influx of refugees.(Adds quote in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir in Reykjavik at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at firstname.lastname@example.org, Nick Rigillo, Andrew DavisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
A British consulate employee in Hong Kong has been freed by China after being detained for 15 days on the mainland amid rising tensions between the former British colony and Beijing. Simon Cheng, 28, a trade and investment officer at the Hong Kong consulate’s Scottish Development International section, went missing on August 8 on his way back from a work trip in Shenzhen, a neighbouring Chinese city. It was not until after the UK expressed “extreme concern” about his disappearance that China’s foreign ministry broke its silence, confirming Mr Cheng had been detained without releasing further details. On Saturday, his family announced that he had come back. "Simon has returned to Hong Kong; thanks you everyone for your support! Simon and his family wish to have some time to rest and recover, and will not take any interview,” they said in a statement. An activist holds an illustration of Simon Cheng during a gathering outside the British Consulate-General building in Hong Kong Credit: AFP Chinese police in Shenzhen confirmed that Mr Cheng had been detained for violating public security management regulations, and was released after that period on Saturday. Police also said he had “confessed to the facts of his illegal activity,” without saying what those activities were. Mr Cheng was not formally charged or tried in court, and his family rejected allegations in Chinese state media that he had been detained for visiting prostitutes. On Friday the UK issued a warning to all travellers to Hong Kong about increased scrutiny from mainland authorities at border crossings. The warning added that mobile phones and electronic devices were being checked by border patrol. Mr Cheng’s mysterious disappearance highlights China’s murky legal and judicial system – something that help kicked off mass protests early June in Hong Kong. Many fear freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong, guaranteed for at least 50 years under an agreement that became effective when the former British colony was returned to Beijing, are fast-disappearing under China’s ruling Communist Party. Hong Kong crisis | Comment and analysis Millions first took to the streets against a now-suspended extradition proposal that would have sent people to face trial in mainland China, where Communist Party control of the courts contributes to a 99.9 per cent conviction rate. Forced confessions are also common with suspects paraded on state television. “What happened to Simong Cheng – this is a common tactic used by the central government to put pressure on people,” said Kammy Yang, 50, an office clerk at a protest on Saturday. “Many Chinese activists were accused of prostitution or tax scams; this is their strategy in China, trying to suppress freedom.” Thousands of protesters on Saturday engaged in a series of skirmishes, throwing projectiles from bricks to petrol bombs at police who responded with sprays of tear gas and rubber bullets. It was the first time tear gas had been deployed in 10 days, a period of relative calm as protesters recalibrated their approach in an otherwise tumultuous, violent summer. Demonstrators join hands to form a human chain during the Hong Kong Way event in the Central district of Hong Kong, China, on Friday Credit: Bloomberg “The reasons why protesters are building roadblocks, surrounding police stations, and throwing bricks – it’s because the government doesn’t respond to us,” said Vaso Chan, 28, an office clerk. “It’s not fun for any of us to come out during summer break.” Protesters spray painted slogans like “Give me liberty or death,” Chinazi,” and “HK popo Gestapo,” on sidewalks and highways. As the political movement has grown, so have protesters’ demands, who are now calling for an independent inquiry into police handling of the protests, the resignation of Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, and direct leadership elections. City leaders however have made no concessions, instead thrusting the police to the front lines to handle the situation, further angering protesters. Demonstrations are occurring nearly every day now in the financial hub, disrupting traffic and public transportation. On Saturday, several stations closed along a planned march route. But despite growing unrest, public support for the protesters has stayed strong, with marches and strikes planned through September. “No matter whether those protesters are peaceful protesters or protesters that are standing in the ‘front lines’, no matter what they do, we will support them,” said Mr Chan.
(Bloomberg) -- Most Democratic presidential hopefuls stepped away from the early-state campaign circuit this week to court party insiders at their biggest meeting before votes are cast. But not the front-runner.Joe Biden chose to campaign elsewhere, while many of his rivals met with donors, took selfies with activists and mingled in the lobby of the San Francisco hotel where the Democratic National Committee is meeting through Saturday.While aides from opposing campaigns griped that Biden, the former vice president, wasn’t putting in the same effort as their bosses to reach out to party insiders, more than a dozen DNC members said they didn’t have a problem with his decision not to attend and that his time was best spent courting voters.Skipping a gathering like the DNC annual meeting would have been surprising in years past. Biden, however, can afford to pass it up in part because of the diminished role of party insiders in the nominating process.For more than three decades, DNC members, Democratic members of Congress and other party elites got individual votes as “super delegates” on the first ballot at the Democratic convention.But after the super delegates overwhelmingly supported establishment candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016, her primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, complained that their role subverted the will of voters. So the party modified its rules to give super delegates a vote only on a potential second ballot.Still, with so many powerful Democrats in one place and only three candidates polling in the double digits, much of the field made the trip to San Francisco. Early Friday, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker greeted supporters in a conference room rented by his team. At lunchtime, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang were both schmoozing their way through the lobby of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.Throughout the day Friday, 13 candidates -- including Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who used his speech to drop out of the race -- spoke to the meeting.Biden appeared by video in washed-out light, promising to campaign for fellow Democrats – including the party’s nominee, if it isn’t him.“If we stand together, we’ll win the battle for the soul of this nation,” he said in the one-minute spot, which received tepid applause. The crowd’s cheers were louder for Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, who attacked what he called the DNC’s exclusionary debate rules, and for Julian Castro, who took the stage after the Biden video.Biden’s campaign manager Greg Schultz said the best use of the front-runner’s time was on the campaign trail and that his candidate’s commitment to the Democratic Party was not defined by showing up at a single meeting.“He’s with voters making the case for why he should be the Democratic nominee for president,” Schultz told Bloomberg News in the hotel lobby.Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to Sanders, was unimpressed. “Joe Biden is afraid to present himself at Democratic Party functions because there are various elements of the party who are very concerned that he doesn’t represent the rank-and-file,” Weaver said. “That’s why he doesn’t show up. Why’s he going to show up?” Biden is “a dinosaur,” he added. Schultz said Biden has “a long history of supporting the Democratic Party at every level and everybody here knows that.” “I will say that Joe Biden has campaigned for more Democrats in more places than anybody else running for president. And if he is fortunate to be the nominee and fortunate to be the president, that’s going to continue,” Schultz said. Schultz, who travels rarely for the campaign, said he was meeting with members of the DNC executive committee, state party chairs and donors. He was joined by Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to the campaign and a DNC member, and Carla Frank, Schultz’s chief of staff.Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend Indiana, whose 2017 bid for DNC chair helped raise his national profile, spent Friday in New Hampshire, while former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke scrapped his planned appearance to visit victims of the Aug. 3 El Paso mass shooting with Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who herself survived a mass shooting in 2011.J.P. Barone, a DNC member from Minnesota, said he agreed with Biden’s approach.“We were surprised any of them are here at all. Why are they wasting time talking to us? We always want our candidates talking to voters so they should be going to the early states,” Barone said. With the new rules diminishing the power of super delegates, “the fact that they’re coming to spend time with people who don’t vote is an interesting judgment call,” he said.“All of these candidates can’t be at every event so they choose,” said Bob Mulholland, a California DNC member who is supporting Kamala Harris, his state’s junior senator. “They’re smart enough to figure out where they need to be every day.”Buttigieg’s campaign sent his husband, Chasten, instead and 10 senior staff members who hosted a reception. Guests were given Buttigieg tote bags that read “Midwestern Millennial Military Mayor” as they walked in. They sipped beer and wine and ate chicken and waffles and banh mi pork meatball sandwiches as they mingled with campaign staff.“I can’t talk about other candidates,” Booker said when asked about his opponents’ decisions to skip the event. “It was the right thing for me to be here.”(Updates with Sanders adviser from 13th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Epstein in San Francisco at email@example.com;Tyler Pager in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at email@example.com, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Hong Kong riot cops fired tear gas and baton-charged protesters who retaliated with a barrage of stones, bottles and bamboo poles on Saturday, as a standoff in a working-class neighbourhood descended into violence, breaking an uneasy peace that had lasted several days. Earlier thousands of demonstrators, many wearing hard hats and gas masks, marched through the industrial Kwun Tong area, where they were blocked by dozens of riot police with shields and batons outside a police station. Frontline protesters -- known as "braves" -- pulled together a barricade of traffic barriers and bamboo construction poles.
A psychologist at the federal detention center in New York City where financier Jeffrey Epstein was jailed on sex-trafficking charges had approved his removal from suicide watch before he killed himself, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday. The disclosure came in a letter dated on Thursday from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd and addressed to the leaders of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, seeking details about the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death earlier this month. Epstein, who was 66, was found dead Aug. 10 in his cell inside a segregated housing unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan.
A former high-school classmate of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh has filed suit against HuffPost over a “fabricated” report intended to detail the culture of debauchery at Georgetown Preparatory School during Kavanaugh's time there.HuffPost reporter Ashley Feinberg, now at Slate, published a report at the height of the Kavanaugh confirmation controversy entitled “Former Student: Brett Kavanaugh's Prep School Party Scene Was a ‘Free-For-All',” which purported to expose the degenerate culture that predominated at Georgetown Prep when Kavanaugh was a student. That hard-partying ethos supposedly culminated in the 1984 overdose death of David Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy's son, in a Palm Beach hotel.Feinberg, citing one anonymous Georgetown Prep alumnus, wrote that “two students — David's brother Doug, and his friend Derrick Evans — had helped score the coke” that ultimately killed David. Evans, an African American professor and community activist, filed suit on Wednesday alleging that Feinberg failed to contact him and fabricated his role in David's death in her “zeal to create a sensational article about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s years at [Georgetown Prep] and thereby drive traffic to [HuffPost's] website.”“Indeed, if Ms. Feinberg or her HuffPost editors had done even the most basic research of publicly available sources, she and they would have known, if they did not already know, that Mr. Evans actively assisted law enforcement in identifying and prosecuting the individuals who actually sold the illegal narcotics,” the lawsuit reads.HuffPost initially corrected the article after Doug Kennedy's employer, Fox News, sent a letter to the outlet rebutting its allegations.“This article previously stated incorrectly that Doug Kennedy was involved in helping his brother to purchase drugs in 1984. Kennedy was only sharing a room with Derrick Evans, who helped David purchase the drugs, according to an affidavit obtained by the New York Times. We regret the error,” reads a correction appended to the article just one day after it was published.While the correction exonerated Doug Kennedy it also further defamed Evans, according to the lawsuit.“The September 21 correction was another complete fabrication published by HuffPost with actual knowledge that both it and the original publication were false or in reckless disregard of the truth, again without ever attempting to contact Mr. Evans for comment,” the lawsuit reads. “As HuffPost knew, there was NO affidavit reflecting that Mr. Evans ever helped anyone purchase illegal drugs. Defendants had no such affidavit in their possession, and they could not have had such an affidavit in their possession.”The original article has been significantly altered since its publication and, as of this writing, no longer contains any reference to David's death.The case, Evans v. Huffington Post.com Inc., is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.
Backed by supporters at a news conference in Des Moines, the Iowa Republican affirmed his belief that abortion should be outlawed with no exceptions for rape or incest. King faced criticism for his comment Aug. 14 that questioned whether there would be "any population of the world left" if not for births due to rape or incest. The remarks were condemned by numerous groups and individuals, including Republican and Democratic candidates seeking to oust King, Democratic presidential candidates as well as the Iowa Republican Party and Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in House leadership.
The trial of a man accused of raping, murdering and eating parts of his ex-girlfriend's body has ended in a mistrial.Joseph Oberhansley, 38, is facing life in prison without parole on charges of murder, rape and burglary after prosecutors say he stalked, raped, and killed 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton before eating parts of her body in 2014.
An embassy statement to The Associated Press said the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities is "of course different" from China's detentions of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. "The Meng Wanzhou incident is not just a judicial case, but the U.S. using state power to work with its certain ally to suppress a private high-tech Chinese enterprise on unwarranted charges.
A student at The Citadel sued an ex-instructor who he says agreed not to discipline him in exchange for sex. Former Citadel Lt. Col. Kenneth Boes was charged last year with sexually assaulting the cadet, but prosecutors dropped those charges for reasons that aren't explained in online court records. Boes' lawyer on Friday described the cadet as a false victim and violent young man who wants to make a quick buck at the expense of a man with an impeccable reputation.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement shut down hotline that connected detained migrants to an advocacy groupFounded in 2013, the hotline connected migrants with advocates at Freedom for Immigrants, which also consulted for the Netflix production and was named in the show. Photograph: Handout/Getty ImagesUS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has shut down a national hotline that connected detained migrants to an advocacy group, a month after the hotline was featured in a storyline in the hit TV series Orange is the New Black.Founded in 2013, the hotline connected migrants in the world’s largest immigration detention system with advocates at Freedom for Immigrants, which also consulted for the award-winning Netflix production and was named in the show.Freedom for Immigrants runs and supports visitation programs in detention centers. It sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ice, alleging the government agency was retaliating and violating its right to exercise free speech after its profile grew.“Ice is attempting to silence its critics and block people in immigration detention from connecting with communities on the outside,” said Christina Fialho, the group’s co-executive director. “It’s disappointing, but not unexpected, that Trump’s Ice would engage in such cruel and undemocratic behavior.”Shawn Neudauer, an Ice spokesman, said all Ice facilities provide detainees with reasonable access to phones and that detainees are allowed to make free calls to an Ice-approved list of free legal service providers.“Pro bono organizations found to be violating [Ice] rules may be removed from the platform,” Neudauer said. “However, removal from this platform in no way limits the ability of an Ice detainee to phone such an organization directly should the detainee wish to do so.”The Ice phone system is operated by Talton Communications, which is mandated to provide free extensions to groups such as the UN refugee agency, consulates and Freedom for Immigrants.Freedom for Immigrants had three pro-bono extensions operating in detention centers when Donald Trump took office. Ice shut down two of the extensions before the final one was closed on 7 August.Fialho said the cease-and-desist letter was the first step in potential litigation, though the group was hoping to avoid court.“We very much hope we can resolve this amicably, but our team is also ready to enforce our rights under the constitution,” she said.Before Ice shut down the hotline it closed more than a dozen of Freedom for Immigrants detention center visitation programs. They were ultimately reinstated.The final season of Orange is the New Black focuses on the immigration detention system, which is run by Ice, and highlights how difficult it is for people in prison to contact family or friends because of the high cost of making phone calls in detention.In one scene, Gloria (Selenis Leyva) tells Maritza (Diane Guerrero) about the hotline and warns: “You gotta be careful, though. Apparently as soon as Big Brother figures out you’re using the hotline, they shut it down.”Fialho said the hotline was important for helping migrants connect with the outside world.“We would get calls from people who hadn’t been able to communicate with family members to tell them they’ve been taken by Ice, that they are in this particular immigration detention facility,” she said.While the extension number was supposed to be written on a sheet available to migrants in every detention center, Fialho said Ice had never made it easily available and people learned about the hotline through word of mouth instead.Now that the extension is gone, detained migrants can still use the Freedom for Immigrants hotline, but the group will have to shoulder the cost. The extension was also supposed to be unmonitored. Ice can listen in on a normal call.Orange is the New Black actors including Guerrero, Emily Tarver and Laura Gómez signed a letter to Ice demanding the hotline be restored.
A school in the United States has spent $48 million redesigning its buildings with curved corridors, hiding places, and cement barriers in a bid to thwart mass shooters. The project at Fruitport High School in Michigan is aimed at reducing casualties in the event of an attack by hampering the sight lines available to a gunman in corridors. Cement barriers are being installed in hallways for pupils and teachers to take cover. Classroom windows looking on to hallways are being covered with impact-resistant film. Each classroom will also have a corner, called a "shadow zone," that is not visible from the hallway. And school administrators will be able to lock all the doors in the building by pushing a button. Bob Szymoniak, the school superintendent, said: "This building will be the safest, most secure building in the state of Michigan when it opens. "These are going to be design elements that are just naturally part of [school] buildings going into the future." He added: "If I go to Fruitport High School and I want to be an active shooter, I'm going in knowing I have reduced sight lines. It has reduced his ability to do harm." The changes will be unveiled in December and could lead to other schools across the US taking similar measures. A design firm employed to draw up the safety features has previously worked on prison buildings. Meanwhile, in the school district where the Columbine high school shooting took place in 1999, teachers have been issued with special marker pens. The pens are for writing the time they place a tourniquet on an injured pupil in the event of a shooting. Mr Szymoniak said the decision to go ahead with the project in Michigan was taken after the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last year. US President Donald Trump takes part in a listening session on gun violence with teachers and students in 2018 Credit: AFP Last year, the US had 24 school shootings in which people were killed or injured. Gun control has become a high-profile issue in the 2020 election in the wake of two more mass shootings earlier this month. On consecutive days separate gunmen opened fire in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, leaving more than 30 people dead. In response to those incidents Donald Trump said he would like to see "very meaningful background checks" on people buying guns. But earlier this week Mr Trump said the US already had significantly strict background checks in place, and that many of his supporters are gun owners. Seven in 10 Republicans expressed approval of Mr Trump's handling of gun policy in a new poll.