Trumpism and the Philosophy of History – Project Syndicate

Review of recent news

Trumpism, as a hostile takeover of the Republican party, was built from the start on an elegiac slogan: Make America Great Again. Temporality was at the core of its campaign brand, guided by nostalgia for the good old days. Bannon has sought to 

Trumpism and the Philosophy of History
Project Syndicate

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WSJ.com: World News: When You Already Have 35 Political Parties, What’s 63 More?

Tired of corruption and dysfunction, Brazilians are forming new parties dedicated to everything from fighting illegal dog breeders to electing a soccer coach president. Its become a joke but really its a tragedyWSJ.com: World News

 

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Trumpism and the Philosophy of History – Project Syndicate

US Institutes Visa Restrictions At Its Missions Across Russia Due To Kremlin Order – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Russia names replacement for Sergei Kislyak as envoy in Washington – Reuters
GOP spent nearly $1.3 million at Trump properties this year – Washington Examiner
Republican Politicians Know They Can’t Win Without Trump’s Nazi Sympathizers – Miami New Times
New Polls Show Trump’s Presidency Stands on Perilous Ground – NBCNews.com
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Do not use psychiatry as a political tool for Donald Trumps impeachment. The political issues, struggle, and problems should be dealt with by political, not medical-psychiatric means  Michael Novakhov
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Trump Nominates Intelligence Community CIO – MeriTalk (blog)
US Embassy stops issuing nonimmigrant visas to Russians as diplomatic standoff deepens – Washington Post
Trump admin scales back Russian visa operations after Vladimir Putin cuts embassy staff – Hindustan Times
GOP senator: ‘Too difficult to say’ if Trump will be 2020 nominee – The Hill
Steve Bannon Reportedly Calls Jared Kushner And Ivanka Trump ‘Javanka’ Behind Their Backs
Trump Struggles to Move Past Bannon With Afghanistan Plan – Bloomberg
EXCLUSIVE Michael Savage Scolds Trump, Blasts Boston Leftists: ‘Trump Has Buckled to the Mob’ – Breitbart News

 

Saved Stories – None
Trumpism and the Philosophy of History – Project Syndicate
 

Trumpism and the Philosophy of History
Project Syndicate
Trumpism, as a hostile takeover of the Republican party, was built from the start on an elegiac slogan: Make America Great Again. Temporality was at the core of its campaign brand, guided by nostalgia for the good old days. Bannon has sought to 
US Institutes Visa Restrictions At Its Missions Across Russia Due To Kremlin Order – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
 


RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
US Institutes Visa Restrictions At Its Missions Across Russia Due To Kremlin Order
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow says that “all nonimmigrant visa operations” at U.S. missions across Russia will be suspended as of August 23 due to a Kremlin-imposed cap on staff at U.S. diplomatic facilities. … in Ukraine, its role in the war in Syria 
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Russia names replacement for Sergei Kislyak as envoy in Washington – Reuters
 


Reuters
Russia names replacement for Sergei Kislyak as envoy in Washington
Reuters
The name of outgoing ambassador Kislyak has emerged in relation to several of Trump’s associates as a special counsel and congressional panels investigate Russian meddling and possible ties with the Trump campaign. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions …
Putin Names Longtime Diplomat Antonov As Ambassador To USRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
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GOP spent nearly $1.3 million at Trump properties this year – Washington Examiner
 


Washington Examiner
GOP spent nearly $1.3 million at Trump properties this year
Washington Examiner
Republican political committees have spent close to $1.3 million this year at properties owned by President Trump, according to new records from the Federal Election Commission. So far this year, at least 25 congressional campaigns, state parties, and 
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Republican Politicians Know They Can’t Win Without Trump’s Nazi Sympathizers – Miami New Times
 


Miami New Times
Republican Politicians Know They Can’t Win Without Trump’s Nazi Sympathizers
Miami New Times
After Donald Trump’s incendiary comments providing cover for the neo-Nazis and other white supremacists who terrorized Charlottesville, we’ve witnessed a lot of pearl-clutching from the Republican Party’s leaders in government and the media.and more »
New Polls Show Trump’s Presidency Stands on Perilous Ground – NBCNews.com
 


NBCNews.com
New Polls Show Trump’s Presidency Stands on Perilous Ground
NBCNews.com
It’s easy to become numb to polls showing Trump’s national job rating to hover between 35 and 40 percent just 200-plus days into the job. But these three NBC/Marist surveys should provide a jolt: If the president is in the 30s in Michigan 
Polls: Majority in 3 key states ’embarrassed’ by TrumpCNN
Polls: Trump slumping in MidwestPolitico
Trump Approval Rating Is Below 40 Percent in Three States That Propelled Him to PresidencySlate Magazine (blog)
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Payback: Trump orders diplomatic response aimed at Putin – Hot Air
 


Hot Air
Payback: Trump orders diplomatic response aimed at Putin
Hot Air
Will the US response to Russia’s diplomatic maneuver last month hit Vladimir Putin where it hurts? After Russia demanded a cutback of 755 positions in US diplomatic personnel, Donald Trump joked that Vladimir Putin had done him a favor by saving the …
US scales back Russian visa operations visa services in Russia after Putin cuts embassy staffReuters
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Trump once backed withdrawal in Afghanistan. Now, he’ll pitch deeper involvementLos Angeles Times
AOLWashington Post
all 96 its staffReutersall 50 

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GOP base comfortable with Trump’s racially inflammatory posture – MSNBC
 


MSNBC
GOP base comfortable with Trump’s racially inflammatory posture
MSNBC
More than a few political observers, hopeful that American politics was still driven by decency and principle, saw last week as a deal-breaker of sorts for Donald Trump. The amateur president could spend months testing the limits of the fabric that 
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Scarborough: Trump’s ‘not going anywhere until Bob Mueller says he’s going somewhere’ – The Hill
 


The Hill
Scarborough: Trump’s ‘not going anywhere until Bob Mueller says he’s going somewhere’
The Hill 
He’s not going
 
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough predicted Monday morning that President Trump isn’t “going
 anywhere until Bob Mueller says he’s going somewhere,” Scarborough concluded. The analysis follows an NBC News/Marist poll released on Sunday that showsTrump’s approval is underwater in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Trump was pushing back on what he described as heightened social media speculation that the president may resign. “This and more »
Trump struggles to move past Bannon, starting with Afghanistan – Jamestown Sun
 


Jamestown Sun
Trump struggles to move past Bannon, starting with Afghanistan
Jamestown Sun
Donald Trump returns to the Oval Office on Monday, Aug. 21, in danger of becoming increasingly isolated from the Republican establishment he needs to enact his agenda and the grassroots activists inspired by just-departed chief strategist Stephen 
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20 Questions That Should Be Answered by the Russia Investigations – Just Security
 


Just Security
20 Questions That Should Be Answered by the Russia Investigations
Just Security
The intelligence community has concluded the Russian government intended to promote Trump’s candidacy and undermine Clinton’s campaign, an assertion that the president contests Congress should come to a conclusion on this point. Is it possible to …and more »
Why was Peter Strzok removed from Muellers Investigative Team?  It is very unclear why

Who is Peter Strzok, and Why was he removed from Mueller’s Investigative Team?  It is very unclear why… See also: Peter Strzok is removed Making sense of a chaotic week at the White House YouTube Top FBI investigator Peter Strzok is removed from the Muellers Trump-Russia probe Google SearchAugust 20, 2017 Peter StrzokAugust 20, 2017 Top … Continue reading“Why was Peter Strzok removed from Mueller’s Investigative Team?  It is very unclear why…”Source
Secret Service can’t pay agents for Trump and his family, report says – CNN
 


CNN
Secret Service can’t pay agents for Trump and his family, report says
CNN
Washington (CNN) The Secret Service cannot pay hundreds of agents to protect President Donald Trump and his large family, according to a report published Monday morning. Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles told USA Today more than 1,000 …
Exclusive: Secret Service depletes funds to pay agents because of Trump’s frequent travel, large familyUSA TODAY 
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Putin names new ambassador to US after Kislyak’s departure – The Hill
 


The Hill
Putin names new ambassador to US after Kislyak’s departure
The Hill
Anatoly Antonov will fill the role that was previously held by Kislyak, whose nearly 10-year long stint in the position wrapped in July. Antonov served as a deputy defense minister when Russian annexed Crimea from Ukraine, sparking tensions between …
US scales back Russian visa operations after Putin cuts embassy staff – Reuters
 


Reuters
US scales back Russian visa operations after Putin cuts embassy staff
Reuters
MOSCOW (Reuters) – The United States began to scale back its visa services in Russia on Monday, drawing an angry reaction from Moscow three weeks after President Vladimir Putin ordered Washington to more than halve its embassy and consular staff. The 
US scales back visa services in Russia after Putin cuts embassy staffThe Globe and Mail 
US Institutes Visa Restrictions At Its Missions Across Russia, Blames Kremlin OrderRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
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US makes another move in diplomatic row with Russia – CBS News
 


CBS News
US makes another move in diplomatic row with Russia
CBS News
While the two countries are trying to work together in some realms, Tillerson said he was trying to get Russia to understand “how seriously” the Russian hacking into the U.S. election “damaged” relations between Washington and Moscow. At that time he …
US Embassy in Russia suspends issuing nonimmigrant visasChicago Tribune
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US Embassy stops issuing nonimmigrant visas to Russians as diplomatic standoff deepensWashington Post Sharply Curtails Visa Services in RussiaNew York Times 
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Do not use psychiatry as a political tool for Donald Trumps impeachment. The political issues, struggle, and problems should be dealt with by political, not medical-psychiatric means  Michael Novakhov

Do not use psychiatry as a political tool for Donald Trump’s impeachment. The political issues, struggle, and problems should be dealt with by political, not medical-psychiatric means. Michael Novakhov Is Trump Mentally Ill? Democratic Lawmaker Introduces Resolution To Force Psychiatric Evaluation https://t.co/g1h3WB8DE0 Mike Nova (@mikenov) August 21, 2017 Is Trump Mentally Ill? Democratic Lawmaker Introduces … Continue reading“Do not use psychiatry as a political tool for Donald Trump’s impeachment. The political issues, struggle, and problems should be dealt with by political, not medical-psychiatric means – Michael Novakhov”Source
It’s Time To Impeach Trump – HuffPost


It’s Time To

Time to Impeach Trump
HuffPost
We cannot postpone consideration of impeachment until Special Counsel Robert Mueller finishes his criminal investigation. It is time to pressure the House of Representatives to bring articles of impeachment against Trump for his abuse of power. We must …

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Trump Nominates Intelligence Community CIO – MeriTalk (blog)
 


MeriTalk (blog)
Trump Nominates Intelligence Community CIO
MeriTalk (blog)
President Donald Trump nominated John Sherman, to be chief information officer of the Intelligence Community under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, on Aug. 18. Sherman is the deputy director of CIA’s Open Source Enterprise, where he  
Reports: Trump to Appoint CIA Vet John Sherman as Intell Community CIOExecutiveGov

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Appoint John B. Sherman as Chief Information Officer of the …The White House (blog) 
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US Embassy stops issuing nonimmigrant visas to Russians as diplomatic standoff deepens – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
US Embassy stops issuing nonimmigrant visas to Russians as diplomatic standoff deepens
Washington Post
The visa freeze, which also sparked anxiety that Russia could retaliate, is the latest escalation between Moscow and Washington going back to the alleged Russian hacking campaign during the 2016 presidential election. [Trump campaign emails show aide’s …
US scales back Russian visa operations after Putin cuts embassy staffReuters
Russia condemns US visa restrictions in diplomatic tussleBBC News
US makes another move in diplomatic row with RussiaCBS News
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Trump admin scales back Russian visa operations after Vladimir Putin cuts embassy staff – Hindustan Times
 


Hindustan Times
Trump admin scales back Russian visa operations after Vladimir Putin cuts embassy staff
Hindustan Times
Putin refrained from retaliating at the time but last month, after Congress overwhelmingly approved new sanctions against Russia, he ordered Washington to cut its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia by 755 people, or about 60%, by September 1 
Payback: Trump orders diplomatic response aimed at PutinHot Air

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GOP senator: ‘Too difficult to say’ if Trump will be 2020 nominee – The Hill
 


Politico
GOP senator: ‘Too difficult to say’ if Trump will be 2020 nominee
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But Trump’s historically low approval rating and the shadow of the Russia investigation have added to the sense that he could attract a primary challenger or decline to seek a second term. Trump’s critics within the GOP, including Sen. Jeff Flake 
Susan Collins: ‘Too difficult to say’ whether Trump will be 2020 GOP nomineePolitico
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Steve Bannon Reportedly Calls Jared Kushner And Ivanka Trump ‘Javanka’ Behind Their Backs

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Trump Struggles to Move Past Bannon With Afghanistan Plan – Bloomberg
 


Bloomberg
Trump Struggles to Move Past Bannon With Afghanistan Plan
Bloomberg
Donald Trump returned to the Oval Office on Monday in danger of becoming increasingly isolated from the Republican establishment he needs to enact his agenda and the grassroots activists inspired by just-departed chief strategist Stephen Bannon. The 
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EXCLUSIVE Michael Savage Scolds Trump, Blasts Boston Leftists: ‘Trump Has Buckled to the Mob’ – Breitbart News
 


Breitbart News
EXCLUSIVE Michael Savage Scolds Trump, Blasts Boston Leftists: ‘Trump Has Buckled to the Mob’
Breitbart News
Author and radio host Michael Savage scolded President Trump and left-wing Antifa protesters in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News Sunday accusing President Trump of having buckled to the mob in Boston and warning that if Trump keeps …

 

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Trumpism and the Philosophy of History – Project Syndicate
 

mikenova shared this story from Trumpism – Google News.

Trumpism and the Philosophy of History
Project Syndicate
Trumpism, as a hostile takeover of the Republican party, was built from the start on an elegiac slogan: Make America Great Again. Temporality was at the core of its campaign brand, guided by nostalgia for the good old days. Bannon has sought to 
Top Navy admiral orders fleetwide investigation following latest collision at sea
 

mikenova shared this story .

SEOUL — The Navy’s top admiral on Monday ordered a fleetwide review of seamanship and training in the Pacific after the service’s fourth major accident at sea this year, following a collision of the USS John S. McCain off Singapore that left 10 sailors missing.

The accident, which occurred east of the Strait of Malacca about 5:24 a.m. local time with an oil tanker three times the size of the guided-missile destroyer, could be the Navy’s second deadly ship collision in about two months. On June 17, the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided off the coast of Japan with a much heavier container ship, drowning seven sailors after a berthing compartment inside the ship flooded in less than a minute.

[The USS John S. McCain was struck in some of the world’s busiest waters]

In addition, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel on May 9 off the Korean Peninsula and the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground Jan. 31 in Tokyo Bay, near its home port of Yokosuka, Japan.

Navy Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said in a video released Monday in Washington that he was “devastated and heartbroken” by the disaster. The ship is now moored at Changi Naval Base in Singapore, with the amphibious assault ship USS America arriving to provide support and assistance to the McCain’s crew.

U.S. Navy destroyer collides with a merchant ship

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Search and rescue efforts are underway after the USS John S. McCain guided-missile destroyer and an oil tanker collided near Singapore on Aug. 21. The Navy reports 10 sailors are missing and five are injured. Search and rescue efforts are underway after the USS John S. McCain guided-missile destroyer and an oil tanker collided near Singapore on Aug. 21. (Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

Search and rescue efforts are underway after the USS John S. McCain guided-missile destroyer and an oil tanker collided near Singapore on Aug. 21. The Navy reports 10 sailors are missing and five are injured. (Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

Richardson said the trend of accidents in the Pacific “demands more forceful action,” and ordered a one-day “operational pause” in Navy fleets across the world to make sure they are operating safely. More significantly, he ordered a separate investigation into how the Navy prepares its forces to operate in the Pacific.

“This will include, but not be limited to, looking at operational tempo, trends in personnel, materiel, maintenance and equipment,” Richardson said. “It also will include a review of how we train and certify our surface warfare community, including tactical and navigational proficiency.”

Richardson said he wanted a broad and diverse team reviewing operations as part of the investigation, with the Navy inspector general’s office, Navy Safety Center and outside experts all assisting. The probe will be led by Adm. Philip S. Davidson, who leads Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk.

“This review will be on a very tight timeline,” Richardson said. “I want to get frequent updates. This requires urgent action. We need to get to it and take corrective action.”

Richardson’s comments came as the Navy continued a frantic search for the missing sailors that included searches of the route the McCain had taken and an effort to explore flooded areas of the ship.

Photos of the disabled ship arriving in port showed a large hole on its left, or port, side at the waterline. More than 18 hours after the collision, the Navy had not disclosed any progress on the hunt for the missing sailors, but a search of flooded areas of the ship was expected to commence again after daybreak in Singapore.

The McCain is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer — named after the father and grandfather of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and nicknamed “Big Bad John” — that had been on its way to a routine port visit in Singapore after patrolling in the South China Sea.

Shipping data showed the Liberian-flagged merchant vessel Alnic MC was also on its way to Singapore when the ships collided before sunrise.

The 550-mile-long strait runs between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, connecting the Pacific and Indian oceans, and is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The Alnic has a gross tonnage of 30,000, compared with the McCain’s 8,300.

The collision caused significant damage to the hull, flooded nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms, the 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding,” it said.

Four sailors were medically evacuated from the McCain by a Singapore Armed Forces helicopter and are now in a hospital in Singapore being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening. A fifth sailor who was injured did not require further medical attention, it said.

On the McCain’s Facebook page, people were hoping for good news about the missing. “Praying all the sailors including my brother are safe & the missing are found!” wrote Natalie Bossio.

The 7th Fleet set up an emergency assistance center in Yokosuka for family members of the McCain crew, and Adm. Scott Swift, the head of the Pacific Fleet, is headed to Singapore to visit the damaged vessel, according to a fleet spokesman.

President Trump, returning to the White House on Sunday night, responded to reporters’ questions about the collision by saying: “That’s too bad.” Later Sunday night, Trump tweeted, “Thoughts & prayers are w/ our @USNavy sailors aboard the #USSJohnSMcCain where search & rescue efforts are underway.”

The China Daily, a state newspaper, took the opportunity to denounce the U.S. Navy’s activities in the South China Sea, where U.S. and allies have been trying to keep Chinese expansion in check. China claims full sovereignty over the sea.

The U.S. Navy “is becoming a dangerous obstacle in Asian waters” while China is trying to boost navigational safety, the paper said in an unsigned editorial.

“Anyone should be able to tell who is to blame for militarizing the waters and posing a threat to navigation,” it wrote.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority said the tanker, which was carrying 12,000 tons of fuel oil, suffered damage 20 feet above the waterline but that none of its contents had leaked.

“There is no report of oil pollution and traffic in the Singapore Strait is unaffected,” the authority said, adding that none of the crew on the tanker were injured.

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Marine traffic data showed the Alnic at anchor off Singapore Monday night.

The collision Monday came just days after the Navy issued a damning report listing errors that led to theUSS Fitzgerald collision.

The Navy said last week that it would discipline a dozen sailors who were aboard the Fitzgerald, including the top two officers and the top enlisted sailor, whose careers are almost certainly over. Adm. William F. Moran, vice chief of naval operations, said the sailors who were on watch in the ship’s bridge “lost situational awareness,” contributing to the collision.

Lamothe reported from Washington. Thomas Gibbons-Neff in Washington contributed to this report.

Read more:

Top officers of the USS Fitzgerald to be disciplined following deadly collision

Sailors made tough call to seal flooding ship areas; unclear if survivors inside

‘There wasn’t a lot of time’ as water flooded U.S. destroyer below decks

Today’s coverage from Post correspondents around the world

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Ten sailors missing after U.S. warship, tanker collide near Singapore
 

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Ten U.S. sailors were missing after a U.S. warship collided with an oil tanker east of Singapore before dawn on Monday, tearing a hole beneath the waterline and flooding compartments that include a crew sleeping area, the U.S. Navy said.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said there will be a wider investigation into U.S. naval operations after the collision between the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker Alnic MC, the second involving a U.S. Navy destroyer and a merchant vessel in Asian waters in little more than two months.

The ships collided while the U.S. warship was heading to Singapore for a routine port call, the Navy said in a statement.

“Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft,” the Navy said. “There are currently 10 sailors missing and five injured.”

The destroyer had made its way to Singapore’s Changi Naval Base by Monday afternoon under its own power.

Significant damage to the hull had resulted in flooding to compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms, the Navy said, but crew members were able to stop the flooding.

Four of the injured were taken by helicopter to hospital in Singapore with non-life threatening injuries. The fifth needed no further treatment.

The USS John S. McCain’s sister ship, the USS Fitzgerald, almost sank off the coast of Japan after it was struck by a Philippine container ship on June 17. The bodies of seven USS Fitzgerald sailors were found in a flooded berthing area.

Mattis told reporters in Amman, Jordan, there would be a broader investigation into U.S. naval operations.

“The chief of naval operations’ broader inquiry will look at all related accidents at sea, that sort of thing. He is going to look at all factors, not just the immediate ones,” he said.

Collisions between warships and other large vessels are extremely rare, with naval historians going back more than 50 years to find a similar incident.

A search-and-rescue mission was underway for the sailors missing from the USS John S. McCain involving Singaporean ships, helicopters and tugs, as well as U.S. Navy aircraft.

Reuters video footage from the Singapore Strait showed an area of impact about 6 meters (20 ft) wide in the John S. McCain’s port side.

The U.S. Navy said the amphibious assault ship USS America had arrived to provide messing and berthing for crew of the USS John S. McCain. It would support the search for the missing and divers to assess the damage.

TERRITORIAL DISPUTE

A crew member on the Alnic MC told Reuters by telephone there was no oil spill from the Liberian-flagged, 183 meter-long (600 ft) tanker, which was carrying almost 12,000 tonnes of fuel oil from Taiwan to discharge in Singapore.

“We have not discharged the tanker yet,” said the crew member, who asked not to be identified.

“We are proceeding to Raffles Reserved Anchorage, where the owners will investigate the matter. There was some damage to the valve but no oil spill.”

Stealth Maritime Corporation, the Greece-based owner of the tanker, said the vessel was moving to safe anchorage for assessment. Reuters later saw the Alnic MC anchored off Singapore.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said no injuries were reported on the Alnic, which suffered some damage above the waterline.

“There is no report of oil pollution and traffic in the Singapore Strait is unaffected,” the MPA said, adding that the collision happened in Singaporean territorial waters.

However, the Malaysian navy said the collision happened in Malaysian waters and it had sent vessels to assist.

The Pedra Branca area near where the collision happened has long been contested by both countries, with an international court ruling in Singapore’s favor in 2008. Malaysia filed an application to review that ruling this year.

“The Malaysian agencies are not involved in the search and rescue operations that is led by Singapore,” the MPA said.

The U.S. Navy said Malaysian navy vessels and a helicopter joined the search in the afternoon. Indonesia said it had sent two aircraft and two warships to help.

The waterways around Singapore are some of the busiest and most important in the world, carrying about a third of global shipping trade.

Ben Stewart, commercial manager of Maritime Asset Security and Training in Singapore, said early indications suggested the warship may have turned across the front of the tanker.

“Instances like this should be rare and they are rare,” Stewart said.

The U.S. Navy said last week it had removed the two senior officers and the senior enlisted sailor on the USS Fitzgerald following an investigation into that collision.

SISTER SHIPS

The USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain, built in the same shipyard, are both ballistic missile defense (BMD) capable ships and part of the same Japan-based destroyer squadron. The Seventh Fleet has six ships assigned to BMD patrols, with half on patrol at any time.

The accidents come at a tense time.

The USS John S. McCain carried out a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea this month, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built by China.

The operation was the latest to counter what the United States sees as China’s efforts to control the waters. China denounced it.

North Korea threatened last week to fire ballistic missiles towards the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would unleash “fire and fury” if North Korea threatened the United States.

“Thoughts & prayers are w/ our @USNavy sailors aboard the #USSJohnSMcCain where search & rescue efforts are underway,” Trump said on Twitter.

The U.S. vessel involved in the latest collision is named for the father and grandfather of U.S. Republican Senator John McCain, who were both admirals.

Senator McCain, a Vietnam War naval pilot who was shot down and held prisoner for 5-1/2 years, is undergoing treatment for brain cancer.

“Cindy & I are keeping America’s sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight – appreciate the work of search & rescue crews,” he said on Twitter, referring to his wife.

For a graphic on the collision, click: here

Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein and Jessica Jaganathan, Aradhana Aravindan, Karishma Singh and Sam Holmes in SINGAPORE, Tim Kelly in TOKYO, Joseph Sipalan and Rozanna Latiff in KUALA LUMPUR, Kanupriya Kapoor in JAKARTA, Idrees Ali in Amman and Lesley Wroughton and David Brunnstrom in WASHINGTON; Writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Robert Birsel and Tom Brown

Is Trump Mentally Ill? Democratic Lawmaker Introduces Resolution To Force Psychiatric Evaluation
 

mikenova shared this story from The Inquisitr.

Is Donald Trump mentally ill? That’s what Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren wants to know, and on Friday she introduced a resolution to compel Trump to undergo a psychiatric and medical evaluation to determine his fitness to hold office. Ultimately, Lofgren claims that forcing Trump to undergo compulsory psychiatric testing could pave the way for Vice President Mike Pence and others to oust the president from office.

The little-known 25th amendment of the constitution allows the vice president and executive cabinet to remove a sitting president from office, albeit temporarily, if that president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” According to the Democratic Representative, Trump would surely fit the bill if it can be proven that he’s mentally ill.

Citing the fact that Trump has displayed an “alarming pattern” of both speech and behavior in recent weeks and months, Lofgren claims that legislators are fearful that the president might be not just mentally ill, but unfit and unable to do his job as the leader of the free world.

“President Donald J. Trump has exhibited an alarming pattern of behavior and speech causing concern that a mental disorder may have rendered him unfit and unable to fulfill his Constitutional duties.”

While the 1973 Goldwater Rule prohibits psychologists from publicly discussing the mental health or illness of a sitting president without first having personally examined them, Trump has been the target of mental illness-related questions for months now. As The Independent reports, in late 2016, professors from Harvard Medical School and the University of California called on then-president Barack Obama to order Trump to undergo a mental health evaluation to rule out mental illness before he was sworn in.

The psychiatrists urged Obama to demand a “full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation” of Trump before his swearing in, adding that his “grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to criticism” were red flags that led them to believe the president-elect was “unfit for office.”

None of the concerned professors of psychiatry had personally evaluated Trump.

“Professional standards do not permit us to venture a diagnosis for a public figure whom we have not evaluated personally. Nevertheless, his widely reported symptoms of mental instability — including grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality — lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibilities of the office.”

In August of 2016, Barack Obama himself questioned whether Trump may be suffering from some form of mental illness. According to Obama, Trump’s unprovoked attack on a Gold Star family indicated that the then-candidate was “woefully unprepared to do this job.”

“There has to come a point at which you say somebody who makes those kinds of statements doesn’t have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding to occupy the most powerful position in the world because a lot of people depend on the White House getting stuff right.”

In June, 2016, Atlantic published the opinion of a prominent psychologist, who claimed that Trump is indeed mentally ill and suffering from “narcissism, disagreeableness, grandiosity.”

In February, dozens of psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals lent their signatures to a letter condemning Trump’s mental health and fitness to serve as president. According to that group, Donald Trump continually demonstrates “speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions,” as well as clearly showing “a profound inability to empathize.”

Other experts have publicly defended Trump against widespread allegations of mental illness. According to Duke University Professor Allen Francis, Trump may be a narcissist, but that doesn’t mean he suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

“He is bad not mad.”

Others have called out questioning the potential mental illness of President Trump as partisan politics, “name calling,” and not constructive. Even more have criticized the stigmatizing of mental illness in the context of Trump and his perceived character flaws.

“It’s making an assumption and trying to attach a stigma, and it’s not fair to people who are clearly mentally ill and aren’t bad.”

Despite the fact that his overall approval ratings have continued to plunge, even, as NBC News reports, falling below 40 percent in three of the states key to his unexpected November victory, it’s unlikely that Trump will be forced to undergo a mental health assessment anytime soon.

That’s because the resolution filed by Democratic Representative Lofgren is non-binding. The demand that Trump be screened to determine whether or not he’s mentally ill would also require the nearly-impossible-to-imagine backing of the Republican-led House.

[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]

(4) trump – YouTube
 

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(4) Making sense of a chaotic week at the White House
 

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It was another turbulent week at the White House, featuring the departure of President Trump’s senior strategist Steve Bannon, who promised to wage “war” at figures inside the White House and Republicans from his Breitbart website, and the collapse of several advisory panels. PBS NewsHour Special Correspondent Jeff Greenfield joins Hari Sreenivasan from New York to put the chaos in context.

President Trump: “Racism is evil…” (C-SPAN)
 

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From: Trump
Duration: 05:17

President Trump delivers a statement at the White House two days after violence in Charlottesville, VA. “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs. Including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” http://cs.pn/2wXjnyG

FBI Agent Says Russian Twitter Bots Pushed McMaster Firing
 

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Clint Watts, a former FBI Special Agent, says that Russian-controlled Twitter bots helped amplify widespread calls for President Trump to fire National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster. The hashtag #firemcmaster spread virally earlier this month.

Earlier reports quickly identified the role of pro-Russian partisans in amplifying the hashtag, but Watts’ claims are based on different data, generated by a monitoring project called Hamilton 68. Named after founding father Alexander Hamilton’s warning about the danger of foreign influence, Hamilton 68 monitors 600 Twitter accounts “linked to Russian influence operations.” That includes both automated bot accounts and what Hamilton 68 describes as “trolls.”

To trace Russian influence, Hamilton 68 begins with official Russian outlets or explicitly pro-Russian mouthpieces, then identifies other accounts pushing the same topics or narratives. Watts described the findings and methods in an interview with NPR’s Weekend Edition this morning.

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Much of what is tweeted by the Russian Twitter network, Watts says, may not look like Russian propaganda.

“The first thing you have to do is infiltrate the audience,” he told NPR. “If you look at the top hashtags, oftentimes they’re very common hashtags you’d see [in] a very pro-Trump audience.” For instance, amidst fallout from last week’s white supremacist terror attack in Charlottesville, Hamilton 68 shows Russian influence networks dominated by the hashtag “antifa” – a term often used to criticize the counterprotestors who were targeted in the attack.

According to Watts, Russian targeting of McMaster is in line with the country’s hostility to international alliances including the EU and NATO, which McMaster has expressed support for despite President Trump’s sometimes unclear stance.

“The long view of the Russian active measures program is chaos and disunity among the American government,” Watts said. “Anytime there’s a rift… they want to amplify those rifts.”

Former FBI Agent Says Russian Twitter Bots Were Behind Push for McMaster Firing – Fortune
 

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Fortune
Former FBI Agent Says Russian Twitter Bots Were Behind Push for McMaster Firing
Fortune
Clint Watts, a former FBI Special Agent, says that Russian-controlled Twitter bots helped amplify widespread calls for President Trump to fire National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster. The hashtag #firemcmaster spread virally earlier this month.
Top FBI investigator Peter Strzok is removed from the Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe – Google Search
 

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Story image for Top FBI investigator Peter Strzok is removed from the Mueller's Trump-Russia probe from The Hill

Trump: Russia probe will find ‘no collusion’

The HillMay 17, 2017
“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what … Department’s appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as …

Story image for Top FBI investigator Peter Strzok is removed from the Mueller's Trump-Russia probe from The Hill

Top Dem requests records from intel leaders on Trump-Russia talks

The HillMay 30, 2017
Top Dem requests records from intel leaders on Trump-Russia talks … of their conversations with President Trump about ongoing Russia probes, following a … push back on the FBI’s investigation into Russian election interference. … to congressional committees or former FBI chief Robert Mueller, who has …

Story image for Top FBI investigator Peter Strzok is removed from the Mueller's Trump-Russia probe from The Hill

WH says Trump has ‘no intention’ of firing Mueller, despite criticism

The HillJun 23, 2017
Trump appeared to leave the door open to removing Mueller in a new Fox … He said the former FBIdirector is “very, very good friends” with his successor, … of the probe into whether his associates colluded with Moscow’s efforts to … House bid to work on his investigation, a situation he called “ridiculous.”.

Story image for Top FBI investigator Peter Strzok is removed from the Mueller's Trump-Russia probe from The Hill

Cummings tells Chaffetz to demand WH docs on Trump, Russia’s …

The HillMay 19, 2017
Chaffetz has already requested any memos, summaries and recordings from the FBI about Comey’s interactions with Trump. He tweeted …
Peter Strzok – Google Search
 

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Story image for Peter Strzok from Business Insider

A top FBI investigator has unexpectedly stepped away from special …

Business InsiderAug 16, 2017
Peter Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence investigator, is now working for the FBI’s human resources division, according to ABC. It is unclear …
Top FBI investigator Peter Strzok steps away from Russia probe
 

mikenova shared this story from Politics.

A highly experienced FBI investigator and former army officer hired by special counsel Robert Mueller to examine Russia’s interference in the 2016 election has unexpectedly stepped away from the probe, ABC News reported on Wednesday.

Peter Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence investigator, is now working for the FBI’s human resources division, according to ABC. It is unclear why he stepped aside, or if he did so voluntarily.

Asha Rangappa, a former FBI counterintelligence agent and associate dean at Yale Law School, said that she had “never heard of an agent being moved to the human resources department.”

“I have seen instances where if some issue comes up, the agent might be moved to another investigation or to the operations center, where you essentially field calls all day,” Rangappa said. “But why he would be moved to HR is just bizarre.”

Rangappa did not want to speculate on what may have happened in Strzok’s case, but said there were many factors — ranging from small administrative violations to more significant incidents — that could raise questions about an agent’s ability to stay on a case.

A former FBI agent who worked with Strzok on and off over several years in the bureau’s counterintelligence division said that Strzok’s move to HR means he has now been separated from counterintelligence work altogether.

The FBI sometimes parks agents in the human resources department, the agent explained, when they need to be reassigned quickly away from substantive matters and there’s no other place to put them. Christopher Wray, who was confirmed as the new FBI director two weeks ago, would have played a role in reassigning Strzok.

Strzok headed the FBI’s counterespionage division last year and was one of the top officials overseeing the criminal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information while she was secretary of state. He had previously worked on some of the “most secretive investigations in recent years involving Russian and Chinese espionage,” according to the New York Times.

Rangappa noted that the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) opened an investigation in January into the FBI’s handling of the email probe, including former FBI Director James Comey’s decision to announce a new inquiry into her email server 11 days before the election. It is not clear whether Strzok, who supervised elements of the email probe, was caught up in the OIG investigation.

The OIG declined to comment. But their website lists the probe as ongoing.

Strzok’s departure also came one week after The Washington Post reported that Mueller had obtained a search warrant to raid the home of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. The Post report cited “people familiar with the search,” prompting questions about whether anyone on Mueller’s team had leaked the existence of the search warrant to the Post.

Mueller has assembled two-dozen investigators and lawyers to help him examine Russia’s election interference and whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to undermine Clinton. The former FBI director impaneled a grand jury in late July that quickly issued subpoenas related to the June 2016 meeting between Trump’s eldest son and a Russian lawyer with connections to the Kremlin.

Manafort and Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, also attended the meeting.

Mueller’s Russia probe: Nothing is unrelated now
 

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The New York Times recently asked President Trump, “if Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances unrelated to Russia, is that a red line?” He

 responded

, in part: “I would say yeah. I would say yes.”

To understand the discussion, one must be familiar with the mandate itself and the provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 600, which govern the conduct of the Special Counsel.

On May 17, 2017, “to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election,” Acting Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appointed Mueller to serve as special counsel for the Justice Department.

Rosenstein’s order authorizes the special counsel “to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before that House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:

i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and

ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation, and

iii) any other matters with the scope of 28 C.F.R. Section 600.4(a).”

Section 600.4(a)

 grants the special counsel the authority to “investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with the intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence and intimidation of witnesses.”

During his March 20, 2017 testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Investigations referenced in Rosenstein’s order, Comey

testified

 that: “I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.”

Broad scope

Taken all together, Mueller’s investigative mandate is broad.

Its scope seems clear and includes investigating:

(1) Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election;

(2) the nature of any links between the Russian government and any and all individuals associated with the Trump presidential campaign;

(3) the nature of any coordination between the Russian government and any and all individuals associated with the Trump presidential campaign;

(4) any matters that have arisen out of the Russian election interference investigation;

(5) any matters that might arise directly from the Russian election interference investigation; and

(6) any federal crimes committed in the course of or with the intent to interfere with the investigation.

The core question is not a simple one: whether there were any links and/or coordination between the Trump campaign and representatives of the Russian government (“collusion” in the term popularized by the media; “conspiracy” in legal terms). This is because direct evidence of any collusion or conspiracy may be difficult to come by.

Not Perry Mason

It is unlikely that a signed agreement between the parties would exist. It is not probable that written documents expressly evidence a quid pro quo. It would be surprising if there were any Perry Mason-style confessions by witnesses appearing before the grand jury.

To the extent that any evidence of a conspiracy were to exist and the conspiracy could be proven, it is likely that most of the evidence would be circumstantial — that is, it may only consist of verbal understandings and tacit agreements through financial and other intermediaries and close business associates.

Witness testimony, especially from individuals with knowledge of the core questions, will be critical. Financial relationships and dealings, even those remote in place and time, may be important to shed light on motive, intent or susceptibility to compromise.

It can be challenging, however, for a prosecutor to succeed in persuading a witness to cooperate, particularly in a case like this. What is often required is leverage and incentive. Leverage and incentive are most readily gained when a prosecutor can establish that a witness participated in some other readily provable crime.

Generally, the crime does not have to be directly connected or related to the core matter under investigation, but given Mueller’s mandate and the limitations imposed by Section 600.4(a), it would seem that the offense would need to be related in some way to the Russian investigation.

What prosecutors do

At the early stages of an investigation, particularly one like Muller’s that is complex, it is often impossible to determine what is or is not related to the core question under investigation. Accordingly, it is a sound prosecutorial practice to pursue all leads, especially those that involve financial or other business dealings that may shed light on the parties’ relationships. Thus, predetermining relevance at this stage of the investigation could be a mistake.

As Mueller’s investigation matures, it may come to pass that some of the leads investigated (including possibly Trump’s and/or his family’s financial dealings) will prove to have merit, but that they may be beyond the scope of Mueller’s original mandate. If so, what Mueller and Rosenstein will have to consider is how best to resolve these issues. Section 600.4

 provides

 a mechanism.

It provides: “If in the course of his or her investigation the special counsel concludes that additional jurisdiction beyond that specified in his or her original jurisdiction is necessary in order to fully investigate and resolve the matters assigned, or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of his or her investigation, he or she shall consult with the Attorney General, who will determine whether to include the additional matters within the special counsel’s jurisdiction or assign them elsewhere.”

As such, Rosenstein, acting in consultation with Mueller, must reach a decision as to whether and in what circumstances it would be in the best interests of justice to expand the original mandate to allow the special counsel to investigate and resolve fully these matters and/or to investigate any other new matters that may have come to light in the course of the investigation.

If a decision were made not to expand the mandate, the activities that are not within the original mandate could be referred either to the Department of Justice or to the US Attorney’s office with jurisdiction over the matter for completion.

Those who worry about Mueller having an unlimited budget to conduct a “fishing expedition” should be reminded that Section 600.8(a)

 requires

 the special counsel to report to Acting Attorney General Rosenstein on the status of the investigation and to seek approval of an annual budget. The acting attorney general will determine annually whether the investigation should continue and, if so, he will establish the budget for the year. This serves as a restraint on unchecked spending and an overly broad investigation.

Too early to cut off any leads

In an investigation such as this, with so many aspects, allegations, and participants spread across the globe, it is much too early to cut off any investigative leads.

The financial dealings of the Trump businesses and those of his family and business associates, whether directly related or not, may provide an understanding that is relevant to the heart of the investigation. If they do, they are, de facto, not unrelated.

If the financial dealings prove to be unrelated, the regulations offer two possible solutions — refer that aspect of the investigation to the Department of Justice to handle, or expand the mandate to cover the resolution of the matter. In either case, justice will be served.

White House lawyer Cobb predicts quick end to Mueller probe
 

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BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) – Spanish police hunting for a suspect after the Barcelona van attack that killed 13 people said on Sunday they could not rule out that he had slipped over the border into France.

Spanish police said security operations were under way in Catalonia and on the French border as they try to find Moroccan-born Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, who they believe is the only one of 12 suspects still at large.

Others have been arrested, shot by police or killed in an explosion at a house in Catalonia a day before Thursday’s van attack on Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous boulevard.

“We don’t have any specific information on this but it cannot be ruled out,” Catalan police chief Josep Lluis Trapero told a news conference in Barcelona when asked if Abouyaaqoub could have crossed into France.

(For a graphic on Barcelona attack, click tmsnrt.rs/2icWkND)

Spanish media have said Abouyaaqoub was suspected of being the driver, who fled after the attack. Trapero said he could not confirm who was driving, but said investigators believed only one person was in the van.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, in which a van traveling at high-speed drove through crowds of tourists and local people walking along Las Ramblas, leaving a trail of dead and 120 injured from 34 countries.

Hours later, police shot dead five men wearing fake explosive belts in the Catalan seaside resort of Cambrils after they rammed holidaymakers with a car and stabbed others, killing one woman.

A police source in France told Reuters on Friday that police there had been looking for the driver of a white Renault Kangoo van that may be connected to the attacks. French media said on Saturday the vehicle had been found near Barcelona.

Abouyaaqoub’s mother Hannou Ghanimi, speaking to reporters, urged her son to give himself up to police, saying she preferred him being in prison to being dead.

The attacks were the deadliest in Spain for more than a decade. In little more than a year, militants have used vehicles as weapons to kill nearly 130 people in France, Germany, Britain, Sweden and Spain.

Four people have been arrested so far in connection with the attacks – three Moroccans and a citizen of Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla.

PYRENEAN CONNECTION

One focus of the investigation is on Ripoll, a quiet town set beneath the Pyrenees mountain range and ringed by forested hills, which was the home of a number of the youths, most of Moroccan nationality, who are suspected of involvement. Three of those killed in Cambrils were aged between 17 and 24.

A common thread running through the young men’s lives was a local imam, Abdelbaki Es Satty, whose landlord said he left Ripoll two days before the attack.

Spanish media have depicted Es Satty as being a possible ring-leader who indoctrinated the group.

Papers bearing what appeared to be French names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses were seen by reporters in Es Satty’s apartment in Ripoll after it was searched by police.

A police document published by Spanish media said two alleged members of the group, Youssef Aallaa and Mohamed Hichamy, now both believed dead, had traveled to Zurich in December 2016.

Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger said Swiss police confirmed that at least one of the Barcelona suspects had been in Zurich in December 2016, although it said it was not yet possible to say if the suspects had any connections to Switzerland. An investigation of the visit was under way, it said.

Trapero said investigators have identified two people from remains found in a house razed in an explosion on Wednesday in Alcanar, southwest of Barcelona, that police believe the suspects were using as a base.

Police believe the explosion foiled the cell’s plans to carry out one or more large-scale bombings in Barcelona and led them to rush to stage attacks with vehicles.

More than 100 butane gas cylinders were found at the house, and also, according to Spanish media, traces of TATP, or triacetone triperoxide, a highly volatile explosive nicknamed “the mother of Satan” that can be made with easily obtainable household chemicals.

Of the 14 dead in the two attacks, five are Spanish, two are Italians, two are Portuguese, one Belgian, one Canadian and one a U.S. citizen, emergency services and authorities from those countries have confirmed so far.

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa joined Catalan leaders on Sunday for a service in memory of the victims of the attack at Barcelona’s towering Sagrada Familia church, one of the city’s landmarks designed by architect Antoni Gaudi.

Spain has kept its security alert level at four, one notch below the maximum level that would indicate another attack was imminent, but said it would reinforce security in crowded areas and tourist hotspots.

Additional reporting by Sarah White, Julien Toyer, Adrian Croft, Rodrigo de Miguel, Alba Asenjo and John Miller in Zurich; Writing by Adrian Croft; Editing by Julien Toyer and Janet Lawrence

ANTHONY WEINER WAS THE FIRST BY MICHAEL NOVAKHOV | TRUMP CURRENT NEWS HTTP://WWTIMES.COM/  | HTTP://TRUMPINVESTIGATIONS.ORG/  – The Web World Times | The Web World Times
 

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Weiner asks judge to delay sentencing for sexting scandal
 

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August 18, 2017 | 12:40am | Updated August 18, 2017 | 9:21am

Anthony Weiner is asking a Manhattan federal judge to delay the sentencing date in the case against him for texting a minor sexually inappropriate messages.

In a letter to Manhattan federal Judge Denise Cote, the disgraced former congressman requested that his Sept. 8 sentencing date be pushed back to Oct. 6 to give his attorneys more time to prepare a sentencing recommendation for the judge “that best addresses the need for continuing treatment,” his lawyer, Arlo Devlin-Brown, wrote.

The 52-year-old pleaded guilty in May to transferring obscene material to a minor, which could get him up to 10 years behind bars, though he will likely face far less time because of the plea deal he took.

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Starting in January 2016, the scandal-plagued ex-lawmaker allegedly carried out a months-long relationship with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl — whose father told the Daily Mail that Weiner was aware of her age.

He would talk to her on Skype and text her using the name “T-Dog” and would tell her his fantasies about rape and ask her to dress up in a school uniform, the girl told the Mail.

Weiner is married to Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who filed for divorce in May on the same day he pleaded guilty over the illicit correspondence with the underage girl.

The pair’s first divorce hearing is set for Sept. 13 after it was moved from an earlier June date to follow five days after his sentencing.

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Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After Turbulent Run
 

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Mr. Bannon’s departure was met with widespread criticism from some conservative media outlets. Mr. Bannon immediately returned to Breitbart News, which during the campaign and early months of the Trump presidency served as clearinghouse for attacks on Mr. Trump’s adversaries.

He told The Weekly Standard: “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over. We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over.”

With the departure of Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, at least eight top officials are no longer in the White House.

Mr. Bannon’s removal is a victory for Mr. Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general whose mission is to impose discipline on White House personnel. Yet Mr. Bannon may still prove to be a confidant for the president, offering advice and counsel from the outside, much like other former advisers who still frequently consult with Mr. Trump. Mr. Bannon, in particular, had formed a philosophical alliance with Mr. Trump and they shared an unlikely chemistry.

The loss of Mr. Bannon, the right-wing nationalist who helped propel some of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises into policy reality, raises the potential for the president to face criticism from the conservative news media base that supported him over the past year.

Mr. Bannon’s many critics bore down after the violence in Charlottesville. Outraged over Mr. Trump’s insistence that “both sides” were to blame for the violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally, leaving one woman dead, human rights activists demanded that the president fire so-called nationalists working in the West Wing. That group of hard-right populists in the White House was led by Mr. Bannon.

On Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump refused to guarantee Mr. Bannon’s job security but defended him as “not a racist” and “a friend.”

“We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Bannon’s dismissal followed an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect. In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”

He also bad-mouthed his colleagues in the Trump administration, vowed to oust a diplomat at the State Department and mocked officials as “wetting themselves” over the consequences of radically changing trade policy.

Of the far right, he said, “These guys are a collection of clowns,” and he called it a “fringe element” of “losers.”

“We gotta help crush it,” he said in the interview, which people close to Mr. Bannon said he believed was off the record.

Privately, several White House officials said that Mr. Bannon appeared to be provoking Mr. Trump and that they did not see how the president could keep him on after the interview was published.

Following the interview, Mr. Bannon had made clear to allies that he expected to be back soon at the right-wing website <a href=”http://Breitbart.com” rel=”nofollow”>Breitbart.com</a> that he had steered before joining Mr. Trump’s campaign. He had dinner in New York City on Wednesday night with Robert Mercer, the hedge fund billionaire who is also Mr. Bannon’s chief patron, to discuss the future, according to a person briefed on the discussions.

Mr. Bannon’s departure was long rumored in Washington. Mr. Kelly, who was brought on as chief of staff for his ability to organize a chaotic staff, was said to have grown weary of the chief strategist’s long-running feud with Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser.

One White House official, who would not be named discussing the president’s thinking, said Mr. Trump wanted to remove Mr. Bannon after he ousted Reince Priebus as his chief of staff three weeks ago; Mr. Bannon had been aligned with Mr. Priebus. But Mr. Trump changed his mind as several defenders of Mr. Bannon warned the president that he risked losing supporters who saw Mr. Bannon as a conduit of their views.

Since then, Mr. Kelly has been evaluating Mr. Bannon’s status, according to the official. The president and Mr. Kelly have talked over the past several days and Mr. Bannon had planned to put his resignation in motion in the coming days, this person said.

Mr. Bannon also has been in a battle with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, since the spring.

Mr. Bannon, whose campaign against “globalists” was a hallmark of his tenure steering Breitbart, and Mr. Kushner had been allies throughout the transition process and through the beginning of the administration.

But their alliance ruptured as Mr. Trump elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street. Mr. Cohn is a registered Democrat, and both he and Ms. Powell have been denounced by conservative media outlets as being antithetical to Mr. Trump’s populist message.

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Trump defends his comments on hate groups: ‘They have been condemned’

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On Aug. 14, President Trump defended his response to the violence in Charlottesville where white nationalists and counterprotesters fought. On Aug. 14, President Trump defended his response to the violence in Charlottesville where white nationalists and counterprotesters fought. (Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve

THE BIG IDEA: Donald Trump often behaves as if he’s first and foremost the president of the states and the people who voted for him.

That’s at odds with the American tradition, and it’s problematic as a governing philosophy — especially in a moment of crisis. Trump’s initially tone-deaf response to Charlottesville underscores why.

Animated by grievance and congenitally disinclined to extend olive branches, Trump lashes out at his “enemies” — his 2020 reelection campaign even used that word in a commercial released on Sunday — while remaining reticent to explicitly call out his fans — no matter how odious, extreme or violent.

Channeling his inner-Richard Nixon, who kept an enemies list of his own, candidate Trump often claimed to speak for “a silent majority.” After failing to win the popular vote, President Trump has instead governed on behalf of an increasingly vocal but diminishing minority.

The president has held campaign-style rallies in places like West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. Indeed, almost all his political travel has been to places he carried last November. He keeps stacks of 2016 electoral maps to hand out to people visiting the Oval Office so he can point out the sea of red. He speaks often about his “base,” preferring to preach to the choir rather than evangelize for his policies. “The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before,” Trump wrote on Twitter last week.

— Apparently the president sees “the Trump base” as distinct from the GOP base: “Trump’s job approval rating in Gallup Daily tracking is at 34% for the three-day period from Friday through Sunday — by one point the lowest of his administration so far,” Frank Newport wrote yesterday. “Republicans’ latest weekly approval rating of 79% was the lowest from his own partisans so far, dropping from the previous week’s 82%. Democrats gave Trump a 7% job approval rating last week, while the reading for independents was at 29%. This is the first time independents’ weekly approval rating for Trump has dropped below 30%.” In the latest Gallup polling, 46 percent of whites approve of Trump’s job performance. That’s the same share Barack Obama had at this point in 2009. But while only 15 percent of nonwhites support Trump, 73 percent backed Obama.

Trump: Racism ‘has no place in America’

Two days after a woman was killed in Charlottesville amid clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters, President Trump on Aug. 14 condemned racist groups such as the KKK, saying racism “has no place in America.” President Trump on Aug. 14 condemned racist groups such as the KKK, saying racism “has no place in America,” after a woman died in Charlottesville on Aug. 12.(Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

— Trump appeared reluctant to make his brief remarks yesterday, in which he explicitly condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. He tacked them on to a hastily arranged speech after praising his own stewardship of the economy, two days after he did not specifically condemn the “Unite the Right” rally and only after an outpouring of criticism from Republican leaders for that omission. Reading from a teleprompter, Trump said that the displays of hatred and bigotry in Charlottesville have “no place in America.” (Read a transcript of the president’s comments here.)

— The president was still more tepid than members of his own Cabinet. “Though Trump has regularly employed the phrase ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ to describe other attacks in the United States and the Middle East, he chose not to echo Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s conclusion that the violence in Charlottesville met the Justice Department’s definition of ‘domestic terrorism,’” David Nakamura and Sari Horwitz note.

— Conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin describes Trump’s performance as “classic narcissistic behavior”: “The sole determination of whether Trump likes someone (Saudi royalty, thuggish leaders, etc.) is whether they praise him. It’s always and only about him. He has been far more antagonistic toward Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his own attorney general … than he has been toward white nationalists because the former were disloyal in his mind, the only unforgivable sin in the Trump White House. …

“The white nationalists in Charlottesville did not hide their intentions. They were there to revel in the Trump presidency, which explicitly told them it was time to ‘take their country back,’” Rubin notes. “Former KKK grand wizard David Duke left no confusion as to his followers’ admiration for the president: ‘This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back, and that’s what we’ve got to do.’”

— Meanwhile, alt-right leader Richard Spencer dismissed Trump’s statement as “nonsense,” telling reporters at a news conference yesterday that “[only] a dumb person would take those lines seriously.” Spencer also said he did not consider the president’s words to be a condemnation of the white nationalist movement. “I don’t think he condemned it, no,” said Spencer, whose group advocates for a form of American apartheid, per Business Insider. “Did he say ‘white nationalist?’ ‘Racist’ means an irrational hatred of people. … I don’t think he meant any of us.” Asked whether he considers Trump an ally, Spencer replied that while he didn’t think of Trump as “alt-right,” he considers the president to be “the first true authentic nationalist in my lifetime.”

Former sheriff Joe Arpaio convicted of criminal contempt

Former Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff Joe Arpaio ignored a judge’s order to stop detaining people because he merely suspected them of being undocumented immigrants. Former Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff Joe Arpaio ignored a judge’s order to stop detaining people because he merely suspected them of being undocumented immigrants. (Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)

— In this context, Trump’s announcement that he is mulling a pardon for Joe Arpaio can be viewed as a strategic sop to mollify some of the most xenophobic elements of his nativist base. The president told Fox News in an interview published yesterday that he is “seriously considering” a full pardon to the former Arizona sheriff, who was convicted last month of criminal contempt for ignoring a federal judge’s order that he stop racially profiling Hispanics.

“I might do it right away, maybe early this week. I am seriously thinking about it,” the president told Gregg JarrettHe called Arpaio a “great American patriot” who has “done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration”: “Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe? … He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”

Arpaio, who remains a “birther” and has insisted he has proof that Obama was not born in Hawaii, lost reelection last year. He was an early Trump endorser — going to Iowa for the announcement — and linked himself closely with the GOP nominee — speaking in prime time during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Radley Balko, the author of the book “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” argues that Trump is giving racists “a reassuring wink” by floating the Arpaio pardon. “I very seriously doubt Arpaio would ever get jail time. Federal judges aren’t known for sending octogenarian ex-cops to prison. But his name and reputation ought to be stained. If any cop deserves that, it’s Arpaio,” he writes on The Watch.

“In 2011, the Justice Department concluded that Arpaio’s deputies had engaged in the worst pattern of racial profiling that the DOJ had ever investigated,” Balko recounts. “That report found that Arpaio’s deputies routinely put Spanish-speaking prisoners in solitary confinement as punishment for their inability to speak English. … 1 in 5 traffic stops during Arpaio’s immigration sweep’s involved Fourth Amendment violations. … Latinos were four to nine times more likely to be pulled over than non-Latinos. … Accusations that Arpaio’s deputies continued to harass Latinos were affirmed by another federal judge in 2013. Arpaio then launched an investigation of that judge. That report also found that Arpaio was spending so much time harassing Latinos that his department was neglecting violent crime.

“On multiple occasions, federal judges have found that Arpaio’s jails are unconstitutionally inhumane, most notably when it comes to diet, health care and mental health. The vast, vast majority of the people in Arpaio’s jails are being held on suspected immigration violations. … Arpaio in fact once boasted that his jails were akin to a ‘concentration camp.’”

“He faces up to six months in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 5,” Matt Zapotosky reports. “Jack Wilenchik, Arpaio’s attorney, said after Arpaio was convicted that the former sheriff would appeal to get a jury trial. … A Justice Department spokeswoman said she was not aware of the president’s remarks but would wait until action was taken before commenting.”

“I would accept the pardon,” Arpaio told Fox News, “because I am 100 percent not guilty.”

— Bottom line: If Trump pardoned Arpaio, it would add another data point to the cementing narrative that the president lacks respect for the rule of law.

Trump speaks to business leaders, including Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, at the White House. (Evan Vucci/AP)

— In stark contrast to his caution after Charlottesville, it took Trump just 54 minutes to attack the chief executive of Merck by name on Monday morning after he resigned from the president’s manufacturing council. Kenneth C. Frazier, one of the few African American chief executives in the Fortune 500, touted the virtues of diversity in a statement. “I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” he said. “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.”

POTUS continued to use his social media bully pulpit to go after him last night:

4 CEOs who have distanced themselves from Trump

Kenneth C. Frazier, chief executive of Merck, is the latest CEO to resign from one of the president’s advisory councils. Here are four CEOs who have distanced themselves from the president. Kenneth C. Frazier, chief executive of Merck, is the latest CEO to resign from one of the president’s advisory councils. Here are four CEOs who have distanced themselves from the president. (Taylor Turner/The Washington Post)

— Trump’s fixation on his populist right flank, rather than the center, has made it easier for other corporate chieftains to distance themselves.

Kevin Plank, chief executive of Under Armour, joined Merck’s Frazier last night in announcing that he, too, is stepping down from Trump’s manufacturing council. “I love our country and our company and will continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion,” he wrote on Twitter.

A few hours later, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced in a blog post that he will also resign from the council — “to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues.”

Yesterday’s defections will further intensify pressure on executives at companies that continue to collaborate with the administration — including General Electric, Dell and Dow — to follow their lead.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) shakes hands with Sa’ad Musse Roble, center, with the World Peace Organization, and Omer Andi Nur, visiting from Michigan, after Franken spoke at a rally at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn. The suburban Minneapolis mosque was bombed Aug. 5 as worshippers were about to start their morning prayers. No one was hurt. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune/AP)

— Meanwhile, even after his speech yesterday, Trump still has not reacted publicly to a bomb that was detonated at a Minnesota mosque Aug. 5. Sebastian Gorka, a far-right nationalist on Trump’s National Security Council, defended his silence last week. “There’s a great rule: all initial reports are false,” Gorka said on MSNBC from the White House briefing room. “You have to check them. You have to find out who the perpetrators are. … We’ve had a series of crimes committed — alleged hate crimes — by right-wing individuals in the last six months that turned out to actually have been propagated by the left. So let’s wait and see.” (The governor of Minnesota had already declared the mosque attack as “an act of terrorism” when Gorka said this.)

The president, of course, showed no such caution after attacks this spring in Paris and London. And don’t forget when he falsely described a casino robbery in Manila as a terrorist attack. Or his attacks on Mexican immigrants.

President Trump prepares to board Marine One at The White House for a trip to New York. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

— Finally, Trump’s botched response to Charlottesville should be viewed as another consequence of electing the first president in American history with no prior governing experience. “Say what you will about politicians as a group, but it is striking how all of them, from Bernie Sanders to Ted Cruz, knew the right thing to say in response to Charlottesville,” writes Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at Tufts University. “Running for office repeatedly tends to hone one’s rhetorical instincts. At a minimum, most professional politicians learn the do’s and don’ts of political rhetoric. Trump’s political education has different roots. He has learned the art of political rhetoric from three sources: reality television, Twitter and ‘the shows.’ His miscues this past week can be traced to the pathologies inherent in each of these arenas.”

— “One of the difficult but primary duties of the modern presidency is to speak for the nation in times of tragedy,” Michael Gerson, a speechwriter for George W. Bush, wrote in a column this weekend“It falls to the president to express something of the nation’s soul — grief for the lost, sympathy for the suffering, moral clarity in the midst of confusion, confidence in the unknowable purposes of God. Not every president does this equally well. But none have been incapable. Until Donald Trump.

“The president is confident that his lazy musings are equal to history. They are not,” Gerson continues. “Trump could offer no context for this latest conflict. No inspiring ideals from the author of the Declaration of Independence, who called Charlottesville home. No healing words from the president who was killed by a white supremacist. By his flat, foolish utterance, Trump proved once again that he has no place in the company of these leaders.”

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

A Trump campaign aide tried to arrange a meeting with Putin. Here’s what you need to know.

According to internal campaign emails read to the Post, a low-level foreign adviser to Donald Trump passed along multiple requests for him to meet with Russian officials, and even Russian President Vladimir Putin, during the 2016 campaign. A low-level foreign adviser to Donald Trump passed along multiple requests for him to meet with Russian officials, and even Russian President Vladimir Putin.(Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

THERE IS A BEAR IN THE WOODS:

— A low-level foreign policy adviser to Trump “repeatedly” attempted to set up a meeting with Russian officials during the presidential campaign — passing along multiple requests for Trump to meet with Russian leadership, including Vladimir Putin. Tom Hamburger, Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman scoop: “The adviser, George Papadopoulos, offered to set up ‘a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under [Trump],’ telling them his Russian contacts welcomed the opportunity …

“The proposal sent a ripple of concern through campaign headquarters in Trump Tower. Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis wrote that he thought NATO allies should be consulted … Another [Trump adviser] cited legal concerns … But Papadopoulos, a campaign volunteer with scant foreign policy experience, persisted. Between March and September, the self-described energy consultant sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump, as he turned from primary candidate to party nominee, or for members of his team to meet with Russian officials. Among those to express concern about the effort was [Paul Manafort], who rejected in May 2016 a proposal from Papadopoulos for Trump to do so.

“Less than a decade out of college, Papadopoulos appeared to hold little sway within the campaign,and it is unclear whether he was acting as an intermediary for the Russian government … [But] to experts in Russian intelligence gathering, the Papadopoulos chain offers further evidence that Russians were looking for entry points and playing upon connections with lower-level aides to penetrate the 2016 campaign …”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviews the plan for landing missiles near the U.S. territory of Guam. (KRT/Reuters).

WILL NORTH KOREA BLINK?

— Kim Jong Un appeared to slightly ease his rhetoric against the United States on Tuesday, with state media reporting he will “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” following a week of bluster. Anna Fifield and Dan Lamothe report: “But, as is often the case with North Korea, the message was mixed: Kim was inspecting the missile unit tasked with preparing to strike near Guam, and photos released by state media showed a large satellite image of Andersen Air Force base on Guam on the screen beside the leader. ‘The U.S. should stop at once arrogant provocations against the DPRK and unilateral demands and not provoke it any longer,’ the North Korean leader [said]. … If ‘the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity,’ Kim continued, North Korea would ‘make an important decision as it already declared,’ he said. Kim was visiting [the] elite missile unit that — according to state media — is finalizing preparations to launch ballistic missiles into the Pacific Ocean near [Guam]. A decision was due this week, a week during which the Kim regime is celebrating [with huge propaganda displays].”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, elected in May on a pledge to adopt a more conciliatory approach to North Korea, urged the United States to give diplomacy a chance: “Peace will not come to the Korean Peninsula by force. Although peace and negotiation are painful and slow, we must pursue this path,” said Moon, adding that he is “confident that the U.S. will respond calmly and responsibly to the current situation.” He met yesterday in Seoul with Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Moon went a step further in a speech delivered in the last few hours, declaring that allied military action could only be taken with the consent of the South Korean government. The Wall Street Journal calls it “an implicit signal that Mr. Moon wouldn’t tolerate any unilateral action by the U.S. to strike North Korea.”

Hassan Rouhani speaks to the Iran parliament in Tehran today. (Vahid Salemi/AP)

— Iran’s president, meanwhile, threatened to revitalize the country’s nuclear program. The AP’s Nasser Karimi reports: “Hassan Rouhani’s remarks to lawmakers follow the Iranian parliament’s move earlier this week to increase spending on the country’s ballistic missile program and the foreign operations of its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. The bill — and Rouhani’s comments — are seen as a direct response to the new U.S. legislation earlier this month that imposed mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. … If Washington continues with ‘threats and sanctions’ against Iran, Rouhani said in parliament on Tuesday, Tehran could easily restart the nuclear program. ‘In an hour and a day, Iran could return to a more advanced (nuclear) level than at the beginning of the negotiations’ that preceded the 2015 deal, Rouhani said.

Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon wait for Donald Trump to speak about immigration in the Roosevelt Room earlier this month. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

PALACE INTRIGUE:

— During a recent dinner at the White House, Rupert Murdoch — who controls the Wall Street Journal and Fox News — told Trump that chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon needs to go. “Mr. Trump offered little pushback … and vented his frustrations about Mr. Bannon,” the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush report. Son-in-law Jared Kushner and chief of staff John Kelly were also at the meal. “Mr. Murdoch is close to Mr. Kushner, who has been in open warfare with Mr. Bannon since the spring. But Mr. Trump has expressed similar sentiments in the past, then backed off. Just a week earlier, as Mr. Trump ruminated on whether to dismiss [Reince Priebus], he was pushed by Mr. Kushner and others to dismiss Mr. Bannon as well. Mr. Trump signaled to allies that he was pretty much there … So far, Mr. Trump has not been able to follow through — a product of his dislike of confrontation, the bonds of a foxhole friendship forged during the 2016 presidential campaign and concerns about what mischief Mr. Bannon might do once he leaves the [West Wing] … From the start, Mr. Bannon, 63, has told people in his orbit that he never expected to last in his current position longer than eight months to a year, and hoped to ram through as much of his agenda as he could while he stood in the president’s favor. More recently he has told friends that he … constantly asks himself whether he could better pursue his to-do list … on the outside. … But the choice might not be his.”

— CBS News’s Major Garrett reports that Trump could dismiss Bannon as soon as the end of this week.

Four takeaways from Anthony Scaramucci’s interview with Stephen Colbert

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci appeared on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Aug. 14. Here’s what he had to say about President Trump and working in the White House. Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci appeared on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Aug. 14. (Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

— Ousted White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci appeared on Stephen Colbert’s show. Bethonie Butler reports: “Colbert said he had one ‘gotcha’ question for Scaramucci. ‘Nazis: good or bad?’ he asked. ‘Super bad,’ Scaramucci said.” Scaramucci also addressed his feud with Reince Priebus, saying, “The weird thing about my relationship with Reince is we were actually pretty good friends when I was a political donor writing checks to the RNC, but once I became part of the administration … it was a little more adversarial.”

Deadly mudslides fill streets of Sierra Leone

Video from Freetown, Sierra Leone showed a torrent of brown water rushing through the city’s streets. Many impoverished areas of Sierra Leone’s capital are close to sea level and have poor drainage system. Video out of Freetown, Sierra Leone shows a torrent of brown water rushing through the city’s streets. (Associated Press)

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. Hundreds of people were confirmed dead in Sierra Leone after a torrent of fast-moving floods and mudslides swept through neighborhoods, burying dozens of unsuspecting residents alive. At least 312 people have been confirmed dead so far, and authorities expect the death toll to soar as the body count continues. (Max Bearak)
  2. The FBI arrested an Oklahoma man on charges that he tried to detonate what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb in front of a bank, acting out of a hatred for the U.S. government and an admiration for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. (Devlin Barrett)
  3. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that some transgender members of the military may still be able to serve. Despite the president’s remarks to the contrary, Mattis reported that the Pentagon is still looking at the issue. (Dan Lamothe)
  4. The federal government has requested over a million IP addresses from Internet users who visited a website coordinating Inauguration Day protests. DreamHost, which houses the site in question, <a href=”http://DisruptJ20.org” rel=”nofollow”>DisruptJ20.org</a>, is fighting the request. (Ellen Nakashima)
  5. A Denver jury ruled in favor of Taylor Swift, awarding the pop star a symbolic $1 in damages after she accused radio DJ David Mueller of groping her before a concert in 2013. He had sued her for lost income. (Emily Yahr)
  6. Hillary Clinton’s spiritual adviser admitted to having plagiarized portions of his messages to the presidential candidate. Rev. Bill Shillady has compiled his prayers to Clinton in a new book released today, and one from the day after the election incorporates the exact words of Indiana pastor Matt Deuel. (Julie Zauzmer)
  7. Laura Ingraham is reportedly in line to get her own show at Fox. The potential Ingraham program could become a ratings rival of Rachel Maddow’s 9 p.m. show. (CNN)
  8. The Women’s March is reconvening. The Women’s Convention will be held in Detroit in October to address next year’s midterms. (USA Today)
  9. Medical experts are reconsidering the persistent advice from doctors to always finish your antibiotics, even if you’re feeling better. Some researchers worry that the advice is worsening antibiotic resistance. (Wall Street Journal)
  10. Roughly 1 in 9 Americans hold a job that could be affected by self-driving cars. But while some, such as taxi drivers, could be pushed out of their jobs, those who work in sectors like real estate or plumbing could be aided by the advanced technology. (Wall Street Journal)
  11. A D.C. firefighter was beaten by a crowd for allegedly responding to an emergency call for an injured child while intoxicated. The firefighter suffered a broken jaw and is now the subject of an internal review. (Peter Hermann and Ellie Silverman)
  12. A Chinese teenager died less than 48 hours after checking into an Internet-addiction treatment center. 18-year-old Li Ao’s body was covered in scars and bruises, causing Chinese authorities to shut down the center and launch an investigation. (Amy B Wang)
  13. New York City transit employees are expressing distress and disgust after coming into repeated contact with human corpses — hastily stored throughout the station; sometimes even in the same place where they eat lunch. The bodies belong to people who have been struck and killed by MTA trains, officials said — but the effort to quickly remove them from public view has left some station employees traumatized. (New York Daily News)

In this courtroom sketch, James Alex Fields Jr. is seen via video link from jail yesterday as he appears for his bail hearing at the Charlottesville City Court. (William Hennessy Jr./Reuters)

CHARLOTTESVILLE FALLOUT:

— Years before James Alex Fields was accused of driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville “at a high rate of speed,” his disabled mother had twice called 911 to report violent behavior and threats from her son. Jack Gillum, Michael E. Miller, Arelis R. Hernández and Steve Hendrix report: “[In 2010, Samantha Bloom] — who uses a wheelchair — locked herself in a bathroom, called 911 and said her son had struck her head and put his hands over her mouth when she told him to stop playing a video game … On another occasion, records show, he brandished a 12-inch knife. Once, he spit in her face. ‘Mom is scared he is going to become violent here,’ a dispatcher wrote in a log of the November 2011 call in which [Bloom] requested police help in getting her son to a hospital for assessment. The portrait of a violent teen emerged as Fields was denied bail Monday during his first court appearance in connection with the Charlottesville attack.”

Fields is charged with second-degree murder, hit and run, and three counts of malicious wounding: “Prosecutors did not detail the evidence against Fields, who appeared via a

. At his [court appearance], Fields said he could not afford an attorney and was appointed one by the court. Fields, who served a four-month stint in the Army in 2015, worked for about two years as a security guard in Ohio, earning $10.50 an hour and taking home about $650 every two weeks … But the judge informed Fields that he could not be defended by the Charlottesville public defender’s office because a relative of someone who works for the office was involved in Saturday’s incident. [The] judge did not specify whether that meant the protests or the crash.” His next court date has been set for Aug. 25, date to consider scheduling of a preliminary hearing.

Protesters tear down Confederate statue in North Carolina

Protesters in Durham, N.C. toppled a statue called the Confederate Soldiers Monument on Aug. 14, as they chanted, “The people united shall never be defeated.” Protesters tear down a statue called the Confederate Soldiers Monument in Durham, N.C. (Reuters)

A TURNING POINT IN THE DEBATE OVER CONFEDERATE MEMORIALS:

— Unintended consequences: James Fields may do for the debate over Confederate statues what Dylann Roof did to the debate over the Confederate flag with his June 2015 massacre at an African American church in Charleston. It has become more politically untenable for ambitious elected officials to defend the memorials because they don’t want to get lumped in with the extremists who descended on Charlottesville to keep the Robert E. Lee statue.

— Protesters in Durham, N.C., last night toppled a Confederate statue that stood in front of a county administrative building. Alex Horton reports: “With a strap tied around the neck of the statue, protesters spat, kicked and gestured at the mangled figure after its base was ripped from the granite block. The statue, which depicts a uniformed and armed Confederate soldier, stood atop an engraved pedestal that read, ‘In memory of ‘the boys who wore the gray.’ … ‘The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments,’ Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said via Twitter on Monday evening. … Groups at the rally included members of the Triangle People’s Assembly, Workers World Party, Industrial Workers of the World, Democratic Socialists of America and the anti-fascist movement[.]”

— Maryland gubernatorial candidates Ben Jealous, the former president of the NAACP, is calling for the removal of a controversial statue from the State House. Josh Hicks and Ovetta Wiggins report: “[Jealous] called on (Republican Gov. Larry) Hogan to scrap the statue of former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who wrote an 1857 majority opinion that upheld slavery and said blacks born in the country were not U.S. citizens. Jealous criticized Hogan for once describing efforts to eliminate such memorials as ‘political correctness run amok,’ and he vowed to work for ‘complete removal’ of Confederate monuments in Maryland if he wins the governorship. He delivered his remarks in Baltimore, where Mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D) earlier that day announced plans to remove four Confederate statues in that city.

— A Confederate heritage organization has already requested permission to hold a rally next month at Richmond’s Robert E. Lee statue. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

— The Gainesville Sun’s Andrew Caplan tweeted a video of the Florida city removing its “Old Joe” Confederate statue yesterday.

— “Removing Confederate monuments is complicated in Tennessee, where lawmakers enacted a law last year that made any push to remove historical markers harder,” the AP’s Bruce Schreiner and Erik Schelzig report from Nashville. “That didn’t stop dozens of protesters from gathering in the Tennessee Capitol on Monday to renew calls to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate cavalry general and an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.”

— Thought leader: Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles, who is originally from Charlottesville, defended his hometown’s decision to remove the Confederate statues: “Look, Charlottesville is taking the right steps to accommodate the sensitivities of people who might feel offended by statues and parks named after Confederate generals. I think that is very reasonable. I don’t know what it’s like to walk past a statue like that, as a minority. We’re doing the right thing.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marcus Hayes)

— For a second consecutive evening, a crowd gathered in front of the White House to protest the Charlottesville marchers. Perry Stein reports: “Protesters trickled in after work on Monday, carrying signs that read ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Make Racists Afraid Again.’ The young organizers invited anyone to ‘vent or rant,’ particularly encouraging people of color and those with disabilities to speak. People discussed their experiences with racism and discrimination, as well as how they want to counter it.”

— Trump returned to Trump Tower last night for the first time since his inauguration, and he received a contentious welcome from New Yorkers. Kayla Epstein reports: “Protesters gathered in the shadow of Trump Tower on Monday evening, filling the sidewalk for several blocks and forming a gauntlet of signs and chants that ran several blocks down Fifth Avenue. Various organizers and a popular Facebook event had called for people to gather at Trump Tower starting at 5:30 p.m., and law enforcement was ready. Protesters were kept to the sidewalks with metal barricades, and the numbers gradually swelled as the evening progressed. For hours, protesters chanted ‘New York hates you!’ and ‘Shame, shame, shame!’… In the end, Trump declined to give New Yorkers a show. Though several blacked-out sport utility vehicles and police on motorcycles drove down Fifth Avenue, drawing jeers from the crowd, the president was nowhere in sight. According to the White House pool report, Trump’s motorcade avoided Fifth Avenue and the protesters, whisking the president into his residence without being seen by the crowd.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads his weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem on Sunday. (Dan Balilty/AFP/Getty Images)

A TEST OF CHARACTER:

— “While Jewish leaders in the United States expressed shock at the events in Charlottesville and criticized President Trump’s response to the violence as halfhearted, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of Trump’s, remained notably silent,” Isaac Stanley-Becker and James McAuley report. “Meanwhile, Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, warned in a statement, “The anti-Jewish ideology of the Nazis was a precursor to the eventual murderous policy and extermination of six million Jews.”

— The Web registration service GoDaddy’s decision to delist the neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer could have far-reaching implications on how the tech industry treats similar groups. Elizabeth Dwoskin and Tracy Jan report: “Although Silicon Valley companies have long resisted calls to police the content they host, in the current political climate they are under more pressure than ever to take a stand — and appear to be bowing at least to some of it. … The Daily Stormer then transferred its registration to Google, prompting an immediate outcry and a swift response from the Silicon Valley giant, which cut off the white supremacy site, citing policy violations. … Liberal activists and even some conservatives praised GoDaddy’s decision in the wake of Saturday’s attack, saying the move represented a shift by tech corporations to take more responsibility. … Other experts said the move to regulate speech puts Silicon Valley in an even deeper bind that is far from resolved. Technology companies are becoming the reluctant gatekeepers and facilitators of political expression for much of the world.”

White nationalist Richard Spencer and his supporters clash with Virginia State Police in Lee Park after the “United the Right” rally was declared an unlawful gathering on Saturday in Charlottesville. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

FINGER POINTING:

— Organizers of Saturday’s rally are now blaming Charlottesville authorities for the violence that played out. Politico Magazine’s Ben Schreckinger writes: “Before this weekend’s events, the alt-right had been a bastion of pro-police sentiment — especially when it came to police shootings of unarmed black victims and clashes with the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, the alt-right’s leaders are grappling with the realities of being identifiable members of an unpopular minority group in public. ‘I have never felt like the government or police were against me,’ said white nationalist leader Richard Spencer[.] … [Rally organizer Jason] Kessler claimed the city’s police failed to follow through on plans for protecting the rally that they had discussed with him. He also said that during planning for the rally, one police captain divulged to him that authorities were communicating about the event using their personal emails to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests.”

— The Charlottesville police chief took issue with Kessler’s account. Arelis R. Hernández reports: “[Police Chief Al S. Thomas Jr.] said organizers of the Unite the Right rally did not follow what the chief said had been an agreed-upon plan that involved controlling the demonstrators’ access to Emancipation Park through a rear entrance. When rally attendees started coming in from all sides Saturday morning, the chief said, his officers had to alter their plans and transition into protective gear from the street uniforms they were wearing. Protesters and counterprotesters converged in some pitched battles in the streets before Charlottesville police, backed by Virginia State Police, quelled the fighting. … Thomas dismissed reports that officers were discouraged from making arrests. ‘That is simply not true,’ he said. … Thomas said more than 250 calls for service came in, including from people injured when a driver rammed into a crowd of antiracism protesters[.]”

— Joe Heim compiled a detailed timeline of the violence in Charlottesville, beginning the night before the rally: “A little after 8 p.m., Richard Spencer … texted a reporter. ‘I’d be near campus tonight, if I were you,’ he wrote. ‘After 9 p.m. Nameless field.’ The rumor was true. The torchlight parade was on. It would prove to be the catalyst for a horrific 24 hours in this usually quiet college town that would come to be seen by the nation and world as a day of racial rage, hate, violence and death.”

A photograph of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer is seen among flowers left at the scene of the car attack that killed her. (Justin Ide/Reuters)

A COMMUNITY TRIES TO HEAL:

— The University of Virginia is scheduled to begin classes next week, but students are concerned about their return to campus after Saturday’s events. Susan Svrluga, T. Rees Shapiro and Sarah Larimer report: “[S]ome students are scared to go back. Some, like Wes Gobar, president of the Black Student Alliance, are determined to reclaim the campus as a place welcoming to all. … U-Va. has a complicated history with race. … Its founder, Thomas Jefferson, envisioned U-Va. as a school of the Enlightenment, believing the nascent American democracy would fail without an educated citizenry. But Jefferson owned slaves. … Two years ago, after a black student was bloodied by police, students demanded change. The university addressed many of their concerns, Gobar said. But ugly incidents continued last year, such as a racial slur found written on a door.”

White supremacists rally in Charlottesville on Friday. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

A WINDOW INTO RESURGENT RACISM:

— Bigger picture: “Why are people still racist? What science says about America’s race problem,” by William Wan and Sarah Kaplan: “Many Americans responded to this weekend’s violence in Charlottesville with disbelieving horror. How could this happen in America, in 2017? “This is not who we are,” said Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D). And yet, this is who we are. Amid our modern clashes, researchers in psychology, sociology and neurology have been studying the roots of racism. … ‘In some ways, it’s super simple. People learn to be whatever their society and culture teaches them. We often assume that it takes parents actively teaching their kids, for them to be racist. The truth is that unless parents actively teach kids not to be racists, they will be,’ said Jennifer Richeson, a Yale University social psychologist.”

— The national attention that Charlottesville attracted appears to have energized white supremacist groups. The New York Times’s Alan Feuer reports: “Some were making arrangements to appear at future marches. Some were planning to run for public office. Others, taking a cue from the Charlottesville event — a protest, nominally, of the removal of a Confederate-era statue — were organizing efforts to preserve white heritage symbols in their home regions. … The far right, which has returned to prominence in the past year or so, has always been an amalgam of factions and causes, some with pro-Confederate or neo-Nazi leanings, some opposed to political correctness or feminism. But the Charlottesville event, the largest of its kind in recent years, exposed the pre-existing fault lines in the movement.”

Why white supremacists chose liberal Charlottesville to protest

One person was killed and 19 were injured amid protests of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. Here’s how the city became the scene of violence. One person was killed and 19 were injured amid protests of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. Here’s how the city became the scene of violence. (Video: Elyse Samuels, Zoeann Murphy/Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/The Washington Post)

— A Twitter campaign to name attendees of the Unite the Right rally has already forced two universities to come out with condemnations of white supremacy. Avi Selk reports: “[T]he Twitter user @YesYoureRacist asked for help identifying ‘Nazis marching in Charlottesville.’ The anonymous user linked to copious photos and videos of the rally — swastikas and crowds of shouting white men. Within minutes, names began to pour in, and consequences began to unfurl in home towns across the country. The first target was a man spotted in a crowd of tiki-torch-wielding marchers, whom Twitter users identified as Cole White, a cook at a hot dog restaurant in Berkeley, Calif. By Saturday evening, the restaurant had posted signs in its windows and sent a statement to The Washington Post — the cook was no longer employed.”

— But, but, but: There have been instances of Twitter users misidentifying rally attendees. The New York Times’s Daniel Victor reports: “A man at the rally had been photographed wearing an ‘Arkansas Engineering’ shirt, and the amateur investigators found a photo of [Kyle] Quinn that looked somewhat similar. They were both bearded and had similar builds. By internet frenzy standards, that was proof enough. … Countless people [Mr. Quinn] had never met demanded he lose his job, accused him of racism and posted his home address on social networks. … For someone whose only sin was a passing resemblance to someone else … Mr. Quinn bore the direct consequences of the reckless spread of misinformation in breaking news, a common ritual in modern news events.”

In this photo taken Saturday, James Alex Fields Jr., second from left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville during a white supremacist rally. (Alan Goffinski/AP)

WHY WERE THE WARNINGS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IGNORED?

— “House Democrats are calling on their GOP colleagues to hold congressional hearings on the rise of white supremacy and domestic terrorism,” Politico’s Rachael Bade reports: “Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee are asking panel Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) to examine racist fringe groups, including those that organized Saturday’s violent protest … Homeland Democrats have already called for such hearings twice this year to no avail. … Democrats are starting to grow impatient with their GOP counterparts after Saturday. One Democratic source on the Homeland panel said Republicans for some time have been receiving law enforcement notices saying white supremacist extremism pose serious threats of lethal violence.”

— Foreign Policy’s Jana Winter first reported on one of these notices: “The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in May warned that white supremacist groups had already carried out more attacks than any other domestic extremist group over the past 16 years and were likely to carry out more attacks over the next year[.] … The report, dated May 10, says the FBI and DHS believe that members of the white supremacist movement ‘likely will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence over the next year.’ … The FBI … has already concluded that white supremacists, including neo-Nazi supporters and members of the Ku Klux Klan, are in fact responsible for the lion’s share of violent attacks among domestic extremist groups. White supremacists ‘were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016 … more than any other domestic extremist movement,’ reads the joint intelligence bulletin.”

Senate candidate Roy Moore holds a press conference in Montgomery, Ala. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser/AP)

THE REPUBLICAN CIVIL WAR:

— As Trump received widespread criticism for his initial response to the Charlottesville violence, the three top GOP contenders in today’s Alabama Senate primary went after Trump’s critics instead. David Weigel reports: “In interviews over the race’s final hours ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said Trump’s controversial Saturday reaction to the white nationalist rally had been sufficient. … There was no evidence that the events out of Charlottesville would affect the primary, with polls showing Strange and Brooks fighting Roy Moore, a former state Supreme Court justice, for two runoff berths. … In a Monday night speech to gun owners in Birmingham, Moore criticized the protests of Confederate monuments that followed the attack, and asked whether protesters would one day take down statues of George Washington because he owned slaves. … In interviews at several low-key Republican events, primary voters said they were horrified by what happened in Charlottesville but differed on what else Trump could have said.”

— Although all three Republican candidates have embraced the president, Trump has tweeted his endorsement of Strange multiple times and recorded a robo-call for him that went out yesterday. (Politico’s Daniel Strauss)

— The president even promoted a Strange TV hit this morning:

— If Strange can’t make it to the runoff, it could have implications for the effectiveness of a Trump endorsement. Politico’s Strauss and Seung Min Kim report: “Strange is struggling even with the support of the president and the GOP establishment. Assuming he makes it to the runoff, though, the strength of his second-place finish will set expectations for how winnable the election is — or not. If Strange barely makes it into the runoff — or comes in third — it will call into question the influence of Trump’s support in a reliably Republican state. If Strange exceeds the low 20-percent support he’s gotten in recent polls, he’ll still face a tough battle against Moore but won’t have to field a wave of questions about his ultimate viability or the power of Trump’s endorsement.”

— Trump’s endorsement of Strange, the establishment candidate, struck many Republicans as odd and many die-hard Trump supporters as hypocritical. The Atlantic’s Molly Ball writes: “Strange himself was surprised—he nearly drove off the road when Trump called him from the White House on Tuesday afternoon, he said. … The usual slavishly pro-Trump conservative media were enraged. Mark Levin, the conservative radio host, called Trump’s tweet ‘a stab in the back to every conservative in this country[.]’ … In Alabama, the feud is playing out as a test of conservative voters’ loyalties in the Trump era—one of the first referendums on Trump’s ability to command his own partisans, and by extension to shape the GOP that he leads. But it’s a test complicated by the mixed messages Trump himself has sent to his supporters.”

— In another sign of how hard it is for Republican incumbents to distance themselves from Trump, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller — who is up for reelection next year — said yesterday for the first time that he voted for the president last November. The Nevada Independent’s Riley Snyder reports: “The acknowledgment follows nearly a year and a half of criticism and cautious public statements made by Heller about Trump throughout the 2016 election. Most notably, he told reporters in October 2016 that he was 99 percent certain he would oppose the Republican nominee for president. Heller also donated campaign donations from Trump to charity in 2015, and said during the campaign he was ‘vehemently opposed’ to Trump, whom he described as a man that ‘denigrates human beings.’ But unlike several of his Senate colleagues, Heller never fully closed the door on supporting Trump, and had kept his presidential vote a secret until now.”

— The Indiana Senate primary fight between GOP Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer is already getting ugly. Politico’s Maggie Severns and Kevin Robillard report: “Their campaign didn’t officially get underway until last week, but Messer, 48, has already accused Rokita of attacking his wife and ‘spreading lies’ about his record. Rokita, 47, has questioned his rival’s mental health, calling Messer ‘unhinged’ and a ‘ticking time bomb.’ With 10 Democratic senators from states that President Donald Trump carried up for reelection in 2018, the scale of opportunity for Republican gains has already spawned several no-holds-barred primaries. But few states are as ripe for a Republican challenge as Indiana — where Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly is unusually vulnerable, running in a state Trump carried by 19 points — and no primary has gotten so nasty, so quickly.”

— Today’s special election in Utah to fill Jason Chaffetz’s House seat has attracted hundreds of thousands of dollars in fundraising, but it’s received little national attention. Mike DeBonis reports: “That’s largely because the seat is of limited utility as a bellwether for President Trump. Unlike other House races decided this year, Democrats are not seriously contesting the heavily GOP district, and unlike in Tuesday’s Senate primary in Alabama, the Republican candidates’ postures toward Trump have not been a crucial factor. Instead, Tuesday’s GOP primary in Utah is set to be decided along more familiar lines of ideology and sensibility in a state whose Republican voters have long had an uneasy relationship with Trump. … The front-runner for the Republican nomination, according to published polls, is Provo Mayor John Curtis, who has built a pro-business record during 6½ years in office[.]”

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

Some viewers questioned the sincerity of the president’s remarks. From the former director of the Office of Government Ethics:

From a House Democrat:

From the former secretary of state:

From the MSNBC host:

It reminded some of this Trump tweet from 2015:

But Trump claimed that he had not been properly credited for his Monday statement:

Trump’s son also defended his statement:

From a writer for the New Yorker:

From the Atlantic editor and former George W. Bush speechwriter:

Trump also retweeted this from an alt-right conspiracy theorist:

Reality check:

Perspective from a Politico reporter:

Dr. Seuss’s World War II-era cartoons were recirculated:

On Trump’s approval rating hitting a new low:

Metaphor alert, via the Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey:

GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:

— New York Times, “How a Conservative TV Giant Is Ridding Itself of Regulation,” by Cecilia Kang, Eric Lipton and Sydney Ember: “The invitation from David D. Smith, the chairman of Sinclair, went to Ajit V. Pai, a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission who was about to be named the broadcast industry’s chief regulator. Mr. Smith wanted Mr. Pai to ease up on efforts under President Barack Obama to crack down on media consolidation, which were threatening Sinclair’s ambitions to grow even bigger. Mr. Smith did not have to wait long. Within days of their meeting, Mr. Pai was named chairman of the F.C.C. And during his first 10 days on the job, he relaxed a restriction on television stations’ sharing of advertising revenue and other resources[.] … Since becoming chairman in January, Mr. Pai has undertaken a deregulatory blitz, enacting or proposing a wish list of fundamental policy changes advocated by Mr. Smith and his company.”

— Politico Magazine, “Cecile Richards to Democrats: Stand Firm on Abortion,” by Edward-Isaac Dovere: “Democrats like [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Rep. Ben Ray Luján] argue that to win back the conservative areas they’ve lost, the party will need to be flexible and let candidates break with liberal orthodoxy—including on hot-button national issues like abortion—in order to win. To Richards, that isn’t just wrong on principle, it’s dense on politics.”

HOT ON THE LEFT

“Former Va. attorney general Cuccinelli catches flak for telling Symone Sanders to ‘shut up’ on CNN,” from Laura Vozzella“Ken Cuccinelli II on Monday found himself trending on Twitter, and not in a good way, after telling CNN political commentator Symone Sanders to ‘shut up’ on TV. The remark came during a heated discussion about President Trump’s response to … Charlottesville. Sanders was critical of Trump … Cuccinelli, a Republican though hardly a Trump cheerleader, took issue with efforts to ‘smear’ the administration.”

HOT ON THE RIGHT

“‘Kid Rock’ May Be Ineligible for Michigan Ballot” from Roll Call“Robert Ritchie may end up challenging Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in Michigan next year, but his stage name, Kid Rock, may not be allowed to appear on the ballot. Kid Rock is a household name to Americans under the age of 50, and voters might be attracted to vote for him, as a middle finger to the political establishment. … If Ritchie were to submit enough valid signatures to make the ballot and indicate that he wanted to be listed as ‘Kid Rock,’ the Michigan Bureau of Elections staff would have to research the question of whether that name would be allowed. At an initial glance, Ritchie’s stage name isn’t an obviously acceptable one under the state’s criteria.”

Sanders spoke out on Twitter about the incident:

DAYBOOK:

Trump, waking up at Trump Tower for the first time since he became president, has an infrastructure discussion today, followed by the signing of an executive order on “establishing discipline and accountability” in the approval process for infrastructure projects.

Pence is in Buenos Aires. He will meet with Argentina’s president and vice president, as well as participate in a joint news conference, before meeting U.S. Embassy staffers.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“The scenes at the right-wing extremist march were absolutely repulsive — naked racism, anti-Semitism and hate in their most evil form were on display,” a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Steffen Seibert, told reporters before Trump’s afternoon remarks from the White House. He added that such images and chants are “disgusting” and “diametrically opposed to the political goals of the chancellor and the entire German government.” (AFP)

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

— It will be an ugly day in the District. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Cloudy with scattered showers and maybe a thunderstorm. Highs move up a bit more than Monday into the middle-80s range, but if showers are more widespread around midday, we may struggle again to get much above 80 or the low 80s. We stay moderately humid as well.”

— A man with a tattoo that included a swastika was escorted out of the Rumsey Aquatic Center near Eastern Market by D.C. police after other pool attendees complained about his presence, and he became belligerent. (Peter Hermann)

— Teachers in D.C. Public Schools would receive salary increases of 9 percent over three years under a proposal unveiled Monday to end a labor impasse that has lasted since their last contract expired in 2012. (Donna St. George, Peter Jamison and Emma Brown)

— The Wizards released their 2017-2018 schedule yesterday. (Aaron Torres)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Seth Meyers unequivocally referred to the Charlottesville violence as “yet another terror attack on American soil”:

Jimmy Fallon cited his “responsibility to stand up against intolerance and extremism as a human being”:

ABC’s Shonda Rhimes is moving her talents to Netflix:

What Shonda Rhimes and her TV heroines know about being a boss

Shonda Rhimes is moving her talents from ABC to Netflix, a move that further certifies her boss status in the television world. Shonda Rhimes is moving her talents from ABC to Netflix, a move that further certifies her boss status in the television world. (Nicki DeMarco/The Washington Post)

Merkel, visiting ex-Stasi jail, defends freedom and democracy
 

mikenova shared this story .

August 11, 2017 / 8:00 AM / 20 minutes ago

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel invoked the injustices of communist East Germany on Friday to defend freedom and democracy during a visit to a notorious prison of the former Stasi secret police in Berlin.

Merkel, the daughter of a Protestant pastor who grew up in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), visited the ex-prison of Hohenschoenhausen a day before she launches her campaign for a fourth term as chancellor in a national election on Sept. 24.

Thousands of political prisoners were incarcerated in the jail, which after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the 1990 reunification of Germany became a museum and memorial.

“The injustice that occurred in the GDR, that many people had to experience in an awful way, must not be forgotten,” said Merkel, who has just returned to work after a three-week summer holiday.

She said the visit to the former Stasi prison, two days before the anniversary of the start of construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, was “of particular significance for me”.

“It seems a long time ago, but it warns us to work hard for freedom and democracy,” she said.

During her visit, Merkel met a former inmate, Arno Drefke, who often guides visitors through the spacious former prison, which is now preparing for a two-year renovation that will add new exhibition areas and seminar rooms.

Merkel and her conservatives, in power since 2005, are expected to win another term, although an opinion poll by Infratest dimap published late on Thursday suggested her popularity had dropped 10 percentage points to 59 percent.

However, Merkel appears to have little to fear as her main rival, the Social Democrats’ chancellor candidate Martin Schulz, saw his popularity hit a new low of 33 percent, down four points from last month.

Writing by Paul Carrel and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Gareth Jones

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Trump Plans to Declare Opioid Epidemic a National Emergency
 

mikenova shared this story .

In his comments to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Trump made clear that he was drafting paperwork and intended to issue a formal declaration that the opioid crisis was a national emergency — much the way the federal government officially recognizes the need for a national response to natural disasters.

“We’re going to draw it up and we’re going to make it a national emergency,” he said. “It is a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had. You know, when I was growing up, they had the L.S.D. and they had certain generations of drugs. There’s never been anything like what’s happened to this country over the last four or five years.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly promised that the federal government will confront the spreading crisis of opioid overdoses. In 2015, officials said, 33,000 of the 52,000 overdose deaths nationwide were the result of the use of opioids like heroin and fentanyl.

After a briefing from health officials this week, Mr. Trump called the issue of opioid overdoses “a tremendous problem in our country,” and he said that he hoped that “we get it taken care of as well as it can be taken care of.”

The opioid commission recommended declaring an emergency under the Stafford Act, which is usually reserved for natural disasters, or under the Public Health Service Act, which also activates federal assistance to states but is carried out by the Department of Health and Human Services.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Christie thanked the president for following the panel’s suggestion.

“I am completely confident that the president will address this problem aggressively and do all he can to alleviate the suffering and loss of scores of families in every corner of our country,” Mr. Christie said.

Mr. Price said this week that most such declarations are for a specific outbreak of an infectious disease, such as the threat from the Zika virus, or are limited geographically to a specific location, like Hurricane Sandy, which hit the New Jersey coast in 2012.

President Barack Obama declared a national emergency as Sandy headed for the East Coast that year. And he used his authority to declare an emergency in 2009 during the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

White House and federal health officials did not respond to requests for more information about how Mr. Trump decided that an emergency declaration is necessary, despite the comments to the contrary from his advisers.

Declaring an emergency could allow states and cities that are hard hit by the opioid crisis to receive federal disaster relief funds and other types of urgent aid, just as they do after hurricanes or tornadoes through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It could also allow certain federal rules to be waived temporarily — for example, allowing Medicaidfunds to be used for something they normally are not, or allowing access to experimental medications.

“If you declare a state of emergency, you can move federal resources more easily between programmatic areas,” said Michael Fraser, the executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. He added, however, that “when it comes to opioids, it’s really unclear” what kind of effect a federal emergency declaration would have.

Six states — Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia — have already declared emergencies because of the opioid crisis. These declarations have helped expand access to naloxone, a medication that can revive people who have overdosed, according to the Network for Public Health Law. They have also helped states get federal grants for treatment services and improved reporting of overdoses.

The 21st Century Cures Act, which Congress approved last year, is already sending states $1 billion over two years for opioid addiction treatment and prevention, but experts say it is far short of what is needed. Ohio alone spent nearly $1 billion last year on addressing the opioid epidemic.

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Trump popular in Brooklyn’s Russian-speaking community – Story
 

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NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) – Brighton Beach in southern Brooklyn has one of New York’s, and the country’s, highest concentrations of Russian-speaking Americans. With the Russia investigation, Russia sanctions, and Russia news stories coming out all the time, Fox 5 wanted to find out what people think of President Donald Trump and the relationship he recently described as being at an all-time and dangerous low.

“The community voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. Our estimates are 80 percent and higher in some areas,” said Dr. Igor Branovan, a physician in Brighton Beach and the president of the American Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry, a nonprofit that publishes two Russian-language newspapers.

Branovan said that part of the reason Trump attracted so much support in the Russian-speaking community is because the strongman persona he campaigned on is something they can relate to.

“When you see Putin, bare-chested, running after bears,” Branovan said. “So the reason it is shown is because KGB, and he is product of that, knows very well what sells.” [Note: The KGB is now known as the FSB.]

While parts of the community have a negative impression of overall Russian relations, the large majority take a more pragmatic view to the recent tensions between Washington and Moscow.

“The community probably sees that more as the great game that we have in the current times,” Branovan said. “Superpowers and budding superpowers are spying on each other as much as they can.”

And part of that great game is the Russian government interference of the 2016 election. Branovan is convinced the Russians did it.

“Clearly there were games involved,” he said. “Clearly there was interference.”

But not everyone in the community is so sure.

Russians around Brighton Beach and the famous boardwalk told us they like the president and that hacking may or may not be a hoax.

“I don’t think that Russia is interfering,” a resident named Anna said. “My personal opinion it’s a lie.”

Even though relations between the two countries may be at an all-time low, relations between the two peoples aren’t there yet.

“I’ve made jokes at the parties that I’m not here to steal your sensitive data,” Branovan said. “But so far people haven’t done more than laugh.”

Trump: ‘The opioid crisis is an emergency’ – CNN
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump – Google News.


CNN
Trump: ‘The opioid crisis is an emergency’
CNN
The White House commission examining the nation’s opioid epidemic had told Trump last week that declaring a national public health emergency would be an immediate help in combating the ongoing crisis. “Our citizens are dying. We must act boldly to stop …
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