Today’s Celebrities News

ICE to launch 'Citizens Academy' to teach civilians about 'targeted arrests'

13 Jul 2020 at 5:24pm

ICE to launch 'Citizens Academy' to teach civilians about 'targeted arrests'Operating with broad authority and minimal oversight, ICE?s enforcement and removal operations have become increasingly aggressive under the Trump administration.

Michigan partygoers test positive for COVID-19 after July 4th lake bash; 43 c...

13 Jul 2020 at 8:06pm

Michigan partygoers test positive for COVID-19 after July 4th lake bash; 43 cases tied to house party?This is a very clear example of how quickly this virus spreads,? a Michigan health official said after 43 COVID-19 cases were tied to a house party.

Judge seeks more details on Trump's clemency for Roger Stone

13 Jul 2020 at 4:16pm

Judge seeks more details on Trump's clemency for Roger StoneA federal judge on Monday demanded more information about President Donald Trump's decision to commute the prison sentence of longtime ally Roger Stone. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered that the parties provide her by Tuesday with a copy of the executive order that commuted Stone's sentence.

It?s so hot at Death Valley National Park that cars are breaking down

13 Jul 2020 at 8:34pm

It?s so hot at Death Valley National Park that cars are breaking downIt?s the hottest place on Earth for a reason.

Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Deal Barr Offered ?Could Be Seen as a Q...

13 Jul 2020 at 11:21pm

Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Deal Barr Offered ?Could Be Seen as a Quid Pro Quo?The federal prosecutor whom Attorney General Bill Barr ousted in June told House investigators that he was alarmed at the way Barr attempted to replace him, saying that ?the ?irregular and unexplained actions by the Attorney General raised serious concerns for me,? according to a transcript of the closed-door interview released by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. Geoffrey Berman, formerly the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was brought in for a closed-door session of the Judiciary Committee on July 9 to talk about the events surrounding Barr?s public announcement on June 19 that Berman had ?stepped down? from his post, even though the U.S. attorney made clear to Barr multiple times that he was not stepping down. The late-night announcement by Barr immediately sparked confusion and raised questions about his involvement in a crucial prosecutor?s office. The next day, Berman said he would leave the job when Barr agreed to let his deputy take over as acting U.S. attorney, as opposed to Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, whom Barr wanted to install in the position until the Trump administration?s pick, Securities and Exchange Commission chief Jay Clayton, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.Berman, who at SDNY handled sensitive investigations into Trumpworld figures such as Rudy Giuliani, did not comment specifically to the Judiciary Committee on what he believed Barr?s motivations to be, and he studiously avoided any questions about how specific SDNY probes might have factored into the situation. But Berman made clear that the attorney general?s preferred plan would have slowed and complicated the work of the office, and he raised several questions challenging Barr?s handling of the process. Trump Thought He?d Picked His Perfect U.S. Attorney in Geoffrey Berman. He Was Very Wrong.?Why did the attorney general say that I was stepping down when he knew I had neither resigned nor been fired?? Berman asked rhetorically, in response to questions from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). ?Why did the attorney general not tell me the actual reason he was asking me to resign instead of saying that it was to get Clayton into the position? And why did he announce the appointment of Craig Carpenito as acting U.S. attorney when Audrey Strauss was the logical and normal successor???Replacing me with someone from outside the district would have resulted in the disruption and delay of the important investigations that were being conducted,? Berman said later. ?I was not going to permit that. And I would rather be fired than have that done.? At numerous points, Berman expressed his dismay at Barr?s wish to install Carpenito?who would have retained his previous job in New Jersey?in the job instead of Berman?s top deputy, Strauss, a move he said violated 70 years of precedent at SDNY.According to his opening statement that was obtained by The Daily Beast last Thursday, Berman said that during a private meeting in New York that Barr called to open the discussion, the attorney general praised his performance as U.S. attorney but said the Trump administration wanted Clayton to take the SDNY post. Berman said Barr tried to lure him away by dangling other offers?to head the Department of Justice?s civil rights division and, later, the SEC?but Berman declined. Barr told him that if he did not resign, he would be fired. ?I believe the attorney general was trying to entice me to resign so that an outsider could be put into the acting U.S. attorney position at the Southern District of New York, which would have resulted in the delay and disruption of ongoing investigations,? Berman told the Judiciary Committee.At one point in the interview, GOP committee attorney Steve Castor asked if Barr had laid out to Berman a set of actions that would have allowed him to keep his job?if there was any ?quid pro quo for you getting to keep your job.?Berman said no, and he confirmed that Barr did not mention any specific SDNY investigations?Castor raised Jeffrey Epstein and Guiliani-related probes?in pressuring him to leave. But Berman did say Barr?s offering of other positions could have been construed as a quid pro quo.?You know, he wanted me to resign to take a position. I assume you could call that a quid pro quo. You resign and you get this, that would mean quid pro quo,? said Berman. Asked to clarify those comments later, he said it wasn?t his term but reiterated that ?it could be seen as a quid pro quo, his offering me a job in exchange for my resignation.? Berman is a rare U.S. attorney in that he was not confirmed by the Senate but was appointed by the judges of SDNY to hold the position in April 2018. Berman insisted that, as he was a court-appointed prosecutor, neither Barr nor President Trump had the authority to fire him before the Senate confirmed a successor, but some past legal precedent has indicated the president can fire a court-appointed U.S. attorney. Trump has said he had nothing to do with Berman?s ouster. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

DeVos slammed for meetings with conservatives while school reopening debate r...

13 Jul 2020 at 7:24pm

Japan is 'shocked' and furious at the US after a major coronavirus outbreak a...

12 Jul 2020 at 11:12am

Japan is 'shocked' and furious at the US after a major coronavirus outbreak at 2 Marine bases in Okinawa ? and says the US is not taking the virus seriously"We now have strong doubts that the US military has taken adequate disease prevention measures," Okinawa governor Denny Tamaki said.

Ted Cruz caught on commercial flight without a mask

13 Jul 2020 at 1:10pm

Ted Cruz caught on commercial flight without a maskTexas senator Ted Cruz appeared to contravene an airline?s mandate on masks this weekend when he was pictured without one.In a picture shared online on Sunday, Mr Cruz was onboard an American Airlines departure when he was seen unmasked.

'Not a Welcoming Name': Calls to Drop 'Plantation' Gain Steam Nationwide

12 Jul 2020 at 3:28pm

'Not a Welcoming Name': Calls to Drop 'Plantation' Gain Steam NationwideWhen Dharyl Auguste was 3 years old, he and his parents packed all of their belongings and left their home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to immigrate to the United States.The family settled initially in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before moving to nearby Sunrise. When it was time for Auguste to attend middle school, he and his parents relocated again, this time to Plantation, Florida. Auguste welcomed the move, he said, because it was easier for him to see his friends and access public transportation.But something was not right in Plantation."It often came up as a topic between me and friends, and we all had the same feeling that it's not a welcoming name," Auguste, 27, said.In the weeks since the George Floyd protests began, neighborhoods and subdivisions across the country have removed the word "plantation" from their names. In June, Rhode Island -- known formally as the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations -- announced that it would drop the second half of its official name from state documents and websites. (State lawmakers have introduced legislation that would put a name-change referendum on the ballot in November.)Inspired by the social unrest spurred by the death of Floyd, a Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground by the neck for more than eight minutes, Auguste started a petition to change the name of Plantation."I was at home sitting in awe as our nation was going through a social awakening," he said in an interview this past week. According to Auguste, images of toppled monuments to slaveholders and Confederate generals fueled him to take action. The petition he created June 7 has been signed more than 11,000 times.Strictly speaking, the word "plantation" refers to a large group of plants or trees in a settlement. But the association with slavery is inescapable."We can't ignore the image conjured by the word 'plantation,'" Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island said last month. "We can't ignore how painful that is for Black Rhode Islanders to see that and have to see that as part of their state's name. It's demoralizing. It's a slap in the face. It's painful."Gabriela Koster, who moved to Plantation, Florida, in 2006, agrees."I have been saying for 15 years that I do not think it's an appropriate name for our city," Koster said. "I don't think it serves us well."Koster, 42, who raised her three children in Plantation, described the city as vibrant but said its name dulled some of the city's luster.But Lynn Stoner, the mayor of Plantation, does not necessarily share this opinion."If we change the name, it doesn't change the mindset of what people indicate the problem is," Stoner said. "I think it is just the optics."Stoner has lived in Plantation for 50 years, and she proposed instead that residents be educated on the "racial components and diversity in the community.""I'm more about the education piece," Stoner said at a City Council meeting July 1, during which she also suggested that residents be taught about what should be considered offensive and why. "I feel like changing the name doesn't change the philosophies -- I think that's where the bigger issue is."At the meeting, Stoner criticized an interview that Auguste had recently given on CNN, saying that "he didn't do real well." (She later apologized.) She also asked Auguste during the meeting whether she should use the term "African Americans" or "Blacks"; claimed that the first time she "ever really saw" Black people was when she moved to Plantation; and said that the last three people she had hired were not white.She added that she was taught to treat everyone equally.In response to Stoner's comments, Auguste told the mayor that just because the city's name represented the status quo it did not mean it should stay that way."I'm sure that was the same mentality when slavery was ended," Auguste said. "We have to be more than not racist -- we have to be anti-racist."Because the city of Plantation wasn't incorporated until 1953, many -- including Stoner -- believe that its name is exempt from the correlation with slavery."This isn't just about Black people," the mayor said in an interview Tuesday. "It is about how Black people and people from other countries all relate to each other."Across the country, people are working to change the names of neighborhoods, developments and subdivisions that include the word "plantation." In Hilton Head, South Carolina, efforts to change the names of gated communities and resorts are unequivocally about Black people. Beaufort County, which includes the island of Hilton Head, was founded in 1711. Before the Civil War, there were more than 20 plantations on the island where slave labor produced cotton, indigo, sugar cane, rice and other crops, according to the local government.Today, Hilton Head is a resort town with developments and gated communities whose names often have the word "plantation" in them."It has been co-opted to mean a gated community in the area," said Marisa Wojcikiewicz, who started a petition last month to change the names of the resorts and gated communities. "It is very strange, to say the least, considering that the island is inextricably linked to the plantation economy."According to Wojcikiewicz, whose petition has over 8,000 signatures, a manager of the Hilton Head Plantation development had not entirely shot down the idea of changing the name of the development. Wojcikiewicz said she was surprised to find that some residents of the developments, who are mostly white, older and affluent, supported changing the name.Peter Kristian, general manager of the Hilton Head Plantation property owners association, did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.In Plantation, Florida, Auguste has two options to get the city to change its name. The City Council can vote to have a referendum added to the November ballot for the name change or Auguste can go door to door to collect signatures from at least 10% of the city's 94,000 residents, which would compel a City Council review. In Hilton Head, because the developments and resorts are privately owned, the onus is on the owners and investors to make any name changes.Most people don't want to be told that something they are doing is wrong, according to Wojcikiewicz, particularly when they have never given any thought to how it might be hurtful."Many people are afraid to admit that they were blind to the fact that it is racist," she said. "They think a plantation is this beautiful, expansive, green, calm, Southern idyllic life that everyone wishes they could have. We have deluded ourselves."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

Labour handed initial findings of anti-Semitism inquiry by Britain's equaliti...

13 Jul 2020 at 6:27pm

Labour handed initial findings of anti-Semitism inquiry by Britain's equalities watchdogA report into Labour's handling of anti-Semitism has been submitted to the party by Britain's equality watchdog, as Jewish campaigners urged Sir Keir Starmer to act on its findings. More than 12 months after launching a statutory inquiry into whether the party acted unlawfully in dealing with complaints, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has handed Labour a draft version of its report. While Labour has refused to comment on its contents, the report will address allegations that the party under Jeremy Corbyn?s leadership failed to tackle anti-Semitism within its ranks. It is also likely to single out leadership figures and senior officials over their role in the crisis, which overshadowed much of Mr Corbyn?s tenure as leader. In a statement released on Monday, the Labour Party said: ?Antisemitism has been a stain on the Labour Party in recent years. ?It has caused unacceptable and unimaginable levels of grief and distress for many in the Jewish community, as well as members of staff. "Tackling anti-Semitism within the Labour Party is a priority and we are determined to take the further action necessary to begin restoring trust with the Jewish community. "We are committed to cooperating fully with the commission's investigation and implementing its recommendations when the final report is published." Labour will now have 28 days to respond to the draft report, before the EHRC publishes a final version, now not expected until the Autumn. Individuals singled out in the report will also be contacted in order to respond to its findings. The inquiry comes almost two years after the charity the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) formally referred Labour to the watchdog over allegations of ?institutional anti-Semitism.? Gideon Falter, chief executive of the CAA, claimed that under Mr Corbyn?s leadership the party ?became institutionally anti-Semitic,? adding that it ?must be forever changed after this episode so this can never happen again. ?Those responsible remain in the Party and must be held to account if Sir Keir Starmer is to tear antisemitism ?out by its roots?, as he has promised,? he continued. ?The EHRC's report is a pivotal moment in this corrective process.? His comments were echoed by the Jewish Labour Movement, which said: ?We hope that when it is published, it will provide the kind of impartial and independent scrutiny required to force the party to comply with its duties under the Equality Act and toward our members.?

Hamburg sex workers demand Germany's brothels reopen

12 Jul 2020 at 10:01am

Hamburg sex workers demand Germany's brothels reopenProstitutes demonstrated in Hamburg's red light district late on Saturday evening demanding that Germany's brothels be allowed to reopen after months of closure to curb the spread of coronavirus. With shops, restaurants and bars all open again in Germany, where prostitution is legal, sex workers say they are being singled out and deprived of their livelihoods despite not posing a greater health risk. "The oldest profession needs your help," read a notice held up by one woman in a brothel window in the Herbertstrasse, which was flooded with red light after being dark since March.

French man accused of molesting hundreds of children dies in Indonesia

13 Jul 2020 at 11:22am

French man accused of molesting hundreds of children dies in IndonesiaFrancois Camille Abello, 65, died in a suspected suicide in his cell in Jakarta, police say.

A squirrel tested positive for the bubonic plague in Colorado. Are people at ...

13 Jul 2020 at 8:31pm

A squirrel tested positive for the bubonic plague in Colorado. Are people at risk?The bacteria that causes the bubonic plague is naturally occurring in Colorado.

Trump's bizarre COVID-19 claim: 'Biden and Obama stopped their testing'

13 Jul 2020 at 8:54pm

Trump's bizarre COVID-19 claim: 'Biden and Obama stopped their testing'President Trump on Monday defended the nation's coronavirus testing record and rising case numbers.

'I wouldn?t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child': Pressley...

13 Jul 2020 at 5:45pm

'I wouldn?t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child': Pressley slams DeVos on reopening schools"I wouldn?t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child," Pressley said in reply to DeVos' remarks on reopening schools amid the pandemic.

U.S. Considers TikTok Ban as Chinese Threat to Global Internet Freedom Grows

13 Jul 2020 at 5:28pm

U.S. Considers TikTok Ban as Chinese Threat to Global Internet Freedom GrowsThe partnership between Chinese tech companies and the Chinese Communist Party is threatening global Internet freedom. But the U.S. has the chance to push back and safeguard online free speech and privacy worldwide.Last Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News?s Laura Ingraham that the U.S. is ?certainly looking at? banning TikTok, a video-sharing social-media platform owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, over its ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).Pompeo cited the threat of ?Chinese surveillance? to national security, as TikTok user data is surely being passed on to the CCP. A day later, in an interview with Greta Van Susteren, President Trump took a different tack, listing a ban on TikTok as ?one of many? potential ways to punish the Chinese government for its hand in the coronavirus pandemic.TikTok is no stranger to U.S. scrutiny. Government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security have banned the app for security reasons. And last year, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department investigated the company after it was alleged to have used data from users under 13 years of age in violation of American privacy laws. It was recently reported that the app may have failed to address regulators? concerns on that front.It might seem strange that an app known for making harmless, entertaining videos go viral would be the center of so much controversy. But the problem isn?t the content TikTok allows users to share with the world; it?s the company?s meticulous collection of user data and its close, troubling relationship with the CCP.Parent company ByteDance is allegedly working with the CCP in its surveillance efforts. Just as unsettling, the app has been accused of aiding Chinese propaganda efforts through the use of ?shadow bans,? fiddling with the app?s algorithm so that users ? even users outside China ? don?t see content concerning Tiananmen Square or the Hong Kong protests. For instance, in 2019, TikTok user Feroza Aziz had her account suspended after posting a makeup tutorial that secretly condemned China?s mass detention and abuse of Uighur Muslims in Xianjiang Province.Such abuses are not limited to TikTok. Other Chinese tech companies have done the CCP?s bidding inside and outside China as well. According to an Australian Strategic Policy Institute report, Chinese tech giants such as Huawei, Tencent, and Alibaba are using artificial intelligence to collect users? data and aid and abet China in fulfilling its global ambitions.And what are those ambitions? One is obviously the legitimizing of the CCP?s dictatorship abroad. But China may also be seeking to normalize authoritarianism more generally. For instance, TikTok has reportedly censored criticisms of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey?s authoritarian president.It?s like a virtual Belt and Road Initiative, in which viral dance videos replace seemingly good-faith investments as the vehicle for the spread of CCP influence.In the face of China?s threats to the freedom of the world?s Internet, the Trump administration should be applauded for considering a ban on TikTok. As Chinese censorship, surveillance, and propaganda spread worldwide, the U.S. has a chance to fight back and change the trajectory of the Information Age for the better. At a press conference on Wednesday, Pompeo said that ?the infrastructure of this next hundred years must be a communications infrastructure that?s based on a Western ideal of private property and protection of private citizens? information in a transparent way.? He added, however, that realizing that vision would be difficult: ?It?s a big project, because we?ve got partners all around the world where infrastructure crosses Chinese technology and then comes to the United States.?It won?t be easy, but it must be done. Nothing less than global Internet freedom is at stake.

64 Stunning Kitchen Island Ideas

13 Jul 2020 at 6:42pm

South Africa's 9 million smokers were faced with cold turkey when the governm...

12 Jul 2020 at 4:03pm

South Africa's 9 million smokers were faced with cold turkey when the government banned cigarette sales in March as a coronavirus measure. Now Big Tobacco is fighting back.Cigarettes have become the top illicit drug, more profitable than cocaine and heroin, analysts told AP.

AOC suggests NYC crime spike linked to unemployment and parents shoplifting t...

13 Jul 2020 at 2:34pm

AOC suggests NYC crime spike linked to unemployment and parents shoplifting to feed childrenNew York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has insisted that spikes in New York crime are not related to police budget cuts but people needing to pay rent and feed their children.In a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, reported by The Hill, AOC was questioned about the significant rise in crime in the city.

New York mayor 'heartbroken' over shooting death of one-year-old

13 Jul 2020 at 5:49pm

New York mayor 'heartbroken' over shooting death of one-year-oldToddler Davell Gardner Jr. was killed and three men were wounded on Sunday after two gunmen opened fire at a family cookout in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York media reported, citing New York police. "It's just horrifying," de Blasio said at a news conference to discuss the coronavirus. Davell's shooting was one of 11 incidents in which 16 people in New York were shot over the weekend, WABC television reported.

New Zealand mosque shooter dismisses lawyers to represent himself at sentencing

13 Jul 2020 at 4:29am

New Zealand mosque shooter dismisses lawyers to represent himself at sentencingThe gunman behind New Zealand's Christchurch mosque shootings sacked his lawyers on Monday and opted to represent himself, raising fears he would use a sentencing hearing next month to promote his white-supremacist views. Australian national Brenton Tarrant will be sentenced on August 24 on 51 murder convictions, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism arising from last year's massacre, the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's modern history. He has pleaded guilty to the charges. At a pre-sentencing hearing on Monday, High Court judge Cameron Mander allowed Tarrant's lawyers, Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson, to withdraw from proceedings at the request of their client. However, the judge ordered "standby counsel" to be available next month in case Tarrant - who appeared in the Christchurch court via video link from an Auckland prison - changes his mind. New Zealand Muslim Association president Ikhlaq Kashkari questioned Tarrant's motives, saying victims could be re-traumatised if the gunman were allowed to spout far-right rhetoric from the dock. "My first concern when I read this was 'Oh my God, what's this guy up to, is he going to use this as a platform to promote his views and thoughts?'," he told AFP. "A lot of people are still going through trauma and this was seen as one of those events that would give them closure. I hope it's not going to be something that will trigger more pain instead."

Funeral for Seoul mayor held as allegation details emerge

13 Jul 2020 at 3:46am

Funeral for Seoul mayor held as allegation details emergeMourners wept and deeply bowed before the coffin of Seoul?s mayor during his funeral Monday, while a lawyer came forward with details about sexual harassment allegations against the late politician. The allegations have split many in South Korea over how to remember Park Won-soon, who was found dead Friday in a wooded area in northern Seoul. Park, a liberal who built his career as a reform-minded politician and champion of women?s rights, had been considered a potential candidate for president in 2022.

Woman races across 4 lanes of traffic, dives into canal to save child, Oregon...

13 Jul 2020 at 6:58pm

Woman races across 4 lanes of traffic, dives into canal to save child, Oregon cops sayThe toddler?s grandmother has been cited for child neglect.

Robert Mueller breaks his silence and condemns Trump for commuting Roger Ston...

12 Jul 2020 at 7:09pm

Robert Mueller breaks his silence and condemns Trump for commuting Roger Stone's sentenceUS special counsel defends his investigation into allegations of corruption during 2016 electionThe former special counsel Robert Mueller made a rare move on Saturday to publicly defend his two-year investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election ? and to castigate Donald Trump?s decision to commute Roger Stone?s prison sentence.Mueller wrote an opinion article for the Washington Post [paywall] published under the headline ?Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so?.?The work of the special counsel?s office ? its report, indictments, guilty pleas and convictions ? should speak for itself,? he wrote.?But I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office ...?Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.?Trump commuted Stone?s sentence on Friday night, sparking outrage from Democrats and some senior Republicans.Stone was a former campaign adviser to the president, convicted in November 2019 of seven crimes including obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering.He was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison and was due to surrender on Tuesday, until the president commuted his sentence.Speaking on Sunday to CNN?s State of the Union, the House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats in the House will pursue legislation to restrict clemency powers related to the president?s own conduct. ?It?s a threat to our national security,? she said.The 2017-19 Mueller investigation uncovered evidence of communications between Stone and WikiLeaks related to the release of hacked Democratic party emails during the 2016 election, discovered in a separate inquiry into Russian intelligence officers charged with hacking the emails and staging their release.The partially released Mueller report in April 2019 described Russian efforts to tamper with the election and the Trump campaign?s receptivity to certain ?Russian offers of assistance to the campaign?.It outlined actions by Trump that may have amounted to obstruction of justice and concluded: ?While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.?Mueller also concluded he did not have the power to charge Trump even if he thought it was warranted.Mueller wrote: ?The special counsel?s office identified two principal operations directed at our election: hacking and dumping Clinton campaign emails, and an online social media campaign to disparage the Democratic candidate.?We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel ? Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government ??The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. [And] that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.?> Russia?s actions were a threat to America?s democracy> > Robert MuellerTrump has repeatedly attempted to discredit Mueller and his investigations.Mueller has kept his counsel since he testified in Congress in July last year. It was a muted affair, and many perceived Trump was emboldened in his efforts to seek assistance in his current election campaign from the Ukraine.This led to the historic impeachment of the president, and Trump?s ultimate acquittal by the Senate earlier this year.On Saturday Mueller wrote: ?Russia?s actions were a threat to America?s democracy. It was critical that they be investigated and understood.? ?Historic corruption? ? RomneyRepublicans largely stayed silent on the issue on Saturday, however Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who was also the lone GOP senator to vote to convict the president during his impeachment trial earlier this year, attacked Trump?s move.?Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president,? Romney tweeted.Senator Pat Toomey, of Pennsylvania, a Republican, also called the move to commute the sentence a mistake.Toomey pointed to the backing that the US attorney general, William Barr, had given to the Stone prosecution. Barr, who has faced allegations of using the justice department to defend the president and his associates, had said earlier this month that he regarded the prosecution of Stone as ?righteous?.But most Republicans who did speak out about the decision supported it. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump confidant, said Stone was convicted of a nonviolent, first-time offense and the president was justified in commuting the sentence.Graham, chair of the Senate judiciary committee, tweeted on Sunday that he would now grant Democrats? request to call Mueller to give evidence to the committee, as he was willing to defend the Russia investigation in a newspaper.Graham is leading an investigation by Republicans on the judiciary committee into the origins of Mueller?s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and links to the Trump campaign, and alleged misconduct by US intelligence officials.Democrats say the investigation is a move to appease President Trump ahead of November?s election.? Associated Press contributed to this report. Additional reporting by Mark Oliver.

Xu Zhangrun: Outspoken professor freed after six days

12 Jul 2020 at 4:49pm

Xu Zhangrun: Outspoken professor freed after six daysA friend said constitutional law professor Xu Zhangrun was in good health.