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Joe Biden - US Today Headline Story

Racism in America is an institutional “white man’s problem visited on people of color,” Vice President Joe Biden said, arguing that the way to attack the issue is to defeat President Donald Trump and hold him responsible for deepening the nation’s racial divide. Taking aim at incendiary racial appeals by Trump, Biden said in an interview with a small group of reporters on Tuesday that a president’s words can “appeal to the worst damn instincts of human nature,” just as they can move markets or take a nation into war. Biden is leading his Democratic challengers for the presidential nomination in almost all polls, largely because of the support of black voters. He has made appealing to them central to his candidacy and vowed to make maximizing black and Latino turnout an “overwhelming focus” of his effort. The interview, more than an hour long, focused largely on racial issues. “White folks are the reason we have institutional racism,” Joe Biden said. “There has always been racism in America. White supremacists have always existed, they still exist.” He added later that in his administration, it would “not be tolerated.” By highlighting the nation’s racial tensions and placing blame on Trump, Biden is showing that he, too, is willing to make race a core campaign issue, but from the opposite perspective of the Republican president. Turnout and enthusiasm among black voters will be critical for the Democratic nominee, notably to try to reclaim states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. He also emphasizedContinue reading

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Bernie Sanders - USA Politics News Today

President Donald Trump told American congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from. He vowed to revive a racial slur to tear down Elizabeth Warren, promoted a wild conspiracy theory linking a past political opponent to the death of a high-profile sex offender and blamed Friday’s stock market slide on a low-polling former presidential candidate. And that was just over the past six weeks. With 435 days until the next presidential election, the Democrats seeking to oust Trump are bracing for the nastiest contest in the modern era, one that will almost certainly tear at the moral and cultural fabric of a deeply divided nation. Knowing what lies ahead once their own divisive primary is decided, Democrats are confronting a critical question: Just how low should they go to push back against Trump? Political strategists and recent history suggest there may be more risk than reward for candidates wishing to fight Trump on his terms. But Democratic primary voters, energized and enraged by Trump’s turbulent presidency, are increasingly calling for the candidates to fight fire with fire. “The high road isn’t going to win this time,” Blake Caldwell, a 71-year-old retired physician, said at a recent event hosted by candidate Pete Buttigieg in rural South Carolina. “If we go high when they go low, we will lose.” Several White House hopefuls opened their campaigns with a firm plan to focus on substance and rise above the Republican president’s personal attacks. But as primary voting approaches, many candidatesContinue reading

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Donald Trump - USA

President Donald Trump arrived Saturday in France for an international summit with the leaders of the globe’s economic powers as he confronts the consequences of his preference for going it alone, both in a sharply divided United States and an interconnected world. The meeting of the Group of Seven nations — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. — in the beach resort town of Biarritz comes at one of the most unpredictable moments in Trump’s White House tenure, with his public comments and decision-making increasingly erratic and acerbic of late. Trump, growing more isolated in Washington, faces a tepid reception on the world stage, where a list of challenges awaits. Anxiety is growing over a global slowdown , and there are new points of tension with allies on trade, Iran and Russia. Fears of a financial downturn are spreading, meaning the need for cooperation and a collective response is essential. Yet Trump has ridiculed Germany for its economic travails at a time when he may have to turn to Chancellor Angela Merkel and others to help blunt the force of China’s newly aggressive tariffs on U.S. goods. Those trade penalties, combined with the economic slowdown, have raised political alarms for Trump’s reelection effort . In a late addition to the schedule, Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron sat across from each other at a small table for lunch outside the opulent Hotel du Palais before the official start of the summit. Hours earlier, Trump threatened anew toContinue reading

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Maddie Mueller Wearing MAGA Hat - Donald Make America Great Again

The Trump campaign has a message for its female supporters: It’s time to come out of hiding. “There’s a lot of people that are fearful of expressing their support, and I want you ladies to know it’s OK to have felt that way, but we need to move past that or the Democrats win,” said Tana Goertz, a Trump campaign adviser, at an Iowa “Women for Trump” event on Thursday. The Iowa event, held in the back room of a barbecue joint in a Des Moines suburb, was one of more than a dozen in battleground states nationwide as part of a push to make the president’s case on the economy and train volunteers. The move is a recognition of the president’s persistent deficit with women — an issue that has the potential to sink his chances for reelection. Over the course of his presidency and across public opinion polls, women have been consistently less supportive of President Donald Trump than men have. Suburban women in particular rejected Republicans in the 2018 midterm by margins that set off alarms for the party and the president. Trump himself called into a gathering of hundreds in Tampa, Florida, and insisted, to cheers: “We’re doing great with women, despite the fake news.” But polling suggests his challenges persist. The most recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found just 30% of women approve of the way the president is doing his job, compared to 42% of men. Notably, there was noContinue reading

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Donald Trump Now Campaigns - USA News Headline

President Donald Trump’s branding of American Jews who vote for Democrats as “disloyal” to their religion and Israel prompted alarms of anti-Semitism. But his ultimate aim appears to be dividing Democrats, peeling off Jewish support and shoring up his white evangelical Christian base. Digging in Wednesday despite widespread criticism, Trump repeated his controversial assertion about Jews who support the Democratic Party. “In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel,” Donald Trump told reporters. “And only weak people would say anything other than that.” The comment — which appeared to traffic in anti-Semitic tropes about Jews’ supposed loyalty to Israel — added a sharper edge to Trump’s appeals to another largely Democratic constituency: black voters, whom he challenged to support him in 2016 by asking: “What do you have to lose?” This time, Trump and his allies are trying to lure Jewish voters who they think could be turned off by liberal Democrats’ growing willingness to criticize the Israeli government. In a razor-close election, picking up a few thousand votes in key counties in states such as Florida and Pennsylvania could make a difference, they argue. Trump has focused on four first-term Democratic congresswomen of color who have voiced misgivings about U.S. policy toward Israel, trying to brand them the “face” of their party. It’s part of a larger effort by Trump and his team to try to paint Democrats as radical and outside the mainstream,Continue reading

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US Democrats

Democrats still shaken by the 2010 tea party wave that netted Republicans six governors’ offices, flipped 21 statehouse chambers and drove nearly 700 Democratic state legislators from office are mounting a comeback, pouring millions of dollars into state level races. In a longtime Republican district covering a wealthy enclave of Dallas, Democratic challenger Shawn Terry has raised $235,000, an eye-popping amount for a statehouse race that’s more than a year away. In Virginia, where the GOP holds a slim majority, Democrats have outraised Republicans for the first time in years. Democrats are even putting some money in deeply Republican Louisiana. The cash deluge shows how the consequences of next year’s elections run far deeper than President Donald Trump’s political fate. The party that controls state legislatures will take a leading role in the once-in-a-decade redistricting process that redraws congressional maps. Newly empowered Republicans used that process to their favor following the tea party victories, and Democrats want to use the same playbook. “There is, especially for this cycle, a very strong focus on redistricting,” Terry said. The stakes are particularly high following a recent Supreme Court ruling that decided federal courts have no business policing political boundary disputes in many cases. The ruling doesn’t apply to districts gerrymandered along racial lines but otherwise gives states wide latitude to draw maps with little concern for an eventual judicial rebuke. “Everybody knows everything is at stake,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of the group EMILY’s List, which recruits and trains women to runContinue reading

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Diosdado Cabello - Venezuela News

The U.S. has made secret contact with Venezuela’s socialist party boss as close allies of President Nicolás Maduro’s inner circle seek guarantees they won’t face prosecution for alleged abuses and crimes if they cede to growing demands to remove him, according to a senior Trump administration official. Diosdado Cabello, who is considered the most-powerful man in Venezuela after Maduro, met last month in Caracas with someone who is in close contact with the Trump administration, the official told The Associated Press. A second meeting is in the works but has not yet taken place. The AP is withholding the intermediary’s name and details of the encounter with Cabello out of concern the person could suffer reprisals. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the talks, which are still preliminary. It’s not clear whether the talks have Maduro’s approval or not. Cabello, 56, is a major power broker inside Venezuela, who has seen his influence in the government and security forces expand as Maduro’s grip on power has weakened. But he’s also been accused by U.S. officials of being behind massive corruption, drug trafficking and even death threats against a sitting U.S. senator. The administration official said that under no circumstances is the U.S. looking to prop up Cabello or pave the way for him to substitute Maduro. Instead, the goal of the outreach is to ratchet up pressure on the regime by contributing to the knife fight the U.S. believes is taking placeContinue reading

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Native Americans - USA News

Democratic presidential candidates will descend on Iowa next week to do something that Native Americans say doesn’t happen enough: court their vote. At least seven White House hopefuls have said they’ll attend a forum in Sioux City on Monday and Tuesday named for longtime Native American activist Frank LaMere, who died in June. Tribal leaders and citizens will talk with candidates about issues including health care, education and violence against Native women. Several candidates attending the forum, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro and Marianne Williamson, have issued platforms dedicated to the needs of indigenous people. Marcella LeBeau, a 99-year-old registered Democrat and a citizen of the Two Kettles Band of the Lakota, said that’s a change from the past when politicians largely overlooked Native issues. “We’re like a third-world country,” she said. “No one really listens to us.” Many Native Americans live in “hard-to-count” rural areas and are not reflected in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, so the census cannot accurately measure their voter registration as it would for black, white, Asian and Hispanic citizens. Census estimates say Native Americans make up around 1.7% — or 5.3 million — of the U.S. population, and suggest that more than 3.7 million Native Americans are of voting age. As more Native Americans gain access to the polls, they may be a powerful asset for candidates. Richard Witmer, a political scientist from Creighton University who specializes in American Indian politics and policy, said the Native American vote can swingContinue reading

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Donald Trump Now Campaigns - USA News Headlines

President Donald Trump on Thursday sought to reassure his supporters about the state of the U.S. economy despite the stock market volatility and told rallygoers in New Hampshire, a state that he hopes to capture in 2020, that their financial security depends on his reelection. “Whether you love me or hate me you have to vote for me,” Trump said. Speaking to a boisterous crowd at Southern New Hampshire University, Trump dismissed the heightened fears about the U.S. economy and a 3% drop Wednesday in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was fueled by a slowing global economy and a development in the bond market that has predicted previous recessions. Avoiding an economic slump is critical to Trump’s reelection hopes. “The United States right now has the hottest economy anywhere in the world,” Donald Trump said. Trump, who reached the White House by promising to bring about a historic economic boom, claimed, as he often does, that the markets would have crashed if he had lost his 2016 bid for the presidency. And he warned that if he is defeated in 2020, Americans’ 401(k) retirement accounts will go “down the tubes.” The president also defended his tactics on trade with China. He has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion of imports from China and has threatened to hit the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese imports with 10% tariffs. He has delayed that increase on about half of those items to avoid raising prices for U.S. holiday shoppers. He saidContinue reading

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Donald Trump Campaigning - USA News Headlines

When Chad Johansen voted for Donald Trump in 2016, he hoped he was picking someone who could help small-business owners compete with bigger companies. But that hasn’t happened, and now the 26-year-old owner of NH iPhone Repair feels what he calls “Trumpgret.” The Republican president has done little to address health care issues for a small employer, he said, and the Manchester man remains on edge about how Trump’s tariffs could affect his business, which employs fewer than 10 people. Beyond that, he said, unrelenting news about bigotry and racism in the Trump administration is “a turnoff.” “The president’s supposed to be the face of the United States of America,” said Johansen, who voted for Democrat Barack Obama in 2012. “And supposed to make everyone be proud to be an American and stand up for everyone who is an American. And I don’t feel that President Trump’s doing that. I feel like it’s chaos.” That sentiment is concerning for Trump as he travels to New Hampshire on Thursday for a reelection rally. The state, which he lost by about 2,700 votes in 2016, is doing well economically, at least when using broad measures. But beneath the top-line data are clear signs that the prosperity is being unevenly shared, and when the tumult of the Trump presidency is added to the mix, the state’s flinty voters may not be receptive to his appeals. Trouble in the bond market on Wednesday raised fresh concerns about a recession on the horizon. An AugustContinue reading

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Donald Trump Campaigning - USA Headlines

A top Trump administration official says that the famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants into the country is about “people coming from Europe” and that America is looking to receive migrants “who can stand on their own two feet.” The comments on Tuesday from Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, came a day after the Trump administration announced it would seek to deny green cards to migrants who seek Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance. The move, and Cuccinelli’s defense, prompted an outcry from Democrats and immigration advocates who said the policy would favor wealthier immigrants and disadvantage those from poorer countries in Latin America and Africa. “This administration finally admitted what we’ve known all along: They think the Statue of Liberty only applies to white people,” tweeted former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic presidential candidate. The administration’s proposed policy shift comes as President Donald Trump is leaning more heavily into the restrictive immigration policies that have energized his core supporters and were central to his 2016 victory. He has also spoken disparagingly about immigration from majority black and Hispanic countries, including calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals when he launched his 2016 campaign. Last year, he privately branded Central American and African nations as “shithole” countries and he suggested the U.S. take in more immigrants from European countries like predominantly white Norway. Cuccinelli said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday night that the EmmaContinue reading

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Donald Trump USA News Today

The Trump administration moved on Monday to weaken how it applies the 45-year-old Endangered Species Act, ordering changes that critics said will speed the loss of animals and plants at a time of record global extinctions. The action, which expands the administration’s rewrite of U.S. environmental laws, is the latest that targets protections, including for water, air and public lands. Two states — California and Massachusetts, frequent foes of President Donald Trump’s environmental rollbacks — promised lawsuits to try to block the changes in the law. So did some conservation groups. Pushing back against the criticism, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and other administration officials contend the changes improve efficiency of oversight while continuing to protect rare species. “The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal — recovery of our rarest species,” he said in a statement. “An effectively administered Act ensures more resources can go where they will do the most good: on-the-ground conservation.” Under the enforcement changes, officials for the first time will be able to publicly attach a cost to saving an animal or plant. Blanket protections for creatures newly listed as threatened will be removed. Among several other changes, the action could allow the government to disregard the possible impact of climate change, which conservation groups call a major and growing threat to wildlife. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the revisions “fit squarely within the president’s mandate of easing theContinue reading

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Donald Trump - USA Headlines Story Now

The Trump administration is moving forward with one of its most aggressive steps yet to restrict legal immigration, denying green cards to many migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance, officials said announced Monday. Federal law already requires those seeking to become permanent residents and gain legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the U.S. — a “public charge,” in government speak —but the new rules detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them. It’s part of a dramatic overhaul of the nation’s immigration system that the administration has been trying to put into place. While much of the attention has focused on President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, the new change targets people who entered the United States legally and are seeking permanent status. Its part of an effort to move the U.S. to a system that focuses on immigrants’ skills instead of emphasizing the reunification of families. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will now weigh public assistance along with other factors such as education, household income and health to determine whether to grant legal status. The rules will take effect in mid-October. They don’t apply to U.S. citizens, even if the U.S. citizen is related to an immigrant who is subject to them. The acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, said the rule change fits with the Republican president’s message. “We want to see people coming to thisContinue reading

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Palau, Pacific Islands

Pacific islands that were key World War II battlegrounds but largely neglected for the past 30 years are now back in the spotlight as China challenges traditional US supremacy in the region. Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, whose territories stretch thousands of kilometres across the Pacific, have been the recipients of largesse by Washington, Tokyo and other allied powers, but otherwise mostly ignored in recent decades. However, increasing competition between China and the US has dramatically altered the landscape, elevating the island nations beyond even their Cold War visibility when they were the site of strategic outposts and 1950s atom bomb tests. In recent years Washington’s attention was focused elsewhere and US funding grants to the three nations were slated to end in 2023. China was quick to spot the opportunity to woo new diplomatic allies and look for strategic advantage in the vast region, analysts said. “Reductions in development assistance, and redirections as to where that assistance is given have created a vacuum which China has been able to fill, particularly in addressing stated needs of Pacific island countries in relation to infrastructure,” said Pacific politics specialist Tess Newton Cain, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University. Washington and its allies have only recently woken up to the challenge, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono making unprecedented visits to the region, taking their cheque books with them. “Recognition of the strategic value of the three northContinue reading

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Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell - USA News

It’s not quite “Trump-McConnell 2020,” but it might as well be. As he runs for reelection, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is positioning himself as the president’s wingman, his trusted right hand in Congress, transformed from a behind-the-scenes player into a prominent if sometimes reviled Republican like none other besides Donald Trump himself. “In Washington, President Trump and I are making America great again!” Mitch McConnell declared at a rally in Kentucky, his voice rising over protesters. Other than Democrat Nancy Pelosi — and more recently Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — no current politician has so quickly become such a high-profile object of partisan scorn. McConnell was heckled last weekend at his home state’s annual “Fancy Farm” political picnic, and protesters outside his Louisville house hurled so many profanities that Twitter temporarily shut down his account for posting video of them online. Undaunted, he revels in the nickname he’s given himself — the “Grim Reaper,” bragging that he’s burying the House Democrats’ agenda — though he seems stung by one lobbed by opponents, “Moscow Mitch.” But the Democrats’ agenda includes gun legislation to require background checks that Trump now wants to consider, forcing McConnell to adjust his earlier refusal to do so. The Senate leader has been here before, pushing ahead with a Trump priority that’s unpopular with most Republicans. But this will test both his relationship with the president and his grip on the GOP majority. All while he’s campaigning to keep his job. McConnell is even more dependent on Trump’sContinue reading

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Canadian, Kristian Lee Baxter

A Canadian citizen held in Syrian prisons since last year and freed after Lebanese mediation said Friday he had no idea if anyone knew he was still alive. Kristian Lee Baxter appeared emotional and at times jittery at a press conference in the Lebanese capital Beirut. The Lebanese general who mediated his release said Baxter was heading home. It was not clear when Baxter was released from Syria. Details of Baxter’s detention were not immediately available but Canadian media reported last December he was detained while in war-torn Syria, where he was traveling seeking an adventure. Canadian officials declined to provide further information, citing privacy provisions. Lebanon’s General Security Chief Abbas Ibrahim said Baxter was detained for what Syrian authorities considered a “major violation” of local laws, adding that authorities there may have considered the incident security related. He didn’t elaborate. Baxter appeared briefly on a podium, shared with Ibrahim and the Canadian ambassador to Lebanon, Emmanuelle Lamoureux. He was emotional and choked on his words as he tried to hold back tears. “I’d just like to thank the Canadian embassy for helping me,” Kristian Lee Baxter said, reaching to hold the shoulder of the Canadian ambassador. “I would like to thank the Lebanese for helping me get free. I thought I would be there forever, honestly.” He added, wiping his eyes: “I didn’t know if anyone knew if I was alive.” Baxter’s release marked the second time Lebanon has helped free a foreigner held in Syria. Last month, IbrahimContinue reading

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Mitch McConnell - US Politics

Shifting the gun violence debate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he now wants to consider background checks and other bills, setting up a potentially pivotal moment when lawmakers return in the fall. The Republican leader won’t be calling senators back to work early, as some are demanding. But he told a Kentucky radio station that President Donald Trump called him Thursday morning and they talked about several ideas. The president, he said, is “anxious to get an outcome and so am I.” Stakes are high for all sides, but particularly for Trump and his party. Republicans have long opposed expanding background checks — a bill passed by the Democratic-led House is stalled in the Senate — but they face enormous pressure to do something after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 31 people. McConnell, who is facing protests outside his Louisville home, can shift attention back to Democrats by showing a willingness to engage ahead of the 2020 election. “What we can’t do is fail to pass something,” McConnell said. “What I want to see here is an outcome.” McConnell said he and Trump discussed various ideas on the call, including background checks and the so-called “red flag” laws that allow authorities to seize firearms from someone deemed a threat to themselves or others. “Background checks and red flags will probably lead the discussion,” McConnell told Louisville’s WHAS-AM. He noted “there’s a lot of support” publicly for background checks. “Those are two itemsContinue reading

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