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HeadlinesJuly 24, 2018

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John Bolton Doubles Down on Trump’s Threat Against Iran

Jul 24, 2018

President Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, has reiterated Trump’s threats to Iran, only one day after Trump tweeted, “To Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.” On Monday, Bolton doubled down, saying, “President Trump told me that if Iran does anything at all to the negative, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid before.” Also on Monday, Trump said he was not concerned about provoking Iran.

Reporter: “Mr. President, are you concerned about provoking tensions with Iran?”

President Donald Trump: “None at all. None at all.”

Click here to see our coverage of the Trump administration’s escalating threats against Iran.


Trump Admin May Have Deported Up To 463 Parents of Children Separated at Border

Jul 24, 2018

The Trump administration may have deported up to 463 parents of children separated by immigration officials at the border, even as their children remain in U.S. custody. A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to reunite all separated migrant children and parents by July 26—that’s Thursday. But new government filings reveal nearly 500 of these parents are no longer in the country. In total, at least 1,700 children are still in U.S. custody, waiting to be reunited with their parents. Click here to see our full coverage of the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

North Korea Has Begun Dismantling Missile-Engine Test Site

Jul 24, 2018

Satellite images show North Korea has begun dismantling a missile-engine test site, apparently fulfilling one of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s promises to President Trump during their historic summit in Singapore last month. The site is believed to play a role in North Korea’s development of liquid-fuel engines, although it’s unclear how much the site’s facilities were still being used.

Trump Threatens to Strip Security Clearances from Six Former National Security Officials

Jul 24, 2018

President Trump has threatened to strip a half-dozen former national security officials of their security clearances, as he continues to lash out at former officials who have criticized his refusal to confront Russia over its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. This is White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “Not only is the president looking to take away Brennan’s security clearance, he’s also looking into the clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice and McCabe.”

Neither former FBI Director James Comey nor former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe still have security clearances. CNN reports that stripping the officials of their clearance would constitute an unprecedented use of presidential authority to punish political rivals. High-ranking military and national security officials often retain their security clearances even after they leave their jobs, which helps them gain employment in the private sector.

Judge Delays Manafort Trial, Approves Immunity for 5 Witnesses

Jul 24, 2018

A federal judge has delayed the start date for the trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, who faces charges of tax fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, witness tampering and failing to register as a foreign agent. His trial will now start on July 31; it had been slated to start tomorrow. The judge also agreed to grant immunity to five witnesses who are slated to testify in Manafort’s trial.


Greece: Over 70 Die in Worst Wildfires in Decade

Jul 24, 2018

In Greece, over 70 people have died as uncontrollable wildfires swept through neighborhoods outside the capital Athens Tuesday. The blazes were the worst fires in more than a decade in Greece and come amid a month of deadly climate-fueled weather across the world. This is resident Nana Laganou.

Nana Laganou: “The fire was lightning-fast. We didn’t realize what had happened. We couldn’t. It was the first time I’ve ever seen something like this. But we made it. We were like a bee colony in the sea, everybody standing next to each other. I would have liked to see some response from the state, but we didn’t—and we won’t—and that makes me angry.”

Somalia: Dozens Killed as Al-Shabab and Soldiers Clash over Control of Military Base

Jul 24, 2018

In Somalia, militants with the group Al-Shabab say they killed 27 soldiers when they attacked a military base near the southern port city of Kismayo Monday. The Somali military says it retook control of the base in a fierce battle that killed 87 militants.


Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Vows to Continue “War on Drugs”

Jul 24, 2018

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to continue his bloody “war on drugs,” despite massive protests and international condemnation. This is Duterte speaking during his third annual State of the Nation address Monday.

President Rodrigo Duterte: “The illegal drugs war will not be sidelined. Instead, it will be as relentless and chilling, if you will, as on the day it began.”

Human Rights Watch says over 12,000 Filipinos have died as a result of Duterte’s “war on drugs,” with at least 4,000 killed by police and security forces and thousands more killed by armed vigilantes.

Jailed Reuters Journalist Accuses Burmese Police of Framing Him

Jul 24, 2018

In Burma, jailed Reuters journalist Wa Lone, who helped expose a Burmese military massacre of Rohingya Muslims, has accused the police of framing him, handing him documents he had not sought only minutes before he and his colleague, Kyaw Soe Oo, were arrested in December. These documents are being used by Burmese prosecutors as evidence to argue the two Reuters journalists have violated the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, which carries up to 14 years in prison. The two journalists have been jailed since December.


Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Rejects Calls to Hold Early Elections

Jul 24, 2018

In a rare interview, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has rejected calls to step down from power, amid mounting protests and civil unrest. This is President Ortega, speaking on Fox News Monday.

President Daniel Ortega: “We were elected by the voters. So, there have been electoral periods, there are term limits, and our electoral period ends with the elections of 2021, when we will have our next elections. And then we’ll have to see who will be voted in for the new administration.”

Nicaragua’s main business association has been demanding Ortega hold early elections, to which Ortega has responded that Nicaragua “is not private property.” International human rights groups say over 300 people have died since the protests erupted in April and that the vast majority have been killed by pro-government forces. Over the weekend, thousands of Ortega supporters and opposition activists rallied in rival protests in the streets of the capital Managua.


Germany’s Soccer Star Mesut Özil Quits in Protest of Racism

Jul 24, 2018

Germany’s star soccer player, Mesut Özil, has quit in protest of the racism he’s faced for his Turkish roots. In a four-page letter, the star midfielder wrote, “I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.” He said he was scapegoated and blamed for Germany’s disappointing World Cup performance and that he received a flood of hate mail after a photo surfaced of him posing with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Georgia State Rep. Jason Spencer Caught Yelling N-Word in Sacha Baron Cohen’s TV Show

Jul 24, 2018

A Republican state representative from Georgia, Jason Spencer, has been caught on tape shouting the N-word in the latest episode of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s show “Who Is America?” in which Cohen impersonates characters in order to spoof famous people—from Bernie Sanders to Dick Cheney. For Republican Jason Spencer, Cohen impersonated an Israeli terrorism expert training him how to outwit militants.

Sacha Baron Cohen: “In America, there is one forbidden word. It is the N-word. Now, I am going to be the terrorist. You have three seconds to attract attention. Go!”

Rep. Jason Spencer: “Nigger! Nigger! Nigger! Nigger!”

Sacha Baron Cohen: “Are you crazy? The N-word is 'noony,' not this word. This word is disgusting. … You show me your weapon. Go!”

Rep. Jason Spencer: “I’ll touch you. I’ll make you a homosexual! You drop that gun right now! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

That was Republican Georgia state Representative Jason Spencer, believing that ISIS militants are so afraid of gay people that he could escape a kidnapping attack by dropping his pants and “attacking” the man with his bare bottom.

Florida Police Won’t Charge Man for Fatal Shooting Because of “Stand Your Ground” Laws

Jul 24, 2018

In Pinellas County, Florida, police say they will not charge a man captured in surveillance footage fatally shooting another man during a dispute over a parking spot. The footage shows Michael Drejka confronting the family of Markeis McGlockton over his decision to park in a handicapped spot while the father of three ran into a convenience store. When he returned from the store, McGlockton shoved Drejka, who in turn fired a fatal shot to McGlockton’s chest, killing him. The sheriff says the shooter will not be charged, because of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which sparked national outrage in 2012 when white vigilante George Zimmerman successfully used it as his defense after he shot and killed unarmed African-American teenager Trayvon Martin. In 2017, Florida’s “stand your ground” law was strengthened in a controversial change which shifts the burden of proof from the defense to the prosecutors, who now have to prove the shooter is not entitled to “stand your ground” immunity.


Owner Fires Half the Staff of New York Daily News

Jul 24, 2018

In New York City, the new owner of the New York Daily News says it will fire half the staff of the longtime newspaper. Among those who were fired was editor-in-chief Jim Rich, who tweeted, “If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you.” In the 1980s, the New York Daily News employed 400 journalists. After the latest firings, the newspaper will have only 45 people in its newsroom staff. The New York Daily News’s owner, Tronc, is also the publisher of the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and the Hartford Courant.


Founding Black Panther Party Member Elbert “Big Man” Howard Dies

Jul 24, 2018

And human rights activist, educator and founding member of the Black Panther Party, Elbert “Big Man” Howard, has died. Born in Tennessee in 1938, Howard was also the first editor of the Black Panther Party’s newspaper. This is Elbert “Big Man” Howard, speaking about visiting with prisoners during the 1971 Attica rebellion.

Elbert Howard: “The Panthers were there. I accompanied Bobby Seale and several other Panthers, and we went and we listened to the grievances of the inmates. And there was very little that we could do on the spot, other than we got party authorization to offer the inmates assistance if they wanted to leave the country, because at that time we had some friends—revolutionary friends—who would give them sanctuary, if we could encourage them to come out. And that was about all that we could offer. … And the day after we were there, he [the governor] issued the order to take the prison back at all costs.”

Elbert “Big Man” Howard died on Monday at the age of 80.

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