South Korean President Moon Jae-in has announced he will head to Pyongyang next month for a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Moon will become just the third South Korean president to travel to the North Korean capital. The meeting comes at a time when tension appears to be increasing again between the Trump administration and North Korea. Last week National Security Adviser John Bolton accused North Korea of not taking the steps the Trump administration feels are necessary to denuclearize.
In Washington, a white supremacist rally outside the White House largely fizzled on Sunday when just over two dozen people showed up for the Unite the Right protest. They were vastly outnumbered by counterprotesters, journalists and police officers. Sunday’s Unite the Right rally came a year after the deadly white supremacist protest in Charlottesville. President Trump marked the anniversary of Charlottesville by writing on Twitter, “I condemn all types of racism.” Shortly after the deadly Charlottesville protest last year, Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides.”
A Baltimore police officer has resigned after a video went viral showing him repeatedly punching a man in the face before taking him to the ground and continuing to beat him. Officer Arthur Williams was initially suspended from the force but then resigned on Sunday. The victim of the police beating, Dashawn McGrier, was taken to the hospital for possible fractures of the jaw, nose and ribs. McGrier’s attorney Warren Brown said, “It seems like this officer had just decided that Dashawn was going to be his punching bag. And this was a brutal attack that was degrading and demeaning to my client, to that community, and to the police department.” Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh described the video as “very disturbing.” Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson tweeted, “And this is why folks don’t have any faith in the police.”
President Trump is heading to Fort Drum, New York, today to sign a record-setting $716 billion military spending bill. That’s a $82 billion increase over the current year. The bill includes over $21 billion for nuclear weapons programs, including $65 million for a new submarine-launched, low-yield nuclear weapon.
In Afghanistan, a fierce battle is continuing over the control of the strategic city of Ghazni, four days after the Taliban attacked the city, killing more than 200 people—including over 100 soldiers and police officers. Many residents have fled the city.
Abdul Wakil: “There were burning buildings and fire and dead bodies everywhere in Ghazni city, and the fight was ongoing. The situation was very bad, and all the shops were closed.”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced today more troops would be sent to Ghazni, which is a 2-hour drive from Kabul.
Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians during protests in Gaza on Friday; 307 Palestinians were injured. The dead included a 22-year-old medic named Abdullah al-Qatati, who was shot in the chest while treating another Palestinian man who had been fatally wounded. Al-Qatati became the third medic to be shot dead in Gaza since the Great March of Return protests began in March. One of al-Qatati’s colleagues, said, “Yes, Abdullah was armed—he was armed with bandages and surgical masks.”
The United Nations has revealed it has received reports that China is holding over a million ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in what resembles a massive internment camp in the western Xinjiang autonomous region. According to the group China Human Rights Defenders, more than 20 percent of all arrests in China last year occurred in Xinjiang, even though the region makes up less than 2 percent of China’s population. China has rejected the internment camp reports, but an editorial in a state-backed newspaper says that China’s actions in Xinjiang have helped prevent the region from becoming “China’s Syria” or “China’s Libya.”
In news from Latin America, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has said he would allow FBI agents into Venezuela to help investigate a recent assassination attempt. Two drones loaded with explosives detonated above Maduro as he gave a nationally televised speech on August 4. Maduro says he believes the plotters of the attack have fled to Florida, Peru and Colombia.
In news from Washington, the White House is looking at ways to legally prevent former staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman from releasing more audio recordings made while she was a staffer at the White House. On Sunday, “Meet the Press” aired a recording the former reality TV star made of Chief of Staff John Kelly firing her inside the West Wing.
John Kelly: “We’re going to talk to you about leaving the White House. It’s come to my attention over the last few months that there’s been some pretty, in my opinion, significant integrity issues.”
Up until her firing, Omarosa was President Trump’s most prominent African-American adviser in the White House. In her new book, she describes the president as “racist” and claims he has used the “N-word” repeatedly.
A jury in California has ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who developed cancer after regularly using the Roundup weed killer. The 46-year-old man, Dewayne Johnson, has non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Doctors say he is unlikely to live past 2020. Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos read the jury’s verdict.
Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos: “Was the Roundup Pro or Ranger Pro design a substantial factor in causing harm to Mr. Johnson? Answer: Yes.”
Monsanto faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits around the country involving Roundup and other weed killers containing glyphosate.
The airline industry is re-examining security protocols after an airport worker at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport stole a plane on Friday night, took off without permission, then flew it for about an hour before crashing. Richard Russell was the only person on board when he crashed the 76-seat Horizon Air plane. He died in the crash. In other airline news, the Transportation Security Administration is considering a plan to eliminate security checkpoints at more than 150 smaller regional U.S. airports.
In news from Minnesota, outgoing Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison is denying accusations he abused an ex-girlfriend. On Saturday, the woman’s son posted a message on Facebook saying he had seen a video of Ellison dragging his mother off a bed while screaming at her. Ellison said in a statement, “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.” On Sunday, Ellison’s ex-girlfriend wrote on Twitter, “What my son said is true. Every statement he made was true.” Ellison is currently running to become Minnesota’s next attorney general. The Democratic primary is tomorrow.
And the Egyptian-born Marxist economist Samir Amin has died at the age of 86. He was considered to be one of Africa’s leading radical intellectuals and was one of the pioneers of describing modern human history from the perspective of the Global South. He appeared on Democracy Now! in 2015.
Samir Amir: “Oligarchy is not a specificity, say, of Russia today. You have an oligarchy running the United States, running the European Union and the countries of the European Union. You have oligarchies also running the dependent countries of Latin America, Africa, Asia. Everywhere, oligarchy.”