Obama offers rare rebuke in wake of El Paso, Dayton shootings

Political News Obama offers rare rebuke in wake of El Paso, Dayton shootings https://linewsradio.com/obama-offers-rare-rebuke-in-wake-of-el-paso-dayton-shootings/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/rss.xml

Phototreat/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Former President Barack Obama offered a rare criticism of government leadership in a tweet posted Monday afternoon, in the wake of the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which took place within 15 hours of one another.

“We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as subhuman or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people,” he wrote.

Obama doesn’t mention President Donald Trump by name in his statement.

“Such language isn’t new — it’s been at the root of most human tragedy throughout history, here in America and around the world,” Obama wrote. “It has no place in our politics and our public life. And it’s time for the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, or every race and faith and political party, to say as much — clearly and unequivocally.”

 During his presidency, Obama addressed the nation following 14 mass shootings, which included the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.

Throughout his eight-year tenure, the former president called for “common-sense gun laws” but did not make significant progress, with major pieces of gun control legislation failing to pass in the Senate in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.

Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama offered their condolences to the families affected in the statement as well.

His message comes after Trump’s public remarks at the White House on Monday, responding to the two shootings over the weekend.

“These barbaric slaughters are an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation and a crime against all of humanity,” Trump said. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”

As these two mass shootings have sparked the all-too-familiar debate on gun control, former President Bill Clinton also commented.

“How many more people have to die before we reinstate the assault weapons ban & the limit on high-capacity magazines & pass universal background checks? After they passed in 1994, there was a big drop in mass shooting deaths. When the ban expired, they rose again. We must act now,” he tweeted.

On Monday afternoon, the El Paso Police Department updated the number of people killed to 22 with dozens more injured.

Nine people were killed in Ohio before police killed the shooter. There were 27 people who were also injured in the shooting, which took place less than 24 hours after the Texas shooting.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 05 Aug 2019

McGrath blasts McConnell campaign for tweeting graveyard photo after El Paso shooting

Political News McGrath blasts McConnell campaign for tweeting graveyard photo after El Paso shooting https://linewsradio.com/mcgrath-blasts-mcconnell-campaign-for-tweeting-graveyard-photo-after-el-paso-shooting/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/rss.xml

YayaErnst/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Amy McGrath, the most prominent Democrat vying to take on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2020 Kentucky Senate race, blasted the senator Monday for tweeting out an image of a mock graveyard with a tombstone bearing McGrath’s name just hours after a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed and many more injured.

“Hours after the El Paso shooting, Mitch McConnell proudly tweeted this photo. I find it so troubling that our politics have become so nasty and personal that the Senate Majority Leader thinks it’s appropriate to use imagery of the death of a political opponent (me) as messaging,” McGrath tweeted. “It’s symptomatic of what is wrong with our system. I’m fine with the ordinary rough and tumble of politics, but this strikes me as beyond the pale.”

At 6:35 p.m. Saturday, McConnell’s Senate campaign account tweeted an image of a fake graveyard with tombstones, seemingly made from cardboard, that read “R.I.P” above various people and ideals that McConnell has defeated, so to speak, or plans to defeat. McConnell campaign yard signs are among the tombstones as well.

There were tombstones for socialism, the Green New Deal, Merrick Garland, Alison Lundergan Grimes and McGrath, whose tombstone included the date of the 2020 election.

The Green New Deal is a progressive-backed climate change resolution that failed to pass in the Senate when McConnell took it to the floor for a vote. Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Barack Obama in 2016, and McConnell refused to bring his nomination before the Senate floor for a hearing or vote, claiming that since it was an election year, the next president should decide who filled late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. McConnell defeated Lundergan Grimes in his bid for re-election in 2014.

 McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden told ABC News via email, “Our supporters built an homage to the Courier Journal cartoon at Fancy Farm and we posted their work. Amy McGrath has tweeted this very cartoon several times and it’s shameful that she’s pretending not to know exactly what it is referencing in order to politicize a tragedy.”

“More lies from the McConnell camp,” Terry Sebastian of the McGrath campaign told ABC News in an email. “They are just trying to distract folks from the sick and ugly side of the campaign they’ve been running where they seem proud of calling themselves ‘Grim Reaper’ and ‘Cocaine Mitch’ and promotes images of a gravestone of his opponent. They are the worst of what politics has to offer.”

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords — who was shot in a mass shooting in 2011 and now leads Giffords, an organization dedicated to fighting gun violence in America — issued a statement in response to McConnell’s tweet as well.

“Threats, intimidation, and hate have no place in our society… I am appalled that in this divisive political climate—a climate where gun violence fueled by hate is on the rise—Mitch McConnell is joking about the death of his current and former opponents and a federal judge,” she wrote. “The nation is turning to Leader McConnell right now for leadership, and this is the furthest thing from it. Leader McConnell must apologize to Amy McGrath, Merrick Garland, and Alison Lundergan Grimes.”

The photo was taken at the 139th annual Fancy Farm picnic, an event in the Kentucky community on the first Saturday of every August that features political speeches, barbecuing and boasts thousands of attendees. It’s also a fundraiser for St. Jerome Catholic Church.

The original political cartoon, which was drawn by Joel Pett and published on July 12 in the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald Leader, featured McConnell with a shovel among various tombstones, including “heath care,” “campaign finance reform,” “coal miners” and several others.

McConnell’s campaign tweeted out the cartoon, with the senator himself signing the tweet, writing, “Although I profoundly disagree with a few of these grave stones, this might be my all-time favorite cartoon of the over 600 in my career.”

McGrath retweeted his post, writing, “Since Mitch McConnell went to Washington, (The Mine Safety and Health Administration) has found 21,000 instances of miners being exposed to toxins that cause black lung disease. Kentuckians are dying and here he is laughing about the destructive effects of his failures.”

The former fighter pilot announced her bid to unseat McConnell, one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, in early June. She had previously made a name for herself as one of the many female veterans running for Congress for the first time in 2018. She lost her race against Rep. Andy Barr, the incumbent for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 05 Aug 2019

North Korea fires unidentified projectiles, marking the 4th launch in the last 2 weeks

WORLD NEWS North Korea fires unidentified projectiles, marking the 4th launch in the last 2 weeks  https://linewsradio.com/north-korea-fires-unidentified-projectiles-marking-the-4th-launch-in-the-last-2-weeks/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/rss.xml

Oleksii Liskonih/iStock(SEOUL) — For the fourth time in less than two weeks, North Korea has fired projectiles into the Sea of Japan, a U.S. official said.

The two projectiles, fired on Tuesday morning local time, were assessed to be similar to the short-range ballistic missiles tested by North Korea last week, the official said.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs told Yonhap news agency that the projectiles were fired from areas near the South Hwanghae Province.

“We continue to monitor the situation and are consulting closely with our South Korean and Japanese allies,” a senior U.S. administration official told ABC News in a statement.

The latest test comes as U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is in the region for meetings this week with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts and the U.S. and South Korea began joint military exercises on the Korean peninsula.

A spokesperson for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry decried the exercises, which are computer-based and have been scaled down in size from previous years, as “an undisguised and a flagrant violation” of agreements between the U.S. and North Korea.

“Although the U.S. and South Korean authorities are playing all sorts of tricks to justify the joint military exercise, its aggressive nature can neither be covered up nor whitewashed in any manner,” the spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Last Thursday, North Korea launched at least one short-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, assessed to be similar to the missiles tested earlier that week.

President Donald Trump downplayed that launch, saying, “Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that. I have no problem. We’ll see what happens. But these are short-range missiles. They are very standard.”

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Posted On 05 Aug 2019

Mariah Carey creates theme song for ABC’s new ‘black-ish’ spinoff ‘mixed-ish’

Entertainment News  Mariah Carey creates theme song for ABC's new 'black-ish' spinoff 'mixed-ish' https://linewsradio.com/mariah-carey-creates-theme-song-for-abcs-new-black-ish-spinoff-mixed-ish/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/rss.xml


ABC(LOS ANGELES) — Mariah Carey has spoken about how growing up biracial had a huge impact on her — so it’s fitting that she’s been tapped to create the theme song for ABC’s new black-ish spinoff comedy, mixed-ish.

Mariah will write, produce and record the theme song, called “In the Mix,” for the new series, which focuses on the childhood of black-ish character Rainbow Johnson. Tracee Ellis Ross plays the adult Rainbow on black-ish.

On mixed-ish, we’ll follow a young Rainbow as she shares her experiences growing up in a mixed-race family in the ’80s, as her parents move from a hippie commune to the suburbs.

The show’s theme is “finding one’s own identity when the rest of the world can’t decide where you belong.” Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tika Sumpter play Bow’s parents, while Arica Himmel stars as young Bow.

“As a fan of Kenya Barris’ megahit shows, black-ish and grown-ish, I was inspired to connect with Kenya to find a way we could work together,” Mariah says in a statement.

“As a biracial woman in the entertainment industry, there was no way I did not want to be a part of mixed-ish, especially after seeing the pilot, which I loved,” she adds. “I could not be more honored and proud to be writing and performing ‘In the Mix’ for Kenya and the show.”

You can hear “In the Mix” when mixed-ish premieres Tuesday, September 24 on ABC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 05 Aug 2019

Schumer, Pelosi demand McConnell cancel August recess in wake of mass shootings

Political News Schumer, Pelosi demand McConnell cancel August recess in wake of mass shootings https://linewsradio.com/schumer-pelosi-demand-mcconnell-cancel-august-recess-in-wake-of-mass-shootings/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/rss.xml

rarrarorro/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The top Democrats in Congress on Monday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel the Senate’s August recess and return to work “immediately” to vote on gun background check legislation in the wake of two deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

The House passed two background check bills in February but the Senate has so far failed to act.

“In February, the new Democratic House Majority promptly did its duty and passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which is supported by more than 90 percent of the American people and proven to save lives. However, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has called himself the ‘grim reaper’ and refuses to act on this bipartisan legislation. It is incumbent upon the Senate to come back into session to pass this legislation immediately,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said in a joint statement Monday.

McConnell sets the Senate floor schedule and has not called the two bills up for consideration.

One of the bills would establish new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties. The other bill would extend the review period for the FBI to complete its background checks for gun purchases from three days to 10 days.

President Donald Trump has threatened to veto both measures.

The Democrats’ joint statement came just moments after Trump wrapped remarks in which he addressed the two fatal shootings.

In those remarks, Trump condemned “white supremacy” and cited the threat of “racist hate.”

“In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump said.

But Trump did not propose any sort of broad gun control measures in his remarks, and instead called for stronger action to address mental illness, video games and violence in the media.

“President Trump is literally making up causes of gun violence in America. America does not have more mental illness than other developed nations. We don’t have more violent video games. What we have is a hate machinery that President Trump feeds on an almost daily basis, and a country awash in guns and weak laws that allow young men contemplating violence to easily get their hands on a deadly weapon,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in a statement Monday.

Congress has not passed any sweeping gun reform legislation since the 1990s. Lawmakers have tried and failed numerous times, notably after the 2012 shootings in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 school children were killed by a gunman.

While Congress has failed to reach a bipartisan consensus on broad gun control legislation and the House-passed background check bills lie waiting in the Senate, some senators are working on other legislation to address the gun violence epidemic.

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, a top Trump ally, announced in a statement Monday that he and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut had reached an agreement on a federal grant program that would assist states in implementing the “Red Flag” law.

The state law typically permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves.

Graham said he spoke to Trump Monday morning and said he seemed “very supportive” of the idea.

Trump also spoke to another bipartisan duo on Monday – Sens. Pat Toomey, R- Penn., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., about a separate piece of legislation that would expand background checks for unlicensed gun show dealers and online sales.

“This morning, we both separately discussed with President Trump our support for passing our bipartisan legislation to strengthen background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, the dangerously mentally ill, and terrorists while respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners and all Americans. The president showed a willingness to work with us on the issue of strengthening background checks,” Manchin said in a statement.

Toomey said in a tweet it is “time for Congress to act.”

McConnell, who fractured his shoulder Sunday morning in a fall outside his Louisville home, is unlikely to bring the Senate back into session to vote on the two House-passed bills.

“It took less than three hours for the president to back off his call for stronger background check legislation. When he can’t talk about guns when he talks about gun violence, it shows the president remains prisoner to the gun lobby and the NRA,” Schumer and Pelosi said in their statement. “The public must weigh in and demand passage of this legislation for the safety of our children.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 05 Aug 2019

US urges Turkey to halt announced offensive into Syria that threatens US allies and ISIS jails

WORLD NEWS US urges Turkey to halt announced offensive into Syria that threatens US allies and ISIS jails  https://linewsradio.com/us-urges-turkey-to-halt-announced-offensive-into-syria-that-threatens-us-allies-and-isis-jails/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/rss.xml

hansslegers/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. is urging Turkey not to undertake an offensive into northeastern Syria against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces that helped to defeat the Islamic State and now maintains prisons with thousands of the terror group’s fighters.

An American military delegation is in Turkey to meet with Turkish officials and negotiate an alternative to a military operation that could also threaten U.S. troops stationed in the area.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has a close relationship with President Donald Trump, announced Sunday that Turkey’s military would begin the offensive imminently against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the mostly Kurdish group that served as the U.S. ground troops in the fight to destroy ISIS’s caliphate in Syria. The group has ties to their Kurdish counterparts in Turkey, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK, which the U.S. and Turkey consider a terrorist organization.

Turkish military forces have been increasing deployments along the Turkish side of the border in recent weeks — including heavy weaponry, tanks and artillery — in readiness for the attack.

While Erdogan has repeatedly threatened to undertake an offensive, this was the first time he said the plan had already been put in motion — saying the U.S. and Russia had both been notified.

The State Department would not say whether that was true, but it seems the U.S. was caught off guard.

“There are no talks with the Turks on protecting the Kurds… or stopping an invasion because we don’t see an invasion,” Ambassador James Jeffrey, the U.S. special envoy for Syria and to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, told reporters Thursday.

When asked about Erdogan’s announcement on Sunday, spokesperson Morgan Ortagus called any offensive “unacceptable” and urged Turkey to continue diplomatic talks toward “a joint approach” to Turkey’s “legitimate security concerns.”

“Unilateral military action into northeast Syria, particularly as U.S. personnel may be present or in the vicinity, while our and local Syrian partner’s operations against ISIS holdouts are continuing, is of grave concern. We would find any such actions unacceptable and thus urge Turkey once again to work with us on a joint approach,” Ortagus said in a statement to ABC News.

The U.S. has approximately 1,000 troops in Syria still and a small group of diplomats and aid workers who are working to ensure ISIS’s “enduring” defeat. To that end, both soldiers and diplomats work closely with the SDF in the areas of northeastern Syria that they and their political counterparts now control.

Within those territories, SDF authorities are holding some 10,000 terror fighters, according to Jeffrey, with 2,000 of them from countries outside Syria and Iraq. The SDF and U.S. have been urging countries to repatriate their citizens for prosecution, with warnings that the local prisons are ad hoc and not a sustainable solution.

There are approximately 70,000 displaced people, who fled ISIS, who are being held in camps, mostly women and children, according to Jeffrey. He said they already face humanitarian issues and potential radicalization.

The Pentagon did not provide details on Monday about its talks with Turkey beyond that the U.S. delegation is led by Brig. Gen. Scott Benedict, the Joint Staff deputy director of political-military affairs for the Middle East.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 05 Aug 2019

Trump says US must condemn ‘white supremacy’ and ‘racism’ in wake of weekend shootings

Political News Trump says US must condemn 'white supremacy' and 'racism' in wake of weekend shootings https://linewsradio.com/trump-says-us-must-condemn-white-supremacy-and-racism-in-wake-of-weekend-shootings/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/rss.xml

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Making his first formal remarks after the weekend mass shootings, President Donald Trump said Monday the U.S. was “overcome with shock, horror and sorrow” and that the nation must condemn “racism and white supremacy.”

Trump said a “wicked man” went to a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, in that mass shooting and said a “twisted monster” carried out the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, just hours later.

“These barbaric slaughters are an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation and a crime against all of humanity,” Trump said.

“The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate,” the president said. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”

 While not proposing any major gun control legislation, he said the nation needs to strengthen mental health laws.

“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” he said.

“Today I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively…” the president added.

Trump said the country needs to put partisanship aside, saying it is “not up to mentally ill monsters, it is up to us.”

“The perils of internet and social media cannot be ignored and will not be ignored,” the president said, blaming “gruesome and grizzly video games” for the “glorification of violence in our society.”

Television networks carried the president’s remarks live but it was not a formal speech to the nation. Trump spoke before pool reporters and cameras from the Diplomatic Room of the White House, not the Oval Office. Vice President Mike Pence stood at his side.

The president did not repeat his suggestion about gun background checks that he tweeted about earlier Monday.

In those tweets, Trump proposed “strong background checks,” perhaps, he said, tied to immigration reform.

In tweets earlier Monday morning, the president said, “We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain.”

At the same time, Trump also blamed the news media for “the anger and rage that has built up over many years.”

Former President Barack Obama weighed in with a rare tweet that, while not mentioning Trump by name, reflected scathing criticism of his divisive rhetoric.

“We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as subhuman, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people,” an excerpt from the lengthy tweet said.

Trump has threatened to veto two background check bills passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to consider them.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has demanded that McConnell call the Senate back from its August recess.

He fired off a tweet of his own Monday morning responding to Trump.

It was unclear how either of the shootings were related to immigration reform, as Trump suggested.

Trump’s acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, speaking on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, rejected claims from Democratic candidates and others that the president’s harsh rhetoric on immigration played any role in the shootings.

Before returning to Washington from his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Sunday evening, the president said “Hate has no place on our country.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 05 Aug 2019

Democratic candidates scorch Trump after shootings: ‘He should have been in Dayton or El Paso’

Political News Democratic candidates scorch Trump after shootings: 'He should have been in Dayton or El Paso' https://linewsradio.com/democratic-candidates-scorch-trump-after-shootings-he-should-have-been-in-dayton-or-el-paso/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/rss.xml

liveslow/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The Democratic 2020 candidates assailed President Donald Trump and top Republicans in Congress on Monday, renewing calls for legislative action to address mass shootings and delivering a fresh round of blistering criticism of his racist and divisive rhetoric they say promotes white nationalism and spurs a culture of violence.

“We’ve seen a rise in hate crimes in every single one of the last three years. The writing has been on the wall since that maiden speech coming down that escalator describing Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals,” said former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a native of El Paso, in an interview with MSNBC Monday. “Of course he is racist.”

“I think the president has to bear some responsibility for creating a culture in the United States around race baiting, around demonizing people of color, about — around demonizing immigrants,” Ohio Rep. Ryan told CNN Monday. “I mean, when you read that manifesto, it looked like it could have been written by a Trump speech writer.”

Following a pair of mass shootings only 13 hours apart in El Paso, Texas, and then in Dayton, Ohio, that took the lives of at least 31 victims, several of the 2020 candidates lay the blame at Trump’s feet for imploring violence at campaign rallies, invoking racist rhetoric against immigrants and minorities, and taking little action to alleviate the rampant gun violence in the U.S.

Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the U.S. have taken place in the past five years’ the shootings at the Las Vegas music festival, Pulse nightclub, Sutherland Springs church, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the San Bernardino regional center, and now the Walmart in El Paso, all have occurred since 2015.

Four of the five worst gun massacres on the list — including the deadliest, at a concert in Las Vegas — occurred in the past two years. Trump has been president for the last two-and-a-half years.

O’Rourke, who has been one of the most vocal and impassioned critics of the president over the last 36 hours for inflaming division, reiterated his outrage, comparing Trump’s administration to the “Third Reich” in Nazi Germany.

“The only modern, western democracy that said anything close to this is the Third Reich, Nazi Germany, talking about human beings — talking about them as sub-human,” O’Rourke, who represented El Paso for years in the U.S. House, said in the MSNBC interview. “We’ve seen a rise in hate crimes in every single one of the last three years.”

On Monday, President Trump addressed the shootings, and despite condemning white supremacy with some of his toughest language yet, he did not mention background check legislation, which he earlier Monday signaled he was open to if it included immigration reform.

“These barbaric slaughters are an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation and a crime against all of humanity,” the president said in his mid-morning remarks. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”

Following Trump’s remarks, Ryan, standing from the site of the Dayton shooting, which sits on the opposite side of the state from his native Youngstown, again rebuked the president and called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “get back to D.C.”

“Let’s get back to D.C. this week and let’s keep giving [McConnell] other reforms that we want to propose,” he told MSNBC Monday. “But we’re getting no expression, no confidence from Mitch McConnell or Donald Trump. [Trump] should have been in Dayton or El Paso the last couple of days, giving blood, being with people, giving hugs. He should have walked up to the microphone and said ‘on Monday morning we’re calling the Senate back to pass these two bills. Mitch McConnell will send those to my desk. I will sign them.'”

At least six 2020 Democrats have demanded that McConnell call for the Senate to return to Washington and reconvene to take action on gun violence, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Ryan, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Both O’Rourke and Ryan left the campaign trail over the weekend to return to their home states in the wake of the shootings.

The presidential hopefuls seeking to deny Trump a second term, in addition to expressing their frustration over the two shootings and Republican inaction, continued to link the Trump presidency to white nationalism, even after his Monday remarks.

“Donald Trump is unfit to lead our nation. His words could not be more hollow,” former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, the other Texan from San Antonio, wrote in a tweet. “He says ‘we must condemn racism, bigotry and white nationalism’—but often serves as their national spokesperson. In this national emergency, our president is morally bankrupt. We deserve better.”

“Let’s be very clear. You use the office of the presidency to encourage and embolden white supremacy. You use words like “infestation” and “invasion” to talk about human beings. We won’t truly speak with one voice against hatred until your voice is no longer in the White House,” Biden tweeted.

“His responsibility is to set the tone for America and what he’s done is spew hate and division his entire presidency,” Gillibrand said of the president. “He’s done nothing. All he’s done is pour fuel on a flame that has been burning since he got elected.”

“He doesn’t lead and he is part of the problem. He is the one that is inciting this violence and inciting this hate,” she added.

“We have a president who actively demonizes racial and religious minorities, who coddles Nazis and Klansmen, and who wields white supremacy as a political weapon,” Sanders wrote in a tweet Monday.

Warren dismissed Trump’s claims that the shootings are tied to mental illness, video games and the internet, before demanding that the president be called out for echoing “deadly ideologies.”

“White supremacy is not a mental illness,” she said on Twitter. “We need to call it what it is: Domestic terrorism. And we need to call out Donald Trump for amplifying these deadly ideologies.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 05 Aug 2019

Hong Kong crippled by strike, protests

WORLD NEWS Hong Kong crippled by strike, protests  https://linewsradio.com/hong-kong-crippled-by-strike-protests/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/rss.xml

bingfengwu/iStock(HONG KONG) — For the first time since its handover to China more than two decades ago, a city-wide strike brought much of Hong Kong to a standstill.

In an unusual sight for a city that prides itself on its work ethic, tens of thousands of Hong Kongers went on strike on Monday to support protesters who have been pressuring the government for the past nine weeks to answer their five demands, including a complete withdraw of the now-suspended extradition bill and setting up an independent commission to investigate whether Hong Kong Police have improperly used force against protesters.

The day began as protesters disrupted Hong Kong’s morning commute, blocking train doors and rail tracks, effectively shutting down eight lines of Hong Kong’s railway system for five hours at the height of rush hour.

As the day wore on, rallies held in seven districts across Hong Kong soon gave way to fierce clashes between police and protesters. After nightfall, pitch battles popped up in multiple spots all over Hong Kong. In one instance , a mob of anti-protesters attacked protesters with wooden rods when they marched into the normally-quiet neighborhood of North Point.

One-third of aviation industry workers took sick leave on Monday, the Ming Pao Daily News reported, resulting in more than 230 flights cancelled. Hong Kong International Airport was forced to operate with only one of two runways because of the number of air traffic controllers who called in sick.

Hong Kong’s embattled and deeply unpopular leader, Carrie Lam, appeared in public for the first time in two weeks on Monday morning, condemning the protesters and saying that they had pushed Hong Kong “to the verge of a very dangerous situation” and that they were using opposition to her now-shelved extradition bill as an excuse to undermine Beijing’s sovereignty in Hong Kong to “destroy the way of life cherished by the 7 million [residents].”

Protests erupted on the island in June over a controversial bill that would have allowed accused criminals to be extradited to countries where Hong Kong does not have an existing arrangement. That would have included mainland China, sparking concern over potential human rights abuses, and unearthing a deep-seated distrust for many in Hong Kong.

Lam suspended work on the bill soon after a violent clearance operation by police around government headquarters in mid-June. Despite reiterating on numerous occasion that the bill was “dead,” Lam and her ministers have refused to legally withdraw the bill, which remains one of the protesters’ demands.

The early peaceful protest marches in June, which attracted record numbers of Hong Kongers to the streets, have become smaller, but sizable battles between masked and hardhat-fitted protesters and police continue. Both sides have resorted to increasingly violent measures.

A casualty of the ongoing unrest has been the public’s relationship with the police, which has especially deteriorated since police were slow to respond to a mob that attacked protesters and pedestrians on July 21 in the suburb of Yuen Long.

Protesters have now started calling police “triads,” a referenced to organized crime in China and elsewhere, accusing the police of colluded with organized crime in the Yuen Long attacks.

Over the weekend, police continuously fired tear gas near residential buildings in the neighborhood of Wong Tai Sin in an effort to disperse protesters, angering the unprotected residents in the area.

A pattern that has emerged over the last three weeks: a few hundred radical protesters gather, agitate the police by throwing bricks, attacking and vandalizing police stations and vehicles. Then the police respond by clearing them with tear gas, rubber bullets and sometimes indiscriminate take-downs.

This week some protesters seemed to escalate their tactics, slingshotting bricks into police stations and setting fires on major thoroughfares. A suspected petrol bomb was hurled at a group resting police officers in the suburb of Tai Po, the South China Morning Post reported.

In response, the police have stepped up arrests in their clearance operations. Police have arrested 420 people since protests began on June 9th, a police department spokesperson said in a press conference Monday.

By 5 p.m. on Monday, the police had already arrested 82 additional people.

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Posted On 05 Aug 2019

Daveed Diggs to play Frederick Douglass in Showtime’s ‘The Good Lord Bird’ with Ethan Hawke

Entertainment News  Daveed Diggs to play Frederick Douglass in Showtime's 'The Good Lord Bird' with Ethan Hawke https://linewsradio.com/daveed-diggs-to-play-frederick-douglass-in-showtimes-the-good-lord-bird-with-ethan-hawke/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/rss.xml


ABC/Kelsey McNeal(LOS ANGELES) — Daveed Diggs has been tapped to star along Ethan Hawke in the Showtime limited series, The Good Lord Bird.

According to Deadline, black-ish co-star and Broadway veteran Diggs will play Fredrick Douglass in the pre-Civil War drama, based on James McBride’s award-winning novel of the same name. He joins Hawke, who will play abolitionist John Brown and newcomer Joshua Johnson-Lionel, who plays a young slave nicknamed Onion.

Like the book, the series is set to follow Brown’s friendship with Onion, who joins Brown’s group and takes part in the 1859 raid on an army depot in Harper’s Ferry, VA. The raid became one of the “key events leading to the Civil War.”

Douglass was said to have encouraged the raid, but found Brown’s “planning and leadership style questionable.”

This is the latest project for Diggs, who is best known for his Grammy and Tony Award-winning performance in Broadway’s Hamilton. On TV, he can be seen in Snowpiercer, The Get Down, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and others.

The Good Lord Bird, co-written by Hawke, will air as an eight-part limited event series that will premiere on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 10 p.m. ET.

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Posted On 05 Aug 2019