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Trump demands congresswomen he subjected to racist tweets apologise to US and IsraelDonald Trump has once again attacked the four Democratic congresswomen he launched racist tweets at last week, demanding Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley apologise “for the horrible (hateful) things they have said.”“I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country,” the president wrote in a Sunday morning tweet. “They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said.”He added, “They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!”The latest tweets arrived after an extraordinary rebuke of the president’s racist attacks against the four congresswomen of colour — colloquially known as “the squad” — last week, in which the US House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning Mr Trump’s “racist comments.”Mr Trump tweeted that the four Democratic freshmen should “go back” to their countries, despite the fact the congresswomen are all US citizens and all but one were born in the US (Ms Omar emigrated to the US from Somalia as a refugee twenty-three years ago).The resolution passed by a 240-187 vote, marking an embarrassing moment for Mr Trump despite carrying no legal repercussions. The Democrats were joined by Republicans Brian Fitzpatrick, Fred Upton, Will Hurd and Susan Brooks. Justin Amash, who left the Republican party months after becoming the its sole member of Congress to back an impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump, also backed the measure. Democrats saved one of the day’s most passionate moments until near the end. “I know racism when I see it,” said John Lewis of Georgia, whose skull was fractured at the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march in Selma, Alabama. > I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) > > July 21, 2019“At the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism,” he added.Before the showdown roll call, Mr Trump characteristically plunged forward with time-tested insults. He accused his four outspoken critics of “spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician” and added, “If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave !” — echoing taunts long unleashed against political dissidents rather than opposing parties’ lawmakers.The president was joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other top Republicans in trying to redirect the focus from Trump’s original tweets, which for three days have consumed Washington and drawn widespread condemnation. Instead, they tried playing offense by accusing the four congresswomen — among the Democrats’ most left-leaning members and ardent Trump critics — of socialism, an accusation that’s already a central theme of the GOP’s 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns.Underscoring the stakes, Republicans formally objected after Nancy Pelosi said during a floor speech that Mr Trump’s tweets were “racist.” Led by Doug Collins, Republicans moved to have her words stricken from the record, a rare procedural rebuke.After a delay exceeding 90 minutes, Steny Hoyer said Ms Pelosi had indeed violated a House rule against characterising an action as racist. Mr Hoyer was presiding after Emanuel Cleaver stormed away from the presiding officer’s chair, lamenting, “We want to just fight,” apparently aimed at Republicans. Even so, Democrats flexed their muscle and the House voted afterward by party line to leave Ms Pelosi’s words intact in the record.Mr Trump took a positive view of the vote on Twitter, saying it was “so great” that only four Republicans had crossed party lines and noting the procedural rebuke of Ms Pelosi. “Quite a day!” he wrote.Some rank-and-file GOP lawmakers have agreed that Mr Trump’s words were racist, but on Tuesday party leaders insisted they were not and accused Democrats of using the resulting tumult to score political points. Among the few voices of restraint, Mitch McConnell said Mr Trump wasn’t racist, but he also called on leaders “from the president to the speaker to the freshman members of the House” to attack ideas, not the people who espouse them.“There’s been a consensus that political rhetoric has gotten way, way heated across the political spectrum,” said the Republican leader from Kentucky, breaking his own two days of silence on Mr Trump’s attacks.Hours earlier, Mr Trump tweeted, “Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” He wrote that House Republicans should “not show ‘weakness’” by agreeing to a resolution he labelled “a Democrat con game.”Additional reporting by AP


7/21/2019 6:17:00 AM

Alleged American ISIS Sniper Brought Home by the Defense Department to Face ChargesAn American citizen who allegedly served as a sniper for ISIS and became a leader for the terrorist group is expected to appear in federal court on Friday after being returned to the United States by the Defense Department, officials said.Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the Justice Department announced on Friday.A U.S. official confirmed to Task & Purpose that the Defense Department had transported Asainov from Syria to the United States. Asainov had been in the custody of Syrian Democratic Forces.No further information about the military's role in transporting Asainov, to the United States was immediately available.Asainov is accused of leaving Brooklyn in December 2013 to fight for ISIS in Syria, a Justice Department news release says. After becoming an ISIS sniper, he was promoted to become an "emir" in charge of training fighters how to use weapons and also tried to recruit someone else to leave the United States and become an ISIS fighter.Prosecutors claim Asainov tried to buy a scope for his rile by paying roughly $2,800 to a confidential informant, the news release says."Asainov subsequently sent the confidential informant two photographs depicting the defendant holding an assault rifle fitted with a scope," the news release says. "He messaged one associate exclaiming, in reference to ISIS, 'We are the worst terrorist organization in the world that has ever existed' and stating that he wished to die on the battlefield."


7/20/2019 6:52:44 AM

Vatican opens burial chambers in hunt for princesses and missing teenThe Vatican on Saturday opened two burial chambers discovered under a trapdoor as it attempts to get to the bottom of a riddle involving two 19th-century princesses and a teenager who went missing 36 years ago. The ossuaries were found last week under the floor of the Pontifical Teutonic College after the shock discovery earlier this month that the bones of the princesses had disappeared from tombs in the Teutonic Cemetery. The graves of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe and Princess Charlotte Federica of Mecklenburg, who died in 1836 and 1840, were exhumed after an anonymous tip-off that they may hold the remains of a missing Italian youngster.


7/20/2019 11:29:15 AM

Ex-NRA Ad Firm: Um, Wayne LaPierre is LyingLucas Jackson/ReutersIn a new filing against the National Rifle Association, lawyers for ad agency Ackerman McQueen suggest that longtime NRA executive Wayne LaPierre is lying about a critical moment in the gun rights group’s recent leadership shake up. At issue is multi-million-dollar litigation between the NRA and its ex-ad firm. In court filings of its own, the NRA has alleged that Oliver North, the groups's former president, was ousted in part because he withheld information from the NRA about payments he took from Ackerman McQueen, which had served as the gun rights group’s primary ad contractor until just months ago. The NRA claims North kept the nature of his deal with Ackerman McQueen a secret from LaPierre and the gun group’s leadership. But in a July 16 filing that was reviewed by The Daily Beast, Ackerman McQueen alleges that LaPierre himself helped negotiate the deal between their firm and North. And they hint that they have documentation to prove it. In a statement, the NRA denied the suggestions. “The facts are clear – Mr. LaPierre and the NRA had no idea that Col. North was negotiating to become an employee of Ackerman McQueen,” said Andrew Arulanandam, managing director of NRA Public Affairs. “And to the extent Col. North was pushing a contrived narrative about Mr. LaPierre and the NRA, he was conflicted. He was an employee of Ackerman at the time he was allegedly scheming with the agency to unseat Mr. LaPierre.”  It’s a messy new chapter in the months-long legal battle between the NRA and the ad firm it used for more than three decades. And it comes as the gun group has jettisoned senior staff and faced revolts from grassroots activists and donors. “LaPierre negotiated the terms of the North Contract directly with Lt. Col. North and a detailed term sheet was sent to AMc [Ackerman McQueen] for completion of the formal agreement,” the filing reads. The NRA’s then-treasurer, Wilson “Woody” Phillips, also reviewed and approved North’s contract with the firm, according to the filing, and the NRA board’s audit committee green-lit the contract as well. “On at least two occasions, counsel for the NRA has reviewed the North Contract,” the filing adds. NRA Pulls the Plug on NRATVAckerman McQueen’s insistence that NRA officials were aware of the contract with North is directly at odds with the contention the NRA made in a suit it filed against the ad agency in April. North was ousted from the NRA that month during the group’s annual meeting and has since accused LaPierre of gross mismanagement and making highly questionable expenditures. The NRA, meanwhile, has alleged that North tried to oust LaPierre in a coup. And in a separate suit in May, it accused Ackerman McQueen of breach of contract by leaking information about both LaPierre and the NRA’s finances. Ackerman McQueen had been a central force behind the NRA’s evolution from a gun rights group to a conservative cultural institution. As part of that mission, the ad firm helped launch and manage NRATV, the NRA’s recently shuttered internet-video arm. The NRA has alleged in court that Ackerman McQueen had refused to share its analytics with the gun group. But In its July 16 filing, Ackerman McQueen claims that the opposite is true. “Two days before the lawsuit was filed, LaPierre was in AMc’s office and was in attendance for the presentation of the NRATV analytics,” it reads. “LaPierre walked out of the meeting.” A spokesperson for the NRA’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The filing indicates that the fight between the NRA and Ackerman shows no signs of losing steam. Earlier this week, longtime NRA director of public affairs Jennifer Baker left the group. And a month ago, the group parted ways with its longtime top lobbyist, Chris Cox. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.


7/19/2019 11:46:23 AM

Funeral service held for 86 Muslims killed by SerbsPRIJEDOR, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Several thousand people attended a funeral service in Bosnia on Saturday for 86 Muslims who were slain by Serbs in one of the worst atrocities of the country's 1992-95 war. Relatives of the victims, religious leaders and others gathered at a soccer stadium near the eastern town of Prijedor, standing solemnly behind lines of coffins draped with green cloths. The Serbs later threw bombs onto the bodies, which made identifying the victims difficult.


7/20/2019 11:10:46 AM

Britain warns Iran of 'serious consequences' if British-flagged oil tanker not releasedIran's seizure of a British oil tanker potentially marks a major escalation in tensions between Iran and the West since they began rising in May.


7/20/2019 7:29:06 PM

Japan undecided on response to U.S. plan for Mideast maritime coalition -PM AbeJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday he had not yet decided on how to respond to an expected U.S. request to send its navy to join a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen. "We've started to hear the United States' thinking on this and we want to keep listening carefully," he said on national television as votes were being counted for the upper house election. "At the same time, Japan also has friendly ties with Iran," Abe added.


7/21/2019 8:17:36 AM

A Passenger Was Fined $105,000 and Banned for Life for 'Extremely Disruptive Behavior' on an AirplaneShe was also banned for life by British budget carrier Jet2


7/19/2019 2:09:25 PM

'Horrific for all': Pentagon intelligence chief says Iran does not want warA U.S. Marines helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the USS Boxer during its transit through Strait of Hormuz. ASPEN, Colo. — As tensions in the Persian Gulf continued to ramp up on Friday afternoon amid news that Iran had seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Army Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, concluded that Iran does not want to start a war with the U.S. or its allies. Answering a question posed by CNN national security correspondent Jim Sciutto in Aspen, Colo., about the latest incident, Ashley declined to give a specific response to the news, but later said that none of the United States’ major adversaries or competitors, including Iran, China and Russia, wants to start a war.


7/19/2019 5:19:19 PM

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