Top News Stories for Today – Aug 13, 2017
One killed in violence over US far-right rally
A car reportedly plowed through peaceful protesters marching against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. At least one person was killed and 19 people injured. Hours later, a police helicopter also reportedly crashed on the outskirts of the city, killing two officers. It is unclear if the events are related.
City and county officials had hours earlier declared a state of emergency after violence broke out between white nationalist marchers and anti-racist counter-protesters in a city park. At least two people were injured as belligerents threw punches, paint-filled water balloons, urine, and water bottles; sprays believed to be mace and tear gas were also used. The “Unite the Right” rally has assembled to protest Charlottesville’s removal of statues commemorating Confederate figures like Gen. Robert E. Lee. Police issued an order to disperse before the event’s official start time at noon. Friday night, a smaller group of marchers assembled with torches on the University of Virginia campus chanting Nazi slogans in what Charlottesville’s mayor called “a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance.” NBC News, BBC News, Theweek
Trump condemns hate on many sides in Charlottesville
President Trump addressed the reportedly lethal violence between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday during a bill signing ceremony. “We’re closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville,” Trump said. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence, on many sides.” There are “so many incredible things happening in our country,” he continued, referring to the strength of the economy, “so when I watch Charlottesville, to me it’s very, very sad.”
The president offered praise for law enforcement active in Charlottesville and called for “study” of what’s happening to “see what we’re doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen.” “We have to heal the wounds of our country. These are wounds that have been going on for really a long time,” he concluded. “We’re going to make every effort possible to make sure that healing procedure goes as quickly as possible.” The White House, CBS News
Xi urges Trump to exercise restraint with N Korea
China’s President Xi Jinping urged President Trump to tone down his aggressive rhetoric toward North Korea in a phone call Friday night. “At present, relevant parties should exercise restraint and avoid words and actions that would escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” Xi said, per the Chinese foreign ministry.
Xi’s comments come in response to increased saber-rattling from Trump and Pyongyang since North Korea tested missiles that could potentially execute a nuclear strike on the US mainland. Earlier Friday, Beijing indirectly warned its North Korean allies no Chinese help would be forthcoming if Kim Jong Un attacks US territory first. The Washington Post, CNN
Trump tells Guam threats from N Korea will increase tourism
President Trump spoke with Guam’s Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo (R) Friday to address North Korea’s threat to attack the US territory with a missile strike. During the conversation, Calvo said, Trump “assured me that the people of Guam are safe.” The president also suggested the tension could be a boon to the island’s tourist economy.
“I have to tell you, you have become extremely famous all over the world. They are talking about Guam; and they’re talking about you,” he can be heard saying in Calvo’s recording of the call, which he shared on Facebook. “I can say this,” Trump continued, tourism is “going to go up, like, tenfold with the expenditure of no money, so I congratulate you.” The New York Times, NBC News
Britain ready to release Brexit proposals
The British government is fighting back against criticism that it is divided and unprepared for Brexit, announcing it will publish a set of detailed proposals on customs arrangements, the status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border and other issues. The Department for Exiting the European Union said Sunday that it would release the first set of position papers this week, more than a year after Britons voted in a referendum to leave the European Union.
The government says it hopes to persuade the 27 other EU nations to start negotiating a “deep and special” future relationship that would include a free trade deal between Britain and the EU. VOA
GOPs and Dems urge Trump to denounce white supremacy
President Donald Trump blamed “many sides” for violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the wake of a white nationalist demonstration. His comments drew swift reactions. Democrats and some Republicans called on him to specifically denounce white supremacy and racially motivated hate by name. Vice President Mike Pence supported the president’s speech. A white supremacist website praised the comments.
What others are saying: “Mr. President, we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.” — Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., via Twitter.
“I’m not going to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in American today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president.” — Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, a Democrat.
“We reject the racism and violence of white nationalists like the ones acting out in Charlottesville. Everyone in leadership must speak out.” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican and Trump supporter.
“White supremacists, Neo-Nazis and anti-Semites are the antithesis of our American values. There are no other “sides” to hatred and bigotry.” — Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., via Twitter.
“The President’s talk of violence ‘on many sides’ ignores the shameful reality of white supremacism in our country today, and continues a disturbing pattern of complacency around such acts of hate.” — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. VOA
You may also like
- A Perilous Ride to a Remote Valley
- China's two-child policy: New number, same disaster
- I Felt Hopeless About the Gun Control Debate. So I Talked to Gun Owners
- YouTube's Battle Against ISIS