Top News Stories for Today – Aug 14, 2017
Anti-white supremacist protests held across US
Several anti-white supremacist protests took place in cities across the United States on Sunday, one day after a woman was killed while demonstrating against the alt-right in Charlottesville, Virginia. In Seattle, participants in the Solidarity Against Hate march made their way downtown, where a pro-President Trump group was holding what it called a freedom of speech rally, and in New York City, hundreds more marched through the streets of midtown Manhattan carrying signs that read “No Racism” and “Resist.”
Thousands of peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C., marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, and hundreds made their way to a Confederate statue yelling, “Tear it down!” The Week
McMaster-Bannon White House conflict heats up
The nationalist-right campaign to oust National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is about to turn uglier, with a baseless attack claiming McMaster has a drinking problem, which presumably would hurt his standing with President Trump, a teetotaler, sources tell Axios. The attack, already widely expected in the White House, could backfire on chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who is reportedly already in hot water because Trump believes he is leaking damaging information on McMaster and other colleagues.
The tensions appeared to break into the open on Sunday’s Meet the Press, when host Chuck Todd asked McMaster three times if he could continue to work in the White House with Bannon, and three times McMaster declined to answer directly. Axios, NBC News, Theweek
China to Implement UN Sanctions on N Korea
China announced Monday it will cut off imports of North Korean coal, iron ore and other goods in three weeks under UN sanctions imposed over the North’s nuclear and missile programs. China, the isolated North’s main trading partner, has been reluctant to push leader Kim Jong Un’s regime too hard for fear it might collapse. But Beijing is increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang and supported a UN Security Council ban on Aug. 5 on coal and other key goods.
The Chinese customs agency said it will stop processing imports of North Korean coal, iron and lead ores and fish at midnight on Sept. 5. VOA
At least 17 killed in Burkina Faso restaurant attack
At least 17 people were killed in Burkina Faso when suspected Islamist extremists entered a Turkish restaurant Sunday night in the capital city of Ouagadougou and opened fire. The restaurant, Aziz Istanbul, is popular with foreigners, and there were several people dining when the attack began.
Burkina Faso’s communications minister said eight people were wounded and while police killed at least three of the attackers, there are still people left inside the building. There have been no claims of responsibility. The Guardian
Trump under fire for vague Charlottesville response
President Trump came under broad criticism this weekend for failing to denounce white nationalism while commenting on the violence in Charlottesville Saturday. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence,” Trump said, adding, “on many sides, on many sides.” “Did Trump really say that he condemns the violence on ‘many sides’?” asked Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson.
“The white folks with tiki torches brought the violence, own it.” It is “Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), one of many lawmakers, including Republicans, who spoke more explicitly than Trump. On Sunday, a White House statement said “of course” Trump’s condemnation of violence “includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups.” NBC News, The Week
Justice Department launches civil rights investigation in Charlottesville
The Department of Justice has opened a federal civil rights investigation into the violence at Saturday’s white nationalist rally and counter-protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three dead and dozens wounded. “The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.” The vehicle attack that left one dead will be a central focus of the probe; the helicopter crash that killed two state troopers is not believed to be caused by foul play. Sessions reported the FBI is already working with state and local law enforcement at the scene. The Hill, NBC News
Iranian respond to US sanctions with military spending bump
The Iranian parliament on Sunday voted to increase expenditures on the nation’s ballistic missile program and Revolutionary Guards in response to new US sanctions. Lawmakers described the spending bump as a way to “counter America’s terrorist and adventurist actions.
” The legislation “was designed wisely so that it does not violate the nuclear deal and provide excuses for opposing sides,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, giving Iran “potential and actual options to confront hostile US actions.” Some members of parliament reportedly chanted the slogan “Death to America” when the bill passed. Reuters, Al Jazeera
Indian hospital under scrutiny after 60 children die in 5 days
India’s Baba Raghav Das hospital, a public facility in the state of Uttar Pradesh, has come under scrutiny after some 60 children died in its care over the course of just five days. The hospital chief has been suspended amid allegations that many of the deaths stem from a shortage of oxygen supplies due to mismanagement and unpaid bills.
Hospital staff and patients’ families frantically attempted to provide manual oxygen support, but in many cases they were unsuccessful. “We will know — whether it was because of an oxygen shortage or due to a lack of proper treatment,” promised top local official Yogi Adityanath. “Those found guilty will not be spared.” BBC News, Reuters, The Week
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