Top news stories for today – August 11, 2016
Germany plan to thwart Islamist militants
Germans with dual nationality will lose their German citizenship if they fight for militant Islamist groups abroad, under new anti-terror proposals. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere also announced plans to speed up the deportation of foreign criminals.
He announced extra personnel, equipment and surveillance powers for the police. But he said there would be no ban on public wearing of the burka (full veil). And he resisted pressure to ease medical confidentiality.
German media report that the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) – coalition partners of the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) – strongly oppose any general ban on dual citizenship. The Greens are also against the idea. The security issue has become intensely political, as the country prepares for general elections next year and earlier regional elections. BBC
Latest news from Rio Olympic
According to historians, Phelps has equalled a record that has stood for more than 2,000 years. Leonidas of Rhodes won 12 individual titles (Phelps’ 21 include relays) but the American has the chance to surpass that mark on Thursday. Washington Post
You train for 20 years to reach the Olympic Games and then officials forget to register you for your race. Polish swimmer Konrad Czerniak says he was “knocked off his feet” when he discovered he couldn’t compete in the 100m freestyle. Facebook
Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu, dubbed “the Iron Lady”, has become a star in the pool with three gold medals, but it is her husband Shane Tusup who has proved the big hit on social media because of his enthusiastic celebrations. Daily Mail
After Malaysia won a first Olympic medal in the diving – silver in the women’s 10m platform synchronized event – one of the country’s national newspapers said the successful pair will receive “life-long pensions”. Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong are set for 3,000 Malaysian ringgits (almost £600) per month. Malaysian Star
Approximately 40,000 sold entry tickets went unused on the first full day of the Rio Games on Saturday, because of the long queues and delays at the Olympic Park and the Deodoro complex. Folha de Sao Paulo
Russia, Turkey plan to coordinate on Syria
Russia and Turkey are taking unprecedented steps to directly coordinate actions in Syria after a rapprochement between their presidents and despite disagreeing over support for Damascus. The level of cooperation in the five-year civil war was made possible after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reconciled face to face Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg.
Putin announced that Russia would begin rolling back sanctions and restart important energy projects such as a stalled nuclear plant, which would be Turkey’s first, and the Turkish Stream gas pipeline from southern Russia to the Black Sea. Russian officials said trade with Turkey could be fully restored by the end of the year. VOA
US worker productivity drops again
The productivity of American workers fell in the second quarter, continuing a 12-month decline that fuels concerns about corporate profits and the ability of businesses to maintain their recent brisk hiring pace. The US Department of Labor said Tuesday productivity dropped at an annual rate of 0.5 percent in the three-month period through June.
But the US employment picture has been solid, with the Labor Department reporting the addition of 255,000 jobs in July and 292,000 in June. Last week it reported the jobless rate was a healthy 4.9 percent.
Some economists believe the drop in productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, is due to a shift from manufacturing and energy jobs to jobs in the service industry. Other economists question the government’s ability to accurately measure it. VOA
US Presidential election
Secret Service reportedly talks to Trump campaign about 2nd Amendment line: Donald Trump’s comment that “Second Amendment people” might be able to stop Hillary Clinton has caught the Secret Service’s attention. An official with the agency confirmed to CNN on Wednesday that they’ve had “more than one conversation” with Trump’s campaign about his comments at a rally Tuesday. Though Trump’s remark was widely interpreted as a threat to use violence against Clinton, Trump maintains he was referring to the “strong political movement” behind the Second Amendment unifying against Clinton. CNN reported Trump’s campaign told the Secret Service he “did not intend to incite violence.” On Wednesday afternoon Trump denied the report, tweeting, “No such meeting or conversation ever happened — a made up story by ‘low ratings’ CNN.” CNN, The Week
Democrats brace for more leaks as suspected Russian hacking case widens: US intelligence agencies blamed Russian hackers for the hacking and subsequent leak of Democratic National Committee emails and documents, and on Wednesday, officials disclosed that the Russian cyberattack is much bigger that originally thought, and that the FBI is now warning more than 100 Democratic Party officials and groups that their personal email accounts may have been compromised. The hackers appear to have mainly targeted the emails of officials in Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Democratic Party operatives, but groups like the Democratic Governors’ Association may have also been hit. The motives for the hack aren’t clear yet, though Democrats are bracing for an October surprise, or a slow drip of damaging leaks. Donald Trump’s networks don’t appear to have been targeted. The New York Times, The Week
Europeans on US presidential election: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier calls Trump a “hate preacher,” while Italy’s Prime Minister Mateo Renzi has placed his bets squarely on Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. A June poll by the Washington-based Pew Research Center found just 9 percent of Europeans had confidence in a Trump presidency, compared to 59 percent for Clinton, a known quantity here after her years as secretary of state. VOA
Donald Trump calls Obama founder of ISIS: Donald Trump on Wednesday repeatedly called President Barack Obama the “founder” of ISIS and labeled Hillary Clinton the “co-founder.” At a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Trump also said that ISIS “honors” Obama — who the GOP nominee referred to as “Barack Hussein Obama.” Conservatives opponents of Obama have used the president’s middle name to highlight what they see as Muslim sympathies and Trump had for a long time claimed Obama was not born in the US, though Obama is a Christian who was born in the US. CNN
Clinton camp releases list of Republicans, independents for Clinton: The Clinton campaign officially announced the results of their behind-the-scenes recruitment of Republicans and independents Wednesday. “Together for America” includes former Cabinet secretaries, current and former members of Congress, ambassadors, former leaders of the armed forces and administration officials. Harry Sloan, the former chief of MGM and a major GOP donor, is not just supporting Clinton he’s trying to help the campaign recruit other Republicans.
Ambassador Robert Blackwill — who was the former deputy national security advisor and ambassador to India under former president George W. Bush and an official in the former president George H. W. Bush administration — said he had to back Clinton because of who she is running against. USA Today