Top news stories for today – August 16, 2016
Pennsylvania attorney general found guilty
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was found guilty Monday of nine criminal charges, including perjury and conspiracy. Kane, the first woman and Democrat elected to the office, was accused of leaking grand jury files in an effort to embarrass a rival prosecutor.
A lawyer for Kane, 50, accused her chief deputy, Adrian King, of sending the secret files to a reporter through Kane’s political consultant; that consultant was granted immunity, and testified that Kane came up with a cover-up in order to frame King for the leak. Kane will be sentenced within 90 days, and one charge of perjury can carry seven years in prison. The Associated Press
15 Guantanamo detainees transferred to UAE
On Monday, 15 Guantanamo Bay detainees were transferred to the United Arab Emirates, leaving just 61 prisoners left at the facility. This was the single largest transfer of inmates to take place during President Obama’s administration.
Twelve of the detainees are from Yemen and three are from Afghanistan, including a man identified as Obaidullah who spent more than 13 years at Guantanamo, accused of storing mines to be used against American troops in Afghanistan. Obama wants to see Guantanamo shut down before his presidency is over, and part of his plan is to bring the remaining detainees to maximum-security prisons in the United States. Reuters
Suspect charged in killings of New York imam
A Brooklyn man, Oscar Morel, was charged Monday for the killings of a Queens imam, Maulana Alauddin Akonjee, and his assistant, Thara Uddin, after they left their mosque. Both were shot in the head from behind.
Police took Morel into custody Sunday night after tracking his Chevy Trailblazer, which matched one seen in surveillance video. Investigators found a pistol they said matched the murder weapon in a search of the 35-year-old Morel’s apartment. Police said Monday they were still trying to determine a motive for the murders, which stoked fears in the local Bangladeshi community of growing anti-Muslim sentiment in New York City. The New York Times, ABC News
US condemns S Sudan soldiers who raped and killed civilians
Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, called on officials in South Sudan to investigate the incident and hold those responsible for what she called the “cowardly and brutal assaults” accountable. She said the South Sudan government routinely allows troops to commit murder and sexual violence with impunity.
The attack, which occurred on July 11, lasted for nearly four hours at the Terrain hotel complex, a residential area full of foreigners and tourists. A report put together by the hotel’s owner and reviewed by the Associated Press alleges that at least five women were raped during the incident and details reports of torture and mock executions.
Latest from Rio Olympic
Stunning win: In a stunning win Monday night in Rio, Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas won the women’s 400-meter final, diving over the finish line to defeat Allyson Felix of the United States. Miller had a winning time of 49.44 seconds, while Felix, the world champion looking for her fifth gold medal, came in at 49.51 seconds. Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson took third with a time of 49.85 seconds. The Week, YouTube
How Michael Phelps’ stretch got China talking:The most decorated Olympian of all time is inspiring Chinese people to copy his warm-up routine. Last week, it was the purple spots on his body, the result of cupping, which drew attention. Now one of his more unusual pre-race stretching routines is causing an online stir. The hashtags #Feiyubao and #Feiyubaobimohoubei, which roughly translate as “Phelps crossing arms whilst touching his back”, have been viewed more than 10 million times on Weibo alone. Many Chinese social media users have been trying to follow in the American swimmer’s footsteps. Or should that be arm-swings? BBC
US Presidential election
Donald Trump calls for ‘extreme vetting’ for immigrants: Donald Trump delivered a foreign policy speech on Monday, describing the battle against “radical Islamic terrorism” as being as serious as the Cold War. As had been expected, Trump outlined his plans for “extreme, extreme vetting,” doubling down on his original proposal to ban all Muslims but adding an ideological “test” for people wanting to enter the country, seeking to admit only those who support American values such as tolerance and pluralism. Trump also said he was willing to work with any Middle Eastern country willing to join the fight against ISIS, but maintained that he will fight terror “viciously, if necessary.” “Our country has enough problems, and we don’t need more,” he said. CNN, The Associated Press, The Week
Trump campaign chief slams NY Times, denies receiving Ukraine payments: Donald Trump’s campaign is again on the defensive, this time after a report detailed connections between Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Ukraine’s pro-Russia ex-president. The report, published in The New York Times late Sunday, disclosed the existence of secret ledgers in Ukraine that show $12.7 million in cash designated for Manafort. Manafort worked for years as a consultant for President Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions before the pro-Kremlin leader was ousted in 2014, amid accusations of corruption and economic mismanagement. VOA
Trump calls for ‘foreign policy realism’ aimed at destroying IS: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called Monday for “foreign policy realism,” focused on the destruction of Islamic State militants and other extremist groups, rather than reshaping nations to an American ideal. Trump, in a foreign policy speech in the state of Ohio, said the US needs to align itself with any country, regardless of past disputes, that wants to defeat “radical Islamic terrorism.” He said the rise of Islamic State is “the direct result” of foreign affairs policies advocated by President Barack Obama and his first-term secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic presidential opponent in the November 8 election. VOA
Obama warns Democrats against overconfidence about Clinton victory: Declaring he was tired of talking about Donald Trump, Obama urged Democrats on Monday not to grow too confident about their prospects in the 2016 election despite Hillary Clinton’s strong position in the race for the White House. Clinton leads Trump in opinion polls, and the Republican nominee’s campaign has suffered following remarks he made denigrating the parents of a fallen Muslim American soldier and charging that Obama was the founder of the Islamic State militant group. VOA
Biden on Trump: ‘He woulda loved Stalin’: The vice president tore into Donald Trump on Monday during a rally for Hillary Clinton in Scranton, Pa. calling his ideas “dangerous” and “un-American.” Biden brought up Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin — who he said Trump “admired” — and the former president of Iraq Saddam Hussein. “He’s even showered praise on Saddam Hussein, one of the violentest dictators of the 21st century,” Biden said. “He woulda loved Stalin.” Biden said that Trump could not be trusted with the nuclear codes. “He is not qualified to know the code, he can’t be trusted,” Biden said. USA Today
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