Top news stories for today – July 20, 2016
Kelly told Fox News CEO sexually harassed her
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes is in talks with 21st Century Fox that will likely lead to his departure following allegations of sexual harassment. But 21st Century Fox said in a statement that no exit agreement had been reached. “The review is ongoing,” Fox said, referring to the internal review that the Murdochs ordered after ex-anchor Gretchen Carlson accused Ailes of sexual harassment in a lawsuit earlier this month.
Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James jointly run 21st Century Fox. On Monday, New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported that the three Murdochs “have settled on removing” Ailes. The most explosive part of Sherman’s report involved Megyn Kelly, Fox’s 9 p.m. host.
According to two sources briefed on parent company 21st Century Fox’s outside probe of the Fox News executive, led by New York–based law firm Paul, Weiss, Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox. Kelly, according to the sources, has described her harassment by Ailes in detail. New York News & Politic, CNN
Retaking Mosul will sooner than first anticipated
No one is suggesting the fight to recapture the city, the Iraqi capital of the terror group’s self-declared caliphate, will be easy. But there is a sense that momentum has clearly swung in favor of Iraqi forces backed by US and coalition air power — and that now is the time to press the advantage.
“In many ways our campaign is now ahead of where we thought it would be at this time,” US Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk said Tuesday. “Mosul is now upon us,” he added. Iraq’s foreign minister was also optimistic, calling Mosul “the next target.” “It is the last hideout of Daesh [IS] in Iraq,” Ibrahim al-Jaafari said through an interpreter. VOA
Vietnamese surges over South China Sea ruling
Last week’s verdict by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration said China has no legal basis to claim “historic rights” to islands in the resource-rich, territorially disputed waters. It has drawn harsh reaction from Chinese officials and artists who have a large fan base in Vietnam, which is also a South China Sea claimant.
In a seemingly orchestrated response, some of Vietnam’s top singers adorned their Facebook pages with the word “no” superimposed on maps depicting the so-called “nine-dash line” that demarcates China’s extensive maritime claims.
In another bold move apparently greenlighted by Hanoi’s media watchdog, a local channel in southern Vietnam suspended broadcasts of a Chinese drama series after one of the lead actors voiced support for Beijing’s controversial claims. VOA
Israel passes law that could unseat Arab lawmakers
Israel’s parliament on Wednesday passed a law that enables members to impeach lawmakers who incite violence and racism, but critics fear it could be used to target Arab legislators. According to the law, any member “who incites racism or supports armed struggle against the state of Israel” could possibly be booted out of parliament. It passed by a narrow margin of 62 votes in favor to 47 votes against.
When the law goes into effect, it will require the votes of 90 of parliament’s 120 members to impeach a lawmaker. The legislation, which is supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, came about after an incident in which three members of the Arab-Israeli opposition party visited relatives of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli soldiers after the Palestinians allegedly carried out attacks in Israel. VOA
US Presidential election
Donald Trump is officially the Republican Party’s nominee: Donald Trump secured the nomination of the Republican Party on Tuesday night in Cleveland. Trump needed 1,237 votes to win the nomination, and his home state of New York put him over the top. His son, Donald Trump Jr., was one of the delegates, and praised his father for starting a “movement.” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was officially named the party’s vice presidential candidate an hour later.
Then the speeches began. “Let’s show America our best and nothing else,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republicans in a forward-looking speech. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put Hillary Clinton through a mock trial, asking the audience to determine whether she was “guilty” of “charges” relating to the intervention in Libya, the Iran nuclear deal, and more. And Donald Trump Jr. fired up the crowd with a passionate defense of his father. Growing up in the family business, Trump Jr. said, “we didn’t learn from MBAs, we learned from people who had doctorates in common sense.” The Week
Hillary Clinton may announce her VP pick by Friday: Hillary Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney dropped a hint Tuesday that Clinton’s VP announcement might arrive as soon as Friday. “I expect that’s about right,” Finney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, when asked whether the announcement could happen Friday. Clinton is scheduled to campaign in Orlando and Tampa Friday, just a few days ahead of the Democratic National Convention. Though several other contenders remain in the running, Clinton has reportedly whittled her choices down to two: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sen. Timothy Kaine (D-Va.). The Washington Post reports Clinton has “spoken highly of both in recent days to friends and advisers.” The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Week
Donald Trump Jr. RNC speech pulled lines verbatim from speechwriter’s essay: Fresh off the heels of his stepmother’s plagiarism scandal on Monday, Donald Trump Jr. apparently cribbed lines in his Tuesday night speech from an American Conservative essay penned by F. H. Buckley in May. As the story started to gain steam, Buckley simply tweeted, “Except it wasn’t stealing…” and later told Business Insider: “I was a speechwriter for this speech. So I’m afraid there’s no issue here.” The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza disagreed, arguing that it’s “absolutely unfathomable that a speechwriter would self-plagiarize for Trump’s son’s speech after yesterday’s debacle.” Twitter, The Week
Hillary’s comment on first day of RNC: Hillary Clinton on Tuesday slammed the first day of the Republican National Convention as “surreal,” comparing it to the “Wizard of Oz” while avoiding mentioning Melania Trump’s plagiarism controversy. “I kept thinking, ‘What’s this like?’ And then I thought, you know, when I was a little girl, I went to see … ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ” Clinton said. “And there were similarities that appeared to me. Lots of sound and fury, even a fog machine, but when you pulled back the curtain, it was just Donald Trump with nothing to offer the American people.” CNN
Millennials Could Determine Who Wins White House Race: The current generation of American voters between the ages of 18 and 35, known as millennials, has emerged as a key part of the nation’s electorate in the months before the U.S. presidential election. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide who will win, but that depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. In past elections, millennials have been on the lower end when it comes to voter turnout. VOA
- A top Republican was accidentally honest about the Benghazi investigation
- Donald Trump asks CNN to donate profits from 2016 GOP debate
- Fox news contributor claimed himself ex-CIA: prosecutors say it was a lie