Top news stories for today – July 27, 2016
Investigators confident Russia hack DNC
American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence.
The emails were released by WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency. It is unclear how the documents made their way to the group. But a large sampling was published before the WikiLeaks release by several news organizations and someone who called himself “Guccifer 2.0,” who investigators now believe was an agent of the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence service. The New York Times
Indonesia’s President reshuffles cabinet
Indonesian President Joko Widodo installed 13 new cabinet ministers in his government Wednesday, including Wiranto, who was a former general during the country’s brutal occupation of East Timor in the 1990s.
Wiranto headed the military in 1999 when the army and paramilitary forces went on a bloody rampage when East Timor voted to become independent. He was indicted by a UN tribunal for crimes against humanity, but as yet to face trial.
Another major figure named to President Widodo’s new cabinet is Sri Mulyani Indrawati, a reformist and currently a managing director of the World Bank, who will serve as finance minister. Indrawati served in the post from 2005 to 2010, when she was praised for guiding Indonesia’s economy through the 2008 global financial crisis.
Pandjaitan’s new post comes as tensions in the Asia-Pacific region are rising over China’s claims to much territory in the South China Sea. VOA
Roger Federer to absent Rio Olympic
In a Facebook post, the world No. 3 explained he will need “more extensive rehabilitation” after knee surgery earlier this year. “The doctors advised me that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover,” Federer wrote. He plans to return to the courts in 2017. USA Today
US encouraged dialogue on maritime disputes
US says it is encouraged by the willingness of China and the Philippines to engage in direct dialogue over the South China Sea following a tribunal ruling against Beijing earlier this month.
In Manila Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with senior Philippine officials, including new Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. It was the first meeting between the two leaders after The Hague ruling which China objects to.
At a joint press conference with Philippines’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Kerry said the US encourages all parties, including the Chinese and the Philippines “to negotiate, to work through this diplomatically, bilaterally, multilaterally, and build up confidence building measures.” The top US diplomat said China indicated its willingness and readiness to engage in bilateral negotiation with the Philippines on Tuesday, a day after Kerry met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. VOA
US Presidential election
Hillary Clinton makes history as the first female presidential nominee: Hillary Clinton is officially the Democratic presidential nominee, having reached the 2,383 votes needed at the Democratic National Convention. She makes history as the first woman to ever win a major party’s nomination for president. Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke on behalf of the Vermont delegation, and moved that Clinton be the nominee.
Later in the evening, there were speeches by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, California Sen. Barbara Boxer, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and other victims of violence also spoke in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement. But the headline speaker was former President Bill Clinton, who delivered a personal address about his wife’s life, calling Hillary the “best darn change-maker I have ever known.” He also tried to draw a sharp contrast to her Republican opponent Donald Trump, saying: “One is real, the other is made up.” The Associated Press, The Week
Obama, Biden to speak at Day 3 of Democratic convention: With Hillary Clinton confirmed as the Democratic nominee, Day 3 of the Democratic convention will feature a speech by keynote speaker President Barack Obama, who defeated Clinton in the primaries eight years ago. Obama will reportedly defend his own time in office and promote Clinton as the best chance of extending his legacy. Vice President Joe Biden, who some thought might step up to challenge Clinton for the nomination, will also speak, as will former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who also considered a run as an Independent. America will also meet Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine on Wednesday amid swirls of dissatisfaction by Bernie Sanders supporters, who have called Kaine an “unacceptable” pick. The New York Times, ABC News, The Week
Sanders leaves Democratic race with stern words for his supporters: Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday warned his most ardent supporters that “it is easy to boo, but it’s harder to look your kids in the face who would be living under Donald Trump.” Sanders’ stern tone follows raucous protests, heckles, and boos by “Bernie-or-bust” protesters who repeatedly disrupted the opening night of Hillary Clinton’s nominating convention. Sanders insisted Monday night, in no uncertain terms, that Clinton “must become the next president of the United States.” His own flirtation with the Democratic Party, meanwhile, comes to an end, as Sanders said Tuesday he will return to the Senate as an Independent to continue his pursuit of “the revolution.” Talking Points Memo, The Week
President Obama’s half-brother will vote for Trump: He may be half-brother to the president of the United States, but Malik Obama says that come November, he is going to vote for Donald Trump. President Barack Obama’s half-brother told The New York Post that he likes the Republican nominee “because he speaks from the heart” and that “‘Make America Great Again’ is a great slogan.'” Malik Obama also criticized some decisions by his brother and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, especially the move to oust former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. “I still feel that getting rid of Gadhafi didn’t make things any better in Libya,” he said, adding “My brother and the secretary of state disappointed me in that regard.” VOA
Donald Trump says he’d support $10 minimum wage: Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would support raising the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour, a departure from his previous assertion that wages are “too high.” The Republican presidential nominee was pressed to provide a specific number by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who said “there has to be a federal minimum wage.” Trump initially dismissed that. “There doesn’t have to be,” Trump said. “I would leave it and raise it somewhat. You need to help people. I know it’s not very Republican to say.” CNN, Fox
Obama says its possible Putin is trying to sway vote for Trump: “Anything’s possible,” Obama responded when asked during an interview whether Russians could be working to influence the contest between Republican nominee Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. His comments came after US officials said this week that there is strong evidence that the Democratic National Committee data breach was carried out by hackers working on behalf of Russian intelligence. “Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin,” Obama said during the sit-down with NBC News. “And I think that Trump’s gotten pretty favorable coverage back in Russia.” CNN
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