Top news stories for today – July 7, 2016
Justice Department closes Clinton email probe
Attorney General Loretta Lynch released a statement Wednesday evening saying no charges will be brought against Hillary Clinton or anyone else involved in the investigation into her use of a personal email system during her time as secretary of state.
Lynch said she met with FBI Director James Comey and the career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation, and “received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, yearlong investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation.” On Tuesday, Comey recommended against prosecution. Lynch said last week that she intended to accept the recommendations and findings presented by the FBI. The Associated Press, The Week
Typhoon Nepartak expected to hit Taiwan
A super typhoon being described as “near perfect” is expected to hit Taiwan early Friday morning. With winds clocking in at 170 mph and gusts even higher, super typhoon Nepartak is currently the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane, and almost as strong as Soudelor, a super typhoon that slammed into Taiwan and China in 2015, killing at least 36 people and causing billions of dollars worth of damage.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense said thousands of troops have been deployed across Taiwan, and the Taiwan Power Company is estimating more than 3.1 million homes will experience power outages. Extreme flooding could take place in the eastern counties of Yilan and Hualien, areas where the typhoon will first make landfall, and thousands of tourists have been evacuated from the Green and Orchid Islands. CNN
US sanctions North Korean leader
The Obama administration on Wednesday slapped sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and 10 other regime officials for their alleged complicity in human rights abuses against the North Korean people. The move marked the first time Washington sanctioned Kim Jong Un personally. Administration officials said Kim was “ultimately responsible” for what they called “North Korea’s notorious abuses of human rights.”
“As a result of today’s actions, any property or interest in property of those designated by (Office of Foreign Assets Control) within US jurisdiction is frozen,” the Treasury Department said. “Additionally, transactions by US persons involving the designated persons are generally prohibited.”
A lot of international financial institutions similarly avoid those designated on these types of sanctions list so they can do business with US institutions. CNN
US gun control debate at center stage again
Last month’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida that left 49 people dead pushed gun control to the forefront in the contentious 2016 political election season, even as fractious Republican and Democratic lawmakers remain as divided as ever.
Leaders of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives said Wednesday they would vote later this week on a measure to try to prevent terrorists from buying guns. But Democrats are opposed to the details of the legislation, with a similar proposal already defeated in the Senate. VOA
Police shoot man during traffic stop in US
Authorities say St. Anthony Police were conducting a traffic stop when an officer fired at least one shot at Philando Castile in the car. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment, where he later died, family members confirmed. As in the Alton Sterling incident in Baton Rouge where video captured police shooting Sterling, video also is available in this case.
A nine-minute Facebook Live video, recorded by a woman who said she’s Castile’s girlfriend, apparently shows the aftermath of the shooting. In the video, the woman says police shot her boyfriend after he reached for his ID, which was in his wallet. She says her boyfriend, who was allegedly stopped for a broken taillight, told police the ID was in his wallet and that he was carrying a firearm, which he was licensed to do. “Police shot him for no apparent reason,” she said in the video, “no reason at all.” USA Today
US Presidential election
Sanders to endorse Clinton: Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns are discussing holding an event, possibly as early as next week in New Hampshire, at which Sanders would endorse Clinton, sources close to his campaign told ABC News. Although Sanders has not formally endorsed Clinton, he has said he would vote for her. This campaigns have also been negotiating policy details for the Democratic Party’s official platform; over the weekend, the party’s Platform Drafting Committee will vote on the policy document that will be presented at the Democratic National Convention later this month. Sanders said the platform is “the most progressive” in recent history, and includes Wall Street reforms, rejecting super PAC money, and expanding Social Security. ABC News, The Week
FBI Director to testify on Capitol Hill in Clinton email controversy: Angry Republicans in the House of Representatives are set to grill FBI Director James Comey on Thursday over his decision not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server. Comey has been called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, while Attorney General Loretta Lynch is scheduled to go before the House Judiciary Committee next week. Lynch and Comey met Wednesday, ahead of his testimony. Lynch said she will abide by the FBI’s recommendations. VOA
Trump portrays Saddam Hussein as strong against terrorists: On Tuesday, Hussein was one of the top trending topics on Twitter after U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump offered more praise for his style of leadership. “Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy, really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights, they didn’t talk. They were a terrorist, it was over,” Trump told his supporters. He has made similar statements in the past few years, including in 2014 when he wrote on Twitter that Iraq was more dangerous than it ever was under Hussein. VOA
Pelosi mocks GOP for ‘nipping’ at Clinton’s heels over emails: House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday vigorously defended Hillary Clinton from a stinging FBI report on her handling of classified information while secretary of State, mocking Republicans for promising another “investigation of an investigation of an investigation” into the agency’s recommendation not to pursue criminal charges.
“What I heard” from FBI Director James Comey “was that there was nothing prosecutable in what they reviewed,” Pelosi told Capital Download in her first public remarks on the subject. “Yes, it could have been better. Out of 30,000 emails, 110 or something were in question. That’s too many. You don’t want any — but at 30,000, a small number. And the secretary said she made a mistake, she wouldn’t do it again. He said there’s not enough here to prosecute anything. I think that’s that.” USA Today
Donald Trump and RNC raise $51 million in June: Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee collected $51 million to support his White House candidacy and the party last month — a substantial surge from his anemic fundraising in May but still short of the huge sums his Democratic rival collected in June. He donated another $3.8 million of his fortune to his campaign. That brings Trump’s total investment to $55 million. Trump, who largely self-financed his bid to win the Republican primary, is racing to build a finance operation to catch up Clinton, who raised about $68.5 million last month for her campaign and Democratic Party committees. USA Today