Leave the US, Trump tells liberal congresswomen of color
WASHINGTON — Starkly injecting race into his criticism of liberal Democrats, President Donald Trump said Sunday that four congresswomen of color should go back to the “broken and crime infested” countries they came from, ignoring the fact that all of the women are American citizens and three were born in the U.S. His attack drew a searing condemnation from Democrats who labeled the remarks racist and breathtakingly divisive.
Following a familiar script, Republicans remained largely silent after Trump’s morning broadsides against the four women. But the president’s nativist tweets caused Democrats to set aside their internal rifts to rise up in a united chorus against the president.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump wants to “make America white again.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, after jousting for days with Pelosi, said Trump “can’t conceive of an America that includes us.”
Trump, who has a long history of making racist remarks, was almost certainly referring to Ocasio-Cortez and her House allies in what’s become known as “the squad.” The others are Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Only Omar, from Somalia, is foreign-born.
Ocasio-Cortez swiftly denounced his remarks . “Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States,” she tweeted, adding that “You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.” Omar also addressed herself directly to Trump in a tweet, writing: “You are stoking white nationalism (because) you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.”
Inside Epstein network, layer upon layer to protect the boss
NEW YORK — A few cells away from drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman at a New York City jail, jet-setting financier Jeffrey Epstein sits accused of running a different kind of criminal network.
There was the team of recruiters and enablers bringing Epstein dozens of underage girls to sexually abuse, federal prosecutors allege.
There was the assistant who scheduled those encounters, and the butler who cleaned up afterward and doled out cash and gifts to the girls, authorities contend in court records.
There were the mansions in New York and Florida, the sprawling ranch in New Mexico and the private island in the Caribbean that kept prying eyes at a distance, and the forms his employees had to sign swearing they wouldn’t speak about him publicly.
All of it served to insulate Epstein with layer upon layer of secretiveness, investigators say, like a kingpin. And, as eventually happened to Guzman, all of it could be on the verge of collapsing inward on him.
Churches jump into action with threat of immigration sweeps
CHICAGO — As a nationwide immigration crackdown loomed, religious leaders across the country used their pulpits Sunday to quell concerns in immigrant communities and spring into action to help those potentially threatened by the operation.
A Chicago priest talked during his homily about the compassion of a border activist accused of harboring illegal immigrants, while another city church advertised a “deportation defense workshop.” Dozens of churches in Houston and Los Angeles offered sanctuary to anyone afraid of being arrested. In Miami, activists handed out fliers outside churches to help immigrants know their rights in case of an arrest.
“We’re living in a time where the law may permit the government to do certain things but that doesn’t necessarily make it right,” said the Rev. John Celichowski of St. Clare de Montefalco Parish in Chicago, where the nearly 1,000-member congregation is 90 percent Hispanic and mostly immigrant.
While federal immigration officials were mum on details, agents had been expected to start a coordinated action Sunday targeting roughly 2,000 people, including families, with final deportation orders in 10 major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami.
Activists and city officials reported some U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity in New York and Houston a day earlier, but it was unclear if it was part of the same operation. The Houston advocacy group FIEL said two people were arrested there Saturday. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed there were three incidents involving ICE on Saturday, but agents didn’t succeed in rounding up residents. Speaking at a news conference Sunday in New York, de Blasio called the operation “a political act” by President Donald Trump that had nothing to do with enforcing the law.
Demonstrators return to immigration jail after attack, death
TACOMA, Wash. — Demonstrators returned to an immigration jail in Washington state a day after an armed man threw incendiary devices at the detention center and later died.
Willem Van Spronsen, 69, was found dead Saturday after four police officers arrived and opened fire.
Demonstrators returned Sunday to the privately run Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, KOMO-TV reported. The demonstrators were protesting the facility and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement roundups that were supposed to begin Sunday. There were about 100 people gathered outside the center, the television station reported.
The facility holds migrants pending deportation proceedings. The detention center has also held immigration-seeking parents separated from their children under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, an effort meant to deter illegal immigration.
The center’s operator, GEO Group, said in a statement it was aware of a “community gathering” Sunday. “We respect every individual’s right to use their voice and express their opinions,” the center said.
Barry’s flood threat lingers as storm slowly sweeps inland
NEW ORLEANS — Tropical Depression Barry dumped rain as it slowly swept inland through Gulf Coast states Sunday, sparing New Orleans from a direct hit but stoking fears elsewhere of flooding, tornadoes, and prolonged power outages.
Though the system was downgraded to a tropical depression Sunday afternoon and its winds were steadily weakening since it made landfall Saturday in Louisiana, Barry’s rain bands created a flooding and tornado threat stretching from central Louisiana to eastern Mississippi and beyond. Several Louisiana parishes were under flash-flood warnings Sunday night.
Far from the storm’s center, tornado warnings were issued Sunday morning in both states, though no serious damage or injuries were reported.
On Sunday evening, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was “extremely grateful” that Barry had not caused the disastrous floods that had earlier been forecast.
“This was a storm that obviously could have played out very, very differently,” he said. “We’re thankful that the worst-case scenario did not happen.”
Calls for investigations after power restored in Manhattan
NEW YORK — A Manhattan power outage that temporarily turned off the bright lights of the big city only lasted for a few hours, but left plenty of lingering questions and calls for investigations on Sunday.
Con Ed President Tim Cawley insisted the Saturday night blackout that darkened more than 40 blocks of Manhattan including Times Square wasn’t due to high demand on the electrical grid, but said it would take some time to determine what exactly did happen.
“We think the grid is sound,” Cawley said Sunday, adding, “If there are lessons we can apply, we will.”
He said the system was prepared to deal with high demand, like that expected this coming week as temperatures rise.
Officials definitively ruled out either cyber- or physical acts of terrorism of any kind.
Biden campaigns as Obamacare’s top defender
Joe Biden is taking an aggressive approach to defending Obamacare, challenging not just President Donald Trump but also some of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination who want to replace the current insurance system with a fully government-run model.
The former vice president will spend much of the coming week talking about his approach to health care, including remarks he’ll deliver on Monday in Iowa at a presidential forum sponsored by AARP. His almost singular focus on the 2010 health care law has been on display recently in the early voting states.
In Iowa, he declared himself “against any Republican (and) any Democrat who wants to scrap” Obamacare. Later in New Hampshire, he said “we should not be scrapping Obamacare, we should be building on it,” a reference to his approach to add a government insurance plan known as the public option to existing exchanges that sell private insurance.
Biden is hoping his positioning as Obamacare’s chief defender could be helpful on several fronts. It’s a reminder of his close work alongside President Barack Obama, who remains popular among Democratic voters. And it could reinforce his pitch as a sensible centrist promising to rise above the strident cacophony of Trump and Democrats including Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, all single-payer advocates.
Perhaps as important, it’s an opportunity for Biden to go on offense ahead of the next presidential debate at the end of July. Biden has spent the past several weeks on defense, reversing his position on taxpayer funding for abortions and highlighting his past work with segregationist senators. Harris slammed him during the first debate, blasting the segregationist comment and criticizing his opposition to federal busing orders to desegregate public schools during the same era.
Congo confirms 1st Ebola case in city of Goma
BENI, Congo — The Congolese health ministry confirmed an Ebola case in Goma late Sunday, marking the first time the virus has reached the city of more than 2 million people along the border with Rwanda since the epidemic began nearly a year ago.
The health ministry said the man who had arrived earlier Sunday in the regional capital had been quickly transported to an Ebola treatment center. Authorities said they had tracked down all the passengers on the bus the man took to Goma from Butembo, one of the towns hardest hit by the disease.
“Because of the speed with which the patient was identified and isolated, and the identification of all the other bus passengers coming from Butembo, the risk of it spreading in the rest of the city of Goma is small,” the health ministry said in a statement.
The virus has killed more than 1,600 people in Congo and two others who returned home across the border to neighboring Uganda. Health experts have long feared that it could make its way to Goma, which is located on the Rwandan border.
The health ministries in Congo’s neighbors have been preparing for months for the possibility of cases, and frontline health workers already have been vaccinated.
India aborts moon mission launch, citing technical glitch
SRIHARIKOTA, India — India aborted the launch on Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff.
The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher, Indian Space Research Organization spokesman B.R. Guruprasad said.
The countdown abruptly stopped at T-56 minutes, 24 seconds, and Guruprasad said that the agency would announce a revised launch date soon.
Chandrayaan, the word for “moon craft” in Sanskrit, is designed for a soft landing on the lunar south pole and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.
With nuclear-armed India poised to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, the ardently nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology. If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth to do so after the U.S., Russia and China.
Djokovic tops Federer in historic final for 5th at Wimbledon
WIMBLEDON, England — For nearly five tight, tense and terrific hours, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer traded the lead, playing on and on and on until an unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker was required to settle their memorable Wimbledon final.
In the end, it was Djokovic who emerged victorious, coming back to edge Federer 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) and become the first man in 71 years to take home the trophy from the All England Club after needing to erase championship points.
“Unfortunately in these kinds of matches, one of the players has to lose,” Djokovic said. “It’s quite unreal.”
After facing two match points at 8-7 in the last set, he wound up claiming his fifth Wimbledon title and second in a row.
This triumph also earned Djokovic his 16th Grand Slam trophy overall, moving him closer to the only men ahead of him in tennis history: Federer owns 20, Rafael Nadal has 18.
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