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Walter Wallace Jr killing: hundreds protest in Philadelphia for second night - The Guardian
500 people marched and demanded names of police officers who opened fire on a black man said to be suffering from mental breakdown
Hundreds took to the streets of Philadelphia for a second night of protests over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr, a 27-year-old black man. Members of Wallaces family appealed on Tuesday for calm as a second night of protests over his death flared on the fringes into violent clashes between demonstrators and police, both in Philadelphia and New York. Wallace Jr was described by relatives as suffering from a mental breakdown, but a call for help ended in a deadly confrontation with law enforcement after reports that the man had a knife. Marchers demanded racial justice as the killing became the latest flash point in the United States amid months of largely peaceful protests reinvigorating the Black Lives Matter movement against structural racism, killings and racist policing. About 500 people gathered at a West Philadelphia park on Tuesday night and began marching through the neighborhood, chanting and demanding the names of the officers who opened fire. The demonstrations came as Wallace Jrs family said they had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention. Police said Wallace Jr was wielding a knife and ignored orders to drop it before officers fired shots on Monday afternoon. But his parents said on Tuesday night that officers knew their son was in a mental health crisis because they had been to the familys house three times on Monday. Catherine Wallace, his mother, said one of the times, they stood there and laughed at us. The Wallace familys attorney, Shaka Johnson, said the mans wife, Dominique Wallace, was due to give birth this week. Two of Wallace Jrs nine children briefly spoke at a news conference late on Tuesday, along with his mother and father. When you come to a scene where somebody is in a mental crisis, and the only tool you have to deal with it is a gun where are the proper tools for the job? Johnson said, arguing that Philadelphia police officers were not properly trained to handle mental health crises. Johnson said Wallace Jrs brother had called 911 to request medical assistance and an ambulance. Police said the shooting had occurred just before 4pm as officers responded to a report of a person with a weapon. Video footage of the incident shows multiple shots being fired at Wallace Jr, bringing him to the ground on a residential street in front of horrified onlookers. Hours later on Monday, protests erupted. Interactions between protesters and police turned violent at times. The civil rights lawyer Ben Crump said Wallace Jr was shot 10+ times. He wrote on Twitter: He allegedly had a knife but cops made NO attempts at de-escalating the situation in this video. They went straight to killing Wallace in front of his loved ones. On Tuesday afternoon the video had been viewed over one million times. The dead mans father, Walter Wallace Sr, appealed to people to stop the violence out of respect for his son and family. I dont condone violence, tearing up the city, looting of the stores, and all this chaos, he told reporters and a gathering of supporters. Its an SOS to help, not to hurt. He also called for justice in a case still being investigated. The Democratic nominees for president and vice-president, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, stated they felt shock and grief ... especially for a community that has already endured so much trauma. Our hearts are broken for the family of Walter Wallace Jr, and for all those suffering the emotional weight of learning about another Black life in America lost. We cannot accept that in this country a mental health crisis ends in death, Biden and Harris said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. It makes the shock and grief and violence of yesterdays shooting that much more painful, especially for a community that has already endured so much trauma. Walter Wallaces life, like too many others, was a Black life that mattered. Police said the two officers, who were wearing body cameras, fired several times. The police commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, said an investigation into the fatal shooting was under way and that video footage of the incident raises many questions. She added: Residents have my assurance that those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation. While at the scene this evening, I heard and felt the anger of the community. Everyone involved will forever be impacted. Philadelphias mayor, Jim Kenney, said: My prayers are with the family and friends of Walter Wallace. I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered. The mayor said he had spoken to Wallace Jrs family, adding: I look forward to a speedy and transparent resolution for the sake of Mr Wallace, his family, the officers, and for Philadelphia. Video of the fatal confrontation recorded by a bystander and posted on social media showed officers pointing their guns at Wallace as he walked in the street and around a car. He walked toward the officers as they backed away from him in the street, guns still aimed at him. They yelled at him to put his knife down.
Chile: millions head to polls in referendum on constitutional reform - The Guardian
Abolishing Pinochet-era constitution was key demand of last year’s protests
Chilean streets filled on Sunday for the first time since the start of the coronavirus outbreak as millions of people turned out to vote on whether to get rid of the countrys Pinochet-era constitution in favour of a fresh charter drafted by citizens. A new constitution was a key demand of fierce anti-government protests that erupted last year over inequality and elitism in one of Latin Americas most advanced economies, and have simmered ever since. Voting began at 8am and by midday there were long queues outside polling stations. Soldiers controlled entry and enforced strict sanitary measures. Expectations for the vote are high. Maria Luz Navarette, 71, a former government worker now struggling to get by on her payout from Chiles privately run and much criticised pensions system, travelled by metro to vote in the central station of the capital Santiago. I am preparing to go out to celebrate this evening. I think many people will vote in favour of change, she said. Everything must change. Social security, culture, citizen participation, health ... there is another way of living a more communal life. Alejandra, 31, a businesswoman in retail, voted to reject a new charter in Santiagos upmarket neighbourhood of Vitacura. She said last years social unrest and the pandemic had already taken their toll on her company. The truth is that I feel that another blow is going to bury the business, she added. I want changes but I would like them to be gradual. Chile is a small country, we cannot make such dramatic changes without affecting the economy. More than 14.8 million people are eligible to vote although individuals with Covid-19 have been told to stay away on threat of arrest. Chileans can decide whether to approve or reject a new constitution and whether it should be drafted by a specially elected citizens body or a mix of citizens and lawmakers. The winning camp needs a simple majority. Opinion polls suggest a new charter will be approved by a significant margin. Casting his vote early in the morning, Chiles centre-right president, Sebastián Piñera appealed for people of all persuasions to turn out. Jaime Bellolio, a government spokesman, said at midday that polling stations had registered high levels of interest. Progress is looking good, he said. This is being done around the country calmly and securely according to our democratic traditions. Chileans must wear masks by law outside their homes, and voters have been told to bring their own pens. Voting stations have been sprayed with cleaning solutions containing nano-copper particles, which scientists say are particularly inhospitable to the coronavirus. The current constitution was drafted by the dictator Augusto Pinochets close adviser Jaime Guzmán in 1980, and has only been tweaked by successive governments to reduce military and executive power.
'Deep down, he's a terrified little boy': Bob Woodward, John Bolton and others on Trump - The Guardian
The authors of recent exposés, including Mary Trump and Anthony Scaramucci, on the president, his time in office – and what they expect to happen at the polls
Bob Woodward: I cant think of a time Ive felt more anxiety about the presidency Bob Woodward is associate editor of the Washington Post and the author of 20 books on American politics. In 50 years as a journalist he has covered nine presidents. His reporting on the Watergate break-in and cover-up with his colleague Carl Bernstein helped bring down Richard Nixon and won the Post a Pulitzer prize. His latest book about Donald Trump, Rage, is based on 10 hours of interviews, spread over 19 taped phone calls, often initiated by the president himself, in which Trump proved only too willing to blow the whistle on himself, as the Observers review noted. There is an atmosphere in Washington of high anxiety. Trump is melting down, to put it charitably. His campaign has been about lashing out, about wanting his former political opponents President Obama and Joe Biden, whos now running against him, of course to be indicted then charged. Then there was his announcement that he is not necessarily going to accept the electoral result against him. The idea that the president would put in doubt the basic process of democracy and voting is not only unacceptable, it is a nightmare. Now you have the added factor that Trumps also had Covid-19 and hes on steroids, saying things like, It is a blessing from God that I got the virus. I cant think of anything more absurd, or crueller, than calling it a blessing from God. More than 210,000 people have died in the US. For the president of the US to talk like that is unbelievable, but I think people have become numb to it. The outrages pile up, in a way. People have forgotten the risks. I think Kamala Harris put it very well in the vice-presidential debate: whats happened in the US with Covid-19 is the biggest failure of the president to exercise his responsibilities, perhaps in the history of the US. If there were to be some accident, some problem, during the final campaign weeks, he would capitalise on it This is a really dangerous period before the election. I got to know Trump very well in hours and hours of interviews I did with him for my book, Rage, and I think if there were to be some accident, some problem, during the final campaign weeks, he would capitalise on it. Henry Kissinger, of all people, was warning recently that we should worry about some sort of crisis, and reminded people that the first world war started because of an accident. Probably no ones wanting to start a war right now, but we have a climate in the Middle East, and in the South China Sea, which China has really militarised, where you could have some spark trigger a mild confrontation not that I think Trumps going to manufacture that. Trump is not sufficiently tuned into the attitudes and experiences of other people, which is an essential requirement of a leader. After George Floyd was killed, I asked him about the tensions ignited in this country not seen since the heights of the civil rights movement. I said we were men of white privilege, that weve got to understand the pain and anger black people feel in this country. Thats when he said something that astonished me: Wow, you sure drank the Kool-Aid! I dont feel that at all. He just rejected the idea that somehow white people have to understand the pain and anger of others. I think thats one of his chief problems. He thinks in terms of his own pain and anger, and what he wants to do, which is to be re-elected. Trump also told me the US has nuclear weapons that are so devastating even President Putin and President Xi of China dont know about them. Im not exactly sure even today whether he was exaggerating or talking about something real. But whats a really important question to consider here is how much power is in the presidency: when we decide to go to war, whether you look at Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq, its all been led by the president, essentially, as commander in chief. As weve gone into a media environment of impatience and speed because of the internet, the president is also in this position to seize the airwaves. As his son-in-law Jared Kushner said, the news is going along and then Trump tweets something and everyone drops whatever it is. Trump realises this. He uses it. He has that power. He loves being in control. He loves the spectacle. The circumstances have all converged here to give him extraordinary power. Timeline2020 US election: key dates Show Polling day. However in many states people have been able to vote early either in person or by absentee ballot since September. Washington is due to be the last state to stop accepting and counting votes they must be postmarked on or before election day, but can be counted if they arrive as many as 20 days afterwards. In practice, however, Washington is among the safest Democratic party states and will have been called for one party or the other long before this deadline. Deadline for states to resolve any disputes over the selection of their electors of the electoral college. The electors meet in their respective state capitals to formally vote for the president and vice-president. The electoral college votes are formally counted in a joint session of Congress. The president of the Senate announces who will be the next president of the United States. The next president swears their oath and is inaugurated in a Washington DC ceremony. Thank you for your feedback. Looking to the aftermath of the election, Trumps set the table to say that if he doesnt win, hes going to be suspicious of mail-in votes. I think the question is: if he loses, will his political party get together and go see him and talk to him, and say, you cant do this? You cant do it to the Republican party and most importantly you cant do it to the country. There has to be an orderly transference of power, if thats what it comes to. This is the level of anxiety I have now as a reporter: I go to sleep and get up in the middle of the night and start checking the news because God knows what might have happened. We are sitting on pins and needles in this country about every moment, every action, every assessment, and it is draining. I think lots of people have got to the point where they are tuning Trump and the political situation out as well as they can. Unfortunately, the impacts on peoples lives carry on, given the virus, given theres no plan, or organised way of dealing with this. Its all seat-of-the-pants impulsive decision-making. I cant think of a time and Ive been a reporter for nearly 50 years where Ive felt more anxiety about the country and the presidency and the future. JR Mary Trump: If he wins, its over. Democracy is over Mary Trump is a psychologist and the niece of Donald Trump. Her father, Fred Trump Jr, the presidents older brother, died when she was 16. Her tell-all book about the president and the Trump family, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the Worlds Most Dangerous Man, sold almost 1m copies on the first day it was published in July this year. My theory about the way Donald has run his campaign is that he knows hes in desperate shape, so hes going to burn it all down, sow more chaos and division, because thats where he succeeds. He knows that hes losing hell deny it mightily and at some level he understands whats at stake. If he loses, hes probably going to prison. So, if hes going down, hes going to take us all down with him. Ive always believed that deep down Donald is a terrified little boy. The amount of fear hes feeling now has got to be unhinging him. Not only did he get sick with the virus, theres the tax story and his prospects in the election looking really bad right now. Hes got to be absolutely panicked. Throughout the campaign I thought that the absolute worst scenario would be for him to get the virus and then get well. I know that sounds awful. Hes ignored the severity of the pandemic all year because the idea of illness as weakness is so deeply ingrained in my family, that even an association with it is unacceptable, and thats why now weve got 210,000 Americans dead. But now his statement you can beat it, dont be afraid of it is going to result in more people becoming sick, and many of those will die. Even before he said that, I believed he was engaging in mass murder, but that sealed it for me. Anybody whos capable of putting hundreds of millions of people at risk to avoid looking bad doesnt care about you. Hes always trying to see what he can get away with and hes always got away with everything. No one holds him accountable Since Donald was elected, Ive been surprised by nothing hes done or said. But I have been shocked by the wholesale abdication of responsibility by the Republican party during this election campaign and throughout the past four years. I didnt understand the extent to which they would be willing to enable him in Congress and in his cabinet. If they had done their job and acted as a separate branch of government, he would have been contained. By siding with him 100% of the time, they have ensured we are now faced with several concurrent disasters that are getting exponentially worse. No other president in history has been able to push the envelope the way Donald does. Hes always trying to see what he can get away with and, as I have seen through the course of his life, hes always got away with everything. No one holds him accountable. He constantly gets rewarded for failing. The Republicans understood what he was capable of and have allowed him to push through an agenda that is completely at odds with what the majority wants. In Donald, I see somebody who is afraid, lonely, desperate, unloved. I hesitate to paint a compassionate portrait of him because hes so culpable. However, I do have compassion for the three-year-old who was without his mother for a whole year when she was sick. That loss of affection and having no one to soothe him was deeply harmful. And when she recovered to the extent that she did, she did nothing to heal the wounds of that separation, and thats before we get to my grandfather, who was always an awful person, capable of such abject cruelty and sadism. So now we have an adult Donald who is sad, lonely, ignorant but who also has immense power and that is a terrifying prospect. People need to stop worrying about what might happen if he loses but doesnt accept the results and laugh in his face. Thats the best way to undermine him. If he wins, it wont be legitimate. Hes already using the powers of his office to shake peoples confidence in mail-in voting at a time when people want to be voting by mail during the pandemic. Hes telling his followers if Biden wins it will have been rigged, telling them to show up at the polls to make sure theres no fraud, which is voter intimidation. If youre a black person in America and a bunch of white guys with automatic weapons are standing outside the polling station you wont want to vote, which is exactly what Donald wants to happen. If he stays in the Oval Office, Im going to try to get a British passport because I dont think Ill fare well. Hes an extraordinarily vindictive person surrounded by people who are willing to help him be vindictive. But thats personal: in terms of the country, if he wins, its over. Democracy is over. The western alliance is over. Well be entering an incredibly dark period of autocracy on a global scale. JR John Bolton: He was envious of leaders like Putin, Xi Jinping and Erdoan John Bolton was US national security adviser under Donald Trump from 2018 to 2019. Having started his career as a lawyer, he held senior roles in the state department and justice department during the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and George W Bush, who appointed him 25th US ambassador to the United Nations. His book about the Trump presidency, The Room Where It Happened, was published in June this year. People complain that Trump has a short attention span, myself included. But when it comes to his own re-election he has an infinite attention span. Decisions are made not on the basis of the pros and cons of the policies being debated but on what the domestic political blowback could be. Every president takes politics into account but with Trump its qualitatively different. Its not just a factor. Its the factor. Everything is a distinct transaction maybe thats how youre successful in the real-estate business. If he doesnt see the immediate bottom line impact, he wants to move on to something else. For example, with our close allies, he says things like: Here we are defending you and you dont pay for our bases and you have trade surpluses with us. Well, were not there to defend them. Were there because we have a mutual defence alliance. We think its in our interest as much as the allies interest to be forwardly deployed. Were not there as mercenaries. And we wouldnt want to be there as mercenaries. But he doesnt get that. I think his election campaign is in deep trouble. Because of what happened in 2016, when everybody thought Hillary was going to win, he can say the polls are fake news and that hell win anyway. And hell say that right up to election night and probably after it. But unless the pollsters have done absolutely nothing to try to fix their methodology since 2016, you have to say that hes in trouble. Each day you get closer to the election, by definition its that much harder to make up the gap. Nothing in life is certain but it looks like hes heading for a pretty substantial defeat. I once said to a psychologist that Trump doesnt have character and he said, sure he does, he has a character defect Hes trying to turn his Covid-19 infection to his advantage. I assume thats what he thought he was doing with his grand entrance to the White House, posing on the balcony like Il Duce. I think it had the opposite effect. One thing Ive been waiting for is the wave of sympathy that you would expect from the American people when their leader is taken ill. Maybe its out there but there isnt any evidence of it at this point. I had certainly heard all the criticisms of Donald Trump before I took the job of national security adviser but I felt that the gravity of the presidency, the weight of the responsibility, would have an effect on him the way its had on every contemporary American president once they took office. It turned out I wasnt right. The transition and opening six months were bungled and a lot of Trumpian habits and attitudes were formed in that period. Although I had aspirations to create more orderly policy processes in the national security area, it was too late to do it. I was in retrospect overly optimistic that I could correct problems that were inherent in Trumps approach to the job from the get-go. It became clear in ways that I previously found impossible to contemplate that he had no philosophy, no grand strategy, he didnt think in policy terms. Every day was a new adventure. And the way I think successful foreign policy is laid out is by careful analysis and deliberation, careful implementation, review and persistence. All of these are things that basically dont exist in the Trump administration. There was so much that he didnt know and he has very little inclination to learn it. Its hard to have an evolving conversation when his data base never changes. I dont regret taking the job. I went in and lasted for as long as I could and then I came out and wrote a book so everybody would know exactly what was going on. There are still people in there now who are trying to get him to do the right thing. One thing I worry about in a second term is that people like that will simply not join the administration. Up until now, it was reasonable to say, Ive got enough confidence I can make a difference. Its very hard to make that argument now after four years. I dont think he has the character or fitness to be president. I once said to a psychologist that Trump doesnt have character and the psychologist said, sure he does, he has a character defect. So Ill leave that to the shrinks. We never should have nominated him. Nobody ever said that politics ends up with the best people for government. But theres something wrong when someone like this can prevail. I think he was kind of envious of leaders like Putin, Xi Jinping and Erdoan. They are big guys and they do big guy things and he wants to be a big guy too. I cant explain why he has this affinity for authoritarian leaders but theres no doubt he does. I dont believe he was reluctant to employ me because of my moustache, as some people say. Would he have made a flip remark about it at some point? Sure, thats entirely possible. Whatever his flip remarks and hes derogatory about almost everybody, sooner rather than later he did hire me and I actually lasted 17 months. If Trump loses and leaves on 20 January, of the four national security advisers, I will be the longest serving. Its not like there was a battle between us over two competing worldviews, because he doesnt have a worldview. And that was the hardest thing for me to understand and appreciate. AA Anthony Scaramucci: Hes out there doing ridiculous things and I fear for the world Anthony Scaramucci was a little-known New York financier when Donald Trump made him the White House director of communications in July 2017. He was fired just 11 days later after a string of public relations gaffes but remained a vocal Trump loyalist for the next two years. However, the presidents racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of colour led Scaramucci to withdraw his support. Since then he has become an outspoken critic of Trump, who frequently lashes out at Scaramucci on Twitter. His book, Trump: The Blue-Collar President, was published in 2018. In our country were so polarised now you have to hate the person you disagree with. But I dont hate Donald Trump. If anything Im somewhat sympathetic to him because theres obviously something wrong with him. Theres a screw loose and you dont have to be a psychiatrist to see that. You just have to look at the manic behaviour, the absurdity, the lack of maturity. Hes not a fully developed adult. Hes out there doing ridiculous things and I fear for the world and I fear for the country. Theres something wrong with him and the people around him are too afraid of him to intervene on his behalf. He talked about draining the swamp but the swamp is now like a gold-plated hot tub. Hes taken the corruption up to a whole new level. I think if he loses the election, its over for him. I dont see how he can survive this. Hell probably get indicted. However, if he does, he probably wont serve in jail I dont think America likes putting its ex-presidents in jail. So hell most likely get prosecuted with his sentence commuted. He likes to mud-wrestle his opponents but he cant do that with Joe Biden because Biden is an old-school disciplined politician. His positive-negative differentials are 20% higher than Hillary Clintons. But Im smart enough to know that the polls are closer than people think. If Trump wins, there is going to be a further destruction of American society. Hell start to dismantle the institutions of our democracy, and the country will become weaker as a result of it. Therell be more disorder, more protests, more racial tension. Hes unfit to serve in the office of the president. Hes not a leader. Hes an un-American bully The move back to the White House, after hospital, tried to create these optics that hes a superman. But youve got 210,000 Americans dead, so if you do a matrix, theres about 9 million Americans who have had family or friends hurt by the virus, so thats not going to play with them. Hes a minority politician, hes a minority president. Hes never had the popular vote; he will have won the electoral college twice, and lost the popular vote twice. The fact is hes an idiot. Hes unfit to serve in the office of the president. He doesnt have the management capability. He doesnt have the ability to empathise. Hes not a leader. Hes an un-American bully. You could say he had a lot of those attributes as a candidate in 2016 so why did I support him? And I would say, yes, I chose to overlook that because I was trying to be loyal to my party and its nominee. I started out disliking him. Then I thought, OK, Im in the Republican party, hes going to be the Republican candidate and now hes won the presidency, so hes going to be the first Republican president since George W Bush, let me figure out a way to like him. I worked for him and I have to own that for the rest of my life. Ive acknowledged my mistake, Ive apologised for it, and Ive admitted that I was wrong in my political judgment and assessment of him as an individual and as a political leader. People say to me, he hasnt changed at all, and I accept that. But Ive changed. Im way more psychologically minded. Im more aware of the pain and trouble hes causing people. Im very happy I got fired. It probably saved my marriage and my business career. I was loyal to him for two years but the year after my book came out he told four women who were democratically elected to Congress three of whom were born in the US, the other a naturalised citizen to go back to the countries they originally came from. They told my Italian-American grandparents that 100 years ago. When I said that he was being racist, he started going after my wife on Twitter. I told Mayor Giuliani: Youre disavowing your personal integrity and your familys history by supporting this man. You cant talk like that as the American president in 2020. Hes a despicable guy. I dont think most of his supporters think hes the best man for the job. They see him as a culture warrior, though. The conservative news outlets have told them that we have a full-on culture war going on in the United States, and he is the last white man standing to protect America from the black and Hispanic latte-drinking transvestites who are going to take over their government and culture. The presidents strategy is lets see if I can turn out every racist in America, and he hopes there are enough to beat the non-racists. The secretary of state Mike Pompeos supporting him because Pompeo looks in the mirror and sees a future president. We have 63 million people in the US who have voted for Trump for one reason or another, and what I can do is explain my change of heart. We now have almost four complete years of data on his ineptitude. Its nothing personal, hes not the right person to be president of the United States. AA
Leopoldo López flees Venezuela vowing to continue fighting Maduro regime - The Guardian
Opposition figure had sheltered in Spanish ambassador’s residence since a failed uprising against Nicolás Maduro in 2019
The prominent opposition activist Leopoldo López has abandoned the Spanish ambassadors residence in Caracas and left Venezuela after years of frustrated efforts to oust the nations socialist president, his party has said. The 49-year-old former Caracas area mayor had been holed up at the ambassadors residence since a failed military uprising he led in April 2019 aimed at ousting President Nicolás Maduro. He has been jailed, under house arrest or in a foreign embassy refuge for nearly seven years. We wont rest and well continue working day and night to attain the freedom that we Venezuelans all deserve, López wrote late on Saturday. He said the decision to leave had not been simple and that more details on plans for democratic change in Venezuela would be announced in coming days. In a statement from Popular Will, the party López founded, leaders confirmed he had left the country to continue his work from abroad in a decision they deemed best for the country and the fight for Venezuelas freedom. After seven years of persecution and unjust imprisonment inside Venezuela, Leopoldo López is still not totally free, like all Venezuelans, so long as there exists a dictatorship that violates the human rights of the people, the party said. It is unclear how López left the ambassadors residence, given the heavy state security presence permanently stationed outside. Travel by land has grown increasingly difficult because of widespread fuel shortages. Filling up a vehicle can take hours if not days and checkpoints manned by security forces have proliferated across the country. In a message directed to Maduro on Twitter, the US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó said his political mentor had gotten out of Venezuela by evading your repressive apparatus. He added that Lópezs efforts to remove Maduro would continue from abroad as part of the opposition strategy to garner international support. There was no immediate reaction from Venezuelan authorities. López was sentenced in 2015 to nearly 14 years in prison after being convicted of inciting violence during anti-government protests in which three people died and dozens were wounded. He was released from prison and placed under house arrest after more than three years in a military jail. Even from his confines, López has remained an influential figure in Venezuelas opposition, advising Guaidó, who claims he is the countrys interim president because Maduros 2018 re-election was not legitimate. But after drawing tens of thousands of people to the streets last year, the opposition has struggled to regain momentum. Maduro remains firmly in control of the nations military and nearly all other government institutions. Lópezs flight is likely to be held up by the government as a trophy as it prepares to retake control of the National Assembly in December legislative elections that Guaidó has vowed to boycott. López had long stubbornly refused to leave, even when his wife and children fled to Spain last year. He now joins dozens of anti-government politicians who have fled Venezuela over recent years, many leaving covertly to avoid potential persecution or jail time. Its probably the clearest sign that the continued opposition effort to unseat Maduro has floundered that a committed stay-in-Venezuela leader like López has chosen to finally leave, said Raul Gallegos, a Colombia-based analyst at Control Risks consultancy. López pursued a strategy in 2014 known as The Exit, consisting of street protests months after Maduro was elected. The strategy failed and ultimately divided the opposition. He sought allies among his former jailers in the military and in 2019 reappeared on a highway overpass with a small band of national guardsmen calling for an uprising against Maduro. The putsch was easily quashed and López took refuge in the ambassadors residence. His departure comes just days after Spains ambassador Jesus Silva who has been the dean of Caracas dwindling diplomatic community and a firm backer of López was recalled by Spains leftist government to Madrid after serving for four years.
France recalls ambassador to Turkey after Erdoğan questions Macron's mental state - The Guardian
Macron’s office says ‘rudeness is not a method’ after Turkish president calls for counterpart to have ‘mental checks’
France said it would recall its envoy to Turkey for consultations following unacceptable comments by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoan, that suggested his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, needed a mental health check-up. In the highly unusual move, a French presidential official said the French ambassador to Turkey was being recalled from Ankara for consultations and would meet Macron to discuss the situation after Erdoans outburst. France and its Nato ally are at loggerheads over a range of issues, including maritime rights in the eastern Mediterranean, Libya, Syria and the escalating conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Ankara has been particularly incensed by a campaign championed by Macron to protect Frances secular values against radical Islam, a debate given new impetus by the murder of a teacher who showed his class a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed. What can one say about a head of state who treats millions of members from different faith groups this way: first of all, have mental checks, Erdoan said in a televised address in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri. Whats the problem of the individual called Macron with Islam and with the Muslims? Erdoan asked. Macron needs mental treatment, Erdoan added, while indicating he did not expect the French leader to win a new mandate in 2022 elections. Macrons office responded sharply, calling the comments unacceptable. President Erdoans comments are unacceptable. Excess and rudeness are not a method. We demand that Erdoan change the course of his policy because it is dangerous in every respect, the official told AFP. The Elysee official, who asked not to be named, also said that France had noted the absence of messages of condolence and support from the Turkish president after the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty outside Paris. The official also expressed concern over calls by Ankara for a boycott of French goods. Macron this month described Islam as a religion in crisis worldwide and said the government would present a bill in December to strengthen a 1905 law that officially separated church and state in France. He announced stricter oversight of schooling and better control over foreign funding of mosques. But the debate over the role of Islam in France has hit a new intensity after the beheading of Paty, which prosecutors say was carried out by an 18-year-old Chechen who had contact with a jihadist in Syria. Turkey is a majority Muslim but secular country which is a part of Nato but not the EU, where its membership ambition has stalled for decades over a range of disputes. You are constantly picking on Erdoan. This will not earn you anything, said the Turkish leader. There will be elections (in France) ... We will see your (Macrons) fate. I dont think he has a long way to go. Why? He has not achieved anything for France and he should do for himself. The other new rift between the two leaders is over Nagorno-Karabakh, a majority ethnic Armenian breakaway region inside Azerbaijan, which declared independence as the USSR fell, sparking a war in the early 1990s that claimed 30,000 lives. Turkey is strongly backing Azerbaijan in the conflict but has denied allegations by Macron that Ankara has sent hundreds of Syrian militia fighters to help Azerbaijan. Erdoan on Saturday accused France which along with Russia and the US co-chairs the Minsk Group tasked with resolving the conflict of being behind the disasters and the occupations in Azerbaijan. He also repeated previous claims that France, which has a strong Armenian community, is arming Yerevan. You think you will restore peace with the arms you are sending to Armenians. You cannot because you are not honest. But the Elysee official said that Erdoan had two months to reply to the demands for a change in stance and that it ends its dangerous adventures in the eastern Mediterranean and irresponsible conduct over Karabakh. Measures need to be taken by the end of the year, said the official.
‘Boogaloo Boi’ charged in fire of Minneapolis police precinct during George Floyd protest - The Guardian
Ivan Harrison Hunter, a Texas rightwing extremist, bragged about helping to set the fire then was seen shooting 13 rounds at the building
A rightwing extremist boasted of driving from Texas to Minneapolis to help set fire to a police precinct during the George Floyd protests, federal prosecutors said. US attorney Erica MacDonald said on Friday that she has charged Ivan Harrison Hunter, a 26-year-old Texas resident, with traveling across state lines to participate in a riot. The charges are the latest example of far-right extremists attempting to use violence to escalate national protests against police brutality into an uprising against the government, and even full civil war. The case also reveals the extent of the coordination between violent members of the nascent far-right Boogaloo Bois movement operating in different cities across the country. According to the complaint, Hunter sent multiple private messages on Facebook bragging of his actions in Minneapolis on the night of 28 May and morning of 29 May, writing, I set fire to that precinct with the Black community, and, My mom would call the FBI if she knew. Video shot that night shows a person later identified as Hunter firing 13 rounds from a semiautomatic assault-style rifle on the 3rd precinct police station while people believed to be looters were inside. He then high-fived another person and shouted, Justice for Floyd! according to the complaint. Later, he privately messaged Steven Carrillo, another alleged Boogaloo Boi in California, urging him to go for police buildings, according to the federal criminal complaint. I did better, lol, Carrillo allegedly replied. Hours before Carrillo sent that message, according to the complaint, federal prosecutors say Carrillo had driven to Oakland with an accomplice, and, as protesters were demonstrating blocks away, shot two officers guarding a federal courthouse in downtown Oakland, killing one, David Patrick Underwood. Carrillo was later charged with killing another law enforcement officer, a Santa Cruz sheriffs deputy, in an ambush attack in June. Police in Austin, Texas, stopped a pickup truck, in which Hunter was a passenger, on 3 June for multiple traffic violations. Hunter had six loaded magazines for a semiautomatic rifle in a tactical vest he was wearing. Officers also found multiple firearms in the truck. Several days after the stop, federal agents learned of Hunters online affiliation with Carrillo. MacDonald said Hunter made his initial court appearance on Thursday in San Antonio, Texas. It is unclear if he has an attorney. This is a developing story. More details soon
Colbert on Giuliani’s Borat scene: ‘We got more than October surprised’ - The Guardian
Late-night hosts react to Trump’s lawyer’s compromising scene in the movie and the president’s Chinese bank account
Stephen Colbert Every four years, around this time of the election, people start to worry about an October surprise, said Stephen Colbert on Wednesday evening, just 13 days away from the election. And on Wednesday, we got more than October surprised. We got October appalled by a compromising scene of Rudy Giuliani in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Sacha Baron Cohens follow-up to his hit satirical prank film from 2006. In a scene from the movie, streaming on Amazon Prime starting 23 October, the former mayor of New York and Donald Trumps personal lawyer agrees to follow an actor playing Borats daughter, posing as a journalist, into a hotel suite for cocktails; Ghouliani, as Colbert called him, is caught on camera reaching into his pants and appearing to touch his genitals while reclining on a bed. The scene was interrupted by Cohen, in character as Borat, who runs into the room and says: Shes 15. Shes too old for you. Never a great sign when the moral authority in a situation comes from a guy who once handed a woman a bag of his own poop, Colbert deadpanned. Giuliani dismissed criticism as misplaced, claiming on WABC radio that his shirt came untucked as he was removing electronic equipment from the film. Im tucking my shirt in. I assure you thats all I was doing. OK, I would buy that, but I watched the footage, Colbert said. Why did you go into a bedroom at the suggestion of a young woman to have cocktails to take off a mic? I take off a mic every night. Never once have I reclined on a king-sized bed and then launched a fact-finding mission to my own groin. Giuliani, like his legal client, has made innumerable public blunders, but we should never let [Trumps] stupidity overshadow the fact that hes also a heartless monster who must be driven from office and eventually dragged in manacles before the Hague, Colbert said, because of all the horrible things he and his administration has done, perhaps the horriblest is their family separation policy on the border. A court filing released on Tuesday revealed that the government, ordered months ago to reunite migrant families separated at the US border by the administrations zero tolerance policy, still have not been able to locate the parents of 545 children. We have two weeks to decide what kind of country this is gonna be, Colbert said gravely. Either this inhumane behavior is going to be punished by the voters, or just change the Statue of Liberty to read, Give me your tired, your poor and half a million dollars in unmarked bills if you want to see the kids again. Five hundred and forty-five children still separated from their parents, and yet there are still people who havent made up their minds, Colbert continued. There are still people who are going to vote for him. And I know that people vote on a lot of different issues, but now that we know that these children were stolen from their parents and cannot be returned because of the negligence of this administration, that is one of the things youre voting on. You cant say you dont know. Jimmy Kimmel The New York Times revealed on Wednesday that Trump has an undisclosed Chinese bank account, and paid China over $188,000 in taxes from 2013-2015 far more than the $750 he paid in American taxes for the years 2016-2018. I feel like at the end of this were gonna find out that Hunter Biden is actually Trumps son in a real Darth Vader-y twist on this story, joked Jimmy Kimmel. Now that weve found out hes a longtime Chinese taxpayer, Trump has every right to be furious about Chinas response to the coronavirus hes practically a citizen of their country. Of course Donald Trump had a Chinese bank account, Kimmel continued. He had to hes running out of things to be hypocritical about. It was the only thing left. At this point I wouldnt be surprised to find out he tunneled under the border from Mexico into the country. Samantha Bee On Full Frontal, Samantha Bee recapped the nightmare before the election AKA how Americas voting system has so many traps its like it was designed by Jigsaw. Americans have voted early in record numbers, which is inspiring, she added, but Democrats have to show up, because our Jigsaw is working harder than ever to keep votes from being counted. Republicans plan to spend $20m in voting rights lawsuits in 2020 and, as always, they are doing it under the guise of preventing widespread voter fraud, Bee explained, which they still havent proven exists, because it fucking doesnt. Voter fraud is basically the imaginary girlfriend who lives in Canada of rightwing politics, she added. Everyone knows its fake but that doesnt stop Republicans from yanking off to it. More than a million votes can be thrown out this election, she continued, partially because mail-in voting rules are different in every state and are as intentionally confusing as a 12-sided Rubiks cube. Mail-in ballots could be tossed for postage issues, signature inconsistencies, or incorrect envelopes. Still, turnout so far is five times what it was in 2016 an encouraging if limited reason for optimism. We have only 13 days until the election, Bee concluded. Thats less than two weeks to mail in your absentee ballot, vote early, or make a plan to vote in person on November 3. We all have to show up.
The exquisite catharsis of watching Clayton Kershaw fail to implode - The Guardian
The Dodgers pitcher is brilliant in the regular season and notoriously rocky in the playoffs. Watching him pitch well in the World Series is a joy
In the 178th postseason inning hes pitched, facing the first batter of his 29 October start, the best pitcher this century allowed a hit. It might have been nothing, early jitters for the Dodgers ace, that gradual settling that even the mightiest arms require. But in the case of Clayton Kershaw, a million minds worried that it might be more. One hit may lead to two, three to sliders that dont drop and curveballs that wont curve and another of Kershaws fabled playoff meltdowns. Or a hit might just be a hit. On Tuesday, thats all it was. It took until the fifth inning, when the Dodgers led 2-0, for Kershaw to allow his second (and final) hit of the night: a solo home run to Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier. Kershaw would make it through another frame groundout, foul out, groundout ending his evening with eight strikeouts, a walk and a commanding lead. And for a day, for a few more games, at least, the existential dread of his playoff existence was put on hold. The 32-year-old starter went into Tuesday, an 8-3 Los Angeles victory in Game 1 of the World Series, with a career ERA of 2.43 but with a postseason ERA of 4.31. His World Series mark, 5.03, is worse. But heres an asterisk, some context to the madness: 5.03 includes a start in 2017 in which Kershaw gave up six earned runs and in which his opponent, the Houston Astros, benefited from an elaborate sign-stealing scheme. So theyre not quite as bad as they look, maybe, these World Series woes. In fact, maybe none of this is. Tuesday didnt erase the mess of some of Kershaws highest-pressure starts. Theres no denying his implosion in Game 6 of the 2013 NLCS. He faltered again in 2016 in an elimination game against the Cubs, then he started the 2018 World Series with a thud. And in last years playoffs he allowed two late, back-to-back home runs when the Dodgers had the lead as they were eliminated by the Washington Nationals. Hes been far from sharp in another dozen or so October outings, many of which have seen the Dodgers push him a batter too long, trusting a pitcher who earns it for six months each spring and summer. A few more asterisks, now: When Kershaw beat the Rays, it marked the ninth time hed pitched at least six innings in an October start without allowing more than a hit and a walk. Thats the most of any starter in MLB history. And when he left the mound at the end of the sixth, ready to ice his shoulder and hug teammates and relax on a quiet bench, Kershaw had 201 career postseason strikeouts. Only Justin Verlander, with 205, has more. Another sharp World Series outing this fall another middling one, even and hell edge into first all-time. Its hard to say what any of that proves. Every rule has an exception. Kershaw is otherworldly, except in October. Hes a disaster then, except when hes occasionally still great. And theres no shortage of theorizing as to why. Jitters, curses, rotten luck. Bad managing, the pesky fact that postseason competition is always steeper. The source of Kershaws struggles, probably, is a mix of nonsense and logic. Logically, Game 1 made sense. Kershaw faced a Rays team that collectively hit .209 in the first three rounds of the 2020 playoffs. Some combination of their leaden bats and his humming slider made for a montage of whiffs. Nineteen, to be exact. Tampas batters missed 50% of the pitches they swung at, giving Kershaw the highest swing-and-miss rate of any game in his 13-year career. It was better tonight than the last one, for sure, he said after the game. I think, the first inning, I was spiking some sliders there. Fortunate to get out of that first without any runs, and then after that, I kind of locked it in. If Tuesday was a catharsis for Kershaw, it wasnt his first. There have been plenty of other playoff games when hes pitched like the version of himself worth $93m over three years. He was last absolved of his postseason sins in Game 2 of the Wild Card round, when he tossed eight shutout innings, and before that in Game 5 of the 2018 NLCS. Kershaw dazzles nearly as often as he combusts but the combustions loom larger, louder. When he next takes the mound, Kershaw will face the same chatter that echoed before Game 1, the same whispers that grow louder every time his arm falters. Thats part of the thrill of it, though: Its as exhilarating when hes lights-out as it is when hes haywire. This wasnt the best World Series start of Kershaws career. That came in 2017, Game 1, when he struck out 11 in seven innings against Houston. But his gem against the Rays was close, and he was in complete control. His fastball velocity ticked up in 2020, and the 60-game regular season left him in far better shape this fall than he would be after 162. So maybe Tuesday started something new. Maybe this is Kershaws series to win, his legacy to cement. Or maybe a game is just a game.
Nasa Osiris-Rex spacecraft lands on asteroid Bennu in mission to collect dust - The Guardian
Spacecraft ‘kissed the surface’ in brief landing on asteroid 200m miles away from Earth in US-first mission
A Nasa spacecraft has successfully landed on an asteroid, dodging boulders the size of buildings, in order to collect a handful of cosmic rubble for analysis back on Earth. The space agency team behind the Osiris-Rex project said preliminary data showed the sample collection went as planned and that the spacecraft had lifted off the surface of asteroid Bennu. I cant believe we actually pulled this off, said lead scientist Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona. The spacecraft did everything it was supposed to do. Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine offered his congratulations, saying: We are on the way to returning the largest sample brought home from space since Apollo. If all goes well, this sample will be studied by scientists for generations to come. The Osiris-Rex spacecraft sent back confirmation of its brief contact with asteroid Bennu more than 200m miles (322m km) away, drawing cheers from the mission team. But it could be a week before scientists know how much, if anything, was grabbed and whether another try will be needed. If successful, Osiris-Rex will return the samples in 2023. The US mission follows one run by Japan called Hayabusa2, which is due to return to Earth in December bearing samples collected from the 4.5bn-year-old asteroid Ryugu. When it lands in the Australian desert, it will be the first ever sub-surface asteroid sample to return to Earth. On Bennu, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft took four-and-a-half hours to make its way down from its tight orbit to the surface, following commands sent well in advance by ground controllers near Denver. As the asteroid is just 1,670 feet (510 meters) across, Bennus gravity was too low for Osiris-Rex to land. As a result, the spacecraft had to reach out with its 11-foot (3.4-meter) robot arm and attempt to grab at least 2 ounces (60 grams) of Bennu. The University of Arizonas Heather Enos, deputy scientist for the mission, described it as kissing the surface with a short touch-and-go measured in just seconds. The coronavirus pandemic had resulted in a two-month delay. Tuesdays operation was considered the most harrowing part of the mission, which began with a launch from Cape Canaveral back in 2016. Osiris-Rex, a van-size spacecraft, aimed for a spot equivalent to a few parking spaces on Earth in the middle of the asteroids Nightingale Crater. After nearly two years orbiting Bennu, the spacecraft found this location to have the biggest patch of particles small enough to be swallowed up. After determining that the coast was clear, Osiris-Rex closed in the final few yards for the sampling. The spacecraft was programmed to shoot out pressurized nitrogen gas to stir up the surface, then suck up any loose pebbles or dust. Scientists want between 2 ounces (60g) and 4 pounds (2kg) of Bennus black, crumbly, carbon-rich material thought to contain the building blocks of our solar system. Nasas science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, likened Bennu to the Rosetta Stone, something thats out there and tells the history of our entire Earth, of the solar system, during the last billions of years. Another benefit: Bennu has a slight chance of smacking Earth late in the next century, although not as a show-stopping life-ender. The more scientists know about the paths and properties of potentially hazardous space rocks like this one, the better. Osiris-Rex can make up to three touch-and-go maneuvers in case it comes up short. Regardless of how many tries it takes, the samples wont return to Earth until 2023 to close out the $800m-plus quest. The sample capsule will parachute into the Utah desert. That will be another big day for us. But this is absolutely the major event of the mission right now, Nasa scientist Lucy Lim said. Nasa, meanwhile, plans to launch three more asteroid missions in the next two years, all one-way trips. With Associated Press
Melania Trump cancels rally appearance due to ‘lingering cough’ - The Guardian
First lady said last week she had recovered from coronavirus and was to travel with the president to Erie, Pennsylvania
Melania Trump withdrew from a scheduled return to the campaign trail on Tuesday, two weeks out from election day, due to a lingering cough. Like her husband, Donald Trump, and her son, Barron, the first lady recently contracted the coronavirus and entered treatment and isolation. She said last week she had recovered and she had been due to travel with her husband to Erie, Pennsylvania, for an evening election rally. But a spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said: Mrs Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from Covid-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today. Trump and his administration have been widely accused of failing to show proper caution in staging public events during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump rallies do not feature enforced mitigation measures, including mask-wearing and social distancing. The president, first lady and other senior figures fell ill after attending a White House introduction for supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on 26 September, which has been labelled a super-spreader event. In her statement announcing her recovery, Melania Trump said she was very fortunate as my diagnosis came with minimal symptoms, though they hit me all at once and it seemed to be a rollercoaster of symptoms in the days after. I experienced body aches, a cough and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time. In contrast to her husband, who received treatment not available to the general public, she did not spend time in hospital and said she chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food. More than 8.2m cases of the coronavirus have been recorded in the US and nearly 220,000 people have died. Case numbers are rising nationwide, with record daily increases in a number of states that will be key to deciding the presidential election, which is just two weeks away. On Tuesday a New York Times analysis of polling averages put Trump behind his challenger, Joe Biden, in every swing state in which he beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, Pennsylvania among them. Majorities in multiple polls have said they trust the Democratic candidate more than the Republican incumbent when it comes to handling the pandemic. Regardless, in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday morning Trump once again criticised Dr Anthony Fauci, the infectious diseases expert who has served six presidents but whom Trump called a disaster the day before. Look, hes a nice guy, Trump said. He has got a really bad arm and not a good baseball thrower, but hes a nice guy. The only thing I say is, hes a little bit sometimes not a team player, but he is a Democrat. In fact records show Fauci is not registered as a Democrat or a Republican. He has repeatedly professed himself non-partisan.