After a Republican congressional candidate was charged with assaulting a journalist, it’s time to get outraged—and worried.
Journalists who love to talk about how good and important journalism is have been worrying for some time about freedom of the press under Donald Trump. As a candidate, Trump singled out journalists for vitriol at his notoriously violence-prone campaign rallies. He talked about bolstering libel laws, and White House chief-of-staff Reince Priebus admitted that the administration has looked into how to make that happen. And thanks in part to the investigation into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian spies, we know with a pretty high degree of confidence that Trump at least broached with former FBI director James Comey the terrifying prospect of using federal law enforcement to put journalists in jail.
But fears of a direct assault on the First Amendment appear to be overblown. No anti-journalism laws have been proposed, and in fact, you could argue the free press is feistier than ever, with major papers scoring scoop after scoop in the ongoing Russia scandal.
A US-led air strike in March against a building in the Iraqi city of Mosul killed more than 100 civilians, the Pentagon has said after concluding an investigation into the attack.
The March 17 coalition air strike in al-Jadidah district of Mosul targeted two snipers of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in the building who had engaged with Iraqi counterterrorism forces, the statement said on Thursday.
Neither coalition nor Iraqi forces knew that the civilians were in the building, nor did they know that ISIL, also known as ISIS, had placed explosives in the building that triggered a secondary explosion, the Pentagon said in a statement.
DONALD TRUMP’S PRAISE for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous anti-drug campaign drew condemnation from leading foreign policy voices in both parties Wednesday, who were shocked the president would encourage what the State Department describes as “extrajudicial killings.”
The Intercept reported Tuesday that Trump told Duterte in a private call that he endorsed the murderous anti-drug campaign, which has killed well over 7,000 people. Duterte has unapologetically compared himself to Hitler and said he would “be happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts in the Philippines.
According to the transcript of an April phone call obtained and authenticated by The Intercept, Trump had nothing but kind words for Duterte’s policy.
“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump told Duterte. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., a rising star on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned what Trump said. “He’s essentially congratulating Duterte on murdering 4,000 [sic] of his own citizens. That’s outrageous,” said Murphy. “The reason you get briefed before these phone calls is so that you don’t say something as dumb as that.”
Following the release of the transcript, 14 Democratic senators also signed onto a letter by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., calling on President Trump to delay his invitation for Duterte to visit the White House until his human rights record improved. The letter’s signatories included Sens. Ben Cardin, Tim Kaine, Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown, Cory Booker, Ron Wyden, Dick Durbin, Chris Van Hollen, Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, and Kirsten Gillibrand.
In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested he might impose martial law across the country, after declaring it this week in his native island of Mindanao. This comes as a transcript of the call of Trump praising Duterte for his controversial drug war was leaked and published by The Intercept. According to the leaked transcript, Trump said, “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing, and I just wanted to call and tell you that.” Duterte’s bloody war on drugs has led to the deaths of nearly 9,000 people, most of whom are poor. Human rights groups have blasted Duterte for the way he’s waged his anti-drug campaign, defined by extrajudicial killings of thousands of suspected drug dealers and users. For more on Trump and Duterte, we speak to Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept and host of the new weekly podcast, “Intercepted.” Scahill recently co-wrote a three-part series on the leaked call for The Intercept.Democracy Now
Police fear accomplices of the Manchester Arena bomber could still be on the loose after raids in the south of the city uncovered materials similar to those used to kill 22 people on Monday.
Detectives believe the device used by the suicide bomber Salman Abedi was constructed in Manchester with help from others and that there may be more people at large who are part of a terrorist network. They also believe that more bomb-making materials have still to be found.