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By David K. Li
A Pennsylvania newspaper dropped the cartoonist who wrote a vulgar message against President Donald Trump in his work that was printed on Sunday.
The Butler Eagle announced it’ll no longer carry the work of cartoonist Wiley Miller after he scrawled, “We fondly say, go f— yourself, Trump” in the lower right corner of a cartoon that ran on Sunday.
“A reader brought to our attention that one of the syndicated comic strips which appears in the Sunday Butler Eagle may contain a hidden message which was apparently placed there by someone in the creative department of the creator of the comic strip or the syndication which controls it,” said Ron Vodenichar, Eagle publisher and general manager.
“Neither the Butler Eagle nor any other newspaper that includes this strip had an opportunity to remove it even if they had discovered it before distribution.”
The three-panel cartoon in question featured Miller’s “Bearaissance” character named “Leonardo Bear Vinci.”
In an interview with NBC News on Monday, Miller admitted to writing those words and apologized — to his editors for putting them in a bad spot, not for the sentiment behind his cartoonish f-bomb.
“I own it. I did it,” Miller said. “It’s what I felt at the time.”
The cartoonist said the president angered him one day, two months ago when he drew the cartoon, and vented on paper.
“It was a mistake. If you’ve seen it, it’s just scribbled and it wasn’t meant to read, wasn’t meant to be legible,” Miller said. “I had intended to white it out before scanning and uploading it. I had completely forgotten about it.”
Miller said he’s syndicated in 700 newspapers and the Butler Eagle was the first and — as of midday Monday — only paper to take action against him.
The offending cartoon was done about two months ago, and Miller said he’s not sure what Trump might have done that day to draw his anger. He guessed it might have been about the government shutdown.
“It’s a daily outrage and there was something that happened that just ticked me off more than usual that day,” he said.
Miller promised that’ll be his last vulgar attack on Trump in his cartoon.
Julián Castro connects Trump rhetoric to El Paso shootings in ‘Fox & Friends’ ad
In a new ad to run on “Fox & Friends,” presidential candidate Julián Castro tells President Donald Trump that “innocent people were shot down … because they look like me.”
Castro, who is Mexican American, appears in the ad standing alone in an Iowa warehouse, directing his comments to Trump, who is known to be a fan of the show.
Castro connects racist comments Trump has made to the Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso that left 22 people dead and dozens wounded. Police say that the man accused in the attack posted an anti-Hispanic screed before the attack and that when he was arrested he said he wanted to kill Mexicans.
The screed mentions a “Hispanic invasion,” which mirrors comments made by Trump.
In the ad, Castro says into the camera: “President Trump: You referred to countries as shitholes. You urged American congresswomen to ‘go to back where they came from.’ You called immigrants ‘rapists.”
“As we saw in El Paso, Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists. Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you, because they look like me, because they look like my family. Words have consequences. Ya basta!” he says, using the Spanish for “Enough!”
Castro, the only Latino in the 2020 field and a former HUD secretary, has intentionally stayed away from El Paso, telling an Iowa crowd that the border city did not need another presidential candidate there.
But he has been in a Twitter feud with Trump, after his twin brother and campaign chairman, Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-Texas, tweeted the names of companies and their owners in San Antonio, a majority Latino city where Julian was mayor, who are Trump donors a few days after the El Paso attack. The names and their contributions are publicly available. Trump criticized the brothers in a tweet in response.
Castro’s campaign said Castro’s ad also was in response to Trump’s criticism.
The campaign said the ad is running Wednesday on “Fox & Friends” in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president is vacationing this week.
The camp spent $2,775 on the ad but will spend more to run it on digital sites.
Trump links Hong Kong protests to trade talks with China
President Donald Trump on Wednesday linked the ongoing trade talks with China to the humane resolution of protests shaking the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong.
“Of course China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!” he said on Twitter.
In his remarks, the president appeared to suggest a personal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help resolve the crisis.
Trump also reiterated claims that “thousands” of companies were leaving China.
Trump also said China needed a trade deal more than the U.S., although China has argued otherwise. The comment followed his announcement that he was extending his Sept. 1 deadline for 10 percent tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports such as cell phones, laptops and consumer goods until Dec. 15.
China’s economy — the world’s second largest — does appear to be cooling, with urban unemployment jumping to 5.3 percent in the first half of the year, compared with 5.1 percent in the same period last year.
Industrial output, meanwhile, was at a 17-year low in July while the yuan has slipped versus the dollar.
Despite the tensions with the U.S., more than 80 percent of member companies with the American Chamber of Commerce in China reported they expected to see economic growth in 2019, but at a lower level than government estimates.
Wall Street, meanwhile, took a battering on Wednesday after movements in the bond market signaled the sharpest indication yet of an approaching recession.
Trump blamed the Federal Reserve for the market plunge, calling Fed Chairman Jerome Powell “clueless” in an afternoon tweet.
How tensions in Hong Kong would factor into China-U.S. trade talks remains unclear despite the president raising the issue. China has frequently warned against outside interference with its authority over Hong Kong, calling it an internal issue.
Protests have gripped Hong Kong since June after a controversial extradition bill left many fearful it would lead to the erosion of residents’ rights, giving more power to Beijing.
The disruption and chaos have plunged the stock market in Hong Kong — an Asian financial hub — to a seven-month low, adding to the pressures on both Hong Kong and China’s economies.
The territory could be pushed into a recession, research firm Capital Economics has warned, with a growing risk of “an even worse outcome if a further escalation triggers capital flight.”
On Thursday, Hong Kong’s government announced a $2.44 billion package to prop up the economy, amid fears of lower growth rates. The Chinese Securities Association of Hong Kong also said the city’s reputation would be seriously damaged if the unrest did not stop soon.
The former British colony became a special administrative region of China in 1997. Unlike those living in mainland China, the territory’s 7 million residents can freely surf the internet and participate in public protests.
Protests have become increasingly violent, with clashes breaking out on the streets and most recently, at the city’s busy international airport, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights. The demonstrators are not only demanding that the extradition bill be revoked, but also that the territory’s Beijing-backed chief executive Carrie Lam step down and the police’s alleged use of excessive force be investigated.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV aired footage of an anti-riot police drill involving 12,000 police officers and dozens of armored and assault vehicles, helicopters and boats in Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong earlier this month. More recently, a satellite photo released by Maxar Technologies this week showed dozens of paramilitary vehicles and members of China’s People’s Armed Police assembling at a Shenzhen stadium on Monday.
Meanwhile, more protests were planned across several districts of Hong Kong on Thursday and the Civil Human Rights Front — behind the million-strong marches in June — plans another demonstration for Sunday.
Linda Givetash reported from London, and Eric Baculinao and Dawn Liu from Beijing
Eric Baculinao and Reuters contributed.
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