THE European elections are right around the corner and as the UK will take part, British parties have published their manifestos for the major election.
Trump snubs John McCain during bill signing intended to honor him
WASHINGTON — Congress wanted to honor the ailing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. President Donald Trump did not.
In extended remarks during a visit to Fort Drum in upstate New York to sign the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 — this year’s version of an annual bill that sets defense policy — Trump chose not to mention the former prisoner of war and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman who is battling brain cancer. He even omitted McCain’s name when citing the title of the bill.
The two men have long been fierce critics of each other, with McCain calling Trump’s supporters “crazies” in 2015 and Trump retaliating by questioning whether McCain, who was subjected to torture in a Vietnamese prison camp, is really a “war hero” because “he was captured.”
The snub at Fort Drum, home to the combat aviation brigade of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, did not escape the notice of McCain’s allies.
“For those asking did I expect Trump to be an a—— today. No more than I expected it to be Monday,” Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime aide, wrote on Twitter.
McCain’s condition — dire enough that a recent HBO documentary on him was titled “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” — has not stopped Trump from deriding the Arizona senator at political rallies. Though Trump does not use his name, he tells crowds that he would have been able to repeal Obamacare if not for a thumbs-down sign from one senator — McCain.
The senator’s own statement included Trump’s name in the headline and in a preamble written by staff. But the words attributed to McCain did not.
“I’m very proud that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 has been signed into law,” he said.
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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