Did Trump Break the Law With Deleted Tweets?

Did Trump Break the Law With Deleted Tweets?

Two groups have taken the president to court regarding deleted tweets since taking office.

Did Trump Break the Law With Deleted Tweets?

Two good-government watchdog groups have sued Trump, claiming he’s violated federal and constitutional law that prohibits destruction of presidential records. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

In objecting to President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, civil rights lawyers pointed to messages the president posted on his Twitter account as evidence he based the ban on religion, not national security.

Now, as news outlets report he’s deleted 22 tweets — including one noting a meeting with military brass at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida — two good-government watchdog groups have sued Trump, claiming he’s violated federal and constitutional law that prohibits destruction of presidential records.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archives filed the lawsuit late last week in federal court.

The groups also claim White House personnel “have used and … continue to use certain email messaging applications that destroy the contents of messages as soon as they are read, without regard to whether the messages are presidential records,” according to the suit.

“The American people not only deserve to know how their government is making important decisions, it’s the law,” Noah Bookbinder, CREW’s executive director, said in a statement when the lawsuit was filed. “By deleting these records, the White House is destroying essential historical records.”

Under the federal Presidential Records Act, the president and his staff are required to maintain records of official business or communication for eventual public access, according to CREW.

Gizmodo reports that Trump has deleted 22 tweets from his account since taking office in January. That includes messages promoting his appearance on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” as well as the infamous “Covfefe” tweet.

The lawsuit is the latest turn in the ongoing controversy regarding the president’s profligate use of Twitter, and whether the messages are official or unofficial statements by the nation’s chief executive.

Trump has long been known for itchy Twitter fingers; even his allies say the president has an compulsion with using the medium to lavish praise on his supporters, torching his adversaries and transmitting his unfiltered worldview to 31 million followers, 140 characters at a time. Trump has defended his use of Twitter, saying it allows him to speak directly to the American public, bypassing traditional media outlets who he has wrangled with.

When challenged on whether the tweets are official policy, however, the White House has been inconsistent, largely depending on the contents of the president’s messages. Press secretary Sean Spicer has declared Trump’s tweets are “official statements by the President of the United States,” — a declaration that led opponents of the president’s travel ban to use them as evidence he used the order to intentionally discriminate against Muslims.

In the lawsuit, CREW and NSA take the matter a step further. They insist that “presidential statements made on Twitter sent from the President’s personal Twitter account, which are subject to federal record-keeping obligations, have been destroyed,” according to the suit.

The investigative journalism organization ProPublica has unearthed the deleted messages and posted them on its website.

Meanwhile, the CREW and NSA suit alleges presidential staffers use secret chat apps, such as Confide and Signal, and other encrypted communications programs — including some that destroy the message as soon as it is received or sent. CREW argues that use of those apps also violate federal presidential records laws.

Deletion of Trump’s tweets, and his staff’s use of encrypted communications, the suit alleges, “prevent the proper preservation of records the Defendants generate or receive when carrying out the President’s constitutional, statutory, or other official duties.”

The White House has rejected the allegations: “The White House doesn’t permit the use of apps such as this and works diligently to ensure all staff comply with The Presidential Records Act,” a representative told Newsweek.

U.S. Supreme Court reinstates Trump travel ban, will hear arguments

U.S. Supreme Court reinstates Trump travel ban, will hear arguments


The Supreme Court is letting a limited version of President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries take effect, a victory for Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency.

The justices will hear full arguments in October in the case that has stirred heated emotions across the nation. In the meantime, the court said Monday that Trump’s ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can be enforced if those visitors lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

Trump said last week that the ban would take effect 72 hours after being cleared by courts.

The administration has said the 90-day ban was needed on national security grounds to allow an internal review of screening procedures for visa applicants from the six countries. Opponents say the ban is unlawful, based on visitors’ Muslim religion. The administration review should be complete before Oct. 2, the first day the justices could hear arguments in their new term.

A 120-ban on refugees also is being allowed to take effect on a limited basis.

Three of the court’s conservative justices said they would have let the complete bans take effect.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the government has shown it is likely to succeed on the merits of the case, and that it will suffer irreparable harm with any interference. Thomas said the government’s interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to people denied entry into the country.

Some immigration lawyers said the limited nature of the ban and the silence of the court’s liberals on the issue Monday suggested that the court had not handed Trump much of a victory. The White House did not immediately comment.

The court’s opinion explained the kinds of relationships people from the six countries must demonstrate to obtain a U.S. visa.

“For individuals, a close familial relationship is required,” the court said. For people who want to come to the United States to work or study, “the relationship must be formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, not for the purpose of evading” the travel ban.

The opinion faulted the two federal appeals courts that had blocked the travel policy for going too far to limit Trump’s authority over immigration. The president announced the travel ban a week after he took office in January and revised it in March after setbacks in court.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban was “rooted in religious animus” toward Muslims and pointed to Trump’s campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the travel policy does not comply with federal immigration law, including a prohibition on nationality-based discrimination. That court also put a hold on separate aspects of the policy that would keep all refugees out of the United States for 120 days and cut by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000, the cap on refugees in the current government spending year that ends September 30.

Trump’s first executive order on travel applied to travelers from Iraq and well as the six countries, and took effect immediately, causing chaos and panic at airports over the last weekend in January as the Homeland Security Department scrambled to figure out whom the order covered and how it was to be implemented.

A federal judge blocked it eight days later, an order that was upheld by a 9th circuit panel. Rather than pursue an appeal, the administration said it would revise the policy.

In March, Trump issued the narrower order.

Kislyak, ‘the Most Radioactive Man in Washington,’ Recalled to Russia

Kislyak, ‘the Most Radioactive Man in Washington,’ Recalled to Russia

Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak will leave the U.S. amid intensifying scrutiny of the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election and its ties to the Trump campaign team.

By Alan Neuhauser, Staff Writer | June 26, 2017

Kislyak, ‘the Most Radioactive Man in Washington,’ Recalled to Russia
FILE- In this Sept. 6, 2013, file photo, Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the U.S. speaks with reporters at the Center for the National Interest in Washington. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two conversations with Kislyak during the presidential campaign season last year, contact likely to fuel calls for him to recuse himself from a Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the election, the Justice Department said Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. speaks with reporters at the Center for the National Interest, Sept. 6, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

Russia’s wrecking ball in Washington is returning to the Kremlin.

Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. whose meetings with Trump associates have attracted intense scrutiny and apparently forced at least one cabinet member from his job, is reportedly being recalled to Moscow.

Kislyak had been expected to depart the nation’s capital, but news outlets had previously reported that he was bound for a new post at the United Nations in New York City. On Sunday Buzzfeed News reported that Kislyak was instead recalled home.

His expected departure comes amid multiple investigations, including by the FBI, into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and the Kremlin’s potential ties to the Trump team. The ambassador, himself, has been dubbed “the most radioactive man in Washington,” in the wake of his meetings with President Donald Trump and members of the president’s team.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner each had previously undisclosed meetings with the ambassador.

The FBI and congressional committees have focused particular attention on a December meeting involving Kislyak, Flynn and Kushner.

After that meeting and others came to light, Flynn stepped down from his post as national security adviser, and Sessions recused himself from involvement in the FBI’s investigation into Russian election interference.

The US-Russia Business Council reportedly plans to host a going away party for Kislyak next month at the St. Regis Hotel.

Cuomo Pardons Former Ground Zero Worker

Cuomo Pardons Former Ground Zero Worker

Carlos Cardona is facing deportation for a nearly 30-year-old conviction.

By Gaby Galvin, Staff Writer | June 22, 2017

Cuomo Pardons Former Ground Zero Worker
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a rally, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in New York. (AP/Mary Altaffer)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pictured, pardoned Carlos Humberto Cardona Wednesday. (MARY ALTAFFER/AP)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pardoned a former ground zero worker fighting deportation to Colombia for a drug conviction 27 years ago.

Carlos Humberto Cardona, 48, fled Colombia in 1986 when his family was threatened by gangs, entering the U.S. illegally through Mexico. In 1990, Cardona pleaded guilty to selling a small amount of cocaine to an undercover police officer and spent 45 days in jail, his lawyer said. He has lived crime-free since then.

After the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Cardona volunteered as a cleanup and hazmat recovery worker, from which he developed acute respiratory issues.

Cardona’s health issues are what allowed him to stay in the U.S. after he missed a 2001 immigration hearing court date and was scheduled to be deported. Through federal programs providing medical care for those suffering from health problems after the Sept. 11 attack, Cardona was permitted to stay in the U.S. granted he check in regularly with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

But shortly after President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown in February, which made deporting illegal immigrants with prior criminal convictions a priority, ICE officials detained Cardona and have held him ever since. Cardona, a Queens resident who is married to a U.S. citizen, applied to New York’s clemency program in April and was pardoned by Cuomo Wednesday afternoon.

“In the more than 30 years since Carlos Cardona has lived in this country, he has built a family and given back to his community, including in the aftermath of 9/11 when he assisted with ground zero recovery efforts at the expense of his own health,” Cuomo said. “It is my hope this action will not only reunite Mr. Cardona with his wife and daughter but also send a message about the values of fairness and equality that New York was founded upon.”

Immigration authorities will determine whether Cardona is eventually deported, but his clemency will allow his attorney to prove the grounds for deporting him are no longer valid, according to The New York Times.

Since 2013, Cuomo has granted seven pardons to people at risk of deportation. Applications for the state’s clemency program have increased since Trump’s election, Cuomo’s counsel said.

Study: Legal Pot Linked to Increase in Auto Collisions

Study: Legal Pot Linked to Increase in Auto Collisions

Eight states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana in recent years.

By Gaby Galvin, Staff Writer | June 22, 2017

Study: Legal Pot Linked to Increase in Auto Collisions
Blurred urban street traffic.

In the case of impaired driving, “marijuana just layers on top of other impairments like alcohol,” according to study. (JOHN GREIM/LIGHTROCKET/GETTY IMAGES)

Car crash claims are on the rise in three states where recreational marijuana use is legal, according to an insurance study released Thursday.

The Highway Loss Data Institute found collision claims in Colorado, Washington and Oregon rose 2.7 percent when compared with both their own pre-marijuana rates and crash claims in surrounding states where pot is still illegal.

Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2012, opening their first retail stores in 2014 and 2015, respectively. A total of eight states — and Washington, D.C. — have legalized recreational pot sales.

Between January 2012 and October 2016, accident claims rose 16 percent in Colorado, 6.2 percent in Washington and 4.5 percent in Oregon, the study found. Insurance industry groups have been closely monitoring claims since 2013, when the number of auto accidents began to rise after more than a decade of steady decline.

“We’re concerned about what we’re seeing,” said Matt Moore, senior vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute. “We see strong evidence of an increased crash risk in states that have approved recreational marijuana sales.”

While the rising number of crash claims couldn’t be directly linked to marijuana usage, it indicates a strong correlation between the two, the study found. It’s difficult to prove causation, partially because there is not a field sobriety test designed to test drivers specifically for marijuana. Insurance companies have raised distracted driving, road construction and increased miles driven as other possible factors for the rising collision rates.

“We’re concerned about impaired driving in general,” Moore said. “Marijuana just layers on top of other impairments like alcohol.”

Drunk driving remains a major concern on the road, according to Russ Rader, spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit funded by auto insurers.

“While we have proven countermeasures, proven strategies for reducing alcohol impaired driving, there are a lot of unanswered questions about marijuana and driving,” Rader said.

Study links legalized marijuana with increase in car crash claims
WFTS – Tampa, FL

Warmbier’s Death Fuels Tensions With North Korea

Warmbier’s Death Fuels Tensions With North Korea

North Korea’s treatment of student is beyond their usual methods, one expert noted.

Warmbier’s Death Fuels Tensions With North Korea

No Comment From North Korea on Warmbier Death

The death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who was detained in North Korea for 17 months and spent more than a year in a coma, has fueled antagonism between the authoritarian regime and the U.S., prompting a U.S. military display Tuesday.

In a show of force against North Korea, the U.S. flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday morning, the Associated Press reported. The bombers conducted two separate drills with the Japanese and South Korean air forces in a show of solidarity between the three nations.

President Donald Trump said Warmbier’s death was a “total disgrace” Tuesday during an Oval Office meeting with the president of Ukraine. Had Warmbier been returned home earlier, “the result would have been a lot different.”

It’s common for the U.S. to conduct military drills during times of increased hostility with North Korea.  American forces flew bombers near the volatile border earlier this year when Pyongyang conducted a series of banned ballistic missile tests.

Warmbier’s death on Monday – coupled with the refusal of the North Koreans to release their Canadian, South Korean and three remaining American hostages – is “beyond the pale of North Korea’s usual standards,” said John Delury, an expert on the region at Yonsei University in Seoul, according to ABC News.

“I believe it’s going to set back any serious discussion about a diplomatic dialogue until this is cleared up,” said former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, whose foundation helps free political prisoners in North Korea and elsewhere. “I think the first objective has to be to get the three other Americans out, and get a full explanation of what happened to Otto Warmbier.”

Warmbier traveled to Pyongyang in December 2015 and was arrested for allegedly trying to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel. During his imprisonment, he suffered from “extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of his brain,” his doctors said, though the cause of the trauma is unclear. Warmbier returned home to Cincinnati last week and died Monday afternoon.

The tour company Warmbier used to travel to Pyongyang, China-based Young Pioneer Tours, will no longer take U.S. citizens to North Korea, according to a statement posted Tuesday to the agency’s website.

In a statement released Monday, Warmbier’s parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, said their son was “very uncomfortable,” unable to speak, see or react to verbal commands when he returned home. Based on two MRI scans from the North Koreans, doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center determined Warmbier sustained his brain injury before April 2016.

“Unfortunately,” the Warmbiers’ statement said, “the awful, torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.”

Warmbier’s death could also hurt the efforts of recently-elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in to repair ties with North Korea, The New York Times reported. Moon has been more open to communicating with North Korean leaders, claiming sanctions alone have not deterred the rogue state’s activities. But South Korean officials now fear it would be difficult to convince the U.S. to engage in dialogue with Pyongyang in wake of Warmbier’s death.

Han Tae Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, refused to comment directly on Warmbier Tuesday, but denied any misconduct in the country’s treatment of detainees. He said the country operates “according to our national laws, and according to the international standards,” adding that Pyongyang is “not afraid” of any potential future sanctions against the country.

Supreme Court Passes on Mass Arrests

Supreme Court Passes on Mass Arrests

Attorney says justices are allowing ‘a clear and present danger to democracy, free speech and a free press.’

Supreme Court Passes on Mass Arrests
Occupy Wall Street protester Chris Philips screams as he is arrested near Zuccotti Park, Sept. 17, 2012, in New York. Multiple Occupy Wall Street protesters have been arrested during a march toward the New York Stock Exchange on the anniversary of the grass-roots movement. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Occupy Wall Street protester Chris Philips screams as he is arrested near Zuccotti Park, Sept. 17, 2012, in New York. (JOHN MINCHILLO/AP)

The Supreme Court has declined to review whether it’s legal for American police to mass-arrest peaceful protesters without first giving them a warning and an opportunity to disperse.

The rejected First Amendment case, Garcia v. Bloomberg, emerged from the mass arrest of about 700 people on the Brooklyn Bridge in 2011. Attorneys for the protesters said review was particularly important now that large national protests again have become common.

Though protesters had followed officers onto the bridge’s roadway before being surrounded and arrested, New York City attorneys argued in a filing “the New York prohibition against obstructing traffic is clear, and police never varied it by word or deed.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit sided with the city, finding officers had probable cause to arrest the protesters, who were taking part in an Occupy Wall Street march.

Opponents of the appeals court ruling said it chilled the exercise of speech and assembly rights by allowing police to arrest protesters for violating traffic laws without warning, even if police were facilitating the violations.

“The Supreme Court has let stand a Second Circuit ruling that poses a clear and present danger to democracy, free speech and a free press,” says Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and an attorney for the protesters.

“It signals all those who would join a peaceful police-escorted demonstration, or report on it, that even if they comply with all police directives they can nonetheless be arrested with no warning and be subject to years of prosecution and possibly years of imprisonment,” she says.

A spokesman for the New York City Law Department could not immediately comment on the Supreme Court decision.

In a recent court filing, city attorneys argued the case presented only “a narrow question of probable cause” to make arrests and disputed that there was a circuit split, which would make the matter more attractive to justices.

Unlike other mass-arrest cases, city attorneys argued in a court filing, traffic laws had not been “explicitly or implicitly suspended.”

Garcia’s team, however, pointed to rulings such as the 2011 opinion from a panel of the 7th Circuit in Vodak v. City of Chicago. In that case, a group of antiwar protesters marched in 2003 without a permit or established route but with acquiescence of police before a large number of protesters, many of whom said they did not hear police orders to disperse, were surrounded and arrested.

“No precedent should be necessary … to establish that the Fourth Amendment does not permit the police to say to a person, ‘Go ahead and march,’ and then, five minutes later, having revoked the permission for the march without notice to anyone, arrest the person for having marched without police permission,” the 7th Circuit ruled.

Verheyden-Hilliard says she believes the Supreme Court will eventually have to address the matter.

“The obvious constitutional infirmity of [the 2nd Circuit’s] position, which has been rejected by every other circuit that has considered it, makes it clear that this matter will come up through the courts again,” she says. “This case has been hard-fought for more than five and a half years and, while this case has ended, this fundamental issue remains alive as the American people engage in protest and dissent in record numbers.”

Tempers flare at Supreme Court over religious liberty case
Washington Examiner

Initiative Would Ban Smartphone Sales to Kids

Initiative Would Ban Smartphone Sales to Kids

The proposal’s backer says his children became moody, quiet and reclusive after receiving smartphones.

By Megan Trimble, Associate Editor, Social Media | June 19, 2017

Initiative Would Ban Smartphone Sales to Kids
A Chinese girl chatting with WeChat on smartphone on a moving escalator in Japan

A Colorado nonprofit wants to curb the sale of smartphones to preteens and children. (MOMENT EDITORIAL/GETTY IMAGES)

A Colorado man is leading the charge against preteens’ preoccupation with smartphones.

Tim Farnum, a Denver-area anesthesiologist and father of five, has proposed a ballot initiative to curb smartphone sales and prevent sales to those under the age of 13, according to the Washington Post. If it passes, the initiative would position Colorado as the first state to set legal limits on smartphone sales to children.

The measure would require retailers to ask about the age of the potential phone owner before completing a sale.

Farnum, founder of Parents Against Underage Smartphones (PAUS) the nonprofit group backing the proposal, said his 11- and 13-year-old sons “became moody, quiet and reclusive” after receiving smartphones last year.

“There were some real problems,” he told the Post, citing statistics that highlight negative effects of screen time on kids.

Under the proposal, selling a smartphone to anyone younger than 13 or to anyone purchasing the phone for someone under 13 would initially draw a warning. Two-time offenders would have to pay a $500 fine. Fines would then double with each offense and could reach $20,000 per violation.

The measure would require retailers to also submit monthly reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue, which would collect the fines.

Farnum told the Post that parents and grandparents with concerns for children’s activity levels and imagination outside of smartphone use have expressed “overwhelming” support for the proposal. Its critics, however, argue the initiative may overstep.

“Frankly, I think it should remain a family matter,” Colorado Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, told the Coloradoan. “I know there have been different proposals out there regarding the internet and putting filters on websites that might put kids at risk. I think ultimately, this comes down to parents … making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk.”

PAUS would still need to collect about 300,000 voter signatures to get the proposal on the November 2018 ballot, according to the Denver Post.

Should There Be An Age Limit For Cell Phones?
CBS Minnesota

Accused leaker shared harsh opinions on Trump before arrest

Accused leaker shared harsh opinions on Trump before arrest

Reality Leigh Winner. –AFP / Getty Images

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Before she was charged with leaking U.S. government secrets to a reporter, Reality Leigh Winner shared sometimes scathing opinions on President Donald Trump and his policies for the whole world to see.

The 25-year-old U.S. government contractor has worked since February in Augusta, Georgia, for a federal agency that neither prosecutors nor her defense lawyer will name and where she had access to sensitive documents. But the secretive nature of her job didn’t stop Winner from speaking freely on politics and other topics on social media accounts accessible to anyone.

She posted on Facebook three months ago that climate change is a more important issue than health care “since not poisoning an entire population seems to be more in line with ‘health’ care, and not the disease care system that people voted for a soulless ginger orangutan to ‘fix.’ ”

Winner remained locked up Tuesday on federal charges that she made copies of classified documents containing top-secret material and mailed them to an online news organization. She was scheduled to appear before a federal judge Thursday for a detention hearing.

In her spare time, Winner lifted weights and taught the occasional yoga class. She served six years in the Air Force before she moved to Georgia early this year, according to her mother, Billie Winner-Davis. Reporters gathered Tuesday outside Winner’s small, red-brick home in a neighborhood dotted with overgrown yards and houses in disrepair.

 “She’s got a good heart,” Winner-Davis said. “She serves her community, she served her country. She believes in always doing what’s right.”

Gary Davis, Winner’s stepfather, said she turned down a full college scholarship to join the Air Force. Court records say Winner held a top-secret security clearance.

“I know my daughter. She’s a patriot,” Davis said. “She served with distinction in one of the highest classified jobs in the Air Force.”

Winner’s mother said she was stunned when her daughter called over the weekend, saying the FBI had come to her home and she was being arrested. Winner asked if her mother and stepfather, who live in Texas, would travel to Georgia to help feed her cat.

“Mainly she was concerned about her cat,” Winner-Davis said.

Court documents accuse Winner of mailing a classified report written on or about May 5 to an unnamed news organization. The website The Intercept reported Monday it had obtained a classified National Security Agency report dated May 5 suggesting Russian hackers attacked at least one U.S. voting software supplier days before last year’s presidential election.

Winner’s defense attorney, Titus Thomas Nichols, would not confirm whether she was being charged with leaking the NSA report cited by The Intercept.

On social media, Winner mostly shared glimpses into her life far removed from politics — such as watching Dr. Who with her cat and serving her family a vegetarian meal of barbecued jackfruit.

“I just know she cares about her world and taking care of people and animals,” Winner-Davis said. “I never termed her as a political activist at all, ever.”

But Winner’s Facebook page does mention reaching out to Sen. David Perdue, a Georgia Republican, after Trump nominated Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

And in an angry reply to a report that Trump said he wasn’t hearing complaints about building the Dakota Access oil pipeline, Winner wrote on Facebook: “I’m losing my mind. If you voted for this piece of (expletive), explain this. He’s lying.”

In the legal case, authorities say Winner admitted to leaking the classified report once government officials traced her as the source.

An affidavit by FBI agent Justin Garrick said the government found out about the leaked documents from the news outlet that received them. He said the agency that housed the report was able to identify six people — including Winner — who had made copies of the report.

A pattern of tiny yellow dots on the leaked documents themselves would also have offered the government a way to track down the alleged leaker, security blog Errata noted late Monday. At the request of the government, recent model color printers automatically leave a unique stamp on the documents they produce.

In a court affidavit filed late Tuesday, the FBI said it searched Winner’s home and seized her U.S. passport; two spiral-bound notebooks; two laptop computers and other computer equipment; and a Department of Defense-issued country handbook for Iran.

Investigators said in court records they wanted to search her property for a variety of computer information as well as possible contacts with media outlets as well as any possible contacts with “foreign governments, foreign powers, or agents of foreign powers,” search warrant documents state.

Asked if Winner had confessed, Nichols said, “If there is a confession, the government has not shown it to me.”


Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia. AP reporters Jeff Horwitz in Washington and Jeff Martin in Atlanta contributed to this story.

Poll: Trump Tweets Hurt Presidency, Country

Poll: Trump Tweets Hurt Presidency, Country

Though the president blames the press for undermining his presidency, the majority of American voters say he’s hurting himself by using Twitter.

By Gabrielle Levy, Political Reporter

Poll: Trump Tweets Hurt Presidency, Country
President Donald Trump speaks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch during a meeting with House and Senate Leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Tuesday, June 06, 2017.

President Donald Trump speaks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, not pictured, at the White House on Tuesday. (JABIN BOTSFORD/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES)

President Donald Trump may insist his tweets are a way to get his “honest and unfiltered message out,” but a majority of voting Americans – including Trump’s supporters – say he should spend less time on Twitter.

According to a new Morning Consult poll released Wednesday, more than two thirds of voters – 69 percent – say Trump uses Twitter too much, compared to just 15 percent who say he uses it “about the right amount” and only 4 percent who say he should tweet more.

Even among Republicans, 53 percent say he uses the social media platform too much, compared to about 30 percent who say he should keep his Tweeting about the same. Slightly more Republican voters – 41 percent – think his Tweeting is a good thing, while 37 percent view it as bad.

Fifty-nine percent of all voters say his tweeting is “a bad thing,” compared to just 23 percent who see his use of Twitter as positive, with a majority viewing the brief, seemingly unfiltered messages the president sends out on social media most days as having a negative impact on the government and the country.

More than half, or 51 percent, say Trump’s tweeting hurts national security, and 53 percent say it harms America’s standing in the world, compared to 13 percent and 15 percent, respectively, who say it helps on those matters. Moreover, 57 percent think his tweets cause damage to his own presidency, while a plurality – 35 percent – say he is helping Democrats win re-election next year and 48 percent think he is hurting Congressional Republicans who are running for re-election in 2018.

The poll’s results contradict Trump and the White House’s view of his tweets. On Tuesday the president railed against the “FAKE MSM,” accusing the mainstream media of trying to push him to stop tweeting.

At a briefing with the press Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the president’s tweets should be taken as official White House statements, contradicting other administration aides who earlier in the day had tried to downplay their significance.

“The president is the president of the United States so they’re considered official statements by the president of the United States,” Spicer said.

“The president is the most effective messenger on his agenda, and I think his use of social media … give him an opportunity to speak directly to the American people, which has proved to be a very effective tool,” he said. “The same people who are critiquing his use of it now critiqued it during the election, and it turned out pretty well for him then.”

10 things to know for today

10 things to know for today

Despite a temporary suspension of the deployment of Filipino workers to Qatar by the Labor Department on Tuesday, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) queue up at Qatar Airways check-in counter for the scheduled flight to Doha Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay city, southeast of Manila, Philippines. The Philippine government temporarily suspended the deployment of Filipino workers to Qatar, fearing food riots and other potential problems amid the diplomatic crisis gripping the tiny Gulf nation, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said.
Despite a temporary suspension of the deployment of Filipino workers to Qatar by the Labor Department on Tuesday, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) queue up at Qatar Airways check-in counter for the scheduled flight to Doha Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay city, southeast of Manila, Philippines. –Bullit Marquez / Associated Press

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. Islamic State group claims attacks on Tehran parliament, shrine

The extremists say they attacked Iran’s parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, killing two security guards and wounding more than 30 people — a first claim of its kind in Iran by IS.

2. What Senate panel is expected to do 

Trump’s national security team will likely be asked about Russia’s election meddling and whether the U.S. president has tried to influence ongoing investigations.
3. Who is alleged Russian hacks leaker 

Reality Leigh Winner shared sometimes scathing opinions on Trump and his policies for the whole world to see online.

4. UAE ruling family member: Qatar questioning leaders 

The outspoken Emirati raises the prospect of Qatar’s leadership changing amid a growing diplomatic crisis between it and other Arab nations attempting to isolate the energy-rich travel hub.

5. Power struggle seen within Islamic State group in Afghanistan 

A letter drafted by a senior militant and obtained by AP pits notoriously fierce Uzbek fighters against Pakistanis seen as too close to Islamabad’s intelligence service.

6. Where Trump will be

The Republican president discusses his plans for a $1 trillion overhaul of the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and waterways during a speech in Cincinnati.

7. Cosby accuser: Shot down comedian’s advances twice

Andrea Constand testifies that she then found herself paralyzed and unable to fight him off the night she took pills that he convinced her were safe herbal supplements.

8. After Pulse attack, gay latinos seek strength

They’ve formed support groups and community organizations in Orlando, sought seats at the tables of power and created a foundation to champion gays and Latinos.

9. Uber moves to repair tainted image

The world’s leading ride-hailing company fires 20 employees for a host of harassment problems and taps an Apple marketing executive to rescue its brand.

10. Kluszewski. Robinson. Bench.Perez. Junior. …Gennett

Harvard Pulls Admission Offers After Explicit Posts

Harvard Pulls Admission Offers After Explicit Posts

Prospective students allegedly traded obscene and offensive messages in an online Facebook chat.

By Megan Trimble, Associate Editor, Social Media | June 5, 2017

Harvard Pulls Admission Offers After Explicit Posts
SEPTEMBER 03: Harvard banners hang outside Memorial Church on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009. Community activists in Allston, a section of Boston across the Charles River from Harvard's main campus in Cambridge, say university delays have left a

Harvard University rescinded at least 10 acceptances after learning of an explicit Facebook group chat among admitted students. (MICHAEL FEIN/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES)

Harvard University has reportedly rescinded at least 10 admission offers into its fall freshman class after learning prospective students traded sexually explicit and offensive messages in an online Facebook chat.

The Harvard Crimson, the school’s daily student newspaper, said students traded obscene messages in the group that was reportedly formed in December and at one point titled “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens.” University officials declined to provide the paper with comment on the admission statuses, but The Crimson – citing a chat member who had their admission offer revoked – reported the university rescinded offers around mid-April.

Citing obtained screenshots, The Crimson said some posts mocked sexual assault, the Holocaust and the deaths of children, with one calling the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child “piñata time.” Some of the postings joked that abusing children was sexually arousing.

Harvard pared down nearly 40,000 applicants to admit 2,056 students into its Class of 2021. About 84 percent of those admitted students accepted the offer.

The private chat featuring offensive messages reportedly was formed by prospective students who got in touch with each other via the official College Admissions & Financial Aid Office-managed Harvard Facebook group for the Class of 2021. Posting in college social media groups is common practice among newly admitted students, and Harvard’s Facebook group notes that the admissions office is “not responsible for any unofficial groups, chats or the content within.”

“As a reminder, Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions including if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character,” the group’s description reads.
The official group has just more than 1,500 members. But what first was a roughly 100-member spin-off group where students shared popular memes – or viral images that span the internet – splintered once more into a third, much darker offshoot.

Incoming student Cassandra Luca, who joined the first meme group but not the second, said that founders of the second meme group “demanded that students post provocative memes in the larger messaging group before allowing them to join the splinter group,” according to The Crimson.

“They were like, ‘Oh, you have to send a meme to the original group to prove that you could get into the new one,'” Luca told the paper. “This was a just-because-we-got-into-Harvard-doesn’t-mean-we-can’t-have-fun kind of thing.”

The Crimson reported that university officials have said in the past that Harvard’s decision to rescind a student’s offer is final.

Harvard Rescinds 10 Acceptances Over Obscene Posts

Iraq’s National Soccer Team Aims to Prove to ISIS ‘That Nothing Can Divide Us’

Iraq’s National Soccer Team Aims to Prove to ISIS ‘That Nothing Can Divide Us’

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s national soccer team is due to play its first game on home soil in years on Thursday — taking to the field in a city that suffered some of the worst violence after Saddam Hussein.

But the match against neighboring Jordan is about much more than sports. It is widely seen as a sign the country is moving beyond the conflict and bloodshed that has plagued it since the U.S. invasion of 2003.

Image: Dhia Salem
Dhia Salem NBC News

“We are proving that that nothing can divide us,” said Dhia Salem, a Baghdad barber. Salem made the five-hour drive south to Basra to catch a game that he predicted would “unite all Iraqis, especially after defeating ISIS who were betting on dividing Iraqis.”

This is an important message in a country whose forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, are fighting to drive out ISIS. The hyper-violent Sunni extremists preach a version of Islam that’s intolerant of other sects and religions.

With forces closing in on the militants’ last Iraqi stronghold of Mosul, world soccer officials have given the country its first chance to host an international match in four years.

For many Iraqis, the ethnically and religiously mixed team will be living, breathing proof that ISIS’ philosophy has no place in the country.

Image: Mohammed Hammed
Iraqi goalkeeper Mohammed Hammed (seen in yellow jersey) and teammates play against Denmark during the 2016 Olympic Games in Brasilia, Brazil. The game ended scoreless. NurPhoto via Getty Images

“The Iraqi team represents all Iraqis, it doesn’t represent Sunnis or Shiites, neither Arabs, Kurds, Muslims nor Christians,” the 27-year-old Salem said. “I do not care about the sect of any player, since he is playing for Iraq.”

Basra is located in Iraq’s southern Shiite heartland. It witnessed vicious fighting in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion, and militias besieged British soldiers in their bases in 2008.

It has been largely spared from ISIS but as Iraq struggled to combat the group in other parts of the country, security forces have been redeployed from the south, leaving a security vacuum that has been filled by unruly militias and criminal gangs.

An intense security operation aims to keep the 60,000 fans safe for Thursday’s exhibition game.

Many of them have fond memories of when the Iraqi national team beat Saudi Arabia in the final of the 2007 Asian Cup, sending thousands joyfully spilling into the streets.

Image: Iraqi supporters celebrate the victory of their country's football team against Saudi Arabia for the final of the Asian Football Cup 2007
Iraqis celebrate after the country’s national soccer team beat Saudi Arabia in the Asian Cup final on July 29, 2007. Ali Yussef / AFP/Getty Images

“Winning that tournament suddenly brought all Iraqis together,” said Kamel Zugheir, a spokesman for the Iraqi Football Federation. “Those people … celebrated as Iraqis, not as Sunnis or Shiites. They sent a message to officials that it is easy to bring all Iraqis to stand side by side as it was easy to create problems among them.”

Those celebrations came after decades of political and sporting isolation. Iraq’s national team was not allowed to play at home between 1980 and 2003, when the country was at war with neighbor Iran and then under international economic sanctions.

World soccer officials extended the ban after the U.S. invasion removed Saddam from power and triggered chaos and then a civil war.

However, games in the northern and relatively safe Kurdish city of Erbil were allowed.

Since 2009, Iraq was given two chances to show that it could host international matches, but violence that once again swept the country in recent years meant that international officials pulled permission once more.

The drama surrounding Iraq’s national team has played out against the country’s greater national tragedy.

Since the fall of Saddam, around 3 million Iraqis were displaced by violence, and according to the International Organization for Migration.

It is not known how many Iraqis were killed in the eight years after the U.S. invasion, although estimates have put the number between 112,000 and around 500,000.

Image: Mahmood Abed
Mahmood Abed NBC News

Soccer fan Mahmood Abed, who sells sunglasses on the streets of Baghdad, can only dream of watching his national team play in person.

“I was raised among a family that used to go to watch the Iraqi team in Iraqi stadiums,” the 18-year-old told NBC News. “My father always recalls those memories and tells me about what a wonderful feeling it was to watch your team playing in front of you.”

He was aged eight at the outbreak of the civil war, which was driven by divisions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

Nevertheless, Abed says he does not make any religious distinction among his countrymen. And this feeling lead directly to his love of soccer.

“When I watch a match in the TV for our national team, I do not ask if this player or that is a Sunni or a Shiite,” he said. “I only care about the results.”

An NBC News producer reported from Baghdad. F. Brinley Bruton reported from London.

UK Takes Step Closer to National Electric Battery Hub

UK Takes Step Closer to National Electric Battery Hub

| May 31, 2017

UK Takes Step Closer to National Electric Battery Hub

FILE PHOTO: A Nissan Leaf electric car is displayed next to a charging stand at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo REUTERS

By Costas Pitas

COVENTRY, England (Reuters) – Britain is moving towards creating a new national development hub for electric car batteries with officials setting out plans for companies to work together to improve the technology, possibly paving the way for large-scale local production.

Representatives from politics, academia and business in the central English city of Coventry, the historic heart of the British car industry, have pitched plans for a “National Battery Prototyping Centre” which would focus on research and development and testing.

Local government officials set out their plans to create the center, with state help, at an event on Tuesday attended by the business minister and by Ralf Speth, the chief executive of Britain’s biggest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover, who has said he wants to build electric models in the country.

“We expect public money support for this facility, that’s what today is about,” Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands region of central England, told Reuters.

 Backers of the plan will submit the proposals to ministers with the goal of securing a slice of government funding for new technologies recently announced by Britain’s Conservative government. A decision on the winning schemes is due soon after a June 8 general election.

Officials in the West Midlands hope their central location will make it a practical choice for a national center and they say their plan could ultimately create 10,000 jobs. They gave no estimate of how much a new center would cost.

Japan’s Nissan already builds its electric Leaf at its north of England plant and Germany’s BMW is due to decide by the end of the year whether to build a new electric Mini model at its plant in Oxford, although potential tariffs on vehicle exports after Brexit will be an important consideration.

 Carmakers are racing to build greener vehicles and improve charge times in a bid to meet rising customer demand and meet air quality targets but Britain lacks sufficient manufacturing capacity, an area ministers have said they want to build up.

Speth told Reuters last year it made sense to build electric cars and batteries in the firm’s home market but only if conditions such as pilot testing, support from science and energy supply were met.

The proposals, spearheaded by the Warwick Manufacturing Group which works with manufacturers and is based at Warwick University, go some way to meeting JLR’s needs with hopes the firm will commit to production in the future.

The automaker’s recent major investments have gone abroad with a new plant for conventional vehicles being built in Slovakia and plans for its first electric model, the I-PACE, to be made in Austria.

Ahead of next week’s election, business minister Greg Clark said it was for the next administration to make investment choices, but that there was a clear will to push forward with such projects.

“The enthusiasm of everyone in the room, including JLR, to establish Coventry and the West Midlands as a test bed and place of innovation in battery storage is very evident and there’s huge commitment to that,” he told Reuters.



10 things to know for Tuesday

A wreath is placed at the grave of former President John F. Kennedy, to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 29, 2017. Kennedy was born May 29, 1917. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)–The Associated Press

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:


The onetime U.S. ally, ousted as Panama’s dictator by an American invasion in 1989, ruled with an iron fist, ordering the deaths of those who opposed him and maintaining a murky relationship with the United States.


 President Donald Trump honors the nation’s fallen military men and women during a Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetery.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley emerges as the more human face of a Trump foreign policy that has otherwise elevated security and economic opportunity interests


A nighttime bombing outside a popular ice cream parlor is claimed by the extremists, and at least 24 are killed in Baghdad attacks.


The pro golfer says an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine — not alcohol — led to his arrest over the weekend.


Caleb Edwards, 15, recounts how his cousin Jordan Blackwell was killed while using his own body to shield Caleb from gunfire in a Mississippi shooting rampage where seven others also died.


Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas’ tough new anti-“sanctuary cities” law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence.


The man police say fatally stabbed two other men who tried to shield young women from an anti-Muslim tirade on a Portland, Oregon, light-rail train makes his initial court appearance Tuesday and the city’s mayor says he hopes the slayings will inspire “changes in the political dialogue in this country.”


On what would have been the late president’s 100th birthday, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston holds a celebration that capped a long holiday weekend of events.


Frank Deford, columnist for Sports Illustrated and contributor to NPR, “was a giant in the world of sports. His loss is immeasurable,” says broadcaster Bryant Gumbel.

JFK at 100: Why We Still Cherish His Memory

JFK at 100: Why We Still Cherish His Memory

John Fitzgerald Kennedy consistently ranks as one of America’s most popular leaders. That was the result of an effort to create an image, one historian says.

JFK at 100: Why We Still Cherish His Memory
John F. Kennedy, President of the USA: 1961-1963.

John F. Kennedy, President of the USA: 1961-1963. (UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE/UIG/GETTY IMAGES)

By Michael Hogan

On May 29, the nation commemorates the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth. It’s worth noting on this occasion that even now, more than 50 years after his death, Kennedy is widely regarded as one of the country’s best presidents. Although historians may feel differently, the public consistently ranks him at or near the top among American leaders. The Conversation

Why does Kennedy remains so popular — indeed, nearly as popular in public memory as he was during his presidency? This is the question I explore in my new book,”The Afterlife of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: A Biography.

The Kennedy Brand

To begin with, President Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy worked hard to construct a positive image of themselves, what I call the Kennedy brand. And because history is as much about forgetting as remembering, they made every effort to filter out information at odds with that image.

As I note in my book, Americans knew little of the first lady’s nicotine habit, her lavish spending or her use of amphetamines. Nor did they know of the president’s drug dependencies, medical problems or marital infidelities.

On the contrary, in their restoration of the White House, famous state dinners, elegant costumes and skillful management of the media, the Kennedys represented themselves as idealized versions of the president and first lady.

Together with the president’s image as a progressive politician in the tradition of the New Deal, they were seen as the happy couple and loving parents who communicated a message of hope and progress, charm and intelligence, youth, vitality and beauty. If not always true to who they were behind the scenes, their public persona was enormously popular with their fellow Americans. Indeed, over the course of his administration, the president’s approval rating averaged about 70 percent – a remarkably high figure by today’s standards.

Kennedy’s assassination and the profound cultural trauma it induced transformed the constructed image of the president, now glossed in the glory of a fallen hero, into a flashbulb memory that transcended his death. The Kennedy brand now became a sacred symbol of all that was good in American life, his virtues those of the nation itself. Jacqueline Kennedy wanted her husband remembered as the stuff of legend rather than political science. She wanted him remembered for what he represented, she told journalist Theodore H. White, not alone for what he did. She wanted him remembered as a man of style, a peacemaker, a crusader for social justice and a gifted orator who inspired hope in the future and confidence in government.

What is more, she set out to accomplish that goal from the moment of JFK’s death. She transformed her husband’s funeral into a dramatic reproduction of his life as she wanted it remembered. She missed no opportunity to draw a connection between her husband and both Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, two of the great reform presidents, or to recall his love of family, wartime heroism, devotion to service and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.

With the same goal, she selected Arlington National Cemetery as his final resting place. There, her husband’s grave would share visual space with the monuments honoring Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln, reminding everyone that he was among the great American presidents. Situated below the Custis-Lee Mansion and above the Lincoln Memorial, his gravesite would also recall his commitment to civil rights and his role as a peacemaker who tried to calm a nation racked by racial and regional strife. Finally, located with other veterans in the sacred ground of Arlington National Cemetery, it would remind visitors once again of his wartime heroism and his belief in public service and sacrifice.

 Monuments of Paper and Stone

Jacqueline Kennedy also made efforts to embed the Kennedy brand in American memory. She oversaw the design of the Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston and persuaded President Johnson to push forward with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The performing arts center recalled the president’s support of the arts as a token of free expression in a democratic society. The space center memorialized his commitment to the space program and his sense of adventure, faith in the future and confidence that no dream was too grand, no goal beyond reach. The Kennedy Library and Museum brought to mind his life as a man of letters, his love of learning and his sense of history.

Through the Kennedy Library, as I argue in my book, Jacqueline Kennedy managed her husband’s records to safeguard his reputation. She gave privileged access to those who would write the president’s biography as she wanted it recorded, denying similar access to those who might cast a more critical eye on his life. The skillfully contrived museum reproduced his presidency by revealing some aspects of his life while slighting or erasing others.

Through these efforts, Jacqueline Kennedy embedded her husband’s identity, as she defined it, so deeply in the collective memory of the American people that even the most aggressive critics could not fully dislodge it.

 Reinforcing her efforts was a wave of nostalgia that swept the country beginning in the 1970s. As the historian Robert Dallek reportedly said, Kennedy looked so good because what came later looked so bad. After Kennedy’s death came more assassinations, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, racial strife and urban riots. Added to the mix was a full-scale assault on traditional values evident in the feminist movement, the sexual revolution, the drug culture and the campaigns to legalize abortion and protect gay rights.

It was in this context that Americans looked back nostalgically on the early 1960s and Kennedy in particular, especially the traditional values he supposedly represented.

In death Kennedy became a more polished version of the already idealized image he had presented in his news conferences, campaign speeches, TV specials and ubiquitous photographs. He became the ideal American, and following his death, his countrymen wanted to preserve that memory of him, however constructed, and perhaps of themselves and their country when he was in office.

This article was written by Michael Hogan, professor of history, University of Illinois at Springfield, for The Conversation. It has been republished with permission.

Photos: Looking Back at John F. Kennedy’s Life

Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy campaigns in 1960.
President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy arrive at the Capitol for the president's State of the Union message.
President John F. Kennedy aboard an elevator at the Capitol where he will deliver his State of the Union message. Among those with the president is his press secretary, Pierre Salinge, to the right of the president.  A sign on the elevator reads, ""Exclusively for members and the press.""
President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy depart Bogota, Columbia, at night.
President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy depart Bogota, Columbia, at night.
President John F. Kennedy addresses members of the Peace Corps at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Auditorium.
President John F. Kennedy works at his desk in the Oval Office.
President John F. Kennedy  shakes hands with members of the Washington Senators and Detroit Tigers at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., before he pitches out the first baseball of the season. Among those joining the president are House Minority Leader Charles Hallack (seated behind the president).
President John F. Kennedy pitches out the first baseball of the season for the opening game between the Washington Senators and the Detroit Tigers, at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C.
President John F. Kennedy and Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy attend a dinner for the National Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.
President John F. Kennedy escorts President Roberto Chiari of Panama to the gate of the White House.
President John F. Kennedy speaks during a televised press conference, in the background at the podium and in the foreground on a TV monitor.
Posters and crowds in San Juan, Puerto Rico, welcome President John F. Kennedy on his South American trip. These include, ""Save Cuba,""  ""Your Visit to Latin America Provides a New Era of Mutual Understanding and Cooperation in the Hemisphere,"" ""With Kennedy and Munoz Marin in Quest of Progress and Social Justice for the World,"" ""Welcome Again Mister President.  15-1958.  15-1961,"" ""God Bless You Presidnet and Mrs. Kennedy"" & ""Kudos Senor Presidente.""
President John F. Kennedy inspects troops upon his arrival at the San Juan Airport in Puerto Rico, part of his South American trip.
President John F. Kennedy leaves the White House for Andrews Field to meet the two RB-47 fliers shot down by the Soviet Union in 1960 and released by the Soviet Union as a good-will gesture to the new administration.

Texas Teachers Give Teen Student a ‘Terrorist’ Award

Texas Teachers Give Teen Student a ‘Terrorist’ Award

Other awards presented to honors students at the Houston-area junior high included ‘Most Likely to Cry for Every Little Thing’ and ‘Most Likely to Become Homeless.’

By Megan Trimble, Associate Editor, Social Media | May 26, 2017

Texas Teachers Give Teen Student a ‘Terrorist’ Award

Teachers in a Houston-area school district have been disciplined after a seventh-grade student received a “Most Likely To Become A Terrorist” certificate during a mock end-of-the-year awards program.

Lizeth Villanueva, 13, told The Washington Post that her teacher “just laughed” when she signed and handed the Salvadoran-American girl the certificate at Anthony Aguirre Junior High in Texas. Teachers held the awards ceremony for two honors classes on Tuesday – the day after more than 20 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a concert in Manchester, England, which officials are investigating as a terror attack.

Lizeth’s mother, Ena Hernandez, told the paper she was upset and mad when she saw her daughter’s award. Lizeth has been doing well in the school’s honors program, her mother said.

Lizeth was not the only student to receive a controversial award.

Teachers gave another girl a “Most Likely To Cry For Every Little Thing” certificate, and a boy was awarded “Most Likely To Become Homeless.” Teachers in the room laughed with each award presentation, Lizeth told the Post.

Channelview Independent School District spokesman Mark Kramer called the certificates a “poor attempt to poke fun,” according to KPRC-TV in Houston. The school’s principal also personally apologized, Hernandez told the Post.

District officials additionally issued a statement, calling the awards “insensitive and offensive.”

“Channelview ISD would like to assure all students, parents and community members that these award statements and ideals are not representative of the district’s vision, mission and educational goals for our students,” the statement said.

The statement did not name the teachers involved, but said they have been disciplined “according to district policy” and that the incident is still under investigation.

Teacher Gives ‘Likely To Become A Terrorist’ Award
CBS Dallas-Fort Worth

In Berlin, Obama Tacitly Criticizes Trump

In Berlin, Obama Tacitly Criticizes Trump

Joining German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Brandenburg Gate, the former U.S. president says ‘we can’t hide behind a wall.’

By Gabrielle Levy, Political Reporter | May 25, 2017

In Berlin, Obama Tacitly Criticizes Trump
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former U.S. President Barack Obama arrive for a discussion on democracy at Church Congress on May 25, 2017 in Berlin, Germany.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former U.S. President Barack Obama arrive for a discussion on democracy at Church Congress on May 25, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (STEFFI LOOS/GETTY IMAGES)

Former President Barack Obama joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday to mount a defense of Western liberalism at a time when Europe and the U.S. have experienced a tide of right-wing nationalism.

The occasion marked Obama’s first public trip abroad since leaving office, and was set against the backdrop of President Donald Trump’s first NATO summit in Brussels. Merkel will travel there to participate in the meetings as well.

Obama and the German leader spoke before a crowd of thousands in front of the iconic Brandenburg Gate, and though it recalled his blockbuster speech at the same spot as a candidate in 2008, tight security reflected heightened tensions following yet another terrorist attack, this one on Monday in Manchester, England.

While Obama avoided outright mentioning Trump, he made pointed remarks that could be seen as criticizing his successor’s policies, such as efforts to temporarily close U.S. borders to refugees and people traveling from multiple Muslim-majority nations.

“We have to push back against those trends that would violate human rights or suppress democracy or restrict individual freedoms,” Obama said.

“In the eyes of God, a child on the other side of the border is no less worthy of love and compassion than my own child,” he said. “We can’t distinguish between them in terms of their worth and their inherent dignity, and that they’re deserving of shelter and love and education and opportunity.”

“Part of the job, I think, of governments is to express humanity and compassion and solidarity with those in need, but also recognize that we have to operate within legal constraints and institutional constraints and the obligations that we have to the citizens of the countries that we serve,” he said. “And that’s not always easy.”

[READ: Russia On The Agenda During Trump’s Brussels Trip]

 Obama stressed that part of the challenge he faced as president was “getting people to understand” that things like development aid and conflict resolution are necessary in a globalized environment.

“In this new world that we live in, we can’t isolate ourselves,” he stated. “We can’t hide behind a wall.”

The former president also defended his signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, amid Republican lawmakers’ renewed efforts to dismantle it. On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the GOP’s plan to gut the law known as Obamacare would leave 23 million fewer people with insurance and cause premiums for some to soar.

“My hope was that I was able to get 100 percent of people health care while I was president. We didn’t quite achieve that, but we were able to get 20 million people health care who didn’t have it before,” Obama said.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump meet with Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Belgium on May 24, 2017, at the Royal Palace of Brussels.

Photos: Trump’s First Foreign Trip


“Certainly, I have some regrets,” he said of not achieving fully universal health coverage in America.

“Obviously some of the progress that we made is now imperiled … but the point though is that for those 20 million people, their lives have been better,” Obama said. “We have set a standard of what’s possible that people can then build on.”

The two leaders additionally said that economic policies should promote greater opportunity for everyone.

“We will only be able to live in a good and peaceful society if everyone is doing well. That is what we mean when we say inclusive growth and we have to understand this and invest in this,” Merkel said.

“One of the major questions that this generation and future generations will have to face is the growing gap in opportunity and … inequality that we are seeing between nations and within nations,” Obama said.

 Obama has been highly popular in Germany, though according to The Associated Press, his appearance was criticized by some in the German opposition as a publicity stunt ahead of elections this fall in which Merkel, leader of the Christian Democrats, faces a stiff challenge from the center-left Social Democrats’ Martin Schulz.

Praising Merkel, who hopes to secure her fourth term in September, Obama called her one of his “favorite partners” and someone who had done “outstanding work.”

Raw Video: Trump Arrives In Italy Ahead Of Pope Meeting
CBS San Francisco

Manchester terror attack: Police investigating ‘network’ of suspects; 4 in custody


Manchester terror attack: Police investigating ‘network’ of suspects; 4 in custody

Four people were in custody Wednesday in connection with Monday’s deadly concert bombing, as British authorities continued to conduct “extensive” searches while investigating the “network” behind the attack.

“It is very clear that it is a network we are investigating,” Manchester police said on Wednesday.

British officials said they deployed nearly 1,000 military troops at high-profile sites in the country, some in London, instead of police. Manchester police said the increase in threat level gave the green light to deploy military support operation under the code name “Temperer.”

Multiple law enforcement agencies swept through Manchester in a bid to head off a follow-up to the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert that killed 22 people. Manchester police said they will continue doing “extensive” searches to disband the “network” of suspects. Officials also raised the number of wounded Wednesday to 119.

Soldiers were replacing armed police on Wednesday at sites like Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street and Parliament. London Police Commander Jane Connors said the goal was to “make our city as hostile an environment as possible for terrorists to plan and operate.” She said police also would be ready to respond quickly to any incidents with armed officers, and have added more armed police walking patrols.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, and the suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, is unlikely to have acted alone, officials said. In fact, investigators said he may have acted as a “mule,” hauling a shrapnel-packed explosive device that somebody else built, the BBC reported.

Abedi was believed to have traveled to Syria and had “proven” links with ISIS, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Wednesday on BFM television, adding that British and French intelligence have information that Abedi had been to Syria. He did not provide details, and said it was unclear whether Abedi was part of a larger network of attackers.

Abedi’s father told the Associated Press that his son was in Libya a month-and-a-half ago and was preparing to visit Saudi Arabia. Living in Tripoli, Ramadan Abedi said that his family “aren’t the ones who blow up ourselves among innocents.”


In addition to the three arrests in the south of Manchester, police also handcuffed a man at a house just a 10-minute walk from Abedi’s home — but they did not immediately confirm it was connected to the concert bombing. “There was a policeman, armed policeman, shouting at my neighbor … and I realized there is something wrong here … they arrested the father, and I think the rest of the family kind of disappeared,” neighbor Omar Alfa Khuri said, adding that he knew the arrested man from the local mosque.

Abedi had been known to security forces “up to a point,” Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.

Prime Minister Theresa May Wednesday chaired a meeting of her emergency security cabinet group, known as COBRA, to review intelligence reports about Abedi and concerns that he might have had outside support.

Britain raised its threat level to “critical,” which May said means an attack could come at any time. “This means that the assessment is that, not only is a further attack likely, but that it could be imminent.”


Police raided Abedi’s house earlier, using a controlled explosion to blast down the door. Neighbors recalled him as a tall, thin young man who often wore traditional Islamic dress and did not talk much.

Police also raided and searched a property elsewhere in Manchester where Abedi’s brother Ismail is thought to have lived. A 23-year-old man has also been arrested as part of the investigation but officials have released no details about him.

British soldiers have been deployed in place of police officers to guard high-profile sites such as Buckingham Palace and Parliament.

Abedi was born in Britain to a Libyan family, grew up in Manchester’s southern suburbs and attended the local Salford University for a time.

Officials are looking into how often Abedi had traveled to Libya, which has seen an eruption of armed Islamist groups since dictator Moammar Qaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011. British officials have not commented on whether Abedi had links to ISIS or other extremist groups.

In addition to those killed in the concert attack, 64 people are being treated for their wounds, Jon Rouse of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said Wednesday.

He said some of the wounded had been discharged, but that the number of patients being treated had increased due to “walking wounded” who came in hours after the attack. Rouse said many of those hospitalized had serious wounds that would require “very long term care and support in terms of their recovery.”

Collomb, who spoke with May after the attack, said the two countries should continue cooperating closely on counterterrorism efforts despite Britain’s pending exit from the European Union.

Critical Obamacare Payments

US President Donald Trump sits during his meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem, Monday, May 22, 2017. (Atef Safadi, EPA Pool via AP)
US President Donald Trump sits during his meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem, Monday, May 22, 2017.
– The Washington Times – Monday, May 22, 2017

The Trump administration punted Monday on a long-awaited decision about the legality of critical Obamacare payments, asking a federal appeals court for more time to sort out competing demands, and leaving the insurance markets scrambling to figure out what to do next year.

Attorneys for the Justice Department and House of Representatives requested 90 more days to figure out how to unwind a long-running court battle over the payments, known as “cost-sharing reductions,” that pay insurers who lose money on low-income customers under Obamacare.

Lawyers for the administration said they need more time to figure out a permanent solution, which they hope will involve Congress passing a repeal of Obamacare.

In the meantime, however, more insurers could withdraw from the Obamacare exchanges, frightened that they will lose money without the taxpayer-funded payments, Democrats said.

“Unfortunately, by kicking the can down the road once again, the administration is continuing to sow uncertainty in the markets that will hurt millions of Americans,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said.