Published: 10:04 pm, Sun. Sep. 8th, 2019Updated: 9:04 pm
Johnson suspends UK Parliament after latest Brexit defeat
LONDON (AP) — The simmering showdown between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Britain’s Parliament over Brexit came to a head as lawmakers delivered three defeats to the government’s plans for leaving the European Union, before being sent home early Tuesday for a contentious five-week suspension of the legislature.
In a session that ran well past midnight, Parliament enacted a law to block a no-deal Brexit next month, ordered the government to release private communications about its Brexit plans and rejected Johnson’s call for a snap election to break the political deadlock.
Parliament was then suspended — or prorogued— at the government’s request until Oct. 14, a drastic move that gives Johnson a respite from rebellious lawmakers as he plots his next move.
Opponents accuse him of trying to avoid democratic scrutiny. What is usually a solemn, formal prorogation ceremony erupted into raucous scenes as opposition lawmakers in the House of Commons chamber shouted “Shame on you” and held up signs reading “Silenced.”
Commons Speaker John Bercow expressed his displeasure at Parliament’s suspension, saying “this is not a standard or normal prorogation.”
Trump says peace talks with Taliban are now ‘dead’
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. peace talks with the Taliban are now “dead,” President Donald Trump declared Monday, two days after he abruptly canceled a secret meeting he had arranged with Taliban and Afghan leaders aimed at ending America’s longest war.
Trump’s remark to reporters at the White House suggested he sees no point in resuming a nearly yearlong effort to reach a political settlement with the Taliban, whose protection of al-Qaida extremists in Afghanistan prompted the U.S. to invade after the 9/11 attacks.
Asked about the peace talks, Trump said: “They’re dead. They’re dead. As far as I’m concerned, they’re dead.”
It’s unclear whether Trump will go ahead with planned U.S. troop cuts and how the collapse of his talks will play out in deeply divided Afghanistan.
Trump said his administration is “looking at” whether to proceed with troop reductions that had been one element of the preliminary deal with the Taliban struck by presidential envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
Fourth and final crewman pulled alive from capsized ship
JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Coast Guard rescuers pulled four trapped men alive from a capsized cargo ship Monday, drilling into the hull’s steel plates to extract the crew members more than a day after their vessel overturned while leaving a Georgia port.
All four were described as alert and in relatively good condition and were taken to a hospital for further evaluation.
“Best day of my 16-year career,” Lt. Lloyd Heflin, who was coordinating the effort, wrote in a text message to The Associated Press.
A video posted online by the Coast Guard showed responders clapping and cheering as the final man, wearing only shorts, climbed out of a hole in the hull and stood up.
Three of the South Korean crew members came out in the midafternoon. The fourth man, who was trapped in a separate compartment, emerged three hours later.
North Korea fires 2 projectiles after offering talks with US
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea launched two projectiles toward the sea on Tuesday, South Korea’s military said, hours after the North offered to resume nuclear diplomacy with the United States but warned its dealings with Washington may end without new U.S. proposals.
The launches and demand for new proposals were apparently aimed at pressuring the United States to make concessions when the North Korea-U.S. talks restart. North Korea is widely believed to want the United States to provide security guarantees and extensive relief from U.S.-led sanctions in return for limited denuclearization steps.
The North Korean projectiles fired from its South Phyongan province, which surrounds its capital city of Pyongyang, flew about 330 kilometers (205 miles) across the country and in the direction of the waters off its east coast, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Ministry.
The military said South Korea will monitor possible additional launches. The JCS didn’t immediately say whether the weapons were ballistic missiles or rocket artillery. “More detailed analysis is needed to determine the exact specifications,” JCS spokesman Kim Joon-rak said.
Tuesday’s launches were the eighth round of launches since late July and the first since Aug. 24. The previous seven launches have revealed short-range missile and rocket artillery systems that experts say would potentially expand its capabilities to strike targets throughout South Korea, including U.S. military bases.
At rally, Trump paints bleak picture of Democratic control
HAVELOCK, N.C. (AP) — Trying to prove his political clout by pushing a Republican to victory in a special election, President Donald Trump used a North Carolina rally Monday to paint a bleak picture of a nation he claimed would be overrun with crime, poverty and immigrants if Democrats seize power in Washington.
Trump, appearing at his first campaign rally in nearly a month, went on the offensive in an effort to change a series of late-summer negative headlines over his slipping poll numbers, warning signs of an economic slowdown and a running battle over hurricane forecasts. He urged the Fayetteville crowd to vote Tuesday for Republican Dan Bishop, brandishing his usual incendiary rhetoric to declare from the stage that “tomorrow is a chance to send a clear message to the America-hating left.”
While the stakes for the House are high, Trump’s trademark rallies inevitably become more about him than the local candidate, as he uses the stage to settle political scores, sharpen attacks and take on perceived foes. With an eye to his own reelection next fall, he touted his administration’s accomplishments but also urged voters to give him more time.
“That’s why we need four more years,” Trump said at the nearly 90-minute rally. “It’s got to seed — it’s a plant. It has to grow. It has to grow those roots. That’s why 2020 is just as important. Because they will try to take it away.”
Trump’s appearance Monday emerged as a test of the president’s pull with voters. The special election could offer clues about the mindset of Republicans in the suburbs, whose flight from the party fueled the GOP’s 2018 House election losses.
Questions after police fatally shoot man who streamed chase
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The livestreamed video of the final minutes of Brian Quinones’ life before he was fatally shot by police show him calmly driving a car and listening to music, running at least one red light as he leads officers on a chase through two Minneapolis suburbs.
At one point, the video shows, Quinones got out of the car with what appears to be a knife. Moments later, someone shouted an unintelligible command and multiple shots rang out. Quinones, 30, died at the scene.
His brother said afterward that Quinones had been having suicidal thoughts.
The shooting sparked a protest and raised questions about whether police were too quick to shoot Quinones, and whether they could have used another means to stop him or help him if he was in crisis.
Shawn Price, 35, stopped Monday to pay his respects at a makeshift memorial near where Quinones was shot. Price says based on what he heard in Quinones’ video, the number of shots fired seemed to be “completely in excess,” and he wonders if police could have done more to de-escalate the situation.
A US priest, a Philippine village, and decades of secrecy
TALUSTUSAN, Philippines (AP) — The American priest’s voice echoed over the phone line, his sharp Midwestern accent softened over the decades by a gentle Filipino lilt. On the other end, recording the call, was a young man battered by shame but anxious to get the priest to describe exactly what had happened in this little island village.
“I should have known better than trying to just have a life,” the priest said in the November 2018 call. “Happy days are gone. It’s all over.”
But, the young man later told The Associated Press, those days were happy only for the priest. They were years of misery for him, he said, and for the other boys who investigators say were sexually assaulted by Father Pius Hendricks.
His accusations ignited a scandal that would shake the village and reveal much about how allegations of sex crimes by priests are handled in one of the world’s most Catholic countries.
He was just 12 — a new altar boy from a family of tenant farmers anxious for the $1 or so he’d get for serving at Mass — when he says Hendricks first took him into the bathroom of Talustusan’s little rectory and sexually assaulted him.
NOAA scientist: agency likely broke science integrity rules
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said his agency likely violated its scientific integrity rules last week when it publicly chastised a weather office that contradicted President Donald Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama.
Two top NOAA civil servants not so quietly revolted against an unsigned agency press release issued late Friday rebuking the Birmingham weather office for saying Alabama was safe. The agency’s top scientist called Friday’s release “political” and the head of the National Weather Service said the Alabama office “did what any office would do to protect the public.”
“My understanding is that this intervention to contradict the forecaster was not based on science but on external factors including reputation and appearance, or simply put, political,” acting chief scientist and assistant administrator for ocean and atmospheric research Craig McLean wrote to staffers Sunday night.
In the email, first reported by The Washington Post, McLean said he is “pursuing the potential violations” of the agency’s science integrity policy.
NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen said Monday, “NOAA’s policies on scientific integrity and communications are among the strongest in the federal government, and get high marks from third party observers. The agency’s senior career leaders are free to express their opinions about matters of agency operations and science. The agency will not be providing further official comment, and will not speculate on internal reviews.”
Looking to hire 30,000, Amazon plans nationwide job fairs
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is going on a hiring spree.
The online shopping giant is holding job fairs across the country next week, aiming to hire more than 30,000 people by early next year, a 5% bump in its total workforce.
Amazon is looking for all kinds of workers, from software engineers who can earn more than $100,000 a year, to warehouse staff paid at least $15 an hour to pack and ship online orders. The company said all the positions are permanent full-time or part-time jobs that come with benefits. And the hiring spree is not related to the usual increase in hiring it does to prepare for the busy holiday shopping season.
The job fairs may be a necessity for Amazon. With unemployment near a 50-year low, workers have more options and employers need to work harder to fill empty positions. Earlier this summer, Amazon announced a program to get more of its employees into tech roles, pledging to retrain 100,000 workers and teach them new skills.
Amazon said the hiring events will take place Sept. 17 in six locations where it thinks it can find the strongest talent: Arlington, Virginia — where it’s building a second headquarters; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Nashville, Tennessee; and its hometown of Seattle.
Lutz’s 58-yard field goal lifts Saints over Texans, 30-28
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Wil Lutz made a 58-yard field goal as time expired to lift the New Orleans Saints to a 30-28 victory over the Houston Texans on Monday night in game that had three scoring plays in the final minute.
Deshaun Watson threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to former Saints receiver Kenny Stills with 37 seconds left, capping a two-play, 75-yard drive that put the Texans in front after they began their final possession down by six with 50 seconds left.
But there was just enough time remaining for Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who capped a 370-yard, two-touchdown performance by completing a 15-yard pass to Ted Ginn Jr., an 11-yarder to Michael Thomas and another pass to Ginn for 9 yards in quick succession. That allowed New Orleans to save its final timeout until just 2 seconds remained and set up Lutz’s career-long kick.
The 40-year-old Brees completed 32 of 43 passes. He threw one interception deep in Houston territory in the first half that could have proved costly, but did enough to make up for it.
Brees appeared to have all but sealed it when he spotted Ginn deep down field on third and 2 and connected for a 41-yard gain to the Houston 44 at the 2-minute warning. Alvin Kamara, who had 169 yards from scrimmage, followed with an 11-yard run, and the Saints ran the clock down to 55 seconds before Lutz converted a 47-yarder.