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Dick Cheney to appear at Trump 2020 fundraiser as Republican establishment bows to presidentFormer vice president Dick Cheney will appear at a fundraiser for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, according to an invitation for the event, in a sign that the Republican establishment will publicly back his re-election bid.Mr Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016 as an outsider and has often clashed with senior figures in the party, such as Mitt Romney and the late John McCain.However, an invitation to a luncheon fundraiser in Jackson, Wyoming, shows Mr Cheney will appear alongside Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, according to The Washington Post.He will attend the event with his daughter Liz Cheney, who is a Republican congresswoman for Wyoming, for the fundraising group “Trump Victory”.Mr Cheney, who was George W Bush‘s vice president, previously said Mr Trump’s 2015 call for a “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” went “against everything [America] stands for and believes in”.Earlier this year, Mr Cheney also clashed with Mike Pence, the current vice president, over the administration’s foreign policy, criticising Mr Trump’s hard-line approach towards US allies in Nato.The invitation reportedly does not list the official titles of Mr Mulvaney, Ms Trump or Mr Kushner and insists that “their participation in the event is not a solicitation of funds”.Officials for the Trump campaign confirmed the event but would not say how much tickets would cost.Trump Victory has been known to charge up to six-figure amounts for tickets to its events.“Representative Cheney is honoured to be co-hosting this event and working hard to support President Trump’s re-election,” a spokesperson for Ms Cheney said in a statement. “The president’s policies are benefiting Wyoming and the nation.”The structure of the Trump Victory committee, which raises funds for both the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC), has shown how the president has been accepted into the Republican Party’s mainstream.By merging his re-election campaign with the national party, Mr Trump has become less vulnerable to an Republican opponent challenging him in the 2020 primary.However, linking the RNC to Mr Trump’s divisive presidency may be risky in the long-term for the Republican Party.In recent weeks, billionaire Stephen Ross has faced calls for a boycott of his Equinox luxury fitness company over his plans to hold a fundraiser for Mr Trump in the Hamptons.Additional reporting by agencies

8/18/2019 11:11:44 AM

Days away from moving for a dream job, Miami doctor is killed in fall from cliff on vacationDaniel Sirovich was a native of Kearny, NJ, who loved traveling and was interested in sports and international medicine.

8/18/2019 4:57:56 PM

Yemen rebel drone attack targets remote Saudi oil fieldDrones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia's sprawling desert on Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a "limited fire" in the second such recent attack on its crucial energy industry. The attack on the Shaybah oil field, which produces some 1 million barrels of crude oil a day near the kingdom's border with the United Arab Emirates, again shows the reach of the Houthis' drone program. Shaybah sits some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory, underscoring the rebels' ability to now strike at both nations, which are mired in Yemen's yearslong war.

8/17/2019 11:04:51 AM

New Orleans reporter Nancy Parker killed in plane crash while shooting storyNew Orleans reporter Nancy Parker was killed in a plane crash Friday after the aircraft she was shooting a story in went down in near an airport.

8/17/2019 1:31:54 AM

John Hickenlooper is out of the 2020 presidential race. That's good news for these 3 Democratic candidatesFormer Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's exit from presidential race means other candidates have an opportunity to win over his supporters.

8/18/2019 8:31:00 AM

Migrant rescue ship stuck off Italy rejects Spain port offerA charity vessel carrying 107 rescued migrants and stuck in limbo off Italy on Sunday rejected an offer to go to Spain as "absolutely unrealistic" because of the "humanitarian emergency" on board. Spain had offered to take in the Proactiva Open Arms ship anchored off the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, slamming Italy's "inconceivable" refusal to allow it to dock after 17 days at sea. Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who is also deputy prime minister, has refused to allow migrant rescue vessels to dock as part of his hardline policies.

8/18/2019 3:46:36 PM

Israel’s Snub of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib Is a Gift for the BDS MovementTom Williams/CQ Roll Call/GettyWhen the government of Israel blocked Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) from entering the country over their support of a movement to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel, it may have been a public blow to the two lawmakers—but a gift for the BDS movement. The activists who support the controversial strategy to isolate the Jewish state quickly seized on the move as proof that the Israeli government is fearful their movement is gathering steam. They also held it up as further proof for their argument that Israel is a discriminatory state with undemocratic tendencies—one that just bowed to pressure from President Trump, who has openly waged war on the recently elected congresswomen.This week could prove to be a defining juncture for BDS and the broader protest movement against Israel, said Stefanie Fox, deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace, a Jewish-American advocacy group that favors BDS. “This is a moment that is an opportunity and an obligation to see with clear eyes what is and has been happening to Palestinians for many decades,” she told The Daily Beast.The fact that the support of two members of Congress for BDS sparked this controversy is seen as a sign of how far the movement has come. For the first time, it has vocal, high-profile advocates in federal office who are eager to challenge Capitol Hill’s long-standing, unequivocal support for the state of Israel. “It’s quite remarkable,” said Fox, “to see the wave cresting.” Among the vast majority of lawmakers, however, BDS is and has long been considered an unacceptable, fringe idea. Just last month, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a symbolic resolution opposing BDS—just 17 members voted against it. But a range of stakeholders in the debate over Israel policy are increasingly concerned that, despite its broad lack of support, BDS could become a focal point for a breakdown of U.S.-Israel ties in the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s move to ban the congresswomen from Israel. “The only people to gain through this campaign against the BDS movement are the BDS activists themselves,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the advocacy group J Street, which shares the goal of changing the U.S.-Israel status quo but opposes BDS.“The more you fight them and elevate their status into an existential threat to the state, the more they become a compelling outlet for people’s unhappiness over what’s going on in the West Bank,” he told The Daily Beast on Friday. Israel, he said, “played right into the hands of their critics.”BDS began in 2005, launched by Palestinian activists seeking to emulate the international pressure campaign against apartheid-era South Africa in order to force Israel to grant further human rights protections to Palestinians and to withdraw from their territories in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Since then, BDS has failed to garner popular support in the U.S., and has been mostly relegated to the most left-wing corners of the Israel protest movement. It’s been called inherently anti-Semitic by its critics and by the Anti-Defamation League, a leading watchdog group. It does not explicitly advocate for a one or two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, prompting many of its detractors to argue BDS favors the destruction of the Jewish state.Both lawmakers’ embraces of BDS have been marked by public backtracking and inconsistencies. Omar only clearly expressed support for the movement after her election to Congress in the 2018 midterm, seemingly going back on a claim she made in a Democratic primary debate that BDS was “not helpful in getting that two-state solution.” Tlaib made a similar reversal: in the lead-up to her competitive 2018 election, she earned J Street’s endorsement by affirming support for a two-state solution and current levels of aid to Israel. After she won, Tlaib said in an interview “this whole idea of a two-state solution, it doesn’t work.” The offices of Omar and Tlaib did not return comment for this story.The Israeli state has, since 2017, banned foreign supporters of BDS from entering the country. It’s the main reason authorities there gave for blocking Omar and Tlaib—even though some Israeli officials had been telling U.S. counterparts the two would be allowed to enter—and it’s also what American defenders of Israel have pointed to in justifying the move.Indeed, Omar and Tlaib’s support for BDS has provided political fodder for the Republicans and Democrats who have sustained the unequivocal support for Israel advocated by influential groups like the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. Democrats Unite After Bibi Blocks Squad MembersThe GOP in particular has been eager to use Omar and Tlaib’s support of BDS as evidence that Democrats are condoning extremism in their ranks and undermining the U.S.-Israel relationship. The July vote in the House to condemn BDS came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) successfully pushed anti-BDS legislation through the Senate and quickly raised questions over why House Democrats didn’t immediately embrace it. A House Republican leadership aide confirmed to The Daily Beast that they intend to keep BDS front-and-center on Capitol Hill when lawmakers return from the August recess. House Democrats are already bracing for that move. “I don’t think BDS, with respect to Congress, is a real movement at all,” said a Democratic aide. “But BDS has been used as a strawman by the Republicans, and by strong, pro-Israel Democrats, to create a threat that doesn’t really exist.”Some Democrats are predicting that this week’s BDS-sparked firestorm will lead to lasting fissures in the pro-Israel consensus on the Hill, particularly among Democrats. “Now we’re going to see in the weeks leading up to the [Israeli] election, as the rhetoric increases, it’s going to be increasingly difficult for Democrats to have this blank check mentality in support of the Israeli government,” said the Democratic aide. “It’s going to be a real issue on the [U.S.] presidential campaign.”Some Democratic supporters of Israel in Congress, meanwhile, are angrier at Netanyahu and his government for amplifying Omar and Tlaib’s criticisms of Israel, which they disagree with. Two Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Ro Khanna (D-CA), told The Daily Beast on Friday that their colleagues’ protest of Israel has been given a greater platform and lots of oxygen thanks to the week’s controversy.“I think time will prove that it was a decision that will ultimately be to the detriment of Israel’s reputation around the world,” said Phillips, “and has certainly compromised one of the most important relationships with an ally that the U.S. has with anybody in the world.”Why Trump’s Vile Plan to Rope Israel Into His War With the Squad Will BackfireRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

8/18/2019 2:58:26 AM

'A new Hawaiian Renaissance': how a telescope protest became a movementDemonstrators opposed to the building of a telescope on Mauna Kea, the state’s highest peak, have forged a communityThe actor Jason Momoa exchanges a traditional greeting with an elder while visiting protesters last month. Photograph: Hollyn Johnson/APOn Hawaii’s Big Island, a protest against a $1.4bn observatory on Mauna Kea, a mountain considered sacred by many Native Hawaiians, is entering a second month. In that time, the protest site has swelled from a few hundred to several thousands, attracted celebrity visitors, and built a community of Native Hawaiians who see it as a pivotal moment.The protest site sits at an elevation of 6,632ft, where the cold wind whips across hardened lava fields. But amid this inhospitable environment, weeks of demonstration have given rise to a sense of permanence.The site stretches across a two-lane highway, where trucks flying a Native Hawaiian flag and the upside-down state flag line both sides of the road. A “Kūpuna tent”, where the elders of the community gather, is strategically placed to block an access road up the mountain in order to stop construction vehicles from reaching the summit.New arrivals are encouraged to sign in at an orientation station. There is a tented cafeteria providing free meals, and a community-run medic station, daycare and school. Along the barren roadside, tropical flowers have been casually stuck in traffic cones. People pound taro, a Hawaiian crop, in the traditional way on wooden boards to make poi, a local dish.The protest stems from controversy over the fate of Mauna Kea, the tallest peak in Hawaii and the proposed site of an enormous observatory known as the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). The summit, 13,796ft above sea level, is said to be an ideal location to look into deep space. TMT is expected to capture images ‘that look back to the beginning of the universe. Protesters, who call themselves kia‘i, or “protectors”, argue the construction will further desecrate Mauna Kea, which is already home to about a dozen telescopes.The sun sets behind telescopes at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Photograph: Caleb Jones/APKealoha Pisciotta, one of the protest leaders and a spokesperson for Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, a Native Hawaiian group, says the movement is “pushing back on corporate culture” through Hawaiian concepts of “Kapu Aloha”, which emphasizes compassionate responses, especially towards opponents, and “Aloha ʻĀina”, a saying that translates to “love of the land”.“We are just joining the world’s indigenous movements,” Pisciotta says. “We need Kapu Aloha ... to bring back the balance from the insanity and destruction of our earth.”Pisciotta said that the protesters were showing the world a way “to really live differently” while protecting the land.“For Native Hawaiians, there is a question of our right to self-determination as defined by international law, but I think it’s so much bigger than that,” said Pisciotta. “It’s about us learning to live and be interdependent.” Why are the protests happening?Protesters continue their vigil, on 19 July. Photograph: Bruce Asato/APHawaiians consider Mauna Kea sacred for numerous reasons. The mountain is known as the home to Wākea, the sky god, who partnered with Papahānaumoku, the earth goddess. Protesters hope to protect and help restore the native ecosystem on Mauna Kea.But the protests are also part of a legacy for Native Hawaiians that goes back to 1893, when the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown. Hawaiians lost their land as well as their culture, as the latter was suppressed through law and religion. It wasn’t until the 1970s, during a period of cultural flourishing known as the Hawaiian Renaissance, that the Hawaiian language was allowed to be spoken in school and that the hula was revived.The period was defined by its own resistance movement, as activists focused on stopping the US military from using Kahoʻolawe, one of the eight main Hawaiian Islands, as a target for bombing practice. After more than a decade of peaceful protests and occupations of the island, the US government ended the live-fire training in the 1990s.Some see the latest protest action as a new Hawaiian Renaissance. Days are punctuated by the blowing of the conch shell to announce ceremonies that include chanting, hula, and hoʻokupu (offerings). Several celebrities with Hawaii ties have travelled here to participate, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jason Momoa, and Jack Johnson.Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, right, watches a performance during a visit to the ninth day of protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope, on 23 July. Photograph: Jamm Aquino/AP“The atmosphere here is incredible. We’re all here protecting our ʻāina [land]”, said Kamuela Park, a protester at the site. He added that it had been “awesome to see people from all spectrums coming here in support”.Peaceful demonstrators have faced one major confrontation with police. Three days into the protest, 38 kūpuna (revered elders) were arrested for blocking the road that leads to the construction site. That same day, Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, signed an emergency proclamation giving law enforcement more control over the area and allowed them to bring in National Guard troops. Images of the elderly being arrested quickly spread, garnering sympathy for the movement and attracting more people to the site. What comes next?Demonstrators block a road at the base of Hawaii’s tallest mountain, on 15 July. Photograph: Caleb Jones/APNegotiations between government officials and protesters have slowed since the arrests. On 30 July, the governor rescinded his emergency proclamation. He also extended the window during which construction could begin from 60 days to two years, meaning the protesters would theoretically need to block the road until September 2021.“I want to assure everyone that we are committed. Our law enforcement officers will remain at the site to ensure the safety of all of those involved,” said Ige at a press conference. “We continue to seek and find a peaceful solution to move this project forward.”While tensions may have eased, protesters have said they will stay until they stop TMT from being built. Demonstrators proved their endurance in early August as many of them stayed at the protest site while two consecutive storms passed by the islands.Pisciotta, who used to work at the Mauna Kea observatories as a telescope systems specialist, says the movement has been especially “huge” for young people.“Some of the elders, they lived through the time it was prohibited to speak the language,” she says. Now younger Hawaiians grow up speaking it in school and with strong cultural affiliations. Hawaiian youth who are camping out are helping to organize donations, teaching some of the courses at the community-led school, and spreading the word on social media.“In our philosophy, the land and the people are one,” said Pisciotta, about Aloha ʻĀina. “So it was a rallying point for the renaissance and now this is a kind of new renaissance.”

8/16/2019 11:30:34 PM

Iran says U.S. move on north Syria safe zone is "provocative"A U.S. agreement to set up a safe zone in northern Syria, a close ally of Iran, is "provocative and worrisome", the Iranian foreign ministry was reported to have said by the semi-official Fars news agency. The United States and Turkey last week agreed to set up a joint operations center for a proposed zone along Syria’s northeast border.

8/18/2019 8:20:03 AM

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8/18/2019 7:00:00 AM

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