October 2019 News

 

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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative September 2019 news and views

October Update

Oct. 2

Impeachment Daily Indexdjt handwave file

U.S. 2020 Politics

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Roll Call, Bernie Sanders cancels campaign schedule after heart procedure, Niels Lesniewski, Oct. 2, 2019. Spokesman says presidential candidate (shown in a Gage Skidmore file photo) had stents installed after doctors found blockage in artery.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is recovering after having heart stents installed, canceling his presidential campaign events until further notice. Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to the Democratic presidential campaign of the Vermont independent, made the announcement of the medical procedure. “During a campaign event yesterday evening, Sen. Sanders experienced some chest discomfort. Following medical evaluation and testing he was found to have a blockage in one artery and two stents were successfully inserted. Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days,” Weaver said. “We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates.”

Sanders was among the 10 Democratic presidential hopefuls scheduled to appear at a candidate forum in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The event is being hosted by Giffords and the March for Our Lives, two groups advocating for new gun safety laws. The event, hosted in conjunction with MSNBC, coincides with the two-year anniversary of the mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival.

Impeachment Inquiry Update

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ny times logoNew York Times, Trump Wants to ‘Interview’ Whistle-Blower, Eileen Sullivan, Oct. 2, 2019 (print ed.). President Trump kept his focus on the whistle-blower who raised concerns about his phone call with the Ukrainian president. President Trump on Tuesday kept his focus on an anonymous whistle-blower, asking why he was not “entitled to interview” the person, a day after he said the White House was trying to find out the person’s identity, despite institutional directives and confidentiality protections.

In addition to interviewing the “so-called ‘Whistleblower,’” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday, he would also like to interview “the person who gave all of the false information to him.” On Sunday, Mr. Trump said, “Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser.”

Mr. Trump’s focus on the whistle-blower is one of several ways the White House has addressed the complaint — which alleged that Mr. Trump was using his office for personal gain — and the phone call at the center of it between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. Mr. Trump has repeatedly defended his conversation with Mr. Zelensky as “perfect.”

Mr. Trump’s focus on learning the identity of the whistle-blower is inappropriate at best.

“The law and policy supports protection of the identity of the whistle-blower from disclosure and from retaliation,” a lawyer representing the whistle-blower, Mark Zaid, has said. “No exceptions exist for any individual.”

 ny times logoNew York Times, Pompeo and House Chairmen Clash Over Impeachment Inquiry, Nicholas Fandos and Lara Jakes, Oct. 2, 2019 (print ed.). The Trump administration pushed back on demands for depositions of potential witnesses as it fought a growing impeachment inquiry on multiple fronts. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not refuse outright to allow State Department employees to answer House investigators’ questions about Ukraine.

mike pompeo o sec stateThe Trump administration clashed on Tuesday with leaders of the House impeachment inquiry over their demands to question State Department officials who may have witnessed President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for political advantage.

In the first skirmish in what promises to be an epic impeachment struggle between the executive and legislative branches, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, lashed out at three congressional committees that are seeking to depose diplomats involved in American policy toward Ukraine, calling their demands for confidential interviews “an act of intimidation.”

The House postponed the first of the depositions, which had been scheduled for Wednesday with the former United States ambassador to Ukraine, but not before the leaders of the impeachment inquiry upbraided Mr. Pompeo for questioning their work and asserting that their bid to swiftly schedule depositions did not allow enough time to properly respond.

The latest standoff unfolded as lawmakers were unexpectedly put on notice that they could soon be provided with new evidence related to the State Department and Ukraine — a twist that could add crucial information to their investigation and, potentially, complicate efforts by Mr. Trump to block it.

ny times logoNew York Times, Pompeo Calls House Request to Interview Diplomats ‘Intimidation’ and Rushed, Nicholas Fandos and Lara Jakes, Oct. 2, 2019 (print ed.). The Trump administration pushed back on demands for depositions of potential witnesses as it fought a growing impeachment inquiry on multiple fronts. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not refuse outright to allow State Department employees to answer House investigators’ questions about Ukraine.

The Trump administration fought on multiple fronts on Tuesday to resist the House’s growing impeachment inquiry, pushing back on demands for depositions of potential witnesses from a key committee as President Trump insisted he was entitled to interview the whistle-blower whose allegations touched off the investigation.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threw up the first potential roadblock when he told lawmakers in a letter Tuesday morning that a demand from three House committees for American diplomats to sit for depositions this week amounted to “an act of intimidation” and did not allow enough time for the State Department to properly respond.

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘A presidency of one’: Key federal agencies increasingly compelled to benefit Trump, Philip Rucker and Robert Costa​, Oct. 1, 2019. The president’s personal concerns have become priorities of departments that traditionally have operated with some degree of political independence from the White House — and their leaders are engaging their boss’s obsessions.

• Standout moments from Day 8 of the impeachment inquiry drama

Palmer Report, Opinion: Donald Trump is now being targeted by the Department of Defense Inspector General too, Bill Palmer | 9:09 am EDT October 2, 2019. On Tuesday night we learned that the State Department Inspector General has uncovered corruption so urgent, he feels compelled to brief all the key House and Senate committees at once today. It looks like he’s about to try to take down Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In the meantime, it turns out he’s not the only Inspector General who’s in the process of exposing Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal.

bill palmer report logo headerLast night former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas appeared on MSNBC during the 10pm hour and revealed that the Department of Defense Inspector General is also working on exposing the Ukraine scandal. No further details were provided, but here’s what we find interesting.

Current Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has only been on the job since July. Donald Trump surely nominated him with the expectation of loyalty, but we’ve seen that Trump doesn’t always guess correctly on these things. More to the point, Esper probably hasn’t been there long enough to have the kind of footing that some of Trump’s other agency heads have carved out. In other words, will he be willing or able to try to get in the way of the Department of Defense Inspector General?

Come to think of it, this also confirms that Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal involves some kind of corruption at the Department of Defense. It’s becoming clear that in his desperation to find a way to rig the 2020 election in his favor, Trump exposed huge chunks of his own administration to potential criminal culpability. The more people involved, the more likely that some of them will come looking for immunity deals in the House impeachment inquiry.

 washington post logoWashington Post, Trump dares Democrats to ‘try to impeach this,’ bringing up 2016 support, John Wagner, Oct. 2, 2019 (print ed.). The president and his allies continued to push back against a fast-moving impeachment inquiry, which will include depositions of key figures later this week.

President Trump on Tuesday questioned why he is not “entitled to interview & learn everything about” the whistleblower whose identity is protected by federal statute.

In a spate of morning tweets, Trump also offered a visual reminder of the breadth of his support in the 2016 election, tweeting a map showing the U.S. counties that voted for him and daring Democrats to “try to impeach this.”

The pushback by Trump and Republican allies against the rapidly moving impeachment inquiry by House Democrats come as polls show rising public support for removing the president from office.

Trump: Shoot Migrants ‘In The Legs’

ny times logoNew York Times, Shoot Them in the Legs, Trump Suggested: Inside His Border War, Michael D. Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Oct. 2, 2019 (print ed.). Over a frenzied few days in the spring, an internal White House debate led to turnover in staff and a turning point for the president’s immigration agenda.

us dhs big eagle logo4The Oval Office meeting this past March began, as so many had, with President Trump fuming about migrants. But this time he had a solution. As White House advisers listened astonished, he ordered them to shut down the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico — by noon the next day.

The advisers feared the president’s edict would trap American tourists in Mexico, strand children at schools on both sides of the border and create an economic meltdown in two countries. Yet they also knew how much the president’s zeal to stop immigration had sent him lurching for solutions, one more extreme than the next.

Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.

“The president was frustrated and I think he took that moment to hit the reset button,” said Thomas D. Homan, who had served as Mr. Trump’s acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, recalling that week in March. “The president wanted it to be fixed quickly.”

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ny times logoNew York Times, Former Dallas Officer Who Shot Downstairs Neighbor Is Found Guilty of Murder, Marina Trahan Martinez and Sarah Mervosh, Oct. 2, 2019 (print ed.). A former Dallas police officer who shot her unarmed black neighbor in his own apartment was found guilty of murder on Tuesday, in an unusual and high-profile case that dealt with issues of race, policing and mistaken identity.

The former officer, Amber R. Guyger, who is white, was charged in the death of her 26-year-old neighbor, Botham Shem Jean (shown above), after she said she accidentally went to the wrong floor of their apartment complex, entered the unit directly above hers and fatally shot him last year.

amber guyger screengrabMs. Guyger claimed she thought she was entering her own apartment and was acting in self-defense against an intruder.

The jury rejected that argument and returned a rare murder conviction against a police officer who, in this case, was off-duty but in uniform.

The shooting and its aftermath in September 2018 ignited protests and calls for justice, with demonstrations outside Police Headquarters and inside City Hall. At a time when other police officers have been cleared of wrongdoing in the deaths of unarmed black men, Ms. Guyger was arrested several days after the shooting on a charge of manslaughter, then released from jail the same day. After weeks of community tensions and accusations of preferential treatment for the police, a grand jury came back with the charge of murder.

ny times logoNew York Times, Homeland Security Dept. Affirms Threat of White Supremacy, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Oct. 2, 2019 (print ed.). While President Trump has expressed skepticism about violent white nationalism, his Department of Homeland Security is now highlighting the issue. The Department of Homeland Security is beginning to address white supremacist terrorism as a primary security threat, breaking with a decade of flagging attention after bigoted mass shooters from New Zealand to Texas took the lives of nearly 100 people in the last six months.

In a little-noticed strategy document published last month to guide law enforcement on emerging threats and in recent public appearances by Kevin K. kevin mcaleenan o Custom 2, the acting secretary of homeland security, the department is trying to project a new vigilance about violent white nationalism, beating back criticism that the agency has spent a decade playing down the issue.

“I would like to take this opportunity to be direct and unambiguous in addressing a major issue of our time. In our modern age, the continuation of racially based violent extremism, particularly violent white supremacy, is an abhorrent affront to the nation,” Mr. McAleenan, right, said during an address last month, describing white nationalism as one of the most dangerous threats to the United States.

The department’s new stance contrasts that of President Trump, who has repeatedly dismissed white supremacy as an insignificant fringe movement. But beyond words and documents, many officials trying to combat the threat throughout the country remain skeptical that the full weight of federal law enforcement is finally being used to give bigoted domestic terrorism the attention it deserves.

Oct. 1

Impeachment Daily Index

ny times logoNew York Times, Trump Raises Idea of Arresting Schiff, Accusing Him of Treason, Eileen Sullivan, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). Mr. Trump asked whether the leader of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, acted illegally in describing Mr. Trump’s call with Ukraine’s leader. A day earlier, Mr. Trump called for Mr. Schiff — the California Democrat who is the de facto head of an impeachment inquiry into the call — to be “questioned at the donald trump twitterhighest level for Fraud & Treason.”

adam schiff squareMr. Trump has accused Mr. Schiff, of lying to Congress when Mr. Schiff, right, summarized a portion of what Mr. Trump said to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine during a July 25 phone call.

Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to “do us a favor” and investigate Democrats — a request Democrats say is an abuse of power for personal gain. They have started an impeachment inquiry.

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wsj logomike pompeo portraitWall Street Journal, Pompeo Took Part in Trump-Zelensky Phone Call, Official Says, Courtney McBride, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among administration officials who listened in on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a senior State Department official said Monday, a disclosure that ties the State Department more closely to the House impeachment inquiry.

Pompeo, right, has said he hadn’t read entire whistleblower’s complaint, but defended State Department officials’ actions as ‘entirely appropriate.’

ny times logoNew York Times, Trump Pushed Australian Leader to Help Investigate Origins of Mueller Inquiry, Mark Mazzetti and Katie Benner, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). President Trump pushed the Australian prime minister over the phone to help Attorney General William Barr in an effort to discredit the Mueller inquiry, officials said. The White House restricted access to the transcript, an unusual decision similar to the handling of a Ukraine call at the heart of an impeachment inquiry.

scott morrison 2016President Trump pushed the Australian prime minister during a recent telephone call to help Attorney General William P. Barr gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that Mr. Trump hopes will discredit the Mueller investigation, according to two American officials with knowledge of the call.

australian flag wavingThe White House restricted access to the call’s transcript to a small group of the president’s aides, one of the officials said, an unusual decision that is similar to the handling of a July call with the Ukrainian president that is at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump. Like that call, the discussion with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, of Australia shows the extent to which Mr. Trump sees the attorney general as a critical partner in his goal to show that the Mueller investigation had corrupt and partisan origins, and the extent that Mr. Trump sees the Justice Department inquiry as a potential way to gain leverage over America’s closest allies.

ny times logoNew York Times, Trump’s Claims About Biden Aren’t ‘Unsupported.’ They’re Lies, Michelle Goldberg, right, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). The president’s michelle goldberg thumbaccusations turn reality on its head and the media should say so. Journalists, perhaps seeking to appear balanced, have sometimes described Trump’s claims about Biden as “unsubstantiated” or “unsupported.” That is misleading, because it suggests more muddiness in the factual record than actually exists. Trump isn’t making unproven charges against Biden. He is blatantly lying about him. He and his defenders are spreading a conspiracy theory that is the precise opposite of the truth.

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: There’s another whistleblower complaint. It’s about Trump’s tax returns, Catherine Rampell, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). An unnamed civil servant is alleging serious interference in government business. If the allegations are true, they could be a game-changer. They might set in motion the release of lots of other secret documents showing that President Trump has abused his authority for his personal benefit.

Not that you’d know it from the administration’s stonewalling, but Congress actually has unambiguous authority to get Trump’s returns. In fact, it has had the authority to get any federal tax return, no questions asked, for nearly a century. Under a 1924 law, Treasury “shall furnish” any tax document requested by the House Ways and Means or Senate Finance Committee chairs.

richard neal headshotThat’s exactly what the House Ways and Means chairman, Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), right, did in the spring. The statute doesn’t require him to state any legislative purpose for his request, but he provided one anyway: He said that committee needed to make sure the IRS, which it oversees, is properly conducting its annual audit of the president and vice president, as the IRS manual has required post-Watergate.

In defiance of a half-century norm, Trump has kept his tax returns secret. We don’t know exactly what he might be hiding. His bizarre behavior, though, suggests it’s really bad. We don’t know the complaint details, including who allegedly meddled with the audit or how, and whether the IRS complied. The complaint hasn’t been released, and Neal said last week that he’s still consulting with congressional lawyers about whether to make it public.

But the exact details of the allegations matter less than the fact that they corroborate Democratic lawmakers’ argument that oversight of the IRS’s annual presidential audit is indeed a legitimate reason they — and hopefully, eventually, the public — should see Trump’s taxes. It’s hard to imagine how the federal judge in this case could now rule against the committee.

washington post logoWashington Post, Barr is said to have urged foreign governments to aid investigation of CIA, FBI activities related to 2016 election, Devlin Barrett, Shane Harris and Matt Zapotosky​, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). Attorney General William P. Barr has traveled overseas to seek help with a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.

Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of possible connections between Russia and members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.

Barr’s personal involvement is likely to stoke further criticism from Democrats pursuing impeachment that he is helping the Trump administration use executive branch powers to augment investigations aimed primarily at the president’s adversaries.

wayne madesen report logoWayne Madsen Report (WMR), Opinion: For Trump neo-fascisti, all roads lead to Rome, Wayne Madsen, Oct. 1, 2019 (subscription required). In the past week, three far-right personalities in the Donald Trump camp, including two Cabinet secretaries, have journeyed to Rome in order to engage in political chicanery to attack former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on foreign interference in the 2016 election and Democratic attempts to investigate foreign involvement in the 2020 election.

Palmer Report, Opinion: House Democrats seem to think Mike Pompeo is going down tomorrow, Bill Palmer, Oct. 1, 2019. This morning Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not only refused to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry, he also publicly demanded that no one in his State Department cooperate with the inquiry. That quickly blew up in his face when two recently departed State Department officials at the center of the Ukraine scandal confirmed they’ll both testify within days. Now the House is proceeding as if Pompeo won’t be around much longer.

bill palmer report logo headerThis evening the House impeachment inquiry sent a letter to the Deputy Secretary of State, informing him that his boss Mike Pompeo is now considered to be compromised because of Pompeo’s documented role in the Ukraine scandal. The House is now urging the Deputy to defy his own boss and cooperate with the inquiry. This is remarkable, as the House must have some specific reason to believe this gambit might actually work.

This comes even as the State Department Inspector General has informed the House and Senate that he needs to brief the staffs of the major committees tomorrow about an urgent matter he’s uncovered regarding the State Department and Ukraine. Whatever corruption the IG has uncovered, he seems to think it’s for all the marbles.

It’s tricky to try to connect the dots when there are this many moving parts. But the House is proceeding tonight under the assumption that the Deputy Secretary of State might be willing to go against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – which makes you wonder if the House is expecting the State Department Inspector General to take out Pompeo’s legs tomorrow. Something huge is going on. It’s just not entirely clear what.

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump amps up attacks on whistleblower as some Republicans call for a more strategic response, Toluse Olorunnipa and Ashley Parker, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). The ad hoc counter-impeachment effort developing around President Trump underscores the risk he faces as Democratic leaders prepare a sober and surgical Ukraine probe.

• Law offers whistleblower meager protection, analysts fear

Big Opioid Settlement

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washington post logoWashington Post, Johnson & Johnson reaches $20.4 million settlement in huge opioid case, Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz and Lenny Bernstein​, Oct. 1, 2019. The health-care giant would pay two Ohio counties $10 million, reimburse $5 million in legal fees and direct $5.4 million to nonprofits for opioid-related programs.

Johnson & Johnson would pay Cuyahoga and Summit counties $10 million in cash, reimburse $5 million in legal fees and direct $5.4 million to nonprofits for opioid-related programs in those communities.

Under the terms, the company resolves all claims by the counties with no admission of liability.

The deal would winnow to six the number of defendants scheduled to stand trial this month in a lawsuit brought by more than more than 2,500 counties, cities and Native American tribes. The plaintiffs sued nearly two dozen drug manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies, alleging that they fueled the nation’s prescription opioid epidemic, which has claimed more than 200,000 lives since 1999.

“The settlement allows the company to avoid the resource demands and uncertainty of a trial as it continues to seek meaningful progress in addressing the nation’s opioid crisis,” Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals said in a statement Tuesday night. “The company recognizes the opioid crisis is a complex public health challenge and is working collaboratively to help communities and people in need.”

Education / Civil Rights

ny times logoNew York Times, Judge Rules in Harvard’s Favor on Asian-Americans and Race, Anemona Hartocollis, Oct. 1, 2019. A judge said that Harvard had a right to choose a diverse class. The case, a challenge to affirmative action, is almost certain to go to the Supreme Court.

harvard logoA federal judge on Tuesday rejected claims that Harvard had intentionally discriminated against Asian-American applicants, in a closely watched case that presented one of the biggest legal challenges to affirmative action in years.

The lawsuit against the university came from a group hoping to overturn a longstanding Supreme Court precedent that allows race to be considered as one factor among many in admissions, but prohibits universities from using racial quotas.

The group argued that Harvard had favored black and Hispanic applicants at the expense of another minority group — a strategic reversal of past affirmative action lawsuits in which the plaintiff complained that white students had been treated unfairly.

The judge, Allison D. Burroughs, rejected the plaintiff’s argument, and said that the university met the strict constitutional standard for considering race in its admissions process.

Inside DC

washington post logoWashington Post, Inspector general harshly criticizes DEA for allowing opioid makers to sharply increase production, Lenny Bernstein​​, Oct. 1, 2019. Even  as deaths from opioid overdoses grew dramatically, the Drug Enforcement Administration increased its quota for the narcotic painkiller oxycodone by 400 percent between 2002 and 2013, according to a new report from the Justice Department’s inspector general.

robert mueller full face fileWilmerHale, Robert S. Mueller III and Other Special Counsel’s Office Members Rejoin WilmerHale, Staff report, Oct. 1, 2019. Robert S. Mueller III, right, is rejoining the firm as a partner after serving as special counsel for the US Department of Justice. Mr. Mueller’s practice will focus on high-profile investigations and crisis management, similar to his work at the firm before his service as special counsel. James L. Quarles and Aaron M. Zebley who, like Mr. Mueller, left the firm in May 2017 to work in the Special Counsel’s Office, are also returning to the firm as partners.

U.S. 2020 Politics

washington post logoWashington Post, With Trump-style bravado, a suburban state senator alienates her own party, Laura Vozzella, Oct. 1, 2019. At a time when the Virginia GOP can’t afford to lose a single seat, some Senate Republicans fret that the drama swirling around “Senator Annie Oakley Chase,” as some call her, threatens to put her reliably red district in play.

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Center for American Progress, The Impact of Partisan Gerrymandering, Alex Tausanovitch, Oct. 1, 2019. It has been almost a decade since the 2010 cycle of redistricting, and the country is still reckoning with the impact. According to a new CAP analysis, the effects of partisan gerrymandering are comparable to switching the majority of votes in 22 states.

Unfairly drawn congressional districts shifted, on average, a whopping 59 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives during the 2012, 2014, and 2016 elections. Those 59 seats are slightly more than the total number of seats apportioned to the 22 smallest states by population.

Fortunately, the solutions are simple: Require each state to draw districts that reflect the views of the American people; prioritize fair representation for communities of color; and draw districts that are reasonably competitive, so that when voters change their minds, they can also change their representatives.

That’s democracy—elected officials who represent and are accountable to the people. The numbers show that representation in the United States is far from fair, but with straightforward policy changes, citizens can have maps that are fair.

Global News

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: The Rohingya crisis can’t stay Bangladesh’s burden, prime minister says, Ishaan Tharoor, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina discusses the burden of hosting more than a million Rohingya refugees.

washington post logoWashington Post, More than 100 have people have died in heavy rains in India. Here’s what the flooding looks like, Niha Masih, Oct. 1, 2019. The india flag mapfloods have been caused by the heaviest monsoon in 25 years. Floodwater has inundated major Indian cities, bringing daily life to a standstill.

India has experienced increasingly extreme weather conditions. A debilitating heat wave in the summer coupled with a delay in the monsoon led to drought-like conditions in several parts of the country. Metropolitan cities like Chennai in South India were nearly out of water. In July the government said that 2,400 people had been killed due to weather events in the past year.

Donald and Melania Trump descend from Air Force One into Saudi Araba as first stop on the president's initial overseas trip in 2017 (White House photo by Shealah Craighead).

Donald and Melania Trump descend from Air Force One into Saudi Arabia as first stop on the president’s initial overseas trip in 2017 (White House photo by Shealah Craighead).

washington post logoWashington Post, As backlash fears fade, major firms are returning to Saudi Arabia a year after Khashoggi’s killing, Reed Albergotti, Josh Dawsey and Kareem Fahim, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). Wall Street banks are among the big names expected for a Saudi investment conference in October. When Saudi Arabia hosted its high-profile investment conference just weeks after Jamal Khashoggi’s killing last October, top executives from some of the world’s biggest financial companies begged off, skipping the event over fears that negative publicity could tarnish their firms’ brands.

A year later, human rights advocates say the kingdom has yet to deliver justice, failing to hold senior Saudi officials responsible for The Washington Post contributing columnist’s killing or to even reveal the location of his body. But business leaders have been far more forgiving.

  • Saudi king’s bodyguard shot dead in private dispute, state news agency, Sarah Dadouch, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). Maj. Gen. Abdulaziz al-Faghm was a familiar presence by king’s side for Saudis.

washington post logoWashington Post, Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused of groping a journalist, William Booth and Karla Adam, Oct. 1, 2019 (print ed.). Prime Minister Boris Johnson was trying mightily Monday to showcase his shiny new agenda for the people, but his Conservative Party’s annual conference has been overshadowed by accusations about how he treats women.

The latest is a claim by a Sunday Times columnist that Johnson groped her thigh — “high up” — at a magazine lunch in 1999. “Untrue,” says 10 Downing Street.

He’s also accused of abusing his position as mayor of London to grant favorable treatment to a friend, U.S. entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri. Arcuri, who received thousands of pounds from a government agency that Johnson oversaw, told friends she and Johnson were having an affair, according to British news reports. Johnson claims to have “no interest to declare” in Arcuri’s firm.

 

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