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20 May

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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SFPD boss Greg Suhr resigns just hours after officers fatally shot a 27-year-old black woman and as the police department faces a bigotry scandal

Four members of the city’s 11-member board of supervisors had previously called for Greg Suhr’s resignation.

Four members of the city’s 11-member board of supervisors had previously called for Greg Suhr’s resignation. Photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters

San Francisco police chief Greg Suhr resigned on Thursday, at the request of mayor Ed Lee and just hours after police officers shot and killed a black woman in the city’s Bayview neighborhood.

Suhr is one of a growing number of police chiefs to lose their jobs in the wake of widespread protest of fatal police shootings, especially of blacks and Latinos, and a national debate about excessive use of force.

He follows Anthony Batts, the police chief of Baltimore who was fired following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody and ensuing riots; Thomas Jackson, police chief of Ferguson, who stepped down following a scathing federal investigation into racial bias; and Garry McCarthy, police chief of the Chicago, who was fired following the release of video of the shooting of Laquan McDonald.

In recent months, calls for Suhr to resign have intensified amid a string of fatal shootings and scandals. But as recently as two days ago he had assured the San Francisco Chronicle that he had no intention of stepping down……………

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The previous record of 50.6C stood since 1956 but wilted in the latest summer heatwave to hit the country

Boys swimming to cool off as record temperatures of 51C were recorded in the Indian city of Phalodi.

Boys swimming to cool off as record temperatures of 51C were recorded in the Indian city of Phalodi. Photograph: Tsering Topgyal/AP

A city in northern India has shattered the national heat record, registering a searing 51C – the highest since records began – amid a nationwide heatwave.

The new record was set in Phalodi, a city in the desert state of Rajasthan, and is the equivalent of 123.8F.

It tops a previous record of 50.6C set in 1956.

Temperatures in northern India regularly hit the high 40s in May and June – the hottest months of the year – but topping 50C is unusual.

The record for India is thought to be 50.6C (123F), recorded in 1956 in the northern town of Alwar (pdf).

The weather office has issued warnings of “severe heat wave” conditions across large parts of India’s northern and western regions through the weekend.

Several hundred people are thought to have died during this year’s heatwave and some areas have banned daytime cooking in order to limit the fire risk…………

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Moshe Yaalon resigns in wake of prime minister’s move to replace him as part of bid to shore up coalition government

Binyamin Netanyahu with Moshe Yaalon in February.

Binyamin Netanyahu with Moshe Yaalon in February. Photograph: Sebastian Scheiner/AP

Israel’s defence minister has announced his resignation, delivering a stinging rebuke to the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, whom he said he no longer had “faith in”.

The departure of the former defence chief Moshe Yaalon came after Netanyahu, with whom he had recently clashed, invited the hawkish ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman to replace Yaalon as part of moves to widen his fragile coalition.

Before Yaalon resigned there had been speculation that Netanyahu planned to offer him the post of foreign minister, one of several cabinet positions currently occupied by Netanyahu.

Yaalon’s departure came as snap polls suggested Israelis preferred Yaalon to Lieberman as defence minister by a wide margin. A poll aired by Israel’s Channel 10 television on Thursday found that 51% of Israeli Jews saw Yaalon as best suited for defence minister, while 27% preferred Lieberman……………

Bill heads to governor and if it becomes a law, any doctor who performed an abortion – except to save a woman’s life – could face three years in prison

Oklahoma abortion

Miles Mitchell, of Edmond, Oklahoma, stands with other members of Bound 4 Life, an anti-abortion group, at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City on 10 March 2016. Photograph: Sue Ogrocki/AP

A bill that would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by three years in prison passed the Oklahoma legislature on Thursday, shifting controversy surrounding the measure on to the state’s anti-abortion leader, Governor Mary Fallin.

The bill, which opposing legislators say is patently unconstitutional, is almost unprecedented in modern times: a near-total ban on abortion. If it becomes law, any doctor who performed an abortion, except to save a woman’s life, would face criminal prosecution and the loss of his or her medical license. Oklahoma currently has two licensed abortion clinics.

Fallin, who is widely thought to be under consideration as Donald Trump’s running mate on the Republican presidential ticket, has not publicly indicated if she will sign the bill. Her office has said she does not intend to comment until it can review the legislation.

Without her signature or veto, the measure will become law in five days.

The bill has generated unease even in Fallin’s own party. In April, 33 members of the Oklahoma house, including many conservatives, abstained from voting on the bill. On Thursday, a handful of senate Republicans voted against it.

Abortion rights advocates immediately indicated plans to challenge the measure in court, if it becomes law.

“This obviously unconstitutional bill will never withstand legal scrutiny,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of the reproductive rights advocacy group Naral Pro-Choice America, in a statement. “It is a shameful new low for the anti-choice movement.”………..

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Corey Lequieu pleaded to using force, intimidation and threats to impede federal officers during the armed occupation of the Malheur national wildlife refuge

Federal prosecutors have recommended that Corey Lequieu spend two-and-a-half years in prison and have agreed not to level any additional charges against him.

Federal prosecutors have recommended that Corey Lequieu spend two-and-a-half years in prison and have agreed not to level any additional charges against him. Photograph: Sam Levin for the Guardian

A participant in the Oregon militia standoff at a wildlife refuge pleaded guilty to conspiring against the federal government on Thursday, making him the first of 26 jailed protesters to accept a deal with US prosecutors.

Corey Lequieu, 46, pleaded guilty to using force, intimidation and threats to impede federal officers at the Malheur national wildlife refuge, where a group of activists, some heavily armed, staged an occupation in January to protest the government’s treatment of ranchers.

Brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who helped lead the protests, refused to enter pleas at their arraignments, resulting in a a judge entering a “not guilty” plea on their behalf, paving the way for a high-profile trial.

“It was the best option available,” Lequieu’s girlfriend Debra Carter Pope said in an interview Thursday. “What’s important to him and to me is family. … It’s better than being in there for years and years.”

Federal prosecutors have recommended that Lequieu spend two-and-a-half years in prison and have agreed not to level any additional charges against him, according to the Oregonian. In the government’s indictment he had originally faced two additional charges related to his possession of firearms at the bird sanctuary………

US politics

Election 2016

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Donald Trump resurrects accusations of rape against Bill Clinton on Fox News

Opinion

sanders

‘Around this time in 2008, Clinton was still heavily criticizing the inevitable nominee Barack Obama.’ Photograph: UPI / Barcroft Images

It seems to be open season on Bernie Sanders in the Democratic party now that his chances of winning the nomination are dwindling. But the criticism of him is misguided and hypocritical, and he is doing the right thing by largely ignoring it.

1 Bernie should stop criticizing Clinton!

The idea that Sanders, and to a certain extent others on the left, should stop criticizing Clinton because it gives Trump a better chance to win is ridiculous. Do people think that Clinton should get a free pass for the next six months – and potentially incentive to move to the right – on issues like Wall Street, trade, war, foreign policy and others? Just because Trump would be a disaster does not mean Clinton should be immune from criticism, nor does it mean holding her accountable will prevent her from ultimately defeating Trump.

Around this time in 2008, Clinton was still heavily criticizing the inevitable nominee Barack Obama and making divisive statements that make this primary campaign look like a walk in the park. How quickly everyone forgets (or pretends not to remember.) In fact, some of the issues Clinton once criticized Obama for are now the same issues that Sanders hits Clinton on. Clinton supporters had no problem with it then, but are now feigning being offended now.

It’s quite possible to both continue pushing Clinton on important issues and condemn Trump. The American people are smarter than the Clinton crowd is giving them credit for.

2 Bernie should criticize Trump more!…………..

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English Online International Newspapers

For a change from the same old news stories from the same old news networks, here are links to English-edition online newspapers from other parts of the world. Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

Some of the available newspapers:

Asia & CIS

www.newscentralasia.com/

China

english.peopledaily.com.cn/home.html

China & Hong Kong

www.scmp.com/news

France

www.france24.com/en/france/

Israel

www.haaretz.com/

Norway

www.newsinenglish.no/category/news/

Palestine

english.pnn.ps/

Russia

english.pravda.ru/

Ukraine

www.ukrainianjournal.com/

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