07 Aug

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Stray bullet fired into media tent at equestrian venue
Controlled explosion near finish line of men’s cycling road race

Bomb squad

A bomb squad investigate after carrying out a controlled explosion near the finish line of the men’s cycling road race. Photograph: Javier Etxezarreta/EPA

A stray bullet fired into a media tent at the equestrian venue and a controlled explosion near the finish line of the road cycling threatened to overshadow the opening day of action at the 2016 Olympics.

Even as organisers scrambled to investigate both issues, they were also having to promise to redouble efforts to shift unsold tickets and improve long queueing times amid angry complaints from those who had not been able to enter venues in time to watch the action.

While there was an upbeat mood in the city and organisers were pleased with the reaction to Friday’s opening ceremony, empty seats in many venues and long queues to get into others soon caused frustration and delays.

The most dramatic incident of the day came as eyewitnesses reported a bullet from a 5.56mm assault rifle pierced the roof of the media tent and fell to the floor near a Team GB press officer and a British photographer working for the British Equestrian Foundation.

The venue is next door to a media base and there was speculation that it may have accidentally been fired from there. A Rio 2016 spokesman said: “We are aware of the incident and monitoring the investigation by the security forces. No one was hurt.”..

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Five-year-old in stable condition as officials say he was hit in the cheek by an officer who has not been named

Authorities responded in Randallstown, Maryland, on Monday.

Authorities responded in Randallstown, Maryland, on Monday. Photograph: Maya Earls/AP

The Baltimore County police department confirmed late Friday afternoon that one of their officers had shot the five-year-old child of the woman they killed after a standoff in her apartment, but would not release the name of the shooting officer.

“The injury from which the round was recovered is to the boy’s left cheek and is consistent with BCoPD’s previous confirmation that he suffered a wound to an extremity and shrapnel wounds to the upper body,” a statement from the department read. The child is in stable condition.

The barricade situation began when officers tried to serve a warrant on 23-year-old Korryn Gaines, who had failed to appear in court for charges relating to a March traffic stop that ended in Gaines’ arrest. When no one answered the officers’ knock, according to police officials, they gained partial entry with a key provided by property management and kicked open a safety chain. Inside, they saw Gaines with a shotgun…………..

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Activists asked to move rally amid festival tied to unveiling of Martin Luther King memorial at site where civil rights leader called for fair housing

Associated Press in Chicago

Warning: this video contains graphic images that some viewers may find disturbing. A watchdog group released footage of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal, who was killed by police in Chicago. The videos, which show both body camera footage and dashcam footage, show officers chasing after O’Neal in police vehicles, shooting into O’Neal’s car and pursuing him on foot soon after. The incident took place on 28 July

Protesters planned on Saturday to gather at a Chicago park where 50 years ago Martin Luther King Jr called for fair housing, to protest the police shooting that killed Paul O’Neal, a black 18-year-old, last month.

Organizers of a festival related to a newly unveiled King memorial in Marquette Park asked, however, that the demonstrators move their rally.

Nine videos released on Friday showed Chicago police firing repeatedly at a stolen car driven by O’Neal as it careened down the street away from them. The shots were an apparent violation of departmental policy, which explicitly prevents officers from firing at moving vehicles.

O’Neal was handcuffed after being shot, after a chaotic foot chase through a residential neighborhood. The footage also showed that officers claimed he had fired on them – he was unarmed – and called the black teenager a “bitch ass motherfucker” as he lay dying from a gunshot wound……..

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  • Closest look yet at ‘machinery of killing’ Obama will pass to Clinton or Trump
  • National Security Council staff not subject to congressional oversight
RQ-4 Block 10 Global Hawk unmanned drones are shown at an undisclosed location.

RQ-4 Block 10 Global Hawk unmanned drones are shown at an undisclosed location. Photograph: Northrop Grumman/EPA

The White House staff for national security, exempt from review by Congress, plays a substantial role in the process for killing suspected terrorists, according to a newly released document on drone strikes.

The 2013 document, known informally as the “playbook” for Barack Obama’s signature counterterrorism operations, was released on Saturday by the justice department as the result of court requests by the American Civil Liberties Union. The playbook provides the closest look to date at the bureaucratic machinery of global killing that Obama will pass on to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

The document designates the National Security Council (NSC) staff as a body of review over “all operational plans” for either killing or capturing terrorist subjects. Once representatives of various cabinet agencies and departments meet to discuss a specific plan, NSC attorneys provide legal input.

Those operational plans, which are conceived by the CIA or the Pentagon and not the NSC staff, provide granular details about life-or-death decision-making and are a level above the specific people or categories of people targeted for death or capture. While the NSC staff plays a role in nominating people for inclusion on the so-called “kill list”, it neither makes the nomination nor involves itself in carrying out a strike or raid…

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drones civ

Philippine president fires police and military officers named in nationally televised speech on Sunday

Rodrigo Duterte

Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte reads list of local government officials and police officers he says are involved in illegal drugs trading. Photograph: Cerilo Ebrano/EPA

The Philippine president has publicly linked more than 150 judges, mayors, lawmakers and military personnel to illegal drugs, revoked their gun licences and asked them to surrender for investigation.

Rodrigo Duterte promptly fired members of the military and police he named and ordered government security personnel to be withdrawn from politicians he identified in his nationally televised speech early Sunday.

Duterte’s latest move ratchets up his war against drugs, which has already left hundreds of suspected dealers dead and more than 4,400 arrested in a month since he took office. Nearly 600,000 people have surrendered to authorities…………..

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US politics

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Presidential candidates have been at odds with their parties for as long as there have been elections

Four Founding FathersIllustration of four of the United States Foundign Fathers, from left, John Adams (1735 - 1826), Robert Morris (1734 - 1806), Alexander Hamilton (1757 - 1804), and Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), 1774. (Photo by Stock Montage/Getty Images)

‘The 1796 presidential campaign — waged between John Adams and former secretary of state Thomas Jefferson — gave rise to factional party politics.’ Photograph: Stock Montage/Getty Images

Is the Republican party trying to ditch Donald Trump? With each of his off-the-cuff outbursts, more Republicans fall off the Trump bandwagon.

But this wouldn’t be the first time a major party has repudiated its top figurehead. In fact, intra-party warfare is as old as America itself.

When George Washington stepped down after two terms as America’s first president, the country elected Vice-President John Adams to succeed him. While Washington was nominally a founder and member of the Federalist party, it was the 1796 presidential campaign – waged between Adams and former secretary of state Thomas Jefferson – that gave rise to factional party politics.

The Adams presidency also introduced America to its first taste of how political parties, designed to promote common cause, could also turn against themselves. When Adams stood for reelection in 1800, his only major ally in the Federalist party, Alexander Hamilton, repudiated him. Writing in a public pamphlet, Hamilton argued that Adams “does not possess the talents adapted to the administration of government, and that there are great and intrinsic defects in his character, which unfit him for the office of chief magistrate”. Without Hamilton’s endorsement, Adams came in a poor third to Jefferson and Aaron Burr.

In 1840, war hero William Henry Harrison and running mate John Tyler were elected on the Whig ticket. A month later, Harrison was dead, and despite the fact the constitution did not clearly spell out the duties of a vice-president in this situation, Tyler immediately assumed the presidency. In response, Harrison’s entire cabinet – with the exception of the secretary of state, Daniel Webster – resigned in protest, and the Whigs kicked Tyler out of the party. Sometimes referred to as “His Accidency” (during his presidency and to his face), Tyler essentially served as an independent, fighting both Democrats and Whigs on most issues, including two stonewalled supreme court nominations.

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