Private conversations with George W. Bush secretly taped by an old friend before he was elected president foreshadow some of his political strategies and appear to reveal that he acknowledged using marijuana, The New York Times reported Saturday. \nThe conversations were recorded by Doug Wead, a former aide to George W. Bush's father, beginning in 1998, when Bush was weighing a presidential bid, until just before the Republican National Convention in 2000, the Times said in a story posted on its Web site. \nThe tapes show Bush crafting a strategy for navigating the tricky political waters between Christian conservative and secular voters, repeatedly worrying that evangelicals would be angered by a refusal to bash gays and that secular Americans would be turned off by meetings with evangelical leaders. \nOn one tape, Bush explains that he told one prominent evangelical that he would not "kick gays, because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?" \nIn early tapes, Bush dismisses the strength of John McCain for the nomination and expresses concern about rival Steve Forbes. He also praises John Ashcroft as a promising candidate for Supreme Court justice, attorney general or vice president. \nBush also criticizes then-Vice President Al Gore for admitting marijuana use and explains why he would not do the same. \n"I wouldn't answer the marijuana questions," he said, according to the Times. "You know why? Because I don't want some little kid doing what I tried." \nAccording to the article, Wead played 12 of the tapes to a Times reporter. He said he recorded them because he viewed Bush as a historic figure. He is the author of a new book on presidential childhoods. \nThe White House did not deny the authenticity of the tapes. \n"The governor was having casual conversations with someone he believed was his friend," White House spokesman Trent Duffy said, referring to Bush.
POINT-BLANK RANGE: Reporters and camera people from several outlets say police officers in Minneapolis had fired tear gas and rubber bullets directly at them Multiple journalists on the ground in Minnesota said they were teargassed and subject to other attacks by police on Saturday evening, a day after the widely condemned arrest of a CNN reporter live on air. Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who was reporting outside the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, said she was with a group of about a dozen journalists when the Minnesota State Patrol “fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range.” “I was saying: ‘Where do we go?’ They did not tell us where to go. They didn’t direct us. They just fired on us,” she said
For nearly a decade, the UN Security Council has been frequently paralyzed by Russia’s obstinacy over the Syrian crisis. Today, however, it is the US-China rivalry that has infected a growing array of issues, according to officials and diplomats. As recently as 2017, an understanding between Washington and Beijing allowed the UN on three occasions — involving separate sets of economic sanctions — to project international unity in the face of the North Korean nuclear threat. Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between the UN’s two main contributors, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May
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