Chin to run for Congress
Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin, who has been fighting President Donald Trump’s travel ban and other policies over the past year, has announced he will run for Congress. Chin, a Democrat, seeks to replace Hawaii Representative Colleen Hanabusa, who is running for governor. Hanabusa is also a Democrat. Chin made the announcement on Monday, saying that the past year of legal battles over White House actions sparked him to run for the House of Representatives seat. Chin has been a vocal opponent to decisions by Trump’s administration. Before Trump was sworn in, Chin and five other attorneys general asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general.
Trump’s pick withdraws
US President Donald Trump’s judicial nominee, whose inability to answer basic legal questions at his confirmation hearing brought him widespread ridicule, has withdrawn, a White House official said on Monday. Matthew Peterson, nominated by Trump to the District Court for the District of Columbia, became an Internet sensation after the video of his confirmation hearing — during which Peterson was unable to define basic legal terms — was posted online. A White House official said Peterson withdrew from consideration and Trump accepted the withdrawal.
German journalist freed
A court on Monday ordered German journalist Mesale Tolu and five codefendants released from prison pending the outcome of their trial on terror-related charges. Tolu, 33, a German citizen with Turkish roots, is charged with engaging in terrorist propaganda and being a member of a banned left-wing group — the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party. She has denied the accusations. The court in Istanbul said Tolu could go free, but it barred her from leaving the country. Prosecutors considered her attendance at the funerals of several members of the party as evidence of her membership in the outlawed group.
Uber driver arrested
An Uber driver has been arrested in the killing of a woman who worked at the British embassy in Beirut. The driver confessed to murdering 30-year-old Rebecca Dykes, whose body was found on a highway outside the capital on Saturday, according to the official National News agency. Uber confirmed the suspect was registered to drive for the company. “We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victim and her family,” Uber said in a statement. “We are working with authorities to assist their investigation in any way we can.”
Streep denies knowledge
Meryl Streep has said she did not know Harvey Weinstein was allegedly harassing and assaulting women when they worked together. Streep on Monday in a statement said that Weinstein “needed me much more than I needed him and he made sure I didn’t know.” The Oscar winner said her association with him brought him credibility, which she said he used “to lure young, aspiring women into circumstances where they would be hurt.” Streep said she composed the statement in response to a since-deleted tweet from Rose McGowan, who called out Streep for working with Weinstein.
France terror sponsor: Assad
President Bashar al-Assad yesterday accused France of supporting bloodshed in his country, making it unfit to talk about a peace settlement. “France spearheaded support for terrorism and their hands are soaked in Syrian blood from the first days and we do not see they have changed their stance fundamentally,” al-Assad was quoted in state media as telling reporters after meeting a Russian delegation on Monday. “Those who support terrorism have no right to talk about peace,” he added. France on Friday accused Syria of doing nothing to reach a peace agreement after almost seven years of war and said it was committing mass crimes in the Eastern Ghouta region, where 400,000 people are besieged by government forces. French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said Paris would push for peace talks involving all parties in the six-year-old Syrian conflict, including al-Assad, promising “initiatives” early next year.
PM Akilisi back in power
Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva has been returned to power for a second term, just months after the king effectively sacked him by dissolving parliament and calling a snap election. Pohiva won a parliamentary ballot late on Monday to decide the prime ministership by 14 votes to 12 over rival candidate Siaosi Sovaleni, his former deputy. It caps a remarkable comeback for the 76-year-old, whose career appeared over following King Tupou VI’s dramatic political intervention in August. In an unprecedented move, the monarch dissolved parliament a year before the next scheduled election, ordering a poll to be held on Nov. 16. Against expectations, Pohiva’s Democratic Party won a resounding 14 of the 17 seats elected by the people, five more than in the 2014 election. It gave Pohiva a majority in the 26-seat parliament, in which nine seats are taken by hereditary nobles, paving the way for Monday’s vote to select the prime minister.
Two executed for murder
The nation yesterday executed two convicted murderers, including one who committed his crime while in his teens, the Ministry of Justice said, ignoring calls from international rights groups to end capital punishment. The hangings of Teruhiko Seki and Kiyoshi Matsui bring to 21 the total number of executions since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power in late 2012. Seki, 44, was convicted of killing four people in Chiba in 1992 when he was 19, the ministry said. It was the first execution of a death-row prisoner who committed crimes as a minor since 1997 in Japan, local media said. Matsui, 69, was sentenced to death for killing his girlfriend and her parents in 1994.
Man dies after rescue
Filipino fishermen rescued three Australians adrift at sea for days after their yacht capsized in the nation’s south, but one died on the way to hospital, police said yesterday. Two fishermen on Sunday picked up the Australians, who waved for help while clinging to a life buoy, about 80 km off Surigao province. Police in the provincial capital of Tandag said the men had been in the water for several days after the holed yacht capsized near Mindanao while sailing to Subic Bay. “Unfortunately, Anthony John Mahoney did not make it as he was already unconscious at the time of the rescue,” police official Evelyn Tidula said. The Australian embassy in Manila is to help repatriate Mahoney’s remains, while the other two are in stable condition in hospital. One of them has an address in the nation’s north.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around