Spokesman: Trump now believes President Obama was born in US
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s campaign spokesman says the Republican presidential candidate now believes President Barack Obama was born in the United States, despite the candidate’s repeated refusal to say so himself.
In a statement released late Thursday night, campaign spokesman Jason Miller claims Trump “did a great service to the country” by bringing closure to an “ugly incident” that Trump, in fact, fueled.
“In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate,” Miller said.
“Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised,” he added. “Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.”
Trump was, for many years, the most prominent proponent of the “birther” movement, which claimed Obama was born outside the U.S. and thus ineligible to be president — despite the fact that he was born in Hawaii.
Reflective Clinton returns to campaign trail after pneumonia
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Back on the campaign trail, a reflective Hillary Clinton said Thursday her three-day, doctor-mandated break gave her new perspective on why she’s running to be president. She vowed to close her campaign against Donald Trump by giving Americans “something to vote for, not just against.”
Clinton made no apologies for keeping her pneumonia diagnosis from the public until a video emerged showing her stumbling and being supported by aides. She also repeatedly sidestepped questions about when her running mate Tim Kaine was informed.
An upbeat Clinton walked onstage at a rally in North Carolina to James Brown’s song, “I Feel Good.” She said that while sitting at home this week was “pretty much the last place I wanted to be,” the time helped clarify how she wants to close her campaign against Trump.
“We’re offering ideas, not insults,” she said in a jab at her Republican rival. “A plan that will make a real difference in people’s lives, not prejudice and paranoia.”
The rally marked Clinton’s first public appearance since Sunday, when she abruptly left a 9/11 memorial service after getting dizzy and dehydrated. She had been diagnosed with pneumonia Friday, but the campaign informed the public only after the video of an ill Clinton emerged.
10 Things to Know for Friday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:
1. CLINTON RETURNS TO CAMPAIGN TRAIL CLAIMING FRESH PERSPECTIVE
The Democratic candidate says her doctor-mandated break gave her new perspective on why she’s running and vowed to give Americans “something to vote for, not just against.”
2. WHAT ECONOMISTS SAY ABOUT TRUMP’S PROPOSALS
Trump’s plans depend on overcoming forces in the economy, such as rising automation, an aging population and low-wage competition overseas, that have led even conservative economists to call 4 percent growth an improbable goal.
Syrian military begins to withdraw from vital Aleppo road
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s military began withdrawing from a major artery to Aleppo late Thursday as the U.N. envoy accused President Bashar Assad’s government of obstructing aid access to the contested city.
A monitoring group reported three civilian fatalities, the first since the U.S.-Russian-brokered cease-fire took effect three days ago.
Meanwhile, Russia was expected to deploy its forces along Aleppo’s Castello Road to ensure safe passage for humanitarian convoys to the city’s opposition-held quarters. It would be the most overt participation by Russian ground forces in the Syrian war, underscoring Moscow’s position as power broker in the conflict. Russia intervened with its air force on the side of the Assad government last year, turning the tide of the war in his favor.
As part of the truce deal, the rebels and the Syrian government are supposed to agree to the deployment of a security force to protect checkpoints along the route to Aleppo to ensure aid delivery to the city’s opposition sector, which has been besieged by Russian-backed government forces since July. The U.N. estimates about a quarter million people are trapped inside.
However, the U.N. envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said despite the dramatic drop in violence since the cease-fire took effect on Monday, the humanitarian aid flow that was supposed to follow had not materialized.
Deutsche Bank: No plan to pay $14B Justice Dept. settlement
Deutsche Bank AG said Friday it does not intend to pay $14 billion to settle civil claims with the U.S. Department of Justice for its handling of residential mortgage-backed securities and related transactions.
The bank confirmed in a statement that the Justice Department had proposed a settlement of $14 billion and asked the German bank to make a counter proposal.
“Deutsche Bank has no intent to settle these potential civil claims anywhere near the number cited. The negotiations are only just beginning. The bank expects that they will lead to an outcome similar to those of peer banks which have settled at materially lower amounts,” the Frankfurt, Germany-based lender said.
Deutsche Bank is among many financial institutions investigated over dealings in shoddy mortgages in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. The government has accused the banks of misleading investors about the quality of their loans.
Earlier this year, the Justice Department announced a roughly $5 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs over the sale of mortgage-backed securities. Other banks that settled in the last two years include Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Congressional report slams NSA leaker Edward Snowden
WASHINGTON (AP) — A House intelligence committee report issued Thursday condemned Edward Snowden, saying the National Security Agency leaker is not a whistleblower and that the vast majority of the documents he stole were defense secrets that had nothing to do with privacy.
The Republican-led committee released a three-page unclassified summary of its two-year bipartisan examination of how Snowden was able to remove more than 1.5 million classified documents from secure NSA networks, what the documents contained and the damage their removal caused to U.S. national security.
Snowden was an NSA contract employee when he took the documents and leaked them to journalists who revealed massive domestic surveillance programs begun in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The programs collected the telephone metadata records of millions of Americans and examined emails from overseas. Snowden fled to Hong Kong, then Russia, to avoid prosecution and now wants a presidential pardon as a whistleblower.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the committee, said Snowden betrayed his colleagues and his country.
“He put our service members and the American people at risk after perceived slights by his superiors,” Nunes said in a statement. “In light of his long list of exaggerations and outright fabrications detailed in this report, no one should take him at his word. I look forward to his eventual return to the United States, where he will face justice for his damaging crimes.”
Witness says Philippine president ordered killings
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A former Filipino militiaman testified before the country’s Senate on Thursday that President Rodrigo Duterte, when he was still a city mayor, ordered him and other members of a liquidation squad to kill criminals and opponents in gangland-style assaults that left about 1,000 dead.
Edgar Matobato, 57, told the nationally televised Senate committee hearing that he heard Duterte order some of the killings, and acknowledged that he himself carried out about 50 deadly assaults as an assassin, including a suspected kidnapper fed to a crocodile in 2007 in southern Davao del Sur province.
Rights groups have long accused Duterte of involvement in death squads, claims he has denied, even while engaging in tough talk in which he stated his approach to criminals was to “kill them all.” Matobato is the first person to admit any role in such killings, and to directly implicate Duterte under oath in a public hearing.
Human Rights Watch urged the Philippine government to order an independent investigation into the “very serious allegations” of direct involvement by Duterte “in extrajudicial killings.”
Brad Adams, the rights group’s Asia director, said: “President Duterte can’t be expected to investigate himself, so it is crucial that the United Nations is called in to lead such an effort. Otherwise, Filipinos may never know if the president was directly responsible for extrajudicial killings.”
13-year-old with BB gun killed by police in Columbus, Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A black boy. A white Ohio police officer. A pellet gun that looked like a real weapon. And a deadly shooting.
In a killing with unavoidable echoes of the Tamir Rice case out of Cleveland, a Columbus officer responding to a report of a $10 armed robbery shot a 13-year-old boy Wednesday night after the youngster pulled a BB gun from his waistband that looked “practically identical” to the weapon police use, authorities say.
On the morning after Tyre King’s death, Mayor Andrew Ginther appeared to choke up as he called for the community to come together and questioned why an eighth-grader would have a replica of a police firearm.
“There is something wrong in this country, and it is bringing its epidemic to our city streets,” Ginther said Thursday. “And a 13-year-old is dead in the city of Columbus because of our obsession with guns and violence.”
While the case is still under investigation, police and city authorities rejected comparisons to the 2014 killing of 12-year-old Tamir in Cleveland.
Police: Man with meat cleaver attacks officer, gets shot
NEW YORK (AP) — Police chased a man wielding a meat cleaver through midtown Manhattan Thursday, then shot him on a crowded street after he hacked the face of an off-duty police detective who tried to tackle him, authorities said.
The man with the knife was shot at least twice and was hospitalized in critical but stable condition, police said. The detective, who had been heading home in street clothes when he intervened in the chase, was being treated at the hospital for a six-inch gash from his temple to his jaw.
“I want to commend them on their bravery,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said of the officers involved.
Police fired 18 shots at the man, but Bratton, who is retiring Friday, said he believed officers acted appropriately.
“We have a character running down the street, waving a cleaver,” he said.
US regulators: Official recall of 1M Samsung Note 7 phones
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — U.S. safety regulators announced a formal recall of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone Thursday after a spate of fires led to injuries and property damage — along with a global marketing headache for the South Korean tech giant.
“Because this product presents such a serious fire hazard, I am urging all consumers … to take advantage of this recall right away,” said Elliot Kaye, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Samsung had already initiated a voluntary recall, but the company has been criticized for not offering clear information about the problem or how it would be resolved. While speaking with reporters, Kaye appeared to blast Samsung for not coordinating with his agency.
“As a general matter it’s not a recipe for a successful recall for a company to go out on its own,” he said, adding that anyone who believes a unilateral effort would be sufficient “needs to have more than their phone checked.”
Samsung has said the problem involves about 2.5 million smartphones worldwide; authorities say that includes about 1 million in the United States. While the company was previously offering to replace the phones, it will now offer consumers the choice of a replacement or a full refund.