HONG KONG—Chester Yung and Isabella Steger report: A co-founder of the activist group at the center of threats to paralyze Hong Kong’s business district with anti-Beijing protests adopted a somber tone on Tuesday, saying its goal of securing a representative voting system in the city was “close to failure.”
“Our goal to achieve genuine universal suffrage in 2017 and a reform of the system is close to failure.”
— Chan Kin-man, one of Occupy Central’s co-founders
Chan Kin-man said some of its support is waning after Beijing’s decision on Sunday that effectively allows China to determine who can govern Hong Kong. The group had led a pro-democracy charge demanding popular input on candidates in Hong Kong’s next elections.
“Many people in Hong Kong are being pragmatic…We need to sustain our civil society.”
“Our goal to achieve genuine universal suffrage in 2017 and a reform of the system is close to failure,” said Mr. Chan. He said he only expects a few thousand people, below the number originally expected, to join planned sit-in protests.
- Pro-Democracy Update: Back to the Drawing Board for Hong Kong Election Reform?
- Beijing: China Legislature Rules No Open Nominations for Hong Kong Leader
- Pictures From Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Rally
- Hong Kong’s Hopes Crushed
- Beijing Gets Ugly in Hong Kong
Hamas vowed on Tuesday to step up its attacks on Israel, threatening that all Israelis have become a target for for the terror organization’s missiles.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of perpetrating “massacres” against women and children in Khan Yunis.
Referring to an Israel Air Force bombing of a house belonging to a Hamas operative, Abu Zuhri said: “The Khan Yunis massacre against women and children is an ugly war crime. All Israelis have now become legitimate targets.”
Ismail al-Ashqar, a Hamas legislator, said that his movement would continue the rocket attacks until Israel succumbs to its demand and lifts the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.
Hussam Badran, a top Hamas figure, said that Israel’s “dream” of eliminating the rockets would not be fulfilled.
“The occupation began this aggression and we have the right to defend ourselves,” he said. “This is a war against the whole Palestinian people.”
“This could be the last chance for the Palestinian Authority leadership to correct its stance and join the choice of the people, which is based on resistance,” Badran said. “This is the time for unity at the battleground.” Read the rest of this entry »
Hundreds of Arabs flocked to the Temple Mount on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the barrage of rockets upon Israel’s civilian population. The video, captioned in Arabic, reads “[c]elebrations at the Holy Al-Aqsa mosque after hearing the sounds of rockets explode in occupied Jerusalem.”
For second time on Tuesday evening, Gaza terrorists launch rocket at central Israel; air raid sirens sounds in central Israel, blasts heard in Tel Aviv; Tel Aviv opens public bomb shelters; no injuries reported.
For the second time on Tuesday evening, a rocket was launched at central Israel from the Gaza Strip. An Iron Dome battery intercepted a projectile over the greater Tel Aviv area. Sirens sounded in various cities in central Israel on Tuesday night and blasts were heard in Tel Aviv. The air raid siren was activated in cities including Rishon Lezion, Bat Yam, Holon and Bnei Barak, but not in Tel Aviv.
Earlier on Tuesday evening, the Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted a projectile near Tel Aviv over the city of Rishon Lezion, as air raid sirens sounded in central Israeli cities for the first time amid recent escalations. Read the rest of this entry »
For Breitbart.com, Matthew Boyle reports: Conservative election integrity organization True The Vote filed suit in federal court Tuesday against Mississippi’s Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and the Mississippi Republican Party, asking a judge for an immediate injunction against them so that the election material from the state’s June 24 GOP primary runoff can be inspected.
“What must withstand the test of time is the integrity of the process by which we elect our representatives and establish our government. No candidate or party should ever be allowed to twist election laws or subvert voters’ rights in the interest of political ambition.”
— True the Vote president Catherine Engelbrecht
The lawsuit comes as allegations that Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) campaign and his allies engaged in voter fraud to win last Tuesday’s runoff against conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Cochran bested McDaniel by fewer than 7,000 votes but did so with an overwhelming turnout from liberal Democrats in the black community.
“True the Vote has been inundated with reports from voters across Mississippi who are outraged to see the integrity of this election being undermined so that politicos can get back to business as usual. Enough is enough.”
“All we are asking is that the MS State Republican Party follow the law; allow their designated county representatives to inspect the poll books and ballots, give them the review time they are permitted by law, and allow them to uphold their responsibility to MS voters,” True the Vote president Catherine Engelbrecht said in a statement about the suit. “True the Vote has been inundated with reports from voters across Mississippi who are outraged to see the integrity of this election being undermined so that politicos can get back to business as usual. Enough is enough.”
True The Vote wants the federal judge to order the state party and Secretary of State’s office to allow independent verification of the election results to ensure there were no “illegal votes.” Such votes could come as fraudulently cast absentee ballots—the runoff saw a massive spike in absentees over the primary a few weeks earlier—or by Democrats who voted in the June 24 GOP primary runoff after having voted in the June 3 Democratic primary. Read the rest of this entry »
SEATAC, Wash. — A jet bridge dropped several feet Tuesday as passengers were exiting a Southwest Airlines flight at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, but no one was injured, officials said.
The end of the walkway, where it was attached to the plane, fell 6 to 8 feet. Some passengers were on the bridge at the time, but it was unclear how many, said airport spokesman Perry Cooper.
The cause of the drop was described as a mechanical failure. Thanks to a backup system — a large screw under the jetway that turns as it is raised or lowered — the bridge fell slowly, and those who were on it walked up to the gate, Cooper said.
About half of the passengers — 60 people — had exited the aircraft when the walkway fell. The rest left by a stairway brought to the other side of the plane. Read the rest of this entry »
At the time of Keith Crisco‘s death, the race was still too close to call
North Carolina businessman Keith Crisco, a Democrat who ran for Congress against former “American Idol” star Clay Aiken, was found dead at his home Monday, his company and campaign confirmed to Post Politics.
Asheboro Elastics Corp., the company Crisco co-founded, confirmed that he died on Monday. The Asheboro Courier-Tribune, which first reported the news, said details about Crisco’s death were incomplete but that early information was that he suffered injuries from a fall. An employee at Crisco’s company also said he suffered a fall, as did Crisco’s campaign.
Charles Krauthammer said the US Supreme Court’s 6-2 ruling on Tuesday that a lower court does not have the authority to set aside the law that bans the use of racial criteria in college admissions shows the court wants to preserve citizen’s rights to decide such things democratically.
“We leave the decision of affirmative action up to the people, which is exactly the way you want to do it in a diverse democracy with a troubled history.”
“The court said… ‘we’re not going to have nine rogues decide that this cannot be implemented.’ But what it implied was that it would allow people in a democracy to decide that,” he said.
The news helicopter had just stopped at a helipad to refuel on its way to another assignment when it crashed and burst into flames yards from the Space Needle in the heart of Seattle, killing the two men on board and seriously injuring a third man who was on fire when he escaped from his car.
It may be months before federal investigators know what caused the chopper to plummet at a busy intersection, setting three vehicles ablaze and spewing burning fuel down the street during the Tuesday morning commute.
“It was just a fireball. The whole thing burst into flames. I saw people running from their cars.”
The KOMO-TV flight was one of many helicopter flights that take off and land in Seattle’s downtown. Mayor Ed Murray said officials would review rules for helicopter pads in the city to determine if any changes need to be made.
House Republicans have been getting a weird email in recent weeks: a threat over the debt ceiling vote that’s been sent to the lawmakers’ closely guarded personal email addresses. “It’s got to be another member. Probably one of the crazy ones,” one GOP lawmaker said.
WASHINGTON — John Stanton reports: A group of House Republicans has received a mysterious threat in recent weeks: an anonymous email that promises political retribution for those who vote yes to a debt-limit increase — sent to their closely guarded personal email addresses.
Because of the near-secret nature of lawmakers’ internal email addresses, the emails have raised more than a few eyebrows — and the possibility that one of their own was behind, or at least assisting in the attacks.
The emails, circulated to lawmakers at the end of January and during their closed door retreat earlier this month, came as Republicans struggled to come up with a plan to extend the nation’s debt limit. Leadership threw in the towel Tuesday, opting to move a bill that simply raises the debt ceiling without other conditions. The bill passed Tuesday, with nearly every House Democrat and 28 Republicans voting for it.
“It’s got to be another member. Probably one of the crazy ones,” said a Republican who had seen the email, which was sent from an anonymous email address, email@example.com.
In the email, the lawmakers received a set of forwarded emails sent by “unrepresentative one” to Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford and Speaker John Boehner. The apparent message to GOP House members: If you vote for a debt-limit increase, an outside group mentioned in the email will mobilize against you.
Chinese authorities have uncovered a tunnel from the mainland to Hong Kong, apparently built by smugglers.
The tunnel, with concrete walls and interior lighting, started under a garage near the city of Shenzhen and stretched for 40m (130ft) under a river and into reed-beds in Hong Kong.
The authorities believe gangs intended to use it to import mobile phones and other electrical goods into Hong Kong.
The semi-autonomous zone has different tariffs to the mainland.
The smugglers could make huge profits by avoiding border fees and taxes.
M.K. Ham writes: It’s a misdemeanor charge, which seems like less than I’d imagine for cocaine:
Rep. Trey Radel, a Florida Republican elected in 2012, will be in court Wednesday on charges that he possessed cocaine.
Radel, 37, was charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday.
He faces a maximum of 180 days in jail, as well as a fine of up to $1,000. Several sources with direct knowledge say it was the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration who were involved in the charges.
I’m interested to see how liberals react to this story. They’re ostensibly anti-drug war and oh-so-nonchalant about drug use, but how to resist knocking a Republican? The go-to is usually to cry hypocrisy, but Radel is a co-sponsor of a bill to give judges discretion on mandatory minimums.
WASHINGTON—Carefully jotting down notes as the two sat in his small second-floor office on K Street, psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Eccleson patiently let President Barack Obama angrily voice his complaints and grievances about every single American in the nation, sources confirmed Tuesday.
While conceding that the president has “made some decent progress” over the course of several months of therapy, Eccleson told reporters that Obama still has many deep-seated issues with each of the 313 million members of the U.S. populace.
“This week we continued exploring Barack’s resentment about being constantly judged by others,” said Eccleson, noting the president’s reliance on unhealthy defense mechanisms to distance himself emotionally from the American public. “Again and again I hear things like, ‘No matter how hard I try, nothing is ever good enough for Seattle resident Bryan Harrison.’ But I keep stressing that, at the end of the day, Barack is a human being and can’t expect himself to be perfect.”
Taking Back the Joint
Much ink has been spilt in describing the precise nature of the soul-searching the GOP is undergoing in the wake of getting totally shellacked last Tuesday. There are a plethora of suggestions — of varying degrees of helpfulness — as to how the Republican party can re-brand and re-orient itself; ranging from capitulating on taxes to deciding that gay marriage isn’t a hill to die on. But there’s one easy ideological maneuver that Republicans could make that would simultaneously burnish their stance as the party of freedom and expand their base while alienating the president from his. It is a move that might also make one swing state a little easier to win in 2016. Congressional Republicans and conservative leaders could get on the weed bandwagon.
Now, the John Boehners and Mitch McConnells of the world may never win the loyalty of the Choom Gang contingent. But Republicans should rejoice with those who rejoiced when voters in Colorado and Washington passed sensible marijuana policy. Last Tuesday, both states passed ballot measures decriminalizing the recreational use of medical marijuana — and giving the GOP an early Christmas present.
Most of us are familiar with the arguments for and against marijuana legalization — it’s non-addictive and (mostly) harmless; it’s not as bad for you as alcohol; it’s a gateway drug; it funds violent drug cartels; it’s too expensive to be worth taxing; etc. etc. ad nauseam. It’s probably not helpful to rehash all those here. The short version is this: A lot of smart people think weed is the devil, and a lot of other smart people like to toke up on weekends because, come on man, it’s just a plant and it grows in the ground.
On Tuesday, the people of Washington State and Colorado sided with the latter. They aren’t the first to ditch the metaphorical Keep off the Grass signs. Medical marijuana is legal in California and Massachusetts, and the People’s Republic of Ann Arbor — Warning: This will not surprise you — has functionally decriminalized possession. This should hearten those fond of federalism. Remember, you don’t have to like THC to hate Washington, D.C. As a general rule, states’ assertion of autonomy is good news for friends of limited government, rendering the question not how conservatives should feel about marijuana decriminalization, but rather how they should respond to it.