Category: U.S


Donald Trump easily won the Washington state primary on Tuesday, but his victory was overshadowed by violence outside a rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where protesters smashed windows and threw rocks at police.

With 73% of votes counted in Washington, Trump had won 76.2% of primary voters. John Kasich and Ted Cruz, both of whom have dropped out of the race, had won 9.9.% and 10.1% respectively.

Trump’s victory leaves him only needing a few dozen more delegates to reach the magic number of 1,237 required to cement the Republican nomination.

Outside Trump’s rally in Albuquerque, protests against the presumptive nominee turned nasty on Tuesday night, with protesters overturning crowd control barriers and throwing rocks at police.

There were early posts on social media reporting gunshots and tear gas, but the Albuquerque police department said those were inaccurate. Nonetheless, police horses were deployed to control the large crowd of protesters, and some reports showed pepper spray being used. The door to the convention centre where Trump was speaking was also smashed.

More than an hour after Trump had finished speaking and left for California, where he will campaign for the next few days in the run-up to the state’s 7 June primary, hundreds of protesters still thronged the streets, waving Mexican flags, lighting fires and chanting.

Trump is the only remaining candidate campaigning for the Republican nomination, but Kasich and Cruz were also on the ballot in Washington, having suspended their campaigns after the ballots were printed.

Dr Ben Carson was also on the ballot because he reportedly never officially submitted a withdrawal of his candidacy to the state.

The state delegation, which was selected on Saturday at the state convention in preparation for the primary, is composed almost entirely of supporters of Cruz, whose supporters overwhelmed the state convention in Pasco.

Despite this, the delegates are bound by state party rules to vote for Trump on the first ballot at the national convention, US senate candidate and former chairman of the Washington state Republican party Chris Vance, who was at the convention, told the Guardian.

However, with seven upcoming primaries, including New Jersey and California, Trump is expected to easily overtake the delegate mark needed to win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention in Cleveland in July, avoiding a contested convention.

In a strange quirk of party politics, the Democrats also held a presidential primary in Washington on Tuesday, but it didn’t matter in the slightest because the Democratic delegation from Washington was already settled by a caucus in March, at which Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton 73% to 27%.

Interestingly, in the Democratic primary – which was admittedly meaningless as it has no bearing on the number of delegates as opposed to the caucuses – Clinton won comfortably, 53.63% to 46.37%, implying that perhaps Democratic voters want the primary season to be, finally, over with.

Source: Protests at Donald Trump rally overshadow Washington primary win | US news | The Guardian

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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders cranked up his fight with party leaders on Sunday, backing a challenger to the Democratic National Committee’s chairwoman and accusing the party’s establishment of trying to anoint Hillary Clinton as the nominee for president.

In a series of television interviews, Sanders remained defiant despite what he acknowledged was an uphill fight to overtake front-runner Clinton.

Clinton has said she already considers herself the de facto nominee and is increasingly turning her attention to Donald Trump, saying on Sunday that the rhetoric of the presumptive Republican nominee was dangerous.

Sanders told ABC’s “This Week” program that Americans should not have to choose between “the lesser of two evils” in the Nov. 8 election.

Sanders said that if he won the White House, he would not reappoint U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC chairwoman. He also endorsed law professor Tim Canova, who is challenging the Florida congresswoman in the August Democratic primary.

“Do I think she is the kind of chair that the Democratic Party needs? No, I don’t,” Sanders told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“Frankly, what the Democratic Party is about is running around to rich people’s homes and raising obscene sums of money from wealthy people. What we need to do is to say to working-class people – we are on your side,” he said.

The defiant tone by Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, has worried some Democrats anxious to see Clinton begin to unify the party and turn her attention to an election showdown with Trump.

Clinton painted Trump as a risk of the sort voters had not seen before in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that aired on Sunday.

“I do not want Americans, and, you know, good-thinking Republicans, as well as Democrats and independents, to start to believe that this is a normal candidacy,” she said. “It isn’t.”

Trump has gained ground in opinion polls as Republicans begin to rally around his candidacy. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Sunday showed Trump with a 2-point lead over Clinton, within the margin of error. In early March, Clinton led Trump by 9 points in the same poll.

But Sanders has ignored growing Democratic calls to step aside and repeated his vow to stay in the race until the party’s July 25-28 nominating convention in Philadelphia despite Clinton’s nearly insurmountable lead in pledged convention delegates who will choose the nominee.

He said he wanted to do away with superdelegates – party leaders who are free to support any candidate. Their rush to back Clinton even before votes had been cast amounted to “an anointment process,” Sanders said.

Source: Sanders steps up feud with Democratic establishment | Reuters

Donald Trump has accused his Republican presidential nomination rival Ted Cruz’s father of helping in the assassination President John F Kennedy, prompting Cruz to call the billionaire “a pathological liar”.

Trump, who looks set to win the Indiana primary and solidify his lead despite having never held political office, was referring to a debunked story in The National Enquirer that claimed Rafael Cruz had associated with JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald before the November, 1963 killing.

The row with Cruz comes as Trump is predicted to win Tuesday’s Indiana poll, victory in which will mean the race is “over”, Trump himself has said.

In a campaign already defined by Trump’s absurd claims and accusations, this one triggered fury from the Cruz campaign, which condemned the story and the billionaire candidate with strong words.

The tabloid claimed it had analysed an photo of Oswald, taken months before he shot the president, and found another man in the photo, who was never identified, is Rafael Cruz.

Ted Cruz’s campaign has said the man in the picture is someone else.

A spokeswoman for his campaign told The Miami Herald: “It’s embarrassing that anyone would enable Trump to discuss this.

“It’s a garbage story and clearly Donald wants to talk about garbage. Ted Cruz will do what he’s been doing, talking about jobs, freedom, and security for the American people.”

In the contest for the most surreal theory about Cruz, this one is competing with claims he is the Zodiac Killer and claims he is a lizard in a human costume.

Source: Donald Trump Branded ‘Pathological Liar’ For Saying Ted Cruz’s Father Rafael Helped Assassinate JFK

Afeni Shakur, the former Black Panther who inspired the work of her son, rap icon Tupac Shakur, and fostered his legacy for decades after he was slain, has died of an apparent heart attack, authorities said Tuesday. She was 69.

Responding to a 911 call to Shakur’s home in Sausalito Monday night, deputies and firefighters performed CPR, rushed her to a hospital and tried to revive her for about an hour, but “she had in fact died from what is believed to be some kind of cardiac event,” Marin County Sheriff’s Lt. Doug Pittman said.

A statement from her family and the Tupac Shakur estate, Amaru Entertainment, mourned her loss.

 “Afeni embodied strength, resilience, wisdom and love. She was a pioneer for social change and was committed to building a more peaceful world,” it read in part. “Her spirit will forever inspire all of those who had the honor and privilege of knowing her.”

Born Alice Faye Williams, Shakur changed her name when she became politically active in the 1960s and joined the Black Panther movement. By 1971, she was pregnant and behind bars, accused of conspiring to bomb New York City landmarks.

She said the charges were brought after the Panthers took over a school to make a point about continuing to educate children during a teacher’s strike in 1968.

Recalling the case years later, she said they were accused of conspiring to commit murder and arson, to blow up the Bronx Botanical Garden and the Abercrombie & Fitch and Macy’s department stores, and even police stations. All the charges were ultimately dismissed, and her son was born soon after she left jail.

She named him Tupac Amaru, after the last Incan emperor, who led a rebellion and refused to surrender to Spanish conquistadors.

As Afeni Shakur bounced from New York City to Baltimore to California, she became addicted to drugs and struggled as a single mother. Still, she managed to enroll Tupac in arts schools and other programs where he honed the musical and acting skills that would make him a hip-hop icon.

“Arts can save children, no matter what’s going on in their homes,” she told The Associated Press in a 2005 interview. “I wasn’t available to do the right things for my son. If not for the arts, my child would’ve been lost.”

But Afeni Shakur left a deep impression on her son, helping to shape a world view that later made him stand out among other young rappers, with songs reflecting his own rebellious attitude toward racism, poverty, violence and other social problems.

Tupac, in turn, revered his mother, praising her in his 1995 elegy, “Dear Mama,” a hit song many fans recalled Tuesday in tweets and posts.

“You are appreciated,” he says, rapping about the sacrifices she made for him and his sister, Sekyiwa Shakur. “Ain’t a woman alive that could take my mama’s place.”

Tupac Shakur died in a still-unsolved drive-by shooting in 1996, at age 25. Conspiracies about his killers flourished. His mother considered them a waste of time.

“We decided to deal with the living. This is justice for me,” she said in 2005. “I need to do what God has put in front of me to do, and it ain’t trying to figure out who killed Tupac.”

For the last two decades of her life, Afeni Shakur focused on keeping her son’s legacy alive while managing his musical catalog.

She opened the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Georgia — a project focused on helping at-risk youth that is now defunct.

She also co-produced a Broadway musical, “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” that used his songs — including “Me Against the World,” ”California Love” and “Keep Ya Head Up” — to tell an original story by Todd Kreidler about two young men dealing with life and tragedy in a Midwestern industrial city. It closed quickly in 2014 after playing just 38 performances.

And she served as executive producer on a film about Tupac Shakur’s life, “All Eyez on Me,” which is set to be released in the fall with Demetrius Shipp Jr., playing her son.

Seven years ago, she donated a collection of her son’s writings, including rough drafts of lyrics and poems and a photocopy of his contract with Suge Knight and Death Row Records, to the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Atlanta University Center.

“We need to read history from the source,” she said. “It gives people the opportunity to judge him objectively. What we want to do is educate.”

Source: Dear Mama: Afeni Shakur, mother of rapper Tupac Shakur, dies

India and the United States are in talks to help each other track submarines in the Indian Ocean, military officials say, a move that could further tighten defence ties between New Delhi and Washington as China steps up its undersea activities.

Both the United States and India are growing concerned at the reach and ambition of the Chinese navy, which is taking an increasingly assertive stance in the South China Sea and is challenging India’s domination in the Indian Ocean.

New Delhi, shedding its decades-old reluctance to be drawn into America’s embrace, agreed last month to open up its military bases to the United States in exchange for access to weapons technology to help it narrow the gap with China.

The two sides also said their navies will hold talks on anti submarine warfare (ASW), an area of sensitive military technology and closely held tactics that only allies share.

“These types of basic engagements will be the building blocks for an enduring Navy-to-Navy relationship that we hope will grow over time into a shared ASW capability,” one U.S. official familiar with India-U.S. military cooperation said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Indian naval officials say Chinese submarines have been sighted on an average four times every three months. Some are seen near India’s Andamans and Nicobar islands that lie near the Malacca Straits, the entry to the South China Sea through which more than 80 percent of China’s fuel supplies pass.

India and the United States, which already conduct joint naval exercises, both fly the new version of the P-8 aircraft, making information sharing easier on highly sensitive submarine tracking activities.

The P-8 is Washington’s most advanced submarine hunting weapon, equipped with sensors that can track and identify submarines by sonar and other means.

Source: Wary of China’s Indian Ocean activities, U.S., India discuss anti-submarine warfare | Reuters

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