Now Playing
Y100 FM
On Air
No Program
Now Playing
Y100 FM

national govt & politics

200 items
Results 1 - 10 of 200 next >

Trump doesn't hold Ramadan dinner, breaking White House tradition

President Donald Trump did not hold a White House dinner to mark the end of Ramadan, breaking an annual tradition dating back to President Bill Clinton's administration.

>> Read more trending news

CNN reported that Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama held yearly iftar dinners celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Additionally, President Thomas Jefferson in 1805 made sure a formal White House dinner attended by Tunisian envoy Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, who observed Ramadan, occurred "precisely at sunset" instead of the usual 3:30 p.m., according to the Washington Post.

>> 5 things you should know about Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting

Trump and first lady Melania Trump issued the following statement Saturday:

>> Muslims in America, by the numbers

"On behalf of the American people, Melania and I send our warm greetings to Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

"Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity. Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbors and breaking bread with people from all walks of life.

"During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values. Eid Mubarak."

CNN, citing two unnamed administration officials, also reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson turned down "a request by the State Department's Office of Religion and Global Affairs to host a reception marking Eid al-Fitr." The department had held iftar dinners or Eid al-Fitr receptions since 1999, according to CNN.

Read more here or here.

U.S. suspends Brazilian beef imports over safety concerns

All imports of fresh beef from Brazil have been halted because of recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said Thursday.

The suspension of shipments will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which the USDA finds satisfactory.

The action comes three months after a major scandal erupted in Brazil over allegedly corrupt inspectors at slaughter and processing facilities. Brazilian officials said then that meat companies paid inspectors to overlook violations and certify tainted or rotten meat or not make inspections at all.

>> Read more trending news

However, before the crackdown, rotten meat was distributed in Brazil and exported to Europe.

Since March, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has been inspecting 100 percent of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil. FSIS has refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products.

That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of one percent of shipments from the rest of the world. Since the implementation of the increased inspection, FSIS has refused entry to 106 lots (approximately 1.9 million pounds) of Brazilian beef products due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions, and animal health issues. It is important to note that none of the rejected lots made it into the U.S. market.

The Brazilian government had pledged to address those concerns, including by self-suspending five facilities from shipping beef to the United States. Today’s action to suspend all fresh beef shipments from Brazil supersedes the self-suspension.

Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:

“Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is one of our critical missions, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness. Although international trade is an important part of what we do at USDA, and Brazil has long been one of our partners, my first priority is to protect American consumers. That’s what we’ve done by halting the import of Brazilian fresh beef. I commend the work of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service for painstakingly safeguarding the food we serve our families.”

>> Read the full news release here

The U.S. is not a major importer of beef from Brazil because the U.S. produces more beef and veal than Brazil does. This year, U.S. beef and veal production are expected to grow 5 percent to more than 12 million tons, reaching a nine-year high, according to USDA reports.

In 2016, the U.S. exported $6.3 billion in beef and beef products globally. The major importers of beef to the U.S. are Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, with Brazil ranking fifth.

In May, Brazil re-opened its doors to U.S. fresh beef exports after a 13-year hiatus, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service reported.

In 2003, Brazil closed its market fresh beef imports from the U.S. over concerns about bone spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Farmers Union applauded the decision to suspend the importation of Brazilian beef and said it has long had concerns about the importation of fresh beef from Brazil.

“Since the 2015 repeal of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), food safety scandals can undermine consumer confidence in the entire beef industry, harming American producers’ bottom line. This incident underscores the importance of COOL to protect American beef producers and consumers alike,” NFU officials said in a statement.

Monday, several cattle-ranching groups sued the USDA in Spokane, asking that it overturn its decision to not require country-of-origin labeling on meat imports. Without the labeling, imported meat can be sold as a U.S. product.

Teens selling water on National Mall handcuffed by police

U.S. Park Police are facing criticism for handcuffing three teenagers who were selling water Thursday on the National Mall.

Officials said police were just doing their job, as the teenagers were vending in a prohibited area, WUSA9 reported.

>> Read more trending news

Bystander Tim Krepp took a photo of the incident, and told WUSA9 that he thought the officers went too far in handcuffing the teenagers. The image quickly went viral on social media.

The teens were given a verbal warning and released to their guardians, WUSA9 reported. 

Obama denounces 'fundamental meanness' of Senate GOP health care bill

Former President Barack Obama criticized a Republican Senate bill proposed Thursday that would repeal and replace parts of his signature Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, calling the measure bad for Americans and saying that it has “fundamental meanness” at its core.

>> Read more trending news

“Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm,” Obama wrote Thursday in a lengthy Facebook post. “It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it.”

Senate GOP leaders unveiled the 142-page proposed ACA replacement Thursday. It would repeal the ACA’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance, make deep cuts to Medicaid and withhold federal funding to Planned Parenthood for a year.

“The Senate bill … is not a health care bill,” Obama wrote. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. 

“It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.”

He acknowledged that Republicans have long promised to repeal the ACA, but urged lawmakers to put aside partisan politics while working to address America’s health care system.

>> Related: Senate health care bill: What is in it? Read it here

“I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake and consider that the rationale for action, on healthcare or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did,” he wrote.

As he has multiple times since the ACA’s passage in 2010, Obama conceded that the bill was less than perfect and vowed to support any Republican-backed bill that “is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost.”

“I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse,” he wrote.

He called on citizens to pressure lawmakers into working with each other by calling and visiting members of Congress and sharing their stories about how the proposed bill will affect them.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said he hopes to bring the GOP bill to a vote before Congress breaks for its Fourth of July recess.

Trump doesn't have Comey tapes

After President Donald Trump first hinted that he might have recordings of his private conversations with fired FBI director James Comey, he admitted Thursday on Twitter that he had no such tapes.

>> Read more trending news

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea ... whether there are 'tapes' or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” he wrote.

The news was first reported by Bloomberg News.

Georgia congressional candidates Ossoff, Handel slam ad that ties Dems to Scalise shooting

Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel strongly condemned an attack ad that surfaced Sunday accusing the “unhinged left” of endorsing violence against Republicans days before the nationally watched race to represent Georgia’s 6th District is decided.

>> For the latest coverage, head to AJC.com, WSBTV.com or WSBRadio.com

The ad, funded by a little-known group called the Principled PAC, opens with sounds of gunshots and footage of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise being wheeled away on a stretcher after he and other members of the Republican congressional baseball team were ambushed by a lone gunman while practicing in a Washington suburb.

>> Jon Ossoff vs. Karen Handel: Why this congressional race in Georgia matters

“The man is fighting for his life,” Ossoff said Sunday after a campaign stop. “I think it’s disgraceful to politicize it, and I think Secretary Handel should call for it to come down.”

>> Who is Karen Handel?

A spokeswoman for Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, called the video “disturbing and disgusting” in a statement that stopped short of asking for the ad to be removed.

>> Who is Jon Ossoff?

“For any group to use the shootings this week for political or personal benefit is shameful,” said Kate Constantini. “This group should be ashamed.”

>> Click here to watch the TV spot

The ad urges Republicans to “stop” Ossoff and claims that the “unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans.”

“When will it stop?” a narrator asks. “It won’t if Jon Ossoff wins on Tuesday, because the same unhinged leftists cheering last week’s shooting are all backing Jon Ossoff. And if he wins, they win.”

MORE COVERAGE FROM THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION:

>> When your own rhetoric gives you license to commit mayhem. And worse

>> National Democrats, Republicans both see 6th District as a must-win

>> Jon Ossoff: The making of a Georgia Democratic dynamo

>> Karen Handel: A ‘fighter’ returns to the political arena

>> First-timers get involved in 6th District get-out-the-vote effort

>> Exhausted 6th District voters prepare for vote

>> Trump robocall slams ‘tax-raising’ Ossoff in Georgia 6th race

>> Georgia 6th District: AJC poll shows Ossoff with lead over Handel

Both candidates have called for more civility after the ballfield shootings in the race to represent Georgia’s 6th District, a suburban stretch of north Atlanta that both parties consider crucial to win. It’s by far the most expensive U.S. House contest in history, and President Donald Trump and other White House officials have stumped for the Republican.

>> On WSBTV.com: 6th District Poll: Race between Karen Handel, Jon Ossoff tighter than ever

After Scalise’s shooting, the tensions in the race ratcheted up even more. Handel and several neighbors received threatening letters with a white substance the FBI later said was likely not hazardous. Ossoff said he had to hire a security detail amid escalating threats his campaign had received.

The PAC’s ad flashes a screenshot of the letter sent to Handel, as well as the image of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a decapitated head that resembles Donald Trump.

>> Read more trending news

Principled PAC bills itself as a group that only supports “principled conservatives who have the backbone to stand up to the Washington elite,” but is a bit player in the political world and has faced staunch criticism from conservative leaders. Its five-figure ad buy pales in comparison to the millions pumped into the race by influential groups from both sides of the partisan divide.

Ossoff was asked whether he’s worried if these ads might sway voters.

“I can’t even think about the politics of it. You’ve got a national tragedy that’s united people,” he said. “There are still people who are in critical condition. It’s got no place in an attack ad.”

Researchers: Millions of detailed voter records found unprotected on the internet

The personal information of nearly all of America’s 200 million registered voters was left unprotected in an online database discovered last week by a cybersecurity firm in what the company described as the “largest known data exposure of its kind.”

>> Read more trending news

The database, owned by Republican data firm Deep Root Analytics, included names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, voter registration details and “data described as ‘modeled’ voter ethnicities and religions,” according to UpGuard, the firm that uncovered the information.

“Along with home addresses, birth dates and phone numbers, the records include advanced sentiment analyses used by political groups to predict where individual voters fall on hot-button issues such as gun ownership, stem cell research and the right to abortion, as well as suspected religious affiliation and ethnicity,” reported Gizmodo, which also reviewed the data.

In all, it encompassed 1.1 terabytes of information covering 198 million potential voters.

"With this data, you can target neighborhoods, individuals, people of all sorts of persuasions," Chris Vickery, the UpGuard cyber risk researcher who discovered the database, told The Washington Post. "I could give you the home address of every person the RNC believes voted for Trump."

Vickery found the database while searching for vulnerable data sources online as part of his job. It was not clear whether anyone other than Vickery downloaded the information, or how long it was online and unprotected.

"What is alarming about this now is that I believe it's the first time RNC IDs and model data have been exposed," veteran GOP political data strategist Matt Oszcowski told The Post. "This is not just a list of people; this is unique proprietary information which gives away (Republican) strategy and informs on targeting and methodology."

In a statement released to Gizmodo, Deep Root founder Alex Lundry said the company took responsibility for the mistake and said it happened when the company updated its security settings on June 1. Vickery found the information on June 12.

“Since this event has come to our attention, we have updated the access settings and put protocols in place to prevent further access,” Lundry told Gizmodo. “Based on the information we have gathered thus far, we do not believe that our systems have been hacked.”

Read more on UpGuard.com

Mike Pence got a puppy for Father's Day; meet Harley

Vice President Mike Pence got quite the Father’s Day surprise this weekend.

The second lady and daughters presented the vice president with a puppy named Harley.

>> Read more trending news

The family also adopted a gray tabby kitten named Hazel. The Pences spent the weekend in Indianapolis and brought their new pets to Washington, D.C. for the first time when the family returned to the vice president’s residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory.

In a post on Instagram, second daughter Charlotte Pence noted that the addition of Hazel and Harley comes in the wake of the family’s recent loss of their cat, Oreo.

“(And) with loss, comes new life,” she wrote. “Welcome to our family, Harley and Hazel! And happy Father's Day to the best dad, who deserves a surprise puppy and so much more.”

Harley and Hazel join the Pences’ other cat, Pickle; a rabbit, Marlon Bundo; and the recent addition of a beehive at the Naval Observatory.

President Donald Trump’s family has yet to add a pet to the mix. There was some talk in December that he may adopt a dog owned by Palm Beacher Lois Pope, but Pope said in March that since she did not hear back from Trump after their Thanksgiving discussion, she has grown attached to the dog.

Caitlyn Jenner on GOP baseball shooting: 'Liberals can't even shoot straight'

Reality TV star and former athlete Caitlyn Jenner spoke to the College Republican National Committee's conference last week – and a comment she made about the recent shooting at a GOP congressional baseball practice is raising eyebrows.

>> Click here to watch

Jenner was asked about the shooting, which wounded members of Congress and Capitol Police officers.

“Nobody deserves what happened out there; there’s no justification,” she said, according to People magazine.

>> PHOTOS: Congressional baseball practice shooting

"It’s happened then and it will happen again, unfortunately,” she added, blaming “crazy people.”

“Fortunately, the guy was a really bad shot. Yeah, liberals can’t even shoot straight,” she said, mocking James Hodgkinson, the Bernie Sanders supporter who police say opened fire on the baseball practice.

>> Who is James T. Hodgkinson, identified as GOP baseball practice shooter?

The audience erupted in applause and cheers in a video posted to the College Republican Federation of Virginia's Facebook page. That video appears to have been deleted but later appeared on YouTube.

>> Read more trending news

She went on to answer questions about being transgender, being Republican, supporting President Donald Trump, whether she shops at Nordstrom and her work attempting to build bridges between transgender Americans and the Republican Party.

Read more here.

Former GOP county leader in Georgia gets life sentence for child molestation

Former Cobb County, Georgia, Republican Party leader Joseph Dendy was given a life sentence after pleading guilty Friday to sexually abusing children.

Dendy, 72, must serve 30 years of that sentence in prison.

Dendy admitted that he had committed repeated sexual offenses against two boys, according to a statement from Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds. The crimes occurred between 2004 and 2011 at Dendy’s home, his church, and in a store dressing room, the statement said. 

>> Read more trending news

One victim, now an adult, told the court that he has nightmares of the abuse and became a military police officer to help other victims.

“I’m stronger than you,” he told Dendy. 

Dendy served four years as chair of the Cobb County GOP. His second, two-year term ended in 2015.

The defendant’s guilty plea came as a surprise during what was to be a pretrial hearing. Prosecutors were expected to call several additional witnesses who said they had also been abused. 

Dendy was able to hide behind his "public persona as a prominent community leader," weaving a "path of destruction through his family for decades,” prosecutor Susan Treadaway was quoted saying in the statement. “That ends today.”

Cobb Superior Court Judge Kimberly Childs presided over the case. 

Dendy’s attorney, Brian Steel, did not return a message left at his office. 

Dendy has been in custody since his arrest in May 2016

200 items
Results 1 - 10 of 200 next >