Browsing articles in "News from US"

Chaledean Christians, Who Helped Bring Trump Victory, Now Face Deportation

Jul 24, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Chaledean Christians, Who Helped Bring Trump Victory, Now Face Deportation

Support from Iraqi Christians helped deliver Donald Trump Michigan. Now some of their friends and family are facing deportation. Host Michel Martin talks to Michigan State Representative Klint Kesto.

Words You’ll Hear: ‘Collusion’

Jul 24, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Words You’ll Hear: ‘Collusion’

Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort agreed to meet privately with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Michel Martin talks to NPR Politics’ Geoff Bennett.

Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Detroit’ Revisits An American Tragedy: The Algiers Motel Incident

Jul 23, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Detroit’ Revisits An American Tragedy: The Algiers Motel Incident

Bigelow’s new film, Detroit, depicts the beginning of the Detroit riots and one of their most horrifying events.

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Bigelow’s new film, Detroit, depicts the beginning of the Detroit riots and one of their most horrifying events.

Francois Duhamel/Annapurna Pictures

The Detroit riots began 50 years ago Sunday, after a police raid on an unlicensed, after-hours club. They lasted five days, and by the time they stopped, 43 people were dead, hundreds were injured, thousands had been arrested and entire neighborhoods had burned to the ground.

The new film Detroit depicts the beginning of the riots and one of their most horrifying events: the Algiers Motel incident, in which three young black men were killed (some would say executed) by white police officers.

Kathryn Bigelow also directed 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. She’s pictured here at that film’s 2012 premiere.

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Kathryn Bigelow also directed 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. She’s pictured here at that film’s 2012 premiere.

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow directed Detroit. She says at first the film introduces a lot of characters, “and little by little it winnows down to a particular character played by Algee Smith: Larry Reed. And the tragedy of these events unfold with him, and it’s a very emotional roller coaster ride that you take with this character.” (Reed is based on an up-and-coming Motown singer, also named Larry Reed, who survived the carnage.)

Actor Algee Smith is from Saginaw, Mich., not far from Detroit. He says he didn’t know about the riots when he was growing up, and learning about what happened, “changes a lot.”

“I would say it puts more fuel to the fire of my personal mission as a human being to do something about it, and as a black man to do something about it. “

Interview Highlights

On what drew Bigelow to the Algiers Motel story

Bigelow: I think predominantly it was an opportunity to telescope this giant canvas of the uprisings down to a particular crime event that [was] first presented to me … right around the Ferguson, Mo., incident. And so I was kind of really emotionally moved by that. And felt that this story was an American tragedy that was important enough to be told.

Algee Smith also appears in BET’s The New Edition Story. He’s pictured here at the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour.

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Algee Smith also appears in BET’s The New Edition Story. He’s pictured here at the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

On what drew Smith to Detroit

Smith: First of all, it was just Kathryn’s name alone and the brilliance and the professionalism that came with that. When I first went to the audition, we didn’t have the official script that we were reading — but it was the essence of those lines that me and [casting director] Vicky Thomas were going back and forth with, and I think from that day I was just drawn to the whole project.

On how Smith approached the character of Larry Reed

Smith: I was trying not to think a lot, and I feel like that’s what helped. Kathryn specifically put us in a place where we were unprepared, and I feel like that helped us give authentic reactions in those scenes and not think about it too much. … When we got there and we knew what we were doing that day, then I just tried to sit in that feeling.

On whether Smith was able to put himself in Reed’s shoes

Smith: With all due respect to Larry, I don’t think I can put myself in that place. That’s a place where no human being would want to put themselves in. I tried to get as close as I could on set … just to try to get a glimpse of what he was actually maybe feeling. But I could never feel that way.

On the effect Bigelow hopes the film will have

Bigelow And Boal, Dramatizing The Hunt For Bin Laden

5 Films Look At The Los Angeles  Riots From (Almost) Every Angle

Bigelow: These events seem to recur — this is a situation that was 50 years ago, yet it feels very much like it’s today. And I think, you know, you look at South Africa, where there’s truth and reconciliation, and here I feel like there’s not enough conversation about race. And so I think the film has the potential to provide an opportunity to engage in that dialogue. … I can only hope that there’s an urgency and a necessity for it. … There’s no other way for a healing process to begin. …

The world has kind of handed me a kind of microphone, not unlike yourself, and I feel like there’s a responsibility that comes with that. … And if I can somehow use this medium, the medium of film, to propel a conversation forward — you know, the purpose of art is to agitate for change. I’ve always believed that and I still do.

Denise Guerra, Dustin DeSoto and Stacey Samuel produced and edited this interview for broadcast, and Nicole Cohen adapted it for the Web.

Before ‘The Blind Pig’ Raid, What Sparked The Detroit Uprising

Jul 23, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Before ‘The Blind Pig’ Raid, What Sparked The Detroit Uprising



MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This weekend marks 50 years since the start of what many people here prefer to call the uprising. It started when a police raid on a party at an unlicensed after-hours club called The Blind Pig set off fires, looting and other chaos that went on for five days. This weekend, we’ll be talking about those events and the state of the motor city these 50 years later. We thought we’d start by hearing from someone who’s been here for all of it, Congressman John Conyers. He represents Michigan’s 13th congressional district.

Fifty years ago, he found himself addressing crowds of angry protesters who started gathering in the early morning hours of July 23, 1967. He’s currently Congress’s longest serving member, making him the dean of the House of Representatives. And he’s with us now from his office. Congressman, thank you so much for speaking with us.

JOHN CONYERS: What a pleasure to talk with you.

MARTIN: And I just have to acknowledge that we’re only going to be able to scratch the surface of what had to have been such a momentous occasion in your life and in the life of your city. So just having said that, can we go back to that day? I understand that you were home. It was 9 a.m. And the deputy police chief called you and asked you to come down to 12th and Claremont, where people were already gathering. Can you just take us back to that moment and just ask you, what was it like for you?

CONYERS: I can never forget the fact that Lyndon Johnson, then the president of the United States, called me at my home to verify that this was as bad as he had been advised that it was. There were tanks coming in, paratroopers sent by the president himself. The governor at that time, George Romney, ordered 8,000 National Guardsmen to do active duty. And the police officers – the state police officers were sent in, some 800 or more of them. It was just unbelievable. It was a total breakdown of a civil city.

MARTIN: Yeah, I was going to ask you about that. What do you think it – I mean, the spark was the raid on The Blind Pig, but you have said many times since then that, you know, that was just the spark that set it off. What, in your view, is really why? What is the real why of it in your opinion?

CONYERS: The underlying cause was the racism and segregation that permeated everything that we did, where we lived, where we were – how you were treated, especially by the police.

MARTIN: Do you think it made your job harder or easier? And the reason I ask that is you were only in your second term in Congress. And, you know, you were trying to – I mean, you were one of the founders of the Black Caucus. I mean, you were trying to get people to pay attention to a lot of these issues. On the one hand, you certainly got the world’s attention. On the other hand, some people think it ignited this kind of backlash of, you know, racial paranoia and even more kind of resentment and desire to keep black people out of certain places. So what do you think?

CONYERS: Well, I would like to think that it made it more challenging. But fortunately, we were able to bring together a number of organizations that were helpful. And we began to systematically examine these causes of discriminatory action on the part not only of the police, whose brutality is – was unspeakable at that time, but other obvious discrimination in terms of where you lived or where you worked and how your conduct was monitored by police all around you. It just created this explosion of anger that had built up and could not be contained. And that ran for the course of five days and cost 43 people their lives.

MARTIN: There are some who say that African-American Detroiters are in some ways worse off than they were 50 years ago. What do you think about that?

CONYERS: Well, no. I invite anybody that feels that might be the case to come out and visit us. I think without doubt we’re better off. And I’m not saying that everything is OK now and that this is all past, but I don’t think that this could happen or would happen again because we have so many outlets. We have nine council members. But at that time, there were only two of color in the city of Detroit. But today, 7 of the 9 members of the Detroit Council are people of color. So I think this was a wake-up call to America, as well as Detroit and Michigan.

MARTIN: That’s Congressman John Conyers of Michigan. He is currently Congress’s longest serving member. He’s the dean of the House of Representatives. And he was kind enough to join us from his office. Congressman Conyers, thank you so much for speaking with us.

CONYERS: It’s a pleasure, Ms. Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SMOKEY ROBINSON’S “CRUISIN”)

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Minneapolis Police Chief Resigns After Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting

Jul 22, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Minneapolis Police Chief Resigns After Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting

NPR’s Audie Cornish talks to Andy Mannix, a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, about the fatal police shooting in Minneapolis last week that resulted in the death of Justine Ruszczyk.

‘Spicey Out!’ 9 Highlights From Sean Spicer’s Combative Tenure

Jul 22, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on ‘Spicey Out!’ 9 Highlights From Sean Spicer’s Combative Tenure

White House press secretary Sean Spicer spoke during a news briefing in June.

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White House press secretary Sean Spicer spoke during a news briefing in June.

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From his first official briefing, it was clear that Sean Spicer was going to be a different kind of White House press secretary.

Rather than trying to build a rapport with journalists — as his predecessors working for presidents from both parties had done — Spicer came out swinging, setting the tone for an administration that has frequently seemed to be at war with the media.

It’s been a tumultuous tenure, with Spicer seemingly barricaded at the lectern firing salvos at the press corps. The dialectic was so tense that it inspired a recurring parody on Saturday Night Live.

Here are some memorable moments of Spicer’s six-month tenure:

1. Day 2 — “The largest audience to ever witness an inauguration”

“Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power … some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting,” Spicer said, angrily reading from his notes.

He boasted, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.”

He went on to say that photographs of the inauguration had been “framed” to “minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall.”

2. Alternative facts

Spicer didn’t coin the phrase “alternative facts.” That was Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway.

But Spicer gave us this Orwellian moment involving “facts.”

“I believe that we have to be honest with the American people,” Spicer said, “but I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts.”

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “fact” as: “A thing that is known or proved to be true.”

So, no, you can’t disagree with them.

3. When a spokesman doesn’t speak for a president

There were statements that would seem otherworldly — coming out of any other White House.

“I think the president’s tweets speak for themselves,” became a common Spicer refrain every time the president tweeted something controversial.

4. Tongue-tied: From Martin Luther King Jr. to Hitler

Spicer had the occasional outright gaffe.

He insisted, for example, that President Trump had “sat down with Martin Luther King Jr.”

He meant to say he had met with Martin Luther King III, the slain civil rights leader’s eldest son.

Spicer stated confidently (and incorrectly) that even Hitler (unlike Syrian President Bashar Assad) did not “sink to using chemical weapons.”

Responding to a reporter, who questioned Spicer on that point, the president’s press secretary clarified:

“I understand your point. Thank you. I appreciate that. He brought them into the Holocaust centers, I understand that. I was saying in the way that Assad used them where he went into town, dropped them into the middle of town. I appreciate the clarification. That was not the intent.”

Holocaust centers? Whoops.

As polls showed that a majority of Americans wanted the president to release his tax returns, Spicer let fly what sounded like a Freudian slip: “I think there’s a huge appetite for tax return,” he said, quickly recovering with the words “tax reform.”

5. Russian salad dressing that led to that head-shake comment

There were analogies gone wrong. In March, he showed exasperation with the media’s seeming obsession with the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.

“If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight,” he said, “somehow that’s a Russian connection.”

The question was from reporter April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks. She wasn’t buying it, which didn’t sit well with Spicer.

“You’re shaking your head,” he said. “I appreciate it. But, but …”

That didn’t go down well. The backlash was swift. The next day, Spicer tried to make it up to Ryan giving her the first question at the briefing and beginning with this oh-so-sweet opening.

“April,” Spicer began.

“Why, thank you, Sean,” Ryan responded.

“How are you today?”

“I’m fine, and how are you?”

“Fantastic.”

6. When a ban is not a ban or is it?

Spicer also showed some confusion about his boss’s evolving positions, especially on that travel ban.

“It’s not a ban,” Spicer thundered. “It’s not a Muslim ban.”

The “extreme vetting” measure the administration put in place that restricts travel from six Muslim-majority countries has been hung up in the courts.

7. “Covfefe”

For all the confrontation — and there was lots of it — there were moments of mirth.

After Trump sent out a bizarre late-night tweet that trailed off with the nonsense word “covfefe,” Spicer, in an audio-only briefing, insisted that it was all part of the plan.

Asked by a reporter whether people should be concerned that the president “posted something of an incoherent tweet last night that stayed up for hours,” Spicer replied simply, “No,” insisting, to laughter from the press corps, that “the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.”

8. A little help from Gronk

In April, the New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski popped his head into the press briefing room while Spicer was fielding questions.

“Hey, Sean. Need some help?” the tight end asked. “I think I got this, but thank you,” Spicer replied.

“That was cool,” he added.

9. Leaning into SNL

Finally, there was a bit of self-deprecating humor as the press secretary answered what he deemed a “silly” question from a reporter.

Referring to Melissa McCarthy’s SNL parody, Spicer joked, “Don’t make me make the podium move.”

Trump’s Private Clubs In Florida Are Seeking Visas For Foreign Workers

Jul 21, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Trump’s Private Clubs In Florida Are Seeking Visas For Foreign Workers

The Trump helicopter is seen at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., in April. The president’s club is requesting foreign worker visas to staff up during peak season.

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The Trump helicopter is seen at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., in April. The president’s club is requesting foreign worker visas to staff up during peak season.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Trump Organization is asking the federal government for special visas to hire scores of foreign workers for two of President Trump’s private clubs in Florida — the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach and the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.

The requests for H-2B visas, posted on the Department of Labor website, are for 26 cooks, nearly 50 waiters and waitresses, plus housekeepers, a hostess and a bartender. The jobs range in pay from just under $12 to less than $14 an hour. Mar-a-Lago and the Jupiter club have relied on foreign workers in past years for staffing during their peak seasons, which run October through May.

White House Highlights 'Made In America' Products From Each State

New Trump Order Extends 'Buy American' And 'Hire American' Rules

This year, the request for foreign workers comes in the middle of “Made in America” week at the White House. Trump, who has had his own line of ties manufactured overseas, says he wants U.S. companies to focus this week on ways to create more opportunities for American labor.

The Trump Organization hasn’t responded to questions about the visa requests.

In the past, Trump has defended hiring foreign workers at his Florida properties, saying that “getting help in Palm Beach during the season is almost impossible.”

With Fewer Available H-2B Visas, Employers Struggle To Find Seasonal Workers

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would be boosting the number of nonagricultural H-2B visas available this year by 15,000.

Why The Stock Market’s Rise Isn’t Just A Trump Rally

Jul 21, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Why The Stock Market’s Rise Isn’t Just A Trump Rally

Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. Major stock indexes are in record territory.

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Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. Major stock indexes are in record territory.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

If you’ve checked your retirement account lately or read the business headlines you probably know the stock market is riding high. The major U.S. stock indexes are in record territory. So what’s lifting the market? Despite all the turmoil in Washington, is it still the Trump rally?

Since the U.S. election, the SP 500 is up 16 percent and the Dow is up 18 percent, even though President Trump has yet to deliver on most of his pro-growth policies, including tax cuts and a big infrastructure plan.

Why 'MAGAnomics' Isn't Likely To Work

But finance professor Jeremy Siegel of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School says Congress and the White House have eased regulations and produced “a friendly attitude towards business. That’s one positive” for stocks.

Plus, corporate tax relief from Washington is still a possibility. The failure of the health care bill, while a black eye for Republicans, could actually clear the way for congressional action on taxes later this summer. That’s helping drive stocks higher.

Other forces driving the rally

But there are other forces driving the stock rally “that are not attributable to Trump, at all,” Siegel says. One is faster global growth. That, combined with a recent decline in the value of the dollar, has sparked more demand for U.S. goods abroad, helping boost U.S. company profits.

“Almost 40 percent of the profits of SP 500 companies come from abroad,” Siegel says. So, a stronger global economy is boosting U.S. stock prices.

Here's What's In The House Republican Budget (And Why It Matters)

The Stock Market Is On An Epic Upswing. Here's Why It Probably Hasn't Benefited You

U.S. growth is still sluggish — a 1.4 percent rate in the first quarter — and far below the Trump administration’s goal of 3 percent.

However, job creation has been solid, boosting incomes. Siegel points out that another thing that has helped stocks is the fact that they face no real competition from other assets. Bonds, the main alternative, aren’t that attractive. That’s because long-term interest rates remain very low and investors would rather buy stocks than a 10-year Treasury that gives them an annual return of only 2 1/4 percent.

A stock bubble?

Some people see this as a dangerous stock market bubble, though Siegel isn’t one of them. That fear is largely connected to the huge stimulus central banks have injected into the global economy since the financial crisis. The concern is that lots of that money has been invested in stocks, dramatically inflating their value. Central bankers, including Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, have made clear the stimulus will be taken away very gradually. So far, that’s been enough to reassure investors.

However, if the effort in Washington to get a corporate tax cut stalls, Siegel says that will have “a negative effect” on stocks.

The Soaring Stock Market And Your Nest Egg

While Trump Touts Stock Market, Many Americans Are Left Out Of The Conversation

In Interview, Trump Lashes Out At Sessions And Comey

Jul 20, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on In Interview, Trump Lashes Out At Sessions And Comey

President Trump says if he had known ahead of time that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, he would have chosen someone else for the post, calling the move “very unfair.”

In an interview with The New York Times, he also accused James Comey, the FBI director that he fired in May, of trying to save his job by leveraging a dossier of compromising material on Trump.

Trump said too that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, was running “an office rife with conflicts of interest and [Trump] warned that investigators would cross a red line if they delve into Trump family finances unrelated to Russia.”

The president said as far as he is aware, he does not believe he is personally under investigation by Mueller. “I’m not under investigation. For what? I didn’t do anything wrong,” Trump told the newspaper.

On Sessions, Trump said, “if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else.”

The interview, which the Times described as “wide-ranging,” also included questions about health care and other topics, but the Russia investigation and its fallout dominated the conversation, the newspaper says.

The Times writes:

“Describing a newly disclosed informal conversation he had with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia during a dinner of world leaders in Germany earlier this month, Mr. Trump said they talked for about 15 minutes, mostly about ‘pleasantries.’ But Mr. Trump did say that they talked ‘about adoptions.’ Mr. Putin banned American adoptions of Russian children in 2012 after the United States enacted sanctions on Russians accused of human rights abuses, an issue that remains a sore point in relations with Moscow.”

The discussion about “adoptions,” is apparently a reference to the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law meant to punish Russian human rights abusers by barring them from entering the U.S. The Russian parliament responded to the law by banning American citizens from adopting Russian orphans.

It is the same law that Donald Trump Jr. says was a topic of conversation at a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on then-campaign opponent Hillary Clinton.

According to the Times: “Mr. Trump acknowledged that it was ‘interesting’ that adoptions came up since his son, Donald Trump Jr., said that was the topic of a meeting he had with several Russians with ties to the Kremlin during last year’s campaign.”

Trump’s Third Home Away From Home To Cost Taxpayers Millions

Jul 20, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Trump’s Third Home Away From Home To Cost Taxpayers Millions

Riding in a motorcade, President Trump leaves the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., earlier this year.

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Riding in a motorcade, President Trump leaves the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., earlier this year.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Trump lives in the White House, but he also spends weekends at his other residences in New York’s Trump Tower and Florida’s Mar-A-Lago resort. Taxpayers cover the security costs for his use of those private locations.

Now there will be yet another part-time residence covered by federal funds for security. Rep. Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican, announced Wednesday that the small town of Bedminster — population 9,000 — has been designated a priority for the Secret Service.

The township is home to Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, one of Trump’s favorite retreats. His daughter Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were married there, and Trump summoned advisers there for post-election transition planning.

With the official designation as a presidential residence, Congress appropriated up to $41 million to cover security costs incurred between the Jan. 20 inauguration and Oct. 1, which starts a new fiscal year. Trump’s residences in Florida and New York already get such funding.

The costs are incurred by state, county and township law enforcement officers when Trump comes to town, as he did this month for the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament.

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