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Nation & World Briefs


Friday, August 10, 2018
In book, Omarosa says Trump is a bigot, behaved ‘like a dog’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman claims in a new book that there are tapes of President Donald Trump using racial slurs and that she saw him behaving “like a dog off the leash” at numerous events he attended without his wife, first lady Melania Trump.

The accusations are among a long list of scandalous claims contained in her new book, “Unhinged,” set to come out Aug. 14. The Associated Press purchased an early copy of the memoir, which the White House has already slammed as “riddled with lies and false accusations.”

In the book, Manigault Newman, who was a contestant on Trump’s “The Apprentice” reality show and later served as a senior adviser to the president, hurls a litany of allegations, painting the president as scattered, self-absorbed, misogynistic and insecure.

Trump, she said she’d concluded after years of defending him, was a bigot.

“I didn’t want to believe it,” she writes. “I rejected what other people said about him because they didn’t know him like I did. I had to go through the pain of witnessing his racism with my own eyes, and hearing it with my own ears, many times, until I couldn’t deny it any longer.”

Turkey shaken by financial fears, Trump rattles it further

ANKARA, Turkey — A financial shockwave ripped through Turkey on Friday, when its currency nosedived on concerns about its economic policies and a dispute with the U.S., which President Donald Trump stoked further with a promise to double tariffs on the NATO ally.

The lira tumbled 14 percent in one day, to 6.51 per dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make the Turkish poorer and further erode international investors’ confidence in the country.

The currency’s drop — 41 percent so far this year — is a gauge of fear over a country coming to terms with years of high debt, international concern over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s push to amass power, and a souring in relations with allies like the U.S.

The diplomatic dispute with the U.S. was one of the triggers that turned market jitters into a full-blown route this week.

Turkey has arrested an American pastor and put him on trial for espionage and terror-related charges linked to a failed coup attempt in the country two years ago. The U.S. responded by slapping sanctions on Turkey and threatening more.

Jury backs man who claims Roundup weed killer caused cancer

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco jury on Friday ordered agribusiness giant Monsanto to pay $289 million to a former school groundskeeper dying of cancer, saying the company’s popular Roundup weed killer contributed to his disease.

Dewayne Johnson’s lawsuit was the first of hundreds of cases filed in state and federal courts alleging that Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which Monsanto denies.

Jurors in state Superior Court agreed the product contributed to Johnson’s cancer and the company should have provided a label warning of the potential health hazard. Johnson’s attorneys sought and won $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million of the $373 million they wanted in punitive damages.

“This jury found Monsanto acted with malice and oppression because they knew what they were doing was wrong and doing it with reckless disregard for human life,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a member of Johnson’s legal team. “This should send a strong message to the boardroom of Monsanto.”

Monsanto has denied a link between the active ingredient in Roundup — glyphosate — and cancer, saying hundreds of studies have established that glyphosate is safe.

On enthusiasm, Democrats have advantage

ATLANTA — Democratic voters were more enthusiastic than Republicans in nearly a dozen federal special elections since President Donald Trump took office, an Associated Press analysis found, giving party leaders hope that even a series of narrow losses in GOP territory bodes well for them in November.

With the special elections now concluded ahead of the fall midterms, an AP review of nine House races and an Alabama special Senate election showed Democratic candidates consistently outperforming Republicans compared to the two parties’ usual vote totals in regular general elections.

The strong Democratic turnout is a key factor fueling the party’s hopes of regaining control of the House in November for the first time in eight years. It’s particularly significant because Democrats often struggle to turn out their voters when a presidential candidate isn’t on the ballot. The special election voting numbers could signal a change heading into the fall.

The latest indicator came Tuesday in Ohio, where Republican Troy Balderson holds a narrow lead over his Democratic rival, Danny O’Connor, setting up a potential recount in a suburban and small-town congressional district that President Donald Trump won by more than 11 percentage points and that Republicans have held since 1980.

The AP review went beyond percentage totals and compared special election raw vote totals to what Republicans and Democrats received from the same electorates in 2016.

Crews fight to keep flames from homes in California

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. — Firefighters fought to spare homes Friday from a growing Southern California forest fire, a day after flames came perilously close to neighborhoods and destroyed one house.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties as the fire carved its way along ridges in Cleveland National Forest south of Los Angeles.

Some hillsides were allowed to burn under the watchful eyes of firefighters as a way to reduce fuel and make it harder for flames to jump roadways into communities if winds pick up again.

Aircraft dropped fire retardant on flames and homes as people ignoring evacuation orders used garden hoses to spray down their properties when the blaze flared Thursday evening, propelled by 20-mph gusts.

Shannon Hicks, 59, defied an evacuation order and watched in awe as firefighters faced down a storm of flames that descended toward her street in the city of Lake Elsinore.

From Associated Press