In Brief: Nation & World: 7-12-16

Dallas police had taken steps to mend rift with minorities

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Dallas police had taken steps to mend rift with minorities

DALLAS (AP) — When Micah Johnson opened fire on Dallas police in an act of vengeance against white officers, he was attacking a department whose chief has been lauded across the country for taking bold steps to root out bad cops and repair relations with minorities.

Police Chief David Brown, a black man who pushed through the reforms despite resistance from the rank-and-file, boasted at a news conference Monday that crime, police shootings and excessive-force complaints against the department have all dropped dramatically on his watch.

“This is the best department in the country, and I’m proud to be associated with the men and women of the Dallas Police Department,” he said.

Johnson, a black Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, killed five officers in a sniper attack Thursday that he portrayed as payback for the fatal police shootings of black men last week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban Minneapolis. The attack ended with Johnson blown up by a bomb delivered by a police robot.

No evidence has come to light to suggest that the 25-year-old Johnson had a grudge specifically against the 3,400-officer Dallas Police Department.

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Family: Military changed Dallas suspect; robot use defended

DALLAS (AP) — Military service changed the Dallas gunman from an extrovert into a hermit, his parents said in an interview excerpt published Monday.

Micah Johnson’s mother, Delphine Johnson, told TheBlaze website in an interview that her son wanted to be a police officer as a child. His six years in the Army Reserve, including a tour in Afghanistan, were “not what Micah thought it would be … what he thought the military represented, it just didn’t live up to his expectations.” According to the military lawyer who represented him, Johnson was accused of sexually harassing a female soldier while deployed.

His father, James Johnson said haltingly and through tears: “I don’t know what to say to anybody to make anything better. I didn’t see it coming.”

The black 25-year-old fatally shot five officers in Thursday’s attack while hundreds of people were gathered in downtown Dallas to protest recent fatal police shootings, and wounded at least nine officers and two civilians.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown clarified Monday where Johnson was killed with a bomb delivered by a remote-controlled robot, saying that it happened on the second floor of El Centro College, not a parking garage as authorities previously described. Brown did not provide more details, including the locations of the negotiations that came before the bomb.

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Cameron to quit Wednesday; Theresa May to be new British PM

LONDON (AP) — A political era ended Monday — unexpectedly and without an election — as Prime Minister David Cameron said he will step down in two days in favor of Theresa May, a senior member of his Cabinet who will become Britain’s second female leader.

Cameron announced his resignation last month because he backed the losing side in a referendum for Britain to leave the European Union. So did May — but infighting, bad timing and cold feet among leaders of the victorious “leave” campaign means that she will have the task of leading a divided country out of the EU.

The latest chapter in the political turmoil spawned by the EU vote moved with breathtaking speed.

On Monday morning, there were two candidates to lead the governing Conservative Party. At noon, Andrea Leadsom stepped down, making May leader-in-waiting. By late afternoon, Cameron had announced that May would be moving into 10 Downing Street within 48 hours.

“We will have a new prime minister in that building behind me by Wednesday evening,” Cameron said in a brief statement outside the leader’s official London residence.

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Stealth candidate Theresa May to be UK’s next leader

LONDON (AP) — After all of the flamboyant characters and very public backstabbing in the race to become Britain’s next prime minister, the winner turned out to be an understated workhorse who maintained a low profile throughout the campaign.

Home Secretary Theresa May, 59, is not well-known internationally, but she has served for six years in one of Britain’s toughest jobs, playing an important role in counter-terrorism policy, and will now take charge of delicate negotiations to separate Britain from the European Union.

She was less visible — and less talked-about as a likely future prime minister — than Treasury Chief George Osborne and former London Mayor Boris Johnson, but she proved to be the stealth candidate, outmaneuvering both in the intense competition to follow Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

During the EU referendum campaign, Osborne was passionate about remaining in the EU, and lost his leadership hopes when voters turned the other way. Johnson led the campaign to take Britain out of the EU, but never formally entered the leadership race because of dwindling support among his party’s lawmakers.

By contrast, May stayed largely out of the referendum fray. She tepidly backed remaining in the EU in a single speech, then remained largely out of sight as the behemoths of the Conservative Party — including Cameron and Justice Secretary Michael Gove — did each other in.

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A lot of holes in GOP presidential ground game in key states

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Presidential battleground states were supposed to be swarming with Republican Party workers by now.

“We’ve moved on to thousands and thousands of employees,” party chairman Reince Priebus declared in March, contrasting that with the GOP’s late-blooming staffing four years earlier. “We are covering districts across this country in ways that we’ve never had before.”

That hasn’t exactly happened, a state-by-state review conducted by The Associated Press has found.

With early voting beginning in less than three months in some states, the review reveals that the national GOP has delivered only a fraction of the ground forces detailed in discussions with state leaders earlier in the year. And that is leaving anxious local officials waiting for reinforcements to keep pace with Democrat Hillary Clinton in the states that matter most in 2016.

To be sure, the national party actually has notched record levels of fundraising over the past few years and put together a much more robust ground game than it had in 2012. But officials acknowledge the real competition isn’t their past results or the chronically cash strapped Democratic Party. It’s Clinton and what GOP party chairman Priebus calls “that machine” of Clinton fundraising.

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Sanders to back Clinton. Will supporters follow?

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — It looks as if Bernie Sanders is ready to back Hillary Clinton. But not all his supporters are prepared to give up revolution for realism.

After weeks of stalling as he sought liberal policy concessions from Clinton and lobbied to push the party platform to the left, the Vermont senator is expected to appear with Clinton in New Hampshire Tuesday to endorse her as the Democratic Party presidential nominee.

Still, despite some major victories in the latest draft of the platform and big concerns about presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, many Sanders fans at a Democratic meeting in Orlando over the weekend had clear reservations about casting a ballot for Clinton.

“Personally, I don’t think I will support Hillary. I don’t trust her,” said Lisa Friddle, 53, a nurse from Palm Bay, Florida. “I can’t see backing someone I don’t believe in.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Xavier Gaud, 26, of Orlando, who said he would prefer that Sanders run as an independent. If Sanders isn’t on the ballot, he said it was “more likely I will support Jill Stein,” the leader of the minor Green Party.

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Sheriff: Inmate kills 2 bailiffs at Michigan courthouse

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — A jail inmate trying to escape from a western Michigan courthouse wrested a gun from an officer Monday, killing two bailiffs and injuring two more people before he was fatally shot by other officers, a sheriff said.

People scrambled for cover inside the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph, a city of about 8,300 people in the southwestern corner of Michigan, about 100 miles northeast of Chicago.

“Our hearts are torn apart. … I have known them for over 30 years. It’s a sad day,” Sheriff Paul Bailey said of the bailiffs.

The inmate, locked up on several charges, was being moved from a cell for a courtroom appearance when a fight occurred and he was able to disarm an officer, Bailey said. The sheriff did not say what charges the inmate was facing.

The inmate shot a sheriff’s deputy, killed the bailiffs and then shot a civilian in the arm in a public area, the sheriff said.

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Q&A: Superbug precursor found in US again

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City patient was infected with bacteria that had a special type of resistance to antibiotics last year, the earliest known case in the U.S. of bacteria that could lead to a superbug impervious to medications.

The bacteria were found in a patient who was treated in May of 2015 and reported in a study published Monday. They were discovered by an Iowa company that’s been testing thousands of bacteria collected from patients from around the world over the last two years.

The company, JMI Laboratories, found hundreds globally that were resistant to colistin, an old, powerful antibiotic that is now seen as a drug of last resort. Health officials worry that these bacteria will spread their resistance to last-resort antibiotics to other bacteria that are already resistant to front-line antibiotics, creating germs that can’t be killed by any known drugs.

A similar infection was reported in a Pennsylvania woman earlier this year and initially reported as the first known U.S. case. But the New York case happened almost a year before, and scientists now believe these bacteria were likely in people in the U.S. even earlier.

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A bull market record that doesn’t feel like it

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s a new record for stocks, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

The biggest gainers in the past year are fuddy-duddy utilities. Investors are cowering for cover in gold. And the best they’re hoping for in the current earnings season is that profits don’t fall as much as they initially feared.

It’s the second-longest bull market in history, and its old age is showing.

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Still, stocks have rewarded investors who had faith to hold on. With a new high for the Standard and Poor’s 500 index on Monday, it has tripled since its low in March 2009 during the financial crisis.

“This is one of my favorite days. There’s nothing like a new high,” says John Manley, chief equity strategist for Wells Fargo Fund Management.

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