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Obama Charlottesville tweet one of the most liked ever

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Barack Obama is still the presidential voice millions of people crave.

Former President Barack Obama’s three-part tweet of a Nelson Mandela quote in the wake of the Charlottesville, Va., white supremacist rally that left one counter-protester dead is now the second-most liked tweet ever. The first part of Obama’s tweet of comfort —both denouncing hate and calling for love —is now up to almost 2.5 million likes and has over one million retweets.

Obama’s first tweet featured a picture of him interacting with a few young children through a building’s window and read “‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…'”

The 44th President finished the quote in his next two tweets. He wrote, “‘People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’ —Nelson Mandela.”

The tweet’s popularity was second only to a May 2017 tweet from Ariana Grande after her Manchester, England, concert was attacked, leaving 22 people dead — which was liked just over 2.7 million times.

It took President Trump two days to condemn the extreme racism displayed during the “Unite the Right” rally. At first, Trump attributed the violence to “many sides” instead of specifically calling out the racist actions of literal torch-wielding, Nazi flag-carrying protesters.

It took current President Donald Trump two days to condemn the extreme racism displayed during the neo-Nazi group "Unite the Right" rally.

It took current President Donald Trump two days to condemn the extreme racism displayed during the neo-Nazi group “Unite the Right” rally. (JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS)

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides,” Trump said from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., on Saturday. “On many sides,” he repeated.

Trump’s refusal to identify the alt-right hate-mongers for what they are was not unnoticed by celebrities and political figures alike on Twitter.

“Hell of a day for the President to forget how to tweet,” said noted Trump opponent J.K. Rowling.

“Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio (R- Fla.).

“Wow. We have a President who cannot condemn white supremacy. Wow. And nobody is surprised. We have white supremacists in the White House,” added “The Big Sick” star Kumail Nanjiani.

 

America

Trump announces White House counsel to quit in fall

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Washington, Aug 30 (IANS) US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday on Twitter that White House counsel Don McGahn, who has played a key role in defending the President in the Russia probe, will leave his post in the fall.

McGahn, who began serving as White House counsel in January 2017, was questioned several times by the special prosecutor heading the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller, and his testimony could be key for determining if Trump tried to obstruct that investigation, Efe reported.

“White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!” tweeted Trump.

Although it had nothing to do with McGahn’s departure, Trump took advantage of the occasion to mention in his tweet the process of confirming Kavanaugh, his nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat, who must receive the approval of the Senate.

Trump’s announcement comes a few hours after the Axios Web site, citing White House officials and sources close to McGahn, reported that the White House counsel was intending to leave his post as the administration’s top legal adviser sometime this autumn.

According to Axios, McGahn wants his successor to be veteran attorney Emmet T. Flood, who was one of the lawyers who represented former President Bill Clinton during his 1998 impeachment in Congress after lying to lawmakers about his relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky.

Trump hired Flood last May with the aim of making his legal strategy more “aggressive” in responding to the Mueller investigation of his 2016 presidential campaign’s potential connections with the Kremlin.

Since May 2017, May has been investigating the scope of the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 vote and whether there was any kind of coordination between Moscow and members of the Trump campaign.

According to The New York Times earlier this month, McGahn has been cooperating with Mueller’s investigation and during the past nine months has been questioned by the special counsel’s team three times.

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Trump once again compares Russia probe to McCarthyism

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Washington, Aug 20 (IANS) President Donald Trump on Sunday once again, as he has regularly done, compared the Russia probe investigation to McCarthyism, the anti-communist campaign pursued by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.

“Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!” said Trump on Twitter.

This kind of comparison has become a staple of Trump’s tweets, in which he regularly refers to the probe headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as McCarthyism and a “witch hunt,” Efe reported.

Since May 2017, Mueller has been tasked with heading an independent investigation of possible links between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Kremlin.

US media reported Saturday that Mueller’s team of prosecutors have proposed up to six months in prison for George Papadopoulos, a former adviser to Trump, for having lied to the FBI during questioning of him for the Russia probe.

Papadopoulos is expected to be sentenced on Sept. 7.

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US sanctions Myanmar military personnel, units over human rights abuse

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Washington, Aug 18 (IANS) The US Treasury Department on Friday announced to sanction four commanders and two military units in Myanmar, accusing them of being related with human rights abuse cases in the country.

In a statement, the Treasury said the targeted commanders were from Burmese military and Border Guard Police (BGP), Xinhua reported.

Together with the 33rd Light Infantry Division (LID) and the 99th LID, the commanders were punished over the alleged involvement in ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State and “other widespread human rights abuses” in Kachin and Shan States.

These individuals and entities were designated according to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016 that targeted “perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.”

Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in the statement that the US government “will continue to systematically expose and bring accountability to human rights abusers in this region.”

As a result of these actions, any property, or interest in property, of those designated within U.S. jurisdiction is blocked.

Additionally, US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with blocked persons, including entities 50 percent or more owned by designated persons.

Building upon the act, US President Donald Trump signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, or “Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption.” To date, 84 individuals and entities have been sanctioned under the order.

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