Journalist who died in Ukraine car bombing buried in Belarus
MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Prominent journalist Pavel Sheremet, who died when his car was bombed in Ukraine, has been buried in his hometown of Minsk, Belarus.
Sheremet, who once was imprisoned in Belarus, where independent media are under consistent pressure from the authoritarian government, had moved to Ukraine two years ago after several years in Russia, seeing Ukraine as having a more free media environment.
He worked for the news website Ukrainska Pravda, which is noted for investigative work, and remained editor of a news website in Belarus.
A car he was driving was blown up Wednesday in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. No arrests have been made.
Hundreds of mourners attended his Saturday funeral at a Minsk church, a day after hundreds of others honored him in Kiev, including Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Weary of protest, Baltimore activists seek change elsewhere
BALTIMORE (AP) — Under the beating summer sun, retired steelworker Arthur B. Johnson Jr. stood outside the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse in Baltimore, clutching the fraying wooden handle of a homemade sign.
“Justice for Freddie Gray,” it read. Inside, a fourth officer was about to be cleared of criminal charges in Gray’s death last April, a week after Gray’s neck was broken while he was handcuffed and shackled but left unrestrained in the back of a police van. Johnson has shown up for every trial, in pouring rain and sweltering heat.
Thousands took to the streets last spring. The refrain of “No justice, no peace” rang through corridors on the city’s east and west sides for more than a week; after a riot broke out, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake instituted a 10 p.m. curfew. The National Guard rolled into town to restore order.
But these days, Johnson and his sign typically stand alone.
The most recent acquittal, for Lt. Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in Gray’s death, was rapidly preceded by two others, including Officer Caesar Goodson, who drove the wagon in which Gray’s spine was snapped.
Clinton says veep pick Kaine is everything GOP ticket isn’t
MIAMI (AP) — Hillary Clinton debuted running mate Sen. Tim Kaine on Saturday as a can-do progressive committed to social justice and equality — “everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not” — at a boisterous rally ahead of next week’s Democratic National Convention.
“He is qualified to step into this job and lead from Day One. And he is a progressive who likes to get things done,” Clinton declared at Florida International University.
Kaine, a bilingual former Virginia governor, detailed his life in public service. “I like to fight for right,” he said.
And, as Clinton smiled broadly at her choice for vice president, Kaine greeted the largely Hispanic audience in Spanish. “We’re going to be ‘compañeros de alma,’ in this great ‘lucha’ ahead,” he said, or “soul mates in this great fight ahead.”
Trump, in a text to his own supporters, said President Barack Obama, Clinton and Kaine were “the ultimate insiders” and implored voters to not “let Obama have a 3rd term.”
Kaine liberal appeal muted by energy ties, abortion concerns
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine are closely aligned on many issues, but Kaine’s cautious, left-leaning political profile in a closely contested state is blurred by his ties to energy industry interests and his personal qualms over abortion.
The Virginia senator is regarded as a careful, earnest politician who has navigated the rough-and-tumble of his state’s hard-fought electoral landscape with few ethical missteps. Minor controversies have flared over paid travel and gifts he received during his stints as governor and senator.
A Harvard-trained lawyer who prospered as Richmond’s mayor before moving on to higher office, Kaine endorsed Clinton early in her presidential run, in contrast to 2008 when he backed Barack Obama over Clinton early on.
In sync on a number of issues, Kaine and Clinton back a no-fly zone over Syria despite the Obama administration’s reluctance.
Kaine, who was governor when a gunman with a history of mental illness fatally shot 32 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself, shares Clinton’s support for gun control. He supports restricting the sale of magazines carrying more than 10 bullets; Clinton wants to ban military-style guns she calls “weapons of war.”
Police: Munich suspect was obsessed with mass shootings
MUNICH (AP) — The gunman whose rampage at a Munich mall left nine people dead was a depression-plagued teenager who avidly read books and articles about mass killings and apparently tried to lure young victims to their deaths through a faked Facebook posting, authorities said Saturday.
Information from witnesses indicated that his hatred of foreigners might have played a role in the mass shooting, even though he himself was the German-born son of Iranian asylum-seekers.
Most of the dead were youths and all were Munich residents of varied ethnic backgrounds. Hueseyin Bayri, who witnessed one boy’s death, told The Associated Press the shooter screamed a profanity about foreigners and said “I will kill you all” as he pulled the trigger. A video shot of the perpetrator also showed him yelling anti-foreigner slurs.
The 18-year-old high-school student from Munich with Iranian and German citizenship also wounded more than two dozen others Friday night before turning his illegal Glock 17 pistol on himself, ending a shooting rampage that could have become even more tragic.
Police told reporters that a search of the red backpack lying next to his black-clad corpse revealed that the shooter was carrying more than 300 rounds for the 9-millimeter handgun he used to kill his victims.
IS attacks protest in Afghan capital, kills 80 people
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on a peaceful protest in the Afghan capital on Saturday that killed at least 80 people and wounded more than 200, marking the first time the extremists have struck Kabul and raising fears of their growing strength and capability in Afghanistan.
The attack was the deadliest to hit Kabul in 15 years of civil war. It struck a demonstration by Afghanistan’s Hazara ethnic community, who were marching for a major regional power line to be routed through their home province. The Hazaras are Shiite Muslims, most Afghans are Sunnis.
Footage on Afghan television and photographs posted on social media showed a scene of horror and carnage, with numerous bodies and body parts spread across the square. Bloodied survivors were seen being dragged clear for help, others walked around dazed or screaming.
Two suicide bombers had attempted to target the demonstrators, but one of them was shot by police before he could detonate his explosives, according to Haroon Chakhansuri, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. He said that three city district police chiefs were injured and another three security personnel were killed.
Witnesses said that immediately after the blast, security forces shot in the air to disperse the crowd. Secondary attacks have been known to target people who come to the aid of those wounded in a first explosion.
How Hillary Clinton chose Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her VP
MIAMI (AP) — Hillary Clinton’s search for a vice president started with a commanding victory in the New York primary and a special delivery in a plastic Duane Reed bag. Three months later, it ended with a phone call to a shipyard office, where Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine was waiting.
From the start, Kaine was a front-runner to join Clinton on the Democratic ticket. A senator, former Virginia governor and mayor of Richmond, he hails from a top battleground state and, as a fluent Spanish speaker, could help in another: Florida. Victories in both would likely put the White House out of the reach of Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
But Clinton grew personally comfortable with the likable and even-keeled Kaine as they campaigned together in recent weeks and discussed the vice presidency. Clinton ultimately concluded that she had “unshakeable confidence in Kaine’s readiness to do the job,” according to a Clinton aide familiar with her thinking. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private deliberations over her selection.
It wasn’t an easy decision. Clinton was also drawn to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor who remained in the running until the end. A person close to the campaign, also speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the private deliberations, said Clinton had a hard time not choosing her longtime family friend and political loyalist.
Campaign chair John Podesta started the process after Clinton’s convincing victory over Democratic rival Bernie Sanders in April’s New York primary, dropping off binders of information with Clinton at her home in Chappaqua, New York. The information on potential running mates was delivered in a bag from Duane Reed, a New York drug store.
AP Poll: Support grows among Americans for stricter gun laws
Americans increasingly favor tougher gun laws by margins that have grown wider after a steady drumbeat of shootings in recent months, but they also are pessimistic that change will happen anytime soon, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents expressed support for stricter laws, with majorities favoring nationwide bans on the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons such as the AR-15 and on the sale of high-capacity magazines holding 10 or more bullets.
The percentage of Americans who want such laws is the highest since the AP-GfK poll started asking the question in 2013, a survey taken about 10 months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 children and six educators.
High-profile shootings also appear to have taken a toll on Americans’ sense of safety. Strong majorities of those polled expressed some degree of concern that they or a relative will be a victim of gun violence or a mass shooting.
“If you live in the United States in these days right now, you have to be concerned,” said Milonne Ambroise, a 63-year-old administrative assistant from Decatur, Georgia. “You could be on the street somewhere. You could be at a shopping mall thinking there will be a mass shooting and you will be in the middle of it. You can’t not think about it.”
Hacked emails show Democratic party hostility to Sanders
WASHINGTON (AP) — A cache of more than 19,000 emails from Democratic party officials, leaked in advance of Hillary Clinton’s nomination at the party’s convention next week in Philadelphia, details the acrimonious split between the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Several emails posted by Wikileaks on its document disclosure website show DNC officials scoffing at Sanders and his supporters and in one instance, questioning his commitment to his Jewish religion. Some emails also show DNC and White House officials mulling whether to invite guests with controversial backgrounds to Democratic party events.
Although Wikileaks’ posting of the emails Friday did not disclose the identity of who provided the private material, those knowledgeable about the breach said last month that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC computer system. At the time, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the breach was a “serious incident” and a private contractor hired to sweep the organization’s network had “moved as quickly as possible to kick out the intruders and secure our network.”
On its web page, Wikileaks said the new cache of emails came from the accounts of “seven key figures in the DNC” and warned that the release was “part one of our new Hillary Leaks series” — an indication that more material might be published soon. Among the officials whose emails were made public were DNC spokesman Luis Miranda, national finance director Jordon Kaplan and finance chief Scott Comer, but other DNC and media figures and even some White House officials communicated with them between January 2015 and last May, Wikileaks said.
The emails include several stinging denunciations of Sanders and his organization before and after the DNC briefly shut off his campaign’s access to the party’s key list of likely Democratic voters.
How sympathetic whites are helping to fuel racial change
MEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — An attorney in Oregon is supporting political candidates who promise to address racial profiling in policing. In suburban Ohio, a mother says she and her friends will push for better racial integration in their children’s high school. And in rural Massachusetts, a young father has launched a Facebook group called “White Men for Black Lives.”
After standing silently on the sidelines, some whites who agree with demands by civil rights activists for greater police reforms say they’re being spurred to action following this summer’s fatal shootings of black men by officers in Minnesota and Louisiana and the deadly retaliation attacks on police in Texas and Louisiana.
“I was tired of every discussion on Facebook turning into a debate between Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter,” said Colin Allen, a 30-year-old Bernardston, Massachusetts, resident. “I wanted to start a conversation specifically with white men who know that something has to be done.”
Robert Milesnick, a 39-year-old civil attorney in Portland, Oregon, penned a sharply worded essay titled “My White Male Privilege Is Complicit In Black Male Killing” that ran in the local African-American newspaper this month.
“At some point, to not do or say anything is complicit,” Milesnick told The Associated Press. “These things keep happening because people that look like me don’t do or say anything.”