Hacked emails complicate Democratic National Convention
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — On the heels of a tumultuous Republican convention, Hillary Clinton hopes her gathering in Philadelphia will show off a forward-looking Democratic Party united behind her steady leadership. But to do that, she must overcome lingering bitterness among supporters of defeated rival Bernie Sanders and a political mess and last-minute leadership shake-up of the party’s own making.
The Democratic National Convention was set to kick off Monday as a week of optimistic celebration with high-powered elected officials and celebrities re-introducing Clinton to a general election audience. But the effort was complicated by the publication of 19,000 hacked emails on the website Wikileaks, suggesting the Democratic National Committee had played favorites for Clinton during the primary.
The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, announced abruptly Sunday afternoon that she would step down at week’s end. Sanders had called earlier Sunday for her departure.
Wasserman Schultz has been a lightning rod throughout the presidential campaign for criticism from the party’s more liberal wing, with Sanders repeatedly accusing the national party of favoring Clinton despite officially being neutral.
“I’m not shocked, but I’m disappointed,” Sanders said of the hacked emails, one of which questioned whether his religious beliefs could be used against him, on ABC’s “This Week.”
Thousands of pro-Sanders, anti-fracking marchers hit streets
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators are taking to Philadelphia’s sweltering streets Sunday, cheering, chanting and beating drums in the first major protests ahead of the Democratic National Convention, as the city wilts during a heat wave.
Throngs of Bernie Sanders supporters marched down a main thoroughfare to show their support of him and disdain for Hillary Clinton ahead of the convention.
Chanting “Hell No, DNC, we won’t vote for Hillary” and “This is what democracy looks like,” the marchers headed from City Hall down Broad Street, the main north-south artery that leads from the city center to the convention site about 4 miles away.
Many carried Sanders signs, and a huge Bernie Sanders puppet was also a part of the festivities.
Police officers rode bicycles along each side of the march and the thousands of protesters cooled off in city fire hydrants that were opened along the road.
Analysis: Russia stays, and clean athletes scratch heads
If this turns out to be Thomas Bach’s defining moment, here’s what the leader of the International Olympic Committee will be remembered for: keeping Russia as part of the club, but losing the trust of thousands of athletes who thought that, maybe this year, they’d get the answers they’ve been looking for.
In a way, the IOC and its president may have saved the Games As We Know Them, with their decision Sunday not to ban the entire Russian team from the Rio de Janeiro Games. No less than Russian President Vladimir Putin was making references to the potential fracturing of the Olympic movement if his country was kicked out completely.
But the Games As We Know Them are now filled with wide-scale, unapologetic drug cheating, as was documented in a pair of independent reports that gave an unflinching look at a top-to-bottom doping program involving Russia’s government and trickling down to hundreds of the country’s athletes.
The IOC ultimately favored “individual justice” over “collective responsibility” — words Bach used repeatedly to describe the moral calculations of this first-of-its-kind judgment. And there were some legitimate arguments to be made about, say, the group of gymnasts or the dozens of clean athletes in any sport that shouldn’t be kicked out because of the misdeeds of others.
But, as Bach noted: “This might not please everybody.”
Munich shooter was bullied loner, planned attack for a year
MUNICH (AP) — The teenager behind the deadly shooting rampage in Munich was a withdrawn loner obsessed with playing “killer” video games in his bedroom, a victim of bullying who suffered from panic attacks set off by contacts with other people, investigators said Sunday, adding that he had planned the attack for a year.
Law enforcement officials piecing together a portrait of the 18-year-old shooter said he was seeing a doctor up to last month for treatment of depression and psychiatric problems that began in 2015 with inpatient hospital care followed by outpatient visits.
They said medication for his problems had been found his room. But toxicological and autopsy results were still not available, so it’s not yet clear whether he was taking the medicine when he went on his shooting spree Friday, killing nine people and leaving dozens wounded.
The 18-year-old German-Iranian, identified only as David S. due to Germany privacy laws, had earlier been described by investigators as being bullied by schoolmates at least once four years ago and being fascinated by previous mass shootings. But none of those killed were known to him, investigators said.
Late Sunday police said they had taken in for questioning a friend of the shooter who might have known of the attack plan. Further details were not immediately available, but Germany’s dpa news agency reported the 16-year-old boy had gone to police himself after the act.
Turkish opposition party denounces coup attempt
ISTANBUL (AP) — Tens of thousands of supporters of Turkey’s main opposition group, joined by some ruling party members, rallied Sunday in Istanbul to denounce a July 15 coup attempt, a rare show of unity that belies opposition unease over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown since the failed uprising.
The flag-waving demonstrators in the city’s Taksim square reflected widespread rejection of the coup attempt in a NATO country that has endured several coups in past decades. Even so, these are tense times in Turkey, which has declared a three-month state of emergency and detained more than 13,000 people in the military, judiciary and other institutions.
Steel barriers were erected around the square to protect the marchers, who entered through security checkpoints. In addition to the violence during the insurrection, Turkey has been hit by deadly bombings and other attacks blamed on the Islamic State group and Kurdish rebels.
The rally was organized by the opposition Republican People’s Party, which was close to secularist generals who used to control the military. The party has lost clout since Erdogan came to power more than a decade ago with votes from a pious Muslim class that was sidelined under Turkey’s past secular rulers.
“The coup attempt was done against our democratic, secular, social state, governed by rule of law,” Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party, said in a speech.
Newport Jazz Festival gets new vision with Christian McBride
Christian McBride is no stranger to the main stage at the Newport Jazz Festival and this year he’ll again be up there in a trio with pianist Chick Corea and drummer Brian Blade. But he’ll also be turning his attention to a new role backstage as he takes over as artistic director from festival founder George Wein.
The virtuoso bassist said Newport continues to be among the top festivals in the world, and he’s approaching his new role with the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Wein founded the jazz festival in 1954 after tobacco heiress Elaine Lorillard asked him to liven up the quiet summer scene in the resort town dotted with Gilded Age mansions. It was the first outdoor jazz festival and has since inspired open-air music festivals around the world. In 1959, he founded the Newport Folk Festival.
Next weekend’s jazz fest, now held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and at Fort Adams overlooking Narragansett Bay, is also scheduled to include performances by Gregory Porter, Norah Jones, Galactic, Kamasi Washington, Charles Lloyd, Robert Glasper, Lizz Wright and Angélique Kidjo
Wein in 2010 established a nonprofit foundation with the plan to continue the festival long after he’s gone. While he is stepping away from duties picking the lineup at the jazz festival, he will remain involved.
Verizon said to be buyer of Yahoo for $5 billion: Reports
NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon has agreed to buy online portal Yahoo Inc. for roughly $5 billion, according to multiple media reports, each citing a single unnamed source.
The deal is expected to be announced formally on Monday before markets open, the reports said.
Verizon had emerged in recent days as the front-runner for the beleaguered internet company. Yahoo is expected to sell its email service and news, finance and sports websites in addition to its advertising tools under pressure from shareholders fed up with a downturn in the company’s revenue during the past eight years.
The deal is likely to end the four-year reign of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive who flopped in her attempts to turn around the Sunnyvale, California, company.
Yahoo has been in a long, deep slump even as advertisers have been pouring more money into what is now a $160 billion market for digital advertising, according to research firm eMarketer.
Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza inducted into Hall of Fame
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Two players who began their careers at opposite ends of the spectrum nearly three decades ago ended up in the same place on Sunday — with their names etched on plaques at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
For Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, the culmination of their long journeys was tinged with tears all around.
“I stand up here humbled and overwhelmed,” Griffey said, staring out at his family and tens of thousands of fans. “I can’t describe how it feels.”
The two became a piece of history on their special day. Griffey, the first pick of the 1987 amateur draft, became the highest pick ever inducted. Piazza, a 62nd-round pick the next year —No. 1,390 — is the lowest pick to enter the Hall of Fame.
Griffey played 22 big-league seasons with the Mariners, Reds and White Sox and was selected on a record 99.32 percent of ballots cast, an affirmation of sorts for his clean performance during baseball’s so-called Steroids Era.
Afghanistan marks day of national mourning after huge attack
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan marked a national day of mourning on Sunday, a day after a suicide bomber killed at least 80 people who were taking part in a peaceful demonstration in Kabul. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.
Authorities say another 231 people were wounded, some seriously, in the bombing Saturday afternoon on a march by members of the ethnic Hazara community, who are predominantly Shiite Muslim. Most Afghans are Sunni, and the IS group regards Shiites as apostates.
The attack was the first by IS on Kabul — and the capital’s worst since a vicious Taliban insurgency began 15 years ago — raising concerns about the group’s reach and capability in Afghanistan.
Bereaved families collected their dead from hospitals and morgues across the capital, and began digging graves as the first funerals went ahead in the west of the capital.
Many people chose to bury their dead together with others — rather than in traditional family plots — encouraged by organizers of the Saturday demonstration, who call themselves the Enlighten Movement. In a hilltop graveyard in the Surkh Abad suburb of south-western Kabul, hundreds of people, most of them men, braved high winds and swirling dust to conduct the Shiite funeral rites.
After Obama’s green light, Afghan forces on the offensive
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — After two years of heavy casualties, the Afghan military is trying to retake the initiative in the war against militants with a new offensive against Islamic State group loyalists, an assault that will see American troops back on the battlefield working more closely with Afghan soldiers.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani recently announced a major assault against fighters loyal to the Islamic State group, who over the past year captured positions along Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan, mainly in Nangarhar province. That goal to uproot IS from Afghanistan has taken on new urgency in the wake of a deadly suicide bombing of a protest march Saturday in Kabul that killed at least 80 people.
The Islamic State group’s Aamaq online news agency quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, the first IS attack in the Afghan capital and one of the deadliest ever to hit Kabul. Ghani, in a live televised address after the bombing, told the nation, “I promise you I will take revenge against the culprits.”
The inexperienced Afghan forces have largely stalled in the fight against Islamic militants ever since most international combat troops withdrew in 2014. American forces that remained shifted to a supporting role and U.S. airstrikes diminished, letting the Afghan military take the lead in carrying out the war.
Taliban forces have dominated the battlefield and the Islamic State group has been building a foothold — and that has meant mounting losses among Afghan troops. Casualty numbers are not officially released, but according to figures provided by military officials, at least 5,000 troops were killed in 2014, rising to more than 6,000 last year. So far in 2016, Afghan troop deaths are 20 percent higher than the same point last year.