Republican Matt Bevin concedes defeat in Kentucky governor’s race

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Republican Matt Bevin concedes defeat in Kentucky governor’s race

(CNN)Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin conceded defeat on Thursday to Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear.

“We’re going to have a change in the governorship based on the vote of the people,” Bevin said at a news conference.
The concession comes after Bevin requested all 120 counties in the state recheck the results from last week’s gubernatorial election. That re-canvass showed Beshear still leading over Bevin.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said in a statement that Beshear received 5,136 more votes than Bevin.
“I’m not going to contest these numbers that have come in,” Bevin said Thursday.
“I truly wish the attorney general well as the next governor of this state as he assumes these responsibilities,” Bevin said. Bevin said his team has already been working with Beshear’s and that he expects a smooth transition.
“I love the fact that we’re blessed to live in a nation where things do transition in ways that much of the world wishes they had,” he said.
Beshear said at a news conference he appreciated Bevin’s concession, which he noted came quickly after the re-canvass.
“The race is now officially over,” Beshear said, “which means we can look forward and we can move forward.”
Beshear was elected attorney general of Kentucky in 2015 and is the son of Steve Beshear, Bevin’s predecessor.
The governor-elect tweeted: “It’s official – thank you Kentucky. @GovMattBevin and his team have already begun a smooth transition. It’s time to get to work!”
A Democratic victory in Kentucky, a state Donald Trump carried by 30 percentage points in the 2016 election, could be seen as an ominous sign for the President heading into his 2020 reelection bid. The result shows that Trump wasn’t able to carry his preferred candidate over the finish line. Bevin had the strong backing of the President, and Trump held a rally in Lexington, Kentucky, the night before the election.
Bevin, elected governor in 2015, has faced backlash for seeking to undercut the state’s Medicaid expansion and calling teachers “selfish” and accusing them of a “thug mentality” when they protested after he threatened to cut their pensions.
Bevin requested a re-canvass after the results from last week’s election showed Bevin trailing Beshear by more than 5,000 votes.
The re-canvass began on Thursday morning. Unlike a standard recount of votes, a re-canvass is a reprint of the receipts from voting machines to check for reporting or clerical errors. After ballots are scanned, the machine tabulates those votes and prints out a receipt with the total.
During the re-canvass, those receipts were reprinted and checked again to make sure they were reported properly. It’s not uncommon for some clerical errors to occur during the initial vote tabulation.
Kentucky law does not allow for a recount in a gubernatorial general election, but a campaign may request a re-canvass of the votes with the secretary of state. There is no threshold or margin requirement for a re-canvass.
Bevin previously told CNN affiliate WKYT: “It’s not likely to change a lot numerically, but you have to go through this as a first step … to make sure the numbers that were written down and communicated are accurate.” He said his office is also preparing for Beshear to assume the governorship.
“There are very good odds, he could be the next governor — no question about it,” Bevin told WKYT. “Right now, he is numerically ahead and would seemingly be the next governor, and if that is corroborated and held up through this process, I’ll be his number one cheerleader.”
Representatives from both political parties and the media were allowed to be present for the re-canvass.

Nine-year-old child genius to graduate university

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Nine-year-old child genius to graduate university

Laurent Simons pictured here in 2018.

(CNN)child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of nine.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.
Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.
He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.
His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.
“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.
Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.
While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.
But Lydia has her own theory.
“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.
The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.
“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, in a statement.
“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”
Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.
“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”
Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”
His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.
“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.
“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”
While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.
“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”
Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.
However, unlike most nine-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.
In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.
Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

Trump is about to give Putin another gift

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(“Sometimes the only way to explain/predict Trump’s foreign policy is to think ‘what would Putin want the US to do?'”)

Trump is about to give Putin another gift

David A. Andelman, Executive Director of The RedLines Project, is a contributor to CNN, where his columns won the Deadline Club Award for Best Opinion Writing. Author of “A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today,” he was formerly a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News. Follow him on Twitter @DavidAndelman. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN

(CNN)Another critical legacy of the post-Cold War era may be on the verge of biting the dust now that President Donald Trump’s administration is planning to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows member states to conduct unarmed surveillance over one another’s territories and helps verify arms control agreements. Watching Trump drive a stake through the heart of this treaty should be quite a pleasant prospect for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

David Andelman

Though President Dwight Eisenhower first proposed such a treaty in 1955, it did not become a reality until 2002. Since then, the Open Skies Treaty has allowed reconnaissance flights over each of the 34 nations that have signed it — largely NATO nations and others across eastern Europe. This arrangement has allowed American surveillance aircraft to keep track of just what the Russian military is up to in areas like eastern Ukraine, or in Georgia, where Russian troops once tried in vain to seize large swaths of territory.
An American withdrawal from the Open Skies treaty would give Putin more leeway to make forays into areas like eastern Ukraine, where he’d love to keep his actions concealed from western scrutiny. As Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, wrote in a letter to National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, “Withdrawal risks dividing the transatlantic alliance and would further undermine America’s reliability as a stable and predictable partner when it comes to European security.”
By withdrawing from the Open Skies treaty, the United States would fulfill Putin’s goals by effectively “driving another wedge into the NATO alliance,” Reif says. President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes may have put it best in a recent tweet: “Sometimes the only way to explain/predict Trump’s foreign policy is to think ‘what would Putin want the US to do?'”
Each time Donald Trump has withdrawn from an international treaty, I’ve declared it his single most cataclysmic move. And each time, he has surprised me by topping his previous actions. He certainly surprised me with the audacity of his decision in 2017 to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, and with his utter failure to understand what the consequences would be. Trump followed this move in 2018 by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear accord, to similarly disastrous consequences. Then there was Trump’s withdrawal from the INF (intermediate nuclear forces) agreement this August, touching off what will inevitably be a new arms race, and certainly freeing up Russia’s ability to test and deploy new generations of advanced missiles threatening America’s allies in western Europe.
Now, the administration is threatening to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies.
“The view within DOD and the State Department is that there continues to be significant value here to the United States and to our allies and partners” in maintaining the treaty, Kingston Reif, director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy at the Arms Control Association, tells me in an interview.
With this treaty in force, Reif says, “The United States has been able to fly over Ukraine and western Russia. These flights have yielded valuable data with respect to the Russian military.” Moreover, since Ukraine is also a signatory to the pact, its military has benefited from intelligence gleaned from these overflights, Reif tells me.
The Open Skies treaty allowed one particularly important flight over eastern Ukraine on December 6, 2018, after Russians attacked Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea. The flight, which included American, Canadian, French, German, Romanian, British and Ukrainian observers on board the OC-135 surveillance plane, “reaffirm(ed) (the) United States’ commitment to Ukraine and other partner nations,” a Defense Department statement said. While the United States does have other sources of satellite surveillance, this particular flight was crucial: It produced images that could be broadly released because they were obtained from this less-classified source. Our ability to make and disseminate these images demonstrated to Russia that the world was watching.
The treaty has also allowed surveillance flights over the heavily armed Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, where the Kremlin has been upgrading its nuclear weapons storage and deployment. These flights have been particularly useful to the Baltic members of NATO, including neighboring Lithuania, where advanced Russian systems pose an immediate and ever-present threat.
To get a sense of the shock and horror Trump’s withdrawal has elicited from America’s strategic establishment, look no further than the United States Strategic Command’s (Stratcom) Twitter account. It quietly asserted its support for the Open Skies Treaty by retweeting Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska, who wrote that the agreement “helps build confidence & increase transparency.”
It remains unclear why the Trump administration is looking to pull out of the treaty after 17 years. The administration has declined to comment to CNN, or to me, on the cause or the timing of the withdrawal.
Regardless, the treaty offers several critical functions. It supports our NATO allies while providing a security blanket over non-NATO members who are also interested in containing Russian expansion. It also offers us a window into Russia’s military operations, especially those along its borders.
Above all, Trump should start to consider the consequences of his impulsive actions — demonstrated recently and vividly in his ill-conceived decision to withdraw US forces from northeastern Syria, thereby giving Turkey and Russia an open avenue to occupy swaths of territory that they’d long been denied.
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While the consequences of a pullout from Open Skies may be less visible in the short term than those of the US withdrawal from Syria, on the long term, they could prove equally catastrophic.

NYC To Close Notorious Rikers Island Jail

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New York City Council votes to close notorious Rikers Island jail

New York (CNN)The New York City Council voted overwhelmingly to close Rikers Island jail Thursday and open four new borough-based facilities instead.

“Today is a day that the history books will look back on as a good day for New York City,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said. “This is a step forward, this is progress, this is the right thing to do.”
The jail, which is on an island in the East River, has become a symbol of the ills of pretrial detention, most famously in the case of Kalief Browder. Browder took his own life after spending three years incarcerated at Rikers Island without being convicted of a crime.
The jail is also notorious for its violence and poor conditions. The US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York reached a settlement with the city in 2015 after a multi-year investigation found adolescent inmates were not protected from “the rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force by New York City Department of Correction staff and violence inflicted by other inmates.”
The balcony in the city council chamber was cleared prior to the vote after protesters chanted, “No new jails.”
The majority leader claimed that something had been thrown from the balcony, noting “throwing things from the balcony compromises the safety of every member of this body.”
A protester responded “your safety is not in jeopardy, the safety of young black and brown people is in jeopardy.”
“The era of mass incarceration is over. It’s over,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference after the vote.
“This is about valuing our people, no longer condemning people and sending them on a pathway that only made their lives worse and worse.”
According to de Blasio, New York’s jail population has declined by nearly half in the last six years. The jail population has declined from 11,000 in 2014 to about 7,000 today, and is projected to be approximately 3,300 by 2026, de Blasio added in a press release.

Hundreds of ex-national security officials support impeachment inquiry into Trump

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Hundreds of ex-national security officials support impeachment inquiry into Trump

This is what the whistle blower complaint says 02:40

Washington (CNN)More than 300 former national security officials have come out in support of an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, arguing the President’s actions in regard to Ukraine are a “profound national security concern.”

“President Trump appears to have leveraged the authority and resources of the highest office in the land to invite additional foreign interference into our democratic processes,” a statement signed by the officials and dated Friday reads. “That would constitute an unconscionable abuse of power.”
The statement was released by the National Security Action, an advocacy group formed in 2018 by two former national security advisers in the Obama administration to oppose Trump’s foreign policy.
The bulk of the statement’s signees are former Obama officials, but the list also includes officials who have served in both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Former officials of the intelligence community, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Council staff are among the signers.
“As national security professionals, many of us have long been concerned with President Trump’s actions and their implications for our safety and security,” the statement read. “Some of us have spoken out, but many of us have eschewed politics throughout our careers and, as a result, have not weighed in publicly.”
“The revelations of recent days, however, demand a response,” they added.
One of the signers, former US Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns, said Friday on CNN’s “Newsroom” that he feels this letter is unique because of its timing. “What we’re trying to say in this letter is that it is now time to begin the impeachment proceedings. Personally, I think the President should be removed from office because he’s shamed the country and he’s tried to hold himself above the law,” said Burns, a longtime Foreign Service officer.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump over the allegations that he attempted to pressure a foreign leader for personal political gain.
A White House transcript of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky showed that Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 candidate, and Biden’s son. The rough transcript also raised questions of whether Trump offered a quid pro quo over military foreign aid to Ukraine for dirt on a political rival. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
The July phone call was included in a whistle blower complaint publicly released Thursday. In the complaint, the whistle blower alleged Trump abused his powers to “solicit interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming 2020 election, and the White House took steps to cover it up. Trump has denied that there was any wrongdoing.
“If we fail to speak up — and act — now our foreign policy and national security will officially be on offer to those who can most effectively fulfill the President’s personal prerogatives,” the former officials said in their statement.
“We do not wish to prejudge the totality of the facts or Congress’ deliberative process,” they said, adding, “At the same time, there is no escaping that what we already know is serious enough to merit impeachment proceedings.”

One person was killed, 8 others wounded in knife attack outside Lyon, France

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One person was killed, 8 others wounded in knife attack outside Lyon, France

Emergency services at work on the outskirts of Lyon after a deadly knife attack

(CNN)One person was killed and eight others wounded during a knife attack at a subway stop near Lyon, France, according to authorities and media reports.

Three of the eight victims were seriously wounded, CNN affiliate BFM TV reported. The station had earlier reported nine wounded but later revised the number to eight, citing police sources.
A suspect has been taken into custody, according to Lyon Mayor Gerard Collomb. The motive for the attack is not known.
Emergency services at scene of knife assault that left one person dead and nine others wounded.

“I am extremely shocked by the attack that just took place in the Lyon area, during which one person died and several others wounded, some seriously,” the mayor tweeted.
The suspected attacker is a 33-year-old asylum seeker, BFM reported.
The attack is not a terror investigation at the moment, a police trade union official told CNN.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, via Twitter, expressed his condolences to “friends and family of the young man killed.” He said he was following the situation.
The assault occurred in Villeurbanne, a suburb of the southeastern city of Lyon, about 4:30 p.m., BFM reported. Emergency services responded to an exit at the Laurent Bonnevay stop of the Lyon Metro.
In September, seven people were injured, including two British tourists, during an attack by a man wielding a knife and an iron bar in northeastern Paris, police said. The assault came after a series of knife attacks in France.

Valerie Harper, Emmy-winning ‘Rhoda’ star, dead at 80

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Valerie Harper, Emmy-winning ‘Rhoda’ star, dead at 80

(CNN)Valerie Harper, who achieved fame as Rhoda on the classic sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and continued as the character in a popular spin-off series, has died after a long battle with cancer, her daughter Cristina Cacciotti and family friend Deanna Buskey confirmed to CNN.

She was 80.
Buskey, a friend of the family for more than 20 years, said the family was not “providing details at this time.”
Buskey, who first met Harper and her husband while working with them on her theater production of “All Under Heaven,” helped launch a GoFundMe account for Harper’s care earlier this summer.
In July, Harper’s husband, Tony Cacciotti, posted a message on Facebook saying he would not follow the advice of his wife’s doctors and put her in hospice care, despite her worsening condition. He said he would “do my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible.”
Cristina Cacciotti said her mother died at 10:06 a.m. Friday.
Harper was cast as Mary Richards’ wisecracking best friend, Rhoda Morgenstern, and became so popular that she was spun off into her own show, “Rhoda,” midway through the flagship program’s run. She won four Emmys for the role.
The Rhoda character was originally conceived as an antagonist to Moore’s Mary, but was eventually fashioned into her outspoken friend. Harper recalled MTM executive Grant Tinker fighting to maintain those qualities in the face of early network concerns that Rhoda was too abrasive.
Harper returned to sitcoms in the mid-1980’s with a self-titled show, “Valerie,” which cast her as a mother raising her children. But she was fired after two seasons because of a contractual dispute with the studio and network, and wound up suing for wrongful termination, eventually receiving a settlement of $1.4 million.
Valerie Harper

NBC kept the series — renaming it first “Valerie’s Family” and later “The Hogan Family” — with Sandy Duncan brought in to fill the void left by Harper’s character, who was killed off.
In a 2009 interview with the Television Academy’s Archive of American Television, Harper said had she been new to the business, the “difficult” label might have stuck to her. As it was, she said, “We went to court (and) they lost, big time. And you go on. … It didn’t harm my career.”
The actress did remain active — primarily in series guest work and made-for-TV movies — and played Rhoda again in a 2000 TV movie, “Mary and Rhoda,” which reunited the characters along with their grown daughters.
At the time, Harper recalled Moore telling her in regard to doing the movie — which was initially pitched as a sitcom revival — “Maybe we’ll fall on our faces, but let’s take a chance.”
Harper battled lung cancer and was subsequently diagnosed with another form of cancer, leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, in 2013. Her family recently started a GoFundMe page to help with the cost of her treatments.
Born in New York, Harper began her career as a dancer — performing at Radio City Music Hall in the 1950s — and later joined the comedy troupe Second City. She was also heard on the comedy album “When You’re in Love, the Whole World is Jewish,” a follow-up to the popular 1960s sketch piece “You Don’t Have to be Jewish.”
Off screen, Harper was active in politics and charitable endeavors, advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment and championing a charity known as L.I.F.E., which stood for Love Is Feeding Everyone.

The reasons Hurricane Dorian is particularly dangerous

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Here are some of the reasons Hurricane Dorian is particularly dangerous

The differences between weather forecast models

JUST WATCHED

The differences between weather forecast models 01:12

(CNN)Hurricane Dorian is scary for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s expected to be a monstrous Category 4 storm by the time it gets to Florida early next week.

Winds that strong would be worrying enough, but that’s just one piece of Dorian’s package of threats.
With the caveat that forecasts often change as the storm approaches, here are the risks Dorian seems poised to pose:

It could be dark at landfall

Forecasts as of midday Friday predict Dorian making landfall late Monday or early Tuesday — while it’s still dark — somewhere on Florida’s Atlantic coast.
“One of the worst things you can have is a dark landfall,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. “You hear things moving, you don’t know where they came from. You don’t how big that thing was that just crashed.”

It could bring winds of 130+ mph

Forecasters predict the maximum sustained winds at Dorian’s core will be more than 130 mph when it makes landfall in Florida.
That would make it the strongest hurricane to strike the state’s Atlantic coast since catastrophic Andrew in 1992.
It also would put Dorian into the Category 4 range (130 to 156 mph).
Winds of at least 130 mph cause catastrophic damage. The National Weather Service puts it this way: Even well-built homes can lose roofs and some exterior walls. Trees and power poles are snapped or toppled.
Power outages could last weeks in areas affected by winds of these speeds.

It’s expected to linger. That will raise flooding threats

Dorian’s forward movement is expected to slow as it approaches land, and it should remain slow over land, eventually taking a turn to the north.
One consequence of that: Dorian would keep dropping heavy rain over the same areas for a long time.
That would lead to freshwater flooding. Heavy rain is forecast over much of Florida — as many as 20 inches dropping in parts of eastern and central portions of the state, Myers said. Coastal Georgia, too, should watch for heavy rain.
Strong winds also will batter areas over and over. The storm’s core should lose strength as it moves over land, but remember, its forward movement is expected to be a crawl. As of Friday, some forecasts had Dorian still somewhere over Florida about 24 hours after landfall — and still with low-end Category 1 winds.
A forecast map created August 30 shows predicted rainfall accumulations through September 6.

Storm surges could be bad. King Tides could make them worse

With any landfalling hurricane, you’ll want to look for storm surges — winds and pressure pushing seawater onto land. In Dorian’s case — churning counterclockwise and moving westward into land — we may see a good amount of storm surge just to the north of Dorian’s landfall spot.
Dorian is approaching at an unfortunate time, as far as storm surges go. Friday marked the start of Florida’s King Tides, a term that refers to the highest tides in any given period.
“The fact that this storm is hitting during some of the highest tides of the year is very concerning,” CNN senior meteorologist Brandon Miller said. “The King Tides adding a couple of feet to the water height is almost like the storm being a category higher on scale.”
King Tides combining with storm surges could mean people who typically consider themselves safely away from shore could, in fact, be in danger.
Storm surges north of wherever Dorian makes landfall “could easily be over 8 to 12 feet,” Myers said.

A veteran-owned company releases a Betsy Ross flag shirt after Nike controversy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

A veteran-owned company releases a Betsy Ross flag shirt after Nike controversy

(CNN)A veteran-owned company is facing off against Nike again, this time over a Revolutionary War-era flag.

Nine Line Apparel, a Georgia-based company founded by retired Army Capt. Tyler Merritt, is releasing “Betsy Ross” flag t-shirts after Nike decided to recall shoes featuring the same design.
Nike was set to release a USA-themed Air Max 1 this week but, according to The Wall Street Journal, asked stores to return the shoes after complaints from former NFL star and activist Colin Kaepernick.
“Nine Line Apparel, along with relentlessly patriotic Americans everywhere, cannot believe the total ignorance and lack of understanding displayed by both Colin Kaepernick and Nike in relation to our country’s Betsy Ross flag, it’s symbolism and meaning,” Nine Line Apparel says on its website.
The special-edition Air Max 1s featured the “Betsy Ross” flag, a design created during the American Revolution with a circle of 13 white stars for the 13 original states. The Wall Street Journal said Kaepernick and others were critical of the flag’s ties to an era of slavery.
“Nike made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday,” Nike said in a statement. “Nike is a company proud of its American heritage.”
Nine Line Apparel, which calls itself a company “by patriots for patriots,” has gone after Nike and Kaepernick before.
In September, the company released “Just Stand” t-shirts in response to Nike’s ad campaign highlighting Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
Merritt is calling for a full boycott of Nike, according to CNN affiliate WJCL.
“The American people should support the red, white and blue and boycott Nike and join our #NoToNike campaign. Nike says ‘just do it.’ We say just stand — stand for your beliefs and for your country,” he said.

Mueller to testify publicly on July 17 following a subpoena

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Mueller to testify publicly on July 17 following a subpoena

(CNN)Robert Mueller will testify before Congress on July 17 after House Democrats issued a subpoena for his appearance, a move that paves the way for a reluctant special counsel to answer questions publicly for the first time about his 22-month investigation into President Donald Trump.

The House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees announced Tuesday that Mueller had agreed to testify after they issued subpoenas for his testimony, and Mueller would appear in public before the two panels next month.
“Americans have demanded to hear directly from the Special Counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, uncovered, and determined about Russia’s attack on our democracy, the Trump campaign’s acceptance and use of that help, and President Trump and his associates’ obstruction of the investigation into that attack,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said in a joint statement.
Schiff said Tuesday that the committees would be questioning Mueller separately the same day, and that his committee would question Mueller’s staff in closed session following the public hearing so they can discuss the counterintelligence portions of the investigation.
Mueller’s testimony is poised to be the most-anticipated congressional hearing in years, and represents a huge moment for House Democrats who have wrestled with whether to dive into a politically divisive impeachment process following the Mueller investigation and White House stonewalling of congressional probes.
The subpoenas to Mueller come after weeks of negotiations between Democrats, the special counsel’s team and the Justice Department. Democrats are proceeding with subpoenas to Mueller after he spoke publicly last month and said he did not wish to testify publicly about the investigation, and that his testimony would not go beyond what was written in the special counsel’s 448-page report.
In a letter to Mueller, the Democratic chairmen said that they understood Mueller’s concerns about ongoing investigations referred by the special counsel, but still felt it was necessary for him to testify.
“We will work with you to address legitimate concerns about preserving the integrity of your work, but we expect that you will appear before our Committees as scheduled,” Nadler and Schiff wrote.
Democrats have been talking about bringing Mueller in to testify since his investigation wrapped in March, and their decision to issue subpoenas comes more than a month after the initial date that Nadler had floated for Mueller to appear.
Since then, Democrats have continued to negotiate with Mueller, holding out hope he would agree to testify voluntarily. While Mueller stated he did not wish appear before Congress, Democrats — and some Republicans — have said they still believe Mueller should testify. Democrats have argued that the American people can hear directly from the special counsel in a public setting, and lawmakers in both parties have said they want to ask him about some of the decisions made during the investigation.
Mueller’s report was written in two parts: a volume on Russian election meddling and one on obstruction.
In the first volume, the special counsel did not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, but it did detail numerous contacts between Russians and members of Trump’s team that Democrats charge are troubling, even if they aren’t criminal. In the second volume, Mueller documented nearly a dozen episodes of possible obstruction of justice. The special counsel wrote that DOJ guidelines did not allow a sitting president to be indicted, and that the investigation could not exonerate Trump.
Mueller’s public statement last month — in which he emphasized that the investigation did not exonerate the President and that his team followed the DOJ guidelines — sparked a wave of House Democrats to call for the opening of an impeachment inquiry.
Their numbers have grown amid White House stonewalling of testimony and documents to congressional investigations, and now more than 75 have come out in favor of opening an impeachment inquiry.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued to resist the move, arguing that Democrats are winning their court fights with the Trump administration and impeachment should only be pursued if the public is on board.
Schiff and Nadler have both publicly refrained from calling for the opening of an impeachment inquiry. Behind the scenes, Nadler has lobbied Pelosi to do so, while Schiff has argued against it.
This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.