US says video shows Iran removing mine from stricken tanker
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. military released a video Friday it said showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the oil tankers targeted near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, suggesting Tehran wanted to hide evidence of its alleged involvement.
Iran denied any role in Thursday’s apparent attacks, which have again roiled the Persian Gulf amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over the unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.
Four other oil tankers off the nearby Emirati port city of Fujairah suffered similar attacks in recent weeks, and Iranian-allied rebels from Yemen have struck U.S. ally Saudi Arabia with drones and missiles.
President Donald Trump withdrew America last year from the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran reached with world powers and recently imposed a series of sanctions now squeezing its beleaguered economy and cutting deeply into its oil exports. While Iran maintains it has nothing to do with the recent attacks, its leaders repeatedly have threatened to close the vital Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 per cent of the world’s oil flows.
Iran accused Washington of waging an “Iranophobic campaign” against it, while Trump countered that the country was “a nation of terror.”
Doctors will conduct health checks at facility with preemie
The teenage girl with pigtail braids was hunched over in a wheelchair and holding a bunched sweatshirt when an immigrant advocate met her at a crowded Border Patrol facility in Texas.
She opened the sweatshirt and the advocate gasped. It was a tiny baby, born premature and held in detention instead of where the advocate believes the baby should have been — at a hospital neonatal unit.
“You look at this baby and there is no question that this baby should be in a tube with a heart monitor,” said Hope Frye, a volunteer with an immigrant advocacy group who travels the country visiting immigration facilities with children to make sure the facilities comply with federal guidelines.
Frye and other advocates said the case highlights the poor conditions immigrants are held in after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as the government deals with an unprecedented number of families and children arriving daily. They announced Friday that doctors would be able to do health assessments at that facility starting Saturday.
The mother, a 17-year-old from Guatemala, had an emergency cesarean section in Mexico in early May and crossed the border with the baby June 4, Frye said.
AP FACT CHECK: ‘Death to America’ chants live on in Iran
WASHINGTON (AP) — They still cry “death to America” in Iran.
President Donald Trump claimed otherwise in a Fox News interview as he took credit for a taming of Iran that is not apparent in its actions or rhetoric.
TRUMP, speaking about Iranians “screaming death to America” when Barack Obama was U.S. president: “They haven’t screamed ‘death to America’ lately.” — Fox News interview Friday.
THE FACTS: Not true. The death-to-America chant is heard routinely.
The chant, “marg bar Amreeka” in Farsi, dates back even before Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Once used by communists, it was popularized by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the revolution’s figurehead and Iran’s first supreme leader after the U.S. Embassy takeover by militants..
Middle East attack jolts oil-import dependent Asia
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The blasts detonated far from the bustling megacities of Asia, but the attack this week on two tankers in the strategic Strait of Hormuz hits at the heart of the region’s oil import-dependent economies.
While the violence only directly jolted two countries in the region — one of the targeted ships was operated by a Tokyo-based company, a nearby South Korean-operated vessel helped rescue sailors — it will unnerve major economies throughout Asia.
Officials, analysts and media commentators on Friday hammered home the importance of the Strait of Hormuz for Asia, calling it a crucial lifeline, and there was deep interest in more details about the still-sketchy attack and what the United States and Iran would do in the aftermath.
In the end, whether Asia shrugs it off, as some analysts predict, or its economies shudder as a result, the attack highlights the widespread worries over an extreme reliance on a single strip of water for the oil that fuels much of the region’s shared progress.
Here is a look at how Asia is handling rising tensions in a faraway but economically crucial area, compiled by AP reporters from around the world:
O’Rourke: White Americans don’t know full story of slavery
BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) — Beto O’Rourke took a path somewhat less travelled on Friday, meeting with a small group representing a community of slave descendants in South Carolina as he strives to make connections with the black voters who will play a dominant role in next year’s Southern presidential primaries.
In a Baptist church in Beaufort, the Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman met with leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, a culture of coastal slave descendants whose separation from the mainland allowed them to retain much of their African heritage, including a unique dialect and skills such as cast-net fishing and basket weaving.
O’Rourke, addressing questions on topics including health care, housing affordability and education, acknowledged what he identified as his own struggle with not knowing enough about the history of slavery in the United States and its ongoing ramifications.
“White Americans do not know this story,” O’Rourke said, noting that until a tour of the church’s grounds, he hadn’t known anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman had lived in the area.
O’Rourke has addressed issues concerning white privilege before, telling a crowd at a historically black college in South Carolina earlier this year that he might not know their struggles but wanted to try to help them. In Iowa, he said he didn’t think being a white man in a historically diverse field of candidates put him at a disadvantage because his sex and race have given him inherent advantages for years.
Migrants complain of poor conditions at US holding centres
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The Trump administration is facing growing complaints from migrants about severe overcrowding, meagre food and other hardships at border holding centres, with some people at an encampment in El Paso being forced to sleep on the bare ground during dust storms.
The Border Network for Human Rights issued a report Friday based on dozens of testimonials of immigrants over the past month and a half, providing a snapshot of cramped conditions and prolonged stays in detention amid a record surge of migrant families coming into the U.S. from Central America.
The report comes a day after an advocate described finding a teenage mother cradling a premature baby inside a Border Patrol processing centre in Texas. The advocate said the baby should have been in a hospital, not a facility where adults are kept in large fenced-in sections that critics describe as cages.
“The state of human rights in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands is grave and is only getting worse,” the immigrant rights group said in its report. “People are dying because of what is happening.”
Five immigrant children have died since late last year after being detained by the Border Patrol, including a flu-stricken teenager who was found dead in a facility migrants refer to as the “icebox” because of the temperatures inside.
Small donors, not French tycoons, help pay Notre Dame works
PARIS (AP) — The billionaire French donors who publicly proclaimed they would give hundreds of millions to rebuild Notre Dame have not yet paid a penny toward the restoration of the French national monument, according to church and business officials.
Instead, it’s mainly American and French individuals, via Notre Dame charitable foundations, that are behind the first donations paying the bills and salaries for up to 150 workers employed by the cathedral since the April 15 fire that devastated its roof and caused its masterpiece spire to collapse. This month they are handing over the first private payment for the cathedral’s reconstruction of 3.6 million euros ($4 million).
“The big donors haven’t paid. Not a cent,” said Andre Finot, senior press official at Notre Dame. “They want to know what exactly their money is being spent on and if they agree to it before they hand it over, and not just to pay employees’ salaries.”
Almost $1 billion was promised by some of France’s richest and most powerful families and companies, some of whom sought to outbid each other, in the hours and days after the inferno. It prompted criticism that the donations were as much about the vanity of the donors wishing to be immortalized in the edifice’s fabled stones than the preservation of France’s church heritage.
Francois Pinault of Artemis, the parent company of Kering that owns Gucci and Saint Laurent, promised 100 million euros ($112 million), while Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of French energy company Total, said his firm would match that figure. Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury giant LVMH that owns Louis Vuitton and Dior, pledged 200 million euros ($224 million), as did the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation of the L’Oréal fortune.
US Naval War College is getting its 1st female president
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A helicopter pilot who heads a military command in Guam will be the first female leader of the U.S. Naval War College, the Navy announced Friday, days after removing the college president who came under investigation over questionable behaviour.
Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield will be the new president, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said in a statement released after the school’s graduation ceremony, calling her a “historic choice.”
Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley was removed as the college’s president Monday after The Associated Press reported he was under investigation and more than a year after the initial complaint was filed.
Spencer was at the post-graduate institution in Newport, Rhode Island, on Friday for graduation. About 550 students crossed the stage, and about 1,000 students graduated from the distance learning program. Spencer challenged them to be innovative and act with urgency.
Shortly afterward, he released the announcement about the school’s new leadership.
$10M claim says Phoenix police violated family’s rights
PHOENIX (AP) — A $10 million legal claim was filed against the city of Phoenix that says police officers committed civil rights violations by pointing guns and profanely yelling commands at the father and pregnant mother of two young daughters because one of the children, unbeknownst to the parents, had shoplifted a doll at a store.
Parents Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper said an officer injured their 1-year-old daughter last month by pulling on one of her arms after the mother refused a command to put the child down. The mother said the girl couldn’t walk and the pavement was hot.
The notice of claim filed Wednesday also said Ames was injured by police who erroneously claimed he wasn’t complying with their commands after Ames exited the vehicle that the family was travelling in.
An officer is accused of throwing Ames against a vehicle, kicking his leg so hard that Ames collapsed and punching him for no reason. The claim said one of the officers profanely told Ames in front of his children that he was going to shoot him in the face.
“No threat, no resistance,” said Tom Horne, an attorney representing the family. “It was completely unjustified.”
Stocks post small losses; investors look ahead to Fed
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended a choppy week of trading with modest losses Friday as investors look forward to getting more clues about the direction of interest rates.
Technology shares drove the declines, and energy stocks also fell a day after leading the market. Some late-day gains in banks and insurers helped temper the market’s losses.
Investors dealt with fresh concerns about the impact on businesses of the U.S. trade dispute with China. The chipmaker Broadcom warned that demand for chips has slowed because of U.S. restrictions on sales to Chinese technology firms and hesitation among customers to place new orders. It shaved $2 billion from its annual revenue forecast.
Trading this week was uneven as investors swung between safe-play holdings and riskier bets. Stocks rose Monday but then seesawed as investors saw signs that the U.S. and China won’t settle their differences on trade anytime soon. There is concern that a protracted dispute could further hurt global economic growth and corporate profits. A suspected attack on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz added more uncertainty.
The S&P 500 index fell 4.66 points, or 0.2%, to 2,886.98 Friday and ended the week with a slim gain of 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 17.16 points, or 0.1%, to 26,089.61. The Nasdaq composite slid 40.47 points, or 0.5%, to 7,796.66. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks dropped 13.30 points, or 0.9%, to 1,522.50.
The Associated Press