Author: Maga First News
An unhinged trespasser broke into the empty Queens campaign offices of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday, and barricaded himself into a closet before cops hauled him out.
The man, whose name was not released by police, was emotionally disturbed, police said.
He busted into AOC’s offices at 74-09 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights sometime before 5 p.m., police said.
When cops arrived, he sprayed them with a fire extinguisher and fled into a utility closet, police said.
Once they got him out, cops took him to Elmhurst Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
AOC was in Washington on Saturday.
Source: Fox News Politics
Members of Civil Human Rights Front hold a news conference in response to the announcement by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam regarding the proposed extradition bill, outside the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, China, June 15, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
June 16, 2019
By Anne Marie Roantree and Alun John
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hundreds of people took to the streets in Hong Kong on Sunday dressed in black to demand the city’s embattled leader steps down, a day after she suspended an extradition bill in a dramatic retreat following the most violent protests in decades.
Activists set up gazebos as protesters, some carrying flowers, started to gather in sweltering summer heat to march from Victoria Park to Hong Kong’s central government offices.
Beijing-backed Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Saturday indefinitely delayed the extradition bill that could send people to mainland China to face trial, expressing “deep sorrow and regret”.
The about-face was one of the most significant political turnarounds by the Hong Kong government since Britain returned the territory to China in 1997, and it threw into question Lam’s ability to continue to lead the city.
Activist investor David Webb, in a newsletter on Sunday, said if Lam was a stock he would recommend shorting her with a target price of zero.
“Call it the Carrie trade. She has irrevocably lost the public’s trust,” Webb said.
“Her minders in Beijing, while expressing public support for now, have clearly lined her up for the chop by distancing themselves from the proposal in recent days.”
Protest organizers are hoping more than a million people turn up for the Sunday rally, scheduled to start at 2.30pm local time, similar to numbers they estimated for a demonstration against the proposed extradition bill last Sunday. Police put that count at 240,000.
Violent clashes on Wednesday when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters near the heart of the financial center grabbed global headlines and forced some banks to shut branches.
Some Hong Kong tycoons have started moving personal wealth offshore over concerns about the proposed extradition law, which critics warn could erode the city’s international status.
The city’s independent legal system was guaranteed under laws governing Hong Kong’s return from British to Chinese rule 22 years ago, and is seen by business and diplomatic communities as its strong remaining asset amid encroachments from Beijing.
Hong Kong has been governed under a “one country, two systems” formula since its return to Beijing, allowing freedoms not enjoyed on mainland China but not a fully democratic vote.
Many accuse Beijing of extensive meddling since then, including obstruction of democratic reforms, interference with elections and of being behind the disappearance of five Hong Kong-based booksellers, starting in 2015, who specialized in works critical of Chinese leaders.
Some opponents of the extradition bill said a suspension was not enough and want it scrapped and Lam to go.
“If she refuses to scrap this controversial bill altogether, it would mean we wouldn’t retreat. She stays on, we stay on,” said pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo.
Asked repeatedly on Saturday if she would step down, Lam avoided answering directly and appealed to the public to “give us another chance.” Lam said she had been a civil servant for decades and still had work she wanted to do.
She added that she felt “deep sorrow and regret that the deficiencies in our work and various other factors have stirred up substantial controversies and disputes in society”.
Lam’s reversal was hailed by business groups and overseas governments.
“AmCham is relieved by the government decision to suspend the extradition bill and that it listened to the Hong Kong people and international business community,” said Tara Joseph, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.
The UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter: “Well done HK Government for heeding concerns of the brave citizens who have stood up for their human rights”.
China’s top newspaper on Sunday condemned “anti-China lackeys” of foreign forces in Hong Kong.
“Certain people in Hong Kong have been relying on foreigners or relying on young people to build themselves up, serving as the pawns and lackeys of foreign anti-China forces,” the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said in a commentary.
“This is resolutely opposed by the whole of the Chinese people including the vast majority of Hong Kong compatriots.”
The Hong Kong protests have been the largest in the city since crowds came out against the bloody suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations centered around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.
Officials said 72 people were admitted to hospitals from the Wednesday protest, while a man died on Saturday after plunging from construction scaffolding where he unfurled a banner denouncing Hong Kong’s extradition bill, local media reported.
Lam had said the extradition law was necessary to prevent criminals using Hong Kong as a place to hide and that human rights would be protected by the city’s court which would decide on the extraditions on a case-by-case basis.
Critics, including leading lawyers and rights groups, note China’s justice system is controlled by the Communist Party, and say it is marked by torture and forced confessions, arbitrary detention and poor access to lawyers.
(Reporting By Anne Marie Roantree, Alun John, Jessie Pang and Clare Jim; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing, Editing by Diane Craft and Michael Perry)
FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, is seen after the OPEC 14th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 19, 2019. REUTERS/Waleed Ali
June 16, 2019
KARUIZAWA, Japan (Reuters) – Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday that OPEC would probably meet in the first week in July in Vienna and that he hoped it would reach consensus on extending its agreement to cut oil output.
Falih said earlier this month that OPEC was close to agreeing to extend the agreement beyond June, although more talks were still needed with non-OPEC countries that were part of the production deal.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus Russia and other producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, have a deal to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1.
“We are hoping that we will reach consensus to extend our agreement when we meet in two-weeks-time in Vienna,” Falih told reporters on the sideline of a G20 energy and environment ministerial meeting in , northwest of Tokyo.Asked when the meeting will be held, he said: “Probably first week of July”.
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Michael Perry)
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks at a news conference in Hong Kong, China, June 15, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
June 16, 2019
By James Pomfret, Greg Torode and Ben Blanchard
HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – With an escalating U.S. trade war, a faltering economy and tensions in the South China Sea vexing her bosses in Beijing, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam appeared in no mood to compromise on a planned extradition law at recent meetings, according to foreign envoys and business people who met with her.
Some of the people at those meetings in recent weeks pointed to media reports that even Hong Kong’s usually reticent judges were worried about the proposed law which threatened to send people for trial in mainland China for the first time.
But Lam bluntly dismissed concerns about a Chinese justice system that is widely criticized for forced confessions, arbitrary detentions and one-sided trials, saying judges were not supposed to speak.
Worries over the bill’s impact on Hong Kong’s international standing as a financial hub with a respected legal system were building in Washington, London and other European capitals, but Lam stressed the need for the extradition law to help solve the murder of a Hong Kong woman in Taiwan.
“She needed a dinghy and she deployed the Titanic,” one diplomat who met Lam this month told Reuters, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.
In numerous public appearances after that, Lam was unyielding on the need for the bill, despite huge and sometimes violent street protests including one last Sunday that organizers said drew more than a million people.
Then on Saturday, Lam suddenly announced the bill had been postponed indefinitely.
She told a news conference she felt “deep sorrow and regret that the deficiencies in our work and various other factors have stirred up substantial controversies and disputes in society”.
Hong Kong’s self-styled Iron Lady had cracked, having apparently created an entirely fresh crisis for President Xi Jinping – and the city’s biggest since Britain handed it over to Chinese rule in 1997 with the guarantee its freedoms and autonomy would be preserved.
Clues to the catalyst for the about-face may lie in a reported meeting between Lam and China’s Vice-Premier Han Zheng.
According to Hong Kong’s Sing Tao newspaper, Lam had a clandestine emergency meeting with Han, a member of the Politburo’s seven-person Standing Committee, China’s top decision-making body, across the border in Shenzhen on Thursday.
The content of the meeting is unknown. Lam on Saturday refused to confirm or deny that it had taken place, despite repeated questions.
Beijing’s grip over Hong Kong has intensified markedly since Chinese President Xi Jinping took power in 2012, and after the city’s protracted 2014 pro-democracy street protests.
He warned in 2017 that any attempts to undermine Chinese sovereignty were a “red line” that Beijing would not allow to be crossed – warnings that reinforced his strongman image amongst Hong Kongers.
Many politicians, diplomats and analysts had not expected Beijing to allow any backdown on the bill, unlike in 2003 when contentious national security laws were scrapped after half a million people took to the streets.
But a source in Beijing with ties to China’s leadership who meets regularly with senior officials, said the Hong Kong government had handled the extradition saga badly.
And while a backdown from Beijing on the bill seemed near inconceivable just a week ago, the violence and escalating unrest forced their hand.
“The outcome doesn’t bear thinking about if this situation wasn’t turned around,” the source said, also declining to be named given the sensitivity of the matter.
The source added that Beijing now had severe doubts about Lam’s capabilities. China’s State Council and the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
China’s Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, said in a commentary on Sunday, however, that central authorities expressed “firm support” for Lam and the Hong Kong government in “safeguarding the rule of law and legitimate rights of its residents”. It added that it supported the decision to suspend the extradition bill.
Steve Tsang, a London-based political scientist, said Lam had caused Xi “major embarrassment” at a time that is not helpful for him given trade tensions with the United States, and ahead of a possible meeting with U.S. president Donald Trump at the month’s end at the G20 summit in Japan.
“Xi is not a leader who tolerates failures of officials,” Tsang said.
Retired senior Hong Kong government official Joseph Wong said he was shocked by Beijing’s U-turn, but the situation had become so untenable that he believed it had led to a recalculation by Han after meeting Lam in Shenzhen.
“I suspect … he (Han) would have had to consider, are we prepared to continue to fire rubber bullets or even real bullets in order to get this through, and what would be the implications for the central government internationally, vis-a-vis the U.S. So that protest was the turning point.”
Lam has refused calls from the opposition and protestors to step down but her ability to govern has been questioned on numerous fronts, including her failure to gauge the pulse in Hong Kong, the broader U.S.-China relationship, and Taiwan’s refusal to accept any extradition bill, undermining her core argument the bill would resolve the Taiwan murder case.
Political scientist Tsang said he did not expect Lam to last much longer as leader.
“I think Carrie Lam’s days are numbered … Beijing cannot afford to sack her right away because that would be an indication of weakness. They would have to allow for a bit of decent interlude,” he said.
Two former post-colonial leaders, Tung Chee-Hwa and Leung Chun-ying, were forced to truncate their time in office from various controversies linked to policies that stoked fears of Chinese encroachment on the city’s freedoms.
For her part, Lam has asked for time so that the bill can be properly deliberated.
“Give us another chance and we will do this thing well,” she told Saturday’s news conference.
Asked about China’s leaders, she said: “They have confidence in my judgment and they support me.”
(Reporting by James Pomfret and Greg Torode in Hong Kong and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Additional reporting by Anne Marie Roantree, Clare Jim and Jessie Pang and John Ruwitch in Hong Kong; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Stephen Coates)
Sponsors of legal immigrants to the United States received word Friday that they’ll be on the hook “for every dollar” if those immigrants end up receiving welfare funds or other public support instead of earning a living and paying taxes.
The message came Ken Cuccinelli, a former Virginia state attorney general who last week became acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) following his appointment by President Trump.
“If the sponsored immigrant receives any federal means-tested public benefits, the sponsor will be expected to reimburse the benefits-granting agency for every dollar of benefits received by the immigrant,” Cuccinelli wrote in a USCIS memo.
“If the sponsored immigrant receives any federal means-tested public benefits, the sponsor will be expected to reimburse the benefits-granting agency for every dollar of benefits received by the immigrant.”
In addition, the same message instructed agents who work for USCIS to remind applicants and sponsors that “the Affidavit of Support is a legal and enforceable contract between the sponsor and the federal government.”
According to Cuccinelli, all federal agencies dealing with immigration issues will be working to update or initiate procedures and regulations to make sure that immigrants who are ineligible for public benefits do not receive them, in accordance with a May 23 directive from the president.
“The President has made it a priority to ensure that every individual who seeks to come to the United States is self-sufficient, temporarily or permanently,” Cuccinelli wrote. “The principle of self-sufficiency has been enshrined in our immigration laws since the 1800s, and we as an agency must ensure that immigrants who become part of this great country abide by this principle.”
“The President has made it a priority to ensure that every individual who seeks to come to the United States is self-sufficient, temporarily or permanently.”
Cuccinelli took over at USCIS last Monday, coming to the job with a reputation as a hardliner on immigration issues. For example, he has been an advocate for denying citizenship to American-born children of parents living in the U.S. illegally and for limiting in-state tuition at public universities to citizens or legal residents.
He replaced Lee Francis Cissna, who reportedly had lost President Trump’s confidence.
Critical of McConnell, others in GOP
But Trump likely named Cuccinelli an acting director because his chances of winning Senate confirmation were said to be slim, Roll Call reported.
The outspoken Cuccinelli, as president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee that has opposed many incumbent Republicans, has been critical of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others in the GOP.
“Mitch McConnell has filled the Senate with people like Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Shelley Moore Capito, Lamar Alexander and Dean Heller who all promised the voters they would repeal Obamacare, but when the time came to do it they refused,” Cuccinelli wrote in an August 2017 fundraising memo, according to Roll Call. “Instead of admitting his mistake, McConnell is blaming the President for having ‘excessive expectations’ even though he was the one who set those expectations with years of empty promises!”
Trump’s appointment of Cuccinelli came as the president is dealing with a growing crisis as tens of thousands of Central American migrants cross the U.S.-Mexico border each month, overwhelming the system, and he has struggled to deliver on his signature issue of reduced immigration and tighter border security.
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
FILE PHOTO: Jun 11, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) looks on after being called out on a third strike against the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
June 16, 2019
The New York Yankees acquired designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion in a trade with the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, according to multiple reports.
Multiple outlets report the Mariners and Yankees will split the remainder of Encarnacion’s contract, and the Yankees will send back pitching prospect Juan Then, who was traded from the Mariners to the Yankees in November of 2017.
The 36-year-old Encarnacion, who has missed Seattle’s last three games due to soreness in his back, is leading the American League in home runs with 21 this season, his first with the Mariners. In his 15th season, he has hit 401 home runs during a career that also included stints with the Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays.
He was dealt to Seattle by the Cleveland Indians in December for Carlos Santana and cash as part of a three-team trade that sent Jake Bauers from the Tampa Bay Rays to Cleveland.
–The Chicago Cubs placed right-hander Kyle Hendricks on the 10-day injured list, one day after he struggled during a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cubs said Hendricks is suffering from shoulder inflammation. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings against the Dodgers and gave up five runs and six hits.
Hendricks, who is 7-5 with a 3.36 ERA in 14 starts this season, had won three straight starts and six consecutive decisions prior to Friday’s rough outing.
— Atlanta Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb exited his start against the Philadelphia Phillies after getting hit in the back of the head with a line drive.
In the third inning, a comebacker hit by Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto hit off Newcomb’s head and into the Philadelphia dugout for a ground-rule double. The line drive exited Realmuto’s bat at 102 mph. Newcomb turned his head away before impact but was still hit squarely.
A trainer came to check on Newcomb before he walked off the field under his own power. The 26-year-old gave up two unearned runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out three.
–The Los Angeles Angels designated right-handed reliever Cody Allen for assignment, giving up on the free-agent signee who started the season as the closer.
The Angels signed Allen to a one-year, $8.5 million contract in the offseason. He spent the previous seven seasons with Cleveland, where he had at least 24 saves in five straight seasons, including a career-high 34 in 2015.
But with the Angels, he struggled. He lost his closer role in late April after a four-game stretch in which he allowed five runs, including three home runs.
–A Babe Ruth jersey, circa 1928-30, sold for a record $5.64 million at auction. The sale of the New York Yankees jersey bested the $4.4 million previously paid for one he wore in 1920, according to Hunt Auctions.
The jersey — gray with YANKEES emblazoned across the chest — was one of more than 400 pieces of Ruth memorabilia supplied by his family and some collectors for the auction, which was held Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
The seller of the jersey was anonymous, ABC News reported. The name of the buyer was not revealed.
–The Tampa Bay Rays recalled right-hander Jake Faria from Triple-A Durham and sent down infielder Daniel Robertson.
Faria, 25, pitched two scoreless innings in April in his first stint with the team this season. He is 9-8 with a 4.22 ERA in 34 games (26 starts) over parts of three seasons with Tampa Bay, striking out 135 batters in 153 2/3 innings.
–The New York Mets acquired right-hander Brooks Pounders from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations.
Pounders will be added to the major league roster, with right-hander Tim Peterson optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
The 28-year-old Pounders appeared in 24 games for Triple-A Columbus this season and had a 2-1 record and 2.31 ERA with one save. In 38 major league games over three seasons with the Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels, Pounders has a 3-2 record and an 8.92 ERA in 38 1/3 innings.
–The Cincinnati Reds placed left-hander Wandy Peralta on the 10-day injured list because of a right hip flexor strain and recalled outfielder Phillip Ervin from Triple-A Louisville.
Ervin, 26, hit .250 (4-for-16) with a double, a triple and two RBIs in 10 games with the Reds earlier this season. He played all three outfield positions, making two starts in center field and one start in right.
Peralta is 0-1 with a 5.96 ERA in 28 relief appearances this season. He has allowed five homers in 22 2/3 innings.
–Field Level Media
Central American migrants wait outside the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) in Tapachula, Mexico, June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
June 16, 2019
By Hugh Bronstein
TAPACHULA, Mexico (Reuters) – Many of the Central Americans who lined up for papers at an asylum office in southern Mexico said they could abandon plans to reach the United States and remain in Mexico if U.S. President Donald Trump clamps down further on migration.
Mexico is ramping up security on its southern border with Guatemala as part of an agreement with Washington after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican goods if the government did not stem the flow of migrants reaching the United States.
As part of that effort, Mexico has pledged to deploy 6,000 National Guard members along the border. Reuters reporters in Tapachula, a city near the frontier visited by many migrants, saw no evidence of that deployment there on Saturday.
Under U.S. pressure, Mexico has agreed to expand a program started in January that forces migrants to wait in Mexico for the outcome of their U.S. asylum claims. The United States began accelerating returns of asylum seekers to Mexico on Thursday.
In addition, if Mexico does not reduce immigration flows by mid-July, it could become a “safe third country” where asylum seekers must seek refuge instead of in the United States.
In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, the overburdened COMAR refugee office in Tapachula has seen a surge of asylum seekers. It is one of only three such offices in the country.
People waiting in line outside the office said they would take their chances in Mexico if their only other choice was to return to violence-plagued Central America.
Thousands of families have fled poverty and rampant crime in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in the past year, making their way through Mexico to the United States.
“If we have no other option then yes, we could remain in Mexico because we really cannot go back to Honduras,” said Dagoberto, 34, waiting in line in the blazing midday sun on Friday with his partner, Jose.
Dagoberto said he had been threatened in Honduras when the business he worked for was taken over by a criminal gang. He was asking COMAR for a humanitarian visa to allow him to reach the U.S. border.
Dagoberto and Jose, who hope to get married if they reach the United States, declined to give their surnames, saying the gang that forced them out of Honduras had international reach.
In a sign of intensifying efforts to stem the flow of people, several hundred migrants in trucks were detained by security forces at two points in the eastern state of Veracruz on Saturday, a Foreign Ministry official said.
BETTER MEXICO THAN HOME
Nidia Martinez and her three children slept the previous three nights on the sidewalk in front of the COMAR office, where she is seeking a credential to let her to travel to the U.S. border.
“I want to get to the United States. If I can’t, then Mexico is a good place to live,” she said, citing a sense of increased security she felt since arriving in Tapachula.
“In Honduras, you can’t sleep on the street because they’d rob you. They’d rape you or kill you,” Martinez, 28, said, beaming with relief that she and her children had not been assaulted in Tapachula.
But safety in their case depended on sleeping just outside the refugee office. Migrants in other parts of the city and throughout Mexico often face extortion, kidnapping and worse by criminals or corrupt government officials.
Martinez said she may look for her mother – who lives in Puebla, Mexico – and arrange to live with her and find work. But she says she cannot go anywhere without the COMAR document.
“We have to sleep and wake up here because without that credential they will grab us and deport us if we try to travel.”
Her 20-month-year-old daughter, Litzy, looked up at her, smiling in a fleece hoodie decorated with blue hearts, her hair tied with a purple band. Later in the day, they were forced by a tropical downpour to cram themselves into doorways to stay dry.
Also sleeping outside for a chance at an interview in the refugee office was Hernando Gustavo Velazquez, 45, who arrived from Honduras a week earlier with his sister and nephew.
Velazquez said if he were unable to achieve his dream of reaching the United States, then Mexico would be a lot better than returning to Honduras.
“Here we have not seen any extortion,” he said. “In Honduras, when they threaten to kill you for not paying for protection, they’re not lying.”
(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Additional reporting by Roberto Ramirez in Tapachula and Delphine Schrank and Frank Jack Daniel in Mexico City; Editing by Daniel Flynn, Steve Orlofsky and Daniel Wallis)
An aerial view shows police officers investigating the site where a police officer was found stabbed in front of a police box and the officer’s gun, loaded with several bullets, was stolen, in Suita, Osaka prefecture, western Japan June 16, 2019, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS
June 16, 2019
TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese police officer was stabbed several times in the chest with a kitchen knife and his loaded handgun stolen while on patrol on Sunday morning in the western city of Suita, in a rare case of violent crime in Japan, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The attack, which police believe may have been pre-meditated, sparked a manhunt with police using loudspeakers at a railway station to warn people to be on alert.
The stabbing comes two weeks before Japan hosts a leaders’ summit of the Group of 20 major economies in the neighboring city of Osaka. It also follows an incident last month in which a knife-wielding middle-aged man killed a girl and an adult, injuring another 17 people near Tokyo.
Violent crime is relatively rare in Japan but occasional high-profile incidents have shocked the nation.
“It’s scary that handgun was stolen. I want this to be resolved quickly,” a male neighbor said.
“A kindergarten’s open day was canceled due to this incident. My kids cannot go out. It’s scary,” another man said.
The 26-year-old police officer was found lying on the ground with a kitchen knife stabbed in his left chest around 5:30 a.m. Sunday (2030GMT), reported NHK.
He was attacked in front of a police box as he likely followed two officers after a telephone call reporting a theft.
Police suspect the attack may have been pre-meditated as there was no theft and a security camera showed a man, who appeared in his 30s, hanging around the police box about an hour before the stabbing, said NHK.
(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Michael Perry)
“All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!,” the president wrote in a Twitter message Saturday.
The proposal is being sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and in the House by Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas. It calls for the U.S. Constitution to be amended so Congress would have “constitutional authority to ban the desecration of the United States flag.”
“The American Flag is a symbol of freedom – and it should always be protected,” Daines wrote Friday.
Added Cramer: “A flag worth dying for is a flag worth protecting.”
“Adding a Constitutional amendment to protect this symbol of freedom and liberty is not an attack on another Constitutional amendment,” he continued, “rather, it is an affirmation of the unifying principles our nation stands for.”
The amendment would be necessary because the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that flag-burning is a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment.
The new proposal was reintroduced Friday, which was Flag Day – and coincidentally President Trump’s 73rd birthday.
Critics on social media were quick to attack the proposal. Here are some samples:
According to the Washington Times, amendments can be added to the Constitution if two-thirds of both the House and Senate agree on a proposal and then three-fourths of the states ratify it, or if two-thirds of state legislatures call a convention to propose changes to the Constitution, and then three-fourths of the states ratify the change.
Source: Fox News Politics
June 15, 2019; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Matt Kuchar hits out of a bunker on the 5th hole during the third round of the 2019 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
June 16, 2019
(Includes language some readers might find offensive in paragraph 14)
By Steve Keating
PEBBLE BEACH, CA. (Reuters) – An ice cool Gary Woodland held his nerve under mounting pressure to secure a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the U.S. Open after seeing off challenges from Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka at Pebble Beach on Saturday.
Woodland, who could not manage a top-10 finish in his first 27 majors, looked as if he played for the biggest prizes in the game every week as he carded a third round two-under 69 that featured three birdies and a lone bogey.
If Woodland faced intense pressure on Saturday, it is nothing to what awaits him on Sunday with former winners Rose and Koepka breathing down his neck and major champions Louis Oosthuizen and Rory McIlroy lining up to take a run.
“We just got to play golf shots and hopefully come up with one less than anyone else,” said Woodland.
“Sleep is not an issue, I’ll be rested for tomorrow. I’m playing pretty good, I’m comfortable with my game, we’re at Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open so should be pretty exciting.”
Rose, U.S. Open champion in 2013, started the day two shots back and ended it with a birdie for a three-under 68 that trimmed Woodland’s advantage to a single stroke.
Both Woodland and Rose will be looking over their shoulders for Koepka, who had a tidy bogey-free 68 that left him four off the pace with his hopes of becoming the first player in over a century to sweep three straight U.S. Opens very much alive.
Also lurking four back are South African Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion who carding a one-under 70, and Chez Reavie, who fired a 68 to move into contention.
Not to be overlooked is McIlroy, who returned a scrappy 70 to leave him five back but not out of range of a second U.S. Open title.
Two of the Pebble Beach headliners Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will be reduced to opening acts on Sunday, going off early after disappointing third rounds saw them drop out of contention.
Woods, nine back to start the day, began his round in the same frustrating fashion that he ended the second round — with a bogey — and did nothing to improve his mood by picking up another at the third.
The early miscues appeared to fire up the 15-time major winner, and Woods responded with back-to-back birdies but the relief was only temporary as he gave back those two shots with bogeys at seven and 12.
Woods would birdie three of his final five holes, including the 18th but it was too little to late an even-par 71 leaving him at even par for the tournament and 10 behind the pacesetter Woodland.
“I got off to a crap start,” summed up Woods. “I got off to an awful start, and clawed it around, but still gave myself a chance for tomorrow, which is positive.”
While Woods at least walked off on a positive note, Mickelson signed off with a triple bogey.
Runner-up at U.S. Open a record six times and needing a victory here to complete the career grand slam, Mickelson will not get it done this year after signing for four-over 75 to leave him at three-over going into Sunday’s final round.
(Editing by Clare Fallon/Nick Mulvenney)