John Bolton in UK to meet Johnson and Brexit hardliners

US security adviser expected to urge tougher line on Tehran and Chinese tech firm Huawei John Bolton, the hawkish US national security adviser, has started two days of meetings in London with key figures in Boris Johnsons government as the US pitches to steer a post-Brexit UK further away from Europe on a range of issues including trade, the role of the Chinese technology firm Huawei. Bolton is the most senior Trump official to visit since Johnson became prime minister, and the move is seen to have increased the chances of the UK leaving the EU on 31 October without a withdrawal agreement a position more in line with the Brexit policy favoured by the US president. Bolton will be …

US government warns of Iranian threats to commercial shipping, including GPS interference

(CNN)The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has issued a new warning to commercial shipping about Iranian threats in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf, saying that some ships have reported having their GPS interfered with. “Vessels have also reported spoofed bridge-to-bridge communications from unknown entities falsely claiming to be US or coalition warships,” the warning added. US Central Command, which oversees US military operations in the region, issued a statement Wednesday saying, “Vessels have reported GPS interference, bridge-to-bridge communications spoofing, and/or other communications jamming with little to no warning.” “The U.S. remains committed to working with allies and regional partners to safeguard the freedom of navigation, the free flow of commerce, and the protection of U.S. vessels and …

In the wake of tragedy, Beto O’Rourke channels El Paso’s anger at Trump

El Paso, Texas (CNN)As Beto O’Rourke left a vigil for the victims of the mass shooting in El Paso on Sunday, his anger boiled over when a reporter asked if there was anything President Donald Trump could say to make things better. In speeches and interviews, he has sought to channel the indignation of his bilingual border community over Trump’s racist comments and actions — which people here say is fomenting hatred and violence. The 21-year-old white supremacist suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at a Walmart that killed 22 people wanted to stop a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” according to a political document police believe he wrote. The document echoed some of Trump’s rhetoric toward immigrants. “It’s these …

Republican state lawmaker criticizes his party for ‘enabling white supremacy’

(CNN)A Republican state representative is speaking out against what he believes is his own party’s complicity in “enabling white supremacy,” and says history won’t judge his fellow Republicans kindly. “We have a Republican president who continually stokes racist fears in his base. He calls certain countries ‘sh*tholes,’ tells women of color to “go back” to where they came from and lies more than he tells the truth,” he added. He finished the tweets asking his colleagues to no longer look the other way. “When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing,” he said. “The time is now for us Republicans to be honest with what is happening inside our party. We are better than …

Ohio GOP lawmaker blames mass shootings on Obama, ‘fatherlessness’ and ‘drag queen advocates’

Washington (CNN)An Ohio Republican state lawmaker on Sunday blamed mass shootings in the US on former President Barack Obama, “fatherlessness,” video games and “drag queen advocates” following two shootings this weekend in Texas and Ohio that left more than 30 dead. The state’s Republican Party is now calling for her resignation. Along with other things she said were behind the violence, Keller placed blame on “disrespect to law enforcement (thank you, Obama)” and “the Dem Congress, many members whom are openly anti-Semitic.” Keller told the Dayton Daily News that she posted something to her private Facebook page and that the statement “sounded like part of her posting but she couldn’t be sure if it had been altered.” CNN has reached …

Cambridge Analytica did work for Leave.EU, emails show

Government committee told work went beyond exploring potential future collaboration Cambridge Analytica did work for Leave.EU on the EU referendum, according to emails published by a House of Commons committee, even though the company never received payment for it. Brittany Kaiser, the former director of business development at the shuttered political consultancy, supplied the emails to the digital, culture, media and sport committee. She argued that they showed that, despite claims to the contrary, the partnership between the two organisations went beyond exploring the potential for future collaboration. Chargeable work was completed for Ukip and Leave.EU, and I have strong reasons to believe that those data sets and analysed data processed by Cambridge Analytica were later used by the Leave.EU …

Elizabeth Warren’s new plan targets Wall Street and private equity ‘vampires’

(CNN)Elizabeth Warren pivoted her presidential campaign on Thursday to the issue that made the Massachusetts senator a hero of the progressive left long before she was first elected in 2012: Reining in Wall Street. This latest policy rollout is the second piece of what Warren is calling her “economic patriotism agenda.” Her campaign’s proposals are designed to curtail capitalist excess by increasing oversight and implementing rules to increasing corporate accountability to workers and small-time investors. “For decades, Washington has lived by a simple rule: if it’s good for Wall Street, it’s good for the economy,” Warren writes. “To raise wages, help small businesses, and spur economic growth, we need to shut down the Wall Street giveaways and rein in the …

Tennessee governor signs proclamation honoring early KKK leader, sparking backlash

Washington (CNN)Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a proclamation declaring Saturday “Nathan Bedford Forrest Day,” in honor of the Confederate Army general who was a slave trader and an early member of the Ku Klux Klan. “Nathan Bedford Forrest is a recognized military figure in American history and a native Tennessean,” the proclamation says. Lee told The Tennessean Thursday that he signed the bill “because the law requires that I do that and I haven’t looked at changing that law.” He declined to say whether he thought the state law should be changed, the Tennessean reported. “I haven’t even looked at that law, other than knowing I needed to comply with it, so that’s what I did,” Lee told the newspaper. …

Bernie Sanders defends Medicare for All plan against ‘misinformation’ as fight with Biden heats up

(CNN)Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday defended his “Medicare for All” bill against escalating attacks from critics like former Vice President Joe Biden, while also challenging the Democratic primary field to reject donations from private health insurance and pharmaceutical interests. “Medicare for All critics tell us that Americans just love their private health insurance companies,” Sanders said as the friendly audience laughed along. “You know what? I have never met one person who loves their insurance company. I have met many people who do love their doctors and their nurses who have very good experiences in their hospitals. And what we do is to say you can go to those doctors, you can go to those hospitals, but you’re not …

Trump again considering replacing intelligence chief Dan Coats

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump has discussed with advisers over the past few days the possibility of replacing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, sources familiar with the discussion said. Coats’ office referred CNN to a March statement, in which Coats said, “I am focused on doing my job, and it is frustrating to repeatedly be asked to respond to anonymous sources and unsubstantiated, often false rumors that undercut the critical work of the Intelligence Community and its relationship with the President. I am proud to lead an IC singularly focused on the vital mission of providing timely and unbiased intelligence to President Trump, Vice President Pence and the national security team in support of our nation’s security.” Axios first reported …

Appeals court hands Trump a victory over Democratic challenge to DC hotel

(CNN)An appeals court handed President Donald Trump a win Wednesday over a challenge to his decision to hold on to his private business interests while in office. While Trump’s win against the states may cap that court challenge, House and Senate Democrats are still pursuing their own challenge of Trump’s businesses assets and have sent 37 subpoenas, including to the Trump Organization. Democrats have demanded a response by July 29 after a federal judge ruled last month that Democrats could proceed with the legal discovery process in their lawsuit. They allege that Trump is breaking the law because the more than 200 members of Congress have not had the opportunity to review his business interests and approve any proceeds from …

Palestinian snub of Kushner’s conference highlights failure of admin’s outreach effort

Washington (CNN)As the architects of the Trump administration’s Palestinian-Israeli peace initiative meet in Bahrain to discuss the economic aspect of their plan — which aims to attract ideas and boost the Palestinian economy before they reveal their political blueprint at a later date — those who are supposed to benefit are absent. Kushner, speaking in New York at the Time 100 event earlier this year, claimed his team was employing a bottom up strategy to “make the lives of the Palestinian people better” by ensuring that their homeland is “investible.” Kushner’s ‘new reality’ During his opening speech in Bahrain. Kushner laid out his vision. “Imagine a new reality in the Middle East. Imagine a bustling tourism and commercial center in …

Who’s No. 2 in 2020?

(CNN)There’s no question who the frontrunner is, right now, in the 2020 race. It’s Joe Biden. THE POINT — NOW ON YOUTUBE! In each episode of his weekly YouTube show, Chris Cillizza will delve a little deeper into the surreal world of politics. Click to subscribe! Momentum is clearly on Warren’s side. A new national poll put her in front of Sanders last week, as did a Nevada poll conducted by Monmouth University. And she’s receiving loads of positive press coverage at the moment; “Elizabeth Warren Is Completely Serious” from The New York Times, “Elizabeth Warren is proving her doubters wrong” in the Washington Post and “Can Elizabeth Warren Win It All?” from the New Yorker. There’s also the fact …

Hunt ramps up pressure on Boris Johnson to explain police visit

Tory leadership candidate says his rival needs to show he can answer difficult questions Jeremy Hunt has increased the pressure on Boris Johnson to explain why police were called to his home after a row with his partner by warning that the Conservative leadership frontrunner needs to show he can answer difficult questions. Hunt whose remarks follow calls by the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, for Johnson to explain himself used a television interview to suggest his leadership rival had shied away from scrutiny, telling Sky News: This is an audition to be prime minister of the UK If Boris is refusing to answer questions in the media, refusing to do live debates then of course people are thinking, just …

Trump strategy on women and security wins wary praise, raises questions

Washington (CNN)The Trump administration found a rare area of bipartisan agreement with the launch of a strategy to reduce global conflict and foster long-term peace by engaging more women in security agreements, political life and civic society. ‘All the right language’ “It has all the right language,” said Melanne Verveer, executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and a former ambassador at large for Global Women’s Issues in the Obama administration. “It’s great on the need to protect women in conflict situations, the need for women’s participation in effecting outcomes, the role they play in prevention. The acid test is how this affects administration foreign policy.” White House officials have said the strategy was spearheaded by …

Trump says his visit was the most fun Queen Elizabeth II had in 25 years

(CNN)In the past 25 years, Queen Elizabeth II has marked a Golden and Diamond Jubilee, visited multiple continents, celebrated the weddings of her grandchildren and the birth of multiple great-grandchildren, and met numerous world leaders. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Trump’s comments are “not something we would comment on.” Brief press coverage of the visit showed a formal and warm, if largely sedate, relationship between the notoriously stoic Queen and the bombastic President. In a Fox News interview from Normandy just after the trip to London, Trump called the Queen an “incredible lady.” “I feel I know her so well and she certainly knows me very well right now, but we have a very good relationship also with the United …