Trump extends war of words with civil rights leader Lewis

US President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with Martin Luther King III during a meeting in New York. (AFP)
Updated 18 January 2017
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Trump extends war of words with civil rights leader Lewis

WASHINGTON: US President-elect Donald Trump extended his war of words with African-American civil rights leader John Lewis on Tuesday, accusing the Democratic congressman of lying when he said Trump’s inauguration would be the first that he would miss.
“John Lewis said about my inauguration, ‘It will be the first one that I’ve missed.’ WRONG (or lie)! He boycotted Bush 43 also because he ‘thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush’s swearing-in.... he doesn’t believe Bush is the true elected president.’ Sound familiar!” Trump said in a pair of posts on Twitter.
Trump initially clashed with Lewis on Twitter over the weekend after the congressman from Georgia questioned the legitimacy of his Nov. 8 election victory, because of US intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia meddled in the campaign. Lewis also said he would not attend Trump’s swearing-in this Friday and that “It will be the first one that I miss since I have been in the Congress.”
Lewis’ remarks were released last Friday at the beginning of the long holiday weekend that honors slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Trump responded on Saturday by tweeting that Lewis had falsely complained about the election results and instead “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).”
“All talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!” Trump wrote on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Trump continued the battle, saying Lewis lied and quoting an article in The Washington Post in 2001 that said Lewis spent that Inauguration Day in his Atlanta district rather than see Republican President George W. Bush sworn in.
On Monday, Martin Luther King’s daughter said that “God can triumph over Trump,” but the slain civil rights leader’s son struck a conciliatory tone after meeting with Trump.
Bernice King, King’s youngest daughter, told a gathering at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta not to give up hope and “Don’t be afraid of who sits in the White House.”
“God can triumph over Trump,” she said, drawing a standing ovation, one of several times she was interrupted by thunderous applause.
Trump offered praise for King in a Twitter post on Monday, a few hours before meeting King’s oldest son, Martin Luther King III, in New York.
“Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and all of the many wonderful things that he stood for. Honor him for being the great man that he was!” Trump tweeted.
Trump and King III emerged from an elevator together, shaking hands. Trump said goodbye to King, then returned to the elevator without answering questions.
King said they had a constructive meeting to discuss how to improve the US voting system, which King considers broken, but he skirted questions about whether he was offended by Trump’s comments on Lewis.
“First of all I think that in the heat of emotion a lot of things get said on both sides. I think at some point I bridge-build. The goal is to bring America together,” King said.
Bush was declared the winner of the 2000 election after the Supreme Court halted a protracted recount of a very close election in Florida between him and Democratic candidate Al Gore.
Trump’s attacks on Lewis offended many Americans including some of Trump’s fellow Republicans. Trump drew just 8 percent of the black vote in the November election.


European court to hear case on stopping Brexit

Updated 20 November 2018
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European court to hear case on stopping Brexit

LONDON: The European Court of Justice will at the end of this month begin hearing a legal challenge brought by anti-Brexit campaigners to force the government to spell out how Britain could revoke its notice to leave the EU.
The hearing comes after the British government was refused permission Tuesday to appeal to the UK Supreme Court over the case, amid growing calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to hold a second referendum on Brexit.
"The best, the really compelling, the objective evidence that all options are still on the table is the desperation with which the government acted to try and block MPs from seeing the clear path to remain," said Jolyon Maugham, a lawyer who has spearheaded the legal challenge.
The Supreme Court rejected a bid from the government for permission to appeal against a lower court ruling asking the European Court to spell out "whether, when and how" Britain can unilaterally revoke its notice to leave the EU, which would see the UK pull out on March 29.
Labour, Scottish nationalist and Green members of the British, Scottish and European parliaments brought the case through the highest civil court in Scotland.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled in September to refer the question to the Court of Justice of the EU.
A hearing at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is set for November 27.
The British government applied to the Court of Session for permission to appeal against the ruling to the higher UK-wide Supreme Court, but the application was rejected.
The government then applied directly to the Supreme Court itself for permission to appeal.
But in refusing that permission on Tuesday, the Supreme Court said the Court of Session's ruling was "preliminary" and the Scottish court would still have to reach a judgement of its own after receiving the CJEU's guidance.
Britain invoked Article 50, its two-year notice of intention to withdraw from the EU, in March 2017.