Trump adviser says Minnesota mosque blast could be ‘fake hate crime’

Sebastian Gorka said the president wanted to learn more about the event before he makes a statement.
Updated 09 August 2017

Trump adviser says Minnesota mosque blast could be ‘fake hate crime’

DUBAI: A White House national security adviser Tuesday defended US President Donald Trump’s silence on an explosion at a mosque in Minnesota, saying the blast could be a fake hate crime “propagated by the left.”
When asked on MSNBC why Trump had not commented on the incident which took place on Saturday, Sebastian Gorka said the president wanted to learn more about the event before he made a statement.
“When we have some kind of finalized investigation, absolutely,” Gorka said when asked whether Trump would comment on the incident at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington.
He went on to suggest that the attack could have been a “fake” hate crime.
“There’s a great rule: All initial reports are false,″ Gorka said. “You have to check them and find out who the perpetrators are. We’ve had a series of crimes committed, alleged hate crimes, by right-wing individuals in the last six months, that turned out to actually have been propagated by the left.
“So, let’s wait and see,” he said. “Let’s allow the local authorities to provide their assessment, and then the White House will make its comments.”
MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle said that Trump could denounce the mosque attack without commenting on the perpetrator.
“You don’t have to make a statement about who did it, but you can make a public statement denouncing how terrible it would be to attack a building of worship,” she told Gorka.
“That’s fine, and I’m sure the president will do that,” he replied.
He also said: “People fake hate crimes… The question of who does it is a question, when you’ve had people fake hate crimes with some regularity in the last six months.”
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton declared the incident a “a criminal act of terrorism” when he visited the center on Sunday.
There were no injuries in the blast that took place at 5 a.m. local time on Saturday morning.


Philippine trash trawlers earn little from virus-boosted surge in plastics

Updated 42 min 14 sec ago

Philippine trash trawlers earn little from virus-boosted surge in plastics

MANILA: Virgilio Estuesta has picked through trash in the Philippines’ biggest city for four decades, and is noticing an unusually large amount of plastics during his daily trawl of about 15 km (9.3 miles).
Tough curbs re-imposed to combat a surge in daily coronavirus infections are squeezing income for the 60-year-old, as many of the junkyards and businesses in Manila that buy his recyclables have been closed since March.
Plastic items, such as bottles and containers, dominate the contents of the rickety wooden cart Estuesta pushes through the deserted streets, far more than metals and cardboard, yet the money they bring in is not enough to get by.
“It’s been really hard for us, it’s been difficult looking for recyclables that sell high,” he said.
“Recently we’ve been seeing a lot more plastics, but the problem is they don’t really sell high.”
Environmentalists say the Philippines is battling one of the world’s biggest problems stemming from single-use plastics, and ranks among the biggest contributors to plastic pollution of the oceans. It has no reliable data for its plastics consumption.
Greenpeace campaigner Marian Ledesma said consumers and businesses are now using yet more single-use plastics, in a bid to ward off virus infections.
“The pandemic has really increased plastic pollution,” she added. “Just because there’s a lot more people using disposables now, due to misconceptions and fears around transmitting the virus.”
Since March 16, Manila has experienced lockdowns of varying levels of severity, in some of the world’s longest and tightest measures to curb the spread of the virus.
They are taking a toll on Estuesta, who hopes to start earning soon.
“When you go out, the police will reprimand you,” he said. “I was stuck at home and had to rely on government aid, which was not enough. I had to resort to borrowing money from people.”