US Congress votes to call on Trump to denounce hate groups

File photo: Workers replace the black tarp with which the City of Charlottesville covered the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee after John Miska (not shown) attempted to remove the covering in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 23, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 13 September 2017

US Congress votes to call on Trump to denounce hate groups

The US Congress passed a resolution late on Tuesday calling on President Donald Trump to condemn hate groups after Trump was criticized for his response to the violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a month ago.
The US House of Representatives unanimously adopted the resolution, US Representative Gerry Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia, said in a statement. The Senate approved the measure on Monday.
“Tonight, the House of Representatives spoke in one unified voice to unequivocally condemn the shameful and hate-filled acts of violence carried out by the KKK (Ku Klux Klan), white nationalists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville,” Connolly said.
The joint resolution, passed with the support of both Republicans and Democrats, will go to Trump for his signature.
Representatives for the White House did not respond immediately to an e-mail seeking comment.
The Congressional resolution calls on Trump to condemn hate groups and what it describes as the growing prevalence of extremists who support anti-Semitism, xenophobia and white supremacy.
It also urges Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate acts of violence and intimidation by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups.
Trump alienated fellow Republicans, corporate leaders and US allies and rattled markets last month with comments about the violence in Charlottesville, where white nationalists and neo-Nazis clashed with anti-racism activists on Aug. 12.
One woman, Heather Heyer, was killed and several people were wounded when a suspected white nationalist crashed his car into anti-racist demonstrators.
The Congressional resolution calls Heyer’s death a “domestic terrorist attack.” James Alex Fields, a 20-year-old Ohio man who authorities say drove into Heyer and other protesters, has been charged with second-degree murder and other criminal counts.
On Aug. 12, Trump denounced hatred and violence “on many sides,” a comment that drew sharp criticism from across the political spectrum for not condemning white nationalists.
White nationalists had gathered in Charlottesville to protest against the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, who led the pro-slavery Confederacy’s army during the US Civil War. Trump defended Confederate monuments last month.
At a rally in Phoenix on Aug. 22, Trump accused television networks of ignoring his calls for unity in the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville.
“I didn’t say I love you because you’re black, or I love you because you’re white,” Trump said at the rally. “I love all the people of our country.”
The resolution also acknowledged the deaths of two Virginia State Police officers whose helicopter crashed as they patrolled the Charlottesville protest.


India’s Reliance to push on with retail deal in battle with Amazon

Updated 5 min 49 sec ago

India’s Reliance to push on with retail deal in battle with Amazon

  • The row is the latest development in a prolonged battle for dominance in India between Reliance
MUMBAI: Indian conglomerate Reliance has dismissed Amazon’s push to delay its acquisition of domestic retail giant Future Group, despite an arbitration panel suspending the deal following objections by the US online titan.
The row is the latest development in a prolonged battle for dominance in India between Reliance, owned by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, and Amazon, whose founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s wealthiest person.
Amazon, which owned a stake in one of Future Group’s firms that reportedly included an option to buy into the flagship company, claims that the $3.4-billion Reliance deal, announced in August, amounted to a breach of contract.
After an arbitration panel ordered the deal to be put on hold following Amazon’s request, Reliance said late Sunday that it would nevertheless “enforce its rights and complete the transaction in terms of the scheme and agreement with Future group without any delay.”
Reliance’s retail subsidiary RRVL said in a statement that it had followed “proper legal advice” before agreeing to buy Future Group, adding that the deal was “fully enforceable under Indian Law.”
Reliance, Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart have been locked in a frenzied contest for a share of India’s lucrative online market.
The acquisition of Future Group, which owns some of India’s best-known supermarket brands such as Big Bazaar, would strengthen Reliance’s presence in the hugely competitive e-commerce sector.
The arbitration panel has 90 days to give a final verdict on the Reliance-Future deal.