King Charles III painting vandalized by animal rights activists

King Charles III painting vandalized by animal rights activists
This photo released by Animal Rising shows activists pasting a picture of a character called Wallace, from the Wallace and Gromit comedy series, over a portrait of Britain’s King Charles III at the Philip Mould Gallery in London on Jun. 11, 2024. (AP)
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Updated 11 June 2024
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King Charles III painting vandalized by animal rights activists

King Charles III painting vandalized by animal rights activists
  • A group called Animal Rising shared a video of campaigners pasting a picture of a character called Wallace over the king’s head
  • The painting is protected by a sheet of plastic and wasn’t damaged

LONDON: Animal rights activists pasted a cartoon image over a portrait of King Charles III on Tuesday at a London art gallery, the latest in a series of incidents at UK museums as campaigners use vandalism to publicize their causes.
A group called Animal Rising shared a video of campaigners pasting a picture of a character called Wallace, from the “Wallace and Gromit” comedy series, over the king’s head.
The so-called ‘’comic redecoration″ was designed to highlight an investigation that Animal Rising said found widespread violation of animal husbandry rules at farms approved by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
A speech bubble next to the head of Wallace read: “No cheese, Gromit. Look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms!”
The painting is protected by a sheet of plastic and wasn’t damaged, according to the Philip Mould Gallery, where it is on display.
The larger-than-life painting by Jonathan Yeo was unveiled last month and is the first portrait of Charles to be completed since he ascended the throne in 2022. It captures the king in shades of red with his hands clasped atop the hilt of his sword and a butterfly flitting above his right shoulder.
The portrait was commissioned to celebrate Charles’ 50 years as a member of the Drapers’ Company, which was set up more than 600 years ago as a trade association for wool merchants but is now primarily a philanthropic organization.
On May 10, two climate change protesters attacked the protective glass case housing an original copy of the Magna Carta at the British Library. The 800-year-old document, seen as one of foundations of western democracy, wasn’t damaged.


Republican leaders urge colleagues to steer clear of racist and sexist attacks on Harris

Republican leaders urge colleagues to steer clear of racist and sexist attacks on Harris
Updated 7 sec ago
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Republican leaders urge colleagues to steer clear of racist and sexist attacks on Harris

Republican leaders urge colleagues to steer clear of racist and sexist attacks on Harris
  • The warnings point to the new risks for Republicans in running against a Democrat who would become the first woman, first Black woman and first person of South Asian decent to win the White House

WASHINGTON: Republican leaders are warning party members against using overtly racist and sexist attacks against Vice President Kamala Harris, as they and former President Donald Trump ‘s campaign scramble to adjust to the reality of a new Democratic rival less than four months before Election Day.
At a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Tuesday, National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Richard Hudson, R-N.C., urged lawmakers to stick to criticizing Harris for her role in Biden-Harris administration policies.
“This election will be about policies and not personalities,” House Speaker Mike Johnson told reporters after the meeting.
“This is not personal with regard to Kamala Harris,” he added, “and her ethnicity or her gender have nothing to do with this whatsoever.”
The warnings point to the new risks for Republicans in running against a Democrat who would become the first woman, first Black woman and first person of South Asian decent to win the White House. Trump, in particular, has a history of racist and misogynistic attacks that could turn off key groups of swing voters, including suburban women, as well as voters of color and younger people Trump’s campaign has been courting.
The admonitions came after some members and Trump allies began to cast Harris, a former district attorney, attorney general and senator, as a “DEI” hire — a reference to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
“Intellectually, just really kind of the bottom of the barrel,” Wyoming Rep. Harriet Hageman said in a TV interview. “I think she was a DEI hire. And I think that that’s what we’re seeing and I just don’t think that they have anybody else.”
Since Biden announced he was exiting the campaign, Republicans have rolled out a long list of attack lines against Harris, including trying to tie her to the most unpopular Biden policies and his handling of the economy and the Southern border. Trump campaign officials and other Republicans have accused Harris of being complicit in a cover-up of Biden’s health issues, and they have been mining her record as a prosecutor in California as they try to paint her as soft on crime.
Johnson said both Trump and Harris have records in White House policy and said voters can compare how families were doing under the Trump administration with how they’re doing now under Biden.
“She is the co-owner, co-author, co-conspirator in all the policies that got us into the mess,” Johnson said.
Biden announced Sunday that he was withdrawing from the race. In a memo on the state of the race Tuesday, Trump campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio argued the fundamentals of the campaign had not changed now that Harris appears increasingly likely to be the Democratic nominee.
“The Democrats deposing one Nominee for another does NOT change voters discontent over the economy, inflation, crime, the open border, housing costs not to mention concern over two foreign wars,” he wrote. “As importantly, voters will also learn about Harris’ dangerously liberal record before becoming Biden’s partner.”
In similar messaging, Hudson told members at the Tuesday meeting that the NRCC is focusing on how Harris is even more progressive than Biden and essentially “owns” all the administration’s policies, according to a person familiar with the conversation and granted anonymity to discuss it.
Sen. Steve Daines, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, echoed that criticism, calling Harris “too liberal.”
“She’s not an Irish Catholic kid who grew up in Scranton. She’s a San Francisco liberal,” Daines said.
Trump offered a similar argument in call with reporters Tuesday.
“She’s the same as Biden but much more radical. She’s a radical left person and this country doesn’t want a radical left person to destroy it. She’s far more radical than he is,” he said.
“So I think she should be easier than Biden because he was slightly more mainstream, but not much,” he added.
Later, in an interview on Newsmax, Trump claimed Harris “destroyed the city of San Francisco,” though she left her job as district attorney there in 2011, and called her “the worst at everything.”
“Kamala Harris is just as weak, failed and incompetent as Joe Biden — and she’s also dangerously liberal,” the Trump campaign said in a statement. “Not only does Kamala need to defend her support of Joe Biden’s failed agenda over the past four years, she also needs to answer for her own terrible weak-on-crime record in California.”
Trump has a long history of launching particularly caustic and personal attacks against women, from former Fox News host Megyn Kelly to his 2016 primary opponent Carly Fiorina to New York Attorney General Letitia James, who successfully sued him and his business for fraud.
In a sign of what could come, Trump in a Fourth of July message on his Truth Social network took a jab at Harris’ poor performance in the 2020 Democratic primary, adding “that doesn’t mean she’s not a ‘highly talented’ politician! Just ask her Mentor, the Great Willie Brown of San Francisco.” Harris dated Brown in the mid-1990s.
Strong and intelligent women who attack him seem to get especially under Trump’s skin, said Stephanie Grisham, a 2016 campaign aide who served for a time as Trump’s White House press secretary, before breaking with him after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
“She’s going to get a real rise out of him,” predicted Grisham, noting that when Trump is attacked, he “punches 1,000 times harder. He’s not going to be able to help himself.”
When it comes to women, she added: “His go-to is to attack looks and to call women dumb. It’s his go-to and I don’t expect this to be any different.”
Rep. Maxine Waters of California, who is a prominent member of the Congressional Black Caucus and was among the early Democrats to confront Trump, said she is well-braced for what’s ahead as the Republicans turn the campaign toward Harris.
“The first thing I think about are the attacks that are going to come from the Trump, the MAGA right wing — that have already started,” Waters told the AP. “They’re going to be nasty they’re going to be bad.”
She predicted that approach might backfire on Trump.
“The danger is that he’s so arrogant and egotistical that he’s going to step on women and it’s going to backfire,” she said.
The dynamics could be heightened on the debate stage, if Trump goes through with debating Harris, as he said Thursday he would.
Republican pollster Neil Newhouse said Trump was unlikely to debate Harris in the same way he would debate Biden — or the same way he debated another female rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, in 2016.
“I don’t think Trump can approach a debate against Kamala Harris with the same tone that he approached the debate with Hillary Clinton. Kamala Harris does not have the negatives that Hillary had and she is a relatively new political face,” he said. “Caution might be warranted.”


Clip resurfaces of Vance criticizing Harris for being ‘childless,’ testing Trump’s new running mate

Clip resurfaces of Vance criticizing Harris for being ‘childless,’ testing Trump’s new running mate
Updated 12 min 33 sec ago
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Clip resurfaces of Vance criticizing Harris for being ‘childless,’ testing Trump’s new running mate

Clip resurfaces of Vance criticizing Harris for being ‘childless,’ testing Trump’s new running mate
  • The Harris campaign contested Vance’s stance, saying “every single American has a stake in this country’s future”

WASHINGTON: Comments JD Vance made in 2021 questioning Vice President Kamala Harris’ leadership because she did not have biological children have resurfaced, testing the young conservative senator in his early days campaigning as part of the Republicans’ presidential ticket.
During Vance’s bid for the Senate in Ohio, he said in a Fox News interview that “we are effectively run in this country via the Democrats,” and referred to them as “a bunch of childless cat ladies who are miserable at their own lives and the choices that they’ve made and so they want to make the rest of the country miserable, too.” He said that included Harris, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat.
“How does it make any sense that we’ve turned our country over to people who don’t really have a direct stake in it?” asked Vance, who is now Donald Trump’s running mate. Harris became stepmother to two teenagers when she married entertainment lawyer Douglas Emhoff in 2014. And Buttigieg announced he and his husband adopted infant twins in September 2021, more than a month before Vance made those comments.
The clip has started to spread online, with Hillary Clinton sharing it in a Tuesday post on X and adding sarcastically “what a normal, relatable guy who certainly doesn’t hate women having freedoms.”
The recirculated comment may be a sign of the GOP ticket’s troubles appealing to women voters, and on the issue of reproductive rights. It follows the explosive entrance in the race of Harris, who secured the support of enough delegates to become the official nominee in less than 32 hours after President Joe Biden ended his reelection bid.
It also lays out some of the fears expressed by strategists that Trump took a political risk in picking a running mate who has been in Congress less than two years and is largely untested on a bigger stage. Trump liked Vance’s telegenic qualities and said he reminded him of “a young Abraham Lincoln.”
The Harris campaign contested Vance’s stance, saying “every single American has a stake in this country’s future.”
“Ugly, personal attacks from JD Vance and Donald Trump are in line with their dangerous Project 2025 agenda to ban abortion, decimate our democracy, and gut Social Security,” said James Singer, a Harris campaign spokesman, referring to a policy and personnel plan for a second Trump term that was crafted by a host of former administration officials. Trump has been trying to distance himself from it. Project 2025 says the Department of Health and Human Services should “pursue a robust agenda” to protect “the fundamental right to life.” However, the document contains no proposals to cut Social Security, though the Heritage Foundation that oversaw it has long pushed for changes to the entitlement. The plan outlines a dramatic expansion of presidential power and a plan to fire as many as 50,000 government workers.
Vance’s spokesperson said the Harris campaign is lying about Vance’s views, noting her record is “littered with countless failures and disasters.
“It’s well known that Senator Vance found success in life due in large part to the influence of strong female role models like his grandmother,” spokesperson Taylor Van Kirk said.
Vance, 39, is a former Marine and businessman who was first elected to public office in 2022. He wrote the 2016 bestseller “Hillbilly Elegy,” and developed a strong rapport with Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and leading MAGA figures with his personal story of growing up in Appalachia in poverty with a mother battling drug addiction could resonate with voters.
One of the major questions Vance is facing is on his abortion stance. Vance previously said he would support a federal bill to prohibit abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, but believes in certain exceptions.
In 2021, Vance floated an idea to allow parents to cast ballots on behalf of their children, saying during a speech at the conservative nonprofit Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Virginia that people who don’t have children “don’t have as much of an investment in the future of the country.”
“When you go to the polls in this country as a parent, you should have more power, you should have more of an availability to speak your voice in our democratic republic than people who don’t have kids,” he said.
“Doesn’t this mean that non parents don’t have as much of a voice as parents?” he said critics would then ask. “Doesn’t this mean that parents get a bigger say in how a democracy functions? Yes, absolutely.”

 


Typhoon Gaemi forces Philippines to halt work, market trading

Typhoon Gaemi forces Philippines to halt work, market trading
Updated 24 July 2024
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Typhoon Gaemi forces Philippines to halt work, market trading

Typhoon Gaemi forces Philippines to halt work, market trading

MANILA: Typhoon Gaemi and a southwest monsoon brought heavy rain on Wednesday to the Philippine capital region and northern provinces, prompting authorities to halt work and classes, while stock and foreign exchange trading were suspended.

The presidential office suspended classes at all academic levels and work in most government offices in the capital region, which is composed of 16 cities and home to at least 13 million people, because of the tropical storm.

Gaemi, with maximum sustained winds of 155 kilometers per hour (96.3 mph) and gustiness of up to 190 kph, was heading toward Taiwan, the Philippines’ state weather agency said in a 5 a.m. bulletin.

It did not make landfall but it is enhancing a southwest monsoon, resulting in heavy to intense rain in northern Philippines, the agency said. “Flooding and rain-induced landslides are likely.”

Gaemi and another tropical storm, Prapiroon, hit southern Philippines and caused floods last week, resulting in seven deaths.

The Philippine coast guard said 354 passengers and 31 vessels were stranded in ports while airlines canceled 13 flights on Wednesday, Manila’s airport authority said.

The Philippines sees an average of 20 tropical storms annually, causing floods and deadly landslides. 


Pentagon reaffirms support for Ukraine in first defense heads call since Biden’s campaign exit

Pentagon reaffirms support for Ukraine in first defense heads call since Biden’s campaign exit
Updated 24 July 2024
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Pentagon reaffirms support for Ukraine in first defense heads call since Biden’s campaign exit

Pentagon reaffirms support for Ukraine in first defense heads call since Biden’s campaign exit

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reaffirmed Washington’s unwavering support for Ukraine in a call with Ukraine’s defense minister, Rustem Umerov, the Pentagon said late on Tuesday

It was the first call between the defense heads since US President Joe Biden’s announcement that he was ending his reelection bid and endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris for the Democratic nomination to take on Republican former President Donald Trump.

“During the call, the secretary reaffirmed the unwavering support of the United States for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression,” the Pentagon’s press secretary, Major General Pat Ryder, told journalists at a briefing, according to a transcript on the US Department of Defense website.

Umerov said he and Austin also discussed the recent developments on the frontline and Ukraine’s urgent battlefield needs.

“I once again highlighted the importance and urgency of lifting the bans on long-range fires,” Umerov said in a statement on X.

Washington, under the helm of Biden, has been Ukraine’s biggest supporter in the war that Russia has been waging against its smaller neighbor. The US has provided more than $50 billion in military aid since 2022.

After a call between Harris’ national security adviser and his chief of staff on Tuesday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was important that “the dynamics of our joint work for a just peace do not diminish.” 


US official says migrant deportations from Panama ‘imminent’

US official says migrant deportations from Panama ‘imminent’
Updated 24 July 2024
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US official says migrant deportations from Panama ‘imminent’

US official says migrant deportations from Panama ‘imminent’

PANAMA CITY: Deportation flights from Panama for undocumented US-bound migrants who have crossed the lawless Darien jungle from South America are expected to start imminently, a US official said Tuesday.

Washington this month pledged $6 million in funding for migrant repatriations from the Central American nation in the hope of reducing irregular crossings at its own southern border.

The program was expected to use “large numbers” of charter and commercial flights to send back migrants who cross the Darien Gap, said Marlen Pineiro, an official at the US Department of Homeland Security.

“We’re still negotiating (with Panama), but the focus of this program is deportations and expulsions,” she said at a news conference in Panama City.

“I don’t want to give a date yet, but I think we’re going to start imminently,” Pineiro added.

The Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama has become a key corridor for migrants traveling overland from South America through Central America and Mexico to the United States.

Despite the dangers posed by treacherous terrain and violent criminal gangs, more than half a million undocumented migrants — mostly Venezuelans — crossed the Darien last year.

Transit countries such as Panama and Mexico have come under increased pressure from Washington to tackle the highly contentious migration issue in a US election year.

Jose Raul Mulino, Panama’s new president, vowed during his election campaign to deport migrants and close the key route.

After he was sworn in on July 1, the conservative lawyer said his country would no longer be a “transit” point for undocumented migrants.

However, he appeared to soften his tone last week, saying, “We cannot forcibly repatriate” migrants.