Philippines’ ancient ‘stairway to heaven’ facing climate threat

Philippines’ ancient ‘stairway to heaven’ facing climate threat
Rice terraces are seen in Batad, Ifugao province, northern Philippines, in June 2022. (Raymond Macapagal)
Short Url
Updated 15 June 2024
Follow

Philippines’ ancient ‘stairway to heaven’ facing climate threat

Philippines’ ancient ‘stairway to heaven’ facing climate threat
  • 2,000-year-old terraces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Hand-carved steps are often called the Eighth Wonder of the World

Perched on the side of mountains in the Cordillera region, about 250 km north of Manila on Luzon island, enormous green steps rise to a height of 1,500 meters, funneling water from the mountaintop forests down to the rice terraces below.

Known in the Philippines as a “stairway to heaven,” the Ifugao rice terraces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a 2,000-year-old indigenous engineering feat that is increasingly under threat due to climate change.

The ancestors of the indigenous Ifugao people carved the terraces by hand to irrigate their rice crops, which even now are a staple in the province.

This masterpiece of ancient agricultural engineering entered the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1995 and is often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” — and one of its most endangered. In May, one of the sites in Batad village collapsed after heavy rains, causing a landslide that damaged 12 terraces.

“At present, risks of damage to the rice terraces and to local culture are exacerbated due to increased temperatures, erratic rainfall, poverty, and demographic shifts, just to name a few examples,” Marlon Martin, a member of the Ifugao ethnic group and executive of the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement, told Arab News.

“This makes loss and disruption of life in the terraces a strong possibility. As a result, you can see the landscape rapidly changing. These same vulnerabilities may cause the loss of traditions, indigenous knowledge, and intangible identity that connects the Ifugao to their ancestral lands and forebears.”

Aside from Batad, similar steep terraces can also be found in nearby Banaue, Mayoyao, Hapao and Kiangan. Covering about 10,360 sq. km, the extensive network would be at least 20,000 km in length — half the Earth’s circumference — if laid end to end.

Ancient engineers created the highland paddies by making walls with stones and mud. The terraces are designed to retain and also channel water to the steps below, immersing the paddies all year round.

The Ifugao see the terraces as integral to their identity and culture.

“People maintain the terraces because, primarily, it is of significant value to them as a people and as a culture. The terraces link them to their ancestors. It brings them together as a community, and this is how they keep traditional knowledge alive,” Martin said.

“People need to understand that these are not built monuments like Memphis and its Necropolis or the Great Wall, and that when you do restoration, you are already done. Year in and year out, Ifugao farmers need to restore, repair, and maintain the terraces.”

Yet the costs of maintaining the terraces are increasingly high, with erratic weather and effects of the changing climate making their cultivation economically unfeasible.

“Damages to paddy walls induced by drought and torrential rains associated with climate change make maintenance not worth the economic benefit. Were it not for the other values of the terraces, this alone would discourage people,” Martin said.

As part of the Preserving Legacies project, he has conducted a year-long study assessing the terraces’ climate vulnerability, and believes it is time for the government to step in to prevent the sites from being abandoned and losing UNESCO status.

“The government needs to subsidize rice terrace farmers,” he said. “Heritage, economics, socio-cultural solidarity, and a source of indigenous knowledge are key to the preservation of the terraces.”

For Raymond Macapagal, assistant professor at the University of the Philippines’ Center for International Studies and manager of the Batad Kadangyan Ethnic Lodges Project — a community-based tourism enterprise at the UNESCO site — a key strategy is to create opportunities for young people.

Over the past two decades, the younger generation’s migration to cities in search of other work has resulted in 30 percent of the terraces being abandoned. Developing tourism was one way to provide alternative sources of income.

“They will have a deeper understanding of the challenges and solutions in the complex task of safeguarding the terraces. They will also be more motivated to protect the landscape that provides their livelihood,” Macapagal said.

The rice terraces, featured on the Philippines’ 20-peso banknotes, are also a part and witness to the region’s long human history and remnants of millennia-old indigenous heritage.

“The significance of the Ifugao rice terraces to the Ifugao people, I believe, can be rooted in how it represents indigenous cultural heritage that has resisted centuries of colonization,” Macapagal said.

“It demonstrates the harmonious interaction of humans, gods, and nature in order to come up with an outstanding cultural landscape that is admired throughout the world.”


Biden says it was a ‘mistake’ to say he wanted to put a ‘bull’s-eye’ on Trump

Biden says it was a ‘mistake’ to say he wanted to put a ‘bull’s-eye’ on Trump
Updated 7 sec ago
Follow

Biden says it was a ‘mistake’ to say he wanted to put a ‘bull’s-eye’ on Trump

Biden says it was a ‘mistake’ to say he wanted to put a ‘bull’s-eye’ on Trump
  • “Look, how do you talk about the threat to democracy, which is real, when a president says things like he says?” Biden said

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden told NBC News in an interview airing Monday that it was a “mistake” to say he wanted to put a “bull’s-eye” on Republican nominee Donald Trump, but argued that the rhetoric coming from his opponent was more incendiary while warning that Trump remained a threat to democratic institutions.
Those remarks from Biden came during a private call with donors last week as the Democrat had been scrambling to shore up his imperiled candidacy with key party constituencies. During that conversation, Biden declared that he was “done” talking about his poor debate performance and that it was “time to put Trump in the bull’s-eye,” saying Trump has gotten far too little scrutiny on his stances, rhetoric and lack of campaigning.
Insisting “there was very little focus on Trump’s agenda,” Biden told NBC anchor Lester Holt that while he acknowledged his “mistake,” he nonetheless is “not the guy who said I wanted to be a dictator on day one” and that he wanted the focus to be on what Trump was saying. It’s Trump, not Biden, who engages in that kind of rhetoric, Biden said, referring to Trump’s past comments about a “bloodbath” if the Republican loses to Biden in November.
“Look, how do you talk about the threat to democracy, which is real, when a president says things like he says?” Biden said. “Do you just not say anything because it may incite somebody?”
The interview was occurring the same day that his reelection team was preparing to resume full-throttle campaigning after the assassination attempt on Trump, particularly after the GOP nominee announced Ohio Sen. JD Vance as his running mate — which unleashed a flurry of criticism from the Biden campaign and other Democrats about the young freshman senator’s policy positions.
“He’s a clone of Trump on the issues,” Biden told reporters at Andrews Air Force Base shortly before departing for Nevada for a series of speeches and campaign events. “I don’t see any difference.”
The NBC interview, scheduled before the attempt on Trump’s life at a rally in Pennsylvania, had been part of Biden’s broader strategy to prove his fitness for office after angst grew among Democrats because of his disastrous June 27 debate performance.
The Biden campaign recalibrated some of its political plans in the immediate aftermath of the assassination attempt on Saturday, pulling advertising off the air and hitting pause on messaging. The White House also scrapped Biden’s planned Monday visit to the Lyndon B. Johnson library, where he had been slated to deliver remarks on civil rights.
It’s still not finalized when Biden’s campaign ads will resume airing. But Biden is pressing on with the Nevada portion of his previously scheduled western swing, which will include remarks to the NAACP and UnidosUS, a Latino civil rights and advocacy group. He’ll also headline what’s been billed as a “campaign community event” on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
Hours ahead of the NBC interview, his campaign issued a blistering statement on Trump’s selection of Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance as his running mate, saying he picked the freshman senator because he would “bend over backwards to enable Trump and his extreme MAGA agenda.”
“Over the next three and a half months, we will spend every single day making the case between the two starkly contrasting visions Americans will choose between at the ballot box this November,” said Biden campaign chairwoman Jen O’Malley Dillon. “The Biden-Harris ticket who’s focused on uniting the country, creating opportunity for everyone, and lowering costs; or Trump-Vance – whose harmful agenda will take away Americans’ rights, hurt the middle class, and make life more expensive – all while benefiting the ultra-rich and greedy corporations.”
Biden has acknowledged that his candidacy and agenda will be under attack at the Republican National Convention this week, and aides feel no need to put their campaign on complete pause while Biden comes under scrutiny in Milwaukee. But they’ll tread carefully in the aftermath of the shooting at a Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania.
“I’ll be traveling this week, making the case for our record and the vision — my vision of the country — our vision,” Biden said during his Oval Office remarks on Sunday night, just the third such address of his presidency. “I’ll continue to speak out strongly for our democracy, stand up for our Constitution and the rule of law, to call for action at the ballot box, no violence on our streets. That’s how democracy should work.”
Biden’s renewed campaigning this week comes as Democrats have been at an impasse over whether the incumbent president should continue in the race even as he was defiant that he would stay in. Biden has made it clear in no uncertain terms that he remains in the race, and aides have been operating as such.
It was unclear if the attempt on Trump’s life would blunt Democratic efforts to urge Biden to step aside, but it appears to have stalled some of the momentum, for now. No Democrats have called for him to exit the race since the shooting Saturday night.
In the hours before the shooting, Biden was still being confronted by frustration and skepticism from Democratic lawmakers. Rep. Jared Huffman of California said he asked the president during his meeting with the Congressional Progressive Caucus about objectively assessing the trajectory of the race, and if the Lord almighty doesn’t intervene would Biden consider “the best earthly alternative”: meeting with former presidents Obama and Clinton, and the Democratic leadership including Hakeem Jeffries and Chuck Schumer, and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi “to seek their advice.”
Huffman said on a social media post that Biden “disagreed with the notion that we are on a losing trajectory.”
And while Biden expressed a “willingness to listen” to other voices, Huffman said he doubted any would be persuasive. “I continue to believe a major course correction is needed, and that the President and his team have yet to fully acknowledge the problem, much less correct it,” he said.
But now, several Democrats who requested anonymity were skeptical that there would be enough drive among lawmakers to successfully try and pressure Biden not to run, especially because they are scattered and away from Washington until next week and because Biden has said he won’t step aside and seized the opportunity to quickly respond to the shooting over the weekend. The people requested anonymity to characterize private conversations.
Many in the Democratic Party had been looking to congressional leaders Jeffries and Schumer to voice concerns directly to the president. Jeffries met with Biden at the White House on Thursday night, while Schumer went to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Saturday for his visit with Biden, which occurred just before the assassination attempt on Trump.
There were still deep concerns that Biden is not up to the job and a sense that pressure to try and find another candidate could ramp up again when lawmakers return to Washington. Congressional Democrats were watching the Republican National Convention and Biden’s appearances this week with awareness that the dynamics could change — again.

Related


Protesters gather at GOP convention to rally for abortion and immigrant rights, end to war in Gaza

Protesters gather at GOP convention to rally for abortion and immigrant rights, end to war in Gaza
Updated 41 min 21 sec ago
Follow

Protesters gather at GOP convention to rally for abortion and immigrant rights, end to war in Gaza

Protesters gather at GOP convention to rally for abortion and immigrant rights, end to war in Gaza
  • Activists carried signs that read, “Stand with Palestine,” “We Can No Longer Afford the Rich,” and “Defend and Expand Immigrant Rights”

MILWAUKEE: Hundreds of demonstrators converged Monday on downtown Milwaukee to protest around the Republican National Convention, saying the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump won’t affect their long-standing plans to demonstrate outside the site.
A wide range of organizations and activists gathered in a downtown park outside the Fiserv Forum’s security perimeter Monday morning to listen to speakers ahead of a street march coordinated by The Coalition to March on the RNC. The coalition, comprised largely of local groups, supports abortion and immigrant rights and is pressing to end the war in Gaza.
The atmosphere was festive, with music playing over loud speakers, a man strumming a guitar and vendors selling T-shirts and buttons supporting both Republicans and Democrats. One person wearing an orange prison jumpsuit dressed up with a giant Trump cutout for a face. Activists carried signs that read, “Stand with Palestine,” “We Can No Longer Afford the Rich,” and “Defend and Expand Immigrant Rights.”
At one point a group of demonstrators got in an argument with counter-protesters who denounced LGBTQ+ rights, Muslims, Black Lives Matter and women.
Counter-protester Rich Penkoski of Stillwater, Oklahoma, bellowed through a bullhorn that women should go home and make sandwiches for their husbands. The demonstrators eventually walked away from the counter-protesters as police looked on.
At noon, the demonstrators set off on the march around the arena’s security perimeter in temperatures approaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), chanting “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Republicans have got to go” and “This is what democracy looks like.” Many carried Palestinian flags.
The attempt on Trump’s life Saturday evening during a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, didn’t change anything for the demonstrators, said Omar Flores, a coalition spokesperson.
“The shooting has nothing to do with us,” he said.
The gunshot grazed Trump’s ear. A rally participant was fatally shot and two were critically wounded, prompting widespread calls to improve security and raising questions about Trump’s safety in Milwaukee — he arrived in the city on Sunday — as well as that of other convention-goers.
US Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle said Monday that the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies have “reviewed and strengthened” the convention security plan and they will continuously adapt their operations as needed. She added that the Secret Service also has made changes to Trump’s security detail. She didn’t elaborate.
The coalition protesting the RNC had touted their Monday demonstrations as “family friendly.” Organizers expected 5,000 to 10,000 attendees. Separately, the Philadelphia-based Poor People’s Army, which organizes for economic justice, planned an afternoon march. Smaller organizations also planned to demonstrate inside parks near the convention site where Trump is set to officially accept the party’s presidential nomination later this week.
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin’s largest immigrant rights group, condemned political violence but blamed Trump for fostering anger.
“It’s undeniable that Trump’s rhetoric, policies and actions have contributed to a climate of increased violence and legitimized hate crimes,” she said.
Peter Wilt, 64, of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, was in the crowd. He held a sign that read “Now Will U Ban Automatic Weapons.” Wilt said the sign referred to the assassination attempt.
“Common sense gun laws are just that. Common sense,” he said. “The GOP has refused to enact common sense gun laws, in part, because it hasn’t hit home for them.”
A heavy police presence in the city was assured, with officers from multiple jurisdictions providing security. Milwaukee officials and federal authorities have repeatedly said their priority is safety and insist they’ve made free speech accommodations.
Many activists are using the experience in Milwaukee to prepare for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago next month. That event is expected to draw even more people, and Chicago police have been undergoing training on constitutional policing and preparing for the possibility of mass arrests.
Milwaukee police have done some exercises related to the convention, though not widespread training.
“With any very large gathering, people must always be on top of their toes,” said Hilario Deleon, chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party. “If it’s successful, the city is successful.”
 

 


Top EU leaders will boycott meetings hosted by Hungary’s Orban after his outreach to Russia, China

Top EU leaders will boycott meetings hosted by Hungary’s Orban after his outreach to Russia, China
Updated 15 July 2024
Follow

Top EU leaders will boycott meetings hosted by Hungary’s Orban after his outreach to Russia, China

Top EU leaders will boycott meetings hosted by Hungary’s Orban after his outreach to Russia, China
  • The long-serving prime minister’s visits to Moscow and Beijing, where he held talks with leaders Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, angered his EU counterparts, who said they had not been informed in advance

BUDAPEST, Hungary: Top EU officials will boycott informal meetings hosted by Hungary while the country has the EU’s rotating presidency, after Hungary’s pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Orban held a series of rogue meetings with foreign leaders about Ukraine that angered European partners.
The highly unusual decision to have the European Commission president and other top officials of the body boycott the meetings was made ‘’in light of recent developments marking the start of the Hungarian (EU) presidency,” commission spokesperson Eric Mamer posted Monday on X.
Hungary took over the rotating role July 1, and since then Orban has visited Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, China, and the United States on a world tour he’s touted as “peace mission” aimed at brokering an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine. That angered many leaders in the EU, who said they had not been informed in advance of Orbán’s plans. Orban’s government is friendly with Russia and has gone against the policy of most EU countries on support for Ukraine.
Hungary’s Europe minister, Janos Boka, lashed out at the commission’s decision saying the body ‘’cannot cherry pick institutions and member states it wants to cooperate with. ‘’
The decision by the European Commission applies to informal meetings hosted by Hungary. Senior civil servants will attend instead of top officials like the European Commission president, currently Ursula von der Leyen.
Orbán’s government has gone against the policy of most EU countries by refusing to supply Kyiv with weapons to deter Russia’s invasion and by threatening to block financial assistance to the war-ravaged country.
The long-serving prime minister’s visits to Moscow and Beijing, where he held talks with leaders Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, angered his EU counterparts, who said they had not been informed in advance. They rushed to clarify that Orbán — whose country is currently filling the bloc’s six-month rotating presidency — was not acting on behalf of the EU.
In an interview with Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet on Monday, Orbán’s political director said the prime minister had briefed the leaders of other EU countries “in writing about the negotiations, the experiences of the first phase of the peace mission and the Hungarian proposals.”
“If Europe wants peace and wants to have a decisive say in settling the war and ending the bloodshed, it must now work out and implement a change of direction,” said Balázs Orbán, who is not related to the premier. “A realistic assessment of the situation, realistic goals and the right timing — that’s our approach.”
Hungary’s government has long argued for an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations in the conflict in Ukraine, but has not outlined what such moves might mean for the country’s territorial integrity and future security. It has exhibited an adversarial posture toward Ukraine while maintaining close ties to Moscow, even after its full-scale invasion in Feb. 2022.
Orbán’s critics have accused him of acting against the unity and interests of the EU and NATO, of which Hungary is a member, and of pursuing an “appeasement” strategy concerning Russia’s aggression.
Following Orbán’s unannounced trip to Moscow for talks with Putin on July 5 — the first such visit from an EU head of state or government in more than two years — von der Leyen accused him of trying to mollify the Russian leader, writing on X: “Appeasement will not stop Putin. Only unity and determination will pave the path to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.”

 


Video of woman denied entry into London pub over Palestine badge goes viral

Video of woman denied entry into London pub over Palestine badge goes viral
Updated 15 July 2024
Follow

Video of woman denied entry into London pub over Palestine badge goes viral

Video of woman denied entry into London pub over Palestine badge goes viral
  • Woman tells Red Lion employee that if it was a US, English or Ukrainian flag, she would be allowed in

LONDON: A video showing a woman arguing with a member of staff at a London pub after being denied entry because she was wearing a badge depicting the Palestinian flag is spreading on social media.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by IMJUSTBAIT (@imjustbait)

In the footage, apparently filmed on Saturday, the woman is in a heated argument with the employee at the entrance to The Red Lion in Westminster, while a security guard blocks the door and listens to their exchange.

The woman points to the Palestine flag on her jacket and says: “If I was wearing an American flag or an English flag or a Ukrainian flag, you would not ask me to remove it — that would be considered offensive.

“If I was wearing a rainbow flag or a pride flag, you wouldn’t stop me. No, you wouldn’t.”

The staff member repeatedly replies: “Yes, I would.”

The Red Lion, which is close to Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament, is said to be a popular venue with politicians and civil servants.

A spokesperson for pub told the Daily Mail newspaper: “The location of this pub, on Whitehall, means it is frequently on the route of protests from all sides of the political divide.

“We are a place that is open to all and we want to ensure that everyone is equal inside the pub and that we remain neutral.

“Therefore, the management team in the pub took the decision, some years ago, to ask customers to remove all flags, badges and overt political slogans, whatever the cause, before entering the pub itself.”
 


Trump announces Ohio Senator J.D. Vance as running mate

Trump announces Ohio Senator J.D. Vance as running mate
Updated 25 min 6 sec ago
Follow

Trump announces Ohio Senator J.D. Vance as running mate

Trump announces Ohio Senator J.D. Vance as running mate
  • J.D. Vance is a one-time harsh critic who became one of Trump’s most loyal supporters in Congress
  • One of the least experienced VP picks in modern history, the one-term senator is further to the right than the ex-president on many issues

MILWAUKEE: Jubilant GOP delegates cheered as they formally nominated Donald Trump during Monday’s Republican National Convention kickoff, less than two days after an assassination attempt on the former president and shortly after he announced Ohio Sen. JD Vance as his vice presidential running mate.
Their vote makes it official that Trump, who has long been the presumptive nominee, will lead the GOP in a third consecutive election. The winner in 2016, he lost to current President Joe Biden in 2020. In November, he will again face Biden, who dismissed Vance as “a clone” of Trump on important issues.
Trump’s son Eric announced Florida’s votes, which put the former president over the top for the nomination. Video screens in the arena read “OVER THE TOP” while the song “Celebration” played and delegates danced and waved Trump signs. Thoughout the voting, delegates flanked by “Make America Great Again” signs applauded as state after state voted their support for Trump’s second term.
Saturday’s shooting at a Pennsylvania rally, where Trump was injured and one man died, was not far from delegates’ minds as they celebrated — a stark contrast to the anger and anxiety that had marked the previous few days. Some delegates chanted “fight, fight, fight” — the same words that Trump was seen shouting to the crowd as the Secret Service ushered him off the stage, his fist raised and face bloodied.
“We should all be thankful right now that we are able to cast our votes for President Donald J. Trump after what took place on Saturday,” said New Jersey state Sen. Michael Testa as he announced all of his state’s 12 delegates for Trump.
Wyoming delegate Sheryl Foland was among those who adopted the “fight” chant after seeing Trump survive Saturday in what she called “monumental photos and video.”
“We knew then we were going to adopt that as our chant,” added Foland, a child trauma mental health counselor. “Not just because we wanted him to fight, and that God was fighting for him. We thought, isn’t it our job to accept that challenge and fight for our country?”
“It’s bigger than Trump,” Foland said. “It’s a mantra for our country.”
Trump’s campaign chiefs had designed the convention to feature a softer and more optimistic message, focusing on themes that would help a divisive leader expand his appeal among moderate voters and people of color.
With the shooting, however, the Democrats’ turmoil after the debate, the GOP’s potential governing agenda and even Trump’s criminal convictions became secondary to concerns about political violence and the country’s stability. Trump and his allies will make their case during their four-day convention in Milwaukee unquestionably united and motivated in the wake of the attack.
Vivek Ramaswamy, who ran in the GOP presidential primary, has distinguished himself as one of the more aggressive voices on the right, saying often that the country is already at war with itself. So it was notable that in remarks at an event run by the conservative Heritage Institute at the RNC on Monday he was toning down his rhetoric and urging the country to come together.
“The enemy is not the Democrats, it is an ideology,” Ramaswamy told the crowd at Heritage’s “Policy Fest” event.
Some well-timed good news was also affecting the mood on the convention floor Monday: The federal judge presiding over Trump’s classified documents case dismissed the prosecution because of concerns over the appointment of the prosecutor who brought the case, handing the former president a major court victory.
Excitement from Trump allies as they react to his running mate pick
Trump announced JD Vance as his running mate Monday afternoon, just before he clinched the Republican nomination. The former president’s family and biggest allies quickly lauded the decision as a good one for the direction of the Republican Party.
Moments after the decision was public, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. told CNN in an interview that Vance was an “incredible guy with an amazing story” who will help “unify this country.”
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who had been considered as a potential vice presidential pick, said in a post on X that Vance’s “small town roots and service to country make him a powerful voice for the America First Agenda.”
Attempted assassination has not changed the convention program
In an interview Sunday, Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley said the convention’s programming wouldn’t be changed after the shooting. The agenda, he said, will feature more than 100 speakers focused on kitchen table issues and Trump’s plans to lift everyday working Americans.
“We have to be able to lay out a vision for where we want to take this country,” he said.
Whatley said the central message would have little to do with Biden’s political struggles, Trump’s grievances about the 2020 election or the ex-president’s promises to exact retribution against political enemies.
“We are going to have the convention that we have been planning for the last 18 months,” he said. “We are a combination of relieved and grateful that the president is going to be here and is going to accept the nomination.”
In addition to formally naming Trump the nominee, delegates from across the nation will turn to updating the GOP’s policy platform for the first time since 2016. The scaled-down platform proposal — just 16 pages with limited specifics on key issues, including abortion — reflects a desire by the Trump campaign to avoid giving Democrats more material on campaign issues.
The platform approved by a committee last week doesn’t include an explicit call for a national abortion ban, two years after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended a federally guaranteed right to abortion.
“More divisiveness would not be healthy,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
People connected to Jan. 6 are involved
There will be reminders of Trump’s record in a speaking program that includes a handful of Republicans charged with crimes related to other political violence — the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
Former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who’s in jail on contempt of Congress charges, is expected to speak at the convention just hours after his release. He was found guilty in September after refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Capitol attack.
Trump has repeatedly cast the people involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election, including his many supporters who stormed the Capitol, as political prisoners.
For now, Democrats have scaled back their plans to offer a competing message during the Republican convention, and has pulled down campaign ads in the wake of the attempted assassination of Trump.
Protesters march
Hundreds of demonstrators converged on downtown Milwaukee to protest around the RNC, saying the assassination attempt won’t affect their long-standing plans to demonstrate outside the site.
The activists called attention to issues such as abortion rights, economic justice and the war in Gaza. As they marched, the atmosphere was festive, with music playing over loud speakers, a man strumming a guitar and vendors selling T-shirts and buttons supporting both Republicans and Democrats.
Activists carried signs that read, “Stand with Palestine,” “We Can No Longer Afford the Rich,” and “Defend and Expand Immigrant Rights.”
The protesters’ movements were restricted as part of enhanced security precautions established by the Secret Service.
Security officials previously announced that people just outside the Secret Service perimeter would be allowed to carry guns openly or concealed as permitted by state law. Wisconsin statutes outlaw only machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and silencers.