Monday News: Denial is a river in Egypt

TRUMP CLAIMS HE'S NOT A RACIST, NEVER MADE THOSE COMMENTS: "No, No. I'm not a racist," Trump said Sunday, after reporters asked him to respond to those who think he is. "I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you." Trump also denied making the statements attributed to him, but avoided the details of what he did or did not say. "Did you see what various senators in the room said about my comments?" he asked, referring to lawmakers who were meeting with him in the Oval Office on Thursday when Trump is said to have made the comments. "They weren't made." Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the only Democrat at Thursday's meeting, said Trump had indeed said what he was reported to have said. Durbin said the remarks were "vile, hate-filled and clearly racial in their content." He said Trump used the most vulgar term "more than once." When it came to talk of extending protections for Haitians, Durbin said Trump replied, "We don't need more Haitians.'" "He said, 'Put me down for wanting more Europeans to come to this country. Why don't we get more people from Norway?'" Durbin said.

AFTER COURT RULING, GOVERNMENT BEGINS ACCEPTING DACA APPLICATIONS AGAIN: The federal government, citing a recent court order, said Saturday night that it has resumed the acceptance of requests for grants of deferred action under the DACA program. Those under the immigration program have become known as "dreamers." The Trump administration had planned to rescind work permits for the young undocumented immigrants, insisting that it was for Congress to find a solution to the issue of their status. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the Trump administration had decided to end the Obama-era program, calling it an an egregious example of executive overreach. But last week, a federal judge in California said the nearly 690,000 DACA recipients must retain their work permits and their protection from deportation while a lawsuit moves forward. The suit challenges the decision to end the program.

IT TOOK 40 MINUTES FOR HAWAII'S EMERGENCY SYSTEM TO GIVE "FALSE ALARM" NOTICE ON INCOMING NUCLEAR MISSILE: The second recent blunder in Hawaii’s planning for a possible North Korean nuclear attack left islanders shaken after an emergency alert warning of an imminent strike sounded on hundreds of thousands of cellphones. For nearly 40 minutes people waited. Then came the second mobile alert: someone hit the wrong button, there was no missile. Some people abandoned cars on the highway and others gathered in the interiors of their homes to wait for what seemed like the inevitable, a blast that would cause widespread death and destruction. The message sent statewide just after 8 a.m. Saturday read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s administrator, Vern Miyagi, said he took responsibility for the mistake. He said officials would study the error to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

CHELSEA MANNING CONFIRMS SHE IS RUNNING FOR U.S. SENATE AS A DEMOCRAT: Chelsea Manning on Sunday confirmed via Twitter that she is a candidate for U.S. Senate. Three days after making her intention known to federal election officials, Manning tweeted "yup, we're running for senate" with an attached campaign video indicating her intention to run in the 2018 Maryland Democratic primary. She sent a subsequent tweet seeking donations to her campaign. The 71-second video weaves together images of white supremacists holding tiki torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as protesters clashing with police elsewhere. "We don't need more or better leaders," Manning continued. "We need someone willing to fight. We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won't support us. They won't compromise." Known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest, the former Army intelligence analyst was convicted of leaking classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

UK SCRAMBLES FIGHTER JETS IN RESPONSE TO NOSY RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT: Britain's defense ministry says the Royal Air Force has scrambled two fighter jets as Russian planes neared U.K. airspace — another illustration of ongoing tensions. The RAF confirmed a "quick reaction alert," deploying Typhoon aircraft from the Lossiemouth base in Scotland, but military authorities say nothing was intercepted. The incident Monday is one of several in recent years as Russian fighter planes test NATO and British air defenses. Russia's military has also sought to probe the resolve of naval forces, with warships being diverted to monitor passing naval vessels. Last week, the HMS Westminster, a Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate, was ordered to intercept two warships and two supporting vessels passing near U.K. waters.



Weird news day

Just to give you an idea of what I look for each morning: Important North Carolina-related news (I'm not gonna post fluffy-bunny articles while the world's on fire), national news if it affects a lot of people (not gonna post about 3 consecutive car-jackings in Gary, Indiana), and occasionally international developments, if they are pivotal or indicative of a dangerous trend.

The tension between Russia and NATO right now is higher than it's been in a long time, thus the jet fighter story above. But there are numerous other international stories of conflict, that may be a sign the lack of intelligent leadership in the White House is leading to uncertainty and increased aggression elsewhere. It bears watching, and I'm glad the AP's coverage of such makes it into even local papers.