Cruz backers chant 2020 as 2nd White House run possible
CLEVELAND (AP) — To chants of “2020, 2020,” Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday left open the possibility of a second White House run even as Donald Trump arrived in Cleveland to accept the GOP presidential nomination.
“I don’t know what the future is going to hold. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Cruz told his rowdy supporters, many of them cheering another bid. “But what I do know what remains unshakable is my faith in the men and women here.”
The freshman lawmaker with Texas-size political ambitions has stopped short of a full-throated endorsement of Trump, his bitter primary rival who often mocked him as “Lyin’ Ted.” Cruz was slated to deliver a prime-time convention speech, but no endorsement was expected.
At a rally with some 900 delegates, donors, GOP officials and supporters at a lakeside restaurant, Cruz never mentioned Trump’s name during an appearance billed as a “thank you” event for supporters.
“Our party now has a nominee,” Cruz said Wednesday, just as Trump’s plane flew overhead. The senator laughed and said wryly: “That was pretty well-orchestrated.”
Trump’s VP pick takes the stage; Cruz to ‘suggest’ support
CLEVELAND (AP) — Straining to shore up Republican unity, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will vouch for Donald Trump’s conservative values Wednesday night as he makes his national convention debut as Trump’s running mate.
But much of the attention will be on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a favorite of the right who is yet to endorse Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign was still trying to quiet a plagiarism controversy involving Melania Trump’s convention address two nights earlier. A Trump Organization writer took blame for including lines from a Michelle Obama speech in Mrs. Trump’s well-received remarks — after 36 hours of campaign denials that there was anything wrong with the overlap.
The gulf between Pence’s hearty embrace of Trump and Cruz’s reluctance was emblematic of the turmoil still roiling the GOP. A day after Trump formally became the presidential nominee, some delegates at state gatherings around Cleveland were still struggling to come to terms with their unorthodox new standard-bearer.
Iowa delegate Cecil Stinemetz called Trump “the worst nominee that we have put forward for the Republican Party in the history of the Republican Party” and said he didn’t plan to return to the convention floor the rest of the week.
In Cleveland, sea of white reflects GOP’s math problem
After Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election, Republican Party heavyweights uniformly agreed that white voters alone do not hold the keys to winning the White House.
Yet in 2016, another overwhelmingly white gathering of Republican convention delegates — the makeup clear on television images or a walk through the Quicken Loans Arena floor — has nominated an all-white male ticket: businessman Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Trump leaned almost exclusively on white voters to win the nomination and, in the process, alienated swaths of minorities with his push for a border wall to stop illegal immigration, calls for a “deportation force” and proposals to ban non-citizen Muslims from entering the country.
“He offended so many people,” said Texas GOP delegate Adryana Boyne, who is Latina. “I think he needs to apologize and he hasn’t.”
At the ballot box, simple math is at play as the country becomes less white with each presidential cycle. The more Trump struggles with non-whites, the more pressure there is for him to reach levels of white support no candidate has managed since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 landslide.
Hating on Hillary: Republican convention down and dirty
CLEVELAND (AP) — Liar. Garbage. Lock her up.
Republicans at their national convention are putting Hillary Clinton on mock trial, declaring her guilty and issuing sentences that include death by firing squad, in a remarkable display of political rhetoric gone wild. Even some Clinton haters say the vitriol has gone too far.
The focus on Clinton has sometimes upstaged what’s supposed to be a weeklong celebration and promotion of Donald Trump. Instead of extolling the virtues of their nominee, Republicans have turned to increasingly crass slurs against his opponent.
One GOP delegate and adviser to Trump on veteran’s issues, Al Baldasaro, took it a step further than the rest. He dubbed her a “piece of garbage” and suggested a punishment for alleged inaction during the 2012 Benghazi, Libya, attacks that left four Americans dead.
“Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason,” the New Hampshire state lawmaker said in a radio interview Tuesday.
Turkey declares 3-month state of emergency after failed coup
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s president on Wednesday declared a three-month state of emergency following a botched coup attempt, declaring he would rid the military of the “virus” of subversion and giving the government sweeping powers to expand a crackdown that has already included mass arrests and the closure of hundreds of schools.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was accused of autocratic conduct before the insurrection, said the measure would counter threats to Turkish democracy. Possibly anticipating investor jitters, Erdogan criticized Standard & Poor’s for downgrading its credit rating for Turkey deeper into “junk” status and said the country would remain financially disciplined.
The president did not announce details, but the security measure could facilitate longer detentions for many of the nearly 10,000 people who have been rounded up since loyalist security forces and protesters quashed the rebellion that started Friday night and was over by Saturday.
“This measure is in no way against democracy, the law and freedoms,” Erdogan said in a national televised address after a meeting with Cabinet ministers and security advisers.
The state of emergency announcement needs to be published in a state gazette and lawmakers have to approve it for it to take effect, according to analysts.
Defense, foreign ministers to plan next steps against IS
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AP) — Defense leaders at a counter-Islamic State meeting expressed concerns about what happens after the expected defeat of the militant group, and whether countries are ready to help stabilize and rebuild the war-torn cities, particularly in Iraq, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday.
Carter also said that some nations have agreed to step up their contributions to the fight, as battles for the key cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria loom.
Defense and foreign leaders from more than 30 countries are in Washington for two days of meetings on the next steps to be taken in the fight to defeat the Islamic State group, which still maintains control of large sections of Iraq and Syria.
Speaking to reporters after the first day’s session wrapped up at Joint Base Andrews, Carter said a lot of the conversations were about identifying the needs for reconstruction after the battles are over.
“The biggest strategic concern of this group of defense ministers was that the stabilization and governance effort will lag behind the military campaign,” Carter said. “Making sure there’s no such lag must be a significant strategic priority for us. We discussed it today and it will be an important focus of our conversation tomorrow at the State Department with our foreign ministry counterparts.”
Appeals court: Texas voter ID law discriminates; orders fix
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ strict voter ID law discriminates against minorities and the poor and must quickly be scrubbed of those effects before the November election, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The ruling was a striking election-year victory for the administration of President Barack Obama, which had taken the unusual step of bringing the U.S. Justice Department into Texas to help fight the case. It’s also a blow to Republican lawmakers whose 2011 law had been enforced in three prior statewide elections.
Voters will still need to show identification at the polls under the decision by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to attorneys who challenged the law, but a lower court will now also have to devise a way for Texas to accommodate those who cannot.
The 9-6 decision agreed with a lower court ruling that Texas had violated the federal Voting Rights Act. Elections experts in the long-running legal fight have testified that Hispanics were twice as likely and blacks three times more likely than whites to lack an acceptable ID under the law. They also said lower-income Texas residents were more likely to lack underlying documents to obtain a free state voting ID.
“The law is still in place but it can’t be enforced as is,” said Gerry Hebert, a Washington-based attorney who helped challenge the law in court. “It has to be changed. There has to be some relief afforded.”
AP EXPLAINS Trump’s push for border wall is not a new idea.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Donald Trump’s push for a border wall is not a new idea. The U.S.-Mexico border is already lined with intermittent miles of barriers. In some places, a tall fence ascends desert hills. In others, sturdy wire mesh or metal pillars end suddenly.
The pieces come from different moments in history when the U.S. government wanted stronger barriers to halt unwanted immigration, drug trafficking, Prohibition-era bootleggers and even meandering cattle.
When Trump formally accepts the GOP nomination for president on Thursday, the billionaire will likely repeat his promise to build a single wall to stem illegal immigration and drug smuggling.
Historians say that idea has been pursued for a century with spotty results due to changing politics and technologies and pressure to divert enforcement attention elsewhere.
Here’s a look at the history of U.S.-Mexico border barriers.
Kathleen Carroll, AP’s executive editor, stepping down
NEW YORK (AP) — Kathleen Carroll, the executive editor of The Associated Press for the last 14 years, will leave her post at the end of the year.
The news was announced Wednesday by Gary Pruitt, president and chief executive officer of The AP. Pruitt said that Carroll will help with the leadership transition. A successor is expected to be in place by Jan. 1, 2017.
“Being the editor of the AP is the best job in journalism and maybe the best job anywhere, but it has never been a lifetime job. I’ve had a swell run and now it is someone else’s turn,” Carroll said in a statement.
Carroll, the former Washington bureau chief of Knight Ridder and a former writer and editor in four AP bureaus, was appointed in 2002. During her tenure, she helped establish bureaus in North Korea, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia and led the news cooperative’s transformation from analog to digital.
Under Carroll’s leadership, AP journalists won five Pulitzer Prizes — including the Pulitzer for Public Service, six George Polk Awards and 15 Overseas Press Club Awards.
How Turkey’s military coup failed
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish officials say an attempted coup by a segment of the military over the weekend was put down in about 10-12 hours. At least 260 people were killed, and 1,400 wounded in violence that rattled the country’s two major cities. Bombs hit the parliament and other state buildings, tanks drove over civilians and there was an attempted assassination of the country’s strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Here is what is known about how it unfolded, beginning Friday, and why it failed.
Around 4 p.m. Turkish national intelligence flagged to the chief of staff that they had intercepted communications among a number of military personnel indicating that a coup was planned. With many of the military’s senior officers attending a wedding and the president vacationing at a seaside resort, and while a military shake-up was imminent, the coup plotters felt it was an opportune time to strike.