Trump blasts Macron over brain dead Nato remarks

US president calls French leaders comments nasty and says Paris could leave alliance Donald Trump has lashed out at Emmanuel Macron on the first morning of a two-day Nato meeting, saying the French presidents description of Nato as brain dead was insulting and a very, very nasty statement. At a news conference alongside the Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, the US president also accused Macron of trying to break away from Nato, as well as running a failing economy while discarding the fact he himself has described Nato as obsolete on previous occasions. Quick guide What is Nato and why are its members meeting in London? Show Hide What is Nato? TheNorth Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) is a collective defence …

Author hits back after library removes LGBT picture book from shelves

Gay adults grew up reading straight romances, says writer Daniel Haack after US library withdraws Prince & Knight from shelves The author of a rhyming picture book removed from the shelves of a West Virginia library has hit back at protesters, suggesting that anyone concerned the book could turn someone gay should remember all the gay adults who grew up only reading about straight romances. Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack was pulled from West Virginias Upshur County public library earlier this week, a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children, especially boys, into the LGBTQA lifestyle. The book tells the story of a prince and a knight who fall in love, ending on the lines: And on the two mens …

Trump personally kept pressure on Ukraine, says impeachment inquiry witness

David Holmes, diplomat at the US embassy in Kiev, says Trump did not give a shit about Ukraine and only cared about what would benefit him politically Donald Trump personally kept up pressure on Ukraine to carry out investigations he had requested in a phone call with a senior US diplomat, who then observed the president did not give a shit about Ukraine and only cared about what would benefit him politically, according to dramatic new testimony in congressional impeachment hearings. In a deposition to the House committees investigating the Ukraine scandal, David Holmes, a diplomat at the US embassy in Kiev, described an extraordinary phone call between Trump and the US ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, on …

Sondland points the finger at Trump and damns others for good measure

The EU envoy was emphatic that the shakedown scheme to hold back Ukrainian aid involved Trump and his top deputies When Gordon Sondland walked into the congressional impeachment hearing shortly after 9am, reports were circulating that the Trump administration and the Republican party was going to throw him under the bus for his part the Ukraine scandal, painting him as a hotelier turned diplomat who went rogue. The question was whether Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, would take the fall. In his eagerness to please the president, had he coordinated a parallel Ukraine policy to convince the Ukrainians to investigate Trumps political opponent, Joe Biden? But Trump and his allies were in for a shock. Any doubt …

Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X top 2020 Grammy nominations

Lizzo scores eight nominations with Eilish and Lil Nas X on seven, but British artists largely snubbed in major categories The 17-year-old pop sensation Billie Eilish has become the youngest artist to be nominated in all four of the most prestigious Grammy award categories: record, album and song of the year, and best new artist. Her gothic, innovative single When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is nominated for the album prize. She completed a sweep of the top categories with a best new artist nomination, and has six nominations in all. Her album engineers got a nod in the best engineered album category, including her brother and collaborator Finneas, who received three nominations. The most nominations were …

‘A story about freedom’: artist set to re-enact largest slave revolt in US history

Hundreds of people dressed in costume will reconstruct the largely forgotten 1811 Louisiana slave uprising In the middle of a grassy traffic island, adjacent to a nondescript strip mall in southern Louisiana, stands the only physical memorial to an event that rocked the racist foundations of the United States. A brown plaque, erected to commemorate a plantation home, has one short, embossed aside: Major 1811 slave uprising organized here. It is an understatement that Dread Scott, the mass re-enactment piece that starts on Friday and ends in New Orleans on Saturday evening. Im glad that there is a sign that marks it, he said in an interview with the Guardian. But I also think that its pathetic. To mark this …

Is Pete Buttigiegs version of hope and change enough to take on Trump? | Geoffrey Kabaservice

The 37-year-old mayor from Indiana has his vulnerabilities, but has become a contender for the presidency in just a few months On a November evening a dozen years ago, Barack Obama who at the time was the 46-year-old junior senator from Illinois last weeks Iowa Democratic party Liberty and Justice Celebration pulled off an New York Times/Siena College poll finds that among likely Democratic voters in Iowa, Elizabeth Warren now holds a narrow lead, followed closely by Bernie Sanders, Buttigieg, and former vice-president Joe Biden, with the rest of the pack far behind. That finding obviously is encouraging for Buttigieg, who has moved from unknown to contender in just a few months, and for Warren, who has risen steadily throughout …

Liberty and Justice for Democrats in Des Moines but no clear Iowa star

There was no Beto, and there was no Obama-esque dynamite at the big dinner just Warren v Biden on healthcare again Andrew Yang brought a stand-up comedian. Kamala Harris held a block party and danced with drum majorettes. Bernie Sanders led a march against corporate greed. But it was Elizabeth Warren who stole the show before it even started by nailing her an electric speech that lit up the race against Hillary Clinton. This year there was no shortage of candidates looking to replicate that moment before 13,000 people in a sports arena, the largest event in the history of what was previously the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, named for two former presidents until the party decided to stop honouring slave owners. …

Pete Buttigieg: race is between me and Warren as new poll puts him fourth

After Post-ABC poll has Biden ahead nationally with Warren in second, Buttigieg attacks senators Medicare for All plan as polarising Pete Buttigieg is fourth in a four-strong pack clear of the Democratic presidential field, according to to be broadcast on Showtime on Sunday, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said the race is getting to be a two-way between him and the Massachusetts senator. A world where were getting somewhere is that world, he said, where its coming down to the two of us. According to the Post-ABC poll, former vice-president Joe Biden leads nationally among likely primary voters, with 28% support, from Warren in second on 23%, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders on 17% and Buttigieg on 9%. Asked on …

Hex in the city: which terrifying town hits Halloween hardest?

Derry boasts a four-day festival, while in West Hollywood 500,000 revellers take part in a huge LGBT event but which city goes the furthest to spook its citizens? On a dark, dark night, in a dark, dark town, on a dark, dark street, skeletons, witches and zombies gather. Theres even the odd devil or two. The legions of the dead have come together for an annual Halloween night parade that will be watched by thousands of costumed revellers. But this isnt the US a country most people consider to be the Halloween mothership this is Derry, The Derry Revellers at a Halloween parade in Greenwich Village, New York City Irelands connection with All Hallows Eve dates back millennia to the …

‘One of the biggest, baddest things we did’: Black Panthers’ free breakfasts, 50 years on

The partys program to feed kids, launched in 1969, became a national phenomenon. This weekend, former members joined a celebration in the partys birthplace Last Saturday morning at Lil Bobby Hutton Park in West Oakland, local residents lined up for the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther partys pioneering free breakfast program. Among the attendees were Emory Douglas, who was the partys minister of culture; Fredrika Newton, widow of the partys co-founder Huey Newton; and the Black Panther illustrator Gayle Dickson. Organized by the Oakland-based Peoples Kitchen Collective (PKC), the gathering was scored by soul music and warm conversations from communal tables. Now in its eighth year, the breakfast was one of the PKCs biggest, serving 650 plates of grits, …

National Coming Out Day marked by worry over supreme court LGBTQ case

As court considers workplace discrimination protections, revellers and activists ponder fragile state of their rights National Coming Out Day festivities across the US were tempered this year by anxiety that some LGBTQ people may have to go back into the closet so they can make a living, depending on National Coming Out Day, first observed in 1988 and marked every 11 October though events happen over several days. Philadelphias annual language in the supreme court this week about whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ people from employment discrimination including a question by conservative chief justice John Roberts that appeared to show confusion about gender transitions and questions about bathroom use by liberals Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg …

I ‘stormed’ Area 51 and it was even weirder than I imagined

No one had any idea what to expect of a plan for people to meet in Rachel, Nevada, to see for themselves if the government was hiding aliens In the middle of the Nevadan desert, outside a secretive US military airstrip, I found the worlds strangest social media convention. Dozens of young, good-looking, often costumed people were running around filming each other with semi-professional video rigs. They were YouTube and Instagram stars or, more often, aspiring stars here to Storm Area 51, They Cant Stop All of Us. According to the plan, people would meet in Rachel, Nevada the closest town to Area 51 in the early morning of 20 September, then swarm the defenses and see for themselves if …

Bahamian evacuees find welcome in Florida but politics dog their presence

Thousands forced to flee their homes by Hurricane Dorian found refuge in the Sunshine State but Trump has cast aspersions They descended the cruise ships gangplank at the Port of Palm Beach looking like refugees from a war zone. Some carried babies and small children; others clutched small bags of possessions snatched hastily from the rubble of their ruined homes; most had just the clothes they stood in. For the 1,435 weary Hurricane Dorian evacuees from the Bahamas who disembarked the Grand Celebration liner and stepped on to the dockside at the weekend there were the pressing concerns of where they would find immediate shelter. But while the Red Cross spoke of how they had received offers from across Florida …

Alabama man who served 36 years of life sentence for $50 robbery to be freed

Alvin Kennard imprisoned without parole for first-degree robbery under three strikes law A man from Alabama who was sentenced to life without parole after robbing a bakery of $50.75 in his 20s is to be released after more than three decades in prison. Alvin Kennard, who was convicted of first-degree robbery, was 22 when he was first imprisoned in 1983. Now, 36 years on, the 58-year-old is finally to be freed after a judge ordered his release from Donaldson correctional facility in Bessemer. Kennard was given the disproportionately harsh sentence under Alabamas old Habitual Felony Offender Act, also known as the three strikes law. He had previously been sentenced to three years probation for three counts of second-degree burglary in …

Not the Messiah: Trump insists ‘chosen one’ China trade war remark was a joke

President made initial claim about policies towards Beijing, leading many observers to question the presidents mental state Donald Trump has twice insisted he was just joking when he claimed to be the chosen one to take on China over trade. Speaking to reporters in Washington on Friday night, then in two tweets from the south of France on Saturday morning, the president said the comment was an instance of sarcasm and insisted it was a joke. When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said I am the chosen one at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a Messiah complex, …