Trump: Saddam killed terrorists ‘so good’

RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) — Donald Trump, who frequently criticizes U.S. foreign policy under President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is praising Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s ruthlessness.
“Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? … But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good,” Trump told supporters at a campaign rally Tuesday night in Raleigh, North Carolina. “They didn’t read ’em the rights, they didn’t talk. They were a terrorist, it was over.”
Trump has previously said the world would be “100 percent better” if dictators like Hussein and Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi were still in power. Prior to the U.S. invasion, Iraq was listed by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism. Hussein suppressed dissent in his country and used poison gas against 5,000 Iraqi Kurds.
Jake Sullivan, a Clinton senior policy adviser, said Trump’s “praise for brutal strongmen seemingly knows no bounds.”
Sullivan said such comments “demonstrate how dangerous he would be as commander-in-chief and how unworthy he is of the office he seeks.”
Trump’s foreign policy pronouncements have proved controversial, even within the Republican Party that is poised to nominate him for president in a few weeks. He has said the United States is too fully engaged around the world and has questioned the role of NATO and said the United States has been taken advantage of by nations benefiting from its security cooperation and troop presence. Some critics within the GOP have said his policies suggest an isolationist stance in an increasingly dangerous world.
Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, partners among Republican congressional critics of Obama administration foreign policy, carried out a fact-check on Trump’s national security statements earlier this year at a Capitol Hill hearing.
On April 19, when the Army general selected to lead U.S. forces in South Korea testified before the committee, McCain seized the opportunity to undermine Trump’s suggestion that the U.S. withdraw its forces from the South because Seoul isn’t paying enough to cover the cost of the American military presence.
“Isn’t it the fact that it costs us less to have troops stationed in Korea than in the United States, given the contribution the Republic of Korea makes?” McCain asked Gen. Vincent Brooks.
Yes, Brooks said, telling McCain the South Koreans pay half, or $808 million annually, of the U.S. presence there.
Two days later, Trump’s claim that NATO is irrelevant and ill-suited to fight terrorism came under the microscope. As president, Trump has said he would force member nations to increase their contributions, even if that risked breaking up the 28-country alliance.
In early March, more than 70 conservative national experts, including former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, wrote in an open letter that they have disagreed with one another on a variety of issues but are united in their opposition to a Trump presidency. Chertoff served in President George W. Bush’s administration.

No charges recommended in Clinton email probe, FBI says

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI won’t recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state, agency Director James Comey said Tuesday, lifting a major legal threat to her presidential campaign. But Comey called her actions “extremely careless” and faulted the agency she led for a lackadaisical approach to handling classified material.

Comey’s decision almost certainly brings the legal part of the issue to a close and removes the threat of criminal charges. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last week that she would accept the recommendations of the FBI director and of career prosecutors.

“No charges are appropriate in this case,” Comey said in making his announcement.

But Comey made that statement after he delivered a blistering review of Clinton’s actions, saying the FBI found that 110 emails were sent or received on Clinton’s server containing classified information. He added it was possible that people hostile to the U.S. had gained access to her personal email account.

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” he said.

Yet after criticizing Clinton, her aides and the department for their actions, he said that after looking at similar circumstances in past inquiries, the FBI believed that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

Comey made the announcement just three days after the FBI interviewed Clinton in a final step of its yearlong investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information.

He said he shared the FBI’s findings with no one else in the government before making his announcement, which came just hours before Clinton was to travel with President Barack Obama on Air Force One to campaign together for the first time this year.

The declaration from Comey is unlikely to wipe away many voters’ concerns about Clinton’s trustworthiness, especially since the FBI director so thoroughly criticized her actions before delivering his verdict.

“There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position … should have known that an unclassified system was no place” for sensitive conversations, Comey said.

Nor will the recommendation stop Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has called for criminal charges, from continuing to make the server a campaign issue or suggesting Clinton was helped by a Democratic administration. After Comey’s announcement, Trump tweeted, “The system is rigged … Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.”

Clnton’s personal email server, which she relied on exclusively for government and personal business, has dogged her campaign since The Associated Press revealed its existence in March 2015.

She has repeatedly said that no email she sent or received was marked classified, but the Justice Department began investigating last summer following a referral from the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence community.

The scrutiny was compounded by a critical audit in May from the State Department’s inspector general, the agency’s internal watchdog, which said that Clinton and her team ignored clear warnings from department officials that her email setup violated federal standards and could leave sensitive material vulnerable to hackers. Clinton declined to talk to the inspector general, but the audit said that she had feared “the personal being accessible” if she used a government email account.

The Clinton campaign said agents interviewed her this past Saturday for three and one-half hours at FBI headquarters. Agents had earlier interviewed top Clinton aides including her former State Department chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and Huma Abedin, a longtime aide who now is the vice chairwoman of Clinton’s campaign.

Lynch said Friday that she would accept whatever findings and recommendations were presented to her. Though she said she had already settled on that process, her statement came days after an impromptu meeting with Bill Clinton on her airplane in Phoenix that she acknowledged had led to questions about the neutrality of the investigation.

 

Police: Officers shoot, wound baseball bat-wielding man

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police say they shot and wounded a man after he charged at them with a baseball bat in central Ohio.

Columbus police say the shooting occurred around 2:30 a.m. Monday as they were responding to a domestic violence report. Investigators say a dispatcher was speaking with a woman complaining that a man was hitting her.

The man wasn’t at the scene when police arrived. But they say he soon returned with a baseball bat and refused officers’ orders to drop it. Police say two officers fired at the 29-year-old man. He was reported in stable condition with multiple gunshot wounds.

Police say the man could face charges of assault and domestic violence.

Boy run over by float during Ohio Fourth of July parade

 

UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a boy was injured when he was run over by a float during a Fourth of July parade in central Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/29lHFIZ ) the boy was walking alongside a trailer being pulled by a pickup truck in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington when witnesses say he either stopped or lost his footing. That’s when he was knocked to the ground and a trailer wheel ran over his leg.

Police Officer Shawn Paynter says the boy suffered a leg injury that wasn’t life-threatening. He says the boy seemed to being doing OK. The officer estimated the boy’s age as about 11.

The parade was stopped for about a half-hour while paramedics tended to the boy.

Ohio man restoring plane flown in D-Day invasion

 

FREMONT, Ohio (AP) — A former state lawmaker who runs a small airport in northwestern Ohio is setting out to restore a plane that flew during the D-Day invasion.

Rex Damschroder says he hopes to have the DC-3 ready for the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.

And he plans to fly the plane to France for the celebration.

Damschroder operates the Fremont Airport and has been flying for more than 50 years.

He tells the Sandusky Register (http://bit.ly/294g51r ) that the plane transported paratroopers into war.

There’s still a patched bullet hole below a window where soldiers once sat.

He says the plane has a colorful history and that after the war it became an airliner hauling passengers. Later, it was part of a parachute show at Kings Island amusement park near Cincinnati.

Reed struggles as last-place Reds get rocked by Cubs, 10-4

ANDREW SELIGMAN, AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds are banking on big things from Cody Reed and they’re willing to wait out a rough start to his career.

Reed struggled through four innings and the Reds lost for the 11th time in 13 games, falling 10-4 to the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

The Reds fired pitching coach Mark Riggins in an effort to shake up a staff with the majors’ worst ERA, then continued their slide.

Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez hit back-to-back home runs for Cincinnati in the seventh inning. But the Reds committed two errors and Reed (0-3) struggled again on the mound.

The left-hander gave up eight runs — four earned — and five hits in four innings after getting pounded at home by the Cubs last week. He also walked three and hit two batters with pitches as his ERA remained 9.00 after four career starts.

“I don’t think it’s mechanical,” Reed said. “I just think it’s probably between the ears a little bit. I’m frustrated with myself, but you can’t stay frustrated. You’ve got to put stuff like this behind you. I’ve had four bad starts and I just have to think the fifth will be better.”

Cubs slugger Kris Bryant hit his NL-best 24th home run before leaving with a bruised leg. Willson Contreras and Addison Russell also went deep for Chicago.

Playing the NL Central’s last-place team was just what the major league-leading Cubs needed after getting outscored 32-11 in a four-game sweep by the Mets in New York.

“The power of 24 hours,” manager Joe Maddon said. “We had a tough stay in New York City.”

It looked a whole lot easier against a Reds team that could challenge the franchise record of 101 losses.

Bryant hit a two-run shot in the second inning and scored three times before exiting with a bruised lower left leg in the fifth. He was hurt making a catch in left field when center fielder Albert Almora Jr. ran into him.

Matt Szczur batted for Bryant in the bottom of the fifth. Bryant would have stayed in had the game been closer and should be fine for Tuesday, Maddon said.

Almora said he didn’t hear Bryant calling for the ball and took responsibility for the collision.

“I came in after the game and I tried to find him,” Almora said. “He’s doing all right. I gave him like 15,000 hugs.”

Contreras capped a three-run second with a solo drive off Reed that made it 6-0. Russell drove in three runs and scored two.

Kyle Hendricks (7-6) gave up an unearned run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings as the Cubs started a four-game homestand on a winning note after going 4-7 on their longest trip of the season.

GOING DEEP

The Cubs, who swept three games in Cincinnati last week, scored three runs in each of the first two innings.

Bryant’s towering drive to center in the second left him two homers shy of his total last season on the way to winning the NL Rookie of the Year award. He connected after going deep six times during the 11-game trip.

Contreras’ homer to left was his fifth since being called up from Triple-A on June 17.

IN ORDER

Chicago OF Jason Heyward responded with a solid day at the plate after being dropped from second to sixth in the batting order. He had a two-run double and finished with two hits.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: Manager Bryan Price said he hopes to have RHP Jumbo Diaz (sore right ankle) available on Tuesday. “The swelling’s out and it’s still tender to the touch,” Price said before the game. “I don’t really need him today.”

Cubs: OF Dexter Fowler (strained right hamstring) said he is feeling better but is not sure if he will return before the All-Star break. He was eligible to come off the disabled list Monday. Maddon did not rule out the possibility that Fowler’s first game back could be the All-Star Game.

UP NEXT

RHP John Lackey (7-4, 3.27 ERA) looks to get back to winning for Chicago, while Reds LHP Brandon Finnegan (3-7, 4.48) tries to bounce back from the shortest start of his career. Lackey is 0-2 in his past four starts, though he pitched into the seventh in a no-decision against the Mets last week. Finnegan gave up eight runs in 2 1/3 innings against Washington.

Indians cut Chamberlain, Gorzelanny in bullpen shuffle

 

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians have designated veteran reliever Joba Chamberlain for assignment.

The team made several moves to help its overworked bullpen before Monday night’s game against Detroit. Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny also was designated for assignment, while right-hander Mike Clevinger and lefty T.J. House were recalled from Triple-A Columbus.

Cleveland is coming off a series in Toronto that included a 19-inning game Friday. The Indians went to their bullpen early on Sunday when starter Corey Kluber lasted only 3 1/3 innings in a 17-1 loss.

The 30-year-old Chamberlain was signed in the offseason and had no record with a 2.25 ERA in 20 appearances. The right-hander was selected in the first round of the 2006 draft by the New York Yankees, and also has pitched for Detroit and Kansas City.

Gorzelanny allowed seven runs in one-third of an inning Sunday.

Clevinger is 0-1 with an 8.79 ERA in three starts for the Indians. He has gone 8-0 with a 2.70 ERA at Columbus.

Authorities still trying to identify park assault victim

 

PENINSULA, Ohio (AP) — The National Park Service is asking for any information that can help identify a young shooting victim found in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The park service says rangers received a report about a victim within the park’s boundaries in Peninsula at 9:21 a.m. Sunday. It said Monday she was hospitalized in critical condition with “multiple gunshot wounds” and isn’t able to communicate with investigators.

She is African American, about 18 years old, 110-120 pounds, and 5 feet, 4 or 5 inches tall. She was wearing light blue cut-off jean shorts, pink tank top and white Nike sneakers.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park tip line is 440-546-5945.

The FBI and local police are helping the investigation.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park has 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron.

With majors’ worst ERA, Reds dismiss pitching coach

ANDREW SELIGMAN, AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds dismissed pitching coach Mark Riggins on Monday, hoping to shake up a staff with the worst ERA in the majors.

Riggins was in his first season after spending the previous four years as the organization’s minor league pitching coordinator.

But with a 5.51 ERA and a 30-53 record entering Monday’s game against the major league-leading Chicago Cubs, the Reds decided to make changes. Assistant pitching coach and bullpen coach Mack Jenkins replaces Riggins. Triple-A Louisville pitching coach Ted Power will assume Jenkins’ role.

President of baseball operations Walt Jocketty said he hopes Riggins will remain with the organization in some capacity. He credited Riggins for helping develop young pitchers in the minors but pointed to a lack of improvement at the major league level.

“We brought some guys up here probably before they were ready because we just didn’t have a veteran,” Jocketty said. “We tried to acquire a veteran or two to stabilize the staff but weren’t successful. Part of the blame rests with us, the front office. We haven’t been able to find the right pieces.”

After dropping 98 games last season, the Reds are threatening the franchise record of 101 losses in 1982. They traded two key starters in former 20-game winner Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake last July. They then dealt closer Aroldis Chapman and All-Star Home Run Derby champion Todd Frazier during the offseason.

The rotation has been hit with injuries this season, and Homer Bailey is recovering from Tommy John surgery last year.

“It feels like no rock has been unturned to help these guys turn it around,” manager Bryan Price said. “But at some point in time, the players have to perform. We’ve been talking since spring training about seizing the opportunity and we need more guys to run with the opportunity. We have some really good arms, but we can’t continue to watch these kind of performances.”

Teamsters pledge $1.4 million to heroin awareness nonprofit

 

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Teamsters from around the country have pledged at least $1.4 million to a new Akron nonprofit set up to raise awareness about heroin addiction.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports (http://bit.ly/29e7ext ) the pledges came at the union’s international convention in Las Vegas following a talk by Travis Bornstein, who heads Teamsters Local 24 in Akron.

Bornstein spoke to thousands of convention-goers about the 2014 heroin death of his 23-year-old son, Tyler. Bornstein and two other families created Breaking Barriers — Hope Is Alive to honor the memory of Tyler and two others who died of heroin overdoses.

After the speech, in which he recounted how his son became addicted to heroin after being prescribed painkillers following surgery and was eventually found dead in a vacant lot, many in the audience began to pledge donations to the nonprofit and Teamsters President James Hoffa brought Bornstein and his family back on stage.

“It’s unbelievable,” Bornstein said, noting the nonprofit had about $10,000 in the bank prior to his morning talk. “Someone took the (microphone) and said we want to make a donation. On and on it went. $1.4 million … it kind of took off.”

Many “big tough Teamsters guys were tearing up,” said Teamsters press secretary Kara Deniz, who added that the pledges were completely unexpected and delayed the convention by more than an hour.

Bornstein said the money will be used in Summit County and others with the nonprofit will consult with county officials to decide what to do with it.

“Obviously the need is for treatment,” Bornstein said. “We’re going to make a difference. We’re just going to put a plan together. We’re going to use this money to fight this epidemic right here in Summit County.