No charges for Clinton, FBI says _ despite biting criticism
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI lifted a major legal threat to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign Tuesday, recommending no criminal charges for her handling of highly classified material in a private email account. But Director James Comey’s scathing criticism of her “extremely careless” behavior revitalized Republican attacks and guaranteed the issue will continue to dog her.
Comey’s announcement effectively removed any possibility of criminal prosecution arising from Clinton’s email practices as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last week that she intended to accept the recommendations of the FBI and of career prosecutors.
But the FBI director’s blistering televised statement excoriated her handling of national secrets, contradicted her past explanations about her emails and ensured she will remain on the defensive about voters’ views of her trustworthiness and judgment.
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said the statement provided more evidence against “Crooked Hillary” and showed anew that “the system is rigged.” Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said the decision not to prosecute simply defied explanation.
The findings concluded a yearlong FBI investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information, either intentionally or through gross negligence.
AP FACT CHECK: Clinton email claims collapse under FBI probe
WASHINGTON (AP) — Key assertions by Hillary Clinton in defense of her email practices have collapsed under FBI scrutiny.
The agency’s yearlong investigation found that she did not, as she claimed, turn over all her work-related messages for release. It found that her private email server did carry classified emails, also contrary to her past statements. And it made clear that Clinton used many devices to send and receive email despite her statements that she set up her email system so that she only needed to carry one.
FBI Director James Comey’s announcement Tuesday that he will not refer criminal charges to the Justice Department against Clinton spared her from prosecution and a devastating political predicament. But it left much of her account in tatters and may have aggravated questions of trust swirling around her Democratic presidential candidacy.
A look at Clinton’s claims since questions about her email practices as secretary of state surfaced and how they compare with facts established in the FBI probe:
CLINTON: “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.” News conference, March 2015.
10 Things to Know for Wednesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday:
1. ‘NO CHARGES ARE APPROPRIATE IN THIS CASE’
With those words, FBI Director James Comey announced the agency will not seek criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state — although he called her actions “extremely careless.”
2. ISLAMIC STATE TIGHTENS GRIP ON CAPTIVES HELD AS SEX SLAVES
An AP investigation reveals that while the Islamic State group is losing ground, it’s tightening its grip on some 3,000 women and girls held as sex slaves.
‘Ready to pass the baton’: Obama campaigns with Clinton
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama vigorously vouched for Hillary Clinton’s trustworthiness and dedication Tuesday, making his first outing on the campaign stump for his former secretary of state just hours after his FBI director blasted her handling of classified material.
Shirt sleeves rolled up in campaign form, Obama declared, “I’m ready to pass the baton.”
“I’m here today because I believe in Hillary Clinton,” he said. “I have had a front-row seat to her judgment and her commitment.”
The energetic Obama-Clinton appearance in North Carolina was a show of Democratic unity in a state Clinton is hoping to put back in the party’s column. But the moment wasn’t what her campaign and the White House imagined during the long primary season.
Shortly before the president and his would-be successor flew to Charlotte together, FBI Director James Comey announced he would not recommend charges against Clinton for her email practices â€? but only after he presented a searing description of her “extremely careless” handling of classified information that ensured the matter won’t be going away.
Islamic State tightens grip on captives held as sex slaves
KHANKE, Iraq (AP) — The advertisement on the Telegram app is as chilling as it is incongruous: A girl for sale is “Virgin. Beautiful. 12 years old…. Her price has reached $12,500 and she will be sold soon.”
The posting in Arabic appeared on an encrypted conversation along with ads for kittens, weapons and tactical gear. It was shared with The Associated Press by an activist with the minority Yazidi community, whose women and children are being held as sex slaves by the extremists.
While the Islamic State group is losing territory in its self-styled caliphate, it is tightening its grip on the estimated 3,000 women and girls held as sex slaves. In a fusion of ancient barbaric practices and modern technology, IS sells the women like chattel on smart phone apps and shares databases that contain their photographs and the names of their “owners” to prevent their escape through IS checkpoints. The fighters are assassinating smugglers who rescue the captives, just as funds to buy the women out of slavery are drying up.
The thousands of Yazidi women and children were taken prisoner in August 2014, when IS fighters overran their villages in northern Iraq with the aim to eliminate the Kurdish-speaking minority because of its ancient faith. Since then, Arab and Kurdish smugglers managed to free an average of 134 people a month. But by May, an IS crackdown reduced those numbers to just 39 in the last six weeks, according to figures provided by the Kurdistan regional government.
Mirza Danai, founder of the German-Iraqi aid organization Luftbrucke Irak, said in the last two or three months, escape has become more difficult and dangerous.
UK’s Iraq War report could make grim reading for Tony Blair
LONDON (AP) — Thirteen years after British troops marched into Iraq and seven years after they left a country that’s still mired in violence, a mammoth official report is about to address the lingering question: What went wrong?
On Wednesday, retired civil servant John Chilcot will publish his long-delayed, 2.6 million-word report on the divisive war and its chaotic aftermath. The U.S.-led conflict killed 179 British troops and some 4,500 American personnel. It also helped trigger violence that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and still rocks the Middle East.
And it overshadows the legacy of former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
“Despite all the many other things he did — and many people would argue lots of positive achievements — he will always be remembered for this fateful decision in 2003,” said Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director-general of defense think tank the Royal United Services Institute.
Opponents of the war hope Chilcot will find that Blair agreed to support President George W. Bush’s invasion and then used deception to persuade Parliament and the public to back it.
Why Dump Trump effort faces likely defeat at GOP convention
WASHINGTON (AP) — A diverse Republican band of Donald Trump haters, conservatives and other rebels have set their sights on derailing the billionaire’s march to their party’s presidential nomination.
They’re seeking new supporters, spending money on TV ads, hiring staff and even setting up office space near the Cleveland arena where the party gathers later this month for its national convention.
Despite their ongoing effort, Trump is moving steadily toward nailing down the nomination. Here’s why it will be hard for the dissidents to prevail:
DIVIDED AMERICA: Town and country offer differing realities
ROCKY FORD, Colo. (AP) — From where Peggy Sheahan stands, deep in rural Colorado, the last eight years were abysmal.
Otero County, where Sheahan lives, is steadily losing population. Middle-class jobs vanished years ago as pickling and packing plants closed. She’s had to cut back on her business repairing broken windshields to help nurse her husband after a series of farm accidents, culminating in his breaking his neck falling from a bale of hay. She collects newspaper clippings on stabbings and killings in the area — one woman’s body was found in a field near Sheahan’s farm — as heroin use rises.
“We are so worse off, it’s unbelievable,” said Sheahan, 65, a staunch conservative who plans to vote for Donald Trump.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story is part of Divided America, AP’s ongoing exploration of the economic, social and political divisions in American society.
Trump’s VP shortlist heavy with Washington insiders
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Donald Trump’s vice presidential short list is heavy with Washington insiders who could help usher a President Trump’s agenda through the jungle of Congress.
He has narrowed it to a handful of contenders fewer than two weeks before the GOP is expected to nominate him for president.
But who would be Trump’s running mate is also a question of who would take the job in light of many Republicans’ ambivalence about his candidacy. Many establishment types in the party are skipping the GOP convention.
Here’s a look at some of the men and women he has met and is said to be considering:
5 Cubs elected to start in All-Star Game
NEW YORK (AP) — After topping the major leagues during the first half of the season as they seek their first title in more than a century, the Chicago Cubs dominated the rosters for next week’s All-Star game.
And the Boston Red Sox, who ended their long drought a decade ago, were not far behind.
The Cubs became the first team since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds’ Big Red Machine to have five players voted as All-Star starters, and seven Chicago players in all were picked Tuesday for the July 12 game at San Diego’s Petco Park.
Chicago’s entire infield was voted in — first baseman Anthony Rizzo, second baseman Ben Zobrist, shortstop Addison Russell and third baseman Kris Bryant — along with center fielder Dexter Fowler, who hopes to recover from a hamstring strain that has sidelined him since June 18. The only other team to start four infielders was the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals.
“It’ll be really cool starting the game and throwing to those guys in San Diego,” Rizzo said.