US says anti-Nazi resolution at UN restricts free speech
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism on Thursday, citing freedom of speech issues and concerns Russia was using it to carry out political attacks against its neighbors.
The resolution entitled “Combating glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” was approved by the U.N.’s human rights committee on Friday with 131 in favor, 3 against with 48 abstentions. Ukraine and Palau were the other no votes.
“We condemn without reservation all forms of religious and ethnic intolerance or hatred at home and around the world,” said Deputy U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council Stefanie Amadeo, explaining the U.S. vote.
“However, due to this resolution’s overly narrow scope and politicized nature, and because it calls for unacceptable limits on the fundamental freedom of expression, the United States cannot support it,” Amadeo said.
She said the U.S. also disagrees with the resolution’s willing to curb freedom of expression even while sharing its concerns about the rise of hate speech around the world.
Attorney says adoptee from South Korea deported from US
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A man who was adopted from South Korea by Americans when he was 3 years old landed on Thursday in his native country — one that is completely unknown to him — after he was deported from the United States, an official and his lawyer said.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had ordered Adam Crapser deported because of criminal convictions, including assault and being a felon in possession of a weapon.
His life story highlights the failings of an adoption system that put him in the homes of one set of parents who abandoned him and another that physically abused him and other adopted children, his Seattle attorney, Lori Walls, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
ICE spokeswoman Rose Richeson told AP in an email that the 41-year-old Crapser arrived in Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday morning aboard a commercial airline flight escorted by ICE deportation officers.
Richeson said Crapser was arrested by ICE on Feb. 8 after serving a 60-day sentence for menacing constituting domestic violence and attempted coercion. He had been held in an immigration detention center in Tacoma, Washington since then. A judge could have allowed Crapser to stay in America but decided on deportation. Crapser’s supporters said he waived an appeal because he couldn’t stand to stay in the detention center any longer.
Mike Trout, Kris Bryant win baseball’s MVP awards
CHICAGO (AP) — While the Los Angeles Angels stumbled, Mike Trout soared again.
Just too good to ignore.
Trout won the AL MVP award Thursday for the second time in three years, and Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was voted NL MVP in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“To win it one time, it’s hard to do,” Trout said. “Twice, I guess you saw my emotions tonight, it was something special.”
While the Angels finished fourth in the AL West, Trout was his usual brilliant self. The center fielder batted .315 with 29 homers, 100 RBIs and 30 steals. He scored 17 percent of Los Angeles’ runs, the highest percentage for an AL player since Rickey Henderson with the 1985 New York Yankees.
Snow off to a slow start in Rockies, delaying some skiers
DENVER (AP) — Autumn snow has been scarce in the Rocky Mountains, forcing some ski areas to push back opening day and causing some nervousness about how much water will be available next spring for the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the Southwest.
But the first significant storm of the season that moved into Colorado, Utah and Wyoming on Thursday is expected to bring 8 inches of snow or more at higher elevations, forecasters said. Water managers and climate experts say it’s too early in the season to predict a dry winter.
“This doesn’t mean at all that the winter is going to be dry,” said Klaus Wolter, a climate scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences in Boulder, Colorado.
“It’s kind of a nervousness-inducing late onset,” he said.
A lot can happen between the fall and spring, said Marlon Duke, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which manages multiple reservoirs on the Colorado River.
Wave of ethnic killings engulfs town in South Sudan
YEI, South Sudan (AP) — Infants hacked with machetes. Charred bodies with their arms bound. Women who were gang-raped. Men who were spared death but arbitrarily detained.
These are the tales of horror told in Yei, a formerly peaceful town surrounded by farms in southern South Sudan near its border with Uganda and Congo.
Once a beacon of coexistence, Yei is now a center of the country’s renewed civil war, gripped by a wave of killings among South Sudan’s dozens of different ethnic groups.
And things could get worse.
“The signs are all there for the spread of this ethnic hatred and targeting of civilians that could evolve into genocide, if something is not done now to stop it,” said Adama Dieng, the U.N.’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, after visiting Yei last week.
Experts: Video evidence isn’t slam dunk in police shootings
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When Philando Castile was shot by a Minnesota police officer, his girlfriend broadcast his final moments live on Facebook. But experts say the footage from a squad car camera was probably a bigger factor in prosecutors’ decision to charge the officer with manslaughter.
And that footage, which has not been made public, is still no guarantee that Jeronimo Yanez will be convicted, as other police shootings have shown.
“There have been cases that had video that resulted in either an acquittal or a hung jury, so sometimes the video may raise more questions,” said Philip Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green State University who tracks fatal police shootings. “It’s very hard to convict in these cases.”
Since the beginning of 2005, a total of 78 officers in the U.S. have been charged with murder or manslaughter. Of that number, about a third of the defendants were convicted — 14 by juries and 13 through guilty pleas, Stinson said.
Of the 18 police officers charged with murder or manslaughter last year, at least 11 cases involved video evidence, he said.
AP source: Trump offers Flynn national security adviser job
NEW YORK (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump offered former military intelligence chief Michael Flynn the job of national security adviser as he began to build out his national security team Thursday, according to a senior Trump official. The move came as Trump made his most direct foray into foreign policy since the election, meeting with Japan’s prime minister.
Flynn, who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has advised Trump on national security issues for months. As national security adviser, he would work in the White House and have frequent access to the president. The post does not require Senate confirmation.
The official wouldn’t say whether Flynn had accepted the job, which left open the possibility that the arrangement was not finalized. The official was not authorized to discuss the offer publicly and insisted on anonymity.
Flynn, who turns 58 in December, built a reputation in the Army as an astute intelligence professional and a straight talker. He retired in 2014 and has been a fierce critic of President Barack Obama’s White House and Pentagon, taking issue with the administration’s approach to global affairs and fighting Islamic State militants.
Flynn has called for Washington to should work more closely with Moscow, echoing similar statements from Trump. But his warmth toward Russia has worried some national security experts.
Flynn’s reputation: astute intelligence pro, straight talker
WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the man Donald Trump has asked to be his national security adviser, built a reputation in the Army as an astute intelligence professional and a straight talker.
What set Flynn apart after he shed his uniform in 2014 was the blistering public criticism he quickly leveled at the White House and Pentagon, taking issue with a wide range of national security policies, including the administration’s approach to fighting the Islamic State group and, more generally, its handling of global affairs.
In recent public comments, including his fiery address at the Republican National Convention, Flynn has emphasized his view that the threat posed by IS requires a more aggressive U.S. military, as well as his belief that Washington should work more closely with Moscow. Flynn is a champion of other foreign policy themes Trump pushed during the campaign, including renegotiating the Iran nuclear deal.
But Flynn’s warmth toward Russia and antagonism toward what conservatives rail against as “radical Islam” has worried some national security experts. Flynn traveled last year to Moscow, where he joined Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials in a celebration of the RT network, Russia’s government-controlled television channel. Flynn later explained that he had been paid for taking part in the event, but brushed aside concerns that he was aiding a Russian propaganda effort.
Flynn has also been outspoken in his alarms about the dangers of Islamist groups, complaining on CNN in June that the U.S. needs to “discredit” radical Islam, but that “we’re not allowed to do that right now.” He blamed the Obama administration in a New York Post op-ed in July for failing to design a coherent strategy for opposing the Islamic State group. And in August, he spoke at an event in Dallas for the anti-Islamist group Act for America, saying that Islam “is a political ideology” and that it “definitely hides behind being a religion.”
10 Things to Know for Friday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:
1. DONALD TRUMP OFFERS FLYNN THE JOB OF NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER
The move came as the president-elect made his most direct foray into foreign policy since the election, meeting with Japan’s prime minister.
2. OBAMA PRODS TRUMP TO BE TOUGH WHEN RUSSIA VIOLATES GLOBAL NORMS
The Kremlin accused Obama of trying to lock in bad relations before Trump takes office.
Japan PM in NY for 1st meeting by foreign leader with Trump
NEW YORK (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he believes Donald Trump is a leader in whom he can have great confidence after meeting with the president-elect Thursday.
Abe, who became the first world leader to meet with Trump since his election, was seeking reassurances over the future of U.S.-Japan security and trade relations. He described the meeting as “really, really cordial” but offered few details of their discussion.
“I do believe that without confidence between the two nations (the) alliance would never function in the future and as an outcome of today’s discussion I am convinced Mr. Trump is a leader with whom I can have great confidence in,” Abe said at a press conference following the meeting, where he took only two questions.
Abe said the meeting renewed his conviction that he would be able to establish a relationship of confidence with Trump.
Abe met with Trump in New York, where the incoming president is working on setting up an administration after his surprise election victory last week that has injected new uncertainty into old U.S. alliances. The Trump transition team provided no readout of the meeting.