Plans for a Ku Klux Klan rally in Dayton, Ohio set the city on edge and attracted national attention. But only nine people showed up for the rally Saturday, and their slogans were drowned out by 500 to 600 protesters who gathered to show their opposition to the hate-group's message.
The Dayton police took a number of precautions to keep the protests from getting out of hand. Cara Neace, a Dayton police public information specialist, said that more than 350 police officers were assembled to keep the peace.
The Klan-affiliated group was confined to the courthouse square, and the members were separated from protestors by a fence. In the end, however, the protest remained peaceful and there were “no arrests, no citations and no use of force,” Neace said.
Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein told the Dayton Daily News that the KKK rally cost the city about $650,000 in personnel and materials.
Anti-Klan protesters, including some dressed to support the Black Panthers and the Antifa, shouted slogans such as “band against the Klan,” according to local media reports. Signs seen in the crowd included, “You Are Not Welcome Here” and “Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”
“There is a great crowd of people down here on Main Street,” City Commissioner Darryl Fairchild told WHIO TV7. “This is probably Dayton at its best.”
Group, some wearing traditional Black Panther gear such as black berets, now marches on the main counter-protest area outside the KKK rally in Dayton. pic.twitter.com/B3H9Ya0OBg
Police presence here is constant, in and among and outside the assembled crowd. We’ve heard numbers from our Dayton affiliate approaching 700 local and regional officers here in Dayton to attempt to secure the KKK rally. pic.twitter.com/gIKeeeDSrq
After the protests, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley shared her relief that the day had proceeded peacefully in a message on Twitter. She said that the event has helped to highlight persistent problems with segregation in Dayton.
“This ugly chapter is over, but it means we have to get back to the real work – making sure that no matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you love, that you can have a great life here in Dayton,” Whaley wrote.
This ugly chapter is over, but it means we have to get back to the real work – making sure that no matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you love, that you can have a great life here in Dayton. Please see my full statement below. #UnitedAgainstHateDYTpic.twitter.com/25JyRCjZRY
(LOS ANGELES) — A former business manager of Stan Lee was arrested Saturday on elder abuse charges involving the late comic book legend.
Keya Morgan was taken into custody in Arizona on an outstanding arrest warrant after being charged by Los Angeles County prosecutors earlier this month.
Morgan faces felony charges including theft, embezzlement, forgery or fraud against an elder adult, and false imprisonment of an elder adult. A misdemeanor count also alleges elder abuse.
Authorities say Morgan sought to capitalize on the Marvel Comic mastermind's wealth and exert influence over Lee even though he had no authority to act on his behalf.
Police say Morgan pocketed more than $262,000 from autograph signing sessions Lee did in May 2018. Authorities say Morgan at one point also took Lee from his Hollywood Hills home to a Beverly Hills condominium “where Morgan had more control over Lee.”
Lee's daughter said in a request for a restraining order last year that Morgan was manipulating the mentally declining Lee, preventing him from seeing family and friends, and trying to take control of his money and business affairs.
Attorney Alex Kessel has said Morgan has never abused or taken advantage of Lee. Kessel said in an email on Saturday that he had been in contact with prosecutors to arrange for Morgan to surrender on Tuesday.
“It is unfortunate that the DA and police did not honor our commitment to surrender next week and arrested him,” Kessel said in an email.
Lee died in November at the age of 95.
Morgan's bail has been set at $300,000. He will eventually be extradited to Los Angeles to face the charges.
(SAN ANTONIO) — The Federal Aviation Administration says it's investigating a decision to exclude Chick-fil-A from an airport concession contract in San Antonio over opposition to the fast-food chain owners' record on LGBT issues.
The San Antonio Express-News reports the FAA told San Antonio officials Friday it's investigating complaints the city-owned airport discriminated “against a private company due to the expression of the owner's religious beliefs.”
City Attorney Andy Segovia said his office is reviewing the FAA's notice.
The Atlanta-based restaurant chain has faced opposition elsewhere over donating millions over the years to groups that oppose same-sex marriage.
Texas lawmakers this month approved a bill that would prohibit cities from taking “adverse action” against an individual based on contributions to religious organizations.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signaled he will sign the legislation.
Emory University fired two neuroscientists after they were accused of failing to disclose foreign research funding and connections with China.
Li Xiao-Jiang told Science magazine that the university fired him and his wife, Li Shihua––with whom he led a laboratory at the Atlanta university's medical school. The university also shut down their laboratory. Four Chinese postdoctoral students working in the lab were told to leave the U.S. within 30 days, Li said.
Li and his wife are best known for studying Huntington disease. They are denying the allegations and suggested that their firing was part of a problem with hostility toward Chinese students and faculty on campus.
Li told Science that he disclosed his Chinese research activity annually since 2012 and said the university did not explain why any of the researchers were fired.
“I was shocked that Emory University would terminate a tenured professor in such an unusual and abrupt fashion and close our combined lab… without giving me specific details for the reasons behind my termination.” https://t.co/B9NaAn1Gmw
“I was shocked that Emory University would terminate a tenured professor in such an unusual and abrupt fashion and close our combined lab consisting of a number of graduates and postdoctoral trainees without giving me specific details for the reasons behind my termination,” Li said in a statement to Science.
He called the claims against him and his wife “unverified.”
Emory University said in a statement that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies “have raised concerns regarding foreign influence on research activities in the United States.”
NIH Director Francis Collins announced in August that the agency was investigating research institutes because of concerns that some researchers who received federal grants failed to disclose contributions from foreign governments, health news site STAT reported. Sciencereported that the agency sent letters to some research universities asking them to provide information about particular faculty members. About 55 institutions ultimately conducted investigations, Science said.
Emory confirmed that it conducted an investigation after receiving a letter from the NIH in March.
During the investigation, the university said, “Emory discovered that two of its faculty members named as key personnel on NIH grant awards to Emory University had failed to fully disclose foreign sources of research funding and the extent of their work for research institutions and universities in China. Emory has shared this information with the NIH, and the faculty members are no longer employed at Emory.”
For their part, the Lis told Science that they feel that their experience is part of a larger problem with the way foreigners are treated, writing that the Emory campus “negatively derides Emory faculty members and international visitors, especially those of Chinese origin.” They urged the university's president to issue a statement to “recognize the contributions of Emory’s diverse global community, and the enumerable benefit to science, research and education locally and globally.”
Emory's statement said that the university “remains committed to the free exchange of ideas and research and to our vital collaborations with researchers from around the world. At the same time, Emory also takes very seriously its obligation to be a good steward of federal research dollars and to ensure compliance with all funding disclosure and other requirements.”
Iran’s foreign minister said an order by the U.S. president to send 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East was “extremely dangerous” and threatening to international peace and security.
“Increased U.S. presence in our region is extremely dangerous and a threat against international peace and security and it must be addressed,” Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was cited as saying by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.
Zarif made the comments after U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed the military deployment and Pentagon officials said they believed that Iran was behind a number of recent attacks on oil tankers, a Saudi pipeline and the diplomatic quarter of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
“The Americans make such allegations in order to justify increasing tensions in the Persian Gulf and to justify their hostile policies,” Zarif said, in reference to the Pentagon’s claims. He made the comments as he departed Pakistan.
Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have escalated dramatically over the past months after the White House vowed to force Iran’s oil exports down to zero and revoked a series of key sanctions waivers for the OPEC-member’s crude sales and its civilian nuclear program.
In response, Iran has said it will scale back some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear accord and set a deadline to start its own gradual withdrawal from the deal unless Europe can guarantee it can function and survive.
Earlier on Saturday, an adviser to the Guards, General Morteza Qorbani, was quoted by semi-official Mizan Online news saying Iran could sink a U.S. aircraft carrier with “new weapons” at the “slightest” provocation by the vessel.
(SAN FRANCISCO) — Facing a growing public outcry, San Francisco's police chief apologized on Friday for raiding a freelance journalist's home and office to find out who leaked a police report into the unexpected death of the city's public defender.
Chief William Scott told the San Francisco Chronicle the searches were probably illegal and said “I'm sorry that this happened.”
California's shield law protects journalists from search warrants. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that journalists are free to report on newsworthy information contained in stolen documents.
Because the warrants are under seal, it's not known what information police provided to support the searches or to what extent they disclosed that Bryan Carmody is a journalist.
Scott said in a statement he reviewed all material related to the searches, and he was concerned “by a lack of due diligence by department investigators in seeking search warrants and appropriately addressing Mr. Carmody's status as a member of the news media.”
“This has raised important questions about our handling of this case and whether the California shield law was violated,” the statement said.
Carmody was handcuffed for six hours on May 10 while police armed with a sledgehammer searched for evidence to determine who provided a confidential police report on the death of the late public defender, Jeff Adachi, after he refused to reveal his source.
The case alarmed journalism advocates and put pressure on elected leaders in the politically liberal city to defend the press.
Scott initially defended the raid, telling the city Police Commission his department went through the appropriate legal process.
On Tuesday, Scott said Carmody “crossed the line” and suspected the journalist took part in a criminal conspiracy to steal an internal police report, motivated by profit or animosity toward Adachi.
Carmody said he did not pay for the report or conspire to steal it but simply acquired it as part of his work as a journalist.
Scott said Mayor London Breed requested an independent probe into the way police executed the search warrant, which could lead to charges, and the ongoing investigation into who leaked the report, which could lead to discipline for officers.
Scott said the department will not use any evidence seized in the raids.
“Journalists and everyone in our City deserve a police department that will maintain the constitutional rights of all,” Scott said.
Reporters and other First Amendment organizations want a judge to revoke search warrants that authorized the raid and to unseal the materials submitted in support of them.
“We're encouraged by the chief's apology, but we think there needs to be real reform here,” Carmody's attorney, Ben Berkowitz, said. “The city needs to take steps to make sure nothing like this happens again to journalists.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a historic second five-year term — with a single-party majority — for the Bharatiya Janata Party this week. He campaigned in 2014 promising economic growth and job creation, and prioritized business-friendly outreach to lure investment and manufacturing to India.
The continuity of a second Modi term, then, suggests to some that a bold economic reform agenda may be what comes next. But equally possible, based on the recent track record, might be stepped-up development projects in lieu of tough reforms, and a more nationalist approach to economic matters. In an atmosphere where trade differences between New Delhi and Washington have slowly escalated, the latter prospect would suggest even rougher economic roads ahead.
Will Modi make the tough choices?
Due to his pro-business orientation and road-show pitches for investment, Modi has gained a reputation among U.S. industry as someone with a reformist mindset. In his first three years of office, he raised foreign direct investment caps in a wide range of sectors, reduced petroleum subsidies, cut red tape, got a bankruptcy law passed and a constitutional amendment to unify India’s states into a common market. These are all significant steps. But tougher reforms that could boost the Indian economy—for example, reforms to India’s onerous land acquisition and labor laws that could unleash manufacturing—have languished after early-term efforts failed to secure lasting support.
It’s precisely these politically difficult reforms that could make a difference to the Indian economy now. The Indian economy is not hitting the growth rates needed to create jobs for its large, youthful and growing workforce. Unemployment is at a 45-year high. In recent years, the Modi government has shifted away from politically contentious further reforms, and emphasized development projects (toilet-building, housing, infrastructure) and welfare programs, such as the world’s largest health insurance scheme. Such projects are important for Indian quality of life, but do not address more macro-level policy reform questions.
In addition, although the Indian economy has incrementally become more open since the onset of economic reforms in 1991, the Modi government moved backwards on trade in the past two years by raising tariffs on some goods. And debates about data localization and new regulation in the fast-growing e-commerce space suggest the prospect of a more economically nationalist approach to the important digital economy.
A complicated trade relationship with the U.S.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-India economic dialogue, for decades fraught at the best of times, is in a tough place. The longstanding list of trade complaints—many of them U.S. complaints about India’s market—contains a mind-numbing array of issues. Some are familiar, like intellectual property rights and concerns over patents, tariffs and foreign direct investment caps. But some are arcane, like price caps on medical stents, or certifying that dairy products came from cows that never ate animal feed containing “tissues of ruminant origin”––i.e. beef. None are easy to solve, and so they have languished on the agenda while trade negotiators attempt resolution.
Exacerbating the tough atmosphere in the trade and economic arena, President Donald Trump's approach to trade adds new issues to the many unresolved problems. Trump wants to cut trade deficits, so a new complaint from Washington concerns the bilateral trade deficit with India—for 2018 around $22 billion, down 7% from 2017.
In an unrelated global review, the Trump Administration concluded that steel and aluminum imports presented a national security threat to the United States, and imposed 25% and 10% duties, respectively. This step turns out to have affected steel and aluminum imported from India. In response, India drew up a list of goods for reciprocal tariffs, although New Delhi has held off applying the higher tariffs given ongoing trade negotiations.
In March, the Trump Administration issued a notification of intent to remove India from a trade-preference program known as the Generalized System of Preferences due to India’s failure to “provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets.” The mandatory 60-day notice period for this removal has elapsed, so the preference could be removed at any moment.
Temper expectations for liberalization
Returning to the Indian election verdict, the notion that Modi has now received a fillip from Indian voters for further reforms needs some nuance. It is not clear that voters’ preference for Modi and the BJP necessarily indicates interest in further trade liberalization. It may very well reflect entirely unrelated preferences on national security, or Hindu nationalism, or a sense that Modi is a strong leader, not corrupt and focused on enhancing prosperity. It may also reflect an understanding of “reform” as demonstrated through the many development projects and quality of life improvements that the Modi government has delivered for the country.
We may well see the new Modi government storm into its new term with a bang, tackling market access problems and liberalizing the economy further to boost economic growth. It could happen. But equally possible might be an approach that continues a focus on infrastructure, sanitation and other development projects necessary for improved prosperity but not necessarily keys to unlocking greater bilateral trade and investment.
In other words, a mandate for improved quality of life might not imply a mandate for further opening markets. It’s a distinction that matters, not least because expectations internationally might assume the latter.
Alyssa Ayres is senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. She served as U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia from 2010 to 2013, and is the author of Our Time Has Come: How India is Making its Place in the World.
(BILLINGS, Mont.) — Grizzly bears are spreading into new areas of the U.S. Northern Rockies, expanding from remote wildernesses and into low-level farmland amid a legal fight over proposed hunting.
New government data from grizzly population monitoring show bruins in the Yellowstone area of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho expanded their range by about 1,500 square miles (3,900 square kilometers) over the past two years.
Frank van Manen with the U.S. Geological Survey says that means more bears on private lands, where they can encounter humans and attack livestock.
Wyoming and Idaho officials proposed grizzly hunts last year, but they were blocked by a judge's ruling.
Government attorneys on Friday asked an appeals court to overturn part of that ruling. The case could take months or even years to decide.
(Bloomberg) — “Jeopardy!” contestant James Holzhauer is closing in on a record $2.5 million haul set 15 years ago.
Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, topped $2 million in winnings on Friday’s episode of the quiz show, notching his 27th straight win. By contrast, it took record holder Ken Jennings 74 games to amass his fortune, according to the New York Times.
“Most people think I went to Princeton or something,” Holzhauer told the Times in April. “But I was never a diligent student.” He said he reads children’s books to gain knowledge.
Since Holzhauer started on “Jeopardy!” in early April, he surpassed $1 million in the shortest time ever and broke the show’s 2010 record for single-day cash winnings on April 9.
The prize money, $110,914, had the same digits as the birthday of his daughter, who was born on Nov. 9, 2014.
(MILWAUKEE) — A Wisconsin judge has ordered Anheuser-Busch to stop suggesting in advertising that MillerCoors' light beers contain corn syrup, wading into a fight between two beer giants that are losing market share to small independent brewers.
U.S. District Judge William Conley for the Western District of Wisconsin on Friday granted a preliminary injunction sought by MillerCoors that temporarily stops Anheuser-Busch from using the words “corn syrup” in ads without giving more context.
MillerCoors sued its rival in March, saying St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch has spent as much as $30 million on a “false and misleading” campaign, including $13 million in its first commercials during this year's Super Bowl.
However, the ruling did not affect all of Anheuser-Busch's advertising targeting MillerCoors, allowing the commercials that premiered at the Super Bowl to keep airing.
Anheuser-Busch's ad drew a rebuke from the National Corn Growers Association, which thanked MillerCoors for its support. In its lawsuit, MillerCoors said it's “not ashamed of its use of corn syrup as a fermentation aid.”
Corn syrup is used by several brewers during fermentation. During that process, corn syrup is broken down and consumed by yeast so that none of it remains in the final product. Bud Light is brewed with rice instead of corn syrup, but Anheuser-Busch uses corn syrup in some of its other beverages, including Stella Artois Cidre and Busch Light beer.
MillerCoors applauded the ruling and said Anheuser-Busch should be trying to grow the beer market, not “destroy it through deceptive advertising.”
“We are pleased with today's ruling that will force Anheuser-Busch to change or remove advertisements that were clearly designed to mislead the American public,” said MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley.
Anheuser Busch, however, called the ruling a “victory for consumers” because it allows the brand's “Special Delivery” Super Bowl ad to continue airing.
That ad showed a medieval caravan pushing a huge barrel of corn syrup to castles for MillerCoors to make Miller Lite and Coors Light. The commercial states that Bud Light isn't brewed with corn syrup. Anheuser Busch said the ad would air as early as this weekend.
“As the number one selling beer in the U.S., Bud Light remains committed to leading the alcohol industry by providing more transparency for consumers including letting them know about the ingredients that are used to brew their beer,” said Cesar Vargas, Anheuser-Busch vice president of legal and corporate affairs.
Judge Conley ordered Anheuser Busch to temporarily stop using advertisements that mention corn syrup without references to “brewed with,” ”made with” or “uses,” or that describe corn syrup as an ingredient in the finished products.
The ruling affects two Bud Light commercials and billboards that describe Bud Light as containing “100 percent less corn syrup” than Miller Lite and Coors Light.
Anheuser Busch said those ads are no longer up and the company had no plans to continue using them.
Judge Conley also denied an Anheuser Busch motion to dismiss the case, saying it was likely to succeed in proving misleading statements and some harm to the reputation of MillerCoors.
Chicago-based MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch have the biggest U.S. market share at 24.8 percent and 41.6 percent, respectively, but they've been losing business in recent years to smaller independent brewers, imports, and wine and spirits, according to the Brewers Association.
MillerCoors maintains Anheuser-Busch is preying on health conscious consumers who have negative connotations of corn syrup, sometimes confusing it with the high-fructose corn syrup in sodas.
The feud threatens to disrupt an alliance between the two companies to work on a campaign to promote the beer industry amid declining sales.