Friday November 24, 2017
Home Politics Amid Controve...

Amid Controversy over Donald Trump’s 2005 Sex Tape, Trump and Hillary Clinton Debate again

The 2008 Republican presidential candidate, Arizona Senator John McCain, retracted his support for Trump but stopped short of calling for him to drop out of the presidential race

0
207
FILE - The first presidential debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump, left, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, was held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Sept. 26, 2016. VOA

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are headed to their second U.S. presidential debate late Sunday, even as key Republicans are demanding that he drop out of the race after a 2005 tape recorded him making lewd comments about women and boasting how he groped them.

Trump said Saturday there was “zero chance” that he would quit the race for the White House a month before the November 8 election and apologised for his comments. But Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state looking to become the country’s first female president, has yet to make a public statement on Trump’s self-proclaimed sexual exploits and is poised to confront him at the debate in the Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri.

Students playing the roles of the candidates go through a rehearsal for the second 2016 U.S. presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2016. VOA
Students playing the roles of the candidates go through a rehearsal for the second 2016 U.S. presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2016. VOA

‘A distraction’?

Meantime, Trump, a brash real estate tycoon making his first run for elected office, said the controversy is “nothing more than a distraction,” although national political surveys had shown his support slumping even before the existence of the tape became known on Friday. Clinton is holding more than a four-percentage-point advantage and gaining ground in key battleground election states.

Trump, in his taped apology, suggested that he will attempt to pivot from his bawdy conduct to cast aspersions on Clinton, claiming that she enabled infidelities by her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and disparaged women who alleged that the country’s 42nd chief executive had made unwanted sexual advances on them over several decades. Clinton was impeached for lying about an affair with an intern in the White House, but not convicted, and then finished out two terms in office in 2001.

ALSO WATCH:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmvokcTQiso

“I’ve said some foolish things,’ Trump said, “but there is a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.”

A Trump supporter, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, told CNN Sunday that Trump would not hesitate to talk about “the women that Bill Clinton raped, sexually abused and attacked.”

On his Twitter account Sunday, the embattled Trump declared, “Tremendous support [except for some Republican ‘leadership’]. Thank you.”

Calls for Trump to drop out

Call Several Republican elected officials called for Trump to drop out of the race to become the country’s 45th president when President Barack Obama leaves office in late January, but there was no immediate consensus how he would be replaced on the national ticket even if he were inclined to quit.

Meanwhile, absentee and early voting has already started, with about 400,000 ballots cast in recent days. States across the country have already printed ballots with Trump’s and Pence’s names listed as the Republican candidates and ballots mailed to military service personnel stationed overseas.

FILE - Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks to the Values Voters Summit in Washington, Sept. 10, 2016. VOA
FILE – Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks to the Values Voters Summit in Washington, Sept. 10, 2016. VOA

Key Republicans, including his vice presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, condemned Trump’s 2005 comments that were recorded on a live microphone while he was on a backlot of a Hollywood set just before a cameo appearance on a television soap opera.

“I do not condone his remarks and I cannot defend them,” Pence said as he backed out of a planned campaign appearance Saturday in Wisconsin, where he had been expected to fill in for Trump.

The 2008 Republican presidential candidate, Arizona Senator John McCain, retracted his support for Trump, but stopped short of calling for him to drop out of the presidential race.

The 2012 nominee, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who like McCain lost to Obama, denounced Trump’s sexual braggadocio, saying, “Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world.”

On the tape, Trump, a 70-year-old one-time television reality show host, said, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” and described how he would grab women’s genitals.

FILE - YouTube screen grab from video obtained by The Washington Post of lewd conversation about women between Donald Trump and Billy Bush. VOA
FILE – YouTube screen grab from video obtained by The Washington Post of lewd conversation about women between Donald Trump and Billy Bush. VOA

His crude language left newspapers and media outlets across the U.S. grappling with how to depict his language, with some printing his words verbatim and others using a variety of euphemisms.

The disclosures come on top of long-known Trump slurs against women the Clinton campaign has collected in several ads for her candidacy.

Trump’s polling numbers have dropped following his first debate performance with Clinton in late September, in which she kept him on the defensive for his business practices, his refusal to release his U.S. tax returns, and his long support for the debunked theory that Obama was born in Kenya and is not a U.S. citizen.

Since then, The New York Times disclosed three pages from his 1995 returns showing that he claimed $916 million in business losses that year, a deduction of such staggering proportions that he could have legally avoided paying income taxes for an 18-year stretch. Trump called his tax avoidance “brilliant.” (VOA)

Next Story

Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

0
86
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)

Next Story

India’s Textile and Fashion Heritage now part of Google project

Google's project 'We Wear Culture' is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India and its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago

0
98
we wear culture
Google's new art project 'We wear Culture' digitizes fashion, Wikimedia
  • Google’s project ‘We Wear Culture’ is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India
  • It intends to trace the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures
  • Its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago

June 15, 2017: To a certain extent, a culture is defined by what is worn by its people. In a country as diverse as India, vast and varied spectrum of cultures and clothes is one of the specialties. Google’s latest virtual exhibition project now provides us the opportunity to explore and know more about it.

Google’s project ‘We Wear Culture’ is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India and its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago, from the ancient Silk Road to the unmatched elegance of the Indian Saree,  from the courtly fashion of Versailles, to the Victorian ballgowns with intricate thread work.

According to Amit Sood, director of Google Arts and Culture,”We invite everyone to browse the exhibition on their phones or laptops and learn about the stories behind what you wear. You might be surprised to find out that your Saree, jeans or the black dress in your wardrobe have a centuries-old story. What you wear is true culture and more often than not a piece of art.”

Culture is defined by what is worn by its people. Click To Tweet

The company also mentioned that noteworthy collections from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and varied weaves from across India, from Gharchola to Patola to Temple to Ikat sarees will be included in the online project, as it intends to trace the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures.

ALSO READ: New Google Project Digitizes World’s Top Fashion Archives.

According to PTI reports, the world fashion exhibit also includes designs from north-eastern India including the weaves of tribes such as the Nagas, Meitis. it will showcase the traditional attire from Meghalaya called ‘Dhara’ or ‘Nara’ worn by the Khasi women as well.

As a part of the exhibit, Sewa Hansiba Museum has brought the unique colorful and rich embroidery arts, applique and mirror work from different communities such as the Ahir, Rabari, Chaudhury Patel and many others from the western part of India online.

The exhibition conducted by Salar Jung Museum brings to light the Sherwani and its journey of becoming the royal fashion statement of the Nizams from 19th century Hyderabad. Fashion and textiles enthusiasts can revisit Colonial Indian attires with Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. Over 400 online exhibitions and stories sharing a total of 50,000 photos, videos and other documents on world fashion are open to exploration as well.

The ‘We wear Culture’ initiative highlights significant events in the growth of the world fashion industry; the icons, the movements, the game changers and the trendsetters like Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, Audrey Hepburn and many more.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

 

Next Story

Premature Babies Score Lower on Standardized Tests than Full-term Infants: Study

Very prematurely born babies did score lower on standardized tests than full-term infants, but as the length of pregnancy increased, the differences in test scores became negligible

0
58
A nurse holds the hand of a premature baby
A nurse holds the hand of a premature baby, who was born at five months of pregnancy, at a hospital in Medellin, Colombia. VOA
  • Premature birth happens when a baby is born before at least 37 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • The study found that two-thirds of those born at only 23 or 24 weeks were ready for kindergarten on time
  • The study also showed that almost 2 percent of those infants later achieved gifted status in school

June 14, 2017: A study following more than 1.3 million premature babies born in Florida found that two-thirds of those born at only 23 or 24 weeks were ready for kindergarten on time, and almost 2 percent of those infants later achieved gifted status in school.

Such very prematurely born babies did score lower on standardized tests than full-term infants, but as the length of pregnancy increased, the differences in test scores became negligible, according to the study, conducted by Northwestern University and published on Monday in JAMA Pediatrics medical journal.

[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

“What excites me about this study is that it changes the focus for the clinician and families at the bedside from just focusing on the medical outcomes of the child to what the future educational outcomes might be for a child born early,” Craig Garfield, the first author of the study and an associate professor of pediatrics and medial social sciences at Northwestern Medicine, said in a statement.

Researchers analyzed the school performance of 1.3 million infants born in Florida from 1992 to 2002 who had a fetal development term of 23 to 41 weeks and who later entered the state’s public schools between 1995 and 2012.

They found that babies born at between 23 and 24 weeks tended to have normal cognitive functions later in life, with 1.8 percent of them even achieving gifted status in school.

ALSO READ: Treatment with Uterine Fibroids helps restoring Fertility in Women

During the time period the study covered, 9.5 percent of children statewide were considered gifted.

Premature birth happens when a baby is born before at least 37 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A normal pregnancy term is around 40 weeks, and a preterm birth can lead to serious medical problems, underdevelopment in early childhood or death for the infant.

The study does not account for why these extremely premature infants later performed well in school, Garfield said in the statement, and did not look at whether their success could be related to extra support from family or schools, or the children’s biological make-up. (VOA)