Obama jumps back into political fray, calls out Trump by name: 'He is a symptom, not the cause'
Former President Barack Obama on Friday lamented the state of politics today, calling out his successor, Donald Trump, by name as he started his push to ramp up Democratic energy for midterms. Mr. Obama made his return to the political arena by giving a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after receiving the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government. He praised America’s accomplishments but said there is a darker side to progress when politicians peddle resentment and mistrust to preserve the status quo. “It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause,” Mr. Obama said. “He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.” Mr. Obama also took a jab at Mr. Trump’s emphasis on the economy, telling the audience “remember when that recovery started.” Washinton Times
VOA VIEW: Obama is an idiot.

Kim Jong-un's desire to secure legitimacy behind denuclearization moves
North Korea carried out its latest missile test nine months ago and hasn’t detonated a nuclear device in more than a year. At the same time, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is quietly allowing local capitalist-style private markets to flourish and loosening restrictions on images of the outside world that his regime’s heavily censored state media are allowed to broadcast. A growing chorus of critics may claim President Trump’s ongoing nuclear negotiations with North Korea — capped by the historic meeting with Mr. Kim in Singapore in June — are going nowhere fast. But some key officials and analysts in South Korea and in Washington argue that they can see major policy shifts as evidence of how seriously the North Korean leader is committed to changing his nation’s isolationist ways and cutting a deal on his nuclear and missile programs. Washington Times

Florence is predicted to restrengthen and is a hurricane threat to the East Coast
The once-powerful Florence took a hit Thursday, but its life as a major hurricane is probably not over just yet, and it has East Coast residents on the edge of their seats. The tropical storm is predicted to re-intensify to a Category 3 hurricane by Monday, and odds have substantially increased that it will have direct effects on the East Coast starting between Wednesday and Friday next week anywhere between Florida and southern New England. At 5 p.m. on Friday, Tropical Storm Florence was centered about 1,700 miles due east of Miami and tracking toward the west at 8 mph. It has peak sustained winds of 65 mph which have held steady all day. Washington Post


He will get balance of $400,000 raised by N.J. couple accused of squandering his fund
A couple who raised more than $400,000 for a homeless veteran in Philadelphia had until Sept. 3 to hand over the remaining cash. Lawyer says there is none left.
Hours after authorities hauled away a New Jersey couple's BMW allegedly bought with donations that were supposed to help a homeless veteran get off the street, the online fundraising company GoFundMe announced that there would be a six-figure happy ending for Johnny Bobbitt. The company said Bobbitt will get the balance of the more than $400,000 in donations “he has not yet received or benefited from,” according to a statement. “GoFundMe’s goal has always been to ensure Johnny gets support he deserves.” Washington Post

George Papadopoulos: ex-Trump adviser jailed for 14 days for lying to FBI
George Papadopoulos, a former adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, was sentenced to 14 days in prison in district court for the District of Columbia on Friday after he pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents investigating ties between Russian operatives and the campaign. The sentence was significantly less than prosecutors’ recommendation of six months. Lawyers for Papadopoulos had requested probation, saying he lied not to impede investigation but “to preserve a perhaps misguided loyalty to his master”. “The president of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever did,” Papadopoulos lawyer Thomas Breen said in court Friday. Papadopoulos acknowledged that he had lied to investigators about contacts with a Kremlin-linked professor who informed him in April 2016 that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and “thousands of emails”. Papadopoulos had told investigators that the conversation happened before he became a Trump campaign adviser, when in fact he had worked for the campaign for more than a month at the time. He also received a year of supervision, 200 hours of community service, and a $9,500 fine. The judge in the case, Randolph Moss, said he wished to send a message about the seriousness of lying to the FBI. Guardian

Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings: key moments
The Senate confirmation hearing of Donald Trump’s choice to be the next judge on the US supreme court, ultra-conservative Brett Kavanaugh, has been a tumultuous affair. The event was marked by noisy protests, interruptions, “handmaids”, a grieving father, a squirming nominee, a document dump and a master class in evasion. Here are the highlights of the week. Washington Times


EPA boss says Superfund cleanups are a priority
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says cleaning up contamination at mining industry sites and other polluted locations is a priority for the agency as it faces pressure to speed up its work. Montana Public Radio reports that acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler visited the southwestern Montana communities of Butte and Anaconda on Friday with U.S. Sen. Steve Daines. The communities have languished on the federal Superfund list of contaminated sites since 1983. Butte is home to the notorious Berkeley Pit, an open-pit coper mine that holds 50 billion gallons of acidic, metal-laden water where an estimated 3,000 snow geese died in 2016. Houston Chronicle

NYC prosecutor's plan could wipe out 20,000 pot convictions
Tens of thousands of low-level marijuana convictions could be erased with the OK of Brooklyn's top prosecutor, under a new plan for wiping records clean of offenses no longer being prosecuted in parts of the nation's biggest city. District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced Friday he is inviting people to request conviction dismissals. He expects prosecutors will consent in the great majority of a potential 20,000 cases since 1990 and an unknown number of older ones. To Gonzalez, whose office has stopped prosecuting most cases involving people accused of having small amounts of pot, it's only right to nix convictions that wouldn't be pursued now. "It's a little unfair to say we're no longer prosecuting these cases, but to have these folks carry these convictions for the rest of their lives," the Democrat told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. Houston Chronicle

Battle for Florida governor quickly becomes a test
When Andrew Gillum stepped up to accept the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, he went back to the beginning — back to his working-class roots, back to the lesson he learned at an early age from his grandmother. “She would say, ‘Bring it home,’” he said. “‘Baby, it ain’t just about you.’ ... There was a belief that if I went far in life, we would all go far in life, that if I did good, we would all do good. Well, Florida, y’all know what? We’ve got to bring that sense of community, collection and collectivism back to the state of Florida.” Gillum’s upset victory in Tuesday’s primary made the 39-year-old Tallahassee mayor the first African American to win a major party nomination for Florida governor. The win immediately set up Gillum as a national champion of the Democratic left and will almost surely turn the contest for governor in the nation’s largest swing state into one of the most intensely watched elections of the year — a test for the party’s progressive wing and for racial politics in the Trump era. LA Times

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Trump wants Justice Department to investigate who wrote anonymous New York Times op-ed
President Trump said Friday that he wants the Justice Department to investigate which senior administration official wrote this week’s anonymous New York Times op-ed, which asserted that people working for the president are quietly trying to subvert his agenda. Having already suggested in a tweet that the author could be guilty of “treason,” Trump dove back into the subject Friday, telling reporters aboard Air Force One that he wanted Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to open an investigation into who wrote the essay. LA Times

Look on Montana teen’s face at Trump rally raises eyebrows
A high school student's appearance behind President Donald Trump at a Montana campaign rally caused a social media stir on Friday after the 17-year-old made a series of facial expressions that looked a lot like, well, a teenager reacting to a rambling politician in a suit. Internet users were quick to ascribe meaning to the student's raised eyebrows, his knowing smiles and pursed lips, variously interpreting the looks as disbelief, disinterest or hostility toward Trump. The Billings Gazette identified him as Tyler Linfesty, a senior at Billings' West High School. Linfesty, dubbed "#plaidshirt guy" on Twitter because of the shirt he wore to the rally, said he was surprised to be selected as a VIP for Thursday's event in Billings, which allowed him to get a photo taken with Trump and to stand behind the president. After the looks on his face apparently caught the attention of rally organizers, Linfesty and two friends were pulled from the crowd and replaced with more enthusiastic Trump supporters. Las Vegas Sun

Vermont town honors the nation’s 1st ordained black minister
More than 220 years after the nation's first ordained black minister became a pastor in a small predominantly white community in Vermont, people there are honoring his life and work with an historic marker. Lemuel Haynes served in the Parish of West Rutland for 30 years, drawing people from neighboring communities and hours away, with sermons that historians say at times touched on racial equality. The West Rutland Historical Society is holding a public dedication ceremony Saturday. Haynes was born to a white mother and black father in West Hartford, Connecticut and indentured to a devout churchman. Before becoming a minister, Haynes wrote a piece entitled "Liberty Further Extended" in 1776 in which he said liberty should be extended to all. Vermont was the first state to abolish adult slavery.Las Vegas Sun


Trump reacts to Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has been a polarizing figure since becoming the first NFL player to stage protests of racial injustice during pregame renditions of the national anthem. President Trump, meanwhile, has seized upon the issue of protesting NFL players. A Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick aired during the third quarter of Thursday’s NFL season opener, a game between the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons that was televised nationally on NBC. Early Friday morning, President Trump delivered what appeared to be a four-word review of the commercial on Twitter.
Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has been a polarizing figure since becoming the first NFL player to stage protests of racial injustice during pregame renditions of the national anthem. Trump, meanwhile, has seized upon the issue of protesting NFL players on social media and during rallies in front of his supporters. Seattle Times

Australia, New Zealand deploy planes to enforce U.N. sanctions
New Zealand — Australia and New Zealand are sending three maritime patrol planes to Japan as part of the effort to enforce U.N. sanctions against North Korea. Australian Defense Minister Christopher Pyne said in a statement his country would deploy two Orion aircraft as part of the efforts to put economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea, which he said should take concrete steps to denuclearize. New Zealand will deploy one Orion plane. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said in a statement he welcomed the recent dialogue North Korea has had with the U.S. and South Korea, but said that until North Korea abides by its international obligations, it was essential to fully implement U.N. Security Council sanctions. Seattle Times

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N. Korean military parades: Propaganda, intimidation, unity
Kim Il Sung, a former guerrilla who gained fame battling Japan's colonial rule, established the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Sept. 9, 1948. The North's first military parade occurred seven months earlier, on Feb. 8, 1948, when the country was under Soviet control. The parade at a Pyongyang train station plaza drew Soviet generals and about 20,000 North Korean soldiers wearing Soviet-style insignia. Kim Il Sung, then 35, delivered a speech and repeatedly cheered on his military and fellow dictator Joseph Stalin. On Aug. 15, 1949, Kim held a military parade at the same plaza to mark the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the Korean Peninsula from Japanese occupation. The next year, he launched a sneak attack on South Korea that started a three-year war; parades stopped during the bloodshed. Less than a month after the war ended with an armistice in July 1953, Kim staged another military parade on the liberation anniversary. He then conducted parades every year until 1960, all on Aug. 15, in a bid to boost internal solidarity and control during a series of executions and purges of his political rivals. These parades happened at the square in Pyongyang named after him. From the 1960s to 1980s, he held only three parades as he cemented his grip on power. Fox

'Angel Families', Trump aides rally against illegal immigrant crime
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway speaks on illegal immigrant crime Friday outside the Capitol with "Angel Families."  In the continued fallout over the murder of an Iowa college student, allegedly at the hands of a Mexican man, advisers to President Trump joined “Angel Families” at a rally outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday to draw attention to crime committed by illegal immigrants. “You will never be silenced, and your loved ones will never be forgotten,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told families. “Here’s the truth: open borders leads to massive crime. And massive crime that is totally avoidable.” Others at the rally included former White House deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who recently lost his Republican bid for the U.S. Senate in Arizona. Fox

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