Kenya: Ruto leads in presidential vote as announcement seems imminent

Source: Reuters

“Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto led a tight presidential race against opposition leader Raila Odinga, official results reported by Kenyan media showed on Monday, as an announcement from electoral authorities on the winner appeared imminent. Confusion over differing vote percentages in the media and slow progress by the electoral commission in tallying Tuesday’s vote have fed anxiety in East Africa’s wealthiest country, which has a recent history of violence following disputed elections. With more than three quarters of votes counted, media said, riot police were deployed at the national tallying centre at the weekend after scuffles by party members over verification procedures. … In official verified results reported by the Nation Media Group on Monday, Ruto had 51% of the vote, ahead of Odinga who had 48%, with 253 constituencies counted out of a total of 291.” (08/15/22)

Disgraced former president calls on FBI to return supposedly privileged documents

Source: Axios

“Former President Trump on Sunday called on the FBI to return seized documents that are allegedly protected by attorney-client and executive privileges.The FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, recovering 11 sets of classified documents. Fox News reported on Saturday that the FBI seized boxes covered by attorney-client privilege and possibly executive privilege, according to unnamed sources familiar with the investigation. … Trump and his associates have frequently sought to claim executive privilege to prevent the release of documents or information.” [editor’s note: As I point out each time the subject comes up, if there’s any such thing as “executive privilege,” it inheres in the office, not in the individual. Trump, no longer being the “executive,” does not and cannot possess “executive privilege” – TLK] (08/14/22)

Taiwan strait: Beijing regime re-energizes tantrums as US delegation visits Taiwan

Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

“China announced more military drills around Taiwan as the island’s president met with members of a new U.S. congressional delegation on Monday, in a further sign of support among American lawmakers for the self-governing island Beijing claims as its own. Taiwanese media showed the delegation arriving for the talks, but details of the meeting were not immediately released. The delegation was due to depart later Monday on a U.S. government plane. The visit came less than two weeks after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, which prompted [sic] days of threatening military exercises by China, including the firing of missiles over the island and into the Taiwan Strait. Pelosi is the highest-level member of the U.S. government to visit Taiwan in 25 years.” (08/15/22)

Rushdie “on road to recovery” as Matar pleads not guilty in attack

Source: USA Today

“Salman Rushdie, ‘The Satanic Verses’ author who was stabbed Friday as he prepared to give a lecture in upstate New York, has been taken off a ventilator and is able to talk. The USA TODAY best-selling writer, whose work has previously led to death threats, suffered wounds to the neck and abdomen when an assailant attacked him as he was about to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York. Rushdie, 75, remains hospitalized with serious injuries, but is ‘on the road to recovery,’ Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie of The Wylie Agency, confirmed Sunday to The Associated Press. [Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey] was arrested after the attack and charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault. Matar entered a not-guilty plea during an arraignment hearing in New York court Saturday.” (08/14/22)

South Korea: Regime offers North “audacious” economic benefits for denuclearization

Source: MarketWatch

“South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday offered ‘audacious’ economic assistance to North Korea if it abandons its nuclear weapons program while avoiding harsh criticism of the North days after it threatened ‘deadly’ retaliation over the COVID-19 outbreak it blames on the South. In a speech celebrating the end of Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula, Yoon also called for better ties with Japan, calling the two countries partners in navigating challenges to freedom and saying their shared values will help them overcome historical grievances linked to Japan’s brutal colonial rule before the end of World War II. … Yoon’s proposal wasn’t meaningfully different from previous South Korean offers that have already been rejected by North Korea, which has been accelerating its efforts to expand its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program leader Kim Jong Un sees as his strongest guarantee of survival.” (08/15/22)

Afghanistan: Regime thugs violently disperse protesting women in Kabul

Source: Dawn [Pakistan]

“Taliban fighters beat women protesters and fired into the air on Saturday as they violently dispersed a rare rally in the Afghan capital, days ahead of the first anniversary of their return to power. Since seizing control on Aug 15 last year, the Taliban have rolled back the marginal gains made by women during two decades of US intervention in Afghanistan. About 40 women — chanting ‘bread, work and freedom’ — marched in front of the education ministry building, before the fighters dispersed them by firing their guns into the air, a correspondent reported. Some women protesters who took refuge in nearby shops were chased and beaten by Taliban fighters with their rifle butts.” (08/14/22)

Report: Sinema took Wall Street money while killing tax on investors

Source: Berkshire Eagle

“Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona Democrat who single-handedly thwarted her party’s longtime goal of raising taxes on wealthy investors, received nearly $1 million over the past year from private equity professionals, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists whose taxes would have increased under the plan. For years, Democrats have promised to raise taxes on such investors, who pay a significantly lower rate on their earnings than ordinary workers. But just as they closed in on that goal last week, Sinema forced a series of changes to her party’s $740 billion election-year spending package, eliminating a proposed ‘carried interest’ tax increase on private equity earnings while securing a $35 billion exemption that will spare much of the industry from a separate tax increase other huge corporations now have to pay.” (08/14/22)

Egypt: At least 41 dead in Cairo church fire

Source: ABC News

“At least 41 people were killed after a huge fire erupted at a church in Cairo during morning prayers on Sunday, health authorities and the Coptic Orthodox Church said. Egypt’s health ministry said 55 people were also taken to hospitals for treatment after being injured in the blaze, which engulfed the Coptic Orthodox Church of Abou Seifain in the working-class district of Imbaba. The fire erupted at 9 a.m. Cairo time. The interior ministry, which oversees the Civil Protection Authority, said the fire ‘broke out in an air-conditioner on the second floor of the church building, which includes a number of classrooms, as a result of an electrical fault.'” (08/14/22)

HI: Physician Green wins Democratic primary for governor

Source: SFGate

“For their 16th wedding anniversary, Democrats in Hawaii gifted Josh Green and his wife, Jaime, a comfortable margin of victory in the gubernatorial primary Saturday. Green, the state’s current lieutenant governor, handily defeated former first lady Vicky Cayetano and Kaiali’I Kahele, who decided to seek the governor’s office instead of a second term in the U.S. House. Green, with lei of yellow and purple flowers and green leaves piled high up to his neck, alternated between throwing fists in the air and giving the shaka sign to a boisterous crowd of supporters at his victory party. ‘On to November, we will win the governorship and lead Hawaii forward,’ he said to the cheering crowd. He will face former two-term Republican Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona in the general election, who defeated mixed martial arts championship fighter B.J. Penn in his party’s primary.” (08/14/22)

Ship carrying grain for hungry Ethiopia leaves Ukrain

Source: Associated Press

“A United Nations-chartered ship loaded with 23,000 metric tons of Ukrainian grain destined for Ethiopia set sail Sunday from a Black Sea port, the first shipment of its kind in a program to assist countries facing famine. The Liberia-flagged Brave Commander departed from the Ukrainian port of Yuzhne, east of Odesa, according to regional governor Maksym Marchenko. It plans to sail to Djibouti, where the grain will be unloaded and transferred to Ethiopia under the World Food Program initiative. Ukraine and Russia reached a deal with Turkey on July 22 to restart Black Sea grain deliveries, addressing the major export disruption that has occurred since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.” (08/14/22)