Royal wedding latest news: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry delay honeymoon to go straight back to work

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex - Credit: Alexi Lubomirski /PA
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the east terrace of Windsor Castle Credit: Alexi Lubomirski /PA

In another image Harry and Meghan are pictured with the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the bride’s mother Doria Ragland and the young bridesmaids and pageboys, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Harry and Meghan are pictured with the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh - Credit: Alexi Lubomirski /PA
The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pictured with the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the bride’s mother Doria Ragland and the young bridesmaids and pageboys Credit: Alexi Lubomirski /PA

The couple, who exchanged vows in a ceremony watched by millions across the world on Saturday, are due to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party on Tuesday as part of the Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday celebrations.

It will mark the beginning of a new life for the Duchess, who has already spoken of her desire to “hit the ground running” in her role as a full-time member of the Royal family.

Shortly after the couple were proclaimed husband and wife at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, Kensington Palace’s social media pages and the royal family’s website had been updated to reflect their newest member.

And the Duchess has been given the blessing of Buckingham Palace to use her position to fight for feminism, as she is expected to announce which charities and campaigns she will support when she returns from her honeymoon.

Royal wedding day pictures: Best photos from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ceremony and reception

However, a biography of the Los Angeles-born Suits star on the monarchy’s official website suggested she will use her role to champion feminist causes. It described her “lifelong commitment” to working to promote “social justice and women’s empowerment”, carrying a quote in which she declares: “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.”

The Duchess, who is reported to have broken with tradition to give a speech of her own at the wedding reception, has worked with a number of charities in the past, including UN Women and World Vision. She will continue working with the Royal Foundation alongside Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

A visit to Australia is in the diary for October, for the 2018 Invictus Games, while other trips abroad this year are said to be in the pipeline.

But despite their hectic schedules, the couple seized the opportunity to spend some time away from the public eye on Sunday.

After two receptions hosted by the Queen and Prince of Wales on Saturday – with some guests said to have continued partying well after Frogmore House closed its doors – the royal newlyweds left Windsor Castle on Sunday afternoon for some well-earned privacy.

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Only the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were seen returning home to Kensington Palace on Sunday evening.

Guests of the royal couple had celebrated the couple tying the knot at an evening reception at which Idris Elba turned DJ and danced into the small hours with fireworks and a playlist of soul classics.

The newlyweds are said to have eschewed a slow first dance for livelier tunes, from 1960s R&B to the dance hits of the 1980s. They are said to have chosen “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” as an opening number, with guests treated to a sit-down dinner after a long day in front of the cameras at Windsor Castle.

The grand finale of the royal wedding saw 200 people join a black-tie dinner and evening celebrations at Frogmore House.

 A Firework Display Takes Place At Frogmore House. - Credit: Steve Finn 
Fireworks from the Frogmore House party lit up the night sky over Windsor Credit: Steve Finn

The Prince of Wales staged the black-tie evening dinner for the couple, who arrived in a environmentally-friendly 1968 Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero that ran on electric power.

As well as family members including Princess Beatrice and Eugenie and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, evening guests included George and Amal Clooney, Tom Hardy, and Idris Elba, who was said to have taken a spin on DJ decks.

But the fun did not stop when Frogmore House – the famous royal home loved by Queen Victoria – closed it doors, as some guests are said to have staged an after party at top London hot spot Chiltern Firehouse.

In their first official engagement as husband and wife, the Duke and Duchess will attend a 70th birthday patronage celebration for the Prince of Wales.

The outdoor event marks the heir to the throne’s milestone birthday – which falls in November – by recognising Charles’ patronages and military affiliations as well as others involved in charities supported by the royal.

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The Duchess previously said she wants to “hit the ground running” on becoming a full-time member of the Royal family.

The couple will not immediately leave for their honeymoon, but remain in the UK for a period of time before taking the traditional break. Countries such as Botswana – which offers stunning wildlife, breathtaking scenery and, importantly, privacy from prying eyes – could be top of the list.

But the couple may first spend a few days in Ireland, according to reports, making their inaugural overseas trip as a married couple to the Republic, while their honeymoon is put on hold for a period.

Botswana is a place the Duke loves and knows well, and he reportedly whisked his fiancee to the southern African country in 2017 to mark her 36th birthday.

Cutest pictures of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and more young royals at the wedding

The Duke and Duchess had exchanged vows in front of 600 guests including the Queen and more than 30 members of the Royal family.

Famous faces such as US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey, tennis champion Serena Williams, actor George Clooney and his barrister wife Amal Clooney, Sir Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham and actor Idris Elba were also in St George’s Chapel.

Sir Elton, who sang at the funeral service for the Duke’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, performed at the lunchtime reception.

An estimated 100,000 people turned out to see the couple as they sat in an open-top Ascot Landau for a carriage procession through Windsor.

The most stylish guests from Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle

Meanwhile, British designer Clare Waight Keller, who was spotted arranging the Duchess of Sussex’s veil and train just before she processed into St George’s Chapel, said soon after the ceremony Harry rushed up to praise her efforts.

She said: “He came straight up to me and he said ‘oh my God, thank you, she looks absolutely stunning’.”

Asked about the moment Meghan was able to look at herself dressed and ready in the mirror on Saturday morning, Ms Waight Keller said: “She was just glowing,” adding “She was absolutely radiant.”

David Hogg Calls On Media To Stop Naming Santa Fe School Shooter

David Hogg, pictured at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., on March 24. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
David Hogg, pictured at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., on March 24. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Gun control advocate David Hogg called on the press to stop using the name and image of the 17-year-old student who police say carried out the mass shooting at a Texas high school on Friday.

“We make these sick people known worldwide for their horrifying acts, let’s stop that,” Hogg tweeted Sunday. The teen survived February’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

David Hogg

@davidhogg111

I don’t know the shooters name and don’t want to. If you agree, anytime you see a post with their name or face from news organizations post with one of the victim’s names. We make these sick people known worldwide for their horrifying acts, let’s stop that.

A gunman killed 10 people and injured at least 13 in Friday’s shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. Local law enforcement said the shooter used two weapons during the attack: a shotgun and a .38 revolver, both of which police believe he obtained from his father. The suspect was arrested on charges of capital murder and aggravated assault on a public servant.

Hogg’s call echoes that of Anderson Cooper, who said on his CNN show Friday night that he would not be naming the shooter during the program.

“The name of the alleged killer will not be said nor will his face be shown. The only thing he deserves is justice. His victims deserve far better,” Cooper said.

Anderson Cooper 360°

@AC360

On our program it is the stories of the survivors and victims we tell, explains Anderson Cooper

“The name of the alleged killer will not be said nor will his face be shown. The only thing he deserves is justice. His victims deserve far better”

The call is consistent with warnings from advocates and mental health expertswho caution that excessive media coverage of a shooter can motivate copycats who seek fame or notoriety. School shooting survivors and gun control advocates have launched campaigns such as “No Notoriety” and “Don’t Name Them” that have gotten support from law enforcement, including the FBI.

Student survivors of the Parkland shooting have shared their support for the Santa Fe High School community. In an op-ed published in USA Today, Stoneman Douglas student Eden Hebron shared advice with the survivors of Sante Fe.

“The Stoneman Douglas community will be here for you, whenever you need someone to talk to. Or someone who will listen to you,” Hebron wrote. “Know that the entire country is here for you. The news may slow down, but you’d be surprised by the support you have from all of us.”

Facebook: World not enough for internet giant whose CEO Zuckerberg says journey only 1 per cent done

 

“Our journey is only 1 per cent done,” said Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg after unveiling a set of numbers that had even Wall Street’s hardened analysts bowing down and crying “we’re not worthy”.

Apparently it’s a saying around the stunningly successful IT company, the tendrils of which continue to extend ever more deeply into our day-to-day lives. Translation “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet”. Did you just shudder? I did. Just a bit.

Mr Zuckerburg’s baby is now far more than just “the social network”, with apologies to the same-named biopic. It is a dominant force in mobile advertising (growth of 63 per cent). It is a huge platform for the delivery of media globally, including The Independent. Its messaging services are used from Shanghai, to Singapore to Sheffield. And it has a licence to print money.

The internet’s migration to mobile has secured that, helping Facebook to smash through the $6bn in revenue Wall Street had forecast for the April-to-June reporting period. The actual number came in at $6.4bn, up 59 per cent.

And it was only just over 12 years ago that a website called TheFacebook went live in New England. Chew on that.

Facebook won’t. That’s ancient history to a company that is running faster than Usain Bolt on steroids. Did you know that you can now take 360 degree photos with its apps? That its video services are growing like Japanese knotweed? These are expected to dominate its services before too long, and YouTube owner Google has reason to be nervous. Along with WhatsApp, bought for $19bn just under two years ago, it connects in excess of 2bn people through messaging.

Further out, Facebook has ambitions to to bring the internet to vast numbers of previously unconnected people through its solar powered Aquila drones. They will presumably then become Facebook users and continue to power its staggering growth.

Does that sound like pie in the sky? It shouldn’t. They’re flying. Mr Zuckerberg says tests have been successful. They’ll be out there before too long.

In the meantime the company mines data with scary efficiency. It knows us, it knows our views, what what we like, what we don’t like, what films we enjoy, perhaps the bands we listen to, the books we read, what we spend our money on. That last one is key.

And it’s only 1 per cent done.

It is true that many IT companies that once looked like world beaters have either disappeared or been gobbled up on the cheap. Remember MySpace? Not many do. Yahoo! just announced that it is preparing to join AOL in Verizon’s stable of second-raters. Twitter is starting to show signs that it might one day join them. It isn’t there yet but growth is stalling, revenues are sagging and younger rivals such as Instagram and SnapChat are nipping at its heels.

How the Trump team’s story has evolved on their New York meeting with the Russians

Jared Kushner, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr. and Donald Trump. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: AP (4), Getty Images)

Throughout Donald Trump’s political rise to the presidency, he has remained adamant that his success has had nothing to do with help from Russia, punctuating almost every tweet about the investigation into the 2016 campaign with the catch phrase “No Collusion!”

But the explanations and defenses offered by Trump and his advisers have changed, as new facts have emerged in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and in Congress.

Here is a summary of some of the more notable twists:

_____

‘None of that was set up’

In March 2017, months before the Trump campaign’s meeting with a Russian operative was reported by the New York Times, Donald Trump Jr. assured the paper that his father’s team had not sought out or had official contact with any Russians.

“Did I meet with people that were Russian? I’m sure, I’m sure I did. But none of that was set up. None that I can think of at the moment, and certainly none that I was representing the campaign in any way shape or form,” Donald Trump Jr. told the New York Times.

_____

‘Discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children’

A story that appeared in the New York Times on July 8, 2017, revealed that Trump Jr.’s March statement was false. He had indeed arranged a meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin, at Trump Tower in Manhattan. The meeting took  place on June 9, 2016, just two weeks after Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination, and included Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and adviser Jared Kushner.

Confronted with the emails that showed he had planned the meeting, Trump Jr. claimed that the attendees “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.”

A day later, the New York Times reported that the meeting had been arranged because Veselnitskaya had promised Trump Jr. damaging information about his father’s likely presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

_____

‘Was not a government official’

The New York Times reporting continued apace, and on July 11, 2017, the paper filled in the details of the promised dirt, releasing a June 3, 2016, email to Trump Jr. from an intermediary, British publicist Rob Goldstone, making it clear that the Kremlin was on Trump’s side.

“The Crown Prosecutor of Russia […] offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone wrote.

In a statement released on July 11, Trump Jr. clarified that he believed that the information on Clinton would be “Political Opposition Research” and that it was OK to meet with Veselnitskaya because she “was not a government official.”

_____

‘No part of the meeting I attended included anything about the campaign’

On July 24, Trump’s son-in-law Kushner testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the Trump Tower meeting with Veselnitskaya, claiming that he had not read Trump Jr.’s emails describing the Russian offer of political dirt on Clinton.

Kushner made a point of saying he wasn’t responsible for arranging the meeting. “In June 2016, my brother-in-law, Donald Trump Jr., asked if I was free to stop by a meeting,” his prepared statement began. And he emphasized that the agenda, as far as he was concerned, had nothing to do with the campaign.

“No part of the meeting I attended included anything about the campaign, there was no follow up to the meeting that I am aware of, I do not recall how many people were there (or their names), and I have no knowledge of any documents being offered or accepted,” Kushner testified in a prepared statement.

_____

‘You know this Trump is killing us’

In an interview with NBC News on April 27, 2018, Veselnitskaya disclosed what many in the U.S. intelligence community had already concluded, that she is an informant for the Russian government. That public declaration did not sit well with Trump, who, at a Michigan campaign rally one night later, floated a theory about her disclosure.

“I guarantee you, I’m tougher on Russia. Nobody ever thought. In fact, have you heard about the lawyer? For a year, a woman lawyer, she was like, ‘Oh, I know nothing.’ … Now all of a sudden she supposedly is involved with government. You know why? If she did that, because Putin and the groups said, ‘You know this Trump is killing us,’” the president told his audience. “Why don’t you say that you’re involved with government so that we could go and make their life in the United States even more chaotic.’ Look at what’s happened. Look at how these politicians have fallen for this junk. Russian collusion. Give me a break.”

_____

‘You have a made up, phony crime, Collusion’

After months of denying that any collusion took place between his campaign and the Russians, Trump tried a new tack to blunt the impact of an April 30, 2018, story on the questions special counsel Mueller intended to ask the president in an interview. Some of those questions, the New York Times reported, focused on the help the Russian government offered to the Trump campaign.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were “leaked” to the media. No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see…you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!

_____

‘So I believe you have some information for us’

On Wednesday, May 16, the Senate Judiciary Committee released 2,500 pages of documents relating to its investigation of the Trump campaign’s Russian ties. Among the revelations was that Trump Jr. kicked off the meeting with Veselnitskaya by asking her directly for the dirt on Clinton.

“So I believe you have some information for us,” Trump Jr. told Veselnitskaya.

The “opposition research” turned out to be fraud allegations made against Clinton by Democratic donors that Trump Jr. deemed underwhelming.

_____

‘They never used it is the main thing.’

In a May 16, 2018, interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani further adjusted the goalposts of guilt by arguing that the collusion rises to the level of a crime only if the information in question is acted upon.

“And even if it comes from a Russian, or a German, or an American, it doesn’t matter. And they never used it is the main thing. They never used it. They rejected it. If there was collusion with the Russians, they would have used it,” Giuliani said.

10 killed in shooting at Texas’ Santa Fe High School, official says

Ten people were killed and several others injured in a shooting Friday morning at a high school in the southeastern Texas city of Santa Fe, a law enforcement official said on condition of anonymity.

Gunfire erupted at Santa Fe High School, about 20 miles outside Galveston, not long after classes began around 7:30 a.m. CT, officials said. Authorities later found explosive devices — including pipe bombs and pressure cookers — in and near the school, the law enforcement official said.
A male suspect, believed to be a student, has been arrested in the shooting, and a second person — also believed to be a student — has been detained as well, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
Two law enforcement officers are among the injured, according to the source who spoke anonymously.
One man is in critical condition with a gunshot wound in one of his arms, said David Marshall, chief nursing officer for University of Texas Medical Branch hospital.
This is the third school shooting in eight days across the United States, and the 22nd since the beginning of the year.
Witnesses described students running from the school as they heard gunshots; they also described hearing an alarm at the school, though the sequence of events wasn’t immediately clear.
Authorities found explosive devices in the high school and in adjacent areas, said Walter Braun, Santa Fe Independent School District police chief. It wasn’t immediately clear if any had exploded.
Santa Fe High School junior Guadalupe Sanchez, 16, cries in the arms of her mother, Elida Sanchez, after reuniting with her at a meeting point at a nearby fitness center after Friday's shooting.

Because the devices were found, Braun urged people in the city of about 13,000 people to “not touch any items that look out of place, and call 911” if they see something suspicious.
The school has been cleared of all students and staff, who have been directed to a nearby facility to reunite with their families, Braun said.

Witness: Shooter fired gun in an art class

An armed person walked into an art class at the school and began firing what looked like a shotgun, a witness told CNN affiliate KTRK.
The witness told KTRK she saw a girl shot in the leg.
At least 12 people from the school are being treated at three hospitals, authorities said. Seven people are at Clear Lake Regional Medical in Webster, Texas; two patients are being treated at Mainland Medical Center in Texas City and three patients are at John Sealy University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
Santa Fe High School
Map data ©2018 Google, INEGI

Aerial video from the scene showed several police officers outside the school. Some were searching students and their backpacks.

Witnesses describe hearing an alarm as well as gunfire

Angelica Martinez, a 14-year-old student, told CNN she and her schoolmates were being evacuated at one point “like it’s a fire drill.”
“We were all standing (outside), but not even five minutes later, we started hearing gunshots,” she said. “And then everybody starts running, but like the teachers are telling us to stay put, but we’re all just running away.”
“I didn’t see anybody shooting, but like (the gunshots) were kind of spaced,” Angelica said, adding she heard about four shots.
The witness who spoke to KTRK also said she heard an alarm. She didn’t specify if that was before or after the gunfire she described in the art class.
She said she couldn’t describe the shooter.
“I didn’t look. I just ran,” she said.
Police officers work a checkpoint in front of Santa Fe High School in response to the shooting.

Another student, Dakota Shrader, told CNN affiliate KPRC that she heard gunshots only after hearing an alarm in the school.
“I was in the history hallway, and as soon as we heard the alarms, everybody just started leaving following the same procedure as … (a) practice fire drill,” Shrader said, breaking into tears. “And next thing you know, we just hear … three gunshots, loud explosions, and all the teachers are telling us to run.”
Santa Fe High School student Dakota Shrader is comforted by her mother Susan Davidson after Friday's shooting.

The entire school district is on lockdown, district officials said.
The high school has about 1,400 students, according to GreatSchools.org.

Three shootings in eight days

Friday’s shooting was the third at a US school in recent days.
On Wednesday, an Illinois school resource officer shot and wounded a former student who fired a weapon near a graduation rehearsal at Dixon High School, authorities said. The suspected gunman faces three charges of aggravated discharge of a firearm.
On May 11, a 14-year-old boy in In Palmdale, California, went to Highland High, his former school, and began shooting a semiautomatic rifle shortly before classes began, authorities said. He was taken into custody and is accused of attempted murder. One person was wounded.

Trump: Mass shootings have been ‘going on too long in our country’

President Donald Trump addressed the school shooting in Santa Fe Friday, saying that mass shootings have been “going on too long.”
“Unfortunately, I have to begin by expressing our sadness and heartbreak over the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas,” Trump said from the East Room of the White House. “This has been going on too long in our country. Too many years. Too many decades now.”
Trump said federal authorities are coordinating with local officials.
“We grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack,” Trump said.

Things are about to get worse in Venezuela

If food and medicine shortages, 14,000% annual inflation and protests wherein citizens throw their own feces at the country’s leaders wasn’t bad enough, things are likely to get worse in Venezuela after Sunday’s election.

President Nicolas Maduro has no real threat in the election, analysts say, as any legitimate challengers have either fled the country, been arrested or been banned from running. While some polls do show opposition party candidate Henri Falcon leading Maduro – who has around a 20% approval rating – few believe security forces overseeing the vote will allow a free and fair election.

Turnout is also likely to be incredibly low, not only because few believe their votes matter, but also because of a climate of fear. Asdrubal R. Oliveros, an economist and director of macroeconomic research firm Ecoanalitica, notes that opinion polls show a significant percentage of the population thinks their vote is not secret and that more than half believe that their social welfare benefits could be cut if Maduro’s government loses or if they are found to have voted against him.

“The truth is that it is irrelevant if it’s paranoia or not,” Oliveros said during a panel discussion at the Council of the America’s center in New York. “The fact that people believe it is what is relevant. The social control mechanism is relevant.”

After Maduro’s very likely victory, the crime, inflation and mass exodus of people that has seen more than 1 million Venezuelans flee their country over the past two years are likely to accelerate as Maduro uses the vote to legitimize himself.

The problems have little to do with socialism

David Smolansky, a former mayor in Venezuela who fled to the U.S. after he was targeted for arrest by Maduro, says perhaps the worst part of his country’s decline has been the growth of organized crime and the underground economy.

“I’m enormously concerned about the black economy, the criminal economy,” he said during the panel. “If he survives a few more months … there’s no ceiling to drug trafficking. There’s no top in the [illegal] trafficking of fuel … That’s the problem of Maduro’s regime, the absolute lack of protection of the Venezuelan people.”

Additionally, the country’s income is grinding to nothing. Sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries have prevented Venezuela from issuing new debt to international creditors and its oil exports are drying up quickly. Venezuela is pumping just a fraction of its crude capacity and as the crisis deepens it is pumping less oil, not more.

The country recently had to buy nearly $440 million worth of foreign crude to ship to Cuba on friendly credit terms and much of it at a loss, Reuters reported.

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, but mass firings at state-run oil company PDVSA, the withdrawal and expulsion of outside private companies like Chevron and debilitation of its aging equipment have dramatically slowed oil production.

‘There’s going to be a collapse’

Luisa Palacios, managing director for Latin America at Medley Global Advisors, is expecting the country’s production to fall to historic lows. Oil production could drop to 1.1 million barrels per day within a year, she said, having already fallen to a 33-year low. Production is down 500,000 barrels of oil per day from its pace in January, falling from 2.3 million bpd in January 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

“There’s going to be a collapse,” Palacios said. “What we’ll see after May 20 is more people leaving. You’re not going to have enough people to process oil, to work refineries, to keep it going. It’s not just a problem of cash flow … it’s all types of assets collapsing.”

Sanders, Graham think White House should apologize for John McCain insult

Prominent senators on both sides of the aisle called upon the White House to apologize in the wake of various reports that a staffer mocked Sen. John McCain’sfight against brain cancer.

Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., both expressed disgust over the Trump administration’s refusal to condemn Kelly Sadler, a special assistant to the president, for allegedly dismissing McCain’s opinion because “he’s dying anyway.”

On Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Sadler still works for the administration but declined to specifically address the comment in question: “I’m not going to validate a leak out of an internal staff meeting one way or the other.”

Bernie Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that he cannot fathom why the White House has not apologized.

“It is beyond my comprehension. It is one thing in the White House for somebody to say something crude and stupid and disrespectful about an American hero. It is another thing for them not to apologize,” Sanders said. “So it is beyond my comprehension. And I just don’t know what goes on in that White House mentality for there not being an apology for that terrible remark.”

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who caucuses with the Democratic Party, pointed out that though he regularly disagrees with McCain, a conservative Republican from Arizona, over political matters, he personally likes him “very, very much” and said he’s respected “in the Senate and in the country.”

Graham offered a similar opinion while speaking to “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan on CBS News. He said he’s not satisfied with the White House’s response to the controversy.

“It’s a pretty disgusting thing to say. If it was a joke, it was a terrible joke. I just wish somebody from the White House would tell the country that was inappropriate [and] that’s not who we are in the Trump administration,” Graham said. “John McCain can be criticized for any political decision he’s ever made or any vote he’s ever cast, but he’s an American hero.”

Sen. John McCain urged his colleagues in the Senate on Wednesday to reject Gina Haspel’s nomination to lead the CIA. A White House staffer said his opinion didn’t matter. (Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Graham suggested that most Americans would like to see the Trump administration “do better” in these sorts of situations.

“It doesn’t hurt you at all to do the right thing and to be big,” Graham continued.

When asked whether Trump should apologize, Graham said, “I’ll leave that up to him, but if something like that happened in my office — if somebody in my office said such a thing about somebody — I would apologize on behalf of the office.”

This latest Trump administration controversy stems from conversations held behind closed doors about McCain’s opposition to Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. Haspel has been acting directorsince April 26 when her predecessor, Mike Pompeo, was sworn in as secretary of state.

McCain, a Navy pilot who was tortured during the Vietnam War, urged his colleagues in the Senate on Wednesday to reject Haspel’s nomination because of “her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality.” For McCain, this refusal is “disqualifying.”

US has lost ‘mediator role’ in Middle East: Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told think tank Chatham House that the US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was "very, very unfortunate"
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told think tank Chatham House that the US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was “very, very unfortunate” (AFP Photo/Adrian DENNIS)

London (AFP) – The US has lost its role as mediator in the Middle East by moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in London on Monday.

“With its latest step, America has chosen to be a part of the problem, not a solution, and lost its mediator role in the Middle East peace process,” Erdogan told the Chatham House international affairs think tank.

Moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was “very, very unfortunate,” he said, warning it would “increase tensions and ignite an even greater fire between communities”.

His remarks came as violent clashes erupted along Gaza’s border ahead of the controversial embassy opening, leaving 37 Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded in the conflict’s bloodiest day in years.

Erdogan urged the international community to “take swift action to put an end to Israel’s increasing aggression,” denouncing the embassy move as violating international law and UN resolutions.

Jerusalem is one of the most thorny issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides claiming it as their capital.

Most of the international community does not formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and almost all embassies are located in Tel Aviv.

“The establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is the only way for lasting peace and stability,” the Turkish leader said.

By the time the ceremony to inaugurate the embassy began, the clashes had been raging for more than five hours.

– Red carpet for Erdogan –

Erdogan was also deeply critical of US President Donald Trump’s decision this month to withdraw Washington from the Iran nuclear deal.

“The nuclear deal is a significant development which should be preserved,” Erdogan said, adding that political dialogue with Iran was “beneficial” to the international community.

Turning to Turkey’s decades-long efforts to join the European Union, Erdogan said it remained a strategic goal for Ankara but he condemned the “politicisation” of the process.

Erdogan began a three-day visit to Britain on Sunday, with London rolling out the red carpet as it seeks to bolster future trade ties after leaving the European Union next year.

He will meet Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday — an audience that has proved relatively uncontroversial compared to the prospect of her meeting Trump.

As he spoke, a group of Kurdish activists protested outside, with further demonstrations expected near Downing Street on Tuesday by media rights group, Reporters Without Borders.

Erdogan’s visit comes just weeks before Turkey holds early parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24.

Erdogan, who has dominated Turkey’s political scene for the past 15 years, is seeking to reinforce his authority as Turkey moves to a new presidential system of government with expanded powers.

Earlier on Monday, he met three footballers from Turkey or of Turkish origin who play in the Premier League — Cenk Tosun, Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, state-run news agency Anadolu reported.

Australia mass shooting leaves relatives of slain family ‘stunned’

Police said one of the adults was found outside on the rural property, one of the female adults was discovered inside the main house, while the other victims were inside a shed that had been converted into living quarters. Police had initially said that two adult victims were found outside.

Although formal identification of the victims was not yet complete, police said they believe the victims are 35-year-old Katrina Miles, her daughter, 13-year-old Taye Cockman, her sons, 12-year-old Rylan Cockman, 10-year-old Ayre Cockman and 8-year-old Kayden Cockman, as well as her parents, 61-year-old Peter John Miles and 58-year-old Cynda Miles.

“We know that the members of this family were deeply connected to the town of Margaret River. Many people who know the family are deeply feeling the loss and the community understandably [does] want answers,” Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said at a news conference Saturday.

PHOTO: A property is seen from a police roadblock where police are investigating the death of seven people in a suspected murder-suicide in Osmington, east of Margaret River in Australia, May 11, 2018. (Richard Wainwright/AAP Image via AP)
PHOTO: A property is seen from a police roadblock where police are investigating the death of seven people in a suspected murder-suicide in Osmington, east of Margaret River in Australia, May 11, 2018. (Richard Wainwright/AAP Image via AP)

Three firearms were recovered from the crime scene and all are licensed to Peter John Miles, the grandfather of the four children, according to Dawson.

“I wish to strongly emphasize that police do not believe any other person is involved in these crimes. Police are not searching for any other suspects,” he told reporters at Saturday’s news conference.

Dawson, who noted that the investigation is still ongoing, described the deaths as “suspicious” and “very tragic.”

Homicide and forensic crime-scene detectives traveled some 170 miles from Perth to assist in the investigation in Osmington. Police said they have no information to raise concerns about wider public safety issues.

7 dead including 4 children in Australia’s worst mass shooting in 22 years

PHOTO: Police Commissioner Chris Dawson addresses the media in Perth, Australia, May 11, 2018. (Rebecca Le May/AAP Image via AP)
PHOTO: Police Commissioner Chris Dawson addresses the media in Perth, Australia, May 11, 2018. (Rebecca Le May/AAP Image via AP)

Pamela Townshend, president of the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, said counselors and psychologists will be available to members of the community at the Margaret River Community Resource Center. The center’s church gallery will be a designated place for people to leave flowers and cards for the victims.

“I’m absolutely devastated that this has happened in our community. It’s such a small community and it will have a huge effect — it’s already having a huge effect,” Townshend said at the press conference Saturday. “This is a strong, connected community, and I know that we’ll all support each other and we’ll get through this together.”

Pentagon to unveil probe into Niger ambush that killed 4

These images provided by the U.S. Army show, from left, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash.; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; Sgt. La David Johnson of Miami Gardens, Fla.; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Ga. All four were killed in Niger, when a joint patrol of American and Niger forces was ambushed by militants believed linked to the Islamic State group. The Pentagon on Thursday is releasing the final report on the Niger attack that killed four Americans last October, concluding that the Army Special Forces team did not get required command approval for the initial risky mission to go after a high-level insurgent.  (U.S. Army via AP)
These images provided by the U.S. Army show, from left, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash.; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; Sgt. La David Johnson of Miami Gardens, Fla.; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Ga. All four were killed in Niger, when a joint patrol of American and Niger forces was ambushed by militants believed linked to the Islamic State group. The Pentagon on Thursday is releasing the final report on the Niger attack that killed four Americans last October, concluding that the Army Special Forces team did not get required command approval for the initial risky mission to go after a high-level insurgent. (U.S. Army via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon on Thursday will release the final report on the Niger attack that killed four Americans last October, concluding that the Army Special Forces team did not get required command approval for the initial risky mission to go after a high-level insurgent linked to the Islamic State group.

Defense officials said they will lay out how the mission unfolded, leading to the gruesome ambush, and then explain what is being done to correct the problems brought to light by the incident. Families of the fallen troops have been briefed on the investigation, including details of their loved ones’ final moments as they battled as many as 100 insurgents in a fierce firefight.

“The whole thing was a screwed-up mess,” said Arnold Wright, father of Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright of Lyons, Georgia, who was killed in the attack. He said he’s concerned that the Army may be pinning the blame on lower-ranking soldiers and not accepting responsibility high enough up the chain of command.

The briefing, he said, gave the impression “that the captain, the team leader, that he mischaracterized the mission” as one to reach out to local leaders rather than a mission to target the insurgent.

The Associated Press reported in early March that the team received information about the location of Doundou Chefou, who was suspected of involvement in the kidnapping an American aid worker, and acted on what they considered was a fleeting chance to get him. But the team did not disclose that mission to higher-level commanders, and instead outlined a lower-risk mission to meet with tribal leaders, U.S. officials told the AP. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the investigation ahead of its release.

The report is expected to detail missteps in the mission’s approval process and whether that contributed at all to the ambush that erupted many hours later. Its findings will put renewed focus on U.S. military activity in Africa, particularly the role of special operations forces who’ve been advising and working with local troops on the continent for years. Extremists linked to IS and al-Qaida carry out increasingly bold attacks in West Africa’s vast Sahel region.

The investigation was led by U.S. Africa Command’s chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier Jr. Officials spent months trying to unravel the complex incident, conducting dozens of interviews across the U.S., Europe and Africa.

The Pentagon will also unveil recommended changes, including greater oversight to ensure proper mission approval and risk assessment, as well as improved security measures, more heavily armored vehicles, and better weapons and training, U.S. officials said.

Killed in the attack were: Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida; Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia. Four Nigerien troops were killed and two American soldiers and eight Nigerien forces were wounded.

Officials have said the investigation doesn’t draw a direct link between the team’s failure to get appropriate approval of the initial kill or capture mission and the attack that came much later, once commanders had approved other changes to the mission. The team was called off before they got to the location where Chefou was believed to be, because he had left. The troops, however, were later sent to collect intelligence at a location where Chefou had been, and then they stopped at the village of Tongo Tongo for supplies before heading back to their base.

“They had a mission to go to a location that was like four hours away and they went on that mission and the target was gone,” Wright told the AP in an interview, recounting what Cloutier told him. “They started back and they got like two hours or so from their home base and they got a change of mission to go to another location back north like four hours away to act as a blocking force for another team was coming in with helicopters to hit the target.”

Bad weather forced the helicopters to abort, Wright said, and his son’s team went on to the site, where they destroyed motorcycles, ammunition and other equipment before heading to Tongo Tongo.