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UK envoy’s leaked views inspire more insults in Trump tweets
By DANICA KIRKA | Tue, July 9, 2019 05:48 EDT
LONDON (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at Britain’s ambassador to the United States for a second day, describing him as “wacky” and a “pompous fool” after leaked documents revealed the envoy’s dim view of Trump’s administration.
Trump fired off a series of tweets about Ambassador Kim Darroch hours after British Prime Minister Theresa May gave the veteran diplomat her continued support.
“The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy,” Trump wrote in one tweet.
Darroch’s forthright, unfiltered views on the U.S. administration — meant for a limited audience and discreet review — appeared in leaked diplomatic documents that were published in Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper.
The disclosures have caused embarrassment and an awkward situation for two countries that often celebrate having a “special relationship.”
In his Twitter comments Tuesday, Trump combined criticism of Darroch with a broadside at May, chiding the British leader for failing to get her Brexit deal with the European Union through Parliament.
“I told @theresa_may how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way-was unable to get it done. A disaster!” Trump tweeted. “I don’t know the Ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool.”
Darroch has served as Britain’s envoy in Washington since 2016. In one of his leaked memos, he said that to communicate effectively with Trump, “you need to make your points simple, even blunt.”
The published documents also included the ambassador calling the Trump administration’s policies on Iran “incoherent,” saying the U.S. president might be indebted to “dodgy Russians,” and raising doubts about whether the Trump White House “will ever look competent.”
Darroch has had a close relationship with numerous Trump administration officials. The president’s advisers have been frequent guests at British Embassy events.
An investigation is underway to find who was responsible for leaking the memos, a major breach of diplomatic security.
May’s spokesman said Tuesday that the prime minister phoned Darroch to tell him he still had her full support.
But the tweets by Trump, which followed a similar social media barrage on Monday, ratcheted up pressure on Britain’s government. Darroch also has been accused by some Brexit-backing U.K. politicians of lacking enthusiasm for Britain’s departure from the European Union.
The journalist who reported the leak, Isabel Oakeshott, is a strong Brexit backer and an ally of Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, who also is Britain’s leading champion of Trump.
Trump once said Farage would “do a great job” as ambassador to the United States. Farage sidestepped the idea Monday, saying “I’m not a diplomat.”
The tiff with Trump also put pressure on Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the two men vying to succeed May as Conservative leader and prime minister. Both say they will lead the U.K. out of the European Union and secure new trade deals around the world — notably with the United States.
Hunt, who is Britain’s current foreign secretary, reprimanded Trump on Tuesday, writing in his own tweets that the president’s comments about Darroch were “disrespectful and wrong.”
During a televised debate Tuesday night, Hunt said “if I am our next prime minister, the ambassador in Washington stays, because it is our decision.”
Johnson declined during the debate to make a similar commitment to keep Darroch in his post, though he said whoever leaked the diplomatic cables should be “eviscerated.”
“I think it’s very important we should have a close partnership, a close friendship with the United States,” he said.
While British officials hunted for the culprit behind the leak, senior Conservative Party figure and former Foreign Secretary William Hague said the government was right to back Darroch.
“You can’t change an ambassador at the demand of a host country,” Hague told the BBC. “It is their job to give an honest assessment of what is happening in that country.”
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Associated Press writers Julie Pace in Washington and Jill Lawless in London contributed to this story.

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‘Giant sucking sound’: Perot’s quips over the years
By The Associated Press | Tue, July 9, 2019 05:10 EDT
DALLAS (AP) — H. Ross Perot, who died Tuesday at his home in Dallas, was known for memorable quips, especially during his run for president as a third-party candidate in 1992. Here are some Quote: s from Perot:
ON WHAT HE WANTED TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: “Aw, I don’t worry about that.” (to The Dallas Morning News in 2016)
ON BEING A TEXAN: “Texas born. Texas bred. When I die, I’ll be Texas dead. Ha!” (to The Dallas Morning News in 2016)
ON TRADE: “Well, everybody’s nibbling around the edges. Let’s go to the center of the bull’s-eye, the core problem. And believe me, everybody on the factory floor all over this country knows it. You implement that NAFTA, the Mexican trade agreement, where they pay people a dollar an hour, have no health care, no retirement, no pollution controls, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, and you’re going to hear a giant sucking sound of jobs being pulled out of this country right at a time when we need the tax base to pay the debt and pay down the interest on the debt and get our house back in order.” (from a 1992 presidential debate)
ON CHARACTER: “Which one of the three candidates, as a young man, would you want your daughter to marry? Ears and all …. Which of the three candidates would be the best role model for your children?” (from the 1992 campaign, according to The Baltimore Sun)
ON HIS OWN CAMPAIGN COMMERCIALS: “I love the fact that people will listen to a guy with a bad accent and a poor presentation manner talking about flip charts for 30 minutes, because they want the details.” (from a 1992 presidential debate.)
ON NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING: “And I have said again and again and again, let’s get off mud wrestling, let’s get off personalities, and let’s talk about jobs, health care, crime, the things that concern the American people.” (from a 1992 presidential debate)
ON NAFTA: “Will water run downhill? Yes. Will an apple fall from a tree? … Will jobs flow to cheap labor and get away from government headaches?” (to reporters on conference call in 1993)
ON GETTING THINGS DONE: “Build a consensus and then do it and then go on to the next one. But don’t just sit here slow dancing for four years doing nothing.” (from a 1992 presidential debate)
ON MANAGEMENT: “The first EDSer to see a snake kills it. At GM, first thing you do is organize a committee on snakes. Then you bring in a consultant who knows a lot about snakes. Third thing you do is talk about it for a year.” (Deriding the business acumen at General Motors compared to his Electronic Data Systems Corp., to BusinessWeek in 1986)
ON POLITICAL ATTACKS: “This is Mickey Mouse tossed salad.” (during 1992 news conference)

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California’s Dixie School District to be renamed
Wed, July 10, 2019 12:19 EDT
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) — Trustees of the Dixie School District voted Tuesday to change the name of the 150-year-old district, which critics linked to the Confederacy and slavery.
Dixie will be renamed the Miller Creek Elementary School District, trustees decided. The vote was 3-1 with one abstention.
Trustees rejected three other options: Laurel Creek, Creekside or Kenne school district.
Trustees also voted 4-1 to rename the district’s only elementary school, from Dixie to Lucas Valley Elementary.
The name-change issue pitted parents against each other for months and generated heated debate in San Rafael, an overwhelmingly white city of 59,000 people. Some insisted the Dixie name was racially insensitive, while others complained the proposed change was political correctness run amok.
The board of trustees voted in April to change both the name of the San Francisco Bay Area district and the name of its elementary school by Aug. 22, when classes resume.
The cost of the name change, such as replacing signs, was estimated at nearly $40,000, but the Marin Community Foundation pledged to cover it.
Dixie is a nickname for the southern U.S. states that formed the pro-slavery Confederacy in 1860, sparking the Civil War. The legacy of the Confederacy prompts political, legal and cultural conflicts to this day.
Those who supported changing the name said the district was named Dixie by James Miller, the school founder, on a dare by Confederate sympathizers. Those who opposed the change said the school system was named for Mary Dixie, a Miwok Indian woman who Miller knew in the 1840s.

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EU Commission candidate von der Leyen grilled by legislators
By RAF CASERT | Wed, July 10, 2019 07:31 EDT
BRUSSELS (AP) — The German candidate for European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday she would put the respect for the rule of law and a progressive climate policy at the heart of her program over the next five years.
The German defense minister was being grilled by legislators from the socialist, green and free-market liberal groups before facing a vote on her appointment in the legislative plenary next week.
Von der Leyen was the surprise last-minute compromise candidate that European Union member states settled on last week to replace Jean-Claude Juncker.
Though she is expected to be backed by the major groups in the European Parliament, there has been stinging criticism of the way she was put forward as a candidate.
“I know it was a bumpy start we had together,” von der Leyen told the legislators from the Renew Europe liberal group.
A broad coalition of the legislators, who had been elected in May, had wanted one of the lead candidates of the respective parliament groupings to take arguably the most important job at the Commission, which proposes and implements policy across the EU.
However, that initiative was scuttled by leaders under pressure from France, Italy and several eastern member states. Like Juncker, von der Leyen is from the Christian Democrat European People’s Party.
Referring to Germany’s wartime Nazi past, she said she was extremely sensitive to the guiding principles of Western rule of law and said there should be transparency across the bloc.
The rule of EU and international law is becoming an increasing consideration in Brussels what with Hungary and Poland facing allegations they do not respect the ground rules. Both nations reject the accusations.
“It needs to be done that we get a mechanism to provide for transparent making arrangements for observing that the rule of law is upheld in all member states,” she said.
“None of us is perfect and we need to know that and we need to have transparency about that.”
In the wake of the EU’s failure in June to unanimously agree on climate goals by 2050, von der Leyen insisted member states needed to pick up the slack.
“I want us as a European Union to be the first continent that is climate neutral. And for that we will have to be more ambitious with our climate goals for 2030. “

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Disabled workers help Haitians who lost limbs in 2010 quake
By DÁNICA COTO | Wed, July 10, 2019 12:02 EDT
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Wilfrid Macena was a welder who built gas station tanks for a living when the devastating 2010 earthquake toppled a wall at the garage where he worked and crushed his right leg.
He was unable to reach a hospital for seven days and his knee became infected, forcing doctors to amputate most of his leg. Several weeks later, he came to an institution run by Haiti’s Episcopal Church in downtown Port-au-Prince where a small group of disabled workers were fitting victims with prosthetics and received his first artificial leg.
“It’s like I got a brand new life,” he recalled, adding that one of the workers at St. Vincent’s Center convinced him to join their team, assuring him that it was similar to welding.
In July 2010, six months after the earthquake, he built his first prosthetic — a job that took him three days.
Now, nine years and more than 3,000 prosthetics later, he’s still at it, and it takes only four hours. Most of those have gone to people like him who lost a limb in the magnitude 7.0 earthquake estimated to have killed 300,000 or more.
“We’re still seeing new patients,” he said, adding that an elderly woman who lost both legs in the earthquake recently came by the center. “She wants to move, go to church.”
The workers at St. Vincent’s Center were all taught by 60-year-old Emmanuel Celicourt, who is unable to speak and has been working at the center for decades. Overall, they have made some 8,000 prostheses since the quake, although now only about 15 percent of people seeking help are earthquake victims.
Macena said being an amputee helps him relate to patients and inspires confidence in them.
“People understand me better than someone who has two legs,” said Macena, who also is captain of a soccer team and has taught athletes how to play with crutches.
He recently tended to Natasha Guillaume, a 9-year-old girl who needed a brace after she was pushed at school, fell and injured her leg. He helped lift her onto a bed fitted with a sheet of faded yellow flowers as she grimaced.
“I was crying at night because of the pain,” she said, adding that she wants to be able to run again with her friends.
The center first began providing prostheses in the 1950s, sometimes at no cost depending on the needs of a person, said the Rev. Frantz Cole, spiritual director of the center that operates a school for disabled children, a medical clinic and a brace shop where the prostheses are made.
“We try to provide service mostly to those who have nothing,” he said. “When someone gets amputated, he thinks that is the end of his life. … But (a prosthesis) is like a new beginning for a patient.”

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