Kanye West Reportedly Withdraws From US Presidential Race | INTERNATIONAL
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Kanye West has reportedly withdrawn from the US presidential race, less than two weeks after announcing that he would run.

It appears that the rapper’s journey to the White House has officially ended. According to a source who worked closely with him to get his name on the ballots in Florida, Kanye has decided to drop out of the race.

In an interview with Steve Kramer, who is a get-out-the-vote specialist running a firm that helps candidates get on the ballot—he confirmed that he had been hired to help Kanye get on the presidential voting ballots in both Florida and South Carolina. Kramer stated that Ye’s team was “working over the weekend formalizing things that they’ve got to do when you have a lot of corporate lawyers involved.”

Kramer then stated that things appeared to be going positively to get him the required amount of signatures to get on the ballot, saying “we had overwhelming support to get him on the ballot. They got a lot of people who they’ve got both on their volunteer side and their contracted side.”

However, just a short time later when Kramer was contacted to give a follow-up statement regarding Kanye’s progress in the race, he simply replied with “he’s out.” When asked further about the details of Kanye’s presidential end, Kramer said “I’ll let you know what I know once”

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INTERNATIONAL

Prince Harry’s charity reported to watchdog over £290,000 grant from William

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Prince Harry and William are facing a charity probe into an alleged misuse of £290,000 in donations.

William and Kate’s Royal Foundation donated the sum to help Harry and Meghan Markle set up their Sussex Royal charity before they gave up royal life.

The foundation also gave a grant to Harry’s sustainable travel organisation, Travalyst. Travalyst is listed as a private company, with Harry owning at least 75% shares, according to Companies House, but Harry’s team has described it as a ‘non-profit’, which the duke ‘receives no commercial or financial gain’.

Anti-royal campaign group Republic has claimed the donations were made due to Harry and William’s ‘personal relationship’. It has urged the Charity Commission to look into a possible conflict of interest, inappropriate use of funds and lack of independence.

The allegations were slammed as ‘deeply offensive’ in a strongly worded statement from Harry’s legal team, who said the duke’s charity work was ‘his life’s focus’. It went on to say:

‘The duke has not, nor has he ever, had any personal financial interest in his charitable work.’

Graham Smith, Republic’s chief executive, said in his letter to the Charity Commission: ‘The Royal Foundation gave a grant of £145,000 to Sussex Royal and £144,901 to a non-charitable organisation (Travalyst). ‘In both instances it appears the only rationale for the decision was the personal relationship between two patrons, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge.

‘Neither patrons are trustees of the Royal Foundation, so there is also a question mark over the independence of the trustees of the Royal Foundation.

‘The Sussex Royal charity has since decided to close, and it is reported that they will transfer all their funds to Travalyst.

‘Again, this appears to be a personal decision by a trustee (the Duke of Sussex) to fund another of his projects, rather than to ensure the funds are being used for the original purposes for which they were donated.’ In response, a spokesman for Harry’s legal team, Schillings, said: ‘The Duke of Sussex has always and continues to remain deeply committed to his charitable work.

‘This is his life’s focus, and his devotion to charity is at the very core of the principles he lives by, and is obvious through the impact and success of his many charitable projects throughout the UK and beyond. ‘To this point, it is deeply offensive to today see false claims made about the Duke of Sussex and his charitable work.’

The statement went on to say: ‘Travalyst (which was founded within Sussex Royal) is a non-profit organisation for which the duke receives no commercial or financial gain, as is the case with all of his charitable commitments.

‘The duke has not, nor has he ever, had any personal financial interest in his charitable work.

The interest has always been clear: to support others and to make a positive difference.’ The Royal Foundation had operated under the names of the Sussexes and Cambridges and was behind national campaigns like the Heads Together mental health project.

The Sussexes, who now live in Los Angeles, are establishing their new foundation called Archewell. A Royal Foundation spokeswoman said: ‘The grants made to Sussex Royal were to support the charitable work of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

‘They were fully in line with governance requirements and were reported transparently.’ A Charity Commission spokeswoman said: ‘We have received a complaint on this issue.

‘As with all concerns raised with us we will assess the information provided to determine whether or not there is a role for the Commission. We have not made any determination of wrongdoing.’

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INTERNATIONAL

China threatens UK with ‘consequences’ over Hong Kong

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China on Tuesday warned the UK of “consequences” a day after the British government suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, in response to Beijing’s controversial new security law in the city. 

The Chinese Embassy in the UK issued a statement on its website where it criticized the move and said it would respond resolutely to what it called interference in its internal affairs. “The UK side has gone even further down the wrong road,” the statement read. 

“China urges the UK side to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs which are China’s internal affairs,” it said. “The UK will bear the consequences if it insists on going down the wrong road.”

The UK became the fourth nation, after Canada, Australia and the United States, to revoke its extradition agreement with the semi-autonomous city. 

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the decision a “reasonable and proportionate response” to “a clear and serious violation” of the UK-China joint declaration, referring to the national security law. 

Under the joint declaration, Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997 on the condition that it preserves the city’s semi-autonomous status. “The imposition of this new national security legislation has changed key assumptions underpinning our extradition treaty arrangements with Hong Kong,” Raab said.

Strained UK-China ties

China passed a national security law in Hong Kong last month that criminalized subversion, succession efforts and foreign interference. The measure followed more than a year of pro-democracy and anti-China protests in the city.

London’s move has put further strain on the already fraught Sino-British relations. Britain had previously outraged China by offering residents of Hong Kong a pathway to UK citizenship, in response to the security law.

Last week, the UK vowed to remove all Huawei 5G equipment from its networks. The US has lobbied its allies to shun the Chinese telecom company, saying Beijing could use it to spy on Western nations. Huawei has denied the allegations.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said earlier that Britain wanted to take a tough line on certain issues, but maintain a balance. 

“I’m not going to be pushed into a position of becoming a knee-jerk Sinophobe on every issue, somebody who is automatically anti-China,” Johnson said. “You have got to have a calibrated response and we are going to be tough on some things but also going to continue to engage.” 

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INTERNATIONAL

KANYE WEST FIRST CAMPAIGN RALLY

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Kanye West is trading his Sunday Service for a campaign junket.

The standard-bearer of the Birthday Party will travel to South Carolina Sunday for his first campaign event.

Ye will speak at the Exquis Event Center in North Charleston, but there are lots of restrictions. First, the event is only for registered guests.

Also, anyone who shows up MUST wear a mask, a mandate that is a clear break from Donald Trump. People who show up must also socially distance from one another.

Kanye seems to be serious, at least for now. TMZ broke the story … Ye has filed docs with the Federal Election Commission, and he’s also filed docs to get on the ballot in Oklahoma.

He tweeted Saturday, “Hi guys please sign up to put me on the ballot in South Carolina at any of these locations,” and he went on to list various places, in addition to his 2020 website.

The first poll shows Kanye is pulling 2% of the vote. What’s unclear … between Biden and Trump, who gets hurt more and who benefits the most?

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INTERNATIONAL

Barack Obama, Ava DuVernay and More Pay Tribute to John Lewis: ‘Thank You for Your Care and Kindness’

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The world is paying tribute to the late Rep. John Lewis. He was 80.

Politicians and celebrities expressed their condolences after news of Lewis’ death was made public on Friday evening. The longtime Georgia congressman and renowned civil rights activist died months after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in December 2019.

“He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise,” former President Barack Obama wrote in a statement on Saturday. “And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.”

Obama continued, sharing his personal experiences with Lewis: “I first met John when I was in law school, and I told him then that he was one of my heroes. Years later, when I was elected a U.S. Senator, I told him that I stood on his shoulders. When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made. And through all those years, he never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me and Michelle and our family. We will miss him dearly.”

Former President George W. Bush shared a photo of unity from March 2015 when he and Obama held hands with Lewis at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

“Laura and I join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of Congressman John Lewis. As a young man marching for equality in Selma, Alabama, John answered brutal violence with courageous hope. And throughout his career as a civil rights leader and public servant, he worked to make our country a more perfect union. America can best honor John’s memory by continuing his journey toward liberty and justice for all,” Bush said in a statement.

Director Ava DuVernay also shared a tribute to the late politician, writing on Twitter: “Thank you for your care and kindness, your advice and understanding. Will never forget what you taught me and what you challenged me to be. Better. Stronger. Bolder. Braver. God bless you, Ancestor John Robert Lewis of Troy, Alabama. Run into His arms.”

Carole King posted a powerful photo of Lewis alongside her own personal message. “I had the honor and pleasure of knowing this humble man who inspired millions of people by making every moment of his life meaningful,” the “I Feel the Earth Move” singer wrote. “May he rest In peace and power.”

Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi shared that she was “heartbroken,” also including the death of civil rights activist C.T. Vivien in her tweet. “Reverend C.T. Vivian and Congressman John Lewis both dedicated their lives to the fight for racial equity and for that we are forever, gratefully, indebted,” she wrote.

Politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Ilhan Omar, also shared touching tributes to Lewis.

“John Lewis was an icon who fought with every ounce of his being to advance the cause of civil rights for all Americans. I’m devastated for his family, friends, staff—and all those whose lives he touched. My friend, thank you for showing the world what #GoodTrouble looks like,” Harris wrote

In his message, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also referenced Lewis’ famous phrase, encouraging young activists to get into “good trouble” to enact change.

“John Lewis was one of the greatest men this country has ever known – a man of unimpeachable integrity, wisdom, courage, and morality,” Cuomo wrote. “He was our conscience. And I know I speak for the entire family of New York when I say we are devastated by this loss. #GoodTrouble”

Sen. Mitt Romney added, “With the passing of John Lewis, America has lost not only a man of history, but a man for our season; O how we need such men of unwavering principle, unassailable character, penetrating purpose, and heartfelt compassion.”

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ENTERTAINMENT

August Alsina Shuts Down Claims Jada Pinkett Was ‘Predator’ To Him After Will Smith Interview

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August Alsina has said he wasn’t ‘preyed on’ by Jada Pinkett Smith, amid the fallout of Will Smith’s bombshell Red Table Talk

Will, Jada and August have been at the centre of celebrity gossip over the past few weeks. As the storm of revelations and rumours grew, the Hollywood couple addressed the controversy regarding their relationship themselves.

In a record-breaking episode of Red Table TalkJada opened up about her often difficult marriage to Will and the ‘entanglement’ with R&B artist Alsina. The singer has since defended Will and Jada, describing them as ‘beautiful spirits’ and adding that he has no regrets.

Let’s whittle it down to the basics: around four-and-a-half years ago, Jada and Will essentially ‘broke up for a while’, at which point her friendship with August evolved into a ‘different kind of entanglement’. Back then, ‘in the process of that relationship, [Jada] definitely realised that you can’t find happiness outside of yourself’.

Jada and Will would later go on to reconcile, after some ‘deep healing’ and efforts to figure out how to make themselves happy. ‘We ride together, we die together, bad marriage for life,’ they joked during the chat. August previously described walking away from the relationship as the ‘hardest thing [he] ever had to experience in this lifetime’.

In an interview with Vulture, August was keen to note he has no ill will towards the Smiths, as his past relationship with Jada ‘helped me to operate and access my higher self… I don’t regret it at all because I know that on this planet, there is not much harmony, and there is not much love, so when you’re actually given love, real love that you’ve never experienced, it is a gift’.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CCWghAkgvVd/?utm_source=ig_embed

The I Luv This singer added: 

There is no right or wrong here. With there being no right or wrong, there is no regret. There’s nothing to regret because it’s not something I went searching for. It’s not something I went after. I don’t go after people’s girls.

Nobody preyed on me or was a predator towards me. This is none of that. It just is. It just was. So I don’t feel any reason to have regrets. Every lesson man, every, every relationship, every experience is a blessing. You learn from it, whether good or bad. I could never say that I regret being given the gift of experience and love. It’s a lesson.

Interest in the ‘affair’ skyrocketed following August’s interview with Angela Yee, in which he claimed Will had ‘given his blessing’ to have a relationship with Jada. However, it wasn’t a left-field slice of gossip, as the Smiths had been given the interview beforehand.

When asked if he still speaks to them, August replied: 

Here’s the deal: I don’t have an issue with anybody. I love everybody. I love all of them. They’ve been my family, and there’s a lot of history there. They’re beautiful people. They’re beautiful spirits. They really are… there’s no bad blood with anybody.

And like that, another chapter of 2020’s online fascination has reached its natural end… for

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INTERNATIONAL

Dutch welcome new ideas on EU recovery fund but deal far off

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The Dutch welcomed new proposals on a massive EU stimulus fund on Saturday in a second day of negotiations among the bloc’s leaders though a final deal on how to revive growth stifled by the coronavirus pandemic remained far off.

The talks on Friday were deadlocked over who should control how the money is spent, as Prime Minister Mark Rutte held out against his EU counterparts after 13 hours of negotiations at a summit in Brussels.

With the pandemic dealing many European economies their worst economic shock since World War Two, leaders seek to agree on a 750 billion euro ($856 billion) recovery fund and a 2021-27 EU budget of more than 1 trillion euros.

“I’m doing this for the whole of Europe, because it is also in the interest of Spain and Italy that they emerge from this crisis with strength,” Rutte told reporters early on Saturday, referring to the two EU countries most affected by the pandemic.

Many of the 27 leaders – wearing masks in their first face-to-face meeting since February – had their own demands in negotiations crisscrossing different regional and economic priorities.

But the Dutch position highlighted the deep splits in the bloc, as the executive European Commission seeks a mandate to borrow billions of euros on capital markets for the first time.

Fiscally conservative countries such as Austria, Denmark and Sweden are adamant that any new debt should be strictly policed.

The European Parliament must also approve any deal done by leaders.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said he saw a route to a compromise by involving EU finance ministers in monitoring new debt, rather than just the European Commission.

Senior EU lawmaker Guy Verhofstadt via Twitter rejected involving finance ministers, however, concerned that the parliament might be sidelined.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte speaks with Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during a meeting on the sidelines of the first face-to-face EU summit since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium July 18, 2020. Francisco Seco/Pool via REUTERS

“The recovery fund cannot be a pretext to undermine EU democracy,” he said.

NEW PROPOSALS

The leaders of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and the Commission also held talks, meeting in a format once used to discuss Greek debt relief, an issue that dogged the bloc for years.

European Council President Charles Michel, who chaired the summit, then circulated new proposals seen by Reuters which tried to resolve the Dutch demands.

“In the end this is a package and there are many more issues to solve. But the proposal on governance as put forward by Michel is a serious step in the right direction,” a Dutch diplomat said in reaction.

“Many issues remain and whether we get there will depend on the next 24 hours.”

The exact size of the new EU budget and how far to use payouts as leverage for reforms, or whether to withhold money from countries that fail to live up to democratic standards, were still to be resolved.

A senior diplomat said: “The key question now is whether… we can move on to other issues. There will still need to be a discussion on volume, and that’s before we get into the rule of law.”Slideshow (2 Images)

Hungary, backed by its eurosceptic, nationalist ally Poland, threatened to veto the whole package over a new envisaged mechanism to freeze out countries flouting democratic principles.

Under the new proposals, the portion of grants in the 750 billion euro recovery fund would be reduced to 450 billion euros from 500 billion.

They also call for an ‘emergency brake’ on disbursement of funds, to appease states who want conditions attached to grants and would prefer to see those countries worst affected by the coronavirus crisis take loans.

The proposals would also increase rebates on the multi-year EU budget for Austria, Denmark and Sweden.

“We are not at the end of the negotiation, but this at least provides a basis for negotiation,” a second EU diplomat said.

Reporting by Kate Abnett, John Chalmers, Robin Emmott, Marine Strauss, Gabriela Baczynska and Francesco Guarascio in Brussels, Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Bart Meijer in Amsterdam, Jan Lopatka in Prague; Writing by Robin Emmott and Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Angus MacSwan and Jason NeelyOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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