Nation and world news briefs

Tribune Content Agency

Trump flips, now encourages Michigan residents to vote absentee

DETROIT — In an about face on mail-in voting in Michigan, President Donald Trump took to Twitter Monday to encourage voters to request absentee ballots and vote early.

Trump’s latest messaging on mail-in voting marks a mercurial swing from May, when the president threatened to withhold funding from Michigan after Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson mailed absentee ballot applications to all of Michigan’s 7.7 million qualified voters.

Last week, the president criticized Benson over a mistake on more than 400 overseas ballots that listed a Libertarian candidate as Trump’s running mate instead of Vice President Mike Pence. The state caught and corrected its mistake within an hour and a half of it occurring.

Political observers have predicted Trump’s earlier criticisms of mail-in voting could lead to lost votes in November in a state where he won by a narrow 10,704 vote margin in 2016.

In recent weeks, Trump’s surrogates have increasingly encouraged mail-in voting, including his son Eric Trump. The gradual warming to absentee voting appeared to culminate in Trump’s Monday tweet.

“Attention MICHIGAN! Early voting has started AND absentee ballots are being mailed out. Take advantage of the early voting and absentee calendar,” he wrote in a tweet that included a link to the state’s Michigan Voter Information Center.

Trump posted a similar tweet Monday addressed to voters in New Hampshire.

Nearly 2.3 million people have requested absentee ballots ahead of the November election and Benson has estimated the number could grow to 3 million by Nov.3.

—The Detroit News


Monica Lewinsky says she’s more scared of the government now than during Clinton scandal

She survived one of the worst public shamings of all time — now she’s more scared than ever.

“Just realized I am more scared of our government now than I was in 1998. And that’s saying a lot. A. LOT,” Monica Lewinsky said in a Monday Twitter post that quickly went viral.

Lewinsky, 47, has a whole White House scandal — not to mention “over 125 rap songs” — with her name attached.

Her entire life imploded, making her the butt of countless late night talk show jokes, when her sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton went public in the late 1990s and was graphically described in the Starr Report.

She was 22 when the affair started, while Clinton was her 49-year-old boss.

Lewinsky has since become a social activist speaking out against cyberbullying.

In Twitter posts leading up to her Monday message, she made it clear she’s intensely worried about the upcoming election — including what will happen with the Supreme Court vacancy left by the Friday death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“I would love to know what the other justices — some of whom knew Justice Ginsburg for decades — think should be done with her dying wish? And what would they want if the president in office were of a different political party?” Lewinsky tweeted Sunday.

“OK, smart legal twitter … can #MerrickGarland sue for ‘hiring discrimination’ if/when they try to fill the seat?” she tweeted Saturday.

Ginsburg, the court’s second female justice after Sandra Day O’Connor, passed away at her Washington home at age 87 on Friday due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.

—New York Daily News


Barr, Ivanka Trump announce $100 million in federal grants to fight human trafficking

ATLANTA — U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Ivanka Trump visited Atlanta on Monday to announce more than $100 million in federal grants for combating human trafficking across the nation, calling it a criminal scourge that must be stamped out.

The announcement came on the same day Barr labeled New York City, Seattle and Portland, Oregon anarchic cities, part of the Trump administration’s threat to cut off federal grants to municipalities that are “permitting violence, anarchy and destruction” amid the nationwide protests for racial justice.

Barr’s actions are in keeping with President Donald Trump’s law-and-order campaign theme. Recent polls show a tight race between him and former Vice President Joe Biden in Georgia, and Republicans worry Trump would have no clear path to victory if he loses the Peach State.

Trump’s son Eric shared the stage last week with evangelical pastors in Atlanta’s northern suburbs to tout his father’s campaign. A day earlier, Dr. Jill Biden “virtually” traveled to Georgia to talk about her husband’s plan to help military veterans.

Speaking at the U.S. attorney’s office in downtown Atlanta, Barr said the federal grants he announced would support local, tribal and state jurisdictions, services for victims and research programs.

“Aside from financial support,” Barr said, “the Justice Department will continue to use the full force of the law and our enforcement resources to investigate, prosecute and punish the people behind this criminal scourge.”

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, appeared with Barr at a discussion with state and federal law enforcement officials after touring the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, a nonprofit agency.

The president, she said, “is committed to combating this crime, committed to bringing justice to the victims ? to their families ? and committed to holistic healing that is so necessary for the brave survivors.”

She also highlighted “Operation Not Forgotten,” a two-week effort that found 39 missing children in Georgia and resulted in nine arrests last month, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.