Corporate chiefs flee Trump; he disbands WH advisory panels NEW YORK (AP) - With corporate chieftains fleeing, President Donald Trump abruptly abolished two of his White House business councils Wednesday - the latest fallout from his combative comments on racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump announced the action via tweet, although only after one of the panels had already agreed to disband earlier in the day. A growing number of business leaders on the councils had openly criticized his remarks laying blame for the violence at a white supremacists rally on "both sides." "Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both.
Charlottesville victim's mother urges 'righteous action' CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The mother of the young woman mowed down while protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville urged mourners at a memorial service Wednesday to "make my child's death worthwhile" by confronting injustice the way she did. "They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her," said Susan Bro, receiving a standing ovation from the hundreds who packed a downtown theater to remember 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Heyer's death Saturday - and President Donald Trump's insistence that "both sides" bear responsibility for the violence - continued to reverberate across the country, triggering fury among many Americans and soul-searching about the state of race relations in the U.S.
Charlottesville violence revives painful past for minorities Bernard Lafayette fought to end segregation during the civil rights movement. But after watching events in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend and hearing President Donald Trump blame both sides for the deadly violence, he realized that changing laws did not change enough hearts and minds. "It was below the surface," said Lafayette, the 77-year-old chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. "It was always there. It never left. People are coming out again and expressing their racist feelings." Minorities who came to the United States in search of a better life or who fought for equality were dispirited to see their fellow citizens fighting to preserve the legacy of the Confederacy and displaying Nazi symbols.
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Business execs shunned Trump panels before he disbanded them WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump had pushed many of America's top corporate leaders to the breaking point with his inability to decisively condemn white supremacists - so they huddled on an 11:30 a.m. conference call Wednesday. The frustrated members of the White House policy forum - which included executives from General Electric, Wal-Mart, General Motors, Boeing, IBM and JPMorgan Chase - chose to dissolve their advisory panel. The White House was then phoned and Trump agreed that it was the right course of action, according to four people familiar with the talks who insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations.
Republican leaders dance around Trump remarks NEW YORK (AP) - One after another, the nation's most powerful Republicans responded to President Donald Trump's extraordinary remarks about white supremacists. Yet few mentioned the president. The Senate's top Republican, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, condemned "hate and bigotry." House Speaker Paul Ryan charged that, "White supremacy is repulsive." Neither criticized the president's insistence that there were "very fine people on both sides" of a violent weekend clash between white supremacists and counterdemonstrators. The nuanced statements reflect the party establishment's delicate dance. Few top Republican officeholders defended the president in the midst of an escalating political crisis. Yet they are unwilling to declare all-out war against Trump and risk alienating his loyalists.
10 Commandments judge forces runoff in Alabama Senate race MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Ousted Chief Justice Roy Moore rode his horse "Sassy" into a sweet runoff spot against Sen. Luther Strange, and now gets to play usurper to deep-pocketed Republican forces in Alabama's Senate primary. Evangelical voters cherish Moore as a culture-war icon after he was twice stripped of his chief justice duties, for refusing to remove a biblical monument he installed in a state judiciary building and for resisting federal gay marriage rulings. And Moore is relishing his opportunity to repudiate what he calls "silk-stocking Washington elitists" with an anti-establishment campaign against the candidate backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Federal court: Arkansas can block Planned Parenthood money LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal appeals court panel ruled Wednesday that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, two years after the state ended its contract with the group over videos secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group. In a 2-1 ruling, an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel vacated preliminary injunctions a federal judge issued preventing the state from suspending any Medicaid payments for services rendered to patients from Planned Parenthood. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson ended the state's Medicaid contract with the organization in 2015. The court ruled the unnamed patients suing the state did not have the right to challenge the defunding decision.
AP FACT CHECK: Viral photo doesn't show 'antifa' beating cop A widely spread photo that appears to show an anti-fascist activist beating a police officer is a doctored image. The image showing a man wielding a club and wearing an "antifa" jacket while standing over a downed officer was widely shared after the deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The image has been circulating for several months among those opposed to the antifa movement, which is comprised of far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The image is actually a Getty Images photo taken during a 2009 protest of police in Athens, Greece. An antifa logo was apparently digitally added to the demonstrator's jacket.
Virginia clashes bring attention to anti-fascist movement SEATTLE (AP) - The deadly white nationalist demonstration in Virginia has brought new attention to an anti-fascist movement whose black-clad, bandanna-wearing members have been a regular presence at protests around the country in the last year. Members of the "antifa" movement were among those protesting the Charlottesville rally last weekend. During a combative news conference Tuesday, President Donald Trump did not mention antifa by name but said there was blame "on both sides" for the violence. He said the counter-demonstrators charged at white nationalists with clubs and suggested they also had a hand in escalating the violence. "You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I'll say it right now," Trump said.
Donald Trump's die-hard supporters show no signs of straying NEW YORK (AP) - They wash their hands of neo-Nazis and wag their fingers at leftists. They denounce a press corps they see as biased and controversies they view as manufactured. But in the frenzied blame game over the deadly violence at a rally of white supremacists, Donald Trump's loyal base is happy to absolve the president himself. Even as Trump's zig-zag response to the weekend bloodshed in Charlottesville, Virginia, has brought criticism from some Republican lawmakers, many men and women who helped put him in office remain unmoved by the latest uproar. "He has done nothing to turn me away from him," said Patricia Aleeyah Robinson, of Toledo, Ohio.