Trump child care plan breaks with conservative orthodoxy
ASTON, Pa. (AP) — Donald Trump rolled out a plan Tuesday aimed at making child care more affordable, guaranteeing new mothers six weeks of paid maternity leave and suggesting new incentives for employees to provide their workers childcare. Spurred on by his daughter, Ivanka, Trump waded into topics more often discussed by Democrats.
Trump unveiled the proposals in a speech in a politically critical Philadelphia suburb as he tries to build his appeal with more moderate, independent voters — especially women. Child care is one of the biggest expenses many American families face, surpassing the cost of college and even housing in many states.
“We need working mothers to be fairly compensated for their work, and to have access to affordable, quality child care for their kids,” Trump said in Aston, Pennsylvania. “These solutions must update laws passed more than half a century ago when most women were still not in the labor force.”
Trump proposed guaranteeing six weeks of paid maternity leave to employees whose employers don’t offer leave already. The campaign says the payments would be provided through existing unemployment insurance — though it has yet to spell out how the system would cover those costs.
Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, has called for 12 weeks parental leave for both mothers and fathers paid for by taxes on the wealthy.
Clinton has history of ignoring health _ and paying a price
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — The White House was submerged in scandal. Democrats faced tough midterm elections. And Hillary Clinton, far more popular than her embattled husband, had become a one-woman campaign machine.
But the nonstop travel in 1998 took a toll. Clinton developed a blood clot behind her right knee, prompting the White House doctor to recommend hospitalization and a week of bedrest.
Determined to stay on the campaign trail, Clinton settled on an alternative: A nurse would travel with her to administer the medicine needed to monitor her health. She kept her condition a secret from nearly everyone but her Secret Service detail, alerted only because an injury could have been life-threatening.
“Very few people knew about it at the time,” recalled Dr. Connie Mariano in her autobiography. “Her staff thought she had pulled a muscle exercising.”
Nearly two decades later, Clinton’s desire to work through illness — and penchant for keeping her health secret — has helped cause the most damaging 48-hour period in her presidential campaign and given fresh ammunition to GOP rival Donald Trump. The incident has also stoked long-simmering conservative conspiracy theories about her health and questions about her commitment to openness.
10 Things to Know for Wednesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday:
1. TRUMP ROLLS OUT CHILD CARE, MATERNITY LEAVE PLANS
The proposals to guarantee new mothers six weeks paid maternity leave and make child care more affordable breaks with conservative orthodoxy.
2. CLINTON TO RETURN TO CAMPAIGN TRAIL THURSDAY AFTER PNEUMONIA BOUT
Clinton is scheduled to address the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute dinner in Washington on Thursday evening and appear on “The Tonight Show” Friday.
Political risk for all in Trump-Clinton ‘deplorables’ debate
WASHINGTON (AP) — A war of words over Donald Trump’s “deplorables” is intensifying as Republicans and Democrats fight for political points over Hillary Clinton’s claim that many of the New York billionaire’s supporters are racist, sexist and homophobic.
Trump and his allies across the country insisted Tuesday that the Democratic presidential nominee’s comments reflect an out-of-touch elitist who looks down on working-class voters, akin to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s assertion that 47 percent of Americans would never vote for him because they were dependent on the government. Democrats — and even some Republicans — warned, however, that this debate could backfire on Trump, drawing new attention to white supremacists and hate groups attracted by his “America first” message.
Indeed, former KKK leader David Duke offered fresh praise for the way that Trump and running mate Mike Pence are handling the controversy. But not all Republicans were pleased.
“Let’s remember that, weird as it may seem, a lot of voters are only just now tuning in, so they may not be aware of the fact that David Duke, various KKK organizations, the alt-right en masse, Vladimir Putin and other foreign authoritarian enemies of America — people who really are deplorable — are supporting Trump,” said Liz Mair, a Washington-based Republican operative and a vocal Trump critic.
Speaking to donors in New York City on Friday, Clinton said half of Trump’s supporters were in “a basket of deplorables,” a crowd she described as racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic. Clinton later said she regretted applying that description to “half” of Trump’s backers, but stuck by her assertion that the GOP nominee has given a platform to “hateful views and voices.”
After a decade, UN chief disappointed in many world leaders
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he’s disappointed by many world leaders who care more about retaining power than improving the lives of their people — and can’t understand why Syria is being held hostage to “the destiny” of one man, President Bashar Assad.
Nearing the end of his 10 years at the helm of the United Nations, Ban spoke frankly about the state of the world and his successes, failures and frustrations as U.N. chief in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press.
Ban is the public face of the organization but he said that in private leaders see a very different and much tougher side to him.
“People say I have been quiet, and I have not been speaking out about human rights, but I can tell you I have been speaking out (more) than any of the Western leaders” who “are very cautious,” he said. “You have not seen people as fearlessly speaking out as myself.”
Ban also spoke candidly about his frustration at the way the U.N. operates.
Syrian cease-fire holds as Aleppo awaits relief
BEIRUT (AP) — A cease-fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia brought calm across much of Syria on Tuesday as residents of the northern city of Aleppo awaited an expected aid shipment.
Insurgent groups have expressed misgivings about the cease-fire, which would allow for strikes against a powerful al-Qaida-linked group that fights alongside the rebels. That group, formerly known as the Nusra Front, has condemned the truce, saying the deal is aimed at keeping President Bashar Assad in power.
The Russian military said U.S.-backed rebels have repeatedly violated the cease-fire, with six people killed and 10 wounded in Aleppo since the truce began. It said two Syrian soldiers were killed and another wounded in a separate attack in Aleppo.
Syrian state media reported nearly two dozen violations by insurgents, mostly mortar attacks and sniper shots. It said insurgents attacked power lines in the southern Quneitra region, causing a province-wide blackout.
Syria ceasefire deal rife with legal, liability questions
WASHINGTON (AP) — The deal crafted by the U.S. and Russia to halt the Syrian civil war and focus efforts on rooting out extremists in the country is rife with legal and liability questions that are fueling Pentagon skepticism about military cooperation between the two powers, senior U.S. officials said.
The first hurdle is that Congress has enacted a law prohibiting any military cooperation with Moscow in the wake of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine. That means the deal that Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov agreed to last week in Geneva first needs a waiver from a skeptical Defense Secretary Ash Carter to be legal.
Another nagging question revolves around whether America could be held responsible if a Russian airstrike — approved by the U.S. as part of the military cooperation that is at the heart of the deal — kills civilians. Military and defense leaders question whether Russia will be able to force the Syrian government to uphold the ceasefire. And they worry that Moscow’s lack of precision targeting could result in civilian casualties, even if Russia is attempting to strike Islamic State militants in Syria.
“We conduct military operations with our allies and partners, and Russia is neither,” said Evelyn Farkas, former U.S. deputy assistant defense secretary who is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington. “So, it makes this very fraught with all kinds of risk for us — military and political.”
Neither U.S. nor Russian officials have released the plan, so details are sketchy. But senior U.S. officials said military and intelligence officials and other segments of the administration have serious doubts that Russia will be able to live up to its commitments in the deal, despite Moscow’s long-held desire for military cooperation with the U.S.
Israel’s Peres hospitalized after stroke
JERUSALEM (AP) — Former Israeli President Shimon Peres suffered a “major stroke” on Tuesday and experienced heavy bleeding in the brain, hospital officials said, as doctors raced to stabilize the 93-year-old Nobel laureate.
Dr. Itzik Kreiss, director of the Sheba Medical Center, told reporters outside the hospital near Tel Aviv that Peres experienced “lots of bleeding” as a result of the stroke. He said he had undergone a battery of tests, and that doctors planned to hold another assessment in a few hours.
Standing alongside Kreiss, Peres’ son Chemi said the situation was “not simple,” but that the family was trying to stay positive.
“My father is very special. I am keeping optimistic. Hoping for the best. But these hours are not easy,” he said.
He thanked the Israeli public for offering its support and prayers.
Dakota Access CEO: Company committed to finishing project
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The head of a Texas company building the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline told employees Tuesday that it is committed to the project despite strong opposition and a federal order to voluntarily halt construction near an American Indian reservation in North Dakota.
The memo to employees, which was also released to some media outlets, is the first time in months the company has provided significant details of the four-state, 1,172-mile (1886-km) project.
It came the same day as a planned “day of action” in cities around the U.S. and in other countries, including a rally that drew hundreds in Washington to hear Sen. Bernie Sanders and others speak. Authorities also arrested 22 people for interfering with construction on the pipeline about 70 miles (113 km) northwest of the main protest site near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.
Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren told employee the pipeline is nearly 60 percent complete and that “concerns about the pipeline’s impact on the local water supply are unfounded.” The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others argue the project will impact drinking water for thousands of tribal members and millions downstream.
“I am confident that as long as the government ultimately decides the fate of the project based on science and engineering, the Dakota Access Pipeline will become operational. … So we will continue to obey the rules and trust the process,” he wrote.
WADA says Russian hackers published athletes’ medical data
GENEVA (AP) — Confidential medical data of gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and other female U.S. Olympians was hacked from a World Anti-Doping Agency database and posted online Tuesday.
WADA said the hackers were a “Russian cyber espionage group” called Fancy Bears.
They revealed records of “Therapeutic Use Exemptions” (TUEs), which allow athletes to use otherwise-banned substances because of a verified medical need.
Williams, who won a silver medal in mixed doubles at the Rio Olympics last month, issued a statement via her agent in which she said she was granted TUEs “when serious medical conditions have occurred,” and those exemptions were “reviewed by an anonymous, independent group of doctors, and approved for legitimate medical reasons.”
Williams revealed in 2011 she had been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an energy-sapping disease.