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Chicago shooting of rapper likely targeted, police say

Rapper's shooting targeted

A man who was fatally shot as he stood with another man on one of Chicago's most fashionable streets was a local rapper, police said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office identified the man as 26-year-old Carlton Weekly of the suburb of Markham. Chicago police spokesperson Tom Ahern on Wednesday confirmed media reports that Weekly was a local rapper who performed under the name FBG Duck.

Ahern said that detectives believe that Tuesday's shooting, in which a 36-year-old man who was standing with Weekly and a 28-year-old woman who was nearby were injured, was a planned attack in which either Weekly or the other man were “targeted.”

The shooting happened in the Gold Coast neighbourhood on Oak Street, which is known for its clothing boutiques and other high-end retail, including several jewelry stores. According to police, two men climbed from two dark-colored vehicles and opened fire before getting back into the cars and driving off.

Ahern said detectives were interviewing possible witnesses and examining surveillance video footage of the shooting, as well as searching for the two cars.



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UK judge: Meghan's friends can stay anonymous in privacy case

Royal friends under wraps

A British judge ruled Wednesday that the Duchess of Sussex can keep the names of five close friends secret while she brings a privacy invasion lawsuit against a British newspaper — but he chided both sides in the case for playing out their battle in the media as well as the courtroom.

High Court judge Mark Warby agreed, “for the time being at least," to grant Meghan's request to protect the anonymity of friends who defended her in the pages of a U.S. magazine in order to spare them a “frenzy of publicity” before the case comes to a full trial.

The former Meghan Markle is suing the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline website over five articles that published portions of a handwritten letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, after her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018.

Meghan, 39, is seeking damages from publisher Associated Newspapers Ltd. for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and data protection breaches.

The duchess asked the judge to prohibit publishing details of female friends who spoke anonymously to People magazine to condemn the alleged bullying she had received from the media. She argued that the friends were not parties to the case and had a “basic right to privacy.”

The women’s names are included in a confidential court document, but they have been identified in public only as A to E.

Associated Newspapers’ attorney Antony White said during a court hearing last week that the friends were potential witnesses, and keeping their names secret “would be a heavy curtailment of the media’s and the defendant’s entitlement to report this case, and the public’s right to know about it.”

The judge acknowledged he had to balance “the competing demands of confidentiality and open justice.”

Warby ruled in favour of anonymity, saying it would serve justice by shielding Meghan's friends from the “glare of publicity.”

“Generally, it does not help the interests of justice if those involved in litigation are subjected to, or surrounded by, a frenzy of publicity,” he said.

But he added that when it comes to a full trial, “that is a price that may have to be paid in the interests of transparency."

No date has been set for the full trial, which is expected to start next year and will likely be one of the United Kingdom's highest-profile civil cases in some time.

The judge said that during the pretrial wrangling, each side had “overstated its case” and made “hyperbolic assertions” about the other.

“Both sides have demonstrated an eagerness to play out the merits of their dispute in public, outside the courtroom, primarily in media reports," Warby said. “That approach to litigation has little to do with enabling public scrutiny of the legal process, or enhancing the due administration of justice.”

Associated Newspapers, which is contesting the duchess's privacy-infringement claim, says it was Meghan’s friends who brought the letter into the public domain by describing it in the People article. One told the magazine that the duchess had written: “Dad, I’m so heartbroken. I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimizing me through the media so we can repair our relationship.”

The publisher's lawyers argue that the information about the letter must have come “directly or indirectly” from Meghan.

They say Thomas Markle then revealed the letter to the Mail to correct the false impression Meghan’s friends had given about him to People.

Meghan's attorneys say the duchess was unaware her friends were speaking to the magazine. They say the anonymous interviews were arranged by one of the five friends, who was concerned about the toll media criticism was taking on the duchess, pregnant at the time with her first child.

Mark Stephens, a media lawyer at London legal firm Howard Kennedy, said Wednesday's ruling was important because the case hinged on “whether or not Meghan, through her friends, curated an attack on Thomas Markle."

“If they did, he was entitled to respond by giving the letter or extracts of the letter to the Mail on Sunday,” Stephens said.



Resident describes Beirut blast that shook Lebanon

'Felt like an earthquake'

Philippe Tawileh was with his wife and children watching television after dinner when they heard a blast and felt the house shake.

The family of five who live in Byblos (Jbeil), about 40 kilometres north of Beirut in Lebanon, rushed to look out the window but couldn't see anything, Tawileh said in a WhatsApp interview Tuesday night.

"We felt like an earthquake and we heard the blast. It was very loud, big, huge."

That's when he turned on the news while simultaneously scrolling through his social media to find out what was happening.

Tawileh's 22-month-old son, Alexandre, was born in Montreal and is a Canadian citizen. His two other children are nine-year-old Andrew and eight-year-old Adriana.

His wife, Rawane Dagher, who is a pediatrician, recently accepted a job at a hospital in Montreal. They are waiting for their documents to immigrate, which have been delayed by the pandemic, he said. His parents and brother live in Quebec.

The massive explosion rocked Beirut Tuesday, flattening much of the city's port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. More than 70 people were killed and 3,000 injured, with bodies buried in the rubble, officials said.

The blast struck with the force of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, according to Germany’s geosciences centre GFZ, and it was heard and felt as far away as Cyprus more than 200 kilometres across the Mediterranean.

Global Affairs Canada said in a statement that it is closely monitoring the "tragic situation" in Beirut. It has received one request for consular assistance.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said a member of the Canadian Forces suffered non-life threatening injuries.

"We are providing support to the member," Sajjan said in a post on Twitter. "I wish them a speedy recovery."

The federal government says there are 10,996 Canadians in Lebanon who are registered in the Registration of Canadians Abroad database. However, as registration is voluntary, this is not a complete picture of Canadians in the country.

What caused the detonation was not immediately clear. Videos showed what appeared to be a fire erupting nearby just before the blast. Local TV stations reported that a fireworks warehouse was involved. The fire appeared to spread to a nearby building, triggering the more massive explosion, generating a shock wave.

A former Montrealer is among those who died in the blast.

Nizar Najarian lived many years in Montreal. The businessman had recently returned to his home country to get involved in politics.

Aref Salem, a Montreal city councillor, confirmed Najarian's passing.

Salem, a friend of the victim, said his wife and two children still live in Montreal.

"His wife left two weeks ago for a visit and his two children will leave tomorrow for the funeral," Salem said in an interview.



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Dramatic video shows massive explosion in Beirut at fireworks storage facility

Death toll climbs to over 70

UPDATE 4:25 p.m.

A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the city's port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. More than 70 people were killed and 3,000 injured, with bodies buried in the rubble, officials said.

The blast struck with the force of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, according to Germany’s geosciences centre GFZ, and it was heard and felt as far away as Cyprus more than 200 kilometres (180 miles) across the Mediterranean.

The sudden devastation overwhelmed a country already struggling with both the coronavirus pandemic and an economic crisis. For hours afterward, ambulances rushing in from around Lebanon carried away the wounded. Hospitals quickly filled beyond capacity, pleading for blood supplies, and generators to keep their lights on.

For blocks around the port, where the explosion took place, bloodied residents staggered through streets lined with overturned cars and littered with rubble from shattered buildings. Windows and doors were blown out kilometres (miles) away. Army helicopters helped battle fires raging at Beirut’s port.

The cause of the blast was not immediately known, but initial reports suggested a fire had detonated a warehouse at the port.

Abbas Ibrahim, chief of Lebanese General Security, said it might have been caused by highly explosive material that was confiscated from a ship some time ago and stored at the port. Local television channel LBC said the material was sodium nitrate. Witnesses reported seeing a strange orange-colored cloud like that which appears when toxic nitrogen dioxide gas is released after an explosion involving nitrates.

The explosion came amid ongoing tensions between Israel and the Hezbollah military group on Lebanon's southern border. Many residents reported hearing planes overhead just before the blast, fueling rumours of an attack, though Israeli military overflights are common. An Israeli government official said Israel “had nothing to do” with the blast. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the news media. Israeli officials usually do not comment on “foreign reports.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo extended his “deepest condolences” to the people of Beirut and said the United States is closely monitoring the situation. “Our team in Beirut has reported to me the extensive damage to a city and a people that I hold dear, an additional challenge in a time of already deep crisis,” Pompeo said in a written statement.

The blast was stunning even for a city that has seen civil war, suicide bombings and bombardment by Israel.

“It was a real horror show. I haven’t seen anything like that since the days of the (civil) war,” said Marwan Ramadan, who was about 500 metres (yards) from the port and was knocked off his feet by the force of the explosion.

Health Minister Hassan Hamad said the preliminary toll was more than 70 dead and more than 3,000 wounded. Emergency teams streamed in from across Lebanon to help, and the injured had to be taken to hospitals outside the capital. Hamad added that hospitals were barely coping and offers of aid were pouring in from Arab states and friends of Lebanon.

Beirut’s governor, Marwan Abboud, broke into tears as he toured the site, exclaiming, “Beirut is a devastated city.” Prime Minister Hassan Diab vowed that “those responsible will pay.”

Initially, video taken by residents showed a fire raging at the port, sending up a giant column of smoke, illuminated by flashes of what appeared to be fireworks. Local TV stations reported that a fireworks warehouse was involved. The fire then appeared to spread to a nearby building, triggering a more massive explosion, sending up a mushroom cloud and generating a shock wave.

One of Israel’s top bomb experts, Boaz Hayoun, said fireworks could have been a factor setting off the bigger blast. “Before the big explosion, ... in the centre of the fire, you can see sparks, you can hear sounds like popcorn and you can hear whistles,” said Hayoun, owner of the Tamar Group, which works closely with the Israeli government on safety and certification issues involving explosives. “This is very specific behaviour of fireworks.”

Charbel Haj, who works at the port, said it started as small explosions like firecrackers. Then, he said, he was thrown off his feet by the huge blast. His clothes were torn.

Some of those injured lay on the ground at the port, Associated Press staff at the scene said. A civil defence official said there were still bodies inside the port, many under debris.


UPDATE 1:50 p.m.

A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. More than 60 people were killed and more than 3,000 injured, with bodies buried in the rubble, officials said.


UPDATE 11:40 a.m.

A massive explosion rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital.

Lebanese Red Cross official Georges Kettaneh said there were dead and wounded, but did not have an exact figure, just saying there were hundreds of casualties.

An Israeli government official says Israel “had nothing to do” with the blast.

Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group are bitter enemies, and tensions have been high following a series of recent clashes. Earlier Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hezbollah Israel would not hesitate to strike again if it felt it was necessary.

But late Tuesday, the Israeli official said Israel was not involved in the Beirut explosion. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.


ORIGINAL 9:40 a.m.

Massive explosions rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital. Witnesses saw many people injured by flying glass and debris.

An Associated Press photographer near the port saw people lying injured on the ground, and hospitals called for blood donations, but exact casualties were not immediately known.

Miles from the scene of the blast, balconies were knocked down, ceiling collapsed and windows were shattered.

The cause of the blast was not immediately clear. It came at a time when Lebanon is passing through its worst economic and financial crisis in decades.

It also comes amid rising tensions between Israel and the militant Hezbollah group along Lebanon's southern border.

Online video showed a column of smoke rising from the port area from what appeared to be an initial explosion, followed by a massive blast that sent up a mushroom cloud and a shock wave racing over the city.

Some local TV stations reported the blast was at Beirut’s port inside an area where fireworks were stored.



Neil Young sues Trump campaign, deriding use of famous tunes

Neil Young sues Trump

Neil Young sued President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign Tuesday for copyright infringement, saying he doesn’t want his music used as a theme song for a “divisive un-American campaign of ignorance and hate."

The Grammy-award winning Canadian-born musician filed the lawsuit through his lawyers in Manhattan federal court, seeking up to $150,000 in statutory damages for each infringement.

A message seeking comment was left with a campaign spokesperson.

The legendary singer cited repeated use of two songs: “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk.”

The campaign has used the tunes numerous times at rallies and political events, including on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the lawsuit said.

Young said he was not suing to “disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing," the lawsuit said.

“However," it added, “Plaintiff in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song' for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate."

Young first complained about the use of the 1990 single, “Rockin’ in the Free World,” in June 2015, when the song accompanied Trump's announcement of his presidential campaign, according to the lawsuit.

The campaign's insistence in a statement then that it had obtained permission to use the music only proved that it was aware it needed permission, the lawsuit said.

It said Young has voiced continuous and public objections to the use of the music.

“The campaign has wilfully ignored Plaintiff's telling it not to play the Songs and wilfully proceeded to play the Songs despite its lack of a license," according to the lawsuit.

New York attorney Ivan Saperstein, who filed the lawsuit on Young's behalf along with attorney Robert S. Besser of Santa Monica, California, declined comment.

On July 3, Young lodged a complaint on the “Neil Young Archives" website, where a copy of Tuesday's lawsuit was also posted, after Trump visited Mount Rushmore for an event.

“I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me," he said in support of over 100 protesters who forced the closing of a road leading to the landmark.

He complained after “Like a Hurricane" and other songs were played when Trump visited the site.

“Imagine what it feels like to hear ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ after this President speaks, like it is his theme song,” Young said on the website. “I did not write it for that.”

Other artists have also complained after their songs were played at Trump’s events.

In June, the Rolling Stones threatened to sue after the 1969 classic “You Can't Always Get What You Want" was played at Trump's Oklahoma rally, where critics said the indoor event threatened to spread the coronavirus.

The family of the late rock musician Tom Petty said it had issued a cease-and-desist order after Trump used the song “I Won’t Back Down?" in Tulsa.

“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,? the statement said.



Malaysia police raid Al Jazeera's office, seize computers

Police raid Al Jazeera

Malaysian police raided the office of news broadcaster Al Jazeera and two local TV stations on Tuesday, seizing computers as part of an investigation into a documentary on undocumented migrants that enraged the government.

Al Jazeera, a Qatari-state owned broadcaster, said in a statement that police seized two computers during the raid, which it called a “troubling escalation" in a government crackdown on media freedom. It urged Malaysian authorities to cease the criminal investigation.

Police opened an investigation last month into the Al Jazeera documentary on the treatment of undocumented migrants after officials complained it was inaccurate and biased. Seven Al Jazeera staff members have been grilled by police as part of the probe for alleged sedition, defamation and violating the Communications and Multimedia Act.

Police obtained court warrants to search the offices of Al Jazeera as well as local broadcasters Astro and Unifitv, criminal investigation chief Huzir Mohamed said in a statement. The two local TV stations had reportedly aired the video.

Huzir said the raids were conducted jointly with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, which is also investigating the stations.

He said police seized computers which will be sent for further analysis and took statements from witnesses during the raids. “No individual or entity will be spared from action if they have violated the law," he said.

Al Jazeera said the raid was “an attack on press freedom as a whole" and urged Malaysian authorities to cease the criminal investigation.

“Conducting a raid on our office and seizing computers is a troubling escalation in the authorities’ crackdown on media freedom and shows the lengths they are prepared to take to try to intimidate journalists,” said Giles Trendle, managing director of Al Jazeera English.

“Al Jazeera stands by our journalists and we stand by our reporting. Our staff did their jobs and they’ve got nothing to answer for or apologize for. Journalism is not a crime," he said.

The documentary, titled “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown,” investigated undocumented immigrants it said were at risk during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 2,000 migrant workers were arrested during raids in areas in Kuala Lumpur that were placed under tight virus lockdowns.

Malaysian authorities also detained a Bangladeshi man interviewed in the documentary after revoking his work permit, and said they will deport him for criticizing the government over its handling of undocumented migrants.

“The authorities’ relentless pursuit of Al Jazeera seems to be driven by a desire to punish journalists who aired Malaysia’s dirty laundry rather than a good faith application of the law,” said Matthew Bugher, head of the Asia program of British-based rights group ARTICLE 19.

He said Malaysia should investigate the rights violations shown in the documentary instead of targeting the filmmakers.

Rights activists have voiced concern over a clampdown on freedom of speech and media independence under new Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who took power in March.

Astro was recently fined for airing an Al Jazeera documentary in 2015 about the 2006 murder of a Mongolian woman that allegedly contained “offensive content.”

Popular online news portal Malaysiakini and its editor face rare contempt proceedings from the attorney general over comments posted by readers against the judiciary. Police also questioned an activist about a social media post alleging mistreatment of refugees at immigration detention centres.

A journalist from the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post was also questioned earlier about her reporting on migrant arrests.



3 men rescued from tiny Pacific island after writing SOS in sand

Island castaways rescued

Three men have been rescued from a tiny Pacific island after writing a giant SOS sign in the sand that was spotted from above, authorities say.

The men had been missing in the Micronesia archipelago for nearly three days when their distress signal was spotted Sunday on uninhabited Pikelot Island by searchers on Australian and U.S. aircraft, the Australian defence department said Monday.

The men had apparently set out from Pulawat atoll in a seven-metre boat on July 30 and had intended to travel about 43 kilometres to Pulap atoll when they sailed off course and ran out of fuel, the department said.

Searchers in Guam asked for Australian help. The military ship, Canberra, which was returning to Australia from exercises in Hawaii, diverted to the area and joined forces with U.S. searchers from Guam.

The men were found about 190 km from where they had set out.

“I am proud of the response and professionalism of all on board as we fulfil our obligation to contribute to the safety of life at sea wherever we are in the world," said the Canberra’s commanding officer, Capt. Terry Morrison, in a statement.

The men were found in good condition, and an Australian military helicopter was able to land on the beach and give them food and water. A Micronesian patrol vessel was due to pick them up.



Tropical Storm Isaias drives wild weather up Interstate 95

Tropical Storm Isaias lands

Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain along the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday after making landfall as a hurricane in North Carolina, where it smashed boats together and caused floods and fires that displaced dozens of people. At least one person was killed when one of its twisters hit a mobile home park.

Nearly 12 hours after coming ashore, Isaias was still sustaining near-hurricane-strength top winds of 70 mph (110 kph) late Tuesday morning, and its forward march accelerated to 35 mph (56 kph). “Potentially life-threatening urban flooding is possible in D.C., Baltimore and elsewhere along and just west of the I-95 corridor today,” the National Hurricane Center warned.

Forecasters also issued clear warnings earlier, as Isaias approached land, urging people to heed the danger of “life-threatening storm surge inundation” along the coasts of North and South Carolina.

Some veterans of earlier storms were under the impression nevertheless that their areas would be spared.

Royce Potter, a fifth-generation seafood purveyor and owner of Potter’s Seafood in Southport, said he rode out the storm on a boat docked near his business, which was damaged by the wind and water.

“They got this wrong,” Potter said, visibly shaken. “I’ve ridden storms out here for years.”

The storm surge and wind damage actually matched what the hurricane centre predicted, leaving dozens of boats piled up against the docks, and many decks facing out on the water were smashed.

One person was killed and several others were unaccounted for after a tornado destroyed 10 mobile homes in Windsor, North Carolina, according to Bertie County Sheriff John Holley.

An aerial shot by WRAL-TV showed fields of debris where rescue workers in brightly colored shirts picked through splintered boards and other wreckage. Nearby, a vehicle was flipped onto its roof, its tires pointed up in the air.

“It doesn’t look real, it looks like something on TV. Nothing is there,” Holley told reporters. “All my officers are down there at this time. Pretty much the entire trailer park is gone.”

The hurricane's eye moved over land near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, just after 11 p.m. on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (136 km/h). Many homes were flooded and at least five caught fire in the city, Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT-TV, and firefighters from Horry County, South Carolina crossed the state line to help out, their spokesman, Tony Casey, told The Associated Press.

Forecasters expected the storm to hold its strength and spin off damaging winds on a path into New England Tuesday night.

“We don’t think there is going to be a whole lot of weakening, we still think there’s going to be very strong and gusty winds that will affect much of the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast over the next day or two,” hurricane specialist Robbie Berg told The Associated Press.

Tornadoes were confirmed by the national weather service in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware and New Jersey. Power outages also spread as trees fell, with more than 600,000 customers losing electricity, most of them in North Carolina and Virginia, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks utility reports.

Isaias (pronounced ees-ah-EE-ahs) toggled between tropical storm and hurricane strength throughout its path to the U.S. coast, killing two people in the Caribbean and trashing the Bahamas before brushing past Florida.

Most of the significant damage seemed to be east and north of where the hurricane's eye struck land.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday morning that Brunswick, Pender and Onslow counties, along North Carolina's southeast coast, were among the hardest hit with storm surge, structure fires and reports of tornadoes. About two dozen shelters were open due to the storm, he said.

Eileen and David Hubler were out early Tuesday cleaning up in North Myrtle Beach, where the storm surge topped four feet (1.2 metres), flooding cars, unhinging docks and etching a water line into the side of their home.

“When the water started coming, it did not stop,” she told the Associated Press. They had moved most items of value to their second floor, but a mattress and washing machine were unexpected storm casualties. Eileen Hubler said Isaias’ incoming wrath was downplayed, and she wishes she would have followed her gut.

“We keep thinking we’ve learned our lesson. And each time there’s a hurricane, we learn a new lesson. The new lesson is you never trust that you’re going to have a two-foot (0.6 metre) storm surge,” she said.

On North Carolina's Oak Island, deputies had to rescue five adults and three children after the storm hit, causing damage along the beachfront and knocking electricity and sewer facilities offline, authorities said.

Further up the coast, about 30 people were displaced by a fire at a condominium complex in Surf City, news outlets reported. It wasn't immediately clear if the fires were connected to the storm. No injuries have been reported.

And in Suffolk, Virginia, near the coast, multiple homes were damaged by falling trees, and city officials received reports of a possible tornado. A fire station downtown sustained damage including broken window. A photo posted by city officials showed a pile of bricks lying next to a damaged business.

Coastal shops and restaurants had closed early in the Carolinas, where power began to flicker at oceanfront hotels and even the most adventurous of beachgoers abandoned the sand Monday night. The Hurricane Center warned oceanside home dwellers to brace for storm surge up to 5 feet (1.5 metres) and up to 8 inches (20 centimetres) of rain in spots.

As the storm neared the shore, a gauge on a pier in Myrtle Beach recorded its third highest water level since it was set up in 1976. Only Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016 pushed more salt water inland.



Kanye West submits petitions to appear on Arkansas ballot

Kanye seeks Arkansas nod

Rapper Kanye West on Monday filed signatures to appear on the Arkansas ballot this fall as an independent presidential candidate.

Representatives of West submitted 1,723 signatures with the secretary of state's office, which has 10 days to verify that he's submitted the 1,000 signatures from registered voters required to appear on the Arkansas ballot.

West, who once backed Republican President Donald Trump, announced last month that he had broken with Trump and would launch his own presidential bid.

West has since submitted paperwork to appear on the ballot in neighbouring Oklahoma. A formal complaint was filed in New Jersey last week challenging the signatures he submitted to appear on that state's ballot.

West's wife, reality TV star and beauty mogul Kim Kardashian West, asked the public on social media last month to show compassion and empathy toward her husband because he is bipolar.

Arkansas is a solidly Republican state that Trump won easily in 2016.



Danish prince discharged after brain surgery in France

Prince out of hospital

Prince Joachim, the younger son of Queen Margrethe of Denmark, has been discharged after undergoing emergency surgery in France last month for a blood clot in his brain, the palace said Tuesday.

The 51-year-old prince, who had been on vacation, was admitted to the Toulouse University Hospital on July 24.

“It is now the assessment of the doctors that the Prince’s health has improved to such an extent that His Royal Highness can be discharged,” Lene Balleby, a spokeswoman for the royal household, said in a statement.

The prince is now residing at his mother’s private summer residence of Chateau de Cayx in southwestern France.

Earlier the palace said the blood clot “was due to a sudden dissection of an artery,” and doctors assessed that the risk of recurrence “is very small when the artery has healed.”

Joachim is sixth in line to Denmark’s throne after his elder brother, Crown Prince Frederik, and his brother’s four children.



Prosecutor seeking Trump's taxes cites probe of his business

Trump tax returns sought

A New York City prosecutor fighting to get President Donald Trump’s tax returns told a judge Monday he was justified in demanding them because of public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.”

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. is seeking eight years of the Republican president’s personal and corporate tax records, but has disclosed little about what prompted him to request the records, other than part of the investigation related to payoffs to two women to keep them quiet about alleged affairs with Trump.

In a court filing Monday, attorneys for Vance, a Democrat, said the president wasn't entitled to know the exact nature of the grand jury probe, which they called a “complex financial investigation.”

They noted, though, that at the time the subpoena for the tax filings was issued to Trump's accountants, “there were public allegations of possible criminal activity” at the president's company “dating back over a decade.”

They cited several newspaper articles, including one in which the Washington Post examined allegations that Trump had a practice of sending financial statements to potential business partners and banks that inflated the worth of his projects by claiming they were bigger or more potentially lucrative than they actually were.

Another article described congressional testimony by Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who said the president would overstate the value of his business interests to impress people or lenders, but then deflate the value of assets when trying to reduce his taxes.

The attorneys also cited reports of past non-criminal investigations by New York regulators into whether the conduct described by Cohen amounted to bank or insurance fraud.

“These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate actors based in New York County, but whose conduct at times extended beyond New York’s borders. This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct,” the lawyers said.

Trump's legal team has argued that the subpoena for his tax filings was issued in bad faith and amounted to harassment of the president.

Speaking to reporters later Monday, Trump called the district attorney's investigation another attempt by Democrats to damage him.

“This is just a continuation of the witch hunt. It’s Democrat stuff. They failed with Mueller. They failed with everything. They failed with Congress. They failed at every stage of the game. This has been going on for three and a half, four years," Trump said, referring to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.



Spain's former king leaving country amid financial scandal

Former king flees in scandal

Spain’s former monarch, Juan Carlos I, is leaving Spain to live in another, unspecified, country amid a financial scandal, according to a letter published on the royal family's website Monday.

The letter from Juan Carlos to his son, King Felipe VI, said: “I am informing you of my considered decision to move, during this period, out of Spain.”

Juan Carlos, in the letter, said he made the decision against the backdrop of “public repercussions of certain episodes of my past private life.”

He said he wanted to ensure he doesn’t make his son’s role difficult, adding that “my legacy, and my own dignity, demand that it should be so.” Juan Carlos' current whereabouts were not known.

Spain’s prime minister recently said he found the developments about Juan Carlos -- including investigations in Spain and Switzerland -- “disturbing.”

Since Spain’s Supreme Court opened its probe earlier this year, Spanish media outlets have published damaging testimony from a separate Swiss investigation into millions of euros (dollars) that were allegedly given to Juan Carlos by Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah.

Juan Carlos allegedly then transferred a large amount to a former companion in what investigators are considering as a possible attempt to hide the money from authorities. The companion, Corinna Larsen, is a Danish-German businesswoman long linked by Spanish media to the former king. Spanish prosecutors have asked her to provide testimony in the case in September in Madrid.

The 82-year-old former king is credited with helping Spain peacefully restore democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

But marred by scandals in the later years of his reign, Juan Carlos in 2014 abdicated in favour of his son Felipe VI, losing the immunity from prosecution Spain’s Constitution grants to the head of state.

After media reports claimed Felipe was a beneficiary of an offshore account holding an alleged 65 million-euro gift ( $76 million) from Saudi Arabia to Juan Carlos, Felipe renounced any future personal inheritance he might receive from the former king. Felipe also stripped his father of his annual stipend of 194,232 euros ($228,000.)

The royal house has denied that Felipe had any knowledge of his father’s alleged financial irregularities.

The royal website said in a statement that Felipe respected his father’s decision.

Felipe acknowledged the historic importance of his father’s reign, the statement said, but also “reaffirmed the principles and values on which it stood, in the framework of our Constitution and the rest of our legal system.”

A statement from Spain’s general prosecutor’s office in June said it was investigating whether Juan Carlos received millions of dollars in kickbacks from Saudi Arabia during the construction of a high-speed railway there by a Spanish consortium.



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