AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT
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Charlottesville driver previously accused of beating mother
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The driver charged with killing a woman at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville was previously accused of beating his mother and threatening her with a knife, according to police records released Monday.
Samantha Bloom, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair, repeatedly called police about her son, James Alex Fields Jr., in 2010 and 2011, telling officers he was on medication to control his temper, transcripts from 911 calls show.
Fields, 20, is accused of ramming his car into a crowd of counter-protesters on Saturday in Charlottesville, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Fields, described by a former high school teacher as an admirer of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, was charged with second-degree murder.
A judge denied him bail Monday after the public defender's office said it couldn't represent him because a relative of someone in the office was injured in Saturday's protest.
White nationalists: Charlottesville just a beginning
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Emboldened and proclaiming victory after a bloody weekend in Virginia, white nationalists are planning more demonstrations to promote their agenda following the violence that left a woman dead and dozens injured.
The University of Florida said white provocateur Richard Spencer, whose appearances sometimes stoke unrest, is seeking permission to speak there next month. And white nationalist Preston Wiginton had said he was planning a "White Lives Matter" rally at Texas A&M University in September, but the university later said it had been
Also, a neo-Confederate group has asked the state of Virginia for permission to rally at a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond on Sept. 16, and other events are likely.
"We're going to be more active than ever before," Matthew Heimbach, a white nationalist leader, said Monday.
James Alex Fields Jr., a young man who was said to idolize Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in high school, was charged with killing a woman by slamming a car into a group of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally Sunday in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Social media harnessed to expose white nationalists at rally
NEW YORK (AP) — One of the social media posts resembled a wanted poster or a missing-persons flyer: Photographs of men were arranged in rows, seeking their names and employers.
But the Facebook post wasn't circulated by law enforcement in the search for a suspect or by relatives looking for a missing loved one. It was an example of ordinary people trying to harness the power of social media to identify and shame the white nationalists who attended last weekend's violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A Twitter account dedicated to calling out racism identified people who attended the rally using photos culled from the news and social media and listed their places of employment and other information.
"I'm a white Jewish man. So I strongly believe that white people in particular have a responsibility to stand up against bigotry because bigotry thrives on silence," the creator of the account, Logan Smith of Raleigh, North Carolina, told The Associated Press. Using the handle YesYoureRacist, his account grew from around 64,000 followers on Saturday to more than 300,000 by Monday afternoon.
Both Korean leaders, US signal turn to diplomacy amid crisis
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Even as North Korea presented leader Kim Jong Un with plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam and "wring the windpipes of the Yankees," both Koreas and the United States
The tentative interest in diplomacy follows unusually combative threats between President Donald Trump and North Korea amid worries that Pyongyang is nearing its long-sought goal of accurately being able to send a nuclear missile to the U.S. mainland. Next week's start of U.S.-South Korean military exercises that enrage the North each year make it unclear, however, if diplomacy will prevail.
During an inspection of the North Korean army's Strategic Forces, which handles the missile program, Kim praised the military for drawing up a "close and careful plan" and said he would watch the "foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees" a little more before deciding whether to order the missile test, the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency said. Kim appeared in photos sitting at a table with a large map marked by a straight line between what appeared to be northeastern North Korea and Guam, and passing over Japan — apparently showing the missiles' flight route.
The missile plans were previously announced, and Kim said North Korea would conduct the launches if the "Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity" and that the United States should "think reasonably and judge properly" to avoid shaming itself, the news agency said.
Lobbing missiles toward Guam, a major U.S. military hub in the Pacific, would be a deeply provocative act from the U.S. perspective, and a miscalculation on either side could lead to a military clash. U.S.
Bowing to pressure, Trump denounces hate groups by name
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bowing to pressure from right and left, President Donald Trump condemned white supremacist groups by name on Monday, declaring "racism is evil" after two days of public equivocation and internal White House debate over the deadly race-fueled clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In a hastily arranged statement at the White House, Trump branded members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as "criminals and thugs."
The groups are "repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans," he said.
In his initial remarks on the violence Saturday, Trump did not single out the groups and instead bemoaned violence on "many sides." Those remarks prompted stern criticism from fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, who urged him to seize the moral authority of his office to condemn hate groups.
Trump's softer statement on Saturday had come as graphic images of a car plowing into a crowd in Charlottesville were playing continually on television. White nationalists had assembled in the city to protest plans to take down a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and counter-protesters gathered in opposition. Fights broke out, and then a man drove into the opponents of the white supremacists. One woman was killed and many more badly hurt. Twenty-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio is charged with second-degree murder and other counts.
Analysis: Trump's slow walk to condemning white supremacists
WASHINGTON (AP) — It took President Donald Trump two days to do what both Republicans and Democrats said should have come fast and easy.
In his carefully worded statement Monday, Trump condemned members of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as "repugnant." He vowed that his administration would crack down on those who perpetrate "racist violence." He called for national unity.
It was the type of statement Americans have come to expect from their presidents after racially charged incidents, like the deadly violence that erupted Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. But Trump struggled mightily to meet the moment, glaringly omitting any direct condemnation of white supremacists in his initial comments on the incident and decrying bigotry "on many sides."
As the most unconventional president in modern American history, Trump has at times thrived off low expectations. He is often cheered by Republicans when he fulfills basic functions of the office. And GOP lawmakers in particular have often tried to explain away his missteps as a function of his lack of experience in Washington and politics.
But he has found himself with few allies after his botched handling of the Charlottesville violence. Several Republicans challenged Trump directly to be more strident in calling out white nationalists and neo-Nazis. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner said the president needed to "step up" and call the groups "evil."
US WWII vet in Japan to return flag to fallen soldier family
HIGASHISHIRAKAWA, Japan (AP) — The former U.S. Marine knew the calligraphy-covered flag he took from a fallen Japanese soldier 73 years ago was more than a keepsake of World War II. It was a treasure that would fill a void for the dead man's family. But Marvin Strombo did not know how deep that void was.
The flag he is to hand over to Sadao Yasue's younger brother Tatsuo and his relatives Tuesday will be the first trace of their brother. The Japanese authorities only gave them a wooden box containing a few rocks, a substitution for the remains that have never been found.
Strombo has said he also wanted to tell the family his observation of their brother at the scene.
Strombo, 93, who was part of an elite scout-sniper platoon fighting a 1944 battle on Saipan, spotted a dead Japanese soldier lying on the ground, with something white poking out from his jacket. He could tell it was "something special." He initially hesitated, but took it because if he didn't someone else would or it may get lost forever. He told the soldier he would return it to his family someday.
The flag's white background is filled with signatures of 180 friends and
Swift justice: Jury takes Taylor's side in groping lawsuit
DENVER (AP) — Four years after Taylor Swift tried to handle her groping allegation against a radio station DJ quietly, the pop superstar got a very public victory Monday with a jury's verdict that she hoped would inspire other women.
Jurors in U.S. District Court in Denver deliberated fewer than four hours to find that ex-radio host David Mueller assaulted and battered Swift during a pre-concert meet-and-greet in June 2013. Per Swift's request, jurors awarded her $1 in damages — a sum her attorney, Douglas Baldridge, called "a single symbolic dollar, the value of which is immeasurable to all women in this situation."
After Monday's verdict, Swift hugged her crying mom and thanked her attorneys "for fighting for me and anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault, and especially anyone who offered their support throughout this four-year ordeal and two-year-long trial process."
"My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard," Swift said in a prepared statement, promising to make unspecified donations to groups that help victims of sexual assault.
The six-woman, two-man jury also rejected Mueller's claims that Swift's mother, Andrea Swift, and radio liaison Frank Bell cost him his $150,000-a-year job at country station KYGO-FM, where he was a morning host.
Scaramucci: If it were up to me, Bannon would be gone
NEW YORK (AP) — Short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci says if it were up to him, top adviser Steve Bannon would be gone from President Donald Trump's administration.
But, he notes, "it's not up to me."
"The Mooch," a few weeks removed from his spectacular flameout following an expletive-laden conversation with a reporter, appeared Monday on CBS' "Late Show" with Stephen Colbert. Colbert has seen his ratings soar since Trump's inauguration with his relentless comedic attacks.
Colbert showed a picture of Scaramucci former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus glaring at each other. Scaramucci said there was "no love lost" between the two.
He said he and Priebus got along well when he was writing checks to the Republican National Committee, which Priebus once led.
AP Exclusive: MTV, record label debate 'Despacito' video
NEW YORK (AP) — MTV says the uber-popular video for "Despacito" didn't earn a nomination at its Video Music Awards because it wasn't submitted for consideration, but Universal Music Latin Entertainment says MTV didn't ask the label to submit the video until last week — two weeks after the network announced its VMA nominees.
"Despacito" has not aired on MTV or MTV2, but it is being played on MTV Tres, the company's Latin channel. As for the VMAs, MTV said "the 'Despacito' video was not submitted for consideration" in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday.
"Until last week, MTV hadn't solicited UMLE to submit the video for consideration," a spokesperson for the record label said in a statement to the AP after it published a story on the reason for "Despacito's" exclusion from the awards show.
It is unclear why the network solicited the label for a submission after the nominations had already been announced. MTV did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Monday afternoon.
MTV announced its VMA nominees on July 25. The network said Monday that "Despacito" — the song not the video — will be acknowledged at the VMAs as a nominee in its song of summer category. That category and its nominees will be officially announced the week of Aug. 21.