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Jeb Bush: ‘The problem with the Confederate flag isn’t the Confederacy’

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) ventured into what he called “dicey subjects” on Wednesday as he dealt with a supporter who said he saw no racism in the Confederate flag, Talking Points Memo reported.

“Look, the Confederacy is a part of our heritage, and it should be respected like other parts,” Bush said during a campaign appearance. “It doesn’t have to define who we are either. The problem with the Confederate flag isn’t the Confederacy, the problem with the Confederate flag is what it began to represent later. And that’s what we have to avoid to heal those wounds.”

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The Republican presidential candidate made the remarks while arguing that the removal of the flag and other Confederate iconography from public buildings should be left up to individual states, after the audience member said, “anybody killing any other entity because of one basis or not is horrible. But does that necessarily require, I guess, removing all these Confederate fixtures?”

Bush, who called the flag a “racist” symbol in South Carolina in June, said he acted unilaterally to order its removal from state facilities in 2001 in order to avoid a “political fight.”

The flags were moved into the state history museum, he said, “because it was part of our heritage, but it would not be a visible sign of what Florida is about.”

“Honestly? I don’t even think it shows any sign of racism,” the unidentified audience member said.

“I’m not sure if you were a civil rights worker in the 1960s trying to fight for equal rights for African Americans that they would necessary agree with you,” Bush replied. “And that’s the point. It isn’t the 19th century issue, it’s the 20th century issue.”

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Watch the discussion, as posted online, below.


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COVID-19

White House adds 20 percent increase to ‘best case’ projection of coronavirus deaths

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The White House is moving the goal posts once again. Instead of taking drastic action, like asking every state's governor to mandate a quarantine to reduce the spread of coronavirus, it is quietly upping its projected death toll, just one day after stunning Americans with a six-digit death rate.

On Sunday President Donald Trump told Americans he thinks if 100,000 Americans die from coronavirus he will have done "a very good job."

On Monday Dr. Deborah Birx announced the White House is projecting 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.

Tuesday evening, the number increased 20 percent.

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Elections 2016

Olympic athletes in ‘impossible position’ – Canada

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Canadian Olympic chiefs said Monday the health and safety of athletes had prompted the country's decision to withdraw its team from the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A day after Canada became the first team to announce its withdrawal from the July 24-August 9 Games, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) chief David Shoemaker said athletes had been left in an "impossible position."

With public health authorities urging individuals to stay inside to curb the spread of COVID-19, athletes had been caught between a desire to heed health and safety advice while trying to minimize disruption to training programs.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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