The man responsible for the deadly 2019 mosque attacks in New Zealand will not speak at his sentencing on Thursday as was expected.The Christchurch High Court confirmed on Wednesday that standby counsel would instead make a brief submisson on behalf of Brenton Tarrant, 29.The Australian citizen pleaded guilty in March to 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one charge of terrorism.Earlier on Wednesday, the third day of the sentencing hearing, the actions of a man who ran towards Tarrant during the attacks were acknowledged in the Court.Abdul Aziz Wahabzadah was at the Linwood Islam...
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger used an op-ed piece on the economy Friday to thrash Donald Trump for his obsession with overturning the 2020 election results.
The commentary -- prominently displayed at NationalReview.com-- dispensed with the customary deference Republicans give Trump at all costs. Instead, it began with this headline:
"One Year Ago, Trump Called Me an 'Enemy of the People.' Rising Costs and Inflation Are the Real Enemy." That was followed by this: "While some on the right remain focused on the last election, liberals in Washington are pushing an inflationary agenda that hurts workers and businesses."
Raffensperger's piece criticized Democratic policies on policy grounds as if this were an earlier century. But the old-school approach was prefaced by an attack on Trump more in keeping with the present day. Raffensperger used the occasion of the holiday season to go right after the nemesis who has rendered him a pariah in his political party:
"While most Americans sat down to eat their Thanksgiving meals last year, I was looking forward to a few moments of peace with my family during what had been a chaotic few weeks," Raffensperger wrote. "Georgia's county and local elections officials had already counted the ballots in the presidential election twice, including once by hand, and had just started the third and final recount. All three counts affirmed Joe Biden as the winner of Georgia's presidential contest.
"Yet my Thanksgiving was interrupted by news that President Donald Trump had called me an "enemy of the people" purely because I stood up for the integrity of Georgia's elections. I refused to bend to the pressure and, on America's day of thanks, this was the thanks I got.
"In the year since, a signature audit and numerous investigations into allegations of fraud have turned up nothing. No one has come forward with evidence of any widespread scheme to steal the election. The courts have reaffirmed the results in Georgia time and time again. A year later, I am even firmer in my conviction that Georgia's elections were accurate and secure.
"This reality has not stopped Trump and his supporters from obsessing over an election that Trump's own Department of Homeland Security called "the most secure in American history."
"And, in doing so, they have failed to focus on the real enemy Americans are facing: inflation, rising costs, and the bad policies that have created them."
The op-ed went on to read like a typical Republican politician attacking Democrats over policy differences. But most readers are unlikely to remember that as much as the Thanksgiving broadside on the last guy.
Trump is facing a ramped-up criminal investigation over his infamous post-election calls to Raffensperger asking the secretary to state "to find 11,887 votes." Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is moving toward convening a special grand jury on the matter, sources told the New York Times.
In an interview with Deadline, ABC White House correspondent Jonathan Karl predicted a Donald Trump run for the presidency in 2024 will present even more and new problems for reporters covering his third presidential bid, saying it will be one of the "greatest challenges" they will ever face.
In the interview where he explained how he was able to write his bombshell book "Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show," Karl was asked what the future holds for the former president should he make a third stab at running -- and how the press should cover it in light of how the ex-president left office casting a cloud of suspicion about the 2020 election results.
In Karl's opinion, Trump has become more dangerous and reporters should proceed with caution.
Noting the way Trump was able to create confusion late election day 2020, by preemptively claiming he was going to win as the results showed the opposite, Karl suggested, "How do you cover a candidate who is effectively anti-democratic? How do you cover a candidate who is running both against whoever the Democratic candidate is but also running against the very democratic system that makes all of this possible?"
"I think it's tremendously challenging, because you know that — especially now, more than ever — that he is just saying things that are not true, that are designed to misinform, that are designed to erode credibility and belief in our electoral system. And it's actually dangerous," he told Deadline. "So how do you cover a debate? How do you cover a speech? How do you sit down for long live interviews with him as a candidate? I think these are really difficult questions because he is obviously not a typical candidate."
Adding that the New York businessman never was a "typical candidate," Karl claimed -- after four years in office and the way he left office -- the Trump will present new difficulties.
"Now he has been demonstrated to be a candidate that is trying to destroy the very system that makes this election possible. And yet we cover campaigns. That's what we do," he explained before warning, "It is a very difficult, precarious situation, and I don't know how it is going to play out, to be honest."
You can read the whole interview here.
In his first major show in Europe in nearly five years, US painter Mark Bradford says he has turned to the mediaeval period to explore contemporary conflicts and social tensions, particularly the racial unrest that has repeatedly erupted throughout America's history and now the current global health crisis.
The exhibition, entitled "Agora" at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto in the north of Portugal, entails a series of new paintings, tapestries and works on paper inspired by the Dutch mediaeval tapestry, "The Hunt of the Unicorn", dating from around 1500.
Agora means not only "now" in Portuguese, but it was also the name for a space for public debate in Ancient Greece.
"What struck me was it basically was about carnage, and it was about something being hunted," the 60-year-old black artist told AFP at the show's opening.
"And so many of the debates that were going on in the United States were about civil liberties and freedoms, and then also, African-Americans literally being hunted."
Bradford, whose vast, abstract canvases consist of thick multiple layers of paper, paint and other materials, said: "Ease and unrest can live together. Poetry and politics can live together. Two things that look like they don't belong together can exist together.
"I'm always looking for new ways of making a plural, even in black voice."
Measuring two metres (6 feet, 6 inches) tall, Bradford admits that his physical appearance may be very striking.
"The first thing that comes into the room is usually my height, and then my colour, and then maybe the third is Mark."
But, an openly gay man, he refuses to be stereotyped.
"This body that I was born into is always political in the United States. It's always a reminder of how to navigate with this body, it's constantly shape shift. It's really like shape shifting."
'Just an artist'
Bradford, known for his philanthropic work, particularly with young people in the southern neighbourhoods of Los Angeles where he grew up, also rejects being labelled an activist.
"I don't really identify myself with anything. I negotiate with stereotypes every day of my life, but I don't identify. I'm just an artist."
Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2021, Bradford has not had a major exhibition in Europe since he represented the US in the Venice Biennale in 2017.
On some of the canvases, Bradford's thick paint, sometimes checkered or torn, covers maps representing the hot spots of the race riots that rocked Los Angeles in the 1960s.
The artist says he remembers the stories he heard in his mother's hairdressing salon while he was growing up.
"When I was very young, I would listen to the oral histories of my people. They were talking about civil rights."
And he draws parallels to the riots he himself experienced in 1992 and other social crises, such as the emergence of AIDS and the current coronavirus pandemic.
The exhibition in Porto runs until June 2022.
And for the show's curator, Philippe Vergne, it was "a testimony of an artist who has spent time in the studio... processing the time of crisis."
It was "really a meditation on how an artist (is) engaged in the world, not isolated in the studio," Vergne said.