CHICAGO — In the days after a TV station aired disturbing video of police barging into Anjanette Young’s home and handcuffing her while she was naked, Mayor Lori Lightfoot emailed Law Department staff urging them to show more empathy to victims. “Damage has been done, confidence shattered and the disclosures over the week have caused anger, confusion, and hurt. This goes way beyond any single case because important trust has been lost. People are hurting,” Lightfoot wrote in the Dec. 17 email obtained through an open records request. “The challenges have been exacerbated by the Law Department’...
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QAnon once again became a theme at Donald Trump's Friday evening campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Trump was campaigning for GOP U.S. Senate nominee Ted Budd, who is facing Democrat Cheri Beasley.
For the third time at a rally in September, dramatic music played as Trump concluded his speech. It started in Pennsylvania on Sept. 3 as Trump campaigned for Republican Doug Mastriano for Senate. And was repeated on Sept. 17 as Trump stumped for J.D. Vance in Ohio.
Following the Ohio rally, The New York Times reported, "Trump delivered a dark address about the decline of America over music that was all but identical to a song called 'Wwg1wga' — an abbreviation for the QAnon slogan, 'Where we go one, we go all.' As Mr. Trump spoke, scores of people in the crowd raised fingers in the air in an apparent reference to the '1' in what they thought was the song’s title. It was the first time in the memory of some Trump aides that such a display had occurred at one of his rallies."
On Friday, The Washington Post reported, "earlier this week, close advisers to former president Donald Trump grappled with a question: what to do about the QAnon song. The melody — an orchestral theme featuring swelling strings, gentle bell tones and brooding piano harmonies — was the soundtrack to a campaign-style video Trump released in August. But it wasn’t until last Saturday’s rally in Youngstown, Ohio, when the tune closed Trump’s nearly two-hour speech, inspiring the crowd to respond with raised arms and pointed index fingers, that it broke through as a phenomenon."
PBS Newshour correspondent Lisa Desjardins reported, "can confirm QAnon force Michael Brian Protzman is here at the Trump rally with a group of people in the center aisle, a few rows back from stage/Trump’s podium."
She posted a short video clip showing people in the crowd holding their right arms raised above their heads, with the first finger pointing to the stars.
"And this happened again - though less widespread," Desjardins reported.
"Confirmed w people at Trump rally who held 1 finger up that they meant it as a symbol of QAnon’s 'Where We Go One We Go All' and further… Security staff here fanned out and told people to take down their fingers. That is a reason why - maybe main reason - we saw fewer," she explained.
She added, "Trump rally staff told me the folks in the olive shirts and black pants were not security, but 'guest management.' In my defense, it was an easy assumption - shirts said 'security.' But I was told it was as part the name of their company 'Colorado Security Agency.'"
The bombshell "60 Minutes" report that the White House switchboard connected a call to a Jan. 6 rioter during the attack on the Capitol should be easy to track down, according to a former top Trump administration official.
The report, set to air in full on Sunday, features former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA). The former National Security Agency contractor served as a staffer for the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"I only know one end of that call," Riggleman said. "I don't know the White House end, which I believe is more important. But the thing is the American people need to know that there are link connections that need to be explored more."
The former congressman said, "from my perspective…being in counterterrorism. If the White House, even if it's a short call, and it's a connected call, who is actually making that phone call?"
Olivia Troye, a national security expert who worked at the Department of Homeland Security and for Vice President Mike Pence, offered her thoughts on Twitter.
"Infuriating that the lives of our country’s leadership were at risk on Jan 6...law enforcement officers were fighting for their lives and meanwhile, someone inside the Trump White House was apparently directly communicating with the rioters while it was happening," Troye wrote.
She also explained how she would investigate further.
"They should look up the record of all the extensions in the White House and what desk it belonged to — it would at least lead to narrowing down where in the [White House] the call was placed from…then one could review the camera footage for that area and bingo!" Troye wrote. "That’s where I would start."
Watch below or at this link:
Riggleman: White House switchboard called a Capitol rioter on January 6 | 60 Minutes www.youtube.com
China has accused the United States of sending "very wrong, dangerous signals" on Taiwan after the U.S. secretary of state told his Chinese counterpart on Friday that the maintenance of peace and stability over Taiwan was vitally important.
Taiwan was the focus of the 90-minute, "direct and honest" talks between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, a U.S official told reporters.
"For our part, the secretary made crystal clear that, in accordance with our long-standing one-China policy, which again has not changed, the maintenance of peace and stability across the Strait is absolutely, vitally important," the senior U.S. administration official said.
China's foreign ministry, in a statement on the meeting, said the United States was sending "very wrong, dangerous signals" on Taiwan, and the more rampant Taiwan's independence activity, the less likely there would be a peaceful settlement.
"The Taiwan issue is an internal Chinese matter, and the United States has no right to interfere in what method will be used to resolve it," the ministry cited Wang as saying.
Tensions over Taiwan have soared after a visit there in August by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi - which was followed by large-scale Chinese military drills - as well as a pledge by U.S. President Joe Biden to defend the democratically governed island.
Biden's statement was his most explicit to date about committing U.S. troops to the defend the island. It was also the latest instance of his appearing to go beyond a long-standing U.S. policy of "strategic ambiguity," which does not make it clear whether the United States would respond militarily to an attack on Taiwan.
The White House has insisted its Taiwan policy has not changed, but China said Biden's remarks sent the wrong signal to those seeking an independent Taiwan.
In a phone call with Biden in July, Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned about Taiwan, saying "those who play with fire will perish by it."
The State Department had said earlier that Blinken's meeting with Wang was part of a U.S. effort to "maintain open lines of communication and manage competition responsibly," and the senior official said Blinken had reiterated U.S. openness to "cooperating with China on matters of global concern."
Blinken also "highlighted the implications" if China were to provide material support to Russia's invasion of Ukraine or engage in wholesale sanctions evasion, the official added.
U.S. officials have in the past said they had seen no evidence of China providing such support.
Blinken "underscored that the United States and China and the international community have an obligation to work to counter the effects of that invasion and also to deter Russia from taking further provocative actions," the official said.
China sees Taiwan as one of its provinces. Beijing has long vowed to bring Taiwan under its control and has not ruled out the use of force to do so.
Taiwan's government strongly objects to China's sovereignty claims and says only the island's 23 million people can decide its future.
'DEVASTATE OUR BILATERAL TIES'
Blinken's meeting with Wang was preceded by one between the foreign ministers of the Quad grouping of Australia, India, Japan and the United States, which issued a statement, referring to the Indo-Pacific, saying that "we strongly oppose any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo or increase tensions in the region."
Since Pelosi's visit "China has taken a number of provocative steps that have by design acted to change the status quo", the U.S. official said.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will discuss Taiwan security during bilateral meetings with the leaders of U.S. allies Japan and South Korea when she visits them next week, another U.S. official said.
Daniel Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for Asia under President Barack Obama, said the fact Blinken and Wang had met was important after the turbulence brought by Pelosi's visit, and hopefully some progress would have been made towards arranging a meeting between Xi and Biden on the sidelines of a G-20 meeting in November, which would be their first in-person as leaders.
"Wang and Blinken's decision to meet in New York does not guarantee the November summit will go smoothly or that it will even occur. But had they been unable to meet, it would have meant the prospects for a summit in November were poor," said Russel, now with the Asia Society.
In a speech to the Asia Society in New York on Thursday, Wang said the Taiwan question was growing into the biggest risk in China-U.S. relations.
"Should it be mishandled, it is most likely to devastate our bilateral ties," Wang said, according to a transcript from the Chinese embassy.
Likewise, the decades-old U.S. law outlining Washington's unofficial relations with Taiwan – which Beijing considers null – makes clear that Washington's decision to establish diplomatic relations with China in 1979 "rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means."
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, David Brunnstrom, Michael Martina and Simon Lewis; Additionl reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Mary Milliken, Jonathan Oatis and Sandra Maler)