TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Wants to ‘Hug It Out’ With Obama

Hillary Clinton is seen arriving at The Carlyle Hotel on July 30, 2014 in New York City.
Alessio Botticelli—GC Images Hillary Clinton is seen arriving at The Carlyle Hotel on July 30, 2014 in New York City.

Follow her criticism of the President's foreign policy

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend a birthday party Wednesday evening in Martha’s Vineyard, just as their relationship is hitting its lowest point since the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. But Clinton hopes to use the occasion to put a fresh controversy over their foreign policy disagreements behind them, with a spokesman saying “she looks forward to hugging it out” with the commander-in-chief.

Clinton and Obama are slotted to attend an 80th birthday party for Ann Dibble Jordan, the wife of former National Urban League president and CEO Vernon Jordan, at an exclusive country club on the island where Obama is vacationing. The meeting follows Clinton’s critique of Obama published in the Atlantic this week. “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” Clinton said, looking to distance herself from the President ahead of a possible 2016 White House run. White House aides use the more profane version of the phrase “Don’t do stupid stuff” to summarize Obama’s foreign policy vision for reporters.

Obama confidant David Axelrod fired back at Clinton on Tuesday, bringing up her support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. “Just to clarify: ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision,” he wrote on Twitter.

Clinton called Obama on Tuesday in an attempt to clear the air before their meeting, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said. The flareup highlighted the challenge facing Clinton as she seeks to differentiate herself from a president of her own party, and the limits to which she can break with him without alienating Democratic supporters of Obama.

“Secretary Clinton was proud to serve with President Obama, she was proud to be his partner in the project of restoring American leadership and advancing America’s interests and values in a fast changing world,” Merrill said. “She continues to share his deep commitment to a smart and principled foreign policy that uses all the tools at our disposal to achieve our goals. Earlier today, the Secretary called President Obama to make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him, his policies, or his leadership.

“Secretary Clinton has at every step of the way touted the significant achievements of his Presidency, which she is honored to have been part of as his Secretary of State,” Merrill added. “While they’ve had honest differences on some issues, including aspects of the wicked challenge Syria presents, she has explained those differences in her book and at many points since then. Some are now choosing to hype those differences but they do not eclipse their broad agreement on most issues. Like any two friends who have to deal with the public eye, she looks forward to hugging it out when she they see each other tomorrow night.”

TIME Crime

The Long, Tangled Roots of the Michael Brown Shooting

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man
Scott Olson—Getty Images Demonstrators protest the killing of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on August 12, 2014.

As police stay silent, anger fills the information vacuum

Officials in St. Louis County and the tense town of Ferguson, Mo., remain mum nearly three days after an unidentified police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death. But a young man who says he was with the victim at the time of the shooting has described a virtually unprovoked attack in which the officer fired repeatedly — even after the victim raised his hands and begged him to stop shooting.

In an interview with MSNBC, Dorion Johnson, 22, said his friend Michael Brown, 18, was walking in the street when the officer ordered him to the sidewalk. When Brown did not immediately comply, the officer put him in a chokehold. The young man struggled to free himself, and the officer pulled his gun and fired.

Wounded, Brown tried to flee but was shot a second time in the back. That’s when he turned with his hands raised, Johnson said. “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting!” he said, but additional shots were fired.

Johnson’s version of events entered an information vacuum created by the silence of city, county, state and federal officials. Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson said Monday that information concerning Brown’s death would be released by noon on Tuesday. But as the deadline approached, a department spokesman announced a change of plans. The officer involved will not be named, nor will authorities commit to a timeline for releasing autopsy results and other details of the investigation.

Citing threats lodged on social media, Ferguson police spokesman officer Timothy Zoll said, “we are protecting the officer’s safety by not releasing the name.”

The St. Louis County police were also mum. Their investigation into the shooting continues, said officer Brian Schellman, “but it is not for us to release the officer’s name. It is a personnel matter. It is up to the Ferguson police.”

At a press conference on the steps of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis on Tuesday, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Benjamin Crump, a civil-rights lawyer representing Brown’s family, said they are considering suing the Ferguson police for the release of the officer’s name. Citing community distrust of local law enforcement, Crump called for the Justice Department to take over the investigation.

This investigation has been more complicated than most, as police have been pressed into a struggle to maintain peace in a restless and angry community. On Sunday night, peaceful protests erupted into a chaotic scene of arson and looting. Since then, parts of Ferguson — an incorporated working-class suburb of some 21,000 residents roughly 12 miles north of St. Louis — have been patrolled by scores of armored police officers with tear gas at the ready.

“This isn’t what Ferguson is about,” said one resident, Shante Duncan, 33. “This is a good community. There are lots of people on the ground doing good work, but you never hear about any of it.”

Generations of racially mixed families have lived in Ferguson, some dating back more than a century, with ancestors among the slaves who were sold at auction houses on the Mississippi riverfront. Today, its residents comprise roughly two-thirds African Americans and one-third Caucasians. Race relations, often harmonious among neighbors, are frequently tense between black residents and the mostly Caucasian city officials.

“Ferguson is notorious for being prejudiced against blacks,” said George Chapman, a 50-year-old African American who has lived in the town most of his life but said he recently moved because he was “tired of the police.”

“The police stop us all the time,” Chapman said. “The police show us no respect. They treat us like we’re nothing.”

A racial-profiling report from the Missouri attorney general’s office showed that, last year, African Americans in Ferguson were significantly more likely to be involved in police traffic stops and arrests.

Michael Brown’s parents said during a press conference on Monday that their son had overcome the racial hardships facing many young African-American males. “He was a good boy,” said his father Mike Brown Sr., determined to make something of himself and scheduled to start schooling for a career in heating and cooling.

“He was starting on a new journey,” said Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden. “He was maturing.”

Brown’s family deplored the looted businesses in Ferguson, the violence, the vandalism that resulted in boarded-up businesses and scrawled graffiti inciting violence against police. “Why would you burn your community?” asked Brown’s grandfather, Leslie McSpadden. “Why? This should not be his legacy.”

Why, indeed. St. Louis is not the first place most Americans would name when asked to think of a city primed to blow. But friction is the result of two surfaces rubbing together, and St. Louis has always been a city where surfaces meet. It may be the ultimate border town. Its signature arch, marking the Gateway to the West, is meant to remind us that St. Louis is the place where the East ended and the West began. Likewise, its equipoise near the midpoint of the Mississippi marked St. Louis as a fault line between North and South.

The racial history of St. Louis is burdened by a hyperconsciousness of borders and boundaries. Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa brilliantly demonstrates this in his book (and related website), Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City. Few cities, as Gordon shows, have taken a more systematic approach to racial separation and division.

It started with … well, how far back do we want to go? The infamous Dred Scott case of 1857 — that spark in the powder keg of the Civil War — began in St. Louis as a question of whether a man’s human rights evaporated when he crossed the border into a slave state. In the decades since that terrible war, St. Louis has tried a number of tactics to keep the races apart.

In 1916, the city passed a zoning law that explicitly restricted black homeowners to certain neighborhoods. The following year, in a case out of Louisville, Ky., the Supreme Court struck down racial zoning laws. So St. Louis realtors responded with a series of restrictive covenants designed to separate the races. White homeowners were forbidden to sell their houses to black customers, and real estate agents could lose their licenses if they participated in a forbidden transaction.

Eventually the covenant strategy failed as well. In 1946, the Supreme Court struck down those arrangements in a case that came from St. Louis.

Now the metropolis turned to redlining, the practice of steering black buyers into certain neighborhoods by discriminating on their mortgage applications. Through it all, white homeowners accelerated the division by moving away from downtown and into predominantly white suburbs — the same “white flight” that remade American cities from coast to coast after World War II.

You can see it all in Gordon’s maps, drawn meticulously from government records and Census data. Or you can read it more poetically in the charming prose of the late St. Louis writer Stanley Elkin. In his 1980 love song to St. Louis, first published in Esquire, he noted the peculiar boundaries of his chosen home:

“St. Louis … is a city of sealed neighborhoods, gated as a railroad crossing, of blocked-off streets and private places, chartered as a nation, zoned as meteorological maps, the enclaves and cul-de-sac of stalled weather.”

The shooting of Michael Brown, and the violence that followed, happened smack on one of those borders. Ferguson is an inner-ring suburb that is neither black nor white. Its southern border abuts a storied country club where Ben Hogan won the 1948 PGA Championship. Other parts of the little city-inside-a-city produce an overall unemployment rate of nearly 20%.

Established in 1894, Ferguson encompasses rough-around-the-edges manufactured homes and turn-of-the-century Victorian manors within its 6 sq. mi. It is a mixture of suburban and blue collar, home to “King of Kash” payday loan shops as well as boutique home-decor stores. One of Missouri’s largest corporations, Emerson Electric, has its headquarters there.

St. Louis rapper Tef Poe, writing in the Riverfront Times, caught the jagged feeling of the border city last year in his description of a neighborhood not far from Ferguson: “Rich people, middle-income, lower-income and dirt-poor people living blocks apart from each other in what is basically the same neighborhood.”

As the tension in Ferguson and nearby communities stretched into its fourth day, protesters seemed torn by the friction of a city built on such fine lines. “We’re not stupid! We’re not stupid!” a group of peaceful protesters chanted in the direction of a line of 130 county police in riot gear. Chanel Ruffin, 25, a Ferguson resident, said that “Ferguson police show us no respect. They harass black people all the time.” She said she knew Michael Brown, and “he was a nice guy. He was going to start college and make something of himself. He didn’t deserve to be shot so many times.”

Like others in the crowd, Ruffin did not try to explain the riot — much less to justify it. “I’m not saying what they did was right,” she said.

Things happen along these fault lines that cannot be entirely explained.

They can only be felt. “People were acting out of emotions,” Ruffin ventured. “There are a lot of people hurting.”

— With reporting by Kristina Sauerwein / Ferguson, Mo.

TIME weather

Heavy Flooding in Detroit Leaves 1 Dead, Tens of Thousands Without Power

Historic flooding in Motor City contributed to at least 1 death and knocked out power grids, with more rain expected

TIME celebrities

Robin Williams Hanged Himself, Police Say

Robin Williams before his performance at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk
Jay Paul—The New York Times/Redux Robin Williams before his performance at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., on Oct. 28, 2009

Confirming reports he committed suicide

Robin Williams died because of asphyxia from hanging himself in his California home, police said Tuesday, confirming a day after the actor’s death that he had committed suicide.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office also said Williams, who was 63, suffered “acute superficial” cuts to his wrist, and that a pocket blade was found near his body. A forensic examination showed no signs of a struggle, and toxicology results for Williams, who had long struggled with substance abuse and depression, won’t be available for about two to six weeks, police said.

Williams was last seen by his wife at 10:30 p.m. local time on Sunday when she went to bed. Williams’ personal assistant became concerned the next day when the actor failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door. Upon entering, the assistant found Williams “clothed in a seated position, unresponsive, with a belt around his neck,” Lieutenant Keith Boyd told reporters during a news conference. He was pronounced dead shortly after noon on Monday.

Fans of the late comedian and actor gathered near the news conference in San Rafael, Calif., on Tuesday.

“It surprises me that someone who was so loved felt so alone,” said Leigh Carliglio of Contra Costa County. “He was loved, he was wonderful. This is devastating.”

She particularly remembers Mork & Mindy and then quickly adds Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin. “All of them.”

She was surprised to find out how he died. “We need more care for mental-health patients. We don’t understand how deep depression runs.”

Other fans filmed the news conference with their cell phones, lamenting how “a whole generation” grew up with Williams’ character in Mork & Mindy.

Outside Williams’ home in nearby Tiburon sat flower bouquets and notes address to “Robin.” A few fans lingered. “Anything he was in, I would go see it,” one said. “It’s just devastating. I have depression in my family.”

— Katy Steinmetz reported from San Rafael and Tiburon, Calif.


TIME celebrities

The Military Absolutely Loved Robin Williams

The late comedian took multiple trips to war zones to entertain troops

Robin Williams was beloved by the U.S. military, perhaps even more so than by the American public. He carried Bob Hope’s mantle as a funny man far from home, often in inhospitable places. Throughout his career, Williams made six USO tours to Iraq, Afghanistan, and 11 other countries and performed for 90,000 troops by the time of his final tour in 2010.

He had the troops roaring in Baghdad in 2003, shortly after the capture of Saddam Hussein. “I love the fact that when he came out of that spider hole, he wanted to negotiate,” Williams said, before changing his voice into that of a bellowing soldier: “It’s a little late for that, bubsy! You’re at the point where you’re going to share a cell with a large man named Bubba. I’m gonna be yo’ new Baghdaddy.”

He also poked fun at the Army itself, including a change to uniforms that appeared to be computer-generated. “The new Army camouflage—it’s digital,” he told troops in Kabul in 2007. “So you can disappear in front of a computer.”

“Williams traveled around the world to lift the spirits of our troops and their families,” the USO posted on Facebook following the news of Williams’ passing. “He will always be a part of our USO family and will be sorely missed.” The post had attracted nearly 60,000 “likes” by midday Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made a statement of his own on Williams, saying that “from entertaining thousands of service men and women in war zones, to his philanthropy that helped veterans struggling with hidden wounds of war, he was a loyal and compassionate advocate for all who serve this nation in uniform. “He will be dearly missed by the men and women of DOD—so many of whom were personally touched by his humor and generosity.”

Jim Garamone, a writer for the Pentagon’s internal news service, wrote Tuesday of the comedian’s caring and compassion for those fighting the nation’s wars:

At the end of every performance—be it a combat outpost or a forward operating base—Robin was always the last entertainer to leave. In Iraq, a group of Marines came in from patrol and missed his show. He made it a point to meet with them and give them 20 minutes of fun, even as the chopper’s blades were turning to go to the next show.

In Afghanistan, the “clamshell” at Bagram Air Field was a favorite venue for him, and he performed there many times. In 2010, he started the show with “I love what you’ve done with the place.”

He was not a prima donna. One time a sandstorm grounded the party at an outpost near Baghdad. Robin along with everyone else crammed into a small “tin can” to spend the night. The next day his jokes about snoring and gaseous emissions pretty much convulsed everyone.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s top spokesman, recalled asking Williams, the father of three, for some fatherly guidance during that last 2010 tour. “I once asked Robin Williams to offer advice for my son, who would soon turn 18,” Kirby tweeted early Tuesday. “’Follow your heart,’ he said. ‘The head is sometimes wrong.'”

071217-N-0696M-382
DoD photo / Chad J. McNeeley Airman enjoy Robin Williams’ shtick during a 2007 show in Kuwait.
TIME Crime

Photos Capture the Tension Between Police and Protesters in Ferguson, Mo.

Protests and riots have erupted in Ferguson, Mo. following a fatal police shooting of an 18-year-old

TIME Crime

Police Won’t Name Officer Who Shot Unarmed Missouri Teen

Ferguson St. Louis Missouri Police Shooting Riots Protests
Scott Olson—Getty Images Riot police lock down a neighborhood in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 11, 2014.

Cite officer's safety in case that has sparked protests

Police said Tuesday that they won’t release the name of an officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager last week in a St. Louis suburb following threats to the officer’s life, a move that could further inflame protesters who have clashed with authorities while demanding the officer’s arrest.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Monday the officer’s name would be made public by noon Tuesday. But Officer Timothy Zoll said today that the department will indefinitely postpone the release the shooting officer’s name “for safety purposes.”

“A lot of threats against the officer were made on Twitter, Facebook, all social media,” Zoll said. “We are protecting the officer’s safety by not releasing the name.”

The St. Louis County Police Department, which has been a constant presence in the town since Saturday’s fatal shooting, is also keeping mum.

“We will not ever release the name of the police officer,” said Officer Brian Schellman. “We are investigating the incident, we are investigating the officer, but it is not for us to release the officer’s name. It is a personnel matter. It is up to Ferguson Police.”

The city of almost 21,000 just north of downtown St. Louis has been simmering since 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed in an encounter with police. Circumstances surrounding his death remain contested, but the case has been held up by protesters as an example of police brutality and inequities in the criminal justice system.

On Sunday, the protests boiled over into burning and looting of some local businesses. Monday’s protests were largely peaceful, though police in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

Brown’s family called for peace Monday night during an emotional news conference.

“I just wish I could have been there to help him,” said his mother, Lesley McSpadden.

Tensions remain high Tuesday morning, with more protests planned and dozens of law enforcement officers from across the region stationed in town.

TIME Crime

Friend Says Cops Shot Unarmed Teen Despite Pleas to Stop

APTOPIX Police Shooting Missouri
Jeff Roberson—AP A makeshift memorial sits in the middle of the street where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police

Circumstances of shooting remain hotly disputed

The friend of an unarmed St. Louis-area teen who was shot dead by police last week says in a new interview that an officer held onto the victim until the moment the trigger was pulled and continued shooting despite pleas to stop.

“I could see so vividly what was going on because I was so close,” Dorian Johnson, 22, told MSNBC of the shooting of Michael Brown.

The circumstances surrounding Brown’s killing remain hotly disputed and the incident has stoked outrage and protests in the town of Ferguson, Mo. Johnson said he and Brown were walking in the street when an officer told the two to get “f—k on the sidewalk.” When they didn’t, Johnson said, the officer pulled his car into reverse, opened the door into Brown’s body, and then grabbed his throat.

“Mike was trying to get away from being choked,” Johnson said. “They’re not wrestling so much as his arm went from his throat to now clenched on his shirt. It’s like tug of war. He’s trying to pull him in. He’s pulling away, that’s when I heard, ‘I’m gonna shoot you.’ … The whole time [the officer] was holding my friend until the gun went off.”

Johnson said Brown was shot again while running away before turning, arms up, to ask the officer to stop since he was unarmed. Johnson said the last thing Brown said to him was “Keep running, bro!'”

St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar has said Brown was shot following a “struggle over the officer’s weapon.”

[MSNBC]

TIME Military

The U.S.’s Timid Third Iraq War

IRAQ-UNREST-KURDS
AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP / Getty Images Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take positions in northern Iraq on Tuesday.

Air strikes may help, but on their own they won’t turn the tide against ISIS

The contrasting views of two senior U.S. military leaders on the effectiveness of American air strikes against jihadist targets in northern Iraq could hardly have been more stark.

“Very effective,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters Monday in Sydney, Australia.

“Very temporary,” Army Lieut. General William Mayville, the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said later in the day at the Pentagon.

The conflicting signals were a sign of an Administration determined to do just enough to avert a humanitarian catastrophe without launching a third U.S.-Iraq war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL).

While F-15s, F-16s, and F-18s dropped 500-pound bombs on targets like artillery pieces, mortars and armored vehicles, aided by MQ-1 Predators and their 20-pound warheads, they didn’t appear to do much to change the situation on the ground. The U.S. Air Force and Navy are flying up to 100 attack, reconnaissance and support missions a day over Iraq.

Mayville’s briefing was as perplexing and unsatisfying as the 19 airstrikes the U.S. military carried out in Iraq through Aug. 11.

“I’m very concerned about the threat posed by ISIL in Iraq and in the region,” he said. “They’re very well-organized. They are very well equipped. They coordinate their operations. And they have thus far shown the ability to attack on multiple axes. This is not insignificant.”

So what is the U.S. military prepared to do to deal with this threat?

“There are no plans,” Mayville said, “to expand the current air campaign beyond the current self-defense activities.”

The U.S. military can only do what it is told to do, but the disconnect between threat and response seems especially wide right now. The goals are limited to rescuing the thousands (or tens of thousands; the Pentagon isn’t sure) of Yazidis trapped on, in and around Sinjar Mountain in northwestern Iraq, and to protect the Kurdish city of Erbil, where a small number of U.S. personnel, including about 40 recently-dispatched military advisers, are based. Warplanes launching the strikes come from air bases in Kuwait and Qatar and from the USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf, a carrier named for the President who launched the first U.S. war against Iraq in 1991.

“We assess that U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq have slowed ISIL’s operational tempo and temporarily disrupted their advances toward the province of Erbil,” Mayville said. “However, these strikes are unlikely to affect ISIL’s overall capabilities or its operations in other areas of Iraq and Syria.”

Predictably, ISIS forces have begun to mix in with local civilians to elude U.S. attacks. “One of the things that we have seen with the ISIL forces is that where they have been in the open, they are now starting to dissipate and to hide amongst the people,” Mayville said. “The targeting in this is going to become more difficult.”

The U.S. has begun providing the Kurdish militias known as the Peshmerga with small-arms ammo directly, instead of funneling it through the central Iraq government in Baghdad, he added.

Anthony Zinni was the deputy commander of a U.S. effort to protect the Kurds from Saddam Hussein’s forces—Operational Provide Comfort—after 1991’s Gulf War. “The Peshmerga are fully capable, given the right weapons, equipment and support—like air support—of stopping ISIS in their tracks,” he says. “At least from the north.”

The number of Peshmerga waxes and wanes as the threats the Kurds perceive rise and fall. The U.S. estimated their fighting strength in 2011 at 70,000 to 80,000, but that number could double if all security and police forces are included.

“They’ve been fighting for a long time, against Saddam, with the PKK [Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, or Kurdistan Workers’ Party] up in Turkey, and even in Iran,” says Zinni, who ended his military career as chief of U.S. Central Command from 1997 to 2000. “They’ve been fighting an insurgency for a hell of a long time because they want a state. They’re also fighting for their homes, their families and their kids—when [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki sends a bunch of soldiers up into the Sunni areas they don’t care—but the Kurds know this is it, that this is an existential threat.”

The Kurds are fighters. “They do have a good warrior ethos—unlike the Iraqis, these are basically people who are agrarian, tough mountain people,” Zinni says. “They’re not fat cats. They haven’t been living in a garrison in a city. They train hard and live in a rugged part of the country. They live in an austere environment—all the things that make up a tough soldier.”

Zinni echoes U.S. military officers who privately grumble that Obama erred in declaring he would not send troops back into Iraq. “I think he made a big mistake in publicly saying he would not put boots on the ground,” Zinni says. “Why tell the other guy what you won’t do?

“You could find yourself with boots on the ground, if only to defend that part of country,” Zinni warns. “Not necessarily going on offense on the ground, but I think it could come to the point where if we had to defend it, we’d have to put boots on the ground, and I don’t think he could get out of that.”

Some U.S. military officers believe it would require up to 15,000 ground troops to turn the tide against ISIS in northern Iraq.

TIME Crime

Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters in St. Louis Suburb Where Unarmed Teen Was Shot Dead

A second night of violence in Ferguson

Police used tear gas and fired “beanbag rounds” late Monday to disperse a restless crowd in the St. Louis suburb where unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer over the weekend.

In a second night of violence, streets were closed off around a gas station store in Ferguson, Missouri, that had been burned on Sunday. Police told crowds and reporters to leave the area. A shoe store was looted, according to NBC station KSDK. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told The Associated Press that officers responded after gunfire came from the crowd…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

 

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