Day: July 23, 2019

3 charged in violent Disneyland fight caught on video

LOS ANGELES — Two men and a woman face multiple criminal charges after a family’s fight at Disneyland turned violent and was recorded on video.

Anaheim police said officers were called to the theme park July 6 to help break up the melee, which began between a brother and sister but quickly involved other family members.

Cell phone video showed a woman spit in a man’s face. He punched her several times. Moments later the same man knocked down another female relative and hit her repeatedly.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office says Tuesday that Avery Desmond-Edwinn Robinson, his sister Andrea Robinson and her husband Daman Petrie all face a series of charges including battery and assault.

It wasn’t immediately known if any of them have lawyers.

The Associated Press

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Boris Johnson To Become Next U.K. Prime Minister As Brexit Looms

LONDON — Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson, one of Britain’s most famous and divisive politicians, won the race to lead the governing Conservative Party on Tuesday, and will become the next U.K. prime minister in a little over 24 hours.

Then he will have just over three months to make good on his promise to lead the country out of the European Union.

Johnson resoundingly defeated rival Jeremy Hunt in the Conservative leadership contest, winning two-thirds of the votes in a ballot of about 160,000 party members across the U.K. He will be installed as prime minister Wednesday in a formal handover from Theresa May.

I say to all the doubters: Dude, we are going to energize the country, we are going to get Brexit done.Boris Johnson

In a brief speech to hundreds of party members and lawmakers gathered for the announcement, Johnson radiated optimism, pledging to “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn,” leader of the opposition Labour Party.

“I think we know that we can do it, and that the people of this country are trusting in us to do it and we know that we will do it,” said Johnson, a former London mayor and foreign secretary.

“I say to all the doubters: Dude, we are going to energize the country, we are going to get Brexit done.”

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has praised Johnson in the past, tweeted his congratulations and said he will be “great.”

Trump has been very critical of May’s inability to achieve a Brexit deal and has said Johnson will do a better job.

Hunt, who trailed in the polls throughout the contest, said he was sure Johnson would “do a great job.”

“He’s got optimism, enthusiasm, he puts a smile on people’s face and he has total, unshakable confidence in our amazing country,” said Hunt, who is likely to be removed as foreign secretary by the new prime minister.

May stepped down after the U.K. Parliament repeatedly rejected the withdrawal agreement she struck with the 28-nation bloc.

Famed for his bravado, quips in Latin and blond mop of hair, Johnson wooed Conservatives by promising to succeed where May failed and lead the U.K. out of the EU on the scheduled date of Oct. 31 — with or without a divorce deal.

Johnson insists he can get the EU to renegotiate— something the bloc insists it won’t do. If not, he says Britain must leave the EU by the deadline, “come what may.”

Economists warn that a no-deal Brexit would disrupt trade and plunge the U.K. into recession. Fears that Britain is inching closer to crashing out of the bloc weighed on the pound once again as the currency was down another 0.3 per cent Tuesday, nearly a two-year low.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director of the Confederation of British Industry, said businesses needed a withdrawal agreement with the EU to restore confidence that has been badly shaken by uncertainty about the terms of Brexit.

“On Brexit, the new prime minister must not underestimate the benefits of a good deal,” she said.

The EU is adamant that the deal it struck with May will not be renegotiated.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said he looked forward “to working constructively” with the new Conservative leader “to facilitate the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement.”

British lawmakers are due to start a six-week summer break on Friday. When they come back in September, Johnson looks set for a fight with Parliament over his plans.

He will preside over a U.K. House of Commons in which most members oppose leaving the EU without a deal, and where the Conservative Party lacks an overall majority.

Education Minister Anne Milton and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart on Tuesday became the latest ministers to announce they were quitting before they could be shuffled or demoted by Johnson.

They and others plan to resist any push for a no-deal Brexit.

“We’ll have to see what Boris can muster,” said Margot James, who quit last week as digital minister but remains a Conservative lawmaker. She said she doubted Johnson would be able to get a new Brexit deal by the deadline.

“The default position is leaving without a deal, and there is a significant majority in Parliament who will work very hard to sure that doesn’t happen. And I will be among that number.”

With files from Raf Casert

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By The Wall of Law July 23, 2019 Off

Boris Johnson’s chaotic path to power finally pays off

LONDON — Boris Johnson aspires to be a modern-day Winston Churchill. Critics fear he’s a British Donald Trump.

Johnson won the contest to lead the governing Conservative Party on Tuesday, and is set to become Britain’s prime minister on Wednesday.

Like revered World War II leader Churchill, Johnson aims to turn a national crisis — in this case Brexit — into a triumph. Like Trump, he gained his country’s top political office by deploying celebrity, clowning, provocation and a loose relationship with the truth.

“He’s a different kind of a guy, but they say I’m a different kind of a guy, too,” Trump said approvingly last week. “We get along well.”

Maintaining strong relations with the volatile Trump will be one of the new leader’s major challenges. So will negotiating Britain’s stalled exit from the European Union, the conundrum that brought down predecessor Theresa May.

It’s hard to say whether he will rise to the occasion or fail dismally.

Blond, buoyant and buffoonish, the 55-year-old Johnson may be one of Britain’s most famous politicians, but in many ways he is a mystery.

His beliefs? Johnson is now a strong believer of Brexit, but he famously agonized over the decision, writing two newspaper columns — one in favour of quitting the EU , one against — before throwing himself behind the “leave” campaign in Britain’s 2016 referendum over whether it should remain in the bloc.

His plan for Brexit? Johnson says he will lead Britain out of the EU on the scheduled date of Oct. 31, with or without a divorce deal. He says Britain should prepare intensely for leaving without an agreement, but insists the chances of it happening are “a million-to-one against.”

Then again, he also once said he had as much chance of becoming Britain’s prime minister as of finding Elvis on Mars.

Johnson statements are best taken with a grain of salt, it seems.

Historian Max Hastings, Johnson’s former boss at the Daily Telegraph newspaper, has called him “a man of remarkable gifts, flawed by an absence of conscience, principle or scruple.”

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was born in New York in 1964, the eldest child of a close-knit, extroverted and fiercely competitive upper middle-class British family. His forebears include Turkish journalist and government minister Ali Kemal, one of Johnson’s great-grandfathers. His sister Rachel has said Johnson’s childhood ambition was to be “world king.”

Johnson attended elite boarding school Eton College, where he began to use his middle name, Boris — his family called him Al — and cultivated the still-familiar image of a quick-witted, slightly shambolic entertainer able to succeed without visibly trying very hard.

At Oxford University, he was president of the Oxford Union debating society, and a member of the Bullingdon Club, a raucous drinking-and-dining society notorious for drunken vandalism.

After university, Johnson became a journalist. He survived being fired from The Times newspaper for making up a quote to become Brussels correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. He specialized in exaggerated yarns about the EU’s dastardly plans to truss Britain in red tape. The Brussels officials who now have to deal with Prime Minister Johnson have not forgotten his role in demonizing the EU.

Johnson biographer Sonia Purnell, who worked with him at the Telegraph, said he had “a talent for self-promotion and an obsession with power that marked him out.”

Then came a stint as editor of conservative-leaning news-magazine The Spectator, frequent television appearances and, simultaneously, election as a member of Parliament.

Stumbles and setbacks were frequent, but quickly overcome. In the 1990s, Johnson shrugged off a leaked recording in which he promised to give a friend, Darius Guppy, the name of a journalist that Guppy wanted beaten up. Later he was fired from a senior Conservative post for lying about an extramarital affair.

He bounced back, just as he has done when called out for offensive words and phrases. Johnson has called Papua New Guineans cannibals, claimed that “part-Kenyan” Barack Obama had an ancestral dislike of Britain and last year compared Muslim women who wear face-covering veils to “letter boxes.” Johnson has dismissed such comments as jokes or plain-speaking, or accused journalists of distorting his words.

In 2008, he was elected mayor of London, becoming a cheerful global ambassador for the city — an image exemplified when he got stuck on a zip wire during the 2012 London Olympics, waving Union Jacks as he dangled in mid-air.

Critics blasted his backing for vanity projects including a little-used cable car, an unrealized “Boris Island” airport and a never-built “garden bridge” over the River Thames.

In 2016, his energy, and popularity — and, critics say, mendacity — played a key role in the EU referendum campaign. Opponents have never forgiven him for the claim that Britain sends the EU 350 million pounds ($440 million) a week, money that could instead be spent on the U.K.’s health service. It was untrue — Britain’s net contribution was about half that much.

After the country’s surprise vote to leave toppled Prime Minister David Cameron, Johnson looked set to succeed him. But he dropped out of the race after a key ally, Michael Gove, decided to run against him.

May won the contest and made Johnson foreign secretary. His two years in the job were studded with missteps. He was recorded saying that a violence-torn Libyan city could become a tourism hub once authorities “clear the dead bodies away,” and worsened the plight of a British-Iranian woman detained in Tehran by repeating an incorrect Iranian allegation that she was a journalist.

In July 2018, Johnson quit the government over his opposition to May’s Brexit blueprint, and became Britain’s Brexiteer-in-chief, arguing that leaving the EU would be easy if the country just showed more “can-do spirit.”

Many Conservative Party members have chosen to believe him. They see Johnson as a politician who can deliver Brexit, win over floating voters and defeat rival parties on both the left and the right.

Critics say he is a Trump-like populist, who uses phrases — like the “letter boxes” slight — designed to push buttons among bigoted supporters.

A recent documentary about former Trump adviser Steve Bannon shows Bannon saying he had spoken and texted with Johnson about a key speech, though Johnson denies Bannon gave him campaign advice.

In policies and style, Trump and Johnson have plenty of differences. Johnson’s championing of “global Britain” contrasts with Trump’s “America First” stance, and the British leader is self-deprecating where Trump is bombastic.

But, like Trump, Johnson is loved by supporters for what they regard as his authenticity — whether or not it is genuine. They forgive his missteps and his messy personal life.

Johnson and his second wife, Marina Wheeler, announced in September they were splitting up after 25 years of marriage that produced four children. Johnson has fathered at least one other child outside his marriages.

Last month police were called to a noisy argument between Johnson and his new partner, Carrie Symonds, at their London home. The fracas dominated headlines for days, but failed to dent his campaign.

This week Johnson is due to achieve the dream of a lifetime by moving in to 10 Downing St. Observers warn that it may be a shock.

“Working a crowd is very different from working a government,” historian Peter Hennessy told the BBC. “He’s a remarkable attack journalist, he’s a kind of written version of a shock jock, I’ve always thought. And you can’t govern that way.”


Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit at:

Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

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The Latest: Boris Johnson wins race to be UK prime minister

LONDON — The Latest on the race to become Britain’s next prime minister (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson has won the race to lead Britain’s governing Conservative Party, and will become the country’s next prime minister.

He defeated his rival Jeremy Hunt overwhelmingly in a vote of Conservative Party members.

He will be installed as prime minister in a formal handover from Theresa May on Wednesday.

The victory is a triumph for the 55-year-old Johnson, an ambitious but erratic politician whose political career has veered between periods in high office and spells on the sidelines.

Johnson has vowed that Britain will quit the European Union, “come what may,” on the scheduled Brexit departure date of Oct. 31 even if it means leaving without a divorce deal

But he faces a rocky ride from a Parliament determined to prevent him from taking the U.K. out of the bloc without a withdrawal agreement.


8:30 a.m.

Britain’s governing Conservative Party is set to reveal who the name of the country’s next prime minister, with Brexit champion Boris Johnson the strong favourite to get the job.

Party officials will announce Tuesday whether Johnson or rival Jeremy Hunt has won a ballot of about 160,000 Conservative members.

The winner replaces Theresa May, who announced her resignation last month, and will officially become prime minister on Wednesday.

It will be a huge upset if the winner is not Johnson, who has wooed Conservatives by promising to succeed where May failed and lead the U.K. out of the European Union on the scheduled date of Oct. 31 — with or without a divorce deal.

Several Conservative ministers have already announced they will resign to fight any push for a “no-deal” Brexit.


Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and the Conservative Party leadership race at:

The Associated Press

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Rainbows and unicorns and Huawei’s campaign to win over Canadians

Welcome to a sneak peek of the Maclean’s Politics Insider newsletter. Sign-up at the bottom of the page to get it delivered straight to your inbox.

Here comes the sunny again: The revelation over the weekend that Gerald Butts has come back to the Trudeau Liberal fold as a senior campaign advisor offers a hint at the tone of the Liberal offer in 2019 — a return to positivity, writes Andrew MacDougall. Tories beware:

While Butts has a well-deserved reputation as a partisan gunfighter on platforms like Twitter, his true value to the Liberal cause is his optimism. He is a believer in the power of big government to solve big problems, whether that’s climate change or middle class woes. His return is the strongest hint we have yet at the tone of the Liberal offer in 2019.

The 2015 Trudeau offer of more spending, middle-class tax breaks, and increased child support was driven by a relentless optimism, a tone that was meant to jar with the public perception of Stephen Harper’s nearly 10 year-old government. By going positive again the Liberals could build on the best of Trudeau while goading the Conservatives into the kind of behaviour that fits the public narrative about their party. (Maclean’s)

Ignore that other stuff please: Huawei, the Chinese telecom at the centre of worsening trade relations between China and Canada, upped its charm offensive with a media event and ad campaign pushing its role in bringing high-speed wireless to remote communities. “Our motivation is straightforward: in the 21st century, access to the internet is not a luxury – it’s a necessity,” said Alykhan Velshi, Huawei Technologies Canada’s vice-president of corporate affairs. “Everyone deserves to be connected.” Everyone, that is, except the two Canadians detained by Beijing without access to lawyers in retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition request. (Globe and Mail)

Velshi took the ostrich approach to questions about Beijing’s requirement that Huawei must co-operate and support China’s national intelligence work: “I don’t know anything about Chinese laws, because they don’t apply to me because I am living here in Canada.” That was “one of the dumbest things you could have possibly said,” replied Carleton University associate professor and national security expert Stephanie Carvin. (CBC News, Carvin’s tweet)

Not like the others: He’s the right-leaning premier who doesn’t quite fit in. In April Dennis King led his Progressive Conservative party in Prince Edward Island to victory, the fifth province to shift from red or orange to blue. But as Jason Markusoff’s interview with King reveals, his politics have taken on a different hue of blue:

Q: Your legislature recently passed a Green private member’s bill to lower P.E.I.’s carbon emissions target to 43 per cent below 2005 levels, instead of 30 per cent. We’re not exactly used to seeing a Conservative-led government take a Liberal government’s target and accelerate it. What happened?

A: I just believe as an island province, we have to be very mindful of the changing climate and the impact it has. I think Prince Edward Island has always been a leader on issues like this. You just saw the change in our legislation to eliminate plastic bags [as of July 2019]. I just think this is one we can’t afford to get wrong. We have to work toward the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality, and have to be serious about how we go about doing it.

Q: Modern P.E.I. has never before seen a minority, and no province has had a Green Official Opposition. What’s that been like?

A: Well, it has been very very interesting, for sure. Islanders gave a clear mandate in the election of April 23, and that is they want all parties to work together, regardless of partisan stripe. That’s the attitude I had as a leader in the election. That’s the attitude I had my entire life. It hasn’t been without its challenges, but all government mandates are challenging, whether they’re minority or majority. Overall, we’ve seen probably seen the most collaborative government that’s ever been in the history of Prince Edward Island. (Maclean’s)

A house derided: It’s been, what, 10 months since the last round of hand wringing over the fate of Canada’s most famous derelict house? Clearly in this slow summer pre-election season what was needed was some more anguished rhetoric about 24 Sussex, the official prime minister’s residence that hasn’t actually had a prime minister in it since 2015. In response to questions from the Canadian Press, the Conservatives attacked the Trudeau government for dithering about repairing the home, which is expected to cost close to $100 million. “The renovation costs of 24 Sussex Drive are a failure that Justin Trudeau has been unable to fix in four years,” a spokesperson for Andrew Scheer said in a statement. “This is an unacceptable situation, and unfortunately, taxpayers are being stuck with the bill.” If only the Trudeau, Harper, Martin, Chretien government had taken action. (Canadian Press)


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By The Wall of Law July 23, 2019 Off