Obama ready to face historic, haunted ground of Hiroshima
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Convinced that the time for this moment is right at last, President Barack Obama on Friday will become the first American president to confront the historic and haunted ground of Hiroshima.
Here, at this place of so much suffering, where U.S. forces dropped the atomic bomb that gave birth to the nuclear age, Obama will pay tribute to the 140,000 people who died from the attack seven decades ago.
He will not apologize. He will not second-guess President Harry Truman’s decision to unleash the awful power of nuclear weapons. He will not dissect Japanese aggression in World War II.
Rather, Obama aimed to offer a simple reflection, acknowledging the devastating toll of war and coupling it with a message that the world can — and must — do better.
He will look back, placing a wreath at the centopath, an arched monument in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park honoring those killed by the bomb that U.S. forces dropped on Aug. 6, 1945. A second atomic bomb, dropped on Nagasaki three days later, killed 70,000 more.
Obama’s every gesture will be scrutinized in Hiroshima visit
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Every gesture. Every word uttered or avoided. Every person Barack Obama speaks with, listens to and stands beside in Hiroshima. All of it will help determine the success of a trip with huge potential political and diplomatic pitfalls, both in America and Asia.
The leader of the United States is already one of the world’s most watched people. But that daily scrutiny will be magnified exponentially when Obama makes the first presidential journey to the place where the first atomic bomb attack killed tens of thousands 71 years ago.
Obama’s mere presence among the nightmare images of death and destruction that linger in Hiroshima will be what most casual observers will remember. But there are many other people with deep political and personal interests in Northeast Asia’s long-running history battles who will be eager to parse Obama’s every move.
Bomb victims will be looking for compassion. Many in neighboring countries and the United States will want clear condemnation of Imperial Japan’s colonial and wartime atrocities — and not a whiff of anything that could be seen as an apology for what they see as justified bombs. And nonproliferation experts will want proof that Obama is working to “earn” the Nobel Peace Prize he received for advocating a world without nuclear weapons.
Here is a look at how Obama’s gestures might shape his historic, politically fraught visit to Hiroshima:
10 Things to Know for Friday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:
1. OBAMA READY TO FACE HIROSHIMA’S HISTORIC GROUND
The first American president to confront the place of great suffering, he will pay tribute to the 140,000 people who died from the attack seven decades ago.
2. TRUMP SEWS UP DELEGATES TO SEAL GOP NOMINATION
The feat completes an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign.
G7 leaders pledge collective action on sagging global growth
ISE, Japan (AP) — The leaders of the Group of Seven advanced economies pledged Friday to “collectively tackle” major risks to global growth, including direct political threats to the international order from terrorist attacks, violent extremism and refugee flows.
G-7 leaders wrapped up their annual summit Friday in central Japan with a declaration that claimed a “special responsibility” for leading international efforts to cope with those challenges.
They committed to a cooperative approach in beefing up policies to stimulate and sustain growth of their sluggish economies with use of flexible spending strategies to create jobs and shore up confidence in uncertain times.
“Weak demand and unaddressed structural problems are the key factors weighing on actual and potential growth,” the statement said. “We have strengthened the resilience of our economies in order to avoid falling into another crisis and to this end commit to reinforce our efforts to address the current economic by taking all appropriate policy responses in a timely manner.”
“We remain committed to ensuring that growth is inclusive and job-rich, benefiting all segments of our societies,” it said.
Over the top: Trump sews up delegates to seal GOP nomination
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Triumphantly armed with a majority of his party’s delegates, Republican Donald Trump unleashed a broadside attack Thursday on Hillary Clinton’s prescriptions for energy, guns, the economy and international affairs, shifting abruptly toward the general election with his likely Democratic opponent locked in a divisive primary contest.
The New York billionaire shrugged off signs of discord in his party hours after sewing up the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination, a feat that completed an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign.
“Here I am watching Hillary fight, and she can’t close the deal,” Trump crowed during an appearance in North Dakota. “We’ve had tremendous support from almost everybody.”
Trump’s good news was tempered by ongoing internal problems. Those include the sudden departure of his political director and continuing resistance by many Republican leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, to declaring their support for his outsider candidacy.
At the same time, Clinton faced fresh questions about her use of a private email server while secretary of state, even as she fought to pivot toward Trump, who she warned would take the country “backward on every issue and value we care about.”
Trump uses energy speech to outline general election pitch
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an “America first” energy plan he said would unleash unfettered production of oil, coal, natural gas and other energy sources to push the United States toward energy independence.
But the speech, delivered at the annual Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, went far beyond energy, as Trump laid out, in his most detail to date, a populist general election pitch against likely rival Hillary Clinton.
“She’s declared war on the American worker,” Trump said of Clinton, reading from prepared remarks in a stadium packed with thousands.
Trump delivered the policy address just hours after The Associated Press determined he had won the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination. He focused on coal, in particular, to help make his case against Clinton, his likely Democratic opponent in the general election.
In March, Clinton said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” She has since walked back the remark, calling it “a misstatement” and outlining a plan to help displaced coal workers.
Black activists are looking beyond the courtroom for change
BALTIMORE (AP) — Black activists in Baltimore and beyond say they are disappointed but not discouraged after neither of the first two police officers to stand trial in the death of Freddie Gray was convicted.
A number of black leaders said that they had low expectations of seeing anyone found guilty, and that bringing about real and lasting change in the criminal justice system will require action both inside and outside the courtroom, including pushing for new laws and reforms in police procedures.
“You don’t judge a war by winning or losing battles,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, the longtime civil rights leader. “We’re not prosecutors; we’re activists. If you gauge (the 1960s) by one case, it’s depressing. If you look at the bills that came out of it, you understand the big picture.”
Gray died just over a year ago after suffering a broken neck in the back of a police van while he was handcuffed and shackled but not buckled in. His death triggered the worst riots in decades in Baltimore and added his name to the list of unarmed black people in the U.S. who have died in confrontations with police.
Baltimore’s top prosecutor swiftly filed charges against six officers, two of whom have gone to trial. One case ended with the jury deadlocked; that officer will be retried in the fall. The other case ended on Monday with a judge acquitting an officer of assault and other charges.
More severe weather and tornadoes roil Plains; no injuries
CHAPMAN, Kan. (AP) — Severe weather spawning numerous tornadoes roiled large stretches of Kansas for a second day Thursday, prompting residents to anxiously watch the skies but causing only scattered damage in rural areas and no injuries or deaths.
A late afternoon tornado warning in the Kansas City area prompted a brief precautionary evacuation of Kansas City International Airport in Missouri, forcing travelers and other visitors into parking garage tunnels, local media reported. The airport was back in operation by early evening.
The area was on high alert a day after a half-mile-wide tornado stayed on the ground for about 90 minutes near Chapman, Kansas, Wednesday night and traveled 26 miles.
The National Weather Service began issuing tornado warnings early Thursday afternoon, with the first sighting of a tornado near the tiny northeast Kansas town of St. George in Riley County about 2 p.m.
An hour later, five tornadoes were reported in a cluster of counties in northeast Kansas, where law enforcement reported baseball-size hail that damaged cars and homes in Meriden northeast of Topeka.
Rapper arrested in T.I. concert shooting that killed 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Police investigating a deadly shooting at a packed hip-hop concert arrested a rap artist Thursday, saying surveillance footage showed him stalking through the venue firing a gun.
Roland Collins, who’s from Brooklyn and goes by the stage name Troy Ave, will face attempted murder and weapons charges, a police spokesman said.
Four people were shot, one fatally, when a fight started Wednesday night in a performers’ lounge at a Manhattan concert hall where the star rapper T.I. was scheduled to perform.
The man who died, Ronald McPhatter, was a member of Collins’ entourage and had been there to provide security, according to his family. Collins, 33, suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, police said.
An 8-second video clip released by police shows the gunman bursting through the door of a VIP room in apparent pursuit of another man, who flees off-screen.
Jury sides with Google in battle over Android software
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google’s Android software just dodged a $9 billion bullet.
A federal jury found Thursday that Google didn’t need permission to use a rival’s programming tools as it built Android — now the world’s leading smartphone operating software and a key part of Google’s multi-billion dollar Internet business.
Software competitor Oracle claimed Google had stolen its intellectual property and reaped huge profits by copying pieces of an Oracle programming language called Java. But the jury in U.S. District Court found that Google made “fair use,” under copyright law, of Java elements that help different software programs work together.
Oracle, which had sought $9 billion in damages, immediately said it would appeal.
The verdict was closely watched in Silicon Valley, in part because many popular features of today’s smartphones only work because apps can “talk” to one another or the phone’s underlying software. Google’s supporters — a group that included other tech firms, trade associations and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet rights group — warned that an Oracle victory would hamper future innovation by making that software cooperation more difficult and expensive.