National News

5 things for August 14: Charlottesville. North Korea. Kenya

Posted August 14

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1. Charlottesville attack

In many minds, what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend is a terror attack. A man drove a car through a crowd of counter-protesters at a rally by white supremacists. A Justice Department official says the feds have gathered enough evidence to suspect the attacker didn't just want to harm the immediate victims but send a message.

So why is it so hard for the leader of the free world -- who is usually so quick to tweet at the smallest outrage -- to call out the white supremacists and Nazis by name? President Trump condemned the rally but then blamed it on "many sides." Remember, one side was there -- chanting and hurling epithets at every minority group - gays, women, African Americans, Jews --- -and calling for racial purity. The other wasn't. Both Republicans and Dems alike ripped the President.

Trump's allies spent the rest of the weekend doing clean up, with Vice President Mike Pence saying the country had "zero tolerance for hate." Someone else at the White House said it was obvious that Trump condemned those groups. But that official wouldn't say it on the record.-Trump's Twitter feed has been silent on the violence since Saturday night.

The alleged attacker, James Alex Fields Jr., appears in court today. The woman who died in the incident is Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal.

2. North Korea tensions

After last week's nuke-laden bluster, two top figures in the Trump administration are trying to lower the temperature. In a co-authored opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis presented a clear, united position. The aim of the US, they said, is not regime change in North Korea but a "peaceful pressure campaign" to denuclearize it.

3. Burkina Faso attack

Details are scarce, and we don't yet know how many assailants were involved in yesterday's attack on a restaurant in Burkina Faso's capital. At least 18 people -- many of them foreigners -- were killed in what the government's calling a terror incident. Militants have targeted civilians in Burkina Faso several times, including last year when attackers seized a luxury hotel, killing dozens of people.

4. Kenya election

At least 24 people-have died in violent post-election protests in Kenya. President Uhuru-Kenyatta beat opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga 54% to 45%, but Odinga rejected the results and called it rigged. Odinga's supporters then took to the streets in droves in some cities. Many of the dead were shot, including a 9-year-old girl hit by a stray bullet.

Kenya's last election, in 2013, passed off peacefully, but 10 years ago the country was plunged into widespread violence after the 2007 vote. More than 1,000 people were killed in months of bloodshed when Odinga -- who'd been defeated by the then-President Mwai Kibaki -- claimed the vote was rigged.

5. Lotteries

So you didn't win that $393 million Mega Millions jackpot over the weekend? Don't worry, you still have a shot at the Powerball. The jackpot in that game has grown to about $430 million, and the next drawing is Wednesday night. As for the Mega Millions, somebody in Illinois is having a pretty good Monday.

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... AND FINALLY

Game on

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