Law enforcement officers man a road block in Baton Rouge after Multiple law enforcement officers were killed and wounded Sunday morning. Max Becherer/AP hide caption
toggle caption Max Becherer/AP
Following the shooting death of three law enforcement officers Sunday in Baton Rouge, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump blasted President Obama on Twitter and Facebook, saying he has “no clue” how to deal with a country that is a “divided crime scene.”
President Obama just had a news conference, but he doesn’t have a clue. Our country is a divided crime scene, and it will only get worse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2016
Sunday’s shooting follows a deadly officer shooting in Dallas and the death of Alton Sterling, a black man in Baton Rouge, earlier this month.
In repeated comments posted on social media, Trump said the country is “divided” and that America’s enemies, and the world, are watching:
Our country is totally divided and our enemies are watching. We are not looking good, we are not looking smart, we are not looking tough!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2016
We are TRYING to fight ISIS, and now our own people are killing our police. Our country is divided and out of control. The world is watching
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2016
Trump posted the comments before and after President Obama made remarks about the shooting.
Meanwhie, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton called the shooting “devastating” and “an assault on all of us.”
“There is no justification for violence, for hate, for attacks on men and women who put their lives on the line every day in service of our families and communities,” she said.
Clinton also called for unity:
“We must not turn our backs on each other. We must not be indifferent to each other. We must all stand together to reject violence and strengthen our communities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of the police officers who were killed and injured today.”
Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke earlier in the day, offering condolences to the families of the victims. She also called for more trust between communities and law enforcement:
“Americans across the county are feeling a sense of helplessness, of uncertainty and of fear. These feelings are understandable and they are justified. But the answer must not be violence. The answer is never violence.
Rather, the answer must be action: calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action. We must continue working to build trust between communities and law enforcement. We must continue working to guarantee every person in this country equal justice under the law. We must take a hard look at the ease with which wrongdoers can get their hands on deadly weapons and the frequency with which they use them. We must reflect on the kind of country we want to build and the kind of society we want to pass on to our children. We must reject the easy impulses of bitterness and rancor and embrace the difficult work of finding a path forward together. Above all, we must remind ourselves that we are all Americans – and that, as Americans, we share not just a common land, but a common life. Those we have lost this week have come from different neighborhoods and backgrounds – but today, they are mourned by officers and residents, by family and friends – by men and women and children who loved them, who needed them and who will miss them always. They are mourned by all of us.”
The Republican National Convention is taking place in Cleveland, a city whose police department is under federal oversight after several police shootings of unarmed citizens. Mario Clopton, co-chair of the Community Policing Commission, a group of volunteers serving as liaison between the people and the police, speaks with NPR’s Michel Martin.
David Davis arrives to be named as Brexit Chief after a meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday. Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Brexit Secretary David Davis said the country may impose a cut-off entry date for European Union nationals who want to immigrate the U.K., as part of negotiations for the U.K.’s exit from the bloc.
Davis is in charge of leading those negotiations. He said that a cut-off date would only be imposed if there’s a last-minute surge of immigration from EU countries to the U.K.
He added that he hopes to make a “generous settlement” for EU nationals currently living in the U.K.
“If we make a very generous settlement, as I plan to do, then people will say that will attract lots more people in because they want to beat the deadline,” Davis said in an interview with Dermont Murnaghan on Sky News. “One way of dealing with it could be saying, OK, only people who arrive before a certain date get this protection.”
— Murnaghan (@SkyMurnaghan) July 17, 2016
Also on the table is the fate of Brits living in EU countries, which Davis said are part of the same negotiations. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he rejected the idea that the government was using those Brits as a bargaining counter in the talks.
“If you do it all together nobody is a bargaining counter. It is based on the presumption that they [the EU] will be rational about their own citizens’ interest, which they will be,” he told the Mail.
Davis added that he expects the U.K. to formally begin the process of leaving the EU “by the end of the year and be out of the EU altogether by 2019.”
Reporter Larry Miller told our Newscast unit that Brits appear to be getting used to the idea of leaving the EU, after the initial shock of the very close referendum. “A fresh poll suggests just 29 percent want a second referendum,” Miller reported.
In this file photo, Philippine navy personnel and congressmen land at a rock that is part of Scarborough Shoal bearing the Philippine flag that was earlier planted by Filipino fishermen. Jess Yuson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Jess Yuson/AFP/Getty Images
An international tribunal in The Hague delivered a stinging rebuke to China last week, ruling that China’s claims to nearly the entire South China Sea were invalid.
The decision also questioned the legality of China’s claim of — and construction on — several reefs also claimed by the Philippines, which brought the case. China says it won’t abide by the ruling. And some in the Philippines worry China will go ahead with building activity on Scarborough Shoal, a section of rocks and reef which it seized in 2012. The shoal sits just 110 nautical miles from the main Philippines island of Luzon.
“Every reef they’ve seized they’ve made into an island,” says Antonio Carpio, a senior associate justice of the Philippines Supreme Court. “What makes Scarborough Shoal exceptional? Nothing.”
Carpio is a vocal defender of the Philippines’ territorial claims in its dispute with China. He says a Chinese presence on Scarborough Shoal would threaten not only the Philippines, but also U.S. forces using Philippine bases under a new, enhanced defense cooperation agreement.
“If you have an airfield there, maybe it will take just 15 minutes for the fighter jets there to reach Manila,” he says. “And the U.S. forces using Clark [Air Base] and Subic [naval base] are all within range.”
That fact is not lost on the United States. The U.S. has consistently said it has no dog in the fight over conflicting claims in the South China Sea. But in recent months the U.S. has conducted a series of high-profile freedom of navigation operations in the disputed waters, near the artificial islands China has created there.
In late June, two U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups conducted joint operations in the Philippine Sea ahead of the tribunal’s decision. And U.S. warplanes based at Clark Air Base conducted patrols near Scarborough Shoal.
“Definitely the U.S. has sent some strong signals to the Chinese that they’re willing to do more than they’re used to,” says Jay Batongbacal, director of the Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea at the University of the Philippines.
Batongbacal thinks the increased U.S. presence and the ruling of the court may force China to hit the pause button.
“Even their strategists would know, I think, that the Scarborough Shoal would be a tipping point for the U.S. and Japan, given how the situation has radically changed,” he says. “Because it would complete the so-called strategic triangle that could finally establish full control over the South China Sea, and they would know that the U.S. and Japan will not allow that to happen easily.”
But does the Scarborough Shoal really represent a red line for the U.S. — one worth the risk of open conflict with China?
Richard Heydarian of Manila’s De La Salle University isn’t so sure. He’s the author of Asia’s New Battlefield: The USA, China and the struggle for the Western Pacific.
“We already heard this red line statement on Syria, and clearly saw how [it was] not [a] red line after all,” he says. He says many Filipinos, including the new president Rodrigo Duterte, fear the same “artificial posturing red line” on the Scarborough Shoal.
Heydarian says that mistrust of U.S. support helps explain the Philippines’ tempered response to the court’s verdict.
In return for “the Philippines not flaunting and taunting the verdict,” he speculates, “China will give guarantees in the short term at least that it will not up the ante, it will not establish facilities in the Scarborough Shoal and will actually perhaps give Filipino fishermen more access to that area.”
That hasn’t happened so far. Filipino fishermen who tried this week were again turned back by Chinese vessels.
But China and the Philippines have been cautious — at least with each other — in their reaction to the tribunal’s ruling. There’s an expectation here that this restraint will last, at least for a few months. The softer approach, adopted by new Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, runs in stark contrast to the rancor that characterized relations between China and the Philippines under his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III.
Jay Batongbacal expects the two sides to sit down for bilateral talks on solving their dispute peacefully.
“As long as they don’t make the situation any worse by taking an even harder line,” he says, or “additional unilateral action, I think there will be some room, at least, for both parties to step back from the collision course that they seemed to be on and work out a mutually acceptable solution.”
Carpio, the Supreme Court justice, agrees that the Philippines and China will likely sit down and talk, especially about exploiting natural resources beneath the sea. But he doesn’t expect China to compromise on Scarborough Shoal. He expects China to fill it in and build, similar to what China did with with Spratly Islands further to the south. The Philippines can’t stop it, Carpio says. It’s up to the Americans.
“I don’t know the answer to that, whether they can enforce that red line or not,” Carpio says. “But they will lose a lot of credibility if they say there is a red line and the red line disappears.”
He says it doesn’t just matter to the Philippines. Japan, Vietnam and other countries engaged in maritime disputes with China will take note of what Washington does next.