Clinton clinches Democratic nomination as Sanders vows to fight on

Hillary Clinton becomes first ever woman to lead major party White House bid, but Sanders camp questions AP declaration

Hillary Clinton faces the last major contest of the primary campaign on Tuesday having already been declared the Democratic presidential nominee, making her the first woman in history to lead a major party bid for the White House.

The declaration that Clinton had won the support of the 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination came from the Associated Press late on Monday, before voting was due to commence in primaries in California and five other states.

The legitimacy of APs declaration, which was announced 24 hours earlier than her campaign expected, was immediately called into question by Clintons rival, Bernie Sanders.

The Vermont senators campaign issued a defiant statement that condemned the medias rush to judgment and signalled that the Vermont senator was willing, if possible, to contest the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in July.

Clinton: We are on the brink of a historic, historic, unprecedented moment

However, as voters headed to the polls in California, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and New Mexico, it was clear that the mathematics were squarely on the side of the former secretary of state.

The unexpected and somewhat anti-climactic twist in the race appeared to surprise the Clinton campaign, which has not altered its plan and is waiting until voting concludes on Tuesday before declaring her the Democratic nominee-in-waiting at a victory party in New York.

Clinton made reference to the AP declaration during a campaign event in Long Beach, California, on Monday night. I got to tell you, according to the news, we are on the brink of a historic, historic, unprecedented moment, but we still have work to do, dont we? she said.

On Tuesday Clinton secured the endorsement of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and, according to US media reports, aides to Barack Obama are in discussion with her campaign with a view to the president formally backing her soon. He is understood to have called Sanders on Sunday to inform him.


Obama remained on the fence on Tuesday. Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said: There is at least one superdelegate the one who works in the Oval Office who is not prepared to make a public declaration about his endorsement at this point, but stay tuned and well keep you updated.

Clintons candidacy, years in the making, will cap a long and bruising campaign against Sanders, a self-described socialist who has electrified the progressive wing of the Democratic party and pulled its frontrunner to the left.

Delegate tracker

Her graduation to presumptive nominee will also mark the start of a momentous general election campaign against the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

Clinton gave a foretaste of the type of campaign she plans to wage against the real estate mogul last week when she used a speech in San Diego to brand her adversary too dangerous and unstable to be entrusted with nuclear codes and warning of economic crisis if he were to reach the White House.

Donald Trumps ideas arent just different, theyre dangerously incoherent. Theyre not even really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies, she said in that speech, widely agreed to be one of her best of the campaign. He is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.

At a fundraising concert in Los Angeles on Monday where celebrity supporters included Stevie Wonder, Ricky Martin, Cher, Magic Johnson and Christina Aguilera, Clinton told the crowd: Were going to come out of the primary even stronger to take on Donald Trump. Enough with the fear, enough with the anger, enough with the bigotry, enough with the bullying!

Her supporters argue she has unparalleled qualifications for the job after a lifetime in public service in which she has served as first lady, New York senator and secretary of state under Barack Obama.

The US president, who defeated Clintons first bid for the Democratic nomination in 2008, is widely expected to endorse Clinton in the coming days.

The sense that the nomination was within Clintons grasp had been growing in recent days and the candidate has been looking increasingly relaxed and confident on the campaign trail.

Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin at Hillary Clinton fundraising concert

Earlier on Monday, in an exchange with reporters in Compton, Clinton made clear she believed Sanders should withdraw from the race after Tuesdays vote, pointing out it would be eight years to the day since she withdrew and endorsed then-senator Obama.

Unusually for Clinton, who has carefully avoided appearing to take the nomination for granted, she also conceded she was very touched by the belief among her supporters that she was on the verge of making history.

My supporters are passionate. They are committed. They have voted for me in great numbers across our country for many reasons, she said.

But among those reasons is their belief that having a woman president will make a great statement, a historic statement about what kind of country we are, what we stand for. Its really emotional.

However, Clintons readiness for the looming general election battle stills rests, in part, on the outcome of Tuesdays primary in California, a large and diverse state that she had been expected to win easily until just a few weeks ago.

Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have campaigned tirelessly in the state in recent days after polls showed her formidable lead in the polls shrink in the face of a stiff challenge from Sanders.

The senator had hoped to use an upset in California to shift momentum in the race and convince superdelegates to switch sides.

Conversely, a defeat for Sanders in California, which could potentially mean his rival amounting sufficient pledged delegates to seal the nomination without the help of superdelegates, would fundamentally undermine his case for remaining in the race until July.

Appearing before thousands of supporters in front of a fog-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge late on Monday, Sanders implored supporters to turn out for a contest he described as the most important primary that weve had in the entire Democratic nomination process.

He repeated his argument that he is consistently performing better against Trump in the polls than Clinton and stands a better chance of keeping him out of the White House. The senator made no mention of the reports declaring Clinton the nominee, but the news had by then percolated through the crowd.

Some supporters began trickling out of the rally before it had concluded while others sniped at reporters over what they complained was biased media coverage and a premature and undemocratic declaration of Clinton as the victor.

AP said its announcement was based on a burst of last-minute support from superdelegates the party officials who get a vote at the national convention that is not bound by the results of elections.

Bernie Sanders vows to fight on at California rally

Clinton appeared to be on the very cusp of amassing the number of delegates to win the nomination after convincing wins in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by the end of the weekend.

By then Clinton had 1,812 pledged delegates, compared with Sanders 1,521. When those were added to her overwhelming support from superdelegates the frontrunner appeared to be just shy of the target.

But the declaration, by APs count, that Clinton had actually met the target appeared to catch both campaigns off guard, upending carefully choreographed plans to react to a denouement not expected until Tuesday.

Sanders spokesman, Michael Briggs, immediately released a statement accusing the media of ignoring the Democratic National Committees clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer.

Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination, he said. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until 25 July and who can change their minds between now and then.

Even Clintons campaign appeared to believe the declaration was premature. We cant say the primary is over, Bill Clinton told reporters at a rally in San Francisco. Let people vote. Let them have their say. Other Clinton campaign officials indicated that, while the news reports were welcome, they did not plan to declare victory in the overall race until Tuesday.

Clinton spoke only briefly at the concert-rally in Hollywood. It is not an overstatement for me to say that we have a really important election ahead of us now, she said, smiling broadly.

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Judge in Stanford sexual assault case faces recall effort over light sentence

Stanford law professor leads campaign against judge who gave six months to the former Stanford swimmer who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman

The victim of a sexual assault by a former Stanford University swimmer said on Monday she was overwhelmed and speechless at the deluge of support for her as the judge who gave her attacker a light sentence faced a recall campaign.

Brock Allen Turner, 20, who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus, was sentenced to six months in county jail and probation a punishment that is significantly less severe than the minimum prison time of two years prescribed by state law for his felony offenses.

The light sentencing, along with comments from Turners father, who said his son is paying a steep price for 20 minutes of action, have sparked global consternation.

Brock Turner. Photograph: Santa Clara County sheriff’s department

In a brief phone interview with the Guardian on Monday, the victim, whose emotional testimony has since gone viral, said the positive responses to her statement have been moving. Im worried that my heart is going to grow too big for my chest, she said. Ive just been overwhelmed and speechless.

The Guardian can also reveal that the judge who gave the former Stanford athlete the light sentence will now face a recall campaign led by a law professor at the elite university who argues the jurist took extraordinary measures to allow the student to avoid prison.

Further scrutiny on the judges remarks at sentencing appear to suggest he concluded the defendant had less moral culpability because he was drunk, and that a light sentence would be an antidote to the anxiety he had suffered from intense media attention on the case.

Michele Landis Dauber, a Stanford law professor who has been outspoken about sexual assault policies on campus, said she is launching the recall campaign against Aaron Persky, Santa Clara County superior court judge.

Persky, a Stanford alumnus, was captain of the lacrosse team when he was an undergraduate.

He has made women at Stanford and across California less safe, said Dauber, who attended the sentencing hearing and is also a family friend of the 23-year-old victim. The judge bent over backwards in order to make an exception and the message to women and students is youre on your own, and the message to potential perpetrators is, Ive got your back.

Turner, who is from Dayton, Ohio, was arrested on the Palo Alto campus on 18 January 2015 after two graduate students found him lying on top of the unconscious victim behind a dumpster outside of a fraternity party.

The woman, who was not a Stanford student, was partially clothed, had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit, and did not remember the assault when she awoke hours later.

The witnesses, who intervened and held Turner until police arrived, said they saw him thrusting on top of the motionless woman, and a jury ultimately convicted him of assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman and sexually penetrating an intoxicated and unconscious person with a foreign object.

The case attracted interest across the country, in part because campus sexual assaults rarely lead to criminal prosecutions and convictions. It comes at a time when advocates have increasingly spoken out about the epidemic of sexual violence and harassment on US college campuses including a string of sexual assault cases at nearby University of California, Berkeley.

Turner could have faced a maximum of 14 years in state prison, and in order to allow the defendant to avoid prison time altogether, the judge had to determine that this was an unusual case where the interests of justice would best be served by a lenient sentence.

Brock Turner (right) makes his way into the Santa Clara superior courthouse in Palo Alto, California on 2 June. Photograph: Dan Honda/AP

After the victim delivered a detailed account about how the assault and ensuing trial traumatized her and her family, the judge issued the light county jail punishment and justified making an exception with a speech that onlookers said was unusually sympathetic to the defendant.

Obviously, the prison sentence would have a severe impact on him, Persky said in court. The defendant is youthful and has no significant record of prior criminal offenses.

The judge also implied that because the swimmer was intoxicated at the time of the attack, he should be treated differently than a sober defendant.

There is less moral culpability attached to the defendant who is intoxicated, the judge said.

Persky also noted that news coverage of the case had significantly impacted Turner, saying: The media attention that has been given to this case has in a way sort of poisoned the lives of the people that have been affected. The question Ive asked myself is Is state prison for this defendant an antidote to that poison?

In her 12-page victim impact statement, that has spread on social media, the woman noted that Turner has only admitted to being drunk that night, but has not acknowledged that he assaulted her and has continued to argue that the encounter was consensual.

The judge seemed to show some sympathy to Turners perspective. I take him at his word that subjectively thats his version of his events. Im not convinced that his lack of complete acquiescence to the verdict should count against him, he said.

Dauber said she was further shocked to see Persky minimize the significance of the guilty verdicts, which came from a jury of eight men and four women. The judge said at sentencing: A trial is a search for the truth. Its an imperfect process.

Persky also appeared to rely heavily on letters that Turners friends and family sent and read an excerpt from a former classmate who told the judge she couldnt believe the assault allegations.

To me that just rings true, the judge said. It sort of corroborates the evidence of his character up until the night of this incident, which has been positive.

The letter in question, however, includes a lengthy rant that places blame on the woman for being attacked: Im sure she and Brock had been flirting at this party and decided to leave together I dont think its fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesnt remember anything but the amount she drank. Where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isnt always because people are rapists.

Persky repeatedly emphasized the effect the case has had on Turner, at one point saying: The character letters that have been submitted do show a huge collateral consequence for Mr Turner.

Turner, who withdrew from Stanford, will likely only spend three months in jail.

Dauber also noted that Persky made no mention of a letter signed by more than 250 Stanford students urging him to sentence Turner to at least the minimum years outlined in state law.

A light sentence, such as probation or a few months in jail, would send the incorrect message that this was not a serious crime. This would undermine the trust in the legal system at large, diminish reporting, and possibly make the Stanford community a more dangerous place for all, the letter said.

In her letter to the judge, Dauber wrote that Stanfords surveys have found that 43% of female undergraduates have experienced sexual assault or misconduct, and that more than two-thirds of them said perpetrators took advantage of intoxicated victims. But only 2.7% of students who experienced assault or nonconsensual sexual contact reported it to the university.

Turners sentencing only does further damage, Dauber added, noting that she has observed nonviolent drug offenders receive much harsher treatment by judges.

Aaron Persky is telling these women dont bother calling police. Even if you get through a trial and even if you manage to get a conviction, I will not impose a serious sanction, Dauber said.

Dauber said she would be launching a formal campaign this week to recall the judge from office, and a petition calling for him to be removed has already garnered more than 45,000 signatures.

A spokesman for Santa Clara superior court said the judge was barred from commenting on this case while there is an appeal pending. After sentencing, Turners attorneys notified court that they intend to appeal the conviction.

In a follow-up email to the Guardian on Monday, the victim said her case speaks to the experiences of women across the country.

I remain anonymous, yes to protect my identity. But it is also as a statement, that all of these people are fighting for someone they dont know. Thats the beauty of it. I dont need labels, categories, to prove I am worthy of respect, to prove that I should be listened to. I am coming out to you as simply a woman wanting to be heard. Yes there is plenty more Id like to tell you about me. For now, I am everywoman.

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Army says bodies of 4 Fort Hood soldiers found | Fox News

The Army said Friday they have found the bodies of four Fort Hood soldiers who were swept away in a rain-swollen creek during a training exercise at the sprawling Army base in Central Texas.

Maj. Gen. John Uberti says the bodies were found a day after their 2 1/2-ton truck overturned in Owl Creek at Fort Hood. Five other soldiers were killed and three more injured.

Fort Hood spokesman Chris Haug said late Thursday that teams found the bodies of two more soldiers who had been in the vehicle. Three other soldiers were found dead shortly after the 2 1/2-ton truck overturned in Owl Creek during a morning training exercise on the Central Texas army post.

“It was a situation where the rain had come, the water was rising quickly and we were in the process, at the moment of the event, of closing the roads,” Haug said Thursday.

Soldiers on training exercises regularly contend with high-water situations following heavy rains, he said.

“This was a tactical vehicle and at the time they were in a proper place for what they were training,” Haug said. “It’s just an unfortunate accident that occurred quickly.”

Three soldiers were rescued and were hospitalized in stable condition.

This tragedy extends well beyond Fort Hood Maj. Gen. John Uberti said Friday, adding that the Army is providing support and counseling to soldiers, families and friends affected in the incident.

It was the third tragic incident of the day for the U.S. military, after a Blue Angels fighter pilot was killed in a crash in Tennessee and the pilot of an Air Force jet participating in a Colorado graduation ceremony’s flyover was slightly injured after he ejected before the craft crashed in a field.

The Texas soldiers involved are from the Armys famed 1st Cavalry Division, which is based at Fort Hood.

The Army has yet to release any of the names of the deceased soldiers because it was still notifying relatives.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the soldiers their families and the Fort Hood community,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement late Thursday.

“The brave men and women stationed at Fort Hood put their life on the line every day, be it through rescue operations or on the battlefield. Texas will forever remain grateful for their sacrifices,” Abbott said.

Fort Hood spokesman John Miller said the low-water crossing of the creek was flooded by two days of intermittent heavy rains when the swift water swept the truck from the road.

Maj. Gen. John C. Thomson II, the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, released a statement on Facebook late Thursday.

Parts of Texas have been inundated with rain in the last week, and more than half of the state is under flood watches or warnings, including the counties near Fort Hood. At least six people died in floods last week in Central and Southeast Texas.

Across parts of Texas, many were keeping an eye on a new batch of storms that could dump up to 10 inches of rain from Thursday through Saturday and worsen flooding caused by waterways that have already risen to record levels.

The heaviest rainfall Thursday night was reported in LaPorte, on the western shore of Galveston Bay, where 4.36 inches of rain was recorded between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday.

Earlier, a storm system that moved through the Houston area Wednesday night and Thursday morning dumped nearly 8 inches of rain in some of the city’s northern suburbs, causing flooding in some neighborhoods. In Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston, about 1,400 homes have been affected by the Brazos River, swollen by heavy rainfall from last week.

Officials say levels in the Brazos have not dropped much and additional rainfall could make the flooding worse.

“With the rain that’s predicted, that’s not going to help things as that water has no place to go,” said Lt. Lowell Neinast, with the police department in Richmond, where more than 700 people have been evacuated.

Fort Bend County emergency management coordinator Jeff Braun said officials have worked to warn and prepare residents ahead of the additional rainfall.

More than 50 people are staying at shelters in Fort Bend County, one of the 31 counties included in a disaster declaration by Abbott. Braun said it could be at least a week before the flooding recedes and residents can go home.

This week’s storms are the latest in a string of torrential rains since May 2015 that have put swaths of the state underwater. Some areas now overwhelmed by water had run dry two years ago due to drought conditions.

Fox News Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Muhammad Ali, boxing legend, cultural icon dies at 74, funeral planned for Friday | Fox News

Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion boxer whose electrifying prowess in the ring and controversial outspokenness outside of it made him one of the worlds most recognizable personalities of the 20th Century, died Friday after a battle with a respiratory illness at a Phoenix hospital. He was 74.

Ali family spokesperson Bob Gunnell said Saturday that Alis funeral will take place in his hometown of Louisville, Ky., Friday and include a morning motorcade through the city, private burial at Cave Hill cemetery and a public memorial at the KFC Yum! Center.

Gunnell said that former President Bill Clinton, broadcaster Bryant Gumbel, and actor Billy Crystal will deliver the eulogies at the afternoon memorial which will be streamlined live around world.

The spokesman said Ali died of septic shock “due to unspecified natural causes.” He said the boxing legend died Friday at 9:10 p.m. local time, spending the last hour of his life surrounded by his family. He was initially hospitalized in the Phoenix area on Monday.

One of Ali’s daughters described her father’s last moments, saying his heart wouldn’t stop beating for 30 minutes after all of his other organs failed. Hana Ali wrote on Instagram that “no one had even seen anything like it.”

She said the family was surrounding Ali, hugging and kissing him, holding his hands and chanting an Islamic prayer while his heart kept beating as his other organs failed. She called it a “true testament to the strength of his spirit and will.”

I think he will be rememembered as a man of the world who spoke his mind and wasnt afraid to take a chance and went out of his way to be a kind and benevolent individual who changed the world, Gunnell said at a news conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Reaction to Alis death immediately poured in on Twitter early Saturday from former boxing champions to celebrities and politicians.

President Obama and the First Lady issued a statement saying that they mourned his passing, but are “grateful to God for how fortunate we are to have known him, if just for a while; for how fortunate we all are that The Greatest chose to grace our time.”

Obama keeps a pair of boxing gloves worn by Ali in his private study near the Oval office.

Later Saturday afternoon, Obama called Ali’s wife, Yolanda “Lonnie” Ali to offer his condolences.

“The president expressed to Lonnie how fortunate he and the First Lady felt to have met Muhammad,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Jennifer Friedman said in a statement. “He recounted how special ti was to have witnessed “The Champ” change the arc of history.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said all flags on municipal buildings will be lowered to half-staff Saturday in honor of Ali.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton called Ali a “true champion” in a statement posted on Twitter.

Bill and Hillary Clinton released a joint statement on Alis passing.

Hillary and I are saddened by the passing of Muhammad Ali. From the day he claimed the Olympic gold medal in 1960, boxing fans across the world knew they were seeing a blend of beauty and grace, speed and strength that may never be matched again, the statement read. We watched him grow from the brash self-confidence of youth and success into a manhood full of religious and political convictions that led him to make tough choices and live with the consequences. Along the way we saw him courageous in the ring, inspiring to the young, compassionate to those in need, and strong and good-humored in bearing the burden of his own health challenges.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also released a short statement on the boxing legends death saying, “Muhammad Ali was the greatest, not only an extraordinary athlete but a man of great courage and humanity.”

At the time fighting under his birth name, Cassius Clay first gained worldwide notice at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, where he won gold as a heavyweight. He more fully burst onto the public scene in 1964, when as a 7-1 underdog he fought and defeated Sonny Liston for the professional heavyweight championship. Loudly and frequently vowing to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, Ali knocked out Liston in seven rounds, becoming, at the time, the youngest champion in history, at the age of 22.

It was before the Liston fight that Ali made his famous I Am the Greatest speech, a phrase he repeated and others chanted along with him – countless times in the ensuing years, as he racked up famous quotes, quips and occasional diatribes as easily as he did knockouts. While boxing made him famous, it was that unparalleled showmanship and activism outside the ring that cemented his status as the most recognized person in the world.

After the Liston fight, Ali earned both the condemnation and support of millions in the U.S. and around the world after publicly announcing that he had joined the Nation of Islam. He would make more and much bigger headlines later by making controversial statements about race relations, openly celebrating his friendship with Malcolm X, and staunchly refusing to be drafted for military duty in Vietnam.

In the ring, meanwhile, Ali stirred yet more controversy just 15 months after the first Liston fight, when he won a rematch with a first-round knockout punch so sudden and sharp that some believed Liston had actually thrown the fight rather than stay in the ring with the young champ. That produced one of the most iconic sports photos in American history, which shows a glowering Ali waving a fist over the laid-out Liston, screaming at him to get off the canvas.

The undefeated champ easily defeated a string of opponents until he was stripped of the heavyweight crown in 1967, after his continued refusal to be inducted into the military, and his conviction as a draft evader. Saying at times that his enemy was more the white man than the Communist forces in Vietnam, Ali made his position clear with another of his innumerable one-liners: Man, I aint got no quarrel with them Vietcong, adding that no Vietnamese ever called me n—–.

His boxing license was eventually revoked in all 50 states, and he did not fight for more than three years before the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned his conviction in 1971. Ali would regain the heavyweight title two more times, in 1974 and 1978, and ultimately defended his title 19 times.

At 6-foot-3, around 215 pounds and with a 78-inch reach, Ali early in his career paired an orthodox stance with, for a heavyweight, a previously unmatched ability to dance around the ring, eluding opponents swings and delivering devastating counterpunches. As he lost a step later in his career, it was his willingness to absorb constant hits while simultaneously wearing out his foe — a strategy that would become known as the rope-a-dope — that allowed him to maintain his standing as the sports best. When he retired in 1981 after 21 years as a professional, his lifetime record in 61 bouts stood at 56-5, with 37 wins by knockout.

Ali, somewhere between his prime and the aging fighter he later became, returned to the ring in 1971 to fight also-unbeaten Joe Frazier, who had captured the championship while Ali was in boxing exile. The so-called Fight of the Century was billed by many as the greatest sporting event in U.S. history, and drew a then-record domestic and international closed circuit audience. Ali lost to Frazier in a 15-round decision, but returned to defeat Frazier in two more matches. The Ali-Frazier rivalry is still the benchmark gold standard for many sportswriters, who continue to invoke images of the intense relationship between the two that fueled boxing for years.

After having his jaw broken and losing another fight in 1973, to ex-Marine Ken Norton, Ali began to plot his comeback. His efforts came full circle in 1974 when he fought George Foreman in the so-called Rumble in the Jungle.

Staged in Kinshasa, Zaire, the fight earned Ali a then-unheard of $10 million as he knocked out Foreman in a stunning upset, thus regaining the heavyweight crown. He successfully defended his title the following year against Frazier in The Thrilla in Manila, a fight widely regarded as one of the best heavyweight championship matches in history. Ali briefly lost his title when he was defeated by Leon Spinks in 1978, but regained it seven months later in a rematch, making him the first three-time heavyweight champion.

By 1980, the 38-year-old Ali had retired but was lured back by the possibility of capturing the boxing crown for an unprecedented fourth time — and the promise of an $8 million purse. The match against Larry Holmes turned out to be a disaster that his trainer Angelo Dundee stopped after the 10th round.

The descendant of a runaway Kentucky slave, Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky on Jan. 17, 1942, named for the 19th century abolitionist (and slave owner). He began learning how to box at 12 when his bike was stolen. Seething over the theft, one account of his story goes, Ali found Joe Martin, a police officer, in a gym and promised to whup the culprit, to which Martin told the 89-pound Ali, you better learn to box first.

By the time he reached the 1960 Olympics, Ali was already a two-time Golden Gloves champion. And after turning pro following his Olympics performance, he quickly ran up a 19-0 record before the famed Liston showdown in February 1964.

As his boxing career flourished Ali, who was raised a Baptist, looked for another spiritual outlet. The day after he beat Liston for the first time, he announced that he was a member of the Nation of Islam, and that his name was Cassius X — the X reflecting the unknown name taken from him by slave owners centuries before. Soon he officially changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

After Ali first refused military service on religious grounds, saying he was a preacher, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. He was free on appeal and made his money on college speaking tours, and lost successive appeals and legal decisions before the Supreme Court overturned his conviction.

As the effect of Parkinsons began to take its toll on Ali in the mid-1980s a condition doctors believe was caused by the thousands of blows to his head over the years he remained a public and newsworthy figure. In 1990, he met with President Saddam Hussein following Iraqs invasion of Kuwait to successfully negotiate the release of 14 U.S. hostages. Six years later, he lit the Olympic torch at the 1996 games in Atlanta. He also helped found the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix in 1997, which aims to aid those stricken with the disease.

In subsequent years, he remained a much-admired sports icon. Sports Illustrated named him Sportsman of the Century in 1999, and the BBC named him Sports Personality of the Century that same year. In 2005, President George W. Bush awarded Ali the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian honor, and he was named a flag bearer for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He was the subject of numerous books and a film documentary.

But no one could sum up Ali like the man himself. A amateur poet who often regaled fans and sportswriters with his rhyming pre-fight predictions, in which he often successfully called the round in which the match would end, Ali once took credit for writing what he insisted was the short poem ever written:

Wheee. Me!

Ali is survived by his wife, the former Lonnie Williams, and nine children: Maryum, Rasheda, Jamillah, Hana, Laila, Khaliah, Miya, Muhammad and Asaad. Ali was married four times: to Sonji Roi from 1964 to 1966; to Belinda Boyd from 1967 to 1977; and to Veronica Porsche Ali from 1977 to 1986; and Williams, whom he married in 1986.

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BuzzFeed Refuses To Run Trump Ads, Backs Out Of Agreement With RNC

BuzzFeed will not be running any ads from the Republican National Committee this fall, according to CEO Jonah Peretti. He announced Monday that the media company has terminated a previously agreed-upon advertising deal with the RNC.

Peretti specifically cited presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric in an email to staff explaining the decision, saying Trump’s campaign policies are “directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world.”

Peretti acknowledged BuzzFeed’s termination of the deal means it’s walking away from a “significant amount” of money.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced Monday that the companyhas backed out of a deal to runRNC advertisements.

“We don’t need to and do not expect to agree with the positions or values of all our advertisers,” Peretti wrote in the email. “And as you know, there is a wall between our business and editorial operations. This decision to cancel this ad buy will have no influence on our continuing coverage of the campaign.”

“We certainly don’t like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.”

Here’s the entire text of Peretti’s email to staffers:

Hello BuzzFeeders,

I wanted to share with you a business decision we have made regarding the Trump for President campaign and why we made it.

In April, the Republican National Committee signed an agreement with BuzzFeed to spend a significant amount on political advertisements slated to run during the Fall election cycle. As you know, we accept advertisements from both republican and democratic candidates and we were pleased to accept this advertising order from the RNC.

Since signing this advertising deal, Donald Trump, as you know, has become the presumptive nominee of his party. The tone and substance of his campaign are unique in the history of modern US politics. Trump advocates banning Muslims from traveling to the United States, he’s threatened to limit the free press, and made offensive statements toward women, immigrants, descendants of immigrants, and foreign nationals.

Earlier today Buzzfeed informed the RNC that we would not accept Trump for President ads and that we would be terminating our agreement with them. The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.

We don’t need to and do not expect to agree with the positions or values of all our advertisers. And as you know, there is a wall between our business and editorial operations. This decision to cancel this ad buy will have no influence on our continuing coverage of the campaign.

We certainly don’t like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.



In December, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith informed reporters that referring to Trump as a “liar” and a “mendacious racist” was fair game because the terms are accurate reflections of his campaign.

“BuzzFeed News’s reporting is rooted in facts, not opinion; these are facts,” Smith explained at the time. “There’s nothing partisan about accurately describing Donald Trump.”

Neither BuzzFeed nor the RNC immediately responded to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Germany rock festival cancelled after lightning strike – BBC News

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The bad weather has forced organisers to bring the festival to an early end

The third and final day of the sell-out Rock am Ring music festival in Germany has been cancelled after lightning hurt at least 80 fans, organisers say.

They say the decision was taken after more bad weather was forecast.

Performances were suspended on Saturday during continued thunderstorms, forcing many of the 92,000 fans at the open-air event to shelter in cars and tents.

Organisers were forced to cancel it after local authorities revoked its licence early on Sunday morning.

They said on Facebook (in German) that they regretted the decision but accepted it was necessary because the safety of fans was of paramount importance.

Critics on Facebook have accused organisers of not cancelling the event quickly enough.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Torrential rain showers continued throughout Saturday
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The festival has attracted more than 90,000 fans

Fans at Rock am Ring – held at the airport in the town of Mendig, about 100km (62 miles) west of Frankfurt – were told to clear the festival grounds by noon on Sunday.

At least eight people were seriously injured by the lightning strike early on Saturday morning.

Central Europe has been hit by severe storms and rain over the past few weeks, leading to 11 deaths in Germany.

The Rock am Ring festival – one of the most popular of its kind in Germany – also suffered lightning strikes last year, when 33 people were taken to hospital.

The festival website has repeatedly warned fans of the possibility of strong rainfall and thunderstorms.

The organisers of Rock am Ring, now in its 31st year, initially said on Saturday that this year’s event would continue. It was due to have finished on Sunday evening.

Red Hot Chili Peppers were among several bands, including Black Sabbath, Foals, Deftones and We Are Scientists, who were on the line-up.

Last weekend, 35 people were injured, three seriously, when lightning struck a football match in south-west Germany. A further 11 people were hurt by a lightning strike in a Paris park where a children’s birthday party was taking place.

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Elizabeth Warren Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Laying Into Donald Trump

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) continued her streak of lambasting presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump during remarks at the Massachusetts Democrats state convention on Saturday.

“Every day there’s another story or incident that completely disqualifies him from being president,” Warren said in some of her sharpest attacks yet against the Republican candidate. “Every day there’s another piece of evidence that exposes this small, insecure money-grubber.”

Warren hammered Trump for lying “so routinely and so ridiculously it’s really hard to keep up,” going after the for-profit Trump University, which currently faces multiple lawsuits.

“His playbook said to look for people with problems; they make good targets,” Warren said, referring to the internal guidelines Trump U. salespeople followed. Those guidelines encouraged its employees to mislead and manipulate potential customers.

“These were ordinary folks who were targeted because they had problems and Trump saw they were vulnerable and he could make a buck,” Warren said. “Here’s a man who builds a business to profit off other peoples’ pain. He wants to be commander-in-chief, but he’s qualified only to be fraudster-in-chief.”

The Democratic senator has seized every opportunity to lay into Trump, going after him on Twitter, in commencement remarks and even while accepting an award.

Trump has hit back, saying Warren has “a big mouth” and calling her “goofy” and “one of the least effective Senators in the entire U.S. Senate.” (He’s wrong.)

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

Read more: