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    The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local): 11:25 a.m. Sen. Tim Scott says President Donald Trump can regain his moral authority on the issue of race by spending time with people who have lived through the nation's difficult racial past. The South Carolina Republican said last week that Trump's moral authority had become comprised after the president made comments that appeared to equate neo-Nazis and white supremacists with those who came out to oppose them in Charlottesville, Virginia. Scott says what's important at this point is not what Trump says next, but what he does. Scott says that without a personal connection to the pain that racism has caused, he thinks it will be hard for Trump to regain that moral authority. He spoke Sunday on CBS' 'Face the Nation.' ___ 11:10 a.m. Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich says President Donald Trump needs to stop the staff chaos at the White House and 'settle it down.' Strategist Steve Bannon last week became the latest top White House official to be shown the door. In seven months in office, Trump has dismissed a national security adviser, a chief of staff, two communications directors and a press secretary, among others. Kasich is among those who fear the staff churn is hampering Trump's ability to notch a major legislative victory. Kasich, who challenged Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, says: 'You can't keep putting new people in the lineup and think you're going to win a world championship.' Kasich made his comments Sunday on CNN's 'State of the Union.
  • Dick Gregory, the comedian and activist and who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, has died. He was 84. Gregory died late Saturday in Washington, D.C. after being hospitalized for about a week, his son Christian Gregory told The Associated Press. He had suffered a severe bacterial infection. 'Years of severe fasting, not for health but for social change, had damaged his vasculature system long ago. He always reminded us, many of his fasts were not about his personal health but an attempt to heal the world,' Christian Gregory said. 'Condolences to his family and to us who won't have his insight 2 lean on,' Whoopi Goldberg wrote on Twitter. As one of the first black standup comedians to find success with white audiences, in the early 1960s, Gregory rose from an impoverished childhood in St. Louis to win a college track scholarship and become a celebrated satirist who deftly commented upon racial divisions at the dawn of the civil rights movement. 'Where else in the world but America,' he joked, 'could I have lived in the worst neighborhoods, attended the worst schools, rode in the back of the bus, and get paid $5,000 a week just for talking about it?' Gregory's sharp commentary soon led him into civil rights activism, where his ability to woo audiences through humor helped bring national attention to fledgling efforts at integration and social equality for blacks. Gregory briefly sought political office, running unsuccessfully for mayor of Chicago in 1966 and U.S. president in 1968, when he got 200,000 votes as the Peace and Freedom party candidate. In the late '60s, he befriended John Lennon and was among the voices heard on Lennon's anti-war anthem 'Give Peace a Chance,' recorded in the Montreal hotel room where Lennon and Yoko Ono were staging a 'bed-in' for peace. An admirer of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Gregory embraced nonviolence and became a vegetarian and marathon runner. He preached about the transformative powers of prayer and good health. Once an overweight smoker and drinker, he became a trim, energetic proponent of liquid meals and raw food diets. In the late 1980s, he developed and distributed products for the popular Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet. When diagnosed with lymphoma in 2000, he fought it with herbs, exercise and vitamins. It went in remission a few years later. He took a break from performing in comedy clubs, saying the alcohol and smoke in the clubs were unhealthy and focused on lecturing and writing more than a dozen books, including an autobiography and a memoir. Gregory went without solid food for weeks to draw attention to a wide range of causes, including Middle East peace, American hostages in Iran, animal rights, police brutality, the Equal Rights Amendment for women and to support pop singer Michael Jackson when he was charged with sexual molestation in 2004. 'We thought I was going to be a great athlete, and we were wrong, and I thought I was going to be a great entertainer, and that wasn't it either. I'm going to be an American Citizen. First class,' he once said. Richard Claxton Gregory was born in 1932, the second of six children. His father abandoned the family, leaving his mother poor and struggling. Though the family often went without food or electricity, Gregory's intellect and hard work quickly earned him honors, and he attended the mostly white Southern Illinois University. 'In high school I was fighting being broke and on relief,' he wrote in his 1963 book. 'But in college, I was fighting being Negro.' He started winning talent contests for his comedy, which he continued in the Army. After he was discharged, he struggled to break into the standup circuit in Chicago, working odd jobs as a postal clerk and car washer to survive. His breakthrough came in 1961, when he was asked to fill in for another comedian at Chicago's Playboy Club. His audience, mostly white Southern businessmen, heckled him with racist gibes, but he stuck it out for hours and left them howling. That job was supposed to be a one-night gig, but lasted two months -- and landed him a profile in Time magazine and a spot on 'The Tonight Show.' Vogue magazine, in February 1962, likened him to Will Rogers and Fred Allen: 'bright and funny and topical ... (with) a way of making the editorials in The New York Times seem the cinch stuff from which smash night-club routines are rightfully made.' ''I've got to go up there as an individual first, a Negro second,' he said in Phil Berger's book, 'The Last Laugh: The World of Stand-up Comics.' ''I've got to be a colored funny man, not a funny colored man.' His political passions were never far from his mind -- and they hurt his comedy career. The nation was grappling with the civil rights movement, and it was not at all clear that racial integration could be achieved. At protest marches, he was repeatedly beaten and jailed. He remained active on the comedy scene until recently, when he fell ill and canceled an Aug. 9 show in San Jose, California, followed by an Aug. 15 appearance in Atlanta. On social media, he wrote that he felt energized by the messages from his well-wishers, and said he was looking to get back on stage because he had a lot to say about the racial tension brought on by the gathering of hate groups in Charlottesville, Virginia. 'We have so much work still to be done, the ugly reality on the news this weekend proves just that,' he wrote. He is survived by his wife, Lillian, and 10 children.
  • The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision not to participate in the Kennedy Center arts awards (all times local): 9:45 a.m. The Kennedy Center arts awards program will go on. Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah Rutter say in a statement that they respect President Donald Trump's decision to cancel a traditional White House reception for the five honorees. The White House reception had been scheduled for Dec. 3. Rubenstein and Rutter say a State Department reception and awards dinner on Dec. 2 and the Honors Gala on Dec. 3 will continue as planned. They say the five honorees — Carmen de Lavallade, Gloria Estefan, LL COOL J, Norman Lear and Lionel Richie — are expected to attend both events. Several of the honorees had said they would not attend a White House reception presided over by Trump. ___ 8 a.m. The White House has announced that President Donald Trump and the first lady have decided not to participate in events honoring recipients of this year's Kennedy Center arts awards. The statement says the decision to break with tradition was made to 'allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.' Past presidents and first ladies have hosted a reception for honorees at the White House before the Kennedy Center gala and sat with them at the televised event. The decision comes a day after the entire membership of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities resigned to protest Trump's comments about last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. But Trump has long had a contentious relationship with the arts world and some of the Kennedy Center honorees already had said they would not attend the White House reception in December.
  • Acknowledging that he has become a 'political distraction,' President Donald Trump has decided to skip the festivities surrounding the annual Kennedy Center Honors arts awards later this year, the White House announced Saturday amid the continuing fallout over Trump's stance on last weekend's white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Kennedy Center said it respected Trump's decision and the show will go on. Trump and first lady Melania Trump reached their decision Friday, a White House official said, the same day that the entire membership of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned in protest over Trump's remarks about Charlottesville. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations and insisted on anonymity to comment. Trump has blamed 'both sides' for the Aug. 12 violence that left an anti-racism activist dead. Presidents traditionally host a light-hearted and oftentimes humorous gathering for the honorees at the White House before the awards ceremony at the performing arts center. Trump will not hold that reception this year, and he and the first lady will not attend the gala. It will be the fourth time in the awards' 40-year history that a president will miss out on the ceremony. Trump long has had a contentious relationship with the arts world and some of those being recognized for lifetime achievement in their fields had already made clear they would boycott a White House reception presided over by Trump. His decision capped a week in which he was put on the defensive over his Charlottesville remarks. Elected and former elected officials in both parties urged Trump to more forcefully denounce the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched through Charlottesville, while others openly questioned his competence and moral leadership. Corporate titans whom Trump enjoyed schmoozing with at the White House fled advisory boards they had agreed to serve on, while uniformed leaders of the armed services denounced racism and hatred without naming their commander in chief. One of Trump's evangelical advisers also stepped down, and the number of major charities that are canceling fundraisers planned for Trump's property in Palm Beach, Florida, has been rising. 'The president and first lady have decided not to participate in this year's activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction,' White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. Sanders said the Trumps offer their 'sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year's award recipients for their many accomplishments.' Television writer and producer Norman Lear, among the five honorees announced earlier this month, had questioned whether Trump would want to attend the gala 'given his indifference or worse regarding the arts and humanities.' Trump has recommended eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dancer Carmen de Lavallade said on her website Thursday that she was honored to be recognized, but would not go to the White House. 'In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our existing leadership is choosing to engage in, and in keeping with the principles that I and so many others have fought for, I will be declining the invitation to attend the reception at the White House,' she said. Singer Gloria Estefan had said she would set her personal politics aside to accept the honor, now in its 40th year. She said the image of a Cuban immigrant like herself being honored is important when Latino immigrants in particular have 'taken a beating in the recent past.' Estefan once hosted a Democratic fundraiser attended by President Barack Obama. She said she and her husband, Emilio, are not affiliated with a political party. Representatives for the remaining honorees — hip-hop artist LL Cool J, who had not yet said whether he would show up at the White House, and singer Lionel Richie, who described himself as a maybe — did not respond to requests for comment. Some celebrities supported Trump. 'Wise solution. Recipients wanted to boycott; @POTUS deferred and graciously withdrew. Problem solved. A perfect metaphor. #DISENGAGE,' tweeted actor James Woods. Musician Ted Nugent said on Fox News Channel this week that Trump was not unambiguous in his remarks. 'We condemn all violence. That's what President Trump said. And all lives matter. If you don't agree with, that you're a racist,' he said. Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter said they respected Trump's decision. 'In choosing not to participate in this year's Honors activities, the administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees. We are grateful for this gesture,' they said in a joint statement. 'This is the first time you've had a president who is not attending because he did not want to be embarrassed by people not showing up for their honors,' said Steven J. Ross, a University of Southern California history professor who has written books about Hollywood and politics. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton missed the gala due to major issues that demanded their time. Carter didn't attend in 1979 because of the Iran hostage crisis, Bush was at a summit in Malta in 1989 while Clinton was on his way to a conference in 1994. All five honorees will be celebrated at the Kennedy Center on Dec. 3 with performances and tributes by top entertainers. A traditional State Department reception and awards dinner on Dec. 2 will be held as planned. ___ AP Television Writer Lynn Elber in Los Angeles and Associated Press writer Doug Daniel contributed to this report. ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap
  • Another presidential advisory committee is breaking up. Actor Kal Penn, artist Chuck Close and the entire membership of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities have announced their resignation. A letter dated Friday, and signed by 16 of 17 committee members, cited the 'false equivalence' of President Donald Trump's comments about last weekend's 'Unite the Right' gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump has blamed 'many sides' for the demonstrations that left an anti-racism activist dead. The White House said Trump had already decided against renewing the advisory committee for budgetary reasons. 'Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions,' the letter reads. 'Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too.' The only member whose name did not appear was Broadway director George C. Wolfe. Representatives for Wolfe at Creative Arts Agency said Friday that he was also resigning and that his name would be added to the letter, which seemed to contain a hidden political message beyond the ones stated openly. The first initials of the letter's six main paragraphs spell out 'r-e-s-i-s-t.' 'Earlier this month it was decided that President Trump will not renew the executive order for the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), which expires later this year,' the White House said in a statement attributed to an unnamed spokesperson. 'While the committee has done good work in the past, in its current form it simply is not a responsible way to spend American tax dollars.' The statement said the committee 'merely redirects funding' from federal cultural agencies that report directly to the president, Congress and taxpayers. 'These cultural agencies do tremendous work and they will continue to engage in these important projects,' the statement said. Earlier this week, two business advisory councils were disbanded as members left in protest. Friday's exodus heightened the arts world's contentious relationship with Trump. The president struggled to find entertainers, many of whom backed Hillary Clinton in 2016, to perform at his inaugural gala, and Kennedy Center honorees for lifetime achievement have already said they will not attend the White House reception in December. As president, Trump has also recommended defunding the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. The arts and humanities committee was established in 1982 under President Ronald Reagan and, with the first lady serving as honorary chair, works with both government and private agencies in promoting the arts through such programs as Turnaround Arts and Save America's Treasures. Others signing the resignation letter included Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri; and Vicki Kennedy, widow of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. All were appointed by President Barack Obama. ___ Associated Press writer Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.
  • President Donald Trump is known to be an avid viewer of “Fox & Friends,” but on Wednesday morning, the show wasn’t entirely kind to him. Republican strategist Gianno Caldwell, who heads up Caldwell Strategic Consulting in Washington, D.C., broke down when talking about Trump’s response to the deadly Charlottesville violence. >> Watch the clip here Host Abby Huntsman first asked Johns Hopkins professor Wendy Osefo for her stance; Huntsman introduced the topic as the removal of Confederate monuments. However, Osefo quickly addressed the racism she saw in Charlottesville, saying, “This is not ‘talking points’ here; this is personal. And we as a nation, as a country, have to do better.” >> Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville Huntsman moved to Caldwell, saying, “There are good people on both sides of this debate. We talk about keeping these statues up, people that I’ve talked to have said this is about history. How do we move forward — how do we learn from those mistakes if we just tear everything down?” But Caldwell, clearly emotional, opened by saying, “Last night I couldn’t sleep at all. Because President Trump — our president — has literally betrayed the conscience of our country.” >> Woman who allegedly helped topple North Carolina Confederate statue arrested Caldwell then hit back directly at Huntsman’s remarks, saying, “It’s very unfortunate that our president would say things like he did in that press conference yesterday when he says, ‘There’s good people on the side of the Nazis. They weren’t all Nazis. They weren’t all white supremacists.”He continued: 'Mr. President, good people don’t pal around with Nazis and white supremacists. Maybe they don’t consider themselves white supremacists and Nazis, but certainly they hold those views. This has become very troubling, and for anyone to come on any network and defend what President Trump did and said at that press conference yesterday is completely lost, and the potential to be morally bankrupt. I am sorry, no I believe that, and I’m being very honest as someone who has been talking about these issues for a very long time. I’m sorry that this is where we are right now.' >> Read more trending news Huntsman tried to return to her talking point of the Confederate statues, saying, “It’s a slippery slope. Where does that end? Where do you fall specifically on that debate?” Caldwell said, “People who are taking down the statues should do so legally. … You can’t destroy property. That’s against the law.” “Fox & Friends” is generally friendly to Trump, and his Twitter feed often directly references the show — if he sees something he likes on “Fox & Friends,” he quickly tweets it out to his 36 million followers. The New York Times noted that “for no other reason than its No. 1 fan, ['Fox & Friends'] is the most powerful TV show in America.”
  • A Fox News Channel anchor whose reaction to President Donald Trump's comments on Charlottesville spread widely says she feels threatened but not deterred after a flood of angry responses from viewers to her words. Kat Timpf, of the show 'The Fox News Specialists,' said that she's blocked part of her Twitter feed and stopped looking at emails. A day earlier, Timpf called Trump's news conference disgusting and said 'I have too much eye makeup on to cry right now.' Raw feelings were close to the surface on news networks Wednesday but particularly at Fox, the favorite news network for Trump and his supporters, after the president said there was 'blame on both sides' for violence at a weekend rally in Virginia organized by white nationalists. Tears flowed on the air, by CNN's Kate Bolduan as she watched a memorial service for a woman killed Saturday, by Fox's Melissa Francis as she argued on 'Outnumbered' and by two guests on a 'Fox & Friends segment. Timpf's reaction to Trump was even replayed hours later by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. That left her vulnerable to attack by Trump supporters, who seem to take particular affront when the president is criticized on Fox. Both Timpf and Eboni K. Williams, a co-host who blistered Trump in a commentary on Monday's show, inspired Twitter hashtags calling for their firing. Wrote one critic on Twitter: 'I thought I was watching MSNBC.' Another suggested, 'get rid of the snowflakes. Your (sic) turning into another liberal news channel.' Some messages were unprintably vile; Timpf retweeted one. Timpf, in an interview, said she was particularly chilled by one tweet that called her 'a disgrace to the white race.' 'I've gotten some positive things, but the negativity I've gotten is incredibly disturbing,' she said. 'I've seen enough to know just how disturbing the climate is right now. I'm fully aware of it and don't need any more bringing me down on a personal level.' She said that 'it doesn't seem like it's too difficult to do the right thing and respond by saying 'Nazis are bad.' I can't believe that my stance is a controversial stance, or something you need to even take a stand on at all these days. It's really upsetting.' Timpf said she didn't care if she'd lost some support from Fox viewers. 'There's nothing in my head that has me even considering approaching things in any other way than I have approached it,' she said. Earlier on Wednesday, a 'Fox & Friends' segment anchored by Abby Huntsman ended with both guests in tears. Billed as a debate on removing Confederate monuments between Johns Hopkins University professor Wendy Osefo and Republican consultant Gianno Caldwell, the participants instead turned their attention to condemning Trump. 'This has become very troubling,' said Caldwell, who said he couldn't sleep the night before. 'For anyone to come on any network and defend what President Trump did and said at the press conference yesterday is completely lost and (has) the potential to be morally bankrupt.' Fox News anchor Shepard Smith said his show had tried without success Wednesday to book Republicans who would defend Trump. 'Let's be honest, Republicans often don't really mind coming on Fox News Channel,' Smith said. But he said that Republican leaders who had condemned the president spoke in generalities while not using Trump's name. Francis lost her composure on Fox's midday show while discussing with Juan Williams the idea of whether Trump was assigning equivalency to both sides of the Charlottesville protest. 'I feel like there is nothing any of us can say right now without being judged,' she said.
  • A neo-Nazi website's publisher said Wednesday that he has 'effectively been completely banned from the internet' after mocking the victim of a deadly car attack at a white nationalist rally in Virginia. 'Clearly, the powers that be believe that they have the ability to simply kick me off the internet,' Andrew Anglin, who has published the site from an undisclosed location, complained to The Associated Press in an email. Access to The Daily Stormer had been sporadic since Monday, when Google canceled its domain name registration, making its IP address nearly impossible for internet users to locate. The site had moved its registration to Google after GoDaddy tweeted late Sunday night that it had given The Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider. Google then yanked the address as well, citing a violation of its terms of service. The site briefly reappeared Wednesday with a Russian domain name and registration and a dubious top story, making the unsupported claim that President Donald Trump had called Russian President Vladimir Putin to get the site restored. The story presented no evidence that Trump or Putin had any involvement in the move and Trump has no known links to the site. Until mid-day, the site continued to receive performance and security services from San Francisco-based Cloudflare Inc., protecting it from denial of service attacks. Cloudflare confirmed Wednesday afternoon that it had terminated the website's account. 'The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology,' said CEO Matthew Prince in a blog post . 'Like a lot of people, we've felt angry at these hateful people for a long time.' The site takes its name from Der Stürmer, a newspaper that published Nazi propaganda. Anglin said he was struggling to find a domain registry service whose terms of service allow for the content he produces. 'I have been kicked off of 4 of them so far, and many of them contain explicit references to 'hate speech' in their ToS. Others would be incapable of managing the DDoS attacks,' Anglin wrote, expressing frustration with ICANN, the international nonprofit that authorizes domain-name registrars. 'If they don't have a single registrar willing to host me, then they have effectively banned me from registering a domain.' Anglin had been keeping up his inflammatory statements through the Russian domain, mocking Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed when a man remembered for praising Adolph Hitler rammed his car into a crowd of demonstrators in Charlottesville on Saturday. The original story called her, among many other things, 'the definition of uselessness.' But Anglin had other fresh trouble as well: A Muslim-American radio host filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing him of defamation by falsely labeling him the 'mastermind' of a deadly concert bombing in England. SiriusXM Radio show host Dean Obeidallah said The Daily Stormer embedded fabricated tweets in a June 1 story to make them seem like they had been sent from Obeidallah's Twitter account, tricking readers into believing he took responsibility for the May 22 terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. The death threats came quickly thereafter. 'It was literally jaw-dropping,' Obeidallah, a comedian and Daily Beast columnist, told the AP. 'The death threats were something I've never seen before in my life.' The suit claims that the article's defamatory statements were intended to incite violence against Obeidallah, citing other alleged examples of Daily Stormer readers who did just that, including Dylann Roof, who read the site before killing black churchgoers in South Carolina. 'Mr. Obeidallah is an ardent believer in and defender of the First Amendment. He recognizes the importance of freedom of speech and political discourse, regardless of viewpoint. But the First Amendment does not license defamation,' his suit says. Asked by the AP for comment on the lawsuit, Anglin gave a two-word response: 'Wew lads,' referring to an internet meme expressing sarcastic fake-surprise and dismissiveness. The Daily Stormer also was sued in April by a Montana woman for orchestrating an anti-Semitic trolling campaign against her family. Tanya Gersh's suit claims anonymous internet trolls bombarded Gersh's family with hateful and threatening messages after Anglin published their personal information in a post accusing her and other Jewish residents of Whitefish, Montana, of engaging in an 'extortion racket' against the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer. Gersh is represented by attorneys from the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. In July, the law center's lawyers claimed Anglin was 'actively concealing his whereabouts' and hadn't been served with Gersh's suit. They said they looked for him at four addresses in Franklin County, Ohio, where he apparently has connections. Obeidallah's lawsuit was filed in Columbus, Ohio, since Anglin is an Ohio native who uses a post office box in Worthington, Ohio. A lawyer for Obeidallah said The Daily Stormer hasn't responded to their request to remove the June 1 article about him. Obeidallah is represented by Muslim Advocates, a national legal and educational organization based in Oakland, California. ___ Associated Press Technology Writer Ryan Nakashima in San Francisco contributed to this report.
  • President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on e-commerce giant Amazon, saying Wednesday that the company is 'doing great damage to tax paying retailers.' Trump, in a tweet, said that 'towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost!' The president has been a frequent critic of the company and CEO Jeff Bezos (BAY'-zohs), who also owns The Washington Post. Many traditional retailers are closing stores and blaming Amazon for a shift to buying goods online. But the company has been hiring thousands of warehouse workers on the spot at job fairs across the country. Amazon has announced goal of adding 100,000 full-time workers by the middle of next year. Trump has said that Amazon does not pay 'Internet taxes,' but it's unclear what he meant by that. Amazon.com collects state sales taxes in all 45 states with a sales tax and the District of Columbia, according to their website. State governments have sought to capture sales taxes lost to internet retailers, though they have struggled with a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that found for a state to collect sales tax from retailer, the retailer must have a physical presence within state borders. The issue arose recently in South Carolina, which is attempting recoup tax revenue it says it's owed in court. This summer, the state Department of Revenue filed a case with the Administrative Law Court, alleging that Amazon had failed to collect taxes on third-party merchant sales. Third-party merchant sales involve items that can be bought on Amazon.com, but the company acts solely as a middleman between buyers and sellers. Amazon processes the payments and offers other support to the parties involved. The state claims that Amazon owes the state $12.5 million in taxes, penalties and interest from first quarter of last year alone, according to the complaint obtained by The Associated Press. Amazon had a five-year moratorium on taxes, the state wrote in the complaint, giving the company 'fair warning that its sales of tangible personal property in South Carolina subjected it to South Carolina's taxing jurisdiction.' The state's case is in the early stages, and a court date has not been set. For years, the Seattle company fought against collecting sales taxes from its customers. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, South Carolina was among 10 states that initially gave Amazon a temporary tax reprieve in exchange for jobs and investment, voting in 2011 to give the company until the beginning of 2016 before the state levied taxes. According to the conference, that deal made South Carolina the last state to collect among those where officials cut similar deals with Amazon. The company promised to create at least 2,000 full-time jobs and invest $125 million by Dec. 31, 2013. It opened two distribution centers in the state. Max Behlke, who has been tracking this issue for the conference, told AP Wednesday that dozens of states have been grappling with how to collect taxes from entities like Amazon, with several heading to court over it in recent years. As for the South Carolina case, Behlke said it could lead to more actions elsewhere. 'If the court ends up ruling in favor of the state, then I can almost guarantee you that we're going to see other state tax departments handling it similarly, too,' he said. Amazon did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
  • Short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci says if it were up to him, top adviser Steve Bannon would be gone from President Donald Trump's administration. But, he notes, 'it's not up to me.' 'The Mooch,' a few weeks removed from his spectacular flameout following an expletive-laden conversation with a reporter, appeared Monday on CBS' 'Late Show' with Stephen Colbert. Colbert has seen his ratings soar since Trump's inauguration with his relentless comedic attacks. Colbert showed a picture of Scaramucci and former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus glaring at each other. Scaramucci said there was 'no love lost' between the two. He said he and Priebus got along well when he was writing checks to the Republican National Committee, which Priebus once led. Scaramucci said he knows Trump 'as a compassionate person,' while reiterating that he thought the president should have spoken more harshly than he did initially of the white supremacists involved in the violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. Of Trump's frequent off-the-cuff remarks, Scaramucci said, 'That's him wearing his heart on his sleeve.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Ten sailors are missing and five are injured after a U.S. Navy destroyer collided with an oil and chemical tanker early Monday. >> Read more trending news The USS John S. McCain collided with the 'Alnic MC' at 6:24 a.m. in the Strait of Malacca off the coast of Singapore in the Pacific Ocean, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. The USS John S. McCain sustained damage to its left rear side. The Navy said the ship has significant hull damage, and the crew berths, machinery and communications rooms were flooded, according to The Associated Press. Osprey aircraft and Seahawk helicopters from the USS America are helping with search and rescue efforts, officials said. Tug boats and coast guard vessels are also helping. The ship is named for both McCain Sr. and Jr. who served in the Navy. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Benjamin Whitten, 33, and his live-in girlfriend Jeryn Johnson, 25, are charged with torture and child abuse after authorities said Whitten’s 5-year-old son was discovered with severe injuries and living in filth among 15 animals, reports KGTV. >> Watch the news report here The police and fire departments in Murrieta, California, reportedly discovered the boy when they responded to a call for medical aid. The boy was airlifted to a San Diego County hospital, where he currently remains in “grave condition.” The injuries, which police said were caused by Whitten and Johnson, were unspecified beyond this. >> On Rare.us: YouTube parent-pranksters who lost custody of their children are now facing jail time KGTV reported that the home was said to be in “extremely unsanitary” conditions. Animal control removed “11 dogs, four cats and two fish.” “I didn’t even know there was a child who lived in the house,” neighbor Kristine Hendrickson told KCAL. “Did not know. We’ve lived here for 21 years.” >> Read more trending news The boy reportedly hadn’t been seen since Christmas of last year.
  • If you have not gotten a pair of glasses to view Monday’s solar eclipse, you are not alone.Retail stores and online outlets across the country have reported that supplies are low or nonexistent in the hours before the 2017 solar eclipse.If you haven’t secured a pair, there are a few things you can do to safely watch the eclipse.Here are some tips. Is there any way to still get glasses?Some vendors may have a few pairs left, but they are going fast. Click here to find the American Astronomical Society’s list of approved glasses sellers. Many libraries are hosting events. Click here to see an updated list from NASA. The libraries will have glasses for the event. Scientific societies are holding viewing events as well, and they will likely have some glasses to give out.What if I don’t have glasses?You do not have to have glasses to watch an eclipse. Read what NASA says about it:“The safest and most inexpensive method of viewing an eclipse is by projection, in which a pinhole or small opening is used to cast the image of the sun on a screen placed a half-meter or more beyond the opening. Projected images of the sun may even be seen on the ground in the small openings created by interlacing fingers, or in the dappled sunlight beneath a leafy tree. Binoculars can also be used to project a magnified image of the sun on a white card, but you must avoid the temptation of using these instruments for direct viewing.”For those who missed school the day astrophysics was taught, here’s what that means:You can take something as common as a shoe box to make a device that will let you watch the eclipse without looking directly at the sun; you can actually use your fingers to view the eclipse; you can stand underneath a tree and see a cool display that reflects through the leaves; you can use binoculars to project the sun’s image on a white card, but do not look at the sun with them. Don’t ever.So what if you can’t get a pair of glasses?If you can’t get glasses for the cosmic block party, start gathering some common supplies.From NASA, here’s how to make a pinhole viewer. You can also make a pinhole camera. Click here to see how to make the device that lets light pass through a hole and project an image of the sun onto a light surface. Can I look at the sun at any time during the eclipse?You can look at the sun during the eclipse while wearing certified eclipse glasses, welding glass (level 14) or other filters. You can look at the sun without the protection ONLY during the two minutes or so when the moon completely blocks out the sun. Only look at the sun without glasses if you live in the area of totality – a narrow strip of the country where the sun will be completely blocked out.For the rest in the area where the sun is only partially blocked out, keep the glasses on. Do not look at the partially blocked sun without them.So what if I do look at the sun without protection?You could, and likely will, damage your retina, leading to vision damage.What if I want to see it, but not go out to look at it?No problem, all the major networks, and cable channels will be carrying the eclipse live. ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, Fox and other cable outlets have plans to broadcast the progress of the eclipse across the country.NASA will livestream the eclipse starting at 1 p.m. ET. NASA plans views from balloons, satellites, and telescopes. What about taking a photo? Will it damage my iPhone?The eclipse won't damage your phone's camera, according to c/net. C/net’s post explains how to use your iPhone or an Android phone to capture the eclipse.
  • After two Jacksonville officers were shot on the Westside, support has been flooding social media. FULL STORY: Two JSO officers shot Government officials: Law enforcement:
  • The Stone Mountain Memorial Association this week denied a Ku Klux Klan request to burn a cross at the park in Dekalb County, Georgia, citing the trouble at a “pro-white” rally last year. >> Read more trending news Joey Hobbs, a Dublin man with the Sacred Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, wanted to hold a “lighting” ceremony on Oct. 21 with 20 participants, according to the application. This would have been to commemorate the KKK’s 1915 revival, which began with a flaming cross atop Stone Mountain on the evening of Thanksgiving. “We will light our cross and 20 minutes later we will be gone,” wrote Hobbs, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, in an application dated May 26. It wasn’t immediately clear if Hobbs holds a formal position with the group. >> Related: George H.W., George W. Bush condemn ‘racial bigotry’ in Charlottesville statement “We don’t want any of these groups at the park, quite frankly,” John Bankhead, spokesman for the association said Wednesday, referring to white nationalists groups and the KKK. “This is a family-oriented park.”  But since it’s a public park, the association created a permit process to consider each application individually. In a statement, the memorial group, which oversees the park, said it “condemns the beliefs and actions of the Ku Klux Klan and believes the denial of this Public Assembly request is in the best interest of all parties.” >> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in CharlottesvilleWriting to deny Hobbs, CEO Bill Stephens cited the trouble at the “Rock Stone Mountain” rally of April 23, 2016. The park had to close that day as white power revelers, including KKK members, clashed with counter-protesters. Stephens said an event like Hobbs’ would require public safety resources beyond what park police could provide, and thus, would put guests, employees and public safety workers in danger.  Besides creating a potentially-dangerous scene, the cross-burning would’ve also been an act of intimidation, Bankhead said. >> Related: University of Florida denies request for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak “I think anybody who knows about cross burning knows why it’s used,” Bankhead said, recalling the KKK’s track record of setting crosses on fire to intimidate African Americans. “We’re just not going to allow that.” Georgia's terroristic threats and acts statute also specifically bars the practice when it’s done with the intent to “terrorize.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that states can ban cross-burning, though it warned that the intent to intimidate must be proven in each case. Whatever Hobbs’ intent, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association CEO said the event would violate its ordinances against disruptions to the park and actions that present a “clear and present danger.”

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