Brennan considers legal action to stop clearance revocations
WASHINGTON — Former CIA Director John Brennan said Sunday that he is considering taking legal action to try to prevent President Donald Trump from stripping other current and former officials’ security clearances.
“If my clearances and my reputation as I’m being pulled through the mud now, if that’s the price we’re going to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this against other people, to me it’s a small price to pay,” Brennan said. “So I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future. And if it means going to court, I will do that.”
Brennan, who served in President Barack Obama’s administration, said that while he’ll fight on behalf of his former CIA colleagues, it’s also up to Congress to put aside politics and step in. “This is the time that your country is going to rely on you, not to do what is best for your party but what is best for the country,” he said.
Quakes cut power, topple homes on Indonesia island; 3 dead
SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Multiple strong earthquakes cut power across the Indonesian island of Lombok, toppled buildings and killed at least three people as the tourist hotspot was trying to recover from a temblor earlier this month that killed hundreds of people.
A shallow magnitude 6.9 quake that hit about 10 p.m. was one of several powerful earthquakes Sunday in the northeast of the island that also caused landslides. The nighttime quake was followed by strong aftershocks.
Two people died when their homes collapsed on Lombok and neighboring Sumbawa island, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho tweeted Monday morning. Another person died earlier Sunday during a magnitude 6.3 quake.
Giuliani on hazards of Trump interview: ‘Truth isn’t truth’
WASHINGTON — “Truth isn’t truth,” says President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, explaining why he’s wary about pushing the president into an interview that he says could be a perjury trap.
Giuliani’s statement is reminiscent of a comment from another Trump aide last year about “alternative facts.”
Giuliani used the line “truth isn’t truth” Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd. He was trying to make the case that having Trump sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team wouldn’t accomplish much because of the he-said-she-said nature of witnesses’ recollections.
The ex-New York mayor cited as an example former FBI Director James Comey, who has said that Trump pushed him at a private meeting to ease up in the federal investigation of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump has disputed that.
“I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury,” Giuliani said. “And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well, that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth.”
From wire sources
Report: MeToo activist Argento settled sex assault complaint
NEW YORK — Italian actress Asia Argento — one of the most prominent activists of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment — recently settled a complaint filed against her by a young actor and musician who said she sexually assaulted him when he was 17, the New York Times reported.
Argento, 42, settled the notice of intent to sue filed by Jimmy Bennett, who is now 22, for $380,000 shortly after she said last October that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein raped her, the Times reported.
Argento and Bennett co-starred in a 2004 film called “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things” in which Argento played Bennett’s prostitute mother.
Bennett says in the notice that he had sex with Argento in a California hotel in 2013. The age of consent in California is 18.
The notice says the encounter traumatized Bennett and hurt his career, the Times reported.
Catholics consider withholding donations amid scandals
For decades, Michael Drweiga has opened his wallet whenever the donation basket comes around at church, but the latest revelations of priests sexually abusing children brought him to the conclusion that he can no longer justify giving.
Brice Sokolowski helps small Catholic nonprofits and churches raise money, but he too supports the recent calls to withhold donations.
And Georgene Sorensen has felt enough anger and “just total sadness” over the past few weeks that she’s reconsidering her weekly offering at her parish.
Across the U.S., Catholics once faithful with their financial support to their churches are searching for ways to respond to the constant sex-abuse scandals that have tarnished the institution in which they believe, with back-to-back scandals in the past two months.
The most recent came Tuesday when a grand jury report revealed that hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania molested more than 1,000 children in six dioceses since the 1940s — crimes that church leaders are accused of covering up. The report came two months after Pope Francis ordered disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick removed from public ministry amid allegations the 88-year-old retired archbishop sexually abused a teenage altar boy and engaged in sexual misconduct with adult seminarians decades ago. Last month, Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation as cardinal and ordered him to a “life of prayer and penance.”
Despite deadly explosions, Mexican fireworks capital endures
TULTEPEC, Mexico — Luis Enrique Urban Gomez was tidying up at his family’s fireworks storage shed like any other day when an explosion ripped through the warehouse next door, killing its owner, leaving Urban with burns and wounding seven others.
Nearly two months later, lying on a bed in his parents’ home with angry red scars on nearly his entire body, the 20-year-old was itching to be back in business making fireworks just as soon as his wounds are fully healed.
“In spite of it all, it is a pleasure,” Urban said. “It is a job with tradition.”
Urban’s hometown of Tultepec is famous as the fireworks production capital of Mexico, a place where there’s always a sulfurous smell, “no smoking” signs are ubiquitous and thousands of multi-generation families hand-craft the explosives.
IndyCar’s Wickens in hospital following violent Pocono crash
LONG POND, Pa. — IndyCar driver Robert Wickens is being treated for injuries to his lower extremities, right arm and spine following an accident early in a race at Pocono
IndyCar said the Canadian sustained a pulmonary contusion Sunday and will undergo an MRI and probable surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest in Allentown.
The 29-year-old IndyCar rookie was attempting to pass Ryan Hunter-Reay when the two cars slightly touched. That caused Hunter-Reay’s car to careen into the wall and Wickens’ car was pulled along for the ride. Once Wickens’ car soared over Hunter-Reay’s and hit the fence, it spun round and round like a top.
Medical workers calmly attended to Wickens, who was taken to an ambulance before he was transported to the helicopter. The impact of the wreck tore out a large section of fencing that needed almost two hours to repair.