Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Politics

Obama expresses regret for U.S. policies during Argentina's 'dirty war' (w/video)

BUENOS AIRES — President Barack Obama expressed regret Thursday for the failure of the United States to acknowledge the brutal repression and atrocities that took place during Argentina's "dirty war" in the 1970s and '80s.

"There's been controversy about the policies of the United States early in those dark days," Obama said at the Parque de la Memoria, a monument to the war's victims, where he attended a ceremony for the 40th anniversary of the 1976 military coup that began the Argentine dictatorship.

The United States "has to examine its own policies as well, and its own past," Obama added. "We've been slow to speak out for human rights, and that was the case here."

The president's remarks came after he toured the memorial with President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, walking beside a hulking gray stone wall engraved with the names and ages of 20,000 victims — plus 10,000 blank spaces for those who have yet to be identified.

Obama announced this week that he would begin a declassification effort to unseal secret military and intelligence files that could shed light on the fates of some of those victims, as well as what the United States knew about the human rights violations that took place during what Macri called "the darkest period in our history."

The leaders walked together to a bridgehead overlooking the Río de la Plata, where they each cast three white roses into the water to honor the victims.

"A memorial like this speaks to the responsibilities that all of us have," Obama said later. "We cannot forget the past, but when we find the courage to confront and we find the courage to change that past, that's when we build a better future."

Human rights groups had reacted angrily to the timing of Obama's trip, arguing that it was inappropriate for him to visit at the very moment that Argentina was commemorating a tragic turn in its history that many believe was condoned, and in some cases enabled, by the United States.

Macri thanked Obama for participating in Argentina's somber day of remembrance, and said nations must not be "passive onlookers" of human rights violations, as had been the case in the past.

"This is a marvelous opportunity for all of the Argentine people to say together, 'Never again,'" Macri said. "Never again to institutional violence."

Obama and his family then departed to tour Argentina's scenic Patagonia region. He was being kept abreast of the investigation into the Brussels attacks by his national security staff back in Washington.

Lisa Monaco, his top counterterrorism adviser, briefed Obama by secure phone call Thursday morning, a White House official said. The president has directed his team to "continue providing any and all requested assistance to Belgian and other authorities investigating the attacks," the official said.

The White House said Thursday that Obama will meet with President Xi Jinping of China next week on the sidelines of a nuclear security meeting in Washington.

The two leaders, who last met in September, will discuss how they can work together on "issues of mutual interest," and also to "address areas of disagreement constructively," the White House said in a statement.

The meeting will take place March 31.

Comments
Special counsel questions Sessions; Is Trump coming soon?

Special counsel questions Sessions; Is Trump coming soon?

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned for hours in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, the Justice Department said Tuesday, as prosecutors moved closer to a possible interview with President Donald Trump about whether he ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Bowen: Mariano to PSC?

Bowen: Mariano to PSC? "It’s a longshot’’

If this were American Idol, then Jack Mariano got past the first audition.Mariano, the Pasco County commissioner from District 5, is considered one of the "most qualified’’ applicants for an opening on the Florida Public Service Commission, the state...
Published: 01/23/18
Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

New York TimesWASHINGTON — Congress brought an end to a three-day government shutdown on Monday as Senate Democrats buckled under pressure to adopt a short-term spending bill to fund government operations without first addressing the fate of young un...
Published: 01/22/18
Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

WASHINGTON — Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making un...
Published: 01/20/18
The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The early days of the federal government shutdown won’t slow the U.S. economy much. No workers are missing paychecks yet, and because it is a weekend, few businesses expect to feel the effects of lost customers or suppliers.That could change, quickly...
Published: 01/20/18
Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said people were entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.Clearly, Moynihan never dealt with Florida legislators.Because around Tallahassee, facts are fungible. They aren’t just up for debate, they...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

WASHINGTON — The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunctio...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

NEWARK, N.J. — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez might spend 2018 asking voters to re-elect him and jurors to acquit him. Prosecutors from the Department of Justice told a federal judge in New Jersey on Friday that they will seek a retrial of the Democratic sen...
Published: 01/19/18
Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

WASHINGTON — A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being dep...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

CLEARWATER — Voters may not be too familiar with the name John Funk.So since launching his campaign for City Council Seat 5 against well-known incumbent Hoyt Hamilton, Funk said he has knocked on 2,000 doors to introduce himself. Before the March 13 ...
Published: 01/19/18