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Antigua Observer Newspaper

Scare for Antiguans travelling on JetBlue flight

Antigua Observer Newspaper

 

A passenger on board a Jet Blue flight gave a scare to a number of Antiguans and Barbudans and other travelers when he became unruly and violent on the aircraft en route to New York.

One passenger told OBSERVER media the man ripped a few seats on the flight and tried unsuccessfully to pry open the emergency exit in midair.

The traveler said six other passengers rushed from their seats to prevent the man from opening the exit. They wrestled with him and subdued him while the flight diverted to Bermuda where he was removed from the flight.

A JetBlue spokesperson confirmed the 740 flight diverted due to an unruly passenger, according to Bernews in Bermuda.

The news agency quotes the airline as saying, “On Aug. 24, flight 740 from Antigua to New York JFK diverted to Bermuda due to an unruly customer. Local law enforcement met the aircraft to remove the customer, and the flight then continued on to New York.”

The aircraft left the LF Wade International Airport around 8 p.m., not long after the passenger was taken away.

In addition to the police, the Emergency Medical Technicians and Bermuda Fire and Rescue personnel attended the scene.

No one was injured on the flight but an Antiguan passenger said he was scared during the ordeal as he highlighted that not only was his life at risk, but there were dozens of other passengers on board.

He said he had no idea what to think when the incident began to unfold but later passengers said they believed the unruly traveler was struggling with mental issues.

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Police officers and rescue workers search for survivors from a building damaged by a landslide caused by a powerful earthquake in Atsuma town in Japan

Powerful quake paralyses Hokkaido in latest disaster to hit Japan

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By Kaori Kaneko and Chang-Ran Kim
Reuters
People look at an area damaged by an earthquake in Sapporo in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo September 6, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

By Kaori Kaneko and Chang-Ran Kim

TOKYO (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake paralyzed Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, killing at least seven people, triggering landslides and knocking out power to its 5.3 million residents.

The death toll from the 6.7-magnitude, pre-dawn quake was likely to rise as rescuers searched houses buried by landslides.

About 33 people were missing and 300 were injured, public broadcaster NHK said. Four people were in cardiopulmonary arrest, a term used before death is officially confirmed.

(graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2oJz6zd)

The quake was the latest in a string of natural disasters to batter Japan after typhoons, flooding and a record-breaking heat wave within the past two months.

Aerial footage showed dozens of landslides exposing barren hillsides near the town of Atsuma in southern Hokkaido, with mounds of red earth and toppled trees piled at the edge of green fields.

The collapsed remains of what appeared to be houses or barns were strewn about.

“It came in four big jerks – boom! boom! boom! boom!” one unidentified woman told NHK. “Before we knew it our house was bent and we couldn’t open the door.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said 25,000 Self-Defense Force troops would be deployed for rescue operations.

The island, a tourist destination about the size of Austria known for its mountains, lakes and seafood, lost its power when Hokkaido Electric Power Co <9509.T> shut down of all its fossil fuel-fired power plants after the quake as a precaution.

It was the first time since the utility was established in 1951 that had happened.

Almost 12 hours later, power was restored to parts of Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital, and Asahikawa, its second-biggest city.

The government said there was damage to Hokkaido Electric’s Tomato-Atsuma plant, which supplies half the island’s 2.95 million households. It could take a week to restore power fully to all residents, Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said.

All trains across the island were halted.

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party begins a leadership contest on Friday but said there would be no campaigning through to Sunday. Abe and rival Shigeru Ishiba both canceled campaign media appearances slated for Friday.

‘NOTHING I CAN DO’

Television footage from Sapporo showed crumbled roads and mud covering a main street. Police directed traffic because signal lights were out while drink-vending machines, ubiquitous in Japan, and most ATMs were not working.

“Without electricity, there’s nothing I can do except to write prescriptions,” a doctor in Abira, the town next to Atsuma, told NHK.

Media reported a baby girl at a Sapporo hospital was in critical condition after the power was cut to her respirator. It wasn’t clear if the hospital had a generator.

The quake hit at 3:08 a.m. (1808 GMT Wednesday) at a depth of 40 km (25 miles), with its epicenter about 65 km (40 miles) southeast of Sapporo, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. In Atsuma, it registered a 7 on Japan’s 7-point quake intensity scale, the agency said, revising an earlier measurement.

Hokkaido’s main airport was closed, at least for the day. Debris and water could be seen on the terminal floors.

Kyodo news agency said more than 200 flights and 40,000 passengers would be affected on Thursday alone.

The closure comes just days after Kansai Airport, another major regional hub, in western Japan, was shut by Typhoon Jebi, which killed 11 people and injured hundreds.

The storm, the most powerful to hit Japan in 25 years, stranded thousands of passengers and workers at the airport, whose operator said it would resume some domestic flights on Friday.

In July, torrential rain in west Japan caused flooding that killed more than 200 people and widespread destruction. That was followed by a heat wave that reached a record 41.1 Celsius and led to the deaths of at least 80 people.

FACTORIES HALTED

Farming, tourism and other services are big economic drivers on Hokkaido, which accounts for just 3.6 percent of Japan’s gross domestic product, but there is some industry. Kirin Brewery and Sapporo Breweries both said factories were shut by the power outage.

A series of smaller shocks followed the initial quake, the JMA said. Residents were warned to take precautions.

 

By the afternoon, backhoes and other earth-moving equipment in Atsuma had begun clearing debris.

Japan is situated on the “Ring of Fire” arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Basin.

Northeast Japan was hit by a 9 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011, that triggered a tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people and led to meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Hokkaido’s Tomari nuclear power station, which has been shut since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, suffered a power outage but officials said it was cooling its spent nuclear fuel safely.

Saturday marked the 95th anniversary of the Great Kanto earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area. Seismologists have said another such quake could strike the capital at any time.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko and Chang-Ran Kim; Additional reporting by William Mallard, Osamu Tsukimori, Aaron Sheldrick, Elaine Lies and Takaya Yamaguchi; Writing by Malcolm Foster; Editing by Paul Tait, Robert Birsel)

Posted in Earthquake, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional, Travel0 Comments

Bosborne

Bertrand Osborne dies at 83

It was by no means surprising on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. how quickly the word resounded worldwide that former Chief Minister, the Honourable Bertrand Osborne, OBE had died at his home, after a lengthy illness, which he endured mostly at his home. In 2014 he was honoured with the National Order of Distinction award

Not surprising, as the condolences and tributes kept pouring in over the internet and as announced on ZJB Radio, since the news.

Premier Donaldson Romeo

The Hon. Premier in a statement of condolences on behalf of the Government and people of Montserrat, “Premier the Honourable Donaldson Romeo expresses heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of former Chief Minister Honourable Bertrand Osborne.”

The statement reads, “It is with deep regret and profound sadness that the Government and people of Montserrat, express sincere condolences, on the passing of a former Chief Minister of Montserrat, Honourable Bertrand Osborne…”

The statement provides the information that Mr. Osborne, served as the Chief Minister of Montserrat from November 1996 to August 1997, but was a member of the Legislative Assembly continuously from 1987 until 2001 serving as the leader of the National Development Party (NDP).

Osborne at St Patrick’s Church Plymouth

As the Premier ends his condolences: “We all pray that God will bring comfort to his wife Lystra Osborne, his children and the entire Osborne family during this time of bereavement.

As we honour his legacy, may his soul rest in eternal peace.”

At the same time Leader of the Opposition Easton Taylor Farrell, while on behalf of the parliamentary opposition extending condolences to the Osbornes family assuring them that “our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time,” said: “On reflecting on the life  of Mr. Osborne it is safe to say that he was a man of integrity, a role model, an individual who has helped to shape the lives of so many who knew him.  He was truly a man who was dedicated to service to his people. His business and political contribution has helped to shape the future of this island.”

Ag. Governor and Deputy Governor the Hon. Mrs. Lyndell Simpson

 Ag. Governor and Deputy Governor the Hon. Mrs. Lyndell Simpson was also quick and in a press statement described Mr. Osborne as “a great man who maintained a deep sense of humility, integrity and dedication to the public service and the people of Montserrat.

She said “the many facets of his extraordinary life and legacy to include managing MS Osborne Limited for 46 years (1967 – 2013) will live on in the hearts and minds of all who had the privilege to know him, learn from him, and work alongside him.

“Montserrat has lost a leader,” she says, adding “an exemplary man of deep principles and patriotism.”

She, on behalf of the Montserrat Public Service “most respectfully conveys its sincerest condolences to Mr Osborne’s bereaved wife, children, family and loved ones.”

Osborne at Tree planting at Germans Bay with St Patrick’s club

TMR will memorialise in a next issue, the Hon. Mr. Osborne following a memorial service to be held in his honour on Friday, September 14, at the Montserrat Cultural Centre at 10.30 a.m. following which his funeral service will begin at 2.30 p.m. at the R. C. Church in Lookout.

Staff of The Montserrat Reporter derived from Montserrat Reporter founded by Mr. Osborne’s National Development party in 1985, offers their sincerest condolences.

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US Coast Guard seizes cocaine, nabs four alleged drug smugglers

US Coast Guard seizes cocaine, nabs four alleged drug smugglers

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Aug 31,  CMC – The United States Coast Guard says it seized more than two million (US) in cocaine and nabbed four suspected smugglers in separate incidents in the Caribbean Sea.

It said that Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement authorities apprehended three suspected smugglers and seized about US$1 million in cocaine following the interdiction of a go-fast vessel Monday off Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

(File Photo)

The Coast Guard said the interdictions were the result of ongoing multi-agency law enforcement efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve.

“Our collective efforts and interagency cooperation are key in stopping drug laden go-fasts from reaching Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands,” said Capt. Eric P. King, Commander of US Coast Guard Sector San Juan.

“Within two days, the strong partnerships and efficient coordination within the Caribbean Border Interagency Group, along with the cooperation of augmenting Coast Guard aircraft and US Navy assets, contributed to the interdiction of two drug smuggling go-fasts and seven smugglers being brought to justice,” he added.

The Coast Guard said that in the first instance, the crew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft on a routine patrol detected a suspicious 20-foot go-fast vessel transiting at night towards Puerto Rico without navigational lights, about 22 nautical miles off the northern coast of the island.

It said during the operation that followed the crew recovered multiple bales with a combined weight of 32.2 kilograms, 27 bricks, which tested positive for cocaine.

“The Zephyr destroyed the go-fast vessel as a hazard to navigation. The Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin later rendezvoused with the Zephyr and embarked the suspected smugglers and contraband for final transport and transfer to federal law enforcement authorities in Mayaguez [Puerto Rico].”

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Trinidad and Tobago observing 56th anniversary of independence

Trinidad and Tobago observing 56th anniversary of independence

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 31, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago observed its 56th anniversary of political independence from Britain on Friday with the traditional military parade and differing statements from the politicians regarding the socio-economic development of the oil-rich twin island republic.

While President Paula Mae Weekes noted that independence is a work in progress she urged citizens to continue ensuring the development of the country.

“Fellow citizens, on 31 August 1962, Trinidad and Tobago shook off the reins of colonialism and dared to go it alone. To the tolling of bells, the Union Jack was lowered for the final time and the red, white and black hoisted to signal the birth of our nation.”

She said since that time Trinidad and Tobago has enjoyed a relatively stable democracy, significant economic transformation and general improvement in the quality of life of its citizens.

But she said considering the current challenges of crime and the economy, plus the island’s use of the London-based Privy Council as its final court, the world economy and global climate change, she asked how independent Trinidad and Tobago is.

“Political separation from the United Kingdom was only the first step of our long journey of self-discovery.

“Independence has never been a static notion. It implies the constant working-out of identity and purpose, sovereignty over one’s decisions and taking responsibility for one’s actions.”

In his message Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley the anniversary of independence provides citizens with another opportunity to reflect on the meaning of citizenship and the value of its national identity.

“The world has brought us news of nations gripped by civil war, anarchy and terror. In many countries people do not enjoy the freedoms we may be tempted to take for granted. That our democracy has remained intact these 56 years is no small feat.

“This deserves celebration given our status as one of the most multi-cultural societies in the western world. We have largely used our diversity as a bridge to make connections with each other. We’ve enjoyed a deep harmony that is intrinsic to our identity as nationals of this beloved country. We must guard our unity zealously. This defence is especially needed in turbulent times,” he said.

Rowley said that it is times of difficulty that the urge to retreat to narrow interests and partisan lines can become the strongest.

“But we must resist this and seek instead an agreeable guidepost. But how do we find common ground in an often polarising environment?,” he asked suggesting that the country remember the words of the first prime minister Dr. Eric Williams who said “whatever the challenge that faces you, from whatever quarter, place always first that national interest and the national cause”.

Rowley said he has no doubt that “we will do what is needed to create sustainable growth and national development. It is our responsibility as loyal citizens to ensure that our children can be proud of the decisions that we must make today”.

However, Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar said the independence anniversary provides an opportunity “to undertake a sober, piercing assessment of our progress and the difficulties that still lie ahead.

“The question must be asked: Have we achieved the Trinidad and Tobago which the leaders of our fight for independence envisioned more than half a century ago? In answering this question, we must decide whether we wish to maintain the status quo, or determine the future that we want for our children and grandchildren.

“There is no question that our country today faces significant issues, and there appear to be no moves by the current administration to deal frontally with the problems affecting people, including escalating crime, inadequate health care, reduced opportunities for education of our young people, job losses, high cost of living, and a declining economy,” she said.

She was critical of the government’s “silence” over the decision to shut down the oil refinery at the state-owned oil company, PETROTRIN, saying that the government had “failed to articulate a plan to address the issue of the state-owned company’s debt, and the long-term impact of the restructuring exercise on Trinidad and Tobago’s economy”.

Meanwhile, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General, Irwin laRocque has in a congratulatory message paid tribute to the creativity and dynamism of the people of Trinidad and Tobago as well as recognising the “significant contributions” that the country has made to the regional integration process.

“Additionally, Trinidad and Tobago, as a founding member of the Community and lead Member State on regional security and energy issues, continues to make significant contributions to Caribbean integration and to the promotion and attainment of citizen and energy security,” he said.

United States Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, said that Washington and Port of Spain “have always enjoyed rich cross-cultural exchange, friendship, and the shared goal of building a more safe and secure region as underscored in the Caribbean 2020 strategy.

“We are grateful for the continued strong partnership as our countries work to deepen cooperation on trade, energy, and opportunity for all,” he said.

Posted in Announcements/Greetings, Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Featured, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

ExxonMobil makes ninth discovery offshore Guyana

ExxonMobil makes ninth discovery offshore Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Aug. 30, CMC – The US based oil giant, ExxonMobil has announced the discovery of approximately 197 feet (60 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir at the Hammerhead-1  – the ninth discovery of oil in the Stabroek Block  and the fifth within the last year.

President of ExxonMobil, Steve Greenlee says the Hammerhead-1 discovery reinforces the potential of the Guyana basin, where ExxonMobil is already maximizing value for all stakeholders through rapid phased developments and accelerated exploration plans.

“The Development options for Hammerhead will consider an ongoing evaluation of reservoir data, including a well test,” Greenlee said.

Discoveries of approximately four billion oil-equivalent barrels were made prior on the Stabroek Block at Liza, Liza Deep, Payara, Snoek, Turbot, Ranger, Pacora and Longtail with the potential for up to five floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels producing more than 750,000 barrels per day by 2025.

A second exploration vessel, the Noble Tom Madden, is due to arrive in Guyana in October to accelerate exploration of high potential opportunities and will commence drilling at the Pluma prospect, approximately 17 miles (27 kilometres) from Turbot.

The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres .

ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, is the operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Limited holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 per cent interest.

First oil is expected to be produced in the first quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, the government continues to put systems in place for the management of revenues from this new developing natural resource. Just recently, a green paper on the National Resource Fund (NRF) Guyana’s version of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) was laid in the National Assembly.

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US relaxes Cuba travel advisory

US relaxes Cuba travel advisory

WASHINGTON, Aug.26,  , CMC – The United States Department of State has toned down its travel advisory for Cuba.

The State Department on Friday reduced its advisory to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean island from Level 3, “reconsider travel,” to Level 2, “exercise increased caution.”

According to the State Department ratings, Level 1 means “exercise normal precautions,” and Level 4 means “do not travel.”

Under the revised travel advisory, the State Department urged Americans to “exercise increased caution in Cuba due to attacks targeting US Embassy Havana employees resulting in the drawdown of embassy staff.

“Numerous US Embassy Havana employees appear to have been targeted in specific attacks,” it said, adding: “We are unable to identify the source.  Many of these employees have suffered injuries.”

The State Department said affected individuals have exhibited a range of physical symptoms, including ear complaints and hearing loss, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems and difficulty sleeping.

It said attacks have occurred in US diplomatic residences, including a long-term apartment at the Atlantic, and at Hotel Nacional and Hotel Capri in Havana, the Cuban capital.

The State Department said the US Embassy in Havana is operating with reduced staffing. 

It also said family members cannot accompany US government employees who work in Cuba.

“If you decide to travel to Cuba, avoid Hotel Nacional and Hotel Capri,” the advisory said. “If you experience any acute auditory or sensory phenomena, immediately move to another area.

“Know where to seek medical care in Cuba,” it added. “Consult with a medical professional prior to traveling if you have personal health concerns or upon return if you believe you have suffered symptoms similar to those listed above.

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It's long been known that Apple cofounder Steve Jobs treated people cruelly, but his daughter's new autobiography offers new details.YouTube/AllThingsD

The shame of Steve Jobs, as told by his shunned daughter

Published by Q U A R T Z
 
THINK DIFFERENT
By Ephrat Livni  August 25, 2018
A portrait of Steve Jobs made of thousands of pieces of chewed gum, by artists Anna-Sofiya Matveeva.

Lisa Brennan-Jobs is the daughter of a postmodern god. Steve Jobs’ enduring influence after his 2011 death proves the legendary Apple innovator is an immortal of sorts. Now, the child he initially rejected is releasing a memoir that shows the man who may be the most admired technologist of all time was deeply flawed.

Small Fry, which comes out on Sept. 4 and was excerpted in Vanity Fair (paywall) this month, is intended to be an honest retrospective, its author says. Brennan-Jobs, who was not acknowledge by her father as his own for many years, frames his famous story in her own words, to heal and recapture, to get the last word, as she says in an Aug. 23 New York Times profile (paywall).

The book excerpt and the profile piece reveal a woman who appears deeply scarred by her father’s early rejection, though she urges understanding and forgiveness. It’s almost as if she’s being held hostage by the memory of the man, and identifying with her captor, like someone suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. She asks the Times’ Nellie Bowles,“Have I failed in fully representing the dearness and the pleasure? The dearness of my father, and the outrageous pleasure of being with him when he was in good form?”

The answer to that question is, from what we’ve seen so far, is yes. What she has revealed—Jobs’ emotional callousness, his spiritual and financial stinginess with her—cast a dark shadow on his legendary status.

Lisa Brennan-Jobs marks a remarkable life

Brennan-Jobs has just turned 40, gotten married, and given birth to her own child. In a discussion of milestones with the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 13, she explains, “It was important that I examine parts of my life [in my memoir] that seemed shameful or embarrassing so I could try to understand them differently. Milestones are big enough that if you’re lucky you’re going to learn more about yourself. In this case the only way to get to something truthful was to write, to dig.”

And do she did. Brennan-Jobs reveals her complicated backstory. She was born in 1978 on a farm in Oregon. Her father, then 23, wasn’t there: “My father arrived a few days later,” she writes. “‘It’s not my kid,’ he kept telling everyone at the farm, but he’d flown there to meet me anyway. I had black hair and a big nose, and [his friend] said, “’She sure looks like you.’”

This was, of course, before Jobs was famous, and was just another young guy refusing to acknowledge paternity or pay child support. He was working on a personal computer that didn’t succeed—it was named the Lisa, like his daughter. But he would not admit a connection. When Brennan-Jobs was a teen, Apple was a successful public company, and her father had evolved into the role of icon, she held on to the idea that the Lisa tag was evidence of love. She writes:

By then the idea that he’d named the failed computer after me was woven in with my sense of self, even if he did not confirm it, and I used this story to bolster myself when, near him, I felt like nothing. I didn’t care about computers…but I liked the idea that I was connected to him in this way. It would mean I’d been chosen and had a place, despite the fact that he was aloof or absent. It meant I was fastened to the earth and its machines. He was famous; he drove a Porsche. If the Lisa was named after me, I was a part of all that.

Jobs finally did admit Lisa was named after the girl. Not because she asked. At a visit to the rock star Bono’s house, the U2 frontman inquired—with Brennan-Jobs, then 27, nearby—whether the computer was named for her. Jobs hesitantly admitted it was. “‘That’s the first time he’s said yes,’ I told Bono. ‘Thank you for asking,’” she writes. “As if famous people needed other famous people around to release their secrets.”

What was once hidden now holds hope

Brennan-Jobs is now famous herself and releasing her own secrets. Yet she seems profoundly wounded, trapped still, though she claims writing the memoir helped to free and heal her. She tells the Times that while penning the book, she covered mirrors around her work space with paper, admitting “I don’t like catching myself in the mirror because it’s like—‘Oh, self.’”

Similarly, she asks her profiler to describe her in her own words, offering a self-deprecating account of her face. “My face is uneven. I have small eyes. I wish I had dimples, but I don’t. I think right now I look jowly…My nose is not particularly delicate.”

Rather than being the memoirist recapturing her own tale, it seems as if her father’s voice is narrating her life story—one in which Brennan-Jobs is failing at being a successful family member, will inherit nothing from her father, and who stinks like a toilet. Those are just a few of the many cruel things Jobs said to her. (He did ultimately put her in his will.)

Perhaps it’s impossible to escape the shadow of a dark master like Jobs, who also happens to be your father and despite being widely acknowledge as a genius, is not a talented dad. Brennan-Jobs defends him anyway, saying he was was just unusually honest and that his toughness taught her valuable lessons.

For the rest of us, who don’t have to deal with Jobs’ legacy personally, the revelations only serve to take the icon—never admired for cuddliness—down another notch. What Small Fry and Brennan-Jobs show is something we already know and don’t like admitting. Our cultural heroes and accomplished geniuses are only just people, and often not particularly good ones.

See also: https://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-terrible-small-fry-daughter-book-2018-8

The memoir by Steve Jobs’ daughter makes clear he was a truly rotten person whose bad behavior was repeatedly enabled by those around him

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John McCain, ‘maverick’ of the Senate and former POW, dies at 81

John McCain, ‘maverick’ of the Senate and former POW, dies at 81

The Washing Post

August 25 at 8:21 PM

U.S. Sen. John S. McCain, the son and grandson of four-star admirals, was bred for combat. He endured more than five years of imprisonment and torture by the North Vietnamese as a young naval officer and went on to battle foes on the left and the right in Washington, driven throughout by a code of honor that both defined and haunted him.

Sen. McCain, 81, died Aug. 25 at his ranch near Sedona, Ariz., his office announced in a statement. The senator was diagnosed last July with a brain tumor, and his family announced this week that he was discontinuing medical treatment.

During three decades of representing Arizona in the Senate, he ran twice unsuccessfully for president. He lost a bitter primary campaign to George W. Bush and the Republican establishment in 2000. He then came back to win the nomination in 2008, only to be defeated in the general election by Barack Obama, a charismatic Illinois Democrat who had served less than one term as a senator.

A man who seemed his truest self when outraged, Sen. McCain reveled in going up against orthodoxy. The word “maverick” practically became a part of his name.

Sen. McCain regularly struck at the canons of his party. He ran against the GOP grain by advocating campaign finance reform, liberalized immigration laws and a ban on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — widely condemned as torture — against terrorism suspects.

To win his most recent reelection battle in 2016, for a sixth term, he positioned himself as a more conventional Republican, unsettling many in his political fan base. But in the era of President Trump, he again became an outlier.

The terms of engagement between the two had been defined shortly after Trump became a presidential candidate and Sen. McCain commented that the celebrity real estate magnate had “fired up the crazies.” At a rally in July 2015, Trump — who avoided the Vietnam draft with five deferments — spoke scornfully of Sen. McCain’s military bona fides: “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Once Trump was in office, Sen. McCain was among his most vocal Republican critics, saying that the president had weakened the United States’ standing in the world. He also warned that the spreading investigation over Trump’s ties to Russia was “reaching the point where it’s of Watergate-size and scale.”


Sen. McCain arrives in the Capitol to vote against a GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act in July 2017, less than two weeks after surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye and days after his office announced he was diagnosed with brain cancer. The vote marked a spectacular break with President Trump. (Oliver Contreras for The Washington Post)

In both of his own presidential races, Sen. McCain had dubbed his campaign bus the “Straight Talk Express.” To the delight of reporters who traveled with him in 2000, he was accessible and unfiltered, a scrappy underdog who delighted in upsetting the Republican order.

“He was always ready for the next experience, the next fight. Not just ready, but impatient for it,” said his longtime aide Mark Salter, who co-authored more than a half-dozen books with the senator, including three memoirs, the final of which included a stinging critique of Trump. “He took enjoyment from fighting, not winning or losing, as long as he believed he was fighting for a cause worth the trouble.”

So broad and party-bending was his appeal that Senate Democrats in 2001 quietly tried to persuade him to become one of them. In 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry, a Senate colleague who later became Obama’s secretary of state, considered offering Sen. McCain the second spot on his ticket.

Sen. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign turned out to be a far more conventional operation than his first bid for the White House. He stuck to his talking points and came to represent the status quo that he had once promised to topple.


Sen. McCain speaks with his 2008 vice-presidential running mate, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, surrounded by their families at a rally in Dayton, Ohio. Her presence on the ticket briefly boosted his campaign. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Her well-received convention speech initially gave the sagging Republican nominee a lift, and her independent streak reinforced Sen. McCain’s message and reputation. Looking back on the decision in 2012, Sen. McCain said he had been looking for “a way to galvanize and energize our campaign.”

But Palin’s performance in interviews and on the stump sowed doubts about whether she was prepared to be next in line for the presidency and, by Election Day, polls indicated that she had become a drag on his candidacy.

When he acted like an ordinary politician, trimming principles in the cause of ambition and expedience, it was all the more jarring because of the standard he had set. In the years that followed, a question often asked was: Which is the real John McCain?

He represented the end of an era during which the nation looked at wartime military experience as practically mandatory for those who aspire to high office. “McCain was part of the tradition of being able to say, ‘I did public service when I was young,’ ” historian Douglas Brinkley said.

Sen. McCain, who rose to become chairman of the Armed Services Committee, was among the Republicans’ most hawkish leaders on military matters and foreign affairs.

It was a mind-set that came, in part, from his conviction that the Vietnam War, in which he had suffered grievously, was a noble and winnable endeavor. The real failure, he believed, was that of a spineless political class.

During the Iraq War, often compared to Vietnam, Sen. McCain was an early and ardent proponent of a 2007 “surge” of troops. President Bush ultimately adopted that strategy, and it was widely credited with stabilizing Iraq, albeit temporarily.

Sen. McCain was also a persistent critic of Obama’s foreign policy.

“The demand for our leadership in the world has never been greater. People don’t want less of America — they want more,” Sen. McCain said in 2012. “Everywhere I go in the world, people tell me that they still have faith in America. What they want to know is whether we still have faith in ourselves.”

A military family

John Sidney McCain III was born Aug. 29, 1936, in the Panama Canal Zone and into a family whose military lineage included an ancestor who served as an aide to Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

He was named for the first father and son in Navy history to become full admirals: John S. “Slew” McCain Sr., a top Pacific-theater commander in World War II, and John S. McCain Jr., commander for all armed forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War.

The middle of three children, Sen. McCain manifested his famously hot temper early: As a toddler, he would hold his breath until he blacked out. His tantrums were so severe that a Navy doctor advised his father and mother, the former Roberta Wright, to drop him, fully clothed, into a bathtub of icy water at the first sign of an outburst.

After transient early years spent mostly at military bases, he graduated in 1954 from a Virginia boarding school, Episcopal High School in Alexandria. Following his father’s and grandfather’s path, and his parents’ often-stated expectations, Sen. McCain then enrolled at the U.S. Naval Academy, which he later recalled as “a place I belonged at but dreaded.”

At Annapolis, he rebelled against the hazing and the regulations and racked up so many demerits that he was at risk of expulsion. (That, too, was something of a family tradition.) As Sen. McCain often boasted later in life, he graduated fifth from the bottom of the 899-member class of 1958.

From there, he headed to Pensacola, Fla., to be trained as a Navy pilot and continue the rowdy existence of his days at the academy.

One girlfriend at the time was a stripper who went by the professional name Marie, the Flame of Florida. Sen. McCain recalled taking her as his date to a party of young officers and their mannerly wives. Marie became bored, drew a switchblade from her purse, popped it open and cleaned her fingernails.

He did a stint as a flight instructor in Meridian, Miss., at McCain Field, named for his grandfather. It was there, Sen. McCain recalled, that he matured and became dedicated to distinguishing himself as a pilot.

“As a boy and young man, I may have pretended not to be affected by the family history, but my studied indifference was a transparent mask to those who knew me well,” the senator wrote in a 1999 memoir of his early life, “Faith of My Fathers,” co-authored by Salter. “As it was for my forebears, my family’s history was my pride.”

Sen. McCain also became involved in a serious romance, with Carol Shepp of Philadelphia, whom he had known since his days at the academy. They wed in July 1965, and he soon adopted her two sons from a previous marriage, Douglas and Andrew. The couple later had a daughter, Sidney.

Sen. McCain requested and got orders to do a Vietnam combat tour, joining a squadron on the supercarrier Forrestal in the Tonkin Gulf. On July 29, 1967, having flown five uneventful bombing runs over North Vietnam, he was preparing for takeoff when a missile accidentally fired from a nearby fighter struck the fuel tank of his A-4 Skyhawk, Sen. McCain wrote in his memoir. It set off explosions and a fire that killed 134 crewmen, destroyed more than 20 planes and disabled the ship so severely that it took two years to repair.

His own injuries being relatively — and miraculously — minor, Sen. McCain, then a lieutenant commander, volunteered for dangerous duty on the undermanned carrier Oriskany. He joined a squadron nicknamed the Saints that was known for its daring; that year, one-third of its pilots would be killed or captured.

Brutal captivity

On Oct. 26, 1967, Sen. McCain was on his 23rd mission and his first attack on the enemy capital, Hanoi. He dove his A-4 on a thermal power plant near a lake in the center of the city.

As he released his bombs on the target, a Russian-made missile the size of a telephone pole blew off his right wing. The lieutenant commander pulled his ejection-seat handle and was knocked unconscious by the force as he was hurled from the plane. He came to when he hit the lake, where a mob of Vietnamese had gathered.

With both arms and his right knee broken, he was dragged from the lake, beaten with a rifle butt and stabbed in the foot with a bayonet. Then Sen. McCain was taken to the French-built prison that American POWs had dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton.”

So began 5½  years of torture and imprisonment, nearly half of it spent in solitary confinement. During that time, his only means of communicating with other prisoners was by tapping out the alphabet through the walls.

At first, his family was told that he was probably dead. The front page of the New York Times carried a headline: Adm. McCain’s Son, Forrestal Survivor, Is Missing in Raid.

The North Vietnamese, however, perceived that there was propaganda value in the prisoner. They called him the “crown prince” and assigned a cellmate to nurse him back to health. As brutal as his treatment was, Sen. McCain later said, prisoners who lacked his celebrity endured worse.

Shortly before his father assumed command of the war in the Pacific in 1968, Sen. McCain was offered early release. He refused because it would have been a violation of the Navy code of conduct, which prohibited him from accepting freedom before those who had been held longer.

“I knew that every prisoner the Vietnamese tried to break, those who had arrived before me and those who would come after me, would be taunted with the story of how an admiral’s son had gone home early, a lucky beneficiary of America’s class-conscious society,” Sen. McCain recalled. “I knew that my release would add to the suffering of men who were already straining to keep faith with their country.”

His lowest point came after extensive beatings that broke his left arm again and cracked his ribs. Ultimately, he agreed to sign a vague, stilted confession that said he had committed what his captors called “black crimes.”

“I still wince when I recall wondering if my father had heard of my disgrace,” Sen. McCain wrote. “The Vietnamese had broken the prisoner they called the ‘Crown Prince,’ and I knew they had done it to hurt the man they believed to be a king.”

In March 1973, nearly two months after the Paris peace accords were signed, Sen. McCain and the other prisoners were released in four increments, in the order in which they had been captured. He was 36 years old and emaciated.

The effects of his injuries lingered for the rest of his life: Sen. McCain was unable to lift his arms enough to comb his own prematurely gray hair, could only shrug off his suit jacket and walked with a stiff-legged gait.

Entering politics

Sen. McCain had hoped to remain in the Navy, but it became clear that his disabilities would limit his prospects for advancement.

In the meantime, he found himself drawn toward the civilian world of politics — and it toward him. Hobbling on crutches in his dress-white service uniform, he shook President Richard M. Nixon’s hand. Sen. McCain also struck up a friendship with then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan, who invited the former POW to speak at an annual prayer breakfast in Sacramento.

He developed a network of political contacts while working in the Navy’s legislative affairs operation in the late 1970s. His office on the first floor of the Russell Senate Office Building was a popular late-afternoon socializing spot for younger senators and their staffs.

Sen. McCain’s marriage, meanwhile, frayed and fell apart. That was not an unusual story among returning Vietnam POWs, and in his case, the dissolution was aggravated by his infidelities.

While he and his wife were separated, Sen. McCain visited Hawaii, where he met Cindy Hensley, the daughter of a wealthy Arizona beer distributor. A few months after his divorce became final in 1980, he married Hensley. Then-Sen. William S. Cohen (R-Maine), later to be a defense secretary, was his best man, and then-Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.), a future presidential contender, was an usher.

The couple had three children: Meghan McCain, who became a media personality and blogger, and sons Jimmy McCain and Jack McCain, both of whom served in the military. They also adopted a daughter, Bridget McCain, whom Cindy had met while visiting an orphanage in Bangladesh.

Besides his mother, his wife and seven children, survivors include a brother, Joseph P. McCain of Washington; a sister, Jean McCain Morgan of Annapolis; and five grandchildren.

Sen. McCain retired from the Navy at the rank of captain and moved to Arizona in 1981, with an eye toward running for Congress. The opportunity presented itself the following January when a longtime Republican congressman, John Rhodes, announced his retirement. That same day, the McCains bought a house in Rhodes’s Phoenix district, and John McCain was soon in a race against three other candidates.

He was called an opportunist and a carpetbagger — accusations he dispatched with a single answer at a candidate forum.

“I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and spending my entire life in a nice place like the 1st District of Arizona, but I was doing other things,” he replied to one critic. “As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.”

John McCain was a Capitol Hill celebrity from the moment he was elected to the House.

In many areas, he was a reliably conservative voice and vote. But from the beginning, he showed what became a trademark streak of independence. He called for the withdrawal of Marines from Lebanon in 1983 after a terrorist bombing left 241 U.S. service members dead; he voted to override President Reagan’s veto of sanctions against the apartheid regime of South Africa in 1986.

And — surprisingly to many — as a member of the Senate, he worked to normalize relations with Vietnam.

Sen. McCain crusaded against pork-barrel spending, the practice by which lawmakers direct taxpayer money to projects in their districts. He was also the only Republican to vote against the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a deregulation measure he said had been “written by every [special] interest in the world except the consumers.”

Acclaimed by the media, he was not popular in the Senate. Many of his colleagues were put off by his certitude.

“John puts things in terms of black and white, right and wrong,” then-Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) told The Washington Post in 2000. “If you disagree with him, you’re wrong. He doesn’t see that there could be legitimate differences of opinion that deserve respect.”
Journalists surround Sen. McCain as he walks to the Senate floor for a vote in January 2017. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Over the years, Keating had contributed heavily to Sen. McCain’s House and Senate campaigns. The senator’s family had taken at least nine trips, at Keating’s expense, to the Bahamas, where Keating had a luxurious vacation estate.

Sen. McCain and the four Democrats — Alan Cranston of California, Dennis DeConcini of Arizona, John Glenn of Ohio and Donald W. Riegle Jr. of Michigan, all of whom had also benefited from Keating’s largesse — became known as the “Keating Five.”

The Senate Ethics Committee finally determined that Sen. McCain had not done anything more serious than showing “poor judgment” by attending two meetings with the regulators and the four other senators. It was the lightest reprimand the committee gave in connection with the scandal. The others were rebuked but were not charged with crimes.

Sen. McCain felt that he bore a permanent taint. “It will be on my tombstone, something that will always be with me, something that will always be in my biography,” he said, “and deservedly so.”

The experience also lit the fire for what would become his signature issue and biggest legislative achievement: an overhaul of campaign finance laws. Sen. McCain teamed up with one of the Senate’s most liberal members, Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), to author a measure that called for the most dramatic change to the system since the post-Watergate reforms of 1974.

It took them more than seven years to get the legislation through. The 2002 law’s main thrust was to ban unlimited, unregulated “soft money” donations to parties, which were used as a means of skirting the contribution limits to individual candidates.

In less than a decade, however, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision opened the money floodgate and led to the rise of super PACs, which can spend unlimited sums, as long as they do not coordinate directly with candidates. Sen. McCain called it “the worst decision of the United States Supreme Court in the 21st century.”

Presidential campaigns

When Sen. McCain announced in September 1999 that he was running for the Republican nomination for president, it was yet another assault on the political establishment, which had put its chips on then-Texas Gov. Bush, the son of a former president.

“In truth, I had had the ambition for a long time. It had been a vague aspiration,” he later wrote. “It had been there, in the back of my mind, for years, as if it were simply a symptom of my natural restlessness. Life is forward motion for me.”

He ran as a truth-telling reformer, held a record-setting 114 town hall meetings in New Hampshire (while effectively ignoring the Iowa caucuses) and pulled off a stunning 18-point victory over Bush in the Granite State’s first-in-the-nation primary. But his campaign ran aground in South Carolina in what came to be regarded as the nastiest primary in memory.

Sen. McCain was the target of rumors: that he had fathered a black child (twisting the facts about his dark-skinned adopted daughter); that his wife had a drug habit (she acknowledged having been addicted to painkillers and stealing them from a charity she ran); that his years as a POW had left him brainwashed and insane.

One of his regrets, he later said, was getting tangled up in South Carolina’s emotional debate over flying the Confederate flag at the capitol in Columbia. After describing the banner as “a symbol of racism and slavery,” Sen. McCain bowed to the pleas of his panicked strategists and issued a statement saying he could “understand both sides” of the question.

Later, he wrote that he regretted not having told the truth, which was that he believed “the flag should be lowered forever from the staff atop South Carolina’s capitol.”

“I had not been just dishonest. I had been a coward, and I had severed my own interests from my country’s. That was what made the lie unforgivable,” he recalled. “All my heroes, fictional and real, would have been ashamed of me.”

Bush handily defeated Sen. McCain in South Carolina, beginning the end of the senator’s insurgent campaign. In April, a month after he dropped out of the 2000 race, Sen. McCain returned to the state and publicly apologized for having chosen “to compromise my principles. I broke my promise to always tell the truth.”

Sen. McCain blames the Obama administration at a January 2013 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing about the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

The bitterness of that campaign lingered for much of Bush’s presidency. Sen. McCain was, for instance, one of only two Senate Republicans to vote against Bush’s 2001 tax cuts. He said they were fiscally irresponsible and benefited “the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief.”

But by the time he ran again in 2008, Sen. McCain had come to terms with Bush and the Republican Party, and they with him. He not only voted to extend the tax cuts in 2006, but also advocated making them permanent.

Whereas Sen. McCain had lashed out at evangelical leaders Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as “agents of intolerance” during his first presidential bid, he delivered the commencement address at Falwell’s Liberty University in 2006. Falwell introduced him with lavish praise, saying, “The ilk of John McCain is very scarce, very small.”

The shift rightward caused a breach with a constituency that Sen. McCain had long counted as in his corner: the media.

“Are you going into crazy base world?” comedian Jon Stewart asked Sen. McCain during an appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” a few weeks before the speech at Liberty.

“I’m afraid so,” Sen. McCain deadpanned.

His campaign all but collapsed in the summer of 2007, but Sen. McCain battled back and won the nomination.

Still, he was flying into head winds in the general election. The war in Iraq, which he had supported, was unpopular, as was the Republican incumbent in the White House. Palin’s erratic, unprepared performance became a story in itself.

Most important, he was up against a Democrat who seemed tailor-made for that moment in history: Obama was better financed, ran a better campaign, had opposed the Iraq War and offered the captivating prospect of putting an African American in the White House for the first time.


Sen. McCain pauses for a portrait during his “Straight Talk Express” campaign bus tour in Manchester, N.H., in 2007. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Returning to Congress, Sen. McCain became a frequent antagonist of the man who had defeated him for president. He contended for instance that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 2014 invasion of Crimea was a result of “a feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in America’s strength anymore.”

When Sen. McCain got the gavel of the Armed Services Committee in 2015, he told The Post that he was having more fun than at any time since his 2000 presidential campaign. That same year, he announced plans to run for a sixth term in the Senate.

Sen. McCain won handily, and in his victory speech to supporters, he predicted that campaign “might be the last.”

“Thank you one last time,” he added, “for making me the luckiest guy I know.”

In his final book, reflecting on his life as it came to an end, McCain wrote: “It’s been quite a ride. I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make a peace. I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times.”

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US Embassy to waive visa renewal interviews for Barbadians

US Embassy to waive visa renewal interviews for Barbadians

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Aug 23, CMC – The United States (US) Embassy has announced that from August 28, it will waive visa renewal interviews in Barbados for qualified applicants.

It said the move is part of the US Government’s efforts to improve customer service and streamline the visa process.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Embassy said Barbados passport holders may qualify for a visa renewal interview waiver if their previous visa expired within the past 12 months and they are applying for the same visa category as their previous visa.

“The applicant must be physically present in Barbados or within the consular district of the US Embassy in Bridgetown to avail themselves of this option. Additionally, the previous US visa must be in the applicant’s possession, and the applicant must have submitted a ten-fingerprint scan in conjunction with the previous visa application,” it said.

Students who wish to renew their visas, and who satisfy the requirements may qualify for interview waiver if they are applying to continue attendance at the same institution, or will continue the same major course of study at a different institution. Applicants seeking to renew work-related visas who are returning to work for the same employer/company as annotated on the previous visa may also qualify. Applicants under the age of 14 and over 79 will continue to qualify for interview waiver in most visa classifications.

However, third country nationals must schedule an interview.

The US Embassy stressed that eligibility for interview waiver does not automatically entitle applicants to a waiver of the interview requirement.

It added that there will be further expansion of interview waivers in US Embassy Bridgetown’s consular district in the coming weeks.

CMC/2018

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