Thousands of Chileans flooded the streets of Santiago and other cities Wednesday on day one of a general strike, upping the pressure on President Sebastien Pinera after days of social unrest that have left at least 18 dead.
Students, professors and state workers walked off the job at the urging of the country's largest union, ignoring a package of measures announced by Pinera aimed at quelling the violence.
"THE STRIKE IS ON! We say it loud and clear: enough of the increases and abuses," said the Workers' United Center of Chile (CUT), which organized the two-day action with about 20 other groups. In the capital Santiago, police used water cannons to dispel protesters. "Chile has awakened," read the sign of one protester.
The country, usually one of the most stable in Latin America, has experienced its worst violence in decades since protests against a now-scrapped hike in metro fares escalated dramatically on Friday. Demonstrators have decried social and economic woes, including a yawning gap between rich and poor.
A four-year-child and a man were killed in the latest protests when a drunk driver rammed into a crowd of demonstrators, Interior Undersecretary Rodrigo Ubilla said. A third person died after being beaten by police, according to the victim's family.
In an address to the nation late Tuesday, Pinera apologized for failing to anticipate the outbreak of social unrest. "I recognize this lack of vision," Pinera said after a meeting with some of Chile's opposition leaders.
Beyond the dead, another 269 people have been injured and about 1,900 have been arrested, according to the National Institute for Human Rights (INDH). (AFP News)
Brendan Gallagher scored twice in Montreal's four-goal second period and the Canadiens beat the Winnipeg Jets 7-1 Saturday night. Josh Anderson, Tyler Toffoli, Joel Armia, Paul Byron and Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal.
The Queen has stressed the importance of keeping in touch with family to “transcend boundaries or division” in her annual Commonwealth Day message. Her Majesty, 94, focused on a message of unity, describing how the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic had created a “deeper appreciation” of the need to connect to others. It came as the world awaited the explosive revelations made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their Oprah Winfrey interview, as the Royal family braced itself for the damaging fallout. The Queen will not watch the controversial interview, which is being broadcast by CBS in the US at 1am UK time, but will receive a full breakfast briefing from aides in the morning. The audio message celebrated collaboration, but it stood in contrast to the troubles facing the monarch's family. The Duchess of Sussex, 39, is expected to claim she felt silenced by "The Firm" and unprotected. Senior royals including the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined forces to appear in a special BBC One programme to mark Commonwealth Day, broadcast on the BBC on Sunday just hours before the two-hour Oprah television special. The Queen used her annual message, below, to highlight the “friendship, spirit of unity and achievements” around the world and the benefits of working together in the fight against the virus.
Security is being stepped up outside Trump Tower in New York ahead of the former president's first visit to the city since leaving the White House. Donald Trump was expected to arrive in Manhattan on Sunday night having moved to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida in January. Speculation was fuelled by reports of police planning to augment security outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, the building where he launched his bid for the presidency in 2015. The area has been the scene of anti-Trump protests in recent years, and tension has been raised by the January 6 Capitol riot when his supporters attempted to overturn the result of last year's presidential election.
Centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a pivotal vote in the U.S. Senate, on Sunday advocated making the procedural maneuver called the filibuster more "painful" to do, with Democrats concerned about Republicans obstructing President Joe Biden's legislative agenda. Some Democrats have advocated eliminating the filibuster to prevent Republicans from blocking Biden's initiatives. White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield made clear on Sunday that the president is not calling for ending the filibuster.
Two additional women accused New York governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment on Saturday, including a former press aide who detailed an uncomfortable embrace in a dimly lit hotel room and an assistant who said he made her feel like “just a skirt.” Former press aide Karen Hinton told the Washington Post that Cuomo, then head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, forced her into a “very long, too long, too tight, too intimate” embrace in a dimly lit Los Angeles hotel room in December 2000. The married press aide retreated but said “he pulls me back for another intimate embrace.” “I thought at that moment it could lead to a kiss, it could lead to other things, so I just pull away again, and I leave,” said Hinton, who is married to lobbyist Howard Glaser, a longtime Cuomo ally who worked as his director of state operations and senior policy advisor until 2014. A representative for the governor denied the allegation, telling the Washington Post the incident “did not happen.” “Karen Hinton is a known antagonist of the Governor’s who is attempting to take advantage of this moment to score cheap points with made up allegations from 21 years ago,” Peter Ajemian said. “All women have the right to come forward and tell their story,” he said, though he called Hinton’s accusation “reckless.” Meanwhile, Ana Liss, a policy and operations aide who worked for Cuomo from 2013 to 2015, told the Wall Street Journal the governor acted inappropriately with her as well, calling her “sweetheart” and asking if she had a boyfriend. She detailed a May 2014 encounter with the governor in Albany’s executive mansion where she said the governor called her sweetheart, hugged her, kissed both of her cheeks, put his arm around her lower back and grabbed her waist as they turned to have their photo taken by a photographer. “It’s not appropriate, really, in any setting,” she said. A spokesman for Cuomo, Rich Azzopardi, defended the behavior as par for the course at public receptions. “Reporters and photographers have covered the governor for 14 years watching him kiss men and women and posing for pictures,” Azzopardi said. “At the public open house mansion reception there are hundreds of people and he poses for hundreds of pictures. That’s what people in politics do.” Liss and Hinton are two of five women to accuse the governor of sexual harassment. Lindsey Boylan, the former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo, on Wednesday published an essay detailing alleged sexual harassment she endured while working for the governor, including unwanted kissing and touching. She wrote in the essay that Cuomo, with the help of top female aides, “created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.” She also detailed an increasingly uncomfortable relationship she developed with the governor, in which he sought her out and set up one-on-one meetings with her. Boylan recounted a flight she shared with the governor from an event in October 2017 in which Cuomo allegedly said, “Let’s play strip poker.” On another occasion, Boylan says the pair met one-on-one for a briefing when Cuomo allegedly kissed her. Days later, former health-policy adviser Charlotte Bennett alleged that the governor harassed her in spring 2020, according to the New York Times. Bennett, 25, said Cuomo asked intrusive questions about her sex life, including an incident on June 5 during which the governor asked whether she was monogamous and if she had sex with older men. Cuomo said that he “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” However, the governor did not deny making the statements in question. He has also denied Boylan’s claims. Anna Ruch, a former Biden campaign worker who has not worked for Cuomo, accused the governor of giving her an unwanted kiss on the cheek at a wedding in 2019. She said the action left her “confused and shocked and embarrassed.” New York attorney general Letitia James announced on Monday, after Boylan and Bennett came forward, that her office has received a referral from the Cuomo administration, allowing for an independent investigation of their harassment claims.
When lawyers asked Donald Trump more than a decade ago to identify who estimated values on some of his signature properties, he shrugged and pointed to his longtime accountant, Allen Weisselberg. “I think ultimately probably Mr. Weisselberg,” he said, testifying in 2007 in a defamation lawsuit he brought against a journalist, a case that hinged on whether Trump had inflated the value of his business empire. A judge dismissed that suit, but Trump’s comments illustrate the challenges now facing Weisselberg, 73, as he comes under scrutiny in Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s investigation into whether the former U.S. president and his Trump Organization committed financial crimes.