By Can Sezer and Dasha Afanasieva ISTANBUL (Reuters) - For a man with ambitions to become Turkey's first popularly-elected president in a few months' time, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan appears to have done little to unite the country at a moment of national tragedy. He was heckled and one of his aides photographed kicking a protester this week as he visited a mining community where at least 283 people died and scores remain trapped in the nation's worst ever mining disaster. Erdogan expressed regret for the tragedy but told a news conference in the town that it was the sort of incident that happened all over the world, donning his glasses to read a list of mining accidents dating back a century and a half in response to suggestions that Turkish regulation may have been at fault. An amateur video clip appeared to show him saying "Come here and jeer at me!" as he walked through a hostile crowd in the town, flanked by security guards. His car was later kicked as it drove away. Even for a leader whose combative style has increasingly polarized Turkey in recent years, it might have seemed an ill-advisedly bellicose performance. But abrasiveness is Erdogan's stock-in-trade, a style with which he has over the past year weathered anti-government protests, a corruption scandal, and a feud with an influential Islamic preacher he accuses of trying to unseat him. In the narrow streets of Istanbul's Kasimpasa district, where Erdogan grew up and commands fervent support, his handling of the tragedy did little to dent loyalty to a man seen as a champion of the religiously conservative working classes. "He's been very blunt and his temperament has got the better of him," said 29-year old Sinan, a server in a fast-food shop opposite the local headquarters of Erdogan's ruling AK Party. "Some of my clients who are staunch supporters regret his crass style, but they would never say so in public and they would never vote for someone else... He does not have any serious political opponents," he said. Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade, is widely expected to run in the country's first direct elections for president in August, buoyed by a strong AK Party showing in municipal polls at the end of March. Until now, the president has been chosen by parliament and played a largely ceremonial role. Erdogan has said that the popular vote will give the post more authority, and has vowed to exercise its full powers if elected. "I'm not a man who cries but I cried yesterday," said Talip Dere, 45, a sports equipment shop owner, of the mine tragedy. "But all criticisms aside, Erdogan is a strong leader who delivers, and politicians need to deliver." UNDER HIS SPELL In Soma, the mining town, angry residents broke windows at the local government offices on Wednesday, some chanting "Erdogan resign", while parts of the crowd lined the street jeering as the prime minister walked through the town. There were also protests in Istanbul, Ankara and several other cities in southern Turkey, most of them organized by labor unions angered by what they see as crony capitalism and the private sector's disregard for workers' rights. A year ago Erdogan came under fire for a heavy-handed response to a protest against the redevelopment of Istanbul's Gezi Park, clashes which turned into large-scale demonstrations unprecedented during his time in office. The two-week closure of social networking site Twitter and a block on access to video-sharing platform YouTube as he battled the corruption scandal earlier this year drew further criticism at home and abroad of his authoritarian tendencies. But Erdogan cast both the protests and the corruption probe as part of a plot to undermine him, a strategy which helped push his ruling party to a sweeping victory in the March elections. He has warned "extremists" against exploiting the mine tragedy and some of his supporters have accused this week's protesters of trying to smear his government even as miners were still trapped underground. "There is a proper time and place for everything and this is not that," said Aydin, a 42-year old cook at a canteen in Kasimpasa, whose father and grandfather were coal miners in Zonguldak, the country's main mining area on the Black Sea. Turkey's opposition is divided along ideological lines, with the main Republican People's Party (CHP) seen as the preserve of a secularist elite and other parties failing to make much of an impact in more than small patches of the electoral map. In Kasimpasa, an area where most women cover their hair and the orange and blue bunting of the Islamist-rooted AK Party adorns most streets, there is simply no other option. "People will still vote for Erdogan because it's like being in love with someone for too long and not noticing how they have changed for the worse," said Sinan, the restaurant worker, reflecting on the events of recent days. "People are under his spell and not seeing his bad sides." (Editing by Nick Tattersall and Peter Graff)
- The Independent
‘A sham and a con’: GOP-dominated board says Trump-backed ‘audit’ of votes in Arizona is making them a ‘laughing stock’
The politicians call on the state Senate president to end the recount
- Kansas City Star
At least four people have been reported dead.
Ashley Walters filed a lawsuit against Marilyn Manson in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County on Tuesday, accusing the singer of sexual assault.
- Kansas City Star
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed the lawsuit over the coronavirus more than a year ago
- The Independent
University in Pennsylvania condemns ‘horrific’ attack against LGBT+ students by ex members of banned fraternity
Nearly 20 men, reportedly ex members of Bucknell University’s banned chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, allegedly attacked an LGBT+ housing unit on Thursday
Pitching and slugging sensation Shohei Ohtani has become the MLB's home-run leader by swinging at ludicrous pitches
Shohei Ohtani leads the majors with 13 home runs so far this season. He also has an ERA on par with Max Scherzer's.
- The Week
Unlike House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) seems open to a negotiated House bill that would set up a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Even though a bipartisan deal was struck in the lower chamber last week, McCarthy slammed the result Tuesday morning, and it was widely assumed the proposal was dead on arrival in the Senate anyway after it presumably passes the Democratic-majority House. But McConnell surprised some analysts Tuesday when he said Senate Republicans were "undecided" about the bill and are "willing to listen" to arguments in favor of it. The senator certainly seems to have his concerns — namely that the commission may be unbalanced in favor of Democrats — but he didn't reiterate his previous suggestion that it needs to expand its scope beyond the riot (which is McCarthy's main gripe). Fascinating. McConnell says Senate GOP is “undecided” about Jan. 6 commission. expresses a bit of pause about Democrats controlling staff hiring. But this is surprising, given what we had been hearing from the rank and file. — Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) May 18, 2021 Regardless, Brian Rosenwald, a contributer at TheWeek.com, thinks that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) may be able to get to 60 votes without too much haggling. If all seven senators who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial back the bill, the Senate would need just three more defectors, and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) has already hinted at his support. This makes me think Schumer can get to 60 votes. Because you had 7 Rs who voted for impeachment and Rounds wasn’t one of them. https://t.co/m3bOA2ShOB — Brian Rosenwald (@brianros1) May 18, 2021 More stories from theweek.comThe threat of civil war didn't end with the Trump presidency'QAnon Shaman' lawyer issues shockingly offensive defense of client's role in Capitol riotMidnight Run and The Heartbreak Kid star Charles Grodin dies at 86
- The Independent
‘He's an outcast, even among criminals’, says regular contact of convicted murderer
- Reuters Videos
”I feel like stripping is a part of me and I wasn't ready to let go of that part. And so going for so long without working, without stripping, I feel like there is a part of me that's missing.”April Haze is eager to get back to doing what she loves - stripping at a California club. But it remains unclear what that new normal will be.Haze has been teaching pole dancing in Milpitas - and has been performing online - to help make ends meet during the global health crisis that shuttered lucrative strip clubs in the state.But remote work - especially for a stripper - doesn’t quite cut it:"It's been really rough and just like anxiety inducing and just like I don't like being in the state of limbo, you know, where it's just like I know that the clubs could be open and that like they're probably just as safe as any other business that is open right now…”In San Francisco, strip clubs which offer food are able to reopen… but everyone must wear a mask. Strippers included.No physical contact is permitted. That means lap dances and private VIP rooms - which make up a large portion of a stripper’s income - are still prohibited.And - there’s fewer customers.[“I have one pieces. They're all so strappy.]Revenue at U.S. clubs decreased some 17 percent in 2020 and - according to research by IBISWorld - revenue is forecast to fall another 1.5 percent this year.But the hope among strippers and strip club owners is that once restrictions are fully lifted, the industry will see a significant boom in patrons."I don't think we're going to live in a world where there's no concerts or nightclubs or strip clubs or crowded spaces anymore. It's just like people are not dealing with the pandemic well. So I don't think that we're ever going to be in a world where that doesn't exist, you know?"
Miss Universe contestants are not allowed to be married, so pageant fans thought they had discovered a scandal with Andrea Meza's photo.
- The Telegraph
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have formally liquidated one of their sole-remaining British companies, marking the final nail in the coffin for Sussex Royal. Documents filed with Companies House revealed that MWX Trading confirmed on May 5 that it was winding up and a liquidator was appointed on May 14. The couple established the company in August 2019, naming their lawyer, Gerrard Tyrrell, as its secretary and Natalie Campbell, who worked for their charitable foundation Sussex Royal, as director. They registered it at Companies House and used the business to apply for trademarks. Ms Campbell and Mr Tyrrell were later replaced by James Holt, the couple’s former head of communications who was recently appointed executive director of their Archewell Foundation and is relocating to the US. The Duke and Duchess are also in the process of liquidating the company formerly known as Sussex Royal, The Telegraph understands. When the couple announced they were stepping back from their roles as working members of the Royal family they were told they could no longer use the name, and so changed it last July to MWX Foundation. Despite reports suggesting that MWX stood for Markle Windsor or Mountbatten Windsor, using the X from Sussex, sources claimed the name was just created from random letters and had no special significance. Sussex Royal was announced with much fanfare in July 2019, shortly after it was confirmed that the Sussexes were breaking away from the Royal Foundation, the charitable vehicle they had shared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Company accounts revealed last year that it had £99,000 in the bank and would cost £16,000 to wind down. They also showed that the charity was owed £200,000 from an unidentified source. Accounts for the MWX Foundation, of which the Duke remains sole director, reveal that the £200,000 has now been repaid. The moves to formally wind up both companies come as the Sussexes continue to sign lucrative deals with business partners in the US via their new US-based Archewell Foundation, most recently announcing a partnership with consumer goods giant Proctor & Gamble.
- The Independent
Biden promises to keep Rashida Tlaib’s West Bank family safe after she accused him of ‘taking orders’ from Israel
President says he is praying for congresswoman’s family as administration facing pressure to demand Israel ceasefire
'Bachelorette' star Rachel Lindsay says she cried when she learned most of the contestants didn't date Black women
Lindsay told the comedian Ziwe Fumudoh the producers edited her tears into an unrelated scene and they found the race disparity "interesting."
- The Week
Albert Watkins, the attorney for Jacob Chansley (perhaps better known as "QAnon Shaman"), spoke on the record with Talking Points Memo about his client's alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. In the interview, published by TPM on Tuesday, Watkins used shockingly offensive language in an attempt to defend Chansley's alleged actions, saying Chansley has Asperger's syndrome, and asserting that other participants in the riot have intellectual disabilities that were to blame. "These are people with brain damage," he said. He also claimed they were subjected to what he described as the most powerful propaganda campaign since Adolf Hitler's. Read the full, graphic passage from the TPM story below. I spoke to the "QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley's attorney, Albert Watkins, for this story. Here's what he had to say... https://t.co/6gZ2jzPvSh pic.twitter.com/b4w62dYvLN — Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) May 18, 2021 More stories from theweek.comThe threat of civil war didn't end with the Trump presidencyMidnight Run and The Heartbreak Kid star Charles Grodin dies at 86This is your brain on pandemic whiplash
J.J. Abrams reveals he 'will not be directing' Black Superman movie after DC source said it would be 'tone-deaf'
Sources previously told The Hollywood Reporter that J.J. Abrams directing the movie would be "tone-deaf."
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called for a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, criticizing China for human rights abuses and saying that global leaders who attend would lose their moral authority. U.S. lawmakers have been increasingly vocal about an Olympic boycott or venue change, and have lashed out at American corporations, arguing their silence about what the State Department has deemed a genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China was abetting the Chinese government.
Parenting is not the right path for everyone. These celebrities have opened up about their decisions not to have children for various reasons.
- Lexington Herald-Leader
In 2018, an Oregon man was sentenced to 130 days in jail after he was seen on video taunting a bison.
- The Independent
Controversial influencer couple who euthanised dog refused to adopt baby because of social media ban
Couple decided not to adopt from Thailand after realising they would not be able to post child online
- The Telegraph
He has film-star good looks, has been hailed as Prince “Harry lite”, and has hung out with Nicki Minaj. Our hero is also nephew to one of the most famous women in the world, and set to inherit a 13,500-acre estate that has been in his family for 19 generations, a family arguably loftier than the Windsors. Despite this, no one – seasoned royal watchers included – appears to know much about Louis Spencer, Viscount Althorp. And that’s just the way this concertedly private young man wants it. So who is Princess Diana’s 27-year-old nephew, and how did he become the latest symbol of a system that many see as a sexist anachronism requiring change? Louis Spencer was born on March 14 1994, fourth child to Diana’s brother, Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, and his first wife Victoria Lockwood (Prince Harry was a page boy at their wedding). One reason for his below-the-radar presence was that young Louis was not brought up in Britain. Instead, a year after he was born, his parents moved Louis, oldest sister Kitty, and twins Eliza and Amelia to Cape Town, seeking privacy. His mother remained there after the pair divorced, meaning that – instead of being educated at Eton or Harrow, until then traditional for Spencer heirs – Louis attended Diocesan College, known as “Bishops”, Cape Town’s most expensive private school. It was founded in 1849 on British educational principles, and is celebrated for its string of sporting alumni. Only afterwards did Louis return to Britain as a student at Edinburgh University. He and his Spencer siblings came to public attention at Prince William’s wedding in April 2011 – Louis a shy-looking 17-year-old, somewhat dwarfed by his three beauteous sisters. His next public “appearance” was four years later, when a photo of him popped up on rapper Nicki Minaj’s social media feed, of all places. Underneath a picture of them backstage at one of her concerts, she joked: “Check out our wedding photo”. Viscount Althorp looked as chiselled as a male model.