Kamala Harris ends Democratic presidential campaign

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

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CALIFORNIA, USA (AP) — Senator Kamala Harris told supporters yesterday that she was ending her bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

“I've taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,” the California Democrat said. “My campaign for president simply doesn't have the financial resources we need to continue.”

A senior campaign aide said Harris made the decision Monday after discussing the path forward with family and other top officials over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Her abrupt withdrawal marked a dramatic fall for a candidate who showed extraordinary promise. Harris launched her campaign in front of 20,000 people on a chilly January day in Oakland, California. The first woman and first black attorney general and US senator in California's history, she was widely viewed as a candidate poised to excite the multiracial coalition of voters that sent Barack Obama to the White House.

Her departure erodes the diversity of the Democratic field, which is dominated at the moment by a top-tier that is white and mostly male.

More pressure on Prince Andrew

LONDON, England (AP) — Prince Andrew was missing when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, hosted NATO leaders at Buckingham Palace yesterday, but he was the focus of renewed scrutiny as allegations of sexual misconduct received wide attention on British TV.

Andrew, who has stepped down from royal duties because of his involvement with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was the subject of a BBC documentary broadcast Monday night in which he was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old American trafficked by Epstein.

President Donald Trump declined to offer an opinion when asked about the case earlier yesterday, saying only that he didn't know Andrew but that it was a “very tough story”. However, the alleged victim's father did weigh in, telling the ITV network he believes his daughter Virginia Roberts Giuffre's account is factual.

“I feel really sorry that all this happened. But it did happen, and Prince Andrew should pay for it,” Sky Roberts said, adding that his daughter is “really brave to be going through all this and to come up against these powerful people”.

The royal scandal, closely linked to the Epstein affair, was deepening as Trump and other dignitaries gathered in the splendour of Buckingham Palace to have drinks with the queen ahead of a NATO summit today. Andrew was not among those invited.

Giuffre, now 35, told the BBC in vivid detail how she was forced to have sex with Andrew in London in 2001 after a night on the town at the exclusive Tramp nightclub. She said she had been recruited into Epstein's sex-trafficking network earlier when she was working as a locker room attendant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club.

NATO chief seeks to shore up unity as rows roil allies

LONDON, England (AP) — With questions raised over NATO's credibility, the Western military alliance struggled to present a united front yesterday as some of its biggest member countries traded barbs over their visions for the future.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sought to shore up unity as leaders from across the 29-member trans-Atlantic alliance gathered in London to mark its 70th anniversary and to show that it is adapting to modern threats.

“NATO is the most successful alliance in history because we have been able to change when the world is changing,” Stoltenberg said after talks with US President Donald Trump.

“That is exactly what we are doing again,” he said.

Though NATO has thousands of troops deployed in the Baltics and Poland to dissuade Russia from any military forays like those it launched in Ukraine and Georgia in the recent past, the strength of that military deterrent has been undermined by recent bickering among some leaders.

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