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Politics

Steve Bannon is on his way out at the White House – but the fiery, anti-establishment conservative who helped Donald Trump win the presidency says he getting ready to wage his populist campaign from the outside.

“If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents -- on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America,” Bannon said on Friday.

The outgoing White House chief strategist spent just over a year formally working for the president, and on Friday, his job with Trump came to an end.

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

"We are grateful for his service and wish him the best."

Breitbart announced Friday that Bannon returned as executive chairman of the populist news site he once ran that rails against the political establishment in both parties. foxnews.com
A Democratic state senator in Missouri is facing resignation calls for posting on Facebook Thursday that she hopes President Trump is assassinated.

“I hope Trump is assassinated!” state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal wrote.

Chappelle-Nadal eventually deleted the post, but a screenshot was saved and shared on Twitter.

In interviews with local outlets, Chapelle-Nadal said she regretted her post but not her anger at the president.

She blamed her outburst on the president's response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville.

"I posted something on my personal Facebook and I should not have done that, and for that I am sorry for that," Chapelle-Nadal told St. Louis television station KMOV. foxnews.com

The ghostwriter of "The Art of the Deal" thinks President Donald Trump will eventually call it quits.

Tony Schwartz, the man behind Trump's 1987 memoir, took to Twitter on Wednesday to vocalize his forecast for Trump's political future.

"The circle is closing at blinding speed," Schwartz tweeted.

"Trump is going to resign and declare victory before Mueller and congress leave him no choice."

While working on the memoir in the 1980s, Schwartz spent 18 months with Trump. Over the past few years, he has been an outspoken critic of the former businessman, now President.

"I put lipstick on a pig," he told The New Yorker last year, adding that he feels "a deep sense of remorse" for "presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is." cnn.com
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reportedly "gave excuse after excuse" for refusing to publish a trove of documents related to corruption within the Russian government, according to chat logs obtained by Foreign Policy.

The source who sent the chat logs to Foreign Policy told the publication that the documents "would have exposed Russian activities and shown WikiLeaks was not controlled by Russian security services. 

Many Wikileaks staff and volunteers or their families suffered at the hands of Russian corruption and cruelty, we were sure Wikileaks would release it. Assange gave excuse after excuse.”

The documents comprised roughly 68 gigabytes worth of data, according to FP, and were the continuation of a set of files about Russia's involvement in Ukraine that had been hacked — and reported on — in 2014.

WikiLeaks told FP that it turns down documents it cannot verify or that have already been published elsewhere, and that it "has never rejected a submission due to its country of origin." businessinsider.de
The leader of Australia's far-right One Nation party has worn a burka on the floor of the nation's Senate.

Pauline Hanson's entrance drew audible shock from other senators ahead of a bid by her party to ban the garment in Australia.

Government minister George Brandis condemned Ms Hanson's stunt and "counselled and cautioned" her against causing offence to religious groups.

Mr Brandis received a standing applause from opposition parties.

In an emotional speech, Mr Brandis said Ms Hanson's actions risked alienating approximately 500,000 Australians who adhered to the Islamic faith.

"To ridicule that community, to drive it into a corner, to mock its religious garments, is an appalling thing to do and I would ask you reflect on what you have done," said Mr Brandis, who is Australia's attorney-general. bbc.com
While controversial statues of Confederate icons who fought for slavery come down in the United States, Russia is erecting new monuments to a once-disgraced Soviet Union dictator who killed millions: Josef Stalin. 

This summer marked the 80th anniversary of the "Great Terror," a massive purge Stalin ordered against political opponents.

Yet the milestone was barely noticed by Russians, who increasingly see Stalin as a national hero who defeated the Nazis in World War II as a valued U.S. ally rather than the brutal mass murderer reviled by historians.

Many here apparently don't know that on July 30, 1937, Stalin’s secret police launched a campaign that would see more than 1.5 million "anti-Soviet elements" arrested and nearly 700,000 of them killed, according to Soviet archives.

Historians say that during Stalin’s three decades of rule, which ended with his death in 1953, an estimated 15 million to 30 million people were executed or died in labor camps or starved to death. usatoday.com
It may be President Trump's communication tool of choice - but it's a tweet by former President Barack Obama that has become the most liked in Twitter's history.

The tweet, the first in a series of three, quoted Nelson Mandela and was accompanied by a picture of Mr Obama smiling with a group of children from different racial backgrounds.

It has been liked almost three million times since it was posted on 13 August following the attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The milestone was reached at approximately 01:07 GMT.

It overtook a tweet posted by Ariana Grande expressing condolences after the Manchester terror attack in May.

Over three tweets, Mr Obama quoted a passage from Mr Mandela’s autobiography, The Long Walk To Freedom. bbc.com
In the wake of violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and counterprotesters, the Illinois State Senate wants white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups classified as terrorist organizations.

In a resolution authorized Sunday, lawmakers urge law enforcement to “pursue the criminal elements of these domestic terrorist organizations in the same manner and with the same fervor used to protect the United States from other manifestations of terrorism.”

State Sen. Don Harmon, a Democrat who introduced the measure, said he did so in response to Saturday’s “inexcusable violence committed by white nationalist & neo-Nazi groups in Charlottesville.”

In a series of tweets, Harmon said it is “vital that we stand in total opposition to the hatred, bigotry & violence displayed by these groups.”

Hundreds of white nationalists and other right-wing groups converged Saturday on Charlottesville, which has drawn protests over the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Counterprotester Heather Heyer was killed when a car plowed into a crowd. The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, has been charged with second-degree murder and state other crimes. fox2now.com
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said Monday night that he's leaving President Trump's manufacturing council, the second departure by a high-profile business leader in the space of a day.  

Plank didn't give a clear reason for stepping down, but his announcement comes amid fierce criticism of Trump's response over the weekend to violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.  

"Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics" Plank said in a statement. 

He said he would "continue to focus my efforts on inspiring every person that they can do anything through the power of sport which promotes unity, diversity and inclusion."

His decision comes hours after Merck (MRK) CEO Kenneth Frazier, one of the country's most prominent black corporate executives, quit the council over Trump's initial failure to condemn white supremacists.

"America's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy," Frazier said. cnn.com
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday slammed as "disgusting" the role of white supremacists in a violent protest in Virginia and an "evil attack" against counter-demonstrators that left one woman dead, her spokesman said.

In sharply worded remarks, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert expressed shock at the weekend rally by Ku Klux Klan members and other white nationalists in Charlottesville.

"The scenes at the right-wing extremist march were absolutely repulsive - naked racism, anti-Semitism and hate in their most evil form were on display," he told reporters.

"Such images and chants are disgusting wherever they may be and they are diametrically opposed to the political goals of the chancellor and the entire German government."

Seibert said Merkel stood in solidarity "with those who peacefully oppose such aggressive, far-right views".

He underlined "how much the chancellor regrets the death of a woman who fell victim" to "an evil attack" by a car driver. thelocal.de