ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
76°
Sct Thunderstorms
H 85° L 72°
  • cloudy-day
    76°
    Current Conditions
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 85° L 72°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    78°
    Afternoon
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 85° L 72°
  • cloudy-day
    80°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 85° L 72°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

National News

    The Latest on President Donald Trump at the Group of Seven summit. (all times local): 8:45 a.m. President Donald Trump says he has 'second thoughts about everything' when asked if he regrets escalating a trade war with China. Trump tells reporters at the Group of Seven summit that 'we're getting along well right now with China' despite dueling barrages of tariffs issued Friday and a new threat to try to force U.S. businesses to leave China. Trump appeared to be trying to de-escalate tensions with China over concerns that a global economic slowdown could be spreading to the U.S. Trump was meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has said one of his messages to Trump was to de-escalate the trade war. During their breakfast meeting he advocated for free trade, saying the U.K. has benefited from it for over 200 years. 8:30 a.m. President Donald Trump says it's 'possible' he will invite Russia to rejoin the annual meeting of the world's advanced economies when he hosts the summit next year. Speaking at the Group of Seven summit in France during a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump says he's considering inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia was a member of what was then the Group of Eight, but was expelled by the majority of the other countries in 2014 over its invasion of Ukraine. European nations have insisted that Russia first comply with the Minsk Accords before it is allowed to rejoin. Trump has not said under what criteria he'd re-invite Putin. ___ 8:00 a.m. President Donald Trump is disputing reports that he faces a tense reception from world leaders at the Group of Seven summit in France. In a Sunday morning tweet Trump says 'the Leaders are getting along very well.' Trump is trying to use the summit to convince global leaders to do more to address a global economic slowdown, as fears rise it could soon affect the U.S. ahead of his re-election. But his counterparts, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whom he is set to meet Sunday, are trying to convince him to back off his trade war with China and other countries, which they see as contributing to the economic weakening. Trump tweets that 'our Country, economically, is doing great — the talk of the world!
  • Want to experience the great outdoors this weekend? You're in luck: Hundreds of national parks are offering free admission Sunday, Aug. 25, to commemorate the National Park Service's 103rd birthday, also known as Founders Day. >> Read more trending news  According to the agency's website, the annual event celebrates the creation of the NPS, which was formed when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Act on Aug. 25, 1916. Today, the federal agency manages 418 parks, many of which offer free admission daily. However, even the national parks that normally do charge entrance fees will waive them Sunday. National parks may still charge for transportation, concessions, camping, tours or other services on Founders Day, the agency said. Want to find your nearest national park or check out a list of events? Visit the NPS website here.
  • Hasbro, the toy maker behind My Little Pony, Monopoly and Mr. Potato Head recently bought an independent studio that makes children shows Peppa Pig and Pj Masks and also happens to own Death Row Records. >> Read more trending news  The toymaker purchased Entertainment One for $4 billion earlier this week in an effort to expand its television production and development abilities, Mergers & Acquisitions reported.  “The acquisition of eOne adds beloved story-led global family brands that deliver strong operating returns to Hasbro’s portfolio and provides a pipeline of new brand creation driven by family-oriented storytelling,” Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement.  While Hasbro was looking to expand its footprint in television and film production with the deal, eOne also has a music division, which paid $280 million for Death Row Records in 2013, Rolling Stone reported. Death Row Records was the label behind some of the biggest names in West Coast hip hop including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac. The label was established in 1991 by Dre, The D.O.C. and Suge Knight. It was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2016, Rolling Stone reported. “Hasbro will leverage eOne’s immersive entertainment capabilities to bring our portfolio of brands that have appeal to gamers, fans and families to all screens globally and realize full franchise economics across our blueprint strategy for shareholders,” Goldner said. 
  • Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck plans to retire from the NFL, according to reports.  >> Read more trending news  'I feel quite exhausted. I feel tired and not just in a physical sense,' Luck said confirming his retirement during post-game comments Saturday, WISH reported. 'Part of my journey going forward will be figuring out how to feel better.' Luck was booed by fans as he left the field after the Colts 27-17 loss to the Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium. Fans learned of his retirement midway through the game. 'Part of our heart is broken tonight,' team owner Jim Irsay told WISH. Luck planned to tell teammates after the game and make a more formal announcement about retiring Sunday. The Colts locker room was closed to media after the game, WISH reported.  Luck, 29, was drafted No.1 overall in 2012 and played seven seasons for the Colts. He led the team to the playoffs multiple times but his career has been hampered by injuries. Luck has 23,671 career passing yards and threw 171 touchdowns and 83 interceptions. He has a 53-33 record and appeared in four Pro Bowls.
  • A school bus driver was killed by stepping on live wires after a crash in Beaver County on Friday. >> Read more trending news  Emergency responders said there were no students on the bus, just the bus driver, as flames broke out on Foster Road around 3 p.m. Officials tell Channel 11 the driver hit a pole and brought down power lines on the bus, which then caught fire. The driver ran out of the bus, stepped on the wires and died. The driver was out doing a dry run before school started next week at Riverside School District. The bus company, First Student, provided the following statement:'This is certainly tragic and from everyone at First Student our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this driver.' 
  • Cellphone video obtained by Channel 2 Action News shows a man repeatedly punching a panhandler on a Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority train last Saturday. >> Read more trending news  Police are trying to find and arrest him. In the video, the shirtless attacker can be heard saying, “I’m tired of you asking for change,” as he’s attacking the man. Several passengers told Channel 2 that the man being attacked is someone who rides the trains frequently, asking for money. The incident happened just before 8:15 p.m. as the train was traveling east to the Georgia State station, MARTA police said in a Facebook post. Before the incident, the man was spotted at the Georgia State, Ashby and Oakland City stations. MARTA sent the news station a statement regarding the incident that said: “We take matters of this nature seriously and request the ongoing assistance of our passengers in keeping our buses, trains and stations safe. If you witness violence or other criminal activity, please alert your bus or rail operator.” Police said the attacker will likely face assault charges when caught. 
  • Harley Morgan was still wearing his dark suit and Rhiannon Boudreaux her wedding dress when the Texas 'childhood sweethearts' were killed in a crash with a truck minutes after they were married. Nineteen-year-old Morgan and 20-year-old Boudreaux were pronounced dead Friday at the scene by the same justice of the peace who had just married them. 'I'm talking five minutes. You may kiss the bride,' said Orange Police Cpt. Keith Longlois. 'The family was right behind them. They were all going out to go to wherever they were going to have their reception,' he said. Longlois said they were 'childhood sweethearts' who decided to be married by a popular Orange County Justice of the Peace Joy Dubose-Simonton. He said the groom was driving when he tried to exit the driveway of the Justice of The Peace building onto a five-lane highway. A truck pulling a trailer carrying a heavy tractor slammed into their vehicle. The force was so great that witnesses said the car flipped multiple times before coming to rest in a ditch. The driver of the truck was not identified but Longlois said he was cooperating with the investigation and there was no sign of wrongdoing. Drug and alcohol tests would be conducted, he said. 'I had to sit there and watch my two babies die,' the mother of the groom, LaShawna Morgan, told the Beaumont Enterprise .. .
  • A New York firefighter showed his ability to take the heat off the job in an adorable video of him giving his infant daughter a pedicure. >> Read more trending news  In what Jimmy Howell, who works for the Fire Department of New York in Queens, calls their weekly spa talks, he gives his 9-month-old daughter, Kensley, a pedicure. 'We're gonna take care of these dogs, alright?' Howell said jokingly. “Oh man, I can tell you been crawling. These dogs are barking.” Kensley smiles and giggles while Howell gently holds her feet while playfully barking. But things start to get heated when Howell apparently rubs too hard with the file. He immediately puts out any potential flames. 'I'm sorry if I'm rubbing too hard, but it’s free, so beggars cannot be choosers.”  Howell goes back to filing while Kensley silently looks on.  Howell is also featured for the month of March in the FDNY 2020 Calendar of Heroes, WNBC reported. 
  • Authorities say the son of a former NFL lineman wanted on murder charges in Minnesota for the shooting of his parents was arrested Saturday in Mexico. The Todd County Sheriff's Office says 22-year-old Dylan John Bennett was arrested on second degree murder charges at a hotel Saturday in Cancun. Authorities say Bennett had contacted County Sheriff Steve Och earlier in the day to say that he would turn himself in to the FBI. But a sheriff's office statement said the arrest by Mexican authorities came before the information could be communicated to them. 'The FBI is taking him into custody now and will transport him to Minnesota in the coming days,' the statement said. The bodies of 63-year-old Barry Bennett and his wife, Carol, were found Wednesday at their home in Long Prairie, a town of about 3,500 people 124 miles (200 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis. Their deaths were ruled homicide from gunshots. A criminal complaint says Dylan Bennett's car was at the scene with an empty box for a 9 mm handgun inside, along with ammunition. Investigators believe the Bennetts were killed Monday. The complaint said Carol Bennett, who would've been 64 on Thursday, was shot multiple times in the back and torso. Barry Bennett, 63, was shot multiple times in the torso and head. According to the criminal complaint, Barry Bennett told the Todd County Sheriff's Office in December that Dylan had expressed thoughts about killing his parents while he was in a mental health treatment facility. The criminal complaint outlines how authorities tracked the family in recent days. Barry Bennett was seen Monday in Long Prairie at about noon. Earlier Monday, Dylan Bennett was seen driving his car during a bank transaction in which a large sum of cash was withdrawn from the Bennetts' account, the complaint said. Carol Bennett's credit and debit cards were used in Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Her car was found in Columbus, Ohio. Dylan Bennett had a plane ticket for a flight from Columbus to Cancun. Barry Bennett played 11 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings. The Star Tribune reported Bennett had retired from teaching physical education in Long Prairie. Superintendent Jon Kringen said Bennett rarely talked about his NFL career unless someone asked.
  • The Democratic National Committee on Saturday quashed a push from climate activists and some national party members who want a 2020 presidential primary debate devoted exclusively to the climate crisis. The national party committee voted 222-137 at its summer meeting in San Francisco against a resolution that effectively would have rolled back debate rules set by Chairman Tom Perez and freed presidential candidates to participate in a climate-only debate. The move drew rebukes from the Sunrise Movement and other activists who say the party leadership is ignoring young voters' priorities. 'The Democratic Party needs the energy and motivation of young people to win in 2020,' said Evan Weber, Sunrise Movement political director. 'The energy around this issue has been incredibly clear, yet Tom Perez keeps shooting the party in the foot by rejecting that energy and turning it away.' Perez has said throughout the primary campaign that he opposes making any of the party's official debates revolve around a single issue. Perez said this week in San Francisco that he wants the widest possible audiences for primetime debates, with voters getting to see candidates address a full range of issues. And he'd barred candidates from participating in any non-party event where candidates would appear on the same stage at the same time. An influential party committee had voted Thursday effectively to 'encourage' candidates to ignore that rule. The vote Saturday by the full party committee struck down that language. Perez has encouraged candidates to participate in issue-specific forums that don't involve multiple candidates being on the same stage together. CNN, for example, has planned a climate forum in September, with at least 10 candidates expected to appear individually and discuss climate policy in-depth. Powerful organizations such as the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO already have hosted such events focused on their policy priorities. Perez aides also noted this week that he's gotten requests from different interest groups requesting full-fledged debates on civil rights, guns, poverty and issues affecting older Americans. The wrangling this week came in the wake of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ending his presidential bid that he'd hinged on a pledge to make climate action the nation's top priority. Inslee was able to attract more than 130,000 individual donors — the mark the DNC set as one qualifying metric for the September debate stage. But Inslee was well shy of an additional requirement to hit 2% support in at least four national or early nominating state polls from reputable pollsters. Inslee had repeatedly called on Perez to dedicate a DNC-sponsored debate to climate action. ---- Follow Barrow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP
  • A single blood test may be able to detect your risk of dying within five to 10 years. That’s according to new research published this week in the journal Nature Communications, for which scientists in the Netherlands examined blood sample data on 44,168 Europeans ages 18 to 109 from 12 cohorts. More than 5,500 participants died during follow-up studies. When looking through the data, lead researcher Eline Slagboom and her team identified 14 biomarkers in the blood independently associated with “all-cause mortality.” These biomarkers, which are “involved in various processes, such as lipoprotein and fatty acid metabolism, glycolysis, fluid balance, and inflammation,” ultimately help determine one’s score (or risk) of dying within five to 10 years. “Such a score,” study authors wrote, “could potentially be used in clinical practice to guide treatment strategies, for example when deciding whether an elderly person is too fragile for an invasive operation.” But how well can those 14 biomarkers actually predict risk of death? To find out, the scientists also compared their data with a 1997 cohort in Finland. According to data on more than 7,600 Finnish individuals (1,213 of whom had died during follow-up), the 14 biomarkers initially examined predicted patient deaths within five to 10 years with approximately 83% accuracy, according to the study. This suggests the biomarkers “clearly improve risk prediction of five and 10-year mortality as compared to conventional risk factors across all ages,” study authors wrote. Conventional risk factors, such as systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol, typically have a mortality prediction accuracy of 78% to 79%. Still, further research is certainly needed before a blood test based on the 14 biomarkers is used in clinical settings. Because the data used in the study comes from a variety of cohorts, future efforts should focus on creating a biomarker score based on individual-level data. Read the full study at nature.com.
  • A federal judge has placed the man at the center of the John Grisham book 'The Innocent Man' on the path to potential freedom. Karl Fontenot’s story was also made into a Netflix documentary series. U.S. District Judge James Payne, of Muskogee, ruled there is reasonable doubt that Fontenot should have been convicted in 1988 in the kidnapping and killing of Ada convenience store clerk Denice Haraway in 1984.  Judge Payne's opinion discusses alleged misconduct by police, investigators and prosecutors. Fontenot and co-defendant Tommy Ward were convicted in Haraway's murder in part due to a recording of them talking about dreams they had about her murder.
  • On a day of big losses on the stock markets sparked first by China levying new tariffs on imports from America, President Donald Trump wasted no time Friday afternoon in announcing higher import duties against the Chinese, plunging the two countries even deeper into an economic standoff which could have negative worldwide ramifications. 'China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product,' the President tweeted about an hour after the close on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones dropped over 600 points. 'Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%,' the President wrote.  'Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%,' he added. The President also called on American companies to take their manufacturing businesses out of China, arguing that the United States was the victim of an 'unfair Trading Relationship.' 'Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,' Mr. Trump tweeted. The White House did not provide any explanation as to how the President would have the power to force U.S. companies to abandon their manufacturing operations in China. Economic experts and businesses were worried by the days events. “(T)his is a major risk as it's the economy - households and businesses - that are in play,” said Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics. “The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and the answer isn't more taxes on American businesses and consumers,” said the National Retail Federation. “Where does this end?'  “These added tariffs will ratchet up consumer prices, stall business investment, escalate uncertainty and cost American jobs,” said the pro-free trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “In just the past three years, U.S. soybean exports to China have fallen nearly 80 percent, and once these tariffs kick in, things are likely to get worse,” said Roger Johnson, the head of the National Farmers Union.  The standoff with China was a far cry from President Trump's prediction in March of 2018, when he wrote on Twitter that trade wars are 'easy to win.' As for Democrats - even though many of them would like to see the United States be more forceful with China - their answer is not retaliatory tariffs and a trade war. “Our economy is showing signs of weakening due to the president’s trade war, and these back-and-forth tariffs will only make things worse,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The facts are clear: President Trump's destabilizing and reckless trade war is undermining growth,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). “Your tariffs are hurting our country badly,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “There's nothing funny about tanking people's retirement accounts with a failed trade war,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
  • The Trump campaign has a message for its female supporters: It’s time to come out of hiding. “There’s a lot of people that are fearful of expressing their support, and I want you ladies to know it’s OK to have felt that way, but we need to move past that or the Democrats win,” said Tana Goertz, a Trump campaign adviser, at an Iowa “Women for Trump” event on Thursday. The Iowa event, held in the back room of a barbecue joint in a Des Moines suburb, was one of more than a dozen in battleground states nationwide as part of a push to make the president’s case on the economy and train volunteers. The move is a recognition of the president’s persistent deficit with women — an issue that has the potential to sink his chances for reelection. Over the course of his presidency and across public opinion polls, women have been consistently less supportive of President Donald Trump than men have. Suburban women in particular rejected Republicans in the 2018 midterm by margins that set off alarms for the party and the president. Trump himself called into a gathering of hundreds in Tampa, Florida, and insisted, to cheers: “We’re doing great with women, despite the fake news.”
  • With the United States set to slap a new 10 percent tariff on billions of dollars in Chinese goods coming into the U.S. on September 1, the Chinese government officially retaliated on Friday, announcing its own new tariffs on American products, and denouncing President Donald Trump's get-tough actions on trade. 'The US measures have led to the continuous escalation of Sino-US economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the United States and other countries,' the Chinese Minstry of Finance announced. The documents released by China today apply to over 5,000 categories of items imported from the United States, covering everything from diapers to pipes and cigarette holders, to a range of agricultural products like barley, wheat, oats, corn, sorghum, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, covering about $75 billion in U.S. goods. Much like a 122 page list of targeted items put out by the United States earlier this month, China issued over 100 pages of products which would face new import duties. The reaction from Congress and business groups was negative. 'This trade war is not holding China accountable,' said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). 'It's hurting farmers and small business owners all over the country who are just trying to earn a living.' “The fact of the matter is that nobody wins a trade war, and the continued tit-for-tat escalation between the U.S. and China is putting significant strain on the U.S. economy, raising costs, undermining investment, and roiling markets,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. As for President Trump, he has not wavered in his public statements about taking on china, tariff for tariff, as one of his Friday tweets caused some shock on  the markets. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” the President wrote. “Here’s the thing: Somebody had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically,” the President told reporters this week. “We’re winning big. I took it on. And it should have been done by previous Presidents,” he added. And on Twitter Friday morning, the President expressed no concerns about the Chinese response. Asked by reporters earlier this week about the trade war with China, Mr. Trump said he was the only President who had decided to actually confront Beijing. “I am the chosen one,” the President said, as he looked skyward.

Washington Insider

  • On a day of big losses on the stock markets sparked first by China levying new tariffs on imports from America, President Donald Trump wasted no time Friday afternoon in announcing higher import duties against the Chinese, plunging the two countries even deeper into an economic standoff which could have negative worldwide ramifications. 'China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product,' the President tweeted about an hour after the close on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones dropped over 600 points. 'Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%,' the President wrote.  'Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%,' he added. The President also called on American companies to take their manufacturing businesses out of China, arguing that the United States was the victim of an 'unfair Trading Relationship.' 'Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,' Mr. Trump tweeted. The White House did not provide any explanation as to how the President would have the power to force U.S. companies to abandon their manufacturing operations in China. Economic experts and businesses were worried by the days events. “(T)his is a major risk as it's the economy - households and businesses - that are in play,” said Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics. “The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and the answer isn't more taxes on American businesses and consumers,” said the National Retail Federation. “Where does this end?'  “These added tariffs will ratchet up consumer prices, stall business investment, escalate uncertainty and cost American jobs,” said the pro-free trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “In just the past three years, U.S. soybean exports to China have fallen nearly 80 percent, and once these tariffs kick in, things are likely to get worse,” said Roger Johnson, the head of the National Farmers Union.  The standoff with China was a far cry from President Trump's prediction in March of 2018, when he wrote on Twitter that trade wars are 'easy to win.' As for Democrats - even though many of them would like to see the United States be more forceful with China - their answer is not retaliatory tariffs and a trade war. “Our economy is showing signs of weakening due to the president’s trade war, and these back-and-forth tariffs will only make things worse,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The facts are clear: President Trump's destabilizing and reckless trade war is undermining growth,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). “Your tariffs are hurting our country badly,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “There's nothing funny about tanking people's retirement accounts with a failed trade war,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
  • With the United States set to slap a new 10 percent tariff on billions of dollars in Chinese goods coming into the U.S. on September 1, the Chinese government officially retaliated on Friday, announcing its own new tariffs on American products, and denouncing President Donald Trump's get-tough actions on trade. 'The US measures have led to the continuous escalation of Sino-US economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the United States and other countries,' the Chinese Minstry of Finance announced. The documents released by China today apply to over 5,000 categories of items imported from the United States, covering everything from diapers to pipes and cigarette holders, to a range of agricultural products like barley, wheat, oats, corn, sorghum, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, covering about $75 billion in U.S. goods. Much like a 122 page list of targeted items put out by the United States earlier this month, China issued over 100 pages of products which would face new import duties. The reaction from Congress and business groups was negative. 'This trade war is not holding China accountable,' said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). 'It's hurting farmers and small business owners all over the country who are just trying to earn a living.' “The fact of the matter is that nobody wins a trade war, and the continued tit-for-tat escalation between the U.S. and China is putting significant strain on the U.S. economy, raising costs, undermining investment, and roiling markets,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. As for President Trump, he has not wavered in his public statements about taking on china, tariff for tariff, as one of his Friday tweets caused some shock on  the markets. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” the President wrote. “Here’s the thing: Somebody had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically,” the President told reporters this week. “We’re winning big. I took it on. And it should have been done by previous Presidents,” he added. And on Twitter Friday morning, the President expressed no concerns about the Chinese response. Asked by reporters earlier this week about the trade war with China, Mr. Trump said he was the only President who had decided to actually confront Beijing. “I am the chosen one,” the President said, as he looked skyward.
  • Before the leaders of the G7 nations had even boarded their flights for the meeting in Biarritz, France, President Donald Trump was already stirring the political pot associated with the meeting of western allies, making it clear he wants to see Russia return to the group, after being exiled in 2014 over the seizure of the Crimea from Ukraine. 'We spend a lot of time talking about Russia at those meetings,' the President told reporters this week. 'And they're not there. I think it would be a good thing if Russia were there so we can speak directly.' Russia was a member of what was then known as the 'Group of Eight' - but Moscow was booted out in 2014 after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine. 'President Obama thought it wasn't a good thing to have Russia in,' Mr. Trump said to reporters. 'But I think it's much more appropriate to have Russia in.' But there seems to be little chance of that happening in the current political environment in Europe, especially with Russian backed forces fighting in Ukraine. During a meeting with Vladimir Putin earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron made clear his opposition to such a move proposed by President Trump, arguing that Russia must first address Crimea - and the ongoing proxy war pushed by Russian backed forces inside Ukraine - before any such change is made. 'In effect, the resolution of this conflict is a magic wand that will open the door for Russia to return to the G7 club,' Macron said . With the two leaders seated before reporters, Macron labeled the Ukraine situation an 'irritant' in Russian relations with the West. 'It is obvious that the return to the G8 format and normal relations with the EU requires the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis,' Macron added. Last year, the 2018 meeting of world leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, ended in odd fashion, when President Trump suddenly left the meeting early, refusing to endorse a joint communique by the leaders. In order to avoid a dispute along those lines in 2019, Macron has decided there will not be a joint communique issued by the G-7. It will be the first time since the meetings began in the 1970's that the group will not issue a statement of joint goals. White House officials previewing the President's trip said much of his focus at the G-7 will be on free, fair and reciprocal trade, as he has often criticized Canada and the European Union of unfair trade barriers to U.S. exports.
  • Back in their home districts on an extended summer break, the drip-drip sound Democrats hear is not coming from the watering the plants, but rather from the halls of the Congress, where more and more Democratic members of the House are publicly announcing their support for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. A flurry of announcements were made on Thursday, as a series of Democrats said they would back an impeachment inquiry by the House Judiciary Committee, bringing the total number to 135 - more than a majority of Democrats in the House. 'I cannot ignore the call to defend our institutions, to safeguard our democratic norms, and to stand up for our democracy,' said Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) on Thursday afternoon. A few hours earlier, Rep. William Keating of Massachusetts told his Bay State constituents that the Mueller Report left too many unanswered questions about the President, accusing the White House of stonewalling legitimate Congressional oversight. 'No person in America is above the law, including the President of the United States,' said Rep. Lauren Underwood, a freshman Democrat from Illinois. 'I support moving forward with an impeachment inquiry, which will continue to uncover the facts for the American people and hold this president accountable,' said Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), the fourth ranking Democrat in the House.  'This is not a position I’ve reached lightly,' Lujan said earlier this week. When Democrats left town four weeks ago for their six week summer break, the number of lawmakers endorsing the start of an impeachment idea was nowhere near 100. But it's been creeping up on almost a daily basis - and more lawmakers seem likely to join in the weeks ahead.
  • Unlikely to qualify for the next debate among Democratic candidates for the White House, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State told supporters in an email on Wednesday night that he was dropping his bid for the Democratic Party's nomination for President, further thinning the field with just over five months until the first vote is cast. 'I want to share a tough decision with you,' Inslee said to supporters, as he cited his top priority of climate change. 'But I've concluded that my role in that effort will not be as a candidate to be the next president of the United States,' Inslee added. Earlier in the week, Inslee touted that his campaign had hit 130,000 donors - one of the qualifying requirements for the next Democratic debate in Houston. But Inslee had no chance to register at 2 percent or higher in four different polls, leaving him on the sidelines - and off the debate stage. 'As a result, I don't believe we can compete for the attention and exposure needed to have a reasonable shot at the nomination,' Inslee said. Inslee had tried hard to be the loudest voice in the party on climate change, bringing it up in both debates, and doing numerous events on the subject. But the former Congressman, and current Governor, was never able to break out of the lower tier of Democratic candidates. “I want to once again thank everyone who helped in this effort. We have so much to be proud of,” Inslee wrote to his backers.  “Make no mistake, we also have a lot more work to do.” On MSNBC Wednesday night, Inslee said it was clear this was the right choice. “I'm not going to be carrying the ball,” Inslee said in an interview.  “I'm not going to be the President, so I'm withdrawing tonight.”