MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar on joined the growing group of Democrats jostling to be president and positioned herself as the most prominent Midwestern candidate in the field, as her party tries to win back voters in a region that helped put Donald Trump in the White House.
“For every American, I’m running for you,” she told an exuberant crowd gathered on a freezing, snowy afternoon at a park along the Mississippi River with the Minneapolis skyline in the background.
“And I promise you this, As your president, I will look you in the eye. I will tell you what I think. I will focus on getting things done. That’s what I’ve done my entire life. And no matter what, I’ll lead from the heart,” the three-term senator said.
Klobuchar, who has prided herself for achieving results through bipartisan cooperation, did not utter Trump’s name during her kickoff speech. But she did bemoan the conduct of “foreign policy by tweet” and said Americans must “stop the fear-mongering and stop the hate. … We all live in the same country of shared dreams.” And she said that on first day as president, she would have the U.S. rejoin an international climate agreement that Trump has withdrawn from.
Trump responded to Klobuchar’s announcement with a tweet mocking her stance on global warming, a phenomenon he has disputed in the past. He wrote that Klobuchar talked proudly “of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!” Trump often overlooks evidence of record global warming and conflates cold spells and other incidents of weather with climate, which is long-term.
LONDON (AP) — When mysterious operatives lured two cybersecurity researchers to meetings at luxury hotels over the past two months, it was an apparent bid to discredit their research about an Israeli company that makes smartphone hacking technology used by some governments to spy on their citizens. The Associated Press has now learned of similar undercover efforts targeting at least four other individuals who have raised questions about the use of the Israeli firm’s spyware.
The four others targeted by operatives include three lawyers involved in related lawsuits in Israel and Cyprus alleging that the company, the NSO Group, sold its spyware to governments with questionable human rights records. The fourth is a London-based journalist who has covered the litigation. Two of them — the journalist and a Cyprus-based lawyer — were secretly recorded meeting the undercover operatives; footage of them was broadcast on Israeli television just as the AP was preparing to publish this story.
All six of the people who were targeted said they believe the operatives were part of a coordinated effort to discredit them.
“There’s somebody who’s really interested in sabotaging the case,” said one of the targets, Mazen Masri, who teaches at City University, London and is advising the plaintiffs’ attorney in the case in Israel.
Masri said the operatives were “looking for dirt and irrelevant information about people involved.”
The details of these covert efforts offer a glimpse into the sometimes shadowy world of private investigators, which includes some operatives who go beyond gathering information and instead act as provocateurs. The targets told the AP that the covert agents tried to goad them into making racist and anti-Israel remarks or revealing sensitive information about their work in connection with the lawsuits.
LONDON (AP) — Tragicomic royal drama “The Favourite” and Mexican family memoir “Roma” split the honors with multiple wins each at the British Academy Film Awards — victories that suggest a wind of change may be blowing through the movie industry.
“The Favourite” won seven trophies including best British film and best actress for OIivia Colman, who plays Britain’s 18th century Queen Anne in the female-centric drama.
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” which centers on the nanny to a middle-class Mexico City family, took prizes for best picture, director, cinematography and foreign-language film.
Winners relished the symbolism of their victories.
“Thank you for celebrating our female-dominated movie about women in power,” said “The Favourite” writer Deborah Davis, who won the original screenplay award alongside co-writer Tony McNamara.
Cuaron thanked the film’s backer, Netflix, for having the courage to support “a black and white film about a domestic worker” that is not in English.
He said the extent to which the film has been embraced “in an age where fear and anger are proposed to divide us means the world to me.”
Director Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite” snapped up the outstanding British film and screenplay awards as well as prizes for its opulent production design, its extravagant costumes, larger-than-life hair and makeup and the performances of Colman and supporting actress Rachel Weisz.
“This is for all three of us,” Colman said, speaking of Weisz and the film’s other star, Emma Stone. “It’s got my name on it but we can scratch on some other ones.”
The best-actor trophy went to Rami Malek for his electric turn as Queen front man Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Mahershala Ali was named best supporting actor as a concert pianist touring the 1960s Deep South in “Green Book.”
Other winners included Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” for best adapted screenplay and the Bradley Cooper-directed “A Star is Born” for music.
The awards, known as BAFTAs, will be scoured for clues on who might triumph at Hollywood’s Academy Awards on Feb. 24. “Roma” and “The Favourite” each have 10 Oscar nominations.