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National and international headlines
Denver Post publisher Mac Tully and editor Lee Ann Colacioppo issued a statement on Monday that sportswriter Terry Frei is no longer an employee of the newspaper one day after he tweeted that he was “very uncomfortable” with Japanese driver Takuma Sato winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend.
“We apologize for the disrespectful and unacceptable tweet that was sent by one of our reporters,” the statement reads. “Terry Frei is no longer an employee of The Denver Post. It’s our policy not to comment further on personnel issues. The tweet doesn’t represent what we believe nor what we stand for. We hope you will accept our profound apologies.”
Frei issued an apology Sunday after facing backlash for his tweet that he later deleted about Sato’s historic win.
“Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend,” Frei tweeted after Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the prestigious race.
The mayor of Portland, Oregon, is calling on federal authorities to cancel a pair of upcoming rallies organized by conservative groups, saying the city was still “in shock” after two men were fatally stabbed on a commuter train Friday while fending off a man shouting anti-Muslim slurs.
Mayor Ted Wheeler asked the federal government to revoke a permit authorizing a June 4 “Trump Free Speech Rally” in Portland’s downtown. He also called on the government to block a “March Against Sharia” that is scheduled for June 10 but has not received permits.
“Our city is in mourning, our community’s anger is real, and the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate an already difficult situation,” Wheeler wrote in a Facebook post Monday.
He added that he asked the organizers of the rallies, which he referred to as “alt-right demonstrations,” to cancel their events.
“I urge them to ask their supporters to stay away from Portland,” Wheeler wrote. “There is never a place for bigotry or hatred in our community, and especially not now.”
World champion golfer Tiger Woods was arrested in South Florida early Monday on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to an online Palm Beach County Police report.
Woods, who is second on the all-time list with 14 major titles, was booked at 7:18 a.m. local time and released several hours later on his own recognizance, the report showed.
The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights.
As outlined in Labor’s fiscal year 2018 plan, the move would fold the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, now home to 600 employees, into another government agency in the name of cost-cutting.
The proposal to dismantle the compliance office comes at a time when the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials unsympathetic to previous practices.
Mike Dubke has resigned as White House communications director, a senior administration official confirmed Tuesday, in the first of what could be a series of changes to President Donald Trump’s senior staff amid the growing Russia scandal.
Dubke, who served in the post for three months, tendered his resignation May 18. He offered to stay on to help manage communications in Washington during Trump’s foreign trip, and the president accepted.
Dubke’s last day on the job has not been determined, but it could be Tuesday. He is expected to be at the White House on Tuesday to meet with his staff, according to the official, who required anonymity to discuss a personnel move that has not yet been formally announced.
The Trump administration argued over the weekend that back-channel communications are acceptable in building dialogue with foreign governments, part of an effort to minimize fallout over White House adviser Jared Kushner’s reported discussion about creating a secret conduit to the Kremlin at a Russian diplomatic compound.
But some former administration officials on Sunday criticized the use of such secret channels, especially during a presidential transition, saying they could send a confusing message and be manipulated by a foreign power.
The controversy is the latest to tie the most senior ranks of President Donald Trump’s administration to Moscow amid multiple investigations into Russian interference in the election. It comes as Trump returned to Washington from his first international trip, renewed his tweets about unfair media coverage, and eyed a major retooling of his White House staff to deal with Russia-related scrutiny.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the lone Trump official representing the administration on Sunday public affairs shows, broadly characterized reports that Kushner might have sought such back-channel communications as “a good thing.”
“It’s both normal, in my opinion, and acceptable,” Kelly said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “Any way that you can communicate with people, particularly organizations that are maybe not particularly friendly to us is a good thing.”
North Korea launched a new short-range ballistic missile, similar to a SCUD, on Monday morning, and it flew about 280 miles to land inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
This launch is North Korea’s third in three weeks and its 12th this year, underscoring Kim Jong Un’s determination to advance his regime’s technical capabilities and his continued defiance of the international community.
Gen. Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian strongman and one-time American ally who was toppled from power in a 1989 U.S. invasion and who spent more than two decades imprisoned on drug dealing and conspiracy convictions, died late Monday. He was most likely 83.
The cause of death was not announced, but Noriega had been in intensive care at a hospital for months after complications from surgery to remove a benign brain tumor.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Donald Trump last week, saying that Europe “really must take our fate into our own hands.”
Offering a tough review in the wake of Trump’s trip to visit European Union, NATO and Group of Seven leaders last week, Merkel told a packed Bavarian beer hall rally that the days when Europe could rely on others was “over to a certain extent. This is what I have experienced in the last few days.”
Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island power plant will close in 2019, 40 years after the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history, as low natural gas prices make the costs of atomic energy uncompetitive, its owner said Tuesday.
The plant’s name has been synonymous with public fears over the risks associated with nuclear power since the plant suffered a partial meltdown in 1979, sparking sweeping new rules for handling emergencies at nuclear sites.
Exelon Corp., the U.S. power company that owns the power plant, said it will close by Sept. 30, 2019.
The 24 notes that longtime bugler Hal Wheeler played to end the city’s Memorial Day events were his way of saying goodbye to the men and women in uniform who have fallen in service to this country.
“It really is a memorial,” Wheeler said about the mournful bugle call taps. “There are those who say they are the hardest 24 notes to play. That’s not true for me, but they certainly are the most emotional notes, and maybe that’s why it’s hard.
“It’s like the last goodbye,” he said.
Nonagenarian Perry Drew was a Bangor High School junior when he was drafted during World War II, and the veteran’s hat he wears today makes most people wonder what he did during his time in uniform.
“When they see his hat, they think he was guarding prisoners,” his wife, Pauline Drew, said recently of her husband’s traditional black veteran’s hat with gold lettering that reads “U.S. Navy Armed Guard, WWII.”
Perry Drew was in fact guarding something very important: the supply lines to Allied partners in Europe that had been devastated by German U-Boats, some of which were discovered off the coast of Maine.
Two people from Connecticut have been charged with two robberies — the Sunday theft of money from the TD Bank branch on Stillwater Avenue and the Monday robbery of the Dollar Tree on Stillwater Avenue, according to Bangor police officials.
Seth Blewitt, 29, and Cara Blewitt, 30, both of Oakville, Connecticut, were charged Monday with the robbery of the bank and later were charged in the Dollar Tree robbery, Detective Sgt. Brent Beaulieu said in two Monday news releases. He did not provide the relationship between the Blewitts.
A Belfast man who fired a gun during a confrontation with police Saturday night died after police used a stun gun to subdue him.
Dennis Ward, 71, confronted Belfast police who responded around 7 p.m. to reports of shots fired during a domestic dispute on Lincoln Avenue.
After the confrontation Ward was taken to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, where he died around 9:30 p.m. due to complications.
The search resumed Monday for a woman who went missing after her canoe flipped on the Saco River on Saturday afternoon, and one of two police officers who were injured while searching for her remained hospitalized.
Jennifer Bousquet, 38, of South Berwick went missing Saturday after the canoe she was traveling in with Wayne Demers, 62, of Somersworth, New Hampshire, and Brian Day, 54, of South Berwick flipped in the Saco River. The men made it to shore safely.
Officers Dale Stout, 51, and Nathan Desjardins, 20, of the Fryeburg Police Department were dispatched to the scene around 4 p.m. Saturday, and their boat crashed about a mile from where the canoe flipped, ejecting both officers.
Strout sustained serious injuries while Desjardin sustained potentially life-threatening injuries. Both were flown by LifeFlight to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.
Living and events
They’ve been appearing on menus from Portland to the St. John Valley. From omelets to pizzas and more, chefs are taking full advantage of the blink-and-you-miss-it fiddlehead ferns season. The wild edible ostrich fern green, which can be sauteed, deep fried and so much more, is being worked into a variety of appetizers and main dishes.
Prized for their delicate flavor, fiddleheads are in season and found along the banks of rivers, streams and brooks from late April to early June. And, while nearly all ferns do have a “fiddlehead,” according to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, it’s those of the ostrich fern variety — scientifically known as Matteuccia struthiopteris — that are the most prized.
“They are available for such a short time [and] are such a delicacy,” said Melissa Chaiken, chef and co-owner of The Fiddlehead Restaurant in Bangor. “You really want to just taste it on its own [and] never want it to get overpowered because it is such a light an awesome vegetable.”
The 2017 Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, scheduled for June 24, has several open slots remaining for bakers. This year, a couple of local bakers who have been with the festival since its inception were not able to make it due to prior commitments, leaving space for new talent to register.
Anyone interested in a booth at the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival should visit mainewhoopiepiefestival.com/bakers for information as soon as possible.
Last year, Dover-Foxcroft saw nearly 10,000 visitors come through the gates. For those who register as vendors or bakers, the day promises success.
Festival organizers are always on the lookout for volunteers, and this year is no different. Help is needed at the festival gates, to sell merchandise and to offer support to our vendors.
Solar prices have never been lower! Solarize Midcoast Maine program participants receive discounted solar pricing.
Come meet Sundog Solar, the Solarize Midcoast Maine installer, learn about the benefits of solar power, and get a free consultation about solar energy for your home.
The session will be held at Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 31.
Come to the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 1, to sample wings from restaurants all over the Bangor region. You will get to vote for your favorite wing of the night and the winner will receive a huge trophy, bragging rights and a profile in Bangor Metro magazine.
Tickets are just $20 per person and can be reserved online at wingfestmaine.com They will be $25 at the door.
Every Tuesday in June from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. the Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts is hosting an archaeologist-led program where you can learn about Wabanaki material culture and the archaeological record in Maine.
This is a hands-on activity where you can touch artifacts and replicas while learning about Wabanaki cultural adaptations over the past 12,000 years.
This is a drop-in event so there’s no registration required!
The Camden Public Library will have a book sale in the renovated Blue Door Book Shed located in the parking lot just beyond the Library Amphitheatre on Atlantic Avenue 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 2-4. Just follow the balloons from the library to the book shed!
There you will find hardcover, softcover, and paperback books on subjects from art to travel, cookbooks and maritime-related books; books for children and teens; a variety of CDs, audiobooks, movies, and music; and a selection of reference books that might be particularly helpful to area homeschoolers.
The No. 1 pollutant in Maine’s lakes is soil eroding from shorelines, roads, yards, and construction sites.
Join us for a day of service at Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery and help restore the shore and protect the waters of Alamoosook Lake. Volunteers will gather 9 a.m. to noon June 10 at the hatchery to plant native shrubs, improve beach access, and place interpretive signs along the shoreline.
The Old Town Public Library, in partnership with the Bangor Public Health and Community Services, will be hosting a seminar entitled “Be a Life Saver” from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 21.
Heath Myers, an Overdose Prevention Coordinator with Bangor Public Health and Community Services will discuss overdose symptoms and risk factors, how to react to an overdose, medication safety, Naloxone, and treatment and recovery.
Free take-home materials will be provided.
The United States has notified the other 163 members of the World Trade Organization that it is considering putting emergency “safeguard” tariffs on imported solar cells, according to a WTO filing published Monday.
The move raises the stakes in a global battle to dominate the solar power industry, which has grown explosively in the past five years. As production has increased, prices have tumbled, favoring producers who can take advantage of economies of scale.
The United States, China and India are vying to be the market leader, and they are looking out for any perceived breach of the international trade rules by their rivals.
The gender pay gap has shown up in seemingly every job there is. Tech workers. Scientists. Even male nurses make more than their female peers.
But in one occupation — one at the very tiptop of Corporate America — the median woman has consistently earned more than the median man. It’s the corner office of the country’s largest public companies: chief executives of S&P 500 corporations.
A new analysis of the largest public U.S. companies by the Associated Press and Equilar, the executive pay and corporate governance research firm, found that the median female CEO made $13.1 million in 2016, compared with $11.4 million for the median male CEO.
“I don’t think there’s any one definitive reason we can say this is happening,” Dan Marcec, Equilar’s director of content, said. “It could just be a matter that these individuals happen to be running some of the more well-performing companies, and that’s reflected in their compensation.”
Whatever the reason, it’s been happening repeatedly — and for a while.
Confusion surrounding the trade policies of President Donald Trump’s administration means U.S. companies no longer know the rules of the game, a board member and former CEO of toymaker Hasbro told an international conference Monday.
“We thought, you know, if you run a business today you would like to know what the rules of the game are,” Alan G. Hassenfeld, whose family founded America’s second largest toymaker in the 1920s, said at the Horasis conference, attended by business leaders, politicians and academics to discuss globalization and other challenges for corporations.
“Right now, in America, we don’t know what the rules of the game are. They are changing constantly,” said Hassenfeld, a billionaire with a large stake in Hasbro, whose stock has risen 34 percent this year and is now at all-time highs.
Hasbro makes many of its toys outside of the United States, and it has markets worldwide. Hassenfeld said there was great uncertainty on trade with Trump.
Here’s the quick take away from the nonpartisan analysis of the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act: If you are old and poor, your insurance premiums will increase — a lot.
This is because the American Health Care Act, which was approved by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, allows states to opt out of current requirements that insurance companies cover “essential health benefits,” such as preventive care, prescription drugs, hospitalization and maternity care. States could also allow insurance companies to base rates on health status, thereby charging more to someone with pre-existing conditions. Republicans added a provision to the bill that would set up a separate pool for older, sicker Americans. But, the bill grossly underfunds this “high-risk pool.”
The re-introduction this spring of legislation to send out to Maine voters an Equal Rights Amendment to the Maine Constitution shed renewed light on the status of women in the Pine Tree State. It’s also a fitting occasion to take a look at the bumpy ride that previous efforts endured.
Though the Legislature passed by over a two-thirds majority such an amendment nearly a quarter century ago, voters turned thumbs down on the measure by 333,998 to 195,653.
What, of course, is not at issue this year — nor was in the 1980s — is women’s right to vote. It’s easy to lose sight of how Maine, along with nearly the rest of the Northeast, was slow to come to terms with such a principle.
Former presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter are both over 90, and still with us — making it just barely conceivable that John F. Kennedy might have lived to celebrate his 100th birthday Monday, if he had not been assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
Surely JFK would have noted a contrast between his Jan. 20, 1961, Inaugural Address and that of his successor Donald Trump exactly 56 years later. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” Kennedy instructed. His epigrammatic call for patriotic responsibility resonated in a nation of World War II and Korea veterans “tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace.”
President Trump encouraged a sense of grievance in his very different audience, casting them and their country as victims of a corrupt “establishment” focused more on “other countries” than “the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.” Instead of offering to “bear any burden” or “support any friend” on behalf of liberty, Trump issued a “new decree” of “America First” and claimed that “protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”
And this was no mere tonal difference; it was a flat repudiation of JFK’s policy legacy, whether Trump intended it that way or not.