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A woman tries to rob Family Dollar — and the cashier responds: ‘Not today,’ cops say

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 13:57

Employees at the Family Dollar in the 5000 block of 14th Street West thwarted a robbery attempt just after 9 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.


UPDATE 3-U.S. tests first ground-launched cruise missile after INF treaty exit

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 13:14

The Pentagon said on Monday it tested a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile with a range of more than 500 km (310 miles), the first such test since the United States pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 pact with Russia on Aug. 2 after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied. The treaty, negotiated by then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, banned land-based missiles with a range of between 310 and 3,400 miles (500 to 5,500 km).


Iran Warns U.S. Against Seizing Oil Tanker Headed to Greece

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 12:58

(Bloomberg) -- Iran warned the U.S. against apprehending a supertanker carrying the Middle East country’s oil and said it couldn’t be clear on the ship’s ultimate destination, leaving the fate of the vessel uncertain as it sailed into the Mediterranean Sea from Gibraltar, where it had been detained.The tanker, formerly called the Grace 1 and re-named the Adrian Darya 1, was signaling Kalamata, Greece -- at least for now -- with an arrival date of Aug. 26, according to tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg at 5:25 p.m. London time. It had previously been showing an arrival date of Aug. 25.The vessel left Gibraltar Sunday night after being detained there since early July, when British forces seized it on suspicion of carrying oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions. The U.S., which has sanctions against Iran, is seeking to prevent anyone from doing business with the ship.Iranian Crude Tanker Leaves Gibraltar Waters: What Happens Next?U.S. sanctions mean Iran cannot be “very transparent” about the destination of the tanker, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said at a press conference in Helsinki. He said the U.S. is trying to “bully others from purchasing our oil” and that he hopes the release of the vessel will de-escalate tensions in the Persian Gulf.A spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The incident is one of several in recent months that have strained relations between Iran and the West, following the U.S. reinstatement of sanctions on the Islamic Republic last year. Iran has maintained that the ship’s original detention on July 4 was unlawful. The Persian Gulf state continues to hold a U.K.-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero. Aggression in the region has threatened shipping in recent months in the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most critical waterway for oil supplies.“The U.S. surely can’t seize the Iranian tanker and, if it does, it would pose a threat to international maritime security,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said. Iran warned the U.S. via “diplomatic channels,” including Switzerland, against interfering with the tanker, in international waters, Mousavi said at a news conference in Tehran. Swiss diplomats serve as interlocutors between the U.S. and Iran.Destination UnclearIt’s not known where the Iranian vessel is ultimately headed. Greek authorities haven’t received formal notification that the vessel intends to head to a port in the country, according to a spokesman for Greece’s coast guard. Kalamata’s port usually serves pleasure craft like sailboats and cruise ships, data compiled by Bloomberg show.The waters off Kalamata could be a possible location for ship-to-ship cargo transfers, according to two vessel brokers without specific information about the tanker’s plans. A ship’s destination is entered manually into its Automatic Identification System and is picked up by vessel-tracking. The destinations can be altered multiple times on the same journey.Gibraltar rejected an attempt by the U.S. to block the Iranian supertanker, saying that EU regulations don’t allow it to seek a court order to detain the vessel.U.S. ComplaintA complaint unsealed in Washington stated that “Oil Tanker ‘Grace 1,’ all petroleum aboard it and $995,000 are subject to forfeiture,” according to a Justice Department statement. The statement alleges a “scheme to unlawfully access the U.S. financial system to support illicit shipments” of oil from Iran to Syria in violation of U.S. sanctions, money laundering and terrorism statutes.Gibraltar last week released the vessel, after the government said Iran had provided assurances that the ship would not sail to a destination sanctioned by the EU. In response, the U.S. said it was gravely disappointed with Britain, and it warned that ports, banks and anyone else who does business with the vessel or its crew might be subject to sanctions, according to two administration officials.(Updates vessel’s estimated arrival date in second paragraph, request for comment in fifth. An earlier version of this story included an incorrect spelling for a port official in Kalamata, Greece.)\--With assistance from Serene Cheong, Anthony DiPaola, Alex Longley, Julian Lee, Paul Tugwell, Kati Pohjanpalo and Nick Wadhams.To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Wingfield in London at bwingfield3@bloomberg.net;Arsalan Shahla in Tehran at ashahla@bloomberg.net;Verity Ratcliffe in Dubai at vratcliffe1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net, Brian Wingfield, Rachel GrahamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Reports of secret US-Venezuela talks to oust Maduro draw skepticism

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 12:00

Claims that Nicolás Maduro’s number two official is working with the US are an attempt to ‘stoke paranoia’, experts sayDiosdado Cabello and Nicolás Maduro. Photograph: ARiana Cubillos/APHe is one of the most influential and infamous figures in Venezuelan politics – a hardcore Chavista who uses his weekly talkshow to preach permanent revolution and excoriate the evil empire up north.But two reports in the American media now suggest Diosdado Cabello, Nicolás Maduro’s number two official, has been engaged in “secret communications” with United States officials designed to force Hugo Chávez’s successor from power.Observers of Venezuelan politics greeted Sunday’s reports – from the Associated Press and Axios – with skepticism.“I’m not convinced it is true,” said Christopher Sabatini, a senior fellow for Latin America at the Chatham House thinktank.“I think what the US is trying to do is some sort of psy ops thing, trying to rattle people within Maduro’s administration. They are trying to get inside Maduro’s head and stoke paranoia within the inner-circle,” Sabatini added.“But there’s a whiff of desperation here … the fact that they are talking so openly about it really doesn’t seem to be a particularly good negotiation strategy.”Geoff Ramsey, a Venezuela expert at the Washington Office on Latin America, said he did believe there had been exchanges between Cabello and Trump representatives.“But the fact that we now know about them suggests that whatever channel existed has been closed,” he added.Axios claimed that in recent months Cabello, the 56-year-old head of Venezuela’s pro-Maduro constituent assembly, had been communicating with Trump’s top Latin America adviser, Mauricio Claver-Carone. Some Trump officials considered that a positive sign suggesting Maduro’s circle was “gradually cracking”.The Associated Press claimed Cabello had met someone “in close contact with the Trump administration” in Caracas last month and that a second meeting was planned. By engaging with Cabello it said the US hoped to intensify an internal “knife fight” supposedly raging at the pinnacle of Maduro’s administration.Maduro has been fighting for his political life since January when a young opposition leader called Juan Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s rightful president and received the backing of more than 50 governments, including the US and UK.Cabello has yet to directly address claims he was talking to Washington, although an aide told the Associated Press he would only do so with Maduro’s permission.On Monday Cabello shared a tweet mocking the allegations with his 2.3 million followers. “Diosdado met in SECRET with a gringo SECRET agent to agree a SECRET plan to topple Nicolás, who knows nothing about this, because if he did know it wouldn’t be a SECRET,” it said.Any move to involve Cabello in Venezuela’s post-Maduro political future – or offer him immunity from prosecution for alleged crimes - would be highly controversial among government opponents.“He is widely detested. He’s seen as this central hub of corruption in the regime,” said Ramsey.However, Ramsey said that with Venezuela’s crisis dragging on US officials seemed aware “bitter pills” might have to be swallowed to secure Maduro’s downfall.Sabatini said the suggestion the US was negotiating with a man accused of human rights abuses and “all sorts of illicit activities” was troubling. “Diosdado is probably not a man who should be negotiated or bargained with.”


Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 11:26

Bahrain said Monday it would join US-led efforts to protect shipping in the Gulf amid tensions between Washington and Tehran after a series of attacks on tankers. Bahrain's King Hamad voiced his country's appreciation of the "US role in supporting regional security and stability" during a meeting with US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Kenneth McKenzie, state media said. "The king confirmed the kingdom of Bahrain's participation in the joint effort to preserve the safety of international maritime navigation and secure international corridors for trade and energy," the official Bahrain News Agency reported.


Serial killer who murdered SC teen featured on new season of Netflix’s ‘Mindhunter’

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 11:09

He has a long rap sheet of crimes throughout the South, and a controversial connection to a South Carolina murder.


Driver pins paramedic against her ambulance in Walmart parking lot, NC police say

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 11:08

The woman was airlifted to a hospital with serious leg injuries, officials say.


Tourists who stole sand from beach in Sardinia could face up to six years in prison

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 11:04

A pair of tourists face up to six years in prison after allegedly stealing a large quantity of sand from the pristine beaches of Sardinia. The French couple were found to have nearly 40kg (90lb) of fine white sand in the boot of their car. The vehicle was stopped during a routine check by border police as the tourists were preparing to board a ferry in Porto Torres, on the north coast of the island, bound for Toulon in France. The sand was found in 14 large plastic bottles and had been taken from a beach near Chia in southern Sardinia. The couple told police that they had no idea they were breaking the law, but they now face between one and six years in jail. The island has battled for years to stop tourists from pinching its sand, shells and pebbles, which are prized as souvenirs or in some cases, for indoor aquariums. WWF has run a campaign against 'beach thieves', reminding tourists that taking sand from Sardinia's shoreline is a crime To try to stop the pillaging, some locals have taken on the role of self-appointed guardians of the beaches. If they see tourists taking sand or shells, they ask them to return the material. If that does not work, they call the police or national park rangers. One of them, Pina Careddu, told an Italian newspaper on Monday that visitors sometimes become rude and aggressive when challenged. “A family of Germans were filling up some bottles with sand. I recorded them on my phone so they couldn’t deny it. The father came towards me in a threatening manner. But in the end he tipped the sand back onto the beach,” Mrs Careddu, 58, told Corriere della Sera. Dubbed “the granny sheriff” of the Sinis peninsula, on the west coast of the island, she is strict even with her grandchildren. “They say, ‘Nana, can’t we take some pebbles home to play with?’ And I say no, if everyone did that, soon there would be no beach left.”


Poll: About half of Americans disapprove of how Trump handled El Paso and Dayton shootings

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 10:50

40% of Americans also thought that Trump's rhetoric on Twitter and his speeches had a "great deal" of responsibility for the shootings.


Man tells cops he may be hit-and-run driver in fatal crash. He thought he hit a deer

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 10:37

A Palmetto man has come forward to tell authorities he may have been the one involved in the fatal hit-and-run that killed a 13-year-old boy and a 47-year-old man walking along U.S. 19 early Sunday.


Britain's Prince Andrew 'appalled' by Epstein abuse claims after video showed him at home in 2010: Report

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 09:46

Britain's Prince Andrew has said he was "appalled" by allegations of sexual abuse surrounding Jeffrey Epstein after a video was released purporting to show him at the home of the convicted paedophile in 2010.


School workers who used Sharpie to color in black teen’s hair in Texas are being sued

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 09:23

A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed on Sunday against a Texas school district and three officials after they took disciplinary action for a student’s haircut, court documents say.


He was found hurt near downtown shuffleboard courts. Cops say it was an attempted homicide

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 08:56

Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.


Texas police who led black man down street by rope will not face criminal probe

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 08:41

Police officers who led a handcuffed African American man down a street with a rope on horseback will not be subjected to a criminal probe in the state, despite widespread outrage after images of the incident were shared online.The decision was announced on Friday by the Texas Rangers, who said in a statement that an initial investigation found “nothing that warranted a criminal investigation”.The Galveston Police Department officers were seen riding horseback on 3 August, with 43-year-old Donald Neely being led with a rope clipped to his handcuffs.The officers, identified as P Brosch and A Smith, had arrested Mr Neely on a misdemeanour criminal trespassing charge.“What they did was real inhumane,” Neely’s brother, Andy Neely, told local TV station KPRC. “They treated my brother as if he was a dog.”Despite the decision by the Texas Rangers, the incident drew outrage, and forced Galveston Police chief Vernon L Hale to issue an apology, saying his officers had caused the man an “unnecessary embarrassment”.Mr Hale then asked the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Ranger Division to investigate the incident.But, in a statement, the Texas Rangers said that they had discussed the issue with the Galveston County District Attorney’s office, and they had determined the officers “had not violated the law”.“My officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest, but we have immediately changed the policy to prevent the use of this technique and will review all mounted training and procedures for more appropriate methods,” Mr Hale said in a statement after the incident drew national attention on social media.The Neely family has requested that body camera footage from the two officers be released.


Is recycling collapsing in California? Advocates call on lawmakers to rescue it

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 08:30

When rePlanet closed its doors at its remaining 284 California locations earlier this month, alarm bells went up among recycling advocates.


Turkey Fires Kurdish Mayors Ahead of Military Push Into Syria

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 07:57

(Bloomberg) -- Turkey fired the elected mayors of three major Kurdish-dominated cities in the country’s southeast and detained more than 400 people in a crackdown as it prepares to push a Syrian Kurdish militia away from its border.The mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van were removed Monday for their alleged ties to the PKK, an autonomy-seeking Kurdish group classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union. Police used water cannons to disperse hundreds of Kurdish protesters outside the mayor’s office in Diyarbakir, according to footage by Arti TV.While Turkish authorities have in the past evicted Kurdish officials at times of heightened political tension at home, this time the moves were seen as linked to a long-promised military operation in northern Syria.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to carve out a frontier buffer zone that will be off-limits to the Syrian YPG militia, which authorities say has links to the PKK. The seizure of three Turkish municipalities with a population of about 3.7 million people where the PKK traditionally enjoys strong backing aims to prevent any support for the militants.But it also renewed accusations that Erdogan and his nationalist allies are damaging Turkey’s democracy by attacking the pro-Kurdish HDP after it swept back to office in ballots in the southeast and helped Turkey’s main opposition party to win mayoral races in the capital and the nation’s commercial hub.“All political parties and society should react to this coup against the will of the people,” Garo Paylan, an HDP lawmaker, said on Twitter. “If you remain silent, then the next in line could be Ankara and Istanbul.”Erdogan warned before local elections in March that his government would not hesitate to replace HDP mayors if they are deemed to be linked to Kurdish militants. The HDP has faced a broad clampdown since it won enough votes to enter parliament in 2015. Since then, the government has jailed hundreds of Kurdish politicians and seized about 100 municipalities in the southeast.The HDP denies it’s influenced by the PKK and blames the group’s armed rebellion on a history of repressive policies toward Kurds.All three mayors were elected with a majority of votes on March 31. Diyarbakir Mayor Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli got 63% of the provincial vote, while Mardin Mayor Ahmet Turk had 56% and Van Mayor Bedia Ozgokce Ertan received 54% support.Officials have said they expect a headquarters for the expected joint operation by Turkey and the U.S., which supported the Syrian YPG in the fight against Islamic State, to be up and running this week.(Updates with context in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at shacaoglu@bloomberg.net;Taylan Bilgic in Istanbul at tbilgic2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Onur Ant at oant@bloomberg.net, Mark Williams, Alaa ShahineFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Sudan's Bashir got $90 mn from Saudi, investigator tells court

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 07:19

Sudan's deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir has admitted to receiving $90 million in cash from Saudi royals, an investigator told a Khartoum court on Monday. Police Brigadier Ahmed Ali said at the opening of Bashir's corruption trial, which an AFP correspondent attended, that the former president told him that the latest payment was "delivered by some of Mohammed bin Salman's envoys". Bashir, whose military Islamist regime ruled Sudan for 30 years, arrived at the Judicial and Legal Science Institute where the trial is taking place in a huge military convoy.


Trump lashes out at perceived enemies as economic warnings signal looming recession

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 02:35

Donald Trump, confronting perhaps the most ominous economic signs of his time in office, has unleashed what is by now a familiar response: lashing out at what he believes is a conspiracy of forces arrayed against him.He has insisted that his handpicked Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome H Powell, is intentionally acting against him. He has said other countries, including allies, are working to hurt US economic interests. And he has accused the news media of trying to create a recession.“The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,” Mr Trump tweeted last week.“The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”Mr Trump has repeated the claims in private discussions with aides and allies, insisting that his critics are trying to take away what he sees as his calling card for re-election.Mr Trump has been agitated in discussions of the economy, and by the news media’s reporting of warnings of a possible recession. He has said forces that do not want him to win have been overstating the damage his trade war has caused, according to people who have spoken with him. And several aides agree with him that the news media is overplaying the economic fears, adding to his feeling of being justified, people close to the president said.The claims provide a ready target to help Mr Trump deflect blame if the economy does tip into recession. But whether they could truly insulate the president on what could be a significant issue of the 2020 election after he has so conspicuously wrapped himself in the good economic news of the past two years remains an open question, and he and his advisers have sought to tamp down concerns that a downturn is on the way.“Our economy is the best in the world, by far,” Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday. “Lowest unemployment ever within almost all categories. Poised for big growth after trade deals are completed.”“I don’t see a recession,” he told reporters later on Sunday before leaving his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for Washington.But he added that if the economy slowed down, “it would be because I have to take on China and some other countries,” singling out the European Union as among those treating the United States “very badly.”The president’s broadsides follow a long pattern of conspiratorial thinking. He has claimed, without evidence, that unauthorised immigrants cast millions of ballots, costing him the popular vote in the 2016 election. During the campaign, he predicted that the system might prove to be “rigged” if he did not win. He conjured up a “deep state” conspiracy within the government to thwart his election and, more recently, his agenda. And he has said reporters are trying to harm him with pictures of empty seats at his rallies.The attacks come as the economy has begun flashing some warning signs, despite unemployment near historic lows and relatively high marks by voters on Mr Trump’s economic stewardship.Global growth has been slowing. Last week, stock markets plunged as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note briefly fell below that of the two-year Treasury note, an unusual situation known as an inversion of the yield curve that is considered one of the most reliable leading indicators of recession in the United States.And signs of damage from Mr Trump’s trade war with China have been mounting.In some conversations, the president has been preoccupied with the trade war, as well as with how to handle the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, according to the people who have spoken with him. “I’d love to see it worked out in a humane fashion,” Mr Trump told reporters on Sunday. “It does put pressure on the trade deal.”On Sunday, his advisers battled any notion that the trade war could be harming the economy. Peter Navarro, a top trade adviser who has urged the president on in his trade war, dismissed a study from researchers at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston that showed that the cost of Mr Trump’s tariffs had “fallen largely on the US,” not on China and other countries, as the administration has asserted.“There’s no evidence whatsoever that American consumers are bearing any of this,” Mr Navarro said on CNN’s State of the Union, insisting, despite abundant data to the contrary, that “they’re not hurting anybody here.”While maintaining that any turmoil in the economy is overstated, Mr Navarro and Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser, also said the Federal Reserve had slowed economic growth, mirroring Mr Trump’s criticisms.Mr Kudlow, appearing on Fox News Sunday, said that the state of the economy under the Trump administration “is kind of a miracle, because we face severe monetary restraint from the Fed.”Mr Navarro, appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, blamed the Fed for raising interest rates “too far, too fast,” adding that “they have cost us a full point” of growth in gross domestic product.Mr Trump has also struck an increasingly strident economic tone.“You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes” if Democrats win, he told a crowd at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, last week. “Whether you love me or hate me, you’ve got to vote for me.”The New York Times


John Delaney draws 11 people to 2020 event – does he truly think he can win?

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 02:00

The former congressman has put $24m of his own cash into an increasingly quixotic presidential run – and he’s ploughing on despite a near total lack of supportJohn Delaney speaks at the Wing Ding fundraiser in Clear Lake, Iowa. What Delaney lacks in support, he makes up for in optimism. Photograph: Brian Cahn/Zuma/Rex/ShutterstockJohn Delaney has poured a staggering $24m of his own money into running for president. He has been campaigning for the White House for more than two years, and in that time has held more than 200 events in Iowa.On one recent Thursday morning, these efforts translated into a grand total of 11 people coming out to see Delaney, at a campaign event in the small town of Algona, in the north of the state.The former Maryland congressman, former businessman and formerly much wealthier candidate is one of a slew of long-shot candidates for the Democratic nomination. In a crowded, historically diverse field, Delaney is part of a group of white, middle-aged men who are forging ahead with their increasingly quixotic presidential campaigns in spite of a collective lack of support.Delaney strode into Miller’s Sports Bar & Grill, one of a chain of bars across Iowa, just after 10am. One of his team had taped a couple of Delaney 2020 campaign posters to a wall in the back of the bar, and a sign-up list was on a table. The crowd, all silver haired apart from a thirtysomething man who walked in late, were sitting patiently at four different tables.Clad in the off-duty politician’s uniform of open-necked shirt, blue jeans and casual brown shoes, Delaney got to work, vigorously shaking 11 hands. One member of the crowd was immediately impressed with the 56-year-old.“You actually look even better than you do on TV,” one woman said.“I think I’m just going to stay around here,” Delaney quipped.If Delaney was disappointed with the turnout, he didn’t show it. Besides, in a way, the 11-person crowd was a positive. The night before, on Delaney’s Facebook page, just two people had said they would attend, and one of those was his campaign director.Delaney, who served in Congress for six years before resigning to run for president, was joking when he said he might just stay around Iowa. But in fact, it would be hard for him to spend more time here. The 58-year-old has made 34 separate visits to the state in two years. This trip was the first of three in August. And the actual vote in Iowa – the state’s caucuses – is still six months away.It’s a grueling schedule. On Thursday alone, Delaney was scheduled to hold five different events in the space of nine and a half hours.With the pleasantries over at Miller’s Delaney dived into his pitch. The two most important questions in 2020, he said, are: “Who can beat Trump?” and: “Who is the best leader for this country at this moment in time?”Delaney gestures at the end of his speech during a visit to the Iowa state fair in Des Moines earlier this month. Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/AP“I believe I’m the right answer to those two questions,” he concluded.Delaney’s problem is that very few people agree. Despite a marathon campaign – he declared his candidacy in July 2017, 18 months before any other major contenders – and a big pot of cash, he is barely registering – even in Iowa. Delaney is currently polling at 1% in the state – in ninth place. Nationally, Delaney has just 0.3% of the vote.But Delaney, an electrician’s son turned millionaire, isn’t about to let a near total lack of support stop him.“I don’t want to be the president just to be the president,” Delaney said at his second event of the day. “I want to be the president to do the job.”Later, Delaney was speaking to a crowd of 15 people, at the Rustic Brew in Hampton, an hour and a half drive east of Algona. He had been allocated an area in the back, in a room with a painting of a reindeer on one wall. Delaney had almost immediately been interrupted by a man wearing a Vietnam cap.The man complained about veterans’ hospitals. Delaney, hoping to appease him, said he would allow veterans to visit a wider range of hospitals for their care. The man in the cap said that was exactly the plan he was opposed to. Delaney said he would talk to him about it later, then carried on with his speech. The man in the cap slumped in his chair, mumbling something to himself.The main part of Delaney’s pitch is that he can beat Donald Trump and actually pass legislation, whereas, in his view, people such as the leftwing senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are making “impossible promises”. After Delaney criticized the more ambitious proposals of his rivals during the recent televised Democratic debates, Warren chopped him down, telling the audience: “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.”Far from being cowed by that, Delaney told the Guardian that if he could change one thing about his campaign, he actually would have plugged his centrist credentials earlier.“The kind of sharp contrasts I’m making now, I would have made them earlier,” Delaney said.But what Delaney lacks in support, he makes up for in optimism. He brushed off concerns that he won’t make the next Democratic debates – the bar for entry is far higher for the next round, in mid-September – by insisting he could make the one after that, because he expects other candidates to drop out.As Delaney closed out at the Rustic Brew, his campaign manager abruptly announced that the rest of the day’s events were cancelled. He had only completed two out of five. The campaign manager put it down to a schedule conflict. John Delaney at the Iowa state fair in Des Moines, on 9 August. Photograph: Eric Thayer/ReutersThe Guardian chased Delaney down in Des Moines the next day, where he was appearing at the Iowa state fair. Delaney spent some time prodding pork chops on a grill – a classic state fair photo opportunity – before speaking for about 15 minutes to a crowd, again pitching his centrist vision. He drew a decent number of people, but his crowd was dwarfed by those who came out for speeches by Warren, Sanders and Biden.Delaney is probably right when he says other people will soon quit the race. The California congressman Eric Swalwell ended his campaign in July, citing a lack of money and a lack of support. Colorado ex-governor John Hickenlooper dropped out last week. Delaney doesn’t have to make that choice yet. He has loaned his campaign $24m, but according to Forbes, he is worth $200m, so he has plenty of cash left to splurge.But there will surely come a point where he has to make a decision. Given Delaney is polling within the margin of error of zero, that point might come soon.Or perhaps Delaney, ever the optimist, could bide his time. If Trump wins in 2020, then there’s always 2024. If Delaney doesn’t bankrupt himself first, maybe he could be a contender.At the very least, he will know his way around Iowa.


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