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In speech of her life, Clinton promises a 'clear-eyed' vision

Hillary Clinton.

U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Thursday Americans faced challenges at home and abroad that demand steady leadership and a collective spirit, and attacked Republican Donald Trump for sowing fear and divisiveness. In the biggest speech of her more than 25-year-old career in the public eye, Clinton accepted the Democratic presidential nomination for the Nov. 8 election with a promise to make the United States a country that worked for everyone.

"We are clear-eyed about what our country is up against. But we are not afraid," she said.

She presented a sharply more upbeat view of the country than the dark vision Trump offered at last week's Republican convention, and even turned one of Republican hero Ronald Reagan's signature phrases against the real estate developer.

"He's taken the Republican Party a long way, from 'Morning in America' to 'Midnight in America,'" Clinton said. "He wants to divide us - from the rest of the world, and from each other. He's betting that the perils of today's world will blind us to its unlimited promise."

The speech was Clinton's turn in the spotlight after three days of electrifying appearances by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama, and Clinton acknowledged that some people still do not know her well.

"I get it that some people just don't know what to make of me. So let me tell you. The family I'm from, well no one had their name on big buildings," Clinton said in a reference to Trump. She said her family were builders of a better life and a better future for their children, using whatever tools they had and "whatever God gave them."

As she prepared to deliver her speech, people familiar with the matter said the FBI is investigating a cyber attack against another Democratic Party group, which may be related to an earlier hack against the Democratic National Committee.

The previously unreported incident at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, and its potential ties to Russian hackers, are likely to heighten accusations, so far unproven, that Moscow is trying to meddle in the U.S. election to help Trump.

Clinton said it would be her "primary mission" to create more opportunities and more good jobs with rising wages, and to confront stark choices in battling determined enemies and "threats and turbulence" around the world and at home.

"America is once again at a moment of reckoning. Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying," said Clinton, a former secretary of state. "No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance - looking for steady leadership."

Clinton, who is vying to be the first woman elected U.S. president, called her nomination "a milestone" and said she was happy for grandmothers and little girls and "everyone in between."

"When any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone," the 68-year-old Clinton said in a speech that capped the four-day nominating convention.

Trump, a 70-year-old reality TV show host who has never held political office, is running just ahead of Clinton in a RealClearPolitics average of recent national opinion polls. They both garner high "unpopularity" ratings.

At a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump said he was being criticized at the Democratic convention by people who had been friendly to him before.

"I think we'll stay here all night because I don't really want to go home and watch that crap," he said.

Inside the arena, it sounded at times more like a traditional Republican convention than a Democratic one. During retired General John Allen's remarks, chants of "USA!" filled the hall and large flags were brought in to be waved. Speakers, some of whom included military and police officers, made frequent mentions of religion and patriotism.

"I certainly know that with her as our commander-in-chief, our foreign relations will not be reduced to a business transaction, I also know that our armed forces will not become an instrument of torture," said Allen.

Trump has portrayed the country as being under siege from illegal immigrants, crime and terrorism and as losing influence in the world. He has proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country and a wall along the border with Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out.

Khizr Kahn, a Muslim whose son was one of 14 Muslims killed while serving in the military since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, drew cheers when he pulled out a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution and said he wanted to show it to Trump.

"Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son the best of America. If it was up to Donald Trump he never would have been in America. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims," he said.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio called Trump a hypocrite who talked about opposing free trade deals to protect American workers but had the products sold by his companies made overseas.

"Now I've been fighting for a trade agenda for more than 20 years that puts American workers first and I can tell you that in all those years I've never ever seen Donald Trump," said Brown, one of the most liberal members of the Senate.

"The only thing I've seen Donald Trump do when it comes to U.S. trade policy is run his mouth and line his pockets," Brown said.

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President Obama to DNC crowd: 'Don't boo, vote'

Clinton and Obama.

President Barack Obama painted an optimistic picture of America's future in a rousing speech on Wednesday that offered full-hearted support to Hillary Clinton in her campaign to defeat Republican Donald Trump and become the first woman elected U.S. president. "There has never been a man or woman, not me, not Bill (Clinton) - nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States," Obama said to cheers at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

"Tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me. I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me."

After Obama's speech, Clinton joined him on stage where they hugged, clasped hands and waved to the crowd.

Obama and Clinton were rivals in the hard-fought campaign for the 2008 Democratic nomination. After winning that election to become America's first black president, he appointed her his secretary of state.

Speaking to delegates, Obama offered an alternative to businessman Trump's vision of the United States as being under siege from illegal immigrants, crime and terrorism and losing its way in the world.

"I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before," Obama said at the Wells Fargo Center.

When the crowd began to boo the GOP nominee, the president quickly responded, "Don't boo, vote."

Clinton made history on Tuesday when she became the first woman to secure the presidential nomination from a major party.

When she formally accepts it on Thursday, she will become the Democratic standard-bearer against Republican nominee Trump in the Nov. 8 election.

Obama took aim at Trump's campaign slogan and promise to "Make America Great Again."

"America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump," he said.

"Preach!" members of the crowd shouted. "Best president ever," someone screamed.

Obama listed what he described as a series of advances during his two terms in office, such as recovery from economic recession, the Obamacare healthcare reform and the 2011 killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Nodding to voters' concerns, Obama said he understood frustrations "with political gridlock, worry about racial divisions" and the slow pace of economic growth.

"There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures, men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten," Obama said.

Democrats have buttressed Clinton with a star gathering of current and past party notables at this week's convention.

By contrast, many prominent Republicans were absent from the party convention that nominated Trump for the White House last week.

But Trump got a boost in opinion polls from his convention. He had a 2-point lead over Clinton in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday, the first time he has been ahead since early May.

At the convention on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton's running mate, described billionaire Trump as "a one-man wrecking crew" who cannot be trusted in the Oval Office.

 

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Michelle Obama: Who Do You Want As Your Children’s Role Model?

First lady Michelle Obama on Monday asked Americans to decide who they want serving as a role model for their children ― Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. This election, Obama said during her speech at the Democratic National Convention, “is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives.” 

The crowd waved purple signs that simply read “Michelle.”

Obama made clear that this election will determine who will give hope to, or instill fear in, the next generation.

“Every word we utter, every action we take, we know they are watching,” Obama said. “We as parents are their most important role models.”

That responsibility, Obama said, carries into her role as first lady, and her husband’s job as president.

“We know that our words and actions matter not just to our girls, but to children across this country,” she said.

Taking a jab at Trump and others who have questioned the president’s citizenship and his faith, Obama repeated the advice she and her husband have shared with their children.

“When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level,” she said. “No, our motto is: ‘When they go low, we go high.’”

In order to illustrate the point that the election should transcend the party divisions currently stirring Democrats, Obama recalled a simple but telling moment her husband shared with a little boy.

“Kids like the little black boy who looked up at my husband with eyes wide, and he wondered, ‘Is my hair like yours?’” Obama said. “Make no mistake about it, this November when we go to the polls, that is what we are deciding. Not Democrat or Republican. Not left or right.”

And the only person she trusts with the future of her daughters and other American children is Hillary Clinton.

“I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters,” she said. “I want a president with a record of public service, someone whose life work shows our children that we don’t seek fame and fortune for ourselves.”

A president “can’t have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out,” she said. “You need to be steady and measured and well informed.”

In a nod to disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters, Obama recalled how Clinton swallowed her pride and joined the Obama administration after losing in 2008.

“Hillary knows this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments,” Obama said, adding that she decided to come back to put “cracks in the highest and hardest glass ceiling” and take the country along.

It’s that story of America, Obama said, that brought her to Philadelphia to deliver her speech. It’s the story of generations who lived their lives in the U.S. feeling the “lash of bondage ... the sting of segregation,” but who kept “striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.

“And I watch my daughters, two beautiful and intelligent black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn,” she added.

Now, because of Clinton, Obama said her daughters will “take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.”

 

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Florida man lies down, puts his hands up before being shot by police

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Florida man Charles Kinsey claims he was shot in the leg by police while lying on the ground with his hands in the air. And now, local news station WSVN is airing cell phone footage, which seems to back up Kinsey's claims.

Kinsey told WSVN: "When he shot me, it was so surprising. It was like a mosquito bite."

The cell phone video doesn't show the actual shooting, but it captures Kinsey lying down, arms in the air, telling the officers there is no need for lethal force. He also tries to calm his patient down, and tells the officers he is a behavioral therapist.

North Miami police said they were responding to reports of an armed man threatening suicide in the middle of the street. Kinsey, a behavioral therapist, says that man was a patient of his with autism who was playing with a toy truck. Kinsey says he tried to convince the officers neither himself nor his patient was a threat.

Kinsey is currently recovering at a nearby hospital. His lawyer told WPLGthe officers cuffed Kinsey and left him lying on the ground after he was shot.

Kinsey's lawyer, Hilton Napoleon, said: "My client asked the police, 'Why did he shoot me?' And the officer said, 'I don't know.'"

Kinsey's wife told WSVN, "I am just grateful that he is alive, and he is able to tell his story."

The police department says the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave. The state attorney's office is involved in the investigation into this shooting.

 

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Cruz's speech overshadows Pence's at GOP convention

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walks from the podium and receives some boos after speaking during the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walks from the podium and receives some boos after speaking during the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.

Republican leaders attempted Wednesday to steer their national convention in a more substantive and unified direction behind GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, but their efforts came up against more eruptions of lingering bitterness from the brutal primary campaign season.

The capstone of the evening should have been a speech by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the newly named vice-presidential nominee. But the more riveting moment came earlier, when Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas pointedly refused to endorse Trump, who had bested him in the race for the nomination, and urged Republicans to "vote your conscience."

As Cruz was speaking, delegates chanted, "Endorse Trump!" -- to which the senator replied dismissively, "I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation."

Cruz was jeered off the stage as Trump entered the hall and gave a thumbs-up.

In response, delegates from Utah, Washington and Arizona, some with the word "troublemaker" attached to their floor passes, began shouting, "Ted! Ted! Ted!"

The scene showed that many party stalwarts have not reconciled themselves to the fact that the celebrity billionaire who vanquished 16 opponents in the primary will be their standard-bearer in the fall. Their resistance continues, even though speaker after speaker pleaded with them to consider that the alternative is a Hillary Clinton presidency.

"After a long and spirited primary, the time for fighting each other is over. It's time to come together and fight for a new direction for America. It's time to win in November," said Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida), another defeated candidate. But he spoke via video, having decided to avoid the convention.

The call for unity was the sentiment of many on the convention floor, as well.

"There's a lot of diversity in our party and that's a strength of our Republican Party," said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. "I have a lot of respect for Ted Cruz. But I've made the choice that I'm all in to defeat Hillary Clinton, and everyone should be all in to defeat Hillary Clinton."

Clinton has been a stronger unifier of the Republican Party than Trump. As happened during the first two days of the convention, the hall broke into calls of "Lock her up!" on Wednesday when those onstage referred to the controversy over Clinton's unauthorized use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

But several of the speakers dwelled less on painting a relentlessly negative portrayal of the state of the country and more on framing the choice that will confront voters in the fall on national security, the economy and the future of the Supreme Court, among other things.

The theme of the evening was "Make America First Again," and it was aimed at setting the stage for the most important moment of the four-day convention: Trump's acceptance speech tonight.

"The Democrats have not led us to a crossroads, they have led us to a cliff," Florida Gov. Rick Scott told the gathering. "But this election is not actually about Donald Trump -- or Hillary Clinton. In fact, this election is not about you or me. This election is about the very survival of the American dream."

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Georgia), who had been in the running to become Trump's vice-presidential pick, warned: "When you hear about Hillary's dishonesty, or the emails, or taking millions from the Saudis and other Middle Eastern dictatorships, remember: This is not about politics. The cost of Hillary's dishonesty could be the loss of America as we know it."

Pence's speech had intentional echoes of one of the most famous ones that Ronald Reagan gave: his 1964 "Time for Choosing" speech on behalf of that year's presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater.

That nationally televised address is often considered the moment when Reagan went from being seen as a Hollywood actor to becoming one of the most influential leaders of a burgeoning conservative movement.

Pence's speech used not only the title phrase but also a call to a "rendezvous with destiny" and a dismissive reference to the presumption that a "little intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives better for us than we can plan them for ourselves."

Pence and others acknowledged that Trump's personal style can rub many the wrong way, but they portrayed his personal qualities as evidence that he is a strong and authentic leader.

"I'll gra nt you, he can be a little rough with politicians on a stage, and I'll bet we see that again. But I've seen this good man up close. His utter lack of pretense, his respect for the people who work for him and his devotion to his family," Pence said.

The expectation that Cruz's comments would fall somewhere short of a full embrace brought a gibe from an earlier speaker, conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham.

"We should all -- even all you boys with wounded feelings and bruised egos -- pledge to support Donald Trump now," she said.

In addition to Cruz, another former Trump rival, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, spoke from the stage.

However, two others -- former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich -- have been notable no-shows at the convention. Kasich's boycott is particularly awkward, given the fact that he is governor of the state where the convention is taking place, and has been making appearances in this city.

There was also some drama outside Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention is being held.

After two days of mostly restrained protests, tensions briefly escalated Wednesday afternoon when demonstrators burned an American flag outside an entrance point for delegates.

A small far-left political group called the Revolutionary Communists said it was responsible. The organization has been active in protests against police brutality and has been one of the more visible groups protesting during the convention.

"This was a planned action," said Carl Dix, the group's founder. "A flag was burned, and then the police descended on people, some people were arrested." There was also the lingering drama from the Monday address by Trump's wife, Melania, which included portions lifted from the speech that Michelle Obama gave at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, when her husband, Barack Obama, was running for president.

In a statement issued using the Trump Organization letterhead and not the campaign insignia, a staff member took responsibility for the insertion of the material and apologized. She said that she offered to resign but that Trump and his family encouraged her to stay.

Meredith McIver said she was an "in-house staff writer" who worked on the speech.

"A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama," McIver said of Melania Trump. "Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama's speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech."

Shortly before the campaign distributed McIver's statement, Trump addressed the controversy via Twitter, although he did not weigh in on allegations that his wife had borrowed language from the first lady's speech. Multiple commentators and Trump opponents have said the duplication of the phrases amounts to plagiarism.

"Good news is Melania's speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!" he wrote in one message. And he attempted to shift blame to Clinton, writing, "The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania's speech than the FBI spent on Hillary's emails."

 

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