- Donald Trump called on Russia to find and release Hillary Clinton's 30,000+ deleted State Department emails, which sent Republicans, Democrats, and the mainstream media off the deep end. Mollie Hemingway writes that the mainstream media needs to stop allowing itself to be trolled like this.
David Harsanyi speculates what would happen if David Duke won the primary for U.S. Senate in Louisiana, and people replayed today's GOP arguments for supporting Donald Trump:
Wouldn’t Republicans be obligated to support him? Doesn’t the “will of the people” transcend the piddling concerns of the sore losers? Isn’t opposing the will of the majority tantamount to being a traitor to your cause? According to some of Trump’s greatest allies in the Republican Party, imploring people to vote their conscience is now a “chilling” display of nonconformity. What could possibly be more important than unification of a political party?
No, I’m not arguing that Trump’s aims and positions are indistinguishable from Duke’s. The Republican nominee has already rebuked Duke “as quick as you can say it.” If Trump’s positions and disposition please you, feel free to support him. What I am contending is that arguments made by Trump’s Republican allies meant to convince recalcitrant conservatives to vote for him are vacuous logical fallacies.
- The IRS is investigating whether the Clinton Foundation is a pay-to-play scheme. The division responsible for the investigation is the Exempt Organization Program – the division Lois Lerner ran. No, you shouldn't expect anything to come of this.
The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security cut a deal with Costa Rica that will result in transferring children and some adults from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who are currently in Costa Rica to the U.S.
The Department of Labor stonewalled a Freedom of Information Act request for six years, the deleted an email account with relevant records.
Maryland State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped the criminal charges against the last three Baltimore police officers in the Freddie Gray case, and blamed her prosecution failures on the police department's unwillingness to investigate itself.
President Obama plans to build his presidential library in Chicago's Jackson Park, just east of the University of Chicago campus.
U.S.-backed forces fighting near Manbij, Syria have collected terabytes worth of ISIS computer storage and turned it over to the U.S. for intelligence analysis.
One of the two ISIS terrorists who murdered a Catholic priest in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France had been convicted of conspiracy to prepare acts of terrorism (he twice tried to travel to the Middle East and join the caliphate). He was granted bail on March 2 and made to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, which didn't do much good:
According to his bail conditions, the electronically tagged terrorist was allowed out unsupervised between 8.30am and 12.30pm.
Today's attack took place between 9.45am and 11am.
- Several French media outlets decided they won't publish the names or photos of Islamic terrorists.
The Turkish government closed three news agencies, 16 TV channels, 45 papers, and 15 magazines; it also ordered the arrest of another 47 journalists. The government claims 8,651 soldiers participated in the attempted coup, and that they used 24 fighter jets, 37 helicopters, 74 tanks, and three ships.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used the country's Religious Affairs Department (Diyanet) to rally people to his defense via imams and their mosques:
During the Ottoman era, sala prayers were called to announce difficult times during wars. The voice of the imams is known as the single voice that has the power to reach all the people instantaneously. However, with the demise of the empire and the establishment of the secular Republic, sala prayers have not been heard in times of distress in Turkey.
On July 15, Diyanet sent a text message to the phones of 110,000 imams, who are government employees themselves, asking them to recite the sala prayer at 85,000 mosques. Some imams just read the sala prayer periodically, while others also read announcements to the public informing them where to assemble and encouraging them to be courageous. In more pious and active neighborhoods, when the imam called Takbeer (a call during distress and war), the people passionately replied Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) while marching on streets.
Yet not everyone was happy about the involvement of Diyanet in the civilian resistance against the coup. In both Izmir and Istanbul on that eventful night, attacks on mosques for reciting the sala prayers have been reported. Once the coup attempt was suppressed, police forces investigated and found those who attacked the imams and arrested them. In addition, some imams failed to follow the orders. In the following days, those imams were taken into custody.
After the coup, Diyanet announced that it will not provide Islamic burial services to the coup suspects. Those who are believed to be involved in the coup were denied burial places in Muslim cemeteries. Some of the families did not claim their bodies, while others were obliged to bury the bodies in their backyards. Those who had fallen dead — either soldier, police or civilian — fighting against the coup were declared martyrs, and the government agreed to provide them with all due financial and procedural martyr’s status.