Trump’s White House dismisses Taylor Swift’s VMA plea, calls the Equality Act ‘poison’

Taylor Swift’s movement-stirring global influence apparently does not extend to President Donald Trump’s White House.

The Trump administration has issued a response to the pop star’s MTV Video Music Awards speech, which urged the White House to acknowledge her petition to the Senate in support of the Equality Act demanding that “on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally.” According to CNN, the White House made clear Tuesday that it has no intention of joining Swift’s crusade.

“The Trump Administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, the House-passed bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights,” the statement read.

On Monday night, Swift allocated a portion of her acceptance speech for video of the year to remind Washington that her petition — included in her viral “You Need to Calm Down” music video — has amassed “five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House,” with half a million signatures.

“You voting for this video means that you want a world where we are all treated equally under the law regardless of who we love — regardless of how we identify,” Swift said. “At the end of this video, there was a petition, and there still is a petition, for the Equality Act, which basically just says we all deserve equal rights under the law.”

The Trump administration’s comments reflect — almost verbatim — its previously released stance on the Equality Act, which Swift criticized in her initial call to action.

— Los Angeles Times

Woman took six kids to a Ky. Walmart and left them behind. Now she’s been arrested

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A woman who abandoned six kids at a Walmart in Adair County was later found and arrested in Pulaski County, police said.

Amanda Jardinez, 33, of Somerset, took six children, two of whom were hers, to Walmart in Columbia on Friday and told them to find a worker to talk to, Columbia police said.

Police said she tried to retrieve a MoneyGram transfer and then started to leave the store. When three of the children tried to follow her out, police said “Jardinez stopped, turned back and made them go back inside.”

Police said the kids ranged in age from 6 to 11 years old.

Jardinez left with a man, James Holovich, and his 5-year-old daughter, police said.

Columbia police had asked for the public’s help locating Jardinez, and on Saturday evening she was arrested by a Pulaski County sheriff’s deputy and a Kentucky State Police trooper.

Jardinez is facing six counts of first-degree wanton endangerment and six counts of abandonment of a minor. She was being held Tuesday in the Rockcastle County Detention Center on $20,000 bond.

On Monday, she was sentenced to 10 days in jail in an unrelated case. Jardinez was charged with fourth-degree assault in May in Rockcastle County after police were called to a Shell station about a woman and man fighting, court records show.

The man told police that he had met Jardinez to pick up his children, and she asked him for money. When he told her he didn’t have any, “she started fighting him and punching him all over,” according to court records.

— Lexington Herald-Leader

President Trump will hold rally for N.C. Republican on eve of special congressional election

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Fayetteville on Sept. 9, the night before a special congressional election in the North Carolina’s 9th District.

The Trump campaign announced the rally Tuesday, fulfilling a promise he made in a tweet earlier this month to return to the state to campaign for Republican Dan Bishop. Trump will rally at the Fayetteville Regional Airport at 7 p.m.

Bishop faces Democrat Dan McCready and two third-party candidates in the special election. The election was called after allegations of election fraud caused state officials to nullify the election last fall. The seat has been vacant since January.

The president’s visit will cap a campaign that’s drawn other members of his family and administration.

Donald Trump Jr. is scheduled to appear with Bishop Wednesday in Monroe. Karen Pence, wife of the vice president, headlined a Charlotte fundraiser last week.

Trump’s visit could help Bishop rally the Republican base in what’s expected to be a low-turnout election.

— The Charlotte Observer

2 Palestinian policemen killed in Gaza explosion

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Two Palestinian police officers were killed on Tuesday night in an explosion at a crossroad south of Gaza City, according to a statement from the Hamas-run Interior Ministry.

The two were on a motorbike south of Gaza City, medics and security officials said.

Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in Gaza identified the two policemen, who he said were killed in the “mysterious explosion,” as Salama al-Nadeem and Alla’ Gharablai. Islamic Jihad said the two were members of their group.

The Interior Ministry said that three others were injured in another explosion that occurred near a police checkpoint on the main road on the Gaza seaside, adding that police and security forces were investigating the nature of the two blasts.

Ministry spokesman Eyad al-Bozzom a status of emergency was declared following the explosions.

Residents said they heard an Israeli army drone over Gaza city at the time.

The Israeli army said it was “not aware of any strike tonight.”

Earlier Tuesday, an Israeli aircraft targeted a Hamas military post in northern Gaza, in response to a projectile fired from the Palestinian coastal enclave into southern Israel.

— dpa