10 things you need to know today: September 16, 2016
Hillary Clinton returns to the campaign trail, Donald Trump unveils his economic plan, and more
Clinton returns to the campaign trail
Hillary Clinton returned to the presidential campaign trail on Thursday, saying she felt "great" after taking several days off to recover from what her doctor described as a "mild" case of pneumonia. Clinton told a Greensboro, North Carolina, crowd that she was glad to be back. "I'm not great at taking it easy even under ordinary circumstances," she said, "but with just two months to go until Election Day, sitting at home was pretty much the last place I wanted to be." With her Republican rival, Donald Trump, taking the lead in Ohio and Florida, two key swing states, North Carolina is an important battleground.
Donald Trump reveals economic plan with big tax cut
Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled a revised plan for economic growth that includes a "$4.4 trillion tax cut." The Republican presidential candidate said he could cut $1.8 trillion from that cost through "growth-induced savings from trade, energy, and regulation reform," including cutting "job-killing regulations." Trump said the plan would result in average growth of 3.5 percent per year over the next decade and create 25 million jobs. He challenged doubters to "visit our website, just look at the math." An adviser for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, said his tax cuts would "benefit Trump at the expense of millions of hardworking folks across our country."
Ohio officer fatally shoots black teen wielding BB gun
Authorities in Columbus, Ohio, appealed for calm on Thursday after a white police officer fatally shot Tyre King, a 13-year-old African-American boy who was carrying a BB gun. "Investigations take time, and I ask for everyone's patience during this difficult time," Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said. Police said officers were responding to an armed robbery report and chased three males fitting the suspects' descriptions into an alley, where King pulled the realistic-looking toy weapon out of his waistband.
Sandra Bland's mother settles wrongful death suit
The mother of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in police custody after a controversial Texas traffic stop, has reached a $1.9 million settlement with state and county officials in her unlawful death lawsuit, her lawyer said Thursday. Bland's death was ruled a suicide. Bland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, called the settlement "a victory for moms across the country." The deal also calls for improvements at rural jails around the state, and reforms in Waller County. "I believe this is going to be a rippling effect across the country," Reed-Veal said.
Trump medical report says he is overweight but in 'excellent physical health'
Donald Trump released a letter from his doctor on Thursday saying that the Republican presidential candidate is "in excellent physical health," but takes cholesterol-lowering medication and is overweight. Trump, who has indirectly questioned the health of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, over her pneumonia diagnosis, revealed limited health details on The Dr. Oz Show. Trump said he is 6'3" and weighs 236 pounds, and would like to "drop 15 to 20 pounds." Trump did not indicate that he exercised regularly. He said that making hand gestures during campaign events is a "form of exercise," and that "a lot of times these rooms are very hot like saunas."
Witness tells Philippines lawmakers Duterte had hit squad
A witness told lawmakers in the Philippine Senate that before his election as president, Rodrigo Duterte paid a squad of hit men to carry out extrajudicial executions. The witness, Edgar Matobato, said he and other killers chopped up the bodies and dumped them at sea, and once fed a corpse to a crocodile. Senators are holding hearings to investigate a wave of summary executions that have left more than 3,000 people dead under now-President Duterte's anti-drug campaign.
House panel says Snowden leaks 'caused tremendous damage'
The House intelligence committee released a scathing report on Thursday saying that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden "caused tremendous damage" to national security when he leaked a massive trove of stolen secret documents. The panel also said Snowden lied about his background and was "not the whistleblower" he makes himself out to be. The report's release coincided with the release of the Oliver Stone film Snowden, and a Wednesday appeal by prominent human rights advocates for President Obama to pardon Snowden, now living in Russia.
Trump still declines to say Obama was born in U.S.
Donald Trump told a Washington Post reporter on Thursday that he was still unwilling to say that President Obama was born in the U.S. "I'll answer that question at the right time," Trump said. "I just don't want to answer it yet." Trump tried to raise doubts about Obama's citizenship in 2011, demanding the release of Obama's Hawaii birth certificate. His campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, recently tried to put the "birther" issue to rest by saying Trump believes Obama was born in the U.S. When reminded of that, Trump responded: "It's okay. She's allowed to speak what she thinks. I want to focus on jobs. I want to focus on other things."
Native American student penalized for refusing to stand for Pledge
A California teacher dropped a Native American high school student's grade because the teen refused to stand up during the Pledge of Allegiance. The student, Leilani Thomas, said she has chosen not to stand for the pledge since second grade — long before San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started doing the same at games — because her parents explained to her what the pledge meant to "our people and what happened — you know, the history." She said the teacher told her she was "being disrespectful." The school superintendent, Donna Becnel, confirmed the incident happened but said the school system stood by the students' right to free speech.
Swedish court upholds Assange arrest warrant in rape case
A Swedish appeals court on Friday upheld the arrest warrant against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a rape accusation. Assange has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 2012, saying he fears that Swedish authorities would send him to the U.S. to face espionage charges over WikiLeaks' massive leak of secret U.S. government documents. Swedish authorities started their investigation in 2010 after two women accused Assange of sexual assault and rape. The sexual assault has been dropped because time ran out to bring charges while Assange was in hiding, but the three-judge appeals panel in Stockholm said Assange is still suspected on probable cause of rape."