#AlohaHuffPost Roundup: Hawaii’s Most Iconic Symbol Of Aloha

Nothing embodies the aloha spirit more than Hawaii’s most recognizable gesture: the shaka.

The popular sign, sometimes known as “hang loose” in other parts of the world, is made by making a fist and then extending the thumb and pinky outward. The gesture has many meanings in the islands, including saying “hello,” “goodbye” and “thank you.” Most importantly, it represents pride in the Aloha State and its local culture.

Our readers have been putting their Hawaii pride on full display in their #AlohaHuffPost pics. Here are some of our favorites, because there’s nothing better than a solid shaka and a hefty dose of aloha spirit.

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Parents Of Dallas Shooter Say Son Became ‘Hermit’ After Military Service

The parents of Micah Johnson, the 25-year-old man authorities say killed five Dallas police officers and injured several others last week, are speaking out for the first time. 

Johnson, an Army Reserve veteran, had been excited to join the military and was passionate about protecting his country, Johnson’s parents said in an interview with The Blaze set to air this week. But over his six years of service, including a deployment to Afghanistan, Johnson became a “hermit,” the Johnsons said. 

“The military was not what Micah thought it would be,” said his mother, Delphine Johnson. “He was very disappointed, very disappointed, but it may be that the ideal that he thought of our government, of what he thought the military represented, it just didn’t live up to his expectation.” 

Johnson opened fire on police officers during an otherwise peaceful protest over the police killings of Philando Castile in Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Louisiana. Police killed Johnson with a bomb-carrying robot, ending a standoff. They said he acted alone and had plans for a larger attack.

Johnson was discharged from the military after being accused of sexual harassment. According to his family, he became interested in his black heritage after leaving the military, but never showed animosity toward people of other races. 

“I don’t know what to say to anybody to make anything better. I didn’t see it coming,” said Johnson’s father, James. “I love my son with all my heart, I hate what he did.” 

Watch a clip of the interview above.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Sunday that Johnson left cryptic messages in his own blood inside the building where he was killed Thursday evening. Police said they found rifles, bomb materials and a journal of “combat tactics” in his home.

“We’re convinced that this suspect had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to target law enforcement ― make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement’s efforts to punish people of color,” Brown said in an interview with CNN. 

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Clinton has enough delegates to clinch nomination, AP reports

Hillary Clinton makes a speech during a campaign stop in Lynwood, California. Photo by Mike Blake /Reuters

Hillary Clinton makes a speech during a campaign stop in Lynwood, California. Photo by Mike Blake /Reuters

LOS ANGELES – Striding into history, Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major U.S. political party, capturing commitments Monday from the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.

Clinton’s rise to presumptive nominee arrived nearly eight years to the day after she conceded her first White House campaign to Barack Obama. Back then, she famously noted her inability to “shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling.”

Campaigning this time as the loyal successor to the nation’s first black president, Clinton held off a surprisingly strong challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. He mobilized millions with a fervently liberal message and his insurgent candidacy revealed a deep level of national frustration with politics-as-usual, even among Democrats who have controlled the White House since 2009.

Clinton, the former secretary of state, New York senator and first lady, reached the 2,383 delegates needed to become the presumptive Democratic nominee on Monday with a decisive weekend victory in Puerto Rico and a burst of last-minute support from superdelegates. Those are party officials and officeholders, many of them eager to wrap up the primary amid preference polls showing her in a tightening race with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Campaigning in California on Monday night, Clinton said she was on the brink of a “historic, unprecedented moment.” But she said there was still work to be done in six states voting on Tuesday and made little mention of her claim on the nomination.

“We’re going to fight hard for every single vote,” Clinton said during a rally in Long Beach.

Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses. She also has the support of 571 superdelegates, according to an Associated Press count.

The AP surveyed all 714 superdelegates repeatedly in the past seven months, and only 95 remain publicly uncommitted.

Demi Gibson, who works the order counter at Hawkins House of Burgers shakes hands with Hillary Clinton who made a lunchtime campaign stop a the restaurant in Watts, California. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

Demi Gibson, who works the order counter at Hawkins House of Burgers shakes hands with Hillary Clinton who made a lunchtime campaign stop a the restaurant in Watts, California. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

Sanders’ campaign said it was a “rush to judgment” to declare Clinton the presumptive nominee given that superdelegates can switch their support before the Democratic convention in late July.

“Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump,” said Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs.

The superdelegates counted in Clinton’s tally have unequivocally told the AP they will do so.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign said it was a “rush to judgment” to declare Clinton the presumptive nominee.

“We really need to bring a close to this primary process and get on to defeating Donald Trump,” said Nancy Worley, a superdelegate who chairs Alabama’s Democratic Party and provided one of the last endorsements to put Clinton over the top.

Clinton outpaced Sanders in winning new superdelegate endorsements even after his string of primary and caucus wins in May. Following the results in Puerto Rico, it is no longer possible for Sanders to reach the 2,383 needed to win the nomination based on the remaining available pledged delegates and uncommitted superdelegates.

Sanders said this past weekend he plans to fight on until the convention, promising to make the case to superdelegates that he is better positioned to beat Trump in November. But since the start of the AP’s survey in late 2015, no superdelegates have switched from supporting Clinton to backing Sanders.

Indeed, Clinton’s victory is broadly decisive. She leads Sanders by more than 3 million cast votes, by 291 pledged delegates and by 523 superdelegates. She won 29 caucuses and primaries to his 21 victories.

That’s a far bigger margin than Obama had in 2008, when he led Clinton by 131 pledged delegates and 105 superdelegates at the point he clinched the nomination.

Hillary Clinton addresses the crowd during a campaign stop in Lynwood, California. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

Hillary Clinton addresses the crowd during a campaign stop in Lynwood, California. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

Echoing the sentiments of California Gov. Jerry Brown, who overcame a decades-long rivalry with the Clinton family to endorse her last week, many superdelegates expressed a desire to close ranks around a nominee who could defeat Trump in November.

“It’s time to stand behind our presumptive candidate,” said Michael Brown, one of two superdelegates from the District of Columbia who came forward in the past week to back Clinton before the city’s June 14 primary. “We shouldn’t be acting like we are undecided when the people of America have spoken.”

Though she marched into her second presidential primary campaign as an overwhelming favorite, Clinton could not shake Sanders until its final days. He campaigned aggressively in California ahead of the state’s Tuesday election, unwilling to exit a race Clinton stood on the cusp of winning.

Clinton’s deep unpopularity among Republicans has pushed many leery of Trump to nevertheless embrace his campaign.

Beyond winning over millions of Sanders supporters who vow to remain loyal to the self-described democratic socialist, Clinton faces challenges as she turns toward November, including criticism of her decision to use a private email server run from her New York home while serving as secretary of state. Her deep unpopularity among Republicans has pushed many leery of Trump to nevertheless embrace his campaign.

“This to me is about saving the country and preventing a third progressive, liberal term, which is what a Clinton presidency would do,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told the AP last week after he finally endorsed Trump, weeks after the New Yorker clinched the GOP nomination.

Yet Clinton showed no signs of limping into the general election as she approached the milestone, leaving Sanders behind and focusing on lacerating Trump. She said electing the billionaire businessman, who has spent months hitting her and her husband with bitingly personal attacks, would be a “historic mistake.”

“He is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility,” Clinton said last week in a speech that was striking in its forcefulness, previewing a brutal five-month general election campaign to come.

http://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365778122

Even without the nomination, Sanders can claim ideological victory. His liberal positions pushed the issue of income inequality into the spotlight and drove Clinton to the left on issues such as trade, Wall Street and campaign finance reform.

But she prevailed, in part, by claiming much of the coalition that boosted Obama. She won overwhelming support from women and minorities, catapulting her to decisive victories in diverse, delegate-rich states such as New York and Texas.

When Clinton launched her campaign last April, she did so largely unopposed, having scared off more formidable challengers by locking down much of the party’s organizational and fundraising infrastructure. Vice President Joe Biden, seen as her most threatening rival, opted not to run in October.

Of the four opponents who did take her on, Sanders was the only one who emerged to provide a serious challenge. He caught fire among young voters and independents, his campaign gaining momentum from a narrow loss in Iowa in February and a commanding victory in New Hampshire. His ability to raise vast sums of money online gave him the resources to continue into the spring.

But Clinton vowed not to repeat the failings of her 2008 campaign and focused early on winning delegates, hiring help from Obama’s old team before launching her campaign. They pushed superdelegates into making early commitments and held campaign appearances in areas where they could win the most pledged delegates.

Her victory in Nevada in late February diminished concerns from allies about her campaign operation. Decisive wins in Southern states on Super Tuesday and a sweep of March 15 contests gave her a significant delegate lead, which became insurmountable by the end of April after big victories in New York and in the Northeast.

She now moves on to face Trump, whose ascent to the top of the Republican Party few expected. The brash real estate mogul and reality TV star has long since turned his attention from primary foes to Clinton, debuting a nickname – “Crooked Hillary” – and arguing she belongs in jail for her email setup.

After a long primary campaign, Clinton said this past weekend in California she was ready to accept his challenge.

“We’re judged by our words and our deeds, not our race, not our ethnicity, not our religion,” she said Saturday in Oxnard, California. “So it is time to judge Donald Trump by his words and his deeds. And I believe that his words and his deeds disqualify him from being president of the United States.”

Associated Press writers Hope Yen, Stephen Ohlemacher, Lisa Lerer and Catherine Lucey wrote this report. AP writers Julie Bykowicz in Washington and Ken Thomas in San Francisco contributed to this report.

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Justice Department says North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law is a Civil Rights Act violation

Photo by Flickr user torbakhopper.

Photo by Flickr user torbakhopper.

The Justice Department has now weighed in on a North Carolina law that has been considered the most anti-LGBT law in the United States.

Justice Department officials sent a letter to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday that said House Bill 2 violated federal civil rights laws, including Title IX, which bars discrimination based on sex, the Associated Press reported.

Critics argued that North Carolina’s controversial law, which was signed into law hours after it was introduced in March, restricted protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The so-called “bathroom bill” prevents local governments from passing laws that protect LGBT individuals by requiring transgender people to use bathrooms that match the gender they were assigned at birth.

The letter said North Carolina was “engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination” against transgender state employees.

The letter also said state officials had until Monday to confirm that “the State will not comply with or implement H.B. 2, and that it has notified employees of the State and public agencies that, consistent with federal law, they are permitted to access bathrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity.”

According to the Charlotte Observer, millions of dollars in federal school funding – reaching $861 million for the current school year – could be at risk should North Carolina officials not comply.

Public outcry soon followed the bill’s passing, with gay rights advocates, businesses and entertainers staging boycotts over the measure.

Justice Dept Letter on HB 2 by PBS NewsHour

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/311550058/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-VtWSZgQ5d47oLP2f2G72&show_recommendations=true

The post Justice Department says North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law is a Civil Rights Act violation appeared first on PBS NewsHour.