Still more questions than answers

voapr(image: Twitter – RamonCTaylor via VOABuzz)

After a speech to the UN where she was introduced as a “future president,” Hillary Clinton addressed the issue of her personal email use while she was Secretary of State in what was effectively the opening press conference of her 2016 Presidential campaign.

“I have no doubt we have done exactly what we should have done,” she said. The New York Times reports that “she asked voters to trust that she was disclosing more of them than she needed to — and even to credit her with an unusual degree of transparency.”

As you’d imagine, her words were closely watched and finely dissected. If she thought her appearance would douse the flames of a simmering row, it appears she miscalculated, leaving more questions than answers over her role, and seemingly guaranteeing that the story will continue to have legs at least until the announcement of her expected candidacy.

Dan Balz writes at the Washington Post:

Tuesday’s news conference offered a hint of what the future could be like — and it looked a lot like the past, with a controversy building until there was no other choice but to speak publicly about it and a media crush that no other candidate would attract. Some politicians faced with a similar problem have stood at a microphone until reporters exhausted all their questions. Clinton chose to cut off the questioning after only about 20 minutes.

Frank Bruni writes at the New York Times:

No more minced words. No more split hairs. No more donations to the Clinton Foundation that have a whiff of hypocrisy and suggest conflicts of interest.

She’s going to have a primary, all right, but it will be a contest against her own worst impulses, default defensiveness and prickly sense of insult when pressed for explanations. From what I saw Tuesday, victory is uncertain.

But with more, surely, to come, Mrs Clinton can at least take succor from the fact that there seems to one group of citizens she has already won over – viewers of Ed Schultz’s MSNBC show who prefer to push “A”…

***

* POLITICS * Before diving into the issue of her emails, Secretary Clinton spoke about the Iran letter by 47 GOP Senators, calling it “out of step with the best traditions of American leadership,” and saying that the Senators were either “trying to be helpful to the Iranians or harmful to commander-in-chief in middle of high stakes international diplomacy.”

Not deterred by Tuesday’s New York Daily News front page, two non-Senators were keen to put their names to the letter – Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal and former Texas Gov Rick Perry.

Jon Stewart, meanwhile, went after both parties for hypocrisy.

“No matter how evil our president or our Congress believes Iran to be, they would each rather deal with the ayatollah than each other.”

***

* BUSINESS * Duke Energy said it would pay $146million – described as an “off the charts,” number for such a settlement – to settle a lawsuit related to its 2012 buyout of Progress Energy. Separately, environmental agency officials in North Carolina said they were fining Duke $25million over polluted groundwater from coal ash pits.

Do lower oil prices mean that OPEC’s days are numbered?

***

* WORLD * Ireland accidentally legalised ecstasy, crystal meth and ketamine and – apparently – separately, may or may not have outlawed heterosexual marriage.

[Emergency legislation] will be rushed through but comes with a provision that states it can only take effect on the day after its signature, placing Ireland in a very grey area with regards to the legality of drugs including ecstasy, ketamine and magic mushrooms until midnight on Thursday.

***

* MEDIA * The owners of the Orange County Register resigned from executive duties at the paper. Aaron Kushner, the OCR said, “gained national attention in 2012 for his ideas on how to revive the Register and the entire newspaper industry. He espoused an unrelenting focus on a better print product while others saw the future online.”

What happens when your “local” news is coming from another state? Philip Napoli at Nieman Lab explains a New Jersey research study.

Verizon Fios dropped The Weather Channel – replacing it with AccuWeather – while the channel said “active conversations regarding a contract renewal” were ongoing.

Reuters reported that Univision has hired Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank to lead its IPO.

***

* CULTURE * A jury found that 2013’s biggest hit song, “Blurred Lines” was too similar to Marvin Gaye’s 1977 track “Got to Give It Up”, and awarded Gaye’s family $7.3million in damages.

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson promo’d Zoolander 2 at the Valentino show at Paris Fashion Week.

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