Nation and World briefs for October 3

Boris Johnson: UK is offering Brexit ‘compromise’ to EU

MANCHESTER, England — The U.K. offered the European Union a proposed last-minute Brexit deal on Wednesday that it said represents a realistic compromise for both sides, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the bloc to hold “rapid negotiations towards a solution” after years of wrangling.

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With Britain due to leave the bloc at the end of this month, Johnson said in a letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that not reaching a deal would be “a failure of statecraft for which we would all be responsible.” He did not mention that the EU and the U.K. did reach a deal in 2018 _ only for it to be rejected, three times, by Britain’s Parliament.

The EU gave the proposals a guarded welcome and said the two sides would negotiate over the coming days. Juncker said he welcomed Johnson’s “determination” to make progress but noted there were still some “problematic” areas. Finland, which currently holds the EU presidency, said the 27 other member states would “engage actively” with the U.K. proposals, and chief negotiator Michel Barnier said they represented “progress.”

The new proposals focus on maintaining an open border between the U.K.’s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland _ the key sticking point to a Brexit deal. The U.K. proposes to do that by keeping Northern Ireland closely aligned to EU rules for trade in goods, possibly for an extended period.

The proposals, and Johnson’s letter, were conciliatory, despite having been billed by Johnson’s office as a take-it-or-leave it “final offer.”

Tensions over Hong Kong unrest flare on US college campuses

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — As political tensions flare back home, Hong Kong students on U.S. college campuses say they have been ostracized and in some cases threatened by fellow students from mainland China, and they suspect they are being watched from afar by Beijing.

Some say they see the hand of the Chinese government working in ways that threaten academic freedom.

“Even though many Chinese students are studying right here, sometimes they are all being monitored. They’re not really free of their minds and expression in this country,” said Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law, a 26-year-old graduate student in Asian studies at Yale University.

Law said he was told by a fellow student that other Chinese at the Ivy League school are avoiding contact with him for fear it will be reported back to the Chinese Embassy and they or their families back home will face consequences.

“There will be staring, spotting me and discussing among themselves, and pointing at me in an unfriendly manner,” said Law, whose continuing political work has included visits to Washington to meet with members of Congress.

Placido Domingo resigns as general director of LA Opera

SAN FRANCISCO — Opera star Placido Domingo resigned Wednesday as general director of the Los Angeles Opera and withdrew from all future performances, following multiple allegations from women who say the legendary tenor sexually harassed them there and at opera companies around the country over a period of decades.

Domingo’s departure from LA Opera raises questions about his future career in the United States, where he has been removed or has stepped down from all scheduled appearances since the allegations were first published by The Associated Press.

In two reports published Aug. 13 and Sept. 5 , the AP spoke to more than 20 women who accused Domingo of sexual harassment or other inappropriate, sexually charged conduct. Many said Domingo tried to pressure them into sexual relationships and sometimes punished them professionally if they rejected him. All said they feared reporting him because of his power to make or break their careers, and that his behavior was an open secret in the opera world.

The accusers’ stories laid out strikingly similar patterns of behavior that included Domingo persistently contacting them _ often calling them repeatedly at home, late at night _ expressing interest in their careers and urging them to meet him privately for a drink or meal, at his apartment or a hotel room, under the guise of offering professional advice. Several women said they took extreme measures to avoid Domingo, hiding from him in dressing rooms, not answering their phones or asking male colleagues to walk them to their cars so they wouldn’t be alone.

In a statement Wednesday, Domingo said that his ability to continue at LA Opera was “compromised” by the accusations against him.

Dallas cop gets 10 years in prison for killing her neighbor

DALLAS — The brother of a black man who was shot dead by a white Dallas police officer who said she mistook the victim’s apartment for her own forgave the officer and embraced her Wednesday as she sobbed after being sentenced to a decade in prison.

As people outside of the courtroom reacted angrily to the 10-year sentence given to Amber Guyger for killing Botham Jean in his apartment, believing it was too lenient, his brother was allowed to address her directly from the witness stand.

Brandt Jean told Guyger that he thinks his brother would have wanted her to turn her life over to Christ, and that if she can ask God for forgiveness, she will get it.

“I love you as a person. I don’t wish anything bad on you,” he said to the 31-year-old Guyger, before adding, “I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug?”

The judge said he could, and Brandt and Guyger stood up, met in front of the bench and embraced while Guyger cried.

Sanders has heart procedure, cancels campaign events for now

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders’ campaign said Wednesday that the Democratic presidential candidate had a heart procedure for a blocked artery and was canceling events and appearances “until further notice.”

The 78-year-old Sanders was taken to a Las Vegas hospital after he experienced chest discomfort during a campaign event Tuesday and sought medical evaluation. Two stents were “successfully inserted,” and Sanders “is conversing and in good spirits,” according to the campaign.

Sanders tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that he was “feeling good. I’m fortunate to have good health care and great doctors and nurses helping me to recover.”

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Then, sounding one of his favorite themes from the campaign trail, he added: “None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us. And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!”

The Democratic field’s oldest candidate, Sanders sometimes jokingly refers to his age at town halls and other events, especially when interacting with younger participants. He is one of three candidates over age 70 in the Democratic primary, which has spurred debate over whether the party should rally behind a new generation of political leaders. Sanders’ health issue is certain to revive that discussion in the weeks before the next presidential debate this month.

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